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Abstract Musings

Documenting the random thoughts of a cluttered mind

Weekend in Connecticut

Earlier this month, Rachelle and I visited her brother Philip and his family in Connecticut. While we were visiting, a blizzard happened. You can read more about our trip to Connecticut in my blog, Abstract Musings. The trip also gave me an opportunity to use my new camera, a Canon Digital Rebel XT.

Sleeping Baby
The principal reason for our trip was to meet our yougest nephew, Nathaniel, who was born in December of last year. The little guy is resting comfortably in his Aunt Rachelle’s arms.

All Smiles
But we also came to see his older brother Caleb. As you can see, Caleb was very happy to see us.

Two Boys
The two boys are huddled under the baby blanket Rachelle made for Nathaniel.

In addition to seeing our family, another highlight of the weekend was being around for a record snowfall.

One-Eyed Snow Bandit
Authorities have reported a one-eyed snow bandit was in the area. Caleb was excited to have so much snow in which to play. I must confess, so were his aunt and uncle!

Help! My Car Is Buried
My car was buried by the blizzard. Fortunately, we had a couple of days to spend digging it out.

Making a Snow Angel, Part Two
Rachelle also made a snow angel.

Doing It Again
The day after the blizzard, Caleb sledded down a makeshift hill of snow which had been piled up by a snowplow. Rachelle required very little encouragement to join him.

It's My Turn
At some point Caleb asked me to go for a ride with him. How could I refuse?

You can view more of the photos Rachelle and I took over the weekend in my photoset on Flickr or in my gallery.

Weekend in Connecticut

Earlier this month, Rachelle and I visited her brother Philip and his family in Connecticut. As we prepared for our trip, we heard that wintery weather was on its way both to Tennessee and then on up to the New York area. So we decided to leave town as soon after work as we could, and make it as far north as possible that evening to stay ahead of the white stuff. We stopped in northern Virginia without seeing any snow. So far, so good…

The next morning, we awoke to discover a blanket of 2 inches of snow covering the ground and our car. We packed up and headed on, determined to get into Connecticut as early as possible to avoid driving in any more snow than necessary. The interstate was fairly clear of snow and ice–well, the right lane, at least; the passing lane had a slushy mix that made passing other vehicles a risky proposition. After about an hour, we crossed the state line into West Virginia, and must have crossed an invisible boundary, as the sky cleared, the sun appeared and the snow completely disappeared, except for what we brought with us on our vehicle.

We managed to arrive at my brother-in-law’s house well in advance of the storm. So, we hunkered down and waited for the snow to come. And it did come–about sixteen inches of the white stuff fell on my brother-in-law’s neighborhood.

I have posted some photos from our trip to Flickr. You can view them in my photoset on Flickr.

Catching Up With Photography

For the past two years I’ve owned and used a Canon Digital Rebel. Last month, I upgraded to the Digital Rebel XT. It arrived on the 10th. On the 11th, I took the morning off of work to drive up to Great Smoky Mountains National Park. I’ve posted some of the photos I took that morning on Flickr.

Fontana Lake

View this photo on Flickr

This photo is my favorite from the drive. It was taken from Newfound Gap. Ordinarily, you would see Fontana Lake, but on that day the surface of the lake was completely covered by fog.

The next week, my wife and I spent a weekend with some friends in a cabin up in the mountains near Pigeon Forge.

Troubled Skies

View this photo on Flickr

This photo is one that I took of the view from the deck of the cabin. Unfortunately, it was rainy the entire weekend, so I wasn’t able to get out and photograph much else. But even with the inclement weather the view was still awesome.

Lastly, the week after that, I brought the camera to work and took some photos around campus. The following photo is of the Torchbearer statue in Circle Park on the University of Tennessee, Knoxville campus.

The Torchbearer, Close-up

View this photo on Flickr

You can view all of these photos in my Flickr Archive for January.

Happy Veterans Day

My grandfather's gravesite at Arlington National Cemetery

This is a photo of my grandfather’s gravesite at Arlington National Cemetery, taken during Memorial Day weekend 2002. He served our country through World War II, Korea, and Vietnam until his death in 1962.

I also want to note my brothers’ service in the United States Marine Corps, which celebrated its 230th birthday yesterday. And that of my father-in-law, who served in the United States Navy and Naval Reserves. I also want to include my friend Johnny, who just returned a couple of weeks ago from a year long tour-of-duty in Iraq. Thanks for your service.

Please remember to take time today and thank any veterans you know for their service. It is by such service and sacrifice that we and the freedoms we hold dear are protected. To those who have served, both past and present, I want to say thank you for your time and commitment in protecting our nation and on behalf of the cause of freedom and liberty.

LaShawn Barber also has lots of links to other bloggers observing Veterans Day.

This is a repost with some additions from Veterans Day last year.

Happy Birthday, Marines!

Today is the 230th birthday of the United States Marine Corps.

Congratulations to all Marines, past and present, and thank you for your service.

Semper Fi

Ready, Set … Reboot!

Whew! The funkyness should be over now.

I still have a few loose ends to tie up, but for the most part the redesign is done. I have worked out all the quirks I could find. If you notice anything amiss, please let me know.

And a special greeting from my fellow CSS Rebooters who are visiting. I can’t wait to browse and look at some of the other designs.

A few notes about the redesign. I really started with the goal of transforming my old site’s fixed-width layout into an elastic one, which once I heard about the CSS Reboot turned into a full scale redesign. I took all of the header photographs during my various travels. One of my loose ends is to build some kind of AJAX-y widget to let visitors surf through the photos and to display some information about them, like the date of the photo and the location or identity of the subject.

Plus, while I was redoing things, I also rebooted my linkblog, Excursions, which was one of the more significant changes. I was using a second install of WordPress to run it, but I discovered a nifty plugin called wp-recent-links. A bit of hacking later, and I had a nice solution to eliminate one extra interface for posting.

Happy Blog Birthday to Me

Today marks a milestone for me. One year ago, I started Abstract Musings on Blogger. Actually, I posted two entries on October 18th of last year but they were the typical first post kind of blather, so I’ve chosen today to mark my blog’s birthday. Thanks to all the kind people whom I’ve met online, who have visited my humble virtual abode and have been so kind as to link to me. And a special thanks to my wife who has been very supportive of my blogging habit, and constant tinkering of both my blogs and my website. Here’s looking forward to another (hopefully, more productive) year.

To follow-up on the idea of looking forward, I decided a while back to spruce up the design of my blog. So, I joined the legion of people participating in the CSS Reboot Fall 2005 planning to unveil a new standards-based design on November 1st. So, come back then and see my new look.

I have also posted a new entry, Return to Cataloochee, in my Photos blog. My wife and I spent spent an afternoon in Great Smoky Mountains National Park a few weekends ago with the hope of spotting some elk during the rut. We were not disappointed.

Thanks again for stopping by and celebrating my blog birthday with me.