Sunday, August 31, 2008

My camera is just about dead :(

I really loved this camera. The fact that I could hand it off to my Girl Scouts and let them take as many photos as they wanted over a camping weekend was just fantastic.

I was always pretty frugal with our troop money, seeing as how selling nuts & cookies were a pretty low priority for my girls for most of the GS experience. So obviously, we didn't want to have to pay for processing a bunch of crappy photos taken with a regular camera.

Lee got me this camera for Christmas in 2003. It was one of the first cameras to have 5.0 megapixels (most at that time were 3.0) and with the added memory card, I could have over 300 photos at a time on the card.

Now, however, the camera has gotten a little wonky. It shuts itself off after taking one picture, or it won't stop blinking red at me, even though I just put in new batteries. The dial on the top doesn't want to click into the right setting, either. It's just been plain used up! I think I easily took 10,000 photos with this thing.

I have been very happy with the Kodak EasyShare software and the ease with which you can download & upload the photos. The clarity was great for what I was doing - mostly just snapshots.

I typically have left the main screen off for taking photos, using the 'old-fashioned' viewfinder to save batteries. It's the way I always took photos anyway, so it wasn't a big deal.

I'm find that now, however, people have gotten used to using a screen to take their photos, and the viewfinder is not available on the current Kodak cameras in my price range! Eek!

Oh well. I might have to search for something different - or maybe go with rechargable batteries since I'll be using them up more often? I don't know. In the meantime, Diana's camera works pretty well (altho some of the reunion shots were fuzzier than this camera takes - I think there were too many faces for it to figure out what to focus on?).

Here's a link on the stats for my poor, old camera Kodak DX4530 (tech support no longer available)

Friday, August 29, 2008

Funny Leonie Photos

The refreshing cucumber mask.
Sorry you didn't get to use yours too, Daniel....

With Renee at Horton Plaza in San Diego :)
At the Rongbranch Restaurant in Julian. Something must have been in that Apple Cider.

Caught by the cops at the DC Fair!

Road Trip

This morning, Diana, Amanda & Mary left for Portland together. Yes, I'm praying a lot for their safety!

They dropped off Diana at her friend Kimberly's apartment. Kimberly & Diana will spend Saturday, Sunday and a lot of Monday at the Anime Convention in Portland. For all the people that thought Diana might give up her Manga/Anime stuff - it ain't happenin'!

Amanda & Mary are hanging out with Mary's boyfriend & his buds, I guess, until they all come home again on Monday.

I am sure they will all have a blast, and all I can do is pray for their safe return! Eek! Mom of an 18-year old girl!!!

I didn't worry about Trevor as much at OIT. Maybe because I knew he spent most of his time in front of the computer or in the dorms?

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Big Upset

Of the eight diving competitions, the Chinese won seven.
Matthew Mitcham kept his cool and did a fantastic dive to get the Gold Medal in the 10 meter platform when the leading Chinese divers both inexplicably developed nerves and did their worst dives of the competition. Amazing.
Matthew thought he'd won the Silver when he saw his name above the other Chinese diver who had gone before him (who had been in 1st place throughout the competition - and then flubbed the final dive). Then the next Chinese diver did so poorly, he fell to fourth place and Matthew had the Gold!
This was a pretty cool Olympic moment :) I'm glad Lee was watching with me when I saw this one :)

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Diana turns 18

Becky, Amanda & Mary.
Corrine (Curry Sauce), Ruby (Ichigo), Haley (Penguin), and Cherinee.
Diana had these guys over to watch a movie (Stranger than Fiction), eat spaghetti, oogle Olympic men's platform divers (touch your butt!), eat delicious yumminess (pound cake, fresh blackberries & cream cheese/whipped cream concoction), and play Apples to Apples.

Becky wins for most 'adult' gift with the black velvet, white ostrich feather-trimmed thong underwear. Diana modeled it over her clothes with her accompanying Groucho Marx eyewear (and nose wear?).

