Scaredy Cat Films

Success! But for how long?
December 17TH, 2010

We have a few squirrels that like to hop from our lilac bush, run across the screen on our window and hop onto our bird feeders near the house. At one point I thought one of the neighborhood cats did us a favor and "took him out" for us, but either others have learned or he got a different squirrel. This morning one particular squirrel was getting on my nerves. The solution? Remove the screen from the window. Hilarity ensues!


Jump attempt


And again


Bluebirds?
December 2ND, 2010

The day after our first snowfall here in Rochester, I snapped this photo of what I think is an Eastern Bluebird in the tree near our house. The bluebird is actually the state bird of New York and Missouri. This is the first bluebird that I can remember seeing in New York State. I saw one last summer in Pennsylvania. There were a couple at the house, but I never saw them get any seed from our feeder. I hope they came back and were fed.

Blue Bird
Winter Bluebird


Cat Crazyness
October 24TH, 2010

This fall Tracy noticed that some of the crabapples had been disappearing off of her bonsai tree. We found the culprit this weekend, and the kitties found him too.

Squirrel Bonsai
I think I'll just sit here and have some lunch

Squirrel Bonsai
Mmmm, Crabapples


The cats have found the squirrel

Relaxing Weekend Cats
The cats had a busy weekend.


Hedge Trimmers
August 22ND, 2010

I snapped these photos of a helper we have for keeping the bushes at the back of our lot in check. There are actually 2 of these little guys, and their mom. We've seen them a few times this summer. One time the two young ones took turns running through the neighbors swing set. They were dodging back and forth through the swings. Most of the bushes in back are nothing special, but we keep an eye on our lilac bushes, they've been fine so far. I really like the stripe down its neck.

Baby Deer
Cool Stripes

Baby Deer
Big Ears


Eagle Crag Lake and Swamp 2010
August 16TH, 2010

This year on vacation to Eagle Crag Lake in the Adirondacks I took my mom's kayak down to the swamp at the end of the lake. I've done it several times and this year decided to bring 2 of my cameras with for some photos. Its a pretty neat place to go. There is no path or road around the swamp so you are really alone. There is a lot of neat plants and wildlife to be seen. I saw several Kingfisher's hunting for fish. No beaver's to be seen or heard this year, but I assume they are around. Here's a few photos I took, and a panoramic as well. Enjoy.

Eagle Crag Swamp

Swamp Photos
Lots of dead trees

Swamp Photos
There are a lot of plants and water lilies around too

Swamp and Kayak
Forward Ho! In my mom's trusty kayak

Swamp in Infrared
An Infrared Photo taken near the swamp entrance

Beaver Dam in IR
there is a beaver dam off to the left


Tiger Swallowtail Butterflies
July 30TH, 2010

Tracy's mom has some huge butterfly bushes this year, and they were just covered with tiger swallowtails this year. I brought along my flaky Infrared Digital camera to try and take some shots to see how they look in IR. It was pretty tough, those butterflies would not stay still, and it was difficult to get really close because they just fly away. I was persistent though, and got a few neat shots.

Tiger Swallowtail Infrared
Lucked out, this one was right next to my leg.

2 for 1 Swallowtails
2 for 1 shot!

Dark Colored Swallowtail IR
The darker colored variety, tough to find and photograph

Tiger Swallowtail
Neat grasses and flowers with this swallowtail


Stuart Horse Trials 2010
July 26TH, 2010

After the Air Show in Geneseo I decided to spend the next Saturday morning at the Stuart Horse Trials in Victor. The 4 day event featured the dressage, cross country, and stadium jumping events. I know next to nothing about horse trials, but I knew I wanted to see the cross country portion of it. It was pretty fun. I arrived during a break, so I got to walk the course a little and decide where to shoot from. Learned a little about the event from some course volunteers too. I stayed from the morning into the early afternoon and got a lot of neat shots. The course was wide open, and you can walk anywhere you want, just stay out of the way of the horses. There are a lot of photos I took in my flickr gallery, and a few here too.

Douglas Payne
Douglas Payne going through the water hazard.

Blair King
Blair King on Kingsman, looked like some trouble here but she was fine.


Eliza Farren bolts out of the water.

