Random Photos and Thoughts. Adventures in life as a Amateur Photographer.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Five Years Later

My intention was always to return to this Photography Blog. It seems I had little time to do so. 

That's not really true. I did have time, and I made choices not to Blog. Yet, in the end those choices opened some doors to life, and closed other doors. Life has its up and downs. I am along for the ride.  

Maybe the bit of the truth is I lost my connection between myself, the camera and the scene which I was trying to image.  I was still taking pictures but felt little connection to the images. Writer call that their Muse. Do photographers have a Muse? 

I have not stopped working on the long ago promised Panorama-stitching article. It however will be pushed to the back burner. Maybe I find a better set of images to play. some that will not require so much editing, or I will drive and re-shoot the base images. 

So what's old?

What's new? 

That leaves to question to ask: Where do I go from here?

Those questions asked, in the last five years many things have happened to, and around me.

A year ago August (2014), I retired after 43 years of operating locomotives for one of the largest railroads. I can say I was glad to get away. Escape with some of my sanity and dignity intact is more like it.  Maybe like all old guys I worked with all so many years ago. I though things were going to hell in the hand cart. I would say hand basket but it was the railroad. The real problem was no one really cared. my fellow employees were more worried about the ever increasing number of efficiency tests and were constantly were looking over their shoulders as the testing kept increasing without reason. Managers had little knowledge of railroading and were following a business model written by a MBAs, which actually knew little about railroads or work for that matter. The constant fear of the micro managers, turned a potentially dangerous workplace into one that was truly dangerous.

To illustrate how both my wife and I felt last fall, driving down Highway 99 in California last fall, in our RV. We passed a northbound train pulling into Notarb Siding just north of Madera, California. The engineer had stopped his train so the cab was in the shade of an overpass. I remarked that I had done a the same thing so many times.

My wife spoke about the train, she smiled and asked me: 
"Do you know the best thing about that train is?"

Not knowing where this was going, I said "no ..."

She replied "You're not on it!"

Do you know what? She was 100% right.

And that folks is my new motto. 

The best thing about that train? I am not on it!

Also, along the way over the last five years, I helped bury our two mothers and two brothers and an older sister. Yes, brothers. They both were my wife's brothers.  Both had been my brothers for nearly 40 years. Both passed from complications of Type II diabetes. No, before you go there, neither one was obese or overweight. As it happens with Type II diabetes they didn't take care of how they ate, and how closely they monitored their BGL. High blood pressure and heart damage along with Neuropathy eventually took its toll.  My wife's Mother died several years after suffering from a major debilitating stroke. My mother slowly faded away, never fully recovering from breaking her shoulder and having a joint replacement surgery.  My older sister died from COPD. She beat the Doctor's date by living for over a dozen years after being told she didn't have very long to live. I will miss all five of them. 

On to some high points:
We, my wife and I, both earned our amateur radio licenses.  I took my Tech one day before Thanksgiving, she took hers a few months later When I took my General. Then I was surprised when 6 days later she took her General. I took the test to be a volunteer examiner. A few months later, I took my Extra Class test and passed. Over the next year I became an ARRL Instructor, and an ARRL Field Stocked VE. That means you will get to see blogs about photographs of radio operations and events. Some of them will be interesting, I promise.

Jestrbob's family bought an RV, and we've put nearly 4,000 miles on it last year.

Two 1500 mile trips, wood carving classes and lots of landscape and cactus photos.

Yeah, I am taking photos again, I really never stopped by found them less than inspirational.  I might even do a few blogs on that subject.  Really expect more than a few.  

Oh and most important thing I found was a renewed companionship of my best friend, a most able navigator, fellow artist and wife. Maneuvering a 35 foot motorhome while towing her car down a busy highway while towing a car is not a task one takes lightly.  She does make my task of driving much easy, and always seems to a jump ahead of me with the map. 

While I don't want this to become just another travel blog, it will involve some travel. I hope my focus stays on the art of finding stuff to image with my camera.  Stuff most people would just walk or drive by without seeing. 

So expect to see some new photos, the eventual completion of a panoramic article, and more of my random thoughts.

Yeah, did I say I was taking photos again?  I was waiting for that connection to happen. It did.

Note 1: I drafted this out a few months ago, and got around to revisiting it finally. I have an outline of the next article saved and just need to select a few photos, edit them and flesh it out a bit.

Note 2: I have also wrote an article for one of my Amateur Radio club's newsletter. It is being published in September!  Maybe the log jam in my mind has broken free.

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