December 4, 2010

At the First Snow Café...


... I'd say that counts.


AllenS said...

I woke up to a little more than that. I plugged the tractor in, and will have to plow before I go anywhere.

traditionalguy said...

Beware of the snow man theft season. But at least the thief will leave fresh tracks. Speaking of which, the wiki leaks are censored now that it shows the tracks left by the Climate Control bribery being done with our money by the Obama/Soros criminal ring. If that is not seen as the equivalent of a Pearl Harbor attack on the USA planned and executed from the Obama White House, then we are blind. Every single thing Obama has done has been a cover to look like a normal President while he and his friends arranged the looting of the USA. It's Die Hard repeating itself, with Sarah Palin as John McClane.

shoutingthomas said...

Man, Ron Santo died yesterday.

Great man and great Cub.

The story of his baseball career would be enough to distinguish any man.

His lifelong battle with diabetes is an overwhelming story. He played for 15 years in an era before diabetes was controllable. In his 60s, both his legs were amputated belong his knees.

Yet, he persevered and prospered. He was the Cubs announcer for 20 years, known for his passion and humor.

I've written my testimonial to this great Cub today:

Quaestor said...

I had my java at the same café. Woke up to scattered flurries here in North Carolina. No accumulation on my street, it's just hit-n-melt stuff. Nevertheless very rare for these parts this early in the cold season.

wv: amater - a non-professional mother

Meade said...

"... I'd say that counts."

*clicks refresh key every 30 seconds while team of white shoe lawyers prepares to take case to court of appeals*

Hagar said...

What's with our prseidents and these WWII bomber jackets?

Lucien said...

My brother-in-law got married in Madison on December 6 a year (or 2?) and there was WAAY more snow. But there was a nice donut shop open Saturday morning.

MadisonMan said...

Sure is a lot less gloomy now!

John Burgess said...

I wish you Northerners would keep control over your damn cold. It's gotten loose again and is now making a mess in the Southern yard. It's only getting into the mid-60s today and freeze warnings are out for inland areas.

This is Florida! You know, 'The Sunshine State', land of bikini-clad women, Spring Break, oranges! We don't do cold. Cold is why a goodly number of us left your part of the world and came here in the first place.

So, kindly come down here and get a leash on your damn cold.

Jason (the commenter) said...

We're expecting snow down here in Florida today. They're making a few tons of it and putting it in a park for kids to play in.

Fred4Pres said...

I flew over the country and there was snow everwhere except the coasts.

AllenS said...

The plowing is done.

deborah said...

You have an electric tractor?

How long is your driveway?

c3 said...

Yup, that qualifies

75 today in Phoenix

JAL said...

TradGuy -- can you put up a link?

Nothing on Drudge (of course if it was a Frisday afternoon leak ... )

AllenS said...

I have an electric heater mounted on the tractor. It heats the coolant in the tractor.

edutcher said...

You call that a snowfall???

I expected wolves at the door and Meade digging a path through 8 foot drifts.

traditionalguy said...


If that is not seen as the equivalent of a Pearl Harbor attack on the USA planned and executed from the Obama White House, then we are blind. Every single thing Obama has done has been a cover to look like a normal President while he and his friends arranged the looting of the USA. It's Die Hard repeating itself, with Sarah Palin as John McClane.

You just answered the question seen on so many comment boards in the first half of last year; to wit, "Is he trying to destroy this country?".

(I'm waiting for the upward-looking shot of Miss Sarah holding a submachine gun jumping off the skyscraper in a tank top and a mini-skirt)

Hagar said...

What's with our prseidents and these WWII bomber jackets?

The Bushes earned theirs. The last 2 Demos, not.

WV "gonebubl" What the reservation Indians will say when their casino business dries up after the next market crash.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

It snowed last night and the power went out for several hours, probably between 10pm and back on again about 2am. We could hear the snowplows on the highway way off in the distance.

Laying in our snuggly warm bed under the down comforter, we talked a bit about those guys out in the cold, dark and snowy night and I gratefully thought to myself...they deserve every penny they earn.... and more!!

@ Deborah: our driveway is at least 100 yds long, football field length. We use our tractor with a bucket loader to get the majority of the snow off to the side the road before plowing with a 4x4 truck that has a snow plow attached to the front.

I love snow days!!! An excuse to bake something and putter around inside the house, do some crafts, read a book, take a nap.

traditionalguy said...

@ JAL...The wiki leaks reports are in the Guardian which hs a story headlined at Lucianne now.

deborah said...

How many horse, Allen?

deborah said...

Or should that be how much horse?

deborah said...

DBQ, my sisters and I used to huddle around the radio like we were in the French Underground, praying for school to be closed.

What are you baking today?

