Monday, December 17, 2012

$#@%^%$# mother board part 2

So now the deal with the mother board is totally over.  The computer got a virus and the computer crashed.  Everything is gone.  Can't get on the internet and will have to have it repaired yet again.  Not so much of a problem this time as I'm just going to have the update to Windows 7 that I got when I purchased the computer installed and turn it into a photography work station and not go on line with it anymore.  My older photography work station is no longer working so good as it is quite old and the programs on it aren't up to date with the new cameras that I have.

I believe that I'm going to wait until after Christmas to have the computer fixed.  I'll get the disc that is stuck in the drive removed also.  It has been stuck in there forever.  I burn a lot of back up discs so I guess I just over used it.  I will never get another computer with an internal DVD burner.  I'll always opt for the tray in the future.  At least I know how to get the disc out of that kind of device.

Travel smart travel safe.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Mission Tumacácori

I was able to again get to the Fiesta de Tumacácori which is held every year the first full weekend of December.  The mission is located about an hour south of Tucson, Arizona on US 19.  I went once several years ago and got some very nice photos.  There are lots of activities going on for the two days.  On Sunday there is a mass with some riders re enacting the ride of the soldiers to Tubac mission.  There are also guided tours around the grounds and those are about an hour or so in length.  If you are a photographer like me then this is a great place to be for the better part of the day.  Not only can you visit the Mission Ruin but you can visit also the out buildings and check out some info at the Ranger office as this is a Historic Park Location.  People turn up for this event in period costumes and there is much entertainment in the form of Indian Dancers, Folklorico Dancers, music and this year I enjoyed the performance of La Familia Balderrama Dancing Horses from Rio Rico, Arizona.  Several different breeds of horses were used in the presentation.  Taking photos of the horses gets a little challenging if you are, like I was, in the wrong position.  I was shooting into the sun so the dust kicked up by the horses was a bit tricky.

If you would like further info about the mission or the Fiesta then here is a link

Travel smart travel safe.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

World Wide Photo Walk 5 Downtown Phoenix

     This year I again participated in Scott Kelby's 5th World Wide Photo Walk.  I enjoy going on them.  Aside from being able to meet with other photographers in the area you can choose a location that you maybe wouldn't typically photograph.  Choosing to go on the downtown Phoenix walk put me in a position of being kind of out of my comfort zone.  I'm interested in urban landscape and architecture though I don't actually do much of that type of photography.  So I thought this would be a perfect opportunity to challenge myself to go out and get myself involved in that type of photography.

      The photo walks present several different types of challenges and you can be forced into situations that you normally wouldn't take photos.  Our shoot was pretty early in the morning so I knew there would be some issues with shadows.  I also know that the Arizona sun can and does present many challenges all on its own.
     The thing about photo walks is that I now go to them with the mind set of being comfortable with myself as a photographer.  I'm not a great photographer then again I'm not really bad either, it is just I enjoy taking photos and there is always room for improvement. 
    It seemed a natural progression that if I were going to challenge myself why not go all in?  So this year I decided that I would go as light as possible.  On previous walks I've had two or three lenses with me plus a tripod.  This year I used my Canon 40D as my main camera with a Tamron 18-250 f-3.5-6.3 lens.  My back up camera was my Lumix G-3 with the 14-45 lens and the 45-200 lens.  All of this fit into my Lowe Sling pack.  I included a table top tripod and a Gorilla Pod with ball head, just in case.  Also just in case I had my GoPro Hero 2 with the tripod adapter attached.  I think my gear weighed less than ten pounds all together.
    I was pretty sure that most of my back up gear would stay in the bag just as I packed it unless there were an opportunity to maybe do some time lapse photos with the Hero 2.  That opportunity didn't arise.  I did have occasion to use the Lumix G-3 for a few photos.
Remember that it is important to have fun.
Be well take care.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Power Converter Tip

So I've made a couple trips to Europe in the last few years and I've always been concerned with being able to charge or recharge my equipment.  I've never been really happy with the cheap plug in converters as I seem to always have trouble with them overheating and then they don't charge the batteries.  For my AA batteries I bought a charger there.  It wasn't all that expensive and it did keep my batteries charged.

