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J. Daniel Ashton

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Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might, —Ecclesiastes 9:10a NIV
The LORD God has told us what is right and what he demands:
"See that justice is done,
let mercy be your first concern,
and humbly obey your God." —Micah 6:8, CEV
With all your heart you must trust the LORD and not your own judgment.
Always let Him lead you, and He will clear the road for you to follow. —Proverbs 3:5,6 CEV

see also — My Homepage

My Photo
Name: Daniel Ashton
Location: Germantown, Maryland, United States

Any links with a dashed underscore probably point to Amazon.com

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Still learning HDR techniques

A couple weeks ago I bought a family license for FDRTools, so I can make HDRs without the water-mark now. Here are two that I worked on last night:

From HDR

From HDR

If you look at these in place in their album, the preceding picture is the "normal" exposure as rendered by the camera, followed by the HDR as I decided I liked it.

I took a little stroll around the neighbourhood this evening with my lady love. We saw these tiny flowers, and this miniature, um, dog. (Someone chime in with the breed, please.)

I know I could process out the turquoise reflection in his eyes, but it seems to add to his presentation somehow.

Be sure to see Beth's weblog for a look at her collection of wildflower photos.

** Update **
The breed of the dog is still unknown to me, but these little purple flowers have been identified as Solanum dulcamara, or Nightshade. Thanks Mom! :-) One interesting twist is that this nightshade vine was growing through some unrelated shrubbery.

** Update 2 **
A good friend of mine points out that the dog is a Miniature Pinscher. Thanks, Jason!

Saturday, May 26, 2007

A Good Beginning . . .

. . . to Memorial Day weekend '07. Not exactly restful, mind you, but good. Last night (Friday evening) we gave a vespers program at Elternhaus, with five brass numbers interspersed with hymns accompanied by strings. Today we (strings) played with the hymns at church, and Beth had her first performance as part of the new Triadelphia Bell Choir.

This afternoon we hurried over to the US National Arboretum for a brief walk around their herb garden, where I caught these photos and others:

If you're thinking this was just an excuse to try out the spiffy new Picasa Web Albums embeddable slideshow, you might be right.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

There's no point in fighting it anymore.

Jonathan Schwartz is the CEO of Sun Microsystems. He wrote yesterday:
Those that resist the transition to free media are valuing their patent portfolios more highly than their customers.

Jonathan Schwartz's Weblog

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Monday, May 21, 2007

Not again!

This evening, on our way to brass practice and Pathfinders, we were hastily introduced to the front bumper of an otherwise lovely Pontiac. The damage to the van is less than when this happened a year ago. However, we're feeling our aches and pains a little more, and I'm not looking forward to waking up sore tomorrow morning.

This happened at the intersection of Sundown Rd and MD-650.

Old Server Down

I think I've migrated everything from the old laptop in our dining room to our spiffy new Linode. This blog post is mostly to test whether I got the accounts migrated properly, i.e. that Blogger has access to the new server and my weblog. But if you see anything that doesn't seem to be working on this domain, or on any of my other domains, please drop me a note.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

E-Mail Rules!

Let me sing the praises of using e-mail, in contrast to calling one on the telephone:

  1. One cannot accidentally interrupt one's drive home from the cemetery after burying one's last and dearest grandparent.
  2. One cannot accidentally awaken one at 6:30 in the morning by forgetting the difference in time zones.
  3. One cannot risk having one hang up on one after being awakened at 6:30 in the morning.

Just a few of the benefits of using e-mail.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Oy! Delayed again!

US Airways is taking a black eye on this one. Our flight from Philly to BWI is delayed 51 minutes, leaving at 11:46 PM.

Saturday, May 12, 2007



We encountered this pink and yellow moth on our hike this evening. Any idea what it might be?
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Friday, May 11, 2007

Vicki's Pics Published!

We've been regular readers of the Botany Photo of the Day for several months now, and were totally delighted to find that one of Vicki's pictures was accepted for publication today!  Check it out!

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Saturday, May 05, 2007

Recent Excursion Pix

On Wednesday and Thursday of this week we enjoyed the company of my parents, and spent our time visiting some of the sites that are more local to us than to them. We took them to see Falling Water, then continued on to the Flight 93 Temporary Memorial, and finished Wednesday with the Paw Paw Tunnel, after making a brief stop at the Town Creek Aquaduct.
Falling Water II
Flight 93 Temporary Memorial
C&O Canal: Town Creek Aquaduct
C&O Canal: Paw Paw Tunnel

Thursday morning we visited the Washington Monument State Park and Antietam National Battlefield.

Washington Monument State Park

Need Furniture Craftsman

I have an idea for a significant piece of family furniture. I need someone with experience in designing and building furniture to help explore the concept and perhaps create a prototype.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Remarkable Mac Finds

Perhaps if I blog about these I can stop obsessing about them.

The local CompUSA is one of the stores being closed by the chain, to my sorrow. I stopped by there yesterday to look for a gadget for reading an xD-Picture card, which should let me save the camera's batteries. They didn't have one, but what they did have was a 20" Mac LCD monitor at about 30% discount, making the price about $519. This would have made a great addition to our family's photo-editing tools, as it would hook up fairly easily to any of the Mac laptops, and should work well with an older Mac desktop as well.

They also had a 17" iMac with 1GB of RAM and a 160GB hard drive, as well as a duo-core Intel CPU. Again, a very capable photo-editing station, somewhat more muscular than anything else we have. This machine was discounted 20%, bringing the price down to $900 and change.

However, neither item has an obvious place in our house. Our living space is sufficiently small that it becomes difficult to picture any additional desk and seating space. Oh well! If you're interested in either of those items, make a quick trip to the Gaithersburg CompUSA. You may be in luck!

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