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ee-MER-jens : noun. 1) The act of rising up or coming forth, as if from immersion. 2) To become evident or obvious. 3) The nightly exodus of a bat colony. 4) The official newsletter of The BAT Cave!

Right off The BAT:

December 14, 2001: Woohoo! I've just been informed that one of my pictures has won second prize in the 2001 Texas Renaissance Festival photo contest! They picked my photo of an "armored landsknecht", which is apparently a type of German knight, performing in the "Art of Defense" show. It's a bit disappointing to only win second prize (the prize itself is a Fuji Finepix 2300 digital camera), since I was really hoping for first, but since this was only the 40th picture I had taken on my new D30 digital camera and my first serious shooting attempt, I guess I should be happy.

November 12, 2001: Woo! Finally my Internet connection is working at my new apartment! About time! Sorry for the interruption in Action Photos, I have a huge backlog ready to post but I couldn't put them up on the site because I had no Internet connection. Being cut off from the net really bites, what did people do before the Internet?

October 31, 2001 : Been very busy lately with my move, I am now a resident of Sugar Land, Texas, just outside Houston. Hopefully I will have time to finish the Cow Parade photo shoot, there will be a full moon tonight, so I'll try to get a really cool cow shot with the moon in it.

October 21, 2001 : Lots of photo opportunities lately with the Texas Renaissance Festival and Wings Over Houston air show going on, expect lots of Action Photos from those coming up. Only gotten a few cows lately, I need to get that shoot finished up. Shot recently: Texas Moobonnets, The Cowntessa Checks in, Lonesome Cowboy, Moo-la $$$, Mooscle Cow, Forecowddie, Chocolate Moo-se, Moonwalking Cow, and Artbridge Homeless Children! The BAT Cave's official Cow Counter is now at 259 out of 325!

October 14, 2001 : Arg! I'm going all-out with my new digital camera to try and win the Renaissance Festival photo contest. First prize is a 1000 dollar shopping spree at Wal-Mart, so it's a decent prize and I think I can win, comparing my best shots to last year's winner. Getting the perfect photo is incredibly difficult, though, between things out of my control, like the weather, and things under my control, like bad technique and improper camera settings. Today was supposed to be mostly cloudy, perfect for the tight portraits I like to shoot with little or no sky in them, but lo and behold, the weather man was wrong again, perfect clear blue sky with a blazing sun, so plenty of dark shadows, blown-out highlights, and squinting performers. On top of that my two favorite photos of today's shoot looked great on the D30's little LCD, but when I brought them into PhotoShop they are clearly out of focus and unusable! Arg!

Oh well, can't wait till I get my free 1 gig MicroDrive. With digital, since it's free to blast away and take many alternates to choose from, you need tons of storage to be able to do that, especially since it's not possible to critically evaluate shots using the LCD as mentioned above. At least there will be a lot more "action" in my "Action Photos" coming up, got lots of swordfight shots.

Going to try one more time on the 27th when TimeGate goes as a group, plus they have the Halloween costume contest that day, so there should be some new opportunities.

October 9, 2001 : Woo, got some nice photos at the Texas Renaissance Festival with my new Canon D30 digital camera. Check the Action Photo tomorrow, it's the first one I've taken with the D30, and I'm pretty pleased considering this was my first attempt with it and I am still learning the camera.

October 5, 2001 : I've been learning how to use my new Canon D30 digital camera the last few days, so I haven't made much progress on the Cow Parade shoot. The Texas Renaissance Festival opens here in Houston tomorrow, so that will be my first opportunity to really test out my new camera, should be fun! Here's my first ever digital photo, of my cat Bartok, of course.My first digital picture! It's really bad, handheld, on-camera flash, interior lighting, poorly focused, but I'm very confident my D30 photos will be improving greatly very soon!

October 2, 2001 : Making gradual progress on the Cow Parade shoot: Miss Moo America, Over the Moon, Mooon Dreams, and Horn-o-copia. The BAT Cave's official Cow Counter is now at 250 out of 325! The big news today, however, is the receipt of my brand new Canon D30 camera! This is a fully digital SLR-type camera that accepts the full range of Canon accessories that I already have! It's getting great reviews, the price has just dropped a bit, so I couldn't resist. It should improve my photos substantially and save me quite a bit on film and processing as well, plus it lowers the turnaround time in getting fresh photos into The BAT Cave!

