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Showing posts from February, 2010

Art Is In The Eye Of The Beholder

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You know what's cool about being a "photographer" ... as opposed to just "some guy with a camera" ? I can post up a picture like the one above; tell you that it's "Art" (who's deep meaning, I'll leave to you to interpret); and you might just have to believe me. ;-) Todd, the "guy with a camera" probably could have just taken the easy way out and gone with the helicopter picture for his project365 today: But every once in a while, it's more fun to step outside the box, shake things up a bit, and try to make people think (darn, wish I knew a few more cliches) :-D So, did I make the right decision? Is "funky cool colors" more interesting than "boring old helicopter"? Either way, it's too late now, I'm about to hit the publish button on this post. I hope you enjoy my "art" (whichever one you chose). Todd

I Miss Having A Cell Phone

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If you've been following along with my pictures and stories, you're probably aware that we don't have it all that bad over here ... certainly not compared to some troops in other parts of Iraq, and definitely those in Afghanistan. But, human nature being what it is, of course I've still got a few minor gripes ... mainly about my access to the Internet (cue: wife Ana rolling eyes as she reads this) . In some ways, being over here is almost like a flashback to the 90s. I'm truly thankful to have Internet in my room, but I also forgot how frustrating VERY Slow Internet can be ... seriously, it's like I've got dial up AOL again ... except thankfully without having to listen to the modem trying to connect (or worse, the dreaded busy signal). With just a little more than a month left here, there are a couple things I am really looking forward to when i get home. The first is obviously seeing my family. BTW, with the winter storm at Fort Hood yesterday, the kid

Ok I Guess I Won't Talk About Jock Itch

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But if you're a guy, and you take a trip somewhere really hot, the LAST thing in the world you want to Forget is your bottle of Medicated Body Powder. ... I'm just sayin ;-) Todd

How Forecasters Really Guess The Weather (Humor)

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For some you non-weather people (most who read this blog actually), this joke may be a little "inside baseball", so I apologize in advance. But I know at least a few of my facebook friends are fellow Air Force weather forecasters, and might appreciate this. Then again, I bet most of you actually suspect that this is how we come up with our weather guesses anyway ... The following is taken from the picture above: Forecasting Dust 101 by: SSgt Kevin "KJ" Johnson Acquire one regulation dart board Write the numbers 0, 1/4, 1/2, 3/4, 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 on sticky note sheets Place above mentioned sticky note sheets on dart board Place blindfold over eyes Place forehead on end of baseball bat and spin around in circles for 5 minutes Puke Run as fast as you can into a wall Get up and realize you are a total idiot Pick up 3 darts and throw them (at the same time) at the dart board Lowest value is the visibility in miles. If you fail to hit anywhere on the dart board, repea

My Favorite Lens

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I got my first dSLR about 5 years ago. Like most people, I started with the kit lens, a 50mm, and a cheap 80-200mm zoom lens. Shortly thereafter, I learned about "quality" lenses, and went on a buying spree. The lens that's on my camera most of the time is a Tamron 28-75mm F2.8 (I took this picture with that lens). But my favorite lens, is the picture's subject ... my only "pro" lens ... the Canon 70-200 F4L. I bought it used on the FredMiranda.com buy and sell board for I think $450 (which was a pretty good price). Over the years, this has been my main portrait lens ... especially since I'm very fond of "candid" type portraits ... it's much easier to do with a nice telephoto lens. I have another long zoom; the Sigma 50-500mm; that is a lot of fun. But, that sucker weighs almost 3 lbs, so it's not my favorite. Anyhow, I'm just rambling. I found out yesterday that I'll be going up to Baghdad next week; and staying the

Who Is Manning Your Control Tower?

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Do you sometimes feel as though you're going through life on auto-pilot? That's it ... "deep thought" Tuesday. Todd p.s. I hope you like the picture ... kinda reminds me of Christmas

It's All About Your Perspective

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Ever notice how two people can look at the same object or scene and sometimes come away seeing two completely different things? Or maybe they read a book, or watch a movie and end up with an opinion about it that is 180 degree opposite of what we think. What about politics ... think there are some varying opinions there? But just because people may see things differently, does this automatically mean that someone has to be "wrong"? In almost any situation, sometimes taking a step back and changing the way we're looking at something, can totally change our perspective. By occasionally examining things from a different angle, we may not necessarily change our own opinions or ideas; but it does make it much easier to understand where others might be coming from, if you take the time to try to see what they see. Just a thought ... Todd p.s. I know for a fact that all of those containers are exactly the same size. However, if you were to argue that the ones on the right

Welcome To Ali AB (COB Adder) Iraq

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** Note: the following information covers the period of my deployment to Ali Base from Oct 09 - Apr 10. I am now back in Texas. If you know of anybody who is currently at COB Adder/Ali Base, who is blogging about it, please let me know via the contact form, so that I can link to them from this post ... thanks. I was tasked to put together a welcome letter for some of the new guys who will be replacing us over the next few months. As part of the project, I took a picture of the wall mural above; which is one of the first things you see when you get off the plane here. As I was taking the picture, I remembered back to when I first found out I was coming here. As soon as I got home from work that day, I fired up the old macbook, and did a search for Ali Air Base , COB Adder , and Tallil (yes, this place goes by all of those names). I found a few websites and blogs, but of course I wanted to know more (especially about quality of life stuff). So, here's what we're gonna do

How To Save Money Cutting Your Own Hair

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Today was haircut day at the Morris CHU (compartmentalized housing unit). It's a regular event that happens about every 5-8 days; with the exact timing depending primarily on how many times in a row I forget to bring the clippers with me to the shower after PT. I've been cutting my own hair on and off for probably the past 15 years. I think I go to the barber shop maybe once or twice a year; just to change things up a bit. Of course I have two advantages when it comes to "self serve" haircuts ... I'm in the military, so my hair is expected to be short ... which means I can cut it with electric clippers ... no way I could do that hair between the fingers, and snip it with scissors thing on my own. Due to the simple facts of life, the older I get, the less hair I have to begin with. Ana often rolls her eyes when I say it's hair cut time ... "what hair?". However, I am the type who always looks for the silver lining, and in this case, since it&#

UH-60 BlackHawk - It's All About Where You Sit

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I really didn't intend to take a lot of pictures of aircraft for project365. But it seems like every time I have the 70-200F4L lens on my camera, an airplane or helicopter flies by, and the scene is just a bit too interesting to pass up. In this case, it was a UH-60 Blackhawk flying low over the setting sun, right between a couple of radio towers. And even better, after I took the picture, I realized I even have a story about a blackhawk helicopter ride. I don't think it's quite as interesting as my C-130 Hercules story, but there is a useful tip or two in it. It was just a couple of months ago, on my way back down here from Baghdad, that I got to ride on a UH-60 ... The first lesson learned: If you brought goggles with you to Iraq, it would be a very good idea to wear them if you're riding on a Blackhawk. Second lesson: If you have any choice in the matter, do not under any circumstances sit in the seat nearest the door, facing forward. Imagine you're in a co