(there is a bug in the blog to do with commas quotes apostrophys and other symbols - forwarding to Chris and Daniel)
Its been quite some time since I posted a blog here so I thought I would take a moment and put down some thoughts I had last night while conversing in chat.
I have, in the past, written a few entries concerning the untimely death of my little brother in law. The other day a few of us were in chat talking about someone else's sickness and it triggered an interesting story I thought I would share about his pet cat Joey.
Soon after my brother in law was diagnosed with terminal cancer a feral cat started hanging around their house begging for food and attention. This cat was a beautiful Tabby and Deloy (my bro in-law), his wife and their family (ala-Brady bunch kids) were immediately stricken with it. This family was no stranger to pets as they had two little Pomeranian mop dogs, but to my knowledge they had never had a cat.
I know for a fact that Deloy, having never had a cat, was more than a little surprised at the instant affection this cat put on him. It was an instant friendship. This cat imprinted on Deloy so quickly everyone called him Dads cat Joey for no small reason.
Joey the cat followed Deloy everywhere in the house and waited patiently by the door if Deloy had some doctors or business appointment that required him to leave. As I reflect on the situation I find it incredible how the cat fit so well into the family. The cat created no problems with the dogs and never had an accident or caused any mischief to family, dwelling or belongings.
Joey always slept at the feet of Deloy on his bed much to the dismay of his wife. She soon realized there was nothing she could do to dissuade the cat from his master and made the necessary mental adjustments to accommodate the cats attentiveness.
As Deloy started to lose the battle to the cancer, he became home bound and eventually bed ridden. My wife and I spent many a night watching over her younger brother as the sickness ravaged his body and soul. The ever present Joey never left his side. There were many times when one of us on duty was watching TV in another room so Deloy could get some needed rest would be meowed at by the cat. We soon learned that this was Joeys way of fetching help for his sick pal. There was always a need to check on Deloy if Joey appeared.
The term that the doctors estimated my brother in laws time left was 2 years. He lasted 2 years and 2 months.
Deloy passed in his sleep at home. I was called and immediately left to see what help I could offer. Ever the attentive companion, there was Joey the cat. He followed the gurney with his master to the waiting transport vehicle and sat in the ditch as the car made its way down the street Watching and waiting.
Two days later Joey left, never to return.
It was as if he understood his job was done.
Thanks Joey, for everything.
For a lighter look at cats see James Caturday thread:
Caturday thread on ModelInsider
As some of you may know, Lisa’s little brother passed quietly exactly a year ago, last September 13th , from a 2 year battle with cancer. The battle really was not between him and the disease as cancer had decidedly won from the moment it was diagnosed. He knew it, and was really just trying to make the most of the time he had left for his wife and young family.
At 43, Deloy, Lisa’s little brother was one of the strongest, healthiest people I have known. I still remember the day 3 years ago I told me he had issues and had been seeing a doctor for months to try and correct some digestion issues he was having. The doctor never did the tests. Most probably because of Deloy’s age bracket and outward viewable physique. Truly a pitty. The cancer was so aggressive, had the test been done, who knows, instead of stage four, perhaps stage 1 or 2? He never outwardly complained about his lot, just tried to be the best husband father with the time that God had left him with.
I take the time to reflect on anniversaries of events both good and bad. As I have aged I have discovered I have absolutely no ability to control these reflections. Some I would just as soon not relive, others are pleasant. This particular reflection came on me as Lisa talked about the close brother she loved and missed. I grew up with both Lisa and her brother as Lisa was 16 and I 18 when we married. Deloy was 12 at the time and I cannot remember a time when he was not my little brother too. He was the brother I called whenever I needed a hand with something big or small. He was the uncle I asked to come and stay with our kids. He was the guy always pulling off the perfect practical joke usually aimed at me.
His wife and kids are doing great. A new house purchased with some of the insurance money, the old house had too many memories to be comfortable any longer. His wife has turned her attention to her successful dance business. She misses him tremendously but there are the children to concern her with now. The daughters are doing well in school and are popular with their peers. The youngest son is on the basketball team ( playing in the shadow of his father who still holds many state records). The oldest son having turned 18 6 months ago and decided as per his father’s wishes, would concentrate 2 years of his life on a religious self supported mission. He lives in Chile for the next several years and I am sure making his father proud.
