Archive for September, 2005

New Camera

Wednesday, September 28th, 2005

Redleaf_1  Last night I broke down and bought a new digital camera. Actually, it is my first digital camera, but I have been using my mom’s on occasion. It is a Kodak DX7639 and I got it last night well below retail with a docking station thrown in for free. I figure now that I am the Yearbook Adviser where I work, I can justify the purchase because of the extra money I will be making from that. Also, we are behind in taking photos, so I should start helping us catch up.

Plus, I just love photography. It is one of those secret interests of mine. If I didn’t tell you I loved it, you wouldn’t know. I haven’t gotten a new camera since the early 1990s, when my parents bought me an automatic (impressive at the time!) 35mm camera. My mom has a really nice 35mm camera, and a decent digital one, so I have been used to seeing quality photographs of just about everything (especially cats!). For my 3rd grade wildflower collection mom took close-ups of all the flowers, in addition to the pressed flower. I think it was those photographs that helped spark my love of nature and nature photography/scenery. I have also done numerous Photography 4H projects throughout the years. Recently, in the hopes that I would actually develop my interest further, I bought Paint Shop Pro for my computer, but I have been too busy to sit down and explore that too much. Now that I splurged and bought a new camera, I hope to finally show a little more interest in photography and learn a few more things.

Image from: www.freefoto.com (image by Ian Britton)

Idiosyncrasies

Tuesday, September 27th, 2005

Robb has tagged me to list my 5 idiosyncrasies. Here goes:

1. Cold cheese. I don’t like it. I LOVE cheese on most things, when it is cooked. I can tolerate cold cheese if it is shredded and mixed in a salad or something, but it has to be finely shredded. I don’t do cheese chunks.

2. Cayenne. I put cayenne in and on just about everything. I put it in soups, tartar sauce, ketchup, eggs, etc. Instead of salt, I just put straight cayenne pepper on my fries. Usually they are nearly completely covered with cayenne pepper. MMMM, I am getting hungry now!

3. My driving style. Ever since gas hit $1.50 or so, I have driven differently and probably by most accounts, more oddly. I was just reading the other day that starting slowly and coasting into a stop (as much as possible) can increase gas mileage by around 30 percent. I have been doing just this for awhile. There is a hill on the way to work that I can coast down for about 1/4 mile. People riding with me sometimes wonder what I am doing because I usually coast more than I use the brake.

4. The way I use credit cards. Most people I meet are a little surprised that someone who is as concerned about good financial decisions as I am has 5 credit cards. Well, they are all reward cards (except the St Vincent De Paul society card which gives money to the organization), and I always pay off the balance. I get 5% back at gas stations, supermarkets, and pharmacies, and 1% back at other places. Over the last 3 years, I have gotten around 600-700 dollars in rewards or cash. Plus, I tend to be pretty controlled in my spending, so the balances are rather low.

5. Vitamins. At college they called me the vitamin king. I take quite a few supplements. I am pretty fascinated by herbs and natural chemicals (especially enzymes), and enjoy planning which ones I will take each day (although I am much busier now, so I sometimes forget to take them). I buy them mail order, so I don’t pay that much, and lately I have cut back on ones I don’t deem necessary. Nonetheless, I have quite a few I take. Weirdly, part of the reason I take them is because of my health, and part of it is probably the enjoyment of planning the supplement regimen itself. 

I am too busy to tag someone, so if you want to list your idiosyncrasies, I tag you!

Fall is Here!

Thursday, September 22nd, 2005

LeavesToday is the first day of Autumn. All I can say is that I am ready for the Fall, and with it cold days, Halloween, pumpkin pie, All Saints Day, football games, Thanksgiving, changing leaves, etc. My mom has already bought our Halloween costumes for this year! And soon the purple, orange, and green Halloween lights will go up in my window.These reasons (and more) make autumn my favorite season. Plus, there was always Homecoming and the end of football season (the beginning of my social life) that always occurred during the autumn. One of my biggest complaints about living in Atlanta was the lack of a clearly distinct Fall season. I found this excellent poem about Autumn I thought I would share:

To Autumn – John Keats

And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
With a sweet kernel; to set budding more
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease,
For Summer has o’er-brimmed their clammy cells.

Who hath not seen thee oft amid thy store?
Sometimes whoever seeks abroad may find
Thee sitting careless on a granary floor
Thy hair soft-lifted by the winnowing wind;
Or on a half-reap’d furrow sound asleep,
Drows’d with the fume of poppies, while thy hook
Spares the next swath and all its twined flowers:
And sometimes like a gleaner thou dost keep
Steady thy laden head across a brook;
Or by a cyder-press, with patient look
Thou watchest the last oozings hours by hours.

Where are the songs of Spring? Ay, where are they?
Think not of them, thou hast thy music too,
While barred clouds bloom the soft-dying day,
And touch the stubble-plains with rosy hue;
Then in a wailful choir the small gnats mourn
Among the river sallows, borne aloft
Or sinking as the light wind lives of dies;
And full-grown lambs loud bleat from hilly bourn;
Hedge-crickets sing; and now with treble soft
The red-breast whistles from a garden-croft;
And gathering swallows twitter in the skies.

Image from: http://www.thebostonchannel.com/news/4323761/detail.html

New Job!

Friday, September 16th, 2005

Ok, it’s not exactly a new job, but certainly it is an extension of my old job. I am a substitute teacher, and I just got offered a permenant sub position at a local High School, meaning I work everyday guaranteed. No, subbing is not glamorous, and it gets poked fun of on TV shows a lot (think Peggy Hill). However, the money is decent and the hours are good. Plus, I get to keep a long-term English sub position I have been teaching until the regular teacher returns at the end of October. And I got offered the yearbook adviser position, which brings extra pay with it. It’s not my ideal job, but is a good way to pass the time until next year.

Happy Labor Day!

Monday, September 5th, 2005

LabordayHappy Labor Day to everyone. According to The US Department of Labor, Labor Day, "the first Monday in September, is a creation of the labor movement
and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It
constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to
the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country."

As to who started the holiday, there is doubt. I just always enjoy having the day off. I remember in High School always having a long football practice that day. The coach always said, "It’s labor day, so we’re going to labor a little." I can think of two things wrong with this statement. First, we labored a lot those 3 hours in 85 degree heat, not a little. Second, he didn’t do any labor; we did. Sitting on a cooler shouting orders isn’t laboring. I will say one thing: laboring for 3 hours did make the steaks we grilled-out later taste that much more succulent.

Anybody have any plans today? I am going shopping with Jennifer, hiking, and mowing my grandma’s yard. We have already eaten a lot this weekend, so I doubt we will grill-out.

Here is an appropriate thought/prayer from John Henry Newman:

May He support us all the day long,
till the shades lengthen, and the evening
comes,
and the busy world is hushed,
and the fever of life is over and our
work is done!
Then in His mercy may He give us a safe lodging,
and a holy
rest, and peace at the last.

Image from: http://pasture.ecn.purdue.edu/~asm