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Weekly Photo Challenge: Beyond

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This week’s photo challenge is Beyond. Hop over and check it out. In the meantime, this photo of Cape Town’s Table Mountain behind this statue of a golden seal definitely invites the eye to look beyond, does it not?

Golden seal with the bay and Table Mountain in the background.
Golden seal with the bay and Table Mountain in the background.

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Water

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The next element in Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge is Water. Here’s my take on that.

A goose swimming in blue water.
A goose swimming in blue water.
"Sunshine on the Atlantic at Tenerife"
The sunshine reflecting off the ocean off the island of Tenerife.
Building in Amsterdam reflected in the water
Building in Amsterdam reflected in the water
Lake Kariba at sunset
Lake Kariba at sunset
Taking a rope ride across the Zambezi at Victoria Falls
Taking a rope ride across the Zambezi at Victoria Falls

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Metal

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Of the five basic elements, metal stands for autumn.  Over at Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge, she’s asking that we show it with a group of photos.  Well, here’s my take on it:

A combat helicopter is metal personified.
A combat helicopter is metal personified.
Lots of metal - and plastic too - here.
Lots of metal – and plastic too – here.
Metal statue in Cape Town, South Africa
Metal statue in Cape Town, South Africa
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Weekly Photo Challenge: Illumination

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This week’s photo challenge is a doozie.  Illumination.  Check it out  here.  Going through my photo files, I  had a devil of a time chosing one that said ‘light’ or ‘illumination’ to me.  After much hand wringing, and several vodkas, I finally came up with this.  Hope you like it.

This insect on a leaf, backlit by the sun is an example of illumination in nature.
This insect on a leaf, backlit by the sun is an example of illumination in nature.
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Photo Challenge: Thursday’s Windows – Week 16

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Somehow I’ve been missing this Photo Challenge, but I thought I’d give it a whirl.

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Cape TownWindows

Weekly Photo Challenge: My 2012 in Pictures

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Here is this week’s photo challenge, My 2012 in Pictures.  I spent part of 2012 in Zimbabwe, returning to my home in Maryland in August, so my photos for the year cover many different parts of the world.  I hope everyone will enjoy them as much as I enjoyed taking them.

The garden of a hotel at which I stayed in Cape Town in January.
The garden of a hotel at which I stayed in Cape Town in January.
The Mist that Thunders
The mist of Victoria Falls seen from Elephant Hill Lodge, Zimbabwe, February.
"Elephant at a water hole"
An elephant takes a drink from a water hole at Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe, March.
"Standing watch"
A spirit medium watching over her village at Great Zimbabwe, April
"Batsman"
A batsman from the Zimbabwe National Cricket Team, at Harare Sports Club, May.
"Worshipers"
Members of an African Apostolic Sect worshiping just outside Harare, Zimbabwe, June
"Sammie's Birthday"
My granddaughter, Samantha, celebrating her first birthday in Alexandria, VA, September
"What's Up?"
White tail deer in my back yard in North Potomac, MD, October
Water bird"
A water bird perched on a rock near my home in Maryland, November
"Deer in the headlights?"
A white tail deer in the forest behind my home in Maryland in November
"Buffalo Soldier"
The statue at the Buffalo Soldier Monument at Fort Leavenworth, KS in December

 

A couple in a lakeside gazebo at a lake on the outskirts of Harare, Zimbabwe in February.
A couple in a lakeside gazebo at a lake on the outskirts of Harare, Zimbabwe in February.
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Travel Theme: Transportation

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This week’s theme from Cee’s Photography is Transportation.  Here’s my take on getting around.

"Search and Rescue"
An Air Force search and rescue helicopter flying over a lake in Arizona.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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A Word A Week Photographic Challenge: Blue

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The Word a Week Photographic Challenge:  Blue is here.  Blue can mean many things; sad, peaceful, loyal, or even racy, as in blue movies, or ‘cursing up a blue streak.’  Here are my photographic interpretations of blue for you to enjoy:

"The Atlantic Ocean from Tenerife"
A view of the Atlantic Ocean from the window of my hotel room in Tenerife.
"The ocean blue"
The soothing blue of the Atlantic Ocean off Tenerife.
A clear blue sky framed by autumn trees.
A clear blue sky framed by autumn trees.
A goose swimming in blue water.
A goose swimming in blue water.

 

 

 

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Changing Seasons

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This week’s photo challenge is Changing Seasons; and, I’ve found no place more convenient for watching the season’s change than my own backyard.  My house looks out over a forested park and I can watch the seasons change from day to day, from the change in the colors of the foliage, to the presence or absence of animals that inhabit the large forest that serves as my backyard.

The leaves have almost all fallen, creating a carpet of golden grown in which the naked trees stand like lonely sentinels.
The leaves have almost all fallen, creating a carpet of golden grown in which the naked trees stand like lonely sentinels.
As winter approaches, the deer come out of the deep forest looking for food.
As winter approaches, the deer come out of the deep forest looking for food.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Reflection

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Check out the Weekly Photo Challenge at http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2012/11/30/reflections/#more-12064.  Here’s my interpretation of this challenge.

 

Bird in the Water

"Lunar landscape"
The silver of the moon against a stygian sky; what more needs to be said?
In Naples for a conference, I took an early morning walk and caught this image of a boatsman out fishing.
In Naples for a conference, I took an early morning walk and caught this image of a boatsman out fishing.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Thankful

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Having an owner – and, one often wonders in the dog-human relationship just who the ‘owner is – is definitely something to be thankful for.

