Monday, April 30, 2012

Spring Blah

I am feeling the Spring Blahs.  I guess I'm just tired.  I awoke last night to cramping and then was up quite awhile concentrating on not feeling well.  I went back to bed only to hear Chloe awake.  So I went and made her some "HOT MILK" and put her back to bed.  I managed to sleep another hour before more cramping.  Finally, I decided that I could not be sure I would feel better later, so I set in action the wonderful workings of the sub-line.  I got a sub.  I stayed home.  I felt miserable.

I managed to clean up some of the house in between lying prone and not moving for vast periods.


My twentieth reunion is coming up.  They want $50.00 a head.  I liked those people, but I have a life of my own, and I still have the love of money I had in college:  I hated to see large amounts go for not much gain.  If I'm going to get a babysitter to take care of Chloe all night...I kinda just want to spend that time with my wife.  Besides, some of those people are just detestable and annoying.  Why would I PAY money to spend time with THOSE people?  Don't get me wrong, there are a lot of people from my graduating class that I like, but it's like eating an ice cream sundae that has a couple pebbles in it: is it really going to be THAT enjoyable if you know that your teeth might be in jeopardy?


I did not get even a chance to apply for the job I'm working and I have a class filled with jerks.  Add to that a sudden blast of Spring Fever and there is a recipe for the SPRING BLAHS!


Chloe has been acting very TWO lately.  She's been potty training, hard-headed, stubborn, and difficult.



On The Fly Barn

 A couple pictures for Barn Charms.  The top taken on the fly on my way to work the other day.  The bottom, taken with my $20 plastic Holga Lens.  Skip on over to Barn Charms and see the other barns.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

We did a lot today.  We went to town and did some shopping.  We came home and fed Chloe.  I ran back to town for adult beverages.  We put Chloe down for nap. We moved a shed.  We MOVED A SHED!!!  We REALLY cleaned up the yard and the contents of that small shed.  It opened up the yard and tomorrow I am going to move the BBQ south and our yard should be that much closer to being habitable.

As we were resting at the end of the day, before running to town for a pizza since neither of us felt up to cooking, this fellow dropped into the yard within about 6 feet of us.  He was friendly and talkative and it was nice seeing him stop by!

Friday, April 27, 2012

April Sho--, ah, Who'm I Kiddin'? TGIF!!!

 I took a few photos this week..  I may have gotten a few good ones.  Mostly of the weather.  Wednesday the weather was coursing through the sky.  Thunder was there.  I never saw the lightning.  After work I saw the clouds boiling and decided to find a good spot to take photos from.  Being as there are no public places to a good view from, I borrowed someone else's for the few minutes it took to gather photos.

I parked the truck and hiked a good 1/4 mile...straight up.  It was relatively steep and I was puffing a little.  It had more to do with the lay of the land than my portly figure...really!

When I arrived I found a wonderful place to take pictures from.  I could see much of the valley and someone had thoughtfully created a nice flat area from which to photograph.  I commenced to shoot.  I watched the clouds scud across in front of me.  Then I looked to my right and noted some weather headed my way.  I figured I had ten minutes, I had three.  I was drenched by the time I arrived back at the truck, but I got some pretty neat pictures.

 I also found occasion to shoot some flowers this week.
 And a bridge.
 Spring is being generous and has seen temperatures unseasonably warm.  Up into the 80s at times.  That seems to have pushed every tree and plant into overdrive.  The rain of the past few days has pushed the river to almost flood.  My grass needs to be mowed.  And oh boy am I glad it is Friday!
 I have had one of those weeks when you look back you can't find anything big terribly bad about it, but you know that it sucked big time and you did not enjoy it.  My sixth period class has continued to play havoc with me.  I can't blame the whole class, there are some really good students in there, but mixed among them, generously, are a bunch of assholes.  They work off each other and when one is in trouble another erupts.  I obviously need to find a better way to deal, but thus far, every trick I've tried has gone down in flames.  Yesterday was pretty good.  I gave two referrals and two trouble makers were gone, so, all-in-all it was a pretty good class.  Still, I was ever so glad for the end of the day.
 Chloe has gone into potty training mode.  She has been pooping on the potty for over a month...what, since February?  Insane.  Anyway, she is doing pretty good.  We've had accidents, and some testing ("What? I'm not supposed to pee standing up?  In pants?  With no diaper?" )

