Don’t Fence Me In Wednesday, Feb 28 2007 

27 February, 2007
Barbed Wire Kisses
Many, many years ago, this was a common sight through the entire midwest. Mankind’s attempt at fencing in and controlling Mother Nature and her creatures. Nowadays, it’s less common, but still there if you just look for it.
Joseph F. Glidden of DeKalb, Illinois was awarded the first patent for barbed wire in November, 1874. The patent was specifically for “fencing material consisting of barbs wrapped around a single strand of wire and held in place by twisting that strand around another.” This simple, single design was known as the “Winner” and was the most commercially successful of the more than 2000 barbed wire designs that followed (570 of them patented). In fact, I’m no barbed-wire expert, but it appears that this photo is perhaps of that “Winner” design. You can judge for yourself by visiting the Devil’s Rope Museum where they truly are experts.
It’s still illegal to carry wire-cutters on your person in the state of Texas, because you never know just what kind of mischief those cutters can be used to accomplish.
Cheers.

~KR (27 February, 2007)

Camera: Canon PowerShot S1 IS
Exposure: 0.003 sec (1/400)
Aperture: f/4.5
Focal Length: 24.3 mm
Exposure Bias: 0/3 EV
Flash: Flash did not fire

Happy Dog Tuesday, Feb 27 2007 

IMG_3395

27 February 2007

The day has been one of much sewing and patterning and a customer appointment, and a window replacement estimate guy . . . I got a lot done, but none of it involved taking a photo.  So, while sitting with Kyle in the living room, having had Pizza Hut for dinner, I grabbed my camera and decided to shoot something before bedtime.  This picture of Cormac is the very first —  and only — shot I took.  Lucky, I know.  But, he’s pretty darned photogenic!

~MB

Greenman Tuesday, Feb 27 2007 

26 February, 2007
Greenman Wall-Hanging
As I’ve mentioned before there is no shortage of cool & interesting things to photograph in our house. In addition to that, I should mention that there is nowhere in the house a bare wall. Not every inch of space is covered, but certainly we have more than a fair share of wall-hangings from ceramic pieces such as this one to original works of art. Many the comment is made by first-timers to the house…”it’s like a museum.” Truth be told, it’s not; it’s more like a Victorian parlour with modern affectations and sensibilities. However, it is home and I’m proud of the decor that my wife has so lovingling created over the years. This photo is of one of my favourite ceramic pieces in the house. It’s a Greenman, a “Father Nature” if you will. There are several variations and version of him scattered throughout the house, both inside and out. But this guy I think I like best.
Cheers.

~KR (26 February, 2007)

Camera: Canon PowerShot S1 IS
Exposure: 0.2 sec (1/5)
Aperture: f/2.8
Focal Length: 5.8 mm
Exposure Bias: 0/3 EV
Flash: Flash did not fire

Pothos Pots Monday, Feb 26 2007 

Pothos Pots

26 February 2007

I know this is another boring “at home” photo, but I wanted to share this cool little gizmo I just got at the Garden Show last weekend.  The only thing I fell prey to purchasing at the show, I’m absolutely delighted with it!  It’s an iron “stand” that allows this cute little cascade of pots to be safe and secure.  The very nice lady who owns this little company with this innovative idea sells four styles of these—tabletop, floor, and large and small hanging versions.  I was very impressed and I love the way it looks all planted and arranged!

~MB

Corporate America Monday, Feb 26 2007 

25 February, 2007
LA|Fitness
I took this photo to use it as a springboard for a socio-politico commentary. This blight on the landscape; this corporate intrusion into daily sensitivities; this behemoth that has brainwashed the sheep of America into believing that the only way to stay in shape and live a long, healthy life is to subscribe to their methodologies has recently ambushed the DFW metropolitan area. There seem to be hundreds of these monstrosities opening in our area.
Bear in mind here that I am in no way against healthy living, nor exercise, nor even health clubs where like-minded folk can do like-minded things all relating to and, hopefully, resulting in a healthier life. I exercise daily, I play soccer twice a week, and I even try to walk my dogs semi-irregularly. Even when I’m away on business travel, I exercise. I make use of the fitness spa that most hotels are equipped with and I try to walk to my destination as often as I can. I most definitely can say I am not against exercise.
No. The corporate greed drives my ire. The fact that LA|Fitness has built enormous success around an out-of-date business model that will not allow even casual questions without being ambushed by a hard-sales pitch; that we, the sheep of America, the quiet dullards that inhabit suburbia allow them to dictate how & when and with whom we exercise makes my hackles raise.
I was excited when I first saw that it was a fitness club going into the location that Stripling & Cox had occupied for nearly two decades but had recently vacated. That meant that, perhaps, there would be racquetball courts as well, which is something sorely needed in Arlington. Indeed, there were courts, but my casual inquiry at the front counter as to how much the monthly fee was and how often I could visit was met by the blank stares of a pimply-faced high-school student and a gesture that I needed to visit the sales office. Which meant: I needed to go sign-in and wait until the single sales-person on duty was finished with the poor cow he had in his office. This was all to find the answer to two very simple questions. I asked him again at which time he informed me, rudely, that the information desk did not receive the prices (information?) from corporate headquarters, and that he simply could not answer my query therefore, I must speak with a sales person.
Why?
So that some over-paid, commission-driven sales slug can charge what he wants to whom he wants? Does this mean the beautiful model-type that will look good in the glass windows of the facility will get a better deal than some poor unfortunate that is hideously overweight and needs desperately to lose the weight? I certainly hope not; but LA|Fitness’s unwillingness to publish their rates, even in individual markets, smacks to me as a company that takes advantage of their client-base too easily and too often.
All of this is going on at the same time that the Extreme Poverty level of America is at an all time high, having risen 26% in the last 5 years to a level of ~10 million souls. Millions of families of four making less than $9000 per year (as a family unit) are struggling simply to stay alive while LA|Fitness hangs onto their financial security by lying to its clients every day.
Yes. I am mad.
UPDATE (10 July 2009):
Over at the Consumerist there’s a great post that proves my point and validates my anger.

