Archive for Camera

Preparing for a Trip Home

Posted in Life, Travel with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 18, 2014 by urbannight

I’m getting ready for a trip home.  Or I’m not getting ready.  I’ve been really bad at doing all the things I wanted to finish before I left for a week.  Instead, I spent a lot of time on the couch taking medication and sleeping.  The current weather pattern has been killing my head and sinuses.

What I have done is bought a new camera, I love it and I will post the first photo’s on it here, just as soon as I get to Idaho.  I bought a new dress for my niece’s wedding that didn’t fit and fell off me.  I think their sizing chart is off or I did a really bad job measuring my chest.

One wrench in my plans was that I realized I needed to renew my Driver’s License BEFORE I left on my trip.  My birthday will happen when I’m in Idaho.  So I had to use the money I set aside to check my luggage to renew my license. So now I have to figure out how to everything into a small carry on suitcase.  I think I’ll take three outfits, wear one outfit, and do laundry at my mom’s half way through the trip.

I didn’t lose the weight I wanted to lose.  I lost that 13 pounds at the beginning of the year and never managed to lose any more.  I just stalled out.  The good thing is my mom has a really nice treadmill.  I miss my treadmill.  It died on me a few years back.

I hope to get out and about and take LOTS of photos.  I want to give a good overview of anything I can.  I’m sure my focus or goals.  Home no longer feels like home.  The town of 5000 that I grew up in exploded after I moved and now is over 28,000.  That is a huge jump.  It happened over about 15 years I think.  I graduated in 1988.  I can’t go back that far, but in 1990, the population was 7,700.  The 28,000 is from 2012.  At one point, they said it was the fastest growing town in the state.  The population quadrupled in 22 years.  No wonder it doesn’t feel like home anymore.  The populations when from 5011 when I lived near the population sign in grade school to 7,700 two years after graduation.  Very slow growth the entire time I lived there, then an explosion of people coming.  It is strange to me.

Downtown Post Falls along the Spokane River

Downtown Post Falls along the Spokane River.

My flight is an early morning one.  And I have a lot to do.  Before work I managed to get a load of laundry started, emptied the dishwasher, cooked a back sandwich for breakfast and a steak for lunch, moved the laundry to the drier and started a second load, and that is about it.

Now I have to pack, and clean, and find the charger for my personal dvd player.  And try to find my mp3 player that has been missing for a year.  It has to be in one of the still unpacked boxes in my room.  I want to clean and unpack some of those boxes.  I feel like I have a lot on my plate that I left to the last minute.  Because I really did.  It is all my fault.  But trying to sleep just seemed like a good idea at the time.

So tonight, like most pre-flight nights, I’m going to be up late cleaning and up early to make a predawn drive to the airport.

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Shocked and Amazed

Posted in Life, Work with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 17, 2014 by urbannight

About a year ago, our work load doubled. We were ending the day with 40 things still needed to be done on a regular basis. Business was really picking up and they started to try to hire more people to keep up. It wasn’t just my unit that was busy and behind. Everyone one was overloaded.

The last time I was relaxed, about a year and a half ago.  And I was sick at the time.  But relaxed.

The last time I was relaxed, about a year and a half ago. And I was sick at the time. But relaxed.

Then around last November or so, the work load went up again, nearly tripled from what it had been originally. We were now ending the day with around 60 tasks waiting.

My baseline is when we had 10 to 20 tasks left over.  Which at the time was thought to be too high.  But the person who put the things into our workflow would dump a huge batch in about an hour before closing, which is only 30 minutes before the first batch of people leave for the day.  There was no way to get those items finished before closing.

The hiring to get enough staff for the new workloads hadn’t been done in a hurry so now we were REALLY feeling it.

Today at 8:30 am was the first day in over a year where my primary tasks were caught up. The bucket I work from was down to 0.

Zero.

Nothing.

Empty.

WOW.

That hasn’t happened in over a year. Over 12 month, probably about 14 months really.

I haven’t had to hunt for something to do in that long. I don’t really know what to do with myself. In order to try to find a different way to balance the clerical work loads, job duties were shifted and shuffled and moved around. In some cased, procedures have changed for work buckets from which I no longer pull. So I can’t just jump in and help with those. I am sort of at a loss this morning.

