Saturday, December 24, 2011

It was the night before Christmas ...

It was the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St Nicholas soon would be there.

The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads.
And mamma in her ‘kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled our brains for a long winter’s nap.

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below.
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature sleigh, and eight tinny reindeer.

With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St Nick.
More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name!

"Now Dasher! now, Dancer! now, Prancer and Vixen!
On, Comet! On, Cupid! on, on Donner and Blitzen!
To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!
Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away all!"

As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky.
So up to the house-top the coursers they flew,
With the sleigh full of Toys, and St Nicholas too.

And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
Down the chimney St Nicholas came with a bound.

He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot.
A bundle of Toys he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a peddler, just opening his pack.

His eyes-how they twinkled! his dimples how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow.

The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath.
He had a broad face and a little round belly,
That shook when he laughed, like a bowlful of jelly!

He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself!
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled all the stockings, then turned with a jerk.
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose!

He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, ‘ere he drove out of sight,
"Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night!"

Poem by

Clement Clarke Moore



Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Merry Christmas from the Land of Toy Soldiers

The Land of Toy Soldiers 

is the

military sub-district 

of Santa's North Pole

Here is a Christmas tree with

the brightly colored uniforms, 

white cross-belts,

and feather plumed silly hats

Wishing everyone a very merry Christmas! 

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The Barn

At 7 something in the evening,

this is a photo of the barn near my house

The last light of the evening is almost

fading away

And near the creek at the side is this chinese pond heron

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Friday, December 16, 2011

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Eleven Days to go... and counting

True Story of Rudolph

A man named Bob May,
depressed and brokenhearted,
stared out his drafty apartment window
into the chilling December night
 His 4-year-old daughter Barbara
sat on his lap quietly sobbing

 Bobs wife, Evelyn, was dying of cancer
 Little Barbara couldn't understand
why her mommy could never come home
 Barbara looked up into her dad's eyes and asked,
"Why isn't Mommy just like everybody else's Mommy?"

Bob's jaw tightened and his eyes welled with tears
 Her question brought waves of grief,
but also of anger
It had been the story of Bob's life
 Life always had to be different for Bob

Small when he was a kid,
Bob was often bullied by other boys
 He was too little at the time to compete in sports
 He was often called names he'd rather not remember

 From childhood,
Bob was different and never seemed to fit in

 Bob did complete college,
married his loving wife
and was grateful to get his job
as a copywriter at Montgomery Ward
during the Great Depression

 Then he was blessed with his little girl
 But it was all short-lived
 Evelyn's bout with cancer stripped them
of all their savings and now
Bob and his daughter were forced to live
in a two-room apartment in the Chicago slums

Evelyn died just days before Christmas in 1938
 Bob struggled to give hope to his child,
for whom he couldn't even afford to buy a Christmas gift

 But if he couldn't buy a gift,
he was determined a make one - a storybook!

Bob had created an animal character in his own mind
and told the animal's story to little Barbara
to give her comfort and hope
 Again and again Bob told the story,
embellishing it more with each telling

 Who was the character?

What was the story all about?

The story Bob May created was
his own autobiography in fable form

The character he created was a misfit outcast like he was...
 The name of the character?

A little reindeer named Rudolph,
with a big shiny nose
 Bob finished the book just in time to give it to
his little girl on Christmas Day
 But the story doesn't end there.

The general manager of Montgomery Ward
caught wind of the little storybook and offered Bob May
a nominal fee to purchase the rights to print the book

Wards went on to print, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
and distribute it to children visiting Santa Claus in their stores

 By 1946 Wards had printed and distributed
more than six million copies of Rudolph
 That same year, a major publisher wanted
to purchase the rights from Wards
to print an updated version of the book

In an unprecedented gesture of kindness,
the CEO of Wards returned all rights back to Bob May
 The book became a best seller
 Many toy and marketing deals followed
and Bob May, now remarried with a growing family,
became wealthy from the story he created
to comfort his grieving daughter
But the story doesn't end there either

Bob's brother-in-law, Johnny Marks,
made a song adaptation to Rudolph
 Though the song was turned down by
such popular vocalists as Bing Crosby and Dinah Shore , it was recorded by the singing cowboy, Gene Autry
 "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" was released in 1949
and became a phenomenal success,
selling more records than any other Christmas song,
with the exception of "White Christmas"

The gift of love that Bob May created for his daughter
so long ago kept on returning back
to bless him again and again
 And Bob May learned the lesson,
just like his dear friend Rudolph,
that being different isn't so bad
In fact, being different can be a blessing.


Tuesday, December 13, 2011


An amazing picture became a message of faith in Spain

This was taken at the baptism of Valentino Mora,
son of Erica, a single mom of 21
who asked the photographer
to take a picture of her son for free

The photo of the baptism of Valentino Mora
is sweeping the Internet,
because at the time the priest
pours the Holy water over his head,
the water flows in the shape of a rosary
(see photo above)

This story began at the
Parish of the Assumption of Our Lady in Cordova, Spain,
where the baptism of a one month baby took place

 At the time that Valentino came to the baptismal font
for the sacrament of baptism,
Erica asked the photographer Maria Silvana Salles,
who was hired by other parents baptizing their babies,
to take a photo of her son as a favor,
since the young mother had no way of paying for it

The photographer, moved by Erica's request,
agreed to take a photo of Valentino


Maria Silvana works with a traditional camera
and had to send the film to be developed to a shop in Cordova When she received the photos,
she noticed with surprise that the water poured
from the head of Valentino was a perfect rosary

The photo of the baptism of Valentino
has awakened faith in the people of Cordova
who come to the humble home
of Erica and Valentino Mora to touch him

The truth is that this sign of faith
has mobilized this town in Cordova,
whose neighbors go to Maria Silvana's store
to buy the picture as if it were a prayer card

Sunday, December 11, 2011

One In A Billion Photo

The photo was taken at the entrance to Katlian Bay
at the end of the road in Sitka , Alaska ...

