Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Tomorrow is....

Do you know what tomorrow is?

I'll give you a hint. I am making butter tarts to celebrate.

Butter Tarts Fresh From The Oven

Monday, June 29, 2009

Geek Girl Says "Wacom Outta The Park"

A couple of weeks ago I attended a Photoshop seminar where I noticed the presenter was using a pen tablet instead of a mouse. When asked about it he raved about the use of the pen for photoshop masking and re-touching. He highly recommended it over a mouse. I am terrible with the touch pad and always use a mouse. However, I have never tried a graphic pen and tablet. This presentation had me intrigued and wondering if I should investigate further...

GeekGirl just posted a video blog about the WACOM tablet. Check it out. What do you think? They are kind of pricey -is it worth it? I "type" for a living (Software Engineer) and my wrists are very sensitive after years of repetitive strain.

If you have used a pen tablet - leave a comment and share your experience.

Click here to read the full Geek Girl Blog posting

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Maddie Moof Steals A Toy

I gave Little Miss O some water toys.

Looks like the her older sister M- is claiming them for herself!

Fair Hang Over

I am suffering from a Fair Hangover. Pictures and story to follow ...

Car Seat Safety

I saw this on this rather interesting car seat configuration on this morning's run.

I am trying to imagine a scenario that led to this configuration. I have nothing? How about you? Got a fun story about why the car seat is on the roof?

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Tornado Shelter?!

Just what you want to see when entering the ladies restroom at an airport!

Funky Tree

On my walk last night I stumbled across this eclectic mix of lawn ornaments. A Zen sandbox and bench beside a tree decorated with wind chimes and Tibetan Prayer Flags.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Happy Cakes

Pens in a bowl of Sprinkles.
Seen beside the cash register at Happy Cakes

No trip is complete without tracking down a new source for cupcakes. The first day I used my cupcake locater (i.e. iPhone) to get a short list of candidates. Day two I managed to work a trip to Happy Cakes into our itinerary.

We came away with
  • 5 chocolate on chocolate
  • 1 butter cream on chocolate
  • 2 vanilla on vanilla
  • 1 dog cupcake

An hour later ... here is what is left!

Five down, Four to Go!

Standard Cupcake Sighting Shot.
A Happy Tippie Discovers a New Cupcake Place

Dipping My Toe Into The Land of The Geocache

Today my brother-in-law introduced me to the wonders of geocaching. My first cache was called "Queen of Cream Cheese" and is dedicated to little Miss O. I set out with iPhone in hand on a quest to find my niece's cache.

Turns out Miss O's Daddy is a meanie and made this cache very tricky. I need a few hints and help along the way - but eventually I emerged victorious.

Tippie signing the log on the "Queen of Cream Cheese" geocache

See that black whole in the piece of pavement. That is the hole that Daddy to hide the cache. The metal cache container was painted black so it was camouflaged and then hid way under a pine tree in area thick with bush!

After crossing the Red Sea in a flooded out park - I discovered my second cache. The person who hid this one was *much* nicer. I was able to find it all by myself without any hints!!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Little Miss O

Little Miss O and I are spending a couple of days chillin' together.

Shhhhhh baby sleeping!!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

National Smile Month

June is National Smile Month - so why not get out there and share your beautiful smile with the world.

I know I am smiling big right now. I am off meet my niece for the first time.

Check out stories from people who played cards # 24 (teen deck) and #25 (original deck) for inspiration.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Enron: Smartest Guys in The Room

The greatest innovation of the new economy was greed.

A fascinating look at the rise and fall of a company built on pride, arrogance, intolerance and greed.

Having lived through California's astronomical electric bills and rolling blackouts - I am shocked to see the traders laugh about the games they played at our expense.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Cupcake Sighting

There is some crazy food at the fair.

But, this just in. There has been a cupcake sighting! You can bet I will be swinging by next Sunday before the shoot out.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Humble Pie

I have been having a friendly rivalry with my colleague M-.

We have been trading pictures in an effort to establish dominance in the cutest niece/nephew contest. Thursday I posted this picture on Facebook and kindly suggested that M- eat my dust.

Well now it is time for some humble pie. I must now confess I sorely misjudged my competition.

Friday M- struck back. No more trading cutesy pictures - he showed up with 'the real' thing.

So, at least temporarily ...I admit defeat and post this unbelievably cute picture.

But stay tuned. I have my plane ticket and my cameras are packed!!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Free Expression Zone

It is heart breaking to see the news coming out of Iran this weekend.

Here is a link on how you can help support the people in Iran with their fight for free expression in cyberspace.

