Where did the time go?

My daughter has hockey tryouts tomorrow. It seems like we just ended last season. Here begins another long slog to March...

Powerline Pass

An evening view, looking north across Powerline Pass. This is an HDR image composed of three exposures. It was taken hand-held, I was bicycling with my daughter up the trail one evening  and had to stop to take in the evening view.


Summer's Long Afternoon

The fireweed are in full bloom and night is returning. Summer is nearing an end. Another month and we'll be heading into autumn. Where has the time went?



Caption Contest!

Add your caption, win no prizes, get a good laugh!


2012 U19 Girls Rec. Champions

I did not take this photo.

I'm posting it on my blog though because I didn't have my camera when the girls won the Cook Inlet Soccer Club's 2012 U19 girls Rec. division championship.
They beat a team that had beaten them on three separate occasions during the season and was a heavy favorite to take their 3rd straight title.

The game ended in a 1-1 tie. A 10 minute extra period also ended tied. A five shot per team shoot off ended tied and we finally prevailed during a sudden death shoot out. I'm really proud of these girls for showing character and coming from behind to win.  Especially against a team that was actually more of a comp. team playing beneath their collective talents.

Great job ladies!




In Memorium...

In lieu of the shootings in Aurora Co., it seems the media is in over-drive, focusing on the shooter, who he was, what were his motivations, what was his life like... ad nauseum. Witnesses are trotted in front of the camera to describe the grisly horror of those moments in the theater for the titillation of the couch potato audience. Only too happy to comply and get their 15 minutes of fame. Already political grist is being made out of this tragedy. I've even seen such items on Flickr for God's sake, subtly advocating disarming the law abiding public.

Perhaps everyone should just STFU and take a moment in silence for those who didn't live to see the next day. Perhaps we might even reflect on the fact that we who do get to see another day, maybe ought to try to act like it might be our last. Maybe, just maybe if we really gave a shit...

Nah, that's crazy talk!



Through the Fog

My wife is an avid reader, more so than me. She also has very good taste in her reading material. It's almost uncanny. So when she recommends a book or an author, I usually try to read it/them.

Yesterday a book came in the mail that she ordered. God's Hotel, by Victoria Sweet who is in addition to an author, a real doctor. Obviously I haven't read it, yet but it seems very interesting. 

From the inside flap, More than 20 years ago, Dr. Victoria Sweet arrived at San Francisco's Laguna Honda Hospital, intending to stay for a brief time. A descendant of the Hotel-Dieu (God's Hotel) that cared for the sick poor in the Middle Ages.Laguna Honda was the last alms house in the country. ...
At Laguna Honda lower-tech but human-paced, Sweet had the opportunity to practice a kind of "slow medicine" that has almost vanished, and falling under the hospital's spell, she decided to stay. Gradually, her remarkable patients transformed the way she understood medicine. Alongside the modern view of the body as a machine to be repaired, they evoked an older idea, of the body as a garden to be tended. God's Hotel is their story, and the story of the hospital itself, which--as efficiency experts, politicians, and architects descended, determined to turn it into a modern "health care facility"-- revealed its own surprising truths about the essence, cost, and value of caring for the body and soul.

Needless to say, she has first crack at it, but I intend to read it as soon as she's finished. I've already sneaked in a few pages in the first chapter, and she's made comments to me as she reads it. I think it will be an interesting read. I'm giving it a premature endorsement.



Summers Past



This is a tonemapping of a scan of a negative taken around '95 of the beautiful Bettles greater metro area. I had posted this way back when I first started photo-blogging, but I like the added vibrancy that the tonemapping gives it.




Decidedly not Alaska.

This photo was taken in Wayne County, Ohio.
I grew up not far from here and this was the view from the back yard of the home of an old friend I stopped to visit. We have remained friends over the years and still occasionally keep in touch. She's a grandmother now.

Though it isn't the stark and wild beauty of Alaska, the mid-west has a beauty of a different sort and all its own and no less magnificent in its way.

Lately I have been re-reading a book I was fortunate to read at a much younger point in my life, The Meditations of Marcus Aurelius. He was arguably one of the last great Roman emperors. His meditations still ring true and reflect the stoic philosophy he was reared in and adhered to throughout his life.

