Thursday, April 27, 2006

Kite-Flying Memories

Thanks to a comment from Christy's Aunt Marilyn, I remembered another Fite-Klying story that I will share with you now:

Besides a ghastly teapot from Gloria Gaither, the most unusual gifts that Christy and I received for our wedding were two Star Wars kites. They were from two buddies from college, Pat Hannon and Ryan Prinkey. The odd thing about it was that they did not conspire in this. Neither knew what the other had planned. Heck, Prinkey was barely even in the country at the time. He was doing an internship in Washington D.C. that semester, but gave strict instructions to his mother about what must be included in our wedding present.

One very windy, very gusty day shortly after our wedding, I said to Christy, "We should totally go fly one of those Star Wars kites!" but Christy was doubtful. "Don't you think it's too windy to fly a kite" she questioned. "Too Windy?" I scoffed, "How could it possibly be too windy to fly a kite?" So out we went. We lived just a few blocks away from the Anderson University campus and we figured the practice soccer fields would provide plenty of room away from power lines to fly the kite. It wasn't particularly cold that day, but with the wind blowing so hard, it felt a lot colder than it was, especially after we walked to campus.

Though I still believed that it couldn't be too windy to fly a kite, I was nearly convinced that it could be too windy to assemble a kite. But we persevered and finally got the kite ready to launch. We tried a few times with Christy holding the kite and me holding the string which didn't seem to be working, so we switched so that Christy was holding the string and I was downwind holding the kite. It may have been the first time that I tried to launch, but it was certainly the last. I was holding the kite in front of my chest and let it go. The kite found the wind, shot straight up, hit me square in the chin. As I mentioned, it felt much colder than it was due to the wind. You know how those parts that are exposed to the cold really hurt when struck? Well getting hit in the chin by a speeding kite was enough to knock me to the ground just before the wind shredded the kite.

Moral of the story: It can be too windy to fly a kite (a.k.a. Listen to your wife)

Films Recently Watched:

Veronica Guerin (2003) dir. by Joel Schumacher

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Fair-weathered Weekend

We finally strung together a couple of nice days on a weekend. We took advantage on Saturday by biking to a nearby park and playing there for a while:

Swinging Climbing

Sunday, we decided to go and fly a new kite we had picked up at Sam's Club a couple of weekends ago. I really thought there was enough of a breeze blowing to get the kite in the air. I was wrong. This day, "flying" a kite consisted of me repeatedly running myself silly across a field while Christy and Hannah laid in the grass. Better luck next time.

New KiteRelaxing

Nevertheless, it was nice to enjoy the out of doors for a while.

Films Recently Watched:

Mississippi Burning (1988) dir. by Alan Parker

Wild Strawberries (1957) dir. by Ingmar Bergman

The Poseidon Adventure (1972) dir. by Ronald Neame

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Easter Egg Hunt #2 (2006)

We spent the afternoon and evening of Easter Sunday with Dad and Mom and my Sister's family at my Sister's home in Illinois. We drove through heavy rain both there and back and the weather was overcast most of the time we were there, so we just did our Easter Egg Hunt for Hannah on their front porch. Despite the weather, it was good to be with family.

I also helped my nephew, Tyler a little bit with his blog template, which I always enjoy. If you visit Tyler's blog, please beware the "X-19 wierd factor" -- consider yourself warned. :)

Stockwell Family -- Easter, 2006Finally, here's an Easter family portrait:

Films Recently Watched:

Enchanted April (1992) dir. by Mike Newell

Sabrina (1954) dir. by Billy Wilder
Audrey Hepburn simply sparkles in her title role here. William Holden worked for me as the wreckless playboy. Humphrey Bogart didn't convince me as the responsible brother, much less a love interest.

The Wild Bunch (1969) dir. by Sam Peckinpah
I loved the editing in this. Amazing, especially during the gunfights. A much better role for William Holden than in Sabrina (granted it was 15 years later).
From IMDb Trivia:
According to editor Lou Lombardo the original release print contains some 3,643 editorial cuts, more than any other Technicolor film ever processed. Some of these cuts are near subliminal, consisting of three or four frames, making them almost imperceptible to the naked eye.

Fried Green Tomatoes (1991) dir. by Jon Avnet

Star Wars: Clone Wars (2003) (TV) dir. by Genndy Tartakovsky
I finally found Volume 2 of this DVD set at the library (I had borrowed Volume 1 from a friend about a year ago). Both volumes are very nicely done. The stories do a good job of filling in the details between Episodes 2 and 3. There's plenty of humor throughout. Lots of action, much of which is stylistically appropriate to the animation genre (i.e. difficult to do live-action).

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Easter Egg Hunt #1 (2006)

We had considerably better weather than last year for the Easter Egg hunt hosted by Christy's work. We were grateful for that.

Playin'Sticking the tail on the bunny

Also over the weekend, we visited with a mutual friend from college, Christa Shoot. We'd lost track of her until recently when we ran into her at the AU Hoodwinked event. Since then, we'd had her over for dinner and decided that we should meet at her place for lunch one Saturday and then go to the Children's Museum together for a live production of E.B. White's Stuart Little there at the Lilly Theater.

When I realized that we were going to see Stuart Little, I thought it might be a good idea to read the book to Hannah before we went. We read to Hannah all the time, but this was her first "chapter book" and she did quite well with it. Many of the individual chapters in the book are self-contained adventures, so that probably helped make the transition easier.

It was the first play that Hannah had seen. She did a good job paying attention and being quiet during the production. I hope that reading the book beforehand helped with this.

The other exhibit at the Children's Museum that I was excited to see was the new Fireworks of Glass exhibit. After a leisurely lunch and then the play, we were pressed for time before the museum closed, so we didn't get to do much of the interactive part, but just seeing the tower was pretty neat. We quickly noticed that the exhibit is not only different from various angles, but also from various types and sources of light.

