Saturday, August 25, 2007

John Scalzi's Weekend Assignment #180: Build A Bumper Sticker

"Why do they call it rush hour, when nothing moves?"

-Robin Williams (Mork and Mindy)

Weekend Assignment #180: Go to this bumper sticker generator, and create a bumper sticker. Then post it in your journal. The generator page gives you a number of options to play with, so you should be able to have fun with it. Naturally, keep it reasonably clean; I have to link to it after all.

Extra Credit: How many bumper stickers does your car have in real life?

-John Scalzi (By The Way)

Bumper stickers huh? I went to the bumper sticker generator as requested by our blogfather... but I guess I wasn't feeling particularly inspired today, because my mind went blank. So, I did the next best thing, I looked up some funny sayings and quotes about driving. I am betting some of these have actually made it to some real bumper stickers. :) Hope they bring you a smile. :)

Extra Credit: My car Lilith doesn't have any bumper stickers on her. I don't know, I guess I am just not a bumper sticker person. Although, I did have one bumper sticker on my very first car. It read, "Single, and loving it!" But that was in 1985. I don't think Alan would appreciate me putting one like that on my car now. Tee Hee.


Friday, August 24, 2007

Steven's Feline Friday: Elvis's Fortress Of Solitude

"The cat, having sat upon a hot stove lid, will not sit upon a hot stove lid again. But he won't sit upon a cold stove lid either."

-Mark Twain


I thought it would be fun to do a Feline Friday this week. :) I haven't had a chance to show you Elvis's favorite place to nap in the yard... underneath an old blue wheelbarrow that came with our little cottage when we moved in six years ago. It's the funniest thing, it's been in the back yard all this time, and yet it seems as if Elvis has just discovered it this summer. He usually asks to go into the yard around 7 AM, and when I let him out he goes on his regular rounds, checking the vegetable garden first, then my flower garden. Sometimes, if he is in a good mood, he will sit and talk to his pal Sebastiani through the fence, but right around 11 AM or so, he will walk over to the far side of the yard to the old blue wheelbarrow, where he settles down for the rest of the afternoon. He's a happy boy. :)


Yep... Thats the stuff

If you have a feline friend, you can play along too. Click here to visit Steven's blog, where you can find all the information on how to play.

"The Fortress Of Solitude"
Berkeley, California
August, 2007

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Your Monday Photo Shoot: 2003

"Try to be like the turtle - at ease in your own shell."

-Bill Copeland

You may or may not know that today,(August 20th) marks the fourth anniversary of By The Way, which was started on this date in 2003.To celebrate, I thought it would be fun to have a historical-themed Photo Shoot:

Your Monday Photo Shoot: Find a picture from 2003 and post it. Any picture is fine; it just has to be from the now-oh-so-distant year of two-thousand aught-three. Surely you have pictures from then?Yes?

-John Scalzi (By The Way)

2003? Do I have photos from 2003? Well, actually, I have very few from 2003. See for most of that year I was still suffering from a loss of creativity, otherwise known as Anhedonia. I rarely picked up the camera back then, but on August 23rd, 2003 something wonderful happened, I decided to start a journal on the newly debuted AOL Journals! As I learned to blog, folks came by and encouraged me, and little by little my creativity came back. :) Alan also supported and encouraged me, by taking me places of interest, such as the zoo, putting my camera in my hand, and asking me to just try. Even if I only took a few photos, it was ok, he only wanted me to just make the effort to find my creative zone again. He thought it would be nice if I used as many as my own photos in my entries as I could, when I wasn't sharing about a specific work of art that I enjoyed. Sometimes I think if I hadn't started my AOL journal, I wouldn't have gotten better nearly as fast. I will always be grateful to AOL Journals, and my blogging friends for that. :)

Today is my fourth anniversary as a Blogger/Photo blogger. I want to say THANK YOU to everyone who has come by with words of encouragement, and friendship over the last four years. You all mean a lot to me. :) If you never got the chance to visit my old AOL blog, Ellipsis, it will be open from today, Thursday, through this coming weekend. Feel free to drop by and have a look around if you like. I will be posting some photo entries there for the next few days. :)

"Looking for peace is like looking for a turtle with a mustache: You won't be able to find it, but when your heart is ready, peace will come looking for you."

-Ajahn Chah

"Hello Mr. Turtle"
Oakland Zoo
Oakland, California
Late Summer 2003

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Round Robin Challenge: Things With Wings

Give and Take
For to the bee a flower is a messenger of life
And the to the flower a bee is a messenger of love
And to both, bee and flower,
The giving and receiving is a need and an ecstasy.

-Hans Christian Anderson

It's time for yet another Round Robin Challenge! This time around, it was my friend Steven's turn to choose a topic, and he has chosen, "Things With Wings," as our challenge. I have been enjoying photographing busy bumbles, little angelic butterflies, grouchy yellow jackets, and happy little honey bees this summer... and even the amazing little bug in the picture above. I took his portrait a couple weeks ago, when I found him resting on a tiny white flower in Golden Gate Park. I have looked and looked, but haven't been able to identify him, so I will just call him... Billy. Yes, Billy! If you know what kind of winged creature he might be, please, sing out. I would enjoy learning more about him. :)

In addition to it being Steven's turn to choose a Round Robin topic, it is also the fourth anniversary of his blog, "(sometimes) photoblog." Be sure to drop by his place to see his entry. In fact, you should be sure to visit all the participating Robins, you'll be glad you did. There are some amazingly talented photographers in the land, each one a true artist. :) Thank you Steven, for the delightful challenge! And Happy Anniversary to you! :)


What do you suppose?