Here's the tip:
Check the power pack on whatever you plan on taking with you.  I've discovered recently that most of them are now dual current so basically all you need to get is the plug adapter for whatever country you are going to be in.

In hind sight I know realize that I really didn't have to purchase all those transformers I now have.  It is how we learn.  Now I have some back up equipment.

I think that because I used my computer mostly with the transformer that I didn't change the cycle setting in my lap top to match the European 50 cycles and that may have contributed to the transformer heating up.

Travel smart Travel safe.

Friday, April 20, 2012

1st ANGLICO Birthday Blurb book

 I finally got around to actually putting together all of the photos for the 1st ANGLICO Birthday event.  So here it is, warts and all.  Some photos are better than others, some photos were edited a little others were edited a lot.

Travel smart, Travel safe.

1st ANGLICO 61st Birthday video soundbites

Just thought I'd share this video of the ANGLICO 61st Birthday Celebration made by Cpl. Jennifer Pirante.  As one of the few Sailors present I was honored to have been interviewed for the occasion.

Travel smart, Travel safe
wrh Thanks to Cpl.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

1st ANGLICO 61st Birthday

 I did take a few photos of the birthday party for 1st ANGLICO and here's proof that I did.  I felt honored to be there to celebrate this special occasion with these young Marines and Sailors.  These two Marines have no idea what this honor will mean to them later.  I'm sure they were proud to bring in the cake but this doesn't happen often and there are very few who get this honor.
I was happy to attend.  I could have taken more photos but there are occasions when the camera needs to be put away and join in the festivities.
It was good to meet these men and women.  The torch was truly well passed, these men have done well.
This is a photo of the cake  before it was wheeled in for the ceremony.  Not a great photo but sometimes the memory the photo inspires is more than sufficient to curse the dust in the room.

Semper Fi.
Fair winds and following seas.

Travel smart, travel safe.

former Corpsman of Marines 1st ANGLICO Sub Unit 1, 2nd ROK Marines Blue Dragon Brigade Quang Ngai Provence RVN 66-67.

Los Abrigados, Sedona Arizona a Review

I really like spending time in Sedona, Arizona.  My wife and I tend to spend our time there at Los Abrigados Resort.  I really like the location of the place as it is sort of centrally located to the places I like to visit when I'm there.
Here's the thing though.  The last couple times I've been there it seems as if there is a general opinion that the location is good enough.  The resort went through some changes in the past years, some good some not so.  I think this time I realized that here you are in a hotel basically where you rent a room.  It is a nice room by the way, except for the lumpy bed and really hard pillows.  Bring your own pillow if you can, there isn't much to do about the lumpy mattress.
I'm one of those that likes sleeping in the dark.  This isn't possible at Los Abrigados as the windows have some curtains to the side of the windows but the rest of the windows are covered by sheer fabric!  People walking by can see in no matter what room you happen to be in, except for the bathroom.  In the bedroom the security lights make the room almost as bright as if you have a light on.  You can watch people walking by and walking by other apartments it is possible to see in.
I think if you are like me the next time I go there I'll be taking a dark blanket and a few folder clips so I can hang it in front of the bedroom window while I'm sleeping.

Los Abrigados Resort also touts it has WLAN, wireless internet service.  The last couple times I've been there it has been pretty much nonexistent or the strength is so week it will take forever to receive email or send out any communication.  I asked about this and was told: "yes we don't seem to be able to get the strength of the signal improved, if you want a strong signal you should come to the lobby where the strength is excellent."  I probably could go to McDonald's also.  I think the person I spoke to thought I was a chimney because of the amount of smoke he was trying to blow up my behind.

Good location or not people will eventually be frustrated by these minor inconveniences and find a different place to stay.

Travel smart, Travel safe.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

ANGLICO Birthday 2012_03_01-02 thoughts

 This isn't in the usual theme of my posts it happens to be a bit more personnel.  So the following are some of my musings about going to the ANGLICO 61st Birthday celebration.