I need to find a topic to write about. Or work on photos but my camera died. Well, it’s ability to operate from a battery died. And I can’t afford to replace it until May 9th at the soonest.   The camera, not the battery.  I did that already.  The journey to find a battery made me realize it was probably time to just replace the camera.  Maybe I should clean out my desk drawers and re-organize. I’m not sure. If I didn’t have to stay on the phone lines, I would walk around the office to stretch my legs.

What I really want to do is a happy dance around the office. That that would look a little silly.

A Multitude of Thoughts

Posted in Entertainment, Gaming, Health, Life, Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 7, 2012 by urbannight

Not everyone will be happy. But I am.

To start with, I’m very pleased with the apparent election outcome.  And not only does it look like Obama won the electoral votes, but they are thinking he probably won the popular vote as well.  They can’t say that officially yet because the counting isn’t done and it seems close enough in some places that they don’t want to commit to that just yet.

At the very very beginning of the primary race, I thought Romney might be a viable Republican option.  But as the primaries continued, and then after the nomination, and after he picked Paul Ryan, (Okay BEFORE he picked Ryan) I knew that I wouldn’t go near him with a 20 foot pole.  Maybe 100 yards would be better.  Isn’t that the distance on a restraining order?

My roommate, on the other hand, is not happy.  He feels as I do.  Only his sentiment is directed at Obama and not Romney.  So he is less happy this morning.

We are both still cranky and ticked off at one member of the wedding party from the weekend.  The fact that she is in a polyamorous relationship doesn’t bother me at all.  She seems to be a happier, stronger, more confident person than when she was with her ex-husband.  So it has been good for her.  What does bother me is that she treated the weekend as an opportunity for everyone else to take care of her little boy.  He is not yet school age. 

I know that it was a special weekend and they let him stay up later than his normal bedtime.  But she left it up to her boyfriend to make him go to bed.  She was too busy drinking and partying with the other members of the wedding party to make sure he got to bed. 

She asked her sister to watch him while they ran some errands in town and took off, without leaving the car seat and everyone wanted to do something that day.  But with no car seat, that meant someone had to stay back to watch the little boy.  And his mom couldn’t be bothered to answer her phone while they were out.  So we couldnt’ get them to drop the seat off or find out where they were so someone could pick up the car seat.

Then, at the wedding dinner, mugs were a party favor and people were told to find a spot based on the mug they wanted.  I put my camera in the spot I wanted.  I was more concerned with not being trapped in the back because I’m mildly agoraphobic.  I don’t like being trapped or surrounded by to many people.  She then comes over to me to say that she and her boyfriend and the other girlfriend are sitting in the three spots on that end.  Of course, then NEVER put down anything to mark those places as occupied. 

Did you notice that she only had three spots?  She never even thought about where her little boy was going to sit.  She was more concerned about her boyfriend.   Basically, he ended up in the only empty seat left.  She also didn’t even bother to make sure he got a plate of dinner.  It’s like he didn’t even exist for her during that dinner.  It was left up to the people around him to make sure he got fed and behaved well.   One of those people was his step-grandpa.   But he was also surprised that the boy’s mother didn’t bother to think about her son that evening.  So it wasn’t like there was an arrangement for him to sit near his grandpa.

It is two days later and I am still pissed off about this behavior.  Not even Election Night was able to distract me from it. 

Looking at photos, ones in which I appear, I hate to see myself.  I used to LOVE to be in front of the camera.  Every time I see a photo, I can’t believe it is me.  I do not see myself as being that huge.  I guess I have some kind of reverse anorexia.  You know, where the person w/ anorexia draws pictures of themselves as huge when they are in reality a walking skeleton.  I know I’m over weight, but my mental image is apparently much smaller than my real body size.  I can’t really reconcile the me I see in photo’s with the me in reality.   Maybe that’s part of the reason I have so much trouble losing weight?  And today the top of my butt cheeks hurt a lot.  No idea why. 

Actually, I think it may be a result from distracting myself from the Polls.  I would watch 15 minutes of a show, pause it, check the Polls, then clean for 5 minutes, and repeat.  So I was up cleaning for 5 minutes out of every 20.  All evening long.  That is a lot of up and down and up and down.  I suppose that could do it.

