Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Stay tuned....


My readers (thanks mom & Heidi!) might want to subscribe to the ol' Jeff Smith blog. I say that because there are BIG changes coming soon for Jeff and you will want to know all about it. Let me just say that it's about time for an extreme vacation...

Monday, December 28, 2009

Oops! Almost forgot this gem!

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I took the kids sledding at the Will Rogers Memorial yesterday so I shot some wipeout video. The fella with the Carhart coat doing an endo is Stenton. Stenton chases with us quite often. Good stuff!

EDIT----stay tuned for big news in the stormchasing world!!!

More Blizzard video!

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In my area the sleet didn't change to snow until after dark. It was a spectacle though and we ended up with 10" of snow on top of the sleet!!

Tough travels...

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Shot this video on the way home from work on Christmas Eve. Heavy sleet and very hazardous driving conditions...

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

INTENSE EXTREME CLOSE UP LIFE THREATENING...

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RAIN!!

HA! Fooled you, didn't I??

Merry Christmas!!!!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Impulse buying....

http://www.nextel.com/en/solutions/mobile_broadband/personal_hotspot.shtml

Well, I was in the local Sprint store checking out the HTC Hero & the samsung Moment, and I see this little gem. Me thinks "Hmm....way cool!" so, you know what came next. "How much" and "I'll take it NOW".
Brought it back to work and a few minutes later...WALLA! I am a mobile hotspot! Feels kinds good...lol

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Do not use if packet is open or torn....

Upon taking a couple of cold relief tablets, I noticed this on the package "Do not use if packet is torn or open". Hmm...well then am I supposed to take them without opening the package?

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Old pics...












Thought I'd throw up a few pics from June 9th in north central Oklahoma. Enjoy!



Friday, November 27, 2009

Thoughts on Thanksgiving....

Well, it has came and went. Thanksgiving, that is. We had family over--two of my brothers and their families--about 15 people in all. We were supposed to have two guests from the local youth shelter, but one of the staff members took them instead. Yes, I over-stuffed myself on turkey, ham, and all the fixins. It was a great time of fellowship for our family But something keeps nagging at me, and it's a deep down nagging...

I can't help but think about the kids that don't have a family to share Thanksgiving with. Kids that have fallen in between the cracks of life and our little social world. Kids that need encouragement, love, compassion, kindness, security, hope, joy, kids that need to see a real God that really loves us and who works in our lives. They don't need to see the fake world that so many people live in, they need real love, real support, real dedication, and a real God.

I visit a local shelter for troubled youth every week. I share the love of the Lord with them, and offer them friendship. The kids here have seen it all. From drug addiction and criminal activities to victims of all forms of abuse, from abandoned kids to runaways, they often end up here.

Let me explain the type of shelter that this is. RCYS really cares for the kids. They have counselors on staff to help the kids, offering several programs aimed at getting and keeping these kids on track to become a positive part of our future. It's not a lock up facility, but it is a place where kids can feel welcome and loved. Yes, they have to abide by rules but it is not like a boot camp. I have seen several kids come to know Christ during their stay here.

I said all that to say this. I am trying to help raise awareness and publicity for Rogers County Youth Services. They have been facing budget cuts as well as many other agencies but you can help. They have a wish list and a needs list on the website. If you can help, please contact them--your help would be greatly appreciated.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Retirement? Really? Could it be?

Wow, after the latest chaser drama, I actually can say that I understand why people become reclusive. I’m talking about well-known storm chasers that seem to drop off the radar. I can think of several that have done this in recent years.

While storm chasers are the best people in the world, they can also be the most eccentric, and can be out and out jerks. There are a lot of ingenious minds in the meteorological/chaser world, and my experience is that geniuses can at times be odd in character-I can’t tell you first hand though, I’m far from being a genius..lol. With all that said, all of our personalities and preferences can clash at times. This clash seems to rear its ugly head during the off season. I mean, one just has to browse the threads over at stormtrack.org to determine what season it is. Winter=multiple chaser drama episodes that can bring out the ugly in all of us. Yes, it has happened to me. I was drawn in to drama and bashed someone with whom I have never even been privileged to shake his hand. That was very Christian of me—not.

