Friday, December 5, 2008

A Happy Sight!

So I don't think I ever mentioned my hair fiasco. What a mistake! If you hadn't heard already, I now have like dirty blonde, reddish hair. This is of course entirely my fault. See, one day my mom and I went to this outlet mall. We went over to the J. Crew outlet, and one of the sales girl's had a nice shade of blonde hair. My mom commented about how nice it was, and the girl told us what color she used. Just Loreal Preference out of the box. It was a nice shade, and I figured it would look good on me. So a couple days later at Wal-mart, I made the decision that I would try it. As most know, I already have light blonde hair, so this dye was mainly supposed to lighten it a little more. I took the dye home, and immediately got to work. I followed the directions carefully, and should've noticed when my hair was lightening up that it was turning a weird color. It was kinda a yellow, with an orange cast to it. I hoped it was just the dye and not my actual hair color. When I rinsed out the dye and dried my hair I saw this icky blonde color on my head. No, I wasn't the victim of blonde turned complete orange, but my hair just didn't look good. It was like someone had taken a yellow crayon and colored my hair with it. Needless to say, I was not happy.

So I suffered the next day, wishing I hadn't ever dyed it. I will admit that one thing I've loved is my hair. It's always soft and it was the prettiest color blonde. So became the obsession to get it back to the natural color. And because I wanted to make matters worse, I went and bought a dye stripping kit, which is basically bleach. So after applying that my hair then was completely bleach blonde. I did purchase another dye kit which was close to my natural color and planned on using it. But after I bleached my hair, I didn't want to mess it up even further. So I made an appointment that day to go to a salon and get it corrected. I didn't know how much it would cost, but I was hoping no more than $150. 

My colorist met with me and I was wearing a hat over my poor hair. I felt so bad for it! :( I brought a photo of what my hair used to be like, but it was a 4 year old photo from my senior pictures. She was shocked at my transformation, but got to work. First she did highlights, and then did a base color to darken my hair. Afterwards, she did some sort of toner shampoo, and then a quick trim. All this I still hoped wasn't going to be a ton of money. After she blew it dry, it definitely still wasn't the right color. It was a light brown with lighter brown highlights. I wasn't super happy with it, but it was a million times better than the damage I had done to it. But to add insult to injury when she rang me up, it came to $250!! I was just thinking "why the heck is it so much!?". But I thought it out (and I still feel she kinda ripped me off, or at least took advantage of my plight) and she charged me for the color, highlights, and the toner wash. Plus she charged me for a full hair cut, when it was only a trim. But whatever, I'm still kinda ticked and I have a theory. While she was working on me, she was talking to a bunch of co-workers about some new commissions system the salon had implemented. Like the more money you do in services, the more commission you get at a higher percentage. And to be honest I think that's why she did all that extra stuff. I should've asked what she would do before she did it, but she just went ahead and did all these extras things without even asking. So let's just say I learned my lesson to always ask, because she totally took advantage of my sad condition. 

But the reason I'm writing this blog anyway is because since my hair actually grows pretty fast, I can already see my roots and original hair coming through!! My hair now is still much darker than my original color, but it has lightened up quite a bit after washing it several times (and with the help of shampooing with Dawn dish liquid). But what I think I will do is let it grow out as long as I can, and then go to a salon (or hair school so it's cheaper) and have them match my original color. I still greatly regret ever messing with my hair. But I've made the mistake now, and as soon as it's back to the original color I will never mess with it again, except for getting occasional highlights.

I was going to write about something else, but my niece is now covered with cracker goo and a total mess. I must attend to her....

Ok now she's all cleaned up. Onto the next subject. Well, more like a rant and soap-box, or just venting. So recently, I've again been blasted for supporting Obama, who has won the presidency. I am very grateful and happy that he will be calling the shots. But I'm sick of people still badgering me about it. The episode occurred on Facebook and knowing how that works, you put up a status about what you are doing or thinking at the time. Well I said I was grateful for Obama and a while later received a very rude comment from someone I thought was my friend. I was shocked that he would even say such a thing especially because he's Mormon and shouldn't use words like that. Anywho, he said I was stupid to support Obama because he doesn't think more government in our lives is good. But you know what? The election is over people! Obama is going to be the next president whether you like it or not, so get OVER it!! Obviously, the current administration and Republican method is not working for us right now. We need change. Someone has to step in and take control, because things are spinning out of control! Ok I'm done now. :)

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Just an update of my boringness....

I'm bored right now so I decided to blog something. Although I guess the previous blog pretty much sums up what I've been up to. But let's see...I got back yesterday from the Thanksgiving weekend. Like I'm sure you all know, I've been in NYC right now, so everyone went to my parents house for the holiday in Washington DC. Man, I love that city! It's just so full of history and those freakin' awesome monuments? How cool are they? Don't even get me started on Philly. And Boston is cool too. I mean the whole East Coast rocks hard core! This is where our country started folks!!

Ok moving on from my love affair of the East, but the weekend was pretty fun. I was able to get kabobs twice, but still have yet to go to Ravi Kabob which is the family favorite. Maybe over Christmas we can go there. We also went to this place in DC called the Eastern Market, which is this big outdoor market with vendors who sell everything from produce, meats, and cheese to rugs, artwork and jewelery. It was a pretty cool place! Afterwards, we went to this new burger place called Ray's. It's so under the radar that they don't even have a sign outside the joint to advertise what it is. But basically, this chef who owns a steak restaurant next door decided to open a gourmet burger place. So they sell 10 oz. burgers and then you get a side of your choice. They don't do fries, but you can get potato chips, coleslaw, etc. It was super good!! My sister and I shared a burger and got really good gourmet bleu cheese on it. Then I got these yummy kettle cooked chips that were Chesapeake Crab flavored. So that was good. And then there was this really cute guy who walked in with a couple friends who kept glancing at me. He was not only cute, but had gorgeous blue eyes! Oh man I nearly melted! lol what a dork I am. But now that place will always hold good memories for me, and hopefully if I ever return, maybe I'll see him again!

Anywho, I ended up staying in DC through Monday. My mom and I wanted to go get a Christmas Tree, but we ended up going to the National Zoo instead. You see, when I was in DC a couple weeks ago, my mom and I went to the Museum of Natural History and they have this wildlife photography exhibit sponsored by this lady, Windland Smith Rice, who is a famous wildlife photographer. It's really cool! My mom and I saw the 2007 exhibit last year and this was the new 2008 one. Basically, people submit their pictures of wildlife and the winners are displayed at the museum. So since then, it's been my goal to one day have a picture displayed in this exhibit. And that's why we decided to go to the Zoo. I would like to go many more times so I can increase my chances of a great shot. I got some good ones when I was there this time around, but nothing that would compare to what types of pictures are in this exhibit. I'm hoping the spring may be better as far as weather goes. Plus some animals don't go outside in the winter (like the elephants) so that will be better too as the elephants just stay behind their cages, and you can't have metal bars messing things up. I really hope that this year in Alaska, I can capture some great shots too. Especially the Northern Lights. That was the one thing I wanted to see, but the weather can be really hard to work with. It's almost always cloudy up there. 

