Monday, December 28, 2009

Frauenkirche Munich

 I like visiting Frauenkirche when I visit München. I like visiting churches in Europe.  I think this is the first time I've ever visited the basement here.  I was glad to have taken the time to walk around inside this church again.

In the Frauenkirche there is a small chapel under the alter. This is a painting behind that chapel's alter.

This cross is also in the basement chapel. This is to the left of the painting behind the alter.

This is in the main chapel area of Frauenkirche near the main entrance to the left of the Apse. Very interesting wood work and style.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Gilching Haus

We strolled through Gilching and we found this piece of art in what I'm calling 'downtown'. This is near the train station and we were just wandering.

We wandered through the forest on the hill behind the house and there were lots of Christmas trees just waiting. I couldn't pass up the opportunity to take a photo of them.

We call this Johnny's field. This is were we have many pictures of Johnny playing. Hence the reason why we call it that.

This is the house. The lady asked me what I was doing here and I told her that we used to live in that house. She asked me if we were the Americans. I said yes. We got to go inside and see the whole house except for the basement. It turned out to be a very good day. We had a very nice time visiting and reminiscing.

Kristkindl Markt München

We finally made it to the Kristkindl Markt in München. It has been a while since I last visited it. The door is to the Frauenkirche. We spent some time wandering around inside. It is a very beautiful church. I like visiting here. Right now they are cleaning the towers of the church so it wasn't really possible to get a good photo of it.

We visited also the Victualen Markt and this is one of the fruit displays that was there. I really like this place. Just wandering around looking at all the food and possibilities of things to eat. I haven't got a clue as to what most of the stuff is but it is a real treat to experiment with the different textures and tastes.

Here is a bit of the Marienplatz and the Christmas shoppers on the last day of Advent. Amazing but true I ventured out amongst the shoppers on Christmas Eve! We even rode the train back and forth. Also amazing is that we didn't get lost and managed to catch the right train back. It was a very good day.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Harburg Germany

We made it to Harburg only a slight delay in our train was late leaving Mainz so our connecting train was missed. Strange thing is the train we eventually caught was an express and got to Donauwört earlier than the train we were supposed to take.
We went yesterday to Ingolstadt and Hexenagger Castle for the Christmas Markets. We had fun but it was pretty darn cold. I ended up buying a muffler it was that cold. My leather gloves are falling apart so I'm resorting to the other pair which aren't as warm. We did have a good time though it was a very long day. We caught the bus at 1035 and got home at around 2230 after a beer it was bed time by 2300.
We are still also plagued by a minor electrical issue with the transformers. They don't really fit and get hot and stop working. I am hoping to find a German one so elimate the problem.
We are currently doing laundry and thinking about going to Nördlingen to it's Christmas Market later today.
We are having a good time.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


We visited yesterday Koblenz. It was very cold and windy by the rivers Mosel and Rhine. We swung by the Christmas Market and sort of breezed through the place. I did say it was cold right? How cold was it? Cold enough that the doors of the car were frozen shut when we went to leave the apartment. That's pretty cold for sure. We really don't have the clothes or enough of them for this weather. Maybe it was that we wore the wrong clothes for the day but it was enjoyable once we got home.
I again used the Backtrack device and I'm glad that I brought it along. We were able to get back to the train station with little difficulty. Ingrid had taken us by the station before dropping us off at the German Corner so I had a reading. It took a little longer to get a fix but once we were out and about I was glad to have had taken it. So we made it again back without incident. Very nice.

This is a detail of a water fountain that we saw in the Metternich Square in  Koblenz.

This is the monument at Deutsche Ecke, The German Corner. This is where the Rhine and Mosel Rivers meet.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Stiehl Cafe Bacharach an internet cafe

Cafe Stiehl
I found an internet cafe in Bacharach. Lucky me.  Here it is Cafe Stiehl.  Sharon and I've walked past this several times already.  In fact we had some hot chocolate her to warm up one day and I asked about the internet.  Unfortunately my German wasn't good enough to understand and the lady I talked to didn't have enough English to make it clear to me.  I saw the next day the sign and went in to get more info.  This time I was able to find out that you can purchase internet time by the hour.  You get a card that has a entry code and Voile you have access to the internet from your regular home page!

I found the people there very helpful.  The coffee, hot chocolate, potato soup and schnapps were all very good.

Not so busy right after Christmas but I was told that in the summer it is packed with students.

