Thursday, July 31, 2008

What I almost missed

(click on image for larger view)

What I almost missed
Free Versing by TomC

I stare and I stare, into the morning fog wondering what I miss.
A peaceful farm in a green pastured valley perhaps.

An old farm tractor puttering along,
as it moves toward the pasture gate.
Cow's in the field grazing about.

A fresh gleaming river turning and bending, rushing to sea,
as it traverses over large rocks peeking through the surface.
I'll bet it's teaming with trout jumping about.
And in their waders, the fishermen, working their lines,
like strings on a fine musical instrument in concert they fly.

On the hill sides, I'll bet there are homes tucked neatly
into forested plots, with smoke coming out of their chimney tops.

Curse the morning fog. Look what I missed.

Bless the morning fog, there's what I missed,
God's Magnificent Glory covering it all.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Jazz it Up



Sorry for the short post today, the weekend is here and I've much to do. The photo above is dedicated to the Nygar family. The fellow in the center is David Nygar's brother, I can't remember his first name. The Nygar family has had a positive impacted Hampton Roads for many years. Thank you guys for all you have done.

The City of Norfolk is holding it's annual Jazz Festival this weekend. Jazz and the Hampton Roads Area (local cities of Hampton, Newport News, Norfolk, Virginia Beach, and Portsmouth) have a long standing history with deep roots back to the beginnings of Jazz.

Jazz has, from its early 20th century inception, spawned a variety of subgenres, from New Orleans Dixieland dating from the early 1910s, big band-style swing from the 1930s and 1940s, bebop from the mid-1940s, a variety of Latin-jazz fusions such as Afro-Cuban and Brazilian jazz from the 1950s and 1960s, jazz-rock fusion from the 1970s and later developments such as acid jazz.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Floating on Air

Wanted
People Floating On Air

I am working on a new project for an online gallery showing, People Floating on Air. I need some folks willing to work with me on this fun project. Either as assitants or floaters.

Requirements:

  • No age limit
  • Available for 1/2 a day
  • Willing to sign a release
  • Located in the South Eastern Portion of Virgina.
Details:
You need not wory that your not athletic, agile, or going to get hurt. This is fairly easy for you to do and harder for me to photograph correctly. I will pick various locations for the shoot and am willing to pick you up for the shoot. This is a collaborative effort between you and I which makes it a lot of fun and unique to you.

Your reward:
My thanks and a memorable print suitable for framing, of you floating on air.

The following photos are quick and fairly easy shots I have taken and are intended to give you some idea of what I'm looking to do. The actual shots I want to do will be more creative and will take longer than the few minutes it took to create these.







Thursday, July 24, 2008

Quit Forking Around




As I get older, I found I have become more offended and sensitive to the amount of unfortunate use of foul language by others.

I find it everywhere, even when driving in the sanctuary of my car. Inevitable at some point, I stop at a light, a car pulls up and I hear it blaring out from a song that the driver thinks everyone in a 1 mile radius should hear. Oh Yeah......your kewl "You Stupid Basket".

How about when your in the mall with your children or grandchildren? You walk past a group of young folks and what do you hear? Cheese and Cracker you Stupid Forks, can't you see there are young children with me and your only teaching them how to use it when they grow up and your walking through the mall with your young ones.

I understand there are pressures in today's society to appear kewl, emphasize you anger in a shocking way, or to fit in, but come on, wouldn't a good curse phrased turned just a little bit, do more to highlight and emphasis your position, not to mention make you stand out among your peers and gain you a different kind respect. Think about it.

And finally, if you feel it's your right to offend, at least do it when there are not young ones around, "You Scrub Bag".

One day you will die and get to the heavenly gates, you don't want to have to wait at the front door for an eternity just because God is to busy having his attention draw to people who really aren't talking to him. OMG (oh my gosh) wouldn't that be just desert.

Here's how to fix the problem, If we could all learn to turn a phrase in a new light, we would stop perpetuating the use of foul language as it will become a dying and eventually lost language, as it should.

