Sunday, February 05, 2017

Week 5: Yellow

This week's theme was Yellow.

At first, I thought this will be hard to do. It's Wisconsin, in the winter. Everything is grey and blah. Until I started to look around more and try to find some color. Street signs, school bus. I have yellow plates. My fruit bowl on the counter is yellow. I almost posted a picture of beer. It is yellow and I had not seen any other beer pictures in the group. In the end, I went with flowers.

I bought some tulips at the store this week and picked out the yellow and yellow/pink ones for this project. Over the course of two days, I took over 100 pictures. Some with my camera and some with my phone. I did some in the morning and some at night.

In the end, I liked this close up picture the best. I cropped it a bit but otherwise didn't use any filters.


Next week's theme is Black and White.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Week 4: My Favorite

Week 4: My Favorite

Meet Rufus. He is my 14 year old Shih Tzu. Don't tell his brothers, Riley and Boomer, that Rufus is my favorite.


I took this picture last summer. I had just got my new camera and was testing it out in the backyard with the dogs. I was laying on the ground and Rufus was walking towards me.

While the picture is not very good. It's slightly out of focus, I wanted to use to to keep a diary of how my skills improve over the year.

Week 3: Rule of Thirds

Week 3/52: Rule of Thirds. This one was a bit challenging. I had never heard of this before so I did lots of Googling. I think I captured the essence of the theme. I set the camera on my phone up with the grid to make it easier to remember to try and use it.

I started this project wanting to use my camera more but with the weather in Wisconsin being rainy, grey and foggy for the past week I had to snap a picture whenever I could and this week it was with my phone.

Milwaukee River, looking south
This photo was taken from the foot bridge over the Milwaukee River looking south towards the city. I love being along the river and thought the frozen river with the boats on one side and the tall, Milwaukee Center building on the other side looked interesting.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Week 2: From Above

This week's theme in the Everyday Eyecandy Project 52 is From Above.

I had all sorts of ideas on what I wanted to do but time and weather had other ideas. I wanted to go out to Seven Bridges and shoot the creek from one of the bridges. Another idea was to use the marsupial bridge over 794 and get a picture of the traffic.  Sadly, neither of those happened.

I was kinda starting to stress about it by Thursday and pulled out one of my coloring books and pencils. I spent an hour relaxing and coloring while watching tv. I had left everything on a tray when I was done. Friday morning, the light in the living room was pretty good and I thought what the heck.I will take a picture of the mandala I colored. It was pretty and colorful and I basically had no other ideas.

This was my original picture

I used my phone to take a bunch of pictures and I set the focus at different spots to see how they would look. I liked how when the focus was set to the pencils the mandala kinda blurred. When getting ready to post it on Instagram, IG always ties to crop the picture for you and it was then that I noticed the details of the pencils really came through. I like how you could see the grain of the wood in the pencils. So I went back to that photo and used my phone to crop the picture the way I liked it. I posted it to Instagram and the facebook group as is. I didn't use any other filtering or editing other than to crop it.
This was the final result.

While it was not the picture I wanted I was happy with the result.

Next week (which is really this week) is the Rule of Thirds.

Monday, January 02, 2017

Everyday Eyecandy Project 52

Last summer, I finally bought a decent camera. The Canon Rebel T5. It is nothing fancy but it is way better than using my phone to capture things. I have played around with it a bit here and there but still not totally familiar with how to use it.

My friend, Jenn, sent me a link to a a year long photography project called Eyecandy Project 52. I liked this concept as it is once a week vs every day. Each week has a theme and you have the entire week to take your picture and upload it to the facebook group and other social media outlets.

I'm going to try to capture my pictures here each week as well as Instagram.

The theme this week is Me:At the beginning.

While most of the group, so far, has taken selfies. I wanted one that captured me on the first day of 2017. Doing something I, for the most part, love doing, running.

This photo was taken of me after finishing the Polar Bear Dash 5k in South Milwaukee on New Year's Day. The sky and the lake were such a brilliant blue and it looked so pretty with the sun shining. I knew I wanted that as my background. I suck at taking selfies so I had my gym pal, Maura, take the photo of me.

Next week's theme is From Above. I have a couple of ideas for this one but it will require the weather behaving.

Sunday, November 01, 2015

Good Bye, My Friend

On Oct 12th, a coworker and friend passed away in Las Vegas. Kim was there on vacation. He got the Sunday morning and passed away in his sleep Sunday night/Monday morning. He was just 61.

When I found out it hit me like a ton of bricks. I was in the office and another co-worker, T, was bugging me to come down to the other end of the aisle where a few other people were standing around. I was in a team meeting and told T that I couldn't right now but would be down in a few minutes. T kept insisting. He then told me that Kim was dead. I was like "What the fuck a you talking about?". T said he was dead. I told T to shut the fuck up and then looked at one of the other guys standing there. This guy is a higher up dude that is in our aisle every so often, usually to hit the candy jar up. The look on his face told me T was not kidding around. I sat down in my chair in shock. The rest of the day passed in a blur.

