Special St. Patrick's Day Issue

March 17, 2008



Happy St. Patty's Day

to me family and friends







Ooh No the FLU


          This year has been a bad one in our house for the flu.  I got the flu after my trip to California for my company's kick-off meeting.  Marisa got it around the first of this month, and Brandon came home early from school one day running a 102 fever.  We don't get the flu shot each year as most folks might, we normally don't get the flu, and this year they said that even if you got the flu shot, you could still get the flu because the strain of flu in the shots is not the same as what's going around.  Dammed if you don't and even if you do!


Signs of Spring


          Finally we are seeing signs of spring, 70 degree days, blooming trees, spring flowers.  In California this time of year we used to go to Daffodil Hill, in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains, southeast of Sacramento, you would see millions of Daffodils, many different species, as well as other spring flowers like tulips, and poppies.  Here spring jumps out at you with greening lawns, flowers, birds, and especially the green.  We are thrown into a dull grey world during the winter in Texas.  In California, winters had a touch of green, and in the summer, everything not watered turned brown.  In Texas, the summer is green, almost everywhere.  There is no doubt you can find the brown terrain if you drive out of the Dallas / Fort Worth area towards the west, things turn desert like, but it is far from us.  Local trees are blooming and with the spring flowers, it is truly springtime, or is it?  Read on...


Signs that Winter is Still Here


          Believe it or not, just after I took the picture of the daffodils on the right, we had a dusting of snow, yes snow.  We got about an inch or so of snow after a day with highs in the 40's, however our temps were in the 70's the day before so the roads were still warm, and nothing stuck on the roads, but some did stay around on the lawns for most of the morning, and we did have some raised highways and bridges that had ice on them, so driving was bad that day.  Four days later we got about 7 inches of snow which fell in about 6 hours and did stick this time causing a major shutdown of the roadways.  I had to pick up Brandon from school and I had to put the old truck into 4 wheel drive to keep from slipping.  That was just a week ago, and today the temp should get up to around 85 degrees.  The roller coaster continues.










Click the pic to see more




FREE Pictures


Remember that any picture you see here or on our Web Site, you can have for free.  All you have to do is Email me explaining which picture it is you want.  Let me know what type of Internet access you have, and any Email file size limits.  I will send you the full sized original file, not the modified reduced file you see here.  And if you don't have a fast connection, I can set it up so you can download it from the Web Site, just let me know


          I have added a new section on the Web Site of pictures I have taken over the years.  I have 100's of 1,000's of pictures that I have taken, including some that were taken using film that I have scanned into my computer.  Most in this new section are digital however.  Click the stack of pictures to the right to view my Photo Gallery, click on each thumbnail picture on each page to open a larger picture.  Remember, don't copy a picture from the Web Site, note which picture it is in an Email to me and I will send you the original, Family and Friends only please...


          Easter pictures of Lilly, Amanda's daughter.  I don't think it's easy to get her to smile, obviously her mother wasn't at the photo shoot.  She looks a lot like her mother!  Click on the picture to the right to view her recent pics.







McCann Family Reunion Time Again



          Thanks to my cousin Sharen and her hubby Keith, we are scheduled for another annual McCann Family Reunion.  It will be at the same lake as the past few years, in Oklahoma at the Buckhorn Campgrounds, this year it is along loop C.  She has scheduled the reunion for the weekend starting Friday May 30th and going through Sunday June 1st.


          To make reservations at the campgrounds, go to www.recreation.gov, or call 1-877-444-6777 and tell them you need to get a site in Loop C, and choose from available sites from site 30 to site 42.  The cost is $27 per night per site, which includes a processing fee of $5 per night.  If you have a Golden Age passport, the cost is half the nightly fee plus the $5 processing, so it's about $16.


          If you want Sharen to reserve a site for you again this year, send her the fee, and once she receives the money, she will reserve a site for you and notify you of the site number.  As time is getting short, if you need her to make your reservations, give her a call and let her know so she will be ready when she receives your money.  If you don't know her phone number, Email her Here!




The Castleberry's Go To Disney World


          If you have ever been to Disney World in Florida, after going to Disneyland in Southern California, you will notice one main difference, Disney World is about 5 times the size of Disneyland.  There are only 2 parks at Disneyland, the Magic Kingdom and California Adventure which is mainly rides.  In Florida, there are 4 main parks as well Downtown Disney, and several water parks.  My favorite of the 4 main parks was MGM Studios (now known as Disney's Hollywood Studios), however Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom and Epcot Center are so good that it's hard to say what my favorite was.  Late last month, Chris, Rachelle and their twin girls set out to visit the "as they call it" the House the Mouse built.


From Chris' Blog "Whatever"


          We are having a great time at the house that the MOUSE built! Not the one that most of our fellow west coast types are used to, NO. We are at the MAGIC COMPOUND in Orlando, Florida! This place is HUGE!

          The reason WHY we decided to make the long journey from Bainbridge Island to Florida. We are reuniting with the families we traveled to China with back in 2006. It has been great to see everyone, especially all the girls, who are all looking happy and healthy. Unfortunately we are missing one family, but I'm sure we will see them again on the next reunion!

To Read the entire Blog page, go Here!


While you're there, subscribe to his Blog, and have it Emailed directly to your Email address, maybe he will make entries more often...



Shawn Starts his Journey


          Shawn is now in North Carolina for training in his new position.  He thinks he will be headed overseas sometime in April or May.  He will keep me informed of each step of the way, and I will report what I can here.  He said he will be able to see his wife Rachel before he leaves, she will make the trip to N. Carolina to be with him just before he goes.


As always, we wish you a safe journey Shawn!




Reunion 2007 (click to view)









Pick the Right Digital Camera


         If you are in the market for a first time digital camera or a replacement camera, make sure you look at what is available, shop around as prices are not always the same at each store for the same camera.  Try Costco or Fry's.  Select one with the most Mega-Pixels you can afford and look for one that saves in 120 to 180 ppi (pixels per inch)


Pictures are the only real proof you were there!


Cameras can run from $100 to over $1,000 and of course professional cameras cost well over that.

Try to find the best camera for the price you can afford.


For information on Camera Selection check out my article Here





          Don't forget about my Downloads Page on the Web Site.  I will try to place important files there from time to time for you to download, or link to the vendor's Web Site, which ever is easiest for you.  I know most of you have dial-up access so I will try to make things smaller to run faster on your machine.


          I have added some links that I think some of you will enjoy, if you haven't checked them out before, check them out.  Especially check out Google Earth.  If you haven't seen what it is, download it and install it, you can zoom in on anyplace on earth.  It also includes Google Sky, which shows the night sky and all of the stars.  You can see what the sky looks like from your house, right on your screen.  My Links Page...



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