Some more suggestions:
  • Shazbot
  • Freck
  • Son of a Biscuit
  • Cheese and Rice
  • What the Fish
  • Son of Batches
How about you? Have a good alternative word or phrase? Leave a comment with your word or phrase and help change the world. Be sure to check subscribe to comments when posting yours to receive an email with the suggestions made by others.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Shoe A Kid



Buy One Get One, ARE YOU KIDDING ME!!!!!!! What kind of idiot do you take me for. Your sale only ticks me off. If you can afford to give one away at 1/2 price or free, then are you telling me that you have been over charging me for one all along. In the one case, charging half as much again and, in the second, twice as much. However, I'll give you that this may not be the case. In fact, it may just be that you are passing along a promotional savings from your distributor or manufacturer, (and yea right, don't tell me you didn't put an additional markup on that puppy) in which case we are both being screwed the rest of the year.

Now, when it comes to shoes, please make sure you state Buy One Pair Get One Pair (BOPGOP) Free or half price. You confuse my brain when I have to figure out just what you mean. Even with my poor math skills, I can figure out that one shoe at regular price and one free is no sale at all, and that you mean to imply pair. I can better use this time to deal with the frustrating process of deciding on a pair of shoes that are stylish, comfortable, have a good arch, not to mention the fact they must have a leather upper, which has a different meaning for me than you. (Don't ask, I'll keep that one to my own sick mind). Then I have to do it again for the second pair.....Oy Vay!!!

Now, try to understand I'm just a guy. All I need is a pair of shoes for play and a pair for work. Some how those two combinations never seem to qualify for the sale. I have tried moving the red, yellow, or green dots you put on sales items as qualifiers and a vicious head game, on to the ones I want, but never seem to get the magic combination right as it always gets rejected at the register. My grandmother has a better chance of writing a database program for me than figuring out your sales qualifiers. The other problem is that my shoes, like my underwear, don't get replaced until there is only a small remnant left. At the point which I most need replacements, there is not a sale to be seen. How did you know????

I'd rather buy a car from a shifty salesman than go to another Blue Light Red Dot Going Out of Business with Prices Never Before Seen or to ever come again except at next Tuesday's Senior Sale for those with AARP cards starting with the first three digits of the Julian Calendar date for that Tuesday.

At last, a great solution is now at hand.

Screw the sales. I'd rather put my money on a down payment for a ticket to heaven. And now I can. Next time I buy shoes.



For all you folks looking for a way to earn brownie points in the hereafter, or just because you're a nice person who goes around doing good deeds (Miss Noone I Know), instead of wearing yourself out in dizzying sales games, buy a pair of shoes from TOMS Shoes and do something good for the disadvantaged children of the world at the same time.

TOMS Shoes, a revolutionary idea inspired by an Argentine shoe with a hundred year history and the continent's poverty and health issues, TOMS was created with a singular mission: To make life more comfortable. TOMS accomplishes this through its ultra lightweight design and the company's commitment to match every pair purchased with a donated pair to a child in need...there are no complicated formulas, it's simple, you buy a pair of TOMS and the company gives a pair to a child on your behalf. The vibrant colors and patterns in the debut collection depict Blake Mycoskie's life changing experiences in his travels to South America where he embraced the lifestyle wholeheartedly and therefore gave back by creating TOMS - shoes for Tomorrow.

You can visit The TOMS Shoes web site here ->TOM'S SHOES (and you thought I was kidding).

P.S. If you have any money left, buy one of my Photos at TomC Online If you don't see one of my pieces that you have seen before and would like to have, just let me know. No BOGO hocus pocus here.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The humming bird is to blame for all the tobacco


The Ruby-throated Hummingbird (Archilochus colubris) is one of 338 types of hummingbirds. These tiny creatures measure three inches from tip of beak to tip of tail, can fly up to 40 mph during a courtship dive, can live up to nine years, and travel across the Gulf of Mexico in 20 hours.


Humming Bird Taunts a Cat




Here is an old indian lore of how the humming bird brought Tobacco to the Cherokee.

In the beginning of the world, when people and animals were all the same, there was only one tobacco plant, to which they all came for their tobacco until the Dagul'ku geese stole it and carried it far away to the south. The people were suffering without it, and there was one old woman who grew so thin and weak that everybody said she would soon die unless she could get tobacco to keep her alive.

Different animals offered to go for it, one after another, the larger ones first and then the smaller ones, but the Dugul'ku saw and killed every one before he could get to the plant. After the others the little Mole tried to reach it by going under the ground, but the Dagul'ku saw his track and killed him as he came out.

