The “Y” stories voting block is live and running, and because we’ve been gone for so long, I plan a few extra reminders, this being the second (hence the title).

As usual, if you like a particular story, in addition to voting for it — and if you feel like it — forward it to friends and family. Ideally, they should read all three and make up their mind, but it’s OK if you bend them to your will . . . as long as they still vote.

No matter how one comes to the stories, if you read them and vote, thank you for voting for your favorite. Links to the stories and the poll for voting for “Alphabet Challenge Y-Stories” are HERE(link). Votes will be accepted until  Noon (Central Time) on Monday, March 15th, 2021.

So, falcons . . . .

I’m going back to 2009 for this photo of a sculpture found at the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs.

The “Y” stories voting block is live and running, and because we’ve been gone for so long, I plan a few extra reminders, this being the first (hence the title).

As usual, if you like a particular story, in addition to voting for it — and if you feel like it — forward it to friends and family. Ideally, they should read all three and make up their mind, but it’s OK if you sway them to your opinion . . . as long as they still vote.

No matter how one comes to the stories, if you’re a reader of our stories and someone who votes, thank you in advance for casting a vote for your favorite of the three. Links to the stories and the poll for voting for “Alphabet Challenge Y-Stories” are HERE(link). Votes will be accepted until  Noon (Central Time) on Monday, March 15th, 2021.

So, model plane . . . .

I’m going back to 2009 for this photo of a plane that has appeared numerous times on this blog. Normally, it’s shown sitting atop a post in the plaza right outside the Air Force Academy Chapel, along with other scale models of famous planes.

This is the 25th round of The Alphabet Challenge mentioned in THIS<<link post. As a refresher, the Broxson twins, Gary and Perry, and I will each write one story for each letter of the alphabet. Meaning, a story whose title begins with the given letter. For this round, it’s the letter “Y“.

Readers have two weeks from the date of publication to vote for their favorite story in the current round. Points will be assigned to each writer based on total votes received.

In each round, the story with the most votes gets three points. Second place gets two points, third place gets one point. In the case of a tie, the points for the tied rankings are added and then split equally among the writers who tied. At the end of the year, we tally up and crown the winner with the most points.

Long or short, each story will appear on its own post and the trio will be followed by a fourth post where readers can vote.

The writing challenge has no restrictions and the stories span a wide gamut of genres. The majority of the stories fall in the PG-rating range with a few perhaps pushing into the soft R-rating. Some readers might find a few of the stories disturbing because of the topics, language, and/or plot points, and if so, stop reading and move on.

Here we go. Presented anonymously, the first of three stories with titles beginning with the letter “Y” as submitted by its author.

This is the 25th round of The Alphabet Challenge mentioned in THIS<<link post. As a refresher, the Broxson twins, Gary and Perry, and I will each write one story for each letter of the alphabet. Meaning, a story whose title begins with the given letter. For this round, it’s the letter “Y“.

Readers have two weeks from the date of publication to vote for their favorite story in the current round. Points will be assigned to each writer based on total votes received.

In each round, the story with the most votes gets three points. Second place gets two points, third place gets one point. In the case of a tie, the points for the tied rankings are added and then split equally among the writers who tied. At the end of the year, we tally up and crown the winner with the most points.

Long or short, each story will appear on its own post and the trio will be followed by a fourth post where readers can vote.

The writing challenge has no restrictions and the stories span a wide gamut of genres. The majority of the stories fall in the PG-rating range with a few perhaps pushing into the soft R-rating. Some readers might find a few of the stories disturbing because of the topics, language, and/or plot points, and if so, stop reading and move on.

Here we go. Presented anonymously, the second of three stories with titles beginning with the letter “Y” as submitted by its author.

This is the 25th round of The Alphabet Challenge mentioned in THIS<<link post. As a refresher, the Broxson twins, Gary and Perry, and I will each write one story for each letter of the alphabet. Meaning, a story whose title begins with the given letter. For this round, it’s the letter “Y“.

Readers have two weeks from the date of publication to vote for their favorite story in the current round. Points will be assigned to each writer based on total votes received.

In each round, the story with the most votes gets three points. Second place gets two points, third place gets one point. In the case of a tie, the points for the tied rankings are added and then split equally among the writers who tied. At the end of the year, we tally up and crown the winner with the most points.

The writing challenge has no restrictions and the stories span a wide gamut of genres. The majority of the stories fall in the PG-rating range with a few perhaps pushing into the soft R-rating. Some readers might find a few of the stories disturbing because of the topics, language, and/or plot points, and if so, stop reading and move on.

Long or short, each story will appear on its own post and the trio will be followed by a fourth post where readers can vote.

Here we go. Presented anonymously, the third of three stories with titles beginning with the letter “Y” as submitted by its author.

