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Showing posts from 2009

Original Trona Pinnacles Picture

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Sunday (31)
Originally uploaded by AlishaV
This is the original picture that I photo-shopped to make the other fantasy land one. I cropped it into a square, lightened it, and then added more saturation to bring out the colors. I think it turned out a bit different but also still had the same feeling as the original picture, that sense of place that is Trona Pinnacles.

The Trona Pinnacles are tufa or carbonate spires near Death Valley in the California desert. They were created underwater 10,000 to 100,000 years ago, when the Panamint Valley and Death Valley were filled with ice age lakes. They are now high and dry though. Click on the picture to see other pictures taken at Trona Pinnacles or check out The Trona Pinnacles for more information about their formation and location as well as a film clip from a Lost in Space episode that was filmed at Trona Pinnacles.

Also, I want to apologize about the last items I posted. When I linked those pictures from Flickr to the blog I had no idea th…

Some of My Favorite Photos

I have thousands of pictures that I've taken, most of them on various field trips through California or other parts of the west. Though we went to some wonderful places full of great possible shots, I rarely get the best pictures since we hurry from place to place and my short legs make it hard to keep up anyways without stopping to take pictures, so most of my photos are taken as I'm hurrying along or even out of the window of the field trip vans. Thus, they aren't the greatest they could be, but there have been some accidents where I got a few pictures that turned out nicely even without planning and tripods and proper equipment. These are a few of my favorite pictures.

The Trona Pinnacles Glowing

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The Trona Pinnacles Aglow
Originally uploaded by AlishaV
This was a boring shot of the Trona Pinnacles, carbonate towers near Trona, California that are similar to those at Mono Lake. It was early morning, but a bit past the best time to take a picture so the area was really heavily shadowed with many bright spots. I played with the picture using photo-editing software and brought out that natural glow that was hidden by the glare. I liked the picture a bit, but wasn't really into it until I set it as my desktop background for a while. The different tones the picture takes on as the computer boots up, then warms, then as it gets turned off, makes the picture turn from earliest dawn to sunset at various points and I've just fallen in love with the variations.

Saltpools During Gem-O-Rama

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Sunday (70)
Originally uploaded by AlishaV
Red-tinted pools of saltwater in Searles Dry Lake, Trona, California during Gem-O-Rama. We waded through these pools to collect Halite crystals and they may look like blood but they stink horribly. The algae that gives them the red color and the salt mix and makes a terrible smell. The crystals are worth it though :)

Alabama Hills and Moon

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Alabama Hills and Moon
Originally uploaded by AlishaV
Camping at the Alabama Hills in California near Death Valley. Though the place has a stunning feel to it, it is extremely difficult to capture that sense of wonder in a picture. I love the color of this shot and the moon in just the right spot about some of the boulders that make up the area.

Double Arch

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100_2966
Originally uploaded by AlishaV
Double Arch in Arches National Park, Utah. The two arches creat all sorts of wonderful shadows and a great little cavity beneath them. I actually have a better picture of it that I'll try to load up later.

Bryce Canyon

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100_3628
Originally uploaded by AlishaV
Bryce Canyon, Utah in May. There was a light snow falling, and one day I hope to get back there and be able to get a shot with the red sediments glowing under a bed of white.

Creek Dividing the Pacific Plate and the North American

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Creek Dividing the Pacific Plate and the North American
Originally uploaded by AlishaV
Near Parkfield, California, standing on a bridge looking at a creek flowing down the San Andreas Fault, which is the border between the North American and Pacific tectonic plates. There were swallows swooping all around us and the sun was warm yet gentle. Plus I was hoping for an earthquake :)

Stairway to the Sun

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Stairway to the Sun
Originally uploaded by AlishaV
Hiking through the Pinnacles National Monument in California. You walk for a distance through dark caves that contain endangered bats and a whispering creek, and then come around the corner to this stairway up into the light.

Hiking to Red Rock Canyon

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Hiking to Red Rock Canyon 4
Originally uploaded by AlishaV
Our paleontology group hiking through Red Rock Canyon north of Reno. I love the colors there and the verticalness of this shot.

Creek Wandering into the Lake

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Creek Wandering into the Lake
Originally uploaded by AlishaV
On our trip up Highway 395 north of Reno, we stayed at a pretty little campground on Frenchman Lake. There was snow all along the edges and this creek and baby grass along the lakeshore. We got snowed out the very next day.

Walking Down to the Beach

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Walking Down to the Beach
Originally uploaded by AlishaV
Another picture from our trip to Point Reyes last Spring. Walking down the trail to the beach I always take tons of pictures, I love the flowers and little creek that runs along the side, but my favorite part of the trail is when you come around the last bit of the trail and the sea reveals itself.

Chicken Tractors at Pt Reyes

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Chicken Tractors at Pt Reyes
Originally uploaded by AlishaV
Movable chicken shelters called chicken tractors or arks, sitting in fields at Point Reyes, California. I took this picture because I love chicken tractors, but looking at it later, loved the clouds coming in off of the ocean over the hills.

Washing Crystals in the Brine

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Washing Crystals in the Brine
Originally uploaded by AlishaV
This is a picture from our trip to Gem-O-Rama in Trona, California last October. These people are scrubbing Hanksite crystals free of the mud they grew in using a saltwater/brine solution.

