Wednesday, December 23, 2009
These are a few decorations from around the neighborhood here. I find them comical because they have "Let It Snow" written on them (except for the 'trio of snowmen' and it's 80 degrees today.
It'll probably be a bit of time before I can post anything on here again. Moni and I are flying up to the motherland (Michigan) and we'll be returning on January 5th. In the meantime, I hope everyone has a safe and splendid holiday season.
Thursday, December 10, 2009
I'm not trying to brag with this photo because when it's so hot for so long, it begins to lose its luster. Hopefully this photo transmits some warmth to those who are much colder than here ( which is basically the entire continental U.S.- except for Miami).
Thursday, December 03, 2009
I busted this bandito tonight along with his little partner in crime as they were climbing down the mango tree. I don't know what it is but the last three places I've lived at have had raccoons...or maybe they've been stowaways every time I move. Who knows. They're bold though. The other night I had the door open for the breeze and one (probably this same one) came to the door and took a look around before I told it to leave. It left but not as fast as it should of.
Thursday, November 19, 2009
Sunday, November 15, 2009
Sunday, November 08, 2009
Miami had an event this weekend where entertainment was taking place throughout South Beach from 6 p.m. Saturday until 7 a.m. Sunday. The museums were open later than usual so we went inside one. The artist was sitting in his chair across the room as people milled about. Just as I took this photo he said, " Sir, no photographs." I had already taken the photograph I wanted to take. That stuff happens. It wasn't the first time and I'm sure it won't be the last.
Wednesday, November 04, 2009
The Hindu god Shiva looks over our fountain (it's more like swamp water) in the backyard. This section of the yard is like paradise for frogs. I spotted a large group of tadpoles in there so hopefully Shiva keeps them safe so they can grow up and take care of the Asian Tiger mosquitos.
Monday, October 26, 2009
Saturday, October 24, 2009
Monday, October 19, 2009
This is the Biltmore Hotel located down the road in Coral Gables. Supposedly it's haunted and many famous people have stayed here. It's also a National Historic Landmark. The amazing thing about it though is the size. The hotel can be seen from a far distance and when you're standing in front of it you feel about two feet tall. It used to have the biggest pool in the U.S. but it holds that record no longer.
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Last night a friend asked me if I had any horse pictures. Simple enough question. It had me thinking though. I've been on countless assignments with horses AT the assignments. Yet, I had the hardest time finding pictures with just a horse. How could I be a photographer and not have a horse picture ?! I feel like I was so focused on including people in the photos, that I neglected to simply get photos of horses. I'm not saying I need to take beautiful horse pictures all the time. However, my friends question and my search for specific photos brought to light my mindset while I was on assignment. It seems like I felt programmed to include someone/anyone in a photograph and wouldn't really take in the nuances of a scene in their entirety, or I guess, the main elements of a scene in their entirety. When I first started photography, I was a photographer first and journalist second. Then it went the other way around. It's different for everyone. The fun part for me is doing a little of both as best I can, and remembering to enjoy myself as much as possible in the process. This horse picture is from my first internship at the Monroe Evening News.
Monday, October 12, 2009
Moni and I visited her grandparents in Lutz, FL last weekend. A fun fact is that down the road from them is the street where the neighborhood scenes of Edward Scissorhands were filmed. The street is called Tinsmith Circle. The houses that are there are the same ones as in the movie, except now there are trees everywhere (not carved into animals) and they aren't painted pastel colors. This cul de sac is where Edward leaves the neighborhood to go through the gates toward his castle.
Saturday, October 03, 2009
After stopping by the Ochopee (O-chop-ee), FL post office the first time, it was closed so I had to return. Last week I did. Actually I returned twice because I had missed the mail carrier the first time and I wanted photos of him also. I had read a small write-up on this post office but I received a ton of information after speaking with Nanette Watson, the postmaster.
She only lives two miles away from the post office so that's not a bad commute. She's worked there for seven years. The building is approximately 8 feet by 7 feet and has been used since 1953 when a fire destroyed the general store in Ochopee which was home to the previous post office. Yes, that building has been the Ochopee post office since 1953.
"I almost see more German tourists than American," she stated. Apparently this post office is on all the travel shows and guides in Germany. She also said many people will drive by and hit the brakes prior to putting the car in reverse to stop by the place. "I've seen many accidents, luckily none have been too serious," she explained.
On my last post, I wrote that 2-3 people inside would be crowded. Two to three people inside WOULD be crowded, but customers don't actually go inside. The front doors slide open and there's a counter right behind those sliding doors where Nanette helps customers.
Leroy Fish is the contract mail carrier. His wife actually started as the carrier about 40 years ago. Leroy retired from his previous job and took over as mail carrier for the post office due to a medical condition his wife had. So between the two of them, they've been delivering the 138-mile mail route for the last 40 years.
What is the future of this tiny shipping shack? "We serve a lot of people and cost very little money to operate," Nanette said. With the florescent bulb, air conditioner, computer (laptop) and other small electrical devices, Nanette estimates the monthly electric bill at around $20 dollars.
Monday, September 28, 2009
This is the smallest post office in the U.S. It's in Ochopee, FL. The cool thing is that it's still an operating post office. Story goes that the original one burned down so they used the next building they had which was this irrigation shed. From what I've read, it can fit 2-3 customers in there but it's crowded, it has a nice commemorative stamp collection and when the postmaster needs to use the restroom, the closest one is at the Subway three miles away.
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
The cool thing about only being able to check the internet outside AND living in Miami is that one witnesses all types of mammals, reptiles and amphibians on a frequent basis. It rained tonight so that means every living thing in the yard comes to life. This frog jumped onto one of the banana tree leaves and was hanging out for a while. These types of frogs are nocturnal and can jump at amazing distances. They're the real deal. We also have jumbo slugs, a family (or maybe it's just a gang) of raccoons that passes by our cottage nightly (to avoid the blind (angry) Pomeranian dog our neighbor owns) and geckos, just to name a few.
