Photo Blogging Challenge: October 2014’s theme is…

Oct 01

october2014

The start of October isn’t feeling like fall around me.

In fact, it’s been nearing or in the 80s a bit lately. In the Northeast. What gives?

We didn’t have this in the summer … and now have it in the fall? Come on!

Still, it’s better than snow.

This month is one I am dubbing recruitment month. For the past two months, I’ve had themes where I thought we’d draw a bunch of people and didn’t. So I am hoping this is a month where we get a good turnout. Hopefully you are with me here and would like to see this challenge and group grow a bit.

So tell your friends and fellow bloggers. Point them to this page. Or to the Facebook group. Let’s get some more people into this challenge! The theme, which is below, really lends itself to bringing people into the fold, so pass it along and let’s grow the challenge!

It is, after all, October (can you believe it?) so let’s push along!

As a reminder of a few things, let me copy and paste this from last month:

  • I have an e-mail reminder list set up (which I haven’t used lately because nobody seemed to want it. I’d like to start it again, so please let me know if you want in on it. If I don’t get any real responses for this, I will be deleting this part of the rules!). Basically, I’ll e-mail the group with about 10 days left in the month to remind you. When I remember, I’ll also shoot one out the day before the end of the month, as a reminder to post the following day. I can’t always guarantee that one though! If you are not on the list, let me know in the comments below that you would like to be on it. Note: I was bad on this … please join the Facebook group if you can. I update there more often!
  • Second, I set up a Facebook group for those who are interested. Reminders and maybe some discussions or other things can be done there.
  • If you haven’t already, attempt to check out everybody’s posts and consider commenting. These challenges are great for personal growth, but it’s also nice to be interactive with all the others in the challenge! That’s one of the best parts of this challenge — interacting and seeing other people’s work!

Before we hit up this month’s theme, for new people, allow me to refresh the rules a bit.

Here’s how it will work.

  • On the first of each month (or close to it), I’ll have a blog post here with the theme for the month.
  • Over the course of the month, participants will take photos with their interpretation of the theme. On the last day of the month (or close to it), participants should  publish their blog post, which will include five photos from the month. (please don’t recycle photos from the past … the idea is to hopefully challenge you to go out and take new photos each month to interpret the theme). And please only use photos you took.
  • I’ll have a link-up thing at the end of my post so people can come and post the links to their posts so, hopefully, everybody can go go check out and comment on other posts.

There is no rule on equipment or anything. Use a cell phone. Use film. Use a point-and-shoot. Use a DSLR. It doesn’t matter. Just make sure you publish your blog post on the last day of each month, come here and link up.

It’s simple!

Your blog posts can be as simple or as in-depth as you want. I’ll likely talk a little about each photo. But if all you want to do is post photos, feel free. The idea of this is to give a small challenge and give everybody a chance to express themselves with photography, participate in a challenge and have something to blog about.

That’s it. Easy, right? So join in! Help us continue to grow this challenge by telling fellow bloggers/photographers about the challenge and hopefully it can become a great monthly thing!

For those still with me, this month’s theme is: Photographer’s Choice. Basically, you choose whatever you like. Hopefully it will be themed yourself, somehow. But… interpret away!

I’m looking forward to seeing what everyone comes up with here. There are so many ways to do this and I think there will be some great stuff. I can’t wait to see. And, after last months “Colorful” theme, this should be fun.

Please make sure your blog post publishes Thursday, October 30 (I am avoiding Halloween, figuring some people will publish other things that day)

If you think you are going to take part in this, drop a comment below so we can see who all might be trying to tackle this challenge!

History of the challenge (past month’s themes – links to see everybody else’s posts are at the end of the linked post):

Feel free to leave a comment, or e-mail P.J. at hoohaablog@gmail.com. Also, please “Like” HooHaa Blog on Facebook!

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Photo Blogging Challenge (Sept. 2014): Black and White

Sep 30

Going in the opposite direction of last month, we take the color away.

I’ve always been a fan of black and white photography. I used to have a darkroom and, when I started in newspapers, I worked in a darkroom. It was cool. Seeing images show up under the red light was way too cool.

Now, it’s digital.

Don’t get me wrong, I love the instant gratification. But there was something about the smell of the darkroom chemicals and having the control you had when processing images.

So this month we go back to the roots.

For that, I have three from my main camera (before it bit the dust… need to have fixed!) and a couple from my iPhone.

I am definitely interested in what others came up with for this theme.

