Friday, July 29, 2011

Bus-tin' a Move

 I worked at filling cracks again today.  Boy was it HOT!  I happened to be working near some buses, so, at lunch, I broke out the camera and took a few photos.
 My dad drove buses for awhile.  I seem to recall he had a marked preference for Crowns and Gilligs, but not so much for Blue Birds...I think it had something to do with their lines...they were not as balanced or as pleasing to look at as a Crown or a Gillig...if a bus can be pleasing to look at.

For the uninitiated Crown, Gillig, and Blue Bird are to buses what Ford, Chevy, and Chrysler are to cars.

Tomorrow I get to visit the B-reactor at Hanford again.  I've got some more ideas for photos, so it's a good thing I am going.  And I get to go with a couple friends I haven't seen in a few years.  It promises to be fun!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Long Morning

 You can't tell from the photo, but that lid had a little springiness to it and would bounce about 1/2 inch and Chloe got a kick out of jumping on it.  She was doing a regular little tap dance on that thing.  I wish I'd had the presence of mind to switch to video.

Chloe and I began the morning by seeing Mommy off to work.  Then we set about getting read for the day.  We had breakfast, a bath and did our hair.  About the time we were finishing up bath time, the cable/Dish guy showed up.  He fixed the problem we've been having with our TV and I got Chloe dressed.

Then we dropped by my work so I could drop off a set of keys.  We walked through and introduced some people to Chloe.  Then we visited my boss' wife at the place she works.  When we walked in all eyes were on turns out the entire office joined us for our China adventure and were tickled pink to meet Chloe in person.  It is good to know there are so many nice people out there!

Then Chloe and I stopped at a couple hardware stores looking for some light bulbs for the refrigerator and the drier...we only managed to find the ones for the refrigerator.

After that, Chloe was beginning to show signs of hunger and crankiness.  I bought a small meal of chicken strips, curly fries and a strawberry smoothie...and the little girl thought she was in heaven.  She'd been so good I figured she deserved a treat.

We took the meal to a local park near an agriculture museum.  We ate and then played a little...went down the slide once...remembering that we should ALWAYS check the bottom of the slide to make sure it is free of puddles...It's a good thing she was on my was one of those corkscrew slides...I think I got screwed, because my shorts were wet for about 20 minutes!  Chloe came away unscathed and wanting more...I had had enough and we went elsewhere!
 Since she was having fun running about we went up to the ag museum.
 She drove a tractor...or at least sat at the wheel!
 She looks pretty professional to me.  Farmer Chloe.
 She even stood in a bucket...but it soon became apparent we were both ready to go home...and within a couple minutes someone had faded off to sleep in her car seat.
It was a good morning!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

More Barns and Chloe

 I;m still working through my barn shots.  I am enjoying exploring the HDR capabilities of this program and my camera.  These are hop poles...poles that suspend wires that in turn suspend twine which the hop vines climb up.

Here is Chloe doing that thing she does for the camera.
 I am learning to look at the skies and decide if it is right for a photo.  I think the clouds add to the photo.
 Chloe was attempting to draw laughter from us the other day, I think, with her antics on the back porch.  Looks like she is disco dancing.
Well, I know it is Wednesday, but I feel like it should be Friday.
the long road

Monday, July 25, 2011

High Dynamic Range

 In digital photography, there is a thing.  A wonderful thing.  It is called High Dynamic Range.  This is when you take multiple photos of the same subject and same scene using different settings.  Then you take the three photos and combine them in the computer.  It doesn't come out being THAT different, but it shows a better, closer idea of what you see than what your camera sees.

This next one is under-exposed.

This one is "right."
And this one is overexposed.
 Here are a few I took today.
 the next one is NOT HDR, but I like it anyway.

I like this one of my truck.

And, can I just say we had some really weird weather today.  Hot in the morning, then rain and thunder and lightning and then some more showers and then some more sunlight...weird.

I am also going to be taking part in "Barn Charm" and I hope you will follow the link to see other barns!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Night Life...errr...Lights

 Because I am a dummy and misread my camera's instruction book, I could have been making long exposures all year long.  It has, by the way, been one year since I received Precious.  As of the 19th, if memory serves...and it usually does.  So, last night, after dark, I drove up above our little settlement and took four photos.  For varying periods of time.  1, 3, 5 minutes.  Here is the 3 minute shot.  The only one I was really happy with...mostly, this was just to make sure it was operating within the parameters I was hoping.  It does.  I see that it will take some planning to make decent photos like I want, but I am patient...right?  Nah, you're right.

I thought I'd share these photos of Chloe.  I thought she was cute hamming it up for the camera.  This was from a few weeks ago, but I somehow forgot to post these.
 Jazz Hands!
Here she is yesterday after nap, being cute.

Friday, July 22, 2011


I'm not sure if this is the forum for this, but what is it with bribes?  On second thought, this is MY blog, so it IS the forum for it.

OK, back to bribes.  I am not talking about bribing a policeman to not give you a ticket, or bribing someone to value your house at more than market value.  I am talking about kids.  Why do grown ups feel it is necessary to bribe kids?  Specifically with candy.

I've seen teachers do it and I see, now that I have a daughter of my own, nearly every person and their dog wants to give my kid a damned lollipop!  I guess my problem with this stems from a variety of things.  One, I don't particularly care for lollipops (too much work, not enough gain).  Two, these people are trying to bribe her to do something she's going to do anyway, whether she likes it or not.  And, three, she's NOT EVEN TWO!!!  Not to mention other reasons like not taking candy from strangers and knowing where what you eat comes from and that kind of crazy stuff.

