A Surprise Bloom

Tulip

I saw an unexpected pop of color this evening as I looked out from my sunroom. Once I threw on my slip-on Skechers and went out to investigate, at the base of the butterfly bush I found this lovely tulip.

Which I didn’t plant.

That means it’s been there under my nose for six springs and either never bloomed or never been noticed. Nothing else in that bed is that particular color, though, so I can’t imagine I would have missed that pop of coral.

Welcome to the Early Spring Border, little tulip.

Imperial Six-Twenty Snapshot

Three Imperial Box Cameras

I found these three Herbert George cameras at the antique mall last March. I paid $37 for all three, which was more than I’d usually pay per box camera, but I have a soft spot for Herbert George Imperial cameras for some reason.

The Herco Imperial and the Imperial Six-Twenty are clearly identical rebranded cameras, but I couldn’t pass up the chance to see how two “identical” cameras would compare to each other.

I loaded up the Six-Twenty last April for a test run, and discovered that it does not accept 120 spools; the spools are too tall. Some suggest sanding down the ends of the 120 spool, but instead, I respooled a roll of Ektar 100 onto a 620 spool. I suspected film plane issues right off the bat, as the tension seemed off while winding on — so much so that the bottom of the take-up spool kept coming unseated. Luckily, my fears were unfounded.

Downtown Toledo

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Nikon One Touch Zoom 70 AF

Nikon OneTouch Zoom

I picked up this Nikon One Touch Zoom 70 AF for two bucks last February at my favorite thrift store (which has since closed — RIP, Savers).

I loaded it up with my last roll of 35mm 400-speed film, only to discover that it made a crazy grinding noise with each advance of the film. The first 8 exposures or so were different nighttime views of the living room as I was debating whether to continue the roll or give up entirely.

I ended up deciding to leave the film loaded and just take some snaps around the house over time instead of taking it on a photo walk downtown.

I finished up the roll over St. Patrick’s Day weekend, just snapping indoor photos at home. I experimented with selfies using the timer, portraits with different flash modes, zoom distances — all the while expecting that the photos weren’t going to come out, anyway. That grinding noise is ominous.

Of course, since I didn’t record info on any of the photos, it turns out that the camera works just fine.

Mei Kitty
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Portrait of Mei

Mei Under the Tree
[25 December 2017]

This old lady. She and Connor are almost besties now, although she still won’t climb up and sleep with him in his bed like she will with me. She was pretty displeased when we first brought Connor home. so seeing them play together now makes me smile.

(She also didn’t much care for moving to this house almost five years ago — in fact, she hid behind the toilet on moving day and wouldn’t come out until we were upstairs in bed that night.)

Mei will be 14 years old this Spring. Sometimes she moves a little slower down the stairs than she used to, and sometimes I take note of her now-bony haunches. Other times, though, she tears ass through the house like she’s always done.

I suspect we still have many good years left with Mei Kitty, but I tend not to take the cuddles and the playtime for granted anymore.

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]
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