Coloring Within the Lines

I’ve been busy with the little piece of demon-tech I call my phone.  I still maintain having a toler/hate relationship with the plastic bastard…but he does have a bit of charm.

It’s all in his lens.

The leaves are turning here in guitar-town.  I figured I’d share a bit of pretty with you guys today…

A color through the windscreen

 

 

My pictures are still ‘prune-y’

I manage to take a shot like this a couple of times a year.  There’s just something about the wooziness of water on the glass of the windshield of my  car that screams “YES” to my photographic eye.  I love the way the water wrinkles the shot.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Rust and red leaves

 

 

 

Before you get the thought that everything is wet & gloomy, however…here’s another favorite of my settings.  The iron fence surrounding the big cemetery in town always provides an interesting foreground when fall colors come out.

 

 

 

 

 

A Black berries

 

 

Someone with more knowledge of plant life is gonna have to tell me what these berries are.  They’re pretty to look at, contrast nicely against the pink leaves, but I’ve no idea what they’re called…outside of photogenic…

 

 

 

 

 

 

a Tall grasses

 

The people who planned out the decorative elements of the Fox River Walkway loved this prairie grass – it’s everywhere.  It grows long and proud up here, and gives the walkway users a touch of separation between the walk and the downtown parking areas.  It also photographs nicely when backed by the sun.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Through the Ring

 

 

 

 

Decorative iron is so much fun to use in photography.  This is also taken along the Fox River Walkway.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

a heart in spiderweb

 

Am I the only one who see the heart in the middle of this spiderweb?  I’m guessing if the spider who wove this had more time, and good command of the English language, he’d have finished with with an “I” above the center, and “Flies” underneath.

 

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Adventures in Goodwill

In search of the most eclectic wardrobe ever – the kids and I went to our local Goodwill last night.  I’ve been on the lookout for a spring/fall weight jacket, which is getting to be a rather pressing issue around here.  After all, it’s October in Wisconsin, and the early mornings are a bit … shall we say nippy? … to walk to work.  I’ve also been on the lookout for bedclothes, as what I’m currently wearing to sleep in is … well, let’s just say I’ve found my feet tangled in my sleep shorts in the morning on more than one occasion.

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These used to FIT!

 

 

With it getting cooler in the night as well as the morning, I’m gonna need more heavyweight jammy pants, too.  The sweat pants I was using are now doubling as a cover for my computer chair to protect it slightly against claws.

The fun part of a Goodwill adventure is always pawing through the racks….the entire store is an epic treasure hunt…especially the clothes.  Some stuff is outright adorable, and some is ‘I can’t believe someone actually WORE this out of the house!’-able.

Glassware is another place I love to search the racks…but really, the entire store, from apple figurines to zebra-print socks – is rummage-able.

 

So – yesterday.  Went to Goodwill.  And the winners are:

In the ‘Loud and Proud’ category:

Twister pants

Remember the game Twister?

In the “I can’t believe this exists” category:

Leather Pants

LEATHER pants in my size??

In the “I can’t believe I actually TRIED this on” category:

Rainbow Horror

WHAT am I doing????

In the “How did I live without these” category:

Halloween Socks

Orange and black striped Halloween socks!

And, yes, my goal was accomplished – I found 2 pair of jammy pants in patterns that fit my personal style, as well as this totally cool denim jacket.

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WORD.

 

Smile, damnit…I’m WORKING here!

I got to thinking again…

Still time to duck & cover, as it were…

There’s so much hate in our world today.  This guy hates his ex.  That fella hates people who’s skin has a different melanin content.  This lady hates liberals, and that poor kid hates mosquitoes.

Well…I kinda agree with that last one…

This hate has ALWAYS been part of the Human race – it’s the way we’re all wired.  Each and every one of us has that one little thing inside us that causes the blood to boil and common sense to be chucked out the nearest window when this demon surges up from the depths of our subconscious.

There are anecdotes spread throughout human history to teach us about this dark side which dwells within, and how to cope with it.

With all the hate boiling up from the subterranean recesses within greater humanity today, I thought I’d share some of my favorites.

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Truth

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A couple of years ago, I realized I’d been following my own simple little mantra.  A daily ‘goal’ as it were.  Just an insignificant little twiddle when measured against the enormity of the population on this ball of rock…but very significant to the recipient.

 

My goal?  To plant a smile on someone else’s face.

Each. And. Every. Day.  Spread a bit of joy.  A sliver of mirth.  A thimbleful of happiness.

Imagine what would happen to our world if each and every one of the 7.442 BILLION humans on the planet decided to do the same?

happy-house

 

An Outing on an Outing

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One of the things I love about living smack in the middle of downtown is being able to walk all over the downtown area without having to worry about traffic, parking and all the headaches that come from having to drive to the downtown area.

