Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Hail to the Chef

Day 360

Hail to the Chef

Hey, look - it's a bunch of Lego mini-figs. I decided to feature them this day since I had spent much of Christmas and Boxing Day playing with helping my kids build their new Lego sets. And because they are just so cool.


Day 359


Ah, the sweet torture of those last moments before you can go downstairs on Christmas morning to see what the big man has brought for you. My poor children get these last moments prolonged so that I can capture the anticipation, as well as the growing annoyance.

Monday, December 29, 2008


Day 358


Whoever it was that decided it would be a good thing to leave Ol' Santa some cookies and milk on Christmas Eve deserves a medal. I'm quite sure that at some point after I took this pictures, this delicious snack was consumed and enjoyed very much, thank you.


Day 357


Ten years ago, the Mrs. and I took all the change we had collected a large Snapple bottle, and converted it into cash money via Coinstar. We decided that this qualified as "found" money, and thus decided to spend it frivolously. I used my half to purchase this Hallmark Keepsake ornament of the Starship Enterprise 1701-E.

The Mrs. mocked my choice, and said that this was even a waste of found money. She must not have realized at the time how this ornament would continue to bring pleasure year after year. I'd say this was money well spent.

So what did she wisely spend her half of the money on? Neither of us even remembers.

Walk on Water

Day 356

Walk On Water

The days until Christmas were counted down this year with the help of a Lego City advent calendar. This day's prize was a mountain climber equipped with an ice axe. Since Mother Nature was kind enough to freeze the lily pond, the subject for this day's photo seemed obvious.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Winter Solstice

Day 355

Winter Solstice

Just like I did on the first days of Spring, Summer, and Fall, once again here is a shot of the oblate spheroid lawn decoration in the back yard. I was hoping for a very snowy, wintry looking picutre, but at least I got some ice.

Smoke 'Em

Day 354

Smoke 'Em

In Fred City there is a British grocery store, and in yet another unexplained mystery, outside this store sits an Indian. Maybe they sell British cigars there? I don't know. I do know that they sell some tasty British beers there however, and on this day I stopped by to pick my old friend Sam Smith.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Fred City Apple Store

Day 353

Fred City Apple Store

I'm not sure when exactly it happened, but I am now certainly a born again Apple guy. I have nothing against PC's or Windows, and by no means think that Microsoft is in any way evil. That being said, here in my laboratory (where things are not as they seem), I have 2 PC's and 2 Macs. One PC is rarely even powered on, and the other I only use when I must for work.

With that admission out of the way, I was feeling a bit jilted that the nearest Apple store was an hour away. That was until I discovered that the great city of Frederick, MD does actually have its own apple store. There were no iPods, Macs, or iPhones for sale that I saw, but they did have quite a selection of apple butter.

Singing Tigers

Day 352

Singing Tigers

Does it make me a bad dad that I often mistake my son for one of several other Tiger Cubs many times at each Cub Scout meeting? I blame it on the hats, which combined with their relative shortness makes them all look overly similar to someone with my vantage point. I'm pretty sure, however, that this one is mine.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

My Girl

Day 351


My daughter sure has learned how to mug for the camera this year. We attended the Christmas program at her pre-school (in which she was an angel, a reindeer, and just a kid), and every time she saw me hold up the camera, she would turn her head just-so and give me a very cute little fake smile.

Tree Top

Day 350


To me, the best ornament to top a Christmas is the star. I know there are many Angel supporters out there, but it takes a star to lead the way. I've heard tell that some people top their trees with Santa's, and that makes no sense at all.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Front Window

Day 349


Technically speaking, I did leave the house to get this picture. I had to, to capture this my favorite view of our Christmas tree, a view I usually don't get to see. Hopefully the neighbors enjoy it though.

