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Old 10-19-2012, 11:50 AM   #21
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... and while I can figure out the technical stuff (after much studying of books and head-scratching) I'm now trying to get my head wrapped around the more artistic side of it.
Bob Clyatt had an art professor who once told him "You're getting to be a pretty good sculptor. Now let's do some art."

He said that's a whole 'nother level of challenging.

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I'm going to start doing free dog/cat portraits at the local animal shelter for their web site. I've looked at their photos and know I can do better than that.
If you can get a picture of the dog playing with a kid, or being walked on a leash by a kid... when our seven-year-old volunteered at the Hawaii Humane Society she had a lot of business from families looking for a kid-friendly dog.

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I am interested in a learning a much more commonly studied language - - Spanish. I am thinking of buying Rosetta Stone or one of the less expensive similar software packages available, because I think that might be more fun (and for me, the whole point is to have fun with it since I have no plans to travel). In fact, your question sent me off to Amazon to read reviews of Spanish software packages....
Our daughter had a lot of success with Pimsleur's CDs in the car stereo (and on her iPod). They're pricey, but she bought them with her own part-time employment money. Pimsleur's conversational repeatbacks make you look like you're talking to yourself, but at least this way you have an excuse for the behavior.
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Old 10-19-2012, 11:56 AM   #22
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Our daughter had a lot of success with Pimsleur's CDs in the car stereo (and on her iPod). They're pricey, but she bought them with her own part-time employment money. Pimsleur's conversational repeatbacks make you look like you're talking to yourself, but at least this way you have an excuse for the behavior.
Thanks! I have read that the Pimsleur language package is very good. They're pricey, true, but seem to be in the same ballpark as Rosetta Stone on price so I guess that is what it costs for the higher end language instruction software. I don't spend much time in my car, but I could probably play the CDs at other times, at home.
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Old 10-19-2012, 12:20 PM   #23
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I seem to cycle between several different interests, and am also capable of deriving satisfaction from simple things such as doing very little, but doing it so well It doesn't take much to keep me happy. I don't know if all of these qualify as interests, but this is how I spend my time:

*Photography

*Ham Radio (both building gear and operating)

*Cats - I recently adopted a very shy 10 year-old and watching her progress is quite engaging. The 5 month-old confident stray I took in even more recently is helping her to come out of her shell.

*Reading about the RV lifestyle and casually planning my move to full-time RV-ing.

*Slowly digitizing my large CD collection, so I won't have as much to put in storage if I ever do live in an RV with my kitties.

*Seeking out and watching films, episodic dramas and TV series. Past and current favorites include Foyle's War, Downton Abbey, The Paradise (on British ITV), Law and Order, and many more.

Photography is one of those interests that you can combine with other interests. My ham radio blog has become known for the detailed and many photographs of my projects and taking pictures of my cats, as much as it makes me sound like a crazy cat guy, is a fun way to spend the time. This is Sprout, who was found trying to keep warm by pushing herself against the engine block of a truck in the parking lot of my local ham radio store. She has a permanent limp from a rear leg that broke and didn't set properly while she was living on the street. The store employees were thinking of asking their customers if they wanted her, so I immediately said I'd take her. She's 5 months-old, confident, friendly, and great company for my shy 10 year-old kitty:



It hasn't been so easy to get good pictures of my 10 year-old kitty. I started fostering her about 2 months ago, fell in love, and have just adopted her. She was discovered living with the feral community by a volunteer who feeds the feral cats. This cat isn't feral and was having a very hard time out on the streets. She's very sweet but terribly shy, so I haven't had much chance to get near her with a camera. I have to take any chance I can get and be happy with whatever shots I can get. This picture's not great, but she's an absolute sweetheart:



It just doesn't take much to fill a day - expecially if you do it slowly
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Old 10-19-2012, 12:27 PM   #24
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"Crazy cat guy." There need to be more of you, Major. The photo of the cat and bananas is art-quality.

This is a great thread - I am really enjoying it.

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Old 10-19-2012, 12:49 PM   #25
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"Crazy cat guy." There need to be more of you, Major. The photo of the cat and bananas is art-quality.
I have to agree, and I'm no cat lover myself.

So I'm curious what the more experienced photographers think about it. For me, the spots of light and composition make it so different from the usual 'posed' photos - that is what makes it 'artful' to me.

Even though the fruit bowl seems large and somewhat out of place, it draws the eye from lower left to upper right to the cat. At least that's how it strikes me, but I know very little about composition and art. But I like it

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Old 10-19-2012, 01:47 PM   #26
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I can't really specify why I find it beautiful. It just is... It's an unusual juxtaposition (fruit and cat). Plus, the cat looks to be very fond of the photographer.

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I have to agree, and I'm no cat lover myself.

So I'm curious what the more experienced photographers think about it. For me, the spots of light and composition make it so different from the usual 'posed' photos - that is what makes it 'artful' to me.

Even though the fruit bowl seems large and somewhat out of place, it draws the eye from lower left to upper right to the cat. At least that's how it strikes me, but I know very little about composition and art. But I like it

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Old 10-19-2012, 02:19 PM   #27
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Thank you for the kind comments. Sprout was sitting in the window, and the afternoon light was falling on her. That type of light only lasts a few minutes every afternoon in that particular window, so I picked up my camera and took a few shots while I still had the chance. This one looked the nicest. The fruit bowl was just there, so I included it in the composition. In retrospect I probably should have re-arranged the fruit to make it look a bit more attractive but didn't think about it at the time.