At last the Hummingbird offered, but the others said he was entirely too small and might as well stay at home. He begged them to let him try, so they showed him a plant in a field and told him to let them see how he would go about it. The next moment he was gone and they saw him sitting on the plant, and then in a moment he was back again, but no one had seen him going or coming, because he was so swift. "This is the way I'll do,"said the Hummingbird, so they let him try.

He flew off to the east, and when he came in sight of the tobacco the Dagul'ku were watching all about it, but they could not see him because he was so small and flew so swiftly. He darted down on the plant and snatched off the top with the leaves and seeds, and was off again before the Dagul'ku knew what happened. Before he got home with the tobacco the old woman had fainted and they thought she was dead, but he blew the smoke into her nostrils, and with a cry of "Tsa'la![Tobacco]"she opened her eyes and was alive again.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Homeless - Sometimes it's a choice





Meet Gary Michael Etheridge. I came across Gary, while he was sitting in a small neighborhood park eating a sandwich, a small back pack leaning against the bench and close at hand. In the park were several young children playing on the swings and slide, mothers hovering nearby. The mothers would often look over at what appeared to be a homeless man sitting on the bench. The mothers were obviously concerned and clearly disturbed by his presence. I'm certain they prefer he not be there. In today's society, with all the wacko's about, their concern was certainly justified. Gary, obviously was aware of the looks he was receiving. The stares didn't seem to phase him, as he continued with his lunch.

I watched Gary for a while and like most would, thought "what a shame". I pondered the situation for a while, wondering. What has happened to bring this poor soul to his situation? Was it hard luck, drugs, alcohol, laziness, or some other sad story. I waited for him to finish his sandwich and then walked up and introduced myself. He quickly came to his feet, stretched out his hand and gave me a warm greeting "Hello, My name is Gary nice to meet you"

We spent a few minutes in small talk about the wonderful weather that day and then nodding at my camera, he asked "Are you a professional or a hobbyist". "A hobbyist" I replied. "That's good, everyone should have a hobby" he replied. "How about you", I asked, "any hobbies?". "Nothing serious but several interests art, literature, and travel" he replied.

The conversation that ensued was quite illuminating. Gary does not have his own home but is not exactly homeless either. He travels back and forth between here, Norfolk, Virginia and Atlanta Georgia. It turns out that he has a sister that lives in Atlanta and is ill with cancer. He travels to Georgia to help take care of her. When in Norfolk, he stays with a friend. He usually travels between the two cities by bus. While in Norfolk, he works odd jobs to earn money for food, saving some for bus fare for his next trip to Atlanta. He talked about his sister for a bit and how difficult she can be and how much he looks forward to coming back to Norfolk, but then when back feels anxious to return to his sister, as he worries about her. He certainly appeared capable of holding a full time job and in good health. However, he says "full time employment restricts my ability to travel".

The way Gary currently sustains himself, allows him the freedom to travel at will and as needed. When he is not working a small job doing handyman type work or perhaps work for a contractor, there is a small local coffee shop where he likes to hang out and meet new folks. "Everyone has a story" he says "and I enjoy hearing everyone of them, even though they are usually full of half truths. Still a good story is a good story". I had to laugh and asked "how about you, your story a half truth also?" I asked. Laughing he replied, "of course, we all embellish on our situations some and that's a full truth". "I make my situation seem a little nicer than it is but the facts are true." he said. "I don't need any more pity than the looks I already get" he said once again laughing.

I asked if I could take a few photos and he was quick to agree. We talked the whole time, had some good laughs and explored the politics of the day. He was quite up to speed at a national and local level. Before departing, I pulled out my note pad and asked for his full name. He held out his hand for the pad, which I gave him, he signed it and drew some art work for me. He said the drawing was suppose to be Tom and Jerry. You can see the note above and the fact that an artist he ain't. We joked about his drawing skills and I thanked him for the drawing as we parted.

Is there a moral in all this? Sure there are several, but I leave you to draw your own conclusions and opinions. I walked away from this with a new friend and full of excited anticipation for my next encounter and embellished story. I too want to be as entertained as Gary is, with the people he meets.

Thanks for the gift Gary.

~TomC~






Sunday, July 20, 2008

Talking to myself and feeling mad


I admit it. Free of quilt I yell it out. I have a habit of talking to my self!!! Today I was in the kitchen fixing a sandwich for lunch, I heard my self say out loud "toast that bread lazy.....go ahead...you know you want to....stop being lazy and just stick it in the toaster". Not only that, guess what!!!! It wasn't my first time today. This morning I cursed at the coffee pot for taking it's sweet time brewing up my first cup.

