Monday, January 20, 2014

On The Thin Ice Of A New Day...

Well, not exactly "Skating Away", but hey, it's what popped into my brain.    I was struck by  this cat-tail poking through the ice at St. Ellen Mine Park today.  It was a great day for a lunch-way, near 50 degrees and sunny. But the lake was still frozen solid from our last cold spell.  Of course, it's supposed to snow tonight, and tomorrow's high is supposed to be 16 degrees.  Oh well, that's January, huh?

Sunday, January 19, 2014


My son's Boy Scout troop puts up flags in our town for special occasions.  This week, they needed posted for MLK Day.  So we bundled my son and a friend yesterday, loaded the van with flags / ladder, and headed out.  All good!

Obviously, this is Old Town Glen Carbon, just east of the covered bridge.


OK, this one's a little random...  Feel free to come up with your own backstory on the deep significance of "345"...

Close up of a power pole along Main St. in Glen Carbon.  Taken while my son and another Boy Scout were posting American flags in advance of MLK day.  On a cold and windy morning.

Saturday, January 18, 2014


noun, plural me·men·tos, me·men·toes.
an object or item that serves to remind one of a person, past event, etc.; keepsake; 

My grandfather (father's father) passed away almost 30 years ago.  Several years later, my brother an I were going through some of his "stuff", and I found this little pocket knife.  IIRC, it was in with his fishing gear, and was rather dramatically rusted.    I cleaned it with lots (and lots) of Naval Jelly, then buffed with my handy-dandy Dremel.  Far from perfect, but much improved.    Nowadays it sits in my desk at work, and gets occasional use as a letter opener.  And a reminder of him...

It's pretty small, barely 2.5"...  Flat Top National Bank is where he worked...

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Piano Man #7707

Last night was Court Of Honor for my son's Boy Scout troop. Big night as he received his "Life" rank (next stop Eagle!)...   He also provided a portion of the pre-dinner entertainment, a little bit of piano.  Including (of course) his rendition of "Bohemian Rhapsody"....

Good stuff, all of it.

Wednesday, January 08, 2014

January 1974

January 1974...  40 years ago...  I was 13.5 years old, in 8th grade and living in Pittsburgh.  The Dolphins won their second consecutive Super Bowl.  The last episode of Love American Style aired, and the first episode of Happy Days...  

What was happening in music?

  • Bob Dylan release the album Planet Waves.  No big hits, but a nice little album with Bob and The Band.  On A Night Like This peaked at #44.
  • Joni Mitchell released Court And Spark, featuring Help Me (#7), and Free Man In Paris (#22)
  • Carly Simon released Hotcakes, featuring the hits Mockingbird (#5) and Haven't Got Time For The Pain (#14)
  • Gordon Lightfoot released Sundown, featuring the hit title track (#1) and Carefree Highway (#10).
   A good month for Singer-Songwriters...

A sampling of what was in the Top-40 (with the month's peak position and week in parenthesis):
  • Time In A Bottle - Jim Croce (#1, 1/7)
  • The Joker - Steve Miller Band (#1, 1/12)
  • Smokin' In The Boy's Room - Brownsville Station (#3, 1/19)
  • Goodby Yellow Brick Road - Elton John (#7, 1/7)
  • Livin' For The City - Stevie Wonder (#8, 1/12)
  • Hellen Wheels - Paul McCartney and Wings (#10, 1/12)
  • Hello It's Me - Todd Rundgren (#14, 1/7)
  • Walk Like A Man - Grand Funk Railroad (#19, 1/26)
  • D'yer Mak'er - Led Zeppelin (#23, 1/7)
  • Jim Dandy - Black Oak Arkansas (#34, 1/26)

Sunday, January 05, 2014

2013 Year In Review -Microstock

Many readers may know that I have images at several microstock sites.  But I'm certainly not active.  I hadn't uploaded any images to them in ~6 years.  But I continue to have residual sales, and tend to earn $300 - $350 a year.  Not bad for no (additional) effort.

