mobility = security

i submitted a response to an article in the Seattle Times Opinion Blog in which someone quoted this page, which was extrapolating on content from this NY Times article that it wasn't the black people per se that failed to get out of New Orleans before Katrina struck, it was the poor people who lacked vehicles. it seems a lack of sufficient evacuation transportation brought in by FEMA to the area beforehand, and the city's decision to spend a couple hundred million dollars on short street car lines aimed at tourists rather than on serious transportation infrastructure are both partially responsible.

here's the response i submitted:
(in the interest of full disclosure i should point out that i fixed an annoying grammatical error i caught after the fact)

I agree that O'Toole makes a very interesting point. The vast number of vehicles throughout the United States contributes greatly to the security of any particular area- especially the number of trucks, which are obviously better suited to carrying large payloads. A large number of those trucks aren't even confined to roads at all. I've yet to see anyone make that argument against the envirozealots who want to outlaw SUVs!

I know if I needed to leave an area in a hurry in a time of crisis I'd much rather take my pickup, and be able to carry more (hastily assembled people or stuff) than I could cram in my Geo Metro! Enhanced security is a valid argument for expanding the increasingly taxed capacity of major thoroughfares that's been largely overlooked. Gridlock on your commute is annoying; gridlock during a natural disaster or attack could cost many their lives.

After all, when the interstate freeway system was developed, wasn't one of the intentions to provide for quick, effective, wide-ranging mobilization in times of crises? Infrastructure is key to regional security, and that applies to both times of war and natural disasters. The fact that private citizens and enterprise (read: Wal-Mart) can take advantage of their private and our public infrastructure to the degree they can is certainly more than a happy coincidence.

It's easy to take this line of thinking one step further and apply it to the vast number of civilians with firearms. It's always seemed to me it would be incredibly difficult for any foriegn military to invade and occupy U.S. territory. If the entire coalition of ground forces in Iraq can't seem to lock down the insurgency in a country that small, despite the vast amount of resources poured into the problem and the degraded state of the country's infrastructure, what kind of chance would anyone have of marching down, taking, and holding Main Street, U.S.A., with our relatively huge number of armed and mobile (not to mention motivated) citizens? House-to-house fighting against our civilian population alone would be extremely costly to an invading force, regardless of their number of soldiers on the ground. It seems to follow then that any future wide-scale attack here will be aimed at creating large numbers of civilian casualties, through either biological or (i think less likely) nuclear methods.

And that brings me back to the centralized transportation: you don't see people bombing individual commuter cars in Spain or London, or leaving sarin nerve gas in someone's back seat in Japan. I'm going to remember that when I'm growling about being stuck in traffic, and when it's time to vote on transportation issues.

let the games begin!

a doubly sweet Sunday for this sports fan today, as the NFL regular season gets underway, and it was opening day on NCYSA U14 Division 4 soccer in the greater Snohomish County area.

unfortunately, the Seahawks blew their season opener against the Jaguars, 26-14. i missed the majority of the last half of the game (out buying a second pair of new soccer cleats for Loren so he could play today), but it was only 20-14 (i think) when when i walked away....they must have blown it in the second half.

the first pair of cleats i bought Loren were a fairly middle-of-the-road pair of Adidas, but they were too tight around the ball of Loren's feet and were riding his Achilles tendon unmercifully. they hurt his feet so bad that Phoenix inherited those new cleats and Loren needed a second new pair. it was a little late to be buying cleats, and the selection in the closest store to my house wasn't great (though a little better than i expected, to be honest), and after trying on a few pairs, it was obvious that the best of the lot were (gasp!) $60. but the boy's got to be able to play in what he gets so i sucked it up and paid the money. he seems happy with 'em. Loren's mom asked me how they were doing for him during his game today, and i said they were alright, and they'd better be alright, or else i was going to feed them to him for dinner, which got a nice laugh out of the assembled Live Wire parents. obviously a friendly bunch.

but on to the more important stuff: GAME RECAP!

it was a warm, sunny day at Monte Cristo Elementary, and Field 1, the Live Wire home field, where they'll play fully half their schedule, was in great shape, due largely to the league policy of keeping the traffic down on certain "game" fields this year- a move i wholeheartedly support. practicing on a crappy field is one thing, playing games in a lake of water and mud because the fields are beat down before the weather even gets bad is another.