I've been able to post some photos taken along the way. I hope to get caught up with things before I leave here. I don't know when the next time I'll find a cafe is but I'm hoping it won't be long. We're good. Snow just a little today. We're planning on having some potato soup and take some photos before we head back to the apartment. Hope every one is well.

Me playing around in the cafe

Alexander Stiehl Cafe
Oberstr.  26 -28
55422 Bacharach
Tel.: 06743/947268

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Rüdesheim Christmas market

Here are a couple photos of the Rüdesheim Christmas Market. We drove to Bingen and then took a ferry across the Rhine to Rüdesheim and walked to the market. Rüdesheim is famous for Asbach Brandy and they have a coffee named Rüdesheimer Kafee that is make with Asbach, coffee and whipped cream that is really tasty. Naturally with the Gluhwein things seem to go naturally good after one or two.

vendor display of ornaments

 The Christmas market at Rüdesheim is and international market so there are lots of different things to see and sample.  It was a nice experience for me to have gone there.

Be well travel safe.

Trier Photos

We've been a bit busy visiting places. This is Trier and I put pictures of the Black Gate, Porta Niegra, and part of the Cathedral and an old BMW that was parked on the street advertising for a toy museum.
The Christmas market was nice and visiting two of the forty churches in Trier was also lots of fun. We also visited the cathedral which is famous for having a shirt of Jesus. This was a long day for us. We left Bacharach at about 0800 and returned about 2130. It was a good day. We visited also the town of Bernkastle-Kues and the little Christmas market there. It is an interesting town along the Mosel river. Lots of Fachwerk houses and even a castle. Don't know the name of it. But I did get a photo of it.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Rüdesheim, Germany Christmas Market 2009

We have made it this far.  We are staying in Steeg not far from Bacharach Germany.  So far the weather has been predictable. It is raining mostly. I am using a borrowed computer with a German keyboard and it is a bit tricky to use. We are well and have been doing good. Our landlady here speaks very good English and has been kind enough to take us around sightseeing. This makes it very nice as we also are introduced to people in the town. It is very nice so far. Missing the folks at home. We are walking a lot. The apartment is very nice and spacious.
This is us in Rüdesheim at their Christmas Market. This one is very International with several countries represented. It hasn´t been really cold yet just damp. I´ve gotten a couple photos you can check out on flickr.

Monday, November 30, 2009


We made it to London and actually found the hotel. The adventure began at Phoenix Airport when we were told we'd leave an hour early. Didn't happen, we left on schedule or maybe a little later than planed. The flight was in parts a little bumpy but uneventful. Except for the fact I 'lost' my passport from my shirt. Fortunately it stayed in my seat and was able to recover it. The time difference is large. My computer is showing 3pm in Phoenix and it is after 10 here in London.
Heathrow airport is giamungus. We took a bus ride of nearly twenty minutes and barely left the airport. Our hotel is right along side the airport.
We're staying in a holiday hotel. So far it has been fun. Took a few photos from the plane with my phone. Once I figure out how to get them into the computer I'll do something with them. The camera guy forgot to take out a camera for that odd shot. We were actually very happy to just get on the plane.
The only odd thing we've encountered so far is that my checked bag looks like someone went through it. Nothing was taken as far as I can tell but the zipper was in the wrong place and the book I had inside was removed from the bag. Weird.
So far so good.
We did take a little walk this evening. It is cold but right now it feels nice. The photos are of our hotel, yes it is round, and the other is the view from our room.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

laptop dies

I guess I'm going with the back up computer. Drats. I did get the email problems corrected so I can send and receive through Cox now. My personal choice of mail server because of the ability to send photos simply.
So it is going to be happening soon. I'm excited and stressed at the same time. I'll be happy to be there and doing stuff instead of sitting around and waiting.
Hope to be posting more news soon. Be well. Take care.

no internet at bacharach updated found internet cafe

There is a connection at a town close by so I'll be going there to keep in touch. I'll post when ever I get the chance.
Looks like I'll be going without the other laptop. Drats because it had the GPS map stuff on it. I can't load it on the new one because there are no updates for Windows 7. Maybe while I'm there. We'll see.
Take care. Be well. Hope to give an update soon.
update:  I did find an internet Cafe in Bacharach.  I don't know how many times I walked past.  I even stopped in and had hot chocolate and spoke with someone about having internet.  The language difficulties got in the way and I didn't understand.  The next day I saw the internet sign in the window.
I am limited by the power of my battery because I don't want to carry the converter with me when I come.  It is okay the battery charges over night and I have enough power to do what I need to do when we get home.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Everything is set to go

