Sunday, September 30, 2007

Knott's Berry Farm

Yesterday was my company's annual picnic, and we had it at Knott's Berry Farm. I had never been, so we thought we'd go and check it out. Plus, free food, can't beat that! We walked into the Snoopy Headquarters store, only to find these signs. Uh, isn't Snoopy a dog??? It really cracked us up!
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First we went to the picnic and had the famous Knott's fried chicken & corn on the cob. There were hot dogs and hamburgers, but we had heard the fried chicken was the best, so we had two pieces of chicken each. Then we went into the park to play. It was very sparse and the lines were almost non-existent! Very short lines made for very happy us!
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Todd got very brave and thought this practically vertical rollercoaster was a good idea. I sat it out, too scary for me! He said it was super-fun though, I'll take his word for it!
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Here's Todd after his coaster ride. He really liked it. He said it was super-smooth.
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We had some dipping dots ice cream. We got on a few other rides, got dizzy, and decided it was time to head home. But not before Todd got a pic in front of the big air Snoopy.
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In other weekend news:
  • The OSU Buckeyes beat the Minnesota Gophers 30-7 on Saturday. I made a fun bet with a coworker and now he's gonna have to send me some Dove dark chocolates! I gave him 21 points, so I barely squeaked by at 23 points differential!
  • Chargers lost, AGAIN! At home against the Kansas City Chiefs. No good things to say. The coaching staff changes have proved disastrous.
  • Friday night we had dinner at Nozomi. I had tempura udon noodle soup, and Todd had Chicken Katsu. Yum! Then we went to REI to exchange a pair of flip flops I had bought in Seattle that was too small.
That's it for now. It is a "school night" and it's bed time for me! :)
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Monday, September 24, 2007

Miramar Lake kicked my butt

Yesterday I went running at Miramar Lake for the first time in 3 weeks. I thought I could just run 5 miles, like I did before. I was chagrined to find that I had a really difficult time running 5 miles. I was huffing and puffing and my legs were so tired. I felt so out of shape. I made it around the 5 miles but I was SLOW! I need to get back into shape. I need to get back to working out at the gym and run regularly and do weights again. Otherwise I'll be huffing and puffing again, and I don't enjoy that! Work has been super-busy with quarter-end and also 2008 financial plans in gear. I haven't had time to scrapbook recently. I hope in a few days I'll have some time. I got 150 free 4x6 prints from Shutterfly, they should be arriving tomorrow/Weds. I'm excited!
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Thursday, September 20, 2007

Adventures in Emerald City

Last Friday night we embarked on our adventure to Seattle. We had never been to Seattle before, or the state of Washington for that matter, so we were excited. Plus we got to add two new stadiums to the Stadium List, and one new airport to the Airport List!
We got to Seattle really late Friday night, around 11:30 pm. A $35 cab ride later, we arrived at the Crown Plaza downtown, our hotel. We got to stay there for $59/night (a HUGE discount!) because of Todd's parents' Holiday Inn Express ownership. Our room was a corner room with views to the East and North. The room was very comfortable and spacious. But I gotta tell you, luxury hotels not only cost more already, but they nickel and dime you to death too! Local calls get charged by the minute. In-room internet access was NOT free but $9.99/day. Ugg! We were just happy to get there and get some rest, so we crashed.
Saturday morning we had breakfast at the hotel restaurant. Todd had yummy Belgian waffle with strawberries and whipped cream, while I had some kind of muffin sandwich with egg, cheese, tomatoes, and bacon. It cost three times as much as a McMuffin but was not as good. :( Then we walked around downtown try to find the bus (#43) that went to Huskie Stadium. We couldn't find Pike Street because the sign was missing. Finally we saw a bus that said "STADIUM" on the front, so we flagged it down and ran to it. Turns out the bus to the stadium is FREE on football Saturdays if you have a ticket to the game! How cool is THAT?! Plus it went straight to the stadium, picking up game-goers along the way.
Here's Todd in front of Huskie Stadium

Two of us in front Huskie Stadium

About to enter; excited to see the Buckeyes!

