Saturday, January 11, 2014

Picture project

New year also means a new start to new projects. A popular one is a 365 photo project. A picture with a common theme, everyday, for a whole year. I've always wanted to try it but haven't, and I've also seen many people try but fail. As with any resolution, stick with it is the hardest part. I decided to do one with Britt together. So the Couple Selfies 365 project was born. A picture together, everyday, all year. (Britt is actually doing it separately, you can see her pictures here)

So of course, 10 days or so in and I am already seeing road locks that can crop up. Some are logistical. There are days when I see Britt in the morning when we get up and then not again until almost bed time. That leads to creativity questions as well. How many pictures does anyone want to see of us in bed? But I think those challenges are what makes these projects worthwhile. You have to push yourself to have new ideas and try new things. I'm sure plenty of pictures are silly and some flat out don't work. But as with anything worth doing, you have to experience some failures, right?

Another nice benefit that I have started to noticed is that this will be a great way to look back on the year. On that note, I decided to also frame these pictures realistically, and not just put happy bubbly pictures up everyday. Today was a good example. Britt and I attended a memorial service today. As expected, it was a somber occasion, interjected with nice moments as well seeing people that I haven't seen in a long time. I grappled with the thought of if this was a place and occasion to break out with my phone and take a picture of us. In the end, I did it, and you can tell we aren't thrilled in it. I love the picture because of it though. This was us today. And when I look back on this a year from now, five years from now, I would want to remember the bad along with the good.

This also leads to the publicness of the project. Aside from the Flickr set, I spread them out along various social media outlets to share. And I think I have spoken about the subject before, it's important to me to project an honest me out there. Too many people feel like they have to curate their social media persona and that just sounds too much work and effort to me. I have these mediums to help express myself and I am grateful that there are a few people who cares enough to see them. I don't want to lie to these people with some fake version of me (there are far more interesting fake people accounts at your local supermarket checkout aisle). 

That was like 4 tangents on a fragment of original thought. I told you I need to write more. Apparently the real un-curated me is one big run on sentence. Heh. Thanks for reading anyway...

Sunday, January 05, 2014

Home screen evolution

A little late, but I've been seeing people post a pic of their phone home screen on 1/1/14 as a way to see how their app usage evolves over the years. I thought that might be cool and wish I had done it sooner. I have had an iPhone for 6 years now and to see what has made the cut of making the home screen sounds like fun. I don't know about you, but I definitely am one of those people who think long and hard before an app gets "promoted" to first page status. It's just natural to see and use that app the most, so I want to be sure it's something I really care about. So without further ado:

Nothing real revolutionary, so it probably doesn't need a ton of explanation. I play with a lot of social apps (hence the folder) and Evernote makes the page partly because I am trying to force myself to use it more. Oh and I notice my Apple iPhone is getting more and more Google-ized too. I like to think I don't have a brand allegiance as much as wanting to use whatever is good.

The other interesting thing is asking yourself what the first app you open when you wake up in the morning. That's not only a sign of a good app but a vital one. And probably also changes over the years. If I asked myself this in years past I would say anything from email to weather to Facebook. But currently, I would say it's Instagram. It encourages my amateur photography aspirations while connecting me with a lot of interesting people. I like it a lot! But enough to have the same answer next year? Guess we will have to see...

What are your essential apps?

Wednesday, January 01, 2014

Another year...

We are hitting the proverbial reset button and starting another year. We make crazy promises to ourselves and struggle to keep them. I think this is where I make some resolution to blog more, but looking back, I am writing less than ever everywhere. When I can't muster 140 characters in Twitter, it's probably a bad sign. So yes, I will try to jot down my thoughts somewhere more, but it's not going to be about writing for quantity. It's not about writing because I have no many venues to do it. The more you write, the more focus you get. The more organization of the stuff bouncing around your head all day. So this year, as my resolution, I resolve to find my voice. And if doing it where the three of you who stops by and sees the progress and struggles of that, than that's part of the journey. Write here. Write there. Share my view of the world here. I'm going to use it all to one day to piece it all back, and see me.

