Saturday, August 30, 2008

Evidence... of a crime...


“Justice in the life and conduct of the State is possible only as first it resides in the hearts and souls of the citizens”

~ Plato

sooo... I've made several allusions to trouble here. Plainly stated - I lost my job. Fired actually...

...and I haven't been fired from a job since I was 18 and lost my job as an assistant manager at a McDonald's. In fact, if you're in southern California and know the Lomita area at all, there is a McDonalds on Hwy 101 just west of the intersection with Western. At one time that store was owned by Warren Dobbins, brother-in-law to McD founder Ray Kroc.

I can semi-proudly point and say: "Big Mac. I was there when it was the burger "New" to America. And here it is 38 years later and the Big Mac tastes the same. Thats technology at its finest... ain't industrial evolution grand? The riches we produce! It boggles the mind. But anyway... about getting fired.

I was just a teenager. Only 18. And it was a warm summer night in Southern Cal... and every couple of weeks or so we had to clean out and sterilize the ice machine. Well, this particular evening there was a veritable plethora of ice, an overflow of glacial proportions - probably about 30 gals worth. We dumped it in the parking lot and closed the store. And, like I said, it was a warm evening. A great evening for an ice fight. At 3 a.m...

And who woulda ever guessed that the neighbors would complain about a rowdy bunch of teenage boys running around throwing ice at each other? Me neither (then). A few months later I was off to basic training...

Well this time, once again, I was in trouble for my off-time activities. In fact I was in trouble for what I did on my day off. Even tho' what I was doing I was doing on my time, at my home. (Now, I have much more to say on this topic but now isn't the time, I'm still trying to get my job back...) But, in the interest of true journalistic integrity I repeated the activity in a remote and isolated location, so as to keep any citizens who otherwise may have been nearby, safe. Because, apparently, this activity (even tho' done on my time) so endangers others -- or, perhaps, even the order of the universe -- that my dismissal was immediate and negotiating on the issue with the head guys of the company was not an option.

Simply put, one achy, cranky morning I puffed a bit of herb. Or in english, I smoked a marijuana cigarette (only part of one actually). And in line with that quirky sense of humor the universe has, the next day I was drawn as the participant in a random drug test. Which is why I removed myself to a remote location for my repeat act as a matter and means of recording the devastation this act would surely wreak upon the social fabric, if not ripping apart the inherent order of the natural landscape itself... Lord knows the danger involved!

So, the following images are evidence... of a crime. (A crime at least in the minds of a very few). Enjoy... and pardon my sarcasm.

Be forewarned! The following images were all taken under the influence of an illegal substance and may be disturbing to some:

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Shooting Holes in the Sky...


“Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, the providence moves too. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one's favor all manner of unforeseen incidents, meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamt would have come his way.”

~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

...continuing on from last post while remaining cryptic in my descriptions I can only say I have suddenly been blessed with an ample amount of time to work on my photgraphy and writing...

So, I'm going to start 2 or 3 new blogs. The first one is created - Shooting Holes in the Sky. This will be my first book. In digital form. Some pages are ready but it will be a work in progress and will finish when complete. It may end up 50 pages or so... or 300. Each post will be a page.

And, considering it will be a book in blog form I'm gonna have to decide if it will be a blook or a bloog. Let me know which... anyway... here it is, the official unveiling of Shooting Holes in the Sky...

Let me know what you think. If it actually generates any interest I may try some self publishing of a hardcover.

The other two blogs will serve dual purpose in segregating different aspects of the Morning Donut. One of the blogs will be my online portfolio, pretty much images only, where I can send interested clients. The blog will feature all the different aspects of what I do, portraits and weddings, action and events, landscapes/flora/fauna/nature and my architectural/commercial/agri-industrial work.

Hopefully a few of you out there may know some photo editors, photo agents... or folks wanting a quality photographer's services.

The other blog will be an assembly of Opal Creek and Pablo related writing and images.

I'll add links somewhere in the left hand column, as they develop. New blogs coming from Google's blogger, of course.

“Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.”

~ Mahatma Gandhi


Thursday, August 14, 2008

sigh... part 2...


“If I were asked to give what I consider the single most useful bit of advice for all humanity it would be this: Expect trouble as an inevitable part of life and when it comes, hold your head high, look it squarely in the eye and say, 'I will be bigger than you. You cannot defeat me.'”

~ Ann Landers

Bummer... bad day yesterday, but I'll get into it in a future post. I was gonna start by relating that old saw about the Chinese ideogram for "crisis" being comprised of both danger and opportunity. Like a good googling researcher I let my fingers do the walking...

... and ended up... in a den of lawyers! So it seems there is dissension out there that says a lot of these ideogramatic notions are just that, notions... BTW the discussion at that link is throughly enjoyable, intelligent (sometimes witty)... but when those notions smack up against reality and we are knee deep in the doo that life tends to throw our direction, what better way to alter the situation than turn it positive, even if escape is the sole positive aspect? What else is there to do, whine?

Anyway... I'm going to have to get back to you on that trouble when I climb out of this pit... until then, here's some more pics. Just of what I see around here at the farm. Enjoy, and thanks for stopping by.

Late afternoon sun gives wonderful light...

... and one thing about late afternoon/early evening is that sunset comes after. And if you stay and watch a sunset it can go from this

to this

and then the moon comes up! If that just ain't too cool...


