Light Meters FTW!

Fujica Half

The weekend started pretty awesome (from a photography standpoint), as my battery adapter from CRIS arrived on Friday. I have at least one camera (the Rollei 35 I just got done testing) and one light meter that both require discontinued mercury batteries, and the WeinCell replacements weren’t working for either. I was way stoked to find that the battery plus adapter worked in both!

So, I attached the accessory-shoe-mount light meter that was now functional to my new-to-me Fujica Half that I got this past week off of eBay. I had tried the selenium (old-school solar cell) light meter right when I first unpacked the Fujica, to no avail. No worries, now that I had a light meter that wasn’t my iPhone, so I took the camera plus light meter to dinner on Saturday. Miraculously (read: yay, science!), the on-board selenium meter woke up after being out and about, and the on-board reading matched the mounted Kalimar meter. Now my Fujica Half is just as awesome as I hoped it would be, since it’s fully automatic with the meter functional.

I am TOTALLY STOKED that I now have two fully working cameras and a mounted light meter, thanks to a new battery adapter and SCIENCE!

Practice Mushroom

Blue Mario Mushroom

This morning, my son was insistent that we make the Super Mario Mushroom he’d been asking about for weeks. I’m not exactly Little Miss Etsy, but I took Home Ec in junior high and sewed my own plushie music note by hand, so I figured I’ve totally got this.

I found this instructable that put me on the right track, and I convinced Connor that we should make a small “practice” mushroom out of the fabric I had on hand, instead of an 18-inch Giant Mushroom.

I showed Connor all the steps involved in sewing a plushie, even though I actually did everything myself. (Since I hadn’t sewn in several years, I wasn’t sure which steps to let Connor help with.) It took about two and a half hours start to finish, but the end result was a perfectly passable practice mushroom. It has a few imperfections, and I learned what not to do next time, but I really enjoyed myself. My son thinks it’s the best thing ever (for today, anyway), and that’s what I was going for in the first place, so arts and crafts time was a rousing success!

Sewing by hand is kind of meditative. I like it. I should do this more often. I’m sure my son would appreciate it. 🙂

Farewell to Our 44th President

I’m not a particularly political person, so I didn’t expect the feeling of loss that hit me on this Inauguration Morning. Not foreboding of things to come, but of the end of the administration of the best President I can remember.

I’m 40 years old. When I was born, Ford was president, and would be for less than another year. I have zero memory of Ford’s or Carter’s administrations, and the only thing I really remember about Reagan was my family’s disgust when a presidential address would interrupt our normal television schedule. George H. W. Bush was president while I was in junior high and early high school. I remember being worried about the Gulf War, but otherwise still pretty unengaged politically.

The Clinton Administration was high school and early college for me. I thought he was cool — hey, he plays the saxophone! — but he also had sex scandals, impeachment proceedings, didn’t inhale… I didn’t think he was The Best President Ever, but he wasn’t bad, either.

George W. Bush was president while I was finishing up my undergrad and moving onward into the working world. I had started to become more aware of and involved in social and political activism, and the aftermath of 9/11 (during my final semester) served to strengthen that. I’ll just say that, like many others who shared my social opinions, I had a poor opinion of President Bush.

My college friend Eric tipped me off to this Obama guy, a young Democratic senator from Chicago. You should keep your eye on him, Eric told me. I didn’t really look into it at the time… but when the nominations came in, I recognized the candidate.

This was a guy I wished I could meet, talk to, hang out with. I resonated with him as I’d never resonated with another politician. I could give the laundry list of reasons why, but I’ve already gone on long enough with this political retrospective.

The point is, I’m going to miss having a president I feel a connection with. It’s back to politics as usual — or not, since the incoming Trump Administration is, true to its word, shaking things up in Washington. As I write this, the Cabinet is still being finalized, but mostly consists of CEOs and businesspeople and very few people who seem to know how the United States Government functions.

President Obama is leaving office with a very high approval rating, and Trump is taking office with one of the lowest approval ratings of an incoming President (or so I’ve read).

