Saturday, January 31, 2009
With the current state of the economy, zoos may be the next thing added to the Endangered Species list. New York Governor David Paterson has proposed a budget that will undoubtedly cut the state funding for zoos across New York. According to an article from CNN.com, "New York's 76 zoos, aquariums and botanical gardens will lose $9.1 million in state funds next year". (CNN.com article, Budget Cuts...)
When I was reading this article, I had hoped that there would be some good news on the horizon, but I was sadly mistaken. The new $819 billion stimulus package that is currently making the rounds in Congress doesn't allow for any wiggle room for many of the staples of the American family. "Section 1109 of the stimulus bill ... forbids the use of federal taxpayer money to plug the budget gaps. Taxpayer watchdog groups lobbied to keep zoos, aquariums, swimming pools, golf courses and casinos out of the stimulus,arguing that there are higher priorities for Americans' money during a recession". (CNN.com article, Budget cuts...)
Luckily not all of the money for the zoo and aquarium budgets come from the state; there are still private backers that could come out and help the zoos and aquariums, but I can't see it happening. There is plenty of what people call "old money" in New York and other cities that will see their local zoos and aquariums affected by this. I think that the people with the type of money that could possibly make a difference have grown accustomed to having not been relied on by these organizations. With any luck, we won't see the fall of our local zoos, much like we've been forced to watch the fall of the banks and our financial future as we know it. This is something that we could actually work to prevent.
Thursday, January 29, 2009
As everyone knows, this year I vowed that I was going to start to exercise and diet because I need to get in shape. This year, as we all know, my Dad is getting married in June and I'm his best man. I told myself that I'm not going to look like I do now when it comes time for the pictures. Most people would have given up by now and completely fallen off the wagon; I, however, have only fallen off part way. While I've only had fast food (I don't count Subway as fast food) only one time since the first of the year, I haven't really had the exercise routine down that I should have. Out of the 4 weeks in January, I've worked out 2 of them. I need to get back on the wagon. After watching last night's Biggest Loser, Daniel (Orange Team) was voted out by his fellow teammates. On his exit interview he said that he had tried to lose weight before because others wanted him to and felt that it was important for him to do so. He's ready to finally do it for himself and it shows! From the starting weight on the show to what we saw him look like last night, he has it in his heart to do it and stick to it! That's what I feel like this year. I still have just over four months to actually make it happen.
I'm only going to be 21 this year and have a long life ahead of me. I want to able to live it to the fullest and experience all that life has to offer. Although it may be hard given the current level of discrimination in this country, I want to be able to have a family and watch kids grow up and have a family of their own. There are too many things in this world to see and I'm not ready to give up on that.
In other news, I'm working my way towards getting a Mac. I've priced one online and it's going to run me about $2400, which, all things considered, isn't that bad of a price. I've had many, many people tell me that getting another PC isn't worth it and they've fallen in love with their Macs. Of course, I'll be getting a laptop because I like to be able to stay connected wherever I decide to go. When I get my taxes back this year, I've decided that I'm going to be getting an HDTV for my room and I'll probably get a Bu-ray player to go with it. I also have to get my window fixed in my car, a tire checked out and a new brakes on the thing too! I hope after I get all that fixed that I'll be good to go for a while!
Any person who knows me knows that I talk a lot about going on vacations and that, because of work, money or some other excuse, I rarely end up going. This year, I'm going to try and change that as well. Even if I only get one vacation a year, it will be a vast improvement over what I'm taking now. I don't think that I need a two-week vacation or anything either, four or five days would be nice. Seattle is always a city that has intrigued me and just the other day I was checking out a little vacation there and it was running just under $1k! That's for round-trip airfare and a hotel downtown… it would be AMAZING!!! I also want to move just about everywhere that I've ever been in my life, so I'm sure that when I take a trip to Seattle, I'll want to move there too. To be honest, I've already looked at apartments in and around the city and they're really not unreasonably priced! There was one complex, as a matter of fact, that was just about 30 minutes away from the city, was going for $775/month and if I read it right, all utilities were paid, but I could be mistaken. I've looked in to quite a few places over the past few years that I've toyed around with going to, but in reality it's mostly just a dream that won't go away. I certainly can't see myself living here for the rest of my life, but I'm not quite sure where I'll end up. Then again, with the rest of my life ahead of me I could end up in several different cities yet. Only time will tell.
Over the past couple of weeks, I've really been paying attention to the different types of photographs that I've seen, both in person and on the Internet and they've given me good ideas for new shots. I'm trying to expand my horizons and go beyond the comfort zone of animals, although I fully enjoy that. When the weather starts to warm up, I'm hoping to be able to get out and go different places around town that I either haven't been before or to places that I haven't been to in a while and see what they have to offer. I think I'm going to start looking for new ideas to do black and whites in. B&W is very "in" right now and depending on the shot, I think it looks quite elegant.
For now, I'm going to continue the rest of my shift here at work and see where the world takes me after that, aside from the fitness center after I get off. I hope that you all have a fantastic night and an even better tomorrow!
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
Best of luck, Madame Secretary!
Monday, January 19, 2009
Sunday, January 18, 2009
Thursday, January 15, 2009
Friday, January 9, 2009
Wednesday, January 7, 2009
Tuesday, January 6, 2009
Friday, January 2, 2009
Now that I have the pictures saved on something other than my computer, I feel much better. While I don't get the opportunity to go out and shoot pictures often anymore, I cherish the (good) few that I do. As I stated in another blog, this is a year of new beginnings for me. I'm going to try and focus more on my photography and see where it takes me. People aren't given skills for no reason, there is obviously some meaning behind why they have the skills they do. I believe that we each have our own skills, it just takes some time for each of us to find them. Luckily, I found mine early. This may be a year (after Dad's wedding, of course) where I start to take a little more time off from my full-time job to get out and explore the world in a different way. After all, there is so much to see just in the United States; I've got to tackle that before I can move on to bigger and better things abroad. World... Here I come!