The Sound of Summer

Maybe it’s just me1Having grown up on a walnut farm where we watered with impact sprinklers running all summer long… but this is what summer sounds like.

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    Having grown up on a walnut farm where we watered with impact sprinklers running all summer long…

Biking Recap for June 2014

It’s the end of the month and time for me to recap how far I’ve biked this month and any major accomplishments. Sorry, but this was a fairly boring month on the bike. A little midday rain stopped me from riding as much during lunch,1I don’t like having wet feet at work and don’t have dedicated cycling shoes. yet I didn’t get rained on during commuting, just a little heavy misting on a couple of mornings.

My June Bicycling Accomplishments

Mileage Summary

DistanceTime / Bike
306Biked in June23,291 – 2,985
1,369Biked in 201433,291 – 1,922
3,366Biked on Sage42,985 + 75

How is your 2014 so far on the bike?

Keep pedaling!

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    I don’t like having wet feet at work and don’t have dedicated cycling shoes.
  • 2
    3,291 – 2,985
  • 3
    3,291 – 1,922
  • 4
    2,985 + 75

Wired


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I wasn’t looking for another shot of wires and pole … honest. I took a detour on the way home to shoot a stand of trees on the far side of a field. It looked good, but only in my mind. The scene’s dynamic range was too great and I didn’t have a tripod with me to make a good HDR shot. So I looked up. This is what I saw. Sort of… ;-)


One of my goals this year is to get better at editing photos and maybe take you along for the ride. When I took this picture, I had a specific goal in mind: I wanted the posts to be angled and the wires to be parallel.

My first shot sort of got there but I couldn’t get the composition I wanted. The second shot had a lot of potential, but wow, I sure didn’t point the camera straight up. I used GIMP to perform a perspective transform and get the wires on the right side parallel and maintain (correct?) the vertical orientation of the cross beam. Although I normally crop in Picasa, GIMP provides “rule of thirds” guidelines for selections that I used to position the cross beam and the top ends of the poles.

I could have left it there, but the variations in the sky and the posts distracted from the picture’s graphical power. So, I brought it back to Picasa, adjusted levels, posterized, and “duo-toned.” I like the final result a lot better.

I wasn’t happy with the first sky color, so I changed it. The purple tone was a best guess/stab using Picasa’s duotone feature trying to click the appropriate spot in color space. It’s not easy to do. This final sky color was more mechanized. I had a picture analyzer find the original photo’s dominant colors, chose the one I thought represented the bulk of the sky and used GIMP to do a color selection then fill using the exact color.

Next time, I want to get enough length in the wires for a 16:9 format. I might have to lie on the ground to simplify the editing. That, or use a tripod. Hmm…

Folsom Point

Earlier this week, we took a quick stop at Folsom Point to see how low Folsom Lake has dropped. Hiking much of the way down to the water, I turned around and took a shot back up the hill, to where the water level should be.

Tension

No, it’s not Haystack Rock, or trees, or a sunrise.

It’s a power pole.

And I like it.1As I was driving with Ashley, I looked through the sunroof and said I wanted to come back and take a picture of this pole, though I’d need to stand in the middle of the street to get the perspective I wanted. Ashley reached up and opened the sunroof. Ah! Problem solved. Grabbing my camera, I took a couple of quick shots while we waited for a green light.

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    As I was driving with Ashley, I looked through the sunroof and said I wanted to come back and take a picture of this pole, though I’d need to stand in the middle of the street to get the perspective I wanted. Ashley reached up and opened the sunroof. Ah! Problem solved. Grabbing my camera, I took a couple of quick shots while we waited for a green light.

A View from the Exit Row

Mmm… :-)

Today’s airport experience in PDX was downright nice: the TSA was scanning boarding passes at the far end of the line and sending a large portion through the “PRE” line. Those of us lucky enough to be selected went through security pre-9/11 style: coats, shoes, and belts stayed on and computers remained packed. As another passenger said, “It’s like were not the enemy today.”

I hope your day was filled with nice surprises, too.

A View From 4A


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On my flight from Portland to Sacramento this morning, I sat on the left side of the plane. Most of the way, I looked out the window.