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Weekly Photo Challenge 2013

January – ILLUMINATION

February – FORWARD

March – LOST IN THE DETAIL

April – CULTURE / FAVORITES

May- PATTERN

June – THE WORLD THROUGH MY EYES / CURVES

July – THE GOLDEN HOUR

 

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August – CAREFREE

September – UNUSUAL POV

October – HORIZON

November – LET THERE BE LIGHTS

December – GRAND

This year, I decided to discontinue participating to Weekly Photo Challenge. Check out the similar post pattern last year – WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGES 2013. I still think the challenges are great tools to motivate and instill post ideas and creativity, to keep up with your blogging frequency, and, in many ways, get in the WP community. Especially for beginners, I really advise the writing and photo challenges.

All images are from my posts this year only. That is with the exception of July. I took those from Sunset View Park in Okinawa. All images were taken from either California or Okinawa, Japan.

I want to extend my gratitude to all of you who became part of this blog. Thank you for the appreciation, for following my travels and adventures, for sharing your thoughts, and for those of who shared my posts to other portals like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. I love the fact that even though I was away for 4 straight months, and then I came back and still have an abundance of friendship, loyalties and support from all of you who visit my blog. That was such an amazing thing, a relief and a joy.

My Top Ten posts that were posted this year can be seen in the front page and will remain there for the first half of January. #1 is PEOPLE.

Thank you so much. Happy New Year! Arigato Gozaimas. Akemashite Omedetou!

WPC’s: I want to feel things…

I want to feel things…

I RESOLVED in seeking more hikes…

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I want to feel things…

ILLUMINATION in the City of Lights

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…really feel them.

Witness something UNIQUE

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BEYOND
my wildest dream.
.

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I want to feel things … really feel them.

To connect. To KISS.

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To rekindle with the one I LOVE.
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To go back HOME.
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I want to feel things, really feel them.

How’s that for an ambition?

I want to go on and keep moving FORWARD

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Related Post:

Weekly Photo Challenge 2012

January – Simple

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February – Down

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March – Unusual

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April – Arranged

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May – Sun

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June – Summer

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July – Movements

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August – Growth

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September – Wrong

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October – Silhoutte

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November – Geometry

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December – Changing Seasons

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Weekly Photo Challenges

Here I let Weekly Photo Challenges sit for a little as I give way to post prolonged drafts and ideas I had been harboring i.e. a poem post, a DIY post, a bests and worsts post, home residence post, etc. And now I collected enough overdue Weekly Photo Challenges into one super post.

I do suggest participating to Weekly Photo Challenges. It’s a great medium to boost readership and to get to know a good part of WP community. If not WPC, there are other challenges available as well like Jake’s Sunday Post, Cee’s Fun Photo Challenge, IT’s Weekly Images of Life, Frizztext’s A – Z Challenge, Aisa’s Travel Theme and Marianne’s CBBH Challenge. I think I’m done participating to Weekly Photo Challenge. I have so much in my plate, and that I’ve been missing a lot of it or being late for it. Also, for a long time I’ve only been doing an average of 2 posts a week. I don’t want Weekly Photo Challenge dictates the nature of my blog.

BIG: LACMA [Los Angeles, California]

FOREIGN: International Houses [Balboa Park in San Diego, California]
This collage doesn’t do justice to what the location offers. You have to get in to each houses to get the full experience.
Seen: From top left, counterclockwise – Norway, Ireland, Spain, Czech, Sweden China, Ukraine, Germany, Israel, Puerto Rico, Scotland and Philippines

Geometry: Walt Disney Concert Hall [Los Angeles, California]RENEWAL: The Strip [Las Vegas, Nevada]

Las Vegas

GREEN: Sespe Creek [Ojai in Ventura, California]

Sespe Creek in Ojai

THANKFUL: My Community [The Sophomore Slump v. 2] *sticks tongue out*
 My Community
Changing Season: Matilja Creek [Ojai in Ventura, California]

Thank You WordPress geniuses for improving their gallery feature.

