Only two defining forces have ever committed to die for you:
Jesus Christ for your soul and
The American G.I. for your freedom.

Friday, December 19, 2008

A Note to Anita and Suzy

Dear adopted daughters,

You have been kept in the dark long enough. I was going through some of your mom’s old photos and discovered this with a press release stating that Caroline (last name was blurred out – and that is the reason I suspect that your mom is hiding something) was on the set of a Sky King movie production in a semi starring role at Malibu Beach, CA. It must have been an important role because; as you can plainly see, she has her name on her beach chair.

What a remarkable discovery – don’t you agree?

I don’t know about you guys – but I think she is beautiful enough to have been in the starring role. Your mom insists that it is not her picture. So I have concluded that she must be hiding something from all of us. For instance, it looks like a coke bottle on the table – but what really is that dark stuff, half consumed? She looks as if she is giving the guy with the camera a come-on. What really intrigues me is what is in the jug! Moonshine? Bathtub Gin? I have no idea and your mom is mum.

I leave it to you gals to solve the many mysteries of your mom. In the meantime, I will be content to continue to go through her old photos – maybe I will find some other interesting aspects of her life that she has been hiding from me and you.

Love you guys,

Saturday, December 6, 2008

These delightful girls are Caroline, 10 and Catherine, 8 who are our only grandchildren. They both attend the Vega grammar school in McKinney, Texas and are both active in sports -- Caroline in Volleyball and Catherine in Socker. They provide us unimaginable joy. The photos are by Mom, Anita. I added a little more sparkle to their eyes but very little. We stay in touch through telephone and Skype.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Well I am a tough old fart but age has imposed some severe limitations on my ability to deal with multiple demands – like when I was younger: I could handle a bad cold, severe stomach cramps and having to pee in the middle of the night. As it happened last night, nature demanded that my bladder be emptied ASAP while enduring a bad cold and severe stomach cramps. So I unplugged my CPAP mask and started toward the relief room – in the dark of course. Well nature also informed me that my stomach was hurting badly – so bad that I passed out. I did not know that I had passed out until my forehead struck the corner of the closet wall wherein I was stunned momentarily back into unconsciousness. Caroline was over me immediately crying not knowing what happened. I did with Caroline's assistance do what nature demanded. I will survive.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

First Flight of the Piper Cheyenne III 05-18-1979

First flight of the Piper Aircraft Cheyenne III at Lakeland, Florida on May 18, 1979. I am on the right with my co-pilot, Dave Lawrence. The flight plan to investigate numerous flying qualities of the airplane had to be abandoned due to a difficulty with the roll controls (ailerons) locking in fixed positions approximately 20 degrees left and right of neutral. The ailerons were designed with beveled edges to reduce aileron control forces of the reversible (non hydraulic boosted) system. By carefully rigging the ailerons with a droop the problem was eliminated. It took another 8 months of intensive testing to resolve other problems with the deep stall characteristics. The airplane received FAA Part 23 certification in January 1980. Approximately 80 aircraft were built in the following years and the airplane was later improved as the Cheyenne IIIA and Cheyenne IV equipped with 1000 shaft horsepower Garrett Engines. Additional photographs can be viewed at the blog links located on the lower left panel.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Caroline, Catherine and Mother, Anita

The Vietnam War Memorial

This photograph is a blending of two photos. The first is the panel on the memorial and the second is the image of the three combat GI's statue that was selected out of a separate photograph that included trees, people and park benches. The image of the wall was originally skewed because it was shot on an angle. Photoshop provides a method of dragging (skewing) the edges in order to align the image to the edge of the photo. The selection of the statue images was then blended with the panel depicting the names of the fallen.
Check the links on my blog list for more information concerning the wall and how each panel relates to those who sacrificed.

Your Needlepoint This Meditation for a Dark Morning

William Ernest Henley. 1849–1903


OUT of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Retouch of My Mother In Traditional Hungarian Dress

This photograph is 80 years old and depicts my mother at the age of 16 dressed in a traditional Hungarian costume of the era. It takes awhile but with the tools available in Photoshop CS3 and now CS4 primarily the clone stamp, spot healing, healing and patch tools the task is a pleasant experience. After the retouching process was completed, the result was sharpened using the unsharp filter. Click on each photo to observe a magnified view of the images.

My First Photoshop Portrait Retouch

Sara manages the local high-speed internet provider office in the mountains of Western North Carolina. The photograph was taken in available light with a Sony A100 DLSR with the ISO set to 100. The natural lighting provided excellent shadows. Adding the spotlight from above right gave the photograph a warm glow and complemented the available light conditions. Click on the individual photos to magnify each photograph.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Centennial of Military Aviation - Wright Flyer, Model 1908

This is the Wright Flyer Model 1908 reproduction that was displayed at the centennial of the birth of military aviation. The photograph was taken in available light with a Sony A100 with the ISO set at the maximum of 1600. A duplicate of the photo was made in Photoshop and the blend mode set to color dodge. Surface blurring was added to reduce noise.