Sunday, November 6, 2016

A drive in the country

Today I took a short drive out into the farm country. I live in the suburbs in Minneapolis, and in a mere 8 miles to the west, you will find yourself surrounded by farms houses and fields.

I grew up in a small town of about 800. I lived on the edge of town, near a small farm, and my father's  job was spent supporting farmers with their fuel and chemical needs. I not lived in a small town since 1980, so it is somewhat of a treat for me go go back into the country, park the car and just listen to the sound of the wind and the noises of a farm. I also notice the many smells that can overpower a person not used to it quickly. You got used to that, and it became just part of the landscape of your life.

This kind of place is where I started out with so many years ago. I did not want to stay - that was certain, and moved to the Twin Cities within a few years after leaving. What I miss about the small town is the fact that people know you. I am a faceless person in the suburbs. I rarely ever see someone I know at Target, or any other store. I hardly know most of the people who live in the neighborhood.

I did not realize how nice it was to grow up in a place where you knew many of the people around you. I never really appreciated it until recently, as I have gone back many times to meet relatives for research on the family tree, for reunions, and sadly, the funerals of my parents.

Here are a few picture of the country just to the west of us. It is not where I grew up, but it the same in spirit.






Monday, October 24, 2016

A beautiful fall day in the woods

Today was one of the most calm and beautiful fall days I have seen.  It was a perfect day for a walk in the woods.

I have been doing many walks in the woods with my camera the last month. I lost my job of over 14 years a month ago, and in those times when I need to get away from my computer, I take my Nikon and head out into nearby parks and woods. I am lucky to live near so many great places to go, including right behind our house.  

As I walk through the woods today, surrounded by the colorful leaves and chirping birds, I started to think about all that has happened in the last few years  My beloved cat passing, then my mom going through health problems and passing away last May, health scares to family close to me, and now my job loss.

Then I came upon this scene of the sun coming through the trees. My lens didn't work right so it is blurry, but here is the photo regardless. The camera can't capture how beautiful it was. It was a moment where I thought that I need to be thankful that my family is healthy and happy, and that I can't forget to look at all of the great things around me. While the stress of unemployment is not easy, it is not the end of the world, and I have skills that are needed. It just takes time.

I also use my walks in the woods to talk to my parents, who have both passed on.  I am not a spiritual person, but I like to think that maybe they are around me in some form. My mom loved nature, particularly butterflies, She was always picking things up and making crafts out of them. My dad liked to hunt, but I think he just liked being outside as he never really shot anything.

I know there are so many of us out there looking for the next chapter in our professional lives.  It will happen. I am looking forward to where my professional walk takes me.

 

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 http://zenpencils.com/comic/frida/


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.