Saturday, February 28, 2009


iPhone apps help me be productive.

Twitter, facebook, and myspace apps help me stay in touch with friends

Figured out how to sync google calendar with iPhone. Very helpful.

Blogging from iPhone is awesome.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Steamers is steamin'

John asked Krista and me to go to Steamers to listen to jazz. Vergil
and randy ended up coming with us. So far it's great. I can get in to
this. I finally figures out when to clap. Big improvement.

I can't wait to hear my friend Kate play now. She's an instructor at the college and we work in the same division.

More on this later. I'm gonna go enjoy the music and the company.

for more on our antics, check out krista's blog.

PASS on Fire Extinguisher Training

Pull [the Pin]

the North Orange County Community College District requires that we all attend fire extinguisher training once a year. it was pretty fun.

the truth is, i've never used a fire extinguisher before - (fortunately, i've never had to). i figured it wasn't that hard. really... pull pin, aim, fire (or in this case, put out fire). that's pretty much what it was.

we learned about the basic elements of fire: heat, fuel, oxygen. if you remove one or more, you stop the reaction and stop the fire. :)

of course, putting out a fire is even more fun when you get to do it with friends. rob and lynette joined me in the training. yeah! i can't wait for next year.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Loopy Craig

a little birdy gave me this picture. i had to post it. sorry craig (not really).

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Happy Birthday Thess

Happy Birthday Thess!

what filipino birthday party would be complete without kareoke??

JD really liked the cake.

Friday, February 20, 2009

learning whenever possible

i'm not half bad at retouching. sometimes people ask me how i do what i do and i usually tell them that step one is to put your headphones on and listen to your favorite iTunes play list. a lot of people think i'm joking, but i'm not. retouching is visual so it doesn't impact you negatively to listen to something, in fact, your favorite music can help block out any sounds that may be distracting.

i used to work at pictage scanning film and retouching. as you can imagine, scanning film did not require a lot of brain cells. insert film, hit start. it got pretty boring so we used to listen to music. i figured out i could listen to educational tapes and learn something while working.

i noticed something, i was a more productive scanner when i listened to something because i wasn't so bored and looking for something to do to entertain myself. i could scan on auto pilot much like you can drive home from some place and not remember parts of the journey.

anyhow i still listen to stuff when i retouch. these days i listen to music as well talks from TED. the following video is one of my favorites:

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Happy Accident

I forgot to turn off my camera while walking back to the car and
accidently snapped this picture. I actually like it so I thought I
would share it.


On our way home from Vegas we decided to make a pit stop at Calico, an old silver mining ghost town. We've driven by it over a hundred times, often saying we should stop, but never do. This is one of the few times we weren't rushing to get somewhere.

It's actually pretty neat and there is more to do and see than I expected. Randy and only stayed for an hour and we barely got to walk to the end of the town and back taking a few snap shots along the way.

We could easily stay an entire day. There was even a plaque dedicated to the Knotts here. Maybe the old west town at Knott's Berry Farm is modeled after calico.

The next time I'm here I'm going to take more time taking pictures, stop by the beer garden, take a tour of the mystey shack, make my own candle, pan for gold, ride the train, take a stab at the shooting gallery, and eat at the Calico house Restraunt.

Did I mention there were camp grounds up here?? Camping anyone?

Anyhoo, the following pix are by randy, not me. I think taking that photo class from Michael LaNoue at Cypress College really helped.

Duces wild

I'm normally not a gambler. If I am going to risk money, I prefer better odds than what a casino has to offer.

I do however stick a dollar or to in a machine every now and then to kill time. Today I found a penny duces wild poker machine and ended up playing for nearly an hour with 70 cents. Now this is my kind of game. If I'm going to loose money, I'm going to do it slowly and with more interaction than just stabbing at the spin button.

I miss the old las vegas, when slot machines used real coins instead of tickets. I miss the noise the coins made falling into that metal tray. It sounded like vegas. There was something special about carrying around a 6 pound bucket of nickels. I felt rich even though it was probably only worth $12.

The old strip still has those slot machines, low limits on tables, and cheep booze. I'm going there next time.

Buffet kindness

Fiesta Henderson is right down the street from our house so randy and I eat at the buffet often. Whenever friends are in town, this is where we take them to eat sometimes. With a player's card (you can sign up for one for free) the lunch buffet is only $6.99, about the same price you could pay at a regular fast food place, but with a lot more choices, and a lot better quality.

I know it sounds cheap, but the food is actually pretty good. There are 7 different stations including Italian, Mexican, Mongolian, American, Chinese, bar-b-q, and a bakery, not to mention the two salad bars and the desert station. For drinks you can get the usual sodas, juices, or coffee. If you want, you can order a bucket if 5 Budweisers for an additional $12! Weekends offer a champagne brunch (where I had way too much to drink once - it was my first time with unlimited free alcohol).

Anyhow, while standing in line to pay, a nice gentleman gave us a coupon for a 2 for 1 lunch he clipped from the local paper - we ended up paying a total of $7.53 for both of our meals.

When strangers do something nice for you for nothing at all, it makes me all warn and fuzzy inside. People should do nice things for others every now and then. It renews my faith in humanity. Just this one little act of kindness inspires me to do something nice for someone else. The world could be such a better place if we all helped each other out every once in awhile.

If you can, do something nice and unexpect for someone today. It'll make them feel good and I have a feeling it'll make you feel good too.

Our house

Just passed by the house to see how it is. It's looking fine. I can't tell if some of the plants are dead or if it's just winter.

Last night

Tonight is my last night in vegas. I spent all night in the room. Randy and I were so tired from the things we were doing this week. I not looking forward to going home yet, but it'll be nice to get back and take care of things.

