Monthly Archives: January 2011

…Like a big pizza pie

…Like a big pizza pie, originally uploaded by gentlemanbeggar.

It might not look like much to you, but I’ve never been more proud of such a small dot. This was the first time I’ve ever had a lens on a digital that would make the moon big enough that you could recognize it as more than just a pinpoint of light. It was in the low 30’s and overcast the night I took this picture, shivering as I waited for Luna to peek out from behind the clouds. I fired off about 10 shots and this was the best of the lot. I’m looking forward to more clear nights.

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Posted by on January 29, 2011 in photography


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Cardinal Emerging

Cardinal Emerging, originally uploaded by gentlemanbeggar.

While helping my aunt feed a friend’s horse, I thought I’d play with my new lens a bit and took the opportunity to snag a few photos of the local wildlife. I thought this little cardinal looked so regal perched half in shadow and half in light, and just had to share it.

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Posted by on January 23, 2011 in photography


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My First HDR Photo

hdrtest1, originally uploaded by gentlemanbeggar.

Testing out the Luminance HDR program and trying my hand at HDR for the first time.

Here are the settings:
Luminance HDR 2.0.2-pre1 tonemapping parameters:
Operator: Fattal
Alpha: 2
Beta: 0.9
Color Saturation: 1
Noise Reduction: 0.6
PreGamma: 1

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Posted by on January 22, 2011 in Uncategorized


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Review: Caravan to Xanadu

Caravan to XanaduCaravan to Xanadu by Edison Marshall
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I thoroughly enjoyed every moment of this exciting look into the life of one of history’s most famous adventurer merchants. I realized, as I read this book, that I don’t really know much about his life, despite the fame of the name Marco Polo. The story begins with a young Marco Polo living in Venice, and awaiting word from his traveling father whom he’s never met. When his father returns with news of his visit to the great Kublai Khan, Marco’s adventure begins as do his plans to return to Xanadu with his unloving, cunning, and cruel father.

If even one third of the events described in this book are actually true, Marco Polo’s youth was an amazing experience. Marshall does a great job of describing the decadence and splendor of the Khan’s empire and his description of the romantic interludes between Marco and an enchanting slave girl are nothing short of touching and captivating.

Marshall does a great job of making you think this is written in the first person by Marco himself, almost inhabiting the thoughts and impressions of a young man seeing the world for the first time. This book is definitely one of the best $1 purchases I ever made on a whim, and it will find a permanent place on my shelves.

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Posted by on January 21, 2011 in review


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Just keep snapping away camera-boy…

Trying out my new (old) manual focus 200mm prime lens, I stole this shot of our cat, Licorice. I really like how it turned out, and just felt the need to share.

Doesn’t she just look so serious?

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Posted by on January 16, 2011 in family, personal


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2010 in review

The stats helper monkeys at mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Wow.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

A Boeing 747-400 passenger jet can hold 416 passengers. This blog was viewed about 13,000 times in 2010. That’s about 31 full 747s.

In 2010, there were 69 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 191 posts. There were 109 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 44mb. That’s about 2 pictures per week.

The busiest day of the year was September 3rd with 2,149 views. The most popular post that day was The Adventures of Dandy Dog!.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were,,,, and

Some visitors came searching, mostly for bob ross, twinkie, coco before chanel, senseo coffee maker, and senseo.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.


The Adventures of Dandy Dog! October 2009


“M” is for the many times you said I’d put somebody’s eye out… May 2008


The New Excite E-mail System Sucks! July 2008


The Joy of Painting Bob Ross January 2010


Great Customer Service! Thanks Excite! (for nothing) (Excite mail sucks) July 2008

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Posted by on January 2, 2011 in Uncategorized

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