brassica poppy seed salad strawberry crisp morel-stuffed chicken fried steak apple huckleberry pie


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archive for September 2009

come photowalk with me (andrew hyde)

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2009

Whoa! So much is going on this week that my head is spinning. If you haven’t entered the iPod nano giveaway, please do so! Did you know the iPod nano does video? I did not. I just found that out from Andrew… Hurry up and enter before I change my mind! ;) You have until midnight, Sunday September 27th. Just tell me what quintessential autumn is for you.

Not long after my last post, I woke up to fog as thick as pea soup. Next thing I heard was a peal of thunder so loud the house shook and suddenly a million balls of ice began pelting the whole world. Within minutes the hail blanketed everything in white and just as suddenly as it had started, it turned to soft fluffy snowflakes. We got four inches of snow on the last day of summer. That’s my kind of summer!


accumulation on kaweah in one minute

three seasons in one day: (last day of) summer, fall (colors), and winter (snow)



And today (the 23rd) is my birthday, but there isn’t any time to celebrate. All September celebrations in this house are being postponed to late October! So knock it off with the singing and the candles already – I’m STILL 37, got it?! Ha!

Today’s post is the first in a series of photowalks. Something that fascinates me is seeing how fellow photographers view the world through their lens(es). It’s not just that we may look at an object or a scene differently, but that we may be drawn to completely different things. I had the privilege of having lunch with Mr. Andrew Hyde yesterday, and afterward we went for a short walk… a photowalk. Of course, any time I am with Andrew I meet new people. But this time, we ran into Michael Brown, that pleasant fellow who silenced the packed Boulder Theater last week at Ignite Boulder 6 with his amazing and inspiring talk on Reward and Risk. Still unassuming and very sweet – I have great respect for this man. Okay, so the rules of the photowalk: we take turns picking a location to stop and shoot approximately 5 frames each.


meet andrew (yes, he’s wearing flip flops and a scarf)



Andrew: Canon EOS 5D Mark II with an EF24-70mm f/2.8L
Jen: Nikon D3x with Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8G ED

The day was overcast and cool. We strolled a few blocks down Pearl Street pedestrian mall in Boulder where just last week this time the place would have been bursting with people. Instead, it was very mellow… nearly empty. Here is a sampling of what we saw:


andrew location #1: shot 4

jen location #1: shot 2



**Jump for more butter**

brides, aspens, and nanos

Monday, September 21st, 2009

Recipe: alfajores macarons

It’s amazing what you can accomplish when you have a group of people who are willing to work hard together. On Friday I met with a group of ladies for a bridal shoot. No, I am not a wedding photographer AT ALL, and here I was teaching a couple of friends about shooting weddings! We had a lovely bride-to-be who was willing to drive up to Boulder and don her beautiful new dress and sit in the dirt and dry, prickly weeds for our shoot in the hot sun and blowing dust.


who wouldn’t marry this woman?

it’s all about the accessories



Lynn was a dream to work with: cooperative, patient, very sweet, and she looked awesome. Beth and Erin were terrific assistants and when it came time for each of them to shoot, they each did a great job. Considering we were shooting at the worst time of day, it went really well and Lynn loved the photos.

in the grasses

beth and erin resting in the shade of my car after a long and hot shoot



And now fall is really here! There were plenty of leaf peepers around the mountains today. I’m glad to see that so many people enjoy the fall colors although I’ll be happy when they are out of my frame while I am shooting during the week :)

hint of reds

still lots of green aspen



There is snow in our forecast for the next several days, which I’m quite excited about. It’s not even technically autumn yet. I used to associate fall with the start of a sports season – whatever sport I was playing (field hockey or volleyball). These days my thoughts immediately turn to the fall shoot, fall hikes, snow, and… ski season :) I also find my cooking mojo kicking into gear once more now that it’s cool enough to turn on the stove or oven. That has me thinking about apples, pomegranates, persimmons, roasting vegetables, hot spiced drinks, crock pot recipes… and a GIVEAWAY! It’s been a while, hasn’t it? That’s because I couldn’t decide on what to give away. That is, until I got one of these:

a 16Gb ipod nano



It came with my new laptop, but Jeremy and I both have iphones, so we were like, “We don’t need the nano.” The lady at the Apple store said it was free, so I said, “I’ll take the nano.” But I’m not keen on keeping stuff that I don’t need and I figured it would make a great prize for someone who would like to have 16 gigs worth of music, podcasts, and other aural stimuli in a shiny, black device as big as a business card. It’s brand-spanking-new, slick, and comes in its own Apple Sleeping Beauty clear faux-glass (plastic) case. How ’bout that?! So how can you make this little pal your own?