For whatever reason, the building folks like to put Kim and his team near wherever I was. Sometimes across the aisle, sometimes a few cubes down. We have sat near each other for over 10 years.

In the two weeks since he died, going into the office seems weird. Every morning around 8:30 a few of us would walk down to the lunchroom to refill our water mugs. Kim would stroll down to my end of the aisle as ask "Are you ready for some water, young lady?" Sometimes it was just the two of us, sometime 3-4 of us would wander down there, chit chatting. We would go out the door on that side of the building and walk outside back to our side of the building.

Every so often, at lunchtime, a few of us would head to Menards to stock up on peanuts, or Penzey's to get whatever the free spice was in that month's catalog coupon. It will be strange to not have him go with us. He would give me shit (well deserved) whenever I would change purses and leave my badge in the purse that was at home. Since he got there earlier than I did, I would bug him to come and let me in the building.

I'm going to miss getting the good building gossip, hearing about his weekend at his cottage, shooting the shot about the Brewers or Packers.

Good bye, my friend. I'm going to miss you.

Monday, October 26, 2015

I Took a Walk

With the days getting shorter and the air getting cooler, I wanted to get out and explore a new trail that recently opened up near my house. After work today, I grabbed Boomer and we headed out.

Map of the Nojoshing Trail

Boomer and I walked up the street about .75 miles to get to one of the trail heads on the corner of Packard and Lake Dr. The first part of the trail is thru the meadow area. It is a paved trail that make access easy.

We soon came to the first split and headed off on to the trail that heads north and back to the woods. This part is all wood chips but was wide and easy to walk. Boomer had lots of fun exploring and smelling all the smells.

Boomer is having fun in the woods

Once we got to the woods the trail was nothing more than a path that meandered thru the woods. There were signs a couple times that pointed you in the right direction and most of trail was flanked by old trees and branches to make sure you didn't stray off course. This section was so pretty. One side was along the cemetery back in Seminary Woods. I wasn't sure how far it was to get back out of the woods so I didn't go over there to explore. Maybe next time when I know I will have more daylight. Boomer loved this section. I'm not sure what he was rooting around for in the leave piles. The trail in the woods made a big circle so soon we were back out to the wood chip trail in the meadow.

We headed back and took the path that came up behind the new Civic Center. That part was also paved and made it easy for people with disabilities to get around and enjoy. From there it was all neighborhood streets back home.

I want to venture out on the trail again when I know I will have more daylight hours to explore.

Looking from the path towards the woods

Monday, October 12, 2015

New Beginning?

I got an email today from Stat Counter telling me to update their code on my blog so that I can include mobile devices in my blog stats. I have pretty much ignored this blog for the past 10 months or so. Not sure why. Every so often I have things that happen in my life and would like a way to talk about them in a place that is not facebook or Twitter. But life gets in the way and the next thing you know it is a week or two later. I also realized that I have had this blog for almost 10 years. My how my life has changed in those 10 years.

Today was a day of downs and ups. Nothing huge or earth shattering but still important to me, none the less.

I've been working towards getting my BJCP certification. This is the standard used for judging beer. A friend from MN had recommended it to me a couple years ago as a way to become a better brewer. After attending the Home Brewers conference this past summer, I decided that this was something I would like to pursue further. The Beer Barons, a local home brew club, offer a series of classes that prepare you to take the exam. How it works is that you take classes or self study and you take an entrance exam. This first exam is pass/fail and not scored. You have one hour to answer 200 questions. They questions are true/false or multiple choice. It covers a wide range of topics from styles to brewing to judging. It is open book and I took advantage of that. What I didn't account for is how fast that hour would pass. At first I was going thru and answering each question. Then I realized that time was getting a bit low. So I started answering the ones I could easily do and skipped the rest hoping to come back to them. This worked ok as I was able to at least see all 200 questions. Next thing I knew I had 2 minutes left and panic set in. I started to go back and just guess on the true/false ones. Hoping I could squeak by somehow. In the end I only ended up answering 126 questions and failed the exam. But I now know what I need to focus more on for the next time I take it. I also know that for the next time to go thru them all once quickly and then go back and answer the harder ones. Time management is very important.

I was off today and took Boomer for a longer walk this after noon. It was nice out and he had some extra energy to burn off. We were walking at a pretty good clip so I decided to see how or even if I could run again. After tearing my plantaris tendon in my calf a little over three weeks ago, I have been slowly getting back to walking normal and not limping. I have always been active and this forced rest period  has been difficult on my both mentally and physically. So I started to run. I took one step, then two steps and then ten and felt no pain. I was super slow and found myself heel striking but I was running! I ended up running a little over two blocks. This left me feeling so happy. Maybe I will try a little further tomorrow.