Scott: If I showed you to the Ellen I knew 16 years ago she would not believe any of it.
Me: You are probably right. I need more ink.
17 tattoos later...
The last 2012 set, so of course there's...
Another year, another airshow! Expect a good week's worth of photos, starting with
Olivia's school was briefly let out just to see the Shuttle land. I wasn't able to make it, but I'm very glad she was. Sometimes it's a GOOD thing to have a school next door to an airport.
This was on the floor in the Venetian outside of the Phantom Opera House.
From the Bellagio Hotel in Vegas.
A photo essay on Lemurs having a Thanksgiving meal.
Can this get any cuter?
China really knows what they are doing when it comes to the Pandas!
This is what I call "the New York No." With friend Mark portraying the actual emotion being conveyed.
I was FINALLY lucky enough to get caught up in a Super Cell storm in Dumas Arkansas!
My first tornado up close!
A very cool set of photos.
A series of photos of Detroit.
You would think the police station would have been cleaned up a bit better. Especially the crime photos....not wait. It's Detroit.
NO, I did not chew it.
YES, my chest was on fire from all the horseradish.(And I <3 horseradish!)
NO, I will not do it again till next year.
I have no shame.
Me: "Mark, you know that car has no air conditioning, and is really loud on the inside."
Mark: "I don't care, I'd just park it in the back yard and look at it. And, you know, try to convince girls to drape themselves over it."
Suddenly, out of nowhere, a weird car guy falls on his knees and starts worshiping it. No, really.
Mark: "Yeah, not what I had in mind."
Some people own cars named Trans Am. Others own cars who've won Trans Ams. I'm not either. But I got a nifty picture!
I want one of these. Some day.
Ellen wants a bunch of these. And yet this was the best picture she got of them. Much more important to be dramatically annoyed with the husband than to take good pictures!
And that's the end, Lots of winners this time!
No rocket takeoff this year. Maybe they're finally out of them?
I snapped this one almost literally from the hip, in line for hamburgers. I couldn't get a Blue Angel crossover to save my life. Ah well.
May is airplane month here at AMCGLTD! This is the first show with our new D5000 camera, and hopefully the results will speak for themselves. I certainly got a whole bunch of winners this time. More to come!
My first time seeing a precision helicopter team. Cobras, natch...
I think I forgot to mention we got snow. We decided to let the snow accumulate on the car so we can get a better idea on how much we got.
Our 2nd year of launching our Thanksgiving rocket!
Another series of photos of acid attacks that Middle Eastern women still encounter this day.
And these countries want to be considered equals? Get the F* out of the stone ages, of yelling loud, tossing rocks and acid, and then maybe we will take you more seriously.
That's right... boo-hoo...go take your camel home.
Bah. I'm pretty sure if you dumped any of my photography friends in the center of a 2000+ year old Italian town, they'd do at least this well. But hey, why not enjoy the weirdness? Me? Geeze, if you can't picture a flash drive full of Alfas you really haven't been reading this site all that long.
Inside my hotel room.
I'm in Atlantic City for a veterinary conference this week and promised Scott and O I would take some photos as I get them.
The one on the left is seventeen years older than the one on the right. The 80s weren't kind to anyone's car design
It's not often two identical Alfas get parked next to each other.
Italian cars tend to veer between absolute beauty and irredeemable homeliness. That said, they never seem to descend into the aggressive ugliness that can be found with, say, certain kinds of Porsche or Ford.
On the left, the trunk as originally designed. That's what the one Dustin Hoffman drove on the Graduate looked like. On the right, the first, and really best, revision of the body style. That's the one we drive. Literally. Upper right graphically details the third revision, and also why it's known as a "duck tail."
A truly rare and interesting car, the Giulia Sprint Speciale was hand-built for Alfa by the Bertone coachbuilder (Carozzeria). The vehicle is surprisingly aerodynamic, with a drag coefficient on par with most modern cars. While not particularly fast, like all Alfas they are a great deal of fun.
"How we spent our weekend." Friend Annie let us know Leesburg was having an annual hot-rod / classic car "drive show". Show up, park, line up, drive, park downtown. Ours was the only Italian car in the whole show, 120 cars strong.
Ellen had the best quote: "every time someone looks at our car, they smile!"
And that's the end. Hopefully the best was saved for last. If you get the opportunity to see them, do not miss the Thunderbirds. This is the best they've been in quite some time.
Airshow: free. High performance aircraft: $$$. Watching grownups steer their expensive airplanes into puddles just to make a splash: priceless.
This year was the first time I'd ever seen a precision stunt quartet flying. "The Collaborators." No, really! If you get the chance, go see 'em.
A really nice treat from this hike.
The water was under 50 degrees. ICE COLD. But it was fun!
There is literally NOTHING behind them. What they are on is it.
On the eve of its 40th birthday...
If the weather forecasts hold, it'll stay under covers until Friday or Saturday, after a predicted rain washes all the icky salt away.
Calm down, The Grammas. Grandchild pictures will soon follow.
Not bad for 20 year-old paint, eh? When Ellen decides to get serious about detailing a car, just let her buy the supplies and get the f- out of the way. It's much safer.
Linseed oil, FTW! We thought it'd take painting the trim to get it "back to black." A little research on a VW forum proved otherwise
Nothing like a whole bunch of macro insect pictures to start a Monday morning. I get that some people like bugs. I'm just not one of them. *SHUDDER*
Nothing like a collection of "the sky from above" pictures to start your Sunday. What they can't show, and indeed what I've only seen a few times in IMAX movies, is how all that stuff visibly moves over time.
If you cannot tell, that is an E-collar (aka- satellite dish) around her pony tail.