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Diana's full episode available online now

Yesterday Diana's full MADE episode was posted on the MTV website.

I doubt you can watch it if you are outside the US at this point, but it may be uploaded to an unrestricted server soon, and if/when we find that, I can post a link :)

My poor mom & sister in Canada still haven't seen it!! Or Crystal, or relatives in Germany...

I'm adding the link on the right, and here it is as well:

Diana MADE on MTV - Full Episode

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Aaaaaaggghhh! Olympics on Tivo!!

I have 40 hours of Tivo'd Olympics I have to watch!!! I've gotten through about 25 so far, but I had to stop at fencing until Diana gets home so she can watch with me.

Of course, Olympics bumped anything else we watch, so it didn't record the "Burn Notice" with Michael Shanks (aka Daniel Jackson on SG1). Poop. I'll have to watch it online now.

I am using the Olympics to recover from the 16-hour drive (all driven by me) yesterday. Yes, Lee offered to drive, but I wouldn't have slept while he was driving anyway, and he doesn't mind me driving.

I have enough of a break to read blogs, sort laundry, post on geocaching and do this. We still have to upload the photos from Diana's camera, and then we can post with those :)

Thanks again to Steve & Anna Marie & everyone who came out to the reunion. It was awesome and we had a great time.

But we might take the train down next time. Or maybe do it closer to us? Meet in Yosemite & take over the campground? I dunno. We'll come up with something, huh?

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

I am So There!

Foods that Lower Your Cholesterol

These are among my favorite things to eat and drink! Whee!

I found this while reading about tofu not being so great for your brain after age 65. Tuna & Salmon are very good for your brain though.

My grandmother had Alzheimer's, and I try to follow current recommendations as much as possible.

My mostly vegetarian diet supports the research pretty well. Again, I'm not vegetarian because I'm trying to 'save' any animals. I still wear leather & used to sell sheepSKIN seatcovers (and no, the sheep don't survive the process). Granted, that was before I started my current lifestyle diet, but I don't feel guilty about the slaughtered sheep anymore than I do for cows in the McDonald's burgers I used to eat.

My food choices are mainly for my family's and my own health. A nice benefit is that it's a lot easier on the planet to support a veggie vs. meat-based diet. Fish provide me with certain nutritional benefits which I prefer to get straight from the fish vs. vitamin capsule form.

Lee would probably go along with the fish thing if he didn't absolutely abhor anything remotely related to seafood. I think he OD'd on Mrs. Paul's Fish Sticks way back when.

Oh - the new edition of Popular Science shows a big agricultural tower for growing plants & fish. It's like a terrarium with fish supporting the plants, and vice-versa. I could live there...

Tuesday, August 12, 2008


Leonie really loves our Oregon blueberries. She likes them frozen in a bowl or on waffles or pancakes. Mostly frozen though.

I had forgotten how much she liked them, and she reminded me once she got here.

The blueberry season is lasting a little longer this year, so Leonie & Diana came with me yesterday to help me stock up for the rest of the year.

These two bowls only filled 3 quart Ziploc bags, so I'll be going out tomorrow morning as well.

Leonie also enjoys Froot Loops and Raisinets. But I think the blueberries are her favorite :)

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Connor's Best Day Ever

7:30: Wake up and get dressed. Wake up Mom & Dad by climbing in bed with them.
8:00: Eat pancakes for breakfast with butter & syrup on each one (cut into bite-sized chunks).
9:00: Play x-box
10:15 Go to the Fair with Dad.
11:00: Dad gets an wristband, and within 15 minutes it's paid for by riding the big slide over and over and over and over (etc.).
11:35: Do the funhouse, rope climb fun zone, bumper cars, and go to the slide in between everything else.
1:15: Mom picks up Dad & Connor at the fairgrounds, drive to Uncle Kraig & Aunt Nancy's house.

