Thursday, August 28, 2008

Wearisome Convention

Tonight the "Obama show" is on. After seeing parts of the Democrat convention on TV in recent days, I'm not looking forward to much difference in coming days. I am growing weary of hearing about it, as I did the OJ fiasco. It may be different if there was some substance and truth to hear. Unfortunately, there isn't. I wonder if there will be any in the next convention "party". I don't have much optimism about it.

I grow weary of the word "change". Nobody likes change. It's human nature. I think we (as Americans - if I may be so bold as to speak for the general public) would like some change, though. Unfortunately, it's not the change the Obama campaign is drooling over. We'd like change on the border - to take control of it. Neither candidate wants to do that. We would like some change on oil dependency - to become more self-reliant and not be held hostage by countries that have no fondness for us. Neither candidate wants that either. We would like some change in our industry - to bring more of it and those jobs back home to the US. They don't want that either.

Change comes in two flavors - good and bad. The bad part is that the change they speak of is only a change from a Republican to a Democrat president, as well as changing the Congress into a steamroller of Democrats that cannot be slowed or stopped by Republicans. Checks and Balances down the drain. It would not be good for either party to have an unstoppable presence in our government.

The party of "unification" is doing nothing to unite our Country. Bill Clinton's speech last night came off as inciting a riot, constantly blasting the opposition to the Democrat Party. His demeanor and tactics were scary. How can any "coming together" possibly happen while one side is being constantly attacked with so much venom? The only conclusion I can come to is that "unity" to them means submitting to the liberal/Democrat way. They want to unite all of us - into the Democrat Party. What else can I derive from it?

There was a comment made during the Democrat convention last night that they are the working man's friend, a pro-union party. Unfortunately, that claim is not supported well by the bill that has passed the House that will strip the "secret" part of the secret ballot in union elections. Pelosi manages to prevent many bills from being considered. Why not this one? Imagine the consequences of a non-secret ballot in any election. It's not a pretty picture. And yet, unions fully support these people. Why? Do they like shooting their own foot off? Or have unions become too political, forsaking their membership? Get ready, labor union members. You are in deep doo-doo. It's coming.

The "Yes We Can!" people say that a lot, unless it comes to clean energy and energy independence. Then it's "No, we can't!" Build nuclear power plants? No we can't. Drill for oil domestically? No we can't. Use wind power? No we can't. (Now they say that wind generators kill bats by blowing their lungs up.) Just what can we do, o' "Yes We Can" people? You don't really want us to use any energy, do you?

Too many things don't look right with this election. Neither candidate wants to do the right thing and protect our Country - their primary function. I am very disappointed in both of our political parties. In case you were wondering, I deliberately use the term "Democrat" when speaking of the Party. I will not put the "ic" on the end. I see no evidence of democratic principles in their intentions or beliefs. (I am seeing less and less of it in the Republican Party as well.) In my opinion, the party is only Democrat, and not democratic. I'm not speaking of individuals that are registered Democrats or Republicans, but the "parties" and their leadership.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Kite and Dinner

Kite and Dinner
Originally uploaded by HighPlainsDox
I was out playing with RAW mode, shooting whatever presented itself - just to see the difference from Large, hi-rez JPG mode. This kite shot was one of my better ones, but it still needed some adjustment. When I popped it up on screen, I noticed that blur. It was kind of cool that I got the kite's dinner in the same shot. One of the things they eat are large insects like dragonflies. No, the kite didn't come after this one.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

A Literary Treasure

We recently came across a book that had been stored away for a long time. This particular book was published in 1880, first edition. The cover is hard-cover tooled leather, and is in generally pretty good shape. It is a collection of common-sense words of wisdom for every aspect of family life. I haven't found this edition on the 'net anywhere. I wonder if we may have uncovered a rare specimen?

The Golden GEMS of LIFE
S. C. Ferguson and E. A. Allen

Published 1880, First Edition

Here is one excerpt from the book. As I said, all aspects of family life are covered.

Click on these images to see them full size.

CatDog "Tails"

Lately, I've noticed more and more that one of our boys has become increasingly attached to me. Chip is constantly by my side these days. He usually lays on the table right next to me, but is often laying right in front of my notebook computer - so I can hardly type. A time or two he was literally laying across my forearm - the one I use the mouse with. Probably the strangest (for him) thing he's done is....

One day he was laying across the table, right in front of my computer as mentioned above. He stretched out to take a nap right there, and put one front paw on my chest. Normally (in his past life) this would be a precarious position, since very little would incite him to slash. Not this time. I took his paw in my hand, where he gently laid his other front paw in my hand. There I sat, with two Maine Coon paws in my hand - that previously would have resulted in a merciless slashing of whichever of my body parts he could reach.

Not sure what to make of his increasingly passive behavior, but I'm going to enjoy it while it lasts. :)


Sunday, August 10, 2008


Last night there were some scattered storms floating by our city, so I took Shelley's brother with me to try some lightning shots. It wasn't a particularly active night and it was flashing around 3 points of the compass rose - occasionally. (Hey - it's been so long since we had lightning to shoot, we were both in withdrawal.) It was our job to guess at which point it was going to flash during any given time slot. We did manage to get a few shots, although not a high percentage of them were bolts. Here are a couple I got:

And in slack times, we shot the city lights. Here are a couple of pano crops of mine:

Click on any of these images for a full-size view.

Here is a video I found on Steve's blog that's nothing short of amazing!

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

I Got Published

I had a pleasant surprise in my EMail box this evening. A news outfit ( and the Associated Press) wanted to use one of my photos.\

I didn't charge 'em for it, but left specific conditions whereby they
could use it (and kept copies of our communications). To tell the
truth, I don't think I would know how to go about charging for it -
the legalities and self-protection and all. For now, it's good enough
for me just to get my name "out there".

(And, yes - I did save copies of the article/page as HTML and PDF to
use as a tear sheet some day.)

If anybody ever sees it in hardcopy print, please let me know which
paper, etc., so I can get an original news copy.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Threatening Bat

Threatening Bat
Originally uploaded by HighPlainsDox
I was playing around a bit this morning and caught an interesting pose. It looks like he's ready to let someone/something "have it". When I saw this on the computer, I instantly thought of the Ralph Kramden line: "One of these days, Alice....POW!....right in the kisser!"