Ok so then on Tuesday I got to utilize my CDL skills by driving a Penske truck up to New York City. My sister and brother-in-law had a bunch of furniture stored at my parents place that they wanted in NYC, and I got to drive it up. I'll admit it was a little freaky at first getting back in the saddle. Not so much driving the truck, but driving it in a much higher traffic area. And then I had to keep remembering that the truck was only 16' long as opposed to the buses I was driving which were 45' long. I kept thinking I needed more merging space than I really did. But all went well, and now I'm back in NYC for a bit. I still have yet to hear from any jobs. But I have now applied to some places in DC, and I think I will stay here until Christmas. I think I'll be able to scrape by until then. Like I've mentioned before, no Christmas gifts for anyone, but I think I'll have to do IOU's and wrap them or something. Whatever, I'm done blogging now. :)

Saturday, November 29, 2008


So I'm a little stressed right now! I've come back from the Land of Utah, and am now living in NYC for a short while. And yes now I have to enter the scary world of job hunting in New York. So far I've only been there a week, so I haven't had tons of opportunity to search for jobs. Although I did apply for a job at a place called the Container Store and thought for sure it would be a shoo-in. Well I guess you can't count on the fact that you have plenty of experience, to get you a job because a week later I was sent an email saying that "they didn't have any positions to discuss with me at this time". I wasn't quite sure how to take that...did they fill all the positions (but then why were they still accepting online applications?), or did they not think I was qualified? Well blah, blah, I didn't want to work there anyway! (Well actually I did, because I really need a job in order to buy christmas gifts for people, and it would've been fun) But after that I applied to the same store, different location and hopefully their HR person won't be such a dumbo. I have all this experience in retail and customer service!! Whatever, moving on...

It's nice, but also hard to be applying to all these places online since I will soon have to call all these places to confirm they got my application. It is a cool feature to just be able to apply online though since right now I'm in Virginia for the Thanksgiving holidays and can't be running around in NYC collecting job applications. Although, some places don't accept online applications and I have to go get those. But just for my own record let me list all the places I've applied to online so far:

1. Verizon Wireless
2. Gap/Banana Repulic
3. Circuit City
4. Some place called Pylones
5. Buy Buy Baby
6. Apple Store (I really want this, I applied for like 4 different positions at all 3 NYC stores)
7. Bed, Bath and Beyond
8. Marriott
9. The Container Store

So yea lots of applications filled out. I've basically memorized all my employment info including phone numbers and addresses. I still need to take an application over to J. Crew, because as of a week ago they were hiring, although now, who knows? I should've taken it over already. But I will admit, it's a little intimidating looking for jobs in NYC, or even living there. It's nice not having to worry about a car payment, or rent (I'm living with my sister and brother-in-law, and I babysit for them in exchange for rent). I've always loved visiting New York and just chillin' for a couple days, but it's a whole new ballgame living there. Now that the holidays are coming up, I won't have any money to buy gifts, if I don't get a job soon. I won't have any money for anything. So much for saving money in Alaska. I was able to earn enough for my digital SLR, and my Macbook and to pay off debt and stuff, but now I'm scraping the bottom of the barrel. (learned my lesson this season, don't get sucked into The North Face!) So if anyone has any more places I can apply to, feel free to suggest something. Oh and I've applied to three temp employment places (the temp employment is apparently slow right now, I assume because of the economy). I've also posted myself on Craig's List as a nanny/babysitter. I wish my harp skills were up to par and then I could hire myself out for weddings and stuff. But being that I was in Alaska for so long without a harp, and now my harp stays in Virginia with my parents, I have barely enough time to get up to speed on Christmas music.

But now it's late, and I didn't intend on staying up so long. I took the pleasure in coming up with the perfect blog address and had to change it. And then I had to write a new blog since I haven't written one in awhile. But now I must stop and go to bed...I think my dad is going to torture me tomorrow and get me up at like 8am >:(

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


Recently watching TV I have been seeing a lot of Nikon commercials. It's that whole series endorsed by Ashton Kutcher. Now at first I liked them, but now I find them more and more annoying(the commerials, not so much the cameras...well maybe some of the cameras). And you know me, I'm constantly trying to protect the sanctity of cameras. 
So when I first see the commercial for the new Nikon D90, it does sound like a good camera, 12 megapixels, the D80's update(I liked the D80), slightly faster, blah, blah, blah. But then they say it has Video Mode that shoots HD movie!! Wait! Say what?! Video mode?! Why on earth would a digital single lens reflex camera need video mode? I'm sorry but that's just not the point of an SLR! Thank goodness this camera isn't high-end. These stupid consumers who want to be just like professionals with their little dSLR's. And now they want stupid video mode? I mean, I love video mode on my little point-and-shoot as much as the next person, but I would not want my camera taking energy and function away from my still shooting. And those who get the D90 to shoot video should be ashamed of themselves. It's like those rich people who buy $8,000 cameras just because they can, even though they don't know how to use it, and their pictures turn out mediocre. As if they thought they could get better pictures just because they have an awesome camera. It makes me want to vomit! j/k But no, seriously if Canon ever thinks of putting video mode in their cameras, I might disown them!! I think I will write them an email....

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Proposition 8

Yes of course I have to blog about this. I've gotten pretty worked up over it. Maybe I've gotten so worked up that I have a disproportionate view, but I don't think so. It's a huge issue here in Utah because of the high concentration of LDS people. I don't want this to be too long, but I feel I must get this off my chest, and out in the open. I'm sure I'll get some flack for it but whatever...

First off, I actually think Prop 8 is kind of silly. It seems like all we are fighting about is one word, "marriage". If Prop 8 does not pass, then civil unions between same-sex couples will be deemed a marriage. So we're wasting all this money on a single word to be applied to same sex civil unions? Yea...there are many other more important causes we could spend money helping 3rd world countries, or improving the environment.

Moving on, of course being an LDS Democrat, I'm kinda torn on the whole same-sex thing anyway. On one hand, being LDS, I obviously don't agree with the homosexual lifestyle. But on a different level, I feel they deserve the same rights, status and privileges heterosexual couples get. I'm absolutely in love with the Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, and the Bill of Rights and it's shameful how we often forget about these important, fundamental documents our country was founded upon. If it hadn't been for these papers, our country would not be what it is today. Specifically a passage from the Declaration of Independence states-

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."

So who are we to say, "No you cannot have a civil union because you are of the same sex."? I've gotten ahold of a few reasons our society would be doomed if Prop 8 does not pass. And I present them below.

1. Children in school will have to be taught that same-sex marriage is just as good as traditional marriage.
     -There has been talk that parents are not allowed to pull their kids out of school if there is material being taught they would rather their children not hear. I think that children should know that there are same-sex couples out there. I am also living proof that you can support same-sex marriage and still support the church. I feel in my conscience that is the right position for me, and I will teach my children tolerance for all lifestyles even if my religious beliefs don't necessarily agree. And who says you can't pull your kids out of school? If it means that much, school districts will usually allow you to enroll your child in another district, or you could enroll them in a private school or even home school them. This is similar to the whole issue about teaching evolution in school, or stopping the reciting of the Pledge of Allegiance because it talks about God. Plus, whatever happened to the PTA? Or to School Board meetings where parents could go and voice their opinions about various things?

