Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Snow Post


We had some snow over the weekend. Late Sunday afternoon I went to Hudson Park behind our house to see what I could see. This is a distance marker at the archery range. A silent sentinel standing guard over a field of white.

Friday, November 23, 2007

The Lemp Mansion - Northside's Sweet Revenge

Here's a video I made from a recent performance by my oldest son's band, Northside's Sweet Revenge. If want to see more videos visit my YouTube channel page. If you want to find out more about the band, visit www.northsidessweetrevenge.com.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

An Apology & Observations After Getting Kicked Out of an Online Forum

Moderating an online forum is a difficult and many times thankless task. So, on the off chance that the moderators of the forum from which I was recently banned happen to see this post, please accept my apology for making your life more difficult. It was not my intent, but looking back with a little perspective I can see how it did infringe and distract from the topic of the forum.

Something that should be easy, but is sometimes very difficult, is to understand the posting rules of a forum. One should not only understand the rules, but how those responsible for moderating a forum interpret and enforce those rules.

I believe moderation is a very important part of the success of an online community. Effective moderation will increase the desire of individual to participate when compared to an unmoderated forum. It certainly makes sense to flag or eliminate behavior that distracts from the topic of a particular forum.

Inconsistent moderation practices can contribute to misunderstanding. When inconsistency is coupled with poor communication practices surrounding infringements the likelihood that certain types of participation will lead to expulsion is increased. Moderators who are themselves very active forum participants run the risk, over time, of losing their objectivity which can impair their moderation tactics.

Regardless of moderation practices, what is difficult for some users is clearly understanding what behavior is considered inappropriate or a distraction by moderators. This is why it is important for moderators to make sure they understand not only the forum, but also take the time to understand the behavior behind a particular member when it is felt that inappropriate behavior is occurring. This is especially true when the inappropriate behavior arises on the part of a user who has not exhibited inappropriate behavior in the past, or has not been a user who has required routine moderation.

The practice of participating on online discussion forums can be an interesting past time. One of the most difficult aspects is understanding the tone of a person's posts. It's quite easy to misunderstand or misinterpret the written message of a user. I seem to have an ability (at times) to rub folks the wrong way. Especially when I'm a little frustrated and trying to say something that I want to communicate with a healthy dose of sarcasm. I admit that sometimes I can also be a bit obnoxious.

I suppose I shouldn't be, but I'm sometimes a bit surprised when I am misinterpreted. Of course, there's always the risk that the people who misinterpret what I say are also completely convinced that the way they see things are the way they actually are. But no matter, I'm certainly guilty of that to from time-to-time myself.

I wish you the best, and happy online discussions.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Trent's Graduation Day

A short video of our puppy's obedience school final exam and graduation. Yay, Trent!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Russell Avenue

This is across the street from the side door to eternity. Looking east down Russell Avenue in the Soulard area of St. Louis.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Side Door to Eternity

This building is at the corner of 12th and Russell in the Soulard neighborhood of St. Louis. I thought the second story door opening up to nowhere was interesting. I wonder if there was a fire escape here at one time.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Wasp @ Butterfly House

There are insects other than butterflies on display at the Missouri Botanical Garden Butterfly House. This is a wasp in a display just as you approach the doorway to enter the Butterfly House. I don't know it's name.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Sunset Sky Along the Mississippi

We stopped by the Missouri side of the Melvin Price Locks and Dam the other day after a drive along the Mississippi River. It was around sunset and the sky was simply amazing. I'm glad I had my camera with me.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Butterfly

We visited the Butterfly House located in Chesterfield, Missouri a few days ago. This is one of my favorite photos from that visit.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Passion Flower

We visited Hannibal, Missouri for a couple of days earlier this month. One of our stops was the Molly Brown House where Molly Brown was born. I've also been to the Molly Brown House in Denver. There's quite a difference between these two houses to say the least. Anyway, this flower was growing on a vine climbing the front porch of the house.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Juniper Pass, Colorado

This is a shot looking to the southeast from the overlook at Juniper Pass, Colorado. This overlook is an beautiful place to see for miles. It doesn't look all that promising from the road. You see a sign, a couple of picnic tables and some bathrooms. But if you walk a short way down a path you are rewarded with a feast for your eyes. You end up at an overlook with a stone wall perched almost at the top of a thousand foot drop off. (I'm not sure exactly how high the drop off is, but it's really high.) If the weather is clear you can see almost to Kansas. Juniper Pass is near Mt. Evans and only about an hour drive from Denver. (Click the photo to view a full size version.)

