Mt. Rainier in July

Took a little trip to Mt. Rainier NP on July 5th, 2014.  Had a walk around Longmire and visited the waterfalls on the road up to Paradise.  It was a glorious day for a Motorcycle ride.

Here’s a couple of photos.

Walking around Longmire

Walking around Longmire

Upper Christine Falls

Upper Christine Falls

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California Birthday Surprise

Have you ever set up a surprise so epic you had to do something crazy like ride a motorcycle 2600 miles through 4 states to pull it off? That’s what the men of our family did to blow the mind of my daughter on her 11th birthday.

For reasons unimportant to this story, my wife and daughter were to be in the Los Angeles burb of LA Mirada instead of our Puget Sound home on my daughter’s big day. Not wanting to miss such an important tween event we schemed to ride down and show up at her party, hosted at Farrell’s Ice Cream Parlor in Buena Park.

Our route took us out of Washington to Klamath Falls OR, Reno NV, and into California via Auburn. We stopped in Sacramento where we rode a bit with my Cousin and his wife before heading the remainder of the distance to SoCal for the big reveal.

Here’s a video of the big moment. Yup,she was blown away!  Below the video are some random images of our ride. While in the greater LA area, we enjoyed the birthday event, Magic Mountain and the Los Angeles zoo.

Photo Gallery: Images are in no particular order.

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Kids and trains

When my kids were younger, we used to take walks to the nearby railroad trestle. It was fun to flatten pennies, hunt for railroad spikes and watch the trains go by.  On one of our adventures I snapped this photo of them hanging out as the train rumbled down the line all clickity-clack, clickity-clack.

I recently found the image in use on a Library of the European Parliament website.  It’s so much fun to do a web search and turn up my photos in use all around the world.

I sold the image on Fotolia.com and it can be seen at the Library of the European Parliament.

Here’s a screen capture should the original link be dead.

European Parliament

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Crysten’s heart

My girl’s heart is bigger than mine. From the earliest of days, she has seen the beauty in the ugly, the kind in the mean, and the sun in the rain. She loves Jesus and has a relationship with Him that I didn’t have until I was much, much older. Her love for people and animals is off the charts. It’s fitting that she used to get her hair done in a heart braid.  It was an outward expression of her most valuable asset.

This image was taken just after she returned from the kids salon. Here’s a shout out to Jack and Jill’s in Lacey, WA. They did a great job.

I sold it via iStockPhoto.com and I found it in use on an Austrian website. 

If the webpage is dead.. here is a screen capture.

tear sheet

tear sheet

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Love and Honor

There are many ways to show love and honor in this world. It may be as simple as holding a door open for a stranger or as extravagant as feeding a multitude of homeless people Christmas dinner and lavishing them with gifts. As our Father in Heaven is limitless in His love and honor for us, so is our ability to love and honor one another.

Here’s the story of Ryan and Amanda Leak. Two people I’ve never met yet I feel connected. We are connected by our mutual love for Jesus and for His people. Their’s is a story of love and honor through the year-long planning and execution of a surprise engagement and wedding on the same day.

The videography and story telling are amazing, the story is captivating and the honor is inspiring. Grab some tissue, watch the video, then go love someone with an intense and unashamed love.

 

If you wish to donate to the organization Amanda mentions at the end of the video, this is the link:
Stop Human Trafficking

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I-5 Salute

Consuming the daily diet of misery given us by the news media or viewing of political memes and posts on Facebook can really drain a person of hope for humanity and the future of our nation. While I know exactly who I am in Jesus Christ and that I have nothing to worry about regarding the future, the enemy certainly is relentless in his attempts to undermine my faith with a daily onslaught of bad news both locally, and from around the globe. Without actually interacting with people it’s easy to believe everyone is evil, and honor is dead.

Yesterday, I had an encounter with a stranger, brother, while traveling at 60+ mph on Interstate 5 South between Seattle and Olympia. This brief exchange restored a great deal of hope in my fellow American. Here’s what took place.

Saluting

Image courtesy of the Library of Congress.

