Flight of Fantasy

Welcome to my blog, updated whenever something of interest happens in my life (for the most part). Complete with pictures and video, you're sure to have a great time (although I can't promise you that). Anyway, thanks for visiting!

(pictures expandable by clicking)


The Final Week
July 8, 2007

T' was the final week of Nathan's stay in the Niednagel household. Yet again, it was blessed with good work and fun ... fun. For now, yet again, I'll let the photos do the talking. And now ... we begin ...

What seems to be the problem, officer? Uh oh ... what is Jordan doing? Has Moria returned to again save the land from the forces of tyranny and evil? (with very little facial hair?) And in his Bronco!? (yeah, looks like we may be keeping it.)

Ok, don't get any wrong ideas ... we're not making a sequel to "The Book of Being." With the remaining time we have left, we're simply making a 2-minute trailer for the San Antonio Christian Independent Film Festival using our old costumes. The trailer will have nothing to do with our old film (we just didn't want to go buy new costumes). We're basically doing it on a wing and a prayer, and Nathan will be working on all the post-production stuff when he gets home (thank you!). My wig was just so destroyed, so I went with a little pony tail in the back to make it somewhat more realistic (though it still looks terrible). But oh, what joy to not have to worry about every technical aspect of a film! I mean, sure, we want to do a good job, but we're not putting our all into this. Whatever the case, it'll be fun.

It's July 4th, and it's time to celebrate. Wait, is that a Krispy Kreme? Well ... sorta ... ok, yeah it is. Nathan and I had a party of the taste buds as we split it together (I won't tell anyone if you don't tell anyone, Nate).

But that's not all. No sir, on July 4th evening we were blessed to engage in an activity that is by far my most favorite of all activities (secular). Yes, I don't exaggerate when I say that there is nothing else in this world more fun and thrilling to me then riding wave-runners. We finally had both of ours working, and it was time to have some aquatic fun. Let's ride!!!

Oh man, what a picture! I got Nathan at just the right moment.

And there's Mr. Niednagel on the red one.

The two "INFPs in a pod." My mom's like me ... she absolutely loves going on rides (provided I don't go too fast and encounter too many bumps). Hey, isn't that risky to take a camera on a wave-runner? Yes, but I'm a risky man.

Fourth of July Fun ...

We also took the pontoon out. Cute family.

Kalea loves the water. She used to absolutely hate it. Let's just say we didn't let that hatred last for very long, but somewhat forcefully encouraged her to like it (gotta do it early, otherwise it takes forever for an ESTJ to overcome a certain fear).

The mad rider graces us with a grin.

Nate brought up the idea of snapping a photo of someone jumping off the pontoon. "I can do a back flip," I said. Wanna take a picture?" Yeah, go for it!

Great timing, Nate! (he also got video at the exact same time with a camera in his other hand.)

Nathan was surprised at how warm the water was. Must have been almost 80. Floating out there was like floating in a big bathtub. Felt awesome.

Then, at the end of the day, the Lord blessed us with a beautiful sunset. We all agreed that the clouds and the hills and the light shining looked like something from Narnia or Lord of the Rings (especially later as a storm began to settle in).

Earlier that week we went to Theodosia (by the lake) to see some fireworks shot off.

Hmmm ... where ya'll going? Why, we're going to Branson, the most happnin' place this side of the Mississippi! We rented out a nice hotel room at the Hilton and the next day would be going to Silver Dollar City (an amusement park).

Our hotel room was as modern as they come. Wide screen plasma TV, square lamps, tan colored walls and ceilings, etc. Here we see Nathan, the ever-faithful ironer.

See what I mean?

The impressive view from our balcony. It looked like something frown downtown Disneyland, with brick streets and little stores and trolleys and stuff. Really fantastic.

Out on the street. There I am, of course, with camera in hand.

"Hey Nathan, don't you think we should grace our viewers with a self-shot?" ... "Of course. We wouldn't want to disappoint them now, would we?"

While riding the wave-runners, one my sandals snapped. I was so sad. I loved those sandals! I had bought them in Florida about 5 years ago and had become so accustomed to them. Anyway, before dinner I found a shoe store and bought a nice pair of Nike sandals. Should last a long time.

Out to dinner. Tell me Kalea's face isn't the very essence of glee.

Great smirk, Nate. Nice lookin' grub, too.

I can't help it. I love barbeque chicken pizza, and whenever I go to an Italian restaurant, I usually get it. The concept initially disgusted me when I first heard about it years ago, but immediately after the first bite ... I fell in love.

Kalea and pappa. It was so funny to watch them marching together.

A really spectacular fountain.

A Walk Down Branson Landing ...

Nathan and I went to Marble Slab afterwards to get some ice cream. Man, it was really good, but we had to wait in line for about an hour. They had Christian music playing, though, which was neat.

Oooh! These quickly brightened up our night! Hey, but where's witty Jack? Who cares about Keira and Orlando!?

The next morning we were out and ready for Silver Dollar City. While waiting for Jeremy, I took this picture on a railroad track. You know what ... this would make a great ...

I am so sick of your photoshop creations, Jordan. Oh c'mon. You can't tell me a slight smirk didn't grace your face just now. Liar!!

The Titanic is a pretty popular attraction in Branson. Haven't been in it myself, but I guess inside it's an exact recreation of the original.

At Cracker Barrel for breakfast. Beats a sharp sti .... never mind.

I like Cracker Barrel's old antiques and pictures. Here we have real photographs of Wyatt Earp and Billy the Kid

I don't understand it. I try to fit in with the locals, and people stare. I'll never be accepted.

Kyle and Brad.

I knew it was gonna be a hot day, so I brought along a watermelon.

How could you possibly forget to pack my sprouted avocado and kimchi sandwich!?

No! It's THAT way to Toddlerland!

Jeremy all of a sudden takes an interest in baseball bats.

They're selling honey. Cute

No, that's a real guy. Looks like a manikin, though. Genuine blacksmithing.

I think this is my favorite ride. Wildfire. Pretty insane. When you get to the top, right before you drop, the view is incredible.

Another look.

Lots of standing in long lines. Hey, in the meantime, I think I'll snap a photo of my new totally hip sandals.

Very comforting.

The Giant Swing. Extremely fun! Man, what a rush as it takes you 7 stories high.

All of us on Fire In The Hole. Yeah, I'm tired. Like Kalea, I start to go delirious when I need a nap.

Got the nice car ... the wallet sticking out ... what better time for the patented snob smile? Haven't done it for awhile. I need practice.

Ripley's 'Believe It Or Not ' Museum. Amazing.

And lastly, a little Taco Bell on the way home. I think I'll be on a strict fruit and nut diet this week to rid myself of the various poisons and toxins I ingested on our trip.

That's it. As always, thanks for stopping by. Lord bless, and thanks for coming Nathan! nce again, many wonderful memories made!


The Adventure Continues
July 1, 2007

Another grand week. More pictures. Here we go. And a one, and a two, and a ...

Took a quick trip to Springfield, where along with getting a few things for the business, Nathan helped me look for a new digital camera. My current one has a 3x optical zoom, and I'd like something around 7x or higher. Unfortunately, the only one with that kind of power was like $400. So why didn't you get it? Oh be quiet.

Playing one of those free video games at Best Buy, as Nathan cheers me on. Some say I take video games too seriously. That's absurd.

Off to the Trout Ranch for lunch. Love this place.

Good meals. Good fellowship.

The two nerd bloggers exchange photographs.

Me and momma.

You know ... you spend weeks diligently watering and caring for your garden, anxiously awaiting the day when you finally will be able to reap of its wondrous produce ... then finally the day comes, and you behold your produce ... you then look to the sky in despair, thinking to yourself, "I spent all this time to grow these!?"

I confess, I have a green thumb. That's one zucchini of Biblical proportions ... about a cubit in length, to be exact. Sure, it'll be as hard as a rock to eat, but it looks pretty stinking cool!

Nathan's working quarters. We keep the whip close by in case he's in need of motivation.

A common site, when Jeremy's computer is acting up.

I don't like wearing headphones. I prefer the one-ear tactic.

Another look. Man I'm sick of these office pictures. You know what? You can leave. Just click that little address bar at the top of your screen and find some other website.

Playing Rook. We've really gotten addicted to this game.

Uncle Jor reads Kalea a story.

I may not be the best cook in the world, but I make some mean taco meat.

Everyone who visits the Niednagels eventually has to take dip in our pond. Us Californians find the idea repulsive, so I could sympathize with Nathan who thought it all a little ... shall we say in Kalea's terms ... "icky." However, being the adventurous man that he is, he braved the elements, and I think he enjoyed it for the most part.

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, the return of the Brad Steel / Kyle Shields glare. But where are we, and where are we going?

Yep, to engage in our traditional kayaking rendezvous! Every year, save for last time when filming The Book of Being, we take Nathan out for an 8-mile kayak trip. Lots of fun.

I just have an eye for photography. Really, I'm not bragging. I just do.

Kalea on the bus as we head up-river to our starting point.

Putting on sunscreen, and getting everything loaded. Still, we all pretty much got a little sun burnt. Aubrey's all-natural sunscreen just doesn't cut it sometimes.

A view from the Jor Cam.

Nathan kindly posed for this picture, and then immediately ran aground cause he wasn't looking. I laughed, and continued on my merry way.

Never bump into a boat of female ETJs. If you think the Steel/Shields glare is scary, you ain't seen nothin'.

A picture's worth a thousand words.

Hark, what dost thou Sir Shields climbeth the tree for?

Why, to swingeth upon the ropeth!

A great shot. At the end of the river is a rope swing we love to use every year. You can get some major air if you do it right.

And he lets go!

Hark, who is yonder man climbing the aforementioned rope? You see, I didn't need to climb the tree. I just went straight up the rope as Jumpin' Jammin' German Jordan would obviously do. Actually, I only got halfway, and had to let go and ... um ... go back and climb the tree.

I prepare for liftoff. That's kind of a cool shot with the scenery and everything.

Some decent air.

Cute smile.

And a final picture of Jermonious.

That's it! Thanks for stopping by! Have a happy 4th of July!