Tuesday, July 6, 2010

A new month

We are already into another month, June has slipped away and now we are 6 days into July.  At times the days just seem to vanish before my eyes.

This is going to be a bit or a mixed bag as far as theme...mainly because I haven't really had any direction this last month or so.  I haven't been out photographing things or much of anything else.  About the most I have done is to work more on improving my fitness levels by doing more walking and running - both wearing my Vibram Five Fingers and in going fully barefooted.  I have also been paying even closer attention to the items I eat and drink - in particular how my body reacts to it.  I already follow a gluten free diet but am finding that I need to reduce or remove more items from my diet.

One thing that has likely influenced my recent emphasis on health and fitness is that a good friend, of my wife and I, is undergoing chemo therapy for breast cancer.  She seems to be doing well (as can be expected) and her treatment seems to be effective so far.  Definately happy that things are going as well as possible given the harshness of the chemo treatment.

I should be receiving my next lesson pack from NYIP sometime soon...certainly looking forward to finding out what's in lesson 2 of their Professional Photography course.  Lesson 1 was fun and certainly helped me see some ways to improve my photography.  I'm also hoping this will help me find motivation to pick up my camera again, as I have certainly been a little lax in doing that lately! Just don't seem to be able to focus (pun intended) on any one thing lately! lol

As I mentioned a little earlier in this post, I have been doing more walking and running lately.  In doing this I have discovered an annoying "quirk" with the GPS feature of my AndroidOS cellphone.  I have been using the same walking/running path for both my walks and runs for a couple of weeks now and using my T-Mobile myTouch 3G to record these via use of the My Tracks application.  For some strange reason the distances always differ by approx 0.6 miles between walking and running the exact same track/path.  When I do my run My Tracks (and the GPS) always records a shorter distance than if I walk.  I've even changed some of the application options to "improve accuracy" but it still records my walks and runs at different distances.  This currently has me a little stumped and annoyed.  Not sure what is at fault and/or how to fix it so I have consistently accurate (as accurate as consumer GPS can be) recordings.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Oklahoma Renaisance Festival 2010

Over the Memorial Day weekend I once again attended the Oklahoma Renaissance Festival in Muskogee.  Even after all this time I still find it amusing (and a little cringe-worthy at times) listening to Americans trying to sound British (mainly trying to sound English or Scottish).  You may wonder what makes me an "expert" on this....maybe it's because I am English and have only been in the US for 10 years, so my accent (and ear for how it should sound) is still pretty intact.  Not sure what it is about this period in history that makes so many Americans want to dress up and pretend to be English or Scottish.  But then again I guess I shouldn't say too much as there are Western shows etc in Europe where people dress up and pretend to be Americans - and probably with some pretty bad accents too! lol  Anyway, this is just part of my amusement while at the festival and this year I added my own little brand of amusement (to some anyway) of wearing my Vibram Five Fingers Classics.  Was definitely a good workout walking around the castle ground in them, especially on the larger stones mixed in amongst the grass and gravel.  Pretty much if I know I'm going to be on my feet, these or my Treks are the footwear I grab.  Ever since I got my first pair (black Treks) my Five Fingers have been my go to footwear for all my photography trips and pretty much the only thing I wear on my feet at weekends.

Okay, back to the subject in hand - photography.  One of my main reasons for going to the Festival is to watch and photograph the Bird of Prey show by The Royal Gauntlet, out in the main arena.  If you ever get the chance to see one of their shows I highly recommend them.  Above and beyond having a very informative, entertaining and humorous show they also do a lot of rehabilitation work with birds of prey.  Here are a couple of photographs of the star of their show "Lady Val" (Valkyrie), a female Harris Hawk.

A magnificent Harris Hawk and they also have American Kestrels and Red Tailed Hawks. This year they also had an owl and a little hedgehog as part of the show...and no, the hedgehog was not there as food! lol

Had a great day and will be back there again next year to catch them again.  And in case you're wondering, I'll also definitely be wearing my VFF's again!

Changing course - slightly

Up to this point I haven't really made many mentions of my main interest - photography.  And to that end I will be looking to steer this more towards a photography blog....but as my other interests, Green/Eco,Cycling, Barefoot/Vibram Five Fingers will have some bearing on my photography they will still be included.  I'll try and not get things too complicated and disjointed but make no promises!!