Monday, March 28, 2011


I try to keep my anger sequestered from the rest of my life, as it is counterproductive to what I want to do and where I want to go. But some stuff just really gets to me.  Especially bullies and creeps who maltreat animals. 

My wife is very involved with dog and cat rescues and it kills me whenever the "latest" case of severe animal abuse comes to light. It makes my wife very sad, but it makes me want to hunt them down and and administer my own form of justice...

Is it just me?


Friday, March 25, 2011

Weekend Reflections -- Snowy Plovers?

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Weekend Reflections by other photographers at Newtown Area Photo.


Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Menopause Just Might Kill Me

Sir Isaac Newton’s Third Law of Motion is, "To every action there is always an equal and opposite reaction."
I'm married to a beautiful, funny and smart woman. Unfortunately for me, she is now going through menopause and has apparently lost her mind. Although I totally feel sorry for her, I'm pretty sure that her menopause might cause me to die of hypothermia or heat stroke I know that it will eventually pass.

What I’m about to say, is almost completely true...
When it's freezing in our house, she's burning up! We have to open the windows and/or turn on the air conditioning, even though it's the dead of winter. Most of you know where I live and I understand that "dead of winter" is a relative phrase. For those of you living in areas with "real' winter, I apologize!

On the other end of the spectrum…
If it’s mid-summer and about 85 degrees outside, she is usually wearing a parka it’s about 75 degrees inside. How is my wife feeling?

"I'm so cold!"
"Honey, it's 75 degrees in here!"
"I don't care, I'm freezing!"
"Put another coat on!" (notice I said another)
"I'm turning the heater on!"
"It's much too hot in here already!"
"I don't care, I'm freezing!"

Last summer was one of the mildest on record where I live. I think it was August 15th, when I lost the tip of my nose to frostbite.

If I'd known it was catchy, I would have gotten a vaccine or something...
Or is it just me?


Monday, March 21, 2011

Zero Defects

My recent posts have been bouncing between photos and poems. I figured it was time to work in some stories about my crazy and dysfunctional childhood.
My mother was a pioneer in the field of "Zero Defects Quality Control."

I don’t remember ever seeing her cleaning house after my dad left (I was 5), we were given those assignments. She checked our completed work with the zeal of a newly promoted drill instructor.

Didn’t do a perfect job? Do it over. Still not perfect? Do it over again.  If she had the energy, she would keep it up all night. If she didn't have the energy, we'd have to redo the work and then wake her up, so she could hold yet another inspection. On a school night?  It just didn't matter to her, it could have been Christmas eve.

She didn’t just check out our work like a normal person. She of course, would check it out like a crazy person. She would even check the bottoms of the chair, table, and couch legs. There had better not be any lint or hairs on them at all. If there was, you know...Do it all again!

The exact same process was applied to doing dishes. The crazy lady would go through the drawers and cupboards to inspect every freaking piece of silverware and every dish.  They didn't just have to be perfectly clean, they had to be perfectly dry as well.  If she found a single speck of food, or dust, or a drop of water, we had to them ALL over again.

Somewhere along the line, we figured out that this wasn't really about doing the dishes, or cleaning the house. It was about control.  It became very apparent, when we couldn't find anything on the dish, or fork, or spoon, that made them still dirty.  When I spoke to other kids about chores, I realized that I lived on a different planet than most.

I lived on Planet Crazy...

Another early post. This one had 4 comments (3 by family and friends).


Friday, March 18, 2011

Weekend Reflection - Tokyo Imperial Palace Moat

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Weekend Reflections by other photographers at Newtown Area Photo.

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Wednesday, March 16, 2011


As many of you know, my wife is Japanese and most of her family lives in Japan.  We’ve made contact with some  of them and they tell us that they are shaken and scared, but safe. Thanks to those of you who have asked about them.

Japan is really up against it right now.  Earthquakes are averaging one an hour, tsunamis have killed thousands, a volcano is erupting, it's very cold, radiation is scaring everyone, transportation is at a standstill, there are major power outages and food and water are in short supply.  It’s the perfect storm of disasters.

