Friday, January 28, 2011

New Camera--Tying Issues--Dieting--and a Movie Update

Whew! There's a lot going on in this post. I haven't done an update in a while, so here goes...

New Camera

My old compact camera died, so I needed a new one. It's just too much to ask to cart around my big camera on walks and normal trips to the barn; so I relied on the pocket-sized one.

I didn't research the purchase at all, thinking technology is so great, all the cameras out there should be good. Right? Wrong! I bought a Sanyo and brought it home, took a few pictures, and they were all blurry or dark. I tried the video, it was choppy and poor quality. It is hard to imagine a poorer quality camera anywhere on this planet. And, when I did finally research it, all the reviewers agreed with me. So, I returned it.

(Picture is of the new camera.)

What I found instead (at Walmart) was this package deal--a Sony Cybershot with a case and memory card for $119.00. Just the camera alone was being sold at the same store for $149.00. Very strange. The sales person is the one who told me about it. She was like, hey, we just got these in--it's a great deal--this is what you want. She was like my bookie, but sure enough, she was right.

The camera is teeny-tiny, but takes wonderful picures. The menus are easy to use, too, and it has this setting called "Sweep Panorama Mode" where you point and click while you move the camera slowly over the view until the arrow directs you to stop. Then, the camera--somehow, magically--seams the images together into one large panoramic picture--like this: (click to enlarge it)

I've never seen anything like it before, but it works!

Exercise & Diet

Like everyone else, my husband and I have been trying to get in better shape. Usually we take turns on the treadmill and doing strengthening exercises, but since the weather has been warmer, we've been out walking again.

I think that walking outside is better for the mind. I feel happier, less hungry, and I also feel that I've gotten a better workout than on the treadmill. The time goes by faster because I'm able to talk to my husband and watch and concentrate on the dogs.

I also got a walk in with a friend--although, we were supposed to be riding our horses.

I was all hooked up and ready to go....

But, rather than loading my horse, I loaded my pony--Riagan. (My friend wasn't up to trailering out of the mud.)

Cutting back on food has been another matter. I really like food. My favorite winter fare is an odd combination (I picked it up years ago and now my husband is also addicted) of french dip with swiss cheese, onions and peppercinis, french fries dipped in tarter sauce, and red beer (Bud Lt. and Clamato). I also enjoy wine and cheese. This odd combination of food and drink is my downfall in counting calories.

Since all of this is hard to give up, I've compromised by cutting my portions in half. So far, the scale hasn't moved much, but I do feel like my clothes are fitting a little better. At least I'm not gaining weight anymore. I was in the never say no mode--chocolate (yes), cake (yes), steak fajitas(yes), pasta (yes), seconds (yes), thirds (yes) get the picture. I'd love to see the scale start moving down because, when it does, I'm going to reward myself with a new cruiser bike, but I think it's premature to expect that.

(Cruiser bike, here I come! I can't ride a horse all the time!)


Everyone's taking turns walking Beautiful back and forth to turnout--myself, my husband and my daughter. One of the things that used to really scare her was when we'd throw up the large barn door when she was on the lead. It would frighten any horse. I worked with her last week with just leading back and forth into the barn and standing while that door was opened and closed. She got to the point where it didn't bother her at all.

As for tying, I need to do more of it--lots more. She hasn't developed patience and maturity being tied. Instead, she paws the ground, prances around, and whinnies. We're going out today to see if we can dig a hole with the auger and get a new tying post set in the ground outside of the arena--and maybe one right in front of the barn, too. I don't have a single tying post on this property (besides the horse trailer) that doesn't have something in front of it--and I want one where she can safely move around, paw the ground, etc, but will be okay if I leave her there for a while as I work with the other horses. I want to be able to keep my eye on her no matter where I am.

Movie Update

The way I'm talking about this movie, Buck, you'd think I'm a huge Buck Brannaman fan, but that's not really the case. I don't have a favorite trainer. I've read and own many books, but I haven't ever thought--this is the one. I like them all. I feel like each has something special to bring to the art of horses. Like music, one may be a Beethoven, a Mozart, an Enya or The Beatles.

But when I read about this movie, I can't help but be excited about it. Here's a review from the LA Times that came during the Sundance Film Festival.

LA Times Review of the movie Buck at Sundance, by critic, Betsey Sharkey: January 24, 2011.

Quotes from the review:

Can a documentary cross so many cultural, geographic and demographic lines that it could become a mainstream, mass-market phenomenon, all without a political agenda or shock value?

If ever a documentary had that everyman potential, it is "Buck," ....

Of all the movie screenings I've been to in the festival's first four days, no film has gotten as passionate and as extended a standing ovation as "Buck."

I first realized there was something deep going on when the tough guy in rapper chic next to me was wiping away tears at one particularly intense moment when Buck tries to gentle a horse so wild it attacked another trainer in the ring. There's also plenty of humor, with laughter rippling across the house at the homespun wisdom that seems as natural to Buck as sitting on a horse.

