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Archive for November 29th, 2008

 

Holidays revolve around food.

Holidays revolve around food.

Returning home after several months at college is such a strange experience. Especially Thanksgiving. It is a three day taste of home before returning to not only the intensity of school but dead and finals weeks as well. After the two hardest weeks of the quarter the journey home begins again. This is probably not as strange for those who live close enough to home to return on weekends, for those of us who chose to be a good distance away home is a place only visited for Thanksgiving, Christmas break, Spring Break and Summer. Aside from those four time periods home is our rooms at school.

The transition may seem radical: a college dorm or apartment to a house you grew up in. The norms and habits are so very different. Except childhood muscle memory always kicks in. Chores that were done growing up become standard once again, eating with the family something to look forward too, even the hours awake change back to those growing up. At school getting tired at around midnight seems slightly odd while not being in bed by midnight is strange at home. 

The strangest part is the subtle changes. Fixtures around the house change, door handles are replaced, curtains disappear and occasionally a wall changes color. Pets grow slightly or become better behaved (that is actually a rare occurrence). Seasons are weird also. Santa Barbara has no seasons aside form Sun and Rain while going home thrusts me into the normal (for me growing up) cycle of the seasons. I went from a slightly rainy Santa Barbara to the winter of my youth. The clouds, the temperature and the smells bring back the middle of winter. Oddly I miss real winter when I am in Santa Barbara. 

There is also the slow encroachment of space. Some of my friends have completely lost their rooms to siblings or parents. In my case my room is rapidly turning into a second office and a guest room, me as the guest. I mean my posters and books and stuff are all there, but ever slowly more filing boxes appear and a few more shelves are requisitions for business use.

An inability to do work arises as well. Over the summer I spent my time at home luxuriating in the lack of work that I needed to do. I read, I played video games and I took naps in the sun. Now when I return home with piles of work to do I cannot muster the motivation to do any of it. While at school I can easily work twelve hours straight I can barely do a hour of work without drifting off or finding a snack. Part of it is that I never had a dedicated work space growing up since I never had much homework in high school.

People change. It is not that bad now that I am a fourth year, but for my freshman year coming home for the first time was strange. I was no longest the same person who left two months before. The same thing happened after five months in Europe, people change. That is the point of college in the end, growing.

Going home is always a strange experience. The eight hour car ride is like a journey to another world. In a way it is relaxing but in a way there is always a sense of wonderment at the distinct world of home.

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A rusty bit of tonemapping.

A rusty bit of tonemapping.

Hopefully everyone has had a good Black Friday. I was not a full participant, I did not wait in line at 5am for doorbusters. Rather I helped move some very heavy conference tables and went out around six in the evening to do some shopping.

Not as much debris or wounded store staff as I expected.

For another set of Photomatix presets:I used Details Enhancer on this original photo:

  • Strength: 100
  • Saturation: 60
  • Luminosity: +2
  • Light Smoothing: High
  • Microcontrast: +6

Tone Settings:

  • White Point: 0.808
  • Black Point: 0.250
  • Gamma: 1.01

Color Settings:

  • Temperature: 0
  • Saturation Highlights: +1
  • Saturation Shadows: 0

Smoothing Settings:

  • Micro-smoothing: 2
  • Highlights Smoothing: 21
  • Shadows Smoothing: 22
  • Shadows Clipping: 0

After I finished setting this up and actually looked at the preset values I realized something: I used a previous preset to tonemap this. So I guess there is nothing new here.

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