I was riding my motorcycle in the carpool lane when a black VW Golf slowly overtook me in the fast lane to my right. The driver was a young man in his lower 20′s. He pulled just past me, looking in his mirrors, then slowed back down and paced me for a moment. I called this man a stranger, brother, for what he did next completely took me by surprise. He slowly, deliberately, rendered me a very proper military salute. I was astonished. My motorcycle license plate is a Washington State specialty version available to current and former US Army members. Mine has the special sticker, “Retired” on the bottom as I retired in 2006. After rendering his salute the young man then pulled out of his wallet his Active Duty ID card and showed me that he is my brother; a man who like me loves our country and our countrymen enough to enlist in one of the most dangerous professions possible.

I pointed out that this young man took the time to pull just past me and look into his mirrors. I believe he was looking to see if I had a JBLM vehicle registration sticker on my bike. These stickers not only prove that a vehicle is registered with the intallation police, but they are color coded indicating wether an individual is enlisted, officer, or a civilian contractor. Mine indicates that I was an officer at the time of my retirement. I was taught when just a Private E-1, yes that was a long time ago at the hight of the Cold War, that a salute should be rendered to the car regardless of who’s driving just to be sure proper honor is given to those who have earned a higher rank. Over my 21 years of involvement with the military I saw that tradition fade and cars are no longer saluted based solely on sticker color. A lot of honor and tradition has faded within and external to the military. While there have been efforts towards change, our heroes generally aren’t given the honor they deserve, children are less apt to honor their parents and people in general aren’t overly honoring to each other.

This young man of distinction in just a few moments comunicated to me through a military salute while driving down the interstate that honor is not dead, and common people still do uncommon things. This simple statement of respect let me know hope is alive within the ranks of our military and the youth of today. To this young man, I salute you. To this young man’s parents, I solute you as well, for you have taught him well and he has given me a glimpse of what is possible for our nation provided my generation takes care to water and nurture it’s growth.

 

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Crystal Pollard

I had the recent honor of capturing Maternity Photos for my beautiful niece Crystal. Avery is due soon and she asked me if I’d take some time during my vacation to Southern California to capture photographs before his arrival.

I was worried about my ability to create meaningful images as I’d never taken any maternity photos. Well, I had no need to worry. Crystal is so crazy photogenic, it was a slam dunk.  I did some Google searches to get ideas, and a bit of planning on her part meant we were good to go.

If you are family or friend who might be considering a large print for a baby gift, please leave a comment and I’ll get back to you. Surprisingly, gallery wrapped canvas prints aren’t overly expensive and can be cherished forever without worry of fading. I have other options available too, just let me know.

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Better than tattoo.


This is a great butterfly my princess created on her arm. She used Glitter Glam Body Design to do it. Thanks to a great neighbor for the fantastic birthday gift.

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Clouds before the storm.

I snapped this image with my iPhone from the drive thru of a local coffee shop. It’s as it was taken, without filters or editing save a small crop.

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Colorized Historic Photos.

I ran across this article from PetaPixel today. There’s a group of Photoshop guru’s that are colorizing historic black and white images and the results are astounding.

PetaPixel author, Michael Zhang, wrote the following article.

Colorizing Photoshoppers Put a New Spin on Old Historical Photos

Michael Zhang · Aug 21, 2013 

Colorizing Photoshoppers Put a New Spin on Old Historical Photos colorized

There’s an awesome little subreddit that has been getting a lot of press coverage as of late. It’s called ColorizedHistory, and is a 20,000+ person strong community of “Amateur Historians” who are interested in the idea of creating high quality colorized versions of historical black-and-white photographs.

Unlike many other subreddits, this community is quite exclusive when it comes to submitted content. It’s not open to new contributors, and only a select number of Photoshop gurus on an approved list of submitters are allowed to submit colorized works. The rest of the community follows, enjoys, and comments on these pieces.

The colorized photographs themselves are from different eras in history. Some were created using old tintypes from the mid-1800s. Others are more recent, showing B&W scenes captured just decades ago.

All of them are the result of hours of careful editing by professional and amateur Photoshoppers who have both an eye for color and a desire to see what historical images would look like today if color photography had existed in past ages.

Here’s a photograph of General Joseph Hooker, captured by photographer Mathew Brady in 1862:

Colorizing Photoshoppers Put a New Spin on Old Historical Photos brady11

…and a colorized version of that photograph by Mads Madsen, who can also be found on his website and on Facebook:

Colorizing Photoshoppers Put a New Spin on Old Historical Photos ibaWAfE2h6wxVz

To view the remainder of the article click here…. 

To check out the Colorized History group on Reddit click here…

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