Saturday, April 15, 2006
One of the things I enjoy most about the Round Robin Challenges, is the complete artistic and creative freedom involved. We Robins come together to share our common love of photography, but leave each challenge with a fresh perspective to ponder, and sometimes to even challenge us further...even after we have moved on to another challenge. So many times, I have submitted an entry for a certain challenge, only to find another photo down the line, which would inspire me and make me want to go back and resubmit my entry. LOL. A recent example would be the subject of, "Signs." That happens to be one of my favorite subjects to look for, when I am out with my camera. Not signs as in OMENS, LOL, signs as in street signs or unique business signs. :) These challenges give me the opportunity to exercise my creativity...to try to think beyond the literal. I think our next challenge, "Holy," chosen by Robin, author of the journal, "Search The Sea," will provide all of us with some excellent opportunities to push the creative envelope.
Robin's suggestion for this challenge is for us to post a photo of something we consider to be holy. That can refer to our religious ideals, but it can also reflect our reverence for nature, or art, or as Karen said in the Round Robin Promotional entry, "Writing and the English language are holy for me." A very understandable idea, in that Karen is an awesome writer who has respected pursuid her talent most of her life. Like me, she fell in love with books when she was a child, and that love has grown into a devotion that will last a lifetime. What can be more perfect then the wish to share a talent, surely from above, with the world. I admire those who give freely of their talents, if they didn't the world would oh so much darker.
For me, as much as I would like to be a writer/photographer, there have been certain twists and turns in my life that make me believe that maybe both aren't necessarily meant to be. That is ok...I am simply allowing myself to go down the roads that are meant for me. So, I am concentrating more on my photography this year, with a greater sense of devotion and care. I am working on perfecting my patience, when attempting to achieve the perfect shot. Sometimes it takes looking at a subject, as if it were already a priceless piece of art. I had a special opportunity one day last year.
For whatever reason, last year, there had been very few butterflies fluttering about here in the Bay Area. I was constantly looking for them, but just not finding them. I was beginning to think I would not be seeing any at all, until one day last August, when I went to Alamo Square Park , in San Francisco, there, to my amazement, was a small garden of flowers, and among them, were three bumble bees and this one butterfly. It was just floating from blossom to blossom, drinking in the nectar and quietly going about his life. I was mesmerized.
For the next hour or so, I photographed the butterfly from as many angles as I could think of. I tried to capture the way the butterfly and the flower seemed to be floating in mid-air, and not at all attached to the flowers stalk. I wanted to photograph this moment of complete beauty, with an impression of what was beyond just what was available to the eye To bring an element of my favorite art movement, Impressionism, to the scene in front of me. The flower was perfect, there wasn't a bit of browning on it. The butterfly was perfect, his wings were undamaged and spread out completely. Nature, and it's beauty are a perfect gift from God.
Also as Karen pointed out, we are in a special time of year right now. With this challenge, we can celebrate our faith and what it means to us. We can share a little about what we hold dear and holy, be it gifts from God, or our personal relationships that transcend this earth no matter what our religion might be. Maybe you aren't particularly religious, but maybe you still have an appreciation for the beautiful architecture of churches and places of worship. Don't feel left out. There are many possibilities to go with. In fact, I looked up some words which are synonymous with the word, "Holy."
Believing, blessed, chaste, clean, consecrated, deditcated, devoted, devotional, devote, divine, faithful, faultless, glorified, god-like, godly, good, hallowed, humble, immaculate, innocent, just,knee-bending, moral, perfect, pietistic, pious, revered, reverent, righteous, sacrosanct, sainted, saintlike, sanity, sanctified, seraphic, spiritual, spotless, sublime, uncorrupt, undefined.
All of these words could be used in your challenge to meet the subject of, "Holy." I hope you will consider joining us for fun. This challenge will play on Wednesday, April 26th. You can post any time between the midnights that day or up to one week after, but if you post on that day you will have the best chance of your photo entry being seen. For all the information you need to play the challenge, simply pay a visit to the official Round Robin journal. Be sure to read the ***Welcome Entry And Rules Of Play***. Then read the entry for, "Holy," and follow the directions. That's all there is to it! :) Come on and join us...you know you want to.
