Archive for April, 2009

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Turning Point Park

April 26, 2009

I managed to get the oil in my car changed this morning. It went remarkably faster than Jeff’s car except that the oil was like sludge. It’s been awhile! There is also a lot more room under the hood of my Taurus than his Alero, which helped with the speed of the oil change as well.  I still haven’t taken my car out for a spin yet. I don’t imagine the fresh oil will solve all of the car’s issues, but maybe it won’t hesitate quite so much. I’m not sure if Kyle was psyched or scared when I let him back the car off the ramps. His first time behind the wheel and he did very well. Good thing too, as the clearance between the back of the car and the fence was only about 8 inches when the car was completly off the ramps.

The kids and I went to Turning Point Park today and I got to take a bunch of pictures. The weather was, again, absolutely beautiful.  Just before we left, Joe was chillin’ on the futon.

chillin-joe

While at the park we saw lots of boats.

Some were more sea worthy…

big-ship

tug

spirit-of-rochester

…than others.

rusty-boat

retired

On the other side of the path we were on was a wooded area with railroad tracks above. Here is a cool abandoned stairway that was beckoning to be photographed.

stairs

The path we traveled runs along the mouth of the Genesee River. At one point the path becomes a boardwalk that goes out over the river some. We were on the boardwalk when I took this. If you click to enlarge it, you can see more of the boardwalk across the picture.

boardwalk

We started out on a path that you can see in the picture above. It sarts up at the top of the hill and goes down a rather steep slope to the other end of the boardwalk. I didn’t think my back would tolerate the walk back up the hill, so we drove to a different area to go out on the baordwalk. This flowering tree was near where we first parked.

blossoms

At one point along the path, as I turned around from taking a picture, I found Erin sitting on the path looking at the pictures on her own camera. I couldn’t resist taking her picture.

erin-chillin

Kyle’s new sneakers are so white and nice that I had to take a picture of them. He danced around a bit thinking I was trying to photograph him, then finally he stopped and let me snap a shot of his shoe.

kyles-sneaks

The kids thought these sheds were really cool. I thought so as well, after I cropped out all the extraneous stuff.

sheds

In between walks at the park, we drove Schallers and had burgers and dogs. Poor Sarah wanted fries, but everything is fried in soybean oil. Oh well. She seemed to enjoy her bunless hotdog anyway.

All in all we had a great time.

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Busy Day (now with pics)

April 26, 2009

Today was absolutely gorgeous! The temp was around 80 F, but there was a nice breeze so it wasn’t too warm. I had planned to change the oil in both cars this weekend, but then promptly forgot about it until about 6 pm. Tomorrow is supposed to be rainy, so today was the day. We went and got the stuff at Pep Boys. Turns out that was an excellent call since they have a great DIY deal going on until May 2nd. You get a Fram oil filter and 5 quarts of Castrol oil for 14.99 to 16.99, depending on the car. We got filters and oil for both cars and saved 15 bucks! Yeah!

As soon as we got home, I dug out the ramps, pan, tools, and the stupid filter wrench. I have 2 filter wrenches, but the good one has gone missing. The one I wound up using requires a clear shot at the filter with lots of space around it…not happening in the Alero! Silly me, I decided to do Jeff’s first. We had been driving his car for a good portion of the afternoon, so needless to say, the engine was HOT! After draining the oil I had to wait a while to pull the filter because the engine was so hot I kept burning the back of my hand and my arm trying to get the wrench to tighten. It’s one of those that has a big rubber-lined loop that when twisted back on itself tightens around the filter, allowing you to grip and turn the filter. I finally went at it from the underside and got it loose. Of course, that was only after I managed to drop the wrench in the drain pan full of hot, dirty oil! Oh, did I mention the breeze? Oil isn’t very heavy! Yes, there is oil and now kitty litter, all over my driveway.  I did manage to finish the job just as the rain started. Jeff backed the car off the ramps and then we quickly threw everything in my trunk so I will have it for my own oil change.

