Friday, April 11, 2008

Digital Photography Forum

I love photography. Unfortunately, I'm terrible at it. I have no idea why I'm so bad. I take tons of photos and they never turn out quite right. I try. I've actually studied it on the internet and still I just can't quite get it. I admire people who can. Some people just seem to have a natural talent when it comes to capturing what they are seeing through the lens of a camera.

I found a pretty awesome forum today that is all about digital photography. Its called “No BS Photo Success.” I'm thinking that I may join even though I don't take good pictures. I enjoy seeing good photos and maybe I'll learn something. I would like to learn more about some of the more professional techniques, like lighting and coloring.

The site has a Digital Photography Forum and I read through some of the posts to see if they are user friendly for beginners like me or if they were too technical. I was glad to see that they cover all skill levels.

The site has an “Inner Circle Forum” which is probably for the more serious photographers. I’d like to work my way up to the more professional level and the best thing about forums is that you can ask a question to get help and there will be several people answering to help you out in a friendly way. So now I have a place to go to ask questions and learn more about the advanced techniques. Okay, I need to ask about basic techniques, but I can do that too there.

The site has some tutorials and videos, plus the Photography Forum, so I will be spending some time there and seeing if I can learn something. Hopefully I'll see some improvement in my ability to capture what I am seeing through the lens. If you like to take photos and go visit this site, let me know what you think by posting a comment for me, and if you are posting your photos I would love to come see them if you give me the link.

I hope I'll see you there!

Take Me Away to Cancun!

I was just going through some old pictures and ran across a bunch of pictures from a vacation we took to Mexico a few years ago. We were just south of Cancun at the Riviera Maya. Its a wonderful place to stay as long as you are in a good all inclusive resort so that your food and drinks are tailored for foreign visitors. I can tell you from personal experience, our digestive systems are not accustomed to the inhabitants of the food and drink products down there. Montezuma's revenge is NOT something I ever want to have again.

Anyway, I just wanted to post a few of the pics. Enjoy .....

Pink Flamingos

Riviera Maya

January on the Yucatan Peninsula

Ancient Church on the Yucatan Peninsula

A small example of the huge Chichen Itza Mayan ruins on the Yucatan Peninsula.

Things I've Learned from Email!

I just want to thank all of you for your educational emails over the past year.

Thanks to you, I no longer open a public bathroom door without using a paper towel.

I can't sit down on the hotel bedspread because I can only imagine what has happened on it since it was last washed.

I have trouble shaking hands with someone who has been driving because the number one pass-time while driving alone is picking your nose. (Although cell phone usage may be taking the number one spot)

Eating a Little Debbie sends me on a guilt trip because I can only imagine how many gallons of trans fats I have consumed over the years.

I can't touch any woman's purse for fear she has placed it on the floor of a public bathroom. Yuck!

I must send my special thanks to whoever sent me the one about poop in the glue on envelopes because I now have to use a wet sponge with every envelope that needs sealing.

Also, now I have to scrub the top of every can I open for the same reason.

I no longer have any savings because I gave it to a sick girl (Penny Brown) who is about to die in the hospital for the 1,387,258th time.

I no longer have any money at all, but that will change once I receive the $15,000 that Bill Gates/Microsoft and AOL are sending me for participating in their special e-mail program.

I no longer worry about my soul because I have 363,214 angels looking out for me, and St. Theresa's novena has granted my every wish.

I no longer eat KFC because their chickens are actually horrible mutant freaks with no eyes or feathers.

I no longer use cancer-causing deodorants even though I smell like a water buffalo on a hot day.

Thanks to you, I have learned that my prayers only get answered if I forward an email to seven of my friends and make a wish within five minutes.

Because of your concern I no longer drink Coca Cola because it can remove toilet stains.

I no longer can buy gasoline without taking someone along to watch the car so a serial killer won't crawl in my back seat when I'm pumping gas.

I no longer drink Pepsi or Dr. Pepper since the people who make these products are atheists who refuse to put 'Under God' on their cans.

I no longer use Saran wrap in the microwave because it causes cancer.

And thanks for letting me know I can't boil a cup of water in the microwave anymore because it will blow up in my face...disfiguring me for life.

I no longer check the coin return on pay phones because I could be pricked with a needle infected with AIDS.

I no longer go to shopping malls because someone will drug me with a perfume sample and rob me.

I no longer receive packages from UPS or FedEx since they are actually Al Qaeda in disguise.

I no longer shop at Target since they are French and don't support our American troops or the Salvation Army.

I no longer answer the phone because someone will ask me to dial a number for which I will get a phone bill with calls to Jamaica , Uganda , Singapore and Uzbekistan.

I no longer buy expensive cookies from Neiman Marcus since I now have their recipe.

Thanks to you, I can't use anyone's toilet but mine because a big brown African spider is lurking under the seat to cause me instant death when it bites my butt.

