Saturday, August 13, 2011


It looks like I will actually enter a couple of photos into the Utah State Fair this year. This is something I have been threatening to do for several years (as I mentioned back in January when I made my goals for the year), but it looks like this year will be the year. I received a little outside motivation today to begin moving things along. I know at least one person will be looking for my photos on display at the fair. I was given a new way to look at the whole thing as well. It is like being on display in a gallery. The exposure is the key thing; not winning a ribbon. Just being there where thousands of people can see my work will be a reward in itself. Now I just have to decide on what I am going to submit. That could easily be the hardest part of the process.

I also entered a photo into a contest tonight. It is sponsored by a local credit union and it relies a lot on votes through Facebook. I don't have thousands of Facebook friends, but it would be nice to have a decent showing. We'll see how that one comes out. This is the photo I entered.

Yesterday my copy of a photo book I had made for my dad arrived and I am still really pleased with the results. You can see it here: Yellowstone Photo Book. It helps motivate me to complete the Arches book I have been playing around with for some time now. There is something very satisfying about seeing my work bound in a book. It makes me want to see more, and to share more. I am obviously biased, but I really like the way my photos look. This October I have some definite areas I want to photograph in Arches, and then I can assemble everything and get it printed. I'm still working on text, but I can work on that while I gather the photos I want to use and before I get the last few.

Well, I better get this posted or today will be tomorrow and I will have missed a day in August. Until tomorrow then.

Friday, August 12, 2011


Some things I am grateful for (in no particular order):

1. Books; real paper books, not the electronic things that are some popular of late. There is nothing like breaking open an old friend and losing yourself in the familiar words.

2. A job. Yes, I do not like mine much (especially after a week like this last one), but I have one and for that I am very grateful.

3. Wild places, especially those I go to when I need to rejuvenate; places like Arches, Zion, Bryce, Canyonlands, Capitol Reef, Grand Teton, and Yellowstone National Parks, as well as the wild lands that are all around us.

4. My camera. It's my main creative outlet and I very much enjoy taking photos.

5. Music. I don't listen to music as much as I used to, but it is still very important to me. The radio is always on in the car. It might make work easier to deal with, but I'm not allowed to have it playing in the background.

6. Seasons. Autumn tends to be my favourite because of the colours on the trees. I especially enjoy those warm autumn days followed by crisp nights. Besides, it's the time I always go to Arches. Still, I am glad for the change as the year progresses.

7. My wife and my kids. Life would be so much poorer without them.

8. Sleep. Nothing quite like it after a long, hard day.

9. A sense of wonder. I have know too many people who have become so jaded that they cannot feel wonder at the world around them. I can be jaded with the best of them, but the sight of a bird circling in the thermals can still make me stop and stare.

10. My parents. The most wonderful people I know.

11. Imagination. Close kin to a sense of wonder and something I have let lie dormant for way too long.

12. Weekends. Need I say more?

That will do for now, I think. Let the weekend begin!

Thursday, August 11, 2011


It's Thursday night and I feel like I have gone a couple rounds with a boxer. This week has been a banner week for irate people at work, including today, and I cannot wait for the day to end tomorrow so I can relax a bit for the weekend. I'm tired of being a convenient target. It make for very long days. Here's hoping tomorrow is angry caller free.

I've been thinking about my birthday a lot lately. I don't know what it is about turning 47 that bothers me, but it does. None of the others have bothered me, but this one does. I think some of it may be the fact that I am in a bit of a dead end job with no other prospects at the moment. I don't know for sure. All I know is that I am not looking forward to it much.

I am 11 days into August and I have been questioning the quality of some of my posts. Admittedly, I have done a couple that have been 100% pure, USDA prime filler. I find myself questioning how successful this experiment will be if I just write drivel all month long. As a result, I am going to focus my efforts and write something worth writing. There will still be days when work wears my brain down to a stub and I say little, but I'm determined that there will be far fewer in the final 20 days than there have been so far.

Here's a parting shot from Zion National Park. It was a bit hazy that morning, but I still like the result. I hope everyone enjoys it.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Psychic I'm Not

It amazes me sometimes the kinds of people who expect you to be able to read their minds. I work in customer service and today I had a call from an individual who started off angry and then got more upset when I did not anticipate their every need. I got accused of providing bad customer service because I responded to what was asked for, not to what they really wanted. I also get calls where it is like pulling teeth to get at what the caller wants. It's not that they don't know what they want, they just seem to want you to drag it out of them. It can get quite challenging, not to mention rather draining. There is nothing quite like being yelled at for something that is not your fault to make you want to get up and walk away, but I don't. After all, it's my job.

For those wondering, the answer is no, I did not get up and exercise. I did not sleep well so I stayed in bed as long as possible. I'll try again tomorrow (and no Yoda quotes please).

Tuesday, August 09, 2011


Tonight I feel tired; not just the normal kind of tired, but the deep, to the bone tired. I feel tired physically, mentally, and emotionally. Part of it is that I did not sleep well at all last night, part of it is dealing with other people's problems all day, and part of it is just feeling like I need to get away. Our next camping trip is planned for September 21 down in Capitol Reef, but I wish it was going to be for more that just four days. At least there is Arches to look forward to in October as well.

I have been trying to get myself motivated enough to get up earlier in the morning and go exercise. The biggest problem I seem to have is that I look forward to my job so much (I love the smell of sarcasm in the morning) that I have a hard time getting up before I absolutely have to. In many ways, it is like I am trying to hide from the day as long as I possibly can. I know that if I could get myself in the habit of doing it, it would not be as much of a problem. I just cannot seem to get started. Getting cellulitis in my leg did not help matters any. I keep setting the clock and ignoring it in the morning. It's pathetic, really.

I think I'm going to call it a day a little early tonight and see if I can get better sleep tonight. Who know, maybe I'll actually get up and exercise tomorrow and have something exciting to share here. Wish me luck.

Monday, August 08, 2011

Give This One A Miss. Really.

No need for anyone to spend much time on this post. The only reason I'm really doing this tonight is to keep the streak alive and meet my goal. Tonight I'm afraid if I started sharing what is uppermost in my mind, I would regret it later. So to keep the goal alive, I present this fairly meaningless post. I'll make up for it later, I promise, but tonight....this is all I can muster.

Sunday, August 07, 2011


Today I spent some time working on my Arches book. I have gone through many of my photos and picked those I liked most. I still have some to go through and I plan on taking more in October. I have some very specific areas I want to catch when we go back. I also spent some time working on the prose portion. I have made more progress on this book in the last month or so than I have made in any period since I decided to do this. It's encouraging. I may actually get it completed before the end of the year and I will meet one big goal I set for myself. I am trying to get the prose written before I start assembling everything. If I can get this done, I really think it will be the push that gets me working on other projects. It also makes me want to head back to Arches right now.

That's really all I have for tonight, so I guess I'll sign off.