this year, in this league, the boys will again be playing uphill; they opened the year against a team of fairly big (some of them quite big) 8th grade boys, so they have their work cut out for 'em. when they meet a team that's a little more evenly matched in age, i think they have a great chance, if the way they played today was any indication. they played hard for (expanded this season, likely due to the jump up in age bracket) 35 minute halves- that's a 1hr 10min game for the mathematically challenged- a jump of 20 minutes over last year if i'm not mistaken (which is somewhat likely....)

the Live Wire played strong all game, especially on offense, where they showed both speed and control throughout the game. the team only flagged slightly toward the end. they scored first blood, and coasted along with a 1-0 lead for a fair part of the first half. the point was eventually answered by their opponents, the Snohomish Panthers, despite playing virtually the entire first half on the Panther end of the field. Loren, my personal favorite Live Wire, played center midfield for the entire first half (he played left defender and rode the bench a while in the second). the Live Wire don't have a lot of extra players, so substitutions are going to be at a minimum. i'm all for that, as long as the players don't run out of gas. but back to the action: soon enough, the Panthers scored another goal, to take a 2-1 lead.

fairly early in the second half, Maika (a new addition to Loren's team at the forward position, whom i mention because he scored the only goal i can remember whom to credit) tied it up, and the game held at 2-2 for a while, up and down the field. eventually though, the ball spent more time on the Live Wire end of the field, and the defense softened up a bit, and despite a solid game by Jackson at keeper (whom i mention specifically because it was his first game in the position) and virtually every other Live Wire, the Panthers scored two more unanswered goals to win in regulation, 4-2.

after the game, Coach Poyner seemed confident in his team's ability, stating unequivocally, "this team will win some games." it certainly wouldn't disappoint any of the players or their parents.

i'm in charge of sending the game results in to the league (simple as filling out a postcard and dropping it in the mail), and i've sort of appointed myself team photog this year. since i'm out there takin' a bazillion shots of Loren anyway, i might as well fill up a little more memory and get some of the rest of the team. i might take the team pictures, when the time comes- we'll see if the rest of the parents would rather have the professional stuff done or not. personally, i think the only thing worth having printed are those baseball card type things, which they print on heavy stock and look all professionally glossy- and as far as i know, there's no "sitting fee" for the team- and anyone who doesn't want to buy pictures doesn't have to- so i think it might be easiest to go for that, and do the team photo and the individual player photos ourselves. we'll see how that works out.

but for now, here's a few shots from this afternoon's game:

Loren on the field, pre-game

Loren challenged for the ball by a Panther defender

Loren making a play on the ball

Loren riding the bench in the second half

Loren walking off the field with his friend Jackson after the end-of-game whistle

that's all for now folks. more soccer next week.


current events

well, i thought since it's been so long since i posted i should skip past the remainder of the two month old vacation pics (for now) and do something a little more current. life continues to go on, after all. Loren's started school, 7th grade. he seems to be enjoying it so far, but what can you say, he's only been in for two days and they've yet to throw anything at him. give it a little time, i'm sure it'll get a little more challenging and then there'll be something more interesting to say than "he went to the building and came home". he has a few classes with some friends. he gets a locker this year (which he's only allowed to go to at certain times, for some unknown reason). they used to build the combination locks into the locker doors, don't know why they didn't at his school, but the lockers are supplied with regular combination locks which the students get charged $9 for if they lose. here's hoping Loren doesn't end up with a massive lock replacement bill before the end of the year....

Loren's soccer season's started also. i don't have any info on games yet, but the season generally runs into sometime in Novemeber and i believe they play 10 games, so working backward from the end of November that would make it about another week until his first game. not a lot of time. i hope they end up with enough kids to actually play- it would be disappointing if the kids that have showed up so far had to forfeit some games off the bat, or not get to play at all after practicing for a few weeks. we'll see- i doubt anyone would have actually put the team on the schedule if they didn't have enough kids on paper at least. Loren's had some problems with his feet hurting from his cleats; i put him on the field in his regular sneakers last time and he did fine, which tells me it's the shoes, not his feet- which is good. hopefully i can exchange them, but if not i'll try to beat them into submission a bit before totally giving up. he's really happy with his pads at least- he picked out some really nice ones. i basically let him choose his gear, and he opted for (without seeing the price tags) the most expensive pads, middle-of-the-road cleats, and the least expensive ball- all in all about $75. ouch. then i took him out to buy new sneakers for school and that cost another $65. things'll be a little tight around here for a couple weeks.

