Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Dottie & Ray's Fiftieth - Part 6 - Friday Nite

Friday nite, Matthew and Ellen threw a party for the out-of-towners to meet the children who wouldn't be attending the actual party on Saturday nite. Thanks a million, Matthew and Ellen. It was my chance to spend time with grand-nieces and -nephews I'd never met.


Danielle Seguin

Curtis & Marie

Juliana. Her husband John is my nephew. He was on a llama hike in Wyoming. Go to www.images.google.com and search for >lander llama<.


TV mesmerizing the otherwise vivacious and energetic

The younger cousins are excited out of their minds. They are going to spend the nite with the older cousins!

Monday, August 29, 2005

Dottie & Ray's Fiftieth - Part 5

On Friday, Cathy came to Anne's with Sam & Ethan.

Cathy & I

Kathy & Sam

Kathy & Ethan

Anne & Ethan

Dottie & Ray's Fiftieth - Part 4

See Part 1 for the list of people.


I stayed with Anne the first couple of nights. This picture was taken from the balcony of her home in Reston, Va.

This was accidently taken with flash. Note how the background is completely suppressed.

This is the view to the South from Anne's balcony.

Anne took this picture of me. I may use it as my profile photo for the blog.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Dottie & Ray's Fiftieth - Part 3

Steve and Lee - I didn't have the zoom right but the picture I saw in the viewfinder needed to be snapped!

This is a picture of the two cousins named Danielle. Somehow, I failed to take a picture of Danielle Beauregard by herself. She's on the right. If those two don't tug at your heartstrings, you've got icewater in your veins.


Callee (who can stay up with her older br & sis - just ask her)

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Dottie & Ray's Fiftieth - Part 2

John & Cindy




Friday, August 19, 2005

Dottie & Ray's Fiftieth Wedding Anniversary - Part 1

I'm completely revising what I've already written.

This is about the Fiftieth Anniversary celebration of my brother-in-law, Ray Beauregard, and my sister, Dottie.

I'm abandoning my original chronological order. This picture is like my mental view of Ray and Dottie - there is always a child involved. This one is their granddaughter, Callee. To try and keep the people straight, I'm going to spell out how people are related. Only those whose pictures appear in the blog are mentioned.
My father's children: I, Dottie, Anne, Roger & Marie
My father's sister, Aunt Bea and her children, Jay and Jeanie
Ray and his brothers, Joe and Larry
Ray & Dottie's children: Mike, John, Bob and Steve
Anne's children: Ellen & Cathy
Roger's children: Julie, Joe & Kerry
Next generation:
Mike & Maura's children: Kevin & KC (I don't know if this is spelled out or written with periods)
John & Cindy's children: Chris, Jill & AJ
Steve & Lee's children: Danielle, Jarrett & Callee
Matthew & Ellen's children: Duncan & Danielle
Gordon & Cathy's children: Sam & Ethan


Mike & Maura



Sunday, August 14, 2005

Toastmaster's Pictures

I'm using my blog to distribute pictures taken at my Toastmasters Club - our Fall Contest. For the most part, I cropped the pictures and took out distracting background. Except for Susanna, none of the pictures were posed. My apologies to Suki. I thought I had turned the flash off but I hadn't. I must have moved the camera during the exposure. In any case, no amount of manipulation at my skill level recovered the picture.


"Natural" Right of Way

Whenever two of us stop simultaneously at a stop sign, there’s always the question …

If the color of the other car is “primarily primer,” he has a kinda natural right of way …

or if he’s driving an old beater wounded on all four corners …

or a red or purple two-door …

or any Camaro or Mustang …


Friday, August 12, 2005

Table Tennis Tournament - August 6

In the fall of 2003, I began to have pain in my left buttock … roughly vertical … centered … felt as if it were about two inches below the skin. The problem steadily worsened and by Christmas, I had given up lunchtime walks in the park with co-workers. By spring 2004, it hurt to stand and walking was worse. I played a tournament in March and debated forfeiting my last two matches. I lost them both - one to a rival. Clearly, something had to be done.
My doc recommended a course of medicine before she referred me to a rheumatologist. She put me on Etodolac, a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory. There seemed to be no result. I was pretty discouraged. I had changed my table tennis playing style to a defensive one that didn’t require much movement.

While reading the patient information folder, I came across a statement that it took up to two weeks for the medicine to work. I decided I would wait til then to jump the doctor. On the morning of the tenth day, I woke up pain-free and limitation-free and have been so ever since. Etodolac has truly been a miracle drug for me.

My playing style had caused my opponents so much trouble that I decided to make the change permanent. From May 2004 to April 2005, my rating increased 200 pts. (100 pts difference in rating converts to 80% probability of winning. 200 pts is about 96%.) The average tournament player is rated 1400.

Last Saturday, I played in the most successful tournament of my career. I entered three events: Under 1600, Over (age) 55 and Under 1750. I won 1st place U-1600, second in O-55 and third in U-1750 (losing only to the winner 3 games to 2). This involved playing 18 matches (best 3 games of 5) from 9:00 am ‘til 8:30 pm. I was weary, dehydrated and tired of the clothes I had been wearing since dawn … I drove home beat but happy.

