Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year

Happy New Year to all.

I found this youtube of the fireworks in town hall square in Denmark.
Very nice indeed :-)

Happy New Year

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

updated the website

Finally I got around to updating my web site with photos from the mountains.

I have had them laying around for quite some time and just needing to get them sorted out at bit and put together in some way for display.

Well now I tried out a new slide show package to upload some of these photos.

Check out the new ones in the mountains section (link top right corner) on my website:

ps. drop a line or two with you thoughts ;-)

Sunday, December 28, 2008

B-day cards

I got a couple of cards this morning...

I love these little things Jacki arranges :-)

I got this card from Emma (click image to open)

and this card from Jacki. As she put it: "when I saw that I had to get it" (click to open)

And from DK :-)

Now I got my coffee and today is all about doing nothing :-) or well sort of ;-)

Friday, December 26, 2008

It was the day after Christmas... (sort of..)

So Jacki posted a blog entry on the day after Christmas and I figured I would add a little to it as well...

Starting off Emma got a dress from her sister Emilie (in DK) and she really really liked it a lot. Couldn't get the thing off her and she was more than willing to pose... (I guess I should be somewhat concerned... hmm...)

A really great thing about Christmas is that Jacki baked as you may have read on her blog. One of her creations were these cookies (sorry they are gone by now).

ohh and for table decoration. One of Emmas favorites was the Christmas candle. It is kind of pretty.

Along with the meal we got boller. Just one of those easy things from DK. It's not much but when you get them nice and warm from the oven with a wee bit of butter they are good :-)

Ohh and as you may also have read. Emma got a new dog. This one with it's own little bag, comb, treats and pink bow in the hair. So this will be Francine (for now anyway). That naming started off when we went to Ohio for Thanksgiving and Aunt Judy got a new dog. Franco... so when Emma got home she had a little Franco and now a Francine (pink bow in the hair it must be a girl). (ohh here is Emma with the "real" Franco)

Ohh before I forget. For Christmas I got a new lens for the camera. I didn't really talk about it that much. Just about a couple of times a day for 2-3 months or so.
The old standard kit lens is ok but it does have issues with low light, clarity and sharpness compared to fast glass (ohh and yeah the sand from the beaches in DK didn't really help much... hmm).

Anyway the lens I got is this Sigma 17-70mm HSM Macro for my Nikon. If you want to read more about it you can find it here

Anyway. With this new lens I could capture a large part of the living room in low light (after bed time) hand held and not end up with one big blurry mess. The after unwrapping mess was quite enough ;-)

And speaking of capturing photos hand held in low light situations. Here is one from Emma sleeping in here tent. It's a hand held photo taken with nothing but the night light (yeah well and a slight boost to ISO 800).

Another shot I got was on Christmas day visiting with the peeps. This is from the deck as the sun was setting (yeah it was cold...)

As you can see Jacki is not the only one cooking. Here is my dear mother in-law cooking and getting some support in her hard work ;-)

One of the nice things about the new lens is experimenting with the wide angle part of the focal range. One could as an example get on the floor and capture the nephew chasing a ball like this.

Or literally get really close up and in peoples face (almost touching) to get shots like these (ps. don't tell Jacki about these photos...)

Another try with the low light and longer speed captures is this one of the train under the Christmas tree.

And finally (yeah I am going to loose a man-card on this one)...
Here is a cute reminder of what Christmas is all about

To all a Merry Christmas and happy New Year!!!!

Photo hunt: Squeaky

Just getting over Christmas and finally being able to relax all day (yeah Christmas pics will come later) I decided to get in on the photo hunt.

Main reason was to get Emma activated and we could do something together. So I explained that we have to pick up the camera and search the house for things that squeak.

So off we went in our search for squeaky things.

First up... Sneakers. They can be squeaky at times...

As we start walking through the living room it turns out that there is a certain spot where the floor is squeaky.

The wheels on the build-a-bear roller skates (you actually need 4 to make a pair and they are sold in packs of two...) squeaks when you roll them over the carpet.

Rubber duckies.... cute and squeaky :-)

Searching through the house poking things we found that the drawers can squeak too...

After running around the house like this we found that it's actually fun to hunt like this :-) If you haven't tried yet you really should. Especially with kids around. They are soooo good at this kind of hunting.

Here are some of Emma's squeaky photos:

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

got heat?

We finally got the heater fixed :-) so now we are just waiting for it to warm up the house. It my take a while though...

