aswim in knits

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

I want a new camera!

In 10 days, I will be done grad school. I cannot wait!!!

Last night, I hinted to Thom that I would like a new camera as a graduation present. If by hint, you understand this to mean "I told him that I would send him an email with links to the camera he should buy me," then you would be correct.

Right now, I am using a three+ year old Nikon Coolpix E5600 point and shoot camera. I'm ready to play with the big kids, though, and get something with more capability and versatility. I'm thinking a DSLR, or as I still think of them "a big black camera with cool accessories."

So, since you, my fair readers, tend towards the opinionated side (yes, you! ... and you ... you too!), I thought I'd ask what you think of your DSLR camera(s). What camera do you have? What features do you like? What do you find irksome about your model? What do you wish your camera could do that it doesn't do?

I'm not sure exactly what I am looking for in a camera, but here are a few things that I know I want to do with it:
  • I want a camera that I can use indoors without a flash.
  • When I do use the flash, I want it to recharge quickly. (Right now, it takes my camera 3 seconds to save an image and 5 seconds to recharge the flash, so I miss lots of good photos.)
  • I'd like to be able to add a lens that I can use to take decent photos at a distance. Not really far, but maybe 100 meters? (Like, say, taking photos of my swimmers at meets!)
  • I want to take candid photos of kids (like this one or this one), so I want to be able to use an auto mode, or have a manual mode that is pretty easy to set up/adjust so that I don't miss the good photos!

I'm not afraid to read a manual, or buy a book, or take a class, or ask advice, in order to learn how to get a camera to do what I want it to. That said, I'm not looking to be a super highly technical photographer, so I don't need the fanciest or best possible camera out there.

Really, what do I want to do? I want to learn to take beautiful pictures like Ashley, Maryse, Caro, PumpkinMama, Phoe, Cheryl, Maritza, Adrian, and Tiennie. (And, umm, like lots more of you talented peeps out there. I'd link to all of you, but I do need to return to my paid employment momentarily.) Clearly, these individuals all have an artistic eye, which is the biggest part of their photo-taking ability. But I bet a good camera helps too :)

What cameras should I be looking at? What kind of questions do I need to think about? What features will I want?

Opinions, please. Bring it.
(And, umm, if you have other friends who like to take photos with their DSLRs, send 'em this way to share their thoughts!)

Labels: , ,

Friday, July 25, 2008

no internet!

What a week. First our shower sprung a leak, and then our internet service went on the fritz. Hopefully it's just a modem problem. Our cable modem from Comcast has a panel of LED lights, including one for the power, and none are lighting up. At lunch today, I went out and exchanged it for a new unit, so hopefully that will solve the problem. If so, I'll post more this weekend. If not, I'll be back next week!


Saturday, July 19, 2008


Remember earlier this week when I had trouble sleeping? Yep, it's happening again. I slept until 11:0o this morning (I took a vacation day) and now I am WIDE awake. I finished watching Season 3 of The Closer but I'm bored with watching tv. I knit for a while, but I'm bored of knitting. The horror! I did homework earlier and I just can't bring myself to read any more about strategic budget planning this evening. So I screwed around online for a while. And I found this, which killed some time. And now I'm back to being bored. Crappers.

Labels: ,

Monday, July 14, 2008

the post in which I talk about things for my feet

It's 1:00 in the morning and I can't sleep. This NEVER happens to me. I'm a damn good sleeper. In fact, I slept 9 hours last night, and napped for another hour or two late this afternoon. Oh, maybe that's why I'm awake now....

So, I guess it's a good time to pop by the blog for a visit.

What have I been up to? Let's see, I knit a sock:
outside on the fence (by aswim in knits)
(Traveler's Stocking, from Knitting on the Road. Raveled.)

I started the second one, but I have to follow the chart for the top part of the leg, and I have no attention span right now.

