The Daily Blog
Remembering the 4th of July at The Farms by John Pepp on Thursday, July 4, 2019top
I think back to the Summer of 1976 when I was 11 years old going on 12 staying at my parents trailer at Burroughs Farms on the 4th of July. It most likely was a hot summer day with little to no breeze going through the trailer when I awoke up from a restless sleep. The trailer was long and narrow, but on that day I hardly thought about it as I was busy daydreaming of the hayrides, the games and later at night the fireworks.
Burroughs Farms was a recreational resort for Burroughs Employees where they could enjoy part of the summer or the whole summer with their families, if they were the lucky ones that were able to rent a spot for a trailer or rent a seasonal cottage for the summer. The list was long and spots didn't usually open that very often which in looking back makes me a little sad that there were people who missed out enjoying the whole Summer or most of it at Burroughs Farms. Though they were able to rent cabins or pitch a tent a tent at the campsite that Burroughs Farms (The Farms) provided which was some compensation for those who couldn't get a seasonal spot. It also wasn't that far for the employees that worked in Michigan to make it a day visiting the Farms. Burroughs Farms was located on the outskirts of Brighton, Mi that's between Detroit and Lansing with Ann Arbor to the south.
Burroughs Farms celebrated the 4th of July with style as they had hayrides, games that started at 1:00 and fireworks at nighttime. Though throughout the years the events celebrating the 4th of July changed a little at the Farms, but the overall celebration was the same. I can honestly say I can't remember having breakfast that morning as I was too busy making my plans that day. My first plan was to go on as many hayrides that I can and I can remember a couple of times the people working there telling people nicely to give other people a chance to go on a hayride; however, being 11 that went in one ear and out the other ear. However, what I remember the most was the workers yelling not to throw hay into cars as the tractor went on by. Once again the youthful Denise the Menace in me usually ignored that order, besides people shouldn't have their windows up and don't park so close to the road. Though I suspect a few people purposely parked their cars close to the road and left their windows open to see how much hay would get in their cars. Well, at least that is what I kept telling myself as I reloaded my arsenal of hay for the next victim.
Politics back then was more civilize and as a matter of fact on the 4th of July the only thing political about the day was that we were celebrating this country's independence. As an eleven year old I was trying to figure on how much fun I could cram in the day while saving enough energy for the night's fireworks. I won't go into detail and it might not happen in 1976, but as I was waiting in line for the hayrides to begin I remember 3 older teenagers bullying a person that I knew that lived a couple of trailers down from my parent's trailer. It was getting pretty bad the bullying, when a guy came up from behind the 3 knuckleheads and sternly told them to knock it off or else the were going to regret it. One of the three started to say "What you going to make us...." as he was turning around to face the guy when he notice how huge the guy was and quickly clammed up. That moment was priceless and it made me feel proud that there are people out there that are willing to stickup for other people , plus the day wouldn't ruined by a few idiots. That is why I don't understand today where people feel they have to ruin the celebration of the 4th of July because of their political beliefs. They should be grateful that have the freedom to do so and let other people with the opposing viewpoint have the freedom to celebrate.
Even though I didn't enter many of the games that the Farms did near the grandstand, it didn't mean I didn't enjoy them. My favorite game was the egg toss as it was a game of skill and luck that a team won that contest. I remember cracking up with laughter when a person threw the egg and the other person failed to catch yet the egg did not break. There would always be someone yelling "Check their egg to make sure they aren't cheating" which most of the time received an additional laugh from the spectators and the contestants themselves. I also scratched my head in the couple that got far into the egg tossing competition only to have the egg break on them even though they look like they had a pretty good egg throwing & catching technique. I could never figured the egg competition out and I think it a must have 4th of July game that everyone celebrating the 4th should have. I think I might had enter the egg competition a couple of times, but it was usually an early exit. Though I enjoyed getting ice cream and crackerjacks at the end of competing, sometimes I would enter a game just go through the line to get the ice cream.
