Friday, February 24, 2006


Seasonal Logo changes

"Erin go braugh!" makes a splash at

At the beginning of the year, I decided to take a page out of Google's playbook and update the logo based on the season. The President's Day eagle is now resting comfortably in the archive, along with the Christmas wreath and the valentine.

The next holiday on the "jp calendar" is St. Patrick's day, so the logo on the site has gone green and Gaelic in honor of the day.

The phrase beneath the ring logo simply means "The feast of Patrick."

And for any of you who might not know, "Erin go braugh" means "Ireland Forever!"

(I'm currently working on something for after the 17th. Since I'll be heading for Miami and Photoshop World shortly thereafter, I might have to do something either beachy or graphics/photography related.)

Thursday, February 23, 2006


You only want what you can not have.

When I was in St. Augustine last, I snapped a bunch of pictures of the architectural details of the facade of Flagler College, including the one seen here. I assumed the motto was some lofty academic saying, and I never really got around to looking at the image too closely.

Earlier today, I was looking for the images of the pink hibiscus that I shot there, and stumbled over it. One of my co-workers was looking over my shoulder, saw the plaque and started laughing.

The inscription is in Spanish, and reads, "When I can, I don't want to. When I can not, it is what I desire most. "

Interesting motto on an academic building, no? Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, February 22, 2006


Mellow Yellow

I posted new freebies to my business site (you don't want to know how long it's been since I did THAT) at

and, while these images aren't a part of that group, the theme is "Mellow Yellow" A group of images that have absolutely nothing in common except the color yellow. I was in central Florida this past weekend, and the yellow hibiscus, along with the alemanders and some other goodies were in bloom. I really LOVE yellow flowers, so I was in heaven photographing them.


Tuesday, February 21, 2006


Who do you think you are looking at, peasant?

There's no big story behind this-- I came out of the office and started to get into my car... this bird was sitting on the shrubbery beside the parking lot giving me major attitude (but not making any attempt to fly away).

I pulled out the camera in my bag and shot a few frames, and the whole time I was doing this, the bird was hopping and strutting back and forth, giving me the birdy beady eye and screaming his head off. For some reason I was reminded of Tom Cruise, and I felt like a paparazzi.

The minute I got into the car the screaming and strutting stopped, and before I could even get my key in the ignition, the bird flew away--- but not before it hopped up on to the hood of my car, looked in the windshield and gave me one final put upon "Why won't you people give me any peace!" look.

Maybe that's why they call them mockingbirds.

I realize I'm probably way too easily amused, but the whole thing made me chuckle. Posted by Picasa

Monday, February 20, 2006


Butterfly "action" shots

Didn't quite realize what this really was until I started editing the weekend photos.... (which shows how exciting my life's been lately) LOL

Taken in Gainesville at Butterfly Rainforest.... Posted by Picasa

Sunday, February 19, 2006


Butterfly Research Lab

The butterfly counts not months but moments, and has time enough. (Rabindranath Tagore)

Spent yesterday at the UF Butterfly Research facility in Gainesville. Went insane with the camera.
Photos abound. Even after culling out the mistakes and duplicates, have around 350 "good" images.

2 galleries so far at
ButterflyRainforest1 and ButterflyRainforest2 Posted by Picasa

Friday, February 17, 2006


God is in the Details: Boston September 2005

God is in the Details: Boston September 2005

More Boston pictures... this time, mostly buildings along Boylston Street and Copley Plaza. If you ever wondered why I love cities like Boston with a rich and colorful history, all you have to do is look at this gallery.

Thursday, February 16, 2006


Photos from Boston

I took these back in September, but I've just gotten around to posting them to the site.
There is a gallery of Street Performers here
and another one of faces shot in Copley Square here.

In the faces gallery, the first several are all the same piece of statuary, shot from several different angles. These photos aren't all prize winners, but it is very interesting (to me, anyway) how the exact same face changes mood depending on the angle of the camera and the lighting.

We TELL humans that all the time, of course, but there's always the tendence to believe that there are subtle differences in the person's expression in response to the camera. When photographing an inanimate statue, you can see the differences in stark relief.


