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« March 2004 | | May 2004 »
April 29, 2004
Close Encounters Of The Hummy Kind
Air , Family , Photography

A Photo With A Story!!

Nym vs. Hummy

Kevin and I have been turning our backyard into a Hummyland for our little hummingbird neighbors. We see them everyday now, they are getting used to us being there and we love it!

Yesterday, after my driving test, I picked up Nym to spend the day with me. She has been getting more and more interested in the outside and since Ammy and Rick, like us, have an enclosed backyard she is allowed to spend some time in the backyard if someone is with her (she is not the brightest - she isn't even close to figuring out she can jump fences).

Yesterday she was exploring our backyard for the first time and I was following her with the camera trying to get a couple of good shots. At one point she was checking out a plant not far from the hummy tree (prolly deciding if she could eat it) when one of our male hummy's appeared to check her out and inform her she wasn't to come any closer to the tree.

I AM A BAD MOMMY!! This has been decided since when a teritorial hummingbird appears to check out my cat and give her a scare, what do I do? I take pictures!

In my defense there was a decent distance between the two of them until the last photo. The Hummingbirds have buzzed Kevin and I several times, letting us know who is boss and testing us; they have never gotten too close. I wasn't too worried that hummy would hurt Nym - or at least not without some buzzing warning. I was never worried that Nym would hurt hummy - my poor cat can't catch a slug effectively; She is good at imaginary bugs though. In any case I took this photo right before I dove in, grabbed my cat and put her inside. I think she is still pissed at me for ruining her fun.

I do love this photo though.

10:36 AM | Comments (9)
April 28, 2004
Photo Face Lift
Air , Blogging , Photography

I have been considering how I want to redesign the In Pictures... side of my site for a few weeks now. However I have sped up those thoughts due to a link from Random Pixel (a cool Kevin project) which has largely increased traffic my photo blog.

I wanted to better display my photos and take advantage of this opportunity to attract more viewers - so you will now find a mini redo of the photo site has taken effect. Don't fret, a larger redesign is still to come.

I still don't have comments up there, so for now feel free to leave a comment here on my recent album Off The Beaten Path. I will try and get something more specific up very very soon.

07:20 PM | Comments (2)
April 27, 2004
A Real Californian?!
Life , Water

My NY drivers license expires on my bday this Saturday. I have known this for a while and that I need to be a legal California resident, I just haven't done it. I think I'm such a gypsy that this is an odd concept to grasp. Since graduating from high school I have lived in 3 other states (PA, MA, NH) besides New York, but it has always been either educational, or a short enough stay (3 months) that I didn't need residency.

Now that I'm in CA with no real plans to leave right away, I suppose its time to get to that CA license thing. So now I'm studying for my written exam. That feels so very weird - I haven't done this since I was 16.

Okay California driving law - Here I Come!!!

01:59 PM | Comments (4)
April 24, 2004
The ABC's of Me
Blogging , Fire , Giggles

I got this meme from Blacksheep and thought I would fill it out too. Read at your own risk. ;)

