Monday, March 23, 2009
Friday, March 20, 2009
For instance, in the January 2009 issue, there is an article about the photography of George Steinmetz. Mr. Steinmetz takes pictures while "flying" his motorized paraglider. With the paraglider, he is able to get much closer to his subject than people taking aerial photos out of a plane or a balloon.
First of all, the idea of flying around in a paraglider sounds incredible. Kind of like soaring in a glider - but better since you actually feel the wind in your face...
Second, he has travelled all over Africa taking photos of the landscape, people, animals - everything. I have always wanted to go to Africa. During my interview with Congressman Hopkins (and a board of other big wigs) for a nomination to USAFA, one of the last questions was what I would want to do if I found out I had only three months left to live. I said I would want to fly in a bi-plane, go to Africa and save the elephants (or at least one). Pretty cheesy, I know, which is probably why I remember it so clearly. Imagine how mortified I was when I left the Congressman's office. I was sure I had blown it!
I still have dreams about travelling around Africa in a Stearman, stopping wherever I want along the way. Oh, and saving the elephants.
Several years ago, I read a book called West With the Night by Beryl Markham. While reading it I had such daydreams of flying around Africa and spending my days spotting animals for safaris. How much cooler that would be than simply sitting in a jeep and driving around to see the animals. Though, of course, I would jump at the chance to sit in a jeep in Africa and see those animals up close. Animals you only see in pictures or in a zoo, behind bars.
Which brings me back to the photos of George Steinmetz. They are simply amazing. Photography is such an art. Seeing something no one else can see and capturing it in such a way that people feel as if they were there. Or simply, just to make them feel. That would be an amazing gift.
George Steinmetz has a new book out, African Air, which I want to check out. Based on the few pictures in the Smithsonian magazine, I can only imagine the book is filled with amazing photos. I would bet that it won't just be the photos I enjoy looking at, but also the idea of flying above the earth and seeing it as the birds do... Read More......
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
I am trying to get more firmly on this blogging bandwagon...You may have noticed a few changes to my blog (it seemed plain compared to other blogs out there...)
Today, I've been trying to figure out "buttons." I managed to add a button from one of my favorite blogs (Cool Mom Guide) with some help from Cool Mom herself. She even made me a button for my blog (and the code) - how cool is she!? But, I can't figure out what to do with the code for my own button...guess I should have paid more attention in Comp Sci (or tried to retain what we were taught) I just never thought I would need computer code in the future...especially not as a maintenance officer! ;)
[Update: Julie just sent me the code to add my new buttons! Too awesome! Let me know what you think.]
I also managed to add a third column (yes, I actually changed my blogs HTML code), but can't get anything to actually post in that third column. What to do now? Go back to the original? I have no idea what/where to fix this issue in the code itself since all I did was cut and paste from a Blogger help site...
Any suggestions? Comments? Read More......
Thursday, March 12, 2009
First a funny thing, I am reading Agatha Raisin and the Wizard of Evesham and last night she (Agatha) called the vicar "antisocial" because he doesn't like people coming to visit. Seriously, what are the chances of me talking about using the word wrong and then reading a book, published 10 years ago, and seeing the author use that exact word incorrectly? I had to stop and snicker a bit...if other authors can make mistakes like that and still get published - maybe there is still hope for a future in writing for me?
After writing the post I got a very nice e-mail from one of the few people who read this post. Then, later, I chatted with a friend on Facebook...Amazing how a friend can find the right things to say and then all of a sudden the funk is gone - or at least abated a bit. Maybe that's why the funk lasted so long in the first place - by going into my cave I was keeping myself away from the one thing that usually makes me feel better - friends. Ah, a light goes on...
So, yesterday I also talked about my Kaffe Klatch. I went and had a very nice time. The five of us just sat and talked (in German) for about two hours. Doesn't sound very exciting, but I really enjoyed it. All five of us are Air Force (AD/Ret) spouses, born overseas (four of us in Germany). The hostess was a wonderful lady named Doris who had just recently returned from a trip to Morocco. (I had to bite my tongue not to ask about "Casablanca" and look like a dork.) Doris made two wonderful cakes - a cappuccino mouse and an apple torte. I had a half slice of each and was wonderfully happy. They even gave me some great ideas about hostess gifts to take with me on our trip to Germany and Albania. All in all, I had a very nice time.