2. Religions that sponsor private schools with married student housing may be required to provide same-sex couple housing, even if counter to church doctrine.
     -This is absolutely not a valid issue. A PRIVATELY funded school has the right to do whatever they see fit, without pressure from the government. That's the whole point that it's PRIVATE! It's not in any part, owned by the government. It's like saying the government is going to force you to allow someone in your PRIVATE home. They can do that if they want to compensate you (see Amendment 3 of the Bill of Rights), but otherwise it's a private matter. There is a PUBLIC college (the name escapes me right now) that is considered a Jewish school. It is not private however, so in that case, then yes this school would eventually have to allow same-sex couples housing (which actually might just be allowing same-sex couples to live in the married housing). That's the point though, they cannot discriminate because they are partially funded by the government, and the government has a say.

3. It will cost you money. This change will bring about a cascade of lawsuits. (e.g. photographers cannot refuse to take pictures of gay couples, doctors cannot refuse to artificially inseminate gays, even given other willing doctors)
     -So isn't one of our whole ideals is that we cannot discriminate against anyone regardless of race, religion, sexual orientation, or gender? Isn't that Fair Employment Act thing at the bottom of every job application you fill out? So as I am a photographer, if I refuse to take photographs of a gay couple, aren't I discriminating against them? So basically they have the right to sue me. Yes I have the right to refuse, but they also have to right to react to my decision. As much as some might say it isn't about not tolerating same-sex couples, this reason seems to me all about intolerance of the same-sex lifestyle. We have a choice but we also have to deal with any consequences. That's free agency.

4. Ministers who preach against same-sex marriage may be sued for hate speech and risk government fines.
     -This is a potential issue. But because of our beloved Bill of Rights, the First and one of the most important Amendments is freedom of speech. Now it has been stated that the First Amendment may not necessarily apply to "hate speech". But in conjunction with Amendment 2, Freedom of Religion, this could protect ministers from lawsuits. In addition, you can call being gay a religion as well. And I could be in error saying this next sentence because I seem to have a fault with always wanting to see the good in people, but I don't think that the "gays" are out to get us "straight" people. Yes there are going to be a select few who might want to sue over every reason, but they just want the same rights and status as heterosexual couples. Some fear that homosexuals will try to force their lifestyle on the world, but this is absolutely not the case. All the gay people I've known have never tried to force their lifestyle on me, and sometimes even joke about it themselves. They are sometimes even more tolerant than us "heteros". 

There are a few more reasons in this list, but right now it's 12:30am and I'm too tired to type more. Maybe in the next few days I will address the rest. This whole situation seems very familiar to me...hmmmm where have I seen this before? Could it be from the 1970's when Blacks were fighting for Civil Rights? Could we go through all these reasons and substitute "blacks" for "gays"? Could all these have been issues back then? Has the passing of Civil Rights for ALL people regardless of race ruined our country? The answer to all questions is "yes" except for the last one which of course is "no". I honestly don't see any difference between what is happening now, as opposed to what happened during the Civil Rights movement. Yes there were some bumps along the road of integration, but it's all pretty smooth now. There will always be opposition in the things we do, because that's the beauty of our country. We have the blessing of being able to think whatever we want and being able to worship however we want. As LDS members, "We claim the privilege of worshipping the Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow ALL men to the same privilege, let them worship how where or what they may."

Monday, October 20, 2008

Creeped Out

Right now it's midnight and I'm in my room. Big G (my grandma for those who don't know) has this doorbell that when you ring it, it plays two songs. There's a song for the back door and one for the front. I'm not sure what the deal is, but it would appear that the doorbell wiring has shorted or something because it will randomly play a note or two. Well occasionally it'll play like 1/4 of the song and then just cut out! Eeek!! Needless to say I'm a little freaked out. Apparently Big G heard it at 3am last night! 

Of course it starts right around Halloween, and adds to the fact that I've always been a little afraid of my grandmas house for some reason. It really doesn't make sense that I should be afraid of it. No one has died in the house except my grandpa, who was a fantastic man and I can't imagine he would be haunting the house. Also my grandparents built the house, so they are the only ones who have ever lived here. 

I've had this fear for as long as I can remember. To give you a picture of the layout, there are two bedrooms on the first floor, and there is a bedroom in the basement. When my family would visit, my grandparents of course had their room on the first floor, and my parents would stay in the other upstairs bedroom. Us kids would then have to sleep either in the basement bedroom (which was usually my older sister and brother since they were more "seasoned"), or they had a hide-a-bed (bed in a couch, occupied by me and my other older sister) which was located in the basement "family room". I typically would feel fine when I slept upstairs. But when I had to sleep in the basement, even in the bedroom down there, I would always feel like I was being watched. Even when it was just me and my mom visiting and she was downstairs with me (since often there were quite a lot of family staying) I could never shake it. Plus the house would always make strange noises and I just didn't feel comfortable. I figured when I got older I would grow out of it, but even now as I'm almost 22 I still get uneasy feelings here. I get it upstairs (more so when all the lights are off and I'm staring down the dark hallway), but usually it's still the basement that gets me. I used to shower at night and most of the time everyone had gone to bed by the time I was finished, and there are several dark storage rooms down there where there could easily be someone or something lurking. I will say though, one time(only a year ago) I was in Big G's room watching TV. My mom came in for a brief second, turned to leave and right as she was about to go through the door, a wind chime ACROSS the room started swinging and chiming. Now I'm not about to use that as evidence that the place is haunted. My mom had been over there and could have brushed the wind chime with her head. But what we thought was weird was that it didn't start chiming until several seconds later, where it should've started chiming as soon as my mom brushed it(if indeed she did). Plus there was no window open where the wind could blow it, nor were the floor vents blowing. Hmmmm..... 

So again I've constantly wondered why this house creeps me out so much. As far as I know it's been a place of happiness, so there shouldn't be a reason why it would feel this way. I'm one of those people who's really into ghosts, but the thought of actually seeing one scares the crap out of me. I've gotten into this show called Ghost Hunters and watching that has educated me a little bit on the subject of the paranormal. What I like about this show over other ones of the same type is that they use scientific devices to catch hauntings. They don't just go into a place and "feel" that it's haunted. They use video cameras, thermal cameras, EMF detectors, and sound recorders to solidify the presence of a spirit. They say about 80% of locations people claim to be haunted really aren't (or they just didn't get any proof). One tool that I'd like to get my hands on is the EMF detector. EMF stands for Electromagnetic Field. It's basically energy that some believe are spirits trying to manifest (or show themselves). The only issue with this tool, is that it also picks up electricity. You can usually tell if what the EMF is picking up is a bonafied spirit, or just electricity by moving the device around. If it seems like the "reading" is coming from the wall or a light socket then it's obviously man-caused. However, sometimes the energy field seems like it's just floating in mid-air, with no apparent source. This would indicate that something is trying to manifest. So long story short (too late) I'd like to use this device to see whether or not there's a strong EMF field coming from somewhere in the basement. You see, it's not usual that wires, sockets, lights, or electrical boxes have EMF readings. Even though there's electricity flowing through them all the time, good electrical devices block the EMF's from "seeping" out. The reason for this, is because high EMF's can cause sickness, uneasiness and a feeling of being watched for those who are sensitive to it. If the EMF is really high, even people who normally wouldn't be affected can still sense it. So not to say that when my grandparents built the house they used crappy electrical stuff (although who knows since it was built over 50 years ago). But there could easily be an EMF leak somewhere and I wonder (well more like hope) that this is the cause of my fear. Although, it could be as silly as my brother or mischievous cousins, scaring me at some point and then as a result me being scared the rest of my life. You'd think I'd remember that though if it caused such a huge effect on me. 

