Friday, February 29, 2008

My thoughts EXACTLY!


Ryan and I will be hitting up LA tomorrow. I am going to take the train up to his area of the county and then we will head further north. We are planning on seeing a couple art shows, the cupcake shop, maybe the Hollywood sign and then ending with a bang at the Staples Center to cheer on my Uncle Chauncey and cousin Rip!


Check out these new 'it' high heels... THEY DON'T EVEN HAVE A HEEL... But apparently they are all the rage (I guess if something is expensive the socialites think it must be cool and they must buy it right away).

PS They cost $3,600 (and it looks like half the shoe is missing anyway)!!

Local Hero

Organs Harvested From Hero Mom

A Mountain View mother, who saved her son's life from an out-of-control car, will save more lives after her organs are harvested after being taken off life support. Deysi Araux, 21, was kept alive for 24 hours at Scripps Mercy Hospital, following the car accident in the parking lot of her apartment complex on Tuesday.

Investigators said Araux and her 2-year-old son Steven were hit by a Ford Mustang being driven by Wendy Manzano, 22. Police said the car was unregistered and had expired tags at the time of the crash.

Manzano told police her brakes failed, and when she couldn't stop the car, she turned into the parking lot on Logan Avenue, police said.

Witnesses said Araux saw the car coming and tried to throw the toddler out of the way. Both were struck by the car, and Araux ended up on the Mustang's hood, police said. The Mustang then hit two cars in the parking lot, and Araux was thrown into the vehicles. The car broke through a fence and eventually came to rest after hitting a house.

He said just two weeks ago, Deysi told him if anything ever happened to her, she wanted to donate her organs. And just one week ago, Anaya said she wanted to take a family picture.

"I think she thought in the future, she was going to die," he said.

Now that her organs have been harvested, Deysi will live on, giving the gift of life to others.

"She was a good mom -- a good wife," Anaya said.

Leap Day

Happy Leap Day!!
February 29, 2008
The year 2008 is a leap year. If you look at a 2008 calendar, you will see that February has five Fridays–the month begins and ends on a Friday. Between the years 1904 and 2096, leap years that share the same day of week for each date repeat only every 28 years. The most recent year in which February comprised five Fridays was in 1980, and the next occurrence will be in 2036. February 29, the leap day, has been associated with age-old traditions, superstitions and folklore.
The vernal equinox is the time when the sun is directly above the Earth's equator, moving from the southern to the northern hemisphere.
The mean time between two successive vernal equinoxes is called a tropical year–also known as a solar year–and is about 365.2422 days long.
Using a calendar with 365 days every year would result in a loss of 0.2422 days, or almost six hours per year. After 100 years, this calendar would be more than 24 days ahead of the season (tropical year), which is not desirable or accurate. It is desirable to align the calendar with the seasons and to make any difference as insignificant as possible.
By adding a leap year approximately every fourth year, the difference between the calendar and the seasons can be reduced significantly, and the calendar will align with the seasons much more accurately.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Prayer Request

I don't want to toot my own horn or anything like that, but because I don't know who (if anyone) reads my blog I am going to write this prayer request using X's so that every one's identity is kept confidential. I was hoping that you could pray for a friend of mine. X, what I will call my friend, has been at a good job for a while, but thinks that there may be more out there. X has put X's resume out there and has heard back from a company that seems extremely promising (and is more along the lines of what X would like to do in the future). X has an interview tomorrow morning, so I was hoping that I could ask you to pray for this opportunity and the interview. I was explaining to X that even if this isn't where you end up it is a compliment to think that a company that you would want to work for is interested in you (always the positive spin, right?). Anyway, the interview is tomorrow morning around 9am, so I was hoping if between now and then if you had a spare moment and wanted something to pray about, this would be greatly appreciated :). Sorry for the anonymity, but I don't want the company that X works at right now knowing that X is taking an interview (especially if X doesn't get it and would stay with the current company).


AIDS Funding

Check out the article here.

The Bush administration recorded one of the most successful achievements yesterday when a major anti-AIDS project was approved by house leaders from both parties and the White House.

They agreed on a bill that would triple the funding for the Bush administration’ s global AIDS program, which could be called the largest foreign aid initiative meant to combat a single disease in the US history.

Communications director David Bryden of the Global AIDS Alliance says that the agreement for the funding was achieved as a result of the bipartisan cooperation between congress and the White House.

The bill sets $50 billion to be used over a five-year period to prevent HIV infection, treat people tested HIV positive and watch for children who remained orphans after there parents had died from the disease. The program, known as the President’s Emergency Program for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), has provided $15 billion during its first five years, the Boston Globe reports.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Geo Caching

Since I have been explaining the way Ryan proposed to a lot of people, most seem to be interested in what Geo Caching really is. I have talked to 2 couples since telling them about it that have started (and are hooked). I thought I would put up a quick post explaining what it is and how to get started in case anyone else was interested.

What is Geocaching?

Geocaching is an entertaining adventure game for gps users. Participating in a cache hunt is a good way to take advantage of the wonderful features and capability of a gps unit. The basic idea is to have individuals and organizations set up caches all over the world and share the locations of these caches on the internet. GPS users can then use the location coordinates to find the caches. Once found, a cache may provide the visitor with a wide variety of rewards. All the visitor is asked to do is if they get something they should try to leave something for the cache.

How do you pronounce Geocaching?

You pronounce it Geo-cashing, like cashing a check.

Are there any other names for Geocaching?

The GPS Stash Hunt, Global Positioning Stash hunt is interchangable. Geocaching has become the standard for the game, however.

