Saturday, May 29, 2010

Zoo! Take three

Okay, this is definitely the last entry for the zoo. All of these are from the aquarium.

It's a lot more difficult than I thought it would be, trying to get decent pictures in here. Between the lower light and the fish constantly moving, a majority of my pictures turned out blurred:

A sea dragon:

And another sea dragon. These were so cool:

An albino lobster:

Jellyfish! For some reason blogger keeps making the picture vertical instead of horizontal like it actually is, but oh well:

No idea what this is called, but it looked cool:

Again, just liked how this looked:

It's Nemo! *Just keep swimming*

Some kind of crab:

And here's one last picture from the aquarium:

And that's about it from our zoo trip. I miss taking pictures. Now that it's nearly summer time and the weather has been nicer, I'm hoping to get some more day trips in. If and when I do, I'll be sure and post on here!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Zoo! Take two

Okay, time for some more zoo pictures! After this entry I'll probably do one more with some pictures from in the aquarium, and then I'll be back on to regular entries again. Here goes...

After seeing the Prince of Persia movie last week, I just can't look at ostriches the same way:

I have a bunch of pictures of different kinds of monkeys. I'll be the first to admit I don't have a clue what any of them are actually called:

Shark! *hums theme music from Jaws*

Om nom nom:

Penguins - again, annoyed with having to take pictures through plexiglass but this one turned out okay:

Again, not sure what this is, but it looks cool. It also looks kind of bored:


More of some kind of monkey...thing...

Sea lions - this is probably the only decent picture I got of them. They're damned fast!

This actually scared me half to death. Was walking down a path and it was 2 feet away in the bushes, just watching us:

Right, that's enough for this entry. Like I said, I'll probably post one more shortly, then hopefully finish some of the other entries (namely, reviews) that I have halfway done.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Zoo! Take one

On Good Friday this year, Danielle and I went to the zoo. After some traffic from hell (half the city of Pittsburgh evidently had the same idea as we had) and a catastrophe averted in the parking lot when I dropped my $500 zoom lens onto the concrete (thank goodness for filters!) we managed to get into the zoo. I hadn't been to the zoo in at least a decade, and I had a blast. Took a ton of pictures too, so I figure I'd post a few entries with some of my favorites.


There were two rhinos and I thought they were going to fight each other, but no such luck:

Another kitty! It was hot out, and they all seemed to be napping:

This one has been my desktop background for a few weeks now:

I am fairly impressed with how this one turned out, since I couldn't actually see over the fence I just stuck my camera up in the air and snapped a few pictures:


It's looking right at me!

Black bear with an itchy back:

This probably isn't the best picture I got of the elephants, but it's the best one I got with the baby elephant. Which was one of the cutest things. Ever.

I really like this picture, except for that annoying glare from the plexiglass we had to look through.

And one last polar bear pic!

Okay, that's enough for now. I will probably do another two entries of just pictures. I'm sure I could do one entry from the aquarium alone, plus another one for the monkeys and some other random pictures. Those ones will be up soon, and then some reviews are on the way!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Goals Update 6

I am doing very badly with this blogging thing. I have a ton of entries halfway done. Really need to start finishing and publishing them. In the meantime, it's been about a month since my last update...

1. Go back for my bachelor's degree. Filled out yet more paperwork. Applied for some grants and waiting to hear on those. Considering a summer class or two but not sure if it's feasible, or necessary. The main aim is to go back for about 9 credits in the fall. Full time if I can afford it and handle the workload. Would get finished much more quickly that way, plus there tends to be better financial aid available for full time students. We'll see.

2. Design and get my second tattoo. I have a couple of different ideas. Not sure what I'm going with, or where I'm going to get the tattoo yet! Not going to post any specifics until I have a better idea of what I'm doing though.

3. Photography. I have a couple of hard drives bookmarked that I might buy sooner or later. Have to save money first. But I have plenty of room on my new computer, so for now I'll keep one backup of photos on there, and one on the external drive I already have.

4. WriYe. Been making up some ground here. I'm about 11,000 words behind. It's slow, but I'm making some progress at least. I'm hoping to cut that in half by the next time I update, but we'll see how it goes.

