Monday, December 18, 2006

Happy Holidays

This will probably be my last post of 2006, so I'll send my best wishes to all of my readers (yes, all three of you (sorry to steal your joke, Doug, but it's really true in my case (and also sorry for all of the parentheses))) for a Happy Festivus. Let the Airing of Grievances begin!

Camera: Nikon D70s
Location: Disney World, FL

Monday, November 20, 2006

Do Jedi Go Trick or Treating?

In the last of our Halloween series, we again see young Darth Vader. The paparazzi caught up with the pint-sized Dark Lord while he was vacationing on the forest moon of Endor with his childhood sweetheart and his good friends, the Ewoks. Historians think that this was a turning point in Vader's life. They knew that he was upset at being disturbed during his vacation, but they didn't link him to the photographer with the crushed trachea until much later.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Halloween's Not Over Yet

Contrary to popular belief, Darth Vader wasn't always the towering figure that he is usually believed to have been. The deep voice and the ability to choke people with the Force made him appear quite formidable, but back in his younger days, he was actually a bit below average. Here we see the young Dark Lord at recess with Leia Organa. They were good friends until that ugly incident involving a peanut butter sandwich and a trash compactor.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Ooh, Scary

Some people decorate their houses for Halloween. Some people even go a bit overboard in that endeavor. (You know who you are.) I prefer a little more subtlety. I'm happy if I get one good jack-o-lantern out of the deal. Aaargh.

Pumpkin design by Jackie. Copyright 2006. All rights reserved. No part of this pumpkin may be reproduced or transmitted without the express written consent of iPont Shuffle Enterprises.

Camera: Nikon D70s

Monday, October 30, 2006

There's Always One Kid Who Can't Wait

You try to take a nice picture of the kiddies and somebody can't put his apple down for two seconds. Sheesh.

This is last year's picture. We apparently missed this year's apple-picking season. Since apple-picking season is always followed closely by apple-pie-baking season, this is a problem. We'll have to find out when buy-some-apples-at-the-supermarket season begins.

Camera: Nikon D70
Location: Fort Salonga, New York (duh!)

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Fountains of Paradise

A nice title for a picture. It's also the title of a good book by Arthur C. Clarke.

Camera: Nikon D70s
Location: Heckscher Park, New York

Monday, October 16, 2006

Ride 'em Cowboy

I have never really understood the attraction of the hobby horse. It's a horse head on a stick. It sounds more like something you might use as a punishment rather than a toy. "Eat those vegetables or you'll be playing with nothing but the hobby horse tomorrow!"

Monday, October 09, 2006

A Rose by Any Other Name

...would probably be called a marigold.

Camera: Nikon D2X
Location: Long Island, NY

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Boxed Merchandise

These are not in the sizes or colors that I ordered. How to I go about returning them?

Monday, September 25, 2006

It Ain't New York

Any time I'm in another city, I invariably see a skyline and compare it to the New York City skyline. The New York City version is always much more impressive to me, but maybe that's because I grew up with it. I've noticed the same thing with food. If you ask a New Yorker where the best pizza or Chinese food is, it is usually right near where they grew up.

Camera: Nikon D70
Location: Los Angeles, CA

Monday, September 18, 2006

Rock'em Sock'em

I remember being in the same position about 35 years earlier. Sheesh. How's that for putting things in perspective?

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Gilligan's Island

This shot reminds me of Gilligan's Island. Just pretend that those little hut things are made of coconut leaves. Oh look, there's Mary Ann carrying a bucket of water. Mmmmm. Mary Ann.

Camera: Nikon D70
Location: Port St. Lucie, FL

Friday, August 04, 2006


This is about the limit of my creativity when it comes to still-life photography. The peppers were grown, arranged, and photographed by me. I'm more comfortable when I can just come in and take a picture of something that somebody else already set up.

Camera: Nikon D70
Location: My Backyard

Monday, July 24, 2006


(or should that be "sprinklered"?)

We already saw one boy getting drenched with the hose. Here's the other one.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Don't Ask Me

I don't know what this thing is. All I know is that it is some kind of plant and it caught my attention. Shiny things and red things seem to have that affect on me. Now show me something that is shiny and red and I start talking like Goofy -- "Gawsh, that shore is purty. I should take some pictures of it with this camera-thingy."

Camera: Nikon D70
Location: San Diego, CA

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

It's Not Easy Bein' Green

I suppose this text should accompany a picture of a frog, but I don't have any pictures of those (yet).

Camera: Nikon D1H
Location: Palm Beach Zoo in West Palm Beach, Florida

Monday, June 26, 2006

Splish Splash

I remember playing with the hose in the backyard being one of my favorite summer past times when I was just a lad. I loved to make shapes with the water, make rivers, dig holes in the dirt, spray for distance. I'm happy to see that the genes have been passed on.

