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.
…..to bring you the following public service announcement.
I hereby declare winter to be officially over.
Yep, sunny and 75!
If a broke down old geezer like me can get out and mow the lawn….
Hold on a sec…….I need to wet my whistle…….
Now where was I? Oh yes……if a beat up old fat boy like me can get out and do yard w….w….w…. mow the lawn you healthy folks ain’t got no excuse. Now turn off the computer, get outside and enjoy the nice weather. If the weather’s not nice where you are what better excuse for a road trip than to enjoy springtime in Virginia?
P.S. I haven’t been online much the past few days because I’ve been as messed up as a soup sammich. My back has been giving me fits!
P.P.S. I probably won’t be online at least the rest of the day because the engine vibration from riding the Dandelion Destroyer around the yard triggered my back and THE BOSS just gave me a dose of pain meds. The cartoons in my head should begin any minute now.
P.P.P.S. The preceding is all THE BOSS’s fault. She knows I can’t be left at home without adult supervision. At least she got some good pictures of the crotchety old bear she’s been putting up with for the past 25 years! (That would be me.)
I wonder what’s taking the rescue squad so long. THE BOSS said she called them to come haul me off to the emergency room. Sure hope they get here soon. After dark the critters come out and the last thing I need is to get dragged off into the woods by a gang of raccoons………again!
The weather was nice today so Daddy got his cameras and wandered out the door. Molly and I went with him, of course. Mama says it’s our job to keep an eye on him because he does stupid things when he’s not supervised.
I don’t know why Mama gets all bent out of shape when Daddy stands on the picnic table. You can see all sorts of stuff from up here!
Those cows have got to be at least a mile away!
All I see is that herd of cats on the neighbor’s porch. As soon as I figure out how to get off my lead they’re in for a surprise!!
Molly has cats on the brain. She just loves chasing them. I bet she even dreams about chasing cats.
This is the first time I noticed the face on our tree. That is spooky!
Maybe Daddy should give the pruning saw a rest.
I don’t think the tree likes getting his branches chopped off! I can understand that. Mama and Daddy took me to the vet last winter and you wouldn’t believe what she chopped off!
Part of my job is guarding Daddy’s bird watching chair when he’s not using it. I tried sitting in it once but it flipped over backwards and that was the last time I fooled with that thing! I also learned that using Daddy’s water bottle for a chew toy makes him say all kinds of bad words! He’ll give you a drink if you ask but whatever you do, DO NOT EAT THE BOTTLE WHEN HE’S NOT LOOKING!
This is another part of keeping an eye on Daddy. I don’t think it’s physically possible to do what Mama says she’ll do to Daddy if he spends her Bingo money on camera gear, ammo or another gun but I do know that I don’t want to watch her try!
I was out in the backyard, standing on the picnic table when this little critter, a female Downy Woodpecker flew over and landed on a branch about 10 feet away!
I know what you’re thinking…….why was I standing on top of the picnic table in the first place, right? You’ll have to go here to find out.
……at least for a few days.
The weather guessers are calling for upper 50s and rain tomorrow followed by sunny and near 70 Thursday! After that, who knows! That’s a direct quote from the
meter….. metrol……weather guessing idjit on the 6:00 news!
I’ll leave the snow shovel standing in the corner of the front porch for a while longer……or forever. Not that I know how to use it, or am capable of learning…..ever, it just seems to me that as long as it’s easy to get to we don’t need it.
The d’hogs and I ventured outdoors for an hour or so today. That’s not a typo……you should see them eat!
THE BOSS had Godzilla so we were on foot and didn’t wander far. Don’t let this shot of the back yard fool you. This part of the yard only gets a few hours of sun each day, thanks to the ridge behind us, so this snow probably won’t melt until sometime in July. It’s still about 6 or 8 inches deep right along the tree line where the sun only shines for about 9 minutes every other day.
THE BOSS calls this shot “Through the Rabbit Hole”. I sure hope she hasn’t seen any rabbits big enough to do that….or if she has, I hope she shares whatever she was smoking at the time.
