January 1st, 2018


December 31--Last year's leftover

It was an uneventful last day of 2017. The year was a mixed bag, like most years.

I went to the farmers market to get some stuff for Malida. She was having her friend over and they wanted to cook Lao style, and required certain vegetables, etc. Unfortunately, most of the Lao vendors weren't there, but I managed to find most of what she needed and stopped at an asian market on the way home and got the rest.

Some carrots.

While they were cooking away, I went for a walk along the creek. The light was such, that everything was kind of flat and lifeless, and lacking in color. I took some pictures, but they were flat and lifeless as well. A little photo editing put some life back into them.


My favorite tree.

After the girls had lunch, they went out for a walk and shopping and I attempted a nap. After my nap I started preparing our new years eve dinner, which was lots of seafood and not much else. It was about done when they got back, and we sat down to feast.


I finished eating, but they were still at it an hour later, chatting away and drinking wine. Amazingly, they pretty much finished everything on the table, including the wine. As a result, they were too incapacitated to clean up, so I did the dishes as well, then took Malida's friend home. By the time I got back, Malida was refreshed again, and we watched the NYE feed from New York. She went to bed shortly thereafter, and I stayed up watching Harry Potter until midnight.

At midnight, I thought a bit about how I sat in this same room just before midnight on the last day of 2005, wondering how I was going to put my broken life back together. I got a piece of paper and made a list of the things I wanted to do. Learn to use my camera, take a picture every day, travel somewhere, go back to school and get a master's degree, and some other things. I ended up doing them all, and put my life back together. I think that will always be my most memorable new years.
  • Current Music
    Kate Bush--Nocturn

January 1--The Year of the Humping Rabbits

A shiny new year! A chance to start fresh. I didn't make any resolutions, but I did decide to keep doing what I have been doing.

One thing I changed is how I order my pictures on the site where I keep them. I usually keep the first 6 months in one file, and then have a part 2 for the second 6 months worth. This year I decided to separate them by month, as I saw one of my friends do. Seems easier to manage.

Malida woke me up while she was getting ready for work to tell me the coffee pot wasn't working. Looks like the heating element went out. I boiled up some water and poured it over the grounds, and we had coffee. I'll get a new pot tomorrow.

After she left, I wandered around for a bit, and decided to take a hike. I headed up to Auburn, which is about an hour northeast of here. There are all sorts of hiking trails up there. I had one in mind, but when I got there, I could see about 100 people gathering at the trailhead, so I went farther up. I guess everyone had the same idea. I found a spot near the north fork of the American River where there was a free parking spot, and headed up the trail.

north fork trail

It was a beautiful day that got up to the mid 60s. The trail is actually a really old roadbed that winds up a hill above the river. The road that replaced it is above, but that road has been replaced by an even newer road. The trail is popular with both hikers and mountain bikers. You have to keep an ear out because the bikers come flying down the path, and you have to get out of the way.


Everyone I saw was super friendly and we all wished each other a happy new year. Whenever I would hear a bike, I would step to the side and see if I could get a good shot of them.


At some point I decided to try some panning shots. It's where you set a fairly show shutter speed, and pan the camera as the person goes by, taking the picture when they are right in front of you. Ideally you get a clear shot of the subject with a blurred out background. This isn't the best shot, but it was fun to play around with it.


I also tried using really slow shutter speeds to freeze the water. Normally I would do this with a tripod, but this camera has some image stabilization features that make it possible to get a relatively clear shot handheld. Next time I will bring a tripod, but this was pretty cool.


After the hike I took the old road up to the new road, to the Foresthill Bridge. It is the highest bridge in California--730 feet from the roadway to the river below. This was my first visit, though I have been up in the area many times. All those people down under the bridge are Russian tourists.


Another perspective.

It was a fun day, and I ended up walking about 6 miles. I feel good about that. This costal landscape class I am taking in the spring will involve a long hike, and I am getting ready for it.

After I got home, I stopped by to visit my friend Dan. He spent a good part of the day waiting in line to buy some now-legal marijuana products. He gave me some edible gummy worms. I haven't tried them yet.