Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas Everyone...

Hello everyone, I hope the holiday season is treating you well. It has been a busy last few days. Wednesday, my parents and I went over to my grandparents' house for our annual tradition of making tamales for the whole family for Christmas Eve. They are actually pretty easy to do with a group of people and it is fun to keep this tradition going year after year. I love our tamales and in fact, I love them so much that I refuse to get tamales at any restaurant for fear they just won't live up to how good ours are. I have tried a few in the past and they don't even compare. With this in mind, it is no surprise that the tamales made it as my picture of the day:

December 23, 2009 - Day 209

Yesterday was Christmas Eve. Jess and I planned for it to be our actual Christmas since she was scheduled to work on Christmas day. So, on Christmas Eve, we woke up in the morning and had our own Christmas morning. We exchanged gifts and had a great "Christmas morning" together. We had to make a few last minute purchases at the stores after (something we have never had to do), and were pleasantly surprised at how easy the shopping was. We were expecting a madhouse at the stores and found quite the opposite. Christmas Eve was spent at my grandparents' as usual for the tamale chow down and then after, we went to my folks' so we could exchange gifts with them. It was a great day. Jess was sure in the Christmas spirit. Earlier in the day, she not only let Orko on the bed, she let him cuddle with her teddy. If you know Jess personally and how much she values her teddy, you know this is a HUGE deal!

December 24, 2009 - Day 210

Today, Jess had to work as babies don't really care that today is a holiday. I went over to my parents' house pretty early and spent the day, and luckily, the day was slow enough at work that Jess got to come home after about half a day as well! Mom made a great dinner that I am still feeling about 5 hours later! Overall, a great holiday season!

December 25, 2009 - Day 211

With that, I am gone for about a week! Tomorrow, I leave for Mexico with my dad until New Years Eve. He goes every year, but I haven;t gone to visit my family there in about 14 years, or my senior year in high school! It will be a fairly quick trip, get there Sunday morning and leave on Thursday, but I know we will be really busy the whole and make great use of all our time! I get home New Years Eve only to have a party at my house about 2 hours after I land. So, I am sure New Years Day will be spent recovering and hopefully going through pictures. I can't promise pictures that day, but at least that weekend. In addition, the year will be over so you will get the final update on the burger and ice creams for the year!

With that, I am out! See everyone in 2010!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

A Blogging Loss

I was about to post my picture of the day, but then I got an email from a fellow blogger that floored me. Jose, one of my long time blogger buddies, just lost his wife of 28 years to a sudden heart attack. He always spoke so lovingly of her and they seemed to be a wonderfully loving couple. I can't imagine what he must be going through. My condolences my friend. You are in mine and Jessica's prayers...

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Monday, December 21, 2009

A Bridge to Somewhere

This morning, Jess and I took a trip to Sutter Creek, a cute, small, little town up in the hills. We had to meet her mom and stepdad to exchange some Christmas gifts that we bought for that side of the family. We have to alternate where we spend Christmas Eve and can't make it this year so we had to hand off some gifts. I took the camera, of course, but it was pouring most of the time and I couldn't get any pictures worth taking. Luckily, at the end, the rain tapered off and I was able to get some pictures of a tiny bridge or walkway that goes over a little creek. Again, I had some with problems with deciding on a picture of a day so you get three this time! The first is what I ended up deciding on, but I think I equally love the other two. I just had to pick one to use!

December 21st, 2009 - Day 207



Speaking of presents, I took a video today of one of the presents I wrapped for Jessica. I hate wrapping and I suck at it. Keep that in mind when watching this...

Sunday, December 20, 2009

December 20, 2009 - Day 206

Today I wrapped all of Jessica's presents and while I was at it, I decided to fill her stocking up with all her stocking stuffers. I usually just do it the night before, but this time, I decided to do it ahead of time and hang the stuffed stocking back on the mantle. Now she gets to stare at it a few more days and wonder!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

December 19th, 2009 - Day 205

The trophy is what it is all about. Well, that and the hundreds of dollars.

Friday, December 18, 2009

December 18th, 2009 - Day 204

Christmas is a time for reflection

This was a fun picture to take despite the difficulties of it. It is not quite as clear and focused as I would like, but that is simply because there was a breeze and the ornament wouldn't stay still. In addition, the ornament isn't as smooth as it would appear so it makes the reflection appear even more blurry than it really is. Still, for the most part, I am really happy with this picture and got pretty much what I wanted out of it. This is an ornament hanging from my tree in the front yard. You can see all the leaves on our lawn in the ornament.

December 17th, 2009 - Day 203

Snow has come to Legoland!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

December 15, 2009 - Day 201

Slash is trying to concentrate on his song, but he can't help but look up and wonder if that is the tallest sword he has ever seen.

