Friday, July 31, 2009

Friday Thoughts/Looking at the Sky Watch

Sunset in the Ozarks

Last Saturday we attended an outdoor wedding. During the reception I looked to the west to find this scene. I had my wife's pocket, point & shoot, digital camera along just in case a photo opportunity arose. There were plenty of people with cameras photographing the wedding party, so I decided to capture this image instead.

What can I say, our main television went out on us last week-end. Well, the picture began acting like your computer monitor just before the screen goes black. That meant a trip to Best Buy for a new Samsung 40" LCD unit. The best part is that they deliver, set it up, and haul the old one away. The old set was a Sanyo 30" wide screen tube set. It weighed 160 pounds, so I don't have to tell you how happy I was that Best Buy will dispose of it.
Update: The old Sanyo has decided to work! I guess that means that an ancient 25" analog television that is in the living room will be leaving us. That's ok, it's over 20 years old and the color is not very good. Well the Geek Squad showed up, installed the new tv and it is amazing!!! The color is stunning, the size is just right and the sound is excellent as well. Next week I'll try out one of my favorite movies, "Cars" to see how I like it on the bigger screen. All I can say is, if you're in the market for a new LCD television, you could do a lot worse than this Samsung! One final note, in September Best Buy will come back out and calibrate the colors. This IS an additional service, but it will make the picture quality close to blue-ray. Since this is the primary television in the house, I decided to spend a little extra money and get the picture quality as close to perfect as possible. Stay tuned for the update.

For the inspirational song this week, I picked another song that we sang recently in our worship service. Enjoy.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

We're going on a cruise. We've never been on a cruise! That's right, November 1, we will sail out of Galveston, TX for a seven day cruise in the Western Caribbean. Several months ago my brother-in-law mentioned that they were going on a cruise in November. My bride's brother called again the other day and told us that they had booked their place on this cruise and that we should join them. Well, we didn't really go anywhere special for our 35th wedding anniversary in May, and we've never been on a cruise, so...why not?
I guess we'll spend the next couple of months trying to drop a few pounds (50 would be nice), deciding what shore excursions we want to take (any suggestions?), and making sure that we have an adequate wardrobe (yep, my wardrobe is adequate, two pairs of short and couple of shirts). I'll keep you advised as we get closer to the date.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Monday, July 27, 2009

Ruby Tuesday

This just might make another Ruby Tuesday badge. What do you think?

Just thought I'd give you a bonus inspirational song this week. Enjoy.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Camping With Nana

Wednesday evening the three younger grandcrew came home with my bride, Nana, to spend a couple of nights with us. Nana thought it would be fun for them to camp out on the back deck. We have an 8'x8' dome tent that we used many moons ago. I set it up, Nana blew up an air mattress of herself and made pallets for the grandcrew.
There are woods right behind our house so that the night air was filled with the sounds of crickets and other critters. They popped two big bowls of popcorn, sliced several apples, got their drinks and headed out the back door, Nana leading the way. Of course everyone had to have a flashlight for the "scary story" time later in the evening. Each of the two granddaughters read a book by flash light. Nana read a book that the grandson had picked out. I left the festivities around 9:30, since there was not enough room in the tent for everyone and I was the only one with a day job. As best I can tell, the party continued until after midnight. Apparently there was a second raid on the kitchen for more snacks. The temperature fell to around 55 degrees that night, which is PERFECT for sleeping in a tent! Thursday morning they got up, came into the kitchen and helped Nana fix breakfast. Breakfast at Nana's house ALWAYS includes bacon, sausage, eggs, biscuits, gravy,and jelly. That's the rule. They had so much fun that they decided to spend the next night in the tent as well. The second party lasted a little past 10:00 p.m. Friday morning, breakfast repeated itself. I got off work early Friday afternoon and we all went to see G-Force 3D. It is a great movie. I actually liked it better than Ice Age III. The movie was over around 6:30. We dropped them off at their house and headed home. Man, was it ever quiet with the grandcrew gone!!! Next time they want to camp out for real. I believe that's going to mean renting a pop-up and heading to the river or lake. Memories are made of this. Life is good!

On a side note. I qualified for this award over at Sandee's Comedy Plus. I probably should have saved it for a more "artsy" occasion, like the cloud photos in the previous post.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Friday Thoughts

What can I say, Wednesday afternoon was a good time for watching the clouds outside of my office window. Being on the third floor above the landscape helps.

However, a couple of miles from the office, I found the scene below. Always have a camera handy. You never know when a photo opportunity will come your way. I think that the old truck adds a nice touch.

Okay, enough puffy clouds. On another note. The next time that I mention that I am looking at something on E-bay, somebody slap me and take my laptop away...please. Last November I was looking at a 50-500mm lens for my Nikon D80 DSLR camera. After several failed attempts and winning bids more than twice what I was willing to pay, I quit looking for a couple of weeks. One day I found the lens I was looking for and placed my maximum bid nineteen hours before the end of the auction. The next morning, after I got to work, I decided to find out who was me!!! You just aren't supposed to win an E-bay auction with a bid that is nineteen hours old and at the price you were truly willing to pay. Well, a couple of weeks ago, I decided I'd like to have a back up digital camera. I wanted something more compact than a DSLR but more sophisticated than the run of the mill point & shoot. I like to keep a camera in the car at all times (see comment earlier in this post), and there are times when I just don't want to carry the big camera around. I really liked the Canon S5 IS. It is no longer in production because it has been replaced by the S10 IS. The S5 IS is an 8 mega-pixel camera with a built in flash and a hot shoe for a dedicated flash unit. It also has a 15x optical zoom lens. Remember, this is a want, not a need. I DO NOT need this camera. Anyway, I bid on several units the past two weeks, always losing by a sizable margin. So, I quit trying to buy one for awhile. Wednesday, I found one that looked like it might sell in my price range so I bid on it with eight hours to go in the auction. This evening when I got home from work, I checked E-bay to see who won... I did!!!! This has got to stop.
So how do we end this week? Time for the inspirational song. We sang this song in church last week and it is one of my favorite praise songs ever. Here is my favorite choir doing my favorite praise song. Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir singing "Days of Elijah". Enjoy.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Monday, July 20, 2009

