Monday, November 30, 2009

Day 330 - Nov 30th

This iPhone photo was taken from the 10th floor of the building in downtown Seattle where Jill's eye doctor is located. Jill has a serious eye infection and unfortunately, it coincided with the four day holiday. So we had to wait until today to go. He's treating it very aggressively and she has to have daily follow up appointments with him until he's confident her eye is not in any long term danger.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Day 329 - Nov 29th

I realized I've never posted a picture of my entire camera put together. So here it is. The blurriness at the top is because I didn't realize the mirror was dirty :)

What I have here is:
-Pentax K10D
-Pentax 18-55mm f3.5-5.6 Auto Focus Lens (lens hood off - broken, replacement on way)
-52mm UV filter
-Pentax D-BG2 vertical grip with spare D-Li50 battery (that's the bottom piece)
-CB Junior Kit from
-Pentax AF-540FGZ off camera flash
-Flash TTL cable with connectors

Not shown are my zoom lens, my remote flash trigger and the cable remote.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Day 328 - Nov 18th

Trimmed the tree today. Kids LOVE that! It's always enjoyable getting out the ornaments and decorating the tree. In fact, when I came downstairs this morning, Sophia was actually lying under the tree with a pillow and blanket! We got out the Christmas books and the Christmas CD's/DVD's and all in all an enjoyable time.

Today another event happened - Jill and her family had an "end of life" call to discuss her parents wishes for their end of life. It was a good conversation, sometimes difficult, but necessary and good. It's not something anyone wants to happen, but it is something that happens to all of us and knowing Bill and Judy's wishes on a variety of topics and what arrangements have been already made and what still needs to be made is a good, good thing. I applaud their family for tackling that.

Day 327 - Nov 27th

Went up into the attic and got down the Christmas decorations tonight. Lydia organized them in the living room. We went ahead and put up the tree - a new one we got last year that's replacing the one we bought 13 years ago. We got that one from Eagle Hardware when they were shutting down - I'd say we got our $35 worth! The new one was a bit more expensive with the LED's on it, but it's nice quality and big. We used to go for real trees, but chose to go artificial for various reasons.

Day 326 - Nov 26th

Thanksgiving! We had Thanksgiving at our house then visited my sister Laura, her husband Karl, Karl's sister Laura and her husband Scott. We went there for desert and fellowship. We had a great time, but my sister's dog, Henry, got kind of worn out from having five younglings bouncing around his house.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Day 325 - Nov 25th

Painted rocks by Maranda.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Day 324 - Nov 24th

First, the evidence. In front of mom's sink in the master bedroom, cut hair. Where did this come from?!? Hmmmm....we only have ONE child with long blond hair...who decided to cut her own bangs. Mom was NOT amused.
I should add - the "white stuff" behind Sophia? The grocery bags. Jill was out shopping when the self-haircut was inflicted.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Day 323 - Nov 23rd

These birds reside currently in our herb garden where the Thai Basil was. In the background is curry. Which we haven't really figured out what to do with. One of my regrets of working two jobs is I rarely get a chance to really cook. I would love to have that option again. Someday, perhaps, I will.

Day 322 - Nov 22nd

Sunday did not turn out as a very good day for me. And I did not get any worthwhile photographs. Best I just forget this particular day.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Day 321 - Nov 21st

Jill and I went on a nice date tonight to Benjarong Thai Restaurant. It was really delicious! It was really nice having an entire day off. That was my first day off since Labor Day.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Day 320 - Nov 20th

Lydia raked some leaves today in the back yard. And our fence needs cleaning.

Day 319 - Nov 19th

One of the rules at Fred Meyer is that when you shrink wrap things to go back to the warehouse - especially empty blue totes - you put them on WOOD boards not plastic. Why? Because plastic totes on plastic boards tend to slide, even if you think you did a really good job.

Someone in the apparel department ignored this rule.

So when I tried to forklift up the pallet last night while getting ready for the delivery truck, this happened. Fortunately, I could feel the load shifting and I pivoted the forklift a little. Because in the other direction were pallets of lightbulbs. And I broke nothing :) Nothing crushed, nothing broken. This picture was taken after I had cleaned half of it up.

Day 318 - Nov 18th

This picture is to remind me that I've been too busy to do any yardwork in a while. The garden, the yard, it all needs some TLC. So I'm hoping that this Saturday, my first full day off since the beginning of September, that I can get our there and do some work!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Day 317 - Nov 17th

Alexander and seen a Krampf video where he made butter and he had been wanting to try it for a long time. So this morning, he (with a little help from mom), followed the instructions in the video and successfully made butter! And it was REALLY good!

Lydia also drew a cat yesterday and snapped this photo of it:
And I had won a prize from two of my favorite artists - Kathie Olivas and Brandt Peters and received it the other day - it's a VERY rare item indeed. I had fun with the picture - putting masks, layers and vignettes on it:

Day 316 - Nov 16th

This picture is to remind us that as of Monday, Nov 16th, there are only 37 shopping days left until Christmas!

