Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas to All!

Our cat, Sassy came into the room soon after the tree was put up and sat there looking at it, like, "I'm SURE this wasn't here just a little while ago!"

I will try to post and visit much more in the next year. Scout's honor.

This has been a tough year, with work stress and health issues, I've fallen away from posting regularly. I miss it, and hope to get back into the groove soon.

Merry Christmas everyone!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Going Back for This One

This has been a difficult year for me with health issues and a very heavy load at work.

I work and sleep and rarely have gotten out with my camera for months now.

I'm doing OK, just no time for fun things.

I dug back a year or so to find one I liked that I could put on here today.

This is a high-priced condo that was just finished in 2007. Way out of our price range.

Purdy to look at, but I sure wouldn't want all of my stuff in that building if a hurricane took a bead on Melbourne.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Mister Spike

It's not real easy to photograph a black dog without them just showing up as a black blob with totally indistinguishable features.

A little afternoon light coming in a north-facing window will work wonders though.

Mr. Spike is a miniature poodle that is the son of our red poodle, Rosie, that died suddenly two weeks ago. (I wrote about Rosie's death here)

We let our older daughter name him when he was born in February of 2004, and she wanted to name the only boy dog Spike, but always called him Mister Spike. We've long ago gotten into the habit of calling him Mr. Spike too.

He's a sweet and gentle little dog, and this is the best photo I've ever been able to take of him.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


There's a huge surf shop in Cocoa Beach, Florida, called Ron Jon Surf Shop. It's open 24 hours a day, for all your late night surfing needs.

We don't surf, but we still love going to Ron Jon's.

It's an amazing looking place, both inside and out.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Black and White #32: Gemini Memorial

In Titusville, Florida, about 30 miles north of our home, there's a park along the Indian River Lagoon called Space View Park.

It's one of the best, if not THE best public access place to view a Shuttle launch.

The park also has several sections which honor the various phases of America's early space program.

Today's photo is of a monument to the astronauts and workers who made the Gemini program a success. The Gemini program preceded the Apollo program, and was an important step in putting men on the moon.

If you look at the distant part of the photo after enlarging, you'll see the Vehicle Assembly Building, where rockets were, and shuttles are still put together before being driven to the launch pad. The VAB is the fourth largest building in the world in interior space.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

If I Won The Lottery...

Of course, that won't happen because I don't buy lottery tickets, but I'd love to live in this house on the beach.

It's about 15 miles south of where we live and their back yard is the Atlantic Ocean.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Thank You All

We were crushed when our sweet Rosie died last week, and your kind comments meant a lot to me.

Thank you.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Goodbye Sweet Rosie

I took the above photo this past weekend, two days before her death, because I thought she looked cute in her "Everyone Loves A Redhead" t-shirt.

Rosie: July 1999 - October 2008

Monday night, when I got home from work, I found that one of our poodles, Rosie was very sick.

I won't go into detail, but will just say that in a matter of a few hours, she went from normal to dying as I held her for her final breath.

We are all stunned and heartbroken still.

Rosie was a true lap dog. She loved nothing more than being in one of our's lap.

In December of 1999, Lovely Wife found an add for her on the internet. A person in Dothan, Alabama had a red poodle for sale.

I had just sold some camera equipment and bought an acoustic guitar for playing at church, and with the money left, we went to Dothan and bought Rosie.

So when she wanted to be held, I would sweet talk her with the story of how Mama found her on the internet, and we took a trip to Dothan, Alabama to get her.

She was four months old when we got her, and had been in a crate so much that she had no idea how to play like other dogs. She never did learn to like and want to play with squeaky toys and balls like our other dogs do. But if we got on the floor to play with the dogs, she would sometimes get worked up and play tug-o-war with a toy.

But most of the time, as we tried to play with the dogs, she'd come and get right up against you just wanting to be petted instead of playing. So we'd have to love on her with one hand and tug or throw toys with the other and the other dogs.

This hurt is still way too raw to write much right now; her sudden sickness and death has us all still in shock.

