That itty bitty chair THE BOSS uses as a step stool to reach the stuff in the cabinets is an accident waiting to happen!
Said itty bitty chair decided to depart from under my feet this afternoon and I really triggered my back this time!
I blame this on THE BOSS because she was in the same room at the time and was negligent in supervising my actions. (I hope she doesn’t read this)
The meds are kicking in nicely and I will survive .
Man am I ever glad my new La-Z-Boy was delivered a week ago! I’ll be stuck in it for the near future……..in a drug induced haze.
Now where is my little bell? I need it to ring for ice cream and some comic books.
Oh there you are. It’s about time.
Wait…..what are you going to do with that skillet?
Oh look at all the little burdies……..fireworks, too!
Today started out fine with beautiful weather and low pain levels. Then the madness struck THE BOSS and me simultaneously. We spent the day working on flower beds.
Now we’re both hobbling around moaning and groaning. My back is so bad I can barely walk WITH a cane! THE BOSS even had to help me get dressed when I got out of the shower which was an adventure in itself. We both have a nice dose of sunburn to add to the misery…….but it’s a good kind of pain, well earned and something nice to show for our efforts…..besides my ever growing collection of cuts, scrapes and bruises.
I should call Band-Aid and see if they need a spokesman…..or a crash test dummy. I easily qualify, either way.
Pictures of the project to follow…..when I can shoot again.
Yeah, it’s that bad.
Our youngest is a college student working two jobs to support herself and still keeping her GPA up and boyfriend in line. Right after graduating high school she found an apartment and has been out on her own ever since. We are very proud of her!She lives in town, a few miles from us and we get to see her often which is a great comfort to us.
Another nice thing about her living so close is that when her laptop craps out Daddy is nearby. You see, Daddy has done courses in multimedia programming, desktop publishing, web design and PC repair. I even have a few years experience in IT and was webmaster for a major US Navy command for a couple of years. That’s right…….I is a educated redneck who started building and repairing computers in the early 90s and would still be doing so if it weren’t for the fact that you can buy a new laptop…….with a warranty…..for less than it costs to build a system these days.
Why am I rambling on like this?
Mini Boss lets her friends play with her computer. She has smart friends for the most part. However, even smart people do dumb things sometimes.
The MINI BOSS called last night to announce that her laptop is dead……..kaput…..tits up…..game over…….BUSTED! The system locks up during the boot sequence and a whole stack of error messages pop up!
What to do, what to do?
Bring it here, Baby Girl.
After fooling with it for a couple of hours I finally pulled up my Dell account, prepared to put another dent in my credit limit. Damn, I thought I’d get those people paid off some day! While I was going through all the options for a new Inspiron 1500 series it hit me………A THOUGHT!
Smart people do dumb things sometimes. maybe someone downloaded a virus that got through the security software……..
I saved the machine I was building online, ran a web search for “System Check”, the title on the error message bars, and I discovered that she has a malwarre infection………and the name of the malware is SYSTEM CHECK!!! I even found instructions for fixing the problem and links to download the free software I’d need. WOO-HOO! I’m saving at least $600!
But I still have the new Dell system order saved……..just in case.
This is me, on page 5 of 9 of the instructions (almost 3 hours in) taking a photo of a functioning laptop (my Toshiba satellite) which is staring at a soon to be functional…..I hope……. laptop (Mini Boss’s Dell). I’m bored out of what’s left out of my mind because, while I successfully installed the anti-malware software, the deep scan has been running for 134 minutes and I have to jiggle the mouse every 20 minutes to stop the Dell from hibernating. I’d turn the power saver off but I have to kill the malware before I can change the settings!
At least 512 malware objects have been detected and quarantined……..so far. I can’t wait to click that “REPAIR” button!
A word to the wise: NEVER, EVER ,EVER, EVER click a pop up that says ‘”Your computer may be at risk! Click here for a free System Check.” System Check is malware and it will screw your registry up worse that a soup sammich!
Lesson learned: Hex tubing is white; CPVC is yellow.
The outside diameter of 1/2” Hex tubing, for example, is smaller than that of 1/2” CPVC. Maybe that’s why they’re different colors. No wonder the repair kept blowing out as soon as I turned the water back on! The white tubing I was using is not supposed to work with the yellow fittings I was using!
I thought I had forgotten how to use primer and glue to make a watertight joint. I also thought it might have been caused by my inability to display a proper plumber’s butt crack because I was wearing bib overalls.
