Sunday

Deege and I went to Lewis Ginter on Sunday --

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This pic is from my yard --
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Bike, Bass, Eye, Sparrow

I got my bike back from the shop with a new back rim. And it is AMAZING I did not know how much that bent back rim was holding me back the last couple years. The bike SHOT out of my neighborhood -- I was doing 19mph as I was warming up. It was 20/21 for a lot of the initial ride. WINGS!

Anyways, I decided to ride a hard hill here in the area -- Old Gun Rd. Not the safest ride -- 2 lane, hilly, curvy and no shoulders. So cars are jockeying to pass you. I had one closish call today when a car passed me going up a hill and then another car was coming from the opposite direction.

But it was a very good ride -- and my legs are completely obliterated right now!
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After a ride where I have over-used my legs, I don't like to lay down and nap -- I tend to get cramps in that situation. I'm actually hoping I don't get any cramps tonight in bed! So, I went out to Carytown with the camera in search of some street musician pics.

I got a few of these boys -- I love basses! I love the color, shape, and I like how people look when they are playing the instrument. The edit job made them look a bit 'Instragrammy' but I like the edits.
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I like eyes. It's a bit hard to take a selfie like this, lol, but doable. The thing that you have to be careful of is that when you take an eye pic, it can come out kinda of medical looking -- kinda fleshy and gross looking -- I have to edit them so they don't look like that!

After I posted one of these links to Facebook, the middle sister called me to tell me I needed to trim my eyebrows, lol!
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These pics didn't turn out all that good to my eye. I took them from my backyard. But they are noisy -- partly because the sky was so bright, so the buzzard was very dark. I had to lighten it up, and that introduced some noise. The lens I was using is long, so it tends to jack up the ISO to provide more light -- also introducing noise.
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Lilacs

Dinner and drinks with a friend tonight -- we laugh a lot when we are together...to the point where the waiters/waitresses apologize for interrupting us!

The lilac blooms survived the freezing temps and SLEET (OMG, REALLY? IN APRIL??) --
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Weekend

My road bike is in the shop right now getting a new back rim! I have known for a couple years that it was bent and that I needed to get the wheel 'trued'. When I took it in, the guy was not sure he could true it, so I told him to rebuild the wheel. He said he didn't like rebuilding an old rim, so that's how we ended up ordering a new rim.

I rode the hybrid today instead, and I had forgotten how much fun it is to ride the hybrid! It's heavier and has knobby wheels, which automatically means I rode at a slower pace. And that made it more fun -- just riding for fun instead of worrying about keeping up a certain pace! Here is me coming back from the ride.
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The other fun thing about the hybrid is that it's easier to take it off road than the road bike -- I'm totally am not shy about riding the road bike on gravel, etc. on the road bike, but it's not really designed for it. The hybrid felt good riding through some mud and on dirt.
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I had lunch with a friend yesterday -- it has been too long since we did lunch! There's a pie shop in town, run by former New Zealanders - I guess little pies are a thing in New Zealand? It was quite good, and they had both a veggie and a vegan option. My savory pie was curried lentils and spinach. And then there was the cherry brownie with ice cream :)
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Pics I took at the park - Spring!
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The Practical Manual of Vampirism

A friend sent something about a Brazilian author, which caused me to look the author up. In his list of works is a book about Vampirism! Totally will give me lots of practice in Portuguese while reading about a subject of interest.

There's even a chapter on the significance of vampires in dreams!

Screen Shot 2014-04-12 at 9.26.11 AMhttp://www.scribd.com/doc/2410085/1986-O-Manual-Pratico-do-Vampirismo

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Wine and Sunlight!

Welcome, Spring! Sitting outside reading Thomas Wolfe and enjoying a glass of wine and the evening sun...Spring took a long time to get here this year, but it sprung all at once!