But wow, this turned into one silly thing as the doorbell short circuiting, to a long essay about Big G's house. I guess I wasn't as tired as I thought.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Hodge Podge of Thoughts...

When I found out that I would have to stay in Utah for 5 weeks, after I returned from Alaska I didn't know what I was going to do to pass the time. I thought, should I get a job? I considered it for awhile, but just didn't because I was a little burned out from working 70 hours a week for 5 months. So then my mom suggested I get a bike! I wasn't sure of the idea at first, but the more I looked into it, the more I wanted one. So I figured out how much I could spend, and headed over to my local bike shop. I was really set on getting a Specialized. My Dad recently got a Specialized road bike, and my brother-in-law has a Specialized mountain bike. I guess everyone and their mother also wanted a Specialized, because the bike shop didn't have any, nor did Specialized have any in their warehouse (of the models I was interested in). So the bike shop guy steered me toward Trek. Now I still wish a little that I would've been able to get a Specialized, but the Trek 7.2 FX WSD I got is awesome!! It's a hybrid, so the tires aren't as narrow as a road bike (does better on gravel) but not as wide as a mountain bike. It was delivered on Tuesday and all I did was take it out for a short 2 mile spin. On Wednesday though I went out longer (a little over 14 miles), and I discovered the bike path down Hobble Creek Canyon! Today I'm going to lengthen my ride to at least 15 miles (if my butt can go that far, it's a little sore), and eventually I want to get up to 20 miles. I still have about 2.5 weeks until I leave so that'll be plenty of time. When my parents get here, we want to do a ride along the Provo River bike trail, which sounds really fun!!

Onto other matters, the widely talked about GOP VP Nom Sarah Palin!! I hate talking about her because everyone talks about her, but I have to get a few thoughts out in the open. First and foremost, the incident at the Flyers game a few nights ago. Now I will admit, as much as I dislike the woman I did feel a little bad for her when over half the audience was booing her as she walked out to drop the first puck. But then I thought, well honestly she deserves it. Why does she think she deserves, or has the experience to be the Vice President of the United States? Just because John McCain picked her, doesn't mean she is a good choice. In fact, like I said before in one of my previous blog entry, what rock did her find her under? I mean you pick one of the smallest populated states in the country, grab the governor and say "hey! wanna be my VP running mate?". To be frank, it's extremely selfish on her part. She has to realize that she doesn't have the experience to be the VP and she thinks it's OK to bring the country down even further than where it is now? And then she goes around slamming Obama for random things to ruin his credibility when in fact she has no credibility herself. I have as much foreign policy experience as she does. In fact I might have more! j/k The fact that she didn't have a passport until 2006, I'd already had mine for three years! Why don't I run for VP?

Now I know that there are some people who just love her and hate the fact that the "liberal" media keeps poking fun at her. And some claim that if it were any other woman, they wouldn't be trying to "crucify" her all the time. I'm sure Hillary got her fair share, and now the media has moved on. And really, if she can't handle the media then she shouldn't be in the spotlight. Even the Europeans get that she's a horrible choice, calling her a "half baked Alaskan disaster". It's not just Palin I'm afraid of. It's McCain also. There was one line that caught my attention during the last Presidential Debate. It was when Obama said the if we vote McCain in office we'll get the same policies that have been plaguing us for the last eight years. Now I for one, want change. Let's put aside the fact that some of us just can't "bring ourselves to vote Democrat" and finally be responsible for our country. 

Being in Utah, the most conservative state in the world, I have heard many strange things coming from people about why they dislike Obama. One is that he spends more on his campaign than McCain does. Seriously? Um, well if McCain had the money he would spend it too. Why should it matter if Obama spends a lot of money on his campaign. I will admit I see less pro-McCain ads, but is this really a legitimate reason to dislike Obama? Give me a break!! I know practically no one reads my blog, which is probably good since I seem to babble a lot and smash the Republicans (and the majority of my family is conservative). But I was sent this article which is a good read for political affiliation. The link should post somewhere in this entry...

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Return from the Alaska Frontier!!

Well you may or may not know that I've finally come back from the North Country!! I was there for 5 months! It didn't seem like I was there that long, but by the last few days I was ready to go home. It was hard to see friends who I had gotten so close to, leave. The three best boys from Adventure Crew left a couple days before me. I was sad I wouldn't be able to see them for so long. Fortunately, though I will be able to visit in the beginning of November and they will all be in Colorado for work.

Anywho, it's kinda weird being back in civilization. I'm not used to having everything back at my fingertips. The day I flew home, I stayed overnight in Seattle and got to go to the first mall in 5 months. It was fun, but total culture shock! And you never really realize what you miss until you get it back. For example today I heard thunder for the first time in probably a year and it was soooo cool!! Yea, I'm a dork. ;) 

On the other hand I really miss Alaska. Life was so simple there. I didn't have to worry about anything except for giving tours, and even that wasn't that hard. I earned enough moolah that I didn't have to worry about paying bills, and I didn't have to worry about not being able to afford anything (which probably got me into trouble, evil North Face ;). It also made me appreciate the gospel much more, seeing all those people who didn't have the gospel in their lives and just being grateful that I knew what I knew. I can't wait to go back next season!! My best buddy, Donnie Gene, and some other friends are going to be drivers and also want to go out on highway, so if that all works out it'll be a partay!!

But for now, I'm chillin in Utah until November 3rd, and then it will be off to Washington, DC!! Until then, I'll probably do some shopping, get my car fixed up, get my hair done and all that nonsense...woooo!!!

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Say What?

Yesterday, Republican nominee for President John McCain, announced his VP choice for the election. The lucky (or maybe not so lucky) pick was a lady named Sarah Palin. Who is this mysterious woman you ask? Well I don't really know either. No one seemed to expect McCain would choose the Governor of Alaska. In fact most of the talk was that he'd choose Mitt Romney (thank goodness he didn't). But I can't help but wonder why she was chosen. Out of all the highly qualified candidates why Palin?

McCain has claimed that she's a good choice, and knows what she's doing, etc. And I'm not going to talk like I know all, but seriously? While she has been somewhat decent at a state level, I wonder how she'll really deal with helping to run the United States of America. I mean yea she's been running the state of Alaska for 2 years and was the town of Wasilla's mayor for 6. Does McCain really think that is qualification for Vice President? I'll admit part of me was thinking "Cool! The Alaskan Gov could be the VP of the US!" But other than dealing with fishing and hunting drama what does she know about foreign affairs? What might be simple to handle Alaskan tax laws, what does she know about doing it at a much larger scale? I could see maybe choosing the governor of a much larger state to run with (California (not that I want Schwarzenegger either), or New York, etc.) But Alaska? I love Alaska, but where the population is only about 700,000 people, 47th smallest in the nation, does that really prepare one to help run America? I'm not saying she's completely without skill and experience. But there are a lot of better candidates in my opinion. Seriously though, what rock did he find her under? Suddenly out of the blew he says to himself "Hey the Governor of Alaska should be my running mate!" Did the Governor of Hawaii not make the cut? What about the Gov of Wyoming? Isn't Dave Freudenthal good enough? (Oh, wait he's a democrat...nevermind ;)

Then I thought well maybe it's not so much experience rather than longevity. Maybe the fact that she's only 44 years old is appealing to McCain who is 72. Does he feel comforted by that fact that if he kicks the bucket soon, she's nowhere near doing so herself. Or maybe McCain chose her because she'll attract people who vote for the President based on looks alone?