Kelly Sult
Kelly Sult on Montgomery turns the corner.

Many more images of many more planes are available in my flickr gallery.


Geneseo Air Show 2010
July 23RD, 2010

After going to the indy race on July 4th, the next weekend it was time to go to Geneseo for the Geneseo Air Show. I hadn't been to this air show in years, and its a pretty unique air show because of the historic old planes you get to see. There is far less acrobatics, and a lot more older planes to see. Again it was really HOT. But a perfect sunny day. Highlights of the show included a replica B-17 Memphis Belle, the F-16 Viper Demonstration Team, and the Soaring of Manfred Radius. He put on an amazing show in his glider, from about 5,000 feet he spiraled down to the crowd doing loops and turns to the tune of classical music. Then at ground level he flew upside down and cut a rope with the tail of his plane, before turning back over and landing. It was really great, and made you feel like you were back in older times. I posted a few photos here, and more of them are in my flickr gallery.

B12 Replica Memphis Belle
B-17 Replica Memphis Belle

F-16 Fighter Jet
F-16 Viper Demonstration Team

Canadian Harvard Team
Canadian Harvard Demonstration Team

Lysander
Bumble Bee Lysander - Awesome Paint Job

Manfred Radius Soaring
Manfred Radius in his Glider Demonstration

Many more images of many more planes are available in my flickr gallery.


Watkins Glen July 4th
July 23RD, 2010

Its been a busy few weeks, with activities every weekend. I haven't really had time to update this page, but I've been able to try and keep up to date on my flickr page. Now I'll post a few here too. My friend Mark and I went to the Indy Car race at Watkins Glen over July 4th weekend. There were various races and practice sessions Friday through Sunday, and lots of opportunities for photos. It was neat to see the Indy cars up close, but the race itself wasn't all that exciting. And it was HOT. Really hot, in the 90's. We were able to catch some shade under the trees at the track, and did a good job beating the heat. Here's a few photos, and the rest of them are posted in my flickr gallery.

Danica Patrick Indy Car
Danica Patrick in her GoDaddy Indy Car

Dario Franchitti Indy Car
Dario Franchitti in his Indy Car

Tony Kanaan out of the pits
Tony Kanaan burns out of his Pit Box as Team Penske looks on

Takuma Sato in his Lotus Car
Takuma Sato in his Lotus Sponsored Car

Many more images of all the drivers are available on my flickr gallery.


Wegmans LPGA Championship
June 30TH, 2010

I took the day off last week to go to the LPGA Championship practice round and use my camera to see what kind of photos I could get of the golfers. I took a lot of photos, some came out really good. Since this year the tournament was a major, a lot of the older golfers came out. It was neat to see the likes of nancy Lopez, Pat Hurst, Julie Inkster, and Se Ri Pak, playing with Morgan Pressel, Paula Creamer, and Michelle Wie. I took a ton of photos, and most of the nicer ones are posted in my flickr gallery. Here's a few here too.

Azahara Munoz
Azahara Munoz hitting out of the sand Traps on hole 16

Marianne Skarpnord
Marianne Skarpnord also hits out of a Sand Trap on Hole 16

Michelle Wie and Caddy
Michelle Wie and Caddy

Paula Creamer
Paula Creamer going over her course notes


Boston and Vermont 2010
June 30TH, 2010

We took the opportunity this June to make a quick trip to Boston for a couple baseball games (Both wins by the Sox over the lowly Arizona Diamondbacks), then it was time for a trip up to Burlington Vermont. While there we went on the Magic Hat Brewery Tour, Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream Factory Tour, walked around downtown Burlington, took in game 7 of the Celtics / Lakers NBA finals at a college bar, watched the sunset over Lake Champlain, and had a fun ferry ride on the way home. All in all a great trip. here's a few photos...

