Friday, March 20, 2015

Beach Weekend

 

A couple weeks ago Dave and I dropped the pups off at Scott & Sherry’s and headed for the beach. I was too lazy to de-winterize the Airstream, so we just headed over that way, and figured we’d find a place to crash for the night once we got there. By the time we got in it was about 10pm, and a nasty rainstorm was hitting the beach pretty hard. We ended up at the Surftides in Lincoln City. Conveniently close to a Casino Dave wanted to hit!

The next morning we still weren’t rich, and the weather looked like this!

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Yuck! Well, it didn’t stop us from exploring. We headed down the beach towards Newport, stopping to take pictures along the way. Dave protected me and the camera with the big umbrella while I got the shots. This is one of my favorites!

 

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I jokingly told a coworker that there is a sign 500 ft from this rock stating that all tourists are required by law to take a picture of it, or face a fine. Maybe it just seems like that. It did come out pretty nice though!

Once we got to Newport, we headed down to the waterfront. We had one destination in mind, and we could hear them barking as soon as we stepped out of the car:

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They built a nice system of floats for the Sea Lions to hang out on. It seems like every Sea Lion in town had heard about it, because they were barking and fussing at each other, with everyone trying to squeeze onto the floats, knocking others off!

 

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They are just so endearing when they are laying in giant sleepy piles all cozy with their eyes closed…

 

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This guy in particular looked like nothing in the world could phase him.

 

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What could be better than an afternoon nap in the sun with your buddies?

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We then headed out for a walk in between downpours to get some shots of the bridge

 

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I liked this stormy view of flags on the beach overlooking the Marina.

 

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The Flex was our choice for this trip.

After we had enough of hiking around the bridge, it was off to The Chowder Bowl, our favorite place on the beach. We like to park at the parking lot at the bottom of the hill overlooking the beach, get our food to go and go back to the car and stuff ourselves silly while watching the beach activities, the waves, and the seagulls. Since we’re safe in our car they never even know we are there.

 

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Oh Hi, Do you have some food in there?

 

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Mine?

Good thing we were protected by a windshield!

 

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I was very happy with this shot of the gulls all hanging out on the pylons.

 

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And of course there’s always someone who comes along and starts throwing food to them, and it turns into a free-for-all.

(I particularly like the guy on the roof. Mine?)

Off to Yaquina Head Lighthouse. I just wanted to take some pictures of the lighthouse, but we got there just in time for the last tour of the day, so why not? It was SUPER WINDY out by the lighthouse. He’s not even making that up!

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I didn’t get any great pictures inside the lighthouse. How about a grainy view up the iron steps

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And a peek out the window in the tower on the way up. Note: That’s not converted to black and white, it was just a really grey day!

 

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Back outside I got a classic lighthouse shot,

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Followed by my favorite shot of the day, a lone tree out in a field of grass, with dark storm clouds. I love it!

On the way back to Lincoln City we swung by Fogarty Creek (I think) and actually got a little sand in our shoes.

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Then we had dinner at the Surftides restaurant, which was very good, but they had a guy in the lounge playing 80s covers. He was good, but it was just too loud for the small space. Luckily they were able to move us to the farthest back corner so we could finish dinner without suffering significant hearing damage.

The next morning we had to get moving. I looked out our window at the beach and saw all these seagulls grounded. They were probably tired of fighting the storm. I thought it was funny they were all pointed in the same direction.

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I walked outside to get a picture of the cool mid-century pool house at the hotel. I figured I’d walk out to the road and get a pic of the sign in front of it…

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But by the time I crossed the road the most sudden drenching downpour I have ever experienced struck. It was literally like being in a shower! This shot was the best I could do with the camera mostly under my coat and getting soaked!

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That was pretty much the story the rest of the way home. It was like the second coming of Noah. It was like the clouds were dumping all their rain for the whole winter at once. Maybe they were, because since then we’ve actually had super nice weather. I guess it’s nice to get it all over with!

Dave and I had a fabulous time as always. He enjoyed some Casinos, I got some pictures, we both enjoyed some good clam chowder. I good time was had by all. We enjoyed our little spontaneous beach vacation!

 

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Sunday, March 01, 2015

A new Camera - jumping ship to Sony

As I have gotten more advanced in my photography - I have a regular paying gig shooting the plays at Magenta, and I have my own website where I can sell prints, I'm getting ready to do another gallery show with the photo club, and I have been working on my portrait skills - I have been feeling like my Nikon is just not doing it for me. I have not been happy with my D5100 since I bought it. It just hasn't been as easy to use as my previous Nikon was, and the picture quality has been very hit n' miss. I switched to shooting in RAW about a year ago so I would have more control in post, and on the last trip we took I shot entirely in manual because I felt like it gave me more control to get the shots the way I wanted them. But I have not been very happy with the camera overall, and I have not been buying any lenses for it because I wasn't sure I would stick with Nikon at all.

Yesterday, after much research, I decided to quit while I was ahead, and bought a Sony Alpha a6000. This is a mirrorless camera, so it is much smaller than the bulky D5100.



Excuse the crappy camera phone pic, but since both cameras were the subject...




Much smaller, much lighter, and yet a sensor that is just as big, and has more megapixels.The kit lenses are even equivalent - 18-55 on the Nikon, 16 -50 on the Sony, but look at the huge difference in size!

