Sunday, June 29, 2008

Vacation, started... Check!

Hannah and Jane were absolutely amazing yesterday.

Hannah started the day by throwing up.

Our flight at noon had seats available then no seats. So we switched flights. Then there were seats so we switched back.

We almost decided to bag the day flight and let Hannah get better and fly at night. But we gambled and took the noon flight and luckily Hannah didn't throw up. She was so patient and such a trooper the entire flight. Jane was buckled in her seat the whole time, except for 20 minutes of the 5 1/2 hour flight and yet hardly complained. They both received commendations from others. They very well behaved. It was a pleasure to fly with them.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

We're not going backpacking anymore

We made reservations for backpacking on the Wonderland Trail inMt Rainer National Park. We have decided, however, that logistics of us:
  • going to Cannon Beach for our annual Beard vacation
  • dropping the kids off in Seattle
  • getting ready for the hike
  • going on the hike
  • and getting back to NYC within my time-off limits
is just a lot to do. So we will not be able to use the reservation we have made. Sometimes it is just better to do less.

The reservation is for a round trip:
July 7 White River Campground Trailhead and Summerland Camp
July 8 Indian Bar Camp
July 9 White River Campground Trailhead

You can see on the above map where our reservation is. The trail goes down the right third of the map. Whitehead is near the top and Indian Bar is near the bottom. There is a bigger map here.

I understand it is a beautiful hike.

The reservation cost me $20 and I hate to see it go to waste. The reservation does not include the permit or fees for camping. It just means that you have a guaranteed spot (for up to 6 people) to make this hike.

If you want it call me or email me.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

The Trains

We can see and hear the trains outside our window, but it is much more dramatic to see them from the footbridge.

We cross the footbridge several times a week just passing through or as a destination. The great thing about having the trains so close is that it provides a perfect short walk when I get home from work or if the girls just need a few minutes to run.

Tonight we went on a walk to channel some hyper-activity just before bed. Hannah is wearing her pajamas and some dressy shoes.

Anyway, I don't think I've posted video of a train yet. So here you go.

Minna's favorite photo of mine

Minna loves this photo, it's composition, color, the setting, everything. I love this photo because she loves this photo. There is a certain satisfaction that this photo brings me, in that she has tried to replicate this photo but never has been able to do so satisfactorily (in her opinion).

Saturday, June 14, 2008

A story for Minna's photo assignment

In an effort to dramatize this photo far beyond non-fiction and into the realm of fiction:

This one time there was a little kid who wanted a popsicle. So his mommy gave him a popsicle. He walked outside with it and a big dog was walking by and licked the popsicle. Since dog's have powerful tongues the popsicle was knocked out of the kid's hand. The popsicle landed on the ground. The end.

This is in response to Minna's photo assignment #14.

Friday, June 13, 2008

My first kite photography

I bought a kit that included the kite, string and camera mount. And I bought a new camera. The contraption automatically takes a photo, then rotates the camera 30 degrees and repeats until you stop it.

Steps to be able to take photo with this kit:

1 Take apart servo and modify the gears to accept bigger diameter screw. This was amazingly tedious. Something I was not expecting.

2 Assemble the rig.

3 Hack camera, and install "firmware enhancement" so the camera can be triggered to take photos via usb, without pushing the button.

4 Assemble the kite using boy scout knots that I forgot.

5 Attach rig to kite string.

6 Try not to let my new camera collide with the ground.

7 Allow the camera to make a few rotations on the rig.

8 Reel camera back in.

7 Happily look through the treasure trove of photos.

Click and see the treasure trove here.

Monday, June 09, 2008

My favorite thing about camping the weekend AFTER Memorial Day

We went camping in Ithaca a week ago. I wanted to show our awesome campground. I guess not so much that it was awesome but that there were very few people there with us. And that, my friends is the best thing about camping the weekend AFTER Memorial Day.

Minna also posted some pics. You should click on this link to look at them, they are great photos.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

The good and eeevill side of Jane

Jane has been so fun to teach new things to. We recently taught her the difference between a happy face and an angry face. She can now do them on command.

I took these photos on yet another outing to see the trains.

The happy face is easy, she does this without coaching. As for the angry face... At first she couldn't do it. All she did was keep looking at us and lower her chin suddenly. Eventually she started lowering her eye brows and it was so funny that it was hard to teach because we'd laugh and then she'd laugh, because we laughed. And nobody could look angry if they tried.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

I don't grow a beard that often

It's been a few years since I had a beard. This beard isn't even that much of a beard. But I usually have a clean shave. I'm about to shave it off so Minna took a photo for documentation purposes.

Friday, June 06, 2008

I will be combining hobbies

I'm about to enter a new phase of life. I'm starting a new hobby... well not really. I'm combining two hobbies. Kites, and photography. Neither have been wholly consuming or anything. I mean I get paid to sometimes take photos for work and flying kites is just one way of becoming one with the wind (like sailing but less expensive, and without being in the water). I've enjoyed flying my kite every year at Cannon beach.

So add the two together and you get kite aerial photography. You can get an idea of the possibilities on flickr.

Upcoming events in which I am excited for include Cannon Beach and backpacking around Mt Rainier. Two wonderful opportunities for kite photography.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

My self portrait

In response to Minna's assignment...

I actually have a lot of self portraits. I don't think I'm self absorbed but I think it is fun. This shot was in a park in Ireland in May. I was trying to get me looking straight up so that you could see the solitary circle of concrete that I was standing on. I didn't get the circle very well but I think the photo of me turned out pretty good. I couldn't hold the camera up that high with one hand and still find a finger to push the button. So I put the camera on timer and held it by the lens.

Here's one I WISH I would have taken in Sacramento.