Burlington panoramic
Panoramic of Lake Champlain from the harbor in Burlington, VT

Lucky Strike!
Tracy hopes to get Lucky outside Fenway Park

Orange Suit
Seen outside of Government Center T-Stop in Downtown Boston

Magic Hat
Magic hat Brewery Tour Entrance

Ben and Jerrys Tour Bus
Ben and Jerry's Tour Bus

Burlington Sunset
Sunset over the harbor in Burlington, Vermont


Orioles Park 2010
June 7TH, 2010

This past weekend Tracy and I went to Philadelphia to visit her mom and brother. We also went down to Baltimore to see the Red Sox for the first time this year. The pitching match up featured John Lackey for the Sox and Brian Matusz for the Orioles. We were hoping for a high scoring affair with the Sox winning of course. We ended up getting some extra innings for our $, but the Sox came out on the losing end 3-4 in an 11 inning thriller. Still we had a great time.

Tracy and Leaf Man
Tracy and the Leaf Man Statue

Torsk Submarine
Torsk Submarine, Baltimore Harbor, Shortly Before we ran into Linda!

Tracy and the Oriole
Tracy and the Baltimore Oriole

Tracy Oriole Dave
Tracy, the Baltimore Oriole, and Dave. He's a good sport!

Some panoramic photos of the stadium and the harbor are available on the panoramic images page.


For the Birds
May 30TH, 2010

Wow, three updates in one day? I must have a lot of free time, or just catching up over Memorial Day Weekend. Tracy and I went to my parents house for dinner today, and they have a lot of birds that like to show up at their many feeders. I always say I will bring my camera with some time to see what I can photograph, and this time I did. A couple of Baltimore Orioles showed up and I was really impressed with the shots I got. All photos taken with a Canon 70-200mm lens. Click to enlarge.

Oriole Feeding

Baltimore Oriole

Brighter Oriole

This last photo is of the second Oriole that shows up. He has much brighter plumage.

I have a few more photos you can view them on my flickr gallery.


Day at the Finger Lakes Racetrack
May 30TH, 2010

Saturday I took a trip to the Finger lakes Racetrack to practice taking photos with our camera for upcoming summer trips to Saratoga. It was really hot, but I had a good time and got some great shots. There is definitely a trick to getting good photos. I am still working at it. Its tricky to learn why some photos have better focus, color, and sharpness, while similar photos are a bit lacking. Here's a few of the better shots.

Battle for Second

Elaine Castillo

Try Smilling for the Win

Winner

You can view them all on my flickr gallery.


Does Democracy Still Work?
May 30TH, 2010

This has been on and off in the papers for months, Congress is forcing expenditures into the Pentagon defense budget that are both unwanted and in a way, dangerous to the troops. I'm talking about the addition of funding for a second F-35 fighter jet engine and adding funding for additional C-17 transport planes. What does Congress want? They want to fund a second engine for the F-35 joint strike fighter, and to purchase additional C-17 cargo planes. What does the Pentagon say? Well the additional engine is superfluous and not wanted. The air force says they have more than enough airlift capability with the C-17 cargo planes they already have. Defense Secretary Robert Gates agrees with the Pentagon, if the military doesn't want these line items, then keep them out of the budget.

BUT, with the distribution of contracts and assembly lines, the end of the C-17 production line could come at the cost of jobs in 44 different states. Congressmen for those states, wanting to appease their constituents (ie not be seen as voting AGAINST jobs) have chosen to go against the military recommendations and are looking to force the C-17 into the budget. A plane the air force has said they don't want.

Congress has also added funding for a second F-35 engine, to promote competition and of course, prevent the loss of jobs at lobby happy General Electric Rolls-Royce. However the pentagon has said they don't want a second engine, and it will be wasteful spending. So congress voted to put funding in for the second engine against the wishes of the military.

What does this mean? Congress is increasing the budget and adding in weapons that are not wanted. Ask the military what they would rather spend the money on. Planes they don't want, superfluous engines, or maybe body armor and additional funding to protect our troops? But Congress is only looking out for their own jobs, not the best interest of the military and our troops. Its a shame.

Secretary Gates has said he will recommend that President Obama veto any budget that includes these unwanted line items, and I hope he does.

Source Article: Congress may override efforts by Secretary Gates to cut defense spending.


Weekend Landscaping
May 19TH, 2010

This past weekend Tracy and I landscaped the area where we planted two dogwood trees a few years ago. We wanted to let them grow and settle in a little bit before we did the mulching. Now we have a cherry tree added in and a hydrangea plus bee balm for the humming birds and a daisy too. Tracy did a really good job with the edging and mulching. Me? I did the digging.

