Thursday, April 30, 2009

Friday Thoughts: Take Me Out to The Ballgame

Soooo, this week has pretty much focused on the great American Pastime, baseball. Today we'll wrap up this unintended theme with a trip to the ballpark. Wednesday night Nana and I took The Big Guy to see a college baseball game between the Oklahoma Sooners, ranked No.9, and the Arkansas Razorbacks, ranked No. 12 in the country. The Razorbacks play in one of the nicest facilities in all of college baseball. The weather was absolutely perfect and a friend of mine got me seats just to the right of home plate! I'm an OU alumni and my grandson is a Razorback, so this was going to be fun. Every time the Sooners scored he would just look at me and roll his eyes. Every time the Razorbacks scored he would look at me and give me a double "thumbs up." The game went into extra innings and the Razorbacks prevailed 8-7. When the winning run crossed the plate, my grandson tapped me on the shoulder and said "Good game." Well, yes it just didn't turn out the way I wanted it to. At any rate here are some photos of the evening.

There was a great crowd of over 8,000 on hand for the game. Like I said, we had great seats.

This field is manicured as well as any in the major leagues. Oh, did I mention that college baseball has cheerleaders? Well, they do. The grandson was NOT impressed, but then, he is the president of the local chapter of the He-man Woman Haters Club.

Nana and The Big Guy are discussing some of the finer points of the game. She's pointing out that these batters don't stick their tongues out when they swing the bat like he does in the header of this blog.

Here we are before the game started. We're both all smiles right now. At the end of the evening we were both still smiling. We had a wonderful night, the weather was perfect, and it was a great game.

Okay, now it's time for the inspirational song of the week. Here is Brian Free and Assurance singing Real Faith. Enjoy.

Thursday Thirteen

This Thursday I've combined two meme's. The first is Thursday Thirteen of course. The second is a modified meme that I saw over at Bond's Big Leather Couch. Write down the best opening lyrics of your favorite songs ever. It's supposed to be your own top ten list, but since this is Thursday, I added three more to make it my Thursday Thirteen. These are not necessarily listed in any particular order of preference. They're just thirteen of my favorites.

13. "If I was a gamblin' man, never would'a let you play your hand
with a broken down cowboy like me" Song: Broken Down Cowboy by John Fogerty

12. "Blame it all on my roots, I showed up in boots and ruined your black tie affair" Song: Friends in Low Places by Garth Brooks

11. "Thanks, but no thanks, baby, I've already got more trouble than I need" Song: Honky Tonkin (I Guess I've Done Me Some) by Delbert McClinton

10. "Jojo was a man who thought he was a loner, but he knew it wouldn't last" Song: Get Back by The Beatles

9. "I get up in the evening, and I ain't got nothing to say" Song: Dancing in The Dark by Bruce Springsteen

8. "Well since she put me down, I've been out doin' in my head." Song: Help Me Rhonda by The Beach Boys

7. Bet you're wonderin' how I knew, about your plans to make me blue." Song: I Heard It Through The Grapevine by Marvin Gaye or Creedence Clearwater Revival

6. "Amazing grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me" Song: Amazing Grace written by John Newton

5. "There is a house in New Orleans, they call the Rising Sun, and it's been the ruin of many a poor boy and God I know I'm one." Song: House of The Rising Sun by The Animals

4. "There's a peace I've come to know know, though my heart and flesh may fail." Song: I Will Rise by Chris Tomlin

3. "As I was motivatin' over the hill, saw Maybelline in a Coupe DeVille." Song: Maybelline by Chuck Berry

2. "Somewhere in Heaven there is a place waiting for your and me." Song: Somewhere In Heaven by Carlos Santana

1. "Wake up Maggie, I think I've got something to say to you." Song: Maggie Mae by Rod Stewart.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

Son, there is no crying in baseball

Monday, April 27, 2009

Ruby Tuesday

A League of Her Own

The Boys of Summer

The Boys of Summer
Spring is in full bloom and Tee-Ball season has started. The son-in-law (first photo) is coaching and the grandson (last two photos) is playing. Here are a few images from last Saturday's contests.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Fun With PhotoShop Elements 7.0

As you can see from Wednesday's post, I do enjoy photography. Thank you to those of you who complimented me on my shots. Truth is, it's not that hard, at least not since the innovation of digital photography and PhotoShop Elements. Any good photo editing software will work, but I just happen to like PhotoShop Elements 7.0. It will do EVERYTHING the average photo hobbist could ever want and do it for $600 less that PhotoShop CS4. The key to any good photo is the subject and the composition of the photo. In sports photography, you don't get much of a chance to compose the photo. The action just happens and you have to shoot what you can and edit later. Here are a couple of examples.