When I got home I put a thermometer in the living room. It proved to be kind of cold in there

Our new space heater is actually working and when I moved both space heaters in the living room to help heat it up the fuse popped... Anyway here it is

To "seal" off some of the room I had put up a backdrop between the living room and the kitchen. It did help even though it may not really look in place ;-)

To help with the confinement (having sealed off the living room) I got a mattress, blankets and the portable DVD player out for Emma. It does kind of look like she enjoys it at little bit. She wasn't too happy when I took it down...

Come ooooon heat....

It's cold outside....

So this morning was rather eventful...

Jacki woke me up at 4am because she was cold. She had checked the heater and guess what... it was dead. Well sort of dead. Fan was running, gas was working but no spark...
So the house was down to 60 at that time.

She woke me up and started speed talking. Not exactly what my head can handle at that time of day. I mean, I didn't even have my coffee yet...

Anyway as any guy of course I could look at it and by some miracle it would work... well not in this case...

Instead since I just couldn't fall asleep I got up and "sealed" off the living room (it's big and steals all the heat). Then I got the space heater going. Space heater is kind of the official description. It's more portable than it's heating. Anyway I went ahead and lighted candles and turned on the oven.

By 7 or so I ventured off to home depot and got a new ceramic space heater for a larger space that can warm things up a little bit before the heater guy get's there.

Finally driving to work I heard about a water main break on river road (no kidding). It's a 66 Inch water main so that is a ton of water and then some....

Check it out here:

The story so far:
DEVELOPING: Emergency workers on Monday were rescuing drivers trapped by rushing water after a water main break in Maryland.

Cars were stranded after the break at River Road and Fenway Drive in Bethesda, Montgomery County police said.
The county's Swift Water Rescue Team was called to the scene where a river of water of between 3 and 4 feet high trapped multiple vehicles on River Road.

Notice the basket being lowered from a helicopter!!!! no it's not a rescue at sea... It's a water main break!!!! Just kind of weird it had to happen on riverroad...
(btw. People are getting out safely)

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Paint by numbers...

As some may know I did get the bamboo doodle ehh tablet... you know with the pen tablet for making it easier to use photoshop.

one thing is editing photos. Another is painting in photoshop and well many places describe techniques where you dab the brush... Try doing that with a mouse...

Anyway I got started on one painting where the first step is to outline your drawing. Well I guess I should have picked another one for the first painting since well it did take quite some time to outline it.

After getting the outline it's on to adding color and painting in the outlines (this is the sort of paint by numbers).

Not that I would compare it to someone like Rembrandt but here it is
(oh yeah you need to check out the link: there is a lot of paintings and history to be discovered).

The lighthouse is the Thomas Point Shoal Lighthouse off the coast of Annapolis, MD (in the Chesapeake bay).

Friday, December 19, 2008


You know you want it....

Head on over to Jacki's blog for the recipe:


have you been caught by the wii yet?

Check out this video clip with the creator of Wii music demonstrating it to a kindergarten class....

It is just too fun to play ;-)

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Let there be light....

This year we got a new addition to the collection of lights we hang for Christmas.
I know we could have more and really should (power company needs to feel it's Christmas too... right?).

Here are a small selection of photos from our front yard:

As you can see the penguin finally have company. Emma picked out Pooh as a fitting companion for the penguin. And well since home depot had it at 50% off... who am I to say no ;-)

Getting pine cones

Over the weekend we were talking about doing some art work/projects at home and would need some pine cones. Rather than raiding the neighbors back yard... I took Emma out to the forest for a walk and see what we might find (yeah this is where we went to home depot on the way home and got pooh on our lawn... read more).

So we are walking along to see what we can find. As you may have heard Emma can be quite a big talker. So as we heard a woodpecker I am (being really clever) saying "hey Emma... maybe if we are really quite we can hear different birds and maybe even see some"
Sooo we look around for birdies...

Look dad there is a big stick. I can't lift that one but I can sit on it...
Yep that would be Emma....
Finding another stick that she could lift she was plowing the path. It is supposed to be a path for the ants to use... hmm yeah... she was occupied doing that for quite some time...

Finally we have walked for a good bit and we are starting to get ready to see the truck and head off to home depot.
On the "home-stretch" we noticed the lack of birds and Emma had a few quick questions:

Emma: Dad, where are all the birds?
Me: They are around. They just like to hide and fly around.
Emma: Dad, where do the birds fly to?
Me: ehh many of them fly down south for the winter where it's warmer.
Emma: Dad, why do birds fly down south for the winter?
Me: well... you know it's warmer and some birds don't like the cold weather.
Emma: nooooooo it's because it's to far to walk!!!

yeah she got me on that one. She actually told a joke and fit it in perfectly and I didn't see that one coming....