Sunday, February 26, 2012

Let's roll! ...

Note:  Photography was only permitted by the Press.
I was able to snap these with a point & shoot while a security guard kindly turned his back.
The leader board just before game 50, the position round.
This past week I had the great fortune to be handed two VIP passes to the PBA 69th U.S. Open.  What a lot of people don't know about me is that I'm an avid bowling fan.  I may not know all the new bowlers on the circuit but I do love the game.

Up until about 3 or 4 years ago, before the nearest lanes (Mid State Lanes) were turned into yet another health club, I bowled in two leagues during the season and one league in the off-season and I often subbed.  These lanes were the 'home away from home' for many local bowlers and everyone knew each other.  As secretary to the last Friday night league that bowled in that house, I can honestly say I made some life-long friends, met some really interesting and fun people, and learned a lot about this game.

ESPN sets up for TV cameras.
I'm now president of the New Brunswick Women bowling league at Carolier Brunswick Zone and we are probably looking at our last season on the lanes...all this due to lack of interest and a dwindling membership.  This is really a shame since this league is the oldest women's league in the state.  When we finish this season, this league will have existed 69 years!

VIP seating for Sunday's televised play.

So I found it very fitting that I was able to get to watch the pros at the 69th U.S Open last night at Brunswick Zone.  Since it was the last night before the TV cameras rolled in on Sunday for the finals, the place was packed but I did manage to watch some famous names.  I had a great view of Norm Duke (never knew how small he was) and Chris Barnes (a guy with one 'interesting' temper) as well as the local favorites Rusty Thomsen from Morgan NJ and Bill O'Neill from Southampton PA, each with their own entourage.  And it was great to watch the two-handed delivery of Osku Palermaa from Finland as well as the one lone woman bowler Missy Parkin from California, who made history as the first woman to make match play finals.

This photo taken during the winter of 2011.

Enjoy the stepladder finals on TV today and, as you cheer for your favorite, be it Peter Weber, Mike Fagan, Ryan Shafer, or Jason Belmonte, give some serious thought to picking up a bowling ball.  It's great fun and fabulous exercise....after all, my lead-off bowler on my team last season was 90 years old, often beat me, and is still bowling!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Too many carbs? Nah!...

Don't you just love homemade bread!
Of the many things I can't resist in the food category (and there are many),
bread is probably at the top of the list.

Two cloaked and shaped loaves rest and rise on a pizza peel.
I posted previously about this oh-so-easy bread recipe when I first made it months ago (Only 5 minutes...) but, afterwards, my second try was a disaster.  I suspect it was the's got to be unbleached.  I guess what they say about 'the third time, is a charm' may be true because this third batch has been pretty irresistible.  And besides, my photos came out much better this time (I think). can do a lot with it...toast it, dip it, smear it, grill it, sandwich it.
And it goes with everything...butter, olive oil, wine, pasta, fish, meat...everything!

Bring on the carbs!

Friday, February 17, 2012

In the middle of it all...

is love...  

Definitely worth much more than 7 points.

A quote:
Love is the thing that enables a woman to sing while she mops up the floor
after her husband has walked across it in his barn boots.
~Author unknown, as printed in The Hoosier Farmer

Have a lovely weekend!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

It's not a nut...

By some standards I guess I could say that I'm pretty fearless when it comes to food.  Judging from the 5 - 10 lbs. I'd like to loose, I wish it were the other way around.  But, I usually give interesting and odd foods at least one shot...except in the case of this one.

With all due respect to my Asian friends, I cannot seem to wrap my head around the lychee nut.  Now, if it were actually a nut, hook me up!  But it's not a nut, it's a fruit and I'm sorry to say I'm not a real big fruit fan.  Luckily this changes in the summer but only towards the standards...peaches, pineapple, watermelon, etc.

So here is this bag of lychee nuts on the kitchen counter at work (thank you Dolly).  The large print on the bag was in Chinese and we only discovered what they were only after fully examining the bag and reading the fine print.  Believe me, there was a lot a speculation before we read that fine print.  From afar, they almost resembled cocoa coated chocolate (yum!) but someone popped one whole into their mouth and soon discovered that cocoa coating was actually a shell (yuck!).  Then there was the scent...for some odd reason their scent reminded me of a head shop I used to go in many, many moons ago (but that's a story for another post!).  Believe me, they had great jewelry there!

Anyway, no one dared give these delicacies a try...especially after our intern told us how she had consumed several as a youngster and had a deathly allergic reaction.  I was still curious so I scooped some up and deposited them in an envelope to take home.  Someone asked if I would be brave and give them a try later...Nope.  Well, what was I going to do with them?  Photograph them, of course!  After all, remember, I'm not a fruit fan and this is one crazy fruit!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

I remember...