December 14th, 2009 - Day 200

Rack 'em

Sunday, December 13, 2009

December 13, 2009 - Day 199

This is what we dealt with all weekend. Our two dogs are normal like always - they just want to come in. But my parents' dogs, they are a piece of work. Duquesa is the German Shepard on the right. She would have looked at the camera, but she is too obsessed with playing with a ball. She likes balls like I like burgers, maybe even more. And Logan is the chihuahua/prairie dog mix in the back. The window is all kinds of dirty because of dirty dogs, but this picture was too cute to pass up.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Rule Kamchatka, rule the world!

As I was going through my previous photos, I realized that I haven't done a board game photo shoot in a while. Risk, being the only other classic board game I own, became the subject of today. I found two angles I liked, but how I processed the photo became even harder of a decision. Do I go with black and white, sepia, or an aged look? In the end, I decided, but I really liked six different ones. So, you get all six today...

December 12, 2009 - Day 198






Friday, December 11, 2009

December 11, 2009 - Day 197

Despite Christmas being only a couple of weeks away, Santa already has his mind set on the World Cup, just six months away!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

December 10th, 2009 - Day 196

Star light, star bright...

Hint: Looks way better in bigger form...

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Rock Out You Will

I have two days of pictures to upload tonight. I am behind because last night we got to go see Metallica in concert. This was the fifth time we have seen them and they have never failed to put on a spectacular performance. They put so much energy into the concert and they really make you feel like you are part of the show rather than just being there to listen to them play some music. It really is a special event to see them and they are the subject of my day 194 photo shoot.

December 8th, 2009 - Day 194

As for day 195, today's photo shoot subject came about unexpectedly. A friend of ours brought by a Christmas gift this afternoon. Noticing over the weekend that we were really lacking in a tree topper for our Christmas tree, he brought by this great Yoda. As our ornaments are almost half Star Wars figures from Hallmark, he fits perfectly. I have included both my choice for picture of the day and the alternate. Both of these have their pluses and minuses. The one I end up choosing is my favorite because of how close it is and how the use of shadows over the face came out. However, because I am so close and so high on the tree, I had to do this handheld. Needless to say, it is not as clear as it could have been had I been able to use a tripod. The second picture is cool because you see more of Yoda, but it doesn't quite have the striking shadows that the first has. This WAS done on a tripod and is clearer, but this was as close as I could get. In the end, I like them both.

December 9th, 2009 - Day 195


Monday, December 07, 2009

December 7th, 2009 - Day 193

Well, Hell, I mean, Sacramento, has frozen over. Yes, early this morning, we had snow. Snow in the Central Valley of California. Not in the mountains. Not at some ski resort, but here in Sacra-freakin-Mento. We heard it might be coming, and I even considered waking up SUPER early to try and catch the snow falling, but of course, I like sleep too much. But when I woke up this morning, there it was. Snow had fallen over night and it was still on the ground somewhat. Now, when I say snow, it isn't something like you East Coasters or Idaho people or whatever get. It really just looked like an excessive amount of frost on the ground. But it was definitely snow. In fact, on top of our trash can was enough that I could have made a snowball. It was kind of cool. We don't get that here. In fact, although I seem to remember some falling, but not sticking to the ground in my lifetime, one report said it was the first snow here since 1976 - 2 years before I was even born. So, yeah, it was pretty exciting. I am not ready to pack up and move to somewhere where I would have to shovel snow. Hell no. But for a brief time, it was kind of cool to see. The link to the rest of the pictures I took today is below.


Thursday, December 03, 2009

December 3, 2009 - Day 189

While out shopping today for envelopes (yup, fun times), I drove past an In n Out restaurant. As I had my camera with me and the sign looked too nice and shiny to not photograph, I decided it would be my picture of the day. As you know, sometimes I have a difficulty deciding on what to use for the picture of the day and today is no exception. The two below are the exact same picture. I ended up going with the picture where the sky is nice and blue. For the second picture, I took the blue sky out so the picture clearly focuses on the focal point of the picture, the actual sign. I like them both, but I felt the blue of the sky was too nice to pass up.

December 3, 2009 - Day 189


While we are talking about In n Out Burger, I have another story. Remember John Marcotte from yesterday, the guy who proposed a bill to ban divorce in California? Well, as it turns out, he has a blog too and he has a couple articles about In n Out. As some of you may know, In n Out has a secret menu - things they serve that people order, but that aren't on the regular menu. I take advantage of that when I go. The biggest burger on their menu is the double double - two meats and two cheese. But, you can go bigger if you like. So, when I go, I order a three by three or a triple triple if we are to use the same wordings. But they have way more. Check out this post where he describes many of the other secret menu items, complete with pictures!!!

