Morgan County Courthouse at Christmas

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I would like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas.

As most everyone does at this time, I always look back on the current year and do some reflecting. It seems like this year has been a lot harder upon which to reflect.

I realize in all years there are difficulties, strife, and calamities. We lose people through the year that we are close to and remember them more at this time. We pray for those who are grieving and lonely and missing family members.

Now we as a nation mourn the loss of children, teachers, and one mother who tried to raise a tormented boy into adulthood and hoping, one day, he would be able to function in society. It seems as though they have replaced, in our thoughts, the previous senseless deaths at the hands of other demented souls in Oregon, Colorado, and places that don’t make the front pages and 24 hour news cycles. While it is hard, we should mourn for those who pulled the trigger, and somehow hoping, they had no idea what they were doing.

Here in West Liberty, Kentucky we are still feeling the effects of a tornado that devastated us and while we are making progress, we see reminders everywhere and think of the families that had ones they love taken away. The folks in the northeast also are going through a similar and more recent experience.

However, while we reflect on Christmases of the past, there is really only one Christmas that should be foremost on our mind and that is the first Christmas. A loving God entered into His creation He cherished so dearly. He did not wait for all of humanity to come to Him. He came to us.

I took this photo of the Morgan County Courthouse last Christmas. I know the courthouse will one day be just as beautiful as it was in this photo.

May your Christmas be filled with love and peace. May those who lost loved ones this year have fond memories and those memories will somehow give them comfort and joy. May we be filled with the wonder and awe of those Bethlehem shepherds. And may the world come to know the loving God who came in the form of a little baby and showed the world how much He loves us.

Merry Christmas.

If you like this photo, you can see more here.

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View from Sausalito

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Happy 12/12/12!!!!

I really don’t have much to write about today, I just wanted to have a medium to voice my disappointment with the last tri-numeric date that we will ever experience. That is unless a little gravity leaks out of the sun like methane out of grandpa and our planetary orbit extends to need a thirteenth month.

Now some of us may be cryogenically frozen and we are re-animated in the year 3001 and we can have the tri-numeric experience for another twelve years.

You may ask what does this line of Nobel-like thought have to do with the picture above. The answer is absolutely nothing. This is one of my favorite pictures taken through my camera lens. I was living in California for a few months and I spent part of the day in Sausalito, across the Golden Gate Bridge from San Francisco.

I recently started meditating. I don’t think I have the hang of it. All it does is give me a really quiet time to think about the many things I am trying not to think about. I am exhausted from all the thinking.

I also wonder if the zen masters have trouble with the guilt that comes with meditation. You know like thinking of all the things I could be doing if I wasn’t laying here like last year’s fruitcake.

Well, maybe it is paying off because why else would I have thought of the word tri-numeric.

Happy 12/12/12.

If you like this photograph, you can see more here.

Taking Liberty Road Curve

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I saw the speedometer needle shimmy past the 100 mile per hour indicator. The landscape was blurring past like some angry impressionistic painting. I was so excited.

I was about eight or nine years old and was riding in a tan Pontiac GTO going up “new” Index Hill. That was not very difficult for the muscle cars of the sixties. Many of these cars were gone by the time I was old enough to drive and I remembered them fondly as they circled and peeled out of the Freezer Fresh drive-in. I circled in a 1965 two-toned (aqua/bondo) Corvair. I could not peel out.

This was the first time I had ever gone over 100 miles per hour in a car.

When the driver let my brother and me out of the car at our house, I told the driver in pre-adolescent lingo how impressed I was with his fine automobile and his daring driving skills. I also told him what every teenager would love to hear after cradling someone’s precious children in a land rocket speeding merrily along the road, “I’m going to tell my mother about this ride.”

Now the driver was not to keen about this certain revelation and informed me that my mom would probably not be too interested in the details of this little afternoon drive. He must have made an impression on me because, to this day, I have never told her.

I took this picture one late summer evening on Liberty Road, outside of West Liberty, KY. I wanted to get a sunset photo as it set over a field of wild flowers. The sky was not cooperating so I sat there for a few minutes and watched a few cars taking this curve.

I got my tripod out and climbed on top of my Ford Escape. I always like slow timed exposure photos and started photographing cars as they took this curve. I like the above shot. It shows the stream of the headlights along with the subtle reflection on the guard rails and road. I also got a little of the color of the sky.

As I look at this photo, I think of all those teen-age drivers that had the thrill of driving those muscle cars and how fast they took this curve. I wonder if they ever told their moms.

If you like this photograph, you can see more here.

Do Not Write on the Walls

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Some photos do not need any explanation. However, I can’t let this one go without a few words.

I found this sign on a wall on the trek upward to the dome of the Duomo. The Duomo is the most significant and toured cathedral in Florence, Italy. At the end of this sojourn, the view is magnificent as you look out over the city of Florence and it’s red tile roofs. The hills of Tuscany are in view and so is Michelangelo’s home church, Santa Croce.

There was only one thing I found to be mildly disappointing in Rome and Florence–GRAFFITI. The fact that someone has to put a sign on the wall to remind us not to write on the walls of a beautiful historic cathedral is disturbing enough, but what is more disturbing is the ignoring of the sign altogether.

Now graffiti has been around since the cave-dwellers and has a Biblical record in the book of Daniel. Since papyrus and parchment and the printing press have come into being, it seems mankind would be beyond writing on walls. Now I can understand if you have a sudden poetic urge while you are having a bowel-induced event in a public toilet or want to proclaim to the world your joy about the lovely evening in the company of a young lady. But, that is it.

I have to confess that I am an Andy Griffith Show junkie and I was thinking of one scene when I saw the above sign. In that scene Barney recites the rules to some newly arrested inmates in the Mayberry jail.

So, even if you are enduring a long incarceration at the hands of a despotic sheriff’s deputy, graffiti is forbidden. I raised my son like Opie and our walls are clean. Maybe there needs to be more reruns of The Andy Griffith Show in Italy.

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