Thursday, February 26, 2009

I'm in a Band and we just produced an Album!

Here it is, the debut album of our band - Trio Nunataks!!

I got this from Jessica who got it from Em and it's just the kinda thing that catches my fancy.

Here are the "rules" for play:
  1. band name: go to wikipedia, hit "random article" (or click here). the first random wikipedia article you get is the name of your band. Mine was Trio Nunataks (really!)
  2. album title: go to "random quotations" (or click here). the last four or five words of the very last quote on the page is the title of your first album. --mine was "young enough to know everything"
  3. cover art: go to flickr and click on "explore the last seven days" (or click here). third picture, no matter what it is, will be your album cover.
  4. use photoshop or picasa to put it all together
  5. create a mix cd you feel reflects your band name (it seems someone along the way just made that part up but I did it anyway 'cuz it was fun)!
Ha ha ha!!! Totally fun. If you play be sure to send me your album cover or a link to it. Can't wait to see what you all come up with!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Just Couldn't Stay In . . .

. . . on a day like this.

Mike got an unexpected day off so we loaded up the bikes in the back of the truck and went to the Benicia State Recreation Area. Just look at that sky.

This guy was browsing for lunch in the marshy grass. We're never sure if these are herons or egrets. Either way we enjoy watching them walk ever so slowly, or standing completely still, eyes sharp and on the lookout for the tiniest movement of a tiny fish or frog.

Blossoms are everywhere this time of the year and I decided to practice my skills with a macro shot. This is the best one I got. Mike is better at flower photography than I am. This next one is his shot:

Awww, he found a different pretty flower to photograph, ha ha!

This photo is for my friend, Linda, who always tells me to be sure to wear a helmet when I ride my bike, and she's right because I am notorious for falling off it at least twice every summer. It's also for my son, Michael, because that's Michael's helmet that he left in our garage for "safe-keeping." Sorry, Michael, but I'm getting very attached to your helmet. I love that it's pre-scratched and dented and I think it makes me look cool!

This shot is from 9th street, looking toward Glen Cove. There's a boat launch here and also a nice little park here with play equipment for kids and a huge lawn that attracts migrating Canada geese like this pair:

Benicia is probably their favorite stop on their route.

By the time we got back to the truck the clouds were beginning to get darker and the temperature was dropping. We were lucky to get out during the nicest part of the afternoon. It may be Winter again tomorrow . . .

. . . but today it was Spring.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Unfortunately, Deborah . . .

. . . has had a series of unfortunate events!

Actually, I ran across a fun little game to play using any internet search engine. You simply type in the words "unfortunately, XXX" and replace the XXX with your first name. Click "Go" and see what comes back.

When I Googled "unfortunately, Deborah" I was surprised at the long list of results! Some funny, some sad, some terrifying, but all entertaining in their own way. Here's a sampling (with any last names removed):

Unfortunately, Deborah should have chosen a better song to make a hit single from...

Unfortunately, Deborah didn't do much better, declaring that the G8 summit, which dealt with climate concerns among other things…

Unfortunately Deborah passed away after a fatal car wreck on Georgia’s I-85 during a rain storm...

Unfortunately, Deborah's choice to abort her child was based largely in part on fear instilled by her Christian mother, and fear of society…

Unfortunately, Deborah was the one much better at that than me, so, in 2005, I eventually sold the business to Music Sales Corp...

Unfortunately, Deborah pissed off Buddha and got her sick and decided to throw a monsoon on her as well…

Unfortunately Deborah's 6th place finish was disallowed…

Unfortunately, Deborah is not able to accommodate patients that have no transportation…

Unfortunately Deborah was unable to attend the meeting…

Unfortunately Deborah received little advice on how to change. “All the doctor said was eat more food and don’t walk too fast,” she says…

Unfortunately, Deborah’s case has been closed, although she remains missing…

Unfortunately, Deborah had three myopic judges on her case. ...

Unfortunately, Deborah wasn't drinking enough water, and she got somewhat dehydrated…

Unfortunately Deborah got herself into an argument with some local people who had some Owls …

Unfortunately, Deborah comes off as too childlike,..

Unfortunately, Deborah and Erika broke a very important Lapp taboo, and they were summoned and severely reprimanded...

Unfortunately, Deborah does not think there is a silver bullet…

Unfortunately, Deborah and I only managed to make it to two out of three, but two out of three ain’t bad…

Unfortunately, Deborah was not experienced riding down busy streets with a group of friends….

Unfortunately, Deborah decided not to proceed with us, because an injury sustained to her knee 3 weeks before on our last hike was causing her a lot of pain ...

