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Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Photo Blogging Challenge (December 2013): Festive

Can you find a more festive month than December? What a great topic for this month's HooHaa's Photo Blogging Challenge. I like it when I have more pictures than I need than when I'm scrambling to find five that fit.  On to the photos.

I started out December on an annual trip to the city. We have some business partners that have an annual Holiday party in New York City. It gives me the opportunity to spend some time running around town. We had less to do this year which gave me more running around time. I walked close to 15 miles one day. The lions at the Public Library were in a festive mood.


I always enjoy hanging out a Bryant Park and watching the skaters.


Upon returning from New York, my Baylor Bears had one more game in their old Floyd Casey Stadium. A new stadium is being built on campus. Our first game of the season, the temperature was over 100F, 125F on the field. Our last game was well below freezing and a freezing fog settled in. In an upset, the Oklahoma Sooners had defeated the Oklahoma State Cowboys just before our game kicked off. That upset turned our game into the Big XII championship. After a close first half, my Bears kicked it into gear and defeated the Texas Longhorns. It is our first Big XII championship and our first outright conference championship since 1980. A ceremony followed the game and the lights were turned off for the last time.

Case Closed! Big 12 Champs 

Fast forward to Christmas, because it really seemed to happen that fast. We had some office parties and such in between, but they seemed to have happened so long ago. We have all the family at our house every year. It's works out well with all the steps and in-laws. We were very low key this year. I'm happy to have my dad with us another year after his heart issues plagued the last two.


We had planned on being in our new house this Christmas. The weather this summer was wetter than usual and delayed construction. While I wish we were in already, it was nice to spend one more year here. I hope that this is the last time you see the view below.

Christmas 2013, finale

That's the five I pulled out. Feel free to visit my flickr stream here to see more. And check out the rest of the participants at a lil hoohaa's blog. Until the next time.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Film is not dead! - 2013 HooHaa Challenge: My Life

I'm lazy. I admit it. And I procrastinate, too. I waited until almost the very end to get started on this project. Then the deadline got extended, sweet! I'll shift gears because December is no time for Hallowe'en pictures, right. Then lazy kicked in again. It mixed with busy and here I am, 10PM CST, I should be packing to leave but I'm writing this post instead. (Procrastinating!)

So let's pretend it's early November. Let's pretend I wrote all of this then. And let's pretend I got 15 usable shots. I really had a good time using a camera I haven't used in forever. I was going to start out by saying that I cheated a bit. I didn't have B+W and Color film in the same speed. I had made the choice to use some expired stock I had in the beer/film fridge. The B+W is Fujifilm FP-3000B Professional Instant Black & White Film. The color film was the last pack of Polaroid 669 ISO 80 instant color film. The camera for this project: A Graflex XL with Polaroid back.

Trying out the new Graflex XL

The challenge topic is My Life. If you are a regular reader of the A 'lil Hoohaa, you know that in October, Hallow'en is pretty much my life. You can read my guest post here. So all my photo's were taken while setting up and taking down my Hallowe'en set up this year.

Focus was a bit of a challenge. I took the B+W in the dark. My DOF was pretty shallow. But I like the look.


John, my oldest, dressed up as some sort of ghoul or banshee. He had built some graves and left the shovel in the yard. When the kids would come to the door, he was standing perfectly still, leaning on the shovel. Many people asked me where I bought the decoration and then he'd start to move. He got a big kick out of scaring some older kids.


I got me a couple of new ladies in my life this year. This is actually a double exposure. The Graflex makes them a breeze.


I tried a few more double exposures but could never quite get it right. This one is close. The boys are just ghosty too.


The color was all right, but I really like the B+W. I read that they were discontinuing this film now. I hope I can find some more.

This next one is another of John's annual setups. I moved it around a little, but he builds this Punkin' Headed Boy for me every year.


And this last one is of the porch/graveyard setup. I normally cover the porch in black fabric so you can't see what's there until you get there. I think I scared too many kids last year so I dialed it back a little this year and left it open so they could see form the street.


My plan was to break a few more rules and take some of the Christmas lights. That would require a couple more film packs. I used all my color film and I don't think B+W and colored lights was a look I was going for. So here are the best six.  That's about the lot of it. I like the challenges. I sometimes overload myself with them but keep 'em coming. I'll do what I can. Sometimes better than others. While you are surfing, visit the other entries a a 'lil hoohaa. Until next time.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Photo Blogging Challenge (November 2013): People

The theme for this month was People. I had originally thought to spread it out a bit but exploring my stream, I decided to stick with the morning I took photos at the Veteran's Day Parade. My kids participate every year through their school so I usually go out and try to capture some of their activity. They were one of the last 'floats' this year so I saw a lot of folks go by before them.

