Saturday, August 28, 2010

Until I Learn What I am Doing...

My single greatest photography advantage is a willingness to take a lot of pictures. I still have not carved out time to take a photography class, or read my camera manual, so until I learn what I am doing with my camera, I just take a lot of pictures. I'm bound to get something good, sooner or later.

Zoltar, formerly Zoe, is a definitive cocky-doodle-dude.

Maria and her cousin Izzy had a long afternoon together, a couple of weeks ago, and they never stopped for one minute. No snacks, naps, or pauses of any kind. They had a real good time, moving from one activity to another. Finally it occurred to me that their happy day definitely needed to be recorded, so I brought out my camera and hoped to capture some sweet and candid moments.

All the chicas came by to see what Izzy and Maria were in to next.
Hello Temple.

Betty. Hello.

So, they were busy, and the chicas move about as much as the girls, and I knew I wasn't getting any prize winning shots, but I was pleased to be capturing good memories. Not every snapshot has to be worthy of National Geographic, right? Good, because I am not even close.

This is a special age. Izzy doesn't usually even want to see me coming with my camera, and Maria can get a little too interested in posing for the camera, so I knew it would be a mistake to ask them to look at the camera. They obliged me, and I had to *click* quick, because they were way more interested in washing dishcloths and bricks, than pleasing me. This picture is a bit hammy, a funny keeper.

And this one I almost deleted, because I saw right away that Maria's eyes were shut.

But wait!

Please zoom in, and there it is:

Laugh out loud.

I'm bound to get something good, sooner or later.

I may not know what I am doing, but I captured something priceless just the same.

Friday, August 27, 2010

A Point, Everyone's Got One

Yesterday the boys introduced their sister to Scooby Doo. It was like a rite of passage, a cultural initiation. They love Scooby Doo, as a nostalgic touchstone, and as a supreme example of horrible animation and storytelling... so bad it's good. They watch for the cell when Fred and Shaggy's heads swap. They count the number of times Daphne's eyes change, cross, shrink, and go inexplicably wonky. Face sizes morph like they were made of jello, and Shaggy's arms sometimes extend well below his knees. Why do those groovy kids party on desolate beaches? How many malts can they suck down? Do they know anyone else besides criminals, and ghost impersonators? How stoned were Hanna and Barbera?

Yes, I was a re-run fan when I was in grade school, but on our lunch-box size BW TV, the glaring badness of it was less pronounced. Occasionally an adult would berate us kids, remarking "Your generation watches cr@p." My impulse was to remind said adult, "Your generation produces cr@p." Ahh... the seventies.

Where was I?
Oh, yes, randomness...

So, cartoons? On a school night?

The boys are awesome. So is Maria.

I was summoned back to the grade school for a... uh... back-to-school night. Parents get the low down on schedules, plans, ideals, philosophy, PTA, and money, or lack of money, and how we can help bring back the money. It had sweet moments. But mostly I wanted to be back-to-home.

Back at home William, Alex, and Max were keeping everything safe and pleasant. Max was completing homework too. They are the best, most reliable, considerate babysitters ever. And I am comfortable with them taking initiative in educating Maria about the unique sensibilities and nuance of bad television. We cannot shelter children, not really.

Wow. This really is pointless.

Mostly I just started writing in an attempt to avoid thinking about the day ahead, but now I have tackled the most objectionable part of the day, the dreaded part, and having survived, I am wondering what the heck this post is about.

I may actually be pointless. And not for the first time.

Plus I am a bit stressed, and sleep deprived.

I bet if I tried to dance right now, on a desolate beach, I would look as stiff as Daphne, with huge crossed eyes, staring vacuously, for twenty frames, then I would inexplicably fall through an abandoned mine shaft.

Let's just forget I wrote any of this. Shall we?

Except for the part about the wonderful children. They really do make me happy and proud. That is important. Write that down.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Lathes, Sunflowers, Heat, Movies, and Summer

There's a lot on my mind.
And not much at all.
Deep thoughts, and other musings, come and go.

A neighbor asked about movie nights, what's up with those? he asked. We haven't had one in a while. Geoff and the boys are on to a new project, I say. Not new, just gaining steam in recent months. It began years ago, an idea for working in Hawaii. Seems we are staying Mainland, but the idea is still a good one.

So, movie night. Yeah, I think we should have a double feature Friday night. A potluck, so we can share the best of our summer fare. Then a family feature on the big screen, and something after for the big(ger) kids. Yes, the best of summer.

