A cool, dry place.

Posted in Arizona Sky | Leave a comment

Somewhere between Phoenix and Tucson

Posted in Arizona Sky, Travel | Leave a comment

Ever wonder why your at home drip coffee tastes like warm brown water?

Me too.

Normally, I buy a cup of coffee every morning during the week. On the weekends I brew a pot at home to save money and because I’m too lazy to drive to a coffee shop. I’m always a little disappointed.

So I waved my magic google wand, and here’s what I found:

AskMetaFilter: How to get that coffee-shop coffee taste at home.

Life ReMix: Why your coffee sucks.

Haven’t been a very good blogger lately. But recently I realized one thing I’m really good at. Looking things up online and finding answers to questions I have.

I figure I might as well share.

Posted in Home, Random | Leave a comment

Arizona sky.

I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m obsessed with taking pictures of the Arizona sky.

Particularly if there are any clouds to be seen.

Here are a couple shots from this morning:

A storm is  supposed to be coming through this weekend.

We’re the one place in the U.S. that hasn’t gotten all the crazy winter storms this year.

So I for one am looking forward to it!

Posted in Arizona Sky, Photography, Things I Love | Leave a comment

Sneak peek.

Look what I found:

Do you recognize it? If you grew up in the 70′s-80′s, I’m guessing you might.

I’ll be back next week with more! Till then, have a great weekend!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Roswell, New Mexico

We rolled into Roswell around 4pm on a Wednesday, just one hour before closing time at the International UFO Museum and Research Center. We both really wanted to check it out and were glad we had arrived just in time.

There was a lot to see, and we didn’t have much time. Here’s my husband being calm even though I was feeling rushed and crazy:

And here’s a partial shot of a pretty cool painting of the alleged crash landing back in 1947:

After leaving the museum, we wandered around Main Street a little. Of course there were gift shops, like this one:

You’d expect all things UFO to be sold at a gift shop in Roswell, of course, but we also found that even the everyday objects were given a Little Green Men theme. Did you notice the alien face on the stoplight in the first photo? And check out this Coke machine:

Even the local music store:

We also got to enjoy Main Street, Roswell, New Mexico at sunset:

After buying just one souvenir – an alien beer coozy – we found a nice hotel for only $85. Right next door was Cattle Baron Steak & Seafood restaurant where I had the Green Chile stew – delicious! We also enjoyed a nice bottle of New Mexican Pinot Noir and talked about the crash and aliens and whether or not we’re alone in the universe. Neither of us had any definite opinions, but we had fun talking about it nonetheless.

While writing this post, I had this thought: what if there’s a Main Street on some other planet with human faces on streetlights and human faced beer coozies? It’s a little far-fetched, but the idea of it makes me smile. Who knows, right?

We weren’t there for long, but we had a fun time checking out this quirky little town with a very interesting history.

Posted in Photography, Play, Road Trip, Travel | Leave a comment

The Very Large Array (VLA) in New Mexico

So, we took a road trip over the holidays.

We started off in Arizona and here was my view to the left:

And here was my view to the right:

We were somewhere near the Arizona/New Mexico border in the above shot. There are lots of smallish green bushes amidst the yellow grasses in those parts. As we got further along and entered a valley, there was less green and more yellow, like you see here:

Soon, we came upon the Very Large Array.

If you’ve ever seen the movie Contact with Jodie Foster, these antennas might look familiar to you. Contact is one of my favorite movies of all time, and they filmed a portion of it here.

Here’s Chet along the side of the road with the antennas in the background:

Me in front of antennas:

A closer view of the anntennas:

After this little photo shoot, we kept driving a few miles before finding the entrance. After making our winding way back, we arrived at the visitor’s center and then did the little walking tour:

During which time the clouds faded a bit:

And then the memory card in my camera got an error message just around the time this picture was taken:

I was really disappointed because I was loving the shots we got. I was highly relieved when we got home and we were able to retrieve them, and I definitely learned my lesson re: having a back up memory card.

A tumbling tumbleweed:

The shot below is one of my favorites. The colors! It’s the perfect example (to me, the one who is visually clueless) of that saying that nature knows what it’s doing. Is that a saying? I don’t know. I just keep thinking it when I see this photo. The blue and wheat-y colors just go together so well. But of course, I had no knowledge of this when taking the shot. I just like taking photos of things close up with other things blurry in the background. It’s my thing. Or one of my things anyway.

And these last few shots were from the road leading back out. I like how the antennas kinda mimic the mountains in the background:

And there you have it. I really enjoyed this little tourist attraction. I’m not a real science or technology buff, but these antennas are really fascinating to me for some reason. Maybe it’s the idea that, from them, we could perhaps one day learn that we’re not alone out here in the universe after all. Speaking of which, up next: the famous New Mexico landing site of little green men!

Posted in Photography, Play, Road Trip, Travel | Leave a comment

Happy New Year!

Today is my first day back at work after a 16 day vacation (during which time I took the above photo). Before it started, I was already starting to think about the year ahead. I don’t typically do what I would consider an official New Year’s resolution. Maybe because I think of a resolution as something one thinks of doing but doesn’t actually do. Instead, what I’ve found myself doing for the past few years – because I like the fresh start that is the New Year – is coming up with one or two big goals for the coming year. In ’08 it was weight loss, in ’09 it was classes and school, and last year I resolved NOT to take any classes or go back to school and just see where life took me. I ended up spending most of my non-work time renovating our bathroom and doing other DIY projects. I learned a lot about home renovation, and I also learned that it’s not really my passion.