These two young ladies are part of a dance team that performed at Celebrate America several weeks ago. Guess what, they are NOT sisters. They're not related in anyway. They're just friends that happen to resemble one another.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

"And That's The Way It Is..."

Of all of the celebrities that we have lost recently, Walter Cronkite will be the one that I miss the most. As a child of the 60's, I grew up with the voice of Walter Cronkite giving me the account of history making events. He covered the early political conventions. He told me that JFK had been killed. He told me that we had walked on the moon. As a young adult Walter Cronkite came into my living room every evening and told me about the events of the day.
He was a professional in every sense of the word. Those who knew him, called him the definition of an anchorman. There was something very soothing and comforting about that deep, resonating voice that helped us get through even the most difficult news events. There was something in his personality that told you, you could trust him. You could believe him. He would discover the truth and tell it to you without jumping on a soap box and making a major event out of something that didn't deserve to be a major event. He covered history with the honor and respect that history deserved. Walter Cronkite let the news be the star and not his personality. I think that's because he was a newspaper man first, and it was always his first love. In fact, it is said, that the word "anchorman" was coined as a result of his coverage of the 1952 presidential conventions. His signature line, "That's the way it is" ended every broadcast. Where did that come from. I'll let Walter tell you.

Walter Cronkite was 92 at the time of his death. I'm going to miss him. That's the way it is.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Friday Thoughts/SkyWatch Friday

SkyWatch Friday-Sunset at Epcot

This was taken last year at Disney World, Orlando. We all get lucky now and then. This just might be the best image that I have ever captured. There is almost NO post production done to this and it was taken with a Canon A630 point & shoot camera. My Nikon D80, DSLR was back in the hotel room at the time.
This week has been filled with photos of cars. I did mention that some of the cars deserved
their own post and this pick-up truck is one of them. The paint job on this truck is amazing. Everywhere you look, there is another detail to photograph. Enjoy the details.

Okay, that's probably the last of cars for awhile. I do know of another show in October that is significantly larger than this one. If I make it to Carthage, Missouri for that one, you will truly get tired of the cars long before I get tired of posting them.
Let's close this week with an inspirational song. This week at our church was Vacation Bible School. On Wednesday there were 768 kids and workers! That's right 768! Children learning that Jesus loves them. Enjoy this simple song.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Monday, July 13, 2009

Ruby Tuesday

Okay, so I made another Ruby Tuesday Badge. This one is for the guys! Okay, girls can use it too! This could be Big Boys Toys - Part II, but that will come a little later. These are the ruby red cars that were at the show on Saturday. As you can see, there was a first generation Mustang and the latest Rousch version. There was a second generation Comarro and the latest thing off of the showroom floor. Have a great Ruby Tuesday all. Looks like this week is gonna be filled with cars, cars, and more cars!

For more fun at the car show scroll down to the previous post and view some additional Big Boys Toys!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Big Boys Toys - Part 1

Since nearly all of you missed the Saturday preview, you'll have to scroll down to the previous post to see a couple of the detail photos. Saturday morning there was a car show about four miles from the house. It was nothing huge, but there were some very nice machines in attendance. Here are a few pics of some of the attendees. I will probably post a special Ruby Tuesday since there was plenty of red to go around. A couple of the cars deserve a post of their own. Maybe later. Enjoy the show, I did.

Hey! You're in Arkansas!!!! Ya gotta know that there will be at least one General Lee in the house.

There were some truly fun street rods in attendance. While this looks pretty stock on the outside. There's a 5.7 litre Hemi under the hood, and it gets 22 mpg! Are you listening Detroit. How much fun would this be to drive?

For you "Back to the Future" fans, there was a stock Delorean. Very nicely done.

This little '56 Ford Tudor Victoria was one of my favorites. It was impeccable.

Fins were "In" in 1957. If you think the tail of this '57 Chevy Bel-Aire is nice, take a look under the hood!

The custom paint on this pick-up truck deserves a post all to itself. I have several more photos that I will share later this week. I'm not a huge fan of the air-bag suspension, but the paint is in a class of it's own.

You don't see one of these every day! A 1962 Dodge Dart! While "Muscle Cars" are generally associated with late '60's Chevelle's, GTO's, Road Runner's, etc. Chevrolet was putting 409 cubic inch motors in Impalas in 1962 and Mopar was putting 383's in Dodge Darts. These early Muscle machines set the tone for things to come. What this Dart lacked in looks (and it is not an attractive car), it made up for in "go fast". That little emblem on the nose says "DART 440"!! That's right boys and girls, there is a Dodge 440 Magnum stuffed under the hood and it came from the factory that way!!! Now you know why they were called muscle cars.

Well, I guess that's about enough testosterone for one day. Come back tomorrow when I'll have the "Ruby Red" cars from this show! I even made a manly Ruby Tuesday badge for the occasion.