EDITED: The new WP gallery is not that great afterall. Now, I’m forced to show the pictures one by one. I’m sure WP will do something about this.
Or I have to settle for a width-length instead of having my widgets to the right.

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Weekly Photo Challenge?

FEATURED BLOG

Here’s to a very old post from an old-time blogging friend. I remember this photography excellency very well – Weekly Photo Challenge: Unusual. Gerry has been an all-over-the-map blogger providing us outstanding posts and being highly visible to many blogging sites. As a matter of fact, he has two blogging sites- Gerry’s Space and Writing Hell. To take great note, he won from participating the National Novel Writing Month Challenge. A blogger, a novelist, a consistent challenge master, and a music composer! Gerry surely is a stand-out creative blogger.

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Last Call…

REFLECTION: San Juan Capistrano [Los Angeles, California]

San Juan Capistrano

I’m only going to complete Weekly Photo Challenge this year.

DIY: How to make a Parachute Bracelet (550Cord Bracelet)

Don’t be alarmed, you are still viewing The Sophomore Slump. I’m very excited to compose this special report of a post. I actually planned to publish it 10 posts out before I hit my 200th but I just can’t resist.

550-cord bracelets or Parachute bracelets are usually or popularly worn by military personnel. It’s unisex, mostly men actually. Online, it ranges from $5 to $20 or higher. The coolest thing about this bracelet is that you don’t have to worry whether it’s fake or not, and rest assured that it doesn’t rust. 550 cords are strong and sturdy. It has a minimum breaking strength of …dum dum dum dum… 550 pounds. It was originally used in the suspension lines of US parachutes during World War II.

What you need?

  • A scissor, knife or a Gerber ***Safety Note*** Be careful when working with scissor or a knife.
  • 2 550-cords, one much longer than the other
  • lighter, or a candle ***Safety Note*** Be careful when working with fire.
  • Button

There are less than 15 Quick and Easy Steps. I can’t believe I put ‘Quick and Easy’ steps, such a typical tactic to lure people. Seriously, once you get the hang of it, it gets really easy. I can make one for 10 minutes. I do it when I hike, when I’m watching a movie, when I wait for my laundry to finish, whenever I drive …oops, whenever I’m at a Rest Stop.

STEP 1:

Take the smaller 550 cord (lanyard – let’s call it fancily as ‘lanyard’ from here) and fold it in half.

The Small Lanyard

Cut it in a way that it fits your wrist or whomever you’re making it for. Yey for me using ‘whomever’. Was the usage even right? Add extra length for adjustments, or for ‘waste factor’. Look at the picture as your guide. If you can’t do that, kindly give yourself a slight slap on the right cheek ….of your face. *BIG GRIN* just lightly, safety is paramount in making the bracelet.

STEP 2:

Take the longer lanyard, spot the center and make a square knot around the smaller lanyard. Pull it as tightly as you can. See the picture…

Leave a small loop where the fold meets on the small lanyard. Later on, that is where the button is attached to. You can look at the end result (very first picture). If you can’t make a square knot, ask your parents what it is.

STEP 3:

Place one side (first side) of the long lanyard over the small lanyard.

The First Side

Just like so. If you can’t do that, go ahead and give yourself a slight slap on your left cheek …

STEP 4:

Take the second side of the longer lanyard. Go over the first side and under the small lanyard. Making an “e”.

Make an “e”. The second side.

Again, over and under…

Over and Under

STEP 5 and 6:

Bring the end of the second side and go under the loop of the first side.

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Then, bring both sides up and pull both sides outward. Pull it as hard as you can.

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It should look like that -like a pretzel. I know pretzels are yummy, but don’t eat this lanyard. This is not a recipe. Once you pull it, you should see that you just made your first design.

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STEP 7, 8, 9 and 10

Redo the loops on the opposite side. Keep doing it until you reach almost at the bottom.

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You should leave room for ‘waste factor’ or that added length you made in STEP 1.

