Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween

Here's the costumes around the house this year.

On Friday night we carved our pumpkins and went downtown for some trick or treating.  We came home with TONS of candy and it wasn't even Halloween yet!  I think actual trick or treating might be a bit shortened this year.  We simply don't need this much candy.

I'll try and get some shots of our pumpkins lit up later tonight.

Thursday, October 29, 2009


I just got done working nine straight days.  If I wasn't so tired and worn out I would draw you a graph of my productivity over that time frame.

Good thing I don't go back for a week!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Pumpkin Patch!

It's time to get our pumpkins and start carving!  We tend to wait until closer to Halloween before carving so that they will still look pretty good that evening.

This year we heard about a church that has filled their yard with pumpkins and is putting the money they make toward missions, so we headed over there to support their cause.  As we got out of the car, Cari said she just wanted to pick up two pumpkins at the church and we would get a few more over at Walmart for cheap.

I followed my kids around with the camera as they tried to pick the perfect pumpkins.
I had some other great shots of the baby, but decided to post this one because it shows that she NEVER stops moving.

After a while, I looked up from my camera and saw Cari paying at the counter.  She had SIX pumpkins.  That's just a few more than the two she claimed to limit herself to.  At least the money goes to a good cause.

Before we left, we walked the kids over to the display they had setup for taking photos.  We sat the kids down and took the standard photo of our kids:

Carving photos should be posted by Halloween!

Sunday, October 25, 2009


Baby in the bath photos are always fun.  But now the baby seems to be more aware of the camera.   Well, I know she is more aware of the camera.  After taking a shot of her, I can't get a second one because she comes running up to me.  She wants to see the shot in the LCD every time.  Maybe she is making sure I got her good side.

In the bath, I won't allow her to jump up and get to me, but she was still curious, pointing at the camera after a few shots.  Maybe she was saying, "STOP!  I'M NAKED!"

Friday, October 23, 2009


Apparently I am rude.  That is the impression someone tried to give me Thursday at work.

I am a busy person at work.  Ya know, it's not that I'm unfriendly, it is just that I am WORKING.  Most of the time, as I make my way from one end of the building to the other, I get stopped countless times.  Sometimes the person stopping my journey actually needed my help.  Other times they just needed someone to give them attention.

So on Thursday I was stopped with one of those people that just wanted someone to talk to.  I was being friendly and stopped for a minute to chat.  He asked me, "How are you doing?"   I told him that I was doing pretty good and then I said something about work.  He looked at me obviously waiting for something.  When I didn't say anything else, he said, "Yeah, I'm doing fine."   OH! He was waiting for me to ask how he was doing.   So, I laughed a bit and asked how he was doing.  That's when he started in to a whole story about what happened last night.  

That's exactly why I didn't ask him how he was doing!  He was either going to lie and say he was fine or he was going to go into this long story that I didn't have time to listen to at the moment.  I didn't want to hear either, so I didn't ask.

My question is why do people that want to talk about themselves ask how I am doing?  They want to appear that the are interested in me, but really they are only waiting for my automatic response of, "I'm good.  How are you?"

For the rest of the afternoon, I paid attention to the conversations I was having and how many people used that as an introduction to themselves.  One other person tried to bait me into a story about themselves by asking about me and one person was obviously dying to tell a story but didn't tell it when I didn't ask it.   A few people didn't bother asking about me or waiting for me to ask about them.  They just went straight into their story.

I think I would prefer my coworkers just to ask me, "Do you have a few minutes?  I'd like to tell you about what I had for dinner last night."  That at least gives me a fair shot at letting them know I do or don't have time at the moment.

I'm really not trying to be rude to my coworkers when I don't ask how they are doing.  It's not always the case that I just don't care.  It's just that I am busy.  And now I'm irritated.  Stop assuming that I am going to invite your story into my day just because you asked how I am doing.  Chances are I won't ask you, no mater how long you stare at me with that look that says, "You are RUDE."

