Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Sunday, January 28, 2007

By Special Request

This is actually built into the wall behind the stove and came with the house. It appears to be made of pieces of slate and marble.

China Goody Revealed!

On this last trip to China I was once again looking for a unique item to bring home. I have done bulky, (wooden ship) and I lugged heavy, (the rock) so when I saw the very small and light collection of Chinese musical instruments made completely of Semi Precious Stones I knew I had found the one.
From left to right: Month Pedd, Two Stringed Peking Fiddle, Moon Guitar, Two Stringed Chinese Fiddle & Two Stringed Guitar.

From left to right and then center: Moon Guitar, Two Stringed Chinese Fiddle, Two Stringed Guitar, Violin, Lute & Zither Lyre.

From left to right: Violin, Lute, Three Stringed Guitar & Trumplet.
And here is the whole collection. The large body pieces are made of carved agate and the accents are made up of different pieces of semi precious stone. I had each piece of stone identified when I bought the set but now that conversation has become a blur. The whole set sits on hand carved little stands. Each string instrument is actually strung also. Sets like these are made in Beijing, China and are prized by fans of the Chinese orchestra.

Model Falls Twice On Runway

Newscasters Lose It!

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Smart Or Stoopid?

The Smart or Stoopid test is purely meant to be a fun quiz to see how your IQ rates alongside the average, based on the scores of other people who have taken the test. Naturally, only stupid people would take it as a true indicator of intelligence, and only intelligent people would take it as a true indicator of stupidity. Or something like that.

Useless, But Fun...

Information about your Birthday!


AirTran is defending itself today for removing a screaming toddler and her family from a flight bound for Boston. "The flight was already delayed 15 minutes and in fairness to the other 112 passengers on the plane, the crew made an operational decision to remove the family," AirTran spokeswoman Judy Graham-Weaver said, " [The toddler, a three year old named Elly] was climbing under the seat and hitting the parents and wouldn't get in her seat."

Still Pretty Cold Here!

I thought this was an interesting shot!

Interior Decorator Part 1

We decided to try out an interior decorator! First room, the kitchen. Here is the scoop: The decorator comes to your house and takes some photographs in the room of interest. Then questions are asked of our tastes and any previous touches we wanted to keep. Since we have no taste, we let her know she had the run of the kitchen. After a second visit and about 2 hours of work this is the result! At this point we are to determine if we like all of the items and then she will do the final touches.
These are panoramic shots of the kitchen before and after. The curved look to the counters is just an artifact of the panoramic process. The counters don't really have a bend to them!

It really looks good with just the accent lighting on. Not easy to photograph however.

Interior Decorator Part 2

I'm thinking about adding knobs to the drawers and cupboards.

We now have a rooster.

Interior Decorator Part 3

Here is another before and after shot of the kitchen.

The yellow orange item in the upper left corner is a large apple.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

China Photo Flood

I have received some feedback indicating that some of you were disappointed in my coverage of the Hong Kong trip. Hopefully this will appease you!

Welcome To Mong Kok

The name in Chinese means "flourishing/busy corner".

Mong Kok is said to be the most densely populated area in the world. It was amazing to see the masses of people! These are shots down Ladies' Street (Ladies' Market on Tung Choi Street) - This market specializes in women's clothing, accessories, cosmetics, and the like. It is open daily from noon to 10:30 p.m. at Tung Choi Street on the east of Nathan Road.

Fish Everywhere!

Wall after wall of fish!

Every bag has a fish or two in it.

Gold fish seem to be the big seller.

Goldfish Market - There are a dozens shops and hawkers selling various tropical freshwater or marine fish near the KCR train station.

More Sights In Mong Kok

Need a little something for Chinese New Year.

Maybe a snack? Based on experience, I would shy away from local food like this, unless you really enjoy your hotel bathroom!

Time to catch the KCR train back to the hotel.

Hong Kong Light Show

It just never gets old. Note: carnival in lower left hand corner for the coming Chinese New Year.

I caught the green lasers shooting straight up.

Full Hong Kong Panoramic Shot

An interesting boat on the harbor before the sun went down.

Free Online Photography Course!

Welcome to Jodies Coston's Free Online Photography Course sponsored by the morguefile.com and its contributors. This course is free and open to the public.

Jodie Coston is a freelance photographer who lives in northwestern Montana. She has exhibited her work in gallery exhibitions around the world and has won numerous international awards for her images.

