Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Do I need a DSLR?

It has been very interesting recently. A lot of people who know me casually have come up to me to ask what camera should they get. They like my photos or see me when I have my flash on the camera with a bouncer - seems to cement in their mind that I must know what I am doing. So first things first - I know a little bit about a little bit. I learn more every time I pick up the camera and every time I look at the shots I make. There are many people out there who are better at this than I am. I take photographs because I enjoy it. It allows me to be creative and capture moments.

Now, back to the question - I always want to know why they are asking. Many times it's because they have a 3 - 4 - 5 Megapixel camera and now everything has 10 or they see all these new cameras out there and feel camera envy. I try to explain that the camera doesn't make the picture ....its the thing behind the camera. You can always upgrade your camera and make it easier to take better pictures but just like getting a Porsche doesn't make you a better driver than when you had a Yugo, a better camera doesn't make the pictures look better. In many cases it can highlight the flaws because you have so much resolution.

Two of my favorite pictures that sit in my office were taken with a 5MP Canon S50. I have them blown up to 8 x 10 and they are as sharp as anything I could take with my current camera. If you don't believe me look at the photos in the Lemony Snicket post - they were taken with the same camera 4 days ago.

If you want a new camera, figure out what you will use it for and then see if you can find what you are looking for. I went the DSLR path originally because I could not capture the moments in sports when my daughter was playing that I wanted. I did a fine job, by the way, with a Panasonic Lumix 12x optical zoom camera and have great pictures from it but it fell short capturing what I was seeing which is why I upgraded.

For those of you convinced on a new DSLR Nikon just announced their new D60 and Canon announced their new Xsi. Both great cameras and good first DSLRs. Don't forget that photography is an addictive hobby, you can never have enough good glass and once you get hooked you will want a new body every year too.

Lemony Snicket - The Composer is Dead

The whole family went to NYC this weekend. My mother had gotten all the grandkids tickets to see the latest of the Little Orchestra Society's performance at Avery Fischer Hall, part of Lincoln Center. The best part was that this was the world premier of "The Composer is Dead" by Lemony Snicket.

We went to the 1pm performance and met my parents as well as my brother's family. The orchestra performed 2 pieces with the first being the story of the Pied Piper. Kimmy liked this part but Katie thought the music was a little scary. It had a cool ending where they had about 30 kids aged 8 to probably 14 each playing an instrument (28 flutes and 2 drums) and they marched down the aisle and up on to stage.

The second half of the performance was of the new piece "The Composer is Dead." Daniel Handler - Lemony Snicket's 'representative' narrated the piece while the orchestra played the parts. It is a mystery where we try and figure out which instrument killed the composer and the narrator is the inspector.

Everyone in the family loved the performance. Dad liked the music and enjoyed the mystery at the same time (it was better than okay which is a ringing endorsement from him). Daniel Handler is a natural when it comes to being on stage. We were all laughing during the show.

The best part though was after the show. Dad managed to get us passes to the green room and the kids got to meet Daniel Handler and get their programs signed. He has a sense of humor after my Dad's own heart and yes he is just like the Lemony Snicket books, sarcastic, funny, and nice at the same time.

We weren't allowed to use camera's during the performance but I brought my 5 year old digital point and shoot and got 2 pictures with Kimmy and Lemony - oops I mean Daniel.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Pajama Party in Wanaque

Tonight was pretty cool for my daughters. They had a pajama party at their school. It was for second through fourth graders (Kimmy snuck in). You dressed in your pajamas and came to school at 7pm. All the kids were in the library and lounging out on the floor.

A bunch of the teachers were there for the party and they had pajamas on too. The teachers each read a story - sometimes just one teacher other times they got together and did a tag team. The kids loved it. They were laughing and joining in and it was a cool story time. It was designed to show that reading is fun and the kids were quiet during all the stories and really appreciated having their teacher's there.

At the end of the reading there was a sing-a-long with the music teacher and then a magician came out. He was very good and the kids loved it. Katie kept saying afterwards, "I don't know how he got the dove off of the handkerchief and then made it real." She wanted to know if I knew how it was done.