~KR (25 February, 2007)

Camera: Canon PowerShot S1 IS
Exposure: 0.067 sec (1/15)
Aperture: f/3.1
Focal Length: 20.4 mm
Exposure Bias: 0/3 EV
Flash: Flash did not fire

Yorkshire Tower and Dungeon Sunday, Feb 25 2007 

Yorkshire Tower and Dungeon

25 February 2007

While at the Scarborough faire site today, doing fittings for a couple of cast members, I decided to take advantage of the late afternoon sun, and shoot this picture of the largest structure on site.  Built a few years ago, it is indeed an impressive sight.

~MB

Electric Tower Sunday, Feb 25 2007 

24 February, 2007
Electric Tower
Before the massive dust-storm arrived, I shot this photo of a lone tower on the edge of the Arlington Bottoms. I had actually driven down this road on my way to soccer practice with the intent of photographing one of the cranes that are always in the boggy land at the base of this tower. But, as was almost destined to be the case, there were no birds in evidence on this morning. So, I took a photo of the next best thing at hand; a shot up at the tower. The clouds in the image are the pre-cursor to the worst dust-storm I’ve seen in years, but that was a couple of hours away still. In the mean-time, it was just very windy.

(and finally…I’m caught up! …for the moment)

Cheers.

~KR (24 February, 2007)

Camera: Canon PowerShot S1 IS
Exposure: 0.001 sec (1/1000)
Aperture: f/6.3
Focal Length: 5.8 mm
Exposure Bias: 0/3 EV
Flash: Flash did not fire

License Plate Sunday, Feb 25 2007 

23 February, 2007
Telling License Plate
Sadly, the image didn’t come out as clear as I had hoped. I guess the synchopation between the two idling vehicles (mine and his) was off just enough.
I took the photo primarily because the license plate amused me. It reminds me of the sort of classified you might see in the backpages of the Dallas Observer or the Ft. Worth Weekly.
It might read as follows:
4 ORGY 2
NSBC seeks NSBC for ONS
NSB only.

But, then the frame around the plate made me laugh aloud as I pondered the ridiculous dichotomy of the (un)fortunate license plate in its framing.
Cheers

~KR (23 February, 2007)

Camera: Canon PowerShot S1 IS
Exposure: 0.167 sec (1/6)
Aperture: f/3.2
Focal Length: 36.6 mm
Exposure Bias: 0/3 EV
Flash: Flash did not fire

Illuminated Feather Sunday, Feb 25 2007 

22 February, 2007
Illuminated Feather
Being highly involved in re-enactment events, such as Renaissance Festivals, Victorian events and the like, there is no shortage of accoutrements scattered throughout the house. This feather, the tip end of a pen, sits on my wife’s desk direcly above her computer.
I found the back-lit feather beautiful and peaceful.
Cheers

~KR (22 February, 2007)

Camera: Canon PowerShot S1 IS
Exposure: 0.033 sec (1/30)
Aperture: f/3.5
Focal Length: 5.8 mm
Exposure Bias: 0/3 EV
Flash: Flash did not fire

9-Ball Break Sunday, Feb 25 2007 

21 February, 2007
The Break
Once again, I found myself at Rob’s Billiards in Ft. Worth playing pool. It’s convenience to my office is both bane and blessing. Some days I stop simply because the traffic is too heavy and I don’t want to bear the drive or the sun is just setting and I don’t want to stare into it on my westbound trip. Other days I simply stop because it’s convenient. This was one of those days; I stopped for a beer and a game of pool with my favourite bar-tender, Trista.
This photo is of her breaking the rack in a game of 9-Ball, which is not her favourite game but she will play it on occasion. This time around I didn’t give her an option, I simply racked it and told her to break. Great game, Trista!
Cheers

~KR (21 February, 2007)

Camera: Canon PowerShot S1 IS
Exposure: 0.167 sec (1/6)
Aperture: f/3.2
Focal Length: 34.7 mm
Exposure Bias: 0/3 EV
Flash: Flash did not fire

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