While there is nothing wrong with this photo, your eye has a hard time trying to figure out what is important. The three players on the left keep drawing your eye to them while the action is actually happening on the right side of the frame. So...let's crop it.

Bang! Now there is no doubt where the action is and your focus is on the most important part of the game. Nothing was done here but a simple crop.

Again, there is nothing really wrong with this photo, but it has a little too much information in it. That player on the right is distracting and that goal in the background is not even a part of this game. So...let's crop it.

Bang! Again, we're focused on the important part of the game and the one on one match-ups that are often the heart and soul of this team sport. This photo is much more intense than the raw shot. Again, I did nothing but a simple crop.
So, what did we learn today. Buy a photo editing program. Take lots of photos. When you get home from a photo shoot, look for the photo within the photo. I guarantee there are some gems among your snapshots.

Okay, now it time for a little soul music, or should I say music for your soul. A brother and two sisters make up one of my favorite groups, The Martins. Here they are singing "I Could Sing Of Your Love Forever" Enjoy.

I Could Sing of Your Love Forever - The Martins

And here they are doing one of my absolute favorites. The song is commonly know as Doxology, but what I love is the family harmony of the Acapella performance. It is wonderful.

Doxology - The Martins

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Thursday Thirteen

Alphabet Facts Part II

Here is the second half of the alphabet fun facts. If you want to see the first half, refer to last week's Thursday Thirteen.

N - Nickname: I've never had one.

O - Overnight Hospital Stay Other Than Birth: I had a cyst removed when I was 21.

P - Pet Peeve: People who believe that parking in the drive lanes of a parking lot is okay just because it's closer to the front door.

Q - Quote that you like: "I am the way the truth and the light. No one comes to the Father except through me." Jesus Christ

R - Righty or Lefty: Yes, I bat left handed and throw right handed. I also shoot a rifle and swing a golf club left handed. Everything else is done with the right hand.

S - Siblings: None. Yep, I'm it. One look at me and the folks decided "We're not doin' that again!"

T - Time You Wake Up: 0600

U - Useful tool: Smart phone. I just wish it was smart enough to teach me all that it can do.

V - Vegetable that you dislike: Turnips just stink!

X - X-rays You’ve Had: Knees, Chest

Y - Yummy Foods You Make: I can smoke a pork loin that will buckle your knees and make you slap your momma!

Z - Zodiac: Scorpio, just barely.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

Spring Soccer Tournament in Tulsa

Monday, April 20, 2009

Ruby Tuesday

This past week-end we were in Tulsa for a soccer tournament. And what is more appropriate for a Ruby Tuesday, than having the oldest grand daughter (No. 17 in yellow) shoot the ball past the red clad goalie and into the net? Nothing is more appropriate, that's what. Use your clicker to make it bigger!

She shoots! She SCORES!!!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Friday's Thoughts

It's been an interesting week. It started with the worst part of my job, having to terminate someone due to poor performance. I want to see everyone succeed and I would like to see them succeed in our firm, so it just kills me to have to let some one go. I just hate it. There were many performance reviews that went very well, and for that I am thankful. The week will end on a good note.
We're taking the oldest grand daughter to Tulsa for a soccer tournament. That means I get to drag out the telephoto lens and practice my photography skills again. It also means you're going to have to suffer through more soccer pics next week.
It is weeks like this that make me thankful for my faith. It makes me thankful for uplifting music of the faith. I love the hymns of the faith and I love southern gospel as well as contemporary Christian music. Since I don't have anything else on my agenda, I'll share several examples with you. Stop by several times this week-end, pull up a chair, put on your headphones and enjoy the concert. Let me know which one you like. See ya next week. Enjoy.

Gaither Vocal Band - Yes, I Know

Jerusalem - The Hoppers

Holy Highway -Gaither Vocal Band/Signature Sound Quartet

Days of Elijah - Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir

The simplest and one of the nicest arrangements I have ever heard...
Amazing Grace - Randy Travis

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Thursday Thirteen

Alphabet Facts:

Here is a meme that is supposed to be played on your birthday, but I'm going to do it now...well half of it anyway. For each letter of the alphabet you reveal a fun fact about yourself. Here are the first thirteen.

A - Age: Let's just say that I qualified for Social Security last November.

B - Bed size: King

C - Chore You Hate: Doing semi-annual performance reviews for 80 staff members.

