San Francisco – Part Three – All Around the City

The best of the rest of the city by the bay.

In this post, the last of our three-part series on San Francisco, your assignment (besides enjoying a tour of the city without leaving your desktop) is to find:

    1. Sylvester Stallone (or a reasonable facsimile)
    2. A Western Gull
    3. A pyramid

Good luck.

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The Starbucks Reserve Roastery & Tasting Room

I really enjoy Dutch Bros coffee but …

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I really enjoy coffee from Dutch Brothers. But a visit to the Starbucks Reserve Roastery & Tasting Room is well worth the effort, no matter what your java preference. It’s as if Willy Wonka decided to open a coffee factory. See for yourself, just don’t tell Slugworth.

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Magic Java House – More Fun With My SP-810UZ

My Olympus SP-810UZ offers a few tricks of the light.

 

 

 

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The magic mode on my Olympus camera offers some unique distortions to typical exposures. Utilizing this function, I transformed an Alaskan coffee-house into a fun house. The picture above was shot in the watercolor sub mode. The selections below are labeled by function as well.

 

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Soft focus.

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Pop art.

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Fish eye.

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Drawing.

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Reflection.

Oops, NaNo’d Again – the Sublime Insanity of NaNoWriMo

What do November, 50,000 word rough drafts and coffee (lots and lots of coffee) have in common? Answer: NaNoWriMo.

If you know anyone that writes, chances are during some previous November, they mysteriously disappeared from your life. Blame NaNoWriMo. Generic-73x73The impulse to put 1667 or more words down every day in the month of November can overwhelm anyone’s free time.

NaNo is a free-wheeling online creative event that covers the globe. Although it’s completely free,those that can donate are encouraged to do so. The event raises money for the Office of Letters and Light, an organization that supports literacy and writing creativity in youngsters and adults. NaNo includes sponsors that provide technical and financial support and various writers that  provide motivational blurbs. NaNo forums give the participants a place to lean on each other or laugh with each other. The OLL adds some fairly entertaining videos to keep spirits up. Currently, the NaNo homepage shows the 2012 tally at 3,288,976, 325 words written world-wide, the Spokane Region alone created a 6,398,490 concordance.

Winner-120x240When I visit the county fair’s midway, I see people exit rides, wrung out from spinning around for five minutes straight, heading rapidly to the bathroom to expel the cotton candy and corn dogs from their stomach, but they still manage to slap their partners on the back and exclaim, “Wasn’t that fun?”

I say to myself, how can that be fun?

I imagine if someone were able to peer inside my writing space during NaNo, they might ask the same question. But to me, that is part of the attraction. Knowing that most people consider such an endeavor a punishing waste of time further compels the few hundred thousand of us spackled around the globe in various clusters, typing away, prostrate before the glow of our laptops.

And, bonus … I’ve never puked coming off the NaNo ride.

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To learn more about NaNoWriMo, go here.

Of Dog Bones and Macchiatos

The world is Lonnie’s oyster.

Anyone that meets our flat-coated retriever (a Newfoundland-lab mix) Avalon, quickly realizes their meeting serves only one mission, Lonnie’s entertainment. In fact, all of creation was apparently zapped into existence for Lonnie to play with. Every item dropped on the floor is there for her to chew. Every meal is prepared for her to taste, every cat is there for her to chase and every guest is invited over solely for the purpose of petting and praising her.

Lonnie.

And it doesn’t stop there. On walks, she sniffs every garbage can, smells every mailbox and snuffles every animal track. I won’t abuse you with what she thinks is appropriate when encountering deer scat.

But Avalon’s princess-like qualities radiate most when we she goes for a ride to Starbucks.

Lonnie's fan base.

As we approach the drive-through, her ears adjust, her rump squats and, before the window even finishes lowering, her nose pokes out like a spy-hopping orca, whiskers and nostrils twitching. She never considers that the barista is displaying great charity by offering her a dog biscuit. This must be the sole purpose for our arrival. What other impetus could there be? Certainly not the “treat” I’m being handed with a straw and sleeve (although she certainly wouldn’t mind chewing on that lovely smelling cup when we get home).

I know these occurrences are familiar to most dog lovers, but what I find so endearing in Lonnie’s actions is her attitude. The look on her face tells everyone, “It’s my world, just be thankful you’re in it.”

This Little Camera Went to Market

A Day Through the Lens at Pike Place.

Anyone that visits Seattle will surely hear of the Pike Place Market.

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Most will visit it. With its artisans and coffee shops, flying salmon and crying gulls, all set against the cerulean canvass of Puget Sound, the public market is a kaleidoscope of scent, sight and sound. The following is a brief pictorial essay from our latest visit.

Bustle.

 

 

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I Have Not Been Rendered

Just a very brief note to anyone wondering. I have not been rendered for comments against authority. I am simply in the midst of an extremely heavy writing month and have had little time to post. It seems lately almost every minute has been filled with drinking coffee and eating prose. (You are what you eat.)

Coffee dreams.

I want to offer a quick congratulations to the Eastern Eagles on their shared title in the Big Sky and birth in the sub-division playoffs. At least there is one team in this state that knows how to win consistently.

I won’t be absent much longer. Until then, hang in there all you Nanowrimo’s.