Camera: Nikon D70

Monday, June 19, 2006

Meet the Mets

I've always been a NY Mets fan. I grew up in Queens, just a bus ride away from Shea Stadium and spent plenty of summer afternoons there. It's just as much fun (if not more expensive) to watch the team now. And with the way they have been playing lately, you don't automatically get ridiculed just by wearing a Mets shirt or cap in public. Yes, Mets fans can hold their heads high again. As my son says, very matter-of-factly, "Yankees... boo.". I concur.

Camera: Nikon D2X
Location: Flushing, NY

Monday, June 12, 2006

Not at Home

There are some kinds of flowers that I never see in New York. Maybe I'm not looking closely enough. Maybe I'm not looking in the right places. Maybe it's that whole period that we have between November and March, when most of the plants say, "Hey, what's with the cold weather? I'm outta here. Let me know when the sun comes back.". I can't say I blame them.

Here's another one.

Camera: Nikon D70
Location: San Diego, CA

Tuesday, May 30, 2006


I remember very clearly how much I hated preparing and planting the vegetable garden that my father planned every year. So it is with an appropriate amount of irony that I, too, will force my children to help me plant mine. So far, they don't mind much, and to be honest, they don't really help all that much either. The biggest problem now is not preventing one of the kids from killing a plant before it gets into the ground, but rather preventing one of them from smacking the other in the head with a shovel (accidentally of course).

Monday, May 22, 2006

Vanishing Point

Sometimes hotels are just too darn big.

Camera: Nikon D70

Monday, May 15, 2006

Once in a Blue Moon

This is a series of pictures I took during the Great Lunar Eclipse of '04. The moon gets more orange than blue during totality, so I suppose I should have used a different title for this post. Anyway, the pictures that make up this composition were taken over a span of about two hours and then stitched together. Fortunately for me, I didn't have to spend that whole time outside manning the camera. I would run outside, take a picture, then run back inside and have a snack. Run outside, take another picture, then run back inside and have a drink. Run outside, take another picture, then run back inside a watch some TV. Lather, rinse, repeat.

(This is a wide picture, so you may have to scroll to the right to see the whole thing.)

Camera: Nikon D70

Monday, May 01, 2006

Wabbit Season, Duck Season, Baseball Season

Today, my boy is a man. He has played his first baseball game. Good ol' number 10.

Okay, so he's only 6 years old and it's only T-ball, but it's a start. For those unfamiliar with T-ball, let me give you the executive summary. Instead of hitting a ball from a pitcher, you hit a stationary ball off a tee. Instead of being called out when the ball beats you to first base, you always get there safely. Instead of changing sides when there are three outs, the whole team gets to bat in each inning. (I guess that is a corollary to the "everybody gets to first safely" rule.) Instead of the game ending after a certain number of innings, it ends when it is too dark and/or cold to play, or when the parents start to complain too vociferously*.

Most parents on Long Island want their children to grow up to be doctuhs and loiyuhs. I know it's a long shot, but it would be kind of cool if my son became a baseball player. He says "astronaut" now, but I have some time to work on him.

*Jackie's favorite word

Camera: Nikon D70s

Monday, April 17, 2006

Arbor Day Revisited

Some people have inquired why I did not have a picture of a tree accompanying my Arbor Day entry. That was intentional. Maybe some people don't "get" my subtle humor. Maybe some people don't think my subtle humor is funny. Maybe some people think that I am funny looking and a bad poker player. My response to any of the above is "tough toenails".

To quell the uproar (yes, based on my average traffic, I consider one reply to be an uproar), here's your damn tree picture -- or at least the shadow of one.

Camera: Nikon D70
Location: San Diego, CA

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Arbor Day

No, don't check your calendars. You haven't missed Arbor Day and you still have time to go shopping for the big Arbor Day party. It's still a few weeks away -- Arbor Day is April 28th this year. You all know what Arbor Day is, don't you? Of course -- that's when all the ships come sailing into the arbor!* Thank you, thank you. I'll be here all week. Try the veal.

* I stole this from "It's Arbor Day, Charlie Brown", so blame Charles Schultz if you didn't like the joke.

Camera: Nikon D70
Location: Deerfield Beach, FL

Monday, April 03, 2006

Baking is Fun

... or very messy, depending on your point of view. From the parent's perspective, it is definitely the latter, although I am torn between wanting to let my kids enjoy themselves in the kitchen and have fun while creating good things to eat, and not wanting my kitchen to look like a disaster area. When it's time to clean up, the children, for some reason, are nowhere to be found (which is probably a good thing, since things often look worse after the children clean them).