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STEP 11 and 12:

Cut both sides of the longer lanyard.

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Then burn both ends using a lighter. We all should know not to play with fire. Do this in a well-ventilated area and free of flammable materials like paper, gasoline, or your partner’s temper.

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STEP 13 and 14:

Take the button. Be practical. Get it from a used clothing. Be creative, you can use all kinds of buttons. This is actually the only hard part because you have to scrape off the center of the button to make it into a single hole. Use the knife to scrape off the button. Or, simply find a one-hole button.

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Insert both ends of the smaller lanyard into the button. Sometimes, you have to use a pen to stick it in, or any pointy objects.

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Then burn the ends together. Whenever you’re burning the ends, don’t your use bare hand but you can use the scissor to flatten it out. Here…

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STEP 14:

Presto! You’re done! Just attach the button to the loop that you made on the small lanyard.

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This post is part of the Weekly Photo Challenge: Mine. My blog is primarily about my travels. This time I posted something that is MY creation. Well, it was taught to me, and it became my leisure. I’ve given them away to close friends, even neighbors, and other acquaintances. Indeed, it is perfect for gifts, or giveaways. If you can’t keep up with my quote-end quote Quick and Easy steps, 3rd graders proof intructuons, first slap your face on both cheeks and then there are Youtube videos for you to visually follow.

For Parachute Bracelet Advance… You can also mix and match different colors of 550 cords. Instead of a button, you can also use clips or snap ons. You can also attach this to a watch. What I taught is Parachute Bracelet Basics. Maybe, a part deux in the future.

WPC’s: People are poetic…

People are poetic…

People are poetic…

EVERYDAY LIVING:

People are poetic…

and the best part is…

SILHOUETTE:

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People are poetic…

EVERYDAY LIVING:

and the best part is…

SILHOUETTE:

People are poetic…

and the best part is…

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they don’t even know it.

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Poetry?

FEATUREFD BLOG

Here is …. (drum roll please) … eliz with Musings: Color me Poetic. Of quotes, inspirational words, fitting wonderful images, engaging discussions, overflowing thoughts, relatable life perspectives, humanity, some humor and a whole lot of characters, Mirth and Motivation is your blog to check out. This blog urges you to think, to feel, to hear your inner voices, to taste life, to see things in a different light, and to speak your mind. Get to know her, and she’ll assure you that you’ll hear from her sooner or later. An all-over, all-around, prolific blogger, Eliz and her blog that suggesting you to Motivate, Elevate, Laugh, Live Positively… This is certainly one for the gold.

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Sorry for the flooding of photos, I completely go out of a whim and out of my normal posting habits and rules. I’m way behind my Weekly Photo Challenges, so I took the lazy approach. Hold thy breath, there’s more for last calls…

People are poetic…

EVERYDAY LIVING:

and the best part is…

SILHOUETTE:

HAPPY:

…they don’t even know it.

Near and Far: Europe and California

VENICE – Tops: California, Bottoms: Italy

I badly wish to go back to Europe. But I can’t complain as much. Not only that I’ve been very blessed to have gone there, the place I’m currently in ain’t too shabby for my travel fix. Plus, it really isn’t hard to cross-culture here in California.

Villas – Design of Getty Villa {Bottom) is inspired by The Villa of Papyri in Herculaneum (Top).

I really enjoyed the neat idea I came up with when I Merge: Herculanem and Getty Villa. And so, I tweak it a bit for my entry of Near and Far. The images in this post are places in California where you can imagine or reminisce different locations in Europe. Not what the challenge is looking for, but I’ve been known as a notorious  WPC rule-breaker.

Spanish Footsteps – Top Right: Rodeo Drive, California, Top Left and Bottom: Rome, Italy. Related post: Journey

I like to know. Anything around your area, or places you’ve been to, that resembles, comparable to, or is based from another location or site from a different country?

Alcazar Garden – Left: Sevilla, Spain, Right: Balboa Park

The next one is with the help of sister, Analyn. She’s quite a globetrotter as well.