And, as a reminder, we’re a fun little challenge community. So come back in a day or two and check everybody who linked up and drop a comment on each other’s posts… it makes it more fun. I’ll be making my rounds at the end of the weekend! Oh. and don’t forget to come back tomorrow (Oct. 1) to see the theme for October!

1. Cameron

There’s a good bet I’ll always find a way to get him into my photo blogging challenge, if I can make it fit the theme. And here is is… again!

Cam!

Cam!

 2. Nicole

On the opposite end of things, my niece is a senior in high school and in her final soccer season at her school. This was done during her senior night.

bw2

Shoot the ball!

 3. Baseball

I had a great Summer of Baseball (still catching up on all those posts), bit hit one last game. I went by myself on a crisp night to watch Game 3 of the New York-Penn League championship.

photo 2 (6)

Final game of the year.

4. Biff!

On my birthday, I went to a 2CW card and Biff Busick was there. He’s an excellent entertainer and I’ve enjoyed his work. Biff Rules!

Biff Rules!

Biff Rules!

5. Quiet spot

Went geocaching at the end of the month and one was in a cemetery. This one was sitting away from many other spots, in a peaceful area.

Quiet area.

Quiet area.

That’s my five for the month. And, now it’s your turn.

If you took part this month, make sure you link up below. And for those who participated, make sure you try and get to other people’s blogs and comment and visit so we can continue to grow this challenge. Don’t forget, too, to come back tomorrow, Wednesday, Oct. 1 and see the theme for October! NOTE: I set up a Facebook group for those who participate in the challenge and are interested. I’ll post any announcements there and hopefully it can be a place where things are discussed and some interaction etc. You can access it here.


Feel free to leave a comment, or e-mail P.J. at hoohaablog@gmail.com. Also, please “Like” HooHaa Blog on Facebook!

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Soundless Sunday: Sept. 28

Sep 28

“I came from a poor family. My father was from Glasgow, Scotland; my mother’s brothers were brakemen on the railroad. We didn’t have anything but mush for breakfast.”

– Mickey Rooney

Sept. 28

Soundless Sunday is a weekly feature where I’ll try and feature a favorite quote and a photo that I’ve taken. Enjoy life — it’s the only way to go!

Feel free to leave a comment, or e-mail P.J. at hoohaablog@gmail.com. Also, please “Like” HooHaa Blog on Facebook!

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Snapshot Saturday: Sept. 27

Sep 27

Another blast from the past!

Here’s another I don’t think I’ve used. I need to go through all I’ve done and get rid of the ones used in my Snapshot folder. And then scan more! Anyway, one of the old man, just for the sake of it!

sept272014

Number 1!

Enjoy!

Feel free to leave a comment, or e-mail P.J. at hoohaablog [at] gmail.com. Also, please “Like” HooHaa Blog on Facebook!

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Living with Diabetes: The road is long, but well worth it

Sep 26

For those of you following along, you know all about the trials and tribulations I’ve had since finally coming to grip with having diabetes, and knowing I had to take care of it.

Earlier this month, I had a post talking about how my A1C had dropped to 5.9 – which is amazing, considering where I was when this really hit rock bottom back in March and April.

Needless to say, I’ve been pretty happy.

Not bad overall, but at times I've had some odd spikes.

Not bad overall, but at times I’ve had some odd spikes.

But all of this doesn’t come without some ups and downs – and a bit of good news.

I’ve had three lows with my blood sugar, and allow me to say it’s pretty scary. When I was consistently high with my counts, I realized how I felt. I dragged and was tired, but could still seemingly function.

The first time I had a low, I was stunned, but thankfully I had symptoms.

What happened was I got really hot and started sweating. I couldn’t cool down no matter what, and felt a little light-headed. Sure enough, I checked and I was in the 60s.

After speaking to the diabetes educator I see, she noted it is good I have symptoms as some people don’t. Now that’s downright scary. She also noted it might be because of one of the meds I was taking.

Now, realize that to avoid insulin all those months ago, I needed to have a second medicine added to my arsenal. She told me it’s possible this second one was making me have the dips. I’ll have more on that in a moment.

I had a couple of lows this month, including this scary one. But I got out of it fast enough.

I had a couple of lows this month, including this scary one. But I got out of it fast enough.

Since the initial dip, I’ve had two more. One was in the 60s and the other was a scary 55. That one came when I was driving home from a game, so I knew something was up. Thankfully, it was near the exit ramp I was using, so I went to a nearby store and got some orange juice to help me out.

Allow me to tell you how out-of-control I felt with low blood sugar. I didn’t think I had control of my body and it’s an extremely awkward feeling. In all three situations, though, I was close to a place where I could get what was needed to get me back to normal.

