Sunday, June 08, 2008

Busy, busy.....

Wow, it's been a crazy month! We are closing in on the end of our fiscal year at work which means it's budget time again. Combine that with the fact that we are coming in right at our annual goals and it is just utter insanity at the work place. Where I work, meeting our goals is not an option. Peoples lives depends on our ability to meet our goals and commitments. It seems to get harder and harder as each year passes. While I struggle however I can to help meet our goals, I'm also responsible for putting together a $9 million dollar budget. All of this equals a lot of stress.

The wonderful news is that my wife is back working and loves her job. Unfortunately, she ended up with a shift opposite the hour I work. That means we end up with about 12 hours a week together. She is so excited to be back at work and loves the work so I don't think she feels the impact of our time away yet. I had grown used to having her to come home to each day. She balanced my life. I really miss her being here.

Hopefully, I will have time for some photography and geocaching here in the near future. It hasn't hit that miserably hot time of the year yet so it is still pleasant outside at times. Although, the humidity can be a killer with all the rain we have received!

I did get a nice photo a couple of weeks ago of the new arena they are building here in Tulsa. It will be nice to have a place where bigger name entertainers are willing to come.

BOK Center

Sunday, May 18, 2008


I did my first smoke of the year this weekend. Like geocaching, it was a low priority for the past year as we worked through my wife's illness. Usually, I smoke year round but it has been at least a year since I fired up the smoker. I spent the evening Friday getting the smoker ready to go. I also prepped the brisket by trimming and covering it with mustard and a dry rub. It was then wrapped in plastic wrap and placed back in the fridge.

Got up yesterday morning at around 0600 to get the smoker started and the meat loaded. Once the smoker was up to temp, I placed the brisket on to smoke. I like to smoke food the old fashion way...with real fire and wood. I think the food is better that way. I have tried electric smoking and it just wasn't for me. I am the type of person that gets a lot of pleasure from tending to the food and fire. To me, that is half the fun. After the brisket had smoked for about six hours, I added a split chicken for the wife. She is not big on meats but does enjoy chicken on occasion.


The brisket went twelve hours and the chicken smoked for six. I was very pleased with the results. The brisket was very tender and tasty. The chicken just about melted in your mouth it was so tender. Paired up with a little potato salad, baked beans, and some Head Country Barbecue sauce it made for a great dinner.

Heaven on a Plate

Monday, May 05, 2008


After a long break, I finally went geocaching Sunday!! Yes, I am excited about it. Between my wife being so sick last year and my MS, I did not get hardly any caching in this last year. Now that our lives are pretty much back in order, I can start caching again. I traded my Lowrance H2Oc some time ago for a new, in the box, Garmin 60CSx. It has pretty much gone unused since I made the trade. Needless to say, it got a nice test drive yesterday. Our first cache was MnM Urban Jungle. It was relatively close to home and new since my last time caching. We were able to park fairly close and walk to the cache. Mike spotted it first. It was a nice size ammo can. We didn't take anything but we left a few trinkets. Here is a view from near the cache.


Next, we headed for Fenced In. We were able to locate the clever hide quickly. From there, we headed over to Fitness Walk - West Bank (South). They don't call this one Fitness Walk for no reason! It was a bit of a hike in to the cache. Trust me, I need the exercise so I am not complaining! We ended up hitting three caches and made thee finds. I am so impressed with the Garmin 60 CSx. I loved my Lowrance but (as much as I hate to admit it) the Garmin is just a all around better unit. That said, it should be as it is about 33% more expensive. I was fortunate to get such a good trade. I traded a Garmin eTrex Legend (older model) and my H2Oc for the 60CSx so I think I ended up with a good deal as the 60CSx had not even been opened. The two units I traded were in good shape but well used.

As soon as I get more time with the new Garmin, I will post a review. Like I said, I'm quite impressed so far. It is a VERY accurate unit.

