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Now in Cameroon

Journal Entry: Sat Dec 19, 2009, 12:08 PM
Well, we've made the big move.  The wife and I are now living in Buea Cameroon.  We arrived late on December 2.  We are still adjusting.  The Pentax K20D has come too, along with the 18-250 zoom lens.  We have 256/64 kbps internet so don't look for a lot of submissions!  Oh wait, I've been not doing to many anyhow.  Well, okay, at least now I have an excuse.

Best to all and happy holidays to each and every one.

  • Listening to: Jordan growl and the wife's iTunes
  • Drinking: Coffee (self-roasted of course)

Pentax woes

Journal Entry: Fri Sep 25, 2009, 6:46 AM
Don't get me wrong, I love my Pentax K20D!!  BUT I, while shooting the other day I noticed a vertical line (in landscape orientation).  I have posted examples in my scrapbook.  I've sent it in to Pentax Service and await word.  

I also purchased DA* 50-135mm.  I will say I am very happy with the lens, though it is much bigger than I expected.  Still this is currently my only weather sealed lens.

On the personal side of things, the wife and I continue our plan to move to Cameroon.  We don't yet have a firm date, but are looking at the week of Nov 29.

  • Reading: Articles on learning and human development
  • Drinking: Coffee (self-roasted of course)

New Lens

Journal Entry: Thu Jun 18, 2009, 6:29 AM
Yes, finally!  I ordered my second lens: Pentax FA 50mm 1.4.  The price was right.  Here is the first image:

4236 by numapompilius

  • Reading: Evaluating Research in Academic Journals
  • Drinking: Coffee (self-roasted of course)

Cameroon

Sun Apr 19, 2009, 12:20 PM
  • Reading: Turning to One Another
  • Drinking: water
The wife and I are in Cameroon. After a wonderful day  in  Paris we arrived in Douala Cameroon and are now in Buea.

Today we went to Limbe,on the  coast: botanical gardens, black sand beaches, etc.  We'll be in Buea a few more days before heading further south.

Look for images  first  week of May.

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A day in Paris

Mon Mar 16, 2009, 7:23 PM
  • Reading: Turning to One Another
  • Drinking: water
Well, it looks like I'll be in Paris April 16 and then touring in Cameroon for almost two weeks.  My wife is going to Chad for three weeks before that.  I'm sending along our little point and shoot for her.

This week marks the 1 year birthday of my Pentax.  I'll have to get birthday shot!

Best to all

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Catching up

Mon Jan 19, 2009, 12:38 PM
  • Listening to: jazz of some sort
  • Reading: Leadership theory stuff
  • Drinking: coffee @ Panera's
My goodness, it has been way too long since my last being in here to catch up.  I have 442 deviations to view and 108 messages!  Well, I still have some writing to do, so it may take me a little longer.  

We survived our -19 degree (F) day, Jordan didn't much like that as she is good to zero degrees.  But we have a good foot or more of snow and she's been having fun playing now that we've warmed up.

I have a few shots waiting to upload.  They will have to wait until my next paper is written.

Cheers!!

Bill

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Happy Holidays!!

Wed Dec 24, 2008, 1:10 PM
  • Listening to: blips of conversation as people pass by
  • Watching: watching people pass by
  • Drinking: water
The wife and I are sitting in the Cleveland airport waiting for our connecting flight.  It is my hope and prayer that you find joy, peace, and love, not only during this season but throughout the new year.

Please encourage me as I encourage you: be the positive change you want to see in the world.

Here is our Season's greeting collage...

Christmas 2008 Collage by numapompilius

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Long time no see

Thu Nov 20, 2008, 9:51 AM
  • Listening to: drippy faucet and water coming to a boil
  • Eating: making lunch
Just wanting every one to know that I'm still alive and kicking.  Well, and being "kicked".  My PhD studies are kicking my butt.  I'm very busy at the office, I'm teaching a class, etc, etc.  So, photography has suffered.