Korean War Memorial, Tallahassee, FL

One of the few decent shots I got of the memorial.

Needs a lot of Photoshopping.

I'll try to get a larger grouping of these shots edted tomorrow and posted to the web.

The concept of the memorial is an interesting one-- I just wish the site was more photogenic.

The upright torus or ring reads "Duty, Honor Country" A large section appears to be torn out by a careless or violent hand and thrown to the ground behind the ring. On the face of the torn out section, is the word "Life" and the inner surface is inscribed with the names of the 500+ Floridians killed in the Korean Confilct.

In the center of the ring is a bronze sculpture of a helmet balanced on the stock of a rifle. The barrel (and probably a fixed bayonet) is embedded in the ground in the traditional tribute to a fallen soldier. (I'm reminded of the poignant WWII sketch by Howard Brodie)

To a photographer who loves to shoot public art and architecture, Tallahassee is not exactly a goldmine of a location.

While there is some interesting stuff around, it is thin on the ground and, more often than not, it is obscured by or immediately adjacent to something a great deal less aesthetically pleasing. Finding an angle that captures the subject without including dumpsters, parking lots, power lines and fast food logos is one of the biggest obstacles.

One case in point is the war memorial shown here. I'd seen this particular installation for the first time the other day. Ideally, one would wait a few weeks to photograph it when the surrounding trees are in leaf... all that pink granite would look fantastic against glossy green leaves... however, when the surrounding trees are in full leaf not only would the light be even more difficult to manage, (even in full daylight with an incredible sky, overhanging trees keep the sculpture and installation in shadows) but the only clear line of sight would also capture a parking lot for a State office building across the street, and a much less than attractive railroad siding. Right in the middle of the sculpture. Euw. The memorial's official site (with another photographer's pictures that will illustrate the issues) is here

Monday, February 13, 2006


Women Buy Geek Toys, Too

VAIO FJ Series I own both a Sony Vaio laptop and a high-end Sony Digital Camera, so I'm on their mailing list. Not long ago, I got an e-mail newsletter from Sony. It contained all sorts of interesting things such as driver updates and information on Sony Digital Days, ( etc. and an article that truly intriged me.

Their research indicates that more digital cameras are bought by women than by men, and the article went on to outline the differences between the way women choose electronics anf the way their male counterparts do. Because I'm one of those women who has shelled out more than a few bucks for cameras in the past few years, this interested me. The conclusion was that women want style, power, adaptability and ease of use, and have little or no patience with clunky design, and hardware or software interfaces that are illogical or hard to manage. Since this pretty much sums up how I feel about most things, I felt validated.

Now, last February, my laptop committed suicide, and I was forced to replace it. OK, guys, since most laptops are configurable, and they all use the same processors and components, (which means they all do pretty much the same stuff in the same way) the choice comes down to five things: How much does it cost, how reliable/durable is it, what's the customer service like, how does it perform in your hands, and what does it look like.

Over the years, I've had one IBM laptop, one Dell, and 2 HP's. I will never buy another HP. Their customer service has got to be the worst on the planet. Compaq isn't even a consideration. The customer service is actually WORSE than HP's (which is funny, given their relationship) and the products are....substandard. Compaq is the Yugo of the computer world. If you GAVE me a Compaq laptop, I'd still have to buy another one. I wasn't impressed or depressed by IBM and/or Dell--they were functional, dependable, durable enough--- in both those cases, my employer had a purchase program and it was cost-effective for me to buy through the program.
But times and employers had changed and now I was without a discount, so while IBM and Dell, were in the running, so were a number of other vendors. Gateway has a rep for great customer service. Toshiba's are supposed to be a good value. But.......I was also looking at Alienware and Sony because.... well, I live and work in an environment where laptops are as ubiquitous as cellphones, and I wanted something a little different than a standard Blue and Silver Dell or Blue and Silver HP. I wanted something with presence. Something that said, "Not Your Father's Computer!" Then a co-worker showed me a photo of an Acer Ferrari- and it was candy apple red, shiny and slick--- and I was in lust. I WANTED one.

