Saturday, May 31, 2008

Day 152 - Shopping tower

As I left the barbershop today, this decorative tower caught my eye. It is part of the recently completed remodeling of the shopping center facade.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Day 151 - Early morning, long shadows

The southern view from my home office window at 7 EDT and below, the view from the other side of the house in the same general direction. I like the light and shadows both at this time and late afternoon.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Day 150 - A rose is a rose is a rose

I don't usually do much photo editting, sometimes just a little cropping. I took this photo of our bonica rose with my camera set to spot metering. While cropping the photo, I decided to play around with the brightness. Below is a copy with Photoshop brightness set to -50,

and here with a setting of -100.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Day 149 - Greens on blue

While working in the yard this afternoon, the color of the leaves against the blue sky caught my eye, and my trusty Nikon caught the image.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Day 148 - Photo memories of Mom and Dad

When Dad died four years ago, I inherited 7 moving boxes of slides, albums, framed pictures and negatives. Dad took most of the photos in the boxes, but there are also prints that we kids sent them over the years, and some slides that Dad purchased. Most of the photos are from the 60's to the 90's and are 35mm. Clockwise from the upper left are a photo of Mom and Dad from around the time they married; a box of slides of various events for the 80's to 90's; a few rolls of 35mm negatives; a box of slides of their trip to San Diego in 1970; and the album they made after their 50-th wedding anniversary. A lot of memories and I hope to get a small portion of them digitized to pass on to my kids and nieces and nephews.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Day 147 - Remembering our service men and women

Memorial Day has long been a day of remembrance for me. I remember little of our WW II years, but have been aware of the fighting and dying of the wars since then. Vietnam was the war of my generation and though I was never in the service, friends and relatives did serve in Vietnam. Today Marianne and I visited Memorial Park in Frederick. See Marianne's blog for more pictures. The Park honors all those from Frederick who have served in our armed services. While we were at the Vietnam Monument, a Vietnam veteran who was taking down the service flags, told us that the remains of James K Caniford, the only MIA listed on the monument had been identified.

He was a crewmember of a AC-130 gunship that was downed over Laos. The MIA teams had been to the sight several times and all other crewmembers had been previously recovered. Caniford's parents are still living and will able to attend his burial, with full military honors, at Arlington National Cemetery.

The war for our kids' generation is still going on. On Memorial Day 2004, my eldest daughter was serving in a war zone. She was a surgeon assigned to the 31st Combat Support Hospital in Baghdad, Iraq. She and her colleagues were busy providing care to severely wounded US and coalition service men and women, as well as POWs and Iraqi wounded. Today she is still caring for the wounded at the San Antonio Military Medical Center. On that Memorial day I visited the WW II Memorial and Arlington Cemetery and below is the letter that I then wrote to her.

Dear Ginny,

This Memorial Day has brought memories and awareness of the sacrifices that you and our service men and women have made over the years so that we can live in freedom. I want you to know that I am proud of you and truly grateful for the service you are giving to our country.

Yesterday, I went to the World War II Memorial and to Arlington National Cemetery. The memorial is at the end of the reflecting pool, between the Washington Monument and the Lincoln Memorial.
At the WW II Memorial, there were veterans of all ages - some WW II veterans walking straight and proud, moving along at a faster pace than I, and others moving slowly or in wheel chairs. There were people of all ages: Families, with three or more generations, groups of teenagers, elderly couples, many with hats or t-shirts indicating WW II or D-Day or Korea, or Vietnam.

All were courteous and respectful. People had left mementos of their loved ones.

As I was taking a picture, one man apologized for stepping in front of the camera. I told him this place is not about the view - it's about the people who are here to remember. He agreed and asked did I get a good shot of him. I said "yes" and he is in one of the pictures I am sending you on a CD.

I thought about George and Charles, my uncles who served in WW II. Both came home from the war, though George was a 30-year Navy Chief. I thought about those that I knew who did not come home from Vietnam and about my brother, Bill, another retired Navy Chief. I thought about Mike, a friend who came back with hepatitis and died a few years ago. I also thought about those Vietnam veterans that I now work with. I am thankful for what they have done and what they have taught me about life and about war.

