Showing posts with label 2010 Autumn Tree Smackdown. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 2010 Autumn Tree Smackdown. Show all posts

Thursday, October 3, 2013

FFARATS? Feh! Fellow Freak Finds Fun Foisting Fall Foliage Fotos Featuring Fabulous Finds From Friends!

As you may be aware, I have decided not to run an Autumn Tree Smackdown this year. I was feeling a little bad about it. However, a Fellow Foliage Freak is coming to the rescue for all of those awesome foliage pics looking for a home. Less structured than my contest but every bit as appealing (at least to me) is anniebikes' 2013 Foliage Challenge.
If you were thinking of sending me any pics, don't. Send them to Annie, so all that leafy goodness can be found in one place. It is my sincere hope that The King will simply subjugate any and all other submissions, because when it comes to Autumnal splendour, it is all about domination, right? Right.
Thanks Annie!
Yer Pal,

Thursday, February 10, 2011


I don't know why, but I get extreme satisfaction from seeing pictures of my contest prizes on other people's blogs.


That is all.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Slow As Sap

Hey, remember the First Annual Rantwick Autumn Tree Smackdown? Remember how 3 lucky entrants won the awesome prize of a tiny bottle of the very best maple syrup I could find? Remember when I wrote "Congratulations you 3! Send a note to rantwick at gmale dawt cawm with your maple syrup shipping address and I will get to work."? Well, RTP, Big Oak and Paddy Anne all diligently supplied me with their addresses and I did get to work:

Those stubby tubes are from special light bulbs for photography we don't do much of any more. The longer box is from a neat thing my brother and his wife sent to the kids called a "drawdio" or Theremin. They all contain the same thing:

big picture, tiny bottle

Trouble is, that's where my work stopped. These three ready-to-go packages sit on my dining room table even as you read this. With God (or whatever floats your heartfelt pledge boat) as my witness, I'll get 'em shipped today.

Yer Pal,
 R A N T W I C K

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

The FARATS Winners!

The winners of the First Annual Rantwick Autumn Tree Smackdown are:

Rat Trap Press' "Charlie Brown" tree, with 117 (read back in the FARATS saga for the whole story) votes:

PaddyAnne's "Empress", with 26 votes:

But you likely knew those would win a prize. The big question today is who is the wild-card, randomly selected winner of the mighty maple prize? I arrived at that answer by putting all other entrants (excluding myself) on slips of paper:

I then dropped them in this cup:

After covering the cup and shaking vigorously, I asked a co-worker to draw a slip of paper from the cup. Here is the slip they drew:

Congratulations you 3! Send a note to rantwick at gmale dawt cawm with your maple syrup shipping address and I will get to work. Thanks again to all who participated and to all who read these never ending posts about the contest. The good news is that it is finally over. The bad news is that I may have to think of something else, perhaps even something interesting, to write about now.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Last Day to Vote on FARATS Entries!

After what seems like a lifetime, time is almost up for voting on your favourite FARATS tree. Thanks very much to all who participated; I will be back tomorrow to announce the winners, including the wild card randomly selected one! I can't hardly wait!

Yer Pal,

Friday, December 31, 2010

FARATS Fixer Found! Feeble Foliage Freak Forgiven.

My mystery visitor left an anonymous comment confirming that they had loaded the votes for RTP's Charlie Brown tree. For those of you who may not remember that entry, here it is:

Here is what Anonymous had to say in answer to my query as to whether they had voted many many times for this tree:

"I did and i feel bad. i just liked the little tree.sorry i wont do it anymore if you want to start over."

The feeble foliage on RTP's small tree was bound to evoke feelings like this in somebody. I thought from the start that it might win thanks to its "Charlie Brown" qualities. How can I not forgive somebody who feels remorse and "just really liked the little tree"? Didn't we all? Don't feel too bad mystery visitor, because I've got a decent solution that does not involve starting over.

