Tuesday, July 24, 2007


Chickens at the county fair.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Infinite variety

More evidence of the infinite variety on the internet: a blog called Running From Camera.
The guy sets it up with:
The rules are simple: I put the self-timer on 2 seconds, push the button and try to get as far from the camera as I can.
And there are lots of photos of him running away from the camera in various locations around Holland.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Shipping Harry Potter

We got a call at the paper this afternoon from a Los Angeles photo agency looking for some photos of the RR Donnelley & Sons printing plant in Crawfordsville, which is where the seventh and final Harry Potter book is being printed.
So I ran out and got several shots for them, including this one of a FedEx truck laden with Harry Potter books, leaving the shipping department. The book goes on sale July 21.
Cool, huh?

Tuesday, July 17, 2007


By the way, we learned on July 6 that Maria and I and our friend Lauri, among others, are winners in the 2007 National Newspaper Association Better Newspaper Contest and the Better Newspaper Advertising Contest.
Here's the list of awards won by Maria's paper:
Best Breaking News Photo, Daily Division, circulation less than 16,000 1st place Parking lot scuffle ends in arrest 1/12/06 Kris Fassa
Best Feature Series, Daily Division, circulation less than 16,000 2nd place Hispanic series 1/13-14/06,1/15/06,1/16/06,1/17/06,1/18/06,1/19/06 Doug Hunt & Wade Coggeshall
Best Investigative or In-Depth Story or Series, Daily Division, circulation less than 16,000 Honorable Mention Semper Fi 1/5/06 John M. Flora & Doug Hunt
Best Photo Essay, Daily Division Honorable Mention Quinceanera 5/11/06 John & Maria Flora
Best Small-Page Ad, Daily Division 1st place Spiders! - Arab Termite & Pest Control 8/15/06 Shaylan Owen
Best Small-Page Ad, Daily Division 2nd place Arab - Beetles 8/22/06 Shaylan Owen
Best Single Ad Idea - Color, Daily Division 2nd place Shlootberry festival 6/8/06 Shaylan Owen
Best Sales Promotion Section or Edition, Daily Division 2nd place Montgomery County directory 4/30/06
Best Sales Promotion Section or Edition, Daily Division 3rd place Candid 9/29/06
Best Single Ad Idea - Color, Daily Division Honorable Mention Athena $4 for the fourth 7/24/06 Lauri Shillings
General Excellence, Daily Division, circulation less than 16,000 6/10-11/06,6/12/06,11/13/06 Congratulations! Your newspaper has won an award in General Excellence! Place awarded will be announced at the "Toast to the Winners" awards ceremony Sept. 28, 2007

Here's Maria (front left) and the other top award winners at last year's NNA convention in Oklahoma City.
Maria observed this evening that I've won more NNA and Hoosier State Press Association awards in retirement, freelancing with her paper, than I did in the 34 years I worked for The Indianapolis News and The Indianapolis Star. I guess that's because I don't have a bunch of room temperature I.Q. management types holding me back.

I woke up this morning and I got myself a beer

Well, not exactly.
Maria fixes herself a Coke Zero on ice for the drive to work every morning. She got distracted - probably by the dogs fussing - this morning and opened a beer by mistake. She was prepared to dump it down the kitchen sink, since it was about 9 a.m. and I'd just put a pot of coffee on.
But being a Cancerian, I couldn't bear the thought of throwing away a perfectly good beer. So I had a Keystone Ice for breakfast.
As Jim Morrison said, completing the thought in Roadhouse Blues, "The future's uncertain and the end is always near."

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Saturday's bride

Here's one of my photos from Saturday's wedding - the one that kept me from riding to the BMW MOA rally in Wisconsin.
It was a great wedding, though. Good quality people with style and poise who know how to organize a first-class event. The ceremony and reception were at the Ritz Charles in Carmel, one of the premiere venues in central Indiana.
The bride was beautiful, the groom was handsome and everyone had a splendid time.
Next year's BMW MOA rally is in Gillette, Wyo., July 17-20 and there is no way I'm booking a wedding for that weekend.
No way.

Saturday, July 14, 2007


Taking a break in the 9th hour of a wedding shoot on my birthday.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

A modest prediction

I predict that the next president of the United States is not among the candidates presently campaigning.
At least I hope so.
None of them really interest or inspire me and several terrify me.

A disturbance in the Force

Some thoughtful person gave me a copy of the Chad Vader: Day Shift Manager DVD for an early birthday gift.
It came from the Blame Society Productions folks in Madison, Wisc., with no explanation other than the hand-written inscription, "Happy Birthday John. Join me! Love, Chad Vader" on the DVD case in silver ink.
I have a short list of suspects, but would really like the responsible person to come forward so I can thank them properly.
Maria and I watched it last night and laughed ourselves hoarse. It's outrageously funny and I'm embarrassed that I hadn't found it on the internet.
BTW, I get to spend my birthday Saturday photographing a wedding. Lucky me.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Pssst! Want to make your cell phone ring like an iPhone?

Among the many complaints about the otherwise very impressive iPhone is the fact that Apple won't allow any third-party software on their phone.
That means you can't run handy apps like Pocket Quicken or any of a number of voice-dialing programs or custom ringtones.
For now, anyway, iPhone users are stuck with the ringtones that come with the phone. The default ringtone is called "marimba."
I Googled up a zip file of the iPhone ringtones here and installed "marimba" on my Treo 700p, just for the fun of it. It's one of 25 ringtones in the set.


Feisty little wiener dogs guarding their ride outside the supermarket.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

The to-do list

Lots of to-ing and fro-ing today. A 9 a.m. Doctor's appointment for our diet program, drop off my birth certificate at the Social Security office, quick breakfast of parfait and coffee at McDonald's, then up to the Lowe's at Lafayette to order a mini-barn
After all of the digging and scraping, the soil in our back yard needs a year to settle before we take another shot at garage construction. Since we need a secure place to keep our motorcycles we'll need a mini-barn. After shopping Lowe's and Home Depot, we decided we need a 12x12 model from Lowe's.
Not the elegant garage solution we hoped for in April, but it will have to do.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Wiping the slate clean

Here's how it looked at 10 a.m.

And at 3:30 p.m.

We're now officially done with George and will recover our $14,920 that he took for building materials (that he has apparenly never bought for us) and the money we paid for the bungled concrete slab, by whatever means it takes.
Yesterday, we paid Roger the excavator $750 to remove the last of the bungled slab and to grade the yard flat, leaving a gravel pad (lower right corner of bottom photo) for a storage shed/minibarn for our motorcycles and whatever else we can jam into it.
Roger is a friend of a friend, has been in the excavating business 40 years and has a splendid reputation that he lived up to yesterday.
He also recommended a couple of local builders for the garage project. Since so much dirt has been disturbed, we need to wait til next year to let it settle before we pour any more concrete.
And, by the way, George told us he left the north (left from this view) end because the concrete guys had poured a 4-foot footer and it was too massive to remove with the equipment he had at hand. His plan, he said, was to return soon with heavy equipment to finish the job. He never did and when Roger unearthed that end of the slab, he found a 2-foot footer. George lied to us. Duh!
I am slow to believe the worst about someone I have trusted, but a couple of lies - especially when they involve thousands of my dollars - are enough to do it.
If George were to show up here this morning with building materials and a work crew, promising to finish our garage project in a week, I would ask for my money back and send him packing. I have absolutely no confidence that he could give us our money's worth.
It's over and if he refuses to make it right, I have no qualms about using the legal system to crush him.
This is, after all, money from my parents' house we're taking about and that makes it about as personal as it gets.