what i did on my summer vacation, part 1

much to my annoyance, my online photo album continues to be uncooperative for the moment. honest it really has worked in the past, and for some reason it was working last night and now it's not again....and i haven't changed anything....i'm a little baffled at this point. in any case i'll manage to get it working again- it's one of the main reasons for this site in the first place. i took well over 700 pictures and video whilst in NY (story to follow below) and processing them all to work with this blog just ain't gonna happen; i'm going to have to settle for posting some of the better shots here. Kodak's DX7590 is a great camera for the money, but their software leaves much to be desired. i was hoping for something better than i had with my old Fuji camera, but it's more like a step backwards. why is it that so many companies that make great hardware either have crappy software, or crappy documentation, or both? well.... that's enough ranting.

Loren and i spent the first week of July visiting NY, Loren for the first time, and me for the first time in about 15 years. our first stop after leaving Sea-Tac was Chicago's O'Hare airport, where we had a 4 hour layover at 5am local time. 10 feet from the gate was a McDonald's (Loren's favorite place to eat breakfast) which we took all of about 10 minutes to take advantage of, and then we settled in to wait for our next flight.

2005. (chicago time until further notice)
Loren playing a game after breakfast

heading out from O'Hare, Loren took a shot out the window with his new (my old) camera. not to be outdone, i had to also. i'll help Loren post his own pics on his own blog. i like the shadows from the clouds in this shot- i think it was Loren that noticed those. i thought it must be khoul to be a pilot, taking off from airports on sunny days. i wonder if they have time to appreciate the view. i imagine it would be a hard job to get bored with.

Chicago and Lake Michigan from the air during takeoff

and zoomed in to 50%

and actual size

i have my display resolution set to 1280x1024- fairly high- and still have to zoom the pics from this 5mp camera to 50% to see the whole picture. i imagine the pictures should print out to 8x10 no problem. which would be great if i could get my spiffy photo printer to install.... i'm still getting the hang of the camera, but i'm like a blind squirrel: even i find a nut once in a while.

this shot's kinda dark but i still like it

when we got into Syracuse, the usual suspects were there to pick us up.

2005. (NY time until further notice)
Mom, Dad, and Loren outside Syracuse airport

we were in between lunch and my mom's sister Susan's house when a chunk of blown tire made a beeline straight underneath my folks' rented SUV. pretty soon i was smelling gas. i didn't think anything of it until my mom said something, but i knew she was right. she started watching the gas gauge. yep- we were leaking gas, about half a tank's worth in about 10 miles. Dad pulled off at a gas station before we ran out. Mom didn't want to park the car anywhere near the pumps with gas pouring out the bottom, and she really wanted to get everyone away from the vehicle quickly. Loren was more than happy to head into the convenience store, and Dad sorta followed Mom following Loren. gas was still pouring out even with the engine off, and i thought it might be a good idea to stop the leak before it was totally out of gas, if possible, so i crawled under the SUV and got as close to the leak as i could without getting gas in my eyes. there were three gas lines on the vehicle, one solid, and two with snap-on rubber boots. i couldn't look right at it, because gas was pouring down my arm when i could get my hand on the boot, but i could feel where it went and snapped it back together. voila, no more gas leak. chalk one up for ol' inf. i wanted to gas it up and go, but mom wanted to make sure everything was OK, and her vote's bigger than mine ;). she called AAA and had them send someone out to check it out. my shirt was soaked and turned out to be ruined. chalk one up for the SUV (growlz....i liked that shirt). it was hot enough that the gas sort of evaporated off me and i didn't totally reek of it when we got outta there about 40 minutes later. here's a couple shots i took while we waited for the AAA guy.

Mom, by the end of our 10 mile gas trail

the puddle of gas under the SUV- it goes to about the middle of the vehicle, and the dry pavement was just soakin' it up....it was a pretty good leak- but i stopped it pretty quickly too.

when we got into Henrietta, NY (outside Rochester), to my Aunt Sue & Uncle Wayne's house, it was plenty warm, but not hot as hell like it had been for the last week. everyone, including my folks (who'd been there for that week) was breathing a sigh of relief.

Uncle Wayne enjoying a break from the heat, in the shade of a big maple in his front yard

Loren, Dad & Mom sitting on the patio, and that's Aunt Susan grinnin' on the porch

couldn't really crop out sections of pictures from my old camera. this one's good for that though- this is full size from the same pic:

Loren gamin' it up

ok i think that's enough for one post...this takes more time than i'd like. i'll post more pics in the next one. by the way, you'll probably notice a lot of shots of Loren gamin' it up. i don't know if i mentioned this before, but he earned it, bringing up his GPA nearly a whole point, from about 2.18 to 3.1, and getting 2 As, 2 Bs, 2 B-s, and a C+. helluvan improvement. i told him to kill the DS a few times during the trip, but most of the time i let him enjoy his reinstated video game privilege at will.

it's officially Sunday morning now. time to walk away from this thing for awhile.

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