Saturday, December 19, 2009

Thanksgiving 2009

Thanksgiving started with a walk on the beach. Since Dan & Peter decided on an evening meal and the day was beautiful, sunny, and warm, I drove up to Black's Beach shortly after noon to get some exercise and enjoy the nice weather. I had borrowed a camera from work, a Nikon D200, and an external flash to take to the party, but I debated about taking it to the beach. It was big and heavy and I've taken lots of pictures at Blacks before, so I decided to enjoy the experience directly, not through a camera lens, and left it at home. And wouldn't you know, it was the clearest I had ever seen it. From the top of the cliff I could see what I'm pretty sure was Catalina Island, about 26 miles away. There was no haziness in the air at all.

I went down the cliff by the glider port and walked north toward Torrey Pines, taking off my sandals and enjoying the sand and splashing in the surf a little bit. It was a perfect day, warm without being hot, the water was cool without being cold and the clearest I've seen it. I went up to, and on to, the big square rock that separates Blacks from Torrey Pines Beach. On the way back, while walking past some clumps of seaweed, I almost tripped over this big, gorgeous lizard about 2 feet long. And me without a camera!

Dinner at Dan & Peter's was wonderful. They love to cook Thanksgiving Dinner and they're very organized. Their kitchen is nice if not large, but they had everything under control and clean the entire time. The food was fabulous and the company couldn't have been better.

I'm a little slow in posting the pictures because I took them to work and used the Nik Software to tweak them a bit. Even though I had a nice camera and flash unit, it's hard to light a picture well without some expensive equipment, but the Nik Software and Photoshop let me put the light on the main subject and allowed me to take attention away from background objects. I have a lot to learn, but it's fun to play.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Quote of the Day

I saw this quote in the news about Switzerland’s recent referendum to ban the building of any more minarets (the tall spire above a Mosque):

“...the Organisation of the Islamic Conference called the vote a “recent example of growing anti-Islamic incitements in Europe by extremist, anti-immigrant, xenophobic, racist, scare-mongering ultraright politicians who reign over common sense, wisdom and universal values.” ’

If you replace the word “Europe” with “the United States” you could replace “Islamic” with any number of things. I'm taking small comfort that we’re not the only ones with ultraright politicians reigning terror over common sense, wisdom, and universal values. I wish we could figure out why so many have turned away from logic and submitted to their basest fears. There's no reasoning with them; it's an emotional response, but I can't figure out what it’s in response to.