 

"Waiting for my human"

Weekly Photo Challenge: Green

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Green can mean a lot of things; new growth, peacefulness, jealousy.  Here are some of my photos that symbolize green to me.

"Greenery around a castle"
The lush foliage around Nesbit’s Castle Inn in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe always reminds me of spring.
"Racing on a grass track"
Coming around the turn on the grass track at Borrowdale Race Course, Harare, Zimbabwe
"Mbare High School Marchers"
These young girls from a Mbare, Zimbabwe marching group look resplendent in their green and white uniforms.
"Victoria Falls"
The mist of Victoria Falls beyond the savannah, seen from Elephant Hills Lodge.
"Going for the green"
Making an approach to the green at Elephant Hills Golf Course over a heard of antelope.
"Guinea Fowl"
A guinea fowl with bright green plumage.
"Search and Rescue"
An Air Force search and rescue helicopter flying over a lake in Arizona.
"Vietnam Memorial Wall"
In a peaceful green setting, this stark black memorial honors all who died in Vietnam.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Renewal

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Want to try your hand at the Weekly Photo Challenge?  Here’s my shot at portraying Renewal.

"Renewal"
Nothing says renewal like a brilliant white blossom set in a bed of green.

Weekly Writing Challenge: Easy as Pie – Fighting the Culture War

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Have you ever metaphor you didn’t like; well I’ve had a simile experience, and the weekly writing challenge has helped me to relieve myself of that burden.  If you’d like to give it a try, check it out here.

Here’s my take on fighting the culture war – or, my ‘clash of civilizations.’

A few years ago, shortly after the tragic events of 9/11, Samuel Huntington wrote an essay on the ‘Clash of Civilizations.’  Huntington’s treatise primarily addressed the potential for conflict between traditional Islamic societies and secular Western civilization.  I have a news flash for the good professor; the clash of civilizations has been going on for millennia, and it’s played out in the arena of cross-cultural marriages.

I’ve been engaged in a clash of culture for nearly 40 years; I’m married to an ethnic Korean from that generation of traditional Koreans.  Our clash begins with the oddities in our personal histories; she’s a Presbyterian who thinks Buddhism is old-fashioned, despite the fact that her late parents were both Buddhist, and I’m a former Baptist, who left that religion when I was a teenager, and, after experimenting with a number of different faiths, decided that Buddhism was the path I was most comfortable following.  I’m a laid back type, preferring to take the middle road, while she’s a complete Calvinist; and a worrier to boot.

A recent conversation will illustrate the course of our perennial bouts.  We were sitting around; me pecking away at my keyboard like a hungry chicken, while she sat with her eyes glued to the screen of the idiot tube, watching some news show.  Now, I can sit quietly for hours, listening to nothing but the pecking sound of my fingers on the keys, lost in the ocean of my thoughts as they crash upon the shores of my consciousness; while she, on the other hand, is like the air that must fill any vacuum it encounters – silence to her is brass, not gold.  She also has a rather annoying habit of starting conversations at random points, often somewhere near the middle of her stream of thought; words bobbing up and snatching at the unwary dragon fly that was hovering above the surface.

“I really feel sorry for those old people,” she said.

She had to be talking to me, because she only talks to the TV during soap operas when she’s upset at one of the characters.

“What old people?” I ask, removing my fingers from the keyboard.

Now, I have long since learned, is the time to move away from what I’ve been doing and pay attention – there’ll be a test, mark my words.

“You never pay attention,” she said.  “Those people there on the TV.”

“Oh, yes, those people.  Why do you feel sorry for them?”

“They still have to work, and they should be retired.”

“Maybe,” I say. “They enjoy working.  Some people don’t handle idleness well.”

“That’s okay if you’re the boss.  Then you only have to give directions. But, if you’re just a worker, you have to take orders and have more responsibility and pressure.”

At this point is where I want to say that there’s far more pressure on the person in charge than subordinates; the responsibility of being the boss is tremendous; but, I don’t.    Instead, I say, “Yeah, I guess you have a point.”

Then, I unplug my laptop, and taking it and my notes, retreat to my Fortress of Solitude; the office I’ve set up in my garage; a place she avoids like the proverbial plague because along with my computer mouse, there is the occasional four-legged variety of rodent running around beneath my desk.  I do this because to do anything else will expose me to the Kryptonite of her criticism of my leadership style, which she thinks is too generous to subordinates, far too easy on people who should be jumping whenever I say ‘jump.’  On those rare occasions when I foolishly engage her in this conversation, I’m drowned in a tidal wave of instructions on how to be a ‘proper’ boss, sucked ever downwards in a whirlpool of dictatorial management advice; until I come to my senses and quietly stroke to the surface to gulp the clean air of silence.

You might ask how I have endured nearly four decades of this culture war?  Easy; I long ago declared an armed truce; a cease fire that is only occasionally broken by cross border sniping, which, wisely, I’m usually the one to take finger off trigger.  The guns are silent now; the news show has been replaced by another of those moan and groan soap operas in which everyone is sleeping with everyone else, and the hero loses in the end.  That ensures the guns will be silent for at least another hour, and maybe, just maybe, I can get some writing done.