Tippie Canoe is currently flipped over to the location and timezone of Tehran, Iran.

Did you know you can e-mail the supreme leader of the Iranian Republic and express your concern over the situation? Details are here.

Spotted at The Entrance To The Del Mar Fair

Friday, June 19, 2009

Chucky T Club Expands

This Friday was full of excitement! Not only did I score a new iPhone ... but we had two new shoes show up for Chucky T day!

M- trades in his boring white shoes for the much cooler blue ones and T- surprises us all and shows up wearing Chucks!

T- has finally shed the stigma of sitting at the nerd table and joined the cool kids.

M- officially welcoming T- to the Chucky T club

iPhone Adventure

After many years resisting the cell phone and then just playing marginal lip service to it... this week 'pigs flew' and finally 'got with the program'. Although, truthfully ... my change in heart has very little to with wanting a 'phone'. Instead, I was won over by the integration of camera, video, gps and lots of "gee whiz" cool apps.

Once I made the decision - the adventure of actually scoring the long awaited new iPhone 3Gs began. It started with pre-ordering and configuring the phone online. Then the long and anxious wait for the magic release date.

Today was the big day. Last night I received a shiny happy little e-mail from Apple letting me know they were looking forward to seeing me today :-) So much so... that they would be opening at 7 am to welcome me.

I knew I needed to be at work by 9 am - so I figured I would get up around 5 am and allow for some buffer time... just in case those crazy University kids decided to camp out the night before.

Shortly after 6 am. In line.
Apple Store isn't visible yet

Clearly, when I arrived I was not properly prepared. The early crew (3 a.m.) came complete with chairs, reading material and provisions. Despite the early soft open at 6 am, it was evident this was going to take a while. Sometime around 7 am the Apple folks had pity on us and sent the unprepared at the back of the line food and water.

Provisions for the journey - courtesy of Apple

As we crept past 8 am and the Apple store still wasn't in sight... I started to think "Uh, Oh" I am going to be late for work. But, I was committed and had too much invested to abort my mission now. Thankfully, shortly after 8:30 am we turned a corner and the beloved Apple logo was finally visible!

Shortly after 8:30 am our destination is finally visible

At approximate 9 am today, my mission was accomplished! I triumphantly walked into the store and received my new phone. Seconds after activation it was configured to sync with my mobile Me account. What a beautiful sight to see my address book, calendar, e-mail... everything was synced up and on my phone before I left the store. Oh happy day!

A tired but triumphant Tippie arrives at work.
The new iPhone still in it's plastic wrap.

Here is a link to a fun video by David Pogue of the New York Times. He likes the new IPhone 3Gs!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Chocolate Covered Bacon

I was off to the fair again this evening. I went to a fascinating forum hosted by the judges of the photo contest. I learned a number of interesting things.
  • the Fair Photo Contest is the biggest in California
  • they received close to 4,000 submissions
  • only about 1/3 of the photos even get 'hung' for display
  • the caliber of submissions is super high

It was enlightening hearing from the judges themselves all about the process and how they judge the submissions. Knowing how insane the competition is... I want to give a special shout out to D-D- who has several pictures in the exhibit and won a couple of honourable mentions.

I hope to make to make it back to the fair and spend an evening just enjoying the photo display. It really is a compelling collection of work.

After the seminar we went for a stroll through the funky food area. I played it safe and just had some apple fries... but my compatriots were much Much MUCH more adventurous. They were on a serious mission for ....

I could barely watch ... but they assure me that it really isn't as toxic as it sounds!

D-D- and E- enjoying their chocolate covered bacon

Iranian Uprising on Twitter and Blogs

1:46 PM ET
State Department working with Twitter. CNN: "Senior officials say the State Department is working with Twitter and other social networking sites to ensure Iranians are able to continue to communicate to each other and the outside world."

To follow the news from Iran on twitter search for #IranElection

Nico Pitney's Live Blog of Iran Uprising here

Twitter and The Iranian Election

You can show support for #iranelection add green overlay to your Twitter avatar with 1-click - http://helpiranelection.com

Do a search on #iranelection there are about 100 tweets a second coming in.

Thumb Saver

Are you looking for a Father's Day gift for the Dad that has everything?

From the low tech gadget files.... the thumb saver.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Who Pooped?

One way scientists learn about animals is by studying their poop -- also called “scat” or"dung." Let’s look at some animal poop and see if you can guess who left it behind.

This is what you will read as you enter the site


hosted by the Minnesota Zoo.

The kid in you just might have fun trying to match the 'droppings' with the animal that left it. The goal is to learn a bit about the animals along the way.

