Saturday, November 26, 2005

Saguaro in sihlouette

Saguaro in sihlouette
Originally uploaded by gwilmore.
This may end up being my biggest hit with the Flickr crowd, at least thus far. I took this photo late Thursday afternoon and posted it just before noon yesterday. Only 21 hours later, as I post it on my blog, it has been viewed 174 times, and received a couple dozen comments. This is very exciting to me, of course, because it means that in time, I may actually get really good at this photography stuff!

As an aside having nothing to do with this picture, while digesting Thanksgiving dinner Thursday afternoon, we watched a movie which I would highly recommend to one and all. It was "Oscar," a screwball comedy of the same species and genre as "What's Up, Doc?" In it, Sylvester Stallone plays the role of a Chicago gangster trying to fulfill his father's dying wish that he renounce his life of crime and "go straight," but of course the Stallone character finds that a little easier said than done. This movie features many of the things I most enjoy: good, clean, knee-slapping humor; Italians; the 1930s; and a soundtrack drawn from Rossini's The Barber of Seville, which fit like a plug. I think Santa will be bringing us the DVD edition of it this year, and I urge one and all to watch it, for your family night or any other suitable occasion.

Incidentally, we spent Turkey Day at the home of Sheila's cousin Ann and her family in Goodyear, Arizona, about 50 miles from Chandler. As the movie neared its conclusion, I kept looking outside, a bit nervously, as the setting sun approached the horizon. I wanted to make sure I got some good sunset pictures before it was too late; but as I now know, I need not have worried, for I was able to see all of the movie and hit the sunset jackpot with this photo.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Spirit of the season

God Jul!
Originally uploaded by gwilmore.
The Christmas season seems to get underway earlier and earlier every year, although I normally don't start thinking seriously about it until after Thanksgiving. This year I am making an exception, at least to the extent of posting this and wishing everyone a happy holiday season -- and at the risk of being Politically Incorrect, a Merry Christmas as well. I took this photo last night while visiting the IKEA store in Tempe with my wife, and it is getting some good feedback on Flickr.

It occurs to me that this will be my first Christmas as a blogger, as well as my first as a serious digital photographer, so this seems a fitting way for me to start the season.

As an aside, there is a bit of good news to share with everyone, and this is probably as good a place as any to do it. Many of you know that our son Colin became involved with drugs after we moved to Arizona, and that he has been living with relatives in Utah for the past year and a half. This has been very hard on everyone concerned, and I believe I can speak for Sheila in saying that it is the worst thing I have ever had to go through. Colin has made very good progress, however, and he will be coming home permanently in a couple of weeks. We had resigned ourselves to leaving him up there until graduation, but through no fault of his, a series of circumstances has made it impossible for us or the other people involved to continue that arrangement. Although Colin is not completely out of the woods yet, I am thrilled to have him back so that we can begin to function once again as a normal family. Besides, he, too, has been bitten by the photography bug -- largely because I infected him with it myself -- and this will now be something he and I can get involved in together.

So come rejoice with me! This may end up being the best Christmas gift Sheila and I have ever received. (Incidentally, I spoke with Colin a short while ago, and he is taking all of this quite well, so I am cautiously optimistic that he will do much better in Arizona the second time around.)

Saturday, November 12, 2005

To rule the night

To rule the night
Originally uploaded by gwilmore.
I took this picture of the moon a short while ago, using some techniques I learned from members of the Flickr crowd. Ever since I was a kid, I have been fascinated by astronomy in general and the moon in particular, and I have fond memories of looking at it through our sliding patio doors on the evening of July 20, 1969, as Walter Cronkite anchored the CBS News live coverage of the Apollo 11 landing and moonwalk.

Of the several moon pictures I have taken thus far, this has been the best, although I expect to be taking many more in the future, with the hope that they will be better still.

Meeting the Greatest Generation

I returned to Falcon Field today, this time accompanied by Vanessa and her friend. Click on the photo and read the story of what happened there. It was time and effort well spent on my part.

They survived Omaha Beach

They survived Omaha Beach
Originally uploaded by gwilmore.
I spent Veterans Day 2005 pretty much the way I should have, and this picture and its accompanying description will attest to that. Today I will be returning to Falcon Field in Mesa, this time accompanied by Vanessa and a friend of hers who is here for a sleepover, and at least two of these men should be there again today as well. The girls, who know little about history, will have a lesson in it today; and last night I prepped them for it by explaining -- or trying to, at least -- what the Normandy invasion was all about. But a real, live flesh-and-blood hero who was actually there can surely do a better job of this than I can.

I love photography, blogging, and history, and what better way to bring all three of them together than something like this? I nearly became a history teacher when I was younger, and I suppose I will always be one at heart. I also believe we have a duty to share our talents, and perhaps in my case that includes an obligation to help, in whatever way I can, to preserve the past and teach it to others.

Which, of course, is a big part of the reason I look forward to visiting Falcon Field again today, this time with two 11-year-old girls in tow. And my Nikon D50 will be put to good use once again as well.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Explaining my absence . . .

my dad #1
Originally uploaded by infernosangel27.
My son Colin is now an active member of Flickr. Today he posted this picture, which he took during my visit to Utah last month. The old cliche has it that a picture is worth a thousand words, and this one goes a long way toward explaining why my blog has been relatively quiet lately. But it also should offer some reassurance that this gives nobody any reason to be concerned. And don't worry; as soon as I figure out a good way to balance out the activities and things that interest me, I'll get back to the business of pontificating about whatever topic happens to occupy my mind at the moment.