The problem was that no one in Tallahassee sells them, and the only Acers I could find locally were less than impressive in the look and feel tests. I was not going to order a $2800 computer if I couldn't get my hands on the keyboard to test it out.

Then I walked into Best Buy, and saw the Vaio Widescreen that I eventually bought. The case was silver, the lines were sleek, the keyboard was silent and felt right in my hands, and the display was IN-CRED-IBLE. It had a built-in memory-stick port, a DVD and CD burner, and room for enough RAM to run all my image editing programs. I was sold. I handed the man my credit card and walked out with it the same afternoon. I eventually found 2 different cases for it-- the skinny red and silver one I carry to work every day that has room for the bare essentials and nothing more, and a larger black case with nifty compartments that I use when traveling because it also accomodates my camera gear.

A year, almost to the day, later, this appears in my mail.... Customizable VAIO's in COLOR!!!
I still love my sexy silver laptop that, closed, is no thicker than a Vogue, but if this baby had been available in raspberry or jade, I'd have tripped my own grandmother to get it. And Dooney & Bourke is producing the color-coordinated cases.

Maybe this is a tech company who really WANTS to appeal to women customers. Works for me. Posted by Picasa

Sunday, February 12, 2006


Nicholson Farmhouse Restaurant

Ever since I came to Tallahassee more than a year ago, people have been telling me about the Nicholson Farmhouse Restaurant, but until this afternoon, I'd never actually been there. The one night that all the folks from my office went there for dinner, I was traveling, and I've just never gone on my own.

Well, the weather today started out positively awful-- cold, rainy, thunderstorms, severe weather and flash flood warnings-- so my original plans were pretty much trashed. At about 2:30 PM, the weather started clearing, and I was bored, so I decided to hop into the car and drive up to Havana, a little town about 14 miles North of the city, which is chock full of cute little antique stores. And, I thought, will all those touristy-stores, there ought to be someplace to grab an early dinner before I came back to Tally to see the 8:00 show of Capote.

Well, I was wrong about the possibility of eating in Havana, unless I wanted Subway or Pizza-- all the quaint little tea rooms and cafes were closed. So I decided to drive a few miles farther down the road toward Quincy. There is not much of anything between Havana and Quincy-- Well there are cows, truck stops and Baptist churches, but no restaurants.... except Nicholson Farm House. So I figured..."why not?"

I wish I'd had my camera, because I was completely nonplussed by what I saw as I drove down the muddy, unpaved drive with potholes deep enough to make me glad I had the Jeep. As you make the turn into the compound, you see first a gazebo, then a cluster of buildings- one appears to be a barn, another a smokehouse, another a gas station and general store, a long, low building of undetermined use, and what looks like a pretty good-sized house that could use some repairs and a coat of paint. (Actually, they all looked like they could use a coat of paint.) A hand-painted sign read "Restaurant Entrance" and an arrow labeled "Parking"pointed to what appeared to be a grassy pasture area, so I picked a spot as far away from the largest of the mud puddles as I could and parked the Jeep.

It was 5:30 PM-- the parking lot was not full, and when I entered, neither of the 2 dining rooms that I could see appeared to be crowded. That notwithstanding, the four women at the reservations desk first were incredulous that an unaccompanied woman wanted a table, then spent 10 minutes trying to decide where to seat me. Finally, I was led through a rats maze, out of the house through which I entered, down a covered walkway, past a freestanding building which contained the restrooms, and into another house filled with small dining rooms. I met my server, a very nice and efficient woman named Connie, and was handed an 8-page newspaper, which contained information about the property and the menu. When I was seated, there were 4 other people in the dining room, and perhaps 18 empty tables.

Connie brought me a carafe of iced tea, and launched into her spiel about the restaurant. Short version: there are other things on there, but it's mostly a steakhouse. I ordered a steak, the smallest one on the menu. Connie took my order, and I noticed a small bowl she'd placed on my table. It contained one of the few Southern Delicacies I've never even tried-- boiled peanuts.

