Saturday, October 8, 2016

My passion for photography

This past year I have gotten back into nature photography in a big way. I used to do this many years ago when I used Kodachrome. With digital photography, I can take as many as I want, and in the process, hope that I get at least one or two that are good.

The past two years have been tough ones for me. The loss of my mother, health scares, and now the loss of my job a few weeks ago. Getting out with my camera is the one thing I can do to relieve the stress and feel like I am accomplishing something. It has woken up something inside of me that has long been dormant.

I don't have the best camera or lenses, but I make do with what I have.  It works for me. Sometimes I don't even get a good photo. I missed the shot, or it is blurry or not properly exposed.  But that is ok. It is just the thrill of getting outside and taking a long walk that is important. Along the way I have discovered the beauty of a bee closeup on a flower, a bird in a tree, or a wildflower off the beaten path.

Cameras are Nikon D5100 and D60, with Tamron zoom lens with marco and Nikon 50mm with close up filters.

Friday, October 7, 2016

Frida Kahlo

I was recently watching a video about the Blue House in Mexico City, where Frida Kahlo lived her life and where she died. I knew very little about her, mostly from the movie "Frida." Her paintings did not do much for me until I read about the pain she suffered from her injuries in an accident.  Now I understand why she painted the way she did.

On September 17, 1925, Kahlo was on her way home from school when the wooden bus she was riding collided with a streetcar. Several people were killed, and Kahlo suffered nearly fatal injuries--an iron handrail impaled her through her pelvis, fracturing the bone, and she also fractured several ribs, her legs, and a collarbone.

The accident ended Kahlo's dreams of becoming a doctor, and she experienced pain and illness for the rest of her life. To occupy herself during her recovery, she began to paint with the aid of a special easel that made it possible for her to paint in bed, and a mirror that was placed above her so that she could see herself.

Kahlo once said, "I paint myself because I am so often alone and because I am the subject I know best." 

I am somewhat fascinated with her now.  She seemed way ahead of her time.

The artwork below was what made me look into Frida.  It is from Zen Pencils, and is about accepting who you are and being proud of what makes you different. Click here to view

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Allman Brothers Band newspapers from 1970s

Here are a few fun things from newspapers around the US when Duane Allman was still alive. and a few pictures I found that were new to me.

July 1971
May 1, 1970

Sunday, May 15, 2016

the bible verses no one talks about

I found this online.  I was not taught these verses in bible school.  They sugar coated it all and wrapped it up in a nice package and expected me to believe it all instead of thinking on my own. It is sad to think that because I simply chose not to believe in this that I am considered an immoral person in the USA.  

Thursday, November 5, 2015

2004 Gibson Les Paul Studio

I have just purchased this beautiful guitar for a super low price.  It is not often you come across a mint condition 11 year old guitar.  Gibson did it right on this. The frets are perfect, it stays in tune even with my aggressive style of playing, is not too heavy and easy on the shoulder, and looks great.  It sounds like a Les Paul should with the alnico pickups, played through a Vox Tone Lab and a Fender Mustang v.2.  I have a smile on my face every time I pick this up to play.  My last Les Paul was sold in 2001. I switched over to Fender Telecasters and Stratocasters for the last 15 years, but also own the Epiphone Les Paul and a recently sold Agile AL 2000.

I like the Epiphone, but fear its days are numbered, as the Les Paul replaces it. I was not fond of Les Paul Studios, as I have played quite a few over the years. But this one just was made perfectly.

There has been lots of Gibson bashing over the years on the guitar forums. Some of that may be justified. But when you find the right one, they are just magic.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Cowboys in Christ - this is real!

I really wanted this to be satire. But sadly, it is not.  I am not sure Jesus would approve of a rifle with his name on it.  I am not religious, but this is just sad.   Cowboys in Christ - loaded and ready to praise god.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Epiphone Les Paul Custom Blackback

I stopped in my local guitar center a few weeks back. I have not been there for awhile, as I was not in the market for any new guitar.  However, this one caught my eye.

This is the new Les Paul Custom Blackback, which is a tribute to the 1970s era of Les Paul Customs. It reminded me of the Les Paul Custom that Mick Ronson played for many years, which had a natural maple top stripped of its black paint, with the rest of the guitar being left black. This guitar has an ivory top, with the rest of the guitar in black.  I spent a few minutes with it, plugged into a small Fender Blues Jr.  Great for any rock music, turn off the distortion and it warms up for nice smooth jazzy tone. A bit heavy, but one can get used to that. New, these are $600. Used, around $450. So I bought one for that price. Love it, and plan to play it for many years to come.

I know for a few hundred extra I could have had a used Gibson Les Paul Studio or one of the faded models.  I just liked this one better and like the fact that it was only $450

While all Les Pauls share common design features, the Les Paul Custom Blackback differed from the Les Paul Standard with a solid mahogany body but without a maple cap. Epiphone's LP Custom Blackback follows that tradition by using a solid, carved mahogany body for a slightly mellower tone. Like the originals, the Epiphone Les Paul Custom Blackback is fitted with a solid mahogany neck that is hand-fitted with a glued-in joint for optimum neck-to-body contact, which allows the body and neck to act like one continuous piece of wood. The neck features a very comfortable and fast "SlimTaper "D" profile that has become the most popular profile found on today's Les Pauls. The result is a tribute to Les' timeless guitar design with the sound and feel that you can only get from a real Les Paul.

Classic Electronics
At the heart of the Les Paul Custom Blackback is a pair of Epiphone Alnico Classic Open-Top humbucking pickups. Patterned after Gibson '57 Classics, these pickups combine Alnico-V magnets with enamel wire to give you a tone that is both warm and subtle with a full, even response that doesn't hold back when you need that classic humbucker crunch. The neck pickup is an Alnico Classic while the bridge pickup is an Alnico Classic Plus. The "Plus" is slightly over wound for a higher output without sacrificing its rich, vintage tone.