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Sounds I was listening to -- music, cars, birds, dogs barking (you'll want to turn up your volume if you want to hear this...) --



From downtown this morning --
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1st Fridays

I went to dinner with P (3rd pic down) last night, and he suggested 1st Fridays afterwards. Since I didn't know we were going, I had not brought my camera. So, these are pics with my iPhone --

The other people are just random dudes that I found interesting. I really like the accordion player pic -- although not entirely in focus. I like that he wants his pic taken. And I like that I can see into the shop behind him.

The other random dude I found interesting because of his look, how elongated he looks, and the all white room (which I emphasized during editing).

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I thought P was nicely dressed last night!
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ANTE DIEM III NONAE APRILIS

I met my parents and sisters at a restaurant near them the other day and took them to lunch. I think this picture turned out nice! It was a cold, cloudy, and sometimes rainy day, so they stood on the porch of the restaurant -- which automatically gave me kind of a dark background.
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Spring Flowers

This is Veronica persica -- a widespread weed -- tiny little blue flower with stamens that look like dancing shoes!
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Every year, these white flowers bloom in the alley. Every year, I try to identify them by using tools on the web. Every year, I come up with nada! It looks almost myrtle-like, but I can't find anything!
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In an effort to re-use/reduce/save some mula, I am re-growing lettuce. I buy the lettuce with the rootball still attached, and after I break off the lettuce leaves, I put the rootball in water in a jar on the kitchen windowsill. So far, I have 3 of them going, and I might actually get some lettuce to harvest!
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I was downtown the other day with the camera. I thought it was just going to be misty...until I got caught in the rain with a long walk ahead! I broke out the 'rain emergency' trash bag to cover my camera backpack. And I took this pic of the Manchester Bridge with my iPhone.
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When I was out with a friend the other night, I snapped a pic of this panther on a sign at a tattoo shop.
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Title of this post

As for the title of this post...I'm not sure I got it right.

The Romans counted days before certain fixed points in the month. You know the 'Ides of March' from Shakespeare? That was the 15th of March (the ides of April is the 13th).

Another fixed point in the month were the "Nones" of the month. April's Nona was actually not the ninth but the fifth of April.

So...if I count correctly, today is the 3rd of April which is 3 days (count inclusive) before the 5th of April, which is the Nones of April. Hence the title: Before the Day 3 Nones of April -- 3 days before the Nones of April.

How about that nerdiness oozing out of me :)

A Roman Villa?

I've been in my house now for 14ish years. I like it very much, but one thing I'd like is more land to be able to garden. I also have often thought about building a 1 level house on a few acres, using elements from an ancient Roman villa.

What attracts me:
  • 1 level
  • I love the idea of a partly or completely inside colonnade / garden.
  • Flowing water or fountain inside.
  • Maybe clay tiles for the roof?

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Alternatively, I could totally see myself using some of these same elements, but in a completely modern design house -- so, wall sized windows, etc. but some sort of inside colonnaded garden with water.

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Neutral Density Filter

I just bought my first neutral density filter. I'm not entirely sure how to use it. As I understand it, it is supposed to "slow things down" -- I believe it should allow me to got to a longer shutter (and because I use Aperture Priority most of the time, that means a smaller aperture), even when the light might not allow me to do it?

I kept seeing the NDF mentioned as a filter to use at dusk when I wanted that 'wispy' look from waterfalls and running water. In any event, here are some first pics with it attached to my every day lens. The thing is, I'm not convinced that I couldn't have just gotten these pics without using the NDF, so I need to investigate more about when to use it.
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I think it's pretty obvious that I was not getting much of a workout last night on the trainer, since I was fiddling with trying to take some motion blur pics of my legs and the bike spokes!
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Main St Station / I95 / Monroe Building

Got chased away by the Fuzz tonight, lol. The last time I took this shot was in 2012, and I was okay there in the dark. Not tonight. I was amused because the cop was probably less than 1/2 my age -- he actually looked a little uncomfortable asking me to leave. But he told me I wasn't supposed to be there after dark, so I told him I'd pack it up.
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More weekend pics

I'm an earlier riser than my niece, so while they were still in bed, I went out with the camera in the neighborhood --
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And also spent some time in the kitchen taking pictures of this lettuce. It was a normal head of lettuce (with roots) that I bought at the grocery store. After I chopped off all the lettuce to eat it, I put the root ball in water, having heard that I could grow some more lettuce. It is putting out leaves and growing -- it will be interesting to see how much lettuce I get from it!
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During the rain, I headed to the Shockhoe Hill Cemetery to get a pic of this angel.
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Spring!