We are not trying m to recapture our youth. I feel that we have a rare and unique opportunity to glimpse at our legacy. The pride we had in our service is now re-enforced by seeing how well the torch was passes.
We share a common bond we have all done the same thing. Shared the same joys and sorrows endured the mind numbing exhaustion. Not something you'd wish on someone but having pride in surviving it.
Will the ability to prove our prowess at the local watering hole prove anything. Life experience has taught me that I may be able to keep up with the knocking back of drinks but somewhere in the back of my mind I'd be thinking of staying in the motel the next morning nursing the mother of all hangovers while the new breed goes about their business slightly the less for wear only proves that the torch has truly and deservedly been passed.
Yes we will be he butt of some jokes but we will have also given them a glimpse into their future for fifty years from now it will be them checking out how well they passed the torch.

It was a good two days.  These men are top notch.

Semper Fi

Travel safe Travel smart.

Friday, March 2, 2012

ANGLICO 61st Bday update 2012_03_02

Well the time with the new ANGLICO team is passed.  I had a great time seeing some of the people I served with many years ago.  Some  members I've been in touch with for years but haven't met.
I am happy to say that those that now carry the torch are doing a very good job.
They have yet to fully understand what a unique experience it is to serve with ANGLICO but when I was their age I didn't understand it either.
I am happy to see that there are more Corpsmen serving with ANGLICO.  When I was with them in 67 I was the only one there.
These young Marines made every effort to make sure that we were well taken care of.  Great pains were made to insure that our time with them was enjoyable.  I think we are indebted to them.
One of the Marines told me at the end of the day that when he heard us older ANGLICANS would be attending he wasn't to pleased.  He said it only took an hour or two to realize that we were walking Marine Corps history.  Two men served on Iwo Jima, two from Korea.  What they had heard about was now walking amongst them.  Our stories were similar to theirs just different eras.
Many hands were shook and lots of OOhhraaghs were raised in loud strong voices.
I took a few photos and had a very good time.
I didn't bring my camera to the bar as some things are better left unrecorded.
It has been an enjoyable journey.

Travel save, travel smart

Monday, February 27, 2012

ANGLICO 61st B-day party prep

I'm getting pretty excited to be getting ready to attend the 61st ANGLICO birthday party at Camp Pendelton.  A few little turns have made getting ready a bit more difficult that I had first imagined.  Being that this affair is for the 'young breed' we've been asked to bring photos of our time together.  Finding, sorting, organizing, scanning and editing those has been a bit of a good / bad thing.  Many familiar faces but the names have escaped me.  I remember the nick names but the real names I'm not sure I really knew in the first place.  Military uses your last name in almost all incidences so that makes it difficult sometimes.  There were also some not so good memories that kept surfacing.

Then of course you'd know I'm updating all of my electronic gear.  Some of it whether I wanted to or not.  Seems like while trying to update my GPS I first needed to update my computer operating system.  Then of course I didn't remember my password for the GPS so I had to reset that.  Then because it has been a long time since I updated and backed up my GPS I figured it would be a good idea to do that also.

While I am excited to do this adventure. It is one of those things that I keep wondering which gear I should pack up.  I want to make sure I get some good photos of everyone.  Like any photographer I tend to be a little obsessed with how my photos turn out.  I have sort of an agenda and that tells me that I'll be shooting indoors a lot.  The issue there is I'm not sure how far away I'll be, either indoors or outdoors.
I'm trying to keep the weight down because I'll be the only one carrying all my camera equipment.  I've started putting things together just to make sure that it is there.

