Sunday, November 30, 2008

This one is a classic. If you haven't seen it, watch and learn.
Obviously, this buffoon didn't know the basics of handgun safety. So the government sends him to a school to give a demonstration of his idiocy. He shot himself in the leg, but he could have easily killed someone in the room.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Coco Chocolate Lounge & Bistro

Okay. Last night Becky and I ate at Coco Chocolate Lounge & Bistro in San Antonio. Yeah, she's the pastry chef there. Which means she creates and makes all the desserts.

Time to brag. Here's the cover of the San Antonio Magazine that came out this weekend.

And here's the page that says that Becky's desserts are the best in San Antonio.
Well, tied for first anyway. The thing to remember about this is that San Antonio is a HUGE city, bigger than Dallas.

And here's Becky's signature dessert - the chocolate Kiss.
Too bad you can't taste it!

All these picts were taken with my Lumix Lx3 with available light. If you want to see more picts, go here.

Monday, November 24, 2008

San Antonio

I'm posting this from Becky's truck because it's the only place were we can access non-secured wifi in her apartment complex. It's raining here, so I'm not sure what all we will do today. Last night I wanted to see where she used to work at the La Mansion del Rio on the River Walk. I'd never been there, so that was interesting. I didn't realize how extensive the River Walk was. It's quite a long string of restaurants and shops on the river.

Sunday morning I preached at Redeemer Pres in Austin. What a great church. Faithful, rich liturgy. Friendly, engaged people. The congregation is about 500 strong, so they need to have two worship services. There were a couple of firsts for me. I'd never preached the same sermon twice in two back-to-back services. It wasn't as bad as I thought it might be. But the second sermon was not exactly the same as the first; I'm sure it was much better. This was also the first time I've ever preached a 20 minute sermon in a regular morning service. I think. I believe my first sermon turned out to be 17 minutes and the second just a bit longer than 20. I'll have to think about that experience a bit more. My regular sermons used to be a lot longer than they are now, but 20 minutes would be a challenge. But it might be worth it. We'll see.

Time for a few more shots of Spencer.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Picture Perfect

Well, not quite. This could have been framed better, but this was the only opening in the trees to get a shot. So the composition isn't that strong, even if the light was pretty good.

If you pronounce "storm" as "starm" like a good south St. Louisan, then a proper title for this would be: "A Warm Farm in a Storm."
I'm off for Austin, Texas, this morning. Hopefully, I'll get to post something tomorrow afternoon when I arrive.

Friday, November 21, 2008

As Good as it Gets

Okay, so I'm listening to the news at the top of the hour and they are talking about something new in the St. Louis city school district. This is a public school district that has been de-certified because of its poor performance. But fresh ideas are in the air. Change is on the way. People are excited. A new life for the school is just around the corner. A school official was proud and hopeful, saying, "We are implementating programs that will. . . "


It's called the English language. You might want to learn it before you attempt to teach it by implementating programs.

The only deer I "shot" this year!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Ejected Casing & More

I love to capture the ejected casing in these kinds of shots. This is Jeffrey shooting a Sig P228 (9mm) yesterday. Yeah. His grip is squirrelly. I know. Hey, he's 15. He does what he wants.

I may as well give you a video, too. But in this video he's shooting an RIA (Rock Island Armory) .45 auto (1911a1 CS GI). See the picture below the video.

The RIA 1911 "Officers" 45 auto

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Deer Hunting Report

Well, no deer this year. That's okay for me cause I got a big one last year. But I was hoping Jeffrey would shoot a big buck. No luck this time. Bummer. Here's some pictures of the mighty hunter.
On his way to the tree stand.
Waiting in the stand.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

More Deer Hunting

Jeffrey and I are headed back out this afternoon. I was out of town during youth weekend and so he wants to get out on his own during regular rifle season. Looks like we'll have too nice, almost warm days. Not sure what that will mean for hunting.