Spent the day getting stuff ready to go. I got my international driver's license. Sharon and I were to the mall looking for stuff to take along for gifts. Ended up getting everything at one store. That was nice. Then we had a nice lunch.
Hans now has the truck so I'm pretty much at the mercy of getting rides now.
We made arrangements to meet at the airport and go in together. Because of the holiday traffic we may need to get there early maybe 6:30 or 7:00 to get through everything. Hopefully the international flights won't be so bad but that's just barking at the wind.
I'm still hoping the the other computer gets here. I don't think it will but it would be nice if it did. There is info on that machine I need to duplicate before we leave. I think I can find it again. I need the addresses of the places we're staying. I'll get it done.
Happy turkey day everyone. Be well. Take care.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

plumber shows up

The plumber finally showed up and fixed the leak in the bathroom. It was not as bad as it could have been. We didn't have to put any holes in the walls just the floor. Every thing is back in place except for the carpet. I'm glad that drama is over.
Be well. Take care.

Bag is packed

So my bag is packed and I'm thinking I'm going to unpack it and start over again. I thought I was going to travel light. The suitcase weighed in at 40 lbs. Yes, probably because of the fact that its almost all winter clothes and cables for the chargers and converters but still that's a ton more than I want to drag around. I'm thinking small but essential changes.
I had planned to take my back pack along but I put my camera gear in a different bag so now I have to carry my computer in its own bag. I'm thinking I'm going to revisit that. I put the smaller bag inside my suitcase on the trip to San Diego and that worked out okay. I think I'm going to take out some outer shirts and use the space to put the small bag inside the suitcase again. I can put my computer inside my backpack so I'll be down to three bags, one check in and two small carry on bags. I think that would be the best. Less stuff to struggle with when we are there. Things are sort of in place now. I've just got to finalize the packing and putting of stuff so I know I'm good.
More later.
Be well. Take care.

Friday, November 20, 2009

New Computer New Problems

Working on the laptop trying to get it up to date for the trip. I've encountered problems with some of the programs. I can't load the drivers for my IgotU GPS system. That is totally bad news. The new computer has Windows 7 and my drivers don't match that system. I'll be bummed but I guess I'll get around it or over it either way.
Windows 7 also has a new Windows Mail, which is now Windows Live Mail and even thought I've put in all the correct info about my email account I now need a password to get into my mail. Apparently the password that I changed to a couple of weeks ago isn't the correct password. I guess now I've got to waste an hour on the phone to get my password reset so I can use my cox email again. I really don't like this part. New technology is ahead of the computer programs and causes more headaches than needed right now.
Stay tuned to see if I find solutions to my new issues.
Be well. Take Care.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Tested Backtrack

I took the Backtrack GPS system out for a test walk and drive today. It seems to work just fine while walking just a bit different while driving. Maybe the car goes to fast for the GPS to keep up. Having said that the system did work in getting me back to my original starting place, just the distances were a bit off but only while driving.

I walked about half a mile from my point of origin and took a different route back and was able to manage to get back to the original point.

I was a bit put off by the thing turning off at times. I presume the power saver function makes it do this. It is a bit annoying waiting for the GPS to relocate the satellites. It seems also to take a bit of time after turning it on after its been sitting for a while for it to locate satellites. Admitted I was in between houses but this shouldn't have been a problem as there was enough open space to acquire good visual sighting to the sky. No obstructions. If this were in a city I don't know how long it would take to establish a signal and with the system turning off all of the time it might take a little getting used to the quirk.

I guess when all is said and done if one is lost then the little time spent waiting to find the right direction isn't much of a distraction.

Should work well. I'd recommend it to someone at this point in time. I'll find out when I'm in unfamiliar areas how well it really works. I'll keep you posted on that fact.