We visited his grave for the first time in a year , last Sunday.
Strange indeed it was to see the name on that stone and the date.
Damn we miss him.
Other Blog Links About Deloy:
-5 years ago this 29th of August, Katrina hit New Orleans. I and most of my family had also survived a similar ordeal, Hurricane Wilma, in Cancun Mexico ( 2005). I reflected this week on my feelings for my favorite US city and the despair and tragedy I knew the people were, and are still, encountering.
-I have returned to New Orleans every year for Mardi Gras since, and have witnessed the gradually return of the city. And, what a city it is! If you have never been to New Orleans then it is far over due that it be visited.
-There are many events worth visiting New Orleans for including:
Red Dress Run
Saint Patrick’s (huge Irish population in NOLA)
-The flavor of the city can be found nowhere else and is really something to be experienced. Every area of the Quarter is a picture post card waiting to be captured. The city is a model of Southern Hospitality and nowhere are the people quite so courteous and polite. The food is beyond exquisite!
-Unfortunately for me I work every year in Las Vegas at the exact same time as Jazzfest, which I sorely wish to attend. Halloween is one of the strangest parties on the planet and should be experienced to believe.
-If you find yourself in New Orleans during the Mardi Gras week, look me up, I will definitely be there!
Welcome Back New Orleans…..
-There has always been controversy surrounding pictures and video taken at the Burning Man Festival each year located at Black Rock City NV. I have attended several and have taken many pictures there. The ownership of said pictures has been in question as of late and I thought that providing their “official” info here would be of interest and possibly spark an interesting thread or two.
-The following is a communication I received from the good folks that are Burning Man.
-Take special note of the Photography Images and how they may be taken and used. If you are attending the festival this year I would encourage you to pre-register if possible. The link for registration is on their site and found below in this document.
TRADEMARKS AND IMAGE USE
How We Protect Burning Man and Our Community
The Burning Man Project has stepped up efforts over the years to protect the event and its community from exploitation or commodification, whether deliberate or accidental. We trademarked some of Burning Man’s most recognizable words and logos, so that we could have a say about how and where they are used. We set firm regulations on the use of cameras at the event as a condition of entry, and created licenses that are required for any commercial use of imagery. Those conditions apply not only to expected behavior when photographing, but also to subsequent use of any images or footage captured at the event. Burning Man is extremely cautious about how its marks and images are used, and our community tends to be very protective as well.
Here are some basic guidelines regarding Burning Man’s ownership and maintenance of its “intellectual property” and the right to protect those things from exploitation or commodification.
TRADEMARKS: The names "Burning Man", "Black Rock City", and "Decompression", as well as the Burning Man symbol, the design of the Man, the design of the city’s lampposts, and the city layout design are all protected by trademark law. They may not be used for any commercial purposes whatsoever without obtaining written permission from Black Rock City LLC. In order to preserve the “Man” image for use in gifting and as an affinity symbol for our culture, we do not license this image to third parties for commercial or outside purposes.
IMAGE USE: In order to use any image or video taken at the event in a widespread public application (beyond friends and family), you must pre-register and request written permission from Burning Man. This applies to printing photos in a magazine or newspaper, hanging a picture at a gallery show, or using imagery in a documentary or TV show.
If you didn't register as a professional shooter at the event, that doesn't mean you can't request permission later if someone wants to use one of your images publicly, but you DO need written permission to keep yourself out of hot water and help protect the Burning Man community from future violations. As a general rule of thumb, remember: it’s not just whether the image is being used for financial gain – it’s really about whether the image is being distributed purposefully beyond just friends and family. For the purposes of personal imagery, social networking sites such as Flickr, Facebook etc. are deemed “personal use” until and unless such sites are used for the purposeful promotion or distribution of images with the expressed intent to publicly display them beyond one’s immediate network. You are responsible for obtaining the permission of your subjects in your photos where their faces are recognizable, and if your image violates the privacy of another attendee, you are expected to attend to its removal.