Image of the Day - A Shelter in the time of Storm
St. Jordan's of Beaufort, MO

Department Store Deer

Why bother to sit in a stand and hunt deer when you can bag one at your local Target store!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Back from Hunting

I've been deer hunting since Friday. That's why I've not posted. Not much to report, however. I really wasn't trying very hard this year. Last year I shot an 8-pointer, which is gracefully mounted and hanging in my den (see pict to the right). Plus: we're still eating the meat. I went this year for the fun of hanging out with friends for three days. The deer were pretty scarce this opening weekend. When I left this morning no one had bagged anything yet.

I took maybe about half a dozen decent photos on the trip. Here's one of them. Right outside of Mt. Sterling, MO on Highway 50. I rolled down the window and shot this. The storm behind the hills and the sun behind me made for some interesting light.

Thursday, November 13, 2008


Wayne has a great list of recommendations for books on World War I. When I read his post I was humbled. I haven't read any of those books! Not one.

I've read so many works on World War II but I've completely neglected the first WW. I've got some catch-up reading to do. Luckily I have a little time. I think I'll start with Tuchman's The Guns of August. That's because I have a thing for well-told war narratives. I especially like eye-witness accounts or stories built up from interviews with combatants.

Hey, don't forget to vote (see yesterday's picture post).

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Toy Town - Pick One

#1 - Toy Courthouse
Who needs a tall building when you've got the Arch downtown! Monday I went down to the riverfront and ascended the Arch to capture these images. You know, I've never been up in the Arch. I grew up in St. Louis. I watched the arch being built in the 1960's. The route for my grade school bus had us going East on Gravios every morning to Heege where you get an overlook of the city. We could see the two legs of the arch going up (with crane's poised on each one).

Anyway, after all these years I finally went up. There were times in the past where I tried to go up, but it was always too busy, the lines were too long. This time I went in, bought a ticket, walked over to the tram, waited about 2 minutes, got into car 6, and ascended to the top all in about 10 minutes. Hey, it's cool up there. Thankfully, the windows were not too scratched up and dirty. I can see scratches & blemishes on a few of my images, but by and large they are nice and clean.

Okay. Here are three Toy Town St. Louis City images. Choose which one you like the best. Whatever one tickles your fancy, makes you feel good, or even has some artistic quality (composition, lighting, etc.). Just pick your favorite. By the way, the last time we did this everybody mostly chose the black and white image of the Unknown Soldier grave stones at Jefferson Barracks. I did get in the top five in that contest. The theme for this current contest is "minuscule." I hope to win this one. Nothing less.

Remember to click on the image for a larger version. Don't vote for #1 just because it looks bigger because of it's orientation.

#2 - Toy Town St. Louis

#3 - Tiny Temple (Revised Edition)

$4 - Little League Stadium
Which image is the best?
#1 - Toy Courthouse #2 - Toy Town St. Louis #3 - Tiny Temple #4 - Little League Stadium   

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Veterans Day 2008

Random Stuff

My favorite breakfast: 1) three eggs fried in butter, crisp but over medium so the yolk is runny; 2) fresh biscuits and sausage gravy on the same plate with the eggs; 3) crispy cooked pancakes with real maple syrup; and 4) a big glass of very cold milk. Oh, and I like the new sausage and gravy biscuits at Hardies. Add an egg to the biscuit and it's wonderful. Just don't try to eat it while driving.

I heard on the radio news this morning that the US auto dealers are in trouble and "President-elect Obama wants to help." Really? That's great, I thought. Maybe he can volunteer some of his time at a factory. Maybe he has some extra money in his bank account or in investments that he can loan to them. Perhaps he can sit down with the executives at Ford and GM and share some of his ideas for streamlining the business and turning things around for them. That would really be cool if he volunteered some of his time and money to help them. But no. He doesn't really want help. What he wants to do is force the rest of the country to "help" them. Why can't the news accurately report what is going on? "President elect Obama has a plan that would take more money from productive citizens and give it to these failing industries. If anyone disagrees with this, that's tough. You don't fork over your money, you go to jail."