Landscaping

Landscaping


Threshold by Albert Paley
May 9TH, 2010

These are photos I took of the Albert Paley sculpture "Threshold" outside of the Klein Steel building in Rochester, New York. This neat sculpture features animals cut out of various steel structures. Visit the Albert Paley Studios Home Page if you are interested in more of Albert Paley's work. View the gallery here.

Threshold
Threshold
Threshold - Albert Paley
Photographed: 03-13-2007
Camera: Canon SD700IS
Threshold - Albert Paley
Photographed: 03-13-2007
Camera: Canon SD700IS


Genesee Passage by Albert Paley
May 9TH, 2010

These are photos I took of the Albert Paley sculpture "Genesee Passage " outside of the Bausch and Lomb Headquarters Building in Rochester, New York. Visit the Albert Paley Studios Home Page if you are interested in more of Albert Paley's work.

Genesee Passage
Genesee Passage
Genesee Passage - Albert Paley
Photographed: 06-12-2008
Camera: Canon SD700IS
Genesee Passage - Albert Paley
Photographed: 06-12-2008
Camera: Canon A400 Infrared Converted


Lilacs in Bloom
May 8TH, 2010

Spring got here almost a full month early, and the plants and flowers are all blooming way early because of it. I took a chance to get out of work early on a beautiful day to head to Highland Park to look at the lilacs. They are in peak bloom despite the fact that the Rochester Lilac Festival isn't until May 14-23rd. In 2008 I visited Highland Park on May 24th, and the Lilacs were in peak bloom, so there is quite a wide range of time for the flowers to bloom depending on the spring weather. Learn more about the lilacs at the the Lilac Festival Home Page. View my lilac gallery here.

Lilac Thumb Pansy Flag Thumb
"Spectacular" Lilac. Awesome White and Purple Flower.
Photographed: 05-03-2010
Camera: Canon SD850IS
Lilacs at Highland Park.
Photographed: 05-03-2010
Camera: Canon SD850IS
Pansy Flag Flower Bed
Photographed: 05-03-2010
Camera: Canon SD850IS

Enjoy, and try and visit Rochester around the lilac season.


Sentinel by Albert Paley
May 8TH, 2010

Here are Photographs I took of the Albert Paley sculpture "Sentinel" on the campus of the Rochester Institute of Technology. Photos taken in December of 2006. View the gallery here.

Sentinel
Sentinel
Sentinel - Albert Paley
Photographed: 12-29-2006
Camera: Canon S410
Sentinel - Albert Paley
Photographed: 12-29-2006
Camera: Canon S410


Spring is Here
April 4TH, 2010

Well Spring is here, and home improvements too. Tracy's Bonsai seem to have made it through the winter mostly intact. Here Cherry Tree is in full bloom. Thanks in part to the record temperatures the last 2 days of 86 and 87 degrees.

Bonsai Cherry

And with the holiday season over it was time for more home improvements to the house. This time we upgraded the kitchen. Some new lights, kitchen counters, faucet, and plumbing (still fixing those leaks actually). It came out really nice, and Tracy did a terrific job with the painting. Before and after pictures...

Original Kitchen

and after...

New Kitchen

A little less noticeable is that the breakfast bar area has been lowered about 4 inches, and there is some lighting put in over it. We also have replaced a light that would be over the head of the photographer, with a sweet blue glowing light. New sinks too.


RIT Tigers Hockey vs. Canisius
February 28TH, 2010

I decided to take our camera to the RIT hockey game Saturday night to try my hand at capturing some images. It turns out there is a bit of skill involved with photographing ice hockey. First off the lighting is a nightmare, and most of my shots came out with a yellowish tint that needed to be addressed in photoshop. Secondly there is a lack of light that makes shooting in high ISO a necessity, and leads to generally noisy images. Third, there are a lot of players on the ice, so many many photos have some other player zipping by or obscuring a arm or leg. Then you also need to anticipate the plays, or else you will have photos of people just standing around without the puck.