The word Geocaching broken out is GEO for geography, and CACHING for the process of hiding a cache. A cache in computer terms is information usually stored in memory to make it faster to retrieve, but the term is also used in hiking/camping as a hiding place for concealing and preserving provisions.

So what's the big deal? You gave me the coordinates so I know where it is. Seems pretty easy.

It is deceptively easy. It's one thing to see where an item is, it's a totally different story to actually get there.

What is a GPS device?

A GPS unit is a electronic device that can determine your approximate location (within around 6-20 feet) on the planet. Coordinates are normally given in Latitude and Longitude. You can use the unit to navigate from your current location to another location. Some units have their own maps, built-in electronic compasses, voice navigation, depending on the complexity of the device.

You don't need to know all the technical mumbo jumbo about GPS units to play Geocaching. All you need to do is be able to enter what is called a "waypoint" where the geocache is hidden. We're working on a section to help you set up your own GPS unit to play. In the meantime, feel free to ask questions in our online forums.

So if I have a GPS unit, someone can track where I am (and where I'm going)?

No! GPS devices do not actually broadcast your location. The satellites using radio frequencies actually broadcast their own position. Your GPS unit takes that information to figure out where you are (triangulation).

Unless you have a tracking system implanted by aliens, you should be safe from the satellites above. As an extra precaution, however, you can put aluminum foil on your head to deflect the "gamma" beams.

What are the rules in Geocaching?

Geocaching is a relatively new phenomenon. Therefore, the rules are very simple:

Take something from the cache
Leave something in the cache
Write about it in the logbook
Where you place a cache is up to you.

What is usually in a cache?

A cache can come in many forms but the first item should always be the logbook. In its simplest form a cache can be just a logbook and nothing else. The logbook contains information from the founder of the cache and notes from the cache's visitors. The logbook can contain much valuable, rewarding, and entertaining information. A logbook might contain information about nearby attractions, coordinates to other unpublished caches, and even jokes written by visitors. If you get some information from a logbook you should give some back. At the very least you can leave the date and time you visited the cache.

Larger caches may consist of a waterproof plastic bucket placed tastefully within the local terrain. The bucket will contain the logbook and any number of more or less valuable items. These items turn the cache into a true treasure hunt. You never know what the founder or other visitors of the cache may have left there for you to enjoy. Remember, if you take something, its only fair for you to leave something in return. Items in a bucket cache could be: Maps, books, software, hardware, CD's, videos, pictures, money, jewelry, tickets, antiques, tools, games, etc. It is recommended that items in a bucket cache be individually packaged in a clear zipped plastic bag to protect them.

Where are caches found?

The location of a cache can be very entertaining indeed. As many say, location, location, location! The location of a cache demonstrates the founder's skill and possibly even daring. A cache located on the side of a rocky cliff accessible only by rock climbing equipment may be hard to find. An underwater cache may only be accessed by scuba. Other caches may require long difficult hiking, orienteering, and special equipment to get to. Caches may be located in cities both above and below ground, inside and outside buildings. The skillful placement of a small logbook in an urban environment may be quite challenging to find even with the accuracy of a gps. That little logbook may have a hundred dollar bill in it or a map to greater treasure. It could even contain clues or riddles to solve that may lead to other caches. Rich people could have fun with their money by making lucrative caches that could be better than winning the lottery when you find it. Just hope that the person that found the cache just before you left a real big prize!

Are there any variations in the game?

YES! We strongly encourage it, actually. Geocaching is a game that constantly reinvents itself, and the rules are very flexible. If you have a new idea on how to place a cache, or a new game using GPS units, we'd love to hear about it.

Some examples -

Offset Caches - They're not found by simply going to some coordinates and finding a cache there. With the Offset Cache the published coordinates are that of an existing historical monument, plaque, or even a benchmark that you would like to have your cache hunter visit. From this site the cache hunter must look around and find offset numbers stamped/written in or on some part of the marker site, or continue based on instructions posted to
Multi-caches - The first cache gives coordinates (or partial coordinates) to the next location, or multiple caches have hints to the final cache.
Virtual caches - A cache is actually an existing landmark, such as a tombstone or statue. You have to answer a question from the landmark and let the "cache" owner know as proof that you were there.

How long do caches exist?

It all depends on the location of the cache and its impact on the environment and the surrounding areas. Caches could be permanent, or temporary. It's up to the cache owner to periodically inspect the cache and the area to ensure that impact is minimal, if not nonexistant. When you find a cache, it's always a good idea to let the cache owner know the condition as well.

Periodically, will review each cache to ensure that everything is still current. We cannot guarantee that a cache will exist at any given time, but we'll do our best to ensure the list is as current as possible.

If you do find that a cache is missing/defaced, please let the cache owner know as soon as possible!

If I post a new cache, how long does it take to be listed on the web site?

Because each cache is reviewed by a volunteer, it may take up to 2 days to have your cache posted to the web site. Usually it takes much much less time - but be patient! Someone will review your cache shortly. It does take longer on the weekends since we receive a larger volume of caches during this time.

Does (or a volunteer) physically check the cache before publishing it?

We wish! We'd love to head out to all those countries and states to check on each and every cache to ensure that they are placed properly. Based on the growth of the sport, however, this would be impossible. If you're not sure about a cache, wait for someone else to check on it and report back to the site.

Before a cache is posted, volunteers check the page for inaccuracies, bad coordinates, and appropriateness before posting the cache to the site.

What do I do if I find out that a cache has gone missing?

If you visit a cache location and the cache is missing, always make sure to log the cache as "not found" on the web site so the cache owner knows. If you notice that the logs show an unusual number of "not found" logs, please inform this web site so we can check on the cache page. The cache can be temporarily disabled so the cache owner can check in on it. Sometimes, though rarely, when the cache owner cannot be contacted we can either allow folks to adopt the cache or have the cache removed completely from the site. We rely a lot on the geocaching community to let us know the status of caches in their area.


