Tuesday, July 31, 2007


I took the first photo at a local marina in Melbourne, Florida. Not wanting to disturb the owners of the boat docked there, I stepped onto their boat very gently to get the shot, and afterward, stepped back onto the dock in such a way as to barely make the boat rock. They probably just thought I was the wind, right? I was like ol' Kung Fu when he had to walk on the rice paper without disturbing it at all.

The second photo makes me furious still, just to see it again. The sign clearly says, no parking on the grass, yet there's this inconsiderate boob who parked his gas-guzzling, environmental disaster of an SUV on the grass! Can you believe the nerve of some people? AND, he's out there in the water, tooling around in his fossil fuel burning motor boat JUST FOR FUN. This earth killer probably doesn't recycle, uses aerosol hair spray AND aerosol deodorant too!

OK. For those of you with no sense of humor, I never stepped on anyone's boat. Heck, I'm a big enough guy to almost tip over an ocean liner, so stepping on and off a private boat would be VERY obvious. I only had to lean a little bit to get the shot.

And the parking lot is a parking area for a boat ramp nearby and the parking area is made of a criss-cross pattern of bricks and dirt so the water dripping from the trailers after launching the boat will soak into the ground. Over time grass has grown up in the dirt and the actual parking area is partially covered in grass. The angle from which I took the photo is such that you can't see the bricks he's parked amid the grass.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Black and White #16 : Wrestling Angels

A while back, I posted a couple of pics of a porcelain angel Lovely Wife has in the house.

I was in the mood to play around with stuff in Photoshop Elements and used one of the more constrasty angel photos, and converted it to black and white.

I also tried out some of Element's special effects filters, something I've not done very much because I can't use them to create much that I end up liking. But this angels looked quite dreamy anyway so I made her glow, which, to me, kind of fit her looks. Not great, but kinda neat.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Where's Waldo?

There are actually a whole bunch of brown pelicans in plain sight in the top photo, but they blend into their napping area quite thoroughly.

This is a picture of the bridge over Sebastian Inlet which marks the border between our county, Brevard, and the county to the south of us, Indian River County.

The second photo is the closeup photo of part of the right hand section of the top photo, and there are 11 brown pelicans visible or partly visible in the photo.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Black and White #15

Another couple of shots in the old section of Melbourne, Florida.

A little, tiny park with benches near a train crossing. There are many, many little parks like this throughout Brevard County. Little bitty fellers; this one I would estimate is about 1500 square feet, about the size of my home's footprint. Small, well-kept patches of greenery and flowers.

And the interesting lamps lined up on the front of this store.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Open / Closed

A couple of entrances to a couple of nice shops in the old, downtown section of Melbourne, Florida.

A great place for moseying.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Black and White #14

The top photo is out by our pool, where our cat Sassy is one the prowl. Could be lizards. She's a deadly lizard hunter. This is her My-Daddy-is-out-here-with-me-let-me-show-off-for-him-by-finding-something-that-needs-killin'-so's-I-can-kill-it-for-him pose.

The second photo is a black and white version of an outrageous red hibiscus blossom I wandered across.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

That After Sunset Glow

Taken on the Indian River Lagoon about 30 miles south of where we live.

I was almost eaten alive by no-see-ums while taking these, a mosquito-like insect that you rarely see, but that leaves a bite as itchy as a red bug bite.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

High Rent District

This house has always amazed me.

It's out on the barrier island we call beachside here, but the rear of the property is actually on the Indian River Lagoon.

Not everyone with the money to chooses to live on the Atlantic Ocean. There are just as many hideously expensive houses on the calm lagoon. Another bonus is that if your house is on the lagoon like this one, you have a killer sunset over the water about 300 some-odd days a year. You have to get up early to watch the sunrise on the Atlantic.

Sunsets in the laid back evenings are more my style anyway.

Lovely Wife was driving, and I was riding shotgun. The building in the back is actually the home. The structure that looks like a home in the left of the photo is actually only the gate house to the "real" house in the rear.

The second photo is where we passed directly in front of their driveway and all you can see is the gate house, and a peek at the main house's front door through the gate area of the gate house.