It feels like mourning. Maybe later it’ll feel different — defeat, depression, anxiety, foreboding — but, right now, in this moment, I’m mourning the end of an era.

Jefferson Center

Jefferson Center
[Taken 8 June 2016]

From Wikipedia:

Created in 1970, the Jefferson Center moved into the old U.S. Post Office building at 1300 Jefferson Avenue in 1972. The school hoped to be a trendsetter nationally and aimed at TPS students that had issues with their home schools. Instead of having principals, teachers, students, and a separate set of rules for adults and children, the school was set up with the titles of director, supervisors, evaluators, and trainees. After much renovation to equip the building for instruction, the school was able to provide programs in building maintenance, child care, fabric service, food service, health care, manufacturing and construction, merchandising, office services, and warehousing.

Despite its intentions to serve troubled teens, the Jefferson Center still had problems with attendance and graduation rates throughout its history. After a short debate on whether it was living up to its original expectations, the school was spared from closure in 1989 along with Macomber-Whitney High School.

The Jefferson Center remained open until June 2000 when TPS decided to save $15.2 million by cutting the alternative school, along with Old Orchard Junior High and 67 teaching jobs. The Head Start program moved into the building the following year.

In April 2011, TPS considered demolishing the building unless an alternative use for it could be found. A majority of the school board has voiced opinion in favor of keeping the historic 1911 building standing.

The Family That Shits Together…

Saturday’s regularly scheduled Date Night was cancelled on account of our son puking up blueberries at 6am, then again at 7:30am, then shitting his pants during a poorly-considered trip to Toys-R-Us at 10:30ish.

Of course, since our boy is freaking Wolverine or something, he was doing backward somersaults off the loveseat by the time Daddy woke up around noon-thirty. Still, since bodily fluids were involved, we cancelled the sitter and stayed in for the night. (Alas, we won’t get to see Rogue One in the theater, after all.)

This morning, I woke up feeling fine, but things went south as the morning progressed. By the time I got to my desk, I wanted to lay back down and take a nap. I took some ibuprofen with my morning coffee, and my stomach protested at having anything in it, food or otherwise.

Luckily, I didn’t hurl — although I seriously thought I was going to at one point. I ate a light sushi lunch, and opted for a very light dinner, as well.

(Seems Daddy got a touch of it, too, but a more southerly vector, so to speak.)

Right now, I’m curled up on the couch under an afghan, sipping a mug of peppermint tea and trying not to fall asleep. If I feel like this tomorrow, I’m dropping off my son at Pre-K and coming right back home to bed. I haven’t taken an honest-to-god Sick Day, outside of using half-days for doctor’s appointments, since October 2015.

Man, I feel like ass.

Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day: January 2017

Despite my best intentions, nothing is truly in bloom today. The ‘Ragtime’ Amaryllis just finished blooming last week, and I haven’t potted up any other bulbs quite yet. The ‘Pink Pearl’ Hyacinths i’m forcing haven’t done much more than peek an inch of green out of their bulbs, and the kalanchoes are just kind of chilling with no intention of blooming anytime soon.

I do have a bit of color in the house, at least. The poinsettia is hanging in there from the Christmas season.

poinsettia with jade and purple shamrock

The African Violet is showing signs of a bloom in the Very Near Future.

african violet flower bud

I have hope that there will be more blooms next month!

Back in the Saddle

That would be a funnier title if I attended the spin class at work. Alas, I don’t do spin, since the one time I tried it, I managed to rotate one of my vertebrae. I have no plans to try spin ever again — even though that was a couple years ago.

What I am doing is getting back to my normal fitness routine. When I’m not being a total slacker (as I was over the holidays), I typically attend fitness classes at the work gym over lunch once or twice a week, then do weights once a week. I’ve been mixing it up recently, though, and throwing in some treadmill instead of strength training, just because tracking my cardiovascular fitness with my new Fitbit Charge 2 is a new fun thing for me. #datanerd

(Also because I’d have to adjust my lifting plan to my post-hiatus fitness level, and I haven’t felt motivated to do that yet, truth be told.)

Monday was kickboxing class.

Max heart rate: 156