Kimmy enjoyed it too and sat with a bunch of her friends.

The event was sponsored by the Wanaque School PTA (provided for free) and was a hearty success. Hats off to everyone who helped put the event together, whether planning, participating, or just supporting the kids. Thanks to all the teachers who came because it makes a difference.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Thursday night from the bubble

We had our usual Thursday night soccer game tonight. We were playing the last place team and we weren't doing much better since we had fallen to seventh. Last week's loss dropped us to 7th and if we had won the game instead of blowing it 5 - 3 we would have been in 5th with a chance for fourth this week.

This was a game we thoroughly expected to win. "Alas, poor Yorick! I knew him ," (Digressing for a moment - this quote is almost always wrong - it's not I knew him well, it is "I knew him, Horatio, a fellow of infinite jest, of most excellent fancy") this game was not meant to be a win. We ended up tied 1-1 and we were lucky at that. We did not score until 37 minutes in.

We had a surprise tonight, Nick decided to show up - with a little push of course. Nick played well and got a few good runs in and had some fun too. Towards the end of the game the ball went out on the sideline in our end. The Wildcats (the team we played) had one player that insisted on standing only 2 feet away (he is supposed to be 3 feet at a minimum). In indoor - we do not have throw ins but rather kick ins. Nick took the first ball and tried to go up the sideline but this player got hit in the shoulder and the ball went out again. The second time Nick had certainly had enough - he kicked it right at this player at full speed - of course it bounced off and went out again. You think the guy would have learnt his lesson , but no, so Nick did it again. He certainly had his fun tonight.

I have to be honest - I felt out of it for the first few minutes of the game. I just played in slow motion and actually had one ball that got played right over me - I looked pretty foolish. The Wildcats scored their only goal in the 7th minute. Mark, who played with us last year took a low shot from about 25 feet away and hit the corner of the net. Frank didn't have a chance. You couldn't wipe the grin off Mark's face for the rest of the night - first time this brit has scored in years. We marked them pretty well the rest of the night and they did not have any other really good chances.

We really did have the upper hand this game. The problem was, as usual, we couldn't put the ball in the net. Rolfie actually made it to the game, and would you believe he actually found his shinguards, I didn't have to lend him mine for once. Didn't help though, he missed all night long. Although, let's give credit where credits due, Rolfie actually followed up a shot. Wes took a nice shot which the keeper saved and Paul went after it. Now here's the suspect part. He got to it and still missed. He had one piddly shot on net right at the keeper with his left foot - mind you - he has a good left foot - but right at the keeper? He then proceeded to miss high - at least twice, wide left, once, and wide right twice, not a post in the whole bunch. He didn't even have Kristen to show off for - or be nervous because she was watching - it will be an interesting excuse in the morning. Now, he was the reason we scored, He received the ball on the end line and beat 3 people along the line and put it across the goal mouth. It took 2 of our players hacking at it for it to finally go in.

It happened again with 20 seconds left in the game. A beautiful give and go from Jamie to me and back with a pass to Rolfie in the other corner. He beat at least one player and put it right in the mouth of the goal and for the love of Pete - we could not put the ball in the net.

Wes started passing the ball better in the second half of the game and pumped 3 back to me that I converted to passes to the left corner - we missed all 3 times. Bu played forward and could net get the ball in the net. He received the ball a bunch of times in front of the night but either couldn't turn or missed high and wide. If I had a nickel for all our misses this year the next season would be free.

By the way - Rolfie - since I know you read this - when I carry the ball forward and you are breaking on my right- don't start going back when there is open space in front of you - I know my passes aren't always accurate but it was a perfect release for a shot and you just stood there and looked at the ball as it rolled out... - then gave me a look and told me I had to talk.......not exactly one of my weaknesses.

So we ended up with a tie tonight- should have won but not to be. If Mountain Lakes loses tonight we will end up in 6th place and play for 5th next week.

The best news of all of this first season is that we have now played every team and we know we can beat every team. We have a shot next season which starts in 2 weeks but we have to play to our potential.