But, back to that putting on as many pieces of meat as you like. I mean, you could go crazy with this, right? Well, someone who writes on his blog took advantage of that......twenty fold. Behold, the 20x20!

I am so tempted to do this just to say I did. But, before my attempt, you have to go over and read the post about this guy's attempt to eat this monstrosity of goodness! It had me cracking up!

Thanks to for the great articles!

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

December 2, 2009 - Day 188

So, how exactly am I supposed to play this thing with these claws in the way?!?


Too much going on right now for me to ignore. I know the blog started with me commenting on life, society, etc., but the last 6 months have been largely about my photography. Not right now....

First off, Tiger, Tiger, Tiger. How big of an idiot can this guy be? I was willing to give him the benefit of the doubt for the accident, mostly because they said alcohol was not involved. Maybe he was just a bad driver, saw a cat, whatever. Now things are starting to leak out with the biggest news/rumor being that he has been involved in extramarital affairs. The injuries could have been because of the domestic dispute that came from these revelations being revealed to his wife.

Ok, seriously, has there EVER been a celebrity who decided to have am affair who did NOT get caught? Don't these always end up coming out? I would think that as a celebrity, the chance of getting blackmailed would be too great to risk. Isn't Tiger worth like a gazilion dollars? Doesn't he think that at one point, the chance for the mistress to gain some money either by blackmail or by selling the story to the press will surface? You WILL get caught.

And let us not forget that he cheated on some former supermodel. Isn't she Norwegian, or Dutch, or Viking or something like that. Really, Tiger? I am not saying you should only stay loyal to your wife if she is hot, but this just screams idiotic. Guys, before you cheat, no, before you even THINK of, just don't cheat. It will make it a whole lot easier. It will be interesting to see the fallout of all this from Tiger's image perspective if it all comes out to be true.

In other marriage news, I ran across a very interesting article in the paper today. Let's go back a little bit. If you remember, and if you live in California, I KNOW you have to remember this, California voted against gay marriage last year. The main argument against it was that by banning gay marriage, we would be protecting the sanctity of marriage. In the end, the "sanctity of marriage" won out. Now, a local man is attempting to hold those people who want to protect marriage to their word. Gay rights activist John Marcotte has started an initiative to ban divorce in California. The reason? If we really want to protect marriage, then divorce should be outlawed as well. If we want to protect all marriages, then we should make it so no divorces are allowed. Sure, for the most part, this is mostly a publicity stunt, but I love it. I would love if this got put on the ballot. I would love to see all the hypocritical people who want to "protect" marriage have to be forced to decide on whether they vote yes on this or go against what they originally fought for last year. Let's see just how much much these people want to protect marriage. You can't say you want to protect marriages by disallowing some people to marriage and then turn around and be involved in a divorce.

We'll have to see how both of these turn out...

Monday, November 30, 2009

November 30, 2009 - Day 186

Day 186 - November 30, 2009

Orko enjoying the outdoors and his new haircut! There are a couple of spots on the picture because right before this was taken, he decided to kiss the camera.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

November 29, 2009 - Day 185

Well, with Thanksgiving behind us, we can officially call it the holiday season, or more specifically, the Christmas season. So, Happy Holidays everyone!

Halfway there!

I have officially reached the halfway point in my year in pictures project. Boy, am I having a fun time too! The best part is I have yet to get even remotely bored with taking pictures. There are times I get frustrated because I can't find anything that interesting to take a picture of, but it is what it is. I just have to realize that it isn't always possible to take a world class picture or for that matter, have a world class subject matter to take a picture of every single day. But hey, even some of these, "I don't know what to take a picture of" days end up pretty good.

With that being said, here are the last two days. The first picture is our gas fireplace. This is the first time we have turned it on this this season, and I felt I needed to mark the occasion.

November 27, 2009 - Day 183

The second picture is from yesterday. A group of us went to play some disc golf at one of the local courses. The winds yesterday were crazy and that made it quite interesting at times, but you have to just adjust. The picture of the day is of my friend Nate as he prepares to throw his disc. I took a handful of pictures so the link to the set is below. You can check us out in a tepee!

November 28, 2009 - Day 184

Disc Golf Set

Friday, November 27, 2009

November 26, 2009 - Day 182

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving yesterday. Jess had to work (Time and a half!!!) so I spent the large majority of the day at my parents' house. I didn't get a chance to upload a pic because once we got home at 9pm or so, we went straight to bed. We were up at 230 this morning to brave the Black Friday crowds. Got what we wanted, so I consider it a successful day.

Anyways, I had a hard time deciding on which picture I liked from yesterday as picture of the day so you get the original and the alternate. Even though they are both of the same dog, Logan, they are completely different pictures. So, like always, you get the chosen pictures first, and then the alternate.