Get pumped!! Ryan and I are heading up to LA this weekend to watch the Pistons take on the LA Clippers!! We are going to stop by a couple other places in the afternoon (a few art shows, cupcake shop, etc) but end up at the Staples Center!! I haven't actually been around town in LA (drove by on the way to Disney and Santa Barbara and had a lay over at LAX once), so it should be interesting. I am hoping that the Pistons will wipe the floor with the Clippers!! Look for pictures from the weekend to be up early next week!!

50 ways of being romantic

Found this article and thought some of the ideas were sweet.

50 Ways of Being Romantic With Little Money

As a follow up to my post on impressing a girl when you have little money, I mainly focused on how to make good first impressions. However, maybe you finally managed to get that girl (trust me this CAN happen) and you’ve been going out for awhile. Well, thanks to Zen Habits, I present to you 50 ways of being cheap, but romantic.

Look for little, inexpensive ways to be romantic, and it will pay off for your relationship in innumerable ways.

Why inexpensive? Well, you could rent a limo and take your love to a snooty French restaurant, or whisk him or her off to a trip to the snow-capped Alps, or rent a stadium and have the Three Tenors sing love songs for you while the New York Philharmonic plays in the background. I don’t know about you, but I can’t afford to do that kind of stuff more than a few times a month. The rest of the time, I have to resort to cheaposity.

Check out the list here (some are a little risk-ee, but some really good ideas are on there too).

Coming Along

Check out our Goin' To The Chapel site to see some of the new plans we have secured for our wedding. I know I have said I wanted to keep the 2 blogs separate, so instead of posting about it all here I figured I would just post once we update a few new things on the other blog. I do feel much better though now that we have some things actually planned (dates set and tomorrow a contract signed for the venue). Have a WONDERFUL Wednesday (seems to be shaping up to be a wonderful one here, sunny 75 and a smile from ear to ear)!!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Diag Graduation?

Weird!! I had no idea (maybe cause I graduated 2 years ago, maybe cause I haven't been keeping up on much U of M news other than sports, maybe cause I am just dense) that this years graduation was going to be held on the Diag. Strange. I was reading the Alumni Update and saw the article and just had to pass it along.

The votes have been tallied, and the decision has been made: spring commencement will be held on the Diag. The University recently polled graduating students about their preferred location, the Diag or Elbel Field, and 66 percent favored the Diag. President Mary Sue Coleman and U-M's executive officers endorsed the location soon after the votes were counted. This decision follows a month-long debate between students and administrators about the best location for the ceremony since Michigan Stadium, the traditional location for the University-wide ceremony, is under construction. With the selection of the Diag, each student will be allowed six guest tickets. Commencement will be held Saturday, April 26, at 10 a.m.


With wedding planning for me and just life in general I thought I would post this article I found about 15 tips on relaxing. I hope to incorporate at least a couple into my life (even though I am a pretty chill person I can get fairly antsy when things aren't going "my" way).

It's Time to Relax: 15 Quick Tips to Help You Shift Your Gears to Relax Mode Quickly

So whether you are feeling stressed at home, work or in the car, taking time to relax is an essential part of staying healthy and happy. Here are 20 quick tips for helping you do just that -- and, unlike drinking, smoking or other potentially unhealthy stress relievers, these tips will only do your body good.

Rugged Updates

Ryan has added a few new pieces to his site lately. Thought I would steer people towards his art. He also has been having some great side success (working with a band on their CD cover and logo, designing shirts for an action sport clothing line, etc) so I am sure there will be more to come soon, but for now make sure you check out the Ruggedwoodsman site!

Monday, February 25, 2008


Tomorrow morning is my 6 month teeth cleaning, hurray! Not really, it's not like I am jumping for joy, but I do like my dentist and I don't think I have had a bad experience yet (I think this is my 3rd time since being out here in SD that I've gone to him). (I definitely do not hate going to the dentist like I hate going to the doctors) I have tried to floss every day for the couple weeks or so (knowing that the appointment was coming), hope it has helped :).

February of 2009

For Christmas Ryan was telling me that his family was getting some group gift. He said that it was going to be a surprise and when Christmas rolled around they ended up opening up little clues that helped them to guess what the gift was (apparently Eric guessed it, hasn't gotten a prize for guessing it and is still quite bitter, hehe, just kidding). The gift was a timeshare with Marriott in the Virgin Islands. I don't know much about how it works, but apparently you can use your timeshare week there (through the one that the family choose in St. Thomas) or anywhere else that Marriott has a timeshare set up. Ryan told me that I was included in this gift, but I wasn't really expecting to be. I received an email from The McClurgs Saturday that said they had booked the trip and that we were all invited to go to St. Thomas for a week in February of next year!! How exciting!! I have never really been out of the country (I have been to Canada for a family vacation to the Toronto baseball field and to Mexico for a mission trip with CrossRoads, but nothing to really like go out and visit). I am super excited (even though it is about a year away still), YAY!! I found the website for the timeshare area, so check it out if you get a chance (or are interested).

Tucked along a picturesque hillside overlooking the calm azure waters of Pacquereau Bay, Marriott's Frenchman's Cove will be a breathtaking complement to the beauty of St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands. Adjacent to Frenchman's Reef & Morning Star Marriott Beach Resort this spacious resort will be reminiscent of a quaint village surrounded by a secluded beach with amazing views of the Bay and St. Thomas harbor. Like the nearby historic town of Charlotte Amalie, the overall design reflects the Danish and British architectural influences set admidst a colorful tropical landscape.