I'm coming home soon everyone. I've had a great time and have learned tons. See you all soon.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Coke store

Only in vegas do I think an entire store dedicated to coke stuff would work. I stop here when I can to get myself a chocolate coke. Yum.

Walking ad

This woman was apparently trying to sell some gear. Clever advertising.


As long as I was taking pictures with everyone I knew I thought I would stop back by the Pictage booth and get a picture with Jason a few minutes before the trade show ended.

Good seeing you again!

Couture Book

Michelle has been raving about Couture Books for over a year. I knew that she knew someone from the company but had no idea who it was. She text me and asked me to pick up stuff for her. I thought they weren't at the show, but my new friend Andy said they were at the trade show and told me where they were.

i've been looking at album companies all week because i want to see what's out there and kalen has been looking for stuff too. it was my first time seeing the books and i love them. they are little works of art. i'm torn between telling the world about it or keeping it as my own little secret, obviously, i opted for telling the world.

anyway, as i was standing there talking to the guy I saw his name tag and it said dave. the name was so familiar. why? was it from pictage? i turned to him and told him his name sounded familiar. he just laughed and said, "i know you, grace, from pictage." lightbulb! oh yeah. it all came back to me.

anyway, dave is super nice, super cool. check out couture book for your album needs, you'll love them. you haven't seen books like these.

the walk back to the hotel

Drunk shooting, that's what i call it. the walk back to the hotel took a lot longer than it should have because we kept stopping to take pictures. the following are a selection of pictures we took along the way.

i have no idea why we did this. it was funny at the time. very hands across america.

this has such potential. this is what i have in mind: manuel, lawrence, and michelle standing there just like they are, but with the usual crowd of people in the early evening. it would be shot with better lighting and a slow shutter speed in order to get the blur of people walking by and the three of them standing there still in the midst of the chaos. work with me people. maybe next time. when do you guys wanna go back to vegas to get the shot?

i told lawrence to grab her ass, but he didn't want to so michelle did it. i think it worked out better that way.

i'm not sure what lawrence was doing, but it made for an interesting shot. sure i'll shoot it.

michelle and lawrence just couldn't stop dancing. come here at a time other than 2:30 in the morning on a tuesday night and there would have been too many people to get this shot. one of my favorites from the walk home.

the girl in the picture just looks so thrilled to be eating the food.

ahhh, long night. randy was downstairs playing keno. it was nice to head back up to the room with him. elevators have better lighting that i thought. no wonder greg likes to shoot in them so much.

Pictage's Studio 54 party

Pictage's Studio 54 party was rockin'. The DJ was amazing, every song was perfect to sing to and even better to dance to. The drinks were free (I had three beers). Pictage even had a photo booth complete with a box of props next to the booth with hats, funny glasses and feather boas.

Threre was a mini Cypress College group consisting of me, Michelle, Lawrence, Kalen, and Manuel. I made a new friend, Andy John, a photog from DC. We got to talk to Mike Colon while in line for drinks (had no idea he was so tall). I talked to my friend Jason O'Hare (the only account manager you would ever want to deal with at Pictage) and even got to say hi to Jason Kiefer, my former boss (and the owner of Pictage).

I had no idea Michelle and Lawrence could move like they do. It really was a treat just watching them dance. I just ended up taking pictures of them.

I had such a good time I didn't even Mind my feet hurting me so much. All in all I had a great time. Good job Pictage. Good job.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Camelot Steakhouse

Randy and I ate at Camelot Steakhouse. There is a bar area inside the restraunt. I wish I knew about this before. I would have gone there for some drinks with randy much earlier.

Dinner was great, but a little too pricey for what you get.

for an appitizer we ordered the baked brie. it was heavenly. worth the extra wait for how long it takes to prepare. this was worth every penny and i will have it again, oh yes, i will have it again. i wanted to cry tears of joy, that's how good it was. of course, now i'll have hyped it up too much for you or the next time you have it, it won't be nearly as good, but i tell you, it is like a sweet dream eating this thing.

i said i'm a sucker for french onion soup and will try it where ever i go and this is one of the best i've had. it was savory and rich, well done.

the filet mignon was not that great. i ordered medium rare and got something closer to medium well. i should have just ordered rare and if it was too rare i could have just had them cook it a little more. should have just asked for worshestershire sauce. that might have saved it. very disappointing. okay, you are probably thinking i should have just sent it back, but i am just not that kind of person. maybe a touch more veggies would have been nice. not worth it if you ask me. i've had better at outback.

i had a taste of randy's new your steak too. he also ordered medium rare but it was nearly well done. there was barely any pink. not good at all.

More friends

Ran into two more photo department buddies, Manuel and Thomas, between classes again at the entrance to the convention. I really should just stick around here to see who else I can run into.

We are all going to the Pictage party at Studio 54 tonight. Open bar. Need I say more?

Classes are going great, learning tons! It looks like the high end photogs are all using Capture One, not Lightroom. They say the image quality is better. And it does sound like they are using digital techs, good news for our program at Cypress College that offers classes on how to be a digital tech. There is a demand in the industry.

For those using Lightroom, have no fear, it's still what most pros use and the need to know it is not going away anytime soon.

Anyway, off to the last class of the night. It's a Lightroom one with Chris Orwig. I watch so much to his stuff on I would know his voice anywhere. I can't wait to see him in person.

WPPI trade show

I'm walking around the trade show and behold, who should I run into? Kalen!

The trade show is amazing, it's not just one room, it's two! It'll take me all day just to run check everything out.

Michelle and I stopped by the Pictage booth to say hi to my friend Jason O'Hare and got tickets to the Pictage party at Studio 54 tonight.

Well, I'm off to see more new cool and exciting products.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Lucky 13

Our hotel room is on the 13th floor. It's been a while since i've seen a 13th floor. They usually go straight from 12 to 14.