New Moon

As they say - when at first you don't succeed, try, try again. I was pretty annoyed at myself last night for blowing the photos of the moon that I was trying to take. I knew tonight I would try again but I had a secret weapon this time. I used the internet and posted a question to a photography forum that I belong to: Digital Grin.

Needless to say many people came to my rescue and the main issue turned out to be that I was over-exposing the moon.

I was determined tonight to get a good shot of the moon

Good news - I had no issues what-so-ever
Bad news - I need longer glass - I had to crop the photo quite a bit to get a nice large image.

D300, 70-300mm VR, 300mm, f/6.3, 1/640 s, iso 100

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Moon over Wanaque

I tried to get some pictures of Kimmy playing moonball the other night. It's just like basketball but with the moon instead. Needless to say I had problems with my first try since it looked more like she was playing moon marble.

This was after the sunset pictures and due to the fact that we had a full moon and Kimmy was still willing to take a few pictures (at least I had found my gloves by this time). Having done a lousy job a few nights ago I wanted to get out there again and get some new shots of the moon which I could try to combine with the pictures of Kimmy to make a great moonball picture.

I was very unhappy with all of my pictures mostly because I don't have a lot of experience taking moonshots and it sure wasn't easy without a tripod. Imagine my surprise when I came in and found that I had one cool picture with a star studded moon (it makes sense when you look at the picture and some stars . It was actually a longer shutter setting completely by mistake but it was the only one I liked tonight (Click for larger image)

D300, 18-200mm lens, 18mm, F/5.6, 2.5 secs, iso 800

Sunday Sunset

Sunday was football day. First we had the Patriots playing the Chargers and the marquee game (if you are a New Yorker) of the Giants vs the Packers.I was enjoying the 1st game into the late third quarter when it became pretty clear that the Patriots were going to win again (18 in a row - can't argue with that success rate). I looked out the window and the sky was turning red.

I figured I could miss the end of the game and grab some sunset pictures. I asked Kimmy if she wanted to go for a few minutes (it's never really a few) and she actually agreed. We drove a few blocks away up the mountain where we had a great view of the sunset and parts of the reservoir.

I took a few practice shots and realized that I had left my gloves at home (pretty stupid when it is 15 degrees out and you are holding a camera). Once I had what I thought was some good framing Kimmy jumped out of the car while I grabbed my flash. I had intended on getting Kimmy to present the sunset (an idea for a photo contest) holding a hand out right at the mountain level.

Got some great pictures and we headed home. It went very quickly because of the lack of gloves. When I looked at the photos I realized that I didn't have enough depth of field so the background was out of focus (there went the contest entry). Well today I cleaned the photo up a little and merged one of my shots without Kimmy with a shot of Kimmy replacing only the sunset behind her with that from the setup photo. It looks much better...(click on the photo for a larger version)
D300, 18-200mm lens, 60mm, iso 800, f4.8 (for sunset) 1/500, (1/250 for Kimmy)

Monday, January 21, 2008

The Cat who ate the canary....

My father, otherwise known as the Cheshire Cat, aka - "old....who, me?"

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Stomp Rockets

My parents came to visit yesterday. They live about an hour away and really like to see the grandkids. My father noticed that the stomp rockets that they had gotten for the holidays were still in the box and asked about them. I had wanted to wait until it warmed up but that never deters my father. He knew to ask Katie if she wanted to do them now and you can guess what she said....

The kids had them out of the box and put together lickity split. They couldn't wait to get them outside and I think Grandpa was starting to feel like a kid all over again.

We got them outside and Kimmy had hers going right away. She favored the jump over the stomp.

Grandpa wasn't going to be outdone and he is a lot bigger. But he can't jump as high...How about the expression on his face? Priceless...

We got cold really fast but that didn't deter us. Katie had some issues with hers which was more due to the fact that the tubing on hers was sort of kinked - but she did get it going finally.

The game soon became lets see if we can catch the rockets on the way down....

Definitely a lot if fun!!!

