Totally Unwanted Effort

You may remember that early December I got a new job and a pay-raise to go with it.  Well, couple of weeks, things at work move slowly sometimes, ago I was told that all the paper work was finally done. I would finally be getting my raise and also back-pay from the first of the year.  So as soon as I heard that I did the necessary calculations and then went to Pictureline‘s website to start planning for the newest addition to my “glass” family; the coveted 105mm Nikor Micro lens.  Alas, my dear wife also started doing calculations as well, and determined that a new dishwasher was in order. But, but, but…. 🙁 I am never going to get that lens.

But we really did “need” a new dishwasher.  So I collapsed to the overwhelming  pressure of the responsibility of being a husband and father.  After doing some shopping around we found a good deal on a dishwasher.  I even went and measured the old dishwasher everything was going to be wonderful.

The day of delivery came and the great unboxing was upon us. I removed the old dishwasher and checked the connections. Connected the new washing machine.  Started pushing in the new one and… Wait what.. Why did it stop?? What the #@@%^ it can’t be too tall, oh wait it is. 🙁

The previous owners had put new tile into the kitchen and gone around the cabinets. Perfectly, acceptable  solution, except that it meant the cabinets were now 3/4 of an inch shorter than standard.  And don’t even ask me what I measured because I don’t know.  I then spent all of my free time for the next three days either grinding and chiseling out tile, lath, and thinset, or being completely frustrated with how the whole @#!!# !@%@!##$ process was going..  because deep down in my heart I KNEW that the installation of a Nikon lens onto a Nikon camera would have only taken 3 seconds max.  Oh well I guess clean dishes are worth something right????

Wild, Wild West

Last week we had a ward party, and I was volunteered to do photos for the couples that came.  This was literally the first time that I have been asked to take pictures for someone.  I have to admit I was very nervous freaked out.  I had no idea what it was going to be like, or how I would do.  I was told to show up 30 minutes early and they would have a backdrop in place and I would be taking pictures there.  I got there and they had set up this back drop up that fit with the theme of “Valentine Fiesta.”  Things were a little cramped so we moved a few things.  It was still close so I choose to use my 35mm for the pictures at the backdrop.  I know it is not the best focal length for portraits, but I am pretty happy with the results here are some of my favorites.

The YM President was good enough to pose while I was setting figuring out my exposure.  At least until he found out I was actually taking pictures. 😀

So then these two yahoos jumped in.

Photo nerd Alert

Is this super rock star lighting, no. But, then again, that is not what I was asked to do. So a 60inch umbrella to the subject’s right and about 7 feet up and a 24inch softbox to the left at shoulder level for fill and to hit the background a little. Both with hotshoe flashes set manually and fired with cheapee radio poppers. Camera was in manual as well; set at f/4 and 1/160 of a second.

And what’s a “fiesta” without beating the “stuffing” out of a paper mache animal. This guy was a very serious about making sure that the pinta and anything else that got in the way was destroy

My favorite picture of the night. She said I wouldn’t be able to get a picture of her so I had to get all photo ninja. To get this shot I was hiding in a dark room shooting through and open door into the kitchen.

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Well Seasoned

So I turned 40 this week. I am not sure what I think about that… I’m not sure if I am happy with the life that I have forged. I feel like I do very little that makes a difference in the world. Before my wife get all, well you know. I have the greatest family, and while not perfect I am a good father and provider. I have a good stable job doing things that I find interesting and rewarding about 30% of the time. All things considered things in my life are great I am truly blessed and I recognize that fact.

But being who I am I want more. I want to be somewhere further ahead of where I am. At 40 I expected to be more than I am, and the only one to blame is myself. I could take more chances, but fear holds me back. I have tasted failure and am still paying the price. I could put myself out there more, but I tell myself I am not ready and people wouldn’t like me. I have a “interesting” and possibly offensive personality in real life. So I put up a wall that is there to protect people from me, I would rather be lonely than cause hurt. On the internet I am different I can edit myself as I type, my “internet personality” is more of who I would like to be.

I’m not here looking for sympathy or a pat on the head. Those are always appreciated though 😉 I just wanted to post something today and this is what came out.

 

FYI this is one of my favorite 2011 pictures I just could never create a post for it.

Book Review: The Cause

Honesty up front:  The author is a friend and gave me a copy of his book.  Also I am not a book reviewer just some guy who wrote a review.


So I actually enjoyed this book. Which I will admit surprised me; I have read books for friends before, and well to be frank I would rather scrub my eyes with sandpaper than read some of them again. It helped that I am a big fan of books/movies that make me think about what would I do in the face of impossible choices.

The cause is set in a “perfect” world where one never is tired, never gets old, there is no crime, no hunger and every night is one big party. What would you do to have that? What would you give up to have that? Those are the key question that are central to the book.

The hero of the book was a fleshed out character who I really enjoyed following.  His story was compelling and interesting. However, other characters were more cut-outs and fairly generic.

Many thing that were critical to the plot where actual left vague and I think it was intentional. Really in life how many things do we depend on that we really don’t know how it work it just works.

It was a very easy read and once I was able to steal my daughters Kindle away from her for an evening I was able to read most of the book. The book does have need of a good editor as there are a few errors and grammatical problems throughout. Nothing serious and once I was latched onto the story I didn’t even notice them.

