Its been ages

Yeah so here I am like months later after my last entry —like half a year ago? Were finally into the light of spring and its warming up considerably and my mood overall is just really good. Anyways, time to recap the last half yearish.

Personal fitness- I’ve been doing a lot (about 2-3 times a week) HIIT ish training- I’m doing full speed sprints on the treadmill (about 4 sprints plus med/low intensity jogs- 5kmish) and stair training (11 sets of 135 steps/30 minutes) and I’ve seen a lot of improvement in my overall strength, aestehtique and endurance- in terms of strength I have not been moving up tremendous amounts, but I have been able to push harder each set and have compressed my workouts because I seem to have been strength and endurance overall- e.g. shoulder day main exercise is usually 75lbs dumbbell military press 16 sets of 8 reps but Im doing 5 sets of 24 reps at 75lb dumbbells (150lbs total). There is some strength there still- I now can do 405lbs for deadlift – mere 5 lbs more than personal best two years ago but still. I’m thinking of pushing to 500lbs within two years. Its felt pretty good- I’m getting my shoulder workout done in 30 minutes instead of 50 minutes. Aesthetics I’ve been able to last my winter fat mode not that bad this year- I maintained my weight and overall aesthetic this winter, where I usually gain a bunch of fat- I primarily attribute this to the HIIT training. The endurance is something I’m pretty happy about as well-normally I get lapped by W and M when they come over for run days, and I’m holding my own pretty well.  Overall not too bad and so far no injuries as well so that’s dope. I went for my first run outside of the year yesterday and it was brutal- I took an easy route that has 7 sets of stairs that are mild to moderate but mostly mild in difficulty and I ran slow- still brutal on my stamina; I had been hoping that my training throughout the winter would have helped with my stamina with outdoor running but alas, they are just too different for me. At any rate, it was still lovely to be outside in the sun.

Work and school- I’m doing alright with work- it has its ups and downs, but its been pretty satisfying overall. I’m definitely hitting walls with certain cases, and its making me think hard with my therapeutic approach overall and what needs to change. I’m finding difficulty transitioning from supporting a more dyadic parent child therapeutic focus to a more child focused therapy focus- the transition is rougher than I would like, so that is something I’d like to hit up. I am feeling more confident with certain cases overall, and an unfortunate small number of cases have blown into parent relationship distress/custody and access work that I am not comfortable working with, so its a bit of here and there with work. Overall though, still feeling really great with work so far and its been solid. School wise, I uh finally got ethics done and have already done my first data collection- I’m feeling pretty behind on this stuff, given that my classmates have been long and gone here, but I also have been hella focused on work and licensing, so I can’t beat myself up too much on that. I’m finding that my interest in bullying is really tying into my interest in the increasing political divide in both Canadian and American politics, and so I’m interested in tying in these two areas with my doctoral research- I also am interested in graduating so there’s that too.

Family- H is settling well into her daycare right now, and I have been super pleased with the staff so far- pretty good staff overall and in particular, good families. I’ve spent time getting to know the other parents and have really enjoyed the camaraderie with the other families.