Grieve not...
nor speak of me with tears...
but laugh and talk of me...
as though I were beside you.
I loved you so...
'twas Heaven here with you.
(Mass card verse, author unknown)

Friday, February 10, 2012

Why photograph?

(a Weekly Top Shot entry)

Why do we photograph what we do?  This would be a snap to answer if I were a professional photographer.  I'd be taking pictures for a publication or a beautiful wedding or a graduating class but, a professional, I am not.  It's a question that has briefly entered my mind but was never really answered.   I really have to give this some thought.
Morning sky reflected in the lake at the
foot of Mt. Snow, Vermont
I know I get great pleasure out of it, it's a creative outlet for me, it keeps me sane but, there are those days when it drives me absolutely crazy.  I'm sure you've been there (or is it just me?)...those days when I'm telling myself I should have paid more attention to that chapter about layers or why can't I get that same dreamy effect on my photos that I see in that other blog or why am I out here in this blazing heat (drenching rain, freezing snow, bitter cold, morning fog...fill in the blank) with my camera trying to get a shot that I really don't have a solid reason for creating.  And then there are those days (and they are many!) when I am sitting at my desk dreaming, yearning, ruminating over getting out of this cement box called an office building, camera in hand, with nothing else to do but shoot, shoot, shoot!
Shells my son brought home from a vacation long ago.
I started to think about WHY as I was looking through some old photos, trying to fill in missing spots in my blog that were inadvertently deleted (hmmmmm).  In so many instances there are photos that have no rhyme nor reason for existing (I think).  Some of them are pictures of the strangest things.  I think there are a few where I can't even identify the subject.  Yikes!  BUT, I still took them and I still like them and I'm still keeping them (thank goodness for the 2TB external hard drive!).
Water cascades down the side of a rock fountain
at Rutgers Gardens.
Giving some more thought to WHY, I guess I might say I shoot because it is creative but it's also exciting.  You never really know what you've got until you get it on the computer monitor or on photo paper - surprise!  And it's a forever-learning experience...there is always some new information, idea, or equipment coming out to wrap your head around.  But I think it all boils down to passion.  You can have all the best equipment and have read all the latest technology and be able to regurgitate it back to anyone who will listen but, at the end of the day, you shoot because you have a passion.
One of my 100-yr. old attic windows soon
to be replaced by something more efficient but with less character.
That's it!  We are a bunch of very passionate people!  Now, please excuse me while I go passionately re-read that chapter about layers.  Ugh!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Lunar attraction...

What is it about the moon that draws us to it?  Or is it just me?

I went to the gym tonight.  The gym is right in the office.  That has its good points and its bad...good because it's right there and there's no need to do any extra traveling and bad because it's right there and your excuses for not going are basically blown out of the water.  Going to the gym gets me to my car around 6:15 so, on the up-side I'm almost missing rush-hour traffic and on the down-side, I'm not reaching home until around 6:45.

By this hour the moon was well on its path across the black winter sky.  With the cold crisp dry air you could see all those little 'nooks and crannies.'  I must have kept one eye on that moon all the way home.  It was so clear I guess I was hoping to catch a glimpse of the U.S. flag or maybe 'the man in the moon' or some other life form dancing around up there!

Every season puts a different 'spin' on that moon.  But no matter the season, I can't deny my attraction to it.  Werewolf tendencies?  Vampire tendencies?  Hmmmmm, excuse me while I check my reflection in the mirror.

Monday, February 6, 2012

21 Pairs of Socks...

All white.  How boring is that!  What can I say...I've been going to the gym 2 - 3 times a weeks and haven't visited the washer and dryer lately.  So glad the following load was a lot more colorful; although I won't be so happy when I have to pull the ironing board out!

This laundry is like this season...somewhat colorless.  There's lots of brown shades outside, and some grays, and some black.  Even the birds at the feeder are these shades.  I've been waiting for Big Red to show up but I haven't heard or seen him.  Maybe he took the Mrs. on vacation.

And all this is accompanied by blogger's block.  Is the mind too full of other stuff to concentrate or focus on one specific topic or contemplate one subject and come up with something worth to write down?  A dilemma for sure.

Is there a magic wand to waive and the block will disappear?  Blogger's Block Begone!!!  I think not.  Maybe it's time to revisit photos from more colorful days to get some inspiration?

Brooklyn Botanical Garden - May 6, 2009


What's your trick?  How do you get inspired?  How do you banish the block?  Do tell!