Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Monday, April 29, 2013

Ruby Tuesday II

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Spring Flowers
This year we have had a very cold, wet Spring.  Just when we think Spring has finally sprung, the temperatures drop into the low 30's at night and we get a downpour of rain the next day.  It has been a difficult season for those who love Spring Flowers.  These are in containers so that we can bring them in the house when it gets too cold.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Scavenger Hunt Sunday

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It's been a few weeks since I last participated in SHS, mostly because I haven't captured appropriate images for the cues.  This week, I set out to expressly photograph images that would fit the suggested subject matter.  Let's see how it went.

Saturday was the opening day of the local farmer's market on the square.  It was overcast and sprinkling rain, conditions not conducive to success for outdoor vendors.  Still, there were alot of people walking around the square.  A few had their pets, and this gentleman had his pets outfitted in their rain gear.

Yummy to My Tummy
Last week my wife and I hosted an in-home prom dinner for 17 high school students.  You can scoll down a couple of posts to get the full story.  I grilled strip steaks.  I had one steak left over.  What do you do with a left over steak?  You slice it thinly, put a little BBQ sauce on it and turn it into a sandwich.  And yes, it is yummy to your tummy.

  Favorite Toy
There is no doubt that my favorite toy is my Nikon D7000 with a Tamron 18-270 lens.  You can photograph nearly anything with this set up.  It is perfect for "street photography" like the "Walking" capture above.  I have several other lenses for other types of photo work, but this is my "go to" walking around set up.  It's my favorite toy because I can take it nearly anywhere I go, and it allows me to capture life and make memories for myself, my family, and many of my friends.  Yes, the boat in my blog header is my second favorite toy, but I captured that image with my FAVORITE toy.

  What I Did This Week
I did several things this week, but the one thing that I was able to photograph and show you is a Zentangle that I created.  Basically a Zentangle is controlled doodling.  It is a creative, relaxing way to spend some time.

One of the vendors at the local farmer's market makes these baskets by hand from white oak.  They are really nicely done.  That tool in the foreground is what he uses to turn a log into strips suitable for weaving the baskets.  I love this kind of craftsmanship.  Well that's all I've got for this week's Scavenger Hunt.  Have a blessed week-end.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

If Only I Could Talk

I spotted this pick-up truck in an area Walmart parking lot.  I was immediately in love.  I was in love with the character of this truck.  It's a little bent.  It's a little rusted.  It's a little worse for wear.  It's called character and this truck has more character than most.  I'll bet it would be best buddies with "Mater" from Cars.

One can only imagine the stories that this truck could tell.  How many Friday nights has it sat out in the parking lot of a Honky Tonk waiting for it's owner to call it a night?  How many days has it spent in the fields hauling the tools to mend fences?  How many trips has it made to the feed store?  How many thunderstorms has it safely negotiated?  How many drivers learn how to drive behind the wheel of this truck?  How did it get all of those dents and scrapes?  When did it get it's first rust spot?  Ah, the stories it could tell.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Hangin' Out in the Dugout
Just like in the big leagues, the best action is not always on the field.  I'm always watching the dugout to see the interaction between the team mates.  One can never know for sure what is going on in minds of a bunch of nine year old boys, but it can make for some interesting photo opportunities.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Monday, April 22, 2013

Ruby Tuesday II

There is just a hint of red on the emblem, but the rest of the car is actually a metallic black cherry.  Last Saturday evening my wife and I hosted a Prom dinner for seventeen friends of our grand daughter.  Scroll down one post for the complete story.  One of the parents brought a car over to the house so that the kids could have their prom photo taken with it.  What fun.  What a car.

 It's a '35 Olds three window coupe, with rumble seat!  How fun is that!

The pinstriping and that "Z" striping down the side tell you that this isn't your father's Oldsmobile.  It started life as your grandfather's Oldsmobile!  It is my understanding that the car was indeed purchased new by the great grand father, the grandfather turned it into a street rod several years ago, and now it resides with the great grandson.

One of the coolest things about this ride is the suicide doors.  Ya gotta love that.

Of course the interior has been updated and it's just as nice as the exterior.  Rest assured, this car is not just another pretty face.  It has a serious side.