For submitting an entry that moved somebody to vote like crazy, RTP will receive one of the prizes. The entry that receives the next highest number of votes will receive the same prize, as will one more entrant selected at random. This bumps the prize count from 2 to 3, but when you start with really small and cheap prizes, it's not so bad.

the prize: 100 mL (3.4 fl. oz.) of pure joy joy tree juice

I admonish anyone reading this or interested in this contest not to engage in any more crazy voting - one vote per reader, please!

Oh, yeah, Happy New Year! Can I do that now, or am I guilty of premature congratulation?

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Statcounter and My Mystery Visitor

You know what? When I look at my recent stats, somebody from London Ontario was visiting the hell out of my site over the past few days in an almost "automated" fashion. In addition, they are using some platform that statcounter (a popular online tool I use to keep web stats) can't figure out. Here's a sample:

Date: Dec 28 20:35:02
Browser: Default Browser 0
OS: unknown
Resolution: unknown
Location: London, Ontario, Canada
ISP: Rogers Cable

Most often they were linking from a google search page but sometimes with no referring link. Rogers Cable is a very popular residential ISP here in London. I left out the IP address of my mystery visitor, because, well, I don't know why but I didn't want to post that kind of info.

Around the same time they were showing up a lot, votes for RTP's Charlie Brown Tree went through the roof. If voting is controlled by a cookie rather than IP address, it could be that the platform they are using can vote as much as it wants... I'm not especially savvy in such things. For the record, I don't think for a second that RTP has anything at all to do with this and I'm not even certain that my mystery visitor is indeed responsible for his tree's outstanding performance anyway.

Hey, mystery visitor, if you read this, tell me if you have been voting many many times for RTP's Charlie Brown tree somehow. I have nothing at all against RTP winning this, but I am becoming curious...

Yer Pal,

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Cast Your Vote in the First Annual Rantwick Autumn Tree Smackdown!

First off, if you have no idea what FARATS is, click here. Then, if you want to read every single stupid post written about it, click here, and be prepared to see most recent posts first. I don't like that, but can't seem to change it either.

Now, for the 30 or so people who know what I'm talking about already:

OK, sorry I'm late. I've been messing around with online voting code. Believe it or not, it is hard to find stuff that will handle the Twelve FARATS entries we've got! I think 12, an even dozen, is pretty good, don't you?

I have determined that rather than fussing about any more, I'm gonna put the poll in the sidebar where it is easiest and will remain visible, so after reviewing the entries in this post, vote for your favourite over there >>>

I said earlier that I wasn't going to name the entrants, but now I think that just takes some of the fun out of it, so I've done a 180 on that and the poll will have their names right in it. Anyway, here are your FARATS entries! In an effort to present them in "random" order, they are alphabetical by submitter. Linked names go to their blog if they have one. Remember to click on the images for bigger versions!

Big Oak's, from Auburn, Indiana:

Chandra's, from the Campion Trail in Irving, Texas:

John Romeo Alpha's, from Phoenix, Arizona:

Keri's, from Florida:

Kokorosashi's, from New Albany, Indiana:

PaddyAnne's, "The Empress", from Cornwall-on-Hudson, New York:

Pattie's, from London Ontario:

Rantwick's "King of Autumn" from London, Ontario:

Rat Trap Press' "Charlie Brown" tree from Fort Worth, Texas:

Steve A's, from "a secret, maple-free location in North Texas":

Tracy Wilkins', from Springfield, Missouri:

Sir "Willie Bean" Wallace's "Lady Guinevere", from Lord Stanley's Park (Stanley Park), Vancouver,BC:

Study these images well and don't vote before you are sure of your favourite! The poll shouldn't allow multiple votes.

Thanks to Everyone Who Participated! The tree receiving the most votes and one other lucky entrant chosen at random will receive a fantastic maple-y prize!

PS - I just had a terrible thought... if you submitted something and I have missed you somehow, email me ASAP!

Thank You for Your Patience

It is finally FARATS voting day but I'm not ready yet. I'm hoping to scrape together a little time at lunch to get it ready. Worst case will be a voting page posted this evening. Sadly, I have been running hard on everything but this blog lately.

