Monday, February 1, 2010

Really, I've moved!

Seems there was a teething problem with the first post of the new blog site but it's up and going now!

Remember to update your bookmarks and feeds as this really will be the last post over here on Blogger!

Kristin's News now lives at

I've moved!

Kristin's News has a new home! From now on my blog will be at a brand new address:
New Home of Kristin's News

Please update your bookmarks & feeds - I'm hoping it's more awesomeness than ever! First post is already up - go check it out :)

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Goodbye January

You will not be missed by me.

2010 was meant to be a great year, but so far it's brought a lot of stress, a lot of time away from Dave, a lot of things that are hard to think about. For each step forward, I was bounced back a couple of feet when I hit a wall I didn't see sneaking up. It kinda sucked overall.

Dave's been in Perth since the 11th and that's just too long. Unfortunately, it's going to be even longer with no definite date on his return yet. It's not all bad: he's been working hard, he's had weekends off, he's been able to spend some time with friends & family. All good things.

The Furkids and I have been holding down the fort pretty well. I spend every day at the dive shop (I finally took today off as town is dead and it was windy) as we are running a very small crew over this quiet season. The Girls and I get to the beach most mornings before I come in to work and then we have a big play in the afternoons. The kittehs mostly just cry at me for more food - even when their dishes are still full. Lobo has been a cuddle-bug and usually sleeps most nights with MatildaLily & me.

Yes, Ms Thing has decided our bed is just fine for her, too. I've given up kicking her out as it's less annoying than when she throws 3/4 of herself onto me in the wee morning hours!

I have been trying to be good about having a bit of camera fun each day, hopefully you've checked out the Retro January posts :) Here are some more bits & bobs from this month.

Dora working some OCF

Da Boofa


Dora being a total goof

January wasn't *all* bad and even though there's a lot of things that aren't sprinkled with fairy dust, all in all, I survived, had some smiles & laughs and believe that February will be great!

Daily KJA - 31 January 2010

So I'm making soup and I need some Cajun spice, right? We have about 50 million jars of spices in the cupboard so I start the treasure hunt and stumble across a bottle of paprika that is no longer the color of paprika and is seemingly a solid mass.

"Hmmmm", I think to myself because I'm that kind of deep thinker on a Sunday morning, "I wonder when this expired?"

Best before 2003.

Hmmm, indeed.

Which prompted me to then go through every jar. 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2008, 2009 and even the rare 2010. No idea why 2006 and 2007 are missing. Oh, and there's a couple of 1999s that really make me think "We hauled these stupid things from Coral Bay to Exmouth and have never used them?" Yes, a couple were even still sealed.

But my favourite find was the Cinnamon & Sugar from 1996. That baby started in Perth, moved to Coral Bay for three years and then made the migration with us to Exmouth in 1999 - by then, already three years out of date. It's survived Category 5 Cyclone Vance, numerous intensive pantry cleanings and four or five rearranging events. It looks like maybe two shakes were ever used. Ten years later, it's time has come. Buh-bye!

Note to self: when deep cleaning or re-organizing, please read Best before dates AND toss stuff as appropriate, hmmm, OK? Thanks.

Here's some of the 30+ jars I tossed as they surround the yummy vegetables destined for my killer soup

Canon 1DIII, Canon 24L MkII 1.4 @ ISO400, 1/60, f2.5

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Daily KJA - 30 January 2010

Our banana plant

Canon 1DIII, Canon 24L MkII 1.4 @ ISO800, 1/200, f2

Friday, January 29, 2010

Daily KJA - 29 January 2010

Tanks. I dream about tanks. Carrying them, filling them, lifting them, carrying them some more. Unfortunately, not diving with them as I am still in the shop (20 days running, if I were to count backwards) and not out on the boat.

Canon 1DIII, Canon 24 MkII 1.4 @ ISO 100, 1/500, f1.4

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Daily KJA - Retrospective January 15 - 28, 2010

January 15 - Harry in the backyard, early morning

Canon 1DIII, Canon 135L 2.0, ISO 100, 1/640, f2

January 16 - sunset across the road from the house

Canon SD1200 IS

January 17 - My new dive shop buddy

Canon 1DIII, Canon 135L 2.0, ISO 1600, 1/125, f2.2

January 18 - kangaroo in the bush

Canon 1DIII, Canon 135L 2.0, ISO 1600, 1/320, f2

January 19 - a lovely couple who had been diving with us brought us some cool drinks to say Thank You

Canon 1DIII, Canon 135L 2.0, ISO 400, 1/160, f2

January 20 - Harry's turn for some OCF

Canon 1DIII, Canon 135L 2.0, ISO 100, 1/250, f2, Canon 580II, Elinchrom Skyport Triggers

January 21 - One of the many annoyingly LOUD white cockies in a tree across from Exmouth Diving Centre

Canon 1DIII, Canon 135L 2.0, ISO 200, 1/640, f3.2

January 22 - more sunrise. I know I do a lot of these. I'll probably keep doing a lot of them, I just love how different each morning is and watching the sun rise over the Gulf simply makes me happy.

Canon SD1200 IS

January 23 - big crab claw on the beach. I was surprised that neither dog was remotely interested in it. They each gave it a cursory sniff and then wandered away.

Canon SD1200 IS

January 24 - boy it was bright in our backyard this morning. Here's another weed shot.

Canon 1DIII, Canon 135L 2.0, ISO 100, 1/640, f2

January 25 - another from our backyard. I'm still enamored with the subtle differences in the light, the shapes of the weeds, the backgrounds. My neighbors, should they be inclined to peek over the fence, would think I was very strange belly-crawling through the dirt with my Big Girl Camera!

Canon 1DIII, Canon 135L 2.0, ISO 100, 1/1000, f2

January 26 - Australia Day morning was pretty amazing

Canon SD1200 IS

January 27 - kangaroo by the road to the beach where the Girls and I walk most mornings

Canon 1DIII, Canon 135L 2.0, ISO 100, 1/800, f2

January 28 - Boofmeister

Canon 1DIII, Canon 135L 2.0, ISO 100, 1/250, f2.2, Canon 580II, Elinchrom Skyport Triggers

Wow, all caught up now! Only a few days left in this first month of the new decade, I can't believe how fast it's gone already. Now that I'm back on track with at least my photo-a-day, I'll be popping at least a new photo up here for the remaining 3 days of this month so don't be a stranger.

Then comes February - very cool-o-rific changes are a'comin' that you won't want to miss!

Thinking out loud Thursday #4

The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency
Several of you mentioned that the cool tv show I brought up in last week's TOLT post was first a series of books by Alexander McCall Smith. My bad, I meant to add that in here and just simply forgot. I still haven't read them, but they are on my list! Just clickity click the book below to see the list on Amazon, should you be so inclined.

More dangerous Australian animals
Because it's not enough that scary, ugly things in Australia will kill you, Nature gives you The Deadly Platypus

But OMG don't you want to just snuggle those little guys anyway? That silky looking fur - squee! Those cutie patootie little heads, especially the squooshy wrinkly one - double squee! Those itsy bitsy feet - squee to infinity! Grab an epi-pen and damn the danger, I say!

Doing your part to give back?
Cake Wrecks has just thing to celebrate

Makes you feel all warm & fuzzy inside, no?

Australia Day 2010
Well, I worked at the dive shop all day so of course my celebrations were pretty low key, especially with Dave away in Perth. But I had many friends lament that it was just a bit of a non-event day, really. I've never quite acclimatized myself to Australia Day. For me, and for many if I'm to believe what people tell me, it just doesn't have much ooomph.

It's a day off and what's not to love about that? Especially when it lands on a Tuesday so you get a four day weekend instead of just a lousy three day weekend. Did I mention that I was working today?

Lots of people get together, have bbqs, drink a bit, head to the beach, enjoy the company of friends -all wonderful things. All great ways to spend a day. But, I dunno. It lacks some sense of occasion, or ceremony, or, well, something.

But at least this guy was trying to promote that Aussie Day spirit


Shhhh! I have a secret!

Normally, I'm not a fan of secrets. I find they usually end up with hurt feelings or some mis-communication or just plain nah nah nahness. Secrets, on the whole, have a way of getting out of hand and biting one on the butt.

But this isn't one of those kind of secrets. Well, it shouldn't be. This isn't a closely held secret either. Quite a few of you guys know it. Part of a good secret for me is being able to share it with those I know who will be all "YEAH! That is an awesome secret!! Wooohooo!"

I'd like to shout from the rooftops about it, but, of course, if one openly shares a secret, it's not really a secret so much as an announcement, right?

So, for now, I'll revel in the fun and camaraderie that comes from sharing something so totally awesome with people who make me happy. If you are one of those people, come over here and let me whisper my super cool secret in your ear...

I have another secret!
Only a very few people know about this one - even fewer than the other one I have.

This is also an exception to my dislike of secrets. This one is going to put a big smile on someone's face in the near future and I can't wait to let the cat out of the bag!

No, I don't try to put Harry in a bag, but this post needs more photos and he's saying Oooo, delicious secrets!!

When I Win Lotto #1

I will have clean sheets every night.

Yes, yes. I know I could actually do this now, before the Big Win, but I know myself well enough to know that I am not going to ever love doing the kind of laundry time having fresh sheets every day would entail. Pretty sure the Hubster isn't going to volunteer either. The only way this is going to happen is with a lovely housekeeping staff.

Remember, one must only set realistic goals in one's life!

Promises, promises
I know you've heard it all before but I truly promise that some cool stuff and far more newsy posts are coming soon. I'm having some technical glitches that are pushing my timetables back a little bit, but [cross fingers here] I am hoping to end January with a big treat and start February off with super coolness!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Daily KJA - Retrospective January 1 - 14, 2010

Well, this idea didn't go as smoothly as planned, but hopefully February will work better! I have committed myself to taking at least one photograph each day of this coming year. Each month I might have a theme, or maybe it will be just random snippets from my day to day life (that's what January's are). I would like to share at least one of each day's photos with you and I have a grand plan to do the meantime, January slipped away.

I did shoot every day, so Step One - CHECK!

I didn't post them up or actually get them processed each day, so Step Two - NO CHECK!

Which means that I'm now presenting you with multiple posts filled with January goodness to make up for it.

January 01 - flower on the neighbor's tree that hangs over our back fence.

Canon 1DIII, Canon 135L f2.0 @ ISO200, 1/200, f2.0

January 02 - Dora & Tilly in the swamp at sunrise

Canon SD1200 IS

January 03 - sunrise

Canon SD1200 IS

January 04 - Lobo

Canon 1DIII, Canon 135L f2.0 @ ISO1600, 1/125, f2.0

January 05 - Behold, a vicious mud lark on our patio. Notice no cats on guard duty.

Canon 1DIII, Canon 135L f2.0 @ ISO200, 1/400, f2.0

January 06 - MatildaLily in the backyard

Canon 1DIII, Canon 135L f2.0 @ ISO200, 1/640, f2.0

January 07 - surfboard and a palm tree at Exmouth Town Beach

Canon 1DIII, Canon 135L f2.0 @ ISO200, 1/2500, f2.0; Totally Rad Action lovin'

January 08 - Flock of seagulls, Exmouth Town Beach

Canon 1DIII, Canon 135L f2.0 @ ISO200, 1/6400, f2.0

January 09 - random doggie left locked in one of our dive shop trailers. Story here.

Canon 1DIII, Canon 24L MkII 1.4 @ ISO200, 1/400, f2.0

January 10 - pink & grey gallah outside Exmouth Diving Centre

Canon 1DIII, Canon 135L 2.0 @ ISO200, 1/1000, f8

January 11 - Dora putting up with me as I play with some off camera flash

Canon 1DIII, Canon 24L MkII 1.4 @ ISO200, 1/250, f2, Canon 580II, Elinchrom Skyport triggers

January 12 - weed in our backyard, early morning

Canon 1DIII, Canon 24L MkII 1.4 @ ISO100, 1/2000, f2.8

January 13 - 2nd random dog this month left in unsuitable conditions outside Exmouth Diving Centre. Story here.

Canon 1DIII, Canon 135L 2.0 @ ISO200, 1/500, f2

January 14 - two pink & grey gallahs outside Exmouth Diving Centre

Canon 1DIII, Canon 135L 2.0 @ ISO200, 1/200, f8

Stay tuned for more!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Thinking Out Loud Thursday #3

Heartin' Howie
I admit it. I'm a Howie Long fan. I liked him in his 1998 movie Fire Storm. I've probably watched it 20 times.

Think of me what you will.

Now he's doing ads for Chevy in the US and I like them, too. They mostly make me have a little out loud laugh.

And Howie is aging very, very well. Heck, I'll say it. Howie is HOT. He does, however, need to get some more current hot photos of hisself up on the web coz my search didn't find much worth popping in here, unfortunately.

Some people, of course, take these ads far too seriously and get all het up about them. Check out for a few of Howie's ads, a little commentary about smack talking and don't forget to read the comments - I think some people need to get out and drive their trucks more and not take advertisers quite so much to heart (and, hey, c'mon, leave the Howie-man alone, he's doing a job!)

Why keep it?
Highlighters that don't highlight anymore. Why is it so hard to throw them out when all they do is make a weak bit of colour over top of your text? Do other people have a problem tossing them in the bin, or is it just us who simply return the weak ones to the pen jar so we can be frustrated again next time (or so the next person is)?

Coming clean time - I've been the only Shop Dolly for the past week and It's taken me six days to toss an orange one. Perhaps it's time to re-instigate my Ten Items Out a Day Plan II...

Photographer awesomeness
There are some mind-blowing photographers out there. Zack Arias is one of those above and beyond his photography skills. He seems to be a genuinely interesting, interested and involved guy, and that's a special and rare thing. His blog is filled with enormously useful information for other photographers and he encourages everyone who comes across his path to be a better photographer, be a better person, be a better member of community.

These posts from 2009 are something special and worth your time to check out:
August 12th
August 14th

His white seamless technique series is a must read for photographers.

He's got a new blog for his 2010 365 Project and I try to check it out every few days. His image for January 17th really struck me and then I saw that he had added a link to show the setup. I'm always interested in how a photographer achieved something that resonates with me so I clicked. And was blown away. To be able to see that, spur of the moment, just having your normal day? Just wow.

When less is more
Why when you order a pizza and add a topping do they charge you extra but when you order a pizza and have them remove a topping, they don't charge you less? It's especially galling when you do a ditzy moment and ask them to remove the wrong thing.

TV worth watching
I've just started watching a new (to us!) series -> The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency.

In a televison sea of absolute crap, it is a breath of fresh air (and I'll mix my metaphors if I want to!). And look, they even know how to use an apostrophe, you know gotta watch it now.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Two Boofs

Yes, I've been terrible about blogging this past week. I have some cool stuff in the works and some real posts coming up soon, but in the meantime here's our orange kitty.

So cute sleeping kitteh with his little paw all squished up by his mouth

and then
I am so not amused, Mother.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Thinking out Loud Thursday #2

Welcome to the second installment of TOLT (hmmm, maybe that acronym isn't the greatest...or maybe it works "I TOLT you that!") I've got two pressing questions tucked in here this week - one about cheeseburgers and one about hugging. It doesn't get much more eclectic.

Finding My America is far more than just a journey across the nation.  Jane has a strong, powerful voice that pulls you in and makes you feel and makes you think.  Whether she's talking about the people and places she's meeting or reflecting on herself, she's someone you want to meet.

Defining a cheeseburger:
I've had a couple of really long days and I didn't quite make it to the supermarket, so I decided to order dinner from Planet Burgers, a little mobile van that sets up right outside Exmouth Diving Centre Wednesday to Sunday.

This is my verbatim order (coz I'm fussy):
I'd like a cheeseburger with only lettuce, tomato, pineapple, jalepenos and a little sour cream & garlic sauce on it.

The nice lady read it back and it's all good. I was sitting with a couple of friends when I ordered and one of them laughed when he heard me order "that's not a cheeseburger!" he exclaimed.

Now, as an American, I've heard this before so I understand what he's saying. I think it's crazy and nonsensical, but I understand. The first time an Aussie said this to me I was like "What do you mean it's not a cheeseburger??" and that got great laughs and many "Oh, you Americans!" type comments. Fast forward to last night.

The lady brings me my food and as I get her cash, I overhear her having a big of a guffaw with my friend about that not being a cheeseburger. So I say "I know that you all think this isn't a cheeseburger but that doesn't make sense at all. It's a burger with cheese so "cheeseburger" and then I want the extras on it. If that's not a "cheeseburger" what is it?"

She says, with a perfectly straight face "Then it's not a cheeseburger anymore! It's a hamburger with cheese, lettuce, tomato, pineapple, jalepenos and sour cream & garlic sauce. A cheeseburger is meat and cheese on a bun with optional mustard and onions."

What say you? Is this yet another Crazy Aussie thing...or is it a Crazy American thing? Who's right? What is a cheeseburger?

Funny catcaption of the week
funny pictures of cats with captions
see more Lolcats and funny pictures
Please don't make me explain it. Just take a moment...

Hugging - When do you do it?
I'm pro hugging. I like to be greeted and to greet with a hug. It feels nice. It feels like the other person is truly interested in you and happy that you are near them. It's a little connection. I'm even pro hugging for more casual friends. I think it's a positive and shows that you're happy to know them, perhaps would be amenable to becoming better friends.

I'm pro-hugging newly met friends, too. I think it sets a good precedent for future encounters. Sometimes I find it tough to go from a non-hugging status quo to the next stage in the relationship that includes hugging when you see each other. What if the reason we haven't been hugging is because this person isn't a hugger and then I overstep and make them uncomfortable? No, better to start at the outset, I reckon.

As pro hugging as I am, I don't seem to do it that often. I'm not sure why. I think it has to do with reading other people's signals. I'm a very good body language reader in a wide variety of social settings. Hug time isn't one of those, unfortunately. I really want to go in for a quick Hello Hug, but most of the time I pull myself up short, unsure and unwilling to take the chance my Welcome, Friend Hug will be unwanted, or even rejected. This hasn't actually happened to me, but the thought lives in the back of my brain.

And then, because I pull back I'm sure it puts the other person in a sticky spot - initiate over the slight hesitation or forget about it altogether. And now we both feel a little awkward. Or maybe I just imagine we both do and it's really just me.

So, what do you do? Are you a Hello Hugger?

For the record, the next time you meet me, if you're not totally anti-hugging, go ahead and give me the Secret Hello Huggers Cue coz I'm happy to hug, I just need a little reassurance!