Tuesday, June 30, 2009

UI Project #2

So, after the last 100 Years Panels were put up, I was asked by a club in the College of Natural Resources to complete another project this summer. This spring they planted a native Palouse Prairie garden in a little plot on the edge of campus and down town Moscow. They needed some kind of sign explaining what it was. Some things were altered according to the clients' desires, but ultimately I think it came out pretty well. The images will actually be printed on aluminum metal instead of having a white background and then that will be attached to a boulder in the garden. I'm not sure if we'll be here to see the final product, but if I get someone to take pictures, or if we're still here I'll add those later. Hope you enjoy!

PS, don't listen to what Steve wants for Christmas... As long as we're making premature, requests, I want the suite I need to do these projects!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Guns: first Nicolle now the Chinchillas......

Who would ever think that such a cute face could belong to a potential killer........

Terrifying isn't it? I know one thing for sure, from now on the Chinchillas will be in a different room than the gun cabinet! Nicolle and I laughed so hard when we saw that commercial I must have lost 2lbs. So.....now I have a wife who gives me evil smiles while holding guns and it seems that even some of our pets are capable of the same; yeah I'll sleep well tonight.

If you want to see a larger version of that video, click here

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Date Day; Big Burgers, Guns, and Pixar

So lately Steve & Nicolle time has become more scarce. Nicolle is really busy with work and our Ward has alot of turnover so I've been helping quite a few people move as of late. On Thursday we finally got a hole in our schedules and decided to make the most of it.

First stop, Helmer Idaho population 83. Helmer isn't so much a town as it is an intersection, a place that would have stumped Robert Frost as BOTH of the roads here are the road less traveled. In Helmer there is this wonderful old general store that has been there since the late 1800's.

And in this old cafe they serve these:

Behold! The Helmer Burger! A 1/2 pound of hamburger, a slab of ham, pickles, onions, lettuce, tomato (not for me) all on a toasted bun. The Helmer is quite simply the best burger in the world. Here's another pic so you can appreciate the size of the Helmer.

That's one of my good friends Steve-O preparing to up his body fat by a couple of percent. In the back you can see some of the old photos that decorate the place and really give you a sense of history.

Now one thing about going to Helmer is that when we are that far from Moscow, Nicolle thinks she can let her hair down some......

One of these days we'll grow up enough that we'll no longer think it's funny when Nicolle gets apple juice in a beer glass, probably not this year though. The next stop in our date extravaganza was a little rock pit 3 miles outside of Helmer.

After almost 2 years of marriage, I think I have this whole romantic scene thing down. The rock pit outside of Helmer is romantic (to me) because it is the closest public place to Moscow where you can go shooting. Over they years I have deposited enough lead here for it to qualify as a EPA hazardous waste dump. Now this rock pit is 30 miles from Moscow, how perverse is that?! I live in NORTHERN IDAHO and the closest place where I can go shooting is 30 freakin miles away!

Now I never need a reason to go shooting, but this time we had one; I really wanted to try out this little baby:That's a Ruger LCR .38 special, sweet little gun and a very effective mugger deterent. Now the LCR isn't big enough to ask someone if "they feel lucky."

but the LCR is big enough to give the mugger a smile that says: "Go procure your buying drugs money elsewhere." Here's a clip of the LCR in action:

I have found that the secret of target shooting is that you have to really WANT to hit the target. In that clip I was imagining the target to be an Islamic terrorist who is also a member of PETA and Greenpeace. That explains the fast moving trigger finger.

Now the the trip to the rock pit was part of our date day, so of course Nicolle got in on the action.

That's my wife holding a gun and smiling at me. That is either really hot or really terrifying, I'm not sure which. Here's a video of Nicolle auditioning for Annie get your gun:

Before the events of that video, that .22 Nicolle was shooting was MY .22; now it is officially OUR .22. I didn't ask Nicolle what she was imagining that would make her really want to hit the target......perhaps ignorance is bliss. After some practice, Nicolle really did well:

Not bad from a distance of about 30 yards from the standing position, that box is officially dead. Next up, it was time for the shotgun and some clay pigeons.

Two things to note from that video. 1) I know its only June, but a portable camera tripod might not be a bad Christmas idea for us. That video was taken with our camera on the most level rock I could find. 2) The one thing I don't like about camera is that it saves all videos in .MOV format, which is a format invented by Macintosh. I tried to edit that video to get rid of some of the non important stuff. Apparently I didn't really want to edit the video because the wonderful Macintosh program wouldn't let me edit it, and whenever a Mac program won't do something you are obviously the problem, not the program because everything from Apple is PERFECT. I swear Macintosh is some ancient Sumerian word for: "Over-hyped, over-priced, piece of crap."

After we got done shooting, we drove to Pullman to watch the new Pixar film "Up". I'm glad Pixar redeemed themselves after "Ratatouille". Pixar films are supposed to be funny and Ratatouille wasn't, but Up definitely was funny. Our favorite line came from the dog

"Hey I know a joke! A squirrel walks up to a tree and says "I forgot to store acorns for winter and now I am dead." Ha! It is funny because the squirrel gets dead."