"It was my tutor who dissuaded me from patronizing Green or Blue* at the races, or Light or Heavy** in the ring; and encouraged me not to be afraid of work, to be sparing in my wants, attend to my own needs, mind my own business, and never listen to gossip."

* The colors of the rival charioteers in the Circus. Roman enthusiasm for these races was  unbounded; successful drivers earned large fortunes and became popular idols.

** In one form of gladiatorial combat (the Thracian) the opponents were armed with light round bucklers; in the another (the Samite) they carried heavy oblong shields.

Still rings true today...


Regarding the Weather...

...Somedays you're the windshield,
somedays you're the bug.

If we waited for good weather to fly, we wouldn't be flying much at all.
DeHavilland Beaver, on floats.
Leaving King Salmon to fly out to Katmai.


Right of Way

A short while back, I spent a week at Katmai Nat. Park (work related) during the fall. The park closes down for the winter in mid-September. Already overflowing with bears coming down to the Brooks river to feast on the salmon carcasses and the remaining live salmon, it gets even more crowded with bears after the people are gone.

Here we were walking up the trail, past the boarded up Brooks Lodge and adjacent cabins when we came up on this fellow in the photo. As we were on foot and about only 30 yards away, we let him go on at his leisure and stayed where we were until there was more distance between us.

Though they were more interested in packing down as much fish as possible before hibernation and weren't interested in humans, I still can't help the hair from standing up on the back of my neck when I'm this close to a brownie and all I can do in any emergency is throw my camera at him.



World Wide Webs

This is a rework of an unposted oldie, using Photomatix 4.
Taken wih my old point & shoot.


Tough Life at the Top

As these trees will testify.

I've spent the last day and a half setting up the new desk top and getting everything transferred and/or re-installed. I also moved the modem, router, desks, etc. to a more accommodating location.
I usually can keep my computers for five to six years before upgrading. So I also went from XP to Windows 7.

I'm really getting tired of the continual upgrades and forced changes from Micro-soft which seem to me to occur strictly to generate revenue. I'm thinking of trying out Linux on my old box to see how I like it. If anybody has anything worth saying about it, good or bad, I'm listening so please don't hold back.


Generations Apart (02)

Though only approximately sixty years separates these two elegant and beautiful aircraft, it seems like a vast ocean of time culturally.

Here's to the hope that everyone has a safe and enjoyable Independence Day (July 4th). Also let us remember what it took to gain our freedom, what it takes to maintain that same freedom, and what the true cost of freedom is.


Another Infra-red Image

This was also taken Saturday evening using my Rebel Xti.
Focal length: 27mm
Apterture: f/25.0
Exposure: 30sec.


Late Saturday Afternoon

My daughter and I went for a bike ride late yesterday afternoon. It was clear, sunny, and very windy, but a great day to ride. I took this on the 'Bird to Gird' trail while heading towards Girdwood. If you look closely, down near the lower right corner at the very bottom, you can see a bike wheel in the frame.

I have been trying to do infra-red photography, off & on, for the last month or two and the results have been less than encouraging. However I think that yesterday was a step in the right direction.

This was taken with my old Rebel Xti and my Tamron 18-270 lens. I used a Neewer (Chinese knock off) 720nm filter. The filter was less than $20.00 and I figured why not, since I didn't know what I was doing and it's anywhere from $80.00 to $120.00 for an infra-red Hoya filter.

This was shot RAW, in monochrome,
Exp: 30sec
Focal length: 21mm
Av: f/22.00
Minimal post-processing

What seemed to make a difference was holding my thumb over the eyepiece while taking the exposure so as to prevent unwanted light from entering the shot. Go figure...

Well, after two months' leave from work, I return to the job tomorrow. Things at work were slow, so I took advantage of the slow time to take leave and get several long neglected projects done around the house. Also to catch up on my reading and relaxation. I've really enjoyed this time, but that ends tomorrow morning, or should I say gets throttled back. I will try to keep posting more frequently but depending on how busy I am, it may be weekly.