the idea came to me yesterday while up on the ladder, looking at the blue sky, white clouds, and numerous trees: wouldn't it be great if i could take some infrared photos? so this morning i brought my old nikon coolpix 4500, the one camera that i have that can effectively take infrared photos. not just infrared, but infrared wide angle fisheye photos. all this thanks to a 28mm filter that i can slip inbetween the camera and the fisheye lens.

i got my nikon coolpix 4500 back in october 2003. before then i'd been using an earlier model, the nikon coolpix 950 (which predates this blog, i think that was purchased in 1999). it has a unique swivel lens design which made for some creative photography. i really cut my teeth on those cameras, getting all sorts of accessories as well: a circular polarizer filter, an 8x optical monocular which i adapted to use as a telephoto lens (to enhance the built-in 3-4x optical zoom), a nikon WC-E24 wide angle lens specially designed for this camera (28mm), and my friend adam taught me how to take infrared photography with the camera. even when i finally got my first dSLR on january 2006 (canon rebel 350d), i was still using the coolpix because i was just so used to it. in february 2006 i got a nikon FC-E8 fisheye lens designed for the coolpix (28mm thread). i've always wanted to play around with fisheye and even though the seller wanted $150 (including a wide angle lens, which i already had), at the time it was a steal because the FC-E8 retailed for $700 (nowadays you can get one used on ebay for $20-70).

even when i went traveling in southwestern china back in 2006, i still brought my coolpix 4500 despite having my canon dSLR as well. the coolpix could do 2 things my dSLR couldn't: take infrared photos and fisheye photos. the fisheye lens was pretty heavy too, and i carried that with me everywhere. i didn't use the infrared too much, but the fisheye came in handy every time i switched hotels or guesthouses, since it was the only thing that could perfectly capture the interior.

even after all these years (nearly 12), the nikon coolpix 4500 can still come in handy. i've tried infrared photography with my dSLR, but even with live view it's hard to see what i'm shooting, and usually i'm just looking at a dark screen. i'd love to get a fisheye for the canon, but they can be expensive for essentially a novelty one-trick lens. besides price, the better quality ones can also be heavy as it's just a piece of convex glass. in august 2012 i got a 28mm infrared filter for my coolpix. prior to that, i'd been using a series of step-up rings to go from 28mm-37mm-52mm (52mm was the size of my infrared filter). now with a 28mm IR filter, i could finally marry infrared with fisheye. funny how attention can be diverted because i basically played with it for a day and then never bothered with it ever again. until now.

my father was already outside caulking between the shingles when i arrived at 9:00. i was ready to sand but spent that first hour scraping off loose paint. early my father had already set up a tarp underneath, held in place using push pins, staples, some small metal shepherd's pole, and a long bamboo stalk. only after he left for work around 10:00 did i finally begin to sand.

hoisting up the shop vac from a separate ladder was one invention; the other was attaching a bucket to the working ladder so i could rest the orbital sander when i wasn't using it and for holding tools.

i sanded from 10am to 2pm, taking the occasional break to drink some ice cold water from my insulated tumbler and to surf a few web pages from my phone. the sun was out today but didn't feel particularly hot because the air was so dry. i haven't put on any sunblock since that time i went topless, and the back of my neck is completely dark from spending so my hours outside. julie texted me asking what i was up to, i only saw the message hours later, when she was hanging out in boston.

i finally stopped not because of the heat but rather i was just too tired, my muscles aching from having to hold the sander with outstretched arms for hours on end and balancing on the ladder. it took me another hour to clean up and i was finally done by 3pm. after emptying out the collection bin and cleaning the filter, i reattached the bottom of the shop pac and left it dangling from the rope, bungie wrapped in a plastic bag to keep it dry from the supposed rainstorm tomorrow morning. my reward was to go take a hot shower, change into some clean clothes, and have some leftover memphis barbecue. i ate a little over 3 ribs which was enough to fill me up.

i was tired and just wanted to go home and rest. my mother told me my 2nd aunt was having cable tv problems again so i made a stop at the cafe. i wasn't sure if she was home, but i went behind her apartment to check the cables and they're fine. later my mother called and said the cable mysteriously fixed itself.

i attached the cup holder to my bicycle today. i haven't used it yet and i feel sort of self-conscious for having it. the best place to have it would be on the handlebar stem, but on my bike there just isn't enough clearance. besides, the attachment and the holder loop are at 90° angles from one another so it wouldn't work.

i seem to have lost my sansa clip+ so i've been window shopping online for a new mp3 player. in all my research though, i always come back to the sansa clip+: small, cheap, multifunctional, awesome battery life. what's not to love? and a cool oled screen to boot. unfortunately sandisk stopped manufacturing sansa clip+ a while back, and the only way to get them nowadays is either buy used or refurbished. even a refurbished unit costs $30 on ebay. but i learned something last night that caused me to stay up late doing research: i can actually use a 3rd party firmware instead. called rockbox, it essentially supes up the clip+ to an ultra-powerful mp3 player. the best part is a myriad of different UI themes to choose from (and even design my own).

i've seen a sansa clip+ at my parents' place: it was my old player that my parents brought back with them from china after i accidentally put it in my laundry after a run. there were things wrong with the buttons and occasionally i couldn't turn it off. but now more than a year later, the clip+ seems to be working fine again after i charged it up. more the reason to love it! once i got it back home, i couldn't wait to upgrade the firmware to rockbox.