The reality is that, when you have a pet, you will most likely outlive them. But nine years is not that old for a miniature poodle. She should have had at least five or six more years and her passing has left a gaping hole in my heart.

I love you Rosie. I always will. And I'll always remember you, to my own dying day. From now on, one of my great desires will be to see you again someday in heaven.

I'll sit and hold you as long as you want, and I'll have little bites of cheese to feed you, I promise.

I miss you so much.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Angel In A Pink MuuMuu

This one of our poodles, Angel, who will be 10 this coming November. Hard to believe.

It's harder to get good pictures of dogs than people, but I finally snagged a good one of Angel.

She's even tilting her head, which she rarely does.

Sorry about the lack of posts. The past few months at work have been so busy that it has almost killed my blogging. Health issues abound, too, so that even drags on me more.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Black & White #31

A sailboat passes under the Melbourne(FL) Causeway.

The color version of this photo is nice, but I liked the black and white version better, so that's what y'all are getting.

There are still some older bridges in this area that will pivot to allow sailboats and their masts pass by, but most of the later bridges like this one, are just built really tall. Don't have to pay a draw-bridge operator that way.

But I like draw bridges. Especially down here, they force you to stop and look around yourself.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Nifty Symmetric Clouds

Another dramatic sunset, courtesy of God.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Shark Bait! Ooo Ha Ha!

If you have ever seen "Finding Nemo" you'll understand why that phrase popped into my head the instant I saw this guy.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Black and White #30: Longboard

This well-used old longboard is on display at Ron Jon Surf Shop in Cocoa Beach, Florida.

I've never surfed, and probably never will, but I still love going to Ron Jon's. They have a little bit of everything beach related.

I posted a color version of this in my Sunday Picture Post on my other blog today.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Pink Flamingos

We've yet to bow to some people's idea of proper Florida lawn decorations and installed plastic pink flamingos in our yard.

But I do think they're neat. These were in a gift shop in Orlando International Airport when we took a visitor to catch her plane.

There are always neat things to see and photograph in stores.

Friday, September 12, 2008

All In A Row

I took this a few weeks ago at a park in Titusville, Florida. We were walking along the sidewalk and I saw this and liked the look of the trees lined up into the distance, but I didn't notice the reflections on the water until I had the camera to my eye.

Nothin' special, more like a tourist shot actually, but I still like it. Palm trees and water are part of the world down here. Having grown up in Louisiana where they won't live, I'm still enamored of them, and love they way they look.

Sorry I've been remiss in my duties here, but I've been working long hours and weekends. I end up just going to bed early and have been ignoring my blogs.

Take care, folks. I'll be around to visit and comment when I can.

Friday, August 29, 2008

NASA's Vehicle Assembly Building

NASA's Vehicle Assembly Building is where the Apollo rockets and the shuttles were and are built, housed, and repaired until being driven out onto one of the launch pads.

The VAB is the fourth largest building in the world.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Didn't Get Blown Away

Tropical storm Fay practically stopped moving this past week right over Brevard County where we live, and dropped 15-20 inches of rain on us. We had no damage at our home, though many people in the county were flooded out of their homes.

We're fine, but I hate that so many had their homes flooded.

Some areas about ten miles north of us received 20-25 inches of rain.

Our power flickered off and back on a few times, but for the most part we had power and TV, so we did really well compared to many.

Here are a couple of photos of the car that belongs with the wheel I showed in my most recent picture I posted.

Ron Jon Surf Shop is an institution in Cocoa Beach, Florida. It is a huge surf store and is a really fun place to go an walk around.

This is one of two customized cars out in front of the Ron Jon store.

Aside from these photos of this customized Chrysler PT Cruiser, I posted some shots of the exterior and interior of Ron Jon's in the bottom three photos on this post on my other blog last week, HERE.

If you are interested, I have posted several photos of a park in Titusville, Florida with monuments to three parts of the US space program, in my Sunday post on my other blog.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008


No work on Tuesday.