Many thanks to my brother in law, Fish Hook, for setting me straight and helping me make the repair for the 6th, and final time. Thanks also to my darling daughter, Laura, for spending the afternoon handing Daddy tools, helping me cut and glue water line, fetching tools I threw across the yard when the repair blew out……again, making numerous trips to Lowe’s for more parts when the repair blew out……again and being there in case I got my crippled old butt stuck under the house and needed help ……….rescue squad………. fire department……… tow truck to drag me out from under the house……….etc.
Did I mention the leak was in the hot water line coming out of the water heater and turning off the main water supply didn’t make the water stop draining out of the tank until it was empty…….and it emptied itself in the exact spot I had to occupy while wresting pipe?
Did I mention that I had turned the power to the water heater off when I first heard the leak to prevent burning the coils out as the tank emptied so the water leaking all over me was no longer warm?
You know, it’s amazing how dirty you can get laying in a puddle of COLD water all afternoon! The water heater should be full by now. I sure hope the water gets warm soon!
Anywho, our annual “Cold weather’s here, time for a plumbing leak!” episode is over and it’s time to move on to other mischief!
Two more shot through the bedroom window as the residual meds in my system none to politely pointed out that they’re not quite finished with me yet.
However, I’m getting back to what passes for normal in my world so don’t say I didn’t warn you.
The voices in my head, especially the one who sounds like Elmer Fudd, are starting to make sense and that’s never a good thing……but the results are usually pretty funny.
Sorry I haven’t been out to play this week. I spent the entire day in the Emergency Room at the Veteran’s Affairs Medical Center in Salem on Tuesday after my primary care physician determined that what I thought was a torn muscle wasn’t.
I’ve been poked, prodded, scanned, drained, flushed, made to swallow God awful concoctions and pumped full of all kinds medications this week not to mention bounced all over this end of the state. Salem is 75 miles northeast of us.
I‘m still waiting for test results to come back and for a call notifying me of the dates and times for a couple more tests. At the moment I’m doing okay and getting plenty of sleep. That’s a good thing because I spent most of Tuesday night as well as all day and night Wednesday hobbling back and forth to the bathroom thanks to the bottle of magnesium citrate I was ordered to drink as soon as I got home. That stuff is evil! I may not know exactly what is wrong with me but I do know that our plumbing is in fine working order.
I’ll try to get around to visit but it will have to wait until my head clears a little more. As it is, I’ve been writing this for the past 2 days.
Well, this may be about the last shot I’m liable to get of the moon this cycle and I may moss shooting the Harvest Moon all together. Rain moved in this afternoon and I’m under the weather due to a bad reaction to the influenza and/or pneumonia vaccinations I got yesterday.
I did manage to capture this whitetail buck, shot through the bedroom window this afternoon. He was grazing in the back yard and about 25 yards away when I took the shot.
Well, I’m going back to bed in the hope that I’ll feel better when I wake up. I spent most of the day napping off and on. All that did was make me think evil thoughts about the medical community for not coming up with something for the common cold or flu that I can take without risking a bad interaction with my daily meds.
Did you ever have one of those days that just seems to blur on into the next day and the next and ……well you know. I’ve been dealing with a case of writer’s block recently and it just keeps going on and on.
The trip home was okay but sort of a bust. I cooked for Mom a couple of times and she enjoyed that. We gave her a couple of nice American History books and she enjoyed those as well, after giving us a minor chewing out for spending the money on her.
Then the old best laid plans deal kicked in.
I have given this sea gull instructions to keep a close eye on you.
It was overcast or raining for just about the entire week we were there. I didn’t mind the bad weather for the first day or so because my back gave me fits after the 6 hour drive and I was stoned out of my gourd on pain killers..
One afternoon the sun came out just long enough for me to load the dogs in the truck and drive to the beach. We made it about 100 yards from the parking lot when a near miss by a huge bolt of lightning sent us scrambling for cover. That was the extent of our time on the beach.
The air show we were looking forward to was rained out. This is about the best shot I managed to get when the Blue Angels were practicing the day before the start of the weekend long performance. That patch of blue sky, top right, was about the only clear spot we saw the entire week we were in Virginia Beach and it only lasted for a few minutes.
Just in case you think you can get away from that first sea gull’s steely gaze I know where I can find more……lots more……and they’ll work for stale french fries.
We decided to try a different route for the return trip. While it was nice to see different scenery this route was 40 miles longer. That said, we’ll most likely use this route from now on because it only involved about 20 miles of Interstate and I hate the Interstates with a passion.
The new route should also provide some great photo opportunities……as long as we don’t find ourselves stuck in a 30 minute traffic backup due to road construction.
