Saturday, June 30, 2012

Various . . .

Not a lot to write, 
but we've been good about exercising.

I usually take a camera, 
so these pictures really make no sense.
They're just various shots I've taken 
in the last couple of days.

More shots of Henry Cowell

The trees are so green
this time of year.

We spend a good amount of time at our local library
It's a brand new facility,
a wonderful place to spend a few hours

Most of the lighting is solar,
beautiful design.
I love the light dividers.

The carpet, not so much.
These are my new walking shoes (duh!),
I like that they have mesh over the toes.

I took this shot at lunch.  
The color is funky but I like the graphic.

Sometimes I think my life is too boring to blog.
Oh well.

I just try to remember,

It's Never Too Late
To Live Happily Ever After,

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Abandom Hope All Ye Who Enter Here

because there's a ton of pictures today!

Some are good shots, but a lot are memory shots of a damned near perfect day at Disneyland.  If the mood strikes you, all the photos on this blog are clickable for a larger version.

The weather was just sublime, a tad warm, but almost always a breeze to keep us cool.  We had decided beforehand that we would walk all we could, but avoid standing as much as possible.  It's strange how I can walk comfortably, but standing for more than five minutes seems to disagree with my body.

We started at the gate, where I presented an old one person two day commemorative passport I had in the collection. It originally had the ticket stub on the far right.

The Castmember at the gate looked at it and said "I'll have to call someone about this".  I said fine, since this was pretty much what I was expecting.

You see, main gate passes to Disneyland never expire, something I know, but many Castmembers do not.  So a "Lead" (supervisor) comes over and says he has to ask someone else, but do I want the ticket back?  I said I would like the larger part back after the transaction is complete.  After a few minutes, someone else shows up, they scratch their heads for a minute or two and say they'll be right back.  After about ten minutes yet another Castmember (presumably higher up) show us and informs me that they really aren't supposed to do this (meaning giving me two one day tickets rather than a one person two day ticket).  That said, they decided to make an exception in this case.  He hands me my larger part of my original ticket and two one day passes.

Cool, my friend Misty and I have just entered the park for a mere $22 total, saving ourselves $152!  The day is off to a good start.

Usually, I wait till I'm under the railroad bridge before I even think of taking pictures, but this view caught my eye.  Truthfully, it's my favorite shot of the day.  I considered leaving it for last, but this is such a long post, I figured it would be best to keep everything in order.

I do love the train station, 
and I have to admit, 
in the hundreds of times I've been to Disneyland, 
I've never spotted this view.

I was telling Misty how, 
no matter how often I come to the park, 
there's always something new to shoot.  
She said that's because every time I come, 
I bring new eyes.

I like that idea.

 I love that first view of Main Street 
as you walk under the berm, 
it just clicks with something in my head, 
and I'm taken to a good place.

They have a slew of new hats for the kiddies.
I meant to get a shot of the hats,
but when I spied the reflection, 
I decided I liked this scene more.

Having been to Disneyland so many times, 
I like to look at the details.

They've Cars-ified the monorail!

More details.
The Alice in Wonderland ride
has hundreds of unique details.

Another favorite is the StoryBook Land Canal Boats.
Each is themed to one of the animated favorites.
They're intensely detailed,
every one a beauty in its' own right.

Not a great shot,
but I always like the beginning of the journey.

Into the Mouth of the Beast,
Monstro the Whale.

And out the other side,
entering one of the most beautiful spots 
in all of Disneyland.

This is where Toad Hall sat for years.
They felt it needed to be updated, so they took it out
and replaced it with Agrabah.

There was quite a fuss, 
so they eventually brought Toad Hall back,
but in a new location.  
Unfortunately I didn't get a very good shot.
Still, I'm happy its been restored.

The beautiful Cinderella's Castle.
If you look closely,
you can see the pumpkin coach 
on the road going up to the castle.

They've also added Prince Eric's city from
the Little Mermaid.

Gepetto's Village.
This is one of my favorite parts of this attraction.

Just around sunset, 
I saw the dying sunlight on the castle.
We hustled over to see what shots we could get. 
Not the best of shots but the roses caught my eye

Then I noticed the reflection.
I like the castle in this shot, 
the roses not so much.

