Trip to South Dakota

For the summer of 2015, our family decided to take a seven day trip to the obscure state of South Dakota.  I bet the only thing you know about South Dakota is that it’s capital is Pierre, and Mount Rushmore is there.  To my surprise, there’s a lot more to South Dakota than it’s famous Monument of the four brilliant presidents.  In fact, I used up approximately 97% of my 16GB SD card in my camera.  Obviously there were many moments I wanted to capture, and I will share with you my favorites.

On the first day (July 29), we explored the Black Hills & Mount Rushmore, visited the Crazy Horse Monument, and drove through a herd of North American Bison.

The location of Rushmore offers amazing views of the Black Hills parallel to the monument.  Mount Rushmore National Memorial is the result of 14 years of hard work.  It involved the efforts of nearly 400 men and women.  Fortunately, no fatalities occurred during the 14 years it took to construct the colossal monument.

 

That same day we visited the unfinished monument dedicated to Crazy Horse.  The foreground is a 1/300th scale replica of the soon-to-be completed (not really) 564′ x 640′ monument in the background. It took 50+ years just to carve out the base and 87′ head. This will most likely still be under construction during our lifetime. It’s taking so long because it’s privately funded.

 

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To finish the day off, we drove through a herd of Buffalo.  I know what you’re thinking: isn’t that dangerous?  No.  We stayed in our car and didn’t disrupt them.  They’re used to seeing cars, they will just move out of the way.

 

 

The next day, we explored the Bad Lands.  The Bad Lands are a 244,000 acre fossil bed.  This beautiful landscape is the result of erosion which took place for millions of years.

 

 

Next, we climbed to the top of Bear Butte and bought souvenirs from the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally.  Bear Butte (LOL BUTT!!!) is a mountain and sacred Indian land with a summit of 4,428 feet above sea level.  It’ll take you at least an hour to climb up, but not nearly as long to climb down.  Many Indians perform sacred rituals and prayers on the mountain.  Throughout your endeavor to reach the top of the summit, you’ll see evidence of said Indian activity.

 

 

Neither I nor my family are attached to motorcycles and the culture, but it was amazing to see so many people in a small town.  Sturgis, South Dakota, where the yearly motorcycle rally takes place, has a population of 6,883.  It’s estimated that the population will increase to 1.5 million during the 75th anniversary of the Rally.  That’s about a 21,793% increase in population…

 

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Then, we explored the Black Hills and it’s waterfalls.

 

 

On August 2nd, we drove one state over to Wyoming to check out Devil’s Tower.  Devils Tower was formed by the intrusion (the entry of molten rock into or between other rock formations) of igneous material.

 

 

On the last day, we explored Wind Cave in Hot Springs, South Dakota.  Wind Cave is an impressive find of mankind.  It has breath-taking views above ground, and below.  It’s the sixth longest cave in the world with 144 miles of discovered cave passageways.  The neat thing is, four new miles are added each year!  It’s deepest known point is 532 feet below the surface, but only researchers go down that far, and when they do, the camp.  Wind Cave is a unique cave.  Since it’s very dry and it takes almost a year for any water to get down there from the surface, it doesn’t have the well-known stalactites and stalagmites which are found in most caves.  It has something called boxwork, which is illustrated in the pictures below.  It’s fragile webbing on the walls and ceiling on the cave caused by erosion and acidic water.

 

 

Spring Break at San Diego

For Spring Break during my junior year of high school, I went to San Diego, California, with my family. I thought I would share my experience with you by showing you my favorite pictures from the trip. Although I took 1524 pictures, I obviously won’t be showing you all of them.

Let’s start off with some from the San Diego Zoo.

 

Here are two Pandas. The one on the left is a Giant Panda. There are 12 pandas that live in the United States, and this is one of them. San Diego Zoo houses three of the 12. The one on the right is a Red Panda. Ironically, these two species aren’t related at all.

 

 

On the second day, we went to Torrey Pines.

 

 

Next, Sea World.

 

 

“So long and thanks for all the fish.” — Dolphins, Probably.

 

 

This was pretty impressive. You should have been there. And no, this wasn’t fake. He dissembled the sword and everything.

 

 

Got the once-in-a-life-time opportunity to meet some celebrities.  These pictures were taken at the Wax Museum on Hollywood Blvd.

