Jan 062014
 

No, this has nothing to do with the new year, or resolutions. This has more to do with me entering a new decade in 11 more days. That’s right, Lady Jess will turn 40! And rather than dread the symbolic number, I embrace it. Every decade has brought improvement on the last, important lessons learned, and something new to look forward to. Forty should be no different. But I do have a few plans to help it on it’s way.

1. I’ve been smoking for too many years to admit. I quit once for a period of eight months, but slipped right back into it when I found myself around friends that smoked and social drinking. Why? Because I had no substitute for those conditions. Also, I’m going to say this right up front. I like smoking. I like the motion, I like the nicotine…which by the way does have positive health benefits. What I hate is the cost, the smell, and the eleventy billion dangerous chemicals and compounds that make it so dangerous.

In that vein I have spent hours talking to people and researching about E-Cigarettes. I have as a result, decided this is the way I’m going to go. Some will argue that it isn’t really quitting smoking, but I don’t really give a rats ass about that. Maybe I will still be getting my nicotine, but I’ll be doing it without the aforementioned chemicals, smell, and cost of tobacco. Frankly I think that’s what makes the anti-smoking establishment so angry about E-Cigs. We can still have our nicotine and do so with much less risk to ourselves and others, they (like any other group that wants people to quit an addiction) want people to quit cold-turkey or with expensive on going replacement therapies.

Well let me tell you, I’ll never touch another patch. They did help the last time, but at the cost of wanting to rub sandpaper on my skin to stop the infernal itching. I’m apparently allergic to the adhesive. My final patch left a big red square swollen itchy welt for weeks. The gum? hard as a rock, and very bad for my jaw problems plus it sticks to dental work. Inhalers? This is what makes me laugh. They do make nicotine inhalers! But they aren’t constantly reusable, you have to go buy more! Where with an E-Cig, I buy the set up, the juice, and an extra battery, and refill/replace as needed for as long as I need/want.

The important thing is no more tobacco.

2. Return to photography! But this time with a more manageable setup. While I really loved working with a DSLR it isn’t exactly convenient to carry around unless you know what you’re going to be shooting. If you have a place and subject in mind, it’s great. If you just want to walk around and capture whatever catches your eye while you’re walking, not so convenient. In that vein I’m probably going with a Canon G series. I’ll still have my DSLR here, but a purse sized alternative will be nice.

3. I say this every year, but use my blog more.

 

Meanwhile, I have finished my Associates Degree! I’m a week away from starting my first semester of my Bachelor’s Degree now, 2 more years and I will be DONE with this college stuff! It’s getting a tad harder, as I’m having to take 5 classes per semester this time, in order to finish before my GI Bill assistance runs out. But I figure as long as I don’t have more classes than days in the week I’ll be ok!

Here’s to a new year, and a new decade!

Aug 092013
 

It has been ages since I blogged regularly. Months go by and I sit here thinking I should, and then I don’t. So, taking a page from Belghast over at Tales of the Aggronaut, I’m sitting here with my morning coffee and deciding to try and write daily. At the same time, hopefully we’ll catch up on the last several months.

Life In General

We are still in Georgia, and quite happily could stay here the rest of his career if the army would let us. From the day we pulled in here in July 2011 it has felt like home. The heat and humidity can be daunting at times, and there are several poisonous spiders and snakes we share the area with but they don’t make it any less home. It’s been hard to explore as much as we’d like, mainly due to the Drill Sergeant assignment he’s had the last two years. Those guys work insane hours, 6 days per week. When the rest of the military gets a four day holiday weekend, Drills work right through them. 5am to 8, 9, 10, even 11 or midnight six days a week for every 14 week cycle of new privates. Thankfully as of last week, that is over for us.

And even more good news, is we didn’t have to move to his next assignment thanks to the high school stabilization program. My youngest graduates soon, so we got to stay put so she could stay in this school to graduate. Oh that reminds me, my oldest daughter graduated in May!

Now that we have some free time, and he is finally on leave, we expect to do some exploring, mostly on the Harley. As a matter of fact, we are taking a “daycation” to Panama City Beach, Florida tomorrow.

Speaking of School

I’m still working on finishing my education. I start classes again August 26. This semester marks my final class needed for my Associates in Letters, Arts, and Sciences. I’ll also be taking the first three classes for my BA in LAS as well. One of those classes even counts towards my minor in Political Science. My classes this semester include..

