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Archive for December, 2012


2386 08 David Julia Victor Nellie

I always insist on taking at least two shots of any group… more if they will tolerate me. It’s because someone always blinks…  A blink is measured in thousandths of a second. So how is it that my wife got us all blinking simultaneously? It’s a skill. She won’t stay still to take more than a couple shots. So that’s what you get.2386 09 David Julia Victor Nellie

Cornfield Maze

2386 22 JuliaIn the fall we would go pumpkin picking. You get the right one because carving was another project for Halloween. And out on Long Island there was usually a corn maze set up to try to go through. Along the way you got ears of corn and threw the kernels at one another when you could find them. Yeah, that was a fond memory also.2386 17 David corn field

David Pete Bill

2389 35 Bill David Pete

Here’s David with his Grandpa Bill and Uncle Pete. (They don’t much use the term grand uncle.) It’s Thanksgiving and dinner is about to be served. It’s interesting. Bill and Pete don’t do kitchen duty…no cooking and no dishes and certainly never at the holiday. All the ladies are not at all annoyed. I do cooking and clean up. It’s how I was raised. If your mother wants to survive three sons, the boys help or they don’t eat. The funny thing is that when I was on my own for the first time, I found out that I could cook and never knew it. By the time you know all about prep work, the only thing left is to throw the food into the pan and cook it. Ha! Cooking lessons and I didn’t even know it. So much to my surprise David called from Argentina and inquired how to roast a turkey. David didn’t like to eat turkey much less had he ever been in the kitchen to roast one or to cook anything else (so I thought). He got instructions from his mom (I could only laugh). We next heard he needed instructions on how to light his stove. Ha ha. But it was the fact that the oven had no thermostat that really killed the deal. David made dinner for about 30 people and pulled it all together. No one got food poisoning! I can only say that this was a pretty impressive achievement. He had a little leeway. They like to eat near midnight in Argentina.2389 36 David Bill Pete


2392 18 David Julia

Another thought on raking leaves as an activity is presented here. Those high piles were great to hide in or to jump upon. We got kind of elaborate. The kids started by simply winding up and running into the pile. Then they jumped from the fence. Naturally the big ladder was a grand idea. And finally they began jumping from the tree. Yeah, it was a crazy family activity. Nellie, our dog could attest to the crazy things humans sometimes do.2390 37 Julia David Lisa

Yeah, that's mom. You never would've believed it.

Yeah, that’s mom. You never would’ve believed it.

Fall Leaves

2392 29 Julia David Nellie leaves

We had another family activity – raking leaves. The kids were little and they borrowed rakes while we stayed at an inn in the Berkshires. When we had leaves to rake in the autumn on Long Island, the kids would wait till the time was right. Large piles would be made. Once they made a hideout.2392 25 Julia David leaves

2390 25 Julia David hideoutHey! It was all fun. Eventually we had to haul away all the leaves. But for a few days a year it was great fun.

Hug Your Daughter

2394 29 Julia Victor hug

Yes, even daughters grow up and they don’t lie there and hug you any more. Well, a little, but mostly it’s just a moment. Thankfully with the internet and cellphones it’s not too hard to stay in touch, but we don’t. Still, it’s better than waiting for a letter. I can only say that I hugged my kids a lot.

Merry Christmas

2402 09 Julia David Steven Chris AndrewIn response to Happy Anniversary, my wife responded, “Are you really?” Well I suppose I am at least feeling merry. I wish a good holiday to all and happy new year. While there are many people who don’t celebrate Xmas, i didn’t realize that much of the world doesn’t have the same new year. And there are those unique holidays like Thanksgiving and Halloween. I also know that it is near impossible to stage a family photo. The old folks hate how they look in pictures. The kids never sit still. The fact that you have anything at all on film is just pure luck. So, don’t sweat it. And leave out the old people. I don’t even care if you blink. Happy and safe holidays to all.

Who’s the Silly One

2394 33 Julia Nellie faceSo I happened to have my camera out. Or I would never have gotten this shot. Ha ha! It made me smile instantly. When you think that Nellie is clueless as to what Julia is making a face about, I wonder who’s the intelligent one. As far as Nellie is concerned, if I put up with this unusual human behavior, is there any food in it for me?