A is for - Age: 25 (26 in a week)
B is for - Boyfriend/Girlfriend: I adore my boyfriend Kevin. And currently he is stuck living with me ;)
C is for - Career in Future: Something in Arts Management. Marketing & Design, Events Planning. I'm keeping my fingers crossed. Someday way in the future I plan to build my own grounds for the arts: Complete with a tree house theatre.
D is for - Dead person you would like to meet: Jim Hensen or Dr. Seuss.
E is for - Essential item: I'm not sure if I have one, maybe water or something to drink with me all the time.
F is for - Favorite song at the moment: I don't have one "of the moment", however one of my favorites Rhiannon by Stevie Nicks.
G is for - Guy/Girls you've kissed: Kissed with a capitol K (as Blacksheep put it)? 11 I think, give or take a bit. I do however kiss my friends as well, its an expression of love in any form.
H is for - Hometown: East Bloomfield, NY is where I did most of my growing up, but I was born in Lexington, SC.
I is for - Instruments you play: Oboe, Clarinet, Flute, Sax, most any woodwind instrument if you give me a little bit to play with it. Though its been a long time dealing with any of them. I can also play the piano a little bit.
J is for - Job title: Photographer, Arts Manager to be.
K is for - Killed anyone? Nope...
L is for - Living places: Lexington, SC 1978-1979; I forget where, VA 1979-1982, Rochester, NY 1982-1983, E. Bloomfield, NY 1983-1996, Selinsgrove, PA 1996-2000, North Adams, MA, 2000, Pittsburgh, PA 2001-2003, Mountain View, CA 2003-present. Also some summer time in Hollis, NH and Beverly, MA in 1999.
M is for - Memory of the day: Waking Kevin this morning... *giggle* His stubbornness can be used for amusement.
N is for - Number of people you've slept with: 4
O is for - Overnight hospital stays: Not since that whole birth thing.
P is for - Phobias: Really flat wide open places.
Q is for - Quote you like: "I'd give my life to make everyone smile, I'd give my smile to make everyone free." - Miggetes
R is for - Relationship that lasted the longest: I was in a 3 year relationship in the past, my current one with Kevin is about 1 year, 5 months and going great.
S is for - Sexuality: heterosexual.
T is for - Time you wake up everyday: Somewhere between 8am and 11am. I've been getting better since moving to the west coast - my body is still on east coast time.
U is for - Unique trait(s): fun loving, honest, stubborn, ambitious. (I don't know that they are all that unique, but they are true). My only real unique trait (kind of) deals with poking my nose which is a forbidden act so you will never know.
V is for - Vegetable you love: Mushrooms
W is for - Worst habit: Nail biting - though I'm slowly breaking it.
X is for - X-rays you've had: dental, left wrist, left shoulder blade.
Y is for - Yummy food you make: I love to cook and try new things. People seem to really love my pulled pork though.
Z is for - Zodiac sign: Taurus.

12:10 PM | Comments (0)
April 21, 2004
Photos Of The Week
Fire , Friends , Photography

So this is one of those beaming proud kind of bragging sort of posts. But its not just for me.

Some of you know that Kevin and I are taking online photography classes at BetterPhoto.com. I am really really enjoying the class and learning a lot. I don't think I can ever go back to the time when I didn't take my pictures manually.

This aside this class has a reward for those of us with a slightly competitive nature, such as Kevin and I. Picture Of The Week is a reward that singles out the top photos for that week. Kevin and I both received this recognition in our respective classes.


Coiled by Rachel

Spinning Your Wheels by Rachel

Net by Kevin

11:02 AM | Comments (0)
April 20, 2004
Grumble Grumble Hummy Grumble
Air , Photography

I am still on my hunt to capture instances of Hummy in pictures! (If you don't know what I mean let me explain that I am convinced there is only one Hummingbird - its name is Hummy - it is my Hummy and each of us experience instances of this one Hummy).

In any case Hummy has been appearing again at the back window and I have been diving for the new Nikon with quick reaction turn on and trying to catch him, to no avail. Yesterday and today produced two very overexposed shots of a blur of a hummingbird. I did catch a decent one on saturday, but it was nothing wonderful.

I have learned to track them by sound. Its kind of a pop pop, or rather snap snap sound. I can figure out what direction they are coming from. Using sound I found one up close and personal instance, but with several branches between us and no clear photo until Hummy was gone.

Kevin says he is going to help me turn the backyard into Hummy-land!! I will bring them all to me!

So if you were here this morning you would have seen me, standing in the back yard in my pjs, camera ready, listening for the pop of a Hummy, watching at least one instance of him buzz around a eucalyptus tree in the distance, and trying to snap out a reply with my fingers so maybe he would come near. *sighs*

I will get him, I will!!!

Past Hummy Pictures:
3/10/04 Along Came Hummy
2/28/04 Hummy on a Wire

01:05 PM | Comments (0)
Sounding The Trumpets
Fire , Friends , Photography

Announcing Random Pixel!! This is a Kevin project. Those of you who know him, know he has been working on this for years, or procrastinating this for year, whichever you prefer. And now its finally open for business.

Itís such a cool idea. He hands out disposable cameras and asks people to hand them around. Each camera has a name and once you pass it on, you can check in until your pictures return and are posted. Not all cameras return, but many do and its great fun to see what kind of pictures appear.

I really love this idea and I'm really proud of him for finally buckling down and getting the site active. Yay Kevin!

01:31 AM | Comments (0)
April 19, 2004
Bush - Not A Real Boy
Air , Giggles , Politics


Kicking Ass says: "When your strongest supporters call you a liar, where do you have left to turn?"

I love this!!