Still... I can't believe they have a site called Who Pooped?!?

Monday, June 15, 2009

Biker Chick

Lovin' being back in the bike to work groove...

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Boom Boom #12

I have to admit I am a pretty avid letter writer - and not just the electronic kind. I like to pick up pen and paper and write short little notes to friends. Lately, I have started sending postcards from my "tourist in your backyard" trips. I like the idea of bringing a smile to someone's face when they find a card in their mailbox.

As I complete my Boom Boom Cards, the challenge is to find someone to pass it along to that I think will enjoy the experience as much as I am ... and keep it going. I decided an old friend from school and his wife would be a perfect candidate. So... today I wrote them a note and sent them one of my completed cards.

Tippie on her way to the mailbox

Click here to read travel stories from card #12!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Shooting It Out At The Fair

Today I learned a whole new appreciation for "The Fair".

Turns out that it isn't all about deep fried twinkies and chocolate coated bacon.

There are lots of cool seminars, displays and competitions. For photographers (and wannabes) there is a fun competition called a "shoot out". I was a little nervous and apprehensive - but nevertheless, with a little encouragement from a fellow photo student ... I tentatively set out for the fair.

When I arrived at the Shoot Out the meeting room, I found it already full of folks carring scary and intimidating cameras, lenses, monopods! D- D- and I looked at each other with that panicked look of "Uh, Oh we are waaay out of our league". Still we were up for the challenge and excited to see what the day would bring our way. After checking in we received 'official' ribbons and name tags that said we were fair photographers. We beamed with pride as if we had just been issues our first press pass!

Tired But Happy "Shooters"

There was a fun and friendly vibe as the rules were explained. Turns out they are pretty straight forward:

  • Everyone is shooting the same assignment
  • The theme or object is kept secret until the last minute
  • The timeline is one hour, no exceptions
  • You can submit one and only one picture
  • Pictures are as shot, in camera, no modification
  • A slideshow is put together of the submissions and each participant has an equal vote

Our assignment was ... "Shot in a barn".

Egad. We were off to find a barn... there were a few moments of disorientation and until we realized that our noses would show us the way! Once we found a barn ... we were off and shooting. We both are Zen photographers and like to set out on our own and immerse ourselves in the experience - so we headed in different directions. With so many folks in the competition it was hard to find a location that wasn't already overrun with photogs. I had fun talking to folks and trying to shoot a captivating candid. I fell short of the mark but more importantly I enjoyed the experience and met some fun folks along the way.

A "healthy" snack by fair standards

The most fascinating part of the whole experience was the final slideshow and voting. None of the photos that I voted for came in the top three. A picture of a rake took top prize. Go figure!

Perplexed by the outcome -- D-D- and I decided to decompress and debrief over some apple crisp.

In the end we decided the key is to size up your fellow shooters and shoot for the audience first and then for your personal muse. We will now be updating our artist statements to include ...."On occasion will sell my soul for a good prize".

My "shot in a barn" submission

Serendipity (Fair Bonus)

I came to the fair for the shoot out - but as an added bonus I stayed for the music.

When I first arrived at the fair I noticed a poster for Melissa Etheridge ... and the concert was tonight. What a fun surprise!!!

Melissa Etheridge, Live and Alone
San Diego Grand Stand

The concert was fabulous. Melissa managed to turn the fair grandstand into an intimate venue. It was just her on stage playing guitar, the occasional piano and singing her heart out. It was amazing to watch the sun go down over the ocean and stream through river mouth while enjoying a musical journey. She started out mellow but by the end of the night the place was rockin'. There were lots of hard core fans singing along and dancing in the aisles. The positive energy was contagious!

Spending The Morning With Bruce

Lovin' a little Bruce this morning. Right now I am listening to World of Wonders!

Click here to listen to a Bruce Cockburn solo performance. Recorded Apr. 21, 2009 at Showplace Performance Centre in Peterborough, Ontario by Canada Live/CBC2.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Chuckie T Day At Work

It has become a tradition at work to dust of your Converse shoes and wear them on Friday. It began with C- S- buying some cool canvas slip ons and wearing them every Friday. I noticed the pattern and picked up a pair of my own. Rapidly, all the 'cool kids' were wearing them. Now Friday is officially "Chuckie T Day"!

A meeting of the Chuckie T Gang

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Along Side

Riding along side the freeway on my bike is sooooo much nicer than driving on it!

Cupcake Sighting

I admit it.

I am a cupcake stalker.

But, this gem... was an accidental find. I was wandering around downtown in search of a bookstore ... when this place surprised me. I had the Dark Chocolate... and I give it two thumbs up!

