Now that I am caught back up, I’d like to step back and take stock of where this journal has went since its inception on August 9, 2006.
Since the last time I looked at these statistics, I have completed changed galleries. I can no longer show you what are the most popular photos in the Artistic and Snapshot galleries. However, I can show you the most popular pictures in the Smugmug Gallery.
Here are the 20 Most Popular:
20. Statue of Liberty
19. Youth Group Mission Trip Group Photo – Kansas City – 2011
17. Drenched in Loneliness
14. Kewer Wedding
13. Young Heroes Banquet
12. Young Heroes Bandquet
11. Girl in the Blue Skirt Beta – 2011
4. Theories Pass
3. Must Be Truth
2. Turtle Pond Frog
You might be wondering what determines the popularity of a photo. Truth is, I don’t know all the details, but I can tell you what is the dominant factor. To quote the Smugmug website:
You can increase a photo’s popularity by moving your mouse over it and clicking the thumbs-up symbol that appears. You can cast one vote per photo.
You can also rate a photo or gallery with stars when you leave a comment.
There are other factors…like time. Photos from events past will usually be less popular than recent ones.
If you see a picture you like, you should take the 5 seconds to give it the thumbs up and maybe it will make the Top 20 list next time I do this little thing.
I also like to look at the Top Ten People that have been mentioned or photographed in the history of this journal.
10. Dad – 117
9. Carla – 118
8. Sara – 122
7. Willy – 124
6. Jen – 143
5. Teresa – 144
4. Derrick – 157
3. Shannon – 160
2. Jay – 180
1. Jesse – 195
Hope you found this at least moderately interesting. I’ll check back in on these things when I hit journal entry number 1,500.
EDITOR’S NOTE: SINCE THE ORIGINAL PUBLICATION OF THIS BLOG IT HAS COME TO MY ATTENTION THAT MONICA AND JEFF WERE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE DELICIOUS FRUIT PIZZA. MY APOLOGIES FOR GIVING THE CREDIT TO DERRICK.
Movie – Hall Pass
Director: Bobby and Peter Farrelly (Dumb & Dumber, Kingpin, There’s Something About Mary)
Writer: Pete Jones, Peter Farrelly, Kevin Barnett, Bobby Farrelly
Starring: Owen Wilson (Wedding Crashers, The Royal Tenenbaums, Marley & Me), Jason Sudeikis (Going the Distance, What Happens in Vegas), Jenna Fischer (The Office, Blades of Glory, Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story), Christina Applegate (Anchorman, Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter’s Dead, Married with Children)
Theater – Cinemark Movies 12 – Ames, Iowa
Companion – Nader
Food – Okoboji Grill
I like Jenna Fischer. I thought that the trailer looked funny.
Owen Wilson is pretty much always terrible unless he is in a Wes Anderson movie. The Farrelly brothers movies have been pretty blah since There’s Something About Mary.
A married man is granted the opportunity to have an affair by his wife. Joined in the fun by his best pal, things get a little out of control when both wives start engaging in extramarital activities as well.
Let’s face it, there really isn’t much to say about this movie. If you take out the Kathy Griffin jokes at the end of the movie, almost all the funniest parts are in the trailer.
Save the money and the time and watch the trailer.
Buy on DVD
I’ve seen two 2011 movies. It is the 2nd best. The other one I saw (The Dilemna) was nothing special either.
I saw previews for several movies. They all look terrible. Thor. Cowboys & Aliens. The Hangover Part II. I wonder if Hollywood is even trying this year.
I got an email from Russell referring to me as Movie Man and asking kindly if he could get my opinions on the Oscars or if he would have to wait for a journal entry.
Since most people don’t possess the bravery of Russell, I’ll just paraphrase the email I sent to him about my Oscar experience.
I can’t complain about most categories besides Best Picture and Best Director.
Some of the people I was rooting for didn’t win (Michelle Williams and James Franco), but I can’t really argue with giving the Oscar to Natalie Portman and Colin Firth.
I was sad to see Randy Newman get an Oscar, but this was a pretty weak year for Original Song.
I prefer How to Train Your Dragon over Toy Story 3, but I knew that was a lost cause.
The King’s Speech is kind of a glorified made for TV movie with two exceptional performances.
It is a good movie, but not the best movie of the year. That was clearly The Social Network, but what I think happened is that the older members of the Academy just didn’t get The Social Network and they swung the vote for the much safer The King’s Speech.
