George V. Reilly

Halloween 2009

When we moved to Beacon Hill in 2000, we were totally dumb­found­ed by the number of kids who came trick-or-treating to our door. In the prior two years, we had been renting a house in Walling­ford, and we had only had one set of kids each year.

We had about 100 kids that first year. We were not expecting the onslaught and ran out of candy, which led to Emma being berated by some pre­sump­tu­ous mother. We live in a relatively affluent block and kids are brought quite a distance to partake of the goodies. One small boy peered up at Emma once and asked her, “Are you rich?”

And so continue.

Seattle Healthcare Rally

We held our rally for healthcare and the public option at lunchtime, outside the Jackson Federal Building where both Senators Maria Cantwell and Patty Murray have their Seattle offices.

Turnout was good: about 100 people, I'd say. We had about half-a-dozen speakers over 45 minutes. A cameraman from King–5 covered it, but I can't find anything on their website. A handful of people went upstairs to the senators' offices and delivered 291 pages of petitions.

One concrete suggestion that I came away with is to write a hand­writ­ten letter to the senators advocating for healthcare reform. Hand­writ­ten letters carry more weight than printed letters or calls and much more weight than emails.

Do it soon. If continue.

Kubota Garden

Kubota Garden is a little-known gem in the Rainier Beach area of south Seattle. Twenty acres of hills and valleys in a Japanese style.

Emma and I met Lyndol down there this morning and rambled through the garden for two hours. It was a fine, overcast day, with tem­per­a­tures in the low 60s and occasional driz­zle—and a pleasant relief from the record heat of earlier this week. I had visited there before: it's at the far end of the Chief Sealth bicycle trail. Lyn had too, but it was Emma's first visit.

The gate was locked when we arrived at 10:30, though the sign proclaimed that it was open continue.

The Rhododendron Garden

For many years, I ignored the freeway sign for the Rhodo­den­dron Garden at exit 143 on I-5. Five or six years ago, I visited the Rhody Garden and I've gone back every spring since.

It's worth visiting at any time of year, but from March to May or June, it's in bloom. Twenty-two acres of rhodo­den­drons, azaleas, ferns, and other flowers, near the Wey­er­hauser head­quar­ters in Federal Way, Washington. There's a bonsai garden next door—un­for­tu­nate­ly now closed to the public. As you stroll along the shaded hilly paths, you can almost make believe that the constant traffic noise from the nearby freeway is running water.

Rhodies come in all shapes, colors, and continue.

Tulips

I took today off and headed north to the Skagit Valley with Emma and Lyndol to see the tulips. It was a glorious spring day, sunny, not too warm, a light breeze. The tulip fields were busy for a weekday; they're completely overrun at the weekends.

We wandered around Tulip Town for an hour, had lunch in La Conner, and headed back to Seattle via Camano Island.

We had intended to take Chuckanut Drive up to Fairhaven, but Emma wasn't feeling well. Some other time. Chuckanut Drive is pretty year round; the tulips are good only for another couple of weeks.

More photos at Flickr.

Odds and Ends #8

Use O'Reilly Maker to generate book covers. I've always wanted to write a book for cousin Tim, and now I have!

Via Pavel: Adolf Hitler - Vista Problems (YouTube).

The Pho­tog­ra­pher's Right: a handy one-page guide.

The general rule in the United States is that anyone may take pho­tographs of whatever they want when they are in a public place or places where they have permission to take pho­tographs. Absent a specific legal pro­hi­bi­tion such as a statute or ordinance, you are legally entitled to take pho­tographs. Examples of places that are tra­di­tion­al­ly considered public are streets, sidewalks, and public parks.

The tiny font in Firefox has been bugging me for a long time. I finally continue.

The String Pod

I recently learned about string pods and chain pods. In essence, they are pocket-sized monopods. You screw a six-foot string into the tripod socket of your camera, step on the other end of the string, and pull it taut. The tension on the string reduces camera shake.

My string pod tutorial shows how I made the string pod, as well as some before and after shots.

Before now, I used to try to find a handy surface or wall to brace the camera, when taking photos without flash. Often there isn't such a surface. I have a little 3-inch pocket tripod that I carry with me all the time, but I haven't continue.

Review: Window Seat

Title: Window Seat: The Art of Digital Pho­tog­ra­phy & Creative Thinking
Author: Julieanne Kost
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ½
Publisher: O'Reilly
Copyright: 2006
Pages: 148
Keywords: pho­tog­ra­phy, photoshop, creativity
Reading period: 30 December, 2006

Julieanne Kost, a Photoshop evangelist for Adobe, flies 200 days a year. For the last five years, she's been taking photos out of airplane windows.

This book is part pretty pictures, part a meditation on creativity, and part a Photoshop tutorial.

It is said that a picture is worth a thousand words. That must be why the word count is so low. In the first 120 pages, there are eight pages of text on creativity, and one page of text continue.

Picture of the Day Project

About six weeks ago, I read about Sparky's A Picture a Day project on his blog. He in turn had been inspired by Pho­to­jo­jo's Project 365.

Here's how it works, for me. I take at least one photo a day, every single day for a year. Every so often, I upload the photos to my Flickr site. If I get more than one worthwhile photo in a day, great, but one and only gets tagged potd (picture of the day).

Why? Apart from the reasons enumerated by Photojojo, here's what I get out of it.

First of all, fun. It adds a little spark to my day, to continue.

POTD: Oct 29 - Nov 03

10/29. In mid-October, I shaved off the goatee that I had sported since March, leaving me clean-shaven for the first time in a decade. I quickly got over that urge and let the beard start growing back.

This is me at the two-week stage: a self-portrait taken while ex­per­i­ment­ing with the new camera. It looks a little odd to me. I'm using this as the startup photo on the camera.

10/30. I go back and forth between Atlas's offices at Pioneer Square and the In­ter­na­tion­al District, and Smith Tower is a major landmark.

10/31. Once again, we got dozens and dozens of young callers at Halloween. I have a continue.

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