Sunday, September 27, 2009


Okay, with Denise gone it has been an interesting weekend. First you have (working toward had) Deanna and Devin sick with a daily medical regiment they have to sick too (for the most part). Then you have this wild ass bright idea of trying to get some projects done around the house to include fix the toilet, fix/replace the faucet and cleanly drill a hole in Devin's desk so we can put the iMac in there.

To be honest, the toilet was a breeze, I could have done twenty of them. Plus Devin helped with the directions so that I did it right.

Then, the bottom dropped out. I tried to do the faucet... Just about everything that could go wrong did and it ended up taking ALL weekend to try to get it done. My main problem, at least I think, I thought it was going to be EASY... That was my first catastrophic mistake. That was anything BUT easy. After many trips back to the hardware store for correct parts and replacement broken parts (those would be the parts that I broke while trying to fix the broken part).

After a VERY stressful weekend for everyone and with the initial plan that we were going to do "something" I took everyone (I thought about leaving Deanna at the house but I figured she might burn it down) to the park to play for a bit after our final hardware store trip. I would have much preferred to head our earlier in the day to do that but considering all the work I needed to get done it wasn't really an option.

Deanna, as usual, ran her little feet off going 100 miles per hour. Devin spent the entire time in the swing. Actually Devin and Desirae started at the same time but after about 20 minutes Desirae was DONE (heck - it was hot out there). I think after Devin was about to DIE he decided he should stop. Shortly after that I loaded everyone back up and headed home to finish the PFH...

All in all everything is finished (three completed projects) and once I get enough laundry done for the kids to go to school tomorrow were all going to bed!

Well, after I watch DEXTER that is!!!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


Deanna is now also officially sick with an ear infection... Desirae and Denise are fighting off everything... She flights out tomorrow and hopefully everyone starts feeling better...

Monday, September 21, 2009

Afghan & Devin

Denise got a call earlier in the week letting her know that "they" (why are they always called "they") are planning a birthday party for her ailing grandmother. Initially she wasn't planning on going because the short notice but considering the circumstances I think it is one of those things you just have to do. Denise decided to make a throw blanket for her and has been working on it for the last couple of days. She is making good process and I think she will be good to go. She doesn't leave until Thursday so there is still time. She is going to flight into Tulsa and meet up with her brother and mother. Going Thursday will give her all day Friday to spend with her mother (she took the day off) and then she will drive up with her brother. Even if the planning of the birthday party is not real organized the opportunity to see her again will mean a lot to Denise and hopefully her grandmother.

On another note Devin and I are now sick. I drove him into town today to urgent care and he is now on some antibiotics. I am actually feeling better so I think I am good to go. He hasn't been feeling well over the weekend and today his throat was bothering him. He should be good in a couple of days though!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Shuttle Ferry Flight...

The Space Shuttle Discovery left Edwards Air Force Base early Sunday morning at approximately 0620 hrs. Originally it was supposed to leave on Saturday but because of bad weather they pushed it back a day. Now getting up early on a Sunday to drive to "work" isn't my idea of a good time but of all the years I have been at Edwards I have never watched the shuttle leave. As everyone is aware the program is set to retire soon and this very well could be the last time the shuttle is at Edwards. With that in mind I set my alarm and had to convince myself that I REALLY wanted to do this. The plan was also to take Devin, but with his 102 degree fever that was pretty much out of the question.

My timing was a little off and I really barely made it. When I drove onto the base I could see the shuttle taxiing and I still had a ways to go to get to the spot I wanted to photograph it from. When I finally got to the spot and got out of the truck the 747 was prepared for take-off and was revving up its engines. So I got out of the truck and QUICKLY grabbed my camera and threw on a lens and started shooting. Fortunately everything went well and I got some pretty nice shots of it leaving. I also did something that I don't normally do and that was to lower the camera and just watch what was going on in front of me. It really was an impressive site.

The one thing I did do for Devin (and everyone else) was to set up the DVR to record the NASA channel (that darn DirecTV iPhone app is cool!) so when I got home everyone was able to sit down and watch it depart on TV.

