Friday, December 23, 2011

MCP Project 52: Festive Cheer

Festive Cheer by Teckelcar
Festive Cheer, a photo by Teckelcar on Flickr.
A little festive cheer from my synagogue's Chanukah party.

There were balloons, latkes, and children all over the place. We all had a very good time and I think Rebecca's smiling face nicely shows this week's theme of "Festive Cheer."

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Monday, December 19, 2011

A Very Calvin & Hobbes Christmas

A wonderful tribute to my favorite strip. Let's hear it for snow goons!

Friday, December 16, 2011

MCP Project 52: Festive Colors

Festive Colors by Teckelcar
Festive Colors, a photo by Teckelcar on Flickr.
Festive Colors was this weeks theme and I decided to go all "festival of lights" versus the overwhelming Christmas tone that I figured the majority of submissions would be.

My biggest issue was getting enough light, I wanted to shoot outside and not have to light the candles. I hit the jackpot yesterday morning and got a beautiful, bright sunny morning. I set up outside on the deck using a sheet, a table runner, a menorah, and Chanukah candles.

I was very happy how I could get the shadow along with the bright gleam of light along the arms of the menorah. It's not a terribly complicated composition, but that's what I like. Give me a clean and uncluttered image and I'm a happy camper. I think the light flare nicely balances out the colorful candles without overwhelming.. The emphasis is on the menorah with the candles adding a punch of color. I'm also very pleased that the candles not in the menorah seem almost dull in comparison.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Old City Hall

Old City Hall by Teckelcar
Old City Hall, a photo by Teckelcar on Flickr.
While trying to come up with a post I was combing through my picture files when this one of Richmond's Old City Hall popped up.

I snapped it from the observation deck of the new, or rather current city hall. It's a different perspective and lets you see the building's Gothic glory. I like how it looks like a something straight out of Hogwarts.

All it needs is a few owls wheeling in and out of the building yo complete the picture..

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Artist of the Week: Winter Concert

Tuxedo Jake by Teckelcar
Tuxedo Jake, a photo by Teckelcar on Flickr.
This week's artist is Jacob along with the high school band and I must state he looks incredibly handsome in his tuxedo. The shaggy hair adds to the whole musician esthetic, he definitely looks like his brother Nate in this particular photo.

Last week was the winter concert and as always, holiday themed music was on the program. In the following video the first and last songs performed by the band are showcased.

The first one is "Jingle Bells Fantasy" by James D. Ployhur, the same fellow that wrote "Pomp and Circumstance." I think the band did a great job playing this song, I just wish my filming skills were a bit better to do the performance justice.

The next song in the clip below is "Sleigh Ride" by Leroy Anderson. In addition to Jacobs band, the school's symphony  orchestra are preforming as well. There wasn't close to enough room onstage so the strings had to play off the stage and down in the orchestra pit. The combined pseudo symphony orchestra did a bang up job. This was the first time the Orchestra and band had ever been combined and I think they did a bang up job.

So sit back and listen to a little holiday music.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011


cookies! by Teckelcar
cookies!, a photo by Teckelcar on Flickr.
This week has been cookie-palooza and related post, my annual chocolate chip cookie baking marathon when I endeavor to give all of my children's teachers a gift bag of cookies. Way back when I just had Jacob and Nate in elementary school the teachers got tins, but when the elder boys started hitting middle school and beyond I switched to bags. When it's one teacher per child, no big deal. At 8 per kid, we are talking a serious expense in gift tins.

So bags it is.

Each bag contains a dozen and a half of my prize winning chocolate chip cookies (this years variant had regular chocolate chips, white chocolate chips, and caramel balls) and our holiday card. I figure it's a pretty good bribe to keep the teachers happy with my children for another year. So far everybody has been very happy, if fact I got another rave review from Max and Rebecca's bus driver (the bus drivers get cookies as well). 

This year it was 30 bags and seven batches of cookie dough (three double batches and one single). This covered all 18 teachers, two bus drivers and three music teachers. All I have left to do are our mail carrier (which is done and ready to go), the kennel where our dogs go to when we travel, and one more person. One more batch of cookie dough should take care of it.

Monday, December 12, 2011

The Gift

Stunning visuals with the added bonus of the Moscow metro, the stations really do look like that. It was one of the biggest surprises when I visited back in 1986.
The Gift from BLR_VFX on Vimeo.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Season's End

Season's end by Teckelcar
Season's end, a photo by Teckelcar on Flickr.
I took this picture while I was rattling around my subdivision looking for inspiration for MCP Project 52. I was attracted to how forlorn the whole pool area looks now that it has been closed up for the season. I jammed my lens through the chain link fence surrounding the pool and hoped for the best. I like to get in close, but it wasn't an option this time around.

When I got home and downloaded my pictures I was very pleased with this particular shot. I love how the reflections of the trees continue the strong vertical lines and the shadows create a soft counterpoint. I think the picture nicely captures the end of season emptiness of the pool.

Friday, December 09, 2011

MCP Project 52: Traditions

The picture 2011 by Teckelcar
The picture 2011, a photo by Teckelcar on Flickr.
This week's theme was all about traditions and fittingly enough it was time for own annual photo of the kids and dogs.