Because of the type of movie he makes, I hope this wasn’t David Fincher’s last chance at an Oscar. But if it was, he’ll be in good company. Alfred Hitchcock and Stanley Kubrick and Orson Welles never won an Oscar (for director). However, one Alfred Hitchcock movie did win Best Picture. Rebecca if you really must know.
I was glad that The Kids are All Right didn’t win anything, but now I’m also having to re-watch it to figure out if I think the daughter in the movie is a lesbian or not. I was glad that Jeff Bridges didn’t win. Mumbling is not acting.
I would have been happy to see Amy Adams win, but I freely confess that Melissa Leo was better than her.
The Oscar Party I attended was successful and I had lots and lots of very tasty food. Derrick made some kind of shrimp and cream cheese dip kind of thing that was phenomenal. Plus he made fruit pizza, which is one of my all-time favorite foods. Plus Derrick also made a mean batch of little smokies. There was soup there as well, but I forgot to sample its undoubtable goodness.
I got to give Nader a ride in Jill’s Solstice and this seemed to be one of the biggest thrills of his life, so that was a bonus as well.
I don’t know that I really have an opinion on any of the speeches because truthfully I didn’t really pay much attention to any of them.
Everybody at the gathering seemed to agree that Kirk Douglas’ presentation was painful to sit through. I love you Spartacus, but that was almost as bad as watching Dick Clark on New Year’s.
I don’t have much of an opinion on the hosts. They weren’t so terrible that I noticed them, but they weren’t so funny that I’m dying to have them back. Jay seemed to like them. He said it was the best Oscars he had ever seen. I definitely wouldn’t go that far.
As far as fashion goes, I don’t really have opinions on fashion. So I will relay to you what the fashion expert Jill liked. She liked some of Anne Hathaway’s outfits. I can’t really remember which ones. She didn’t like the Black Swan looking one or the one blue one that looked like it was made of vinyl or the one that she was wearing at the end that made her look borderline naked. She did like Amy Adams’ bluish-sparkly dress. That is all I can recall of fashion conversations.
On an unrelated fashion note, Evie wore pajamas with guitars on them. They were clearly the fashion hit of the evening.
We also watched a little bit of Freakonomics afterward. I wanted Jen to watch it so I could show her the part on whether or not what you name your children has any effect on whether or not they are successful in life. It reminded me of her job.
More Bonus Information
I’ve been messing around with the website and I have added a few little dodads that you should checkout. For example all the pages except the home page have sidebars now. I’m still tinkering with the sidebars, but they currently include links to the last 5 Journal entries and the last 5 pictures I’ve uploaded to the Artistic Gallery. The header now changes as well. Although at this time, there are only two headers. There will be more in the future. I’ve also widened the website so that it looks better on widescreen monitors. I’ve also changed the menu system, but you probably won’t notice any changes in that respect. I’m sure I’m not done tinkering, but those are the recent changes.
I co-hosted a Baby Shower for Baby G. with Sara a couple months back. Sara wanted a photobooth for the shower, so I made a makeshift one in her garage. It worked well enough and we were able to use the pictures in a book of baby advice for them as a present when Baby G. came into this world officially.
Here are a few other pictures from the photo booth:
Even though these pictures are only a couple of months old, they just feel really dated!
I might have to tweak the photobooth idea again in the future, but it does need quite a bit of tweaking.
I had my, what could theoretically become, annual Birthday Barbecue on Saturday. I would like to thank all of the people that attended and made the evening special:
Next year, I will move the barbecue back to its traditional spot of the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend. Feel free to circle the date May 28 on your 2011 calendar that you have yet to purchase. It will perhaps be an even smaller and more intimate gathering. I might start instituting a survivor type invitation policy similar to the fashion of invites that Jay uses for Symposium.
Special thanks need to be extended to the following people:
Sara for taking the pictures for the invitations.
Sara for providing the s’mores goodies.
Jay for making three desserts: chocolate raspberry cookies, key lime bars and apple crisp.
Steve for providing homemade salsa and chips.
Becky for making a pasta salad.
Scott and Melissa for bringing a banana creme pie.
Shannon for baking a fresh rhubarb pie with rhubarb picked from my personal rhubarb patch.
Johnathan for bringing over cornhole.
Logan and Russ for running the grill.
Mom for baking a cake and creating a watermelon fruit thing.
Derrick for being the fire-starter.
Andree for being the best dressed person at the party.
Shannon for opening the party.
