Friday, November 28, 2008

Wouldn't it be nice...

After last week's maddening meeting with the CEO of airlines going to the government with their hands outstretched, what would we have done had just one of them had this attitude.

Very worth the watch.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Contest Update. 53 votes/5 days left


The heat is on.

There are five days left in the contest and the competition is heating up.

I'm not sure how the final selection is going to be made. Right now I am in the lead with 53 votes. There are five photos that are currently very close in the number of votes placed but only four will be selected.

If you have placed your vote for my lighting shot, thank you so much. There are three judges that will make the final decision so the only thing I can relate this to is a final grade in school. The votes count for a part of the final decision, but I think the judges have the final say. But this is all a guess.

With this said, if you have not placed your vote just because of all the preparation for Thanksgiving, won't you consider placing it now??

Again, here is how you can place your vote:

When you click on the link below, you will need to register and join the contests before you can place your vote for me.

http://www.photrade.com/contest/aperturenatureworkshops2

Once you have registered and joined the contest, click on the link below again,
- then go to "SUBMISSIONS",
- and you will see a box on the right that says "MOST RECENT". Click that and select "MOST VOTED FOR". There you will see my photo in the top row.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Thanksgiving Thankfulness.

I wanted to try to find photos that showed what I am thankful for, but the more I looked for photos the more my heart found its way back to Africa. Writing the words bring tears to my eyes as it is. I can't tell you how many things I will have in my list, I'm going to write till I can't write anymore. Could be a lot, could be a few. Let's find out together.

First and foremost is the Trinity. God the Father, his Son Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit. There are so many times when I give up on myself and really struggle to continue on. It does take a lot of effort for me to know that I cannot give up on myself till They do and that is NEVER going to happen, so I press on.

My shower, warm water, WATER. My last trip to Tanzania I stayed the majority of my time out in Mairowa. I think in the 10-days I was out there I bathed twice, once with warm water and the other cold. Even at that I did wash my hair almost every day, but we are so spoiled here in America. Water was also a premium in Liberia, but on the ship we had warm water even though our showers were limited to two minutes.

A bed.

A bedroom. It is such a luxery to have a separate room devoted to only sleeping. That is unheard of in most of the rest of the world.

Being able to cook without having to go gather wood.

Being able to cook without ruining my lungs because of the smoke created from the open campfire.

My health. Even though I have been sick for the past 2 1/2 months, I am so much better off than a lot of people in this world.

My car. When I returned from living overseas I had no car. Phoenix is not known for its public transportation. I struggled for the first 1 1/2 year back with no car of my own. Gosh, I just realized it was that long. I was able to borrow my parents cars when I absolutely needed a car, and for that I'm thankful

Easy communication. Having a phone, internet, computer.

Having a job. Not only in this economy, but at any time. God created us to work, that is why he commands us to have a day of rest.

Speaking of my job, I'm very thankful for my co-worker. I have told Bradley this many times in the past couple of months and I mean it from the bottom of my heart. I put him through a lot of C**P for the first 2 1/2 years of us working together. I treasure the friendship, not only with him, but with his wife and kids, that has been growing over the past 6-months.

My boss, Don. He is the best boss I have EVER had in my entire life. He is patient with me. Extremely creative. Down to earth. Gosh, this list in itself could go on and on.

Pastor Larry and Gina Anderson. Always so supportive of me and so many words of encouragement.

Pastor Jamie for his transperancy. A lesson I need to learn something terrible.

The Ross family. Gosh, another one I put through H**l, but turn into a great friendship.

I'm thankful for the creativity God has giving us. Not just me, but all of us. God is a creative God and since we are made in His image, we are all creative too.

My camera and all the equipment.

My friends in Tanzania: Elisha, Laveena, Anna, Isack, Megan, Daniel, and Dr. Mvunta. As well as all the folks at IMARA ministry.

The entire continent of Africa.

My cats.

My neighbor, Sharon. You are awesome. Other people have play dates with their children or dogs, we have play dates with our cats on our patio between our front doors.

My brother and sis-n-law and of course my nieces and nephew.

And, my mom and dad.

Okay, this could go on and on as I think of people who have shown me patience and love. If you don't see your name on this list, know that it is written in my heart and I am forever grateful.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Modern Day Cool!!










A couple of days ago I posted about a cool little software program where you could change today's modern digital images into the good ole' Polaroid looking photo.