And thanks to your great advice, I can't ever pick up $5.00 dropped in the parking lot because it probably was placed there by a sex molester waiting underneath my car to grab my leg.

I can no longer drive my car because I can't buy gas from certain gas companies!

If you don't send this e-mail to at least 144,000 people in the next 70 minutes, a large dove with diarrhea will land on your head at 5:00 PM this afternoon and the fleas from 12 camels will infest your back, causing you to grow a hairy hump. I know this will occur because it actually happened to a friend of my next door neighbor's ex-mother-in-law's second husband's cousin's beautician...

Have a wonderful day....

Oh, by the way.....

A German scientist from Argentina, after a lengthy study, has discovered that people with insufficient brain activity read their e-mail with their hand on the mouse. Don't bother taking it off now, it's too late.

Awesome New Surfboard Bags

If you are into surfing, then you absolutely must see the awesome new surfboard bags at the Surfboard Warehouse! They have a ton of them that are really great.

Serious surfers know that taking care of your surfboard is very important. If you just tie the surfboard on top of your car to transport it then you are risking scratches, chips and damage to your board. With the small investment of a surfboard bag you can save yourself the grief of damage to the large investment you have put into your surfboard.

Aside from the commonsense reasons to use a surfboard bag, they are just great looking. Check out the inventory at the Surfboard Warehouse. I think you are bound to find one that you just love.

Viva la France!

Its seems so unfair that everyone makes fun of the French all the time. I know, I've been guilty of it myself, but I feel very badly about it. I really do.

I know the French haven't won a war since the Norman Invasion of 1066. That's when the French warriors all moved to England and apparently took the warrior DNA with them. Whoops. I did it again. I didn't mean to make fun of them again. What was I saying? Oh yeah, just because they haven't won a war since 1066 and just because their immediate response to any kind of aggression seems to be immediate surrender followed by wine and cheese, doesn't mean they deserve to be the butt of jokes throughout the world.

Happily, I have found the following video that is proof positive that the French still have that warrior gene somewhere deep inside of them. Perhaps it will resurface. Maybe its resurfacing even as I type this. They are actually quite fearsome Soldiers. It could very well be that one of the best kept secrets in the world is that these French men might possibly be the most dangerous men on earth!

Victoire pour la France!!

Appréciez .....

French military demonstrating the World's Best Anti-Tank Missile

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Edna Parker is Oldest Living Person

Kaku YamanakaJapan's oldest person died today at 113 years of age. She was Kaku Yamanaka who was born on Dec. 11, 1894. She only became her country’s oldest person in February after Tsuneyo Toyonaga passed away. Health Ministry officials have not named Japan’s new oldest person.

The world's oldest person lives right here in the good ol' U.S.A. Edna Parker of Shelbyville, Indiana is recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records as the oldest person in the world at 114 years of age. She was born on April 20, 1893 and will turn 115 on her birthday.

Just a little bit of useless information to keep you informed and help you be the life of the party!!! I'm always here to help.


Christopher Traverse Survives Wilderness Thanks to Survivorman


My husband is a Survivorman fan so that means I've watched Les Stroud mark his territory more than once myself. You know how it is, we women watch what our men watch. Its just a fact of life, men control the remote.

Interestingly, there is a story in the news right now about a guy who survived because of watching Survivorman. Twenty-four year old Christopher Traverse spent five days lost in the snowy wilderness and credits Survivorman with his survival. Seriously!

Mr. Traverse said he credits his survival to knowledge gleaned from an unlikely source.

"I watch a show called Survivorman," he said.

Survivorman is a reality-based show whose protagonist, Les Stroud, ventures out into the wilderness for a week at a time, with nothing but his wits to survive on.

It's from the show that Mr. Traverse said he learned how to eat snow to fend off dehydration, and how to make a shelter from the twigs and branches.

"I wanted that experience -- I got it and then some," Mr. Traverse said with a laugh.

Traverse had been on a fishing trip in the wilderness of northern Manitoba when he got lost on the way back to his uncles house. Fresh snow had covered up his tracks and while trying to find it way without having the tracks to follow his snowmobile ran out of gas.

He used the survival skills he learned from watching Survivorman and managed to not only survive in the frigid weather for five days but to eventually make his way to town and walk into a store to call his family.

Searchers are looking for his snowmobile, but he said his family won't let him go along to look for it. Ha!

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

The Pianoman Next Door

My Beloved Curmudgeon and I have moved a lot during our marriage. We've bought and sold several houses along the way. In all that moving we have found a few things have been very consistent for us. Those things have been so consistent that by the time we bought the house we currently live in we were joking about having to make sure those things were in place before we bought it.

