Early Birthday Present

Canon was running triple rebates that expired on January 15, so we broke down a little early and got the digital SLR camera that I wanted for my birthday.

I chose the Canon EOS 350D (Digital Rebel XT), partly because the reviews of it were glowing, partly because Pam had a 35mm Canon Rebel 2000 that we both enjoyed.

It came with two lenses, a EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6 III (telephoto zoom) and a EF 50mm f/1.8 II (standard & medium telephoto). The 50mm, for its price, is very well regarded. . As an added bonus, the kit lens that came with Pam’s old 35mm works with this new body, meaning that I also have access to a EF 28-80mm f/3.5-5.6 II (standard zoom) that isn’t well regarded, but it works and will make a nice starter lens.

I haven’t even read the manual yet, but just playing around with it a little tonight, I took almost 100 pictures, of which only a handful were even decent. This is my favorite of the bunch, a nice close-up of Chief (click on the image for the huge original…) taken with the 50mm, but I could have improved the Depth of Field considerably. Still learning, still learning.

Stay tuned as we explore more of this camera’s powerful features. I’ll keep uploading the best of the pictures here.

An Appeal from Center-Right Bloggers

We are bloggers with boatloads of opinions, and none of us come close to agreeing with any other one of us all of the time. But we do agree on this: The new leadership in the House of Representatives needs to be thoroughly and transparently free of the taint of the Jack Abramoff scandals, and beyond that, of undue influence of K Street.

We are not naive about lobbying, and we know it can and has in fact advanced crucial issues and has often served to inform rather than simply influence Members.

But we are certain that the public is disgusted with excess and with privilege. We hope the Hastert-Dreier effort leads to sweeping reforms including the end of subsidized travel and other obvious influence operations. . Just as importantly, we call for major changes to increase openness, transparency and accountability in Congressional operations and in the appropriations process.

As for the Republican leadership elections, we hope to see more candidates who will support these goals, and we therefore welcome the entry of Congressman John Shadegg to the race for Majority Leader. We hope every Congressman who is committed to ethical and transparent conduct supports a reform agenda and a reform candidate. . And we hope all would-be members of the leadership make themselves available to new media to answer questions now and on a regular basis in the future.

Signed,

N.Z. Bear, The Truth Laid Bear
Hugh Hewitt, HughHewitt.com
Glenn Reynolds, Instapundit.com
Kevin Aylward, Wizbang!
La Shawn Barber, La Shawn Barber’s Corner
Beth, MY Vast Right Wing Conspiracy
Lorie Byrd, Polipundit
Jeff Goldstein, Protein Wisdom
Stephen Green, Vodkapundit
John Hawkins, Right Wing News
John Hinderaker, Power Line
Jon Henke / McQ / Dale Franks, QandO
James Joyner, Outside The Beltway
Mike Krempasky, Redstate.org
Michelle Malkin, MichelleMalkin.com
Ed Morrissey, Captain’s Quarters
Scott Ott, Scrappleface
John Donovan / Bill Tuttle, Castle Argghhh!!!
Gordy Hulten, gordyhulten.com