Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Daily Post (Josh) 2010-08-09

Today was an un-birthday celebration for Eden's cousin Nicky, since he'll be heading back to Prague at the end of the month and we won't be around for his actual birthday. Unfortunately, I had set my original Canon camera battery on the charger in anticipation of our upcoming camping trip and had put my off-brand backup battery in the camera, assuming that it would carry me through the event while my main charged. Silly me. Apparently it had self-discharged from full to 0 without having fired a single shot, as the camera had just enough oomph to close the shutter and lock.

This of course meant that I had to talk Eden out of her point and shoot for the evening, which takes phenomenal macro photos and quite decent snapshots in good lighting, but has radically different definitions of high speed and low lighting than the equipment I've become used to. Just goes to show that I need to not let myself get in a rut, I guess.

In any case, it was a nice gathering, and everyone seemed to have a good time. Eden's uncle Tom even showed up, which was great, as we rarely get a chance to see him since he and Pat separated.

Daily Pic (Josh) 2010-08-09


Monday, August 9, 2010

Daily Post (Josh) 2010-08-08

Morning migraine kept me from following the girls down to market today. Actually, it wasn't that horrible of an episode, but I figured that since I didn't HAVE to be down there, I should probably take the novel step of not forcing myself to hold together and go. In a terribly weird way, this made the morning just a touch relaxing, even if it was painful.

After touching base with my parents today, it looks like Eden and I will be rejoining clan Byram and clan Snow in Minnesota this year for Christmas. I've got to say, I had a wonderful time last year, and I'm really looking forward to it again! (Among other things, I got great photos then, and I've picked up quite a few tricks since that I can't wait to try out!)

Daily Pic (Josh) 2010-08-08


Daily Post (Josh) 2010-08-07

Another wonderful day for market! At least mostly ;)

The temperature was at least well within the bearable range, which really helped. Unfortunately, the humidity today was at 87% locally, which makes spinning cotton candy very nearly an exercise in futility - the end product is much much denser than normal, and has an annoying tendency to build up within the bowl considerably more than usual. Something we'll have to see about engineering a solution of some sort for in the future, I think.

Between the "Bite of Oregon" and the annual bridge pedal, it's not going to be worth coming back tomorrow to sell, as getting our equipment close enough to unload is sure to be a nightmare, and our customer base is likely to be elsewhere. That said, Eden will be heading down to run Lizzy's booth again, and I think I'll join her on the Max to see about photographing the event - should be fun.

We did take the opportunity for a bit of self-spoilage after work, as both Eden and Cassie had a free movie ticket earned on their respective Regal Club cards. We decided to head out to the new flick "Despicable Me", which was almost painfully cute, and quite watchable, despite a predictable plot line. It was just a little short of awkwardly blatant about broadcasting where the story would end up, allowing the audience to congratulate themselves on being so very smart for figuring it out. Good stuff, all around.

Daily Pic (Josh) 2010-08-07


Daily Post (Josh) 2010-08-06

Minimally productive day today, I'm afraid. I spent a good 6-7 hours on the road between errands, thanks to nasty traffic. Not good stuff, since my car lacks in a few essentials, such as AC.

The two primary tasks of the day were refilling a few supplies for Fairy Floss for the weekend, and investigating Veteran's benefits, since Jon had turned me on to the fact that the Obama administration had made a few changes in qualifications.

As it turns out, I was right about educational benefits, as the clerk told me rather brusquely. "You're screwed." I'm all for being straight forward, but that's a whole new level of government clarity. Since I didn't pay the $100 per month for my first year of service, I get nothing from them. Not a surprise, but really something I regret. Back in the first few days of the service, when this decision was made, the incredible financial benefits offered by the GI Bill weren't even mentioned, and the spin was essentially that if you didn't sign this paper, they'd cut your pay by $100. Wonderful cost saving measure by the government, and just the right thing to say to someone who hasn't had time to sleep in days, and who thinks he has college funding perfectly figured out, thanks to the Clemens scholarship.

Not that the tuition offered by that scholarship hasn't helped a ton, but it's not enough to live on. Ah well, youth offers so many chances to screw up....

