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DIY – Shoebox

DIY - Shoebox in Sketchup
DIY – Shoe box in Sketchup

Planning The Box

My wife had been wanting a shoe box to put all of her boots in. I figured with all of the weather cooperating and the days getting longer, it shouldn’t take long to build it.

DIY - Shoebox
DIY – Shoebox

After work one day, we started working on putting some planks together which would be the outer frame. This was pretty sketchy because the wood wasn’t as sturdy.

My Wife Adding Primer
Applying The Primer

The next day, I got up and added the frame to the outside borders and constructed the box you see. My wife then started applying the Primer.

Added paint to the box with our Paint Sprayer.
Added paint to the box with our Paint Sprayer.

It took us a while to figure out how to use our Paint Sprayer but once we got it, the painting was easy.

DIY - Shoebox Complete
Painted and Added a Hardwood Floor Top.

My wife put some hardwood floor pieces together and then I added a piece of 1/2 inch plywood base to the bottom of the floor. We glued the two together and purchased a piano hinge to help with the top lid. It worked great and it looks good. Not bad for a couple of hours of work.

Thank you for reading!

Semper Fidelis

Manuel Perez

Reviewing Tools and Equipment

Broken Sheetrock
Broken Sheetrock

Another Project

My wife and I started another project earlier this year and it has been fun. It has been a very long process as I do have a full time job that requires a lot from me. This project was to take our closet and close it off and open it on my daughter’s side of the room. Then we were going to build the closet in our room. After ripping all the sheet rock off inside the closet, we thought hard about it and decided not to remove living space from our bedroom as we thought it would reduce the value of the home in the end. We put new insulation in the walls and installed new sheet rock. We then added wood paneling to give it a wooden look. We then stained the wood with a dark finish. Then we began building the closet system. My idea was to put in drawers in the middle of the closet to eliminate having drawers inside the bedroom. We also added another pole to hang the clothes on the bottom half of the closet. Then we added barn doors which were really cool to make and very inexpensive. I plan on making a video showing how these doors are made and posting it here.

Completed Closet With Sliding Barn Doors
Completed Closet With Barn Doors

Reviewing Tools

I was approached by Dewalt recently to review some of their equipment by joining their Sampling Program. I wanted to let you all know that if you are interested in getting my opinion of your product or service, please allow me to be your person. I have always been good at reviewing stuff and you can see my Yelp reviews that I am always willing to share my experience. If you are interested in having your product or service reviewed, please reach out to me and I will be glad to offer my opinion.
Thank you for reading.

Semper Fidelis,

Manuel Perez

Review – Mountain Mike’s Pizza in Los Banos, CA

Ordering Process

When I was ordering, it didn’t seem like they had any specials. My family and I usually order a special that includes an XL Pepperoni and some Breadsticks and drinks. I had to order everything separately. After being rung up, the price was kind of shocking me. I looked down at the receipt and was suffering from sticker shock for the price of an XL Pizza. I said, oh well.

Food Portions

We sat down and waited for the food to arrive. When the Breadsticks arrived, I was pleased with the flavor and texture. They were crunchy and tasted like something different versus dough.

Finally, the Pizza arrived and I didn’t pay attention to the Pan hanging over the counter. The XL Pizza was huge. On the pan hanging over, it says 20 slices, but my son counted them and they only gave us 18. It was still big. There was plenty for leftovers. The Pepperonis were small and they curled up like little bowls of flavor on the pizza. The sauce wasn’t too heavily placed making the pizza almost as crunchy as the Breadsticks.

The Cons

The only complaint I have about this place was that none of the games seemed to work. I started off with trying to get quarters for the kids to play games with using the change machine but it didn’t work. The guy behind the counter helped us out with that. I then went over to play the PacMan/Galaga game and it asked for 2 credits to play. I stuck in 2 quarters which gave me the amount needed to play, but when I pushed the Start button, it didn’t work. I tried to get my quarters back using the eject button, but that didn’t work either. The kids were then trying to play another game and I gave up as nothing seemed to work.

Overall

The Food and Service are great but there aren’t that many games for the kids to play. The place is big but all open, so once it started to get a little more people inside, it started to get noisier with the voices trying to compete with the Televisions in the place. I will be going again, but not sure about going to this same one.

If you would like to read my Review on Yelp, follow the link.  Add me as a Friend to see my other Reviews as they are written.

Thanks for reading!

Semper Fidelis,

Manuel Perez

Promotion – Get Your Favorite Print

Yosemite
Yosemite

Hello All,

I have been shooting photos for quite some time now and I am going to give everyone the opportunity to get something for Christmas. Right now up until December 31, 2018, I will be giving locals (Anyone In the Fresno, California Area), copies of my work. Here is the catch…you pick the photo from all of my work(Landscapes Only Unless the Portraits Are Of You Or Someone You are Related To), you pick the type of print. I will be using Costco Photo Center to print these on anything that Costco wants. All you pay is the cost for the merchandise.

Costco can print my work on just about anything.  From Canvas Prints to Metal Prints and even Christmas Ornaments.

Select from any of my work.  Not only on this page, but if you see any of my work on Instagram, Twitter or Anywhere else.

I see this as a way to get my work out there before I die. I would love to give to my friends and families, so please choose your work and get it printed. Contact Me to make your choice and be sure to give me your contact information so we can get a hold of you.

Merry Christmas!

Semper Fidelis,

Manuel Perez

Joshua Tree HDR

Joshua Tree HDR
Joshua Tree HDR

One Of My Favorites

I was traveling for work and just coming back home from a long drive. I was traveling with a close friend. We had been driving all day and stopping off at certain locations along the way taking photos. We would stop and get a few shots in as we weren’t in a hurry to get home. The above photo was one of the last places we stopped at as we came up towards Tehachapi, California. I had set my camera up for the bracketed exposures and put three photos together to get the above shot. I love how the details are in the Joshua Tree and the ground and in the background mountains.

Thank you for reading!

Semper Fidelis,

Manuel Perez

Long Exposure – Orlando

Long Exposure - Orlando
Long Exposure – Orlando

Experimenting

A few years ago, I was dabbling in Astrophotography and wanted to try out long exposures of certain areas. While working for my previous company, I was given an opportunity of a lifetime. I was asked to book my flight and hotel to Orlando, Florida to attend an exhibit show at the Orlando park. I knew I had an opportunity to get some time to catch some fireworks and some other HDR shots. When I first arrived, I spent some time exploring outside and seeing the atmosphere. I knew that because of the extreme lights nearby that I wouldn’t get any Astrophotography shots. So, I thought about some HDR and Long Exposures. I got the above shot using my Tripod and set my camera for a 30 second exposure. I thought it was great since I was just dabbling. I love the way the lights came out from across the lake.

HDR - Dolphin Resort
HDR – Dolphin Resort

High Definition

The above shot, I set my camera up for a bracketed exposure to get three different exposures. I then took the three photos and stitched them together in Adobe Lightroom. I have a Plugin called Photomatix that allows me to take the three photos and create an HDR photo with some effects.

Thank you for reading!

Semper Fidelis,

Manuel Perez

New Mexico

Lots of Hot Air Balloons
Lots of Colors

Travel

When I was traveling for work I was traveling a lot to New Mexico. Its one of the places where I made my first large sale. While visiting a couple of times, I heard about a Hot Air Balloon event that happens in Albuquerque, NM. I knew I had to go. I bought a ticket and got there super early so that I can be there for the setup.

Hot Air Balloons Filling Up
Fire It Up

Setup

I must admit it that I was freezing because it was so cold and I only had a light jacket. I wasn’t used to the altitude and the colder weather. When I arrived they got the go ahead to setup but that they couldn’t fly the balloons because of wind. The photo above shows a couple of balloons getting filled with heat. These things had some burners in them. From the distance where I was standing, I could feel a warmth that helped with me being cold.

Darth Vader Balloon
Darth Vader Balloon

May The Force Be With You

As I was wandering trying to get so many photos of the different balloons, I found one that was designed like Darth Vader’s Head. It was cool that they had so many styles and designs. If I am in New Mexico around the time of this event, I plan on attending. I want to be there when the Balloons go up.

Thanks for reading!

Semper Fidelis,

Manuel Perez

Reviews – Ivendita 1900 HDMI VGA AV Adapater

 

Ivendita 1900 HDMI VGA AV Adapter
Ivendita 1900 HDMI VGA AV Adapter

I purchased this adapter on Amazon a few weeks ago for our church. I had an original Apple cable that worked great. Then all of a sudden it didn’t work anymore. So, I had to buy a new one. I found a cheap one on Amazon and it worked. During the Sunday when I was using it, I noticed I still had some latency issues but then we got about half way through the service and it started to freeze. Then it stopped. I looked at the time on the iPad and it read 9:41 when actually, we start service at 10:00. I unplugged the adapter and the time fixed itself.

This device seems to have some sort of brain in it. Every time it boots up, you can tell it is trying to load some type of generic OS.

I will not be buying this hardware anymore and will try another. I tried to leave a review on Amazon but the review couldn’t be posted because of the amount of bad reviews this item was getting. That was weird.

Thanks for reading!

Semper Fidelis,

Manuel Perez

Have You Tried Bing?

Bing Image Saves
Bing Image Saves

Bing Gives Away Prizes

I used to use that other popular search engine to do everything and ever since Microsoft released Bing, it has been great. It has such an artistic design that makes it almost Beautiful. Then Bing started to give away points so that you can earn points just by searching for stuff on the web. I figure, why not make points for doing stuff I am going to do when I am online. They let you take those points and use them for prizes, drawings and even donating to your favorite Organization.

How To Make Points

If you are like me, then you search for stuff all the time. Why not make points for every search you do? You can also make points by referring people to join the program. Once the person makes enough points then you and them get some extra points.
I like to search for Black and White photos and especially portraits. I am always looking for ideas when I am shooting photos. With Bing, it allows you to save pictures in certain categories and look at them later. Almost like Pinterest, but you do all the searching and saving and don’t have to depend on anyone else to give you ideas. For every search you do, you get 2 points. You can max out at about 600 points per day with the questions of the day and other ways to make quick points.

Conclusion

I have used my points to buy Amazon Gift Cards, Microsoft Gift Cards and even pay for my XBOX Live Membership for the past couple of years. If you haven’t tried the program I strongly recommend you give it a try. I only use Google for their maps. If you have any feedback about the program, please chime in.

Thank you for reading!

Semper Fidelis,

Manuel Perez