D – Dad’s Name: John

E - Essential Start Your Day Item: Personal laptop. I even use it like an MP3 player at the office. I plug it in to a pair of speaker with a sub-woofer and I can rock the office if I'm of a mind to do so.

F - Favorite Actors: Tom Hanks, Julia Roberts

G - Gold or Silver: Gold

H - Height: 6'

I - Instrument(s) you play: In high school I played the clarinet, but never very well.

J - Job Title: Director of Architecture

K - Kid(s): One daughter, but we have four grand crew that are more than enough fun.

L - Likes: Ice cream, almost any flavor

M - Mom’s Name: Frances

Okay, that's my thirteen fun facts. Now it's your turn. Come back next week for the second half of the alphabet.

Wordless Wednesday

Local chapter of the "He-man Woman Haters Club"

Monday, April 13, 2009

Ruby Tuesday

This is NOT my boat and I didn't take this picture. So why is it posted for my Ruby Tuesday? Well, by the end of this year I intend to have one just like it. I haven't owned a boat in seven years and I am tired of fishing off of the bank. I want to take the grand crew fishing. I want to spend some quality quiet time on the water. So, this is a preview of things to come. It will probably be October or November before I make the plunge. That's when the new models come out and they begin to discount the current inventory. See you on the water!

Sunday, April 12, 2009


There were two birthdays in the house this week-end. The middle grand daughter celebrated her ninth birthday, while my father celebrated number eighty-nine.

First we lit the 9 and let "M" blow out her candle.

Then, we lit the 8 and the 9 and let dad blow out his candles!

Oh yeah, It was Easter Sunday, so there was an opportunity for a family photo of the grand crew and their great grandpa. Papa got changed out of his Sunday-go-to-meetin' clothes and into his comfy clothes before we could get the pictures taken. It was cold and rainy all day, so there was no Easter egg hunting in the back yard this year. However, since we always end the hunt by throwing the Easter eggs into the trees behind the house, the kids did take all of the colored eggs out back and toss them at the trees and into the ravine. Some traditions are just too much fun to let a little weather spoil. All in all, it was a good day.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Happy Keester!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Ruby Tuesday

That's the oldest grand daughter standing next to the "Ruby Red Ref". She's preparing to come into the match.
If you want to know more about the opening of soccer season, just scroll down to the next post.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Game On!!!

The turf isn't green yet, but spring is in the air and soccer season has started. The oldest grand daughter (No. 17) is playing in an Under 13 traveling league. This past week-end their club hosted a tournament and the fields are only three miles from our house. So, there were several photo opportunities.

This is also the first opportunity I've had to pull out the 50-500mm telephoto lens and try it out. This team shot is taken from across the field and then cropped. That soccer ball in the first photo was sitting at mid-field awaiting the start of the second half. I think I'm liking this lens a lot!!

We lost the first match 2-1. As you can see, No. 17 in yellow, is not shy about getting to the ball. It's gonna get better during the second game.

Thank you very much, but that ball belongs to me! Now where is that goalie? I'm also liking our black uniforms. We won the second match 3-1.

The ball got just a little too far out in front of "Scooter" on this break away and the goalie got to it first. There was about a 25mph wind coming from her back. Maybe next time. Oh, I forgot, I'm not supposed to call her "Scooter" any more. I'm gonna have a hard time breaking that habit.

Like I said before, that ball belongs to me! Now, I need to find a team mate before more red jerseys show up.

Uh oh, more red jerseys. Okay, time to give this up to another team mate. Why do I always draw such a crowd. She got a couple of shots on goal today but nothing went it the net. I think it's going to be a good season. In two weeks we travel to Tulsa for another tournament. That's great, because my dad lives in Tulsa and he will get to see his great grand daughter play. Yep, I'm gonna like this lens a lot when I learn how to use it properly.

There was a game Sunday. We lost 1-0 and that kept us out of the championship match. However, since the temperature had dropped to 40 degrees and the wind was still blowing 25 mph out of the North, no one was terribly upset about not playing another match.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Friday Thoughts

Spring has sprung. Soccer season begins Saturday for the thirteen year old grand daughter. The following Saturday TeeBall starts for The Big Guy. Easter is just around the corner. My father's 89th birthday is next week. The middle grand daughter will be nine years old the following week.
April is gonna be busy. It looks like there will be plenty of photo opportunities and even a chance to use that new telephoto lens I bought last winter.

It is Friday, so it's time for a little inspirational music. I have chosen an upbeat number from Crabb Revival. Enjoy.

Runaway Train - Crabb Revival