Willy for closing the party.
There isn’t any photographic evidence to support that this party existed. I was too busy to touch a camera and Sara didn’t take any pictures this year. Maybe next year I will add “Party Photographer” to the list of Staff positions for this shindig.
If you wish to be hired for this position (no pay, no benefits, possibly a STAFF t-shirt*) simply send the answer to the following question to firstname.lastname@example.org:
Why would I make an awesome Party Photographer?
I suppose I should start planning Friendsmas now. It can wait a couple of months.
*That is not a joke. There will be staff t-shirts next year.
Memorial Day wasn’t really meant to be a good-time-feel-good holiday. It was established to honor Union Soldiers that died in the Civil War and was first known as Decoration Day.
Regardless of its original intentions, this solemn holiday has become a chance for most Americans to barbecue and enjoy a 3 Day weekend. I’m not different than most Americans. I just wanted to have a good time on Memorial Day.
My day started out good enough. I watched 4 straight hours of Animal Planet with Alexis in the morning. Jay came over and we had tacos and nachos for lunch. Then we headed over to the Cinemark to catch a matinée of Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull with Derrick.
Usually I’m not the type of person that gives away spoilers about movies. I want people to see movies on their own, but this is one movie that I don’t feel the need to protect any of its secrets. This movies is a piece of garbage.
I’ve alway been a big fan of the Indiana Jones movies. Sure Temple of Doom blows a little bit, but the other 2 are excellent. Crystal Skull is an insult to all 3 of those movies.
I didn’t understand why so many Star Wars fans were upset with the prequels that came out a few years back. True, they weren’t very good, but the first 3 Star Wars movies stunk as well. What was the big deal? Instead of 3 movies with terrible acting and writing now you had 6 of them. Star Wars fans should have been elated.
I still don’t understand Star Wars fans, (there are certainly much, much better science fiction movies out there, I refer you to the two that Stanley Kubrick made 2001: A Space Odyssey and A Clockwork Orange just for starters) but now I can relate to them a bit. I’ve seen a movie franchise that I love torn to shreds before my very eyes.
On Sunday when we were driving down to The House of Bricks Willy told me that Crystal Skull was not very good. I told him that I could handle it if it wasn’t very good, but I would not be able to handle one thing. If they tried to set up a series of sequels starring Even Stevens, I would be angry. I would leave the theater in a rage.
I should have seen the warning signs. Even Willy would be the first to admit that I have much higher standards for movies than he does. The dude loves Van Damme movies!
Despite my bold proclamations, I left the theater angry. In fact, I haven’t been this angry leaving the theater since I sat through the misogynistic propaganda piece masquerading as entertainment known as Sin City. I was madder than when I left the theater after Transformers. Another example of taking something I loved from my childhood and making it suck. Incidentally also starring Even Stevens.
The one good thing I can say about Crystal Skull is that they didn’t end the movie by setting up sequels for Even Stevens. They came close. They made you think that is what they were going to do. At the end of the movie Indy’s hat blows off a hat rack and rolls to a stop at Even Stevens’ feet. As he bends over to pick up the hat, Indy picks it up before him and puts it on his head. Me physically vomiting in the aisles was averted.
I suppose that I don’t have time to write on all the things I hated about this movie, because there are so many of them. I’ll try to keep it to just two.
Are you kidding me? Could Lucas and Spielberg not turn the last Indiana Jones movie into a science fiction movie? I now fully expect that the next Spielberg WWII movie to involve aliens in some way, shape or form.
CGI has already, for the most part, ruined most summer movies. It was as if they had missed the point of the first three movies. They were an homage to old time serial movies and they were done with trick photography and stuntmen. Crystal Skull is an homage to the other 3 movies basically, only with way too much CGI. I should have known it was coming when the first shot of the movie features a CGI prairie dog.
My day was ruined from that point on and I don’t think that there was much that could have happened to turn my day around.
My day did turn around though. I headed out to Roland for Monica’s barbecue. The only low point of the barbecue was having Happy Birthday sang to me for the third time in 8 days. I’m glad I won’t have to hear that again for some time. Although Monica did make me a sweet Jello birthday cake.
I don’t really like getting presents all that much. Unless it is something the person has made, like a sweet painting or piece of stained glass or cake or rhubarb pie or a card.
Teresa sent me this birthday card.
There is the occasional exception. Sara got me this sweet gift:
The camera is 30 years old and still is in its original box. This will look great on my shelf of old cameras.