Thursday, July 31, 2008

Photostory Friday: Wedding Practice

PhotoStory Friday
Hosted by Cecily and MamaGeek

About a year and  half ago, my sister-in-law, Pam (who seems to figure in a lot of these stories), called to tell me that she had booked a wedding for me (to photograph, I was, of course, already married). She volunteered my services because, in her words, "You suck at getting your name out there." Well, there's a reason for that, namely, because I don't have any "services." I mainly just take pictures of my kids. I wasn't necessarily opposed to trying my hand at wedding photography, but the pressure of getting it right is tremendous -- you don't get a second shot at a wedding. People tell me I worry too much. 
Anyway, Pam broke the news to me in February, for a wedding to take place in August  -- So, I had six months to develop a really good ulcer. I decided that what I needed was some practice, so I turned (where else?) to my kids. I thought I'd kill two birds with one stone -- I'd practice some poses and get some pictures of my children all dressed up -- for a change. I rented a tuxedo for my son (sometimes I go to extremes) from a place online, called Gaga's.
Digression Alert! I had the tuxedo for three weeks for only 19.99, shipping and handling included. If you need to put your son in a tux, for a wedding or just to take some cool pictures, it's a hard price to beat. No, I don't work for Gaga's. 
After shooting for a while, my kids got restless. Emma and Matt don't tolerate posing very long (Jordan, of course, can pose indefinitely, if there is a camera in the vicinity). So, I did one of my favorite things, I sent them to play and then turned the camera on them. Those are always the best shots. These are two of my favorites. 

Saturday, July 26, 2008


Okay, I need to vent about a couple of things.First of all, gas prices. I know, real original. And yes, I drive a Ford Bronco. And yes, I'm an idiot. That's beside the point. I just put gas in my in my vehicle. I used my debit card to do it. The gas station only lets you put up to one hundred dollars on a debit/credit card at a time. This time the pump stopped when the total read 100.00. The problem? MY TANK WASN'T FULL YET!!!! When even the gas pump thinks you're paying too much for gas -- THERE'S A PROBLEM!

Secondly, to all the flying bugs in my backyard...UP YOURS! I would have said "Bite Me," but you've already done that. Yes, I'm talking to you, Mosquitos! What is it with my ankles and my knuckles? And to the hornets, wasps, yellow jackets (whatever the hell you are), unlike mosquitos, you at least serve a purpose on this planet. I can respect that. But, you've got to stop stinging my kids! I'm a live and let live kind of guy. I go out of my way NOT to step on bugs and I try to teach my children the same thing, and this is how you repay me? 

I realize you're just "being yourself" but I don't like you any more. This is my house and my yard, and I paid A  LOT of money for it (OK, I've agreed to pay a lot of money, over the next thirty years) and there is a beautiful view in the back yard -- the sunset to one side and the mountains to the other. But, I can't enjoy either one, because, when I go out in the evening, one of the two of you either stings me or sucks my blood! I'm sick of it. This is war! I'm going to kill everyone of you! And then I'm going to cut off your little heads and mount them on tooth picks, and stick them all over the yard as a warning to others to STAY AWAY! 
Okay, I spoke too soon about the flying bugs, the dragonflies can stay. You're pretty cool.

There, I feel better.

No, I don't.

I'm an orange, how about you?

You Are an Orange
You have a zest for life, especially for anything colorful, wild, or dramatic.
You have a unique take on the world, and you're not afraid to be a little funky.

You are a bit reserved toward people who don't know you well.
You have a thick skin, which can protect you from anything that goes wrong in your life.

Once someone does get to know you, they totally get and appreciate you.
Your friends see you as a bright person with a refreshing take on life.

Friday, July 25, 2008


Ok....since EVERYONE is doing this I thought it time to do it myself.

Here is a fun little game... Leave a comment on my blog of a memory that you and I have had together. It doesn't matter if you've known me for a short time, or a long time, anything you remember! Next, re-post these instructions on your blog and see how many people leave a memory about you. It's actually pretty funny to see the responses. If you leave a memory about me, I'll assume you're playing the game and I'll come to your blog and leave one about you. On your mark...get your memories!!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Photostory Friday: Jordan

PhotoStory Friday
Hosted by Cecily and MamaGeek

September 7, 1997 was the day I became a father. It was shortly thereafter that I began to take my photography hobby more seriously. I “borrowed” my dad’s Canon (I would inherit it, by default, when he passed away, a year and a half later), and began to look at my beautiful new baby girl, through a zoom lens.

 She had the most beautiful eyes I had ever seen. They were her most distinctive and striking feature. They still are. And Jordan has always been so photogenic, that she is, far and away, my most photographed subject in the last eleven years. 

