27 April, 2008

Help Me Carmi-wan Kenobi you’re my only hope!

I really admire the pictures that Carmi takes and asked if he would be willing to give tips. Silly boy said yes. Unfortunately I do not know enough to even ask a question, so I am going to post a few photos to see if he can tell me what I might have done to make them better.

I may be asking an impossible task, and if so, I guess I will just have to try and remember what I was doing the next time I take pictures. I am also a very proud mom and almost all of my pictures are of my boy, is it just difficult to get the perfect shot when dealing with kids? These were all taken with a regular camera. A Cannon EOS RebelX. I believe I took all of the shots with the 300 zoom.

The following photos were taken with B&W film.

I was trying to get Spotty with the waterfall behind him, but somehow he is blurry and it looks like the rocks are in focus. Any clue as to what I did wrong? Is it because he was in motion and I was not using the “motion function”?

This is an ok shot, but I was going for FAB. Again they are blurry. I am pretty sure I was using the auto focus and not manual, although I do try that on occasion with extremely varied results.

Meh, it is so beautiful in the White Mountains, but this is just a lame ass photo, I was trying to capture the power of the water

Ok I am adding this to show that I can take a decent picture, it’s depressing looking at just the crappy ones.

These photos were taken with 400 Kodak film

We were in Cape Canaveral at the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge after a shuttle launch. What could I have done to make this look less crappy? I know there are settings for night/dusk, but haven’t the foggiest how to use it.

I like this photo and don’t mind the sun sparkle but could I have avoided it?

24 April, 2008

That's between you and your god. Oh, wait a minute. You are your god. That's a problem

I am on Season 3 of SG1 and can I just tell you how much I am enjoying this show? Season 3 has a lot of episodes that I have never seen (sly lie must not have bought the set) which is like going through your bookshelves and finding books by an author you love, that you have never read and is part of a series. Don't get me wrong stand alones have their place, just not in my bookshelf…well, ok that’s not quite true, I think I had a bookshelf for singles, but as they all fell over and books now cover my entire house in no semblance of order whatsoever and I can't find a frelling thing EVER...What the hell was I talking about?

So there I am a happy little commuter sitting on the train, watching my SG1 happy as a pig in poop until….Sam’s dad is dying, so I bawl my eyes out, Daniel’s wife dies, so I bawl my eyes out, Jack wants to keep a girl from getting her memory wiped…Daniel leaves SG1...do you know how pathetic it is 1) to be bawling your eyes out on the commuter rail with only a shirtsleeve to keep you company and 2) to be bawling your eyes out to SG1? This is of course my light bulb moment that I really should be taking my happy pills regularly.

Luckily it's not all gloom and doom sometimes I laugh my ass off.

General Hammond: You ever think of writing a book about your military exploits? Jack O'Neill: I've thought about it. But then I'd have to shoot anybody that actually read it. pause That's a joke, sir.

O'Neill: I thought you said it was Greek.
Jackson: Oh, um, Mycenae was an ancient city in the southern Peloponnesus region.
O'Neill: Where's that?
Jackson: Greece.
O'Neill: Why do I do that?

O'Neill: We'll just have to cross that bridge when we come to it.
Bra'tac: No, the bridge is too well guarded.
O'Neill: No, actually, there I was using a cliche.

O'Neill: Well, I suppose now is the time for me to say something profound... Nothing comes to mind.

Carter: This tastes like chicken.
Jackson: So what's wrong with it?
Carter: It's macaroni and cheese.

O'Neill: It's "O'Neill," with two L's. There's another Colonel O'Neil with only one L, and he has no sense of humor at all.

Teal'c: If you once again try to harm me or one of my companions, my patience with you will expire.

An officer asks them in Russian if they're spies.
Jackson: Nyet.
O'Neill: Daniel

Jackson: He just asked if we were Soviet spies and- realizes the problem
Guard: Come with me.
O'Neill on the way out: Nyet?

O'Neill: You know that "we come in peace" business? Bite me.

Teal'c: Undomesticated equines could not remove me.

O'Neill: Well, it's hard to say.
Thornbird: Some sort of state secret?
O'Neill: No, just difficult to pronounce.

Carter: Actually, I'm a Major now.
Aris Boch: Oh. Well, how very important. I'll inform the galaxy.

