Friday, February 29, 2008

A Second Shot

I recently purchased Lightroom, a photo editing program for photographers and did a little experimentation with the program's nearly endless assortment of tools. I decided to take a second look at Fort Stevens Subdued and after a half hour, this is the latest version. Hopefully, the cropping strengthen the image a bit but perhaps the best thing to do would to return to the park on a day with better light!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

The New Toy

Now that I am retired, I have been searching for ways to increase the fun factor during my near daily workouts. To this end, I purchased a pass to the city’s aquatic center because in addition to the pools, they have a pretty well equipped exercise room. The addition of a couple of weekly sessions on the elliptical trainer and a pass through a few of the weight stations has definitely added not only variety but a great deal of fun to boot.

Upon my first visit to the exercise room, I realized that everyone was sporting an iPod; I was definitely the only one not tuned in and turned on! It was at this point that I noticed the rules sign that clearly stated that the only type of music device allowed were those with earphones. So clearly if I wanted to listen to music or pod casts while working out, a personal player was a necessity.

A quick visit to and five days later, I was the proud owner of a Scandisk mp3 player. I quickly opened the box and was impressed that I was able to actually make the thing work without reading the directions! I did notice that the enclosed instructions were surprisingly only eight pages in length. It all seemed so easy until I attempted to download a pod cast and listen to it on my shinny new toy. I spent nearly an hour in total frustration before resorting to the directions which directed me to the manufacturer’s web site for additional assistance. After surfing the site for another ten minutes, I finally found the entire instruction manual which is 39 pages in length!

Why ever did I think that an mp3 player was going to add quality and joy to my life!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

A Hike In The Mud

Frequent in February, the fog and constant drizzle will clear for a few days and give us a quick taste of spring’s promise. Sunday was just such a day, clear sunny skies and afternoon temperatures reaching fifty-six degrees. Since these types of days are few, I decided that an afternoon hike might be in order. This was just the excuse I needed to spend an hour exploring the banks of the Lewis and Clark River about a mile and one-half downstream from Fort Clatsop, the winter encampment of the Lewis and Clark expedition.

As I slogged through the water and the mud, I wondered if either Lewis or Clark had ever taken this same path. If so, they had to have had incredibly wet moccasins!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Fort Stevens Subdued

The past month has pretty much been a mixture of clouds, fog, and rain. Needless to say, the opportunities for photographic adventures have been extremely limit. Finally on Monday afternoon, the rains quit so I decided to head out to Fort Stevens State Park and see what the park might look like under subdued light. This is what one of my favorite locations behind the jetty looked like on a cloudy February afternoon.

Friday, February 8, 2008

A Matched Set of One

My last official duty at work was to deal with the thirty years of accumulated stuff in my office and truck. My first thought was to box everything up and take it home and carefully sort thought it over the next few months. As I pulled several of the books from the shelves, the deep layer of dust told me it had been a good long while since most of them had moved let along read! At this point, I decided upon the following rule, if it has a serious layer of dust; it got tossed into the recycling bin. By the time the purging was completed, I had more than half filled a fifty-five recycling container. I even tossed a number of text books as changes in technology have rendered them suitable only for use as a door stop!By the time the task was completed, I left for home with the following:

1.) 42 assorted text books and field guides

2.) two pair of caulk boots

3.) one pair of fire boots

4.) two complete sets of rain gear

5.) ten pair of assorted gloves and five pair of wool socks and numerous hats

Up closer inspection, I learned that several of the gloves belonged to a matched set of one! Where its mate went to, I haven't a clue.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Cold Is A Relative Term

Ptelea, of Pajama Library, defines cold as eight degrees with blast of wind-blown snow. No argument on my part, those conditions are beyond cold, they boarder on the verge of brutal! Could it be possible for it to be cold at a higher temperature?

On Saturday morning, I decided to take a trip down to the Columbia River and see if I could capture what a cold day in Astoria looks like. I left the house at 9:30 AM and the temperature was hovering at 35 degrees. The skies were gray and threatening but for the first time in days, it was not raining! Upon my arrival at the Lewis and Clark National Wildlife Refuse, I was greeted by light rain that quickly turned to snow with flakes the size of half dollars.

This is how the refuse look for 1/500 of a second during the first Saturday of February 2008, and yes, it was darn cold!