At the same time, about a year ago, I started this blog. It started off as a way to share our home renovation projects. As it turns out, it seems that I tended to be less excited about writing lengthy home improvement posts and more likely to share about whatever project or interest I had going on when I felt like posting. I was also pleasantly surprised to discover that  I published 32 posts. I really never would have guessed I’d done so many.

So, what’s my goal for this next year? That’s really what I’ve been mulling over for the past two weeks. I just recently watched Julie and Julia which is about a woman who decides to blog her way though all of the recipes in Julia Child’s cookbook over the course of a year. I did something similar in ’08. Along with my weight loss goal, I also completed the 365 project. The idea of doing something in small steps still really appeals to me. I tend to get overwhelmed with the idea of  a big project, but if I take it one day, one step, at a time, it becomes so much more doable for me.

As NYE approached this year, I started getting a little frantic because I still hadn’t determined my goal. But you know what I realized? It doesn’t matter if I decide on the 1st or the 2nd or the 23rd. I remembered that, even in the past few years, I didn’t always started my plan on the 1st of the year. But usually by the end of January, I was on track.

So here I am on the 3rd, still mulling it over, but I’m starting to get a little closer to making a decision. And I think it might be photography related yet again. It’s something I keep coming back to, and yet I still have so much to learn. I have two photography books that have sat unused for over 2 years, and it’s because of that “getting overwhelmed” feeling I was talking about. I think I could definitely handle working through these books by learning or reading about one technique a day. I’ve also always wanted to work my way through this website to learn more about my camera.

But I have a few other ideas too, such as making a goal of posting here on a more regular basis. So we’ll see. I’ve still got some time. What am I saying? I’ve got as much time as I want!

Posted in Finding your passion, Photography | Leave a comment

Picnik photo editing in Flickr.

I don’t know how long this has been available, but I just discovered the photo editing software that’s available via Flickr.

If you open up one of your photos and click on the Actions button, you’ll see the option to Edit Photo in Picnik. I’ve been playing around with it for the past week or so, and it’s pretty awesome for someone like myself who is pretty terrible at photo editing.

I thought I’d share a few of the changes I made to some photos from a prior post. I’ve always hated how the photos in that post looked. They all turned out really dark and the colors are garish, which wasn’t true of the blanket at all in real life.

Then why did I post them in the first place, you might ask? I’ve found that sometimes I don’t realize until much, much later how bad a photo looks. I only have this problem with my own photos though. Is this common/normal?

Here are a few before and afters. I used “auto fix” with these a lot, and then made some adjustments from there.

They’re still not perfect and I know I need to work on getting better shots directly out of the camera, but this is a handy tool in a pinch, when you’re too lazy, or when you don’t have the option of getting more photos.

Posted in Baby, Before and After, Handmade, Photography | Leave a comment

Out of the loop. Literally.

Because I completely missed this knitting fad from about four years ago.

I was innocently browsing through Ravelry this weekend, trying to figure out how to use up some yarn that I’ve had stashed away for 3+ years. It’s on these huge cones in my dresser drawer and I need that space back! For more yarn stuff I already own. And that’s when I came across this:

Image source*

I’ve been knitting for awhile now, and it takes a lot for me to really fall in love at first sight with a pattern. I’m quite skeptical, knowing that most projects don’t turn out nearly as pretty as they do in the pictures.

But as soon as I saw this lovely, I knew I needed to make it. Immediately. However, that would prove to be a big challenge.

Apparently, it’s a Berocco pattern called Lorraine that is no longer available. From what I can gather, this pattern was very similar to a purse by Ferragamo that wasn’t, how do you say, cheap? And some knitters were trying to come up with patterns emulating that bag, calling it a Fake-a-Gamo. I’m suspicious that the Berroco pattern was way too similar to the Ferragamo and that’s why it’s no longer available. I have no idea if this is true, but that’s my hunch.

So why I am I even bothering to write about this, given that there appears to be no pattern available? Well, I am not to be stopped so easily. It’s not every day I find a knitted item that I love and that uses the exact yarn I need to get rid of.

Using my online researching skillz, I found that back around ’06, when this pattern seemed to be making the blog/crafster rounds, someone knitlit kate came up with a beta version for a fake-a-gamo. So I tried it out myself, got stuck at Row 5 and started over. I couldn’t figure out what I was doing wrong, and since it was a beta pattern, I wasn’t sure if it was correct. So I gave up. But not entirely.

Instead, I decided to come up with my own pattern based on the pictures I could find on Ravelry of the Berocco version. After one false start that would have resulted in one HUGE handbag, I started again, and here’s what I have going on so far:

I’ll post pictures once I progress/finish. The real challenge, I fear, will be finding leather accessories (that don’t cost as much as the Ferragamo) as awesome as those in the photo up top. I see some thrift store hunting in my future!

*Big thanks to Meghan who so kindly allowed me to use her photo of her very aptly named Most Amazing Handbag. Here she is on Ravelry and on Flickr. Thanks so much, Meghan!

Posted in Handmade, Knitting | 2 Responses