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    Flickr uploads


    2013 - 10.18

    Not something that was on my To Do list while Karin and Nadia are in Edmonton, but it’s been happening anyway.  Catching up on some of the photos that I should have already uploaded to Flickr.  Karin’s much better at keeping Flickr up to date than I am.

    Anyway, as a reminder when we upload photos that include Nadia we restrict them to people who are designated as Friends or Family on Flickr, which means you need to have a free Flickr account, and then get us to add you as a Friend or Family.  So if you’re interested in seeing any of those pictures, let us know.

    And if your Flickr account doesn’t include your real name, send us an email letting us know it’s you.

    On Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/randomsynapses/ and http://www.flickr.com/photos/dcowley/

    Baby Pictures


    2013 - 01.25

    It probably surprises no one that we already have hundreds of pictures of Nadia.  You might have noticed their conspicuous absence on places like Facebook.  For now at least we’re keeping them off those types of sites, partly for her and our privacy but also because of their policies relating to the photos that you upload which we’re not entirely comfortable with.

    So what that means is that we’re currently only uploading them to Flickr, and that we’re restricting the viewing of those photos to our friends and family.  So what does this mean for you, if you want to see some of the photos (and videos)?

    1. You need to create a free Flickr account (you can use a Yahoo account, a Google Account, or a Facebook account if you prefer)
    2. Add both Karin and I as contacts: dcowley and Random Synapses (by screen name, or you can do it by email address)
    3. We then need to classify you as being “Friends” or “Family” and then you’ll have access to the assorted galleries featuring Nadia

    We realize that this is a bit of an inconvenience, but we figure that those of you who really want to see the pictures won’t mind jumping through the small hoop, so that we can maintain Nadia’s online privacy and security.

    Grocery Shopping


    2012 - 02.19
    Superfluous Quote MarksHuh.Silkie ChickenHaggis"May Contain Kidneys"Heeeere feeshy...
    OctopusGoth Purple Bat Winged Pegasus

    Grocery Shopping, a set by Random Synapses on Flickr.

    We did some Grocery Shopping at Save-On-Foods a couple of days ago, here are some pictures (by Karin) of some of the assorted “unusual meats” that they had in their freezer section.

    The greatest Halloween costume ever


    2011 - 10.29
    The greatest Halloween costume ever by docpop
    The greatest Halloween costume ever, a photo by docpop on Flickr.

    I don’t know that it’s the “greatest” costume ever, but it’s pretty good. I imagine that it could be pretty fun to do, and could essentially result in a series of random acts of kindness. – DC

    Via Flickr:
    Drawn by Doctor Popular, but based entirely on this Metafilter comment posted by np312.

    More comics, art, music, and projects on my blog. If you like this comic, please stop by my site to see what else I’ve been up to.

    HDR: Night Views (Burnaby)


    2011 - 09.05
    HDR-2011_07_17_IMG_5477_8_9_tonemappedHDR-2011_07_17_IMG_5480_1_2_tonemappedHDR-2011_07_17_IMG_5483_4_5_tonemappedHDR-2011_07_17_IMG_5498_499_500_tonemapped

    HDR: Night Views (Burnaby), a set on Flickr.

    Some of the source images here have been posted before, but now here are some actual HDR compositions on a particularly interesting evening in Burnaby.

    Unexpected Visitor


    2011 - 08.08

    With Karin on vacation I had expected that the house would be a little more empty, but what I really wasn’t prepared for was an unexpected visitor!  What gave it away was it the whole “unexpected” part?

    So I’m in the en-suite taking a cold pill because I’ve got a bit of a sore throat which mostly only bothers me when I’m talking (but I could totally record a smoky jazz album right now, if only I could do jazz), and I hear this chirping.  Not really that strange, the slider to the balcony is open in the bedroom (blinds closed), and there are birds out there reasonably regularly.  Seems as though one of our neighbours (above us) has contraband bird feeders.  That coupled with Karin’s jungle (e.g. garden) means that we see little birds on our balcony reasonably regularly.  Pretty timid little guys, took us quite a while before we were able to get any pictures of them, as they’d take off pretty much as soon as they saw us through the doorway.

    But as I walk into the bedroom, it becomes clear that the sound isn’t coming from the balcony.  Ok, no problem, Karin mentioned that she’d seen them perched on the outside of our windows before, and sure enough it sounds as though it’s coming from near one of our open windows in the livingroom.  Unfortunately, it turns out that this little birdie decided to visit the inside of our apartment.

    2011_08_08_IMG_6320 by dcowley
    I own this place!, a photo by dcowley on Flickr.