My burd watching chair is almost snow free. That’s a lot of melting since yesterday. I would clear the snow myself but this is part of a science experiment I’m conducting…….to see how long it will take it to disappear on it’s own. Besides, if you subscribe to the “keep the snow shovel handy and you’ll never need it” school of thought, clearing the chair myself will just make it snow again.
THE BOSS’s lilies are ready for spring.
My Irish Setter hunting boots are very warm and they’re also waterproof ……..especially if you lace ‘em up. Sharp eyed readers will note that I still haven’t bothered lacing them up.
DADDY! DADDY! DADDY!…..WHAT ARE YOU DOIN’?
CAN I PLAY WITH ONE OF THE CAMERAS?
WHY ARE WE STANDIN’ ON THE PICNIC TABLE?
MOM WILL KILL YOU IF YOU FALL OFF AND SURVIVE!
GIVE BUDDY ONE OF THOSE GRANOLA BARS IN YOUR CAMERA BAG?
MOLLY SAYS DITTO.
DADDY! DADDY! DADDY!……WHAT MEANS DITTO?
(You may have guessed by now that Buddy’s a little goofy. He sounds like Goofy, too. DUH HUH, GAWRSH!)
I was standing on the table to get this shot of a male Downy Woodpecker……and I didn’t fall off! However, it was at this point that all the voices in my head were drowned out by:
“ROKET MAN, THIS IS GOD! LOOK UP!”
“I HAVE SENT THIS BURD AS A SIGN JUST FOR YOU!”
“YES, THAT IS A VULTURE CIRCILING OVER YOUR HEAD!”
“DON’T BELIEVE WHAT YOU’VE HEARD ABOUT THEM RIDING THERMALS.”
“THEY’RE WAITING FOR YOU TO FALL OFF THAT PICNIC TABLE……AGAIN…… YOU BIG DUMMY!”
“EVEN IF THE FALL DOESN’T KILL YOU KNOW THE BOSS PROBABLY WILL WHEN SHE FINDS YOU LYING IN THE SHRUBBERY WHIMPERING LIKE A BIG BABY………AGAIN!”
So I went back inside……..but I still haven’t laced up my boots.
Maybe next winter…….
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!
I know, I know…….I haven’t been around lately and many of you are wondering if Frankie has finally managed to have me committed.
Not yet but she is working on it.
Actually, I’m still dealing with medical issues and just haven’t been up to blogging or even spending much time online. So far the doctors have done a pretty good job of telling me what is not wrong but still haven’t come up with a firm diagnosis.
My primary clinician is a little upset that I refuse to take two of the medications he prescribed but the side effects are worse than the illness so he’s just going to have to get over it. The other meds keep me pretty much sedated and that;s why I haven’t been around. To give you an idea of just how out of it I’ve been, I’ve only shot about 2 dozen frames since my last post on the 8th and they’re still on the memory card in one of the cameras.
There is a bright side to all of this. I’ll be well rested when it’s time to hitch up the dawgs to the truck and lend my northern cousin Kris a hand with his deliveries next month.
BUBBA CLAUS RIDES AGAIN!
Y’all may want to check your door and window locks and make sure the smoke alarm is in working condition. Ya never know what’s gonna happen when Bubba parks the truck on your roof and tumbles down your chimney.
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.
I’m grounded, again, but that doesn’t keep me from pointing my lens out the window. THE BOSS really keeps them clean because she knows that as long as I’m busy with the cameras I won’t be fooling around with anything else.
Buddy is always ready to pose for a photo. Molly, on he other hand, was investigating something under the picnic table and was out of camera range.
It’s going to be interesting to see how long this volunteer sunflower holds out. We think one of the burds planted it in an old flower box because we sure didn’t. Overnight lows approaching freezing are in the forecast for next weekend so it’s days may be numbered.
The maple in the yard is just beginning to change colors in earnest. It should be solid yellow by the end of the month and bare week or so after. As always, I intend to let the leaves blow across the street into the jerk’s yard. I’d rather watch him rake hem up that do it myself. Besides, I don’t know how to operate a rake……..and I can’t be taught, either!
The wind was really whipping the branches today so I had to use a fast shutter speed on these two frames.