that's not good timing considering i'm hoping to get to the Puyallup Fair this weekend. i may be forced to put it off until next weekend- in which case i intend to keep him overnight on saturday until sunday morning, cuz we've got tradition to uphold and that's gonna take until about 10pm- then we have to drive back from Puyallup.

been workin'- not a lot to say about that. running doublers on the Leadwell is boring as hell. last week was kinda heavy for me, what with a night shift building Northgate Calendar Club with Dad until 1am, then turning around and pouring a concrete pad for a shed at work the next day. honestly this was about the easiest build i've ever been through for Calendar Club, i showed up pretty late since Loren's soccer practice (in Granite Falls) didn't get out until 8pm. i mainly handled the electrical stuff and the rental truck- only part of my usual duties. Dad's up and running and from what i've heard business has been pretty decent so far.

so (pardon the redundancy those of you whom i've sent any of these to before) here's one from Loren's first soccer practice, a scrimmage against the kids in the yellow pennies (jerseys over their other clothes)- the kid in the black shirt in front of him's on the other team too, but they didn't have enough pennies to go around.

Loren dribbling in a crowd of defenders

a week later, it was practice #2, and i didn't get any really good shots of soccer- but i got a decent one after practice:

the sun dancing with the clouds before hitting the hay

despite being pretty much wiped out after the long hours thursday and friday, friday night was a party at Nichole & Chris's to celebrate 1) Melissa's birthday, 2) Mom & Dad's 40th wedding anniversary, 3) Uncle Steve & Aunt Jen's 1st wedding anniversary. nothing like killing three birds with one stone....or is that 5? actually, in this case it was more like throwing a bottle or so at each bird. to go along with some great Mexican food whipped up my Nichole & Melissa, there were margaritas aplenty, and when the glasses are as big as you'll see below, that's saying something. Jason however doesn't partake of such, so here he is with an O'Doul's on the couch in the Sargent's living room.

proof that although it's rare, even JASON gets to relax once in a while

the discussion around the table earlier was pretty lively. at one point it turned to a particularly amusing reminiscence by my sisters of Nichole trying to teach Melissa to perform a "slimming" pose for a camera. i didn't get a shot of that at the time (which is LAME, because it would've been a great one of Melissa; she might not have the pose but she nailed the slapstick!), but here's a great one of Nichole striking another pose in the kitchen a bit later.

i turned the camera on her and BAM, instant pose. she's a natural.

Mom certainly loves Mexican (ahem) food, and no, it doesn't have anything to do with margaritas- big, frozen golden ones normally. seriously....


Dad generally doesn't mix his liquor with much, but margaritas might be something of an exception for him. besides, tequila's hard not to like regardless of the medium, especially when it comes in a glass this big!

everything's a little more amusing when your glass keeps getting filled.

Uncle Steve and Aunt Jen seemed to enjoy themselves, and it was a nice end-of-visit thing too, after their week here in the great Pacific NW. hope they make it back out here soon, it was Excellent to see them! i failed to get my camera out for the majority of the night (for shame!) and i only got this one shot of them together, so it's a must-include

the no-longer-newlyweds reviewing a pic or two.

i only got a couple of Aunt Jen, and they didn't turn out well, annoyingly. but i did get one good closeup of Uncle Steve:


Melissa tends to shy away from cameras a bit, so she's a hard one to get a shot of sometimes. i'll keep workin' on that, try to spot my opportunities a little better. but shooting people with drinks in their hand at a Pelkey party seems to be something along the lines of shooting fish in a barrel- or at least it was this night.

a rare relaxed shot of Melissa enjoying a margarita.

wow i just realized all those pictures were taken in less than 10 minutes. when i start snappin' 'em, they come quick-like, i guess. or maybe it was just that i realized i was, and likely the others were, running out of steam quickly. after all it was Melissa's birthday and maybe that made everyone feel a little less spring in their chicken. but that never applies to E-Dog and Coley. i'd give plenty to feel as much energy as these two have.

Ethan riding Jason like a champ, and Cole takin' a little break from dropping butt-first on the piano.

this is another one of Melissa, this time holding something a little less intoxicating.

