Category Archives: track and field

Whimsical Wednesday



The Mister and I watched a couple movies recently. The one we rented reminded us why we’ve always loved seeing movies; the one we saw in the theatre reinforced our belief that Hollywood isn’t always rooted in reality.

We took the boys to see “He’s Just Not That Into You.” There were a few times that we were really glad that they don’t sit with us anymore (it was rated PG-13, but our version of that rating and Hollywood’s are worlds apart). When there are scenes that we think our 13-year-old shouldn’t see, we’re the ones whispering to one another, “Who are the bad parents who brought their young kid to see this movie?” Then we make sure we walk out after the movie, making no eye contact with our kids.

So what did we think of the movie? It earned our dreaded “rentable” rating, which means it wasn’t worth spending movie theatre prices on it. We went to the $5 show, but that still was too expensive for this film. It did have talented actors and was enjoyable to watch; it’s probably a good date flick. But it had those of us who have been married almost 19 years rolling our eyes at times.

greatdebatersContrast that to the movie we rented, “The Great Debaters,” which we should have seen in the theatre. Of course, any movie with Denzel Washington is bound to be good; he’s such a great actor. I think we’ve enjoyed every movie we’ve seen that he’s starred in. All the other actors also were terrific. Excellent movie, great story. Recommended!

CPS moments

gv-hoodyThere have been several times this year when the #2 son has been tempted to call Child Protective Services. The first one was when I made him wear, OMG, a hoody to school when it was cold. Gosh, it wasn’t like I made him put on jeans and a long-sleeved shirt!  I know better than that. The second? I put our home phone number on his school binders; he claims the other eighth-grade guys have teased him about it. Holy cow! CPS, put the cuffs on me; I’m guilty as charged.

Homely no longer

A quick update on that funny headline in our local newspaper, the one that claimed that “Fort Bend families at risk for homeliness.” The next week not only did a corrected headline read, “Homeless families in Fort Bend County need help,” but they also reprinted the entire letter to the editor. Still made me giggle a bit.

Get ’er dones

I need to fold laundry and participate in Kitchen Wednesday. #2 son has a track meet tonight. The good news (for him) is that he’s only triple jumping, so he’ll be done early; the bad news is that it’s supposed to rain. I probably won’t bring my camera equipment, but I will take the Flip Mino and see if there are any videoable moments. Videoable? I think I made that up!

Final thoughts

There’s no new “Lost” episode tonight. Makes me sad. Very sad.

Photo Friday—No-Fence Edition


Yesterday I spent a lot of time at the triple jump pit watching my #2 son fly through the air with the greatest of ease . . . and land with a THUD in the sand.


The middle school track meet was at a large, local high school. Unexpectantly, there was a fence surrounding the triple jump/long jump area, as well as two school district police officers at the gate. But as I sized up the situation, I saw that my mom pal, Paula D (aka Stretch), was inside the fence taking photos with her point and shoot camera. Surely if she could get in with her dinky equipment, I could saunter in with my big ol’ camera and lens, right?

Right! The police officers waved me in! Unfortunately, there wasn’t a lot of space for experimenting, and even with an aperture of f/2.8 (with my Nikon 70-200mm lens), the backgrounds were cluttered. I need to work on changing my shooting angle quickly to try to eliminate the background distractions. That’s definitely on my to-do list for the next track meet.

What was nice was that #2 jumped at the beginning of the meet, so I could use 200 ISO and not have to put up with high ISO grain and low-light conditions.

Speaking of lowlights, I struggled with getting good photos of relay handoffs. First up were the seventh-graders. As you can see, I probably should have moved closer to the runners to get better photos. But I didn’t let my feet do the walking, and this was the result:












Hard to get both faces and the baton in the photo! I stayed in the same spot to shoot the eighth-grade relay. Different lane, similar result:












Something else for my track to-do list: Improve on capturing the relay exchange!

I fared better shooting the hurdles. You can get some great action shots using the camera’s burst mode; just got to work hard to keep everything in focus. And I found out that shooting from behind also makes for an interesting photo (taken at 1600 ISO near the end of the meet). It clearly was “the end”—the last photo I took!


“Lost” in Thursday Thoughts

sawyer-dharma doc

Last night’s “Lost” was a seesaw episode . . . back and forth, back and forth, back and forth. Three years earlier. Three years later. Three years earlier. Three years later. And where is John Locke?

