A quick reminder to vote for one of the stories in the “B” Alphabet Challenge Submissions. You can vote HERE and for them who have yet to read them, there are links to each of the stories in that post.

By the way, you can still vote for the “A” Alphabet Challenge Submissions HERE and for them who have yet to read them, there are links to each of those stories in that post.

Few people bother to vote so your vote — unlike voting in the national elections — both counts and can have a significant impact. If the responsibility weighs heavy on your shoulders, then get a lot of people to read the stories and to vote, thus lessening the impact of your single vote.

The writers (I’m one of the writers) appreciate readers’ involvement and welcome comments and questions. They will be answered anonymously, but answers you’ll get (if you have questions, of course).

Click for a larger version.

That’s from early last month. This and the following are all high ISO photos (5,000 to 12,500) because the day was cloudy and the bird was deep in a cove of Crab Orchard Lake.

Yes, more shameless abasing as I ask for more readers to vote for their favorite story out of the three Alphabet Challenge “A” Submissions. If you haven’t read them, the links to the stories and the poll for voting are HERE.

We had a big drop in votes from the Christmas story poll. The x-mas challenge generated 21 votes in one week whereas this appears to be topping out at 12. We have a while longer for voting but I’m not optimistic.

But even 12 is better than the number of readers who normally vote on any of the polls. Still, I feel bad for the other two writers since they probably thought that — given my 1,700+ subscribers — we’d have more readers and votes.

Little do they realize that my circle of friends is limited and that most of the blog’s subscribers are just trying to sell stuff and don’t ever come back once they subscribe.  The funny part is that I thought they had multitudes of friends who would stop by and vote.

By the way, I added a few other options for the voting. I realized that only three choices left out people who don’t like any of the stories or that just don’t want to vote.

Tomorrow the “B” stories should go up for people to read, enjoy, and hopefully vote on.

But the main thing is the heron.

Click to see a larger version.

The heron was playing stop-and-move with me on a recent cloudy and drizzly day at Crab Orchard Lake. Meaning, whenever I would stop the car and get out to snap photos, it would move farther along the shore.

Another quick reminder to vote for your favorite story out of the three Alphabet Challenge “A” Submissions. You can vote HERE and for them who have yet to read them, there are links to each of the stories in that post.

If you’re a person who talks to your plants, they will enjoy hearing you read the stories to them aloud and it gives you 30 minutes of quality time with your green charges. Reading them on your own is also good and it takes even less time. You have a whole month to read them before the voting closes. But that’s not what I suggest. The opposite, in fact. Get to it now! Chop, chop. And tell all your friends.

Remember: it’s a win-win. If you like any or all of the stories, you can direct your good friends to them and thus strengthen the bond between you and your friends. If you hate all the stories, you can forward them to any annoying friends you may want to alienate and remove from your life.

And now, a reworking of the photos from the previous reminder.

Topaz Lab’s Impression app – click for larger view.

That’s Mauna Kea with snow and observatories atop it. Right now, superstitious indigenous people are doing their best to stop the construction of a new telescope. Something about the mountain being sacred and an ancient burial ground. Funny that because the whole island is a burial ground.

Lots and lots of people lived and killed each other all over those islands. By those standards, no one should live anywhere on those islands. Honest, I tried being sympathetic to the arguments but there’s a basic lack of honesty about it that I find annoying. Other than a few — very few by my personal experience — most natives don’t seem to live the Aloha spirit or have any spiritual connection to the places they consistently trash.

A quick reminder to vote for one of the stories in the “A” Alphabet Challenge Submissions. You can vote HERE and for them who have yet to read them, there are links to each of the stories in that post.

I realize it’s a huge time commitment (around 30 minutes reading time if you have to mouth the words or narrate them to your pets, less if you read them quietly), but you have a whole month to read them before the voting closes. Not that I suggest procrastinating. The opposite, in fact. Get to it now! Chop, chop. And tell all your friends.

Remember: if you don’t like any of the stories, direct all the people you don’t like to them so they too can suffer through their awfulness.

click for larger view

That’s from two years and two weeks ago. Pretty boring, no? We were probably on our way to Tex for a malasada fix when I pulled off the Belt Road just outside of Waimea and snapped that photo. Man, time sure flies.

I mentioned we moved to Illinois and one of the things I have fun with is what one calls themselves when residing in a particular state. 

Illinoisian be the official answer . . . pretty boring, you’d have to agree.  

Illinoisninian or Illinoisinian are more interesting names but they might have me mistaken for being an Illinois Indian. 

Illinoisionite could fit the bill but it just doesn’t have a ring to it . . . but Illinoisianinianite carries the mystique I’m looking for as well as integrating all the other possibilities.

It’s settled; Illinoisianinianites we be.