But who really knows what's going on in the mind of McCain. Only McCain knows...and his psychiatrist...

Here is a photo of the lovely lady herself

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

And the Adventure Continues

Ok well yesterday one of the most exciting and stressful things happened during my 5 month stay here in the North country. Let me start at the beginning...

So I didn't like doing highway but since it's the end of the season and a lot of the drivers are leaving, my manager Danny needed me to do a couple last runs. So I drove up to Dawson City to bring a group down. We were driving along the Klondike Highway, everything was fine, but it had been raining all day. I was paralleling with another driver and we came to this area where some cones were across the road. A road-worker guy comes up and tells me that there is a foot and a half of water across the road and that the road is officially closed but we can still attempt to cross the water if we wanted to. So we drive up about a mile and see that the water is indeed all the way across the road and rising. So we watch a few cars and trucks go across, seriously toying with the idea that we should go across ourselves. But after inspection of the road and being told that half the road has washed away, we decide not to attempt it since we both had a full coach-load of people. So since there is no place for a 45 foot motorcoach to turn around we had to back down the Klondike Highway until there was a pull out we turned in.

Next we back to Carmacks, a little town in the Yukon with a population of like 300 so we could call Danny and figure out what to do. We waited at a gas station for about 45 minutes until we got the call that after throwing around some options, corporate decided to charter some planes to come fly the passengers to Whitehorse (our destination that day) and that us drivers would of course have to stay in Carmacks overnight with the coaches. So they had two 40-seater planes come immediately as well as a 7-seater to the ghetto Carmacks airport. We then had to tell the guests that they had to go through their luggage and only take what was absolutely necessary since the plane may not be able to hold all their luggage. We set up a tent type thing so their bags wouldn't get wet and made them come out a few at a time to go through it. Then we loaded them up on the plane and off they went.

Now since Carmacks is a small town, you can imagine that the only hotel in town, is no Marriott Marquis. Let's just say that we were lucky to even get rooms because we weren't the only stranded motorists. And I definately fared better than DJ, the other driver, since we couldn't share a room (opposite sexes) he ended up in this creepy "cabin" behind the hotel while I got to stay in the main building. After seeing the "cabin" that doesn't have a proper locking door, rust stains in the sink, and carpet that doesn't lay quite flat on the floor (no padding either), you could probably say I got the Marriott suite. LOL. DJ was worried that since the door barely locks he was going to get raped by a trucker named Bubba. Shouldn't be funny, but it was still hilarious...hmmm maybe I should call him this morning and make sure he's still alive....

All in all though, it was kinda fun. Sure it was stressful and I almost seriously had a break down when I heard I had to stay in the Ghetto overnight. Plus I was really excited to get back to Skagway, which at this point who knows when I'll be able to get back. But it wasn't so bad. We'll probably be deadheading back to Dawson City and then I am going to try and schmooze Danny to fly me back to Skagway, because he even said himself that there will be too many drivers up in Dawson City (6 after we get there). So wish me luck! (although i'm pretty sure no one is reading this since i don't post that often)

Thursday, August 21, 2008


Complete. Yes let's talk about poop. I know it's an odd subject but what can I say? So since there are bathrooms on the buses I drive, we of course have to empty them at the end of the day. Now usually this isn't a big deal but there are rare occasions where it gets a little stinky. A few weeks ago we were dumping one of the coaches over the dump grate. All seems to be going well, but then all of a sudden the pipe clogs (where the excrements were coming out of the toilet). So someone gets a mechanic to come look at it and they shoved something up the pipe to get it to unclog and low and behold a diaper comes out. So that's just stupid in of itself, because who throws a diaper in the latrine-type toilet? But the best part is that the driver of the coach goes "Wait I didn't have any babies on my coach today!" So upon closer inspection, we realize that it's actually a pair of Depends!! Oh my, oh my the stories you could tell with that one! Moving on though, several times I've pulled onto the dump site and the previous coach just having dumped their toilet there I've seen little pieces of poo just chillin' on the grate over the dump. It's totally gross, but also kinda funny. Maybe one day I'll get a picture!!

So I'm a little disappointed at the lack of drama going on lately. I mean there's stuff I know that I can't really post in a public blog, but as far as crazy passengers I haven't had any that stand out to me. And I know, I thought I'd be writing about it all the time. Although right now I'm running on 6 hours of sleep and I worked 14 hours today so honestly my brain is probably not functioning and remembering things as well as usual so I best be off anway. Oh and I'm going out on a couple last highway runs in a couple days. I'm pretty excited to get to Dawson City one last time!

Friday, August 8, 2008

Day by Day Drama

It's been suggested that living up here in Alaska is like living in a reality show. It would be pretty entertaining to have a camera crew filming all the crap that goes down here, but since I have no access to that, I will narrate as best I can. I will try to write down all the craziness that goes on here in the isolated town of Skagway in the Discover Alaska Tours company.

To start, Thursday (yesterday) wasn't nearly as bad as some days. I did an Experience the Yukon & Suspension Bridge tour. It's interesting how if I feel my group is low energy I'm low energy. Like Wednesday, my group was awesome! I cracked tons of jokes and they LOVED me. My group this time though was low-key and I was a little out of it for reasons I won't share here, but it turned out to be an ok day. Because I was a little spaced out I didn't give as good of a tour as usual, and thankfully that didn't really affect my tips at all. Drama-wise though...lets see... I had an Austrian lady on board who felt that the whole tour revolved around her and her comfort level. We hadn't even left Skagway yet, when she comes up to me and tells me it's too cold. So I turned the A/C down. Later she kept asking all these stupid questions including the all famous "What's the elevation here?". Then while driving home she comes up and says that the open roof hatch (opened to cool off the bus) is too windy and how would she go about closing it? The only thing that made up for it was that she did tip me (I never expect much from the Europeans because it's not in their culture to tip), so that was nice.

Oh and I almost got in an accident too. We were getting close to Skagway, it had been a beautiful day by Skaggers' standards, but that afternoon the White Pass had become extremely foggy to the point where I could barely see 10 feet in front of me. So I'm going along the road and right where the Canadian-US border is I see some faint tail lights so I slow down but almost not soon enough. This car in front of me slams on their brakes right where it says "Welcome to the US" and I slammed on my brakes! Luckily, I was able to stop but with barely 5 feet between our bumpers!! I was actually shaking afterwards! Not to brag, but my pax are always impressed by my driving skills. That same day I had impressed a few by my being able to make tight U-turns and some of them were even applauding me! I'm not gonna lie, it does feel good.

On a lighter note, we did get to see a bear!! We had just passed the Yukon sign and came around a bend where we saw the bear and then two cubs tumbled out of the brush as well!! Unfortunately I didn't get to photograph them, but it was awesome because it's been forever since I've seen wildlife WITH passengers!! I did almost hit a bear the other day. I was deadheading (means driving with no pax) to Carcross for a Bennett Adventure and we'd already seen one bear. I just passed Lake Tutshi, my friend Bethany was driving in front of me and this black bear decides to cross the highway between us. I saw him come onto the road and I hit the brakes. Fortunately he crossed pretty fast and I was still about 20 feet away when he got to the other side of the road, but it was still scary. Although I have thought that if I ever killed something cool (like a bear, moose, lynx, fox or coyote) I would take it to Caribou Crossing and have them skin it for me so I could have the pelt to use on my tour. Morbid I know.

