The Photographer Me: Chapter Three – After The Storm

Hello again, Gentle Reader,

Today’s subject is a continuation of my new found photo addiction, this time featuring the catastrophic effects of last night’s major wind storm and my recovery efforts. 

In an effort to give you an idea just how bad things were, and how great they became after my cleanup, I will display the photos in a “Before and After” format, with the “Before” shots coming before the “After” shots, and the after shots coming after the “Before” shots. (This will, hopefully, make the complicated situation a bit easier to comprehend.)

OK, let’s get started…

Patio Furniture Cushions and Umbrellas Before Repairs:



Patio Furniture Cushions and Umbrellas After Repairs:


Wheelbarrow Before Recovery:


Wheelbarrow After Recovery:


Observation Bench, Pre-Restoration:


Observation Bench, Post-Restoration:


Wayward Branch Before Massive Cleanup Effort:


Wayward Branch After Massive Cleanup Effort:


Fallen Tree Before Murphy and I Went Hiking In Yosemite:


Fallen Tree After Murphy and I Returned From Hiking In Yosemite:


Hey, it was Yosemite, OK? I’ll get to it…


The Photographer Me – Chapter Two: The Naming Game Continues

Well, We all had such a great time with the “rocks” that I thought I would start photographing and naming some of the other personally owned inanimate objects in my life. This time, I have decided to go with my hats. Just one, to start with, but it’s a good one. In fact, it’s not just a good one, it’s a wonderful, wonderful one…

I was inspired by a commercial for the TV show , “Helix”. While I will probably never watch the show, there was something about the name that caught my attention. In fact, it brought me back to my childhood and made me think (warmly) about another TV show with a similar sounding name…

Ladies and Gentlemen, I present to you:

Helix the Hat

(The Wonderful, Wonderful Hat)

IMG_4741 IMG_4742 IMG_4740 IMG_4739 IMG_4743


The Photographer Me – Chapter One: With What This Day Shall I Do My Time?

So I was looking for something exciting to do and nothing was coming to mind. Then I thought, “Hmmm… Maybe I”ll see if I can figure out this camera thing – I haven’t used an actual camera since I got a cell phone, and that might be fun.”
So then I thought, “But of what can I a picture take?”
And then I thought, “I know! I’ll take a picture of a rock! We must have a rock in the back yard somewhere, and I’ll hunt it out and take a picture when it’s not looking! Bwahahahahahaha…”
So then I went outside to find a rock to photograph…
I searched for hours and hours and hours. I searched high and I searched low. I searched the back yard and the side yard and the front yard…
And then – out of nowhere – I saw a rock in need of a selfie… *
I raised my camera thing… I aimed… I clicked the shutter…
My rock was digitally immortalized… 
Then I thought, “With what shall I do this photograph, its preservation to ensure?”
I thought.. And I thought… I thought and thought and thought and thought and thought. Finally, I was thought out and nothing was happening, so I decided to commence to consider…
I considered and considered and considered and then considered again.
Considering wasn’t getting me very far, so I decided to ponder and see if that might help…
I pondered. I pondered again… I pondered again and again and again. I pondered and pondered and pondered and then I scratched my head and pondered one more time…
Still nothing. I was becoming discouraged and decided to get up out of my chair and walk around while pondering to see if that might trigger an idea.
While I was walking around pondering with all of my might, I happened to to see Judy working a puzzle and thought, “I wonder why Judy doesn’t use her Facebook account?”
Upon that thought, I froze in my tracks and, right out loud, said to myself, “Hey!! Maybe I can talk Judy into posting my picture on her Facebook page and make it available to the entire world, that everyone might enjoy the awesome beauty of my rock!”
I was excited!
So, with high hopes and expectaions, I asked her if she would do that…
But Alas… She refused.
And I became desperate… What was I to do? How would I share my joy?
Then Judy said, “Why don’t you put it up on your own Facebook page? It will mean so much more to your friends, coming straight from you…”
I wasn’t sure I had heard her correctly, so I asked her to repeat herself (something she HATES to do, I might add). She just looked at me and said, “You heard me.”
I rolled her idea around in my mind. I rolled it and rolled it and rolled it and rolled it again.
“Wait a minute… I wonder if this could work…”
And then, “Hmmm… This is interesting… I think that ‘rolling’ is more effective than ‘thinking’, ‘considering’ or ‘pondering’…
But I decided that to put it up on my own facebook page couldn’t do too much harm… In fact, I went out and found another rock to photograph and include in my upload…
In double fact, I found several, and have decide to upload the vast majority of them for your looking pleasure.
In triple fact, there are over a hundred of them to amaze you! Please, take your time as you gawk in disbelief and are overcome with wonderment. 

Or, at least, try not to fall asleep… 

To see (gawk in wonderment at) the rocks, click here…


* Since a rock is a rock, after all, and not an animate object, it is not capable of taking its own selfie, so I did it the honor of taking it for it.

Addendum #2:

Attention! Attention! Attention!