The Rules: To enter, leave a comment on THIS post telling me what is quintessential autumn for you! Please, no novels. One entry/comment per person. Multiple comments by the same author will result in disqualification and deletion. You have until midnight (MST), Sunday, September 27th, to enter. The winner will be chosen at random (method was officially approved by resident astrophysicist) in San Francisco and announced on Monday, the 28th of September. I will ship anywhere in the world. Good luck!

**Jump for more butter**

what an (ig)nite!

Thursday, September 17th, 2009

Recipe: grilled corn and chilpotle soup

Wednesday night I participated in an event that is rooted in a community I never even knew existed until a few months ago. Ignite is a movement that I have briefly mentioned in the past. I attended my first Ignite Boulder (#5) in July this year. The only reason I know anything about Ignite Boulder, Ignite in general, or the tech startup community in Boulder is because of my friend, Andrew Hyde (follow on twitter @andrewhyde). Ignite started in Seattle in 2006 – it’s an evening of presentations for those with short attention spans: 20 slides that advance automatically every 15 seconds. That’s right, 5 minutes. Ignite Boulder (founded by Andrew) is a boisterous, raucous good time. The audience is loudly supportive and the topics range from whimsical to erudite and EVERYTHING in between. The first time I viewed an Ignite online from another city, I was surprised to see how tame, respectful, and quiet the audience was. I think the Ignite Boulder speakers on average are far more dynamic and engaging… certainly the entertainment value is high.




The majority of my online networking has been with people from all over the world because of this blog. But it was only a year ago that I began to interact with the local community when my immune system had recovered enough after the treatments. I think I have more readers in New Zealand than I do in Boulder, Colorado. Or at least, I used to. So last night, I was one of the presenters at Ignite Boulder 6. In fact, I was the first if you don’t count Ef Rodriguez (follow on twitter @pugofwar) who energized the crowd with his awesome warm up talk/singing/performance. I was glad to go first, because then I could truly enjoy the rest of the 13 talks without worrying about my own anymore. I met people who read use real butter, people who I follow on Twitter but never met IRL (in real life), and people I had no idea existed and vice versa – but I’m glad they do, because they’re wonderful and fascinating… like a shiny new mountain bike.

dave burdick (@daveburdick) draws parallels between journalism and “ghost busters”



It was the first time there were more female speakers than male speakers. Sweetness. Overall the talks were terrific. I have too many favorites to call them favorites. There were a few rows of seats reserved in the front for the evening’s speakers and I sat next to a quiet and unassuming gentleman who seemed a little nervous. We introduced ourselves and he told the rest of us he was going last. We all sympathized – that’s hard to do. Lots of pressure and stress, but huge potential. He told me his talk was titled, “Reward and Risk”. I figured it was about pure game theory.

michael brown (@seracfilms) on reward and risk



He’s the president of Serac Adventure Films and put reward and risk in the context of mountaineering. At the end of the presentation, there were three short trailers he played that moved me to tears. You can see the first of these breathtaking trailers Farther Than The Eye Can See at their website.

Helen told me she couldn’t see the live feed of my talk until the last slide, but luckily for all of us, Manisha was in the audience recording the presentation (thank you, sweetie!!). That amazing woman had it on YouTube before the night was out! I’m including a link to my slide presentation because some folks have complained that the slide in the venue was dim. Just remember that Ignite Boulder is LOUD, the audience traditionally participates enthusiastically (and I can hear Nichole giggling nearby in the audio). Definitely watch the video to see how the timing works.




The Jeremy who graciously tossed cookies (hee hee) out to the audience for me at the end of my talk is Jeremy Tanner (@penguin). My Jeremy (@drdarling) was in Australia giving a talk at the same time (he literally missed my talk by a few minutes)! Except his talk was on astrophysics, not food porn.

mountain standard time performed for the intermission



I’m so glad I gave an Ignite presentation because it makes me less of an observer in this community and more of a participant. I think I’ll always be dabbling on the periphery just because I value our quiet mountain life over The Scene in Boulder, but I am meeting fascinating people with big ideas and even bigger hearts. And I dig that.

**Jump for more butter**