While we were out, we swung by Riverside Airport and did a little photography. There was a B-17 visiting that had caught our eyes.

B-17 Liberty Belle

Sunday, April 27, 2008


It has been an uneventful week here in Tulsa Oklahoma. Work was work with nothing interesting to break the blahs. Lisa is enjoying her new job, though. The training academy at EMSA is about six weeks and involves a lot of learning and testing. She had two major testing events this week and did well on both in spite of the stress. She did a ride out Friday night and from what she told me the calls are the same as they were back when we were both paramedics....alcohol and assaults for the most part.

Even the weather was uneventful this week. I guess that is a good thing for most people. As weird as it seems, I really enjoy severe weather. It is not because I have never been touched by severe weather. I have been in a tornado and my grandparents lost their home to a tornado when I was a child. I was old enough to remember everything. We got their the day after the tornado hit. I remember walking around in shock at the destruction. I'd never wish that on anyone. All that said, I'm facinated by tornadoes, hail, lightning, and the likes.

We did have one storm blow through on Wednesday, I think. I got a nice photo of some scud clouds after the center of the storm had passed.

After the Storm

Wednesday, April 23, 2008


My closest friend's wife had a birthday this last weekend. We gathered at their house and celebrated the occasion. A good time was had by all and I got some nice photos in the process. We shot a little pool and I did not do well at all! I've never been the best pool shooter but I was ever worse than usual. Mike romped me badly.

Shooting Pool

After we tired of playing pool, we moved outside to his fire pit where we built a fire and enjoyed our drinks in the cool evening air. Fortunately, he lives in the country so we can enjoy this activity without alarming anyone.

Building the Fire

All in all, it was a great evening and we really needed a wind down session after a rough week at work. We had our national auditors in for the whole week and it was quite stressful!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Movie Night

We had the whole family piled on the bed last night watching a movie. By whole family, I mean me, my wife, and the two dogs. My wife and I were not able to have children so we went the dog route instead. I think we both grew up loving animals so it is only natural that we would have pets now. Winston and Delia are like children to us. Most likely, we are closer to them than most people are to there children. How many people sleep with their 12 and 14 year olds? I had the camera out and decided to take advantage of the situation.

Dog Parts-Nose
Dog Parts-Nose

I had my Tokina 100mm lens on the camera so it forced me to be a bit creative and I did a series of close-up shots. I ended up with a bunch of photos that I could not help calling "Dog Parts". I had fun and ended up with some unique photos of the pups!

Dog Parts-Toes
Dog Parts-Toes

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Weather Part III...

This spring is really getting started with a bang! Once again, we had more severe weather. The first round last night was mostly a rain and lightning event. I decided to brave the lightning and take some photos. I was very impressed with the D80! I have been shooting digital since around 1992 and noise has always been a battle with long exposures. Even with my last DSLR, noise would frequently ruin my long exposure photographs. I set up the camera on the tripod and took about twenty 30 second exposures. The D80 does an excellent job handling noise. I have read some less than flattering comments about the D80 and noise, but I was pleasantly surprised. Here is the first good capture I made:


It was the only cloud to ground lightning caught. The next was a decent cloud to cloud lightning capture. Needless to say, I'm still very happy with the Nikon D80. We had another wave of storms that hit around 3:30 in the morning. Being that it came with golfball size hail and tornado sirens, it was a lot less fun!


Thursday, April 03, 2008

Weather Part II...

I'm glad I did as I said in my last post and kept my camera handy today. The meteorologist were correct in forecasting severe weather for today. We had some active weather in the area but nothing appeared to be an imminent threat. I walked by our front door an peeked outside and it was plain scary looking. I grabbed to camera and went out. The sky had a greenish tint and the clouds were quite ominous! When I walked around the end of the house to look across the field behind us, I was worried that i was seeing a wall cloud.


It wasn't a wall cloud, but the perspective made it look very threatening. Still the clouds were pretty amazing this evening.


