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Brandywine Falls

GFS Card Party

Hunger Games Movies

Brigitta's Second Game *

Annika and the Easter Bunny

Moon Shots

Team America Rocketry Challenge Finalists!

Hunger Games Movie Continued


Brigitta the Cow

Easter Eggs *

Easter Egg Hunts *

Easter Portraits *

Salt Fork Thursday *

Salt Fork Friday *

Brigitta's Third Game *

Brigitta's Fourth Game *

Old Fast Glass

Happy Annika Day

Brigitta's Fifth Game *

Random Stuff

Brigitta's Sixth Volleyball Game *

Arbor Day

Brigitta's Seventh Game *

Best Launch Day Ever

Blue Heron Nests

Tallmadge Dagorhir

  * Denotes link to separate page  

We support Ron Paul for President 2012.  

I think the founding fathers would be very disappointed in what has become of the American government and its leaders; we now have a corrupt empire that largely ignores its own constitution and tramples on individuals' liberties.  The founding fathers would like Ron Paul, however.  Congressman Paul consistently votes no on issues that are unconstitutional. If elected Ron Paul will end our wars, close our hundreds of military bases across the globe and end our unsustainable, financially irresponsible empire.  Ron Paul has more support from US troops than all other presidential candidates combined!  Dr. Paul is critical of government corruption and believes in protecting whistleblowers.  As a congressman, Paul does not participate in the congressional pension, has never voted to raise congressional pay and as President he would draw a salary of just $39,336, which is the median salary of the American worker.  Paul believes the War on Drugs is not working, is a waste of money, and violates citizen's personal freedoms.  Congressman Paul has never voted for: raising taxes, an unbalanced budget, a federal restriction on gun ownership or an increase in the power of the executive branch.  Paul is the only presidential candidate proposing a viable balanced budget.  He voted against: the Patriot Act, the TARP bailouts, regulating the Internet and the Iraq war.  Search YouTube for " Ron Paul predicts " to see how Paul has predicted many of our current major problems and crises years or decades before they happened.  Please do not waste your vote on the status-quo; elect Ron Paul for US President in 2012.  - David & Joan Hall


Best Launch Day Ever

4-30-2012 ~ Blog #445



 Yesterday we had the best rocket launch day ever! The target/goal of the TARC Nationals is to get two eggs to 800' within 43 to 47 seconds. Our altitudes yesterday were: 797, 806, a fluke of 828, 809, 809 and 796. Two of the flights landed on pavement and broke eggs; we'll be launching at nationals on a softer field so I think we'll be OK in that area. We had two or three flights that would have been penalized a bit for time. If our boys get these kind of altitude results in two weeks at nationals... Well, the worst two flights from today might even get them in the top 10. The average of our best five out of the six flights today would have won at nationals last year. There's a lot that can go wrong and there's a lot of luck involved, but we are not quite the long shots we were when we first qualified.  The Saint Vincent Saint Mary's Rocket Teams were also flying at the site today; many of the photos below are of their teams, rockets and flights.  The shots with the white rocket are of the IHM "team" (only one member made it today).





The shots below were taken with my newly acquired antique "garage-sale" 135mm f2.8 prime manual focus lens. 

Exposures were at f4 and f5.6, ranging from 1/2000 to 1/8000 at ISO 500
























Blue Heron Nests

On Bath Road near the Cuyahoga River are threes with dozens of Great Blue Heron nests; Dr. Seuss would be inspired by these:




Tallmadge Dagorhir


For years, maybe even a decade, I've driven by a group of guys who gather at Howe Road Park on Sundays to battle with foam swords and shields.  What I'd seen was always at 35mph from 100 yards.  I've always been too busy to stop, watch, take a closer look and talk to them.  Yesterday I did and I was very impressed.  Dagorhir is a cross between fencing and Lord of the Rings.  The guys talked about positions and techniques much like fencers.  The fighting was very athletic; they were swinging, blocking, dodging, running and often tumbling to the ground.  I saw them at the end of the day after they had been doing this for hours and they were still enthusiastic.  They challenge each other and tap swords to begin.  A match is won with two body strikes.  A struck limb can no longer be used and they drop to their knees if struck in the leg.  They also fight en mass, a dozen on one side against a dozen on the other.  The most impressive thing, however, is how much fun they appeared to be having; laughing and smiling were ever present.  They were very friendly and happy to answer all of my questions.  If this sounds like fun to you, I had the impression they were always recruiting.
