However on the other hand I signed up online to volunteer for John Kerry - and they still haven't contacted me for anything but a donation. I expected at least a list of who to contact for certain ways to volunteer. Oh well, time to try harder.

01:32 PM | Comments (0)
The Art of Speech
Giggles , Politics , Water

This is last week, but I still feel the need to post it. I found this quote on In Passing:

"His phrasing is weird, it's offbeat. He's not pausing at the commas. Hear that? Wait a minute... Dude, he's pausing at the big words." --A girl watching Bush's press conference on the TV in the lobby of my hotel.
10:58 AM | Comments (0)
April 18, 2004
The Faces Behind the Pictures
Blogging , Photography , Water
I got to meet quite a few Bay Area Photo Bloggers yesterday. It was great fun. I can't wait to see what we are able to pull off as a group.

Great photos of Marc here: Martin Taylor Photoblography

Alisa also got some good photos: Alisa Mudge

06:10 PM | Comments (0)
April 13, 2004
Photo Blogs Galore!
Photography

So I really love the photo side of my blog. Among other ideas I'm considering implementing, I am currently contemplating the best way to add comments to my albums. But one of the major things I have been doing lately is trying to get recognition for In Pictures... while discovering more about other photo blogs. I was telling Kevin about some of the things I have found and suddenly was really interested. So now I'm going to share my findings with you and hope for the same effect.

You don't have to have a photoblog to get involved in a number of these projects, just enjoy it!!

Photo Friday: http://photofriday.com - This is a great site. The basic idea is that they come up with an theme each week and people a photo that they believe represents that theme. Anyone is then able to vote for the photos they feel are most noteworthy and those photos are recognized. This site is fun and has a very nicely designed interface for viewing and voting on submitted photos. The theme this week is "Discovery" and my entry is #134 on the list incase you want to check out my entry and vote for me on Friday. (note: voting only takes place friday through sunday).

Photo Blogs: http://photoblogs.org - Cool site where you can find a large listing of photo blogs. You can also mark photo blogs as your favorite so that it gets a higher ranking. If you would like to sign up and rank me as a favorite click here, or use the "listed" button in the center navigation bar.

A Pictures Worth: http://1000words.net - This site has the cool concept of allowing photographers to submit a photo that pairs pictures with words. I have been invited to submit something, I'm still deciding what to submit.

San Francisco Photo Blogger Get Together: http://www.hchamp.com/bap/ - This saturday I will be attending a photo blogger get together. I know some of you who read here have your own photo blogs and might be interested in this.

Photo.net: http://photo.net - a great place to get photography advice, post your photographs, request critiques by other photographers, give critiques and enter contests.

Better Photo: http://betterphoto.com - If you want to learn more about photography this is the place to go. Not only do they have photography advice, contests and photography sharing, but they also offer online photography classes like the ones Kevin and I are taking. Take classes with professional photographers, with students from around the world and really learn something.

Theme Thursday: http://themethursday.com - Another site like Photo Friday and also fun.

Entry Add In: I'm not sure how I missed this one, its in my nav bar already.

Mirror Project: http://www.mirrorproject.com/ - This site collects photos that people take of themselves reflected in some kind of surface. Anyone can submit their mirrored photo and view everyone else's ideas on the same subject. Very cool.

Also for your information this is a list of other photo blogs I visit. Some are also in my nav bar, some aren't yet. Please enjoy all this fun info, but don't forget about me!! I love that you all visit my blog and photo blog! Thanks.

Photo Blogs:
Ephemera
Heather Champ
Reality Crutch
Martin Taylor
PHOTONLOG
Myla Kent Photography
Dennis Mojado Photography

And as a last item, a sneak peak at a photo from my upcoming photo album

12:07 PM | Comments (3)
April 08, 2004
Elections: Past and Future
Fire , Politics

*rolls eyes and shares*

Bush reelection Chairman fondly recalls 2000 recount

Bush/Cheney '04 Chairman Marc Racicot was in Florida yesterday fondly recalling the 2000 Florida recount, saying, "to us what happened in Florida was a triumph in democracy. It wasn't a blemish." Chairman Racicot went on to say that the recount "showed the enduring resilience of this democracy and the discipline of the American people to be dedicated to the rule of law."

