The Door is a Jar

Dedicated to seeing the lighter and slightly skewed side of life

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How the #?$! do I use this thing?

Hey friends.  As I mentioned in my last post, I got a new rig for my camera.  In theory, this rig will allow me to mount my camera with the lens facing straight down so that I can take overhead still life shots.  But I gotta say, this thing looks kind of intimidating.  I mean, the more I look, it appears more like some type of “information gathering” device they might use at Gitmo.  Not that I have any first hand knowledge about that!  But seriously? Look at it!


Where is Sir Laurence Olivier when you need him?  Is it safe?  I.  Don’t.  Know.

But as I think I have said in earlier posts, we don’t learn anything by not trying.  Time to leave the “safe” zone.

Turns out this thing is fairly easy to use, once you know which knob does what.  And really, doesn’t that answer most of life’s burning questions?  Knowing which knob does what?  But I digress…

I was having a bit o’ trouble coming up with subject material.  When in doubt…hit the art supplies cabinet!  I found a box of colored pencils.  And they were mostly sharpened and everything!  I guess I haven’t used them lately…or at all.  I took a few pics.  They look a bit blurry to me, but you will get the idea.


From the art supplies cabinet, I moved to the next logical location, the kitchen!


I don’t know if I can taste the freshness…but I can definitely sense the sugar coma.  Speaking of that, today we received a treat from our friend.  I don’t know if means anything that she gave us each one for free, but I think the name says it all.


To all my friends that are parents, a word of caution.  If the Easter Bunny leaves one of these in your kid’s Easter Basket…Be afraid.  Be very afraid. 🙂

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I’m Back!!!!!!

Hello Friends!  I know it has been far too long since my last blog post.  I went away on vacation, took a bunch of really fun pictures, and proceeded to never blog again.  Well, I am not one for New Years Resolutions. However, I am one for changing up the routine every now and then!  And granted, this is sort of going back to my old routine…but it’s still a change from the current, right?  So we will call that a win.  At least for today.

I have also fallen out of the practice of going on my weekly outings…mostly because this winter has been rather cold, gray, uninspiring…did I mention cold?  Fear not!  I have received a new toy that I plan to use on a weekly basis to help keep those creative juices flowing, even on days when it feels that my blood has stopped.  Say hello to my little friend!


Have you forgotten already that I speak in movie quotes?  Not to worry.  You’ll be reminded repeatedly.  My new toy is an apparatus I can mount my camera to and take still life pictures.  It was a “gift” from my parents.  They are in the process of cleaning house and asked if I wanted this.  I said “Abso-freakin-lutely!  I need more stuff!”  Well, no I don’t, but I definitely needed this!  Also, the peeps from the TV show “Hoarders” have not approached me…yet.  So I figure I have some time to play with this thang.  Now that I have the stand at my home, I just need to decide on a subject. Hmmmmmm.  Suggestions, anyone?  Bueller?  Bueller?

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Who’s the geek with the tripod? Oh, it’s me.

Video clip from Sixteen Candles

There are many, many reasons I love this scene, but I have a new-found appreciation for it now that I am a total camera geek.

For example:

1)  While I question in general the use of a Polaroid camera at night because there is no way to adjust the aperture or the shutter speed to allow enough light in for a good exposure, I do understand why they need the tripod.  It is the only way possible not to have a complete blurry mess, assuming they can get enough light using the flash. I TOLD you I was a camera geek.  It’s not as if you weren’t WARNED.

2)  Did you notice how angry Farmer Ted is getting because of how long John Cusack and….and…and the other guy are taking to set up and get the shot?  It’s funny because it’s true!  If you have never used a tripod, you will just have to trust me.  Tripods, especially old school tripods like mine will slow down a photo shoot to a screeching halt.  AND if you only have two hours planned, tripod set up starts to eat away at your precious time very quickly.  I am grateful that I have a tripod at all, but watching me use it might be funnier than a John Hughes movie.  You know the scene in Sixteen Candles with Joan Cusack and the water fountain?  She is a vision of grace and poise compared to me using my tripod.  How’s that for a visual?  Not good enough?  Here ya go!

Joan Cusack in Sixteen Candles

Soooo, now I am on the hunt for an easy to use tripod.  Seriously, I am looking for feedback.  If any of you have any good or bad experiences with a tripod, I want to hear from you!  I think a trip to New York is in my future to visit the B&H Super Store and give some a test drive, but I think this is a case of too much information is not enough.

Ideally, I am looking for a carbon fiber, quick release ball head, multi angle leg, light weight compact unit.  Maybe with a bubble level and throw in a turbo charge! [Insert Tim Allen grunt sound here]

 Tim Allen

I’m so glad I did this post in black and white.  It just captured the moment so nicely.

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Photography Outing Top Ten List

Things I will do the night before a planned photo outing so that I have some hope of leaving on time!

10) Bathe

9) Laundry and if necessary, iron clothes

8) Locate the GPS (oh, the irony)

7) Have backup directions printed

6) Charge camera battery

5) Charge cell phone

4) Check camera card to make sure it’s not full

3) If camera card is full, delete pictures that were downloaded to computer

2) Check tripod to make sure all feet are securely fastened to legs.  If necessary, use duct tape.

and the #1 item of things I will do the night before a planned photo outing is

1) Publish the friggin’ blog post!

Btw, today is Father’s Day.  Happy Fathers Day to all the Dads, but especially to my Dad and my Dad-In-Law.  Your support and encouragement has meant so much to me, more than you’ll ever know.  I love you!