Thursday, September 29, 2011

Photo Art Phriday, Balloons!

 I wanted to try to get out and take some shots this week, but, alas, my days were busy.  I went back through the pictures and I found a few that I had not posted a couple from the balloon rally.
 I began to think they were not artistic enough, I mean, yeah, they are colorful, but if you look at the other entries at Photo Art Friday, well, I think my photos began to pale...there are some REALLY great photos there!  So, I gave one of my shots another go.  That is below.
Yeah, my shots kind of just aren't up to snuff this week.  On the bright side, you can see some good ones at Pixel Dust!  Here! 

I was driving through town this afternoon.  The guy in front of me braked quickly, I braked quickly also, seeing that the guy in front of him had suddenly decided to turn into a crowded parking lot just past the stoplight.  About that time, I checked my mirror.  The guy behind me was not quite as quick on the brake.  I heard the tires squeal, and braced my foot on the brake.  He hit me alright.  No doubt about it.  I felt it pretty good.  I thought for sure there was a bit of a dent in my bumper.  We pulled over and I found the guy that hit me was an employee of the Washington State Department of Transportation.

He looked positively pale.  He looked very unhappy and quite worried.  I don't know if he thought I'd be angry or if he was just worried that working for the DOT this would not look good on his record.  I'm not exactly what people call threatening, and I was in a pretty good mood since I knew it wasn't my fault, so I figured it was the latter reason that was de-coloring him so.  I looked at the cars.  There was no damage.  Surprising since cars are made of tinfoil these days.  Still, I was happy to let it go as an OOOPS moment if he was.  He visibly relaxed when I said as much.  I wonder what those DOT bosses do to their employees when they get into an accident.

I taught today.  I had a kid that hasn't been working at all this week.  Today he was talking with his tablemates so much that they weren't working either.  I grew tired of his shenanigans and told him he should move to another table.  He said he wasn't going to.  I rephrased it, and said he WOULD move to another table.  He stood up and said he wasn't going to listed to this "F-----g F----t."  I immediately lost my friendly demeanor and pointed at the door.  I said, "Office.  Now."

I called up the Vice principal and said I was sending "Bill" to the office for disrespect and disruption of class.  The VP said, "Bill Smith?"  I said, "Ha-ha-how did you know?" (We have a LOT of "Bills" in that school)  Then I said, "Ahh, frequent flyer, huh?"  He said, "Send me an e-mail."  I only saw the kid once more, when he brought the science book back, in a much more respectful way than I expected.

All-in-all, it was a pretty good day.  REALLY it was.

Photo Art Friday

Number 1200

Not long ago, March, I think, I celebrated 1000 posts.  Now my trusty computer shows me that I have completed 1199 before this post, which makes this my 1200th post!  Now, I am aware that not all my previous posts are pure gold, obviously some slipped to silver, tarnished silver at that!  This one has to be gold, though!  If it isn't, well, then I think it's probably platinum!  Simply because of the picture!  Look at that family!  Isn't it beautiful!  The setting sun illuminated the clouds just right, as we were returning from Chloe's birthday dinner, and we took a picture with the Canon (it's much easier to hold a point and shoot in one hand than it is to hold Precious!).

This is my fourth day subbing as a long term science teacher, and I am getting into the role.  It's kind of fun.  I hope the kids are learning something...I KNOW some are not, simply because they refuse to, and I'm not allowed to light a fire under their asses (smoke alarms and something in the Geneva Convention, I think) cattle prods, either.  Still, you do what you can do.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Birthday Girl

 Yesterday was Chloe's second birthday.  We had her party on Sunday, but the three of us went out for Chinese food together last night.  She loves soup and noodles, so we were especially careful to order those.  What do you think she really liked?  That's right.  The saltine crackers.
 She loves her new Abby Cadabby doll (a member of Sesame Street neither of us knew of until Chloe started watching it).  She took it to daycare and brought it home with her.  She giggles when the doll talks to her.  It's pretty cute.

This next photo might just be the best I've captured in a very long time!  She was trying to put on a pair of pants over her pajamas, and when I tried to get her to smile, after trying to get her to put the pants down, this is what I got!
 You can tell she's a lot like me, the sink of her little kitchen is full of dirty dishes and her counter is a mess...she learns all the things I didn't want to teach her!

Finally, the little angel went to sleep.  Daddy couldn't resist a crib shot and this is what I got!  Cora wondered if she just fell in that position.  She seemed perfectly comfortable when I took the shot.
I have to say, I never fully believed we would actually become parents at times.  I hoped, and we worked toward it, we worked hard, but I still could not envision the actual thing.  Now, I cannot envision NOT being a parent to this wonderful, exciting, smart, and funny little person.  She has grown from baby, when we first got her, to a little person with SOOO much personality and SOOO much determination to do things her way or figure out how, that, well, it just seems she is a whole different person than the little girl we brought home.  I fall in love with this little girl more everyday and I cannot imagine having anyone different!  She is our daughter, and for that, I am glad.  Happy Birthday little girl!  I love you!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Cold and Frigid Barn

 This is a local favorite of mine.  I am particularly fond of it during the winter or foggy weather.  It's background can be a bit...busy.  There was no retouching or editing on these two photos.  They are not recent, since it hasn't snowed around here since March.  This is the Piety Flats Barn.  Piety Flats is the name of a winery that I love.