Charlie Bartlett

Ryan and I went to the movies this weekend (he had been super busy with working with a band on their CD cover, etc all week so it was a nice way to go relax). A few months ago while we were at the movies we had seen the preview for the movie Charlie Bartlett. I remember wanting to see it, but not really knowing much about it. I thought it was about this kid that was becoming like the high school psychiatrist out of the bathroom in his high school. We went to the movie, and we both loved it. We give it a collective 4 thumbs up (if we had more thumbs we would probably give it more, hehe). We both really liked Juno, but think this might even be a little better. I heard some critics talking about it like it will be this generations Ferris Bueller flick. Here is the synopsis:
Wealthy teenager Charlie Bartlett is failing miserably at fitting in at a new public high school run by the world-weary Principal Gardner. As he begins to better understand the social hierarchy, Charlie's honest charm and likability positions him as the resident "psychiatrist" dishing out advice, and the occasional prescription with his partner and fellow student, Murphy Bivens, to other students in need. Along the way, he decides to take some of his own advice, find romance, and learn to accept who he is, thus wielding a witty dark comedy about the angst-filled years before college.

I would definitely recommend it!!

Friday, February 22, 2008

Survey Time

45 of the most random things you probably never needed to know about someone

What's your name spelt backwards? EELRAC
The last thing you downloaded onto your computer? CAN'T DOWNLOAD ON MY OFFICE COMPUTER
Have you ever licked a 9 volt battery? YES SIR
Last time you swam in a pool? LAST SUMMER
How many cars have you owned? 2 - PETER: 1995 YELLOW FORD RANGER, PJ (PETER JUNIOR): 2005 BLUE FORD FOCUS
Type of music you dislike most? TECHNO
Are you registered to vote? YES
What kind of computer do you use? AT WORK, SOME CRAPTASTIC PC, AT HOME, G4iBOOK
Ever made a prank phone call? I'M SURE OF IT
You like anyone right now? MY FIANCE, RYAN!
Would you go bungee jumping or sky diving? BOTH, JUST TELL ME WHERE TO SIGN UP
Furthest place you ever traveled? FURTHEST FROM WHERE? I GUESS HAWAII
Do u know all the words to the national anthem? YEPPERS
Shower, morning or night? NIGHT (IF AT ALL, HEHE)
Best movie you've seen in the past month? WATCHED RENT THE OTHER NIGHT
Favorite pizza toppings? MUSHROOMS
What cell phone provider do you have? VERIZON
Have you ever smoked peanut shells? WHAT?! NO! I'VE NEVER SMOKED ANYTHING
Have you ever been in a beauty pageant? HA, NO WAY
Orange Juice or apple? APPLE JUICE ALL THE WAY
Who were the last people you sat at lunch with? RYAN
Who is your longest friend and how long? MY MOM, 23 YEARS
Have you ever won a trophy? NAH
Favorite arcade game? PAC-MAN
Ever ordered from an infomercial? NOPE, I AM CHEAP
Have you ever had to wear a uniform to school/work? NOPE, PUBLIC SCHOOL ALL THE WAY
Last thing you bought at Walgreens? I DON'T KNOW WHEN THE LAST TIME I WENT TO WALGREENS WAS
Ever thrown up in public? NOT THAT I REMEMBER
Would you prefer being a millionaire or finding true love? TRUE LOVE, BUT I ALREADY FOUND IT, SO I'LL TAKE A MILLION ON TOP OF IT :)
Did you have long hair as a young kid? YEP, AND WHEN I CUT IT MY MOM CRIED
What message is on your voicemail machine? CARLEE PADOT, WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE COLOR?
Where would you like to go right now? THE BEACH, BUT IT IS RAINING, SO I WOULD PICK HAWAII
What do you think about most? SO MANY THINGS, BUT THIS PAST WEEK.... MY WEDDING!!


Congrats to Marty!! Although my mom didn't win the 'WHO DO YOU LOVE' contest over on the SmithGallery blog, Mr. Moreno won!! He is well-deserving and I am soooo happy for him and the whole family!! CONGRATS AGAIN!!

Tasty Ads

How funny. What are your thoughts on lickable ads?!

Madison Avenue thinks a tasty approach will give new life to Welch's grape juice.

Welch's is taking out full-page print ads in People magazine this month that give readers a chance to sample its grape juice by licking the ad. The front of the advertisement shows a huge bottle of the juice, while the back has a strip that peels up and off, with text that reads: "For a TASTY fact, remove & LICK."

Welch's hopes flavored strips make its ads stand out.
Marketers are excited about the prospects for lickable ads, but also have to deal with the "ick" factor. Since magazines are often passed from reader to reader (think doctors' offices) there is a good chance that saliva could be left on the ad. Readers are supposed to peel off the entire sticker on the Welch's ad before licking, says First Flavor, the company that developed the technology used in the ad. If someone doesn't rip off the whole sticker, First Flavor says, the flap can't reseal, giving people an easy way to know whether the ad has already been licked.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

The Mayonnaise Jar

The Mayonnaise Jar

When things in your life seem
Almost too much to handle,
When 24 Hours a day is not enough,
Remember the mayonnaise jar
And 2 cups of coffee.