We don't get snow this far south, but we do occasionally get a "storm day" as an analog to some of y'all's "snow days."

We're supposed to get between 5 and 10 inches of rain.

I'm gonna sleep late, before the storm gets here.

Friday, August 15, 2008


Work crunch going on right now.

I've not had time to work on any new pics, and will do so when I can.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Gangster White Walls

We used to call these gangster white walls. A throw back to the 1920s and 1930s mobster cars that usually had the wide white wall tires that were in vogue at the time. Nothing to do with today's use of the word "gangsta" among the rap crowd.

You don't see them much any more, but this one was on a custom painted car on which this style fit perfectly.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Lush And Green

With all of the rain we've been getting lately, the world here is lush and green. Everything that can bloom is doing so, and the grass and all the plants look amazing.

While it's inconvenient for it to rain almost every day, it only does so for a while. And though Central Florida is the lightning capital of the world, the storms sure clean the air and then, when the sun is shining, just driving around here feels like I'm on vacation.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Yesterday Evening (Mon. 7/28/08)

There was a great sunset yesterday, and even the east view over the ocean was blue and beautiful.

The Atlantic was as calm as I've ever seen it.


Saturday, July 26, 2008

Black and White #29 (Texture)

Nothing special, but I did like the texture of this board that's part of a local boardwalk along an Atlantic beach.

Years of weathering brings out the lines and "character" of this wood.

Kind of like how years of life and dealing with life's issues exposes our character.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Mmmm, Pizza

Our daughters love Bizarro's Pizza, but they have absolutely THE toughest pizza crust I have ever tried to chew.

Tasty pizza, guaranteed to cause a TMJ flare-up.

Friday, July 18, 2008


The sun is peeking at you one last time for the day on the horizon back there.

You enjoy the warm breeze and the colors and the smells of the late evening by the water.

It's still kinda hot, but the hardest thing you have to do is sit in your chair for a while and relax.

No sweat.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Black and White #28: Sea Grapes

I had never seen sea grapes until we moved to this part of Florida.

Sea grapes are a great buffer plant to have on the dunes of a beach. The wind shapes the whole tangled mess into a big swooping profile when seen from the side of the whole plant.

They protect the sand from being blown away by the daily efforts of the wind, and especially are beneficial when hurricanes come through.

Besides this, they are neat looking and have big round waxy leaves that I like.

This particular photo is of a batch of sea grape plants along the beach in Indialantic, Florida. But there is also a boardwalk there too, so the sea grapes are cut back from taking over the boardwalk, and interrupting your stroll along the beach.

I liked the way the sun shone on these trimmed sections of sea grapes, showing the interesting shapes of the limbs.

Here are some other views of sea grapes I have posted, here, and here.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Almost There

Just a few more steps, over the boardwalk, and you'll be on the beach.

Toes in the sand. Hot sun on your shoulders. Sounds of seagulls and of the waves breaking. The smell of Coppertone.

Friday, July 11, 2008


When you go to the beach, you don't want to track that pesky sand into your car, right?

Hence the convenient public showers for rinsing off.

The water is quite cold.

On the ipod:

All In A Day's Work by Aaron Sprinkle from his Moontraveler cd.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

A Favorite Of Mine

Number One Daughter is now 22, but when she was a kid, she was in constant motion.

On a trip to Yellowstone National Park in July of 1989, we were waiting for Old Faithful geyser to erupt, but Number One Daughter couldn't sit still.

She had to run around as usual, and I took this one photo of her as she trotted back and forth in front of us.

Later when I received my developed slides, this instantly became one of my favorite photos I've ever taken.

If I could show you one photograph that best illustrated Number One Daughter as a kid, this would be the one I'd present.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Independence Day 2008

Despite what we have shoved down our throats relentlessly by the modern 24 hour news, America is still a great place where hard work can make dreams come true.

