Friday, October 9, 2009

Running Free

(Click on the thumbnails for the bigger, better version)

These photos were made a few months ago and the horses were only turned out in that lush grain a couple of times for very short periods before the grain was mowed down.

The grain was beautiful to look at, but too rich for a grazing pasture. At least for our guys—especially the gray. After a limited grazing session, The Husband checked Night’s feet and discovered troubling signs in the white line. He had hoped to be able to put the geldings in that pasture for fifteen or twenty minutes a day without danger, but it appeared the grain was just too much for Night. Out came the tractor and down came the grain.

Paying attention to those troubling signs in horses’ hooves is critical to the animal’s survival. If the horse is prone to laminitis, permitting access to rich food can be a fatal error. The Husband has always been attentive to these matters, but has become even more keenly aware of these problems and warning signs since taking on his new career as a farrier. Never one to do anything halfway, he immersed himself in learning his new craft and his dedication has paid off multiple times.

The Husband's dedication has paid off multiple times now. He is currently celebrating the success of one of his rehab projects, a horse that had been shod for years and whose feet were in sorry shape. Fortunately, the owner took The Husband’s advice to take the old gelding barefoot for natural trims. Now Turbo’s feet have been rehabilitated and are in excellent condition. His life expectancy just got bumped up by a few years and that’s good news.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Installing the New Modem/Router

(Click on the thumbnail for the bigger, better version)

A couple of days ago we received the new Modem/Router from AT&T and finally, Sunday evening, we had time to get into the easy, sure-fire, foolproof, can’t fail installation. You see where this is going, don’t you? Sure enough, we hit the dead end early in the process. Since the device is set up on The Husband’s computer and I am plugged into the network he was on the keyboard this round. Confidently, he clicked on “Run”, which the instructions explained would complete the installation process, then take us through the next few, simple, painless steps. Nope. After about four attempts, shutting off firewalls and tinkering with security, we gave up and called technical support.

I promise I don’t work for AT&T and don’t know anyone who does, but I am becoming a walking advertisement for these people. (By the way, I hope this doesn’t get the
FTC on my case, because I am going to talk in a positive way about AT&T”s customer service.) Once again we negotiated the automated portion of the call and eventually got to a polite and attentive technician who walked the husband through the work-around. Sure enough it was simple (once there was a guide leading the way) and we are all set again with our Internet connection (including a device with a firewall). The Husband reset all his security controls and we are good to go—only until the next power failure, perhaps; but, next time we know how to solve the problem.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Caught Off Guard

(Click on the thumbnail for the bigger, better version)

This hawk and I surprised one another Friday evening. After being inside all day, I headed for the front door to take a short walk while the corn bread baked and, on the way, grabbed the camera that had a CF card loaded. It happened to be the 50D with the 70-200mm f4.0. When I stepped off the porch, I turned to the left to check out the sunrise potential and saw out of the corner of my eye one of the hawks perched on our roof. He took off and I scrambled to get a photo.
I wasn’t ready for him and it looks as though he wasn’t prepared for someone to interrupt his hunting. I always walk away from these encounters mentally kicking myself. If, if, if. I only I had had time to choose shutter speed. If only I had had time to adjust exposure. If only I had framed it better. If only I had attached the teleconverter before I walked outside.

Instead of dwelling on the regrets, I decided to celebrate having gotten anything at all. After all, this was strictly a gift. It’s not as it I planned, waited, and watched—investing time in and earning a nice photo. I was fortunate to experience the moment and get anything at all.

All this thinking about how I wish I had done things differently reminded me, of course, of Paul Lester’s post, "
Lessons Learned". Each time I download a batch of pictures onto my hard drive, I wonder what new lessons I will learn. Or, what old lessons I might be reminded of yet again.