5. Write in journal at least once a week. Still doing this fairly regularly.

6. Save money. Bought my new computer, and wrote a check last night to pay it off. Hurt my savings account a bit, but I'm hoping to make it up fairly quickly. Then I'll continue to add to savings. Unfortunately, I have a number of other things I need to get paid off, so I'm not sure how long it will take to get where I want to be. It seems like every time I pay one thing off, another pops up.

7. I want to go see at least 12 different concerts/shows this year. Saw Macbeth performed by Seton Hill, and also went to see a local band over the weekend, which brings me up to 7. The band kind of stunk actually, but oh well. It was a fun time regardless.

8. Read 30,000+ pages. I'm now up to 16,400 pages. I've slowed down a little bit, which means that I haven't finished a book in....three days hahaha. I've been spending time watching Battlestar Galactica instead, but I'm continuing to read and as soon as I finish the show I'll probably pick it up again. Actually, I will probably read a LOT more as summer kicks in, as it's one thing that I can do outside.

9. Write 52 new blogs. I'll be posting some of my halfway finished ones soon. I promise. I think I'm just frustrated that no one reads these to begin with, so what's the point? I'm just really busy, and sometimes it seems silly to spend time posting stories and reviews no one reads.

10. Music goal. Just got the new computer. I've stalled on this goal though, as I don't have any new artists. Hard to come up with bands I've never heard or or listened to before until I actually get suggestions from people!

11. Watch 100 different movies. 43 now. I'm going to try and get back into more movies as soon as I finish the rest of Battlestar Galactica. Plus I have a couple in theaters that I should be seeing over the next week or two.

12. Learn more in general. I managed to finish two of my nonfiction books, and I'm hoping to get through another one or two before the next update.

Not doing badly on most of the goals, but I'd like to put some more time into some of them - the tattoo in particular. I'd also like to finally post at least three or four different blogs if I get the chance to finish them. We'll see....

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Goals Update 5

I can't believe it's been more than two weeks since my last update, already. This year is flying by, and I'm not quite sure how I feel about that.

1. Go back for my bachelor's degree.Just waiting and crunching some numbers here. Still on track with everything.

2. Design and get my second tattoo. Guess I should really get started on this one. I haven't been able to come up with anything yet but I'll keep looking around for ideas.

3. Photography, part 3. I have most of my photos organized now. I'm still looking for hard drives but I won't be buying any for a couple of months.

4. WriYe. I managed to get mostly caught up on this, and then I went to Florida and didn't write a word the entire time I was gone. So now I'm back to being about 14,000 words behind, but I will probably catch up again within a few weeks.

5. Write in journal at least once a week. I wrote twice in the last two weeks. I have a lot of personal stuff that I need to work out, and writing helps with that, so I will probably have no problem keeping up with this goal.

6. Save money. I know that I said in the last update that I wasn't going to be making any more large purchases, but that's changed. My laptop is dying so I will be ordering a new computer sometime this week. I'm hoping to not hit my savings too much, but I'm not sure yet how much I'll be spending. As soon as I get my computer I'm going to work on getting up to 3 months salary in my savings account.

7. I want to go see at least 12 different concerts/shows this year. I have 5 so far, and will be going to see Macbeth this weekend. I also found out that Young Frankenstein, The Producers, and Phantom of the Opera will be coming to Pittsburgh so I'm hoping to see one or more of those. Also, the summer concert series in Greensburg will be starting soon so I'm looking forward to seeing some of those bands.

8. Read 30,000+ pages. I went on a bit of a reading binge over the last week, and now I'm up to 13,768 pages. I'm going to try and keep the momentum going so I can get through some of my backlogged books, so this number will probably continue to go up quickly.

9. Write 52 new blogs. I've actually started a few different blogs already - they just need to be edited and published. I have one for DO this year, and I'm also working on some reviews for books and games.

10. Music goal. I haven't listened to anything new the past couple of weeks, and I'm holding off on getting anything else until I get a new computer because then I have less to worry about transferring over. I'm still looking for ideas though, because as soon as I have the new computer set up I'm going to try and download another half a dozen or so artists to try out!

11. Watch 100 different movies. Watched a few more movies, and I'm up to 40 now.

12. Learn more in general. I still haven't finished any of the nonfiction books I'm currently reading. I'm going to try and get through one or two of them before the next update.

