Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Fresh Start






2010 is just a memory now. Today we look forward to 2011 and all the possibilities it holds. This is a gift. We get this chance to let go of our old selves, with no strings attached, and to forget all the ways we've failed to be who we've wanted to be. We are new people today. We now eat better and exercise more. We are more responsible with our money. We are more focused on the positive and less on the negative. We don't let life's many struggles defeat us daily, and its minor annoyances are quickly banished from our thoughts. We give more compliments and criticize less. We hug each other more, and say "I love you" more. Today we are phenomenal.

I wish for you a phenomenal 2011.

Peace-
Matt


















Saturday, December 25, 2010

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Festivus






Finally, it's here. The kids are on school break, Angie's on school break, I'm off for a couple days. We get to stay home and hang out together. How much better can it get?

I've always disliked the term "Xmas". You know, the whole "taking Christ out of Christmas" thing. I read some information today that changes my mind about it a little bit. According to Wikipedia: "In Greek, the letter X (chi), is the first letter of Christ, and it, or the similar Roman letter X, has been used as an abbreviation for Christ since the mid-16th century. Hence, Xmas is sometimes used as an abbreviation for Christmas". Makes sense to me.

The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; upon those who dwelt in the land of gloom a light has shone. You have brought them abundant joy and great rejoicing... For a child is born to us, a son given us; upon his shoulder dominion rests - Isaiah

Merry Christmas everyone.

Peace-
Matt

video

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Baked











Long time no post. Sorry about that.

Yesterday, Alex & I went on a college visit to Briar Cliff College in Sioux City, IA. This is our first scheduled college visit. To be honest, I really wasn't looking forward to it very much. It was gorgeous out on Friday, like sunny & 50's. I didn't want to miss that, stuck in a cubicle at work or on the road to visit some boring expensive college that my daughter surely won't pick. I wanted to spend the day with Alex though, so we went on with our plans. It turned out to be pretty cool. Briar Cliff is actually on a cliff, overlooking Sioux City. It's the only thing on the cliff and is isolated from the city. Pretty neat. It's a small school, their enrollment is 1100. To contrast that, the University of Iowa has around 30,000 students total. It's a Catholic college. You don't have to be catholic to go there though, and a lot of their students aren't. They really stress values and service there, which is awesome. We both liked the school very much. Too bad it's around $30,000/yr tuition & boarding. They have lots of scholarships & Alex might be qualified for some of them. We won't get it below 20 grand a year though. Too bad.

Today, we Miller's had our annual baking day. We held it at our house this year. Funny thing is, my wife volunteered our house for baking day and then she skipped out on us to study for her nursing finals, which take place this week. Thanks baby. We're having shitty winter weather today, so Shannon & her family couldn't make it. We did what we could without them though, and will save some cookies for them. a few photos from today are attached.

Next Saturday, we'll have Christmas at my Dad's in the morning then at the 4H center in Boone County in the afternoon/overnight. We are all really looking forward to it. Angie especially, since she will finally be finished with her 3rd semester.

Camera Geek Mode On: I've reported in the last few posts that I've been having camera equipment issues. I sent my main camera in for service a few weeks ago. When I got it back, it seemed to work fine. After a couple weeks it started acting up again. Trying to kill two birds, I decided to sell it and to downsize at the same time, and to make some cash for Christmas shopping. I did that. I am now the proud owner of a new Pentax system (the K-5). I sold all my Nikon (D700) stuff. The Pentax system is quite a bit different from the Nikon system, cheaper too. For instance, I can't rely on autofocus or auto white balance. Pentax just isn't as good as Nikon in those areas. Pentax has some kickass small lenses though. I had the Cadillac system for a while. Now I'm back to the VW. I might have to work harder to get good results, but I'll have more fun doing it now. Anyway, that's a big part of the lapse between posts and the poor quality of photos lately. I've had equipment issues and now on a learing curve. I'll get there.

One thing I noticed on my drive to Sioux City on Friday. This winter light is just awesome this time of year. The sun started breaking the horizon at 7:30. It was still pretty low in the sky at 9:00, with nice directional warm light. In the summer, the sun comes up early and climbs fast. At 9am, it might as well be noon. The sun is high and harsh. In the winter it's low, which gives awesome light for a long time at both ends of the day. Look for it. Enjoy it. I hope I get a chance to get out in it soon.

Merry Christmas everyone. Love you,
Matt