Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Sol Duc Park Backpacking

The rangers at the Port Angeles station said we should go to Sol Duc Park since our first choice was already full. It turned out pretty well. Except for the mosquitos that ate me anytime we were near our tent. I guess they like the taste of deet?

It took us 4 hours to hike the 7+ miles to get there. I barely made it. We were the last stragglers to arrive so we got stuck with the campsite next to the ranger "station". Maybe that's where the mosquitos came from?

The trail follows the Sol Duc River and crosses a lot of creeks and waterfalls along the way. Some of them were really photogenic.

We spent the next day on the High Divide ridge. When we got to the ridge we turned left and sat in a meadow for an hour or two and waited for the clouds to uncover Mt. Olympus. But they never did. We did see it's Blue Glacier for a minute or two though. We went back down to Heart Lake to refill the water bottles. Then back up to the ridge again and took a right and sat in a meadow for another hour or two. Dramatic views were everywhere. But the clouds kept it from being totally perfect. Oh well.

Click here to see all the pictures from the trip!

This is the first time I've managed to fill a 4G card on a backpacking trip. I think it was the combination of ferry rides, flowers, and mountains. The 30D battery lasts forever or I would have been toast.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Lensbabies Creative Apertures

I got a Lensbaby a year or two ago and use it occasionally. I like it because it's weird. Then I found the Creative Aperture Kit. It came with a heart, a star, and 5 blanks with instructions to make your own. I finally went to the craft store this evening and punched out 3 more.
It's really hard to do because these punches were designed for paper, not thick plastic apertures. Since the apertures are smaller than the punch I had to tape it to a piece of paper, facing the correct direction, then mark the middle with a pencil, and start the punch upside down so I could see the mark through the bottom. I wonder how these pictures would look if the "hole" wasn't centered?
Anyway, I found that the more complicated the design/number of edges the harder it is to punch through.
I think the butterfly looks cool. It was also the easiest to punch.

Digicam in Kirkland

I was around the Kirkland waterfront one evening when the light got pretty sweet. All I had on me was the new digicam and I wondered if I could pull of some half decent pictures with it. I did process these in Lightroom, but not too much.
Using the macro function does a nice job of blurring the background. It'd be hard to use that on people portraits though.
These were my favorites from that half hour with the digicam...

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Jello Rainbow (One ring to rule them all!)

It's so pretty.

This is how much I love jello. I finally made the ultimate jello dessert; the jello rainbow. It took me 4 hours. I learned that you have to "mostly" cool each layer before you pour it on. If it's too hot it melts the layer underneath and the colors mix and "ruin" both layers. FYI each color gets divided in half, the first one goes on clear, and the second one gets sour cream to make it more opaque.

The hardest part was getting it out of the mold.

A friend recently got me the mold for this type of thing, so I had to try it out when they came over for lunch.

The most surprising thing is that it tastes pretty good. I was expecting the combination of flavors to ruin it. I can't describe what it tastes like, but C actually likes it. (She normally avoids my jellos)

I apologize for the poor quality of these pictures. I could hardly wait to eat it. If this were any other subject I could probably control myself long enough to take decent pictures. :)

Saturday, July 14, 2007


We took the Corolla in to get detailed. It was looking pretty old and the seats really needed to be cleaned. We dropped it off before they opened, paid over the phone, and picked it up after they closed.
After work the next day I parked it in Bellevue for a couple hours. When I came out it started up with a bit of trouble. As I drove off it didn't have much power and seemed to be dying. Then when I got to the first stop sign it totally quit. I started it back up and when I put it in gear it stalled again. I managed to drive it, with embarrassing flashers going and stalling repeatedly, a few blocks to a parking lot near the highway.
I got to sweat it out in the hot sun waiting for the tow truck to take me two miles down the road to get it fixed.

The detailers had power washed the engine and gotten water in some spark plug wire tubes. It apparently took a day for the water to soak through some seals before it started shorting the spark plugs. I'm glad I still had enough dry hamsters under the hood to get me a few blocks down the road.

The detailers did a fabulous job, it just cost us twice as much as we thought it would.

Fortunately I had the digicam to keep me occupied while I waited.

Monday, July 9, 2007

Bunny Farm

I think I found a bunny farm? There were a lot of them. A few brave ones went outside the fence to lay around in the grass. Just within shooting distance. What's really weird is that I'd seen dozens of wild rabbits that afternoon. But these weren't rabbits that work for a living. No, these were fluffy, beauty pageant, it's so hot out here that I'll lay down while I eat the delicious grass bunnies.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Boeing 787 Rollout

Wow, Boeing put on a good show when they rolled out the new 787 this afternoon. I brought my long lens thinking I'd have to shoot it from a mile away through fog and lasers, but they actually let us touch it!!

We arrived an hour early and the traffic was awful and there were no parking spaces left. It only took a few minutes to realize we'd have to make our own space and assume we wouldn't get towed. Then we found out how retarded the lines were. The idea was to get people from the parking lot to the hangar with school buses. But they were loading them so slowly that the line had stretched for miles. We decided to just walk there, but were told they gates were shut down and we were only allowed to ride the buses. It made a little bit of sense to me that they didn't want people wandering all over the property getting lost or in to trouble. So we stood in line for a little while and just as we got close to the gate, though we were only halfway through the line, someone made a good decision and opened the gates and everyone poured through deciding to walk/run to the hangar hoping to get there in time. We planned to walk, but saw that there were a lot of buses to fill so we jumped on one. I feel sorry for all the people that stood in line for an hour, and weren't near the gates when they opened them.

We arrived just after it started, and found seats way in the back. There was a lot of red carpet and super-star concert lighting all over the place. They had huge screens so we could actually see what was going on.

Tom Brokaw is a very good speaker. It was nice to hear from the other important guys and girls as well. They hooked up with partners all over the world for brief speeches. Too bad those guys didn't have a plane to touch at the end of the party.

As they opened the hangar doors I saw a crowd had gathered across the street to see it for free. A few people in cars even stopped on the freeway to check it out. Then it was "hail-mary" madness with the digicams. Sometimes those arms, hands, and cameras made a nice frame around the plane for me.

The wing tips are really sweet. The chevrons around the engine look cool too. I can't wait to ride it!

I was surprised how many people banged or knocked on the plane to see what it felt like.

It was a very interesting experience.