RIT Goalie Jared DeMichiel

It was difficult, but I had a fun time, and shot over 350 photos. I took some time to load some of the best onto my flickr account, and a few here too. RIT played Canisius college twice this weekend, winning the first 8-0, and the second a much closer 5-4. It was fun to close out the season with the tigers, as they honored their senior players, and we got to see the presentation of the AHA trophy for the division 1st place RIT Tigers.

Tigers Goalie Jared DeMichiel

View my local image gallery, or see all the pictures on my Flickr account.


Finger Lakes Snocross
February 6TH, 2010

I just got done freezing my fingers off at the Finger Lakes Snocross ISOC event in Farmington. It was pretty neat, and really packed. I hope to get out there again next year and dress a little warmer. I wore some pretty weak gloves, and my finger sure did suffer. Pretty tough shooting conditions with a temp of 19 degrees, and winds of 10-15mph. They did eventually die down a little, and the flurries slowed too. Pretty neat racing.

Fingerlakes Snowcross

View my local image gallery, or see all the pictures on my Flickr account.


You Can't Win this Battle
January 31ST, 2010

Well I decided to battle the virtual waiting room for Boston Red Sox tickets. Its a battle you can't really win with all the markups and convenience fees. But you can try to minimize the damage by getting the tickets from the red sox, instead of their official online markup dealers AceTickets. How to get the tickets? Wait in the virtual waiting room for single game tickets. Sounds pretty simple, its not. If you go to the Boston Red Sox home page to buy tickets, they will inform you that they are not on sale yet. Try to find out when they go on sale, and it will not be posted anywhere. On January 28th, it was posted on the red sox site that tickets to single season games go on sale Saturday January 30th at 10am. Wow, thanks for the 2 day heads up. Its like they are trying to hide it from the public.

Virtual Waiting Room

So what do you do, get into the virtual waiting room, and hope you get picked for tickets. I've tried this before. Some days I've been in from 10am-4pm, and still never got tickets. I've got tickets before too, so its a crap shoot. About 2 hours in, almost all the weekend games had "limited availability". Around 1pm I amazingly got in! Knowing all the "good" games were sold out, I tried for bleacher (lowest cost) seats to two mid week games against the Arizona Diamondbacks in June. I was able to get bleacher seats on Tuesday, but Wednesday they were sold out and I ended up with more expensive right field seats.

My $28 bleacher seats came with a $4.25 convenience fee, and the total order has a $7 processing fee too. But how does this compare to buying the same tickets through the Official Boston Red Sox ticket resellers? Well 4 tickets in the same section go for $67 each, with around a $4.50 service charge. How is this legal? Well the anti-scalping laws are very vague:

"The statute says they can charge a reasonable mark-up," Department of Public Safety spokeswoman Kelly Nantel said. "We can't assess what a reasonable mark-up is ... because the statute is very vague."

So, with almost 2/3rds of the seats at Fenway reserved for season tickets, another portion allotted to Sox Packs, more tickets to Yankees games available through email lottery, there just isn't that much choice of how to get your tickets. Here's a link to an interesting older article on ticket sales, things haven't changed much in 2010.

Red Sox fans squeezed by ticket resellers - SouthCaoastToday.com


My Thoughts on Health Care...
January 10TH, 2010

Well I'm not trying to get all political on everyone, but I can't understand why the Republicans in Congress are all opposed to the Public Option Health Care plan, which I believe to be a fantastic way to guarantee everyone in the US a low price health care choice. Here's how the Yugo, the digital TV converter box, and your US government can save health care.

Health Care

The Government run Public Option, defined to be non-profit, and as a low cost alternative form of health care coverage for any American, is kind of like the Yugo automobile. Its cheap, and nobody really wants one, but if you have to, just have to own your own car to get somewhere, the Yugo was the low price el-cheapo car that you could buy to get you from point A to B. None of the major automobiles were threatened by the Yugo. It cost like $4,000. So all the big manufacturers, Ford, GM, Toyota, Honda, etc... they kept producing cars, and Americans kept buying them. You could buy a $15,000 car, a $30,000 car what ever you wanted. But, if you had little money and still wanted a car, you could buy the low priced Yugo. What the Yugo also did was keep the big auto makers honest. If there was no $4,000 car available to the masses, what was there to stop all the car manufacturers from getting together and making a common low price for their automobiles of say $25,000. Everyone would be screwed and have to buy our cars for whatever the consortium of auto makers wanted to set their bottom line at.