Saturday, September 19, 2009
Monday, September 14, 2009
This last weekend I attended Geekfest 2009 in St. Petersburg, FL. It was a really great experience and by the time the weekend was done, there had been an amazing lineup of photographers that delivered presentations. Sam Abell here, who shot all around the world for the National Geographic for about 40 years, gave a great presentation on Friday night, and was in attendance for most of the weekend. Sam puts an indescribable amount of thought into his photography and if anyone gets the chance to hear him speak, do it.
Thursday, September 10, 2009
Monday, September 07, 2009
This photo is from the "Southernmost Point in the Continental United States". I took it during a short day trip to Key West.
Key West is about three and a half hours south of Miami. The place is about as laid back as a place can be. It's a place where the Piña Coladas are abundant and the free-roaming chickens cross the street with reckless abandon.
Tuesday, September 01, 2009
Friday, August 28, 2009
Thursday, August 27, 2009
We've got plenty of Coconut Palms in the neighborhood so Moni and I grabbed this one that had fallen down the street from us.
Tom Hanks makes opening a coconut look easy in the movie 'Castaway'. This one took took us a bit more time. The coconut is actually the nut which is housed in a larger seed. Getting the nut out of that seed is a great challenge. I'm sure it's easier with the right tool but we just had a hammer.
The white part (coconut meat) is actually good. The coconut water inside is drinkable but I wouldn't order a glass. It's neat living in an area where coconuts are all around and don't taste half bad. Don't get me wrong, absolutely nothing compares to fresh northern Michigan cherries in the summer, but I'll take a fresh coconut since they're available.
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Saturday, August 22, 2009
Thursday, August 20, 2009
I'm happy to say that Moni and I made it safely to Miami. I wish I could've posted stuff sooner but we received an internet connection just last night. We're staying in a small cottage behind a couple's home. Wireless internet is included in the rent but we have to go outside to access it. No big deal. We have a great patio on the front of the place. I'll post a photo soon. This chameleon wasn't in Miami, it was at Moni's grandparents' home near Tampa. However, there are loads of these things running around outside our apartment, keeping the bug quantities low. There's actually one sitting next to me right now as I write this.
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Wednesday, August 05, 2009
A week from today Moni and I are moving to Miami, FL. She was accepted to a great masters program at the University of Miami so we're off to the sunshine state. I'm excited for the new adventure. Our living room is full of stuff at the moment and fitting everything into our cars will be tricky, but we'll do it. On Saturday, August 8, 2009 we'll be cutting off our cable and internet so there may be a lack of blog posts. But I'm hoping that I'll get an internet connection on the trip over so I should be able to post something then. My aunt lives in between Miami and Houston in Niceville, FL and Moni's grandparents live in St. Petersburg, FL.
Thursday, July 30, 2009
This is taken through my apartment door as the neighbors were moving some things out of their apartment tonight. It's been so busy I've had to resort to taking photos at my apartment ! It looked a little better in color. Sorry for the delay in posting. I've got some ok stuff on my film camera but it always takes me forever to shoot the film 'cause I'm always taking my time with every shot.
Sunday, July 19, 2009
The World Series of Dog Shows ended today at Reliant Center in Houston so Moni and I went down there this morning to check it out. It was dog overload. Super cool though. When we walked inside the Great Dane showing was taking place so that was a sight to see. They looked like a bunch of horses. Lighting was pretty dim for photos but I ended up with a few here and there. Nothing too crazy. I posted this photo because after a couple hours this is just how I felt. Seemed like there was more to see just standing in one spot than by walking all over.
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
My best reasoning couldn't come up with an explanation for the shortness of these mailboxes. They're not even properly built. There is that one support on the left side there as if someone purposely built it not only short, but slanted. I spotted them while driving through the entrance to a small subdivision near Waller, TX.
Saturday, July 11, 2009
Moni and I ate barbeque today, and I swear I heard trumpets of angles. It's a small place down the road from the apartment and I can say it's the best BBQ I've ever tasted. I'm not the greatest with words but if I was, I'm sure I still wouldn't be able to find the right ones to describe the experience at Dave's Rib Shack. We ended up sitting outside by the smoker and Harvey (the guy in the photo) came out and chatted with us. He's the cook and he's perfecting his craft for 'cue about 27 years. Harvey said, "If you're going to eat good barbeque, you've got to eat it where the smoke is at." So we did. We sweated it out in the hot Houston sun and ate ribs by the smoker where they cook the food.
Harvey was telling us about his days as a basketball player and the time he dunked on Joe Dumars (he has photo proof) of the Detroit Pistons. Great fella.
Anyway, if anyone that reads this is ever in Houston, Dave's Rib Shack is a must-stop destination.
Wednesday, July 08, 2009
Friday, July 03, 2009
They say all great things must come to an end. Soon my favorite, super cool Bob Seger t-shirt from 1978 is about to come to an end. It's not one of those shirts that are made to look old, it's the real deal. It celebrates a musical event that took place four months before the day of my birth. After I bought it five years ago on e-bay, I knew it's days were numbered. My decision was to either find a way to preserve it or to wear it loud and proud. In a way I've done both.
My decision was to wear it. I've spent some great times with friends, enjoyed many a delicious beer and relaxed in the Traverse City summer time in this shirt. And of course cranked up "Against the Wind" while driving with the windows down and wearing this t-shirt. But it's threads are wearing thin and the holes are not getting smaller so it's time for retirement is upon us.
So now I sort of get to preserve it. Although I'm bummed it's on its way out, I'm happy to be able to post it on my blog in all it's colorful glory.