The next door neighbor’s porch is also within camera range. After Halloween I’ll ask Cody, who lives there, if he wants to get in on the “Blow Your Pumpkin to Smithereens” festivities. Blowing up pumpkins with a shotgun at the county range is a lot of fun. My nephew turned me on to this sport when we were visiting a few years ago and it’s become an annual tradition in our family, especially since you can buy leftover pumpkins at Lowe’s and Walmart for $1 a piece the day after the holiday.
Each year I usually set aside $20 just for pumpkins and another $20 or 30 to replace the shotgun shells. I’ve heard that modern shotgun shells remain stable far longer than they used to but I was taught to replace stored ammo with fresh at least once a year and still do. One of these days we’re going to find the dirt berm on the 25 yard line at the range covered in pumpkin vines! Then we won’t have to buy pumpkins to blow up or haul ‘em up to the range. That’s redneck recycling at it’s best!
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.
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!
A few more from the beach I grew up on, shot on our trip home earlier in the month.
That haze in the air was actually smoke from two wild fires burning in the marshes of Eastern North Carolina.
I had mixed feelings about that. Besides the environmental damage the smoke also aggravated my asthma, keeping me indoors where I could breathe.
On the other hand it also produced some spectacular sunsets.
Pure stubbornness and my rescue inhaler allowed me to shoot this series using my long lens.
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!
It was a beautiful sunny day when I pried my eyes open this morning.
I even managed to catch a robin hunting for breakfast in the neighbor’s freshly mowed lawn before he spotted me and turned around to hide that beautiful red orange breast. You may recall from an earlier post that the robins have been messing with my head this year and turning their backs as soon as I framed a shot. Maybe this one hadn’t had his morning coffee yet.
Frankie’s azaleas have so many blossoms on them this year that it’s hard to find any of the leaves! The yard smells amazing and the scent of them wafting through the open windows is wonderful.
The reds, always the last to open for some reason, are finally in full bloom….
……as are the pinks.
The knockout rose Laura gave Frankie for Mother’s Day last year has is covered in buds and the first blossom is ready to open.
First bloom of the season on the Old Maid’s Bonnet. This one plant produces purple, pink and white blossoms.
Frankie tending her pot farm. NO, NOT THAT KIND OF POT! She’s growing peppers and strawberries in pots on the patio.
The Shasta Daisy Mom sent home with us last summer. She has an amazing variety of flowers and plants growing in her yard and always sends a few home with us each time we visit.
You’ll remember the picnic table I decided to repair last week. I never got around to sealing it when we bought it and five Blue Ridge Mountain winters really did a job on it. As I started removing rotted lumber to get at the salvageable portions I soon discovered there were no salvageable portions!
I decided the easiest solution was to build a new table but the project came to a halt after I got the table top and legs cut and partially assembled. That was when I finally admitted that my back could take no more. I was feeling much better this morning and could stand looking at that partially completed project no more so I broke out the power tools and with Frankie’s help the construction is finished! Good thing too, because by the time I got all the tools collected and put away my back was wrecked once again.
When operating a hammer it is always important to make certain you hit the correct nail. If you happen to miss you may find yourself doing the “ WRONG @#&%$! NAIL!” dance.
Then you’ll have to go looking for the hammer you threw across the yard.
The black and blue is still spreading and in a couple of days I’ll be twirling a drill bit between my right index finger and thumb to relieve the pressure under the nail.
This time we’ll give the table at least 3 good coats of polyurethane stain. In the fall a couple coats of water sealer should carry us through the winter nicely. The new porch will receive the same treatment except it will just get sealer and no stain. We like the natural wood look for the porch but want the table to match the rest of the lawn furniture. Did I mention that the Adirondack chairs need repairs? Guess I had better buy enough lumber to build 2 new ones.
The old picnic table waiting for Laura to come over with the Jeep so she and Frankie can haul it off to the dump.
It’s okay, Buddy. Daddy isn’t cussing at you.
Momma’s other baby, Godzilla. After more than a year of making excuses for not wanting to learn how to handle my Expedition I tricked her into it. While out running errands recently I “missed” my turn on the way home. rather than turn around I took the next right which “just happened to be” one of the back roads Sam and I used to cruise on our photo adventures.
I pulled over, got out and told her to get behind the wheel. by the time we hit pavement, several miles down the road she was hooked on the power and the view from way up there.