Back to politics as I remember something else from last night.  I was playing SWTOR in the later evening.  Everyone was doing really really well with NOT talking about politics.  Oh, there was the generic comments about the polls and such, but nothing about political opinions and beliefs. 

Until one idiot decided to announce that anyone who votes for Obama was a traitor.  All we said was that we felt the person was being a bit to extreme.  But the one person kept going on about it.  One person left the guild because of it.  After about half an hour, in which he couldn’t get anyone else to take sides at all, he (that is an assumption there) left the guild.  A comment right after was that if you ignore someone trying to stir things up, it becomes a self-correcting situation. 

A smart rule is to never discuss politics in Guild Chat.  People on both sides get upset.  People trying to ignore the discussion get upset.  In the past, I’ve seen guilds fracture and split in half over politics during election years.  It is too volatile a topic.  It is worse than religion.

To Do List; or, Why does travel trigger a cleaning frenzy in women?

Posted in Life, Travel with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 1, 2012 by urbannight

I have an ambitious night ahead of me.  I have to sort the clean laundry and pack what I need for 4 days. I’m going to Breckenridge Colorado for wedding for some friends.

I have to wash the dirty laundry because I’m sure there area couple items I want for the weekend.  I’ll throw in the sheets and remake the bed. 

I want to get all the dishes cleaned and put away.

I need to shower again to try to get the last of the grease paint out of my hair.  I didn’t put it in my hair but some got into my hair as I was trying to get it off my face.

In addition to cleaning the litter box area and making it all fresh and ready for the cats, I want to clean the entire bathroom so it is clean when I get home.

Washing up tonight means I can pack ‘most’ of my toiletries and bathroom stuff tonight and not worry about it in the morning.

I need to set up four-day feeding and watering stations for the cats.  although I will be home half way through the fourth day. 

I think I would like to clean up the bedroom so that I’ll come home to a nice tidy bed.

This is where we will be staying for 3 nights, Tomahawk Lodge in Breckenridge CO.

I’m working the day after we get back, so it would be nice to have a tidy and neat apartment when we get back.  That probably means I should put away the Halloween stuff early this year.  Leave the more autumnal stuff out and set out the more Thanksgiving specific stuff.

Basically, I’m going to try to fit in an entire Fall Cleaning ritual in about 4 hours, while hoping my roommates class runs the full-time. 

I have not even started on my plans for tonight and I already feel the need for this.

Not to mention I want to watch a show or two, do a little stitching, and take some screen shots and do a couple of blogs for which I’ll try to set up publication dates during the time I’m gone.

What is it about going on a trip that causes women to go into a frenzy of cleaning?  Is it learned behavior?  Because I know my mom did it.  Do men suffer this compulsion?  My roommate is a naturally neat and tidy male.  Most I know have not been.  I knew that he, and most other men I’ve met over the years, often just grab their stuff and go.  So I don’t really see men as the ‘gotta clean’ now type.

I also need to take a book or two, a stitching project, a crochet and/or knitting project for riding in the car, and some food prep and take my tea.  Oh, I don’t want to forget the lap top for extra photo storage.

Maybe I need to take two suitcases?  One for clothes and bathroom things and one for stuff to do?

I’m getting tired just thinking about it.  And I have to work a half hour late today.  ARG!

Halloween at Work.

Posted in Entertainment, Holiday, Life with tags , , , , , , , , , , on September 26, 2012 by urbannight

I had a few Halloween items in my desk drawer, so I pulled them out and started putting them up.

Most of these are actually my normal year round stuff. So don’t get confused. I a Halloween Girl.

Last night, my roommate tossed me a box after he got home from class. Pumpkin Lights! My overhead lights are a bit to bright. I may have to come in on a weekend, while it is dark, to get a better photo.

Sorry for the blur. My camera refuses to take a clearer photo. Maybe my camera is afraid of it.

The coffin was an item stashed in a desk drawer. Inside is a Halloween candle I would like to use but it is so perfect for stabilizing it and making it stand nice and neat with some weight to it.

Some of my beloved skulls.

I brought these in to work for food days. But I never want to use them. I would rather have them to look at.