Is that a giggle I hear coming from you? Come on, I know you do too. How many times have you shouted or made a comment directed towards the TV? How about this, "alright now, where did I put those keys". I know what you are say, I can read lips and yours are moving while your reading this, (and you didn't know you were doing that) another habit for another time. Talking to the coffee pot or TV is technically not talking to yourself, but still, if no one is around to hear you, aren't you basically just talking to your self. No one else is going to hear it!

We all speak to our selves at one time or another. You know I speak the truth. Admit it. Say it out loud. After all no one's around. Is it that we are embarrassed and worry that some one will think "Oh that person has emotional issues" or "poor lonely sole"? Well duh! Yes. Embarrassed is exactly why we don't tell people or admit that we do it.

There appears to be a preconceived social stigma associated with a person that talks to them self. This is because we all keep it quiet and don't admit we do it. Sort of like going to the bathroom in someone else's house. We don't want them to know that the loud burst of noise they hear, which is the body's natural reaction to an uncontrollable biological response to stomach gass, is actually coming from "ME"!!! Oh well, it does and you know it does. As my grandmother use to say, "better out than in".

The situation stinks, I tell ya!!!! Ok poor pun, I know, but it does. Talking to our self is just something that we do, so stop warring about it people. There are other things in life for you to worry about. Like, how the heck did George Bush get elected president and how do we prevent that from every happing again.

How about cell phones.......let us not spendtime worrying about who has lost their marbles talking to them self and let's put that wasted effort into doing something about all those telephone addicted cell users. You know what I mean. The ones who need to pay more attention to their driving, than who's got information or needs information you or they can't live with out, till you park.

Now wouldn't that be an accomplishment.

Note: I mentioned the Idiocracy of George Bush.......oops......I mean Presidency of George Bush. Tee Hee Hee In fairness to the idea of political balance, I leave you with the words of Jay Leno "the difference between Bush and Clinton is horizontal drilling"

Saturday, July 19, 2008

The Color Of A Rose Means Everything



Having trouble deciding on what color rose to buy her. Never mind what color she likes. Impress here with your thoughtfulness. The following list tells you what each color symbolizes. Include a small note explaining your choice. Make it personal, expand on the mean by telling in your words how the meaning relates to the recipient.

Red symbolizes love, respect, romance, courage and passion.

Dark Red reveals unconscious beauty, admiration.

Pink carries the message of happiness, sweetness, gracefulness and gentleness.

Deep Pink says gratitude and thankfulness.

Light Pink conveys admiration, gentleness, grace, gladness, joy and sweetness.

Orange indicates enthusiasm and fascination.

Bridal White symbolizes a happy love.

White expresses purity, heavenly, secrecy, silence, innocence and charm.

Yellow indicates joy, gladness, friendship and new beginnings.

Coral & Peach shows desire and excitement.

Purple signifies faithfulness, passion and true love.

Lavender symbolizes love at first sight and enchantment.

Pastel colors mean best wishes.

A Single Red Rose means I love you.

A Single Rose in any color expresses simplicity and gratitude.

Red and White Roses together signify unity or engagement.

A bouquet of roses in full bloom means gratitude and is a symbol of great beauty and perfection.

A thorn-less rose signifies love at first sight.

Friday, July 18, 2008

My House Is Not My Home


My House Is Not My Home
By TomC


Show me your house you say!
Did you mean show me your home?

My house is just a house,
A collection of collections, Frilly drapes, and pretty nik naks.
High ceilings that echo when the palace is empty,
And moldings that are rich and ornate

Constantly need cleaning to keep my life straight.

Oh yes my house is a castle,
But is it my home?

My home now is a much nicer place.
It is not a physical weight,
But that of memories and feelings.
Memories earned and filled with love, sadness and happy times.

My home is my brother on his wedding day,
Exchanging vows in the living room reserved for just such ways.

My home is my children, laughing and playing,
Crying and fighting, yet safe in a way.

My home is the window that my daughter climbed out,
As she was sneaking to meet that boy, the louse.

My home is the tear stains that mar the floor on the side of my bed,
Where gently my tears fell when I learned my father was dead.

