Showing posts from November, 2008

Now that is good photography

Ironman is a hard event. Ironman requires intense training in multiple disciplines including biking.

Look closer and you will see that this guy is multi-tasking. While biking, he is also spitting?

Of course. Every serious biker knows that you need a way to clear your nose and/or throat from time to time without losing speed.

More Arizona Ironman Pictures

Grant Baird has a great website about triathlon. He has pieces of information on many of the racers and races. He either takes the pictures himself or finds other photographers willing to share some shots. He has featured a bunch of shots from several different photographers for Ironman Arizona last weekend including about 5 of mine. Take a look at his IMAZ November page and see some great shots.

It is always fun to watch the professionals, especially when you see the leaders really moving by. At this point, Joanna Zeiger was only about 13 minutes behind the lead men by my watch.

Feel free to drop by Flowing Desert Photography and see more of my pictures. If you like what you see, please feel free to rate your favorite pictures (at least a quick thumbs up is appreciated) and tell your friends about it.


Thoughts on Life and Running

I am a runner. That is not the only thing or even the most important thing about me, but I fall into the runner category rather than the non-runner category. Or at least I do now. 4 years ago, I was most definitely NOT a runner. Since I am pretty new to running, sometimes I make discoveries that seem profound. Like one evening some time ago.

My schedule called for a 6 mile run. That was not a particularly long run given my fitness level at the time, but it is more challenging than a 30 minute "easy" run. I always try to stick to my schedule, since I have created the schedule with a goal in mind and each training event is a step closer to that goal. When I miss a goal, that can make the next step that much harder and easier to fall completely off the schedule.

This night, after about 20 minutes or so, my stomach started to give me trouble. Not just the usual "I might have eaten a bit too much at lunch" kind of rumble I get from time to time, but more of a &quo…

2008 IMAZ November Edition

Well, April of last year I volunteered at IMAZ. I rode my motorcycle on the course in front of the lead male rider. It was a tiring day and I didn't have to pedal.

When April 2008 rolled around, it was my turn. I had done my training, established realistic goals and was ready. I had a tiring, but fun and successful day. I was proud to have finished my first Ironman, especially given the very hot conditions that resulted is one of the highest DNF rates of any Ironman in North America.

The organizers of the race decided to move it to November to try for better weather conditions. This weekend was the first of the new "Fall Edition" of IMAZ and I decided to head out with my camera to see Ironman from a new perspective.

Some of the highlights included seeing the lead bikes racing out of transition and getting a picture of the guy who finished the swim in first place and the bike in second place:

Watching these athletes fly by on their bikes was both humbling and motivati…

Saturday Pictures

I set out very early this morning to get some shooting done. I had heard about a place where I had a good chance to see some wild horses around sunrise. I left the house around 5:30 in the morning and drove out by the river.

It was starting to get a bit light by the time I got there and started to walk down to the river. I saw lots of evidence of horses like this on the road:

More pictures at Flowing Desert Photography

That one belongs in the "not my job" category.

Down at the river, I watched the sun rise over Red Mountain.

I also got some neat cactii pictures, but I haven't finished cleaning them up yet so I'll show them off another day. I've got a busy day planned for tomorrow. I'm going to go shoot another triathlon. Ironman Arizona is in town for a second time this year. Last year, I volunteered. This spring, I raced. Now I will photograph it. I guess that makes me a well rounded Ironman. I will try to get those pictures up by Tuesday, at least th…

TV makes you sad

I just read that Unhappy People Watch More TV.

Cause and Effect.

Is this because happier people find other things to do than watch tv or because people that watch tv get depressed from all the negative garbage that can be found there? Or maybe a combination. I wonder if someone only watched positive and upbeat shows if they would still be less happy than someone that watched less tv?

The thoughts of other armchair shrinks is welcome in the comments.