  • The Mathematics of Money
  • Spanish 001
  • Introduction to Health and Human Sexuality
  • Introduction to Comparative Politics

I’m pretty excited about getting started again. After last semester, I thought I’d lost my enthusiasm for good, but I’m back on track now. And while I still face sideways glances and lack of understanding about my choice to stay in the liberal arts rather than go into Psychology as planned, that’s ok. The math required to enter the Psych degree was far beyond my ability even with tutoring and google. But that may have been a blessing in disguise. You see, with a BA in Letters, Arts, and Sciences I’m learning crucial skills to help me find a job (ethics, research, human relations, public speaking, leadership, critical thinking). I’m not pigeonholed into ONE profession that may or may not have positions available. And most importantly I’m enjoying the classes. Even if my degree does nothing more than hang on my wall…the value of being able to say “I did this” is well worth the investment.

Games!!

Yes Tumnus we ARE going in there

Finally the fun stuff. I finally, although I’m sad to say it, have found a replacement for WoW in Rift. The ability to talk to, group and guild with the opposing faction, personal housing, beautiful graphics, flexible builds and styles that let you play what you want how you want without penalty were too good to pass up. For the first time in 7 years I let my WoW subscription lapse. Maybe if it goes free to play with a model as good as Rift has I’ll give it another go.  I’ll probably be posting about my favorite features regularly, to give me daily blog posts actually.

Everyone's Darlin' Clementine

Outside of Rift, I have finished The Walking Dead and thoroughly loved it. It was emotional, and enthralling, thought provoking and harder decisions than I expected with a limited time to make them. I was expecting a bloody, gory, shoot ‘em up game but no. The gore was minimal, and what there was was mitigated by the graphic novel styling of the game graphics. I can’t wait until the next season releases.

Gorgeous Art Style

I’ve also been playing Dust: An Elysian Tail. I’m not very good at platformers and puzzles, but the story has kept me pushing to see what comes next. It’s also beautifully drawn with generous amounts of humor. And Fidget is just adorable, I can never wait to see what she says next.

Fidget has figured out my playstyle

In Conclusion

I’m still here, and I plan to post something every day. It may not be great, it may be silly, or ragey, or ridiculous but I’m back.

Aug 232010
 

I’m at the end of what has been a very busy week. You see we traveled all over WA starting last Monday. My Mother in Law came in on Sunday evening, which just happened to coincide with my Hunny’s last week of a month’s leave. So, we saved everything we wanted to do before leaving this winter for her visit. Monday we hit the beach at Westhaven State Park, and visited the little seaside town of Westport, WA. Where we watched some surfers, waded around in the surf and got sand in our flip flops. (click to biggify)

westport 149 westport 042

westport 076 westport 178

Tuesday we took the day off, and Wednesday we hit the POint Defiance Zoo and Aquarium in Reston, WA. (Click to enbiggen, full photoset from Flickr is on the sidebar)

Point Defiance (Aug2010) 152 Point Defiance (Aug2010) 140 Point Defiance (Aug2010) 033
Point Defiance (Aug2010) 186 Point Defiance (Aug2010) 198

Thursday, we embarked upon a trip to Mt St Helens National Monument. I have never, even in Alaska, seen anything so Amazing. We drove to an Altitude of 4000 feet and crossed bridges that made my heart jump to my throat. The path of destruction is clearly visible for miles, and you can see nature still surviving and regrowing.

Mt St Helens (Aug 2010) 078 Mt St Helens (Aug 2010) 035

Mt St Helens from Johnston's Ridge Observatory The lava dome, inside the crater

Scary Bridge

I think I printed out over 100 photos for Mom in Law, so if I ever become a rich and famous photographer, she can say she got my first prints. She left very early Saturday morning, and we all loafed the day away. Sunday, I redid my blog. Which is originally what I wanted to blog about today. I tweeted that I needed a new layout. And Jaedia  The Lazy Sniper came to my rescue by suggesting the Mystique WordPress Theme. I liked it at first glance, but the more I worked with it the more I found to love. It has some lovely widgets and headers included, it’s easily customized, includes a lightbox effect so I can post thumbnails and not have to fiddle with a lightbox plugin, I just adore it! So come look dammit! And I found my lovely new header in this Article from Smashing Magazine.

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