When a hobby turns a person into someone that can not have fun or someone that regrets what he/she says to our fellow man, then it’s no longer a hobby, it’s a burden. When that burden comes between two friends, it’s time to release the burden. How? Several ways come to mind.

First there’s the extreme view: Chaser retirement. This option does not seem viable because you will alienate other friends in the chase community and you will lose out of that camaraderie and friendship.

Second: become a recluse. This option parallels the first and should not be given much thought either.

Third: The Smith approach. This I believe is the best option for all and should be widely used by chasers in conflict. Step one-do not log on to Stormtrack during the off-season. I know this is extreme, but there are very few useful threads on there that will make or break a storm chaser at this time. There are several other threads and chaser blogs available for your enjoyment that will keep pressure to become involved in flame wars to a minimum. Read up on chase accounts from chaser websites, compare your forecast to theirs and see if you agreed or not. Finally, the most important step in chaser syndrome is to BAACK UUUPPP from the computer and get out & enjoy your families & friends, and enjoy life! It’s too short for adversities to ruin things for us!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Well you said you wanted an update....

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Here's a low-res video. I just threw some chase video together....WARNING!! It is pretty boring...lol. Turn the volume up & you can hear me trying to educate a less experienced friend. I will admit the tornadoes are very hard to see and I'm not sure you can even see them due to the low resolution, but they are there....enjoy!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Update?


Well, I thought I would write something. But, I really haven't been doing much lately, I am not overly upset at anything in particular, and haven't seen a good storm in months. So you thought that I was going to say something and clicked on the ol' blog. Well, I am sorry to disappoint you all, but I just don't have anything worth writing here...lol. I said all that to say this: nothing.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

heavy rain in Tulsa!!

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Monday, October 19, 2009

...more pics
















Some new glass!















I finally got a couple of new lenses! I gota Canon 50mm f1.8 and a Promaster 70-300 f4-5.6. I went out with my son TJ and we shot his senior pics Saturday. Let me know what you think!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Towers going up in Tulsa

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Sorry about the powerlines. I shot this at lunch time today. a line of storms that is now currently severe were developing over Tulsa/Broken Arrow. I decided to shoot a little time lapse...enjoy!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Wagoner High School Marching Band

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This is a clip from the Oologah Band Contest. Wagoner placed 5th out of all the bands that played Saturday!! Great job Dave!!!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Photography "bug" is back!!





Ok, so I got the photography bug again last night---my family went to our church and had portraits shot by a local, well-known photog company. We get a free 8x10 but of course we can order additional prints-they had us do several poses and had the "package" prices conveniently available. I was observant of everything going on and particularly observant when I saw the prices!! WOW I thought, I gotta get me some of dat!! So, stay tuned for more pictures through the eye of Jeff Smith!!
Might go get me a "nifty fifty" at lunchtime & start taking senior pics this week!!
Went out & shot the sunrise today....at least until I had to bail in order to get to work. Here are a couple of samples....
How 'bout some critiques??

Monday, September 21, 2009

Storm over Tulsa/Broken Arrow....

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No tornadoes, but a cool shelf cloud!!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Cool shots....




I shot these as storms were firing in the heat/humidity last Thursday. Enjoy!

Labor Day 2009 At the lake....













For all of you that have been wondering.....the boat ran flawlessly last weekend!! Finally got it right! Just in time for the boating season to wind down...oh yeah......
We did have a blast at Lake Hudson. Probably the most fun that I have had since my last storm chase.....lol!
PS...that's a pic of my nephew Nolan Michael Smith--he was with us and kept us entertained:-0


Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Brothers...

I really don't know what to write, or even if I should, but I'm gonna tell you a story about brothers...

Well, yesterday was a bad day. I rarely have them, but they do happen. You see, I lost one of my brothers yesterday. He was older than me by 20 years, and lived by himself on land that our dad had given us. Growing up, I always looked up to my brother, even in later years as we grew distant. I know that he had problems, and serious ones, but I tried to overlook them when I could, and tried to simply see my brother. He and I got "sideways" with one another in recent years, and I haven't spoken to him for a while, and that is what I want to convey to my readers....

The last words that we had were fierce, with him calling me every name in the book, and me threatening to call the sheriff on him. I now feel terrible for not going to him and reconciling because I will now never get that chance. I have to live with that pain now.