It’s also made me come up with two things I needed to do from now on:

Get a second Glucometer that can travel with me so I don’t always have to remember to bring mine.

Carry glucose tablets/shots, in case of anymore low times.

Over the past few weeks, I’ve also had a couple of bumps, mainly during fasting times. It confused me, too, as I couldn’t figure out why I would be having dips – especially when I had been in bed and not eating,

Was I sleep-walking and eating?

Turns out that theory probably wouldn’t hold any water.

It seems that if you go that period without eating, another part of your body (the kidney or liver, can’t remember which) releases some insulin or something … basically, your body is trying to help you, but it gives too much, Or something like that.

One trend... hopefully it disappears.

One trend… hopefully it disappears.

The downside of all this is me not being 100 percent in range over the past 14 days. I’m not, however, as worried about it as I keep learning more and more about my body and what certain foods and drinks do to it.

But out of this, comes good news.

Remember a few months ago when my A1C (long-term blood sugar numbers) was in the 9s? Talk about crazy. That deal to stay off insulin was to lower that and all. But at the same time, I was put on a second medicine to help.

Do you remember all that?

Well, either way … that second medication? It’s gone. My primary provider said he thinks I’ve made strides well enough and that medicine wasn’t a high dose, so he pulled me off of it. I still have them, just in case over the next week to 10 days I see a bad reaction. If not, I still have them if the doctor wanted me to get back on them.

Hopefully, it doesn’t come to that.

I’m also losing weight at the right pace. I don’t believe in getting off through fads and such. I need to do it the best I can. It seems like I am averaging about a pound a week. But more than that is around the waist. It might not be full pounds, but I am losing that. My pants don’t fit anymore and my belt is slightly too big. That’s a good thing. I foresee some shopping in my future, but holding off as long as I can!

One thing is for sure, I’m heading in the right direction. It takes a lot of work and I know I need to do more (now that softball is over, for example, I need to do more with physical stuff), but I am going in the right direction. It’s totally worth it as I feel 100 times better than I have in the past year and I know I’m way more healthy than I was before.

Feel free to leave a comment, or e-mail P.J. at hoohaablog [at] gmail.com. Also, please “Like” HooHaa Blog on Facebook!

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Hopping to blogs

Sep 24

The blogging world is massive. For those of you who either read blogs, blog or do both – you know what I am talking about.

There seems to be a blog for everything, too.

In fact, there are blogs out there to give you ideas on what to blog about! Seriously! Now, nobody ever said they were good ideas … but ideas nonetheless.

Then there are the countless blog hops and all that. Though I like linkups sometimes (and host the monthly photo challenge), sometimes they are excessive. I was at a blog a week or two ago and went through the past two weeks of this person’s posts.

And, well, about 90 percent were linkups and blog hops.

That got me wondering … if all your posts are linkups and hops … what do you actually write about?

Through the years, my blog has transitioned several times. It originally started on my hoohaa.com forum (anybody who reads this remember that forum? I had so much fun with it!), then to blogger (or whatever it was called then) and then to my own site.

All the while, I kept everything. I’ve transferred all my posts, comments and everything else – just to have a full record of what I’ve done. Sometimes, I peek back and look around to see how the blog has done with itself over time.

I’ve truly enjoyed it.

But these blog hops and linkups get me scratching my head some. But let me explain a bit more and to explain my philosophy about them.

Linkups and blog hops serve a good purpose in the blogging community, especially for those of us who are more of personal bloggers. I don’t sell ads or try and make any money on my blog. I do it because I enjoy it and it gives me an outlet to write.

The flip side of it being more personal and small is a lack of readers. I’m usually happy if I reach 75-100 views per day and somewhere between 1800-3000 for a month. If I get more, sweet. If not, well, I deal. In the end, I do this because it’s something I love.

So where’s the middle ground?

I peek around at linkups and blog hops and hope to have something to match up with. My goal is more along the line of finding something that makes sense to link up with, or there’s a theme I know I can write about.

Then there are the ones for the sake of doing them (such as social media linkups).

But the ones I get involved with, I always look at the others. For example say there’s a linkup with blog posts. I’ll put mine up. And, over the next day or two, I’ll go back to it and read every single post linked up. I’ll comment on 90 percent of them (I aim to comment on all, but the reality is, sometimes, I just don’t have anything to add to it) and do my best to be involved.

But I rarely get everybody looking a mine. Sure, I get a sprinkling of comments – but nothing much. The community that is blogging just isn’t what I always hope it will be.

