Saturday, October 23, 2010

This & That

Autumn has finally come... then gone away again... then returned.  I think it's here to stay, now.  (The hummingbirds also disappeared with the first taste of cool weather, and though we spotted a few stragglers a week or so later, I doubt we'll see more of them until next year.)  It's already difficult not to take the cooler, drier air for granted (how soon we forget the long heat and humidity that is summer!), and I've moved on to grumbling that we need rain.  Of course, the first rain we're likely to get this month would coincide with the day I need to drive in slightly unfamiliar territory-- but isn't that always the way these things work out?  I doubt it'll be blinding, flooding rain, at any rate, so that's ok. (A summer gusher can be scary when you're behind the wheel, trying to see a couple car-lengths ahead of you.  Fall drizzle is just atmospheric, so long as everyone else on the road behaves themselves.)

Parts of Sweden are already seeing snow this month.
...Nothing more to say about that, really... Just an observation.  (g)

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We bought four new crepe myrtles recently.  There's one Natchez (large tree type crepe myrtle, white flowers, cinnamon bark), one Victor (smaller, bushy / dwarf type crepe myrtle, dark red flowers), and two Tonto (smaller tree type crepe myrtle, red flowers). 

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Donald ran in the 5K Mullet Run in Fairhope, last weekend.  He had a time of 25:29 (which I would never have remembered if I hadn't asked him and written it down).  This wasn't quite as good as he'd hoped.  It still seemed pretty good to me, since if I'd tried to run it (which I didn't, being a sensible, lazy sort of person who preferred to walk the short-cut at a leisurely pace, pausing now and then to take photos), I'd have had to walk much of the way and would've ended up with a truly pathetic time.  Apparently, one part of the race-course is a hill/incline that lasts for about half a mile. (Donald's usual "track" doesn't have anything quite like that.)  And the whole thing was on asphalt (whereas Donald does most of his regular running on the soil/grass/pebbles of the easement).  So-- if it were me, I wouldn't worry too much about the time I got on this particular run... but then, I'm not really a runner, so what do I know about such things? ;o) (The not caring about my "personal best", etc. is probably a big part of why running holds no appeal for me.  Well, that and the aforesaid laziness.  I'd rather do a sprint than a 5K, any day.  Go as fast as you can for a brief period and call it a day.  Or better yet, let's just walk there, shall we?)

None of my photos from the run turned out great, but they're something to remember the day by. 

Here are some of the runners getting started (Donald was ahead of this group):

Running, Running, Running...

...And here's Donald getting near the finishing line:

Donald in the 5K Mullet Run

About to Finish the Run...

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I finished my Project 365 (such as it was) earlier this month.  I've been taking a little of a break from the camera since then.  In one way, it's nice to not find myself thinking, "Oh, it's 6:00 and I still haven't taken my photo for the day!  What can I photograph this time that's not a dog, a flower, or a bug?"  But I am missing taking photos... which is silly, since there's nothing stopping me.  Whatever I might say about Project 365, it did do a pretty good job of "forcing" me to pick up the camera almost every day for a year.  I might need to come up with a few (smaller) personal challenges or goals to give myself a little direction/inspiration... 

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Also this month, we received the disc with Donald's family's home videos.  Donald, Ingela, and Thorbjörn went together and had their family's old 8mm (? ...I think...) home videos converted to digital as a gift for their parents.  Donald says that they probably hadn't watched the film for perhaps 25 years, since they didn't have a projector.  There was something almost magical about watching those old bits of film.  It's the first time I can remember watching people I recognize in such old, soundless films-- so that in itself made the experience unusual.  Also, because I wasn't there the first time around (like Donald was), I recognized the younger faces and old location details (wallpaper, etc.) only from photos.  Add to that the fact that (although good for old film) the quality has a definite vintage feel (just like the old photos), and what you get is something that feels vaguely impossible-- almost like watching an old photo come to life (as in the Harry Potter books/movies). 

It was a real treat to see them!