So at the end of the day we had alot of fun and ended up loving each other a little bit more. Married dating has such a better outcome than single dating where all I did was spend 6 years spending money on someone else's wife.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

And only 3 months later...

The San Diego Zoo! I know, it took us a while, but there were over 900 photos to go through for this post!

So we went to the Zoo the Friday of our trip, our last full day in San Diego. We arrived 10 minutes before the zoo opened at 9:00 AM and left at 5:50 ten minutes before they left and we still didn't see everything! But it was an amazing day and we LOVED seeing all the animals. Here are some of our favorite parts. We apologize for the quality of some of the pictures; the zoo fences were not conducive to taking pictures!

To begin with, the San Diego Zoo is the zoo of birds! We loved so many amazing birds, but were admittedly "birded out" by the end of the day. Keeping this in mind, here are some of our favorite birds.
We liked this bird because it spoke to Steve in a British accent on account of its trainer's accent.We saw this little guy in the humming bird aviary. Yes, when a zoo has a lot of aviaries (probably 10 or more) they can have an aviary just for little birds like humming birds.Steve loved this little pygmy falcon! Probably his favorite animal the whole time... Except maybe the Goliath tarantula, which by the way is only on the skydrive because I couldn't bring myself to look at it long enough to add it. Sick!Such cool mohawk birds. They were really fun to watch.OK, so I know that this is a duck/"Quack-and-Smack". However, I thought it was beautiful!Another REALLY cool bird in the raptor area. Steve told me that his brother-in-law Marlow helped bring some of the first Harpy Eagles to the US. I'm glad he did. They were amazing birds and we got to watch the juvenile bird fly around with a rat in hand.OK, definitely one of my FAVORITE birds! We saw them at a few places. I loved watching these two in one of the many aviaries. The first picture is one of the pair picking up branches to add to their nest up in the tree.

Next: Kitties!
Sorry for the rest of you, but I am a cat person, and these were no ordinary kitties. The zoo had a whole large cat area, and lots of smaller cats, but we only got very good pictures of a few.I know, just a cougar/mountain lion/tons of other names, but still looked cool.Ocelot. Sooooo pretty! This one had a brother we could see still locked away because they're still pretty young, but he was really neat to see so close.Believe it or not, according to the zoo these were kittens not long ago. Very cool cat. This is a fishing cat. He actually has webbed feet so he can swim well.

Next up: other various furry creatures. There were lots! And here are just some I felt were especially cool or we got good pictures of.
So admittedly, we also saw meerkats everywhere. However, I liked them everywhere we saw them! And here there was a BABY!This silverback gorilla was amazing to watch. He gets out by himself because he doesn't play nice with the group I guess. Anyway, here is one example of why he was funny to watch. He really liked to poke himself in the bellybutton.This sea otter was funny to see standing straight up. I've seen lots of sea otters before, none standing tall like this one was. I think he really wants to be a meerkat.One of my favorite animals because of how ridiculously small he is: the pygmy marmoset.We loved watching this wombat! I now believe that wombats were the inspiration for Stitch...
So here's irony for you. San Diego is fameous for their pandas. Well, we saw the enormous line to get to the panda exhibit, and that there was an outdoor classroom where you could go see a single panda. We only had a few hours left and a lot of zoo left, so we figured seeing one was enough.I just loved how funny, curious, and stupid this bear looked all at once. I took a ton of pictures of him and enjoyed watching him play for a while.Koalas! They were very cute, although all sleeping. And then we got so lucky and actually got to see this one wake up for a minute (before he went straight back to sleep). So you have to check out the video of this polar bear on skydrive. The thing was going NUTS with this pink ball. It was very fun to watch the bear have such a good time.Pigs. But with a BABY!Another of Steve's favorites, we saw a lot of these and were still always amazed to see them so tall and standing straight up on such scrawny little legs!

Lastly, non-furry animals: both human and non.I said I like kitties... But I don't think I made a very good one myself.Steve as a monkey... Somehow so fitting. He looks rather convincing, doesn't he?Steve thinks he can steer a hippo by the ears. Good luck!Beautiful lizard which we saw on our amazing collection Planet Earth.Another way cool lizard. Gotta love the colors.Well, I may mock Steven, but if he can ride a hippo so can I!

Lastly, here is the skydrive link to our PICTURES and VIDEOS. We LOVED our "honeymoon"!We weren't the only ones cuddling at the zoo.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Our Place

So I realized that we never took pictures of our first place. Well, this is sort of first place-ish as it's a similar apartment in the same complex. I also figured that since most of our families haven't seen our place, and may never since we'll probably be moving at the end of next month, here are pictures of our apartment.

To begin with, there are no pictures of our bedroom because quite frankly it's too filled with dirty laundry right now for me to be willing to post what it looks like for others to see.

Then there is the "chin room" which obviously is in large part storage unfortunately.

Next is our massive bathroom area.

Here is the hallway that all three rooms all lead into which is often the chinchillas' playground.

The living room. Steve was on the phone getting tire quotes for the Buick.

Our kitchen! Way too crowded, but amazingly huge after the kitchenette which was in our actual first place. Have to love the random art on our fridge. Some from Adventure club still, some mine from AC, and some from nieces, nephews, or kids at church.

So there you go. Our place for the most part as it currently looks... when clean.