One year ago today...Alan proposed. hehe...


Hopefully we are out from under the flu watch. Em went back to work Monday and, aside from some lingering congestion and fatigue, seems to be on the mend. Meanwhile, I've been continuing a heavy regimen of vitamins and echinacea and still feel OK - though I am reminded that such measures won't stop the flu if it's already invaded my system. We shall see.

We had a quiet weekend, which was nice, culminating in a trip to church and then out for Chinese food with my parents. The next few weeks are going to be busy, with a bunch of to-dos this weekend and then Em's birthday (woo-hoo!) the weekend after that. Plus, I'm working an extra 13 hours of OT this week and possibly the next, so any free time I have between Monday and Friday is out the window. The extra money will help make a few things possible for us, though, so it will ultimately be worth it.

Two new musical discoveries to share: First, the Redwalls, a newish band from Chicago who is able to pull off channeling the Beatles and Bob Dylan through a slightly southern-folk-rock lens. I heard them on 1310 yesterday doing an in-studio preview of their show with Keane and the Zutons last night, and after listening to the tracks on their website I have to say I'm impressed. Secondly, the everlasting Chipanator told me about The Stands, who are in a similar vein, if a bit more Byrdsesque (think jangly, chiming guitars).


The flu sucks big fat donkey terds. I have been out of work most of this week in bed, coughing, sneezing, sleeping and a whole lot of whining! Alan banished himself to the guest room and so far he has remained well. NO FUN! I will be blowing snot out of my head for weeks now. Have fun...


Been an interesting couple of weeks at Casa de Melson. As mentioned in Em's post, we've both been sick - and it hasn't gone away. Both of us were feeling better for a while, but I started to get congested again last week, and then Em (after spending a frigid Saturday morning outside helping with a Martin Luther King, Jr. Day parade in which her school participated) has been sent back to bed with a nasty full-blown case of flu. Maybe one day we'll all be healthy again - and at that point I think I'll spend a few hours going over the entire house with Lysol and anti-bacterial goo.

The down time during quarantine has given me ample opportunity to drool over this for a while. Finally, a new Mac I might be able to afford at some point in the not-too-distant future! My poor old 8500, even with the G3 daughtercard, just doesn't seem like it will be able to run OSX, and these days there is very little out there for 9.1 anymore (for you PC folks, it's like trying to stay current with today's software while running Windows 95).

The nice IT folks at work bought a bunch of flat panels and gave a few of these away, so I took one home and used its additional BNC input to bring the old Mac in from the garage and hook it back up. I am in the process of backing up most of the 8GB of mp3s, photos and other documents on it that chronicle a time in my life when it was my primary computer (most of 2002). Doubt I'll be able to pull Em over to the dark side, but who knows.

I also finally got the wireless router configured how I want it (with MAC address permission access only), so that Em can use the backup computer in her new work room (aka the guest bedroom) for photo editing. Despite the wireless adapter being only USB 1.0-compatible, it gets decent throughput, and even streams audio at 128kbps with nary a blip. Now, if I could ever remember to take the laptop in for repair, we might actually have a secure home wireless network that's worth something.

OK, enough geekspeak for now.

For those following the BI saga, I met with the head cheese at work today and things are looking up. Nothing firmed up yet, but I hope I'll have some good news to report in the near future. Say a little prayer for me if you are so inclined.

My D/FW-based aunt and uncle picked up their new vehicle last week, and I must say, I'm kinda jealous. Em got to drive it and said it's now at the top of the list for her next car. We're still a year or two away from that, but good deals abound if you know where to look - and you better believe we'll be looking.


BLAH!!! I am back at work...after 2 weeks off. My classroom is a mess, the copier is broken and I just want to take a nap. Instead, let me waste a little time and fill you all (all 2 readers) in on my lovely Christmas break.