"Softly He Smiled"
Alamo Square Park, San Francisco, California
Friday, April 14, 2006
-Alan C. Kay
Weekend Assignment # 107: Which recent piece of technology would you miss the most if it suddenly disappeared tomorrow? By "recent," I mean in the last two decades or so (if you didn't have it in 1986, you can't have it now). You can also consider tech which did exist in 1986 but wasn't in common usage. For example, the Internet existed in 1986, but no one except a few geeks at universities used it. Any tech is up for consideration, whether it be consumer tech, medical tech, security tech, or whatever.
Extra Credit: If you were cut off from the Internet (like, say, me), how long would it take for you to go completely insane?
-John Scalzi (By The Way...)
I bet you guys know me well enough by now, to know that my cell phone and I are as one! LOL. So, I am here to tell you to disregard what you may have heard. Cell phones are NOT instruments of the devil. They are NOT going to bring the world down into the bowels of the earth. LOL. It's just a matter of focusing on the more positive aspects of cell phone ownership. All it takes to change them from an irritation, to a God send, is to be stuck in a bathroom in Sacramento, California, in which there is no available tissue, to remind one just how wonderful technology really is. Yep, that happened to me, and it was on Christmas Eve, no less. LOL. It all had a happy ending though, because I had my handy little cell phone with me, so I was able to phone the manager of the restaurant to bring me, and the lady in the next stall, some bathroom tissue. Yep...true.
I was hoping to find a way to talk a bit about cell phones this week, because it just so happens I treated myself to a new one just yesterday. It is an upgrade through my carrier, Cingular, and is a Nokia 6102. Her name is Babbette. :) She isn't the most expensive, and she doesn't have every single bell and whistle available, but she has the features I care about the most. She has a camera and video feature, she can email, and IM. She plays great music and video clips, and really cool games. I customized her to play, "Brand New Day," by Sting, and I have a "Sex And The City," theme, with wallpapers, screensavers, theme song, and game, The game is called, "Psychic Cocktail." It is played like a "Magic 8 Ball." Just as the martini shaker a question, hit the button, and you will magically receive your answer to life's problems. How fun!
On a slightly serious note. We live in a strange age. Things happen with sudden intensity, and I think it has made some items, which may have seemed like luxuries before, seem much more practical now. I still think about the photos someone took with the camera phone, as they descended the stairs in tower 1 of the World Trade Center. The faces of the folks running down the stairs for their lives, and the faces of the heroes running up the stairs with no concern for their own safety. Sigh. Incredible moments...caught in time...thanks to the invention of the cell phone, and digital cameras. Digital cameras would have been my next choice, but you guys already know how I feel about them. :)
Like with all good inventions, things can be corrupted. If folks just practiced some common courtesy and sense, the cell phone wouldn't be so hated. I don't answer my phone while I am driving, I turn it off at appointments and when I go to the theatre, and if I have to take a call at a restaurant, I keep it brief...and I don't scream my business into the phone, so the whole restaurant has to deal with my life. It is very simple. I try to be mindful of others. It really isn't that difficult.
Extra Credit: I do enjoy the world that the Internet provides me. My friendships. Being able to research things that interest me, and to participate in group activities like the memes and the Round Robin Photo Challenges, but in truth, lately I have been thinking that maybe I should consider jumping off the web for a while, sometimes the Internet can be a lonely place to have a small voice.
"My Friend Babbette"
April 13, 2006
Thursday, April 13, 2006
Hi Everyone :)
We had a good turn out for the return of Madlibs on Ellipsis. Thanks goes to Charley, Karen, Pat, and Wil, who it just so happens, is our winner. Please give Wil a big round of applause! Good going Wil! :)
Wil has been my buddy for a long time now, well over a year. In Internet time, that is a long time. I am proud to consider him among my oldest Internet friends. I first came to enjoy his journals, when he was a member of the AOL community and he was also a part of Andrea's writers group, the Whatifs. He has a nifty sense of humor, that always tickles me, and he writes his journals with a great deal of honesty. What a refreshing thing indeed. :) One other thing about Wil that impresses me, he is very honest with the comments he leaves me. :) He is a straight shooter, who isn't afraid to tell me when I have missed the mark. :) That honesty, coupled with some sound advise about both my writing and my photography, reminds me of how lucky I am to have him for a friend. If you haven't visited his journal, Daily Snooze, hop on over...quick as a bunny...and see what a rare find he is. Thanks Wil! Now on to his story, and the words for our next Madlibs round.