I was a staffer in Florida in 2000 and I thought I should remind Mr. Racicot how things really were. As I recall, thousands of minority voters were taken off the voter rolls by Katherine Harris as suspected felons. (I especially loved that on many occasions when Harris was needed during the recount, she was found at Governor Bush's mansion.)...

The 2000 recount, a 'triumph in democracy'? I don't think so Mr. Chairman, but nice try!

I might also point out we don't really live in a democracy, but rather a democratic republic... but I think thats the least of Chairmen Racicot's problems right now.

[Thanks to Kicking Ass for this post content]

06:42 PM | Comments (6)
Finally Over!!
Health , Water

So I had my 4th breast exam in 2 months today. I'm happy to say it will be the final one for a while. I finally went to a wonderful specialist and we did an ultrasound on a couple of different areas that she had some questions about.

The ultrasound showed that the areas of concern were very simply normal fatty deposits that were inside the breast tissue. These fatty deposits were thicker in these areas than in the rest of the tissue, however since a breast is pretty much made of tissue, fat and glands this is not a bad thing.

This is a huge load off my mind. Some of the tension is still working on leaking away, but most is already gone. Dr. S was a wonderful doctor too, and what makes me feel even better is that she says from now on I don't have to go to 3 exams before seeing her. If I can do my own checks and I notice areas that feel like frozen peas (she says broccoli is okay, but frozen peas get checked) I can just go right in and see her and get the ultrasound right away. This really makes me feel better. I have no intension of ever taking her up on this offer if I don't have to, and I won't run in for any little thing, but if something really worries me I'm really happy to know I can find out what it is right away.

So thats it on this issue. Thank goodness its over!!!

06:27 PM | Comments (4)
April 07, 2004
Laughing Balloon Heads
Air , Giggles , Photography


This site is pretty cool. In an effort to find out what laughing is a photographer and a balloon twister have gone on trips around the world together making balloon hats for people and photographing them. They also ask the question "What is Laughing?" to which they have a variety of reponses. If nothing else check out the photos on this site, they will get you laughing.

"Laughing is the smile of the World."

Weerashon Puttrpadit, Mahasarakham, Thailand

So Phoenix Feather readers, what is laughing to you?

[Thanks to Photo Blog for this link.

02:24 PM | Comments (3)
April 06, 2004
Hidden Humor
Air , Giggles
This is great!!! You have to see what this guy found when attempting to do the wash!!
11:59 PM | Comments (1)
Happy Birthday Lyndsey
Family , Spirit

This is just a short little Happy Birthday message for my little sister. Lyndsey is turning 21 today!!! (I swear I don't know where the years went - I feel so old)

01:53 AM | Comments (0)
April 04, 2004
Ruined Photography
Air , Art , Photography

This is a cool photography site: Modern Ruins. They only take photos of modern technology that has been abandoned. There are also stories collected from people who experienced these ruins. I really love this one.


"So you've taken pictures of the Alcoa factory that was my childhood fascination? Did you sneak through a window, and look up at fallen dust blanketed stairs? Did you hear loud thumping in the dark? Those were the sounds of the criminals who lived in that factory and plotted their crimes through out the night. I was always very quiet in there, and always got out very fast. But even when I was outside, surrounded by faded, scragally grasses and bright yellow danger signs I could still feel the life that had once come to work every day. I could still smell the sweat and see the small paths left by heavy boots in the ground. But hey, I was only eight and I really did believe that each time I left that edifice, there was a man watching me leave from the top window. He was probably an ex-worker who lost his livelihood when he lost his job, and that was probably his oil soiled, stiffened, leather glove that I had just stepped on, so I began to run as fast as I could.... maybe that's why I spend my time in the places that time has passed by."

(Thank you to Feed Me Links for finding me this link).

11:30 AM | Comments (0)
April 03, 2004
Tired Of It All!
Family , Fire , Politics

My grandma emailed recently after reading some of my blog. I wanted to share what she has to say to get an outlook on demographics other than myself. I can only see the world and the government through my eyes and experiences which only amount to just over 25 years. So without further ado here is my cool Grandma K.

Grandma K: "Of course being an old person brain washed from way back, all I really pay attention to with great interest is Democrat and Republican. I do give notice to Liberal, Green party and whatever other party is out there, but they usually don't have the $$$ backing them so they don't have the chance of a snowball in you know where. TOO bad because this country could use a
dramatic change, but unlikely to happen because of the money and good-old
boys clubs. Well needless to say, I don't feel like voting anymore
because the Middle Class people are always left holding the bag. Pretty
soon there will be no middle class , just Very rich and very poor. Just
my opinion."

