Gear Personal Life

My Dad’s Early Father’s Day Gift: A Seiko SNE593

Father’s Day came early for my dad this year. This morning, the Postal Service delivered the watch I ordered for my dad. Of course, I had to make an unboxing post (even though my mom thinks they’re weird).

I ordered this Seiko SNE593 from Island Watch last week, shortly after boarding an Amtrak train to take me back home to St. Paul from East Glacier Park, Montana.

Enjoy these 12 photos, dad!

Out and About Personal Life

My New Job at a National Park

Last week, I took an Amtrak train from St. Paul to Glacier National Park to begin my seasonal job working in a kitchen at one of the lodges. I am living and working in St. Mary, Montana, in northwestern Montana, close to the Canadian border.

After getting off the train in the blackness of night last week, the first thing I noticed was the smell of pine permeating the air. I likened it to fictional F.B.I. special agent Dale Cooper from “Twin Peaks” asking about the smell after arriving in Washington State (the smell is Douglas fir, an evergreen tree). I foresee the pine smell becoming a Proustian madeleine for me. And I wouldn’t mind living in the Pacific Northwest long-term (it is simply breathtaking); I just wouldn’t want to be around bears or moose!

The first two photos were taken with my iPhone, while the last three were taken with my Canon EOS R.

Tomorrow is Memorial Day, and the weather is looking up. I will need to get used to this rainy biome, but so far I cherish it (just not the bears or moose!).

The view from my temporary neighborhood near sunset. May 26, 2023, at 9:19 p.m.
Sign for St. Mary Village. My employer is the large building on the right. May 27, 2023, at 6:43 p.m.
The view from my temporary neighborhood near sunrise. May 28, 2023, at 6:30 a.m.
Cellular tower near my temporary home. May 28, 2023, at 6:32 a.m.
A moose appeared on the road shortly after beginning my journey with my professional camera this morning, forcing me to turn around and prematurely start this post. May 28, 2023, at 6:33 a.m.
Crop of the moose in the previous photo.
Gear Personal Life Pug Life

After Years of AfterShot Pro and GIMP, I’m Switching to Lightroom and Photoshop

It’s probably been over five years since I last used Photoshop. I even had a blog devoted to editing photos in Linux, which is possible but not nearly as feature-rich. As of this morning, I’m excited to announce that I’m back on board with Adobe! In addition to Photoshop, Lightroom is included with my subscription. The total cost is $10 a month—a steal in my opinion.

Here are 10 photos I took this morning around my neighborhood from 9:50 to 10:10 a.m. to test out Lightroom—of which I’m a first-time user—and Photoshop.

Missy and Pugsley sit on the stairs waiting for mom to come home
Sunstars are achieved by stopping down to the smallest aperture, in this case f/22
My house
The leaves on the deciduous trees in my front yard fall later than any of the other trees in my neighborhood
Mail truck in my neighborhood
Stop sign for leaving my neighborhood on Audubon Road
Crosswalk for the other entrance and exit in my neighborhood
Pine tree between my neighborhood and the National Weather Service’s forecast office in the Twin Cities/Chanhassen, Minnesota
Doppler radar at the National Weather Service’s forecast office
The former house of the late U.S. senator Rod Grams, located along Audubon Road in my neighborhood. He owned all the land in my neighborhood before my family moved there in 1993.
Personal Life

I’m Selling Almost 300 Books

Yesterday, I felt motivated to clear out all the books I’ve accumulated over the years. This project was long overdue, as my books just gather dust and take up an inordinate amount of space. My bookshelf was overflowing with books, and there were books piling up in three rooms. When I stacked all the books together, I was actually surprised to see how many there were. In total, I plan to get rid of 270 books. I will begin by listing them on eBay (all individually photographed) and then see what my options are after that. I’m guessing I will have to donate most of them, but I’d rather they go to someone who wants to read them—even if that means selling for no profit.

I’m listing 270 books from my personal collection on eBay

Going forward, e-books are the only way to go. After hauling these books around and photographing them over the past two days, I must say I am glad these books are going away. I’m sick of them. While in the past I felt a sentimental connection to the books from my youth, I now consider that feeling a symptom of a hoarding disorder. There is so much stuff from my youth I need to sell or throw out. I need to stop thinking everything has sentimental value.

I’ve only tried selling books on eBay one other time, and I wasn’t very successful. This time, I photographed each book for the listings to see if that helps attract buyers, but I’m guessing the vast majority of these books won’t sell. The ones that do sell will probably go for the cost of shipping, or maybe a little more. I’m just glad they’ll go to someone who wants them.