The whale is coming up to scoop up a mouthful of herring......... (the small fish seen at the surface around the kayak)
 The kayaker is a local Sitka Dentist
 He apparently didnt sustain any injuries
from the terrifying experience
The whale was just around the corner
from the ferry terminal,
and all the kayaker could think at that moment in time was:
" Paddle Man - really fast! "

The whale's mouth is fully open
with the bottom half under the boat

If the whale had closed his mouth
before he furiously paddled away -
He might have been LUNCH!!! 

Look at the picture again -

He is in the whale’s MOUTH

Friday, December 9, 2011

50 Reasons NOT to Date a Photographer

They rather hold their bulky camera,

than hold hands with you

On a romantic date,
you’ll watch the sun go down and think “Wow this is gorgeous” and they’ll go “mirror lock, tripod, and stop down f/8 at 1/125.”

You’ll never be able to enjoy tv, movies, or magazines
because they’ll point out all the visual flaws

They like to sit in obscure coffee shop
and voyeuristically watch people for great lengths of time

If you’re taking a walk outside
and you come across some “interesting light”
they will make you sit/stand/pose in public
so that they can take a photo

You’ll never get to enjoy freshly cooked meals
because they’ll spend 15 minutes taking 20 variations
of the same dish with their iPhone

They get angry when your friends go up to them
and say “I am interested in photography,
can you recommend a good camera for me?
Nothing professional I just want to take pretty pictures”

You’ll wait longer for them to finish analyzing art in a museum than you’ll wait at the dmv

Same goes with old used bookstores

When you think they’re giving you their undivided attention, they’re really wondering how they could fix you
with a little Clone Tool and Patch Tool

Or they are actually using you to not look so creepy
as they people watch everything going on around you

They rather drop $1,000+ on new glass than a purse for you

You can’t take a photo with them
without taking at least five more

If you ask them if you look fat,
they’ll say “don’t worry I can photoshop you later”

They’ll never photoshop something simple for you
if the content is not up to their “standards”

That photo they randomly took of you yesterday?
Good luck getting them to send it to you

They spend all their time on the computer (and not for porn)

They can’t have a normal conversation withot
throwing acronyms and random numbers

They still use film cameras

They spend a lot of time with people cooler than you
i.e. models, actors, musicians, successful rich people

They’ll be fussy over the position of a common household object, like a coffee cup

They won’t return your calls or text messages,
but you can bet they’re still posting pics on Instagram

They like watching old films that you’ve never heard
or will ever understand

They like looking at weird things in general

Instead of having penis-envy, they have camera-gear-envy

If there’s a natural disaster in a far away land,
they’re already on a plane going over there

Everything is watermarked

They think everyone else’s photos suck

They want to color correct a lot of scenes
from Twilight and Jersey Shore

They hate rainbows, especially ones spinning in a circle

and the conversation goes deep,
they’re taking notes in some form of Moleskin

They use over priced Moleskin notebooks

They like trespassing into old abandoned buildings
filled with health hazards

but don’t really care if you like it or not

They hate your n00bie friend’s new artsy profile picture

Bright, sunny days make them sad,
but cloudy, overcast days are apparently great!

They’ll take you into places that have “culture” as well a high chance of getting mugged

Your birthday present will be a portrait that
they’ve taken of you

You can’t go anywhere new without them stopping to take a photo of everything and anything

They will always bug you to be a test subject

Nothing can ever be naturally pretty,
everything must be fixed in Photoshop

Bringing their camera means,
bringing 50lbs of equipment

If you break any of their things on accident,
you’ll owe them thousands of dollars

You can’t get them a birthday/Christmas present
without spending at least $500

They are natural hoarders,
collecting and keeping piles of old newspapers,
packaging, magazines, and other things that “inspire” them

They are weird and geeky

They have hard drives of photos,
but probably have printed 10 images

They are always secretly judging your creativity

If you’re ever in auto mode, they laugh at you

Reasons by Rob Skeoch

They always want to show a new photo they took,
Whenever you’re in a group talking
Photo by George Wong

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Saturday, December 3, 2011

New Moon

Although it is by far the biggest and brightest object

in the night sky

the moon is not an easy subject to photograph

nd brightest object in the night sky the moon is not an easy subject to photographAlthough it is by far the biggest and brightest object in the

This is not a photo of a new moon

It is the moon of 3 December 2011

Photo by Mike
the moon is not an easy subject to photograph

Friday, December 2, 2011

Christmas is approaching ...

... and this is how an asian Christmas tree looks like ...

How to get the most out of a cram session right before a big exam?

what can you do when time is short?


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