The Life and Times of Arizonans

I stumbled across a few pictures I had yet to upload to Picasa. If you want to see more in the various albums, just click the pictures. Enjoy.

The Famous Amos barks again.

Game Night essentials

Viviane loves her blue dress

One of my favorite things to do in Phoenix is have a leisurely weekend breakfast at La Grande Orange.


Before and After, Round 2

Yeah, this one went through a lot of manipulation. The result isn't your everyday picture, and you certainly wouldn't use it for just anything. But I like it. I was going for a superhero-type look, so I figured the over-the-top contrast, color and funky full-body halo effect would fit.




Before & After, round 1

I've had a thing lately for seeing if I can take a not-so-great picture and make it better. This pic was really washed out. In Photoshop I messed with the levels, the color balance, removed the circles under her eyes and cleaned up the whispy hair at the top. I was really pleased the the outcome, even though I'm not convinced I like the sun rays across her jacket.




Third Time's the Charm

We celebrated Viviane's third birthday this month. Below are a couple of my favorite pics as well as a link to the full album.

Seamus, the remaining Carroll cat

Such concentration!

Viviane's Third Birthday Party


Mid-day Express

I'm taking a weekend photography class and will periodically be posting a few pictures from the class here. A couple weeks ago we did a field trip to the Chandler Railroad Museum. This shot is from the inside of one of the railroad cars.


Gotham Font: An Inquiry & Exploration

Last week a friend inquired of me what the font that Obama was using for his "Change" placards was. A little poking around on the internet revealed that it is a font called Gotham by Hoefler & Frere-Jones. A little further investigation (thank you, NYTimes) revealed the origin of this font to be commissioned for exclusive use by GQ until 2002. The typeface got its notoriety, however, in 2004, when it was selected as the font to adorn the cornerstone of the Freedom Tower on the site of the World Trade Center towers in NYC.

These tidbits of info got me thinking about the implications Obama's team of graphic designers (who have earned heaps of praise for his website) wanted to suggest in the use of Gotham. These are two big points I think they wanted to make by way of Gotham (and yes, I'm sure they thought of these, good designers always think of these things):

+ Barack Obama is stylish enough to merit the use of the font that was once associated only with the style bible of American men

+ Barack Obama is strong enough to be the cornerstone of the America that is built out of the rubble of the Bush presidency

Or. Maybe they just liked that they had visions of butterflies and sprinkles when they looked at the letterform of the bold, capital A.

The above-referenced NYTimes article mentions the font Trajan, which reminds me of this fantastic video. (Be careful to avert your eyes at the mention of Comic Sans.)


It's in the Stars

I'm not one to hold much stock in horoscopes, even though I love reading them. Mostly I just enjoy their entertainment factor and the pause they make me take to consider my day/month. But today I stumbled on these horoscopes by Town & Country magazine. Considering my job hunt (which has been underway since, oh, mid-November), the reading for Aries seems frighteningly prescient:

Mar. 21 - Apr. 20

With hotheaded Mars, your ruler, skidding backward since mid-November, it’s no wonder you’ve been feeling fidgety and off-balance. Intriguing plans that seemed to hold such promise last fall have either petered out or gone astray. But relax, and stop gnawing at your nails for a minute. According to all the laws of astrology, your immediate future looks preternaturally bright.

Indeed, 2008 has all the hallmarks of a banner year for those born under the sign of the Ram. Jupiter is at the zenith of your chart, and it’s been twelve years since you’ve had such an opportunity to scale new heights. But until Mars turns direct at the end of January and goes back to the sign of Cancer in March, the grand design is likely to remain a bit sketchy. And if the stars hold a message for you as this New Year dawns, that message is to step back, at least momentarily, reassess your own private world, and thoughtfully analyze your prospects and goals.

Seriously, though? March? I have to wait until March?


The Endorsement

In anticipation of this year's elections, I "read" the audiobook version of Hillary Clinton's Living History during my travels. I already knew much of my politics aligned with Clinton, just as I knew they also pretty much aligned with Barack Obama's before I recently started reading his Audacity of Hope. What I found in reading Clinton's story, though, was a woman who still bristled at the letters "GOP". Although I had intended on voting for her, after reading all 592 pages (23 hours), I came away with more misgivings than assurances.

Comparatively within the first 100 pages of Audacity of Hope, I knew Obama had won me over. Take page 68:

I am obligated to try to see the world through George Bush's eyes, no matter how much I may disagree with him. That's what empathy does—it calls us all to task, the conservative and the liberal, the powerful and the powerless, the oppressed and the oppressor. We are all shaken out of our complacency. We are all forced beyond our limited vision. No one is exempt from the call to find common ground.

And take page 92-93:

...the process of making law in America compels us to entertain the possibility that we are not always right and to sometimes change our minds; it challenges us to examine our motives and our interests constantly, and suggests that both our individual and collective judgments are once legitimate and highly fallible.

And also page 97:

...I can't summarily dismiss those possessed of similar certainty today—the antiabortion activist who pickets my town hall meeting, or the animal rights activist who raids a laboratory—no matter how deeply I disagree with their views. I am robbed even of the certainty of uncertainty, for sometimes absolute truths may well be absolute.

Sure, I want a president that supports the same causes I do. But I also want a president that has examined the other sides of those causes and admits that his opponents have a valid point, he just chooses to disagree with them.

Last Wednesday I saw Obama at a rally in Phoenix (you can read about the first time I saw Obama and shook his hand here). To my right was a Black single mother; next to her was a Latina; next to her was a woman of Korean descent; next to her was an elderly couple; next to them was a trio of Latinas; and a few rows in front of me was a group of 20-something Muslim girls in their hijabs, waving their posters and posing excitedly for group shots for their point-and-shoot cameras. It was as if a cross-section of America had turned out. And if that's the following that Obama attracts, that's whom I want to throw my weight (and my vote) behind.

I'm no Oprah or Scarlett or Caroline. But for what it counts, I'm endorsing Barack Obama.


Freezing Time

This is just simply awesome. Thanks to Matt for sharing. You can read more about how they did it here.