Lesson 1: July 11 2004
Composition And Impact - It's A Beautiful Photograph, But Do You Know WHY It's Beautiful?

Lesson 2: July 18 2004
Aperture And Shutter Speed - How They Work Together.

Lesson 3: July 25 2004
The lens - choosing camera optics.

Lesson 4: Aug 1 2004
ISO, Grain, Transparency vs. Negative, Specialty Films

Lesson 5: Aug 8 2004
Fun Effects - Camera Filters, Soft Focus, Zooming And Panning

Lesson 6: Aug 22 2004
Landscape, Nature and Travel Photography

Lesson 7: Aug 29 2004
Portraits And Studio Lighting

Lesson 8: Sept 5 2004
Studio Lighting - Still Life and Product Photography

Lesson 9: Sept 21 2004
Tying It All Together

Lesson 10: Sept 27 2004
Special Requests

... and there are more.

Site Of The Month!

Put up to 8 club cards onto one! Very handy web page that reduces the crap in your wallet or purse. Creates a printable card that contains the bar codes for each club card. Very slick.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Failed Implosion

The 202-foot Zip Feed Mill tower, the tallest building in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, and possibly the state, was scheduled to topple at 12:55 p.m. CST 3 December, 2005, But after a loud blast it tilted east, dug itself into the ground and stuck.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Lucky Guy

Another Lucky Guy

Doug And His Laugh...

Really Close Call!

World Freehand Circle Drawing Champion

101 Free Games!

It's not hard to find free games on the Internet -- but it's damn near impossible to sift through the terabytes of crap to find good ones. That's where the editors of Games for Windows: The Official Magazine come in: We've tracked down another 101 absolutely, positively, no-strings-attached free games that are actually worth playing, grouped them into handy categories, and put most of 'em up on FileFront.com. There's something here for everyone, from RPGs to real-time strategy to Asteroids Flash games, though we have to confess up front: There are actually more than 101 free games here. So no complaining that you're not getting your money's worth.

Good To Be Home

I arrived home yesterday around 3 pm. I managed after a 2 hour nap to stay awake until 9, and then crashed! I'm feeling pretty good so far as Mishra the cat and I take it easy today. I have some photos to process and then I'll get them posted onto the site. The goody of the trip will also go up in the next couple of days.

Tomorrow I will finally get back to the world of high speed internet! Since moving from our first house in Vancouver to Battle Ground, I have been forced to go DSL. I am ready to move out the the 1.5 mb/second download speed which sucks.

The cable modem should get me closer to 4 mb/second and that makes me happy.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Ahhhh, I Do Miss Oregon Drivers!


- Rain and overcast sky's have conspired to make photos impossible so far. I am hoping there will be at least one clear day before the trip ends. I guess it is winter.

- Today I visited a building that I assure you, will not be forgotten! My first clue that something was amiss started on the elevator ride to the 9th floor. In most tall buildings I can sense a slight feeling of motion, and the elevator usually is the worst place I feel this. I am talking side to side motion that I felt, in this case it was the elevator car swaying on it's cables. As I stepped off of the elevator both my arms involuntarily swung up and out to shoulder height as I felt a strong sense of movement. I really had to work it to keep my self from falling. Everyone else in my group had felt some type of motion so I at least was not alone. As we headed down a hall way I realized that most of my thought process was being used up just walking! It becomes obvious pretty quickly that the whole damn building is really swaying! Like a ship at sea swaying! Like trying to stand still at the urinal on an ocean going ferry SWAYING! Like I don't really think it is a good idea to be in this building right now SWAYING! As we are greeted by the vendor we have come to see, I ask if he too can feel this unbelievable motion? "No." By now everyone in the group is very interested in completing the task at hand as quickly as possible and get the hell out of the building. In my mind I know that this high rise just happens to be a tad lively in the wind and obviously it always is, as no one we meet is even phased by it. But trust me, I must place this feeling in the top 5 worst sensations I have experienced in my life!

1) Just missed being in an auto accident by a hair.
2) Really bad turbulence on an airplane.
3) The dentist coming at me with the needle of novacane.
4) Having a girl in the library in 7th grade tell me my fly was unzipped.
5) The crazy swaying building in Hong Kong!

Since I am entering all of this in the blog right now it should be apparent that I made in out alive. For that I am grateful.