This is, apparently, one of the very first Pontiacs ever made. When we last saw it in 1999, it was a rusty heap that didn't even have tires. The years have indeed been kind
Sometimes the newer cars are just as entertaining. This was an early 90's Allante
And occasionally they're not perfectly clean. I'm not sure it's possible for this engine to ever be clean, with its pushrods and rockers on the outside and all. I bet this one tattoos its garage pretty extensively.
Honda-lover Damion would razz me about the "simple Spider." I always wondered why he never mentioned what Hondas were like in '71, the year our Spider was made. Now I know why.
Strangely, this was the only series 2 pony car we saw. It was awful pretty thought.
Well duh!. But it wasn't all Alfa, all the time...
I have NO idea what the results will be but do check out the website and make sure you go to your dermatologist if you have any concerns with any skin pigmentation changes!
This week's daddy day was spent at the Rockville antique car show.
Olivia was intimidated, even a little frightened, the moment she saw the Saturn V. Once I pointed out the monstrosity in front of her was just like the toy she'd bought at the gift shop, she burst out, "daddy... this thing is so awsome!!!"
Olivia decided she wanted to wear her new pink NASA cap and her tiara. Problem? She made this decision when her tiara was in her bus seat, while she was on the steps of the bus entrance, with thirty people behind us. This was the result of the no she got. Note the position of the cap. I'm surprised Ellen didn't make her a permanent resident.
The "turtles on a hot... something... was completely unplanned, obviously caught from the bus. Best of all was the hyper-annoying power-mom sitting in front of us, talking to her six year old snowflake (and I am not making this up): "Oh Bobby, look, it's an aligator!"
Bobby: "No mommy! It's turtles. It's two turtles! What are they doing?!?"
HAPM: "Oh. Oh? Oh!!!"
I'm not sure, but I think she covered his eyes.
Well, now we know where Ron's actual family ended up. Goddamned NASA parking lot, that's where!
Look, ma! My laptop has a camera innit!
Normally I would not post a dorky pix of myself unless requested. Well a certain AMCGLTD member is in FL and made a request.
Yep, she got to play too!
Yes.... we are that stupid at my house.
~More pixes to come!
What do a bunch of adults exactly do at a party for a 40 year old? Well, you get the guest of honor drunk and make him sing ROCK BAND!
God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference.
Now for it in LATIN!
Still needs to be shaded. Being at a tattoo parlor from 1230 till 6pm is exhausting. Especially when you spend 2 hours on design alone. The rest of the pain involved, totally worth it.
After watching Ellen try and get shots like this one, I can say with some confidence that it's not the gear that you use which makes this work, it's getting the @#$#@ bug to sit still long enough to snap the picture. Although admittedly having the correct macro lens definitely helps.
And I do wonder if the "rain" came out of a sprayer.
By far more impressive than the one in Vegas.
It was cold and crowded, but we still got to see Radio City Music Hall!
The very first dinosaur put on display!
Of course it is a T-Rex!
They do not know who or what these arms belong to!
Some of the wax models were REALLY good, others really sucked.
Taken by Baby O no less.
In case you did not know, it is a lava lamp.
...I was chatting to Mother Goose.
Olivia and I traveled a long way on the silk road, only to pick up some Greman Friar, with sunglasses he found hiking one day. According to the man of the cloth, 'free is always a good thing'.
This is our second year going to the festival. This is also the second year Scott would not dress up and be a dork with the rest of us, so he is behind the camera!
Apparently Ron is commando under his skirt.
Ok ok! Why the chickens? Well... WHY NOT? THEY WERE EVERYWHERE AT THE PETTING ZOO!
No really, I won't bite... much.
The bird said "hello" when you walked away from it.
I guess if you try hard enough, any picture is possible. A macro pic of a hummingbird in flight. Now that, my friends, is perseverance.
While this list of things every digital photographer should explore may seem a bit basic to some, it still contains a lot of well-written tips about how to get the most out of your digital camera. Hey, all those buttons and dials actually do something! Whodathunkit?
These are the baby ducks from the San Diego Zoo. No, they were not an exhibit, but escapees from an exhibit they did not belong to. Apparently their mom was still inside with the Flamingos and they were out peeping away. So what did yours truely from AMCG do? I tossed them back through it. Thats right. I tossed each of them like a small NERF (note I said NERF- so it was a light toss) ball through the fence.
From the family reunion this past weekend. My grandmother, my sister, my mother, me and Olivia.
Better late that never. Here's a few from our July 4 mini-celebration, firing off the last of the previous year's fireworks. Not much, because giant thunderstorms were blowing through the area all day. It cleared off just in time, and with everything soaked we even had a reduced fire hazard!
Gramma note: O pix included!
This one was a gimme shot, something I did trying to avoid the security guards. But Ellen liked it a lot, so there ya go. This was the pool we didn't swim in, because it wasn't heated. San Diego's night lows just barely crack 60, so the heated pool just beyond was much more popular. For our own remembrance, our first room was on the top floor of the tower, left wing, second from the left. The suite is on that same top floor, facing front, one-two-three balconies across. Makes sense to us, all that matters.
To me, it looks like every damned post card I ever found stashed in the bedside table of all the motels we stayed in when I was a kid. Do they even do that anymore?
Say, about two miles away, across the highway, and up one steep hill. We tried to capture these windows for the entire trip. This was as good as it got. HDR through a 300mm zoom no less. What you don't see is Olivia with the remote, pushing the button like a trooper.
Yes, even more vacation pictures! What's not widely known is that when a non-profit sells out its hotel room block for a convention, the hotel throws their best suites in for free. Fortunately for us, the executive director wanted to go home on day 5 of his 7 day reservation. Which let us move in. More story to follow...
