October 2007


I live in the perfect place to not get trick-or-treaters, which is fine with me! I do have two kids upstairs, though. That is, an upstairs neighbor has two kids. They’re not mine. But they do live here, and could possibly knock on my door.

I realized that I had nothing to give them if they did knock, and while I could always not answer the knock, I decided to use it as an excuse to make cupcakes instead!

cupcakes

I’m not a fan of holidays, but I don’t mind cupcakes at all!

I was reading a photography book (which I highly recommend) this weekend and playing more with manual settings, looking for “creative correct” exposures. I’m not sure this even qualifies for a “correct” exposure, let alone a creative correct one! It might be a little dark to be technically correct, but I like it for some reason. The princess likes to pose!

Though actually she was sleeping in the sun for this one, her paw trapping one of her favorite toys. Don’t let the closed eyes fool you – she’d be game for play time in a nanosecond!

tempest

weekend snapshot graphic

I joined the Weekend Snapshot group and today is my first day posting my weekend snapshots. I actually had plans this weekend to take a short road trip to view some covered bridges from the 1850’s, so it was perfect timing!

There were three about an hour from me, and it was a gorgeous day for pics – sunny and pleasant, with the trees showing their fall colors (finally).

loy's station bridge

This was Loy’s Station Bridge, built in 1848. It is about 12 feet tall and 90 feet long.

The next one is the Utica Mills Bridge, built in 1850. It isn’t as tall, but it is about 100 feet long.

utica mills bridge

As pretty as the bridges were, I was more fascinated with the old engineering.

utica mills bridge interior

And of course the typical stream that these old bridges were crossing!

stream near roddy's mill bridge

Leanne, one of my close friends, came down for the weekend and we did various fun and relaxing things. A big part of this was going on a driving tour of three covered bridges about an hour from me, which was fun. If we’d thought about it, we’d have made it a picnic outing as well, but we enjoyed it regardless.

As we headed back to my place on one of the small rural roads, we almost hit a small turtle. I think we both held our breath until we knew we hadn’t hit him. After a shocked and relieved half second, I said “stop the car! I have to get him out of the road so someone else doesn’t smoosh him!” Leanne probably thought I was a little crazy, but being a good friend she turned the car around and pulled over so I could go on my rescue mission. Turns out there was another one close to the side of the road where we stopped, so I rescued that one first.

I picked him up, and his little legs made swimming motions as I carried him to a place of relative safety. I wish I knew where they were trying to get to so I could make sure to put them where they wouldn’t be attempting the dangerous road crossing again. I jogged up the road to the second turtle to move him out of the road. A truck came by slowly (probably not sure what the crazy girl was doing running down the road) and since the driver was looking at me, I frantically pointed to the turtle in the road. He carefully swerved to avoid the turtle, and I dashed over to pick up the turtle and carry him to safety as well. He’d been freaked out by the cars, obviously, and his head and legs were hiding in his turtle shell. Unfortunately this would not have protected him from cars or trucks. I carried him to the field on the side of the road. The man in the truck had his window down, and he’d pulled over on the side to shout “you’re just like me! I do that kind of thing all the time too. Be careful, though, people are assholes!” And away he went with a wave.

There were other smooshed turtles on the road, but at least we didn’t cause any, and we saved two.

I told my favorite barista at my favorite coffeeshop about this, and he said in that quiet way that he has: “I admire turtles and tortoises. I’d like to live my life more like that.”

He wasn’t talking about braving dangerous road crossings, of course; he was talking about carrying his home on his back. I think we can all relate to that, to some degree.

billboard in la on global warming

PhotoHunter Button

The theme for this week’s photohunt was pink, and I actually was stumped as I thought about it throughout the week. I’d look around trying to see pink in my world, and didn’t seem to see any. This was amusing to remember once I started to see pink. It is everywhere! And of course sunsets and sunrises are some of my favorite things, so in the end it was easy.

Here is pink!

sunset at ps

I listen to music. Like, all the time. I somehow managed to run down the battery in my iPod overnight, so when I got to work it died after about 2 hours.

Not listening to music is not an option.

