Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Great Smokey Mountain Railway Adventure

As an adolescent I have always loved and admired trains.  I can remember Florida East Coast freight trains stopping behind my grandmother's house as they waited on side tracks for another train to pass.  The rumbling, screeching, thundering noises these iron giants made were the launching pads for all sorts of adventures and fantasies during this impressionable time in my life.  To this day I still wonder if the rocks my brother and I put on the tracks to stop them could cause a derailment...NOT!!!

Anyway, when I got the opportunity to take a train ride with the Great Smokey Mountain Railway Adventure I simply couldn't resist the chance to experience the excursion and perhaps get some neat shots.  I'll have to admit that most of my photography was captured in the town of Bryson because the ride through the mountain was truly up close and personal with the vegetation along the route.  However, whenever there was a clearing in the trees or rock faces I squeezed off as many shots as was artistically creative to the eye.  Here's what I came up with both on and off the train...





































































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Thursday, July 7, 2016

Pulitzer Prize and 89 Books Later



In 2012 when I purchased my NOOK reader, one of the first books that I read was Moby Dick (a classic).  Boring!  It was at the conclusion of that novel that I got the inspiration to read every novel listed in the Pulitzer Prize Fiction category.  I was under the impression that surely I would be reading the "best of the best" in fictional literature entertainment.

July 5, 2016 I proudly finished ready every novel listed on that list dating back to 1918 up to the present day winner.  It has been one long journey especially when I ran into the problem that some of the books were out of print and not so easily available.  Over the years though I've kept detail records of the task such as:  There are 89 winners, in 1980 non-winning finalists started being listed, I've read over 37,866 pages on NOOK and printed pages, and I spent $1,090.20 purchasing the entire collection. 

I also kept record of how enjoyable each novel was to read.  I graded the enjoyment of reading on a personal scale from 1-5.  Here's a list of my findings:  5 stars = 25, 4 stars = 19, 3 stars = 10, 2 stars = 16, and 1 star = 19.  To be candid on numerous occasions I could not understand why a particular book was chosen the winner because there were some that were, well...  These were the books that I suffered through reading and prayed that the next novel on the list would redeem the time I spent reading a boring one.
Was it worth spending four years and countless hours of reading?  From every standpoint, beside achieving my goal, the answer is "yes".  Over the years I've read some scintillating prose that informed, educated, and delighted me.  Now all I have to do to stay current is to read each year's winner although some years there is no winner.  Speaking of winner, I just discovered that the 2016 winner is in print.

Enjoy!

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Modern Day Robin Hoods

While out flying my remote model airplanes at the local community center, a band of young archers showed up at the same field and set up for a Saturday of fun and practice.  It was an archery club with ages ranging from middle school to high school kids, but everyone looked like and dressed like they were professionals at aiming the bow and hitting the bulls eye.  

It so happened that one of the parents and her son came over to check out my model airplanes which gave me the opportunity to ask the instructor and parents if they didn't mind me photographing the day's festivities and posting the images online for future download.  So meet these modern day Robin Hoods.  You never know when the next photo op my be lurking around a bush.  

Enjoy!
Willie



























Click images to enlarge and start a slide show.
Use L/R arrows or scroll mouse to see next image.