Saturday, December 31, 2005

My Viewfinder

One of my friends from the Yahoo Group just started his own photo-blog, My Viewfinder. Check it out, he does some GREAT stuff!!

Friday, December 30, 2005

Give A Little Whistle

OK… It’s theme day at one of my “Yahoo Groups”. Today’s theme: Teapot. Ugh. I wasn’t going to even enter, then I was looking at the teapot my older daughter bought a while back, and I thought it had some nice lines. So I went on and did an entry. The blue background was added last minute, to try and add some “pop”. I probably should’ve left it B&W… .

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Crossing

Driving across Glen Crossing Road, crossing over Rt. 159. Almost home on a gray, drizzly, cold December day. .

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Psychedelic T-Rex

My son got this little stuffed dino recently. I think it was from some fast food joint’s Kids’ Meal. .

Friday, December 23, 2005

Why Not??

On this date (12/23) in 1959: the No. 1 Billboard Pop Hit was "Why", by Frankie Avalon. According to Billboard.com, this was the last No. 1 song of the '50s, and has the shortest title of any chart topping hit.

November Winners at Better Photo

BetterPhoto.com has announced the winners for the November contest. They were pretty much "on-time" this month, YAY! Check out the winners, there's some great stuff!! I managed 1 finalist, that's cool, too!

Bare Trees, Grey Light (2)

Another "bare trees" shot, like this .

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Choke on some cake?

Happy Birthday to Twin brothers Maurice and Robin Gibb. They were born 56 years ago today, 12/22/1949, in Isle of Man, U.K.. Maurice and Robin, of course, went on to be the Bee Gees, along with other brother Barry (Brothers Gibb, get it?), poluting my brain with insanely popular crap during my teens.

Rock and Roll Part 2

My son (not quite 6 years old) loves “Rock and Roll” music. So among his Christmas presents will be a new CD of RnR music, dubbed by his dear old Dad! I made him a disc before (thus the "2" designation this time), but not with a fancy label and all. Thought I’d post the cover here, since he doesn’t read my blog (yet)!! A rather eclectic set, from A to Z (AC/DC to Warren Zevon), with a mix from the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s. The hardest part for me was picking 10 songs, to keep it closer to his attention span!! (yes, I know there’s 11). The drawing, of course, is from The Reallys, back in my distant youth...

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Skunk Advisory

Jeff "Skunk" Baxter, guitarist exrtadordinare, appeared recently on the Today show, in his alter-ego form as expert on counterterrorism. Check It Out!

Naughty or Nice??

My son chatting with Santa after the Church Christmas program… .

Monday, December 19, 2005

Rock the Casbah

News of the day: "Iran's President Bans Western Music"
Makes me think of Tonio K:
"I'm so full of H - A - T - R - E - D, I'm Bitter and maligned,
You've got me P - I - S - S - E - D Off, I'm Angry most of the time"

Late In the Day

This is one of those "almost" shots from my past, that I pull out every so often and try to turn into something decent. This is a super-oldie, taken early spring of 1977, when I was a young pup of 16. This was from a backpacking trip on the C&O Canal, along the upper Potomac River, near Hancock, MD. Kicking back at the end of a hike, watching the river amble away.... One of my first "favorites", despite some significant technical flaws... This rendition has lots of digital darkroom work.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Cold Construction

I dunno, shots like this just captivate me. The building is not sealed yet, so the snow blew in and across the work area… Gotta lov e the footprints.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Roll me under New Madrid

courtesy of the historychannel.com:

On this date (12/16) in 1881, 8.6 earthquake rocks the midwest:
In the Mississippi River Valley near New Madrid, Missouri, the greatest series of earthquakes in U.S. history begins when a quake of an estimated 8.6 magnitude on the Richter scale slams the region. Although the earthquake greatly altered the topography of the region, the area was only sparsely inhabited at the time, and there were no known human fatalities.
The earthquake raised and lowered parts of the Mississippi Valley by as much as 15 feet and changed the course of the Mississippi River. At one point, the Mississippi momentarily reversed its direction, giving rise to Reelfoot Lake in northwest Tennessee. A 30,000-square-mile area was affected, and tremors were felt as far away as the eastern coast of the United States, where the shock was reported to have rung church bells. Additional earthquakes and aftershocks continued throughout the winter and into the spring, and of the approximately 2,000 seismic vibrations felt during the period, five were estimated to be at an 8.0 or greater magnitude.
The New Madrid Fault system extends 120 miles southward from the area of Charleston, Missouri, to Marked Tree, Arkansas, and crosses through five states--Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Arkansas. An earthquake of about 6.0 magnitude or greater occurs about every 80 years, and the catastrophic upheavals of the type reported in the winter of 1811 to 1812 occur about every 500 or 600 years.

This was just a bit downriver from us. The alarmists have suggested the ruin of St. Louis area next time New Madrid shifts.... Oh, and btw, it's pronounced New MAD-drid out here in the flatlands.

Billy and Benny's Birthdays!

Happy Birthday today (12/16) to Benny Andersson (1946) and Billy Gibbons (1949)!! Benny is one of the "B"s in Swedish supergroup ABBA (along with Bjorn). Billy, on the other hand, is the lead guitarist forthat Little Ole Band from Texas, ZZ Top. Besides both being internationally successful muscians who started in the 70's, and sharing a birthday, there's not a lot in common. Except they both have (had?) beards...... Be sure and check out the ABBA link, I think this is my new favorte photo of them!


Dreaming Of A White Christmas

Today's photo is a repost from this date (12/16) last year. Then I said “The lights went up last weekend. We bought a tree yesterday…. Shopping is started. AND we've had our first taste of cold weather…” About the only thing the same this year is the taste cold weather…. . Actually, I'm not as far behind as I thought I was; based on last year, at least!

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Papa's Got A Brand New Bag...

On this date (12/15) in 1988, the Godfather of Soul, James Brown, was sentenced to six years in prison after leading police on an interstate car chase. He was released on Feb. 27, 1991. JB's had some other brushes with the law., and something like 8 arrests. But ya gotta love the music!

Light Rings

It’s a theme day at my Yahoo photo-group. Today’s subject is “LIGHT”. Now, ideally, I’ve come up with some dramatic shot, defining the qualities of light, and the conveying the deep concepts of illumination. But, I’m kinda swamped right now, and I had recently taken a photo of on eof the light fixtures at our Church (while waiting for my son to finish practice for the Christmas program)… So we run with the mundane, kind of a “readymade” type of image, rendered in the stark tones of B&W. (blah, blah, blah). .

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Motor City Madman!

Happy birthday Ted Nugent!! The Nuge is 57 today (12/13)! One of rock's great characters, he's still out there after all these years.....

Poinsettia in Monochrome

This is the same shot as yesterday, re-cropped and converted to B&W. Which do you like better?? .

Monday, December 12, 2005

Songs for Swingin' Lovers

On this date (12/12) in 1914, Frank Sinatra is born in Hoboken, N.J. His biggest pop hit in the modern era is "Somethin' Stupid," a duet with his daughter, Nancy, which tops Billboard's Hot 100 for four weeks in 1967. He wins an Oscar in 1953 for his role in "From Here to Eternity." He is awarded a Lifetime Achievement Grammy in 1965. (courtesy Billboard's website)

Poinsettia #1


Sunday, December 11, 2005

Not Even Twice Her Age

On this day (12/11) in 1957, Jerry Lee Lewis marries his 13-year-old cousin, Myra Gale Brown. Jerry was only 9 years older, not even twice her age. This would be his 3rd marriage...

Shadows and Snow

It’s in the 40’s today, and most of the snow is melted, but there was still quite a bit around yesterday (after snow on Thursday). .

