Saturday, February 27, 2010

Shadow Shot Sunday - Out to Pasture Steed

My old steed, a 1998 Ford E-150 van, is ending its career with me shortly. Massively styled, really, really big at 5200 lbs (2360 kg), and reliable, I will miss the useful beast as I replace it with a newer 2008 Dodge wheelchair minivan in about a week or so.

For Brisbane resident Tracy's wonderful Shadow Shot Sunday, the immense vehicle allows for equally immense shadows. On a sunny day last September, when parked in front of the Legislative Office Building in Hartford, these captures were taken. A hulking beast of burden sits nicely here on a glorious day, warm and sunny.

The shadow here is not so much the Ford but the reflected grounds and building behind. It was a fine day for taking photos.

As my method of ambulation is a rigid-frame power wheelchair, there are few vehicles that can accommodate me. I won't miss the size. I advertised it for sale on craigslist so hopefully someone else in a 'chair can remain a bit more independent...

If i could walk, I'd happily drive a fun small car with a hatch, 4-cylinders and manual transmission (I miss a clutch pedal still!), say a Nissan Versa. But given the 'chair that requires lots of space, any means of independence, no matter how big, is nice to have!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Looking at the Sky - A very Good Year

The heavens beckon at times. Sometimes a lighter than air device, like any flying device, catches my eye. Yet there is the sky this vehicle is passing through, and that demands attention, too.

So for Tisha's wonderful meme, Looking at the Sky, I offer a capture of both. This is a scanned print originally from 1984, and the helium filled Good Year blimp is above. This was hovering over a venue at the Los Angeles Olympic games. The atmosphere is nice today, a bright sunset to occur in a non-smoggy sky. The blimp reflects the sunset, a blue-gray nice evening surrounds, and that is what we see here.

Given that my moniker is Airhead, I just had to look...

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Sepia Scenes - Baby Michele

Mary's Sepia Scenes and Jersey shore memories work hand-in-hand.

Today, I highlight big sister Michele, whose birthday is this week. She was the first of seven siblings, born 14 months before me. I was the baby in this era.

But as first born, Michele had a reddish blonde hair with the cute curls. At a year and some months, much has been learned yet far more to be discovered. She sits by our father with something (wondering what it can be) on her radar screen...
I remember the top view, the table top could be put up over the kitchen storage cabinet. And we can see the radio, a Motorola naturally, on the bottom shelf. And Dad looking so relaxed and vacation-y in the shirt.

Michele in her sun hat is ready for a photo shoot on the beach. She seems intrigued by somebody, probably the photographer (aka: Grandpa)A Happy Birthday is always in store for big sister Michele!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Ruby Tuesday - Vin Rouge

It is hard to let a ruby go to waste, whether the lighting is right, wrong or you are still learning the possibilities and limitations of the newish family camera.

So, for Mary's fun Ruby Tuesday I am showcasing a glass of wine sitting in front of a two-wick jar candle, also in red.

Obviously, the auto-flash on the Canon and proper shutter settings need to be studied a little bit more. There is a grainy look to the glass and the Macintosh candle while normally red, is a washed out pink. The red placemat is pink, too. The only item here that is not altered is the baked potato.

Grainy photo or not, it was a fine meal of wine, food and conversation - the camera still a work in progress...

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Shadow Shot Sunday - Garden Growth

Shadows replicate their subjects and surroundings. Perhaps the original in shape, or the external mood surrounding the subject.

From warm Brisbane, Tracy, aka: Hey Harriet, allows us to try both. The garden growth here includes Sweet 100 tomatoes. The home garden gives us a wonderful bounty of tasty fruit. Picture a summer salad in August (in the USA) of these, fresh garden grown basil and mozzarella. I can, and often do...

Patti (pics. 1 and 2) and I love to first chronicle the harvest in photos. And then enjoy for dinner :>)

Hot peppers of many hues sit in a colorful bowl in August. The peppers seem to glow of the sun while the shadows beneath the bowl do not intrude on the harvest.

You will do well to wear food prep gloves, take out the seeds and whatever you do, do not bite into one of these. Take my word for it, they were really hot...

Naturally, the plants have to start somewhere. That would be in early May, in 5 gallon (18 L) pots along the sunny summer side of the garage. We use the large contractor and cat litter pails. Not planted in stylish clay pots, but the plants don't notice that.

