8:14 PM

Season of Change

Posted by Skye |

Tomorrow, September 23 is my 3rd Blogaversary {yeah!} and to mark this auspicious occasion, I plan to close down this Blogspot blog and move to the sparkling new Wordpress platform.

Sound dishy to my dear readers?

MidnightBlue will continue on a newly designed Wordpress platform with lots of bells and whistles. I'm looking forward to creating many years of blogging goodness on this platform.

From the beginning: September 23, 2006 - Change is Good!

Looking to the future - please change your links or bookmarks to http://www.midnightbluesays.com

7:36 AM

Blog Redesign Update

Posted by Skye |

The redesigned MB is nearly complete - just some finishing touches to complete. I'm looking to officially open the blog on September 23 - my blogaversary.

In the meantime, if you haven't done so already, please add the new blog to your feed and update your bookmarks or links to http://www.midnightbluesays.com

6:37 PM

Million American March on DC 9/12

Posted by Skye |

I just spent this lovely Sunday organizing and editing close to 500 photos from yesterday's historic march in DC. I am still inspired by the sheer joy expressed by the million marchers in DC.

Can we say this is the Woodstock for conservatives? Absolutely. I'd even say if MLK were alive, he would be out marching to the Capitol with the people and give a rocking speech.

Several impressions from the Rally:

A million plus attendees is my estimate of the crowd size. Compare the official crowd estimator from the 2009 Inauguration (fig. 1) to the screen cap taken of the crowds (fig. 2) yesterday. I will say there were more patriots yesterday than fans at the January 20th inauguration. Metro police say 1.2 million and they would know a thing or two about crowd counts.

I traveled to DC via a chartered bus from West Chester - I have to give kudos to Paula Stiles for taking the initiative to organize this bus trip. I must admit that it was good to be on the bus instead of being thrown under the bus. Our group arrived at Union Station and Dee and myself made our way to Freedom Square where we came upon a massive amount of people:

For a moment or two, I didn't know where to start photographing. I got over that real quick and shot almost 500 photos on Saturday, not including video.

Wading through the crowd, we found ourself swept away by the mass movement of people marching to the Capitol:

99.9 percent of the signs were hand made and held proudly:

The mood of the crowd was that of sheer delight, as many of the participants have never participated in a public rally. Yet here they were, in Washington DC, marching with a million fellow patriots to the front lawn of the Capitol Building. You could sense a carefree joy as the marchers realized they were making history and that they were not alone in their beliefs. Waves of rolling chants from the back of the line to the front energized the crowd and gave me goosebumps.

Arriving at the lawn of the Capitol Building the crowd was densely packed yet extremely civil - I never heard so many "pardon me" as I wandered through the crowd snapping photos and videotaping. People were open, friendly and happy to pose for a photo or laugh at your jokes.

I've covered many liberal protests over the years and can only say that the difference in deportment stems from what brings the groups together. Where the 9/12 Teaparty supporters gather around a mutual love of country, the leftists rallied around a common hatred - namely GWB and/or the United States. The difference is everything.

Congressman Mike Pence spoke to the amassed crowd and gets the gold star with this comment:

"There are some politicians who think of you people as astroturf. Un-American. I've got to be honest with you, after nine years of fighting runaway spending her on this hill, you people look like the cavalry to me."

This was a watershed event, a powerful call to action that resonates with a rally held in DC on August 28, 1963. America started on the long road of change on that sultry August day, now 47 years later, America is renewed again.

Oh yes, Sarah Palin was on the minds of the marchers:

You can review my complete set of photos from the 9/12 March on Flickr.

12:00 AM

In Memoriam Jose Angel Martinez - 09/11/2001

Posted by Skye |

On 9/11/2009 it is my privilege to remember Jose Angel Martinez, 49 years old from Hauppage, NY, whose life was extinguished on 9/11/01 in the World Trade Center.

