Saturday, June 30, 2012

TNT, She's Dynamite!

I took Chloe for a walk the other day and when we rounded the corner to the fireworks stand, she looked over and said, "Fireworks!"  I don't recall telling her what it was or where we were going.  She is a genius.  When we got them she HAD to carry them home.

She spent about 15 minutes throwing the pop-its on the ground.  She was not always able to get them to hit hard enough to detonate, so I showed her how to stomp on them to make them go off.  She would stomp about 22 times to get one, but she had fun doing it!
And was she proud to carry her fireworks home!
It was a long week.  We have been moving furniture, taking things to the dump, rearranging storage areas, and yesterday, we painted...then we were pulled off that project to fix an irrigation leak.  Sad, when all I want to do is this:
and this:
That is, I want to take pictures.  Alas, I am not independently wealthy.  Why won't Bill Gates finally admit we are related?  Or Paul Allen?  I think I might be related to them...maybe Paul will give me a ride in one of his airplanes?  Nah...probably not.

My Mom and Dad's Anniversary is today.  They have been married for forty years.  Can you believe that?  FORTY YEARS!  HAPPY ANNIVERSARY Mom and Dad!

We were supposed to throw my parents a fortieth anniversary celebration, but my sister ended up selling her house and having to move, and, well, I've been busy making sure I was all grown-up and teachery, then things just did not fall into place.  I think we'll manage a fiftieth, though!  They are actually attending a wedding today.

Well, Chloe got up at 5am this morning.  Cora, being the excellent woman she is, got up with Chloe when it was obvious she wouldn't sleep in bed with us.  I was allowed another couple hours sleep.  That sleep was interrupted...several times by a short person opening the door and coming in and telling me when I woke up we would go on a bear hunt.  I asked her what time it was and she said, "Forty-nine."  I asked her to come back at fifty-three.  She came back in and said it was forty-nine again...dang it, I think she let me sleep late!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

A B-17

 I like airplanes.  I like military airplanes more.  And I like WWII and Cold War military airplanes the most.  I also like photography, and from my first airshow, I have wanted to take photos that looked like the ones I saw in books.  Those that were taken back when men used film and estimated exposure.  I never could do that, though.  Until now.  I finally have the ability to do that.
 The Confederate Air Force's B-17G Sentimental Journey is in town for a few days.  I took these shots today.  I hope you had to look twice to assure yourself they are new. 
 I think they turned out pretty good.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Weekend In Pictures

 Below you see us at the beginning of the trip.  We stopped at Brooks Memorial for a potty break.   We saw some rabbits and had a go at the swings.

We went fishing Saturday.

 I don't have a fishing license, but I have a camera.

 When we got to our camping spot, after slogging through rain that made us wonder if we would spend the weekend sheltering from the storm, we found Papa Mel.  He took Chloe for a walk to the store and she came back with a train whistle.  Each time they went, she came back with something different.  Chloe thought the store was awesome, especially since she was with someone other than Mommy and Daddy.
 My beautiful wife really enjoyed herself, but I caught her being serious.
 Chloe really enjoyed her first boat ride, especially riding in the chop.

 There I got one of her smiling that lovely smile!
 Papa Mel caught a few Sturgeon.  Here you can see the first one is on its way.
 it was ALMOST a keeper.
 It lacked anout an inch and a half of being a keeper!
 Chloe enjoyed the whole time.  She watched for trains when there were no fish on the line.
 or played peekaboo with me.

 Another sturgeon.

 At the dock after the fishing excursion.
 I awoke Sunday morning to the whine of a jack russel and a full bladder.  We went for a long walk and, being me, I took my camera.  This is what I saw.
Sunday morning, she came back to camp with her mommy and told me to be quiet because Nana and Papa were still asleep.
 Sunday, on the way home, we stopped at Bonneville Dam.  We went and saw the fish ladders and the fish hatchery.

 At the fish hatchery they had rainbow trout and sturgeon...the sturgeon were BIG!

 I saw this photographer outside the gift shop.
 Cora took the camera on the way home.
 She shot everything from barns to cows and horses.  She seemed to be having fun. 
To say we had a fun weekend would be to understate things!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Weekend Surprises

It is late.  I am still awake, which is weird, since I SHOULD, by all rights, be tired.  I am.  I just have not been overcome by sleep yet.  I guess it's excitement.  We are finally going to do something on the weekend!  We are going to go camping with my in-laws.

