April 14, 2007: Branch Brook Park

I heard that this weekend was supposed to be really cold and even possibly snow but this morning when I got out of bed the apartment was warm even without the heater running and the bright sunlight streaming in the living room windows was awesome. I woke up Oreo and told him that there was sunlight and he got up and came out to the living room to join me. His weekend mornings in the sun are one of his favourite things. (That and bright copper kettles of course.)

I had some early morning work to do for the office so I figured that it would just make sense to drag myself out of bed on the early side and get to it. I have had a bit of weekend work recently. All of this overtime will be a big help with all of the college bills and vet bills and car bills that have been hitting us recently. Now that we have to keep the car for at least one additional day we will be spending at least an extra $100 for that. 🙁 It never ends.

This weekend begins the Cherry Blossom Festival at Branch Brook Park here in Newark. The park is currently attempting to raise funds necessary for the planting of 2000 additional cherry trees so that it can regain the title of the largest cherry tree collection (but in the state, country, world – that I don’t know.) It is far larger than Washington, D.C.’s cherry tree collection. The park is also one of the largest urban parks in the nation and was designed by the famous Frederick Law Olmstead of Central Park fame. It is very cool that the subway runs from our building right to the park. We can get there without ever getting into a car or bus or anything but, unfortunately, because Oreo is not allowed to ride the train we will still have to drive there so that he can come along with us. Allowing pets onto public transportation could do a lot to improve the usability of the systems – especially on weekends when most traffic is for pleasure and not for work.

While I was waiting for some work at the office to be completed I did a little shopping on Amazon and picked up a second battery for our Canon Elura 60 MiniDV camcorder and a wall/car charger for it so that I can get a lot more mileage out of the camera. Having only a single battery for a camera of any sort is a real problem. If you want to avoid damaging the battery you have to run it down and then fully recharge it but that means using the camera a lot just to run the battery down so that it can be ready when you finally need to use it. I am going to order more MiniDV cassettes soon as well. The big item that I need now for the camera is some lighting. But that is more expensive and complex so I am not going to be getting that anytime soon, I don’t think.

I put in a couple hours of “office” work before breakfast. Dominica got up around ten thirty and studied a little but I had to work on the phone for a while and she can’t read when I am on the phone. One of the major disadvantages of this small apartment is that anything that one of us does affects the other. Watching DVDs, playing a video game, recording a podcast, editing a video, talking on the phone all requires the other person to stop what they are doing and wait because there is no where to go to get away from the sound. And with all hardwood floors the sound really carries too.

I went back to Amazon and did some additional shopping for some video production books. I know next to nothing about making good videos so I figured some basics would be helpful. O’Reilly, who publishes some of the best technology books on the market, makes a few digital video production books that I wanted to check out so I started with those.

A little before noon we finally got a chance to run over to Food for Life for breakfast. The original plan had been to run up to Ithaca today for Bob Winan’s birthday party but with both of us having homework and me having to work again this weekend we just couldn’t make it happen reasonably. Sorry Bob, we had it on the calendar and everything.

In the afternoon we went out to Branch Brook Park to check out the cherry blossoms that everyone raves about in this city and discovered that there was nothing at all.  We drove all of the way around the park and didn’t see a single cherry blossom.  But we took some time and had a nice walk around the park with Oreo.  He had a wonderful time chasing birds and dogs.  He doesn’t get the opportunity to go to the parks very often other than Military Park so it was quite the treat for him.  We took the Canon Elura 60 along and managed to get a short video taken of the day that I hope to post tonight.  I had been hoping to have gotten a bunch of footage of the cherry blossoms but it was not to be so.  Maybe we will see them later in a few weeks.

After going to the park we went grocery shopping and then went to Applybee’s for dinner.  Then it was back home and time to get back to studying.

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