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Poll: Post Images Where?

Poll #1397440 Should I Move Photo Postings to Facebook?

I am considering moving my weekly image posts to Facebook

Yes! It would be much more convenient for me to see them on Facebook!
Yes! I don't like seeing your pictures here anyway!
Meh! It doesn't matter to me one way or the other! (But I like voting in polls...)
No! I like seeing your weekly shots here!
No! You should get your membership fee's worth from LiveJournal!

Kaitlyn prepared for her dance recital dress rehearsal this week.

She takes her preparation very seriously...

Flash photography was only allowed at the rehearsal, not at the performance.

She was not only comfortable on stage, but really took to it.

She told us afterward that she loves the bright lights.

This is the opposite of her father, who is more comfortable running the lights rather than standing under them.

The recital went equally as well. Kaitlyn is a beautiful little dancer!

Week 18 - Better Late than Never

Saturday I put the kids to work washing cars.

Of course, it wasn't really work for them...

For them it was a chance to play in water.

They love playing in water.

Caleb weeded the garden. This, of course, was truly work.

Grasses are threatening to invade the garden, even through the edging. Thus they must be, um, weeded. (Why not de-weeded?)

The tulip-poplar trees, however, do not require weeding. They look pretty just as they are.

Week 17 - Harsh Lighting

Ahh, windblown hair. Don't grow up too fast, Kaitlyn. Don't grow up too fast...

The wildfires are not in North Carolina. Even without them, popsicles may be necessary to stay cool. It was over 90 a couple of days this week.

This loose tooth did eventually come out.

Our grass is only this full and lush over by the septic tank. It figures.

Both kids eat popsicles. There's really no story to tell here, is there?

Miss Kaitlyn is actually back-lit; the flash is on a table behind her. For some reason this blew the contrast completely out. Interesting effect.

This time the flash is sitting above Caleb. I tried to make Caleb look angelic, but even this technique does not deceive.

Week 16 - Fixed Focal Length

Easter Sunday is a perfect day for pictures. I spent a lot of time and "film" on portraits and really ended up with very little I liked. It turns out getting the most from the new flash and lens requires new skills. Who knew?

A detail from one of our porch chairs used in the portraits.

After portraits we hid plastic eggs for the kids to seek. Caleb doesn't wait to pick up one egg before searching out the next.

In a continuing effort to teach the kids not to kill themselves, I hung a rope swing from a high branch in the back yard. Kaitlyn has only a small swollen lip as a prize for her awkward attempts at swinging. Caleb has thunked his skull a couple of times and has a huge bruise on his back from swinging into the trunk one and two and three times too many. What an overachiever!

We visited the Raleigh Farmers' Market Friday afternoon. In addition to fruits and vegetables, the lovely misssaive discovered a wide variety of live plants available for purchase. After witnessing her smelling this southern lilac bush, I expect to find one planted by the fence soon.

I'm very fond of coffee, and more so fond of it when taken on the front porch on a cool morning.

Saturday I took the family to Medoc Mountain State Park. We didn't see any mountains, but we did find this old tobacco barn.

Caleb is just too cool.

Week 15 - Bicycles and Eggs

I have better pictures of Caleb from this series, but I could not believe how old Caleb looks in this one. Don't pay the expression any notice though; he had a good time at the Fairgrounds looking at gems and crystals.

Kaitlyn hunted eggs with other preschool children at the annual Highland Baptist Easter Egg Hunt and Bike Ride. This was a creative hiding spot for an egg.

My angel. She went off to Georgia for the week. Le sigh... And then she came back!

Caleb got a "new" bike last weekend. Already he's riding no-leg.

Kaitlyn rode her bike around as well, though she spent more time playing in the sandbox. This girl is a Civil Engineer in training, no doubt.

When Caleb was a year old, he used to ride his little toy PowerWheels quad around the backyard... while standing on the seat. Nothing has changed.

After the biking there was a pinewood derby. One of the dads let Caleb race his car, and Caleb won 2nd place, although Caleb declined the trophy (since he didn't make the car).

NCAA Champion

With one game left my bracket shows 41 of 62 correct picks, putting me in the 56th percentile. Pitiful.

9:21PM(2) Michigan St. 78 - (1) North Carolina 83

Week 14 - The New Flash

Kaitlyn helped me try out the new flash this week. She and Caleb were very patient.