A bee sat on my nose.

Then what do you think?

He gave me a wink.

And said, "I beg your pardon,

I thought you were the garden."

-English Rhyme

Linking List

1. Steven... (sometimes) photoblog

2. Jessica... OuickSilver Dreams

3. Nancy... Nancy Luvs Pix

4. Karen... Outpost Mavarin

5. Vicki... Maraca

6. Kerrin... A New Day

7. Janet... Fond Of Photography

8. Suzanne R... New Suzanne R's Life

9. Carly... Ellipsis

10. Gattina... Keyhole Pictures

11. boliyou... Percolation


12. Gina... Gina's Space


"Billy Bug"
Golden Gate Park
San Francisco, California
August, 2007

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

You Think Your Monday Was Bad?

"Life is too short for traffic."

-Dan Bellack

WOW... what a way to spend a Monday afternoon! At a little before 2:00 PM Monday, a big rig driver crossing the San Mateo/Hayward Bridge, got the fright of his life, when he somehow managed to drive his truck over the side of the bridge, just west of the high rise. Had he gone another couple hundred yards or so, the cab of his truck would have been in the bay, as opposed to where it did land, which was on the concrete in front of the Caltrans Painters yard, which sits just under the bridge on the eastbound side. No one was hurt in the crash, but as you can see by the photos, it had to have been pretty scary for both the painters in the shop, and the truck driver. YIKES! I was on my way westbound across the bridge, and was able to stop and get a few photos, from a trail on the opposite side of the bridge. It was an eerie sight to see the rear wheels of the truck, hung up on the side rail of the bridge. You don't see that everyday! In that no one was hurt, either in the truck or in the yard, doesn't it just confirm that there must be guardian angels?

Big Rig Accident On San Mateo Bridge - KGO - Video and Story

"Thank You For Driving Safely"
San Mateo/Hayward Bridge
August 20, 2007

Monday, August 20, 2007

A Friday Meme On A Monday

"The best day of your life is the one on which you decide your life is your own. No apologies or excuses. No one to lean on, rely on, or blame. The gift is yours - it is an amazing journey - and you alone are responsible for the quality of it. This is the day your life really begins."

-Bob Moawad

I dropped by Wil's blog last night, and while I was there I found this cute little meme. Wil got it here, where a blank form to play along can also be found, and she got it here. It's a Friday themed meme, but you have to remember my Friday's are Tuesdays. LOL. My schedule is so backwards due to Alan's shifts at work. Oh well, I hope I am not breaking any Internet meme laws by posting it today. :) If I am, I will simply throw myself on the mercy of the Internet gods and beg their forgiveness. So, here goes...

Friday Fill-In #33

1. There's Mondays and then there's Mondays.

2. Subscribe to taking care of yourself first because there's nothing like it!

3. I love a good book because I like adventure.

4. My favorite position is upside down. ;)

5. I need to quit fretting.

6. I need to start writing snail mail more often.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to tomorrow, tomorrow my plans include Yoga, and Sunday, I want to walk a half mile.

The meme also says, "Don't forget to have fun." Ok... I will. :)

I saw the glasses in the above photo sitting all by their lonesome. I thought they made an interesting photo. I know the blog is getting a little flower happy lately, but what can I say? Flowers make me happy! LOL.

Happy Monday!

"Looking Closer"
San Ramon, California
July 25th, 2007

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Photographing Flowers

"A great photograph is a full expression of what one feels about what is being photographed in the deepest sense, and is, thereby, a true expression of what one feels about life in it's entirety."

-Ansel Adams

I had a good week with the camera. I did ok with it last week in Golden Gate Park, but I kept letting myself get distracted with head noise. I am thinking about taking a refresher class in Qi Gong, to kind of refresh myself to the discipline. I haven't been remembering to use it for stress management. If I did, I would be doing better with my photos. A couple times this week I used it as a instrument of focus, but I really should get myself back on a schedule of practice. Truly, it is one of the simplest meditative practices I have tried, and usually puts me in a much calmer state for the several hours afterwards. Look into it. :)

I found some fun flowers to photograph this week. I found the green and yellow Dahlia on Thursday. I was photographing as many as I could that day, because all of them seemed to be newly opened and at their perfection. I almost over looked that particular dahlia, in favor of one behind it, but when I stopped to really take a look, it made me smile, because to me, it looks a lot like it was grinning at me. :) Silly what the imagination will do. LOL. But doesn't it look a little like it is smiling? ;)

The rose was actually from the previous week, when I was taking pictures in the Rose Garden. I hadn't finished editing all the photos from that time, until last night. I don't know... there is just a kind of gentle peace to it for me. Roses are so beautiful in their many stages, I am always in awe of them. :)

I saved the main photograph in the entry for last. It is the very first cosmos to bloom in my garden. Isn't she glorious? I was hoping that maybe a skipper might come by and land on her, but it wasn't meant to be. It didn't matter much that I couldn't capture a winged creature on her, I think she is beautiful, and so I set out to take her portrait. Lately, I have been looking for totally black backgrounds. It isn't easy to find one naturally, but in this case it was late in the day, and I just used the dark fence and the natural shadows to my advantage. There's more to photographing flowers, then just finding a beautiful flower.

So, that was my week with the camera. I am looking forward to next week, and some time meditating in the park. I am curious to see what a difference it will make with my photography. So tell me, do you have a ritual you employ before you go out to photograph a specific project? Do you have a set process? Share with me what you do to find your inner artist.

"Facing Autumn"
Berkeley, California
August 18, 2007
Late Afternoon