Wednesday, January 30, 2008

SPC - January - Celebration #3 (Final Week)

This is the final week for 'Celebration' over at Self Portrait Challenge.

This is kind of an afterthought, but what the heck.

Celebrating accidental self-portraits:


Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Globe Trotting (square)
To get the full effect, whistle "Sweet Georgia Brown" to yourself.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

SPC - January - Celebration #2

I was able to take some time off from work around the Christmas and New Year Holidays. On New Year's Day, we trekked out into the country in the old front-wheel drive sleigh to embrace the frosty majesty of the winter landscape by going sledding.
[bonus points to the first person to identify the movie reference in the above paragraph]

We all went, but when I was just pulling the kids on the sled, Harrison kept pulling his gloves off and dragging his bare hands in the snow and then crying because it was cold. Christy ended up taking him back to the car while Hannah and I took a few trips down the hill.

Celebrating Snow in the New Year:


bon voyage

See how others are 'celebrating' at SPC.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Life Images

The same folks who published Artful Blogging a few months ago have now released another new publication. Life Images pairs photos with stories, journaling, poetry, etc.

I was pleased that they selected two of my photos for the first issue.

Life Images (Cover)

Life Images (p 42-43)

Life Images (p 80-81)

The photos of the magazine make the images a bit difficult to see.
Here are better views of them:

Cardinal Roost
(seen larger just a few posts down)


Hannah with Apple
(click to go to this photo's Flickr page; then click "All Sizes" to see larger, if desired)

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Photo Friday

I submitted this:
Lonely Tree Photo Mosaic
for the theme, 'Passage of Time' last week, but didn't feature it here because it wasn't that long ago that I used that same mosaic for the theme, 'Alone.'

Anyway, this week's Photo Friday theme is: 'Mountain'

As most of you know -- I've lived in Indiana my entire life and Indiana doesn't have what most people would call mountains. We do, however, occasionally have more snow than we know what to do with which results in 'mountains' of snow.

I found this 'mountain' piled up around the sign that you can see and it struck me as mildly funny.


Films Recently Watched:

Finishing up 2007 movies here. I managed to get a few in over the Christmas holiday:

3 Godfathers (1948) dir. by John Ford
A totally different kind of Western. I know my Dad loves this movie. I was hoping for more from it. It was OK, but that's about it. Why do I always get Mildred Natwick and Beulah Bondi confused??

Beulah BondiMildred Natwick

300 (2006) dir. by Zack Snyder
As soon as I saw another Frank Miller graphic novel was being made into a movie (a la Sin City), I knew I would want to see it eventually. Early trailers confirmed that Miller's highly stylized visuals would be used as a model again. Is it realistic? Hardly. Is it ridiculously-over-the-top? Yeah, but I knew that going in and it did not disappoint. I didn't realize until afterwards that Gerry Butler, who plays the protagonist, Leonidas here was also the Phantom in the film adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Webber's Phantom of the Opera. review:

Beulah BondiMildred NatwickGerry Butler (Phantom)Gerry Butler (Leonidas)Gary Coleman
(from left to right: Beulah/Mildred/ Gerry as Phantom/Gerry as Leonidas/Gary Coleman)

Got it so far? Ok - moving on.

Dreamgirls (2006) dir. by Bill Condon
This was pretty good. I didn't care for the switch halfway through from 'movie about music' to 'full-out musical,' but other than that it was decent.

Edward Scissorhands (1990) dir. by Tim Burton
Possibly a stretch as a 'Christmas Movie,' but I always enjoy it around that time of year.

The Good Shepherd (2006) dir. by Robert De Niro
Eh -- so, so. Too long and the torture scene nearly made me physically ill. Yikes.

The Jungle Book (1967) dir. by Wolfgang Reitherman
Wow -- it had been a long time since I'd seen this one. Pretty classic Disney.

Match Point (2005) dir. by Woody Allen
A clever thriller disguised as a romantic drama. I enjoyed it.

United 93 (2006) dir. by Paul Greengrass
The documentary, United 93: the Families and the Film, which is on the DVD is nearly as riveting as the film itself. Both really well done. What I found most disturbing had nothing to do with the film, but rather it's listing on IMDb. Under the heading 'If you enjoyed this title, our database also recommends,' I found a link to Die Hard 2. Come on.

I've started watching the TV show (on DVD, of course), 'Heroes' and I'm really enjoying it. The mixed blessing of watching exciting serial TV on DVD is that there's no obligation to wait a whole week for the next episode. You can watch as many as you like. Yes, a blessing and a curse.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

SPC - January - Celebration #1

Self Portrait Challenge took a break in December. It is back for January with the theme: 'Celebration' which was actually announced in early December so that participants could collect their self portraits during their respective holiday celebrations and then share during the month of January. Sounds like a good idea right?

Yeah, mostly.

We have plenty to celebrate during December. In addition to Christmas and the New Year, I have a Wife, Son and Nephew who all celebrate the anniversaries of the days on which they were born in December.

The only problem is, though my celebration of these various events does involve me taking enough pictures that some family members begin referring to me as "paparazzi," it does not usually involve me taking the time to turn the camera around or set up a tripod, etc. to take photos of myself. I usually do my self-portraits by myself.

Nonetheless, I think I may have a few Self Portraits to share during the month that are at least loosely tied to the theme. We'll see.

One thing we try to do every year for Christmas is make Christmas candy and cookies to share. A perennial favorite are our buckeyes. For the uninitiated, buckeyes are basically peanut butter fudge rolled into balls and then partially dipped in melted chocolate so that they resemble the fruit of the Buckeye Tree.

Needless to say, they always go over really well. It's just lucky that we didn't take our Buckeyes to Louisiana, or they might have gotten completely destroyed. Right, OSU fans?? :-)

The only way to get the centers just right is mixing by hand:

....and a few of the finished product:

See more 'Celebration' self portraits here.

It occurred to me that alluding to Harrison turning one-year-old might demand a recent photo:

He is walking (and climbing!!) now, though not in this particular photo. We believe he is associating three or four words with people and objects.


As soon as we got the coupon from our local supermarket for a free cake to celebrate the first anniversary of the day on which Harrison was born, it occurred to me that the cake would likely be small -- like for a baby. A baby cake.

Then it all came rushing back to me. A TV commercial from the 80's where a sailor with a heavy Russian accent says, "Fifty Watts Per Channel, Babycakes."

See for yourselves:

I wasn't sure what words would fit on the cake, so I had the bakery leave the top blank and this is what I was able to fit:

I don't think that any of our party guests thought it was nearly as funny as I did. Even my own beloved Sister, whom I expected would remember this life-changing TV commercial did NOT say to me, "You SLAY me -- Brother" Oh well.