AllenS said...

IH Farmall model H

Drawbar (claimed): 17-19 hp [12.7 kW]

Belt (claimed): 21-24 hp [15.7 kW]

Drawbar (tested): 24.17 hp [18.0 kW]

Belt (tested): 26.20 hp [19.5 kW]

Dust Bunny Queen said...

@ Deborah

Baking a new recipe...never tried before.

Yeast Raised Corn Bread (I'll post it on my recipe blog if you are interested) to go along with some ham and bean soup.

I think I'll also make some chocolate cherry cookies.

I'm reading Julian May...Magnificat.

Yay...snow days.

deborah said...

Cool. You still burning corn?

And when you burn corn, does that mean you dry it stalks, ears, and all, then grind? or just dried ears and use the stalks as silage(?)

deborah said...

Mmmmm choc cherry cookies mmmm munch munch slurp milk.

We need an Althouse bake-off.

Made bean soup at my parents over Thanksgiving. Well, I started it, but was so busy running errands Mom finished it. MMMM.

Chip Ahoy said...

I like that photo because the snow accumulated on the table that would have gone on the deck causing the deck to appear curved underneath the table. And the feet of the chair disappear making it look like luck alone keeps the chair legs from slipping through the spaces between the boards. And that's weird look'n!

But speaking of making stuff. A few days ago I made a huge pile of tamales with a delicious sauce. The tamales themselves are small, but the pile is huge.

And then the next day I made poached eggs in a nest in a tree. Which I invented in a fit of inventiveness.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

@ Chip

Your food photos always look so good, enticing and yummy.

I have tried to take photos for my food blog and they are less than satisfactory. I think it must be the lighting or lack of that I'm using.

Any tips?

VWW: vication. Vicarious vaction.

Beth said...

True, DBQ.

I read a fair number of food blogs, and I don't believe I've seen one with better visuals, in terms of aesthetic appeal and functionality. You can read it simply for entertainment, and to enjoy the simplicity and beauty.

But every photo is informative, and illustrates the step he's described with no clutter or distractions. Text and image are unified, and thus the whole enterprise is effectively instructional.

deborah said...

I love poached eggs.

Chip Ahoy said...

Thank you, DBQ and Beth, I do appreciate your comments.

As for photography tips. I suggest reading a few pages search [+food +photography] and [+food +styling]

I avoid built-in flash like the plague, but I do use the built-in flash to activate a slave flash that is not attached to the camera. You can buy such a slave flash through eBay quite inexpensively. Here is as slave flash for $12.00 at the top of the list marketed for a Canon camera. Hahahaha. I see it is the exact same one marketed for Fuji, Kodak, and Nikon. Backlighting pours around the edges of a subject adding depth and texture. Sometimes it passes through thin material. So I try to get a little leaf of an herb to stick up for the light to pass through.

I compose the picture. Fill the frame. Eliminate things more than introduce things. I try to be mindful of the whole frame. I prefer the viewfinder over the live view.

Understand the camera settings as well as possible. Sometimes you can set the aperture and let the camera calculate the shutter speed, and vice versa. I shoot with various settings. I always shoot completely manual with a slave flash using my own settings for aperture and shutter speed, and then shoot a similar set with at least one or another camera pre-sets.

I am not Photoshop averse. The post processing adjustments I use most are exposure to attain a small degree of highlight blowout, and 'shadow/highlight' to pull out detail lost to shadow without affecting highlights which are already blown out. That was the case with the tamale, the green chile was lost in the shadow so I tweaked "shadow/highlight' by less than Photoshop suggested to draw it out.

On Thanksgiving a reader suggested I use Photoshop 'levels and curves' to improve my pictures. When I compared his tweaks with my tweaks I could see he was right. Since then I use those two adjustments to make the pictures pop. I watched tutorial videos on using those search terms to understand what Photoshop was doing.

It causes me to want to go back through the entire blog and correct all the early photographs which are all to dark and gloomy. It makes me sad that those are the ones most heavily viewed worldwide. The pages people are looking at are my worst photographed and least informative. :-(

Chip Ahoy said...

I forgot to mention, the reader on Thanksgiving suggested I use 'levels' and 'curves.' These are two incredibly useful Photoshop adjustments. Levels can even fix incorrect WB. If your photos are too yellow, or too blue, it is probably the wrong White Balance. Levels can fix that even with compressed JPG. Pictures.

As it is, I shoot in both RAW and JPG. I ignore the much larger RAW files unless something is so catastrophic that I need all the original uncompressed data to fix it. In that case, and it has happened, I use either GIMP, which is free, or Photoshop CS5 to adjust the RAW image and from there compress to JPG for internet use. (Nikon RAW is NEF, and the new Photoshop CS5 does handle NEF files, before I had to process them to DNG files to get photoshop to handle them, an extra step that put me off.)

