Thursday, April 16, 2009

The Last 6-8 Months of My Life

So, this is the project which dominated last semester and ensured that my hair will go grey much earlier than it otherwise would have. Then, after semester break, picked right back up to taking my time for the last few months. However, it is done, and put up as of Tuesday. Hooray!!!

This picture is the display from the floor it's on, and gives you an idea of the curved wall we had to work with, and why anything on an ugly cement wall would have been an improvement.

This view is from the landing on the stairs above the panels so you can see all three next to each other.

The three individual panels.

The banner hanging next to the snag.

My baby throughout this process, the panel that I designed before finishing out the project and working on all three.

Thanks to this project, Steve got to deal with me really stressed out, and my class work probably suffered some, but it's probably the proudest accomplishment of college for me. And it makes me wonder if this type of work isn't something I'd like to investigate working in for the future. I officially made a mark on the University of Idaho!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

The Non-Location-Specific Parts of San Diego

So, while Steve works on uploading pictures from Sea World and the San Diego Zoo, here is a blog to show you some of the random tidbits of our trip.

For starters, we flew on a lot of different airplanes, and some were pretty cool. Here is a sampling:

Our first plane of the trip was this cute little one we had to walk out to in order to fly from Spokane to Seattle.

A standard boring plane, the kind we took between Seattle/Salt Lake and San Diego.
The view from outside our window over California farmland on the boring big plane.
This was our last plane heading back from Salt Lake to Spokane. I just like all the pretty colors...

Related to planes, are airports, and the random stuff we enjoyed at them.

Steve loved his first few breaths of fresh(ish, we are in San Diego!) warm air outside the San Diego Airport.

Not being quite the showman Steve is, I was not as thrilled about having my picture taken after a long flight. If you look in the background, you can see the sea of taxis which constantly surround the airport and part of the reason why Steve and I were very grateful our rental car agency shuttled us to and from the airport.
I loved that the San Diego airport had rocking chairs by some of the windows and terminals. Very homey and unexpected. Steve here is trying to look like he's deep in contemplative thought, but we all know the truth...
Another jewel from the San Diego airport was that sparrows apparently nest by terminal signs. And it looks as if the airport accomodates them that way considering the presence of the bird house...
Next we got to go pick up our little rental car, which I actually really liked, and find our hotel.

Steve loves driving a little car.

Steve informed me before I even took this picture that when we wrote the blog, the caption would be "license to be a bad driver"
Our room in the top floor at the end of the building. We were right next to the pool! And we even bought Steve some swim shorts so we could enjoy it, but we were never at the room when the day was warm enough to want to swim...

Once we got off the airplane, we had to adjust our first couple days to the drastic change in weather. These pictures are after our day at the San Diego Zoo Wild Animal Park.

So sad to know I'll eventually be getting skin cancer.

But still very glad to be in sunny San Diego!
Last but certainly not least, Steve and I visited the San Diego Temple. Sadly, we were running on a tight schedule since we went the morning of our return flight back to Spokane, so we didn't get many good pictures of the temple. But as is the case with all Temples, it was beautiful. We loved the glass work in all the windows.
It is interesting that going to the Temple, something we both have done numerous times, presented us with perhaps the strangest experience of our trip as we accidentally found ourselves in a Spanish speaking session. Still, the Spirit there always makes Steve and I feel much closer and we always appreciate the opportunity to attend the Temple.

San Diego Zoo Wild Animal Park

Welcome back to sunny San Diego!

So our second stop in San Diego, on Wednesday, was the San Diego Zoo Wild Animal Park. Steve and I believe that this is probably the way all zoos should be. Steve likes to say that their philosophy was to put people in cages and let the animals roam free. Most of the 1800 acre park was an open area where African animals roamed in communities together. One exception was this beauty.

Kitty! Speaking of kitties, here is the miniature version we got to see in the nursery at the park. It took us a while to figure out what we were looking for in a window display full of stuffed animals that were bigger than this brand new baby! So cute!

