Sunday, October 26, 2008

Saying Goodbye

I got an email from a friend of mine earlier this week that a childhood friend of ours, Stuart, had died a few days prior. In the email was a copy of the very brief obituary. But the part I kept reading over and over, was that Stuart was dead at age 42. We were friends since elementary school. We got to be very good friends in jr. high and high school. He had a charisma about him that drew people to him. After high school we took very different paths and we eventually lost regular contact. He had a very tough time in his late teens and early 20's. After some serious setbacks in his life, he seemed to really turn things around for the better. We last talked about 8 years ago. He was the proudest of fathers. I was very happy for him. We soon lost contact again. Although it is still speculative, it seems he may have continued struggling with some of his previous demons. I recently talked to an old friend about him and regret not asking for his contact information. He's someone I figured I'd always catch up with from time to time. I'm sad at his loss and will miss my old friend.

Stuart (on the left) with Mike and Darrel on the day of our 6th grade culmination. June 1978

A friend forwarded me a more recent picture of Stuart from his myspace page.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Go Dodgers

Unfortunately the Dodgers couldn't hear Lily rooting them on. Otherwise I'm sure they would have won tonight.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Around the Breakfast Table

Just a few minutes ago:

Me: Lily, can you count to ten for Daddy?

Lily: One, two, three, four, seven, eight, nine, ten.

(Background info - Lily usually says all the numbers except seven)

Mommy: You skipped five and six this time. Try again.

Lily: One, two, three, four, five, six, eight, nine, ten.

Mommy: What happened to seven, Lily?

Lily: I don't know!!!

Us: hysterical laughing

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Another Great Day Off

School was closed today so we had a great family day together. I got to go to Lily's gymnastics class for the first time. For day's now she's been saying, "Daddy come 'nastics." She had lots of fun running and jumping and swinging. We then visited the public library. From there we went to a park out in the Thousand Oaks/Oak Park area. There Lily got to go down the slide, ride a see-saw, and go on the swings. I think the swing was her favorite because she did not want to get off when it was time to leave. The picture above confirms how much she enjoyed the swing. Doesn't she look cool in her shades?

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Calm in Chaos

Perhaps a bit dramatic of a title but I'm finding images like this to be relaxing during a stressful transition. When I was a kid I had no idea teachers worked as hard as we do. I still enjoy it, but my gosh is it busy.

Monday, October 6, 2008

The Wonders of Editing

I had some free time on Sunday and decided to run out to shoot some pictures. I know, surprise surprise. I had no idea what to shoot and just drove around hoping to feel inspired somehow. It never happened and I ended up in a spot I've been several times on the same mission. I came home feeling like I got nothing good and was tempted to delete my memory card without loading a single image into the computer. The first image below looked dull, flat, and blown out on the camera back. Loaded into the computer it looked the same, only bigger. So I tried pushing the colors a bit which helped. Then I wondered how the sunflare would look in black and white. I really like how it came out. I'm glad I didn't dump it after all. Following are a few others I felt came out at least half-way decently.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Rainy Day

It's raining today. I had originally planned on getting out and shooting some pictures. Julianne is over a friends house and I'm home with Lily. In my last post I asked for suggestions for what I should shoot next. Robin suggested the neighborhood so she could see where I live. Christy suggested macro shots. Since it's raining, I did go outside but not into the neighborhood. I figured showing things in the backyard qualifies for showing where I live. And I did have my macro lens on.

I immediately headed for the morning glories which were delicately sprinkled with water.

Then I noticed the leaves and the detail inside the reflection of the droplets.

How I didn't walk into this I don't know. I barely caught a glimpse of it spread out completely across the new section of lawn in our side yard. You really should click on the image below to see it larger.

It's creator was not readily in sight until I saw her escaping toward the patio cover.

Not too bad for a rainy day at home. :)

Friday, October 3, 2008

Final "Day Off" Pictures

Have I dragged these pictures out far enough? This is what happens when one doesn't get as many opportunities to shoot. I'm saving the best (in my opinion) Lily picture for Julianne to post on her blog. Hopefully I'll get a little time tomorrow to replenish the empty vault of unposted images. I have no idea what I'll go shoot. Any suggestions?

Wednesday, October 1, 2008


I spent a day at training today. Hopefully all went well with the substitute in my classroom today. I'm hoping that no news is good news. It was really nice to be done when the clock said we were done. No books to bring home. No extra hours of planning. In fact it was so nice I think I'll do it again for the next two days. Gotta love a three day training after a day off. :)

I couldn't decide which version to post so you get both. I love the bold color in the top one even though the background is blown out. But I also love how the almost complete lack of color emphasizes the patterns and the detail.