So I started more socks, this time with some handspun(!).
handspun socks - two toes (by aswim in knits)

I'm up to the heels now, and I'm enjoying them immensely. I love them so much that I don't even mind their fraternal-ness.

Oh, and these have been getting some use:

sneakers (by aswim in knits)

I've started the Couch to 5K running plan. Weeks 1-3 were ok, but week 4 is kicking my ass. In a good way. I am waaaay out of shape, and it's time to do something about it. I'm aiming to run a 5K around Labor Day, or just before or after. I'd like to lose 30 pounds too, and I'm hoping this will help.

Well, I should probably wander back to bed. See if I can fall asleep, since the alarm will go off in less than 5 hours. Nighty night!

Labels: , , ,

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Elisa made me do it

Elisa posted her answers to this meme and, because she said that we are all fascinating, I got a big ego and decided that y'all needed to know more about me. So, here goes:

1. Where was I 10 years ago.
I was an undergrad at BU and living in Boston. I worked for the school's orientation program, so at this exact moment I was probably dressed in a red polo shirt and ushering entering freshmen round campus. Such a great job -- we worked nonstop for a 48 hour period each week, got paid pretty well, and got free housing. Fifty-odd sassy college students in an apartment building, working only 2 days a week. If you guessed that there was a lot of partying on the other 5 days, you'd probably be right.

2. Five things on today’s to-do list.
Meet a friend/former colleague for lunch/socializing/networking.
Buy food for dinner.
Revise my independent study syllabus. (Next on the agenda.)
Clean the living room. (Probably not gonna happen.)
Do laundry for tomorrow. (In progress now.)

3. Snacks I enjoy.
Chocolate. Fruit smoothies. Cheese and crackers.

4. Things I would do if I were a billionaire.
Give money to my alma mater. I think I'd like a building named after me :)
Give money to my YMCA to build a new pool.
Take a really long vacation and travel.
Pay off our mortgage and Thom's student loans. (Sorry, my practical side is escaping...)
Buy a new car. A hybrid, most likely. Or a Volvo. I learned to drive on a 1975 Volvo, and I still have a soft spot for them. (Umm, yes, the car was older than me at the time!)

5. Places I have lived.
Massachusetts, all my life. A native Mass-hole.

6. Jobs I have had.
Lifeguard. Swim instructor. Synchronized swim coach. Babysitter/nanny. Orientation leader. Research assistant. Program assistant at a small academic institute at one university. Fundraiser at another university.

7. Who would I like to know more about.
As Elisa says, "Everyone. You're all just so fascinating. Seriously."

Labels: ,

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

targhee sock yarn

Last Wednesday was my last classroom session for my master's degree. I still have one course to finish, but it's an independent study, so I get to do it on my own schedule. Well, as much as I can keep "my own schedule" between now and August 8.

As soon as that class ended, I got in some good time at the wheel and made this:

targhee sock yarn (by aswim in knits)

This is 376 yards of 2-ply targhee sock yarn. It's just a bit thicker than the mill-spun yellow sock yarn shown above from Kim at the Woolen Rabbit -- 14-15 WPI as compared to 16-17 WPI. The fiber came from another spinner's destash sale, although I believe it is originally from Susan's Spinning Bunny.

I have another braid of this fiber in another color. I'm not sure of the color name, but in my head, I call it "Lilly Pulitzer".

Susan's Spinning Bunny (by aswim in knits)

I'll be spinning this fiber as part of a swap with Phoe. She sent me a beautiful chevron scarf ...

Autumn Chevron Scarf (by phoeknits)
(I borrowed this photo from Phoe -- I can't get a shot that does justice to the colors!)

... and I offered to spin her some yarn in exchange. She picked the pink and green stuff, which I adore! Phoe asked for a heavy fingering/light sport weight yarn, and I wanted to be sure that I could produce the right weight. So, I spun the pink/orange/brown braid first as a practice run. Well, I got just what I was aiming for, so I'm ready to go with Phoe's yarn! I think I'll start it tonight ...

Labels: , ,