I have to say, at 43, I think this has been the most pleasant holiday season ever.  Aside from a few hiccups and a few speed bumps, it's been fairly grand.  No, there were not any trips to Yosemite this past December, but we did some things here that were special in and of themselves.

For one, with seven kids, we spaced out the gift opening sequence.  It was not a free-for-all on Christmas morning, in part because the girls were at their mom's this year for the morning festivities, but we broke the openings up into little pockets so that everyone got to spend some time with what they got, before we cracked open the next thing. 

And we stayed close to home.  No cross-country trips compacting clothes and kids into suitcases, cars or airplanes.  Talk about a stress reducer. 

And then I've gotten some time away from work and had more time to dedicate to the skills I've been acquiring in 2008 on my Mac.  I think I learned more technical skills in 2008 than I have in all the other years of my life. The One-to-One training with Adolfo Cantu-Villarreal at the Apple Store at NorthPark Center in Dallas has been the best $99 I think I've ever spent.  We certainly have gotten our money's worth on that 2007 Christmas present. 

So for Christmas this year, I've been blessed with Aperture 2, the photo cataloging and enhancement package from Mac for digital photography.  It's taking some getting used to, meaning it was easier to pick up Adobe Bridge, but I am learning how so many more options are available using it over Bridge.  And once I finish making the adjustments I like, if I still want to, I can hit Command + Shift + O and the picture goes directly into Photoshop Elements 6 for me to play with there. No more dragging and dropping after telling Aperture where to send my pics when I hit those shortcut keys.

I am shooting almost everything on the Nikon D-40 in RAW format which gives me just incredible details in photos.  Haley Jan 02 09 488
This one of my daughter Haley was a full body shot of her from about seven feet away.  You'd think I shot it as a close up of just her head from just looking at it.

In 2008 I learned that I never want to buy another PC for anyone and that I'll always recommend a Mac to anyone who asks or says they're having problems with Windoze.

I also learned not to ever buy another camera that doesn't have RAW formatting on it.  Yes, it takes up a little more disc space, but the clearer memories it provides are worth it. 

Without question, the new tools I acquired in 2008 have given me so many options for multi-media, it's now time to decide which area I'm going to focus on.  I think that's going to be the hardest part.  Do I do movies?  Do I do just digital photography?  Do I do graphic design?

I think I'm going to try mixing and matching and use all of them together.  As of this moment, I know enough about each of them to be dangerous. 

Okay, time to do some more tutorials on Aperture 2. Okay, Paul Simon, let's play KodaChrome!




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