Fortunately, we got away with just rain, hail and winds.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008


We had some interesting weather over the last couple of days. I guess it is that time of the year again! Personally, I love severe weather. I have been fascinated with storms since I was a little kid growing up in west Texas. I took three semesters of meteorology while I was in flight school and ate up every minute of it. I'm trying to do a better job of carrying my camera with me everywhere I go so I hope to capture a few nice weather related photos this spring. I did get a few nice shots yesterday.

This was shot on the way to work yesterday morning. Storms were just moving out at sunrise and made for an interesting view.


Later in the morning, we had more severe storms move into the area. We had a couple of tornadoes in the area, but nothing too close to Tulsa. We did have heavy rain, flooding, lightning, winds, and hail.


They are forecasting more storms on Thursday so I'm keeping the camera handy.

Taken with My Nikon D80 using a Nikkor 18-55mm VR lens

Sunday, March 30, 2008


I bought my wife an Easter bouquet (okay, I wanted it for photography purpose, too). I wanted to experiment with light sources so I used a incandescent bulb and my Nikon SB-400. I was very please with the results! Most of the photos were taken with my Tokin 100mm AT-X Pro Macro mounted on the Nikon D80. Hope you enjoy!




Saturday, March 22, 2008

Interesting Friday....

I was scheduled for my monthly Tysabri infusion on Friday. I knew that it would take about two hours so I scheduled it after lunch. I went ahead and scheduled my physical therapy session afterward. I figured I might as well make the most of my four hours of PTO. I arrived at the infusion center about fifteen minutes early and my nurse was still at lunch. They took me back to a treatment room, pointed me to the recliner, and handed me the TV remote. I always seem to watch the Food Network during my infusion. It is one of my favorite channels and I no longer get it at home. I was watching the clock pretty close since I needed to be done on time to make my PT session. I should know better.


My nurse was a bit late getting back from lunch but I told her it was no problem. Actually, it wasn't yet as I left an hour leeway just in case. She got my IV started an placed a port on the catheter. After getting the Tysabri set up on the IV pump, she hooked my up and got the medication infusing. After about 10 minutes of visiting and watching Rachel Ray, she decided to ask me the pre-infusion questions on the paperwork. I bet you can see where this is going. She quickly discovered that we had an issue with two of the questions on the questionnaire. She picked up the phone and called my neurologist to see if it was okay to infuse the Tysabri. No one answered the phone so she had to leave a message. She decided to discontinue the infusion until we heard back from the doctor.

To make a long story short, it took 45 minutes to get a hold of my neurologist because he was on vacation. I was impressed that he called back at all. When I am on vacation, it takes me a bit to return calls. The nurse was instructed not to infuse me because I had recently received the Solumedrol infusion and there is a possible increased risk of PML when you mix steroids with Tysabri. To say the least, I'm not real thrilled that she forgot to ask the questions before the infusion. I hope that it matters that I only received about a quarter of the usual dosage. I do know that the real risk is minimal, bit still....


I ended up with about an hour and a half to burn before my PT session. Naturally, I went and took some photos! I swung by St. Francis Hospital and got some shots of their BK-117 Life Flight helicopter on the helipad. I then headed down to a local retention pond to photography some of the local birds. I must have taken a hundred duck and gull photos! I got so involved in what I was doing that I was almost late for my PT. This was the first time I really got out and tried to walk around with my camera using the cane. It was a bit of a task to say the least. I ended up with a couple of nice photos so it was worth the effort.



Now for Something Different....

As I have mentioned in previous post, I have Multiple Sclerosis. I have been asked to participate in the MS Blogger Project. I'm just beginning to look over this project and I think it is a wonderful idea so I'm looking forward to participating in any way I can. I know that the internet is a great tool for many people with MS. It is a means to share experiences for many people with MS. I have always found it helpful to discuss my illness with other and I frequently use this blog to do just that. I am certain that I am not alone in that I find it helpful to see what other people go through with their illness and treatment. Below is a post from Lisa at Brass and Ivory:

Wow!! I've found at least 200 Bloggers with MS out there actively discussing all sorts of things. My hope is to strengthen the connections and bonds throughout the MS blogger community.

