New, Old Camera

For a long time now, I’ve wanted a Polaroid instant camera.  They make new ones, but I wanted one of the classic ones.  Last week, I was finally able to make it happen.  I ended up ordering a refurbished Polaroid SX-70 land camera.  It’s ivory, which is a bit more rare – they were only made between 1973 and 1975.

As far as film goes, Polaroid doesn’t make the film for these cameras anymore.  So, you can either obtain older rolls of film and hope and pray they work, or there is now a place that’s making film that is compatible for these cameras.  It’s called The Impossible Project.  The film doesn’t react quite the same as the Polaroid film of old.  They take 30-40 minutes to fully develop (significantly longer than the Polaroid film).  And, they seem to be quite a bit more sensitive to light.  What that means for me is that I’m still experimenting with both the camera settings and the film in order to get images that actually look good.  I’ll post pics of the pics as soon as I get that worked out!  Next phase is to protect the pic coming out of the camera from light while it’s actually coming out of the camera – and taking away the few second delay it takes me to turn the pic over on the table.

In the mean time, here are some pictures of the gorgeous camera itself! 🙂

DSC_0342Here’s how the box looked when it arrived, complete with The Impossible Project Film

DSC_0347And here’s the camera (closed)

DSC_0346And, of course, the most exciting image – the camera fully open in all its glory

Should be fun getting to know the camera and the film and figuring out how to create some fun/amazing images!


Work Trip to NOLA!

For those who don’t know, my day job is a Senior Research Engineer at a company that makes orthopaedic implants (i.e. hip and knee replacements, etc.).  Most of what I do is material science, with a heavy focus on plastics (the part that replaces the cartilage in joint replacements).  In the past couple of years, I’ve started doing more and more sales support.  This means that I have the opportunity to talk to surgeons about our latest technologies and explain the science behind it, which is pretty fun!

Each year, there is a large convention called the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS, for short).  This year, the meeting was held in New Orleans.  My company, like many others has a booth at AAOS to showcase our latest products.  For the past three years, I’ve worked in the booth, talking to sales folks and surgeons alike.  The booth itself is rather impressive – this year it was over 23,000 square feet.  And, no, I didn’t add an extra zero there – it truly was that big.  Pictures don’t do it justice, but this will give you a sense of it:

photo 2-aLooking from one corner of the booth.  You can only see about 1/4 – 1/3 of the whole thing in this image.  And, yes, those tables really did light up blue from underneath (they looked a bit Star Trek to me, but they were quite sleek and cool).  The blue screen behind the “Trauma” sign was a floor-to-“ceiling” screen, where we had key surgeons give presentations for audiences seated right there.

photo 4-aLooking from the other corner of the booth.  Behind that big “Persona” sign was a special section of the booth where I spent most of my time.  That’s where we were highlighting our new Persona knee system with a museum/Disney-like experience.  it was very cool.

photo 2-2And looking from upstairs…yes, there was an upstairs part of the booth as well.  It had smaller meeting rooms away from the hustle and bustle of the main booth.  The round table in the center was the Information Booth within the booth.

One of the things we were featuring was a new surgical helmet. This is something that surgeons wear under what basically looks like a big space suit.  Orthopaedic surgery is rather brutal, so these suits are nice to keep all the “gunk” off of the surgeon while he/she works.  The helmet has a built-in light and a fan to keep the surgeon cool while he/she works.  I watched a bunch of people try these things on throughout the meeting, so I couldn’t help but try it on myself at the end of the last day 🙂

photo 1-1Stylish, no?