On a cold, foggy night, 650 Christmas trees await their purchase. We unloaded these on Sunday and WOW is it a lot of work. I only did it the first half of the four hours, but it was tiring enough!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Day 315 - Nov 15th

This morning, I worked on our Ikea chest of drawers. Ikea makes it affordable, but they aren't the highest quality of materials. Our four year old chest had a few issues - the bottoms of the four large drawers were sagging and several of the drawer glides were loose or had pulled off the carcass altogether. So I rescrewed all the drawer glides with higher quality hardware and added a 1/2"x4"x17" long strip of hemlock down the center of the bottom of the large drawers. That fixed those puppies right up!

And then I vacuumed up the sawdust in the living room :)

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Daty 314 - Nov 14th

We took a break from the cleaning day to do a first - Jill wanted to try coloring her hair. Since she's never done it before, we thought we'd start with just a dark blond look - not too far off from her natural color but an attempt to cover her gray streaks. It ended up being met with only partial success. I think she's got some stubborn gray.

In other news - I'm reading a book on layers in Photoshop. I use them all the time, but there are two giant areas that I've been lacking in knowledge - blending modes and masks. I learned a new one last night - screen! Not the most intuitive name but WOW! What a difference. Remember our family picture?
That was as bright as I could figure out how to get it without intensive work. Now here is the same picture with a"screen" blended mode on top of it using the methods I learned in the book - took three clicks to accomplish:
I can't wait to read more of this book! Some very cool things I've learned already.

Day 313 - Nov 13th

This weekend we are starting "the great clean" - where mom and dad clean the kids rooms. We're starting with the boys - we took every item of clothing out of their room down to the living room and Jill will sort them all - leaving them with a couple weeks of winter outfits only. The rest gets bagged and tagged for storage. If they have a lot of winter stuff, we'll swap out the two weeks later for another set of two weeks.

Meanwhile, I clean the rooms. Sorting, throwing away, bagging up donations. Matching puzzle pieces to puzzles and game pieces to games. Putting the Lego's, Knex and cars into their appropriate bins. Then we'll primer the wall in one bedroom and prepare to paint it to migrate the girls into it.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Day 312 - Nov 12th

A beautiful day today, albeit a bit chilly - there was frost on the ground out front. But my pansy's are still going strong on the side of the house. Funny - I had pansy's up front and they got just buried in the snow last year and yet are also still alive. They are two year old annuals :)

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Day 311 - Nov 11th

Put up the second floating shelf today - and had hung the towel rods yesterday. Now to buy the decals and the room is done. The decals go on sale Nov 27th, so that's when I'll order them. I may add one more towel rod up high and maybe one more floating shelf. Depends.

Day 310 - Nov 9th

I didn't buy the game, but I got the shirt for free since I work at FM :) I would love to get the game for the PC, but I would MORE love to have time for such things. It gets tiring working two jobs and rarely having time for the family.

Fred Meyer did something they rarely do - they opened at midnight for one hour for this release. I think the last time they did that was either for the Wii release or the XBox 360/Halo 3 release. When I left at 11:10 pm, there were about 30 people in line. I guess about 60 were in line by midnight. And we live in a small town!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Day 309 - Nov 9th

I had time over lunch to install one of the floating shelves I picked up at Lowe's. It looks nice, but I was a bit disappointed in it's stability. I may end up putting these up and later replacing them with home built ones. These are a bit wobbly for my taste.

I have a towel bar for underneath these guys. I have Tuesday night off, so that'll be the night to finish things. Mostly. We'll later add some nifty decals from this etsy store.

Peter and Sophia were helping me. Without the shower curtain and towels or rugs to absorb any sound, it is quite .... LOUD .... in that bathroom right now. I kept having to remind our two loudest children that they could whisper and it would be just fine for daddy. Really. No need to shout in a tiny, enclosed room that currently echoes quite nicely.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Day 308 - Nov 8th

On Saturday, I decided that on Sunday, I would do a mild remodel of the kids bathroom. So I did. I took down all the old towel racks, discarded the over the toilet shelf thing, repaired all the holes in the walls, used the sawzall to remove the tank from the toilet, removed all the fixtures and painted it. The color is difficult to tell but it's a light blue with a hint of green - Dutch Boy color "Fountain of Youth". It looks green in the picture - something with my light settings, but I don't really have time to muck with it. I'm waiting for the second coat to dry right now. I leave for work in one hour, so I hope to at least get the toilet reassembled before then :) I have to leave enough time to get paint out of my hair, off my hands, etc.

I found out...that I'm no longer that good at painting. I used to be not too bad - even assisted a professional at a couple jobs. But it's been a long, long time since I've painted. I think we might hire our friend Wendy when we do the kids rooms. She'd do a lot better job.

