Thirty

Thirty! Thirty? How can Clare be thirty years old? Wasn’t it last year she was a toddler? Wasn’t it last month she graduated from high school? Wasn’t it last week she left for college? Wasn’t it yesterday she moved across the country?

I cannot adequately describe how incredibly proud I am of Clare. She’s found ways to support herself during her time in Olympia. Some of those ways have not been pleasant, but she persevered. She has finally landed her dream job where she is highly respected. Clare has made some loyal and loving friends and is a loyal and loving friend herself. Clare attended graduate school while working at a bookstore. She’s been published twice and has, at least once, been referenced in another publication.

All that in only thirty years. More than I’ve accomplished in more that twice that amount of time.

Happy Birthday Clare/Bug/Bear/Baby-Girl, I love you more than you will ever know.

Wayne

Wayne and me 2013

On September 15, 2006 I joined a group of bloggers in a 365 project where we’d write about someone we knew in as many words as our current age. Through that project I met many wonderful people and through those people I ended up meeting Wayne McNeill.

Regardless of when I first met Wayne, for years I thought his name was Deloney because that’s the name he blogged under. He was pretty much the only male in our group of bloggers. On one of his now-gone blogs he writes: “As of this month I’ve been blogging for seven years. And what do I have to show for it? Chicks! Some really hot chicks! Fame has eluded me but my words were not wasted. 🙂” referring, I think, to his group of women followers.

Unfortunately he deleted most of his blogs. I think the only one left is Green Moleskine Notebook. Also, if you know the URLs of his old blogs, you can find some posts on the Wayback Machine. I plan to copy as many posts as I can and save them somewhere.

Wayne and I interacted through his blogs and friends’ blogs. Since May 2009 most of our interactions have been through Facebook — status pages and Facebook’s Messenger. Until just now I didn’t realize how many times we’d chatted.

Wayne was a poet. His writing could make me laugh. It could also make me cry. It was always wonderful, insightful and delightful. His book, Songbook for Haunted Girls and Boys, was full of his prose-poetry, each poem exquisite.

Wayne was a loving husband to Beth who he lost about 4 years ago. In a FB chat message to me shortly after Beth’s death, he wrote: “To this day I don’t really know what it was. From day one Beth and I clicked. It’s not as though every day was perfect. We had our rows like everyone does. But not once in 34 years did we ever consider breaking up. We were slowly turning into the same person, which is why it’s so hard for me to be without her now.

We met in September 2013 when Dean and I were in Niagara Falls, Canada for a few days and drove to Toronto to have drinks with him and Beth. Wayne and I spoke on the phone shortly before Beth’s death, just after he’d taken her to the emergency room and learned that she had terminal cancer. I was awake at about one in the morning when he posted his phone number on Facebook asking for someone to call him.

Wayne left this world on May 22, 2021 and I learned of it in the past couple of weeks. He left it far too early for me, but perhaps too late for him. I don’t think he ever got over losing Beth. He never seemed to be the same in his Facebook posts.

The Great Tulip Tree Photography Experiment

I have purchased several point and shoot digital cameras over the years. The first was purchased around 2002 before our trip to England. It was a bemouth Olympus Camedia C-2100. with a 10x optical zoom. People thought it was something else. It’s what I took all my cicada photos with in 2004. The others are below, in no particular order and some might be missing. I still have the first three plus the Olympus Camedia.

  • Fuji FinePix S700 (zoom 10x)
  • Samsung WB250F (zoom 17x)
  • Olympus SZ17 (zoom 24x)
  • Panasonic Lumix (unknown zoom)

I’ve been meaning to give away some of my cameras and only keep one point and shoot and my Nikon D3500 but I never made time to do any comparison shooting until today. I took each at full optical zoom.

Unfortunately today’s experiment won’t really be fair since I had to charge some of the cameras, had to deal with our landscapers and when I took the last photo the light had changed. I will re-do it sometime soon. Also I am not 100% sure these are all the same flower.

Anyway, of the point and shoot, which one do you think is best?

Fuji FinePix (Zoom: 10x)
Olympus SZ17 (zoom 24x)
Samsung (zoom 17x)
Nikon (not a point and shoot) (Full zoom with 70-300mm lens whatever that means)