Minolta 110 Zoom SLR Mark II Test Roll

Minolta 110 SLR Mark II

Ever since I discovered that 110 SLRs existed, and that there were multiple models by multiple manufacturers, I made it my mission to collect them. I love my Pentax 110 SLR, so why not catch ’em all?

The film advance on the Mark II had been stuck since I got it at a yard sale back in the Summer of 2016. I finally got it working in early February 2017 by cleaning the battery contacts with a pencil eraser and loading fresh LR44 batteries. I actually had to polish the batteries on my jeans and avoid getting any fingerprints on the poles for the camera to recognize the batteries, though, which was a new one on me.

Once I had the camera working, I loaded up the Mark II with Lomo “Tiger” 200 speed film and headed out to the local metropark to start photographing.

Park Bench
[10 Feb 2017 | f/3.5, -1 EV]

New Year’s Day 2018

It was just as well that the fireworks roused me at the stroke of midnight last night, as I had fallen asleep on my stomach, with my arms folded beneath me, and my hands were numb and tingly.

This year makes two — or maybe three? — years in a row when I haven’t even attempted to make it until midnight on New Year’s. I pretty much turn into a pumpkin by 10:30 or 11pm, and I know my son is going to rouse me at 8am on New Years Day, anyway. (I long for the day when he decides that really sleeping in is a thing.)

Memaw used to say that whatever you do on New Year’s Day is what you’ll be doing all year, so the half-joke was that we wouldn’t do any laundry or house-cleaning on New Year’s, but Memaw would cook, of course. That superstition never made any sense to me, though, since New Year’s was a holiday. Of course you’re going to be off-schedule and not doing the things you’d normally be doing all year, like going to school (or work).

Even though New Year’s Day is honestly a pretty arbitrary date, I still like to take this opportunity to reflect on my habits and goals. What do I want to accomplish this year? Did I accomplish what I set out to do last year?  (more…)

Fifty New-To-Me Recipes in 2017: The Top Ten

Back in January, I resolved to cook fifty new-to-me recipes in 2017. Unlike some of the other resolutions I made (like, say, posting to my blog daily), I succeeded and surpassed my recipe goal.

I reached 50 recipes by the end of November, and (while I ran out of room on my notebook page to record them) I continued trying new recipes through December, reaching a total of 55 new recipes I tried this year — better than the one per week I’d originally been shooting for.

Some of the recipes, of course, were more successful than others. The undercooked sous-vide tilapia wasn’t my best moment, and neither was the woefully under-spiced egg curry. Some, though, became house favorites.

These are my top ten.  (more…)

Today’s application of Murphy’s Law: When the outside temperature is -2F, the drive-thru book return at the public library will be out of order.

Goals and Priorities

It’s that time of year again, where I aggregate all the interesting (or not) things from the year, think about what this year meant to me, and make some goals for the next.

I haven’t even started the 2017 Year In Review post yet, so my brain is still kind of in The Now instead of in retrospective mode, but I’ve been thinking about things I want to focus on in 2018.

But there’s too many.

I want to read more — fiction and magazines, mainly.
I want to make recipes from my collection of cookbooks — some of which I’ve never cracked open.
I want to meditate daily, and get sweaty from exercise at least once a week.
I want to watch more movies — mainly older ones that I keep meaning to watch.
I want to interact with my friends and acquaintances more often, and more meaningfully.
I want to write more, and blog more long-form posts (like this one).

That’s not even touching on the more mundane stuff, like getting my weight back on a downward slope, or paying my revolving credit balance back down to zero, or taming my backlogged to-do list(s), or catching up on getting prints into my photo albums.

I’m longing for that feeling of having things under control (which I totally don’t have right now), so I’m trying to figure out how to get myself the biggest head-start on that feeling, for the optimal snowball effect.

I’m over 40 years old. Aren’t I supposed to have myself figured out by now?

Christmas Is Coming

Today was “Polar Express Day” at Connor’s school (jammies FTW!), after which he gifted a box full of homemade cookies to the ladies at the after school program.

Tomorrow is his class’s Winter Party (not the “Christmas Party,” partially because they have children from Jewish and Muslim families in their class), where he’ll be gifting cookies and a gift card to his teacher. (I’ll be there along with some other parents, helping with the festivities.) Come evening, I’ll probably assemble all the recipes for the weekend’s cooking exploits to make sure all the necessary ingredients get on the shopping list.

Saturday, we’ll be doing laundry and grocery shopping (which are normally Sunday tasks), and I’ll be making an old family recipe for Christmas pudding that involves cracker crumbs and takes some four hours in the oven. (I’ve never made it before, so this should be interesting.) I’ll probably also make the cranberry sauce come evening, and we need to take some books back to the library.

Sunday — Christmas Eve — is our family gathering. Before the cooking starts in earnest, though, Connor and I will be going to let a friend’s dog out while they’re out of town for the holiday. Then I’ll be cooking the ham (from frozen, since we don’t have room to thaw it in the fridge, so it’ll take a while longer than usual), and making the side dishes I’ve planned. We’ll be hosting seven adults and two children total, which is the biggest Christmas we’ve had at our house yet. We’ll be opening some gifts, but saving the big ones for Christmas Day.

Monday is Christmas Day, where we open our gifts from Santa and from each other. Connor and I will check the stockings first thing, and our breakfast will likely be the candy Santa has left us (unless I decide to prep some sort of make-ahead bake-in-the-morning breakfast after everyone leaves the night before). Dad will get up around noonish, and maybe we’ll open presents before lunch, but probably after. Lunch will probably be Chinese, because that’s how we roll. It’s kind of a tradition.

I still don’t have the whole Christmas Spirit thing going on yet, though. I’ve felt glimmers of it, like when Connor and I were making cookies this week, or while I was packaging them up for the ladies at Extended Time last night, but… I mean, I’m looking forward to seeing everyone, and this is going to be the last Christmas I’ll get to spend with my Mom for who knows how long, since she and her new husband are moving to Florida come spring.

I’ve felt like this before: last year, for one, and many other years where I haven’t documented the occasion because LA LA LA NOPE I’M JUST LIKE EVERYONE ELSE MERRY CHRISTMAS.

Honestly, I’m really just looking forward to a joyous Christmas Eve with my family and, later, a chill Christmas Day full of presents and Chinese food and leftover ham.

My son and I made a metric ass-ton of molasses cookies tonight. If he’d earned any screen time today, Together Time wouldn’t have happened. #silverlining