To help spread the word, here's what you can do:

1. Copy the entirety of this post
2. Create a new post and paste this content
3. Visit 3 of the blogs listed below which you were unfamiliar
4. Leave a comment on their blog encouraging them to participate
5. Please add Brass and Ivory to your sidebar, if it's not already

New editions of the Carnival of MS Bloggers will be presented bi-weekly at Brass and Ivory. Previous editions will be are archived here and the button below has been revised to include the new link. Please update your sidebar.

If you are not on this list and should be, or if there is something incorrect about your listing, PLEASE LET ME KNOW. Thank you.

A Blessed Mess (Sheila)
A Florida Journal (SwampAngel)
A Life of Learning with MS
A Short in the Cord (Joan)
A Stellarlife (Diane)
Access Denied (Herrad)
Angst on a Shoestring (Gina)
Armed with Pointy Sticks
Barbara's Tchatzkahs
Behind Blue Eyes (Zee)
Being Ammey
Blindbeard's MS Blog
Blogbuster (Daniel)
Brain Cheese (Linda)
Brass and Ivory (Lisa)
Breaking the Dress Code (Melizzard)
Broken Clay (Katja)
Bubbie's Blog (Cathy)
Bugs, Bikes, Brains (Shauna)
Camille's MSadventures
Can You Hear Me Now? (Donna)
Caregivingly Yours (Patrick)
Carole's MS Blog (Carole)
Carolyne's MS Odyssey (Carolyne)
Catch My Disease (Lisle)
Chaos Personified
Chris Has MS (Chris)
Clods and Pebbles
Comment Column (Virginia)
Curmudgeonette (Pamela)
Dancing with MS (Lazscott)
Dandelion Wine (Lynx)
Danieldoo (Vivian)
Deborah Does Navel-Gazing (Deb)
Defeating Illness (Chris)
Deo Volente (Lisa N)
Diary of MS X (7 Divas)
Disabled Not Dead (Anne)
Do You Have That in My Size? (Denise)
Doug's MS Journal (Doug)
Down the MS Path (Vicki)
Effortless Eating (Elisabeth)
Electrical Disturbance (Stephan)
Erik's MS & Lyme Blog
Etsy Crest (Shelby)
Fingolimod and Me (Jeri)
Friday's Child
Funky Mango's Musings
G and K's Mom
Georgia MS Advocates
GPSOkie's" Photography and Geocaching Blog (Steven)
Great Mastications (Orla)
Home Sweet Home (Jennifer)
Hop Bloody Hop (Philip)
Huggins' MS Pages (James)
Human Life Matters (Mark)
I Have MS
I Have MS (Tim)
I'm Beating MS (Michael)
Inside the Mind of a Squirrel
Intent, Context, Perception (Chris)
Irreverence is Justified
It's Not All in My Head (Optimist)
Jayne's World (Jayne)
Jenn's Journey with MS (Jenn)
Jenn's Nook (Jenn)
Jim's Deep Thoughts (Jim)
Jo Franz, Author, Speaker, Singer
Just Above the Abyss (Heidi)
Katy and Mike's Adventure (Katy)
Kebenaran - The Truth
Know Multiple Sclerosis
Lazy Dog Public House
Libbi's MS Journey (Libbi)
Life and Times of Eric's Wife (Amy)
Life with MS (Trevis)
Life with MS, Seeking a Cure (Karyl)
Living Life as a Snowflake (Sharon)
Living Life at LeeHaven (Karen)
Living Well with MS (Michon)
Living with MS (Blinders Off)
Living with MS (Cyndee)
Living with Multiple Sclerosis (MsShad)
LJ Users with Multiple Sclerosis
Looking Forward with MS (Pamela)
Maggsbunny (Maggie)
Managing MS with Tai Chi (Joel)
Managing Multiple Sclerosis (Vince)
Mandatory Rest Period (Kim)
Mark and MS (Mark)
Mark Pickup (Mark)
Maybe I'm Just Lazy (Julie)
Me, Myself and MS (Emma)
Merely Me's Multiple Synchronicities (& Sclerosis)
Middle Age Mania (Tricia)
Michele's Blog (Michele)
Mike's Place (Mike)
Mima's Doings

