Friday, September 06, 2013

Live Bait - In Living Color!

Nikon D90, Nikon 10-24mm lens at 22mm, f/22, 1/60sec, ISO 200
Nikon D90, Nikon 10-24mm lens at 14mm, f/22, 1/60sec, ISO 200
I have a lot to say, but not enough time to say it. (Obama, war, Syria, hypocritical liberals)

So, I'll just post a couple of photographs instead of writing out a half-hearted rant in limited time.

This is a local fishing / bait store on US 1 in Melbourne, Florida.

I have always loved the colors of this place and kept promising myself I'd come by one afternoon when the evening sun was on the front of the building.

I finally did it.

These were my favorite two of this building.

The colors and the sunlight came out very Florida-ey.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Picture Post, Sunday August 18, 2013

Mainly due to health reasons, it had been six years since I had made a trip to my home town of Monroe, Louisiana.

Along with Number One Daughter and Number Two Daughter, I made the sixteen hour drive/ride from Palm Bay, Florida to Monroe during the first week of August and stayed with Sainted Mother while we were there.

People who think Florida is hot and muggy don't have a freakin' clue as to what REAL heat and humidity are.  Lets just say, if I had any toxins in my body that could be sweated out, they were long gone after the first day in Louisiana.

Long trips are rough on a bad back and chronic pain, but I was able to get out and about a little while every day to visit family and one day the three of us headed for the community of Aimoch, Louisiana (considered part of Olla, La.) to visit the graves of my Father, Big Brother and other relatives.  After turning off of US Hwy 165 in Grayson, Louisiana, we stopped to photograph an old red building that was in great looking sunlight.  Out behind the old building were these two guys, watching our every move.  This is my favorite non-family photo from the whole trip.
Nikon D90, Nikon 18-300mm lens at 300mm, f/5.6, 1/800sec, ISO 200
One evening, Big Sis, Friend Marie, Number One Daughter and I went to Black Bayou National Wildlife Refuge, just north of Monroe, Louisiana, to photograph the very, very Louisiana looking bayou scenery and any critters that we might chance upon.  They had some great lotus flowers and killer, huge lily pads.
Nikon D90, Nikon 18-300mm lens at 175mm, f/16, 1/6sec, ISO 800

I had forgotten just how many kooky buildings and strange "things" that can be seen on just about any rural road in Louisiana.  I could drive for hours on Florida's country roads and rarely see stuff worth stopping for.  Not so in Louisiana.  This was along Hwy 165 between Columbia and Grayson Louisiana.  It looks just like the man in the blown-up space suit in the comedy movie "Rocket Man" to me.
Nikon D90, Nikon 18-300mm lens at 56mm, f/10, 1/400sec, ISO 200

Simply the lovely sunset at Black Bayou NWR that we saw that day.  I liked the way my super wide lens made the clouds look.
Nikon D90, Nikon 10-24mm lens at 10mm, f/16, 1/40sec, ISO 200

The Ouachita River (pronounced WASH-itaw) separates Monroe from West Monroe, Louisiana.  If you watch or have seen A&E's Duck Dynasty TV show, it is shot in and around West Monroe.  In this photo, I'm standing on the banks of the Ouachita in Monroe, looking across to West Monroe.  Just another of thousands of US rivers to most people, but I always though the Ouachita was a pretty river.  This photo is about half a mile from my old high school, Neville High School.
Nikon D90, Nikon 10-24mm lens at 10mm, f/22, 1/160sec, ISO 200

Have a great Sunday!
God bless all of you.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Their Sneaky Ploy Worked!

I was doing some channel surfing earlier after watching some Netflix.

The Science Channel is always one of my first stops when surfing; I'm a sucker for a good astronomy / cosmology show.  (BTW, is it a law or something that Michio Kaku has to be on every single science show made these days?  Seems like it, but I digress.)

Anyway, when I arrived at the Science Channel, "Build It Bigger" was on.