All in all I think this will be a good trip.  There are supposed to be a couple of Marines that survived Iwo Jima, and a Korean War Vet also so we'll have quite a bit of history covered.  Will be great to meet and shake the hands of some of those vets.
Semper Fi
Travel well, travel safe.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

1st ANGLICO 61st Birthday

I have the honor to be able to attend 1st ANGLICO's 61st Birthday.  I will also be allowed to bring my camera gear along. Sweet!!!  Should be fun to see how the 'New Breed' does their thing.  These young men have been doing a great job in Iraq and Afghanistan.  Unfortunately with some casualties.
I had the honor of serving with 1st ANGLICO Sub Unit 1 2nd ROK Marines Blue Dragon Brigade in Quang Ngai Provence in 1967.  Met some great people, good memories and not so great.
I'm already getting things together and thinking about what I need to bring.
As a Squid I expect to get a little ribbing for not being a true "Marine" but it is all of the process.
It will be an honor to meet with these new warriors.  I'm happy to have the privilege to meet them along with some of my old comrades.
Semper Fi.
Fair winds and following seas.
Travel safe, travel smart.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Theresienwiese, München

I know that Oktoberfest is quite a way away yet.  However if you are in München and want to visit Theresienwiese where Oktoberfest is held then it is a quite simple way to get there.
When I stay in München I am a little to the north of town.  I take the S-Bahn to Hackerbrücke.  I know that you can go to the Hauptbahnhof and take the U-Bahn U4 or U5 and get off quite close to Theresienwiese but from Hackerbrücke you are only about a half a mile away.  You'll have to climb the steps up, once you reach the street turn left heading towards the restaurant Il Castagno.  Just past the restaurant is a footpath called Kurt Härtel Passage.  Follow this until you reach either Theresienhöhe or Martin-Greif Str.  These will take you to Bavariaring which is the road around Theresiewiese.

 This is a big park during most of the year.  During Oktoberfest it is filled with rides and the beer tents.  Otherwise the only structure you'll find there is the statue of Bavaria.  During the summer months it is possible to climb inside, for a fee.

To the left is a photo of Theresienwiese.  Near the right edge just below center you'll see the statue Bavaria.  This will give you an idea of the size of how large this park is.  If you were to follow more to the right you'd be able to see the Kongresshalle and the Transportation Museum.  From this view St. Paul's church would be behind the camera.

If you come from the train station you will see St. Paul's church to your left.  Here is a link to the church in German  There are some great panoramic views of the church in this link.

If you are interested in transportation then the Deutsches Museum Verkehrszentrum.  I spent the better part of a day wandering around this museum.  There are lots of lockers to secure your goods.  You'll need to remember that you'll get your money back once you open the locker again.
There is a small gift shop if you are interested in picking up souvenirs.
There is also a small snack shop that served pretty good food.  Restroom facilities were though out the museum.
There were lots of interesting car, motorcycle and train displays.  There are lots of interactive displays for both young and old so be prepared.
You are permitted to take photos there without using a tripod and for private use only.  Any other types of photos you will need to contact their Press Office.  A link is provided in the link below.

If you are interested in the Flea Market then directly across from the Verkehrsmuseum is a building called Kongresshalle.  Some Sundays you will find a Flohmarkt being hosted there usually opening around noon.

I have had the opportunity to spend time here twice.  Once during Oktoberfest and once during winter.  I enjoyed myself both times.  During Oktoberfest I just enjoyed being there.  It was the first time I was there as an adult.  In the winter I just enjoyed the space and watched people with their kids playing in the snow.  Plus I discovered many other side attractions as I mentioned in this piece.

Travel safe travel smart

Monday, January 30, 2012

Vest Photos Updated

 It has been awhile since I've updated photos of my vest.  I'd have to say that it is pretty much done as I've just about run out of room to put any more patches.  I said almost.  There may be something really worthwhile to put on there still.
There isn't much on the front because it has pockets and I don't want to sew them shut.
It doesn't look like it but it doubles as a photo vest.  I have so much camera gear stuffed into the pockets you'd be surprised what's in there.
I support the Patriot Guard and attend funerals wearing this vest.
I suppose it is part of my gear or my image.  When I'm out taking photos people remember me because of this vest and I wear a boonie cover along with a knee pad which is usually on my right knee.  I know I'm going to get down low eventually when I take photos so I wear the pad so I don't have to look down to see what I might be kneeling on.  It didn't take me long to figure out that the knee pad was a good idea.  I usually only use the one so I have one in my car and one on my camera bag.  Either way I know where one is when I go out to take photos.