I liked how the opening with the Left Behinders built on an older episode (when Locke dropped into the well). First they see what’s probably the statue that the four-toed foot belongs to. Then there’s a flash, and the well is back!  Sawyer jumps into the well . . . that isn’t finished yet. So who is building it??

After the flash, headaches and nosebleeds are gone. Juliet wonders if John has succeeded in his quest to stop the island from time traveling. Sawyer wants to wait for Locke to return. “As long as it takes,” he says.

Then it’s three years later . . . cool transition back to the Dharma Initiative.

We know we’re in the 1970s. We hear an unmistakable voice as the head of security. The Dharma guys say it’s LaFleur. But we know him as . . . Sawyer!

Sawyer really takes charge in this episode. Like Jack with the Oceanic 6, Sawyer is ready to weave a lie that will allow the Left Behinders to live. As he says, “I’m a professional. I used to lie for a living.”

But not only is Sawyer in charge, he also is domesticated . . . by Juliet, the fertility doctor turned car mechanic. Even though the passion heats up between them, I had to wonder if Juliet had forgotten about Jack and Sawyer about Kate. Sawyer tells Horace (current leader of the DI) that it is possible to forget someone after three years, that he can’t even remember her face anymore.

As he’s spooning with Juliet, Sawyer gets that fateful call from Jin (who, by the way, speaks great English). I’ll bet he’s about to see some of the Oceanic 6ers! Here comes the VW bus, looking very spiffy. And there’s Hurley, Jack, and . . . (music builds and builds; wait for it, wait for it) and finally Kate.

I think Sawyer remembers exactly what she looks like. What a killer ending again!!

And then there’s the bad news: No new episode for two weeks. Arrgh!!

My Frogurt obsession

neil-frogurtRemember my obsession with Neil (“Frogurt,” as dubbed by Sawyer)? The obnoxious “Lost” survivor who got his just desserts (so to speak) when he was hit in the chest with the flaming arrow? I was watching the 1996 movie “That Thing You Do!” on one of the high-numbered cable channels, and there he was! His was billed as a heckler, and he was obnoxious in that movie, too! He even said “Neato!”

Sean Whalen is the actor’s name. According to Wikipedia, Sean was in a 1996 episode of the “Cosby Show” as the “dry cleaner guy.” In his first movie, “Ferris Bueller,” he played a fast food manager. He appeared as a pizza boy in “Friends” and was in the very first “Got milk?” commercial.

Looks like being silenced by a flaming arrow is a move up the career ladder!

Dramarican Idol continued

TatianaThe “American Idol” wild cards were announced last night. The good news? Nathanial didn’t make it. The bad news? Tatiannoying did. I still think the producers urged the judges to choose her to push the drama as high as possible. All we can hope for is that she keeps her shrieking to a minimum and her good singing to a maximum.

Track update

Yesterday’s meet was moved to today; hopefully, I’ll have some good photos to post for Photo Friday.

Photo Friday . . . Don’t Fence Me Out!


See that fence above? When I’m told as a parent that I need to be outside the fence, I sometimes think it’s for the best. But not when I’m a photographer! I’m one of those “the rules apply to everyone but me” types anyway, but I especially feel that way when I have my big camera and my big lens in my hands. Those should be my passport onto the field of play every time.

But not this time. The school district’s police officer was kind but firm . . . only middle-school athletes and coaches allowed inside the fence. For almost every track meet last year when #2 son was a seventh-grader, there was no fence keeping us out of the field events area. So I was free to roam with my Nikon D300. But this high school had a fence designed to keep us out, so I simply either shot through the fence or through the opening where the athletes can walk onto the track.

A bigger problem, actually, was the lack of lights where the field events took place. The triple jump, #2 son’s field event, started late, and then #2 jumped late, because he had to run the 100 meters first. That 100 seemed to really fire him up, though, and not only did he make the 30-foot qualifying mark, he set a personal best at 32 feet 7 inches (his first two jumps were both 31-2). It was the top jump on his team; he was stoked! He finished up with the 200 meters. We don’t know his sprint times, but he ran the curve in the 200 like a little champ. Yay!!

Here are some photos from the meet. Our team is in the gold uniforms (Jaguars):


Is this a botched handoff or what?


The 1600 meters.












(Left) Just had to get a pole vault picture from behind. Sometimes it’s hard to tell which way the athlete is going to turn.












Long jump.

5377-2-100m#2 running the 100 meters. The light was getting pretty low, so I switched from my Nikon 70-200mm lens to my Nikon 85mm.


This is what no lights at the end of a high school football stadium is like. The #2 son triple jumping in the gloaming!