Here is my updated post 

Sunday, November 15, 2009

$#@%^%$# mother board

Got a call from the repair place and they tell me that the mother board on my new computer is failing and needs to be replaced. It has a two week turn around. It may not be back in time for me to take it on my trip. Lots and lots of bad words here. Don't know what I'm going to do if I don't get it back. I have a back up plan of sorts but I don't know if it will be all that great. Lots of work to swap out machines.
Heck one more little bit of stress to add to the pile.
I did however get water proof boots, gloves and a snow cap for the trip just in case. I know I'll need the boots so that's a good thing. I also located a simple GPS called a Back track that will help me find the motel / hotel or where ever I'm trying to get back to. I get to mark a point and then walk away. The Backtracker is supposed to get me back to where I started anywhere in the world. No maps needed just a position on the GPS. Hope it works.
2011-10-12: Update on Backtrack.
Not only did the Backtrack work as advertised but on two occasions I would have been hopelessly lost had it not been for it.  Can't say enough about how it performed.  I used this in the winter time in large cities with tall buildings, like London and Koblenz.  It worked in temperatures of -10 C and lower.  The batteries lasted quite well even in the cold.  Though as a precaution I did charge them after we got back to the hotel in the evening.  I didn't want to chance losing all my stored info by having the batteries die when I needed them the most.  Since my return I make sure that I pack this piece of equipment for every trip no matter where I'm going.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Scorpion Gulch photo shoot.

I had a photo shoot this morning at Scorpion Gulch near the North Entrance of South Mountain State Park. I love the old buildings and textures there.
The day was made for shooting. It was a little cool, overcast and there was a little breeze. That made changing lenses a bit of a challenge but all in all it was worth the effort. I took five lenses and used them all. I was having lots of fun with my camera. If you haven't gone to Scorpion Gulch you should try it I find it a great place to shoot photos. I find that the buildings offer a lot of great texture with the rocks and mortar construction. My plan is to sometime convert these into textures for photo overlays. Just something to do when I get much better at Photoshop.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Computer to be tweeked

I finally broke down and took my computer back to have it optimized. It has issues booting and shutting down. I figured it would be a good idea to get that resolved before I leave. It should be back soon. I hope.
I was also having problems with loading programs. I got a new PS program and it freezes the computer up and won't load at all. It would be nice to have that program on the computer. Hopefully when I get it back the bugs will be worked out of it.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Happy Veterans Day

I became a Veteran on 10.Nov.66, just a short while ago. See a vet thank a vet. We'll be eating at Applebees today, I'll be eating for free.
I'm going to do some trip stuff today. Drop of some equipment and see about getting a pair of snow boots. I'm just a little worried about my feet getting to cold. It could be a bad thing with the Gout and all.
Be well. Thank a Vet.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


Today is our Anniversary. We've been married twenty one years. Wonderful woman. It is also the Marine Corps Birthday. Huragh!! It is also the anniversary of my first day in Vietnam. That's 43 years ago.

The trip gets closer

I've been testing equipment and making decisions on what I should take and what I should leave behind. I've opted to take a smaller suitcase as opposed to the larger size. The reason for this is two fold, 1) The bag is huge and I'd tend to fill it up making it very heavy and hard to handle. 2) We may be using Taxi's a bit to get around and European cars tend to be much smaller than American. The smaller bag should simplify getting around. My trip to San Diego and manipulating the airport was a good test run. I've forgotten people tend to not know where they are going or what they are doing and like everyone else a lot stressed. Smaller, simpler seems the way to go. The experience with my camera bag also clued me into the fact the my computer system was very exposed in the outside pocket. This may be better if I'm traveling in my own car but not at the airport. I did have some one trip over my bag at the airport. That was sort of a heart stopper for me but also clued me into the fact it is better to probably go lighter and have everything closer to my body. I have a few days to figure out what gear I really 'need' to take along with me. My mind tells me what I should take but my heart says take this too! I've done this before with just one camera and lens and got perfectly fine photos. I'm going to have to over rule the I wants to get down to the gear that will serve me well.
So I've gotten some money converted, and the bank account set up. I've just got to remember to call the company to let them know I'm going to be out of the USA and not to cancel my card. I've been getting some base clothes to wear. Lots of layers to put on. My decision to take a smaller bag will necessitate careful planning on my part as to what I take along. I really don't have lots of 'winter' clothes. We don't need them here in Phoenix. I've got a couple sweaters and they seem to hang in the closet for a long time between uses. This will change once we arrive at our destination. I'll probably wish I had more than I brought. There are flea markets to check into if I need anything else.
I don't seem to be getting all the things done on my list of things to do. It seems that I find that there is something else I need to do for the trip that takes priority, so trip wins out. Duh!!! Now I just have to figure out how I'm going to get everything there at the same time.
Til the next time.
Be well.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