3:00-5:00 Swim in the pool - play tag with Uncle Kraig, Shane, Benjamin, Joshie & (mostly) Uncle Doug.

5:00 Eat a hot dog. Go back in the pool.

6:00-8:00 Ride horses with Diana, Leonie, Trevor, Daniel, Mom & Dad.

Thank you Aunt Nancy & Uncle Kraig!!

Four Teens

From Monday to Saturday, we had 4 teens living at our house.

Leonie is staying with Diana in her room, but Trevor & Connor are already maxing out the 'boy's room' so Daniel pitched a tent out in the backyard. The weather has been very nice, and until a little drizzle Saturday morning, had been nice & dry.

He said he liked sleeping out there...

They did typical teen things:

Go to the movies, go bowling, bike ride to the park (after picking up lunch at Subway), play video games, and go to the fair.

My two aren't actually that active when left to themselves. They both have this addiction with the computer, and it was very nice to see them out & about doing things away from their little glowing screens.

However, they both need to learn to be better hosts when they have company. They are so used to avoid each other, they forget to include someone when they are doing something that might be fun. Leonie mentioned Daniel was a very nice boy. He would offer her food when he made something for himself, and would ask her to join him watching TV or whatever.

Of course, I was raised feeling like a tour guide for Southern California - we always had some german relatives or friends staying with us over the summer. I would generally get to keep my room because we had a guest room available, but there were times when we'd kind of overlap people and I'd be with my sister, in the living room or even at a neighbor's house until my bed became available again.

Then again, both Leonie & Daniel were able to relax & read (Leonie is going through Diana's manga collection), and hopefully it's all a good blend of fun - not too busy, not too boring.

On the parent end of things, we've kind of shifted our time schedule two hours later. Wake up at 9:00 and go to bed closer to 1:00, vs. wake up at 7:30 and go to bed at 11:00 (at least for me). We wanted the kids to be able to enjoy themselves out a bit, so we let them come home later than typical - and of course once they came home, we had to hear what happened, etc.

That's fine. We have some summer left to enjoy before the school routine starts up again...

Up above, Dan's site looks kind of picturesque. In actuality, our yard is a little less pretty, huh?

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Doobie Brothers at the Fair

My friend, Rose, and I went to the fair tonight to see the Doobie Brothers.

It was a pretty dang fun show. I recognized a lot of songs from my teen years (Oh black water, keep on rolling, Mississippi moon won't you keep on shining on me -- which they changed to "Oregon moon" and that got a lot of applause).

Anyway, at the concert, Rose told me that two of the guys on stage were from the original band. When I got home tonight & looked up Doobie Brothers on Wikipedia, I found this band has added & subtracted members almost every single year since they got started! They began as a 4-guy band, and at one point had eleven guys in the band!

Tonight they played mostly the pre-Michael McDonald stuff. "Black Water" "Jesus is Just Alright" "China Grove" "Take Me in Your Arms (Rock Me a Little While)" and "Listen to the Music." So we didn't hear "What a Fool Believes, It Keeps You Running, Minute By Minute, Real Love or You Belong To Me" since those were all Michael McDonald songs (he went on to do a solo career with songs like "I Keep Forgetting" and "Yah Mo B There)."

The amazing part is they sounded just like their records! I guess they just get people that can make that specific sound of the Doobie Brothers when they hire them in, or else is mostly those two original guys? I don't know. They are the two on the far left in the lower photo, by the way.

Really lots of energy and lots of fun from guys making hits from the early 70's!

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Still kind of famous

Last night when the kids went to the bowling alley (there's only one in town), Diana went to go get some french fries. There were three guys at the counter, and they recognized her from the show.

Boys: "No way! OMG! No way! It's you!!!"
Diana: "Um... Hi."
Boys: "We're only in town for a week, we were joking about finding you! Can we take your picture?"
Diana: "Oooo Kay..."
Boys: "Cool!"

Then she got her fries & left. She would have maybe chatted with them a bit, but the bowling was timed and she was trying to get back before it was her turn again.

