Friday, August 17, 2018

Early Morning Late Summer Sun

Since coming back from two weeks east, I have been back in my normal hiking/exercise pattern. I go out twice a week on this trail that is about 5 miles round trip up and back. Starts at around 6,200 feet and goes to 7,300 where I turn around. It's a good hard workout and about at the max that my body in its current aged condition can take.

It's interesting the changes you see being gone just a couple of weeks at this time of year. I hit the trail head usually around 7 AM. A few weeks ago in July the sun was already up and the heat of the day was starting. Now the Sun doesn't really break over the mountain ridge until close to 7:15.

And the sun is much lower in the sky. We're only 5 weeks away from the Equinox. The light from the high sun at the heart of the summer is harsh. It beats down on you. It washes out the color and gives everything a sort of bleached haze. Now the light is much softer, coming in from a lower angle. The colors are more pronounced. There is more contrast between lighted and shaded spots. It is also monsoon season and we've been getting a reasonable amount of rain even if temperatures have stayed very hot. So everything is as green as it is going to get here.

Being away at sea level for even two weeks does a number on my altitude exercise breathing capability. But things felt pretty reasonable today. Maybe next week I will have enough extra energy to bring my camera up with me.

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Family Time Back East - Part Four, Mass Family Gathering

By the initiative of the current generation of adult family members (my children and my eldest brother's children) a second iteration of a family reunion took place at the end of our week in Maryland. This consisted of three get togethers, oddly enough all focused on food (who would think that of our family?)

Wild life near seen by our rental 

For the first event, we had the family at our place.
1A roasted two extraordinary fresh, 8 pound rock fish on the grill
As well as grilling a butt ton of the rain
#2 and #3 at work in the kitchen

The next day we went to my brother's about an hour and half away on Maryland's East Shore
They have a pool
The weather was great and most took full advantage of it while I was in full paparazzi mode
2B was the target of mass children onslaughts

However the worm turns as 1.1 and 2.2 found out

Amsterdam contingent 
#3 and 3A enjoying the non-Amsterdam type weather

3.1 loves the water
3.2 decided her swimsuit was too small
And channeled her inner Riviera look
#2 and 2B
1.2 with my sister and brother-in-law
My niece X
My niece E
The nieces together

And way too many reflection shots off of sunglasses

We finished up going on Sunday to have Maryland Steamed Crabs
I was way too busy eating to take pictures other than 2.2 showing 2.4 the now diminished pile of crabs being consumed


Saturday, August 11, 2018

New Record...

...for the shortest First Class upgrade ever!

Was coming home from Chicago yesterday from business. My plane was late taking off. I get up to the gate. I see there is one seat open in First Class. I see my name as first on the upgrade list. I saunter over to the counter and say,

"Good morning my good gate check-in person. I notice on yonder monitor that there be an open seat in First Class. And ye, verily on the very next screen I see the upgrade list with my name at number one. Does this imply that I might be the lucky United Mileage Plus customer to get this upgrade?"

The agent looks at me, at his own monitor.

"And you are indeed said de-I as the list is requiring?"

"Indeed I am."

He gives me a wry smile and prints out my new boarding pass.

Only a few minutes later we board the plane. I settle in. Give my drink order. Let the flight attendant know I will be taking the lunch offered. However there is a bit of commotion up front. This is a small CRJ 700 and the forward flight attendant sits in a jump seat that appears to be broken. They can't fix it. They are going to need a seat in First Class for the flight attendant to use on take off and landing. So I am told 'last in, first out'. So after 20 minutes, back I go into coach. It is not so bad. There is one seat just behind first class that has exceptional leg room and a place to store your carry-on in front.

I could have gone back to First after take off but because of the way everyone had moved around it would have been the bulkhead seat which would have had less leg room than I had currently so I just stayed.

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Family Time Back East - Part Three, Trial by 13's

That would be trial by 13-year olds...our two nieces 1.1 and 2.2. Although they only see each other very rarely, they have had an undeniable chemistry that exhibits from the moment they see each other. It was the pleasure of Wife and I to take the two for the day as all the other family members were running around the Washington area doing other things. We had originally thought we'd leave the girls on their own while we did our photographic thing but they wanted to hang out with us. Not to be denied, photography still ensued, just with a different subject matter focus.

Let's start with some more of Annapolis

The Naval Academy
We didn't visit it :(
Boat cruise in the harbor
(Gotta have our harbor cruise)

The harbor in clouds

de-I, Naturalist, studies the 13-year old in her natural state

It rained during our harbor cruise. Once we got back, we saw dark clouds coming and hightailed it back to the rental house before the flood gates opened. 

Studies of Rain