ANGLICO Reunion November 8 2009

We've spent our days rehashing old stories and remembering tall tales. What's the difference between a Fairy tale and a war story? One of them starts off with "Once upon a time," the other starts off with "This ain't no B S." Of course true to form you never let a lie get in the way of a good war story.
It has been a good journey. We've broke bread together, we've drank together and we've shared our common bond and made it stronger. The time has come to honor those of the new breed and those of our group that now guard the streets of heaven. We've read their names and rung the memory bell in their honor.
Some of us now return to our families and others travel home with their families all are better for the experiences shared. Semper Fi.
If this link works it should take you to the photos I took at the reunion. If it doesn't then check out my Flickr site I go by fotografsbywrh. Use the people search tab not the search pictures tab to get to my site. I have also photos of ANGLICO in Vietnam in 1967.

Friday, November 6, 2009


The new kids on the block.

We toured the current ANGLICO digs at Camp Pendelton today. Seemed like a nice group of guys. It was an interesting day. Had a good time.

Here is the hotel we are staying at during our reunion.

Chow at the NCO mess.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Heading to Oceanside

Well everything is packed along with a few 'extras' just to see how heavy the Airporter Bag is and how well I do traveling with two rolling bags. This should be interesting as I'll be doing plenty of pushing/pulling these bags a lot fairly soon. The practice packing session has confirmed the fact that I don't want to have the HUGH suitcase on the trip. I'll just have to make do with what I can put in the medium bag and camera bag. Winter clothes take up lots of room so I'm trying to see what I can get away with in the bag. Along with the winter clothes I'm also taking a 'secondary' camera bag for my walking around photography. I may think about getting a cheapish tripod or renting whichever works out best.
Planning ahead I realize that what we take on the other trip will grow as we have to do some shopping for essentials goods while we are there.

Back to ANGLICO. I'm hoping to meet with some of my fellow unit members while attending this reunion. There are now three Corpsmen belonging to the group. I suppose we were always the minority. I was the only one with them when I was attached to them.

Til the next time. Semper Fi.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

ANGLICO reunion November 2009 Oceanside, Ca.

I'm going to attend a reunion of my unit that I served with in Vietnam. 1st ANGLICO sub1 2nd ROK Marines, Chung Young, Blue Dragon Brigade. Quang Ngai Provence RVN.
The meet up will be in Oceanside. Should be interesting to see if I remember any of the guys that attend. We'll be pretty close to the water so I hope to get a couple of good pictures while I'm there. This will be a trial run for my camera gear on the airplane and in the airport. I'll get to see how my air porter bag works along with my Crumpler 6 million dollar bag. That'll be in my suitcase so I'll find out how that works. I'm still debating if I should take my large tripod or not. I'm leaning towards yes. I want to see if I can fit it in my suitcase and if I can how do I have to pack it.
Stay tuned and find out.
Semper Fi
Fair winds and following seas.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Setting up for the Trip

Went to the bank and deposited the check and set up an account to use with a debit card. Found the exchange rate for Pounds is $1.71 for one Pound. Good thing we're only there two days. I got some Euros to start with, next up is Pounds Sterling hopefully to cover the two days. I'm thinking maybe a few more Euros are in order, just in case something happens with the debit card. You know like getting canceled because I forgot to call the credit card company. That's right there on the top of my To Do list!
I got a Crumpler 6 million dollar camera bag to hold my walk around gear in. So far it seems to work rather well. It looks small but it is possible to put tons of stuff in it. I've got to be careful about the tons stuff. I've still got to carry it around! I've been using it around the neighborhood and I like it fine. It looks like a messenger bag so it will fold up and fit in my suitcase and be ready to use as a handy bag instead of lugging all my lenses / camera gear around all the time.
It really is hard to pick three lenses to take on a trip. The options are many. I've opted to use mostly fast glass. Now I just have to pick which one's are the one's I'm going to use. I'm sure I'll have it figured out by the time I leave.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

The Check was in the mail!