On the bright side, American Thanksgiving is nearly here and the wife and I are taking a road trip to Boston and DC.  So I hope/plan to capture some beautiful moments.

Whether you are American or not, may the spirit of thanksgiving fill your heart to overflowing.

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Glacier National Park

Fri Sep 19, 2008, 1:54 PM
  • Listening to: chatter and background music
  • Watching: the street of Whitefish MT
  • Drinking: Coffee from Montana Coffee Traders
Well, I am sitting in Montana Coffee Traders taking a brain break from my PhD homework.  The wife and I (with two friends) hiked Dawson's Loop trail in Glacier National Park the past few days.  It was 19 incredible miles.  On Monday we also did a quick 4 mile RT to a little lake.  All in all about 300 images of which I think about 6 or so might make the cut here.  I have only viewed them on the camera and playback via TV.  So, as they say, "the devil is in the details" and I'll have to see the detail of the images before uploading.

It snowed here last week and it was quite cold.  So I packed the 4-season tent, the -20 degree F sleeping bag, extra layers of warm clothes, the heavier duty backpack, AND the Pentax K20D for a whopping total of about 38 lbs of gear (up from about 28 lbs normally for a hike like this).

Look for the images Monday to Tuesday...

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Update

Sun Aug 3, 2008, 9:46 AM
  • Listening to: the fan on the 500 GB drive
  • Watching: iMac G5
  • Drinking: Coffee from Kenya
Well, it has been two months since my last post.  I've been distracted with work, PhD, friends' wedding, yada yada (oh yeah, and "Mafia Wars" on Facebook).  No excuse really.  So, I'm posting a few "oldies" at the moment.

I'm having trouble with my aging iMac.  I don't want to have to replace it until winter/spring, think positive for me (and pray if you are one who prays).

Some more images to come.  Hope this finds you happy.

Bill

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911

Mon Jun 2, 2008, 5:02 AM
  • Listening to: Christmas music
  • Watching: MacBook Pro
  • Drinking: Coffee from Thyolo Malawi - yum
Well, I'm back at our home by the bend.  While on our trip I shot 911 images.  I am reminded that, while things "ugly" are everywhere, beauty is also ever present.  As we left I wondered what I would miss from the "comforts of home".  I knew I would miss Jordan.  But what about my bed? Hot showers? Internet?  Regardless, of the "what" I was pretty sure I would come back to them.

As I sat in the Blantyre Airport waiting to come home, I wondered what I would miss.  The answer hasn't been fully clear, but it felt like "People" and "Place".  At Malamulo, the only "ugly Americans" are my friends and me.  Perhaps some of what I wonder is if I will return.  My wife and I very much enjoyed being there.  We see opportunities: she in serving through the medical arts and me - well - I guess through the teaching and learning arts.  We both see opportunities for our personal growth and development.

Joy and sadness are everywhere.  People have hopes and dreams everywhere.  There are trials and tribulations everywhere.  The details are often different, but these are shared human experiences none-the-less.  Many of the people we met have family members in South Africa.  While there violence against non-South African Africans broke out in Jo'burg and spread around the country.  Another shared human trait is frustration.

Nature, while victim of human abuse, will get the final word.  What we do to nature we do to ourselves.  Yet nature gives us beauty in the delicate flower, expansive vistas, animals doing their thing, and in the storms.

Anyhow, for the record, two hot showers were had: our overnight in Jo'burg and a week later in Liwonde.  Otherwise, we used a pitcher of cold to lukewarm water for bathing; we slept on twin beds with mosquito netting; I only had four meals with cheese (three of which were pizza).  Local internet was a slow dial up speed, "broadband" in Blantyre was still pretty slow.  Still I was able to check email a few times a week; post a few pics here (but not view yours) and check facebook and linkedin several times.