There was a pretty good crowd for a Monday morning parade.

The local Drill Teams were well represented.

Plenty of unique individuals sporting the red, white, and blue.

My sister-in-law co-hosted the local broadcast of the parade for the City Channel.

And finally, the kids made it down to us.

Make sure you check out all the other participants in the Photo Challenge at the a 'lilhoohaa. And make plans to join in next month.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Photo Blogging Challenge (October 2013): Fall

This month's challenge was Fall. Around here, Fall brings football, fairs, and slightly cooler weather. I'm a big fan of Hallowe'en too; so I always look forward to that. Without further ado, my month's photos.

Waco hosts the Heart of Texas Fair and Rodeo every year in October. The boys keep getting more and more adventurous on the rides, especially Will.


The rodeo has grown quite a bit over the years. It's a qualifier for the PRCA events. We sponsor a team for the Calf Scramble every year. That's where high school kids chase down a cow and, if they catch it, raise it to show the following year. It provides some scholarship money for them and is always fun to follow their progress.


Our school only offers flag football and only through 6th grade so this is our last year of cheering on the Wildcats. I coached them a few years ago and I enjoy seeing how they have improved over the years.


The fall also brings Big Tex and the State Fair of Texas. Big Tex, who started his life as a Santa Claus in Kerens, TX, was destroyed in a fire in the last days of the fair last year. You can read about it here. We got to see the new and bigger Big Tex this year. I'll leave out whether he is better now. My mom is back from her summer in New York and we spent the day with her and the cousins. I needed a Fletcher's corn dog fix.


As I mentioned, I love Hallowe'en. The weather has been uncooperative so I'm pushing up against tomorrows deadline on getting stuff out. I've changed it up a bit and I'll post an update with the final product after it becomes final.

I made her a bouquet today. #halloween

It's difficult to pare down 179 photos to just five. I invite you to take a look at my world on my Flickr photostream. Until next month... Visit the other entries here.

Tuesday, October 01, 2013

Photo Blogging Challenge (September 2013): Outdoors

September can be a pretty good month for getting outside in Texas or it can be miserably hot. We had a decent mix this year. I've been trying to bike some more. I've managed to get out quite a bit and do what I can to dodge traffic and get away from the house.


Bike ride #shadow #fmsphotoaday

One of my photo prompts took me out to see some old cemeteries. We grabbed a couple of caches while we were there.


Fall is football season. My Bears are doing well so far. William decided to wear his horsehead mask to the game. There he is down by the 50.


This past weekend, we finally got the Troop back out for a campout. It was National Public Lands Day and we canoed down the river between the Confederate Union Grounds historical site to Ft. Parker State Park picking up trash along the way. We got rained on and ended up having to cut the weekend short due to severe weather but had a good canoe and picked up a lot of trash.


There's my month in a nutshell. I'm looking forward to seeing what the others have been up to.

EDIT: I was in such a hurry this afternoon that I forgot to include this picture. I took it with a little point and shoot and I get excited when those turn out well:


Friday, August 30, 2013

Photo Blogging Challenge (August 2013): Summer

Summer seems to have really flown by this year. It was a busy one. Scout camp in July, followed immediately by two weeks in Grand Cayman.

August kicked off with one last trip.  A visit to Little Rock, Arkansas for a family wedding. While there we visited the Central High School that played such an important role in the civil rights movement.


After our return, our little Horsehead, fully aware his pool days were numbered, took advantage of a warm summer day.


I participated in the Geocaching 31 Days of August Challenge and managed to find at least one cache per day. It was good to get out and cache again.


For us, August means Back to School time. The boys are already geting settled in to a knew school year.


Even though school is in session, we still found time for one last splash! Until next summer...


Thursday, August 01, 2013

Photo Blogging Challenge (July 2013): Signs

This month's theme for PJ's HooHaa Photo Challenge was Signs. With two boys summer is a busy time and we saw lots of signs. Narrowing my selection was difficult and I decided to go two different ways with the theme.

The first part of July was spent in Talihina, OK at the Hale Scout Reservation. Below is our troop sign at the entrance of our camp site.


After returning from Summer Camp, we jumped on a plane and spent the rest of July on Grand Cayman.Our departure day also coincided with John's 13th Birthday. Here's his sign that he is now a teenager and happy to be at the beach!

@drjohnmd is 13! Happy Birthday!
Speaking of birthdays, we celebrated mine a week later. A sign I'm another year older.


This sign says you are too close! Within the 200 YD Limit, your boat can travel a maximum of 5 knots and must be headed either to the shore or away from it.


