Daily Archives: July 14, 2011

Artful Rabbit Hits Utah, Let’s Get this Party Started!

Accoutrements that all fit neatly into the Fyr Fly

May 26, day two, on to to Salt Lake. After a good night’s sleep, I packed up the Mini with all 500 pieces of assorted luggage and accoutrements, snugged it down, dropped the top and headed out of Ontario, Oregon. I headed straight across Interstate 84 and the bleakness of Southern Idaho, dropping south into Utah and on into Salt Lake City.

I was speaking at at the UASLA conference, that’s the Utah Association of Student Loan Administrators, which got me launched on this proposed  5000 mile expedition in the first place.

Almost there! walking around break, too hot to drop the top. My rule is 85 degrees and air conditioning!

Really, if you are driving to Salt Lake City why not just  keep on going? The best parts of the state are all south of here anyway, am I right? Of course I am.

I had to make Salt Lake, drive through the heart of the city and find the campus guest house at the University. Get there, check in, drag a comb through my hair, round up the usual suspects and head for a baseball game by 6:00 p.m. I made it with time to spare, I drive fast, quel surprise eh?

The Salt Lake Bees are a home town fave, they are the Triple A team for the Anaheim Angels. I love minor league ball.

The Bee's Knees, Salt Lake Bees Ballpark. Perfect evening!

The fans are always great and the atmosphere is just plain fun. These guys have a great ballpark too, the Apiary is its nickname. Bees=apiary, cuteness abounds. I digress, the conference had gotten a skybox with dinner included. Oh boy! Hotdogs and foul balls. The highlight of the evening was almost having my head removed by a foul ball that whacked the plexiglass window behind me. Okay, enough baseball.

Our tricky chef at work.

The next night our big dinner was at Benihana and we just about filled the place. Our chef was fun and the food was great. I went for the Ahi seared tuna, so good I had to take a picture, knowing I would want to remember it when I hit the back country and chili in cans.

I have died and gone to heaven. Ahi tuna, barely grilled and so yummy.

 

Outside the restaurant was a fantastic art installation, what a great find to stumble on. An empty lot full of wiggly poles. I loved it!

Art installation, loved stumbling on this, it was really dramatic and fun at the same time

The next day, my speaking chores finished and an excellent conference over I said good bye to all my Utah buddies and packed up the fyrfly again. I lit out to kill some time before I picked up my partner in crime, Pam, at the airport. She flew in to meet me to maximize her vacation. Accidental retirement (me) does have its good side, I no longer have to worry about how many days off I can take. I only have to worry about paying for my hijinx.

Utah capitol building

I adore Utah and have spent days and days exploring the state but this was my first time spending time in Salt Lake City. What a cool town. I had just enough time to go wandering around their capital campus. I have my own state capital at my doorstep living in Olympia so its always fun to compare Capitol buildings.

The dome of the state capitol

This was cool! The place was EMPTY, in summer the government apparently shuts down on Fridays and the building was empty except for some arab tourists, an organized group with a guide and little old me and my big old camera.

The inside of the dome is painted with Sea Gulls! I wonder if there was trompe l'oeil poop on the floor underneath?

Gorgeous murals, probably from the 20's or so, on panels around the ceiling showing Utah history.

and tucked up in the corners were adorable griffons with flamingo pink wings! How strangely gay is this?

Heroic sculpture abounded, this is Brigham Young's hand. The whole statue must have been ten feet high.

 

The top floor was laced with beautiful stone sculptures, like this native American chief's head.

Bonneville Salt Flats anyone? I didn't write this gent's name down, but he was a native son who broke speed records up the wazoo back in the day. Gorgeous bronze sculpture too.

I went to the gift store across the street, fighting off ten thousand Chinese tourists on the way, and found a wonderful Utah map and a book about petroglyphs.  In the next few days I planned to see finally see enough petroglyphs and rock art to make me happy, and I was looking forward to making the trip in the company of Pam and Paula and the magic jeep.

Oops, four o’clock, time to hit the road to the airport and scoop up Pam and her suitcases, figure out where to stash them and head to Price, jumping off point for petroglyphic pleasure. Have you met the Prairie Dog Posse yet? Stay tuned….

The Posse Rides...

 

Artful Rabbit Makes Memories With Summer Photo Fun

Self portrait: Sisters

Summer fun alert: If you have kids that are a little bit bored here’s a great idea. Unleash their creative flair by turning them loose with cameras to photograph whatever they fancy. Yes, I am lucky enough to be a professional camera hog with at least four cameras in my world so sharing is easy but everyone has digital cameras these days and lots of them are not expensive at all.

The best part is that digital media lets you burn through photos like crazy with no film development costs or worries about the cost of flubbed shots. 

 My granddaughters are old enough to turn loose with my two small but very nice digital magic boxes. I toss one of these in my purse or backpack when the big Canon camera is too much work to haul along. I am never without a camera–even if its my Iphone with Instagram.  Ah Instagram, that’s another entry entirely. I 😛 Instagram!

Pinstripe Petunia

 

I have Adobe Photoshop and use it for professional stuff but for just fun fooling around I absolutely adore Digital Image Pro from Microsoft. It does almost everything Adobe Photoshop does, okay, not everything, but it does a whole lot and its easy to use.

 
Best of all the learning curve  to mastery is not as long as the Great Wall of China. Photoshop is a pain in the patootie to learn and  my goal is to get the kids to love what they can do with photos, not give up in frustration.
 

State Capital WWI monument, check out the light!

I started out by giving them the cameras and the chargers for the batteries, always important. I explained how the zoom worked and the basic features like close up and yes, you can take pictures outside at night and they can be pretty cool.

We had a couple of bumps in the road, but we even got two cameras and two girls to the beach with great success and no sandy cameras.

Bird dreams, filtered shot of one of my poetry birdhouses with text added. Love it!

I showed them how to edit but for them the great fun at this point was in the taking of pictures. I gave them no direction and no guidelines. I wanted to see their response to the world around them. Wow, just wow.

Moosh, hilarious, how did she get that close to his face?

 Some of their shots were incredible. Many of them were perfect right out of the camera. 

We uploaded all the shots to the computer and I stashed them in two files, one for each girl. We will put all the raw shots and the edited shots on a flash drive for each of them to take home. What a perfect memory of summer!

I got in on the collaboration by editing their first batch of shots. Some got cropped, all got resized for print and saving, and a few had filters or exposure corrections on them. I love the black and white effects too. I think I had as much fun making magic as they did!

It has been so much fun to see the world literally, through their eyes. Seeing what they saw, what they liked, what they took pictures of has been so amazing for me. I highly recommend it to any one with kids, cameras and a computer.

Mom and Dad and sand dollars, love this shot!

Mock Orange in bloom, beautiful in black and white

Seattle Bug

Tyler loves shadows and they love her too

 

The State of George

Sunny Cam

Self Portrait Tyler

Tyler shoots sis, great shot of mom too!

The Rabbit Garden Window looks like a garden. Great!

night shot of a geranium, magic happens!

 

Family portrait

And they even got me and Moosh in a shot!