We left South Bend as it thawed and had a few spring flowers.  We returned to a fully engulfed essence of "green".  Jordan came to the airport and locked onto my wife first and then looked around and saw me.  Let me just say there is great joy in her reaction. :D.  And I'm back to having cheese with nearly every meal.

Still for all that, we look forward to returning to Malawi for an extended period.

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Greetings from Malamulo

Mon May 12, 2008, 2:32 AM
  • Watching: MacBook Pro running XP
  • Drinking: water
Well, the internet is VERY slow.  I uploaded my pics from Blantyre, but the connection here at the hospital is slow.  The wife and I were taken up to Liwonde National Park over the weekend and there are a few more images to upload.  Hopefully I will get to Blantyre this week and share a couple with you.  We also stopped by the Zomba Plateau for a few photo ops.  

Malawi is a beautiful country, it is said to be "the warm heart of Africa".

The only downside I have so far is MSG.  I am allergic and just about everybody cooks with it.

Till next time.

Bill

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Greetings from Amsterdam

Thu May 1, 2008, 10:30 PM
  • Watching: people and MacBook Pro
  • Drinking: Douwe Egberts Espresso
Well, the wife and I enjoyed watching the sunrise as we were landing, though we only had three hours of night.  I  didn't get a chance to upload before I left, so I will tease you a bit.  I have a couple of images I really like of Notre Dame, Indiana.  The flowers are in bloom, the trees are budding, and the golden dome shining.  So those will have to wait until I get home.  

In the meantime, be safe and be happy.  :wave:

Bill

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Spring has sprung

Fri Apr 18, 2008, 2:09 PM
  • Watching: iMac G5
  • Drinking: water
Yes, indeed, its official.  We have several blooms in the yard.  Leaves are sprouting on the trees.  I can walk out in the evening and not feel cold.  I have roasted some decaf to enjoy and share with friends this evening - its Friday.    The weekend is here, the weekly Sabbatical.  

I'm up over 600 images taken on my new toy - er - tool, the Pentax K20D.  I have taken a few bracketed shots which I will attempt some High Dynamic Range (HDR) composites.  I am shooting 100% RAW, but am not really taking advantage yet.  I need to find time to figure out the settings and "workflow" so I get the JPEGs I want to upload here and elsewhere.  NOTE:  I have also added some images to scraps that you may (or may not) find interesting.

It is now less than two weeks until we leave for Malawi... I am just now starting to feel it and realize just how much I have to do before we go.

Blessings to you and yours for a peace filled and restorative weekend.

Bill

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Spring is springing

Sat Apr 5, 2008, 1:33 PM
  • Listening to: Parachute Band
  • Reading: Worldview and Ecology
  • Watching: MacBook Pro
  • Drinking: about to brew my decafe
Well, finally.  A 60 degree day.  And sunny - woo-hoo!! :dance: :boogie:

The wife and I have been walking down by the river with Jordan.  It was a slow stroll as I paused to take pics, another 192 to be precise.  Don't worry, I'll be picky.  :laughing:  While the breeze is still a bit cool, the sun felt real good.  I have one shot I like of a squirrel treed by Jordan.  I've never been scolded as much as this one did.  Goodness, sounded like my 8th grade teacher - just squeakier.  One Goose successfully defended his/her mate and nest from us.  Jordan also pointed out a woodchuck/marmot looking creature.  

The tiniest of flowers are popping up.  The bulb ones are poking up their shoots, hopefully the flowers will follow soon.  The grass is greener next door (really it is.  Our front lawn will be an pretty tan color long after everyone else's has turned green).

Oh, yes and I enjoyed sitting out on our porch for the first time since October.  Spring is springing, indeed.

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I'm having fun with my new Pentax K20D.  In the 11ish days I have had it I have shot 353 images.  Now, while most of them aren't "all that" I am experimenting and exploring the capabilities of the camera and my self.