The check finally arrived. Wheew I'm glad that's over. I was getting really stressed that I hadn't planned things well. I've got most of what I want to have done here in order now. I need to start an account with the check so I have money at hand so to speak without carrying lots of it on my person.
We got the headsets for the computer to use Skype and the computer is set up to make the calls. So things are sort of going better. I feel like a major weight has been lifted off.
Just a few more loose ends to tidy up and I'll feel good about the trip.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Trip getting close

I'm getting more excited and worried at the same time. I converted money the other day and I picked it up on Tuesday. That's the good part the bad part is I still haven't received my money from the retirement fund yet and that was almost three weeks ago. I need to light a bond fire under them and see what's going on there.
Starting to get those pre trip jitters and building excitement. I'm just hoping the the money arrives on time and I got enough. It will be fun I'm sure once things fall into place. I just need to check out the reasons for the hold up on the check.

Photo shoot

The Photo shoot on Sunday went very well. I didn't get lost and we managed to get all the gear there without difficulty. Well, other than the two wheeled cases and several light stand bags. I managed to get all of the gear in it without drama. I needed to remember where I put things in which bag but that went smoother than expected also.

I learned a few things about my lighting technique and I should pay more attention to the background. I used a separation light behind the model and I should have moved a table that cast shadows across the photo.
It was a good shoot. I had three wonderful models to take pictures. That is always nice to have people willing to be in front of my camera.

I did shoot with the camera tethered to my computer. I need to experiment more with that technique. I'm still not sure about the files or changing lenses in the middle of the shoot and those are things I need to figure out.

It was good to have the computer there because at the end of the shoot I was able to make the disc and have all of that finished before I got home.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Photo exhibit Arizona shutterbugs West

Had the photo exhibit today with the Shutterbug West Camera club. It was fun for me. A little stressful in finding the 'right' photos to take along.  I ended up posting a number of 5x7 photos and a couple 8.5x11 photos.  I used boarder less frames to display my photos.  Good thing I set the photos up before hand.  I did take my laser level and the 3M hangers.

Many people came to check out the photos. I met a few more of the members of the club and had some conversations with them. That was really the good part.
Had a good time.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Trip things coming together

Well this post is coming to you from my 'travel laptop'. I've been getting it synced with my programs and favorites so I can keep in touch with my usual stuff.
I went to the bank today and ordered some Euro's to start the trip. It took a while for the teller to understand that I wanted to purchase Euro's. I finally had to say European currency. It will take several days before I get it but it is on the way. That is starting to make things a bit more exciting.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Photo exhibit

My camera club Shutterbug West is putting on a photo exhibit on Saturday the 17th from 1000 to 2:00 pm. The place it is being held is;
Las Casitas Clubhouse
2912 W Fleetwood Ln
Phoenix, AZ 85017
This is about a block south of Glendale Ave between 27th and 31st Ave. I'm sure you can map quest the address or google it to find out exactly where it is. Once you turn south on 29th at the end of the block, it is short, turn left the building will be right in front of you.
I'm going to have some of my photos on display along with members of the Club. Should be fun. Come and look at our photos. Ask questions and just enjoy being out. Should be fun. Hope to see you there.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Heading to Patagonia

We're heading to Patagonia for an Indian Pow-Wow. Should be interesting. Hope to get a couple nice shots. Should be fun. I'll post some photos later, if their good.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

I'm retired

So I did it. I'm retired. There was a very nice luncheon on the 23rd at The Spaghetti Factory on Central. About fifty people showed up. More people showed up than were expected. That was a good thing.
Randal and I went to the Art Museum yesterday and looked at the photo exhibit. Then we went to the camera store and drooled for a while. We went last night to Haus Murphy for my dinner. As usual it was good though a little warm in the beer garden as there was no breeze.
I'm still trying to get used to this retirement stuff. It feels sort of weird that I don't have to be anywhere really. I do have a couple of photo shoots coming up. I'm doing some photos of Christmas Ornaments. I think I'll do the shoot tethered as I want to make sure that I have the ornaments in focus before I turn them back to the people. I'll be doing two shoots on two different days and locations. It should be fun. Randal will be with me on one shoot. He'll be in school for the second so I'll probably bring a lot less gear to that shoot.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Phoenix Public Market

The images above are from L-r: necklaces on a skull platter, bead mobiles, spoons in a can and a sunflower center.