If your use of an image will extend beyond the friends and family in your network, you should request permission by contacting press (at) burningman.com. If you are interested in shooting for professional purposes (book, fine art, documentary, film), visit this page for more information.
PRIVATE PROPERTY: Entering Black Rock City during Burning Man constitutes legal acceptance of Burning Man’s posted policies, including those regarding intellectual property. Burning Man is held on land that is leased in accordance with permits from the Bureau of Land Management. Though the land is public property the rest of the year, this permit designates the area as private/closed for the duration of the event, and a ticket is required to enter. This Closure Order means that Burning Man holds the right to authorize or deny any videography or photography at the event under penalty of ejection, and any use of the resulting images or footage must obtain permission as a condition of entry and acceptance of these terms. For specifics on rights and responsibilities for media and participants, see our Rights and Responsibilities. This document pertains both to personal use of imagery and professional – no matter who is using a camera, the expectation of respect for our artists and participants remains the same.
PROTECTING OURSELVES: While we are humbled by and grateful for all of the interest in Burning Man, we are not interested in becoming a brand used to sell goods, services or unaffiliated events. Our community’s work and creativity would be diminished if this extended culture were reduced to a “lifestyle” brand like MTV or Abercrombie & Fitch. Most members of our community are very appreciative of the fact that we don’t allow commerce at the event, but we are also very vigilant about our role in the commercial world outside of the event, and how our culture fits into culture at large. Our position on commercial use is not a statement of idealism. It’s simply a way to enjoy what we’ve created together, in a way that is best insulated from commodification by the outside world.
PROTECTING OUR COMMUNITY: Burning Man is a visually stunning event, full of creation and expression. It has long been a source of inspiration for talented filmmakers and photographers. We are interested in supporting those artists who capture elements of Burning Man in a fresh and interesting way, bringing their compositional and technical skills to their medium, enabling the magic of Burning Man to remain in our memories and to be shared with the larger world.
Still, we are mindful of the sense of liberation that many feel at Burning Man, and of the need to preserve that freedom. The costume worn on Saturday night may look incredibly inappropriate on your manager’s browser back at work on Tuesday morning, and we endeavor to help ensure that your image only ends up being shared that way if you agree to it. We are particularly interested in preventing the sale of salacious nude images or film taken at Burning Man, of the sort usually accompanied by lascivious promises of “hot women in the desert”. (Our battle against Voyeur Video was a crucial step in this right to privacy; for more information on that case, visit this page.) Most of our attendees are not interested in becoming centerpieces of erotic material or advertising campaigns, and we aim to protect them from such exploitation at our event.
ENFORCEMENT:Our Media Team monitors the use of our trademarks and the use of images/imagery from Burning Man all year long. We regularly monitor stock photography sites, eBay, Burning Man regional lists, and a host of other public/online venues, in addition to Google Alerts and other news tracking tools. Burning Man participants are also helpful at keeping a watchful eye on the internet and other outlets and notifying us of any unauthorized uses.
Our interest in this level of protection is more than merely moral or philosophical; when it comes to trademarks, we are also legally obligated to consistently enforce our trademarks from violation in order to retain them. If we don’t, we may find we cannot get legal protection in the case of an egregious violation later – to retain a mark, one must be vigilant in protecting it. For example: we routinely police local promoters who advertise small “Burning Man” parties on fliers without our permission; therefore, we will also retain the right to enforce it if a large promoter like MTV ever to advertise a “Spring Break Burning Man Party.” We are legally compelled to be consistent about the use of our marks, even if it’s just a small party to raise funds for your camp.
GIFTING: So what about gifts? Gifting is one of the principles of the Burning Man event. For more information on what gifting is about, see Ten Principles. Making a gift to give away with the Man symbol, or the words “Burning Man” is absolutely fine, as is putting the design or phrase on your camp's informational website, or going in on a batch of t-shirts (at cost for yourselves or as gifts... using the Man symbol or Burning Man photos on an invitation to a camp fundraiser, or designing promotional materials for your company,, or making a Burning Man t-shirt to sell to the public at a Cafe Press shop are not. If you’re not sure, write to us at press (at) burningman.com. We are happy to help!