My father worked the games and setting up the grease poll. The grease poll is where the poll was greased and money was attached to an umbrella that was put on the top. The rules was simple, climb up the poll and grab the money. I always gave it try, but only manage to get two or three feet off the ground. It was usually some pretzel thin teenager that went swimming and rolled in the sand that was able to climb to the top in order to get the money. I can understand using the technique, but why did it always seem to be a pretzel thin kid? My mother and aunts worked the ice cream / crackerjack line without naming a name an elderly woman was in charge always saying no more than one ice cream per person. I had to chuckle when she said that as the ice cream was small cup with a wooden spoon. I can't remember but I think my mother ignored her when she handing me the ice cream though I'm not too sure.
It was always a little bit of a letdown when the games were over as that meant it would be a long time until the start of the fireworks. Though walking back from the Grandstand to the trailer was kind of fun as people would be picnicking, playing Frisbee, and I believe listing to Wimbledon on the radio. Which a little odd being it was a British event though it just goes to show the power of forgiveness. While walking back I always became sweaty as it was usually HOT on the 4th and thought to myself I should go swimming. Then reality would strike me as the beach was packed with barely a path to get to the water yet alone a place to put your towel and other beach gear. So I didn't go to the beach and just tried to stay cool on the porch of the trailer waiting for the fireworks on the lake to start. It seem like eternity until it go dark and just like breakfast I can't remember what I had for dinner that day.
However, the clock always manages to get to 9 pm (or when it became dark enough for fireworks) where the family would make the trek down to the water to watch the fireworks. I glad it was an era before smartphones as I think it would be a little bit of an eyesore seeing people with their smartphones out trying to capture video of the fireworks. I was always amazed at the beauty and timing of the colorful explosions of the fireworks as if it was a choreographed dance. Once it again was sad to see the fireworks end so fast as it seemed they only just started. Then it was a slow trek up the hill and back to the trailer for the night.
It's amazing on how fast time flies and how we as humans take things for granted. When I look back at the 4th of July celebrations at Burroughs farms, I not only remember the great time that I had, but the people that are no longer here like my mother, aunts, uncles, other family members and friends. Celebrating the 4th of July would be no fun without family and friends by your side. It's also a time where we can put aside our differences and celebrate what we cherish the most which is FREEDOM!. If we can't then shame on us.....
2020 Calendars by John Pepp on Monday, June 17, 2019top
I'm in the process of making and printing 2020 Calendars using my photographs and my Epson SureColor P800 printer. So far I have a 2020 Detroit Calendar and I'm in the process of making a 2020 Wildlife Calendar. I will be selling them on my website and the price is going to be around $20.00 to $25.00 depending on my overall printing costs. Obviously this will be low volume, but if I get enough orders I might outsource the printing of the calendars to a professional printer. However, first thing first is to make and print the calendars then actually put them up for sale on this website. Stay tune for updates.
I'll Meet You Under the Kern's Clock by John Pepp on Wednesday, June 5, 2019top
Yesterday, I took my Sony A7R III Camera and used my Zeiss Batis 25/2 lens with it. It was a beautiful warm Spring day that felt more like summer and it's about time! I was a little leery at first using that lens, but I have to say I took some good pictures of Downtown Detroit. There is sure is a lot of construction going on in Downtown, but it will be worth it as Detroit will be even better than it is. If only the people at the Federal level would concentrate on the real issues instead of squabbling like two-year-olds.
Great Blue Heron in Michigan! by John Pepp on Monday, May 27, 2019top
I wish I could had gotten closer, but by the time I would had gotten to the other side of the small inlet the Great Blue Heron would had flown away. This picture was taken at Newburgh Lake in Hines Park, Wayne County, Michigan and I have to say people are pigs when it comes to littering and throwing picnic tables into the lake! :mad: I wish people would pickup after themselves and stop being so destructive!
Adding Lights to the LEGO Corner Garage by John Pepp on Sunday, May 19, 2019top
I took this picture with the iPhone XR and to my surprise it looks pretty darn good. I plan on adding lights to all my LEGO Creator Expert buildings and making up my own LEGO City that I already have going downstairs. I like assembling LEGO kits, but I also need to finish developing and designing my website. I wish there were more than 24 hours in a day or that I need 2 hours of sleep! Sigh.....
