It's that time of year again. So it's snowing here at and the Magic Special Buy Me Stuff for Christmas Happy Funtime Wow Wishlist Hat™ is back. I also moved the links from the right side to the left side and added a Flickr widget to the right side. It shows the latest three photos I've uploaded to Flickr. Clicking one will open it in a lightbox. If you click on the heading, "Flickr", it will take you to the Flickr page, which has a full gallery. You can eventually get to my actual factual Flickr page on Flickr's servers by clicking on images in the gallery.

I've set up a Flickr account because I need a safe place to store all the hundreds and hundreds of photos I'm going to take this Christmas. I am going to Italy for two weeks: December 19th through January 1st. I will visit Rome, Florence and Venice, with day trips to Vatican City, Pompeii, Orvieto, Pisa, San Gimignano, Assisi, Siena, and Maranello, where the Galleria Ferrari is. I will be doing all the classic touristy stuff -- climbing the Duomo at the Florence Cathedral, visiting the Sistine Chapel, touring the Roman Catacombs, posing like an idiot in front of the Leaning Tower of Pisa (here are some examples), and riding in a Venetian gondola. Except in winter. At Christmastime. Which is not the tourist season (excluding Catholics who like to go to Vatican City around that time of year).

I'll be taking along with me my new spiffy Christmas present to myself: a nicely equipped DSLR package:

You will notice the fisheye and the panorama head in there. I plan to make some lovely panoramic photos of the very best things to see in Italy. I will be using PTGui Pro to make the panoramas. I probably won't make them until I get back, though, because they require quite a bit of processing. If you see one in the Flickr, consider yourself very lucky.

(For the petty tyrants at the FTC, I didn't get anything for free. I paid full price for everything myself. Anything good or bad I have to say about any products mentioned here should be taken as the remarks of an ordinary consumer, not of a paid reviewer.)

I will probably review some or all of the camera stuff when I get back, after I see how well it performs.

Pisa Photos (I didn't take those photographs):

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Tom G Varik