Category Archives: News

Wysteria-2 Matthew-0

Here at the end of February as we are on the verge of spring, I thought i would take advantage of a particularly warm day and trim the Wysteria.  If any of you read the post below where I fell off the top of a ladder while trimming the Wysteria LAST time – you know that im a little hesitant to try this again.  This time around I figure I’ll make it easy on myself and use a polesaw.  Basically this is a mini chainsaw that helps one prune hard to reach branches.  Im thinking that I’ll get all the really high stuff out of the way then the rest will be easy.  Again, I clambered up the ladder to do some cutting.  I grabbed a branch about an inch or more in diameter and with chainsaw in hand, revved it up and brought it down.   Perhaps it was the fact that the branch was flexible, or perhaps it was that my left hand holding the branch was too far away, but all the sudden the chainsaw started bouncing up and down on the branch and the next thing i know it twisted a little bit and made a bee line for my hand holding the branch…..ZZZZZzzzz…….ow.   Yup….. took a nice little chunk of my finger, thumb, and knuckle.  A tetanus shot and several stitches later, im still losing.

Maybe i need to use the full size chainsaw and start at the BOTTOM.

the cut

Book Shoot

I got a call a few weeks back about a prominent Dallas author who needed some shots for a new book he had coming out. The author is Mike Smalley, and the book is entitled “How to Jumpstart Your Prayer Life”.

Ive never really done anything like this so it was definitely kind of exciting. We found some local scenery and spent about an hour shooting. Ultimately the shot he used was a headshot for the back jacket.

How to Jumpstart Your Prayer Life

Asheville

Just returned from a trip to the Smokys in beautiful North Carolina. Yeah, that looks funny to me too – id rather spell it ‘smokies’, but im pretty sure its smokys. Oh well……. nevertheless it was nice to get away. Photos and more on the trip soon…..

The “Nose-In”

Is it me, or has anyone noticed this aggressive maneuver becoming more and more evident?

I call it the “Nose-In”, and its basically where you have a driver who positions their car further and further out into the main traffic flow so that you almost have to let them have their way to avoid hitting them.

One day as I was headed down a very busy, two-lane, main road, a guy in some kind of an SUV wanted to turn left across the lanes and into wherever he was going. He didnt just put his blinker on, stop, and wait till the opposing traffic passed by… He actually began his turn and got the nose end of his truck across in the next lane. I really dont get this – if i HADNT been paying attention I would have hit him.

I see this more and more every day – people that want into the main flow of traffic – just sticking that nose out there. Im telling you, im on the verge of buying a “beater” car and just teaching these guys a lesson…..but i would never do that.

Not as tough as I thought…

Its one of the first beautiful weekends weve had yet this year. Spring is definitely approaching. We had some friends coming in from out of town and trying to take advantage of the weather, I thought I would just zip out back and do a little yard work.

We’re blessed with this wonderful gazebo atop which is covered an amazing (cursed) growth of Wysteria vine. Well, its like this – the Wysteria and I have a yearly battle. Just as vine would do, it reaches its tentacles out for ANYTHING it can get a grip on. If it gets a little out of control, it will begin to course up the limbs of adjacent trees, tables, plants – anything. Nevertheless, I try to get out there and trim it back. Evidently I didnt get it cut back enough last year, so here I am at it again – me vs. the vine. I get my 8′ ladder out and begin trimming away. Get the front done, all is well so I move around to the back. My goal is to get it trimmed down enough so that I can climb up top and really get after it. My progress is coming along pretty good, so I get courageous and take a couple more steps up the ladder. Im pretty much out of rungs. Just as Im about to get command of the Wysteria, it makes a move on me. And wins. Seems I had ahold of an older vine that was dead and just as I went to climb on top of the gazebo, the branch gave way… It all happened so fast. The next thing I know, im on my hands and knees shaking out the cobwebs wondering what in the heck had just happened. Turns out, I fell smack on my bum, but evidently I took the brunt of the fall with my wrists – specifically my right one. So here I am – shaking like a leaf cuz it scared the crud out of me. My back is really protesting and I thought to myself that id really screwed up my back. No joy there – thank the good Lord my back was fine. I was not to let the Wysteria win, so back up that ladder I went – shears in hand. I grabbed the first vine I could find and with fierce determination I squeezed those shears like there was no tomorrow. Fire shot up my arm. I couldnt believe the pain. Matthew – 0, Wysteria – 1. After a trip to the bone doctor and a few x-rays, I was fortunate to only come away with a really bad sprain on the right wrist, and a mild one on the left. I hurt from my knuckles to my elbow. The doc hooked me up with a splint for the next few weeks and off I went.