Mother and Son

2395 13 David Lisa

Kids grow up fast and time passes in a blink. It’s all too brief a time when you get to hug your kids. Then they grow up and you shake hands and hug briefly. It’s not like you can sit and hold them like you had all the time in the world. I guess that’s why they invented grandchildren.

Xmas Party

2393 06 Don Pat Fran Elise Ginny

A tradition in my office was the Xmas party. Mostly we don’t get many keepers among the photos. Alcohol can make your hand shake. But this one is sentimental. This group is my OR nurses and Don. Boy, everyone looked so young. It’s only a few years gone by. Well, more like 15 years. How time passes fast. Just like everyone else, a lot has happened since this picture. Lives, fortune, hopes, and dreams have all changed.



2398 02 Julia David onaments

Early on my wife collected ornaments. So we don’t have a tree with one or the same ornaments. It’s a motley collection full of memories. She has dated the years and many have stories of our travels and places visited. So far it has not become an issue as to how to split the group up. Each year we unwrap and then hang them. The joke is to put the ugly ones to the back. And for a long time the delicate ones had to be higher than the kids and the dog.2398 18 David

Christmas Cookies


2399 11 Julia

Another annual tradition was to bake cookies. The kids really enjoyed doing food art. These were real homemade sugar cookies and the decorating would be fairly impressive. At least I thought it looked pretty good. There were no leftovers. And when Santa had to eat the cookies the kids left, I got more than my share.2399 16 Cookies2399 06 Xmas cookies


2125 21 John Andrew Steven Christopher copyLest I forget, it’s John’s birthday today. It’s tough at this time of the year. You have nothing to look forward to when you celebrate Xmas and a birthday so close together. He never complained. I have this theory on how my mother named her three sons. She told me she used a baby name book. She got down to the V’s and I think she panicked. What happens if you don’t find anything and now you have X,Y Z to pick from. So I got named Victor. And when the youngest was born, mom picked Eric. See my logical thinking  works. She wasn’t going back down to the end of the alphabet again. For the record mom didn’t pick out a middle name for me either. She stuck in the letter “T’ on my birth certificate and later told me she thought of my middle name. Oh, and it wasn’t till much later than that when I found out she lied about her age on my birth certificate. This story came to me from my mother’s younger sister, Fu Ching. Emily, the oldest of the three sisters, told my mother she was old when I was born. So she advised my mother to change her age. It’s too late now to find out the truth in all of this. So, to John, I didn’t forget.

Yule Log

2399 19 Yule log

This is a jelly roll cake layered in whip cream covered in chocolate frosting and a semi-tradition at our house. Well it was until my wife refused to make it any longer and I’m too unskilled to want to try. I did try to build a gingerbread house after she stopped and that was a disaster. We’ve had a lot of fun with this dessert over the years. The icing is now store bought Pillsbury or some such. We threw out about 3-4 batches of icing one Xmas when the chocolate seized up during the cooking. The cream is bad for you. So it’s a dessert that the kids were never encouraged or inclined to consume. Me, I miss it but am doing fine without it. Of everyone who should be on a diet, it’s my wife who has struggled the most. So it’s better to remember the picture.

David Ben Julia Alexandra Nellie

2399 24 David Julia Alexandra Ben Nellie

We have close friends with whom we have had gatherings at Christmas. Once when the kids were small I got a great shot of the four kids sitting patiently waiting until they were permitted to tear at the colorful packages. Since then we line them up and they pose in roughly the same way for me. Looking at this reminds me how fast they grow up. Everyone’s (the kids) got a job now.


2401 19 Gingerbread houseEarly on my wife made the gingerbread houses at Xmas. They looked very good. When the kids were old enough she made the gingerbread and assembled the walls and roof. Then the kids had a go at decorating. I would have to say that a lot of candy never made it onto the house. The glue was sugar and when it hardened the house was hard to disassemble. But bit by bit over time, most of the house was torn down and eaten. The idea was to put a lot of candy all over. There was more to eat later. The nuts were something that I did – roasted cashews. Somehow homemade is a lot more personal than a gift card.

