Thursday, May 31, 2007
Wednesday, May 30, 2007
Monday, May 28, 2007
On this one the costumes were real, we found all the pieces at Goodwill & Salvation Army over the course of a few weeks. Everything is real except for the cartoon Scooby of course.
This one I cloned a picture of me from a costume party into the movie theatre photo, which is a generated photo from the internet. Read the movie marquee!
Credits: Pattie Knox template (DesignerDigitals.com); Krista Mettler red paper; Katie Pertier Sunprints green (recolored) paper and Naturally Krafty desert sage paper; Artistic & Times New Roman fonts.
Credits: Scrap Girls Corners Around template; Katie Pertiet Sunprints Ledger orange paper & Sunprints teal paper; Pea Neffer, Action Is, and Scriptina fonts.
Saturday, May 26, 2007
Friday, May 25, 2007
Memorial Weekend To-Do:
- Run 6 miles on Saturday, stay on training schedule.
- Sign-up for AFC Half Marathon for real.
- Finish "Make Your Photos Pop" class homework.
- Make progress on organizing hobby room.
- Make a few digital layouts from Cinco de Mayo pics.
- Catch up on magazines.
Did I ever say I love John Mayer? I can listen to his music all day long. I can listen to his music when I'm working. I can listen to his music when I run. I listen in the car. Perfect for all occasions. If you don't have "Continuum" you should get it. Todd & I independently listened to it and came up with the same favorite song, "Stop This Train". Love the melody, love the lyrics. Then my friend William independently wrote about this song on his blog! And he wasn't even a John Mayer fan from the start. He only recently discovered "Continuum". Anyways, we're going to see John Mayer at Coors in a couple of weeks, I'm excited!
Found a few cool things on the 'net today:
- stuff on my cat - pics of cats with stuff on them
- stuff on my mutt - pics of dogs with stuff on them
- cats in sinks - self explanatory
- Plain White T's (new-to-me band I like)
- buzka - a social bookmarking site.
Photoshop Foolery Fun
~from my Make Your Photos Pop class, I learned to Dodge. Look at the difference it makes. The leaves look way better in the second photo huh.
Then I learned the cloning tool. I combined two photos into one and even put a reflection of the cactus into the water.
Then I put the cloning skill to good use, and cloned the sand to take out all the distracting people on the beach. Not totally happy with the result as the sand and sky seems too washed out. I'll have to play with it some more later. Let me tell you, it's hard to remove the background elements around our hairs! Hair is very hard to "fix" well in Photoshop.
Wednesday, May 23, 2007
Tuesday, May 22, 2007
People went up and told stories of Tim. Todd was up first and told several funny stories of his dad.
The next day, we gave Tim his birthday present, which was tickets to the Cleveland Indians game at Jacobs Field, versus the Cincinnati Reds.
I zoomed up and got a shot of Ken Griffey Jr - post swing.
After the game, we went to see Tim's office at Watson Wyatt in downtown Cleveland. Outside the building, there were these artsy statues playing music. We couldn't resist, so we joined in.
Tim's office in the highrise has awesome views. One of which is the lakefront Cleveland Browns Stadium! I actually took the pic from the window of one of the conference rooms.
During the trip, we spent a lot of time catching up with family. It was good to see Todd's sister Amy. We saw Aunt Charlsie and Uncle Dick, who told stories from their travels. They spent one and a half years volunteering in Kenya and had quite a bunch of interesting stories. We also got good stories from Uncle Gordon and Aunt Muneca. It was fun chatting with Todd's cousin Kathleen and her husband Bob, who came all the way from Phoenix to attend the festivities. Spending time with loved ones is always good, even if we have to fly red-eye to get there!
Friday, May 18, 2007
Is this not the funniest picture you've ever seen???
The baby is Lincoln, my friend Julie's kid. (Or, as we refer to him, Mr. Linc.) Look at the way Mr. Linc. was looking at Ozzy! Priceless! Julie's husband Michael produces videos and stuff, and he's producing the video intro for Ozzfest. Julie and Mr. Linc. went to visit Michael at work today and took this photo. Hilarious! Now I'm going to smile to myself all weekend at this. :-)
Credits: template by Pattie Knox; Winter Surf papers by Kellie Mize; brown kraft paper by Katie Pertiet (all avail at Designer Digitals)
I scanned in some more negatives from Feb-2002. We had decided to do what we think you could only do in SoCal, which is to go snowboarding in the morning and then surfing in the afternoon. The round photo is from the morning snowboarding at Mountain High. Then in the afternoon we drove back down and surfed in Carlsbad. Cool and unique experience. Since it was February, the water was very cold and we were SO glad for our wetsuits!