Of course, because we were in New Orleans, there was a ton of amazing food (I’m actually not-so-sad to be back home and eating healthy again).  This included a minor cheat to my gluten/corn/dairy free diet because we couldn’t pass up Cafe Du Monde for beignets (I did have a friend help me, so I didn’t eat three by myself 🙂 ).  And, yes, the cheat was worth it!

photo 4-4photo 5-5

And, one evening, we took a Haunted History Tour through the French Quarter.  It was a lot of fun, and we got to see many of the haunted buildings and hear ghost stories.

photo 3The Provincial Hotel – one of New Orleans’ most haunted places to stay.  This used to be a hospital for wounded Confederate soldiers, and supposedly, the doctors and some of the soldiers still haunt this place.  I don’t think I’ll be staying there anytime soon!

photo 5We heard quite a disturbing story about this place (the LaLaurie mansion), which included a little girl jumping from the top story floor and supposedly, that’s why the window is bricked over.  As it turns out, the story was just a myth, and the window is bricked over because there’s a bathroom and shower there.  Also, of note, Nicolas Cage used to live here 🙂

photo 3-3This is obviously in front of a church, with a garden in front that had a fairly sordid history.  It was neat how they had the lights shining just right on the statue in the courtyard to create this shadow.  We affectionately called the shadow “Touchdown Jesus” a la Notre Dame 🙂

photo 1And, finally, this sign along the walk just cracked us up.  Also, can we talk about the pretty balcony in the background? The architecture in the French Quarter is just gorgeous!

It was a very busy trip, but it was a good one.  I was still so happy to get home and see my two guys 🙂

Family Weekend + A Book Review

Last weekend, we had the pleasure of visiting my brother, sister-in-law, and niece (and for those following along, yes, we made good on our promise to spend the night 🙂 ).

Kim, my sister-in-law, is getting ready to have our nephew any day now. We thought it would be nice to make a bunch of freezer meals for them for after the baby is born. That way, they don’t have to worry about cooking while taking care of a toddler and new baby all at the same time. We had fun making the meals and even more fun delivering them last weekend.

There was a daddy-daughter dance for Celia and Michael, and Kim and I even took Celia to have her hair done for the occasion:


We laughed at their cats, especially the mountain lion that is Grayson:


And Celia was willing to model the Burton Bear Cowl I made for her:


We even went to Lego Brickland and saw some pretty amazing Lego creations, which I forgot to take pictures of. All-in-all, it was a fantastic weekend, and secretly, neither William nor I wanted to go home. We will have to make a habit of visiting, and next time, there will be a little nephew to spoil too 🙂

And, now totally unrelated, I have started reading again. Honestly, I don’t know why I ever quit, but reading seems to go in fits and spurts for me, despite the fact that I love it and tend to get lost in books. I mostly love mysteries and thrillers, especially if they have a bit of history mixed in as well. Recently, I devoured a new book called The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane by Katherine Howe.

The story is set in two different time periods – 1991 and the late 1600s, and it goes back and forth between the stories. The heroine, Connie, is a grad student of Colonial studies at Harvard. She finds out that she needs to clean out her grandmother’s house, who has been gone for 20 years. In the house, she finds a scrap of paper in an old family Bible, with “Deliverance Dane” written on it. It turns out Deliverance Dane is a person from the 1600s…a woman convicted of being a witch during the Salem witch trials. The book goes back and forth between her story and Connie’s as well as Connie’s quest to learn more about Deliverance. There’s a bit of mystery, some history, a bit of romance, and a tiny splash of evil. It was kind of a predictable story/outcome, but I still couldn’t put it down. I would definitely recommend it.

Now, I’m reading The Book Thief by Markus Zusak, set in World War II, my favorite historical time period. So far, I like it. Will report back when I’m done!

Second Work Trip of the Year

Yet another late in the week blog post. This week has been a whirlwind! The details are unimportant, but suffice to say, the weekend is very welcome.

Anyway, just as was last year’s goal with my 365 Photography Project, I’m planning on documenting my various trips throughout the year. This just helps me stop and appreciate wherever I am for a few moments.

Last week, I went to Los Angeles for work. Try as I might, I didn’t spot any celebrities. 😉 The weather was mostly rainy, but it was about 45-50 degrees warmer than home, so I took it.

I did manage to find a bit of time between work appointments to take the long way and drive a bit up the Pacific Coast Highway. It was beautiful, and there was a break in the rain while I stopped at the beach.


It was rather peaceful with huge waves crashing on the shore.


And, yes, I totally took my heels off and walked on the beach in a business suit 🙂


It was definitely worth the time, and it did the soul some good.