COVID-19 Hunker-down Log. Stardate 44051.36

Combating boredom.

I’ve been fairly lazy this past week, in a quasi limbo land waiting for my SUV transmission to be repaired. I’m expecting it to be another week before I have it back in the garage. The wife rented a car for this past week, which kept our schedule intact. As for my planned photography trips into the mountains, it’s taken a hit this summer. I have been out for moose three times, however, the last trip was interrupted by the transmission failure. I have a loaner vehicle, graciously provided by the son-in-law, so I’m planning another full tilt boogie back to the high country this coming Tuesday. Moose are prime-time right now and I don’t relish the idea of having any further troubles or delays getting out of the house and into the wilderness. I think I’ll be fine. After this month, I’ll start thinking about an Autumn photo excursion. Maybe Crested Butte this year, maybe somewhere else. I had planned a trip to Dinosaur National Monument with my friend Jon for late May but we had to cancel due to the pandemic. Maybe revisit that idea. Hard to say right now with so many things still up in the air.

Meanwhile, I’ve been occupying my mind by continuing back yard photography. These past few months have given me the opportunity to play with my different camera bodies, doing things that I normally don’t spend much time doing. Macro shots, birds, bees, nothing of great artistic importance, but good for keeping the skills up and I am getting a few interesting photographs nonetheless.

If you’ve been following my blog, you’ll know that my rate of blog entries has dropped off, particularly the hunker-down log. It’s getting more difficult for me to get into a writing frame of mind as I feel as though I’m living in the movie Groundhog Day. Every morning I wake up to the same day, over and over again. Not that I’m miserable or losing my mind, but it is having an effect. I’m a bit more social and need more human interaction than I’ve been having these past few months. The brief photography excursions I’ve managed to squeeze in have helped to keep me looking forward to something, even if the frequency has been cut to 1/5th of what I normally experience.

Since this is a photography blog, the writing suffers from my lack of involvement with the art as well. The photography life has pretty much been put on hold, so there aren’t many inspirations for writing articles on photography either. Seems like the photo press is only interested in mirrorless cameras and gear head issues, which to me is just the same old yammering with a new twist. Since I don’t currently own nor do I intend to own any mirrorless gear for the foreseeable future, I’ve nothing to say relative to the current consumer market. I’d typically write about my experiences, but those are far and few between. Thus, it’s dullsville around here. There will be better days, I’m sure of it.

I’ve spent a lot of time working in the office, getting my stock photo catalogs updated and better organized. Stock photo sales have of course slowed down as a result of the virus issues. There’s a kink in the rope regarding Shutterstock, a traditionally good source of sales, due to their restructuring of payments to photographers for content. It’s actually gotten pretty bad with that agency, with far too many sales netting me only 10 cents per download. I’ve made up for the loss of income by adding other stock agencies to the stable, but they aren’t top stock sales sites so it’s a marginal offset to say the least. We all have to bite the bullet though. The pandemic isn’t going to magically go away like certain politicians claim. It’s going to be here for a while and I am fairly certain that the situation is only going to worsen as the months drag on. Simple mathematics and physics, which can’t be wished away by waving a flag or wearing a red hat or bitching about liberals or conservatives. All a side show to the realities of life in a country that has far too many people blaring their meaningless opinions regarding things they know nothing about.

Happy thought inventory.

Another moose photography trip is coming up in a few days. I’m already getting my gear cleaned up and organized. My hope is to get at least four good photo sessions in next week.

Slacker status.

No slackers encountered since my last report.

No first-responder activity to report.

Today’s photograph is of a mountain goat at the summit of Mt. Evans, taken in 2013. Mt. Evans is closed to vehicular traffic this year, so no trips there this season. Not that I’m running low on mountain goat photos, but one likes to keep the catalog fresh and the mind active, and they are a convenient subject which normally takes less than an hour to get to from my house in Littleton.

The hunkering down continues.

Still alive and well here in Denver.

COVID-19 Hunker-down Log. Stardate 44045.51

Combating boredom.

A quiet morning here in “Hunker-down Town.” I’m working with the Nikon D750 and a 105mm f/2.8 macro lens in an attempt to get some photos of the honey bees on the bee weed. I’m not sure of the more scientific name for the plant, though I have looked it up. My memory isn’t as good as it used to be. Back in the day, if I read something, I remembered it. Today, I can’t remember what I’ve read, much less what I’ve forgotten.