There are quotes engraved in stone around the memorial. I am sending you a CD with more pictures from the memorial, but this quote seemed very appropriate.
Motorcycles were everywhere. On almost every corner, motorcycles were parked, awaiting the start of rolling thunder. Thousands were assembling at the Pentagon for the ride across the river to the Mall.
At Arlington, I spent a few minutes at the Tomb of the Unknowns, watching the changing of the guard. The crowd was silent and in the distance the sound of the rolling thunder beginning roll up the hill

Arlington is a most inspiring place. To know that so many have served and sacrificed for us brings tears to my eyes. On those quiet hills so near our capitol, and yet so peaceful lie the heroes of the united States.

Marianne and I watched the concert from the US Capitol last night. Emceed by Ossie Davis and Tom Hanks, with entertainment and recognition of all of our armed forces - it was very moving. Special recognition was given to the wounded men and women, who return to fight their way back to a life with disabilities. Among those recognized were some patients from Ward 57 and the milkshake guy.

Take care,
Love, Dad
May 31, 2004

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Day 146 - Not spraying today

Back on May 7, the fields behind our house were sprayed with a newer machine than this one. On a drive out the other side of Frederick to buy some flowers at one of our favorite nurseries, I spotted this old implement beside the road. It looks like its spraying days are done, but with farm machinery, who knows, a little rust doesn't usually stop work.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Day 145 - Carroll Creek reflections

On a bright, calm day Carroll Creek in Frederick provides some nice reflective vistas. I have posted other photos of htis area (and probably will do more later). See Day 20, Bridges Between and Day 46. Above is the reflected view of the pedestrian suspension bridge and lights along the creek. Below is a reflection of of a small part of the Carroll Creek bridge mural.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Day 144 - From yard waste to good mulch

Frederick county is big on recycling. In 2006, the county banned yard waste from the landfill and established two recycling locations for us to dump our leaves, brush, grass, etc. Today I added some grass and a couple of dead limbs to the pile. The big machine below is a monster size mulcher that takes the stuff pictured above ...

... and produces a big pile of free mulch. The only issue is that we must haul it ourselves (both ways!)

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Day 143 - Legal reflection?

Our year-old HDTV recently developed a black line down the right side of the screen. I checked the warranty and lo and behold, Costco adds 2 years to the manufacturers warranty. So I called them last week and they referred me to their nearest service rep in Leesburg, VA a mere 25 miles away. A few more phone calls and I had an appointment to meet with said rep this morning. I was told that their place was on the lower level of the "Barrister Building". Sounds like a strange place for a TV repair place (unless they need a lot of legal help). When I got there and didn't find their name on the list of tenants, I started asking questions. Several people never heard of them, but in one office, I was told "Oh yea, we handle drop-offs for them. Have a seat." Turns out, the TV repair place was 2 buildings down the street, but the landlord raised the rent too much and they work out of a garage somewhere else. They do house calls, as most of their work is for very large screen TVs. Per Costco, ours is not "that large". In any case, the sun was shining, so I took a photo of the building reflected in my car window. We should hear the fate of our TV tomorrow.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Day 142 - Reflections of home

In our foyer we have a mirror that is made of 9 narrow pieces of glass. Standing near the top of the stairs, I get the reflection of living room and dining room, with secondary reflections from a picture and the glass front of the china cabinet. For some outside photos, see my other blog.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Day 141 - Rainy day reflections

The view from our porch this afternoon.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Day 140 - Purple and white

Marianne always says that my time management needs work, however, the master scheduler of flowers doesn't work for me, so I'm late on switching to this week's theme. All last week (theme: purple) I checked daily for this iris to bloom. This morning it started to open and this afternoon I got the next two shots. This is my favorite of the iris that Mom gave us.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Day 139 - Sunset over Catoctin Mountain