The khaki colored patch on the front was my rank.  I was a Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class E-4.  I wore that rank on my uniform.  So it's been around since '67, it is showing a little age.  I wear two unit patches also on the front.  7th COMM Battalion was my parent unit although I didn't actually spend much time with them.  I spent 7 months with 1st ANGLICO Sub Unit 1 with the 2nd Republic of Korea Marines, Chung Jung or Blue Dragon Brigade.  There are some mission complete pins from the PGR.  I have also one pin that I've had about forty years.  You can sort of see it to the left of the 1 on the front of the vest.  It is a duck holding a sign that says Quack.  It is an inside joke for me.  On the bottom back you can make out a patch that says Li'l Bamboo which is a name I was called by the Vietnamese.  I worked with another Corpsman doing Civic Action Duty in a ville outside of our compound.  They already called him Bamboo because he was tall.  I was a bit shorter than him so I became Li'l Bamboo.  For me the best nickname ever.  The Marines called all Corpsmen 'Doc' it was also another hard earned title.  I am forever grateful to my Marines for keeping this then skinny Corpsman safe.
Semper Fi.  Fair winds and following seas.
Travel smart, travel safe.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Good bye to my truck after 26 years

Well after 26 years of owning my truck I finally sold it off.  There were some really good memories made having that truck.  It was an 86 Toyota long bed Pick Up truck that I purchased in December of 1985.  I equipped it a Snug Top Camper shell and what was called then a blanket kit which was sort of like a bed and storage box arrangement.  I put some 1500 lb overload springs on the leaf spring to help counter the lever and fulcrum effect of putting weight in the back.
This arrangement served me well as I spent many a night sleeping in the back of that truck.  I used it in many surfing excursions and it served me when I did handyman work for several years.
After moving to Arizona and getting married the truck was relegated mostly to getting me back and forth to work.  It was to small to take my growing family.
In its last incarnation I used it for work and hauling my portable studio set up around.  The issue of the small cab was still there as three grown people in the cab was sort of crowded.  I could get lots of gear into the back of that truck.
Both of my sons and my wife on occasion used that truck.

So 172308/3 original miles she is now in the hands of someone else.
She was a very good truck and served me faithfully over the years.  Funny thing is that I mostly only had trouble with the radios.  I replaced it three times and the last radio needed to be replaced because while it would play the volume was stuck and the CD player no longer worked.
Travel smart, travel safe.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Music on Mill Update

I had a great time last night attending the Music on Mill event.  If you live in the Phoenix area this is something you should think about attending.  I've added a couple links for the event if you want to check it out.  They are also on Face Book if you are interested in checking them out.

This is a music event and there were several bands playing.  Bands can range in size of a one man with keyboard and speakers to several people.  The third Thursday is when a number of bands perform.  They are about a block apart on Mill starting at 4th Street.

While this is about music it is also about the local merchants joining in and offering discounts for food.  There is also a scavenger hunt with clues posted on Face Book and Twitter.  Last night's event also had a mechanical bull.

The bands I saw last night were good.  The bands play in a rotation style.  One band will play at a location and then another band will take over after a predetermined time.  Between sets music is played on the sound system.

The crowd is a mixed group.  This being near ASU there is the campus crowd along with young families.  It was a friendly crowd.  People were there to have a nice evening out.  The weather cooperated and it was a pretty nice evening.

Parking in and around Mill Avenue can be a little hectic.  Parking on the street is free after 6 PM.  The Light Rail runs right by 4th Street and Mill so you can come by Rail if you choose.

I know I'll be going back.  I'll recommend this to more people that I know.

The event runs from 6 PM to 9 PM.

