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Monday, March 2, 2015

Happy 111th Birthday Dr. Seuss!!!

In honor of the great man who brought whimsy and fun to numerous book lovers, both young and old, I'm posting my all time favorite book.  I encourage everyone to buy a copy of the gorgeously illustrated book for themselves or for others who need a little reminding of the joys that come with the ups and downs of life.

Oh, The Places You Will Go!



Congratulations!

Today is your day.
You're off to Great Places!
You're off and away!

You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself 
any direction you choose.
You're on your own. And you know what you know.
And YOU are the guy who'll decide where to go.

You'll look up and down streets. Look 'em over with care.
About some you will say, "I don't choose to go there."
With your head full of brains and your shoes full of feet, 
you're too smart to go down any not-so-good street.

And you may not find any
you'll want to go down.
In that case, of course,
you'll head straight out of town.

It's opener there
in the wide open air.

Out there things can happen
and frequently do
to people as brainy
and footsy as you.

And then things start to happen,
don't worry. Don't stew.
Just go right along.
You'll start happening too.

OH!
THE PLACES YOU'LL GO!

You'll be on y our way up!
You'll be seeing great sights!
You'll join the high fliers
who soar to high heights.

You won't lag behind, because you'll have the speed.
You'll pass the whole gang and you'll soon take the lead.
Wherever you fly, you'll be best of the best.
Wherever you go, you will top all the rest.

Except when you don't.
Because, sometimes, you won't.

I'm sorry to say so
but, sadly, it's true
that Bang-ups
and Hang-ups
can happen to you.

You can get all hung up
in a prickle-ly perch.
And your gang will fly on.
You'll be left in a Lurch.

You'll come down from the Lurch
with an unpleasant bump.
And the chances are, then,
that you'll be in a Slump.

And when you're in a Slump,
you're not in for much fun.
Un-slumping yourself
is not easily done.

You will come to a place where the streets are not marked.
Some windows are lighted. But mostly they're darked.
A place you could sprain both your elbow and chin!
Do you dare to stay out? Do you dare to go in?
How much can you lose? How much can you win?

And IF you go in, should you turn left or right...
or right-and-three-quarters? Or, maybe, not quite?
Or go around back and sneak in from behind?
Simple it's not, I'm afraid you will find,
for a mind-maker-upper to make up his mind.

You can get so confused
that you'll start in to race
down long wiggled roads at a break-necking pace
and grind on for miles cross weirdish wild space,
headed, I fear, toward a most useless place.
The Waiting Place...

...for people just waiting.
Waiting for a train to go
or a bus to come, or a plane to go
or the mail to come, or the rain to go
or the phone to ring, or the snow to snow
or the waiting around for a Yes or No
or waiting for their hair to grow.
Everyone is just waiting.

Waiting for the fish to bite
or waiting for the wind to fly a kite
or waiting around for Friday night
or waiting, perhaps, for their Uncle Jake
or a pot to boil, or a Better Break
or a string of pearls, or a pair of pants
or a wig with curls, or Another Chance.
Everyone is just waiting.

NO!
That's not for you!

Somehow you'll escape
all that waiting and staying
You'll find the bright places
where Boom Bands are playing.

With banner flip-flapping,
once more you'll ride high!
Ready for anything under the sky.
Ready because you're that kind of a guy!

Oh, the places you'll go! There is fun to be done!
There are points to be scored. There are games to be won.
And the magical things you can do with that ball
will make you the winning-est winner of all.
Fame! You'll be as famous as famous can be,
with the whole wide world watching you win on TV.

Except when they don't
Because, sometimes they won't.

I'm afraid that some times
you'll play lonely games too.
Games you can't win
'cause you'll play against you.

All Alone!
Whether you like it or not,
Alone will be something
you'll be quite a lot.

And when you're alone, there's a very good chance
you'll meet things that scare you right out of your pants.
There are some, down the road between hither and yon,
that can scare you so much you won't want to go on.

But on you will go
though the weather be foul.
On you will go
though your enemies prowl.
On you will go
though the Hakken-Kraks howl.
Onward up many
a frightening creek,
though your arms may get sore
and your sneakers may leak.

On and on you will hike,
And I know you'll hike far
and face up to your problems
whatever they are.

You'll get mixed up, of course,
as you already know.
You'll get mixed up 
with many strange birds as you go.
So be sure when you step.
Step with care and great tact
and remember that Life's 
a Great Balancing Act.
Just never foget to be dexterous and deft.
And never mix up your right foot with your left.

And will you succeed?
Yes! You will, indeed!
(98 and 3/4 percent guaranteed.)

KID, YOU'LL MOVE MOUNTAINS!

So...
be your name Buxbaum or Bixby or Bray
or Mordecai Ali Van Allen O'Shea,
You're off the Great Places!
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting.
So...get on your way!

Friday, February 20, 2015

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New Camera - Panasonic GM1

Late last night UPS dropped off my brand new toy and I couldn't be more excited to play with it.  Ever since I bought my first micro 4/3 camera I've been in love with the format.  My long time companion has been the Olympus E-PL2 and for a while now I've been looking to upgrade.  Prior to buying the E-PL2 when it first came out, I bought, then immediately sold, a beginner Canon Dslr.  As impressed as I was with the low light abilities and super fast auto focus, I hated the size and weight of the camera.  A couple of years ago I upgraded my E-PL2 to the much praised Olympus OMD E-M5, but I didn't like the upgrade in bulk.  I actually found myself reaching more for my old E-PL2, which made me realize I really just wanted something small enough that I wouldn't mind carrying with me everywhere, similar to when I used to carry a point and shoot with me in my purse.  Off to eBay I sold my OMD and waited for the major players to create another camera to catch my eye.