Ella Was Here

Day 348

Ella Was Here

Hey look - no Christmas decorations today. Instead I was able to capture this moment where my daughter was watching my wife play piano. I say "watching" because she seemed much more interested in the motions and the mechanics of the piano then in the actual music being produced. This moment was brief and fleeting as my son soon approached and created a scrum for the prime viewing spot.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Run Away Pig

Day 347

Run Away Pig

The kids were looking for toys to give away, which of course means that a number of toys which had have set neglected have suddenly become the new favorites that we just can't give away because they love them and can we keep them please, because they will play with them everyday. So these Weebles, which were all set to find a new home will be staying here until next year or until we can sneak them away.

Dinos Attack

Day 346

Dinos Attack

Ah, Toys (backwards) R Us. Is there any destination that is more alluring to children and so much not so to adults? Yes there is - Chuck E Cheese. But TRU is definitely in a close 2nd, and even closer still at this time of year. Even worse this year is that there are reports that at our local branch, a strange man has been spotted walking around taking pictures of the toys. These might be just rumors though, because I was there and did not see him.

He Sees You

Day 345


If not for a house full of Christmas decorations, I really have no idea what I would be taking pictures of at this point in the odyssey. This Kris Kringle is a new addition to the menagerie this year, and hangs on the secondary coat hooks, in the foyer under one of our many "chin mirrors". If you could see the rest of him, you'd see that he bids welcome, but by blocking the coat hooks, he also says "Don't stay too long."

Droid to the World

Day 344

Droid to the World

Just like I don't understand the connection between Santa and firefighting, I also fail to grasp exactly what M&M's and Star Wars have to do with Christmas. Even so, this Peanut M&M C-3PO Christmas ornament proves there must be something. There is also a R2D2 M&M ornament that I've not photographed (yet).

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

All is Bright

Day 343

All Is Bright

What I like about this ornament is that it changes colors depending on which lights it is near. It is not unlike a chameleon in that way. What is even more amazing given that it is made of glass, is that the kids hung this on the tree unsupervised, and still managed not to break it.

Play It Again, Schroeder

Day 342

Play It Again, Schroeder

First of all, I never really understood why they called it "Peanuts". What does it have to do with everyone's favorite legume anyway? Second, why was Charlie Brown bald. Actually, wasn't Linus displaying some MPB too? That takes us to Schroeder, everyone's favorite classical toy pianist, and the subject of today's photo-of-the-day. "You played it for her, you can play it for me! "

Monday, December 15, 2008

My Mulligan

Sunday, December 7, 2008

It seems like a very long time ago since I set out on this odyssey to take a good picture everyday. Though some were better than others, I managed to not miss a day. Until now. I did take some pictures this day, but they were all pretty much rubbish, and there was nothing that I felt was good enough to make the cut. So no keeper today.

But now you can imagine that I was wise to name this project Roth365, even though this is a leap year. That gives me a one time, built in "no-day", which turned out to be this day.

Don't worry though, the odyssey continues, and though the calendar is thin, there are still enough days remaining in 2008 for me to take 365 keepers before they we sing Auld Lang Syne.

Tree Farm

Day 341


It was a crisp Saturday afternoon and the snow was just starting to fall when we arrived at the nearby Mayne's Tree Farm for our annual Christmas Tree selection and subsequent chopping down. Usually we need to check out many, many different trees to be sure we get the one that is just right. When I said "we" in the last sentence, what I meant was "Shelley". This year, we found our tree almost right away. Probably not a Christmas miracle, but still very nice.

Center Peace

Day 340


Why is it that decorating the table somehow makes the meal you eat there better? At this dinner party, not only were the tables fancied up, but so were the guests, myself included.. Luckily I did not need to break my 1+ year streak of not wearing a tie.

Blue Light, Red Light

Day 339

Blue Light, Red Light

These lights adorn a Douglas Fir that we planted in the back yard a few years ago. String increasing numbers of C9's around this tree has become an annual tradition. This will be the last year that I will be able to do this job without the use of a step ladder. A few years from now, we'll probably be just like the Griswalds.