One can definitely get used to this sort of thing. The carpet was so thick you left footprints.
But most important to me were the memories. We'd been here seven years before, when the organization was in the depths of a financial crisis. People, good people, had been fired. Ellen was only just hitting the rock bottom of one of her worst depressions. We were across the highway, in Motel Hell, hoping the homeless trolls under the bridge didn't notice us. And this was the place, this very place, where all the bigwigs were staying. Where all the parties were. A very strange, yet very safe place, where I'd never be.
And I owned it. We owned it. Me and mine. My footprints. My family. My child. I couldn't make Ellen get it, I probably won't make you.
But maybe, some day, Olivia will.
Those of you interested in the Midway carriers should peruse this informative Wikipedia entry. While impressive for the time, they definitely seem to have been a misfire in the annals of carrier design. I can't imagine they were ever much fun to serve on.
A7 Corsair II. About a second after getting this image, Olivia slipped an fell on the all-too-aptly-named non-skid surface covering the deck. Hilarity most definitely did not ensue. However, one trip to the gift shop later and all was well. Shopping. Is there anything it can't do?
Hangar deck from the bow looking aft. The middle blast doors are just visible to the right and left in the middle distance. Despite this impressively vast space, the entire Midway class was justly famous for its cramped quarters. This is a WWII aircraft carrier shoehorned into a jet age world.
The small size of the island is yet another relic of its WWII origins. Straight-deck carriers, as this one was when it was commissioned, had to scramble to get all the space they could for increasingly wide-winged aircraft. The invention of the angled flight deck allowed far more spacious island designs. Even Ellen noted how small the command structure looked.
Again, note the very close quarters.
The radar antenna was spinning when we arrived, and I'm pretty sure this scope was showing a real-time image. It certainly looked like the San Diego area. In the background Desert Storm comms were being played, bizarrely interlaced with snippets of Star Wars final battle dialog. No, really!
Welcome to the Navy, with career opportunities in the latest 1940s radio designs. Keep in mind this room was quite functional right to the end of the ship's service life in 1992
Although modest, this image represents what I like best about HDR pictures. There would literally be no other way to capture this image with this detail.
I have more pixes of this guy. The polar bears at the San Diego Zoo are one of the top attractions to see there. Always on the move!
This is how we feel right now. Sitting in the airport waiting for a 10:30 PM flight.
Of course we saw the Shamu show!
This cute show was about 2 seals trying to save a ship from being dry docked. They had to save the "Admiral", hence the walrus.
Brought to you by Pepsi Cola no less!
The Admiral. A very large one no less.
The ship! I has been saved! *Note the cute little otter on the guy's back!*
There was a 'touch pond' at Sea World. Basically starfish and urchins. Fun to touch until I witnessed Olivia 'chuck' a starfish back into the pool. Of course, Scott acted liked it was nothing. I was mortified.
At that point, it was tossed. Scott was just glad she didn't toss it on the ground. Of course like I said, I did the 'how could you let her do that' dance.
We hit Sea World today. We started at 10 A.M. and did not leave till 5:30 P.M> It is hard to go through 480 photos, so we are going to do this in stages. Tonight, you get the dolphins!
We decided to have a 'caricature' done of us 3 since no one can figure out my camera. This is the end result. We feel this drawing really does represent the AMCGLTD team. Err..not really. It's a cartoon... well an embarrassing one.
40 feet of kelp. I shit you not.
A view of our hotel from the Lagoon. We are on the 10th floor.
Our hotel's heated pool. Olivia calls it "The Lagoon."
We are here! It has been 7 long years since our last visit! And we have a REAL hotel to boot! Enjoy the view!
Yes, I could be inverting the photo, but I'm not. This is the first helicopter I've ever personally seen that could do a split-S. He did three of them.
Some years, I'm not so impressed with their flying. This was not one of those years.
Interestingly enough, this was the first time I'd ever seen women actually flying the planes. Two of them, even, one in second solo, and the other second in the formation. They were both really short, but as you can see here (top plane, as I recall), were most definitely qualified.
Yeah, it's blurry, but it's mine.
Good composition, poor camera hold. Next year, I'm bringing a monopod and a tripod.
The weirdly tinted canopy is actually part of the stealth package. An instrument panel is still a flat surface, donchaknow?
While not as impressive as the F-22, this F-18F still managed to do an impressive imitation of a Pitts Special. America has the. best. toys!!!
Clouds are not so good for photography, but they're a godsend for photographers. Sunburns != your friend! Oh, and this guy was no Nancy Lynn, but he was damned good.
Well of course I'm going to try HDR here. Unfortunately, for whatever reason I was completely convinced tripods were verboten. Turns out, couldn't be further from the truth. So while your intrepid hi-tech photographer was trying to brace on any (rare!) level surface, he was surrounded by puzzled people hauling tripods from place to place. Next year, next year...
The highlight of the show was the F-22 demonstration. The squadron only went active last year, so this is one of the first operational demonstrations they've done. Let me tell you, 68,000 pound aircraft do not have any business doing the things this did. Remember that flat spin in Top Gun? Yeah, he did that, six or seven times, on purpose.
Another year, another JSOH airshow. This time, for the first time in four or five years, skies were clear and we got the "high altitude" show. It made a difference.
Yeah, and verily, it is better to be lucky than good. Or both at the same time, if you can manage. After 25 years of airshow photography...
From what I've seen, the vast majority of HDR photographers nowadays seem to want to make comic book frames instead of pictures. I just want to frame what I see. Not as exciting, but I like it better than the "pastels dipped in ink" look I see elsewhere.