September 29, 2001 : Made some good progress on the Cow Parade shoot today, heard on the news that a crane tipped over right at a location I was shooting at, must have been right after, there is a cow on top of one of the cranes at the site, but I don't think it was the cow crane that fell. Today's cows: Udderly Beautiful, Moo-riachi (there are two cows with this name), Moo-iro, Texas Moo Dog, Buena Vista Vaca, Moo-ving to New Depths, Moo Justice, Cownsel for the De-Fence, Waste Moover, How Now Green Cow, Power to Moove, Moo-chas Gracias, Remember the Alamoo, and Bluebonnet Cow! The BAT Cave's official Cow Counter is now at 246 out of 325!

September 28, 2001 : Only was able to get one cow today, So Udderly Georgia O'Beefe near Memorial City Mall. Many of the remaining cows are solo cows in hard-to-find or limited-access areas, so progress is slowing considerably. The BAT Cave's official Cow Counter is now at 232 out of 325!

September 27, 2001 : Making gradual process on the Houston Cow Parade photo shoot. The Cow Parade staff and a few individual property owners contacted me about access to the cows that I discussed below. The Baylor College of Medicine cow is supposed to be moved outdoors outside of their secure area and the M.D. Anderson cows are supposed to be photographable now, we'll see. Added to the list: Buffalo Bymoo, Insuracow, e-cow, The Spirit of Texas, Moondrian, Moo-bonnets, Moocho Amor, Cowsmic Cowlendar, Earth Cow, La Dolce Vida, Rose the Yellow Cow of Texas, Moother Nature, and Bovine Beauty! The BAT Cave's official Cow Counter is now at 231 out of 325!

September 25, 2001 : Took a break from cow shooting today to get some rest and to wait for the clouds to clear out. I finally have gotten my first tripod-based cow shots back in, so the quality of my Action Photos will be quickly improving, at least. Also noticed Canon, the manufacturer of the brand of camera equipment I use, announced a new digital camera today, the EOS 1D. It's a bit pricey, but I suspect I will be switching to digital in some capacity in the very near future!

September 23, 2001 : Got quite a few cows today around downtown, the Museum District, and Upper Kirby: Cows of Pat Neff Elementary, Cow of Lilies, Veggie Cow, Metallicow, Moo-ow, Lovely Guadalupe, Udderly Pumping Bovine, Blazin' Bovine, Tuco the Mootif Cow, Cowboy, Cowgirl, Steering Committee, Rita Roughneck, Stagecowch, Hot Milk, Cactow, Postcow From Cowveston, Dr. Moody Brown, Tribal Funk, Cowtown, Cow Power of Houston, Paul MooCartney, Flaming Cow, Sunny Clowds Sunset Clowds Moonlit Clowds, Drink Responsibly - Get the Moosage?, Fiestas Patrias, Rainbow Moosaic, Texas Children Cow, Mr. Swatches Fall Collection, and Half and Half! The BAT Cave's official Cow Counter is now at 218 out of 325!

September 22, 2001 : Spent the day shooting the cows at the Houston Medical Center and dodging a thunderstorm that alternately spoiled shots and provided cloud cover for some mid-day shooting, unusual for me. Ran into still more overzealous security guards at the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, who would not allow me to take photos of the cows inside their building. So, like, duh, why did you put the cows inside your building if you don't want people coming there to look at them? Also saw another cow at the Baylor College of Medicine that is behind a locked security door, making it a bit difficult to get to and photograph. Anyway, I did manage to get Mother Moose, Spilt Milk, Cow Art, Ocsiban Cow, Hearts and Ham-moo-ers, Wildflower, Animoo Crackers, Everything's Cowming Up Roses, Denton A. Cowley MD, Bovineasaurus, Rainbovine, Texas Ant Hill, Texas Children's Cancer Center Cow-lage, and Moo Y'all! The BAT Cave's official Cow Counter is now at 188 out of 325!

September 21, 2001 : Only had time for two cows today, Cavalon and Texas Landscape, both in the Upper Kirby district. The BAT Cave's official Cow Counter is now at 174 out of 325!