Most important is the controls and programming. Dave is always teasing that if Bigfoot ran by us on a hike, I'd have the D5100 ready to shoot sometime after he crested the next hill and disappeared! And sometimes when you push the shutter button the D5100 just second guesses you and refuses to shoot at all! So far the Sony is fast and has a fabulous auto-focus system that is quick to lock on and get the shot.

Navi with a muddy nose...

Some of my favorite test shots today have been in the aquariums. It's usually so hard to get shots of the fish since they are constantly moving.



These are not bad for snapshots. I have shot off 15 or 20 aquarium shots with the Nikon and not gotten one worth keeping. So far the hit rate for the Sony is far superior. And I haven't even turned on all the features yet!

I'm really excited to get to know this new camera! I'm feeling confident it will be the tool I need as I progress in building my skills towards being a pro.


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Friday, January 09, 2015

So long, stephanies-mustang.com

Back in , oh, 1997 or 1998 I started a website to document my restoration efforts of my first 68 Mustang, Old Bloo. Back then I was a geek, no one had ever heard of 'blogging' yet, and making a website for fun seemed like the thing to do. And it was cool. I met a lot of great people, helped folks with their restorations, and made some friends. I also had a lasting scrapbook of pictures and descriptions of what I'd done, some of which surprises me even today.

But, it's been hosted all this time on the same server space as our business website, which we shut down a few years ago, and we finally decided to shut it down entirely. Eventually I want to move the info over to a blog, just to keep it available, but it doesn't seem as important now. Back then it was hard to find stuff about restoring cars on the web, now there's tons of info. And nobody really has personal websites anymore, at least without them being leveraged for advertising space and stuff like that. This was just a plain old, here's my stuff, write and say hi, kind of website.

So, goodbye (for now, anyway) to stephanies-mustang.com.


Oh Man, that was ugly even for 1998...and the last update was in '09. Yeah, probably time to let it go. But the adventures of Old Bloo and Deja Bloo will be documented again somewhere, someday...

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Saturday, December 27, 2014

Bored? Games!

We had an awesome after-Christmas part last night, with Michelle, Scott & Sherry, and Sitka and Sake. We stuffed ourselves silly and played board games, and after discovering we were all really awful at Trivial Pursuit, we moved on to Apples to Apples, followed by a rousing game of Pictionary - a good time was had by all!









Even Mighty didn't let the company or the pack of eskimos bother her, she spent most of the evening sitting in laps, clawing the guests, and lounging in the middle of the action with her tummy up.







So, today I felt like we needed some more board games to add to our party stash. Now that we live in town, we can have friends over more often, might as well be prepared!

We headed out to the local games store and examined all the board games. I was very temped to pick up Settlers of Catan, just because I've always heard great things about it, but it was pretty spendy. Instead we picked up a new card game, I'll report back on that later. Then at the first Goodwill store we found another old card game that sounded interesting. But the last Goodwill store turned out to be the jackpot, as I not only found a used copy of Settlers of Catan for $4 (!!!), but for another $2 I brought home something really unique!




The amazing acrylic tower is a game called See-Queue - and it's a 3-D tic-tac-toe game. It was made by a company in Salem Oregon in 1993, and designed by Mr Karol Kersh, but I can't find out much about it on the web. It was 'some assembly required', but everything was there except for the marbles. We headed back out to find some marbles...





All set up and ready to play. Do you know how hard it is to find colored marbles nowdays?




The trickiest part was figuring out all the win conditions, and then trying to build them without attracting your opponents attention. It was really fun! I imagine it would be crazy with four people! You can turn the board around as you play, and you are making rows using all four levels sometimes, it's kind of mind-bending. Cool game!



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Friday, December 26, 2014

New comforter on the bed = most interesting place in the house


Only one cat short of a full load.

Speaking of cats, Mouse is recovering from some injury to her face. She came home with a bloody nose a few nights ago, and looked up at me and a fang dropped out and 'tinked' on the floor - to my shock! She seemed of, so Dave took her to the vet the next day, and the vet said two teeth were broken and scheduled surgery for this week. After surgery the vet said her teeth were quite healthy, and that the two broken teeth had been broken through some sort of trauma. Either kicked in the face or maybe got some glancing blow from a car. She also had lost part of her tongue! Either way, she is recovering well, and enjoying all the soft food and extra attention. 



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Saturday, December 06, 2014

New (old) Wheels!

Life is good...


Monday, October 20, 2014

Grand Theft Auto Update


I have been enjoying Grand Theft Auto Auto 5 for a whole year now! Crazy! I have wasted entirely too much time playing it. It's my favorite thing to do to kill a couple hours before bed, and I don't even want to admit how much total time it says I have played! We enjoyed it enough we finally bought a second XBox and copy of the game (found both used on CL) and setup the second console so Dave and I could team up and play together. So much fun! Here we are between missions. The masks are to protect our identity ;)


I've kind of maxed out what I can earn in the game, so sometimes I just go hiking around the game and exploring. It is stunningly beautiful in places.


A year later and this game can still amaze me.

One thing that wasn't so amazing though is the kids I have run across while playing it. The other day I played with a 9 year old. This game is rated for 18+ for a reason! Do their parents not know, or not care?! The little guy had the mouth of a sailor too, I've never heard so many F-bombs - clearly he was trying to be a big guy to the other players. It's just disturbing. The game is great fun, but it's so inappropriate for a little kid to be playing it!

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