His sister, Doris Martinez, recalled the innate kindness of her brother:

Joe was my big brother (he still is). He was a very kind and gentle person. Education was very important to him. He loved music. He and I danced salsa together, and he taught me to play sports. When we were little, and he went to kindergarten, he learned English the hard way. So when it was my turn to go to school, he taught me English so I wouldn't be embarrassed. He did so much for me that we did not realize it till ... anyway, he knows now how much I appreciate everything he's done for me. He was my hero. I am proud to say he IS my big brother and a gift to all of us who knew him.

It has been 8 years since that crisp fall day when 2,996 people were lost in a brutal act of violence. While we cannot bring them back, we can make sure their memory lives on in our hearts. The best way do just that is to spend the day living well. Hug your children, laugh with your friends, work productively, spend time on a project that you love, or plan your future, just take day and live your life with joy.

Please take a moment today to remember Jose Angel Martinez - the world lost a gentle soul on that September day.

Rest in Peace Jose Angel Martinez

Time is too slow for those who wait,
too swift for those who fear,
too long for those who grieve,
too short for those who rejoice,
but for those who love, time is eternity.
~ H. Van Dyke

More tributes can be found HERE

8:51 PM

Drunk Blogging Obamacare

Posted by Skye |

Via Vodka Pundit - Drunk blogging Obamacare Special

Alcohol can bring such clarity.

1:35 PM

Labor Day Run

Posted by Skye |

A great way to celebrate Labor Day is to run 5K. With this run, I've completed 30 miles of tracked runs on Nike+ moving me to the next color level of Orange.

A new level and a new running route that is chock full of hills. I relish the challenge!

Why am I doing this? The answer can be found by clicking on this LINK. It will take you to my sponsor page for the upcoming Alex Lemonade Stand Fund -1st Annual Lemon Run.

All of us know someone whose life has been turned upside down with a cancer diagnosis. As Alex would say ' If life gives you lemons, make Lemonade' We can do our part to help the littlest of cancer heroes. I'm participating in the first annual Lemon Run 5K race in Ridley Creek Park on October 25 and I hope you can help support this worthy event and organization.

I'm looking forward to crossing the finish line on October 25th, but the real winners will be the children battling cancer.

Please take a moment to donate to Alex Lemonade Stand Foundation (ALSF). Your donation means the world to a child battling cancer!

4:13 PM

Canon Vixia HG10 Review

Posted by Skye |

I've owned this camcorder for over a year and I'm way overdue with a review of the HG10.

Let's start with the specs:
Standard Definition or High Definition: High Definition
Power Consumption: Approx. 3.6W-4.9W
Image Sensor: 1/2.7" CMOS Sensor, RGB Primary Color Filter
Total Pixels: Approx. 2.96 Megapixels
Effective Pixels: Movies (HDD): Approx 2.07 Megapixels (1920 x 1080); Still Images (Card): 4:3 mode: Approx 2.76 Megapixels (1920 x 1440); 16:9 mode: 2.07 Megapixels (1920 x 1080)
Still Recording Pixels: Approximately 3.1 Megapixels (2048 x 1536)
Maximum recording time:
XP+: 5 hours 30 minutes
XP: 9 hours 30 minutes
SP: 11 hours 30 minutes
LP: 15 hours.
Lens: Zoom Ratio 10x Optical/200x Digital
Focal Length: 6.1-61mm
Zoom Speed: Variable/3 Fixed Zoom Speeds
Max. F/Stop: f/1.8-3.0mm (HDD)
Filter Size: 43 mm
Focusing System: Instant AF, through the lens
Manual focusing possible
Manual Focus Assist Functions Magnifying, Peaking
Manual Exposure: Yes
Programmed AE: Auto, Program, Av, Tv, Portrait, Sports, Night, Snow, Beach, Sunset, Spotlight, Fireworks
Supported Playback Modes: 1080/60i, 1080/24F
This is a palm sized camcorder that packs a punch! It shoots HD video with a decent zoom feature and consistently returns great video footage. I highly recommend this camera if you are considering spending extra money on a HD camcorder. It comes fully loaded with features that I can appreciate as a photographer - great focus and bokeh. I've captured a bit of that in the video created for this review:

As usual, Canon falls back to its habit of nesting options in folders - one must carefully review the location of the feature in order to avoid screwing up a video - I speak from a mountain of experience.
The flip out video screen is not a touch screen, you have a joystick controller to move through the options. The audio is what it is, however, you have the option to add a shotgun microphone to this camera. An option that will greatly improve the audio capture.