We got into the stadium and bought some lunch: hot dog, sausage, Coke, regular popcorn, and caramel popcorn. We got to our seats and saw that we were surrounded by a small section of scarlet-clad Buckeyes.

The Buckeyes take the field

The first half of the game was full of mistakes and not much scoring. The Huskies led the Buckeyes 7-3 at halftime. Boy did the second half come alive! The Buckeyes wore out the Huskies and won 33-14! What a fun game! After the game we crammed into a very crowded, standing-room only, Buckeye-filled bus and went back downtown. I crashed as soon as we got back to the hotel. I slept for 2 hours! I was too pooped out to go back out, so we ordered room service for dinner. Caesar salad and pizza! Then we watched TV (mainly sports) and relaxed.

Sunday morning we walked several blocks to Pioneer Square to go on the 10 am Underground Tour. We went to a Starbucks across the street to get a pumpkin spice latte and chocolate bread for breakfast (very healthy, I know!) By the way, we must have seen maybe 20 Starbucks in Seattle. They're literally around every street corner.

Todd in front of the Underground Tour

The tour was fun and humorous, especially the historical stories told by the tour guide. I love to learn about old times and hear the stories about the early days of the city. The reason it's the underground tour is because this particular part of Seattle existed one floor lower back then! After the fire of 1889, they decided to just build OVER the existing streets. So there's a whole floor's worth , now in tunnels underneath the city!

We couldn't resist these cow chip cookies!

After the tour, we got some Subway sandwiches and walked a few blocks down to Safeco Field, where the Seattle Mariners (baseball) team play. It started raining harder and harder as we walked. We were so glad when we got to Safeco Field and discovered that it has a retractable dome and it was closed! No rain on us!

On the way up the escalators to our seats, I saw this dog wearing a Mariners shirt and a Mariners backpack! He was so cute that I asked to take a picture with him!
Inside the stadium, we bought some YUMMY garlic fries and a drink. I've always wanted to try garlic fries and these smelled so good!

Inside view of Safeco Field

Self-portrait inside Safeco Field

Todd outside the Seattle Art Museum (SAM)

We left after the 7th inning stretch because it was a blowout and the Mariners were losing badly to the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. We walked to Pike Place Market... Here's the famous fish market at Pike, where they throw the fish.
We walked around the various stores inside Pike's Place Market, and had dinner at The Pike Brewery. I had crab chowder and Todd had fried halibut. Afterwards we walked back to our hotel and ate our treats that we bought at Three Sisters Bakery @ Pike Place market. I had a cherry turnover and Todd had a raspberry brownie. Yum! Then we watched football and ESPN. What a perfect two days of sports!

Monday morning we walked a long ways to Expresso Vivace on Yale Ave. Todd got a caffe caramel and I got caffe white velvet. We also got some breakfast granola-ish bar and a croissant.

Right across from Expresso Vivace was the REI Flagship Store! REI started in Seattle and this is the largest store. We went in and looked around. It was huge and really cool! Lots of everything outdoor-ish.

Then we walked over to the Space Needle and ate at a nearby Italian restaurant. Todd got a salad with smoked salmon, and I got linguini with clams.

After that, we went to the Exprience Music Project and the Science Fiction Museum, which were right next to the Space Needle.

Todd in front of the Experience Music Project

Nice artistic pic of the Space Needle

Todd in front of the Science Fiction Museum

We saw lots of costumes from Star Trek, Star Wars, Battlestar Galactica, etc. It was very cool!

After that, we took the Monorail back to downtown and walked to Pike Place Market. We bought some fruits & fresh fruit bars. Then we got some croissants at Le Panier for the next day's breakfast.

That's me, in front of the famed Pike Place Market sign.