So that's what went down yesterday. I have the day off today so no drama, but tomorrow's another day.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Still in AK

Yes I'm still up here in the middle of nowhere!! Life is good as far as it all goes. I'm working about 65-70 hours a week, hanging out with friends and getting to know my new camera!! Yes I finally got my DSLR and I couldn't be happier. I loved having just a small point-and-shoot but now that I have the capabilities of a SLR again it's really awesome!! I've only had the thing for about a week and a half and I've already taken about 500 photos!!

Other than that excitement, work is fine too. I'm having a lot of fun still taking people around on tours. I had been doing highway runs, but I decided that I really liked staying in Skaggers on the city tours we do here so now that's what I do. My manager will probably put me back on highway for a couple more runs since there are a lot of drivers leaving for school at the end of August. I figured since I'm not going back to school this semester I would stay the whole season. So I'll be up here until end of September. I'll miss being here in Alaska but I'll admit I'm ready for civilization. I can't imagine actually living here year-round. I don't have cabin fever, but I like being in fast pace society for part of the year. Plus it gets as cold as balls up here in the winter so..... Like I said the job is tiring sometimes with the LONG hours and dealing with stupid people sometimes. I've had passengers swear at me (only once, complaining about something stupid as usual) to people saying they basically love me. And it's interesting to see how when people go on vacation they pretty much lose like 50 I.Q. points. Now, I drive a 40 foot motorcoach and every day people just saunter in front of me on the docks, they'll walk across the street when I'm about 10 feet from them or they just stop in the middle of the street to take some stupid picture. Plus they ask all sorts of stupid questions, for example "How many caves are in Alaska?", "Is the Yukon owned by the US?" and of course the one I get almost every tour "What's the elevation right in this spot?". Like seriously? Who gives a crap about what elevation you're at, right this second? Is that really going to change anything? I usually just make something up on that one.

So yea, life is good and I will miss it, but I still have two whole months until I go home and then it'll probably be major culture big time.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

In the Land of Gold!!

So as you may already know (since I'm pretty sure that my family members are the only ones who read this thing), I have moved up to Alaska for the summer! I am working for Discover Alaska Tours/Holland America driving motor coaches. Yes that's right, I am what I like to call a "motor coach commander" (not to be confused with a plain old "bus driver"! I've been here for almost two weeks but I am already having tons of fun!! I live in a little town called Skagway which was the "gateway" town to the Klondike where the largest gold rush in the world occurred! Skagway only has a population of 850-ish. There's no big chain stores and milk costs $6.11 a gallon!! But for now the scenery and people I've met have well made up for that. Plus, no stores=more money saved ;)

The company I work for has set us up in the Westmark Hotel (since they own it) and the employees live in an employee wing. It's pretty ghetto but a fun place to live. I will also be on the highway driving team, which basically means that I'll be on the road 5-6 days out of the week so I guess it doesn't really matter what my accommodations are like.

So far we've just been doing a lot of training. We have had two ship days and I've officially done one tour. I'll admit that even though I don't know a whole lot about the town itself (I know just enough to get me through the tour) I had a lot of fun showing people around town in my big motor coach. Right now me and my fellow highway drivers are missing a few ship days this weekend, in order to get acquainted with the highway portions we'll have to drive in the next few weeks. It's a little overwhelming the information you have to learn (since we're with the same passengers for 3 days as opposed to a few hours) but it'll be nice to be able to see more of the land. The tour we drive actually goes into the Yukon Territory of Canada and so far I've crossed the border more in the last two weeks than I have my entire life!! :) Oh and wildlife sightings so far? Well nothing super amazing (I'm still waiting for a moose and a close-up bear) but I've seen 3 Bald Eagles, a couple Caribou, an Arctic Rabbit, some brown squirrels, and from really far away, a bear on a hillside. I can't wait until I get my new camera so that I can capture some awesome things!!

So yea I know this is short, but it's been really fantastic so far and I'm really excited to learn more! Maybe I can find the time later to embellish! :)

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Under Duress...

So a specific someone who shall remain nameless (but whose name rhymes with cabbie) has been badgering me about writing a new entry. I've been trying to not write in here about my current life happenings, i.e. my baby just had it's first poop today (not true as I don't have a baby) because it seems cliche and boring. But just to satisfy her desire to read my blog, here is an entry.

What have I been up to lately you ask? Well I finally got another job, which brings my job total up to three. Yes I am working three jobs. I still work on campus, and I'm doing bus training, but I also now work at Allen's Camera in Provo. Imagine my delight when one day I drove past the store and noticed a sign in the window that looked like it said "Now Hiring". I wasn't quite sure it really said that, so I parked the car and took a closer look and sure enough they were! So I inquired and was told to bring in my resume. After a day of mad typing and revising (and help from my dad and sister), I proudly took it in. I knew I was well qualified to do the job, but I didn't hear anything for a week. I was a bit worried that maybe they found someone, or that maybe my mad skills were too much for them to handle (j/k). But I called and was told the manager hadn't really actively been reviewing the resumes and hadn't made a decision yet. So I called a few days later and the manager just told me to come in and we could talk about it. So I went in, he asked me what hours I was available, and then said, ok so just come in on Monday to start work. I'm not gonna lie that it was weird he never intwerviewed me, but I do have an extensive photography background so I didn't care. Any way, the rest is history, even though I've only been there about 4 weeks. It's fun though. I get to do photography related stuff so it's all good. I finally decided to get the Canon 40D as my first DSLR, so as soon and I have enough saved I will buy it.

As far as bus driving goes in preparation for Alaska, it's going well. We just started high-density which has us driving down I-15 to Salt Lake City in a 40' long bus. It was a little intimidating at first, but after 5 miles I felt fine. They say we're going to have to learn to drive 45' buses, which supposedly the last 7' tapers back (read: disappears) and so sometimes one might forget you have that 7' back there and accidentally clip the end on some object, damaging the coach. Maybe I will get a photo of myself driving so you can see it to believe it. haha.

And anywho, in my real journal I would probably talk about boys, but this is not the place as one of them could see it. And I'm also kinda tired so I think I'll go take a nap...

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Provo Parking...

sucks! And I hope this blog doesn't become too negative with my pet peeves, but seriously I get so annoyed by other "parkers" sometimes. I drive to work at night and I don't get home until about 11:45pm. I can usually find a relatively nice parking spot on the street that's not too far from my apartment. Tonight though, I drove around for 15 minutes, looking for a place to park. I ended up 2-1/2 blocks away, which really was no big deal. The thing that really bugged me the most was that if cars parked properly then there would be more spaces available to park. For example, a car pulls into a large spot that would easily fit two cars. The stupid person decides to park in the middle of the spot though, leaving huge gaps that none but maybe a SmartCar could fit. Why, why, why? Just pull up to the car in front of you so that someone else can fit too. I see this happen with several cars on a curb and so essentially if the person had pulled up there would be ample space for several more cars to park. There should be a law that you have to be within 1-2' of the car in front of you...

Another example is when people don't know how to parallel park, so they are completely crooked from the curb. This may not seem like a big problem, but when trying to parallel park into the spot behind this "parking challenged" person, it's extremely difficult to line up properly in order to back up properly. More likely than not, I end up un-parallel parked. There should be a law about that too...

