Sunday, April 29, 2012

LW Lesson 1 - The Bottle.

Larry: What do you want to make?
Camilla: a dolphin!
Larry: you have to start simple. I already have a tutorial on a dolphin.
Camilla: a race car!
Larry: I said simple.
Camilla: The Eiffel tower?
Larry: simple.
Camilla: this bottle. (Medical scrub wash)
Larry: Ok. We'll start with a disc then do some beveling.
* after 20 minutes*
Camilla: I don't need your help. You're not that good at lightwave anyway.
 And then Modeler told me I can't save more than 400 points (or something) in Discovery mode and everything disappeared.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

US Candy & LW

There's a shop in Napier called Humbugs that sells US confectionary overpriced.
Worth it. Jolly Ranchers are Larry's favourite. After shopping I drove to the dialysis unit and had my niece run in and pop one into his pie hole. The twinkies were a year off their expiration. I've never liked them, but everyone else did.
There's a store in NZ, United Sweets of NZ, with US candy equally overpriced, but I do miss Funyuns. It was $25 NZD for this.

It's been decided I need to learn LW. I tried to make a spaceship the other day based on a picture I found on google. It looked like an ice-cream cone. I do like the dark interface of LW11, Larry changed it back to the light grey color, it's better on his eye. He's very happy with LW11 and told me a few days ago that he was nervous getting back into it because he hadn't touched LW in 2 years and thought that during his worst sick times, he'd forgotten alot .. but no.
If you had asked me 6 years ago how I felt about LW, I would have told you LW was the mistress in my marriage and the reason I never saw my husband.
If you can't beat em ...

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Advice from a Pro.

I received some sound advice from a successful entrepanuer today regarding my Facebook Photo page after whining to him about how many likes I have. I didn't look at it before until he asked me why I require "Likes".
After we discussed a few things the result I got was, the purpose of the Likes is soley for ego. Compared to other photographers in the area, I'm near the lower level when it comes to the amount of Likes I have.

He broke the Likes down for me and said majority will be family. Some will be friends. Some will be from a ladder booster (Like my page I'll like yours). Then he said:

"Why get likes if they're all not in Hawkes Bay, which is the area you service? Why boost your like base with people who will most probably never pay you?".

Then he told me not to put all my eggs in the facebook basket and to depend on word of mouth and a full portfolio on a website.
Good advice.
Great advice.

Preserving Feijoas

Out of 5 bags, I got 7 jam jars.
It's not much, but it's enough to see me through till next season given no one takes any jars.

I got my bottles from op-shops for 50 cents each.

Boil. Add fruit. Simmer for 2 hours ... or until theres a flood in your kitchen because you were side tracked by the silly Teen Moms on MTV and everything boiled over.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Feijoas and a cookie the size of your head.

It's feijoa season. Everyones trees are packed with feijoas this year, but I still prefer the avocado sized ones I get from my secret spot.

Paige is my cousin Everards wife Natalies sister from the UK. She's here for a while checking out the place and I've been raving about the pazzookie all week.
Tonights jumbo version was just for her.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

The US of A.

Two of my cousins are heading to the USA next month. They'll be hitting LA and Las Vegas. They're more in it for the nightlife, shopping and eating as opposed to sight seeing and this is ok, I get that.
Larry doesn't.

He tried to sell the Redwood National Forest to them aswell as the Grand Canyon, but they're young chicks on a mission. I'd rather see a last season Prada bag on special with a severe hangover than a tree with a trunk the size of my house too if I were young and single - minus the hangover.

All this talk about the US opened the door for Larry to let me know that he'd like to attend Siggraph 2012, which I believe is in Los Angeles this year. Based on three things, 1. His current dialysis situation 2. Finances and 3. My un-surrendered green card, the man is dreaming.

I like the idea in theory.

I decided, a few months ago, that I was going to tell the whole story to the US Embassy on his health issue and the reason for my lapsed visa in the hope that it will be reinstated based on circumstances that kept us from returning to the US within the year to re-validate the card. It's worth the try, if not .. simply surrending it will allow me re-entrace back into the US as a visitor. It would just mean that should we ever decide to move back (and I'd love to one day), we'd have to go through the residency process all over again. If my residency was still valid, I would have been able to apply for citizenship because 2012 would have marked the 5 years of being a permanent resident.

All this Siggraph talk has sprung from the fact that his eye sight is doing good things at the moment and he opened up Lightwave (9) the other day and tried it out. Some will have noticed that he is becoming more active in his online life too. The Opthamologist said his eye sight won't get any better from here on out and with that information, he's using what vision he does have to get back into it. We'll upgrade to LW11 soon enough.

With the dialysis situation. If he were on peritoneal dialysis, we could have easily taken a few days worth of bags with us to do manual treatments. He said a week long in Los Angeles at Siggraph would be worth a week without dialysis. Tell that to your kidneys buddy on day 3 when you're fluid filled. It is possible to last a week without dialysing .. but it won't be a pretty week. His charge nurse, Rob, talked to him during the week about speeding up the surgery date. Rob thinks 4 - 6 months is idiotic when it's been 4 months since the removal surgery. We have a Renal appointment on the 4th of May with a visiting Nephrologist. Since being in the public health system, this will be the 4th one we've seen.

