Wednesday, August 31, 2005


A little grasshopper on my sunflowers tonight.

He wasn't nearly as big as the one I got a shot of last year!

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Monday, August 29, 2005


I love this old armory.

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Animals at the Washington County Fair 2005

Friday night Neuro and I went to the Washington County Fair. We had a great time visiting with all of the different animals. Here are some shots from the barns:

Draft Horses

A sheep with some crazy hair

A horse of a different color? This horse and ox were so cute together. :)

A happy little goat

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Saturday, August 27, 2005

Midway at the Washington County Fair

I don't usually venture down into the midway when I go to the fair, but those bright lights caught my eye, so I had to wander down and take some shots.

the Ferris Wheel

the Merry Go Round

a second ferris wheel

some flags adorning one of the other rides

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Wednesday, August 24, 2005


A shot of some clouds over the highway:

Another neat shot of the clouds:

Some friendlier skies:

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

LogoWorks - really a bargain?

As a graphic designer, I know what goes into a good logo design. I could give you a long-winded explanation, but I believe that the best explanation I have seen is written by Pentagram whom I quote here:

Quote: "Identity is the unique character of a group or brand - a combination of reputation, name, culture, manner and values. Identity design represents these qualities and in doing so adds something to them. The identity designer has to become intricately involved in the group or brand in order to understand and thus influence its presented image."

Many small businesses are drawn to the promise of the "cheap fix" that a company like Logoworks provides, and when a professional designer criticizes the work that these "discount logo" sites turn out, they are often perceived as bitter about losing business to these sites.

I would refer them to this comment, made by Von Glitschka of Bad Design Kills:

Quote:"I am not debating whether should be allowed to run their business. They have every right to and I'll be happy to compete with them any day of the week. But that said they should not get a free pass to steal artwork and concepts from those they directly compete with."

Here is the example that started it all:

On the left is an example of an alleged "LogoWorks" logo. On the right is a logo that was designed by Mark Fox, which appears on page 133 of the book "The New American Logo" :

It is likely that many will recognize this one! Original design on the left, source: Version on the right as seen on owned by

And there are many, MANY more. (A complete record of the copied work is being showcased on "Bad Design Kills" here. Take a look!)

For more information, please read this article, written by Chris Gee at The Prepared Mind.

To add insult to injury, the disclaimer on the Logoworks site reads:

"Client agrees and acknowledges that it uses each Response at its own risk and that it is responsible for taking any actions it deems reasonable to determine whether its use of a Response will infringe any third party intellectual property, privacy or publicity rights...

Client acknowledges that LogoWorks shall have no obligation or duty to perform trade or service mark searches or inquiries, or the like, in order validate the propriety or legality of the Response compositions...

if you have a dispute with one or more users, you release LogoWorks (and our affiliates, agents and employees) from claims, demands and damages (actual and consequential, direct and indirect) of every kind and nature, known and unknown, suspected and unsuspected, disclosed and undisclosed..."

Now, LogoWorks also states on their website:

"According to the Graphic Artists Guild you'll pay $2,000 to $10,000 for a corporate logo at a traditional design firm. You can get a company logo from LogoWorks for only $299. And since each logo designer is a specialist, you'll get a higher quality logo design at a better price."

So what exactly does it take to become a logo specialist at LogoWorks? If you check their website you will see the qualifications listed as follows:

"Here is what you will need to signup:
- Two samples of your work (any graphic file or Office document)
- A Social Security number (if you are a US Citizen)"


"There is some personal information that we will verify before you can get started. This process usually takes 1-2 business days."

I can not begin to comprehend how LogoWorks can use these minimal requirements to declare someone a "specialist" and then advertise themselves as the "best designers in the business".

In conclusion, if you are in the market for a logo, think twice about using a "discount logo" website. There are as many solutions and as many prices out there as there are designers. While using an "instant logo website" might seem the quick and easy solution, it may result in unexpected legal fees and bad publicity that make it considerably less of a bargain!

Wednesday, August 17, 2005


boiling water

a self portrait in water

water on a screen

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Some random shots

lamp post at dusk

archway at sunset

building at night

Monday, August 15, 2005

some nature shots

Some ferns:

A lily, past its peak but still fascinating:

A black-eyed susan bud almost ready to open:


Sunday, August 14, 2005

Saratoga Racetrack

Today Neuro and I went down to the Saratoga Racetrack to see the horses.

Welcome to Saratoga - "the August place to be"

The scoreboard on the track:

And some horses in the paddock before the race:

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Friday, August 12, 2005

the Philadelphia Orchestra and fireworks

Last night I went to see the Philadelphia Orchestra at SPAC. They put on a great show of Tchaikovsky's works, including Swan Lake and the 1812 Overture - complete with cannon fire!

The performance was followed by some beautiful fireworks.

I had never tried to photograph fireworks, before, and the secret seems to be to anticipate the shot, and open your shutter before the actual "explosion". Before I got the hang of this, I took several photos that came out all black. :)

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Thursday, August 11, 2005

Congress Park, Saratoga

Some shots from Congress Park in Saratoga, NY.


Tuesday, August 09, 2005


Another adventure from biking... something caught my eye in the canal alongside the bike trail. At first I thought it was a woodchuck, because there are tons of them in this area.

Upon closer inspection, I realized that it was actually a beaver! I had never seen one before, so I was more than a little surprised.

Here's a head on shot of the little guy:

Again, from the side:

Here he is, finishing off the stick he was eating... he polished it off in about 10 minutes! I love his little hands in this photo.

And here he is swimming away. You can see part of his tail on the left.

It was really surprising. I have been pleasantly surprised with the variety of wildlife we have seen along the trail. It's always an adventure! For another photo, check out Neuro's blog.

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Monday, August 08, 2005

a fish

A fish I saw at the park. I think it is a trout. There were about a dozen of them, and they were huge!

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Saturday, August 06, 2005


A green umbrella from the cafe where I had lunch:


Friday, August 05, 2005

dry docked

Every day when I ride the bike trail I pass this lonely, abandoned boat sitting in an overgrown lot. I think that it is just beautiful!

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Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Praying Mantis

We had another visitor in our garden a few days ago... a praying mantis! I don't see these very often around here, and this one sure was doing a good job of blending into the grass.

here he is again, sitting on my gladiola

I love this shot, because he looks like he is posing for the camera

and this is the full version, just sitting on a leaf

Here are a few neat facts about the praying mantis from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.

Where does it live?
on vegetation in warm, wooded areas or prairies

What does it eat?
The praying mantis is carnivorous, eating all types of insects, including other mantises.

What adaptations does the praying mantis have that help it survive?
Praying mantises have spikes that cover their front legs and are used to help capture and eat prey. The mantis’ green or brown color acts as camouflage and helps it blend into the environment.

It is the only insect that can turn its head all the way around (180 degrees) and look over its shoulder for predators.

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