Caleb has mastered many Wii games. This is his custom-skinned Wii-mote controller.

This is one of the lovely misssavie's dianthus flowers from our front garden.

Weekend gardening can get under your fingernails.

This guy was quite patient with my extremely close presence. This prompted Caleb to comment, He likes it!

Sometimes I spin the camera around and point it at myself...

Old lady Chloe was spotted sunning herself by the back door...

To Recap: My bracket was a total shambles this year, my predictions shamed, my algorithms tattered. I'm left with one team to route for: North Carolina. Route for them I shall.

6:07PM(2) Michigan St. 68 - (1) Connecticut 72
8:47PM(3) Villanova 78 - (1) North Carolina 85

March Madness - Driving On

Um, wow. Bracket now at 39 of 58 with 2 of the Final Four teams remaining.

2:20PM(2) Michigan St. 65 - (1) Louisville 68
5:05PM(2) Oklahoma 81 - (1) North Carolina 87

Week 13 - Arrangements

This is Lovey. Or is it Lovie? I don't think anyone has ever recorded the name of Kaitlyn's plush best friend. Lovey has my hat. Lovey is going to have to give me my hat back.

The Loropetalum has rioted in purple.

Caleb inspects our tiny hawthorn tree. It is one of our more child-resistant plants.

Wind onion and various weeds get a jump start over our neighbor's bermudagrass.

A lone anemone hidden on the forest floor.

Drops frozen in time. This is different from the frozen drops last time.

I don't know why Caleb has an umbrella. He prefers to be in the rain rather that out of it.

March Madness - Smackdown

I suppose Louisville is serious. Put up 103 against Arizona while holding them to 64? Wow...

4:40PM(3) Missouri 73 - (1) Connecticut 76
7:05PM(3) Villanova 68 - (1) Pittsburgh 74

March Madness - Weeping and Gnashing

Memphis, oh Memphis! My bracket is toast! Only 37 of 52 correct. Welcome to the 43rd percentile.

7:07PM(12) Arizona 65 - (1) Louisville 73
7:27PM(3) Syracuse 81 - (2) Oklahoma 82
9:37PM(3) Kansas 71 - (2) Michigan St. 70
9:57PM(4) Gonzaga 81 - (1) North Carolina 84

March Madness - Where Are We?

My bracket looks red (35 of 48 correct picks so far), but I have all four of my national picks. Any upsets tonight could change that. Let's look at the matches. As usual, italics denotes a team not in my bracket.

7:07PM(5) Purdue 67 - (1) Connecticut 69
7:27PM(4) Xavier 66 - (1) Pittsburgh 73
9:37PM(3) Missouri 67 - (2) Memphis 71
9:57PM(3) Villanova 69 - (2) Duke 74

The first game looks to be the most interesting.

March Madness - Morning Edition

7 of 8 correct picks yesterday. Villanova upset my UCLA upset. This brings me to 31 of 40, still behind the curve. (Yahoo shows the popular picks at 32 of 40 correct so far.)

Here's today's schedule. Italics indicates a team not in my bracket.

12:10PM(6) Arizona St. 73 - (3) Syracuse 72
2:20PM(12) Wisconsin 62 - (4) Xavier 63
2:30PM(11) Dayton 61 - (3) Kansas 71
2:40PM(13) Cleveland St. 63 - (12) Arizona 68
2:50PM(8) Oklahoma St. 73 - (1) Pittsburgh 82
4:50PM(6) Marquette 76 - (3) Missouri 81
5:00PM(10) USC 63 - (2) Michigan St. 66
5:20PM(9) Siena 65 - (1) Louisville 79

Week 12 - Enter the Spring

I drive to work. A long way to work.

I co-founded a group at Qualcomm for the common pursuit of photography. Our group is being challenged this week to try slow-speed photography: pictures taken with a shutter speed of less than 0.25 seconds without tripod support. This is the best I've managed so far. It's not really easy...

I told Caleb if he made a face I'd put it on the internet. He did. I did.


Kaitlyn doesn't care how cold it is outside. Even if she needs a jacket, she will play in the sandbox without shoes. She loves the sand.

Spring has brought out tiny flowers on this forsythia branch.

March Madness: What the Heck?