Kudos goes to the Canon warranty that comes with the camera. A week after I bought the camera, I accidentally broke the zoom control. After contacting Canon technical support to trouble shoot the problem, they were quick to refer me to a local Canon repair shop. All the paperwork was emailed to me with a stamped self addressed shipping label; within a few days, I was contacted by a repair technician who verified the problem and gave an estimate repair time. This repair was covered by the warranty - no out of pocket expenses were incurred. All repairs were completed in a timely fashion and to my satisfaction.

Overall, this is an easy to use HD camcorder that gives great value for the dollar. If you are in the market to move to a more sophisticated video camcorder, you cannot go wrong with the Canon HG10.

7:38 AM

Healthcare Forum hosted by Damian Dachowski

Posted by Skye |

Last night I attended a healthcare forum hosted hosted by Damian Dachowski at the Lower Moreland Community Center. Damian has announced his intention of running against the tax and spend incumbent - Allyson Schwartz. It has been noted that the Congresswoman has yet to schedule a healthcare meeting with her constituents.

The HCAN astrosurf crowd were present with the same discredited information which they managed to goof up. FYI - the ranking you want is "37" not "33". About that ranking - even the WHO has backed away from that data published in 2000 after receiving a firestorm of critical analysis of the data worldwide. Here is one such report looking at the mortality statistics presented by WHO. CATO launched a withering attack on WHO's data - WHO's Fooling Who?

Some highlights from the forum:

  • The Host - Damian Dachchowski, a bold fresh candidate for the constituents of District 13. Haven't we had enough of the unending tax and spend habits of the current District 13 seat holder?
  • The panel - Anna Puig, Edwin R. Thompson, Matthew Nicholas were well versed regarding their specific views on the health care debate. I enjoyed listening to their point of view and learning something new.
  • An HCAN attendee remarked, after scanning literature shared by Ana Puig, that the British health system has similar problems as our current health care. I'd like to thank him for clearly pointing out that we are about to restructure one seventh of our economy in exchange for an equally broken healthcare system.
  • HCAN supporters WANT single payer health care regardless of the consequences (see above statement) - that was the take home message from this event.
  • Rep. Congresswoman Allyson Schwartz voted "Not Present" at this event.
  • Edwin Thompson gets the zinger of the night when he skillfully handed a 'reality check' to a HCAN supporter. When discussing the reality of being fined for not having adequate health coverage, a HCAN supporter shot back with the legal requirement of having car insurance if you drive. Mike responded by stating that you have to own and drive a car in order to purchase the insurance - If you don't own a car you are not penalized (taxed) for not having adequate car insurance. I for one want to see HHS and the IRS fining the homeless that inhabit center city Philly.

9:50 PM

Blog Redesign Alert

Posted by Skye |

Blog redesign is underway - stay tuned for updates on the progress of this redesign.

What will be included in the new redesign:

  • Migrating from Blogger to Wordpress platform - the URL will remain the same
  • Twitter updates on my header
  • 4 column, fluid design
  • Space for a promoted video
  • "Hot Topics" section where you can comment
  • Recent posts area
  • Recent comments area
  • Easy links to my social media sites
  • Ability to share posts on social media site
  • More organized link list

What I'd like to know is what you, my dear readers, would like to see on the redesigned MidnightBlue. Leave your comments in the appropriate area.

10:11 PM

Beslan 9/1/04

Posted by Skye |

8:48 PM

You Go, Girl!

