Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Ceramic Idolatry

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We visited Color Me Mine in San Jose today. My daughter chose to create a copy of our dog, Ninja, to immortalize him forever in ceramic and acrylic. Maybe, just maybe, she wants it to sit on her Daddy's desk at work, where it can be seen by many more people than occupying a corner at home. I can hope.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Shadow Dance

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Late in the day, when the light was long, I stumbled upon a little bug dancing with it's shadow.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Bowl of Shame

Yep, there it is folks. I am laying it all out there for you, my friends. It's true, I cannot bowl. This is the score, and sadly, it's playing with the bumpers. And I was beat by a 10 year old.

In case you haven't seen it, check out this funny video from bowling a few month back.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Our own little Bellagio

This is our own Santa Clara version of the Bellagio fountains. Ok, not really, but it's all we got.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Dive Bar

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Sometimes, when you take the camera out with you while drinking, you just might find some cool drunken photography on the camera the next day.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Industrial looking stuff

I'm struggling for inspiration today, so I just took the camera out to the garage to see what I could try to make look interesting.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

All is well at the Spicuzza Zoo

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The amount of pets in this place is ever increasing, but it's good to see them getting along. This is Alex on the left, and Ninja on the right.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Squash Flower

I took this earlier this morning. I was holding off, thinking I might come up with something better for the day, but it was a busy day. So this is all I have. It's a flower from the gargantuan squash plant that has taken over one side of my little garden.

Monday, June 21, 2010

A Slice of Egypt in San Jose

A visit to the Rosicrutian Egyptian Museum in San Jose kept me and the kiddo busy for half the day. My daughter was hesitant about going, but really seemed interested in all the stuff and enjoyed it. It's a real slice of Egypt in the middle of San Jose, driving down an average looking street, and an Egyptian temple appears out of no where. This is in the back gardens. It's really pretty enough to just go and walk around the outside.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Father's Day

Happy Father's Day to all Dads.
I have a special man in my life. He married me and my daughter. He has raised her as his own since the day he met her. Even as difficult as things can get sometimes, he is always there for her. Thank you Terry. And thanks to all the men who are dads everyday. Just because you donated the DNA, it does not make you a dad.

This is moments after Terry got to unwrap his father's day present, and Alexis can't wait to get her hands on his gift. She is highly under the assumption that it is also a gift for her. In fact she said, "It's for everyone, right?" And, yes, if you can see the box, it is a universal remote. I had no sinister motives in mind at all.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Now Red

Here's the strawberry I posted a few weeks back. It's now red, and I picked it from my garden today. I'm pretty happy about it, because my green thumb is a little iffy sometimes. I managed to get a lot of cherry tomatoes last summer, but everything else died, including the strawberry plants. It popped back up this spring and started growing fruit. I planted two blueberry bushes about two months ago, and so far it has yielded five blueberries. I still count it as a victory, and they were yummy.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

SV View and Moldy Sponge Mt

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In order to keep the kiddo from fattening up all summer, I vow to keep her active. Today was a 3.4 mile hike in the Foothills Open Space Preserve in Palo Alto. We took Ninja (our mutt) too, and he was quite pooped out from all the hiking. Ninja no likey the hikey. At the top of the hill, there is marvelous views of Silicon Valley. Everything was visible, the San Francisco Bay, Moffet Air Field, all the way to the mountains in the East Bay.

This picture ended up here on my page because my daughter told me this mountain looks like a sponge with mold on it (she is referring to that yellow hill in the middle of the picture). Then she insisted I take a picture, and told me it should be my picture of the day. So, since she's such a fan (haha, right), I oblige her.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Because 20 was just too fast!

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This is a sign on Winchester Blvd in Santa Clara (or maybe San Jose, not sure, the city border is right there???) I would love to know what city committee had to go about figuring that this curve was just not manageable at 20mph, and that the recommended speed should be 19mph.

Monday, June 14, 2010

People Watching

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This is a picture from yesterday's outing in Santa Cruz. Yes, I am cheating already and I am less than one month in, but I was really torn over which picture to post yesterday.

This guy was just too funny to pass up. He is wearing silky Coca-Cola boxer shorts, and what has to be his wife's cardigan. I was really trying to get a picture from the front, so you could see the ruffly, flowery front. There was only so long I could stand there and pretend I was photographing the sailboat behind him.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Santa Cruz

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It was a sweltering day in the South Bay, so we sought refuge on the cool coast of Santa Cruz. Apparently so did everyone else in Silicon Valley.