I wanted to wait until everyone had moved out of the shot, but Olivia definitely wanted to move on. Snapped what I could.
My take with the same setup.
Experimenting with a live model. Turns out the hardest part is keeping her from sweeping across to me and saying, "What the F--?!?!" between shots. Once I got her to be still, it worked, as an experiment. Props to her when it counted, she was completely still across 3 exposures, in this light, say, 30 seconds. Against a more neutral background, I think we might have something here.
In spite of appearances, I did not use a polarizing filter. Although I just might, next time. And I do hereby promise to bring a white sheet of paper with me next time, so I can white balance outside the camera instead of inside the darkroom. Twiddling can only recover so much!
Turns out you need a permit to take a picture of this fountain (at least with a tripod). Who knew? So this is the only shot I got before I got shoo'd away by the security guard.
Probably one of the most unintentionally enigmatic monuments at the cemetery. Students of a very specific point in history probably know what this is on sight (and groaned at my title for the same reason). But most likely nobody else would, and you'd probably have to explain it twice before they really understood. If then.
Yet there was a time when everyone thought it was all so important they stuck the mast of the ship in its own memorial.
How times change.
Oh, and unlike my cathedral pictures, these prints are quite available for purchase. E-mail me for (my very reasonable) pricing information.
So while the Tomb of the Unknowns has become many things to many people, all of them valid and important and deeply felt, originally the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier was erected in memory to all those men that didn't just give up their lives but gave up their very identities in a terrible, terrible war. The remains of the soldier inside the tomb are a symbolic reference to the tens of thousands of soldiers who will never, can never be buried. We don't identify those remains because they're a symbol of all the ones that won't, can't, ever be identified. We guard those remains because we want to express that such a sacrifice is supreme beyond all others, and therefore requires the most supreme honors we can bestow. -- May 26, 2002
It's a musical reference. Go look it up. Bah, probably not even a cherry tree. Whaddayagonnado?
The advantage of taking Metro during a weekend, and just missing your train... an empty station who's manager doesn't mind you setting up a tripod. Three exposures, one of which was 20 seconds, and I still got quite clear signage.
We did a "family day" out to Arlington Cemetery. This was just a test shot to sort out my new remote. More to come.
From the Pet Expo we went to this weekend.
We are surprised Ron is not naked and humping the star.
Proof no matter how stable you try to make it, it's just about impossible to get three perfectly motionless hand-held shots in low light conditions. Each of the three elements was sharp, but I couldn't help moving the camera between them.
Keep in mind my only tripod was a very flexy bit of plastic about six inches tall. There aren't too many tabletops in the museum, so composition was a bit of a challenge.
The most polished aircraft I've ever seen. I'm sure there's a story behind that finish, I just have to discover the person to ask.
There's a whole story behind this aircraft's restoration (last paragraph). You'll find quite a few pictures of this display if you Google "Fw 190 Smithsonian." These provide a nice insight into what HDR allows you to do.
In all honesty, I don't know the story behind this one. It was just a neat plane with cool lighting.
From memory: Boeing employees in the late 80s got together and restored the only surviving 307 Stratoliner (a pre-war B-17 civilian variant) to flying condition, including the ever-so-rare interior. On its second, maybe third flight (say, 1996), something went very wrong with the fuel system, and to save their lives the crew bellied her into a lake off the end of a runway, ruining said restoration. The fished her out, re-did it all again, and then flew her straight to Dulles, where she remains parked to this day.
I only wish they could figure out a way to tour the inside.
Family outing to the Air and Space Annex today. This one is (so far) Ellen's favorite, reminding her of a swirl of airplanes.
Ok, this one, I got an "oh wow, that's pretty" moment. It's actually quite rare I'm able to capture in camera what I'm seeing in front of me. I got lucky at the cathedral. 50% of the pictures I took there were home runs (and I only took 20!) It's nice to know that, in a completely different setting, I can still hit the occasional single, maybe even a double.
Again, not an HDRI photo (the HDRI version is 2 entries down). I wish it were HDRI. Unfortunately the software's assumptions won't accommodate this sort of extreme. But the raw will do just fine for now, IMO.
This one's a regular, (relatively) unprocessed raw file. It would appear the HDR software I'm using was built around a certain set of assumptions involving a large bit of building on a cloudy day. When you don't take pictures that are even vaguely related to that assumption, the results are quite disappointing. Let's hope in future version it'll work with absolute white to absolute black.
But I still like this one.
See! I can take pictures of flowers too!
It seems that current HDR software isn't quite ready for absolute white to absolute black. The edges of the white are actually quite artificial enlarged. But I'm getting there!
Taken at the St. Patrick's Day Parade this Saturday. Yes, Yes SHUT up! I KNOW it was not the real St. Patrick's Day. Do I look like I run the damn city?
Old cars just don't move around as much, I suppose.
Taken at yesterday's St. Patrick's Day festival in Old Town Alexandria, VA.
Here we see the limits of my new favorite technique of HDR photography: namely, motion both inside and outside the camera. Because it involves three exposures, no matter how rapidly they're taken it's extremely difficult to hand-hold well enough for anything to be sharp (note the blurring at the back of the car). A tripod would, it seems, be in order even for daylight shots. I now also see what people really meant by "ghosts". People can move a very long way in the time it takes 3 frames to be taken, and the resulting images are very strange indeed. If this were something I were getting paid for, I imagine it would be quite possible to use the three images to "solidify" moving objects. However, it would most likely take several hours to get right, and at this moment I simply don't know how to do that sort of advanced editing. Maybe once I purchase Lightroom and an associated book, I'll consider such "repairs."