Some time back, I posted shots of my long-haired black stray. She passed away unexpectedly a few months ago. I missed her terribly and still do, but being able to help these 2 kitties feels like the right thing to do and gives me plenty of entertainment!
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Old 10-19-2012, 03:55 PM   #28
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We have always been cat people, so I just love photos of cats looking affectionately at their subordinate humans.

Following is one such photo that I found on an RV'er blog (search for "Kurumi RV'er"), and am linking in.

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Old 10-19-2012, 04:15 PM   #29
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Major Tom,

Fruit with Cat = outstanding shot!
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Old 10-19-2012, 04:18 PM   #30
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We have always been cat people, so I just love photos of cats looking affectionately at their subordinate humans.

Following is one such photo that I found on an RV'er blog (search for "Kurumi RV'er"), and am linking in.

He looks as if he is thinking "You humans amuse me. Just keep me supplied with treats and I will let you live."
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Old 10-19-2012, 06:07 PM   #31
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No, I think the cat shows real affection and gratitude with that look.

That is a female cat, and was named "Mitsuki" by her adopting human. She was found abandoned in a ditch in South Dakota. The RV'er explained that Mitsuki means "Beauty Moon".

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So when the dust settles on getting FIL's house sold and him moved to a stable, safe environment (which as anyone doing or gone through that knows is a huge time sink) I'm going to start doing free dog/cat portraits at the local animal shelter for their web site. I've looked at their photos and know I can do better than that.
That was exactly what drew this RV'er attention to adopt this cute cat. Again, I will link the published photo taken by a local studio that got this cat adopted.

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Old 10-19-2012, 06:23 PM   #32
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No, I think the cat shows real affection and gratitude with that look.

That is a female cat, and was named "Mitsuki" by her adopting human. She was found abandoned in a ditch in South Dakota. The RV'er explained that Mitsuki means "Beauty Moon".
How anyone can abandon a cat is beyond me but sadly, it happens all the time. There is one particular picture of my last kitty that my SO and I disagree on all the time. I think she is giving me a loving look in it, and my SO thinks that she is really annoyed and gearing up to bat me with her paw. We always disagree on that one picture!

I visit the local shelter from time to time just to see the cats and spend some time with them. A significant number of them are older animals that were surrendered to the shelter by their owners. It is relatively easy to find apartments that accept cats, and the cost of keeping one is usually quite a bit less than a dog. In many cases, I think the owners weren't trying hard enough, and were thinking of their pets as merely pieces of property, to be discarded when it was no longer convenient to keep them.

Mitsuki's a lovely-looking kitty - and she's very lucky to be living the RV life. I'm envious
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Old 10-19-2012, 08:23 PM   #33
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Hobbies have always been a challenge for me, especially when asked to list them on job applications. Years ago, a very good friend was making suggestions, including water skiing. When i replied that i don't water ski, she said, [I]You like to watch it don't you?[/I] I always smile when i remember that.

i think of gardening as a hobby, but have never mastered a decent garden. I read a lot...but was a librarian for 32 years, so that is a duh.
Have several could-be-hobbies noted on my Zellinski tree, but have started none of them.
Rather than a life coach, perhaps i need a hobby coach.
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Old 10-19-2012, 10:56 PM   #34
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Rather than a life coach, perhaps i need a hobby coach.
Man, what a great idea for this discussion board. We could have the website up & running by next week!
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Old 10-20-2012, 12:15 PM   #35
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Since my ER Ive spent a lot of time golfing. Other hobbies are traveling, I bought an old travel trailer. I also recently got my pilot's license and a plane, so that's the latest hobby to add to the list.
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Old 10-20-2012, 01:21 PM   #36
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When I am hiking or hunting (my new hobby), I have been fooling around with cell phone photography. Its tough to get the right shot with such a primitive camera, but the beautiful scenery keeps me trying. This is from last night:
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Old 10-20-2012, 02:48 PM   #37
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Nice sunset brewer. Cellphone cameras seem to be getting better. I've seen some really good shots taken with the newer iPhones.
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Old 10-20-2012, 04:21 PM   #38
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Thanks! I have read that the Pimsleur language package is very good. They're pricey, true, but seem to be in the same ballpark as Rosetta Stone on price so I guess that is what it costs for the higher end language instruction software. I don't spend much time in my car, but I could probably play the CDs at other times, at home.
My local library had the full Pimsleur sets for several languages for check out, so got the CDs for free. I used the French one to learn tourist French when I was working for a French company and travelling to Paris frequently. It seems a little silly using phrases that mimic the language sometimes, but it really worked and I got around a lot easier.
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Old 10-20-2012, 04:59 PM   #39
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My local library had the full Pimsleur sets for several languages for check out, so got the CDs for free. I used the French one to learn tourist French when I was working for a French company and travelling to Paris frequently. It seems a little silly using phrases that mimic the language sometimes, but it really worked and I got around a lot easier.
Thanks! Still contemplating the myriad of possibilities.

Edited to add: Well, just eliminated one. I downloaded a free Spanish-English flashcard app for my iPad. But, without even looking at the flashcards once, my test scores are consistently ranging from 96% - 100%. The words are so much like French and/or English that they are easy to guess. What a waste of time. Still, there is so much more to understanding Spanish than that. (sigh)
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Old 10-20-2012, 05:35 PM   #40
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Since I have retired I have been tackling different recipes that I never had the time for . I also have taken several cooking classes. My other hobbies are reading . I will devour three books a week & of course my ebay selling is a hobby . Sometimes a very lucrative hobby . I also travel but I do not consider that a hobby just an adventure.
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