There is a reason I've never tried these things-- aesthetically, they're slightly disgusting. Imagine buying a regular bag of peanuts in the shell, dumping them in salted water, and boiling the crap outta them. Voila! Boiled peanuts. They're wet, dark brown and squishy. You peel and eat them, dumping the shells in the empty bowl provided for this purpose. They aren't terrible-- they taste like bland salted legumes-- but I don't know why anyone would go out of their way to get them.

I'd peeled and eaten the contents of 2 or 3 shells, (and had decided my curiousity about boiled peanuts was now satisfied forever) when Connie was back with my salad and bread. New Southern Delicacy #2-- pickled okra. I actually like okra, and have eaten it dozens of ways, but never pickled. Since the okra was by far the most interesting thing on the salad plate, I ate it first. I think I'd have liked it better if the brine had been more intense-- it was pretty bland. I think I could like really good pickled okra-- I like fresh cucumbers and beets in home-made brine- but this was trying too hard to be inoffensive.

When my steak and veggies arrived, I could only stare at it-- if this was the smallest steak on the menu, I don't want to think about the others. It was huge. It tasted great, and their special recipe Vidalia Onion steak sauce is quite good, but I only ate about a third of the beef. The twice-baked potato and green beans were both hot and fresh-- though the beans were cooked to death in true Southern style. )I'm not sure why, but in the South, al dente veggies are unheard of.

The food is well-prepared and tasty for the most part, and the service was excellent, but there's nothing exotic about the place or the menu. Nor is it cheap. Expect to spend $60 or more (without liquor) for dinner for 2. There are some really decadent-looking desserts to be had. But it's way out in the middle of nowhere in BFE, and the restrooms (which do have modern plumbing) are in what amounts to an outhouse. Ordinarily, less of a problem than they were tonight in a cold drizzle.

But I thought the Sweetheart Steak for 2 was hilarious. The specialty of the house is 2 ribeyes arranged in a heart shape--- Yeah, nothing says romance to me like an enormous slab of heart-shaped charred meat. And the history of the property and the family in the newspaper/menu completely cracked me up. It was so high on the UH scale (unintentional humor) that I brought my copy home and may have to scan portions of it.

Friday, February 10, 2006


Studio Florals

OK, it wasn't a studio--- it was my spare bathroom... but I was bored last night, so I stopped off at the grocery store, bought a few bucks worth of cut flowers in intense colors, and proceeded to play with the camera for a while.

I wasn't looking to produce botannical prints, but I was messing with focal lengths, colored lighting, etc.

Here are a few of the shots. Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, February 08, 2006


We're all Crash Test Dummies

I upgraded a piece of software this week--- it's really not important what it was, but the program was TechSmith SnagIt.

48 Hours after I paid for my upgrade, I got a thank-you e-mail from TechSmith marketing asking me why I upgraded, and what I liked and disliked about their product. I got the impression they actually cared.

On the same day, I got a similar e-mail from another software company (name witheld) whose products I have used for several years. I suspect I got this e-mail because I have said point blank in their newsgroups and elsewhere that I can no longer recommend their product to others, and I wonder if they think that if they appear to be doing something about the problems I will shut up and go away.

Dream on. The current version is not an improvement over the previous version, it is sloppy, the new interface is clumsy, they broke things that didn't need fixing, and didn't fix obvious things that should have been fixed three versions ago. Half of the "new features" advertised for the application are neither new nor features-- they are capabilities the software already had wearing new party hats. They raised the price and delivered less for the money. Of course, I've already said this a dozen times (and provided the company, both publicly and privately, with pages and pages of detailed information on the deficiencies and problems with the current version.)

Since the attitude of the company reps in their newsgroups has been less than useful or supportive, I don't believe they actually care a whole lot. I also suspect this "research" is being done to lend validity to decisions that have long since been made about the product, and my feedback won't be heeded or valued because it doesn't support the party line.