Did I mention that we spent that 30 minutes INSIDE a rain cloud? The cloud deck was around 1,500 feet and, according to the roadside sign where we sat waiting just before Lovers Leap, our elevation was 3,000 feet. (The sign was the only thing I could see besides the brake lights on the tractor trailer in front of us.)
As a former manager in a major heavy truck repair facility I am all too aware of just how many trucks on our nation’s highways are literally falling apart. I spent the entire 30 minutes praying that truck didn’t suffer a brake failure because we were sitting on a pretty serious grade and I have no desire to have “Squished by a damned semi!” engraved on my headstone.
Gulls weren’t the only burds I found at home. This egret was hanging out in the top of a tree when I took a ride to First Landing State Park one afternoon.
I shot these from the driver’s seat of the truck using a 500MM zoom lens because I didn’t feel like dealing with wiping the drizzle that was falling off the lens every other frame.
It wasn’t until I got back home and started going through the photos that I spotted this guy sitting on a branch at the top of that dead tree.
I think it’s an osprey but I could be wrong. He must have landed there while I was concentrating on the egret because he wasn’t there when I shot the first frame.
Oh, yes…….the sun finally did come out on our way home…….when we were about 15 miles from home. At least we got to see some of the fall colors which are just beginning to burst across the mountainsides.
Frankie has this weekend off and we’ve already planned a day trip to capture as much of it as we can. I think she’s been nipped by the shutter bug because she’s already claimed one of my DSLRs as hers and decided that I’m going to teach her how to shoot it. This should be a lot of fun!
Oh, wait……..that means I’ll have even more photos to sort and edit…..along with the 1,500 or so I managed to shoot back home in spite of the weather. I may never finish!
At least the writer’s block seems to be easing up a little.
Preparations are under way for our trip home to celebrate Mom’s 88th birthday.This means the sorting, packing, re-sorting, re-packing, re-re-sorting…..well you get the idea….. is underway and I’ll be out in the backyard cursing at the trees any minute now.
This is good practice for the trip home because it’s a proven fact that the idiot per mile population on Virginia’s highways increases exponentially as you travel east until you get to the gridlock that is Hampton Roads, road rage capitol of the known world. Add to that the stress from having to keep a sharp eye out for speed traps and it’s little wonder my blood pressure spikes every time I have to make the trip.
If there is one thing the USAF taught me that stuck it’s how to pack. I can usually get my bags packed (duffle, camera bags and computer bag) in 10 minutes but Frankie, Queen of the Pack Rats, always has a terrible time cramming everything into and on top of the truck. If we had a tractor trailer she would find a way to overload it! I’m always amazed that a fidget (Female mIDGET) always needs a suitcase that’s at least twice the size of everything I carry, combined.
Once Frankie finishes overloading Godzilla I have to wait until she falls asleep before going out and unloading enough
junk crap trash “good stuff” to allow room for me to drive the truck and use the rear view mirrors. When she wakes up she always tries to stuff the excess back into the truck until I get that look in my eye and start searching for matches. Then she squirrels it away until her next attempt at setting a Guinness Book world record for most junk hauled across Virginia in a passenger vehicle.
Internet access at Mom’s involves a trip to McDonald’s to use their free Wi-Fi access because Mom views computers as one of the greatest evils ever visited upon mankind. My Internet Service Provider does not offer dial up access and the cost of a wireless plan would put a dent in my camera gear budget and that ain’t happening! I do have a 3G cell phone but I’m an old geezer and only use my cell for phone. I dropped the data plan after realizing that I only used it for about an hour total during the 3 month mandatory prescription period when I first got the phone. I figured the extra $49 a month would be better spent on that huge lens I wanted……and I did!
Anyhoo, I’ll be off line for most of the next week. When I get back I should have loads of pictures to share. On the other hand I may make the papers if I succumb to temptation and open fire on the idiots in a Virginia Beach traffic jam. At least tourist season is over so I’ll only have to deal with local idiots wandering around lost and not the summer time imported variety (mostly from Ohio, New Jersey and Quebec), as well.
See you when we get back….. unless I’m incarcerated or involuntarily committed!
P.S. If you happen to find yourself on a Virginia highway anywhere between Mount Rogers and the Atlantic Ocean during the next week you may want to re-consider your trip. That large green object with a dog head hanging out each side rapidly growing larger in your rear view mirrors will be Godzilla moving at a high rate of speed in and easterly direction tomorrow and westerly a week from tomorrow. I’m not braking for anything! You have been warned.
(Re-posted from today’s Blogger page. I know, I know…..I’m just lazy!)