Wysteria Lane…PFFF. Wysteria PAIN.

Open 24 hours.

Whether its 1am or 4am its amazing how many of us are still out and about. I got called out to a 2-Alarm fire last nite around 1am and although traffic was light, there were a number of cars still on the roads. Crazy thing was at 4am when I was headed home, there were just as many or MORE cars out on the road.

Are we becoming a society that never sleeps? Are our modern conveniences becoming such that it facilitates the postponing of our much needed rest periods? More and more you see the “Open 24hrs” sign everywhere. There are more things to do now, and more access to them than ever before. I just wonder what the future holds for an “around the clock” society…

Rough and Tumble

So we have three kids….er…..cats. You all know how it works, you have one who is either so great you have to get another or “he needs a friend to play with.” Well, it was kind of both reasons for us so two cats it came to be. As for number three… Well, it seems our backyard has become some sort of feline haven. There are always cats out there. One night the wife says to me, “honey, come quick! There are cats fighting out there!”. To the rescue I came….”Uh, honey….those cats arent fighting…” The result – a couple of VERY cute but very wild kittens chasing everything from bugs to raccoons. Everyday we would watch these kittens – playing and growing. I wont mention any names but one of us, my wife, decided to start feeding them. Seemed a good idea at first. Day after day, they continued to grow. I always wanted to go out and play with them, but the slightest sound and WOOSH! – off they ran. Eventually, one of the cats started getting brave and would seem to hang around just on the edge of the patio. If youve ever seen the movie “Dances with Wolves”, you can visualize how the next couple of months panned out. Slowly but surely, day after day, I would coax this brave kitten closer and closer until one day he finally let me pet him. Pretty soon, he would let me hold him and would come around more often seeking attention. It actually got to the point where it seemed everytime the door opened he was wanting to come in. So, naturally one day – we let him. Cat number three.
Well, by now Zander, as we have come to call him, is getting to be a pretty good size and if he’s going to be inside he needs to have both his ‘boys’ and his claws removed. Never having been introduced to either the cat carrier or the vet it wasnt too difficult when I had to take him to the vet this morning. Into the truck he went and off we go… Rather uneventful, he’s pretty edgy but somewhat calm. Fortunately at 7:30am the vet was pretty empty. No problem! Once inside I went ahead and set him (inside the carrier) on a chair and I went to the desk to fill out the paperwork. Herein lies the heart of this little tale… For those of you unfamiliar with cat carriers, well…lets just say that their dimensions exceed in length that of a common veterinary chair. As Im filling out the paperwork, I hear this great crash/bang behind me. OH NO! I whirled around to see the carrier completely upside down on the vet floor. Evidently Zander had shifted his weight to the front of the carrier and consequently proceeded to completely flip his carrier onto its roof. LOL. Poor cat – if he wasnt excited before, he sure was now. As it turns out, I just set him on the counter with me and he settled down. No harm done. Well…..except for when he wakes up tomorrow and realizes his ‘boys’ are gone.

Bluebonnet Youth

Well, Spring has sprung here in Texas and our state flower – the bluebonnet – is in full bloom. Ive made multiple trips out to the parks where they are – to not only shoot some scenics but Ive also had the opportunity to shoot some people as well. One such shot earned a “Photo of the Day” at RawCanon.com, a site i frequent quit a bit. Here’s it is……..

Click the photo for a larger image.

Anyone out there?

I guess I need a new entry…something to change the page up a little bit. The general rule is that if you want folks to come back or be frequent vistors, you have to have dynamic content. Ok, Im all good with that – but I actually dont know if anyone is even viewing this section or not. I guess if I knew that enough peeps came back to check on this on a regular basis, then i’d update it more. Which came first the chicken or the egg??

Happy Halloween

We had a safe and happy halloween this year. AJ and I hung out with family and had a blast watching the kids come to the door. For the last 3 or 4 years we havent had a single trick-or-treater come to our own door, so it was nice to be where there was some holiday action.