For Keith

While at Dad and Keith’s over the holidays, Keith and I took the shepherds up to Caroga Lake to check out the changes made to his father’s old camp. The difference is remarkable! Even though everything was under several feet of snow it was very evident that the new owners have done a lot of work on the main house and the cabins.

As per his request, I brought my camera and took a bunch of photos for Keith. Unfortunately, wrangling three dogs who only want to jump around in the snow is not so great for taking pictures that are in focus. But a promise is a promise, even if it’s three months in the making:

[Read more…]

Alsatian

Haven’t had much in the way to report on the goals, but it’s been a week since I started New Leaf and I have done a LOT in my town.

Day 1

I started playing New Year’s morning and was enthusiastically greeted by Mathilda, Flip, Doc and, of course, Isabelle. I picked a town layout that has Re-Tail, Town Hall and the Event Plaza just right from the entrance to Main Street and the Train Station, so I chose to build my house basically within that cluster. Nook sets up a tent as a temporary home until your down payment is paid, which is a pretty minor 10,000 bells. I couldn’t do most of the first day stuff because it was a holiday and Isabelle was planted in the Event Plaza, but she gave me my first piece of furniture: a zodiac horse. Between selling fruit, the ore rock and the money rock I made more than enough to cover the cost of the tools available and the down payment. I also made a perfect Snowman and started a bingo game.

Day 2

Since my first day activities were blocked by New Year’s, I spent my second day doing all those things. Isabelle has a ton of advice to give and completing them nets you a bunch of handy items like non-native fruit and a watering can. Since my down payment was paid, Nook offered to upgrade my tiny house. I spent the day catching fish and collecting seashells to pay off my first home loan.

Day 3

With my first home loan paid, Tortimer, the former mayor of Alsatian, greeted me on my third day and invited me to take a trip to his vacation home on a tropical island. Unfortunately, you have to wait a day after the invitation to actually go, so I spent my day fishing in town again and paid off my second home loan so Nook would upgrade my house again. I also posted on the bulletin board about the town name for any visitors.1

Day 4

I picked up the matching umbrella to my starting cloths at Able Sisters and forgot to show it off the day before. Anyway, after the usual stuff around town (digging up fossils, looking for the money rock, checking stores, etc.) I took my first trip the island and filled my basket full of fish and bugs. I donated all the new catches to the museum and I was still rolling in bells afterward.

Day 5

Once again I spent the day at the island and since I was getting repeat bugs and fish I made a lot more bells this trip. Still I had a few awesome catches, including a whale shark. Also, it was the first time I was on late and it just so happened to be a night that the aurora was visible. So pretty. Oh, I also talked with Isabelle to enact an ordinance for the town.

Day 6

Busy, busy day! First I created a second character, Uschi! There’s just so much to collect in this game that I knew when I started I would want to use all four characters. And I very much wanted to make sure no villagers moved where I wanted to start my apple orchard. Her house is at the very northwest of town, right between the train tracks and the river.

Beautiful town ordinance went into effect. Also started my first PWP: a second bridge. Visited the island yet again so I could pay off all these things. Oh, and finally had enough Play Coins to get a fortune cookie at Nookling Junction. I won a Metroid. And it snowed for the first time in my town and at a perfect time to try and catch one of the rarest fish in the game: a coelacanth! I have never caught one of these in 10 years of Animal Crossing games and I got this one on the fourth catch. Seriously, I nearly fainted.

Finally, I had my first multiplayer experience. Katie of Seabrite came to visit me and we managed one island tour before we got disconnected. Then, I went to her town and shopped, talked with her villagers, and went on another round of island tours. She gave me a toy hammer, which is possibly the most adorably fun thing ever. You can just run around smacking everything, including other players!

Day 7

One week in Alsatian! Had the ceremony for the completion of the bridge. Also, my house was upgraded for a third time and Uschi’s house was built.

I spent the day all over. I visited Holly in Brill and Amy in Tardis and Katie came over again. I also had another visitor that I won’t name since it wasn’t a great time, but it mostly worked out in the end. Amy and I spent a good few hours on the island going on tours and fishing and bug hunting. I helped her pay off her cafe with all the bug money!