It also means the local farmer’s market is JUUUUUUST down the street 😀

I usually go down there, get some fresh cheese curd, various veggies I’m gonna use for the week, and stop for my brat-breakfast (brat, kraut, spicy mustard, nekkid (no bun)).  I also grab something bakery for the SQO, and any other odds or ends that strike my fancy.  (found a fantastic smoked tomato sauce a couple of weeks ago, and the DIL almost drooled when she found some pickled okra).

I always finish my Saturday market excursion with a stop at my favorite coffee place for a good cup of cold brew:  The Steaming Cup.

Here’s a longer shot of the building in the background…it’s the building with the conical top on the corner:

Downtown Summer 2016

This morning, when they took my order & gave me the number to hang on to…I was stunned.

 

50 outing

 

 

HowInHell did they know I hit the big Five-Oh???

 

 

 

I feel so….’outed.’

How to Chain Your Dragon

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I did it…I got the tutorial done for my dragon design.

YEA, ME!!!!

 

It was a monster of a project – almost as monstrous as all the design work that went into the form.  I lost sight of the actual photo count by the time I finished (added a few last minute shots, dropped a few others) but I had 251 pixs edited and lined up by the time I’d finished the photo work phase.

The final page count for the tutorial is 79 – but most of that space is taken up by the pictures.  It ended up a HUGE file in my hard drive.

Now, I’m no stranger to writing (duh!).  I’ve done ‘how to’s’ for employers in the past as they attempted to document JUST how a certain job is performed.  The writing of those little guides were usually dry, cold, impersonal and boring as hell, because there were higher-up’s involved who wouldn’t know a humorous phrase if it came up off the page and bit their noses off.

When I started the dragon tutorial, this was how the writing ‘clicked,’ because that’s my past experience with guides…a very ‘business impersonal’ style.

Took me a moment to realize what I was doing – and scrap the first draft.  I didn’t need to impersonalize this work, because there were no higher-ups between me and the publishing button.  The ONLY thing that would stop me from inserting my personality into this work was ME.

Can you see me cackling madly at my keyboard, yet?

If you want to make a dragon of your very own – here’s the listing:

How to Chain Your Dragon (a tutorial)

And if you want a dragon withOUT all the mucking about with pliers and little metal rings – I’ll make one for you:

My Pet Dragon

Chainmaille Dragon Face close in

 

 

Murder in the Concrete Jungle

You get a lot of time to think when you’re pounding the pavement.  Sometimes I just mouth the words to whatever song is blasting away on my iPod.  Sometimes I mull over a string of numbers (work numbers, keto numbers, financial numbers, etc…).  And sometimes, I have long, in-depth conversations with the various voices in my head…just to work shit out.

Sometimes, it’s the only intelligent conversation I have all day…

For a while now, I’ve called this little stretch of my walk the Cathedral.

 

It’s nothing that special, really.  The owners of this particular piece of property decided to plant bushes all along the boundary of their lot.  Those plantlings did what greenery does, and grew – eventually getting tall enough to clasp branch-hands with the trees on the median.  For the entire spring & summer, the branches have been trimmed back over the sidewalk so people don’t have to push through the bush to get where they’re going – but they haven’t trimmed more than that.

 

It’s a landmark on my journey where I stop for just a moment, and breathe a huge sigh of relief.  It’s here that I get out of the hot sun and soak in a little shade.  In my head, this little canopy is the ‘official’ boundary between the industrial leg and the park leg, and marks where I’m ‘officially’ on the way home.

But this morning – I walked up to the Cathedral in horror.

 

LOOK AT WHAT THEY DID!

Cathedral 5

 

The Cathedral has fallen!  Those murdering bastards BUTCHERED it!

**SOB**

I got half a mind to march up to the door and give ’em a serious piece of the mind I’ve got left.

…Deep breath…calm and focus…oh yea, that’s right…I don’t do confrontation…

Cathedral 6

Upon closer inspection of the carnage, I can kinda/sorta understand why the bushes had to come down.  Looks like they were tangling up the power or cable lines running to the house.

 

But still….SLAVERING HEADBLIND SOULLESS BASTARDS KILLED MY LANDMARK!

OK…I feel slightly better now…

Couldn’t they have allowed just ONE more Autumn display of color that I could aim my camera at before the wholesale slaughter ensued?

Cathedral 3

 

 

 

Dutch Goes the Photo – Dark

Good Old Frank…where would we photographers be without his challenges?  He’s got a challenge this week that REALLY speaks to me – Dark.

 

Dark photography is kinda where I live and breathe in the world of hobby-photography.  First, there was the SQO’s band – working on a darkened stage with bright spots scattered randomly about necessitated my first camera upgrade.

Discovering light painting as an art form pushed me to the current DSLR, and keeps a full-frame sensor on my list of ‘things I need as soon as the money is there…’

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Let’s not forget all the celestial events happening …

Or the artistic displays that show up around here in the fall…

And then there’s the kids hobby of spinning poi – conveniently lit on fire.  Yea…I have no lack of potential dark photography subjects at my easy disposal at any given time.

A Fireball 4

So I’ll offer up some of my favorite dark shots – just for you Frank.

Keep the stellar photo-sharing ideas coming!