Friday, April 29, 2005

Digital Camera Dilemma

Ok, I'm about ready to jump off the cliff of digital camera ownership. But, I can't decide which one I want! Ideally, it will be a compact camera, with lots of megapixels, and lots of zoom. My parents have an Olympus C-765 UZ - it's a great camera - 4 megapixel, 10x optical zoom, small size.

But, they've had it for over a year -- so, is there something new and better on the market? I've been searching high and low. Scouring the internet for information. Asking everyone I know (at least that I know has some real knowledge about digital cameras).

One of my co-workers is a photography fanatic. Each Monday morning he sends out several new photos that he took over the weekend. Get him started and Marty will talk your ear off about digital cameras! Got some input from him. Filed a lot of it away as interesting, but not useful for me, because he is more of a professional than I am. Granted I took a photography class in high school and another one when I spent a month in Switzerland for summer school in college. But I don't really remember all the rules - aperture, shutter speed, etc.

So, I think I've narrowed it down. Either the
Olympus C-765 UZ just like Mom & Daddy. Or the Konica Minolta DiMAGE Z5 - 5 megapixel, 12x optical zoom, slightly larger camera. Is there anyone out there who has knowledge or opinions and wants to share??

My goal is to get it bought in the next week or so to be able to test it out and play with it over my many upcoming trips, weddings, etc so that I am really comfortable by the time the real reason for the purchase comes along: my trip to the Netherlands in mid-June!

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Respite

Whew. It has been a crazy busy few weeks. But, all the major wedding showers are now behind me for both my sister and my friend Jenny.

Now I have a couple weeks to be "normal" - whatever that is. Then the craziness begins again.

I found out in the past few weeks that I am going to get to take a trip to the Netherlands in June for work. It is a trip that I have been wanting to take for several years. I can't wait!!! We'll be working in the office for a couple of days, then we are going on a "field trip" out on one of the well platforms in the North Sea. I'll definitely bring back pictures!! And finally, I'll have two days to explore in Amsterdam. A little mini-vacation. Counting the days!!!

Saturday, April 16, 2005

Another death

I got another phone call telling me that the mother of another friend passed away this morning. Allyson's mom had fought with bone cancer and was in remission (I think). But, apparently chemo really can damage your immune system and she had a pretty bad case of pneumonia. Allyson got the call to come to ICU about 8:00 this morning, and about 9:00 her mom Caren passed away peacefully.

Please keep Allyson and her dad in your prayers.

Friday, April 15, 2005

Bonus

Just taking a moment to be thankful for the company for which I work. It is a family owned business -- not tiny, but definitely run like a family business in that they take care of their employees.

They are more interested (at least if you have a good manager) in you getting your stuff done, than policing every moment of your day.

They are interested in allowing us to volunteer in the community (even with time off during the work day).

They are interested in keeping employees happy and content in their jobs.

They pay pretty competitively.

And, the reason that I am really thankful today - they pay a BONUS if the company performs well. And since I work for the arm of our company that is in the oil & gas business, our industry has done really well the past couple of years (and is projected to do so for the next few as well).

So, as soon as I leave here today, I'm off to the bank to deposit my bonus check. I've been making a list, but I guess it is really time to start thinking of how I'll be saving and spending it!

Happy Friday blogworld.

Sunday, April 10, 2005

One down....

Today was my sister Heather's first wedding shower. Whew. They got a lot of stuff. It was a great weekend at home, but I am tired! I didn't roll back into Dallas until about 8:00 tonight, which is much later than normal. So, I'm off to bed now, to prepare for another busy week. G'night.

Thursday, April 07, 2005

More prayers, please

I got a phone call this morning from my good friend Heather. She was calling to let me know that the mom of another good friend (SarahB) died unexpectedly yesterday after a terrible fall. Please pray for Sarah and her husband Randall as they travel to Kerrville to be with family for the funeral - and more so as they come back home and begin moving through this terrible season of grief.

I have had several friends recently who have lost parents. Because my parents are still young (only 53), I assume that I will have them for a long time to come. I was reminded this morning that I need to cherish every moment and never hesitate to tell them that I love them. Because we are not promised tomorrow. None of us. Hug your children, parents and friends. Tell them that you love them and appreciate them. Don't let yourself take life for granted.

So, Mom & Daddy, I love you. I appreciate you. I can't imagine my life without you.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

5Q4

Here we go on another version of "get to know this blog-writer." I read Donna's answers to questions posed to her and have herein accepted the continuation of her task - to interview four people based upon writings in their blogs.

Following are my answers to the questions she posed to me (warning: my fingers got really excited to be typing today and it's a pretty long post). I'd like to continue this interview process and will create questions for the first four people who comment and agree to be interviewed.

5Q4Jenni from Donna

Q1. You started your blog in August of 2004. You mentioned late in August that you could easily be addicted to reading and commenting on blogs. Seven months later, would you say that you read blogs as much as you did in the beginning? Would you say that overall the experience has been positive or negative for you?

A1. I would definitely say that I read as much as I did in the beginning. The thing is now, I have almost too many that I regularly read. I do have to be careful to not get swept away reading blog after blog. One of the first things I do when I get to work is check on my list of blogs and if I'm not careful, it can easily be an hour or more before I get refocused on work!