Some spread, huh?

Monday, July 23, 2007

Rhythm / Treble

My Gibson Les Paul Studio guitar.

Boy, it's really a good thing that inanimate objects like guitars and cameras don't have feelings.

Both my cameras and guitars would be whimpering and undergoing stunted mental development due to lack of attention.

Yesterday, I realized it had been over a week since I had even taken my camera out of it's case. I felt like taking some photos, but my back said, "Oh, no you don't. You're not taking me out gallivanting around today." (It's strange how, when my back hurts, it uses my Sainted Mother's voice and colloquialisms to speak to me in. "Gallivanting around" is one of her favorite phrases.)

What sparked my desire to crank up ye olde Nikon was that we had some great light coming through our skylights in our home. I made a compromise with my back, and stood and thought for a minute on what I could place there in that great light for a few quick shots.

Now it's been WAY longer than a week since I've regularly practiced guitar, and those guys would certainly be hurtin' for some attention, so I pulled out my Les Paul on it's stand and took a few pictures of it.

If any of you are guitar geeks, that's an early 90s, '94 I think, Gibson Les Paul Studio. I put a set of Seymour Duncan pickups in it, the rhythm pickup is an SH-2 Jazz pickup with a gentle, clear tone, while the treble pickup is an SH-5 Custom pickup, which is a bit on the hot side. This thing can be as gentle as a baby and also roar like a lion through my amplifier.

By special request from Miss Kate at Visual Saint Paul, here's a closer view of some of the painted bridge pillars I posted on Sunday.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Bridge Over Crane Creek

This is a neat bit of civic beautification that was sponsored by local businesses.

The bridge is a section of U.S. 1, which goes from Key West to somewhere in Maine. In the picture here, the bridge is over a secondary road as well as Crane Creek, which was behind me as I took these photos.

And don't forget to visit my other blog, I always post pictures on Sunday.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Sea Oats

Howdy folks. I know that I've been slacking this week on visiting and commenting. I hope to catch up with everybody's posts sometime this weekend. My back issues are limiting the time I can stand to sit at the computer and I've fallen behind. Way behind.

Hope to be visiting everybody sometime in the next couple of days.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Thursday, July 19, 2007

At The Library

This is a donated statue that stands in front of one of the branches of the Brevard County Public Library in Melbourne, Florida. I like to go to this particular branch because of it's large selection of books when compared to some of the smaller branches.

I've always liked this statue, dedicated to the donator's grandchildren, and children everywhere.

I'm doing better today. Just a sore back from the procedure and some bad memories. Two of my fellow engineers where I work lost a daughter and a brother this week. It makes me realize that a medical procedure that doesn't go very well and causing me pain is much easier to deal with than the death of immediate family members.

My heart and prayers go out to Gary T. and his wife who lost their 21 year old daughter a few days ago in a car accident in Orlando. My heart and prayers go out to Phil C. whose brother passed away this week from pancreatic cancer at the age of 44.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

My Old School Part 2

The taller, central portion of the top photo is the front entrance to Neville High School and has come to be the "symbol" of the school; it's most recognizable trait. The tower is engraved on the side of all of our senior (12th year) rings.

The bottom two photos are of the front of the school's football stadium (American football).

Update: I'm doing OK after surviving my myelogram. I'm down to a very sore back and some bad memories now.

The poor x-ray technician that was in there to assist the radiologist with my myelogram and to take the x-rays once he was satisfied with his dye injections, called to check on me today. I think she had a tougher time watching me go through that four times than I did to actually experience it.

The hard part now is that, for two nights I'm to sleep propped up on my back and my head is to never get level with my body, to help prevent the dye from entering my brain. That can cause a bad headache and I'm miserable trying to sleep in one position.

Thanks for your concern. I appreciate it. I'm doing all right, just really sore now.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

My Old School Part 1 / Myelogram Update

These are a couple of pictures of my old high school. I took them when we went back to Louisiana the week after Christmas in December 2006.

This is Neville High School in Monroe, Louisiana. It was opened in 1931, and this past school year was it's 75th Anniversary of being a working high school.

