Saturday, December 15, 2007

Round Robin Challenge: Black and White Landscape

"Light makes photography. Embrace light. Admire it. Love it. But above all, know it for all you are worth, and you will know the key to photography."

-George Eastman

Marie, who authors the blog, Photographs and Memories Too, submitted the challenge, "Black and White Landscape, during out recent submission round up. I love photographing subjects in black and white, but I had a bit of trouble with taking it on this time around. See, I have been fighting a nasty head cold for about a week. I am winning for the most part, but the body aches and lack of concentration have been a distraction, but when have I ever let a little cold get me down? So, I bundled up, and went to Tilden park and took a few new photographs. I wasn't very pleased with the results, so I also revisited some photos from my archive, which I had taken in color mode, and worked a little Photoshop magic on them, transforming them into black and white.

As I said, I love doing black and white photography, but it seems I don't take many landscape photos in this mode. I tend to do portraits in black and white almost exclusively, so I really enjoyed putting myself to the test and expanding how I think about my photography. I need a lot more practice when it comes to landscapes, and with using the black and white settings. I think I might actually give myself a personal challenge to post one full week in black and white. That might be a great way to start the New Year, by giving myself a reasonable goal. Yes, it's a plan. Thank you Marie, for the inspiration. :)

And there you have it! Now, be sure to pay a visit to all the participating Round Robin players for this challenge, by simply clicking the links below. If you would like to join us, don't worry you aren't too late, just visit the Round Robin blog and leave us your information and we will add you to the Linking List. :) If you need to post your entry late, again no problem, you have up to one week from today, just let us know when you plan to play. You can find all of the information at the Round Robin blog. And don't forget to visit the RR blog tomorrow, to find out what the next challenge will be.

Linking List

1. Marie... Photographs and Memories Too

2. Carly... Ellipsis

3. Steven... (sometimes) photoblog

4. Sandra... Strong Chemistry ***Welcome New Member***

5. Vicki... Maraca

6. Tammie Jean... Long Drives To Nowhere

7. Karen... Outpost Mavarin

8. Celeste... C's Life

9. Lisa... Lisa's Chaos ***Welcome New Member***

10. Chrissie... Chris-seas Corner***Welcome New Member***

11. Nancy... Nancy Luvs Pix

12. Nekked Lizards... Nekked Lizards Adventures***Welcome New Member***

13. Gattina... Keyhole Pictures

"Landscape In Black and White"
Mt. Hamilton, California
March, 2007

Friday, December 14, 2007

When All Else Fails... Sing!

"Perhaps the best Yuletide decorations is being wreathed in smiles."

-Author Unknown

Finally, I am officially beginning my Christmas shopping. Running here and there. Wrapping this and that. Oddly enough, I seem to be wrapping a lot more of that as opposed to this, this year! LOL. I bought some fancy holiday stickers, to put on all the holiday envelopes I will be putting in the mail tomorrow, and hopefully, I will be out tonight at the Holiday Lights In The Woods, in Tilden Park. I say hopefully, because we are due for some rain and really cold temperatures over the weekend, beginning tonight. I love it when it is super cold and cloudy for the holiday, but I am afraid my joints and muscles have to protest. Oh well, I will put on my new mittens, and grab some Starbuck's for the ride up into the park, and hope the rain away. It's the Christmas season...

I Want A Hippopotamus For Christmas
Lyrics and Music by John Rox

I want a hippopotamus for Christmas
Only a hippopotamus will do,
Don't want a doll, no dinky Tinker Toy
I want a hippopotamus to with and enjoy

I want a hippopotamus for Christmas
I don't think Santa Claus will mind, do you?
He won't have to use our dirty chimney flue
Just bring him through the front door
That's the easy thing to do

I can see me now on Christmas morning
Creeping down the stairs
Oh what joy and what surprise
When I open up my eyes
To see a hippo hero standing there

I want a hippopotamus for Christmas
Only a hippopotamus for Christmas
No crocodiles, no rhinoceroses
I only like hippopotamuses
And hippopotamuses like me too

Mom says the hippo would eat me up, but then
Teacher says a hippo is a vegetarian

There's lots of room for him in our two-car garage
I'd feed him there and was him there and give him his massage

I can see me now on Christmas morning
Creeping down the stairs
Oh what joy and what surprise
When I open up my eyes
To see a hippo hero standing there

I want a hippopotamus for Christmas
Only a hippopotamus will do
No crocodiles or rhinoceroses
I only like hippopotamuses
And hippopotamuses like me too!

"Holiday Bear Concert"
Holiday Fantasy In The Woods"
Tilden Park
Berkeley, California
December, 2007
Early Evening

Thursday, December 13, 2007

John, Don't Go, I'll Change!

"Don't be dismayed at goodbyes, a farewell is necessary so you can meet again, and meeting again after moments, or lifetimes, is certain for those who are friends."