This is the train that we rode through the African safari area. For me, it was great to hear a complete interpretive message. For the two of us, we were provided with some fascinating animal facts. And for taking pictures it was frustrating that we didn't stop more...

This is a view of just a little bit of the African area from our train ride.

The next cats I'll mention were just slightly larger than the cheetahs. Like huge! They were amazing animals. But, still acting like cats of course. And here it was bath time!

The next large animal we'll discuss is the gorillas. They were pretty entertaining. The largest male stayed back in a large cave and watched everything that happened in their enclosure, and as a result, our pictures of him are pretty creepy... This gorilla carrying the burlap cloth was a trouble maker and taking the blanket from other gorillas, pestering them, and just enjoying putting on a show for all those watching and comparing him to people they know in their own lives...

So this next picture illustrates that if I ever run into an angry gorilla, let's face it, I'm in a lot of trouble.

In comparison, Steve has amazingly gorilla-like proportions, but honestly, would still get pwned in a gorilla fight.

So another baby picture, and another large animal. Well, this one isn't really big yet, but he'll get there. This is the baby rhino (we think it was a black rhino) that was in the nursery area of the petting zoo (no, we couldn't pet the rhino). Steve claims that not all babies are cute, but since I find this rhino cute even with all of his skin flaps, I find myself begging to differ...

Steve would be upset with me if I failed to mention what was probably his favorite animal of the trip, Secretary Birds. Apparently they were named for the feathers that stick out around their heads looking like a pencil stuck in a woman's hair... They were really neat looking birds and we spent a lot of time watching their funny movements. If you look closely, they have such thin long legs, but they will crush snakes and eat them with those stick-legs!

This is another bird Steve will talk about, but in a totally different way. The California Condor is highly endangered, and Steve classifies them with Pandas as evolutionary rejects. It was pretty neat to see them though, even though they are quite curious looking, ugly birds...

So we only saw one of this bird, and we didn't even spend much time looking at it, but since I was discussing random birds, and I LOVED how beautiful this one was, I thought it needed to be mentioned as part of the highlights of the park.

As long as we're looking at pictures of random animals... We saw meerkats just about everywhere we went, but I loved them each time we saw them. This one, obviously, was on look out.

The last random animal: some kind of deer we met at the children's petting zoo. As usual, Steve knows just where a random animal wants to be scratched, and by obliging them, made a fast friend.

Also as usual, a random child and I found each other. This little girl needed to tell me about how another deer elsewhere in the petting zoo only had an eye on one side of its head. She seemed to think it was rather important that I know this. Kids are AWESOME!

These were just a couple of highlights from the trip. However, if you would like to see many more pictures and read Steve's smart-alec comments about those pictures, just go to:

Link to Wild Animal Park Pics

There are also some videos spanning across views of the park and a few funny animals at:

Link to Wild Animal Park Vids


Sunday, April 5, 2009

Married to a Stranger

Ray has said that Reva gets to have affairs without ever losing her temple recommend each time he shaves his beard. Now I have had the same experience. Only I get to see 4 or 5 men each time Steve shares because he likes to do it in stages. This time, we decided to document the experience for your viewing pleasure...


This is Steve - the red-bearded man we all know and love.

A couple of stages later, this is Steve as he would appear in professional wrestling: The Red - Necker (we are still working on the name and his signature move) Currently our greatest obstacle is convincing Steve that fluorescent-colored spandex is hot.

This is Steve trying to imitate his favorite pedophile look alike Jake (the Snake) Plumber. See, so many men can have sick mustaches if they would only try harder...

And Finally, clean shaven and ready to become a: cop (you may all laugh), missionary, or sarcastic high school biology teacher.

It took us both a few days of me looking at him laughing because he looks so different and Steve having heart palpitations each time he walked by a mirror, but we're getting used to seeing his full face again. If you all don't feel the same, that's ok. I'm the only one lucky enough to be married to that great face!