This goes hand in hand with that post. I'm so excited. I want one of these little gadgets to take with me on my travels to Africa.

Small portable printers have been available for years. The problem I have always seen with those is how stinkin' expensive the ink was. I'd have to haul the ink with the machine, hope that I brought enough and deal with lugging all of the supplies around. So, I have never decided to get one.

Polaroid has come up with a modern day solution to their camera of the 60's, 70's and 80's. It's called Polaroid Pogo and it is a printer where the paper provides you with everything you need. The images are small, but when you are dealing with children who have probably never had a photo of themselves, I can deal with that. The printer itself is about the size of a point and shoot camera.

Just like the old cameras, when you load the pack of paper in the printer it spits out a dud. Gosh, this is bringing back so many memories.

Once you take the photo, it doubles as a sticker. Not sure how useful that will in Africa, but I'm sure the kids will get a kick out if for a bit. The photos themselves have a "100-year" guarantee that the ink won't smear or fade. Now how they tested this I have no idea, but hey, if it will withstand little ones hands in the rough conditions these kids live in, I'll support it. It is also supposed to be able to survive a swim in water. The photo, not the printer.



I did some research online and Best Buys has them on sale right now for $99. That packs of paper come in 10 and 30 pictures and range from $4.99 to $12.99 respectively. Expensive when you consider you can get full size 4X6 prints for about $ .12, but such a deal when you are in the bush in Africa and no Target nearby.

I'm trying so hard to not buy one right now.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
UPDATE - 6:47pm

I failed. I just could not wait. I went and bought one. Best Buy's price was actually $94. And I found the 30 packs of paper at Walmart for $10.49. What a bargain. So, I'm playing with it tonight.

As I've said, I have been sick. I have had bronchitis since the end of September and just when I was almost over that I got step throat. I have been on the mend and I was out of my house for 2-hours today and I am exhausted!!! I think I will be celebrating Thanksgiving with my kitties.

New Blog Design

I was getting a little tired of the generic background I had. And since I have been home sick and a bit bored, I decided to personalize it a bit.

So, now you know the buzz. Yes, pun intended.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

FREE, FREE, FREE, FREE, FREE (except for s/h.)

...in time for Christmas.



















Okay, I'm going to give away one of my secret places. Some of you have received gifts from me that I have gotten from this place.

http://www.silverjewelryclub.com/default.aspx

The website is called the Silver Jewelry Club, but it is NO club. This company is giving away their jewelry. No joke. I have bought many of their items. I have never received spam email from them, or had a salesman call me pressuring me to buy more. They send me an email to confirm my order, another to confirm the details of the order and finally one to let me know that my order has been shipped.

They only have four selections at anytime, but there is a link in the upper right where you can see what is coming up and ask them to send you an email and let you know that it is now available. Items stay up for 15-minutes.

You can buy pendants for $6.99. No chain is included but you can purchase on for $4.00 more and even select the length. Their earrings and rings are $6.99. They tell you how much each piece resells for. If you are interested in the rings, you cannot select the size. They tell you what size is now being sold and if that happens to fit your finger, go for it.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Polaroids out of your digital photos

This is cool!!! Seriously!!! On more than on level.

First, this is only for MAC. Sorry PC.

Second, it brings back childhood memories for me. I remember when my father gave me a Polaroid camera and then the two of us going on a trip to where I was born. I have photos of me taken in the San Francisco Bay area with my new toy.

Here is a sample of those photos.

San Fran 1980

Kimberly 1980 A

And this one was before I really understood about composition:

Dad San Fran 1980

Enough of the real Polaroid photos. Here are some of the ones that I created with my digital photos:

2873173893_05cd4dcc99_b-pola

2848410237_7b110f9c04_b-pola

2709509196_082fde4385_b-pola

2718226705_ea8c856a52_o-pola

2719051898_199b35c306_b-pola

2953311536_e4de04f66a_o-pola

How fun is that?? I love the way you have no control over the coloring. You get what you get. It's almost as if you pulled it right from the camera and did what we all did, shook the daylights out of it.

You can download the software for FREE on the companies website:

http://www.poladroid.net/


.

Pastor Jamie























I found some photos on my desktop computer at home and thought you might enjoy this photo.

This was taken at our staff picnic last year. It was the first time the entire staff was able to interact with Jamie and his family.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Contest information


Dawn was kind enough to post on her blog about my photo and if you are here because of that referral, thank you so much. Thanks Dawn.