Tech- I’ve been having a hella time with tech. Mostly with my camera stuff. For the latter and first part of 2018/2019 I have been doing tons of shooting with my full frame gear. Some of my favorite stuff has been acquiring the Sony 135mm F1.8 Carl Zeiss lens and the Sony 35mm F1.4 G lens; the first is a really amazing portrait lens that just renders the background buttery smooth- it has only recently been supplanted by the new e-mount version (which now has a SSM motor inside and a much faster focusing ability in comparison to mine which relies on the camera screw drive motor and is loud/slow); its probably one of my most favorite lenses to shoot with so far – very fun to use and renders some amazing images. I also use the lens for sports because I can shoot with a much faster shutter speed due to the bright aperture. However, the focal length is really limiting as a prime and I don’t get to use it all the time. Its also very attention grabbing being such a beast with the lens hood on. Its a complete tank- even the lens hood is a solid metal unit. I managed to get the lens off Henry’s for a great price and had it shipped to home to save some PST. The 35mm I grabbed locally from a photographer who shoots primarily Sony A-mount. That was really cool to chat up with her, discussing the intricacies of shooting A-mount. Its a rare breed now with E-mount being the rage right now, so it was nice to discuss shop. I find the 35mm really hard to shoot with. Its very soft as a prime lens- almost as soft or softer than my cheaper kit lenses (and much more expensive brand new)- the softness is mostly in the corners when shot wide open. When in center, its generally pretty sharp, but not biting sharp as the 135mm. What I love about the 35mm is its portrait ability. It renders very beautiful images if you can nail the focus. However, its very hard to nail focus with the a99 Mark 1 in particular, so patience and learning is a huge thing on my side with a healthy dose of frustration when I go home and find out the focus failed. The plane of focus is so narrow and its very unforgiving. But when I get it, I get it. I haven’t shot my 24mm F2 Zeiss as much because I love the images out of the 35mm so much.

Recently though, I have been shooting the Sony DSC-R1 and DSC-F828 a lot more. When I brought my a99 to Banff and the 24mm and 35mm, I realized that I love shooting primes, but not for a walkaround kit. Having a good fast zoom is also a nice thing, especially with not having to change out lenses when on the go with a kid. While old as hell, those two cams are also really fun to shoot with, because of their lenses. Its been a really fun blast – particularly with the R1 as I learn more how to work with its weaknesses. There is plenty of noise at ISO 800 and 1600 is really pushing my tolerance level; however I am still having a blast with the cam, especially with the handling. The controls are generally well placed and make shooting quite fun, just like my a99 body. I’m also a fan of the R1, F828, a99 and F707 using the same battery so they flow well with my external battery charger I landed when I got my a100 awhile back. The F707 is also really interesting- something happened with the readout for the live view and the LCD and EVF are both bizarrely magenta- however the images themselves are unharmed. Its an interesting camera if not just for its F2 lens and zoom. I mean really what I am getting at here is that shooting only primes has/is a blast but I do appreciate a good zoom as well (at least an interesting zoom). I got to try the RX10 IV yesterday at London Drugs and it was pretty dope; 24-600mm f2.4-4 aperture makes for a interesting all in one lens design and something I quite would like to have in my kit. I was particularly impressed with the AF speed- it seemed quite impressively rapid and far faster than anything I have in my kit. The size was immediately enormous- much larger than my Mark I RX10. I also d miss the f2.8 constant aperture, so I think there is merit to using the earlier generations. TBH I have not been overly impressed with the RX10 lens as much as I thought I would be. For all the review and hype, I expected that the lens would be sharper than I thought. Certainly I think the Sony 18-105 F4 is sharper than the RX10, and honestly if I recall correctly even the Nikkor 18-105 VR f3.5-5.6 is sharper throughout the range. Or I am just shooting with it wrong. Anyways, more explorations with zooms this spring for me. I am contemplating getting a Nikon 18-300 lens as well for fun, but the RX10 will likely suffice. In the meantime I seem to be ditching my a99 more in the last few weeks. Honestly in the last week, I’ve been shooting shutter speed priority and its been a blast as well. However, I also took my Canon Powershot Pro1 out for a ride (competitor to the f828) and it wasn’t as fun. I don’t know- the handling didn’t seem as good in general. I also liked the faster lens on the f828 as well. The mechanical zoom on the f828 and R1 are also way funner to shoot with. The R1 in particular has really good control layout. Anyways, now I’m looking for a few new old items- the Olympus C8080 (wide angle flagship at 28mm); Nikon 8800 (long zoom with first VR for Nikon in compact camera); Nikon 8400 (super wider 24mm lens – obvs not that wide now, but wide for a time when 28mm was rare and expensive and 35mm was more typical); and Konica Minolta A2 (just a huge clunker of a camera overall and hilariously big). Onto eBay with those.

Home- our home is freaking falling apart- overhead stove fan/microwave; toilet; bathroom light bulb; stove…ugh. Issues with ownership.

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