Friday, January 18, 2008

Another edition of Thursday night soccer

Sorry for the delay in the posts. I don't usually like to wait this long.

Well - we had another game tonight - since we tied last week we fell from 5th place to 6th place and needed a win which would have pushed us up to 4th. We played the team from West Milford and we did not start strong at all. We let up 2 goals in the first 8 minutes - both of them our fault. We pushed too early too fast and let them have an odd man rush which they played very well. We came back with 2 goals to tie the score at 2 - nice shots Wes. It was a tough game and I took 2 knocks to the head - the first about 11 minutes into the game, stopped an odd man rush and fell at the same time - took a header on the turf but managed to get the ball off to Bu. Took a quick break and then we had a miscommunication. I normally play center back and when I stepped out we lost our center back as the sub went in at midfield. Needless to say they scored # 3.

Then we dominated the next 10 minutes had 4 shots that each hit either the crossbar or a post and the goalie had 2 good saves on 2 others. This is when I took my second shot to the head - this time really a shot - took the ball off my face - the good news is no bloody nose this week. Managed to stay with the ball but took a break a few minutes later - need to clear my head a little. In the mean time - we gave up another goal to drop to 4 - 2 and we lost our way for a few minutes. People got a little down and gave up some - West Milford applied a lot of pressure - we stopped many of the odd man rushes but we really need to get better at marking our men. With about eight minutes left West Milford scored their fifth goal.

This kicked us back into gear and we started to go hard. We had three more balls off posts or crossbars and finally put one in but ran out of time - final score 5 - 3. This is a game we needed to win and should have won. No excuses,we just need to play the whole time and get better passing and marking. We have people moving to the open space and we are not crisp in our passes or some of us are trying to do everything ourselves and ending up losing the ball. We have to play as a team if we want to win.

Now it's time for the Rolfie report. He showed up late - but we will give him pass with all of the snow around and he was working (or so he claims). This was Rolfie's night or at least it appeared to be. He has some great shots on net - a few were saved by the keeper but the rest just really liked the frame of the goal - he hit at least one crossbar and 2 posts. The good news is he is dialing in his shots now - just needs to get a few more inches in there (ask Kristen about this - I am sure she can explain the concept to you Rolfie)- the bad news is he never follows his shots. The one that banged off the crossbar bounced round for at least 5 seconds before the goalie finally grabbed it and Rolfie-boy could have walked in there - ordered his fish and chips - and still put the ball in the net. Same with a few rebounds off the keeper - I think he was thinking of celebrating down at the pub and never realized that it hadn't gone in....

We are going to stay in 6th place but we will win next week - if I have to shove Rolfie into the net with the ball myself.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Really...it snowed....I swear

All weekend long we kept hearing about this nor'easter that was roaring up the coast. Where I live in Northern NJ it was projected that we would be in the 4" - 8" zone at the very least. We got a little worried - made sure that everything was away outside (it had been so warm that we had some things out) and watched the news closely.

A curious thing happened at 10pm. They stopped showing snow totals and just showed which areas would be hit the hardest. We were still in that area but we had no idea how much we were going to get.

At 11 - one channel still showed the snow totals but then said the snow would come in gusts (not really sure how snow gusts - wind does but snow?) We put the phone by the bed in case there was a delayed opening and went to bed with a little sense of dread.

Imagine my surprise when I got up this morning and there was just a little more than a coating on the driveway. The roads were clear but there was snow on the trees and lawns. I grabbed my camera and took a few snaps.

As I drove to work I got less then 10 minutes from home when the snow disappeared. There was no evidence what-so-ever. Of course New England is getting socked but not us.

Here is my evidence:

D300, 18-200mm VR, f9, 1/125s, iso 200, 48mm, no sharpening

Sunday, January 13, 2008

New lens

I received my new Nikon 50mm f1.4 lens from B&H on Thursday and finally had a chance to use it yesterday. One of the reasons I bought this lens was for indoor sports such as hockey and basketball.