Brigitta's Seventh Game

(Link to volleyball page)

4-28-2012 ~ Blog #444



Arbor Day

Cuyahoga Falls Arbor Day 2012 Poster Contest Theme "Celebrating our River Heritage: Canals and Dams"

4-27-2012 ~ Blog #443

Today Brigitta and other poster artists met Don Robart, the mayor of Cuyahoga Falls, and were presented awards and prizes at the Arbor Day Ceremony at Kennedy Park.  The kids also unveiled a plaque about the Kennedy Park dedication and helped plant a tree.  The poster competition was given to all fourth graders in the Cuyahoga Falls school system (public and private) since that grade studies Ohio history.





Mayor Don Robart




Unveiling the plaque



Meeting the mayor




Planting a tree


This woman asked me to take her picture; I believe she said she was a retired inner-city high school teacher, mother of 11, nationally renowned knife thrower and Ohio's most decorated yodeler. 


Mayor Don Robart and Brigitta


Brigitta's Sixth Volleyball Game

(Link to Volleyball page)



Random Stuff

4-25-2012 ~ Blog #441


Brigitta Shoots

Brigitta shooting after school today:






Joan at 135mm




Yoga Deer





Owl at School

An animal rehabilitator visited our primary grades yesterday.


GFS Kitchen


Macro Fun

The new/old macro lens isn't super powerful, but I'm still having fun with it.





Old Fast Glass

4-21-2012 ~ Blog #440


 I have a collection of over 25 obsolete cameras on display on a high shelf in our living room and just love old cameras.  Even more so I love my Nikon DSLR cameras and lenses.  I browse ebay and craigslist regularly and keep an eye out for lenses and gear at garage sales.  I've been surprisingly skunked at finding old Nikon/Nikkor lenses at garage sales since I bought my Nikon D200 in 2009, however.  Today I finally found three great old manual focus lenses at an indoor garage sale/flee market.  The great thing about manual focus lenses is that when you use them you learn to really appreciate the miracle of autofocus lenses.  The lenses I bought are low-light or "fast" prime (non-zoom) lenses which means they work well in low light and have a shallow depth of field or "in-focus" range while at a wide aperture.  The shallow depth of field makes them good at making a subject pop-out because it's the only thing in focus, but it also is very easy to miss getting enough of the subject in focus.  They also are very sharp, when they are in focus. 


Nikkor 85mm f2 shot at f4


Micro-Nikkor 55mm f2.8 shot at f8

This is my first and only macro lens


Nikkor 135mm with a Vivitar 2X teleconverter that I also picked up. Shot at f5.6 (f2.8 X 2)


Happy Annika Day

Today is Annika's Swedish Name Day

We gave her a few presents and a pan of brownies to celebrate - she was quite happy.

These first four photos were shot with the 135mm f2.8 at f2.8





These following photos were shot with the 85mm f2, shot at f2.8













Brigitta's Fifth Game


Brigitta had a banner day yesterday: she was the opening reader in the school Mass and she learned that she won the Cuyahoga Falls Arbor Day Poster Competition.  Today she got the only five point serve run in the volleyball game and also had a five serve run in the scrimmage, although her fifth serve was returned and did not earn IHM a point.  The girls lost against Saint Joseph's on their home court; it was a pretty even match-up but the St. Joe's girls played a better game today. 


Volleyball photos have been moved to a new page.

Click here for Brigitta's volleyball game photos.



Brigitta's Fourth Game
4-16-2012 ~ Blog #439

 Brigitta's team played their fourth game this evening; they won both matches and the game against Seton.  Our team started off in serious trouble; the score fell to 9-0.  Brigitta managed to return a served ball for a point; the team then went on a serious roll and caught up on the score.  Nikki demoralized the other team with her powerful overhand serve that they just could not return.  Each time she was up Brigitta served the maximum allowed and also served the final IHM serves in both matches.  None of her serves were returned over the net.  In other words, she played very well.


Volleyball photos have been moved to a new page.

Click here for Brigitta's volleyball game photos.




