That [brotherly] awkward moment


I like this photo. And not for ANY of the reasons you may be thinking! You see, this is my brother. This shot captured the moment when it hit both of us that we are down at the beach taking shirtless photos…’sexy’ photos, if you will. And yeah, it was awkward and funny. But hey, that’s what brothers are for, right? Do the things together that you would be too uncomfortable to do with strangers – but in the end it is actually way more uncomfortable. Perfect.

This is Matt and he is my big brother!

Brother

Advertisements

The Road Less Traveled, Literally


(Click to enlarge)

On my recent trip to Maui, my wife and I “found” a road that unexpectedly turned out to be one of my favorite adventures of the trip. We were looking to get back to a certain part of the island and the GPS kept taking us back through what looked like the long way. Going the ‘short’ way was never shown as an option…I thought “hmmm, well now I just have to see for myself if there is a road this way, because it just looks closer on the map.” That and I like exploring, so this intrigued me. I soon found out why the GPS never gave this route as an option.

This was a fantastically scenic route, but it was also a fantastically SCARY route! The road quickly turned into a two-way road, but with barely enough room for one car… for miles and miles. Luckily, not many people were on this road, either from all the mainlanders blindly following the GPS’ instructions or because they have taken it once before and swore to never voluntarily take it again! However, there were a few cars on the road and these few were enough to really make me sweat. [The video below is a short clip showing the moment where we faced oncoming vehicles on a very narrow road, rocky cliff side on the right and a straight drop on the left.] Luckily I found a small indentation in the mountainside and backed my perfectly pint-sized Nissan Versa into it, allowing for barely enough room for a couple of cars to squeak by. Mind you that the trusty Versa was not my first car choice, nor my second. Or third. In fact, I literally told the rental car attendant when she came back with my keys and told me my choice that “I hate that car.” Little did I know that it would take me almost 800 miles in a week and through the edge of insanity, above the clouds to the top of a volcano, and miles into “4×4 only” country to see a Hawaiian Red Wood forest. By the end of the trip, I had a deep respect for that little car!

But I digress.

When it was all said and done, I would definitely take this wild road again. There was a spot at the top that just seemed magical. Isolated on the top of a Hawaiian cliff with the ocean and valley surrounding each side of me, along with rolling grassy hills and the best tropical winds you can imagine. All at dusk. Does it get any better? I will save you the guessing, it doesn’t. I think the crazy road allowed for this place to stay special and isolated. The shot above (best viewed large) was taken at this spot as my wife took a moment to take in the scenery. This little spot will stay with me for some time for two reason: It felt totally tranquil, serene even. And almost dying for 2 hours straight has had a strange effect of burning the experience deep into my psyche!!

If you get a chance, take the road less travelled. You might will be glad you did.

This picture below is when we successfully returned from our experimental off-road journey to the Red Wood forest! Notice the sign…but more importantly notice the thumbs-up!

Versa

And now for something completely different!


My other passion in life is my dogs. This little guy right here is Skippy. Skippy found out early on that if he acts really cute and begs, he often gets what he wants. I was able to catch him in the act in the video below. He even made it on to a Nickelodeon TV show for this performance!

I don’s get it on video, but Skippy does indeed sneak a lick when I wasn’t looking. Don’t let him fool you, though, he gets a lot of doggy treats every day!!

Enjoy this brief but precious video!

 

The 3 Amigos


Say hello to the Three Amigos! The little on in the middle, Sarah, thinks she runs the show, so I let her sit in the middle to make her happy. The one on the left, Skippy, is Sarah’s brother. He is a happy Teddy Bear and will do anything you ask him to because he loves you. The one on the right, Squiggie, is Skippy and Sarah’s cousin. He was visiting this Easter weekend and these three had a great time playing!

I had to snap this shot as a reminder of these little guys since Squiggie had to go home. It isn’t the clearest, I had to hurry because they don’t sit still long. Besides that, I love this picture because these guys are such good boys… and girl 🙂

Here’s to man’s best friend!

No, I am not a communist, and neither is my dad.


I recently found out my dad had an old film camera back home. I have been trying to get some experience with film lately, through borrowing a friend’s, so this was an exciting prospect. It turns out that this camera was made back in Russia about 30-35 years ago. It is the Zenit EM (Cambron for us Americans, but manufactured in S.U).  It appears to be 100% mechanical – no batteries. All the adjustments (ISO, f-stop, shutter speed, etc) are manual, no auto suggestions of any kind…this should be interesting! This particular model shows the Olympic Rings – I believe this was a special edition to commemorate the 1980 Olympics.

Apparently my dad got this camera back in the day just before the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan. It was during this time that people began to give my dad a hard time for supporting the Soviets and the war (AKA “are you a communist or what?!”)! If you have ever met my dad, you know this could not be further from the truth, so this is actually funny to hear now.

So now I have the camera and I am looking forward to using it! I have yet to shoot with it, but stay posted as images WILL be coming down the road. I will be sure to point them out when I post them.

Stay tuned Comrades!

It was worth it…


This last Friday it rained most of the day. As the rain stopped and the clouds began to clear, my wife and I decided to take the dogs out for a brief walk. Now I live on the 3rd floor of my building so when I went outside I was able to see that the ensuing sunset would probably be awesome (I could only see enough sky to be teased at what might be)! So, at that moment I decided that I had to see what the full sunset turned out looking like – I went back for my camera and car keys and decided to bolt up to a high ground I know to see if there was a view. I invited my wife and dogs, but they wanted to stay and pee on things (primarily the dogs, that is).

After I was at the spot for about 15 minutes, shooting pics, it hit me that on my dash out of the apartment I locked the door because I fully expected my wife to join me! Mind you it was pretty chilly this time of day and my wife, who needs a blanket when it is 75 outside, was in a T-Shirt and pajama pants with the dogs… and now locked outside. So after it finally hit me that my wife was locked out, probably freezing and without a phone, I [took a few more photos] bolted back home. When I arrived it had been about 30 minutes since I left and she was out on the sidewalk giving me a look that seemed to say “well, what do you have to say for yourself?” I just rolled the window down and said “SORRY”… Turns out she was very understanding and didn’t care. Whew!

I reached my spot and had a pretty nice view for such short notice. The sunset/sky/clouds were amazing. The natural grandeur of a “simple” sunset after a rain is breathtaking. I wish I could have spent a bit longer out there, but I was happy with what I was able to see and the few photos I shot.

Sign out where I was shooting

Skippy


When I have not had the chance to get out and shoot, my dogs always provide some practice for me! I snapped these the other day and wanted to share, mainly because I think my little “snowman” is so cute. 🙂

This is Skippy. He is half Shih Tzu and half Bichon Frise. He is about 3 years old and his favorite thing to do is cuddle. Apparently this breed is known as a “Teddy Bear”… this is spot on! Oh, his other favorite things to do are eat treats, beg for treats, beg for belly scratches, and beat up on his little sister, Sarah – AKA Princess Lillian (mini Chihuahua in my other posts). Don’t ask me where that name came from…it just happened one day.

 

Have a great day/night