Running Rules

I first heard about the rules of running when my oldest son and I started training for our first HM with Team Diabetes. The ones that stand out most for me are:

1. The 10% rule. Don't increase distance of your longest run or total weekly mileage by more than 10% a week.

2. Change your shoes when needed (300-500 miles or new soreness).

3. Stretch and warm-up before running, especially before speedwork.

4. Stepback or recovery weeks are necessary for improvement.

There were more and I'm sure if Coach Dave sees this he'll remind me, but following these rules took me successfully to my first half marathon, then to my first marathon, then to my first Half-Ironman and finally to my first full Ironman. By successful, I mean that I completed those distances on my first try and without any significant injury. Learning what soreness to look out for almost stopped my first marathon attempt, but new shoes and a few days of rest and ice kept me in the game. I did all that in about 3 yea…

Half Full or Half Empty?

Half Full:

100% of the votes in last weeks poll about making regular "good news" post every week said YES!

Half Empty:
There were only 2 votes.

So am I an optimist (half full) or a pessimist (half empty) kind of guy? Well, I like to think of myself as an optimist, but in this case, I am going to choose a middle ground. I will not commit to posting a dedicated blog every week about a positive story, but I will post a dedicated blog about positive stories every time I find one. I know there are positive stories all around. With just a little searching, I found this one:

Woman buys foreclosed home for stranger.

And talking about this next one always chokes me up a bit. You see, my youngest son was born with a cleft lip and pallet and while we are blessed to have had good insurance and were led to a great surgeon, many people do not have that chance. Operation Smile goes around the world donating the medical care needed to provide many kids with the surgery they need to have a …

Backyard Discovery

Last night, my wife told me the dog was acting strange when she went out to say hi to him. I went out to check on him and brought a flashlight to see if there was anything amiss in the yard. Dog was fine but here is what I saw:

Do you see it? Almost dead center in the picture, in the rocks, you might see a little critter. Here is a better shot of him:

He was amazingly slow to react to my presence and the dog was strangely either unaware of him or uninterested in him. That was out of character since the dog is part Border Collie and Labrador Retriever and typically does not allow any winged creature to land in his yard and will usually chase birds (and planes sometimes) just flying by.

After a few pictures as I got closer and closer, the owl flew to the fence and then the dog finally decided to bark at him and he left for the night.

After a bit of research, I think he was a burrowing owl, but I would be happy to hear any other ideas as I am not an exterienced bird watcher.

More Sedona and Crown King Pics

Here are a few more of the shots that I took this past weekend. Hope you like them.

They call this mountain King Kong. Do you see why?

The pillars just make you wonder why they are still standing when the rest of the valley eroded over time.

Visit my photography site for more pictures from this trip and others.

Two Good Tuesdays

The news is all too often negative and it sometimes seems like there is not a whole lot of good left in the world. The only purpose for today's entry is only to point out a few of the good people out there trying to make a difference. The neat thing is that I consider both of these people friends as we are fellow members of a close-knit online running community called the 30-something's. Lucky for me they don't enforce the 30's part of the group.

Case Number 1
Larry is a volunteer firefighter. That makes him an example of good people right there by being willing to take personal risks to save others. That is not all. Larry is raising money to support his volunteer fire department department. That's right, he not only does NOT get paid to be a firefighter, but he is raising money to meet a need his department has. They do not currently have enough radios for each firefighter and that can pose a safety risk if all firefighters do not get a message in time or are …

Day Trippers

The family decided this past Saturday was a good day for a road trip. We packed a lunch and when everyone was ready, grabbed our cameras, jumped in the car and took aim on Sedona.

Partway up there, we decided to take a detour and head to Crown King. The last time I was there was several years ago and we had taken the back way up. That is a 4-wheel drive only way, so we took the "road" in. It was a bit slow going at times, with progress hindered by the road (bad in some places and only one car wide in others) as well as my willingness to stop anytime I saw something I wanted to get a picture of, even if it was just an old stone house.
More photos at Flowing Desert Photography
There were a few places where I really wished we still had the Durango so we could have gone to Sedona the rest of the way instead of back-tracking after our stop in Crown King to get some fudge.

