Michele Rousseau's Personal Interests


Although I enjoy my work... I also enjoy my spare time. Maintaining a balance is important to me.

My personal relationships are very important to me. I value the time I share with friends either hanging out at coffeeshops, chatting on the phone, sharing a meal and good conversation or enjoying some activity together. When I have free time this usually becomes my first priority. Other than that...


I'd have to say that Photography is one of many activities that brings joy and peace to my life. I just love this world that has been given to us and I love to take pictures of it. I think the best part of it is that it allows me to enjoy and focus on the beautiful details that would otherwise would be overlooked in the hustle and bustle of my everyday life.
I enjoy every aspect of photography from shooting & developing to matting & framing. I also enjoy dabbling in Photoshop.

I used to be a die-hard 35mm shutterbug, but since have learned the convenience and value of digital photography. If you are interested in a digital camera I would recommend looking at DPreview for some really thorough, indepth and fair reviews of digital cameras. Personally, I love my Canon EOS 5 for my 35mm indulgence and for digital I use a Canon EOS 20D. The 20D combined with a Epson Stylus Photo R800 printer (which I highly recommend) has really fulfilled my shutterbug needs.

I tend to use Picasa 2 for organizing photos. Google has done a pretty good job with this product. Its freeware and has no pop-up ads :-). For mac users, it is similar to iphoto so you are not missing much here, but for PC users this is a great way to organize and make minor adjustments to your photos. It also creates decent looking html for your photos fairly quickly.

Some features/drawbacks -- when you make modifications to your photos in Picasa 2 it doesn't modify the photo directly -- it saves the modifications in a different file (which only picasa 2 reads). I think this is a good feature because you never inadvertantly mess up your original picture. You can save the changes and it still keeps a copy of the original (unaltered) photos in a seperate folder. I don't care for how it organizes your photos and doesn't allow you to make customizable folders - it just uses whatever folder name you've stored them in on your harddrive - so if you use subfolders (as I do) it doesn't incorporate the parent folder names. However, it does automatically incorporate new photos and scans your entire harddrive on setup for all image files (found some surprises in there) :-)

If you too have moved into the digital world and are unsure of what type of compact flash to buy, there are two good sites for comparison. DPReview explains what the differences are and what to look for and Rob Galbraith provides comparisons specific to each camera. I found both these sites to be invaluable when making CF purchases.

(I'll post pictures when my schedule permits)

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Tae Kwon Do

  I have been studying Tae Kwon Do since 1999 and enjoy the "art" of martial arts. I was hesitant at first because I don't like the idea of hitting (or kicking) someone. However, I found the focus on balancing mind, body and spirit to be a very valuable practice.
I like the notion of all parts of the self working together in unison - it is really the joy and value in it for me. Besides that, it also seemed to me to be a good way to develop a potentially useful skill while excersizing.

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I little while ago I picked up the guitar. Although, I admitedly sound like I picked up the guitar a little while ago, I have found this to be a very relaxing activity. (It is much more gratifying then singing in the car!) And for the benefit of family and friends I don't do concerts.

There are many sites on the web that teach chords and different variations, but ChordFind is by far the best I've seen. I found a good site for country tabs. But, for any other genre I haven't found a good comprehensive site without a million pop-ups. If you have any good tabs or sites that you recommend... please send them my way!

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Bill Folding / Money Origami

A few years ago I took up money folding as a hobby. Mostly I got started doing this because I purchased a book, "The Buck Book", for a friend's daughter on her birthday. She had a little difficutly learning some of the models so I learned them to teach her how to fold them.
I thought... ok these are pretty cute and started leaving them as tips for servers that were particularly good as kind of an extra thanks. Also noticed that it really brightened the day of servers who were having a bad day. Something so simple brings a smile on someone's face -- amazing!

I've learned many different models from those I've seen displayed in restaurants and shops, and even more from pictures and diagrams I've discovered on the web. I have also joined a yahoo group called "Money-folders Unite" - which I recommend to anyone who is interested in starting this strange hobby. Be forwarned though - those bucks add up! I would like to thank all those who post diagrams and participate in Money Folders Unite - you've all been very helpful in my pursuit of folding.

For a long time I mostly folded the Elephant (which I credit to my friend Essie who would always respond "the elephant, of course" when asked, "what should fold this waiter/waitress"). Despite efforts to learn new cool money folds - the elephant still remains the most popular.

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and etc...

I also enjoy running, biking, hiking, rollerblading, boogie-boarding, and walking along the beach.

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