The top two are to give you a good overall view of the front of the school, it's very elegant looking and is aging with lots of grace.

The bottom photo was taken on one side of the school, and is the entrance to the auditorium/theater. As a teen, the carved faces above the doors fascinated me. You just don't see schools built with this kind of detail and class any more.

I was blessed to have been able to attend school here. The education I got there prepared me well for college.

Myelogram Update

Had I known exactly what I was in for yesterday, I might not have gone.

Due to four past surgeries, the radiologist had a tough time finding an opening through scar tissue to my spinal cord.

What normally would have been one set of shots to deaden the area, and one really tough one as he pressed the needle through the muscles to the spine for the tap, turned into 4 sets of shots and spinal taps. He couldn't get the dye to "flow" as he wanted it to until the fourth try.

The half hour procedure took one and a half hours because he had to do four complete procedures until he had the dye in my spinal column, with the dye flowing far enough up and down the column to see what they wanted to see.

After that was a CAT scan and then 4 hours of observation, which amounted to me laying there and the nursed coming in every 15 minutes for blood pressure and to ask if I was getting a headache.

He said I have a big bone spur pressing the nerve that gives feeling and strength in the outside half of my left leg, which is exactly where I hurt. Now it's up to the surgeon to decide what, if anything, he can do. I see the surgeon again in a couple of weeks.

It turns out that they want me (and anyone having this procedure) to be at rest for a minimum of 48 hours.

I'm doing ok, once the procedure was over and they left me alone, I've done pretty good. Just lots of muscle pain from the four places he put that honkin' big needle through my back muscles.

I should be back to work on Thursday, barring the headache they are hoping for me to avoid. The Dr. removes a bit of spinal fluid and then puts the dye in there, trying to avoid a drastic change in the pressure. If the dyes reaches and passes through the blood/brain barrier, one may get the grandaddy of all migraines, if he misjudged a bit, and the spinal column/fluid pressure changes the headache could come then as well. I'm hoping to avoid that more than they do.

Anyway, that's my sad story.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Prayer Request / Dowtown Melbourne, FL

I would appreciate your prayers today.

I have a myelogram scheduled this morning (Monday) at 9am (US Eastern).

The procedure is similar to a spinal tap, but instead of withdrawing spinal fluid to check for viruses and whatnot, and while they have the spinal cavity tapped, they inject dye into it and as the dye spreads, they look at the area on a fluoroscope. The fluoroscope is like an x-ray, but shows things real time on a monitor instead of having to develop film.

Once the radiologist does the tap, and looks to see what damage he can see on the fluoroscope, they then will put me on a CAT scan for the best imaging they can get.

Then I have to stay there under their observation for four hours to ensure the spinal tap area stops bleeding.

Both of today's photos were taken in the old downtown section of Melbourne, Florida.

In the top one, the flower pots seemed to jump out at me, so I desaturated the colors from everything else. I kinda like the way it turned out.

In the bottom one, well I liked the old buildings that have become specialty shops, but to me, the star of the photo is the golden sun of the late evening.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Black and White #13

Both the bridge and the boy fishing were photographed at Sebastian Inlet State Park.

I tried some different things with the bridge one, but it still didn't turn out as good as I'd hoped to make it. Oh well, such is life, and photography. The scene is looking eastward toward the mainland of Florida, through the inlet that passes under the bridge.

Lovely Wife hates the Gaussian blur / Orton process photos like she used to hate my colored filters back in my Cokin Filter System days. You just can't please some people, can you?

Saturday, July 14, 2007

A Major Award / More Sunny Florida

CJ at Compulsive Worrier has nominated me for the Blogging Community Involvement Award, otherwise known as the Schmooze Award, which is really strange, because my accent makes it kind of hard to say. I think there's too many consonants in a row in the word schmooze for me to easily pronounce.

