Pat McCarthy is the author of a dozen nonfiction books for children and young adults. She has published numerous stories, articles, puzzles and quizzes in magazines for children and adults. She teaches for the Institute of Children's Literature. She has also written encyclopedia articles and school curriculum. Pat is a retired elementary school teacher who subs to remain in touch with kids. Her hobbies are photography, travel, birding and scrapbooking.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Too Busy to Post!

I've been busy and haven't blogged for awhile. I recently spent a week in the Smoky Mountains, photographing the national park. We only spent half a day in Gatlinburg. Some people think Gatlinburg is synonymous with the Smokies. I think it's too commercialized - a real tourist trap. I did have lunch at the Hard Rock Cafe there, which was an experience. I'm glad that the $10 hamburger really was the best one I've ever had! Also enjoyed looking at Ken Jenkins' photography at his Beneath the Smoke gallery.

No thanks to the nice young man there whom we asked about a drug store or grocery so we could buy Airborne (cold medicine.) He told us what road to take to find Food City. "You can't miss it. It's on the left. You'll think you've gone too far, but you haven't." Well, after 21 miles, we decided that we had, indeed, gone too far! I'd have turned around sooner, but my friend was driving and he kept thinking we couldn't have missed it. We got right back to the edge of Gatlinburg and there it was, FOOD CITY! The only problem is that the building faces away from Gatlinburg and the only sign is on the front of the building! So there is NO way we could have seen it without turning around and looking back. He COULD have said, "It's across from the municipal building."

Despite that mishap, we had a wonderful time and got some great pictures. We stayed in Townsend with 39 other people from several photo clubs, mostly from Dayton, Ohio. Spent most of our time in Cade's Cove, where we photographed bears, wild turkeys, pileated woodpeckers, deer, trees, mountains, fog, flowers, log cabins, and much much more. My photos are far superior to the ones I took the weekend before with the same camera. The difference? I used my tripod. I don't like using it and had gotten out of the habit, but I was shooting with Tim and he was using his all the time, so I decided to try it. It wasn't so bad, and the results were definitely worth the bother.

I took over 1000 pictures, but you can do that with digital and not waste film or money. Each evening, I put them on my laptop and cleared my card. I thought I might have lost all my photos, though. On Friday night, I found out that my laptop doesn't like Dr. Pepper as much as I do! I had a fourth of a bottle setting there and accidentally knocked it over. It landed on something and I saw a few drops that had squirted out the top. I wiped them off the table and went on downloading my pictures. Then I went through and turned them rightside up, then was deleting a few slightly blurry ones, when the monitor went off. I thought something was unplugged, so checked all the connections. All okay. So I turned it so the light shone on the keyboard and saw....several big drops of Dr. Pepper. I turned the laptop upside down and about two tablespoons of liquid came out.

I couldn't get it to come back on then, or Saturday or Sunday. I was hoping someone could take out the hard drive and get the photos off it. Got home Sunday night, and Monday I tried turning on the laptop. It came on and has worked fine ever since! Needless to say, I will NOT have any liquid near it again. And I put all the photos on CD's in case my reprieve is temporary!

Pat McCarthy

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