So, besides commenting on yesterday's post, I titled this post "The Cave 2" for another reason. The picture I chose for the post reminded me of a book I read as a child. I have never been able to remember the title or the author, which is really too bad because it made a huge impression on me. The story is essentially about time-travel and how one little thing in the past can have serious repercussions in the future (present?). The story has these people travelling back to the past, but the key is they had to stay on this path and not touch anything. Something happens and a flower or blade of grass gets crunched and that one small thing changes everything. In the cave picture, if you look closely, you can see a path through the cave. As soon as I saw that path, I thought of the book and time-travel. Ever since reading that first book, I have loved the idea of time-travel and have read numerous books with that theme - including, recently, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, which is supposedly the first time-travel book.
Anyone know what story I am talking about - title, author? How do you feel about time-travel? What's your favorite time-travel book? Read More......
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Sunday, March 8, 2009
Friday, March 6, 2009
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
The numbers are staggering, at least to me. To think that almost 5,000 families are out there today, missing someone - a dad, a father, a sister, a brother, a mom...Yet, compared to other wars - so many more are coming home that might not have before. The medical facilities both in the field and here at home have helped bring people home to their families, wounded but alive.
In Vietnam, almost 59,000 service members died and over 300,000 were wounded (for the years 1959-1975). The country still carries the scars from that "war" - one wonders what effect the current "long war" will have on the country.
In WWII, the United States lost over 418,000. 418,000! Who can even fathom that? Was there a single city or town that was left unscathed by the losses? Then I look at the numbers for countries like Poland and the Soviet Union - countries that lost 16% and almost 14% of their entire population. Germany itself lost over 10% of its population. Not only did those countries lose so many men, they often had to rebuild whole towns/cities from scratch...
We Americans are lucky in a way...when you compare the number of wars and battles fought on home soil - the United States can not come close to what Europe and the Middle Wast have gone through. Whether that is due to our location in the world or the foreign policies of our presidents, we are lucky. Though that luck hasn't kept us from being involved around the world and losing good men and women.
One of my favorite sayings, which I first saw a few years ago, is "America - Home of the Free, Because of the Brave." Thank God for those men and women who make an oath to protect us, our country and our freedoms. You are not forgotten. Read More......
Monday, March 2, 2009
It’s been 2 months since I decided on my goals for the year. I figured this would be a good time to take a look at them and see how I am doing…
1. Start/write a blog: Since I am writing this, it’s pretty obvious that I have done this one. Though I haven’t written as consistently as I’d like.
2. Sing! Join a choir: I joined the Scott OSC choir – the Heathertones. It has been pretty good so far. Our first two concerts are this coming Thursday.
3. Do yoga regularly either at home or in a studio (at least 2x week): Nope, not meeting it…I did well the first few weeks of Jan but not Feb. Need to refocus.
4. Try three new activities: Nope, not yet…
5. Go on minimum of four “day trips” to see Midwest: We went into St Louis and had lunch at the Dubliner and then went to the Science Center – I’m not sure I want that to count as a day trip, but at least we got out of the house and saw something…need to keep looking for stuff that will be interesting to both of us.
6. Pamper myself regularly: Got a haircut last month but haven’t done anything else…
7. Read minimum of 18 books: I have been doing A LOT of reading (see list at side). I think my goal might have been a bit low – but hopefully, after the weather gets nicer I will be out more and doing more so I won’t be reading as much and it will average out.
8. Publish a Poem/Send poem(s) to be published: Does posting a poem in my blog count? Probably not…I need to look into this some more – find the right place for my poetry, decide on a poem and just do it!
9. Make health/exercise a priority: No yoga since January though I have been walking with a friend – only once or twice a week so far. We want to do more. We’ve even talked about running a 5K together in the summer…
10. Get “professional” photos taken: This one isn’t going to happen for a while…still want to do it this year though.
- Eat “good” more often than “bad” (Hmm, somewhat happening, but could be more consistent…)
- Attend church regularly (not regularly enough)
- MOVE a little every day (got this one except for when I have headaches…)Read More......
Sunday, March 1, 2009
Sometimes it's nice to not say anything at all...to just sit and think...to just look at the world around you and let thoughts run round and round...So, right now, I'll just look at this picture and others like it...reminding myself of how great God is... Read More......