Thursday, November 26, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving, Thursday November 26, 2015

I have to say that, in a lot of ways, life has been kinda rough this year.

But every single time I even think about feeling sorry for myself, something or someone comes along in my life to remind me just how good I have it.

If nothing else, I have lived 53 years, even if I didn't always make the most of every day.

My older brother Paul died in 2001 at age 41.

I have lived twelve years more than he got to.

Thank you God, for all of your many blessings in my life.

Thank you God, for my life, my wife, daughters, sister-in-law, and son-in-law, and all the others I've been blessed to call family and friends, but who have moved on from this life.

God please bless America, though we're more wicked than ever and might not deserve your blessing. 

I know for sure we didn't deserve Jesus, and you sent him and he came willingly, and the Holy Spirit bore Him up and now guides us here while we wait for Jesus' return.

Happy Thanksgiving and God bless whomever might read this, whenever you read this.

Sunday, November 22, 2015


"...Socialist governments traditionally do make a financial mess. They always run out of other people's money. It's quite a characteristic of them. They then start to nationalise everything, and people just do not like more and more nationalisation..."  -- Margaret Thatcher

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Something Completely Different from the Paris Terrorist Attacks

The last few days, with the islamic terrorist attacks in Paris, I've read and digested as much as I can.

Then President Obama speaks and all that I though I had digested curdles and makes me want to puke.

President Obama is the weakest, wimpiest President, well, certainly in my 53 years here.

So, instead of continuing to whine about the non-existent leadership from "the leader of the free world," I will post a pretty picture.

Posting a pretty picture for people to look at is at least as effective as President Obama's non-response to islamic terrorism in this world.

Photo taken at Melbourne Harbor Marina, Melbourne, Fla., on November 10, 6:49am.

Nikon D750, Nikkor 28-300mm lens at 190mm, f/32 ,  1/20sec., ISO 100

Sunday, February 08, 2015

People Photography

People photography is not my specialty.

I am not a confrontational person, and when you're as big as I am, when I try to get close with my camera to people, their reaction kills whatever potential photo I saw.
Nikon D90, 18-300mm lens at 48mm, f/11, 1/160sec, ISO 200

You have to be a good people person and have a lot of personal charm to get good people photos, like a great street photographer does.

Saturday, I hobbled around downtown Melbourne for a little while, the afternoon light was glorious (as was the whole day).

At one point, I could see amazing light on the west-facing buildings of a side street. so I followed the light.

When I wander with my camera, I just look for interesting light around me and walk over there, good photographs invariably present themselves.

On the other side of the small street, where the light was great, a tattoo artist came out of his shop and sat down for a smoke.

Nikon D90, 18-300mm lens at 95mm, f/11, 1/160sec, ISO 200
He looked up at me and I pointed at my camera and asked if he minded if I took a photo or two of him and his shop.

He asked what the photos were for (people often ask if I work for the newspaper), and I said they're just for me.  I told him I'd lived here for eighteen years and I had realized that if I moved away I wouldn't have photos that represent this area as I saw it.  That I was trying to now take photos that would more completely show how I see the area where I live.

He said he didn't mind and set about doing stuff on his smart phone.

I took these photos.  

Thanks to Matt at Low Tide Tattoos!
Nikon D90, 18-300mm lens at 34mm, f8, 1/160sec, ISO 200

Nikon D90, 18-300mm lens at 48mm, f/11, 1/160sec, ISO 200
Nikon D90, 18-300mm lens at 95mm, f/11, 1/160sec, ISO 200

Monday, February 02, 2015

Why I Didn't Watch Yesterday's Superbowl

I'm fifty-two years old.

I have had four back surgeries, have the metal rods and screws along my spine to prove it, and now have chronic back and leg pain to the point that I have a morphine pain pump in my side with a catheter that runs around my side to my spine.

At the end of the catheter is a needle that is stitched in place where the tip is inside the intrathecal space (where the spinal cord and spinal fluid are).

I get a few milligrams of morphine every twenty-four hours to keep me from going insane, or simply curling up in bed and giving up on life.

I hurt anyway, but most times, I can have a life.  Not anything like before my injuries, but still, I'm happy to be here.

And this, from a guy who once took pride in how much physical pain I could take.  I could shake off things that would make many crumble.  That was some misplaced pride, let me tell you.

I don't say all of this for sympathy, I am constantly aware of people around me and in the world who have it so much worse than I do.  I thank God for my many blessings every day.  I AM blessed.

But dealing with all the pain changes a person's thoughts, personality, and desires; no helping it, it just does.

On to NFL football...

When young, I loved watching Pro football.  I still love college football, I watch it a lot every fall, but I have totally lost my love for Pro Football.

I guess the eternal cycling of young men through college football keeps it fresh and exciting to my mind.  Pro football, not so much.  Not at all is more accurate.

