Apr 20, 2015

A Day of Fun and Using a Pole Selfie Stick to Get Great Couple Pictures While Out and About

To celebrate Wonder Boy's 40th birthday, I planned a packed Day of Fun. We did a behind-the-scenes tour of the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Gardens, visited the National Museum of the United States Air Force, had drinks at Tank's Bar and Grill and capped off the evening with a meal at Nicola's in Cincinnati.

At the Zoo, we weren't allowed to carry around a camera. Fortunately, a staff person took photos and will be mailing us a CD of them soon. (Cannot wait!!!) We caught some selfies, though. Sun, flowers, the feeling of Summer even though it was only April. What's not to like?

Woner Boy and I at the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Gardens - photo taken with The Pole Selfie Stick.
Note the lack of arms taking over this picture? Normally I'm reaching out so far going for a good pic that I end up really just capturing the essence of my elbow. Thanks to The Pole Selfie Stick - not an issue.

Woner Boy and I at the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Gardens - photo taken with The Pole Selfie Stick.

The lighting at the National Museum of the US Air Force was not really conducive to selfies. That and all the people in uniform had me feeling a little self conscience. I did capture some fun photos of flight memorabilia, though!

A parachute for dogs!!!PropellerWonder Boy in a cockpitSome wartime plane art
While in Dayton, we hit up one of Wonder Boy's favorite bars!

Woner Boy and I at Tank's Bar and Grill - photo taken with The Pole Selfie Stick.
I love that we were able to take our own photo and have it include the sign. Impossible without The Pole Selfie Stick.
Wonder Boy and I travel a lot just the two of us, One definite challenge to this is getting photographs of ourselves form the trips. Usually, pictures are just of one or the other of us, unless we find a kind stranger who offers to take out picture. Using The Pole Selfie Stick, we were able to take several pictures of the two of us. I'm so excited for what this means for upcoming vacations!

The Pole Selfie Stick is easy to use. I paired it with my iPhone 4S, which is on it's last leg, and it worked great. I felt like the phone was secure, even when I had The Pole extended out it's full length. We got the hang of this quickly and fabulous photos as a result! I don't have a GoPro but this works with those as well, which seems like a great feature.

I received a The Pole Selfie Stick to sample and review. All views shared here are my own.

The Pole Selfie Stick - great for capturing photographs.

Apr 11, 2015

Breathtaking Prose in All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

"We all come into existence as a single cell, smaller than a speck of dust. Much smaller. Divide. Multiply. Add and subtract. Matter changes hands, atoms flow in and out, molecules pivot, proteins stitch together, mitochondria send out their oxidative dictates; we begin as a microscopic electrical swarm. The lungs the brain the heart. Forty weeks later, six trillion cells get crushed in the vise of our mother's birth canal and we howl. Then the world starts in on us."
It's so rare that a passage of writing stops me. Makes me re-read it. Compels me to contemplate the author behind the words and the state of mind he or she must have had when sitting at the computer, typewriter, notepad. But in All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr, I stopped many times. My breath momentarily taken away by beautiful prose. And I wasn't distracted by it, as I so normally am. I was taken in and caught up in a beautiful story.

I nearly finished the book over lunch this past Friday. I was so, so close to the end, but had to return to my desk at work. And so I set out down the streets of downtown Cincinnati with my nose still pressed between the pages, glancing up every now and then to make sure I didn't run into anyone or anything. And that, I think, is the best sign of a good book. One you are willing to risk injury for all in the name of find out what happens next.

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

Apr 10, 2015

Podcasts and Advertising That Missing the Mark

I listen to a lot of podcasts. A whole lot of podcasts and a whole lot of the time. Enough that I recognize many of the advertisements that appear across multiple podcasts and have started to feel a little insecure. If I pay attention to the ads, then…
  • I am either too lazy or too busy to visit the Post Office (Stamps.com).
  • I am either too lazy or too busy to cook a healthy meal (BlueApron) and need all of my meals mailed to me
  • I am either too lazy or busy to do clothes shopping, and am a dude (Bonobos).

I’m starting to get a complex, even though I know it’s all not true. I love visiting my Post Office, both for the break from sitting at my desk at work and because the staff at my Post Office are nice. We eat great at my house for about half the cost per meal as what BlueApron advertises, all using cookbooks. And shopping? Sure it’s a pain sometimes, but it’s usually fun and why would I outsource fun? Oh, and I am not a dude.

I used to be so impressed with companies who were advertising on podcasts, because I assumed it was a cheaper medium with great reach. But now? Now I respond back to the ads with, “I like the post office, thankyouverymuch.” And “Seven hundred calories is your healthy meal? Ha!” And, “I am a GIRL!”

I mean, there is name recognition, but I think it’s not what they wanted.

Mar 24, 2015

Digging Into the Past

Keeping track of the past is important. This was highlighted to me more than ever when my mom sent over an envelope of old family pictures. Inside are snapshots of her mom, my grandmother, extended family, friends. Most of the pictures are from a time long before I was alive.

One recurring image was of this guy who was clearly having a great time. On the back of each photograph, in my grandmother’s hand, it said “Eddie.” This, it turns out, was my Grandma's brother.

Eddie. Why don’t I know about Eddie?

I called my mom and we’re in the early stages of planning a trip to visit my Great Aunt Ceil to learn more about her brother, Eddie. The Eddie who is running around with friends having great laughs. The Eddie is the star of every image he’s in. The Eddie who clearly you’d want to hang out with.

One of my friends, Mike, does a great job of taking pictures at parties and sending printed copies to everyone. I aspire to that type of recording of memories. I want someday for someone to be able to look through images and say, “This Kate… she looks like someone I’d like to know.”

If stuff stays stored on cameras, photo sharing sites and social media, it may be lost forever. Paper shouldn’t last that long, but it can. It can be an artifact of your life. Proof of your existence.

Great Uncle EddieGreat Uncle Eddie

Great Uncle Eddie

Great Uncle Eddie and Friends

Great Uncle Eddie and Friends

This post was inspired by Dead Wake by Erik Larson, a thrilling account of Lusitania’s last voyage across the Atlantic Ocean and the U-boat that attacked it. Join From Left to Write on March 26th as we discuss Dead Wake. As a member, I received a copy of the book for review purposes.