Dzgnstf vs CAD Geek

For a few years I had aspired to getting a little convertible sports car. I did all the research on Edmunds and other car sites, and figured that since a Lotus Elise was probably a bit too spartan for every day driving and top-down trips to Florida, I would have to “settle” for a Nissan 350Z. The Z had to be Daytona Blue with a tan interior, and I wanted a 2006 or later for the additional horsepower (300 instead of 287) and the stereo controls on the steering wheel. It also had to be a standard transmission because anything else seemed a little too civilized.

One day it showed up, in a 2005 model, but reasonably priced. I was out of excuses. I had to have it.

Great car. We had considered the Solstice, Miata, S2000, Boxter, Z3, and M3 but for some reason, Kim didn’t like any of those. The Z had great horsepower unlike the Miata, a reasonable trunk unlike the Solstice, good reliability unlike anything except the Miata and S2000, and was reasonably priced, unlike the Porsche or BMWs. We have done several road trips in it now, including Snowshoe, Florida, and North Carolina.

One of Kim’s co-workers was taunted by this, and had to have his own Z. Brian got a LeMans Sunset (orange) hardtop, which I also like a lot. His was a 2006, but in automatic. His upgrade rims are a very nice touch. Brian is a CAD wizard at Kim’s architectural firm in Roanoke with AutoCAD, Revit, 3dsmax, and possibly others. Brian’s plate is CAD GEEK, and ours is DZGNSTF. My company name is Dezignstuff, even though Kim’s co-workers think that its because as an architect she “designs stuff”. It was just convenient that deZignstuff has a big Z in it just like the car.

And so Kim had to drive to work one day and get some together pictures…

Rain …. finally

Everyone is effected differently by the rain or lack of it.  I for one love the rain, the sound it makes, the coolness it brings and yes even the dark skies.  One of the things that Matt and I completely agree on is the effects of rain.  He even starts to get a little antsy, if he goes too long without seeing any.  I think it comes from his days in California.

So the last few days we have gotten so much good solid rain.  The plants are happy again.  I wish I could say I had a good growing summer.  Other than my zinnias and sunflowers, it wasn’t much to talk about.  But there is always the eucalyptus.  It is time to harvest, some so if you are in Salem stop by and get a bunch. 

This past week the electrical department at work held its annual tomato day feast.  This is unquestionably one of the best work gatherings all year.  Everyone brings in their bounty from the summer.  The stars of the show are the fabulous tomatoes.  From me they got Mom’s fabulous tomatoes this year.  She graciously donated some Mr. Stripeys, a green zebra and some other nameless beauties.  BLTs never tasted so good! 

My next project is to complete the rain barrel I have acquired.  The barrel was donated to me and now it is my job to make it work as an actual rain barrel.  I am trying to figure out a graceful way to cut a hole in it so i can mount the fittings for the spigot.  I will keep you posted on how that goes.

And this last thought about rain….. one of my coworkers was talking about her little girl today and how she loves to put on her crocs and jump in the rain puddles.  She has the best time stomping puddles.  I think the next time it rains I will give in to a little childhood temptation.  ~K

New Camera

Once Matt & I figured out that if he was going to be “press” during the days in Barcelona while I was going to be touring, sharing his camera was going to be a problem.  So for my birthday he gave me a new Kodak EasyShare Z1285.  I have been getting used to it and really love it.  It takes amazing pictures in all kinds of conditions and is super simple to use. 

The camera boasts an impressive 12 mega pixels, which is great for super close ups and edits that I so often do.  It will be very useful for my bead pictures.  Hopefully it will take those to the next level that they deserve. Here is an untouched shot of a butterfly from a recent trip to Monticello

With a 2Gig SD card it will hold a tremendous amount of photos – 500 – 750.  And that is at the high 12 MP setting.  Definitely more things than I can see in one day.  And there is also video.  I wouldn’t think that I would want to use that feature but as I am getting use to it, it is more and more useful.  I can’t wait to show you the streets of Barcelona!

It even has a feature that will counteract the effects of either a shaking photographer or a shaking subject.   And from the looks of the photos that Matt usually is known for this is one that will benefit him as well.

While I continue to snap anyone and everyone who will stand still long enough, I hope to master this camera by the time our trip gets here.  I can whole heartily recommend this camera for its compact size, easy of use and superior quality for a small pocket camera.  ~K

The Next Big Adventure

Matt & I blast off for our much anticipated trip to Barcelona, Spain next month.  As usual our styles of “preparing” for the trip differ.  I am the ultimate planner and research maps, routes, tours, museums and the city in general thoroughly.  While I don’t always have a strict itinerary, I do like to see popular crowded sights at the best possible time to avoid those crowds.  I like to know what I am doing.  Matt on the other hand can strap on his Keens and head out the door without a second thought.  This usually leads to interesting discussions about personal needs.

So I have my favorite pop up style map, an eyewitness travel book just for Barcelona and a cool 50 walks through Barcelona flashcard type system.  So far, I know where our hotel is located along with my known destinations – the Gaudi buildings and sites, the aquarium.  Matt suggested a pocket language/phrase guide to keep me out of trouble.  Donde esta el bano?  …. seems to be the most important one to me.  I am not too worried since Barcelona is a tourist town.

The purpose of our trip is for Matt’s work.  As a solidworks blogger, he is considered part of the press and will be working 3 days while I get in some quality architectural touring time.  We are stretching out the trip to include some down time for Matt before and after his work as well.

As I am collecting helpful travel tips please feel free to chime in.  Matt and I will be posting more in the days ahead. ~K