As to health benefits, it at least looks like a possibility. Unfortunately, I only have a one page DD-214 (the exit papers for getting out of the Navy). Apparently, I need to request the 4 page version before I can apply for benefits. No worries - I'm expecting this to be a fairly long evolution anyway before I see anything out of it.

Daily Pic (Josh) 2010-08-06

20100806-Open Frame
"Open Frame"

Friday, August 6, 2010

Daily Post (Josh) 2010-08-05

Excellent party this evening for Jon's birthday! Homemade potato salad, brats from a local meat producer, and sinfully good cake, for having been store bought. A few good pics of Lucky and Lucy (although Lucy appears to have been in a nasty fight recently and is favoring her left eye), and many, many great pics of Eden's nephew Nicky!

It's just great to be around a photo subject that's not at all self conscious, and has a quick, friendly grin. I need to see about training the rest of the family to ignore the lens more...

Daily Pic (Josh) 2010-08-05

20100805-Elfin Grin
"Elfin Grin"

Daily Post (Josh) 2010-08-04

Surprisingly satisfying day today. Among other things, we took advantage of the local $3 theater to see the latest Shrek movie, which was really quite watchable. Eden, Cassie, and I had actually seen all three of the previous films, but it's a struggle to remember exactly what the third one was about. It just didn't make much of an impression. In contrast, this one wasn't epic, but it was quite amusing. The alternate universe Puss-in-boots (if you've seen the movie, you know what I mean) was a spot on impression of our cat Amber, save for the fur coloring. She's just a bit more ungainly than is quite right.

Eden had planned some homemade chili for the evening, which we were quite looking forward to, but we were actually surprised by Eden's mom having made marinated flank steak with lettuce wedges. Awesome! And tasty!

Daily Pic (Josh) 2010-08-04


Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Daily Post (Josh) 2010-08-03

Took a while to hit, but today's migraine was a doozy! Couldn't seem to get a handle on it at all with painkillers or energy drinks, and had pretty much given up on doing anything about it until Cassie kindly offered me a gin and tonic in the hopes of taking the edge off. 2 more drinks in, the pain was actually relatively dulled, but that didn't last more than half an hour, and at that point I didn't want to get any more tipsy. Funny, that... ended up going to bed at about 8; luckily I was able to drift in and out most of the evening and work through it to some degree.

Daily Pic (Josh) 2010-08-03

20100803-Costco to the rescue again
"Costco to the rescue again"

Daily Post (Josh) 2010-08-02

I woke up this morning with a rather urgent need to get back to civilization and real showers. The last few days have been fun, but there comes a tipping point where the layer of filth and woodsmoke on your skin is palpable and you almost vibrate with the need to get rid of it. The campsite did have showers available, but the facilities themselves are rather disgusting and the water temperature never gets to actually warm.

With all that in mind, Eden and I packed up and hit the road before 9. We didn't make it very far before stopping, however, as the country breakfast at the Tillamook Cheese factory called like a siren. The omelet was definitely worth stopping for, with delectable cheesy goodness drowning the whole thing amidst peppers, potatoes, sour cream, and salsa. Neither Eden nor I managed to actually finish every thing, and that's ok.

The migraine cycle decided to give me a break, I think. I was able to drive the entire way home without a twinge. We did have a bit of a scare upon arrival, as Piranha was nowhere to be seen. He'd be a bit thin and frail for the past couple of weeks and had been throwing up a lot, so we were fearing the worst for such a loyal old friend. Fortunately, after we'd pretty much given up looking for where he might have ended up, and Eden was crying over his loss (it had appeared that he may have been let out accidentally by Jon while we were gone), he appeared from nowhere to come and comfort her. Good old nurse cat habits to the rescue, I suppose. Eden had done a bit of whirlwind cleaning before we left, so our best guess is that the room rearrangement simply offered him a new hiding place.

I'm afraid that that's nearly all of the day that I managed to participate in, as my vision started being obscured by bright blue flashes of light a few minutes later, and the day's migraine came and hit me upside the head shortly thereafter. Bah.

Daily Pic (Josh) 2010-08-02


Daily Post (Josh) 2010-08-01

Migraine cycle finally decided to be somewhat fair about the whole camping experience today, only really giving me an hour or so worth of trouble when we headed into town to refill on ice. The remainder of the day was really quite pleasant.