Well…maybe you had to be there

19 April, 2008

Book Review – Naked Empire

Sword of Truth Book 8
Finally I want to slap the shit out of someone. It’s been awhile but I am glad that this series doesn’t disappoint me. Although surprise surprise, it isn’t Kahlan this time. It’s Richard. Damn this boy gets on his soapbox and just does not get off. The story picks up right after the Pillars, so Jennsen, Tom, Friedrich, Cara, Richard and Kahlan are trying to figure out what to do next. “When out of the darkness clearer and clearer, the sound of sobbing comes nearer and nearer”…sorry, reading this with my son, and this phase is just stuck in my head. So out of nowhere appears Owen, and everyone has a bad feeling, drink. Owen wants Richard and team to come liberate his people, the order has come and he needs the savages to come and get rid of them. His are an enlightened people that do no violence. Richard sends him packing. Soon after meeting up with Owen, Richard who has been getting headaches due to his magic, starts feeling even worse. But it’s not until a group of the Order soldiers try to take them out and Owen weasels his way back to the group that we find out that Richard has bee poisoned and must go with Owen and get rid of the Order before he gives him the antidote. Wacky high jinks ensue.

Where does my slapping Richard come in? When he meets up with Owen’s insurgents he starts to wax poetic on the philosophy of life and freedom, for like hundreds of pages. I am not sure why this annoyed me so much, but it did and I have come to accept it and move on. We do find out more on where the folks invisible to magic went.

All is not slapping, Zed and Adie are kicking about and damn I just enjoy them, even when there is torture about.

18 April, 2008

If this is wrong...

I don't want to be right...

Disney Hunks the way mama likes them...can you say ME-OW!

15 April, 2008

Upper GI

Piece of cake. No eating after midnight, well much as I like to eat, when you are having a procedure done I know I tend to loose my appetite. In the documentation they give you it says no drinking 3 hours before your arrival, for some reason I had it in my head that you couldn’t drink after midnight either. No big whoop. We dropped Spotty Chop off at day care and then went on our way. When I got there I handed over all the paperwork I had done (medical history, meds etc.). Then we waited. When it was my turn at 10ish they told Boy Toy to be back by 11:15, 11:30. I had a great nurse who explained what was going to happen and made jokes. She also put in the IV line so I could eventually get drugs. I was able to read for a bit before another nurse came by told me we had the same birthday and the two of them wheeled me into the room where the procedure was going to be done. She hooked me up to all sorts of machines and my doc came in to say hi, check my heartbeat and see if I had any questions. The only one I had I said was that I couldn’t get my head around him putting a camera down my esophagus. He laughed and said he understood, and that is why he was going to give me great drugs. I cheered.

I lay on my side and was looking at monitors with what looked like IP addresses on them. The nurse first gave me a drug that was like valium and then a narcotic. It pinched a bit. As I sat there wondering when this crap was going to hit me, the doc came in. The nurse (I think her name was Katarina) said “I just got started with her” and he said “no problem”. Next thing I knew I was waking up. I know they were telling me stuff, but I have no idea what. I tried walking and thought I did well, but they told me to rest for a bit, 30 or 40 minutes later (or so they say) we tried again. I felt nauseous and they said my blood pressure may have dropped and to lie back down again. Eventually I sat up and they took me out to Boy Toy (who had no idea what was going on and was getting worried). They told me to only eat soft foods so I asked BT to get me a vanilla shake from Old McDonalds. He put me to bed and I remember Spotty coming in to give me a balloon around 5:30. I got out of bed around 7:30 because Boy Toy never called my mom to tell her I was ok, and she was panicking. I talked to her, watched spotty watching TV. Around 9:00 I was reading Spotty stories and I climbed into bed with him because I was so frelling tired. Boy Toy put us both to bed in our room and I woke up today around 7:40am.

So don’t bother running out for your favorite series on DVD and pay twice what you would pay at Costco, because you aren’t going to watch it. Even if you did open it up and put it in the DVD player.

12 April, 2008

Sly Lie, Lasers up the Woo Woo and SG1

On Monday I go to get an upper GI. I am hoping that Cheeze please has created a song for me by then. When I had to get a laser up the woowoo to combat kidney stones she created a song that she and Moo sang while I was undergoing the procedure. It is a comfort to know that people are making fun you when you are knocked out with the potential to never wake up.

Because of the impending procedure I had to steal my mom’s cosco card. You see, I have an addiction. Its name is SG1. I have a love/hate relationship with SG1. SG1 began its life on Showtime, we have never subscribed to the “extra” channels on cable, even when they are free we never find anything we want to watch on them. Then came the DARK TIMES. This is when the Sly Lie (Sci Fi) channel cancelled quite possibly the best television show that has ever been produced; Farscape. They cancelled Farscape because it cost too much to produce and then bought SG1. I decided to boycott the sly lie channel even though it was my favorite station out there. I boycotted the station for several years, until one fateful March when I came home with a new baby and quite frankly had no idea what to do and was suffering from post partum. So I sat on my couch for a couple of weeks, snuggling with my newborn son and not being able to do much of anything else, when I happened upon…a SG1 marathon. I fell in love.