We went to the rink yesterday for a birthday party and I caught the tail end of a friend's son's game. I got to see John score his first goal (Go John) just as I walked in but missed the photo.

The new lens is nice although it has a small DOF (Depth of Field) at f1.4. I caught this shot without a flash.

D300, 50mm f1.4, no flash, 1/640, iso 800, f1.6 (cropped)

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Random thoughts on kids and video games

It's 1:15 in the morning and I am still up. I have always found sleep to be elusive. My wonderful mother always suggests that I should go to a sleep clinic, I am not sure they would ever let me out. Too much fun to study.

I think one of the reasons I have trouble sleeping is that I can't shut my brain off. It just keeps going. I was watching my girls tonight as they decided to play with the Wii before they went to bed. It's funny - my wife gave me Guitar Hero 3 as a present and the kids spend more time playing it than I do. Katie is fun to watch because she gets her face really screwed up as she concentrates on the notes. She doesn't hold it like a normal guitar - she lays it on the ground and uses it more like a game controller. Her hands are too small for it otherwise. Kimmy plays it like a real guitar and they have formed their own band. They made a team and they are now going through the section where you earn money by playing the songs well.

It is amazing how quickly they learn. The lesson I will impart tonight is that for those of you who are older than 30 and have children play the video games as soon as you get them. This will be the only time you can beat them. Your children will pick up the moves rather quickly and there goes your chance. They really like when they can beat their dad. I like the look on their face when they do. Of course, it makes me want to try harder - but rarely am I successful once they get good at a game.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Soccer news

So we had our second game of the week tonight. We had a makeup game from when the snow was bad enough they closed the facility due to the roads which was Tuesday and then we played again tonight. We went against the 2 top teams both of which were undefeated.

Tuesday night we were very sluggish and it showed. I just don't think we were ready. We had one lapse on defense and lost the game 1 - 0. That's not to say that we didn't have our chances. The game was extremely close and we could have won it.

Tonight was probably our toughest game of the season. The team we played against, Maccabi Masters, has obviously been together a long time. They played well together with a nice balanced game. They knew their triangles and looked good. They didn't win though, we ended up tied 2 - 2. We had our chances and played well. I managed to get a bloody nose, a ball in the face will do that for you, but they didn't score on that play. Wes had 2 goals both set up by Rolfie. He would have had a third but one of our own players got in the way, duck Jamie.

Now Rolfie had an interesting night. I think he may have been trying to show off for his girlfriend, but he couldn't seem to find the goal. Great shots just not on net. 2 field goals (wrong sport Rolfie - they don't play American football in Chelsea) and then a bunch wide left or right - mind you - these weren't post shots - these were 4 maybe 5 feet to the left or right. In the spirit of soccer- I thought this was a great comic.....(from http://www.gocomics.com)

Thursday, January 10, 2008

In case of Emergency......

I always wonder what to do with these new packaging materials. They use to use those Styrofoam peanuts that as soon as you touched them they stuck to you. You would start waving your hand and one would fall off and another would attach itself. They were almost impossible to get rid of.

Then they went to the biodegradable ones that melted when they got wet. Really cool the first time you play with them but not a great thing to wash down the sink, or if your package got left on the front stoop you would have a real mess on your hands.

So the new thing is to send the little bags of air that you use to protect your purchases. Here's what I use them for.....right on the wall outside my office.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008


Sometimes you love UPS and other times you hate them. It's not their fault mind you - just a reality in life - must be one of Murphy's laws.

"A package will always be delivered when you have just stepped out of the house for a minute, resulting in a notice on your door."

My new D300 which is replacing the one I had an issue with arrived today and then promptly went back on the UPS truck to sit forlornly among the other soon to have homes packages only to be replaced by a white, gold and brown notice on the door. My wife had stepped out to pick the kids up from school and was gone for maybe 25 minutes. Wouldn't you know that was when UPS arrived. Sometimes I think they hide around corners just to make sure they miss you. They don't of course but it makes me feel better to think they do.

I am going to pick it up tomorrow at their service center since it is on the way to work and their second delivery attempt was going to be at the same time as today - 20% chance my wife will be out and 90% chance that is when they will try to deliver the package again......


