Little Bit Of Sunshine

LittleBitof Sunshine2853Little Bit of Sunshine                                                     click to enlarge


Yeah I know its cold and stormy. I know we haven’t seen the sun for I can’t even remember how long. I know winter is reaching its maximum amount of Suckability, but I saw a newscast the other day that showed pictures of somewhere down in Australia where they had so much sun everyone was going around with sunglasses on. I’m not kidding. And they were wearing clothes that were only one layer deep and that didn’t even cover all their bodies. Freaky, right? It was so weird, you could even see the tattoo on this girls arm.

So this proves that pretty soon ( see Yesterday’s post for further information) we are going to have “A Little Bit of Sunshine” in our lives. I mean there is science involved here. The earth turns and tilts and moves around and before long the seasons change. This is stuff straight out of science books like the ones they use at M.I.T. so this has to be true. There is even a predictable schedule to show when this happens. I don’t know what it is but then I didn’t go to M.I.T., I could have, they asked, but I was too busy.

But that’s a story for another time. Let’s just say that before long we’re going to see flowers, lots of them, very much like the one above and we’ll be wearing sunglasses when we do. Cool ones. Like the ones Tom Cruise wore in Top Gun. As for me I’m holding out to see if that girl has any more tattoos, I bet she does. And that’s how I get through the day. Waiting for a Little Bit of Sunshine.


Coming Attractions

ComingAttractionsMorningGlory3357Morning Glorys Santa Fe                                               click to enlarge


We have just received  some welcome news from our weather forecasters and we couldn’t wait to share it with you. Sometime in the future, actual date unspecified, it will warm up again and things like flowers will bloom right out loud.

Our weather forecasting department which has had an uncanny ability to forecast things like summer or fall and unfortunately winter, have gone back to their original system of forecasting, which includes old school types things such as reading entrails, tossing the bones, guessing, communing with spirits of long-gone weathermen, seeing stuff in their minds eye, looking at the NOAA website, making stuff up, talking about El Nino, and other tried and true methods, to come up with this latest prediction.

We have assembled a top-notch special team of clairvoyants, soothsayers, shamans, meteorological savants, fortune tellers, oracles, snake charmers, used car salesmen, augurs, diviners, mediums, large’s, prophets, psychics, crystal ball gazers and a palm reader, to be able to bring you the latest, best, most creative forecast we can assemble.

They have been sequestered for the last several weeks subsisting on nothing but pizza, and Dr. Pepper until they all came to the same unanimous conclusion. White smoke appeared from the sacred chimney spout and we unlocked the doors to get the good news.

Dr. Omy Gahdyes our resident soothsayer from Mumbai read the proclamation.

“We the members of the weather forecasting team have come to the unanimous decision that soon, or at a time to be determined later, the sun will be returning bringing with it warmth and sunlight causing the cold and snow to leave this place and flowers and other things of a growing nature to grow again. This is assuredly what we believe and are too confident will happen, barring any interference from other predicting groups that may think otherwise, of course. If you want the true skinny you must stick with us and not believe the unbelievers that don’t believe what we do. Thank you.”

What a breath of fresh air, huh? Warmth, sunlight, growing things, like how cool will that be. All right then! Get ready, sometime in the future it will be warm. That’s the prediction and I’m proud to stand behind the staffers that worked so hard to come up with it. Start digging out those shorts and tee’s and don’t forget those flip-flops. I’m already making ice tea.


Disaster in the Islands

Oahu7793sun worshipper Oahu                                                       click to enlarge


Yesterday we brought  to your attention the severe weather that is occurring in the Hawaiian islands. After checking around the globe we found every one of our weather stations were beset by freezing cold and snow. Everywhere but the Hawaiian islands that is. They are besieged by an unseasonal lack of anything resembling cold or snow. Upon scrutinizing the few photos we have been able to receive from our Hawaiian weather station we have found that the situation is even more dire than we had feared. As you can see by the photo above the local inhabitants have begun shedding their clothes and resorting to near nakedness to adapt to the fearful weather plaguing the islands.

Oahu7780surf Oahu                                                                      click to enlarge


Some have begun acting strangely as a result of this catastrophe and are placing themselves in harm’s way , perhaps because they are becoming delusional as a result of the constant exposure to sun and warmth. It is difficult to tell at this stage exactly what is happening over there, but it is obvious something is seriously off track.


Oahu7833Riding the curl Oahu                                                     click to enlarge


Viewer Discretion Advised: Here is one of the most disturbing images to come out of this terrible situation here in the weather-torn islands of our 50th state. We hesitated to publish it because we abhor the constant bombardment of disturbing images by the mainstream media, but this is real life and you need to be informed. This is one of our staff members from the Institutes Oahu Weather station attempting a heroic rescue of someone who apparently has given up all hope of normal weather, that is freezing cold and snow, and has decided to get away from it all. We can thankfully announce that the rescue was successful and the misguided youth was saved. We send out our heartfelt thanks to Gil the intern pictured here. Thanks Gil, you’re the best.