Went to Chicago yesterday and will select a few to upload later today.
  • Listening to: Styx
  • Reading: Worldview and Ecology
  • Watching: MacBook Pro
  • Eating: just had lunch
  • Drinking: my own coffee blend

Pentax K20D: The backstory

Sun Mar 23, 2008, 8:59 AM
First impressions of the Pentax K20D:  Wow!  :wow:

BACKSTORY:  My Canon A1 35mm was stolen in 1997.  Given the amount of backpacking I was doing I opted for a point and shoot (MUCH lighter).  I decided to go with a Nikon APS which had great pics for 4x6 prints and okay prints at 8x10.  It died (was dropped, repaired and then just quit).  I shot disposable for a couple of years as I saw digital coming along.  When the price was right (4 megapixels for under $400).  I purchased it, in part by - ahem - encouraging my folks that it'd make a GREAT engagement gift ("Get engaged" said they).  [ed. The things we do to get our toys]  JUST KIDDING!  (Honest.  We were getting engaged already).  This was 2002.

We picked up the Nikon 4300 as the first one to reach this milestone.  It has its strengths and weaknesses.  The Nikon has been all over the world, thrown in to suitcases, backpacks, and dropped (just missing some very hungry rocks).  It shoots wide angle and macro like a champ.  Yet, I have watched the improvements, year by year.  I watched the development of the "all in one" prosumer line.  I watched it disappear with the introduction of the sub $1000 dSLR.

At that time said I, "When I can buy a dSLR with 12 megapixels for less than a grand, I'll buy one."  But I've said that before here.  

Technology is GREAT.  However, I am NOT an early adopter.  I get excited by the new stuff and the potential "disruptiveness" these changes bring to our lives.  The iPhone was introduced and I thought "Wow, VERY cool."  People thought I would rush out to purchase one.  Nope.  (Mainly I don't WANT a cell phone - give me the iPod Touch - yes!)

I got into the internet before the web (terminal windows - remember those).  I got into email in the early 90s.  Thank you CompuServe.

So, back to photography...

There has never been a "bad" time in the evolution of technology.  Just less than ideal purchase timing.  But then, THAT is never great in technology.  Jump in when you are ready and get the best you can afford - since it will be out-dated by the time it arrives at your door.  Choose to enjoy it regardless of whatever else comes along.

Truth is, I have never fully exploited the Nikon 4300.  With it, we printed a 20x30 inch image from a backpack trip to the Trinity Alps.  So, while the Pentax (with the 18-250mm lens) weighs in at about 3.5 lbs, the years since my Canon was stolen, I have learned to backpack with 33 lbs for a week instead of 55.  Still I must knock off 3 lbs to take the Pentax...  

With the 4300 we even won the "Chancellor's Award" at an art exhibit.  So I must admit that I am by far the limiting factor with the Pentax K20D.  I know, beyond the shadow of doubt, that great stuff is still coming our way.  The 4300 is 5 1/2 years old.  I plan on keeping my new Pentax at least that long. (By the way, we are keeping the 4300 too).

Well, it MUST be time for me to wrap up.  Jordan is telling me it is time to walk her. :D

  • Listening to: T'Pau
  • Reading: Worldview and Ecology
  • Watching: iMac G5
  • Eating: Brunch
  • Drinking: my own coffee blend
It was March 20 1984 that I took delivery of my first car, a Honda CRX.  I had received a call a few days earlier that it was expected.  The anticipation nearly killed me!  My first car.  When I took delivery it had only six miles on the odometer.  Sweet!!

24 years later I finally decide to come back to an SLR. Just as I did with my first car, so I did with my new SLR.  When I get serious about something, I read all I can, research, ask questions, reflection and so on.    At the end of it all I chose the Pentax K20D.  Through it all my wife did her best to look and sound interested.

I awoke this morning and checked the shipping details.  To my amazement/surprise and great delight, it was in transit and scheduled to be delivered today (one day turnaround when I asked for two - bless you Amazon). :-)  Anticipation.  UPS man delivers late in the afternoon.  Fine I can wait.  He comes.  Everything is here.  Sweet!

