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pierces

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About pierces

  • Rank
    5,000+ Club

About Me

  • Location
    Southern California
  • Interests
    Cruising, cruising, wildlife...oh, photography too!
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Royal Caribbean, Celebrity
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Alaska
  • If you have a personal or hobby CRUISE or TRAVEL BLOG, include the url here:
    www.pptphoto.com

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  1. Like most people, I spent my spare time this last week cutting and forming molding for our latest home improvement project. What? You don't make your own molding? Hmm.... I may have to take a moment to reevaluate my perception of what leisure time activities are considered normal. Since the world started trying to end earlier this year, we have been catching up on projects that have been postponed or defunded by one cruise or another for a number of years. The big one so far is making our patio/gazebo more usable outside of the two or three months where our weather is neither too hot nor too cold to support hosting large family gatherings outside where there’s room. Now all we need is to be able to host said gatherings without a SWAT team showing up. Run of the Mill Dave
  2. Pictures taken between Monday, August 10 and Sunday, August 16. Rules: See above That's it. This isn't a contest. All photos taken this week are welcome (not just cruising). Prizes will not be awarded. Discovering the joy of photography is the prize. The idea is to get folks out using their cameras for more than vacations and toddler birthdays. Post one. Post many. Up to you. Have fun with your camera and share your fun with others!
  3. Ouch... Posted my week 31 and drew a blank! Thanks, Dave
  4. We often joke that we have a social hexagon rather than a social circle since we don’t have a large enough pool of social contacts to plot an actual circle. This week we joined four other points in braving the summer heat to visit our favorite speakeasy’s new outdoor seating area mandated as a requirement to open by the great and powerful wizards of medical science that we seem to keep electing to run our state. At 7:00 pm, it was actually a surprisingly pleasant 85° and the evening turned out very well. The excellent staff wore their masks as did we when not seated. The food truck dinner of creatively topped hotdogs was actually quite good. All in all, it was a happy time that allowed us to relax and for a while, forget (or at least ignore) the painful slog that is 2020. Social Hexagon Dave
  5. 1 - Old timey beer can opener 2 - Nail clipper 3 - Wire end of a spark plug 4 - Air valve for tire inflation 5 - Burial pyramid for Bob, Lord of the Microbes Dave
  6. I haven't given it a close look since I am invested in a system that I like and over-serves my needs. Like most systems at this level, if you are just starting out and don't have an investment in lenses, it is a good camera that takes good pictures and would make a good entry level platform to grow on. The available lenses are good, but not really any better or worse than the competition. Lens pricing is about average with the usual middle road and the sky-high pro glass. It's burst shooting is 4.5 fps, which is a little slow for a modern mirrorless but not everybody cares about or uses high burst rates. Really, it is a good entry level camera that won't tempt anyone to sell their lenses and switch but would make a new user happy. Even though it is currently about $400 more, I personally feel the A7III is a better value feature-wise. Of course, my opinion is colored by having used one extensively for a couple of years. 😉 Dave
  7. Although this new model has no place in my non-video-centric equipment stable, it is a beast for video and has a lot of incremental tech improvements that make me hopeful for both adoption by the next generation of the photo-centric models and implementation in current models via firmware. Notable tech: - New dual processor that processes image and video independent of file management (less buffer lag or continued menu and control access during buffer?) - 9.44M pixel 120 fps viewfinder - 2x the resolution of the A7rIV and 4x my A7III. - Fully articulating LCD screen. It can be rotated and closed with the back side out like the A77 for dim shooting situations where you are only using the viewfinder. - Relocated movie button. Yeah. So what? That said, I might be more amenable to video if I didn't have to hunt for the stupid button. Maybe it will allow reprogramming to use the shutter button as the video button? - Expanded touchscreen function. Menu control by touch, at last! - New menu! Redesigned and apparently much friendlier. (Older model firmware update please!) - Greater than 1 hour recording at 4k/60p with no overheat. ( Oh, boy! Hour long uninterrupted vacation clips at last! 😕) - Both card slots accept either SD (UHS-II) or the new, smaller CFexpress Type A (700MB/s) cards. - Grip, battery and button ergonomics from the A7rIV. Again, not on my wish list but many of the bits and pieces could end up on my future A7IV or A7rV with no complaints from be and if the menu appears in a firmware update, I'll be a happy camper. Dave
  8. I can't recall exactly when we planted this year's watermelon vine but it seems like overnight it went from seedling to first hint of fruit to the almost-ready-for-prime-time monster pictured here. With the world in the throes of one crap-storm or another, we have turned our efforts and travel budget to home-based projects. A lot of the old halfway improvements are getting done and we are completing projects that have been put off until “we get back from the next cruise” for several years. One big downside for me is the hit my photography has taken. I love it no less, but lately I am more likely to have an impact driver or a saw in my hand than a camera during “leisure hours”. Both are good and creative, but the camera is easier on the bones and muscles. Almost Time Dave
  9. Pictures taken between Monday, July 27 and Sunday, August 2. Rules: See above That's it. This isn't a contest. All photos taken this week are welcome (not just cruising). Prizes will not be awarded. Discovering the joy of photography is the prize. The idea is to get folks out using their cameras for more than vacations and toddler birthdays. Post one. Post many. Up to you. Have fun with your camera and share your fun with others!
  10. Here's what I have. I didn't do the serious ship tour on three-day cruises, so the pickings were pretty slim. https://galleries.pptphoto.com/monarch Enjoy! Dave
  11. I'll put together what I have and reply to you.
  12. Living in SoCal was a weekend cruiser's heaven back in the '90s and early '00s. Carnival and Royal offered three- and four-day itineraries to Mexico with Catalina thrown in on the four-day. After the Viking Serenade was retired, Royal based the Monarch of the Seas at the Port of Los Angeles to take over the short runs for several years before being sold to Pullmantur Cruises in 2013. We only sailed on her three times with the last being in 2007, but we had great experiences and have fond memories of both the ship and the excellent staff. Alas, all good things must end and that time has come for the Monarch. She is on her way to the shipbreakers in Turkey after being retired as a result of Pullmantur cruises' bankruptcy proceedings. I wonder where the Pool Maid (no idea what the real name was) will end up? Dave
  13. A lot of fond memories from our times on this ship. The short getaways out of Los Angeles were much needed stress-breakers back then. On her way to the shipbreakers. All good things come to an end, I suppose. Dave
  14. I'm still editing the text but will post it when done. Dave
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