We have a family coming over for dinner tonight (a King family tradition), so in order to get everything prepared in time I took the first round of cooking duties. The photo below shows all of the ingredients assembled that I need to make Nigella Lawson’s Guinness Gingerbread — my third Christmas season to make this dessert . Flour. muscavado sugar, golden syrup, assorted spices (cinnamon, ginger, cloves) eggs, baking sode and the all important Guinness. And really, how can you go wrong with something that has Guinness in it?
For the last couple of years June has arranged a Christmas decoration afternoon with the nephew and nieces, and this year is no exception. Except this year they were joined by Seth, the new foster child addition to their family. (And an affectionate little guy he is too — when he first saw me this afternoon, he came up and hugged me and said “I’ve missed you Uncle Matt.”) Join got the kids decorating Rice Krispie snowmen on the floor of the sitting area next to the kitchen, while I had the job of keeping Stubby away from the said treats! The boys progressed from that activity to our Wii system in the basement while June worked with the girls to decorate a gingerbread house in the kitchen. And after all of that was done, the kids were hungry (of course!), so we ordered in some Domino’s to take care of the growling bellies. A fun and busy afternoon for all involved.
Those who know my photographic preferences know that I have a strong affinity for rust. “Look, there’s something rusty for you” June will often call out on our travels. Well, evidently my eye for rust was well tuned this morning. We were in Hobby Lobby doing some Christmas shopping when I saw something in one of the aisles that made me stop for a second look. I think it was the coloration of the sign that caught my eye initially and then the actual words — “Rust me, I’m a mechanic.” The message seemed both a bit off and vaguely appropriate at the same time, so I looked closer and it was only then that I noticed that the “T” of the first word was covered by another sign. Just shows though that any hint of rust rarely escapes my attention!
A significant day for two reasons. For months now we’ve been hearing that today is going to be the end of the world, based on some dodgy readings of the Mayan calendar. And of course it is also the first day of winter.As I was heading home tonight, this sign seemed to encapsulate for me at least both possibilities. A fiery end-of-the-world scenario could indeed have been a “hot-as-chilis” experience, but as it turned out we are all still here of course. So the first day of winter takes precedence, and appropriately enough there was actually a dusting of snow on the ground when I left for work this morning. So the day that many predicted would be “chili” hot just ended being “chilly” — as it should have been.
As has happened from time to time during this Project 365, today’s image is a rescue shot.A couple of days ago while walking to my car after work, I noticed that in the early evening light that the shape, curvature and lighting of the outside stairs looked interesting. And since I didn’t yet have a shot in the can today, I decided to make this my photo. Now I will say it was darker when I took this than when I first noticed the potential of this image, but I figured that I could probably still work with it (“fix it in post-production” as they say.) However, when I began editing this photo tonight in front of the TV, it became quickly apparent that I have what is known in the business as a “dud shot.” The composition wasn’t great and the lighting was terrible. So now I have two options – try and find something else around the house to shoot at this late hour, or see if I can make this one work. Taking the lazy approach, I set out to work on what I have. Enter the battery of apps on my phone! A bit of this app, and bit of that app and a touch of this one too and here’s what I ended up with. An abstract that is a little reminiscent of the pattern of one of my old ties! (For those interested in such things, the two yellow splotches in the middle of the photo are sodium lamps…)
A nice interlude to the afternoon today. As part of a sponsorship deal with the Rachael Ray Show, a series of 15 web videos are being taped here in Louisville today and tomorrow. So after lunch today I headed over to the studio to watch some of the action taking place. While I was there I finally got to meet someone I’ve been conversing with on conference calls for years, but whom I’d never met in person, so it was really nice to finally put a face to a voice. Of the taping itself, one thing I found particularly intriguing is that there were two camera operators and both were using Canon DSLR cameras to record the segments. They were being used on tripods and in motion stabilizers, just like other regular video cameras – but they are primarily SLRs. Now I’d heard of course of TV shows and even movies being shot with these types of cameras, so it wasn’t new in that sense, but it was the first time that I’d seen them being used this way myself. It really is impressive how far the video capabilities of these cameras have come in recent years.
Although I am based at the Forum offices at work, because I have frequent meetings at Appliance Park, I also have a cubicle there. And this morning saw me at the Park first thing for a meeting. The buildings at the Park are over 50 years old and quite frankly, are showing their age. But to their credit, the business leaders are making efforts to refresh the facility, so I give them credit for that. One of the noticeable areas for me are the stairs that I take to my cubicle area. For years and years now, this has been an extremely poor lit stairwell. Several times I’ve stumbled because I’ve misjudged where a step was in the dark. But look at it now. There’s actually lighting in here now, the walls have been painted so it doesn’t look so dingy and the stairs themselves have been colored and brightened to give them a bit of visual interest. And they even chose the Norwood Football Club colors for the stairs — blue on the first half and red on the rest of the stairs to the second floor. Good choice!