Sunday, March 22, 2009

Thursday, March 19, 2009

ft. zac blacksmith

These are the last few shots I wanted to set free from my recent series on Fort Zac.

I think the inter-play between shadow, light and the antique shapes give them an interesting still life value from an historical perspective.

. . .and, of course, while I was shooting these (and the other 30 not shown here) I couldn't get Longfellow's "Village Blacksmith" out of my head. . .
". . .Under a spreading chestnut tree, the village smithy stands;
The smith, a mighty man is he, with large and sinewy hands;"
It was the first classical poem I had to memorize back in the 4th grade at St. Al's and it must've left a scar because, one way or another, I've always remembered it.

I imagine, unless you've got a gig at an historical re-enactment, there's not a lot of work for blacksmiths anymore. You can't shoe a Chevy, all the pots and pans are made by Corning or RevereWare and it doesn't seem like our government is planning to beat swords into plowshares anytime soon.

Anyway, my Fort Zac series was interesting to do and a real good long afternoon out under the sun over paradise. I think overall it turned out well.
You'll find the rest of the collection by way of the following links. . .

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

"it's all good!"

A new, exciting, colorful T-shirt design by Keys' local artist, Art Winstanley.

These high quality, printed T-shirts capture the freedom of spirit and fun in the sun that is Key West at it's best.
Featuring some of Key West's most popular landmarks and attractions, critters, street names and things to see and do in America's southermost city. (see below for details)

click image for enlarged view

Description: Active, comfy fashion with preshrunk cotton.

Key Features:
Preshrunk 100% heavyweight cotton
Shoulder-to-shoulder taping
Seamless collarette
Double-needle neck, sleeve and bottom hem
Available in Large, Medium & Small sizes

Price: $30.00 (includes shipping)
(please allow 7 - 10 days for delivery)

Monday, March 16, 2009

daylight savings time

Some time along the line of all my blogging I must've mentioned that I get my days started pretty early. Four in the morning is a pretty peaceful couple of hours on the rock. The bars are closed, the airport's quiet and except for an occasional screaming cop-siren racing to break-time for a doughnut fix, I can get my daily dose of Joey Reynolds and inner reflection with only the background sound of god breathing through the trees.

Anyway, I noticed something this week. We're a handful of days into "Daylight Saving Time" and this early in the cycle, the light of day is still just a bit behind the clock and by seven, as I'm shifting my mind's focus from the early morning R&R to the rest of the day, it's still mostly dark out there. Like a long yawn into morning, the days are getting a slower start.
I know, in a week or two, our clocks and earthly orbit will be in sync again, all will be well with the world and I'll find the light where I expect it to be.
But for now, instead of getting "great by eight", I just want to go back to bed.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

hidden in plain site

Out and about this morning on my Tuesday tour of sales calls, I wandered off the beaten path and noticed another handful of small details, seemingly hidden in plain sight, that define my Key West.

Like everything else in this life, it's all about where we put our focus.





Monday, March 2, 2009

an open letter from god

This will be something of a departure from the blog's standard stuff but I heard it on the radio earlier today and thought you might enjoy it too. It is "An open letter from God", read and broadcasted by news radio's Paul Harvey who died this past weekend. If you'd prefer to skip the text and hear the reading or if you're interested in leaning more about Paul Harvey, I've attached a couple of links at the end of the following text.

