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A step-by-step process to capturing exactly one almost-semi-decent shot.

1. Get to know your camera, and research fireworks photography.  Read Darcy’s post on the subject at least five times.  Make notes on an index card.  Find the appropriate settings on your camera ahead of time.  Charge camera batteries.  Load compact flash card in camera.  Place camera, index card, and tripod in easy-to-grab location.

2. Go to the fireworks.  Realize that, yes, you’ve prepared really well.  You grabbed the camera.  You have the index card.  You left the tripod at home.  Curse yourself vehemently the entire way to the park.

3. Do the best you can without tripod.  Hold your breath when you click.  Hope something turns out.

4. Insert compact flash card into computer.  Begin swearing even more vehemently (This is when being the daughter of a sailor comes in really handy.  It’s in the blood.) when you realize that the dang card became corrupted.  Not only did you lose your fireworks photos, but you lost half the photos from your trip to the Maritime Festival on Mother’s Day weekend.

5. Spend two hours trying to salvage whatever photos you can.  Upload the one fireworks photo that might possibly be viewable to Picnik.

6. Commence happy dancing when it works!

7. Plan for next year: Get on the elliptical and start chugging water, because you’re only 55 pounds away from the weight loss goal where you’ve promised yourself a DSLR camera and nice lens.  Vow to hang the tripod case on the front door on July 1, so you can’t possibly forget to take it with you.


  • I dreamed last night that we were at a graduation for my sister.  There were only about 20 people graduating, and the band played a Christmas song rather than Pomp & Circumstance.  The valedictorians (there were at least four) didn’t make addresses.  Instead, they got up and gave a fiftyish-word biography of themselves.  Two were co-valedictorians and gave biographies of each other.  In my dream, I got out a notebook and said to Jason, “This is the weirdest graduation I’ve ever been to.  I have to write it down and put it in my Random Tuesday post.”  So here you go.
  • Does anyone else dream about their blog?  I think this is the first time I’ve done so.
  • Summer came to Seattle right after lunchtime on July 5th.  It was cold enough on the Fourth that we were bundled up in multiple layers of sweatshirts and blankets to watch fireworks that night.  It was misty/rainy on Monday morning, and then the sun came out.  It’s going to be in the high-80’s later this week.  I overheard two women laughing at Starbucks this morning, saying, “Summer always starts on July 5 here, doesn’t it?”  Good to know!  I don’t care, it’s a helluva lot more pleasant to be bundled up in blankies watching fireworks than sweating and swatting mosquitoes like we’ve been doing for years.
  • We found the perfect spot to fireworks-gaze Sunday night.  I spent a good hour or more perusing multiple search engines, looking for a place where we’d get a good view, but perhaps not have to deal with crowds or traffic.  I found one suggestion listed on one personal site, so we crossed our fingers and went for it.  It was perfect.  We had a view of several different shows across the lake, no traffic, easy parking, no walk, and no crowds of people.  There were even people nearby shooting off their own gorgeous display.  I think we’ve found our long-term spot.
  • My parents will be here visiting starting on Thursday.  Very exciting!  Also a bit frustrating, because they were hoping to have a contract on their house by now, so they could buy one in Portland on this trip.  Seriously, spread the word — their house in Atlanta is beautiful, and they need a buyer!
  • I have my iPod on right now, because I just got off the elliptical.  (I know!  It’s a miracle!  Call the papers!)  Anywho, I always get a nice surprise when I listen to music via earphones rather than stereo or car speakers.  Vocal parts, instrumentals…when they’re split directly into each ear, the harmonies achieve such a cool level.  I just discovered what sounds like a female vocal (or a gorgeous tenor) in the background of Maroon 5’s “Sunday Morning”.  Just one line, but what a neat little treat in a song I thought I knew pretty well.

In Haiku and Photos

Talking with new friends
Fresh in from California
When did they grow up?

Grilling with his dad
Just like countless times before
But it’s been too long

Quilts laid out for kids
Food is the only thing that
can make them slow down

Now lighting sparklers
Twisting and twirling around
Grabbing – OW! Burned hand

Night is winding down
Friends drive off; burn is treated
Happy, happy day

My boys

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