Final Version of Steamboat Willie by John Pepp on Friday, May 17, 2019top
Well, I finally finished building LEGO Steamboat Willie as I have every LEGO pieces for the set. I normally would not be so nit picky, but this LEGO set has extra meaning to me. I took "History of Animation" as a college course. Yes, I know the course sounds like a silly course to take, but it did give me a good background that helped with my computer graphics degree. I think Schoolcraft College has since changed the name of the course, but I'm not too sure about that. Anyways, here's a couple of pictures that I did of the finished "Steamboat Willie". (Yes, I did add a light in the wheelhouse of the boat)
Categories and Ratings by John Pepp on Tuesday, May 14, 2019top
I'm adding categories and ratings to this website. Right now I am only halfway done in implementing it as I have been reorganizing my PHP input/output classes and trying to visual the layout of this website. I also want to incorporate my PHP calendar into my gallery section.
Steamboat Willie by John Pepp on Wednesday, May 8, 2019top
I think LEGO is going to start getting mad at me, but it's their fault as this set had a lot of missing pieces. I'm missing on tile, but it's a decorative tile that kind of makes the set complete. I hate being so nit picky, but I want to represent history as close as possible after having taking a college course in "History of Animation". Steamboat Willie was the very first cartoon that Mickey Mouse made his debut in and made Walt Disney famous. A lot of people today don't realize that Walt Disney was one of the very first animators in the United States. Though in today's political climate I don't think Walt Disney would be very well liked and maybe it's a good thing that Walt Disney's background isn't too well known.
A Reflection in Time by John Pepp on Sunday, May 5, 2019top
Today was a beautiful and finally warm enough to enjoy the great outdoors. That is exactly what I did and in the process was able to take a few good pictures with my Sony A9 camera. It's very relaxing sitting waiting for wildlife to come to you or to soar into the air. I always wonder what animals think about and if they have any worries other than getting eaten. Humans seem to add on to the basic worry about being eaten by creating their own troubles or problems. I could never become a politician as one would have need strong willpower in order not to let power corrupt and have thick skin from all the mud sling at you.
I think I should stop talking about politics by discussing photography and this website. I'm very pleased where this website is at right now, but I want to make it better and be original when it comes to photography. I want to leave my mark in life and I feel creating something unique with this website will do it.
Fishing on Newburgh Lake by John Pepp on Saturday, May 4, 2019top
I have added a Picture Gallery in order to see only the pictures without having to read the blogs. I am eventually going to add the calendar function to the gallery section. I plan to have categories and my top ten pictures incorporated into it as well.
My Missing Parts Came In by John Pepp on Wednesday, May 1, 2019top
My missing parts came in from via the U.S. Mail, so I decided to finish my 21517 LEGO Mickey Mouse Steamboat Willie set. Well at least I thought as I'm still missing 4 pieces of the set, but the good news is I should be able to finish in the next 10 to 14 days as that will probably be when I get the missing pieces. I am back to updating my website today and I have worked on it a little, but I need to motivate myself better and pickup the pace a little. If I don't, I probably won't be done until Christmas Time.
It's been cloudy most of the week and that doesn't make for good picture taking especially with a 400mm 4.5-5.6 lens. I'm trying to think of places I can go when the weather isn't that great around here in order to take pictures. I'm thinking about going to Henry Ford or Greenfield Village tomorrow to take pictures, but I will see how things go tomorrow. I like to take it one day at a time as one never knows what tomorrow will bring.