My home is the memory of my grandmother cooking,
The smell of sulfa as the wooden match is struck,

Lighting a flame under the pot of stew,
Made with carrots and potatoes and some beef too.

My home is the memory of times on the front porch,
Where we shared our views and debated divorce.

My home is the memory of the good and the bad,
that which I treasure more than my trappings of gold leaf and mahogany chairs.

My home is where my love is,
The home of my youth,

The home with my mate,

The home where the children were happy and safe.

The place I want to be when the end of my life I see,
Is the home that I built through the joys and the strife.
My family and friends locked tight in my life.


Thursday, July 17, 2008

Learning in Black and White

HAPPY BIRTHDAY
Berenice Abbott,Photographer
1898-1991
(more on Berenice at the end of this post)


Since working with photography, I have learned to have a greater appreciation for Black and White subjects. Prior to that, I just didn't get it. I wanted the pretty. Show me the color!!!. What I didn't realize was how much beauty I was actually missing out on.

The purpose of this post is to show you what I mean. If you were like me and never really got the whole B&W thing, then take a little time and read this post and maybe it will help. What have you got to lose....Nothing....what have you got to gain....Everything.

The advantage of seeing a subject in black and white is that the lines, shapes, and mood can be completely different. Free of the distraction of color, the eye is left to see the geometric designs of lines and shapes more clearly. Things that we very well may have missed by marveling at the wonderfully cherry red mixed with shiny chrome.



Click on image for full impact

Now, as a further example: I also mentioned how the mood of a photo can change. In this example, using my favorite stand in, you can see that I have removed the obstacle of color from the photograph. This changes not only the mood of the subject but also allowed me to create a timeless photo. I applied a sepia tone to the black and white version to help take the subject out of present day. Creating a timeless effect for a photo can also effect your perception of the subject and the mood it creates for you.


Click on image for full impact



Ok, lets pull some of this together in a final demonstration. You may recognize this photo from my "Black Eyed Peas" post of two days ago. In the photo, I'm hoping you can see the difference removing the color makes. In the black and white version, the interaction and animation of the subjects is so much more heightened. The "lean in" of the fellow on photo left to the fellow on photo right is more predominant; as is all of the body action between the subjects. A fact that would take longer to reach in the color version. This is because the black and white version allows the lines and curves of the body to be more clearly visible. This applies even in the face where the expression is heightened from being able to see the features of the face even more. Not only that, this picture could have been taken yesterday or in 1961, thus enforcing a timelessness to the photograph. This picture was actually just taken the other day at a Latin Festival.


Click on image for full impact


I don't know if this helps you gain a greater appreciation for black and white images or not. If it did, then the post and your time was worth it.

Please comment and/or express your opinions. I love both the positive and the negative. The positive, because I have an ego. The negative, because it helps me learn.

Now back to Berenice Abbott. Did you think I would forget? Berenice is a famous American photographer. Except for a formative and influential decade in Paris in the 1920s, she spent most of her productive life in photography in New York City.

Her photographs reflect her appreciation for the profound documentary capacity of rigorously conceived images to impart information in an aesthetically engaging way.

For very good Black and White examples, click here to go to the NYPL to see her work from 1935-1939, called Changing New York. I particularly like her photograph of the news stand. The detail in it is amazing and technically very hard to achieve.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

My House or My Home

My House or My Home
By TomC

Show me your house you say!
Did you mean show me your home?

My house is just a house,
A collection of collections,
Frilly drapes, and pretty nic nacs,
High ceilings that echo when the palace is empty,
And moldings that are rich and ornate
Constantly need cleaning to keep my life straight.
Oh yes my house is a castle,
But is it my home?

My home now is a much nicer place.
It is not a physical weight,
But of memories and feelings,
All filled with love, sadness and happy times.

My home is my brother on his wedding day,
Exchanging vows in the living room reserved for just such ways.

My home is my children, laughing and playing,
Crying and fighting, yet safe in a way.

My home is the window that my daughter climbed out,
As she was sneaking to meet that boy the louse.

My home is the tear stains that mar the floor on the side of my bed,
Where gently my tears fell when I learned my father was dead.

My home is the memory of my grandmother cooking,
The smell of sulfa as the wooden match is struck,
Lighting a flame under the pot of stew,
Made with carrots and potatoes and some beef too.

My home is the memory of the times on the front porch,
Where we shared our views and debated divorce.