It's a sunny day in The Bay today.
Havelock will beat MAC this afternoon I can guarantee it. Hoping MAC have something up their sleeve this afternoon and bring it.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Peanut/Walnut Brittle

Bless Facebook and it's free advertising ways.
I make peanut brittle .. it's a recipe from my Uncle, who has sinced passed, and the method is super-dee-duper secret. I had someone from the community approach me during the week asking for an order. You have to make a big order because of the pot used, so I had to sell off the rest.

His recipe was specifically for peanut brittle, but I have a cupboard full of different fruit essence flavors and worked my magic. Result: Banana Walnut Brittle. It's the best seller.

The one night of advertising on Facebook bought $300 worth of orders ... as far as Australia.

It's walnut season ... the nut crackers.

It's all about temperature.

The *big*secret is at this point of cooking and it's a secret I got, posthumously, from my Uncle by simply looking more closely at the pot and figuring it out.

The other secret is the marble slab (thanks to the NZ temple and it's rennovations back in 1996).

I have a few more orders to complete.
The flu came to me overnight and I can't risk contamination.
It's unhygenic.

Monday, April 16, 2012


Let's take count.
We know Demi, Mere and Nikita are cooking babies, so who's this for?

14/47 - Gourmet Burgers

You're probably wondering what's so gourmet about these burgers apart from the fancy lettuce (that's the actual name) and Baps bread buns?

The meat is Venison.
Venison is supposed to taste very gamey. Lamb and Mutton is gamey.
Add garlic salt and onions to Rudolf, fry in butter and it tastes just like beef.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Selectively blind.

Talking on the phone with my sister tonight planning a birthday party, I wondered why the internet was slower than normal. When we finally got off the phone, I walked around the house because everything was too quiet.
Not normal.
I found him playing Halo.

He can't find the grits in the kitchen or a spoon .. but he can fly a banshee and aim with perfection.

It's actually a good day for his eye sight today. He came to the rugby game with me and was able to make out bad play.
Love it.

MAC played Marist this afternoon.
Something just wasn't right today (I'd like to blame the Ref) and Marist took it home.

It's ok.
We have better uniforms.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Infrared Photography

I've had an R72 Hoya filter for a while, I just never took the time to learn about it. Ghost Hunters got me interested in that type of photography a few years ago, hence the purchase.

The R72 filters out visible light allowing infrared light to pass through. Infrared light is not visible to humans.

IR Blocking filters are installed in all cameras. It's necessary, otherwise you'll get wigged out images. Some people pay for the filter to be removed ... I call this, "How to break your camera".
If there was a real purpose to IR Photography besides the fact that it's super artistic, I'd do it too, but I didn't pay the price I paid just to break my camera.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Camera Bags

I got an email asking what camera bags I use.
There are several on the market that are female friendly and not unsightly like the usual clunkers some people carry around.

This is the Baroque Shoot Sac. The default cover is black. Shootsac sells covers you can change out for the occasion you're shooting at. The Baroque is a good design for weddings. The fabric is wetsuit material and the whole bag is designed to make changing lenses and easy ordeal. It can't hold a camera at all. It's a lens bag.

This is the Naneu Pro, my bulky bag. I take this with me to my sport shoots because it's water proof and will hold my whole house in. It takes up to 2 cameras with 2 lenses. It will also hold your laptop and is padded nicely so when it falls off your car roof, you betcha the cameras will be ok.

I have aluminum bags for the bits and pieces. I got them from the grocery store. They were poker set bags.

These are totes by PhotoJoJo. It's on my list of to gets one day. I like the style. The colored one in the middle would be perfect for family shoots and the beige one on the end I'd like for weddings. These bags will hold one camera and 2 lenses and a flash.

This is the shootsac tote. It has a separate compartment just for the camera.
I'm a messenger bag person. Carrying a bag over your shoulder and under your arm, like the tote, to me is not very ergonomical. I prefer my bags slung across the front of me and resting on my hip. It just works better that way.

All these bags will run you near $200USD per bag.
Well worth the spend if you're willing.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Houston, we have a problem.

Bleeding in the eye over the last month has been due to high pressure. A new prescription was given today for that. The bits floating around in his eye, that obstructs his vision more than anything else, is old blood and built up gel.

He wants surgery to have this removed so he can potentially see better.
I do not want him to have the surgery. At all.

There's a 5% chance the surgery won't work out. They gave the same percentage before they operated on the other eye and look what happened.

He wants to get back into working. He misses it. He's not resigning himself to living in the state he is currently living and his quality of life is distressing him somewhat. We can't go out to too many places because the glare from the sun hurts his eye even with sunglasses on. He can't see anything when we drive anywhere because he closes his eyes most of the drive because of the sun. I do understand that this is not what he wants for himself .. but it would be worse should they screw up the other eye and he's left totally blind.

