Goodbye Old Friend

This post comes to you with a saddened heart. It has taken me three months to tackle this particular topic due to the emptiness that has resulted from an event back in July. I should probably give some background first. Do you remember when we took a trip to Indiana (link here)?  There is always a drawback to taking a vacation because all your day to day activities start piling up to greet you upon your return. Well, this is exactly what happened to me. During our week of fun in the sun our grass decided to go on steroids making the yard look more like prairie grass than lawn. I had the Bix7 race that weekend so this particular chore had to wait a few extra days. Eventually I took the new green machine out and starting cutting swatches through the jungle. Things were going great until THIS!

Hit the jump to read more about the fate of Termi!

Continue reading Goodbye Old Friend

The 500 for Number 300

Hey everyone, this is a milestone post today!  Hard to believe, but this here post is the magical number 300 in the history of this little project.  It seems like it yesterday I was sitting down to write my first post on a individual having troubles entering a bank (link here).  The rest of the posts since there have included similarly quirky topics but I did branch out some into projects, recollections and of course our photo outings.  All in all, pretty happy with the effort so far and looking forward to another 500 – umm at 6 a month, 72 a year.. holy crap, that’s almost 7 years.  Tell you what, I’ll stick on the current plan and just see where it takes me.

… and ironically (yeah, it was a little contrived) this post happens to be about the number 500.  To be clear about that, I’m talking about the Smith & Wesson 500 Magnum (link here) also known as the “Most Powerful Production Revolver in the World Today”.  This stainless steel beauty is a joy to behold and an ultimate thrill to have the privilege to fire.  A friend of mine from work (Brad R.) invited a bunch of us over a few months back to use his pistol and rifle range.  Ever fly a corporate jet and then try and go back to flying coach on a commercial airlines?  Well, let me tell you, it is exactly the same as having friends over to shoot at your makeshift range and then having the chance to experience the Cadillac of shooting ranges.  Brad’s setup included plate steel silhouettes that drop on contact, plate steel targets for speed shooting and a SWAT setup for practicing firing handguns on the move.  If that wasn’t enough he has a full rifle range to let the big dogs play.  Obviously I’ll need to step up my game.  After shooting our handguns a few hours we made our way up to the long range.  That is when Brad pulled out the 500 and was gracious enough to let us all take some shots.  Here I am checking out the feel.

Hit the jump to read more about this amazing revolver

Continue reading The 500 for Number 300

Operation: Bridge to Vegas

Well, this has been an interesting weekend.  It started out pretty good with a lumber run to Lowe’s, a saw session followed up with a fun night of Rock Band with Billy and Pakage (the R!Vagiants reunion tour – with fans calling out where’s David all night).  Around 3 in morning things turned ugly.  That is when Pakage informed me our well had gone dry – major suckage.  We played a few more songs for the crowd and made our way off the stage.  After verifying the well pump breaker had tripped I set out to find a cause.  The master bath shower faucet had a few drips so I tried taking advantage of the water pressure loss to see if I could change out the springs.  An hour later I gave up lacking some needed tools and worried I’d snap the pipes at 4:30am – not good.  I hit the bed after putting the faucet back together to get some shuteye before the long day of hauling water.  6:30am I was back up, Linda helped me get the tank in the truck and 3.5 hours later I’d hauled 24oo gallons of water….. but that was just the beginning of the days work.. there was Vegas to build!

.. and that brings us to the topic of today’s post.  (Note, my brother has been giving me grief that I pre-write some of my posts ahead of time so felt obligated to write this the same day I completed the project).  Last year I built a foot bridge over a gully on the lot so the people at our Halloween party could go see Serenity (link here).  That bridge was working out great until the Spring flooding came.  One day it was there, the next it had taken a vacation down the stream.  Multiple searches up and down the stream have been fruitless which is odd since there are numerous places where trees had fallen across the stream.  You would think it would have been caught up in those branches.  With the Halloween party approaching once again, it was time to remedy this situation.  Ladies and gentlemen, allow me to introduce Serenity’s little brother VEGAS.

hit the jump to read all about the project.

Continue reading Operation: Bridge to Vegas

Thirteen.One on the 10 Year Anniversary of 9/11

Greetings everyone.  It seems out of place to make a post about a personal event on this day of remembrance.  Therefore, let’s take a moment to send our thoughts and prayers to the victims of that fateful day 10 years ago.  I refuse to give the perpetrators the satisfaction of their actions and instead of focusing on the fear and uncertainty of that day (as every local newspaper and program I’ve come across today) I remember it as a day America came together.  There were no petty squabbles between neighbors, no politicians slandering one another in hopes of getting an extra vote and absolutely no uncertainty regarding the love for the best country in the world.  We were bound by a common cause and mad as hell.  To those that experienced a tragic loss I express my deepest sympathy.  To the heroes of that day and those who took up the fight I forever owe my gratitude with special appreciation to Seal Team 6 who demonstrated the inevitable outcome when mess with the Red, White and Blue.