“If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my child may have peace”

~ Thomas Paine


Sunday, August 10, 2008



“I can do no other than be reverent before everything that is called life. I can do no other than to have compassion for all that is called life. That is the beginning and the foundation of all ethics.”

~ Albert Schweitzer

OK. I know somewhere out there is that person or company who can use my services as a photographer. I know that as a photographer I do good work. And I know I continue to get better. I am enjoying photography again in a way that exceeds any other point in all my past decades of pointing a lens and clicking a shutter. The darkroom was always fun and even the chemical smells were a familiar, enjoyable and comfortable part of my life.

But digital photography... is liberating far, far beyond what I had ever imagined. The ability to shoot and shoot... and shoot... and then to be able to play with an image and do things with it almost instantaneously with a few clicks of my mouse... wow. I love it.

So... c'mon. Where is that job, or those assignments? I suppose I oughta post my resume... but that is just so... industrial. As a technologically gifted Luddite I cringe. I'm different and I know I'm different. But I'm also just a regular guy. Blue collar, divorced, single dad raising 2 kids...

For those of you on drugs, I'll repeat:

if you have photographic needs -- portraits, weddings, natural scenics, events -- contact me. My email is on the sidebar on the left. I'd like to achieve a modicum of success while I'm alive (thank you very much!) and not become known as a talented photographer posthumously...

And... add to that that I can write. I know I'm no Pulitzer winner and I'm not prone to flowing, flowery prose but I write well, in a style that is comfortable for me and my readers. And I can research, interview... kick sand or grovel shamelessly (hey, even that time when I was hitchhiking and I sat in the backseat of a '68 Impala with a loaded 45 pointed six inches from my nose by someone high on PCP, traveling on a narrow 2 lane highway at 60 miles an hour, I avoided begging, I'll go shameless but not shameful)...

Anyway, pardon my self promotion. I'm just working to avoid the day when I have to become the greeter at MalWart...

I really wanted to talk some politics. The Olympics in particular, but just you know... stuff. Like my daughter's trip to Belize where she spent time in a small town with friends of the family. And was the guest of one of my old employers, Bill Conde. Search the name on Google. Or visit his website. Here is Bill these days. Poor guy, hanging out in the Carribean. Life in exile...

Now when I do have a real block of time I'm gonna havta get into that whole experience and share my attitude about this nation's second failed attempt at prohibition... our War On (some) Drugs. Aka Prohibition II... or maybe Prohibition 2.0... or it could even become a modern horror film with the title:

"Prohibition Vampires" or...

or even...

... and I thought about maybe talking baseball.

You know.. as an allegory for life. Teamwork and individual effort combining for success... that sort of thing.

But nah... I'll save all that for some day when I'm needing something to kick. I mean kicking the WO(s)D, not baseball... Today? Well...

... its Sunday morning and it is really really nice out... and there are blackberries to pick... cobbler to cook... mmm... blackberry cobbler...


Here, for your viewing pleasure, are this week's visual offerings:

“Some people see things that are and ask, Why? Some people dream of things that never were and ask, Why not? Some people have to go to work and don't have time for all that ...”

~ George Carlin


Sunday, August 3, 2008

another summer Sunday morning...


In summer, the song sings itself.

~ William Carlos Williams


The routines of summer continue. Work, home, tired, sleep and get up and do it again... but what I wake up to each day -- and knowing because I woke up that it has the possibility of being a really good day -- is so satisfying, so pleasing, in such a gentle, subtle and sublime way...

I'm up most every day before sunrise, anywhere between 4:30 and 6 a.m. The grass fields around me, the hills, farms and sky

all make for a great environment. I'm blessed with a surrounding that I love.

And my camera is always at hand.

The grass fields change constantly. But now in summer they change most dramatically (in a visual sense). I work hard in my photography to combine all the lessons I've learned over these now many decades into images that are pleasing, full of line, depth of dimension, color and tone... and the world is always only a camera-grab away from being a picture. There is nothing around us in this world that if framed right isn't an image waiting for a pn artist to witness it. And here at the farm... wow. The long light and shadows of sunrise. Geese honking, feeding in the grass, in flight, coming here or going from here to wherever their next here is.

And I think. When it is quiet, dawn doing its day-wakening thing, I'm driven to those early daydreams of possibilities. I have a visison of where I want to go and what I want to do with this last half of my life. The photos I share here with you are all bricks in that path... so...

I'm off to wander for an hour or two and when I come back I'll post 'em. Too bad you won't be around for some more of those blackberry pancakes... I'll be sure and tell you how good they were.

I'll be right back...


Well... no blackberries picked. I got busy with my camera. What a nice morning... that low, warm light is great stuff... it adds so much contrast and depth of color

but when looked at in different ways, from a different direction, the effect can be muted and softening

I actually took over 150 exposures. In film that would have been about 5 rolls + processing... close to $80 or more... I sooo love digital photography. Even though... at one point in my life I thought computers were the devil's work. When I did start using them I wasn't sure if I was a converted Luddite or if I was just adapting to the modern *cough* world. I guess... sigh...

I do know I like summer...

Then followed that beautiful season... Summer....
Filled was the air with a dreamy and magical light; and the landscape
Lay as if new created in all the freshness of childhood.

~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow