Marietta Landmarks

These two restaurants are staples of dining in Marietta, Georgia. The Marietta Diner is one of my favorite places, but I don’t eat fried chicken so I never frequent the KFC. The Big Chicken is one of the most famous landmarks in the metro Atlanta area.

Marietta Diner

Big Chicken


Celebrating Copernicus and a Tale of Two Moons

Nicholas Copernicus is one of the most famous and important mathematicians and astronomers in history. It was he who surmised that the Earth and other planets revolved around the Sun. His birthday in February 19th, and I decided to honor him by photographing the moon which just happened to have a crater named for him in good view. The Copernicus crater is the prominent one at the bottom left of these photos of the moon.

Now see how much difference you can find in terms of quality of the two shots. I like them both very much, but one was taken with a full-frame DSLR (Sony A99) using a tripod and the other is a handheld shot using a point-and-shoot superzoom camera (Canon Powershot SX50). Can you really tell much difference?

Here is the shot from the Powershot

And here is the shot from the A99.

The first one is a bit “softer,” but not by much. I am honestly surprised at how good the first one turned out considering that I was not using a DSLR or a tripod. I was just walking to get my mail and I happened to take that camera with me in hopes of catching some good bird shots. I decided to take a few of the moon and the others were usable as there was too much camera shake. But this one turned out almost as good as the DSLR version on a tripod.

Now don’t get me wrong here. I LOVE my full-frame camera and it is my workhorse. But having a smaller one as a “carry around” camera is a nice thing to have, especially when it shoots quality photos.


Shooting the Milky Way

This is one of my favorite things to photograph. The trick is finding skies that are dark enough so that you can actually see the Milky Way. Luckily we have the Deerlick Astronomy Village here in Georgia, and I am proud to be a member. It’s about 100 miles east of Atlanta, and it has some of the darkest skies in Georgia and nice low horizons in all directions.

The Dissertation Process

This is the year when I finish my dissertation. It has been decided.

I have been ABD (all but dissertation) for quite some time. It seems like I’m trying to set a dubious record for the longest time as an ABD doc student, but it’s time to break that cycle. I have tried many things to get motivated, and I think I might have finally found a good plan for me. Here is a breakdown of this (hopefully) winning strategy.

For quite some time now I have been saving dissertation-related resources to my Diigo account. I tag each resource with “dissertation” and any other appropriate tags. As of this writing, I have 266 tagged resources for “dissertation.” That is entirely too many.

What I am doing now is going back through each one of those resources and weeding out the ones that really won’t help me. I don’t have a number in mind, but I’m guessing at least half of those will be put aside by the time I start the actual writing process.

Today I started a new Google Document called “Dissertation Snippets.” In this document I am pasting all of the good resources from Diigo along with a sentence or two highlighting what that resource is about. This is what I will be doing over the course of the next several days.

I should note that I have other resources besides the ones on Diigo. I have several dozen articles in PDF format in a Dropbox folder, and I will be using several books that are not available electronically. I believe that I have collected a substantial amount of appropriate literature and research at this point, but I am still on the lookout for more.

Once I go through all the resources, I will then start to organize them by the chapter in which they are most likely to appear. If you aren’t familiar with the structure of a dissertation, it goes like this:

  1. Introduction
  2. Review of Relevant Literature
  3. Methods and Procedures
  4. Findings
  5. Discussion, Conclusions, and Implications

Of course some resource material will appear in multiple chapters, and that is okay. But for now, just getting organized is the primary goal.

When all of the resources have been reviewed and organized, I plan to begin working on the literature review first. That might change, but that is the plan for now. I will post updates here from time to time.

In the meantime, I leave you with this gem.

So what will this blog be about?

I’ve had several blogs in the past, and I’ve always tried to have a variety of topics.

This blog will be very similar.

It will probably have a lot of photography, as that has become a real passion for me.

I will also make many posts about education and educational technology.

And you can also expect quite a few posts about sports.

I might even surprise myself by finding other topics to blog about.

Basically, you never know what you’ll get here.

Sound good?

I’m excited.

So here is a recent photo I took of the moon that I really like.