Flutag – December 13, 2012


Yes, it actually just happened. For the purposes of a blog you can’t show several hundred shots. There isn’t enough interest. But I can make this post in each of my blogs. So one post in two blogs with two pictures – tortured logic, huh? Flutag – I saw the ad in a website and then have seen flyers and posters and signs all over. There was a fair crowd. There were a lot of people and so there were a lot of cars. Everyone drives, nobody walks so there were way too many cars. The crowd is very polite even though they crowd a lot. My buddy Farid’s brother is handling the account for Red Bull from Dubai. So! We got VIP tickets! What’s it mean? We were right up front, with an excellent view, no crowding, and all the Red Bull you could drink. I had some. To be honest, it didn’t make me nuts. Free food – dilemma – too busy shooting pictures!

Flutag? The object is to build a machine, which will fly. It’s a bunch of sane people thinking they can fly in an event where everyone is pretty much going swimming. I did notice that it’s largely corporate sponsored – McD, Crispy Crème, and KFC. It’s to get visibility for your product?. I guess I should mention Red Bull is the main sponsor. The crowd didn’t mind. In a country where everyone is so private, this was a rare event in which folks let their hair down. Women and men mixed elbow to elbow. Of course in the hot afternoon sun, women stlll wore their abayas. There were great photo ops. I shot crowd, people, candids, and the event. It’s the first time I got to really shoot an event since coming to Jeddah. Hopefully, I’ll notice more things in the future. It remains a problem for me to get around. But that should be less of a problem in the coming months._DSC9040

Hot Tub Action


You may let your imagination run wild. This slide would never pass a quality image test. On a ski weekend with our buddies, we frequently rented a place – four couples and our two kids would stay together. This particular house had a hot tub. After a long day on the ski slopes (about a couple hours for the ladies) that hot tub beckoned. Actually, I missed the embarrassing moment. Apparently Kevin knocked and my wife Lisa answered, “Come in.” thinking that it was her husband, (me). Well needless to say there was a bit of shocking surprise/confusion. This image was snapped a bit later. It’s Kevin and Bob. And that’s Susan, she’s with ‘stupid.’ But hey! Everyone’s got a bathing suit.

Grandma the Clown

The Big Apple Circus was a tradition for us for a few years at Christmas. While we went Grandma, the Clown, was a featured performer. He retired and then came back. We were so happy to see him again that the kids went over to get a picture. They are usually too shy. But sometimes it’s the right time and the right place.

David Jump


The point of this slide is not the quality of the image. It’s not about jumping. It turns out that I couldn’t remember the name of the Paris café that Debbie’s guidebook directed us to try. It’s a fairly well known establishment. One of their signature desserts is the Mont Blanc. It is a mountain of meringue with puréed chestnut. It is truly heavenly. Chestnuts were a favorite of my mother. So the dessert has a sentimental spot for me. I’ve not had it (Mont Blanc) again. It’s not something you find commonly. It’s described extensively in the cooking internet recipes, but I’m too lazy to try to make it. Anyway if you are ever in Paris here’s the name of the café.



The trigone of the lateral ventricle is where the temporal horn and occipital horn branch off. It’s an anatomical point in brain anatomy, in radiological imaging and in neurosurgical anatomy. So to come upon a store with this name in Paris, it tickled my fancy. I’m sure it makes sense in French. But it’s amusing in English.

Paris, Night Shot


Mixed light and night shots are pretty tricky using slide film. There’s no way to ‘chimp’ (check your image). There’s no preview. The film is whatever you’ve loaded. You can’t change white balance, ISO, add or subtract effects or set the scene to night shot. Wow, it was pretty tough in the dark ages before iPhone. Then again sometimes you get more than you hoped for or less than what you wanted.

Paris, Seine


Serendipity strikes again. The main point of this slide is that you can see the painting on the bridge. I don’t know. That really impressed me. It’s not my skill. I didn’t really take the shot with the idea to capture the painting. Well maybe I did. I don’t see much else to point at in the image. The spot light is intrusive. I could crop or Photoshop it away and I have done this in some edits of this image. But for me, I’m still tickled at what came from this image.

Endless Summer


This is the Atlantic Ocean. It’s bracing. One might even say it’s cold. I swim in the Red Sea at the moment. The temperatures have been 86 degrees. I prefer my location. But in this slide, we’re near the end of the day with no end in sight for fun and water. It’s another location where they warn you not to take your camera. The sand and salt spray will hurt your equipment. And then you won’t have a picture either. Just be careful, but do it.