A professor stood before his philosophy class And had some items in front of him. When the class began, wordlessly, He picked up a very large and Empty mayonnaise jar And proceeded to fill it with golf balls. He then asked the students If the jar was full. They agreed that it was. The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls. He then asked The students again If the jar was full, They agreed it was. The professor next picked up a box of sand And poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else. He asked once more if the jar was full. The students responded with a unanimous "yes." The professor then produced Two cups of coffee from under the table And poured the entire contents Into the jar, effectively Filling the Empty space between the sand. The students laughed. "Now," said the professor, As the laughter subsided, "I want you to recognize that This jar represents your life. The golf balls are the important things- God, family, children, health, friends, and favorite passions- Things that if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full. The pebbles are the other things that matter Like your job, house, and car. The sand is everything else- The small stuff. "If you put the sand into the jar first," He continued, "there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls. The same goes for life. If you spend all your time And energy on the small stuff, You will never have room for the things that are Important to you. So- Pay attention to the things That is critical to your happiness. Play with your children. Take time to get medical checkups. Take your partner out to dinner. Play another 18. There will always be time To clean the house And fix the disposal. "Take care of the golf balls first- The things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand." One of the students raised her hand And inquired what the coffee represented. The professor smiled, "I'm glad you asked." It just goes to show you that no matter how full your life may seem, There's always room For a couple of cups of coffee with a friend."

Last Minute Votes!!

Only a few more hours to help influence the judges over on the Smith Gallery Blog. They will be announcing the first ever winner of the WHO DO YOU LOVE contest tomorrow, so make sure you click over to the Smith's Blog and VOTE, VOTE, VOTE!!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Lunar Eclipse

Tonight you can see the Total Lunar Eclipse. Check out this website for some of the information you may need to check it out. (It has been raining all day and I'm not sure if it will clear up tonight so we may not be able to see it through the clouds in San Diego, but maybe you can)

A total eclipse of the Moon occurs during the night of Wednesday, February 20/21, 2008. The entire event is visible from South America and most of North America (on Feb. 20) as well as Western Europe, Africa, and western Asia (on Feb. 21). During a total lunar eclipse, the Moon's disk can take on a dramatically colorful appearance from bright orange to blood red to dark brown and (rarely) very dark gray.

An eclipse of the Moon can only take place at Full Moon, and only if the Moon passes through some portion of Earth's shadow. The shadow is actually composed of two cone-shaped parts, one nested inside the other. The outer shadow or penumbra is a zone where Earth blocks some (but not all) of the Sun's rays. In contrast, the inner shadow or umbra is a region where Earth blocks all direct sunlight from reaching the Moon.

If only part of the Moon passes through the umbra, a partial eclipse is seen. However, if the entire Moon passes through the umbral shadow, then a total eclipse of the Moon occurs.


WHOO HOO!! WE MADE THE TOP FOUR!! I am a finalist (well, my nomination, MY BESTEST FRIEND - MY MOMMY) on the Smith's Photo blog. Check out their blog here and make sure you vote for one of the four finalists!! Read the stories and leave a comment for the finalist that you feel deserves the photo session!!

Mom, even if you don't win the photo session you are still a WINNER in my book!! LOVE YA!! XOXOX

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

New Blog

I know, I know, I have soooooooo many blogs going on, but I thought Ryan and I could start another for wedding planning. Check it out here. I know the engagement story is the same, but I thought we could start putting the wedding stuff on that one (and keep this blog for CHANGING THE WORLD :) ).


So now that I have a few more minutes at work (since we were off yesterday we are playing catch up in Payroll today), I thought I would try and lay out the story of the engagement this past weekend. Just a heads up, we had Ryan's sister and her husband in town this whole past weekend so we were tour guides and having fun with them and haven't made any decisions about anything yet (so no date picked out, place, etc. :) ).

So Ryan and I do this activity called Geo Caching. It is like a high-tech version of treasure hunting. On the website you can go on and put in a zip code and it will give you all of the hidden 'caches' around that area. Ryan told me Friday night that he wanted to go to the 'oldest cache in San Diego (and one of the first 1000 in the world)' on Saturday morning. I thought this was a little fishy because normally when we go out geo caching I get all the info, and also he likes to sleep in but he wanted to go out to this one at 7am Saturday morning. He was trying to play it off like we had to meet up with his sister and her husband for breakfast, which is why we needed to go so early. We ended up at this park (Kate Sessions Park in La Jolla) that overlooked downtown San Diego and is just a cool park. We were looking around for the cache and once we found it Ryan called me over (because normally we look in different areas to give us more of a chance to find it) and he was down on both knees (he gives the excuse that it hurts his knee to be on one so he was on 2, hehe) and asked me to marry him. I remember saying 'Shut up' a couple times but then a resounding YES was said! I have uploaded the pictures from this weekend on my google account, so check them out. The first 20 or so our the shots from the engagement and the following 300+ are from the sight seeing we did with his sister and her husband throughout the weekend. (Since I am busy I haven't put captions on all of them, but will try and get to that this afternoon or maybe tomorrow.)

As you can see in the pics, we are both SUPER excited!! :) And hopefully when we decide on some of the more important things I will be able to let you know everything we have decided :).

Friday, February 15, 2008

Winter Weather

So I had mentioned yesterday that it was raining and I liked the sound of the raindrops on the skylights around the office, but I thought I would actually link you guys to some of the articles on the 'winter weather' that occurred yesterday. The big reason it was a problem was that no one saw it coming (but really, who thinks that we would have rain in San Diego, not San Diegians that's for sure). At the office we had flash flood warnings from 4:30-6pm, we got 8 inches of snow in our mountains (still considered San Diego County), mud slides, people were flooded out of their homes and had to go to the local casinos to seek shelter, etc. Also, since it is normally 70 and sunny any weather gets a big story around here :). Check out some of the articles here.
A surprise storm delivered rain and snow to the county Thursday, causing mudslides, road closures and stranding hundreds of motorists on Interstate 8 through the mountains, sending many to shelter at Golden Acorn Casino.
The Red Cross sent a canteen truck full of food to Pine Valley Thursday night, then hauled it with four-wheel drive vehicles to the casino to assist scores of motorists directed there for shelter.
State, county and federal agencies rescued people stuck in an estimated 150 to 200 vehicles on I-8 between Alpine and Jacumba, said Calfire Capt. Darrin Howell.
One person in the Descanso area was taken to a hospital with hypothermia, he said.
Another story here.