PERMISSIONS: Need permission to publish a photo? Found an image used without permission? Want to know if a "Decompression" you saw is really an authorized Burning Man event? Write to us at: press (at) burningman.com
-One more thing from me….
If you have never attended the Burn, it is something everyone should do at least once. Never have I come away from a Burn disappointed.
Peace Love and Life.
This is part of a note I replied to Mike Roberts on the shot of the cliff in the POD 18+ contest today.
The Treasure Tree
An interesting 4th of July weekend for us.
We shot these on the 3rd of July up the canyon and it is pretty busy around the holidays. We found this spot up above on the East side of the road. The reason I stopped there was for 2 reasons. The nice looking rocks first, and then on the West side of the road is an ancient Pine tree with a rock right in front that would allow me to shoot from the side and catch the entire valley you see. I walked around the tree to the West and noticed 4 very weathered leather straps holding a nicely camouflaged piece of wood over a large hollow opening in the tree. I became very excited as I removed one of the straps and could see that the cavity in the tree was huge. I sent Lisa back to the truck for a flashlight and began feeling along the inside of the hole. I located a nail with a rope tied to it and as I pulled on the rope I could feel something quite heavy on the end.
A little background of this Preston Valley area...
Late in the 1800's there was a huge robbery of Gold. The bandits fled with the posse close in pursuit and headed up the canyon taking a turn into the Preston Valley area there. Two of the bandits were shot and one was captured there. The loot of course was not found on them. They had ditched it somewhere in the canyon. The 3rd bandit died in prison presumably never revealing the where abouts of this gold. I have a friend whose father is a retired Electrical Engineer and has searched for this treasure off and on for about 50 years never finding it.
I had heard of the famous robbery all my life and I am sure you can imagine what was going through my mind. I had found the famous treasure and was about to be quite rich!
As the tiny bucket was raised to the light I found that it was filled on top with numerous papers and notepads. Beneath these little books were an odd assortment of springs, toys, coins, pencils and pens. I opened up the notepads and could see all kinds of family names and stories had been left there. These signatures, stories and pictures were dated going back many many years.
I realized I had found a treasure, just not the one I had been anticipating. I carefully put the bucket back in the tree and let my heart calm from the adrenalin rush. Lisa and I climbed up and took the picture of the cliff and Preston Valley that was the winner today. As we shot one family would ride up on 4 wheelers, walk around the tree and open the secret panel, look at the contents put them back and leave. This happened about 8 times while we were there.
Apparently I was the only one that did not know of the Treasure Tree.
Life is filled with all kinds of treasures! We should all be finding them daily.
Peace Love and Life.
A little background on Nate…
Nate is the 2nd of Lisa’s and my 4 sons.
He was born 3 months premature and we were told by the doctors this would affect him in all kinds of ways ranging from Asthma to not wanting to be touched (they judged this from the fact that he spent so much time in the incubator and history I guess). Not many of the predictions that the doctors made actually manifest them in Nate. About the only thing I notice is he is a bit smaller than his brothers, but what he lacks in height, he makes up in huge feet.
The real story begins here…
My son Nate started planning his trip to Europe 6 months ago. It was to be super 14 days of touring and playing music in venues all over Europe. Another buddy in the band was going and had several relatives there that would assist in finding places to stay as well as play their music.
Nate sold his car, his Rhodes piano and several guitars to put himself over the top for the trip. His preparation was meticulous. A new guitar and camera, cheaper versions that would not matter so much if they got stolen, were purchased. A European phone was rented and loaded with minutes. Nothing could or would go wrong…..
Upon arriving in the UK Nate discovered that his buddy had not had time to contact the relatives and they were going “wing it”. Well this may have been ok but…
They neglected to check on a few things like….
Easter Weekend is pretty big in the UK as well as Spring Break. The hotels were all filled along with the hostels. Their next option for sleeping (besides the tiny little clown car they rented) was a nice hotel that ran $300 US a night. They blew their entire budget for sleeping the first 4 nights. Fortunately, once the weekend was over some other options opened up. Good thing they paid down the credit cards before they left.