While I'm at it, lets get all my pet peeves out now, so I can focus on fun stuff in later posts. My second topic is (drum roll)........UTAH FASHION!!

I don't know what it is about Utah! Does the whole state live in a bad bubble? Do they think that because they are thousands of miles from a major city that they are exempt from having any fashion sense? Maybe Stacey London and Clinton Kelly (from TLC's What Not to Wear) should come a make-over the whole state...

1. Ok what is the deal with wearing spaghetti strap, sleeveless, and strapless dresses and shirts over white t-shirts? I can see how one wants to stay modest by still being able to wear your cute little cami, but seriously, you look ridiculous. A cuter way to show off that top? Wear it with a cardigan or cute jacket. Trust me, it'll look way better and not so homely.

2. Fake UGG's- So I stole this from my sister's blog ( but she has a point. And ok, I've seen fake UGG's elsewhere than just Utah, but in most other places, they don't wear them if they're practically falling apart. I see it all the time, the girl walking along with the shaft of the boot practially dragging on the ground because the cheap knock-off has no structural support and the fake suede is chocolate brown...not from the actual color, but from the dirt because this is the 1 millionth wear. By all means if you can't afford real UGG's (although I've gotten real ones for $30) then fine, go ahead and get fake ones, but replace them once they start to sag. It's probably more cost effective to buy real ones in the first place though as they last longer.

3. Skunk Hair- I know we've all seen it, the top layer of a girl's hair dyed black and the bottom layer bleached. Who ever thought this looked cool in the first place should be shot. Why? Why? Why? You look like a skunk! No it's not a cool, trendy look! That's all I have to say about that.

4. Shorts that are longer than bermuda shorts, but not quite long enough to be capris- A lot of times they're basketball shorts, but I've seen them in all forms(cut-offs?). They're obviously fine for guys, but when a girl wears them, they make the girl look manly, because they fall way past the knee and make one look stubby and a little matronly. I'm all for being modest, but there are way cuter shorts (ex. bermudas) one can wear. I recommend not wearing any short longer than the top of your knee cap. Otherwise they'll shorten and fatten the leg. You might have to try different brands, as inseams differ from store to store (i.e. Old Navy's "bermuda" inseam is 11", as opposed to American Eagle's inseam is 7").

Phew! Ok so for now I can't really think of anything else, which is kind of surprising since I'm in kind of a bad mood, because of a fight I am in with someone and you'd think I'd be really jaded right now. I guess that's for another day...well maybe not because I'm sick of thinking about it.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

What goes wrong?

Sensitive issue....I've tried a lot of diets, well I guess more like I've attempted many times to diet. I've done Weight Watchers, Atkins, South Beach, and kind of a calorie counting thing. I did the best on WW. I lost 30 pounds when I did it in high school. I lost weight with Atkins too, but that whole no sugar thing? not MY thing. And of course just like 90% of people who go on a diet, I gained it all back and then some. So this time, I'm really trying to get 'er done! It's not like I want to have all this extra baggage around my middle. I guess I just like food, which has been a weakness. So here I am spilling my guts, so that hopefully this time I can go all the way!! Maybe I'll write updates every so often to keep myself exposed. But I would like to jot down some ideas I think might help me this time, that I've learned.

1. A lot of people don't diet for themselves. What I mean is that there's something else that's urging you to diet. It may be a friend or family member, in my case it's the "flavor of the month" aka my current crush, that I feel don't notice me because I'm a bit rotund. I've read and I believe it's true, that you have to diet for yourself and because YOU want to. My whole deal was that when I didn't see my crush anymore (moved away or had a different class schedule), or maybe he got a girlfriend, my diet-esteem went down the drain. I felt like, well if this person isn't even going to notice now, why bother? It seems silly, but to me (whose never had an official boyfriend) it was hard to deal with. That's why I've decided right now, to do this for myself. Because I want to be healthy, and strong.

2. Another thing that's helped me along is one simple question, "Would I rather have this cookie, or be thin?". Almost always the answer is, "yea I'd rather be thin" and I put the temptation out of my mind. Yes there were the occasional times when I'd be so down-in-the-dumps or rebellious that I'd tell myself I would rather have the cookie. Which isn't so bad, but then one cookie would turn into two, three, etc. I guess the focus here is that maybe it's ok to have one cookie, but to limit it to only one.

3. Along with that comes the whole, "Oh I totally fell off the band wagon, I've failed my diet forever!". Believe me, I've totally thought this! It's a horrible feeling, and when it happens I usually binge more, doing more damage. As hard as it is for me, it's better to say, "ok so I had more than I should, but tomorrow will be better." I think one big key to dieting is to be optimistic! It's hard not to beat yourself up, but realize that everyone makes mistakes and it's ok.

And while I am not a perfect result of these tips, I've come to see that these are ones that do help! One thing that's hard to face is that the times I started a diet and then thought to myself "ugh, I really don't want to have to do this for 6 months. It's such a long time!", a year later I think, if I had stayed on the diet I would have lost the weight and it would be over and I would be happy. So I don't mean to turn this into a weight loss chronicle, but I'm putting myself out there so I can finally lose weight!!

Friday, February 8, 2008

Politics, Politics, Politics

Ok so I don't know about you, but it seems like this election year, everyone is pretty rabid about various candidates. I for one support Obama and Hillary despite the fact that here in Utah, everyone hates Hillary. I've read her stances on issues and she has some good ideas. I really can't understand why people can't just let go, the fact that they've already been in the White House and that some don't want Bill back in there for what he did years ago (Monica, anyone?). I mean seriously, forgetting that whole scandal, President Clinton did a good job. By electing Hillary, you are not electing Bill. Get over it.

A few days ago, while I was at work, it came out that I was a Democrat. One of my co-workers who was a Republican, immediately was trying to challenge my views. It was slightly amusing when he asked questions, that most of them were really geared towards conservative views. For example, he asked if I was happy a dictator who killed millions of innocent people is dead? What was I supposed to say? "Um, no, I really wish he was still alive." I mean even the Dems can't say they're sad that Saddam is dead. People seem to not understand the fact that most do not agree with every single issue their declared party does. Political confrontation gives me a bad taste. I remember back in high school having debates with my fellow seminary students, and one boy in particular yelling and getting so close in my face that I kept getting sprayed with his spit. I am fine discussing politics, but it irks me when people get super confrontational and self-righteous. And it's the Repubes (mostly at BYU) who claim they're so righteous, but tell the Dems they're going to hell. I mean I really don't understand how people can still support the Republican Party. It is completely baffling. Let's support a party who lies to the Americans and the UN, so we can go into a country that supposedly has WMD, then never did. Let's support a President who promises to capture Osama Bin Laden, who actually killed thousands on American soil, but then hasn't done anything about it, and now is focusing on a war that shouldn't have even been started. Let's support a President who obviously cares nothing for the Constitution (the document that our country is built upon), when he voilated it multiple times, then wrote a law that gave him permission to continue violating it. But did anyone care? No, they just turned a blind eye. Let's support a party that doesn't care to do anything about global warming. Even if global warming doesn't exist, why is it sooooo horrible to just help clean up the earth? Heaven forbid we should EVER use less gas, recycle more, or use more efficient lightbulbs. This is the future people, stop dragging your feet! Until we discover another planet like Earth that we can ruin next, we should be taking care of the one we have.