Mismorphic's World of MS
Montana Homecoming (Sister Jane)
Movin' On with MS (Sammie)
MS A Personal Account
MS Activist (NMSS)
MS Caregivers (Prudence)
MS in the OC (Frank)
MS Maze (Mandy)
MS Musings
MS My Scene (Virginia)
MS My Way (Callie)
MS News and Notes (Deb)
MS Not Just a Diary (Dave)
MS Protocols (Jeff)
Ms Quill
MS Real Life Stories & Issues (Kristin)
MS Recovery Diet Blog (Ann)
MS Recovery Diet Blog (Judi)
MS Toolkit
MSB's Podcast
MSing Around
Multiple Sclerosis Blog (Charles of
Multiple Sclerosis & Faith
Multiple Sclerosis Blog and News
Multiple Sclerosis Notes
Multiple Sclerosis Sucks
My Autoimmune Life
My Chain Driven Ride through Life in Alaska (Michelle)
My Complications (Amanda)
My Demyelination (Tina)
My Journey with MS (Christina)
My Journey with MS (Nicole)
My Journey - Living Well with MS (Diana)
My Life, My Journey (Michael)
My MS Experience
My MS Journal (Jaime)
My Tysabri Diary (Lauren)
Nervus Rex (Shawna)
Newly Diagnosed with MS (Andrea)
No Time for MS (Courtney)
Now We Are Six (Tish)
Object of My Injection (Michelle)
One Crazy Chick (Chris)
One Life (Stephen)
Ontheballk9strng Weblog
Pat's Pond (Pat)
Persnickety Quilts (Dianne)
Postcards of My Life (Sherry)
Purely Patsy (14 yr old Patsy)
Queen Mediocretia of Suburbia
Rants and Musings (Cutter)
Rayne's World (Jayme)
Reality Check (Michael)
Reality Chick (Keli)
Rebooting Times
Rickshaw Diaries (Baraka)
Say It Isn't So (Mouse)
Scraps and Threadtales (YankeeQuilter)
Self-injecting Chinese Hamsters since 2007
Serina's Blog (Serina)
Shirl's the Girl (Shirley)
Shoester (Doug)
Shut Up and Pedal! (Alison)
Simply Kate (Kate)
Slipping Through My Fingers
Sorting It All Out (Michael)
Spinning My Yarns (Missabeth)
Steven's Photo Blog
Sunshine and Moonlight (Kim)
Surviving MS in Alaska (Michelle)
Talk Story with Kimberly
The BS of My MS (Heather)
The Endomorph (Ruth)
The Great NetXperiment
The Jaws of My Life (Jaws)
The Life & Times of Sancho Knotwise (JM)
The MonSter Ate My Branes! (Natalie)
The Multiple Sclerosis Companion (Pat)
The Perseverant Pincushion (Trish)
The Zen Pretzel Trick (Zen Angel)
These Pretzels Are Making Me Thirsty (Trrish)
Time to Deal with MS (Homer)
Tis Herself (Kell)
To Be Continued... (Jaime)
Tokyo Girl Down Under
Travels With Lucy (Virginia)
Troy's Multiple Sclerosis Experience
Truth and Beauty (Baraka)
Tryin' to Imagine Bliss (Suzy)
Trying to Catch My Breath
Tysabri Help (Deej)
Victoria Plum - Technician! (Vicki)
What is MS to Me (Dave)
When it's Raining... (Keeley)
White Lightning Axiom - Redux (mdm)
Wide Margins (Mary)
Willy's MS Rants (Willy)
Wind Among the Reeds
Word Salads (Have Myelin?)
YodaMamma MS & More
You Me and MS (Judi)

Thank you for helping to build a stronger MS Community.
Update: Whew... that took me 2 hours to leave comments on all of your blogs.

