The Detroit Riverfront

DETROIT

Labor day weekend we stayed around the house, but that was getting boring. On Labor day we decided to do something (anything), but Sara wouldn’t come up with anything, so I decided we would go down to the Detroit Riverfront. I didn’t know at the time that it was Jazz Fest and the Grand Prix that weekend, and Barack Obama had talked there earlier in the day, so it was pretty busy.

Didn’t do anything special, just wandered around and took a few pictures.

I liked this one. I wish I had taken some more, but I always feel weird doing street photography of random people:

Water is fun

Water is fun

And this one:

Running in the fountain

Running in the fountain

The lens I’ve been using get a cool (I think) vignette when it’s wide open and zoomed all the way out. I also like how the colors get somewhat washed out. Obviously that could be a problem for many types of photography, but for something like this, it works (and I can correct it in software pretty easily if I wanted):

The River

The River

I’m finding that I’m having to do less post production on my photos, which is good, it means I get the closer to what I want in camera. I don’t think I modified any of the images in this set, except the first one of the kid in the water – I think I lightened the shadows up a little, but I couldn’t have done that one site without lighting :-)

Hopefully this will mean I’ll post more, since it take less time to process the images.

Full gallery below.

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Some time out on the water

So this past weekend, Sara and I went up to her parents cottage. They have a small place a little ways from Houghton Lake in northern Lower Michigan. Her parents had been there all week for a vacation. They also have a boat that they take out on Higgins Lake. Saturday they took the boat out and launched it, and Sara and I met them at the lake, but I looked at a radar map on my phone, and there was a very large storm system coming, so we decided to pull the boat – good thing too, it ended up raining for 3 or 4 hours.

Next day was beautiful, so we all headed out and just tooled around the lake and lounged around for a few hours.

I took my camera (sealed in giant zip lock bags for the wade out to the boat), and here are some of the pictures.

I’ve embedded the jQuery Lightbox in my blog, so now when you click a image it will popup, and you can navigate between them with your mouse or arrow keys. That shouldn’t work if you are in an RSS reader, so you need to actually view the post (Chris…).

The New Car

So Sara’s F150 is a lease vehicle which is up at the end of June. We have been looking at vehicles for a few months now, but Sara just couldn’t decide on anything.

As gas prices have gone up, the need to get the new vehicle sooner has increased somewhat, given that the truck gets something like a whopping 12MPG…

On Monday we went out to the Chevy dealer because Sara wanted me to test drive the Aveo. I found the Aveo sedan (which was just refreshed this model year) to be fine, but I didn’t like hatchback (which Sara preferred), and the one we test drove had some serious electrical problems.

I liked the Cobalt, which my friend Chris had purchased a few months ago, but Sara had complained that she didn’t like the safety ratings. She looked again more recently and can’t remember what she didn’t like about them…

So while we were there I talked her into taking the Cobalt out, which we both liked, and it has a ton more pep (2.2L engine vs 1.6L in the Aveo). Our dealer, Bruce, told us there were now $2000 in incentives, and we told him to get a vehicle we liked from a near by dealer. When we got home we checked online, and there was actually $3000 in incentives, so we called up and he looked and confirmed that was the case. All on top of a GM supplier discount we got from one of Sara’s aunts.

So Wednesday we went to the dealer and got the vehicle (we had to sign that day or lose some of the deals). Sara had her MacBook out with Excel open in the finance guys office, making sure we could get the payment on an exactly round number. We ended up with a 50mo term (yes, 4 years and 2 months) and an odd down payment, so the monthly payment was round… You can see it below, it’s a Cobalt 1LT in ‘Blue Flash Metalic’, with cruise and remote start.

The laptop finally died

So Sara has had this Toshiba laptop that her parents gave her for 4 years. The entire time we have had it, it has had a hardware fault that causes it to randomly freeze up, but it would never to it consistently enough for it to be reproducible for Toshiba. Some time ago (probably a year), the clutches in the hinges broke, so you had to balance the laptop screen to keep it up. Every now and then the screen would fall backwards and either be caught or hit the stops.

Well, last night it finally happened. It tipped back, and snap, both hinges broke, so the screen is now only held on by the power and data wires…

Sara had to do some work cloths shopping at JCPenneys at the mall. After that we walked down to the Apple Store and I was finally able to browbeat talk her into getting a new laptop, something I’ve been trying to get her to do for a year or three now… So we walked out of the mall with a new black MacBook. I’ve had it here at work, getting everything installed and setup for her.

Hanging with the family

So lets see what has been going on in my neck of the woods.

Two weekends ago (the 17th-18th) Sara and I hung out with Sara’s sister, Cathy. We headed up to a new mall in Clinton Township to just take a look. As a side note, I vote that an outdoor mall is a bad idea in Michigan…. Besides being very cold, it was an ok mall, nothing special though. We had some dinner at T.G.I. Fridays and headed back to our place. Cathy and I played drinking games on the Wii until something like 3 am while Sara napped on the couch. Sunday Cathy was very hungover, but we bummed around the area for a while, until she decided it was time for her to return home. It was nice getting to hang out with her again. We hadn’t seen her much in the last few months because she had a boy for a while, and Cathy had gotten aggravated at Sara at some point.

For Thanksgiving, Sara and I headed over to Sara’s parents house in Brighton. We got there around 10 am and Sara had some milk gravy and sausage while I had just some sausage. Sara, Cathy, Sara’s Dad and I all played a round of Monopoly. Cathy and I agree that Sara and Dad cheat… We also play some Uno. Of course Sara’s Mom whipped us up a ton of food and we had a wonderful turkey dinner. We played some more Uno, this time with Mom and watched Shrek the Third on DVD. I think we ended up being there until 9:30 pm or so.