We found the very FIRST Starbucks at Pke Place! It has a different logo than the rest of the the world's Starbucks. This is like the mother ship to the afficionados!

After that, we went to Cutter Restaurant for dinner. This is a view from right outside Cutter.
I had a seafood ciappino and todd had grilled halibut. It was yummy! then we walked back to our hotel and crashed.

Tuesday morning we checked out of our hotel and then went shopping downtown. We had lunch at the Nordstorm Cafe, and had the famed cookies. Then we took the shuttle to the airport and came home. What a fun trip, we had a blast!

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Wednesday, September 19, 2007

One year ago: Mom's birthday

Last year on September 14th, we took mom out to lunch for her birthday. We took her to Newport Beach. She was excited to try a nice new restaurant. We had a great time and it was great for Mom to get to go out in the midst of chemotherapy. I would have never thought that this was to be her last birthday we celebrate together. It's still hard to believe she's gone to heaven. I love her so much and think of her often. We all do.

This past Friday, 9/14, I went with Dad and Todd to Rose Hill Memorial Park to bring roses for mom. We all miss her. She was a great mom.
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Lots more to come

I have to work lots today because I took Monday and Tuesday off. I have lots to blog about but no time right now. Friday would have been my mom's 64th birthday, so Dad, Todd & I went to Rose Hills to bring flowers for her. We spent the weekend and Mon & Tues in Seattle, WA. Went for the Buckeye game and stayed and toured around. I've got lots of pics to show too, but I haven't had time to process them. So come back later and I'll have more!
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Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Shame: how some people lack it

Today at work we had an All-Hands meeting at lunch. Usually when that happens our department will order pizza and sodas and feed us during the meeting. Do you know how many times I've seen people who don't work in our department walk up and snatch a piece (or two) of pizza??! Or people will walk away with a whole 2-liter bottle of soda. I just don't get it. I personally would feel shameful if I walked up to another department where people don't recognize me, and eat their pizza. But that's just me. I guess some people don't feel the same way. Ha ha. More power to them I guess. I haven't had time to digi-scrap this week due to work being really busy. It's month-end time, so I've had to work more. Last week I finished organizing my stash, so now I am itching to scrap some more. I'm also in the process of scanning pre-2004 photos into the computer. I don't have many of our pre-digital camera photos digitized yet. I heard there's a service in Irvine that does it for very reasonable prices, so I might just go there with a shoebox full and let them at it. It's called 30 Minute Photos. Although I'm not sure what PPI they scan them in at. If I were scanning them myself I'd scan 4x6's at 600 PPI, just so you can enlarge them for a 12x12 layout if you want. But I doubt the service would scan them in at such a high resolution... my guess is it'll be at 300 PPI. I am really excited about the prospect of having my film photos turned into digital photos for keepsake and scrapping though! This service is priced SO reasonable too. Sounds like it'll cost me a couple hundred bucks. Whereas if I did this myself on my CanoScan, it would take months/years! If there are any pics that I need to enlarge digitally, I can always re-scan them at 600 ppi on my own scanner. Last year I also organized and categorized my ENTIRE trove of film negatives. It took me weeks, and I have all the negatives in acid-free archival quality negative holders, in chronological order. I've also scanned some negatives using my new CanoScan that scans negatives. I wrote about it previously. It is awesome to be able to do that. Well, back to work I go. I was in between projects and now it's time to get a move on to the next project. :-)
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Monday, September 10, 2007

Back to the Grind

It's Monday!  Why can't we have three day weekends every week?  Let's see... Friday night we had Indian food at Delhi India.  We usually get the pre-made items behind the counter, but we ordered this time from their menu.  It was tasty!  With full bellies, we went over to Target to look at TV stands and audio towers.  We're in the market for a new entertainment setup, so we looked at ole-trusty-Target for the reasonable prices.  We found one we liked, which we bought the next day. 

