Saturday, September 6, 2014

Soccer Stud

Today was the first game of the new soccer season for my son, Derek.  New season, new team, new coach, new teammates, and a new role on the team.  Last year, his first, he was mainly a defensive player, and that was mainly because there were two other kids that were scoring machines. He likes defense, but if they ain't kicking it towards you, it can get a little boring.  He worked really hard during this last year to improve his offensive skills and he benefited greatly from the fact that there are numerous other boys on the street his age who love soccer and love pickup games after school.  His focus was to become better on offense.  It was apparent during the first few weeks of practices with his new team, that he was focused and I think the coaches could see something to it also.  Well, it all came together today in the first game.  The whole team played quite well and put a hurt on the other team to a score of 4-2.  And, of those 4 goals scored by "The Strikers", you can see in one of the pics how many Derek scored. It was almost 3. Happy boy. Happy team. Happy and proud family.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

The World is a Stage

One of my favorite things to photograph are concert events.  These days are great for this with the advent of festivals and bands continuing their music careers with touring smaller venues later in their careers. For awhile, the person carrying a camera was considered the enemy and often times was banished to the back of the crowd or their equipment confiscated while the show was on if not banned from the venue altogether.  These days, I think most security has just given up due to the influx of smartphones and smaller recording devices.  For the most part, unless you are causing problems or blocking walkways, you are left alone.  Even the entertainment seems to have given in by giving the photographer some great posed shots.  A few weeks ago my wife and I attended an event in the area that featured several southern rock bands that were big in the '80s- Artimus Pyle Band, Molly Hatchet, The Outlaws, and The Marshall Tucker Band. It was beautiful August night and a nice outdoor venue.  I was able to get great shots and enjoyed great music.  Most of the shots below are of the main band I wanted to see- The Outlaws, but these are some of the best shots of all the bands we saw that night.  Unfortunately, Google only allows me so much bandwith to post a video.  So, I have to upload it more compressed which affects the quality of the video. 


Thursday, July 31, 2014

High Lake is more like Fire Lake

Spent a great week up north last week camping with my boy.  Didn't do alot of photography with my good camera, did more with my phone.  But, I did manage to grab a few shots.  Here is one of a secluded lake near where we were camping. The nice thing about High lake is you can get nice sunset pictures of it while the lake we were camping on is more of a sunrise lake.  This was nice sunset shot.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Dance, Dance, Dance the Night Away

Another year of dance classes for my daughter, and another 3 hour dance recital.  Whew!!  That's alot of dancing.  I got tired just sitting and watching.  It was a great event, though.  And I must add, my daughter was flawless on stage. She had the moves and she also sported the biggest smile of all during her performance.  Below are some pics that show her in action, another that shows a not-so- talented group of performers, and one of the few family pics that we ever seem to get.  A fun night.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

