Tag Archives: cats

New camera

I’ve been saving up for some time now for a new camera. My Pentax K10D was in need of repair with a price-tag of $300+. For that price, I may as well work towards a newer camera. To that end, I recently purchased a Pentax K-3, their newest(ish) top-of-their line DSLR. My iPhone 6 has been a wonderful companion and I have taken some great photographs with it, but it became clear that it just couldn’t quite do all that I wanted a camera to do. For example, low-light pictures were grainy, and often even otherwise sharp and well-lit photographs still seemed “flat.” Plus I had a bunch of good lenses sitting around.

But enough apologetics. Last night I finally found some time to play with the camera a bit. I’m very pleased with the results. The camera does seem to have a back-focus issue (camera focuses beyond the point it tells me it’s focussed on), which is what needed repair on my K10D, but these newer models have manual auto-focus fine-tuning built right in. So I can solve the focus issues… I just need to decide if I should nevertheless send it in while it’s still on warranty.

Anyway, after fixing the focus issues, I took some black and white shots of our cats. I’m quite pleased with the results. Pictures taken with a 50mm lens at either f1.4 or f2.0, all of them at ISO6400 (except the last, which was ISO3200). Some of them are a little darker than I’d like, but these are all unedited, other than for size (and for the camera’s own processing to b&w jpegs).

I promise I won’t turn this into a blog of cat pictures.

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Miscellaneous 1 (Delay; Classes; Pets)

Yes, yes, I know.  More England posts.  They’re coming. There’s a long way to go yet: Warwick Castle, Somerton, Oxford, Bath, Lyme Regis, Stonehenge, Bramley. I took a bit of a break, then I got preoccupied with a bunch of stuff going on (including a sermon yesterday).  And then our internet has been off since Thursday (I’m writing from a school building and I don’t have my pictures with me).

Some random stuff in the meantime:

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I registered for this semester with great confidence: Homiletics I (preaching); intermediate Hebrew; intermediate Greek; Clinical Pastoral Experience (essentially visitation).  Then I noticed that there was an unusually large amount of required courses being offered this year.  So I spent a week stressing and hunting down professors and getting advice.  Turns out that there are several core courses offered this year but not next year, meaning that if I want to graduate next year, I had to switch my schedule around.

So now I’m registered for 5 courses and face an incredible amount of reading for the next 3 months (about 12 books, plus supplementary reading, papers, translation and two sermons).  I still have mixed feelings about the schedule–I’m not sure why I was so hung up about taking two languages this semester.  Greek will be a little more difficult with a full year between classes, but I’ll survive.  And all the classes I’m registered for look interesting (as do the books I have to read).

* * *

The kids want a pet.  I’d gladly get a 5-gallon fish tank and a school of neon tetras, but fish are, apparently, “boring” and “don’t do anything.”

This is what the kids have suggested:

  1. Kittens (possibly one for each of them)
  2. Puppies
  3. A hamster (which I ruled out immediately because–and I quote–“We don’t need any more rodents in this house.”)

I’m not sure what to say and Dixie and I can’t seem to come to any sort of resolution.  Part of me thinks we should wait until we have a more permanent residence, but I’m not sure why that is.  The previous owner of this mobile home had two large dogs and a cat (and a child).  One pet isn’t going to be a big deal in terms of space.

But then a pet is that much more financial and time responsibility.  And I think I’m a dog person, not a cat person.  Getting a puppy would be like having another child; getting a trained dog that’s a year old or so would be good, but wouldn’t “grow up” with the kids, which is something I’ve always thought would be nice.  Dogs have personality and you can wrestle with them (we’d get a bigger dog, like a labrador), but they’re high maintenance.

But, quite frankly, I’m not sure if I’m really not a cat person, or if it’s just left-over sentiment from when I was a boy, when it was easy to categorically dismiss things like cats and country music.

Dogs may have a more lovable personality, but cats are lower maintenance and would help with any future mice problems.

I don’t know.