This is the first room we've painted in this house - and we've been here FIVE years!! We have got to get cracking on that.

Day 307 - Nov 7th

Sophia was very proud of her diagonally cut bananas for lunch :)

Friday, November 6, 2009

Day 306 - Nov 6th

Our newest Penguin pair - a welcome sign for the front door. I lurves it :)

Couple other things:
1. Anyone who knows me knows I've ALWAYS been a lover of NASA and all things space. I'm also a huge fan of the Boston Globe's "Big Picture" - it's one of the sites I check daily. Today's entry was recent photographs of Mars and it's luscious. Check it out HERE.

2. A couple Sunday's ago, Jill sang a solo at church with her friend Pam. Unfortunately, Pam's microphone glitched, but Jill's beautiful voice came through. I uploaded it onto YouTube for the extended family and present it HERE now. Enjoy!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Day 305 - Nov 5th

Today is a windy, blustery, stormy day. The leaves are blowing about vigorously. So I put on the zoom lens and attempted to capture the swirling maelstrom of leaves. To no avail. Taking a still picture of something as dynamic as blowing, falling leaves is challenging! But then I saw a flutter and there was my buddy, Mr. Woodpecker. The same Mr. Woodpecker that sometimes - at 5:00 am - tries to extract bugs from our gutters. I am not overly fond of Mr. Woodpecker - I'm assuming it is a "Mr.". Had not physically seen him in a few months. But there he is - hardened bill ready to dig further into a dying tree.

Day 304 - Nov 4th

The first three hours of my shift Wed night was spent with this view - as I unloaded a container and a half of Christmas supplies by myself. I'd have to go into the trailer, use a pallet jack to pull up a pallet of goods then forklift it around the parking lot and into the garden center under cover so the freight crew could work it. It was exhausting. Lot's of heavy, difficult to move pallets. So this is a picture by the iPhone from the drivers seat of the fork lift down into one of the trailers.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Day 303 - Nov 3rd

So I worked at Fred Meyer last night. And ... I had a little confrontation.

I saw an 18-19 year old leaving hardware empty handed wearing a hoodie. Well, to any hoodie wearing kids out there - guess what, you are profiled. Especially if your hood is up. And especially if you are white and privileged. Why? Two reasons - 1) many white kids seem to have an attitude of "it's owed to me" and no sense of responsibility and 2) because the vast majority have only one interest in the hardware section - using the tools to cut open packages and steal as much as they can. Not much I could do about this guy though - I didn't see him steal, I just knew he had. And I really dislike shoplifters. A lot.

So I go get my Aleve (I had hurt my back moving stock around) and as I walk up front, I see hoodie dude joining his buddy, hoodie dude 2. Hoodie Dude 2 is carrying a case of beer. This I can do something about. I walk quickly behind dude 2 and ask to see his receipt. He ignores me. I don't like being ignored. So I got in front of him and he continued to ignore me - and tried to bump past me. That really doesn't work well with me. So a little confrontation happened and he dropped the beer and ran. I should add, this is the second time I've caught this little punk (little - he's 6 inches taller than me but about 80 pounds lighter). But this time was louder and a touch more ....... involved. A few customers and employees were witnesses so I would've been covered.

This happened in front of electronics and one of my friends there said she heard my voice but didn't recognize it. I told her that she heard my "Dad Authority" voice. It's kind of a drill sergeant voice I sometimes use on my kids and I also quite frequently use on troublesome people in the store.

Afterwards I went to hardware and my suspicions were correct. Hoodie dude 1 stole about $130 worth of automotive supplies including four of these $25 headlights. How I wish I had caught him. Why? Because we get a recovery incentive and heck, $13 buys three Little Caesars pizzas......and I might get to hear that pleasing sound of handcuffs clicking closed around a thief's wrists...I never get tired of that sound.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Day 302 - Nov 2nd

Dropped off the ballots for tomorrows election tonight. The nearest drop off point was in the next town over, so about 8-9 miles away. But it was dark and it was late and...Peter just fell nicely asleep!

Day 301 - Nov 1st

Day three hundred and one. Wow. I took a picture of my pumpkin for this days. We had a lot of pumpkins this year because they were so cheap. They sold at Fred Meyer for only $.08 a pound. I tried to draw Tux, the Linux penguin, on this one but it came out horrendous. So I cut a jail door into it. Then I got a smaller pumpkin and carved him all sad faced. He went inside the bigger jail pumpkin and had the candle. It LOOKED neat, but did not photograph well at all. So I photographed them apart to memorialize it before it turns mushy.

I also have decided that when I finish a book, I'm going to include it in my blog posts. The last one I finished was Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. I loved it :)

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Day 300 - Oct 31st

Three of the kids and I. Wasn't sure where Alexander was when we took this. And Lydia spent the day/night at a friends house.

Day 299 - Oct 30th

Peter was "posing" with his spoon in various positions, wanting me to snap his photo.