This isn't Walton's Mountain

Last night was a special night in my daughter's world.  She attended her 8th grade dance.  I guess these days, a big gala like the one she attended is pretty commonplace.  Since I've been on vacation this last week, due to the beautiful climate I live in, I was able to spend much time on catching up on "The Waltons" reruns (It appears May is a great time to run Waltons marathons since two channels were doing so).  And, as I'm sure many others agree, if you start watching the Waltons, you just can't stop till all episodes are run.  One of the episodes was about JohnBoy attending a school dance.  It was held in a library, cost a quarter to attend, had chaperones where not one could have been less than 80 years old, and served lemonade.  All the girls were on one side and all the boys were on the other.  Once in a while, a young man would approach a young lady and ask her to dance, in which case, she would either accept or decline(usually accept), and the two would proceed to the dance floor where they were closely monitored to make sure the appropriate distance was kept between "body parts",In other words, only hands could touch. The girls were all dressed in what was probably the one dress they had, the one for church.  And the boys, well, they wore the one suit coat they had that they wore to church, over their blue jeans and suspenders. Ahhhhh, a much simpler time.
I remember the one dance I attended in grade school.  It was held in a classmates unfinished basement. There was no charge to attend, lemonade and/or soft drinks were served as well as, I'm sure, chips and the sort. The dress code, I believe, was casual: Jeans and T-shirt.  And, if I remember right, all the girls were on one side of the basement, while the boys found an old motorbike in the garage, and were all trying to figure out how to get it to run. Chaperones? I think the host parents got out when they could because I don't remember any on the premise. Good times, good times.
These days, it's a little different.  As being the parent of a 14 year old girl I have learned, there is much to do before the big night.  First, shop.  Yes, you must have that brand new dress, shoes, and other accoutrements.  Then, get the nails done.  What done is I'm not really sure, but they must be done.  Then, hair.  Cutting, styling, coloring, curling.  Whatever getting your hair done means, once again, I'm not sure.  But, it does entail the above. And, of course, you have the pre-dance get together at a girlfriends house.  While this was supposed to involve no parents, besides the host parents, after much discussion, I was given special dispensation to at least get a few pictures.  Yes, I felt special.
The theme of the dance was "Hollywood". A full fledged red carpet event complete with limo parked out front so the attendees could get a picture of themselves exiting the limo for the grand event.  Inside the dance venue(my daughters school), you felt like you were walking into an after party for the Oscars. Red carpet, taffeta up and down the walls with strings of white Christmas lights brightening the scene, classic scene of movies on the walls, DJ's ready to play the hippest new music(I think Foghat's Slow Ride was a favorite at my aforementioned dance), and, some things don't change, lemonade.  And, of course, there were boys.  I had mentioned to my wife earlier in the day, "I wonder if any boys will show up for this event?".  Low and behold, there was a stunning number of handsomely dressed guys there.  Now, when I say handsomely dressed, I don't mean how handsomely we used to dress, the jeans and T-shirt thing.  I mean, bright colors, throwback hats and suspenders, and some unusual combinations.  But, good effort was made, none-the-less. Plenty of chaperones, too. Mostly teachers who by now know who to keep their eyes on.
Finally,  parents were ushered out of the event, to leave the kids on their own.  After that, we, as parents, had to rely on the occasional "selfie" pic that my daughter would send. After the dance was the required sleepover where all the girls were picked up a set of parents and brought to their house to make sure everyone was safe and sound.
 I'm quite sure alot of dancing was done, and sometimes even with a boy.
Here are a few shots:

Thursday, April 24, 2014


Last Sunday was the occasion for our yearly Easter Egg Hunt for our kids and other kids on the block. We use to go like lemmings to the annual Park District hunt, but after a year or two of seeing the people heading to the ER due to fighting over eggs(and I'm talking about the adults), we said no more.  So, actually easier and safer in our yard.  The kids come and go, via moving out of the neighborhood, graduating into a teen, or, we just don't invite them back anymore cause we don't like 'em.  Either way, there are always new friends around, and, it seems like, more kids on the block than ever. Sometime in the morning, my wife spends an hour or so filling plastic eggs with sugar and scatters them around the yard.  She also places some trinkets, i.e. hula hoops, bubbles, etc.  After breakfast we round up the available kids on our street and we set them off.  The biggest problem this year was the pesky squirrels  trying to make off with some of the loot, and, the biggest surprise:  the weather was decent, the sun was shining, and the chocolate was melting inside the eggs while we gathered everyone.  But, the kids had 10 minutes of scrambling for their loot and were laughing and having fun while doing so.  We had expected, as usually happens, that after all the stuff was found, some kids would be big winners and some would not do as well.  Usually the older boys do quite well, while the younger little girls not so much. If that happens, we have them pour all their junk into a pile and we split it up.  This year, not necessary.  Everyone won.  And this is what makes us want to do it again next year.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

How Brutal was this winter?

I'll "show" you how brutal this last winter was.  So brutal the guys are able to get some ice fishing April.  Sheesh!!!