The experience has definitely had positives and negatives. On the positive side, I have "met" so many new people and started to form relationships such that I feel I could call upon them when traveling through their towns - at least to say hello. Since I started out reading Mike Cope's blog, through the comments and connections made there, I feel somewhat safe with these new friends.

On the negative side, blogging is still (like email) a communication medium where emotions aren't shown clearly. Written words don't carry the tone and intent as do spoken words. I think it is easy to be lulled into a false sense of knowing each other and, if not careful, we can forget that we really don't know what the readers/writers are thinking or intending. I've been caught a couple of times hastily typing a harsh reaction to a negative comment - or assuming that I know the intentions of the commenter to be negative towards what I wrote. It is a side of this whole thing that I need to be more cautious of.

Also, it is somewhat harder to be completely free and write what I really want to because of the knowledge of some of the people who read. While I don't try to keep secrets, there are some secret parts of me that I might want to share, but am hesitant to blog about because of who I know to be in my audience. Don't know if that makes sense, but it is.

Overall, I'd definitely say positive.

Q2. Several times you have mentioned how important donating blood and platelets is to you. What was the impetus that made this so important to you?

A2. Well, I remember growing up that my dad donated blood regularly, and somewhere along the way he started giving platelets. The spring of my senior year of high school, I was able to give blood for the first time at a blood drive at my school. Earlier that school year, I had accompanied a close friend to Houston for a radiation treatment (she had cancer in her sinus cavity). I don't know if Emily ever had to have a platelet transfusion, but knowing personally someone who has gone through cancer treatments made the need more personal and real to me.

Most people don't give blood because they are too lazy to figure out how - not because they can't or are afraid. So, I have made a commitment to try and give as much as I can. Giving platelets is what I've chosen to do because they have a shorter shelf life than whole blood and they are so very critical in helping cancer patients make it. The process does take longer, but I think those three hours are spent in a more worthy manner by donating platelets than sitting at home watching TV.

Q3. Last year you were involved with your 10 year class reunion. What was the most surprising thing you discovered about your classmates? What was the most surprising thing you discovered about yourself?

A3. I think the most surprising thing that I discovered is that not too many of them had changed one bit. The people that I wasn't friends with in high school, I still wouldn't be friends with (for the most part). It was surprising that I had changed much more than I had thought. I don't have a lot of clear memories of high school, except that I was definitely not one of the "in crowd" and that I was much more of a goody-two-shoes than I would have thought. Over the past ten years, I have definitely grown into my faith and my opinions have shifted some. While I would still probably be defined by some as a goody-two-shoes, I think that moniker has definitely softened over the years.

I had a very interesting conversation with our class president at the reunion. If you had asked me in 1994 if I thought he was a Christian, I don't know what my answer would have been. But my impression was that he liked to party a lot and would be pretty much of a flake. Hunter and I had a great conversation and I came to realize that my perceptions of him from back then were pretty skewed. We may not go to the same denomination of church, but we are brother and sister in Christ for sure. It was an eye-opening revelation for me.

Q4. What caused you to start collecting thimbles? What was your first one?

A4. The spring of 1986 our family had our first actual family vacation (I wrote more about it here) planned to southern California - Disneyland, Universal Studios, Sea World, Tijuana Mexico. My parents decided that they didn't want us begging for each and every overpriced (yet cheap) trinket and t-shirt as souvenirs. So, we were told to pick one thing. One thing of which we were going to start a collection. I think they gave us choices, but I can't really remember. So, thimbles were my choice. They are generally inexpensive and found almost anywhere. My very first thimble is a pewter thimble with the castle at Disneyland in red glass on the top. Since then I've collected them from all over the world. And I can imagine continuing this collection for many years to come.

Q5. Preparing for and having your Lasik surgery was very important to you, overall how satisfied are you with the results? Would you consider having any other type of optional surgeries?

A5. Overall, I am very satisfied with my LASIK results. It is not 100% perfect and I will probably have a little enhancement procedure done to get it closer to perfect, but it is so very much better that before. I cannot really put into words what a difference it is to just wake up and look at the clock without having to put on glasses. Or to lay in bed and watch TV without smushing my glasses into my cheek. I know that I will become so accustomed to this that I will in time take it for granted (like I do so many of God's other gifts to me!), but I don't want to. I want to remember and relish the eyesight that was given back to me because of gifts that God lavished on the surgeons and scientists to could figure out such a procedure!

As far as any other optional surgeries, I can't think of any right now that I would consider.

Friday, April 01, 2005

TGIF

I'm so glad that it is Friday. Headed out today to Stream in the Desert. My family has made it a tradition the past several years of going together since my sister helped plan Stream Abilene a few years ago. Hopefully it will be a good weekend of relaxation and renewal. Mike Cope is the featured speaker this year. Even though I get to hear him everytime I go home, I can never get enough. Highland is very blessed to have him as part of their family.

I mentioned it before here, but the next few weeks and months will be very, very busy for me. And I found out this week that I've got a tentative date for a work trip to the Netherlands at the end of June. I'm really looking forward to it - been wanting to go ever since I started working here. So the question is, does life ever really slow down? Seems like the older I get (I know, I know, I'm still a youngster!) the faster everything goes.

Happy weekend to you all!