Yesterday I again managed 12 of 16. I successfully predicted USC over Boston College, Wisconsin over Florida State, and Siena over Ohio. (For some reason I got the last one right in yesterday's predictions even though I put the wrong team on my official bracket. Oh well.) Not only did I get Wisconsin right, I even got the score right (61-59).

The missed predictions? Tennessee hung with Oklahoma State for the whole game -- the prediction was basically a toss up. Arizona earned its upset. To Wake Forest and West Virginia: What happened to you guys? You have to come ready to play! My bracket looks red now.

Here's today's schedule of games. Italics denotes a team not in my bracket.

1:05PM(6) UCLA 74 - (3) Villanova 69
3:20PM(10) Maryland 59 - (2) Memphis 71
3:35PM(9) Texas A&M 64 - (1) Connecticut 74
5:40PM(5) Purdue 74 - (4) Washington 73
5:45PM(8) LSU 75 - (1) North Carolina 86
5:50PM(10) Michigan 69 - (2) Oklahoma 74
8:10PM(12) West. Kentucky 64 - (4) Gonzaga 81
8:15PM(7) Texas 66 - (2) Duke 72

It's shaping up to be an interesting day!

March Madness: More Picks

Only 12 of 16 correct picks yesterday. Three of the missed games were predicted to be close, but I have to say I'm surprised Western Kentucky stepped up the way they did. Fortunately (for me) none of these losses impact my bracket any deeper.

Here's today's game schedule and predictions:

12:15PM(14) Stephen F. Austin 61 - (3) Syracuse 75
12:25PM(9) Tennessee 82 - (8) Oklahoma St. 81
12:30PM(14) North Dakota St. 71 - (3) Kansas 83
12:30PM(11) Utah St. 70 - (6) Marquette 75
2:45PM(11) Temple 58 - (6) Arizona St. 65
2:55PM(16) E. Tennessee St. 65 - (1) Pittsburgh 87
3:00PM(11) Dayton 57 - (6) West Virginia 68
3:00PM(14) Cornell 67 - (3) Missouri 84
7:10PM(16) Morehead St. 55 - (1) Louisville 78
7:10PM(12) Arizona 69 - (5) Utah 70
7:20PM(10) USC 70 - (7) Boston College 65
7:25PM(13) Portland St. 64 - (4) Xavier 77
9:40PM(13) Cleveland St. 64 - (4) Wake Forest 72
9:40PM(9) Siena 78 - (8) Ohio 68
9:50PM(15) Robert Morris 60 - (2) Michigan St. 78
9:55PM(12) Wisconsin 61 - (5)Florida St. 59

Four upsets predicted today. Now why couldn't I predict four upsets yesterday?

March Madness: Today's Picks

Game predictions. Times are EDT. Bold teams are predicted to win.

12:20PM(9) Butler 64 - (8) LSU 65
12:25PM(15) CSU Northridge 59 - (2) Memphis 80
12:30PM(9) Texas A&M 69 - (8) BYU 74
2:30PM(12) Northern Iowa 59 - (5) Purdue 70
2:50PM(16) Radford 70 - (1) North Carolina 101
2:55PM(10) Maryland 71 - (7) California 75
3:00PM(16) Chattanooga 64 - (1) Connecticut 93
4:55PM(13) Mississippi St. 74 - (4) Washington 82
7:10PM(10) Minnesota 63 - (7) Texas 65
7:10PM(10) Michigan 70 - (7) Clemson 74
7:20PM(14) American 57 - (3) Villanova 72
7:25PM(13) Akron 60 - (4) Gonzaga 76
9:40PM(15) Binghamton 60 - (2) Duke 85
9:40PM(15) Morgan St. 60 - (2) Oklahoma 79
9:50PM(11) VCU 64 - (6) UCLA 78
9:55PM(12) West. Kentucky 57 - (5) Illinois 69

I don't have any upsets predicted for today. Boring.

Week 11 - Preparing for Spring

Warm weather and a hammock. How wonderful is that?

Mr. Caleb spent some time catching bugs. Notice he only needs one shoe for this task.

What is a party without balloons?

Caleb prefers to make immature sounds with his balloon. (Aren't you jealous?)

The knowledgeable misssavie has little green babies in her greenhouse. They look forward to the warm sunshine of the garden. She looks forward to planting.