I haven’t spent nearly enough time with the cameras or writing lately so when THE BOSS pointed out the harvest moon just rising at the end of the ridge I grabbed the camera with the big lens mounted and stepped out the front door. All of these were shot hand held with my Sigma 150 – 500MM optically stabilized lens.
I really need to practice using the big lens because it’s heavy at 4 lbs. and next Monday we’re going home for a week to help Mom celebrate her 88th birthday. I know I’ll be shooting a lot on the beach as well as around the city, both in the urban and rural areas. To top the week off we’re going to the Air Show at Naval Air Station Oceana next weekend before piling in Godzilla and returning to God’s Country. I’m gonna need to build up my forearms so I don’t pass out from exertion right in the middle of shooting a low level pass!
Suffice it to say, I may not have much to post now but by the end of the month I should have about a gazillion* frames to process. If my calculations are correct I should go blind just before Halloween.
*That’s gazillion, not to be confused with Brazilian, which frequently confused our last Dufus in Chief who should not be confused with Rick Perry, his successor as governor of Texas, who wants to be the next Dufus in Chief only without the pesky IQ thingamajig.
Say what you may about the current occupant of the Oval Office; even with a do nothing congress he has managed to accomplish one thing:
……and he has proof!
(Actual bin Laden funeral
By the way, while we’re on the topic of Al Qaeda …..and don’t ask me how we got there:
Okay, “Peggy”, the attendant says it’s time to get me in my fancy jammies with the buckles in the back and for one of those itty-bitty cups of the funny orange “Kool-Aid”.
Peggy is not to be trifled with
I’ll see y’all tomorrow unless I manage to chew through the straps again. Y’all might want to lock your doors…..and buy a helmet.
This is the surprise I was talking about in my last post.
We just got home from the Smyth County Animal Shelter where we pulled Buddy’s new companion, Molly. She’s estimated to be a year old, has been spayed and, as far as we can tell, is in excellent health. We don’t know if she’s up to date on all her shots but if her previous owner went to the trouble and expense of having her spayed it stands to reason she’s probably had all vaccinations. Just the same she’ll be paying a visit to our vet.
We decided to adopt for several reasons:
Buddy has severe separation anxiety, even to the point that he whines and howls if I leave him in the house while I mow the yard. We feel that a companion animal may help with this.
Molly was picked up as a stray on 16 August and her days were numbered.
We absolutely love Labs and wish we had room for dozens but we only have room for two.
She’s so beautiful we just had to bring her home!
First order of business when we got home was Frontline Flea Treatment (just in case), fitting Molly with a “halty harness” until Santa Claus arrives in his big brown truck with the new collars and double lead then a big ol’ bowl of kibble which she wolfed down.
Buddy and Molly are still getting acquainted but, after the 30 mile trip home in the back seat with Laura, the sniffing and growling has stopped and the “kissing” has commenced! At least we don’t have to worry about puppies because they’ve both been fixed.
Either the 60s are coming back to haunt me or Frankie and I discovered where the magic mushrooms grow.
No, I haven’t fallen off the face of the Earth or broken all my cameras; I’m just in a slump. Usually I’ll wander around with my eye glues to the viewfinder, shoot a couple hundred frames, download them to my laptop and inspiration for a blog or three will come to me while I process what I’ve shot. Other times something I’ve read, heard or seen during my morning news fix will set me off on a rant and I’ll take it out on you poor folks.
Then there’s my unique (some say twisted) slant on the world around me. Blogs written on that basis usually cause a lot of you to post comments such as “You do know you ain’t right?”, “Do the guards know you’re out of your padded cell?”, “Do you lay awake nights thinking this stuff up?”, “What color is the sky in your world?” of the ever popular “God bless poor Frankie for putting up with you!”
As most of you know I have a few health issues and have to work around them at certain times of the year. During cold weather snow and ice require me to be extra cautious because of mobility issues related to my back and leg injuries . Hot humid weather, such as we’ve had the past couple of weeks, often aggravates my chronic bronchitis.
I’m the first to admit that I’m very hard headed but there are times when my refusal to let my physical problems from keeping me from doing what I want just isn’t enough and I end up where I am now, deep in the throes of cabin fever. To give you an idea of just how bad it is now, I have several pieces of new gear in my bag and I’m just dying to get out and play with it! Any time I don’t rush out to play with new toys something is definitely wrong!
Anyhoo……..the weather guessers are saying we should be in for something of a break as the daytime highs next week should be about 10 degrees cooler. Until then I have a few books I’ve been meaning to read and I’ll be able to catch up on your blogs…….and maybe, just maybe, I’ll find something interesting on the magic box across the room…….maybe even a Three Stooges Marathon!