We are NOT in a recession, even though some make that claim. (Recession is actually a technical term where the economy shrinks for two straight quarters, and our economy hasn't shrunk even for one quarter in YEARS; it has only slowed in the amount of growth. But growth is growth.) We are NOT destitute because of high gasoline prices; any fool can cut back on luxuries when times get lean and put gas in their cars.

America's existence does NOT hang in the balance based on who will be elected as the next President this November. We'll continue on regardless of who our next President will be.

I once made my living by lifting heavy things, and had a dream of going back to college to learn a skill that would help make a better life for myself and my family.

With a wife and two kids and five years of hard work, I earned an electrical engineering degree and HAVE made a better life for my family and myself.

And I am a thoroughly average man who was not born into wealth.

So if I can do it, anyone can.

Americans, get off your butt and work; NO President is going to make a difference in your life.

Only you can do that. Only you.

Happy Independence Day folks.

On the ipod: This Ain't No Ordinary Love Song by Payable On Death (P.O.D.), from their new When Angels And Serpents Dance cd

Monday, June 30, 2008

You Might Not Believe This

...but seeing this kind of thing almost every day over 11 years, you almost stop seeing it for what it is. Pure beauty.

When you move here from a place like northeast Louisiana, where the people are as good as any place you could hope to meet, but the scenery is, well, largely forgettable, you would initially tell yourself that you'll never get used to the incredible sunsets, walking out in the early morning barefooted and in shorts to get the January, but the daily grind of the job and things you have to do just eventually wears away the "new" of even a place like this.

That's one reason I love to have a camera in my hand. It forces me to notice every little detail, because hey, they might make a good shot, but overall, it keeps you mentally on your toes that you live in such an amazing place. That if you feel like taking the long way home you can enjoy the purple late evening clouds and sky and the huge expanses of water, that always seem so pretty.

So on a day when you are out for a little bit, despite the chronic back, and stressful work load, your camera helps you catch a nice, pretty view of the evening sky framed between some tropical looking palm trees.

It's not a special shot, in fact it's almost boring in it's common-ness.

But the heart of the matter is really that I SAW, FELT, SMELLED, and actually experienced the view.

Nothing common about that at all.

Friday, June 27, 2008


The slow, inevitable warping of the weathered boards on the boardwalk is stronger than the nails holding them there.

This is why, after hurricanes Jeanne and Francis in 2004, we replaced our blown down fence with a plastic one. Pvc or whatever that stuff is they make fences out of.

Now I don't have to go out there every two years or so and drive the nails back in to the boards like we did with the old fence.

On the ipod:
Pharisee by Disciple, from their "My Daddy Can Whip Your Daddy" cd.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008


A nifty look at a nice little motel on the beach in Indialantic, Florida.

I like that there are still smaller ones like this, along with the massive chain hotels farther up the beach.

On the ipod:

Can't Breathe, by Disciple. From their "By God" Cd.
I give you my life
Set in the potter's hands
Make it what you want
Cause I can't move and I can't breathe
I can't love and I can't speak
I can't trust and I can't run
I can't wake and I can't sleep
I can't live my life without you

Sunday, June 22, 2008


The second set of steps up to the boardwalk for this boardwalk along the Atlantic Ocean in Indialantic, Florida.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Naturally Sepia

Lovely Wife and I were walking along a boardwalk in Indialantic, Florida with the beach on one side and the sun setting on the other.

I happened to look toward the evening sun at the right moment and saw this interesting silhouette, so I took a couple of shots of it at different settings to lessen the flare of shooting into the sun like this.

When I downloaded them onto the computer at home I saw that the images looked as if I had treated them in Photoshop with the sepia filter.

Nope, that's simply how the images came out of the camera and I liked the look of it so much that I just slapped the border and copyright on it and called it "done."

I want to go back and try to color correct the image to see how that would look, just for fun, but sometimes photos just drop beautifully into your lap without even trying.


Wednesday, June 18, 2008


These trees grow all over the place here in central Florida. I don't know what they are called, but these things grow to be super tall if allowed to.

