Monday, November 09, 2009

Let me up! I've had enough!

Talk about a packed weekend! Friday was a Girl Scout sleepover at the Girl Scout house in town, and I was recruited to give an astronomy presentation. I took the moon and Venus globes along, but more importantly, the Maroon Barsoom telescope. On the downside, seeing conditions were horrible, as there is an unbelievable amount of light pollution in that area. Also, there was little to see in the sky that would interest adolescent girls, as the moon didn't rise until well after we'd packed everything away and it started getting foggy at that point as well. Deep space objects were out because of the light pollution, and aren't that exciting to kids, anyway. Luckily, Jupiter was available with all four Galilean satellites lined up to one side, and this seemed to impress the troop sufficiently. After that, it was home for me and the Bug, who didn't really appreciate being stuck with Daddy for the night, and made it clear he'd trade me in for Mommy in a heartbeat.

The next day, after picking up the women folk, we packed up and headed to Columbus for a photo shoot. It was an extended family group shot, with some break out sessions included. Some of the participants were obviously more into the session than others, but by the time the sun went down The Wife had gotten several hundred good shots and was feeling pretty positive about the keeper-to-delete ratio. We crashed pretty hard that night. Sleep comes easy when you're exhausted.

Sunday we were up bright an early to do a morning bridal shoot. Yeah, we pack a lot into our trips. The shots came out very well, but during the outdoor session I made the mistake of walking away from the light stand just as a gust of wind (it'd been very still all morning) came up and blew it over. Nothing was damaged except for the shooting umbrella (which, fortunately, looks like a straightforward fix) but the lesson was learned--always anchor the light stand when shooting outside, windy or not.

Following the bridal shoot, we gathered the kids and were on the road to the Texas Renaissance Festival by 9 a.m. We arrived shortly after 10:30 and gave each child a limited amount of spending money, all of which was gone within the hour. At this point I realize my camera's batteries were almost dead. I'd forgotten to recharge the night before. Joy. Fairy Girl got a few shots during the parade and mud show for school (she's doing a report on medieval life, which isn't the same as Renaissance life, but her teacher thought it a good starting point) but it finally died just as the joust was getting under way. I did manage to get this one shot of an actress blowing bubbles to the delight of hordes of children and many adults as well. I had to wait almost 20 seconds before I had a clear shot, but sometimes one is all you need:

By the end of the day, it was starting to sprinkle with the promise of heavier rain in store. I found Istanpitta, a medieval music ensemble that I enjoy, and picked up their CD "C'est la fin," a collection of dance music from the middle ages performed on period instruments. After listening to it on the drive home, I'm thinking I like their other album, "Chevrefoil," a tad better, but it's still a fascinating collection of ancient music.

We rolled back into New Braunfels around 8:30 p.m., and The Wife dropped me off to pick up my PT Cruiser, which had been in the shop for the past week (and parked for the prior 6 weeks) because of a bad wheel bearing. They finally had to resort to cutting the old, decrepit bearing away (so mangled it had become) to replace it, but the long and short of it is that I have my car back. Then the family unloaded from out expedition and collapsed into bed. Exhaustion will do that to you.

This morning I figured out that the gas gauge in my brother's Blazer is inaccurate. In that the Blazer was out of gas despite showing an eighth of a tank remained. This is good, because the alternative was a ruined on-board computer, which is much more costly to fix than an empty gas tank--I just wish I'd known this a week ago when the darn thing stranded me on I-35. Ugh. Fingers crossed that this week is somewhat more sedate and restful by comparison.

Now Playing: Istanpitta C'est la fin

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