I answered their survey anyway, on the off chance that it was legitimate.... but I'm beginning to feel a little like a crash test dummy. Asking me to provide feedback on the current version--- when I've already said that after 6 upgrades, the current version is so bad that it would take a major redesign to get me to purchase, let alone cheerlead for the next version is a bit like pretending to be surprised by dents in the cranium of my buddy here after the car he was in is carted off to the landfill.

If the company cared about the users and/or the product, they would never have released the current version without a public beta test. Or they would have listened to the comments of the folks who participated in the private beta test, and acted upon them before the application went live. Or they would pay attention to what the people who participate in the newsgroups have been saying for nearly a year. Or they'd have read the reviews by the members of the technical and design press who told the truth, rather than wrote fluff pieces to ensure their advertising revenues.

I repeated all of my suggestions again. I'm willing to bet none of them are acted upon. I'm even more willing to bet that the application will continue to deteriorate until they eventually hire a product manager who knows what he/she is doing-- but by that time it will probably be too late. A promising piece of software that was on its way to becoming serious competition for an "industry standard" package, will be forever condemned to second-class status or obscurity. It's not like they've never done it before. Can anyone spell Word Perfect? Bryce? KPT? (oops, I wasn't going to name names, was I?)

BTW, this is a vintage 1960's Crash Test Dummy photographed at the Ford Museum. He looks pretty good for a guy whose job is to get the stuffing beat out of him so that real people can be safer.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006


DMV was actually a nice place to be today

Everybody remembers to complain when things go wrong, but rarely do we remember to say "well done!" when things work well.

I got an update on the status of my car--- the parts are on and it's been painted, but it has no glass in the rear three windows yet. It will be another week or so until it's back in my posession.

That was the good news. The bad news was that my license plate was trashed, so I had to go to the DMV to get a new one. I was dreading this, because I remembered what a major hassle it was when I moved down to Florida and needed to change the registration of my car from Georgia to FL.

Well, these folks today were helpful, efficient and pleasant. It took less than 15 minutes, and that included wait time. It was a breath of fresh air. It took me longer to return a shirt (with tags attached and receipt in hand) to Old Navy last week. Well Done, Duane from the Leon County Tax Collector's Office! Thanks! Posted by Picasa

Monday, February 06, 2006


Beach Kiss

I may be the only one who sees the silhouette on the sand of 2 people kissing in this shot-- but, then I never said I was average..... or maybe I'm just frustrated right now, and everything looks like...LOL
Posted by Picasa

Sunday, February 05, 2006


Superbowl XL-- Yawn.

Predictable outcome-- the Steelers won. Not that
I really care all that much one way or another.

I didn't see a single fabulous commercial-- Though
I was pleased to see fewer flatulence jokes and ED meds
advertised than in recent Superbowls. And though
I did like the little Clydesdale and the Dove ad.... they were
"cute" and "wholesome" But what happened to funny?
The Careerbuilder monkeys are OK, but we've seen them.
Kermit and Miss Piggy, Leonard Nimoy, even Fabio... these
are all pop culture references aimed squarely at Boomers--
what about people born after 1960?

And the halftme was just as boring as last year's. Note to
planners: I grew up with Paul McCartney and the Rolling
Stones, but even I know they're old enough to belong to AARP
now. There's got to be someone who is a bit more contemporary
out there... or at least someone who is still actively recording new

Remind me again why we watch these things?

Makes you miss Janet Jackson.


Maclay Gardens Ramble

The magnolias are just beginning to blossom, but the camellias were out in force

Here are some more of the images from Saturday

(Sorry if you came here and hit a bad link, it's fixed now.
The first 4 shots in this group are St. George Island, the rest are Maclay Gardens)

Posted by Picasa


Pretty in Pink

Another variety of Japanese Magnolia Posted by Picasa


Tender Spring

I'm a few days too early for the best of this year's Japanese Magnolias, but this fragile and tender blossom with its elegant white petals and blushing heart found its way to my camera yesterday. Posted by Picasa


A bad day with the camera....

is better than the best day doing mindless paperwork.

Even the St. George Island fiasco produced a couple of images I liked. I found this on my Memory Stick when I was uploading the images from Maclay yesterday.

