Monday, November 26, 2007

Flaming Hula Hoop Video

Here's the video of Chartreuse Hocake Shockadelica and her Flaming Fire Hula Hoop. This is the first time I've attempted to edit any video. I took this with my digital still camera. I wasn't sure how much video I could take with it so the clips are very short. For still photos go here. I took these clips at Maker Faire 2007 in Austin, TX.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

More Beastiary

Here are more photos from November. Mostly I like to take photos of things in macro mode, or really up close. I have a bee, butterfly, hummingbird garden in the yard. The butterfly bush always attracts lots of attention. Here is a Monarch butterfly on the bush. The Monarchs are shy compared to some of the other butterflies and I was lucky to get this one.

There are several of these tiny gray green frogs in the goldfish pond. The larger ones are a little less than the size of a quarter. One day I startled one while I was feeding the fish and it jumped--just as Maize (the cat) walked up. The frog landed spread eagle on her and stuck to her fur. Maize tried to see what was on her but I distracted her while the frog slowly peeled off and fell to the ground. It looked like one of those sticky toys you throw on the mirror or refrigerator to watch it "walk" down the wall. Wish I'd got a shot of that.

This male grackle landed right next to me while I was pumping gas.

Water droplets from the pond outlined the tiny delicate spider web. This spider is only about half an inch long. Several of them make their home above the pond.

As always, you can check out my Flickr account for higher resolution versions of these pictures.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

A Beastiary, Plus a Fellow

It's the eve of Thanksgiving which brings up the question, "what are you thankful for?" There are so many things I'm thankful for that it's hard to know where to begin. Most of all I'm thankful for my family and friends.

Here are a few of the pictures I've been taking this month. More tomorrow.

Nikko and Scrappy are play fighting in the yard. That's Nikko on the left with the demon cat eyes. Scrappy can wear Nikko out. Sometimes the easiest way to get Nikko to come in the house is to let Scrappy out. Scrappy has come a long way since we got him.

Here's Scrappy walking away. Notice the tongue hanging out. He's panting.

Nikko is hoping he'll get a little rest.

Buddy isn't fond of Nikko and undoubtedly is thinking about whipping up on him for real.

This is Casper, one of Mom and Dad's cats. He's mostly blind, but usually runs away when he sees a camera. He was really affectionate with me the last time I visited. Mom was recently given a talking scale by the Commission for the Blind. Touch it with your foot and it turns on and says "hello". After a couple of seconds it says "I'm ready." Then you step on and it gives your weight and says goodbye. It's so easy to use that the cats regularly weigh themselves. Casper is 9.4 pounds and uses the scales most frequently.

Here's Dad. Mom didn't want her picture taken. There are more pictures on my Flickr account.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Taking Care of Our Veterans

I was reading Sunday's Dallas Morning News today and one of the articles was about the difficulty many vets have in returning to civilian life. Besides suffering from PTSD many are coping with severe injuries. Why is it so difficult for the veterans to get the assistance they are entitled to? One was approved for assistance, but didn't get it for SEVERAL MONTHS because his mailing address wasn't entered into the system. That's flat ridiculous. It should be easy for them to find all the info they need to sign up for whatever services they need and get them. We should be taking care of our vets, particularly the wounded ones, and in many cases we aren't.

Okay, that's my rant. The other thing I wanted to say is that I really appreciated our veteran's service. All of them, not just the ones serving in the current war. I think our democratic system of government is the best in the world, and we wouldn't have it if there hadn't been patriots who were willing to die for what they believed in.

I do wish we had concentrated on Afghanistan and not gone into Iraq. It seems like we are spread mighty thin now.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Odds and Ends from Maker Faire

More pics from Maker Faire! Here is another Art Car. Check out the detail on the headlamps below.

Here are a couple in Medieval garb riding horses.

These gals were handing out cards to a local club? At least I think it was a club. Since I'm not from Austin I didn't recognize it.

This reminds me of the Dia de los Muertos sugar skulls.