Keep an eye on this space…….you never can tell when the voices in my head tell me to write something worth publishing.
Buddy says he has a few good ideas but I’m not about to admit, in writing at least, that I converse with my dawg. People might think I was losing what little is left of my mind!
Wythe County Police, Fire & Rescue. What is the nature of your emergency?
WHOOF! WHOOF! WHOOF!
Buddy….is that you, boy? Did your daddy tell you to call for help again?
What’s the problem this time?
WHOOF! WHOOF! WHOOF! WHOOF! WHOOF! WHOOF!WHOOF! WHOOF! WHOOF!
I’m sorry boy; I didn’t catch all of that. Is your mama home?
Well, put her on the phone.
Who is this and what do you want? Did that dog dial 911 again?
Frankie, it’s me, cousin John!
Oh hey, John! I’m a little busy right now. Can I call you back?
I thought you were gonna call last week. When are you coming over to get some vegetables? I’ve picked so many from the garden that I’m out of storage space.
Well you know, I’ve been working and…….
**unintelligible screaming in the background**
SHUT UP YOU BIG SISSY OR I’LL GRAB YOU BY THE EARS, DRAG YOU OUT FROM UNDER THAT BED AND WHACK YOU A FEW MORE TIMES!
I’m sorry, John what were you saying?
Have you been hitting Chip with the cast iron skillet again, Frankie?
You know how he is, John. I told him it was too hot to mow the lawn but would he listen? I had to go out and turn off the mower, splash him with cold water until he came to and help him stumble back indoors where it’s cool. The lawn does look good though.
Does he need another ride in the ambulance?
Hang on a second, John….. WHANG! …..he does now! Do me a favor; this time have the crew take him him to a different emergency room. I need to get a few things done around here and you know how he is.
Sure thing, cousin, where do you want us to take him….Roanoke…Charlottesville…..Richmond
No, I’ve been thinking more along the lines of Oklahoma City. It’ll take him a month to walk home from there after they release him…….unless he has amnesia again in which case I’ll have a laptop and a whole bunch of camera gear for sale, cheap.
Okay, Frankie, the ambulance is on the way. Pat Buddy on the head for me. Don’t forget to come get some vegetables.
Okay, John, I’ll be there. Thanks!
Reposted from my Blogger page. Give me a break folks I’m rapidly losing what’s left of my mind…….and here’s why:
Copyright note: Feel free to ignore the copyright notice in the right sidebar. I stole all of these images from the Internet. The same holds true for the video. The insane rambling is mine, all mine!
The “heat dome” covering a huge section of the land of the formerly free and home of the useless, do nothing but shovel manure and tell lies about their opponents politicians has had me trapped indoors for days where the A/C allows me to breathe. It’s comfortable but I’m going stir crazy!
Let this be a lesson: Smoking will kill you! A pack a day for 40 years left me with 40% lung capacity which will never improve. It also gave me the “gift” of COPD in the form of chronic bronchial asthma which at this time of year is triggered by even a little exertion (read waving my cane and cussing like a sailor on shore leave every time I see that idjit across the street out tryin’ to herd her cats) in high heat and humidity.
If you are a smoker put that damned thing out! This is a smoke free blog!
While I sit here wishing for a foot of snow to magically appear I’ve found myself being drawn into the clutches of online retailers who carry stuff I just gots to have! One of those items is a larger camera bag. Just as some of you who are of the female persuasion amass a huge collection of shoes, purses, whips and chains, oh my!, etc. the past two+ years spent amassing enough photo equipment to shoot pictures of everything in the known universe has caused me to purchase an assortment of camera bags, each larger than the previous one. At current count I have 6 …… 7 if you count the tripod case and none of them are large enough.
I don’t necessarily need to carry EVERTHING when I go out shooting. I just like to keep all my gear together where I can find it. Splitting my gear between several bags is a cast iron guarantee that while out shooting 40 miles back in the hollers I’ll say “%#@*&@!! I need such and such and it’s in the other bag at home!”
Well, today I ordered a new bag and it should be large enough to hold everything and still have room for the gear I already have and any items I accumulate over the next few months……. I hope. For some strange reason I have the feeling that I’ll be buying a steamer trunk in the not too distant future.
This is what I ordered. It even has detachable wheels! If I post a photo of a motorized version in the near future it will mean that A) It’s too heavy for me to carry, B) Ditto for Buddy, C) my riding mower is no longer operational D) My bag is now motorized and E) I’m living out in the storage shed because THE BOSS done found out how much I’ve spent on camera gear!
