* Cee’s B & W challenge

This sign came in black and white, which is handy for me!  It was posted on a barn at Colonial Williamsburg.  If you look at the names of those involved, it was apparently a small troupe.  I could use a bit of Comick Opera, while tomorrow’s fare promises to be rather risque.

sign on barn

* Impact Jack

This post is for Cee’s Black and White photography challenge and for my evaluation of a science kit for kids.  Impact Jack is a SmartLab Toys “Crash Test Lab,” featuring a virtually indestructible Jack.

Impact Jack 2

The premise and design of the kit is well done.  Kids aged 8+ can (fairly) easily assemble the crash test vehicle and then experiment with the effect of a seat belt, roll bars, bumpers, etc.  The kit comes with a colorful fold-out of directions, experiments related to Newton’s Laws of Motion, and other suggestions for Jack as a crash test dummy.  It’s a bit hard to see in the photo above, but Jack has a glowing “I’m alive!” button on his chest which will turn red if he doesn’t survive the impact.

My primary concern is that Jack is virtually immortal.  A student and I rammed the car numerous times with a force that should have had led to hospitalization, if not a coffin.  I took Impact Jack back to the toy store where the sales clerk dropped/slammed him on the counter and Jack glowed red.  I was offered a refund since I had trouble replicating that force, but decided to give it another try in his vehicle.  Jack ALWAYS survived his car crashes but finally passed away when I body-slammed him into a wall.

I would purchase this kit again but not for use with students who startle easily at the loud sounds which accompany the only way to make a true impact on Jack.  Impact Jack is a terrific toy for kids who are extremely rough with their playthings.

* A-Z and Cee Again: P

This is my entry for both the A-Z Challenge and Cee’s Black and White Photo Challenge.  I’m thinking it could be called “Power Clocks.”  Or maybe someone can think of a better name, starting with P, of course.

power clocks B and W.jpg

* Older than 50 years

Cee’s Black and White Challenge this week is “older than 50 years.  My great uncle John was a chauffeur and gardener for a wealthy family that owned the estate later called Strawberry Fields (as in the Beatles song).  At least, that’s what we were always told.  Uncle John, as I called him, loved to drive.   These photos were taken in the 1940s.

Uncle John, sister Hilda_0002(Great) uncle John_0003


At a slower pace, I was pushed around in some interesting relics. 1951, to be exact.

KE 1951 with mother's friendIMG_0064


* Cee’s B & W challenge- in the distance

This is my first effort at Cee’s black and white challenge, with emphasis on views from a distance.  I took these yesterday with my iPhone 6, not having a wide angle lens.  I had ordered one for the camera but thought the pictures looked odd, so I returned it.  Now I am rethinking that decision….

This is one of my favorite farms in Orange County near Hillsborough, NC. I was on my tippy toes to avoid some clutter by the road, but somehow, the barn doesn’t look far away.  Bummer.


I tried a shot of the actual farm and it still didn’t seem very distant.  By that time, I was checking my legs for ticks.


Then I noticed my camera was “zoomed” in on the screen, so I tried again.  Now it’s teeny, like in the distance, but it looks pretty boring.IMG_1367

I like windy roads that disappear  but changing this to but changing this to black and white created an unusual effect, like the road had been brined for a snowstorm.  IMG_1383

I could watch cows all day and wish they had been more cooperative, like arranging themselves nicely.  They kind of disappear in black and white, so I tried sepia.  It looks fuzzy and boring.


Now we’re talking!  This group got snorty and ruffled as I took several photos.  My car was balanced precariously, barely off the road, and I could imagine ticks creeping all over me, so I couldn’t stay and chat.  But I think I like color more than black and white, probably because I need to reread Cee’s tips for B & W photos!


I will try for more B & W’s later this week.