Stuffed under the hood is all of the horsepower you will ever need to get around town.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Prom 2013

I know, I know, I haven't posted in almost two weeks and that is nearly a record absence for me.  I haven't had the opportunity to get any really good photographs lately and I've been busy helping my wife with a very important event...the local high school prom.  Our seventeen year old grand daughter is a junior and went to the prom this year.  There were four area high schools that all had their proms scheduled for this past Saturday.  Several months ago my wife suggested to the grand daughter that we would host a prom dinner for her and 16 of her friends.  It would save them money and since every restaurant in the area would be packed, it would be a much nicer alternative. So, we prepared dinner for 17 prom attendees.  This was no back yard picnic.  This was the real deal!

A welcome sign created by yours truly is just that, a sign of things to come.

We cleared the living room of most furniture and set a table there. Another table in the entry and, of course the dining room table.  We printed menus and place cards for each of our guests.

My wife left no detail undone.  The intent was for this to be a special occasion that could not be replicated at any local dining establishment.  Mission accomplished.  On the menu were grilled strip steaks and chicken, baked potatoes, cheesy ranch potatoes, green beans with brown sugar and bacon, a wonderful mixed greens salad with strawberries and spiced pecans, and of course, a choice of four desserts.

 I grilled the steaks and chicken.  My wife was responsible of every other part of the menu.  Nothing was "store bought" and nothing was "catered in"...just sayin'.

This is the young lady who is lucky enough to have my wife as her Nana.  They have a special relationship and Prom night turned out to be a truly special event.  Here are some of the other attendees.

Ah to be young again.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Retirement...What to do, what to do.

Okay, I am twelve days into retirement.  How's it going, you may ask.  It's going very well, thank you very much.  What do  you do all day, you may ask.  Whatever I want, thank you very much.  Some people seem to believe that they absolutely must be just as busy during retirement as they were during their working years, otherwise they must be wasting their time.  The truth is, you are free to waste a little time if you choose.  You can pursue interests that you didn't have the time to pursue while you were working.  One thing I intend to to is to pursue drawing and sketching.  As an architect, I had some basic drawing skills, but nothing to really brag about.  The introduction of computerized drawing, including 3D renderings has all but made the hand drawn sketch a lost art.  I never really mastered CAD, since I was already in management when it became a necessity in our profession.  I haven't drawn or sketched much of anything in years.  Retirement will allow me to return to some of those roots.  Trust me, I'm going to start pretty simple, and will probably never graduate to anything too complex.

While I was never very good at placing people, cars, and other entourage in my design sketches, I could always add enough landscape material to make the design interesting.  This sketch took about thirty minutes and is a mix of color pencils and markers.  Right now, the pencils and the markers are cheap.  When I get better, I'll purchase better tools.  You just have to understand, this activity is for my own personal enjoyment, so I don't really care if I have the highest quality tools.  However, there is a distinct difference between the Crayola pencils that you can buy 50 assorted colors for $4.99 at Walmart, and the Prismacolor pencils at Hobby Lobby that are $12.99 for 18 colors.  The same is true for markers.  You get what you pay for.
Recently I have discovered an new-to-me art form.  It's called Zentangle.  Basically, it's controlled doodling.  That's right up my alley.  I have been a doodler since I was a kid.  I always had a note pad next to the phone, not for taking messages, but for doodling while I was talking.  Zentangle has gotten me to return to the idea of thinking about design, shape, pattern, etc.  I did my first Zentangle a week ago.  It looked like this.
It's a pretty crude attempt at being creative, but it was a start and it was something that I really like doing.  You can do one square, or one circle.  You can freestyle the shape, it really doesn't matter.  I now spend about an hour each morning in this activity.  Over the past week my sketches have gotten more complex and hopefully more interesting.

Right now I am only working in black and white.  I have purchased some higher quality pens for this work.  You don't want to use a Sharpie because it will bleed through the paper and a Flair will bleed on you.  Sooner or later I will probably start using some color, but I really find the black and white designs fun.  If you want to know more about this art form you can simply Google "Zentangles".  If you have a Pinterest account, just search Zentangles and you will find some amazing examples.  That's all for now.  Have a blessed week-end.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Wordless Wednesday

 Colors of the Game
While the uniforms of soccer are colorful, they are no match for the array of footwear on display.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Ruby Tuesday II

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Game of Colors 

Soccer is a game of speed, quickness, agility, and ball skills.  It is also a game filled with color.  Even the ref's get to wear brightly colored jersey's.

 Red is indeed on of the most popular colors used on the team uniforms.

 There are even the semi-patriotic, red, white, and blue combinations.

And yes, Soccer is a contact sport...even for eleven-year-old girls.

The uniforms aren't the only colorful part of the game.  We'll take a look at that in the next post.