Saturday, May 24, 2008

North Carolina (11/50)

I didn't know that North Carolina offered a Gator license plate, but here is the proof. How odd. I'm sure that Florida would never offer a Tar Heels plate. I believe that the state of Georgia also offers a Gator plate, but again, Florida isn't going to offer a Bulldog plate. It's great to be a Florida Gator!

Previous states: California, Virginia, Alaska, Connecticut, New York, Maine, Hawaii, Washington, Ohio, Wisconsin

The New Camera-Part Two

Here are some more photos from the new XSi camera. This is a tri-color heron, which is one of the ones you don't see very often. I've never seen one that had this much blue on his beak. I'm wondering if maybe that's not something do do with mating season. I suppose I need to look that up. These guys are neat to watch when they are hunting, as they contort their necks to get a better view and herd the fish into the best position for eating. Unfortunately, he didn't catch anything while I had my camera trained on him.

A New Camera

Well, after three years, I figured it was time for a new camera. The old Canon Rebel XT has been a great camera, but ever since the new XSi model came out last month, I've been jonesing for it. Today I got a coupon in the mail for 10% off at Best Buy, which combined nicely with 18 months to pay it off interest-free. I figured it was as good a time as any. The new camera is 12 megapixels, versus 8 for the old one, so I'm hoping my pictures will be a little more detailed. It also came with a fancy image-stabilized lens, which I am really excited about. I should be able to get better shots at lower light levels than before. I went out today and shot about 600 pics once I got the battery charged, and I'm pretty excited by some of the results. I stumbled on this night heron at Island Park, and was able to catch him in mid-flight. These are crops from the full frames, and you can see that there is still plenty of detail there. I'm hoping that a new camera will get me more excited about getting out there and taking more pictures, as I've been a little on the blah side about it lately. We'll see.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Oodles Of Doodles CCCXLII

A little bit of old-school military might for you here tonight, doodlewise. This artillery comes from the back cover of Felix Slatkin Conducting The Light Brigade-Charge! (Capitol T1270). I don't think this group has anything to do with the Enoch Light big band of the same name. I'm pretty sure Enoch's band was well known by this date, so it's odd that they used the same name. The liner notes make reference to Alfred Lord Tennyson and The Charge Of The Light Brigade, but still... This is the second doodle of a cannon that I've brought you, the other being from the inimitable Billy May. (Speaking of whom, I've got another doodle from one of his records coming up soon.) You know, looking at that other cannon doodle, I'm thinking they are by the same artist. Shame that neither one is signed. Oh, one more thing. Click here for some Felix Slatkin Christmas tunes. Good stuff!

The Fabulous Thunderbirds

As I promised some time ago, here are a whole passel of pictures featuring the United States Air Force Thunderbirds. These guys really put on an amazing show, filling every American with so much pride that I saw two or three small people burst from it right there on the tarmac. These pictures are from two shows I caught on consecutive days at the 2008 Sun-N-Fun Fly-in up in Lakeland. I showed up near the middle of the first show, but I saw the second show in it's entirety the next day. I shot over 800 pictures in all, and these are the thirty five or so best. Near the middle of the second show, all six planes were supposed to fly over in a delta formation and execute a roll as a formation. They flew over awful fast, but never rolled. Everyone sort of held their breath as the planes split off into groups of two at the end of the pass. After a minute or so, the announcer came on and said that there was some trouble with one of the planes. Flying off in groups of two allowed each pilot to scan the adjacent plane for visible damage. After another few minutes, one of the pairs flew in low over the runway, and one of the planes landed while the other one watched. The pilot stopped the plane as quickly as possible and shut off the engines without taxiing. They towed it all the way back around to the area where the spare planes were parked in formation. It was later revealed that the plane had struck a bird in plight, but the damage done to the plane was minimal. The other five pilots regrouped in the air and did another twenty minutes of show. Trust me when I say that if you get the chance, you should go see these guys perform. It is incredible.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Oodles Of Doodles CCCXLI

I always love the dancing doodles, but even among those, this one seems to stand out. These flappers come from the flipside of Georgie's Varsity Five-Razz Ma Jazz (HiFi R-805, 1958). Turns out that the George of Georgie's Varsity Five is none other than George Wright, one of the organists I like to share out with you at Christmas time. And the doodle turns out to be by someone you may know from the blog, Frank Page. I featured him on another HiFi release just a couple of days ago, as well as three (1, 2, 3) other times before that. With doodles like this, he's certainly a blog favorite!

Oodles Of Doodles CCCXL

If a doodle a day keeps the doctor away, then I suppose I'm not going to be too healthy. I tried for a while, but I couldn't do it. But I'm back today with another great doodle for you, this time from The McGuire Sisters and their album While The Lights Are Low (Coral CRL 57145). It's a pretty ornate street lamp, well, two actually, but there's no signature to tell us who may have done this doodle. Such doodles are pretty few and far between on the Coral label. Searching the archives around here yields only three instances (1, 2), and they are all three from Lawrence Welk. (I combined two of them into a single post, that's why I'm only giving you two links.) The McGuire Sisters are also responsible for one of my favorite Christmas shares here at the blog, so go check it out.

Thank You For Not Smoking

I'm not sure why, but I found this hilariously funny. I spotted this cigar-loving cop at Tropical Heatwave Saturday night. He was wandering around making sure things didn't get out of control, and every time I saw him, he had this huge stogie between his teeth. I never saw it lit, so I suppose he wasn't smoking on the job, but it's a fine line.