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simple is harder than it looks

Sunday, November 23, 2014

My photography club's assignment this week is minimalism. These are very simple looking pictures like say a snow covered valley with a lone tree, cabin, hiker, or something to focus on.

My photos tend to be rather busy. I like itty bitty apertures aka everything in focus and a lot of stuff in the shot. That or macro shots that fill the entire frame.

this is somewhat typical

I read all the guidelines, looked at all the examples, and then thought really hard about it - nothing. Now granted, overanalyzing is my super power but the harder I thought about it, the less I came up with.


Then I leashed up the dog and went for a walk. Normally when I walk him I take along a camera but I figured I'd just sort of look around and expect inspiration to hit. Naturally a large bird of prey of some type swooped over us and landed in the very top of a leafless tree perfectly silhouetted against a beautiful cloudless blue sky.

OOHHHHH of all the NERVE

Then a woodpecker that I've been hearing for some time but never could actually see decided to reveal itself in a tree.

I know right.

Well this is what I've come up with. I don't know what I'm getting so worked up about. Someone from a snowy part of the country is going to win because they're going to find a cabin with a perfect little curl of smoke.

Already I'm annoyed at this person.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

RAWCOOKIE 11/23/2014 11:18AM

    that photo is really cool!

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BILL60 11/23/2014 8:52AM

    Nice!! I don't have the patience to ponder and analyze photography shots. So, I do envy you.

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GHK1962 11/23/2014 8:16AM

    I like all kinds of photos - well, old black and whites always seem to grab my attention. Especially of people as I often wonder what they were like, or what they were looking at...

I do like the ones you do where there's lots of stuff to look at too though. Like that one with the street car.

The one here at the rail station ... electric trains then? Anyway, the green glow adds a nice splash of color. And the train makes me think of inevitability.

Heh - the feet on that particular ground floor....makes me a bit dizzy!

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dog as marathon recovery tool

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

The hubs had his marathon on Saturday. Heís quite smug right now because he was shooting for 4:30 and came in at 4:16. I was happy about the fact that he finally got to run one of these things when he was completely healthy. It just seems like every time in the past heís either just getting over being sick or injured. He beat his PR by half an hour so yea pretty fantastic day.

It was cold out there though. I realize that to other heartier souls a mid 20į day may not be the end of the world but it hit rather suddenly so no one has acclimated. He was ok, he layered up but once he stopped running he started getting cold rather quickly so we didnít hang out very long.

I had planned to bike around and see him go by but the MIL and whatís his name wanted to see the finish so I had to change my plans. I was getting texts as he crossed the timing mats every 5 miles so it helped with the timing. When he hit 15 miles we headed back to the race. I took along the dog. I like having him along as much as I can and really with the MIL and whatís his name, him coming gives us something to mess with. There is less awkward silence with him around and really I just like having him with me. Heís a good sport about it.

This is going somewhere hang in there.

Fast forward to the after race hoopla. I was separated from the hubs because soaking wet and shivering though he may be there was a free beer tent. While we were waiting for him to come back we came across a woman who was sitting on the ground curled up in one of those mylar blankets shivering wildly. MIL and I looked at each other with a bit of concern, we were both thinking hypothermia.

I asked her if she was ok and she was having trouble talking. It was like her face was frozen. She said that her husband had gone to get the car and just that she was really really cold. Yea ok thatís fun. I was looking around thinking medic, warming station, someone else with a clue, anyone, MAYDAY MAYDAY. Right because clearly Iím no medical person and feel like total panic is the correct response to something like this.

Whatís his name said that we should get her off the ground because the cold ground wasnít helping. It was an oddly useful suggestion but right about then the dog got in her lap. I tried to get him off because I thought the last thing this woman needs is my dog jumping all over her, but she pretty much wrapped herself around him and buried her face in his neck. He seemed pretty content and no one could think of any better ideas. We stayed there until her husband came. She had warmed up enough to argue against him carrying her to the car, but she still looked a little shaky.