CafePress

Lately I've been trying out a site I've just found out about. It's called CafePress and is basically selling items through little "stores" on the site. You can sell clothes, cards, and a few other items, either with your own picture on them or a design you come up with yourself. Since I don't have a program like Corel or Adobe, I haven't been able to design anything yet, but I have been using some of my photos to customize the items. Here's My CafePress Store. The site seems like an interesting idea, we decide what we want the t-shirts or whatever to look like, and then if someone buys the item, CafePress prints the item out and sends it to the buyer, without the seller having to do anything. They call this print-on-demand or pod.

There are two levels of stores, a free, basic version, like I have right now, and a paid version, which allows the seller to do more, and that I've been considering. I haven't sold anything yet, so I'm hesi…

Flickr: Photos of the World

I am completely addicted to Flickr. Flickr is a great photo hosting site, that is mainly aimed at sharing your pictures with the world. Most other places allow only people you choose to see your photos, some require people to have an invitation to get access, others need the photographer to give permission. Occasionally, they have a way for the photographer to make an exception if they choose, but it's still often difficult for your friends to get to see your pictures. I really liked Snapfish for a while, but having to have everyones email addresses and then sending them invitations to each photo album, which kept getting caught in the spam filter, made it difficult to share the photos. Photobucket was one exception to this invite situation, but their site has always felt awkward and cumbersome to me and while I have an account there, I rarely use it. I do like how easy Photobucket makes it to post photos on Craigslist and other sites and I will be using it a lot more for my…

Who Am I Really?

In my last post I was writing about how the Myer-Briggs test categorized me as a INTJ, an introverted, intuitive, thinking, and judging personality. It basically said that I was not comfortable in social situations, was cold and rational, and standoffish.

A Description of INTJs

Some people have mentioned to me that that doesn't sound like me and that they think I seem outgoing and more like an extravert or even an ESFP. I've heard myself described as enthusiastic, smiley, and sunny. So why the difference? Perhaps this quote from the INTJ personality description will help explain:

"INTJs can rise to management positions when they are willing to invest time in marketing their abilities as well as enhancing them, and (whether for the sake of ambition or the desire for privacy) many also find it useful to learn to simulate some degree of surface conformism in order to mask their inherent unconventionality." TypeLogic.com

Being a cashier for several years, I was miserabl…

Personality Type

Someone I know recently mentioned that she took the Myer-Briggs personality test and wondered what other people's results would be like. Well, I hadn't thought about that test in several years.

The basic premise behind the Myer-Briggs test is that everyone can basically be grouped into 16 categories. Your answers on the test are supposed to show whether you are an introvert or extravert (I or E), an intuitive person or a sensing one (N or S), follow your feelings or think stuff out (F or T), and are a judger or a perceiver(J or P). The combinations of letters make 16 different basic types.

In my first year at college I took a class on career planning and they had us take several of those sorts of tests. On the Myer-Briggs test, myself, and three other people out of the entire class were categorized as introverts(I was an INTJ with a close call between N and S) everyone else was considered an extravert. With the extroverts gathered together and the introverts gathered togeth…

What Are You Doing?

I was recently having a conversation with someone about the uses of Facebook, My Space, Twitter, and Plurk, and other social medium sites. There seem to be quite a few sites devoted to the sole purpose of telling your friends what you're doing and having them tell you the same. I understand, Facebook and My Space have other features, but one of the main uses is to tell others what you're up to. Are we really that interested in knowing when one of our friends goes to the store or is going to walk their dog? Or do we just assume everyone's lives are far more interesting than our own?

I don't know about other people, but I do know that I'm incredibly boring. I don't do interesting things that other people would want to know about. My day goes about the same most of the time, wake up, check earnings at eHow and Squidoo, check my email, start writing, try to eat a couple of times that day, and try to keep my computer working long enough to get something done. …

Diatoms

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One of my favorite creatures in the world, is one that almost no one has ever heard of. In fact, it may not even be a creature, no one really knows whether they should consider it a creature or a plant. I'm talking about diatoms.

Diatoms are tiny, single-celled organisms that are shown in the picture to the right and are extremely important to our world. They live in the ocean, lakes, streams, and wet spots and produce much of the oxygen that we breathe. Prehistoric diatoms also produced much of our fossil fuels as well. Their benefits to the world don't end there either.

Millions of years ago, in the Pliocene and Pleistocene, diatoms flourished. Great inland seas were everywhere, and the diatoms took advantage of the expanded range by breeding prolifically. As they died, their shells settled to the bottom. Over time, the diatom shells built up into layers hundreds or thousands of feet thick. These layers compressed into a rock, called diatomite, which is mined to produ…

Do you, Squidoo?

If it seems I haven't been posting enough here, I have a reason. I've been making something called a Squidoo Lens. Actually, I've been making three with more on the way. Squidoo is an interesting site that allows one to discuss a subject or an idea with the world in an easy to use fashion-even for me, the perpetual internet idiot.

I've been doing it primarily to promote my articles on eHow and expand what they say in an easier to read format but I also love the freedom it gives me to share other stuff. I made one lens about my cats, who they are, where they came from. I added some cute kitty YouTube videos and linked to the two cat articles I've already written. As I write more articles on cats or related subjects I'll just add them to the page.

I also made a lens or page about Gem-O-Rama. It tells a bit about the event, has a bunch of pictures, and will eventually have more information added when I have a chance to write it up.

The newest lens is one I w…