Thursday, June 28, 2007

5 Wonderful Years

(as far as you know) Just kidding!

Tomorrow is our 5th wedding anniversary and since we will be in the car at 4 am, I won't be able to post this on the actual anniversary.

So do I have her fooled or what??? What a hot momma she was and has gotten more beautiful every single day. This shot was taken on the lawn of the Bar Harbor Inn. Guess where we are headed for vacation?? Correct! Maine and to the Bar Harbor Inn.

It also happens to work out that we will be going to Hawaii in October and that's where we were for our honeymoon. I won the trip for work and we are going to tack on an extra week and jet-set around the islands.

Babe, you are my everything. Forever.

Monday, June 25, 2007

17th Hole at Saw Mill

17 at Saw Mill

I've got some exciting news, kids:

I BROKE 90 TODAY! Yes, that's right - I shot an 89. DUM DUM DUM DA! First time ever.

"How does it feel Patrick?"

"Well, Jimmy, it feels amazing. I mean just a week ago I shot a 101 and today, here I am breaking 90. I'd like to thank my sponsors Paychex and Next Level Development for making this all possible. And to my wife, Becky....."


And since Boom asked me already, the header is a picture I took today while playing and so is the above shot. How? You ask. The course was extremely quiet and I took along my camera and my cool new mini-tripod.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Bushkill River rope swing

Since I am running out of things to photograph in my back yard, I decided to take a hike today and bring along my Olympus E-500 and my cool new backpack with all my lenses.

I came across this rope swing that had been apparently been setup over the river on a tree for years. I didn't have my tripod, and most of these shots were taken at between 100 and 200 mm. Needless to say, out of the 40 or so shots, there were few that were worth posting to my flickr account.

I particularly liked this one because it highlights the motion in the background with the subject in good focus. One thing I'll say is that my respect for *real* photographers grows every time I try to do something and realize: "Damn, this ain't easy."

The view from our deck

Here is my very first attempt at using the AutoStitch software that is available for free. This is appx. a 300 degree panoramic shot from our deck. The right railing and the left railing are the same one... pretty cool, huh?

I will be playing more with this no doubt. Maine here I come.

The above picture is a series of 12 photos - 6 on the lower regions and 6 on the upper regions. AutoStitch places the photos together, cleans up any lines and deformities and creates these really cool panoramic images.

Must see the large version here.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007


A long line of thunderstorms was coming across PA last night... so I decided to *try* and get a lightning shot.

I set up the camera on my tripod, set the exposure for 50 seconds at f/13 and clicked.

This is the first photo I took.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Ma'am, where is your arm?

OK, that's kind of an inside joke. When I was an EMT in NJ, there was a motor vehicle accident involving a quadriplegic victim. She was in a van sitting in a wheelchair when the rollover occurred and when we found her she was laying on her left side.

As we begin to assess her, another EMT, who shall remain nameless, sees her arm sticking through the window and trapped under the van,. He proceeds to yell "Ma'am, where is your arm??!!!!" Needless to say, since she was a quadriplegic, she had NO IDEA that her arm was stuck under the van and starting screaming and crying.

I digress. Jessica's right arm looks like it's missing in this picture.

Friday, June 15, 2007


One of my most favorite shots of all time. This is from way back in 1999 when I was in fire school in Somerset County NJ. On this particular night, we were practicing how to extinguish gasoline fires. I love the dark silhouette of the firefighter and the action of it.

(taken with my first digital camera: a Kodak EasyShare DC210 Zoom.)

Posted for the contest: Danger!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

This aint your ordinary trash

Now, this is art.

You are looking at 6 months worth of artists' rubbish piled up ever so perfectly.

And yes, it's real.

more here

I'm jumpiiiiiinnnnnnnnng!

P6073082.JPG, originally uploaded by -SPK.

That's what her face looks like to me anyway.

This is from Paige's LIttle Gym recital, Kaitlyn was a maniac on all the equipment.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

How do you tawk?

What American accent do you have? (Best version so far)


You have a Northern accent. That could either be the Chicago/Detroit/Cleveland/Buffalo accent (easily recognizable) or the Western New England accent that news networks go for.

Personality Test Results

Click Here to Take This Quiz
Brought to you by quizzes and personality tests.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Britain's Got Talent Love

I'm gonna give this show some love on the blog today. I've seen two clips on YouTube this week that I MUST share with you. For some reason, they both just rocked me when I saw them.

Check them out:

Monday, June 11, 2007

My long lost twin?

Anne got this in the mail a while back and brought it up to me this weekend.

Even I think it looks like me!

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Lydia and Raymond

On Friday Becky and I were finally able to visit Lydia and Isabella at the hospital. The twins are doing great, and will be home in the middle of the week. This is a shot of Lydia holding her daddy's hand.

The rest of the shots are here.