    So I watch for a few seconds, and it’s clearly trying to get out, and doesn’t like our guest rewards program (no air miles).  So I fiddle with the blinds for a few minutes trying to get it to either fly high enough to get out the little tilt out window (30cm/1 ft) or to fly in the direction of the open door to the balcony.  Neither met with any real success.

    A phone call to the parents to see if they have any brilliant suggestions, and the best one was trying to herd it with a soft broom, or use a pillow case to catch and bundle it.

    I have one of those grabber things, and I got a tea towel and used the grabber thing to hold the tea towel hanging down to try to herd the bird, this was mildly successful, and at one point I had it inside the towel, but it got out before I could take it away from the window.

    Moving some furniture around so that I could hopefully herd the bird all along the front windows and eventually to the balcony door, this met with some success, I was able to close the blinds behind the bird and keep it moving towards the balcony, but it didn’t want to turn the corner and leave the windows behind.  So after some additional effort and a couple of failed attempts, I managed to get the tea towel over top of it, then carefully trying to tuck the bird into the towel I was able to carry it to the balcony door.  I tossed the towel to the balcony floor so that the bird would have some space.  It landed fine on top of the towel, and then flew up to the railing and then away.  So thankfully the story has a happy ending.  I however have a bunch of cleaning and putting back to do.

    In some of the pictures you can probably see a purpley substance, I’m not sure what it is, but I figure I had best clean it up.  I had not actually planned to work on that area of the house today, but luckily I can be flexible.

    Here’s the pictures from the encounter:

    2011_08_08_IMG_63102011_08_08_IMG_63112011_08_08_IMG_63122011_08_08_IMG_63132011_08_08_IMG_63142011_08_08_IMG_6315
    2011_08_08_IMG_63162011_08_08_IMG_63172011_08_08_IMG_63182011_08_08_IMG_63202011_08_08_IMG_63242011_08_08_IMG_6325
    2011_08_08_IMG_63322011_08_08_IMG_63292011_08_08_IMG_63302011_08_08_IMG_63342011_08_08_IMG_63332011_08_08_IMG_6335
    2011_08_08_IMG_63372011_08_08_IMG_63362011_08_08_IMG_63382011_08_08_IMG_63392011_08_08_IMG_63412011_08_08_IMG_6340

    Unexpected Visitor, a set on Flickr.

    Via Flickr:
    A bird flew into my appartment today…

    No that’s not the beginning of a joke, it actually happened.

    Technical Tip: Picasa 2 Flickr


    2011 - 08.05

    We have been using Picasa for a little while now to try to get a handle on the huge number of digital photographs that we have (using version 3.8), and so far it seems to be working fine.  Not necessarily perfect, but definitely better than nothing.  Given that Picasa is free we didn’t spend huge amounts of time doing research, but rather decided more or less that we’d start there and if it wasn’t adequate that we could start looking for something different.  I don’t think we’re at the point yet where we’ve started to look for something different.

    One of the features that Picasa has now (and hasn’t always had if you haven’t tried it in a while) is the ability to detect “faces” in pictures, and so it will scan through all the photos it finds on your computer and identify what it thinks are faces in the pictures.  This can lead to some amusing errors, as I’ve seen it detect faces on billboards, artwork or advertising as faces, and on some level they are, they just aren’t “people”.  Regardless it does a decent job of this, after it finds the faces it starts to group them based on similarity and then you can start to label who those faces belong to.  It’s a little bit like training dictation software, the more faces you identify the better it becomes at suggesting other pictures which contain that person.

    The end result is that we both have fairly large listings of photographs which are identified with having either myself or Karin in them, which vastly narrows down the number of photographs that I needed to look at in order to find one of us that Karin could use to get a print for Oma.  The other nice thing about it is it virtualizes the folders in which you store your photographs, so it doesn’t matter if physically the photos are actually in the same folder, I can look at all of the ones with me in it regardless of their location, which is definitely a time saver.

    Picasa has this thing called Web Albums and to be honest neither of us has tried it, so maybe it’s awesome, maybe it’s not, but we’re both on Flickr.  But given that Picasa is maintained/owned by Google and Flickr is maintained/owned by Yahoo it’s not surprising that there isn’t native functionality that allows you to upload photos that you find in Picasa to Flickr… which leads to a little frustration, you can find the pictures, but not necessarily put them where you want (in this case a private set on Flickr where Karin can browse full resolution photos which she may then use to order prints from in Edmonton; which is just way more efficient than trying to email a bunch of high resolution images).  That said, we’re obviously not the first people to want to do something like this, and someone else has already solved the problem.