I also happened to meet up with my friend Tom Van Langenhoven who was also coming out to the base to watch/photograph it leaving - but he got delayed and actually missed taking photographs of it. I did buy him a coffee to help drown his sorrows! Actually it wasn't that bad - he at least got to watch it while he was driving - he was just too far to really do anything photographically.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

The “FIre Balls” had their first game and played against the vicious Vipers. There was actually two games that day but we can’t remember the second teams name. The first game they did really well and won; by the second game they were beat and didn’t do as well. One the way home Desirae crashed and for the rest of the day she was pretty exhausted. They barely had enough people to field a team so all the girls had to play the entire time (for both games).

Devin was starting to get sick so I ended up staying home with him and Deanna. I would like to say it was just allergies but as the day went on he got a fever and started feeling worse; so it was probably a good thing that we stayed home.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Bridging Ceremony...

Tonight was the bridging ceremony for Girl Scouts which I think means its like the start of the new year (or something like that). Desirae was part of a ceremony in the beginning where all the girls in the troop said something - I couldn't hear what they were saying and Denise isn't around right now to tell me what was going on! Anyway it was pretty cool and they went through a bunch of business; including giving out some awards which Denise got one for being a recognized good leader.

So tomorrow is Desirae's first soccer game, actually there are two games tomorrow in Rosamond so that should make for a long morning. We also have the shuttle leaving and I think we are going to try to get back out to the base to watch that. Of all the times that it has come down I have never seen it leave and I really would like to see that.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Sunday boondoggle with Desirae...

The plan for today was to do some location scouting and general photography. Desirae decided that she wanted to go with me; so while Denise, Devin and Deanna went into town to get Devin some new shoes Desirae and I went the opposite direction. One of the places that I wanted to go back to was an abandoned general store that was near the F-22 plane crash from a few months ago. I ended up taking a few pictures there to include the one above. When Kris and I were working out there we drove by this place every day, but we never really had a chance to stop. We were either heading to the site to relief another crew or we had already spent the night in the desert (in a cargo van) and we were ready to go home and get some sleep... Anyway it was a really interesting place. The shot to the right was taken closer to home on our way back. We stopped along a dirt road to take some shots of Desirae standing/running/walking. This particular shot was as we were almost ready to pack up and the lighting was just amazing.

When we first arrived at the store mentioned above Desirae and I both took images of the debris from around the area. There was a bunch of broken glass on the ground and as you can see from the image broken panes still kind of in the windows. I thought this shot was kind of cool.

From this place we drove over to Randsburg Mojave to see what was going on around there. We had pretty much missed whatever was going on around there and most shops were closed. From there we ended up going to Ridgecrest to get something to eat (and buy toner) and then headed home. All in all it was a pretty long day but we got in a lot of shooting so that was REALLY cool.

I also had the change to use an iPhone app that I purchased a while ago to track sunrise and sunset. It was really cool to have something that told me exactly when the perfect light was going to be out and what direction it was going to be coming from. Those darn little apps are pretty cool!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Soccer opening day...

So it has official begun... This morning was the opening ceremony for the soccer season. Desirae's team did not have a game scheduled so they are not playing today but Denise and Desirae (and Deanna) went ahead and watched the boys team play. Next weekend they will be playing in Rosamond twice in one day. That is going to make for a LOOOOONG day. I think the girls were a little disappointed they did not have a game today so hopefully next week will make up for that. We're just glad they have figured out a way to make this work. I think we are still down players so I am not sure what is going t happen with that.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Just another Friday???

So, there was a rumor/chance that the Space Shuttle Discovery would land at Edwards Air Force Base (where I work) and I just happened (for some unrelated reason) to bring my camera bag with me today. Originally, if the shuttle was going to land, it was going to be Saturday so I didn't think there was any chance of it happening. I was also scheduled to meet another photographer (I'll talk about that in a minute) at basically the same time back in California City. Since the shuttle is really down to its last few mission the chance that we will see it gets less and less so after some convincing from Denise I drove over to my old stomping grounds and set out to make some photos. The shuttle comes down pretty darn quickly and the image above is my favorite select from the day.

