| 01.28.2004 | Emma at Salt Creek Beach

We've all recovered from our flu bug and and felt well enough to head to the ocean. We had a great time this weekend playing at Salt Creek Beach. We'd never been before, usually heading to Crystal Cove State Park instead. Lastly, congratulations to The Madigans on the birth of their wonderful little girl Samantha Alyse Madigan.

Over the flu and back to our normal routine A walk in O'Neill Park and a day at Salt Creek Beach

@ 9:49 PM by TNorthcutt | Comments (0)

| 01.26.2004 | O'Neill Panorama

A gallery of random shots from the month of January includes Knower's famous orange, a panoramic shot of O'Neill Regional Park, a few cool sunsets and some crazy surfers. Check it out.

@ 8:42 PM by TNorthcutt | Comments (0)

| 01.24.2004 | 2003 Ends, 2004 Begins

After all of the excitement on Mars pictures from Earth seems pretty bland, right? Nah, not really :) I worked up two more galleries while listening to the Opportunity Rover feed on NASA TV. Enjoy!

I picked up a new lens today (Canon 28-105 f/3.5-4.5 USM II). I debated long and hard between this and the 28-135 f/3.5-5.6 w/ image stabilization. (See them compared here.) I'll have pictures soon, of course :)

@ 9:51 PM by TNorthcutt | Comments (0)

| 01.21.2004 | Mars Color Follow-up

A few more links re: What Color is Mars? from yesterday. Seems Barry wasn't alone in questioning the accuracy of color panoramas. The last link really goes into great technical detail on how image data is captured, how images are processed and what we can expect in the future. There are even a few replies in the ATSNN forums from folks at Cornell (Dr. Jim Bell) and JPL (Dr. Mark Adler).

An awesome quote from Dr. Bell summed it up:
Ultimately you are right that people will need the calibrated data to do the color balancing correctly. We are working on doing that and will eventually get all those images out to the public using the NASA/JPL "Planetary Image Atlas" web site. It will take several months or more to get the work done, however. In the meantime, we thought it would be best to get *something* out there, and so that's why we opted to get the raw data out fast, even though it's still raw. The team has taken some criticism for this within the planetary science community because not many past missions have adopted such an open-data policy.

Let them whine, I say. People want and deserve to see the pictures as soon as we do.
Right on! Back to Martian Soil for a little more reading before bed.

@ 10:04 PM by TNorthcutt

| 01.20.2004 | What Color is Mars?

What started as a simple question and some interesting images on Martian Soil has turned into a fun ride down conspiracy lane! A few rational comments on color calibration of the pictures coming back from the Spirit Rover led me to do a little Googling and reading. Apparently the color of Mars, our reasons for exploring and other topics have been the subject of conspiracy theorists for years. Check out this sampling of links on a blue(r) Mars: Some pretty interesting stuff! Note: Barry is NOT a wacko conspiracy theorist. Sounds like a good ol' geek who wants to get to the bottom of an obvious mistake. More power to him!

@ 9:44 PM by TNorthcutt

| 01.17.2004 | Pink Pig! Pink Pig!

A few more galleries today. First up is lunch at the Square in Marietta. We had Cuban, with Emma eating her first plantaine. Yummy! On Dec 29 (our 7th wedding anniversary) we went to the Pink Pig at Lenox Mall. This Atlanta tradition returned after a decade on hiatus. It was great to be able to take Emma. Emma took great delight in squealing "PINK PIG! PINK PIG!" while we were there and for days afterwards. We enjoyed it, too :)

@ 3:49 PM by TNorthcutt

| 01.16.2004 | Toccoa After Christmas

The day after Christmas we headed up to Toccoa for a few days to visit my grandfather and the rest of the crew. I've been lucky to know all of my grandparents, lots of my great aunts and uncles as well as more cousins than I can count. A trip to Toccoa is always a treat! It's been lots of fun sharing memories and introducing Marla and Emma to new people every year. Seems like we never run out of people to see.

@ 9:54 PM by TNorthcutt

| 01.08.2004 | It's Christmas All Over Again

This was the first year that Emma kinda sorta (maybe) knew what was going on at Christmas. She had a blast opening presents. Of course, she was content for several hours after opening the first toy (her Strawberry Shortcake stroller and doll). Nevermind the others waiting for her under the tree :) On the flu front... I read this article on MSNBC about the flu "epidimic" being on the decline and had to scratch my head. Wasn't this supposed to be the end of Western civilization? Oh, well.

@ 3:11 PM by TNorthcutt

| 01.07.2004 | The Flu - How Fun!

Not. The entire Northcutt clan (west coast, anyway) has been battling the flu for the past two weeks. Marla and Emma both caught it while we were in Atlanta for the holidays. I left them there, giving them extra time to get feeling better and hoping I'd avoid the bug. I was not so lucky and have been suffering a 102 fever for the past few days.

Through fevered eyes, though, I was able to get a few new picture galleries posted. I'm especially proud of this shot with the sunset behind Marla and Emma. Fill-flash saves the day! And, of course, I have to mention how proud I am of my little engineer. Emma saw Marla putting batteries in the "laptop" and had to follow suit.

@ 6:53 PM by TNorthcutt