My children are never particularly thrilled with this annual , but they are good sports about it. This year they got to choose the location, which probably helped their mood. They have also learned that the more cooperative they are the sooner we are done.

For me , however, it's a fun tradition. I get an annual picture of them all together and I can see how they have grown over the years. The picture then gets incorporated into our holiday card and the photo calendar I make each year. As I go back over years through our holiday cards it's quite a trip down memory lane.

It's not the most exciting of traditions, but this is what I have to offer and it's a good one to me.

Thursday, December 08, 2011

A Pound of Love

A Pound of Love by Teckelcar
A Pound of Love, a photo by Teckelcar on Flickr.
I requested no presents this year, but I husband decided he was going to get me my favorite chocolate regardless.

They are chocolate (both milk and dark) covered caramels with a bit of salt. I think they are sublime, combining salt and sweet in every bite. The first time I tried any sort of salted chocolate I was a bit wary. I love the combination of buttered popcorn and Milk Duds, but...

Salt? On chocolate?

I was an immediate convert. I settled on the salted chocolate caramels as my go to treat. Smooth caramel enrobed in quality chocolate with just a sprinkle of salt. Heaven.

Thank you Larry for the pound of love.

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Super Mouse

super mouse by Teckelcar
super mouse, a photo by Teckelcar on Flickr.
So... today's my birthday and I'm going to celebrate with my favorite piece of graffiti.

We call it Super Mouse and it's located in Richmond's fan district, just a block down from Sunday school. We first noticed it about a year ago and were pleased to see that it was still in place this past September. It took another two months for me to finally photograph it.

For the most part Richmond graffiti is composed of boring "tagging" and is devoid of any artistic merit. But this series of little mice is absolutely wonderful and it brings a smile to my face every time I see it.

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Not Moose and Squirrel

Moose by Teckelcar
Moose, a photo by Teckelcar on Flickr.
Moose and fish instead, with a little bit of artistry.

This past weekend I ended up at a student teacher art exhibition up at VCU. What I mean by student teacher, is that it was an exhibit for art created in the classrooms of the VCU students that are in the teaching program. The VCU student teachers are sent out to public schools in the metro Richmond area where they teach class along side the regular teachers to get hands on experience in the classroom. And they are not just limited to elementary school, they do the full range of elementary, middle and high school. Max and Rebecca's school was among the elementary schools that had participated and that was how I learned about the show.

Fish by Teckelcar
Fish, a photo by Teckelcar on Flickr.
It was a bit tricky finding the building and there was the added bonus of the door being locked, but it all got sorted out. The first that that I saw were these stunning cardboard sculptures. The moose was flanked by a dinosaur (the picture was very blurry and thus not featured here) on the left and a fish on the left. All three are rather large with the rather angry looking moose about 3 feet across.

I thought all three were wonderful and would have happily taken them home. They were made by small groups (I think three kids apiece) of high school students. They are made entirely out of cardboard with glue and are beautifully crafted. This is almost an early Artist of the Week. Which works for me since tomorrow is my birthday.

Monday, December 05, 2011

Address Is Approximate

Beautiful stop motion film utilizing Google street view.

Sunday, December 04, 2011

How Horses Rule the World

Or nobody wants to change.

I'm not exactly sure how I got to the following blog and post. I think it was from a totally unrelated image search (Google the rabbit hole of teh interwebs), but find it I did.

Bureaucracy at it's Finest by Us Girls... Our Views is a simply wonderful essay about the origins of 4 feet 8 1/2 inches being the measurement of the US standard railway gauge.You really should go read it.

Friday, December 02, 2011

MCP Project 52: Twinkle Twinkle

Twinkle by Teckelcar
Twinkle, a photo by Teckelcar on Flickr.
This week's theme is twinkle twinkle and it looks like the majority of the submissions this week involve Christmas lights. I decided, early on, not to do lights. Instead I thought the twinkling of my ring would be a good idea. Particularly since the man who gave it to me is having a birthday tomorrow.

This my engagement ring that I have been the proud owner/steward of for the past 20 years. My husband inherited it from his maternal grandmother and it has a lovely history. His grandparents were married for over 50 years and were devoted to each other to the very end.

I'm very lucky to have such a special ring twinkling on my finger. Thank you Larry and happy birthday!

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Hollywood Comes To Richmond

Lincoln tents capitol by Teckelcar
Lincoln tents capitol, a photo by Teckelcar on Flickr.
Spielberg is in town filming the movie "Lincoln"and it just so happens that a chunk of the filming is occurring near my husband's office. He brought in our camera to work today so he could take a better class of picture than he can with his cell phone. This shot came out particularly well and shows some of the tents pitched on the capitol grounds and addition built onto the capitol itself. 

It is a big deal up in Richmond with the production crew snarling traffic as they take over the city. The extras are dining in Larry's building and stretches of cobblestones around the capitol square have been covered with dirt. 

I would love to go see the filming, but then again I'm very glad I don't have to be up there.