We had a deer in the back the other day. I shot this through our kitchen window.Nikon D300, 18-200mm VR lens, 112mm, 1/60s, f5.3, iso-320 - jpg

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

What camera should I get?

So, on Sunday we took the kids ice skating. What a great time to get some practice taking shots on the rink for ice hockey. It was free skate time at the local rink and the girls were meeting some friends there.

First axiom, it never hurts to ask. I asked the skate guard if I could stand in the team box to take pictures. He sent me to the front desk and after a couple of minutes they let me walk out to the box as long as I was escorted. I got some great pictures of the girls. Katie, my youngest, is still getting the kinks out so she likes to be closer to the wall but she skates very well and after a while will move away. Kimmy has always skated well but is a great big sister and likes to help Katie out.

Second axiom, if you are taking pictures in a public place, people invariably come up and ask if you are the photographer for the rink. That was an easy one to answer. Then I got approached by a very nice guy who wanted to know if I could take a few pictures of him skating. Je was a hockey player so it was great practice keeping him in frame.

He stopped by a little later and asked me whether I liked my camera. Of course, I love it. He asked, "So Nikon is a good brand?" yes "How about Canon?" After I showed him how my camera worked I explained that he couldn't go wrong with either brand. Some poeple look at me funny when I tell them that.

Cameras are just tools. If you can't see things before you pick up the camera the brand doesn't help you see any better. One of my favorite pictures that I have blown up to an 8 x 10 in my office is one I took with a 5MP Canon point and shoot 3 1/2 years ago. The camera itself doesn't matter. I saw a view that I liked and snapped the picture. I still have people come into my office and ask where I bought the photo.

Canon does some things better than Nikon and Nikon does other things better. The good news for us photographers is that the longer they keep going at it the better our gear will get. Figure out where you are as a photographer (beginner, using cameras for a long time etc.), what you want to do with the camera, and with your pictures. You may not want the same camera if you are just taking family pictures versus sports etc. Choose a camera based on how feels in your hand and whether you like the controls. Is the camera to big for your hands? Does it feel to heavy? Is it uncomfortable after a few minutes? For some, Nikon feels better and for others Canon does. Don't let anyone convince you just because they use something different then you that their camera is better. Ansel Adams was taking pictures many moons ago when they didn't have digital or precision ground lens etc and his photos endure to this day.

Many people - myself included, will tell you to get good lenses (or glass as some people call it) and you can always upgrade your camera later. If you wantto shoot indoor sports you need fadt glass where is if you are outside all the time and don't have moving subjects you may be able to use slower glass.

Time to get off my soapbox, just remember - the camera doesn't matter - it's the person behind the lens.

New blog link

I added a new link this morning to Weekly Photographic Tips. Scott Eccleston who runs this site does a great job. I have found him to be a good writer with some interesting topics. I have followed the links he has provided many times and the best reason to recommend his site is that I have learned things from him. What more could you ask for?

Not only that - he is from the great state of Maine (gives him an edge in my book) and if you have a chance take a look at his website. He spends his time shooting photos and not pixel peeping. Keep up the great work Scott and I, for one, will not mind if you do more then a tip or 2 a week - I enjoy reading them.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Gotta love great service

I bought my Nikon D300 a little more than a month ago. I noticed a problem after I had been using it for a little bit. I had originally thought it was a problem with my lens and then figured out it was the camera itself. I went back through my pictures and discovered that the problem had been there all along.

So I called Nikon which said they would take care of it but they suggested that I speak to the store where I got it from first. I didn't think I had a chance since I had taken more than the usual 14 days to return an item.

Imagine my surprise when I explained to the store the problem and they said they would be happy to either exchange or return it. That is excellent customer service and why I keep going back to B&H Photo and telling my friends about it. I highly recommend them for your photo and camera purchases. If you are ever in New York City it is well worth the trip to the store. They are amazingly polite (in this day and age no less), knowledgeable, patient, and they let you try things in the store. Take your camera with you if you are looking for a lens since you can get a feel for it right there.

