Sunday, December 30, 2012

It's still the holiday season

One of the highlights of the holidays for me and my family is checking out the light displays some people put up around here.  What a bunch of crazies.  I mean, I would never.......let's move on.  During our Christmas Eve travels to family, we are informed of an incredible display that was on our way home.  Kids didn't want to stop due to wanting to be asleep when Santa arrives, but we coaxed them into a 2 minute stop(yeah, right).  2 minutes turned into 25 minutes only because it was so worth it.  An absolutely incredible display.  We were told it was the Disneyland of lights and it was.  So much so that it warranted a second trip there a few nights later with other family members.  Over 250,000 lights all set to music that ran through the car radio.  197 channels of lights which means there are 197 different configurations of lighting.  And on top of it, every other night its a totally different set of songs and dancing lights.  Definitely the 8th wonder.  We start January 2nd trying to best them here in Crystal Lake.  You can see video of part of the show at 
See if you can see Santa directing the music in the window just to the left of center.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

It's the end of the world, as we know it

No no, that was last week.  But, in a few days its the end of the year, the year 2012, as we know it.  This is the time of year I try to make sure all my photos are in their proper place and backed up properly.  Should be done more often, but, this is when it happens.  At the same time, I go through and try to find the "best of" for the year.  I admit, I was driving around this week worrying if I was going to have much of a selection of "best of" pics.  Almost anyone attempting anything somewhat creative feels their own self doubt and can be their harshest critics. Add on top of it, the fact that I did not shoot quite as much this year(or at least it was more in spurts with dry spells in between). So, the other day, I sat down and started with January.  It is always fun to go through each and every month.  It reminds you that you really did more than watch every episode of Survivor and/or American Idol.  You really got out and did some stuff.  And it gives you a head start on what you want to plan for the new year. I continued on through each month, pulling copies out of the pictures I liked the most.  I then went through each of the ones I pulled and whittled that number down another 10-15%.  What I found is that I was quite pleased with number of photos I had left.  I'm not sure if it was the quality of the photos that made me keep them, or the times, places, and/or events I was shooting.  Either way, the photos I kept for the year end review had some meaning to "me", and therefore, are part of 2012's best.

Monday, December 17, 2012


After looking back on the biannual beatdown of the Bears by the Green Bay Packers, it was a bittersweet day.  On the high side, my beloved Packers did their job, and left the Chicago Bears fans ready to move across the border to watch real football.  Really!  I'm not kidding.  I try to catch all the local sports TV and local sports radio around here especially on Mondays after a game, and I think today was the most negative and bitter I've ever heard the Chicago Bears fans.  So, that was a high point.  The low point was my kids are getting older.  Therefore, my 12 year old daughter isn't too "hip" with the "stand next to Packerman" picture I usually get twice a year and my 8 year old son has become a major Bears fan this year.  I know, shock and awe all the way around.  It truly saddens me.  I don't know what I did wrong.  But, I guess every kid steers down a wrongway path at some point.  All I can do is be there for him when reality sets in and the Bears are at home watching the Packers sweep through the playoffs.  He'll come around, I'm sure.  But that leads me to the 2nd low point.  He would not do his part in the twice yearly picture either.  So Packerman was left standing by himself this time.  Wait, there was another high point to the day.  With my son's new found love for football, I did find another partner to go out on Sundays, enjoy a nice lunch and few Bloody Mary's(or pops), and watch alot of football.  As much as I liked the Packer win, the highlight of the day was watching his eyes light up and smile on his face as we settled in to a booth at my favorite Sports pub and he saw the myriad of TV's on the wall, all showing football games.  It was two guys rooting for their own team, but sharing a love of the game, with some good natured ribbing during the event.  Pretty cool.  I have to go now.  I must find a way to replace all of his Bears ornaments on the tree with the Packers ornaments that USED to hang there.  Somehow, mine always seem to end up on the backside of the tree facing the wall.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Snoozy Snowflake

We had the privilege the other night of being in the audience for The Coventry Elementary School 2nd Grade production of  "Snoozy Snowflake".  Look out Broadway, cause you have a batch of stars coming your way in about 10-12 years. I don't think you'll be seeing the young boy in the blue shirt in the top row just left of center.  But, you never know.  Pardon the big watermark in the middle of the video.  This is what you get when you download trial software from the internet to convert video to a proper format.