As we got to Sedona, we stopped for the mandatory pictures at all of the scenic overlooks. Bell Rock was t…

Freedom is not free

More photos Flowing Desert

Freedom takes work. The work of our men and women in the armed forces is certainly one part of the equation. Another vital component is everyday citizens that pay attention to what changes are proposed and speak out loudly (but in a civil manner) and engage others in debate and dialogue.

Xavier posted an entry. I think the following excerpt from that is a key thought that everyone needs to be aware of:

Gun rights are about self protection, not hunting. ... We are not just hunters. We must stand up and say who we are. We are mothers and fathers. We are Democrats, Republicans, Libertarians and Independents. We are black and white, yellow and brown. We are gay, straight, bisexual and asexual. We are Protestant, Catholic, Jewish, Muslim, Agnostic, Atheist, and we live in every state in the Union. ... We have one common goal. ... the preservation of our right to self defense.

As a bumper sticker I saw said:

"God, Guns and Guts created this country. Let's…

School is Cool!

I probably never would have said that in middle or high school. I know I never said that about most of my college classes. I have finally found a school that is cool.

Digital Photography School is a great forum for photographers of all experience levels. I discovered it this past summer as I was considering getting a newer, better camera. It is a great place with a lot of areas. One of my favorite areas is the forums critique section. People post their pictures along with some information about what settings they used to take it and ask one or more questions. Then, other people provide feedback.

Generally speaking, this feedback is of a positive, supportive nature. Sometimes, that feedback means saying "I don't like it" but even so, that is done with a positive spin. Usually, someone providing that feedback will suggest something the photographer could do to improve the shot.

Usually though, the feedback is overwhelmingly positive. Not artificially so, but in a…

What is Beyond Beta?

Once upon a time, a long, long time ago, I was lucky enough to know someone who had a pre-release copy of a new version of an operating system that was planning on taking over the personal computing world. This was something called Windows and the release they showed me was 3.1 which promised huge improvements in usability and stability over 3.0. It was a rarity in those days, to get a glimpse into software that was "not-quite-finished" but was close enough to get a feeling about it. It was also fun to be on the inside of cutting edge technology. They called it Beta, indicating that is was not yet ready for sale, but was more advanced than Alpha. Beta was usually limited to the employees of the company producing the software and a select group of others.

Fast foreword and the Beta versions of more programs started getting wider distribution and the exclusivity started to wear off in some cases. The wider distribution provided the developers more free testers to identify…

Visitors from the internet

I think that the statistics for the past 30 days for my little blog are pretty interesting. I have had visitors from 10 countries:

Czech Republic
New Zealand
United Kingdom
United States

A while back I had noticed that I had a visitor from Finland. I have no idea who it was, but I thought it was an interesting coincidence since my Mom is full-blooded Finn.

In the USA, I have had visitors from at least 33 states. I say "at least" because there are several that are listed as "not set". Maybe this can be my first "50-state club" and I can get people to visit from the missing states. The western-most states that I am missing are Idaho, Nevada and New Mexico. If you know anyone in those states, see if they will drop by once and represent their state.
I'll update the tally soon and see if this might work. Next time I'll list all the missing states and see if any of my loyal readers can help me fill in the blank …

Daily News

Well, I voted this morning, so that was a good start to the day.

I went to a Microsoft Road Show. Those of you that know me might be surprised, but my job also requires that I support SQL*Server in addition to Oracle so I went to try and learn a bit about upcoming versions. I learned that there are some new features that will make things easier to manage, but usually only if you use the more expensive "Enterprise Edition".

Took care of some stuff at the office and then hit the gym with DS#1. It was our first night on the weight machines. We gave the legs a good workout. The gym was busy, but not over-crowded.

Watched election returns and heading off to bed to dream about buying some new guns before they are banned.

Photography lessons

I found this video showing a neat camera holding technique video. It is a bit hard to use at first, but it makes sense and is a good idea to keep the camera more stable and help get sharper pictures, without a tripod. A tripod is always a good idea, but there are times where it is just not practical to use a tripod (busy areas or fast-paced action) and this is a good way to get the best shooting stability possible.