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This was our first all Star Wars Halloween: Will was Obi-Wan Kenobi, Landon was Luke Skywalker and Drew was Commander Fox while Daddy was Darth Vader.
On a down note, this Halloween had the fewest participating homes ever. We were able to cover all the major streets in our neighborhood in just one pass with little street crossing required. Drew and Will's haul at the end of the night didn't begin to compare to last year's haul covering the exact same route. On the other hand, Mary said we had a record number of kids come to our door, nearly 200. I blame Obama.
The boys checking out our pumpkin carvings.
Landon trick-or-treated up and down our street with his brothers and then spent the rest of the night helping Mama hand out candy.
This and the prior photo are an example of the problem I come across whenever I select pictures for the blog or for out best of collection. The previous one is a much better photo with no flash, natural light and the glowing lighsaber but Landon isn't smiling. This photo is a typically washed-out flash photo but Landon has a great smile. I can't decide which I like better...so both get posted.
Just some photos of our Autumn Blaze Maple Trees in our backyard.
I got home early from work today for Halloween and took the opportunity to take shome pictures of the beautiful fall colors of our changing Autumn Blaze Maples.
We really love our trees and are incredibly happy with how they've grown and beautified our backyard.
After spending the day belatedly celebrating Pa's birthday at Ma and Pa's house (and having the most awesome lunch), we came home this evening to carve pumpkins. The boys quickly got down and dirty gutting the gourds.
A quick pause in the action while Daddy demands smiles.
Finally, the result of this evening's pumpkin carvings at the Danz's house: Will's Anakin, Drew's Yoda (originally Captain Rex but it quickly became apparent the design was uncarvable*) and Landon's Pluto. Happy Halloween!
*In fact, a Google image search reveals other identical Anakins and Yodas out there and plenty of Captain Rex heads, but no Captain Rex full bodies like the design in the book. A careful review of the package the designs came in reveals the examples were clearly photoshopped and not actual carvings. If there is a Captain Rex full body pumpkin carving, I'd really like to see it.
This morning we all ran in the Tulsa Run Fun Run.
Drew and I ran together, Uncle David ran with Will and Mama and Landon ran/rolled together. Afterwards, we made it just in time to McDonald's for a family breakfast.
This is a bucket of candy from about 35 years ago...sometime in the 1970s. It smells...bad. It's been sealed up since I hid it in my parents house when I was a kid. I took Halloween very seriously, mapping out my trick-or-treat route through the neighborhood on paper, starting early, ending late and always going alone so that I could go faster and get more "sympathy" candy..."Oh, are you alone, here take two." As a result, I acquired a greater than average haul by the end of the night. I was also very disciplined in my candy consumption, dolling out just a few pieces each or every few days, so that the supply would literally last a whole year until the next Halloween.
The only problem was that at some point I noticed my supply of sweet treats dwindling down faster than I myself was consuming it. My one sibling, Aunt Donelda, had a sweet tooth and was "borrowing" from my abundant supply...which I, otherwise, refused to share. So, I did what any child would do...I hid my stash! I'm guessing, the next Halloween rolled around with a whole new batch of candy and I forgot about my old stash. Recently, when Aunt Donelda was cleaning out our parents house, she found the candy...and knew instantly exactly what it was!
On a completely different subject, notice the quality of the photograph. Rather professional looking if I do say so myself. Click on it to make a larger version pop up. This was taken with the assistance of my new homemade light tent. I am extremely pleased with the results!
Finally, check out the half gallon lid: Sealtest, Vegetable Fat Frozen Dessert, Fudge Royale. Wow, does that sound delicious! I guess they were a little more truthful in advertising in the 70s.
I want to be able to take better pictures of small objects and for that I need better more reliable and consistent lighting and that means a light tent. After a lot of research on the internet, I decided that I could build a light tent myself that was not only cheaper but, more importantly, better. Not to mention, I get the satisfaction of building it myself.
Parts: two ten foot 3/4 inch PVC pipes (1 inch seemed like overkill and 1/2 inch seemed too flimsy), 4 T-connectors, 4 L-connectors and 4 caps, 3 light reflectors with clamps, 3 blubs (1750 lumen, 5000k daylight, fluorescent blubs), one shower curtain, one triple outlet and, of course, one pipe-cutter (if you don't already have one).
There's no set formula for size. I started with 24 inch lengths and worked them down from there to fit the shower curtain that drapes across so that it lands flush with the floor.
The boys inspecting the end result, a terrific homemade light tent, with three powerful lights that all folds up nicely and wasn't very expensive to make. Will, Landon and Drew are checking out my first photo project which appears in the next post: Candy from the 70s.
There is a meme going around the internet entitled First World Problems. I like it. It emphasizes how good we have it and how much we take it for granted. While millions, if not billions, of people around the world are dying of starvation and living in absolute squalor, first worlders are left having to magnify the most trivial of issues into their first world problems.
