Saturday, June 28, 2008


This is just a real quick one... We made it home! We're tired and we're going to bed!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Photo Boondoggle...

So I have been off the net for the last few days because we headed up to Missouri to visit more family and they happen to live in the land of no internet... Or cell phone coverage for that matter! Brad had planned out the outing a few weeks ago - but the event has been planned for months. Our original goal was just to photograph the grounds of the University of Arkansas (where Brad works). BUT - on the way he was talking about water falls and since I don't really have the opportunity to photograph water falls we made a little detour on our trip to hit one fall of note. I can't remember the name of it but it was REALLY cool and we spent a lot of time photographing there. I got a bunch of different shots and I think a few are real contenders to be enlarged.

After finishing there we headed back toward or original destination and spent the remaining time near and around the UOA. It was a really neat place and we walked all over the place. Fortunately Brad and Brian both help lug all gear (crap) around and we had a really great time. We were there all through the evening lighting and didn't leave until well after sunset taking nighttime shots like the one to the right of the fountain. We ultimately called it quits and loaded back in the car right around 10pm.

It was a really cool time with the only exception that Denise got sick while we were out. So Cheryl called us a bit after 10pm to let us know that we needed to get back and that Denise wasn't doing well. It seems she has a little spell earlier in the day that has caused everyone a bit of concern. Denise contacted her doctor today and has an appointment set up for next week when we are back. We are just watching her closely (more closely then she would probably like) but just trying to be on the safe side. As a result I was kind of wanting to get back more toward civilization so if it happens again we can just get her to a hospital. Needless to say it has put a major stressor on a trip that has already been a stressed...

Friday, June 20, 2008


Earlier today Gene, Jeff and I went to the Base Pro Shop and on the way back I saw this scene to the right. I thought it looked pretty cool and made a point to come back later in the deal when the lighting was right. So I headed out a bit before sunset so I could set up and try to get the perfect shot. I used my 70-200 with 1.7 tele maxed out. I think the shot worked out pretty darn good.

The trip to Base Pro was fun, as usual, but I didn't buy anything. We did look at a lot of stuff though and I checked out some accessories for my SureFire flash light.

Other than that it was a pretty laid back day.  We stayed around the house with the exception of the above mentioned Base Pro trip and then Denise and I went and grab some lunch/dinner and did a side trip to Guitar Center and Hobby Lobby.  Again I didn't buy anything there either.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Hanging out...

With the kids coming off from being sick today was a do nothing, handing out sort of day. For dinner Gene made us the signature Harris dish of "hunk-ie-bunk" (whatever that means) which was pretty darn good. Denise makes it every so often too so it is something we are familiar with (like I said - signature dish). Denise's mom also came over for a while so they could knit together.

I, on the other hand, had the ordeal of getting the tire fixed. I took the van back to the Wal-Mart that I bought the tires at last year and after nearly 6 hours I was finally on my way back home. I REALLY didn't except to be sitting a Wal-Mart for that long. But, at least the tire is fixed and it is one less thing that I have to worry about or deal with. It did kind of put a damper on the entire afternoon though. I was really expecting to do something besides sit at Wal-Mart all day!!! Oh well...

Yesterday Gene, Jeff and I made our way to the Tulsa Guitar Center where I bought a Boss Dr. Beat DB-30 metronome. So for the last two days I have been practicing with that and I think it has help tremendously. I remember reading one of the instructors on Jam Play saying that metronomes slow down - I didn't get it at first but now I understand. What seems like WAY to fast after a bit of practice and patients is easier and seems slower. It's pretty bizarre...

Tuesday, June 17, 2008


Tuesday was the day that Denise and her mom went running around Tulsa and just hung out. They have been planning this for months and it has been one of the main things Denise has been looking forward to for this trip. So they headed out mid morning to start their trip! Honestly I am not really sure what all they did but they seemed to have a good time and that pretty much all that matters. When Pat (Denise's mom) came over, first, she brought me a nice cup of COFFEE which was VERY nice and really needed! She also mentioned that Cliff (Denise's step-dad) was going to come over around lunch.

Me, Devin, Deanna, and Desirae hung around watching TV, playing guitar, etc until Cliff made it over to the house. I figured we would go out to lunch to get something to eat so when he arrived we loaded up in the van and headed out. Other than the service being not great and Desirae deciding she was going to make a scene the ENTIRE time we were there it was pretty cool. Actually, the deal with Desirae is that she circled what she wanted, but that's not what she wanted and when they brought the food she freaked out.

Pretty much after that we headed back to the house and just homesteaded until Denise got back.

Monday, June 16, 2008


Well, today was our decompress day and we just stayed around Gene and Cindy's house for the day. Denise's mom came over to hang out too. So for the most part we just played around the house. The only problem with the day was when we set off the fire alarm on the house. Unfortunately we didn't know how to turn it off, we didn't know it was connected to a alarm company, we didn't know that the alarm company was going to call, we didn't know that the alarm company would call the fire department and we didn't know there is a "hefty freakin fee" associated with it... Pretty much a downer all the away around and now we just have to find out how much it is going to be so we can get Gene and Cindy the money... So far, with the blown tire (which I haven't fixed) and now this - the trip is really turning out to be expensive...

Okay, now on a more positive note I did get a good amount of practice time in and some impromptu lessons from Jeff and Gene. It was pretty cool to get a chance to see some other folks who really know how to play and to be able to ask some questions and get some good answers. I got some new things to practice and spent a bunch of time playing on the guitar.