The above was the aftermath of a brownie-baking session. The kids aren't getting any neater, but they are starting to learn what they can and cannot put in their mouths. Sugar - good. Salt - good. Flour - not so good. Cocoa powder - blech.

Monday, March 27, 2006


This is a departure from the normal theme of this blog. All posts to-date have been based on pictures where I am proud of the photo itself, the subject matter, or both. Today, I just wanted share this little nugget of irony. This is one of my son's first-grade spelling tests. There is one word on this test that is spelled incorrectly. But fortunately (or unfortunately?), that word was not written by my son. What's next -- a history test that asks what color George Washington's white horse was and the answer is brown?

Monday, March 20, 2006

How Do I Hate Thee?

What? A picture of Mickey Mouse and the word "hate" in same entry? Well, it's not me. I personally have no strong feelings for or against The Mouse, but I stumbled across this blog written by a group of Disney Imagineers. For the uninitiated, the Imagineers are the people who create all of the cool stuff in the Disney theme parks -- everything from the designs of the parks themselves to the dirty details of the individual attractions. The blog is kind of an ongoing rant about how the parks have gone to pot in recent years. They write about the grand vision of Walt Disney (the man, not the empire) and the original Imagineers and how the parks originally served to transport visitors to different places and times. But now, all development in the parks is driven by marketing concerns and judged by how it affects the "bottom line".

I can definitely identify with many of their sentiments and I understand their positions. This is a group of people who are so passionate about their work that they would rather fight to make things better than just quit and find another job where they might feel more appreciated.

The description of the blog:
A forum for Pixar and Disney professionals passionate about the Disney Theme Parks to catalog past Imagineering missteps and offer tenable practical solutions in hopes that a new wave of creative management at Imagineering can restore some of the wonder and magic that's been missing from the parks for decades.

Camera: Nikon D70
Location: MGM Studios, Orlando, FL

Monday, March 13, 2006

For the Birds

When I eventually get a pet, it will be a dog. I don't think any other animal is suitable. Turtles are boring. Fish are slimy. Lizards are icky. Guinea pigs are too prolific. And cats are just frakkin' annoying.

Unfortunately, birds aren't much better.

Camera: Nikon D1H
Location: Palm Beach, FL

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Show Me the Money

I had to knuckle under and actually buy a camera! Can you believe it? After working for Nikon for 10 years and having instant (not to mention free) access to all kinds of cameras and cool related doodads, those bastards are actually making me buy a camera. I'm not in a particularly vindictive mood today, so I won't lament the stupidity, stinginess, or short-sightedness of not providing camera equipment to people who write software for those cameras.

They gave me a taste of the equipment that can produce pictures like these, and then they snatched it away and made me fork over the cash. They're like photographic heroin dealers. At least the shakes have gone away.

Camera: Nikon D2H
Location: Port St. Lucie, FL

Monday, February 27, 2006

They'll Come Back to Haunt You

Contrary to the old cliche, I don't think that there are any pictures of me naked on a bearskin rug. (Well, not any as a baby anyway.) Nevertheless, there are plenty of pictures capable of causing some embarrassment. These are precisely the pictures that my mother would pull out whenever I brought a new girlfriend home.

Well I'm the parent now and it is my parental responsibility to prepare and maintain a cache of
embarrassing photos. When my boys start dating (or possibly when either of them runs for public office), I want to have a nice arsenal at the ready. When I am old and feeble (that is, older and feebler than I am today), I am going to need a lot of material to make sure the boys do right by me and the Mrs.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006


I know there are some people who don't agree that the theory of evolution goes a long way toward explaining how humans arrived in the year 2006. I don't want to be rude about it, well, actually, it's my blog so I can be as rude as I want. You're all a bunch of friggin' idiots. There. I feel better now.

(For the sake of completeness, the above referenced situation in Pennsylvania has since been resolved and the idiots have been deposed. Personally, I'm going to be a Pastafarian.)

I sometimes wonder how evolution can explain certain things -- like this flower for example. What kinds of evolutionary forces would cause a plant to produce a flower that looks like a bird? Most plants need to be pollinated by insects, and if I am not mistaken, most insects crawl/run/fly in the opposite direction when they see a bird. On the surface, that would seem to be bad for "perpetuating the species". Maybe somebody can enlighten me.

Camera: Nikon D70
Location: Port St. Lucie, FL

Monday, February 13, 2006

Old Meets New

No, this is not one of those digitally-created masterpieces. This picture is "as-shot" with no Photoshopping. Well, maybe a little Photoshopping for esthetics, but nothing important, I promise. I just liked the ridiculous juxtaposition of the old and new. The new is a big ugly jet. The old is the top third of The California Building (also called the California Tower?) in San Diego.