And another update, finished. More blogs coming later this week!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Goals Update 4

I know it's been a really long time since I've written one of these, or any blog entry for that matter. I've had a lot of personal issues lately and just haven't had the time or the interest in blogging. I'm going to reevaluate the goals I have and take some off completely due to everything that has been going on. I'm going to be looking for a new job and trying to get school situated, and I'm not going to have the time for a ton of extra stuff. So here goes...

1. Go back for my bachelor's degree. Everything is filled out and submitted. I don't know for sure if I am going to be able to work this out financially, but I will see what I can do. For now I'll leave it on the list.

2. Design and get my second tattoo. I still want to do this, even if I haven't spent any time on it in the last 6 weeks. Plan to get back to it now, and still have plenty of time to work it out.

3. Photography, part 1. I haven't decided if I am going to keep Project 365. I've still been taking pictures, and I'd like to continue to do so, but I think the daily requirement is too much. I don't have the time to set up pictures every day, and I don't really want to just start snapping whatever for the sake of having a picture. I think this one is off the list and I will just make an effort to take pictures as often as I can. I will still post pictures, including some of the ones I've taken over the past several weeks.

4. Photography, part 2. This one is off the list as well for now. It's going to take a lot of time and money to do a photography book properly, and I don't think I can get it finished and do it well. This is still an eventual goal of mine but I'm not going to put any time constraints on it.

5. Photography, part 3. I haven't done any work on this, but I will be keeping this goal. I can't afford extra hard drives yet so I'll keep trying to get my current pictures organized for now.

6. WriYe. I'm a bit behind on this again but only by about five thousand words. I'm going to keep this goal for now because it's important to me. However, I may have to cut it from the list eventually, or at least cut back on the total number of words for the year. We'll see how it goes.

7. Submit writing. Taking this off the list, though it may eventually come back. I don't have the time to devote to it right now.

8. Write in journal at least once a week. I've done this a few times, though I doubt it's been once a week. I'm going to try and get back on track with it.

9. New hobbies. Taking this one off the list. I'm trying to devote most of my free time to working out school, and trying to hunt for a new job. I'm going to continue with the hobbies I have and possibly try some new things as they come along, but not going to try and force them in when I don't have any spare time.

10. Miniatures. This is another very time-consuming goal that is coming off the list. I'm going to work on them when I get a chance but it will probably be fairly sporadic. I have the paints though so it will happen eventually, and I will be sure to post pictures as I go.

11. Save money. For now I'm going to work on getting my savings up to 3 months salary. I'm not making any larger purchases for now unless it's necessary. I will hopefully be able to hit that within the next couple of months.

12. I want to go see at least 12 different concerts/shows this year. Up to 5 so far (Wicked, went to see a local band with my friend Tina, Red Herring, Gaelic Storm, and Holst's The Planets). Still aiming to finish this one, especially as there always various free or inexpensive concerts and shows in the area.

13. Donate to charity. This one is coming off the list. As much as I would like to do it, with my current job situation I am trying to be more careful about saving money. I'll probably still donate here and there but can't commit to a certain amount every month.

14. Read 30,000+ pages. Up to 10,229 pages now. This is probably the one goal I have no doubts on. Will keep plugging away, and probably finish early.

15. Write 52 new blogs. Obviously I've done nothing with this one. I'm going to keep this on the list though and give it a shot. It's early enough in the year that I can probably catch up, and it's something I'd like to do.

16. Music goal. About halfway done with this one. Found some new music I really like, but still need suggestions for more new bands and artists, so keep them coming!

17. Watch 100 different movies. Up to 37. I'll keep this on here but I have no idea if I'll come anywhere close to completing it. We'll see!

18. Learn more in general. Two nonfiction books down, still ten to go. I'm in the middle of another three. I have some catching up to do here, but I will keep at it.

Looks like I cut about a third of the goals off the list. I would have liked to keep them, but circumstances have changed, and I would rather concentrate on completing the goals that are most important to me instead of trying to keep everything and failing at them.

Will hopefully blog again soon. I leave for Florida on Thursday so I may blog while I am waiting around in airports or sitting around Mark's place when he's at work. At any rate, I'll hopefully be much more active on here, and soon.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Project 365, Week Three

I'm not doing a great job of keeping up with these posts, but at least I've been managing to keep up with the picture taking. I have all of the pictures through the end of February uploaded and ready to go, so I'll post week three now, and week four in a day or two. Hopefully then I'll be able to start posting these weekly, every Sunday or Monday.