Attention entrants: I am not going to associate trees with their "owners" in the interest of more fair voting, but I would like to post their locations.

Please comment on this post and give me the locale your tree pic is from. Even if you think I should know where you're from by now, it will simplify things for me if you comment and not all of your trees are from your home towns anyway.

Thanks to all who submitted a tree!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

One Last Plea: Foliage Me.

As the deadline for FARATS (First Annual Rantwick Autumn Tree Smackdown) entries approached, I figured I had received all the entries I was gonna get. Then I got this email and entry from Sir Wallace, aka a-dude-I-won't-use-the-full-name-of-just-in-case-he-wouldn't-like-that. Here it is:

Sir Wallace sez: The name of my tree is Lady Guinevere, as she was (apparently) the only one standing after all of all of the knights of the round table perished. This was the ONLY tree left with colour when I went out to take pics.

Anyone who is reading about this for the first time might think Sir Wallace a little odd with all this "Knights and Ladies" stuff, but I started it with naming my tree the King of Autumn and inviting pretenders to the throne, usurpers, etc.

I was super pleased to get this late entry... it made the December deadline kind of worth it. Now those of you who haven't entered but were thinking about it have one last chance to make it EVEN MORE worth it!


The "y'all" is dedicated to the twisted Texans who choose to read this blog despite its decidedly Canadian (maple-y) flavour. I love you guys and gals, especially when you make worthwhile attempts at getting good fall tree pictures despite being at a distinct disadvantage in terms of foliagity. Yes, "foliagity" is now a word, because I used it and at least one person (you, I bet) understood my meaning. I feel like a God. I Make Words.

If you are reading this, have a tree pic suited to my contest and don't get it in before (or on) Wednesday, December 15, 2010, you will likely regret it for the rest of your life. Or for several really glum seconds. Depends on the person, you know?

Thursday December 16, the post featuring all entries and a method of voting for them will go up. Voting will end at 12:01 AM January 4, 2011. I chose that date because it gives people a chance to recover from new year's hangovers, return to work and start wasting time online again. Some people, you see, stop goofing off on the Internet and enjoy their families and stuff over the holidays. Other people, like me, will be riveted by the voting action on FARATS and pay attention to their loved ones when it is more convenient.

Can you feel the Holiday JoyJoys Yet? Try harder. I mean it. Get Happy, Now! But No Pressure, Really. Except from those you care for. Pressure from them.


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Foreseeable Future Features FARATS Fall Foliage Field Finalized

You know, the way we all get busy and time flies at this time of year, the deadline for the First Annual Rantwick Autumn Tree Smackdown entries (Dec 15) will soon be upon us. If you are somebody who considered entering the smackdown and forgot or just someone who hadn't heard about it until now, I want your 2010 Autumn Tree picture. You could win a small amount of one of the very best potable liquids known to our species (the human one, I mean, not the bike or tree freak one).

Since we're getting close I don't want to preview any of the entries for fear of influencing votes, so here are some pictures of Autumn trees from a different angle. This little log jam has been accumulating against the footing of a bridge on one of my commute routes. On a morning featuring a nice mix of Autumn sunlight and available time a few weeks ago, I took these pics (click 'em to see larger versions):

Preceding photographs Copyright © 2010 Rantwick. No Rights Reserved. Do whatever you want with these photographs. Just don't contact me about it, especially if you make money with them somehow. Then I really don't want to know.

I want more FARATS pictures.


Saturday, November 13, 2010

More FARATS Action! Yay!

Those of us in the know have begun using the FARATS acronym to save time, which is, as far as I know, the point of acronyms. What it stands for is "First Annual Rantwick Autumn Tree Smackdown", a contest that began with the comments on a 2009 Autumn tree post called The King of Autumn.

Steve A of DFW Point-to-Point has submitted his entry after much promising and asking me to wait for Texas weather to catch up with normal people's. Apparently it has, because he has submitted this excellent photo featuring flags, smooth pavement, a bike and, um, a tree:

Thanks all for your entries so far. You know, I love that I can write this blog, ask people to send me pictures for pretty much no reason other than for kicks, and they (you) do! It is so much fun! Don't ever change (unless you are evil),


Friday, November 12, 2010

Feisty Fort Worth Foliage Forwarded For Fun Friday FARATS Fix!