Charge the battery.  YIKES, I forgot the memory card.  Sigh.  Run out and get one.  Snap.  there's the first picture - over and done with.  Whew.  

The camera feels really very nice in my hands.  Ergonomically there is one adjustment I would make but that is all.

The memories of my SLR days are beginning to come back to me.  Woo-hoo!!  (I can't believe the manual is 284 pages).

Well, I'll be looking to walk around with it this weekend and snap some more and play with the settings.  I should probably get scientific... nah...
  • Listening to: iTunes - Transiberian Orchestra
  • Reading: Worldview and Ecology
  • Watching: MacBook Pro

Still seeking, still learning

Sun Mar 16, 2008, 6:13 AM
A Nikon D70 w/Tamron 18-250 stopped by for a visit yesterday.

Of course it came with its owner in tow.  The owner was the College yearbook editor and I one of her photographers.  This was "back in the day".  Today, we are colleagues and both studying "Leadership".  

What we studied in college; what we thought about the world and where are lives would go is clearly different from today's reality.  While I am not the world famous film director I idealistically dreamed I would be, I have chosen to be where I am.

Events happen in life.  I have immediate reactions, but can choose reflective action and response.  I contribute, either to the dysfunction or to the repair of relationships.  I cannot make anyone do anything from their own free will.  But I can influence.  Likewise, no one can make me do anything against my will.  I can choose to walk my path, "the road less traveled"; "march to the beat of a different drummer".

I can choose to find people and organizations that allow me to contribute from my strengths.  I can choose to live within/below my means and debt free to allow me maximum flexibility and freedom.

I read somewhere, some time ago, that companies worry that employees who don't carry debt (own a home etc) are too free and are not "indebted" to the organization.  The bottom line was that companies fear employee flexibility.  

Are they worried that an abused employee can leave?  What is better?  To have people choose to work at a place, come hell or high water, because they are able to contribute their best, or to have employees who are fearful: afraid of loosing their jobs because they will lose their homes and go bankrupt?

Anyhow, all these thoughts because a D70 came to visit.  We choose to be part of the dA community.  While there are organizational rules, we can freely choose to be here or not.  While we choose to be here, do we offer our best regardless of what others think about our work or efforts.  

In dA we offer a bit of our self to the community.  May what is offered be our chosen best.  May the relationships we forge better humanity.  May we rejoice in the diversity of who we are and the art we produce.

The world would be boring indeed, if we were all the same.

My friend just created a dA profile here is her ittakesaleader.deviantart.com/
  • Listening to: iTunes - Wife's selections
  • Reading: Worldview and Ecology
  • Watching: iMac G5
  • Drinking: My own roast (Tanzanian)

Membership

Fri Mar 7, 2008, 2:39 PM
Membership has its privileges - or at least so the saying goes.

So, the question goes, will this benefit me?  I don't know.  But one of those watching me has suggested I might want to conduct a poll or two in the coming months.  The other thing to consider is the removal of ads.  Nice to be sure.  More options even beyond polling.  I'll have to explore those.

But I think paid membership provides one with a deeper commitment to community function.  When I invest time, as free members do, I am investing in the community.  This time is spent posting personal artwork and organizing it.  Time is also invested in commenting on other work, collecting and marking favorites.  This too builds community.

For me then, the paid subscription is authenticating the experience I have had (though absent for a bit over a year).  Perhaps, the paid subscription will be some incentive to keep me active (though not as likely as the paid subscription doesn't hurt the piggy bank too much).

Probably one of the biggest pluses is the play with more of the technology.  While some would consider me a techno geek, it is not my humble opinion of myself.  I have built-in curiosity about stuff and I like to explore and understand things.  So, I think that is probably the most compelling reason to go "paid".

Cheers to you and may a restful weekend be yours.

Bill

  • Listening to: Secret Garden
  • Reading: Ten Theories of Human Nature
  • Drinking: My own roast of mexican and guatamalen