Sunday, October 21, 2007

Back to JT Again


This past week I had a few days off school, so I took advantage of the chance to escape the city again for a spell. This time the trip was for a day of rock climbing with Josh, a friend from Talbot. Because I put off my homework to spend an entire day running around the desert, I am doing it now, which means I don't have much time to write about the events of the day. Suffice to say it was great to get out and do something active, and it was equally grand to spend the day with a friend I haven't seen much in the past year. Thanks, Josh! I had a great time. Here are a few pictures for you to enjoy, and a few more can be seen here.

Climbing Barefoot




Serious Climbing


Monday, October 15, 2007

Camping In Joshua Tree


For a very long time, Torrey and I managed to get out camping an average of once a month. But lately we have become far too busy, and before last weekend, we had not spent the night in our tent since our backpacking trip in late May. We finally got away again, and it was soooo nice to be out. We decided to go for just one night, leaving Saturday morning and coming back on Sunday. When we arrived we were told that all the campsites had been full the night before, and there were no guarantees of finding an open site. Fortunately, lots of people cleared out Saturday morning, and we found an awesome site that is far from the road and from other campers.


I took lots of pictures of our food, joking about starting a food blog. I won't do that, but we did have really tasty hobo dinners and biscuits from the dutch oven.

Dinner Time

Dutch Oven Cooking

It was an absolutely gorgeous night.

JT by Firelight

The stars were amazing. Here is a constellation I learned to recognize while we were out. Do you know what it is? If you do, leave me a comment and show me how star-smart you are. If I had a prize to give I would offer it, but instead you will just earn bragging rights if you are correct. Here is a clue - late at night in October you will see this constellation setting in the west. It may help to view a larger version.


We spent a good chunk of the evening sitting around the fire enjoying the flames.

A Fire Burns in Her Eyes

In the morning we had breakfast, and while we were eating, a bizarre creature came through our camp. When Andrew was in Junior High here in California he had to make an insect collection, so my Dad and I took him out to the desert to find some specimens for his project. One of the insects we brought back home was a darkling beetle. We killed it and pinned it on styrofoam to dry, and we were surprised to find the next day that it had dripped something out of it's abdomen that melted the styrofoam from underneath it. I have been intrigued by the things ever since. Apparently it is here threatening to spew styrofoam-melting liquids on me for having disturbed it's progress across the desert.

Darkling Beetle

After breakfast we read from Philippians and talked about some of the counter-cultural aspects of the gospel (a fascinating topic that my Philippians class addresses often, and one which I intend to write about here sometime before long). We did a little hiking before we came home, and then our weekend camping trip was over. It was short, but it is absolutely amazing to me how refreshing a night out of doors can be.

I have a few more pictures from the weekend posted here should you have an interest in seeing more.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Mark and Shelley Photos


Yesterday Torrey and I went with Mark and Shelley to Joshua Tree to take some engagement pictures. It was a gorgeous day out in the high desert, and we thoroughly enjoyed the time we spent with the two of them. They are a great couple and we look forward to having Mark become a part of our family in just 10 more weeks. Sounds like a very short time to me, but of course, to Mark and Shelley it feels like an eternity. Soon it will all be a memory, and we created a few yesterday along with some visual reminders in the form of photos.

Here is another for good measure:


And you can see a larger set here.

More 3D Photo Fun

3D Plant

Here is another 3D photo for your amusement. In case you have never done this before, the idea is to look at the picture in such a way that your left eye sees the image on the right and your right eye sees the image on the left. That sounds complicated but it really isn't. I find it works best to find an anchor in the picture; something that you can recognize even when it is out of focus. In this picture, any brown branch works pretty well. Then start to cross your eyes, and you will see the two parts moving together. You want to form a third image in the center that is an overlay of the two parts, so watch that anchor and use it to bring the two together. Then comes the most difficult part. Normally when you cross your eyes, it is to focus on something close to your face, but for this exercise, you need to focus on the computer screen. It can be done, but it may take some practice. When you get it, it will be well worth it. Enjoy!

The viewing experience is best if you look at this bigger version.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

A Late Night

Late Night

It has been a long time since I pulled an all-nighter. Last semester was terrible that way. I was so busy that any time I had a paper to do on top of my regular work, I was up all night writing it (and that happened nearly every week). This semester has been really laid back so far, and I really should have been able to avoid this, but last night I had a paper to write that took me on another adventure through the wee hours of the morning. So for a study break I played around with my camera a little and took this self portrait of me burning the midnight oil. I did go to bed for a few hours, and now at 9:30 am, I have just finished the paper. My class starts in one hour, which gives me roughly 40 minutes to add a bibliography, do a quick read-through, print the paper, jump on my bicycle and ride off to class. Right. I suppose I should get to it. This break is now officially over.