I'm not good at estimating distances or heights, but these things will easily grow as tall as those really tall and skinny palm trees like you see in films of California.

I'm guessing they'll exceed 100 feet. (I'll try to remember to photograph a tall one and put on here so you can see just how tall they get)

Anyway, they are like tropical Christmas trees, and have a shape like a slim fir tree. Their texture is really detailed and intricate, which is what caught my eye on this small one of these trees at a public park on the Atlantic beach.

Monday, June 16, 2008

God's Handiwork

I know that lots of folks don't believe in God, but I do.

I see a sunset like this and see it as His handiwork.

I love fiddling with images in Photoshop Elements. I tend to make minor changes in almost all of my photos.

I have my camera set as close to "flat" as I can make it. My photos tend to come out of the camera a bit dull compared to many cameras, since most people's cameras come from the factory set to enhance colors and contrast.

I then add my own amounts of contrast and color saturation as I see fit. I try to keep things as natural as I can, but there is no such thing as a perfectly accurate photograph, even in these digital days.

With 35mm film, I loved how Kodachrome tended to enhance reds, oranges, magenta, and that end of the color spectrum.

I found Fuji films to enhance greens and to a lesser extent, blues, and came to love Fuji slide film over Kodachrome after moving to Florida. The colors of the sunsets here generally needed no enhancements at all, but preferred how Fuji's slide films made the lush greenery jump out of the photos.

But even with my digital camera's controls set pretty flat, sometimes a sunset is so outrageous that the colors seem to have been added with Photoshop trickery.

Not in this photo. It's barely touched, just a smidgen of contrast and the border and copyright I add to my photos.

Good job, God. (If I may be so bold.)

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Go Fly A Kite

On the beach in Indialantic, Florida.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Black and White #27

Someone left their treasures on the hand rail of the boardwalk along the beach. (Color version of this on my other blog today.)

A lady spends a peaceful evening ALONE at the beach. She has all she needs in the handy, rolling ice chest.

How many of you ladies out there would just love to have an afternoon on a warm breezy day to spend at the beach with no kids or husbands to bother you? All your favorite beverages and snacks and a good book to keep you company.

Also, you'll need to practice your "Don't even bother speaking to me" look before you go just in case some moron invades your personal space bubble and you can back them off with just a look.

Then just decompress.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Howdy! Nice Evenin' Aint' It?

When we were at the beach the other day, walking along the boardwalk there was this massive bush covered with these yellow flowers. They were each about 4 inches (10cm) across.

This one seemed to greet me as I looked over the rail at him. Thought I think the southern accent was projected on him by my own mind.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

He's not dead, he's just mostly dead

(Any Princess Bride fans out there?)

Sorry about the non-posting and non-visiting of late.

Heavy work load, sleep and still dealing with my ever present back issues have kept me away from many things that I love to do.

Lovely Wife and I went to the beach Sunday afternoon and that was the first time I've been out with my camera in two months.

It was an absolutely beautiful day, though it was very windy and the surf was really churned up near the shore. The waves were pretty heavy.

In America, this is Memorial Day Weekend, with Monday being Memorial Day in memory of those who have served in the U.S. armed forces and died for the freedoms we enjoy.

I was not thinking of the holiday and when we got to the beach, I was shocked at all the people.

It wasn't totally overflowing like on Independence Day in July, but the crowds surprised me.

Today's photos aren't anything special, but they kind of captured a bit of the many cars and people out enjoying the beach and the beautiful day as we were.

Monday, May 5, 2008

A New Panorama

I took the photos for this panorama about a month ago. I just hadn't sat down and tried to stitch it together.

The light variation across the images was really too much to try to fix. I worked with it until I couldn't stand working on it any more.

Sorry for my absence, things are still kinda tough going for me right now.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Weird Stuff

This stuff is some kind of plant in the water down here, and sometimes washes up along the shores of the Indian River Lagoon. I have no idea what this stuff is but it's kinda neat looking.

Looks sort of like angel hair pasta.