Smilin' wide and pointing out my latest cupcake find

Heavenly Cupcakes
518 6th Avenue
San Diego, CA 92101
(619) 235-9235

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Quote of The Day

“Live with intention. Walk to the edge. Listen hard. Practice wellness. Play with abandon. Laugh. Choose with no regret. Appreciate your friends. Continue to learn. Do what you love. Live as if this is all there is.”

-Mary Anne Radmacher

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Morning Commute

This morning as I passed by the Little Yellow House (a.k.a. Corner House Cafe) - I noticed that the Mexican Restaurant serves breakfast.

I should stop one morning and have a breakfast burrito!

The side yard of the "little yellow" house

Monday, June 8, 2009

Grunion Momma

After five failed attempts to "see" the elusive grunion -- I decided it was time to enlist the help of the professionals. I signed Jac Jac and I up for an evening seminar to learn some recognizance techniques and EVERYTHING you wanted (and some you didn't) want to know about our fishy friends.

Jac Jac in the Scripps Auditorium Learning All About The Secret Life of Grunion

What I didn't realize was I was going to have an opportunity to become a grunion parent. During the last grunion run - the Scripps researches had scooped up some beach sand with grunion eggs. With tonight's run the eggs were ready to hatch and I was going to make that happen! I rec'd a cup of sand and some sea water. I swirled the water in the cup to imitate the tide coming in. After a few minutes my grunion eggs started to hatch. Pop, pop, pop ... little grunion popping out of their eggs and swimming around in my cup. Surprisingly cool!

Tippie, the proud grunion momma

About 11 pm we headed out to the beach to wait for the grunion to arrive. There was easily 100 people roaming the beach hoping the cagey fish would make an appearance. From our seminar we learned that two 'scout' fish come up on shore to check things out. If all looks good they give the all clear and school of fish come ashore. Tonight, I saw my first grunion EVER and was beside myself in excitement. A scout came up on the beach, flopped around and then left again. I think he wisely decided with the hundred folks standing around waiting --- that perhaps this wasn't the best place for a fish breeding party!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Cow Sighting

A little teaser from today's cow scavenger hunt!

Title 9 and quote of the Day

I base most of my fashion sense on what doesn't itch.

- Gilda Radner

Thanks Gilda. I couldn't have said it better myself!

While out on my cow scavenger hunt I was temporarily side tracked by shopping at the local Title 9 store. I was recently informed that my swim suits don't match my surf shorts... apparently that is some sort of fashion faux pas. Reluctantly, I have given into peer pressure and am making a half hearted attempt at not clashing so badly.

Hopefully, this top will be acceptable with my pale green Life is Good board shorts.

Boom Boom 10

It has been fun looking for opportunities to use my Boom Boom Cards. I decided that instead of worrying about going through them sequentially - I'd act on them as the opportunity presents itself.

Yesterday I played my first card!

Lunch with an old friend at The Spaghetti Factory.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

A Ride Through The Park

This morning I threw my bike in the car and headed down to Balboa Park. It was a beautiful day to explore the park. I started over by the Science Center and went cross country down an embankment and through the woods. Check out the view of the city I discovered.

When I came up the other side I came upon this very cool VW Camper Van and Trailer.

It wasn't exactly the most peaceful spot to set up camp. This area of the park is on the flight path to the airport and every five minutes we were buzzed by incoming planes.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Cool URL of The Day


Even though he is 15th in the line of succession to the U.S. presidency, Energy Secretary Steven Chu still thinks he's a nerd.

In his commencement address at Harvard University on Thursday, the Nobel Prize-winning scientist admitted he may not be as exciting as previous speakers like Microsoft founder Bill Gates and "Harry Potter" author J.K. Rowling.

"Today, you have me. I am not a billionaire, but at least I am a nerd," Chu said at the beginning of his speech.

Well that little quip inspired the www.atleastIamanerd.com url. Check it out !!

Oh yeah, first runner up goes to www.empathizeOnYourBehind.com. That one comes courtesy of a quote from RNC Chairman Michael Steele.

The Cairo Speech

A few quotes from President Obama's speech in Cairo this week

So long as our relationship is defined by our differences, we will empower those who sow hatred rather than peace, and who promote conflict rather than the cooperation that can help all of our people achieve justice and prosperity. This cycle of suspicion and discord must end.

I have come here to seek a new beginning between the United States and Muslims around the world; one based upon mutual interest and mutual respect; and one based upon the truth that America and Islam are not exclusive, and need not be in competition. Instead, they overlap, and share common principles - principles of justice and progress; tolerance and the dignity of all human beings.