Most of the time, the extreme colors drove the white balance in the camera crazy. This time, however, it got it just right. This very small chapel was simply filled with these vivid colors.
One of the things discussed frequently about HDR imaging is how difficult it is to create such pictures without "ghosts" of moving objects. Personally, I think such ghosts add a very interesting touch. To me, they provide a kind of "19th century " feel to the pictures.
Note that, even though the window looks tilted, the base of the columns prove the camera was level. I'm not sure if this "tilted" effect is purely an optical illusion, or an artifact of using a very wide angle lens.
It's a little on the large side.
How I spent my weekday off... taking bracketed triplet photos to experiment with HDRI imaging. The HDRI photo was generated by photomatix, I then twiddled with it in Adobe Lightroom. This is exactly the kind of picture I've always wanted to take, but (it turns out) conventional film didn't have the dynamic range to turn what I saw into a picture. Have technique, will travel.
This was the very first image I took when I arrived.
Yes, Mark, that is a quarter. For comparison see this time last year.
This is what happens at my house on New Years. Scary huh?
You can also make grown men wear Disney characters around their neck!
...He is changing nappies in the privies!
A random victom of Scott's guerilla photography.
One of my fellow troupe members.
This is what happens when Scott lets a certain little girl play with my camera.
I told you all I do not like dogs. I especially do not like cocker spaniels like the one sitting on my lap right now. Nope. I do not like dogs. Especially cockers. Even more so if they sit on my lap.
MANY thanks to Ron for blogsitting for us!
Ho-hum...I guess I should fling some poo.
Yes, it's a hotdog made of icecream. It even has the classic hotdog puckered ends. Tasty though.
This is what happens when you work with your new photo tools and your husband makes you post it...
NSFW-well, you probably would rather open this at home and not at work. Never know what kind of corporation you work for!
Apparently the Celtic liked to wear grass hair. I found it a bit hot and the green was just not my color.:)
Mark and Amber attempting to clog dance.
Lesson 2: read the manual for the f'ing camera. I've been trying to get a shot like this for 25 years, but since I didn't know how to turn burst mode on the D-70, I kept missing the #$@$# shot. Buddy Bluelens picked up the slack with his camera and got it.
So enjoy the way-cool pic I wish I'd nailed. That's really what it looks like.
Next year we need to figure out how to get sound. And maybe video. XL-1, anyone?
In spite of appearances, it did not in fact rain. But it sure did look like it would, several times.
Each year I learn a little more. This time: trust the auto-focus, no matter how annoying it may be. This was the clearest photo of the F-15E demo I got. The fact that it was booming around the sky and shaking everything is immaterial. Stupid eyes.
In case you haven't figured it out, Andrews AFB had its open house over the weekend. This was the first time I'd ever seen Canada's demonstration team. Go Canuks!
Scott took me and Olivia to the zoo on Monday to have a family day and celebrate Ted. This is one of the picture I captured.
Half the time, my camera could not compensate with the lightning.
A pix from yesterday's storm.
Ellen swears she didn't position me on purpose getting shot by the laser. Would you believe her?
Taken on the (mostly useless) Vegas monorail.
Ellen got the neat views on the way in. When I followed 8 hours later, there was nothing but black outside the window.
I always liked this version of Enterprise. By the time I got used to the TNG version, they blew it up!
Taken at the Star Trek Experience in LV. Model is about 12 feet long, but is a replica, not the actual effects model.
Inside the Ceasar Palace shops. Note the spiral escalator on the lower left.
From the Mandalay Bay aquarium in Las Vegas.
I had this picture taken at the Western Veterinary Conference in Vegas. Their special treat this year was to take a pix with a Lemur. It was quite cute too.
Yes, I had a few too many drinks, and fell asleep during a movie...again.
Yes, they walk around the casino and the Star Trek bar like this.
From Star Trek, The Experience in Vegas.
At just about every sushi resturant in Vegas there was always an aquarium showing off what you could taste on the menu. This little guy was NOT comming out of his cave!
From the aquarium at Mandalay Bay.
Apparently we missed out on the volcano that goes off with this fountain.
This was taken at a piano bar at Harrah's. It was really bad!
You have to stay out real late to get these Vegas treats. The city does not wake up till after dark. Scott and I are in lots of pain from sitting all day in conferences, then heading out to check the sites in the late afternoon.
Check out what Scott got to see while this was being drawn out!
Our hotel, we are in the Chrysler building.
Drink it ALL Scott!
Yes, I am that sick. Would you expect anything less?
A series of more of my macabre photos are going to be posted in the next few days. They will NOT be behind cuts.
GOD Mom!!! Close the door! Can't you see I need some privacy!
My Dad is a helicopter pilot and sent this pix to me of him flying the Orange County Choppers.
Slashdot linked up this review of a new camera from Sony. It tries to be a kind of hybrid -- as simple as a "point-and-shoot" while offering the quality of an SLR. Whether it succeeds at this or not is questionable (at least to the reviewer), and at $1,000 it would seem to be well out of the reach of casual P&S photographers.
Still, if it sells enough to pay down the R&D, I wouldn't be surprised to see cheaper versions in the future. If they can drag the price down into the premium P&S range (as I understand it, $300), they'll have a dragon slayer.
The newest addition to AMCGLTD! Our Leopard Spotted Tortoise, OM.
Digital photography nuts (you know who you are) may find this Ars Technica review of Apple's new photo editing suite of interest. Unlike nearly all the other products Apple has come out with lately, this one doesn't seem to be "all that and a set of earbuds."
Amber's dragon stopped by for a photo shoot this evening.