In Matthew 5 Jesus tells us that if we have a problem with our brother, to leave the altar and go to him fast and reconcile with him. He didn't say that it was okay no too if it wasn't your fault, He just said go and do it--and do it now. This passage had been on my mind lately and I had been thinking of going to Donnie to make up. We had argued over a stupid 350.00 worth of hay! 350.00 isn't even a car payment in these days, much less enough money to keep two brothers apart!! I believe this is why Jesus told us to do this; we may never have another chance. You never know what tomorrow will bring. Please, if you have family that you haven't talked to in a while, please give them a call......tell them you love them.....forget your differences and swallow your pride and just go to them. I will never have that chance to do that with my brother, and that hurts deep within me right now.

Farewell my brother, Don Eldon Smith 1949-2009

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Are you ready for a vacation???

If you were to go on a vacation......
Where would you go?
What would you do?
Who would you see?

Let me offer you an exciting and unique vacation idea. Have you ever thought of chasing storms on your vacation? Let me introduce you to http://www.extremechasetours.com/ ECT is owned & operated by veteran chaser & good friend Lanny Dean, who has witnessed over 250 tornadoes! Check out his website and book a tour. You will not be disappointed. Yes, a tour is expensive, but when you think about it, most family vacations can be very costly and ECT offers many tour options and discounts!! I understand that not all people are fascinated by severe weather and tornadoes therefore a storm chase tour would not be for folks wanting to sit at the beach & watch the pretty sunsets. It is for those wanting to witness stunning views of our planet's wildest weather and those that want to witness the exciting thrill of the chase!!

No, Lanny didn't pay me for this, but he is a good friend of mine and Lanny is a stand up guy. There are lots of chase tour companies, but ECT will treat you right and your money will be well spent!! Who knows, you might even see me out there chasing!! Book your tour today!!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Pics from ThunderJam 2009 Tulsa











Tulsa International Raceway was a blast Saturday! TJ, Clay, and I went to see the hot rods that were there--they had a couple of jet powered funny cars, a jet powered fire truck that holds the land speed record at 404 MPH., and a couple of top-fuel altered rides, among many other sweet rods! Oh, yeah....and the Cool Bus!!!!




Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Maiden voyage....take 3!!




This was the view from Oologah Lake as the sun was setting last night. The boat ran great!!! Don't laugh at the pics--I took them with my cell phone....lol.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

YYYYEEEEEEESSSSSS!!!!!!!!

Just fired the boat up!!! She runs!!!! TJ and I worked all day Saturday and then just when we were ready to fire it off we ran into a stumbling block---no spark!! I finally figured it out a few minutes ago--I had the neutral switch installed incorrectly!! Just a quick adjustment and....VROOM!!! She runs!! I ran it on the water-ears for about 5 minutes and I'll probably take her to the lake tomorrow after work to test & tune on her!!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Boat saga--The $500.00 Carburetor screw!!

Well, you have been wondering what I had found wrong with my boat engine. After much investigation and scratching of heads, here is what I found. First, let me rewind just a tad….

My last post I wrote that I suspected detonation as the problem, eating away the #2 piston. That was a pretty good call except for the fact that the 5 metal “chunks” that I found in said cylinder were steel (as demonstrated by holding a magnet near them) pistons are aluminum and not attracted to a magnets. There was a possibility of the “chunks” being parts of the top compression ring in the piston, but disassembly of the block revealed the piston rings intact. These steel chunks were not more that ¼” long, and sort of round-ish. I thought the worst….I thought that I had dropped something down the intake when I built the engine despite being very meticulous about it.

After consulting with many of my mechanic customers and a wild dream, I went to the garage to inspect the carburetor- a Rochester Quadra-Jet. I picked it up, turned it over and was amazed at what I saw. One baseplate screw was missing!!! I realized then that I was at the machine shop’s mercy—they had nothing to do with the problem therefore they didn’t have to warranty their work. I was kinda sick. I mean, who would have ever checked to see if those screws are tight—outta sight, outta mind, right?

Well, after calling Jay at Custom Motors and revealing the truth (after a little objections from others) he said that he would treat me right and was glad to know the cause. Well the head took a lot of work and the block had to be re-bored and the one cylinder sleeved but it’s finally ready! I am going to pick it up at lunch today!! The total bill? $497.00!!! Well below what they could have charged me! If you need an engine, take it to Custom Motors!!!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Boats-r-fun!

