87/376 - Buttercup

Buttercup
“For man, as for flower and beast and bird, the supreme triumph is to be most vividly, most perfectly alive.”
           ~D.H. Lawrence
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I found this buttercup right in front of my parking space at school. I'm sure there were some, watching me intently as I took this picture and saying to themselves, "What a strange man!" But sometimes, I just feel compelled to take these pictures. That afternoon, the grounds keepers came by and mowed all the flowers. It made me sad.

86/376 - Strawberries on Polish Pottery

Strawberries in Polish Pottery
“Life is full of beauty. Notice it. Notice the bumble bee, the small child, and the smiling faces. Smell the rain, and feel the wind. Live your life to the fullest potential, and fight for your dreams.”
           ~Ashley Smith
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85/376 - Still Life with Reflection

Still Life with Reflection
“I'd like to be the sort of friend that you have been to me, I'd like to be the help that you've been always glad to be; I'd like to mean as much to you each minute of the day, as you have meant old friend of mine, to me along the way.”
           ~unknown
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For my friend Jessica, who is enjoying the quotations so much!

Required Reading

I generally don't make much noise about my political leanings. I don't recall the last time I sent emails to friends or family telling them that their political party is wrong (I do occasionally send things to people who I believe share some of my thoughts). And I'm purposely choosing not to post this on Facebook or via email because I'm not interested in furthering the ugliness that is currently infecting our country's politics. This blog, however, is mine and I can choose to post things on it, at will, without feeling like I'm forcing anyone to pay attention to my opinions. That little red X in the top right is good for lots of things!

If you are a friend or family member who leans towards the right (read Republican party) view of things, you've been warned! And while I sincerely welcome your comments to this post (good or bad), please understand that if you choose to respond by name calling or by being what I consider obnoxious, I reserve the right to DELETE your comment. Again, this is my blog!

If you need my permission, you are now free to go back to watching FauxNews and ignore this post. Ok, now that the riff-raff are gone....

For months now I have grown more and more weary of people in politics who seem to believe that name calling, fact deficient, lying, anti-social, obstructionist behavior is ok in our society. Now, I'm all for civil discourse. And I particularly enjoy making fun of (aka satirizing) your opponents - a historically acceptable form of civil discourse. My favorite "news" show is Jon Stewart's The Daily Show. But, to my mind, much of what's been going on recently, in politics in general and around the Health Care Reform debate in particular, has been beyond the pale. It has had far less to do with content and more to do with "winning" at all costs. If one believes that health care reform will result in substantial, unrecoverable costs to the country I have no problem discussing that issue in a civil manner. However, when large quantities of people start screaming that health care reform in it's current version is a purposeful attempt to move our country to becoming a socialist regime, I take issue. That's just one example. Additionally, I suggest that those of you on Medicare be very careful about complaining about socialized medicine. And finally, to those people who say, "I've got my insurance. If you don't, feel free to go to the county hospital ER or just die!" I think you need to visit the Wizard of Oz to get a new heart.

Yesterday I was surfing some of the political blogs that I watch occasionally and came across this little jewel. In case you haven't clicked over yet, the short version is that it's an open letter to conservatives written by Russell King - an ex-conservative. The letter is a list of things that conservatives need to change in order to come back into the mainstream of American politics. Each item he points out is linked to a blog or online news article that backs up his argument. I was completely taken in by his discourse when I got to this line,

Let me provide some examples -- by no means an exhaustive list -- of where the Right as gotten itself stuck in a swamp of hypocrisy, hyperbole, historical inaccuracy and hatred.
Don't you just LOVE the alliteration? (Carrie - if you're still reading this, Diane helped me with that "englishy" word!)

Anyhow, I just had to memorialize this article in my blog. It sums up all the things that I have had difficulty swallowing lately from the "right." Ok, now it's your turn. If you dare...feel free to comment. Just keep it civil!


And now, I return you to your regular show of gorgeous pictures taken by, ME!

**For those of you who are wondering...the political cartoon presented above was found at this website and was chosen for several reasons: 1) it was drawn by Dr. Seuss - most people don't know how political he was! 2)The subject matter (obscure to even me) was prohibition - a subject that appeals to my personal past/present and 3)The caption made me think of a certain friend of mine whose name I won't mention but her initials are Carrie D. :-0

84/376 - Still Life

Still Life
“Contemplation often makes life miserable. We should act more, think less, and stop watching ourselves live.”
           ~Chamfort
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83/376 - Blueberry Muffins and Grapes

muffins and grapes
“It is a miracle that curiosity survives formal education.”
           ~Albert Einstein
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Part of my "muffin series." :-) Notice that I used a heart shaped muffin pan so they are "cute" for my pictures. I am pretty darned pleased with my macro lenses.

82/376 - High Tea

Tea and Cookies with Nana's Good China
“We tend to forget that happiness doesn't come as a result of getting something we don't have, but rather of recognizing and appreciating what we do have.”
           ~Frederick Keonig
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Diane loves this set of china from my grandmother. She says it's Haviland Nasturtium and if you know where she can find more pieces, call me. I just thought this all came together. I've been holding on to these wonderful cookies from Costco just to take pictures of them. Diane picked out and set up the plates and I added the fruit basket and chose the lighting and direction. I think we make a good team! I have a couple more in this vein but am off to a party and will post the rest tomorrow.

