Word and Image

Posts tagged “Travel

Not PC today

This is emotional for me. My brother and mom have both passed away from lung cancer. Let’s knock on wood now please. Silva’s dad had been diagnosed with lung cancer shortly after I knew her. She smoked and quit and started again and ….? Her brothers smoked/smoke. No one stopped after dad was diagnosed. Farid shook his head. He doesn’t smoke. But smoking was a deal breaker when he met Silva. So she quit…We visited a prominent religious statue high on a hill in Beirut. There was a long picturesque funicular ride to the top. Silva was there to pray for her father. Lung cancer is fatal so we know how this ends. Hope. It’s in us all. We never give it up. The alternative is too painful to contemplate. It’s surprising to me. Most physicians do not experience death too often. Patients die. But it is not something that dominates a medical practice. Emergency physicians, of course, see plenty. And in a sad way I do too. Head injury, stroke, aneurysm, and brain tumors all take a toll. It’s very difficult to talk about death and dying. No one dies. We save everyone. And the public thinks we perform miracles every day. See? It’s on the news. But in real life reality, we pray. We hope. And we accept that life is fragile.


Change of Pace

I post according to what catches my eye at the moment. I photograph eclectically. Stuff. I shoot graphics. I shoot current event. I shoot history. I do fish! I used to photograph my kids a lot. My wife never liked her picture. So there were less and less of them. Random shots. Random thoughts. At least it’s not fish today. I have to break up the line up or else I risk changing the blog to a dive blog. Change, it happens. It’s sort of inevitable. To some of you who know me, this is more meaningful. But there is a Chinese saying, “May you be born in interesting times.” Or, “Every journey begins with the first step.” Or, even more trite, “Today is the last day of the rest of your life.”

Interesting times? How about Trump? Who’d ever have thought he’d be nominated and that a very large number of people are supporting him. Sorry, I guess you can guess my politics. But really, I don’t believe in any of them. No one you elect actually does anything for you. They do so they can be re-elected in the next cycle. Cynical? Maybe.

Change? Yup. Kodak? Film? Who were they? Digital rules. Cameras? Nope. Everyone pretty much uses a smartphone now. The game has changed. Brick and mortar stores are going. You even buy shoes online now. Amazon rules. I haven’t set foot in a store to buy Christmas presents in a few years now. Online sales prices lie to me. MSRP is a come on. No one pays retail. Not for a long long time. So the sales price is a come on too. But no one can hide on the internet. So lowest prices are pretty easy to shop and it’s a whole lot easier than walking or driving. Bye Macy’s. Gimbles is gone. So too are so many other stores. The anchor mall stores here in Saudi are grocery stores. Everyone needs food….for the moment.

Park? I’ve been a nomad for a lot of years now. I never intended nor expected to be. It has been an unparalleled adventure. I would not have willingly mapped it out this way. But moving seems to suit me. My family moved on average every two years till I was eighteen. I told my wife and she gut renovated our apartment twice so we stayed thirty years at one address. My kids lived in different countries on different continents. Risk, adventure, wanderlust? My parents left China to journey to America. They gave me opportunity. I’ve been very lucky and blessed. The timing for me was so very fortunate. There has been badness. But on the whole it’s been pretty nice. I opened Lightroom to look for some images today. Random. But thoughtful. Or as Bing Crosby sang in White Christmas – “….I count my blessings instead of sheep…”


Weaving

_DSC2308A long long time ago… I was in Peru. Recently, I remembered this image. I shot it for the graphics and color. We were visiting a llama farm. Native women were costumed and weaving. I shot the color and not the technique or style, or loom. Sorry. It was not important to me then. I suppose more detail and the hands would have been a nice touch too. But one image must suffice. It illustrates all. A single image is always an incomplete story. I can recall the trip and the place we were in. The image is an anchor. I remember much of the day. David had llama for lunch later. I would tell you it tasted like chicken, but no, it was more lean and stringy like beef. And in the big picture, we were in Peru because we had attended a wedding in Lima. This leg of the trip was to Cusco and on to Machu Picchu. I took a lot of pictures throughout the trip. This was my weaving photo. One image, a lot of memories….