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Been Away For A While.....

Sorry for the lack of posts the past few days... I had to take a business trip last week, and was just TOO worn out to post. I think this is the longest lull I've had here!

Happy Holidays!

Today was “Holiday Card” theme day over in one of the Yahoo Groups I’m in. This is what I came up with. This is the tree at our church, which is decorated all in angels… .

Monday, December 05, 2005

I have a friend I've never seen; He hides his head inside a dream....

On this day (12/5) back in 1970, Neil Young had his first Top 40 hit (of the 70's, at least), with "Only Love Can Break Your Heart". From the "After The Goldrush" album, which balanced lots of mellow tunes like this (and the title track and "Tell Me Why?" and "Don't Let It Bring You Down") with the scorching "Southern Man". "Only Love..." was the only chart hit, and it only made it to #33...

Prohibition Ends

On this date (12/5) back in 1933, the 21st Amendment to the US Constitution was ratified, ending prohibition. The 21st amendment overturned the 18th amendment, which prohibited recreational use of alchohol. So if you're an adult, you can hoist an adult beverage in honor of the "right" to drink.

Rough Terrain

Close up shot of the bark on a dead tree… .

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Don't surround yourself with yourself...

On this date (12/4) back in 1973, Yes hit the Top 40 with their ode to a chess game, "Your Move". This wonderful song just winged the top 40, peaking at #40....

Open Hallway

Another shot from the expansion project at our Church. They’ll coming along, but it’s getting colder! .

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Smokin'

The power plant in Springfield IL, right along I-55, headed north. Taken on a cool morning 6-7 weeks ago. Mostly good, old-fashioned steam, but still dramatic with the early morning sun… .

Friday, December 02, 2005

First Place Win at PhotoShowdown!!

I won a Fisrt Place in PhotoShowdown's "Best Picture Of The Month" for November!! That's my best showing at PSD!! Check out all the winners, mine is the bottom lefy of the 1st place shots.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

If words could make wishes come true...

On this day (12/1) in 1973, Jim Croce hit the charts with the eventual #1 hit "Time In A Bottle"...

"But there never seems to be enough time.
To do the things you want to do, Once you find them"

Tree trunks in late Autumn

Just another shot from Silver Lake Park, and a lunchtim walk in the woods… I think I’m ready for winter, at least from a photographic viewpoint! .

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

The monkeys seem willing to strike up the tune

Hitting the charts today, 11/30, back in 1974: "Bungle In The Jungle" by Jethro Tull. Bungle peaked at #12. Even though I like Jethro Tull, I awlays thought this particular song was kinda stupid. But it's got some great flute in it.....

Forest Abstract

Another special effects / digital darkroom image. Started with 1/4 second exposure, while walking in the woods. Added a variety of digital effects. Artsy, huh?

POTM at Photography Unlimited!!

I won "Best Picture Of The Month" for November over at Photography Unlimited!! Way cool, huh?
Inner Visions - Digital Art

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Sit A Spell....

On the hiking trail at Silver Lake Park, a quiet spot to relax and watch the water… .

Monday, November 28, 2005

Skynyrd Gets their Due

Just saw this news report that Lynyrd Skynyrd is among this years inductees to the Rock N Roll Hall Of Fame. Yay! "What Song is It You Wanna Hear?" Kind of interesting, the press relaease only mentions the pre-crash members of the band..... I agree that the 70's line-up is what makes them worthy of the hall (though I still like the newer stuff), but can they do that??? I guess the current lineup won't be playing at the ceremony!! It's too bad Ronnie Van Zant, Allen Collins, Leon Wilkeson and Steve Gaines can't be there.

Little Criminal?

Happy Birthday to Randy Newman, born this day (11/28) in 1943. From writing "Mama Told Me Not To Come" through his performance peak of "Short People" to his work with movies as diverse as "Monsters Inc" and "Seabiscuit", Randy Newman keeps churning out great stuff...

