Sunday, August 31, 2008

Sleep Envy!

There's a reason this blog has its title. I am by no means a prolific sleeper. Quite the opposite - I usually get very little sleep. Today, for instance, I needed to be up a few minutes after 8 on a Sunday since I had to pick up the uniforms for my daughter's soccer team. No problem, I went to bed around 1 or 1:30 - a good 6 1/2 to 7 hours of sleep. I try and plan one night a week to catch up and this seemed like it. What happens at about 6 am? The power goes out. You might not think that this is much of an issue but since most of the equipment in the house is hooked up to various UPS (Uninteerupible power supplies) they started beeping. Needless to say that was the end of my sleeping.

My father, on the other hand, seems to be able to take a nap anywhere, which I envy. It's sort of like a Dr Seuss rhyme.

I will take a nap on a bed, or on a a couch,

I can sleep anywhere I don't go ouch.

On a park bench,

or a lawn,

morning, afternoon

or even dawn.

Silly Faces part 4

We met with the third of the 3 siblings yesterday. (My father, uncle and aunt) Aunt Elaine is the more mature of the 3 but that didn't stop her from contributing to the growing archive of silly faces.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Unc's Silly Faces

A lot of the reason we spend at least a day in Northport every summer is so that we can spend time with my Aunt and Uncle and, of course, the girls like to go out on the boat with them.

Unc usually spends as much time behind the camera as I do but he seems to have ceded those duties over to me. It doesn't stop him though from making silly faces when the camera is pointing his way.

D300, 18-200mm VR, 82mm, f/8.0, 1/320s, ISO 200

Not to much creativity here - so only a score of a 6.5 (An extra .5 for driving the boat at the same time)

D300, 18-200mm VR, 42mm, f/5.6, 1/320s, ISO 200

The baby look - a pout for for a 7.0 (or else he bit a lemon) D300, 18-200mm VR, 42mm, f/5.6, 1/320s, ISO 200

Utter surprise (faked of course) - a solid 8.5 due to the fact that you can see the tonsils.

Self Portrait

I was asked where I took my self portrait so I thought I would show the original photo along with my crop. When we went to Northport this past Sunday we spent part of the day out on the Long Island Sound on the boat with my Unc (you have to - its his boat!). I took a lot of pictures but I always wanted to try one in a pair of sunglasses - lucky for me my gorgeous wife was sitting across from me and I shot the photo in her glasses - its a good photo of her too except that her head and chin are cut off....

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Self Portrait on glass!

D300, 18 - 200mm VR, 200mm, f/8.0, 1/500s, ISO 200

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Bear - a handsome Mutt!

After we met Roxie and had some ice cream in Downtown Northport on Sunday we walked over to the park. My aunt wanted some quality time with the kids on the tire swing.

This was fine since it led to my meeting Bear. Bear is a very handsome and yet quiet mutt, although it is easy to see how they came up with his name. He is a bigggggg dog. According to his dad - he is part Chow and part Pyrnese mountain dog. Personally I think he might have a little German Shepherd in him too - he has the look in the face.

He is about 10 years old (if my memory serves me correctly) and has a relatively new human brother - about a year and a half old whom he loves.

Bear posed with a quiet dignity for me and let me get 2 good portraits of him.


D300, 18-200mm VR, 42mm, f/4.5, 1/320s, ISO 400
Click on photo for a larger view

Roxie – Bernese Mountain Dog

The whole family went to Northport NY on Sunday to see my Aunt and Uncle. In the afternoon we went for ice cream downtown. Northport has quite a few places to buy the food of the gods and as we were walking through downtown we passed the Northport Tasting Room & Wine Cellar and that's where we ran into Roxie.

Roxie is an absolutely gorgeous dog who was lazing by the window. I always thought Bernese mountain dogs were almost as large as St Bernards so I figured Roxie was a puppy. Of course I was wrong. She is a beautiful 3 year old although a little on the small side. Doogie came in with me to meet Roxie and they both behaved very well.

Roxie has her bed right by the window of the Tasting Room and she seems happy to meet all the customers. She was extremely friendly and I even got a kiss from her. Roxie, although very photogenic, had no desire to sit still - to busy being friendly but I did manage to get a few good photos of her.

If you happen to be in Northport and need a bottle of wine or just want to pop into to say hi to Roxie or Matthew the owner of the Northport Tasting Room & Wine Cellar I am sure they would be happy to meet you.
D300, 18-200mm, 34mm, 1/60s, f/5.6, ISO 200, Flash
Click on photo for a larger view

Thursday, August 14, 2008

@#!%! program!

For those of you that ever struggle on your computer - especially when trying to play with a drawing this is pretty irresistible. Alan Becker obviously has a lot of frustration to take out and he does get the comic side of things.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Yankees vs Red Sox

Well sort the duck pin bowling way of looking at things at least. I still have a post left in me about duck pin bowling from our visit to Danbury this past weekend but I couldn't resist grabbing this photo while we were there and posting it.

I think pops will enjoy this one the most.

