Friday, March 30, 2012

New York Rush

Nearly a decade ago, Rose bought our first digital camera - a Canon PowerShot SD40.  Market value at $500 at that time.  I complained that it was too expensive but I got sold into its neat features:  Digital (so no film required), less than 4MP (nowadays 10MP is the minimum), almost all metallic parts (so it was still heavy but not as heavy as a 35mm SLR), pocketable (it was actually three times the size of most current point and shoot camera - so one really needed a huge pocket to fit the SD40).  That camera is long dead.  The shutter is shut and it was cheaper to get a new one.

I've dug this one from the archive.  Shot with this camera.  I'm still amazed at the pictures it produced.  This image was taken at very low speed but the clarity of the traffic light and the guy underneath it beats some of my shots taken with my more expensive cameras and pro-lens.  I like it when the image has contrasting blur and sharpness.  This was taken in 2005 while sauntering on the streets of Manhattan.  I think it was at Times Square.  Not really sure.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Walking Away (part iv)

By now, he realized that the only way to reach out to his people was to truly become like them... not just in terms of common ethnicity but to get into their minds... that is to begin doing work that they do, to eat like them and drink like them, and to start thinking like them.  All these felt new to him for he has forgotten how to live like them.  He would continue to do this without complaint for forty years.  By then, he will look back and ask himself, "was it worth it? "

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Across the Cherry Blossoms Universe

If you like the cherry blossoms, then this is best time to see them.  Sometimes you don't have to go far... all it takes is a little imagination.  Cheers.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Ain't misbehavin', Savin' my love for you

Ain't misbehavin'
Savin' my love for you
(Fats Waller)

While doing the garden, Rose found a picture-perfect dandelion in our yard and gave it to me.  Aww... So a picture perfect flower deserves to be ... uhmmm... photographed.  But then I realized that my wife probably gave the flower to me to remind me that the window needs cleaning.  Hope your weekend was good.  Cheers.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Walking Away (part iii)

Continued from yesterday:

The Good Book says, "for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."   The boy grew up real quick and learned that this was the very core of the problem that he was trying to solve.  People's hearts where in the wrong places.  He resolved that he needed to bring simplicity and beauty back to his own people.  But how would they respond?

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Walking Away (ii)

Continued from yesterday:

The boy came to his own but his own did not know him. The people have changed. They have exchanged their rural values to cosmopolitan plasticity. They are always on the go. Always on the rush. To where? They don't even know. All they know is they have to go.

As fate would have it, in the not so distant future, the boy would come face to face with Joseph Kony, Che Guevara and Dalai Lama. What would he say to them?

And if you look closely, you will see that there is a black rabbit on the pond. The black rabbit watched the boy for a long time. In fact, very long that trying to stay afloat on the pond was giving her some cramps. The rabbit is the reincarnated Gene Wilder. (Gene Wilder became a female rabbit in his other life.) As the crowd left, she approached the boy and told him, "what is essential is the invisible."

"Hmm.. that sounds familiar," the boy responded.

"It should be. I borrowed it from the Little Prince."

"You mean Machiavelli?"

"No. The other one... that French dude."

"Oh yeah... love that book."

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Walking Away

"I hate e-trade!"

By age 5, the boy was the richest trader in his business but the bull associated with it made him realized that there was more to life than money.  He quit his job and went back to the place where he grew up -- only to be disappointed that the pristine setting he once knew was now ruined by decay and erosion.  "Did man do this?" he asked.

Hope your day is going well.

How to Drink Tequila Like a Man

1 bottle of tequila
1 bowl of sliced lime
1 small plate of salt (optional)

Drink tequila from bottle.  Pass bottle to your friend.  Suck on lime as your friend drinks from bottle.  Do not pass the same lime to friend.  Instead, pass bowl of fresh lime to friend.  The juice from the lime will help disinfect the bottle when it’s your turn again to drink from it.  The optional salt is there in case all the juice in the lime is gone.  Repeat until bottle is empty.  Open up new bottle.

Tip:  Ditch expensive tequilas like Herradura Seleccion Suprema, which costs about $320/bottle.  It's considered ultra-anejo, which evidently means it has been sitting on the store shelf for more than 5 years because nobody wanted it.  I recommend cheap tequila.  Generic or moon-shined is also good.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

cause we've ended now as lovers

Spring is officially here but my mind is still in Autumn.  I can get very comfortable with Autumn and sometimes my mind just refused to accept change.  Hope your day is going well.  Cheers.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Awareness Truth Contentment

"Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.

"But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. " (Psalm 1:1-2)

Friday, March 16, 2012

Man Against Nature

It's not a unique theme.  Man versus Nature.  Man versus Time. Man versus man.  Man versus God.  We read and heard them in Moby Dick, Dorian Gray, Cain against Cain, Jonah and the Fish.

