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Winter's End, Pictures from Last Evening at Twilight

'Man is like a tree, bodily asceticism is the foliage, interior vigilance the fruit. According to that which is written, "Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit shall be cut down and cast into the fire" (Matt. 3:10) it is clear that all our care should be directed toward the fruit, that is to say, guard of the spirit; but it needs the protection and the embellishment of the foliage, which is bodily asceticism.' 

St. Agathon 

'Your soul needs a brief winter. The winter purifies the air and the earth of foul vapors; it even invigorates the human body. If it strips the trees of their leaves, it is only to the end that they take deeper roots. The spring comes afterwards, and clothes them again with verdure and blossoms.'

St. Paul of the Cross

'Blessed Francis Patrizi, who had the greatest devotion to the "Hail Mary" used to recite five hundred a day. Mary announced the hour of his death to him, and he died as a saint. After forty yea…
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It has been a little bit since an entry.

I am doing well with my camera and piano. I have sent back the Swissonic 88 keyboard mentioned previously, and now have in the mail a truly high quality keyboard, the Roland FP-90.

I look forwards to playing it, and writing down my impressions. It is a triple sensor keyboard, and so more expressive than others, you can replay a note after raising up the key just a little bit. The expressiveness is important to me.

It is a white piano too. So now not only the piano keys are white. I like to think of the sky pictures I take, and the floating clouds, and imagine them inside the piano keys.

The Sony A7R II is taking beautiful pictures still too, with the 90mm Macro lens, and the Tamron 100-400mm, both of which are splendid lenses. I have gotten completely used to using the latter properly as an adapted lens and think it, with my inexperienced view, a recommendable combination.

My health has had its ups and downs, while I rarely write about it, I f…

Before Winter Birds and Trees

'Behold the birds of the air, for they neither sow, nor do they reap nor gather into barns; and your heavenly Father feedeth them. [Mt 6:26]

The birds are the saints, who fly to heaven on the wings of contemplation, who are so removed from the world that they have no business on earth. They do not labour, but by contemplation alone they already live in heaven.'

St. Anthony of Padua

'Shall we all be saved? Shall we go to Heaven? Alas, my children, we do not know at all! But I tremble when I see so many souls lost these days. See, they fall into Hell as leaves fall from the trees at the approach of winter.'

St. Jean Marie Baptiste Vianney, the Cure of Ars

'Yesterday, our old St. Francis of Assisi was more poetical than ever, in the midst of his tears and of his bursts of love. Speaking of the soul of man, which ought to aspire to God alone, he cried out, "Does the fish seek the trees and the fields? No; it darts through the water. Does the bird remain o…

The Moon

Here are two photos of the moon from a few days apart.

One is a daytime photo, with just a little processing, the other is a stacked series of shots for detail during the night of the full "supermoon".

I am still testing the Tamron 100-400mm on my camera, there are times when autofocus is fine, times when it is not, still working out the details of how to best work with it.

Very busy here with a relative visiting. A storm might be due at the end of the week, should stock up and prepare too.

Reflections. ..

'How beautiful to look upon is the starry firmament! Yet it is only the portal of the blessed country where I hope to go one day.'

St. Paul of the Cross

'Prayer without fervor has not sufficient strength to rise to heaven.'

St. Bernard of Clairvaux

'He who beholds Heaven with a pure eye, sees better the darkness of earth; for, although the latter seems to have some brilliancy, it disappears before the splendor of the heavens.'

St. Ignatius of Lo…

A few photos. . .

A few photos with the Tamron 100-400mm on the Sony A7RII.

It's a f4.5-6.3 lens, for the Canon EOS camera, however with the Sigma MC-11 adapter I was able to use it on the Sony A7RII. I took a risk there, new lens, just out, but it worked today.

I will test it out further tomorrow. [my amateur test results: normally can't recommend the combo due to limited autofocus at this point, otherwise it's very nice though] It's dark now. Only astrophotography is possible for the most part, if the good Lord parts the clouds. Might try some, but have some samples to work on from a txistu too which should be quite fun.

Thanks be to God for all His gifts.

Swissonic 88 Keyboard and Unique MIDI Controllers

Well my new keyboard has arrived in the mail, the Swissonic 88.

It is intended to replace the Keystation 88 as the main keyboard I use. It's my hope that the sliders and aftertouch will give me some added control over the instruments.

So far I am happy with the feel of the keys, and can say it's a solidly made device. The Yamaha FC-7 pedal I have works with it, with the polarity reversed, unlike the Keystation.

The touch of the keys is just slightly heavier than the Keystation which is a light touch keyboard. I prefer a light touch. The Keystation keys, are comparatively loose and light, the Swissonic, solid and light. The same can be said for the modwheel.

Overall the Swissonic being made of metal and a significant degree heavier than the Keystation gives a more reliable impression. 

I'd prefer aesthetically the Swissonic to be white or black, rather than pewter gray. The Keystation also takes up less space.  

It took me some time to get the Swissonic's sliders to …

Today's Rainbow

Further Skies

Clouds from Yesterday

Rainbows from Yesterday

Besides music, photography

Finding a Piano

It's been about three months since I started taking up learning to play the piano. . .

While I say it's a piano, it's really just a keyboard. It at least has 88 keys, and a sustain pedal, and a very nice sound when it is plugged into the computer.

It's completely silent without a computer. It's a MIDI keyboard, which means it needs some extra support.

I really love the sound it came with when the computer is hooked up to it. It's sound is from the Sonivox Eighty Eight.

It's been splendid for my health to sit down and play.

I think I shall have to go and make a list of all the piano sounds I have been looking through.

I'm not endorsing anybody. . . These are all secular websites, so, surf with your filters and blockers up as is normal. If that's not normal for you.. find out why it should be.