The movie came to the festival without a distributor but as of press time was sorting through multiple offers.

But beyond that, Buck's story seems right for the times: a decent man whose common sense cuts to the heart of the matter, an ordinary guy who's made an extraordinary life despite the odds. A guy who works hard for the money. The kind of story that would play anywhere, but definitely in Peoria.

I think it's going to be great.

Well, off to take on the day! Got to get some posts set in the ground, call around about sand prices for the arena, take my son to get his driver's permit, clean stalls, wash the cars, and another walk with the dogs this morning.

Hope you're all having a wonderful weekend!


  1. I went through that with a camera. Think it was the same crappy one. LOL I need to go back to a simple POS I am just not making friends with my SLR. Not it's fault, totally me. Great camera, no time for learning.

    Your preference in foods sounds nummy. I love french dip adding Swiss sounds very tempting.

    As for Buck, Me too! I can't wait to see the movie. Hope I get the chance. Just the little clip I saw looked intriguing.

  2. I have a little Olympus point and shoot camera. I'd love to have something more advanced, but this one is so handy. It's so small, it fits well into my purse, and I never leave home without it. I always keep an eye open for interesting blog shots.

    As for walking, join the club :) It's walking, it's talking, it's meditation and reflection, it's relaxing. It's so addicting, I just love it. Except with all the snow we've had, I haven't been able to walk much, and I feel it. And, we're expecting another nor'easter later this coming week :/

  3. Glad to have you back. I am jealous of everyone talking about warmer weather, walking, doing stuff outside, when we are just getting started on snow season. We've had plenty since Dec., but Feb-Mar are our normal times, so I don't expect too much 'nice' just yet. Wish I was up to snow-shoeing this year.

    I have one of those Sanyo's and have been pretty happy with it mostly. OK, it closes up tighter than a clam shell when the temp hits below 0* windchill. I can't blame it for that; I would like to, too! I had a Sony before and was very happy with it; will probably go back to one.

    Have fun with Beautiful; it just takes patience on our part to teach patience on their part.

  4. I have a little Nikon Coolpix (8 megapixels) that I keep in my purse. Hubby bought me a Nikon D40x a couple of years ago for my birthday and I'm still figuring out how it works! We took a photography course out in Anza-Borrego park last weekend on macro and panorama photos and I learned a lot. Today I took my FIRST manual setting photos that actually came out! The other ones I took were completely fault...I have to adjust shutter speed, poor brain!!!! Or, I can just set it on "auto" (tee hee!) Guess which one I do MOST of the time?

  5. I have that camera you bought (second) and like it a lot. Takes nice pics.

    I've been exercising too and trying to diet. There's a thin girl inside trying to get out, luckily I keep her sedated with chocolate!

    I've never ground tied but good luck with your posts and work with Beautiful.

  6. Thanks for the comments and encouragement, everyone--and I should be specific about the camera I returned--it was a Sanyo Blue VPC-T1495BL 14MP Digital Camera w/ 5x Optical Zoom, 2.7" LCD Display. The specs on it sounded good, but it took blurry or dark pictures every time. I don't know if it was a malfunction in the camera I had, or what?!?

  7. Your new camera looks a lot like my new camera. I love the size.

    That is a very nice bike! I hope the scale starts dropping and you can get it. Dieting is hard, but I've noticed that when I don't eat the bad stuff (mostly carbs - I love them!) my body doesn't crave them as much, but as soon as I eat one piece of bread I'm starving for more.

    I have the same problem with tying Scout. I've learned that I can't leave him at the trailer. I thought he was being so good one day and came to find the fender totally bent downward. He must have stood on it with his front end. So I've been thinking of a new tie post too. I wish I had a post-hole auger!

  8. Andrea--I didn't even think of that. :( Makes sense.

    My image of tying her solid with a barrier in front is that, until she calms down and learns to cock a leg and relax tied, the potential is there that she'll pull back aggressively, over-correct forward and smash into the solid wall. The only reason I think this is because I had a friend whose horse actually did it. Very sad story. And, since she paws, the potential is there that she'll get a foot stuck in a gate (where the tie rings are now), pull it back and get into a panic or get it stuck. So, a tie-post solves a lot of potential problems, in my mind. We didn't try the auger yesterday because we went out to look at some land instead, but maybe today before the big freeze arrives.

  9. Hubby got me a Kodak EasyShare C142 last year. My problem, I still don't like not looking through a little hole to focus my picture! I don't like looking at a screen and then taking the picture. Old habits die hard!

    I've been doing yoga with a Wii DVD I found recently. I want to build my core so I'll feel stronger. I think that's been a big problem with my riding the past couple of years, and lack of riding. Anyway, I also like to get out and walk. It does feel good to just walk! Our weather has been yucky so the dogs and I are being patient for the days we can take our valley walks again.

    My Spirit was not good at standing tied.He's doing better but sometimes gets very impatient. Bo, on the other hand, could care less. He'd probably stand there all day unless he knew food was close.


Please feel welcome to join our discussion by telling us about your own thoughts and experiences.