As alluded to, this day also marked a big event on a personal front.  After 3 years of hard work and countless setbacks I had an opportunity to put another check on my Life List.  Some of you may know and some of you may not, but I have had a goal to run a half marathon for some time now.  With the accomplishment of the 15K under the belt (link) the next evolution of the challenge was the daunting half.  It doesn’t seem like much considering it is a just under 4 more miles but that itty bitty distance became my nemesis.  It seemed like every time I set out to prepare, something happened that cut that opportunity short.  The latest battle was with my torn hamstring which cost me all last year.  Thanks to a heavy regiment of therapy my leg problems were mostly brought under control requiring continual training consideration, but finally strong enough to take the pounding.  It was also evident some other things had to change to get in front of the numerous other injuries.  I dropped 16 pounds (as of weigh in before the race) and retooled my body for the requirements of running (translated .. core, core core).  This year’s racing circuit was geared to preparing for the this day – The 4 mile Chase warmup, the 15K Steamboat and the Bix7 all went well so optimism was in the air.  Through all this was a steady diet of short and long runs (practically every other day including training runs on vacation) to get me prepared for the extra 4.  As the days started clicking off I hit my distance marks culminating in the final 12.6 mile training run last Sunday.  I can honestly say the way I felt after that run left me a little skeptical I could pull it off.

Hit the jump to read more about the event .. with pictures!

Continue reading Thirteen.One on the 10 Year Anniversary of 9/11

Mozilla Thinks I’m a Gay Photographer Who Likes to Knit

How about that for a post title?  About now you are probably wondering what could possibly follow a title like that.  Well, let me explain myself or rather let me explain what Mozilla thinks of myself.  I was recently informed by my Firefox browser that an update was available.  Knowing those open source developers tend to get it right, I usually take them up on their patch requests.  After a quick download and a Firefox restart everything was up and running again.  Usually the “What’s New” tab is immediately deleted since it generally contains words to the effect web surfing is safer now or here’s another feature I’ll never use.  This time something caught my attention.  Somewhere towards the bottom of the page there were a few collages displayed with a teaser to Webify Me.  Basically if I answer 20 questions they will generate a personal collage of what the web means to me (or at least that is what I took it as).  What the hell, I had 10 minutes to spare and its cheaper than a shrink.  20 bizarre questions later Mozilla produced my “personal” assessment in terms of graphical icons… and here is the result:

Having looked at it, what are your first impressions?  My attention was immediately drawn to four things.  The rainbow bracelet was very disturbing and that feeling only amplified by the knitting needles.  Apparently they felt obligated to make fun of my nose, but that’s been old news since grade school but they nailed my interest in photography.  The first two observations were still glaring at me.  What the hell did I answer that indicated I was living an alternate lifestyle (obligatory “not that there is anything wrong with that”) and spent my evenings creating stocking hats.  My 10 minutes of spare time just turned into 30 minutes of investigation!  Eventually I figured out you could click on the individual images and get some verbiage on what it stood for.  Let’s just see what this is all about shall we?

Hit the review to read a rather detailed analysis of my Webify Me results

Continue reading Mozilla Thinks I’m a Gay Photographer Who Likes to Knit

Phoadtography: Checking Out Our Neighbors to the East (Part 3 of 2)

Ummm well, a funny thing happened on the way to Lightroom today. I stumbled on the missing set of Phoadtography pictures we took on our Indianapolis trip. I knew there were pictures of a couple of signs that stuck out on the trip, and by stuck out I mean we actually made a conscious effort to snap some pictures when we came back through the town. The mystery was solved when they showed up in a secondary file in our Lightroom catalog. As a result, this series actually grew by one (see Part 1 Link and Part 2 Link). Depending on how things are looking toward the end of the month this particular post may not get included in the quota requirement giving you a bonus (yeah) month. Do not get too excited, my record so far hasn’t exactly been too stellar… but in my best Dumb and Dumber .. “so you’re saying there’s a chance”.

On a personal front, I’m under a week to my big event – after 4 or 5 more miles, the worrying and fretting will begin.

Starting out the third and final (I promise) Indy Phoadtography set, I give you one of the three best sign shots from the trip.

Linda gets credit for spotting this and actually the ones below.  Of course, she kept pointing them out to me when we are under 2 car lengths from them making it nearly impossible to get a good Phoadtography shot.  The final A-Count on the sign shots ended up being 4.  That’s right, it took a whopping 4 attempts to actually get the shot (and as the case above, a crooked shot still).  How embarrassing.  I should send myself back to the minors.  At least the next shot in the sign series is at least straight.. a little degrading to men.. but still straight.

Not sure if the “Primitives” sign was just piling on the insults or it was a coincidence with the outdoor decor.   Someone at this particular Hucks has some serious issues or there is a friendly man vs woman jesting going on.  As we passed the sign from the front (okay, okay, it was the 4th time) I happened to notice the other side also had lettering on it so I snapped it.  My exposure was not set right causing it to be a on the blurry side but you can still make out the jab.

For the record, that is NOT a cop car parked suspiciously behind the sign.  It is just a large white car with a giant flag on it… I wonder if Hucks sells donuts? ack.. nevermind.

Hit the jump to see the rest of the pictures

Continue reading Phoadtography: Checking Out Our Neighbors to the East (Part 3 of 2)