Monday, February 22, 2010


Last summer I acquired a new lens for my camera - a Nikor 35 mm with an F1.8 depth of field.  I have seldom taken this lens off- I love how it shoots so much!  I especially love photos with lots of bokah (the blurry part of the photo)- or a really shallow depth of field.  There's so many online tutorials and instruction on depth of field that I won't write one here, but in a very simple nutshell, depth of field has to do with how much of your photo is in focus.  A shallow depth of field would mean that very little- only the exact object you are focusing on- is in focus while the foreground and background is blurry.

Since a picture is worth a thousand words- especially my words today!- here's a few examples with my lovely lens of shallow depth of field... note- these photos have not been tinkered with in photoshop- this 'effect' (a shallow depth of field) is done through the lens!

Here only a few of the 'hairs' on the cattail are in focus...

Again, only one or two links of this chain on the humongo forklift are in focus...

These photos are in a creepy cemetery in Cambria, CA... great bokah opportunities!

An early blooming flower in my garden- the color and the depth of field make it *POP*

And finally Miss Nora, still snoozing bed... a place where I want to be right now....sigh....

Friday, February 19, 2010

bad idea?

These are my parents:

Sometimes they come up with crazy ideas.  Actually a lot of times they come up with crazy ideas.  The problem is, unlike most people with crazy ideas, they actually implement them.  Sometimes this results in disaster (both of my parents have cut up digits- my dad has lost (and reattached eventually) just about every finger he has!) but once in awhile their crazy idea works.

The other day, after the container was loaded and on its way, my parents had another crazy idea.

It involved a chainsaw:

And the afore mentioned gigantic forklift...

But notice who is in the driver's seat this mom!

The giant forklift comes with this warning label:

But that didn't stop them from doing this:

uh oh...

..."uhh, guys?  remember the sticker?"

I think this qualifies as standing on the forks...

And that is the chainsaw at my dad's feet...

And that goes REALLY high!

My dad trimmed the pine tree... pretty much successfully.  And my mom moved him up and down into the tree...also pretty much successfully...

See- they're both smiling... all their fingers are still on their hands and my dad didn't fall head first to his death... and the tree is trimmed...

Another crazy idea that was a success....

Until this happened....

That would be the chainsaw stuck in the tree... without my dad and the forklift attached to it... but that's another story!

laws of physics, heavy objects, big toys, lots of men...

Last week we (finally) loaded several tons of donated materials into a container destined for Romania.  There were pallets full of stuffed animals, clothing, diapers, cake mixes, and books, as well as band instruments, kayaks, tools, and a very big pile of construction materials.  This stack of plywood, drywall, and wooden trusses will be used by a construction team led this summer by my parent's in law.  They will be building an addition on to the H2H Team House in two short weeks.  Building materials in Europe are about three times the price as they are in the US- so it was very important to get these things onto the container.  The problem- the truck driver with the container is only allowed to stay for 2 hours for loading... or else we would incur serious charges.  So my dad rented a giant forklift to load the container quickly.

This worked well for all the pallets and random items, but it was a challenge with the building materials.  I was on site to supervise with my Nikon!

Here's the massive, 40 foot container, nearly loaded:

Its big- almost half the length of the driveway!

And here's the very heavy pile of materials to be loaded (note- all the guys surveying things):

And a view of the forklift/giant toy:

The first strategy was to attempt to scoop up this pile from one end- with a few tie downs:

But then clearly the laws of physics prevent this strategy from working:

So then the guys decided to tie more knots and try to hoist the pile higher onto the forklift:

And this almost works- look the pile is off the ground!

They approach the container... and the forklift can't lift the load!

Can anyone guess what the guys are doing here?

Its not a free ride- they're trying to 'weigh-down' the forklift to keep the back wheels on the ground...

But its still not working... so after dropping the load and making a 19-point turn, they are able to maneuver the forklift into a better position and lift the building materials up to the height of the container:

And it worked!  A long time later...

I asked why they didn't just haul the pieces of wood and drywall into the container one at a time and they promptly booed me away.  Moral of the story- don't mess with boys and their toys.... or if you have a forklift, use it for every possible thing!


my funny valentine...

Each year for Valentine's Day, Mr. Incredible and I cook together.  Instead of going to a crowded, over priced restaurant, we choose something we've never made before and try it at home.  Menu's from year's past have included beef wellington, sushi, roast tenderloin.  This year, we had....


And by far, this was the easiest 'fancy' meal we've ever prepared!  We steamed King crab legs and made a butter/bear sauce on the stove.  We also steamed a couple artichokes, warmed up a crusty sourdough bread, and opened a bottle of Riesling wine to go with it all... simple, simple, simple!

It was so easy, we even managed to take a self portrait before we dug in:

That table cloth will never be same though... crabs are messy! I would never order them someplace where I had any hopes of looking dignified!  Oh well... you only live once and it was a fun V-day dinner!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Monday, February 8, 2010

Caught in the act...

Just glad its not my yard....

Monday, February 1, 2010

New Idea

Here's a new monster for my etsy shop.

I think it would be a great baby shower gift for someone looking for something other than the standard big box baby store.

We'll see if we have any takers... and if you're looking for a unique baby shower gift idea, let me know- creating custom monsters on commission sounds kind of fun!