My home is the memory of the good and the bad,
that which I treasure more than my trappings of gold leaf and high chairs.

My home is where my love is,
The home of my youth,
The home with my wife,
The home where the children were happy and safe,

The place I want to be when the end of my life I see,
Is the home that I built through the joys and the strife.
My family and friends locked tight in my life.

Answer to the question, If lightning hits the ocean ,why don't it kill all the fish?

Traveling Storm



One of the things I like doing is photographing lightning. Picture me, my camera, bag full of electronic equipment and lenses, and a metal tripod. This is not something I recommend people do. Having said that, if you do decide it is something you want to try, please take every precaution you can. It is not unusual for lighting to strike ten miles out from the storm.

While doing my daily reading on the Internet, I ran across a question someone posted: "If lighting hits the ocean why don't all the fish die?". I was surprised by some of the responses and left with no credible answer. I began surfing around the internet and pretty much found the answers varied and never with any qualification of the writers source of knowledge . Often the answers were just plain crazy. The following just a few examples. To protect the posters from embarrassments, I will not reveal their names or where they posted. Just the post or an excerpt from it.

"lightning doesn't really strike the water other whys there would be nothing left. but if it did it is because lightning is eletrical and electrical things and water do no mix, got it."

"It is unlikely that lightning will strike the ocean . There is usually some sort of charge coming from the ground that attracts lightning to strike"

"i don't think lightning strikes on oceans. i learned that lightning actually comes from the ground and up. it's just too fast for us to see"

"the ocean is salt water and salt doesn't conduct electricity"
In an effort to put to bed this constant unending question, that continues to arise through out the Internet, with poor results, I will provide an answer here. The answer is, it depends on how close to the strike the marine life is. Here is what I found that should help qualify and provide a little more detail.

According to an interview with Don MacGorman of the National Severe Storms Laboratory in an article published by the USA Today on March 5, 2004,

when lightning strikes the ocean or other large water bodies, it spreads out over the conducting surface. It also penetrates down and can kill fish in the nearby region, says Don MacGorman, physicist at the National Severe Storms Laboratory (NSSL).

"Lightning strikes have killed or injured people on the surface more than 30 yards away," says David Schultz of the NSSL.

In fact, the 45th Weather Squadron lists water as the second most dangerous place to be during a thunderstorm. (The first is an open field.)

Lightning, however, rarely strikes most of the open ocean although some sea regions are lightning "hot spots". The Gulf Stream, for example, where fish abound, has as many lightning strikes as the southern plains of the USA.

Lightning-producing storms arrive on the west coast of the U.S. frequently during the winter, says Schultz. "Winter storms passing off the east coast often erupt with electrical activity when they cross the warm waters of the Gulf Stream."

But, as Schultz says: "We really have no idea about the mortality rate of marine animals due to thunderstorms." Fortunately, only 10 to 20% of humans hit by lightning die, and probably the same holds true for marine animals. (read the full article here USA Article)



Oh My Gosh!!!!!!!
Enjoy the video






~TomC~

(All photographs published on this blog, are copyrighted and the property of TomC, you may not print or publish them without the express permission of TomC, you can of course, share the blog though.)

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Don't Eat Black Eyed Peas

"Can you believe it!!! The woman tried to feed me Black Eyed Peas"


In response to the Boot Your Scootie post from last Friday, I was asked for my opinion on the Dixie Chick's song "Goodbye Earl".

Well all I can say Jennie is, anyone who eats black eyed peas, deserves what they get. Love you Jennie and thanks for asking.

Oh and Jennie enjoy the video






Lyrics Excerpt - Dixie Chicks
Goodbye Earl (1999)

Well she finally got the nerve to file for divorce
She let the law take it from there
But Earl walked right through that restraining order
And put her in intensive care

Right away Mary Anne flew in from Atalnta
On a red eye midnight flight
She held Wanda's hand as they
worked out a plan
And it didn't take long to decided

That Earl had to die
Goodbye Earl
Those black-eyed peas
They tasted all right to me Earl
You're feeling weak
Why don't you lay down
and sleep Earl
Ain't it dark


~TomC~
(All photographs published on this blog, are copyrighted and the property of TomC, you may not print or publish them without the express permission of TomC, you can of course, share the blog though.)

