Monday, March 31, 2008

Old Fire Engines Never Die...

Okay Chuck it has been awhile since I posted any fire for you and being a regular here I need to keep you happy. I shot this one last week while at the fuel pumps at work behind station #2. This is old Wagon 3 a 1988 Sutphen, she died late last summer and it was decided not to fix her up. Since then she has sat at station 2 to be cannibalized and stripped of anything useful and non useful the guys could get off of her. What a terrible way to go after serving the citizens so well for all these years.

Presently Wagon 3 is operating the old Wagon 4 one of the cities reserves and a 1988 sister to this engine. A new Wagon has been ordered from Peirce and should be here by December. Those guys won't know how to act when they finally get a new rig. Maybe that will be my chance to get away from the KME and start new for my last few years on the job.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Mitch Seavey's Iditarod Dog Sled Team...

Today's post will be something a little different, if it works and you like it please let me know so I can post more in the future. Today's posting is a video taken by Linda while vacationing in Alaska last year.

Linda converted this (to whatever usable format that was needed) so Shane could use it in school. With the Iditarod race ending recently the timing was right for this. I don't know if any of you are aware of it but Lance Mackey won the 2008 Iditarod race in Alaska. The race is not over until all of the mushers cross the finish line.

Last July when we went to Alaska we visited Mitch Seavey's camp. Now they have a racket going, the dogs need trained and have to pull the sleds on a regular basis. The tourist want to see it and get as up close and personal as they can. So what do the camps do? They charge us to ride on the sled that the dogs would need to pull with weights on even if we were not there. I wish I would have though that one up.

After arriving at the camp, we were suited with rain coats because of the bad weather (about the only bad weather we had in a month) and taken out to see the dogs, there we learn about the dogs and there training before being put on a sled. Because there is no snow we are placed on sleds with tires and the dogs are hooked up to the front depending upon how well they are responding to their training. It was a great time and we learned allot.By the way Mitch finished 7Th in this years running. Mitch won the race in 2004, his father has run the race and three of his four sons have also competed in the race.

If you ever go to Alaska and want to check out his camp it is located in Seward.In the near future there is plans to put up a couple of videos from Katmai, one of a bald eagle eating a fish and maybe a Glacier or two. The video runs 4 minutes and 31 seconds, if anything in the text seems out of place it is because it was typed up for last Monday's post. Because the video wouldn't upload I just saved it and waited until Linda re sized it and shortened it.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Happy Birthday Linda!

If you see this young woman today be sure and wish her a happy birthday. I won't give away her age, but she looks younger than she really is. I have been told that it is because she is married to such a wonderful husband. Linda if you are wondering why I put you on here today it is because I forgot to get you a gift, so consider this a gift from me to you.

Happy Birthday Linda!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008


Today's image comes from Shane again. This photo was taken the same day as yesterday's shot about an hour later in the port at Seward. Other than saying I bet the few of you looking, wish we would take another vacation some place else so I had something else to post, that's all I got.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

The Piers...

Today's photograph was taken by Shane in Seward, Alaska during our vacation last July. If you look closely at the bird the center of the photo it is a bald eagle. He was feasting on a fish breakfast about 9:00 a.m. Alaska time. He was too far away for good close up shots, but Shane not being as negative as me decided he would shoot a few anyways. I am glad he did I like the way this one turned out.

I did record a video of the eagle eating, he took his good old time and held the fish down with his talons tearing the meat apart with his beak. The video camera left us get a much closer view of the bird. I will attempt a few more tries at putting video up here before I finally give up. Taking a friends advice I tried photo bucket last night and had no problem getting the video uploaded but when I played it there was no audio. Sooo I deleted it, only to go to a news station later and try and watch some footage of a fire only to realize I had no audio. Turns out there was no problem with the uploading, it was just that my speakers were unplugged. ARGH!! it stinks being a computer dummy.

I hope you enjoy the image as much as Shane did last night when I showed him the final print. Please remember to click on the image, it will get larger.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Million Dollar Cowboy Bar...

Okay I really don't like these photographs but like the rest of the week I have nothing ready. Unlike the other days I don't feel like looking for a photograph and getting it ready, so like them or not this is today's post.