Travel smart, travel safe.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Third Thursday Music on Mill Avenue Tempe Arizona

I'm going to be attending a music event tonight on Mill Avenue in Tempe, Arizona.  Third Thursday is the big event night.  Every Thursday there is Music on Mill Avenue but the third Thursday features more bands than the other nights.
I'll be going there for the first time tonight.  I'm meeting with some of the people from my camera club.  One of the members has been doing photos for the event so he has all of the necessary paperwork, like permits and model releases for the bands.
As this is my first time attending I'm going to be as minimalist as possible.  I'm thinking only one camera and long lens, flash bracket and one Speedlite with a ETTL cord to control the light.  I may bring a bounce card for some additional contingencies.
Travel smart, travel safe.

Monday, January 16, 2012

StandupStandproud Homeless Veteran event update

Saturday's event for Homeless Veterans put on by the Stand Up Stand Proud organization was a great success if you judge by the number of people that turned out for the event.  Tom Steinhagen the event organizer does this event every year in January in Phoenix.  This year's event had a scenic ride to Tortilla Flats, Arizona.  This is an interesting ride out US 88 from Apache Junction to Canyon Lake.  You will pass Goldfield Ghost Town and the Lost Dutchman State Park.
There were over 400-500 scooters that participated in the ride.  Music was provided by 3AM.
Everyone is welcome at this event.  You will see lots of military themed items.  Obviously you'll meet lots of scooter riders, veterans, Blue and Gold Star Mothers.

Gold Star Mothers receiving flags to honor their sons.  The flags were provided by Honor and Remember.

Superstition Springs Harley Davidson in Apache Junction hosted the event.

 Some of the riders that participated in the run to Tortilla Flats arriving at the event


Travel smart, travel safe.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Helping Homless Vets StandupStandproud Update

I would have to say that the event to help Homeless Veterans went very well.  There were 150 people that preregistered and over 400 showed up.
Good food, good music and good people coming together for a worthwhile cause.  Lots of ceremony related to the homeless veterans.  Also recognizing the vets past, present and future.  Blue and Gold Star Mothers were there also.
I was happy that I attended.  As a veteran it made me proud to be there.
Travel safe, travel smart.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Help Homeless Veterans

Here is something that is a bit of a short notice but I think a worthwhile cause.
There will be food, live music, ceremonies honoring people that help the cause throughout the year.
You can come out and show support to our troops and veterans shake some hands.
As a veteran I find this to be a rather moving experience.
Travel smart travel safe.
Semper Fi
Fair winds and following seas.

Operation Helping Hand

As a veteran I try to help other veterans as often as possible.  I've been helping to support this group for a couple years now and I think it is a worthy cause.
Homeless veterans have been a problem for a long time.  Typically they make up 1/3 of the homeless population here in the US.
If you would like to help out then here is a chance to do so.
Part of what I do to help this organization is to take photos of the ceremonies taking place.
This event will be to gather gently used clothing for homeless vets.  If you have some articles of clothing you'd like to donate for a very worthy cause then stop by and help load up the car.
Thank you for your time.
Remember the worst photo ever is the one not taken.  Travel smart travel safe
Semper Fi Fair winds and following seas.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Courthouse / Rathaus Rothenburg ob der Tauber

This is a photo I took during my stay in Rothenburg ob der Tauber.  The Rathaus is on the right and the Marien Apotheke is on the left.  This is the market square and you'll find lots of activity here.
The reason I'm posting this photo is to show how things can be overlooked.  Hiding in plain sight as it were.  In the photo you can see the turret type window of the Rathaus and just beneath that you can see the beginnings of an archway and an old wooden door.  I can not tell you how many times I walked by that door.  I was more interested in the fountain or the Apotheke and I had already seen the courthouse many times before.  Actually I never noticed the door, saw it perhaps, but it never really registered.  While wandering through the Criminal Museum gift shop I saw a postcard of this door.  The post card was what caught my eye.  I'm always looking for interesting doors and I wondered where this door was.  I was surprised to find that it was part of the courthouse.
I never really got the chance to take a photo of the door because it is in a very heavily trafficked area.  It is worth taking a moment to check it out.
Travel smart, travel safe.