Photographing Water

A few weeks ago, my wife and I drove up to Estes Park.  I took quite a few photos you can see here, here and here.

I often take more photos with my camera because I like the degree of control it gives me.  The phone camera is a nice one, it sports a Carl Zeiss 2.0 26mm lens; and with the phone, I have the added feature of automatic OneDrive integration.  But the drawback is that, with a 26mm lens, the field of view is very wide and I don’t always want that.

However, the phone is almost always with me and it’s easy to use.  And my wife observed recently that I’m a big picture sort of guy, so perhaps having a wide-angle lens isn’t really a problem until I want to get up close to something, or I want a tighter composition.

I had to work to cut out the people hovering around this water fountain in Estes Park.  These things draw little kids who are drawn to things that can kill them like magnets.  A couple I saw nearly fell in this fountain more than once.

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Water is fascinating to photograph.  It can be smooth and wispy on those longer shots or you can get those short shorts like below and see how water actually breaks apart as it falls.

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Or how it beads up on glass.  This is a picture I took through the sunroof of my car one day when it was raining too hard to get good photos of much else.

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Thanks for reading, looking at my photos, and being a part of this blog.  I appreciate it.

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For the Sake of Driving

While yesterday was our first marriage anniversary, my wife and I mostly celebrated last weekend.  We let Grammy have the kiddo for a couple of days and we enjoyed the just us time we were able to have together.

We didn’t have or make plans to do anything, so we ended up taking a couple of drives.  We used to do that a lot before the kiddo came to live with us full time this year.  We don’t do it as often for some reason, and that’s a shame.  We didn’t have any destination in mind other than back home and we weren’t on a timeline, either set by us or by someone else.

Saturday, we drove from Lakewood to Lakewood via Fairplay, Breckenridge, Frisco, and Golden.  We stopped at the top of Kenosha Pass and tried to recreate the photo we took in March, and we marveled over how not white it looked coming off Kenosha Pass, since the last time we drove that way the valley was covered in snow.

Saturday Drive

The detour through Golden wasn’t any faster than coming down I-70 would have been, but I think the canyon is a prettier route. And there’re more tunnels that way, too.

Sunday, we sort of had a timeline because we were supposed to collect the kiddo from her Grammy; but we cheated and left early enough that it felt we didn’t have to be anywhere by any particular time.  We drove down to Colorado Springs via Fairplay, then turned south on CO-9 and took Highway 24 through Woodland Park.

Going south isn't always a bad thing; it made for a great drive.

Going south isn’t always a bad thing; it made for a great drive.

That's the side of Pike's Peak I didn't see much when I lived in the Springs.

That’s the side of Pike’s Peak I didn’t see much when I lived in the Springs.

We enjoyed driving this route and despite being so far out in the willy wags, it’s a pretty place.  The car is a pretty nice place to take our insulation with us as we go out into the world.  Neither of us is particularly social, and we truly enjoy each other’s company.

If you like to drive for the sake of driving, I’d recommend either of these routes.  Whether you take a camera and stop for photos is up to you (we didn’t this time), but definitely take someone you enjoy being with.  It makes the drive so much nicer.

Happy Anniversary

A year ago, I decided to work from home because we were going to go to the courthouse and fill in the paperwork for our marriage license.  I worked for an hour or so before I looked up the hours to the courthouse.  When I did look them up, I was surprised to find out the county clerk’s office opened at 730.  I envisioned sitting there in the clerk’s office for hours waiting to get served, so I apologetically woke you up.

It was gray and rainy, and probably cold too; it was October in Colorado.  We drove over to the courthouse and found our way up to the county clerk’s office.  It was entirely empty; the only people around were a couple of employees.

We’d planned to self-solemnize once we found out we could do that.  We got the application, but the clerk’s employee wouldn’t let us fill it in there at the counter.  So we moved over to the table by the window and filled in the application.  And when we were finished, the clerk simply asked us if we wanted her to simply file it.  After sharing a look, we said something like, “Sure, why not.”

It seemed to follow the low-key approach we used when deciding to get married in the first place.  That quick ten-minute conversation we had on my couch in my Colorado Springs apartment about the logistics of driving back and forth to and from Denver, and how I’d rather you moved up there with me… and if we were going to do that, why not just get married.  And the realization that we just decided something like that in that manner; it still makes me laugh sometimes when I think about it.  It’s not a very romantic story for the ages, I know; but our story is nothing if not practical.

We went out for a bagel sandwich on the way home.  On the way home, we made some phone calls to let people know we’d tied the knot.  And there were some amusing conversations with some relatives, like our sister-in-law’s reaction to the term my wife.

This year has gone by so quickly; it’s really hard to believe it’s already our first anniversary; it’s not the end of the first year of our marriage, but the start of the rest of them.  I can’t begin to tell you how much I love you, how much I appreciate your presence and influence in my life.  There’s no way to express how much I value your input in the decisions we’ve faced together this past year.  That we make them together helps.