The Government Run Public Option is the Yugo of health Care. It is cheap, and provides a basic health care option for everyone in the USA. Without it, there would be no way to stop all the medical groups from getting together and jacking up the price on everyone. This seems to be what the Republicans in congress are all upset over. All their special interest lobbyists whispering in their ears about all the money they will be losing if the Government steps in and makes everyone offer a fair price.

Now for example, let's say there is no public option. When you go for a doctor's visit, it may take you 3-4 weeks for an appointment, and your co-pay could be anywhere from $25-$55 dollars. When mandatory health care goes into effect, all the insurance providers may get together and decide, "hey, you know what, health insurance is mandatory, so let's all make co-pays $45 minimum.". So now you are all paying anywhere from $45 and up for health care.

But, with the public option, you can get low cost health insurance with a mandatory government rate base of say $10 for a co-pay. Sure, the doctor may not be so good, and it may take you 12 weeks for an appointment, but the low cost option is there. Will all the other insurers keep to their $45 minimum? Heck no. Why would anyone pay 4 times the cost for health care? The result is a bell curve of co-pay rates with the government option at $10, some at $20, and yes, even some at $45 because hey, if you are a millionaire, who cares if you pay $45 for health care right? It keeps everyone honest people!

But, you know what, this is a free country, capitalism will keep everyone from getting together and charging that $45 rate. Someone will always yield and come in at $40 or $35. Are you sure? Here's another example. Does everyone remember when TV switched from analog to digital and we all needed to buy those converter boxes so our TVs would work? Remember how the government gave out tons of those $20 coupons so we could all afford the converter boxes? Well what happened? EVERY manufacturer upped the price of their converter boxes by $20, that's what happened. You could find some for $29.99, but that was really rare. Most cost $39.99. So yeah, you got $20 off, but still ended up paying $20 for those boxes, and instead Uncle Sam got stuck paying a ton of money to the converter box manufacturers who pocketed all that money.

What they should have done was paid a company to make $20 boxes, and then let anyone else make converter boxes and charge whatever they wanted. Sure some companies would come out with fancy boxes with more bells and whistles, but most companies would try and reach that lower price point of $20. But instead we all got stuck paying $40 per box, yeah $20 was government money, but that just increased the deficit and raised your taxes, so YOU paid Radio Shack and Sony for those crappy converter boxes and $20 government coupons.

So when you are paying a ton of money, and the small business man who is required to provide the expensive health care plans to his employees goes out of business, you can thank Joe Lieberman and his greedy buddies for those high rates, and for killing the public option.

Yeah, Joe Lieberman, the guy who's own state doesn't even like him. - Lieberman's Approval Ratings Tank In Connecticut

Joe Lieberman"More than 80 percent (81 percent) of Democrats now say they disapprove of the job Lieberman is doing with only 14 percent approving. Among Republicans, 48 percent disapprove of the senator with just 39 approving. And among independents, 61 percent disapprove of Lieberman's antics with just 32 percent approving."

"It all adds up to a 25% approval rating with 67% of his constituents giving him bad marks," the study concludes. "Barack Obama's approval rating with Connecticut Republicans is higher than Lieberman's with the state's Democrats."

You should read that last line again.

"Among voters who support the health care bill 87% disapprove of how Lieberman handled it with only 10% supporting it. But by voting for the final product after getting it watered down he also managed to earn the unhappiness of constituents opposed to the bill, 52% of whom say they disapprove of what Lieberman did to 33% in support. Overall just 19% of voters in the state say they like what Lieberman did on the issue with 68% opposed."

So good for you Joe. You killed the public option, and nobody in your own state even wanted you to do it. Who did you sell out to for that vote Joe? You greedy old man.


Where Did The Rest Go?

Where are the rest of the stories? Well, they are in the archives page. See the bottom section of the Menu at right. Periodically, the older stories on ScaredyCatFilms will be moved to the archive section. Moves like this will occur periodically as the content on the home page becomes too great..


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