My Dear Children .. believe me, that is all of you.
I consider myself a pretty patient guy. I mean, look at the Grand Canyon. It took millions of years to get it right. And about evolution – boy, nothing is slower than designing that whole Darwinian thing to take place – cell by cell – and gene by gene.
And I have been patient through your fashions – your civilizations – wars and schemes – and the countless ways that you take me for granted until you get yourselves into big trouble again and again.
But on the recent Christmas occasion of my son's birthday – I want to let you know about some of the things that started ticking me off!
First of all, your religious rivalries are driving me up a wall. Enough already!
Let's get one thing straight: these are your religions – not mine! I'm the whole enchilada! I'm beyond 'em all!
Every one of your religions claims that there's only one of me – which, by the way, is absolutely true – but in the very next breath, each religion claims that it's my favorite one – and each claims that it's bible was written personally by me – that all the other bibles are man made.
Oh, me! How do I ever begin to put a stop to such utter nonsense. All right, listen up now! I am your father and mother. And I don't play favorites among my children. Also, I hate to break it to you – but I don't write! My longhand is awful and I've always been more of a doer anyway – so all of your books – including those bibles – were written by men and women. They were inspired men and women. They were remarkable people. But, they also made mistakes here and there and I made sure of that so that you would never trust a written word – rather than your own living heart!
You see, one human being, to me, even a bum on the street – is worth more than all of the Holy books in the world. That's just the kind of a guy I am.
My spirit is not an historical thing. It's alive right now – right now! As fresh as your next breath!
Holy books and religious rites are sacred and powerful – but they are not more so than the least of you. They were only meant to steer you in right direction – not keep you arguing with each other .. and certainly not to keep you from trusting your own personal connection with me.
Which brings me to my next point about your nonsense. You act like I need you and your religion to stick up for me or win souls – for my sake. Please don't do me any favors. I can stand on my own, thank you. I don't need constant credit. I just want you to be good to each other.
And another thing: I don't get all worked up over money or politics. So stop dragging my name into your dramas. For example: I swear to me that I never threatened Oral Roberts. I never rode in any of Rosnishia's Rolls Royces – AND, I NEVER told Pat Robertson to run for President. And I have never, ever had a conversation with Jim Baker, or Jerry Falwell, or Jimmy Swaggart. 'Course, come judgment day, I certainly intend to.
Now, the thing is – I want you to stop thinking of religion as some sort of a loyalty pledge to me. The true purpose of your religion is so that you can become more aware of me – not the other way around.
Believe me, I know you already. I know what is in each of your hearts. And I love you anyway – with no strings attached. So, lighten up, and enjoy me. That's what religions are for.
What you seem to forget is how mysterious I am. You look at the petty differences in your scripture and you say, "WELL, it this is the truth, then that can't be!" But instead of trying to figure out my paradoxes and unfathomable naivet̩ Рwhich, by the way, you never will Рwhy not open your hearts to the simple common threads of every religion.
You know what I'm talking about – play nice with each other. Love and respect everyone. Be kind. Even when life is scary or confusing, take courage and be of good cheer – for I'm always with you. And learn how to be quiet – so that you can hear my still small voice. I don't like to shout.
Leave the world a better place, by living your life with dignity and gracefulness, for you are my own child. Hold back nothing from life, for the parts of you that can die, surely will. And the parts that can't – won't. So don't worry, be happy. (I stole that last line from Bobby McFerrin) – but who gave it to him in the first place?
Simple stuff now - why do you keep making it more complicated? It's like you're always looking for an excuse to be upset.
And, I am very tired of your main excuse. Do you think I care whether you call me God, or Jaway, or Jehovah, or Allah, Wakatonka, Branda, Father, Mother, even the Void of Nirvana. Do you think I care which of my special children you feel closest to: Jesus, Mary, Buddha, Krishna, Muhammad, or any of the others?
You can call me and my special ones any name you choose – if only you will go about my business of loving one another as I love you. How can you keep neglecting something so simple?
No, I am not telling you to abandon your religions. Enjoy your religions. Honor them. Learn from them. Just as you should enjoy, honor, and learn from your parents. But, do you walk around telling everyone that your parents are better than theirs?
Your religion – like your parents – may always have the most special place in your heart. I don't mind that at all – and I don't want you to combine all of the great traditions into one great big mess. Each religion is unique for a reason. Each has a unique style so that people can find the best path for themselves.
But my special children – the ones your religions revolve around – all live in the same place – in my heart. And they get along perfectly – I assure you. The clergy must stop creating a myth of sibling rivalry where there is none.
My blessed children of Earth – the world has grown too small for your pervasive religious bigotry and confusions. The whole planet is now connected by air travel, satellite dishes, telephones, fax machines, rock concerts, diseases, and mutual needs and concerns.
Get with the program! If you really want to help me celebrate the birthday of my son Jesus – then commit yourself to figuring our how to feed your hungry, and clothe your naked, and protect you abused, and shelter your poor – and just as important: make your own everyday life a shining example of kindness and good humor.
I've given you all the resources you need – if only you abandon your fear of each other and begin living and loving and laughing together.
Finally, my children everywhere – remember who's birthday you honor on what you call Christmas Day, December 25th. And the fearlessness with which he chose to live and die. As I love him, so do I love each of you.
Now – I am not really ticked off. Not really! I just wanted to grab your attention – because I hate to see you suffer. But I gave you free will, so what can I do now – other than try to influence you through reason – persuasion – a little old fashioned guilt and manipulation. After all, you know, I am the original Jewish mother. I just want you to be happy. And I'll sit in the dark.
I really am, indeed, I swear, with you always – always – that in me.
Your one and only,



Sunday, March 1, 2009

artman's alphabet - O

lying in the shade like a lazy dog

There's not a lot going on today so I'm just lying out here in the shade like a lazy dog. I'm sure I ought to be worrying about terrorism, counter-terrorism, over-the-counter terrorism or something but today I can't inspire the interest.

I am, though, having a thought of "thanks again" to Helen and our friends from Save Our Pines for putting an end to the Sate sanctioned Australian Pine chain-saw massacre. Because of their good work, the birds still have a place to sit and I can lie in the shade like a lazy dog and let my mind go wandering through the galaxy.

Remember when the only time we used the word "trillions" was when we were talking about the number of galaxies in the universe? Now we can argue about a Federal budget in "trillions"! The Republican Party (who really ought to re-name themselves the "Going Away Party") say it's too much while the Democratic Party says it's too little. I personally can't get my head around how "trillions" of anything can't be enough.

What's "more than enough" is six kids. My parents had six kids and raised us all under the same roof. It was a "trying" experience for all concerned, (the older I get, the more I ask myself. . . "what were they thinking?"). So why, someone tell me why, is a girl with six kids clamoring in the kitchen already, fooling with fertility drugs and breeding eight more? (the media calls her "Octo-mom" but I'm betting, if it weren't for FCC rules, they'd be calling her "Octopu#*@. . ." [think James Bond])

Anyway, now the girl's got fourteen kids and the "powers that be" are in her business and Dr. Phil is in her face. They won't let her take her kids home because she's judged to be broke. But when she solves that problem, getting a million dollar offer to do a part in a porn flick, the "powers that be" won't let her take her kids home because she's judged to be potentially immoral.

The last time I looked (or heard a politician speak) we were a nation of over-devoted Christians. . .
What ever happened to Matthew: 7-1?

I have a good friend who gets pretty judgmental at times (maybe you do too). Don't get me wrong, I enjoy her good company and I love her to tears but when I see the critical cleaver coming, I'm out of there. Whatever she gets on about - sex, politics, religion or how this one does one thing and that one does another - I can't bear to hear it.

I'd rather be lying out here in the shade like a lazy dog and hearing the wind whisper to me through the tops of these beautiful trees. It's whispering to me now. . .
"Chinese Food. . . Chinese Food. . . Chineeeeeeese. . ."