Do I get to certain blogs every day? No. I just don’t have the time like I did when I was unemployed. But for a handful of blogs, I try and go at least weekly, and catch up.

In the end, these linkups and blog hops have their needed place in the blogosphere. And I’ll use them. I just would love to start seeing some of those blogs giving more than five or six of them a week! This is all paired in with my search for a new blog reader and a couple of blog challenges that will allow me to find some good bloggers to get reading.

If you want to link up, comment. I’ll come visit your blog!

Feel free to leave a comment, or e-mail P.J. at hoohaablog [at] gmail.com. Also, please “Like” HooHaa Blog on Facebook!

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Summer of Baseball: Manchester is about the game

Sep 22

Manchester, New Hampshire.

Manchester, New Hampshire.

Manchester, New Hampshire.

I can’t say I’ve ever been here before and, honestly, I wasn’t sure why this was an attractive place to go watch a game, outside the fact that it would make for a good weekend trip to see a couple of games.

Originally, this trip was scheduled for the Fourth of July Weekend, with one game here and one in Connecticut. Bad weather forced that trip to be changed (which worked out well as it landed this tour in State College that weekend and it was a fantastic fireworks show), but I had already purchased tickets for Manchester.

So when the game was rained out, I had the chance to get new tickets. On a weekend in early August, Manchester called again to see the New Hampshire Fisher Cats play Reading, the Double-A affiliate of the Philadelphia Phillies.

Northeast Delta Dental Stadium.

Northeast Delta Dental Stadium.

Score.

Opened in 2005, Northeast Delta Dental Stadium is an interesting place to see a game. Being in the middle of the city, the parking is pretty crappy. In fact, we paid $10 to park in this one lot and we got squished into a silly spot. I think the tickets were $12 each, or something like that. So, basically, we paid an extra seat to park. Now, I realize there was street parking elsewhere for free. The issue was not knowing the area, so we went with a lot. Parking, though, is not a positive for this place.

The stadium from the outside is pretty interesting, especially how it’s tucked in to the area. It’s not a bad looking stadium by any means. In left field, there’s a hotel overlooking the field. The concourse wraps the backside of the field and there’s a little into left field. You don’t miss much if you get up and walk around a little. There’s an interesting bar in the left-field area. Though I didn’t go in, it’s pretty nice and roomy.

There are a couple of souvenir stores — one a bigger one that is downstairs, before you walk up to get into the field, and the other off the concourse. Prices were pretty decent and the main store offered a lot of items.

Keeping book.

Keeping book.

Concessions at the stadium was pretty decent. That being said, we had eaten before coming, so we didn’t really dabble in a lot. The normal ballpark fare was here, but what was nice was soft ice cream. For whatever reason, it seems to be getting harder and harder to find this at stadiums. This place had it. And I got it later in the evening (we were there for a double header) and had no lines. I did, of course, have a hot dog, too, and it was good. One thing to point out is that there is a solid selection of beers here. Concession prices were decent.

A side note for those who keep their own scorecard — the Fisher Cats, if you go to fan relations (on the concourse) offer pre-printed cards with the lineup free of charge. It’s very nice to have, especially when you bring your own book, like I do. It’s much easier to copy off that than standing in front of the lineup board to by taking a photo and reading it off a phone.

One thing, though, is the stadium didn’t stand out. The floors for the seats were metal, so it could get loud if people were walking around. The seats had plenty of space, which is nice. But it’s the same sort of stadium you can see in many places. Overall, it’s a solid stadium with good sight lines and a decent place to watch a game. You could find worse places to watch a game, that’s for sure. However, I’m not sure I would make a specific trip just to see this stadium, but if you can plan it with other reasons to be here, it’s worth catching a game.

Park Notes:  

Northeast Delta Dental Stadium
Manchester, New Hampshirt
Home of the New Hampshire Fisher Cats (AA affiliate of the Toronto Blue Jays)
Visited on: Friday, August 1, 2014
Opponent: Reading Fightin Phils (AA affiliate of the Philadelphia Phillies)

Ratings (out of 10)

  • Stadium: 7.5/10
  • Concessions: 8/10
  • Parking: 5/10
  • Ambiance: 8/10
  • Friendliness: 8/10

I am embarking on a summer of baseball with the plan to hit a minimum of 10 stadiums this summer. Hopefully, there will be more than that. I will report on each park that I hit on the blog.

Feel free to leave a comment, or e-mail P.J. at hoohaablog [at] gmail.com. Also, please “Like” HooHaa Blog on Facebook!

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