Jules Visits

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Of all the things we never imagined, Jules visiting Jeddah would be right up there on the list. But she really does love her dad. I posted a nice lead picture. Women hate humor in their photographs. (Just wait.)

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She came for a visit. You have to wear an abaya. I borrowed one. She wore it. It’s like your own personal steam bath. She even wore the scarf although that is pretty optional for non Muslims. Sort of… No Jules did not go over the top with heat stroke. She wanted to see camels. And we thought there were some on the other side. Dopey? Yup, I guess the heat did get to her. She let me take this awful pic. One looks very interesting out of context wearing a dive mask on dry land. It’s not awful. It’s just not flattering. Right? She teaches Little kids. Sharing? Nope.

This was a raspberry macaroon. She ate the whole thing and never offered me a taste. That’s revenge! She’s still my favorite daughter.


Wedding In Beirut

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Well, what’s a Lebanese wedding? Christian. And a lot of fun. Traditional. Wedding gown, formal wear. Small church – chapel, really – and so it was crowded. A lot of the folks just stood outside. Video and cameras, and lots of very very bright video lights – in your face and all of that. That was jarring. If you notice they turned off all the lights for the post ceremony pics. Nope! The power consumption was so high that the power went out and could not be restored. I was truly impressed by the media array. Talk about in your face… the priest did not seem to care. So the images were terrible? They only needed to turn 180 degrees and have the backdrop of a beautiful Mediterranean sunset. But I guess if you have a gorgeous sunset every day, it’s not so special. I was gonna say something, honest I was, but then there were so many professional photographers pretending to be amateurs…..

There’s always a signature shot. I got mine. We were late to the ceremony. I was with Farid and on his calculated schedule. He wanted to be late. So we were in the back and I was with my trusty point and shoot. I wasn’t there to upstage the real photographers. Off to the side of the stage under the speaker system over by the muscians – two kids – just passing the time….bored, dutiful – priceless.

 


Smile

_DSC0616It’s that same trip to Africa. We were camping. Gee, all the sudden I got camp memories. I’ve been a Boy Scout. Tent, no running water, no shower, open fire, sleeping bags… This was not too shabby at all. The tents had a floor and a cot and blankets and screens and a porch…. The Masai escorted us to and from the dining tent. In the dark it was a possibility to be attacked… by lions. Oh my! The morning we departed I shyly motioned for a picture. Soon enough these guys all rushed to be in the picture. All smiles and delighted to have their picture taken, I was surprised. I usually am not so straightforward to impose upon strangers. And their enthusiasm charmed me. I was searching for that African jump image. This smile one always brings a fond memory and smile to me. Yup, a highlight image!


Other Side of the Road

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The Pacific Coast Highway has endless possibilities to catch breathtaking views of the rugged coast. You can stop frequently or not. If you stop, how often? Fortunately, this all depends upon an understanding companion. Fine and good, now, another observation. We stopped. I got my shot. Dramatic.

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And there on the other side of the road….well it was a choice – you include the house for depth of field or do you let the fence be your foreground element of interest? Which side of the road?

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Jump

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It’s fun. We’ve been doing this for years now. I don’t jump too well. Old man. The secret is to bend your knees. You look a whole lot more graceful. We were stopped along the road to take some pictures of the rugged California coast.

_DSC2564It was a crisp clear day. Photo ops were everywhere. Gorgeous. Too much beauty, we were on overload. So details here and there made things interesting. _DSC2517And then there is always jumping. If you do it right it looks like you are over water and it’s really dangerous looking. No we were not that good.

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Someone expected we would be by. They left messages in rocks down below. It was as if they knew we’d be by for the view.


More Action

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Happy happy. One pair two pair. Is it fair to say two pair if a couple are a single unit? Most all the other seals were just soaking up the California rays and chillin. But there’s always someone who wants to play around. They tell me it’s not mating. That happens at another time and it is quite noisy and competitive. This time of year everyone’s mellow.

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Morro Bay

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On the California coast, it’s a quaint town worth a visit. We almost kayaked. The water was so inviting and peaceful. _DSC1964But we had a plan. So Jules pushed us on up the coast. This was a fun 10 minute stop. Yeah, we were on a mission. And it was a long way to Big Sur and the camp trip._DSC2003

I did what dads do. I followed the instructions of my knowledgeable daughter.