This is the Smaller Spider

I actually hate spiders and was glad my roommate brought home the pumpkins rather than the spiders. Yet I have two giant spider decorations. I have to bring in the bigger one and put it in the corner behind my computer monitors.

Sometimes it just doesn’t work…..

Posted in Life with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 29, 2012 by urbannight

The sun on the way to work.

The last two mornings had the most amazing view of the sun from the interstate. And it was a huge ball of fluorescent orange color. I figure it must have has something to do with the moisture in the air in the mornings. Or something as I really had no clue and it was to pretty to really care about the mechanics of it. Perhaps I don’t care is less about it being too pretty to analyze and more about me not being a morning person and researching it is too much science for me before 10:00 am.

But I had to drive the last two mornings and wasn’t able to try to get a shot. Today I was riding with my roommate and got my camera ready for ‘Photos while Driving’. Go figure, today would be the one morning with actual clouds. I missed a couple good shoots juggling the stuff he picked up at the drive through. Then I got a lot of really blurry ones. Pictures while moving at 65 miles per hour can do that. Then the sun was too far behind the clouds.

And the incredible red-orange fluorescent color didn’t really come out well on the camera. I’m bummed about that. But I’ll give it another try tomorrow. Maybe there won’t be as many clouds and I’ll get a good, open sky, photo of it.

I can only hope.

Chicken and Rice Noodles and the danger of cooking with a migraine.

Posted in Food, Life, Uncategorized, Writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 6, 2012 by urbannight

There are all these ways to cook with less oil to make things healthier.  But I’ve discovered a secret.  And I will share it with you.

 

If you want to properly sauté up onions and garlic, and get the onions close to caramelizing without them starting to char up, you really need to use more oil and not less.  For a veggie that is very strong and bitter, it amazes me that it has enough sugar in it to caramelize when cooking.  I’ve found that I like mine best if I stop just as it is hitting that stage.

 

SO . . . I started by mincing up three slices of onion and adding a heaping spoon of minced garlic from the jar.  I dumped it into the heating oil and sprinkled with cayenne.  Yes, I use a lot of cayenne.  I love it.  Like I may have mentioned before, it has a lovely sweet mild flavor with heat that comes through otherwise mildly flavored dishes.  And it adds a lovely heat to strongly flavored dishes without altering the flavor.   

 

The smell of onions and garlic sautéing in olive oil is one of my favorite smells.  Unfortunately, migraines screw with your sense of smell.  Not for everyone, but definitely for me.  You probably don’t really want to know that it smelled like cat piss to me.  I was very unhappy about that. 

 

While I kept an eye on the minced herbs (because, really, an onion is more of a very large herb than a veggie) I diced up a chicken breast.  It was a lovely chicken breast.  If I had been thinking, I would have taken pictures of my lovely sautéing onions and garlic as well as the chicken breast.  I have, in the past, tried using precooked chicken.  It ends up tasting rather horrible with a terrible texture.  No matter how horrible I feel, if I don’t start from raw chicken breast from the meat counter, it doesn’t turn out right.

 

Now this is the trick, to not only cook the chicken, but to get it to start to brown up without the onions starting to fry themselves.  I stirred often and let it sit for short bursts and for once managed this trick perfectly.  At this point, I had used no salt at all.  I used a salt-free chicken and poultry seasoning my parents sent me from their last trip to Hawaii.  I added several cups of water and two chicken-flavored bullion cubes.  And the salt goes through the roof.  If I had been thinking, I would have picked up low sodium chicken broth.

 

I opened a package of rice noodles.  It was in 3 ‘sheets’ for lack of a better description.  I took out two and put the last back in the bag for another time.  Gripping a sheet firmly in each hand, I twist it in the middle to break it in half, slowly and carefully, so not to send bits of rice noodle in every direction.  I have tried cutting it with kitchen sheers but that just made a huge mess.  I stirred the noodles in, covered it, and let it cook until the noodles were done.

 

By this point, it lost it’s distressingly unpleasant aroma.  It smelled quite good.  It tasted even better.  I could have had two bowls of leftovers.  But I decided to have a second bowl instead.  I would have taken a picture of it today but it just doesn’t look as pretty in a Ziploc bowl as it does in a proper bowl at home.  So no pretty pictures for you.  I really have to do better to remember the camera when I cook up delicious things.