Day: November 8, 2011

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

06:49 – I finally finished cleaning off the kitchen table Sunday. I’d had the microscope and various other stuff set up there to shoot the cover image. Barbara’s happy that she has her kitchen table back. I’m happy that I have my microscope back. It wasn’t doing me any good sitting on the kitchen table.

Instead of moving the microscope back onto the microscope desk in my office, I set it up on a stackable table that’s about 18″ (46 cm) high. That puts the primary eyepiece a bit too low to be comfortable, but it also puts the back of the Pentax DSLR at a level where I can see it without standing up. That’s desirable because I’m now shooting images with the Pentax K-r, which is the first Pentax DSLR we’ve had that offers live-view. That’s important because it’s nearly impossible to focus through the microscope using the focusing screen. Without live-view, I often shot literally 15 or 20 images with slight focusing tweaks for each to get one usable image. With live-view, I can instead focus on the 3″ (7.5 cm) LCD monitor, which is both brighter and sharper than the TTL focusing screen, so my success ratio should be a lot higher. Not to mention that it’ll take a lot less time and effort to get usable images.

I’m not exactly going on hiatus, but posts and replies to comments here are going to be short and sporadic for about the next three months. I just talked to Brian Jepson, my editor, yesterday, and we agreed on a drop-dead book deadline of 31 January. Brian needs that to make sure the book will be available in time for Maker Faire next May, and of course I also want that. Not to mention the fact that being available in time for Maker Faire also means the book will be available in time for summer session.

I’ve already been on a seven-day work schedule for some time. Well, the truth is that I’m always on a seven-day work schedule. But now I’m going to ramp it up somewhat, to perhaps eight hours a day of actual writing on weekdays (which is kind of like working 12-hour days at most jobs; ask any writer) and at least six hours of actual writing on weekend days. I won’t have time (or energy) to do much else.

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