Tag Archives: News

Life is Still Hectic… Summer of 2010

New Life in North Idaho: Back Yard

Well… I made it to north Idaho. I was offline completely for about a week, so I’m slowly getting back up to speed with everything as we settle into our new home. I should be getting back to the regular posts very soon — but in the meantime, here’s a quick rundown on my recent adventures and some pics of the new property.

The house thing happened very fast (about 1 month from seeing the sign to signing the papers). Once things got moving, it seemed like I was on the phone, responding to emails, or scanning documents every hour of every day.

New Life in North Idaho: Front Yard and Driveway

Getting out of San Diego was a challenge too. We didn’t have much time to pack the house or sell unwanted items, so the last set of moving boxes are just crammed with random stuff. We filled our moving truck and the two cars with stuff, but we still had to get rid of a few things (kitchen chairs, vacuum, and other bulky items that just couldn’t fit).

The drive up was an epic pain in the ass. Flat tire on the car dolly before we even left, lost a truck tire retread in the middle of the desert at high noon, and we had an underpowered moving truck with warped brake rotors. We ended up losing about 12 hours on the road, we had to unload the car from the dolly, and we barely made it up here in time to sign papers for the house. But hey… at least we’re still alive!

New Life in North Idaho: Fire Pit

Everything after the moving trip was pretty smooth. We got the house as scheduled, unloaded the truck, and started setting up the house. We still have stuff everywhere and boxes that haven’t been opened yet. Got my Internet all hooked up and the computer is mostly up and running. I’m moving right along with telecommuting for work, and I’m still hunting for a local job.

As for the new pad…

The house is nothing special, but it’s livable for now. It needs some work inside and out — most of which is minor or cosmetic. It has a front porch that runs the width of the house and it was enclosed by a previous owner such that it’s now part of the house space. Half of it is mostly finished and the other half is drywall and bare floor. I’ve already laid claim to half of it for an office and darkroom (which I hope to get started on before this winter).

New Life in North Idaho: Side Pasture

We’re sitting on 5 acres down a dead end dirt road with 8 or 9 other houses, so we don’t see a lot of traffic (or neighbors). The property is right across from my parents’ place where I grew up, so I’m more than familiar with the area. My grandmother also lives next door, so the kids have 15 acres all to themselves.

The property has a decent front and back yard plus 3 fenced pastures ready to go for animals (each with a small shelter, water, and electricity). We’re thinking about doing a few sheep next year to cut the grass, which also helps keep the bug population down. We’re also thinking about raising one or two cows for meat to split between ourselves, my parents, and my wife’s parents.

Other buildings include a detached two car garage, small tool shed, a decent size barn, and hot tub enclosure (we had that sucker running from day one). The kids also have a play area under some trees with swings, a slide, and a tree house.

New Life in North Idaho: Back Yard

All in all, it’s not a bad property, but it still needs a lot of work over the next few years. We don’t have too many trees because the previous owners used most of the land for raising llamas, so putting in some new ones is one of my higher priorities. We need to lay down more gravel on the driveway, redo the planter beds around the house, get the garden back in usable shape, finish the fire pit that we just built, fix a few fences, take down some dead trees out back… and the list goes on.

But even with our huge lists of things to do around here, I’m just glad to be back home and raise my kids where I grew up. We totally lucked out on this place with the timing, price, and location… I’m still coming to terms with the fact that I live here again and that I own the property. I feel like I’m just visiting, but I figure it’ll sink in when the first snow flies.

New Life in North Idaho: Front Yard New Life in North Idaho: Tool Shed New Life in North Idaho: The Barn New Life in North Idaho: Side Pasture New Life in North Idaho: Playground New Life in North Idaho: Office/Darkroom

At any rate, I just wanted to give an update on why things have been quiet on the blogs. I should be back in full swing soon enough.

Life is Hectic… Summer of 2010

I’ve been awfully quiet on my blogs and social media accounts over the last few weeks — but I’m not just being lazy. Most of you probably don’t give a hoot one way or another, but for those who are interested, here’s what I’ve been up to lately…

At the end of June, my wife took the kids up to North Idaho for their annual “summer vacation with the grandparents” routine. While she was up there, she saw that the house across the street from my parents was for sale. She’s been wanting to move back to that area for some time, so naturally, she pestered me about the house for a solid week. At first, I blew it off and found excuses for not moving back home. Then I found myself rationalizing such a move.

We started talking with the Realtors and banks a few weeks back and life has been hectic since then. Sign this, sign that, answer the phone 15 times a day, jump through flaming hoops while juggling chainsaws, etc, etc. Things have been moving very fast and I’ve been busy for about three weeks straight. But…

We’re buying a house!

