Wednesday, April 16, 2008

New Camera :)

So we got the new camera. Even though we've been debating about it for a while, it was kind of a spur of the moment thing to actually order it. We decided to go with the Canon Rebel xTi, the least expensive of the 3 cameras we were debating on. I really wanted to get the full frame 5D, but realized that buying that with a decent lens was going to run us more than 4 times what we ended up paying for the xTi. I figure, when we eventually invest in a nice lens later on, we'll get one that is compatible with the full frame cameras and will be able to upgrade if I feel like it's necessary.

We had the camera on our recent trip to visit Brian's family. I must have bugged the heck out of them, sticking a camera in their face for a lot of the time we were there.

So far, I love it! There are things that bother me a little, like the fact that you can't see a preview of the picture on the LCD before you take it, so you can't tell how tweaking the white balance, shutter speeds, and ISO settings are going to effect the picture untill after you take it. This makes it take longer to get a good shot.

It is leagues above our previous camera though, so I am pretty happy. Check out some of the pictures I took on the flickr site:


I would post a bunch of them up here, but I don't want to have to resize them and go through the hassle of uploading them again. :) I'm terrible, I know.

I really want more practice with taking portraits, so if anyone would like to volunteer their time to sit for me, let me know. I will be very appreciative.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Rest in Peace our little Mikey

My mom told me that our dog Mikey had to be put to sleep last night. I don't know how I really feel about it. I've been pretty busy since I found out, so I didn't let myself really think about what I'm feeling. I realize though that it's kind of been sitting at the back of my mind, bugging me. So I'm letting myself grieve the loss of my puppy. I'm remembering him to give him a good send off, to let him know that he is loved and will be remembered.

I was 12 and my sister was 9 when we went with my mom to see him for the first time. Someone had a litter of puppies and posted it at the vet. He was the runt and his leg was hurt because he had had a little accident. My sister and I thought he was the cutest one. And let me tell you, he was cute. So cute! Did I mention he was cute? Anyway, he was supposed to cost $3o, but we didn't have that much cash on us at the time. We searched the entire car for all the spare change we could find, and ended paying $27 and something cents, or something like that. After going to the pet store to pick up some dog food, we brought him home. And let me tell you, my dad was surprised. We had to promise that we were going to take care of him.

Reluctantly, my dad let us keep him. I wish I had the pictures of him we took when he was a little puppy, less than a foot long (and soooooo cute!). Brian promised me that the next time we go home to visit, we'll find those pictures and scan them.

Mikey was a constant in my life for the next 6 years. He was always there, and always wanted to spend time with us. More than we had time for him. :( I do feel bad about that. I know we didn't spend as much time with him as we should have, but my sister and I would always try to go out and play some of his favorite games with him. Most of them were games like my sister and I throwing something back and forth between us or kicking something back and forth between us, and Mikey trying to intercept it. He was really good at that, and wouldn't give it back unless he was distracted by something else. We also taught him a bunch of tricks. Sit, speak, dance, stay, shake, lay down, roll over. I think I taught him to roll over later in his life, so I don't think that saying that you can't teach old dogs new tricks is true. I was in the middle of teaching him to play dead during the times I visited home. He never quite got that one.

My sister and I were the ones to give him baths. We dreaded and loved those times. Dreaded because we would ALWAYS end up COMPLETELY soaked and smelling like dog after, but loved it because Mikey was so cute when we gave him a bath. Mikey hated baths. We would line the washing machine with towels and wash him in the basin right next to it. While we were putting the towels down, he would know a bath is coming so he'd huddle in a corner of the yard, looking like he was trying to make himself as small as he could. It would usually end up that one of us would try to keep him in the basin while the other was washing. He did get out a couple times,a nd we'd have to chase him and carry the soaked muddy dog back into the basin. And he always looked like a drowned rat. As a shetland sheepdog, he's normally kind of poofy, but when he got wet, he looked so scrawny, and CUTE! After washing, we'd let him jump up onto the washing machine and we'd alternate rubbing all over with towels and letting him shake. When he would shake, we would hold up towels in front of our faces to shield us from the dog water, but my sister and I would try to get him to shake while the other one didn't have her towel up. It was so much fun. Sometimes while he was on the washing machine, we'd dress him up, putting funny hats on him (at that time, it wasn't such a common thing to see dogs wearing clothes) and taking pictures. He absolutely hated it. And he would totally suck up to us to try to get us to let him down. he'd tuck his head into my neck and lick my face, and give me the cutest look. We would eventually let him down, and he'd scamper off and roll in the dirt and run back to us like he was saying, "was all that trouble worth it?".