 

 

Saw some wacky stuff at Ripley’s Believe It Or Not Museum.  Thought that dress was pretty cool. I wouldn’t wear it, though.

Vacation at Lake Tahoe

For a duration of six days in August, my family and I went to Lake Tahoe for vacation. We went sailing, rode on a big boat, climbed Heavenly Mountain with a gondola, explored Logan Shoals Vista Point, and engaged in other activites. I took 910 photos — and three videos — and I wanted to share some of my favorites with you.

 

I don’t know the people on the parachute thing, just thought the picture looked nice. Also, I got a good shot of an airplane at 6,200 feet above sea level. The picture of the water is a good representation of the clean and clear water of Lake Tahoe. Allegedly, it is 99.7% clean.

 

 

It was raining very hard that day. Notice the steam manifesting over the water; that means the water is warmer than the air. These pictures were taken in Emerald Bay.

 

 

A few thousand feet above Emerald Bay. That white substance on top of the mountain is a mystery to me. I’m pretty sure it’s not snow because it was 70 degrees and that mountain top didn’t look that high. It’s probably a mixture of gravel and dirt.

 

 

We took a gondola up Heavenly Mountain. The duration of the trip was about 20 minutes, and it took us up 10,067 feet above sea level. It was chilly up there, and precipitation — in the form of hail — began to fall from the sky.

 

 

Each day ended with a remarkable sunset.

My Sass Structure

I’ve been using Sass for about a month now, and I have fallen in love with it. I should of began using it a long time ago. It’s amazing. At this moment in time, I don’t have a comprehensive understanding of Sass’ capabilities; however, I thought I should share with everyone my setup.

My Sass structure includes: mixins, normalize.css, a custom reset, and Dan Eden’s Toast responsive grid. Without further ado, let me show you around.

The structure is quite simple. You will be greeted with two files, and a folder that contains four files. Here’s a visual representation:

src
  - _mixins.scss
  - _normalize.scss
  - _reset.scss
  - _grid.scss

style.scss
index.html

Inside _mixins.scss there are three mixins that I always use. I really don’t know of any other ones that I would need. I have mixins for transitions, border-radius, and converting px to em (I made an online tool for this, too).

I would like to show you how to use the px to em mixin (there are comments in the file to show you how to use all of them). So, this is the mixin:

@function em($target, $base: 18) {
@return ($target / $base) * 1em;
}

Now, to use it you would do something like this: font-size: em(16);

Also, make sure $base is equal to your base font-size. In this case it’s 18 because instyle.scss, our font-size is 112.5% (1.125 * 16 = 18). So, to figure out $base, just multiply your body font-size by 16.

I’m not going to explain normalize.scss or grid.scss — you can research them yourself!

I made a custom reset.scss file, and included some resets that I thought were necessary. Here’s my custom reset:

*,
:before,
:after {
    -webkit-box-sizing: border-box;
    -moz-box-sizing: border-box;
    box-sizing: border-box;
    padding: 0;
    margin: 0;
    border: none;
    outline: none;
}

body {
    -webkit-font-smoothing: antialiased;
}

.cf:before,
.cf:after {
    content: " ";
    display: table;
}

.cf:after {
    clear: both;
}

.cf {
    *zoom: 1;
}

I stripped the default borders and outlines from elements, and eliminated the default margins and paddings. I hate it when I click a button, and I see that blue outline! .cf is a clearfix hack by Nicolas Gallagher.


Go ahead and download my Sass structure on Github!

About This Site

Hello, and welcome to my online blog and portfolio! The aesthetics of this website will never remain stationary; they will always change. That’s the beauty of having your own website. It’s a place where you can dictate the look and functionality of the experience.

This website is built with Jekyll, a simple, blog-aware, static site generator. The typography is set in Avenir and Chaparral Pro. If you’re a curious individual who has the desire to have the source of my website, you can find it here.

Please don’t persecute me for how messy everything is, and how I don’t use Sass. I chose not to use Sass because I literally designed the site in the browser, and I didn’t feel like setting up Sass. It would come in handy if you know exactly what you’re going to produce— Although there were several occasions where I would of loved to have mixins. I didn’t adapt the DRY principle too well.