Friday, October 30, 2009

Winter

Winter is truly on its way. I've been trying to avoid it, but it's coming.

Woke up this morning to 23 degrees.

I started to notice a change towards the end of September. The streets were much less congested in town. So was the grocery store. The tourists were on their way back to their homes, finally!

Now our daylight is rapidly decreasing. Sunset was at 6pm last night. It's dark in the mornings when C goes to work. The leaves are completely gone from the trees.

Last year, we had such a terrible summer weatherwise, that winter just seemed like torture. It really felt like winter never left last year. However, this year has been glorious. An early summer from melting snow due to Redoubt's ash. A beautiful summer with lots of blue skies and warmth. A long October with much sunshine. I think I have myself tricked into thinking that the winter may not be so bad.

And maybe it won't be. Maybe we will have a mild winter. Less bitter cold, lots of sunshine (though that usually means it is cold). My ideal winter would mean less snow...

I can dream! The current forecast says Monday is the day for snow. We shall see!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Perfect Rainbow


Looked outside on Sunday. The sky looked prime for a rainbow, but there was not one. A couple minutes later, I glanced out again. Soft rain was falling while the sun peeked out. A full, vibrant rainbow arced across the sky. 2 minutes after I started shooting, it was gone. It was amazing :)

Monday, October 26, 2009

Creative Digital Camera

Way back in April I signed up for a 1 credit art class on learning digital photography. I have been debating whether I should take it or not, since I have been teaching myself how to do this and the class looked fairly basic. At the least, I figured I could get networked with the instructor, who is apparently quite a big name, Taz Tally.

Went to class today, and didn't know anyone there. Class was just about to get started when in walks my favorite professor! He sat next to me and kept making comments the whole time. It was really strange taking a class with him. (He's a 60 year old genius)

The class looks promising. I am learning a bit, but nothing major, of course. Just little things - a really cool tripod, some Photoshop shortcuts, etc. Some of it is so basic though. One lady doesn't know anything about taking photos or computers in general. The basic requirement for the class is to have a camera that can shoot in the "creative modes." One lady's simple point and shoot didn't have any of those settings.

The whole class is on a mission now to get flashdrives and card readers! But there are a couple of people in there who have quite a bit of experience. I'd like to get to know them a bit.

And, of course, I am by far the youngest student in the class.

It has promise. Next week we might end up at the beach to shoot!


Puddles

Puddles
It was raining during the sunset Saturday night. I loved it.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Niece #4

My brother in law has two little girls. His ex wife has custody of them, but my sister in law brings them to church regularly. This morning, in the middle of worship, I head my name in a very high pitched squeal. At the same moment, arms wrapped around my leg.

It was the younger girl, who's 4 1/2 with her bright blue eyes and soft blonde hair. She beamed up at me and then started excitedly chattering away. She ended up sitting on my lap for a while, as I sort of cuddled with her.

I'm not very affectionate with little kids, but this niece of mine has me wrapped around her finger! It's almost enough to make me want a kid of my own...but not quite!

Work Happenings

Stuff that happened at work throughout this summer..
  • A group of 5 or so teenage girls came in. They were all very made up, fashionable, etc. The last one who came in had the strangest look to her. She had really long hair, past her shoulders, but one half of her head was completely shaved. It was obviously a statement...
  • Someone is looking at candy in the case and I ask: "Can I get you some candy?" "Oh, to try?" "Well...sure.." I was thinking for you to buy...
  • Regular customer comes in, "What's that new smell?!" "Um..." My sense of smell is nonexistant at work..
  • A customer wearing a tshirt that shows a family of bears eating tourists. The caption reads: "The family that preys together, stays together."
  • In July, "These aren't this year's berries?!" Berries don't start coming in until August and it takes about a month (Septemberish) for the berries to get made into jelly/jam. Poor tourists have to wait until next summer to get this year's berries.
  • "Do you have chocolate covered mushrooms?"
  • As a customer walks in, he eyes the chocolate and announces, "Hello, sellers of evil!"
  • Getting asked by children, "Do you know where the bathroom is?" gets old. Of course I know where it is, I work here.
  • We sell jewelry with mother of pearl in it. It has a commercial, novelty name in Alaska. I got asked one day, "Does glacier pearl come from glaciers?"
  • "Which is better - a lemon truffle or a key lime?" I can't stand either, so you'll probably like both!
  • A porcupine was living in our yard. Many customers throughout the summer were ecstatic about it, exclaiming over it and slamming the door, cameras in hand.
  • Playing with a ring sizer, "Do people really have this small fingers?"
  • A 3 year old boy looking at our rocky road candy "That has rocks in it?!"
Those were some recent stories...

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Window Condensation

Window Condensation
Who knew that condensation could be so intriguing? At sunrise a few mornings ago, I came into my bedroom to see the sunlight shining through the water on the windows. I loved the look of texture for this one!

2009 Goals Continued

I stumbled across my post I wrote on January 1st of 2009 goals. Let's see how I'm doing since the year is almost done!

