Prepare to enter a world of both shadow and substance

Take a journey of body, mind and spirit where you'll encounter things you won't find anywhere else.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011


First off, I'd like to apologize for not posting much this past year. Regular readers of my blog will remember that my mother died of cancer last year; well, this past month, my father died of cancer as well. It's been a real trying time for the family, especially once you've lost both parents. After a death like this, people will say that life goes on. Maybe it does, but it does so in a much different way. While I try to figure out a way that works for me, I'm going to try and devote a little more time to writing and my blogs. And seeing as how this blog is touted as a blog with pictures, I thought I'd post this year's installment of my Fall tree. Every year I go back to the edge of my town and photograph this one tree. I've been doing it since the 1970's and it's something that puts a little stability and familiarity into my life. Perhaps I've needed it more these few years, but be that as it may, the tree is still there and when it begins to get cold, the leaves start turning different colors and dying off. Maybe it's symbolic of how life goes, I don't know. Here's the way it looked this year, a little earlier than normal, but as photographed on October 14th, 2011:

Thursday, April 14, 2011

The Fifth Annual Ten Commandments Post

It's hard to believe that this is already my fifth annual Ten Commandments post. Regular readers will know that this is my favorite movie of all time and I've seen it probably 40 times at least. While it might seem like there's nothing new under the sun to say about this movie that hasn't already been said, (probably by me), I still can't let this time of year arrive without passing on the good feeling I get anticipating this movie once again. When Spring arrives, I start getting that "itchy" feeling that Easter is near and it's time to make preparations once again for you know what. When the movie starts, from the opening where the baby Moses is found on the river; to the clashes between Moses and Rameses; the time Moses spent in the desert as an outcast: until the end when the Children of Israel are looking over into the Promised Land, there are many peaks and valleys in this movie to keep my attention. If you haven't seen it in awhile, you might think about viewing it with your family - make an event out of it.
The title screen above is not from the 1956 version of this classic, but from the first, silent version Cecil B. DeMille made back in 1923. I still haven't found time to watch this bonus feature that was included in my 50th Anniversary DVD set, but I will one day. For now, though, I'm getting ready for the big event - so let it be watched! I'll leave you with a scene from the silent version. It's where Moses comes down from the mount with the tablets containing the Ten Commandments in hand. He seems to be saying, at least in my opinion, "Thou shalt not miss watching The Ten Commandments this year! It may be your last chance!"

Friday, March 4, 2011

The Law In Illinois Is Clear On This

I want to point out two different laws here in Illinois, see if you can spot the major difference between them. Just so I won't be accused of misquoting or misleading the facts or making things up, I will post post both laws in their entirety.

Number 1: Pertaining to Seat Belts:

(625 ILCS 5/12-603.1) (from Ch. 95 1/2, par. 12-603.1)
Sec. 12-603.1. Driver and passenger required to use safety belts, exceptions and penalty.
(a) Each driver and front seat passenger of a motor vehicle operated on a street or highway in this State shall wear a properly adjusted and fastened seat safety belt; except that, a child less than 8 years of age shall be protected as required pursuant to the Child Passenger Protection Act. Each driver under the age of 18 years and each of the driver's passengers under the age of 19 years of a motor vehicle operated on a street or highway in this State shall wear a properly adjusted and fastened seat safety belt. Every passenger under the age of 19 in a vehicle being driven by a person over the age of 18 who committed an offense against traffic regulations governing the movement of vehicles or any violation of this Section or Section 6-107 of this Code within 6 months prior to the driver's 18th birthday and was subsequently convicted of the violation, shall wear a properly adjusted and fastened seat safety belt, until such time as a period of 6 consecutive months has elapsed without the driver receiving an additional violation and subsequent conviction of an offense against traffic regulations governing the movement of vehicles or any violation of this Section or Section 6-107 of this Code. Each driver of a motor vehicle transporting a child 8 years of age or more, but less than 16 years of age, shall secure the child in a properly adjusted and fastened seat safety belt as required under the Child Passenger Protection Act.
(b) Paragraph (a) shall not apply to any of the following:
1. A driver or passenger frequently stopping and
leaving the vehicle or delivering property from the vehicle, if the speed of the vehicle between stops does not exceed 15 miles per hour.
2. A driver or passenger possessing a written
statement from a physician that such person is unable, for medical or physical reasons, to wear a seat safety belt.
3. A driver or passenger possessing an official
certificate or license endorsement issued by the appropriate agency in another state or country indicating that the driver is unable for medical, physical, or other valid reasons to wear a seat safety belt.
4. A driver operating a motor vehicle in reverse.
5. A motor vehicle with a model year prior to 1965.
6. A motorcycle or motor driven cycle.
7. A moped.
8. A motor vehicle which is not required to be
equipped with seat safety belts under federal law.
9. A motor vehicle operated by a rural letter
carrier of the United States postal service while performing duties as a rural letter carrier.
(c) Failure to wear a seat safety belt in violation of this Section shall not be considered evidence of negligence, shall not limit the liability of an insurer, and shall not diminish any recovery for damages arising out of the ownership, maintenance, or operation of a motor vehicle.
(d) A violation of this Section shall be a petty offense and subject to a fine not to exceed $25.
(e) (Blank).
(f) A law enforcement officer may not search or inspect a motor vehicle, its contents, the driver, or a passenger solely because of a violation of this Section.