I watched a couple of minutes of the construction of a huge hydroelectric dam being built in Turkey (the Deriner dam), then they were going to break for commercials.

But before the commercials, the show had a teaser question. "Which country on Earth has the most large dams?" and promised to provide the answer when they came back to the show from the commercials.

So I patiently sat through Progressive insurance commercial and others and then the show came back.

Did you know that China has more than half of the world's 48,000 large dams?  I didn't either.

Then it hit me.

I had totally fallen for it.

I sat through the two minutes of commercials just so I could find out which country in the world had the most dams.

Those sneaky Science Channel / Build It Bigger producers!  They KNEW that I would be compelled wait and learn that tidbit about dams.

I have long known that I'm a science geek - you don't work your way through the pain of engineering school without being one - but I still totally fell for that simple commercial ploy just to learn one more science-ish fact.

I'm such a dweeb.

But I guess there are worse things to be.

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

Happy New Year to Y'all, 2013

When Good Intentions Get Trampled by Reality:

It's over in the evening, almost dark on January 1, 2013.

As 2012 came rushing to a close through November and December, I began to have a little up-tick in my spirit; I felt that I was turning a corner and had that almost forgotten feeling that I used to get when I had the courage to make big changes for the better in my life.

Oh well, so much for that plan.

My back problems and chronic pain have made the past few years of little consequence when it comes to moving forward and achieving goals in my life.

I call them health issues because I have a screwed up back and hurt all the time, but at the same time I've never felt that "health issues" or "health problems" is the right way to put what I deal with.

To me, health problems is more along the lines of sickness.  Sickness is usually acute, and can kill you quick.

Skeletal problems that have been repaired as best the doctors can do and continuing chronic pain doesn't sound or feel like sickness to me, so mentally I feel I should be able to struggle with my pain, struggle through my pain and confidently still attain my dreams and goals, albeit on a slower trajectory.

Yeah. Right.

December found me feeling increasingly bad - just generally bad - and then to top it all off, my back began hurting in certain new spots.  Hurting as in when the pain hit, I would yell out with no control, as if a mule kicked me in the back.  Just instant 0-10 level pain jump and after a few seconds, the pain would begin to taper off, only to leave me breathless, shocked and relieved that the episode was over.

On Christmas Day, a light was shined on my new issues when I went to pee about 1pm.

Peeing felt like I was passing sulfuric acid, and it hurt so bad that my body fought itself, both to relieve my full bladder, and to not pee so the burning would stop.

Long story short, I had a pretty nasty urinary track infection.  The tests run so far have indicated I have kidney stones, but with it being the holidays, getting x-rays and confirming various possibilities has been progressing at a snail's pace.

As I sit here this first day of a new year, I WANT to be working lickety-split on getting out of the rut I've been in for the past three years or so with my chronic pain.

But along with the chronic pain, I now face the dilemma of getting to the bottom of my kidney stone problem, because, though the antibiotics have almost cleared me of my infection, I still have the new pain, theoretically from kidney stones.

Kinda puts a crimp in the idea of hitting the ground of the new year running, you know?

I've never been a New Year's resolution kind of guy, but I hoped that the spiritual surge I was getting into at the end of 2012 would help me get a good start in being diligent in working on my (admittedly simple) goals for the new year.

Instead, I begin 2013 with that old "the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak" situation instead.

But I am SO thankful for a loving and supportive family; my lack of progress on where I'd like to be heading in my life exists only in my head.

All of this reminds me to 1. Be thankful to God for all the wonderful people and things in my life, and 2. That my problems aren't life threatening (at this point) so I know I can get back on track, if very slowly instead of quickly.

First priorities of this new year are to get on track health wise, and to get better on my guitar.   That's it.  Down to two goals from about one thousand always kicking around in my head ten years ago.  

Simple as these two goals sound, they're actually pretty lofty from where I am right now. 

Just wanted to post a blog post on Jan. 1, and now, have metronome and guitar; time for some scales, baby!

God bless all of you.