Friday, January 31, 2014

Tattoo Artists: 3

The couple below were just standing around and chatting.  At first, I thought they were part of a booth.  But, I don't believe so.

Meet Amanda and Ryan!

Happily married and from Minneapolis!

My sincere thanks!

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Tattoo Artists: 2

Next to Shanghai Kate were the couple below.

Meet Rhiannon!

Meet Ernie!

I believe together they make up Black Rabbit Art in Erie, PA.   Their website is under construction.  But, you should be able to find them at

This was their table.  These are hand-made tattoo machines.   I have NO idea how they work.  But, they were very awesome.

Thanks Rhiannon and Ernie!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Tattoo Artists: 1

Once again this year I attended the tattoo convention in Minneapolis.  One thing about going there for photos, everyone likes having their photo taken!  At least, I've never been told, "no".

So, upon arrival, I paid my $20, walked in, and set up the camera.  The woman below was my first stop.

Meet Shanghai Kate!

She is the oldest woman tattoo artist in the US.  And, she is the second oldest in the world.  She's been doing tattoo's since 1971.  And, she is still doing her craft in Austin, TX.

She is featured in a documentary called "Tattoo Nation".

Check it out if you want a copy.

Thanks Shanghai! 

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

A Smiling Face and Wonderful Service

When you sit at a restaurant, someone usually comes over, introduces themselves, and takes your order.

Meet Meghan!

She was, as far as I could tell, the only server at the airport restaurant.  She was delightful and very attentive.  And, she was BUSY!  
She was gracious enough to take a minute for me to get this photo and to find out she is the mother of 2.  And, she has been at this job for 17 years! 

Thanks Meghan!  I am sure I will cross paths with you again.  I get through that airport often!


Monday, January 27, 2014

A Fellow Traveler

During one of my recent trips, heading home, I sat next to the woman below. 
Meet Amy!

 She was sitting next to me at a restaurant in the airport and I noticed she had a Tamron lens box in her purse.  I made the assumption she was into photography.  So, we had a lovely conversation. 

She is a college student in North Carolina and LOVES photography!

Thanks Amy!  Have a wonderful year!

Sunday, January 26, 2014

New Years Day: 2014

And, so we cross into 2014.

Time to explore a new place, a new world, with the grandsons and a new puppy.
No people in these photos.  But, it was a nice, tranquil place the morning of Jan 1.  

Even the kids walked quietly.

Of course, if there is water...and a puppy....and little boys...

They can't avoid walking in the water.

Still, we left it as we found it. 

Quiet....reflecting on the past....and waiting with anticipation for what the new year may bring. 

Friday, January 24, 2014

New Years Eve Party: 2013: 8

This was the most interesting costume of the evening for me.   It was not at all what I was expecting for the evening.

It turns out that he goes to a lot of parties and events dressed like this and portrays Charles Dickens!  We chatted for some time, as he talked about "his" writings.  It was absolutely fascinating!  He clearly knew his material!

My sincere thanks!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

New Years Eve Party: 2013: 8

The young lady below was also one of the crowd.  I managed to catch her and get a photo while she was in the back of the room.  It was much too crowded to try and get photos near the stage.

She had a wonderful smile.  And, she clearly was having a lovely evening. 

My sincere thanks!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

New Years Eve Party: 2013: 7

I liked this couple.  They were sitting in the back and enjoying the show from a distance as well as enjoying one another's company.  It was VERY loud and I am not sure they could really hear one another.  Once again, as with others that night, I approached them, smiled, and pointed to the camera.

They nodded and I got off a quick photo.  As with everyone else there, they were most gracious and didn't mind me interrupting for a few minutes.

My sincere thanks!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

New Years Eve Party: 2013: 6

Another person celebrating the new year!   I don't believe he was one of the performers.   And, I am not sure whether this qualifies as a "furry".   But, I did like the look and asked him whether I could take his photo.

He had a wonderful smile and was having a great time.  He thought it was a great photo.  And, with the exception of a slight glare on his forehead due to my flash, I agree!

My sincere thanks!


Monday, January 20, 2014

New Years Eve Party: 2013: 5

This person was in the crowd and enjoying the show.   I liked her hair and eyes!

