Monday, June 30, 2008

Works in Progress

Day 181

Works In Progress

For the first time ever, we made it entirely through a Frederick Keys (Single A) baseball game. To celebrate this historic occasion, the Keys rewarded us with a decent fireworks show. For me it was a good chance to practice for Quatro de Julio.

Tiny Swallows

Day 180


We've seen that bird flying in out out of the bird house, and here are the reasons why. It is a bit surprising to me how cute baby birds aren't. They look a bit giant flies.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Crazy Steve

Day 179


This guy's name is Steve, and he is crazy. Well, not really crazy. Actually, I don't know him that well, but he seems sane enough. We played his team in backyard volleyball, and since he was cool enough to mug for the shot, he has earned all the glory that comes with being today's photo.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Back West

Day 178

Back West

This guy usually sits on my desk and reminds that there is a world outside my office that is waiting to be explored. This evening he went into the outside and felt the sun on his back. Or he would have felt it if he were not made of an old railroad spike.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

The Only Good Fly

Day 177

The Only Good Fly

Living with two kids and a dog, the doors of our house are constantly being opened and closed. Because of this, we have more than our fair share of house flies. They don't call them bugs for no reason, and I do not feel sorry when one of these uninvited guests goes tets-up. They are also much easier to photograph that way.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Time Cubed

Day 176

Time Cubed

I'd like to tell you that this image represents the past flying away. What it actually represents is the fact that I can't count, and thought today was Day 175. Can I get a "D'oh!"?


Day 175


Remember that bird flying into the bird house last week. If you look closely enough, you may be able to see it here.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Mary Birthday

Day 174


I am not much into taking pictures of people posing for pictures. Sometimes I get asked to do it anyway. Since this time it was for my mother-in-law for her birthday, I was happy to oblige, and not just because she is one of the few people who reads this blog. Mary, I hope you like how it came out, and happy birthday!

Sunken Barn

Day 173


On Saturday evening, I saddled up the Rockhopper for a bit of photo-riding. Earlier in the day I saw a local farm that had fields full of those big round hay bales. Hoping to capture these in the setting sun trailing long shadows, I rolled my way there only to see a tractor loading them onto a trailer. I continued on and passed another farm where the corn has as high as a sheep's ear (or something like that), and since no one was harvesting it, I got some shots.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Summer Solstice

Day 172


You may recall that exactly one season ago, I posted a shot of the reflective orb thingy in my back yard. At the time, I planned to take the same shot on the first day of each season. Here is the next installment. As you can see, some growth has happened, and if you look closely, you may even see a bug.


Day 171


Salesman where you gonna go to sell all of your goods today
Yup, salesman, gonna walk along the street, see friends along the way
Hey, salesman, with your wooden cart that you push along while you
Hey, salesman with your secret goods that you push while you talk
You always wear a smile,Even though you've gotta walk a hundred ten
Short life span - but the whole thing's grand

From "Salesman" by The Monkees

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Wing Fighter

Day 170

wing Fighter

One of the coolest things about having kids is the toys. Not only do you get to see the joy they have in playing with them, but you can also play with them yourself. This is some random mismash fighter (Imperial - since the pilot is a Storm Trooper) that my son is obviously quite pleased with.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Heading Home

Day 169

Heading Home

This is a bluebird house in the backyard, but this is not a bluebird. No, in fact, this is a tree swallow, and it is tending to a set of eggs that we can assume are future tree swallows. The practical joker in me wonders what would happen if I swapped the back yard tree swallow eggs with the front yard duck eggs. I am sure that hilarity would ensue.

Monday, June 16, 2008

My One Cent

Day 168

My One Cent

This wheat penny is from 1956. Nothing else in the room, including me, was even around back then. I wonder about old coins like this, where they have been, and the paths they've taken to wind up where they are. Back when it was minted, no one could have guessed that one day 52 years later it would be blogged about as the photo of day.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Piano Recital

Day 167


My wife teaches piano, and today her six students and their families came to our house for a recital. I was not there, but I heard that it went very well. The reason I was not there is because my job with regards to recitals is to take both kids and the dog away from the house so they will not interfere with the art. So, this picture is from the C&O Canal Tow Path which runs along the Potomac River.


Day 166


My wife just finished reading Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, which is apparently about how we should eat food that is grown locally. Because of this, we set out to some local farmer's markets. I was hoping to get some cool shot of stands full of colorful fruits and/or vegetables, or the like. There were none of these to be seen though, so I took this shot of these flowers that were on our counter. Good news is, they were grown locally - in our own back yard in fact.

Hey Summer, Where You Been?

Day 165

Hey Summer, Where You Been?

This is the scene right after my son got off the bus from his last day of Kindergarten. He was glad to be done, and his younger sister was glad to have him back for the summer.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

A Close Encounter

Day 164

Of the Red Kind

Our little town is setting up for the annual Fireman's Carnival which begins on Saturday. The boy and I went down today to scout it out before it opened and before the crowds came. It was quiet, clean, and peaceful, and the only light came from the sun. We had a good time exploring, talking about the rides, and sharing remember-whens from previous years. We'll certainly be back next week for all the fun and funnel cake, but I think I might have liked it the way it was tonight just a little bit more.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Shadow Lounger

Day 163

Shadow Lounger

The chair that casts this shadow is my favorite outdoor spot to lounge. I don't know what else to say about it. I thought it looked cool. So there.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008