The AAA magazine for Southern California did a story and photo shoot of us. Click here to see it.
Thursday, May 17, 2007
I've joined lala.com. It's a CD trading service. So remember how over a month ago I blogged about how I wanted to organize a bunch of my stuff, including my music collection? I have gone through my CD's and put a pile of "no longer like" CD's together. Then I signed up at lala.com and entered my CD's that I'm willing to trade, along with Todd's CD's. Then someone who wants one of my CD's just puts it in their "Want" list, and I get an email saying that one of my CDs got requested. So then lulu sends me a pack of 5 CD mailers with postage paid and everything, and all I have to do is put the CD in and send it to that person who wanted it. Then, I can get one CD from my own "want" list, but not necessarily from that particular person that got my CD. Get it? It's like community trading. You send one, you get one. So far I've put in 80 CD's that I no longer want, and 4 of them have been requested. I'm just waiting for my lala mailing envelopes to come so I can send them off. This is WAY better than a garage sale I must say.
Then I came upon lulu.com. Lulu is a site where you can self-publish books. So if you have ideas for a photobook or any other type of book, you can write it and self-publish it there. There's no set-up fees and no minimums, so it's really reasonable. The possibilities are endless. You can then sell the book on Amazon, Borders, Barnes & Noble, and at lulu itself. I just think that's so cool. I'm a sometime freelance writer and enjoy fantasizing about publishing my own book about something, sometime. This is one avenue if you don't get signed by a publishing house.
Speaking of music, and speaking of self-publishing... we have a bunch of CDs left over from when Todd was a part of the band The Northstar Session. They recorded and self-produced one full-length CD titled "One Way Ticket", and one EP (5 songs) called "Little Lies".
Since it's sunk cost, I'll make you an offer. I'll send you both CD's for $5. Just email me if you want them. Here's a sample of two songs from One Way Ticket and one song from Little Lies. Todd played all piano & organ, and sang back-up too.
You can also sample more songs from Little Lies here.
Wednesday, May 16, 2007
I entered this picture into the Best Friends photo contest at Shutterfly. Caption at Shutterfly says:
"Ay Caramba! We've been friends for 25 years, since junior high. This picture was taken 10 years ago during a visit to San Diego. We saw these sombreros and maracas in an Old Town San Diego store and couldn't resist posing with them. We're now both 37 and still best friends. And we both live in San Diego now! "
Vote for me here! Five stars please!
- article I wrote for Teradata magazine - "Teradata: Your Next Best Action with Your Customers"
- another article I wrote - "Growing Your Revenue and Profitability: It’s All About Your Data"
- article I wrote for San Diego Asian Film Foundation - "Before and After "Brokeback"" (had totally forgotten about this! nice find)
- 2000 Liberty Run race results - 4 mile run across Coronado Bridge (time: 52:29; avg mile: 13:07)
- 2004 Liberty Run race results - 25th in my age division, not bad! (time: 39:22; avg mile: 9:50) Check out the improvement since 2000. See what regular running does for ya!
- 2004 Thanksgiving 5K race results - 41st out of 234 in my age division (time: 28:32; avg mile: 9:12)
Want to know what kind of stuff is on the web about yourself? I found this article about how to keep track of yourself on the internet. Pretty cool. I like this Geek To Live column.
Monday, May 14, 2007
Remember life before digital photos? I'm startin' to. My MIL gave me a Canon CanoScan 8600 F for my birthday. She knows how much I love photography, organizing my photos, and scrapbooking. The best thing about this baby? It scans NEGATIVES. Yep. I finally got a chance to test it out today. These surfing pix are from Feb-2002, BD (Before Digital). After I scanned them in, I did some color & exposure corrections. Then I applied some cooling filters to brighten up the color of the water. Then I used the Vivid Color action from ezactions.com. Then I framed them with Lifted Photo templates from Scrap Girls. I think this photo project turned out nicely.
For this B&W conversion I used the demo action at ezactions.com. It not only converts to B&W but also sharpens the contrast. Neato!
I used several of Photoshop Elements built-in filters on this one to get the colors I wanted.