I snapped this shot as the fog rolled in off the Pacific late in the afternoon.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Warning to Wildlife

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All creatures big and small (mostly small) Please head this warning: If you wonder into my yard, you run the risk of being kept as a part of our home zoo. We found a gecko in the backyard. My kiddo couldn't help but to play with it for a while. I did force her to let it go eventually. See the rest of the pictures with her and her new friend on Flickr.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Origami Master

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Yesterday was the last day of fourth grade for my daughter. I really enjoy reading through the masses of schoolwork they send home at the end of the school year, the stories and creative writing assignments always bring a smile to my face. I save a few good ones to look back at one day when she's grown and off to college.
My brilliant child has Asperger's Syndrome. As a result, one of her quirks is that her fingers must always be busy. She took to origami several years ago, and found it to be an excellent way to keep her little fingers busy. Her teachers have all gone mad with taking paper away from her in class. But they all had the same thing to say; No matter how much she appears to not be paying attention in class and seems to be completely focused on the paper in her fingers, if called upon, she knows the answer and is following along in class better than most other students. She doesn't find eye contact as a necessary part of learning. Finally, her teacher this year has just given up on trying to stop her from folding paper all day. She agrees that in her own way, it helps her learn better. It still drives the teacher nuts because post-it notes are part of the state provided school supplies, and my kiddo uses more than anyone else. They also must go through her desk every other week or so to remove the many swans, frogs, and boats that burst from her desk. When they cleaned out the desk at the end of school, the teacher sent home a large ziplock full of the origami in her desk. This is a cherished pile of her creations that was pulled out of her desk, and now adorns my kitchen table.
When not origami-ing, she can be found sculpting little creatures out of clay, or wax. She found a wonderful medium in the red wax that comes on BabyBel cheese. I sent them to school in her lunch, and she would come home with an impeccable red sculpture, highly detailed and about the size of a quarter. I had thought they were made from the red clay she had, and only learned their true makeup when I was told we needed more cheese in order for her to make more sculpture. It turns out the kids at school had found her mini creations so cool, she began taking orders. I told her that she should sell them on ebay if they are that popular. She wasn't having it, a true artist, she only sculpts for the love of it.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Distractions of a Photographer

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Such a curse it is to notice the little things all the time. As a photographer, I get distracted by so many little things. A week or so ago, a glint of light caught my eye, and I followed it to a leaf, then spent the next half hour photographing it. Recently when a woodpecker turned up in the tree in my backyard, I spent nearly half the day stalking it with my camera. Whenever I see something, I usually drop whatever I was doing at the time to catch that perfect moment. I see so many things in my daily life that would make great photos. I guess that's why I created this blog.
Today, while cutting my cucumber, a typically everyday mundane thing, I noticed the water beading on the top. Forgetting my salad completely, I grabbed the camera. The scene in my kitchen looked something like this: My daughter walks in to see my brandishing a cucumber under the skylight (to get the best light, of course), with the camera in my other hand, and yelling at the dog to get out of the way, because he kept walking into the shot. Very confused, she asked, "Uhhh, what are you doing?". All I could tell her is that she had a very weird mommy.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

4th grade BBQ

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It was a day for the 4th graders to let loose and have some fun on the eve of the last day of school. I was cooking on the grill, one of several grills, because there are so many dietary concerns of her very multi-cultural class. On my grill, I was making exclusively veggie burgers, for the non-meat eaters, then there were also regular beef hamburgers on another grill. For hot dogs, we had to get all beef hot dogs for the non-pork eaters, and had to get pork hot dogs for the non-beef eaters, and make certain they were cooked on separate grills. I think we should have just ordered cheese pizza for everyone and called it a day, but wait, then there would be issues with the non-dairy eaters. Damn, it just can't be easy. I feel really old when saying this, but it's just not like it was way back in the old days.

After the meal, the kids played a host of games, and I caught this pic while they were playing the water balloon toss game. I quickly grabbed the camera and snapped this shot before I had time to check any settings on the camera. It just happened to catch the exact moment the balloon was bursting in my daughter's hand. But without getting the settings right, it's a bit overexposed and blown out. After that, I could try again and again, and never recreate this perfect timing from the first pic with very poor exposure. Murphy's Law, right?

