Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Leaving a legacy

Have you ever considered your own mortality, I mean really considered what a short time we are here on the earth? The average life span of an American right now is around 75, of course a lot of factors need to be weighed in to this, but for simplicity we will say 75. So 75 years, that sounds like a long time, but looking more closely can show how short that really is. 657,000 hours... that is how long we have from day one. Still seem like a lot? OK, take out 218,976 hours for sleep, we are not conscious during that period, therefore time has no effect. That leaves a good 438,024; alright that is about 50 years. Now lets throw in the fact that most of you that are reading this are over 30, meaning 196,076 have already been lost, excluding sleep because we deducted that from the overall aggregate. That now leaves us with 241,948 hours, or 27.62 years of living consciousness left. Scary isn't it? Don't forget I am basing this number at 30. Now according to the Foundation for Infinite Survival, Inc., once I hit the age of thirty, my life expectancy raises, this do to the fact that I survived thus far, giving me greater odds of surviving further. I am now estimated to hit 76.5... Keep in mind that I have no desire to get old, I think I mentioned before that once I get old and funny, my children will be instructed to take me out into a field and shoot me like a horse. Furthermore, when I hit the age of 50, my life expectancy increases even more, 78.3. That is 3 years past the initial average I had when I was 20, ah the good 'ol' days. If I make it to 74, my life span expectancy hits almost 10 more years than the national average, 85. This equation is not exponential mind you, it peeks and then drops like a chin. Making it to 100 only guarantees me an additional 2.5 years... of life. And really there are no guarantees, depressed yet? It gets better... well I guess it doesn't. We basically peak in our 20's and it is all down hill from there. I myself have been feeling my own mortality. I am not as agile, nor do I recover from battle wounds as quickly, I have a bruise that I swear has been on my leg for at least 2 weeks... those kinds of things use to heal up overnight. Youth is wasted on the youth; one never laments these things, until they are gone. Perception of time as a child is vastly different; we are in such a hurry to grow up. There is nothing that can be done about this, no value or lesson can teach one to appreciate the time they have, until they experience the loss for themselves. There is a guy that has a website devoted to his life span, everyday he takes a picture of himself on his computer, and he has done this for the last 6 years. He stitches the day to day pictures together and has made a movie out of it, it is fascinating.

I think this might be one of the reasons I love photography; the art has a way of capturing time like no other, if only for an instant... time stands still. Photography, I believe, is more pure than any other form of art medium, remember I said it is my opinion... A painter, sculptor, illustrator, etc., creates what "they" see, the finished product is a result of their perception, mood, and agenda. Obviously art is subjective, what one considers art, the other might consider crap, and I have seen a lot of that. Photography is different, it can not change what is real, all it can do is capture and freeze time. If a painter doesn't like the background of whatever piece they create, they can change it to their liking. If a sculptor is creating a bust of someone, and doesn't want the person to have a divot in their chin... gone. I guess the point I am making is that when it comes to accurately capturing imagery, one can not trust anything except a photograph... To be fair, Photoshop has changed this rule, but you get what I mean. An Illustrator or whatever can lie about what they saw when they created it, a photographer can't. It is either good or not, there is no middle ground.

Looking at my own life, and looking back at old photos, not of myself as a youth, but mostly the last 10 years, I can see the changes, hair, eyes, face. I am jealous I didn't think of taking a picture everyday, but do you really want to see yourself age 10 years in 2 minutes, it would make my heart weep.
I thought it might be fun to go through all my photographs since I started keeping digital copies, I can date back to 2001, anything before that I either don’t have and was pre digital camera. I was able to find a picture of me from year to year, though it is never the same look, angle, situation, so it is very ineffective. But here ya go the summer of 2001 below The Fall of 2001The year would be 2002 below2002 the summer I believeThe fall of 2003The summer of 2004The winter of 2004 or 2005The summer of 2005The summer of 2006The winter of 2006The Fall of 2007The winter of 2008Time is precious, and I am beginning to see why holding onto it is so difficult. For the moment we are here, it seems like an eternity, and then we are gone. I guess that is why there is such a driving force to produce offspring, to leave a legacy, to leave something when we are gone. Maybe the best way to hold on to the past, is to take it with you in the future. There will always be pictures, in some form or another, and they will remain our ties to the past. Takecare everyone...