More time spend playing Mmm... brains, intermittent runs of the alphabet game, and plenty of time for an afternoon siesta to read. I do have to say, the solar gain on our tent is nothing short of amazing with the rain flap on. It presents a problem of not enough air movement with the thing on, and not enough shield from the sun with it off. We rigged up a rather haphazard arrangement to channel some air through, but it's a design feature that we'll have to take into account for our next trip.

Our evening was spent on the beach with a roaring bonfire, just chatting among friends and watching the sun sink into the sea. You really can't ask for more than that.

Daily Pic (Josh) 2010-08-01

20100801-Squirrel Fight - The Chase
"Squirrel Fight - The Chase"

Daily Post (Josh) 2010-07-31

Our first full day of camping in Vashistan was actually a bit frustrating. Wind kept up a pretty constant cross-breeze, making card based games essentially impossible. We did get a chance to pay a new acquisition of Vash's, called Mmm... Brains - something like a cross between Yatzee and War. Pretty fun with the right crowd.

The day's migraine first showed up in early afternoon, forcing a retreat to the marginally dimmer, and significantly more horizontal, tent. Unfortunately, it never quite went away again, allowing for only short excursions back into the light all the way until bedtime. Eden was really quite understanding, and even brought me excellent marinated steak and corn on the cob in the tent.

Daily Pic (Josh) 2010-07-31

20100731-Seagull rising
"Seagull rising"

Daily Post (Josh) 2010-07-30

I had a lot of fun introducing Nick to All the Apparatus on the drive down to Tillamook. Actually listening to them without any other distraction kind of highlighted just how widely their style ranges. They're pretty amazing, really.

Dinner was the simple Centennial grilled cheese at the Tillamook cheese factory. Dead cold by the time it made it out to us, of course, but still quite delicious thanks to the excellent ingredients.

Daily Pic (Josh) 2010-07-30

20100730-Keilbasa conquered
"Keilbasa conquered"

Daily Post (Josh) 2010-07-29

In an effort to avoid drive-by business in the house (and the associated oppressive feeling of being unable to escape the office), we've decided to implement a new policy of having actual company meetings twice a week, and to restrict talking about business outside of these times. We'll see how effective this is at stemming some of the stress that's been floating around, but at the least, the first of these meetings that we conducted this morning did have the effect of actually being able to talk to everyone involved at once, which was helpful.

Our only other task of the day has been to begin preparing for Vash's birthday camp out trip, which starts tomorrow. The temperatures this summer have been vastly more manageable than last year, but I'm still looking forward to the break from heat that seems to consistently accompany a visit to Cape Lookout.

Daily Pic (Josh) 2010-07-29

20100729-Rarin to go
"Rarin to go"

Daily Post (Josh) 2010-07-28

Finally finished up the first draft of the papers necessary to file as a Limited Liability company for Fairy Floss today. Apparently the market has some interesting rules about LLCs working there, though, so we may not end up actually being one - another business format may be semi-forced upon us just to be able to work at our main venue. That's ok though - we're figuring it out.

After spending the better part of the day catching up on photo processing, I just felt like getting out of the house and actually producing a few photos. Imagine that! A short walk around the neighborhood was just what I needed, honestly, and the loving attentions of one of the neighborhood Toms cheered me right up. It does seem that Eden's let out the secret of avoiding my lens... even the felines I love to photograph have started charging the camera as soon as they see it!

Daily Pic (Josh) 2010-07-28

20100728-Posing Pretty
"Posing Pretty"

Daily Post (Josh) 2010-07-27

Another rough day, but Eden gave it a nice capper. After hiding out for the better part of the day, she got somewhat fed up with my misery and decided to take me out to Panera, which just can't be an unpleasant experience, no matter how bad you're feeling. I know they have other excellent sandwiches, but, try as I might, I just can't talk myself out of their wonderful Bacon Turkey Bravo every darn time. It's just too good!

