vamysteryfan: (cherry blossoms)
from the Easter weekend. Hope everyone enjoyed the holiday! ETA: Well rats. They worked in preview. I'll see if I can fix it
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The apartment complex near the bus stop has been adding inflatable decorations to its display. It started with just the snowman family, then they added Santa, and now they've added Mickey. It's a mixture of strange and adorable.

Balloon Family

I added the snowflakes.
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Someone has put a giant Santa on top of an apartment house in Georgetown. He can be seen by everyone coming across Key Bridge. It just cracks me up.

brightening the skyline )
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The Washington Post Express liked my photo of the library Christmas tree enough to put it in the paper! I took a copy over to show the librarians and they were glad to have it. The tree had collapsed/been knocked down, but they are going to rebuild it.
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This one was taken at the West End Public Library in DC. The librarians must have been bored and started to amuse themselves.

library tree
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It's (wooden) penguins that children use to keep their balane while they learn to skate.

Article and caption here
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I wanted to take a photo of the Christmas tree the company put up in the courtyard:
Courtyard tree

But then I looked a little more closely and cracked up
what are they doing? )
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Outside Clyde's Restaurant in Georgetown. But he looks a little grumpy about it.

On Guard
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Sometimes, just this quickly. Around 2 pm I saw the classic mackerel sky and mares' tails. The sunset was really spectacular, with lots of reds and oranges. Just about 7 pm I was walking home and i noticed the clouds had cleared enough to see Venus and a gorgeous crescent moon. My photo was too blurry, so I'm using Phil Plait's. But that was about how it looked. The next morning we woke up to rain. I caught it about 11 am while crossing the bridge into Georgetown.

Couldn't resist sharing:

DC weather

Nerd fun!

Nov. 3rd, 2013 03:16 pm
vamysteryfan: (Default)
You may recall I followed Commander Hadfield and his photos and tweets from the ISS avidly when he was up there. He wrote a book about his astronaut experiences and the Smithsonian's Air and Space Museum hosted a book signing party for him. I dithered about going but could not resist.

I got there about 1 1/2 hours before he was scheduled to appear. There were 10 NASA and Hadfield aficionados there ahead of me but I was happily assimilated into their group. One woman brought abut 30 mustaches that she passed out.

the mustache gang )

The NASM actually ran out of books, so many people showed up. He was a real gentleman and insisted on shaking everyone's hands. He was very kind to the kids and even to a slightly pushy older woman who insisted on a little photo:

ahem, pushy lady )

I really was thrilled to meet him. So far the book is quite enjoyable. There's even a local connection. His family lived in Maryland when he was stationed in Patuxent River.
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Happy Halloween! And/or Blessed Samhain!

I've been learning a new program called Hootsuite. They had a contest where they gave away 100 little stuffed owls (the company logo). I entered a collage of the owls from Moonridge and I won one! The company is encouraging the winners to share, so here's Owly getting ready to protect me from the Zombie Apocalypse.

zombie owly
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This weekend, artists around Logan Circle/ 14th Street in DC opened their studios for walk-ins and tours. I really enjoyed doing that. Partly, it's getting to see how the artists integrate what they do with their living space. It's fun to talk to them and see what they are working on.

Many of them seemed to like found objects even if they didn't incorporate them into their art. They'd have them on shelves around the place. Brian Petro had all sorts of little things around. He'd been in the same studio in the lower level of a design shop for more than 10 years. He talked about finding an animal crackers box and using it in several paintings. Sally Kauffman had these little forks she'd added to a box. George Shomori used old leather and cowrie shells as well as little silver elephants.

Several of the photographers liked images of abandoned buildings. One man went to Spain and took photos of all these abandoned movie sets from the old spaghetti Westerns. Another guy did an abandoned racetrack.

Lucinda French is inspired by science and that scientists know only about 10% of the universe. That leaves a lot of room for creativity.

My photos are here http://flic.kr/s/aHsjL9oZHK
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Oddly appropriate. But I'm happy for the Gulf Coast.

Seems like someone else needs a belly rub.

Gracie
vamysteryfan: (Default)
democracy tree

It's a little plaque near Dupont Circle.
vamysteryfan: (Default)
This should give you a smile.

I was cutting through the National Sculpture Garden on my way to the bus when I passed two guys dressed as polar bears and their handler. They were on their way to the White House to protest Arctic drilling. I was mostly in black with white accents and they were white with black accents so a photo was obviously imperative.

KO and the Bears )
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One reason I like visiting art galleries is the chance to discuss process with the artists. Last night I went to a photography exhibit. The artist displayed photos taken during a 72-hour period in Las Vegas. The photos were taken at extremely high ISOs but he couldn't use a tripod. His use of lighting was amazing. We had a nice conversation about f-stops and the pros and cons of digital photography over film. He was so generous sharing his time and knowledge.

I talked to another artist about an exhibit earlier this year at the same gallery. He had missed his own opening because he was traveling. His art is quite different - three-dimensional constructs with a strong mythic base. Frogs, fairies, snails all appear in his works.

I shopped at the local farmers market before going over, so I had this bag of peaches. I couldn't stay out too late - I had to get them home. So ripe, I had to eat one standing over the sink so the juice didn't go everywhere. Delish!
vamysteryfan: (Default)
There is red, white and blue potato salad in my future.

red, white and blue
vamysteryfan: (Default)
Sister 9's birthday was yesterday. She hadn't been to the National Zoo in nearly nine years so that's where we went. They have a new Elephant House. It's much larger and they have an outdoor trail as well as an exercise yard. The weather was quite hot, so the elephants stayed in their house during the heat of the day. There's also a new Bird House. She really wanted to see the flamingos. They crack me up too - so flexible and perfectly balanced. We also saw emus, rhea, whooping cranes, and more rare birds.

My favorite at the Small Mammal House was the golden tamarin. Face like a lion, tail like a monkey, and cute as a button. No visit to the Zoo would be complete without seeing the pandas. Tian Tian was chowing down on bamboo while we were there. We wanted to see the little red panda that escaped last week, but he was still in seclusion.

My photos are here http://flic.kr/s/aHsjGH7oEn
vamysteryfan: (Default)
I look like the cat that got the canary and the cream:

Alex and Karen )

Me and Alex are likethat. :)
vamysteryfan: (Default)
I downloaded a new-to-me software package called Andreamosaic. It takes your photos and uses them to create a mosaic of another photo.

For example, I have about 300 photos I've taken over the years at Moonridge. I set a photo of Cascade as the main image and then made the mosaic with all my photos.

Before and after )

Cascade is now made up of hundreds of pictures from Moonridge. It's a little hard to tell. My copies are higher res than I can upload here. I plan on doing a little more experimenting before I'm really ready for primetime.

OK one with Garett )
Garett is made of fans :)

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