Sunday, July 22, 2007

Railroad Days - 2007

The Durham Western Heritage Museum, Lauritzen Gardens and the Union Pacific Railroad Museum joined together for Railroad Days - 2007. A single ten dollar admission fee granted the entire family admission to all three locations for the entire weekend. Buses carried patrons from site to site.

A few locomotives were on display at the Western Heritage museum. Photos of these and the permanent railroad displays are here.

The new garden railroad was open to the public for the first time at Lauritzen Gardens. The large locomotives at Kenefick Park were available as usual. Here are photos a few photos.

I didn't make it to the UP museum during Railroad days. That will have to wait for another time.


Saturday, July 21, 2007

Invasion of the Fireworks Monsters

Every year, just before the Fourth of July, the suburbs of Omaha are invaded by giant monsters.

Fireworks, banned in Omaha, are legal in the suburbs. Stands like these sprout up overnight. Each location sells fireworks to raise funds for a different charity.

I've always appreciated the irony of selling fireworks to support the volunteer fire department.

For more random street scenes, click here.

Neighborhood Street Repair

After 25 years, many of the neighboorhood streets were in need of repair.

Large sections of the street were removed and replaced.

The construction made it difficult to get around the neighborhood for a few days. A little exploring was necessary, every evening, to find a new route home.

For a few more photos, click here.


Downtown Clouds

Late one afternoon in June these clouds suddenly appeared in the sky.

No storm followed. Just the clouds.

Click here for more photos and larger images.


Aquila Court Wrap-up

Just one more photo to wrap up the Aquila Court face lift.

This shot was taken a couple of days after the work on the front of the building was complete.

Quite a bit of furniture was delivered that morning.

Click here for more photos of the construction work.


Thursday, July 05, 2007

Coal Train Leaves the Tracks

The Fourth of July was exciting for the crew of this train.

Several hoppers of coal jumped the tracks and dumped their contents on the embankment.

More photos here.


Monday, May 28, 2007

What are the Odds?

What are the odds of driving over a 3/8" bolt and having it puncture your brand new tire dead center?

The tire only lost a little air and was repaired the next morning. I wouldn't have immediately noticed it. The low tire pressure indicator on the dashboard brought it to my attention.

For you photographers, I took this shot with the camera held inside the wheel well, set in macro mode and soft flash.


Sunday, May 13, 2007

Shadow Lake Construction

Construction on the Shadow Lake Shopping Center is nearing completion.

Crews are using lifts like the one in the foreground to put the finishing touches on several buildings.

You can see four lifts in this photo. There are about in dozen in use around the construction site.

Quite a bit of work remains to be completed in the two weeks before the Grand Opening on Memorial Day Weekend.


Sunday, April 22, 2007

Road Closed

By the looks of those tire tracks, there are quite a few folks that don't need a completely paved road.

The photo was taken on a sunny Saturday afternoon. The next day, it raned buckets. That should slow down the traffic.

Click here for more "street" photos.


Saturday, April 21, 2007

Spring Arrives at the Duck Pond

After a false start followed by a freeze, it looks like Spring has decided to stay for a while.

Many of the trees had started to bud when the late freeze hit. I was glad to see these survived. The flowers add a splash of color to the area around the duck pond.

If you'd like to see a few more photos from the duck pond, click here.


Thursday, March 01, 2007

The Blizzard of 2007

They say this is the worst blizzard in ten years.

By the time it was over there was over a foot of snow on the ground and the winds had peaked at over 50 miles per hour.

This guy was doing his best to stay dry while waiting for a bus. I'm guessing he got to his destination, but the bus service was cancelled mid-morning. Maybe he got a ride home from a friend.

Winter wasn't over. More snow was predicted to follow the next day.

You'll find more storm photos here.


Sunday, February 11, 2007

The One That Got Away...

This is one of those shots that might have been great.

It was just after sunrise, the morning after a light snow. When I looked down at the street from my office window I saw tire tracks leading in and out of the empty parking spots. It only took a minute to retrieve the camera from my coat pocket. In that short time the Cox truck rolled into the forward spot.

Winter's not over. I'll be watching.


Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Misadventures in Sensor Cleaning

Several weeks ago I bought a sensor cleaning kit from Green Clean USA. The kit sat on the shelf until a few days ago when the sensor on the Pentax istD got so dirty that I had to do something. The spots in the photo are each little pieces of dirt on the sensor.

The Green Clean Process has three steps. First, any loose dust is removed with a sterile vacuum pickup powered by a can of compressed air. This is followed by a swipe of a wet wipe, then a swipe with a dry wipe.

I'm not sure the vac did much to clean the sensor, but it did a pretty good job on the dust that had worked it's way between the prism and the focusing screen. Most of the dust on the sensor wasn't loose. It seemed firmly stuck to the surface. The Green Clean folks start with this step so that dry particles don't scratch the sensor in the subsequent cleaning steps.

A couple of swipes with the wet and dry wipes removed the crud. I'm not endorsing the Green Clean system. It worked well enough, but it's a bit expensive. After buying the kit, I stumbled across this site with information on several different cleaning methods. Read the information and make your own choice.

If you're not comfortable doing it yourself, most camera stores will clean your sensor for a reasonable fee.


Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Snow on New Year's Eve

We received the first snow of the season on New Year's Eve. There wasn't a lot, but it was combined with freezing rain and wind. Travel was possible, but difficult.
I don't know the story behind the fellow on the bicycle. The temperature was about 20 degrees and the winds were still quite high. Definitely not Bicycle weather.
Click here to see a few more snapshots.