Here's how you can vote.

With the 33 votes, I am currently in 3rd place. As of now, I would really like to have at least 50 votes. Seventeen more votes, that's all. (This might change as the competition comes to a close.) Please consider placing your vote.

Here is how you go about voting:


When you click on the link below, you will need to register and join the contests before you can place your vote for me.

http://www.photrade.com/contest/aperturenatureworkshops2

Once you have registered and joined the contest, click on the link below again,
- then go to "SUBMISSIONS",
- and you will see a box on the right that says "MOST RECENT". Click that and select "MOST VOTED FOR". There you will see my photo in the top row.

This is a very important competition for me. One of the key prizes is one that I would be able to learn a lot from. It is "a group of four professional photographers will be joined by four amateur photographers at Yosemite National Park for unparalleled photo opportunities, followed by first-hand instruction in Apple Aperture by a team of Apple-certified Aperture trainers."

This would be such a tremendous training opportunity for me. I would be able to use these skills for my job at the church and beyond.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Published again.

If you recall last week I went to the Mathew West concert and got some great shots. I contacted his agent and made my photos available to them. Tonight I signed onto MySpace, I saw a familiar photo looking back at me.

















Yep, that's one of my photos.

I love it when I see one of my photos or videos being displayed. It excites me to think someone sees beauty in the same thing I did.

The photos are also on his website.

http://matthewwest.com/media_default.aspx

Little Knoll Photography blog

It's up and running.

I wanted to have a separate place to place photos so they can be enjoyed for what they are, a split second of time frozen for others to enjoy.

Here's the link:

http://littleknollphotography.blogspot.com/

I never know when I will post new photos so you might want to bookmark the page. Well, you might want to if you enjoy my photography.

Contest update:

Eleven days and counting. I now have 32 votes. I am in third place. I'm still looking for votes. The two lead photos are still getting votes, so I am not shooting for at least 40 votes. :-)

Thursday, November 20, 2008

1001 rules

First, an update on the status of my lightning photo. I have reached 30 votes and I am now in third place by one vote.

That does not mean I am not still asking people to vote for my photo. There are still 13 days left in the competition. If you haven't voted yet and still want to, please do so.


Okay, on to the 1001 rules.

This morning I found this blog, "1001 rules for my unborn son."

http://rulesformyunbornson.tumblr.com/

It has quite a bit of good advice. It even allows you to email your advice and see if it is worthy enough to make the list.

Here are some of the rules:

262. Don't sabatage the family portrait. Smile please.

77. Never side against your brother in a fight.

20. Learn an instrument, preferably one that can be played at home in the company of friends.

And when I saw this one, I saw a familiar face staring back:

270. Stand up to bullies. You'll only have to do it once.

Before you go right to rule 270, check to see if you can guess who that face might be. FYI, he's not really a bully. :-)

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

29 Votes, 13 days


I'm excited to say that my Lightning photo currently has 29 votes in the competition being run on Photrade.

If you have voted for my photo, thank you so much.

If you haven't but want to and have just delayed, may I please ask you to not delay further? With the 29 votes, I am currently tied for 3rd place. As of now, I would really like to have at least 35 votes. Six more votes, that's all. (This might change as the competition comes to a close.) Please consider placing your vote.


Here is how you go about voting:


When you click on the link below, you will need to register and join the contests before you can place your vote for me.

http://www.photrade.com/contest/aperturenatureworkshops2

Once you have registered and joined the contest, click on the link below again,
- then go to "SUBMISSIONS",
- and you will see a box on the right that says "MOST RECENT". Click that and select "MOST VOTED FOR". There you will see my photo in the top row.

This is a very important competition for me. One of the key prizes is one that I would be able to learn a lot from. It is "a group of four professional photographers will be joined by four amateur photographers at Yosemite National Park for unparalleled photo opportunities, followed by first-hand instruction in Apple Aperture by a team of Apple-certified Aperture trainers."

This would be such a tremendous training opportunity for me. I would be able to use these skills for my job at the church and beyond.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Cute kids!

Sean Thou Art_2106

Nica_Johnson_1804

Nica_Johnson_1808

Flower_Girls_1911

Fower Girls_1675

Friday, November 14, 2008

Web advertising?

Obviously no one monitors the advertisements that go along with news stories. The computer must just look for keywords, but come on,,, really???


