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Work like you don't need the money.
Love like nobody has hurt you.
Sing like nobody can hear you.
Live like you've received all your wishes.

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Exploring with a camera armed with imagination.

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2012 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The new Boeing 787 Dreamliner can carry about 250 passengers. This blog was viewed about 1,100 times in 2012. If it were a Dreamliner, it would take about 4 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

iPhonagraphy: My new addiction.

Downtown CorvallisLately, I’ve taken a lot of photos with my iPhone. It’s becoming an addiction really. If I see something while I’m driving, I’ll stop and capture it. The above photo is from this morning on the way to get some coffee in Downtown Corvallis, edited on my iPad using Adobe.Willamette River - Irish BendI’m also taking a fancy to interesting edits of the photos I take. I guess the taking of the photos is like a gateway drug to other addictions. Photos, editing, Instagram, Facebook…it’s hopeless. And, it’s a lot of fun! The plus side is that the more something is done, the better one becomes at doing it. In time (fingers crossed), practice trumps talent.

Halsey Mill

Here are some of the apps I’ve used the most:

Editing Apps: Adobe Photoshop Touch, Snapseed, Diptic

Camera Apps: Hipstamatic, Instagram, Pro HDR

Follow me on Instagram!

Instagram

I’ll follow you back and see what you are creating!

Finding Focus at 100mph

I believe for everyone there is an activity that can stop the noise of life and bring focus to the moment, to the actions necessary for performing the activity and nothing else. As the activity progresses and life’s true obstacles enter slowly back into the mind there is a clarity surrounding them that was not present before. Our attention is focused, there are no distractions, the flow of the activity offers an environment for a pure, tactical approach to our thinking.

I have found this flow while riding my motorcycle. When it roars to life and the cycle of clutch releasing and accelerating to 9,000 RPM, shifting and repeating through all 5 gears, there is a rush that clears the mind and demands complete attention to the machine and navigating the road. Once the speed levels out, and the adrenaline slows I am able to clearly navigate my obstacles.

This monologue by ‘Jax’ Teller, in the Sons of Anarchy show nails it:

“Something happens at around 92 miles an hour. Thunder headers drown out all sound. Engine vibration travels at a heart’s rate. Field of vision funnels into the immediate. And suddenly you are not on the road – you’re in it, a part of it. Traffic, scenery, cops – just cardboard cutouts blown over as you pass. Sometimes I forget the rush of that, that’s why I love these long runs. All your problems, all the noise, gone. Nuthin else to worry about, except what’s right in front of you.”

Focusing on what is right in front of me is not always a simple task. Life is awkward, messy and distracting. The effects of influences reside for a long time, hanging in the shadows. Activities that clear the mind are important, allowing what is truly in front of me to surface.

Of course twisting 115 horses can generate a lot of adrenaline, but there are other activities that can create the same environment. Activities that require focus, a desired outcome and I enjoy doing will have similar results: Photography, playing chess, running, hiking and so on.

Finding a way to clear the mind and focus has been good for me. So many people say that they feel like they are going 100 mph. The problem is that they are not.

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Self Photo in Old Mirror

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Here’s a shot I took using an old mirror and my iPhone 4S.

Get your spice on! Ghost Pepper Salsa.

So are you craving some spicy salsa? This salsa will definitely tingle your taste buds. Made with some seriously hot Ghost Peppers, a.k.a. Naga (Bhut) Jolokia, one of the worlds heavy hitters on the Scoville Scale.

Here’s the video on how I make the salsa, following is the ingredients.

Ghost Pepper Salsa:

  • 1 – 10 Ghost Peppers (Naga Jolokia)
    • HOT:  1 – 3 peppers
    • REALLY HOT:  4 – 6 peppers
    • STRAIGHT OUT OF HELL:  7 – 10 peppers
  • 10 tomatillos
  • 2 avocados
  • 1/4 whole onion
  • 1 – 2 garlic cloves
  • juice of one lime
  • salt to taste

Remember to use caution!

These peppers are hot and can cause skin to burn on some people. 

It will hurt if you get it in your eye no matter who you are, avoid doing this.

Vapors coming out when blended are strong, DO NOT stick your nose over the blender and take a big whiff.

Never Forgotten.

I often wonder what little pieces of information my boys will always remember from their childhood.  At some point I know someone has impressed them with some piece of advice that will stay with them forever.  Here’s one that has always stayed with me:

I remember when I was about 9 years old, I was sitting next to my Grandpa Anthony in a lawn chair looking out on the Columbia River from his yard in The Dalles on W. 10th street.  It was a hot afternoon so we were sitting in the shade on the east side of the house.  He was cutting the skin off an apple with his pocket knife and explaining to me the importance of having clean fingernails.

He said, “It doesn’t matter how little money you have, you can always have clean fingernails.”

Clean fingernails, simple enough.

The picture above is one of my all-time favorites.  That is my Grandpa working on a truck with his dog holding the work light.  He was a mechanic, working mainly on diesel engines.  For him cleaning his hands wasn’t as easy as just sticking them under a faucet, it took some time and effort.  Lava soap and a stiff brush was usually involved in the task.

At the time I was more interested in getting a slice of the apple than getting advice on hygiene.  I wonder if he was sharing his thought because my hands were dirty at the time, or because he really felt it was important.  I imagine it was because of both.

He never went anywhere without combing his hair, washing his hands and face and making sure he looked presentable.  ‘Getting ready to go’ meant more than checking for the wallet, keys and going to the bathroom.  Even if he never planned on getting out of the car, he was presentable – just in case.

To this day I remember that afternoon and the words of wisdom he shared.  He died about a year and half later, but that day and what my grandpa said is always with me.  Never forgotten.

Amazing, isn’t it?  Our words can have such an impression and lasting effect.

I’m sure you have similar memories, can you feel that moment like it just happened?