There are very few places that provide great customer service and when you find one stick with it. These are the stores worth going to again and again. I wish other places would learn this lesson - sometimes it is not just the best price but a great experience that counts.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Its raining lint......

I probably should have brought my camera downstairs today and taken some pictures of the inside of the dryer exhaust. We noticed that the dryer wasn't drying well and I have never cleaned out the exhaust in the 10 years we have had it so figured it must be time.

Filled up an entire vacuum cleaner bag and then some. At one point I had to stick my hand in the tube and just pull some out by the handful. Not a fun job and a lot of sneezing but hopefully the dryer will now work better (we'll know that soon enough).

Now - there is no excuse for this since it is a fire hazard and you should do it once a year but there I go again, being the pot calling the kettle black.

Friday, January 4, 2008


No - not Thank God its Friday - but rather what wacky weather we are having. Last night it dropped to under 10 degrees and the wind was blowing. Today it is in the thirties and by Monday it is supposed to in the Mid-fifties. It will be a great weekend - really nice outside - so get out and take a walk.

Thank god its Warm.

Yeah, a win

Thursday is indoor soccer night. My team played its third game tonight. We had the third slot - 10:30 to 11:15 and needed 2 subs since 2 of our regular players are across the pond this week. We lost our first 2 games 3 - 1 and 2 - 0 but bounced back tonight with a nice 5 - 0 win. Always nice to be out of the bottom in the league and now we can start our march upwards.

We still have an issue with legs this week and need to get into better shape. The 2 week layoff certainly didn't help and neither did all the christmas cakes. As we get tired towards the end of the game we become more defensive and get a little sloppy. We held the line much better tonight but still need improvement.

It didn't help that the wind was blowing and the temperature outside was about 0. The bubble we played in was a little chilly but once the game started no one noticed.

Hats off to Wes who has been out with an injury and came back to score 4 goals and of course we will be mercilessly teasing Rolfie who despite his skills turned into a little screaming girl for 2 seconds - ducked, turned sideways, threw his arms up and one leg to protect himself and let out a little scream (at least that is the story the rest of the team is sticking with). Of course, my eldest daughter (9) would get mad at me for calling Rolfie a little girl - she wore her soccer shirt to school today - said all the girls liked it. It reads "I play like a girl" on the front and "Faster, Stronger, Better" on the back. She has already chosen a new one that she wants available on soccer.com - get it here

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Finally better

It's been a long week but I am finally feeling better. I guess sometimes it really does take time - of course some of it was due to bad food but today was the first day in a week that by the end of the day I actually felt okay.

I actually had to tear myself away from the Mac tonight but I got through my Fort Foster Park Photos and put them in a gallery. Interestingly enough I did very little to the photos. Usually I spend some time cropping and fixing the little things - maybe some sharpening here or there but I did that with only a few. I spent most of my time choosing the best pictures out of the many I shot. Part of it is due to my new Nikon D300 which I used on its vivid setting with the saturation pumped up. It makes the colors pop more. The other part was just being in the right place at the right time.

This is where you will find the photo I used for my New Years card.

One of my favorite photos here was this one of a tie up next to the doc. I shot this one straight down into the Pylon (support beam) with a flash

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Swimming in December?

1st day of January and I seem to still be a little sick - not able to venture out today. Not really the best way to spend my last day off (or 1st of this year depending on how you look at it) but managed to get down to my computer for about 10 minutes to keep working on my photos from last week's day trip to Maine.

Now - For those of you who get the chance, I highly recommend that after you finish spending money at the outlets in Kittery Maine that you wander over to Kittery Point and enjoy Fort Foster Park on Gerrish Island. It is a great place to take a walk - shoot some photos and just enjoy time with the family. I will be posting some photos from there later this week.

Imagine my surprise when I walked into the park and saw this sign? It was nice to know that the beach was open but I didn't really think I was going swimming or about to play any water contact activities.....although maybe this is where the polar bear club goes.

Happy New Years 2008!