Saturday, July 21, 2007

If I Only Had a Brain (Isto)

Something nice from one my favorite YouTube guitar guys. Enjoy.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Mountain Meadow

This is a shot of a beautiful meadow by the side of Colorado Highway 103 just a few miles east (but much lower in elevation) of Juniper Pass. (Click the photo to view full size.)

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Juniper Pass Rock

We walked down the path to see the overlook at Juniper Pass (which is close to Echo Lake, Colorado) in the Arapaho National Forest and found this rock covered with lichen. (Click to see full size image.)

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Rocky Mountain National Park

We drove to Estes Park, Colorado yesterday and visited Rocky Mountain National Park. This is a view of Longs Peak from the Trail Ridge Road. More later. (Click the photo to view full-size.)

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Longhorn

This photo of a lone longhorn was taken alongside Colorado Highway C86 close to Kiowa, Colorado. July 2007.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Harp Guitar - Sayonara.Calm - Don Alder

Now here's something you don't see every day (unless you surf YouTube, of course). Here is a video of Don Alder playing a very nice acoustic fingerstyle piece on a Harp Guitar.


If you want to see more, head on over to guitarmusicrocks over at YouTube.

Monday, May 14, 2007

troubleclef - Midget Waltz

Another guitarist I love to watch on YouTube is troubleclef. He tapes himself in his room playing everything from jazz standards, classical works, and ragtime, to wonderful arrangements of popular songs. I am very fond of his arrangements of Beatles songs and Brazilian classics.

He doesn't allow embedding for very many of his videos, but here's one:

Midget Waltz


Here are links to some of my favorite troubleclef videos you can watch over at YouTube:

The Shadow of Your Smile
Goodbye Yellow Brick Road
Martha My Dear

One more you can watch here:

Summertime

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Isto - Smoke Gets In Your Eyes

I thought I'd feature a few of the musicians and music videos I watch over at YouTube. First off is Mr. istothehalfbee, aka Isto. Mr. Isto takes jazz standards and gives them his own twist. I love the way he plays guitar and his voice 'ain't half bad either.

Small and White - Missouri Botanical Garden


Another photo from the Missouri Botanical Garden.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

All By Myself - Missouri Botanical Garden


OK, I have some rules I follow when taking photos with my little Olympus DM500. Well, they're more like guidelines than rules, but I digress. My basic guidelines are (1) No cropping after the photo's been made; (2) no flash; and (3) use a tripod only as a last resort. I think this forces me to be more creative.

I broke Number 2 for this one. I know it washed out the colors of the flowers a bit, but I think I'm OK with that because I'm pleased with the results.

This was taken at the Missouri Botanical Garden in St. Louis in April 2007. I need to get back there soon because the trees are finally starting to recover from a freeze we had this spring that killed all of the early leaves and flowers (not to mention the damage to local crops of wheat, fruit trees, and grapes). I'm also curious to see how the roses are doing at the garden. More later.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Fireworks Flower - Missouri Botanical Garden


I don't know the name for this flower. I found it in the temparate garden section of the Climatron. It reminds me of fireworks on the 4th of July. This photo is currently my desktop wallpaper. (Click the photo to view full-sized version.)

Monday, April 23, 2007

Missouri Botanical Garden - Hibiscus


My favorite colors used to be greens, blues, and browns, but the older I get the more I seem to like yellow, and orange, and red. Why is that, I wonder? (Click image to view full-size.)

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Missouri Botanical Garden - Tulips


A photo of tulips taken at the Missouri Botanical Garden in April 2006. (Click the photo to view full-size.)

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Self Portrait


Here's something different for me. A self-portrait, well kind of. I guess I'm contemplating the Cracker Barrel parking lot, wondering where everbody is. I know, it's weird, but that's the way it is.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Roses On the Fence


These wonderful yellow roses were growing on a fence at the historical museum in Littleton, Colorado. I've read that yellow was Van Gogh's favorite color. I can see why. (Click the photo to see a full-sized version.)

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Roses On the Woodpile


I enjoy making photos of flowers. I'm going to post a few here for a friend of mine and for my own enjoyment. This was taken at the historical museum in Littleton, Colorado. (Click the photo to see a full-sized version.)

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Mister Owl

We took a day trip with some friends a couple of weeks ago to Clarksville, Missouri. The bald eagles were all gone, but there's little restaurant and an antique mall we like there so we were not disappointed. Plus the drive is kind of nice too. The road runs along the flood plain between the bluffs and the Mississippi River. Lots of fields and you always see several freight trains because a busy line runs along the highway. Mister Owl is a stuffed creature sitting on a glass case at the Clarksville Visitor's Center. The center is set up on a bluff above Lock and Dam 24 and the east side of the building is mostly windows with a telescope and binoculars for eagle watching. As I said, the eagles were gone, but I still looked through the telescope.