Danish – Tops: Solvang, Bottom: Copenhagen, Denmark (picture courtesy of my sister)

This post is part of Flashback Friday. *sticks tongue out*

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FEATURED BLOG

Here is Loni. Check out her Yosemite posts. Check out her Venice post. Check out her Mud Run post. Check out the one where she got on TV. Check out her Anniversary post and the different places her and her husband have gone to. Check out her Academy post. Check out food, places of mainly California, and her wide-eye impressive photographs. My favorite however is  her 100th post where she showed her “Loni Exhibit”, These are some of my favorite things. Go ahead and Check out how Loni Found Herself.

Solitary Walk: Venice Canals

Visiting the Katimbang family (see post before this), I went to San Diego this weekend. It was a four-day staycation for me. I was also touring around California our old-time friend we’ve known way back when we were all in Missisippi. While I thoroughly enjoyed the company that I don’t normally get, my travel opportunities, however, became limited. Frankly speaking, it was quite frustrating. I dare not to elaborate further not to sound such a very mean tattletale. Let’s just say that I didn’t get anywhere on my destination plans in San Diego. Anyhow, the disappointment were replaced with great conversations of new and old times. I guess, it still worth the long drive. Traveling with group sure has the “inner” benefits, but in all physicality, going solo gives you umpteen possibilities and freedom. See my post here about traveling in groups vs. solo – Lost in Paris.

With the aching, rising price of gas and the long hours on the road, I just couldn’t bare the thought of getting nowhere after three days of staycation. Going back home, in Los Angeles, I tried to cover LACMA but got there too late with too little to see. Knowing me, I just don’t give up that easily. I continued on. I punched in another address on the GPS and I was ready to roll again. When we got there, I told my good old friend to wait in the car handing him my iPad so he has something to do. I already took him to Santa Monica, Chinatown, Griffith Park, Fairoaks Pharmacy, Mission Beach and La Jolla. I’m sure he understood.

I went for a solitary walk in Venice Canals. The good riddance, perhaps selfishness or rudeness for some, was all worth it. It can easily be one of the top best solitary walks I had in my entire travel days of all-time.

Yes, the Venice Canals in California is set-up to resemble the one in Italy. Only this is a high-end part of Los Angeles. Not of historical signifance scenes than its predecessor, and no gondolas in sight, the scenery here is then beautified with glamour, stylish houses, gardens, trees, cemented and wooden bridges, and varieties of paddle boats.


These are the only passengers I saw on these boats.

I ran so quickly I tripped three times, bumped into two people blocking my way where one of which, I pushed to the water, dropped one of my lenses, just so then I could get on top of the bridge to catch this shot.

I was, of course, just joshing. I stood on the bridge and waited eagerly and patiently for that shot above. This one below, however, was a serendipitous sighting.

The lanterns that are hanging from a tree lit up, telling me I should go back now and get back to my friend I left so horribly inside the car. He did like the Hollywood sign and Santa Monica for those are popular, but I don’t think he had the same interest in seeing these views.

 

This post is part of Weekly Photo Challenge: Solitary.
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Italy and California?

Featured Blog

Here is an excellent all-around blog. I don’t mean it in the slightest. This blogger is an artist, a poet, a traveler, a photograph expert, and a well-versed writer. She is currently enjoying Verona, and sharing wonderful street photography and stories of her stay there. Mind you, stateside, she’s been to San Jose, San Diego, Honolulu, Chicago, Anchorage, to name a few. My most favorite from this newly Freshly Pressed blog, One Street Shy, is this Verona-slash-intrapersonal post.

Last Calls…. Brace yourselves, as I did.


Though I didn’t anywhere in San Diego while traveling in group, this bookending solitary moment completely made up for it. With this scenery, I was certainly relieved.

FREE SPIRIT: Aaron and his gamut of emotion

This is a long shot for my submission of WPC’s Free Spirit. I did see a lot of children-concept that week, so  know I’m not completely off.