No uploads in 6 years, until today, that is.  I decided to try this image, from today's snowstorm:

It will be interesting to see if any of the sites accept it  (they tend to be BRUTAL  accepting photos, my success rate was around 1/3). And if so, if it gets any sales.

So, how about the 2013 in review??

Well, as I mentioned, microstock isn't anything that'll lead me to quit my real job...  Total sales in 2013, 424 images, $333.57.  Those of you thinking about microstock, note the pathetic $0.79 / image.  Microstock is a big-volume game.  I know some folks who have been pretty successful, but only by uploading lots and lots of photos...

So, $333 in "free money".  Which sites are the best for me?

Shutterstock - 62.5% of income
iStock - 33.4% of income
123RF -  3.1% of income
Fotolia -  1.0% of income

I'm pretty sure that's pretty typical of the past 7 years.

Ridin' The Storm Out

We're at the front end of a major storm this morning.  We have about 3" now (~8:30 am), but it is coming down pretty fast.  They're still saying 12"+, with rapidly dropping temperatures (minus 9 tonight!).  That's quite a storm for St. Louis area!

Here's some snaps of the morning:

"doot doot doot, lookin' out my back door..."
- - -

There's a road out there, somewhere...
- - -
Our Church has actually cancelled services for today, which seems odd (and a little disappointing) to me, but probably makes a lot of sense.

Post title is from the REO Speedwagon song.

Saturday, January 04, 2014

Cold Geese

Another image from Thursday's walk at Moody Park.   Cold and very windy, it was.  There a fountain in the lake, which helped maintain the open water.  There's always lots and lots (and lots) of geese at this park, and this day was no exception.  Most of them were congregated across the path from the lake and, as I approached, they flew to the safety of the water.  I chose to stop and wait, rather than walk under...  since I don't know enough about goose habits.

Friday, January 03, 2014

Lazy Dogs...

Our mutt-puppies, crashed out on Christmas day...  It's a dog's life, ya know.  Chuckie (bottom photo) almost opened his eye...  almost.

 ^--  Stu     :     Chuckie  --v

Thursday, January 02, 2014

New Year's Resolutions 2014

I don't generally make New Year's Resolutions.  In fact, if I've ever made any sort of "formal" resolutions, I don't remember it.  Maybe when I was a kid.  But, ya know what, I decided to do it this year. So here goes:

1)  More Photography!  As noted yesterday.  Find another on-line contest site to provide challenges.  It's been 6 years since I left BetterPhoto....

2)  More Walking!  Lunchtimes, walking the dogs...  all that good stuff.  I tracked over 500 miles in 2013, over 3/4 of which were in the 1st half of the year.  I ought to be able to easily top that by 20-25%.

3)  Weight.  Yeah, I know it's a cliche.  But I'm a chunk heavier than I was just 6 months ago, and that was a bit above where I need to be.  So, goal will be to drop 10% of weight.  And maintain.

Meanwhile, the image above is from a lunch time walk today, and Everett Moody Park.  A SHORT walk, as it was 4 degrees w/ wind chill.  I believe this stand of trees is dead...  or they're not evergreens.

Wednesday, January 01, 2014

2013 - The Year In (my) Photos

Ansel Adams said "Twelve significant photographs in any one year is a good crop."  Last January, I used this quote as an inspiration to pick my 12 favorite images from 2012.  So, as 2013 draws to a close, I figured to repeat the exercise.  Unfortunately, 2013 was not a particularly busy year for me, at least from a photographic standpoint.  As reflected on this blog, where my posting was lowest in many years.  So, did I make up for it in quality? 

Well, here's 12 of my favorites, looking at this blog, and my Black and White focused Happenstance Photography.  Arranged oldest to newest.  Click on the text to go to the original post (and larger image)

Verdict??  I'd love to hear your thoughts...  But from my standpoint, it's a better crop than I expected when I started reviewing.  Nothing "significant" from an Ansel Adams point of view, but there's a few here I rather like.  I should probably get prints of a couple.

Half of these are from the Edwardsville-Glen Carbon area, and all but 2 are from St. Louis Metro East.  Just goes to show...

New year's resolution for 2014??  MORE PHOTOGRAPY!