This one is a bit better, 
but neither is exactly right.
Maybe next time.

All day I was alternating 
using my iPhone 4s and my Canon sx40.  
I found that in the dark rides, 
the iPhone was vastly superior.

I was really impressed with this shot.
I shot this using my iPhone 
and the amazing ProCamera app.
Remember, this was taken in the dark
from a moving boat
(Please, click to enlarge).

All I did was manipulate for size 
and a bit of sharpening.

Next we go over to Downtown Disney.
The Lego Store 
has mounted this most impressive display.
It might not show, 
but this dragon is close to life size.

Now we're in the stores.
If I had a yard, 
this would have come home with me.

Also this.  
It stands about fifteen inches tall, 
and the boys are bobbleheads.
Too cute.

Now it was getting dark.
All day long we kept seeing these hats.
I believe they're from the new Cars Land.
I asked this fella if he would pose for a shot, 
and he was happy to oblige.
Bad shot, but good for the memory.
After all, who wears a tire on their head?
Next time I'll take a day time shot.

This was taken with my iPhone!
Fantasyland at night.

I've tried for years to get shots of fireworks, 
always with minimal success.
But once again, my sx40 came through.

And one final yee haw.
The perfect end to a perfect day.

Next time I go to the park,
I'm going to shoot even more.
I'll be bringing my new eyes with me.

It's Never Too Late
To Live Happily Ever After,


Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Back from LA (and More Rambling)

So many thoughts running through my head today, very strange.

I have a lot of pictures to cull through from the trip.  It was short and almost perfect, but I'll write about that later.

Today, my thoughts are on health.

It was easier than I thought, eating healthy and continuing my exercise program.  I continue to try to live in the present, not letting old failures drag me down.  It seems that as long as I remember that this is now and not a presdestined repeat of my past, I do well.

As to the walking, I find I rather enjoy it, but I am having a bit of a time with my leg muscles.  I hardly believe that just walking could affect me so, but perhaps that's why my thighs and calves are sore?

I'm going to try new shoes and see what that does.  So far, Adidas seem to be the best for my feet (size 10, very wide, exceptionally high arch, high instep and a tendency towards Plantar Faciitus).  I'm also ordering a pair of walking shoes specifically made for people with Plantar Faciitus.  Since I'm ordering from Zappos, they will send me the shoes and I'll be able to try them on in the comfort of my own home, then send back the ones I don't like.  And they pay the postage both ways!

Don't you just love Zappos?

In looking for food that was good and healthy, we came across a place called Zankou Chicken in Glendale (we were staying with friends nearby).

While we walked in ordering chicken, I saw that they had shawarma, which I just had to try.  Have you seen the Avengers?  If so, you'll get the shawarma reference.  I had never heard of it before the film, but seeing it on the menu, I just had to try it.  And Oh My God!  It's my new favorite way to eat beef.

Sort of like the meat they use for Gyros, this was seasoned unlike anything I've ever had before.  To the best of my tastebuds, I think cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, garlic and then there's more flavors that I just cannot identify.  If anyone knows, please share.

Then, there was this garlic sauce.  It was, I swear, the nearest thing to heaven I've ever tasted.  I bought extra to bring home so I could try to re-create it.  If I am successful, be sure that I'll share.

In closing, I'll add just one shot.  We had stopped to stretch our legs when we spotted this little one up in a rafter building his (or her) mud nest.  I liked the way it just looked at me, like I was really intruding into a spot where I had no business. 

Keep in mind that with my SX40, 
I was probably twenty feet away!

That's it for today, pictures tomorrow.

And remember
It's Never Too Late
To Live Happily Ever After,


Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Just a Few Words

We've been good about walking, still keeping it up, but I have to ask . . .

Who in Hell came up with this 10,000 steps goal? 

Geez, that's a LOT of steps!  I've only managed it two days out of the six we've been walking.  Usually I manage between 5,000 and 7,000 and for now, I think I'll just be happy with that.

On another note . . .

Tomorrow, I'm taking another load to LA, Friday I get to play in Disneyland, Saturday, I work on the items I'm selling and I'll be home late Sunday night.

