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Live Lumix Whale Record

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Live Lumix Whale Record

May 21st, 2008  · stk

NewsBrief: [Live Lumix Whale Record] Scott tests a Lumix TZ5 digital camera • Hutton House chickens set an egg-laying record! • Candace & Richard have a Whale Encounter of the First Kind • Hilltop Marine gets a new AstonishMe! website deployed

Lumix DMC-TZ5 Testing

Hutton House - Scott is looking at purchasing a Panasonic "Lumix" TZ5 digital camera and got his hands on one to take for a spin. He's interested in the camera because of it's 28mm wide angle Leica lens, 10X zoom capability and close-focus macro modes. He took a bunch of test shots. Here's a couple.

New Record

Hutton House Coop - The four Hutton House Hens, AKA "the Girls", set a new record this morning, for egg production.

Scott went out to the coop this gray morning, at 7:15 AM, just as the mist began turning to rain. He carried with him, in a used, plastic yogurt container, the table scraps and peelings from the previous day.

Chickens eat just about anything and the compost pile has gone begging, because most of the Kimler food waste - what little there is - goes straight down the gullets of four, always-hungry birds. (They don't get onions, as it flavors the eggs in an undesirable way, though they do get crushed up egg shells. It sounds kind of cannibalistic, but they need the calcium to support their egg production and they're mashed, so they don't "recognize" them as eggs.)

As normal, the girls were awake and clucking in their coop, eager to start their day - and see what scraps were coming their way.

Scott opened the coop and the fearful four came gallivanting down the gangplank, spreading out in the run and keeping an eye on Scott, who was entering the run through a doorway. Their eyes bulged when they saw scraps over the edge of the yogurt container. Bit of crusty bread, scrapings of rice off the bottom of the rice cooker, kiwi peelings, apple core, egg shells, carrot and celery bits and god knows what else.

Scott tossed it out into the run, along with a few handfuls of scratch. They fought amongst themselves, vying for what they thought were the "best scraps" (it's amazing to see what they fight over ... dandelions we pull from the lawn and even big, fat, yellow banana slugs we toss their way).

Scott headed to the nesting boxes, expecting to find the normal two or three eggs (they tend to lay 3 to 4 eggs a day, usually a couple lay early, then one or two lay later on. One can hear them squawking, when they lay, as they often make quite a ruckus while they're laying.)

Scott found a total of FIVE eggs, sitting in the nests. Three in one nest and two in the other. The girls have been very busy indeed, setting a new Hutton House Single Day Lay record. :D

HOLD THE PRESSES! We have a late-arrival. The girls laid another egg this afternoon. The "Hutton House Single Day Lay" number has increased to SIX!!

Whale of a Time

Barkley Sound, B.C. - Scott was "on call" this past holiday weekend, at the local firehouse, which meant that he had to stay inside the fire district all weekend, to respond to any and all emergencies. (This past weekend was the "May long weekend" - AKA "Victoria Day", a Canadian holiday that precedes the American "Memorial Day Weekend" by a week. The holiday celebrates someone named "Victoria", oddly enough, which leaves Scott wondering, in a sarcastic Yank kind-of-way ... "When do Canadian celebrate 'My Day'?")

Rachel was off to Vancouver on a Nurses Union thing (she's now a "Shop Steward" for the BC Nurses Union, at the hospital where she works).

The point is, we didn't go to the floating cabin for the May Long Weekend, like our cabin mates did.

Too bad, because apparently, we missed the opportunity of a lifetime.

Details are sketchy at this point, but last night, we received some video footage from Candace and Richard. Apparently, they were out fishing near Swale Rock (just outside the western entrance to Julia Passage, where the cabin is moored) and were "played with" by a curious, juvenile Humpback whale!

The video isn't really very long, but is shows a Humpback whale surfacing and bumping their boat, just off the port side. There's a fair bit of "Oh my God's!" on the video and it ends with "Hang on, in case we're flipped over", or something like that!

For the better part of 40 minutes, the curious, baby whale "played with" (bumped and pushed, surfacing, showing its belly, etc) with the two boats that were there.

Can you imagine?! Wow!

We're hoping to get copies of the other videos and we'll ask for permission to post them on Randsco (apparently there's a fair bit of swearing in the other videos, which might render them unsuitable for family viewing, but a rash of "Oh my God's!" seems fairly innocuous. Wonder what the others have on them?)

Like Rachel said, "Amazing. This kind of stuff only happens to Candace!" (It's true. Candace has some of the most incredible, odd stories you've ever heard ... and they keep piling up!

Stay tuned for (hopefully) more about the whale encounter!

Hilltop Marine Website Goes Live

Bronston, Kentucky - After a fair bit of time spent styling, coding, tweaking and editing, our boating website at www.hilltopmarine.com has finally gone "live". (Mind you, the nameservers are still in transition, so clicking the link might still yield the old site. Just take our word that it once propagated, it'll look an awful lot like the the image on the left. ;)

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1.flag Gary Comment
05/22/08
I too, have a Panasonic Lumix Camera, Its 7M Pixels and has been a cracking good camera. I chose it mainly because of the Leica lens and the Image stabilisation. Leica have been making lenses since the invention of the wheel ;) this made my mind up when I was looking for a new camera a year or two ago.

Glad the girls are keeping the Hutton House breakfast table supplied with fresh eggs, and 6 in 1 day huh! Didn't know that onions came through in the eggs though. I had heard that feeding fish to hens makes them have lovely eggs but again I believe it makes them taste fishy - Yuck!

The boating site looks well, Paul showed it to me a few months back, nice job guys :)

Looking forward to seeing the (Clean - edited) video clip of the Humpback whale, what a shame you missed it, still I am sure you will get to hear all about it from your friends.

Have fun,

Gz
2.flag stk Comment
05/24/08
A couple of years ago, I bought a Casio EX-Z850 (8.1 MP) and have been very pleased. It's a super small camera and it is crammed with features and has great controls. It holds a charge forever (took it on a 5-day backpacking trip, took video + oodles of pictures and it still had plenty of live at the end).

It does, however, have some frustrating drawbacks, most notably: macro zoom distance is a whopping meter (or something like that) and it lacks a 28mm wide angle option.

The Lumix is definitely larger and the battery doesn't last as long, but it's clearly an improvement on the optics, with a super (super) zoom; 28mm wide angle and close macro focusing distance!

(Now we have 'his' and 'hers' cameras - we will no longer miss shots on bicycle tours and backpacking trips because the other one has the camera!)

I've gotten approval for the whale video (it's short, but pretty amazing), plus some other snapshots. Coming soon.

Today? No ... I'm chainsawing up a couple of cords of wood to put away for next winter, so we don't freeze our bums off!

3.flag Gary Comment
05/24/08
Nice one Scott, look foward to seeing the video and pics.

Happy chainsawing.

Gz