Now 3 years later with a self inflicted mandate to not read any new books unless I have blogged about the ones I have already read (I have 5 or so to do). Since I have a almost 2 hour commute to and from work, I needed something to do. When my mom and I went shopping at Costco and I walked past the DVD section I knew it was a sign when I saw all 10 seasons there. So I bought the first 2 seasons. That was just a few weeks ago and I have watched them all. I sneak them at lunch, I watch them while Spotty is playing, I stay up late to watch, not that I have an addictive personality or anything.

That has left me in a bit of a dilemma, I will be home without child all day on Monday, so on Tuesday I stole my moms card and ran to grab season 3. Guess what? The only season they did not have was season 3. #$$#@@#$%%#@## . So I picked up season 4 and 5. Then I grabbed Buffy season 1.

I never got into Buffy, not because I didn’t want to but when it premiered, we were already watching 2 Star Treks, X-files, Friends, Millennium, Farscape, (and the other shows on the Sci Fi Friday lineup) ER and the Simpsons. Back then we were taping shows every night I think. We used to take days off work so we could stay home and catch up.

Back to the dilemma, I walked out of Costco with a heavy heart, I was happy I had Buffy, but I really wanted to wallow in SG1 and there was no way I could watch season 4 before watching season 3, that’s just crazy talk. As I was driving back to my parents house I passed….BEST BUY. I ran in, they had 1 season 3 left. I grabbed it and then noticed the price $40! At Costco it’s $20. I stood there deliberating should I or should I wait. Then I slapped myself, who was I kidding? I wanted it; if I waited I would get cranky. Was there any need for that?

So on Monday when you are all working, sing me a song of the esophagus and go over to the sly lie channel, frelling SG1 should be on at some point.

08 April, 2008

Have you ever had one of those “DUH” moments?

I like books, Spotty likes books, and I am always on the lookout for new books for the boy. I recently got The Red Book by Barbara Lehman (Houghton Mifflin Company) for him and we love it. Funny enough it only took me 5 or 6 times of reading it to think to myself “hey it’s a Caldecott book, maybe I should look to see if there is a list of them. Then I found this site and after about 2 minutes I was hyperventilating. There are just so many books out there that are incredible. I also found 2 books that my parents used to read to me when I was young; Mei Li by Thomas Handforth the 1939 winner and Umbrella by Taro Yashima (Viking) a 1959 honors book. When I read the titles I knew immediately that these were stories that were once read to me and that I would HAVE to read to Spotty. I am so psyched that I found them, and I don’t really even care if they become Spotty’s favorites. I had favorites, and I remember them being read to me. Hopefully Spotty will have the same fantastic memories that I have of being read to.
I stayed up until 1:00 reading about the stories and the next day after work I HAD to go out and get a few (Nannie needed new books too). I also realized that we had several medal/honor books already.

Here is a partial list of the books I got
The Funny Little Woman, illustrated by Blair Lent; text: retold by Arlene Mosel (Dutton)
One Fine Day, retold and illustrated by Nonny Hogrogian (Macmillan)
Always Room for One More, illustrated by Nonny Hogrogian; text: Sorche Nic Leodhas, pseud. [Leclair Alger] (Holt)
The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats (Viking)
Umbrella by Taro Yashima (Viking)
Seven Blind Mice by Ed Young (Philomel Books)
Moja Means One: Swahili Counting Book, illustrated by Tom Feelings; text: Muriel Feelings (Dial)
Blueberries for Sal by Robert McCloskey (Viking)
Seven Blind Mice by Ed Young (Philomel Books)
Rumpelstiltskin by Paul O. Zelinsky (Dutton)

Not all of them are appropriate for his age, or at least they are too long and don’t keep his interest, but that’s ok. A former client of Boy toy’s gave us an enormous collection of books that she loved reading to her son when he was small. This was one of the best gifts we ever received because the age range was from newborn to 8 – 10 years. I periodically pull out a “new” book to see if it keeps his attention, if it doesn’t it goes back in the bin to wait until he is ready. Several of these are Caldecott winners/honors as well.

I had been beating myself up on how many videos Spotty has, but when I really thought about it and realized that he has 2-3 books per video (I refuse to actually count them in case it is closer to 4-6) I don’t feel so bad.

04 April, 2008

Book Review – Wolf Captured

Wolf Book 4
Derian, Firekeeper and Blind Seer have been drugged and are trapped on a boat in cages designed by someone who knew their strengths. And that’s the good news. Their old pal Waln Endbrook is back and seems to be holding a grudge. Firekeeper shows that she is in fact not able to ignore all discomforts; she seems to suffer from seasickness. That doesn’t prevent her from kicking some major ass. But unfortunately when you are stuck on a ship with another on the way there isn’t a lot that you can do.