The price was right and the location is perfect — I would love to raise my kids where I grew up. We’ll be close to our immediate families again, and I’m hoping we can settle down into a more relaxed lifestyle. For about the last 9 or 10 years, we’ve been living in apartments in college towns and cities in New Jersey and Southern California. Up in Idaho, we’ll be sitting on 5 acres and the neighbors are barely visible.

We’re moving out this Friday and we should be in the new place by Monday or Tuesday. It’s crunch time with the packing and all the other last minute arrangements, so I’ve been hard pressed to get near my computer. Once we get up there and settled in, I’ll be working from home while looking for a new job, so I should have some time to get back into the blogging scene.

I do love San Diego and all that it has to offer, but I love North Idaho more. I’m glad I got to take part in the Southern California scene and I’m a little disappointed that I didn’t experience more of it, but it’s time to move on. I’ll be trading beach towns & street scenes for wilderness & landscape — but I’m fine with new and interesting photographic challenges. Here are a few Idaho photos (mostly from my last visit in the winter 1.5 years ago).

Casting Shadows Reaching Rays Walking on Water Arctic River Best View on Earth Calm Waters

So I’ll post what I can over the next week or two, but life has to come first. So long California, it’s been fun! And I hope to see all my SoCal friends again soon — you guys are great!

Link Roundup 07-17-2010

Before we get to the links, I apologize to anybody that visited the site recently and found it to be infected with a malicious redirect exploit. I became aware of the issue this morning (thanks to an email from a reader) and I had it fixed within an hour. These things happen from time to time, and I appreciate folks letting me know when something is wrong with the site. Now for some weekend reading!

Photographer and Artist Notification Lists

I’ve mentioned this a few times in the past, but this is an update to those posts. My local printer also runs a couple of notification lists for artists and photographers, and the sign-up location for them has moved.

There is now a single page that has two forms: one for photographers, and one for artists. When you sign up for a list, you will be notified of new juried shows and exhibitions for photographers or artists. The notifications are mainly aimed at southern California residents, but some are more broad.

If you’re into doing shows, exhibitions, or contests, you might want to sign up for the appropriate list and see what comes through.

PHOTOGRAPHER AND ARTIST NOTIFICATION LISTS

Link Roundup 07-02-2010

Link Roundup 06-27-2010

Link Roundup 06-19-2010

Link Roundup 06-14-2010

I just realized that it’s been a few weeks since I posted some links! So here are a few that I have in my list… I’ve got more, but I don’t like posting more than 10-15 links at a time.

Join the Epic Edits Facebook Fan Club

[tweetmeme]Alright… I FINALLY got this thing going after a long period of procrastination. Epic Edits is officially on Facebook.

I’ve been on Facebook for quite a while with my personal profile, but I’m just not getting around to making a page for Epic Edits. I’m still figuring out how to set it up and what to put there, so what you see now is only a starting point.

I have to admit that I don’t really “get” the Facebook pages, but I’m sure I’ll figure it out soon enough. I suppose it’s useful for the folks that spend a good deal of time on Facebook keeping up with their friends and favorite websites. I can also see the Facebook page being another good place to have conversations on the topic of photography.

As of now, I have the following things set up on the Facebook page:

  • Full Posts: Hopefully this will work the way I expect it to… I’m pulling the full posts from the RSS feed and posting them as “notes”. So you can basically read the entire articles right there on Facebook, “comment” on the articles (in the Facebook realm), and “like”/”share” articles with your own network of friends.
  • Discussions: We don’t have a general forum here on the blog, so maybe the Facebook page can serve as a basic discussion forum if you have any questions or thoughts to share with other readers or myself.
  • Flickr Photos: Just as I do on the blog, I’ll be showing off the most recent Flickr photos (small square thumbnails only) on the Facebook page so other readers can click through and check out the pool.

I’m kind of new to this Facebook page stuff, and I don’t really know what else needs to be present. So…

I COULD USE SOME SUGGESTIONS…

For those of you that use Facebook to follow along with your favorite blogs, what other features/items would you like to see on our page? Could you drop a link to other well-done pages?

For those of you that have Facebook pages of your own, what applications should I check out? It seems like there are so many of them, it’s hard to tell what works best.

And for the blog design, I’m thinking of making some minor changes to integrate the Twitter and Facebook buttons more naturally. I’m considering taking out the “related posts” and “share this” items directly below the post and replacing that space with some small buttons for sharing via Twitter, Facebook, and one or two others. I’ve got the WordPress plugin for Tweetmeme, but there seems to be a ton of options out there for Facebook — which one works the best for Facebook “like” and/or “share” buttons? Any feedback would be greatly appreciated!

AND AGAIN, VISIT THE EPIC EDITS PAGE ON FACEBOOK!