Saturday was football day.  They added the Big Ten Network to the Dish Network!  Todd was super-excited that we didn't have to get up early to go to Moondoggies again to watch the game.  The Buckeyes soundly beat the Akron Zips 20-2.  Yes, the Zips only scored a safety.  The best part of the day was when Michigan lost to Oregon.  My how the mighty Wolverines have fallen this year!  Poor them (snicker snicker).  We watched college football games on and off all day.  And napped on the couch in between.  Napping is so fun.  As an adult sometimes we forget how fun it is to just nap when we feel like it.  For dinner we ate at Happy's Sushi in Mira Mesa.  We hadn't ever been there before, but it was pretty good.  After dinner we ended up getting a Pomegranate Blueberry iced blended at Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf because they shared the same parking lot as the sushi place. 

On Sunday we had lunch at Panera Bread, then I got my hair cut and highlighted by Jay.  Todd also got his haircut before me.  While he was getting beautified, I went next door to read scrapbooking magazines at Borders.  Then we headed to our friends Bart & Denice's house.  We hadn't seen them in over a year!  Got to meet their one year old Max, and Sam now talks up a storm cuz he's almost four.  We had a really fun time with them.  Hopefully it will be sooner next time we see them!

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Saturday, September 8, 2007

Even bad photos are salvageable

I ran some actions on a really underexposed photo from our North Shore Oahu trip last year... I think the photo improved vastly and is now not a lost cause.



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Friday, September 7, 2007

Photoshop Action Fun

I purchased Holly McCaig's Photographers Assistant photoshop actions today! I had it on my "Want" list, but I was waiting for a sale. Today was the day! So I took one of my vacation photos and ran the various actions on them. I'm really happy with the variations achieved!

Original Photo out of camera

Simple Pop

Super Pop


Urban Wash 1

Contrast B&W

Coffee B&W

B&W Contrast Peachy

Half Sepia

Vintage - Rockstar

Contrast B&W + Urban Wash 1

Super Pop + B&W Contrast Peachy
I like them and can't wait to run the actions on other photos for different looks!
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Tuesday, September 4, 2007

My Rockstar

I had said I would post pics of Todd's gig with Kim Divine a couple of weeks ago. Here is a layout. I had tried the different modes on my camera to take indoor night pictures, so that no flash was needed. I think it turned out alright. I ran Kim Hill's Photo Pop action on it too.
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Monday, September 3, 2007