Monday, July 14, 2008

Bridge the Gap, have a BBQ

Put on your most festive hat and have a BBQ




Good Monday to you all. I had a great weekend. I put on my most festive hat and attended a latin festival. I'll have more on that later in the week as part of the story is still unfolding.

Thought instead, I would share a few magical photos from Sunday's Family Day. On Sunday's the family has been have a late day BBQ. Nothing huge, no organized games, not and excuse for a drinking party, just a nice family atmospher having a few burgers and dogs, and sharing fellowship.

I always enjoy being around the children in the family and yesterday's Family BBQ was no exception. Here are a few shots of the kids having fun showing off their magic acts for my camera. (click on any photo to see a larger version)

This is Christine and her levitation trick.



This is TJ, who name is now Magic Murphy doing his levitation trick.


Magic Murphy (TJ) can also deflate himself.
The interesting thing about TJ is that he is firmly planted on the ground and half the kid he could be.



Jessica is the older sister of the the two aforementioned kids and can be a real ditz at times!!

Jessica!!!! Watch where your going!!!!!




Now it's your turn. Get the family together, have a BBQ and bridge the generation gap. You'll have a great time..........
You can bank on it.


~TomC~
(Please remember, All photographs published on this blog, are copyrighted and the property of TomC, you may not print or publish them without the express permission of TomC, you can of course, share the blog though LOL)

Saturday, July 12, 2008

The cost of Softball - Priceless

The Cost of seeing your Son-in-law out in public wearing a Bone Head T-Shirt......Priceless




Yesterday's softball game was a treat. It is so nice to see kids having fun. Good fun at that. One of the things that most impressed me, is the support the team members give to each other. Not enough teaching of that kind of character going on in todays world.

Here is the team's Pitcher, and a good one at that.




I watch as the pitcher injured her knee. Apparently nothing serious but what took place following that was truly inspiring and made my heart leap for joy.



The coach, of course, was immediately at the pitchers mound. He had the girl raise her leg and he begain pouring water over her knee.




With out being asked or signaled, the entire team came in from the field to the pitcher's mound and help support the young girl, with not only words but action. They gathered around her and helped hold her in place comfortably while the coach continued to pour water over the knee.



We need more of this type of character being instilled in our youth today. We also need more coaches that are able to instill this ideal into their teams.

Well done and my hat is off to you, the coaches of the SYAA.

And finally......you didn't think I would let you get out of here without first showing off some photos of my wonderful Granddaughter, whom I love very much and am so proud.


My Beautiful Granddaughter, Kristin

The opposing pitcher nearly hit her with the ball. That pitcher better watch out. I have a photo of her and I just might put a mustach on her and post it, if she hit's her with the ball next time.


Kristin Hit's A Single

Run Kristin Run


Have a good day folks. Tomorrow a little something with a Latin Flavor
~TomC~

All comments welcome

The people zoo is empty.


Last evening I went to a Jazz concert in Ocean View, at one of the many lovely beaches the city has revamped. I don't know why it is called Ocean View! The view is actually of the Chesapeake Bay. In any case, the city brings in a band on Friday and Sunday evenings over the summer months. It is part of a concert series and tourist marketing scheme. These are very popular and last evening was no disappointment as there were many folks there.

What was unusual though, were the empty balconies. As the sun was setting, I looked up at the above pictured condo, which is just adjacent to where the concert is held, and expected to see loads of people overloading the balcony's, as always with these type things. No such sight though. Just one lone man kicked back on the upper deck!!!! What is this all about. Has the recession hardened housing market hit even this upper middle class condo. Surly they are not on vacation. No one can afford vacations these days. Perhaps instead of spending money on exotic drinks and grilled shrimp for a ridiculously large guest list, that the Fire Marshall I'm sure would have something to say about, they opted instead to be down on the beach with all the other folks slumming among the locals, me included, and tourists, which would account for the unusually large crowd.






Prior to the Jazz concert, I went to a Rugby Game in the park across the street from where I live. I love when the games are just the local folks and not the local college teams. No refs and every one seems to have so much more fun. The ODU rugby team typically plays here. In this game the skins beat the shirts.




The moon was out early last evening too.



Hurricane Bertha is in the Atlantic and although not close enough to be a danger, certainly close enough to effect the surf. I was surprised at just how calm the surf was.



