327/366: Thanksgiving Day on Flickr.
20110723, a set on Flickr.
Sammy had his last baseball game today. The team played well and Sam had a lot of fun. After the game Jocie had the car all packed up and they started to drive for Utah stopping half-way in Rawlins, WY. They were able to find a hotel with a pool and had good time it sounds like. I went to visit with my falconry sponsor and on the way home snapped a few photos of some immature and mature Swainson’s hawks. A few where the bird was cutting in front of the sun turning it into an unintentional silouette.
20110628, a set on Flickr.
I got home from work to find Jocie had gotten the kids a slip and slide. It was pretty warm today (upper 90’s) and so they were cooling off on the slide in the backyard. I took the opportunity to snag the camera and try to capture some shots that “froze” the water droplets. I flipped it to shutter-priority mode and set it on 1/2000th and something like iso 800 (here is the detailed exif data). Those settings seemed to do the job. I had to hustle to get to my 6 PM softball game which ended in a bad loss. We then ran quickly over to Sammy’s baseball game with a quick pitstop at 7-11 where Sammy and I each got a hot dog dinner. I have to say, I love a beautiful meal, but it doesn’t ruffle my culinary feathers one bit to eat a hot dog with chili and cheese. Sam looked good at practice and Fischer had a blast playing at the park right by the field. The practice finished with a little game of kick ball where the parents played a bit. We played until 9 PM when it was quite dark. Sophie is spending the night at a friends so I’m missing her as I haven’t seen her since this morning.
20110627, a set on Flickr.
Today was quite a day. Sam was sleep deprived due to an impromptu sleep over and decided to become the poster child for oppositional and defiant children everywhere. Jocie got her hair done and then spent the rest of the day (literally) putting Sam back in time out over and over. I finally got home and by then he seemed to have been learning from his punishments (better late than never) so we went out to burgers and the park to blow off some steam. As we were playing a mixture of soccer, baseball, and running around, the sun started to set and I couldn’t help myself and shot a few photos. I used my 70-300mm and got a few nice ones during the golden hour.
20110626, a set on Flickr.
We had a pretty laid back Sunday. I cleaned up the garage by organizing the bevy of bikes and tools. Sam helped sweep it out and his fascination with the lawn mower took over. For the last two years he has loved to try (and sometimes) succeed in mowing the lawn. He was begging to let him mow the lawn and I told him if he helped me clean up the garage I would let him. The lawn was already mowed, but you can’t beat that deal of having your kid agree to work so he can do more work. We got the garage nice and clean (looks like a different place) and he then got busy trying to start the mower. After about 15 pulls he finally got it going. I thought he might just take a few laps since it is not a power driven mower, but he stuck with it and did the entire front yard himself. I paid him 3 dollars for his impromptu and unsolicited job completion. Later we went to some friends for tacos. We came home and played outside for awhile. Sophie took her gerbils for a “walk” in her wagon while Sam and a friend kicked the soccer ball and Fischer rode his new bike around.
20110625, a set on Flickr.
Typical Saturday except that Sam’s baseball game was at 8:30. A bit early for my tastes on a Saturday when it is the only day to really try and sleep in which happens maybe one of out 10 times. Oh well, we drove off in a mad rush only to get to the field which was about 15 minutes away and have Sam ask us where his cleats were. Uggg. I spun the car around—we were going to be pressing it to drive all the way back home and back to the field in time for the game to start. I did my formula one racing impression in our minivan and we made it back with 5 minutes to spare before the game started. It included no less then 3 lectures by two parents on being responsible for getting your own stuff before you get in the car. Afterwards Jocie went on a run and we met up at the pool where we camped out for about 3 hours. Sophie played with some friends while Sam and I went to play some soccer at the park. Later, the kids had a pizza party and watched a movie while Jocie and I went to a wedding reception.
20110621, a set on Flickr.
Today was a crazy day. Sam played in two 3 v 3 soccer games out near my work and then we had to rush off to his baseball practice. I missed a softball game of mine in the mix. We didn’t get home until 9 PM without any dinner to speak off other then a few munchies from the soccer game. Sophie and Sam went to buy their new school uniforms for the charter school they will be attending this year. I forced Sophie to let me take a few photos of her (which turned out to be a lot more then a few as I just couldn’t get the off camera lighting to work—I never really was happy with it so these will just have to do). I fed my obsession a bit today when I got a Rokinon 85mm f/1.4 MF prime lens which is chipped for a Nikon (so you get an indicator when it is in focus since it is a manual focus lens). All the photos in this set were taken with this lens. Will be fun to learn to master the art of a manual focus and I am very happy with the lens thus far with only the handful of shots I have taken with it today and am looking forward to some video with it as well.