I have never really cared for lollipops, and never saw the value of them except that when I was in school I noticed that girls my age always seemed to have one in their mouths.  Which was annoying when they tried to say something, because you know they didn't bother taking the lollipop out to talk.  I wonder if I would have gotten more dates if I had walked around with Blowpops hanging out of my pockets...probably not.

As for people bribing her to do something, is that the right way to introduce a kid to growing up?  Is that the reason we have a society that thinks they should always get something?  For instance, yesterday, I took Chloe in to have her arm looked at.  The ladies there noticed she was a little bit NURSE SHY, especially after her recent trauma of getting poked and prodded at her check up.  What do they do to comfort her?  Not talk in reassuring voices, well they did that, but only after producing a lollipop, candy, and a tooth brush.  Chloe was not particularly consoled by someone sticking a paper-wrapped ball on a stick in her face.  I can't imagine why...maybe because SHE'S NOT EVEN TWO!!!!  Shit people!  Just because Joe Blow and his 16 year old wife let their kid have suckers at the age of two does not mean that everyone does.  Seriously, let's be age appropriate.

Do I get a sucker if I go to work?  NO.  I get a paycheck.  Do I get a sucker for going in and getting my shots?  NO.  I get to not be sick.  Yea me.  Can I get a sucker for paying my bills on time?  NO!  I don't get taken to collection, that's nice.  Can I get a sucker if I get pulled over by a cop and I play nice?  No.  That's just dumb.  Why should you be rewarded for doing what you are supposed to do?  Why should I be rewarded for following the law?  I am NOT getting punished, isn't that reward enough?

There also comes the part of parenting.  I may not be the perfect parent, but I believe that there are things that my child should do without having to be begged and bribed.  If I tell her to pick up after herself when she is older, I am NOT going to give her a lollipop.  She made the mess, she better damn well clean it.  When she is in school and gets homework, she better damn well do it.  That is her job.  She needs to learn to become a productive member of society and jumping through the hoops of public education is part of that.  I firmly believe that the really useful stuff we learn does not come until you are in college, but that public education thing allows you to learn to learn.  But, I digress.

How about standing in line?  I was at the pharmacy a few months ago with the kid.  She was being good.  Sitting in my arms, watching strangers go about their business with her dark eyes and on the whole being her awesome self.  It gets to be our turn.  What should the people behind the counter produce?  But a lollipop and some chocolates...did I mention she is NOT EVEN TWO???  You want to stop this generation from becoming rotund?  STOP HANDING OUT CANDY to stranger's kids!!!!

Oh, I guess I should be getting the idea that this is how our country works, but I don't think I should have to sink to that.  I am a parent.  I guess I never understood why parents I saw declined to accept gifts such as these before I was a parent myself, but I never knew the extent of strangers' need to give candy.

Every Tom, Chris, and Susanne seems to feel the need to come over and give my kid candy.  Is it because she is cute?  Because, I KNOW she's adorable.  She's beautiful.  I don't have to have other people tell me.  Do ugly kids get that much candy offered to them?  And seriously, who's going to say, my kid's ugly and she gets a ton of candy...well, no one's going to say their kid is ugly.

So what is this telling our kids about strangers?  Is it OK now for your child to take candy from strangers?  What if you accept the lollipops?  Kids learn a lot through observation, and I know that for a fact.  Chloe is SMART!  I don't want her to assume it is ok to accept candy from strangers simply because I do...and I don't.

But, I guess you could argue that Halloween is just that, taking candy from strangers...I don't know.  I'll cross that bridge when I get there.  For now, though, I would appreciate it if you stop offering my child lollipops for being herself.  One of these days that's going to backfire on you.

OK, I'm done.  I'm off my soap box.  Let me know what you think.

Now, yesterday, after work, I decided to take a few pictures of a local barn.  I was busily snapping pictures when I felt I was being watched...something was observing me...then I saw what it was.  

Do you see it in the photo below?  Look closer.
Cool, huh!?

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Tar Baby

I am looking at becoming the proverbial Tar latest assignment is to cart around a tar melting burner type thingy and fill cracks in the pavement with tar.  It's hot work.  Yesterday, I paid so much attention to how the tar was flowing I got sunburned on one side of my that's interesting.  I'm sporting a nice racing stripe on the side of my face where my sunglasses go...very well defined!

Apart from that not much else is going on.  After yesterday, I was beat.  We managed to get Chloe to bed and then stumble in and watch a little Big Brother, but I don't think either of us lasted long after that.

I have been taking pictures off and on.  Here is my latest.  It is a local farmhouse.  The owners are renovating it.  They took off the old shingle siding and this is what was underneath...a real-type farm house.  These are done in HDR (High Dynamic Range) which means I took three pictures with slightly different exposures and put them together in the computer to bring out the low and high tones that usually are not exposed for correctly, then I tweaked it further and brought out the details a bit.

 And the next one looks like the skies are burning.
 I tried to alter the perspective on this one to make it more a haunted house.  I think it kinda worked.
So, I am trying to do a little more post processing (that means after the camera is done with it).  These are just fun.

Well, I hope the weather cools down a bit today and I would not complain about an overcast, but that is unlikely to be my lot in life.  I'll be out there in the thick of the sun, burning up.  Of course, this time I will remember sunscreen.

oh, and the mandatory Chloe photo.  As usual, she's on top of the world.  And not to worry, I made sure she was stable and solid before I stepped back for the photo.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Chloe in Monochrome

 Chloe is a busy little girl...and she's awesome.

 these are her last night, after her day with doctors and nurses poking and prodding.
 She was a trooper!  I just wanted to include this, one of my favorite shots from yesterday.  Be sure to look at the previous post, those photos were pretty awesome, too.
the long road