Brigitta's Third Game

4-14-2012 ~ Blog #438

This morning Brigitta's team played their third game; they won the first match but lost the next two.  All three matches against Saint Anthony were close; the Saint Anthony's team was very good at returning the ball.  Brigitta played very aggressively and had several good returns.  In the first game she served the maximum allowed five in a row in addition to the game point. 


Volleyball photos have been moved to a new page.

Click here for Brigitta's volleyball game photos.


Salt Fork


4-14-2012 ~ Blog #437
Salt Fork


Salt Fork photos have been moved to a new page.

Click here for photos from our Salt Fork trip.

Easter Egg Hunts


Easter Portraits

Easter Morning Family Photos (Movie)


Easter Eggs


Easter photos have been moved to a new page.

Click here for Easter day photos


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Team America Rocketry Challenge Finalists!

4-6-2012 ~ Blog #434

One of our three rocket teams qualified for the finals of the Team America Rocketry Challenge (TARC) in/near Washington DC on May 12th.  We are very excited.  We've learned a lot and grown quite a bit this year and we have a good group of kids.  Even so, our qualifying shot of 11 included a strong dose of luck.  Two of the Saint Vincent High School teams qualified with scores of four point something and a 13.


Hunger Games Movie Continued

Svea and her friends and I have filmed 200 clips for their Hunger Games movies over the past two days; they are almost done filming.

















Brigitta, hunting a plastic snake with a plastic knife.



Brigitta the Cow

While the girls were filming hunting and gathering scenes, I suggested that someone could graze grass like a cow.  Naturally, Brigitta ran with the idea and began mooing and pulling up grass with her teeth.  She had us in stitches.  Svea captured a video clip; look for it on our Movie Page.












Hunger Games Movies

4-5-2012 ~ Blog #433

Svea and her friends are making Hunger Games movies for a school technology project.




Brigitta tried on Joan's Effie Trinket wig


Brigitta's Second Game

The IHM fourth grade Coach Day Team won the first two matches of their game against Holy Family at Saint Rita's in Solon yesterday.  Brigitta played very well and managed to get under the ball several times; her reaction time and aggressiveness is starting to show.  She bombed her first serves and then served five in a row, which is the maximum allowed for fourth graders this year.


Volleyball photos have been moved to a new page.

Click here for Brigitta's volleyball game photos.


Annika and the Easter Bunny



Moon Shots



I tested what I could get out of my two telephoto lenses tonight. 

The moon above was shot with an AF-S Nikkor 18-200mm VR at 200mm, 1/250 f7.1 on a Nikon D3100

The moon below was shot with an old film era AF Nikkor 70-300mm at 300mm, 1/250 f7.1 on a Nikon D200




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Brandywine Falls

4-1-2012 ~ Blog #432


We took advantage of the beautiful weather today and went for a hike at Brandywine Falls.  Being April First, fate had a few tricks up its sleeves; all three girls got banged-up at least once.  Brigitta slammed her fingers in a door before we left.  Svea fell while giving Annika a piggy-back ride giving herself a fat-bloody: lip, nose and hand.  Annika banged her knee in the fall and later fell on the same knee.  Svea ended the day burning her hand (minor) while baking cookies.








1/6000 at f1.8




Joan took many of the photos in today's blog, especially the close-ups



 I brought two coconut halves to make Monty Python style horse hooves clomping sounds as we walked.

















Joan applying war paint to Annika







Hiking with Brigitta is very much like hiking with a dog; she's all over the place and always manages to get muddy.





My lame attempts at rock stacking.






Sun, Moon & Star = Svea, Brigitta & Annika




I was impressed with this fiberglass bridge; it should age well.












The ittsy-bitsy-red-spider



GFS Card Party

Friday night was the GFS annual Card Party, which is the youth groups' big fund raiser; this is always one of our favorite events.  Families are expected to donate raffle baskets and other raffle items.  They are always fun, but it is very challenging to create a basket that generates more money than was spent creating it.  We went with a Hunger Games theme this year and our basket did very well.  We loaded it with the book series, a poster, pins, bow and arrows, Hunger Games sound track, katniss plant and Mellark Bakery bread and coal cookies.





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~ Old Photoblogs by Month ~

Best Pics of 2012
Christmas 2012
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012

Volleyball (Britta)

April Salt Fork

April Easter
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012



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Christmas 2011

December 2011

November 2011

October 2011

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Christmas 2010

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November 2009

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January 2009



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