White Light

Day 338


Thank goodness for Christmas decorations. They are just what an inspiration-starved photo-a-day'er needs to help make it through to the end. These are not the first hall-deckers you have seen here, and I assure you they will not be the last.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

No Need to Fear

Day 337

No Need to Fear

My son was really into Underdog for about 3 seconds last year. It happens that those 3 seconds occurered at the time when he made his list for Santa, so Christmas morning found this bobble-head waiting for him under the tree. Since then, he has been shaking his noggin on a shelf right next to a bobble-head Darth Vader that for some reason used to be my daughter's.

Drop On

Day 336


This Japanese Maple tree from the front yard is back here at Roth365, this time bereft of leafs, ducks, and manti. It just watches as a December begins with rain, and collects some water drops as decorations.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008


Day 335


"OK, here is the situation. The giant snow monster is holding your parents and your would-be girlfriend hostage in his cave, and is likely to eat them any time now. You go into the cave, and lure the monster out. We'll drop this giant boulder on its head, then we'll remove all its teeth."

Yeah, that is a Christmas story for the whole family.

Santa Stop

Day 334


Some of my earliest Christmas memories involve attending the Goodwill Fire Company Christmas party back in Pottstown, PA. I'm still not sure how firefighting fits into the Santa mythos, beyond perhaps something involving the chimney, but they are still connected nonetheless. That is why Santa travels the streets of Adamstown, MD each December on his fire truck, soliciting gift requests from children and distributing plastic fireman hats. All this for just the price of whatever you care to drop into the fireman's boot.

Funny Fruit

Day 333


Long before apples, oranges, or mangos were doing it, the trend setting banana was wearing stickers. Now, the stickers have gone beyond just the brand mark to become something much more appealing. This particular sticker is quite appropriate since this acronym could go to no other fruit but the banana. If they were to give out titles, the banana would be declared "The Funny Fruit" (not to be confused with beans, which win a different title). How many great laughs has the slipping on a banana peel brought us? The number can't be counted.

Monday, December 8, 2008

My Place

Day 332

My Place

Ah, that moment when you are about to sit down for a tasty and delicious Thanksgiving feast. I was thankful for everyone who contributed to this, especially since the only things I brought were my camera and my appetite. Special thanks to Kim and Dave for hosting again, and for setting such a picturesque table.

Union Station Christmas Tree

Day 331

Union Station Tree

So they say the day before Thanksgiving is supposed to be some really busy travel day. I took the NYC subway to New York Penn Station, then Amtrak to Union Station in DC, then DC Metro to Shady Grove, and it really was not that bad. In fact, I had enough energy left at the end to take a few pictures, including this one. I also wanted another try at this photo of tables in Union Station which I felt was very close to being a great shot. Unfortunately, I couldn't do any better.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

The Lion Cries

Day 330

The Lion Cries

A day later, and I was still in New York and it was still raining. Luckily, my $3 umbrella that I had acquired from a street vendor was doing a surprisingly good job of keeping me dry. This lion, part of pair that were guarding a bank, was not so lucky.

Walking the Dog

Day 329


New York rained on me during my walk back to the hotel. I did not mind because I am water-resistant, and I knew it was give me the opportunity to get some reflection shots.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Leaving Brooklyn

Day 328

Leaving Brooklyn

I've always said it would be a cold day in November before I walk across the Brooklyn Bridge. OK, maybe I've never said that before, but now I wish I had, because it was. Boy, what a bridge. For Shelley's last day in town we decided to walk from Chinatown, to Soho, to Greenwich Village, then down to and across this famous bridge. The bridge, and the many other sights we saw along the way, made it a walk well worthwhile.

14th Street Blues

Day 327

14th St Blues

The New York subway system is a city unto itself. It is drastically different than the DC Metro, the one subway system I am at all used to. Once mastered however, it opens up a world of discovery, all for the price of a fare card. And, thanks to people like this guy, even waiting for a train can be entertaining. Perhaps on my next visit I will bring along my own tenor sax, and see if I can make a few dollars before being bludgeoned by people with a refined taste in music, or at least a decent sense of hearing.