Things went well from there on out and the vacation was a little bumpy, but they felt it was a success. Time to go home…
The Iceland Volcano erupts in force the day they are scheduled to leave in and the EU along with the UK grounds every flight. They decide to sit in the airport for a spell and wait it out (at least the sleeping cost is lower). Finally all those with travel visas are asked to leave as the grounding is for an undetermined time. Once again Nate and his pal find themselves on the streets penniless and without a return flight date.
Several years ago Lisa planned an awesome vacation for the entire family to Cancun. My parents, and one sister (and her family) accompanied us. The day we landed, Cancun was bracing for the eminent arrival of hurricane Wilma. Without going into hours of detail, we were stranded by the airlines and left to fend for ourselves. Fortunately Hilton Properties took care of us and placed the entire guests and staff in a government approved shelter (a concrete school). Our family was placed with a group of 12 gorgeous (did I mention they were pretty) flight attendants from the UK along with 2 male attendants. Long story short we survived the horrible experience together as a group and formed bonds that are still shared today (both the air attendants and the Hilton folks). We have kept in touch and share events online.
(back to Nate’s tale)
Nate should have been back a week ago Thursday. Thankfully one of the Flight Attendants that we were stranded with in Hurricane Wilma took pity on the two Yanks and put them up in her tiny flat in London.
Their credit cards were maxed out, their money gone.
Nate arrived back late last night in one piece and none to worse for the wear. He is about $3000 minus on his cards but I can hardly wait to hear the adventure.
I am sure he and his pal had the time of their lives!
Peace Life and Love.
Today begins the NAB show here in Las Vegas!
National Association of Broadcasters.
This is the most likely the biggest or second biggest show each year in Las Vegas. As always I am attending and working the show. The NAB show is mostly aimed at TV, Film and Radio. The big names in video cameras (Canon Sony etc) do however also show their still camera equipment as well. Adobe will be premiering (A wierd dual reference here) their new CS5 suite which has broadly been anticipated. Many new and interesting technologies are shown at the show and it is not uncommon to see future technologies displayed and demonstrated.
I have worked in the video editing biz almost as long as it has existed. I will be working as a demo artist here inside the show and attending invitation only events all over the city. Am I excited? Absolutely!
Some of the site members have decided to get together down here for some fun and perhaps some shooting. Some of us will be putting names with faces for the very first time.
Among those that will be attending this week are Kim (PKMImages),Rose (Whitewing) Steve (Extreme Body Art), Lisa (Miss Redd) me and some other photographers and models from another site that rhymes with Toddler Play-pen. *Insert Rim Shots Here*
As the comic at the Best Western said, "I am here all week, remember to tip your waitress!".
PM me if you are in Vegas this week and we may try to host a dinner or something for those interested. I am thinking this would be sometime either Friday or Saturday night.
(ooooh, I feel like a roving reporter)
As the year draws to a close I am filled with the spirit of reflection.
The year, for me, has been one of extreme tragedy and loss.
I have lost my brother in law, my best friend - no. I will rephrase, my closest brother.
Financially, it has been a disastrous year in so many aspects I am involved with. Many of my friends have been evicted and or lost the homes and the comfortable futures they worked for all of their lives.
Several days before Christmas, my father in law slipped on some ice and fractured his pelvis in several places.
My Father had bypass surgery while unknowingly suffering from pneumonia. His recovery took forever and then discovered he need a pacemaker installed.
Christmas Day 2009
My Sister in law:
-She is consoled by the closeness the death brought to her family. More love, more caring and a sense of cohesion that did not exist in prior the family. Life continues. And though memories are fresh of her husband’s passing, the memories of the time together this past year are priceless. She is calm, caring and peaceful. She harbors no animosity or self pity. She has become my hero.
-My father in law, normally perpetually grumpy is unexplainably happy this season. His only son is gone. An accident has put him down and the recovery will be long and unpleasant.
-He looks at my sister in law and a new light emerges from him. He smiles with admiration and love for his daughter in law. He has found new purpose, new energy, a compassion for children and grandchildren other than his own. I suddenly realize I have witnessed a miracle.
-An entire year for recovery full of pain and depression that only one that has been through it can attest or understand. His gentleness has increased, his humor is good. He has a couple of scores of grandkids/great grandkids that adore him. Not only a survivor, I realize now, he is now a caregiver.
