Olympus E-PL2 and a bunch of lenses

More than once already we happened to spook various people when we showed up with big DSLR and started to take pictures around. In particular ORNL supercomputers pictures triggered such a reaction where we were basically walked out of the supercomputer room and it took quite an effort to get back in.

With that in mind we started to look for a smaller, but still versatile and light-sensitive camera. We already have a few point and shoots and even with CHDK they leave a lot to be desired.

This is when I remembered about micro 4/3 format, those cameras have much smaller form factor, yet sport sensor with a crop factor of 2 which is still pretty respectable. The sensors are usually 12 megapixels which is not too high.

After researching somewhat I decided to go with Olympus cameras as they have in-camera stabilization system which is pretty useful (I remember from my early attempts with Sony Alpha 100). The latest compact model they had was E-PL2. It has the same sensor as the previous models, but software is still tuned some more and the results are better due to this apparently. Earlier E-P2 while more advanced is also more bulky too which was an important factor.

Prices were pretty tolerable too, we got E-PL2 with a kit 12-42/F3.5-5.6 lens for about $470.

Olympus E-PL2


Paris, day3. Versailles, part 2

So, continuing our Versailles excursion.

Right after the Hercules salon we got into King's Grand apartments. These are the official apartments and are made to resemble Italian palaces. During the day it was open to all, foreigners and French people who came to see the king.

Abundance salon
Abundance salon.


Paris, day 3. Eiffel Tower and Versailles, part 1

And so came the day three of our stay in Paris.

The morning plan was to visit the Eiffel Tower again to take some pictures of it in the morning and also climb up and take some shots of the Paris.

In the park on the way to the tower we saw some big groups of people, fire engines and such. Turn out there was some sort of family sports/running festival or something on that day.


A brief visit to Winter-Land

Just got back from a mountain village called Breckenridge in Colorado, that I visited for work-related reasons.

Surprisingly they have winter in full swing there already.

This is what we saw outside one morning.


"Drunken Chicken" as my husband said.

Fall have come, the evenings are cool already and some hot dishes for diner would be appreciated. For example a very moist and tender chicken after long, slow cooking in a Dutch oven and with mashed potatoes, what do you think? ;) This sounds like something from Burgundy cuisine. Burgundy is a region in eastern France that is famous for their wines from grapes such as Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Also they have traditional local recipes. One of them is Coq au Vin which means "rooster in wine" but it's not so easy to find a rooster in our non countryside area, so a supermarket chicken to the rescue. And of course we will need a Burgundy Pinot Noir. When my husband found out how much wine was needed (a whole bottle) he immediately said "Wow, so this will be just some drunken chicken...". Lol, yes the chicken will be just right ;) This recipe is calling for whole chicken legs but I didn't have them so I used chicken thighs fillets. And by the way a carrot from this recipe is very tasty too.
So, today in the menu we have:

Coq au Vin
Coq au Vin


Paris, day 2, part 2

Ok, so day 2 continued.

Some square
We walked out of subway at Place de la Concorde to see Tuileries Garden and Louvre.


Paris, day 2, part 1

Our report from second day in Paris.

We woke up in the morning, had some breakfast in our hotel and went to Montmartre hill to see the basilicas there.

п⌡п╣п╧п╨п╟ п╡ я│п╟п╢я┐
Near the subway there was this red watering-can in a garden.


Paris, day 1

So a few weeks ago my company asked me if I was interested to go to a European conference held in Paris. Of course I was!

So then came a bit of a nightmare to get our EU/Schengen visas in order which we have received just a day before our departure.

Anyway the day came and we were all set to depart in the evening of Sep 22.

Sunset in Knoxville Airport
Sunset before our departure.


Sad day of September 4th

We were holding high hopes for this Labor day weekend that also coincides with the biggest US fireworks in Knoxville called BoomsDay.

Big plans to take a lot of pictures and video yet the weather was not cooperating, it started cloudy with a thunderstorm in the forecast, yet we hoped for the best and rushed to the location at 2pm to get at least somewhat decent spots.

Neylands Dr
Neylands Drive from the parking lot roof, not a lot of people yet. I am sure the bad weather contributed as well.


Italian dish, which one fluffy celebrity accounts for the food of the gods.

Well, it's September already and pumpkins started to pop up everywhere, but topic for today is not pumpkins it's about vegetables that August, September and first half of October bring us. We really liked one very famous Italian dish from the new Fall issue of Cook's Illustrated magazine. Maybe someone have guessed already what the dish is? ;) Of course, this is lasagna -  the stuff of dreams + the food of the gods + what's for lunch for one very famous and  charming cat Garfield. Probably most of you have immediately thought about meat version of this dish, but vegetable one is very delicious too. So, sorry Garfield, but ...
Today in the menu we have:

Vegetable Lasagna.
Vegetable Lasagna



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