I like the angle of the light, the textures, and the fact that this one specific moment in time was captured in this image. Even a second later, it was gone, never to come again. Posted by Picasa

Saturday, February 04, 2006


Another shot from last year

Wish me luck! Posted by Picasa


The Japanese Magnolias are beginning to bloom

So I'm off to the state garden to try to photograph them.... perhaps some early camelias will be blooming as well. Posted by Picasa

Friday, February 03, 2006


There are no little secrets.

I saw an odd film tonight.... Match Point.

The film's website says, "Match Point is a drama about ambition and obsession, the seduction of wealth, and the often discordant relationship between love and sexual passion. Perhaps most importantly, however, the story reveals the huge part luck plays in the events of our lives, refuting the comforting misconception that more of life is under our control than really is."

Without any more spoilers than the trailer or the site provide, Chris is a poor Irish kid who becomes a professional tennis player. Good, but never really top seed. He quits the tour and comes to London after securing a job as the house pro at a very posh City tennis club. There he meets Tom-- very rich, slightly bored, and with all the right connections. The 2 become fast friends, and in a year of Brokeback Mountain, Capote, and Transamerica, you wonder if these 2 somewhat effete and handsome young men with a shared passion for opera are destined for an intimate partnership.... but, no... Tom introduces Chris to his younger sister, and then to his fiance Nola (a struggling American actress played by Scarlett Johanson) that's when things really start to get interesting.

Nola's clearly got some issues. Chris (played by Jonathan Rhys-Myers, the hunky girls soccer coach from Bend it like Beckham) has some too, but he's so cute and sincere-looking and likeable that he keeps his under wraps more successfully. The story was written by Woody Allen, so everyone's a bit more neurotic than they appear at first glance, but for once Allen has left behind his New York caricatures and has written about more subtle, complex, and somewhat darker characters. Mum probably drinks a little too much, Chloe should probably see a shrink about her self-esteem and control issues. Tom isn't quite as charming as he appears at first blush. Dad may be smart in business, but it's clear that he's more than a little henpecked.

As you walk out of the theater, you'll have to decide if the ending gratifies you, upsets you, depresses you, or just makes you shrug your shoulders and say, "So what else is new? No one ever said life is fair."

See it with a thoughtful and intelligent friend and leave time for coffee and deconstruction afterward. This is one of those films likely to leave a lot of folks shaking their heads. I'm not sure I enjoyed it, but it did make me think.

Here's the film's official site.

There are no little secrets.

Thursday, February 02, 2006


The Joys of Business Travel

It always cracks me up when people say they envy the travel portion of my job....

Maybe if I were traveling to exotic and spectacular places it would be different, but Tallahassee, FL, Akron, Ohio and the like aren't exactly Paris, Rome and Madrid.

Mostly, it's an anonymous corporate apartment or a cookie-cutter hotel, and a lot of time spent in airports on layovers eating overpriced bad meals with plastic utensils. I just love eating salads with a plastic fork.

Actually, when I start to think about the kind of travel I do most often, I'm reminded of Simon & Garfunkle's "Homeward Bound"-- "Each town looks the same to me, the movies and the factories, and every stranger's face I see reminds me that I long to be Homeward bound... "

The Malling of America--- every hotel, every mall, every city is so much the same in many ways.....The current trend in airports is what I think of as bad mall food--- think the food court at your local shopping center... The exact same food from the same chains. Mandarin Express. Mickey D's. Chick Fil-A. Pizza Hut Express. Burger King. The only difference-- other than the limited menus so the choices are beige starch and grease or brown starch and grease-- is that they increase the price by 25-30%. If you actually want to eat a warm vegetable other than a potato, there aren't a lot of options.

The next rung up the ladder in some airports is the Chili's- Friday's- Ruby Tuesday tier. Not too bad-- except those menus are limited as well. Sandwiches and salads, sometimes a pasta dish, and appetizers. Lots of nachos and potato skins, a soup that isn't potato or chili with actual vegetables in it if you're really lucky. A sandwich or salad, a cup of soup and a drink will run you close to $20. Fun Fun Fun.

