Tuesday, July 22, 2014

DIY Dry Erase Menu Board

I made this dry erase menu board in less than 10 minutes -- if that!

I saw a package of 3 small dry erase foam boards in the office and school supply section at Walmart. I think they were $3-5 or so.  I had already been wanting to put (another) dry erase board up there. I have a couple of old ones whose magnets are pretty cheap.  After picking up the set of 3 boards, I went over to the craft aisle and found a package of 12 adhesive round magnets.  I already had the duct tape on hand to make the border.  One tip, snip the tape at the end lengthwise and rip it down the middle. You can use the outside edges for the front of the board and wrap the ripped edges to the back where they cannot be seen.  

I already had these Dr. Seuss notepads from Target's dollar spot.  Rather than have them go to waste, I am using them for two other purposes.  The one on the left will be my list of Kitchen prep tasks.  For example, I just bought some chicken and hamburger in bulk from Sam's Club today, so I need to repackage them into meal-size portions.  I will cook some of the hamburger before freezing it which helps make cooking supper go a lot faster!  The pad on the right is for my list of leftovers and other perishables that need to be eaten before they go bad.

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Friday, July 11, 2014

Please vote....

First Tennessee Bank is celebrating 150 years of being in business by giving away $5,000 per day for 150 days to nonprofit organizations. The winners are determined by the highest number of cumulative votes.  You can vote for up to 10 organizations each day from any device.

Several of my previous organizations for whom I have voted have already won, but I am currently voting for the following organizations:

  • Life Choices (an organization that offers free ultrasounds and counseling for pregnant ladies and also serves as an adoption agency)
  • Memphis Fire Museum
  • Children's Museum of Memphis
  • Smile Train
  • Shelby County Books from Birth (this is an affiliate of Dolly Parton's Imagination Library program)
  • March of Dimes
  • March of Dimes in Tennessee
  • Cystic Fibrosis
  • Navy Seal Foundation
  • Youth Villages
The organization that I am REALLY hoping wins sometime during the 150 days is Life Choices. I would really like to see them win $5,000 so that they can help more women who have unplanned pregnancies.  If you would like to help them win, please go to 150 Days of Giving, do a search for Life Choices, and vote for them.

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Thursday, July 10, 2014

ISO Sensitivity (for the Nikon photographer)

I've been a happy user of the Nikon D7000 camera for a couple of years now.  I love learning how to take better photos with my camera.

Most of my learning has come from trial and error as well as reading numerous web pages.  If you follow me on Pinterest, you may have seen my photography boards where I pin web pages that I have read or that I want to read.

The best paid resources I have used and that has been the most help to me is found at Capturing Joy with Kristen Duke.  She has two books (both print and ebook form) for the beginner and intermediate photographer as well as a video workshop.  I have purchased all three and they have been a big help to me!  (I also had the privilege of meeting Kristen and her kiddos when they came through Memphis last week!)

One particular screen in my camera menu has always confused me.  Here it is:


I understand what ISO is for (sensitivity to light -- the higher the number, the more sensitive it is to light) and that it's part of the so-called exposure triangle (along with aperture and shutter speed) used to generate properly exposed photos.  The more available light you have, the less sensitive the ISO needs to be.  For example, if you're outside in bright light, you can most likely use an ISO of 100; the less light you have, the higher the number should be.  The Nikon D7000 has a button marked ISO which you press and then rotate the Main control dial to change the ISO.  Which one is the Main control dial? The one that changes the number.  It's either the front (Aperture) one or the back (shutter speed) one.  Try both and see which one changes the ISO.  (I think it's the front one.)

In the ISO sensitivity settings menu, as shown in the graphic above (which I totally copied from another web page since I don't know how to get screenshots off of my camera),  I couldn't figure out what ISO sensitivity meant in conjunction with the Auto ISO sensitivity control.  "Does that mean it will change the ISO in increments of 100 or whatever number you select?"  The ISO sensitivty selection goes from 100 all the way up to the highest setting available (Hi 2 which is equivalent to ISO of 25600.

The Auto ISO sensitivity control is easy enough to understand.  This setting allows the camera to take over and change the ISO when the current settings will not take a properly-exposed photo.  You can set the maximum sensitivty (the highest ISO that you will let the camera to set) and the minimum shutter speed (the slowest that you want the shutter speed to go).

Well, my confusion was for nought.  I was basically over-analyzing what the menu setting was for.  This webpage explained it to me.  The ISO sensitivity is simply another way of choosing the ISO setting.  That's it.  You can either press the ISO button and turn the Main control dial OR you can go to this menu and select your ISO setting.  I feel kinda dumb that it's that simple, but I also figure there's probably at least one other person in this world who is confused by that as well.

Last week, our family went on vacation to Birmingham to visit with family.  We did lots of fun things, and I actually managed to shoot in manual mode the whole time. (Shooting in manual is not very difficult in theory, but it does take careful observation of several things including ISO and the exposure meter.  I usually prefer to shoot in Aperture mode which is easier for me.)  I have not yet uploaded my photos to my computer, but I am looking forward to seeing how they turned out.  One of the places we went to was the McWane Science Center which is a great museum for all ages.  The only bad thing (from a photography point of view) is that most of the lighting was garbage.  Too dark and wonky white balance.  We also went to the Birmingham Zoo (where I rode a zip line for the first time!!), and I'm confident that (most of) these photos turned out well.

If you want to see any of my photo sessions, please visit my Facebook page for my photography business Over the Mantle Photography.
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Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Get a one month free with BackBlaze!

About a year ago, I started a series called Preparing for a Disaster and wrote one blog post about backing up your computer.  In that post, I highly recommended using BackBlaze.

BackBlaze is running a referral promotion where new users can try it out for free for a month, and the person who refers them gets a free month when the friend purchases it for a longer time.

If you would like to try BlackBlaze and if you would like to be a help to me, please use this link:  https://secure.backblaze.com/r/00v231 to sign up.  Let me know how you like it!

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