RAW is amazing. If you were to shoot in RAW then see what you have, you will be mightily impressed with the differences ant your ability to post process. On the other hand, you will also be impressed with how well your camera magically mathematically compresses gigantic unmanageable files to miniature files with a fraction of the data.

Beth said...

Chip! I just copied those two posts, emailed them to myself so I can properly attend to them and have a little fun with Photoshop.

JAL said...

Well we are below the expected messy weather coming down from Indiana & Co into the upper south. A few spits of sleet through a little rain with sunshine on and off...

That being said -- Drudge has a link up to the fabulous job the US through the CIA et al was doing to create global slavery through the climate conferences.

Get this -- among other things they asked UN diplomats (!!) to spy (!!) on other countries thought to be noncompliant.

{Expletive deleted}
I am making cookies today. First Christmas cookies of the year.

JAL said...

The wreaths are on the barn and the house, the candles in the windows. The Christmas music is playing. The cookies are cooking. We are going to the The Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols tonight.

Except for Cancun, DC, Moscow, Darfur, Afghanistan, Iran, Haiti, Venezuela, and dozens of other spots here and there, covering the world, all's right with the world. Or as this season will remind some of us, it will be.

{AllenS -- I am going down the mountain tomorrow to look at a used compact tractor tomorrow! :-))))}

wv flentel
a flannel wearing yentl

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Thanks Chip!! great tips. I can see I have to greatly upgrade my camera, lighting AND get a copy of Photoshop. Lots to learn!!

I always shoot completely manual with a slave flash using my own settings for aperture and shutter speed, and then shoot a similar set with at least one or another camera pre-sets.

I used to do that in the "olden" days. Before there was such a thing as digital cameras. (Yes. I AM that old.) There was no other choice but manual usage and I have forgotten everything I used to know. Sigh. Used a Pentax that I really loved, but my ex got it in the divorce :-(

Decided to skip the chocolate cherry cookies and instead made some basic orange/brown sugar cakelike cookies with chopped dates, chopped candied pineapple, coconut and pecans. They turned out great. I would take photos, but we are eating them as fast as they come out of the oven :-)

AllenS said...


What kind? What are you going to use it for? Check the rear tires for cracking and wear. They are expensive to replace.

deborah said...

Sounds delish, DBQ. I love a good pumkin cake-like cookie with glazed icing.

Don't know if you noticed, but Chip mentioned GIMP, a free photoshop-type program. I've never used it, but it's supposed to be good.

Elliott A said...

Was it you or Meade who was smart enough to take their chair in?

MamaM said...

The Minolta Carousel Slide projector I've been using to sort through a storage box full of family slides dating back to 1945, is a wonder to behold. It's built like a tank, heavy and boxy, with auto focus and a remote control. Next to my laptop, it looks like a Ediphone sitting beside an iphone.

The procedure for loading the trays with slides, viewing the photos, and removing the keepers is tedious and time consuming. Amazing to my sons who didn't know something like this even existed or was consider to be top of the line technology as recently as 20-30 years ago.

Reading Chip's descriptions of current photo technology on my laptop with the Minolta behemoth and slide litter on the table around me, reinforces that fact that what is known and real at a given time can quickly change beyond imagination.

Chip Ahoy said...

I understand there are photographers that eschew all post processing. Their POV is that what they see through the lens is what you will get, and that's it. Everything else is cheating. That's a valid point of view but I reject it as too narrow. In the days of yore, before the advent of digital photography, I do not imagine professional photographers just dropped off their rolls of film with the developers and left matters to them to determine the outcome of their work. I think there was a machine that did in fact process film automatically, but to rely on such a thing would be ridiculous and an indication that one simply does not care or perhaps is in a rush. Photographers processed their film in their own darkrooms. And even if they didn't, the lab they trusted would have to make decisions as how to best proceed to produce the closest to ideal results. This old-skool post processing involved choices about paper, exposure under the enlarger, filters, cropping, time spent in chemical baths. All to various effects. That is what Photoshop and Gimp and Lightroom, i-Photo, etc. all do. Besides, the photographer must initially choose his equipment anyway; timers, lights, reflectors, filters, lenses, cameras, tripods, etc. All of those things determine the outcome. Modern post-processing elaborates digitally on the processes that preceded it and offers photographers more tools.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

@ Chip


Just think what Asel Adams could have accomplished with today's technology. He manipulated his photographs in the archaic stone age technology that he had available THEN.... and it was awesome.

What could he do now?

It isn't cheating to create art with the tools you have now compared to the tools that were availiable earlier. Should we all be knapping stone arrow heads because it was tradition?