Harjeedian, who I envision as Avery Brooks portraying Hawk in Spencer for Hire, is their captor. He is bringing them to his teachers who want something from them. Things really start to get interesting when they get to u-Seeheera “the first city”. There are animals everywhere and more importantly Royal Animals. Here they finally learn what it is that the leaders of this land want. Firekeeper is to teach them how to speak to the Royals.

Derian really shines in this story. He meets up with the keeper of the horse and moves in at the Stable to learn more about this new culture. While there he meets up with a Royal Horse and is offered a ride, which is of course unheard of. I almost got ready to slap him a few times as he and the minstrel start acting like 16 year olds over a woman. But if I slapped every be man for being a man…I would be very tired. Meanwhile Firekeeper and Blind Seer have gone to the islands where most of the Royal animals live. They learn many new things; some are almost too incredible to believe. Some are, I am not going to say disappointing, because we need to see how it is written. I think she may have the chops for it. I hope so, I hate getting invested in a great story and have them turn it into a soap opera.

Oh, don’t forget love…apparently it’s what makes the world go round.

03 April, 2008

Dear Spotty Chop you are 37 months old today

Because we are in the car so long everyday I have bought several books on CD and you really seem to like them. Your favorites right now are the Pixar Cars/Toy Story/Toy Story 2, no surprise there, but what I do find fascinating is that you have no interest in the movies themselves. You want us to “be” different characters while we drive and you add extra commentary to what is being said on the CD. I really like the idea of the CD’s because I think (hope) that it is more engaging than watching a DVD. Watching is so passive, I am hoping your synapses are firing and your imagination is running wild.

You have been hitting us a lot, especially me, whenever you are frustrated; we have started taking away videogames and movies. This is working out great, I can see you trying not to hit, especially when I remind you. I am also making a conscious effort to lessen the amount of time the TV is on. The other night I said we are turning off the TV. When you started to get upset about it I told you that I wanted to sit and talk with you. “Ok mommy” was the answer. You never cease to amaze me.

Nannie’s ankle is getting better and you have been going back to their house on Tuesday’s. You give Nannie’s foot a kiss whenever you see her to make her feel better. Papa left work early the other day so he could come home and play with you. The 3 of you apparently took naps together. You all seemed very happy. You are the light of their life and I am so glad that you are able to spend time together.

You have started “reading to us”, and your memory is so phenomenal that it really seems like you are reading. Sheep in a Jeep and Corduroy are the ones you are reading currently. You even seem to use the same inflections that I do. The first time you did this your daddy and I were so blown away that all we could do is sit and stare at you in amazement. Now we just giggle.
I can’t wait for the nicer weather to start. I need to get you outside and running around. You recently discovered the joy of rolling down a hill, and I want to make sure you get as much of that as you want. Maybe you will want to learn how to pedal a bike? We will see. I have moments of concern when I realize that your cousins (and school friends) all seem to be playing on sports teams and wondering if I should be signing you up for something, but as you are happy, healthy and smart. I think I won’t worry about it. So what if you don’t play baseball at an early age, you can own the team.

01 April, 2008


Auntie D and I went on a scrapbooking adventure!!! The Creative Memories national scrapbooking day; 12 hours of nothing but scrapbooking. Yes it is perhaps the DORKiest thing you can ever do, but by god did we have a friggen blast! We have been giddy like school girls talking about it for the past few weeks, “what are you going to bring, what are you going to do…” and trying to find all of our stuff because apparently life has gotten in our way and we have not scraped in forever.

I actually got Auntie D addicted to scrap (which rhymes with crack for a reason) several years ago when I was holding my first “party” and a newbie backed out, she graciously filled in and it turns out is as big a geek as I am. There is something so immensely satisfying in putting photos, words and thousands of dollars of stickers and paper together.

We were scrapbooking FIENDS, Auntie finished EMT’s baby book, and now that he’s 19 she only has….18 years worth to catch up on. I did a book for the Bride. It has all our pre-wedding adventures in it and ends on the big day. I hope she likes it. In fact I am hoping I can get her to cry so I can make fun of her for crying over a scrapbook.

Our consultants brought up that if we had a good time that day, in November they were doing a “weekend of scrapbooking down the cape”. Our boys aren’t control freaks, but they had a hard enough time with us doing this for one day, we have been trying to come up with how we can convince them to let us go and have them not be whiney byotches. We think we may have to be prepared for the “ultimate sacrifice”, and as my girlfriend A said "it's like cleaning a toilet, no one wants to do it, but it has to get done, no one looks forward to it, but after it's over you will feel better".