-Richard Bach

Oh God! I am beside myself with grief. So much so, that last night I ate an entire Reese's Peanut Butter cup, because I can't stop sobbing. WAAAwaaaWaaa! Our beloved Blogfather, John Scalzi, and AOL, have decided to amicably part company, which is always a good thing, but what about me?!? Whatever will I do with my Monday's without the Monday Photo Shoot, or my weekends, without the Weekend Assignments? Yeah, I know, it would be selfish to try and hold back a talent such as John Scalzi's, but dagburnit, I wish the fun hadn't ended so soon. :(

It's true, I thought he would always be there. I took him for granted. I forgot all the birthdays, anniversaries, and Groundhog Day! I didn't send he or his family the gift of "Bacon of the Month," and I never tried to build a bomb of Club soda and Mentos. Why, I was so remiss in my admiration, that I never, ever, went to stalk him, I mean see him, when he was at a book signing in the Bay Area, but, see, I thought we would have forever! Sigh. My bad! ;)

Oh well, what's a girl to do? Well, she dries her tears, and puts away the Reese's Peanut Butter cups, and she grabs her two good friends, Karen and Steven, and together they start a blog to honor the greatness that was/is John Scalzi! The journal is titled, ScalziCelebration, and it pays tribute to all creative ways John got us flowing as young bloggers. The Weekend Assignments, The Monday Photo Shoots, and there might even be a few more surprises along the way. :)

Drop by the blog, have a look around, and participate. Let's send John off with our appreciation for the last 4 plus years. My goodness, I can't help but think back fondly to my first day as a blogger on AOL. So many people took me in and made me feel important and accepted, and the day I found myself on John's sidebar was one of my best days. I met so many new friends because of that simple little nod. John helped connect us as bloggers and friends, and helped the community feel like a hometown, I wish he could have stayed forever, but now is the time to wish him well, and send him off with thanks in our hearts. So, visit the blog, and do your part. See you there!

Ain't he cute? I might have to put this one in a frame, and place it on my desk next to my photo of John Ritter! Tee Hee.

"Goodbye Road"
Monterey, California
October 11, 2007

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Your Monday Photo Shoot: Frosty!

"Try to remember me when the cold, frosty winter sets veils of snowflakes over my cold old hair. I will remember you too."

-Mariana Fulger

Your Monday Photo Shoot: Show something frosty. A window pane, a frosty cold mug of beer, a pet coming in from the cold - if it's frosted, it's in. If it's not particulary cold where you are, or you don't have any frost laden pictures in your archives: Fake being cold. Because that would be funny.

-John Scalzi, of the blog, By The Way

What's a girl with a head cold to do? She wants to support our dear Blogfather, John Scalzi, by going out into the cold and getting a photo which perfectly illustrates something "Frosty," but she has a husband, and a cat, who have blocked the doors and windows until she is fully recovered! Well, ever the trooper she is, so she took a picture of her favorite Snowlady, and then added some magic by way of her photoshop program, to pretty accurately depict the Snowlady in the snow! Yep, the Snowlady is faking it. Yes, Yes, Yes... she is! Tee Hee. Sorry darling Blogfather... I owe ya one! :)

Berkeley, California
December 13, 2007
Late Afternoon

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

The Phantom Menace

"Some people are so fond of bad luck, they run half way to meet it."

-Douglas Williams

Ok, here is some additional proof that there is just something funky about December 10th! Not only did I catch the head cold from HELL, but last night, before I went to bed, I found out that I have three pieces of phantom email in my AOL mailbox. Now I know what you are thinking. AOL messes up all the time, it is probably just one more glitch. Right? Well, perhaps, but I still think it is weird that it happened on December 10th, rather than any other day this week. :)

I believe there is something about this date, and it's relation to my life, but I have never been able to figure out what or why? I successfully broke the curse of Santa Cruz a couple years ago, by attending a Micky Dolenz concert on the beach. Micky Dolenz has always brought me luck. :) But I am not sure what will ever break the Curse of December 10th. All I know is, Alan takes the day off, we shut the doors and windows, hold Elvis close to us, and hang on for dear life! LOL. Now I have one more curse to get through this year, but that one's not due until Christmas Eve. Stay tuned. :)

So tell me, do you believe in curses? How about miracles? Do you have certain days in your year that you consider to be either blessed or cursed? How many years in a row has something happened on that specific day?

"Curses And Buggy Software"
Berkeley, California
December 10th, 2007
Late Evening

Monday, December 10, 2007

The Curse Of December 10th Comes True About This Time Each Year!

"I like these cold, gray winter days. Day like these let you savor a bad mood."

-Bill Watterson

KaaaaaaaCHHHHHHooooo! Yep, the curse of December 10th has come true yet again, I have a cold. Actually, it's a doosy, woosey, cold! I am dizzy and achy and moving at all is painful. I am swollen, and phlegmy, and downright gorgeous! LOL. So, whats a DIVA to do? Well, she is going to get back into bed, and fall into a deep NyQuil induced coma. I'll be back soon. Or later. Probably later.

"Big Chicken"
Berkeley, California
December, 2006

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Steven's Feline Friday: Elvis And I Wrap Packages

"Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful."

-Norman Vincent Peale

The Christmas tree is decorated, and there's a definite chill in the air, so what does that mean? It means Elvis and I will be spending the day wrapping Christmas presents. :) I love spending the day with my kitty, he is really helpful for a task such as this. He holds the paper down and assists me with picking out a bow for each gift. I think he must be partial to the blue ones, as those are the ones he usually nudges toward me when it is time to put the final touches on the presents. I will take his official Christmas portrait in a couple weeks, just before the holiday, but for today, he and I are Christmas elves. :)

You can play along with Feline Friday too. Just drop by my friend Steven's blog, (sometimes) photoblog, to learn all the details.

"Wrapping Presents"
Berkeley, California
December 8, 2007
Late Morning