No blog/photos for a few days. Dislocated right shoulder playing Buddy Ball. Buddy knows he hurt me but didn’t mean to. He’s “nursing me back to health” with sloppy dog kisses…….especially if I start to nod off!
Can barely type w/ both hands. Left handed is nearly impossible! Camera w/one hand IS impossible! Can’t use track ball either but I do have a touchpad.
If I don’t leave comments on your blogs you’ll know why.
Y’all play nice now. Don’t make me stop this clown car!
I know, I know….I haven’t published anything in a couple of days and some of you are beginning to worry that the space aliens have returned to take me back to my home world. The truth is is far more sinister.
My darling bride, Frankie, aka New River Valley Girl, aka THE BOSS, aka SHE WHO SHALL BE OBEYED has trained me as a domestic servant! Worse still, I didn’t realize just how well trained I had become until she showed me this photo on her itty bitty point and shoot camera. At the time I was doing the dishes while the lasagna was in the oven.
My question for you: does this apron make my butt look big? Or could it be that screwy hat she makes me wear?
According to the National Weather Service:
Our indoor/outdoor thermometer is reading 94 °F (34 °C), it is HUMID and the hottest part of the day is still to come. It is so oppressive out there that Buddy opted to bark at a cat from the shade on the porch rather than chasing it!
Thank God for air conditioning! ours is working just fine and, thanks to a rare bout of common sense, I’ll be staying indoors where I can breathe. Even if I could tolerate the weather it would be near impossible to shoot any pictures with my glasses fogged up. That’s how I know the A/C is working properly!
Redneck tip for 4th of July safety: If you hear someone holler “Hey y’all, watch this!” DO NOT LOOK DIRECTLY AT THE FLASH!
Random shots to bring June to a close.
This guy startled me last night when it flew within inches of my head as I was taking Buddy out for his midnight constitutional. I thought I was being dive bombed by a bat!
To give you an idea of his size, the slats in the lattice measures are 2 inches wide. I’m pleased with the way these two shots, made at night in “full auto” mode using nothing but the built in flash, turned out.
“AHHHHHHH! Rolling in the grass feels SO GOOD!”
The Mimosa down the road finally bloomed while we were gone. Frankie has a couple of seedlings growing in her “pot farm”. Mom had one in our yard when I was growing up and I learned, the hard way, that those pretty blossoms are murder on a car’s paint job.
Frankie’s Knockout Rose is blooming nicely and loaded with buds.
Her Daylilies are finally blooming, as well. It was odd to arrive at Mom’s and see hers in bloom while Frankie’s were just beginning to bud.
Even though Mom only lives 325 miles east of us our higher altitude (approximately 2500 feet above sea level vs. 9 at Mom’s) makes for a fairly drastic difference in the growing season.
There’s that goofy dawg again….always ready to pose for a picture.
Petunias waiting to be transplanted. Mom always loads Frankie up with plants and seeds from her flower beds. Judging by the number of bags and pots I helped unload from the truck when we got home Frankie now has enough to turn the entire ridge into one huge flower bed……twice!
This farmer is slow putting up hay this season. The field at the top of our road was mowed, bailed and hauled off in about a month ago and the second crop is growing nicely thanks to the abundant rain last month.
Okay, time to break out the portable hard drive, transfer the June photos and make room for July. I do this the 1st of each month and also do a full back up of the laptop hard drive while I’m at it. After 17 years of computing and some disastrous crashes I’ve become a back up fanatic……..and it’s saved my butt several times in the last few years.
One of the things we had to adjust to when we moved from Virginia Beach to the Blue Ridge Mountains was not hearing aircraft overhead all day. Virginia Beach is one of seven cities in the region surrounding Hampton Roads, home to the largest concentration of military installations in the Continental United States. With the US Air Force’s Air Combat Command headquartered at Langley Air Force Base in Hampton and the US Navy’s Master Jet Base located at Naval Air Station Oceana in Virginia Beach the sound of jet engines overhead was just part of the background noise, as natural as birds singing and sirens wailing as emergency vehicle rush to the scene of yet another fender bender, especially during tourist season.
Learning that an aircraft carrier air wing was due to arrive Frankie and I loaded up the truck and headed for a good vantage point outside the security fence at Oceana. Apparently we missed the mass flyover (troop and unit movement details are closely guarded while we are at war so there was no way to get an accurate arrival time) but I did manage to give my long lens a workout while standing on Godzilla’s running board shooting over the roof of the truck…..and the fence.
The shot above and next 4 are F/A18 Super Hornet fighter bombers.