Wow, that was a total tangent, but really I just get sick of people's ignorance and irresponsibility. Speak up people!!

"But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security."
-Declaration of Independence

'nuff said! ^

Monday, February 4, 2008

Buying a Digital Camera

So as I worked in a camera store for three years I am pretty well versed in the digital camera department. While I am no expert, I am going to suggest factors you should consider when getting a new digital camera (whether you are a beginner or used to the digital scene). This is not meant to make anyone feel inferior, just a few opinions and thoughts typed out.

First, decide whether you want a point-and-shoot (the small, pocket size cameras, from here on known as PAS), or a digital SLR (single lens reflex). The difference is pretty self-explanatory here. If you are just into casual shooting, get a point-and-shoot. And I'll put it this way, if you don't know what a SLR does, don't buy one. One of my biggest pet peeves, is people who think that just because they have the money, they can buy the most expensive camera their fur coat wearing butts can buy. By all means, go ahead and spend $3000 on a camera, where you won't use any function past "automatic" and waste the $2800 you shouldn't have spent in the first place. Believe me, a real photographer can tell if you are just some novice, casual photographer with an expensive camera you don't know anything about. You aren't getting anything better when you use a great camera, like it's a PAS.

Second, it's important to know the facts behind mega pixels. This is different between PAS cameras and SLR's. For PAS, do not buy a camera with as many mega pixels as you can find. I recommend the maximum mega pixel amount is 7-8. Yes, you will see the occasional 9-12 mega pixel PAS, but you are wasting your money and photograph quality. The device that records the photo you take (the CCD chip) is only a certain size, and when you cram so many mega pixels on it, they fail to be as effective. So stick with 7-8 mega pixels. With SLR's, 8-12 mega pixels is a good range. Since SLR's are bigger, their CCD chip is bigger therefore allowing more room for pixels. This advice is mainly for amateur SLR's, aka the lower end SLR's (under $1000) sold at stores such as Best Buy and Circuit City.

Third factor to consider is brand. In the store I worked at, we took cameras in for repair, so I know pretty well what brands hold up the best. My favorite and personal brand is Canon ( I hardly ever had people bring them in for repairs. I myself have used Canon cameras for 5 or so years, and I've never had a mechanical problem. Not to say that they never have issues, but you're chance of having one is less likely. Yes, they are slightly more money, but the money you'll save not having to pay for repairs is worth the extra $20-50. There isn't even a camera that comes in second to Canon, and I am very biased towards them, but trust me, it's worth it. The new Canon SD1100 is a great option (the blue camera pictured above, also comes in several other colors). A few more brands I like and are decent cameras, are Pentax, Casio, Olympus, and Fuji. Sony is ok, but not great. The newer Nikon's might seem cool and sleek, but the flash distance is pretty short, especially when using the zoom. The brand (at least in the digital division, they make nice darkroom stuff) I hate the most is Kodak. They are cheap, plastic and easily breakable. People assume that since it's a Kodak, it's going to be good, due to the reputation Kodak has in the FILM world. Don't be fooled! It might be a nice camera for a child to play around with, but most customers who had them weren't impressed. In terms of SLR's Canon (popular Canon XTi, above) again takes my vote, but Nikon does a great job in this category too. I'm a tad wary of Sony, since they've only been in the digital SLR market for a little over a year (they bought out Minolta). Olympus and Pentax are decent, but the big guys are still Canon and Nikon.

Lastly, there are a lot of little things to consider when buying a new camera. Screen size (the larger the screen the more battery it uses), the feel of the camera in your hand (easy to hold?), style, etc. Also, remember that optical zoom is BETTER than digital zoom. My first digital, the Canon A300 (pictured right) had only 5.1x digital zoom, and no optical. Typically, optical zoom these days is 3-4x. Most if not all cameras have about 4x digital zoom. Try to use digital zoom as little as you can. Another thing a consumer tends to not realize is that with the larger screen sizes, the manufacturer has gotten rid of the viewfinder. While this may not seem important to some, consider this: when taking a photo in the bright sunlight, it makes it extremely difficult, and almost impossible to see what you're taking a picture of, because the screen can't compete with the sun. With a viewfinder, you have another option if in case you cannot use the screen on the back. That's another thing about Canon, is that they haven't gotten caught up the whole "my screen is bigger than yours" thing. They usually stick to a 2.5" screen and still KEEP the viewfinder. In addition, consider the battery used. Most use a lithium-ion rechargeable battery, but more basic models sometimes use AA's. Both have their pros and con's. Lithium-ion batteries usually last longer and are rechargeable, but if the battery dies, they cost $40 to buy a new one. AA's on the other hand don't last as long, but if they run out of power, they are easily (and cheaply) replaced. Rechargeable AA's are the best bet if you have to use AA's at all. Don't forget to go to a store and actually play around with the camera. Try different ones. Use the different features. Educate yourself. If you find one you like, read consumer ratings on a site like (which is the most widely known, and therefore more well-rounded reviews). That way you can see what flaws the camera might have that you would not have known otherwise.

So basically those are my two cents (or two dollars, as we must keep up with inflation) to keep the guess work out of buying a digital camera. If you follow this advice, you will have a camera that you will enjoy for years to come!!


So yes, I have actually joined the world of blogging!! I know they're a little cliche, or whatever, but it might serve a little bit as a journal of some sort. My last blogs are from awhile ago on myspace, and this way people can find out what I'm up to, I guess if they care. lol

Right now, I'm in Utah. I was attending BYU for Fall semester, but now I am just chillin', looking for a full-time job to do for the next three months. At the end of April, I will be going to Alaska!! I am sooooo excited!! I will be driving one of those big coach buses. Currently, I am training to drive them, and come April I will be the proud owner of a CDL!! Then I will be able to drive all sorts of vehicles! I know you're all jealous!! Anyway, I plan on livin' it up in Alaska, earning tons of money and taking awesome pictures!! Apparently, as a cruise line employee, we get to do all this fun stuff free since we have to sell it up to passengers. For example, helicopter rides up to glaciers, gold panning, etc. And I already have plans on getting a digital SLR (probably the new Canon XSi, due out in April) and I am super excited to finally get one! I mean I've been a photographer for almost 6 years and I still have yet to make the leap into the digital SLR world. At first I was a little hesitant to enter the world of digital SLR's. I already had a little point-and-shoot digital camera and I thought, "why spend the $1000+?". And as much as I LOVE film, digital helps with getting the best shot, as you can see the photos right away as opposed to waiting to get the film developed, and therefore can just keep shooting until you get the right one. Plus there's the benefits of having a controllable shutter speed and aperature...but, yea stop me before I run off on a camera tangent! (that will be my next blog "How to shop for a digital camera") haha, no seriously...

I've also been trying new sports! After a Christmas, and birthday of snowboarding gifts, I finally got to put it all to use! Abby, Trent and I went up to Brighton and I tried snowboarding for the very first time! They make it look so easy! I swear I was on my butt most of the time, and for 3 days afterwards, my arms were as sore as a mother! I'm aching (no pun intended)to go again soon though!! Abby and Trent have also gotten me into rock climbing!! It is awesome! I'm almost addicted!! It works not only your muscles, but also your mind, while you try to figure out the next hold to grab onto.

My next challenge is to find a full-time job in the middle of the semester with most places not needing new employees....