This is a tiny little maple seedling Caleb dug up and planted in this water. At a gardening talk at his school he asked when it would be appropriate to transplant it. The answer is pretty much now, into a small cup of dirt. I'm sure Caleb can come up with a small cup of dirt.

We Ski. Enough said.

Week 10 - Snow to Shine

We started the week off with a beautiful snow storm. That's two solid snows in one winter in North Carolina -- unheard of!

Unlike the gentle clouds of last snow, this storm came wrapped in rolling black clouds.

The storm started as rain before progressing through freezing rain and sleet into snow. New leaf buds became encased in crystal.

Dark holly leaves and waxy berries are better equipped for the snow.

My birthday fell on Thursday this year. My lovely lady made an excellent beef bourguignonne for dinner. She has a talent for making fine dishes.

Start the week with snow, end the week over 80F! We finished installing Kaitlyn's sandbox, filled it with sand, and added two children.

The lovely misssavie and I started painting the banisters and balusters on the front porch. This is the before. We're still working on the after.

Week 9 - Kaitlyn's Birthday

This week includes Kaitlyn's birthday! She's a beautiful 3 years old, and this week's photo selection celebrates her!

The lovely misssavie made Kaitlyn a colorful skirt and peasant blouse.

Such lovely hair to work on!

Kaitlyn was pirouetting to show off her new skirt.

How can she grow up so fast? [sniff sniff]

She had garden decorations and a ladybug cake with gumdrop flowers, all hand-made by the creative prowess of misssavie.

Can you tell whose day it was?

Week 8 - Chores

Apologies for the late entry. Google's fine tool Picasa managed to lose my photo album data. I was able to recover everything except the weekly picture album! In the end I added a new album to contain this week's pictures. Here they are!

Miss Kaitlyn had her hair done in beautiful curls. She was in a totally cute mood. I took a lot of cheesy smile pictures -- and this sweet one.

Over the winter my garden collected leaves along the gravel edgeways. If left, they would make a fine place for grass and weeds to invade from outside the fence to inside the fence. We can't have that.

Dried grass along the edge of the garden is pretty, but those seeds are looking for a place to grow!

I raked the leaves into the center of the garden. Kaitlyn helped to pull up some of the stakes and smooth down the mounds.

Then I covered the area in black landscaping cloth. Hopefully the sun will kill off any germinating weeds and cook any buried grubs. Muahaha!

After covering the garden, I went to repair the trailer tail light. The broken one. The one I broke. The one I smashed with the lawn mower. That one.

Caleb helped me fix the trailer tail light. The fixed one. The one we fixed.

That one.

Week 7 - Warmth on its Way

Beautiful weekend weather sends this child flying!

If you think this little smile is innocent, then you should know she threw a paper airplane at me mere moments later.

Chloe, queen of Vine and Bramble, surveys her domain.

Caleb and Kaitlyn tried to figure out how to share a drink from the water fountain.

Caleb created this amazing work of wax and watercolor. The lovely misssavie framed it, and both of them presented it to me as a gift on Valentine's Day.

It doesn't matter how lucky your hat thinks it is; what matters is how well fishing lures stay attached when affixed with a hot glue gun. As you can see, they don't.

I beat Bowser today on Super Mario Galaxy. I get a star.

Week 6 - In and Out

The week came in warm -- it did not stay that way -- and we took advantage of the sunshine to day hike around Raven Rock. I can't wait for more of this!

Caleb had a successful week at school and was rewarded with the opportunity to buy his fish. He chose to stock his tank with three fancy male guppies and one plecostoma. The plecostoma hides where he isn't easily seen. The guppies won't stop darting back and forth to have their portrait made.

Poor Chloe. She's been sleeping an awful lot lately. She has Old Dog Syndrome.

Caleb has perfected this particular look. Now I just have to figure out how to get him to make other faces when I point a camera at him. (Other than the silly ham faces...)

Oh look! Someone has made a face out of refrigerator magnets and put it on the not-refrigerator. This seems to be our well-loved kitchen table.

Cuteness is dangerous. I'm afraid she's figured that out...

I emptied my nightstand drawers. They were full of things. Spread out it looks like a page from an I Spy book. I see a passport and knife on the floor / A wrist watch, a shell, and a copy of Spore.