Well, I pulled the motor and then pulled the head off of the junk 4.3....looks like a detonation problem that grenaded my brand new engine! Looks like I'm in the market for a big bomb, or a new engine. Don't think that the machine shop will cover this one.....oh the joys of owning a boat....

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Boat saga....

Well, I pulled the valve covers and didn't see anything wrong so I decided to pull the spark plugs...DUM-DE-DUM-DUM! Cylinder #2 is the culprit. The spark plug was smashed and that cylinder only has 30lbs. of compression---it had 200lbs. of compression just one week ago. Something came apart in that cylinder, valve, valve seat, top of piston, something. Regardless, the engine is coming out tonight, then I will pull the right bank head and find out exactly what happened....

I have about 6 hours on a boat that I bought in May----something is way wrong with this picture!!!

Monday, August 3, 2009

The ballad of the Big Fat Boat!!

Guess you probably know what's coming with this title, huh??
Here's how this story goes.....just whistle the Beverly Hillbillies tune while reading.....enjoy!

Come and listen to a story 'bout a man named Jeff...
Poor crazy dude pullin the hair out of his head...
Tries to make his family happy by buyin' a big boat,
Then he can't even get it to float....
Motor that is...
Heap o junk, goes "ker-chunk"!

Y'all come back now, ya hear???

...guess you can tell I'm kinda bitter. Well, here's the story. The boat was finally fixed! All my problems were gone...until last night. We took her out after church last night for a quick dip in Oologah--had a blast!! We were returning to the dock when, as I powered down into the no wake zone, I hear "funny" noises coming from behind me. The boat starts missing, and metallic noises grow louder. Then it dies! As I grow more upset, I finally get it to restart, engine is now "hammering" loudly at me. We limped it to shore, and got it on the trailer. I bowed my head in defeat and drove home. Tonight I will run a compression check and pull the valve cover to confirm my suspicions of a dropped valve......later.....

Friday, July 31, 2009

Pics from the lake...
















Oh yeah! How sweet it is!! Actually, Michelle shot these as I was too busy---in the water!!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Matt Austin's solo

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This is one of TJ's best friends, Matt Austin giving improv a whirl at last week's All State Jazz Band concert!!

Friday, July 24, 2009

That's my boy!!

This is TJ Smith improvising yesterday at All-State Jazz in Tulsa! I am very proud of him! I feel terrible, though. I accidentally erased his other solo from my camcorder. Stupid Jeff!

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Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Been gone a while...

I just wanted to give an update to the readers of the ol' blog (thanks mom!!). I just got back from Freedom Camp last week. The Lord did some great things in the kids' lives as well as mine. He set my priorities straight (they were off just a tad) and turned us upside down & let the baggage & junk fall off our shoulders that we carry around and treasure so much. You can read all about the week at http://ontheedgeyouth.blogspot.com/ ---become a follower over there! I am so proud of the 9 kids that went with us and also very proud of the 8 kids that went with our host church, Sageeyah Baptist Church. It was a blast!! It's so cool to have God rekindle the fire that was dwindling because of choices that I had made....

Saturday, July 4, 2009

More boat tales....

Okie dokie....my starter problems are gone. But, the real problem is that the engine is somehow ingesting water into the right bank. I thought that the gasket between the exhaust manifold & the riser was suspect, so I replaced it, took it out to the water to test, and no dice....still ingesting water after it sits about 30 minutes in the water. I'm thinking that I just ain't supposed to have a boat!!!

I am thinking that the exhaust manifold is cracked, allowing water to bleed into number 6 cylinder. When I get back from camp, I'll look into this....

In other news, this may be the last blog entry for a bit. I am heading up to Winderemere Missouri on Monday for youth camp. Yes, I am taking 8 of our youth to camp!! It will be our first trip this far away, so pray for us!! This is the same group of kids that have been with us on several Mission of Compassions...I'm very proud of them!!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

As the boat turns....

Ok, new starter installed last night and guess what?? No fix! Just grunted so I decided to prove or disprove my hunch that I was afraid to realize and pull the spark plugs. Guess what? I have water in the cylinders!!!!!!! Since the engine is new, this could only be due to a couple of things. 1. a cracked exhaust manifold--it is a "wet" exhaust system. 2. A bad gasket in between the exhaust manifold and the "riser" that looked suspicious and should have been replaced upon reinstalling the engine.

