Sunday, August 31, 2008

First pic w/ new cam.

Me in all my 1am glory.

Super stoked about my NEW ZSLR!

So I broke my little Olympus point and shoot at the zoo a couple weeks ago. I've really been wanting a SLR and had been looking at the Sony A200 and the Canon XTi and after playing with both for over an hour, I decided that the Sony was probably better for me. So I went home and researched the hell out of the A200. But after talking to my husband, who's biggest concern was the A200's lack of video recorder plus, the high price and the bulk... So I started looking into "superzooms" (ZSLR's). I came across the "Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H50" which had much sharper low light hand-held photo's and faster and crisper photo's. I like the remote for the Sony and the flip out LCD which Nikon has neither of. I loved the loads of exposure control and a 15x stabilized optical zoom, this model is thousands of dollars cheaper than the equivalent options on a dSLR with an image stabilized lens. NOPE, no DSLR for me.

I was excited to get mine. Here is what to expect for those of you who plan to get one:

What you see when you first open the box:

What you see when you first open the box after taking the manual & software out:

HaHa, can you tell I'm really excited... And incredibility board... Why? Cuz the battery won't be done charging for another 3 hours. UGH! So no pics till tomorrow morning. )-:

LA County Zoo [VS] Santa Ana Zoo

For some reason I remember the LA County Zoo being so much cooler then it was. I'm sad to say this was Makayla's first and LAST trip there. The zoo grounds were way hillier then I remembered. It was hot. The exhibits to VERY far apart. It was hot. The animals were so far away I could hardly see them, I'm pretty sure Makayla didn't get to see half of them. The majority of the exibits were birds... And i'm sorry for the bird lovers out there, but I just don't find them THAT interesting. And did I menchon it was hot? Honestly I think I liked the Santa Ana Zoo better. For anyone who hasn't been there in the last 6 or 7 years, you'll probably think i'm crazy. But they've SERIOUSLY improved sooooo much. I think they have just as many animals as the LA zoo, but less walking and you're a LOT closer to the exibits. PLUS, they have a petting zoo area for the younger kids.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

La Brea Tarpits

The La Brea Tar Pits are the only area ever to have a major archaeological dig located inside a city. (Los Angeles) Millions of bones are pulled from the pit every year.

A few of the fossils of animals found there are: Saber-toothed Cats, Short faced bears, Ancient Camels, Mammoths, Ancient Horses, Prehistoric Bison, Giant Sloths, ancient vultures and other birds, insects and fossilized plants have also been found. However, out of literally millions and millions of bones, only 1 human skeleton has been found. And to spite what I origionally believed before visiting, there are no dinosaurs found in the La Brea tar pits, because the pits did not begin to form until after the dinosaurs went extinct.

How did all these animals end up in the tar pits? The tar pits would become covered with leaves, and mud, and grass would grow up through them until it looked just like land. Then a unlucky animal would walk
up and think the tar pits were just watering holes, and step into them. They would get stuck, and attract a predator who would attack the animal and also get stuck until it died of dehydration, or starved.

The pits have been being excavated ever since the 1940's, and are excavated every summer, when the heat makes it easier to remove the tar. They also only excavate it every summer due to funding, and the fact that a majority of the workers are students at the local college. One area that I found especially interesting, was the "Pit 91 Excavation site" where you can observe a real excavation in progress (see photo to left) you can even see exposed bones in the tar. Interesting...

Friday, August 29, 2008

Thursday, August 28, 2008

We're hoooommmee!!!

So we've been home for a few days now and have just been busy, busy, busy. I came home to a trashed house so i've been busy cleaning since I walked in the door. Plus, the husband broke out PC, so he took the laptop to "try" to fix it. Hence why I haven't been online much, no computer.