Melissa holding our youngest nephew Cole

i brought some excellent tequila, saved since last New Years' Eve, for people to mix some margaritas out of, but i don't think it got used even once for that, so it made me happy when Chris decided it was a good chance to chip away at a lingering aversion to the stuff, caused by a prior enthusiastic overindulgence. i did the same thing with gin, but i absolutely can't touch the stuff- hate the smell of it even. 2/3 of a half gallon (hmmm....1/3 of a gallon) straight outta the bottle will do that to ya. now i get a whiff of the stuff and it's instant nausea. could have something to do with the deathly green color i turned at the time, or 24 hours of vomiting and dry heaves, or the three days i spent hung over. ah, the wisdom of youth. it's a good argument for drinking in moderation- get too damn drunk on something once and you could ruin yourself for an entire type of liquor! i must have learned something back then though, cuz i knew i was tired that night, and i forewent the tequila shots for one margarita and a beer. evidently there's hope for me yet.

Chris attempting to lay the smack down on the tequila demon lurking in his stomach....with moderate success.

....and a few seconds later, not really any worse for wear. the therapy's workin', doc.

ok that's it for now- time to crash out. y'all be khoul now, hear?


what i did on my summer vacation, part 6

wow is it the 24th already? time flies. ok i've processed another days' worth of pics from my vacation, so without further ado (i'm pretty sure that's not "without further adieu") here they are:

the morning of July 5th Loren and i took up Tom on his offer to hike up Bald Mountain- a good move, it was great. we weren't trying to break any speed records, especially with the kids along (maybe in a couple years Loren might be able to hike up a mountain faster than me, but NOT YET!) but an early opportunity for a short rest, on the first of the mountain's many "bald spots", presented an opportunity for this shot.

2005. (NY time until further notice)
takin' a little break

the second rest break on the second bald spot. you can't see it in this pic (though you can a little in the next) but this spot is the lowest on the trail where it opens up enough to get a good view of the Fulton chain of lakes. Loren seems to like the bottle of water- so it's a nice thing that Tom had some in his rig for Loren and me, since i neglected to think to bring any. it's like a box of rocks in my head sometimes. thanks again, Tom.

Loren takin' a break

Loren and Taylor had a little of a competition thing goin' (more on the way down than the way up) but when it was time to move, they both hopped to it. we're about to head further up the trail at this point.

Loren and Taylor makin' a scramble to get back on the trail

i didn't know it at the time, but Jim's shoes were killing him. you can maybe kinda see it on his face here, but i was just trying to frame as many people into the shot as possible and didn't notice.

Jim leadin' the pack

by the time we got to the summit, it was really muggy, though it wasn't really hot, thanks to the cloud cover that morning. i'm pretty sure everyone went up in the fire tower at least for a few- i loved it, but then i'm not afraid of heights. it's a good thing too, cuz it's a pretty tall tower and added to the height of the mountain, you really feel like you're off the ground. i got the next shot looking straight down on Loren from up in the tower, with no zoom.

Loren standin' under a tree at the summit of Bald Mountain.

this one's a more close-up shot, zoomed in from atop the tower....wish it turned out better, it's kinda washed out and unfixable- the color information just isn't there. but it's a great smile anyway.

Loren grinnin' up at me.

Tom offered to take a couple pics with my camera, earning him another thanks, for this great shot. i really need to get a tripod so i can get timer shots of everyone next time. hey i just realized....i'm wearing those shorts right now....and for that matter i think the odds are about 144:1 that i'm wearing the same pair of socks....or 8:1 that i'm wearing the same underwear....and 1:1 that i wore the same shoes today....sorry, don't know off the top of my head how to calculate the odds that all my clothing from the waist down is the same currently as it was in this shot. if i could remember how to calculate it, i'm sure i wouldn't be able to resist telling you, but i don't, so i'll just continue typing this superfluous explanation of my appalling lack of statistical analysis skills, which is almost as thilling. but not quite. it's really too close to call- maybe this is actually more thrilling, but if so, then only by a little. too little to measure. not that "thrilled" proves the most appropriate adjective to describe the emotional state of the reader at this moment (by which i mean the moment they/you are reading this, not the particular moment i sit typing). i mean, i'm not exactly touting my writing skills here. that would be entirely inappropriate in a discourse such as this. or is this more of a monologue than a discourse? can a monologue be written, or does it have to be delivered orally to qualify? i think it does require the oral delivery- in which case this is more of an essay, which is, of course, at this very moment, threatening to become entirely unreadable.

me, Loren, Mary, Taylor, Jim & Lori at the summit.....basically everyone except Tom and his two friends.

i knew i had a decent picture of Lori in here somewhere- this is one of the few, cropped from the last pic:

Taylor, Jim and Lori.

and just for good measure, here's another crop from the same pic, the other half of the group

but....all good things must come to an end. after all the pictures are taken, it must be time to head back down the mountain. this is a crop of another group "summit" shot as we started heading back down.