Erin helped me with the oil change while Jeff and Joe stood by and watched. I think Erin asked Jeff why I change the oil and not him. I think this because at one point I heard him tell her, “because she likes to do this stuff.” So true! There is definite satisfaction in a job well done. During the oil change, while waiting for the car to cool some, I installed a new air filter as well. Erin stood by and listened with seeming interst as I explained about the air intake and why a filter is necessary and the basics of engine combustion. I’m not sure she really cared, but she’s a good sport and looked interested. Once everything was done and I got cleaned up (I was covered from finger tips to elbows in oil and engine compartment mung), we took the car for a spin. Oh yeah, I installed the air conditioner we got Jeff for an early Father’s Day present. It went in his office, mostly to keep his PC cool. After that…we went for our spin and to Coldstone for some icecream. The car runs much better with it’s new air filter. Jeff was quite pleased, as was I.

When we got home I decided it was time to install R2D2. No, not a robot, the portable air conditioner in our bedroom.  Jeff calls it R2D2 because it looks somewhat robot like. Kyle helped with that one, since it vents through the skylight and I am WAY too short to reach the top of it. We got the unit last summer. In order to run it, I had to make something to go in the skylight that would allow for the two hoses to connect so it could intake air and vent air. I used a piece of plywood and cut two holes in it, for the vents, then cut the board to fit in place of the skylight screen. It works great and allows us to cool our attic bedroom, which would otherwise be intolerable in the summer. I can’t belive it isn’t even May and I am installing air conditioners! Yuck! I really need to find somewhere that is always autum-like: warm days and crisp, frosty nights.

Here is my spiffy window modification.

ac-win-mod-4-25

The “R2” unit:

r2-ac-4-25

And the window with the shade back in it…

ac-shade-4-25

I think I’ll go to bed now. For some reason I am tired!

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Yummy Supper

April 21, 2009

Tired of the same 5 meals every week, I decided to go in search of something different. I found a recipe for “Fruity Tuna Salad.” My family definitely likes fruit, so I decided to give it a try. It called for: tuna, lemon yogurt, curry powder, grapes, dried dates, onion, celery, and toasted almonds. Onion and celery I can do without so I made it with everything but those two items. I was a bit aprehensive as I am not one to willingly try new foods, but this stuff was fantastically delicious! We stuffed it into pita pockets and I stuffed some lettuce in mine too. Very yummy stuff!

yummy-tuna-salad

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A Walk In the Park

April 20, 2009

Yesterday, after the cemetery, the kids and I took Joe for a walk through the park. Here are  a few pictures from our outing.

curious-squirrel

canal

rr-bridge-2

train-bridge

sandbar

erin

floppy-ears

joe

snails

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Holy Angels Cemetery

April 20, 2009

I believe I have posted about this cemetery before, but it is such a fascinating place that I had to go back. This time the Nikon went with me and I got several great pictures. Last time the kids and I went in the summer when all the trees were dressed in their full greenery. This time they were quite naked except for a few evergreens that were well dressed. Jeff went with me and thought it was a cool cemetery as well. I searched a little for some history on it, but found nothing but a map of the burial plots.

The cemetery is in two parts. I have not actually walked through the newer part, only driven around it. The older part however is incredible. There is a long path that leads through a rather wet area ending in a tunnel through which one must travel to get to the older cemetery.

cemetery-tunnel1

cemetery-stream

Unfortunately, due to the secluded nature of the place, youthful vandals have left some very vulgar graffiti. Last time I was there, the paintings inside the tunnel were quite beautiful. Now they are a mess and I’m not sure they are salvagable  considering what has been painted on top of them.  Very sad commentary on our youth. Anyway, as you exit the tunnel, you get a reasonable overview of the older part of the cemetery.

cemetery-overview

As we headed up the path to the headstones, this caught my attention.

