“Red” Flower

As iPhone photos go, I’m actually pretty happy with this one:

Red flower

The red isn’t quite right1, which is something of an issue with the iPhone camera in my experience. But oddly it is far closer to the actual color2 than I was able to achieve when taking the same photo with my Nikon. It’s the first time I’ve run into this issue since I made the leap to a DSLR. I intend to tinker some and see if I can’t pinpoint how to better capture these pretty flowers in front of my house.

  1. Yes, I can actually tell that despite my colorblindness.
  2. I’m told it’s more a burnt orange.

A New Year

While I like the concept of personal improvement through self-evaluation and goal-setting, I find New Year’s resolutions to be entirely pointless. But having said that, I have a somewhat lengthy list of goals that I intend to work on throughout this year. And since one of those is essentially to blog more1 I’ll be chronicling all of that right here. Of course, I fully intend to continue my normal posting of whatever strikes my fancy because I’m the first to admit my life is hardly thrilling and a daily account of such is going to be mighty with the boring. Nevertheless, I figure this is as good a venue as any to hold myself accountable for the goals I’ve laid out for myself. Which is not to say I’m going to be rigid about this and expecting to accomplish every darn thing by year’s end. I’m thinking of all this as more a road map for stuff I want to do and, well, I’ll take stock as time goes on.

So, here goes:

Job — I need a new job and that’s all I’m saying on that. :-p

Fitness — Since the pain issues are behind me2 I’ve let my yoga fall by the wayside. I would like to get back to some yoga each day, but for now I’m striving for a few times a week at the very least. Especially on days where Uschi and I don’t get out for our marathon walking.

Photography — I’ve had my shiny red Nikon D3100 for over a year now and even though I’ve learned a lot I still feel like a total newb with it. I’d also like to invest in at least one new lens for it because I’m really lacking in zoom and macro features. Really, I just want to get more comfortable with my camera and continue to improve on my own photography skills (or lack thereof).

Food — Believe it or not I went almost all of last year without baking anything. There were a bunch of reasons for this, but it still surprises me because not only do I really enjoy baking, I find it a great stress reliever and I’m sure that first goal alone will require that in spades. Plus, I have so many cupcake designs I’ve been wanting to make! But even more than that I’d really like to make an effort to make more diverse dishes. Cooking for one tends to lead me to be lazy because it seems like so much effort for just me and since I don’t eat meat I find that I fall back on the same meals again and again even though I can make something else.

Writing — Academic writing is now a thing of the past3 which means from a creative standpoint I should be writing almost nonstop and instead I’ve found myself doing very much the opposite. Even blogging seems beyond me. And I would like this to change.

Books — No school means more reading!

Websites — Enough procrastinating! Either I get the sites updated (or off the ground!) or I’m letting domains expire and making space for hostees. Also, I think this place needs a bit of a facelift.

Gaming — Okay, truth is this is just to ensure my list had some fun in it, but also I got Animal Crossing: New Leaf for Christmas and I figure I’ll be playing that a bit almost every day for quite awhile.

Uschi — In an effort to work more with Uschi on her one major distraction, I’m hoping to get her enrolled in some training classes. I’m thinking eventually we could do rally obedience or even get her certified as a therapy dog. At any rate, I almost always have something to report on the shepherd so she deserves a goal catergory all her own. ;-)

Now this is not an exhaustive list by any means, but these are the big ones I’ve had in mind. I’m sure I’ll tweak this as the year goes, but for now I’ll see how these all pan out.

  1. At the least I hope to blog more than I did last year!
  2. Well, there is still pain, but certainly not as extreme.
  3.   At least not a thing of the foreseeable future!

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.

The Whirlwind That Was January

  • Have been incredibly busy. One of these days I’ll elaborate, but the short of it is that it’s awesome and I’m having a blast.
  • Still managed to post and/or write something every single day and I am quite proud of that. Let’s see how another 28 days goes.
  • After deciding that the photo-a-day thing was just not going to happen, I’ve kept up with the photo-a-week and that’s going much better. I’m happy to say they aren’t all of the dog, but I’m sure to have many more as the year progresses.
  • Daily yoga starts today, however, I’m still fighting a sinus cold that is thoroughly kicking my ass so I’m not quite sure that it really will start today. But whenever it does I expect to start it off with a full 31 consecutive days.
  • I went the entire month and didn’t even finish a book. I’m honestly appalled and just a little disgusted with myself. But that first bullet has really been all consuming.
  • In a shocking twist, I found out there’s a school issue. I think I may just take this as a sign that classes this semester are not meant to be.
  • Uschi has been shedding like it’s an Olympic sport. Since she was so great for the groomer her first time, I’m thinking of sending her there again because I can’t seem to keep up with the fur and I’m at a point where I don’t know if I’m so much stuffed up from the annoying cold or all the dander.
  • Coming up: portraits, cupcake projects, book reviews, and I’m getting my hair did.

Busy, Busy

Generally when I am this swamped with things to do I’m usually stressing out beyond belief. I’m happy to say I’m about as far from that as possible. I mean, there’s stress, but it’s not making-my-hair-fall-out-giving-me-migraines kind of stress . . .  it’s just an expected kind of stress and I know almost none of you know what I’m talking about and for that again I apologize.

However, that said I have given some serious thought to my (non-)resolutions and given my incredible load right now it’s just unrealistic to expect all those things to happen. Yes, those are all still priorities; yes, I want them to be habits; and, yes, I realize this seems like quitting. But it’s not. Fact is all three of those are doable, but all three at one time plus everything else going on is likely to kill me. And truth be told trying to cram it all in is making most of those things particularly unfun, which is exactly the opposite result I want.

So, I’m revising my plan. I’m going to try and get yoga in as much as I can throughout the rest of this month, but I’ll start my daily routine push on February 1st, which is coincidentally when my instructor has set a challenge for 31 classes in 31 days. And I’m going to lay off the daily photograph and try for a weekly photo each week. I’m horribly displeased with most of the “just shooting these because I have to” images I’ve gotten. I just don’t have the time to really think of doing anything more than randomly snapping something and that’s not really helping me improve my photographic skills; it’s just frustrating and kind of a letdown. Writing, however, I will continue to work on daily, but I’m going to reevaluate this position when I start back on the daily yoga because keeping the pain in check is really the priority for me when all is said and done.

Oh, also, getting this house organized and cleaned. It’s disgusting up in here. Plus, I really want to get some cupcakes baked and decorated; I owe way too many people some at this point.