Testing Out My New Batis 135mm Lens by John Pepp on Sunday, April 28, 2019top
I decided to test out my new Batis 135mm Lens at Hines park and I should had stuck with my Sony A9 camera as I was having a little hard time adjusting the settings on the Sony A7R III camera. While I like the extra resolution of the Sony A7RIII has the offer, I'm leaning in selling the camera and just keeping the Sony A9. However, I don't want to make a hasty decision and regret doing so. Thus, I think I will hold onto it until at least after summer is over to make that decision. I like the Batis 135mm lens, but I think it's going to take me a little time to get use to a prime lens as I have been accustom to using zoom lenses. The clarity of the lens is fantastic, but I feel the lens autofocusing (AF) is a little slow. Though it might more had to do with the Sony A7R III than the lens itself, as I was having trouble with the camera settings. I do love the Sony A9 when it comes to 20 frames per second and settings is easier to configure, that is why I probably use the A9 camera more.
Whatca Lookin At? by John Pepp on Saturday, April 27, 2019top
Well, I waited all day long for the new 135mm Batis E-mount lens that I purchased on Wednesday. The lens was supposed to arrive on Friday, be delivered by UPS and with the package needing a signature. Wouldn't you know it the UPS tries to deliver the package at 5:15 when I'm gone and now UPS next attempt will be Monday. I hope I don't have to wait all day again as I feel like I handcuffed to the house. At least the weather is supposed to be lousy this weekend and I do have other lenses that I can use for my cameras. I just want to see how this lens is going to do and will it be a good fit for my arsenal?
Updated My Login Process by John Pepp on Thursday, April 25, 2019top
I decided to update my login in process to make it more secure or at least secure as possible. Nothing is really 100 percent secure, but it should be as secure as possible. I was attempting to follow a person who helps out other people in php, but realize he's no security expert and that he's full of crap. So I went back to doing it the way 99 percent of the other people do it. The next updates will be to the calendar and to the images that are posted here on this website.
No Wildlife Photo Today by John Pepp on Wednesday, April 24, 2019top
I really didn't do much today as I should have, but I was kind of tired all day long. Hopefully, tomorrow I will be in a better working mood and get things done with this website. I also hope to do a little bit of photography, but the weather outside doesn't look to promising for the weekend. Though tomorrow's weather doesn't look to bad as the only thing wrong with it might be the temperature being a little bit on the low side (lower 60's). I ordered a Batis 135mm f/2.8 lens for my Sony cameras that I'm supposed to get Friday though I made the mistake of ordering a wrong size ND filter. I bought the correct size and I just have to return it or resell the wrong sized ND filter depending on if they are going to charge me a stocking fee for the return. I am going to like carrying around the 135mm lens which is going to be much lighter and less bulky than lugging around my 100-400mm lens. I am hoping I can sneak up on some unsuspecting wildlife and in the process getting some needed exercise.
The Monday Blues by John Pepp on Monday, April 22, 2019top
I don't know why, but I have never really liked Mondays. It's not that I think bad things happen on a Monday, but rather the things that I wanted to get accomplished don't. Then the next thing you know it's seams like a year has gone without getting anything accomplish. Time can be so cruel, but I guess that is why one should take it one day at a time.
Easter Diner Even for a Goose! by John Pepp on Sunday, April 21, 2019top
I can't believe Easter is already almost over! It just seem like yesterday that I was looking forward to Thanksgiving. Time sure flies when you're are way past 21 and I have come to learn to enjoy each day that I'm alive as no one knows what tomorrow may bring. I think tonight I am just going to relax and watch a little TV, but I might work on my website just a tad. I was thinking of going out again and taking some more pictures, but I'll be taking more pictures in the near future.
Happy Easter Everyone!
A Dabbling Duck by John Pepp on Saturday, April 20, 2019top
It's a rainy cold Saturday here in Southeastern Michigan, but tomorrow is supposed to be warmer and most importantly not raining. Hopefully I will be able to take some wildlife pictures at Hines Park tomorrow. It'll probably be a little busier than normal with noisy Humans, but maybe that will mean the birds will be flying more?
It's a good day just to relax and maybe work on my website a little. I am still working on the design and development, but it is much further along than I thought it would be. The most important part is that it is functional by that I mean I can do a daily blog with out having to actually do any HTML coding to the website!