Loren, me and Mary getting ready to head back down.

this is the other half of the last pic, Taylor, Jim and Lori again

like i said, Loren and Taylor were kinda racin' each other back down, but every so often one of the adults would rein one or the other or both back in. Loren had a pretty good lead on the pack so i commanded he halt in his tracks; he decided to hold up the tree on his own.

Loren waitin' for the old folks to catch up.

this is the aforementioned old folks catchin' up. see, i must not be that old, i was somewhere between them. wish i could remember Tom's friends' names.

the pack makin' it's way back home.

this was about the time i realized Jim's shoes were killing him....we all had to wait up for him to make it down one of the bigger (slicker, dicier) bald stretches- but at least his pain (magnified on the way down, i'm sure) earned me this great shot. love the tree roots there, gives it a real flavor...in the full size shot anyway.

Jim playin' catch-up in bad shoes.

before ya knew it, hiking Bald Mountain was in the history books- and the photo album :) thanks again for the hike, Tom, and thanks to everyone else who went, for the great time. next time i'm at camp count me in for more hiking- that's right up my alley.

back at our place with Ethan sitting on my lap.

haven't finished with the pics from July 5th, so more pics next post!



what i did on my summer vacation, part 5

well, here's the newest edition of the summer vacation series of pic posts; 32 qualifiers in this round, eye candy for all. since i've not managed to get my online photo album back up to speed, i've decided to cut my losses for the moment and add another layer of redundancy to the system. seeing as how Kodak's EasyShare gallery allows unlimited uploads and unlimited file size, and doesn't actually downsize or alter your original images stored on their servers, or require anything more in the way of upkeep/maintenance fees than one purchase (with no minimum price tag) per year to keep those files archived "in perpetuity", and that one of the services they offer is an archival CD of your images, and their system allows me to recreate my archival system in a similar format, and their display method automatically creates thumbnailed images of those pictures (something my online album doesn't, and won't until i get off my butt and learn some ASP programming), and that uploading my pictures to their site allows anyone interested to purchase prints of those pics directly, and since i like the idea of an offsite backup for my data anyway, i've decided to spend the time necessary to upload my entire online photo album to their site. gotta love broadband. while the pictures won't display at their maximum resolution, it's still better than not having anyone be able to check 'em out. so far i've got January-June of 2005, and most of 2004 posted, as well as some of the pictures from camp. it's going to be a work in progress for a little while, and as far as i can tell, i'll have to manually add everyone's email address to the share list in order for them to actually view the pictures, which will take a little while as well. i'll let y'all know when it's up and running.

i've not given up on posting some of the best to this blog, however. eventually, when i'm old and grey and have nothing but time on my hands (and i get tired of watching the pigs fly) i'll convert the contents of this by-then monstrous blog into hard copy, for reading material so that i can relive all the good old days....all three of 'em.

but all this is beside the point of this post, which is to delve a little farther into the (likely unecessarily) massive photographical evidence of camp this year, namely Independence Day 2005.

Eva brought to my attention that my parents really liked listening to the loons (over and above the Pelkey variety), and the first noteworthy picture i got, the morning of the 4th, was of a small family of loons on the lake- which she was kind enough to point out. i imagine this is Mama Loon, with her children in tow, which leaves me to wonder where Papa Loon was. chances are he was sleeping it off after a night at Daiker's.

2005. (NY time until further notice)
Mama Loon and presumably her brood, doing their best to avoid the paparazzi.

i've noticed vertically oriented shots (or crops) work well in this blog format. they take up more room, but you can zoom in on stuff better; wider shots you just can't get this kind of clarity out of. i may end up changing the layout in the future, when the lowest common bandwidth is higher and the pictures don't need to be as small to work. but for now, it's nice when the format and the zoom level conspire to give up something that looks this good in cyberspace:

Chris leading Cole back down to the beach.

