The baby book, via e-mail

The other day on my way home, I was listening to CBC Radio1. The program host was talking to the mother of a ten-year-old girl…and this mother had the greatest idea.

When her daughter was born, she created a Gmail account in the girl’s name. When things happened in the girl’s life, mom and dad would describe them in e-mail messages to the girl’s account. Not only was it like a journal that the parents didn’t have to keep track of, anyone they gave the address to could also contribute. And of course, anyone could include photos and videos in their messages as well.

The instant the parents gave the girl the log in credentials, she had a journal of her life from the beginning, complete with photos and video, written by her parents and their friends and relatives. What a gift!

Now tell me, isn’t that a terrific idea?


  1. I tried to look up the show and who it was about. I couldn’t find that information so I’m going to continue without attribution.

Required circumcision

Do you want yet another reason why religion needs to stay separate from government?

The CBC reported on the bizarre issue that began with a couple in Israel having a baby boy. Apparently, things were quite rocky for them and they were considering divorce by the time the child arrived. Unfortunately, the child was born with an unnamed medical issue that prevented the traditional circumcision on the eighth day of the boy’s life. The mother said,

As time went on, I started reading about what actually happens in circumcision, and I realized that I couldn’t do that to my son. He’s perfect just as he is.

Her husband didn’t agree and went to a rabbinical court over the matter. According to the rabbis, circumcision is

a standard surgical procedure that is performed on every Jewish baby boy, so when one of the parents demands it, the other cannot delay it except where it is proven to be medically dangerous

The mother lost an appeal to a higher rabbinical court so now she’s planning to appeal to Israel’s High Court of Justice.

As it stands, the government is fining the mother $149 for every day her son is not circumcised.

Yeesh. I have enough trouble with a surgical procedure being a religious requirement, but religious representatives having the government-mandated power to make it happen? Secular state for me, please!

Little man

I recently finally got around to looking at the photos I took the last time I visited my mom. During that trip I also visited my nephew, niece-in-law, and their son. Of course I took many photos! Over Christmas I had a very small number of keepers, especially considering how many attempts I made. In going over the most recent images, I was very pleased to find two consecutive images that I’m very pleased with. Here’s one of them:

4M6C1476.CR2: 5D Mk.III, EF 50mm 1:1.4 @ 1/250, f/2, 800 ISO

Isn’t he adorable?

I continued looking at the photo, and noticed my arm on the left side of the image (cropped out of the photo here). Wait, my arm? Then I remembered that my nephew Steve took a bunch of photos with my camera!

I’m glad to have the images, but it means that I have no really good ones that I’ve taken. I must have lost my child-photography chops!

I’ll just have to keep trying. And in the meantime, Steve is taking and sharing the most amazing photos of my great-nephew!


Photo by daddy Steve

Photographing birthdays

Among my family and friends, September is the month most densely packed with birthdays. Last weekend was my mom’s birthday as I said in my last post, and yesterday I had the pleasure of attend Lori and Rustin’s son’s birthday.

The party was at one of those family amusement places designed for this purpose. They’ve got laser tag, bumper cars, a climbing wall, all sorts of arcade games, and similar such activities. I took pictures and with the extended ISO range of the 5D3 (as compared to the 30D, at least), I was eager to take some photos in conditions that were too dark for my previous camera.

Our hostess invited me to watch the laser tag match without participating and I enthusiastically accepted. Here’s the birthday-boy firing at his mom, who’s standing beside me:

4M6C0780.CR2: 5D Mk.III, EF 17–40mm 1:4L @ 40mm, 1/40, f/4, 25600 ISO

4M6C0780.CR2: 5D Mk.III, EF 17–40mm 1:4L @ 40mm, 1/40, f/4, 25600 ISO

Not only was there a lack of light, but what little light I had in the laser tag area worked against me. Fluorescent black light was the only light source. I’ll never complain about tungsten lighting again!

4M6C0780.CR2: 5D Mk.III, EF 17–40mm 1:4L @ 40mm, 1/20, f/4, 25600 ISOLori stood beside me because she decided to take a break from the mayhem. Despite it not earning her any points, she felt free to ‘fill me with photons’ as she approached a moment earlier.

The image to the right is quite soft because the shutter speed is 1/20 of a second, without image stabilization. The photo isn’t bad, considering. This also explains why the beam expands so much as it crosses the room. The slow shutter allows plenty of time to capture any movement of the beam during the exposure.

Except the shutter speed, all the exposure settings are the same as the previous image.

The kids all had fun, and that was the most important thing. I took some photos that I’m pleased with and that’s nice, too.