Friday, April 25, 2008

This and That (April 2008)

Well I have hit a landmark, sort of. This is my 20th post this year; I thought that there would be more fan-fair... oh well. So I have been wondering what to post about today. There has been a lot going on, a catch up would be nice. And then I thought; maybe a review of the previous posts, capitalizing on previous works; but then I thought, leave that for sitcoms. Anyway, I think today will be a catch up on what has been going on over the last week or two. Plans for the wedding are moving along; we got the invitations and are now in the process of addressing, printing out the engagement photo insert, (this is the one we decided on... like it???) j/k and getting them in the mail. We also took a look at the event center on temple square; we both were very surprised at how big the room was. I think the on going thought between both of us was, to bad we don't have a lot of friends... "chuckle".
Speaking of temple square, I think it is so neat that we get to have the reception there, what a spectacular place to get married. I have posted some pictures of it before, but none truly do it justice. This weekend was no exception, we had stake conference on temple hill, and the weather could not have been more perfect. The view and visibility were absolutely breathtaking.I wish I had my camera on me, the one time I don't bring it... grrrrr. The rest of the weekend was spent taking care of errands that had been lingering. Anna discovered a craft store, the name fails me, near by and she is more excited than ever to be relocating. Speaking of relocating, that is another task that we have to start working on. There is so much to do, and the days keep slipping away. The last I looked, the countdown clock was on 43 days??Anna has adapted quite nicely to life in Concord, she loves the location and is very excited to make a home. She has taken to mothering my ferrets; thank goodness she has a kind heart and loves animals.Dexter and Scout are no spring chickens, and ferrets are not nearly as much fun in the latter years. Never the less; she loves them anyway, and is very excited to adopt them as her own. I took some pictures of them a couple of weeks ago, as you can see below, the days of high energy exploration are long gone. I am lucky if they make it to the litter box. Crazy little ferrets.
Scout still has some fight left in him, especially when the door to the inside of the house is open... he is still quick.The upcoming weekend will take me back to Chico, Anna has a couple more field trips to go on, and this will give me a chance to take more photos... and discover more things to complain about, regarding Chico. I honestly am looking forward to the end of the commute, gas prices are killing us. According to AAA, California has the highest gas prices in the nation, go us. Not to mention that the highest average can be found right here in the Bay Area. I don't get it, the refineries are here, you would think that the cost of transporting it would be cheap... Tourist are coming to visit and are so shocked they can be seen taking pictures of the prices, true story. I took this picture a couple of weeks ago, thinking we had peaked, I was wrong. I paid $4.05 this morning.A NYC newspaper which we will call, the "New York Rymes", was whining saying that they had the highest prices in the nation, take a seat big apple... or should I say big faker. Why do New Yuckers always have to be the most extreme in what ever the case is; if it is hot somewhere, it is hotter there. If it is cold in South Dakota, some one from NY will say it is colder in the city. A friend told me an interesting joke the other day, it was so true. What does a Vegan, a person who does not own a TV, and a person from New York have in common??? With in five minutes of meeting them, they have to announce to you that they are from NYC, that they don't own a TV, or that they are a vegan... so true. Anyway, I think that is it for now... thanks for reading.


Monday, April 21, 2008

Becoming one with nature... the hard way!

A few weekends ago, Anna and I had our engagement photos done; please see her blog at CountingClare.Blogspot.com, for more engagement photos, and not so engagement photos. Anyway, we had them taken a nice little nature retreat in Chico called Mendocino.
It was a lovely wooded area that had a small river that ran through it, (no correlation to the movie). After we were done getting our photos taken, I decided to get out my own camera and take some nature shots. There were several foot paths, and groves of wooded trees. Some of my favorite shots can be found below.Water, even if it is moving fast, can be so pretty. There is a funny story that goes along with this picture. In the process of positioning myself so I could take a time lapse photo to smooth out the water, I slipped. Luckily I was on dry land using a telephoto lens when this happened; otherwise I would have been wet. Anyway; I was wearing flip flops, first mistake, and I slipped down the dirt embankment. What made the landing so intense was in the process of falling, I had a split second reality check... all of my camera equipment was on my back, and my camera was in my right hand... second mistake. I had a choice, either fall and try and stop myself, throwing the camera and landing on my bag or, save the camera and backpack, and use my elbow to absorb my body's weight as I impacted the ground. So not only did I sacrifice myself for the equipment, but I proceeded to take this shot after I fell, and was bleeding. What a trooper, the sacrifices I make for my hobby.Anna can be seen above ghost white after watching me fall. She carried the backpack after the fall... Believe it or not, she is not possing for this picture. The reason she is looking away is because my arm is dripping with blood and it crossed her out.Notice how peacfull it is here, the ducks are swimming peacfully, birds chirpping, happy couples walking hand in hand... then I enter the forest.See the happy couple of ducks seen above. The male is the one with a green head. Below are shots that I took as Anna and I walked further into the forest... avoiding all the people with their dogs.Overall, it was a pleasant day... minus the rude people with unleashed dogs, the mosquitoes, and my clumsy butt.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Bridging the gaps

Well it has been a while, I hope everyone checked out Anna's blog at Countingclare.blogspot.com, there are more funny pictures to come... so keep checking back to see if she has posted something new. Anyway, last time I blogged it was right before the weekend. As everyone who know me is aware, I love photography. I recently purchased a new camera and since then, I have had a resurgence in my interest in it. Over the last month I have been out several times taking random pictures of unique areas here in the bay area. I am hoping to keep up with this, but only time will tell. For a formal viewing of some of my best work, please go to www.clarephotography.com, or just click the letters in red.

