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ARCHIVE: January, 2009

----- 01.25.2009 --------
Kim & I got back from Costa Rica on Thursday. It was an awesome trip!!! I got a ton of great pictures, but I'm having some delays in getting them posted. You see, right before leaving, I decided to upgrade my computer, complete with a new OS (Vista 64bit, to support more RAM). I had a hell of a time with blue screens of death. So, when we got back from Costa Rica, instead of loading my pics in and posting them, I've been playing techie (which is quite natural for me!!!). Without boring you with the details, I traced the problem down to some kind of issue with my 2 ATI Radeon X1950 Pro's, running in CrossFire mode. For the time being, I have one disabled and my system is stable. Then I got VMWare on and loaded up on all the tools I need. In fact, I'm just finishing off my install w/ Adobe Lightroom 2.0 and Photoshop CS4. That will allow me to get my pics up!

Bored yet? I'm sure you want to hear all about Costa Rica, not my silly computer issues. It was awesome. The resort was fantastic, weather was amazing, and really, I have no complaints. If I had any complaints, they would be that A) time flew by too fast and B) the touch of food poisoning on the last night made travel back to Toronto a real bitch! Poor Kim's lying in bed now... whatever hit me seems to have waited a couple days and is not doing the same thing to her. Not pleasant! Hopefully another day or so and she'll be feeling better again.

It's probably best to explain out trip through pictures and captions, so stay tuned, and I'll get them up as soon as I can. I've had a busy weekend and the week ahead will be really busy: Back to work, James Ray on Tuesday night, Evolution Group on Wednesday night, gym time... and then another digital photography class once I blink and Saturday hits us. Oh, and homework in both the Evolution Group and DigiPhot class. And did I mention I am trying to get my 3D photography going now too? OK... you get the idea... and I'm no exeception... I know you all lead busy lives as well. So, having laid out a big excuse for more time to get pics together for you, it's time to stop writing here and get the final pieces into my computer so I can started working my way through the 14 GB's of photos and video I took! By for now! :)

----- 01.13.2009 --------
I'm very excited... Thursday Kim & I leave for Costa Rica! I was in desperate need of some R & R and we were thinking of going somewhere in January. So, January is here so we looked a few websites and decided Costa Rica would make an awesome vacation. So... Thursday we're off! Only 2 more sleeps in my bed... looking out the window at all the snow. And then it's 7 nights of warm, tropical breeze :)

And what to do in Costa Rica? I have a few must-do's.... Zip-lining, photography (a given!!) and scuba diving (it's been almost 3 years already since my last dive!!). Optionals that I hope to do include suring, snorkeling, water sports, waterfalls, jungle tour, bungee jumping... the usual :) We're flying into Liberia and staying at an all-inclusive that is about 45 mins from the airport, according to the website. The resort is Allegro Papagayo. I've got my cameras loaded and ready to go. And I'm well on my way to being packed, a real rarity for me 2 days before! It's usually a late night, last minute dash. But I don't really have that luxury tomorrow.. it's the first night of the "Evolution Group" that Kim & I joined. A six week program put on my Stuart Knight. We're really looking forward to it!

What else? I've been so busy lately! This past Saturday was the first day of my latest photography class: Food & Product. We went to St. Lawrence Market and took some pictures. Judging by my first class, it's going to be a good one :)

And then Sunday was a huge highlight. For Christmas a year ago, my parents got my a scenic flight out of St. Catherine's Flying Club. It took me forever to finally do it, but I did on Sunday. What an awesome experience! I even got to fly!!! While up there, we toured over Niagara falls and the surrounding area. I got some pictures, but I'm very limited on what I can do right now. You see, I am writing this update from Kim's laptop. I decided to upgrade my computer and in the process, needed to reinstall with Vista x64 so I can take advantage of all the RAM in my system. Without getting into too much detail, it's been a huge pain in the ass! I ran into CAS latency timing issues with my RAM for starters, then bluescreens after all my win updates, SATA controller issues that had prevented (past tense!) me from installing to my HD of choice, and the list is just starting. I haven't even gotten to the part where I bang my head over all the 64-bit incompatibilities! Anyway, to say the least, it's left me somewhat crippled in my ability to do the things I normally do at home, including download pictures from my camera.