It was too noisy to get her name.  In fact, I think I just motioned to the camera and she nodded.  I like the photo, a lot.  She seems to evoke "happy" or "contented".   And, she seems to do so just naturally. 

Sunday, January 19, 2014

New Years Eve Party: 2013: 4 Furries

I have heard of Furries before.  But, this was the first time I had the occasion to run into anyone into that.  At least, that I knew of.    If you are curious about it, check out a quick Wiki search on Furry Fandom!

The outfits (I am not sure it is correct to say: costumes) were pretty impressive and NOT cheap.

I am not technically sure that the dragon/dinosaur is a furry.  But, I am assuming it is.  Corrections are certainly welcome!

This person had a great costume/alter ego!

And, this was funny.  This gentleman was dressed normally, slacks, jacket, hat, etc.  But, as I walked around the bar, I noticed he was wearing a tail. 

My sincere thanks to you all!

Saturday, January 18, 2014

New Years Eve Party: 2013: 3

And, meet the other bartender in the back room.  This was more quiet.  The performers and huge crowd were in another large room.  Even so, this gentleman kept busy!

I actually like both photos!  So, here they are!  And, by the way, nice bow tie!

My sincere thanks!

Friday, January 17, 2014

New Years Eve Party: 2013: 2

The party continued!

Meet one of the bartenders!

I have to give him credit, he was working his backside off behind the bar.  It was crowded and, as far as I could see, he was alone back there.   That's a lot of people to serve! 

My sincere thanks!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

New Years Eve Party: 2013: 1

I had been complaining to a friend that I was running out of portraits for the blog.  My schedule has been crazy for the last three months and I have been focused on work issues.  My friend was kind enough to introduce me to a couple of photographers who invited me to a New Years party, in St. Louis that was  In short, it was a burlesque show, at a bar called Bad Dog, featuring both male and female performers.  And, of course, many of the revelers came in their own costumes. 

At first, I wasn't sure I could take photos there.  But, they assured me I could.  And, after observing a lot of other people taking photos, I decided it was time.  I started wandering around and chatting with people for a while, and finally I spotted my first subject!

The person below had been one of the performers, had just gotten off-stage, and was relaxing in the bar with friends.

I wished I had gotten the stage name!

My sincere thanks!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

A New Grand Something in the Familly: Meet my first Granddog!

My daughter has decided to add more chaos into the family.  A puppy will do that!

Meet Remy.

She is an Australian Shepherd. And, at this moment, she is 8 weeks old.  I did NOT color her eyes.  They are, in fact, that blue.

And, of course, with blue eyes like that, you need to eat the best.

Remy, welcome to the family.  No biting!   And, play with your own toys, not my shoes! more gratuitous pic:

She has what is called the blue merle coloring.  We are thinking that she needs a job. And, herding Big J and Little J may just keep her busy!  They are smart!


Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Re-visiting Kaldi's in St. Louis: 2

It was a day or two later that I needed some quiet time.  I mean, I love those little grandsons.  But, I can use some order, quiet, and time to collect my thoughts.

I gravitated to the same table and the same chair, in fact.  This time, there was a lovely family there.  I suspect they had just come from church.   And, they were planning out their day.

Meet the parents!!

The kids were a riot.  And, their son, especially, was very worried about the future health of my blog if I put a photo of his parents in it!   That kid has a sense of humor! 

My sincere thanks!  I hope your Sunday turned out well.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Re-visiting Kaldi's in St. Louis: 1

With the holidays, I had a wonderful excuse to visit Big S, my daughter in St. Louis.  It is, of course, fun to play with the boys, Big J and Little J.  But, it is equally nice to escape for quiet at one of my favorite coffee spots:  Kaldi's.

This morning, I sat at a large table in one corner.  The table takes up most of the corner.  And, there were three people sitting there engaged in conversation.  So, I assumed they all knew one another. 

As I was wondering about interrupting them and asking to take their photo, they politely drew me into their own conversation.  I believe it was something innocuous, like the weather.

Meet my three coffee companions that morning.

As it turns out, I am not certain the gentlemen knew the woman.  They just happened to be sitting together and engaged in conversation.

The gentlemen below hasn't sent me any details as to his identity.

Meet Todd!

