Saturday, March 7, 2015

Interesting sights

My son and I had the pleasure of attending an important banquet function last weekend for his Cub Scouts Troop #168.  It is an annual celebration of the group known as the Webelos II moving on to Boy Scouts.  Of course, it is a large dog and pony show(sometimes literally), to give the younger scouts something to strive for in the future.  Start with a nice chicken and mostaciolli dinner, then do the awards and graduation for the scouts moving on, and then entertainment, which is usually some kind of animal show, magician, or some other age appropriate entertainment. I was the event photographer this year so I had to keep my eyes open for anything interesting even if wasn't pertaining to the scouts themselves.  Here's a couple shots I found interesting.  The first of some sort of lizard, that while appearing friendly and calm, I am sure is quite a sharpshooter for any insects that come within 10" of him, The second of a little princess girl humoring herself amongst a sea of boys.  I am sure she is the sibling of a scout who was dragged along only because the whole family attended.  But, at that age it can be easy to transport yourself into your own little world and that is exactly what she was doing during the awards time.  I caught her doing her own little dance, not caring who was around or who was watching.  Probably from The Little Mermaid or Frozen or something.

Monday, February 2, 2015


Many of you have probably seen this pic since I posted it on Facebook this weekend.  But, I have been informed that not everybody is on Facebook (Shocker!) and that I should repost the shot on my blog.  So, here it is.  The backstory to the pic is my son and I were coming home from attending an overnight sleepover at the Museum of Science and Industry with the Cub Scouts. All the activities were the night before so everyone just left as they got up and got their stuff packed.  We hit the road home around 7 am.  It was a pretty morning with the sun not quite up yet.  While driving up Lakeshore Drive to catch the expressway back home, we decided to detour and follow the drive up into Chicago since I knew there was going to be a spectacular sunrise with the clear skies, and being south of the city, I knew there would be a shot in there of the city catching the early rays.  The trick is to find a spot along the lake to park.  Luckily, we hadn't gone too far north when I found a parking area within 50 yards of the lake and it being that early on a Saturday morning, there were spots open.  My son was game so we parked it and sat and watched the sun coming up and finally, I said I wanted to get closer to the lake and see what develops over the city.  I was just 20 yards from the lake when I saw a couple in front of me waiting for the same thing as me- their shot.  All of sudden the sun popped and at the same time, I saw the young lady do a jump and raise her arms in the air.  I was just raising my camera and got a couple shots fired off while she was basking in the sun's glow and caught her excitement.  I knew it was a neat shot right away and since the boy was already bored, we didn't hang out anymore to get shots of the city.  That will be for another day.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

The thrill of victory and the agony of defeat

We've all seen it. Years ago for anyone anywhere close to my age, we all saw the agony of defeat every Saturday afternoon as the opening of the Wide World of Sports.  Gruesome, but, like a good train wreck, hard to turn away from.  That may be why I so look forward each year to the Norge Ski Jump held here in the area.  110th year of the event.  In Olympic years it plays a big part in determining which jumpers that go. Jump events are held year round there.  In summer, they put plastic pellets down that mimic the characteristics of snow.  In winter it is, of course, snow, either manmade or natural. 
This year seemed like a perfect weekend for the event with enough natural snow down on the ground and temps hovering around 30 degrees.  They had the usual participants from around the world and the United States.  Saturday is the junior division with jumpers as young as 7 and 8 and Sunday is for the big boys.  Due to finishing late Saturday, they had the award ceremony first thing on Sunday right after the parade of nations and states.

Skiers all hike the 760 stairs to the top of the jump for each of their jumps.  Yeah, that's why I'm not a ski jumper.  Put an elevator in, I'm in, too.
Time to jump
Get ready.
Get set.
Stick the landing.
Or not!
Don't worry.  He ended up walking off the hill.  But, it was a nasty wipeout that opened the eyes of the officials.  Unfortunately, this was not the best day for jumping.  We didn't feel it on the ground, but I guess the winds up top were wicked.  Therefore, the rest of the day moved at a slow crawl with the officials measuring the wind and trying to send guys off in between gusts.  Crazy.  So, I only got to see about 5 more jumps in the next hour and a half.  And all the rest of the jumpers landed safely.
But, I did get to see alot of people with dead animals on their heads and honoring the European traditional garb.
All in all, a fun day.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Introducing "The Destroyer"

Yep, that is his name.  Today was the start of league play for my son for basketball. As he came out of the tunnel, each kid's name was announced.  And he was, to our surprise, called out as Derek "The Destroyer" Zelazoski.  Even more surprisingly, our last name was pronounced properly. Unfortunately, league play started with a loss, but it was a good game (the other team had a ringer or two), and Derek played well and had fun.  The best part is we like the team, we like the coach, and we like the league.  Not often you can say that in the childrens sports environment these days.  Its going to be a good season. A few shots of "The Destroyer" in action.


Friday, January 23, 2015

Going to the chapel...

As many of you know, I made my way to Arizona in September to visit a friend and goof around with my camera in a different environment.  Little did I know it was to be a pilgrimage as well.  One of the areas we explored was Sedona.  And, as well as being a beautiful place with all its red rock, it evidently can lead to a religious experience.  We found this cool historic church built into the existing landscape.  It is the Church of the Holy Cross.  Built in 1956.  It was a pretty neat place overlooking Sedona and its terrain.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Red Sector A

I often use song titles to title my posts.  Of course, I try to make it something people know and then I make sure it fits the picture being posted.  I veered a little tonight.  The title of the post is from a song by Rush that was on one of their albums in the mid 80's.  I know some of my readers picked up on it and even more are saying to themselves, "Oh yeah, I remember that."  But many others are saying, "Never heard of it."  Oh well.  Now you have.  But this song title popped into my head as we drove into Sedona, Arizona with all the red rock and monuments in the area.  I was amazed at the landscape of the area.  Its one of those things whereas, the Grand Canyon? Yeah, you expect to see an unbelievable spectacle.  It was great, but expected.  Driving into Sedona?  I had no idea such a place existed.  This is a shot of one of the most majestic scenes as we drove through the town.

Friday, December 12, 2014

What's Black and White.......and red all over?

Riddle for the day- see the title of this post.  Aw come on.  This is the oldest riddle in the book.  I'm not sure what the real answer is either. But here it is a black crow sitting in a snowy field in front of a big red barn.  Talk about your contrasting colors.