Last weekend Anna and I went into the city and ended up in the Marin Headlands. For those of you who are not familiar with this area, it is right at the northern tip of the entrance to the Bay, right at the foot of the Golden Gate Bridge... my favorite bridge. We arrived at night, so all the pictures I took are night time shots.Since I was a little boy, I have always had a love and fascination for this bridge. I was born in southern Marin, and until I was 4, I used to have a view of the bridge from where my parents lived. They would often take me to the bridge so that I could walk across it, keep in mind the bridge is over a 1.5 miles,and it is always windy and cold. I am assuming that I didn't walk most of that distance, but instead was carried by my dad. It is hard to say what drew me to this bridge, and why I was so fascinated by it. There are 7 bridges in the bay area, but only one is red... I don't think it was the color necessarily that drew me to it, but who knows!Honestly, I think it was the way the bridge suspended across such a long distance over treacherous water; though from my pictures, you can not tell how fast the water is moving, time lapsed photography has that effect on water, notice there are cars going across, they become blurred images of light the longer the shutter is open, and the shutter has to stay open longer because it is night and there is very little light.The bridge opened back in 1933 and offers some the most spectacular views of the city. Though it is not the longest suspension bridge anymore, when it first opened it was, it is still considered an architectural masterpiece. An interesting fact to note; it is one of the 7 most recognized landmarks in the world, more recognized than the Statue of Liberty... which remarkably did not make the list. In fact it was the only structure on the U.S. that did make the top seven.
I have a lot of fond memories when it comes to the G.G.B., I used to build replicas out of my blocks, I had several children's books about it, I never get tired of driving over it... though I do get tired of paying the 5 dollars in bridge tolls.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

I was on my way to post, when suddenly...

Ok, I had a new thread already to go, but instead I was trumped. I will post tomorrow; in the mean time, see who stole my thunder. Go to Anna's blog, CountingClare, to see what I am talking about.

Thursday, April 10, 2008


Today's post is going to take us back in time. Back in January, before I was engaged, I visited Anna's family in Washington, Whidbey Island to be precise.At first I had some anxieties going to visit:
The first is probably obvious to most. Going to visit your girlfriend's family can be very humbling.
Second: I didn’t know anybody, and I had never been to Washington. Those anxieties were quickly extinguished. I was welcomed with open arms by all of her wonderful family, and felt right at home. This, in and of itself, was a good thing; you always want your girlfriend's family to like you. Unbeknownst to them, and partially myself at the time, I would become their son-in-law; luckily I didn't get too comfortable and start calling them Mom and Dad right of the bat, though it felt like I could have when I first met everyone.The other thing that made this trip so wonderful was getting to see the landscape of the Seattle area, a place I did not know much about, and had never been to.It is an amazing place, there about 600 islands that encompass the area. What I found even more interesting was the way people get around the area. To get to the island, I flew into SEA, and from there, took a small plane to the island itself. This was very exciting; I never have been on a small plane before, one with an open cockpit. It was almost like a roller coaster getting tossed around by the winds. Very little stabilization exists on these types of small aircraft. The other means of public transportation are the ferries. The ferries link the islands together, not only do they transport people, but they also transport their cars as well. The picture below is of one of the ferries docking, once the boat is moored, cars drive off and on.Coincidently, Anna's brother and sister in law were visiting, so I got to meet them as well.Most of the pictures are of the kids, and it is obvious to see why, aren’t they cute?Uncle Brickman was very elusive on this trip, every time I took a picture, he would look down at his camera, pretending to be doing something... :-)Below we see Ethan discovers he can fit his fingers in between the grills of the railing.There are a lot of things to do here, lots of places to see, and lots of wildlife to be photographed.See the very ferocious Annabeast in her natural habitat, found above. I had to approach this dangerous creature with great caution. One false move and I might have woken her up; disturbing the Annabeast during her treasured nap time can mean certain doom. My trip was a wonderful experience, so good that I decided to marry Anna, that way I could come to visit more.There was beauty to be found everywhere I went...Until next time, thanks for reading...