A Couple's Portrait by John Pepp on Friday, April 19, 2019top
And who says I don't do portraits? LOL
I hopefully secured up my login process by adding a little more security to it. However, nothing is 100 percent safe, but what I had before someone could hack in if they knew what they were doing.
Oh my God, I'm going to hit that pole! by John Pepp on Thursday, April 18, 2019top
I'm starting to have programmer's block (this is similar to having writer's block) as I am starting to lose my ideas on how I want to update this website. However, I'm going to fight this and I should be back on track in a day or two, if not sooner. As a whole I do think this website is coming along nicely and I'm very pleased with the results of the website. Stay tune as more great things are going to come to this website!
My Pet Duck by John Pepp on Wednesday, April 17, 2019top
Here's my pet duck that I decided to let free at Hines Park.....I'm kidding. Though doesn't that duck look like it could be someone's pet?
I decided to take the Sony A9 and the Sony 100-400mm f4.5-5.6 lens to Hines Park (Wayne County, Michigan) to take some birding pictures. I am starting to learn a few things with the Sony A9 and the new 5.0 Firmware (I hope). I love the camera and can't wait to take a lot more pictures and hopefully warmer weather is just around the corner! I am eventually going to take my Sony A7RIII camera with the 100-400mm lens attached to the park to see how high resolution pictures of wildlife will look like. Though the Sony A9 camera is still going to be my go-to-camera as it is easier to take pictures of moving wildlife.
Duck Drinking Water by John Pepp on Tuesday, April 16, 2019top
I decided to print this picture out on my Epson P-800 printer as I like this picture and that I don't want my printheads to get clogged up with ink. The printheads get clogged up with ink if I don't use the printer on a regular basis and this causes me to waist more ink. I know it sounds like it shouldn't, but it does and besides I didn't buy this printer not to use it. I like this picture as the duck seems to be obvious to me snapping his picture though having a telephoto lens on the camera might had been another factor. I would like to go take pictures today, but knowing my luck I would get caught in the rain. Besides I want to work on this website a little be more, but that is if I get the ambition to do so. I, for some reason feel extremely tired, but that is probably from having a bad night sleep last night.
Nag Nag Nag by John Pepp on Tuesday, April 16, 2019top
Well I have been working on my website as I'm trying to improve upon my calendar and how it interacts with the pictures that I have uploaded and other aspects of it as well. There is so much I want to do to this website that I keep telling myself to take one portion of the updating process of the website at a time. I also want to add a lot more useful content to the website like pictures, how to's and many other interests that I have. I also want to continue with my photography and hopefully warmer weather is around the corner in order for me to do so. I sometimes wish there were more than 24 hours in a day in order to do all that I want to get accomplished.
LEGO Steamboat Willie by John Pepp on Monday, April 15, 2019top
This is where I am at with the LEGO Steamboat Willie build as I am missing a lot of LEGO pieces, but once I get the replacements from LEGO the build will continue. It's a shame as I am so close to finishing and I hope that I have ordered all the missing pieces. I am kind of hoping LEGO will go "Hey we forgot to put this bag in the box".
Bates Hamburgers by John Pepp on Friday, April 12, 2019top
This Bates Hamburgers is located in Livonia on the corner of Farmington Road and File Mile Road. I believe they were celebrating their 50th year of being one of the best burger joint in Southeastern Michigan,
The above picture was taken with my Sony A9 camera that I wasn't planning on buying, but over the Christmas 2018 Holiday Season the sale price of it was too much to resist. I have to say it is one of the best decision that I have made as the Sony A9 compliments the Sony A7RIII that I bought 4 month prior to the A9. I use my Sony A9 primary for birds-in-flight pictures as the Sony A9 is better for Sports and Action shots. I purchased another tripod and gimbal head in order to track the BIF (Birds-in-Flight) shots, plus I bought a small folding chair when there isn't much action.
LEGO Steamboat Willie by John Pepp on Thursday, April 11, 2019top
I love building LEGO and this LEGO Set caught my attention as I took a "History of Animation" course at Schoolcraft College when I was going for my Associates Degree. I will be putting this together over the couple of days and I will be adding additional pictures.