This week I was having a bad day and I went to Sonic for lunch. I asked for no pickles. The receipt evidences the fact they knew I didn't want pickles. They gave me pickles anyway. I was just about to get really angry when I realized the true trivialness of all my "problems." And, then I gorged myself on a wonderful Sonic lunch.
Landon: Daddy fight me? Daddy fight me? Daddy fight me? (Two year old asking for me to fight him with plastic light-sabers, holding one in each hand, made all the cuter by the fact that he can't pronounce the "f" in fight so it is: "Daddy ite me?").
Daddy: Ocupado! (I was busy and gave him the brush off with some spanish lingo.)
Landon: Daddy after ocupado fight me?
(After that, I just had to stop what I was doing and have a light-saber fight with my favorite 2 year-old.)
Fine, I'm going to hell...because at church this morning I whipped out my cell phone in the middle of services and snapped some shots of my two year-old. We were all singing when Landon decided to join in and pulled out the correct color hymnal (blue), oriented it the right way, opened it up, and to the best of his ability followed along.
It wasn't even a fluke. Later on, during a different song out of a different book (red), Landon was right there following along. I say following because he wasn't singing which is a good thing since he sings just as badly as his father but twice as loud! I'm off to do some Hail Marys and Our Fathers.
Today we made our annual visit to Pumpkin Town.
We always start off with the group pic of the boys before we move on to the fun stuff. No smiles and cooperation...no fun.
Drew mastered the lifting of the pumpkin last year so, of course, no problem this year.
This was the first year Will fully lifted his pumpkin off the ground. He was struggling, but he did it.
Landon is just not yet up to the lifting of the pumpkin challenge.
I was wrong! He just needed a Landon-sized pumpkin.
Will was first down the bouncy slide.
Followed by Drew and his patented method of staying in the center of the slide.
By far the most fun this year was pumpkin chucking. It was a first for us. We made like Angry Birds and slingshotted mini-pumpkins like crazy towards the target.
Drew came awfully close to the target a few times.
We had so much fun chucking pumpkins that we went back a second time and took videos of our efforts.
Landon riding a pony.
Will wasn't too thrilled that he was riding a girl pony.
Drew riding his pony.
Landon navigating the way through the hay bale maze. This way brothers.
Landon has found the way out.
It was a great year at Pumpkin Town.
One of my most common Monday lunches at work is a half club sandwich with fresh fruit and potato salad from next door. I've got to admit, it doesn't leave me really full but it does satisfy me and I feel good eating a variety of fruit: grapes, melon, pineapple, apple, pear and nectarine. Previously, I posted about my Thursday lunch.
Last month, September 21st, the Oklahoma City Devon Tower topped out, meaning that it had reached its peak with the laying of the final steel beam. I was in the city for work today and snapped some quick shots.
Exterior glass installation will continue through December, after which the cranes will come down. The interior is already being completed on some floors getting ready for the first employees to begin moving into the tower in March 2012. Everyone is expected to be moved in by June but construction still won't be fully completed until early 2013.
I grab lunch from a really nice woman who runs a small food shop in the building next door about twice a week. This is one of my favorite specials of hers which she has about every other Thursday: chicken, potatoes and vegetables. Two other days a week I go out somewhere for lunch and about once a week I wind up skipping lunch and just grabbing some Cheez-Its from our lunchroom.
I once asked my dad what he usually did for lunch and I think he had a similar answer: two days food from inside his building, two days outside and one day skipped.
This greeted me on the way to work this morning. First thought, do you go ahead and drive under it? Even if other people are...I'm not much of a follower. I need to make my own independent decisions. What if they were all driving off a cliff? This is one lemming who
marches drives to a different drummer. Is it bad luck to drive under a ladder looking crane conglomeration? Is there money buried under the Big W...or at least the middle part of it? ...and then I drove under it. Well, right after I snapped a picture through my windshield.
Today the five of us spent an absolutely beautiful day at the Tulsa State Fair.
Early on we all enjoyed the view from the Sky Ride. Interestingly, this ride which is a permanent fixture of the fairgrounds, had the most "professional" operators.
Drew and Will riding a rocket ship on the Star Command ride.
Mama even got in on the act and joined the boys on the Dragon Wagon ride. But, I'm not sure Landon has yet developed a full appreciation for carnival rides.
Mama and her boys: Lil' bro, Middle child and Big bro.
Will and Drew got to ride a camel, technically a dromedary or Arabian camel (one hump).
The boys got to see and learn about a newborn lamb. I still think they should combine the livestock show with A Taste of Tulsa. Come see exotic animals from around the world...and eat them! The children can pet their dinner before they eat it.
Drew, Will and Landon with a kid (baby goat) and rabbit.
Daddy, Drew and Will on the Silver Streak ride.
Finally, the family was patient while Daddy took some ferris wheel pictures before we left. A garbage can had to do as a makeshift base for the camera as I shot a few long exposure shots. I would love to take a tripod to the fair and spend some time shooting the moving rides at night.