Fireworks of Glass is a permanent exhibit at the Indianapolis Children's museum. If you're coming sometime, let us know -- maybe we could join you!

Fireworks of Glass
From above looking downFrom below looking up
And, of course, you can't go to the museum and not ride the carousel.
Carousel of Dreams
Good day.

Monday, April 10, 2006


I just got off the phone with Grover Dill (or at least some other guy with that name)! I almost laughed when he told me his name!

"Grover Dill! Scut Farkus' little toadie. Mean! Rotten! His lips curled over his green teeth."
-- A Christmas Story (1983)

Did you hear about this?
Man Gets $218 Trillion Phone Bill
Glad to hear that customer service in Malaysia is as excellent as it is here in the U.S.A!

Films Recently Watched:

Batman Returns (1992) dir. by Tim Burton

Batman Forever (1995) dir. by Joel Schumacher

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Various Updates



And a new feature here: Unfortunate Headlines:
Researchers Grow New Bladders Outside the Body
[edit: They have since updated the headline to "Implanted Tissue Repairs Damaged Bladders," but yesterday's headline was so much more vivid!]


Finally, this post was published at exactly three seconds after the minute. Why is that significant??

Films Recently Watched:

Mona Lisa Smile (2003) dir. by Mike Newell
a.k.a. Dead Poet's Society for girls. No thanks!

Seven Years in Tibet (1997) dir. by Jean-Jacques Annaud
I thought that this was going to be related to another "recently watched" for me, Lost Horizon and the search for the paradise city of Shangri-La. It really wasn't that at all, but it turned out to be OK.

Elizabethtown (2005) dir. by Cameron Crowe
Didn't care for this. I expect more from Cameron Crowe. If you're interested in this, watch Garden State instead.

Phone Booth (2002) dir. by Joel Schumacher
It is what it is. A pretty fun thriller, with a clever concept. For those that missed it, a guy hears a pay phone ringing and picks it up, caller says that he will kill the guy if he hangs up the phone. The guy ends up having to deal with other people who want to use said pay phone and eventually police, his wife, etc. Kiefer was a little over the top at times. I guess that's what you get when your actor "calls in" their performance.

And two from my Dad's top 25:
Beau Geste (1939) dir. by William A. Wellman
A Man Called Peter (1955) dir. by Henry Koster

Both nicely done.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Self Portrait Tuesday #2

The Self Portrait Tuesday challenge for the month of March was "time."

My submission below was inspired by hula seventy, whose blog I've been reading for a few months, but just recently added to my sidebar. Her "time" self portrait collage [HERE] was so good, I decided that I should at least give it a try, so here are 18 pictures of me from last Wednesday, March 29, 2006, one for each waking hour of my day, beginning at 7:00am. Each picture is approximately on the hour, give or take.

This should go a long way to correcting my typical "absent photographer" issues with family pictures, not that anybody's been complaining.

(Click on any individual picture for a larger view.)
(Explanations for each picture below the collage.)


7am: Yes, still a little fuzzy. Getting ready to make Hannah's breakfast.
8am: On the way to drop off Hannah at daycare. I love how she noticed I was taking a picture and hammed it up from the backseat!
9am: Makin' coffee! I believe that I am not the only one who actually makes coffee at work, but it sure feels that way sometimes.
10am: It varies from day to day, but I spend some time on the phone everyday. We may be one of the few copyright departments who actually answer their phones regularly. Sometimes it is with regular clients (record companies, etc.), but often it is with custom clients. Churches and individuals are often happy just to have a voice on the line to whom they can ask some basic copyright questions. I usually enjoy the part of my job that involves educating those folks.
11am: Potty break!
12pm: E-mailin' (but barely making a dent!)
1pm: OK, the simple fact is that I spend roughly 8 hours at my desk Monday through Friday. This being a Wednesday, I was at my desk most of the day. I've tried to "mix it up" a little bit but couldn't exactly take field trips every hour.
2pm: The "time" in lunchtime varies a bit from day to day. Sometimes I go early with other people, but usually, left on my own, I'll either skip it entirely or eat leftovers warmed up in the microwave whenever I get around to it. Today, I decided it might be a good idea to get out of the office just for a change of scenery. Choices for lunch in Alexandria are better than they used to be, but still fairly limited. Today, I decided to go through the McDonalds Drive-thru, partly to get this shot that I ended up with. It turned out even better than I could have planned -- if you look closely (click to enlarge any image), you will see that on the McDonalds bag there is a guy doing a snapshot of he and his girl -- a self portrait within a self portrait! I think I just blew your mind!!
3pm: Filing -- woohoo!
4pm: Look closely again. My reflection is in the glass on the picture. Lot's of reflections here!
5pm: Lounging in Bill Gaither's office. Notice the bright light coming through his window. It's there even on cloudy days! Weird, Huh??
6pm: With church activities beginning at 6:30 for the whole family, it's usually easier to just meet someplace for dinner and then go straight to church. This particular day, it was Subway. As it turned out, unfortunately, it was the only time that day we were all together that day except for in the early morning.
7pm: What would I do for a Klondike bar? Well, I'd wear a name tag in a choir that I've been in for over five years, that's for sure!
8pm: Sorry these last two shots are so similar. I was trying to be inconspicuous at church with this project. Bible study after choir and a little coffee to help me through the evening.
9pm: Christy had a few items she wanted me to pick up at the grocery on my way home. Here I am driving to the supermarket. Not sure why, but I've got some kind of weird eyeshine thing happening in this picture. Maybe I'm turning into a werewolf?
10pm: At the grocery.
11pm: Finally back home and, what else? -- watching a movie.
12am: Good Night and have a pleasant tomorrow!