Sunday, June 27, 2010

One Million Dollars

Krista and John


After checking out of our hotel we still had a lot planned before heading home. We wanted to take a picture with a million dollars and Binion's Casino offered us that opportunity.

Black Jack Lesson

Black Jack lesson

Before heading out for the night Randy gave everyone a quick lesson on how to play craps and black jack.

Yes, we're geeks, we own a craps/black jack felt and we bring it with us when we travel. Let's just not mention this again.

Fremont St. with the Gang

Krista, Verg, Randy, John

With our bellies full, we decided to walk off our dinner on the Fremont St. promenade while catching the last Viva Vision show of the night. This year's theme is "Summer of the 70s"

Randy and me

Krista

I love Fremont St. I would rather stay here than on the strip any day. It feels almost intimate compared to the strip and I can't get enough of that old Las Vegas feel. I like the live entertainment they have on the promenade and the cheap shrimp cocktails at the Golden Gate, incidentally the oldest hotel in Las Vegas. It feels good to be here with friends.

Verg, me, Krista, and John

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Chart House - Happy Birthday Krista

Krista


Krista decided she wanted to go to Chart House for her birthday dinner. Sure, why not.

Randy and me


John and Krista


The Verg

After going swimming, Randy went down to make reservations. They asked him if we were celebrating something special and he told them it was for Krista's birthday. When we arrived at the restaurant and got our menus it had a special happy birthday message for Krista printed on it.

I had the Seared Chilean Sea Bass. Hands down, it was the best fish I've ever had. EVER. It was topped with chunks of fresh lobster and crab with a saffron risotto. Actually, the appitizers and everyone's meal was fantastic. It ranked up there in the top ten meals I've had in my life. I'm afraid to go back in case it's not as good as I remember it.

Sea Bass


So far this weekend is turning out brilliantly.

Shark Tank

Me!

I can't resist pools, especially ones built around a giant fish tank filled with sharks and a water slide running through it.

Me and Randy

Okay, so I was probably the only person who wanted to go to the pool today day, but luckily my friends humored me and agreed to go. I have great friends. *Hugs* to them.

Randy, Krista, and John

John and Krista

I must have gone down the slide at least half a dozen times and I still wasn't bored of

Note to self: go to Raging Waters.

Anyway, here's some footage of the trip down the slide at The Tank.





7 Drinks in 37 Minutes

After settling into our rooms Krista, John, Verg, Randy, and I went down to get a few drinks. 37 minutes later we all have about 7 drinks in us. Needless to say we're a little drunk.

video


So here we are at the cafe. I don't think Krista is going to make it much longer.

IMG_1615 copy

Friday, June 25, 2010

We're here

Golden Nuggett


We're here!

Moon Rise

Moon Rise over Desert


The moon is rising just as the sun is setting. I smell an eclipse around the corner.

I can't tell you how beautiful a desert moon rise is, especially when the moon is right on the horizon. Okay, so you can't tell in the picture, but it looks huge!

Del Taco Dinner

Del Taco sauce packets


Randy and I are stopping off for dinner at Del Taco. We thought it was appropriate since the first Del Taco was founded somewhere around here (Yermo). I like that they have the sauce packets in a basket on the table. I wish all places did it this way. I take what I want and don't have to throw away the stuff I took "just in case".

Alien cloud

Lone Cloud


This is the one and only cloud in the sky right now. I'm thinking it's a UFO disguised as a cloud. That's my guess.

On the road again

Driving


Krista wants to celebrate her birthday in Las Vegas this year so Randy, my uke, and I are headed there now. Krista, John, and The Verg will head there later tonight.

We'll be staying at the Golden Nugget in Downtown Las Vegas. As for our itinerary, that's still up in the air, but I'll be sure to squeeze in some pool time.

Stay tuned for our adventures in Sin City. Not everything that happens in Vegas will stay in Vegas... Especially if we can get John drunk enough to run around the pool naked.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

My heart belongs to Apple... sort of

iPhone 3G
Apple’s iPhone 4 is available for pre-order starting today. Do I want one? Yes! Do I want one BAD? Hell yeah! But I’m not going to do it.

The 32GB iPhone 4 comes with a sticker price of $299 with a two year contract with AT&T. Add tax and the $18 upgrade fee and it’s still not a bad price, but multiply that by 2 (one for me and one for Randy) and the price gets to be a bit much. I have my heart set on a bedroom remodel this summer and a new walk-in closet is in my future.