ANYWAYZ, Vacation was fun, we spent a week at my grandparents in Temecula, and was supposed to spent a week and a half at my parents, and then went down to Camp Pendleton before leaving to stay in my grandparents motor home which was parked on the beach in San Onofre.
My mom and I also took Makayla to Knotts Berry Farm which she absolutely LOVED! We were just so busy the entire trip; We also went to the Santa Ana Zoo, Old Town Temecula, the Brea Tar Pits, Downtown Hollywood, Griffith Park, and the LA County Zoo.
The plane rides kinda sucked. On the way to San Diego, our first flight got delayed cuz they decided to leave us sitting on the tarmack for 20 mins...
And since we only had a 30 min layover, I had to rush to our next gate just in time to find out that it was a packed flight and they stuck me and Makayla on stand-by and were trying to bump us... After much complaining they ended up stickin us in seats sourounded by a bunch of Haji's who didn't speak english. Sorry to say, I couldn't help but be completely paranoid the whole flight. LUCKILY, the two flights coming home were a bit better. Just a little bit. Our first flight (4.5 hrs) the only problem we had on that flight was the fact that they lost watter pressure and then lost all the water all together, and no one could flush the toilets and the whole stupid plane smelt like one big Porta-John. Yuck! But luckly the 2nd flight was only a hour long, and we didn't get put on stand-by or anything like the other flight.

But yeah, now we're home and gettin back to our normal schedule... AND gettin ready for our busy busy week starting on Tuesday. Makayla starts goin back to her music class and we start homeschooling, then the following week we start a "Mommy-N-Me" playgroup and she starts her Ballet class (which i'm really excited about). So lots and lots goin on. But stand by for a few vacation pics, i'll try to get a few up over the next couple days.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Still alove and kicking...

No I'm not dead... Just on vacation. My daughter and I decided to take a 3 week trip back to So.Cal. to see my family. We've been here a week and won't be returning till the 17th. Just wanted to check in to let everyone know I was ok since I was beyond busy prior to leaving... I think I forgot to post anything about our vacation. Oops... Anywayz. Here's a couple pics...

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Saturday, August 2, 2008

The Soy Milk Craze

This picture was clearly not from today... Cuz today I go to the commissary for the sole purpose of picking up Soy Milk. I usually get whole fat "Very Vanilla"... Unfortunatly they only had 1 carton of Fat Free Plain. Which is fine, it's better then nuthin. But I was a bit shocked, usually they're well stalked cuz no one else seems to drink the stuff... Well who knows, seems like maybe people are catching onto the Soy Milk craze.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Toby Keith's a racist?

The Huffington Post:
"Toby Keith's Pro-Lynching Publicity Tour Hits Colbert, CBS and More"
Max Blumenthal - July 29th, 2008

Despite his background as a comedian, Stephen Colbert is known by many of the authors who have appeared on his show as one of the toughest interv
iewers in the business. But on July 28, when country music superstar Toby Keith stepped on the set of the Colbert Report to promote his movie, Beer For My Horses, he was greeted by his host with nothing less than reverential admiration. After a jovial, back-slapping sit-down with Keith, Colbert turned the stage over to his guest for a performance of the song that inspired the title and theme of his forthcoming "Southern comedy."

While Keith belted out "Beer For My Horses," Colbert's studio audience clapped to the beat, blithely unaware that they were swaying to a racially tinged, explicitly pro-lynching anthem that calls for the vigilante-style hanging of car thieves, "gangsters doing dirty deeds...crime in the streets," and other assorted evildoers. The lyrics to Keith's ode to lynching are as follows:
Grandpappy told my pappy back in my day, son
A man had to answer for the wicked that he'd done
Take all the rope in Texas Find a tall oak tree,
round up all of them bad boys

Hang them high in the street
For all the people to see

That Justice is the one thing you should always find
You got to saddle up your boys
You got to draw a hard line
When the gun smoke settles we'll sing a victory tune
And we'll all meet back at the local saloon
And we'll raise up our glasses against evil forces
whiskey for my men, beer for my horses

