Monthly Archives: March 2012

Gracie’s First Trip to Dog Beach

Gracie and Scruffy at Dog Beach Post Winter Storm Wind Blown Ocean A Tangle of Dogs Gracie building a Sand Castle, Scruffy wondering why we aren't walking

Photos taken by Ms. Jen with her Nokia N8.

Tues 03.27.12 – Today neighbor Tammy had to go deal with some exciting county government stuff, so she needed someone to watch 2.75 yr old Gracie for an hour or two. I offered to take Gracie to Dog Beach in Huntington with Scruffy and I as a diversion. Even though it was chilly and very windy, we had a lovely time, that is the chill and wind got to be a bit much for Gracie. She napped soundly all the way home.

Camera Phone Comparison : Macro Mode on the Nokia N8, Nokia N9, and Nokia Lumia 800

Nokia N8 : Belle Nokia N9 : Belle Nokia Lumia 800 : Belle

All photos taken by Ms. Jen.

Sun 03.25.12 – Now that I am in possession of my Nokia N8, Nokia N9, and a Nokia Lumia 800, I will start a semi-regular photo comparison blog posts where I will take a photo of the same subject under the same conditions with each of the camera phones and post the photos here, with links to the original sizes over at my Flickr account for even greater comparison fun.
Today’s photo subject was a macro mode photo of Ms. Belle le Cane taken in the late afternoon light of the 5pm hour with a moderately challenging mix of cloudy outdoor light and interior incandescent light. On each of the camera phones I used the settings of Macro mode, 4:3 aspect ration, and the flash turned off.
The only thing I did not ‘normalize’ was I kept all three at their maximum megapixels for the 4:3 ratio, thus the Nokia N9 and Lumia 800 are at 8mp and the Nokia N8 is at 12mp. But it is not the megapixels that matter here but how each camera phone dealt with the color & lighting, as well as the subject being less than 8 inches / 20 cm from the camera phone.
All three camera phones did a fine job at a close up subject and there is no distortion with Belle’s nose and eyes clear in each photo. In terms of light & color, the Nokia N9 had the best response to the mixed light as photo, the Nokia N8 had the most accurate color albeit a bit dark, and the Lumia 800 had the most interesting color interpretation with a light red-ish wash over half of Belle’s face when there was no red.
If you wish to inspect each photo further, go look at the original sizes:
Nokia N8 in the original 4000 x 3000 pixel size
Nokia N9 in the original 3248 x 2448 pixel size
Nokia Lumia 800 in the original 3248 x 2448 pixel size

The Photo Editing App Showdown

Wherein I, @msjen, and Richard Sheridan, @sheridan01, have a good natured mobile photography showdown on the best photo app for your mobile over at Nokia Connects
Should you or shouldn’t you use a photo | editing app on your camera phone? Richard and I discuss | write about this over at The Nokia App Photo Editing Showdown at Nokia Connects.
Go read it, put in your two or ten cents in the comments.

A Local Problem became a National Problem: Hope in a Changing Climate

“It is the people who have made the changes.” – John D. Liu
“I am amazed that in as short of 5-6 years you can get water this clean.” – Ethopian professor Lagessa on how vegetation traps moisture and brings clean water
“Restoration is critical for Africa, particularly for Ethopia. … This is regional, national, and international.” – Prof. Legasse
On the Hope in a Changing Climate documentary (via

The film “Hope in a Changing Climate” is created by John D. Liu, the director of Environmental Education Media Project (EEMP). The EEMP is dedicated to continuous research and collaborative learning in environmental, sustainable development and public health subjects; and to producing, gathering and distributing high quality audio-visual materials to support public awareness of these crucial issues.
This documentary demonstrates that it is possible to rehabilitate large-scale damaged ecosystems, to restore ecosystem functions in areas where they have been lost, to fundamentally improve the lives of people who have been trapped in poverty for generations and to sequester carbon naturally. This approach has been dramatically proven on the Loess Plateau in China, the highland area spanning some 640,000 square km in north central China. It is the birthplace of the Han Chinese, headwaters of The Yellow River and home to a new environmental and economic paradigm: A degraded ecosystem of more than 35,000 square km of land now teems with life and supports the sustainable economic, social and agricultural activities of its people.

Today is World Water Day.


At the Huntington Gardens: A Blooming Tropical Tree At the Huntington Gardens: A Blooming Cherry Tree At the Huntington Gardens: A Blooming Almond(?) Tree At the Huntington Gardens: More Cherry Tree
Photos taken at the Huntington Library and Gardens on 03.10.12 by Ms. Jen with her Nokia N8.

Tues 03.20.12 – Today is the first day of Spring 2012. Well, first day if you are in the Northern hemisphere and east of the Central time zone, but here in California we turned to Spring at 10:14pm last night. Though in typical Southern California form, spring has been blossoming since the leaves fell off the trees in mid-January.
The On Being Blog has a nice photo essay on the Iranian-Kurd-Afghani spring celebration of Nowruz. If you are Catholic or Orthodox, then Happy Lady Day to you or not if you are cranky.
Even if you are still knee deep in snow and weeks away from flowers and trees blossoming, go light a good bonfire and jump over it in joy of Spring! The bonfire will at least keep you warm… ;o)

Scruffy, Found a Sunny Spot on a Chilly Day

Scruffy sitting in a patch of sun at the back of the car

Photo taken by Ms. Jen with her Nokia N8.

Sun 03.18.12 – Here in the coastal area of Southern California, we have very very few days that could actually be called cold, a few nights per year, but very few days. By cold, I mean temps below 50F/10C by 10am. By most standards in the temperate and northern areas, 50F/10C is relatively balmy, but please do remember that in the greater Los Angeles area when the temps drop below 65F/18C, most folks start whinging on about it being FREEZING and put on a parka with their flipflops or/and Ugg boots with their shorts.
Let me further whittle this down, since 1990, by cold I mean that there have only been two days where I could and did wear a wool sweater outside during the day, when the sun was out, as I went about my daily activities. There are at least 10 nights a winter season that I would wear a coat, be it wool or fleece, and fleece gloves when walking the dogs.
SoCal is known for its warm days and cool nights, so a night in the 40s F in the winter is not that rare near the coast, but cool days are rare.
Today, a winter storm from the north-east Pacific was pulling out with 17mpg winds and temps in the 45-48F range all morning. It was glorious. I wore my wood Icelandic style sweater with fleece gloves and a long sleeved shirt while walking the dogs in the 8-9am hour. I was wildly excited about real weather, rather than fake 65F wear ones Uggs weather.
Scruffy was not as excited about the chill as I was, as he has only one thin layer of hair. I suppose if my dream of moving north, as in 50-60 deg latitude north, comes true, I will have to either get Scruffy a down feather filled body bag that he can walk in, or he will have to stay in SoCal with my brother Joe.
Unfortunately, temperatures will return to a normal 68-78F in two days. Bastards.

The Big News of the Week: Lukas!

Erin, Lukas, and Erika Phoebe

Photos of Erin, Lukas, Erika and Phoebe taken by Ms. Jen with her Nokia N8 last night.

Thurs 03.15.12 – The extra big super exciting news of the week is that Mr. TummyMuffin VI morphed, via the birthing process, into the fabulous Lukas Bertling!
Big congratulations to Erika and Thomas Bertling on the birth of Mr. Lukas on Monday, March 12th!
Yay! Welcome to the world, Mr. Lukas!

Thomas and Lukas a few hours after birth

Photo of Thomas and Lukas taken by Ms. Jen with a Nikon D300s.
More photos forthcoming.