Day 31 By Candle Light

I am still searching my surroundings for photo opportunities. There are so many that I have overlooked in the past, now as I search for a photo for each day, I am taking notice of some of the little details I may have overlooked. This is a votive candle holder we have had for a long time. I have always enjoyed it. I love the way the candle lights dance behind the cracked glass and the reflections that result from this dance. There is life in the light, and warmth, a very relaxing light. I wonder how the glass was produced with the cracks and how it remains in tact, without falling into pieces on our dining room table. I used my Nikon D300s with a 50 mm lens for this shot, hand held at f 2.0 for 1/50th of a second. I love the low light results this camera can deliver.

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Day 30 Strings

The piano.  I’ve photographed the keys; love that contrast the black and white keys provide.  Life for us all would be much easier if it were like the keys on a piano, black or white.  Right or wrong, no gray areas.  I also had some shots of the brass foot pedals contrasted against our wood floor, with the grain of the wood reflected on the shiny black lacquer of the piano, the pedals looked as if they were floating.  Today, I “popped the hood” and looked inside.  Now you can understand why the piano is a stringed instrument.  I love the different textures the strings and the pegs provide.  I placed my flash right inside, off camera.  I like the effect the side lighting provides.  The strings look great, but they sound much better, especially when they are being played by an accomplished musician; no, not me, I’ll stay behind the camera and leave the keys to one who knows how tickle them and make beautiful music.

Day 29 Bucolic Winter

I love rural America.  I especially like to see old barns, barns made of wood, of all shapes and sizes.  The wood barns have much more character than the new pole barns.  I know these old barns will become a rare sight with each passing year.  Our farmlands are giving way to new homes and subdivisions, rural America is becoming citified.  This barn is on the edge of Frankenmuth, just before you get into town.  I love the red against the sky and the white snow.  The word bucolic, describes a rural, country setting.  I like bucolic.  It has a nice comforting sound to it.

Day 27 Graphite Threading

My son, Justin brought home a big box of these dark gray disk shaped pieces.  This is my new job, he said.  These are graphite discs that he threads, meaning he puts threads in the center holes on each of the little discs.  I like the way the graphite shines, but it is a dirty job.  I’m not sure what the finished product is used for, but he is keeping busy and making some money doing it.

Day 26 Dog’s Life

Oh to live a dog’s life.  How tough that must be; sleep all day, go outside, eat some food, play a little fetch, go back to sleep, and then go to bed.  Vera is our Shorkie, half Shih tzu and half yorkshire terrier.  You would never be able to tell from this photo, but she can flat out fly.  She loves to run and when she does, it looks like she has a great big grin.  But when she’s in the house, this is mostly what we see; a cuddle bumpkin.  She is a lap dog through and through and just loves people to pet her.  Vera believes everyone in our house is here to pamper her, and hold her, and love her… So we all do.

Day 24 iPhone 4s Camera

I love my iPhone 4s. I am impressed with the 8 mega pixel camera and the quality of the pictures. I can leave my D300s at home when traveling for business. Which means one less bag to carry. This is a shot taken in the lobby area of the Courtyard. I like the contrast of textures, marble floors, the grain of the wood, and the foliage on the little mini bushes (not really sure what they are).

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Day 23 Prepared for Snowfest

Here in Michigan, we are experiencing a very mild winter.  We’ve had very little snow and some unseasonable mild temperatures.  While the temperatures have helped us all save some money on heating bills, the skiers and snow mobilers have not been able to enjoy the outdoors.  Now we find ourselves hoping for snow, maybe not a ton of snow, but at least a little.  No, those are not porta jons in the parking lot of the Bavarian Inn, in Frankenmuth, Michigan.  Those are blocks of snow covered and ready to be carved for the 2012 Snowfest.  Each year in January visitors come from all over Michigan and other parts of the country to visit Frankenmuth and enjoy Snowfest.  If you have never been, you need to come and check it out.  Although we are currently experiencing snow melting temperatures, it was in the 50’s today, cold weather is on the way for the start of Snowfest which begins Wednesday, January 25th and runs through the 30th.  There is plenty to see and do, and as always lots and lots of great food.  If and when the temperatures drop, you can always hang out in the warming tent and enjoy refreshments and music.  There are snow and ice carving competitions with sculptures viewable throughout the entire downtown area.  This is one time for sure that we all wish for cold temperatures and yes, snow.  Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow.  The warming tent is up and ready!

Day 22 Silly Tillie

Last year Vicki and Amanda talked me into getting another dog, a Yorkie puppy.  I must be a softie, cause I caved.  Now we have 2 dogs and a cat, besides the fish we purchased yesterday.  Do fish count as pets?  You can’t pet them, at least not ours; they’re way too small.  However, you can pet Tillie.  She is definitely a lap dog.  Vera is our other dog, she also is a lap dog; 1/2 Yorkie and 1/2 Schitzu, guess she’s a Shorkie.  This is Tillie’s post though, she has grown into an affectionate likeable dog.  She does need a trip to the groomer though.

