Sunday, December 18, 2016

Exterior holiday decorations 2016

video and music by Mark M. Hancock / ©

Inflatable decorations "wake up" at our house in Frisco on Friday, Dec. 16, 2016. Rudolf's snow globe was repaired this year and has fresh tyro-snow. New this year are a six-foot-tall Yoda and animated snowflake lights.
Shot with a GoPro. Music composed in GarageBand.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Thanksgiving inflatable

video and music by Mark M. Hancock / © A new turkey yard ornament inflates to celebrate the Thanksgiving season at our house in Frisco on Saturday, Nov. 12, 2016. I composed the soundtrack with classical piano and bebop drum loops in GarageBand.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Halloween decorations

video by Mark M. Hancock / © Our Halloween decorations are ready for trick-or-treaters at our home in Frisco on Saturday, Oct. 29, 2016. I composed the soundtrack with various music loops in GarageBand.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

DFW Paddle: Trinity River, Elm Fork with Steve

video by Mark M. Hancock / ©

We take a DFW Paddle about 5 miles down the Elm Fork of the Trinity River from the Trinity River Kayak Co in Coppell to Sam Houston Trail Park in Irving on Sunday, April 19, 2015. The water is unusually high and fast during one of the wettest springs in Texas history. Consequently, there aren’t many animals along the way, but we do briefly encounter a gator and some highly aggressive butterflies. I composed the soundtrack with various “Shetland” music loops in GarageBand. This is a video in the DFW Paddle series.
Please also see: DFW Paddle: White Rock Creek and White Rock Creek Critters

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Polar Bears 100th Anniversary

Photos Mark M. Hancock / ©

In honor of the U.S. 31st Infantry Regiment's 100th anniversary, 50 Royal Darwin figurines are displayed in an inspection formation in Frisco on Saturday, July 23, 2016. The unit will mark it's 100th year on Aug. 13, 2016.

Learn more about the 31st Infantry Regiment.
Visit the 31st Infantry Regiment Association's page.

While I made the top image above, our jackass neighbor tried to photobomb my shoot.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Aunt Cotton

On Tuesday, we lost our Aunt Cotton. Today, we celebrated her life. She always said, “Everything happens as it should.”

For many years during my youth, I had the privilege to visit Aunt Cotton and Uncle Ted’s farm in the country for a week each summer. They gave me enough free rein to grow and explore. I learned to hunt, fish, avoid snakes, find my way home and more than I could ever state.

Each year, they also invited campers from Camp Soroptimist to visit their farm for a day. They borrowed some animals they didn’t own to complete the experience for campers.

Uncle Ted took the back-row seat out of his large, heavy-duty van (a small bus), and off we went to retrieve a goat. The plan was to have Uncle Ted soothe the goat in the back of the van while Aunt Cotton drove the van back to their farm.

From the beginning, the goat was uncooperative. It did not want to leave its home. It did not like the van. It did not like Uncle Ted. However, this journey was for the campers.

They tied a rope on the goat’s horns and pulled it up a ramp into the back of the van. Uncle Ted sat calmly with the goat as the doors shut. From my seat, I could only see uncle Ted’s head over the last bench seat. Aunt Cotton was at the wheel as we forged ahead.

As the van moved, I saw Uncle Ted’s expression change from soothing, to determination, to caution, to commitment, to acceptance, to a blur as the goat rammed him into the wall of the van.

Aunt Cotton remained calm at the wheel.

Over the seat, I saw Uncle Ted’s head suddenly whip around to the opposite direction. He had the goat situation under control. Then his head zoomed across the van, and his back slammed into the opposite wall of the van.

Aunt Cotton remained calm at the wheel.

Uncle Ted fought with and cursed at the goat for what was probably minutes, but seemed to be hours. Back and forth and back and forth and back and forth the goat slammed him into the sides of the van.

Aunt Cotton remained calm at the wheel.

The sometimes-fragile campers didn’t need to meet a fiery goat. Luckily, the goat was tired and calm by the time the van stopped at the farm.

Farm Day was perfect as always. Campers got the experience of a lifetime, and I got some lifelong lessons that day:

1) Volunteer and help others when you can.
2) Have a plan.
3) Adapt when your plan doesn’t work.
4) Take the goat by the horns.
5) Hold on and never let go.
6) Have someone calm and steady at the wheel during a crisis.
7) Make fond memories for all.
8) Everything happens as it should.

Today, we said goodbye to someone very special. Thanks for being the calm driver of our extended family and memories. We love you Aunt Cotton.