Unfortunately Deborah and the rest of the group found an eagle ray!

Unfortunately Deborah took a nasty tumble on the course which left her with injuries to the arm and leg when she finished in 22nd place...

Unfortunately for Deborah and her husband, the patriarch of the Gannett family (her husband's father) had more children than he could provide for...

The one in green is my favorite.

Try it with your own name and let me know your favorite!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Rainy Days in Northern California

We need it but, due to being solar-powered, I'm suffering a bit personally. It pretty much started last Tuesday when Rodrigo and I were in Palo Alto, at Stanford University. That's him, all dressed up for his interview for Stanford's Physician Assistant program. I went with him so that I could drop him at SFO on my way back home (after he bought me a late lunch at the Chipotle Mexican Grill - YUM).

Once I'd dropped him off I began the trek home, through San Francisco and unfortunately right in the middle of the commuter traffic. I was stuck in bumper-to-bumber all the way through the city so, to amuse myself, I took some photos out my window. Neighboring motorists probably thought I was a nut-case but who cares, I'll never see any of them again. :-)
Here's a view of the "lovely" traffic across all the many interchanges and overpasses.

A view of the crowded financial district. You can see what a gray, rainy day it was.

Here's a familiar sight to anyone who drives I-80/I-101 pass through San Francisco. Not sure what this old building is called, or what businesses are in there, but I love the look of it, and the clock in the tower, too. The brief clearing of the sky looked very pretty.

I hate driving on the lower deck of the Bay Bridge! It's creepy, especially after part of it collapsed during the 1989 earthquake (we were living in nearby San Jose at that time). So much heavy concrete and steel over my head terrorizes me still.

Here's a bridge I like a lot better; the Alfred Zampa Memorial Bridge; it carries only northbound traffic (plus a bike lane). Beyond it is the aging Carquinez Bridge for southbound traffic - not as pretty, and to be replaced someday as it's not quite up to par to withstand a major earthquake. (How did I get on this earthquake theme?)

So today the weather is the same, maybe worse because there's more rain and it's heavier. It's good for easing our drought conditions but it won't be enough. It seems we are always in a drought, every year, no matter how much or how little rain we get. Plus, when there's day after day of gray and gloomy I get gray and gloomy! My productivity and my creativity really suffer. I just want to curl up on the couch with a blanket, a book or movie, and two cats. Still, I AM trying to get a few things done.

I am totally up-to-date with all the blogs I read (as long as I don't hit the refresh button)! I hope to post to both my blogs today. Then I need to make some progress on the digital scrapbooking kit I have been designing; that is going very slowly. Kinda tough to work on a kit with Spring as its theme when it's cold and wet outside. I could really use just a tad of sunshine today, please.

On other subjects, the Oscars are nearly upon us. I don't always watch but I do like to know which movies won which awards. It's also fun to see which movie reviewer's predictions for the awards are closest. My favorite movie reviewer (Michael!) has just posted his picks and you can read the article here. It includes a contest so you can see how well YOU rate this year's movies.

In my blog reading I came across a very interesting article here. Seems those little conversation hearts we buy every Valentine's Day for the kids? Each year the sayings on the hearts CHANGE! I was astounded. Who'da thought? I can't remember the last time I even bothered to look at the sayings printed on the candy. Apparently, every year they are different, an entirely different theme each year even so, guess what? You can tell if someone has slipped you a bag of last year's hearts, ha ha! Check out the different year's themes and sayings, they're great. I'm really sad I missed 2007's pet theme, in particular, and 1998 was way cool with high-tech sentiments.

And now, the bright side to all the rain?

The flowers in my garden are sure enjoying it!

Friday, February 13, 2009

He Loves Me

Happy Valentine's Day!

I've always thought that Valentine's Day must be one of the most feared days of the year for the average American Guy. Boy, is he under the gun! If he doesn't come through with something creative, thoughtful, romantic, different, and expensive for his girl he could be in deep doggy doo-doo.

I let my husband off that particular hook years ago.

I don't need flowers or stuffed rabbits or chocolates (in fact, he's been strictly forbidden to bring home chocolates for any reason). I don't even need a card.

Instead I try to pay attention to the little things he does every day of the year. Filling the car with gas so I don't have to. Complimenting me on a dinner I made. Telling me he thinks I'm smart. Bringing me coffee in the morning. Vacuuming. Letting me know he finds me attractive. Washing my car. Handling the bookkeeping for my little biz. Doing the grocery shopping and always buying plenty of the stuff that he knows I like.