Walk-in closet? iPhone? Walk-in closet? iPhone? Sorry Apple, the walk-in closet wins this battle. I’ll be saving up for the phones and pick it up by the end of the year. My iPhone 3G is just fine for now.

Apple Stuff

I have an iBook 3G (which is too slow to run anything except it’s operating system), a 3rd generation 40GB iPod (which can’t hold a charge to save it’s life, but is serving out it’s time as an external hard drive), one Power Mac G5 (hooked up to my TV), one Power Mac G5 Quad (right before the change to the Intel chip), and of course, my beloved iPhone 3G. Somewhere in the depths of my storage area lives an ancient Power Book. I can’t remember the model, but let’s just say it’s old enough to sport a monochrome screen.

I love my Apple products, but I won’t go as far as saying I’m a fan girl. I don’t love EVERY Apple product. Mac Book Air? What’s up with that? I don’t stand in line to get the latest and greatest from Apple. iPad, you can wait… until you come with a built in camera, at least.

There are a lot of Apple haters out there. The two arguments against it I hear the most are the price and the software availability, both valid arguments. I, for one, am willing to shell out that kind of money and the convenience the products give me is worth every penny. I haven’t had a virus in over 10 years. As for software, I can’t think of a single thing I want that I can’t get – granted, all I want is Photoshop, Microsoft Office, and World of Warcraft.

If you want a PC, go for it. I don’t blame you. It is cheaper (sort of, but that’s another story) and there is more software available. I just don’t want to or know how to deal with the problems that come with using a PC.

AT&T vs. Verizon

As for the iPhone, I hear more complaints about AT&T than the phone itself. Sure I get a lot of dropped calls (A LOT), but the pros outweigh the cons. I didn’t think a phone could change my life, but this one did. For one thing, my purse is a lot lighter. I no longer carry around a phone, MP3 player, camera, and PDA. I just carry around one device that does it all. I’m far more productive and connected to my friends than ever before and I don’t get lost nearly as often (thank you GPS feature).

Okay, I haven’t used other smart phones, but I have no desire to. I haven’t heard of any feature available on any of them that makes me think “Oooo! I want that!” and it isn’t available on the iPhone.

I used to have Verizon as my cell phone carrier… a long, long time ago. I got signal when other people didn’t. I love it. I LOVED it… until the bill came. Back when I had Verizon, cell phone companies offered a local calling plan and a national calling plan. A national plan on any carrier was outrageously expensive, so I went with the local calling plan.

The problem with Verizon’s home calling area was that it was limited to the Greater Los Angeles area – and not all of it. I would get roaming charges up the wazoo even if I didn’t leave the LA/OC area. Back then I traveled to San Francisco and Las Vegas frequently. I couldn’t turn on my phone in fear of getting a calling and having to pay roaming charges. Did I mention customer service at the time sucked too? Then along came Pac Bell (which later became Cingular and is now AT&T). They wooed me with their local calling plan: practically the entire state of California and Las Vegas AND it was cheaper than Verizon’s plan. Okay, sign me up!

AT&T and Apple’s exclusivity agreement is scheduled to end in 2012. There are rumors that it may end sooner, but I’m not holding my breath. When that happens I’ll explore the options between AT&T and whoever else is carrying the iPhone. Until then, I don’t mind hitting redial.

P.S. I don’t want to jail break my phone.

P.P.S. Roll over minutes has saved my ass twice. Thank you.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Twins

Grace and Heather

Meet my twin sister, Heather. We’re identical. Can you tell?

I’m Heather’s Siamese twin (since I’m Thai) and she’s my Iowanese twin (since she’s from Iowa), get it? Heather is basically… me, but with light golden brown hair. She’d kill me if I ever called her blond. We both love wearing flip flops, beer, cigarettes, and Bon Jovi - but not necessarily in that order. Is there more to life is than that?

We both worked the graveyard shift at Pictage along with Michelle (another soul mate of mine). It was nice having people around who understood what life was like working when everyone else was sleeping and sleeping while everyone was at work. There wasn’t much of a social life for people like us, so we stuck together.

When Randy and I lived in Las Vegas Heather would come stay with us at least once a month, sometimes more. She stayed with us so much she had her own room in our house. When we moved back to LA, she helped us do it. You know it’s love when someone helps you move.

Heather lives in Oregon now. She tells me the skies are blue and there are these green pointy things called trees. Amazing. She came down to visit this weekend so we met up for dinner. Even though we hardly talk anymore it’s amazing to sink right back into a conversation like we never left each other. I guess that’s what it’s like for twins.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

My favorite iPhone camera apps

Lately, I’ve been taking more pictures with my iPhone than my DSLR since I picked up a few new camera apps. The pictures just come out looking so groovy.