-Curiously most of them seem happy. Sometime in the midst of loss a spirit emerges of hope. I hear things like “I am better off than most” or “better than the alternative” or even “I did it once, why not again?”. They pass gifts back and forth. Provide food and comfort to those around them. In humility I bow my head in the acknowledgement of true greatness.
Unknowingly I have evolved. In the midst of tragedy, loss, suffering and despair I find the inverse side of life filled with miraculous and wondrous things like love, compassion, charity and hope.
My Christmas Wish
-May your coming year be filled with family, friends and loved ones.
-May you grow from your experiences into the person and potential that exists within.
-Love your friends as well as those that do not agree with you.
-May you find hope, love and compassion where ever and whenever they are needed.
-May you give love hope compassion and charity when the time is required.
Lastly, I recite an old Scottish Blessing
May the blessing of light be on you, light without and light within. May the blessed sunlight shine on you like a great peat fire, so that stranger and friend may come and warm himself at it. And may light shine out of the two eyes of you, like a candle set in the window of a house, bidding the wanderer come in out of the storm. And may the blessing of the rain be on you, may it beat upon your Spirit and wash it fair and clean, and leave there a shining pool where the blue of Heaven shines, and sometimes a star. And may the blessing of the earth be on you, soft under your feet as you pass along the roads, soft under you as you lie out on it, tired at the end of day; and may it rest easy over you when, at last, you lie out under it. May it rest so lightly over you that your soul may be out from under it quickly; up and off and on its way to God. And now may the Lord bless you, and bless you kindly.
Life Love and Peace.
Yes, this is the 2nd time this year for a 13th to fall on a Friday. Traditionally this is one of the worst days possible.
-Why is that?
I thought this would be a great time to resurect my Friday the 13th Story Thread. It does not come forward on the front page, but if you look in the forums using Active, you will see it.
Just in case, here is the link
I put a little history in the thread for those of you that are interested.
If you have some tid bits or crazy weird story, please feel free to add to the thread! We would love to hear your take on this of all days!
Happy Friday 13th!
PS - Mom & Dad got hitched on Friday the 13th, Just enjoyed their 52nd!
Bikefest Las Vegas
-The week was a bit stressful upon returning this last Monday. So my Bikefest report was a tad bit delayed, but…
There was quite a group of us that journeyed to the Las Vegas Bikefest this year. 3 couples and a couple of singles shared a house. Another set of friends that live in Vegas and my pal from Whistler rounded out our little motorcycle gang.
Due to the poor economy, rentals in Las Vegas are an incredibly great deal. Our house was stocked with tons of food, computer and broadband, a huge hot tub, pool table and very nice entertainment system including about 200 DVD’s. If I told you the price, you would know for sure what a cheapskate I am.
There were several poker run type rides that the folks at Bikefest had designed and were truly quite nice. Some of our group got sick and we were absent from the nice ride through the Valley of Fire park.
The nights were great. Temperatures were simply perfect. Finding something to do at night in Vegas is only difficult because of the many incredible choices. We visited the Hogs and Heifers bar and caught a couple of concerts including Yellow Brick Road (an fabulous Rock band ). A little dancing on the bar at Hogs and Heifers produced some fun pics too.
One of our group entered the "Mr. Bikefest" contest which made the entire trip worth while. Unfortunately he did not win, but I got some awesome black mail material! Several of the girls have vowed to enter the Miss Bikefest contest next year.
All the bikes we brought ran well with no problems. 90 minutes home although we blew the driver’s side left tire on my truck we were towing the trailer with the bikes in it (I know we are pussy’s with a trailer) and in the removal process broke 2 studs and succeeded in destroying our only lug wrench. 2 hours later a tow truck showed to remove the remaining lugs for $80. Ah well, you need some stuff like this to make the vacation even more memorable.
Below are some images from the trip.
-the girls and the lead singer from Yellow Brick Road
-just the guys
-a new workout friend for Red
-giving our waitress a break
-Keith is the one with his arm raised from our group
-another shot of Keith (2nd guy from left)
-Keith's girlfriend thinking about the 1st plane out of Vegas
-I love my pals
Next adventure soon!
Peace Love and Life