He wants me to think about it.
I'm not sure there's much more thinking to do. If there is a lack of faith on my part, it's because he's putting his faith in the same people who blotched his left eye.

I have no problem beating a sick man.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012


My new camera came today. I've been saving for it for SO long, but it gave me time to research it and weigh the pros and cons of other cameras. I changed my mind twice about this one, but after discussing it with a photographer friend he gave me the advice to stick with it and start the fund for a FF camera (5D).

One of my lenses may or may not be an evil Sith Lord. After 10 years, it decided to crap out for no reason. When I shake it, it rattles.

Nothing is ever perfect .. but my new camera is pretty close.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Happy Easter.

Today is the first day in 12 days that it hasn't rained. Friday gave us some hope and it was hot at the weekly rugby game, but the rain returned that night with a chilling vengeance.

School holidays began last Thursday. It's a time I dread.

Hastings doesn't have a movie theater anymore because the syndicate of investors called it quits.
It's winter so Splash Planet is closed til spring and gas is $2.19 a liter, which means, there will be children in and out of our house for the next two weeks.
Love them, hate school holidays.

Received a letter from the hospital saying Larry's surgery is placed at #3 on the urgency list, which is urgent. This is below #2 Very Urgent and #1 Near death urgent. We'll be waiting for 4 - 6 months before his surgery call up. He's on haemo until then, which means, we won't be going anywhere for a weekend getaway for another 4 - 6 months.
I'm ok with this because he needs dialysis, but he's going cabin crazy in Hawkes Bay.

Shots from the game this past weekend. Here's my cousin Everard setting up for the money play of the week .. an offload that I missed because his sister and wife, who were sitting in front of me, got overexcited and raised their umbrellas the closer the team got to the try line.

Dude in the gray on the sideline behind him is having a WTF moment.
We won 30-21 that day.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012


It's always raining somewhere in New Zealand. This week it's here in The Bay.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Sunday Hangi

My stepdad is a make do man. He'll make anything out of junk. For example, the atrocity that is my tostada template. He welded a pastry blender handle onto a tin can and that was that.
This is his hangi keg whatever you call it. I don't blame him for refusing to buy the famous Multi-Kai-Cooker. The man knows how to make do.

The top of this needs extra insulation. Steam was coming out the top, hence the dirt.

Brushing the dirt off.

He was pretty anxious about it. It was the first time he'd ever done something like this on his own and he wasn't sure everything was going to cook properly. I'd like to tell you how he heated the rocks that cooked everything, but that's his secret.

Potatoes and Pumpkin.

Chicken & Mutton amoungst the watercress.

The keg will fit enough for about 15 - 20 people.

He was a happy guy because everything was cooked perfect.

Larry wanted hot sauce on his hangi ... just like he wants hot sauce in his boil up.
Our primate food boggles the man.

I made cornbread.

Everyone thought it was a cake.
They really are primates.

It was decided today, by my Mum, that we'll be having Sunday hangi's twice a month. We're waiting for you to come down Joel-eo to add your Nga Puhi styles to hangi Sunday!

General Conference

General Conference weekend and daylight savings.
I liked the hour long sleep in, but still didn't make it on time for sacrament meeting so I tuned in to general conference on the iPod and caught the last 2 talks. Richard G Scott was the final speaker of todays afternoon session, right before the MTC Choir ended conference with what sounded like a 6-part harmony of Praise to the Man. It was fantastic. I love music. I have always loved music. It takes my breath away.

He spoke about revelation and inspiration and by what means they may come to one. I was particularly interested when he said they may come in dreams by way of the spirit using imagery of loved ones.

Let me take you back to when Larry decided he didn't want to continue on with treatments, a day before he was scheduled to have his first tunnel line surgery in Auckland, the night we stayed up late crying and giving in to the fact that this was it and now we prepare for his death. After pleading with him to no avail, I emailed our doctors to let them know what he had decided on his own. It broke me to give up and tell them that he just wanted to die. We both cried ourselves to sleep that morning.

Then came the dream.
My family have several plots side by side in the local cemetery some 2kms up the road from our house here and that's where I found myself in my dream. Standing at our row of plots were 3 of my grandmothers sisters, all deceased, 2 of which raised me (and I've spoken of them before). They were wearing white, which is what they were all buried in. One aunty was cleaning the grave. One of the other two spoke first and recited words from my most favored song from the musical Carousel.

"Walk on through the wind, walk on through the rain"

Then the 3rd, Aunty Marva, said, "You know what you have to do", and ended it with the rest of the song.

"Walk on, walk on, with hope in your heart.
And you'll never walk alone"

I woke up and immediately relayed it all to Larry incase I forgot it. It was the best dream I'd ever had .. even better than the one where Edward Cullen was real.

We all know how it ended :)
Happy April.

Summer part 2

Nessa envisioned this shoot with my nephew Ellis. They pulled it all together very well. Hubs was supposed to be in it, but got stage fright...