Readers are doing a decent job of trying to make the “Z” stories voting block the one with the most votes ever. It’s also nice getting feedback letting us know this is one of the best batches of stories yet. I mean, we always try doing our best, but it’s nice to read we’re ending the Alphabet Challenge on a high.

And you, yes, YOU, can help smash all previous voting records! Helping doesn’t mean just reading and voting for the stories, but also going the extra mile and urging friends and family to read and vote (presuming you have friends and family who like to read). This being the last group of stories, it’s not like they have to commit to much, especially since there’s only one day left.

That said, only read and vote if you have the time and inclination. Life can throw loops at people and if something keeps you from these stories, that’s perfectly fine.

But if you’ve been a reader of our offerings and someone who votes — even if only occasionally — know that you have the writer’s unending gratitude.

The links to this last trio of stories and the poll for voting for “Alphabet Challenge Z-Stories” are HERE(link). Votes will be accepted until  Noon (Central Time) tomorrow Thursday, April 8th, 2021.

Since I don’t want to keep you long, just a few photo offerings . . . 

Some sights from our 2015 travels to Yellowstone NP.

The “Z” stories voting block is progressing at a decent clip . . . but it could do much better. Unfortunately, this is the last chance for the voting to smash previous records. That’s right . . . it’s now or never.

And you, yes, YOU, can be a part of it and help us reach that goal! I don’t mean just reading and voting for the stories, but also pushing them onto friends and family (presuming you have friends and family who like to read). I mean, it’s not that much of a commitment (for them or you) since this is the last group of stories. Still, I get people may be busy hiding or hunting eggs and stuff, so do if you can, but don’t feel bad if you can’t (or, don’t want to).

Just know that if you’ve been a loyal reader of our offerings and someone who votes, you have the writer’s unending gratitude.

The links to this last trio of stories and the poll for voting for “Alphabet Challenge Z-Stories” are HERE(link). Votes will be accepted until  Noon (Central Time) on Thursday, April 8th, 2021. That means you have less than five days left.

For many people I know, today is kind of special. Whatever celebration you might be having — even if it’s just to enjoy being alive — I hope it is a grand day.

. . . I should probably express that more often since it’s my desire for readers and non-readers alike regardless of which day it is.

But, seeing as today is a holiday for some, I thought I would do a quick reminder post, and what better way to do “quick” than take previous photos and artsify them? That’s right; there is no better way. 

All of the photos are treated with Topaz Restyle, Topaz Impression, and framed using Topaz Studio.

The “Z” stories voting undergoes bursts of activity and — since this is the last of the stories — I figure I would do a bit more reminding and prodding. You know, to maybe have this last block smash the previous voting records.

And you, yes, YOU, can be a part of it and help us reach that goal! I don’t mean just reading and voting for the stories, but also pushing them onto friends and family (presuming you have friends and family who like to read). I mean, it’s not that much of a commitment (for them or you) since this is the last group of stories. Still, I get people may be busy hiding or hunting eggs and stuff, so do if you can, but don’t feel bad if you can’t (or, don’t want to).

Just know that if you’ve been a loyal reader of our offerings and someone who votes, you have the writer’s unending gratitude.

The links to this last trio of stories and the poll for voting for “Alphabet Challenge Z-Stories” are HERE(link). Votes will be accepted until  Noon (Central Time) on Thursday, April 8th, 2021. That means you have less than five days left.

Yellowstone NP is (so far) our favorite National Park. I mean, there may be parks out there we’ve not seen and that would supplant Yellowstone’s lofty position, but they have a lot to live up to. 

I mean, Yellowstone has the views, the animals, the mountains, and valleys . . . and then there are the geothermal features.

The “Z” stories voting is moving along at a reasonable pace. As a reminder, this is the last block of the Alphabet Challenge. If you’ve been waiting for an excuse to get involved, well, this is a good one.

If you’ve been a loyal reader of our offerings and someone who votes, you have the writer’s unending gratitude.

Links to the stories and the poll for voting for “Alphabet Challenge Z-Stories” are HERE(link). Votes will be accepted until  Noon (Central Time) on Thursday, April 8th, 2021. That means you have less than a week left.

So, the Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS3 was a camera I purchased in December of 2009 for the sole purpose of shooting movies. And for the 12x optical zoom. At the time, neither my phone nor my DSLR were capable of shooting decent video. Of course, the little camera was capable of shooting decent photos.

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot! I didn’t know Canada Geese liked hanging around in trees.

The above is an example of how and when I used the camera. Always on trips, of course, and I’ve shared videos captured with the little camera, but I seldom shared photos from it. In this particular case, I was golfing . . . and I saw two geese take flight — obviously in fear for their lives due to my erratic golf prowess — and I was flabbergasted to see them land on a nearby tree.

It’s been a while since one of these. Such a long while that I almost forgot about them, so I can only imagine what a surprise this will be for the few readers of this blog.

What prompted me to author this post? Well, I got annoyed. I read a post on another blog (from which I’ve since unsubscribed) and stupidly commented. Do you know how annoying it is having someone imply you’re a bigoted white Christian? You don’t? Well, let me tell you . . . it’s annoying.

