Friday, July 29, 2011

Thursday, July 28, 2011

This dog... starting to show his age, especially around the eyes. having a hard time with the heat. sleeping a lot more than playing these days.

This dog is loved and spoiled.
He has started getting on our bed as soon as we leave the house.
We know this because he leaves his dog hair as evidence.
And because if we run back in the house for something, we hear the "thud" and the jingle of his collar as he quickly jumps back down off the bed.

And, he is closing in on 9 dog years, which is like mid 60's in human years.

We need to see if we can get him some senior citizen discounts anywhere.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Backyard Boys

These boys love to be outside.  The only time that seems to work with the weather these days is early morning and late evening.

All shots courtesy of Mr. Horvath.   He is experimenting with some new flash techniques, getting good exposure in the background as well as on the subject.

Sweet Seth...
Brotherly love...

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Friday, July 22, 2011

Caleb James

It's really sad that this little guy doesn't have an ounce of exuberance or a shred of enthusiasm...

He is turning five in a week.  Where has the time flown...

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Swimming Lessons

This was our 5th year to do swimming lessons with Ms. Janet.  5 years ago, Seth was officially enrolled as a two year old and Caleb was "technically" in swim lessons (although he was still inside my stomach and had not made his debut yet).

Clearly, Caleb is either needing more sleep or was using the old "I'm bored and yawning, please don't make me do anything else I don't like to do today." 

If I had a little girl, she would have ruffles on her bum just like this.  So cute.

Caleb was offering a friendly nudge to his neighbor...

All it takes is one bad experience on the diving board, and kids are no longer a fan.  This particular day, Caleb had a long swim after one of his jumps and swallowed some water.  He was no longer enamored with the board.

Look at the kills me.

Seth is clapping to cheer him on.  Caleb was also stalling big time on the board, so Seth is wanting him to get going as well.  :-)

Conquering fear!

There is nothing better than learning to swim during a Texas summer.  Acquiring new skills and beating the heat at the same time!

Monday, July 18, 2011

House Concert with Rock Horvath

Nana and Papa had Seth over for a private concert.  He played guitar first (his play list was Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star, Happy Birthday, and Mary Had a Little Lamb)...

...then he sang them some of his original songs.  

We had to limit him to his favorite 3 songs.  He has enough for an entire album, and a lot of improvising goes into each song.  Which means that they can start out being a 3 minute song, but end up much longer.

He is in desperate need of a new tinsel wig.  He is starting to have some noticeable balding. Whenever he becomes Rock, he has to put the wig and the hat on.  Sunglasses are optional.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Poor Image Quality on Blogger

I have been really frustrated lately at the image quality of the pictures I post.  I will post a crisp, clean image to my blog and it comes out looking flat, slightly pixelated and compressed on my post.

I wasn't sure if it was something I was doing wrong in the uploading, or if it was something that was happening to my images when they were posted.  I thought perhaps it was the method I used to reduce the image resolution before posting (I do this for two reasons: for people viewing my blog that may have a slower internet connection and have trouble viewing large files, and also so that I don't use up all my allotted space on Blogger!). 

So I did an experiment and uploaded the same image three times in one that was the original, full size image, one at half the resolution, and one at 1/4 the resolution.  They all looked exactly the same when viewed in the post.  I had discovered my answer...this was not my problem!

So I googled around and found that others were having issues with the poor quality of their images on Blogger.  (Now I am slapping my forehead that I didn't just Google this sooner.  It was such an easy fix!)

I am sure there are other ways to address this issue, but I saw a noticeable difference when using this one.  Upload your image, then choose the Edit HTML tab.  Look for something in the code of your image that says something like "/s400" (the number might be different, in some mine said /s320). Delete that part of the code (including the back slash).  That is the step where Blogger compresses your image. 

This first image is before I removed the code:

And this is after I removed the code:

In this particular image, the only thing in sharp focus in his face and that is where you will see a noticeable difference in quality. 

One of the frustrating things about this approach is that you have to go in and delete it for every single
picture.  Which is kind of a beating if you utilize a lot of images in your posts, so if anyone happens to know a way to get around this please let me know!

Here is another example with an image from a recent post, just in case you couldn't see the difference in the first one...

Compressed, Pixelated, No Bueno

Much Cleaner and Crisp, especially in the faces

Last example, and then I am off to reclaim the photographic integrity of my images in my recent posts. I promise I am not as OCD as this post makes me sound... :-)

No Bueno


Maybe this can help a fellow blogger, too!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Hodgepodge California...Final Post!

OK, it has taken me WAY to long to blog our California trip.  We have now been home almost a month.  So this is going to be the last post and a bit of a hodgepodge, but wanted to get these in for family record sake!

We had a wonderful visit with Steve's Grandma Dorothy.  

She has a beautiful orange tree in her backyard, and she sent us home with some.  Those oranges were sooooooooooooooooooooooooo good.  Three weeks later, I found one in the bottom drawer of the fridge and it was still sooooooooooooooo good.

(Steve thought these were both pictures of the same kid picking oranges, but the one on the left is Seth and Caleb is on the right. Their profiles look very similar!)

I think I mentioned in an earlier post that Seth loved Grammi and Grandpa's chocolate lab Shurman.  

Oh my.  He LOVED Shurman.

We had a nice evening with Steve's mom.

Steve and I were able to go out for one long, glorious day by ourselves! First, we headed to the Huntington Library.  It is a Library Collection, Art Collection and Botanical Garden right outside of Pasadena in San Marino.  It used to be a private residence and sits on over 200 acres. There are over 6 million rare and historical books in the libraries, and the art galleries and botanical gardens are spectacular.

We took the self-guided audio tour through some of the art collections.  

There were several different themed gardens, including a Chinese garden.

Sadly, I have no photos from the rest of our day.  But we ate a late lunch at a great place in Pasadena called The Sandwich Story.

Then we headed to Hollywood where we were in the audience at the Jimmy Kimmel Show!  Steve's cousin is married to a super sweet girl that is a writer for the show.  She offered to get us in very late notice (she was at Seth's party on Sunday and we went to the show Monday!).  We were headed to Hollywood and she texted me that she got our names on the list for the Green Room before the show.  I was wearing flip flops and jeans, felt like we were way underdressed, and thought people were going to be all kinds of Hollywood in the Green Room, but it was very laid back. When we checked in out front of the theater and told them we were on the Green Room list, he said, "Go down the sidewalk, turn after the canopy, follow that back to the alley, then take another right."  We followed his directions uncertainly until we spotted a podium and a big guy in a suit with an ear piece in.  He looked like he worked for the CIA, but he had the Green Room List on his podium and got us where we needed to be. Free drinks and pool tables and flat screen tvs.  After about 30 minutes, we were escorted to our seats and then "trained" on how to be a good audience. Very fun experience!!

Finally, we headed down to Santa Monica.  We ate a late dinner on the 3rd Street Promenade at Cafe Crepe then walked down the pier.

We made it home in time to see the Jimmy Kimmel Show air at 12:30am.  I saw the back of my head, and that is the end of the never ending California blog posts!  We will miss you sunny California...until next time!