I went out after dinner to see what the sky was doing as the clouds were leaving our little corner of the world. I took these shots as the sun was setting over Catoctin Mountain.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Day 138 - Not a flower, but a food

Here's a close-up of that green field seen from our back yard. The grain has formed on the tall green stalks and this field will probably be harvested soon as fodder for livestock. A fact that surprised me: wheat is the second most grown grain, after maize. Rice is in third place.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Day 137 - Purple rain (also peach)

I seem to be in a water and flowers frame of mind this week. Maybe tomorrow, I will get out and find a totally diffferent topic. For today though, I couldn't resist another visit to the iris. The purple ones are starting to show their colors. And the rain drops on the peach bloom make for a nice effect on a cloudy afternoon. For those who can't wait, I have posted a couple of photos from last May on my other blog.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Day 136 - Another small flower

We planted some of these years ago and later changed the bed to bushes, lilies and snow on the mountain. A few of these garlic relatives still pop up every year. Not much foliage, just one long stem with these very small flowers.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Day 135 - Yellow iris

This iris bloomed today. I have been trying to take a picture of it as a bud, but did not succeed, primarily because it has been windy.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Day 134 - Steaming fence and purple nectar

A bright sun greeted us this morning and I took my camera as I went out to get the paper. The flooding creek was back to normal, however, I observed this unusual sight. The water-logged fence was giving off a vapor, looking like it was smoldering. The neighbor's taller, solid fence was also showing even more vapor. This afternoon, I went to check the iris for more blooms (only one blue on has opened) and spotted a bumblebee gathering nectar from the purple salvia.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Day 133 - Rain and more rain

It rained steadily yesterday afternoon and last night and when I checked our gauge this morning, this is what I found:
and this is what I saw across the fields behind our house. Compare this view to my post of April 21.

This afternoon I went out for a look-see at the flooding. Here is the view looking back toward our house from the other side of the fields. Notice the geese in the lower left enjoying a swim.

And another photo looking to the right of the above. Notice the fence post in the water. I also posted more photos on my other blog.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Day 132 - Living memories of Mom

Mom loved flowers. I remember tulips from when I was about 3. At the home Mom and Dad lived out the last 30-some years of their lives there, they had room for lots of flowers: azaleas, pansies, roses, iris and many others. Mom gave Marianne and I iris and monkey grass some years ago. The monkey grass borders the flowerbed around our mail box and the iris mark the line between front and back yards. There is a mixture of colors in the bed, but only the peach has bloomed. Yellow, blue and purple will open soon. Thanks Mom, for the living memories of you.

The Christmas before she died, we gave Mom flowers for Christmas. Alzheimer's had taken its toll on her cognitive memory, but when Dad pointed them out to her, she stopped to smell the roses. This was the last photo I took of Mom. She got steadily weaker after that Christmas and died in April.

Thanks Marianne, for editing and enhancing the picture of Mom.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Day 131 - Remembering Mom

A lot of us did puzzles with our Mom's when we were kids, but how many have Moms that are the subject of a puzzle? This happened to Mom when she was about 70. The ladies at the church were planning a Christmas program and wanted someone to play the part of a Christmas tree to go along with the song "O Christmas Tree". The ladies asked Mom and persuaded her to do the part. The idea was for her to wear a green, full-body leotard. She would be decorated with garland and battery powered, twinkling lights. As Mom told the story, she had never in her life worn a leotard, not even as a little girl (they were not so popular back in the twenties). So, she went shopping - no green leotards to be had in the whole town. So she ended up buying red. The night of the program, the lights were turned off; the choir began singing; and Mom, in her bright red leotard and twinkling lights, pirouetted across the stage. Dad, naturally, took a picture of Mom in costume when they were back home. He had prints made and sent them as Christmas cards to family and friends.

So, you ask - what about the puzzle?

Mom's older brother was somewhat of a prankster. He sent his card off to a company that made personalized puzzles and sent the puzzle to Mom as a present the following Christmas. Here's the finished puzzle, reassembled today.

And here is the Christmas card from that year (photo c1986 by Dad).

Thanks Mom, for all the memories.