Never heard of 'Em....

Or at least I don't remember. During the entire decade of the 70's, only 3 songs made their Top 40 debut on 11/28. All in 1970:

Andy Kim - Be My Baby (A remake of the old Shirells song, peaked at #17)
Tom Jones - Can't Stop Loving You (Peaked at #25)
Flaming Ember - I'm Not My Brother's Keeper

OK, I've heard of Andy Kim (who would strike gold with "Rock Me Baby" in 1974). And I know the Shirelles version of "Be My Baby"... Of course, Tom Jones is (sadly) known to me, but I don't THINK I know this song. Flaming Ember, on the other hand is completely unheard of (by me)..........

Leaf #25

One of my many leaf shots, this was Picture Of the Day at Digital Image CafĂ© yesterday….

Sunday, November 27, 2005

POTD at Digital Image Cafe


"Leaf #25" won "Photo Of The Day" today, in the Digital-Art category!! Yay!
This one hasn't made it onto the blog, yet. I need to fix that!

I can feel it in the air, it's there everywhere....

On this date (11/27) in 1971, Rod Stewart hit the Top 40 with his cover of the Temptations' "I Know I'm Losing You". Back when Rod didn't suck, this one made it to #24...

Motley

Wet leaves on a grey autumn day… .

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Second Place!!

BetterPhoto.com has (finally) announced the winners for their October contest! I got my First Second Place!! As in, my first time to get a second place winner!! Yee Ha! Alos had a Finalist, not a bad month!

Lucky Jess.....

This proclamation was on the side of a Caboose, on display at our local park. I thought it was an interesting response to a previous picture “Jess Loves Becky”…. . The 2 shots were taken almost 200 miles apart, and 14 months difference.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Sanctuary

Some extreme playing with “Digital Darkroom”. In the beginning is was a water drop clinging to the bottom of a branch .

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Bare Trees, Grey Light

Music Theme day over at BetterPhoto.com. This month’s band is Fleetwood Mac. My first thought was “Oh Well”, from the Peter Green days, but then I came up with this shot, which fits rather well with Bare Trees. Bare Trees is the only Fleetwood Mac album I ever bought on vinyl, though I acquired the mega-popular mid 70’s albums when I got married...

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Apples & Oranges......

I had to do some internet research to figure out what these green balls are called. Hedgeapples it is. Although the “aka” of Osage-Oranges might fit better for the IL/MO area…… .

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Seems Like A Dream, Got Me Hypnotized.....

"Because there’s no explaining what your imagination can make you see and feel”..... From the Fleetwood Mac song “Hypnotized”

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Just Shoot Me #924

On this date in 1974, Neil Sedaka hit the Top 40 with the insipid little ditty "Laughter In The Rain". This eventual #1 started Sedeka's comeback. It was his first hit since the 60's, and started a string of 7 top 40's in less than 2 years. Then he (mercifully) faded away. I have little tolerance for Neil Sedaka, other than as the writer for several Monkees songs, including "When Love Comes Knocking At Your Door"

Still Waters

I’ve been in a bit of a B&W groove lately…… .

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Rainy Days and Mondays....

Yesterday was a gray, rainy Monday. And raindrops were clinging to the bare trees.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Gonna cause Talk And Suspicion.......

35 years ago today (11/14/1970), Eric Clapton had his first top 40 hit as a solo artist, as his cover of J.J. Cale's "After Midnight" entered to charts. The song peaked at #18. I remember listening to this one in the car as a 10 year old, shortly before we moved from West Virginia....

Into the flow

This is the last from my "intentional camera movement" experiments. I liked the feeling of "Flow" on this one. This one actually has a significant bit of Digital Darkroom. A big crop, lots of Buzz, and (most importantly) a hue shift from gree (treetops) to blue (to look like water, I hope).