I am not sure if I mentioned this but a fellow local photographer, Randy Smith, had tracked me down through my Model Mayhem link. I missed the meet and greet that he organized last week and we have been trying to find an opportunity to meet. The shuttle was the second time that I had to reschedule with him. Since he was in Cal City for the High School football game I met him over there after I was finished on the base. So we first just chatting and shared portfolios in the parking lot and I then followed him in there and did something that I haven't done for probably 19/20 years, I shot a high school football game! I really forgot how much I liked doing that. He has a small studio set up and is expanding to a 2000 sf location here soon. He has already schedule and photographed a handful of models and he is really pushing hard to expand his business. It was really a great opportunity to meet with him and to just share our joy for photography. I am really looking forward to shooting with him in the future and attended his meet and greets.

Thursday, September 10, 2009


I am not sure if I have mentioned it but Desirae is back in soccer again this year. Today was the first real day that I was able to go to a practice. I ended up working late so by the time I got home everyone was already there so I figured I would go and watch what was going on. They only have a few girls on the team which means they currently do not have enough players to field a team. So this means that they won't be playing any real games once that part of the season starts (which is Saturday). I am not really sure what they are going to do about that and we will just have to wait and see...

Monday, September 07, 2009

End of the weekend...

Well, this has been an interesting long weekend. I didn't accomplish what I had hoped too, but we did have an interesting time. I did get some photography in the mix and I played a bit of guitar. Everyone else also did some photography too and I think we had a relaxing weekend.

I did miss out on a couple of opportunities to do a photo boondoggle one with a friend from work and another was a last minute (at least for me) Model Mayhem meet-up where I could have actually met with some local models and photographers. I am definitely have to make it to the next one. The guy who organized it (he's in Boron) seems pretty aggressive and wants to make things happen so that's cool. From that I also found some other pay shoots that are going on in the area as well. Stuff I hadn't realized.

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Into the weekend...

Well, Saturday is well on its way to being over. Desirae had her friend Trinity come over and spend the night so right now they, along with Denise, are "camping out" in the trailer. To distract mainly Deanna we did a little quick photo shoot and when Devin came out he wanted to get into it as well. I do have a couple of really cute shots of Devin I will post probably tomorrow (probably to facebook) but I am about ready to call it a night my self!

Not quiet what I expected...

Well, today didn't go quiet like I had expected but it was still good. The day started with the IEP for Deanna that went pretty good. They didn't tell us anything we didn't think and we now have Deanna schedule for speech classes starting toward the end of the month. The just detailed the results from the evaluation earlier in the week. Bottom line, she does have some issues but they think she will work through them in about two years. They also gave us some ideas on how to help her more at home so that was kind of cool.

My trip to Bakersfield was good but it was mainly running from one place to another. I did FINALLY get to Sears and bought replacement for ALL of our HEPA filters... Man those things aren't cheap...

When I finally did get home Deanna was zonked out the couch (the picture above) and she never really woke up. I did forget to ask Denise what the deal was (I did get home late so there may be no deal) but she normally doesn't do that. She was really cute though so I had to take a picture.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

More portraits...

Both Devin and Deanna wanted to take pictures today so I pulled out a mono block with a large soft box and set up a couple of different shots. It was really cool that Devin was interested in doing it and he wanted to pose and try some different shots. We really ran out of time to do too much because we had to go pick Desirae up from Soccer and we got home late (did it after we came back).

Like I said; Deanna was REALLY pushing to take pictures and I set everything up to photograh her before we left to pick up Desirae. I didn't really have a good location so I just cleaned off the dinning room table, had her climb up and lit everything there. I feathered the soft box so that it didn't light the back wall to make it go dark. Deanna wanted to try a bunch of different things and it was pretty cool to do some studio work again.

When we left we didn't really get to see much of Desirae practicing (Denise had to go a Girl Scout leadership meeting) and we ended up just waiting (playing) in the van until she was done. I am not sure how many folks know but the soccer team is having a heck of a time finding players and their team does not currently have enough players to field a team. So we are not really sure what is going to go on with that.