Would you believe it’s been eight days since my last post? Well, it’s true. Not only that, people probably forgot we’re still doing the Alphabet Challenge.

It’s been a long while since I’ve gone this long without posting, but my navel doesn’t clean itself, and filing my nails takes a lot of time and patience. As for the Challenge, this was a challenging week for a few of the writers and we agreed delays were prudent. I know I’ve said this before, but the “Y” stories should be up and running in one or two days.

Meanwhile, let me continue with this travel-related theme.

As mentioned before, all the WitW photos are collected in THIS<<link SmugMug Gallery.  Each new post will identify the previous post’s photo. The poll at the end of the post is mostly to amuse and entertain, but I name the location along with a red herring or two. It’s fine with me if you look up the answer, and I won’t care much which name you vote for because, hey, you might want to amuse yourself as well. It’s open to multiple voting for people who like more than one answer. Let me know if it doesn’t work.

The location of the photos in the previous post<<link showcased Wilson Arch<<link. For them interested in looking at it on Google Earth, here are a couple of screenshots (the coordinates are in the lower right corner of the screenshots — click for a larger version).

Some (few) might have noticed my absence from this and other blogs . . . it’s been a hectic week but I figure I would post something to let people know I didn’t go off to Cancun or some other warm place (no, not hell).

First, we had a bit of snow (and single-digit temperatures) . . .

The “X” stories voting block has a little over twelve hours to go before it closes . . .

. . . and you know what that means. Yup . . . another reminder post, although I got to tell you, you ain’t got much time left.

But, if you plan on making the effort and squeak in just under the deadline, thank you in advance for casting a vote for your favorite of the three. Links to the stories and the poll for voting for “Alphabet Challenge X-Stories” are HERE(link). Votes will be accepted until  Noon (Central Time) on Tuesday, February 16th, 2021.

So, wildflowers . . .

Believe it or not, those are wildflowers . . . insomuch as they grew in a wild place. But, between me and you, I think these are remnants of cultivated flowers (probably Dianthus barbatus) that might have gone wild.

With the “X” stories voting block on its last three days — and this being (Saint) Valentine’s Day — I can think of no better romantic activity than spending quality time with one’s loved one and reading the short stories.

And then, in addition to voting for your favorite — and if you feel like it — forwarding it to couples you might know who need a boost in their relationship’s romance quotient.  Of course, you should encourage them to read all the stories for maximum romantic effect.

No matter how one comes to the stories, if you’ve read them and voted, thank you in advance for casting a vote for your favorite of the three. Links to the stories and the poll for voting for “Alphabet Challenge X-Stories” are HERE(link). Votes will be accepted until  Noon (Central Time) on Tuesday, February 16th, 2021.

So, it’s Valentine’s Day, or Saint Valentine’s Day. Truthfully, we don’t celebrate it per see (one could argue every day is Valentine’s Day . . . as evidenced by the open box of chocolates usually on the counter). But, for them who only celebrate their relationships on special occasions, here be some flowers.

The flower photos in this post are some of my earliest digital photography efforts (from 2003).

The “X” stories voting block is chugging along with only five days until the voting window closes. Some wait until the last moment . . . and miss it. Perhaps it’s a good idea to get started on them if you’ve not yet read them.

But, make sure you take care of important stuff first, and don’t feel guilty if you don’t get to these.

If you are a reader of our stories and someone who votes, thank you in advance for casting a vote for your favorite of the three. Links to the stories and the poll for voting for “Alphabet Challenge X-Stories” are HERE(link). Votes will be accepted until  Noon (Central Time) on Tuesday, February 16th, 2021.

And if you’ve already voted, perhaps you need some laughs . . .

I collect cartoons. I used to do it with clippings from newspapers, but now it’s all digital. Whenever possible, I try getting permission before sharing any of them. Some specify how they can be used, others don’t.

I had three previous posts alerting readers to the December 21, 2020, Saturn and Jupiter Great Conjunction (LINK, LINK, LINK) . . . and I’m a bit behind in documenting the actual event.

This will be a “longish” post taking us From December 10th to December 21st. There will be another post documenting the days after the 21st’s closest (visual) approach of the two gas giants. But for now, let’s proceed.

This post documents days in which I was able to photograph the planets in reasonably clear skies — six days, starting with December 10th and ending with December 21st.

December 10, 2020, 17:10 — Marion, Illinois
Nikon D7500, Nikon AF VR-Nikkor 80-400mm 1:4.5-5.6D
Photo: 80mm 3 sec. f/7.1 ISO 500

Impressive, no? That’s what happens when you forget to change camera settings . . . but, luckily, I shoot RAW, so I can salvage something from that.