What I loved about him the most though, was that you could tell he was happy to see us, and be with us. When he was being pet by us or chased around, or on a walk, or being fed by us, he was a very very happy, content dog. Being able to make someone look so content and happy by putting my hand on their head is a very nice feeling.

I'm glad I wasn't home to be part of deciding to put him to sleep, although I would have liked to say goodbye somehow. He was a pretty old dog. He was 14, which is pretty old by dog standards. But if I were there watching them feed him an entire bag of treats as his last meal, I would be bawling my eyes out. My mom was in tears when she called me last night, and I am now as I'm writing this. He was a very good dog. He was a great guard dog, and so loving and spunky and I'm gonna miss him.

I'm not going to presume I know what happens to animals after they die, but wherever you are Mikey, I hope you aren't too bored, and are getting a lot of treats and belly rubs.

Monday, March 17, 2008

last night . . .

I was belting out almost every single word of 23 matchbox twenty songs with a ton of other fans while hearing them perform live. It was wonderful even with a cranky guy yelling at us to sit down. :) Yay matchbox!

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Friday, February 22, 2008

my poor baby

So my laptop died a couple weeks ago. I was going to blog about it sooner, but it got busy and I accidentally took some of the pictures in raw format and had to install some camera software.

Anyway, what happened was the little jack where the adapter plugs into broke off. And since my battery does not hold a charge, my laptop pretty much died because it wasn't plugged into the wall anymore. Since it is no longer under warranty, Brian and I undertook the daunting task of trying to fix it.

Here's a picture of my laptop in pieces.

We had to actually take it apart more because we couldn't remove the broken existing jack without taking the motherboard off.

Here are all the screws that used to hold my laptop together.

After 3 or 4 hours of taking the laptop apart, we were ready to attempt to fix it. We went to Fry's and Radio Shack to try to find a jack that was the right size, but to no avail. It would just be too easy if we could find the right part at the store. So in the end we went with some jack that Brian had in one of his junk boxes. After removing the broken jack, we soldered two wires into the motherboard, and then pulled them through the open hole in the back of the laptop where the adapter plug usually goes. We then tried out Brian's new heat shrink gun to try to protect the wires, and then soldered the ends onto the jack.

Here is a picture of the final product.

We did end up adding some electrical tape around the jack and the bare wire for more protection, and so I don't get shocked.

We turned it on and . . .

It worked!

For the most part. We discovered that the Q, E, I, S, H, and ENTER keys were not functional. We took it apart again and checked the keyboard connection, but they still didn't work. We did bend the keyboard quite a bit to get it out in the first place, so that might have broke it. But we just plugged in an external keyboard, and it does just fine. Hopefully it will run okay for a little while longer. I don't want to invest in a new one quite yet. I'm getting my new camera first!

Sunday, February 03, 2008

flickr again

Alright, so I figured out how to make the link to my flickr page a little more intuitive and not just a bunch of random numbers. Here's the new and easier to remember link:

I just put up a few pictures of the kids in our life group. We went to a little superbowl party today at Howard and Doran's. It was fun. I didn't watch too much of the superbowl, mostly kids. I think that's a much better way of spending my time.

Oh, I wonder who won. Maybe I should look it up now. Talk to you guys later.

Friday, February 01, 2008


Oh, I started a flickr site. I've been playing around with pictures a little more lately, and I really really really really want to get a new camera sometime this year. (You should ask Brian, I think I've been bringing it up like 10 times a day) Anyway, we'll see . . .

Eventually, I want to embed the photostream in this blog, but I can't quite figure it out at the moment. So for now, here's the link:

I don't have much up there right now, but I'll try to add more as I take them.


There's not much for me to say here. I'm frustrated at all the campaigning. I feel like it wastes tons of money, tends to bring people down to an undignified level, and it causes a lot of conflict that I don't think needs to be there.

Anyway, I think I'm voting for Obama (seeing as independents, we can't vote in the republican primary anymore). Hillary's gone a little too far with the mudslinging.

Brian and I were discussing it last night and I asked him his thoughts on the candidates and the main differences between Obama and Clinton. Brian said that what stands out the most to him is that Obama supports net neutrality and is the only candidate he's heard that has a stance on technology.

I shouldn't be surprised.

I'm not saying it's not an important issue, but that is SO TOTALLY Brian.