Wednesday, December 29, 2010


A couple of days ago my friend Julie called and asked if I wanted to chase another celebrity.  You know Julie, she's the one who took me to see the set of Pirates of the Carribean one night, and we saw Jack Sparrow driving off the set.

Being with her is always an adventure, so I said, "sure".  This morning I got up at 5 am and drove over to her house, so we could head over there together.  We spent the drive contemplating whether we would really see him, or if it would be a bust.

We were the first to arrive (at least an hour early), so we just sat around and chatted.  Then the Secret Service came over to check us out with the wand.  Then the Secret Service Dog was brought in to sniff the area.  We were on a Marine Base and at eight a.m. the raising of the flag, accompanied by the bugle, signaled that everyone stand at attention and all cars come to a halt.  Goose bumps, let me tell you!

The motorcade approached.  Secret Service men were all over the place.  (this might be a little melodramatic, but really, it was just like in the movies)  The cars drove around to the doors, they stopped, Secret Service jumped out to open doors, everyone got their cameras ready...Michelle Obama hopped out of the car and quickly walked around to the door.  No photo op there.

But then President Obama began walking towards us.  Whether or not I'm a fan of this president, it was still a pretty awesome situation.  He proceeded to go down the line of "visitors", shaking hands and making an occasional comment.  Me....I just kept clicking away.  Julie, on the other hand, actually got to shake hands with the president.  Wowser!!

This first image is a scene of the front of the gym where Obama would soon be playing basketball.  About 40 minutes before he arrived, everyone was evacuated from the building, we assume so that the building could be checked, and each person was wanded.  After that proceedure, they were all allowed back inside.

 Julie getting her cane examined.

Secret Service and his dog, checking things over.


 First Lady disembarking the vehicle.

President beginning he walk to the waiting people.

Beginning the line of handshakes.

I missed the shot of Julie shaking his hand, but this one is pretty good, I think.

A pretty interesting way to start the day.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

 A Random Mix

My friend wanted to take her mom, who is visiting from the Mainland, to Haleiwa for burgers at Kua Aina the other day and she invited me to join them.  This is the burger place we usually eat at after we snorkle.  If we snorkle first, then we can justify the burger and great fries.  That day we didn't have any way to excuse ourselves.  We just went there and enjoyed.  She's kind of camera shy.

As we were leaving, we heard our names being called by the Shave Ice at Matsumoto's.  So we stopped there for dessert.  Well, Betty and her mom did, anyway.  I refrained because I was going to stop in at Starbuck's to see Leah, and she was going to make me one of those decadent drinks they serve.

I saw this car drive by and just barely thought of getting a photo of the plate. 

Another day I was at the beach by myself and saw this couple.  Notice the tats?  I guess it's true, some couples are really made for each other. (If it were me, I would have worn a solid color dress)

Corey's Christmas tree. 

Mele Kalikimaka.
Jesus is the reason for the season.

Friday, December 17, 2010

 Flight Tower

This afternoon I finally decided to go out and get to the post office.  I had to make a payment to someone, and I never even thought of packing envelopes and stamps.  I had my camera with me, and decided that this was as good a time as any to get some images of the Flight Tower that was in operation on Pearl Harbor Day (and that was seen in the movie, Pearl Harbor). 

Now, that wasn't the brightest idea I ever had.  Mid-day with cloudy sky doesn't usually yield the most appealing images.  The close-ups were the problem.  I had to position myself so the sun was hidden, which didn't give me too many vantage points.

They aren't too bad, but one of these mornings, when I know the weather is supposed to be good, I'll get out there at sunrise.  That should make a nice difference.

 The Beach

Went to the beach yesterday.  Big-time surfing contest takes place at this beach, but I went late in the afternoon and everything was closed down for the day.  Still.....not a bad place to be for the afternoon.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

A Good Ride
After picking me up at the airport on Tuesday night, along with some other friends, Leah stayed overnight with me.  In the morning we just hung around the house catching up with the news, ran an errand, had lunch and then decided to go to Haleiwa for Shave Ice.

