Sunday, February 26, 2012

Somebody is always watching

Saturday was busy with expectation.  Kipp Jr had music class.  I had promised to trim the monkey grass.  Wonder Woman had ordered some new furniture to be delivered between 11:30 and 1:30.  Squirt was let to do what kids do on Saturday - play and use their imagination to the best of their ability.  Remember those days?

After music class, after the furniture had been delivered, and after Squirt had herded up all her imaginary dogs, we were all pretty much free and looking for something to do.  (The battery on my new camera had been charged the night before so I had somewhat anticipated my next move)  I asked Wonder Woman where the closest place I could go to grab some pictures of some boats.  She reminded me there are several marina's around here.  Her favorite was across the bay.  Mine too, but I was thinking somewhere much closer.  

A few more areas were mentioned with less than positive motivation or excitement.  How about the state park on the causeway?  The girls overheard this option and screamed out they were ready to go.  They can sneak up on a cat.  OK that is not too far, plus we can double back through downtown for some architectural shots.  Within a few minutes we were all walking out the door.  By the looks of it anyone who saw us leaving the house would have thought we were leaving town for a few days.  We had backpacks full of extra clothes, Wal-Mart bags full of snacks, hats, jackets, camera cases, it was ridiculous. :)

I noticed Kipp Jr with her mother's point and shoot camera.  What are you doing with that, I asked her.  Thought I might grab a few pictures, was her coy reply.  

We drove the 15 minutes or so the park and bailed out of the van.  The girls wanted to see the live animals at the park first.  We headed straight for the first of three buildings on the property.  Before we opened the door you could hear the noise from inside.  There must have been a party going on or one of the live skunks must have been loose.  The girls poked their heads in the door and quickly exited.  Let's come back when its not so crowded.  

We ventured just behind the buildings to the pier that overlooks the river delta.  What is it about water and a pier that draws people?  The girls ran as quickly as they could toward the water with Wonder Woman screaming at them to slow down and be careful not to fall into the river.  

We all made it to the pier without falling in.  As I stood on the edge of the pier looking around for a good picture, Wonder Woman nudges me and points to the girls.  They had found a good spot to sit, directly at the end of the pier, dangling their feet over the edge.  The setting was perfect.  After a few pictures of the kids, I managed to snap some unimportant pictures of the city line and a pelican.

On the way back up the pier, Wonder Woman pointed out a good idea for another city line picture.  I walked back down the pier a bit to get in just the right position.  The city line was the most distant with the delta, the river and then the pier coming into focus toward me; it framed up pretty cool.  We work well together as a team.  She tells me what to do - I listen to her.  :)

The park has some nature trails on the other side of the parking lot.  With girls that have energy to rival the pink battery bunny; we took off to the trails.  There was not a whole lot to photograph on the "woods" trail except a few trees and an old fence.  I snapped a few shots and we moved on.  Luckily the trail looped back to the parking lot.  We made a pit stop back at the main building and tried one more trail.  This "river" trail turned out to produce some great back drops for taking more pictures of the girls.   They enjoyed throwing rocks into the river.  OK maybe not the river, maybe more like the river bank.  They throw like girls.  :)   

Soon the girls were ready to go to find the next adventure for the day.  We had told them about another city park where they could see alligators.  On the short cut back to the van we found a very interesting oak tree with limbs that nearly touched the ground.  We took several more shots of the girls climbing around in the tree.  They loved climbing trees.  Made me remember how much I used to love it.  

The gator adventure turned out to be a bust.  I guess it is still too cold for those monsters to come out of their holes.  We made a quick pass back through down town as planned, and snapped a few pictures along the way to the eat some dinner.  

We arrived home and plugged in the SD card to see how the pictures turned out.  Some were good.  A few were really good.  One or two were fabulous.  The latter were of the girls so I am extremely biased.  After ooo-ing and ahhh-ing over some the pictures; Kipp Jr says, can we look at the pictures I took.  Of course.  I forgot all about she had taken her mother's camera.  Yes let's see yours.

We plugged in her SD card.  The pictures seemed so familiar.  Hey that looks like the ones I was taking.  There is the pier, there is the city line, there is that old fence.  Kipp Jr just smiled.  Girl those are good.  You have an eye for taking pictures.  She smiled again.  We had not gotten thru all her pictures before she ran off to play the Wii.  

I looked at Wonder Woman and said, I did not realize she was taking these pictures.  Wonder Woman told me Kipp Jr would wait to see where I went and when I got ready to take my picture she would hold her camera up and take a picture.  She was watching you and taking the same pictures you took.  The only time she wasn't taking the same shot, was when you were taking pictures of her and Squirt. 

Not trying to give a lesson to anybody reading this...but...I got to tell you...I learned one, again. (Click here for another rockbottom life lesson post)  No matter who you are or what you are doing, somebody is always watching you.  And sometimes they do what you do, so be careful what you do.   If you do the wrong thing, you could end up in some deep do do. :)  Thank goodness this one turned out to the positive. 