It's funny what you remember from when you were a kid. When I typed the name for the title of this post it reminded me a neighbor we had when I was four years old. His name was, of course, "Mr. Owl." We lived in Duluth, Minnesota at the time and I remember how he would go outside and yell at the snowplow operators to come back and clear an opening at the end of his driveway when they plowed the streets. I also remember that he didn't like kids going into his yard. I was only four, but it's funny how some things stick with you.

This post is dedicated to my old neighbor, Mr. Owl. Here's to you Mr. Owl wherever you are.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Chicago Skyline

Here's the Chicago skyline from Lake Michigan out from Navy Pier. This is from our trip last summer. We took a ride on a sailing ship out into the lake. We sailed! Oh, yeah, I enhanced this photo a little from the original to make it look "cool."

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Blacksmith Shop

Another Colorado photo. The city of Littleton (a suburb of Denver) has a very nice historical museum. It features two living farms on a 14 acre property. One farm is an 1860s homestead farm and the other is 1890s farm. The farms help demonstrate how people worked and lived in the early years of Littleton and the South Platte River Valley. This is a shot of the inside of the blacksmith's shop.

This is great place to visit with kids, but it's also a great place to visit if you're interested in old ways. There are plenty of farm animials for the kids to see up close. The houses, barns, and other buildings are also interesting.

(Click the photo to load a desktop sized version.)

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Squaw Pass, Colorado

Here's an older photo I took when we were on vacation in Colorado a few years ago. This was taken from the side of Colorado Highway 103, looking north (I think). Highway 103 runs out of Evergreen through Squaw Pass and up past Echo Lake and Mount Evans and joins up with Interstate-70 at Idaho Springs. It's only about an hour or so west of Denver and a very easy day trip. I've always liked this photo.

(Click to photo to view a desktop size version - 1024 x 768.)

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Ice on the Mississippi River, Part 3

OK, here's one more photo of ice on the Mississippi River. Be sure to check out the other photos in this series.

(Click the photo to view a wallpaper sized version.)

Monday, March 12, 2007

The Old College Pond

This is a shot of one of the ponds at the community college behind our house. This is a haven for geese, ducks, and turtles. In the summertime we like to drive by the pond and look at the turtles sunning themselves on the overflow grate. I guess it's just a few more weeks until the baby ducks and geese to begin making their annual appearance.

(Click the photo to view a desktop size version.)

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Cats at the Door

We have four cats that live with us. Today the weather was nice enough to open the front door and get some fresh air into the house. From left to right we have, Grover (he's the oldest, around 9 or 10 years old, I think), next is Smike (he's around 3), followed by Myles (he's around 10 months), and Stella (she's a bit younger than Smike).

All of our pets are rescued animals. Grover came from a city shelter. Stella grew up as a feral cat and was rescued by an older lady who subsequently passed away. We got her from our vet. We got Myles as a foster kitten, but fell in love with him. He was only a few weeks old and almost starved to death. He's up to about thirteen pounds now. Finally, Smike was only a few weeks old when we got him. He was found in the basement window well of an old house some people we knew were restoring. When they gave him to us, he had sores on his feet (we think something had been chasing him and trying to eat him). My wife fed him with a bottle. We were not sure at all whether he was going to survive. He is named "Smike" after the crippled boy in the Dickens novel, "Nicholas Nickleby."

Monday, March 05, 2007

More Ice on the Mississippi River

(Click the image to see a full-sized version.)

Here's another photo of ice on the Mississippi River. This is from the Great River Road on the Illinois side looking up river looking over to Portage Des Sioux. The smokestacks are from an electric power plant located close to the town.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Ice on the Mississippi River

Ice on the Mississippi River(Click the image to see a full-sized version.)

It was very cold here for a few days last month. We had several days in a row where the high temperatures were below 20F and lows in the single digits. When this happens even the flow of the mighty Mississippi River can't keep ice from forming.

We went out the other day to look at bald eagles wintering in the St. Louis area. We saw a few, but they were too far away to get any photos (with my camera anyway). We took a drive up the Great River Road above Alton. We didn't see many eagles (up close), but I was entranced by the ice. Ice doesn't form every year like this on the Mississippi River around St. Louis, so I was glad for the chance to take a few photos.

This photo was taken from the Illinois side looking downriver between Grafton, Illinois and Portgage Des Sioux, Missouri.