Little Red Riding Hood
By Wil (Olddog299)
One day, Little Purple Riding Hood was going through the forest carrying a basket Purple People Eaters for her grandmother. Suddenly, she met a big bloodiest wolf. "Gadzooks!" said the wolf, "where are you going, little Zoinks? "I'm going to my grandmother's house, she said, then the wolf finagled away. When Miss Riding Hood got to her grandmother's house, the wolf was in bed dressed like her grandmother, "My grandmother," she said, "What big Centaurs you have," the better to trample you with," said the wolf. And then she said, "What big cannibals you have, grandmother," The wolf said, "The better to pulverize you with," And she said, "What big appendages you have, grandmother," But the wolf said nothing. He had just died of indigestion from eating grandmother.
Tee Hee! ;) Ok...here are your words for next week. Please email me your words by Wednesday, April 19th at 9:00 PM Eastern time. DO NOT LEAVE YOUR SUBMITTED WORDS IN THE COMMENTS! The winner, and the story will be announced on Thursday, April 20th. As always, the winning entry will receive a nifty prize, and their journal a proper pimping. Hmmm...can one actually have a proper pimping??? LOL.
3. Part Of The Body
5. Person In Journal/Blog Land
9. Plural Noun
11. Type Of Vegetable
15. Part Of The Body
18. Verb (Ending in "ing")
Yuba Gap, California
October 29th, 2005
Wednesday, April 12, 2006
"The secret to a rich life is to have more beginnings then endings."
For our current Round Robin challenge, we have the subject of, "New Life." The challenge was chosen for us this time around by Sassy, author of the journal, "Sassy's EYE." I really like this topic a lot. Spring is the season of new life, and new beginnings. It was on a lovely spring day last year, that I had a chance to photograph a new life, just beginning, when I saw a couple posing for their wedding photos at the Queen Wilhelmina Tulip Garden, in Golden Gate Park.
It had been a grey, rainy day in the Bay Area, the whole week had been sorta cold and moody. By the time Sunday rolled around, Alan and I decided to go into the city and just sit at the park, just to see what we could see. Ocean Beach is literally steps away from the park, and it is always fun to watch the surf on days like this. So, we grabbed our favorite hot beverage from Starbuck's, and off we went. I didn't think it would be a good day to bring the camera, because of how dark it was, but at this point if I leave it at home, I kinda feel like I have left a part of my body behind! LOL. And besides, you never know what you might see in San Francisco.
It was never more true then on that day. As we sat in the park, enjoying the new life of the tulips and the poppies, along came the most beautiful couple. It was their wedding day, and they wanted to have the gorgeous blanket of flowers in the background of their wedding photos. Anyone could see, they were very much in love. The light between the two was almost blinding. When he looked at her...she smiled, and when she smiled...his whole face lit up. It was apparent, their new life together would outlast time itself. :)
It is not too late to play along with us if you like. You have up to one week to post your entry. Just pay a visit to the official Round Robin Blog to learn all the details. Be sure to visit the other participants for this challenge round, to see their interpretations of our current topic.
"New Life, New Love"
Golden Gate Park
San Francisco, California
Karen... Outpost Mavarin POSTED
Carly... Ellipsis...Suddenly Carly POSTED
Julie... Julie's Web Journal POSTED
Erika... Photographs of My Soul
Sara... Animated Seasons POSTED
Kimberleigh... I Shaved My Legs For This POSTED
Pat... Here, There and Everywhere 2nd Edition (Blogspot) & (AOL) POSTED
Valorie... Keeping Our Human Mother On Her Toes & Retrospect USA
Patrick... Patrick's Portfolio POSTED
Derek... Derek's Picture Of The Day
Tess... First Digital Photos POSTED
Tammy... The Daily Warrior POSTED
Phinney... Paragon POSTED
Celeste... My Day And Thoughts (AOL) & My Day, My Thoughts (Blogspot)
Jessica... Quick Silver POSTED
Steven... (sometimes) photoblog POSTED
Tuesday, April 11, 2006
I saw this meme over at John Scalzi's journal yesterday, and again later in the day at Patrick's. You know how much I enjoy a good meme...so I thought I would give it a try. :) The idea is to pay a visit to Wikipedia, put your date of birth, just the month and the day, in the search, and then share some facts about what has happened on that day in history. Here is the criteria, your post must have...
At least 3 events
Let's see what all has happened on my birthday, June 29th!
In 1613- The Globe Theatre in London, England burns to the ground.
In 1863- George Custer is appointed as a U.S. Union brigadier-general.
In 1891- United States forest Service is organized.