This is the Million Dollar Cowboy Bar in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. They were taken on a family vacation in the summer of 2005. The bars history started in the 1890's, in 1937 the bar was named the Cowboy Bar. At that time the bar was remodeled and that is when they began to use the knobbed pine, also referred to when we were there as boiled wood. In the mid-1940's the bar was sold again and that was when the Million Dollar was added to the name. At that time he used more of the knobbed pine in and outside of the building. In 1953 a large gas explosion originating from the basement destroyed most of the building and its contents. It was after this explosion that the neon sign was added to the roof of the building.

Since that time the bar has changed hands a few more times. The present owner collects western history and that along with the saddle bar stools can be seen inside. If you are ever in Jackson Hole it is worth stopping in just to see the building and its contents.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Out With Winter In With Spring...

With nothing prepared for this morning I thought I would stay with Shane and the change of seasons. I love the idea of winter being over and spring arriving. The grass turning green the flowers blooming and the trees budding along with opening the swimming pool and no more cold weather or snow makes it a wonderful time of year.

Spring always makes me feel like I should listen to John Mellencamp. It reminds me of the time when I had a Harley (and do I ever miss it) and the many days spent fishing with my grandfather, I miss him the most.

I guess it is my turn to make my sons spring a special time of year and give him fond memories to look back on.

The down side to spring is that hockey season will soon be over and the Orioles will soon be losing and losing and losing. Oh did I mention that the Orioles will lose allot of games this year. I will still root for them like I have for almost the last forty years.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

WEFR's Child's Dream...

As usual today didn't work out as planned. Videos are coming soon, I hope then I can get a break from looking for photos. This is another one dug up from a print order I made last year. That is Shane attending his first Child's Dream at WEFR.

The West End Fire and Rescue Company, Shippensburg, Pa. will be hosting their 11 annual Child's Dream weekend June 7 and 8, 2008. I am proud to say my son will be doing it again this year. If you are interested in more information stop by this site The kids all have a great time.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

My Little Boy Scout...

Well again today I tried to upload a video and have come to the conclusion that they need to be smaller if it is going to work. Sooooo I had to dig into a previous print order to come up with something for today.

Shane is active in Boy Scouts and is working on his advancements. I hope someday he can achieve the rank of Eagle and become the third person in his family to do so. In the top photo he is participating in Memorial Day ceremonies a couple of years ago. The bottom photo is when he crossed over from Cub Scouts to Boy Scouts.

Monday, March 17, 2008

It's St. Patrick's Day

Okay I will admit what you are looking at was not planned. For two hours I have been trying to upload a video to this site from an Alaska dog sled team to coincide with the ending of the iditarod race. I couldn't find any spec on here as to the size but I can only assume a 12 minute video is too large since two hours later it was still loading. I will keep have to shorten it up and try again.

Thank goodness it is St. Patty's Day because I had nothing ready for the site, that was why I was trying the video. These two photos were in a file of uploaded photos that had already been printed so I just re sized and put them up. I had to work this past Saturday so I did not get to go to the Harrisburg St. Patty's Day parade this year. This photograph was taken last year and for the most part is Harrisburg firefighters, some are from other locals that live in the area and have paraded with us in the past.

The reason for two photos is for you to tell me witch one you like best. The top image was converted to art work to appear more like a painting and the bottom photo is just that a straight photo. Maybe you don't like either one, with faces like that it scares me.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Alaska Humpback Whales

Both of today's photographs come from our July 2007 trip to Alaska. They were both taken on separate days in different parts of the state. The top image was taken while on a cruise out of Valdez and the bottom on was taken while cruising from Seward, Alaska.

This was the third time we have gone whale watching in the past decade. We did trips out of Virginia Beach, Virginia, we had no luck seeing whales that time but with temperatures in the 60's and it was February it was still a great time. We also went whale watching off the coast of Massachusetts, we did see whales and sharks that time.

We did two trips in Alaska because one was to be better for Glaciers and the other for sea life. The sea life (Seward) trip really didn't pan out. We still had fun but would have cut that trip if we had to do over again. It is hard to shoot whales because you never know where they are going to show up at. It could be the other side of the ship, far off or in an area that you can't see because of other people on the ship. Once you see them they give you very little time to compose your shot and get it right.