Here's an entry from Rat Trap Press that few will not be tempted to vote for; RTP has called it his "scrappy little Charlie Brown tree" and I must say I like it a lot.

Remember every submission has a chance to win one of the two prizes, so send in your pics!

RTP, I grabbed this most recent pic as your entry... let me know if I should have taken the first one and I'll do that.

I don't know about how things are in other parts of the world, but man, has the cycling weather ever been awesome here in London Ontario. Frost all over everything with clear skies and bright sunlight in the mornings, temps around freezing, no snow.

The scenes on the bike path along the river on my way to work are just mind-blowingly beautiful. I've tried taking pictures, and they look nice, but they fall quite short of showing how sweet the rides have been. I wish every one of you those kinds of rides this Autumn, hopefully this weekend!

Yer Pal,


Thursday, November 4, 2010

2 New FARATS Entries!

I am pleased to have 2 new FARATS entries to share with you.
The first comes from Big Oak of Big Oak Bikes in Indiana. Here's what he had to say:

Here is my official entry into FARATS. This is the LAST tree with leaves I can find. Its neighbor was spectacular last week, but alas, I had no camera, blah, blah, blah, no photo.

Anyway, I'm excited about the prospect of real Canadian maple syrup. I don't like to brag, but I was a maple syrup judge in 1992 for the Wisconsin State Maple Syrup Festival. My in-laws live in Vermont, another maple syrup haven, but I'll bet the glacially-derived soils of southern Ontario and the sweet climate there combine for a delicious syrup. I only hope I have a chance.

I'm looking forward to see how my photo fairs in the competition, but also to see the other photos entered.

And here is his tree;

I am secretly encouraging Big Oak to let me crop his picture for greater single tree oomph, but that's just between you, me and the tree trunk.

The second new entry is from PaddyAnne of Pedal Talk out in Vancouver. Such was her fervour to photograph a killer tree that she crossed the continent... here's some of what she wrote:

"The Empress" lives in Cornwall-on-Hudson, NY. Unfortunately bad weather blew away the leaves of other trees I was following here on the Wet West Coast.

Although seemingly a bit petite, "The Empress" was chosen due to her fresh, dainty, shimmering, etherial and elegant appearance. You can view her from top to bottom, side to side - the picture captures her completely, nothing to hide, nothing to fear.

And here is her entry:

I'm secretly encouraging PaddyAnne to send me a larger picture if she has one, but that's between you, me and the maple root. PaddyAnne also sent these pictures of her "next best" tree... a big bastard she dubbed the Emperor. Here are those non-entries just for kicks.

Thanks PaddyAnne and Big Oak! Those are some pretty sweet trees.

Hey, keep 'em coming! I need at least a few more to make it interesting. There's still lots of time... submissions accepted until Dec 15.


Friday, October 29, 2010

Flexibility Foils FARATS' Foliage Failure!

It would seem that Tracy's tree from yesterday's post is scaring people away from my contest because they no longer feel that they could win. Well I'm gonna fix that, because I've got two unopened tiny jugs of Jakeman's Canada #1 Extra Light maple syrup.

This stuff is pure joyjoy tree-based goodness, believe me. I will send one to the winner of the voting, and one to a randomly selected non-winner! That means that your tree could totally suck and you could still get a prize! So send me your pictures of lame, wind decimated, diseased or otherwise lacking trees! The FARATS isn't just for the beautiful. It is inclusive and welcoming, like some sort of hippie commune for 2010 foliage pictures. I still don't want pictures of lots of trees, just standouts please. You could always crop out the neighbours of a really good tree among many... slash and burn, baby! It's just pixels!

Chandra was kind enough to send some of those ineligible pics for me to post, so here they are. Thanks Chandra!

I'll post on something other than the FARATS next week, I promise. Enjoy your Halloween, everybody! Yer Pal,