Beauty of doing nothing

Sometimes I forget how relaxing it is to just do NOTHING. I did a lot of that this weekend! :) Although, I did get some stuff done and did some very fun things. Some of you may wonder, how come she only talks about the fun stuff most of the time? It's just how I choose to remember my days/months/years. I make a conscious choice to remember the good times, and even just reading about it later makes me happy. I've kept a journal since junior high, and I would say 90-95% of the stuff I wrote down is happy stuff. That's how I roll. Last Wednesday we brought dinner to our friends Mike & Barbara. Barbara has been receiving treatment for cancer since January, so the last couple of months we've gone twice to bring them food and eat it together and chat. We enjoy their company a lot. Thursday night we drove down to North Park to meet Sally for dinner. There was lots of traffic because both the Padres and Chargers were playing Thursday night. We had dinner at a Mediterranean/Persian restaurant on Park Blvd across from El Zarape. The food was really yummy and I ended up eating all of it! Then we went next door to Vinblaht's to listen to live music and have dessert. Well, sorry to say the dessert was a total bust and the music wasn't very good either. AND the place was so HOT with no A/C on. We left after a while because we couldn't stand the heat. Also, the guy who works behind the counter there was missing a few marbles. I asked some questions about dessert and he basically could not answer in complete sentences. No, it wasn't a language issue. It just seemed like he took one too many hits of the wacky weed. Friday after work we went to workout at Miramar Lake. Todd rollerbladed and I ran. I wanted to run 5 miles, but it was so hot and humid that I quit after 3.5 miles. Seriously, it was 7 pm and it was still so stuffy outside. The last few days has definitely been the hottest in SD this year. After running we went to Chile Peppers for dinner, where I had a shrimp taco and Todd had a carnitas taco and a chicken taco. Saturday: the start of the college football season (or Todd's Happiest Day of the Year). Todd had been looking forward to college football and the Buckeyes for months now! It finally started and he was so excited. The game vs. Youngstown St. was on the Big Ten Network, which is on DirecTV only, which we don't have. So we got up early and crammed into Moondoggies in Pacific Beach with the rest of the Buckeye Faithfuls. Who knew that that many Buckeyes would show up for an early game??? We had to stand in line to get in. Once in, all the seats were taken, so we had to settle for a table outside with limited/far view of the game. I was pretty disgruntled. We ate breakfast there. I had an egg sandwich with cheddar on sourdough with potatoes and Todd had blueberry pancakes. Mine was supposed to come with bacon and they totally forgot it. The food was mediocre and the service was only ok. The biggest bummer was getting up so early to drive all the way to PB, and not even getting a good seat where we could see the game well. We left at halftime because the Buckeyes were already blowing out the Youngstown St. Penguins, and people were smoking by us since we were seated outside (gross!). Not only that, it had taken us FOREVER to find parking and it was far away! PB stinks. After we went home, we listened to the rest of the Buckeye game on internet radio, and watched other games on TV. The best part of the day? The Michigan Wolverines losing to the division I-AA Appalachian State. Everyone aware of sports is STILL talking about it today, two days later. It was labeled as the biggest upset in college football history! And it couldn't have happened to a better team, ha ha! Sat night our friend AJ's cousin was DJ'ing at Gordon Biersch in Mission Valley, so we met AJ & Meera down there for dessert. It was very fun to hang out with them, plus we got to eat key lime cheesecake and carrot cake, both of which were delicious but super-fattening. :( Sunday we went to TGIFridays for lunch. We hadn't gone there in years. We used to go there on dates in college, so we got nostalgic for it and ordered the same potato skins that we always used to eat in college. But the menu doesn't have Steak-On-A-Stick anymore, so we had to order other foods. Todd had a salad topped with sirloin, and I had Key West Cajun Shrimp. I didn't eat most of my meal cuz I was so full of potato skins already. After lunch we went to Barnes & Noble to hang out, then we went to Aaron Brothers where I bought some Prismacolor Premier color pencils. I've been wanting them but they're expensive. Aaron Brothers was having a sale for 50% off, so I got a set of 24. I love them so far and I've already used it for my coloring books that Todd gave me. They're not like kids' coloring books. I've got coloring books with intricate geometric patterns, classic art pieces, Tiffany glass patterns, etc. After that, we went to see "Transformers". It was the first time that we've gone out to see a movie in the theater since March! This movie's plot was a little lacking, but the humor was funny and the CGI was definitely worth it to see it on the big screen. Todd got the biggest popcorn and Coke, and he got me some gummy bears, which were extra soft. My favs. :) After the movie we went and got a boba at Tea Station, then we went home. Todd made a Louisiana rice, bean, and sausage dinner and it was delicious, as usual. We watched our DVR'ed last episode of "Scott Baio is 45 and Single", and decided that it wasn't really reality TV. We think they already knew how it was going to end, and just kinda filmed everything that way. Today, Labor Day, we basically stayed home because it's too hot! We invited our next door neighbors Fred & Annie over for lunch. Todd made homemade hummus and pita, Mediterranean chicken kabobs on the grill, and Cranberry Nut Chocolate Chip cookies. Fred brought over homemade coffee frauppes, which were delicious. Annie also made a fruit salad. We ate lots and chatted, it was fun. The rest of today, I played with my coloring books and organized my digi-supplies. Well, that's a wrap-up of our last few days. Football has started and we're both very excited about it. I don't have any new photos/scraps to show, but hopefully soon!
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