Day 15 - Mom got me a new necklace. It's bendy! She bought it at a little gallery in Ligonier, and I really like it. You can make it into whatever you want, different necklaces and bracelets and whatnot. The only downside is that every time i wear it, I spend half my work day playing with it!

Day 16 - my latest Least I Could Do: Beginnings book came today!

Day 17 - I have a bit of an addiction to Twinings Christmas tea. The sad thing is, I've already gone through two boxes...

Day 18 - was watching a bit of the men's skating in the Olympics this night, and snapped this. Johnny Weir is a strange, strange man.

Day 19 - my mom bought me one of the jumbo monkeys from Woot! It makes monkey noises and everything. (Yes I am a big kid. Leave me alone.)

Day 20 - I keep my movie ticket stubs. Realized that I might go and see too many movies.

Day 21 - Another thing I think I buy/get too many of? Journals. These are just the ones I have that are easily accessible. I have probably three or four others, and I keep buying more because I find ones that I like. This wouldn't be such a problem if I actually wrote in them...

And there we have it for week three. I'll post the next batch sometime this week, before I leave for Providence. I'm hoping to get one other entry in between them, as I don't want to post nothing but photo blogs on here.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Goals Update 3

Little bit later than I wanted to be on this update, but work has been a madhouse with Cori leaving. We have a new person starting tomorrow, thankfully. I'm not really looking forward to it, but at least we'll have someone to help us out.

1. Go back for my bachelor's degree. The FAFSA is nearly finished, and I have 2 applications done. I'm going to look over them one last time in the next day or two and then get them in. I'm working on a third application, and that's probably going to be it. I'll do a little more research but it doesn't look like there is anywhere else I'm interested in that I can afford. Once I get those in and my transcripts over, I'll have to play the waiting game for a while. I'm going to get all of that done before I leave for DO.

2. Design and get my second tattoo. I've made some progress on this, though not much. I mostly have vague ideas right now, but it's better than nothing.

3. Photography, part 1. Project 365 is going okay. I can't wait until the weather is better so I can go out and get more interesting pictures, especially on the weekends. I think I'm going to start carrying my camera with me. I obviously can't take my Rebel everywhere, but I can take the Powershot at least. The pictures might not be as high of quality, but at least I'll have pictures.

4. Photography, part 2. I've found a few pictures from Ireland that I'm going to put into the book, and I've started a folder for more. I'm taking my time on this one so I'll probably just some up with a picture or two each update for now. Later in the year once I have more time and cash I'll spend more time on the format for the book.

5. Photography, part 3. I've been keeping my Project 365 pictures organized, but haven't gotten back to the rest of my backlog yet. I've also found a couple of different hard drive options, and I'm hoping to pick one of them up soon, if not both.

6. WriYe. After today I am officially caught up! I'm very excited by this (current count = 71,787 words). Now to work on getting ahead a little bit so I don't suffer too much when I skip writing for a few days for DO. I have overtime for the next two weeks though, so I'm not sure if I'll be able to write extra, but I'll try.

7. Submit writing. Nothing here for this update, as I've been busy with so many other things. Probably won't get to it before the next update either, but we'll see.

8. Write in journal at least once a week. I got my two times in since the last update. I've moved my journal so it's sitting on my nightstand now, just next to my bed. Hopefully seeing it all the time will make me remember to write more.

9. New hobbies. Doing yoga 2-3 times a week now, and alternating it with my other workouts. Going to start thinking of the next thing I'd like to try.

10. Miniatures. I ordered some paints (which should be here this week), and need to get another order in soon as I forgot a bunch. I'm not sure when I'll get started on them though. I'm hoping to at least start next weekend, otherwise it'll have to wait until after DO.

11. Save money. I have about 2.5 months salary in savings now, which I'm quite happy with. Still working on the new computer and then I'll worry about getting more money in savings. I probably won't be able to save much for a while, between DO and the Florida trip I'm planning, but I'll do what I can.

12. I want to go see at least 12 different concerts/shows this year. Red Herring, next week! Should start looking for some more things to go to in the next few months as the weather will finally start getting nicer!

