Print Story I am still here
By duxup (Tue Aug 21, 2007 at 12:13:33 PM EST) photography, friends, family (all tags)

Friends Visit
The Wife
Traveling to Chicago
Photography talk that has nothing to do with actual photography

Baby Visit

A few weeks ago the Good Friend from out of state brought his wife, three year old, and two month old over for a visit.  Of course, when exactly he would arrive the overall plan was up in the air for about … well until an hour before he arrived.   This is par for the course as I live in a city where he has numerous other relatives and he wants to fit in everything humanly possible, every time.

Things were complicated by Other Friend in the area who decided after the initial plan was laid down that they wanted to change day 2s plans, because they had volley ball that evening.  So over a 90+ degree weekend it was decided on day 2 we’d go over to the house of the person with no AC “and maybe go on a boat ride” …. in a boat that holds maybe eight or nine people, with 12 people there, one of whom is two months old.  Seemed odd to me but it wasn’t worth fighting.

The wife was a bit irked.  She originally started the ball rolling suggesting a bunch of us go over to the Good Friends house out of state (we’d stay in a hotel of course).  There we could see the baby and the Good Friend would be in the comfort of his own home.  Plans changed over time and then the Good Friend was coming to us.  The wife worked out those plans with Good Friend and there we go.  Then Other Friend called Good Friend, changed plans, and the wife was a bit surprised when the e-mail came out with new plans.

I think the wife still felt like she put in lots of work organizing everyone and was a little disappointed when plans changed because one person had a casual game of volleyball they couldn’t miss.  I explained it was really Good Friend’s show now that he was traveling and we’d get plenty of time with Good Friend on day 1 and 2 so there was no real loss.

I’m the kind of guy who likes to toss down plans early and stick to them.  When dealing with humans I have learned that doesn’t always work.  My solution, stay out of it all.

I didn’t get to chat with Good Friend as much as I wished I could.  We only had some time for a bit of talking and examining his fancy new video camera that apparently has a macro mode that can examine my DNA while still being hand held.   Also much Wii was played and of course the three year old took one to the head when daddy wound up for a wicked lob shot slamming his WiiMote right into the three year old’s forehead. 

Time from impact until crying: 30 seconds.
Time from crying start to stop: 15 seconds.

The wife got much baby holding in.  We found it quite useful to offer the wifes forearm to the baby when it was hungry and mom was not immediately available.  A good hour of content drooling on the wife’s could be wasted before baby realized it wasn’t getting any milk.  Messy but highly effective. 

The second day the boat ride didn’t happen of course, but all else went relatively well.  When holding the baby (after the wife made sure he was appropriately docile) I got a distinct facial expression from the baby that I’m sure could be translated “If you cover me with my blanky or move me away from this fan I’m going cut you!”

It was mostly a crowd of hold High School friends.  Odd collection of occupations:

Several teachers.
One mildly computer literate computer related worker (duxup).
News cameraman.
Physical Therapist.
Structural Engineer.
Engineer who works on super secret government (reverse engineering alien tech) stuff.
All around theater consume / crafts construction person.
Grant writer for “save the world” type organizations.
Lutheran pastor in training.

Something tells me that all adds up to some revelation about my old friends and some of their spouses but what that is I’ve no idea.

The Wife

The wife finally got around to quitting her job.  Her boss clearly shouldn’t be in charge, or be in contact with other people, and you know it is bad when even the most incompetent people are racing for the door in droves.  The wife wishes she could have worked it all out but when your boss tells you "All your coworkers hate you!" and the coworkers note that they really hate your boss but like you. . . the situation is not worth sticking around for.  Not with a totally entrenched boss.

After a short vacation (I’ll get to that later) the wife returned to work at one of the local stage theaters.  She received a warm welcome from the folks there.  Probably because as they say she’s the only person they know who can competently do everything they need and more.  Otherwise they hire a pile of temps whose work they have to fix.  If this were a full time job that would be nice but sadly it is not.

The wife was fretting about what shape she left her last job in.   Specifically that they have a bit trade show coming up and have lots to do.  My advice “If they didn’t need you anymore they’d drop you like a rock.  If they wanted some consideration they should have paid you a living wage, and treated you like a human being.  Give them the appropriate two weeks, leave professionally.  Then laugh when they finally go bankrupt, are sued, or generally continue to suck like they do.”

The wife won’t do the laughing part but she took the rest of the advice.

The downside is that now the wife feels like she has experienced the “corporate world.”   It just sounds like a small company who hires crap employees because they’re cheap and doesn’t care for any professionalism whatsoever.  This was a place where in meetings in front of everyone directors would yell at each other like children… Convincing the wife to fire resumes to some of the places like Target won’t be easy.

Getting to Chicago

So the wife wanted to get out of town after her two weeks were up.  I happened to be burning PTO at that time (See at my company they have PTO, that’s nice.  The wife’s previous workplace they have a insane amount of “sick time”, almost no PTO, and they hate people who take sick time.  Nice way of not giving your employee vacation benefits huh?). 

