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Showing posts from April, 2010

Rent A Tire ?

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Okay, I know times are tough in many place around the country, but seriously .. "rent a tire" ? Every time Ana and I drive past this place, when just shake our heads. It seems like such and odd concept. Then again, I suppose that if you have no money, and bad credit, but need your car to get to work, it's probably good that an option like this is available. It just seems a shame that the reality in our country is that the less money you have, the more things tend to cost. (I would imagine that even people who end up owning their tires from a place like this ultimately pay 2-3 times what the tire would cost at normal retail). This isn't the only example ... This afternoon on the radio, I heard one of those ads for a computer, with no credit check ... just proof of a job. I didn't listen close, but I think you pay something like $75-$100 a month, for about 2 years! And I may just be cynical, but somehow I doubt you're getting a high end gaming computer for

How To Get Artificial Motion In A Picture Using A Zoom Lens

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Thought I'd take a day off from posting pictures of my kids. Today's picture is actually more of a "test/experiment" than anything else. I was sitting out front, and decide to take some pictures of this bush with red and green berries. After I few shots, I remembered a technique I'd read about, and have been wanting to try ... Make sure you have a zoom lens mounted on the camera. Pick a (distant) spot to focus on, then switch to manual focus. Zoom all the way out to the widest focal length of the lens. As you're pressing the shutter button, simultaneously turn the zoom ring from wide to telephoto. This gives the picture a motion effect, that kind of reminds me of the x-wing fighters taking off in star wars. This berry bush may not have been the ideal subject for this technique, but now if I do run into a situation where it really would create a cool picture, I've had some practice with it. Todd

Benefits Of Being An Older Parent – I Now Love Swings

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In some ways it's a little scary to say that I'm 41 years old and have a daughter who's only 19 months old, with another one on the way in just a couple of weeks. Maybe I'm already too old to be a "new" dad again. But on the other hand, there are things about being a parent now, in my 40s, that just seem so much easier/different than when I first experienced fatherhood as a 20 something guy. Today was a perfect example. I took Jaiden to the park behind our house, where we played for over an hour. She went on the little bouncy frog thing, tried to climb up the monkey bars, and slid down the slide more times than I can count. And when we weren't doing that, we spent a long time, laughing as I pushed her on the swing (picture above). Obviously Jaiden had a really good time ... but the best part is, so did I !!!! And that's the biggest difference between "then" and "now". There was a time when I used to "joke" (but it

Potty Training 18 Month Old Jaiden

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One of daddy's jobs during my two week recuperation period is to help my 18 month old daughter Jaiden with potty training. Tonight after dinner, she decided to show me where her potty is, and how much she enjoys sitting on it. lol, of course she didn't actually do anything tonight, but just knowing what "potty" means, and getting her to sit on it is half the battle won. And it's really even better than that, she already did a poop on her little potty about 2 weeks ago, while I was still in Iraq. I have to run in to work for about 3 half days next week, but after that, I'm off for 14 days. This is when the intense potty training will begin ... I think we'll definitely still let Jaiden wear her diaper at night, but during the day, I plan to bring her potty downstairs, and let her run around during the day without a diaper. I haven't decided yet whether I'm just going to ask her if she has to go, or whether we'll do the "sit on the pot

My Trip Home

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I'm sitting here at 2:30 am, in a hotel in Baltimore Maryland. I catch my final flight home to Texas tomorrow morning. I've been taking my pictures of the day this week, but my access to this blog was blocked while I was in Al Udeid Qatar (not sure why). So, I thought I'd take a few minutes to catch up again, with pictures from the past 3 days, during my trip home. 12 April: This picture was already posted on Facebook the other day, but I wanted to put it up here for people who only follow the blog. This shot was taken from inside the C-130, as they were loading the cargo pallet and getting ready for take-off. I like the looks on some of the guy's faces ... the dude nearest to me looks particularly happy to be going home. 13 April: My next stop was Al Udeid AB in Qatar, where I spent about a day and a half. Just about every Air Force person who is going into or out of Iraq transits through Al Udeid. We fly back and forth on contracted commercial airliners. Whi