Tonight after church I am replacing the riser gasket in hopes of finally resolving the problem of me being mad at the boat and very grouchy:-)

I'll update later...

Monday, June 29, 2009

Workin' on my boat...

Ok, here is the problem I am having and the steps I have taken to correct said problem:
Occaisionally the starter "drags" and will not turn the boat over. After several tries, it usually fires off, but not always...
1. I have charged and tested both batteries=tested good
2. I replaced the starter with a brand new unit.
3. I replaced the dual battery switch.
4. I changed the grounding location from the bellhousing to the starter.
5. I cleaned and inspected the battery cables.
6. I have "jumped" the starter at the solenoid, it just clicks..
7. Pulled my hair out.
8. Stumped my toe kicking at it----j/k.

If I have missed anything, please chime in & let me know! I would like to have this thing running reliably soon!!

************BREAKING NEWS************* I found the problem!!
I pulled the starter & guess what? It's defective!! Brand new from O'Reilly's too! It will not turn when directly connected to a fully charged battery via jumper cables. The solenoid just clicks. I can bypass the solenoid and the starter motor turns, but does not kick out the starter drive. I will get the starter replaced tomorrow & also I will replace all cables with heavy duty 2 guage cables....

Boat saga continues...


As you can see, I had a real blast yesterday...NOT!! The pic is of the very kind Corps of Engineers fellows TOWING me back to shore. I am beginning to hate boats!! well, at least mine. I am also starting to doubt my mechanical ability because I cannot find this electrical gremlin that seems to get in the way of us having a little fun. I sure felt like sinking that sucker last night but TJ and Dave talked some sense into me...more later when I'm not so mad...

Friday, June 19, 2009

Can you say summer ridge?!?!?!


This storm report chart clearly identifies the huge ridge of high pressure that is now in control of our weather here in Oklahoma until late August or September. High pressure ridge=no storms! Man, sure wish I could chase up north right now. Sadly for me, I am dismantling the chase equipment & storing it for the year....gearing up for some Saturdays at Lake Hudson with the boat!! Time for summer!

Monday, June 15, 2009

R.I.P. Playoff Beard!! July 13 2008-June 13 2009



Remember my post from back in July about the "playoff beard" that I was growing in support of my best friend Mike? Well, I have great news! It's gone!! Mike is now cancer free--praise the Lord!!!! He should go home today from his surgery to correct his "innards" and life will get back to normal for my brother and best friend!! Thanks to all for your prayers & support!!!

Friday, June 12, 2009

update on Mike

Great news! Mike had his surgery to reverse his heliostomy today! The waiting is over!! It is done! YAY! PRAISE THE LORD!! Check back for update on my shaving my playoff beard! WE WON THE CHAMPIONSHIP!!! Mike will be in the hospital 2 to 3 days then life will slowly return to normal!! Thanks to everybody for all the prayers on Mike's behalf! More later...

MCS in Tulsa just a few moments ago!

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Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Big 400 mile bust...so to speak...

Above: Nice rainbow in Ponca City 15 minutes after being blasted by 80 MPH winds. This storm tried to produce, but I am glad it didn't because we were right under it--trapped in between stop lights!!
This shot was north of Ponca City as the storm was merging with another storm and getting its act together.

We were treated to an amazing sunset just east of Ponca as another supercell tried to form and provided some nice eye candy...


Aahhhh yeah....this was the result of development along the outflow boundary. We followed it all the way to Pawhuska as it collapsed...




This was the first tower of the day as we originally targeted Sedan, Kansas. It was the day that should've...




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Video as we were in Ponca City trying to jet south but had to turn around & take cover at a gas station!!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

A new chapter in my life.....

I have started a new blog. You can read it here. As I state in my first post, it has nothing to do with storm chasing or photography, but it has everything to do with me. Thanks for reading it and thanks in advance for everyone's help and encouragement!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Stop and smell the roses....and......lillies!!














I shot these pics yesterday of the flower garden that my wife and daughter have planted. They are out of town this week and I sure do miss them. Come home soon Michelle & Chrissy I miss you two!!!!