Number 2: Pertaining to Residency Requirements to be Elected Mayor of a Town or City in Illinois:

(65 ILCS 5/6-3-9) (from Ch. 24, par. 6-3-9)
Sec. 6-3-9. Qualifications of mayor, city clerk, city treasurer and aldermen - Eligibility for other office.
No person shall be eligible to the office of mayor, city clerk, city treasurer or alderman:
(1) Unless he is a qualified elector of the municipality and has resided therein at least one year next preceding his election or appointment; or
(2) Unless, in the case of aldermen, he resides within the ward for which he is elected; or
(3) If he is in arrears in the payment of any tax or other indebtedness due to the city; or
(4) If he has been convicted in Illinois state courts or in courts of the United States of malfeasance in office, bribery, or other infamous crime.
No alderman shall be eligible to any office, except that of acting mayor or mayor pro tem, the salary of which is payable out of the city treasury, if at the time of his appointment he is a member of the city council.

Okay, did you spot the difference? I'll tell you, so as not to keep you in suspense. For violation of not wearing your seat belt, you will be subject to a fine of not more than $25. For violation of the second offense, which is not meeting the residency requirements to be elected mayor of a city in Illinois, there is no fine or penalty associated with this violation.

Now, explain to me how come Rahm Emanuel can break Illinois law and not be penalized? He clearly violated the law because he moved to Washington, D.C. for 18 months and rented out his residence to somebody else. He couldn't even stop at his own house when returning to Chicago because the people who have the lease for it wouldn't let him in. How can he maintain that he's lived in Chicago when he can't even provide a residence as his own legal province? I'd like to see the Illinois State Police enforce this law and go arrest him. Or at least fine him. The ISP is quite familiar with fining people who have "broken the law." And they are well up to the task of enforcing the law here in Illinois; you'd better believe it.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Water, Water Everywhere....

I thought I'd collect up some of my fairly recent pictures that all have water as their basic theme or subject. The interesting thing about photographing water is that it is always in motion and ever-changing. It can reflect the sky or sun and take on their appearance, almost like a chameleon; or it can just look clear and pure and natural. Please enjoy them!

Covered Bridge
Minolta XD11, 35mm film

Foggy Morning Breakdown
Sony A230, digital slr

Follow The Leader
Konica Minolta Maxxum 5D, digital slr

Norris City Reservoir
Minolta XD11, Kodachrome 35mm slide film

Pounds Hollow
Minolta XD11, 35mm film

Water Relics
Minolta SRT-101, 35mm film

Strike A Pose - Vogue
Konica Minolta Maxxum 5D, digital slr

The Ohio River
Konica Minolta Maxxum 5D, digital slr

Friday, January 7, 2011

I Heard The News Today, Oh Boy

How many of you remember what you were doing on September 11th, 2001, when the car bomb exploded outside of the State Department? Please feel free to leave a comment about your memories of this incident. You might remember that it was the day some big airplanes smashed into the World Trade Center towers and they fell down. It was a very sad day. Fortunately, not many were killed by the car bomb outside the State Department.

Henry David Thoreau

To paraphrase Henry David Thoreau with which to describe my own book collection, "I have a personal library of 5000+ volumes, over 100 of which I wrote myself." This is a subtle reminder for those interested, that I have plenty of copies on hand of both my novels, The Wizard Of Destiny and This Paradise. In this day and age, any author less popular than Stephen King has to do some self-promotion if he wants his writing to be read by the general public.

Don't hate me because I'm beautiful.... er, pushy.
Update: If anybody has actually purchased one of my novels and read it, please be kind and leave a comment about it here. I certainly would appreciate hearing from you.