I do so recognizing that change cannot happen overnight. No single speech can eradicate years of mistrust, nor can I answer in the time that I have all the complex questions that brought us to this point. But I am convinced that in order to move forward, we must say openly the things we hold in our hearts, and that too often are said only behind closed doors. There must be a sustained effort to listen to each other; to learn from each other; to respect one another; and to seek common ground. As the Holy Koran tells us, "Be conscious of God and speak always the truth." That is what I will try to do - to speak the truth as best I can, humbled by the task before us, and firm in my belief that the interests we share as human beings are far more powerful than the forces that drive us apart.

fast forward a bit...

Of course, recognizing our common humanity is only the beginning of our task. Words alone cannot meet the needs of our people. These needs will be met only if we act boldly in the years ahead; and if we understand that the challenges we face are shared, and our failure to meet them will hurt us all.

For we have learned from recent experience that when a financial system weakens in one country, prosperity is hurt everywhere. When a new flu infects one human being, all are at risk. When one nation pursues a nuclear weapon, the risk of nuclear attack rises for all nations. When violent extremists operate in one stretch of mountains, people are endangered across an ocean. And when innocents in Bosnia and Darfur are slaughtered, that is a stain on our collective conscience. That is what it means to share this world in the 21st century. That is the responsibility we have to one another as human beings.

This is a difficult responsibility to embrace. For human history has often been a record of nations and tribes subjugating one another to serve their own interests. Yet in this new age, such attitudes are self-defeating. Given our interdependence, any world order that elevates one nation or group of people over another will inevitably fail. So whatever we think of the past, we must not be prisoners of it. Our problems must be dealt with through partnership; progress must be shared.

That does not mean we should ignore sources of tension. Indeed, it suggests the opposite: we must face these tensions squarely. And so in that spirit, let me speak as clearly and plainly as I can about some specific issues that I believe we must finally confront together.

Text and Video of the full speech here

Thursday, June 4, 2009


You may know Greg Grunberg as the twittering Heroes celebrity, but he is also the brain child behind Yowza. It’s an iPhone and iPod Touch app that takes the idea of 'store coupon' to a whole new level. Yowza uses the GPS in your phone/touch to determine your location and then find deals near you. If you’re out shopping, you can find out what stores are offering deals, in either a 5, 10 or 15 mile radius. The app also lets you search by city to enable you to plan ahead and still save money and never have to worry about forgetting your coupon at home!

The app is free for customers. Check it out!

Get the full scoop here on Geek Brief.

Check out Yowza here

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Tippie and the Hail

Here I am ... posing before the evidence melts!

Hail Storm!!

This morning I was all set to ride my bike to work. For some reason at the last moment I checked the weather forecast.

Red Alert Will Robinson

Weather man had posted a severe weather watch ... something about a thunderstorm.

Surely, he was wrong.
Thunderstorm, in Southern California, in summer.
Not happening.
I decided to err on the side of caution and I aborted my plans to ride.

Mid afternoon the rain started - but within minutes it changed to hail. Not wimpy little ice chip hail. This was full blown *HUGE* ice balls. As the pellets hit the roof of the Winebego parked on the street -- they were bouncing 4 -6 feet in the air.


I immediately grabbed my camera and sprinted through the entire office and out the front door.

Here is a gang of us out on the front stoop ooohing and aaahing at it all.

Watching the hail fall in the parking lot at work

HUGE hail stones

Palm Trees and Hail.
An unlikely combination

Did I mention that hail is cold?!?

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Thought For The Day

Spirituality is about joy, fun, creating, and playing. It is absolutely not rigid, full of rules, or judgmental. It is about freedom, love, and laughter.

- Karen Bishop

Monday, June 1, 2009

DSLR Remote

I saw this on Geek Brief ... and it is just too cool not to share!

This is an app for your iPhone that acts as a remote control for your DSLR. Right now it is just for Canon shooters ... but a Nikon version is in the works.

In a nutshell, this app turns your iPhone into a remote control for your camera. The DSLR Remote app running on your iPhone (or iPod Touch) communicates to the DSLR Remote Server software via a WIFI connection. From your iPhone you can control settings such as shutter speed, aperture and white balance. You can of course fire the camera shutter as well. If you have a Canon EOS DSLR camera that supports Live View you can even get a live stream of the camera’s viewfinder on your iPhone. With an Intervalometer so you can also do time lapse photography.

You have to see it in action for the full WoW factor!

Cali Lewis gives a cool demo of here
Product release blog post from the creators here