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Quinn

There is a long story behind this kitten.

It’s mom, now named after my wife, Julia hung out at our house for a few months.  Jules fed it but wasn’t petting her.  I get home in May and on 1st time seeing her, picked her up and she was simply sweet.  She was a muted grey color and cute. 

We had no idea she had KITTENS. 

Long story short, we captured her and brought her to PAWS in Fort Kent, the next day, someone delivered her kittens to PAWS.  Reunited. 

My wife then started in on “Oh it would be nice to have a kitten.”  Our current two, Remy and Sage are both 8 this year.  I said “No,no, no no no no no.”

ALL THE WHILE!  I’m in contact with PAWS trying to adopt this little split faced muted calico! 

Yes, I’m devious but romantic at heart!

Finally, on Friday before picking up the new kitten, I sat down and confessed to Jules. She called me evil while smiling and laughing.  I am evilly romantic is my problem.  Typically!  Jules picks out our animals, this time was my turn!  That lil munchin with the devious lil half and half face was mine!  I was naming her Quinn after Harley Quinn of Batman lure (Harley Quinn has this duel ponytail thing going on, one is one color, one the other, split – so the split faced look was perfect.  Also, she looked mischievous and, well, Harley Quinn IS a super villain)

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She sleeps BETWEEN us in bed, or on Julia’s pillow.  When Jules goes to work she thinks its playtime and wakes me up.  Sage and Remy are warming up, but slowly.  That is our new addition to the Super Hero Family (Storm after the XMan, Remy after Xman Remy Lebeau, Sage after the Xman)  I finally went DC and even villainess!  Imagine that.

I couldn’t picture my wife calling a cat Ollie or Black Canary, of The Flash…… 

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Skylite Drive-In

 

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I have several great memories of the Drive-In. 

In 1982 I have a vivid memory of going to the Drive-In with my best friend, Jason, his mom and his little sister, Joy.  I remember watching Joy fight sleep and I’m not sure if she succumbed or not.  Not long thereafter, Jason and Joy moved to Florida.  The year after I watched Return of the Jedi, and while I’d watched the other two movies previously this one seemed to capture my 10yo imagination and I realize that imagination had no limits. 

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There are very few good Drive-Ins that still exist; they are like the dinosaurs, slowly dying out, leaving their bones of fallen screens and broken speakers. 

In the 50s they were packed solid virtually every evening, in the 70s, many turned to porn to make ends meet.  In the 80s they began to fade away to the big cinemas and sit down theatres.   Summers were for enjoying time with your friends, socializing, but kids aren’t like kids used to be – twitter and facebook and text messages are their way of socializing.

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We never realize what a little nugget of history we have here in Northern Maine with the Skylite, and how many people have never been to a Drive-in. It’s still family owned and family run, Evan or Devon man the dough boy making, Donna takes your cash. You can chit chat while you wait and catch up and share a few laughs.

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When Jules and I began to “date” we never had a lot of cash, but we managed to go to the Drive-in a few times a summer. It was “date” night. Dough boys, soda, a movie. A rare late night as we are usually in bed early.

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You can still sit outside and listen to the speakers (yes, they work!) Or sit in your car and tune into the radio (or use the speakers!) or do as many people do, bring chairs and enjoy the movie under the stars. 

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I hope this wonderful place never disappears and turns into a relic as many of the other drive-ins in the US have.  That even if we drive out each night, that we can eternally drive-in, stay, have a fried Oreo (its good!  I SWEAR!), a dough boy, maybe even an gigantic pickle – bring the kids and have them experience a sliver of history.

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Kasey’s House

Houses are far more than 4 walls and a few doors and a place to sleep.  They are homes, they are safe and they are the place we always yearn for. I’ve known Kasey for six or more years, and I remember during the 1st year of our friendship, we happened by the farm house and she said, “And that’s the house that goes with our farm.” 

It was one of those old homes with character and I thought it would have suited Kasey (and her family) just fine. 

The house is now hers (and Andrew’s of course!).  Make sure you check out the full albums Smile 

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Jules and I bought an old house, but one that has already been “fixed up” in many ways.  I offered Kasey my Wednesday off to help out.  She said “only if you can.”  I consider Kasey family, so of course I could.  I came armed with my camera. 

I love doors.  I have a small door that leads to the cubby under our stairs.  I love doors.  I love door handles too. 

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There is something about the dark, gleaming, wood doors and the old door handles with intricate designs. 

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Oh that little peep hole.  The swirls and the black gleam of the knob, and when you turn the knob you hear the mechanisms shift and pop the door open, letting you thru. 

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I love light switches!  I have this old, battered, turny light switch.  I will never replace that light switch.  Ever!  Kasey has some lovely funky push button switches.

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In most of the upstairs rooms, each wall has a pair of lights on the inside wall.  Makes for a lovely perspective shot.

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Each room is unique.  Which, is a lot like every member of the family.  Each member is unique and different, but part of a whole.

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What do we do w/mason jars?  We drink from them of course – and I take pictures of them. 

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The trim, and the swirls and lines and the shine.  All part of how an old house will never be out of date, or never be worthy of redemption. 

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This is a sill that is at the head of the stairs, so when we are all tramping down the stairs like a herd of elephants, we miss these details.  I love them. 

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This is the hinge of one of the closets.  The detail and craftsmanship is always mind blowing. 

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Our staircase at home looked a lot like this, but not in as good shape.  We opted to tear is down and put a build in book shelf instead.  This is the view if you lay down and rest the camera on the floor Smile

The house has this wicked, awesome place to sit and read.  I want it.  I may have to incorporate that into the extension we want to build in a few years. 