So tomorrow the plan is, again, to stay around the house while Denise and her mother go galavanting Tulsa and checking out some things they have planned for the last couple of months. The kids and I are going to stick around here and I am sure there will be some cartoons, running around, video games and probably some more guitar playing. I am not sure if I am going to be able to the tire fixed tomorrow - but if I can work it in I'll do that too.

OBTW - one last thing, Deanna is starting to get sick...

Sunday, June 15, 2008

2nd day, and we made it!

Well, after a weird start to the morning, including starting late and Deanna deciding to throw up breakfast all over herself this morning (in the van) we made it to Gene and Cindy's house!!! It was a LONG trip and Denise actually drove MOST of the way. For some reason I was really tired and just couldn't stay away on the trip. We were able to minimize our stops and we made decent time - although we had hoped to get here before 9pm, but that is about the time we got here. The kids were pretty good about it although the last part of the trip Desirae got really sick of driving and just wanted "to be at Uncle Gene's house!"

Well, again we made it here safe and sound! Tomorrow I get to deal with the whole flat tire thing and trying to get settled not traveling anymore! Tomorrow is also going to be a decompress day.

One other thing, at least I got to get a few minutes in with my guitar. Not a lot of time, but at least I got some time in!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

On our way...

We have started out trip and are finally stopping for the night in Albuquerque New Mexico. It has been an okay trip, with the only exception being the flat tire we got a couple hours ago. So we had the enjoyment of changing the tire to the van in the dark. At least the spare was good! And it is also a full sized spare so we are back in business. I am not sure if we are going to try to fix it tomorrow or just try to finish the trip into Broken Arrow, Oklahoma. Anyways, I am tried and everyone is in bed... So good night!

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Quick post...

First - Denise has a lot of pics from her trip with Desirae, I will have her write a blog so she can fill everyone in tomorrow. Now, isn't this just the coolest picture! I was in the JamPlay Forum and we were talking about where everyone was from. Well there were a bunch of folks from the UK and a couple of us from the US. So I got to thinking about this image I wanted to make (wanted to do it anyway - just hadn't) anyway so I put it together and I am now using it as my avatar on the JamPlay site...

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Not much Saturday...

Well, we didn't do much today. The highlight (if you could call it that) was the three of us (me, Devin and Deanna) heading out to Ramon's for lunch. Deanna was pretty good there (I was a bit worried) but otherwise it was going. The only other interesting event of the day was went Deanna found a blue marker and decided to color on herself. I suppose I should be glad that she chooses to color on her skin instead of on the walls and such.

Otherwise we just spent time around the house not doing too much. I did go through a bunch of guitar lessons and did a bunch of review. I would sprinkle that in with some video games and watching the kids play. Basically a nice quite day. Unfortuantely I didn't do anything photographic wise - I really need to do something just can't get motivated to shoot anything. Maybe tomorrow.

Speaking of tomorrow, Denise and Desirae head back tomorrow. Not sure what time and considering it takes a couple of hours to drive back I don't imagine seeing them anytime before 1200, but you never know!

Friday, June 06, 2008

On there way...

Denise and Desirae are on their way to their camping trip! I think they will enjoy it and should have a lot of fun! So now it is just me, Devin and Deanna! Let the fun begin! I don't think Denise's cell phone is going to work up there so I think it won't be until Sunday until we hear from them.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Devin's gate study update...

Children's Hospital called us back yesterday about the GATE 3D modeling study they are going to do on Devin. We had hoped to squeeze in next week but as it turns out the next available appointment is on 2 Jul. So after we get back we will head down and do that. We are all hopefully that it will give the doctors some really good information and they can come up with treatments that will really help Devin progress. Our gut feeling is that they are going to have to do a surgery but honestly if it can really help his abilities then it is all worth it. We are going to talk about it over the summer and hopefully get Devin "excited" about it (as much as you can be).

Other than that, yesterday was the last-day-of-school so school is out for summer (just had to work that in there). I think it is going to be a pretty quick week though and then this weekend Denise and Desirae head off to Girl Scout Camp for the weekend where they are going camping up past Kern Ville. Hopefully that will go well!

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Camping retry... (Red Rock)

Well, Friday we decided to give Red Rock Canyon another try for a camping trip. So Denise loaded everything up in the trailer and when I got home we hitched up and pulled out. Red Rock is pretty close and it only takes about 45 minutes to get over there so it's a quick little trip. Fortunately there were not too many people camping there when we got there so we had a good selection of sites to pick from. So this time we tried another new site for us. Pretty good location and got us closer to the rocks for the kids to climb on. Denise and Desirae even went on some of the higher cliffs which is where I got the picture to the right (I stayed on the ground!).

Desirae and Deanna both really enjoyed running around on the hills and rocks. They just kept going up and crawling all around on them. There was another camper next to ours who had a three little girls so they also got to play with them. The only bad thing about that is their grandfather didn't really watch them much and let them run all over the place and up around areas that we would not let the kids go by themselves. But basically Desirae and Deanna kept playing with the shovels and had a good time!

The other plan Denise had for the trip was to count and roll-up all the change she has been collected since last year for our trip. So we didn't quite finish but we got a nice little pile of money that will be our "fun money" for the trip. Speaking of our trip, we only have two more weeks until we head out! I am REALLY looking forward to going!