September 20, 2001: Been having trouble with my Web tools lately, so it's been slow going with updates. Anyway, I've made more progress on the Cow Parade photo shoot: Moonsoon - Raining Cats and Dogs, Invisible Cow, Ms. Pearsonality, It's a Smool World, Moo-gritte Texas Cow, Cow Chip, City of Gold Cow, Scholastic Cow, Houston Chronicow, Texas Historic Cow, Moocho Cow, Cow-munity in the Spirit of Texas, Deep in the Heart of Texas, Texas Moo-bonnets, Miss Azalea, Moo-seum District Cow, The Running of the Cows, Cowbird, Tattooed Bovine, Cupid the Cow, Cowdy Y'all, Moobonnet, Vogue a la Moode, Holsteen Cowlajuwan, To the Moo and Beyond!, Cowscape, IC Polo Cow, and Georgia O'Beefe! The BAT Cave's official Cow Counter is now at 172 out of 325!

September 16, 2001 : The merchants supporting the Houston Cow Parade have been great about letting me take pictures of the cows on their property. I haven't been refused anything to get a good shot until today at the Galleria, where I was harassed by a security guard for using a tripod to take photos. Apparently the Galleria has a kickback scheme with a few selected professional photographers, so only those people can take quality photos inside the Galleria, cutting in the Galleria on a piece of the action when they sell the photos. Disappointing to see the Galleria management's greed reflecting poorly on a charitable event like the cow parade. So, I took a bunch of lame handheld shots without my tripod of the cows in the Galleria, so those will be the worst of the bunch. Photographed today: The Few The Proud The Moorines, Texas Hot Mama, Kinara the Kwanzaa Cow, Ginger Rhinestone, Frida Stare, Rhinestone Cowgirl, Moo de Gras, American Cowthic, Shew Fly, Moo-cedes, BR Yellow Rose, Bullfighting Bossie, Cowlleria, Custom Cowch, Cowrova Fabmooge, Miss Moola Attha Bank, Haute Cowture, Delicowtessen, and The Texas Artist. The BAT Cave's official Cow Counter is now at 144 out of 325!

September 15, 2001 : I was able to shoot the Cow Parade cows at Williams Tower and a few stragglers in the Galleria area today: Sweet Charity, Quinceanera Cow, Yellow Rose, Moo-net, Houston My How You've Grown, Ms. Pinata (although this cow seemed to have the wrong name plate, it had a bicycle-racing theme that had nothing to do with pinatas), Mooscowrade, Fabulous Moo-palma, Mooisha the Moomaid, Vaca Pinata, Salvador Cowli, Picowso's Eyes, and Cozy Cow. The BAT Cave's official Cow Counter is now at 125 out of 325! By the way, the official cow locator guide is now available in the Sunday, September 16 issue of the Houston Chronicle, which, strangely enough, is available on Saturdays.

September 14, 2001 : Got quite a few more cows over the last couple days: Crazy Cow-Ilt, Cow-fari, Texas Landscape, Mooty Fruity, It's a Cowpuccino Morning, Not a Creature Was Stirring, Eiffel Cower, Little Jean Moorie, Dutchess, Love Me Tenderloin, Uptown Cow, Four Seasons, Utopian Steer, Hill Country Cow, Houston You Have a Problem, Cowmeleon, The Cow Product, Captain Hoof, and I believe a caught Beef Stew at Central Market a few days ago, but did not note it because the cow's name was obscured by a mound of produce placed around the cow's feet. The BAT Cave's official Cow Counter is now at 112 out of 325!

September 12, 2001 : No update yesterday due to the shameful events that occurred. Before I heard about that incident, I got some more cow shots in the early morning in downtown Houston: French Moodle, Moost Innovative Enron Building, Glossie, Cowing Around Houston, Cowers of Mooston, Twentieth Century Cow, Cowculus, Medicow, Holy Cowthedral, Moomaid, The T.H. Rogers Cowhands (my vote for ugliest cow I've seen so far), Picowso's Moosicians, Cow-a-bunga, Sizzlin' City Cow, Moo-tif, Let's go to Moother's, Udderly Glazing, and Cowrabba's. The BAT Cave's official Cow Counter is now at 93 out of 325!

September 10, 2001: While recovering from my mosquito bite episode, I was able to bag quite a few more cows today: Si-Si (the yes cow) so-called because it nods its head if you get it started with a push, the only moving cow I've seen, Mooston, Holy Cow Let's Play Ball, Moo-lan Ryan Express, MoosCowrade Ball (really nice impressionistic-style artwork), Cash Cow, Cow Chip, Destiny Moo, I'm Houston Cowed, Mad Money Cow, Mootual Cacti Cow, Portholes on Whole Different Cowntries, Q-Morning Moo, Southwest Cow, Moosaic, Beaux Vines, Miss Moolicious, Ice Cream Lover, Livin' la Vaca Loca, Texas Hill Country Armoodilla, Texas Wildlife, The Gum-bull Machine, The Moon Jumped onto the Cow, Camoora Cow, Flamen-cow, and Cowvis-You Ain't Nothing but a Cow-dog. The BAT Cave's official Cow Counter is now at 75 out of 325!