In 2000- Vandals break into the tombs of Lynyrd Skynyrd's Ronnie Van Zant and Steve Gaines.
In 1397- King John II of Aragon
In 1943- Little Eva
In 1861- Elizabeth Barrett Browning
So that's what happened on my birthday, tell us about yours. If you do an entry, be sure to leave your link over at Scalzi's journal, "By The Way... ." And don't forget to circle my birthday on your calendars...LOL...I happily accept gift cards. ;)
Note: There is still time to sign-up for our current Round Robin photo challenge. Just pay a visit to the official Round Robin blog, read the entry, follow the instructions, and you are all set. :)
Note2: There is also time to play along with the return of Madlibs! See my entry here, for all the details! Don't forget there is a nifty prize for the winner!
Monday, April 10, 2006
"I wish more people felt that photography was an adventure the same as life itself, and felt that their individual feelings were worth expressing. To me, that makes photography more exciting."
Your Monday Photo Shoot: Take a picture of something in extreme close-up -- so close it's hard to tell what you're looking at. Ask people to guess. On Thursday, reveal what you've photographed.
-John Scalzi (By The Way...)
I thought it might be fun to post 2 photos, one beforeI bought my digital, and one after. Photo (1) was taken with in the last 6 months, with my Konica/Minolta Dimage 1Z Digital camera. Photo (2) was taken about 8 years ago with my Minolta Maxxum 300sl 35.mm. Both photos have been posted on my Ellipsis & Ellipsis...Suddenly Carly. Hmmm...what could they be?
"Anyway, after we go out and work our hearts out, after you go out and helps us turn out the vote, after we've convinced the good Americans to vote, and while they're at it, pull that old George W. lever, if I'm the one, when I put my hand on the Bible, that day when they swear us in, when I put my hand on the bible, I will swear to not...to up hold the laws of the land."
-George W. Bush
Toledo, Ohio, October 27, 2000
I don't know...things in America are just sad right now. I suppose, given how I feel about George Bush, and his administration, you would think I would practically be doing back flips of joy at how terrible things seem to be going for the White House. Not true. I feel a lot of things, but joy isn't one of them. I guess, more then anything I feel...sad. Forget party lines, I want to know how an American could have done the things Bush has done, let alone our Commander-in-Chief. Sigh.
This past weekend, Senator Arlen Specter, (R) Pennsylvania, called on President Bush and Vice President Cheney to explain their roles in the CIA leak case. "I think it is necessary for the president and the vice president to tell the American people exactly what happened." I would like to know that myself. The fact that both Bush and Cheney have been silent regarding this issue since the news broke on Friday, that Dick Cheney's former chief of staff, I "Scooter" Libby had testified, under oath, that he was given permission from both Bush and Cheney to leak information to the press. It is all a very thin line. The president has the authority to disclose information, so the act of disclosing this information is not illegal, but why did he choose to disclose information which had been proven to be unreliable before we ever went to war with Iraq?
I think at this point I have to wonder, what could have possibly been so important to Bush, that he was willing to engage the United States in a war based on lies? Helen Thomas, asked the president, just a couple weeks ago, "what was the real reason was we invaded Iraq?" he didn't answer the question then, and he probably won't anytime soon either. If he does tell us the REAL reason we invaded Iraq, I will update this entry, but it will have to be more then the same old double talk about what a fine thing democracy is. It is pretty clear that there is a much deeper reason hidden in the shadows. You know it's so bazaar...here we have a president who claims to be Christian. He sure likes to spout family values this, and family values that.
"It's important for us to explain to our nation that life is important. It's not only life of babies, but it's life of children living in, you know, the dark dungeons of the Internet."
-George W. Bush
Arlington Heights, Illinois, October 24, 2000
Life is important. Sigh. Our military is dying everyday in Iraq, fighting for a lie. I think at this point, in that the gig is up, we need to demand we be told the truth. Imagine what it would be like if every single person, great and small all sat down and wrote the president a letter, and we all mailed it on the same day. Just a simple question written on a plain white piece of paper. Something like...
"What is the REAL reason we invaded Iraq?"
If you are a republican, and you give our president your full support, no big deal, that question isn't harmful in any way. If you are a republican who may be starting to wonder why you voted for President Bush, it's an honest question. If you are a democrat, and you saw the war in Iraq as a lie from the very beginning, again, all you want is to know why we are in Iraq. If you are undecided...don't know what to think, then who needs answers more then you? It was apparent that even members of his own party want some answers, and they are getting impatient waiting. I sure thought Bush or Cheney or both might answer those questions this weekend, but alas, the weekend is gone now...and all we hear is the sound of silence coming from the White House regarding this issue, but boy they sure are doing a lot of talk, regarding a military strike against Iran.