You know, it's not like she's wearing the cat hat around town... Think of the reaction if she did!

Monday, August 04, 2008

Enjoying the Summer

I have four teens in my house (plus Lee, me & Connor)!

Leonie is staying in Diana's room, just like when she was doing the exchange with us. Trevor & Connor share their room, so Daniel pitched his tent in the backyard, and that's where he'll be staying (he could take the couch in the living room if he wanted it...).

Leonie has been reading Diana's Manga every spare moment she has, and she still doesn't think she'll get through them all. Trevor is now done with the English class he took at UCC and is still looking to find some work. I'll keep you posted on that. Diana is still doing her job downtown, and her mornings are hanging out with Leonie, or at her computer. Daniel just arrived this afternoon, and settled in with everyone very well.

I expect the foursome will have quite a bit of fun over the next few days. They went bowling tonight, it's fair week (gotta go at least twice), and there's a bunch of movies out that are good for teens. Daniel also brought his bike (and a hard hat?!?) and if it's not too warm, they can do a ride and a picnic or something. Maybe we can do a little more geocaching.

I'll see if I can get a photo of the four all together soon. Maybe after I cut Trevor's hair...

Pretty Nice Campus

This is a university with a lot of history - since 1876, it's the second oldest university in our state.
I took photos of the places Diana will probably be most often - the Library, the Business building, and Panda Express...

Here's a nice wikipedia article with a lot of good info: U of O - Go DUCKS! (Oh yeah - that's how all the presenters at our IntroDUCKtion ended their speeches).

Diana will be able to sign up for free football & basketball tickets as well. The bus system is free to all students for the entire county - which means she can go from the mountains to the coast. Pretty cool.

There's also a Subway on campus, and a bunch of little coffee shops. The bookstore has all the art supplies she can eat - I think she'll be there a lot too.

Finally, Diana was recognized by about 12 people from the MTV show. It was kind of funny... they'd say, "This might sound stupid, but were you on MADE?"

Eventually, if someone said, "Excuse me..." Diana would just say, "Yes, I was on MADE." Then they'd get all excited, take photos of her with their cellphones, chat with her a bit about it (especially whether or not she & Trae were still in touch), and stuff like that. My favorite were the parents that got all excited - ha.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

So Diverse!!!

This University prides itself on being incredibly diverse. They have demonstrations for everything and your mom. They have people studying there from 90-some countries, and students can study abroad in 165.
They really take it to extremes though. I never really considered whether I'm a black or white toilet seat type. But dang it, at U of O, you have that choice!!!

Big Dorms

I think the beds can actually be stacked to make bunk beds, which would give the room even more space - but they weren't set up that way for us. People will also get risers to hike up the beds for more storage under them.

We stayed in the new dorms for our visit - everything was pretty decent. The floor is just cement, and there's no sink in the room, so Diana's quad is already a step up, and she won't be sharing her actual bedroom - just the kitchen/bathroom.

There are nice big wardrobes in here, altho not a full closet. You'd want to use Rubbermaid bins & stuff to hold the rest of your stuff.

This room looked out toward a nice lawn, and the opposite building has a coffee shop/snack bar. The other end of our building was facing Hayward Field, where a lot of Track & Field events take place. I'd expect it to be pretty loud during those times...

The dorms themselves were loud. All the sound from below (chatting, laughing, whooping) came right up into our room. Hallway noises, from people on cell phones to just doors opening & closing were also very loud. Obviously once people move in & the space isn't so open, it won't be as bad - but for this trip I had to use earplugs to be able to sleep.

The bathrooms were pretty nice, but they ran out of toilet paper during our visit. The building is only accessed by an electronic key, the same for the elevator & doors up to the rooms. It seemed pretty secure, unless you prop a door open to let your friends in later...

This room, by the way, is the "deluxe double." Apparently it's quite a bit bigger (and more expensive) than the typical double.