Bits and Bobs

I made a promise to myself that I would never waste time on this blog apologizing for sporadic posting. So instead of doing that, I think I’ll do that other thing where I throw a few pictures at you and catch you up on recent developments.


First off, how about those eggs, am I right? That was breakfast this past Saturday morning after our walk at Bolin Park in Plano. Credit goes to Kassi for the avocado and tomato, but more especially for discovering such a great little park and trail system. The walk took us along ponds and tracked a golf course for most of the way, providing us with some nice urban-pastoral views. I had a great time playing with my P1000, of course. I’ve quite fallen in love with it. The long range zoom is just fun to use, and the picture quality is somewhat better than I expected given the predominantly cautionary reviews.

It seems that a lot of my spare time has been taken up with photography lately, either taking photos or editing them, so it’s hard to sneak in time for anything else. I’ve all but given up on Geocaching, alas. You can’t do everything. That’s fine. More importantly I’ve been making great strides with a potentially significant personal side project — printing, framing, and selling my own photos. It’s something Kassi encouraged me to do last year, and I think I’ve amassed a collection now that might be worth something to people. We’ll soon find out.

Of course, to make that happen I needed my editing skills to be at a certain level, and I think at this point that I can make passable images. I also needed a printing service that I was satisfied with, and I think I found one…

The ProDPI website is well designed, attractive, and informative. Very easy to figure out exactly what they offer and for how much. Better yet, they offer an app for ordering prints that can be integrated into your photo processing workflow, so no need to visit the site or upload photos through an HTML interface, which is a big plus for me. When you sign up they give you three free sample prints so you can gauge the quality. I ordered mine and they arrived in about three days, and I was very satisfied with both the appearance and weight of the default paper stock. I haven’t printed photos in over 10 years. That’s really sad. Especially for my family, immediate and extended, who never had opportunity to enjoy them. All that is hopefully about to change. Prices are very reasonable.

Also, as a side note — Groupon “deals” are nothing of the sort. Don’t think you’re getting a real discount just because someone says you are. Shop those prices around first. And be willing to pay for quality where it counts.

I’m excited about all this. Who knows? Maybe it’ll pay off.

Look at this crazy crap Kassi and I ran into on the way home after an evening run. We assumed it was a caterpillar, cocooning itself to begin its metamorphosis into some beautiful, or even pedestrian, butterfly. We were wrong.

The nearby juniper bush was littered with those things. There must have been hundreds, all along the trunk and covering every branch.

It looked like they were using dead juniper leaves to somehow coat the outside of their cocoon. Not sure how that works. The little sacs were jiggling on the branches. After looking at them for a few seconds, it kind of turned your stomach. Turns out they’re some kind of harmful parasite that kills juniper trees, and that one was surely dead, as infested as it was. They turn into moths, not butterflies.

So much for the nature show.