And so I went to one of the sites I go to fairly often for music, but I’d already listened to everything they’ve posted recently, and it is a click-for-each song kind of site which I was not really in the mood to relisten to. I wanted either something that would stream, or something new. Well, they have a lot of music blogs linked in, and I haven’t done much exploring of them, so I took it as an opportunity.

I came across Aurgasm, and oh. my. god. I love it! It is a wide mix of music, it is simple in interface, there are blurbs about the music and why it was chosen, and then a couple of songs from the group or artist chosen. The songs play right in the browser. There’s rap/hip-hop, classic, bluesish, and lots of french stuff, to name a few general genres. I am in love. I am excited. I encourage audiophiles to check it out! (I also think the name is awesome! Very cute, in the best possible way.)

But back to the usability of the site. I’ve browsed enough music blogs to know for myself, the usability is important. I can love the music and the writing, and still not go to a site very often, just because it is an annoying overall experience. This is not the case with Aurgasm.

And no wonder! There are four contributors listed, but the main character seems to be Paul Irish. In his “About”, it says this:

Aurgasm brings to you an eclectic menagerie of aural pleasures. I scout out music you’ve never heard and deliver only the finest. Expect music curiously different, yet simply enjoyable.

And he isn’t kidding when he says he delivers only the finest!

If you click to get more information, you’ll find out that:

His interests include: user experience design, emerging web trends, ecommerce, branding, maps, product design, typography, information design/overload, & sustainability.

That “user experience design”? Yeah, that’s what I’m talking about!

Kudos to Paul; Aurgasm is a site that is a great experience, from the music to the web design. He doesn’t need me to say this, though. He’s gotten recognition from PC Magazine, and other publications infinitely more widely read than me. Perhaps even infinite to the infinite power. Nevertheless, I’m a new fan!

And I love this:

Take an active approach in finding music you love. Only you can find what you love. Immerse yourself in it. Buy the CD. Go to the show and meet your favorite artist afterwards. Tell them their music changed you. Support the artists whose work you adore.

Be passionate about music.

I agree, 100%.

bike to the store handmade sign

cesar

Meet Cesar.

You see, I’m practicing for Nablopomo, and so while feeling stumped for a topic for tonight, or at least like I am not in the mood to choose something and be serious about it, I feel like I should push through that. Having posted a music video last night, I’d better not post another one tonight, so I found myself going through pictures I already have hosted online. Why not, right? There’s got to be a story in there.

As it happens, I was already on a gallery page from a trip I took while in Argentina. I’d stayed a couple days in Mendoza, wine country, and took a day trip up to the alta montaña. I’d mentioned the trip to someone at the youth hostel I was staying at, and he was interested in coming along. And so he did.

That was Cesar, a Barcelonean juggler who thankfully spoke enough english he could mostly translate where my spanish failed (which was most everywhere). The tour guide munched on coca leaves as we got into the upper altitudes, coca y bica being an old folk remedy for helping adjust to altitude changes. I think we gained a mile in altitude that day. I certainly had a fuzzy brain! And I still had my mile-high adjusted blood flow from living in Denver at the time. Okay, I’ll look up the details.

Right, so this is why I kept that guide book (Lonely Planet being my favorite), because I can’t remember these details. It was apparently almost 4000m above sea level by the time we got to Christo Redentor, a monument signifying something significant in Chilean-Argentinian relations, and thus being in the middle of nowhere on the border between Chile and Argentina. I suppose I could claim that I set foot in Chile.

Cesar didn’t have a camera, or maybe his camera had a dead battery. He had me take a couple pictures with him in it. I had his email address and I was to email the pictures to him when I got home. This picture has, I believe Cerro Aconcagua in the background, a rather famous mountain climbing ascent, for which there is a somewhat dedicated cemetery nearby.

I came home from that trip with many email addresses, and even heard from one or two people afterwards. Actually, I’ve kept in close touch with one of the women I was almost arrested with in Buenos Aires (dancing is illegal in bars in Buenos Aires, who woulda thunk? But I can say that I have danced on top of a bar at least once in my life, so *whew* that’s one thing checked off the list!), but alas, I lost exactly one email address, and that was Cesar’s.

So, Cesar, if you somehow google just the right terms to end up here at my blog, apologies for losing your email address!

Here’s a picture of Cesar in front of the Christo Redentor. It was freeezing up there, and that was summertime!

cesar christo redentor

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