I knew that dog was good for something. I never thought of him as a marathon recovery tool but hey whatever works. I just hope sheís ok now.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GHK1962 11/19/2014 9:43PM

    Ohh ... yeah sounds like she was going into some kind of hypothermia thingy. I'm glad your pup was there to warm her up. Do you think Bodie knew she needed to get warm and that's why he jumped in her lap? That is all kinds of animal perception coolness if that is what happened.

He should have gotten tons of biscuits for that.

And by the way, kudos to the hubs too!

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BILL60 11/19/2014 8:17AM

    Great story. I of course love dogs and treat my 2 as equal citizens. They return the kindness many times over with their endless love for us. Anyway, congrats to the hubby on an impressive accomplishment in the frigid cold.

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LYNMEINDERS 11/18/2014 6:29PM

    Yay...go dog....
His body warmth would help her...yay....
It is interesting how they know what people need

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bit of a financial cautionary tale

Monday, November 17, 2014

Once upon a time long ago hubs and I bought a house. One of the first things we did was have a fence installed so we could get dogs. We financed the fence and then when we tried to pay it off early we discovered that through some financial trickery that is probably illegal now, we were going to have to pay the full amount of interest whether we paid it off early or not. It was called the rule of 78. I was in grad school at the time and not even my finance professor had heard of it.

Fast forward to this fall when I wanted to get hubs a road bike. I have an account with the LBS that I used to buy my bike. I got it on an 18 month no interest deal, pretty sweet actually. The funny thing is that the minimum payment that showed up on my statement would not have been enough to actually pay it off before a rather shocking amount of interest would show up. You know the drill there, if you don't pay it off in time the entire amount of interest kicks in. You'd think it would just be on the remaining balance but let's face it, the financial institution lobby is far more powerful than the "people who buy things on credit" lobby.

anyway assuming is a mistake

The first month after the bike purchase interest showed up.


I looked it up, turns out that not only was there interest it was a rather unbelievable 29.99%. I didn't even know such rates were legal. I also still had a little bit of a balance from my bike left on that account. I wondered if they were applying the payment to the balance I was paying interest on to try to get me to miss the deadline for paying off my bike so they could charge what was mounting up to around $600.

Well they got me for a little over $50. It could have been worse really but as of this morning my account balance is $0 and when I get to work I'm going to make a quick phone call and cancel the account.

You'd think eventually I'd learn to read the fine print.

At least I haven't fallen for the scam that's going around town where someone claiming to be from the IRS calls and tricks people into sending them money for back taxes.

and we do both love the bikes

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

APONI_KB 11/18/2014 4:24PM

    It's pretty crazy what they get away with. I refinanced my loans not long after I got out of college to get them all together so I'd only have to pay one bill. When interest rates started dropping I tried to do that again and it turns out you can only refinance student loans once in your entire LIFETIME. I have no idea if that was disclosed to me back when I did it, probably not.

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SUSAN-FIT-N-FAB 11/18/2014 8:07AM

    It can be confusing. I am blessed to have paid off mine early and not had a penalty, whether the the interest was computed by sum of the year's digits also referred to as Rule of 78s or by simple interest also known as the 360/365 day average or APR.

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GHK1962 11/17/2014 4:47PM

    Arrggg at those types of tactics.

And you know it's not that people aren't looking at the fine print right? (I mean, yeah, ok, perhaps they aren't) ... when all kinds of people get caught with stuff like this, smart people, people with IT experience, people with math degrees, people with financial experience - then you just start to think that it's not the people being stupid, but the financial institutions that are being deliberately misleading.

I read this and I get angry. Not just for you, but for those people who don't know how to fight back and get taken in.

And yeah, I have been one who has been taken as well.

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NUTRON3 11/17/2014 8:03AM


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GOLFGMA 11/17/2014 8:01AM

    So sorry this happened to you. Thank you for helping all who read this to be wary of those ads that seem to be too good to be true. Most times they are!

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your typical city involved in a typical daydream

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

I took this picture on my after lunch walk yesterday. I think it pretty much captures the heart of the city. Also that one guy there is totally jaywalking.