13. Donate to charity. This month I went with charity: water, which I've been meaning to donate to for quite some time. This was going to be January's donation actually, so figured I would finally get it done now. Chris, go ahead and send me the info for yours as well I'll probably get to it later this year. :)

14. Read 30,000+ pages. So far I've read 5,448 pages, and I'm nearly through with a few other books, including one that's a genre I don't usually read. I've slowed down a little bit on this one it seems, but I'm still past where I need to be.

15. Write 52 new blogs. This is four...and I need to get started on this one. My list of blogs to write is taped to the wall above my desk and keeps growing, so I need to start actually writing them. I am going to try and get one or two done in the next couple of weeks. I'll be working overtime and then going away for DO though, so if I don't get to them it's fine, and I'll crack down on them once I get home.

16. Music goal. I'm making a mini-goal for this one over the next two weeks - I want to actually listen to three of the albums I've already downloaded. I've been listening to different songs here and there but haven't really sat and listened to the albums straight through. Time to turn BSG and my podcasts off at work for a while and get through some of my "new music" playlist.

17. Watch 100 different movies. Slowed down on this considerably - I only watched two, which brings me up to 31. I've spent more time on games and shows, and recently the Olympics, so that leaves no time for movies. I'm still way ahead to complete this by the end of the year though,

18. Learn more in general. Haven't finished any of my nonfiction books yet, but I'm nearly done with a photography book, and also about halfway through Snoop, which I'm really enjoying so far. I'm hoping to be done with both of these before the next update.

Still happy with my progress so far. I know I probably won't get much done over the next few weeks, so we'll see when I update next!

Project 365, Week Two

I'm almost through three weeks now actually, but haven't had the chance to post everything yet. So here are the pictures from the second week...

Day 8 - only those of you who have read through book 6 (I think) of the Dark Tower series will appreciate this, but while reading the book I got to the part about the scrimshaw (I think? It's been a while) turtle. And then I found this on a shelf...that I had just cleaned the day before. I swear that it wasn't there before, and I'd never seen it anywhere in this house before, even though I've lived here for years. Anyway it's become a good luck charm of sorts, and I always have it with me when I'm writing. (Yes, I am aware that it's probably weird to have something that freakishly appeared out of nowhere while I was reading a Stephen King novel as a good luck charm, but it works!)

Day 9 - the best wine ever.

Day 10 - Icicles on my front porch.

Day 11 - What would Lulu do?!? (Only Doug and Danielle would even understand this...)

Day 12 - I thought the way the ice froze on the flag was kind of funny.

Day 13 - Nook! That's the best I could do that day, as I was far too occupied playing with it and downloading new books.

Day 14 - Happy Valentine's Day! Not much time for a proper picture.

Week three coming soon hopefully! This entire thing has been much more difficult than I originally thought, but I'm doing alright so far, I think. I've learned to accept that I can't go out and do something really cool every day, and I'm not going to even get *good* pictures every day, and I'm alright with that. I'll just keep plugging away at it and do the best I can. I think as time passes it'll become easier and easier to take better pictures, and I look forward to going back through everything in a few months, and at the end of the year.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Project 365, Week One

Okay, so I think I've decided what I'm going to do for Project 365. I don't see the point in taking all of these pictures just to keep them to myself. I signed into Flickr, but then realized that you had to pay a yearly subscription fee or you had a 100mb limit. Considering my photos are all at least 4mb that's just not going to work.

So...I'm going to post the pictures on Twitpic, probably daily or so, and then compile a week's worth at a time in an entry on here.

So here we go. Started on February 1st. Here's day 1 - got new jewelry from Cori!

Day 2 - my cool calendar from the Chinese restaurant haha

Day 3 - Not a lot of thought put into this one...too busy playing the game!

Day 4 - thought this was fun with the reflections in the glass.

Day 5 - let the blizzard begin!

Day 6 - looking out my window.

Day 7 - I've decided to reorganize all of my books. Here's a pic of the biggest bookcase (I have 5...). I took pictures of all of them if anyone really wants to see them, as well as the random piles of books I have lying around (can see one pile in the far left of this one):

Right now I'm just taking pictures of whatever pops into my head. I also have a few ideas for future days - and a few fun camera filters I'm going to buy and play around with later in the year. Looking forward to it, and here's hoping I don't fail too early in!