Spent part of the morning at Phoenix Public Market. This located on the south east corner of Central and E. McKinley St. It was the first time I had ever been there and it was interesting. It featured many different vendors from food to jewelry. Typically hot and a bit hectic. There were several portable coolers to help keep the heat sort of at bay. The area is covered so it and smallish but lott of things to see. All of the people there were very friendly and it was a nice atmosphere. As usual I took to much gear I ended up using my Tokina 100mm AT-X Pro F-2.8 macro lens mostly as the space is pretty close. I've not had much chance to use that lens and I'd forgotten how much I really like it for its versatility. It is just a bit to long for this closed in space but great for getting all those very interesting patterns and designs. I shot with the ISO set at 400 to help with the shadows. I had the W/B set to shade and brought back the lightness in Lightroom. I was there for about an hour and a half so when I left I was pretty much ready to leave. I took a liter of water and it was almost gone by the time I left. I had my large backpack on and when I left my back was pretty well soaked.
If you are interested in checking this place out and see what it's like then I would suggest you do so. There are also many other interesting things in the area to photograph.

This is the facade to the Westward Ho Motel.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Psudo Retirement week

I worked enough last week that I don't have to work anymore this week so I'm home goofing off. Its a bit strange to think after next week I'll be done with work for a while anyhow. Never thought I'd make it this far. We'll see what happens.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Photo shoot on Saturday

I've got a family photo shoot set up for Saturday. I'll be bringing my helper along to work with the gear handling and set up. I'm hoping it works out great. We'll see how it turns out.

Map frames completed

Finally the map frames are completed. I just have to mount one more map into its frame and the job is ready to be hung on the walls.
I'm happy for that being done. They came out pretty good for not having done any wood working in years. Now I just have to bring the tools home. I'll be cleaning out my office too while I'm at it.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

New Gear

I got some badly needed 'stuff' for my camera. Yes, I really do need more stuff. I finally got around to getting a 1-A filter for my 70-200 f-4 L lens. I've been neglecting to put one on and now seemed like a good time to get it. I also got a Polarizing filter for my 'walk around'  Canon 24-104 f-4 L lens. I figure while I'm walking around looking in those store windows I might want to get rid of the glare for a change. A nice addition to my stuff. I was looking at a very interesting mono pod yesterday. It has a pistol grip and that controls the whole thing as far as height is concerned. Squeeze the trigger and viola you can instantly change the height. I'm thinking it may be a nice piece of gear for the trip also. I plan on being in some very crowded areas and this just might be the right piece of gear for what I want to do.
I spent yesterday loading some actions onto the new computer so I can now do some very nice photo editing with the pictures I've got.
Happy holiday week end to everyone.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Map frames

Worked the whole weekend aside from Friday working on map frames for the big guy. I would have worked on Friday but had a bad gout flare up in my right ankle and great toe. I managed to get the molding done and now its sanding and finishing the frames to put the maps in place and get ready to hang. The frames are 4X5 feet in size. Not your average picture frame size.
This will be my last project making something for ADOT. I've snuck in a couple projects of my own. I figured since I was wood working anyhow I might just as well make something for me. Make something good. My last project wasn't all I had hoped it would be. Turned out great just just.... I need something to take away the memory of that one. I figure a couple of small boxes. I've got a couple in mind. I had the wood here some mahogany and some old pine that looks really good now that its been cleaned up and resawn into thinner pieces. I think it will be great for a dovetail box.
Retirement is getting close so things should be starting to get hectic. The interviews are almost over. I need to do my close out evals and the like but I'm ready. Just need to devote time to the Germany trip. Woo-hoo.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Quiet Week

Not much happening this week. Resignation letter was accepted so now all that's left is the passing of my retirement date.
We're conducting interviews this week and next. Have had some interesting times in the interviews. This will be one of my last official acts before retiring. Hopefully we'll get the right person for the job this time.
I've got people in Germany helping me look for an apartment. Maybe now it goes easier. Maybe not but it is the thought.

Saturday, August 15, 2009


Ha, so after lots of fretting and wondering I've finally figured out how to use the darn DB BAHN scheduler to know how to ride the darn trains in Germany/ Europe. Lots of pressure taken off for that now. Whew!!!!!!!
Just had to pay better attention to the scheduler and lo and behold I just had to do a couple of extra clicks on the scheduler and BAM there was the whole thing with transfer map included. It pays to pay attention.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Social Security appllied for today

I've just submitted my request to begin social security to day. I did the application on line so it was pretty easy. Just have to find my 214 and get a copy to them.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

To My Ma.