I’ve visited Japan several times and have been lucky enough to stay with my wife’s relatives instead of hotels. I’ve really gotten to see how they live their everyday lives. They are very much like us, yet they are nothing like us. There are a few things I can tell you about them with certainty…

There will be no looting and there will be little or no crime during this time.  There will be none of the unrest, rudeness, or sense of entitlement, we’ve come to expect in our country when times get bad.  People will not be expecting the government to do everything.  These people take care of each other.  Whatever Mother Nature and failed technology throw at them, they will endure it with grace, humility and respect for others.  You’ve seen them on TV, waiting in long lines trying to buy what little food is available, right? Did you see and pushing and shoving? No, you didn’t see it, because it is not in their nature to do so.

Is Japan perfect? No it is not. Their government has made some major blunders throughout the years.  Having said that, the people are the nicest and gentlest, I’ve ever seen.  If you are lucky enough to travel there, you will find that they don’t expect you to speak Japanese. In fact, most will be embarrassed because they don’t speak your language!

I didn’t mean for this to be so long.  Because of my crazy upbringing, I’m not easily affected by current events, but I have to tell you, this unfolding tragedy is kicking my ass.  If you have any positive and healing thoughts, or any prayers you can make. The Japanese can surely use them...
Dinner at Aunt Junko's house.
Yes, everyone is sitting on the floor!

Get together at Aunt Kiku's house

Dinner out with Aunt Toshiko.
My wife's mom is in the front right.

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Monday, March 14, 2011

Waiting For People Food

Daisy and Emma waiting for a handout


Friday, March 11, 2011

Weekend Reflections -- You Tell Me

Marbled Godwith (I think).
Somebody please correct me, if I'm worng.

Weekend Reflections by other photographers at Newtown Area Photo.


Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Coffin Full of Hate

Coffin full of hate
Coffin full of emptiness
You lived your life as a crucible
They all feel pain for you now
But they don’t know
Who you really were
I was there
When your spirit left
I felt it fly away
It blew through me
Like an ice cold wind

Casket borne
Peaceful now
They line up
To take a glimpse
I view you not the same as them
For I knew your pitiful walnut heart
And even if I must conceal it
They won’t catch me crying
Softness for you?
It need not seek haven in my heart
There’s no place for it

You hid your face
From all but me
Projecting a facade
For them to see

You are no more to me now
Than I was to you then

another very old one...


Monday, March 7, 2011

Rocky Marciano's Nose

An extremely bright and distant child
Quite distracted while in school
His name brought up in quiet tones
Over coffee in the lounge
Daily conversation with his teacher
A subterfuge to check him for his wounds
They cannot talk to his mother
She's wearing sunglasses in the rain
A beautiful woman she is
With Rocky Marciano's nose
The father a well respected man
A contradiction on the edge
The wild look in his eyes tells you
It's best to leave it alone
Father to father, son to son
Poisonous legacy of tragic secrets
What can anybody do?
His mother is wearing sunglasses in the rain

Yet another old one posted when I had very few followers and fewer comments. This poem is only autobiographical in the sense that there was a great deal of abuse in my childhood.  There was no father in the picture to dish it out. That was my mom's job...


Friday, March 4, 2011

Weekend Reflection -- Surf City

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Just south of the Huntington Beach (California) pier.  This beach city is a major surfing mecca and home of the United States Surfing Championships. On this day there was supposed to be huge storm surf. Both the surfers and myself were disappointed, when it didn't materialize.

Weekend Reflections by other photographers at Newtown Area Photo.


Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Forgotten Promises

The days of your youth
Are as precious as jewels to me
For when you’ve grown and gone
I’ll know pain from your leaving
And sorrow from your being gone
Will you be strangers to me then?
And find me only when
I know who none of you are?
You promised as children
That you’d take me in
And reassured me when
I read to you
This poem
But you didn’t really know my mother
And what a burden I’ll be
Forgive me now
As I hold you so dearly
For this day will never come again
Each morning you waken anew
So I’ll hold you for now
Before you grow up
And forget your promises

this is another poem posted in the early days of my blog. thanks to Tim and Betsy, who were the only two people to comment.