I’ve configured the camera on a tripod with an interval timer set to repeatedly fire the shutter at 10 second intervals. I download a thousand photos, go through them quickly and toss out anything that doesn’t have a bee in it. I then go through what’s left and see which shots have good bees and then delete the ones that don’t. I then go through them again and find the very best shots. It takes forever but what else do I have to do? Plus it keeps my skills polished having to reconfigure the camera to shoot in a way I don’t normally shoot and then, well, you may already know the routine.

Today’s photo is one from my first sample batch early this morning before sunrise. Very high ISO, but it’s perfectly good for internet display. The concept works.

Happy thought inventory.

Being alone here with the dogs for a few days has improved the warmth of my toes. Any time I sit at the computer, they both crawl under my desk and lay on my feet.

I have chocolate donuts in the kitchen. I know I can resist.

Slacker status.

No slackers encountered since my last report.

No first-responder activity to report.

The hunkering down continues.

Still alive and well here in Denver.

COVID-19 Hunker-down Log. Stardate 44044.38

Combating boredom.

After having limped back to town with the bad transmission in my Ford Explorer, I’ve spent the last couple of days dealing with the after effects. We took the vehicle to the service department at our local dealer, where it appeared that they wouldn’t even be looking at it for a few days and God only knows how much longer and at what expense we’d incur getting it back. Not good. I picked it up at the dealer and took it to another shop, where they’ll be on the case Monday morning. The word is I’ll have it back a week from Monday, with a remanufactured (rebuilt) tranny. The report from the shop is that the gears were torn to shreds. I can’t really complain, the vehicle has 113,000 miles on it and a lot of those miles have been along dirt mountain roads. It’s been a good vehicle and has never left me on the side of the road, despite some close calls.

The wife is heading to the cabin today with her mother. We rented a midsized car for the week so she wouldn’t have to cancel her trip. The rental agency near the house gave us a Ford Focus that looked and ran like it had been seriously abused, and we asked to swap it out with something else. Problem solved. The Chevy Impala she now has is quite suitable for her needs. Can’t have a rental car breaking down on the highway while transporting Trudy’s 93 year old mother.

Thus the adventures in Auto-World this week. We should be back to normal in a week or so and I can get back to Northern Colorado to finish off the moose photography season.

Happy thought inventory.

A bachelor week coming up. Just me and the dogs.

Chemicals in the hot-tub have been checked and it’s ready for me to spend a few nights soaking beneath the stars.

Liking the new Lexus, glad we have a new car in the garage. That should cut down on the repair bills for a while.

Slacker status.

No slackers encountered today. I’m seeing a bit of a shift in public attitude about the severity and reality of the Pandemic. Can’t wish it away and delusional thinking doesn’t solve any problems.

No first-responder activity to report.

The hunkering down continues.

Still alive and well here in Denver.

COVID-19 Hunker-down Log. Stardate 44042.64

Combating boredom.

Moose interruptus. My trip into Mooseville was cut short when an alarm light (wrench) illuminated in my dash board. A quick peek at the owners manual, yep, it’s not good. Drive train failure. It wasn’t difficult to identify the most likely cause, as the transmission was emitting a loud and vibrating “thunk” when it shifted to high gear. Trip cut short without notice. I limped back to Denver trying to take the route with the fewest known stops. Wouldn’t have mattered though, I-25 southbound to Denver was a stop and go parking lot from Ft. Collins to North Denver, a quick 75 miles of driving hell.

Oh well, it wasn’t the first time in my life that I was interrupted doing something that I really didn’t want to stop doing. One just plans another attempt.

Happy thought inventory.

I did manage two good moose runs this week. Lots of good photographs. Another attempt is in the queue.

Doobie sure seems to need my attention today. Doobie Love!

Slacker status.

No slackers encountered today. On a side note, I do enjoy seeing videos of said slackers. It reminds me that I’m not alone in this world having to contend with slackers. I’m far less obnoxious towards these people though. I just try to keep everyone at distance with a 10 ft. pole.

No first-responder activity to report.

The hunkering down continues.

Still alive and well here in Denver.