1. 2013 Review

    My favorite events in photos from our activities throughout the past year.

    Skiing in Breckenridge

    To celebrate the group turning 30 we went skiing in Colorado.

    Alisa and Earl in the snow

    Earl, Phil and Rob ready to ski Atop the beginner hill.

    Earl ski wipe out First major wipe out at full speed.

    Alisa and Earl skiing during snow

    Snow covered hot tub

    Ski vacation group photo Rob, Phil, Anya, Earl and Alisa.

    Brew Riot

    Our second year pouring beer samples for the Brew Rioters, which is always a great time. Checkout our brews on the Necktie Brewery site.

    Brew Riot break

    Brew Riot coins

    Yosemite and Sequoia National Parks

    Our vacation to California to see the giant redwoods and experience those wonderfully mild summer temperatures.

    California group picture

    Alisa near Crystal Cave

    Baby black bear A baby black bear crossing our path.

    Alisa emerging from the giant The trail took us through the middle of this charred giant sequoia.

    Earl hiking

    Earl and Erica

    Hiking sign

    Yosemite Valley with Half Dome

    Alisa near Half Dome

    Grizzly Giant The Grizzly Giant doesn’t disappoint.

    Stupid raisins


    Camping late in the summer with the family.

    Ty and Earl bouncing Flight testing the trampoline.

    Robbers Cave

    Earl with Kouper and Ty

    Craig, Ty and Remi

    Earl belaying Kouper Rock climbing with the family at Robbers Cave State Park.

    Earl belaying Craig Craig making his way to the top.

    Caddo Lake

    Oliver and Craig fishing Fishing in Caddo Lake State Park.

    Oliver riding

    Alisa kayaking


    Ty with spiders

    Craig and Ty cleaning the pumpkin

    Ty, Oliver, and the pumpkin


    Alisa and Earl Christmas

    Alisa Pregnant An extra surprise is in store for 2014.

    Earl rip riding Rip ridin’ on a wild tricycle.

    Marshalls and Mareshs Christmas

    Alisa and the Christmas tree

    Published on

  2. Ice Climbing on the Matanuska Glacier

    Ice Climbing

    During our 2012 trip to Alaska, we added ice climbing to our trip – I couldn’t recommend it more!

    Our ice wall was approximately a mile onto the Matanuska glacier. There we learned to use crampons, ice axes and the combination while climbing. Overall we spent six hours hiking, training and climbing.

    Being a well-versed rock climber, I was excited to try ice climbing. I would compare the difficulty to an easier indoor climbing wall due to the infinite number of holds available (almost anywhere in the ice).

    Alisa Descending

    Everyone in the group had a wonderful time – even during our preliminary training with the excellent MICA guides. I highly recommend ice climbing when you have the chance.

    More climbing photos are available on our Alaska photo gallery.

    Published on in Travel

  3. Necktie Brewery at Brew Riot

    Necktie Brewery handing out beer

    We enjoyed a warm, busy day at Brew Riot on Sunday, May 20 in downtown Oak Cliff. Equipped with three kegs, twenty-five 22 oz. bottles and two cases of 12 oz. bottles, the four of us were determined to give it all away.

    Our five entries lasted the day and the swarm of thirsty rioters.

    Rioters Lull

    Find more about entries at the Necktie Brewery website.

    • Atlantic Maple Brown
    • Four-in-Hand Milk Stout
    • Clip-on Cali IPA
    • Collegiate Common
    • Half-Windsor Porter

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  4. Launchy and Orzeszek Timer

    Timers are a great way to ensure you get in the zone, take breaks and check important things periodically. But who wants to fiddle with a mouse when the need for a timer arises?

    That began my search for a desktop timer solution. The timer must be easily activated with keyboard controls, accept simple time inputs in a natural language and get out of the way as fast as possible.

    This led me to a Launchy based shortcut for the Orzeszek Timer. Orzeszek Timer is an open-source timer that accepts various time inputs via command line arguments. So, giving it 10m as input would start a timer for 10 minutes just as you would expect.


    1. Download and install Launchy.

    2. Save the Orzeszek Timer to a known location.

    3. Use Launchy’s built-in Runner plugin to create a custom command with the following options:

      Name: timer  
      Program: C:\Path\To\Orzeszek Timer.exe  
      Arguments: $$  

      Runner Plugin Settings

    Start a Timer

    Launching Orzeszek with Launchy

    Activate Launchy, type “timer”, hit TAB, and input your desired timer length. When your timer expires you’ll be notified.

    Forget trying to rely on hope to remember your important meeting, just set a timer when you think of it and get there ahead of time.

    Published on

  5. Moth


    A large moth found its way onto my porch yesterday. View the full size image to see the details of its wings.

  6. A Dive in Action

    I captured this dive in 5 shots over the course of about 1.5 seconds. That was the easy part. Blending the images took an additional 2 hours of fiddling in Hugin and Gimp.

    Here is the result:

    The shot features the finale of the pirate dive show from the 2009 Texas State Fair.

  7. Smoky MountainsSmoky Mountains

    My trip to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park was an excellent opportunity to do more camping photography.

    The following images are interesting in that the first required a tripod, getting my shoes muddy and fending off bugs. While the second image was a quick snapshot during our train ride. I am pleased with both.

  8. Fireworks

    Two of my favorite photos from this past weekend’s festivities:

    Surprisingly firework photography is easier than it seems. And since this was my first time shooting fireworks I followed the tips from How to Photograph Fireworks Displays.

    My take from all the tips I read was to use a tripod, keep the shutter speed between 1-3 seconds and set the focus to infinity. After your camera is configured, shoot as many photos as possible.