Camera: Nikon D70
Location: San Diego, CA

Monday, February 06, 2006

Popeye the Sailor Man, Sitting in a Tree...

There are three phases in the life of a human male. First, there is the "girls are okay" phase, followed by the "girls are icky" phase, followed by a second (and more emphatic) "girls are okay" phase. There are very fine lines that separate each of these phases, and it's pretty hard to pin down exactly when the transition from one to the next takes place.

If I show this picture to my son now, he is likely to say something like, "That's nice," or more likely, "That's nice, can I play my Star Wars game now?" If I show this picture to my son in a few years, I imagine that I would get something more along the lines of, "Daaaaad, put that picture away!". A few years after that, firmly entrenched in phase III, I would expect something like, "Hey, check me out. I was quite the player when I was 5, wasn't I?"

Monday, January 30, 2006

The World is a Steak

I think one of the reasons I like sunrises so much is that I see them so seldom. With all of the cloudy days in New York and the fact that I sleep through most of them, catching a great sunrise becomes a special experience. It's the same reason I like a good steak. Um, except for the fact that I eat steak all of the time and you can't put Peter Luger Steak Sauce on a sunrise. Other than that, it's exactly the same.

Camera: Nikon D70
Location: San Diego, CA

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

A Little Critter in a Big World

Sometimes I feel like this little guy. I start wondering what kind of lasting impression I could possibly make in "The Grand Scheme of Things". Then the feeling passes and I go eat a steak. That's something a 4-inch lizard can't do.

Last week, I was complaining about the use of scientific names that non-scientific people can't really relate to. Apparently, there have been some efforts to make scientific names a little more friendly to the masses. This Popular Science article from their October, 2005 issue mentioned that some scientists were incorporating the names of public figures into the names of newly-discovered species. My favorite was the Beetle which is named "A. vaderi" (after Darth Vader). We're not there yet, but it's a start.

Camera: Nikon D70
Location: Port St. Lucie, FL

Monday, January 16, 2006

Yawnius Maximus

I don't know why those "science types" insist on giving things scientific names that are incomprehensible (not to mention unpronounceable) to the general public. The Latin name of the beast that they boys are studying here is "Mammuthus primigenius", or some such nonsense. If you want kids to be interested in science throughout their lives, try making science at least a little interesting and fun. Compare the number of "Mammuthus primigenius" action figures an average first-grader owns to the number of T-Rexes he has. T-Rex has a much cooler name, a better reputation, and much more public exposure. In short, T-Rex had a much better PR company.

Unless you are giving the technical names for Wile E. Coyote and The Roadrunner (which are Apetitius Giganticus and Tastyus Supersonicus, respectively), leave the Latin for the people going for their Ph.D in Ancient Roman History.

Camera: Nikon D70
Location: Museum of Natural History, New York City

Monday, January 09, 2006

Pining for Summertime

I hate the Winter. I hate everything about it. I hate having to wear a sweatshirt everywhere I go because I am always cold. I hate shoveling snow. I hate playing in the snow with my kids. (The playing part is okay, but it's the fingers-turning-blue part that is hard to take.) I hate having a bowl of soup, a cup of tea, and a cup of hot chocolate and still not being able to warm up. I hate that it gets dark at 5PM. I hate trying to scrape ice off my windshield before I go to work in the morning, but not being able to really get it all off and not having the time to let my car's defroster warm up for ten minutes before I leave. I hate not getting up ten minutes earlier to let my car warm up. (Okay, that one is not really Winter's fault, it's mine, but I'm on a roll.) I hate the strange looks people give me when they see me with my hands in my sleeves, in my shirt, or down my pants. I'm just trying to warm them up. Really.

Maybe I'm just getting old and cranky, but I don't have any complaints about the Summer. Well, that's not exactly true. Each summer, I hate how my house always winds up with a bee or hornet nest in or on it. Other than that, Summer is okay by me.

This is a picture of the shadow of a Summer tree cast by a hot Summer sun. You can even see the warm Summer breeze blowing by if you look closely. My hands are getting warmer already...

Camera: Nikon D2H
Location: Port St. Lucie, FL

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Am I the father of Linus Van Pelt?

Okay -- go ahead and tell me that Luke does not look like Linus from Peanuts in this picture. Go ahead. I dare you. Well, I don't really care what you say because it's my blog. I don't have to listen to any dissenting opinions. Imagine me sticking my virtual fingers in my virtual ears and saying, "La la la, I can't hear you."

(Luke doesn't suck his thumb like Linus does, but he does have a blue blanket that he drags around the house.)