Day 21 Plecostomus Under Glass

We bought some new fish today for the aquarium.  Before you can put fish in your aquarium, you need to let is sit for a couple of days to make sure the water is conditioned correctly, the filter is working properly and the water temperature is stable between 72 and 80 degrees.  So, today it was time to add fish to the water.  A must for any aquarium is a Plecostomus.  A plecostomus helps to keep the aquarium clean.  They’re rather ugly, and can usually be found hanging on the side of the aquarium.  I think they’re prehistoric looking.  But they are easier to photograph than the speedy Neon Tetras.

Day 20 Home Sweet Cookie

What could be better than being home on a Friday night smelling some fresh baked peanut butter cookies?  Home sweet home, after a week on the road.  It feels great to melt into the lazy boy and munch on some of those warm peanut butter cookies.  Now, that’s what I call comfort food.  There is an old saying, “the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.”  I think Vicki knew that early on.

Day 17 on the Road

I am on the road meeting my new colleagues and client. Its been a long day, breakfast meeting at 7:00, then to the office and shake hands and meet and introduce and get a feel for everyones expectations. This is an exciting opportunity for me, a challenge to determine how i can add value to the team. At the end of the day, dinner at 8:00 and then back to my cozy hotel room to rest. Life on the road, oh how glamorous!

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Day 16 Travel Day

First travel day of 2012 for me. A CRJ 700 took me from Detroit to Chicago and another CRJ700 from Chicago to Pittsburgh.  Yes, I had to go West before I could head East. I am headed to Pittsburgh, to meet my new clients. This is a big change, I’ve been on the Unilever client team managing for the last 10 years. Now begins a new chapter for me.  I am thankful that I have this opportunity and I’m looking forward to the challenge of learning new products and meeting new people.  So, here we are, new year, new job, same company, but a different client.  Our world is constantly changing and that is what keeps it interesting.  As much as we would like to have things remain the same because we’ve grown comfortable; we need the change to keep us on our toes.  

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Day 15 Musical Instruments

Music is said to, “soothe the savage beast”.  I find it difficult to remember things from long ago.  But when I hear a song from long ago, I can remember every note and word like it was yesterday.  Songs are tied to events in our lives.  We hear a song and instantly memories rise to the surface.  We remember where we were, who was there with us, and everything that was said and done.  The memories can be of happy times, sad times, and thoughtful times.  We read about David soothing King Saul in the Bible, maybe that’s where the “savage beast” saying came from, Saul certainly acted as a savage beast on occasion, especially toward David.  A day without music, I can’t imagine it.

Day 14 Gugel Bridge

Somebody or something beat me to the Gugel Bridge this morning

I was out running a couple of errands this morning and on the way home, I decided to stop by one of my favorite places in Frankenmuth, the Gugel Bridge.  Note the spelling , it’s different from the search engine website.  The bridge crosses the Cass River and is a foot / bike bridge.  This is the first time I’ve visited the bridge in the winter.  I love the combination of wood and steel, along with the woods and water of the Cass.  Today was especially nice with the beautiful blue sky and puffy white clouds as a back drop.  My only regret was the tracks in the snow, I really love seeing fresh snow.  These were tracks from an animal, and as I looked over the bridge, I warmed to the idea that a man made object could be helpful for one of God’s creatures.  We hear so much about how much damage man does to the environment and wildlife, it’s refreshing to think that this bridge opens new territory for the little creature that used it to cross over to the other side of the frigid Cass river.  Man and nature in harmony!  I love it.

Day 13 Now This is January

Fresh January snow clinging to the branches of the trees and brush

Now this is what we’ve come to expect during January in Michigan, snow and lots of it.  Up until today, it has been a very mild winter, we had a light dusting of snow in December and earlier this week we saw temperatures climb into the fifties!  I love the way the snow clings to the branches of the trees.  I love to see the new fallen snow without a track in it.  Everywhere we look it has that fresh and clean look.  This is why we live in Michigan; to enjoy each of the seasons.  Welcome Winter, stay with us awhile, we enjoy your company, but please try not to wear out your welcome.

Day 12 Spin Me a Yarn

My wife, Vicki is a fiber junkie. She just loves yarn made from natural fibers like wool and alpaca. When we travel we always have to check out the local yarn shops to see what they have to offer. She enjoys knitting socks the most. Vicki’s hands are always busy with a couple of needles and some yarn. This picture is of the spool of her spinning wheel. Vicki plans on learning to spin so she can make her own yarn from roving, which comes from alpacas or sheep. Once she learns to spin, I know we will be wandering the countryside in search of alpacas to provide her with an endless supply of yarn. Well, we each have our hobbies and Vicki’s hobby will provide me with more picture opportunities.

I like the contrast of the wood and the brass eyelits (not sure if that is what they are called) and the fiber as it winds on the spool.