I’ll play in Austin on Aug 27.

The picture shows me and the winner of the O-55 event, David Pham. The picture was recovered with GIMP. Note, the scene is strongly backlited. This caused the faces to be underexposed. I selected David’s outline and mine separately and brightened them considerably. I took out a basketball goal above David’s head and replaced it with a blend of wall color.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Photos - Part 2

So naturally you'll see this before part 1, which I recommend you read first. A flash picture of (wife) Nita. I especially wanted to see the difference between the indoor flash and outdoor lighting. Unf I forgot to turn the flash off so the next pictures are outdoor lite with fill flash.

Walter and Joyce. I painted out a couple of neon lites in the background.

Marvina outdoors. Notice the fill flash has completely killed the background. This is a good effect. I had to subdue a hilite on her glasses.

Camera, Optimist Feast, GIMP

I'm headed for (sister) Dottie's 50th wedding anniversary celebration ... (wife) Nita will be with her sisters ... I bought a camera (nobody says "digital camera" anymore). I downloaded GIMP (... Image Manipulation Program) from www.gimp.org .

GIMP is useful for cropping, color correction etc. I found it to be an incredibly able drawing, shading etc. tool with bottomless capabilities.

The Optimist Club Nita and I belonged to folded some years ago. Four couples from the club have remained close. We go out to dinner once a month. Our friends David & Jo couldn't come this month. Our friend Fred couldn't come. I'm using the blog to send them their pictures. I'll have some commentary on each.

This is an indoor flash picture of Walter. Sometimes details on people's skin interacts with the spacing of CCD electronics that take the picture leading to objectionable, large-scale graininess. I put GIMP's despeckle filter on it. Works like a champ! Unf, the glasses hide Walter's eye. Else this would be good likeness.

This is an indoor flash picture of Walter's wife, Joyce. I've cropped it pretty closely.

Next, a flash picture of Marvina. Cropped and a couple of strong hilites from the flash subdued. Fred is Marvina's husband.

In the big time (well ... kinda)

Last week the buzz on www.slashdot.org was that Yahoo had indexed more pages than Google. Well, let's see says I.

Google for "Bill's blog" abiquiu o'keefe ... no joy. Try Yahoo search ... !Joy. A page I wrote is indexed among the billions of pages cached by the engines.

(Blush) Google only indexes pages that are referred to by other pages. Oh, well

Keter Betts R.I.P.

Keter Betts died August 6th.


One of my sisters wrote to a DC newspaper:

“After my husband accepted my proposal 18 months after I introduced myself to him, I told him we could not set the date until I checked with Keter Betts. After he caught his breath he wondered who was Keter Betts and what does this man have to do with our wedding. I told him that we would be in for a fantastic night of all kinds of world class jazz. My brothers used to sneak me into the jazz clubs of DC starting at 8 years old because Felix Grant had made us all jazz aficionados especially of the local talent. My childhood dream came true. He had one weekend in June six months from my pleading call and not another one until the following year. It was magical. Three years ago I called into a WPFW lazy Sunday afternoon live interview and asked him if he would write a DC theme song. He remembered our wedding and let out a booming laugh and said it is so political here no one would agree.”

Keter also played at the wedding of my niece. Her mother (my sister) wrote to her:

I was so touched by your call last night in the sadness of Keter Bett’s death. I thought more about his legacy and discovered this Beauty….
A love for stringed instruments is deeply embedded in our Family Soul. That magical moment when Sam (my sister’s grandson) touched my guitar was an awakening of that Soul in a profound way. His great grandfather made his living as a Banjo Player. His great grandmother – my Mom -- was a piano teacher. You exist, Cathy, as a result of the coming together of the Son of the Banjo Player and the Daughter of the Piano Teacher – My Mother had offered to accompany your Dad’s musical. But, in the end, it was I who played beside the Banjo Player for that musical.
My brother (Bill) played the ukulele as a teenager. When he went to Mexico in his early 20s, he came back a guitar player. That’s when he discovered Charlie Byrd and Keter Betts at the Showboat Lounge in Adams Morgan. Keter was a wild man on the bass – he played that huge instrument as if it were a small fiddle – bringing out the beauty of its sound in a way none of us had ever seen and heard. We loved that sound and the interplay between Charlie’s classical and jazz guitar and Keter’s incredible bass. As Marie described – these were the sounds that fed my siblings and me as teenagers.
Then you follow the trail ….Marie and Curtis’ wedding reception…. And decades later… in their gorgeous house, at Marie’s instigation, Keter played for the wedding reception for you and Gordon, where your grandfather John Duncan – the Banjo Player – danced with you to Keter’s music.
And then you move forward almost a decade – and there is Sam – seated on the floor of my house in Mt. Pleasant, lovingly stroking the strings of my guitar – only a few blocks from where the Showboat Lounge was –

I’ve gone to some trouble editing this second note for a more general audience because the relation of our family to Keter Betts was impossible a hundred years ago. Evidence of moral progress in our country is the fact that only the music mattered.