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Leaf #26

I had yesterday off, for Veteran’s day, and I managed to get out for a hike at Silver Lake. I did the whole 4.5 mile trek, the first time I’ve made time to do the whole thing. It was really nice just being outside for a couple of hours, and I even snagged a few shots. This leaf was on a fallen log. .

Friday, November 11, 2005

Just Shoot Me #571

Making its chart debut today (11/11), back in 1978: YMCA by the Village People. This one probably wouldn't be so bad, if it had had it's run as a novelty Disco song, and then gone away. But more than 25 years later, it lingers on, and has become a standard of dreaded events like wedding receptions... Ugh.

Transitioning

From Summer to Autumn, from hill to flat, from shore to lake….. whatever. .

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Seeing you, Or seeing anything as much as I do you...

On this date (11/10) back in 1973, Todd Rundgren's hit "Hello It's Me" made its Top 40 debut. This is one of those songs that really strikes me, a near perfect chunk of a song. TR's top charting single (of the 70's).

Wind On the Water

The wind was causing whitecaps out on the main part of the lake, but only swells in this protected area .

Bad Luck Sprouting Like Weeds In A Garden.....

reposted from last year on this date:

Another old house in need of help. This one is a bit outside of Maryville, TN, with the Smokey Mountains as backdrop. Anther "stopped on the side of the road" shot, but not the interstate this time, and with a chorus of "Oh DAAAAD!" from the kids.....

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Roller's Show Tonight...

Repost from last year:
S - A - T-U-R - D-A-Y - NIGHT!
Ugh. On this day in 1975 (11/8), the Bay City Rollers entered the Billboard charts with their mega-hit "Saturday Night". A #1 smash, which would have me diving for the radio buttons whenever it came on. I think this one drove me over to country music. Of course, Nick Lowe's "Roller's Show" was ok.....

DANGER

Natural Gas Pipeline .

Monday, November 07, 2005

Plagerize Yourself?

On this date (11/7) in 1988, John Fogerty of Creedence Clearwater Revival is cleared in court of charges he plagiarized himself. His former label (with whom he had lng battled) thought his solo hit "Old Man Down The Road" sounded too much like CCR's "Run Through The Jungle".

Leaves Along the Water's Edge

When walking in the woods, don’t forget to look up, and look down. This is “down”, of course. .

Sunday, November 06, 2005

You Make Me Feel Like Dancing........

Reposted from this date last year:
Remember 1976?? Yep, Leo Sayer was the rage, and it sure made me mad. His #1 song "You Make Me Feel Like Dancing" debuted on the the Billboard charts today, in 1976. Kinda makes me feel like smashing his head against the wall....

Moonlight Seems Right...

A Mock-moonlight shot, playing around with special effects in the camera… Just a dramatic underexposure, nothing really fancy. .

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Happy Birthday, Linda!!

Today my dear wife is the same age as I am!!! For a while, at least.....

The nearer your destination.......

Entering the Billboard charts today, 11/5/1977, "Slip Slidin' Away" by Paul Simon. This little ditty topped out at #5.
"God only knows / God Makes His plan / The information's unavailable to the common man"

More parallel lines.

Are they paralleler? Another shot of construction… .

Friday, November 04, 2005

Just Shoot Me #712

"You Don't Bring Me Flowers" , the gag-me-with-a-spoon hit from Barbara Streisand and Neil Diamond made it's Top 40 debut on this day (11/4) back in 1978. Another Whiney song at the top of the charts, and these two sing lovingly about the death of their romance. Neil Diamond was a pop force in the late 60's and early 70's, but this just sucks. And I never liked Streisand, anyway. Both were only in their late 30's when this came out, but this is a song for anybody's parents' generation, no matter how old you are.

Autumn Wind

An abstraction taken in the local park yesterday. It was really windy, and I was enjoying the sound, and the motion of the leaves (ant the whitecaps on the lake)… I decided to try and capture the mood using slow shutter speed and intentional camera movement. One of my Yahoo-Froup friends called the effect BBR, as in “Blurred But Recognizable”.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

You can't plant me in your penthouse...