On special occasions, if there's something I want to buy or to do, all I have to do is tell him. He's always more than willing to comply; after all, he didn't have to come up with the idea on his own and that takes a huge burden off of him. And I get exactly what I want.

I hadn't mentioned Valentine's Day at all this year, knowing he has to work this weekend. Of course, I'd rather he didn't have to work and we could spend the day together but it is what it is, and the extra-long hours he's working will finance our July trip to Kauai for my sister's wedding.

So I was surprised this morning at breakfast when, over bowls of oatmeal, he offered dinner out once his current contract is done (in two weeks or so) as a "late Valentine's Day out."

Now that's all the more special because it was unexpected.

And guess what? We'll be able use a coupon at Black Angus for a Prime Rib 4-course dinner for two for only $37.00 and which is NOT valid on Valentine's Day. Black Angus just happens to be the restaurant where Mike proposed to me 19 years ago.

Meanwhile, tomorrow evening I'll be perfectly content to have a quiet supper of salad and a bowl of tomato bisque soup.

Tomato bisque soup from one of the dozen cans that Mike bought for me because he loves me and he knows it's my favorite.

What's more romantic than that?

What are YOU doing for Valentine's Day?

Monday, February 9, 2009

Digital Scrapbook Page from a Template

Even though for my business I custom-design digital papers, elements and templates, I still enjoy using the designs of others, especially people like Jessica Sprague. (If you are into digital scrapbooking, or want to be, you will want to follow her blog, especially her Photoshop Friday tips and freebies.)

I made the above layout using the free template and papers posted by Jessica last Friday. I did very little modifying because it was so perfect for the photos I wanted to scrapbook. I'm very pleased with the way it turned out. It's awesome to create a layout in just a few minutes, after someone else has done most of the work!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Work in Progress - Wedding Album

Click on the title page to see more in-progress pages. I'm also open to ideas for titles for many of the pages.

Let me know what you think, so far!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

It's a Girl!

Or will be. My niece, Amber Wirth, is due to have a baby girl next month. Amber will receive this baby quilt next week:

I'm pretty sure she'll like it.

To everyone who tried to guess who the mom-to-be was . . . you didn't try very hard!!!


Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Guess Who's Having a Baby Girl!

I'm geared up to make yet another baby girl ragged quilt. These are the flannel fabrics I'll be using; aren't the ladybugs and butterflies soooo sweet? And the purple gingham, well, what can I say, any gingham is adorable for babies. I'll be spending a lovely afternoon sewing this up.

Can you guess who, in my family, is having a baby girl???

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Monterey Bay and Pacific Grove

The scene just five minutes walk from our Asilomar Conference Center workroom last weekend. Totally worth breaking away from the marathon sessions of digital scrapbooking, don't you think?

I managed to squeeze in two bike rides during the 4-day stay. Here are some of the photos I took:
The Point Pinos Lighthouse

Near the lighthouse, a mama deer and her fawn

A majestic buck in someone's front yard, just across Sunset Drive from the beach.

The bike path heading toward Monterey Bay (from Pacific Grove)

The beach at Lover's Point in Monterey Bay

Check out that crystal clear water!

Surrey cycles for Rent

I ran across these guys on Cannery Row. Right out of a John Steinbeck novel!

The weather, as you can see, was exquisite, especially for January which is normally a rainy month. Of course, we may pay for that nice weather, and very soon. Having had the tiniest fraction of the normal rainfall so far this year, we here in Cali are facing a serious water shortage. This may be the year we let our back lawn die. I hope not, but things don't look too good.

So, if you know one, could you please do a rain dance for us?

Monday, February 2, 2009

Bicycling and Scrapbooking in Northern California

(yes, Linda, I'm wearing a helmet!)

Just a short little note to let you all know I'm home from Pacific Grove where I spent the better part of 4 days bonding with my laptop and creating over 50 pages of digital scrapbook layouts. It was fun, intense, rewarding, and fattening (we got fed a lot), and it was a great change of scenery for me as well as a chance to spend time with my scrapbooking buddies.

Speaking of the scenery, I took time out to enjoy it by getting out on my bike. From the Asilomar conference grounds it's an easy along-the-coast bike ride north to Monterey Bay, Fisherman's Wharf, the Aquarium, and Cannery Row (more photos tomorrow). I wore shorts and a t-shirt and I got sunburned so that tells you what the weather was like! Super-gorgeous for January in northern Cali! Amazing, really.

I will post more tomorrow; today I'm taking a bit of a break from my keyboard to do some sewing, reading, and, ok, I'll admit it, some napping!