See a map of where this picture was taken.

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Grill the best steaks

Thanks to this article from Mens Health, you are all about to exercise your hands. You'll see what I mean in a minute.

I grilled fillet mignon this week for the first time ever, and thanks to the Wegmans butcher we knew what the best method to get them cooked to medium rare was: Sear on high, turn to med-low flame, and cook for 7 minutes per side. 130 degrees inside the center is a perfect medium rare.

What do you do if you: 1. Don't have a Wegmans butcher to ask? 2. If you don't have a cool meat thermometer (that Joel gave to me!)

This little pictorial will hook you up.

Rare: Soft and squishy, like a sponge. 125 f

Medium Rare: Firm but yielding, like a Nerf football. 145 f

Medium: Barely yielding, like a racquetball. 160 f

Well: Hard yet springy, like a tennis ball. 170 f.


This is Greg Biffle, driver of the number 16 Roush Racing Ford Fusion. Taken at Dover International Raceway in Dover, DE last year.

We were walking around the trailers looking for something to buy, and saw Greg in his trailer giving autographs.

Posted for contest: Famous.

Thursday, June 7, 2007


P6042990.JPG, originally uploaded by -SPK.

Panning shots, Grasshopper

Well, that's what jkirlin called them. He asks: I do. What else would I do?

Below is the chat transcript as it occurred, we have altered content to make it PG.

jkirlin: Want a photo skill assingment? ":)
me: yes masta!
kirlin: Practice your panning shots, grasshopper.

And so I walked outside, got into the girls swingset house and took this shot. Not bad!!

This seemed to be the best settings for me:

1/25 sec
aperture priority
follow the target

Little Gym Recital

Click the picture to advance through the (amazing) shots!

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Photosynth Prototype

Technology like this simply floors me. First, who thought that Microsoft would be the company to deliver this? Not me.

Watch the video, you will be a better person for it. TRUST Me.

Oh, I also love his ice cream cone tee shirt!

You can also try it out on Microsoft's Live Labs

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Attisano Twins are here!

Lydia Anna: 5 lbs, 7 oz, 19 1/4"

Isabella Marie: 6 lbs, 0 oz, 19"

Both born at 1:13pm today and mom and babies are healthy. Stop by Anastasia's place and say hi!

Monday, June 4, 2007

Learn from everything

Today is the anniversary of my Dad's death. I was going to write a historical piece on the hows and whys of the cancer that took him so quickly, but that's really not important.

I am one of 8 siblings. 5 brothers and 2 sisters if you are counting. I have an idea that watching my older brothers and sisters while growing up helped me to try to live this ideal: Learn from everything.

My Dad was quite a character, he was loud, funny, and had a laugh that was *truly* contagious. One thing I remember so strongly about him as I hit my teen years was that he embarrassed me all the time. Not that he said things about me per se, but that I was embarrassed of him.

Maybe all kids are like that with their fathers. I don't know for sure. But one thing I do know was that when I found out that he was going to die from cancer, it didn't matter anymore. I was no longer concerned about trivial things and realized that I really didn't know much about the important things in his life.

Armed with a new 8mm video camera, I interviewed my Dad like a good 60 minutes reporter. I realized that in all the years I had never really asked him about HIM. Growing up, his father the train conductor, his family, first wife, being in the Berlin Crisis and the Air Force, playing AAA Yankees baseball, meeting Mom, and the things that make a person who he becomes.

That tape is six years old now. My little brother and I watched the tape a few months ago and both had a good cry. I'm really glad I did that.

Back to the title of this post. Here is the takeaway: This is it. We don't get any more chances at this. Be happy, there are a ton of things to worry about and be pissed at, but - who cares? I'm living, baby. Do things you want to do, take vacation, take up a hobby you are passionate about. l.i.v.e for the love of god!

I love my girls more then I could have ever thought I could love anything. (all three of them) and I am super-conscious to drink in the good times together because it could end tomorrow.

And one thing's for sure, it will end one tomorrow.

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Whooooooooaaaaaaaaaaaaa (Squeeeeee)

Beck and Paige in the middle car, Abby and Brian behind her.

Posted in honor and in awe of the original carnival photographer: jkirlin. I learned everything I know from watching you(r blog), Jeff. Your wide angle shots are 'Ansel Adams' compared to my measly 210 mm zoom (and crop) of this 'coaster.

Sesame Place Visit

Click on the photo to advance.....

See the entire set on Flickr


Tick, originally uploaded by -SPK.

...found on Becky's knee. You see it here on a square of toilet paper. (Can you spare a square?)

Thanks to the (Scotty) Barr family picnic, this tick was made possible. Oh, and yes, that's the head of the tweezers on the right. I love macro.

Spell Much?

What makes this first one great, is that it's at a spelling bee.

added this courtesy of Bits & Pieces