A cell phone pix of me and my sister from this weekend.
No Ron, I'm not posting the dragon poo pix!
Yes, we dress up every year.
It pooped in Amber's hand.
One of the features at the reptile show.
A few pictures of the fire poi people at Spiral 3 this weekend.
Probably the last set of vacation pictures you'll see. Well, at least this year.
Me: "I'm not sure there's a pot big enough to boil that one in."
Ellen: "Oh I'd find one, I sure would."
He moved away from that side of the tank shortly after, I think because he noticed Ellen casting about for a bib and a pair of hammers.
Crabcake is the resident jail-breaker. She is only 2 inches across, but drags around a mean dust bunny!
Note the short tail.
Notice how they are lined up brown-green-brown-green. OR you can say: lumpy-smooth-lumpy-smooth.
We also highly recommend the Aquarium here at VA Beach.
This zoo has 4 African Elephants.
This was the only thing that washed up on the beach this morning.
Note the "Legendary Hard Slick"on the board.
They are building a HUGE statue of Neptune down near the pier. It is well over 26 feet high, and (according to the tourist guide) is made up of 26 tons of bronze.
Yes, this hotel (Holiday Inn Sunspree) has an indoor power pool that floats you around a cave with waterfalls.
This parrot was being strolled on his walker this morning with his human companion.
From the National Zoo today.
I found this picture on a friend's LJ and thought it was too cute to not to share!
"Your job Hajji, should you choose to accept it, is to take your dinky lil' AK-47 and try to shoot down this mean mother f-er as it goes by. Keep in mind you only get one chance, because he'll see the flashes and make another pass, only this time he'll be shooting bullets the size of your thumb going mach 4. He doesn't miss.
It's only when you see one of these things swooping around that you realize how devastating close air support really is. And these things are the slow and quiet component.
Remember folks, firepower means never having to say you're sorry.
Me: "That's weird."
"There're are only five airplanes on the flight line. There should be six."
"Yeah. Four for the diamond, and two for the solos. They never lose someone because of a mechanical failure. They carry two D models [two seaters -ed] just for media hops, and those'll do fine. But there are only five."
"Huh. Well, gives me something to look forward to next year, no?"
We never did find out why only five took part in the airshow. This time, it was three for the "diamond" (as it were) and two solos. I can only speculate that one of the pilots (probably one of the solos, because that section of the show was kinda weak) already had the nasty flu-thing that I ended up with the next day. It was surprising how much I missed the extra man. But we still had fun.
It would've been nice, though, for them to tell us what the heck was going on.
If you count first flight dates, this represents sixty five years of Marine aviation. If you could figure out how to mount it, the F-18F would be able to carry the Corsair fully loaded and still stay below max gross.
One of the toughest things to convey in aerial photography is a sense of motion. Note the direction of the smoke trail versus that of the aircraft's nose. This thing was doing stunts airplanes shouldn't be allowed to do.
It was right about this time Joshua, who'd never been to one of these things before, said "Oh my God!"
Please keep your trays in the upright and locked position. Please keep hands and feet in ride at all times
Thank you! Thank you! Next children's show at 7!
Joshua to Scott at the air show: "Ya know, this will be a nice change from flowers, cats, fish and babies."
Ellen to Scott at home: *Raises eyebrow* "Do you want me to post these or not?"
Ellen: "What do you want to call this?"
Ellen: "No dumbass, something better. Jeeze, you can't even name your pictures right."
Did I mention I did not take these photos? I am merely a virtual darkroom tech!
See Jeff! Look what you missed!
See what happens when you lend your significant other your digital baby?? They take pixes of planes then come home for you to digitally edit!
I Post your pix you took:)
Kudos to Amber for coming up with the perfect idea for a bachelor party that did not actually involve boobies
It's a gun...
No! No! It's a...
Special thanks to Joshua at Bluelens for bringing his camera along, and for finding the best quote imaginable for these pictures (sadly, we cannot replicate the thick West-End accent this dialog was spoken in. You'll have to imagine them said as if Eliza Doolittle's three-times-great grandson never got out and instead went very, very bad):
Now, dicks have drive and clarity of vision, but they are not clever. They smell pussy and they want a piece of the action.
And you thought you smelled some good old pussy, and have brought your two small mincey faggot balls along for a good old time. But you've got your parties mangled up. There's no pussy here, just a dose that'll make you wish you were born a woman.
Like a prick, you are having second thoughts. You are shrinking, and your two little balls are shrinking with ya. The fact that you've got "Replica" written down the side of your gun. (withdraws his gun) And the fact that I've got "Desert Eagle point five O" written on the side of mine, should precipitate your balls into shrinking, along with your presence.
Now... Fuck off.
For those of you that can't take the real picture, we have done a reinactment for you with some of Olivia's toys.
The real picture taken today at the Nature Reserve.
Taken at the Nature Reserve in Alexandria, VA.
But then again, I guess someone's gonna think this is cute:
Kintana, a four-day-old aye-aye, is revealed by Bristol Zoo Gardens in the UK after becoming only the second to be born and reared in captivity. Aye-ayes, from Madagascar, are the world's largest nocturnal primates.
They're even weirder looking when they grow up.
No Prize to Rich who shares this recent pix from a trip to Florida!
"So Scott, if Ellen is so evil and cat obsesed and all, why do you put up with her anyway?"
Well, ya see, it's like this. The worst part is, she knows exactly how to use it.
Do you love [her, Scott?]
Aw, ma, I love [her] awful.
Oh, God, that's too bad.