Thank you for being my wife.

Happy anniversary.

An Explanation of the Increase of Cyclist Fatalities

An article in the Washington Post recently discussed a rise in cyclist fatalities that’s causing concern among safety boffins. Per the article, cyclist fatalities have risen from 621 national incidents in 2010 to 722 in 2012, a 16% increase.

Yet the article begins by pointing out that cycling is on the rise, particularly among urban commuters. Well, it stands to reason that the more cyclists there are out on the road, the higher the fatality rates will be. The more cyclists there are, the higher the odds of an incident resulting in a fatality become.

But that probably doesn’t account for the whole rise, I agree. And I suspect I know where the difference is: The difference is in the fact that there are now more cyclists breaking the law and getting a graphic lesson in physics.

A good number of cyclists think they are above the law, not only the traffic law, but above the laws of physics as well, as if hideous Lycra shorts and godawful day glow, branded shirts suspend kinematics. I’ve seen cyclists not stop at stop signs, which is bad; but I’ve also seen them not bother to stop at stop lights. At major intersections.  Last year, I personally nearly sent one pureed into the afterlife when he failed to stop at a stop sign crossing an interstate off ramp.  That’s right, I had the right of way and didn’t have to stop (so of course, I wasn’t going to); and had I been a worse driver, he would have been tire tread filler.

And this is just in the small sampling of cyclists I get to see on only my drives. Now, the cyclist douchebaggery that I see is the minority behavior; most cyclists I see on my drives have a healthy sense of well being. But multiply those acts of disregard for a sense of survival across the country, and it’s easy to see that this trend fits into the overall framework of more cyclists equal more fatalities.

To be fair, I’m well aware that not all cyclists involved in physics lessons with vehicles provoked it. I’ve seen plenty of inattentive drivers wander into the bicycle lane, and this infuriates me when I see it. Because on one hand, I ride in the bike lane when there is one and so does my daughter. And anyone who uses the bike lane when there is one should be able to do so without fear that he’ll get creamed by some derptastic driver taking a selfie and posting a status update on Twitter.

I can’t understand such a low level of egotistical intellect that allows people to use their cars and their phones at the same time. It’s utterly unforgivable to be piloting a vehicle when you’re not fully engaged in that activity.  Most people are complete crap at just the act of driving; nothing has ever indicated they should engage in another activity while driving, yet they do.  All the time.  It’s unfathomable.

However, drivers are automatically blamed for hitting cyclists, and like my contempt for the Look Twice campaign, I think this is ludicrous. Cyclists should be ticketed for traffic infractions with penalties just as stiff as those for cars because they’re ignoring the generally agreed upon traffic statutes.

However, those cyclists who violate traffic laws and flaunt the laws of physics are going to do it regardless. So perhaps the rising number of cyclist fatalities is just Darwinism at work.

Creature Of Habit

This morning, I opened my eyes a minute or two before the alarm went off. Rose was sitting there next to the bed, and I reached out and petted her before closing my eyes again. When the alarm went off, I saw her walking toward the bathroom.

On a typical day, I get up, start coffee, get a shower, and while I’m brushing my teeth and combing my hair, I pet Rose. She rubs her face on all the bathroom stuff and purrs really loudly. Sometimes she even jumps on the side of the tub between the shower curtains while I’m in the shower and chats with me. I sometimes see her heading in there when I wake up, but usually by the time I’ve got the coffee started, she’s in the bathroom on the counter waiting for me.

Or she's hogging the toilet.

Or she’s hogging the toilet.

Since I took today off to extend the weekend I’ve had with my wife for our first anniversary when the alarm went off, I merely dismissed it and went back to sleep. Rose, however, wasn’t having that. A few minutes later, I felt her whiskers on my arm and when I opened my eyes, her head and paws were on the edge of the bed, her big green cat eyes staring at me as if to ask, “Hey, what’s going on here!?”

I picked her up and set her on the edge of the bed and stroked her head and face because I like getting love from Rose in the mornings as much as she likes getting love from me.  We’re such creatures of habit.

I'll just tip this down a bit and then it'll be straight.  You're welcome.

I’ll just tip this down a bit and then it’ll be straight. You’re welcome.

Components of a Reflection Panoramic

As with yesterday my wife and I are enjoying the time alone together, so today’s post is similarly slackish in nature. We went for a nice long drive from Denver to Denver via Fairplay and Breckenridge yesterday, and though I took my camera, we only took one photo of ourselves at the top of Kenosha Pass.

Today, I’m posting some of the shots I took before I made the Reflecting Panoramic.

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I’m Slacking Today

Later this week, my wife and I will mark our first marriage anniversary. We banished the kiddo to a horrendous weekend of fun and adventure with her grammy and we’re enjoying our us time. So I’m just slacking off today and posting a photo I took with my phone of some clouds I thought were cool.

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