D300, 18-200mm, 32mm, f/11, 1/60s, ISO 200, Flash

It doesn't seem to matter how you slice it. The New York Yankees are always worth more than the Boston Red Sox. Of course a green Paramount ball is worth even more.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Hot!!!!!!!!!!! Buffalo Wings!!!!!!

Sue and I spent the weekend in Danbury Connecticut while leaving the kids with Grandma and Grandpa to swim all day. (They spent 5 hours in the pool on Saturday and only a few on Sunday).

I happen to be a lover of all things hot and spicy and have never met a hot sauce store I didn't like. I usually walk out of those stores with at least 3 or 4 new sauces. Imagine my surprise when going through the list of restaurants in Danbury I found TK's American Cafe.They have 37 different varieties of wings and that alone was enough to make me want to eat there.

Sue and I ended up going there for lunch on Saturday and let me say that this is a great sports bar. There are TVs everywhere and when we picked a booth we had our own little TV there that we could change the channels on and everything. It certainly made watching the Olympics while we were eating easy. What's better than a little lunch and some women's beach volleyball?

Now TK's has been around since 1990 and according to the history on the back of the menu it was floundering until it put together 10¢ wing night and history was made. You can take a look at the menu here and see all 37 flavors.

The first five flavors on the menu were Mild, Buffalo Hot, Xtra-hot, Suicide, and Revenge. You can guess which ones I was most interested in. The waitress was extremely helpful and described the difference between all of the wings. The two hottest varieties are Suicide and Caribbean. The difference is in the taste of the hot sauce. This was the best answer ever since I like heat but not over taste. If something is hot just to be hot and has no taste it isn't worth it. So, I was obviously in heaven at this point.

This is when I discovered one of the secrets of TK's, there is actually a 38th flavor that they don't put on the menu. It is hotter than Revenge and the hottest wing that they make. I won't give away the secret - you will have to ask when you go there but if you like your wings extra hot I recommend that you ask for their resurrection wings. The hottest ones not on the menu.

Did I like them? I loved them. They made my eyes tear up and my nose run and yet they had the perfect amount of flavor with an unbelievable amount of heat. My lips were burning all through lunch and everything else I ate set the heat off even after I finished the wings.Sue kept laughing at me but they were terrific.

TK's will sell you the sauce for any of their flavors at $4.75 a jar (+ tax) and needless to say I walked away with a jar of resurrection for my own home use. If you have a chance and happen to be on 84 driving through Connecticut and heading through Danbury I highly recommend that you jump off the highway for a 5 minute ride to TK's and have a generous helping of wings (pick your own heat but I know what I am getting next time I drive through)

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Haven't forgotten

This has been a really crazy week. I have been spending most of my day and night working and operating on very little sleep. I haven't forgotten to blog just had no time.

I will probably do some catching up here on Sunday night as this weekend is our 16th anniversary and it is time to spend some time with my wife.

Have a great weekend and you never know what you might see online.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Best way to hunt a deer, for photos that is!

Friday morning I was up early and off to work before the sun rose. I watched it come up and almost stopped on the highway 3 different times to take some photos of it cresting the horizon but I had to be at work bright and early so I kept going. I still managed to get to my exit early and decided to take a quick detour to Sunset Lake in Bridgewater.

For those of you that don't know, I drive a hybrid - to be more specific a Toyota Prius. The Prius is really cool because at speeds less than 30 miles an hour it has a tendency to turn the engine off and use the electric motor. I found a spot to park and glided up and imagine my surprise when I saw a deer maybe 25 feet away. Her ears didn't even twitch. The silent mode of the car took her completely unawares. Of course, I then made my first mistake, I turned the car off. The smarter thing would have been to just open the window and shoot pictures of her from there. (The windows are electric - they Don't work with the engine off)

I decided to be a little braver and got out of the car without closing the door. She pricked her ears at the sound of me getting out and gave me the first shot.

D300, 70 - 300mm VR, 260mm, f/5.6, 1/30s, ISO 800
Click image for a larger view

She didn't like the camera noise but slowly started moving through the woods and since I wasn't moving at all she kept going. She grabbed something to eat but kept her eye on me. When she stopped and looked through the opening in the trees I grabbed my second opportunity.
D300, 70 - 300mm VR, 300mm, f/5.6, 1/25s, ISO 800
Click image for a larger view

I love the way the trees frame this shot. I definitely recommend a hybrid for sneaking up on animals. It makes it much easier.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Long week

It has been a very long week this week. Getting up before dawn and getting home either after the sun has set or a little earlier and then going to a meeting for a few more hours. Sorry for the scarcity of posts but hopefully I can get through the pre-dawn photos I took yesterday (a small advantage of getting up early) and can catch up.

Friday, August 1, 2008

More Flowers

Sometimes it is the closeup that matters and other times it is the background that makes a photo. My favorite from my mother's garden is this photo. The lily is a beautiful flower but the context that Black Eyed Susans give it make it better - at least to my eye.
D300, 18-200mm VR, 50mm, f/6.3, 1/400s, ISO 200