Special thanks to Bluelens for doing it right. Oh, and Joshua, when Olivia turns 16? Fuggedaboudit. Between the two of them I'll have enough problems just avoiding cardiac arrest.
Thanks again to BlueLens!
Thanks again to BlueLens!
Old and busted: Dell Inspiron 3800 (circa 2000). *sniff* 6 keyboards, 2 built in mice, 2 power supplies and a wad of cat hair later, it was finally felled by a motherboard short. In other words, my computer did a "memory dump" and literally died of an aneurysm on the shitter. I couldn't even get it to stay on long enough for a picture of the final BLUE SCREEN OF DEATH!
New Hotness: HP Pavilion ZV5000 ("Haha Jeff! It's not an Intel!"-says Scott). 15 inch screen, NO built in mouse! (fookin pads!) Built in wireless, more USB ports than I know what to do with (Me: " I just want a computer for picture editing, email, and working on the website." Scott: "HEEE!!!! We get to go computer shopping!") I came around the corner with some software and Scott was already paying for the damned thing!
Sorry, don't get to wave my wang around that often. Though I'm sure *some* geek out there will try to prove his (computer) dick is bigger (try you may, fail you must).
I took this pix a long time ago with my old Nikon FE.
Behold, two generations of the feared, and fearless, pajamahadeen!!!
And before you ask, yes, I got permission from Ellen before posting this.
Yet another example of Unintended Consequences. I got these for Ellen as a joke, a kind of "ha-ha, now you can be just like Olivia!", never really expecting to see them again. Little did I know they'd become her primary sleepwear.
During the winter, my girl normally burrows under six pillows, sheet, quilt, and a comforter only a little thinner than battleship armor. We keep our house quite warm... I'm convinced this is a carry-over from her mom's house, where a thermostat setting over 63 has the Queen Mother panting and opening windows as soon as you turn your back on her.
At any rate, all of this has now been replaced by the apparently space-suit-like insulation capabilities of feetie pajamas. Now I have to remind her to get under the sheet, otherwise I'm wrestling with a blanket anchor all night long.
Oh shaddup you. If you'll note, it does have a zipper. Perv.
Come back summer!
I have pixes of a praying mantis somewhere in my house. It's probably on the mystery roll Olivia found this morning.
Enjoy the rest of the pictures. If anyone out there can tell me what was up with my catapillars (I got rid of them after the pix was taken) I'd appreiciate it. I was origionally told they were wasp eggs on them.
Some cool Aurora Borealis pixes.
Well, I don't know who exactly decided it, but this list of the "Best of 2004" photos are pretty darned good. Seen a few of them around, but others were new to me. Hopefully the shutterbugs out there will have some fun with them.
We here at AMCGLTD hate puppies. Can't stand them. So we bring you the same horrific puppies we had to be subjected to in Arkansas. They were so horrific that we were brainwashed into playing and cuddling with them and holding them while yelling at our husband to give us another puppy.... and I don't care if the little boy cries, I want his puppy too!
No I hate puppies dammit! Thats MY story and I'm sticking to it! :)
Who needs Cowboy fans?
Ron and Amber at the game...
He who has the largest smile wins. Two seconds later... "goddammit, stop grabbing my ass!" *smack*
Homoerotic? What's that mean? Ah geeze, someone wipe Amber's chin...
"Who is this man, and why did he put this hat on me?"
Thanks guys! Hope you had a good time!
Pictures of the train collision referenced below can be found here. Note: There must be nearly 100 pictures on the site, only 1/2 reference the wreck, they're thumbnailed, and everyone on FARK is trying to look at them. I thought they were worth it, but for the impatient, these "after the fact" pics should say it all:
Perfectly restored, perfectly cared for, and now perfectly wrecked. I'm not the world's biggest fan of Porsches, but even I cringe to see such rare and pretty machines bent beyond repair.
Tossing a 26 pound wet baby is good upper body exercise.
Olivia's first day at the pool. We have a chlorine mermaid on our hands!
NSFW due to prOn ads
No vampires, just the bird. *WINK*
What Ellen saw:
"What a great idea! Now I won't have to lug the stupid laundry detergent bottle over to the wash, or leave it sitting on the dryer. I can just fill the cup up and put it straight in the laundry. I don't even have to stand on my toes!"
What Scott saw:
This is how my step-dad catches deer. He lures them into the yard with cracked corn and sits on the back deck and waits...
Just kidding people!!! The deer are starving this year and they decided to feed them. My mom says they get between 20 and up in the yard during the feeding.
Olivia and Ajax.
Ajax thinks Olivia has the coolest toys! (the boxes!)
Take a peek of one of the Space Shuttles at the moment of a sonic boom.
One very cool person, and one of Olivia's gothic godparents(Kris) recently went for a photo shoot and came back with these.
Everyone prepare to OOOO and AHHHH!!!!
All we can say is VeRy vErY COOL!
We visited the new goth store in DC and got a picture guaranteed to please.... Joshua's favorite pic. The first time our kid wears shoes and we stick her in a coffin. This girl just doesn't have a chance. Ha!
Ok, here is one of the latest pictures of my Sweet Baboo Olivia.
Who doesn't like pictures!?
I found a link to that place via Looking Out. Origionally it was just a pix of a cat 3-some, but there were more funny photos to follow on the first link!
The latest photos of Olivia are up on BlueLens. Go check them out!
~Especially if you want to see baby in the bathtub photos!*
*Totally Safe For Work- no kiddie porn here you sick F*&K.
Olivia's birthday partner in crime, Alexis has new baby pictures up! Go check them out!
FYI- in case you already did not know, Alexis and Olivia were born on the same day.
