Monday, April 25, 2016


Last Thursday, Prince died.  I remember seeing his videos on MTV (when there was M on MTV), and I've heard the music growing up on the radio.  I thought it was alright.  I even remember when a teacher voiced his disapproval of MC Hammer's song "Pray", since it sampled "When Doves Cry".  Of course I was just a middle school kid then, what did I know about anything...

Fast forward a few years, and I was working with some good folks.  One of those guys was Larry.  Larry really liked Prince's music.  I still didn't have an appreciation for his music (again, I've heard it, but thought it was just another song on the radio).  Larry questioned me on that... of course I had no good answer.  He challenged me to listen to it, not just hear it, but listen.  I did.  My appreciation grew.  I was no fanatic, but I appreciated the music.  I think I'm still at that point.  When I first heard of Prince's passing, my first thought was "has Larry found out yet".  So, off to facebook I went.  Apparently I was not the only one who sought to reach out to Larry.

Copied with permission from Larry:
Today is an unexpectedly sad day. I've been traveling home today after spending an awesome week with extended family and friends in Washington state. Letting the shock sink in a bit and realizing that I have had new Prince music to look forward to every year for over 30 years now and believe me I really looked forward to it.
Over the years I've had many people ask me why I (a no dancin', no instrument playin', out of tune singing white boy) likes Prince. Here's what I typically say...
I've always found his music full of things that matter to me. Faith, positivity, love, sex, looking forward not backward, working hard, staying focused, experiencing/sharing joy and treating others as you want to be treated.
The actual music is a draw because he always tried new things/styles. Oddly, I actually wasn't a fan when Purple Rain came out but had heard all about him. It wasn't until I heard the album after that - Around the World in a Day - that I realized that he was the real deal. This dude owned the world after Purple Rain and he released an album so totally different it was crazy. I immediately went out and bought all of his previous albums and for many years after that each new album was completely different than the last. It was always super fun to pick up the next album - and with Prince I got (at least) one every single year. Unheard of then or even today. His work ethic was legendary. Live performances truly unbelievable. Bouncing from guitar to piano to drums to whatever he could make music with. His vocals were unreal. He could sing a ballad that would melt your heart, scream out a rock anthem you could bang your head too or just play a light hearted funky beat that you would be humming for days.
Through Prince's music I've been exposed to rock, funk, gospel, soul, country, jazz, house and most importantly live music performed by real musicians. Not just his own but many other artists I discovered he was associated with. It always amazed me that one person could be so diverse that he could write songs for anyone from Morris Day and the Time to Kenny Rogers to Celine Dion and Stevie Nicks and the list goes on and on.
The media always says that Prince constantly reinvented himself over the years but I disagree. To me he was just a man learning and growing in his craft and his life. I didn't know him as a person and never really had any unrealistic expectations in that regard. I've always known he was human - flaws and all. Now with his death the world knows it too and I hope they spend some time listening to the music that never made it to the radio because it was too clean, too spiritual, too thoughtful or just too dang funky for the masses.
Rest in Peace and Thank U

photo credit:  "In the sky above Jazz Fest this evening..." (posted April 23, 2016)
                       WWOZ 90.7 FM New Orleans (FB)

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Nature Photo Challenge Day 7

So Day 7 is a bit late... like a couple weeks
Day 7: I had a specific picture in mind to post for Day 7, which is why it is so late... unfortunately I am unable to find it right now. Today, however, we went hiking at Manasssas Battlefield. As we were walking around, we found this guy sunning himself next to a creek.

Since I took a few pictures of this guy, google went ahead and automagic'd it into this animated gif... I kinda like it, so I present it to you now!

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Nature Photo Challenge Day 6

I missed yesterday's post, so I'm just gonna pick up where I left off.

Day 6: This body of water is a little bit bigger than yesterday's. Taken from another flight on Southwest Airlines (fb), as we were approaching Chicago, Illinois, we flew over Lake Michigan. This was the first time I've seen any of the Great Lakes... and though they look big on a map, I must admit I was very impressed by just how Great this Lake is! It isn't the clearest of photos, and this is a raw pic from my cell, but the timing, sun positioning, and cloud cover were just right for me! (I'll post in the comments later some of the other pictures taken as we approached the city, and you can see the skyline).

Monday, April 11, 2016

Nature Photo Challenge Day 5

Day 5: While being the tourist in Washington (state, not D.C.) this past October, I was snapping pictures any chance I got. We took the Kitsap Ferry on the Puget Sound on a round trip to Bremerton from Seattle. I'll tell you, it was a bit cooler than I expected, but that didn't keep me on the bow of the boat the whole way out there!

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Nature Photo Challenge Day 4

Day 4: Continuing from my trip to Oregon & Washington this past October, I snapped this shot of Mt. Hood. We had started the day driving up to Mt. Hood and stopping at  Timberline Lodge (fb).  From there, we drove around the other side, and continued to the Columbia River Gorge, and Multnomah Falls (yesterday's picture). After Timberline, we stopped at  Kiyokawa Family Orchards (fb).   I walked a little bit down the road, and was able to get a clear view of Mt. Hood. The sky was a bit hazy, so it looks a bit washed out, but I think this is a great view!

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Nature Photo Challenge Day 3

Day 3: I don't get to travel as much as I'd like, but I made sure that I got to go to Oregon & Washington this past October. Unfortunately, there was very little rainfall in Oregon last summer/fall, and it shows in this picture of Multnomah Falls. Even with the water volume lower than normal, it is a beautiful place to see. Hope to go back there someday!

Friday, April 8, 2016

Nature Photo Challenge Day 2

Continuing with my cousin Barbara's Challenge:

Day 2: After yesterday's picture of a colorful sky, I decided today's picture should be the sky above the clouds! This was just a simple snapshot with the assistance of Southwest Airlines (fb)!

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Nature Photo Challenge - 1 Week

My cousin Barbara asked me to participate in a 7 day challenge on nature photography. This is supposed to be posted on Facebook, but I am going to add my narrative and the picture here as well.

Day 1: This was a picture I took at sunrise one day. Ran it through a filter or two on Google, but it is basically a lucky shot. (Most of my pictures are.) This picture was taken at the parking lot of my previous job in Vint Hill, VA. I think I was standing on the curb looking over the field outside the office. Just happened to be a very colorful morning sky.