Maybe in a few days I will post a few more whale photographs and some facts on humpback whales.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

A Couple From The Seward Alaska Area...

Hey like yesterday I have some photos prepared and ready to post but not much to say. If I can keep coming up with photos they may have to go up without comments in the future. Who would have guessed me with nothing to say.

These were taken last July on our Alaska trip. While in Seward we took a cruise looking for sea life and glaciers. While on the trip the Captain of the ship gave all the kids the opportunity to steer the ship for awhile if they wanted to. Shane took him up on the offer and spent some time behind the wheel. We only struck a couple of ice bergs and it didn't take the rescue ship long to arrive. Maybe you heard of our experience that day, our ship was called the Titanic.

The second photo was taken by Linda with the D70, we were walking the coast line in the harbour at Seward. Sometimes on vacations like this it is fun just to relax and skip a few stones . I don't know what Shane was asking me but I am sure I made up some kind of answer.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

The Eye's Have It...

I thought I took care of the hard part, I got two photographs ready to post and had a title in mind. The hard parts are out of the way now all I have to do is post them and worry about the next day. Well it didn't work like that, I have no idea what to say now that they are up.

The top photograph is Cappy and the bottom one is Alex. They are both named for the Washington Capitals hockey team. I have been wanting to photograph them for some time and they really don't do much except lay around. But let me get the camera and they won't stay still. A couple of days ago they were sleeping in the sun room and thought here is my chance. It was a little to bright with the existing light and I screwed up the dept of field and didn't get the whole image sharp but I am not a pro so big deal. I guess tomorrow I will need to go through this all over again.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Who Is The New Guy?

Okay I bored you long enough with Katmai, but don't think I am not going back to them sometime. As soon as Linda teaches me how to edit and prepare the video from there, they will replace photos for a couple of days.

The top image was taken this past Friday March 7 on 3rd Street in Harrisburg. It was Brian's' first day back after being off for over three months with an injury that I can not go into detail about because he keeps reminding me it falls under HIPPA. We were on the street when county dispatched companies for a motor vehicle accident, being in the area we decided to take it in. Here I believe the Captain is explaining to Brian that we have a new S.O.P. since he has been gone and that anytime we are on the street he is to wear his vest like the rest of the progressive truck crew. Unfortunately I got the camera off the truck and just took a few frames without looking through the viewfinder to give the Capt. a hard time about wearing the vest. It was not until after I downloaded them that I realized "Hey the Capitol is in the background" and that had I only taken a moment to compose a few shots and adjust the settings I could have had something decent.

The second photograph was taken May 13, 2007 on Radnor Street at a general alarm fire. It is really just a space filler for today but something a little different for me. I got brave and played with photoshop applying numerous different layers that I have never worked with before. I liked the final result so I thought I would post it.

Monday, March 10, 2008

A Couple More Katmai...

As I said last week there was plenty at Katmai to photograph that I failed to do. Chuck asked about landscape, unfortunately to top photo is all I got. It was taken from the shore line by the planes. When I was taking the photo of Linda and Shane still shooting away, this is what they were photographing and filming.

The bottom photo is of one of the many salmon trying to go up stream and over Brooks Falls. I was so busy shooting the bears that I only got a few pictures of the salmon. You have to ask yourself why do they do it. Many are caught by the bears and eaten before getting to the spawning grounds, many more die trying to there and those that make it die after spawning and float back down the river to be eaten by the bear. Doesn't make much sense to me but after watching the many stupid things humans do nothing would surprise me.

As I said there was many things I didn't photograph, the cabins, gated bridge, landscape, trail and observation decks. I do believe Linda got allot of it on film including the bears and how they catch the fish and eat them. She is going to show me how to edit that footage and make short videos that can be added here. Hopefully we can have that done for next week. I am ready to go back, who is with me?

Friday, March 7, 2008

Do We Really Have To Go!

Yesterday I posted about our trip to Katmai. Next week I will post about our time there and what we did photograph and what we should have photographed and didn't. Don't worry I only have one or two days worth of these post planned for next week.