On a separate note, it's officially strawberry season in SoCal. Todd got these from Henry's. They come straight from the strawberry fields in Carlsbad. Just look at them, so red, big, juicy, and sweet!
Sunday, May 13, 2007
I've been thinking about this Mother's Day for a few weeks now. It is my first Mother's Day without my mom. I miss her lots and remember all she had done for me. I went to Rose Hills Memorial Park to visit her yesterday and to bring her flowers. I made this scrapbook page to remember this Mother's Day. I thought about how I could pay tribute to her today. The best way I could think of, is to post my eulogy speech at her funeral. So here it is.
We are here to remember my mom Grace, and to celebrate her life, all that she had accomplished and what she means to each one of us. She was a faithful servant of Jesus Christ, beloved wife, cherished mother, beloved sister, and a good friend to so many of you. Mom’s name, Grace, really befitted her character. She was the grace of God embodied in a person. She was a gift from God to us.
When I think about my mom, I think of her many good qualities. Her gentleness, her kindness, her generosity, and her total unselfishness. But most of all, I am reminded of God’s love through her. She lived her life with her love of Jesus and God’s love shining through her. Her joy came from the Lord. Phil 4:4-5 says, “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all.” This verse describes how my mom lived her life in Christ. Her gentleness was evident to all who knew her. Even though she was quiet and unassuming, her gentleness, her shy smile, and her loving kindness touched everyone who came in contact with her. Jesus wants us to live our lives so that others can see Him though us. I believe many of us met Jesus because of my mom. My mom, with the Holy Spirit in her, exhibited many of the character qualities that God truly values. According to Galatians 5:22-23, the fruit of the Spirit is Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self-Control. When I think about these fruits of the Spirit, it is evident that’s how my mom lived her life. She lived according to God’s standards, not human standards.
She loved our family unconditionally. Not only that, she loved others unconditionally. I have never heard her say anything negative or complain about someone else. She always gave everyone the benefit of the doubt, even when they may not have treated her in the best way. She never held grudges against anyone, especially those in the body of Christ. One of my mom’s old friends from the Walnut Creek church came to visit her about a month ago, and she told my mom that she had never seen my mom angry with someone else. She was always concerned for others. Even her last day of life on earth, she was concerned about whether we had a chance to get a bite to eat in the midst of caring for her.
Even though she was gentle and unselfish, she was very strong in her unwavering faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. Despite her condition toward the end of her life here on earth, she had faith that God could heal her of her cancer if that was His will and plan for her. While we don’t understand why God’s plan is to bring my mom Home at this time, we can trust in His omniscience that His plan is perfect and the best plan for all of us. Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.” He loves us and has the best plans for our lives. He is able to do in our lives more than we can ever imagine.
I believe when my mom got to heaven, she heard our Lord say to her, “Well done, my faithful servant, well done!” Those are words of honor that any one of us would love to hear from God. I, along with my family and all of you, will surely miss her very much. But we can all take comfort and rejoice that we will see her again in heaven, where there is no pain and no tears, where we will spend eternity in the presence of each other and with God.
Mom's favorite color was purple/lavender, so here's another version of the layout.
Saturday, May 12, 2007
Thursday, May 10, 2007
Today Todd went to the Fairway Technologies office in La Jolla to work. I tagged along and worked from there, because I had a 5:00 am conference call and I wasn't going into my office anyways. It was clear there! Well, after the "May Gray" burned off. So I walked into their conference room and this was the view! How cool is that? Ocean view office space. I could get used to that! Brett, the CEO of Fairway, is very cool and very nice. He wears shorts and sandals to work, and brings his dog sometimes. Oh, and I wrote and drew on the picture with a Wacom tablet that Todd's friend Jessica gave me. She has a newer and bigger one, so she gave this one to me. (She's so nice!) We had lunch at Aloha Sushi & Hawaiian Grille on Fay Street, within walking distance from the Fairway office. Our lunch was kinda small, so later on in the afternoon Todd and I walked to Porkyland and had a carnitas taco. Then we walked down to the Living Room and shared a piece of chocolate cake. Yum! I felt a little piggish but I'll burn it off by running tomorrow.
After we came home, I got the two CD's I ordered in the mail.
Sheryl Crow's "Wildflower", and Scissor Sisters' "Ta-Dah". Both of these will be great listen-to-in-the-car CD's and I'm looking forward to listening to them.