Before it started, I had been sick with a variety of ailments for about 3 weeks. I awoke on the Monday before Christmas, literally unable to breathe. I decided it was finally time to get my butt to the doctor. There he gave me 2 shots in my booty, one an antibiotic and the other a steroid. Then I started the week long recovery of drinking tons of fluids and blowing massive amounts of snot out of my nose. About day 3 or 4 of the recovery, Alan comes down with the same sick. Since we had spend almost $200 on my doctor visit and meds, we couldnt afford another, so we pillaged our parents medicine cabinets and found some left over antibiotics...dont tell.

OK, so all is well in the sickness department now, thank goodness. We were pretty well just in time for Christmas. We had a great time, a bit tiring, but good. Had to travel between 2 houses to make sure all families were appeased. Alan and I received many gift cards, some from Target, which we were happy to be able to use to buy much needed supplies to send with a group of Austin College students to Thailand to help the victims of the tsunami. Once we get paid again this Friday, we plan to donate whatever we can to the American Red Cross. My brain cannnot begin to fathom the pain and devistation being felt. All I know is...no matter how poor I think I am, or how bad I think I have it...I have more than enough and would be a hypocrite if I didnt do all that I can. We all belong to one HUMAN race and God see's no borders.

So..moving on. On the 30th I shot a wedding. My first full wedding. It had it's kinks, like my camera DYING! The gears locked up. I have had that camera for 10 years and it has served me well. Hell, it got me my degree. So I am sad to see it die. I took the film to be processed yesterday...lets hope it didnt affect the rolls that were shot. Luckily I was shooting for the most understanding couple alive and someone had a sutible camera for me to use and I just popped my flash on there and kept right on going. Lessons learned: 1. Take about 2-3 TIMES the amount of film you think you will need...(I like to shoot and dont want to be limited) 2. Have a BACKUP camera! I am trying to figure out a way to buy a Nikon N75. This would be a definate upgrade simply because it is a Nikon and the machanics and lenses are far superior to Canon. I do hope to get my Canon fixed (about $125) to have as a backup! 3. Work the hamstrings ahead of time. I felt like I had done squats for 8 hours when I woke up the next morning. 4. Buy a telephoto lens . When you are trying to get candid shots and you are right up next to your subjects, they will have the instinct to look at you which ruins the whole candid idea. When further away, they may not notice you as much. I am sure I learned more...it was a great experience. I really hope to be able to turn this into a business that can replace if not surpass my current income. I will have a website up soon with examples of my work. If you or anyone you know needs a photographer in the DFW metroplex, please help me out and send them my way. I know how picky brides are and the fact that I dont have a LOT of experience will make a difference. This is why I am going to make my prices very reasonable for a while to build up that portfolio and clientele. I will have to just do some serious "word of mouth".

Many people wonder why I dont just shoot digital. Well, I am a snob. Our society, in just the last 5 years has lost the understanding of what a good picture looks like. These digital prints that you can get from the little 2 MP digital camera look like crap! There is nothing crisper than film and color is just not the same in digital. Sure, the ease is amazing with a digital camera. No worries about running low on film or having to reload. You can send them to Auntie Jane in Montana...but then what happens? Does Auntie Jane print those? Most likely no. She probably looks at all of them and admires her sweet little neice and then closes the email, maybe deletes it and those pictures are lost. Just 5 years ago, we actually took the time to get prints made and put them in albums or the very least in a box where you could go back and look at them years later. Now, one false move and you crash your computer...one virus...wham, there goes Christmas.

Now, with that said...I am going to go back on all of it. IF you are able to shoot at a high enough resolution digitally, you can get close. Professionally, I will probably have to move in this direction soon...makes me sad, but I just might. I am waiting for Nikon to come out with an 8.3MP digital camera like Canon has. Right now, Nikon has a 6.1MP which looks pretty good, but I dont want to buy that and have it be immediatly obsolete. I am probably going to begin working with Pictage. They are an online lab for professional photographers. They make the order fullfillment stage of shooting events SOOO much easier since they handle that. My photographer for my wedding used them and I have been very pleased so far with the print quality. Again, I am a total snob when it comes to print quality.

Ok, I think I have blabbed enough. I should try and start getting some work done. The brats will be back before I know it.

I hope you all had a wonderful beginning to 2005. Have a lovely week!

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