Turns out I was too clever for my own good. After driving it back and forth to work for the past week and using it to run a few errands she had given me official notice: “That’s MY TRUCK! I’ll let you drive it on the Interstate…..maybe!”
I’m pretty wiped out after today’s adventure so I’m taking the easy way out and posting this on my Blogger page, Virginia Through My Lens, as well.
Besides, the pain meds are starting to kick in and I think I may need a nap.
Thanks for stopping by!
For those of you who have risked whiplash while shaking your head over some of the things I do to myself (and admit to) this will probably come as no surprise. Spring Fever (aka THE MADNESS) has seized me once more.
You’ll note that Frankie is running for her life in the first frame. After 25 years she has learned that when I get THAT LOOK in my eye it’s best to get far, far away. Of course, yesterday being my 27th birthday……again……she refrained from employing BANGY! BANGY! (the swift and repeated application of a cast iron skillet to my headbone until I change my mind…..what’s left of it).
As I was out shooting photos of Frankie’s Azaleas in bloom I happened to note the sorry state of our picnic table.
Four Blue Ridge Mountain winters have really done a number on this poor thing.
Among other career paths (just call me a jack of all trades, master on none) I actually got paid to bend nails risk self inflicted amputation drive the site foreman to wonder if he had been drunk when he hired me work as a carpenter for a couple of years. A quick appraisal of that poor table revealed that I could salvage the frame but would have to replace the table and bench tops.
Piece of cake!
As with most home improvement projects, a simple project soon turned into a major pain…..literally! After two days of what has become a construction project rather than a repair my already screwed up back is killing me! Before my accident I could have built a new table in an afternoon. Of course, before my accident, I would have gotten by with repairing the table rather than building a new one.
At least the folks at Lowe’s are happy because I take the time to visit their web site before handing Frankie a list and saying “I need this.” She then drives to the store, walks up to the customer service counter, slaps the list on the counter and says “I need this.” The list even has the sku numbers and price so all they have to do is send one of their evil minions scurrying through the aisles to retrieve the items on the list.
Construction should be complete by tomorrow afternoon. I would say that all I had to do after that was stain and seal the finished table. I’m not saying anything of the sort even though I am about half stoned out of what’s left of my mind on prescription pain killers. That statement always gets me in trouble and I’m not tempting fate anymore until I start my next “simple” project.
At least, so far, I haven’t lost any fing…..
Oh no……you’re not going to read about me losing a thumb…….or maybe an ear applying stain. You may laugh but with me anything is possible! Is that neck starting to bother you a little bit now?
More photos to follow.
I haven’t been online much lately because events in the real world have monopolized my free time. Thank you all for your kind notes and concerned e-mails but I have not managed to get incarcerated or to hurt myself again….so far.
For those of you who don’t already know, I was injured in a serious fall at home in October 2005. Despite spinal repair surgery, 8 months in a #%@&!!! body brace and almost a year of intensive physical therapy those injuries left me permanently disabled and unable to hold a job. There aren’t many employers willing to hire an old geezer like me who can’t bend at the waist, sit, stand or walk for more than 15 or 20 minutes at a time, sees nothing wrong with using his cane to settle disagreements and consumes enough prescription drugs each day to keep a small horse stoned out of it’s gourd.
Well, hopefully, that’s about to change.
I’ve begun the application process with a company that specializes in matching people in my situation with federally subsidized work from home programs. I’ve begun the preliminary selection and qualifications process and should begin online training within the next week or so. Once that is completed I’ll be matched up with either a federal agency or private company and will be working from home part time.
This will cut into my online play time and my wandering through the countryside with my camera in my lap and dog at my side but the extra money will be welcome, even if I only make enough to cover my DSL/Sat TV and ammo bills as well as a new piece of photography gear every now and then.
Oh,man………I just looked at that last sentence and realized I’ll need 2 part time jobs just to cover the last item on my list! All I know is something’s gotta give because Social Security Disability Income just don’t cut it!
Well, there you have it. The reason for my mysterious absence lately. I’d write more or include a few photos but I have to practice speaking with an Indian accent in case I’m assigned to a tech support call center. Yeah, I know that’s not politically correct but……..well, you know.