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Thursday, October 30, 2008

ASU vs Ducks

I got a text last week with an invitation from my awesome buddy Frankie to go to Saturday night's ASU Sun Devil game against the Oregon Ducks. After checking my schedule, I said "YES!!!" and we made plans to meet for a bite to eat before the game.

I had a super busy day (another post for another day) and was only home for a few minutes before I headed out to make a stop on my way to meet Frankie. We found each other right on schedule and went to grab a burger.


After that, it was getting close to game time so we headed over to the stadium.


The seats were amazing. What we couldn't see clearly on the field, we could watch on the jumbotron in living color. We were close enough that even with my camera, I could get close enough to see the smiles on the cheerleaders faces

and even some halfway decent shots of the players on the field when they were on our end of the field.



We saw some real and fake... tattoos (what were YOU thinking I was going to say?)

and some fans for both sides that really got into the spirit of things.




The game was fun too, but I am sure glad that I am not a die-hard Devils fan. They shoot off fireworks for any score, but there were very few of these:


Anyway, I had a great time and was very glad that Frankie gave me a shout to join him.

You can check out some more pics on my Picasa album from the game if you want.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

SOMA Triathlon Pictures

I went out to the SOMA triathlon this past Sunday to take some pictures. I managed to take some pictures (about 400 before I reviewed them and deleted the worst of the missed shots). I wanted to practice my Sports Photography and give some of my fellow triathletes some photographic alternatives.

Besides my own club, ESCKTC (East Side Cool Kids Tri Club), some of the people I caught decent shots of included members of Tri Club of San Diego (TCSD), Team In Training, AZ Tri Club, Banas, Tribe and Freak Factor in their pink uniforms. If you know people from these clubs, please have them check out my site. I will keep the SOMA pics up for a month. BTW, the SOMA pictures are basically "at cost", my profit is under a dollar per shot, which when you factor my time (over 6 hours not counting travel time) means I am really giving these away for my love of triathlon. It is all worth it when I get a shot that I love like this one:



If you were in the race, if you know someone that was in the race, or if you just enjoy looking at triathlon pictures, click on over to Flowing Desert Photography and take a look. Feel free to rate any pictures you like with a "thumbs up".

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Photography Must Haves

Jeff over at PhotoWalk Pro recently did an article on Must Have Accessories for your Photography

The short version is here along with how I feel I am doing in each category:

1. Filters -- A+, UV/skylight filter on every lens for protection and a polarizing filter moved to different lenses as needed.

2. Flash -- F, but that is not really my fault since it is on my list as soon as I can afford another accessory.

3. Tripod -- A, I have a great tripod and an older more compact tripod. If I start doing more serious portrait work, I'll probably need another to hold off camera lighting.

4. Camera Bags -- B, The bag that came with my camera just does not work for me. The backpack I bought is pretty good, but it is a pain to get things in and out without putting the pack on the ground and unzipping the whole thing.

5. Cleaning Supplies -- B-, I have a lens cloth, but still need to get a blower of some kind and probably one of the other items mentioned in the comments to the article.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

How do you find a name?

I'm not talking about finding out the name of that cute guy/girl at the other end of the bar, that's easy (just ask your server/bartender to find out for you). I'm talking about the name of a flower, insect, bird or other animal or plant. For example, I have a picture of a flower and have tried to google flowers to find one that looks like this to be able to name it:



This is kind of important to me, because I want to label my photos with what they are rather than yellow/orange flower or flying bird, but unless I join a flower club and bird watching club, I don't know how I can do this.

Any tips? And answering for the above flower would be appreciated :)

Monday, October 20, 2008

The Winner is ...

Last week, I asked for opinions on which picture I should donate for a church auction. The voting on the survey was fast and furious and it was a ton of fun for me to read all the positive comments from people. I closed the survey and printed the winning photo. The race was close with several photos taking the lead and only a few votes separating the top contenders at the end. The winner was Waterfall:



Hopefully the picture brings in some money for the auction.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

New Adventures Are Scary

You may know by now that I enjoy photography. Always have, ever since I was given a little 126 camera when I was in 6th grade. I still have photo albums from those pictures.

Not too long after that, my dad started teaching me how to use a 35mm SLR camera and I started learning about ISO and F/stops and shutter speed. It was not a cheap hobby and we didn't have a lot of spare money laying around, so I took very few risks and stuck to trying to make good exposures. The right amount of light and a good focus point were my goals and my main subjects were friends and family.

By the time I graduated from high school, I decided to continue my photography and I used graduation gift money to buy a new Minolta SLR. Over time, I added lenses and accessories and spent a fair amount of money and time taking snapshots. I also started trying to take photographs. A snapshot is simply a nice picture, usually appreciated most by people who know the subjects. A photograph usually will have a wider appeal and in some cases be considered art. I even did some volunteer work taking pictures for my school.

Well, with a new family, time and money limited my photography to general snapshots of kids and holidays. Most of the time, I started using disposable cameras for convenience.

Having rediscovered my love for photography and the convenience that digital photography provides, I have been enjoying taking and working with pictures. I have gotten compliments from people on my pictures and I have thought about starting a side business with my photography. This brings me to the title of this post -- maybe article is a better word as this has gotten too long for a blog -- I have decided to start a business. This is a big step and a new adventure, but a fortune cookie I got last week said "Big journeys begin with a single step." The single step that I have taken is to create the online presence for my photography, so I am proud to introduce Flowing Desert Photography, with photo galleries available at FlowingDesert.com.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

BEEF Anyone?