Oahu7778Searching for the perfect wave Oahu                             click to enlarge


As if the preceding image wasn’t graphic enough we have proof here that the weather is causing some type of mass hysteria. Like lemmings to the cliff’s edge we see crowds of young to middle-aged and two really older people who should know better, fleeing the island on any kind of conveyance they can contrive. Most of them have found long flat boards that they are desperately clinging to as they apparently try to make their way to the mainland for some relief from this terrible aberrant weather they find themselves trapped in. Their loved ones are standing on the shore, calling out “Godspeed” and “Safe sailing” as they see their best and brightest heading out to sea. This is a terrible desperate situation and some one needs to step in and fix this.

This is why I, the director of The Institute, am approaching you, beseeching you actually, to donate large sums of money or as we asked for yesterday, first class tickets on any flight leaving for the Hawaiian islands. As we didn’t get any donations of that type we are amending the request and asking for Business class with extra leg room and the movie package, tickets instead. We are also reminding you, somewhat desperately, to send large amounts of cash, smaller denominations but many of them, to help defray our living expenses while we’re there. We have moved our reservations from the Mandarin resort to the BellyUp hotel in downtown Honolulu to lessen the costs of our humanitarian efforts. It’s on the bus line to the beach and they have vending machines in the lobby. We’re all in this together readers, and as you know I am the best person available to handle a humanitarian effort of this size. So dig deep, cash in those bonds, donate that old car you’ve got sitting in your driveway, but come up with some moola, some Benjamins, some American greenbacks, some dollars, if you will. These are desperate times and we need desperate solutions. Send that money now, send those plane tickets now, send small amounts of freeze-dried food now, dig deep into your heart to help these poor Hawaiians to a better life. Our staff members are standing by to take your calls. Thank you America, and thank you readers.


Emergency Site Check

Hawaii6562Biyodin-ji gardens Oahu Hawaii                              click to enlarge


Now that our phone lines have thawed out we are beginning to get reports again from our outlying offices regarding the disturbing weather news lately. As you are aware The Institute has a world-wide weather reporting network that keeps us constantly up to date on the latest weather trends. We have gotten reports from our office in St. Petersburg, Russia and they report cold and snow. Our reports from Helsinki are cold and snow. Hibbing Minnesota here in the US has not reported lately due to everyone there having frozen to death. We suspect the report would be cold and snow.

The most disturbing report to cross our weather desk however have been the reports we have been getting from Oahu, Hawaii. Our staff there, which has been very reliable in the past, have begun sending us images from the remote camera outside The Institute’s local weather central. It shows a definite lack of cold and snow. In fact upon close examination of the images there does not appear to be any cold or snow. None. We have been frantically trying to contact the station manager there for confirmation but we are only getting a message stating everyone is down at the beach. Surfing, call back again, Aloha.

As director of The Institute I am the person responsible for the health and welfare of the members of our organization. Since I can not verify their safety there is only one course of action I can take and that is to go there immediately, in person, and assess the conditions.

Consequently I will be boarding the earliest flight to the islands I can get on and will not rest until I have found everyone accounted for and we can get to the bottom of this strange weather pattern that has settled over our 50th state. There is one slight hitch however and that is a small lack of finances that is occurring due to the legal difficulties we find ourselves in after the Christmas furlough fiasco the Institute has just gone through. Having had to bail out dozens of our staff members and send tickets to those stranded in the foreign countries of their origin we are temporarily tapped out money-wise in our travel budget. So we are putting out a desperate plea to our readers for donations of first class tickets on any flight heading to the Hawaiian islands as quickly as possible. Those feeling guilty about not supporting us in the past can also contribute towards our room and board. We have tentative reservations at the Mandarin, one of Hawaii’s most luxurious hotels on the big island, so we can use your assistance immediately.

I sure you can see the urgency in getting this potentially dangerous, even life threatening, situation under control so please, dig deep and contribute all you can. And if there are any slightly more mature female travel agents or possibly unemployed ex-cheerleaders ( team unimportant ) that have extensive knowledge of the islands and wish to donate their experience by accompanying the Director, please send pictures, preferable in your warm weather uniforms, for consideration. Thank you and hurry.

Cold Tubbin’

ColdTubbin8503Red Fox at The Institutes Cold Tub                                  click to enlarge


There  are many strange customs in the animal world, almost too many to catalog. For instance up in Yellowstone the animals all gather around the thermal areas for warmth and fellowship, spending many long hours in the soothing hot water enjoying the company of their friends and neighbors. They talk over the days events, speculate on who the new rangers might be, trade recipes and generally hang out like a bunch of suburbanites.

Down here in Northern Colorado our animals do things a little differently. Our animals don’t tend to be as sociable with each other as they are up further north, consequently their behavior is quite different. Way up here on the mountaintop where the headquarters of the Institute are located we get our share of cold weather. Our animals handle it more like their cousins in the great white north handle things. That is they embrace the cold, revel in it, and look for any reason to celebrate it. You can often see them out on our frozen lakes ice fishing, skinny dipping with the black bear club, having packy fights ( what you know as snowballs) and spending time in the cold tubs that are set up around the Institutes property.

