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.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Don't be the Asshole Neighbors

I live in a small-ish suburb of Milwaukee. Most of my neighbors are older people. I like that. They keep their house and yards up and don't do stupid shit. I talk to them, keep an eye out for them and help when they need it. But then there are the "others".

You know them. They are the ones who just move into the neighborhood and disrupt the good juju of it.

A new family moved in a couple houses down this summer. Mom, dad and two kids under the age of 5. They didn't start out very well when the first weekend they moved in their dog was running around the block. The dog is a bigger dog, maybe 60-65 lbs or so. They pretty much opened the door and let the dog out. They were never outside with the dog, so the dog would wander around to people's yards and poop. It would go across the street, they didn't seem to mind. I put a stop to that the 2nd day when I took the dog and the bag of poop and took it back to their house and asked that they keep the dog restrained and supervised or I would be contacting the police. I have three little dogs and one of them was attacked two years ago by a Pyrenees at the park. I didn't want a repeat performance. They were kind of taken back but said that they would. For the most part that has been taken care of. They now let the dog outside in the fenced in back yard. It is out there almost all day, every day. How do I know this, you ask. Well I work from home usually 2 days a week. I can't take my dogs outside in my back yard if the dog is out there because all it will do is bark and bark and bark. There are days when that dog barks almost all day long at the squirrels and other critters outside. I'm not sure if they are deaf or what but I'm two houses away and can hear it.

Last month, we got about 1.5-2" of snow. It was a wet, heavy snow. Well, these people didn't bother to shovel the sidewalk. I walk my dogs a couple times a day and use the sidewalks on my block. The first day I walked on the snow. By day 3, I called the city. You have 24 hours after a snow to clear sidewalks. By this time it was trampled down and because the sun was out it was melting a bit and now icy. I had to walk on the grass. The people were home, I seen them outside. They shoveled part of the driveway. Someone from the city must have stopped over there or something because it was about three hours after I called that they were out there chopping the ice/snow from the sidewalk. It took them the better part of the day to get it all cleared because they had to chop away at it.

Garbage pick up is on Mondays, usually by 8 am. Last week, they took the carts (two 85 gals one that were overflowing (how can people generate THAT much garbage??)) tot he street just before they picked the trash up. Then the carts sat there. and sat there. and sat there. Until Wed night. I seen them coming and going several times over the two days so it is not like they were not home.

Today I see them hauling out piles of trash to the curb. Not just a bag or two but boxes, chairs and quite a few bags

We are suppose to get rain/snow over the weekend and this will for sure now be a wet, soggy mess.  I am half tempted to copy this picture and tape it to their front door but doubt they would pay attention to it anyway. I should call the city on them.

I guess I just don't understand why people do stuff without regards for other people. I really don't want to look at their trash sitting there for the next three days. Once it rains I'm pretty sure the garbage guy doesn't want to have to pick it up. Don't make things harder than they have to be. Do what's right and don't do shit that will impact someone else.

PS. These are also the people who for the first month they lived here parked on the street and got a parking ticket every night for almost a month. How hard is it to pull your POS minivan into the driveway?

PPS.. as I've been writing this post their dog has been outside barking the entire time. I tried to get a sound clip but I'm not that stealthy. 

Friday, December 06, 2013

Five Years Later

Five years ago today, my world was tossed upside down. You can read about it here. You don't expect to be 39 and wonder how will you go on.

Some days, I am still sad. Some days, I am happy. Some days, I am still angry. Some days, I find that there is something I want to share with you. Some days, I wonder what might have been. Some days, I don't think about you at all. I think that Rufus still misses you.

I look back over the past five years and think about  how my life has changed. The things I've done that I never thought I would or could do. The places I've gone. The people I've met. I probably would have never done any of that if you were still here.

I found out that I'm stronger than I ever knew could be. For that I'm so glad.