Friday, February 29, 2008

Lookee Here What I Found

I finally had a chance to go through all the photos I took of the moon before and during the recent eclipse.

A couple of them were actually sharp enough to crop (and thus enlarge) out a lot of the dead space, like the first photo here.

Both were taken with my Nikon D70s, 18-200mm Nikon zoom lens, and my Slik 700DX tripod.

I don't have an electronic shutter release for this camera and ended up with a bit of camera shake, even with the tripod, on lots of the photos, like the second one here. Too much blur to allow a close cropping.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Weather Front Moving Past

A decorative fence around a monument in a park near where we live.

The weather front in that second photo was dropping rain all around, we could see several places in different directions where it was raining, but it was nice enough to let us get a few steps from our car and about to open the doors when it let go it's first fat drops on us.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Black and White #23

The top photo here was such a mediocre photo in color, but after playing with it in black and white and especially after cranking up the contrast, I really like it a lot. The clouds look unreal, as if I pasted them here from a different photo, but they weren't. The photo is the same except for converting to black and white and upping the contrast.

The bottom one is pretty mediocre too, but to me, the one sea gull up there in the upper center of the photo makes it much better.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Plymouth Prowler

I put these photos up on my other blog early last year.

I couldn't find where I had ever put them on this blog before, so here they are.

I saw this gorgeous car in downtown Melbourne, Florida last year, when Lovely Wife and I went and walked around there visiting all the neat shops that are down there.

I'm not a big sports car fan, but this car has always seemed so cool to me. It's like a modern version of the old hot rods of the 1950s.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Not Related To One Another

A support cable for a post that reaches out into Crane Creek (complete with someone's fishing line) and a lamp over a boardwalk in Melbourne, Florida.

Have a great Sunday folks!

Saturday, February 23, 2008

I'm A Nuts And Bolts Kinda Guy

Things like bridges, structures with visible struts and so forth, fascinate me.

In some of my early engineering courses we learned to compute the forces at various junctures of such things and ever since then I've looked at the world through different eyes.

When I see the massive high voltage line thingamajigs, that hold the heavy cables high above the ground as the power lines go across the countryside, I always look at how they are built.

Since taking those classes and learning about why they are built in certain ways to carry huge weights and to withstand heavy winds and other weather, I see that things such as this train trestle, which on one hand looks rusty and rickety, also looks to be so over engineered that I also understand why the thing still stands up to the years of hard use without collapsing.

The trains that pass through this part of Florida, heading north or south along the coast, are usually very long. Many of the cars are open topped boxes that are heaped high with sand.

I tend to take these trains for granted now, but when we first moved here, I marveled at the four or five engines pulling 150 cars full of sand. These trains fly through here doing 50mph easily. I am still amazed that such massively heavy loads can be brought up to these speeds by the obviously powerful engines.

Rusty or not, this bridge takes a beating from the loads it carries several times a day, and also attacked by the corrosive salty air of the Atlantic Ocean.

Friday, February 22, 2008

I Have Nothing New, So Look At This, Will Ya?

My paternal grandmother, we always called her Mamaw Eunice, was my buddy when I was little.

We all loved her and she loved all of us grandkids with all of her heart.

She was quite a character, and this rare photo of her as a child shows this.

Even when she was old, she said that she distinctly remembered this day of the photo, because she refused to have her picture taken because her only pair of shoes had a hole in the toe.

Well, they made her pose there and took the photograph anyway. They tried to cover her foot with some flowers there on the ground, but by the time the photo was taken, she had moved, so they ended up with a photo of her giving the adults there "The Look," and with the big toe of her right foot in plain sight anyway.

All of us married men are very familiar with "The Look" because we've all seen it from our wives and directed at us.

I did a lot of work in Photoshop Elements to try to clean up the photo a bit, but the photo itself didn't need help as much as the blue border did.

Anyway, Mamaw Eunice was a cool grandmother and I still miss her.

This photo was taken around 1916 or 1917. She was born in 1913, and died in 1988. I feel so blessed to have also known her as an adult.

On my other blog, Least Significant Bits, I wrote a post last year about a special gift she left to me when she passed away. It's worth a read if you're interested.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

The Moon Last Night

The eclipse and the red moon of last night.

Last year I bought myself the first good tripod that I have ever owned. I have always used cheap-o tripods because I didn't use them much.

I bought a Slik 700DX, which is a big, heavy tripod, but I wanted one that would extend taller than me so I could take shots pointing up into the sky without having to bend, squat, or lean in under the camera to look through the viewfinder.

This really paid off last night I'm 6'2" (188cm), and was able to set my camera, pointing up at the moon, in a position that I could just simply step up to and look up through the viewfinder. No bending my rickety back (or the metal rods attached to it) to see through the camera.


Plus, the thing is so sturdy, if someone tried to rob me, I could use the tripod as a lethal weapon.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008


Being a product of the Louisiana public school system, I had neither seen nor heard the word "Scheherazade."

Though I don't trust Wikipedia very much, it's a decent source to look up such things as this.

After reading Wikipedia's entry for Scheherazade, I was totally convinced I had never seen or heard this word, but it was quite interesting to learn about.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

On the Water

I like how the reflection of the clouds on the water have become abstract on the slight waves in that top photo.

Anywhere you're near the water down here, there are lots of boats. The weird thing is that it looks as if these boats are only very rarely taken out.

I cannot imagine spending that much money on a fancy boat and then taking it out very seldom.

Monday, February 18, 2008

More Love

Need I say more?