Happy 2014, everyone.

Thursday, September 05, 2013

The Road to Kona Goes Through Reno and a Ship

It has been a whirlwind (for us, anyway) 6 weeks or so for us. Family activities have dictated our vacations for the past few years and it was never more true than this summer. Last I've posted we were in Reno for Hannah's softball tournament and it was a week of ball parks and buffets. Hannah's team faced some serious competitions from teams from Southern California and Washington but I think for the long haul, the week with the team will benefit them in future play. 

Plus it allowed me to recreate a pic we had taken the last time we were in Reno. (I'll update this post with the old pic when I get home)

Two weeks after that trip, Sara's dance studio was off for their summer trip. First, a day at California Adventures where they performed and we got to check out the new Cars Land. 

Then we boarded the Carnival Inspiration where we took a 4 day cruise to Ensenada, Mexico, where Sara also performed and we... ate a lot. 

It was fun and also nice to have my parents and sister's family along with us for one big family vacation. Two weeks after returning from that, however, we were off again. This time for Britt's family as her brother was getting married... In Hawaii! This was not only Britt and the girls first trip to the islands, but Audrey's first airplane ride (we are a ride trip kind of family). We spent four and a half days in Kona and the big island and it was spectacular in every aspect. 

Luau coconut treat!

The main event was fantastic as well, a wedding on the beach. Intimate, with close families, as the sun set in the distance. It was certainly an experience I won't soon forget. 

Now, I sit on the flight home somewhere over the pacific, trying to process all the places I've been the last few weeks. I'm incredibly thankful for the opportunities, and thankful to all the people who made all these trips possible. It's not easy to get a family of five somewhere for any extended period of time.. Especially with my kids having such a wide age range, I'm glad we were still able to go somewhere before the older ones start thinking they are too cool to go somewhere with their parents. We all remember family trips when we were young, some were better experiences than others. Seeing it from the other side as a parent now, I'm just thankful for experiences we can have together. 

But ok, back to real life. There's new schools and Halloween and birthdays and Christmas before you know it. Life really does go on... 

- from seat 21A

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

On the softball road...

I don't think I've composed a blog on my phone since emailing one in while on a trip to Vancouver five years ago. (If I wasnt on my phone I would link to it) I could've upgraded slightly and post from my iPad but the hotel only gives wifi to one device per room at a time and I let Hannah's phone have it for now. (Beats her using her minuscule amount of cell data) 

Anyways, this is life on the road with my travel softball daughter. We are spending the week in Reno for a regional tournament and it has already been an experience, and we haven't played a game yet. There are like 150 teams here and seeing these girls from all over the western United States (and Canada) is kinda overwhelming. The girls were lucky enough to have some bowling time at the national bowling stadium (not opened to the general public) and the wave of girls and their families was crazy. I hope it has been a good experience for Hannah so far, and that the size of this tournament won't intimidate her too much and she can still do well. Go Crossfires!

Friday, June 21, 2013

9 more days of Google Reader and I am starting to freak out...

I know the link takes you to a potential replacement (Digg Reader). I obviously am not endorsing said product as they have not released it for public use yet. But the panic is causing me to check out all possible alternatives...

Friday, June 14, 2013

Crispy Baked Potato Fans

I don't consider myself a good cook or anything, I just think it can be cool to make neat things that also happen to taste good. Stuffing cans up a chicken's personal space is fun, beating a egg whites until they are fluffy and cheesy is fun. So when I saw this recipe for crispy potato fans, I thought I would give it a whirl for dinner.

There really isn't much to it. It's a baked potato with a breadcrumb and butter topping. The fun is in the fanning, and the recipe had a great idea of using wooden chopsticks as a guide to not cut through the potato, and a quick rinse to get rid of some of the starch to help the fanning. Bake potato, add crumb topping and put it in the broiler for a few (mine might have been there for about 30 seconds too long) and the results turned out like this...

Not bad, right? Most importantly, two out of kids liked and ate it. And that is a win enough for me...