Now if the New Orleans Saints had been in the Superbowl again, I would have definitely watched.  I'm a Louisiana boy who grew up in the era of Saints fans wearing paper sacks over their heads to hide in shame over our team's pitiful performances on the field.  The Saints back in the Superbowl, I would definitely watch.  For whatever reason as a kid, I loved the Minnesota Vikings, Fran Tarkenton was a childhood hero for me on and off the field, a real can-do guy.  I loved the Houston Oilers, Earl Campbell is still my most favorite pro player of all time to have watched on the field.  And of course, the Saints.  The hapless but lovable Saints.

But with the Patriots playing the Seahawks in the 2015 Superbowl, I forget which dumb Roman numeral they are up to, well, that was just too big of a yawn to me to invest my time.

The weather here has been so beautiful this week, sunny with a few puffy, cotton boll clouds, and a light breeze in case you almost started sweating.

If you haven't been to central or south Florida in the winter, I can just say there's a reason so many elderly people retire here, and that reason ain't Disney World; it's our winter weather.

So, yesterday, my back is only hurting normally, so I can steel my mind and try to do stuff anyway, AND I had a great desire to get out and take some photos with my camera.  I also needed to go to the grocery store for a few items, those in-between major grocery shopping trips items. I just wanted to stop at a a couple of local parks or something along the way to scratch this terrible itch to photograph something.  I wasn't expecting anything new, this is old, well-documented ground for me and my camera.

As often happens, I headed toward the beach, but started seeing interesting things in the golden evening light along the way, so I never made it to the beach.

Yesterday I learned that revisiting places I have photographed many times can still throw a few surprises, and therefore great new photo opportunities, at me.

This blog post is sprinkled with some of the photos I took while the rest of the world gorged on beer, pizza, chips, and Superbowl football.

Then, as a bonus, Walmart was as close to empty as I had ever seen it in many years, so shopping was fairly easy for me, no crowds or lines at the registers when checking out.

All in all it was a much better time for me than watching that game could ever have been, well, unless the Saints had been in there.

But probably even better than that scenario as well.

These were the only Saints I was able to see yesterday...

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Favorite Photo of Atlas V Rocket Launch, Tuesday, January 20, 2015

This is the same post as on my John's Daily Digital Images blog for today.

Nikon D90, Nikon 10-24mm lens at 10mm, f/16, 139 seconds, ISO 200
Crop of above photo

I live about forty miles (65km) south of Kennedy Space Center.  You've heard of that.
Just south of Kennedy Space Center is Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, where many rocket launches also happen, especially US military sponsored launches (Secure military base).  This puts this photo having been taken from about thirty miles south of the launch, as the crow flies.
This was a US Navy satellite being lifted to orbit on this Atlas V.
I knew the launch was that day, but sat, searching Google Earth for a good local location to get a time exposure shot of the launch.
I settled on, and went to Ballard Park, set up and took a few practice shots and waited.
When I saw a big portion of the sky light up behind those palm trees, I started my exposure.
This is one of my best photos I've taken in a long, long time.

The second photo is a crop of the first.
I just loved the way the light through those clouds looked there above that home and palm trees.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Picture Post, Sunday January 18, 2015

January 18th already?!
Sorry I didn't get this up this morning.  Doesn't really matter since no one sees them, but here they are anyway.

Here are some sunset photos I took this week.
I had a back doctor appointment to adjust my intrathecal pain pump, a trip to the pharmacy, and I hoped I'd be through before sunset.  (I HATE the early sunset time in winter.)

I found a local park on the Indian River Lagoon (of Indian River fruit fame) that I had never been to. Better, I had never even known this park existed and it was an exciting find.

I got there after the sun had set, and there were few clouds to catch the after-sunset color glow on the clouds, but it was a gorgeous sunset nonetheless.

Without further ado, sunset photos taken Friday, January 16, 2014.  Pretty fresh, eh?
Nikon D90, Nikon 18-300 lens at 40mm, f/16, 1/20sec, ISO 200

Nikon D90, Nikon 18-300 lens at 190mm, f/16, 1/60sec, ISO 800

Nikon D90, Nikon 18-300 lens at 220mm, f/16, 1/30sec, ISO 200

Nikon D90, Nikon 18-300 lens at 300mm, f/16, 1/30sec, ISO 200

This final photo has Venus and Mercury in the upper, center, blue part of the sky.  (Click to enlarge the photos.) That is, if I remember my astronomy correctly.

Nikon D90, Nikon 18-300 lens at 52mm, f/11, 1/8sec, ISO 1600

 God bless you, and have a great week!