Sunday, March 16, 2008


One of my great loves in life is aviation. Actually, I moved to Tulsa because of aviation. I was sitting in my home in Central Texas one day back in 1993 looking at flight school advertisements in the back of Flying magazine. My wife, in a matter of fact manner, asked me why I didn't just do something about it if I really wanted to be a pilot. I had been a paramedic for about 8 years at that point and was pretty burned out on it. The average career length for a medic was about 5 years. Her comment really struck a chord with me. We talked about it several times over the next few days and the next thing I knew, I was interviewing several flight schools to see which one would be the best fit for me. I ended up selecting Spartan School of Aeronautics for several reasons. By December of 1993. I was moving to Tulsa so that I could start school in January.

I had a great time during the 3 years I attended Spartan. It was an incredibly good flight school and I learned a lot while earning my Private, Instrument, and Commercial ratings. Alas, I had my first major MS exacerbation about 2 months before I was to graduate and was unable to complete my training. Unfortunately, I was unable to fly at all anymore. There are some pilots that have MS and are able to get their medical certificate on a waiver. Since one of my chief symptoms is vertigo, I do not qualify. Even if I was able to "cheat" the system and get my medical so that my license would be valid, I wouldn't. It would be too dangerous for both me and anyone in the plane with me due to the vertigo. I just enjoy aviation from afar. I still fly with a friend on occasion and attend any airshows in the area. I love aviation related museums, too. My photography is one of my connections to aviation, as well. I love to be at or near the airport and take photos of the various aircraft.

The aircraft below is a Spartan aircraft I captured earlier this week on a lunch break. I looked at my log book and I have about 15 hours of pilot time in this particular aircraft (N4118A). It is good to see that the plane is still in action.


Saturday, March 08, 2008


I did my last dose of Solumedrol today and seem to be feeling better overall. The side effects of the medicine suck by my MS symptoms seem to be diminished. Mostly, I'm glad to have this IV out of my hand! I'm dying to get out and do some photography. I had to run an errand today and took my camera bag with me just in case. By the time I was done with my two stops I was worn out so it didn't happen.

I have a whole new respect for people that have to use a cane to get around. I stopped at "Wild Oats", a whole food grocery store, to pick up some unscented shaving cream and a few miscellaneous items. It is a bit "high end" and most of the people were pretty polite about my being in the way. Others, not so much. I can't wait to experience my first Wal-mart visit.

On the bright side, my wife had several email correspondences with the local EMS service and they want her to be there Monday morning. It looks like she is getting ready to start working for them in the very near future. My guess is that when I get home for work Monday evening, we will be a two job family for the first time in about 16 years. I don't think we will know what to do with extra money. We have been on a tight budget for so many years.

As for me, I am going to be working hard to move towards being more healthy and avoid needing to park in front of these signs!


Thursday, March 06, 2008

Fun, Fun..

Well, now that we seem to be getting my wife's health back to normal, my body has decided to act up. As I have mentioned before, I have Multiple Sclerosis. For the most part, it has been relatively subdued for the past couple of years minus an occasional rearing of it's ugly head. I had an episode of Bronchitis early in February. About the time I thought it was over, I flared up and was diagnosed with Pneumonia. To be honest, it kicked my tail. I have never had Pneumonia as far as I know. I'd just as soon not ever experience that again!

