Poor Biff’s Almanac — Ode to Saturday; To Hail and Back; A Photo Finish
Tonight’s Background Music is provided by Justin Hayward (of The Moody Blues fame).
Album: The View From the Hill
Best Song: “Promised Land” … though they’re all good.
It’s been quite a day in Biff-land.
In Praise of Saturday
For one thing, it is Saturday, which is my favorite day of the week. What’s not to like about Saturday? It is virtually the only day of the week that affords me the luxury of sleeping in a little. Though I often do get up early on Saturdays, there’s usually nothing that compels me to. The alarm clock is given the day off. Even if the cat wakes me up demanding to be fed, I can usually feed him and go back to sleep without much difficulty.
Another thing to like about Saturday is that I have time to eat a proper breakfast. It may only consist of a bagel and a cup of coffee, but it is a breakfast fit for the gods because I get to eat it leisurely while reading something or watching TV or surfing the internet; not grabbing something frantically as it pops out of the toaster and then gulping it down as I run out to my truck to go to work.
And not only do I get to eat a leisurely breakfast, but the Science channel actually wises up and plays back-to-back-to-back episodes of How It’s Made. They lose their minds again later in the day and begin to play schlock until the following Saturday, but I enjoy it while I can.
Another good thing about Saturday is that, even though I always have a good long list of things that need doing around the house, I can start and stop them at my discretion. I can also just leave the house without having to send out an email to the department telling them that I’m going to be out of the building for a bit. I just get in my truck and go. That’s about the closest many of us get to tasting true freedom.
And finally, another good thing about Saturday is that it is far enough away from Monday that I don’t spend the entire day lamenting the end of the weekend and the looming threat of Monday. For this one day a week I can pretend to live a life of indolence and leisure. But Monday morning is always eager to remind us that we have mortgages, utility bills, insurance payments, food bills, etc. etc. etc.
There Will Be Hail to Pay!
If you were one of the five people who read my blog from yesterday, you may remember that I was discussing my doubts as to whether or not it would rain. I was wrong. It rained. As some of my relatives in Alabama might say using one of their quaint rustic idioms, “It rained like a cow on a flat rock.”
There was much thunder and lightening. The storm warning sirens went off. There was very loud rain and wooshing winds. When the calm of morning arrived, I could see from my handy-dandy rain gauge that I bought just a few weeks ago, that we got just over an inch of rain in about 2 hours. Sweet!
I was lucky, though. There were areas nearby that got 3-inch diameter hail. I happened to drive through one of those areas later in the day and took the following pictures.
Here you can see that the hail very nearly stripped this tree of all it’s leaves (which can be seen on the ground underneath). I just took a single picture of one such tree. There were hundreds and hundreds of trees like this. The hail had already melted away by the time I took these pictures, making it look like the trees just spontaneously shed their leaves.
Here you can see some leaves surrounding a storm drain where they were washed to. Again, this was just one of dozens of such drains.
I stopped and took this picture through the fence surrounding a back lot of a luxury car dealer. Pretty much every car on their lot looked like this. And there were several dealerships that were affected by the hail. There were dozens of cars that had had their rear windows shattered.
This was a flower bed outside of a business. It was nearly obliterated by leaves. You can see some pink sticking up through all the leaves.
And this was just a random fire plug I found which caught my eye. No storm damage here. It looks white in the picture, but it was painted silver. I liked the look of it against the red brick.
A Photo Finish
And finally, I finally decided to get myself a real camera. Many, many years ago (okay, a few decades ago), I had a Canon AE-1 SLR 35mm camera and I loved that thing. But it was eventually rendered useless by the digital age and so for the past 15 years or so I have had a series of point-and-click cameras and phone cameras, all of which were universally disappointing as cameras.
Phones especially make abominable cameras. I am continually frustrated by things like the camera taking the picture about 10 seconds after I click the button. Or there being so much glare on the display that I can’t see what I’m taking a picture of. Or it focusing on random items in the background instead of what I want to take a picture of.
Finally, I’d had enough of trying to get my phone’s camera to behave and decided to buy a real camera. I used to quite enjoy photography in my youth and I let technology ruin that for me. But now I feel like the technology has finally caught up to the experiences I used to enjoy back in the 35mm film days.
I bought a Canon EOS Rebel T6 and though I’ve only gotten to play with it for about 20 minutes so far, I really like it. I wanted an DSLR camera to mimic my Canon AE-1 SLR. I like the SLR rather than the all-in-one cameras because I like looking through the viewfinder to compose the shot rather than looking at the display. I like seeing what is actually going to end up in the image in real time.
Anyway, I won’t bore you with a lot of camera talk, but I hope to present a few photos now and then that I’ve shot with my trusty Canon T6. For now, here is a sample of a picture I took earlier today.