The first track on "Ta-Dah" is "I Don't Feel Like Dancing", but tell me if you feel like dancing or not when you hear the song!
Wednesday, May 09, 2007
- I subscribe to the Budget Travel magazine blog. Today I found this article regarding the upcoming season of "5 Takes" on the Travel Channel. I've seen the "5 Takes: Pacific Rim" episodes before, so I think the "5 Takes: Latin America" will be interesting as well.
- Veronica Mars is being "revamped" and it's looking more and more like it'll be picked up for the fall season! Read about it here. Clap, clap, so excited!
- One of the creative women that I follow, Tara Whitney, started her own photography business. I looked at the photos she's taken at her website, and I am in love. I want her to take pictures of me and Todd. I'm going to save up some money for this, because it's not cheap. But just look at her photos! She lives in SoCal, so she does do photo shoots in San Diego County. So excited!
- Tara Whitney's photos just *POP*, the colors are so vibrant. So I googled "photos that pop" and found a Photoshop Elements class called "Make Your Photos Pop!" I enrolled right away, it is a 6 week online class with homework. So look for "before" and "after" photos from me soon! I found a website of someone who took the class, and just look at what she's done with her photos!
- The Burrito Chronicles at signonsandiego.com. There's only 2 entries there so far, and I've been to El Zarape MANY MANY times. So I'm going to Santana's for my next burrito!
- Andy the barista from Cafe de Fred (our next door neighbor). Todd and I chatted with him for a long time at the Cinco de Mayo party on Sat. Turns out he's a foodie (see his reviews/posts at Chowhound), a photographer (see his Flickr albums), a bookworm (see his books at Library Thing), a classical guitar player who is good friends with the Romeros, legendary first family of flemenco guitar from Spain who live right here in Del Mar. He even got to go to the event when the Grammy's honored the Romeros! So interesting! It's not everyday you meet someone interesting like that. Ok, I didn't cyber-stalk him, he gave me his card with his Flickr name on it, and I clicked on the links from there, okay?!
- 43things.com - a website where people make list of 43 things they want to do/achieve, and they connect with other people who want to do the same things. It's like list-making taken a few steps further!
Alright, that's all for now. Time to go run 3 miles. This list should keep you busy for a while! :-)
Tuesday, May 08, 2007
Monday, May 07, 2007
- Quantum Leap
- St. Elsewhere (I had forgotten Denzel Washington was on there!)
- Simon & Simon (shot in San Diego - in the opening sequence you see the I-5 Freeway sign and also the Coronado Bridge)
- Scooby Doo
- LA Law
- Miami Vice
- Hill Street Blues
- Greatest American Hero
- Doogie Howser MD
- Beverly Hills 90210
- The Muppet Show
- Veronica Mars (had to throw that one in)
Sunday, May 06, 2007
Yesterday was Cinco de Mayo. Our next door neighbors Fred and Annie had a big Cinco de Mayo Fiesta, including a huge buffet spread! We had been looking forward to it for over a month, ever since we got the invitation. Now, to know Fred is to know his coffee. He's a huge coffee nut (or is it bean??) and has parlayed his love of coffee into a second career of sorts. He roasts his own beans from raw coffee beans. His bean grinder is carefully chosen and calibrated for the perfectly sized grind. He vacuum-seals his roasted beans and gives us bags of them. They are so delicious. Ever since I've had Fred's coffee, I've been ruined. I no longer enjoy Starbucks or any other "corporate" coffee. I don't even enjoy the locally owned mom & pop coffee houses anymore. Fred's is fresh. Fred's is quality. Fred has professional coffee/espresso equipment. Fred goes to professional coffee conventions. He gives us his coffee for free, but they're so good that he sells them to his co-workers and ships them to people far & wide. Fred has BUILT a coffee bar and turned their living room into a bona-fide CAFE. Seriously, walking into Fred & Annie's living room, you'd think you accidentally stumbled upon the friendly neighborhood coffee house.
I was totally amazed. Fred put out like 10 different kinds of coffee, plus his friend Andy manned the expresso machine. Andy is a computer programmer by trade, but he's the best barista in San Diego. We chatted with him about coffee, and he said besides his own coffee, he only finds ONE place in all of San Diego worthy: Yvonne the coffee cart lady in front of Kaiser Permanente building on Clairemont Mesa street off of I-805. Seriously!