With their short roots, tomatoes, peppers and herbs grow nicely. One might never think the small and delicate seedlings could yield such delicious fruit, in taste and even in shadows...

However, we know better!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Looking at the Sky - Winterscape

The expanse of the winter sky is always beautiful to contemplate. Yes, we in a four-season climate may whine sometimes about the seasonal weather issues. But we never fail to admire the sky.

For Tisha's always fun Looking at the Sky, the winter looks better and better on a nice day. We went shopping, and took the more country drive back home. We brought the camera, naturally :>)

This farm in Orange is very close to the Boston Post Road (US-1) strip of big box retailers, yet we feel we are far in the 'country'. Shamrock Farms grows flowers and fall mums. Since I was driving, I commissioned the always lovely Patti to capture these scenes. The sky has clouds that look as if the artist painted these on the sky. The entire scene is neat, the old stone border looking as if we are back in Colonial times. The snow and sky seem paired perfectly together...

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Sepia Scenes - Sepia Scrounging

Sepia Scenes works well with the snowy submissions I have I have made recently. So, today I return to the warmer breezes from Long Island Sound, with nary a flake of snow, and a Springtime sepia tone.

These gulls seem content on the dock, resting comfortably on the piers and planks. The one with is wings extended and his webbed feet landing gear are down as he begins his final approach, wants to join in the 'fun' as well..

These sepia avians seem to be in their usual pose, waiting for the inevitable hand out. And any will do, especially from the fisherman’s bait chum bucket - a treat to these stylish and obnoxious gulls...

The shot was seen before, but a warming antique sepia has been added for seasonal warmth. See Mary’s fun monochrome meme for more of the lovely sepia!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Ruby Tuesday - Birthday One

The past is present (for me :>) it seems with the always fun Ruby Tuesday.

Weekly viewers may think that we only had one child, especially given last week's Allegra retrospective. Regular readers know otherwise - the now very large kid, who himself was once a cherubic babe once, that we all know as Cameron.

At Age one, he appears a bit pensive, wondering what was happening with a gaggle of adults and bigger kids cheering after on off-key rendition of Happy Birthday.

He possesses ruby lips and cheeks. His bib also offers the requisite hue. Apparently his concern turned to joy as he consumed his cake.

I think he uses the proper utensils these days...

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Shadow Shot Sunday - Snowy Shadows

The weather people predicted much more snow for Ansonia than we actually received. As someone that uses a power wheelchair that balks in anything more than 1/2 inch (1.3 cm) of snow, I was satisfied that the professionals were wrong this time.

The brilliant sun and bright snow the day after was stunning. So for Tracy's most excellent Shadow Shot Sunday, the lemons of less snow are made up for lovely shadowy lemonade. Also. we had not secured a plow for this storm, so it was easier for the always lovely Patti to clear the snow. I owe her for this :>)

Above, I decided that I would make myself the subject of the sun, as I had before. I was not looking to highlight my presence per se, but seeing this as I left the house to go to work, I decided being only a little late was in order. The shadows demanded my attention.

It was above freezing, so the snow was melting on the walk. The artist (of sorts) is seen at work. The following pic shows the lamppost and pivoting hedge is shadowy beauty. The lamp itself is of the lowest quality in build, bit it allows for a fine shadow.

Spring cannot arrive soon enough for us. However, the shadows of Winter are nice subjects for capture. See the lovely world of shadows at Hey Harriet's site!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Looking at the Sky - Cloudy Cape

Vacations are fun, shining sun - or none. This scan is from years ago, the sky a blue-gray hue. Not a storm, just an oceanic fog settling on the nearly empty beach we see now at Tisha's Looking at the Sky. It was a fine day, the gray not allowing the finer treats of the beach to get lost in that fog; the briny sea air, the humid breezes, the foamy surf and the coarse New England beach sand - all here to admire. The climate near the sea is apt to change without warning, from bright to drab in an instant. But beauty in the sky, from sun to a rugged gray is always to savor.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Sepia Scenes - Snowy Steed

Today, Ansonia (CT)  gets the blowing and drifting snow up to 20 inches (50cm) of depth. Unlike last weekend where we avoided the travails of Washington, Baltimore, Philadelphia and NJ, it is snowing outside, so it will be a long day inside. 

