I haven’t uploaded anything to Flickr in a couple of months, partially because I have no good photo workflow anymore. I sat down and worked through shots from the last month and picked out a couple to post and share.
I’m on my third month of decaf, and I have to say I don’t miss caffeine at all. I phased it out after suffering through withdrawal during the biopsy process, and by the time I made it to surgery I was clean. I’m not any sleepier in the morning, and I don’t feel like I need the jolt to keep awake or alert through the day. I still love coffee, and I will still drink decaf until they pry my mug from my cold dead hands. I do wish there was a greater selection of decaf blends available.
Meanwhile, my hair, as shown in the GIF below, has been coming in slowly but surely over the last month. I’ve shaved my goat three times since it got to the hair-in-my-mouth stage, but the hair on my scalp is taking its sweet, sweet time. I’m almost tempted to shave it off again for giggles, but I will admit it’s nice to see some color covering my pasty scalp again.
My stomach has been getting less and less tender. A month ago the beltline under my bellybutton was uncomfortable by the end of the day after constantly rubbing against the fabric of my pants, and I’d have to unsnap the button for some relief. This meant my fly was always sneaking downward, so I’d have to constantly be adjusting my package to make sure I wasn’t inadvertently becoming a target of the #metoo movement. Overall, an embarrassing and annoying situation. Now I can leave my pants snapped for the whole day and don’t notice any irritation unless I’ve been walking super-long distances.
I’ve done some light digging about the watch I found in the Mildew House last year, which was produced by a lesser-known Swiss company called Ollech & Wajs. They were formed in the 1950s and sold via direct mail, thus keeping their overhead and pricing low compared to their peers. In the 1960s they became popular with American military personnel, who replaced their lousy government-supplied watches with better quality timepieces, and the company enjoyed its best years during the Vietnam War. Mechanical timepieces fell out of favor in the ’70s, and O&W closed up shop in the 1980s with the advent of cheap Japanese watches. (O&W was one of the few Swiss makers who never offered a quartz movement). One of the partners opened the business back up in the 1990s and continues to produce watches under the brand name to this day. Interesting trivia: My watch cost $9.50 US in 1970, which equates to about $60 today.
This is a timelapse from November 6 to February 16, with a bunch of days missing here and there. I should have started this at the beginning of chemotherapy but actually started it about a week before Jen shaved my hair off. I would have kept shooting them (that was the plan) but the shutter on my D80 has decided to stick open. Maybe I can fix it in the next week, and if so I’ll start this back up again.
So the Smashing Pumpkins are having a sort-of reunion tour with three of the four original members, and they will be playing in Baltimore in July. As I’ve mentioned here in the past, Siamese Dream is one of my top 10 desert island albums, and I love most of the band’s output up to about 2000 or so. I’ve seen them live once, at the peak of their powers, and enjoyed the show. Since then I’ve been less interested in anything Billy Corgan has said or done. I thought about buying tickets, but I don’t think I want to be disappointed that much.
This was one of the busiest weekends I’ve had since before chemo started. First up was an early-morning soccer game for Finley, where I drove us to the wrong venue first but made it to the right one with minutes to spare. Our team won again, but Finn wasn’t on her A game like she was last week. She really got lucky with her teammates, who are very good, and her coach, who is awesome. I think she’s enjoying soccer, and having a good team to work with makes it more likely she’ll want to continue with it.
Then, she and I ran some errands. We had a man at the tile store help us with calculations and got the remainder of the underlayment mat we needed, plus a couple of numbers for professional installers. As I get further into the details of how to put the system in, the more nervous I get, and I’m not sure if Mario has done it before. I think I’d prefer a pro installer putting it in rather than me. Meanwhile, our tile is still at the warehouse because it’s closed on weekends, so Jen will run out and pick it up this week.
Then I decided Finley and I needed a project to work on together. The cats have been crowding themselves up on the dining room window ledge since they were kittens, and they often lay on the carpet in the afternoon, chasing sunlight as it crawls across the floor. I proposed that we build a ledge for the window and enlisted her as my work partner. First we took measurements and drew out a plan at the table, talking over ideas. I listened as she proposed drilling screws into the wall, using Play-Doh as an adhesive, and a wire suspension rig. Then I showed her how we could do it non-destructively, using gravity and some clips.
At the Lowe’s, we used our tape measure and plans to source the materials, talked over how we were going to repurpose deck hardware to make our clips, and then headed to the basement workshop to start building. I showed her how to use the compound miter saw, table saw, and router on the platform, then moved to the legs. This was more difficult because I wanted to show her how to find and cut the angles (we were working with specialized geometry here) and I could tell it wasn’t sinking in–until I cut some scrap wood, led her upstairs, and showed her how it would go together. Then she got excited.
Back downstairs we busted out the compressor and I showed her how the nail gun works, and then the Dremel tool to grind down the two nailheads that came through the other side. Finally, we used the angle grinder to cut a $.75 deck fastener in half, trim the wings down, and smooth the edges. This made the two clips that grab onto the inside window guide and hold the platform in place. She was bouncing with excitement when it was time to show Jen, and except for a few moments, was engaged and excited through the whole project.
On Saturday morning, an ad popped up on Craigslist for the lens I’ve been waiting for for a year and a half: the Fuji 35mm f/2.0. This lens is a fast, weather-sealed prime with an improved AF motor that blows the 35mm f/1.4 lens I’ve already got out of the water. The price was $125 less than list, so I jumped on it. Finn and I drove up to a McDonalds by the Security Mall and within 10 minutes had the deal done. It’s a sweet little lens and will probably stay on the camera for the next couple of months.
On Sunday I cleaned and prepped the 35mm f/1.4, Rolleicord, and the drone for Craigslist sale. With the new f/2 Fuji lens I don’t need the 1.4, so that can get converted to cash. The Yashica D is an improved version of the Rolleicord, and it has a leather case, lens cover, and built-in remote timer. The DJI Phantom II is great but way too big for travel, and has been sitting in my office unused for months. If I can gather some cash together for a DJI Mavic Air with the sale of some other camera gear, I’ll be very happy.
Then Finn and I went ice skating with a group from church. Sunday afternoon is a very popular time to go ice skating, so the rink was FULL of people. Finn didn’t seem to have her skate legs on as well as she did last time, but after a couple of laps around the ice with me, she zoomed off to skate with her friends–a harbinger of the next 10 years to come. I am acutely aware that the time when we are the center of her attention is rapidly coming to an end, so I enjoyed every single second of looping around the rink, her warm mittened hand in mine, both of us smiling like goofballs.