Here's the official scoop on this award:
"Schmoozing is the natural ability “to converse casually, especially in order to gain an advantage or make a social connection.” Good schmoozers effortlessly weave their way in and out of the blogsphere, leaving friendly trails and smiles, happily making new friends along the way. They don’t limit their visits to only the rich and successful, but spend some time to say hello to new blogs as well. They are the ones who engage others in meaningful conversations, refusing to let it end at a mere hello - all the while fostering a sense of closeness and friendship".

Thank you, CJ. I appreciate it.

I normally don't pass along these things, and I've never in my life passed along a chain letter, but I'm passing it along to a couple of folks who always find time to visit my blog, even if I've fallen behind on my own visiting and commenting. I could list everyone on my "Folks I Like To Visit" section there on the right.

But I'm just gonna name two. John at My Viewfinder, because he not only posts great work, he often gives tidbits of how he worked with the image in Photoshop, pointers, how to's, and gives great supportive and constructive criticism in comments on my blog.

I would like to also pass the honor to Photowannabe, because she's not enamored with snazzy equipment or high minded art photography, but obviously just likes to "take picutures" with her cybershot and is about as steady a visitor and commenter as one could hope for.

You guys don't have to write a post about it if you don't want to. Don't have to pass it along if you don't feel like it. It's no big deal.

Thanks to all who visit here, and also to those who take the time to comment.

Now for today's photos:

These were taken at a marina in Melbourne, Florida. The top photo was a water front property next to the marina, and the second one is the radar/communication stuff on a boat in the marina (Anna? Here's proof that I occasionally look up!).

Marinas are neat places to wander around with camera in hand, but you have to be careful not to fall in.

Friday, July 13, 2007

A Quick Pointer To Someone Whose Photos You Need To See...

If you want to see some incredibly amazing photographs, and I mean incredible, you simply MUST go to:

Before The Coffee

And keep hitting the "Older Posts" link at the bottom of each page. No lie, his work is what I dream of being able to do someday.

A Brown Pelican and His Feet

I took a pic of this pelican, and then realized that his feet alone told a story, so I zoomed in on them in my next shot and then cropped that a bit.

Yeah, I know, the photo of his feet is a bit soft. Oh well.

That fish hook in his leg broke my heart.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Splish Splash

A couple of boats heading inland through Sebastian Inlet.

Sebastian Inlet is a man-made break made in the barrier island and is the closest access to the Atlantic Ocean for boaters in the Palm Bay and Melbourne, Florida area. It marks the boundary between Brevard and Indian River Counties in Florida.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Love Bug

A few weeks ago I posted a picture on my regular blog's Sunday Picture Post showing the front end of our Camry totally encrusted with love bugs.

Today's Love Bug is much prettier, more colorful, and much more benign than the pest type love bug.

This was in a parking lot at Sebastian Inlet State Park one day. I had to stop for a few photos of it.

Lovely Wife has always wanted herself a lime green VW Beetle, even from way back when the original ones were being made.

I also posted a couple of photos at the very bottom of my other blog's post today. If y'all care to see them.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Black and White #12

Both photos are scanned Kodachrome slides, converted to B&W, and fiddled with in Elements.

I kinda liked the dreamlike look of the top one, handled much as yesterday's two photos were.

The bottom one, I ended up adding in some grain as if it were taken on fast B&W film.

Update: I forgot to mention that both photos were taken in Petit Jean State Park in Arkansas in 1983.

Monday, July 9, 2007

Black and White #11

I took these two photos on my lunch break at work one day when I went to the beach.

They were taken with my Nikon D70s, in color, and were decent, but I was playing around with them in Photoshop Elements 4.0 and came up with this spooky midnight, full-moon look and liked it.

What do y'all think?

The plants you see, and that have some bare limbs are sea grapes that grow all along the ocean here on the dunes. They make great defense against the dunes blowing away, but were heavily damaged in the hurricanes of 2004. Their mixture of dead and live sections make for interesting shapes in black and white photos.

I personally love sea grapes (the plant, they don't produce edible grapes) and Lovely Wife and my Mother in Law bought me a small plant the year after we moved here. It's planted in our back yard and fared much better in the two hurricanes that made almost a direct hit on us in 2004, for the simple reason our home protected it from the worst of the wind.