No Work Monday!

Presidents Day

Presidents Day (or Presidents' Day), is the common name for the federal holiday officially designated as Washington's Birthday, and both variants are among the official names of a number of coinciding state holidays. It is celebrated on the third Monday of February.
Today, the February holiday has become well-known for being a day in which many stores hold sales. Until the late 1980s, corporate businesses were universally closed on this day, the way they are on (for example) Memorial Day or Christmas Day. With the late 1980s advertising push to rename the holiday, more and more businesses are staying open on the holiday each year, and, as on Veterans Day and Columbus Day, most delivery services outside of the Post Office now offer regular service on the day as well. Some public transit systems have also gone to regular schedules on the day. Various theories exist for this, one accepted reason being to make up for the growing trend of corporations to close in observance of the Birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr. However, when reviewing the Uniform Monday Holiday Bill debate of 1968 in the Congressional Record, one notes that supporters of the Bill were intent on moving federal holidays to Mondays to promote business. Over time, as with many federal holidays, few Americans actually celebrate Presidents Day, and it is mainly known as a day off from work or school, although most non-governmental workers do not get the day off.
Because Presidents Day is not the official name of the federal holiday, there is variation in how it is rendered. Both Presidents Day and Presidents' Day are today common, and both are considered correct by dictionaries and usage manuals. Presidents' Day was once the predominant style, and it is still favored by the majority of significant authorities -- notably, The Chicago Manual of Style. In recent years, as the use of attributive nouns (nouns acting as adjectives) has become more widespread, the popularity of Presidents Day has increased. This style is favored by the Associated Press Stylebook (followed by most newspapers and some magazines) and the Writer's Digest Grammar Desk Reference.
President's Day is a misspelling when used with the intention of celebrating more than one individual; however, as an alternate rendering of "Washington's birthday," or as denominating the commemoration of the presidency as a singular institution, it is a proper spelling. Indeed, this spelling was considered for use as the official federal designation by Robert McClory, a congressman from Illinois who was tasked with getting the 1968 federal holiday reorganization bill through the House Judiciary Committee. Nonetheless, while Washington's Birthday was originally established to honor George Washington, the term Presidents Day was informally coined in a deliberate attempt to use the holiday to honor multiple presidents, and is virtually always used that way today.

Thursday, February 14, 2008


Today it has been gray, rainy and cold (high of about 50 and I think we hit that at about 8:30am). I know that sometimes I can let the weather affect my mood... If it is gray and cold out, I would rather just be in bed, but if it is bright and sunny I can normally have a smile on my face. Even though the rain has been coming down all day I have been calmed because of the sound of it. We have 'sky lights' around the office, I think 2 or 3 in each of the hall ways. You can't see out of them (the plastic is all curved and I don't even know what they are good for since you can't see light through them), but you can hear to rain plopping on the roof. Sometimes rain gets a bad wrap (and I know I don't help it by complaining about the lack of sun), but today I am okay with it (maybe cause I was in a crap-tastic mood anyway :) ).

I do hope the sun comes back tomorrow though :)

Post 1000

Thanks Ry

Ryan sent me an Edible Arrangement for V-Day today. Here is a picture of what it looked like. If you want to send someone else something similar, check out their website here.

Either Or Survey

Yep, I'm bored (and like random pictures)

French fries or baked potatoe? French Fries, I LOVE ketchup
Ranch or french dressing? Ranch
Computer or phone? Computer, I hate the phone
Black or white? Black
Pants or shorts? Pants
Cereal or oatmeal? Cereal, I don't enjoy the texture of oatmeal, too soggy
Friends or family? Family
Ice cream or cake? Frozen Yogurt and Sherbert
Money or love? LOVE
Gum or candy bar? Gum
Cat or dog? Doggies please (cats scare me)
Pop or juice? Diet Mountain Dew PLEASE
Hot or cold? Hot, that's why I moved to San Diego!
Coffee or tea? Soda please
Pink or purple? Pink
Curly or straight? Straight
Up or down? This is random... Um, Up I guess
Hamburger or salad? Salad (I'm a vegetarian, so unless it is a veggie patty I pass on burgers)
Fat or skinny? Skinny
Rain or sun? SUNNY
Fish or shrimp? Fish are friends not food
Love or hate? LOVE
Boots or shoes? Sandals... Boots remind me of snow and if there isn't snow outside I will be wearing sandals
Clock or watch? Watch
Santa Clause or easter bunny? SANTA, I KNOW HIM!
Hugs or kisses? Hugs not drugs
Microwave or oven? Microwave, fo sho!
Car or Truck? Oh there you are Peter!! 95 YELLOW Ford Ranger Please!
Etheopia or Mexico? Etheopia
Day or night? Day, I am a morning person!
Vanilla or chocolate? Vanilla, unless it is white chocolate I don't really like it
Peanuts or almonds? Almonds
Mom or dad? I could never choose (especially since they both read this, hehe)
Doctor or dentist? Hate them both, but I guess I hate the dentist less
Fly or drive? If it was free, fly since it saves time, but it is fun to take road trips!
Glasses or contacts? Hmmmm I had glasses for a bit, but I think I would say contacts, so I could change my eye colors daily, hehe
Rap or Rock? Depends on my mood

Don't Buy Mars

Be a sweetheart and show your love for all animals by buying only cruelty-free treats for your sweetie this Valentine's Day! Don't buy from Mars or any other cold-hearted company that tests on animals, especially since there is tons of cruelty-free candy from companies that don't test on animals, such as Hershey's.