The top photo is on the beach at Katmai, the planes fly in and ferry up to the beach. Once there people are waiting to help you get out without getting wet. It was almost time to leave but Linda and Shane still could not filming and photographing the bears. I will post a photo of what they were looking at next Monday. In the bottom photo you can see what the inside of the plane looks like. There is three rows of seating and I was lucky enough to get the front seat next to the pilot for the return trip home. Shane got to be co-pilot for the trip there. As you can see we get packed in pretty tight. I believe Shane is telling the lady how he took so many photos and the camera setting he used.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

We Got There Somehow...

I have posted many photographs over the last several months of the Katmai grizzly bears but that only tell part of the story of the trip. There are two more parts to it, one I won't go into and that is the Park itself. There is more than just grizzly bears in Katmai it is also the land of 10,000 smokes and much more. I know Shane and I were taken by this place and can't seem to get enough of it. Just this past weekend we watched two shows on television about it. We would love to go back and I would be willing to travel to Alaska just to go to Katmai and spend three or four days. I know it does not seem like a long time but once you start planning and figure the price out, lets just say it is long enough.

The other part of the trip is the trip itself. After traveling by camper from Seward to Anchorage we had to board a small jet to travel to King Salmon. Now I didn't know it until I got home but a long time friend of mine David Myers spent allot of time stationed in King Salmon and was able to tell me some stories about the place. I almost forgot to mention it was raining in King Salmon and apparently that is the norm. Once in King Salmon we boarded a float plane (the one pictured above) for the trip to Katmai. Upon reaching Katmai you are greeted with bears in the water and along the beach just waiting to eat you, oh I mean take their photograph.

The Katmai sign is on the beach in the area you get off the float planes, and no Chuck the camera with the self timer did not take the photograph I took it off a tripod making the settings and telling it what to do. More tomorrow on the trip and what it takes to do a Katmai trip.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Pennsylvania White Tale Deer...

Today's photographs were taken last Friday on my way home from work. It was a good couple of days to see deer while traveling back and forth to work. These deer were in a place that I had never looked before, right behind our Target store. Of course now that I know they are there I will be looking in that area more often.

There is many places close to me that I should be able to photograph white tail deer, I just need to get of my butt and get at it. These deer were close enough to stand and watch but a little to far away to shoot with the equipment I had with me. They were taken with my Nikon D70 at 105 mm (after converting it with the 1.5 for sensor), ISO 320, 1/125 sec at f5.6. They were also taken through a chain link fence. As you can see from the last photograph the deer were not happy to have me watching them as the one showed the flag of danger and off they went. If I had only had my big lens and tripod.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

American Bison...

As usual here is the photograph now I don't know what to type in. This buffalo was photographed at the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center I mentioned in the grizzly post two days ago.

Since I already told you about the Conservation Center how about a little history of the American Bison also known as buffalo to most people. Of course I learned to refer to this great creature as Tatonka. Bison can reach up to 6.6 feet tall, 10 feet long and and weigh 900 to 2,000 pounds. Bison have a shaggy, dark brown winter coat, and a lighter weight, lighter brown summer coat. The heads and forequarters are massive, and both sexes have short, curved horns, which they use in fighting for status within the herd and for defense. Bison mate in August and September; a single reddish-brown calf is born the following spring, and it nurses for a year. Bison are mature at three years of age, and have a life expectancy of approximately 15 years in the wild and up to 25 years in captivity. One very rare condition is the white buffalo, where the calf turns entirely white. It is not to be confused with albino, since white bison still possess pigment in the skin, hair, and eyes. White bison are considered sacred by many Native Americans. That is enough about bison at for now, maybe when I finally get out back and shoot some of those Buffalo I will post more information on them.

Monday, March 3, 2008

"B" Shift Extinguishes Rubbish Fire

On Friday February 29, 2008, Wagon 3 and Tower 2, B shift extinguished a rubbish fire in the 400 block of Varn Alley. If you look to the right of the first photo you will see the garage doors burnt, A shift had a fire there a few days earlier. The tour before we had the same thing just up the alley. Captain Dave Eiceman and Wil Turner, tower 2 walk up the alley, John Peskie, wagon 3 has the line.

I can't always tell which way a photograph looks best, the top one is darker and the bottom one lighter, which one do you think looks right? Maybe neither one is right and they should be some where in between.