Updated after original post with picture comparison.

These are the ones Kipp Jr took while I was not paying attention:


While I was taking these:

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Rain rain go away

It has been raining around here for a while...
here are some pics from the dreary days:

Anybody want to take a guess at what this is?

This little guy is ready for some sunlight.

The big fellow that took the pictures is ready for 
some sunlight hisownself (as my Uncle Bob would say).
Golf is calling.

Friday, February 17, 2012


Vicksburg, MS

One of our national treasures.  
A military battlefield and cemetery of when our 
own citizens were at war with each other.

The Shirley house (it has been remodeled) 
was the only structure that survived the battle.  
Everything else around was destroyed.
It served as the headquarters for the Union Army.

Can you imagine being so close to your enemy 
you can see them loading the canons they are about to fire at you? 
(The Illinois Memorial in the background)

This little guy was proud to represent his colors.

Being this close.
It was almost like I heard the call to FIRE!

 With the weather, 
the scenery...

...the quietness. 

My mind was drifting 
to times I have only read about. 

I got lost in thought and wonder 
during this moment with General Grant.

Then I felt I might have known 
exactly what he was thinking.

In one respect,
the weather may not have been the best for taking pictures.  
But in another profound way, 
it provided the reverence...

Thursday, February 9, 2012

new camera II

OK two weeks after delivering my new camera sans a few items, from the camera company that shall not be named because they deserve no publicity whatsoever, they finally delivered my ZOOM lens.  I finally have everything I PAID for from them.  There is something very disheartening when you have paid for something and do not receive all of what you paid for.  The waiting, the unknown, the waiting, when will it be here...

The things I can compare it too:  
buying a sofa with no cushions
buying a piano with no keys
buying a new car with no wheels
buying a TV but having no power
buying an iphone but having no service
buying a violin but not having a bow
buying an XBOX 360 with no controllers wait...Kinect
buying a king size bed but only having a queen size mattress
buying a set of golf clubs with no grips
buying a Ferrari but living on Catalina Island

I did not like it.  Still do not like it. 

I love the camera.  The pictures it is producing are so much fun.  But I had seen a hundred things I wanted to take a close up picture of that are gone forever.  

When the ZOOM lens arrived - it was dark outside.  No chance to take any action photos of the girls running around chasing the neighbors dog.  No option to take a picture of a pelican - thats right a pelican - that had some how lost it's way and ended up in our neighborhood a few days ago.  Nope can't prove it - because I had no ZOOM lens.  No option for trying to take a picture of the amazing sunset sky after work today.  Not a happy camper.

But I have it now.  

I tested it outside in the dark.  Nothing to brag about because it was cloudy.  Cloudy means no chance at the full moon picture tonight to see what the man on the moon is doing or if the cow made it over.   

I brought it back in the house.  The pictures of the girls are fabulous.  There are some really cool features where the camera can be set to only capture certain colors.  Everything around Kipp Jr. is black and white except the orange color on her tie-died T-shirt...OK that is cool.  There is another setting for contrast and monochrome.  Squirt was singing on her mini karaoke microphone...she looks like a soon to be American Idol.  Who knew black and white pictures could be so brilliant...sweet.

I am better now that have all the items I ordered.  

The camera company, that shall not be named because they deserve no publicity whatsoever, has now been forgiven for their delay.  They lied to me...twice.  I will not order from them again, but they have been forgiven.

My plan now is to periodically share some photos with you, the rockbottom dwellers, when I think I have captured something worth sharing.  Your feedback will be appreciated as always. 

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Kipp's moon

I stepped out of the house to take out the trash and saw a great full moon.  Hope the title was not misleading. ;)  I thought, Hey my new camera is charged.  I have been practicing with some settings.  Let's see if the practice has paid off.

The first picture is what it looked like outside before I started changing the settings on my camera.  I was absolutely amazed when I pulled these pictures up onto my monitor (well not the first picture).

This first picture is of the full moon in the auto mode.  
That dot you see is  the moon:

The second picture shows you more of why I wanted to take a picture. 

click to enlarge picture

This one makes me think she (the moon) is letting her hair down.

 click to enlarge picture

And then just for kicks, I decided to add the whole tree.  
Well what I got was: oh just a silhouette of an old tree, framed by a brilliant bright white porch light and a kitchen sink-bulb, sandwiched with a orange street light under a star speckled silky midnight blue sky and a full moon...but my words do it no justice.

click to enlarge picture

Y'all - when I learn how to focus properly; I might get hooked on this picture thing.  Seriously.

Monday, February 6, 2012

this song is a good fit for this blog

I have heard this song on the radio many times.  One day one of the lyrics caught my attention.  The next time I heard the song start to play on the radio I paid closer attention to all of the lyrics.  If you listen you too will hear Matthew West sing "rockbottom".   But unlike me - please listen to all of the lyrics the first time.  Well I guess you can click replay all you want - hello Kipp it's 2012.

This video is on You Tube under Matthew West Strong Enough.