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.