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

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Turko de Mayo X

As promised, here is a picture of the meal I fixed for Turko de Mayo X, held on May 28th, 2019.  It was the tenth anniversary of the first Turko de Mayo.  I hope it doesn't make you too hungry to look at it:

Thursday, May 9, 2019

Turko de Mayo - 10th Anniversary

Back in 2010, I came up with an idea where you could have the foods that are traditionally served at Thanksgiving more than once a year.  Being as Thanksgiving dinner is my favorite meal, this was important to me.  So I came up with a brainstorm to have this meal in May, that way, it would be six months in between Thanksgiving, which is celebrated in November, and in that way it would always be only half a year until the next turkey dinner.  I dubbed this holiday "Turko de Mayo."  The beauty of this holiday is that you can observe it any day in May that fits your schedule!  Here are some pictures from various Turko de Mayos I have celebrated.  If these images don't make your mouth water for turkey, I don't know what will!

The first Turko de Mayo, May 7th, 2010:

The second edition of Turko de Mayo, held on May 31st, 2011:

I couldn't find pictures of the third one, but here's Turko de Mayo IV, from May 29th, 2013:

All the fixin's from Turko de Mayo V, May 30th, 2014:

A closeup of the succulent bird, from May 29th, 2015:

Everything I served for Turko de Mayo VII, held on May 30th, 2016:

A nice, big plump turkey from May 31st, 2017:

Last year's edition of Turko de Mayo, number IX, held on May 29th, 2018:

When Turko de Mayo X is over, I'll be sure to post some images from it.

Sunday, April 21, 2019

Thirteenth Annual Ten Commandments Post

This post could just as easily be called "Family Memories."  That's because every year at Easter, my family would gather and enjoy a meal that always included ham and then we would watch the movie The Ten Commandments.  Whatever else we would do that day depended on the period of time it was held.  This, then, are some pictures and memories from the past that include my family members.  Memories which became engrained in my life.
Easter eggs from 1978.

Easter eggs from 1979.  Notice the one painted chrome silver in the middle.

The annual showing of The Ten Commandments on ABC from 1980.

My Mom and Dad on Easter 1981.

My brother Matthew with his Easter basket, in 1986.

Mom and Dad clowning around on Easter 1991.

Easter 2008 ham.

Playing Wii on Easter 2008.

More Easter eggs, from 2018.

What it all boils down to - ham and The Ten Commandments.  I think it's time to make some more memories.

Tuesday, March 5, 2019


Here's a post that is somewhat nostalgic for me.  Back in 1978, when I was 17 years old, I joined my high school's yearbook staff during the latter half of my junior year as photographer.  They used a huge Polaroid Land Camera and a Konica Autoreflex TC 35mm SLR for their picture-taking needs.  I ended up getting to use both of those cameras, but the one I remember most fondly, was the Konica 35mm.  Here's an image of it in the hands of the guy who was the yearbook photographer just before me, his name was Randy.  This was taken from my junior yearbook:

And here's that same camera in my hands from my senior yearbook.  Both images were cropped:

I learned a lot using that camera and here are some pictures I took using that camera.  The first three were for the yearbook, and the last three were some I took for myself:

I liked that camera so much that I ended up buying one of my own many years later.  When eBay came along and became huge, I realized that you could find practically anything there.  Remembering how much I liked the school's old Konica Autoreflex TC, I searched and found one on eBay - and bought it!  Here's a picture of it:

And a picture taken with it (after I had gotten a lens for it:

It didn't come with a lens, so I got me a second one from eBay that had a lens on it.  The second one didn't work, but was pretty cheap and it had the advantage of having the lens I needed.  That one looked like this:

The first one did work when I first got it, but it jammed up soon after and I haven't had a chance to fix it or use it until recently.  But I did manage to fix the second one I got that didn't work and here's a picture I took with it.  It shows some of the buttons in my late Mother's collection:

At first, however, I now had two of these Konicas and neither one of them worked.  So, I went back to eBay and found a third one that worked, but it, too, didn't have a lens on it.  Not to worry, though, because I had a lens.  Here's what that third one looked like:

And here's a couple pictures taken with that third Autoreflex TC:

Fast forward to 2019.  I was again searching on eBay and found an auction that had nine great old single lens reflex camera bodies, and two of them were Konica Autoreflex TCs!  I ended up getting those cameras and paid less than $10 for both of the Konicas together.  Here's what the first one looks like and a picture taken with it:

And here is the second one, now the fifth total Konica Autoreflex TC cameras in my collection, along with a picture taken just last night with that camera, more buttons in my late Mother's collection:

So, that's the tale, (so far....) of the Konica Autoreflex TC.  Who knows how it will end up?  But every time I use one, I'm transported back in time to when I was teenager and blissfully taking pictures that captured a special memory each time I clicked the shutter button.

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Film Box Pinhole Camera

This post goes back in history.  The year was 2010, but it hearkened back to my college years and my first photography class in late 1979.  In an attempt to teach us the concepts of photography, we built our own pinhole cameras out of cardboard and a soda can for the pinhole.  These cameras produced 4"x5" negatives because we used 8"x10" photo paper and cut it down into four equal sizes, which gave us four "negatives" per sheet.  This type of early photography, from the 1820s, was called Calotype photography.  As an example, here is one of those shots I took back in 1979:

It shows the parking lot of Southeastern Illinois College, which is the college I went to.  I chose that subject because you could only load and take one picture at a time and to load and unload the camera, it had to be done in the darkroom - and I used the college's darkroom.  Plus, the original shot was a "negative" image and had to be contact printed to get a positive print.  Fast forward to 2010.
Remembering those early, (for me), pinhole camera days, I thought I'd revisit them and make my own pinhole camera again.  I had read where people were using all sorts of containers to use for their camera bodies and then adapting photographic paper or different sizes of film for their negatives.  Some of the smallest cameras I saw being made were out of matchboxes.  This inspired me to use an empty box of film for my camera body.  When it was finished, this is what it looked like:

But to use it, I had to cut down a piece of 35mm Kodak Tri-X 400 black and white film to shoot in it and then tape up the box so it wouldn't have any light leaks.  For my "shutter," I simply used a piece of tape over the pinhole "lens."  It didn't look so polished, but it did keep the film from the light:

It took me several attempts of shooting before I was able to get a decent image, but one of the earlier images that didn't turn out so good looked like this:

Finally, I was able to get a fairly good image, and it was taken at the Fairfield, Illinois fairground during their Fall Fun Fest days of 2010:

I don't know what that curved group of light blobs were or what caused them, but they were present in all my shots, even when I used a different pinhole piece of aluminum in my final iteration of the camera.  The above shot looked like this taken with another camera, which employed about a 28mm focal length, so I guess my film box pinhole camera had a pinhole about the equivalent of a 28mm lens:

Since I eventually got my pinhole camera to take a picture you could somewhat recognize, I considered it a success.  Now, I'm wanting to build another pinhole camera that uses photographic paper and get back into taking some calotypes.  Stay tuned!