On Monday, November 25, 2013, we’ll celebrate the 12th birthday of this personal blog of mine.
It’s gone through many difference phases over those years – beginning initially as a simply weblog linking to stories I found interesting (a very common use of Twitter these days is doing exactly that), starting what evolved separately into PaymentsNews.com, and then a transition to more of my photography passion as that interest grew in importance over the last few years.
On Friday, we lost our beloved Lily – just shy of her tenth birthday.
Lily was our constant companion over the last ten years – her only desire was to spend time with us, to be with us, to cuddle and play with us. She was selfless in her pursuit of our companionship, just wanting to be by our sides sharing our times together. So many special times.
Lily really selected us – we didn’t select her. We vividly remember first meeting her – along with her litter mates. They were all huddling close – but then Lily noticed us and walked away from the group to come over and say hi to us – her little tail wagging and her big eyes looking up at ours. We knew immediately she was the one.
Her official name was Tigerlily. She had a cowlick on her forehead – a tuft of hair – her own “mohawk” style – that just went straight up and earned her that name.
To us though, she’s always just been Lily. Our very close pal for all of these years – who we still can’t believe isn’t with us tonight. We really miss you girl!
Sometimes I wonder about what I’d be doing if I had skipped a generation and was 20 years younger.
Think about it – would what you be doing if you were 20 years younger today?
When I was watching these hang gliders at Fort Funston I wondered whether I might be trying to do what they do – flying like an eagle up there along the cliff. Sure seems like a ton of fun – but there’s always that nasty risk/reward tradeoff.
Go boldly – but be careful. Being too careful isn’t the solution either. We all end up finding our balance – and ultimately learn whether those were good choices.
Slowing down. It’s part of shooting landscapes – especially when you’re waiting for that early morning or late evening sunlight to work its magic.
Photography is so interesting to me because of the many different opportunities that it presents. Street photography – handheld and in the moment – is very different from landscape photography – on a tripod during those golden hours.
It feels different. There’s a different kind of satisfaction between these modes. Until last weekend’s shoot in Bend, Oregon, I hadn’t done much landscape photography since last fall’s workshop with Michael Frye in the eastern Sierra. My time in Havana in late January was all about street photography. Being quickly wired to shoot.
Last weekend brought me back – slowing down – being patient and waiting for the light. It’s wonderful being in the moment! It’s almost a right/left brain kind of thing – but both of these modes are more on the right side of the brain for me. Just different.
On this beautiful Memorial Day morning, I’ve been looking back at some of the earlier Memorial Days I’ve written about here.
Last year, I was reminded by the pastor at my Mom’s church that Memorial Day was first called Decoration Day – that it dates back to just after the Civil War and was a commemoration of the soldiers who died in that war.
Again today we remember both those who sacrificed their lives in service to our country as well as memories of those close to us.
According to Wikipedia, “Freedom Is Not Free” was first coined by retired U.S. Air Force Colonel, Walter Hitchcock, of New Mexico Military Institute and “expresses gratitude for the service of members of the military, implicitly stating that the freedoms enjoyed by many citizens in many democracies are only possible through the voluntary risks taken and sacrifices made by those in military. The saying is often used to convey respect specifically to those who gave their lives in defense of freedom.”
Once again this year, we remember them. Never forget.
The image above is from Golden Gate National Cemetery in San Bruno, California – taken on an early January morning in 2009. Had it been taken on Memorial Day, small American flags would have been placed in front of each of the headstones – we can see them in our mind’s eye.
It’s the end of January – and a bright, sunny morning back home in Menlo Park. Stepping outside this morning, there’s a freshness in the morning air. Spring seems just around the corner.
I’m back from an amazing 10 days – first to Miami and South Beach and then on to Havana, Cuba for a week long Person to Person cultural exchange program. I’ve got lots of reflections from this trip – which I’ll be writing about soon. And some beautiful photography – especially of the wonderfully open people of Havana.
Meanwhile, it’s really good to be home – as it always is.
I just took a look back at the most popular web pages here on my blog during the last twelve months of 2012. The most popular pages – based on page views – weren’t written this year – but they’ve stood the test of time – at least as far as Google and the other search engines are concerned.
Here’s the list of top 10 posts based on page views during 2012:
A Floating Faucet Fountain (Jun 13, 2009) – One of those fun stories that brings back childhood memories of home shows and the like!
Look at that list – no posts from 2012 made the top 10! It’s kinda crazy how long the long tail is. In the case of my blog, the top 3 posts accounted for over 50% of this year’s page views. The remaining 40+% were spread out among hundreds of other posts. I wonder how this distribution might change in 2013?