We had a moment of serious indecision.  Should we take the Matrix (my car), the suv (Leah's car) or the convertible (my host's car)?  We spent some time deciding (I think it was actually a nano-second), and finally hopped into the convertible.

Not a bad way to get to the North Shore.  

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

On My Way

So...I'm actually en route.  On the plane.  To Hawaii.  And there's wi-fi.  Can you believe it?  Free internet on the plane, in the air, en route.  Well, the "free" part is just a promotion being provided by google until Jan 2.  But how cool is that?

I'm about 9 hours from landing in Honolulu.  The ironic thing is that my son is flying from San Diego to New York today.  He's going to land in Albany right around the time I'm landing in Honolulu (taking the time difference into consideration).  You'd think we could have planned things a little better, right?  But alas, airfares rule!!  Cheapest rates dictate flight dates.  Sigh.

Well, his plane is landing around 1 am, NY time.  Who, in their right minds, would want to go pick someone up at the airport at 1 am in NY, in the winter, in the snow, on icy roads?  Maybe Mom?  Sure, but Mom's landing in warm Hawaii, so that won't happen.

So we devised a plan.  I would leave the car in the long-term parking lot, and he would play "Where's Waldo" (actually "where's Saab") while trying to locate the car.  But hey, how big is the Albany Airport parking lot anyway?

Technology.  To.  The.  Rescue!  I took some photos, loaded them onto my laptop, and sent them to him.  You've got to love this technology, right? (sometimes).  I received a digital reader from my children for Christmas and I've been ready to toss it across the room a few times already.  But that's a topic for another post.

Monday, December 06, 2010

This past Saturday, the first Saturday in Dec., I had the opportunity to work with a group of people doing something that I think is amazing.  In the big scheme of world politics, global warming, acid rain, disappearing rain forests, and tense international relations, it's probably not a big deal.  But to the individuals who took part in this event, both the service providers and the clients, it was a very big deal.

     Have you heard the parable that goes something like this:  One day a man was walking along the beach when he came upon another man who was methodically picking up starfish from the sand and tossing them, one by one, back into the ocean.  There were thousands of starfish washed up on the beach.  The first man said, "Why are you doing that?  There are so many starfish that you can't really make a difference."  The second man looked at him, bent down, picked one up and tossed it into the ocean.  He then turned to the first man and said, "It made a difference to that one". 

That's what I felt like on Sat.  Here's the deal.  Quoted from the website, "Founded by Celebrity Photographer Jeremy Cowart, Help-Portrait is a community of photographers, coming together across the world to use their photography skills to give back to their local community." (italics & underline, mine).

      The local organizer set up the studio in Cohoes, NY at the Good Ground Family Church.  There were 8 photographers, probably about 15 assistants, and a myriad of other helpers.  All of our time was donated.  A company donated the use of the pipe and black drape that created the individual "mini-studios", and a lab in Tennessee is donating all the prints.

People are notified about the portrait sessions through helping organizations.  They sign up for a time, they come in to get their portrait made and in a week or two they return to get their prints.  Some of these people have never had their portraits made, some haven't for a long time.  Most of them couldn't begin to afford to pay for such a service. 

It was awesome.  I'm already looking forward to next year--not that I want the year to rush by, of course.

Something I found very interesting.  When I was running my business and photographing groups and families, I would encourage them to consider their clothing choices--hoping they would dress in a coordinated fashion.  The clients were paying me money to create these portraits.  Most of the time they would complain that they couldn't get their family to agree to dress nicely--and some of the clothing combinations that I saw were truly scary.

Saturday, I'd say that half of the families that arrived for their "free" portrait, came in looking great.

hmmmm, what's up with that?

If you're interested in seeing what this is all about, check out the website

Thursday, December 02, 2010

 It's Been a While
I noticed today that it's been almost a month since my last post.  Guess I've been slacking off, or maybe it's just that I've been so busy with other parts of my life that I haven't been taking any pictures.  Dang!!!
So tonight, when I headed up to the Glen Store for their weekly dinner night, I decided to take my camera with me.  Below are the results.  Not great.  Not very appealing images.  Just documentation of our little country store and some of the neighbors who gather there on dinner night.

Small town living rocks!  At least some of the time.