Overall, this I give this book 4 out of 5.  I really liked it.  The story was enjoyable, the main character was interesting, and it was an easy read.  The downsides are the editing problems and some of the side characters need a little fleshing out.

It is more than worth the $.99 that it will cost you at AMAZON.  To read more from Clint Stoker (LINK)

Oh My Hectic Holidays

How busy has it been for you?

It seems like it was just barely December 3rd and I was giving a recap of the first weekend of December. Here I am and Christmas is past and the we are coming up on the New Year. We didn’t even get our tree up until the week before Christmas. I am unaccustomed to the frantic lifestyle that having a teenager brings; it seems like there was an activity every night. In fact we didn’t even get a chance to go up to This Is The Place for the holiday lights. The things that we did do were well worth it though. Chey was in the stake choir and it was a very good meeting with some great thoughts and songs. Logan was in a choir for his school and had alot of fun with that. Chey and I went on the Photowalking Utah Temple Square walk and had alot of fun there (separate post here)

One of the things I look forward to every Christmas eve is a big fancy dinner. For some reason this year I decided that I would keep it simple. So it was a ham in the oven, some twice baked potatoes and my Gorgonzola Brussel sprouts. It just hit the spot. 🙂 We also deviated from our normal Christmas eve tradition when we gave the direction of the night to our 13 year daughter. She went to a lot of work and made a Power point presentation of games and stories, finished with a viewing of How the Grinch Stole Christmas. It was really a good night.

Christmas Day was very nice. It started with Chey bounding up the stairs screaming, scared the beejees out of me. However, after the presents and a breakfast based on a poem that Logan wrote for school, I was able to get a nap in before church :D.

All the little one wanted was a Spiderman umbrella he has been busy since then protecting us from the rain that is coming down in our house.

We thought that our little inventor would like a build your own electronics kit, I know I loved the one I had growing up.

After all of my duties with church were finished we packed up and headed to Fillmore for Christmas at my Dad’s. I got the most amazing cross-stich picture of wolves from my step-mom. You know that it is a big deal when as soon as you pick up the present every camera in the house is pointed at you.  As always I can’t even imagine how many hours that this took. She also made this one for Christy (LINK).

On the way to Fillmore (I have been taking road west of Utah Lake until Utah county get their construction finished) I saw this spillway just outside of Goshen; so on the way home Christy and I took a minute for our own little Photowalk.

Temple Square Photowalk

Hard to believe that this was my 3rd Temple Square trip with the Photowalking Utah crew.  My goal for these is less about me getting good pictures, but I am there to help my daughter get pictures that she want.  This year was a stunning success in my book.  Because not only did she get some great shots, but I was able to finally meet some of my Twitter and Internet friends.  @lookieloosuz was as kind and generous as she seems online and @findmimi was just as funny and real as you can get.

Chey and I (a photo of us anyway) were even in the Salt Lake Tribune here and in the January 1st print edition.   Super cool huh!

Cheyenne’s pictures

This was a real process for Chey she wanted a “reverse silloute” of the temple and it took many very long exposures to get this picture the way she wanted.

Mine

Do, Did, and Done

So last week was a big week for me.  Why?  For the first time in my career I job title does not have anything to do with support.  For almost 10 years now I have been in a role that was “titled” as a technical support role.  It is not what I did, but that is what my business card said, that is how I was paid, and that is how I was thought of.   Also, for the first time since I started working for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormons) I am not assigned 100% to the Printing Division.  It has been very interesting to me to watch the world change from a paper world to a electronic one. Don’t get me wrong I still believe that paper books and magazines will have a place and a role in our world, but more and more people (I am one of them) would rather use their electronic devices for reading. Sorry tangent…

I am now one of five system admins for the supply chain (the organization that makes and delivers Church products throughout the world). Which means nothing to most of you, but it is a promotion and a pay raise just in time for Christmas. So yeah!! And I am excited to see what challenges I can take on in my new role and help make a difference there.

A Normal December Weekend

Busy, Busy Busy.

So the first Saturday in December went a little like this.  We had our ward Christmas party, a breakfast, so I had to get up early and cook the breakfast casserole that we had  signed up to cook. It was a blast, I spent some time getting some photos of the smaller kids adverse reaction to Santa. Funny stuff.

Later that evening we went to the Church History Museum for their program, A Pioneer Christmas. It was interesting learning about the activities that the went on in the early days of Utah. Even more interesting was the fact that I remembered doing some of the dances as a kid in the Oak City hall with my family. No I am not THAT old; just time flows a little different in small Utah towns. 😀

Of course, a trip to Temple Square will always be a photo trip so I had to stop several times to line up a couple of different shots. My favorite image of the night is this one from my phone.

But there is always time to take a couple of pix with the “big” camera. 🙂

All in all a truly great day 😀

Prayer

I have been wanting to participate more in a program that my church is doing. It is called the Vineyard. They have several different projects that you can participate in from family history, to technology, to multi-media. It is a really good idea and has seen some great success. Most of the code for the moblie apps have actually been written by this group. I had a chance to give my feedback to the organizers of the photography program at a recent Church Technology conference. I am excited to see how they make the changes that will make the site even more productive.

Anyway, last week they sent out a weekly challenge: Prayer. They asked for people to submit their ideas for prayer. Here is my submissions. I tried to apply what I have learned about Stock photography and create images that could be adapted to many different cases. If this is something you think you might interested head on over to Vineyard.lds.org or create.lds.org for more details.