The new apps are: Night Shot, TiltShift Generator, Hipstamatic, and TouchOfColor. My go to app used to be Photoshop.com Mobile, but I haven’t touched it since I got the other four.

Here are some samples from each app:

PS Mobile: Crop, straighten, rotate, and flip shots. You can also control exposure, saturation, tint, and contrast. If you’re feeling really artsy you can also add a sketch, soft focus, or just plain old sharpen effect. Last but not least there are several preload actions and boarders you can apply to your images. For this shot I applied the Vignette Blur and added a sepia tint.

Daddy and the Durian

Night Shot: This app is the best app for taking pictures at night or low light situations and comes with 5 effects (negative, color, B&W, sepia, and night vision) which can be applied with a low, medium, or high setting. You can use existing images or take a picture directly from the app. It seems to enhance the detail in shadow areas that would have otherwise been lost and does it really well.

NightShot

TiltShiftGen: This app helps you simulate images taken with tilt shift lenses. It lets you apply either a circular or liner blur, adjust saturation, brightness, and contrast, and apply vingnetting.

TiltShiftGen

Hipstamatic ($1.99): This has got to be my favorite app so far. Hipstamatic brings back the look, feel, unpredictable beauty, and fun of plastic toy cameras. You can change “films”, “flashes”, and “lenses” to create different looks or just shake the phone and the app randomly selects each for you. Awesome! The most boring pictures seem to turn into works of art. The downside of this app is you  can only use pictures taken from within the app, but that’s okay by me. I’m always excited to see what I get. For this shot I used the Ina’s 1969 film, John S lens, and no flash.

James

TouchOfColor: This app lets you select multiple color in your picture using the eye dropper tool and keeps the colors you choose while the rest of the image is converted to black and white. Randy has had a lot more success with this app than I have, but I do look forward to playing with it more.

TouchOfColor


Tonight I’ll be shopping around for a few new apps. I’ll be checking out Pano, Best Camera, Camera+, Camera Plus Pro (yes, it’s different than Camera+), and whatever else I might run into. I’ll let you know if I find anything worthwhile.

BONUS: I don’t actually use this app myself, but it’s one of Randy’s favorites.

OldBooth Premium: This app puts pictures of you or your friends into 20s – 60s era photos. Practically anyone that gets near Randy has been OldBoothed and everyone always gets a good laugh out of it.

OldBooth

Blog Templates

I'm in the market for a new blog template. My site may look odd for a few days while I experiment with new layouts to include the removal of those dreaded ads. Please bare with me during this time of change.

Monday, June 07, 2010

Blogger

Let me just say, I really dislike blogger's current post editor. Aaaaaaarrrrgggg!!!

Sunday, June 06, 2010

Aspen's Graduation Party

Randy, Aspen, and Grace

Randy’s goddaughter (and by default, my god-daughter), Aspen, graduated from high school today. I’ve known Aspen since she was about 5 or 6 years old and it’s a little bit shocking for me to realize how much she’s grown up. It’s all good though. I feel more comfortable talking with her now. I don’t have to censor myself as much since she’s an adult.

She’ll be starting college this summer and studying biology. I love science and I’m glad to hear she loves it too.

Randy’s niece, Josephine, was also at the party. She’s in college now too. When did that happen? Once again, it’s all good, I don’t have to censor myself with her now either. And did I mention that Josephine is into photography? Score!

I’m sometimes afraid parents will think of me as a bad influence on their kids. I really don’t know. On the one hand, I drink and smoke. On the other, since I wasn’t exactly an angel growing up (we’ll leave it at that), I can spot a lot of things teenagers will do behind their parent’s backs anyway.

Let’s face it, teenagers are going to do certain things no matter what their parents may say or think. They may drink, do drugs, and they may have sex before marriage. I’ve been there, I’ve done that. I’ve screwed up a lot and I’ve learned from it.

There is something to having a person learn from his or her own experience, but I think it would be nice to have someone with experience be there to say if you do “A” then “B” might happen. It’s better to have someone there to guide them and make sure they don’t get arrested, maimed, or die.

On a lighter note, I did get a new bathing suit today so I could go swimming.

Jump 1

Note to self: eat less, work out more.

Anyway, congratulations Aspen! Good luck in college! I know you’ll have a great time.