Anyway, I had a choice . . . I could fume and plot the demise of the Human Race . . . but I then worried about all the pets that can’t work a can-opener. So, I decided to relax by processing a few photos and composing this post. I’m not sure I made the right choice, but here we are.

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 this post is mostly to amuse and entertain (me), but I name the location of these photos along with a red herring or two. It’s fine 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 multiple voting doesn’t work.

The location of the photos in the previous post<<link showcased U.S. Botanic Gardens<<link. For them interested in looking at it on Google Earth, here’s a screenshot of Google Earth’s street view. It’s close to the approximate location from where I snapped the 2003 photo, but know that the landscaping has changed (the coordinates are in the lower right corner of the screenshots — click for a larger version).

The “Z” stories voting block is live and running . . . and not getting much love (votes). Likely, it’s because so much time had passed between the end of the “Y” stories and this round, the last of the Alphabet Challenge.

That’s right . . . as a reminder to them for whom it may not have registered, this is the last round of the challenge — hard to believe three writers wrote 26 short stories each and posted them all here, for all to read. For them who procrastinate, this really is the last chance they will have to participate in voting for their favorite.

If you’ve been a loyal reader of our offerings and someone who votes, you have the writer’s unending gratitude.

Links to the stories and the poll for voting for “Alphabet Challenge Z-Stories” are HERE(link). Votes will be accepted until  Noon (Central Time) on Thursday, April 8th, 2021.

So, Note 20 Ultra . . . .

Once again, these are presented without any editing on my part . . . no post-processing of any kind . . . and today I want to address macro photography with the Note 20 Ultra.

“Say WHAT?”

You read correctly . . . the Samsung Note 8 is no more. My current phone is a Samsung Note 20 Ultra.

Let me explain . . .

It was the middle of February, and Melisa’s Samsung S8 decided it would change its state from that of a functioning high-end smartphone . . . and opted to become a sleek, pristine, glossy, and useless paperweight. No warning, it gave . . . it just had enough and decided to check out.

A little history on that phone and on the Note 8. It was 2017 when my then Note II decided it would no longer boot up. At that point, the phone was nearly four-and-a-half years old. Edited to add: here’s the LINK to the post about that event.

That’s when we upgraded both of our phones, Melisa going with an S8 and me with the Note 8.

My usual litany when I’ve been gone for a while goes something like this: sorry I’ve not been around much, but stuff be happening that precludes me from being more involved with the blog or the blogosphere in general.

Well, this is one of them times when the usual litany is applicable. Still, even when doing other things, I occasionally need to step away from “stuff” and dip my toe back into what relaxes me, namely, playing with photographs and posting them.

JPG output from Lightroom using “Auto” adjustments of the original RAW photo.

That’s a shot from the Rocky Mountains National Park, taken during a visit in July of 2010. The camera is the Nikon D200, and the lens is the Sigma 10-20mm f/4.0-5.6 at 13mm zoom (19.5mm effective). In fact, all the photos are shot with that camera/lens combination with the effective zoom ranging from 15mm to 30mm.
 

The “Y” stories voting block will end tomorrow at noon. I presume many people waited for their free extra hour — we set our clocks back this AM — to indulge in these stories. Well, it’s here; a whole hour to read these stories and vote for your favorite.

Edited to Add: For them who prefer doing everything at the last minute, we actually set our clocks forward this AM, so now’s the time to get a move on.

And, as usual, if you’re a regular reader of our stories and someone who votes, thank you for participating in this long experiment (we’re nearly done). 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.

We begin with . . . pareidolia<<link.

I’m always on the lookout for faces I might encounter throughout the day . . . usually, in our kitchen.

The “Y” stories voting block is getting to its last few days (it ends on Monday at noon). For them who like to squeak in at the last minute, we’re nearing that point in the voting block.

And, as usual, if you’re a regular reader of our stories and someone who votes, thank you for participating in this long experiment (we’re nearly done). 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.

Side Note: it’s been a tough week (for reasons I’ll write about soon) and that means another fairly short post (I can almost hear everyone cheer).

We begin with . . .

These photos are from last year’s visit to friends in Michigan.

I tend to snap photos of stuff whenever said stuff captures my interest . . . and, in turn, I capture it with my phone (in this case, my Note 8).

The “Y” stories voting block is going pretty well so this will be the last reminder for a few (or more) days.

If you are a regular reader of our stories, and if you feel like it, forward this post to someone who might enjoy them (and vote). Your friend — and even your enemies — will appreciate it, and the writers will be grateful. 

And, as usual, if you’re a regular 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.

Side Note: while this blog’s first post was on the 19th of March, 2010, yesterday — March 6th — was the day I created this blog. Why the delay? I tried out Blogger and Live Journal before settling on WordPress. Why mention this? Because; just because.

So, model planes . . . well, sculptures, really . . . .

Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress

I’m going back to 2010 for these three photos (with multiple versions of each photo). The first plane, above, is the Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress(link). That photo is as-shot (Nikon D200 camera).

The planes are in what is known as the Cadet Honor Court at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado. These planes are all sculpted by one person (LINK).

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.