It's possible. My grandpa was a sign painter for years doing commercial work for Pacific Power before semi-retiring to do custom sandblasted signs from his garage. Sometime in the 70's, he dabbled in oil paintings (which are pretty damn good), then moved onto photography. He went full on after retirement; he could work as much or little as he wanted and use the rest of the time honing his skills. (Of course from start to finish, his favorite subjects have been his grandkids....with 17, plus 6 or so great grandkids, we need to start scanning and archiving his albums.) He eventually moved to Idaho, designed his own custom house complete with darkroom, and gained some local notoriety for his rodeo, wildlife, and outdoor photography which reflected the McCall, ID area. He opened and ran a gallery with my grandma from 2000 until just last year when he finally REALLY retired. He retrofitted a room in a new house for a dark room, and uses another for a studio where he's again getting back into painting.
Two Christmases ago i received a Sony Cybershot 6 MP point and shoot. I used it mainly at social events and concerts. It got stolen last Halloween from my own house during a giant house party. With limited zoom and simple dial controls for general outdoor/portrait type settings, this is about the best stuff I could get. (Not exactly gallery material....) As long as it was good to the naked eye, it turned out ok. Lately though I've thought about replacing the old Cybershot with a digital SLR; Nikon is the option I want to consider. Yes I've heard Canon are better. No I don't care. What little SLR experience I have with a 'real' camera has been using my grandpa's Nikons, so that's that. I've heard good things about the D40.....they're really pushing the D60 right now, but from what reading I've done it sounds like the D60 is actually lacking in some areas, and otherwise isn't worth the extra expense for someone like me who's looking for a first SLR. If I get one I'll let you know how it goes......hopefully the skills run in the family.
I don't quite know where to start. I have more media to handle than I have time for. This became clear as soon as I left the bookstore with an exciting new book, Sacred Games. It's essentially a sort of primer to modern day Mumbai, if the primer you were after was a sprawling cops vs. gangster tale. It looks cool, it got good reviews, and it was cheap and in next to new condition. Sadly, there are two other +/- 1000 page books vying for my attention - Anna Karenina, and The Stand. (That's in a small hardback though, so the 'real' page count would be smaller.) Another King novel staring at me is Needful Things, a book I hadn't even heard of when I picked it up; it was a one dollar library overstock sale find. That's at least 600 pages or so. I've tried starting A Great Improvisation, a narrative history of Franklin's relations with France that secured their aid in the Revolution, but God bless her the author doesn't know how to hit a stride. I have textbooks that are easier reads. Maybe my best bet is to crack open Flowering Judas (and other stories). Another library sale item, authored by Anne Porter - I've never heard of her. If I finish that, it might get me over the hump and move on to the next book. All told, there are at least 3500 pages yet to be explored.....and that's completely ignoring movies I downloaded and haven't watched yet (Paris, je t'aime, Lost in Translation, Into the Wild, Ghost World, the Sci-Fi Channel Dune) and new albums left silent (Los Campesinos! EP, the newest from Atmosphere, Death Cab, Back Door Slam, and Minus the Bear.) To sum up: don't belittle me when I sit back and flip between the Dog Whisperer and the History Channel. At least it can be done in an hour.
It's really hard to get into a regular biking schedule....a lot of that has been the weird cold/rainy spells we've been having every other week. I do have a rear blade fender, but really that doesn't help; the worst of it gets kicked up by my front tire and goes straight up. At any decent speed, I ride into this continuous stream. I'm cheap, so rather than buy a front fender I tell myself I'll just ride on nice days. Sadly these same 'nice' days have 40 mph wind to ride into, are days when I have stops to make in my job hunt, or both. All that aside, I'm now pledging to myself, starting this Saturday, to ride at least an hour a day every other day after 5 pm. This is totally feasible since any job hunting I need to do will be done by then, and since it's becoming summer I won't need to buy a light and reflective gear. I'm also not allowing skips due to wind, but I am retaining a rain exception. Unless I'm swimming, I DESPISE being wet. I do like the rain though......driving in it, sitting inside looking at it, etc. I have the luxury of enjoying it since I live in the rainshadow of the Cascades. Tying local geography back in with my original subject, my goal is to be able to bike the canyon to Yakima by September....depending on progress I might change the goal to there and back, but one way is good for now.