Which is why I love it when work actually takes me someplace interesting. I loved my sojourn to Boston last September. Lord, I would LIVE in Boston if I could. I love the combination of salt water, history, architecture, culture, etc. Boston is cool. I'm less enthused about places like Las Vegas, maybe because I don't gamble, but at least there are interesting things to photograph.

I just made my reservations for Photoshopworld in March in Miami Beach. OK, I'm a native Floridian, so the beach isn't as exotic to me as it might be to other folks, but I love anyplace that has salt water, so that's of interest. But I had no desire whatsoever to stay in the "conference" hotel in Downtown Miami, given that the conference itself is on South Beach. I've done the "conference hotel" bit before, and I know the area. This time it's a pretty generic Radisson. I decided to stay on the beach instead. I also opted out of the party at the Hard Rock--- it ALWAYS sucks, and for the $50 I'd have spent on the ticket, I can catch a cab and go someplace decent for dinner, or amuse myself in some other way that is more "me."

Oh, incidentally, the photo is from the Ford Museum in Detroit-- a mock up of a 1930's motel room.... Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

I painted this portrait of Coretta Scott King for a Women's History Month project sponsored by one of my clients. It seems appropriate to repost it today, in her memory.

Although all of the recent obits refer to her as "the widow of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr." Mrs. King was an extraordinary person in her own right.

In recent years, King spoke out against racial profiling, mandatory minimum sentences and attacks on affirmative action. She became increasingly critical of businesses such as film and television companies, video arcades, gun manufacturers and toy makers she accused of promoting violence. She called for regulation of their advertising.

I may not always have agreeed with her politics, or her approach to solving the problems we face as a society, but I have always respected her heart, her passion, and her strength. Her death due to complications of ovarian cancer has left the world a sadder and colder place.

She was of a generation that expected women to "keep to their place"-- particularly "women of color," as they were then called. While rejecting those old-fashioned notions, she never lost her dignity. She was what her generation would have called a "lady." (Even if many of them would have choked on hearing the term applied to an African-American woman!) She was a class act, always.

Young girls of every color and every part of society would do well to note that in a world where Angelina Jolie, Britney Spears and Paris Hilton are likely to get more press coverage this week than Coretta Scott King, it is becoming more difficult for kids of either sex to separate media hounds from moral heroes. Real heroes rarely find themselves on the cover of People promoting themselves. If they do find themselves there, it is because of the nature of their work, not the cost of their outfit, or their last public domestic brawl. Posted by Picasa


Seal-ed with a kiss

Well, here I am on Groundhog's Day Eve.

I did nothing of any socially-redeeming value last night except read and sleep, so I'm a little less exhausted than I was yesterday.

Work yesterday was wall-to-wall meetings, and, while it made the day pass quickly, I felt like all I did was read my mail, print the notes for the meeting, find the right conference room, sit and take notes while people rehashed what was in the e-mail, sign off on having seen and read the contents, and wash, rinse, and repeat.

I've finally gotten around to looking at my sea lion images, and it looks like they may need some photoshopping to make them look right-- or at least "right" by my standards.

It was early morning when I was shooting them, and the light was apparently more harsh than I remembered it being. I know that most of them were asleep when I got there (and all of the harbor seals were still sleeping. A sleeping harbor seal is not an aestheically-pleasing sight.) and this guy was one of the few sea lions bright-eyed and bushy-tailed enough to want to hassle the egrets.

It was funny watching them.... the birds would sneak up, ever so slowly and silently, wait until his head was turned, and steal a fish right from under his nose, then fly outta there like a bat outta....umm....the seal compound. They'd perch on some rocks the sea lions couldn't get to and cackle over their victory and eat it. The sea lion would get irked and bark up a storm, push a few innocent egrets off "his" rock, and give the rest the evil eye for a while. The minute he'd relax the larcenous egrets would come back and the process would start all over again. There are more parallels to my working life in that tale than I want to think about.

As Dame Edna would say, "That's all for now, Possums!" Posted by Picasa

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