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


Jimmie Johnson won last weeks race at Lowe's Motor Speedway and has taken a decent size lead over second place.

With only five races to go, it is looking more and more like Team Lowe's Racing can win the championship.

If he does it, this will make the FOURTH championship in a row for this team!  In all the history of Nascar, NO driver has ever won four championships back to back to back to back.

Team owner,  Rick Hendrick can't go wrong this year as he owns the top three cars at the moment.  As each race is completed, Jimmie Johnson, Mark Martin, and Jeff Gordon remind the other drivers who the team to beat is.

Some fans of Nascar may be tired of watching Jimmie win, but as a fan of Team 48, I'd like to see him win this championship.  Sometimes it is fun to pull for the underdog, but this year I'm pulling for the guy that is making Nascar history.  Forever after, all champions will be compared to the four year run that Jimmie Johnson has had.

If he pulls this off this year, the question to ask may be, "Will this ever end?"

Monday, October 19, 2009

Stop Drop and Roll

Ricky Bobby!  You are NOT on fire!

I'm not sure what she doing.  If she was trying to start a new cheer, none of her friends joined her.

Saturday, October 17, 2009


One of the football players' dad came from the top section of the bleachers.  He saw a friend of his on his way to the fence line and acknowledged him without stopping.  "I'm fixin' to get redneck", the man on a mission said.

He looked like a nice guy.  Seemed pretty civil as he walked past, but with a comment like that, I was watching him.

Sure enough, he leaned on the fence and got the coaches attention.  He made a fuss that the coaches "superstar" son has been in every offensive play while several boys had not played at all in the first three quarters.

The Redneck's son seemed to be a defensive player, so the complaint was not a selfish one.

After a few shouts back and forth from coach to Redneck, the man walked back over to his friend and changed his tone back to a friendly one instantly.  

Not really the "fixin' to get redneck" type of show I was expecting.  But it left me with a great phrase to use through the coming week.

When I head into work this week you can be sure I'll be fixin' to get redneck on someone!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

New Words

Randy, Amanda, and I were driving home from the Atlanta airport last weekend and we passed the exit for Townville, SC.

Amanda thought that it was kind of a funny name for a town.  Is it a town or is it a village?  We thought maybe they couldn't decide what it was and combined the words.   As we were laughing about it, Randy spoke up from the back seat.  What if they couldn't decide if it was a town or a city, then I guess it would be a Tittie.

Amanda and I just looked at eachother.  Did Randy realize what he said?  Then the three of us started laughing and I am certain the ten year old knew exactly what he had said.

Fast forward a few days later to the rec center football game for ten and under.  At the end of the game, Cari was telling the cheerleaders where the next game is going to be.  She told one of the girls to meet in Walhalla and the girl asked, "What is Walhalla?"

"It's a city", Cari replied.  Then she realized that this small community is hardly a "city" and she corrected herself, "It's a town".

Instantly, Amanda and I looked at each other and said, "It's a Tittie!"

Tuesday, October 13, 2009



I just scanned through a few hundred photos of the past two years and I couldn't decide which ones to share with you today.  If you've been reading this blog over the past two years, you have already seen some of my favorites.  The above shots are from the past few days.

Sunday, October 11, 2009


We had an awesome looking sunset last night and we were fortunate enough to be outside during a light show that went from red to yellow to purple.

Friday, October 09, 2009

Yellow Branch Falls

We finally made our hike with the baby this week and she did great!  She didn't scream or kick me in the back the whole way in.  On the way out, she slept.   It was also great that I made the trip with her on my back and had no issues carrying the baby.  This gives us hope that we can make more hikes this fall.

It had been a long time since Cari and I first visited Yellow Branch and we were glad to return.  The hike is only about a mile and a half each way, not too strenuous, and has some great views as you move through the forest.  We are already planning a return trip this winter when Amanda comes to stay with us.