What will I miss most about the West Wing? I suppose the hope it gave me. So many times, after watching an episode, I have gone to bed clicking my heels together, wishing, "If only Bartlett were really the president, if only Bartlett were really the president." But it wasn't to be. No, I woke up to Bush, saying something stupid...
"My administration has been calling upon all the leaders in the , in the Middle East to do everything they can to stop the violence, to tell the different parties involved that peace will never happen."
-George W. Bush
Crawford Texas, August 13, 2001 (Interesting Date)
And then there was the nice thought that not all republicans are liars, war mongers, sexual preditors, leakers of classifed information, petty thieves, imcompetent, oblivious, mean-spirited, dangerous , mean-spirited again, or Tom DeLay. Why can't all republicans be like Arnold Vinick? Show me a republican I would vote for, and I will show you a West Wing character! ;) Somehow, I think Bartlett or Vinick would have found Bin Laden by now. Sigh.
Update: "Bush Says He Declassified Pre-war Intel"
Sunday, April 09, 2006
"If you're yearning for the good old days, turn off the air conditioning."
Ok, so I have a secret guilty pleasure, I like cookies and milk late at night! LOL. I don't indulge in this particular pleasure very often, but when I do there is a particular brand of cookie I enjoy. "Mother's" brand. I especially enjoy the frosted animal cookies with the little sprinkles on top, but I like the chocolate chip cookie Parade, which consists of chocolate chip, oatmeal chocolate chip, and chocolate/chocolate chip. :) Oh the will power it takes! I grew up eating these cookies. They were in my lunch box, they were there when I would come home from a particularly bad day at school, they were there when I broke up with my first boyfriend...and my last boyfriend. LOL. They were there when I got food poisoning that time the one boyfriend's mother tried to kill me. Sigh. Trust me the Mother's ginger cookies will settle your stomach, and make you feel loved. There are a lot of brands on the market that might be able to rival, Mother's Cookies, but there aren't any, at least for me, that can bring back memories like this cookie can.
Mother's Cookies, has been a Bay Area mainstay since 1914. The bakery and distribution center has been located in Oakland, California for over 92 years, so you can imagine what a shock it was to hear last week that the bakery will soon be closed, and operations moved to plants in Ashland Ohio, and Kitchner, Canada. The workers at the cookie factory just found out about the closure that will take place on May 31st. It will put 230 workers out of a job, some of which had never worked for any other company.
In recent years, the Bay Area, and Oakland specifically, has lost a lot of well established companies. Among them Granny Goose, Fleishmann's and Red Star Yeast. It is expensive to live in the Bay Area, and to lose yet one more beloved company is cause for concern. Sometimes I wonder if recent indicators of a stable economy and lower unemployment rates are all together accurate. It seems like the news speaks of the unemployment rate dropping, yet there is news all the time of size downs, and plant cuts. Sigh. This plant closure is only a partial move of operations to Canada, but it is not so for more and more companies.
I would like to see more jobs stay in the U.S. as opposed to jobs being outsourced to other countries. I don't happen to believe that illegal immigrants are to blame for our economy woes, I think it has to do directly with how American workers are treated by the companies they work for, and the fact that the minimum wage hasn't been raised since 1997. Does that seem reasonable? Sometimes I think all presidents should have to live, for one year, on the same minimum wage pay scale as average citizens. Dream on...right? I also wish there was a box on the ballot marked, "None of the Above, " but I doubt that will ever come about either.
The employees of Mother's Cookies will be receiving a severance package, and the Economic Development Department is "actively" trying to find new jobs for the employees who have lost their jobs. I hope that they have an easy transition, but with the way things are moving in the area, I think there will be quite a period of adjustment. I doubt that that owners of Archway and Mother's cookies will cease production of the two brands after they move to the plants in Ohio and Canada, so I know I will still be able to get this particular cookie fix, but somehow it won't be the same. Sigh.
So tell me, is the minimum wage, too low, too high, or just about right? If the economy is so strong, why doesn't congress and the president raise the minimum wage? Is outsourcing a good idea? Does outsourcing help our economy? Do illegal immigrants drive wages down? Leave me your thoughts.
April 4th, 2005