September 9, 2001 : Wow, it's amazing how many cows are in the Houston Cow Parade. I shot cows for three hours downtown today, and as I was leaving, I noticed there were still more that I missed! It was quite a grueling shoot, since apart from the time involved, there are hordes of mosquitos in the downtown parks where the cows are, just waiting for hapless photographers to try to get a decent shot set up! I was devoured by who knows how many mosquito bites, I think they drained me of at least half my blood supply. Note to self: Deep Woods Off!, wet towels for wiping mud off cows, and a chamois for polishing them are required cow-shooting equipment! Photographed today: Clean Jean the Green Holstein, Cowntry Moosic Star, Gulf of Mooxico, Mooving Energy Around the World, Texas Hill Country Moontage, Udderly Innovative, A Starry Night in Texas, Border Bovine, Cookies 'n' Cream, Corn on the Cow, Cow-a-bunga!, Cowlilies, Funseekers, Moozoo, Persistence of Memoory, Cowllege Bound, Elvis Cowsley in Grazeland, A Wonderful Life for a Cow, Heffertity (my personal favorite, an Egyptian princess!), Abbie the Abstract Cow, Ms. Congrassiality, Cow Twombly, Exploring the Mooniverse, Grazin's in the Grove, Moocho Colores, Udderfly, Where the Local Moos Comes First, Gladiator - Russell Cow, It's Time for Eyewitness Moos, City Cow, Out of this World Cow, and Sea Cow! Pshew! The BAT Cave's official Cow Counter is now at 49 out of 325!

September 8, 2001 : The Houston Cow Parade cows are popping up all over Houston! I was able to photograph the herd around the Sam Houston Statue in the Mooseum District today, later I saw that the downtown cows are in place as well in Tranquility Park and around City Hall, so those are on the photo schedule for first thing tomorrow morning! I've heard the Greenway Plaza cows went in today, so somehow I'll have to find time to get those as well! Photographed today:  The Cow Jumped Over the Moon, Astro Cow, Cowasaurus - Camp For Allasaurus, Cowpernicus, Elsie's Udder Magic, Elsie, Maria Mooriachi, Meadow Wreath Cow, Beauregard (Miniature Cow), Boris Cowloff Cowacature, Lichtenholstein, Cowalico, Mooriachi, Cosmic Cow, and Moo-Earth Cow! The BAT Cave's official Cow Counter is now at 17 out of 325!

September 7, 2001 : After a slow start, the rollout of the Houston Cow Parade is going strong! I found only two cows last night, The Great Wall of Nehamooah and the Marilyn Mooviestar Cowicature, and was able to get photos of both, but driving through the Museum District in central Houston tonight, I saw many more cows that had been placed today! Will attempt to get their pictures first thing tomorrow morning before they get too weathered and beaten up! The BAT Cave's official Cow Counter is now at 2 out of 325!

September 6, 2001 : Houston isn't the most photogenic city on the planet, so a sharp eye may have noticed the quality of my action photos has been slipping lately, but I have great news on that front: the Houston Cow Parade kicks off today, decorating Houston with 325 custom-made cows that should provide an opportunity for plenty of new Action Photos! I should have the first shots in next week, but so far I've only spotted one cow!

July 14, 2001 : The BAT Cave's revamp is coming along slowly but surely. You may have noticed I recently completed bringing all of 1999's Action Photos into the new BAT Cave look, plus I have the entire BAT Stuff section working (although graphics need to be re-anti-aliased against the new dark blue background) as well as the very detailed Bracken Cave photo essay! It's quite tedious to convert photos over to the new format, especially considering there are well over a thousand photos in the site, complete with text descriptions and meta-tags that I have to convert and cut-and-paste mostly by hand, one at a time! Arg!

June 15, 2001 : Woohoo! The BAT Cave's new look is finally coming together. I hope everyone likes the new style, it's more graphical and more search-engine friendly than before, although I am having to change a lot of page names for neatness' sake, so many outside links will be necessarily broken. I'm working on a number of very cool new surprises as well, so check back every few days to see what's new!