Posted by Skye |

Rep. Michele Bachmann answers a heckler:


8:19 PM

Top 10 List Not Seen on Letterman

Posted by Skye |

Grossly mismanaged and 2 billion over budget, the results of the Cash for Clunkers has been released by the Dept of Transportation. The top 10 new vehicles purchased:

1. Toyota Corolla
2. Honda Civic
3. Toyota Camry
4. Ford Focus FWD
5. Hyundai Elantra
6. Nissan Versa
7. Toyota Prius
8. Honda Accord
9. Honda Fit
10. Ford Escape FWD

Note: Government Motors (GM) did not make the cut. We spent billions to bail out the company and we can't pay people to buy the car? This is the same government asking Americans to trust them with their health care.

AOL Auto notes that in the same period, charities that provide a tax rebate for used cars saw a dramatic decrease in donated cars. This downturn made it more difficult for families that could have benefited from an inexpensive car.

4:04 PM

How The World Works

Posted by Skye |

Why we don't need socialized medicine:

Please share the video far and wide.

3:01 PM

Musings at Longwood Garden

Posted by Skye |

Thursday night I had the opportunity to spend time photographing a spectacular fountain show held during spring and summer months at Longwood Garden. The show is part of the price of admission and if you are visiting the area, I highly recommend a visit to this garden.

For the shutter bugs - I shot the fountains with a Canon 40d and 12-24mm Tokina lens. Feel free to review the EXIF data provided with the photos. A tripod is essential, a monopod can also be used, but not where I shot these photos. If you are really nice, and did not vote for Obama, I'll share the location with you.

For those unfamiliar with Longwood Gardens, it is the former private estate of Pierre S. DuPont and his wife, Alice. Upon his death in 1954, the estate was opened to the public. Today, Pierre would have been vilified as an 'evil capitalist' and his estate and gardens would have been shown as proof of excessive extravagance. Why would one man need all this land to grow flowers and put on shows for a select group of friends? The cow pasture alone could grow enough food for the poor of Kennett Square! Oh, that cow pasture better have an environmental impact statement, or else! The environazi's would have had a field day - back in the day.

Pierre S. Dupont was a capitalist who certainly made more than 7 times the wage of his lowest paid staffer. In spite of his obvious wealth, there was never any talk of bloody revolution, just accolades from the grateful citizens of Chester County and some minor award from France - The Legion of Honor. Why were his achievements celebrated and not derided as they would be today? Perhaps it was because the entire region benefits from the success of the DuPont company.

More photos of the fountains and Longwood Garden can be found HERE

1:58 PM

Steven Crowder Gets a Job!

Posted by Skye |

A few weeks ago I posted the above photo to Flickr. It was taken at a recent healthcare forum in Philly and I titled it: "A Paid Protester - Note Who Sponsored the Sign". The title ruffled the feathers of a Philly photographer who left a series of comments on my Flickr account trying to disclaim the idea of a paid protester. When I steered him back to common sense with my replies, he lamely tried to paint my Sheepdogs as paid hacks. If I had a dime for every time that false accusation was laid down, I would be a paid hack - at their expense!

Last week, PJTV's Steven Crowder went on a job interview with California's premier liberal activist organization - much like HCAN - where he found he would be paid handsomely for being a grass root activist (see photo above). That's not all he discovered, you have to watch the video to see what a professional astroturfing organization looks like:

Wow, being paid $33,000 clams to stand at a busy public space with a sign (see photo above). Not a bad gig at all, if it weren't disingenuous and hurtful to the public welfare. I wonder if Madame Speaker would like to recalibrate her statement regarding astroturf activists or will she just blame the CIA..again.

Being closely involved in a grassroot organization since 2007, I have seen first hand what a small group of determined, UNPAID individuals can do; indeed, it may be what saves this country.

Oh, I did capture a video of the woman pictured above - not sure I'd want her deciding healthcare benefits for this nation - especially since she does not know her data all that well:

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