With that, I might squeeze in a post, but if I'm gone for a few days, now you know why!

And remember,

It's Never Too Late
to Live Happily Ever After

Monday, June 18, 2012

the Perfect iPad Bag

I wrote a few days ago about iPad bags and today I'd like to expand.

If, like me, you're a tech junkie, you understand that sometimes the accoutrements of all these devices can quickly outpace the price of the devices themselves.

I've finally found a bag for each pf my cameras, an everyday bag that allows me to carry my Canon SX40 and my iPad, I have Cotton Carriers for when I don't want to carry a bag (yes, I have one vest and one belt model, different needs ya know).  But I haven't found a bag for when I just want to run out of the house with my iPad and a few other goodies.

The problem (as I see it) is that most bags are black, and usually aimed squarely at the tech crowd (read that as incredibly unattractive).  I really want something that doesn't scream nerd to everyone who looks at it, and at the same time, makes me smile when I look at it.

Now there are some attractive bags out there, but they usually carry designer names and start at $100 or more, not for me.

Then, when we were at the Japanese Cultural Festival, I found the answer to my dreams.  There was a booth, filled with beautiful fabrics, all made into bags of various sizes.  You can imagine how excited I was when I realized these were just the size to fit an iPad.

Wow, I was in heaven, look at all those choices! The booth was run by a delightful woman named Thom, and she makes all the bags herself.  And just in case you don't have an iPad, she also makes them for the Kindle and the Nook.  She also makes an assortment of beautiful tote bags as well in a variety of other sizes. 

Three things set Thom's bags apart. 

First, she has an incredible eye for fabric.  I really couldn't believe the assortment.  Then once we got to talking, she told me about others she didn't bring along.  She will be sending me pictures of other fabrics, and I can hardly wait.

Second, she is very careful with the design of the fabric.  She makes sure that each design perfectly fits the fabric.  For example, she had a beautiful geisha fabric, but would only use it on a full size bag so that the whole graphic would show on the finished product.

Thirdly, the iPad bags, padded for protection and including a finished pocket on the front for other items sell for only $20.00!  Is that a great deal or what?

Here's a picture of the one I bought, front and back.

That said, when she sends me pictures of additional fabric, I may have to buy another. 

Unfortunately she doesn't have a website yet, or I'm sure she would never be able to keep up with demand, so if you're interested in one of these bags, email me and I'll give you her contact number. 


We've been good about walking, going every day, so the scenery gets kind of monotonous and I'm not finding a lot to shoot, but I did like this shot from Henry Cowell today.

And that's it for today.

Oh, one more thing  . . .

I may be changing my signature from 
Life is Good 
It's Never Too Late to Live Happily Ever After.

What do you think?

Sunday, June 17, 2012

the BEST Sandwich

We're working on being more mindful of what we eat.

Mindful Eating, isn't that a lovely phrase?

For some time now, we've been using FlatOut FlatBread.  
We like the taste, it's low in carbs and high in fiber.  
And it tastes good!

I'm also a fan of Laughing Cow Cheese.  
The other day, we were in Costco 
and they were sampling a new product, 
a soft, spreadable swiss cheese.

So I took two pieces of the cheese 
and one piece of Flatbread,

slathered the cheese all over the bread.
It spreads just like softened cream cheese
but gives a slight cheesy flavor to the sandwich.

Next I mixed four ounces of left over chicken with
two tablespoons of
Paul Newman's Low Fat Sesame Ginger Salad Dressing.

You have tried 
Paul Newman's Low Fat Sesame Ginger Salad Dressing, 
haven't you?  
It's one of the best dressings I've ever tasted.
Perfect on salad, chicken, beef or vegetables. 
Whatever you use it on, guaranteed,
it will up the flavor quotient of your dish.

Next I chopped up a bit of red bell pepper,

then added some lettuce, salt and pepper 
and rolled her up.
Does this look good or what?

As good as this tasted, 
the best news is the nutritional count.  

It comes in at 315 calories, 
a mere 10.5 grams of fat.
26 grams of carb
(minus 10 grams of fiber for a net total of 16 carbs).

Not bad for such a tasty treat!