Day 162


In between two waves of some nicely powerful thunderstorms, the sky turned the kind of color you only see when the weather is intense. This piece of kinetic art (aka: moves when the wind blows on it) managed to stay intact, which is more than I can say for this wooden rocking chair.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Cooler Than You

Day 161

Cooler Than You

Taking a picture of a painting is cheating, but my mom was the painter, and I don't think she would have minded, especially for such a cool scene on a day as hot as this. This is an artistic view of what my backyard might look like in a few years when the trees have grown, and several neighbor's houses have burned down.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Fred Frog

Day 160


We took the kids into Fred City for the Frederick Festival of the Arts. The kids like this fest because of the paddle boats, and I have the sweat stains and sunburn to prove it. This frog was courtesy of Rick Heard from Rick Heard's Garden Originals, from whom we actually wound up buying another frog which I'm sure will show up here before too long. I also enjoyed many of the photography booths, but to be honest I routinely see stuff on Flickr and Zooomr that is as good as or better than much of what was being sold.


The thing about taking a photo-a-day is that you quickly start to accumulate a lot of photos. What can be done to see and share these shots away from the screen? A few months ago, I started to research a way to display my pictures in the analog world.

I decided to give fotoflōt a try and ordered two 15 x 10 wall mount prints to give to my wife for her birthday. The ordering process was fairly easy, and the prints were shipped more quickly than I expected. Because of this I received them a week before her actual birthday. When I opened the box and saw how awesome they looked, I was too excited to wait a week to give them to her, so she wound up getting an early birthday present. Here is a shot of her fotoflōts on the wall:


We liked these fotoflōts so much that we quickly ordered a bunch more. Here are the three 15 x 10's that now hang in my office:


And here is the 22.5 x 15 in the bedroom:


So what is it that makes fotoflōts so friggin' great?
1) High quality prints - they must have some really nice printers there, because the quality of the prints is just amazing. In every shot I've seen details that I did not know were present. I had no idea how good these pictures were until I saw them as fotoflōts.

2) These fantastic prints are then mounted to acrylic and laser trimmed to the right size. That means no glass, and no glass means no reflections. With nothing to stand between your eyes and the pictures, the shots seem to jump off the wall.

3) Since it would be bad if the fotoflōts actually did jump off the wall, they provide a very clever mounting system that involves magnets and brackets. Now one really cool thing about the brackets is that they allow the print to float (flōt?) up to an inch or so off the wall. This combined with the two factors above makes fotoflōts extremely dynamic and inviting. Here is a sideview that shows the flaot:


- The other cool thing about the brackets is that by using magnets it is an easy matter to pop the picture off the wall exchange them with other fotoflōts in the house. The fact that I can easily rearrange my fotoflōt collection is wonderful for someone with a short attention span, like me. Here you can see the metal cups on the back of the fotoflōt which attach to the magnets in the bracket:


As you can tell, I am extremely pleased with fotoflōt. My only two quibbles are minor:
- Navigating their site is a bit slow - probably because they overdid a bit with the Flash
- Just after I received the 22.5 x 15 fotoflōt, the introduced a bigger size: 20 x 30, which would have been much better for where the picture is displayed. If they had let me know at the time I ordered, I definitely would have waited and got the bigger size.

So, if you are in the market for a new way to display your pictures, definitely give fotoflōt a try. Here is a tip: If you are a SmugMugger, you get a nice discount and easy access to your photos. The discount can easily could cover your SmugMug membership, so you could save money and become part of a great photosharing community. You can also save $5 on a SmugMug membership by using code: cQbi3SrbzJ4Pc

Hot Dog

Day 159


The kids have been bugging me to setting up their slide pool since about January, and I finally got around to doing it. Since it had been sitting outside in a heap all winter, it was a bit of a project to get it clean (enough) and functional, especially with the temperature near 100 degrees F. Their enjoyment made it (nearly) worth the effort.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Brown Duck

Day 157

Brown Duck

If you remember all the way back to Day 155, there were two duck eggs under a Japanese Maple tree in our front yard. The next day there were three. This morning, we saw who was responsible. This duck mama was on her way back to the tree to lay egg number 4.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Next in Line

Day 156

Next in Line

Not much to say about this one. It is probably a bit too on-the-nose, but it has been a while since I've tried to incorporate the day number into the picture, so there you go.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Future Ducks

Day 155

Future Ducks

For the past few years, there has been a pair of ducks that live in our neighborhood. This makes no sense since the nearest body of water that is not a swimming pool is a couple miles from here. Several times this spring, I've seen this misguided couple in my yard and now we know why. Yesterday an egg was discovered under the small Japanese Maple in the front yard. Today there was another.

Trooper Keeper

Day 154

Trooper Keeper

Today's keeper is not just another shot of a Star Wars toy. It is also part of my attempt to better learn how to use my flash. On last weekend's camping trip, many failed attempts with the remote flash made me realize I did not know what I was doing, so I resolved to get better. This shot actually has very little post processing. The Trooper is standing on the counter in front of a red bowl, off of which I bounced the flash from the side.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Window to Your Soul

Day 153

Window to Your Soul

This is the view of Hunting Creek Lake in the Catoctin National Park. The light on the surface was a bit harsh by the time we arrived, but underwater it was very nice.

You Don't Stop

Day 152

You Don't Stop

There I was, in the Congo. Not really. We were camping in Catoctin Mountains in Maryland, and after many hours of rain, we hiked to the falls. Because of the rain, the woods were very lush, and with the humidly, it could have been a jungle.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

The Question

Day 151

The Question

This is a shot of my son making some flashlight art. He did not realize he was sketching punctuation. Or did he?