Thursday, March 31, 2011

Life Goes On As Usual + a Photo for Friday

Not much out of the ordinary has been happening recently (in my life), unless you consider having car problems and having a sore throat out of the ordinary. My car feels like a shopping cart with a broken wheel (you know, a thump, thump, thump, as you push it) but I can't see anything wrong with the tires, wheels, etc. I'm hoping my dad will be able to make it back from work soon so he can help me figure out what the problem is. 
I had a coupon for a free dip at Ruby Tuesday, and I was going to go get it and a strawberry lemonade or some other drink, but I'm not going to risk messing up my car because I keep driving it when it's having problems...that happened once before and I don't plan on repeating it. 

Update: the problem didn't seem to really manifest itself when my dad and I took my car for a troubleshooting test drive, so I may be going to Ruby Tuesday after all. :)

Update #2: I just noticed that the coupon expires on March 30. *sigh*

Update #3: My mom said to check my e-mail for another coupon, since she had two, and I do have another one, which expires on April 4! So I think I'll take my sister (the older one) tomorrow.

Update #4: I think what I thought was a problem with my car was just bumps in the road...odd.
So that's good. I've been missing my Sansa earbuds for a couple of days now, which doesn't make me happy, since they're fairly comfortable. Before, when I was missing my Zune earbuds, I didn't mind as much since they're not as "eargonomic" (I know, I'm trying too hard here). Anyway, I thought I'd lost lost my Zune earbuds earlier as well, but I found them next to the seat in my car. Now if I can only find my other pair in a packet like I did my Zune earbuds previously. Hm, all these little details are really boring. So why am I still writing? I have no idea. 

An other note, here's an photo for a photo challenge I was asked to enter with the theme of "words."
I bet you've seen this signature before. This is a page from a book with a copyright from 1904 I have (it appears to have been a school textbook at the time) called A History of the United States, by Waddy Thompson. Hopefully I'm not violating the copyright. ;-)

Sign Here

Also, I guess I'm supposed to put this button somewhere, so here it is:

Hopefully I haven't become a mass murderer by boring you all to death... ;-)
I hope to have things of more interest to write or post on my blog soon.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Mancala Macros and Happy Monday

Now in multiple colors! Batteries not included! 
Imagination not included either.

Reflections of Three

Nine At Rest

A Reed Shaken With the Wind?


I doubt this photo of Pepper (when she wasn't pregnant) will win the weekly challenge, since none of my photos have, but I like it. 
Oh, and here's a re-edit of a photo (also of an animal, albeit not one of my pets) taken last October.

Thursday, March 24, 2011


There is no good news or bad news; there is just news.  (from Kung Fu Panda)
Whatever. Anyway, I have both good and bad news (also known as Rants & Raves on World Magazine's blog.

Bad: I had a headache yesterday and the day before.
Good: The headache seems to have gone away now.
Bad: I haven't had a job for a long time and not even McDonald's would hire me (but maybe that's not such a bad thing)
Good: I just got a job on Wednesday as a pizza delivery driver and went in yesterday for my first day on the job. While far from my dream job, it's nearby and not currently too stressful, like my last job was.
Bad: Customers who don't tip anything.
Good: Lots of photo opportunities with trees, landscapes, and more.
Bad: POLLEN! The yellow stuff gets on my camera, in my eyes, shoes, etc. and is a great annoyance. I looked through my camera's viewfinder and it looked like had dust spots on the sensor or something, but they didn't appear to show up in my photos, so I'm not sure what the problem is.
Good: All your nice comments. :)   

Edit: I wrote a bunch more last night but it didn't get saved, so I'm going to have to try to rewrite it. Bleh. Stay tuned; I'll try to finish this one quickly. Writing a long post/comment/bunch of words and having it all go poof! is very frustrating, as I'm sure you all know. Sometimes, if I've written lots of words, I copy and paste into Notepad (and sometimes even save the Notepad document), so if the comment or whatever it was disappears, I don't feel like I want to tear my hair out. 
These photos aren't particularly interesting, I know, but I haven't finished sifting through and editing my recent batch of images (100+).

Edit (3/26/11):
Bad: Last night my car died on the way back from a delivery, but I pulled over to the side of the road as that was happening, and my dad came and helped me out with his car. Earlier, I'd had trouble finding multiple houses, and the worst was the last, where (at night) I took a wrong turn (it doesn't help to have only vague directions) and the food was cold by the time I arrived at the customer's house. After getting back to the restaurant, I had to take a new order out the the same customer to switch with the cold one, and it wasn't a very short distance. A bunch of wasted time and gas...and  
Good: My dad and I worked on my car and it seems to be working fine now.
Bad: My car isn't very fuel-efficient and could be better...
Good?: My mom left a while ago to get me a phone upgrade as an early birthday present for me: an 8gb iPhone 3GS. The reason this "Good" has a question mark is because AT&T dropped the unlimited data plan for new data plan users, I'm going to be paying for the data plan ($25 a month for 2gb of data transfer), and the iPhone is only an 8gb, so I can't use it as a replacement for "The Brick" (my black Zune 30gb) like I would if I got a 32gb iPod Touch or a Zune HD (although I'd go for the 5th or even 4th generation Touch over the Zune if only because the many available apps make it more useful for me). 

Sunday, March 20, 2011


Happy first day of spring, everyone!

It's blue instead of red this time; which color do you prefer?  I will try this shot with other colors soon.

Step Into My World

Remember this one?

More of the red one/s and other macro shots here.

Here's how I set up this shot (that's a small mirror).

Infinity Red

I've used this photo before, but not for this linkup, if I remember correctly.

Reaching to the Heavens

Monday, March 14, 2011

Flowers and More

More flower photos...not very original, I'm afraid, especially since I've posted a bunch of these already, but I'm out of inspiration at the moment.

Are these any more interesting?


This is an "oldie but goodie," in my opinion (taken last year).  It's SOOC.
I haven't tried experimenting with textures in Photoshop yet (soon, hopefully), but I think the leaf is "textured"...


Sunday, March 13, 2011

Family Economics Conference 2011 and Shooting With the Canon EOS 5D Mk II

OK, time to make some progress with this post and stop putting it off.
Last Friday and Saturday, my family and I, including my grandparents, went to the Family Economics Conference 2011 in Raleigh, NC.  There were quite a few good speakers, including Kevin Swanson and Doug Phillips.  As I said in a previous post, my grandparents have been visiting from the LA area, and they'll be leaving tomorrow.  My grandfather brought most of his camera gear, and I've been happily using it.  There's his Canon EOS 5D Mk II, the 24-105 f/4L kit lens, 70-200 f/4L, 50 f/1.4, Speedlite 430EX II, a sturdy monopod with a ball head, and more.  I used both the 70-200 f/4L and the 24-105 f/4L at the conference, although I had to use a high ISO setting (usually 3200, something that isn't possible on my XS, and even if it was it wouldn't be usable since ISO 1600 produces very noisy images) because of the less-than-bright lighting indoors couple with the f/4 lenses.  It also doesn't help that I have non-steady hands.  Another photographer who was there with a Mk II (there seemed to be quite a few of them, actually), Jonathan Hendrick turned out some great photos - you can see his here:  

The speakers at the conference gave talks on various on various subjects which were obviously centered around the theme of a family economy (having a family business and more).  These talks included subjects such as debt, entrepreneurial ideas, and much more.
Here are some photos from the conference:

Jonathan Hendrick (and Stephen Beck, one of the speakers, next to him)
Kevin Swanson, the very mobile speaker

I'll get around to editing and uploading more photos from the conference later.

Various other photos:
Under Dark and Cloudy Skies


88 Keys 

Thursday, March 10, 2011

From West to East

On Tuesday evening, my grandparents arrived from southern California for a visit for a week or two.
My grandfather brought his Canon EOS 5D Mk II, a 24-105 f/4L, 70-200 f/4L, and a 50 1.4, as well as various accessories such as a sturdy monopod and a Speedlite 430EX II.
I've been shooting with the Mk II recently, and it is just so awesome compared to my XS...I'd thought "the Mk II isn't as expensive as the 1Ds Mk III or 1D Mk IV, doesn't shoot as fast, lots of wedding photograhpers have it, etc.", but now that I've actually got my hands on it and have seen the amazing high ISO performance, large viewfinder, and more (not to mention the nice ergonomics), I like it a lot. :)  But I don't have $2,000+ to spend on one, especially without a photography job, haha.  I'm going to try to see if I can upload some decent photos taken with either the Mk II and/or my camera with the 50 1.4 or the L unsteady hands don't help, especially when the L lenses have an aperture of only f/4, but the high ISO capabilities of the Mk II helps a lot.
Stay tuned.

Monday, March 7, 2011

More Awesomeness

First, if you haven't heard of Damien Walters before, he's a former Olympic athlete, a martial artist, and a practictioner of freerunning, which basically appears to be running around doing flips, bouncing off walls - that sort of thing.
You can see the 2009 video here at my old post.
Here's his 2010 video:

And his YouTube page with these and other videos.

What interesting thing do we have next?  Ah, yes, OasisUnlimited.  Some of you may remember that I told about a college student named Samuel who created a bunch of movie montages and music videos that I thought were pretty good?  Well, last year he hadn't uploaded anything new and I was wondering if he was going to, especially because of his "2010 Teaser Trailer."  It doesn't appear to be on his YouTube channel anymore, but I downloaded it while it was still on there, so here it is: (once again, this video does not belong to me!)
It seems it repeats itself, albeit without sound the second time...
I just checked today and found that he has been at it again, since late last year.  The "Hero" video and "Prelude 12/21" montages are two of my favorites, but I think almost all of them are very cool - after all, when many of the action scenes from various movies are strung together, the end result can be pretty intense.  OK, here's the link.

Lastly, if you like cars, or more particularly, if you like stunt driving, you should take a look at Ken Block's gymkhana videos.  They don't appear to all be in one place, so you can look for yourself here.
Here's the first of his videos I watched:

That's all for now, people; take care. :) 


It seems I accidentally posted four thumbnails/links to this post on the Macro Monday linkup page.  Oops.  Anyway, here are yet more flowers:

Aqua Sky

Lit from Above

Front and Center

Spring Forth

Look Up

This one isn't technically a "macro", but it's one of my favorites.

Reaching to the Heavens


Saturday, March 5, 2011

Spring Series

I took some photos in my neighborhood four days ago - here are a few:

Reaching to the Heavens

Different colors of this photo:

I think this means spring has officially arrived.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Year of Jubilee (the year after, actually)

That's simply because she was born late last year.
I don't think I ever uploaded a photo of my youngest sister, Jubilee, before.  I know, my portrait-taking skills need much in the way of improvement, but here she is:
See Through the Eyes of a Child