Experimental music, photography, and adventures

Archive for July, 2008

A few photos and HDR experiments

Monday, July 14th, 2008

Sarah and I did some photography in town yesterday. For me at least, it was mostly a study in texture. I made a few attempts at HDR (High Dynamic Range) images. This isn’t my favorite look but it’s an interesting tool to add to the toolbox. I need to try it on some more varied subjects.

building1 photomatix

building2

building3

A few more images of interest (non-HDR):

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IU Press

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DSC_0076

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Fracture update

Friday, July 11th, 2008

I saw an orthopedic surgeon for some follow-up on my broken finger yesterday. Unfortunately since this happened out of town, I had to find a different doctor for follow-up. The doctor was great, so maybe that’s not a bad thing. I learned a lot during this visit. Bad news first.

The Bad

  1. My finger will never work quite right again.
  2. The swelling in my knuckle will probably never go away.
  3. The fracture was much worse than I realized. I either misunderstood what the other doctor said, or he explained it wrong, or he misinterpreted the X-Ray. I thought a small piece of bone chipped off at the joint. But my new doctor showed me that that small piece wasn’t what broke off, it was the only part that didn’t break off. Allow me to illustrate.
    facture_update
    So as you can see, what really happened was the entire top half of my finger broke off. Only a little piece held on, attached by ligament. The doctor said this is quite an unusual fracture and showed it to several other people there so they could see what had happened. I was glad I could keep their jobs interesting.
  4. In the time since the other doctor popped my finger back into joint, it has shifted a little bit. In order to correct it, they would have to re-break it, which would do more harm than good. This means my movement will be restricted permanently. We will get back whatever mobility we can.
  5. The doctor gave me a splint to wear basically all the time to help make it so I can straighten my finger out again. This is making a lot of things very difficult, including typing.

The Good

  1. The other doctor did a great job of popping my finger back into joint.
  2. While it was a serious fracture, it is healing surprisingly well, in part due to #1. The doctor was very optimistic.
  3. The pain I am still feeling is completely normal for an injury like this after only two weeks.
  4. ¬†When I took the splint off to shower this morning, I could already see improvement. My finger was straighter than I’ve been able to get it on my own.
  5. At three weeks the bones will be mostly fused back together and very strong (that’s next week).
  6. The doctor says I can ride my bike, as long as I wear my splint.

Next Steps

  1. I need to wear the splint all the time, except to shower.
  2. I need to do an exercise where I bend the tip of my finger. I need to do this as often as possible.
  3. Next week, the splint comes off and we will start working on bending the finger.

Rain and hiking

Wednesday, July 9th, 2008

It’s been raining on and off throughout the week, which so far combined with my injuries has prevented me from commuting by bicycle. I thought about going for a bike ride last night, since my ride on Sunday went well, but instead opted to go for a hike with Sarah. I think I made the right choice — we had a great time, and hiking puts less strain on my finger.

We did the Rock Shelter Trail at Morgan-Monroe State Forest, which we’ve hiked a few times before. Sometimes I feel reluctant to go back and hike the same trails again, but I tend to forget that each time is different — especially since the last time we hiked there was during the winter. The time before that was a sunny spring day. Yesterday was somewhat overcast, warm, and extremely humid.

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Starting to hike

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Sarah

The trail was a bit muddier than we expected; usually during the summer trails dry out pretty quickly around here. For the most part the trail was pretty solid, though. As we made the long descent into the valley, the humidity increased. By the time we reached the bottom, my glasses were foggy and they mostly stayed that way. It felt almost like hiking through a rainforest or jungle — or at least how I imagine that’d feel. The air was heavy and hazy with humidity, foliage still dripping, and the sky barely visible, most of the sunlight blocked by the thick canopy. It was a highly atmospheric experience.

Once we reached the bottom, we were at a creek. Rob was thirsty and took a couple of good drinks of water — and then, being the dork that he is, laid down in the water. It wasn’t very deep, but he sure seemed to enjoy it.

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Rob, cooling off

The trail followed the creek for a while, and the creek was mostly dry. I was a bit surprised that given the rain we’ve had and how wet the ground was, the creek didn’t have more water in it. In some places the trail had suffered some erosion.

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Looking off to one side of the creek

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Erosion, Rob, and … a UFO?

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Rob enjoying a small pool in the creek, again

Before long we reached the rock shelter for which the trail is named. It can provide some respite from the heat on hot, sunny days, but it really wasn’t any cooler yesterday than the surrounding area. I had to be extra careful climbing up since my right hand is not too useful right now.

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Rock Shelter

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Looking down from the rock shelter

We started climbing out of the valley. I tried to take some photos of the switchbacks on the way up, but it was too dark. My camera wasn’t working too well. After a while, we came to a pond.

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Pond

We kept going and reached the point where the Low Gap trail shoots off. The two trails are together for a while, but if you take the Low Gap trail instead of staying on this one, you end up going 10 miles instead of 3 or 4. Someday, we’ll do that, but 3-4 miles was perfect for a post-work hike.

We followed a logging road for some time. We didn’t see any logging going on here this time (last time, we did). We could see where some logging had taken place, but we were glad that at least the machinery was gone.

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Walking up the logging road

Soon we were back at the car. We really enjoyed this hike, and we are very lucky that we can do things like this after work. We took the scenic route there, and the “scenic scenic route” home — meaning, a very meandering, beautiful drive that took about three times as long as the most direct route. And we relished every moment. We saw deer, some pigs, and rabbits — not to mention a couple of pony-drawn carriages. Those were odd, but interesting. As we arrived back at home, it was starting to rain. Good timing.

We’re talking about possibly trying a short backpacking trip soon. Neither of us has ever done that, and it sounds like a lot of fun. We’ll see!

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