Let’s Play Indoor Games!

by Kimberly A. Cook               (Twitter@   WarriorTales)

The rains are finally coming tonight and I could not be happier. This unexpected weekend rain storm should really help with the forest fires here in the West. Mother Nature must have heard our prayers for our neighbors, firefighters and Oregon and Washington National Guard troops out fighting the blazes.

So let’s all do our part by enjoying this rainstorm and play inside. Let’s follow the lead of these two buddies, Jet and Emilia, having a fun time in the house. Have a great weekend and Happy Quirky Friday. Let it rain!

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Do You Have The Eye Of A Photographer?

by Kimberly A. Cook               (Twitter@   WarriorTales)

Spent part of last week on vacation at the beach, Depoe Bay, Oregon, one of my favorite spots on the planet. In the quest to get there we ended up in two traffic jams, so a stop at the Oregon State Park Van Duzer Corridor rest stop in the Coast Range was a great idea and a necessity.

Photo 1 - overall scene setting shot. Photojournalism rule - always make sure you get an overview picture.
Photo 1 – scene setting shot. Photojournalism rule – always make sure you get an overview picture.

I love to visit the stream which runs through the trees by the picnic tables, away from the rest stop building. The sound of the gurgling water is so relaxing. Even with low water at this time of year.

There are two rest stops, one North and on South. On on the way back we always check the river on the South side too, since it runs deeper than the North side stream.

I’ve been travelling this road for 35 plus years so I must have hundreds of photos of this stream. Thought it might be fun to show you the series of photos I took that day, in order. Kinda.

Photography, like writing, requires practice. What better fun for us shutter bugs than to take pictures outside by a forest brook? It was late in the afternoon so the light was still bright, so the green in the left side of photo one fades by being bleached out by the sun.

Next up I decided to zoom in and focus on the larger rock in the stream bed in photo three. Normally the water is deep here any other time of the year, so this was an opportunity to use the rock as a focal point in the lower left of the photo.

Photo 3 - yes I skipped two. I put the rock in the upper third on pic 2, then changed my mind and put it in the lower third to draw in the eye. Better.

Photo 3 – yes I skipped two. I put the rock in the upper third on pic 2, then changed my mind and put it in the lower third to draw in the eye. Better.

Close ups are good, but I also wanted to see what a mid-range photo would look like so I pulled back the zoom and framed shot five. Liked the filtered light coming through the trees and into the water and the better contrast between the water, rocks and trees.

So the last picture is my favorite of the five I shot in this series. I checked the times on the photos and I shot them all in two minutes.

The great thing about digital cameras is you’ve always got pixels to spare; as long as you carry an extra charged battery and memory card.

Spent part of the trip trying to use my new Canon PowerShot Elph 340  HS camera. Somehow managed to shoot video when I hadn’t planned on it, so more time is needed with that camera. It has a much longer zoom and greater pixels, the better to get harbor seal close-ups!

These stream photos were shot with my trusty old Canon PowerShot Elph SD800 IS. It’s so hard to give up an old reliable and move onto the next one. I’m talking about cameras here, by the way, just to be clear.

Have you played with your camera today?

Picture 5 and my favorite. I can count, I just skipped two other photos in between.
Picture 5 and my favorite. I can count, I just skipped one more photo in between.

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Can We Blame Miss Kitty?

by Kimberly A. Cook                 (Twitter@  WarriorTales)

Seems like I’ve been trying to eat every carb and sugar item on the planet since July. Think this might have begun with the multiple retirement and baby shower parties the end of June. Once bitten by the sugar/carb beast, seems I didn’t want to stop.

Now with the days getting shorter and the golden light of summer turning to harvest colors, it seems I’m at it again trying to put on pounds for winter. Mother Nature is very tricky. And she’s still more clever than the cat food feeder  manufacturers who think they can outsmart a cat. Especially Miss Kitty.

Imagine the owners concern when Miss Kitty still gained weight on her diet using the special feeding machine. But it all became clear soon enough to her pet parents. Miss Kitty is no dummy. Check out the antics of this fabo feline. Maybe she knows something about winter we don’t?

Have a great weekend and Happy Quirky Friday!