Elton John's song "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road" made it's Top 40 debut today (11/3) back in 1973. The title track from the classic double album made it all the way to #2. Coincidentally, I recently (this week) upgraded my vinyl version of this album to digital, through the joys of I-Tunes. One of the great albums of the late 70's, and (IMHO) EJ's last good one before he got too wrapped up in being flamboyant. , Elton kind of lost me when he got to be better known for his outfits and glasses.... But GYBR is a true classic. From the opening "Funeral For A Friend / Love Lies Bleeding" to the closing "Harmony", there's lots of great stuff here, and only a few misses. Ranked #91 on Rolling Stone's list of 500 best rock albums...

Non-Conformist

Another version of a funky tree I encountered. This one seems to have it's own way of going about the whole "thing" of being a tree. I did a bit more digital darkroom work on this one version than the previous… .

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Beware of deer on the prowl for purposes of procreation.

I couldn't pass up this article from our local newpaper's online edition.... I think the reporter must've written it after a liquid lunch, with prose like used in the title, and this useful advice:

Deer habitually travel the same paths and those deer-crossing signs are placed there for a reason. However, be careful because deer can't read and these are not the only places they might cross the road.

Flying Mother Nature's Silver Seed To A New Home In the Sun

Neil Young never cracked the Top 40 with his classic tune "After The Gold Rush", but the acapella version by Prelude made it to #22 in 1974. Checking I-Tunes, I found several cover versions by "name" artists, including Dolly Parton, Linda Ronstadt, Emmylou Harris, KD Lang and Natilie Merchant.... hmmmm, all women, what can it mean?

Sunning....

Another from Silver Lake Park, taken last month. This little butterfly (moth?) was only about 1 inch or so wide. It basked in the sun long enough for me to snap this. If I only had a “real” macro lens!! .

Welcome Back My Friends.......

Happy Birthday to Keyboardist Keith Emerson of Emerson, Lake and Palmer, born today (11/2) back in 1944. ELP was one of the biggies of the "progressive rock" movement. The group's biggest album is the live triple album "Welcome Back, My Friends, to the Show That Never Ends; Ladies and Gentlemen ... Emerson Lake and Palmer." It sells more than 1 million copies and reaches No. 4. I remember buying that TRIPLE live album as a teenager, in and around the same time I bought Pink Floyd's Dark Side of The Moon. Another headphone classic!

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Second Place!!

Well, I'm just pleased as punch. They announced the October winners over at PhotoShowdown, and I got a SECOND PLACE winner!! That's my best placement in the various on-line sites I frequent. If you scroll down the winner's page to the 2nd place shots, my "Arced" is in the top left corner. Whoo Hoo!! Leaf #42 also made finalist. So I'm happy!

Just Shoot Me #497

On this date (11/1) back in 1975, KC and The Sunshine Band burst on the Top 40 with "That's the Way I Like It". Uh-huh, uh-huh..... The 2nd of 5 #1's for KC and the Band, including 3 in a row. You know you secretly love this one. It's cycling through your head even as you read (uh-huh, uh-huh)...... Get in the groove and Boogie Till You Puke! (Doo doo doo doo doo doo doo....)

Lazy Day...

Silver Lake Park… .

Monday, October 31, 2005

POTM at Photography Unlimited!!

I actually had THREE photos win "Best Picture Of The Month" for October over at Photography Unlimited!! Way cool, huh?
Rock Stairs - Nature Category
Deep Woods (Buckeye trail) - Nature Category
Built For Speed - Photographer's Choice Category

Gone Fishin'

On a recent road trip, I stopped in Springfield, IL, to take a photo of a power plant. This fellow was fishing near the boat ramp, around 165 degrees clockwise from my vantage point of the plant.