The hubris of academic religious studies is astonishing. For the past month or so I've been preparing for some lectures on the Gospels I'm doing in December. I've been reading the latest on the "synoptic problem," trying to get up to speed on current research. Sheez. Talk about the blind leading the blind. For example, there's more time and effort spent on understanding the make-believe document "Q" (supposedly behind what is common in Matthew and Luke) than on the actual extant Gospels! Essays, dissertations, and books have been written on the date of Q, the sources used by the author of Q, the background and presuppositions of the author of Q, the Q community behind the document, etc. Unbelievable nonsense. Q is make believe. It only exists in the minds of academics. If I want to know about Q, I'll read James Bond novels. They are just as imaginative, but infinitely more interesting.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Toy Cars & Trucks

I'm experimenting with creating fake miniatures with tilt-shift post processing. These are not great images because the subject matter is pretty boring. But the faux miniaturization is pretty cool. Now all I need is the right opportunity to capture something interesting. Anyone own a tall building downtown so I can get up on the roof and take some pictures?
Both of these shots were taken from the top of the parking garage at West County Mall.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Ghost House

I saw this abandoned house as I was driving on Hwy 163 about an hour west of Pella, Iowa. I turned around and was surprised that I could make it up the old dirt road to the house itself. I didn't have a lot of time, so I captured these 5 images.

Ghost house

Front Door


Sitting Room


Friday, November 7, 2008

Anointing With Ketchup and Mustard!

Amazing video!

Closer to the Start - New Creation from Fellowship Church on Vimeo.

When I get back from sabbatical we're gonna start anointing people with kectchup and mustard at my church.

I never knew you could shine a black light on ketchup and mustard and get such colors! Cool! Modern liturgy! Liturgical innovation. A new creation! Or a new human burger. Whatever.

It's time to come into the 21st century, pastors! Let's get excited! Let's let some 50-year-old chicks to squirt ketchup and mustard on us while we sing!

HT: Wayne

Clock Tower - Fairfield, Iowa

Image of the Day

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Lumix DMC-LX3 Review & Images

Well, not a full-blown review, but sometime more like a recommendation. I know that most of my blog readers will not necessarily be interested in this, so this is for those who are Googling and looking for reviews on the Lumix LX3.

I've been looking for a good "point & shoot" as a back up for my Nikon D300 for some time. I've actually tried a number of potential cameras over the past few years. A Canon G7. Nope, sold it on eBay. A Canon G9. Had it for a while but then sold it. I returned a few other smaller point and shoots, too. I just haven't found anything that I really like.

Part of the problem is that I'm spoiled with Nikon and Nikkor lenses. I haven't been able to find a smaller, pocket camera that comes even close to the quality of images I get from my Nikon equipment. I also need some flexibility to work in different "modes" so that I can set aperture or ISO quickly depending on the lighting and subject. I thought I was asking for too much.

A week ago I bought a new Lumix DMC-LX3. I read the reviews and it seemed like what I wanted. So far I've been very, very pleased.

Today I took it with me on my daily walk. That's something I just cannot do with my Nikon. Too big and clunky. I walk an hour every day in the neighborhood and in a park nearby. I snapped a lot of pictures while I was walking. All jpegs. The metering on this camera is really, really good. The dynamic range is impressive. The Leica lens is unbeliebably sharp for a little guy. The "intelligent auto" is almost always dead on. It choses pretty much what I would otherwise choose manually. I love the wider angle lens (24mm). I can set it to aperture priority, which is how I usually shoot with my D300. The "auto LCD" is a nice touch that gives you variable brightness depending on how bright the ambient light is.

Anyway, click the read more below to see some of the images I took today. There's a little post-processing with most of them, but not that much. This is one phenomenal little point and shoot.

You can go to my LX3 gallery to see more images.