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Evening Light

I love that time in the evenings where the light in the sky has gotten beautiful and peaceful, but it's also dark enough that lamps and other artificial lights are turned on.

I like the mix of the two kinds of light. It seems so peaceful.

Have a wonderful Sunday everyone!

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Lookin' Up

A nice, shady covering over some park benches at Manatee Park in Melbourne, Florida.

The park is a great place to see manatees (thus the name), but there were none in attendance on the afternoon I was there.

In the winter months, manatees tend to go up small creeks and rivers like this to enjoy the warmer water.

Thursday, February 14, 2008


What can I say about pigeons?

Some people love them, some people hate them.

But everyone seems to remember to bring bread to feed them, so I'm thinking people like them.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Cranes on Crane Creek

Say THAT ten times fast.

Too bad there weren't any cranes of the feathery type there to include in the shot.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

More Train Trestle Shots

The cross ties were actually almost black from age, but I played around a bit in Elements and actually ended up liking this particular look. Kinda like a posterization, only different.

For some reason, I ended up liking the shadowed iron against the sky in that second photo. I thought maybe I could play around with it and create something different and more interesting than the original, but ended up deleting all those "play" layers and liking the original better.

This bridge is over Crane Creek in Melbourne, Florida.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Keith White - Single Handed Yachting

On Saturday afternoon, for the first time in a while, I took my camera and went and wandered around with it, taking photos.

Since I live on the Atlantic Coast of Florida, I usually gravitate toward water somewhere.

I ended up on Crane Creek in Melbourne, Florida, where the creek runs into the Indian River Lagoon.

As I wandered around, I saw a big, gorgeous sailboat coming in, the pilot (or whatever you call a guy driving a boat) parking his yacht. It was interesting to watch him move the boat back and fort to get it into his spot.

I took a few pictures, a couple of which are in this post.

The sign on one side of his yacht said Single Handed Sailing - Atlantic Challenge.

Thinking this was a race of some sort, I looked it up on the internet when I got home and came across Keith White's web site.

It turns out that Mr. White lost use of his left arm in a car accident in the early 1990s and is now sailing to raise money for the Royal National Lifeboat Institution in the U.K., as well as raising money to help restore Cutty Sark, the famous clipper ship.

Anyway, just took a few pics as he was trying to park.

I learned all of this about Mr. White after the fact. I wish I had know about it before hand.

I would have stayed nearby to see if I could talk to him for a few minutes. It is impressive that he has sailed across the Atlantic alone, and disabled.

I noticed on his web site, his last update was that he was headed toward Melbourne and had radioed ahead to let them know he was on his way to port here.

I've always wanted to go sailing, but never have. I've never been in a boat out on the ocean in deep water.

I've been in hot water plenty of times though. I've been married 23 years, you can't help but get in hot water now and then.

I'm sure being in hot water isn't nearly as fun as sailing on deep waters.

If you're one of the few readers of my Least Significant Bits blog, you don't have to bother going over there today, I'm putting this same post over there.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Black and White #22

I actually got out and wandered around with my camera for a while on Saturday.

It's been a while since I've done that because of my back.

I was still hurting, but the pain management specialist changed some of my medicines and increased one that I was already taking, and I felt almost human by Saturday.

For me, feeling human meant that I actually had the desire to get out and take some photos. Something I haven't done much, but sure wanted to do.

I just took my time, walking around slowly. So slow that I actually looked up as well as down.

I'm a natural born looker-downer. Add to that a weak and gimpy left leg due to nerve damage from a couple of burst spinal disks, and I am pretty much compelled to watch myself walk or I'll stumble and trip.

Anyway, that top shot was from looking up at part of the train trestle from below. I like the way it makes the wood and the aluminum rail look as if they're in some strange place or at a weird angle.

Friday, February 8, 2008

The Green Lantern

Not a lantern exactly, but the title came to me in a moment of divine inspiration.

Or maybe the title came to me because all of all of those comic books I read when I was a kid and teenager.

On a foot bridge across Bayou Desiard on the campus of the University of Louisiana - Monroe in Monroe, Louisiana. My home town.

I have an associates degree from here. I have a bachelor of science from Louisiana Tech, about 40 miles from Monroe, in Ruston, Louisiana.

These two schools used to have a huge rivalry in football and other sports, but they don't play one another very often any more. That's a shame, it was a great money generator for both towns.

Having degrees from both schools allowed me to be on the winning team no matter which school's sports team beat the other.

I should have been a politician with such a great ability to sit on fences like that. You know, flip-flopping and switching sides.

I'm actually about 99% Louisiana Tech fan, 1% University of Louisiana - Monroe fan. My engineering degree required untold hours of difficult and tedious work because they are difficult to earn. No fluffy classes, all math, science, and engineering courses. I have much more sweat equity in my Louisiana Tech degree, so my loyalties are more to that school than the other when it comes down to it.

Thursday, February 7, 2008


These are carvings above the entrance to the theater/auditorium of my old high school, Neville High School in Monroe, Louisiana.

It's a beautiful old school that opened in 1931, I think. Early 1930s anyway.

I've put other pictures of the school on this blog here and here.

Monday, February 4, 2008

An Update of Sorts

Howdy folks. Sorry I haven't posted lately.

My back again. As in, can't sit, can't lay down, can't stand for any length of time and flat-out despair inducing pain.

Thankfully, today is better; plain old back pain below the "despair" threshold. Plus I slept for six whole hours last night, which always helps my attitude even if it doesn't help my back.

These aren't great photos, but I love this bridge over the Indian River Lagoon at Wabasso, Florida.

Such massive structures always have me standing and staring at how they're put together.