Still, I'd rather spend all day with her than ten minutes with my students.  Chloe came in a slept with us one night.  We both eventually were kicked from the bed and this is what we saw by dawn's early light.  For your orientation, the head of the bed is exactly opposite hers.
Cora begins a new job around the first of the month.  I think she may be happy again.  I, on the other hand, was disappointed when someone took the job I am working at from within the district.  I didn't even have a chance to apply for the position.  It sucks, but at least I am getting experience.

This weekend I think we are going to work in the yard.  Lots to do to make our yard worthy of habitation.


Friday, April 20, 2012

Bring it ON!

 So far we have not had snow, nor hail, nor torrential rain...I LIKE this Spring.  If Summer decided to be a bit like this Spring, I'd be totally cool with that.
I can't believe it is Friday again!  Thank goodness.

I've had a rough couple of weeks with one of my classes.  I've been making attempts to create a better environment for this class, hoping that these changes will make them less likely to act like assholes.  The other day there were three conversations that started when I opened my mouth to explain an assignment.  To say I was livid would be an understatement.  I screamed, I shouted, I cajoled, and I bargained.  They remained unapologetic pricks.  Yesterday they sat with their heads down for ten minutes.  I think they are getting the idea that I don't like it when they talk while I do.  Today was much better, and I am getting an idea of who responds to direct confrontation and who responds to guilt, and who responds to coercion.  It's a pain in the butt, but it seems to be working.

I was told by one of my classes today that one of my classes thinks I'm mean, one thinks I'm nice, and the one I just wrote about hates me and thinks I hate them.  All I had to do was mention putting their heads down and they shut up today.  I'd say that's progress, not hate.

Of course, I have heard other teachers wish that we could shock them into submission.  You know, like have an array of buttons corresponding to the electrodes on the kids bottoms.  Yeah, we still dream.

I haven't taken any photos this week, except for these pear photos.  I've been fairly busy.  I DID see someone run over by a car today.  Well, I think they got hit moments before I entered the intersection.  I pulled my phone out, but noticed others on their phones and decided flooding the emergency dispatch was not a good idea.  I was pleased when the dog-catcher pulled over and put his lights on: I knew a professional was on the scene.  Well, his truck had flashing lights.  That counts, right?  

I have read a few books recently.  I read the entire "Magic Bites" series by Ilona Andrews.  I wanted to read "When Thunder Rolled" again, but chose the follow on novel instead.  "Palace Cobra," is not a bad one, but I really enjoyed "When Thunder Rolled" better.  I bought "Plutonium" today.

So far it's really a good book.  Reminds me a little of one I read earlier this year.  "The Disappearing Spoon," a book on elements.  My favorite story was of two Nobel Prize winners in the early days of WWII.  They had their golden prizes, but did not want to the Nazis to take them and melt them down as part of the Nazi plunder of Europe.  So these gentlemen put their prizes in Aqua Regia, a solution that dissolves gold.  They put the solution on a shelf and then left the country.  The beakers were still in the exact place they had left them at the end of the war.  The Nobel Committee took the precipitated gold and stuck it into two new prizes.  Awesome, huh?

After this week, bring on the weekend!!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Pear of Barns

 The apricots bloomed a little over a week ago, then about 4 days ago I noted the peaches blooming, and just in the past two or three days the pears have begun opening their blossoms.  Here is a picture using my new lens.  It's a f/1.8 and I think the bokeh is awesome!

This barn is one I like, but usually the foreground is unhappy and junky.  I found a way to fix that with these blooms.  What do you think?

No post-processing here, I am tired since the daughter has deemed it necessary to keep us sleepless and I got the tar beat out of me by the rototiller yesterday.

Please skip on over to Barn Charms!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

A Weekend and a Book.

I like history.  I like aircraft.  When you put the two together, well, I'm hooked.  I have a book that I have read many times.  It's called "When Thunder Rolled," by Ed Rasimus.  It is a book about the author's time flying the F-105D Thunderchief in Vietnam.  He was at Korat RTAFB, Thailand.  It is a well written and extremely entertaining and enlightening book.  You feel like you might be able to actually fly a Thud after reading it!  Well, I did.

I recently ran out of books to read.  I had just re-read the series by Ilona Andrews about the Beast Lord of Atlanta and Kate Daniels.  I read the entire series, at least those that have been published, and was at a loss for things to read.  I decided I might like to read "When Thunder Rolled" again, but then I discovered "Palace Cobra."  It is the follow-on book.  It describes the author's exploits six years later when he returned to Vietnam  flying a different aircraft.

Thus far, it may as well be the rest of the first book.  I really enjoy the author's voice.  He comes off as knowing what he is doing without sounding pedantic or officious.  The subject matter is interesting, too.  What's it like being a fighter pilot?  Well, the author will let you in.

This time, instead of being in the early days of the war, we are in the closing days, experiencing Linebacker and the run up to Linebacker II.  I highly recommend this book!

As for this weekend...well, we went to North Bend on Saturday.  We did some shopping and we went to the train museum.  It was a good day.

Today, we worked on the yard.  I used a rototiller and I think it shook my brains out.  Seriously, that thing may be the death of me!  Cora and Chloe helped a lot!  We got the yard ready to accept a load of dirt that I think we'll order and mix in.  We have a few low spots in the yard, so that should help.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Easter Weekend And The last Couple Days

 This is the face we see more often than not, and it is one of those things that brings a smile to my face every time.  We are completely and totally in love with this kid.  She almost always gets up in a good mood.  She smiles and calls us Mommy and Daddy.  She's wonderful.

She really got into Easter this year.  We dyed eggs on Saturday, and she was in the middle.

 She sometimes was more than a little... athletic with the eggs.
 ...but she still managed to help.  The picture below shows the awesome silk-dyed eggs that Cora tried.  CAN YOU BELIEVE HOW COOL THOSE ARE?!?!?
The Easter Bunny brought some REALLY spectacular things for the girl.  The most important was the CHOCOLATE!

 Followed by the KITTY!  It purrs and meows.
 She got some sandbox time.
We had steak and some grilled vegetables...
Last night we went to Gymkids.  Here she is dressed up.  I used my plastic lens.
But before we went to gym, she and I sat outside in the 70 degree weather!  WOW!  The past few evenings have been warm!  This evening the temperature in the house was 76!
 And tonight she got some time with BUBBLES!
 This is her telling her mom about her day.  It was a lively conversation.
  It's been a good few days!  I thought you might like the pictures.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Easter Egg Hunt!

 First thing's first.  I got a new lens.  I bought this lens a couple weeks ago.  It is the cheapest lens I have ever seen that fits my camera.  For a grand total of $22 and some change, I got a "Holga" lens.  Holgas were 120 cameras from the 1960s.  They were made cheaply and had light leaks and plastic lenses.  They also had quite distinct looks to their photographs.  I got mine today as we walked to our town's Easter Egg Hunt.  I could not wait to try it out.

You will know when i'm using it, because it has a distinct vignette and brighter colors with a soft look.  I am VERY happy with it.  It requires significantly more labor to get a photo, but I think they come out okay.  They remind me of snap shots from my youth.

You should note, the ones I used earlier this week, required a lot of post-processing.  These have had nothing added.  They might not be the crispest photos, but they mean a lot to me.
 The next one is from a regular lens.  We went to the Moxee Easter Egg Hunt.  Chloe thought it was fun!
 Cora went out and helped her, while I stayed behind the lines and took pictures.
 She did pretty good, though she did it on her own time schedule.

 Look at that haul!

 Have you seen my beautiful wife?
 Chloe got some bubbles in her eggs and we made some bubbles for her, too!!
 Chloe loved playing on the equipment at the end, too!
 It was a great day.