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Are You Retro Too?

by Kimberly A. Cook                       (Twitter@   WarriorTales)

It’s official; I’m retro. Was shopping at Target the other day and happened upon this display of “retro” games. Hah! I dearly remember Candyland. And Twister, And Rock Em’ Sock Em’ Robots. But besides the fact I prefer the word vintage, I’ll go with retro. Sounds kind of cool.

Pretty sure this was a plot to addict me to candy for life. It worked!

Pretty sure this was a plot to addict me to candy for life. It worked!

I also noticed retro games are not necessarily cheap either. So maybe being retro is cool and expensive. According to the three pit crews it takes to keep me together, that is correct.

So in honor of the last days of August, I’m going to take my retro butt over to the couch for a nap and leave you all with games to ponder. What was your favorite game growing up? Do you still own it? Do you think they will make it retro too?

My friend Michelle loved Mystery Date and that summed up her social life until she met her husband. Me, I was more into the Clue game, still do love mysteries! Which also sums up my dating life.

This is what I need to do to get rid of the bingo wings on my arms. Not the game, in real life!

This is what I need to do to get rid of the bingo wings on my arms. Not the game, in real life!

Enjoy these August days of summer. I’ve noticed the summer morning light changing from yellow to a golden hue in the morning. I’m also watering the garden in the dark these days, which is a clue to the change of seasons.

Might just be time to stock up on some retro board games. Personally, I’m going to go dig out my vintage Yahtzee game. I’m in the mood to roll me some dice!

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Let’s All Flip Potato Cakes On Saturday!

by Kimberly A. Cook           (Twitter@  WarriorTales)

Tomorrow is Julia Child’s birthday. The woman who brought fun cooking to tv and an amazing French Cook Book to us all deserves our respect and imitation. You can watch many of her shows on YouTube, but I love this short clip  where she takes a normal kitchen muck-up and creates something new. Fearless in the kitchen she is!

We can all learn a lot from Julia. So tomorrow take a shot at being brave in the kitchen. Julia would want us to flip with the courage of our convictions. Have a great weekend and Happy Quirky Friday!

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Can You Command A Star Ship While Tipsy?

by Kimberly A. Cook                    (Twitter@   WarriorTales)

Creativity is everywhere. Spent last Friday at the Willamette Writers Conference here in Portland and had a great day. Attended several classes including one about web series and the up and comers who are using YouTube to get noticed by Hollywood. The web series faculty were all locals and it was fun for me to discover these talented folks.

Seems like the perfect time in August to let everyone see this “Star Trek” spoof they filmed while the actors were drunk; they planned it that way. While not my cup of tea, too many sugar calories in alcohol, it was a kick to watch. Even more fun were the production descriptions of how they had to measure alcohol to keep the actors from napping, then finally came up with getting each actor blotto separately.

Auditions were a challenge they said too since some folks can drink alcohol and act and others, not so much. They even have a sponsor, a local distillery. Seems like even the creative video storytelling industry is getting more complicated.

And imagine my joy when later in the day at the Visual Storytelling Panel one faculty member/film producer talked about the universal appeal of film, video and photographs reaching beyond language barriers; he mentioned the “Minions.” They really are taking over!

So in these Dog Days of August, what better way to waste some time than being entertained by a local production. Seems when some of the Star Drunk cast members went to DragonCon, this Captain Kirk was recognized from his starring YouTube role. The world is indeed getting very small!

So enjoy and remember; don’t walk drunk, don’t drive drunk and for heaven’s sake don’t pilot your space ships drunk! Let’s all be careful out there!

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Are You Ready For Hamster Drag Racing? Move Over NASCAR!

by Kimberly A. Cook           (Twitter@   WarriorTales)

It’s summer, we’re all acting crazy and what better way to cruise the streets than in a dragster? Even better, let’s let hamsters cruise in their dragsters! These little guys are obviously training at an undisclosed warehouse location to hone their skills before they pounce on the competition.

Not sure these power machines are street legal, but these furry drivers are handling them with ease and athleticism. Forget “Fast and Furious” and NASCAR, these drivers are in shape!

Have a great weekend and Happy Quirky Friday!

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