We got too many gangsters doing dirty deeds
too much corruption and crime in the streets
It's time the long arm of the law put a few more in the ground
Send 'em all to their maker and he'll settle 'em down
You can bet he'll set 'em down...
During the days when Toby Keith's "Grandpappy" stalked the Jim Crow South, lynching was an institutio
nal method of terror employed against blacks to maintain white supremacy. According to the Tuskegee Institute, between the years 1882 and 1951, 3,437 African-Americans were lynched in the United States, mostly in the heart of Dixie. Felonious assault and rape (read: corrupting "the flower of white womanhood") were the two most frequent justifications for lynch mob actions... Those who doubt the presence of racist undertones in Keith's "Beer For My Horses" should see the song's video. Cue ahead to 3:00 and watch as Keith intones, "We got too many gangsters doin' dirty deeds." The singer's words are not-so-subtly accompanied by the image of a swaggering black man sporting short dreads and baggy clothes. Thus the profile of Keith's ideal lynching candidate is revealed...Dear Huffington Post,
You guys are idiots. I had always regarded you as one of the more intelligent sources of SERIOUS journalism... But way to prove me wrong. Are you seriously going to sit here and call "Raciest" and pull the damn black card? God forbid someone use the word lynch ::Gasp:: I said it! Does that not make me a racist too? You say "Those who doubt the presence of racist undertones in Keith's "Beer For My Horses" should see the song's video" so I did. And th
at just affirmed my belief that you're an idiot even more. You try to lead people to believe that "Toby Keith's Grandpappy stalked the Jim Crow South". AKA,Georgia and was running around lynching blacks in order to to "maintain white supremacy". WOW! Those are some big aligations from someone who CLEARLY didn't watch the video themselves!

Since you clearly didn't watch the clip, let me break it down for you. Keith is a big town police detective (presumed to be from either Dallas or Houston) who is having problems solving a case. He calls upon his father, a retired criminal profiler, who is now residing outside the town of Buffalo, TX. Keith and his partner make a trip out to the country to meet up with his father at his house. Upon entering the house, the camera pans across old photographs, 2 guns, a hat, one badge engraved "Buffalo Marshal" and another badge engraved "Arizona Rangers". Through the song, it's presumed that memorabilia belongs to Keith's "grandpappy", if not more family members. Since they show the "Arizona Ranger's" badge 4 different times throughout this video, I figure it to be significant, one way or another. So I look up the "Arizona Rangers" and find the following description:
"The Arizona Rangers were organized in 1901 with the purpose of ridding Arizona of such individual criminals and criminal gangs. Their objectives were to hunt down and capture the lone wolves and members of the gangs, to clear the areas in which criminals congregated and make them safe for settlement by law abiding citizens and to discourage the riffraff of the rest of the country to seek refuse in Arizona. They were picked from law officers, military men, ranchers and cowboys. With maximum company strength of 26 men, they covered the entire territory."
I'm going to assume that because of the "Buffalo Marshal" badge that the father lives there and Keith lives and works in either Dallas or Houston since Buffalo seems to be about mid way between both. Ok. So looking at the US Census Bureau's statistics, about 26% of both cities happen to be black. So don't you think, if Keith was working in a place who has 25% of any particular race that he would run into at least a couple of them?

If you look at the clips from Dallas/Houston where he's asking people if he's seen the suspect, you will see not only did he question that black man that you seem so hot and bothered over, he also questioned a white female and male "punk" looking kids together, then white AND black female prostitutes, Then while questioning the black "homeless" man, a white "homeless" man walks through the shot. So lets see... That's 2 out of 6 people who happen to be black. That seems pretty close tot he 26% to me.

I just don't understand the connection between the "Arizona Ranger" Grandpappy lynching "
gangsters doing dirty deeds" and the lynching blacks in the south in order to to "maintain white supremacy". Please, can you explain that one to me? Cuz last time I checked lynching was the main form of execution in the south west in the early 1900's... Be it executing a white guy, a Hispanic, Asian or black. So why can't this just be an upbeat song about justice getting back to the way it was? Why do you have to bring race into it?

The Huffington Post: Toby Keith's Pro-Lynching...
Toby Keith, Beer For My Horses (YouTube, Video)
Arizona Rangers (Information)
US Census Bureau - Houston, Texas
US Census Bureau - Dallas, Texas