As I said, Brenna did great on the way in.  At one point, she was practicing all her animal sounds and she got stuck on saying, "meow".  Cari and I weren't sure why she kept saying it, so we stopped to see if there was a fox or something nearby.  We were convinced she saw something, so you can imagine the alarm we felt twenty minutes later when she started growling and pointing into the woods.

The falls had a good amount of water and looked great.  Unfortunately, I forgot my tripod and was limited in the kind of shots I was able to get.

In this shot, you can get a better idea of how big the falls are as you see Cari making her way over the rocks.

We saw a bit of color change in the leaves and should have LOTS of color by the end of the month!  I'm hoping on the next trip out, Brenna carries my tripod!

Wednesday, October 07, 2009


You can learn to do ANYTHING by using YouTube.  Certainly, I am not the first to recognize the power of YouTube, Wikipedia, etc..., but I just got around to writing about it.

When I went backpacking for the first time last month, I loaded up YouTube and watched a few videos about how to pack my bag and what to take.

The first time I ate a Pomegranate I went to YouTube to learn how to open and then eat the new fruit.

In both of those cases the videos gave great information and I found them very helpful.  A man I work with learned to play basic guitar by watching YouTube.  Honestly, I haven't heard him play, but he claims to be learning songs and becoming somewhat proficient.

When I wanted to learn to juggle, I found books about juggling kinda boring.  After visiting YouTube for a while,  and lots of practice, I can now juggle those boring old books!

The thing about YouTube that I can't stand is browsing through videos.  People are annoying.  If I'm not searching something specific, I'd rather not waste my time there.  There is simply too much to browse through.

There are even videos on YouTube that teach you how to browse the videos on the site.  It's true!  You can learn to do ANYTHING on YouTube.

Monday, October 05, 2009

Hiking: FAIL

After my backpacking trip along the Chattooga, Cari realized that carrying Brenna should be no problem for me.  We loaded up the car on a weekday morning and headed out to the trail.

With Brenna settled into the carrier on my back, we started into the woods - and Brenna started screaming . . . in my ear.

She desperately reached for Cari and kept screaming.  We tried to ignore her in hopes that she would give up as we slowly headed down the trail.  About ten minutes along the route, I stopped.  There is no way we, or at least I, could continue.  Cari offered to carry Brenna, but I refused.  It would make no sense for her to carry the baby in her arms the whole way.

We turned back and got back in the car.  A disappointment for sure.
Did I mention that I had forgotten to bring the map and my GPS?  Yeah, I did.  On these poorly marked trails, we would have ended up out there for MUCH longer than expected.

It's a good thing the baby screamed I suppose.

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Fifty Cent

I was surprised to find two fifty cent pieces in the money room at work this week.  Not only is it uncommon for people to spend them, but these two particular coins are both from the 1940's.  I immediately exchanged the coins for four quarters.  I don't plan on spending this dollar, so perhaps you may think this is a waste of money, but this is kinda a rare find.
Anyway, I did some photography with them the other night and here is what I ended up with:

Here was my setup.

A black framing mat, a blue wall, and a white sheet of paper.  In most of the shots, I used a short stack of pennies to raise the coin off the mat or tilt them.  I processed the photos in Lightroom 2.  Mostly I just cropped them and took some of the blue out from the light reflecting off of the wall.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Normal People

My ten year old has a very strong sense of what "normal people" do.  When we make him hike and go on our adventure trips, sometimes he would rather stay home like "normal people".  He can't believe I force him to hike and try to enjoy nature. 

Last night Cari sent him to his room to read for thirty minutes.  It is a daily requirement of ours, that he reads for thirty minutes a day at home.  After years of this rule, he still has times when he wants to fight it.  Last night he tried another argument.  "Nobody else has to read every day, why can't we let him be normal?".  After a few exchanges with his mom, he tried to have the last word as he headed upstairs, "Don't you know I just want to be average!"