For instance, we have always had very interesting neighbors. Interesting as in eccentric and/or just downright odd. Almost all of our neighbors have had the same first name. I won't name the name on the outside chance my neighbor happens to read this. I'll keep an element of plausible deniability for the sake of peace in the neighborhood. We actually thought of asking our neighbor's names before we bought the house. We joked about it, but didn't actually ask. Sure enough, when we met the neighbor closest to us, he had the same name. When my Beloved Curmudgeon and I got back to the house after meeting him we were slack jawed. What are the odds!

Our neighbors have been a source of perverse entertainment for us over the years. There was an elderly couple that lived across the street from us years ago who had the loudest fights. This wasn't the type of neighborhood one would expect this type of behavior which made it all the more entertaining. They would start fighting. She would throw him out of the house. He would stand out in the yard and yell for her to let him back in. She would yell at him out the window and start throwing his stuff out into the yard. He would stomp and snort around in the yard for a while. He'd usually wind up pleading with her. He'd finally get in his car and drive around the block repeatedly. Eventually, he'd pull back into the driveway and she'd let him back in. This happened about twice a week.

I'm a little embarrassed to admit it, but more than a few times my Beloved Curmudgeon and I would turn off the lights and sit on the floor by the window watching them, we'd make sarcastic remarks to each other and laugh like a couple of idiots. Like I said, perverse entertainment.

Every single house we've lived in has had its own form of entertainment from the neighbors. In fact, I think we've provided entertainment for our neighbors a time or two, but that's another story.

Our current neighbor-with-the-same-first-name-as-all-our-other-neighbors is as entertaining as any of them. He is friendly, jovial and I've never heard him and his wife fight. However, he has a tendency to walk around his front yard in red shorts and no shirt .... and he weights at least 300 pounds. Its really not a pretty sight, especially when he bends over to pick up something. He also has a tendency to cook out on a grill on his back deck naked. Yes, naked. I've told my Beloved Curmudgeon I'm not eating any hamburgers he might bring over to share!

pianoWe live on a heavily wooded side of a mountain. His house is the only house we can see if we are sitting on our back screened in porch. We sit on our back screened in porch a lot. In the summer you can only make the house out through the trees. In the winter its a very clear view, especially if he has his lights on. Either way, its hard to miss him when he's cooking out. I have given him the benefit of the doubt and assumed he didn't know we could see him. You know, the trees and all. My Beloved Curmudgeon says that of course he knows, he just doesn't care. I admit, the more I've gotten to know this neighbor - with - the - same - first - name - as - all - our - other - neighbors the more I'm convinced that if he thinks about it at all, he really doesn't care.

The thing about this neighbor - with - the - same - first - name - as - all - our - other - neighbors is that he runs a piano business out of his basement. He has a couple of big trucks in his drive-way and picks up and delivers pianos. He tunes the finest pianos in the area, some from his basement. I brought my laptop out to our screened in back porch a while ago and sat down. When I got all settled and quiet I heard the music of Mozart floating over from my neighbor's house. It was beautiful. Stunningly beautiful. I just sat and listened until he stopped.

Our neighbor who walks around his yard unclothed, who cusses like a trucker, is uncouth, is big and burly and could care less what anyone thinks of him, can play the piano with the touch of a fine concert virtuoso.

No one would know that about him if you judged him by first appearance. You could only know that if you sat on my screened in back porch and listened.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Beautiful Unique Wedding Invitations Online

I have found the nicest wedding invitations online that you can personalize in all kinds of ways. I like the daisy invitation pictured to the left. But honestly, there are so many there to choose from that it would be hard to decide.

One of the nice features about the 1st Class Wedding Invitations online is that you can pick out the invitation you like, change the colors, font, quotes, wording and more. You can make it yours with just a few clicks of the mouse. Its so simple that I could hardly believe it. You end up with a truly unique wedding invitation that is all yours and made to your liking.

They have a huge variety of styles and types. If you want a cute couple on the cover of a heavy card stock or a delicate flower on a translucent paper or anything in between you can find it there.

The prices are pretty nice too! You get top quality paper and printing at online discount prices. I just think its a wonderful service!

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Eyewitness to the Green Zone Attack

Lara Logan was there as U.S. troops responded to insurgent attacks on Baghdad's heavily fortified Green Zone.

Iraq's Prime Minister, Nuri Al-Maliki, has suspended his attacks on the insurgent groups that have been fighting the government there for days now. Moktada al-Sadr is still causing trouble in Sadr City and is calling for protests. The thing is, Sadr had pulled back and now al-Maliki is backing off. Is this any way to fight a war????

Now the U.S. has to go back in and get control of the situation ... AGAIN! al-Sadr's been causing trouble for years so one has to wonder why he's still drawing breath. I would think that at some point we'd learn a lesson or two from history. You can't win the peace until you've won the war. We tried to skip a step there. Lets win the war, THEN try to win the 'hearts and minds' of the people.