Well, last week around Tuesday I became horribly fatigued. Fatigue is not unusual with MS and not unusual in my life. It's not the normal fatigue that I had before MS came into my life. It can be dibilitatingly bad. (Yes, I made that word up!) The best way I can describe it is that I feel like if I laid down, I would melt into a puddle on the ground. Just lifting my arm or taking the next step feels like it takes ever fiber of my being to accomplish. Getting on with my story, I just wrote it off as my usual stuff combined with my recent bout of Pneumonia. Sunday, I woke up and felt like I had ants crawling all over the calf of my right leg and a large abrasion or road burn on my right thigh. My first thought was that my leg was asleep. I lay there for a bit and became concerned as it was not improving. Sensations like this are not uncommon with my MS but the fact that the sensation was covering such a large are was disconcerting. I have not experienced anything like that before.

I decided to get up hoping it would go away. I almost went to the ground when I stood up. Seemed my leg did not want to follow direction. My wife was still sleeping so I carefully left the room. Basically, I played it off and didn't tell her all day. I had a scheduled appointment with my neurologist on Tuesday so I figured I would talk to him about it then. Sunday to Tuesday was a huge struggle. I managed to conceal it from my wife until my leg gave out Monday night when I was shaving. My butt hitting the edge of our fiberglass bathtub would have been loud enough but the fiberglass broke and sounded like a gunshot in the bathroom. I have my concealed carry permit and usually carry so I can understand why the wife almost had a heart attack. Not sure why she would think I would have my gun with me while I was shaving, though? Fortunately, only the tub was injured in the fall.

My neurologist thinks my exacerbation was probably set off by the Pneumonia since I ran a high temp for several days. I just receive my first dose of Solumedrol today and have two more to go. I also had to get a CANE! I probably needed one before now but this finally forced my hand. I hate the idea of a cane. I hate the idea of a scooter or wheel chair, too. I hate the stigma associated with all of these. No, I do NOT look down on people that have to use these tools. I'm quite sympathetic as I have know for a long time that they were in my future. I have been in the medical field for far to long to think like that. I just know that not everyone thinks like I do and I hate that people are simpleminded (not everyone! just some people). The truth of the matter is that the cane is helping and I appreciate the simple tool that I have found. It is taking getting used to, though. I am used to having both hands available when I walk.

I'm not having much fun with the Solumedrol. Anyone who has taken this medicine in high doses knows what I mean. Honestly, it sucks. I'm just hoping it helps.

And now for a macro photo of the new Oklahoma State Quarter taken with my Nikon D80 and Tokina 100mm Pro Macro Lens. Oh, and please excuse and (*Edit* any, not and, told ya!) spelling or grammatical errors as this Solumedrol has my brain going 100 miles per hour!


Oklahoma State Capital

Originally uploaded by steveables
The Oklahoma State Capitol held a Red Cross Month event this week. My group held a blood drive in the rotunda area of the Capitol building. I decided to take advantage of the situation and shoot some photos. I think this was my favorite of the day. We didn't see many donors but I think everyone was tied up with the day's events. PR wise, it was a great day, though. And, I got to take some photos so a good day all in all.

Friday, February 29, 2008

Day at the Zoo...

I hit the Tulsa Zoo on Sunday. I figured it would be quite as it was still pretty cool out. I have to admit it was busier than I expected. But, it was nothing like it will be in the spring! I ended up shooting about 200 photos and had a couple of nice ones to show for the effort. It seemed that some of the animal were feeling pretty frisky. The rhinos were arguing and knocking heads and the tiger was making a lot of noise. I did get a nice shot of the tiger. All in all, it was still pretty bleak. The zoo ended up with quite a lot of damage from the ice storm and everything is kind of gray still. I look forward to returning when the colors brighten up a bit.


Monday, February 25, 2008

This weekend...

Originally uploaded by steveables
I had a great trip to the zoo Sunday. I took about 200 photos. I'm still processing them so I will blog about the trip and post some photos as soon as I get everything processed and uploaded. I'll also discuss some of my observations on the D80.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Curious Goose

Originally uploaded by steveables
Just another photo from the other day. It was quite ugly weather wise today so I didn't take any photos. I had really hoped to get photos of the eclipse last night but the clouds kept me from ever seeing the moon. Ah well....