81/376 - Muffin, grapes, pear and coffee

muffins, grapes and pear
“The only time to eat diet food is while you're waiting for the steak to cook”
           ~Julia Child

80/376 - Jambalaya at Acadianna Restaurant

Jambalaya at Acadianna
“I am not a glutton - I am an explorer of food”
           ~Erma Bombeck
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Diane, Carrie, Jessica and I ate at Acadianna on Friday afternoon. I just love their jambalaya! Diane and Ryan say the etouffee is good also.

79/376 - Pears, grapes and candle holder

Pears, grapes and candle holder 1

“Fraud and falsehood only dread examination. Truth invites it.”

           ~Samuel Johnson
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An artistic rendition. Today I'll be working on several new ones in this vein.

78/376 - Mirror with Pears

Still Life - Mirror with Pears
“The obvious is that which is never seen until someone expresses it simply.”
           ~Kahlil Gibran
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I really liked this set up. I may try some more like these soon.

77/376 - Reflected Pear in Bowl


Mirror with Pear

“Photography, as we all know, is not real at all. It is an illusion of reality with which we create our own private world.”
           ~Arnold Newman
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This just turned out right. Diane helped with the crop which made it even better.

76/376 - Just Pear with Stem

Pear
“Whether he is an artist or not, the photographer is a joyous sensualist, for the simple reason that the eye traffics in feelings, not in thoughts.”
           ~Walker Evans
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Simplicity.

75/376 - Pear and Doily

Pear and Doily
“I take photographs with love, so I try to make them art objects. But I make them for myself first and foremost - that is important.”
           ~Jacques-Henri Lartigue
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Back to pears. The doily was bought in Germany on our trip in 2008.

74/376 - Polish Pottery Bowl/Cup 2

“Photography takes an instant out of time, altering life by holding it still.”
           ~Dorothea Lange
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A straight on power view!

73/376 - Polish Pottery Cup/Bowl

Polish Pottery
“Art is never finished, only abandoned.”
           ~Leonardo da Vinci
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The beginning of a project called "100 Possibilities Project." The idea is to pick one object and take 100 different, creative shots with it. There is no time limit to the project, just work on it. I have chosen this item because I believe it will be versatile and useful in the still life work I'm trying to improve upon. Additionaly, I'm playing the with macro capabilities of my new lens.

72/376 - Pente 3

Pente 3
“The secret of life is in art.”
           ~Oscar Wilde
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Another of my Pente shots. The lines on the board are part of what attracts me to photographing this. I thought this one was particularly striking because they are all lined up instead of being skewed. Your thoughts?

71/376 - Pente 2

Pente 2
"No matter how advanced your camera you still need to be responsible for getting it to the right place at the right time and pointing it in the right direction to get the photo you want."
           ~Ken Rockwell, Your Camera Does Not Matter, 2005
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OK. If you will bear with me while I try a few experiments on my pictures, I'll understand if you don't like them. Deal? Obviously I'm trying to be a bit more artistic in my presentation.

70/376 - Pente

Pente

I know just how frustrating it can be when you're tired and exhausted, but you still want to draw something.

          ~Ward Jenkins, 03-23-2006
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A game we've been playing for years. It takes a bit of skill and patience to build a winning combination. You'll probably see a few games over the next couple of days 'cause I've got some ideas rolling around in my head.

69/376 - Ballet Folklorico

Luminarias - Ballet Folklorico
Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.
           ~Scott Adams (1957 - ), 'The Dilbert Principle'
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So we went to Luminarias - the great San Antonio downtown artfest on Saturday night. Had a wonderful time. Saw some beautiful dance and watched a very good band. In between, however, I ate sausage on a tortilla and then spent Sunday and Monday wishing I would die. And as much as I'd like to blame my illness on the sausage, today Colin is suffering and he didn't go with us. The Ballet Folklorico was presented by students at Palo Alto College. It was a lot of fun! I'm entering this pic into a competition with my meetup group. The subject being: A Moment in Time." I'll let you know how it went.

68/376 - Brother and sister, sharing a monent

Cats Watching
Why should I buy expensive art when I can make my own.
           ~Piero Milani
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Desmond and Roxanne are sharing the "edge" (a couple of you readers should get this 'joke' - but you're not missing anything if you don't) and watching for critters. I'd like to think they wouldn't know what to do with a critter once caught but I'm betting nature would take over from there.

67/376 - Pine Cone

Pine Cone
Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.
              ~Pablo Picasso (1881 - 1973)
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I'm back! Yes, I know. I've been remiss in my picture taking and posting. However, it's now spring break and I have 9 whole days to do some catching up! I got a new lens on Thursday and you will probably be seeing many new pictures using the new stuff. Also, Diane and I are going to "Luminarias" tonight (3/13) and I'm sure there will be a bunch of opportunities there.