Loren really likes the water, but he only sometimes likes getting his picture taken. usually he likes getting his picture taken in the water. not sure how he feels about someone in the water taking his picture...i wasn't that brave with the new camera. lots of times kids have a way of putting on their "camera smile"- Loren's as guilty of this as anyone- but i'll take the genuine article (like this one) every time.

Loren with a great smile.

i wonder what was on his mind here. i was pretty far away, on the dock, and he didn't know i was watchin' him, so he was likely enjoying a little break from ol' Dad.

peace at last.

ok one more of him in the water, for good measure.

a smileyfish in its natural habitat.

a few hours later, it was out on the lake in the Vile's boat, for a little spin. that was the only time i got on a boat with my folks the whole time i was there- kinda nice. thanks, Derrick! i can see why the place is so popular- the area is truly beautiful.

northerly view of the lake from the Vile's boat

as many shots as i got of the area, the real reason i was always armed with the camera was to get pictures of people like this one. i didn't end up with too many good shots of Derrick, and only a few of Chantalle and Steve. this is one of the better ones i've run into so far, with the majority of the Pacific NW Sargent clan for good measure:

Derrick at the wheel, with Steve, Chantalle and the Sargents

and this might just be the best shot i got of Steve and Chantalle the whole time they were there. it's a little backlit, and i'll prob'ly fix this one when i've got a little more time than i do tonight.

Steve and Chantalle

i don't know why Dad eventually put the vest on. i know he can swim, and he didn't look nervous. i think orange is a good color for him though :) red is a good color for Mom, and that's good because she was getting pretty sunburned!

Mom and Dad

Loren was pretty relaxed this afternoon as well. he actually put his video games away for awhile. he might have been a little bored here, but he gets pretty relaxed without something beeping or flashing around. it made for a good shot. he's not sleepin', just "resting his eyes", but it makes me wonder if boat trips work as well as, or better than, car trips at putting kids to sleep.

Loren unplugged

i think Loren's fixing Cole's shoe here, and Taylor looks really interested in that for some reason? Mom swingin' a beer in the background was just a bonus :) this was a little before dinner.

Loren, Cole and Taylor on the bocci ball court, and Mom in the background

Tom gets an 'A' for this shirt. he gets another 'A' for courage to actually wear it around Eva! i think the tipsy shades added something to this one- love it.


i didn't get a lot of shots of my cousin Mike either, but this is a great one. the full size one is awesome. again, one step backwards and to the left on my part would have shown Craig a lot better, but like i said....i'm no artiste- i'm just hopin' to get lucky once in a while.

Mike, and Craig rather obscured.

i don't think i got a really good shot of my cousin Michelle the whole time i was there :( i tried, but most of 'em just didn't do her justice- from the shots i took you'd think she never smiled- and that's certainly not the case. it's pilot error all the way (sorry Michelle). this is about the best one i got of her so far....if i find a better one later i'll be sure to post it. a second earlier this was a better shot, wihch i thought i got at the time, but evidently i was a little slow on the trigger. i'm gonna blame that on......Daiker's, yeah, that's it. and i'm stickin' to that. [sigh] i suppose there's always '07. oh, by the way, great idea with the walkie-talkies. woulda been nice to have. especially the day Loren took off to walk to Daiker's on his own.....i'm gonna try to remember that one when i get out there next time.


so the extremes of cameraman's luck is in full evidence here; even though she's not smiling this is a great shot of my cousin Grey's wife Leslie. again, the full size pic is great, and this low resolution crop doesn't really do it justice. right down to the lens flare. they just need to make cameras that know when to click themselves to get shots like this, and everything'll be great.


i took two shots in a row of these guys, before Josh stopped leanin' on the chair, but in one he has his eyes all closed and the other he's got his head turned completely backwards, so i'll settle for posting the better of the two shots of Natalie- what a great smile. like i said, all the original pics will be on Kodak's gallery site soon, so if y'all wanna check out Josh too it'll be there. maybe i should start yelling, "say CHEESE!" or something.


if you look at the times of the pictures, i was clickin' about as fast as the camera would respond here- i'm actually amazed most of the pics turned out as good as they did. this is Dad in pretty typical running gear, minus the gallon of sweat. something about taking pictures of Dad drinkin' beer appeals to me.....

Dad kickin' back

meanwhile, way down on the docks, Stacy and Bill only had eyes for Billy. i can see why, he's a fun one to watch. i believe he was the youngest little fella at camp this year. this is a rare shot (for me) of all three.