flower-bee

Did you see the bumble bee in the center of the picture? I didn’t think it was warm enough yet…

We wandered through the few markers that are still left and read the few that are still legible. As we were walking along, the wind picked up and was blowing through the pine trees that can be seen in the picture of the overview. The sound it made is indescribable but it was incredible.  While wandering about, this tree caught my eye. Check out the relief in the bark.

holey-tree1

tree-top

This is what is inside the hole at the base of the tree.

hole-in-tree

As I was checking out a barely legible marker on the edge of a drop-off, this caught my eye.

bird-nest

As we were heading down the path, back to the car, I heard the distinct call of my favorite bird.  With a little keen listening and scanning of the treetops, I was able to locate him.

cardinal

Here is the view from the old part of the cemetery, looking toward the tunnel.

tunnel-exiting

Just the other side of the tunnel, I happened to glance down and thought this was cool.

railroad-tie

When we got home, I discovered that my red flowers (don’t remember what they are) had bloomed. This is one of those random lucky shots. The picture was taken toward the windows. The blinds were down but there was a lot of daylight illuminating them. I was using my longer lens, so the field of view was super narrow. The background got completely washed out and left me with this really cool shot!

red-flowers

This last photo was actually taken on Friday (4/17) but it is just too cool not to share. This is what the sky looked like as we left the bookstore Friday evening.

april-17-sky

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Canal Walk Part II

April 12, 2009

These pictures are not in any particular order, they are just how I happened to put them in.

The color of the twig in contrast to the greenery under the water caught my attention. I really like the way it turned out. 

twig

This shot was all for the reflection. I am particularly fond of reflections.

tree-reflection

I also really like coils of rope, especially on old boats.

rope

The red berries in contrast to all the brown were very attention grabbing.

red-berries

This guy was watching the goings on while his owner was engaged in conversation.

pooch

My duck photos were taken from this observation deck. 

overlook

This wall was screaming to me to photograph it, and I of course could not resist.

old-wall

I think this nest must have been from last year. The lack of leaves on the tree made it stand out.

nest-11

I am not sure what made these holes, but it sure made for an intesting subject to photograph.

holey-tree

This is another site that was screaming to be photograph, but I had a rough time getting a good one because I obviously could not look through the lens at the sun, so I took several blind shots. The color photo was great, but it had a nasty magenta streak in it. I wasn’t sure how to remove it, so I decided to take the color out of it.

grate

This dove decided to take flight just as I was ready to take it’s picture, so I got a great shot of it in flight.

dove-flight

I like photographing cemeteries, so this called to me as well.

cemetery

This exploded catail had some great texture.

catail

We had a fabulous walk and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.

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Canal Walk

April 9, 2009

I was going through my pictures and found these that I had forgotten about. We took the kids for a walk by the canal a couple weeks ago and I took a ton of pictures. Here are a few; I will post more tomorrow. I don’t have much time right now, as I should be getting ready for work!

This is just a great picture of Sarah.

sarah

I really like the reflection in this one.

reflection

The color is what caught my attention here.

red

This character let me get a lot closer than I expected.

peek-a-boo

There was a trail through a very small wetland area adjacent to the canal. We wandered through and found this lone pair of ducks enjoying themselves.

pair-a-ducks

I thought it was funny that she was standing on a branch in the water instead of floating. I also like the way she was looking at me as I took this.

female-duck

Same duck, getting a snack.

bottoms-up1

See the bird looking at me?

i-see-you

Cardinals are very difficult to photograph unless one has a very long lens. They are so skittish that even a slight movement or noise will send them flying. I took about 10 or 12 pictures and this is the best of a bunch of lousy choices. The dense mangle of branches didn’t help much. The autofocus kept focusing on branches instead of the cardinal. Some day I’ll get a good picture of a cardinal!

cardinal-1

This is my three-headed, six-armed monster.

3-headed-monster