Finally, this sign was placed at the Public Beach. I like the thought of 'aloud' and 'allowed'. It tickled me.


Monday, July 01, 2013

Photo Blogging Challenge (June 2013): Bridges

So the theme for June was bridges. There are some cool old bridges around me so shouldn't be a problem. We don't have any covered bridges like PJ has but we have a suspension bridge with a lot of history. But that was not how this project ended up. Enjoy my journey!

We'll start out with Waco's most famous bridge. The Waco Suspension Bridge. One of the things I like about this location is you can see four very different bridges in very close proximity. I've written about the suspension bridge before and linked the wikipedia entry above, so I won't repeat it.


As I mentioned, one can see different types of bridges all in close proximity. Below is the Waco Steel Bridge built in 1901. It was the longest single span steel bridge in the world. It was recently rehabilitated and restored back to two-way traffic. You can see the remains of the Waco Interurban bridge here.


So, now is where I go off the rails a bit, so bare with me. Sure I could give you some more photos of hitoric bridges spanning various bodies of water, but what fun would that be? This is actually the first photo I took for this challenge. It is the bridge of my computer glasses at my office.


One of my boys is learning to play Radioactive by Imagine Dragons on the piano. As near as I can follow along (I'm not as adept at reading music as I once was), below is the bridge of that song.


Speaking of pianos, for my last offering, a portion of the long bridge of the piano.


I had hoped for the photo of a boat's bridge or even a game of bridge but that was not in the cards. (See what I did there?)

If you like these and want more you can see more challenge entries at PJ's blog.

Until next month...

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Photo Blogging Challenge (May 2013): Night

I know I'm early with this but we are camping this weekend and I didn't want to miss the post. This month's theme for PJ's HooHaa Photo Challenge was Night. My problem is that the days are getting so long I'm asleep by night. So I did my best. All of these were shot at night.


We bought this motorbank a few years back because it had a parking deck and downtown Tulsa is sorley lacking in parking. After a few failed attempts to get things going, The Vault opened up. It's a really cool concept that has embraced the mid-century modern architecture of the building as well as its past as a bank. The Auld's own it, Libby is a fantastic chef that puts a unique flair on all of the dishes. If you ever find yourself in Downtown Tulsa, do yourself a favor and have a visit. Tell them Mike from Waco sent you. That and your credit card should get you some delicious food and beverage. You can find some additional photos in my Tulsa set.


May 13th is my baby's birthday. My baby turned 11 this year. He wanted a horse head mask for his birthday. I got him one. He is a clown.


We had a Boy Scout campout we hold annually called Welcome to Webelos where the Boy Scouts spend the day training the new Webelos. It gets us a chance to gather with the back and hopefully the Webelos enjoy themselves enough to join our troop after crossing over. Out Assistant Senior Patrol Leader grabbed my camera and tried to catch sunset. He just missed it. If you look at the bigger picture you can see just a hint of the sun below the treeline. Mr. Dao has developed quite an interest in photography himself.


A Memorial Day tradition is the gathering for what I like to refer to as Memorial Daze or Crumpalooza. This was our disputed 8th gathering. The kids aren't such kids anymore.


I'll wrap this month up with John practicing piano. He has a recital coming up is a few weeks and is working out the bugs on his recital piece. Both boys have gotten quite good. I enjoy hearing them play.

Until next month...

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Photo Blogging Challenge (April 2013): Transportation

April is almost done already! It's hard to believe. Spring is generally a pretty busy travel time for me. We have a few conferences we usually attend but those numbers are down this year. I'm glad, it gives me more time at home.

April started out with a backpacking trip to Pedernales Falls SP. We are working on the Backpacking merit badge and needed a 15-mile hike. We didn't plan to do 13 of it in one day but that happens sometimes when you are boy-led.

Next, our troop attended a Merit Badge college at the local technical school. It's one of the better ones in that they offer merit badges that are hard to come by like Welding and, in this photo, Auto Maintenance.

Work took me to a conference in Key Biscayne, Florida. We have a business associate who lives on Fisher Island. His company was celebrating 20 years with another business partner and threw a dinner party on a little boat. It was pretty nice.

 I have all sorts of photos of airplanes, it's not often I'm around helicopters. As we were leaving Florida the one in front had just landed and the one in the air was circling to land where we were parked.

April ends similar to how it started. The Troop kicked off the Hiking merit badge with the first of four 10-mile hikes. We call this one our Urban Hike, it's a good loop that is all paved to get the guys used to the walk.

I can't wait to see what adventures next month brings.  You can see the other participants at PJ's blog.