The plum trees in the neighborhood are the final arbiter that Spring is here. The daffodils are out, and the tulips are coming up, but it's the plum trees that really show Spring.

The blooms only last for a few days and then they blow away...kinda of like our own lives!
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Cold night, taking pictures inside...
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My niece and her girlfriend came up to spend the night. It was good to see them.
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Got a windy ride in today...sounds like tomorrow will be chilly, so I have a feeling I won't be on the bike!

Some like oysters, some snails!

I watched Spartacus for the first time this weekend.

What.a.long,long,long.movie! Wow...

The "bath scene" was evidently cut from the original movie (my lips automatically pursed up when I typed that because I am SO fricken' tired of having gay themes cut from movies...). The bath scene was later restored (although someone had to dub in for Laurence Olivier's voice because the original sound had been lost by this point).

Anyways, the bath scene wasn't explicit. The Roman aristocrat asked the slave (who is washing him) if he liked oysters (yes)...and then if he liked snails (no)...The aristocrat evidently likes both. Of course to my 2014 ears, the allegory was no big deal -- do you like girls or guys, whatever.

What I found more surprising was that afterwards, the aristocrat pointed to legions in the distance and told the slave that pretty much everyone has to do what Rome says to do...meaning, get ready for a little Roman snail action, lol!

And that was the entire scene.

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I have read the Lord of the Rings in its entirety probably >15 times...over the years, it has been part of my routine that whenever I move to a new and strange place, I feel the need to read it. And I moved a lot when I was younger!

I already have the first book of the trilogy in French and have read most of that at some point. Now, I am thinking about reading it in Portuguese.

I was using the the "look inside" feature of Amazon books. I let my eyes drift down the page until suddenly, I was reading without intending to -- which is really cool to find myself doing -- my eyes and brain kicked in and I started reading.

Here's the passage where the reading just kicked in --
O tempo passava, mas parecia ter pouco efeito sobre o Sr. Bolseiro. Aos noventa anos, parecia ter cinqüenta. Aos noventa e nove, começaram a chamá-lo de bem-conservado; mas inalterado ficaria mais próximo da realidade. Havia pessoas que balançavam a cabeça e pensavam que isso era bom demais; parecia injusto que qualquer pessoa possuísse (aparentemente) a juventude perpétua, além de (supostamente) uma riqueza inexaurível.

And here is how my reading went, including the stops and starts. The square brackets and underscores below show where my reading stuttered...meaning there were some words or grammar I didn't know about.

Time passed, but it appeared to have little affect about [on] Mr Boseiro [="Baggins"]. At 90 years, he appeared to have 50. At 99, they started to call him "well conserved" but unaltered [_ something__] closer to reality. There were people who [doing something to something] thought that it was too much good; it appeared unjust that some person would possess (apparently) perpetual youth, besides (supposedly) [something] wealth.

All things considered, I'm pleased with my on the fly reading skills!

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Hot Cold Snow

Another snowstorm -- wow...they just won't stop this year!
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Saturday reached around 70˚F, so I took advantage! Here's a car in the neighborhood that I like. It turns out to be a Citroën.
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And these swaddling baby medallions at the local children's hospital always look creepy to me!
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Pics from Weekend

Got a ride in with some buddies yesterday. I'm out of shape, and it was SO windy. It was like I was biking up a hill for the entire ride!
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Other pics from the weekend --
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