We gathered around
one last time.
Feeling helpless and worried.
We hoped against hope
she would hang on.
Tiny in her bed, frail
an unwanted last image.
Needing to see her as herself one more time.
Floods of memories not
synced with the person
lying upon the bed.
Swallowed up by pillows and blankets.
No longer will she stand and
watch us leave waving
good bye until she can't
see us anymore.
Now one final wave from us
Good-Bye ma.
Be with the angles.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Christmas in Gilching! Wie Toll!!!!

So I got an apartment in Gilching a couple blocks from the place where we used to live. It is still in Gilching not Neu Gilching. It is actually pretty close to where we stayed last time except this is not a Hotel. We'll have to check out if that Serbian Restaurant is still there. Warm Schnapps will be really good before the 10 minute walk back to the room! lol!

We'll be there for Christmas and New Year and then on to Rothenburg a. d. Tauber. Should be fun. I'm still not as successful as I had hoped with finding Holiday apartments in Austria.

I spent most of yesterday with a route planner, a translator, city maps and Gast Haus listings. At least I'm learning new words.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Trip Plans 2009

The plans are going sort of slow. Need to use a map and define where I really want to go and hope that the accommodations and the price range fits the budget. So far we have the tickets and reservations in January 2010 for an apartment in Rothenburg o.d.Tauber. It is in the heart of the old city so this is good. The walk to the train station will be maybe a bit of a challenge but I think we'll manage.
I've really got to figure out the simplest route to get to the places I want to see and then find the accommodations. That should be easier to work out. Would help if I knew the geography a bit better.
More later.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Ma's funeral service

The service for ma was very nice. many people there I had not seen in many years. It was well done and many people attended.
The service was held at St. Mary Basha's Church in Chandler, Arizona.
Ma was an active member here for many years volunteering her time with the Alter Society and giving communion.
RIP ma.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Germany Trip Plans

The trip to Germany progresses even in this time of sorrow. We now have the tickets and we'll layover in London for two nights then proceed to Frankfurt aM. All that's left to do now is find an apartment or two for the stay. Looking forward to retiring and really start working on the details of the trip. I have lots of plans and ideas that I'm sure I'll have to narrow down considerably before we leave. Money and time being the major constraints. Getting very excited now that the tickets have been locked in.

Ma Passed

Tuesday morning early ma passed. She had a good life. She had suffered for sometime under Alzheimer's. We will miss her terribly.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Participated in 2nd Annual World Wide Photowalk.

I did my second World Wide Photo Walk on Saturday in Old Town Scottsdale. There were some pretty interesting things going on and I had a lot of fun being there. I've never really paid attention to this part of town so I was happy to have gone there and I'll be making a return trip some time to get more photos.

Nobody was fooling anyone with the 115 degree heat this little wintry scene didn't make it any cooler. It was hot and because this is the monsoon season it really wasn't a dry heat.

Just to keep it interesting we had a bit of a dust storm roll through. This sort of put an end to taking photos. Digital Cameras and dust = bad very bad.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Retirement day getting close

It is starting to get very close to my retirement date. I'm planning on turning in my paperwork to set the retirement process in motion on Monday. Turing in the paperwork should prove to be interesting. Everything is starting to feel a lot more real now and there is that feeling of uncertainty that goes along with what I'm doing. I don't think for me there will be a good time to go.
Sharon and I are getting very committed to the trip. The purchase of the airline tickets will have to be done soon. Once that's done then everything else has to drop into place. Another bit of apprehension but it will be interesting to see how everything turns out.
I'm ready.

Pa's birthday bash

We celebrated Pa's birthday on Saturday so we could all get together. It was a good day of visiting. I managed to get a couple of decent photographs. I was hoping for a much better test of the new lens. I had the ISO bumped to 1200 and the photos have a bit of aberration in the shadows.
It was a bit strange without ma being there though it was still an enjoyable time. I am hoping that we can have more of them.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Photo shoot

I had a photo shoot on Sunday. We were going to shoot at Scorpion Gulch however it was raining. Yes a major shocker for Arizona. We moved the location inside and I did some gear additions to what I had already packed. It was a pleasant shoot. My model was a first timer. She did very well. The camera likes her. She photographs well and we had a couple stretches where we were pretty synced so I got some very nice pictures of her.
I was tired but excited after the shoot. It was a good thing. I was pleased at the results of the shoot. We did well together.
I had this new background and I think it worked pretty good.  Not an every day kind of thing but from time to time it will work.

Take care be well.