In Minnesota most of the summertime activities take place outdoors, and as we all know there are bears outside.  I’d rather avoid them.  All the indoor activities are here in the Twin Cities so that’s not much of a getaway.  It was suggested that we go some place like Chicago.  Turns out one of the wife’s sister’s lives there and the plans were made to stay at her place and run around the city for a few days.

We met up with the sister way outside down at a relatives house.  It was both the home owner’s 50th birthday, and our first wedding anniversary.  Upon realizing that this was our anniversary much discussion was made of how everyone in the room met and was married.

Later in the evening we learned that the wife of the birthday boy had recently been diagnosed with breast cancer.  Cripes.  The woman already was dealing with MS and now that.  I would find it seriously difficult to deal with either event myself and somehow this family is awesome as heck.  Stuff like that puts things in perspective.  I’m glad I can walk, and do the everyday things I need to do without such worries.

Anyway here is where the always enjoyable not planning planning comes into play.  The idea was that we’d park our car and hitch a ride with the sister into Chicago.  That way we wouldn’t need to take our car into the city as A.) We don’t need it there.  B.) There’s not much parking near the sister’s home.   We left the birthday party and ended up driving around the local train stops only to discover there was really no apparent way to park our cars long term (four days) unattended without it being possibly towed away.

This was one of those “So did anyone who assured us we could do this at place X ever do this themselves or were they all assuming and nobody bothered to check for sure?” moments.

We ended up driving into town.  It wasn’t the end of the world, just another plan that had to be adapted. 

The next husi entry will include Chicago fun and such.


I have some Lowepro bags for my camera such as this one.  They’re aright but I was getting a bit tired of the boxy design and how IMO that tends to bounce off the side of my body and slowly pull it off my shoulder.  Not a bad bag, just not what I want for a long vacation.

I read some reviews and I ended up picking up a Tamrac Velocity 7x.  The 6 I thought was too small and the 8 way huge.  The 7 turned out just right.  I used it for the trip to Chicago and carrying three smaller lenses or two lenses and filters and it worked great.  Most of the time I didn’t sling it all around my body like the photos show.  It was just fine on my shoulder and the way the bag was designed it tended to lean toward my body and stay there rather than swing and bounce about like my other bags.

Canon has come to my rescue.  Not that there was any question if they would or wouldn’t but I’m happy none the less.  I’ve been thinking of replacing my 300D.  The Canon Digital Rebel XTi (400D) is a nice camera but it has a distinct downside, the hand grip on the side of the camera is way too small.  When I hold it I have to use my tippy tippy fingertips to keep it secure.  WAY STUPID DESIGN!

Anyway the alternative was the 30D.  Nice solid body, much better for my hands, but it is pricier with a 8 rather than 10 megapixel sensor.  Reason, Canon released the 400D a year or so after the 30 so the 30 was due for an update.

Thus comes the 40D.   Fancy new 10 MP sensor.  Bigger screen in the back.  All the usual upgrades.  For me though the big deal is how it feels in my hand (aka like the 10, 20, 30D) and word has it the viewing prism is larger and clearer.   Thank goodness because I never got used to the move from my old film Elan 7 to the Digital Rebel.  Also ISO display in the viewfinder FINALLY.

Somehow convincing the wife to let me buy it is going to take a great deal of work.

Oh and yes I did buy that Canon 430EX Speedlite I was talking about.  I'm quite happy with it.  I need to give the exposure a bit of a bump when using it but no big deal and the lighting looks downright natural indoors most of the time.  Quite keen.

< Hooray, hooray, it's a holi, holiday | BBC White season: 'Rivers of Blood' >
I am still here | 6 comments (6 topical, 0 hidden)
I fully suspect by joh3n (4.00 / 1) #1 Tue Aug 21, 2007 at 01:06:42 PM EST
The Nikon D300 will cause my bankrupcy when it comes out.....

I just ate about 7 pounds of meat

D300 by duxup (4.00 / 1) #2 Tue Aug 21, 2007 at 01:11:29 PM EST
I heard that it eats little children...
[ Parent ]
and then poops them out by joh3n (4.00 / 1) #3 Tue Aug 21, 2007 at 01:17:28 PM EST
at 9 frames a second.

I just ate about 7 pounds of meat

[ Parent ]
get yer ducks up. by blixco (4.00 / 1) #4 Tue Aug 21, 2007 at 01:19:43 PM EST
I'm very happy to have caught up with your life.  And your wife should avoid small companies, too.  They suck for a whole different reason.
"You bring the weasel, I'll bring the whiskey." - kellnerin
hey -- asshole! by garlic (4.00 / 1) #5 Tue Aug 21, 2007 at 06:43:51 PM EST
I live in chicago. nobody told me a duxup was coming.

although I was probably on vacation driving around lake michigan at the time.

dOH! by duxup (2.00 / 0) #6 Wed Aug 22, 2007 at 06:33:57 AM EST
You have a very nice city none the less.
[ Parent ]
I am still here | 6 comments (6 topical, 0 hidden)