So what I'm getting at is this: I'll get my pictures of Costa Rica up... but it might not be right away. If all goes well, I'll have them posted by the 26th, which is the Sunday after we get back. Well.... I better stop procrastinating on the packing and finish it up. Busy day tomorrow at work, and then to the Evolution Group, and then a really early flight (06:20) on Thursday. Seeyall in a week & change! Later!

----- 01.04.2009 --------
Wow! 2008 has come and gone and it's 2009. That was FAST!!! This past year flew by. I can guage a lot of what happens based on what I update on my site, but even the updates were sparse. 2008 was a roller coaster of a year and some things got less attention than others. My site, is an example of one of those. Will the trend continue? Can you expect an update or two a month going forward? Less? I really don't know... time will tell. I do want to devote some time to my other site for photography, so hopefully I am a lot more active with updates, whether it's here or my other site. I guess Facebook is another possible source for the lack of updates. There are a couple photo albums I posted to facebook simply because it was more convenient. Either way... 2009 will tell!

Speaking of 2009... Happy New Year everyone! Where were my manners? That should have been the first thing I wrote! So, to update you on what's been going on... Christmas was fantastic! I went out west to meet/hang out with Kim's family. Although I wasn't there too long, I had a great trip! I took a ton of pictures... I'll try and get some posted.

While I'm on the topic of pictures, I am enrolled in another course in Photography at George Brown College. This one will be "Food and Product Photography". Expect to see some of my work show up here over the next 4 months. It'll primarily be studio work, and I'm really looking forward to it. It starts next weekend, on Saturday the 10th. Unfortunately the course is 1 - 4 on Saturday afternoons for the next 4 months. This will make getaways difficult, but I'll try and figure something out!

Well... all the best to all of you in the coming year. I anticipate a tough one for many. Economic outlooks are gloomy at best right now, but keep your head up and remember that you CREATE your destiny and have a role in creating everything that is happening around you. You are not simply an observer, where everything is out of your control. Although it may seem that way, it is not and as soon as you take some accountability, you'll find creating the life you want is easier than you thought. </RANT> OK, see you folks again soon! Cheers!

Wait a sec... I'm not quite done. I thought I was. So, looking back over 2008, I have ask myself... did the year work for me or against me? And if I just coasted, then I would count that as against me. 2008 definately worked for me! I saw growth in all areas of my life. I measure my personal "wealth" in life through 5 areas: Financial, Physical, Relationships, Intellectual, and Spiritual. I am proud that I have devoted energy to all 5 and feel better for doing so. And when it seemed I didn't have time to fit what I wanted into my life, I looked for time and made time. The easiest place to make time is through TV viewing. I got rid of cable in June. That helped get rid of a lot of distraction and left room for more things. I felt I wasn't reading enough and introduced audio books into my routine so I could grow intellectually while on the go. I kept a strict gym regimen. Spent days off doing activites that I enjoy and ones that recharge me (lots of camping!). Made some massive changes in my personal relationships. Held myself to my own standard professionally. Took courses to hone my skills. The list goes on and when I look back, all I can think is WOW! What a year! Yes, it flew by, and if I keep this up, years will continue to fly by. However, if I keep this up, I can be certain that the moments are as great as they can be, assuring I live a quality life that I can be proud of when it's done.

There. I feel better. I think I expressed my new years thoughts better in the last paragraph. I left my computer and came back to upload my changes when I felt like writing more. If you read this, great. If not, that's cool too... it felt good to share it :) Oh, and 2009's going to be even better :)


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