Today I am off to a softball game. My granddaughter made the All Star team and they have a game today. With some luck, I'll have some photos of kids having fun playing a summer sport that has become a symbol of summer. Sooooo keep your eye's on the look out, I'll have photos of it for tomorrows blog.

~TomC ~

Friday, July 11, 2008

Boot Your Scootie

Those of you who know me, know my dislike of country music is right up there with my desire to eat pig snouts. Both have the same reaction on me.........Kill me before I barf!!!

Don't get me wrong here, I love a good story put to music (which reminds me, I'll have to tell you about Opera sometime....comes right behind the pig snouts). So far the stories have been far too much for my feeble mind to process. Although YOU might be hearing sweet sad stories of love, to pleasant screechy music, the story in some of these songs gets my brain in a riot of questions that leaves me unable to just sit back and enjoy the twanging gee tar (I'm not sure what a gee tar is so please don't ask, but apparently it is a requirement of a good country song). Here, for instance, are some examples.

First, "my wife left me for a younger man", this passes through my ears, hits my brain and begs the question "why did he hook up with the broad in the first place......wasn't she most likely cheating on someone else when she met him? After all, men out on the range for long periods of time with no one but their horses, do seem to return with some strange love making ideas forcing their women to hit the "sweet by and by" (I'll explain "by and by" later).

Note: for those of you with no knowledge of western ways, just think in terms of sheep herders or Brokeback Mountain...whichever works

Here's another, "the hitch in her giddy up drives me wild" ...what the hell is a giddy? Does it have a down? Why does it have a hitch on it, and, if it does, who put it in there and how?

One final example, "By the Sweet By and By"(told you I would get to it). I think a by and by is some type of crossroad, path, or pasture, I'm not really sure. A by-way is a road and that is what leads me to that thought. With that in mind, let me tell you, when it comes to cowboys, the by and by is usually loaded with a lot of Horse S#@t.

Just as a point of interest: Cowboy, is not to be mistaken for Wrangler. One loves his horse the other is in to a rope fetish and loves tying up animals, mostly bulls and calves and that is a different type of residue on the by and by, more commonly know as Bull Crap.

Tip: Here is another point of interest that will help you in knowing the difference between cowboy and wrangler the next time you meet an old fart wearing a western hat. If he says, Horse Sh#T.....he is a cowboy.....if he says, Bull Crap.....he is a Wrangler. A very important distinction as the wrangler never loses his love of rope, so don't reply with a snide remark or you may find yourself on your back feet and hands tied together and up in the air, in a very uncomfortable position (at least for most of us). The cowboy, on the other hand, has bad knees from years of being bent outward, from riding on a saddle, and will most likely not be able to chase after you. Although, he may still have a gun, but he probably doesn't know where the bullet is for it, the poor old fart. Therefor you should be alright. Just in case, apparently spitting on the ground after your statement will win you some points and both the cowboy and the wrangler may let your remark pass.

I am not hopeless though. I'm willing to overcome this dislike of country music. I figured that the strange terms are what is causing my inability to acquire a taste for this type music. With that in mind, I though it might help for me to take a shot at writing a country song. I even have a label for the cover, which you can see pictured above.

So this is my go at a story song. It is about a kinky house wife who wanted a wrangler instead of a cowboy.

Title - The Boot your Scootie

Lyrics:

Now my years are great,and my wife has left me for a straight legged wrangler with a long rope, [insert twang here]

She shot my horse on her way down the by and by. [insert voice crack and pitch change here....PS doesn't matter what pitch as long as it is completely opposite the last note]

Now I'm left to ride the range, [slap left side with hat in hand, and stomp right leg up and down out of rhythm]

on my less than one horse power scooter. [stand up and scoot your booty, but remember, if your older like me, the pins in your hips may limit the range of motion]

Chorus:

Throw in about three choruses of Woooohooooo's, Yahhaaaa's, and foot stomping tunes. then repeat the lyrics three times, each interrupted with whooohoooos, yahhhhaaaa's and foot stomping tunes.

Finally:

Now finish with a big WAHOOOOOOOO, yell Giddy-up (still don't know what a giddy is but apparently it goes up), be sure to also wave your hat in the air, and ride off toward the paper machetes moon hanging on stage left.

Later Whipper Snapper (another kinky type person only younger) ~ TomC

PS.......If you would like to argue my opinions and views of country music.......start YOUR own blog or if you prefer you may send an email to tomc@idontcare.loo

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