I look forward to Mondays because I like to post some of the barns I've shot.  I should have shot more.  While I have a small number of reserve barns, I don't have nearly enough, so I need to get out there and shoot some more!  Please just skip on over to Tricia's Bluff Area Daily, she has a collection of great people who come together every Monday and post their barn photos!  See them here!
And because there is no color in the first two, I offer this one.  It seems to be an old hop kiln, though locals pronounce it kill.  And it looks like a barn, so I'm throwing it in!
I did my first day as a long term teacher today.  I think it will be good, and the first time in a long time where I actually do lessons more complicated than handing out coloring sheets...not that I'm complaining about how most teachers handle their subs, I really don't mind dead heading through the day.  I get more reading done that way.  As a long term substitute teacher I do more work; I grade papers and in general be more of a teacher.  It's a nice change.

I drove to work behind every slow driver that ever was.  Most were doing from 10 to 20 under the limit, which nearly killed me.  I nearly lost consciousness while pulling into the parking lot.

I went to school and went through the day.  At the end of the day I jumped in the truck and saw that the gas gauge was showing on that big E and also a little light was on.  So I pulled into the local gas station and a lady in a car at the pump motioned me to stop.  She came up and said she had 9 dollars on the pump that the station would not give her back.  I started to get concerned, but then she said she'd used a chip from the casino to pay for it, and they would not give change on that.  So, I pulled in and took her 9 dollars worth of fuel!  Of course, 15 years ago, I could have almost filled up with that 9 dollars, now it only gave me a couple gallons or so, but I'm not going to open a gift horse's mouth and check his teeth.*  It was enough to put a smile on my face.  

We took Chloe to gymnastics and she did excellent!  Not as much chasing her around!

All-in-all, it's been a great day!

*because the jerk would probably bite, stupid horse.

TWO!! Blue!!! And Clues!

 Chloe's birthday party was a hit!  We had the party at Cora's parent's house, and boy are we would have been a tight fit here!  I'd like to thank them for letting us come over and celebrate Chloe's second birthday!!  It was great!

We got our cake from Cakes on the Vine, and it was delicious!  She is a family friend and has a definite smooth touch when it comes to cake!  I can't say enough good things about it!  Thanks Kristi!
 It was themed for Blue's Clues!  Because Chloe loves Blues Clues, and it was a fun theme.  Cora and I got together and even had a set of clues for the guests to solve.  Mostly it was for the kids, but the adults were awesome for playing along!
 And here is the birthday girl, herself!  Decked out in her Blue's paraphernalia!
 She was pleased to see the Blue Balloon that Cora found on line!

 I was semi-fortunate that my sister is proficient with a camera.  I was not able to use the camera the entire time, since, for some reason, I was expected to participate.  I say semi-fortunate because of pictures like this.

 But, she DID get some good shots!  Like this one.  I was feeding Chloe raspberries that one of her Great Grandmothers brought!  Chloe simply would do anything for a berry!  My fingers were in danger!
Speaking of Great Grandmothers, here they are now!
 And of course, my Wonderful Niece, Emma, who is often one of my favorite subjects!

 Chloe knew exactly what to do when she got this coat...she put it on straight away!
 One thing we saw a lot of was Chloe spending A LOT of time putting wrapping paper away...seriously, she is the neatest kid!  I wish she'd pick up her toys the way she did the wrapping paper!

Her last gift was from Cora and me.  We have noticed just how much she loves play kitchens, and when we found this one at Costco we simply could not pass it up!  Chloe played with the one in the store and loved it so much she cried when I put her back in the cart.  It was a bit of a surprise when she saw the box that she crawled up on top of it...I'm pretty sure she recognized it.  She seemed very happy!

 Learning to blow out candles!
 And learning about cake...we had a bath after we got home from the was not an option.
 After everyone left and we began cleaning up, Chloe began shedding clothing.  I got this shot of her discovering the balloons...she is one lucky kid to have so many admirers!  But then, we are one lucky family to have such an awesome daughter!  Right now, she is singing to herself...she slept straight through the night...but then again, so did Cora and I!  We had a long weekend, and it was more work than relaxing, but in the end it was completely worth it!  I have a beautiful wife and a wonderful daughter.  Life is good.
Oh, and I start my long term subbing assignment today...I'm looking forward to it!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Up, Up, and Away-eee

 So much to say, but we really have so much to get done before the birthday party!!  Suffice it to say, we had fun!  And we had fun with Chloe!!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Taking a Break From Nikon

 Ok, not really.  Chloe donned a cute hat and her purse this evening and Cora grabbed my Precious to go do an impromptu photo shoot in the front yard.  I was left with either my phone of the old Canon Elph.  I chose the latter.  She still shoots, just not like the Cadillac my D-90 is.

You can see the vagaries of toddler modeling and photography here.  Cora was rushing around the yard trying to get the perfect shot.  I'm sure she got several, but it was good to see that Chloe was giving her mom a run for her money, too!  I have a devil of a time keeping the lens pointed at her, she's so fast and mercurial! I'm glad Cora got to experience Chloe Speed, which is slightly faster than CERN scientists have clocked neutrinos at!

 And Chloe is...well, stinking cute!
 Cora will probably post her pictures...and I imagine those pictures will be better since they came from Precious!  For now, though, here is what I got!

We're going to go see the balloons at Prosser tomorrow.  It will be Chloe's first time seeing hot air balloons!!

We also have small birthday party for her this weekend.  It should be a ton of fun...or at least 25 pounds!