Wow, three updates in one day? I must have a lot of free time, or just catching up over Memorial Day Weekend. Tracy and I went to my parents house for dinner today, and they have a lot of birds that like to show up at their many feeders. I always say I will bring my camera with some time to see what I can photograph, and this time I did. A couple of Baltimore Orioles showed up and I was really impressed with the shots I got. All photos taken with a Canon 70-200mm lens. Click to enlarge. Bird photos can be found in my flickr gallery.
This last photo is of the second Oriole that shows up. He has much brighter plumage.
Saturday I took a trip to the Finger lakes Racetrack to practice taking photos with our camera for upcoming summer trips to Saratoga. It was really hot, but I had a good time and got some great shots. There is definitely a trick to getting good photos. I am still working at it. Its tricky to learn why some photos have better focus, color, and sharpness, while similar photos are a bit lacking. Here’s a few of the better shots. A gallery of all my photos from the Finger Lakes Race Track is available on my flickr page.
This has been on and off in the papers for months, Congress is forcing expenditures into the Pentagon defense budget that are both unwanted and in a way, dangerous to the troops. I’m talking about the addition of funding for a second F-35 fighter jet engine and adding funding for additional C-17 transport planes. What does Congress want? They want to fund a second engine for the F-35 joint strike fighter, and to purchase additional C-17 cargo planes. What does the Pentagon say? Well the additional engine is superfluous and not wanted. The air force says they have more than enough airlift capability with the C-17 cargo planes they already have. Defense Secretary Robert Gates agrees with the Pentagon, if the military doesn’t want these line items, then keep them out of the budget.
BUT, with the distribution of contracts and assembly lines, the end of the C-17 production line could come at the cost of jobs in 44 different states. Congressmen for those states, wanting to appease their constituents (ie not be seen as voting AGAINST jobs) have chosen to go against the military recommendations and are looking to force the C-17 into the budget. A plane the air force has said they don’t want.
Congress has also added funding for a second F-35 engine, to promote competition and of course, prevent the loss of jobs at lobby happy General Electric Rolls-Royce. However the pentagon has said they don’t want a second engine, and it will be wasteful spending. So congress voted to put funding in for the second engine against the wishes of the military.
What does this mean? Congress is increasing the budget and adding in weapons that are not wanted. Ask the military what they would rather spend the money on. Planes they don’t want, superfluous engines, or maybe body armor and additional funding to protect our troops? But Congress is only looking out for their own jobs, not the best interest of the military and our troops. Its a shame.
Secretary Gates has said he will recommend that President Obama veto any budget that includes these unwanted line items, and I hope he does.
This past weekend Tracy and I landscaped the area where we planted two dogwood trees a few years ago. We wanted to let them grow and settle in a little bit before we did the mulching. Now we have a cherry tree added in and a hydrangea plus bee balm for the humming birds and a daisy too. Tracy did a really good job with the edging and mulching. Me? I did the digging.
These are photos I took of the Albert Paley sculpture “Genesee Passage ” outside of the Bausch and Lomb Headquarters Building in Rochester, New York. Visit the Albert Paley Studios Home Page if you are interested in more of Albert Paley’s work. The second photo is in infrared.
These are photos I took of the Albert Paley sculpture “Threshold” outside of the Klein Steel building in Rochester, New York. This neat sculpture features animals cut out of various steel structures. Visit the Albert Paley Studios Home Page if you are interested in more of Albert Paley’s work.
Photographs I took of the Albert Paley sculpture “Sentinel” on the campus of the Rochester Institute of Technology. Photos taken in December of 2006. Visit the Albert Paley Studios Home Page if you are interested in more of Albert Paley’s work.
Spring got here almost a full month early, and the plants and flowers are all blooming way early because of it. I took a chance to get out of work early on a beautiful day to head to Highland Park to look at the lilacs. They are in peak bloom despite the fact that the Rochester Lilac Festival isn’t until May 14-23rd. These photos were taken May 3rd, 2010. In 2008 I visited Highland Park on May 24th, and the Lilacs were in peak bloom, so there is quite a wide range of time for the flowers to bloom depending on the spring weather. Learn more about the lilacs at the the Lilac Festival Home Page.
This year we had a really early spring, and the majority of the plants and trees are at least 2-3 weeks ahead of schedule for blooming. I took this early opportunity to drive to Highland Park in Rochester, NY to look at all the varieties of lilacs while they are in peak bloom. The Lilac Festival itself isn’t until May 14-23. I am not sure there will be many left blooming at those times. The park is really amazing, and boasts one of the largest collections in the world.
“Today, over 500 varieties of lilacs cover 22 of Highland Park’s 155 acres. Rochester’s famous Lilac Festival is a lavish array of flowers, attractions, and special events that signal the arrival of spring. The 1,200-plus lilac bushes in Highland Park create a floral rainbow ranging from the deepest of purples to the purest of whites.” – About Highland Park Lilacs