Two Geese flying at Newburgh Lake by John Pepp on Thursday, April 11, 2019top
When I first started to look for a new camera I originally was looking at the new Nikon Z7 camera and actually pre-ordered the camera. In the meantime I still was looking at other cameras from different manufacturers and stumbled across the Sony A7RIII camera. I really liked the specifications of the A7RIII camera and the good reviews the camera was getting online. I really wanted a top-of-the-line camera that would last me a long time, so I didn't have keeping on buying a better camera. I had an old Nikon D80 DSLR camera that I used for a long time and really only had a couple of good quality lens with one being a fisheye lens. So I decided to cancel my Nikon Z7 pre-order and purchase the Sony A7R III camera with a few good quality lens.
The best decision that I have ever made as the Sony A7RIII camera is a terrific camera that takes high quality pictures. It was also my first Full Frame Mirrorless camera from a manufacturer that has perfected mirrorless in my opinion. I'm not knocking the Nikon Z7 mirrorless camera, but Sony is on its 3rd generation of mirrorless camera whereas Nikon is on its 1st generation. I told myself that I wasn't going to buy another camera body for a long time, but during the Christmas Holiday, Sony decided to knock a thousand dollars off the Sony A9 camera. The Sony A9 is Sony's flag professional camera and it's a great camera for taking sports and actions shots. I love taking birds-in-flight (BIF) pictures and the Sony A9 was $1000.00 off the original price was enough for me to change my mind. So I decided to purchase the Sony A9 and I am glad I did. The Sony A7RIII is a great high resolution camera and the Sony A9 is a great action camera. The two cameras complement each other and I will continue this story in another post tomorrow.
A Mallard Duck on Newburgh Lake by John Pepp on Thursday, April 11, 2019top
I'm trying to fix the problem of my links that my website has been having for a long, long time. It was such a simple fix that I feel really really stupid about admitting it.
LEGO Corner Garage by John Pepp on Wednesday, April 10, 2019top
I have been building LEGO for almost 2 years now and it is a fun hobby. LEGO comes out with a new Creator Expert building every new year and the Corner Garage 10264 is this year's building. It is a nice building, but I like the previous year's building a little bit better which was the Downtown Diner 10260. I will be building the Steamboat Wille 21317 (Mickey Mouse) that I will be posting here and on other places. I have been working on this website for the last couple of weeks and I have been pleasantly pleased on how far it has come along. I now just have to finish it and incorporate the new features that I have in store for it.
Two Swans Flying At Wilcox Lake by John Pepp on Wednesday, April 10, 2019top
I'm finally getting my website the way that I like it, but I still have a ways to go with it. I want to incorporate the calendar that I developed with the pictures that I uploaded. I also need to get my website to be more responsive friendly for smartphones and tablets. I wish I would had done this years ago as I think I could had actually made a real good living off doing this kind of work. Though who knows I might still be able to do so. If anyone wants a website developed and design just contact me to see if we can work things out. I'll do a bunch of mockups and then have you choose which mockup you want. If you're are still undecided maybe do hand sketch of the website on a piece of paper and I'll make a mockup of that.
Livonia EMS by John Pepp on Wednesday, April 10, 2019top
I was taking pictures of Bates Hamburgers that is located at Farmington Road and 5 Mile Road when a Livonia EMS Vehicle with its emergency flashers on came driving south on Farmington Road. I snapped the photo with my Sony A9 and Sony 100-400mm F4.5-5.6 GM OSS Lens with a 1.4x Teleconverter attached to it.
A Morning at Newburgh Lake by John Pepp on Wednesday, April 10, 2019top
I went to Newburgh Lake in Hines Park to take some pictures of the local wildlife. The weather is finally getting warmer, now all it has to do is get a little greener. I can't wait until some of these birds start having offspring as I think I'll even take more interesting pictures.
I don't understand why people have to throw trash in the lake and around it. It's really becoming an eyesore! Pick up your damn trash people when you leave!