Sunday, December 31, 2017

Why Do I Have A Blog If I Never Write Anything?

So I'm looking over at the archive list in the sidebar of this blog and it appears that in the past 3 years I have made a grand total of 6 posts here on this blog.  Kind of makes you wonder why I even still have a blog huh?  I used to keep up with writing pretty good a few years back, but then I started giving all my thoughts to Facebook.  Well I think it's time to get back here a bit more often.  Heck, I wouldn't be surprised if I make more than 6 new posts in the next week. 

I look forward to "talking" with you (anybody reading this) again soon.

Keep havin' FuN!

Saturday, October 14, 2017

A Walk Around Lake Wichita

I moved to Wichita Falls almost exactly two weeks ago to take a weather forecasting job at Sheppard AFB.  I am renting a room on the south side of town.  I try to go home as often as I can, but since the part of central Texas where my house is located is still 230 miles away it's not practical every weekend.  So since I am here on a saturday I decided to check out the local environment.  It turns out there's a nice park about a mile away from where I'm living. 

There is a walking/bike path at the park which is part of the circle trail, which you can use to go all around the city without having to get on a road.  I plan to pick up my bicycle next weekend when I'm at my house, so that I can explore a little bit further.  As it is, I only walked about 3 miles today.  I did see a little bit of wildlife along the way. 

However, since I didn't have my real camera or big lenses with me, I didn't get a chance to take pictures of any of the birds, turtles or small mammals that I saw along the way.  I'm sure I'll get plenty of opportunities in the future though.  For today I had to make due with my phone camera. 

I like getting outdoors and I need more regular exercise, so I plan to hit this park at least a couple of days a week after work.  There's even a little exercise machine right near the parking lot. 

Over the longer term, it appears that the city has some big plans for this lake.  They recently got a permit from the Army Corps of Engineers to drain and excavate the lake in order to develop it for an even wider variety of recreational uses.  It will be exciting to see how this project turns out in a couple of years.  Here is the website with more information about the project:

Well that's about all I have for today.  Talk to you again soon.
Todd   :-)

Monday, February 20, 2017

An Early Morning Walk Up Mount Scott

Who would have thought that Oklahoma would have mountains.  Okay, so they are not mountain like they have in Colorado, or even the mountains that I spent the past 2 1/2 years traipsing up and down in Arizona.  But the Wichita Mountain wildlife refuge does contain some significant hills, the tallest of which is Mount Scott at almost 2500' above ground level.

The view looking back down the hill was quite nice

I drove up to the top a couple of weeks ago, took a couple of pictures, then drove back down. 

The view from my first trip up to the top of Mt. Scott in late January.  
But this morning it was all about the walk.  It's just a little under 3 miles, but basically all uphill, then all downhill, no real flat spots along the way.  Also, it's a paved road, so you have to be on the lookout for cars going up and down.  That being said, it really wasn't a bad walk at all.  

The views are great.  Especially since we were treated to some very interesting cloud formations this morning. 

In addition, since it just rained last night, even the mountain side of the road provided some nice scenery with quite a few little mini waterfalls. 

Rain runoff created these little mini waterfalls.
Then once we got up near the top, the mountain peak was still shrouded in clouds, so it became a walk through the fog. 

Finally, I inadvertently set up a little camera comparison opportunity, as there were two scenes that I liked enough that I edited the shot from both my real camera (EOS M3) and smartphone (LG G5). The M3 shots were then edited in Lightroom, while the LG G5 shots were edited in Snapseed.

Here we go ....

EOS M3 17mm Tokina lens

LG G5 wide angle lens

So it's not exactly the same scene, as the LG G5 lens gave a wider field of view.  Overall I like the shot from my M3 better, as the smaller sensor in the camera phone just left a bit too much noise, especially in the sky.

But this in this second example, I'm really glad I had the LG G5 with me, as even with the noise, I think the wider angle (and shooting in HDR plus mode) did a better job of capturing the drama of this cloud formation.  

EOS M3 17mm Tokina Lens

LG G5 wide angle lens

Well that's about all I've got for today.  Til next time ... 

Todd  :-) 


Thursday, March 31, 2016

San Pedro River at Charleston Road

Today one of my friends and I took a short hike down at the San Pedro River; but at a different part of it than I usually go to.  We parked in the lot near the bridge on Charleston Road, then made our way down the bank to walk along the river.  The goal was to find a wall of graffiti going under the old railroad tracks. 

Found it!

I wasn't out there for wildlife today, but I did notice quite a few birds (flycatchers mostly) along the river, so I'll probably head out there again with my 500mm lens soon.  We also discovered that there's a petroglyph site not far from here, so that's on the near-term agenda too. 


Sunday, September 20, 2015

Zucchini Pasta with Tomato and Onions

So last night I was really tempted to make myself a couple of grilled cheese sandwiches for dinner.  Not totally bad for me, but I knew that I had some better stuff in the fridge, and since I knew I'd probably write about what I ate, the veggies might be a better choice ... lol, this accountability thing might just work after all.   :-)

This was just a simple "pasta" dish using zucchini squash in place of the pasta, and tomato, onion, spices and olive oil instead of sauce from a jar.  I've cooked this dish before, both for myself and with a friend.  It's been delicious every time.  I suppose I could have just sliced up the zucchini, but a couple of months back I got on Amazon and ordered one of those Veggetti slicers  that you may have seen on TV.  It works pretty much as advertised.  It took me just over a minute to turn a medium sized zucchini into a pile of "pasta" strands.

Here is the entire ingredient list:
  • 1 zucchini squash ... spiral sliced 
  • 1/4 red onion ... thinly sliced 
  • A dozen or so cherry (or regular) tomatoes ... cut in smaller pieces 
  • 1-2 Tbsp of olive oil 
  • Italian spice, salt, pepper, pinch of garlic powder 
  • Parmesan cheese
After gathering and preparing all the ingredients, the first step is to heat up some oil in the pan, then add the sliced onions with a little Italian seasoning:

After the onions had cooked for a couple of minutes I mixed in the zucchini strands:  

The finally the tomatoes, with a little more Italian spice, garlic and some salt & pepper: 

After everything is in the pan, it really only takes a couple more minutes for everything to thoroughly heat and soften up a bit.  When it was all done, I toasted a piece of bread, sprinkled on some parmesan cheese and sat down for tasty, but healthy meal.  

I hope you found this post helpful ... and if you decide to make this yourself, please come back to let me know how it goes.  :-)


Thursday, September 3, 2015

This is a neat weather map

I'm a weather guy, so of course I like anything that will give me a quick look at what conditions might be expected at my location.  If I see something interesting, I did into the data a bit more.  This map is fun to look at just for the winds, it can be almost mesmerizing to watch the flow.