Money
Retirement: Haven't done much here. C did get enrolled for his company 401(k) in January after he turned 21. I upped the contributions to get the full benefit of the employer match. We'll have a little to retire on! :P

Savings: Savings are going good. We did go on a vacation like I was hoping. I'd love to go on another, of course, but I don't see it happening yet (scheduling, C being reluctant) Otherwise, our savings are coming along nicely.

Career and School
Career: As I said in yesterday's post, I am changing my emphasis. I will still probably look for an accounting job once I am done, though.

School: Going well. I still think I have 4 more semesters!

Life
  • We did go on a trip!
  • Didn't really take many more fun trips, went across the Bay once. That was the extent of it. I'd love to do more of that in 2010 for sure.
  • Friends? Haha. That one didn't really work. I probably hung out with friends about the same amount of time as in 2008. Kind of a bummer, but it wasn't completely my fault!
  • I have been working less, like I wanted. I'm only doing about 6 days a month. But now I have a "business" so I am "working" for that I suppose.]
  • Enjoying the winter? I think that might be sort of possible! I have a vehicle that will start! And I am excited to be taking photos of all the winter-y goodness I can find! Though it will still be much too long!
I'll probably do another list at the start of the list. I figured that this post could be for how much I have/have not accomplished for this year!


Friday, October 23, 2009

My Semester

I figured I'd give an update on my college semester, since it always seems to be such a rough time for me. This one is going splendidly!

Grades - My grades are all A's or B's. Much better for my GPA :) 99%, 94%, 83% and a mid A (not sure on a percent). Much better than the Spring was!!

Enjoyment - I am really liking my classes for the most part. Interesting. All of them could be more challenging though (except the income tax one!)

It's going quickly. It's midterm time already.

I am also changing my emphasis from accounting to marketing. At this point, I just want to finish the degree with little stress or frustration. Marketing is interesting to me, even if it is not the best degree to get for a job. My advisor insisted that I'd be able to get an accounting job in this area even if I just stopped my degree altogether.

I start my last class on Monday. Should be interesting. It's called "Creative Digital Camera." I'm not sure whether it will be really helpful to me or not. I've self taught through books and the internet for months now. I'm not sure that going to a class is going to be all that helpful. Although I have no doubt that I will enjoy it immensely from talking photos and techniques :D


More Leaf Droplets

More Leaf Droplets
I have been loving seeing this dew on the leaves in my yard lately. Very intriguing. It makes me wish I had a macro lens!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Recent Purchases

I just went to Salvation Army and picked up a book I've had on my Amazon wishlist for over a year for just 50 cents. Can't beat that!

We purchased a Flip digital video camcorder this week. C is excited to try it out at youth group when it comes. He's been working on the YG website and would like to enhance it with some videos.

We also bought the Kitchenaid mixer I've had my eye on all summer this week! Finally had enough money saved up that was specifically for it. Maybe I'll bake more now!


Young Look

The last eagle image I will share. Yet again, he made it hard for me to get a decent shot. I'm not too happy with this one, but I figured I'd share it.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Calendar: Alaskan Flora 2010

I now have a calendar for sale in my shop! "Alaskan Flora 2010" features images from the Kenai Peninsula of flowers, plants and trees.

The calendar features standard U.S. holidays. It is spiral bound and the paper is quite heavy for a calendar. There is a space for "Notes" on each page if there is a need for more writing space. It is available for $19.99 and would be a great Christmas gift!

Please let me know if you purchase 1 (or more!) so that I can properly thank you!

Calendar: Alaskan Flora 2010

I now have a calendar for sale in my shop! "Alaskan Flora 2010" features images from the Kenai Peninsula of flowers, plants and trees.
The calendar features standard U.S. holidays. It is spiral bound and the paper is quite heavy for a calendar. There is a space for "Notes" on each page if there is a need for more writing space. It is available for $19.99 and would be a great Christmas gift!

Please let me know if you purchase 1 (or more!) so that I can properly thank you!

Colorful Dining

Colorful Dining
I love the water color in this one! I took many shots of this otter. He was cute! But I couldn't get him to look at me, so I think this will be all I share of him.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Taking Off

Taking Off
More of the backlit business. This image looked much better black and white, unfortunately.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Young Eagle

Young Eagle
I tried to get some photos of this guy, but he was wary of me and standing right in the way of the sun. I will keep trying MCH! I do have another eagle photo tomorrow.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

On Agape Love

Today's sermon was on loving people. You know that customer at work that makes you crazy? That clerk at the store that is rude to you? Did you ever stop and think that that person may have been placed in your path so that you could love them? That you could be Christ to them?

Definitely something I need to work on.


Fog Set 3

Fog Set 3

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Friday, October 16, 2009

Fog Set 1

Fog Set 1
We had fog almost all day today. When the time came for sunset, I was ready.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Droplets

Droplets
It's almost the end of fall here :(

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Storm

Storm
The ocean was looking particularly violent and cold this day. I loved the colors.

Two Photos


I love to take photos of C and I, when he cooperates. He wasn't too cooperative last night, but I did get a couple I liked. Last night's sunset was magical with a blanket of fog over the Bay.


Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Monday, October 12, 2009

Old Ninilchik Church

This is a church up on the hill in Old town Ninilchik.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Glittering Puddle

I left my headlights on and it made the most interesting effect on the gravel!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Friday, October 9, 2009

My Favorite Apps

I have had my Ipod Touch over a month now and I keep remembering that I promised a more formal review of it.

I haven't used it as much as I expected. Part of that could be that I assumed I could get onto the Wifi at work, and I cannot. I did take it to the big city and was able to check Facebook and my email there. That was nice. I've noticed that when the Wifi is on the Ipod tends to use a ton of battery life. Especially when searching for a network.

I have not bought any apps at all, though I have been tempted at times. Here are my favorite free apps:

Pocket Informant Lite: This is what I have been using my Ipod for constantly. It's basically Google Calendar. There are probably many great apps out there that do all of this, but I like this one. I have been using it constantly for my homework. I reference it daily to tick things off my to do list.

Facebook: Who doesn't need FB on their phone/touch? And it's actually a pretty cool version too.

Flashlight: A nifty one that allows you to sort of see in the dark.

Flixster: I use this for finding movies that are playing and reviews. Doesn't work in my area for when movies are playing where :(

Flood-It: Fun and kind of addicting game.

FMC: Female Menstrual Calendar. 'Nuff said.

Google Earth: Kind of snazzy if you don't want that program being such an energy hog on your computer. (At least that's my experience with it!)

TweetDeck: Twitter. I love being able to use TD on my desktop and then on my ipod.

Boxed In: Another fun game. A puzzle game that really makes you think.

Those are my thoughts at this point. I think I would use it a lot more if I had the Iphone to have wifi everywhere. But I also like inexpensive, so I'll take what I can get! It's definitely a cool toy, and I'd recommend it if you've got a couple bucks to spare!

Backlit Leaf

Backlit leaf
I love positioning the sun behind a semi translucent object.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Orange Mist

Orange Mist
On Monday, I went for a day drive for one last look at fall. Fog descended and I loved the effect.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Dangling

On the 1st, we had an incredible frost. I went crazy taking photos. Here is one of my favorites...doesn't have any frost in it though.

New Car!!

I got my current car (1998 Kia Sephia) in April of 2007 for $1000. It was a fantastic car, until it got cold that following winter. It started having problems starting, until every day, no matter if it was 40 degrees, it took some oomph to start. I had to keep it plugged in during the night to make sure it would go.

Last winter was the same. Various mechanics have looked at it and have not been able to find the issue. It is a great and awesome car except for that.

I have been looking off and on for a new car ever since last summer. As much as I love my car, I need a new one. I have scoured Craigslist countless times, and the classifieds too.

I had recently resigned myself to another winter of constant aggravation. On Monday, my boss told me that my coworker was selling her car. Immediately, I contacted her about it.

Last night, we took it for a test drive and asked several questions. I knew it was in fantastic condition because my coworker loves to complain about anything and everything. She never had a complaint about that car, though her husband's truck sure caused problems.

Enter our 2004 Kia Rio Cinco.


It's perfect. We got an amazing deal on it (Blue Book for $4500, we paid $3000)

- It starts no problem.
- working cigarette lighter (mine broke)
- working radio (again, stopped working mostly)
- CD player (A dream of mine! Too bad I use an Ipod...)
- Rear wiper (Wonderful for muddy and snowy Alaskan roads)
- Automatic
- 55000 miles on it.
- Uses no oil (I expected that, since my car doesn't either)
- Great gas mileage (again, expected)
- Mounted studded tires

Those might sound like superficial concerns, but they are important to me!

I love answered prayer. Definitely fell into our laps unexpectedly, but I am so grateful.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Day 550

Today is day 550 of our marriage. I wanted to make a big to do about day 500, but it slipped my mind until too late. Sunday was our 1.5 year/18 month anniversary.

Where do 550 mornings and nights go? I dunno, but they sure have been awesome :) Marriage is incredible and well worth the tense moments and slight arguments. Can't wait till Day 18250! (50 years)

Rainbow Beams

Rainbow Beams
I was at the Nick Dudiak Fishing Lagoon as the sun started peaking out from the clouds. I loved the rainbow effect it had!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Left4Dead2

Conversation I just had with C's youngest brother....

BIL5: Ahhh, are you going to play Left4Dead2 when C get's it?
Michelle: no
BIL5: Why?
Michelle: I don't play games
BIL5: >.<

We're probably not getting it, either, much to his annoyance. =P

Fall Pano

Fall Pano
This one will likely expand over the edges of my blog, but you just have to see it wide! On Monday, I went up the hill to see what I could see of fall foliage. It was a beautiful day and I ended up doing a panoramic of what I saw.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Looking Up

Looking Up
In my exploring, came to these fantastic Cottonwood trees. They are very tall.
Sunstar in Fall

Friday, October 2, 2009

Sun Prints

For my History of Photography class, we had to do sun prints. What I didn't think about was the angle of the sun. 11:30AM in early September in Alaska does not mean the sun is straight over head. It never is right above, but man, I was not expecting such huge shadows!

I think they turned out pretty fun, though!