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These are just shots of things that are unique and different and wonderful.  I bet I could walk thru the house a few more times and find different ways to take shots of things. 

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I HDR’ed a few photos to pull out some of the stunning details.  It was worth the time to HDR and see what the camera saw that I had missed. 

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Rummaging

I’ve been going through my photos.  I’ve far, far to many and if it were up to me I’d take far more photos.  I’m waiting for a computer chip to put in my head where I can take pictures w/my mind.

You know that’s coming. 

There will be an app for that.

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Sometimes a great shot is about luck.  And having a cybershot in your back pocket. 

 

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This one is just cute.  Remy the flying Canadian Cat, sometimes a shot is about seizing the moment. 

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I like perspective shots.  From above or below.  Change of focus.  Things of that nature.

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On the drive home one afternoon, Jules looks up to see two moose in a small pond.  I pulled over and with my 80-300 lens I start to shoot.  Not wanting to spook the moose.  Changing a setting or three while the moose dunked its head down to find the greens at the bottom of the shallow pond.  Note: this was taken w/a film camera, not a digital.

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The 1st photo I HDR’ed.  My photos aren’t true HRD.  Those are usually three shots, merged into 1, all with different shutter speeds and usually in RAW format.  I don’t own a tripod (yet!) and I don’t have anything that works with RAW photos (yet!).  Since, I’ve learned how to adjust my shutter speeds, etc to be able to “fake” a decent HDR shot. 

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This is a far better HDR rendering.  Taking HRD photos on the run is, of course difficult.  But this one, for a “fake” came out rather well. 

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As did this one. 

 

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Picture, however, don’t always have to be fancy.  Or overly pretty.  Pictures are meant to capture a moment in time for all eternity.  A message.  A moment.  A thought. 

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A feeling of being together.  Even in the chaos of renovations, in the relentlessness of life that always keeps moving.  It doesn’t have to be taken with a 1000 dollar camera, sometimes a cell phone and a moment is all it takes. 

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Mount Katahdin

It’s a big old hunk of granite that reaches out towards the sky to tickle the blue and be the first to be wet on those days where the sky is grey.

My brother, Lee, has always had a fascination with Mount K, for as long as I can remember.  Which, of course, means that I like Mt. K too. 

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Kids–Tyler

The splayed toes.  The look on his face.  The hair.  We’ve always said that Tyler has “my” hair.  Wayward, easier to take care of short.  This cowlick that will not quit.  Kids.  I think we have more pictures of Tyler because when he was a baby, I was just working.  I wasn’t putting in 5 hours a week studying, 10 hours travelling, 20 hours in class and another 20 hours at work.  I wasn’t writing novels every month, editing for friends and being a crazy, crazy person.  My fave shots of Sir Tyler. 

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The hair.  Ty is only a few weeks old here and look at the mess of hair.  Yup, I have the same mess of hair.  The toes.  Priceless.  The face.  I want to know what he’s thinking.  And he’s with Tante Jules which warms my heart.  Who gave him his 1st ever baby bottle in the hospital.  Good memories.

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Can you say Gerber baby?  The cheeks.  The blue eyes.  The expression.  Perfect.  That’s Tyler, the 1st nephew.  Going blonde. 

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One of my favorite pictures because it’s Tyler and Memere.  It’s nice to catch those moments and when he’s older he will be able to look back with fondness. 

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I love taking the camera off that “auto” setting and playing with the different settings.  At 1st, I was wary.  It’s wonderful with digital you can practice all you want!  In the day of film, 24 pictures and a day later, you could look at your photographs and see if you did a good job.  Now, instant gratification.  I had just gotten my Rebel (see how cool that sounds?) and was working on getting a blurred background and a sharp image of my subject.  I took this with my 70-300 zoom, on the marco setting, of all things.  Standing far, far away from active kids can allow you to get some great, fun and rather decent shots.  As long as you can stay steady. 

That’s my post for now!  What are some of your fave shots?  Leave a link in the comments!

Balloon Fest 2013

Last month was the annual balloon festival.  This is our second year in attendance.  Next year, as part of my “Oh my god I’ve graduated and have more than two pennies in my pocket” reward to myself.  I’m going for a ride.  I’m going to cough up the 180 bucks and go up.  Now, I’ll be going alone as everyone I’ve asked has said “Naw huh!”.  I’m not a fan of heights either, but the thought of what the views have to offer?  So going there. 

So this year, we had an added bonus.  My sister was going with her two kids, our nephews, Tyler and Ryan.  We don’t spend nearly enough time with them as we’d like.  Face it, I’m a full time college “kid” and when I go home I study, spend time with my wife or write.  We all met up and went for a walk around the staging are and we saw it.  The General Lee.  Eyes got wide and my sister and I smiled.  My brother, we’ve always said, is named after the General Lee. 

 

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That’s Tyler, the oldest to the left and Ryan, the younger to the right.  The car really looked great. 

We walked some more and went to the bounce house.   Wasn’t a huge hit.  I think they preferred to check things out instead. 

 

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They look nothing alike. 

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And then, they took off.  One of the best parts of the day.

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While the whole taking off thing is pretty darn cool, hot air balloons do something just as cool on the ground. 

They glow. 

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The festival come around every year, opening part of August, if you’ve never been, I suggest you plot and plan for next year.  It really is worth it.  There are food venders, cotton candy (whooo hoo!) and a small craft fair.  And it doesn’t cost a thing to get in and watch.  Bring a sweat shirt for the chillier evenings, we do still live in Maine, you know.  And just enjoy. 

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