She is a beautiful girl, but it’s more than that. She just poses naturally. Cameras do not phase her -- probably because her father has had one attached to his face for most of her life. But, also, Jordan is a very tenderhearted and sweet girl. She’ll do anything for you (see her younger brother Matthew for a contrasting point of view), and I think that sweetness comes across in the pictures. In the end, it’s hard to hide who we really are, isn’t it?

I am so proud of the beautiful young woman that Jordan is growing into, she is spreading her wings. She is more lovely every day.

 How do you hold them close and let them run at the same time? Luckily, for me, Jordan is the most artistically inclined of my children and we have developed a bond, in our love for beautiful things.

 On a recent trip to Moab, I handed the camera over to Jordan. There are no words to describe my pleasure at the results. 

The landscape pictures I’ve included here were all taken by Jordan.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Photostory Friday: Attitude

PhotoStory Friday
Hosted by Cecily and MamaGeek

Little girls with attitude. I love them. They torment you, they exasperate you, they frustrate you, they infuriate you. And then, when they've driven you to the edge of sanity and reason, they charm you and melt your heart. These two are princesses in every sense of the word: Royal, demanding, entitled, pampered, elegant, intolerant, spoiled and beautiful.

The one in the back, with the ironic smirk, is my daughter, Emma. The one in front is my niece, Abbey, who only condescended to have her picture taken if I agreed to let her wink.

I, being a mere peasant, consented.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Photostory: Corn

PhotoStory Friday
Hosted by Cecily and MamaGeek

Okay, this Photo-Story is more about story than photo. What you are looking at is corn. My five year old daughter Emma's corn, to be exact. Do you know how difficult it is to take an interesting picture of corn? I shot these stalks of corn for an hour. Here's the story: 

There is a large garden on the side of the house that we have been renting. We don't garden. We stopped trying to grow things after we killed a cactus, about fourteen years ago. We'll be happy, if our children survive to adulthood. Anyway, the next door neighbors use the garden, and it has become Emma's favorite hobby, lately, to watch my neighbor garden, and to pepper her with questions for, literally, hours. Emma is a very curious little girl. One evening Emma came to me and asked me for some popcorn. I told her that I hadn't popped any in a while. No, she said, she wanted some of the un-popped kernels. Why? To plant them in the garden of course. Sure, why not?
So she planted them, eight little kernels of popcorn, right out of the Orville Redenbacher jar in the cupboard. I gave it no more thought. That is, until she came and told me to come see her corn. I actually put it off for a couple of days, because the garden was a long way from the TV and the NBA Finals. Besides, what was there really to see?

Of course I knew that you could go to the nursery and get popcorn "seeds" and grow popcorn. But, I had no idea you could know...popcorn. Today the stalks are about three feet high, and I can't wait to see what they produce. Emma takes every visitor to our house, back to see them. The only person not shocked and dumbfounded by the situation, is Emma. She knew that if you planted seeds in the ground, they grew.
Sure enough, they did.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Run that by me again...

Something odd just happened to me, and I wanted to write it down before I forget about it.
We're running a little late around our house tonight, and Sharon and I did not get any dinner, so I just ran (okay, I drove) over to Arby's to pick up some sandwiches. I pulled up to the drive through (always an adventure) and ordered four regular roast beef sandwiches and a Chicken Cordon Bleu. Then the girl taking my order asks, "Four regular roast beef sandwiches and a what cordon bleu?" 
Not a Chicken what? But, a "what-Cordon Bleu."
What the Hell else is there? 
 I thought about saying, "Surprise me." 
But, I didn't.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Photostory Friday: Flags

PhotoStory Friday
Hosted by Cecily and MamaGeek

   "The condition upon which God hath given liberty to man, is eternal vigilance."
                                                                                    --John Philpot Curran 

   I think I may have told this story before, but, in honor of Independence Day, here is my favorite flag story:
   Following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, American flags, across the nation, were sold and sold out. They were everywhere, from houses to businesses to the antennae of cars. I received my first flag, at that time, from my best friend. I had no flag pole yet -- they were sold out too -- so I decided to hang the flag from the eaves of our front porch.

   My oldest daughter, Jordan, was just barely four at that time, and I assumed -- and to be honest, I hoped -- that she was unaware of what was happening in the world. But, I thought hanging up the flag would provide me an opportunity to talk to Jordan, and to teach her about the nation she lived in, and the promises and ideals that the American flag stands for. Well, children are observant creatures, sometimes we teach them, more often, they teach us.
   As we hung it up, I asked Jordan "Do you know why it's important that we fly the American flag?" 
   I expected her to answer "No," then I could go on with my lecture about honor and sacrifice and self evident truths. Instead, she said this, "If we take the flags down, the planes will crash again."

   I guess it really is as simple as that.
   Happy Independence Day!