Happily our wireless in the house is working wonderfully, so I can work with my work laptop - and blog on occasion, with Mary's fun Sepia Scenes! We don't have a contractor to plow, only our small electric Toro snow thrower. We will have to figure out the snow removal after he snow ends...

This picture was taken in December when the kiddos were home, and the snow was removed from the driveway. Sepia works with the snow well, warming up the frame. If not the atmosphere...

Monday, February 8, 2010

Ruby Tuesday - Playpen Plus

The past is alive. As Allegra is to graduate college in May, and is legal at age 21, she has grown up.

However, Mary's Ruby Tuesday gives us an opportunity to remember Allegra as being quite little. So our oldest is being showcased at nine months.

She can stand while hanging on the padded ruby railing of the playpen. That red strip of hair down the middle should qualify. If not constrained by a playpen, the walker with its read vinyl seat (easy to clean!). If I remember back to 1989, she got stuck in that corner as she hadn't learned how to put it in reverse. She may be big now, but she was little, once. Her parents have proof!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Shadow Shot Sunday - Concrete Removal

The views past offers an interesting take on the shadowy world, at least in my memories. The scanner has been a fine tool, allowing me to digitize the past.

For Tracy's Shadow Shot Sunday, I present the ongoing home modifications to accommodate the then new wheelchair. The date here is 31 October 1996, and the sidewalk in front of the house is being removed in order to dig and pour a concrete ramp for wheelchair egress.

It was a crisp and wonderful Autumn day, a fine day to chronicle the contractor at work.

The eaves and overhangs provide the shadows on top. In the middle, the backhoe shadow is more visible, its arm and bucket leaving a shadow.

The more interesting thing is how the power equipment just pulled up the old walkway in one piece. The shadow of the underside of this piece including the soil attached leaves lumps of clay that have the appearance of a mountain range.

With the concrete pulled up and flipped over, the workmen can now have fun breaking the massive piece into smaller pieces of rubble, easier to load into the waiting dump truck.

The gentleman at work leaves a shadow in motion. And like other contractors, the baseball cap is prominent in the subject and shadow alike. I think the excavating work is fun for those that like to flip levers and operate heavy equipment like this John Deere. The ramp concrete was poured two days later...See the photo artists and their shadowy subjects at Hey Harriet!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Looking at the Sky - Soundview

Looking at the Sky is so much fun. The beauty upstairs seems to have an effect on the surfaces below. The sun enlivens the dormant beach grasses, giving them a brightness of golden straw. The blue above adds a brilliant azure hue, the salt water of Long Island Sound changing from the normal on the surface to this brilliance. Patti and myself went went to Bradley Point in West Haven on a cold sunny day to chronicle the surf and sky. And savor the beauty outside for a mere 10-15 minutes, as the brilliance was beautiful but the cold air not so much. Follow the followers of the sky at Tisha's fun meme!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Sepia Scenes - Swingin' 60s

Sepia Scenes allows us the enhancing monochrome that brings alive the past. Old B&W seems a bit warmer in this tone.

So the scans today come from the past. I am guessing 1969 in East Hartford. Why would I pick that year as an educated guess? Those who admit of being of a certain age range would say it is the hair. These styles on the girls (L-R Michele, Vicki and Sue) anyhow seem to show that decade at its finest. Not for me or brother CP, our hair was merely unkempt and Dad - he was out of style in that decade and the 1970's - but back in by the 90's.

If not the hair then, how about the furniture? This lounge chair with its curvaceous profile meant 'modern' in those days. The kids liked it anyway, although any adult with an aching back hight might prefer to stand than have to climb up from the too close to the floor furniture. Not that I would even attempt this these days...

See more of the soothing sepia tone at Mary's fun meme!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Ruby Tuesday - Furling Flags

Ruby Tuesday is a fun meme where we search for ruby red. One recent Saturday, Patti and I went to the beach in West Haven, lulled by a sense of beauty in the sunny and blue sky. It looked way warmer than it really was. We aimed for the sky and Long Island Sound in the picture quest, but a ruby appeared. This is part of the Walk of Veterans on the beach walk. I think that these monuments are for awards for bravery, but I endeavor to find out. However, the red-white-blue flags are furling furiously in the cold sea breeze. See rubies of all descriptions at Mary's site!