These next two are E2C Hawkeye, or Hummer, airborne warning and control aircraft. When I was single one of my roommates, Mad Max McAllister flew as a radar operator in these operating off nuclear powered aircraft carriers USS Nimitz and USS Carl Vinson.
While we were out roaming around we decided to see what there was to shoot at the piers of Naval Station Norfolk. This was a spur of the moment decision and Frankie and I were armed so we knew there was no chance of getting on the base. Instead we parked at the Willoughby Spit Municipal Boat Ramp a few hundred yards across Willoughby Bay from the base.
MH-53E Sea Dragon mine countermeasure helicopters. While Mad Max was flying Hawkeyes my unit operated with the US Air Force version known as Pave Low and nicknamed Super Jolly Green Giant. Our birds were configured for Combat Search and Rescue and other Special Operations missions.
USS Iwo Jima amphibious assault ship. While similar to aircraft carriers these ships are smaller and are used to transport and insert United States Marines. In addition to helicopters and AV8-B Harrier jump jets, they carry the new V-22 Osprey tilt rotor aircraft and LCAC air cushion vehicles.
Unidentified Nimitz class aircraft carrier. What a contrast in technology between the two vessels in this shot!
Security at Naval Station Norfolk isn’t as lax as it is at NAS Oceana. I had only been shooting for a few minutes when this SH-60 Seahawk lifted off, crossed the bay and I found a crewman aiming a lens even bigger than the one I was using in my direction. We took this as our cue to go find something else to take photos of…..like GU-11 UAV (unmanned aerial vehicles):
NOTE TO THE READER:
As some of you may know I have 2 blog pages (the other is my Virginia Through My Lens page on Blogger) and usually try to post something different on each one, each day. Sometimes I only have enough for one post so I alternate between pages. I feel that today’s blog is of such world shaking significance that I’m posting it on both sites in order to give all of my readers a chance to submit their input.
Please bear with me on this one. Anyone who has read a few of my blogs will tell you I’m not quite right. I mean no disrespect to our savior and creator. I’m only trying to shed a little light on what goes on inside my head.
I accept absolutely no responsibility for any bumps and/or bruises suffered from those prone to FOMCLMAOing or any other physical or emotional trauma resulting from reading this post. No animals were harmed in any way during the production of this nonsense.
Their are times when what’s left of my mind is a complete blank and I turn to my chief sources of inspiration, Chicken Invaders 3 or Three Stooges.com. Today I find that unnecessary. Brace yourself…….the inspiration for this post came to me in the shower.
As I was nearly finished mowing the front portion of our lawn God decided I needed a shower so he parked a HUGE black cloud over my yard and it commenced to rinsing me off. Then a tremendous bolt of lightning and incredible peal of thunder led me to realize that what He actually wanted was for me to stop mowing.
So I did……..before he sent another lightning bolt my way……I am capable of taking a hint………at least sometimes…….especially when lightning is involved.
Leaving my dedicated lawn mowing,
land mine fertilizer surprise from Buddy finding, grass coated, paint splattered shoes out on the porch for a good rinse I decided it would be a good idea to get in the shower and wash off the sweat and dirt God missed.
This is when the inspiration hit me.
As I reached for the shampoo I realized that their were 8 bottles of shampoo on the rack! This is especially strange as there are only three people living in our house…….well, Buddy isn’t technically a people but he doesn’t know that and I see no need to tell him otherwise.
One of these bottles of shampoo is mine; the same brand I’ve been using my entire life.
Another bottle is Buddy’s the same brand he’s used since we brought him home. His shampoo occupies the lowest of the four shelves on the rack. This is very important because it is out of my reach. While accidentally using it may leave me with a shiny coat I have no desire to have the following conversation:
ER doctor: So tell me, Mr. Allen, how exactly did you get flea shampoo in your eye?
Me: RATZENFRATZENFILTHANDFLARN!!! JUST STOP LAUGHING AND MAKE THE &#@*&% BURNING STOP!!!
The other six bottles, each half empty, a different brand and different scent must, therefor, belong to my bride, aka THE BOSS, aka SHE WHO SHALL BE OBEYED, aka BRINGER OF THE HEADBONE LUMPS, HEADACHES, TWEETY BIRDS AND FIREWORKS!
Does anyone know why a woman would need 6 different shampoos? Has anyone else noticed this phenomenon? If so I would appreciate your input on this perplexing subject.
I haven’t the slightest intention of asking Frankie.
Apparently I must have tracked grass clippings across the carpet or something.