Back in my town, I had two deliveries of goodies from new member promos on Animal Crossing Community. I also started gardening thanks to all the island trips and some gifts from my new friends. :-) I got a slingshot from someone and shot down my first balloon; inside was a balloon hat. And Katrina the fortune teller was in town, so I had my first reading from her. Love the glowing design.

  1. I’m sure I’ll babble on about it more in greater detail here sometime.

Best of 2013

I started out the year with every intention of using my camera more just to simply learn it. And while I didn’t quite increase my photography amount or frequency, I did at least become more familiar with my shiny red DSLR. Though, of course, I’m still very much an amateur. Here’s a smattering of some of my personal favorite photos from the past year:

Additionally, you might also be interested in last year’s “best” photos.

Penguins!

Seemingly out of nowhere, I have a cold. Let me tell you, it takes a long time to do anything when you have to stop every minute or so to blow your nose. Especially when it’s baking and decorating cupcakes because that requires the extra step of hand-washing before getting back into the project. Anyway, my snot-filled head aside, yesterday after three trips to the grocery store, I finally started my holiday baking. Today, I made these:

These little penguins will be joined shortly by yet more cupcakes — including noms for the shepherd who is currently nosing her head under my arm. For now I have presents to wrap and box up for tomorrow’s post.

Unrelated, remember how I moved my site back to my web server for the umpteenth time and subsequently broke most of the images here? Well, as of yesterday they’re all fixed!1 Yes, you read that correctly. It took me almost this entire year. I didn’t work on this every single day, but it was a very long process and it was possibly one of the most tedious tasks I have ever voluntarily undertaken.

There are, however, still a few related tasks to this that I haven’t yet finished. One is setting up a hub for the galleries I’ve created. I have a gallery that isn’t fully alt-tagged and another that isn’t organized or alt-tagged yet. And as I want to create a page for each of my guide dogs, I also have galleries to set up for them.2 Now that the brunt of the tedious work is behind me, though, I am hopeful that this all won’t take yet another year to finish. Especially because I have other sites I want to work on. Like maybe this one. *ahem*

EDIT: Wouldn’t it just be that in the same post that I proclaim all the images across the site are fixed the images IN THE POST are broken. *facepalms* Anyway, after some minor plugin tweaking, I believe everything is working as intended. Sorry about that, guys.

  1. Cue barrage of emails/comments alerting me to all the images I missed that are still broken. *groans*
  2. Well, Dolly’s is set up, but there’s no actual page yet.

Yara (& Eli)

One of the casualties of the switch over to a Mac was I went a few weeks without all of my programs installed, specifically all my Adobe software like Photoshop and Dreamweaver. This was good in that I didn’t spend my nonexistent free time playing around editing images or breaking making new websites. It was less good in that I also had no real ability to go through any photos I’d taken, which meant I wasn’t posting any photos.

Anyway, long story short, I came across these photos of Yara from Easter:

I only have these two because all the others included or were solely of Uschi who was apparently was still channeling all her playful energy because she’s just as much a motion blur in those as all the shots I took of them playing. I should have just taken a video, but at the time I couldn’t remember how to do that on my camera. (Note to self: Use camera more so this is less an issue in the future.)

Related, Yara has a new little brother! A few days after these photos were taken my father officially adopted a German shepherd rescued by a North Carolina shelter named Eli. The fact that he shares his name with a very beloved mutt we used to have when I was growing up was probably enough to melt my dad’s heart, but what solidified it was finding out that he was surrendered because he has EPI, like Yara. The whole thing is a rather involved story, but I’m happy to say he’s been settling in pretty well. Uschi and I have yet to meet him what with my Dad living in the Middle of No and Corner of Where and the fact that Eli’s still recovering from being very emaciated.1 Not to mention he’s basically a puppy and, well, in her own way so is Uschi. :-)

  1. The vet figures he’ll top out well over 100 pounds; he was 43 when he arrived at Dad’s.