Ok, after much ado, relatives, and a failed refrigerator, we finally have Olivia's pictures up and finished. It's not quite blogging from the delivery room, but it's pretty close.
When men WON'T mind it when chicks work on cars.
One of the advantages of having artist-type friends is they make all kinds of cool things for you. Case in point:
Of course, when those same friends are slightly twisted with an unhealthy obsession with cats, hondas, and what goes in litterboxes, well, you get the above.
Still, a fun time was had by all, and I got a torque wrench! Combined with the creeper my brother's bunch got me, I'm actually building a pretty decent home autoshop. WoOt!
People think catfish get big, but I bet most of you don't know just how big. Rumor has it that the catfish below the navigational dam near my old home town were so big maintenance divers were afraid to do their jobs. I personally saw a catfish pulled out of there so big it took four guys to carry it up the bank. Don't believe me? See these:
A fish-shaped no-prize to Pat for sending us these!
Update: Looks like these are all part of a practice called catfish "noodling", wherein one swims around in muddy water and threads a rope or something THROUGH the mouth & gills of the fish. Ok, that's #16 on the list of things NOT to do when camping.
Pat gets a GPS-guided no-prize for sending us these two pictures from an unkown location somewhere in the middle east:
Mostly it's a function of the boredom felt behind the lines, and the winding down of the conflict. When ops are running at a really high pace, everything I've read says the arming guys get too busy to do this sort of thing. I'm just wondering how long it'll take Michael Moore et. al. to start shrieking about how this just proves how bloodthirsty Americans are.
My brother loves meeting celebrity type people at the shows, just to say he was there and actually met them.
So this time around he met Carmen Electra at some Pussy Cat show. (he will have to explain it more)
How's this for a way cool shuttle picture?
Got a feeling this one might outrun my brother's Trans Am, yup! We actually knew the folks who owned a cousin to this car. It was under a cover when we visited their shop, we never knew!
Yeah yeah, I know, baby on the way, responsibility, what-are-you-thinking-young-man-time-to-get-serious.
But still, fun to dream!
I am going to catch hell for this...but ( I probably messed up the title too). If you all do not know who this is, this is my brother, Richie with my mom's cat Arbour(RB) who was an old clinic cat of mine that needed to retire to a good home. RB is NOT all there motor skill wise since he had a few strokes in the past. But, he LOVES to cuddle and find anyone to sleep with.
Thanks to Nina, my sister who took the pix.
Finally!!!! the pictures I have promised you! Kodak programming sucks ass!! It took Scott 3 days to compile something new for us to get pictures up. Thank the Gods for Microsoft (EEEKK!!! did I say that!?? Slap me!)Picture It.
Enjoy! and COMMENT!!!! BTW- your asses better be off the picket line now!
In case you are wondering "what the hell is on that car?", I'll tell you. For all of you that know me, I am a cat nut. Cats are a fetish of mine. Soo...you see, it's a skeletal cat, chasing a skeletal rat. Why skeletons? Why not? I mean, if you got teased all the time saying your car looked like a mini hearse wouldn't you do something as unique as this?
Like what you see? Interested in something like it but don't want to go gothic? Well you can do 2 things. Either get the people I did at Demon Wurkz or get someone else to do it. I suggest you contact the former. Don't worry, they won't sacrifice any sheep over your vehicle first to honor the car decal gods.
Thanks again to Kris and Damion at Demon Wurkz. They ROCK!
Ok, I'm feeling sappy for some reason. If you never read "kitten crazies", you've probably never seen this picture:
Sometimes you have to say goodbye, yes, but sometimes you get to say hello. Coconut was about 2 hours old in that picture. Mom wasn't able to nurse, so we became mommy. Note: whenever possible, let mommy be mommy. Kittens are nearly as much work as babies!
Mr. Ssssiiipppsss!!! *aka- Ted E. Bear* In case you are all wondering, Ted got his nickname by his favorite cat treat. Its called Cat Sips. Teddy has pentology of fallot, a rare heart defect/disease. He is currently 2.5 years old, who should of not made it past a year. He is my special little guy.
"What does it do!?? It sits up!"
It's sooo cute!!
Hopefully Ted will live quite a long time. Scott won't make anymore bets with me on this cat learning a new trick though. Last time we did something like that, I got a Nikon N65 out of it. *got Ted to sit up*
Ted can also jump through a hoop, roll over and show his *chocolate chips-spots* on his belly, and is always open to an invite to the bathroom when called. He is also a theif. He can open closet doors, then into the cat food bin and steal Friskies dental diet *dragon food*. You KNOW it's him because the food bin door goes *thumpa-thumpa* (since he only steals ONE piece at a time).
Ted is also our projectile vomit cat. He currently holds the record for being able to spew 14 inches across the floor in a single vomit. *this happens because his heart is so large it presses against his esophagus allowing pressure to build and then *SPEWWWW!!!*. He is very proud of this feature. (He does not have a defect, we call it a feature-builds character).
Yeah, I'm gonna catch hell for this one, but I just could not resist. Your webmaster's gonna take a bullet for the team!
Found this while cleaning out my e-mail, came from one of her uncles. Ellen's the one on the right (Nina can bust who the one on the left is if she feels like it):
There's one of me out there at about this age. I'm sure if Ellen can find it you'll see it real soon. :)
Quick! Everyone comment on how cute she is so she doesn't take it down!
Presenting! New! Improved! Pic-a-tures!
Must... Reach... Remote...
The "Anger" Part of "Cats, Science Fiction, and Anger" (a.k.a your webmistress)
Worship Me. You Know You Want To.
Why You Should Never Let Your Wife Take Correspondence Courses
Where's That Laser Pointer Woman?!?