Which is fortunate, since we managed to cobble together only our tent, awning, chairs, sleeping bags, and a few other items.  Food?  PAH!  Cooking utensils and stove?  Never seen 'em.  Why, you ask, are you doing something so frivolous?  Well, the short answer is: We're camping with my in-laws!  They have made it an art and if there be camping masters, then they be the masters (in French, I believe that would be Le Masters)!  We were told they had everything.  So, that makes it easy.  We will just get to go spend some time with them.  Chloe will get to fish for the first time.

You know her Papa even got a special fishing reel for her!  AND a life jacket.  And, truth be told, they might argue that their wonderful larger, and more seaworthy boat was purchased with the grandchildren in mind.  So, all in all, Papa is going to introduce Chloe to the world of fishing in STYLE!!  She's already spoiled, but the grandparents just want to make sure.

We are happy to leave the valley.  The past few months have done their damage and we have survived.  We don't have our fishing licenses, so I guess I will take pictures and Cora will help where ever she can.  Of course, the other option is relaxation.  We might get to read a book or enjoy the scenery.  Whatever, as long as it ain't here!

I'll be taking my camera.  Well, that's a stupid statement.  OF COURSE I'll be taking my camera.  Now, will I use it?  HELL YEAH!  If only I could get paid for pushing the shutter release.  Alas, I simply supply an unlimited number of photos to the internet for free.  One day, somewhere, someone will say, "Hey, Jim, will you take pictures of me?"  and I will say yes.  They'll say, "Ya know, you're such a talented photographer, I'm going to pay you to take photos of whatever you want."  I'll say, "Heck yeah!" and the rest will be history...of course, until that day, I will battle with the elements during the summer and battle with the students the rest of the year.

Have I mentioned that I have been working my ever-loving tail off this week?  I have.  We started by taking stuff to the dump, then moving exercise equipment (much of it was from yard sales and inches away from the scrap pile, but, alas, it was rescued by a well-meaning coach).  Then we began to move one school to another.  One classroom at a time.  I think we did well, considering some of the trials and tribulations we encountered.  We had an ill truck, which the mechanic managed to coax into life, then we had a piece of the truck fall off and almost get lost.  Finally, we almost ran out of gas.

The final part is the funniest.  This particular vehicle, called the "Old Food Service Van" by those of us in the know, has two tanks.  However, to read the fuel level, you read it exactly opposite of a normal vehicle.  If that SOB says its tanks are full, you'd better be looking for gas.  If it says the tanks are empty, you're golden!  Yeah.  We almost ran out of gas today.  Through no fault of my own!  I gassed it up on Wednesday...but apparently we have been driving all over Timbuktu and it nearly ran us out of gas!  We managed to creep home on fumes, but it was not without its moments.

Ah, you have to love drama!

Now, on with the weekend!  I can't wait to share all the pictures!  Chloe with her first know, the usual.

Did I mention?  I may get a chance to try some night time landscapes.  It's true!  I cannot wait!  you will see the photos as soon as I can post them!

I went into the shed the other night.  I was looking for camping stuff, but I stumbled across a lot of photographic material.  It was stuff my uncle had and I, being the photographer, inherited.  I was amazed that I had filters for my Argus C-3 just laying around.  Too bad it costs so much to use film.  Still, I found an old tripod which is tons more durable than the little tiny thing I have been making due with!  I have a ton of options open to me.  I only hope I can find the perfect mix!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Summer Time Blues

School's out and the break has begun.  I will be honest, this will be a long post...or maybe I'll pass out half way through and it will almost be a long post.  I'm not sure.  There have been a lot of changes lately.  I finished my job at Wapato High.  I began my summer job.  Chloe got sick.  Chloe has been having difficulties sleeping which means we have trouble sleeping.  My back is sore and I am tired.  We may go camping this weekend.  And I found some cool things in my shed.

First:  I finished my position at Wapato High School.  As I finish my first week of summer break, I am looking at my half year as a real teacher fondly.  I suppose it was a matter of breaking long held visions and rep[lacing them with reality.  I envisioned captivating my students with the awesomeness of history.  I knew that the coolness I saw there would be so pervasive that students would crave MORE!  I'd be fighting to slow them down, and keep them from reading ahead in the book.  Somehow, I had forgotten my own experiences in school and replaced them with my love of history.  