If you are a vegetarian, I love you dearly for helping to control the population of wild broccoli and things like that so we are not overrun with them, but please skip the rest of this post.

So now we should be down to the few meat-eating folks. While browsing around the internets, I discovered this blog with a contest for free beef. Really. What does it hurt to try? I like beef as much as the rest of you and grass-fed is better for you than the over-chemicaled stuff you buy at most supermarkets.

Any vegetarians out there still? If so, I hope the promotion of eating meat didn't bother you too much and as a thank you for reading this far, I will list off some of my favorite non-meat food items: sweet potatoes, peas, carrots, corn, pears, peaches, bananas. Is that enough that we can still be friends? I sure hope so.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Old friends

Well, I was reading a friends post the other day and they commented on seeing old friends from high school. My wife has been getting in touch with some friends from high school. I guess I must be an exception in that there is no one from the school I graduated from that I would cross the parking lot to say "hi" to. Well, maybe 1 or 2, but I wouldn't even Google them to look them up, much less join one of those find all your old friends sites and get spammed by anyone that graduated the same year and state as I did asking "do you know so-and-so?".

Maybe some background is in order here. You might have noticed that I said "the school I graduated from". That is because I spent most of my high school years in one school in Ecuador and then only one year at the school I graduated from back here in the states ("the states" is what we called USA when we lived elsewhere). As a result, my senior year was not the most memorable in terms of friends and such since I had left all my friends when we moved and high school being the clickish place it is, a newcomer is not usually welcomed into most of the clicks. As a result, I did not go to a senior prom (I was able to pick up more hours at my job that weekend) and about the only date I had that year was with a foreign exchange student from Ecuador that was staying with a classmate from school.

Is this a bad thing? Am I complaining about changing schools for my senior year? Am I complaining about the clickish kids in high school? No. Not at all. Just explaining --to myself mostly-- why my senior year and high school graduation does not evoke the same feelings in me as it seems to in so many others.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Survey - Photos for donation

Our church is having a silent auction and I thought I would donate a picture. I am thinking 8x10 in a plain black wood frame. Please take a look at the candidates and let me know what you think with the survey to the right. Also, feel free to add comments as well if you think a different size or framing choice would be better.













BTW, please pass this link on to others so I can get as many votes as possible for this survey. Thanks!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Strength training at the gym was canceled tonight since the instructors are all involved in the big fight tournament this weekend and have stuff going on with that. I was thinking about giving the Tae Kwan Do class a shot, but after an early wake-up call and spending the day with my wife at the Mayo clinic (more tests and Dr visits) I would rather sit on the couch and relax.

I did make it to the gym 4 times this week. Although Wed was not logged 'cause it was a Personal Defense class and really wasn't that hard from a calorie/exercise standpoint. In spite of personal defense being a bit less strenuous, it was very informative and educational. Also, several of those nights were Strength Training and Boxing for a double day.

Well, I'm going to sit down and work on getting some pictures processed and posted. Thanks for dropping by and good seeing ya.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Personal Self Defense

So I finally made it to the Personal Self Defense class offered at our gym. I was the only student, so it was very solid learning experience. We kept it to 45 min instead of 1 hour since only having one student allowed a better learning experience.

It was a great class and I got a chance to learn some things that could be very useful if I needed to get out of a jam. I think a lot of people would benefit from this type of a class.

Monday, October 6, 2008

More Boxing

Went to strength training tonight. We worked our arms to death. Ouch. We also did some jump rope and I seem to be getting better at it. My cardio still seems to be in pretty good shape, and with the core work I've been doing the past couple weeks, 2 minutes of jumping seems to be getting easier.

After strength, we started right in on boxing class. They worked in some kicks as well which is natural since most of the coaches are MMA guys and they also have MMA classes here (MMA combines boxing, grappling and kickboxing). It was a very fun class and kept us moving most of the time with some great feedback from the coaches so we were practicing the moves the right way.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

What to title this?

Well, last week I finished the week off with a couple days of strength training (arms are still sore) and another boxing class. Really had fun with it. Part of it is my oldest son is doing it with me, so we get to hit each other. Not hard, but hitting each others hands as targets as we practice jabs, cross and hooks. Working on form more than power for now.

Both boys helped out a lot in the yard yesterday as we needed to scalp the lawn in preparation for over seeding for the winter. We also made good progress on getting rid of the weeds.

Hopefully some of the tests scheduled for my wife this week will start to yield some clues that let us make progress into her health issues.

So what would I title this post? Misc? Stuff? Life? Weekend wrap up report?

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Organization and coordination

My wife had an appointment at the Mayo clinic yesterday. Her migraines have been coming back and she has fainted a few times. Her regular doctors have been chasing this for awhile and are not making any progress so based on the recommendation from friends, she called and got this appointment.

It was a long day but we think it was well worth it. They did a very complete exam and ordered additional tests and specialist consultations. Their scheduling group already had an itinerary for the rest of the day. I don't think we waited more than 5 or 10 minutes for any of the remaining steps.

At the end of the day, they had several more appointments added to our updated itinerary. They gave us clear instructions for next steps and contact information in case we have any questions before the next appointment.

I think that this could be the start of finding the root cause of her health problems. One reason is that everyone is on the same page and has access to the same information. It seems clear to me that the systems that support these doctors are top of the line and allow for information sharing that should help them in identifying the issues.