Stacy, Bill and Billy

later on that night, we headed out on the lake, three boats strong, to take in the fireworks. Loren and i had never watched fireworks on the water before, and it was plenty of fun. i was expecting to get totally eaten by bugs but i guess they mostly stick to the shore, 'cause it wasn't bad at all. i found out that the combination of "night photo" settings on the camera and the inevitable bobbing and weaving on the water (amplified by shooting one boat from another) makes for some doubly-exposed shots, but some of 'em are pretty decent despite the obvious problems. i might fix these if i had a better idea of how to go about doing it....i bet there's a simpler way than anything i can think of (which would involve exhaustive hand-selection of areas to be virtually airbrushed and/or adjusted for levels and contrast) but if there is, it's beyond anything i know how to do with the software i've got. some of them are just too good to pass up though,

Natalie and Robert on another boat

i think Mary took this shot? maybe Laurie? can't remember. i gather Mom wasn't the only one who got a little sun that day. Loren really was having a better time than this; here's a good example of his poker face. shots of me and Loren are a relative rarity, since i'm usually holding my camera, so it's nice when someone offers to take one. whoever took this one, thanks :)

Loren and me

here's one that actually looks better reduced, since it's a little blurry, but maybe not reduced this far. i'm sure Grey would've gone down with the ship, but thankfully it proved unnecessary.

Captain Grey and crew, a Confederate ship in Yankee waters

here's another good one of Jim, lookin' all GQ and stuff. if you're gonna take pics on the water, at night, it's definitely better to confine them to your own boat.


now this is the reason cameras were made in the first place. what a couple cutiepies. i think all little girls love cameras- and the rest of the world loves that. i think that's Kelley's friend on the right- anyone know who this little girl is? i'll be sure and give her her due if someone lets me know.

Kelley and her friend, i think

Loren loves popcorn. and again: it's a good bet that if you're totally stuffin' yer face yer pic'll get posted.

Loren testing the limits of his jaw extensors

well, the real story of the 4th always boils down to the fireworks. i like the pretty lights as much as the next guy, but personally i like the ones that make a massive BOOM more than anything. i was excited to take some pictures, since my camera's actually got a "fireworks" setting- but it turns out that the necessary f-stop combined with the boat's motion (and possibly exacerbated by the lack of a tripod) makes for interesting shots that aren't really what Kodak had in mind. still, they're interesting, so i'll post a couple. Loren took a bunch of these, and the latter of the two is prob'ly his shot.

trippy blurred fireworks

maybe the best shot of the fireworks

Jim and Laurie camped out in the bow with the two cutiepies. this is another one of those shots that was better a second before i snapped the picture, but Kelley's just totally crackin' up so i have to post it.

Laurie, Kelley, Kelley's friend (i think), and Jim

after the fireworks it was back to the beach, for a fire and some marshmallow roasting. Michelle tells me her husband Robert is known for building some pretty crazy bonfires; the subject came up after everyone started commenting on this big ol' blaze. the caretaker for the camp actually came down and admonished us all for attempting to wreck the firepit....i think he might have had a point. i don't think the fire is actually supposed to flare up through the chimney..... but no one ratted Robert out, and none of the sparks flitting through the leaves of the tree a few feet above the flames actually ignited it, and the bricks survived.

Robert's raging blaze

here's a pretty good one of Bobby and Natalie. i don't think i noticed it at the time, but Bobby looks appropriately patriotic- both a flag AND camo pants. good show, bud.

Bobby and Natalie

Loren's never turned down a chance to roast marshmallows in his life, and he wasn't about to start now. reminds of the time i took him camping a couple years ago and i ignored the burn ban and built a fire anyway. i couldn't talk 'em out of the ticket, so it cost me $75, but Loren got to roast a couple before the rangers showed up. that was a spendy camping trip, but worth it ;) this is another picture that looks better reduced....it was a little blurry.

Loren with a toasty marshmallow

Taylor's mom didn't like him waving around the burning stick, but it made for a good shot.

Taylor with a sorta homemade sparkler?

i think Aunt Penny was the smartest one around, she got the longest stick! that fire was pretty hot, after all.

Aunt Penny ready to speak softly

all in all, it was a great 4th of July. thanks to everyone for the chance to get to spend it with y'all. next post, more pics! i'll get through all these sooner or later.....


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