And now we are off for a factory tour, to see where metal shop mills are manufactured. Lathes, routers, computer numerical control milling... this will be interesting.

This, I believe, may be the randomness that comes from heat, and the winding down of summer freedom... muddled, thoughts, like slow creeks, going no where in particular.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Yes, Two, and One More Thing*

Rabbit Shows Are Dangerous!

Of course we didn't technically get Sanka-nator from a rabbit show. She's one of the cute bunnies we met last month, at Olivia's house. We were waiting for one of those baby bunnies to be ready to leave her momma and come to live with us at the Bird House, and were we ever excited when the day finally came.

Sanka-nator is named after a brown and blue eyed pig who went by the name Sanka.

Notice? One brown, one blue? A rabbit named after a pig, with "nator" tacked on, because... well, maybe living in a state governed by The Terminator has that affect. I did wonder if Maria would want to name her herself, but she insists that Sankanator is the name, for keeps.

Brown eye, pink nose, blue eye, and totally sweet. She likes to be pet, and Maria has no trouble scooping her up for a snuggle. Apparently her markings do not qualify her for "showing," but we show her all the time and everyone has judged her to be a good bunny, a darling bunny, a welcome to our home bunny.

Remember this?

Yes, this is the Lioneheaded dustbunny that won Alex's heart. And mine. And Geoff's. Oh, and Maria's heart, and William's, Max's too. Yes, it is unanimous: Professor Moriarty is the unexpected, and irresistible, heart winning bunny honey of the rabbit show.

And after a few minutes of this, Alex could not leave for home without the Professor.

I wonder if the camera will ever be able to focus on the fine, wisps of downyness that is Professor Moriarty's signature look. His mane is almost ethereal, and it feels as soft and delightful as it looks.

He is a bunny cloud, but with the dignity of character befitting a Professor.

Where did I leave my pipe?
After tea, a walk about the gardens, then back to my studies. That's the ticket.

*One more thing...

Max may demand I remove these images, or if I am lucky he will never notice them. I am so proud of him, and so amused by his creativity, I cannot resist sharing:

School assignment: "Make a quick hat to wear, with your name tag."
Max insisted he wanted it simple, but that we was not resorting to the suggestion that they "modify a paper sack." He gathered his elements from kitchen drawers, and stapled cardboard to an old hat.

Lunch on the brain?!
I love it. All the parts are glued or epoxy-ed on. Well done, Max.

I raise my glass (of sparkling cider) and say cheers to Max! Bold and daring, creative, and fun Max!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

"Burrowing Bounders!"

We went to a rabbit show!

Olivia sent us a message about a local rabbit show. We love Olivia's Dutch bunnies, especially the brown-eyed-blue eyed Sankanator, so Geoff, Alex, Maria and I went down to the park to see what a bunny show is all about.

Oh dear.
Recently someone pointed out to me that if this were not Chickenblog it could be Bunnyblog. Was it you?

It's true. I love the bunnies.

It was obvious to me that I would be weak, and Maria too, but I could not have guessed about Alex and Geoff. They were smitten. Oh, yeah. They were utterly bunny bitten. So to speak.

>*< Have you ever?!
Not an angora. Not strictly. This caramel beauty has a lion's mane, and a pair of up in the air ears. For Alex, there was an instant attraction. Suddenly tagging along was a lot less dull and obligatory. Suddenly Alex was very interested in Oryctolagus cuniculus. Especially this variety.

Hello Lionhead.
"They must've overstimulated his primitive bunny nature."

"They must've overstimulated his primitive bunny nature."
You can quote Wallace a lot at a rabbit show.

We saw so many variety of buns. All sizes and colors. Geoff and Maria enjoyed visiting Sankanator and her brothers and sisters.

Alex learned about all kinds of bunnies, like Netherland dwarfs, and Himalayan, and Rex, but he kept going back to those Lionheads. He held about four or five different ones. Some were mellower than others.

We saw bunnies that weigh twenty pounds! They were ginormous. These bunnies Maria is visiting were probably no more than three or four pounds, maybe only two pounds if you brushed them.

Easily the most mellow breed of rabbit I have ever seen: Himalayan. Truly a mellow fellow. The airbrushed fur on the nose is beautiful, and their eyes are lilac tinged shade of pink. But above all... mellow. If we had one more hutch...

We visited, and talked, and even followed Maria down to the playground.
We drank cold water, and we took pictures, obviously.
Then we went home.

Did I leave something out?

Were you expecting to hear more?

Wallace: Ah, love, Gromit. That's the biggest trap of all. The tender trap, they call it.