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Picture Post, Sunday January 11, 2015

A week ago today, Jan. 4, I saw some great light in the afternoon.
I grabbed my camera bag, and despite the back and leg pain, headed for the Atlantic Ocean. Cabin fever seemed to have set in, and it was so nice outside.
Well, I never made it to the ocean.
I was almost to US Highway 1 in Palm Bay and as I approached a train crossing, I thought the crossing lights and such would make some interesting photos.
I love big mechanical things.
I parked in between some palm trees that decorate the median of the road and got out for a few minutes.
Nikon D90, 18-300 lens at 18mm, f/22, 1/25 sec., ISO 200
Nikon D90, 18-300mm lens at 120mm, f/11, 1/100sec, ISO 200
Nikon D90, 18-300mm lens at 30mm, f/11, 1/100sec, ISO 200
Nikon D90, 18-300mm lens at 48mm, f/11, 1/200sec, ISO 200
Nikon D90, 18-300mm lens at 38mm, f/16, 1/50sec, ISO 200
Nikon D90, 18-300mm lens at 18mm, f/8, 1/60sec, ISO 200
God Bless You!  Have a great day.

Wednesday, January 07, 2015

Paris Murders Over Mohammed Cartoons 1/7/15

The "religion of peace," islam, whose followers believe it is blasphemy to create an image representing their false prophet, the pedophile Mohammed, have expressed their love of their fellow man once again by shooting and killing twelve people in Paris.  The people killed worked for a paper/magazine which had dared print photo cartoons of Mohammed.

Radical islamists are acting in world societies as a virus more than a religion.

They are scumbag murderers who revere a murderous pedophile.

Above is an original cartoon by J.J. McCullough.

Meanwhile in the US, the Obama administration waits before making a statement, to decide whether the murderous shooters shouting Allahu Akbar were performing an act of terrorism or if it was just workplace violence.  Idiots.

Sunday, January 04, 2015

Picture Post, Sunday January 4, 2015

I once loved posting my Picture Post posts on this blog most Sundays.

The sad truth is that most of these days, if I got up and grabbed my camera to head out for shooting, I'd have to stop and sit on my front porch for a while because of my back and leg pain.  I've learned the hard way there are levels of pain that will absolutely shut you down, none of this grit-your-teeth-and-do-it-anyway psychobable.  I get out and shoot when I can, and don't when I can't.

Also, I guess posting occasionally on Facebook kinda scratches the same itch that once got scratched by blogging, so I don't blog much any more.

But I like the ability to shout at the world on a blog post (even if I know good and well that no one will read it and comment) and that is nowhere near the same feeling as commenting on things on Facebook.

But here goes at least one more Picture Post, to try and start 2015 off on a good foot.

This first photo was taken last January, 23, 2014 on the boardwalk on the Atlantic Ocean beach at Indialantic, Florida. It is an 85 second exposure of an Atlas V rocket taking off from Cape Canaveral, about 35 miles (55km) north of us "as the crow flies."  It was carrying a telecommunications satellite.
Nikon D90, Nikon 18-300mm lens at 18mm, f/11, 85 seconds, ISO 200
This next photo was taken at Rich Grissom Memorial Wetlands (ususally called Viera Wetlands here locally) in Viera, Florida.  A really pretty, small park with an astonishing number of critters to see and photograph.
Nikon D90, Nikon 18-300mm lens at 18mm, f/11, 1/60sec, ISO 200
And here's a photo of one of the above-mentioned critters at Viera Wetlands.  A white ibis.
Nikon D90, Nikon 18-300mm lens at 300mm, f/14, 1/250sec, ISO 200
Here's a seagull lineup on a railing at Front Street Park in Melbourne, Florida.  The park is a popular boat launching site on the Indian River Lagoon (Intracoastal Waterway).  One of the seagulls in the middle seemed to be giving me a wary eye.
Nikon D90, Nikon 18-300mm lens at 300mm, f/5.6, 1/200sec, ISO 200
This final photo was taken in mid-December, 2014 in Indialantic, Florida.  Number Two Daughter and I were to pick up Lovely Wife from work and had a couple of hours to kill.  So we killed them by going and looking at some of the local Christmas decorations.  I have always loved these simple, pole-mounted decorations, mainly because I've seen them all my life in both small towns and big cities.  Just a pretty and simple Christmas decoration to brighten anyone's day.

Have a blessed day!

Thursday, January 01, 2015

Happy New Year 2015

I remember back when I was in high school in the late 1970s, I would sometimes calculate forward to see how old I would be in the year 2000.

I would be / turned 38 in the year 2000.

And now that's fifteen years ago.


Happy New Year everyone.  God bless you this year!

Sunset photo taken at Juan Ponce de Leon Landing, Melbourne Beach, Fla. on Wednesday 12/10/2014.

Nikon D90, Nikon 18-300mm lens at 280mm, f/32, 1/40sec, ISO 200