Mars recently funded a deadly experiment on rats to determine the effects of chocolate ingredients on their blood vessels. Experimenters force-fed the rats by shoving plastic tubes down their throats and then cut open the rats' legs to expose an artery, which was clamped shut to block blood flow. After the experiment, the animals were killed. Mars has also funded cruel experiments in which mice were fed a candy ingredient and forced to swim in a pool of a water mixed with white paint. The mice had to find a hidden platform to avoid drowning, only to be killed and dissected later on. In yet another experiment supported by Mars, rats were fed cocoa and anesthetized with carbon dioxide so that their blood could be collected by injecting a needle directly into their hearts, which can lead to internal bleeding and other deadly complications.

Click here to find out more about Mars' cruel experiments.

Mars' top competitor, Hershey's, has pledged not to fund or conduct experiments on animals. Other major food corporations—including Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, Ocean Spray, Welch's, and POM Wonderful—have also publicly ended animal tests after hearing from PETA.

Click here for the website.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008


Seven Greatest Gifts

Gift of service: donate to a cause, as a holiday gift for your best friend. Gift of affection: be generous with hugs, kisses and pats on the back. Gift of laughter: clip cartoons, share funny stories. Gift of a written note: send a 'thank you' note, write a letter to an old friend. Gift of a compliment: a simple 'you look great today', a sincere 'thank you for a wonderful meal'. Gift of listening: no interrupting, no daydreaming, no responding, just listening. Gift of solitude: spend some time in silence, help others spend some time in silence.

The Sun

Doesn't this flower remind you of the sun? I know that the sun is more of a sphere, but when you draw it 2-D, I always make it look similar to what this flower looks like. I took the picture last night while I was in search of my picture of the day.


Just one more reason NOT to buy chocolates for Valentine's Day... If you are going to buy sweets for your sweet this V-Day, check the expiration date... Also, check out this article.

Chocolate is one of the most popular Valentine's Day gifts, with more than $1 billion of it purchased just for that one romantic day alone. That chocolate may not be as sweet as you think however -- some stores seem to be recycling last year's sweets!

CBS 2 HD did its own investigation, purchasing six bags of Valentine's Day treats at stores around New York City. Of those six bags, five were inedible.

From the finest of truffles to candy bought in bulk, most of these products were expired and showed signs of improper storage, like melting and reshaping. Some of the chocolates had white dots or streaks, called a "bloom," which means the chocolate is stale.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Tea Anyone?

One day my mother was out and my dad was in charge of me and my brother who is four years older than I am. I was maybe 1 and a half years old and had just recovered from an accident in which my arm had been broken among other injuries. Someone had given me a little 'tea set' as a get-well gift and it was one of my favorite toys. Daddy was in the living room engrossed in the evening news and my brother was playing nearby in the living room when I brought Daddy a little cup of 'tea', which was just water. After several cups of tea and lots of praise for such yummy tea, my Mom came home. My Dad made her wait in the living room to watch me bring him a cup of tea, because it was 'just the cutest thing!' My Mom waited, and sure enough, here I come down the hall with a cup of tea for Daddy and she watches him drink it up, then says, 'Did it ever occur to you that the only place that baby can reach to get water is the toilet?'


I don't know if all of my readers click on the links on the right of my blog, but if you haven't, you should probably check out the SmithGallery. They are running a contest for a free photo session and a credit toward your prints. Check out the contest here. Of course I am entering and am hoping to win, but if I don't win I would love to see it be one of my readers :) The contest is pretty simple - a few easy steps of writing why the person you love the person you are nominating. Check it out soon though, they are only accepting nominations until Friday.

Creative Registry Gifts

I was looking around online this morning and came across this article. It had some really cool ideas that I would have never thought of. You can use the ideas for brithday gifts, Christmas gifts, etc. (it was just tailored for bridal showers). Check it out if you get a chance.

7 Ways to Personalize Registry Goods

No more same-old, same-old shower gift -- this time, jazz up the present with personal flair. Afraid buying off the registry is too boring? Since you're required to bring a gift with you (versus sending a wedding gift via an online registry), the bridal shower is the perfect opportunity to amp up a standard registry present.

IHOP - Pancake Day

About National Pancake Day
February 12, 2008
Known also as Fat Tuesday or Mardi Gras, National Pancake Day dates back several centuries to when the English prepped for fasting during Lent. Strict rules prohibited the eating of all dairy products during Lent, so pancakes were made to use up the supply of eggs, milk, butter and other dairy products…hence the name Pancake Tuesday, or Shrove Tuesday.

In 2008, Fat Tuesday falls on February 5, which also happens to be Super Tuesday, on which a record number of states will hold their Presidential primaries. In the interest of embracing the democratic process, IHOP has postponed its celebration of National Pancake Day by one week, and will give away free pancakes on February 12.

Since beginning its National Pancake Day celebration in 2006, IHOP has raised nearly one million dollars to support charities in the communities in which it operates. With your help, we hope to raise $750,000 for Children’s Miracle Network in 2008!

Monday, February 11, 2008


I just can't help but SMILE when it is 80 and sunny outside on February 11th. :) The only thing that would make it better was if I was OUTSIDE in it and not stuck in a windowless office :).