At the moment she’s down on her hands and knees…….screaming at me to “COME OUT FROM UNDER THAT BED AND FIGHT LIKE A MAN, YOU BIG SISSY!”
Fat chance of that happening!
I’ll just stay down here until she cools down a bit. Buddy says he’ll bring me a cookie or a little kibble when she’s not looki………
Oh, look at all the little birdies!
I don’t know what I did to irritate Poseidon, King Neptune and/or Mother Nature. All three seemed determined to keep us from enjoying a trip to the beach.
Our first attempt to enjoy some surf and sand was a flop. I knew about the restrictions concerning dogs on the Chesapeake Bay beaches but obeying that particular city ordinance never crossed what’s left of my mind. When we still lived here most of this end of the beach was privately owned and the rules were ignored by the locals. As you can see, someone has already expressed their opinion of this ordinance with a strategically placed sticker. I had every intention of ignoring it as usual until I ran into into a cop on an ATV patrolling the beach. Luckily he believed my story about being a tourist and not seeing the sign.
The next evening we arrived, after 6:00, to find a new sign:
Since dogs are almost never allowed on the beach on the Atlantic Ocean side of the city it looked like Buddy was going to have to wait for his first dip in anything larger than a stock pond back home.
After 2 days the swimming ban was lifted and Buddy finally got to take a dip in the Chesapeake Bay. He was a little leery of the waves and had to be led into the water at first but soon overcame his misgivings and did his level best to drown both me and my nephew.
NOTE: Frankie shot the frame above and 2 below with her little Canon point and shoot, proving that it doesn’t take a lot of expensive equipment to turn out some great shots! Her nrvgirl tag refers to the New River Valley where she was born and raised and where we now live.
This is my nephew Christopher. Though we share the same birthday he is MUCH younger and doesn’t mind keeping Buddy busy while I shoot a few frames. I also had my hands full fighting off Greenpeace activists who kept trying to push me into the water while chanting “Save the whale!”
Yes, the jolly fat man in these two shots is yours truly. They also reveal one of my secrets; I not only shoot a lot of frames, I also use two cameras. The one with all the glass mounted is digital and the one up front is a 35MM film model. The 35MM doesn’t get nearly as much use as the digital model due to the cost of film and processing but I do use it from time to time, especially for family shots when a lot of people want prints. I come from a big family! Both cameras are Canon EOS Rebels.
I used all that glass at maximum zoom to get these shots (above and below). That’s the fishing pier on the first island of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel, three miles from where I was standing when I shot it. The shot below looks a little closer but that’s because I cropped out the blurry nose of the jet ski that zoomed into frame from the left just as I tripped the shutter release.
As I mentioned, the sun didn’t hang around long. I had forgotten how quickly the fog could roll in.
This is one of about a dozen commercial ships anchored in Lynnhaven Roads awaiting a berth at Norfolk International Terminals to take of cargo. Within minutes of taking this shot the ship was completely obscured by the fast moving fog.
My better half, Frankie, aka THE BOSS!, aka SHE WHO SHALL BE OBEYED! with Buddy. Usually it’s next to impossible to get her to sit still for a photo but I cheated and got this one with a long lens while she wasn’t looking. She actually said she likes this shot and will not tenderize my head with her cast iron skillet if I post it.
Today’s post from my Blogger page. Some days I just don’t have enough to post different blogs but I thought my readers here might enjoy seeing what a slow “news” day is like around here.
The weather guessers are promising heavy rain this afternoon and tonight. I believe them. For those who don’t know that is the flag of the Commonwealth of Virginia flying below the National Colors.
One would think that with cell and radio towers way up there reception would be great.
One would be wrong. There are higher ridges and deeper valleys all around, making cell reception spotty unless you’re near one of the Interstates where the terrain is fairly level …… or on top of one of those higher peaks.
At a traffic light Buddy started whining and barking. Two lanes over I saw what he was on about.
“Buddy, tell them to let you drive, too. You’ve got a license. So what if it’s a dog license? You’re a dog!”
We like to fly the Stars and Stripes everywhere! You also see the Stars and Bars flying a lot in our neck of the woods, a reminder that West Virginia is only a couple of ridge lines away. They broke away from the Confederacy and joined up with the damned Yankees when Virginia seceded from the Union at the start of the War of Northern Aggression.
Frankie remembers her grand daddy telling her about seeing Union occupation troops patrolling the streets of Wytheville when he was a boy. That didn’t stop him from answering the nation’s call during the Spanish American War. As our nation celebrates Memorial Day on Monday Grandpa Hodge will be one of the many veterans we’ll be saluting in our family.