Enter the Panasonic GM1.  I won't go into all the details of it's capabilities, I'm not here to review the camera, I'm just consumer excited with her new camera.  I thought about the Panasonic GM5, but the major upgrade from the GM1 to the GM5 is really just a viewfinder, which I don't enjoy using.  Up until my husband actually bought the GM1 for me, I was also eyeing the Panasonic GX7, a much more capable camera than the GM1, but the issue of bulk was actually the ultimate deciding factor.  I'll probably find limitations with the GM1 that will make me wish I went for the GX7, but the fact that I can see myself taking this camera with me everywhere will make up for that.  But so far, after initial use, I am actually quite impressed with what this little camera can do.

When I opened the box my husband and I both thought it looked like a toy.  So far I feel like it is a bit smaller than I was expecting, but I'm quickly getting used to it.
Panasonic GM1 With G Vario 12-32mm Lens

Panasonic GM1 With G Vario 12-32mm Lens

Panasonic GM1 With Lumix 20mm F/1.7 Lens

Panasonic GM1 With Lumix 20mm F/1.7 Lens

Panasonic GM1 With Lumix 20mm F/1.7 Lens

Thursday, January 29, 2015

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May Trip

Oh yes, a year after planning my family's first trip to Europe I am planning another trip to Europe this May, but sadly it will not be me who goes on it.

After jokingly suggesting my brother take a trip to Europe, I decided that it was going to happen.  I know that sounds rather bossy of me, but my brother, Richard, isn't the type to think about taking a vacation unless it's suggested to him.  I asked him where he wanted to go and he mentioned Amsterdam, after hearing me talk about all the yummy food there he said he's been curious ever since.

I started concocting an itinerary right away thinking the United Kingdom and Ireland would be a good addition to round out the trip.  Easily accessible from Amsterdam, multiple ways to travel around, stunningly gorgeous landscapes, history familiar to students on an American curriculum, and good hearty food with some locations dabbling with gourmet food that delights.

As I started to debate with myself whether or not more time to explore the Scottish Highlands
and various islands should win over Irish countryside and jaw dropping coastal cliffs,
Cliffs of Moher

 my brother surprised me by saying he is actually interested in visiting Spain.  Turns out, after years of hearing how Spain is one of my favorite countries to visit, the idea of visiting has stuck with him.  Oh, and the fact that Daniele will be going with him on this trip probably helped cinch the idea since my minimal travel and food Spanish vocabulary is heaps more than Richard's knowledge of the language. Even if Daniele's language origin is Italian, I noticed how useful he was when we were in Mexico.  Hopefully the Spanish used in Spain will be more familiar for him as opposed to the Spanish used in Mexico.  

After taking into account their interests and must visit locations, I came up with three distinct travel itineraries and multiple variations of the three.  Fortuitously, the best flight plan involved a layover in Ireland, even more fortuitously I noticed flying directly to Dublin, extending the layover to an overnight and then flying Ryanair to Barcelona was actually cheaper and gave them a less rushed time in Dublin.   Since they are both not as interested in visiting museums and would rather see more than linger, the final itinerary looks like this:

Locations: 

Dublin: Afternoon arrival with an overnight and early evening departure the next day.  2 PM walking tour on afternoon arrival (luckily the airport is not far from the city and transport between the two is very easy) to get oriented and and an idea of what to see the next day.  Evening of pubs and Irish food.

Long Hall Pub

Friday, January 2, 2015

Thursday, December 18, 2014

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10 Years Of Travel! Part II

Yesterday I posted most of my travels to Asia in Part I, let's start off with South Asia today.  Picture quality should improve since most of my travels to Asia were in the early stages of my traveling, back when I only had a point and shoot camera.  

India
Taj Mahal
Kerala
Munnar
Munnar
Nepal
Kathmandu
Pokhara
Kathmandu
United Kingdom (England, Scotland, North Ireland)
London
London

Alnwick
Hydrian's Wall
Edinburgh
Loch Ness


Iona
Giant's Causeway
Ireland
Dingle
Doolin
Cliff's of Moher
Dublin
France
Paris
Versailles
Versailles
Paris
Spain (Including Gibraltar, technically part of the U.K.)
Gibraltar
Tarifa
Barcelona
Figueres
Italy
Rome
Rome
Positano
Ravello
Castello di Magrano
Florence
Vatican City

Vatican City
The Netherlands
Amsterdam

Germany
Munich
Munich
Austria
Salzburg
Salzburg
Czech Republic
Prague
Prague

Greece
Meteora
Santorini
Santorini
Athens

Canada

For some reason I can't find my photos in Canada.  I'll update this spot if I can find them.

Mexico
Mexico City
Teotihuacan
United States (Not international, but in the past 10 years I've taken too many domestic trips to count)
Chicago
Red Rock Canyon
Portland
Yosemite