    Enter picasa2flickr which is essentially a “button” which you can install in Picasa (download it while you have Picasa running and it will prompt you to install it there), it will then allow you to select photos and send them to the Flickr Uploadr which you probably already installed if you’re using Flickr.  So once you have everything installed it’s a multi-step process:

    1. Find the pictures you want to upload in Picasa
    2. Send them to the Flickr Uploadr using the picasa2flickr button that you previously installed
    3. The pictures will appear in the Flickr Uploadr, and you use it as normal to create sets, add tags, and upload to Flickr

    Not necessarily super fast, but it works fine.  So despite the fact that the website doesn’t appear to have been updated since 2009 (picasa2flickr) it still works fine (or at least it did for us in both Windows XP and Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit).

    Anyway, if you find yourself dealing with a similar problem, this just might be the solution for you.

    Night Views (Burnaby)


    2011 - 07.31
    Night Views (Burnaby)Night Views (Burnaby)Night Views (Burnaby)Night Views (Burnaby)Night Views (Burnaby)Night Views (Burnaby)
    Night Views (Burnaby)Night Views (Burnaby)Night Views (Burnaby)Night Views (Burnaby)Night Views (Burnaby)Night Views (Burnaby)
    Night Views (Burnaby)Night Views (Burnaby)Night Views (Burnaby)Night Views (Burnaby)Night Views (Burnaby)Night Views (Burnaby)
    Night Views (Burnaby)Night Views (Burnaby)Night Views (Burnaby)

    Night Views (Burnaby), a set on Flickr.

    Via Flickr:
    Various photos taken on an interesting weather night in Burnaby near the full moon. Assorted bracketed exposures which eventually will be used to try some HDR cityscapes.

    These were taken just after we got back from Sooke, it was near the full moon and the clouds were doing some interesting stuff.  I decided that I’d see if I could do some more HDR stuff, but with the cityscapes instead.  I haven’t done anything with the pictures yet, so we’ll see how that turns out, but some of them are sufficiently interesting on their own.  Various exposure levels are used to achieve these effects, but no post processing has taken place.

    All pictures are taken from our balcony, most using our tripod.

    P.S.  Karin took some pictures at the same time, but she hasn’t uploaded any of hers yet, so I’m not sure how they turned out.

    Backyard Flowers


    2011 - 07.30
    Backyard FlowersBackyard FlowersBackyard FlowersBackyard FlowersBackyard FlowersBackyard Flowers
    Backyard FlowersBackyard FlowersBackyard FlowersBackyard FlowersBackyard FlowersBackyard Flowers
    Backyard FlowersBackyard FlowersBackyard FlowersBackyard FlowersBackyard FlowersBackyard Flowers
    Backyard FlowersBackyard FlowersBackyard FlowersBackyard FlowersBackyard FlowersBackyard Flowers

    Backyard Flowers, a set on Flickr.

    Via Flickr:
    Flowers from the Abel backyard and deck.

    So these are some of the photographs I took when I managed to distract Honey enough to allow me to take pictures.  I’m not really a flower guy, so for the most part I couldn’t tell you what kind of flowers they are, actually I suppose that’s not true, they are “pretty flowers”, yup that’s a technical term!

    These are also from the Wednesday photo day.

    Milestone: 13%


    2011 - 07.29

    I’ve spent the last day and a half looking at Karin’s pictures on Flickr, I often see her taking pictures, but I often don’t actually get to see the end result.  I think that’s part of what’s missing with the transition to digital, she doesn’t come home one day with several packages of prints that you then just casually pick up and flip through.  In many cases I find that I’m unaware that she’s taken a picture, especially since it seems as though she’s taken over 2,000 with her iPhone alone, and of course when she first got her Canon Rebel XTi she averaged 100 pictures a day for quite a while, and is probably somewhere in the 30,000 pictures taken range.

    Well I’m currently on page 28 of 211 (although I think she’s about to upload more pictures shortly), which represents all of the 2011 pictures that she has posted and about 13% of the total posted.  Some of them are crazy good, and maybe I’ll convince her to slowly share some of the best ones here, but by all means do go and check them out on Flickr.

    Recalculation: 479/3,794 = 12.625%  Well it’s progress, and eventually I will run into more pictures which I’ve seen before, if not for a while.  Still looking at all the one’s that she’s posted in 2011 feels like an accomplishment and a good excuse to take a break, blog and maybe even have dinner, or some ice cream with raspberry syrup!  But that’s another story.

    P.S.  In theory this is a milestone post for another reason, it’s #100 at Cowbels, Karin didn’t figure we should seek recognition until we got to 1,000… so I didn’t write about that accomplishment ;-)