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GHK1962 11/14/2014 10:11AM

    Yeah you photo buffs will wait for just the right moment! Hell, I bet if you thought the shot would be better from the middle of the street you'd stand there too!

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APONI_KB 11/12/2014 11:58AM

    I'm glad you noticed the trolley Greg. I missed my light waiting for that thing to get in the middle of the intersection. Well "trolley" its really a bus painted to look like a trolley but its much cooler than just a bus. Also it's free so there's that.

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GHK1962 11/12/2014 10:20AM

    Nice ... so I admit, when someone posts a photo I end up looking around and seeing what I can see. Like the trolley of course, but also just the artsyness of your city ... the statue thingy ... the fancy light poles, brick walkways, bollards that must light up when the sun goes down ... and a FOOD CART! mmmmm

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JOHNMARTINMILES 11/12/2014 10:08AM

    Great pic!

Make Today the Greatest Day of Your Life

emoticon Until Tomorrow!

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drunk and walking through walls apparently

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

I'm trying to keep a friend of mine jazzed on her walking routine. I don't know if it helps to have me and my camera tagging along but maybe.

Anyway when I run I wear a gps watch. When I ride my bike I use a bike computer. When I swim I totally lose count of the laps and just sort of go back and forth but that's another story.

My point is that I thought that it would be helpful for her to have an app that would tell her how far she walked and map it all out. Sort of a way of keeping score you know.

There is a website I use quite a bit to plan out my routes called mapmyrun. Yesterday I discovered that they had an app that worked with the website.

what fun

Yesterday I was given the task of heading over to the Panther's stadium to pick up a few things for this weekend's tailgating party. I thought it would be a good opportunity to take this app out for a test drive before I get my friend to download it.

I guess this is what you get with a free app but apparently I was not only completely drunk and weaving in and out of traffic all the way there and back but I was also walking through walls.

Either I have amazing super powers that I never knew about or the GPS was pinging wildly off the buildings. That's kind of a bad sign because most of the lunchtime walking we're doing is through uptown.

not sure if this is an issue with my phone or the app


Hey the good news is that I didn't lose any sleep staying up late to watch the Panthers play last night.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GOLFGMA 11/12/2014 8:25AM

    Even the navigation maps from computers sources will take you around in circles and once my directions told me to turn left when it should have been right, took me 10 miles to realize it! emoticon

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APONI_KB 11/11/2014 2:48PM

    The funny thing is that both of us work in IT, stupid computers. Why can't they do right.

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GHK1962 11/11/2014 2:14PM

    Personally I have a feeling you started the tailgate party early and you're trying to make an excuse for your drunken path.


ually, I have found that to be the case with phone Apps. The gps tracker on mine (Strava) shows me riding head-on into cars, water bodies, buildings and who knows what. Which makes the mileage and pace go off. But then again, they're free and it's better than nothing I guess.

The watches and bike comps made specifically for running and biking seem to do better. (Though I just noticed that Hillslug said her Garmin showed her riding across an area of water where there is no bridge. And yeah, likely she did not do that. If it were Bill or Speedydog I'd say it was possible for them because they rock the bikes in all kinds of crazy ways.)

And ... Hillslug also said, "Technology is wonderful, but it's no substitute for common sense."

Crap, that works for the two of you ... what am I gonna do!?!?!?

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HILLSLUG98239 11/11/2014 12:31PM

    That's awesome!

Once, my Garmin 205 showed that I'd ridden my bike across the Columbia River in an area where there is no bridge, on a ride during which I NEVER crossed over to the southern side of the river.

My FitBit has shown that I've climbed 14 flights of stairs during my spin class.

Technology is wonderful, but it's no substitute for common sense. emoticon

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WOLFRUNNERONE 11/11/2014 12:12PM

    emoticon Great photo - I agree the new tech helps me - I photo everything !
I love it , down 100 pounds so it must work !

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RAWCOOKIE 11/11/2014 11:04AM

    emoticon emoticon

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BRAINBENTT 11/11/2014 10:30AM


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CRUISEGAL55 11/11/2014 10:05AM

    emoticon Those apps make me laugh (out loud). I don't use one, but I have friends who do.

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