Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day

Memorial Weekend is the official start of summer, at least unofficially. Meteorologically speaking, June 1st is the start of summer but according to the summer solstice, summer begins June 21, 2010 at 7:28 AM. You could also gauge it by the increase in gas prices, but not this year since prices have dropped the past 3 weeks, hmmm.

I have to wait to plant the garden until summer because of the threat of frost so I guess the stars aligned for me this weekend because it all came together. Nice weather, unofficial start of summer, dry soil and some good help. Here goes for 2010, wish me luck on being a farmer :)

Happy Memorial Day!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Flickr Front Page Explore

First of all I want to offer a huge shout out to one very talented photographer Megg who is otherwise known as just a single cup of coffee. She had this photo featured on the front page of Explore on Flickr. estimates the total number of pictures posted on Flickr to be about 500 million, yep that's right, a huge amount. My time on Flickr has shown that around three to five thousand images are uploaded every minute. Explore page showcases about 500 images per day, a very small percentage of the uploads to be sure. Beyond that Explore has what is called Front Page and that is pretty much what it sounds like, a front page that has only the most interesting of all the photos. I'm not certain how many of the 500 photos per day in Explore make it on to the front page but it's probably not more than 30.

These numbers are getting huge and the odds of being featured on the Front Page of Explore are tiny and you need to top the list of "interestingness" measured by the mysteries of Flickr which is a tightly held corporate secret. No lie :)

Well Megg made it, and I couldn't be happier for her. I have talked her talent up on this blog a few times and for good reason. She has real ability and passion that makes her shine among many bright stars on Flickr and I hope each of you will check out her blog and enjoy her posts and daily photos. Oh, did I mention she jumps everyday? Yeah pretty amazing. Congrats Megg, you deserved this reward.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Running Water

It's that time of year when the streams and creeks start running fast due to all the snow melt in the mountains. I've seen some magic looking pictures capturing the motion of the water and it's really interested me. I had a few minutes the other day so I ran up the canyon to attempt the shots. In my experience, light is everything in photography and trying to set the exposure just right to blur the motion but not blow out the rest of the picture was a bit of a challenge. Luckily clouds moved in and I was able to sloooow down the shutter speed. Thank you clouds, thank you running water!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Vacation Jumps And Flickr Friends

Vacation was a blast. I haven't confirmed that with my family yet, but I had a good time. I've done Disneyland enough that I don't need go again for a while. I would miss Tower of Terror, but the rest of the rides I can leave for a few years and be just fine. Capistrano and Dana Point, well that's another story ... I can't wait to go there again.

I've introduced you to a few of my Flickr friends and it's time introduce another. His name is Kristiano and his lovely wife is Christy and they live in SoCal. They came to Utah about a month ago and we got together for a couple hours for pictures before they headed on their way. He prepares tax returns for high income individuals so we made a professional connection right away. His photos are simply awesome and he and Christy are just as aweome people. They found out we were in SoCal close to where they live so they took time out of their schedule to come by our hotel for a visit and a few pictures.

Kristiano has some great equipment that compliments his talent and I've learned some cool things from him. I would encourage everyone to check out his photostream. Disneyland is a pretty good vacation destination, but for me spending time with family and wonderful friends makes all the difference.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Who Picked This Joint?

There are always adventures when you go on vacation and not the least of which are the places you stay. The internet is a fabulous invention and everyone knows (I think) that I am a huge fan of technology. Remember using the Yellow Pages to find crap? Traveling out of state was a real adventure in years past, because you had to depend on personal experience or someones recommendation on hotels.

Since traveling to California a couple times I have found a favorite. If you have a chance to visit be sure to find this hotel. It's just off of Harbor Blvd and smack dab in the middle of California Adventures. Sometimes known as the Tower of Terror, yikes !!!!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

The Happiest Place On Earth ... ?

I don't have an opinion whether Disneyland is the happiest place on Earth or not, (actually I do but I'm not talking), but being together as a family can make anywhere pretty darn cool. We experienced the drive from hell traveling through Ventura county on the way to Solvang and it made me love Salt Lake traffic and put UDot on my Christmas card list. Other than that, so far so good :)

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Garden Version 2010 ....Hmmm

I'm not much of a gardener. It's my therapy to dig in the dirt but every year something strange happens like a snow storm in the middle of June that freezes everything in sight. Or a cool wet spring and then on July 1st the temperature soars to 99 degrees and doesn't dip for 2 solid months. I have no doubt my plants think ... "What the crap? Why did we have to get planted in this unfriendly place!"

But each spring as Mothers Day rolls around I start getting antsy to get the garden planted and try again to grow the best Halloween pumpkins, award winning tomatoes, awesome potatoes than my Irish ancestors would love to eat and of course not have a weed in sight. Ha.

It is still getting down into the low 20's at night here in the mountain valley of Manti so wimpy vegetables have to wait a couple weeks to go in the ground, but the soil is perfect for tilling and I heard the tractor calling my name yesterday. I figured if I got the garden tilled and some of the weeds knocked down in the south 40 it would make planting easier when the temperature rises.

About 15 years ago Manti irrigation installed a pressurized system and without that I couldn't have green grass or a garden since I'm not there enough to water when things get dry. So when the irrigation company put the pipes in the ground I paid for a connection in the back of my lot figuring someday I could expand my garden and utilize the connection 300' out back. It wasn't too many years before I forgot where the heck the stub off was located. I was confident it was close to the fence line and buried 3' deep. Well yesterday I found it ..... and I was wrong on the location and the depth it was buried :(

So garden version 2010 has already reared it's ugly head and I can't wait to see what else is in store for this weekend farmer!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Vintage Bicycle - Vintage Pictures

About a year ago Wyatt went zooming by my house on a bike straight out of the fifties. It was in great shape and had squeeze bubble toot horn. With the correct basket this bike could come straight out of the Wizard of Oz. Pretty cool machine I'd say. Not much would surprise me about Wyatt. That's not entirely true, it would surprise me if he did something real evil. For the most part he is an innocent 17 something year old with no guile, so I would be shocked at an evil deed. No, his style is more shock effect, random eclectic purchase or activity.

So when I saw this vintage bicycle at his house I wasn't surprised, just curious. It seems that Andrea demanded the bike to satisfy her artsy appetite. True or false, you decide, I don't know the truth but I do know the bike is pretty awesome. I've wanted to try some 2nd curtain shots using the 580 ex II speedlite so the wonderful Christensen's got the bike out and agreed to ride up and down the street while I shot pictures. I thought the 2nd curtain effect was pretty cool and it would work better with a vehicle going a little faster. But then the pictures wouldn't feature such an awesome vintage bicycle.