Daily Pic (Josh) 2010-07-27

20100727-Word of the Day- Hydration
"Word of the Day- Hydration"

Daily Post (Josh) 2010-07-26

Today was spent mostly just recovering from the strain of holding together for the weekend. All of the migraine I've been holding back landed with a bang, sending me out to spend the day in the pleasantly dark garage, pulling together some reports and research for making the business run. Productive, but lonely.

Daily Pic (Josh) 2010-07-26

20100726-Shot in the Dark
"Shot in the Dark"

Daily Post (Josh) 2010-07-25

Grah. More migraine and more Fairy Floss today, as Eden was out handling Lizzy's booth (as has been her custom for the last couple of months. I am enjoying the actual job, such as it is, as it gives me a direct was to contribute to the family, which I've been lacking, but it's been rather hard. On the plus side, the new pink tent that Suzanne ordered for the business is up and in working order and is drawing eyes like crazy.

Unfortunately, Eden and I managed to find an argument, the subject of which escapes my mind at the moment, just as market was closing. Sent my blood pressure up, which in turn seemed to dump all of the spare caffeine from the Excedrin and energy drinks at once, throwing me into a bit of a manic cycle for 10 minutes, then utterly draining me. Ah well - hopefully my head will be better behaved the next time this is necessary.

Daily Pic (Josh) 2010-07-25

20100725-A touch of Pink
"A touch of Pink"

Daily Post (Josh) 2010-07-24

Wow, ok... glad I got things handled yesterday. As it turns out, the sheer heat and an unfriendly stomach pulled Eden from the Fairy Floss lineup today, which meant that I turned into the primary production person. Not good at all with the level of migraine I've been running, but it was relatively manageable with heavy doses of Excedrin and energy drinks.

I do have to admit that the second we were home, I pretty much just collapsed. Holding a migraine in and remaining functional for a 10+ hour shift took a hell of a lot out of me.

Daily Pic (Josh) 2010-07-24

20100724-Dancing on the head
"Dancing on the head"

Daily Post (Josh) 2010-07-23

The weekend approacheth! With that in mind, and in view of the level of stress flowing around the house, I've taken it upon myself to retake the food handlers exam so that I can legally take up some of the production load from Eden and Cassie. I can't say I ever wanted to work in the commercial food biz again, but for her, it's worth it.

Still feeling consistently crappy, which has meant spending an awfully good portion of the day sealed off in a dark room with the cats. I guess they don't mind, judging by the loyal swirling of tails and incessant purring.

Daily Pic (Josh) 2010-07-23

20100723-Need something?
"Need something?"

Daily Post (Josh) 2010-07-22

One last flavor to shoot for the weekend, bubble gum for the Fairy Original flavor. The presentation isn't all that original, but I'm a bit stuck for a better way to express the flavor, and honestly, it works pretty well, I think. We were thinking about nabbing a friend's kids to play with it, but in the interests of time, just went with Cassie blowing a few bubbles.

Frankly, I think she looks pretty decent for it being an off the cuff shoot. What do you think?

Daily Pic (Josh) 2010-07-22

20100722-A winning smile
"A winning smile"

Daily Post (Josh) 2010-07-21

Ok, despite the fact that the migraine from last Sunday doesn't appear to be doing much more than stepping out for the occasional smoke break, and possibly becoming marginally more bearable each day, I had a fabulous day today. Among other things, we got out of the house to run errands and pick up pieces to use for the flavor shoot, which landed us both at the Oregon College of Arts and Crafts as well as on the posh side of 23rd street, both of which had a few great picturesque moments.

The shoot went absolutely great, as well - Eden threw her hand in at making things prettified, and I have to say, she has quite a bit of natural talent for it. I had a wonderful time working with her on the project, and honestly can't wait until we think up a few new flavors to be able to do it again.

Daily Pic (Josh) 2010-07-21

20100721-OCAC Field
"OCAC Field"

Daily Post (Josh) 2010-07-20

We've had a bit of an inspiration with regard to the business. While the cotton candy is wonderful and delicious, it does tend to look a bit plain since there are no dyes involved. With that in mind, we're going to set up pictures of the flavors themselves.