- Just two more days left of appointments and then it is back on the plane to head home. I am still looking for the goody of the trip. As a refresher, the last two were The Rock & The Wooden Ship. I do have some ideas and some information on weight and size limits of articles allowed on planes. I will keep you posted.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Early Morning Hong Kong

Finally able to get to posting something! The curse of the noodles continues! Monday night I fell victim to an overnight bought of either food poisoning or extreme fatigue. It only lasted overnight but as with any type of sickness out on the road... I'll pass on that next time! I'm putting my money on the body just being out of whack as my travel companions who ate the same thing as I, are feeling fine. I made it through yesterday fine feeling just a little puny, but after a good nights sleep I am back and ready to go.

Today we head into Interior China for the day with a late return tonight. Some great finds so far, so start whistling some Christmas tunes... It will be here before you know it!

Light rain with temperature right at 70 degrees!

Sunday, January 14, 2007

20 Hours... So Far!

I have arrived in Narita International Airport (Tokyo) and sleep would be nice! But, I have about 8 more hours of travel left until I can give in to the sleep monster. Flights have gone smoothly so far with no delays and no drama. Sunny and clear here in Japan with a smog assisted pink sunset taking place as I type. Well I am off to hit the food bar to sample some more strange food.

Friday, January 12, 2007

8:15 Friday Morning

The furnace has run pretty much all night as the temperature continues to drop! As of 8:15 this morning it is now 1.5 degrees fahrenheit. Clear and very cold is the word for the day. I think we have seen the coldest temperature for this morning as the sun has just come up over the mountains. We'll have to wait for tonight where I think we'll easily go below zero.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

China Bound

This Saturday morning I'll be taking off again for Hong Kong and interior China. I have charged up all of the tools I will need to keep the blog up to date on my travels, so get ready. The weather in Hong Kong for next week looks to be in the low 70's, so that will be a nice change! The morning I leave Boise it is supposed to be 5 degrees!

Look for updates starting Saturday and continuing until Sunday the 21st when I return home.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Top 300+ Freeware!

Broken down by category. If you can not find it in here, you can not be helped.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Monkey Bread... Good!

Do not let another weekend pass without trying Monkey Bread! And that is all I'm going to say about that.

Monitor Upgrade!

Out with the old and in with the new! I replaced my old 19" and 15" CRT's with shiny new dual 19 inch flat panel monitors. Very nice indeed.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Snowed All Night

Here are some lazy shots from the room balconey since it looks pretty cold out there!

Friday, January 05, 2007

Tamarack Resort Weekend Getaway!

What were we thinking?

Winter Storm Warning in effect from 9 PM this evening to 2 PM MST Saturday...

Tonight - Increasing clouds with snow developing this evening. Chance of snow near 100 percent. Snow accumulation 2 to 7 inches. Lows 16 to 23. Breezy. South winds around 25 mph after midnight. Wind chill readings 7 below to 3 above zero.

Saturday - Snow. Chance of snow near 100 percent. Snow accumulation of 2 to 5 inches. Total snow accumulation 4 to 8 inches in the valleys and up to a foot in the mountains. Highs 25 to 34. Breezy. South winds around 25 mph in the morning.

Saturday Night - Snow showers likely in the evening...then a chance of snow showers after midnight. Chance of snow 60 percent. Snow accumulation of 1 to 4 inches. Lows 9 to 19. Wind chill readings 4 below to 6 above zero.

Sunday - Snow showers likely. Chance of snow 60 percent. Moderate snow accumulations possible. Highs 29 to 37.

Statement as of 1:56 PM MST on January 05, 2007

... Winter Storm Warning in effect from 9 PM this evening to 2 PM MST Saturday...

The National Weather Service in Boise has issued a Winter Storm Warning... which is in effect from 9 PM this evening to 2 PM MST Saturday. The Winter Storm Watch is no longer in effect.

A Winter Storm Warning is now in effect from 9 PM this evening to 2 PM Saturday afternoon for the west central mountains.

Snow will develop in the west central mountains by 8 PM tonight then become heavy at times with blowing and drifting snow by midnight. Heavy snow will taper off in the early afternoon in the west central mountains... with up to a foot of new snow above 4500 feet on west facing slopes. Snow levels will be at valley floors... around 2500 feet with most areas receiving 4 to 9 inches of new snow this evening through Saturday afternoon.

A Winter Storm Warning means significant amounts of snow... sleet... and ice are expected or occurring. Strong winds are also possible. This will make travel very hazardous or impossible.

Monday, January 01, 2007