November 26, 2009 - Day 182


Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

November 24, 2009 - Day 180

Master of Puppets
I'm Pulling Your Strings
Twisting Your Mind and Smashing Your Dreams\

Trust me, this looks WAY better if you click on it and see it big. This thumbnail does it ZERO justice!

Monday, November 23, 2009

November 23, 2009 - Day 179

Curtain Call

November 23, 2009 - Day 179

So, as I am almost halfway through my year in photos, I am starting to get ideas of what to do with all these pictures. So far, I have been printing out a 4x6 of every picture at Walmart and putting them all in an album so that I have a way to preserve a memory of this photographic journey. Already, this experience has brought out things I never imagined possible. The comments and praise of some of my photos has been overwhelming. On Flickr, people have liked some of my photos enough to ask that I include them in their set of photos for all to see. I have even had two pictures purchased in poster size, framed, and hung on someone's wall. That is the ultimate compliment - someone liking your photographs enough to want them to be actual "art" on their wall. And really, any picture is available for anyone who wants one.

With all that being said, a friend of mine just brought to my attention a way to really preserve this year long experience while showcasing the photos in the best possible way. He asked, why not make them into a book? He gave me a link and I was floored. I figured I could always make them into a book, but not a quality book at a pretty decent price. Blurb makes all kinds of books including what I want, a photo book. It even has the tools to create the book to how you want it and then upload it. Hell, I can even order multiple copies and even promote it to try to sell it. Now, I don't think I am going to go that far, but I am pretty sure I will be making a book for myself. How cool to have a coffee table book of my own work?!?! Now I am getting REALLY excited!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

November 22, 2009 - Day 178

Exercise your brain

I am also trying out a site I have been meaning to try for a while for a different view of the picture. You can click on the pic like usual to see bigger or click the link below for a different, maybe even more stunning, view of the picture. Let me know what you think.

View On Black

November 21, 2009 - Day 177

Spying on Jess through a peephole. Actually, this was done by holding up a wooden spoon with a hole in it up to the camera as I took it. Improvisation rules!

November 20, 2009 - Day 176

After the rainfall. This is about as close as I can get with it staying in focus without a macro lens. I sure could use one!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

November 18, 2009 - Day 174

I caught this mouse trying to sneak around in the corner of my living room!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

And I'm BACK!

Well, I said no pictures until Sunday night or maybe even Monday and here it is Tuesday. The trip to Oregon was great! Five of us drove up together for the wedding of a friend I have known since 7th grade. He is actually a twin. Although his brother stayed here in town and I see all the time still, Jeremiah moved away years ago now. It was so good to see him and we had a great time. The 9 hour drive up there was made that much better because Yvette created an unscramble and scavenger hunt game. And it was a LONG list. None of us even finished, even when taking the trip home into account. Why? No friggin' pigs on the side of the road anywhere!! Still, it was a TON of fun and kept us entertained.

Friday night was a rehearsal dinner and a bachelor party. As Jess and Yvette were the only females that made the drive, we even allowed them to go to the bachelor party as well. I know they had a great time, but really, who doesn't have fun at a strip club?!?! :-)

Saturday was great because I got to meet some of my OTD buddies for the first time for breakfast. We had a lot of laughs! Saturday evening was the wedding and it was a wonderful time. The highlight of the trip had to be Saturday night after the wedding. 6 of us went back to the hotel and played a new board game we bought called Quelf. This has to be the most random game I have ever played and it also didn't hurt that we were all drinking. It has you do the most random things - speaking in accents, clothes worn inside out, snorting after any laugh, etc. It is really hard to describe, but watching people do embarrassing things whilst alcohol is involved makes for an uproariously funny time. I am just disappointed none of us thought to take any video. I highly recommend this game if you have a group of friends who like to play board games. GREAT party game!

Sunday we drove home, but we have had some family in town and I just haven't had a chance to upload anything. So, below is a link to my folder of pictures from the wedding with some great pics of mt. Shasta. After that are my pictures of the day for November 13th- November 17th. Enjoy!

Wedding Set

Sunrise over I-5
November 13, 2009 - Day 169

Yeah, I am now shooting models for Abercrombie and Fitch. In all seriousness, this is my friend Jason, but I thought the pose and color really looked straight out of some preppy/trendy clothes catalog.
November 14, 2009 - Day 170

Jess and I LOVE magnets from places around the world. Our fridge is covered in them and this is only a small part
November 15, 2009 - Day 171

Tostadas bar!
November 16, 2009 - Day 172

We were sitting in the living room when Orko came walking in with this leftover breakfast quesadilla in his mouth. That is what we get for leaving the garbage out so it could be thrown out. Bad boy!
November 17, 2009 - Day 173