Tried an initial shoot tonight, including a fabulously flavorful strawberry daquiri, but the camera issues I've been having have struck again. I'm relatively certain the issue is the memory card I'm using... of course it's the bigger of the two I own. Even after running every piece of file recovery software I could lay my hands on on the darn thing, most of the effort of the evening was wasted. Ah well, more daquiris tomorrow, it seems.

Daily Pic (Josh) 2010-07-20

20100720-Raindrops on the Window
"Raindrops on the window"

Daily Post (Josh) 2010-07-19

And the beat goes on. In my head. Loudly. I've pretty much just been laid up in bed all day - last night's migraine hasn't let up at all.

Daily Pic (Josh) 2010-07-19


Daily Post (Josh) 2010-07-18

My parents were actually in town this weekend, thanks to another Storm Large concert. This meant that they got a chance to check out the new business and have a taste. I did grab a few shots of the wonderful sign that the girls put together to share with you all.

Good dinner as well, up to a point. Pho Thanh does a wonderful General Tso's chicken, but I suspect there may be a touch of MSG in their recipe. Between that and a load of stress, my month-long break from migraines appears to be over in a big, big way. Not good.

Daily Pic (Josh) 2010-07-18

20100718-An Enticing Smile
"An Enticing Smile"

Daily Post (Josh) 2010-07-17

Another All the Apparatus concert today, which was bloody awesome, as expected. A bit overcast in the morning, which actually meant I got a few good shots that didn't need drastic surgery to avoid being blown out.

Today's roller blade run didn't work out quite as well. I actually managed to drop my Ipod touch and completely smash the digitizer screen. The dang thing is still technically functional, but not terribly readable. No cash to replace it either. Bah.

Daily Pic (Josh) 2010-07-17


Daily Post (Josh) 2010-07-16

I finally came to the point of realizing that I'm a little over-reved on the whole business thing. Had to get out of the house, and it's been getting about time to add some exercise to the program as well. I broke out the rollerblades and headed down to the bike path at the park.

Fun stuff, but a bit depressing to realize just how out of tune I am - no endurance, all burst energy. It'll work out eventually though, just gotta get back in the habit.

Daily Pic (Josh) 2010-07-16

20100716-Along the path
"Along the path"

Daily Post (Josh) 2010-07-15

Good day today - we headed out to Multnomah Falls for a day away from the city. It was actually bloody hot and bright out, which might have been miserable if we were away from the water. The girls even got a bit of a chance to swim. Actually, the bright sun gave me a chance to play with some flash techniques I'd read about. The end result seemed to work quite nicely, and the mistakes are hilarious... at least I think so. We'll see how it works out in the wild, I guess.

Daily Pic (Josh) 2010-07-15

20100715-Drifting by
"Drifting by"

Daily Post (Josh) 2010-07-14

I'm afraid that I waited a bit long to get started on meals for the day today, which lead to us making an unfortunate decision for dinner - the local Jack in the Box appears to have had something not quite right going on with either their chicken on their mayonnaise, as Eden, Cassie, and I all had some and were quite busy regretting it within about an hour. Not good juju.

It was honestly bad enough that Eden felt compelled to report it both to the corporation and to the local health board, which, at least in my opinion, was not over reacting at all... erg.

Daily Pic (Josh) 2010-07-14

20100714-A Throne of pink
"A Throne of pink"

Daily Post (Josh) 2010-07-13

Cass and I spent a good portion of our morning down at PCC getting a start on figuring out how her program is going to land and giving Eden a bit of personal space. I have to say, it really felt good to be able to give her a bit of perspective - almost makes all of the failed angles I've tried putting college together worth the effort.

We even happened across some terribly cute birds at the local Starbucks that let me get a number of great closeups. I think you'll like them!

Daily Pic (Josh) 2010-07-13

20100713-Looking up
"Looking up"

Daily Post (Josh) 2010-07-12

More camera frustration today. Somehow the thing decided not to record about 30 of the shots I took today, leaving me with a total of 2 recorded photos, only one of which is partially recoverable with heavy processing. Disappointing, to say the least, and this isn't happening consistently enough for me to have a good idea of what might be causing it. Go figure.

Great dinner tonight - Eden threw together a fresh salad with tuna that was just plain wonderful!

Daily Pic (Josh) 2010-07-12

20100712-Speedy pup
"Speedy pup"