Thursday, May 29, 2008

Blog Review & The Temporary Bachelor

Welcome to all the recent visitors from around the world in the countries of Costa Rica, Guam, France, Saudi Arabia and South Africa, as well as the readers from the US and Canada. "Welcome back" to all the regulars too. It is great to have so many who stop in to check out my blog. Thank you all so much! I have recently registered on "blogged", and my blog is now open for independent reviews by my readers. If you wish, you can go to the review site, click on "review" and set the rating you think is appropriate. If you're up for it, it will just take a few seconds but if you wish, you can also add a review.

As for my upcoming book, "Three Seconds On, Three Seconds Off - Volume I"; it is still in the cover-design phase. I am anxious and excited but I'm working on Volume II while I wait. I sure enjoy writing! I also look forward to resuming the creation of my fiction novel, "In Ravenscrag's Shadow". It is 100% outlined and about 25% written. This summer I plan to create a few photographs for it. In November, if I can wait that long, I plan to finish it. (You can read a "first draft" excerpt from the novel at the above link.)

A week ago, my sweetheart left me for some much needed time with her parents. Diana's mom has been fighting lymphomatic cancer for about three years now, and the doctors are amazed that she is still alive. The disease is progressing, but thankfully it is slow and Mom can still do much. She suffers from serious heart problems and kidney failure too - as if the cancer were not enough. It seems that sad times overtake us all! Two summers ago, we all met for a giant family reunion to celebrate Diana's parent's 50th wedding anniversary. It was a great time for family memories and I'm grateful we could all make it. It is an 1800km+ drive from our house to theirs, so the trips are not as frequent as we would like, but we keep in touch often by phone. I am blessed with a great mother & father-in-law - and I'm grateful.

I miss Diana like the taste of fresh air, but I'm glad she could go anyway. These next two weeks will pass - hopefully quickly, and Diana and I will be reunited again. Then, our three weeks apart will be but a fleeting, painful memory and Diana's precious memories with her parents will linger on and an. The loneliness of bachelorhood is not at all a welcome companion, but I'll make it. When I think about the thousands who are off in some war-time pursuit, at school or work - all for extended periods of time that make my three weeks seem minuscule, I feel a new respect for them and wonder what right I have to whine. Sacrifice of one kind or another is just part of life. Perhaps I need to take the advice Wesley gave to Indigo (The movie: Princess Bride), "Get used to disappointment!"

Monday, May 26, 2008

General MacArthur's Address - Duty, Honor, Country

By way of preface, I just visited a website and read General MacArthur's 1962 address, (posted May 26, 2008). I have heard some of this address before, but today I read it all for the first time. I posted the following comment in response (in Canadian English, of course), but thought I would also post it in my blog. Oh, and for those who are concerned for political correctness, my use of "he" and "mankind" is non-gender-specific. (Historically speaking however, it is usually men who cause the most trouble anyway. Aside from the obvious problems of wage disparity and sexual discrimination, I feel that for most women to be equal with men would require them to take a step down. I don't really know how often any given woman wishes she could be more like a man, or at least have his same opportunities, but in my case, when it comes to strength of character, I am often amazed at the good examples most women set. I look at my wife, and often wish I could achieve the same degree of goodness in my life as she does in hers. She makes it look easy - and I don't think it ever is for me. OK, OK enough philosophy! Sorry! This post is supposed to be "drips of ink from my mind", not an overturn of the inkwell!)

Thank you for posting "Duty, Honor, Country". I have long admired General MacArthur and it felt rather nostalgic to read his address. General MacArthur was eloquent and insightful and a man who loved his country. As I consider those who have purchased freedom with their precious blood, I deeply appreciate their sacrifices. Recently, I have been reminded and your post has reminded me again today, that a single individual can do much good if they try. Of course, the opposite is also true - a single individual can do much harm if he chooses. Ours seems to be the task to choose what we will be, whom we will influence and whether the force of our lives will exert good or ill on the rest of mankind. And I don't believe that we have to be on the front line of war to do our work. Perhaps the toughest front line we face is within our own hearts? Do we fulfil our duty to both man and God? Do we honour the noble things of life? Do we honour the sacrifices of those who pioneered our present ease? Do we protect our country from moral erosion as well as physical bondage? I, for one, struggle to do these things. Today, I suppose it is good to be reminded that others have struggled too - and because many have succeeded, perhaps we can too. Perhaps I can…

Stolen Artwork of Bill Reid

It is with great sadness that I compose this post. Unfortunately, sad things happen and while sometimes we can do something about them, there are other times when we can only watch in helpless horror.
This past Friday night or early Saturday morning (May 23/24), eleven pieces of art, created by the skilled hands of Haida artist, Bill Reid, were stolen from the museum at the University of British Columbia. In my opinion, Bill Reid was one of the greatest west coast artists of all time, and his works are priceless! As the years of my life have passed and my own interpretation of west coast art has been expressed, the work of Bill Reid has continued to inspire me. In fact, in my home, I proudly display three pieces of Bill Reid art. How tragic that the legacy he left has been stained by greed! Perhpas the pieces will be recovered without incurring any damage.

Kadie & Miya – Flower Girls at Joe & Heather's Wedding

It’s not every day that you get to go to a wedding, and an even rarer event when it’s a family member. On May 10th my niece, Heather, tied the knot and it was my pleasure to photograph her and her husband Joe – as well as the rest of the wedding party. Of course, that included the flower girls, Kadie and Miya. All the pictures tired us all out, but lets face it, looking beautiful in front of a host of cameras is hard work! (Just look at the covers of tabloids for unflattering photos of exhausted celebs.) The endless grins and poses, the flashing lights and crowds of spectators – they all took their toll – especially on the young!
Now the bride and groom were tough and smiled for each and every photo, but not Kadie and Miya. They made me laugh though. What Miya had in shyness, Kadie had in exuberance! But the flower girls, sisters as well as nieces to the groom, began to fade as time wore on. I was actually surprised that neither of them curled up on their mother’s lap for a snooze! When the flashes were finally finished blinking, the food eaten and the well-wishes extended, Kadie and Miya were still going strong, but as the still smiling bride and groom made their getaway, a serious nap was well on its way to overtake us all! I expect it caught the young first!

PS. The wedding was May 10th. I've been trying to get this post finished for a while now, but what can I say? My life's a whirlwind! For the photo of Heather & Joe, I used photoshop to turn it into a watercolour. The original looked good too, and I think they make a sweet couple - in any medium. May you live happily ever after Heather & Joe!
Oh, & Kadie & Miya; you were awesome flower girls!
And to all who attended the wedding - thank you for making it a great day!
Finally, thanks to all those who didn't get to enjoy the wedding first hand. I'm glad you stopped by for a visit to my blog anyway.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Lighthouse Slide Show 1983

Hi again fellow Internet travellers. A big welcome to all the new readers from the countries of Finland, Islamic Republic Of Iran, Lithuania, Mexico, Monaco, Scotland, Switzerland, as well as readers from three more Provinces of Canada and eight more States in the US. Thank you all for your interest!! In my April 6th post I mentioned some slides that my mother created in 1983. I just got them back from the lab and am anxious to share them with you all. Here is the first one: This first one and all the rest can be viewed by going to My Slide Show Links (in the sidebar) and clicking on Pointer Island Lighthouse - Early 1983. Enjoy!!!!