Tomorrow, my last day of freedom till August.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Sapphire lays an egg

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While taking my shower, I could hear frantic, indiscernible yells. I knew it was my daughter, but I could not make out what she was saying. There seemed to be definite panic in her voice. "WHAT?" I shouted from the shower. Again, frantic ramblings, and nothing clearly stated. "WHAT?" I yell again. This happens 5 or 6 times. At this point I am thinking of all kinds of crazy scenarios that could be causing the panic, something is on fire, the dog is loose and running amuck in the streets, there's a strange masked man at the door. I shut off the water, grab a towel and dart out of the bathroom, yelling for my daughter to come and tell me what the problem is. Finally, she says clearly, "Sapphire just laid an egg!". (Sapphire is one of our four bearded dragons.)

I got out of the shower for this?

So, we had a little conversation about using the "emergency" tone of voice, and in what context it should interrupt my shower.

So, Sapphire laid an egg. That's it. Don't know what I am going to do about it yet.

Monday, June 7, 2010

The Aftermath

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Ugh! Sorry about yesterday, I fell into a deep sleep just as soon as I slammed shut the laptop, and slept good and long. So today, the kiddo goes off to school, hubby off to work, and I have to take care of the travel aftermath. This pile of laundry is from just this weekend. Then there is the sand dunes that have formed in the car that I have to address next. Gotta de-poo the bearded dragon habitat, water the garden and pull the 1000 weeds that seemed to have grown since friday. Then there is all the usual stuff that needs done.

I'm still tired. I wanna go back to bed.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Return Trip

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We headed back north by way of PCH to journey home. It was a much clearer and bright day compared to the thick fog blanketing the coast on the drive south a few days ago. I caught a moment in nature I didn't expect to see. Pretty far out off shore, I could see the playful twisting and turning of an otter, very typical of the California coast. Then there was a seal that surfaced right by the otter. The two seemed to be playing together. They were jovially splashing around together. I apologize for the poor quality of these pictures, they were pretty far out, and my zoom lens extended as much as it could. Not my best quality photography, but a very cool thing to see.

So, today is a two-fer because they are both so difficult to make out. I wish I could better tell the story, but I am exhausted, and my laptop is on 3% battery. So, goodnight.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Surfer's Healing

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My baby went surfing today! Thanks to an amazing organization called Surfer's Healing, my daughter had an amazing opportunity to go surfing. Surfer's Healing holds one day surfing camps for children with Autism Spectrum Disorders. My daughter has Asperger's Syndrome, which is kind of like high functioning autism. The volunteers at today's event were wonderful, and I couldn't thank this organization enough for the experience. So many children had an inspirational day today. Please, please, I can't say it enough, if you can, please support this organization, Surfer's Healing

Friday, June 4, 2010

Road Trippin'

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What an amazing day. Everything you've ever heard about driving CA Rt. 1 along the coast is drastically understated, it's epic. There are so many picture from today's journey, but you will have to catch those on flickr in a few days. The pic I chose was a once in a lifetime experience. Elephant seals fighting on the shores of the Pacific. I overheard an onlooker who said he had been to this spot a thousand times before and had never seen tussling like seen today. I can't vouch for that, being my first time here, but I feel very lucky to have been here today with camera in hand.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Green Strawberry

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This is a strawberry growing in my back yard, still green, and then I had a little fun with it in photoshop.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

&@#! Remotes!

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Gripe of the day: Too many #!%* remotes! My husband came home from Best Buy with a new tv the other day (lesson: never let husband shop alone). The tv actually has some cool features, that can only be controlled by it's remote. So, now we add another remote.
From left to right:
  1. The cable remote, to turn on the tv and cable box, change channels and view the guide.
  2. The new tv remote. to control picture modes, and control devices through the USB on the tv, and many many more things.
  3. The sound system remote, to control volume, also be used when switching devices.
  4. Playstation remote, used to control dvd's and Netflix.
Then there is the dog, who jumps, stands, and sleeps on the remotes- This picture was in no way staged! Then we have to figure what mystery button he had pushed, for which device, and what obscure mode he has managed to change it to.

Too %&!@ many remotes.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010


For my first post, I had to think about setting the tone for this blog. So, today, I am sick. My head hurts, my throat hurts, I feel like crap. Today, my picture is me, in my natural state. Messy hair, undereye circles, and my not so cheery disposition. No one want to see someone with perfect pictures of their perfect life. This is real life.