Wednesday, November 12, 2008

More Matthew West

1MatthewWest_1054WM

1MatthewWest_1039WM

1MatthewWest_1013WM

1MatthewWest_0983WM

1MatthewWest_0974WM

1MatthewWest_0953WM

1MatthewWest_0930WM

1MatthewWest_0911WM

MatthewWest 0893

MatthewWest 0865

MatthewWest 0841

MatthewWest 0765

MatthewWest 0777

MatthewWest 0792

MatthewWest 0885

MatthewWest 0930

MatthewWest 0828

1MatthewWest_1072WM

1MatthewWest_0909WM

1MatthewWest_1077WM

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

How I spent my Tuesday evening...

Matthew West.

MatthewWest 1156

One is too many

How can it be that one little email can bring back so many memories?

First a bit of background:

August 1998 was my first missions trip. I went to Russia to serve in an orphanage my church in Colorado Springs sponsored through an organization called Children's HopeChest. I returned two more times over the next year and spent a total of about 2 1/2 months there.

I received an email from a friend of mine in Colorado Springs this morning. Patti and her husband, Bruce, adopted two of the children from the orphanage. I know many more families who adopted children once they made the trip over there and the children found a place in their heart.

Patti forwarded a story to me that brought a smile to my face amidst the tears. Here's the story:

When you think of two roads, the Robert Frost poem may come to mind with the thought that taking the road less traveled makes all the difference. The same can be said in the case of the “orphan road.”

Just recently, Katya Celenina, CHC’s National Director in Russia, told the story of two girls. Unfortunately, it’s a familiar one.

Lida and Sasha were graduates of the same orphanage in Russia.

When they left the safety of the orphanage for life out in the world, they were offered the same opportunities from Children’s HopeChest, but each chose a different path.

Sasha (on the left) chose to accept a placement at a Children’s HopeChest Family Center. These small group homes are staffed 24/7 by CHC-trained foster parents. This model is effective because it grabs kids at their point of crisis, and helps them take deliberate steps toward adulthood.

At the Family Center, Sasha received love and encouragement. She finished her degree. Today, she works as a teacher in Russia. She’s a successful and happily married young woman. A success story on every level.

Lida (on the right) chose to go her own route. In time, she found herself trapped in a web of bad relationships and decisions with no support. Lida became a prostitute, working the long stretch of road between Moscow and Vladimir. She was found alongside it one morning, the road that ended her short life.

This is another reminder of how the work we all do on behalf of orphans is beyond “good deeds.” It is, in fact, life and death. When it comes to the Lida’s and Sasha’s of Russia, the prayer and support of our partners makes all the difference.

The road Lida was found on is a desolate stretch. I have images in my mind about how she was earning money to survive, the men that used her and threw her away as well as the society that did the same. I also have images that are out of a horror movie. I have heard of people being found along this road. No one stops to render aid. They keep driving. And even more horrific that I won't go into.

Lida has a brother, Sasha. They were the only family they had and now Sasha is alone. They both heard the Gospel. I was there, I took part. I really hope that she is in the loving arms of Christ right now.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

I would appreciat your help

I have posted this once before, but time is running out.

I have entered one of my photos in a competition that I would very much like to win. One of the key prizes that I would be able to learn a lot from is "a group of four professional photographers will be joined by four amateur photographers at Yosemite National Park for unparalleled photo opportunities, followed by first-hand instruction in Apple Aperture by a team of Apple-certified Aperture trainers."

This would be such a tremendous training opportunity for me. I would be able to use these skills for my job at the church and beyond.

When you click on the link below, you will need to register and join the contests before you can place your vote for me. Once you have registered, click on the link below, then go to "SUBMISSIONS", and you will see a box on the right that says "MOST RECENT". Click that and select "MOST VOTED FOR". There you will see my photo in the top row.

I currently have 15 votes but would like to see if I can get at least 15 more.

Please, would you consider signing up to vote for me?? It would mean a lot to me.

And if you know anyone else who might be able to help, I would appreciate it as well. Please provide them a link to my blog or a direct link to the contest site.

Thanks

http://www.photrade.com/contest/aperturenatureworkshops2

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

North Bible Church

Sunday, November 2, 2008

How good is your cell phone service.?

The Verizon "can you hear me guy" and network show up and follow someone around, just like on TV. He and everyone else in the park were taken by surprise.