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

New Look

I finally have updated the blog to the new Blogspot template. I will be moving a lot of my old links from the old blog over the next few days as I figure things out. It is a chance to clean things up and add stuff I've wanted to add but never had time.

Lunch Break....


Yesterday at lunch, I grabbed my camera gear and headed down the street to a retention pond about two blocks from work. I was a beautiful day, for February, and I was hoping to get some photos of the local waterfowl. I unloaded my gear once I arrived and placed my Nikkor 70-300mm VR lens to the D80. A short walk later, I was at the waters edge snapping photos of various geese, ducks, and gulls. I forgot to put my circular polarizer on the lens so I ended up with a lot of unwanted reflection on the water. Other than that, I had a nice time and caught a few good photos. I only spent about 30 minutes out there but it was very enjoyable. I think I will be doing that more often.


Monday, February 18, 2008

Photo Sunday....

I was able to get out Sunday afternoon after the rain to do a little photography. It is always so difficult for me to find subjects this time of year. Color is so hard to find. Especially, in nature. I've always heard that winter was a good time of the year for black and white photography. I'm starting to understand why!


I ended up taking about 60 photos on Sunday. I actually liked a few of them. :) My favorite was of a sculpture at Tulsa River Parks. I got a couple of shots of a hawk in flight that would have been nice had it been in focus. It was one of those spontaneous situations where I had to grab the camera and shoot in just a few seconds. The hawk was gone before I knew it. I pulled the photo up on my screen and zoomed in and was quickly disappointed when I saw how bad the focus turned out. I posted the two best to my Flickr account just to share "the moment"....not because they are good photos.


I have been getting out and practicing for the lunar eclipse that is supposed to occur on Wednesday. I'm pretty happy with the results I am getting with the Nikkor 70-300mm VR. I HAVE to get a new tripod someday, though. The rickety one I have now wobbles all over the place with the heavy camera and lens on it. All that said, the outlook is not good for the eclipse. They are calling for freezing rain and sleet Wednesday night. This will be the second eclipse in a row that I've missed due to weather. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.


Saturday, February 16, 2008

Renewed Commitment

My wife and I seem to have survived the year from hell. With that, I have a renewed commitment to my blog and my photography. As to geocaching, I hope to get back to that this spring. I'm going to try to blog at least a couple of times a week. It has always been very therapeutic to me and God knows I need my therapy! After letting my camera languish in it bag for months on end, I finally stuck it on eBay and sold it. I loved my Olympus E-300 and it was a great camera but it was not meeting my needs. I have several Nikon lenses from my old 35mm days so I ended up using the funds off the Olympus to buy a Nikon D80. I've now had it a couple of days and I'm clearly going to be much happier with this camera. My goal is to take a photo every day. Hopefully, I will have many days where I take a LOT of photos.

My wife is doing great. It is nothing short of miraculous that she is even alive. To see here back in near perfect health just amazes me. She has completed all of her paramedic refresher stuff and has obtained her NREMT-P and her state license. As soon as she is 100%, she will be returning to work.

I, on the other hand, am battling my MS. Overall, I am doing well but some of my symptoms are problematic. I'm doing physical therapy three days a week trying to get my back under control. I have a muscle below my right shoulder blade that is in constant spasm. It is a pretty painful ordeal. The therapy seems to be helping to a great degree. We have done trigger point injections several times and that seems to help but it is far from a good fix. We want to do Botox injections to give me a great length of relief but the insurance company won't bite.

I'll leave you with a couple of photos I've taken over the past two days. The first is of Winston. He is a black and tan Dachshund that has been with my wife and I for about 12 years. We do not have children so he and Delia our like our kids to us. The second photo is a shot of a daisy that is in the bouquet that I got Lisa for Valentines.