Between 2009 and 2010, I've shot exclusively using the Lensbaby. I was in my Blurism phase.  I think this might have been the last few ones I've done during that phase.  I love the blur.  I still do.  This picture is a rework of one I've shot in early 2010.  I seem to always find something I could add or subtract from the original version.  This is the third version.  A rather different style from my latest work but it's still me and my art.  Hope you enjoy.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

How I Turned My Grapefruit into Art

I think most people take for granted the clever architecture here in our office building.  I suppose we are so used to it.  Whenever I look at the ceiling at the cafeteria, I am always amazed at its lines and shapes.  It may not be art work for most people but I think a little make-over would bring spark back to its prosaic image.

Inspired by the popularity of "How I Turned My Avocado Breakfast into Art", I'm thinking this could be part of my Ceiling as Breakfast Art series.

Hope your day is going well.  Happy Thursday.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Industrial Chromasia

Taken during a field visit I made to one of the Oil and Gas production facilities we regulate.  One of the neat things of working here is I get to visit some of these places.  This thing-a-gig pulls the oil from the ground.  Many years of operation have resulted in oil leaks and corrosion.  Blue and green enamel coatings have peeled off.  With the proper lighting, the combination of peeled enamel, oil leaks and rust creates a painterly effect that I find visually stimulating. Hope you enjoy.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Old Meets Young

What if the old tree was looking at its reflection and saw a young version of itself?  At times when I look at myself in the mirror, I know I delude myself because I don't see an old man but a youth I want to remember.  Or perhaps, it is the image I want to be remembered.  Ah, vanity of vanities... how shall I cast thee away?  Sip herbal tea, put on some mascara and apply some make up...  I'm ready for the Rocky Horror Show.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb

If there was a Dubiously Trinitarian Actor Award for a cultic being that exists as three persons in one, it would have to be awarded to Peter Sellers.  In the Movie Dr Strangelove, he modalistically played the part of the Nazi Scientist, the American president, and the British Exchange officer.  What does this movie have to do with the picture?  Actually, nada. As in nothing.  But the picture reminded me of the movie... black comedy shot in classic black and white.  The fence posts reminded me of the Cuban missiles in the 50s -- the backdrop in the Dr Strangelove movie.   It strikes me strangely that somebody would design a fence like this.  Perhaps the designer was thinking of the movie.  Was it to remind people at that time we were at cold war with the Soviets?  Or was it to prevent people from sitting on the post?

This was taken at the US Merchant Marine Academy, same place I took the more formal "Where are the ducks in this picture?" that I posted yesterday.  The weather condition was calmer at that moment so I was able to several shots.  Not one of them less prosaic than the other.  I can blame global warming.  Can I also blame Bush?

Friday, March 09, 2012

Where are the ducks in this picture? (Must have been too cold for them)

Visiting New York was like watching from an old television.  For the most part everything was black and white.  In other words, there were not much of colors in the scenery.  Technically, it's still winter there.  People get happy when the temperature hits in the high 40s.  And that's happiness to be qualified as in a New Yorker state of mind -- which means it's very different compared to sunny Californian laid back friendliness that I'm used to.  I was surprised to have experienced horns honking every so often at the streets.  Given those conditions,  I decided to take mostly Black and White pictures.

I'm not sure how we ended up at the US Merchant Marine Academy but it seems like a neat place for photo ops.  That is ... until I got out of the car, and realized that I should have worn three pairs of socks instead of two, and two pairs of winter boots instead of one.  The picture is deceiving.  It may look like the weather was warm because of the tree shadows on the foreground but it was windy and freezing.  For most of my shots, it was a real effort to keep the camera steady.  This is probably my best shot during the trip.  The rest of my shots went downhill.  More crappy shots to follow...

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Ruminations on the Loss of Paul

Growing up in the Philippines, I've heard about how families would visit their loved ones at the Chinese cemetery to burn incense and leave offerings of food by the tombstone.  Never did know exactly why this was done but I have my own theories.

One of things Rose and I wanted to do during our New York trip was to visit our departed friend Paul at his final resting place on earth.  When we got there, fruits and various foods have already been offered.  Who left them there?  We could only speculate.  Obviously, this can only be a sign that there are people who love him.  They too have paid their respect.  As you may notice, there is still no inscription on the tombstone. So I took the liberty of placing one on this picture.  I'm sure he wouldn't mind.  Hey, Paul... hope you are now in a better place.

As for Ascelle, she needs godly prayers.  The estate issues are still unresolved.  It seems Paul never left a will so the assets are frozen.  I could not begin to imagine how overwhelming this could be for Ascelle.  The loss of Paul alone is devastating.  And the ensuing probate will be most challenging.  As she poured out what is in her heart, Rose and I could only provide our presence as comfort and encouragement to her.  Although at the surface things may look bleak, I am sure that all will work out.  I know God is in control.

- R

p.s. Ascelle sends her regards to all.