December 24th, 2013


Songs of Ice and Snow

The Magic Part of Yesterday

Sure, there were still thousands without power and the roads were treacherous part of the day. But the fluff that covered the ice coated trees and our spectacular crop of icy fluffed weeds sure were pretty.

Frosting The Snowman... (Click on photo for larger.)
©2013 Dr. Philip Edward Kaldon (All Rights Reserved)

Another sketchy panorama of our big steel gray sky snow and ice back yard. (Click on photo for larger.)
©2013 Dr. Philip Edward Kaldon (All Rights Reserved)

And A Picture I Worried Almost Wasn't

After I took the previous pictures, it occurred to me that I wasn't sure I had corrected the time on the Nikon D1X. So I did. Then I took a few more. But those weren't in the directory when I copied files from the camera's CF card. What was wrong? The card had been seated -- I've got the D1X set to not fire if there's no memory card. And it wasn't full. And I had seen the previews on the camera's LCD panel...

So I searched the CF card for the next picture number -- and found it. I guess when I was tabbing through the menus, I must have bumped the up or down on the four-way control as I was passing by the year. The missing pictures were coded for 2012, not 2013. And I had copied the files based on date:
I:\NIKON2\D1X\13-DEC24>xcopy l: . /d:11-29-2013
So I missed them the first time.

Anyway, I pulled out my funny old Sigma 12mm f8 Fisheye and found a suitable frame for them.

The view out our kitchen window on Christmas Eve Eve. (Click on photo for larger.)
©2013 Dr. Philip Edward Kaldon (All Rights Reserved)

Dr. Phil

The Long Night That Never Was

For Your Holiday Enjoyment -- Part I

Two weeks ago, I mentioned the A Merry Little Apex Christmas Flash Fiction Contest (DW). Alas, I didn't win, but you can see the winning stories at the Apex Magazine site. But wait, there's more.

As I wrote back on the 10th, "any stories which don't get picked, will grace these pages instead". So here's the first. Merry...

             "The Long Night That Never Was"
               by Dr. Philip Edward Kaldon

     Jorge stepped out of the stasis tube -- and into confusion.
     "Is that clock right?" he asked the nearest assistant.
     The woman looked at him like he was crazy. "It's linked to 
the ship's atomic clock. It damn well better be right."
     "I meant the date."
     "What's wrong with the date?"
     "We left Earth in October.  It takes about two weeks to get 
up to jump speed and two weeks to decel.  It should be November.  
It should be Thanksgiving."
     "Is that all?"  The crewman laughed.  "You forgot this was 
a two jump run.  That's two months in space, not one.  You 
missed Thanksgiving."
     Jorge pointed at the display.  "It's the twenty-sixth -- 
I missed Christmas, too!"
     "I wouldn't worry about that too much."
     "I was supposed to be with my daughter for Christmas. I was 
supposed to already BE on Laeyk IV!"
     The calendar display rippled.  DEC 26 changed to DEC 24.
     "Merry Christmas," the crewman said.  "Thanks to the 
vagaries of time synchro during jump.  You'll be on time for your 
daughter, after all."
     She clapped a hand on Jorge's shoulder.  "Now get out of 
here and catch your shuttle."
     Stunned and relieved, Jorge finally ran toward the hatch.  
He stopped and looked back. "Merry Christmas to you."
     "G'wan.  Get outta here."
     And Jorge was gone.

Dr. Phil

A Warm Soft Glow For You

Christmas Lights

Some years ago we got a gift from Mrs. Dr. Phil's youngest sister. A glass block -- the kind you could put in a cinder block wall -- stuffed with a string of lights and wrapped up with a red lace bow. While the colored lights were all sorts, the predominant color comes from the red lights and bow. We used to place it on a bookcase in the living room. Late at night, when I could still get on the floor to do my back exercises, it was so peaceful to have the living room and its high angled ceiling lit by the red glass block and the white icicle lights on the front porch. Reminded me of my childhood, lying on the floor in a dark room lit only by the Christmas tree.

This year I had the idea of having the glass block put on the little stand from Wendy next to the new raised futon bed. Besides being pretty, it didn't hurt to have my side lit, ever so gently, to get in and out of bed with my gimp foot.

Alas, after many years of service, the glass block went dark the other day. When Mrs. Dr. Phil got the added white strings for the front porch at the hardware store, they had a string of 35 colored lights for like $1.99 or something. And the hole drilled in the sides allowed the old string of 50 and the new string to get pulled out and stuffed back in as needed -- and so we were back in business.

Took advantage of the VR Vibration Reduction on the 18-55mm AF-S NIKKOR lens and the D1X to capture the little electric fire last night. This was the other picture that was temporarily "lost" because of the date error mentioned earlier...

(Click on photo for larger.)
©2013 Dr. Philip Edward Kaldon (All Rights Reserved)

And now I shall go off to the bedroom and lie down and get my feet up -- it's good for them. And enjoy the soft red glow of our Christmas block.

It's a lovely Christmas present.

Dr. Phil