It was noted earlier that our animals don’t tend to be as sociable as they are in  other parts of the country but as in all general statements there are exceptions and this fellow is one. He delights in the companionship of other animals and is often seen inviting others to join him in the cold tub. It has been noted that he tends to befriend his neighbors the cottontails the most as well as the occasional mouse and appears to have a large acquaintance among them. However it’s strange that his companions always seem to be new with little revisiting if you will, strange that, but it may be that he just needs more stimulating conversations as the rabbits all tend to talk about how little grass is left over after the summer heat, who’s expecting again and there’s always somebody expecting, how many redtails have been hanging around and similar topics. If our neighbor the fox was bored you’d think he’d invite another fox to his cold tub. Well, its behavior that we’ll have to look into later. Right now we have to make sure the tubs are cold enough and ready for use. There’s still plenty of winter left.

The Dark Side of the Moon

DarkSide7385Rocky Mountain National Park                                click to enlarge


There are places no man should go. This is one of those places. Now that doesn’t mean someone doesn’t go there because they do. On purpose, and if they live they come back and tell us mere mortals what an incredible experience it was and how we should all have the opportunity to do so. I see this phenomenon as Mother Nature taking another look at her gene pool to see if any weeding needs to be done.

I believe she creates these little honey pots of obvious danger to lure the genetically halt and lame into visiting these places when it is known that this is definitely self-destructive behavior. Then she freezes them tightly to the mountain to remind the rest of us not to do dumb stuff.

Far as I’m concerned it only takes one frozen guy to show me that it’s better to visit places like this from the safety of your view finder. Remember, life is an IQ test and it’s pass or fail.

High Noon

HighNoon1046-1056Grand Canyon                                                            click to enlarge


There is lots of conversation in the photo world about when is the best time to take pictures. Some folks are fanatics about only shooting in the magic hours around sunrise and sunset. They make up rules and write articles about how you can’t take pictures any other time because the light has to be just perfect and that only happens during that narrow time period when most people are still asleep or eating dinner.

I take a lot of my images during the magic hours myself, but if you only shoot then that leaves an awfully large part of the day left where you’re pretty unproductive, and being one who occasionally chooses to not follow the rules I’ve discovered that you can shoot pictures any time you want to. I paid a lot of money for this camera and it needs to have its shutter clicking on a regular basis to justify that expenditure. Granted if you’re not careful and hide behind a bush while you’re doing it the photo police will come and arrest you for unauthorized mid-day shooting, but I’m willing to take that chance.

This shot of the Grand Canyon was taken at high noon, a time when every good, rule following  photographer should be having lunch, camera placed well away from your grasp in case the uncontrollable urge to snap a picture over takes you. I chose to take this image directly in front of a large crowd of shooters ,their eyes wide and their mouths open in gasping disbelief, some even averting their eyes unable to believe what they were seeing, because I’ve discovered one of the great secrets of photo making. You can take pictures whenever you want to. That’s right, just hold your camera up to your face and press the shutter. And if the Photo police approach you and begin their tirade, just calmly  look at them and say “Back Off tyrants or I’ll shoot you.” then hold your camera up to take their picture.

You’ll see them scurry back to the shadows, hands over their faces, terrified that you will steal their souls and they’ll be forever captured in the harsh light of the noon day sun. This is good because it leaves you plenty of room to walk around and shoot without stumbling over another photographer.

The idea of shooting only when the light is perfect came about because a long time ago when people wore watches and used pay phones, cameras weren’t adjustable. I know, weird right, but they didn’t have all the knobs and buttons and now menus on them that we have today. And film was expensive and the development of that film was even more expensive, so when your pictures came back and they were ugly you were discouraged. Then someone wrote an article about finding light at the bewitching hours at the front and end of the day and if you shot then you brought your percentage of keepable pictures way up. Many ugly pictures at an expensive rate of cost shooting during the day versus many more keepable pictures if you only shoot at the times you’re supposed to, voilà a rule is born.

But now cameras are magic. They can do anything. You want to stare into the sun and take its picture, you can do that. ( I don’t recommend that but you can if you’re dumb enough to try stuff you read about on the internet) If you want to sit up all night long in the freezing cold and take hundreds of pictures so you can make pictures of star trails you can do that too. You can even, Warning! Heresy alert !!!, take pictures during the day when the light isn’t perfect. Now remember, if this is new to you or you have a low risk type of personality, start very slow. Stick around 15 or 20 minutes after the morning golden hours are over and take a picture, just one, then look at it later in the day when your heart has stopped racing and see how it turned out.

Some of you will be taking shots at high noon before you can blink your eyes a hundred times. For those of you that can’t tolerate high rates of stress in your lives, it’s okay, don’t even try this. Remember there is no crying in photography and also remember there isn’t much bad in photography. And most importantly we won’t judge you. Well some of us might but so what. The worst that can happen is you’ll get to use your delete button. Happy shooting.