The fiesta was bigger than I'd ever imagined. Senora Annie said she started making the decorations in March! She made gorgeous paper flowers as table decorations. She made signs explaining the origin of Cinco de Mayo. She made decorative signs for every delicious dish she made. This party took some doing!
And the food! I could not believe how many dishes she put out. There was the fresh tortillas, the quiche, the tater casserole, the eggs & corned beef hash, the salsas, carnitas, chili con carne, FRESH homemade churros, fresh homemade chips, nacho cheese sauce, jicama salad, lumpia, etc.! On top of that, the dessert table was HUGE! That was a meal in and of itself! Poor Annie actually had to re-cook some of her food when their refrigerator broke a couple of days before the party!
After three cups of Senor Fred's coffee, I was deliriously caffeinated and very chatty. We chatted with our next-door neighbors on the other side, Felix and Cris. We chatted with Fred & Annie's other next-door neighbor Margaret. Turns out Margaret was a San Diego police reserve officer for a long time! She promised us she'd email us all the petty crime happenings in the neighborhood. I love that we're friends with both of next-door neighbors! And guess what? They're both original owners of the houses. Twenty years ago they camped out overnight so that they could be in line to purchase the brand-new houses. They knew Bob and Georgia, who were the original owners of our house, who also showed up at the party! Fred & Annie have been such great neighbors. During the months when my mom was ill and we had to go visit her for a few days every week, they would get our mail and packages for us. Annie always pulls our empty garbage containers from the street back to the side of our house before we get home from work on Garbage Mondays. We couldn't ask for better neighbors. She calls us "The Kids Next Door", because we're the youngest couple in our block of surrounding houses. Everyone else are empty-nesters. We really love it here and are blessed! I promised Annie that I'd make her a scrapbook with all the pics that I took from their very caffeinated Cinco de Mayo Fiesta. :-)
- Tristan Prettyman - "The Story" - 2:56
- The Fray - "All At Once" - 3:48
- Jack Johnson - "It's All Understoood" - 5:29
- Shania Twain - "If You Wanna Touch Her, Ask!" - 4:13
- Switchfoot - "You Already Take Me There" - 2:42
- Jack Johnson - "Belle" - 1:43
- Elton John - "Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me" - 5:38
- Switchfoot - "Playing for Keeps" - 3:43
- Barenaked Ladies - "Adrift" - 3:35
- Elton John - "I Guess That's Why They Call It the Blues" - 4:44
- Sheryl Crow - "Lucky Kid" - 4:04
- Elton John - "Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word" - 3:53
- U2 - "Crumbs from Your Table" - 5:03
- John Mayer - "Great Indoors" - 3:36
- John Mayer - "Why Georgia Why" - 4:29
That's the risk you take when you put the iPod on shuffle! Sometimes I "rediscover" cool songs I don't remember I have. Other times I'm running and if ANOTHER SLOW Elton John song comes up, I just wanna wring his neck!
Saturday, May 05, 2007
I love this ad because the details and the slogan are on the surfboard, then in the background there's the Coronado Beach and the famous landmark Hotel del Coronado. For those of you who don't know, we have an "island" offshore called Coronado, even though it's really an isthmus. It is beautiful there: small town charm mixed with incredible views of the ocean on one side and the San Diego skyline on the other side. You can get there via the Coronado Bay Bridge from San Diego, or take the ferry boats.
Anyways, finding this ad reminds me of why I live here again and made me all happy. So I started doing the math in my head and realized that San Diego is the longest I've ever lived in ANY city! I've lived here 7.5 years!
Tainan, Taiwan: 3 years
Taipei, Taiwan: 6 years
Berkeley, CA: 3 years
Walnut Creek, CA: 6 years
Columbus, OH: 5 years
Dayton, OH: 6.5 years
San Diego, CA: 7.5 years!
Whoo hoo! I'm a San Diegan! And what's more, California is my home state. I've lived here 16.5 years versus 11.5 in Ohio, and 9 years in Taiwan.
So, to celebrate those facts, here's a link to my great state: www.visitcalifornia.com. I like the description of San Diego here, even though it's not true that it's 85 degrees year-round! But it IS true that people visit here and end up moving here all the time! Here's a link to the San Diego Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Here's the cool "Find Yourself Here" commercial:
Ignore the "skate and annoy" part.
Here's a cute video tour of our three major cities: