Friday, November 30, 2007

Kayla's UN Day

Last week was UN Day at the High School. Today was UN Day at the Elementary School, and Kayla got to dress up in her Indonesian clothes.

Then she wanted photos with Mommy and her teacher, Miss Sue...

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Sax Player

One of the many great things about Disney is the music. There are always small groups of musicians wandering around the park doing their stuff. We were all very impressed with this group of sax players that played some great jazz. I really like this Baritone Sax. It was not a shiny new instrument. It had character, and so did the player, and boy could he play.

In other news...I am doing really well with my diet and workout program. Today's workout was a killer. We did an hour of various kinds of push-ups and sit-ups and some cardio stuff. Whew...great workout, but I am dead tired. Tomorrow is Friday.....YES YES YES

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

More From Disney

I posted the video this morning, and realized I must not break tradition and post without a photo of something. So here is another shot from the summer at Disney. This was my favorite ride, but it was also everyone else's favorite ride, so unless you wanted to stand in line all day, you could really only ride it once....and that was with a fast pass.


You can now post YouTube videos directly to your blog. So I thought I would give this a try. I thought this was pretty funny.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Today is Our Anniversary

Four years ago, today, Tika and I tied the knot. It was the best decision I have ever made. I am so lucky to have Tika as my wife and as the mother of our daughter, Kayla. Tonight, Tika cooked up a special meal of lamb chops, mashed potatoes, broccoli, and for dessert, ice cream and brownies. Needless to say, the diet was out the door for one special occasion. There is not a restaurant in town that can beat Tika's is the best.

So here is to many more happy years together...

Monday, November 26, 2007

Different Views of Disney's Castle

Ok, I will admit it, I didn't have anything to say today in the blog because it was just your average normal Monday...back to work, teaching, eating, work out, email, sitting in traffic, and home. When I got home, I turned on the computer, opened up Photoshop's Bridge, and my photos from this past summer popped up. Hmmm...hadn't really gone through them to edit. So, the process began...starting with the Cinderella Castle shots. So perhaps the next few days, I will post photos taken during summer vacation that I didn't previously post.

Below are four different views of the Castle at Disney. The castle probably ranks up there in the most popular building to be photographed in Florida. You could go crazy shooting the castle. The only thing missing are night shots of the castle with to get that next time...

Sunday, November 25, 2007

JIS Road Race

I had to wake up this morning at 5:00 am for the JIS Road Race. No, I didn't run in it, but I was hired to be the official photographer. I took over 400 photos, so I hope I did my job ok. I still have to go through them and edit so that I can pass over a CD tomorrow. Here are just a couple of shots from the race. I am sure I have better photos, but I am in a rush to get this posted so that Tika and I can go see a movie...catch ya tomorrow...

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Kayla's Favorite Playground

We woke up this morning, and the first thing Kayla said to us was....
"Lets go to the playground!"
I was really not that excited because the traffic on Saturdays is always a nightmare. But who could resist such a face? So, we drove the 5 kilometers to the playground, and it only took us 45 minutes to get there. We probably could have crawled faster...
Needless to say, it was about the only thing we did all day today...

Friday, November 23, 2007

UN Day 2007

One of my favorite days at JIS is UN day. All the kids dress up in their clothes from their country, and there is a food festival featuring foods from all over the world, and then the day ends with an hour show where the kids display their talents in different dances, songs, etc. It really is a fun day.

The Chinese club doing their dance at the UN Day Performance...

The girls always dress to the hilt, and are beautiful...

Kayla came to enjoy the festivities of the day with her good friend, Kathy...

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving

I wanted to find a photo that would represent all that I have been thankful for this year, and it was simple...FAMILY. I am thankful to have two loving parents that are healthy and fun to hang out with. I am thankful to have two beautiful girls in my life, my wife and daughter, and I am also thankful for my two sisters and their families.

I wish we could all be together for Turkey Day, but I will be thinking of all of you sitting around that HUGE TV watching football games in HD with the smell of turkey and pies in the air.

Have a great day!!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Gene's Basketball Team

For the past three or four years, I have been taking all the team photos for JIS. Using the Photoshop skills I have learned over the years, I have created many different team photos. This year, I am not doing the job EXCEPT for one team photo...Gene Magill's team. Gene has been teaching and coaching at JIS for the past 23 years. This is Gene's last year at JIS, so I thought I should do a nice team photo for him this year. The spot lights were created in Photoshop. It was from a tutorial on the NAPP website by Corey Barker. Very cool, I think. Anyway, this is a rough still needs to be approved by Gene before being printed.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Merapi is Quiet

I was watching the news, and there were several reports about Anak Krakatau (child of Krakatau) erupting again in the Sunda Straight. It reminded me of my trip to central Java to see the eruption of Mount Merapi at sunrise last May (photo above). I now want to go see Krakatau, but you have to get there by boat to get close, and taking photos from a boat is tricky to say the least. Mount Merapi, on the other hand, has been very quiet. Last May, scientists were thinking that there would be a HUGE eruption, and when I was down there, National Geographic had a team of photographers and scientists waiting for the "big blow". It never occurred, but you never know in this country.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Open Space

The new Photomerge feature in Photoshop CS3 is simply amazing. Here is a composite of three hand-held shots taken in Botswana. In the past, merging three photos such as this would take hours of work trying to merge the different blues in the sky. Not so with CS3...just click on the photos, and Photoshop does everything for you...amazing.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

One Last Photo to End the Weekend

This is an "ok" photo, but it holds good memories for me as these two kids were sitting on the roof of their house late afternoon watching all the strange white kids (our group) ride by their house on bicycles. When I got off my bike to grab a photo of them, they immediately left their post and ran down to the front of the house to greet me. I had my guide translate to them that I wanted a photo of them on top of the house, so they smiled, and ran as fast as they could to strike a pose back on top of the house. Too cute.

Early Thanksgiving

Every year, a bunch of us get together to celebrate Thanksgiving. It was a little early this year, but we still had a great time, good turkey and pies...and this year, courtesy of Tom Bartlett, we had some macaroni and cheese. Yummy.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Saturday Portraits

I have decided to not venture out on the roads on Saturday afternoons anymore. We went to the house this morning, and the traffic was just unbelievable. Somehow I managed to roll my window down only twice to yell at some idiot trying to kill himself in front of me. The stress is just too much to go on the road on a Saturday. So, instead of our usual movie on a Saturday afternoon, I have resorted to a Saturday afternoon at home in front of the computer. I am still working on my India photos, and here are three portraits I just finished "touching up".

...and yes, those eyes below are real. Can you believe the reflection of the blue sky in his eyes? I didn't even notice it when I took the photo...

House Update

Finally, got the time to go out to the building site. We decided on a couple of colors for the main room, Kayla's bedroom (pink, of course)...and, that's it. We think it is better that we just work on one room at a time, see the colors, and then we can make better decisions on other colors once some colors are already painted. Anyway, for the main room, we are going with kind of an orange theme, mixed with some brick red...some neutrals as well. Hard to explain. Once the paint is up, I will take some photos and show you.

The photo below is the view from the gazebo. We are thinking the outside of the house will be a kind of grey/green mixed with a dark red (the edges of the little balconies). The ceramic pool tiles have been ordered, and they will start tiling the pool next week, I hope.

This is our front walk-way. Not sure what color this will be, but it will have to blend well with the rock walls. The fish ponds will have Bali Candi stone ( a black volcanic stone) on the top edges as well as the steps leading to a small sitting area.

Some guys taking a nap on the floor they are installing in the main room...

And my favorite room of the office (lots of windows). You can see they are preparing the floors for the installation of wood floors.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Kayla and Mariska

As you know, Kayla loves to dress as a princess. We went to a wedding last weekend, and this is the new "Princess dress" she wanted to wear to the wedding. Of course, she will always be our little princess no matter what she wears...

Last night, Pondok Elementary School had their "Spaghetti Dinner Talent Show". It was very long for us adults, but the kids just love it. Kayla and Mariska sat together to watch the show clapping their hands, dancing, singing and laughing. Mariska is almost a year younger than Kayla, but they almost look like sisters. They really feed off of eachother. It was more of a show watching the two of them then it was watching the talent show.

My poker game the other night was fun, but I lost. I had the kind of cards that were good enough to stay in the game, but not good enough to win. It was just one of those kind of nights. However, the real reason for playing is to have a night out with the guys. We always have a good laugh, and the host provides dinner which has become a competition of who can make the best grub. We have had things like legs of lamb, turkey dinners, Mexican night, steak sandwiches, you name it. Dave did not disappoint us. We had a great Italian meal. So, even though I lost, it was worth the cost for a great night out with the guys.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

We Have Blue Skies in Jakarta Today

Ok, well, not skies like this....but there are blue skies out there now as I write. It has been raining most every day since I got back from India, so it is nice to see the sun and sky again. The nice part about rainy season is that most of the pollution gets washed away, and the air seems cleaner. "Seems" is the key soon as I get in my car to drive home, reality hits me in the face. Oh well, that's life in Jakarta.
We have our monthly poker game tonight. I am feeling lucky, and need to win as I had really bad cards last time we played...wish me luck.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

My Head is Overloaded

Work is hectic these days, as usual. No need for details, but I am looking forward to the next vacation in less than a month.

The house is going well. We just ordered the new tiles for the pool, and floors. We now have to choose colors for paint...that is not my forte, and will have to find someone around here that is good with colors inside the house. I will go to the site sometime this week and grab some photos.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Travel These Days

This photo illustrates what has happened to us travelers in the past few years. We have our faces buried in the view screen of our digital cameras. I am not saying it is a bad thing, and I am certainly guilty of the same thing, but how different it is these days compared to the days when we traveled with film cameras.

Yesterday, I got a couple of comments on my blog from two guys in Portugal, and a girl from Finland. Amazing how the internet has allowed people from all over the world to connect. I promised I would mention their blogs on this blog since they mentioned mine on, check them out here... Joshua and Leena and Quintarantino
Thanks to them for visiting my blog.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Ok, Just Three More From India

These three, the students liked today, so I thought I would put them on the blog...

I got back into the work-out program again today. We did two sections of the video...arms and back and then abs....whew....what a work out. Now I have to go and try and throw a softball. I can barely lift my arms. Tika is calling for, I am out of here....see you tomorrow.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

More From Agra Fort

Like I said earlier, I was actually more impressed with Agra Fort than I was with the Taj Mahal. Maybe it was because less people were there, but it really was an impressive building. It must have been even more impressive with the two moats filled with water, crocodiles and snakes. I can see why the fort was never conquered.

By the way, today was not really a "fun" day. We started by going to a traditional Javanese wedding...(yea, real exciting), and then hanging around the house while it rained outside. We did see a movie, but then I had to come home and grade papers. Not a real exciting day...

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Back From India

I am back from India, and it was a great trip. The group of kids were just awesome, and we all had a great time. We spent most of our time in the mountains camping, hiking, rafting, and biking. The last day of our trip, we visited the world famous Taj Mahal. Below are some photos from the trip...

This is our group...

A Few More Shots

This shot is of the ceiling of the front entrance to the Taj Mahal. Incredible symmetry...

These two were taken at the Agra Fort near the Taj Mahal. I was actually more impressed with the Fort than I was with the Tah Mahal. It was clearly one the most impressive forts I have ever seen.