I noticed a couple of bicycles in front and I suspected at least one of the riders was Todd.  There was enough riding clothing around to give even me a clue!

It turns out that he is an avid bicycle enthusiast and rides the MS 150 Bike Tour each year.  He has a passionate interest in MS because of a family member that suffers from it.   He is one of the top 5 fund raisers in MO for this event! 

Meet Molly!

Molly grew up in the St. Louis area and has moved away.  It was time for her to get some quiet time and escape to a coffee shop, too! 
After the guys left, we chatted a lot about life in Mexico (I seem to recall that is where she lives now). 

My sincere thanks to all of you!

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Remembering the Fallen: Vimy Ridge

Here in the states, we have a bunch of national holidays and events we remember.  But, other nations have their events as well.

Recently, one of my friends was kind enough to give me this small pin from the Canadian memorial at Vimy Ridge

Vimy Ridge is significant to Canadians because, for the first time, four Canadian divisions fought together against three divisions of the German Sixth Army.  The battle took place from April 9-12, 1917. 

The idea was that the Canadian's would take control of the high ground, held by the Germans (i.e. Vimy Ridge) so that the British troops could advance, from the south, without being slaughtered.

At the end of the battle, the Canadian's suffered 10,602 casualties with nearly 3,600 killed. 

If you get a chance to go to France, stop and see the Vimy Ridge memorial.  It is 250 acres of land, set aside and given to Canada by the French Government as a memorial for their sacrifice during WW I. 


Friday, January 10, 2014

In the Middle of the Cold: At the End of the Day

It's been a long week.  It's Friday.  The sun is setting.

All you want to do is sit on your favorite chair, outside, and relax with a cold brew.
But, someone won't get OUT of your chair.  Well, to be fair, they are tired, too.  They've had a long week laying around, sleeping, and getting up now and then to sniff around.

So, you may need to find another chair, with your friends.


Thursday, January 9, 2014

In the Middle of the Cold: Think of a Cool Summer Night

The day has been sunny and still.   The water and earth have been warmed, baked to perfection.

When the morning sun peeks over the horizon, and the cool night air leaves a trace of mist on your sleepy skin.
The huge mosquitos will be coming for you.


Wednesday, January 8, 2014

In the Middle of the Cold: Something for the Future

In the midst of the harsh, cold winter, there is warmth and beauty not far away.  It will be coupled with the delicate touch of nature and will float in the warm summer breeze.

So, you may want to check at the hardware store for any dandelion killer before there is a shortage.


Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Monday, January 6, 2014

Snow Shoeing on Christmas Afternoon

The temperature was a bit mild and I decided it was time to get out and walk a bit.  I've had snow shoes for some time but, haven't really used them.  It was time.

I must admit I am not thrilled with the photos of the woods.  They are just too cluttered and lack any focus/purpose.

Not even the sunlight trying to peek through the trees turned out very well.  Again, too much clutter and no purpose of the photo that draws your eyes.

We made a turn out to the river and decided to walk back on the snow and ice.
You can actually see the snow mobile tracks to the left of the photos.

It was about 1 minute after the above photo was taken that I broke through the ice into the river.  Fortunately, my son-in-law, (see below) took pity on me and helped me get out.

It was a good thing I gave him a nice Christmas gift.  If I hadn't, he may have left me!

All in all, no harm to the old guy.  My feet were cold and encased in some ice.  But, we didn't have far to go.  And, being a true son-in-law, he kept prodding me on by hitting me with his pole.

OK...that part isn't true.  But, I did fall through the ice and he did help me get out. 

Thanks A!  

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Wedding receptions: 5

The woman below sat across from me at our table.  There was actually a huge bouquet that blocked my ability to chat with her.  So, I had a lovely conversation with her husband who sat directly across from me.  

After dinner, her husband wandered off to chat.  She graciously moved over so we could converse a bit without doing so by peeking around the flowers.  I think she looks simply stunning!

My sincere thanks!


Friday, January 3, 2014

Wedding receptions: 4

Sitting at the table with the woman from yesterday's photo, were these two women.

They both were delightful and charming.  And, if memory serves me correctly, they asked if I would take a group photo of them.  I don't like that image nearly as well.

My sincere thanks!