After a brief exchange (no, we didn’t swap underwear) with my friend Judy Eckberg Robertson, I have decided that our rocks need names. And, after further brief exchanges with Judy E.R. and Judy Kammerer, I thought it might be fun to open up the naming of our rocks to you, my adoring fans, friends and family….

What do you think? You want to help us name a rock? If so, just pick one and submit your entry.

Thank you for your kind attention… That is all…

To submit a name for a rock or rocks, click here…

The Aging Me: Retirement Plans – Installment One

I’m going to start out by admitting something that has been rolling around in my head for a week or two.

For a long time, I didn’t think I was getting any older, and the thought that I was not getting any younger never made it’s way into my head. However, that has changed, and I am ready to go on record as believing that I am, in fact, not getting any younger. 

At first, I was disappointed that I was not aging in reverse, but after some consideration, I have decided that that’s not a bad thing, and here’s why…

When I thought about it, I realized that time only moves forward, never backward, and the only way one can expect to be around tomorrow is to move forward with it and get older. When you stop moving forward with time and, therefore, stop getting older, you die (not necessarily in that order). The only way that anybody who is younger than me can catch up with me in years is if I stop aging (die). I figure it’s pretty much the same for all of us – you included. 

Once I figured that out, I realized that failure to get younger is not a bad price to pay for waking up tomorrow. And once I realized that, I was able to embrace getting older with a modicum of grace.

Moving forward in age is actually pretty cool. It presents us with a whole new set of things to think about when making plans for down the road.

One of those considerations is retirement…

Some day, in the next several years, I hope to retire (it’s either that or work until I die, and I much prefer the retirement route for as many years as possible before I finally bite the big one – but that’s not up to me, and I’m working on being ready when the big one gets bit), and when retirement day arrives, I’m gonna need something to do with whatever time I have left on this Earth. 

Up till now I haven’t actually given much thought to how I’m going to spend that time. Oh, I have considered volunteering and hiking a lot. Take up photography. Find some other frustrated musicians and start a 60s rock band (60’s meaning our ages, not necessarily the brand of music we would play). The usual stuff, I guess. 

But as far as serious activity plans, just about nothing has come to mind. 

Until today…

Yes, today. And, as is the case with most of my best ideas, it came to me in the grocery store. This time I never even got to the checkout stand before it hit me. This time it happened in… 

… The magazine isle. Yes, the magazine isle…

Judy was looking at some magazines in the magazine isle, and I was biding my time (being the patient husband) while she perused through publication after publication. Waiting… Waiting… Waiting. 

After approximately two weeks of wait time, I decided that if she could peruse then so could I.

And so I did…

Peruse… Peruse… Peruse until –

 – Whoa! I had perused myself through all sorts of works having to do with how to have the greatest marriage in the history of marriage, how to have muscles in places that do not currently exist on your (or anyone else’s) body and how to acquire millions in the house flipping industry –  when what to my wondering eyes should appear, but a nine dollar rag with my future right there!

Yes, my quest (you know – the quest upon which I had not yet embarked) had been successful, and all I had to do was to go to the grocery store! 

Oh yeah – and wait patiently. Good things come to those who wait patiently. 

I was astounded at how easily I had patiently waited my way to revelation! Seriously, folks, forebearance really works. We should all try it sometime…

Anyway, back to my story…

At the exact moment that my eyes landed upon this magazine cover I knew that my life’s plan had been revealed to me. One look at the guy on the cover and I was thinking, “Holy cow!! That’s me! That guy in the picture is my doppelgänger! This is what I am supposed to do!” All I had to do now was to convince Judy that allowing me to make the nine dollar investment required to obtain the document that I would use to map out my future retirement activity program and I would be all set…

It took some doing, but after agreeing to never again go shopping with her after we are both retired she permitted me to spend the money. 

And so I did.

By now you may be wondering how I am going to spend my golden years. Well, here it is…



What to do on my permanent vacation


Yes, that’s right! I am going to become a modern day pioneer! I have already started reading up on skinning and selling furs and searching Craig’s list for classic guns and powder horns and leather leggings and jackets with fringes hanging down everywhere and other great backwoods companions! (I already have a couple of cowboy hats so I figure I’m off to a great start!)

I think I’ll probably start small on the “furs” thing. We have a couple of squirrels living in the back yard, and I can practice on them when I get my musket, slug making gear and Bowie Knife. 

Man, I’m totally stoked that I have finally found my true calling in life! I only wish it had come to me three or four decades sooner! I could already be living the good life climbing every mountain, fording every stream and following every rainbow until I find my dream… (Hmmm.. I wonder if there’s a song in there somewhere… Nah – it would never catch on…)

Anyway, I have bids in on ebay for some bear traps, whiskey and a fur hat for Winter trapping trips, and I want to make sure they don’t get away so I am going to sign off. 

But just one word of advice before I go. 

Guys, If you’re not the patient type when you are shopping with your wife, you may be missing out on opportunities that might not come your way again. Make the occasion a time of searching for that one thing you are missing in your life.

You will probably find it in the magazine isle…