I knew just how tired I was of always feeling pushed around by the government, but if I'm tired of it all, I can't imagine how tired she must be. *sighs*

11:32 AM | Comments (0)
April 02, 2004
The Life of a Gmail Tester
Fire , Media

In some ways I can't believe I'm doing this since just a week ago I was on the other side of the table, but I've had the time to adjust and the rest of the world hasn't, so even though my little blog doesn't get too much traffic I'm going to say my peace to defend google.

Wired Magazine among other news distributors have moved from their reports of - Gmail would be cool if its not a April Fools Joke - to - Gmail is going to invade your privacy, run away run away!

In addition those same fears were recently brought up in the comments of a post on fury.com, and I felt the need to comment very simply because as a usability tester on this project I voiced these same fears directly to Google.

I didn't notice the ads right away when testing Gmail. Gmail ads look very much like a normal google site were the ads appear discretely along the side of the window; next to, but not in the content of your email.

When I did notice though I did a double take; there they were, these ads about hair dye down on the side of my window. In my email I was discussing dying my hair with a friend. How the $%*&&#! did they get there? I felt violated. But the thing is we get violated by the internet every day: yahoo and hotmail searches your incoming email to sort out spam and there are a million other examples. The difference here is the glaring reminder on the side of your window. To begin with it's a little freaky - kinda like that horror movie always checking your back feeling. BUT IT DOESN'T LAST!

I understand where anyone who is a bit freaked out is coming from, but also I think if I'm going to trust someone it's going to be Google. It took me a little bit, but I got over it. I had the added motivation that I really wanted to be able to use the product that I'm so very proud of Kevin for designing. I also had the added benefit of being able to tell the Google testers exactly why I felt violated. Regardless of that I think that the rest of the world will get over it too. Poor Kevin and Google are going to have to ride out the adjustment period (it happens with things that are different - I doubt everyone trusted cars - those odd motorized contraptions - when they first came out) just like they did with me and I'm sure other testers too; But I think in the end the world will realize its not the boogie man lurking in their closet, its just some friendly dust bunnies happily folding your socks for you.

(As a side note I just want to congratulate Kevin and Google on a job well done. And also give thanks to Zhaneel for for being willing to voice her concern; It really gave me a chance to respond to feelings I know that I just had.)

I trust Google and they value the trust the people have for them enough work very hard to keep it.

12:35 PM | Comments (0)
I Love This Man!!
Air , Love
While watching Jon Stewert:
rachel: "i want a lamb"

time passes

rachel: "i want a sheep"

kevin: "you want a sheep, not a lamb?"

rachel "i want a baby sheep"

kevin "is that what a lamb is?"

rachel *hysterical laughter*

kevin: "then isn't "little lamb" redundant?"

rachel: *more hysterical laughter and keyboard clicking*

(Well, at least I know he listens to what I say!!)

01:46 AM
April 01, 2004
The Country I Want To Live In!
Fire , Health , Politics

Props to Planned Parenthood for this one!! I have to say this is awesome! I really wish it was true. *sighs*

The White House's Irresponsible Choices

But I do have to comment on two things.

1. April Fools is prolly the best marketing technique there is. This type of thing totally grabs my attention. Without this one I may not have ever known about this issue.

2. What is with this administration just doing whatever it wants? And I think there are too many issues that aren't getting notice. Everyone is so hyped up over the 9/11 trials that we have heard almost nothing about the gay marriage amendment. And I for one had no idea about the "abstinence-only" initiative.

Maybe I haven't been trying hard enough to get informed, but then there are a lot of americans a lot less informed than I am.

I have already signed up online to help with the Kerry campaign, I don't know what I will do yet (not door to door or calls since I just can't mentally justify those things), but I'm going to do my part.

Kevin has great ideas for ways to inform the nation, I think I'm going to have to come up with my ideas as well. I really can't take this.

I want to live in the country in that spoof article, not the one I'm currently in.

10:45 PM
Google Rumors
Air , Blogging , Friends , Questionables???

Google rumors from the girlfriend of a Googler!

Kevin's UI design is so cool! I'm so proud. And I got to be a usability tester several weeks ago!

;)

This blog entry very much amuses me. You should check it out.

12:22 AM