I know he’s my nephew and I may be so biased. But I’m just a big fan of his chubbiness. He looks so nourish and healthy. He has a good size, and good height. A fair complexion too. He has those big clear eyes. It’s sometimes looks lazy that it’s just magnetizing. He’s not flawless, but he’s perfect that way.

Meet Aaron and his gamut of emotion and expressions.

  

Oh, children. Their words are honest. Their actions are somehow unfiltered. Their innocence are real, and their ignorance are always pure. And their spirits are always free.

I’m stalling, somewhat. This is an off-set post. Something I don’t normally or usually do. This is a quick one. I let my guard down. I let go of the wheel here. I didn’t think or consider much. I Nike just do it. Free Spirit.

Last Call…

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Emotions? Free Spirit?

FEATURED BLOG

Broken Light: A Photography Collection pools in different people who are living with, or affected by, different kinds of personality disorders (Yikes! Am I suppose to say this? I hate labeling and categorizations!), of mostly depressions and bipolar personality. But that’s not the core focus of the blog. What the blog brings out from these people are their expressions to other means, through artistry, poetry and, like its title, photography.  The most memorable favorite for me, fits very well with Free Spirit, is titled Moving Free. I also suggest “Marry Me”, the one I think is the best entry. Well, every entry brings out beauty, love, passion, and a whole lot of emotions.

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Last Call…

Weekly Photo Challenge: WRONG

I enjoyed, from other bloggers, a lot of submissions to this long overdue WPC. I saw some comedic, some provoking, and some interesting photos that week. While many had success in responding to the challenge (kudos to all), I failed to even put the challenges in proper order. Once again, this wasn’t my initial idea or concept for the challenge. To keep things flowing, I decided going this direction instead.

I guess, it is just fittingly well to start with that “ado”. I go through an elaborate process before making a post. I have to sleep on it first. I have to think of some other way to blog every time. There’s got to be at least some sort of deviation from my previous posts. The subjects have to go through 10 different portals or stages before it gets uploaded to WordPress. After everything is done, it has to be tested, proofread, and that it has to garner a stamp of aprroval by a Jejemon first before it even gets published.

The following images are Weekly Photo Challenge rejects, and the different reasons of their disposal to my dump files.

URBAN: I could have squeaked this by but decided not to. Not only this is from San Francisco and that the focus was LA and San Diego, the buildings are closer as opposed to the common from-afar views of that post.

INSIDE: My topic was about The Getty Center. This could’ve been the Last Call, but the petals just didn’t make the cut.

MERGE: Too many pictures already inserted to that post that this, again, just didn’t make the cut.

PURPLE: This is the most purple out of all my pictures from last year’s Crawfish Festival. I failed once again to see it. Newsflash: I’m colorblind.

MOVEMENTS: For obvious reasons, it’s crooked, blurry. I wanted to get something from this angle but the waterside for background was just not pleasant and cooperative at that time. I changed my position. Hence, the pictures from The Lords of Dogtown / Skaters in Venice are from a different angle.

BLUE & HANDS: This is one of those pictures that are not normally favored result that when you look at your camera after snapping you just discard it. After some dissection, magnification, and keen observation, this one actually turns out really good. By the way, the Blue and Hands blog post is creeping close to my Freshly Pressed post in terms of the number of Likes.

SUMMER: Scenes from Ocean Beach in San Diego. Nothing wrong with both pictures, except for that one surfer who stumbled to get his bearings. Sometimes, they and these perfectly good pictures just slip by.
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Last Call…

Fleeting Moments: My bad, this one is a disappointingly overlooked image from my posts on Venice Beach and Fleeting Moments. Like my submissions to that Weekly Photo Challenge, the scene changed dramatically, so to speak, when I generate it into B&W.

The original set-up is composed of 15 images and, as you can see, it’s shrinked down to 10. I have a personal dilemma with overcrowding a post. I like to keep mine simple.

So, care to divulge one or two of your posting habits, strategies, mechanics or rituals?

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