TV Shows

I know the writers strike has been a bummer, but there is a list out that is updated hourly about when shows will start taping, how many episodes left of this season they will tape, and when they will start playing again. Check out the list here.

Gossip Girl
Expected to shoot up to 9 new episodes to air in April/May/June.

The Office
Expected to shoot 5 to 10 new episodes to air in April/May.

Pushing Daisies
No new episodes until fall.

Saturday Night Live
Could be back on the air as early as Feb. 16.

Friday, February 8, 2008


Now that the weather is getting warmer (yes, I know, in some parts of the country you aren't so lucky, but for me, today the high was 75 degrees) the flowers are starting to bloom and the landscape is brightening up! WELCOME SPRING!! I thought for the unlucky souls still stuck in winter I would share some of the FLOWER pictures I took on my lunch break today (the blooming trees were found in the Target parking lot, I'm sure they are all over, but this was somewhere that I was able to safely shoot them at, instead of in the median of the road). Enjoy!!

And check out my favorite shot of the day over at my other blog - LensLife!

Bed for one

Happy Friday!!


Thanks goodness. It looks like analysts are estimating that gas prices are on the decline, hopefully about 50 cents by spring. That is music to our ears (especially those of us in areas where gas hasn't been below $3.00 in a long time). Check out the entire story here.

Gasoline could drop 50 cents/gallon by spring

NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. drivers could enjoy a drop of up to 50 cents per gallon in gasoline prices by this spring as high fuel prices and the threat of a recession force them to conserve, experts said on Wednesday.

U.S. gasoline supplies hit a near-14-year high of 227.5 million barrels last week, helped by falling demand for the fuel, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said on Wednesday.

"Gasoline stocks are continuing to increase and it implies that people are probably cutting down on gasoline consumption -- a result of the weakening economy," said Phil Flynn, an analyst at Alaron Trading in Chicago.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Post Secret

Three years ago this month the PostSecret Blog officially launched. More than 100,000,000 visitors later, the creator, Frank, is asking people to invite their friends and families to mail in secrets and check out the PostSecret website. New secrets are posted every Sunday (which gives me something great to look forward to Monday morning, since Monday mornings are normally a drag :) ). If you haven't checked out the site before, I would recommend it. I have to warn those of you who haven't been there before - the secrets are not censored. Some of the post cards are vulgar, and some may contain nudity (I just wanted to make sure everyone was adequately warned).

Top Tips to Reduce Bag Consumption

Top tips to reduce plastic (and paper) bag consumption

1. Start using reusable shopping bags. Find the right styles and designs to suit your taste and lifestyle.

2. Refuse a bag. Cashiers are programmed to keep the line moving and don't always stop to think or bother to ask if you need a bag. If you don't need one, don't take a one (ESPECIALLY IF WHAT YOU ARE BUYING WILL FIT IN YOUR HAND - MY TIP, IF YOU CARRIED IT TO THE CASHIER WITHOUT A BAG, YOU CAN CARRY IT TO YOUR CAR WITHOUT ONE.)

3. Reuse plastic bags you have accumulated as garbage liners.

4. Start using Ultra Compact bags. We love these since people tend to forget their bags when they go shopping- Ultra Compact bags are small enough to stash in your purse, jacket, backpack, car, etc. so one is always handy.

5. Get stores to offer cash credits if you bring in your own bags.

6. Open your eyes to how many bags you consume: keep count. For instance, if you have a giant plastic bag holding plastic bags in your closet, take 5 minutes and count how many you have. OR, count how many plastic and paper bags you go through in a week.

7. Spread the word to wake up others. Make a statement with our Plastic Bags Blow™ bumper stickers, t-shirts, hats, etc.

8. Cut down on plastic produce bags by bringing your own reusable produce bags.

Stop the Toll Road


Coastal Commission Says No to Toll Road Extension Through State Park

The California Coastal Commission Wednesday night rejected extending an Orange County toll road through San Onofre State Beach Park and into San Diego County, heeding complaints that the extension would have destroyed a large area of environmentally sensitive habitat and wetland.

The 8-2 vote came about 11:20 p.m., more than 14 hours after the hearing began at the Del Mar Fairgrounds.

Supporters of extending the toll road, including the Transportation Corridor Agency Transportation which proposed it, have avenues of appeals.

In finding the proposed toll road extension inconsistent with state law, the commission heeded its staff's recommendations.

"This is the most significant project to come before this commission since the San Onofre Nuclear Power Plant in 1974," Peter M. Douglas, the commission's executive director, said at the start of the hearing. "It is most significant because of the large area of environmentally sensitive habitat, wetlands and other public resources it will destroy."

Douglas said the proposed toll road clearly fails to meet many policies that govern development along the coast.

Check out the rest of the article here.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008


I know that proud sometimes gets a bad wrap - You hear 'it is wrong to be proud' in Christian circles, but I am not talking about pride in the 'bad' way. [I am sure that I could go off on this for a full post, but really it was just a tangent.] I looked up the word on and it came up with these definitions:

1. feeling pleasure or satisfaction over something regarded as highly honorable or creditable to oneself
2. having, proceeding from, or showing a high opinion of one's own dignity, importance, or superiority
3. having or showing self-respect or self-esteem
4. highly gratifying to the feelings or self-esteem
5. highly honorable or creditable
6. stately, majestic, or magnificent
7. of lofty dignity or distinction
8. happy
9. full of vigor and spirit
10. Obsolete. brave.

Anyway, all this to say:

RYAN I AM SO PROUD OF YOU!! I take pleasure in knowing you and I am highly satisfied in your work as an artist. I pray that these opportunities that have recently come your way will prove to be AMAZING endeavours, but even if they don't know that I AM PROUD OF YOU!!