My students weren't bad.  It is often a matter of priorities.  They are setting their places in their small social network, making and breaking cliques and groups.  They are experiencing hormone surges and the excitements of youth.  How can I expect the fact that the Japanese used balloons to deliver bombs to the United States to captivate their attention for more than a few moments?

Chloe got sick last week.  I took her to the doctor on Monday and we got her some pills and some meds.  She is doing better.  She really impressed the doctor when I asked Chloe what she wanted to be when she grows up.  Chloe said, "A doctor."  The nurse that checked us in remembered Chloe from last year.  She was impressed with the change that Chloe has undergone.  She could not believe how much Chloe has grown-up.

A downside to this illness, and I am not completely sure the two are related, is that Chloe's sleeping habits have...sucked.  They suck.  They absolutely suck.  We have not had more than one night in which she has NOT awoken in the middle of the night in about three weeks.  Honestly, I think we might both eventually go off our rocker because of the NON SLEEPING!

Last night was horrible.  She awoke at 1:30am.  I put her back down, sang to her and comforted her.  At 2am she got up again.  I gave Cora a prod, since she rather ignorantly asked me to do so if Chloe got up more than once.  Well, I wish I hadn't.  The next hour and half was a nightmare of nonstop wailing.  See, Chloe goes back to sleep fairly quickly for me.  For some reason, she does not want her Mommy to leave her at night...not that I blame the kid.  Apparently, I am not necessarily the most warm soul and Chloe is happy to see me leave.  So, when Cora goes in, Chloe cries when she leaves.  And we decided to try to wait her out.  We painfully underestimated Chloe's determination.  Clearly, if she wants something, she will cry, wail, and scream about it until she is unable to do so.  We waited for 30 minutes at one point!  30 minutes of wailing.  NON STOP.

Yeah, we were both in a great frame of mind this morning.  Working on a deficit of sleep causes irritability.  Work for me this week has included moving furniture to the dump, moving exercise equipment to an empty semi-trailer and tomorrow working to help the custodians at Terrace heights get ready for the move.  My lower back, already at odds with me, has increasingly become a dissenting party to my summer employment.     This morning, it was especially vocal and exceptional in it's single-mindedness to show me my wicked ways. I took a pill as soon as I got home.  It took a while, but I am feeling a little better, if stiff.

I got home and went to get Chloe, as usual, and her grandmother showed me what Chloe (the only one of the kids awake) was doing.  Chloe was taking puzzles with as many as 11 pieces and putting them back together.  Quickly, too!  This kid likes puzzles!  Here she is doing one in the back yard this afternoon.
 Calvin, our newest family member, is melding into the family with little problem.  He is inquisitive and assertive.  It seems obvious that anything which has the audacity to be ON the floor has done Calvin a great and personal wrong.
 Here you can see him dealing punishment upon one of my hapless shoes.  Stupid things got onto the floor without permission.
I guess he is gutting this one...
 He is well on the way to becoming a companion to Chloe.  Chloe seems to think catching the kitty is a great sport.  The cat doesn't seem to mind being caught too much.
 Chloe has to see kitty at all times.  Here, right after bath Chloe is in her dinosaur towel saying goodnight to Mommy and giving some loves to Kitty. 
 We bought bikes...and have yet to get more than a few short rides on them...sigh. 
 We plan to go camping this weekend, so Chloe can go fishing for the first time.  And also, so we can get the heck out of the house.  Obviously, we need to have our camping gear on hand.  I used this afternoon and went looking.  While out there, I stumbled upon something I had not recognized years ago when i first got it. Camera gear.  My uncle passed away several years ago.  He was a photographer when he was younger.  My aunt, knowing my photography interests and background saw to it that I got some of his stuff.  I put in storage at the time, simply because I did not have time to go through it more than in a cursory way.

The things I found today are awesome!  They are numerous filters, optics, and camera accessories.  Particularly, these are for Argus C3s!!  I have two!  One of which I located today, too.

  It is interesting to see the differences in 1950s and 1960s photography and that of today.  The lenses were so much smaller then.  Lens diameters were never more than 30mm, it seems.  Today, very few are less than 52mm, with many ranging to 77mm.  The camera below is my Argus C3.

I'll leave you with a photo of a portion of my camera collection.