Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Fireworks, New Phone, NDSC and a Blog Hop Reminder (in other words, Not Terribly Interesting STUFF)

Just as a reminder, the Blog Hop, What Mysteries do You Want to See Unraveled for the Future for Your Child with Down Syndrome is still open until Saturday.  If you blog, I'd love to hear your thoughts on this topic, and if you don't blog, I'd still love to hear your thoughts on this topic in the comments!  It's important that we're all talking about this, thinking about this, becoming unified in our desire to see things happen for our kids instead of living in this fractured community, each believing the other is already doing something about it.  Because they're not.  Not in any scale that can truly benefit us, or can truly get answers, anyway. 

That's really all I wanted to say today.  But in the meantime, I can say a little bit about the 4th of July.  Our 4th of July was really on the 5th, apart from the fact that I had to work on the 5th.  I left work a bit early to go home and prepare for the company 6 guests (this is one of perhaps only two occasions during the year that we ever even have anyone over!) for a cookout and the unparalleled view from our deck of the town fireworks display happening that night.  The fireworks are launched from a small island in the middle of a man-made lake a few blocks away, so there is certainly nothing lost by distance in either sight or sound.  Just ask Samantha - even with her headphones this year, and as excited as she was ahead of time to get to see the fireworks, it was still too much for her (her sensitivity enhanced by the late hour so far past her bedtime), and she retreated into the house on her own to watch TV instead.  I'm sure she'll outgrow it one day, and at least for now I was happy that she is old enough to go in and entertain herself while the 8 of us remained outside, enjoying ourselves.  We were relieved that everyone decided to leave immediately after the show, and all three of us went to bed at 10:30.  And all three of us had to be up at the butt-crack of dawn, Steve for work, Samantha and I for a drive to New Jersey to visit family.  Gotta keep moving, right?

Before the fireworks, getting juiced up on the red wine.  Nah, her cup's on the left...  ;-)
On another note, I got a new phone last week.  So far, I honestly can't say enough good things about it!  The more I play with it, the more I love all the features it boasts, and I'm learning something new every day.  Steve and I both renewed our service and got Motorola Droid Razr Maxx HDs.  We could have gotten them both for free by trading in our old Motorolas, but when we discovered that I had over 3,000 photos on my old phone that need to be removed manually (eep!!), we ate the trade-in on mine, swapped my over-used battery with Steve's barely-used one, and I plan on giving it to Samantha as soon as I can sort out the picture download thing.  I had no idea there was so much...  Whoops...  But how exciting that she'll have a mini-Android device to use!  She loves her tablet, but it's awkward to use to take photos, which she loves to do. 

I've also been pleasantly surprised that my new Droid Razr takes way better photos than I thought it would, and even has an HDR option!  If you're not familiar with HDR, it's a process in which multiple exposures are taken of each shot, near-simultaneously.  One image is as-is, one is slightly over-exposed, and one is slightly under-exposed.  This is very beneficial when you have a lot of back-lighting, and ordinarily the image in the foreground will often be poorly lit and under-exposed.  The HDR function helps to brighten the foreground, and gives your whole image an almost 3-D effect, with heightened colors and texture.  Below is an example.  Both images are completely un-edited, other than cropped for effect.  I kept the faces out of them because, frankly, they weren't very flattering photos, but you can still get the idea.  LOL  The first shot is without HDR.  The 2nd shot is with.  The difference is pretty amazing!

Without HDR

With HDR

So.  That's about it for now.  Just a quick update, trying to get back into the swing of blogging.  It's just so hard in the summer, when there's so much to do and schedules are so out-of-whack.  But it's par for the course, and the normality (hahaha) of Fall is just around the corner.  Not like I'm looking forward to that.  Summer's too fun.  Oh, and the NDSC (National Down Syndrome Congress) conference is next weekend!  I'm definitely looking forward to that - while I'm going solo and can actually take in some of the sessions and do more than I could last year, I will really, really miss my girl.  Rumor has it that next year's conference will be in Indianapolis, so I'll have to think about driving there and bringing her (and Steve, if he's willing!) with me.

Who else is going this year?  Who will I see there?  How will I find you?  It's so hard to identify people without their kids... 


Rochelle said...

Oh we wish we were going to Denver. Even have a college buddy we were going to stay with. Darn cancer! Maybe next year. Have fun and learn lots and share with us ok?

Kerri Ames said...

I just got an IPHONE which Allie had to teach my husband and I how to use!

teal915 said...

Have fun at the convention!

my family said...

i so badly want to go to the convention. have fun.
I would love to post about myths (mysteries) about people with Ds. starting with they are always happy, innocent, angelic...gag, gag, gag. dont get me wrong my boy rocks but no more than any other of my kids:) Our summer has been CraZy and blogs post have only consisted of picts and mindless babble. I will eventually get back into the swing of things...umm maybe.

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