20110619 Father’s Day, a set on Flickr.
Today was Father’s Day. We had a delicious filet mignon “linner” (our combo of lunch and dinner). With storm clouds approaching we were debating whether to go to the park or take a drive and look for a hike in the foothills. I made the call and we decided to go for a drive, but kept the baseball stuff in the car. We stopped at Mount Falcon Park and took a short hike up to the lookout tower. Along the way there were a few drops of rain, but the sun also poked out of the clouds once. We took the long way home and visited an italian cafe and gelato store called Spuntino in Denver. Sammy got one of the largest cookie-gelato sandwiches ever created. I got the Salted Chocolate Caramel Tart shown in the picture (hey, it’s father’s day and you sometimes have to cheat when low carbing). On the drive home there was a crazy hail storm (check out the short video in this set). We quickly parked the car under a single tree’s canopy while the kids jumped out to take a few lumps on their backs. Once the hail subsided it actually stopped raining all together and the sunset looked like it could actually produce a pretty nice show so we stopped at Jackass Hill Park on the way home. It has a nice overview of the foothills to the west and I shot a few of the kids and some HDRs of the sunset as did Jocie on her iPhone. Good day to be a dad.
20110618 Rapids Soccer Game, a set on Flickr.
Today I spent about 2 hours working on a side project trying to put together a do-it-yourself steadicam for my DSLR camera. The project is pretty close and as soon as I get a first prototype together I’ll be posting a demo video.
Sammy had a baseball game today and it was the first game they won. Sam had a nice hit that was a single but they overthrew first and he was off for second. Instead of getting it into the catcher they threw the ball to second and again bobbled it although not as far as the one to first. You get the picture—he made it all the way to home using this technique. The umpire ended up putting him back at second saying the ball had gone out of bounds and hence he was limited to one extra base. He pitched the last inning and had 3 strike outs. His pitching is really improving with each game.
Tonight we went to the Colorado Rapids soccer game against the LA Galaxy. They lost 3 to 1 (Sam even now, the next day, insists it was 2 to 1 since it was clear from the replay that the first goal was crossed once it had already gone out of bounds), but it was fun to watch. Also, Beckham and Donovan were both out so there was a little disappointment there. All in all a pretty good day.
20110617 Sammy’s 9th Birthday Party, a set on Flickr.
Today we had a belated birthday for Sammy. It was a joint party with one of Sammy’s good friends—they both invited their circle of friends and we ended up with about 14 boys. It was a game-fest themed party and they played two hours (at least) of kickball, football, and basketball.
Running to Second Base on Flickr.
Today we went to Sam’s baseball game. It was good to get the family back together again. I was in NY this week and Sophie was in Portland. We picked her up from the airport late last night. It was good to hang out at the ball field and watch the game. The boys lost the game but it was a close one.
This is a picture of Sammy running to second base after he had a nice hit down the third base line for a single and the next boy up to bat hit him to second.
20110610 Picking Up Sophie From The Airport, a set on Flickr.
I flew back in from NY around the middle of the day and we went back out to the airport to pick up Sophie at 9:00 PM. Sam and Fischer made Soph a nice sign for her homecoming.
Sparks From An Old Fashioned Lighter on Flickr.
The boys were having fun in the bathroom striking this lighter and watching it spark (it doesn’t have any fluid). It is the kind that you have to use liquid fluid absorbed into a cotton material with a cotton wick. I asked if they wanted to see what the sparks looked like (looking for any excuse to take a break from work and play with the camera). This was a one second exposure using my 50mm prime—it took about 10 shots in order to get my hand so there wasn’t too much movement and also to get the sparks semi in focus. I focused it with the lights on and then turned the camera to manual. I also used my remote and a one second shutter delay which when you are using a Nikon means two clicks of the remote when you have the shutter delay on. The first click raises the mirror. The second click starts the exposure.
20110605 Reading Comics & Sam’s Practice, a set on Flickr.
Today was day number two of our boys weekend. Jocie ran her half marathon today in San Diego and I got the call early in the morning that she did great and felt good (altitude training seems to have been a boost). We are missing Sophie as she is in Portland.
We took a breakfast run to McDonalds and then to the batting cages. Sammy is really getting better and soaks up every little piece of coaching you give him.
Fischer was a sport at the batting cages and wanted to take a coin (16 pitches) himself. So I held the bat with him and we plunked a few down range.
We then ran some errands (I got a haircut) including a trip to Goodwill looking for a baseball helmet and a bike for Fischer. While there the boys turned up some old GI Joe comics and after looking at the advertisements (these were from 1984) I had to get them as they were so representative of my childhood. I scanned a few into this set.
The kids then played with the neighbors for a few hours and then it was off to an impromptu baseball practice (the kids need some help with both fielding and hitting).
Tonight it is all about “movie night” number 2 (we watched Karate Kid last night). The boys got a small treat and are watching a movie before bed.
You’re Out! on Flickr.
Sophie’s choir sang the national anthem at the Colorado Rockies game today. As part of that they let use go down to the front row of the third base line. It was hard to get any decent photos of her, but Sam, Fischer, and myself decided to camp out in some premium, albeit dangerous (due to foul balls), front row third baseline seats. This was a wreck at home plate with the pitcher when the ball got past the catcher and the runner on third went for it. It was a fun night.