Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Negativity

I wrote this some time ago and it was one of my first posts. It kind of goes along with what's going on these days.

Negativity is a bad thing. I know, it sounds like a cliché. That’s because it has been said millions of time over thousands of years. The problem with negativity is simple. The more time you spend in that state of mind, the more likely you are to live your life that way. It colors everything around you in shades of gray instead of the vibrant colors that life should be.

So here is my advice for the moment. Do not find fault with everyone and everything around you all the time. It turns those people off. They will not want to be around you. You will not find true joy if all you see is the unflattering side of everything you look at it. Take off the screen that colors your world and take in the awesome colors of life. A little color makes a colossal difference.

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Monday, January 30, 2012

Tuesday Train

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So this week in school we were assigned to a group. For all intents and purposes, it's like a team in a business situation. The instructor said that if someone did not participate, we were allowed to terminate their "employment". Interesting concept for a class but I had to take charge mid-week because they were all stalling. So I assigned each person a part and gave them a deadline. I think I'm in a group with a bunch of kids. Sorry to all the young people out there but sometimes it takes an old person to get things moving. I know, I know, stop calling myself old. Well it's true.

So how about we get things started? Are you ready for some blog hopping fun? I know I am. My co-conductor, The Survival Mama, and I are ready to get the train rolling down the rails. All aboard!

If you are in for a little more hopping fun, you should join me and my buddy, Dazee Dreamer, on the I Spy hop on Thursday. We love to share photos with each other and thought we would share with all of you. The rules are actually few. There is always one category we choose and one that is yours. You can take photos with your phone, pull them from your archives, or alter them in any way.

Just grab the button and have some fun. This week's categories are "Glass(s)" and "Your Choice." The link goes live at 8pm Central time each Wednesday and runs through at least Monday. Come on! What do you see through your lens?

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Latest Project

I thought I would give this a shot and see how it turned out. Except for the fact that the burlap is a little on the skewed side, I don't think it's too bad.

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Saturday, January 28, 2012

Scavenger Hunt Sunday



I know you are all waiting to get going for Ashley's Scavenger Hunt Sunday. Well the time is now. Let's see what you all have. Here are my interpretations for this week.

Smile

A beautiful smile and I don't think I'm biased.

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Stand Alone

And Hiawatha stands alone....

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Rusty or Something Old

Yeah I live in the Rust Belt.

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Artificial

I had no idea what to do with this. I just happened to find a wayward packet of Splenda in the cupboard.

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Repeating Pattern

And the underside of the bridge I love to take photos of.

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And next week's categories can be found here...

Friday, January 27, 2012

SOOC Saturday

SOOC Saturday


I haven't linked up with Marvelous Mommy for SOOC Saturday for some time. School took over my life for a long time. I was looking over some things on my blog and realized the button was still here and checked it out. She's still doing the hop! Good for me! I love taking photos so it works out for both of us. I thought I would share a couple of them with you.

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Wednesday, January 25, 2012

What The Frack? (with Dazee!)



Oh my, oh my! My friend, Dazee at Crazy Daze and Night Dreams, really missed the Fawk You Friday posts we used to do and decided to have her own rant day. How cool is that? We will still have a rant day! Of course, you all know I do that occasionally anyway. Now I can plan for the day. You should grab the button and link on up. It will be fun.

I don't even know where to start. I'm tired of listening to the politicians beat each other up instead of making sure the right thing is done. For crying out loud! Stop acting like spoiled brats!

Other drivers should STAY AWAY FROM ME!!! YOU DON'T KNOW HOW TO DRIVE!!! The other day when the weather was a mess, I don't know how many drivers would be driving beside me and only be two feet away. Why did this bother me so much? I knew you would ask. Well there was obviously two lanes clear but they kept drifting toward my vehicle. How does that make sense? I made sure it wasn't me.

For now that's the end of my rant. I know it's short but not much has been happening for me this week. What are you ranting about this week?

I Spy - Date(s)

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So who is ready for the famous, or not-so-famous, blog hop called I Spy? It is co-hosted by my fabulous conspirator, Dazee, of Crazy Daze and Night Dreams. We are having so much fun with this it should be illegal! Oh, maybe it is. I'll have to check that. In the meantime, get your camera out, snap, and link up.

There are no real rules. You can pull your photos from your archives, take them with your phone, or wherever you have photos. We just want them to be your photos. Now sit back and enjoy the browsing.

Here are my interpretations for the week. What do you have for us?

Date(s)

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Your Choice

Here's Hiawatha....

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And the queen of the river in our area....

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Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Well Here We Go Again

I have to say that when I discuss politics I’m a little nervous about how people will receive my theories. And I have lots of them. Oh that’s right; you may have read some of them. Well I’m back.

I have been watching the coverage of the upcoming election this November and the craziness that has been the Republican primaries; or caucuses depending on which political pundit you may be. I’m unsure if the Republicans are aware of how behind the times they really are. There are a couple of points they don’t seem to get.

The Republicans are considered the “conservative” party. We all know that and we all accept that. But conservative shouldn’t mean blind to the changing times. I have heard Roe vs. Wade being bantered about again. Do they not realize it’s been 40 years since it was decided by the Supreme Court. NO ONE HAS BEEN ABLE TO GET IT OVERTURNED FOR 40 YEARS! DOESN’T THAT SAY SOMETHING ABOUT THE CHANGING TIMES?

Before any busts my chops about my opinion, don’t think I would have or ever have one. I wish we all had other choices. The fact is that not all of us have the support we need to make different choices. I just don’t think I have the right to tell someone else how they are supposed to live.

Probably the most frequently discussed topic s are gay marriage and our gay servicemen and women. I’m still trying to figure out why some people have such a problem with it. Our soldiers are dying while on active duty and I don’t think anyone is asking what orientation they are before killing them. I would also like to know what makes gays and lesbians less than me. If I have the right to marry, why do they not have the same right? What makes them less than me? You should check this link out to find out how at least one of the Republican hopefuls feels about them and how our President responded.

I have a deep-seated sense of fairness that will never be altered. It began a long time ago when I was a wee child of five. Yes, I remember an incident from such a tender age that helped shape my idea of what is right and wrong. And some day I will write about that. For now, it’s about one thing; human rights.

We have laws in this country that are designed to prevent discrimination based on race, creed, sex, or sexual orientation. There has been a consistent progression to include all different people no matter who they are. In other words, we are progressing with the rights of all people. The Republicans do not seem to understand that.

Listening to them we must still be looking at a time when the “good ole’ boys” ruled the country. The problem with running the country that way allows for the poor to become poorer and only certain people being allowed to have anything. Anyone who doesn’t conform to their way of thinking has no rights. And they aren’t recognizing what is happening around them.

As I said, Roe vs. Wade hasn’t been overturned in 40 years. More and more states are making civil unions between couples of the same sex legal. There were two states just in the last year and there were none ten years ago.

In other words Republicans……GET WITH THE PROGRAM AND THE TIMES HERE!!! NO DISCRIMINATION IS ALLOWED!!!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Tuesday Train

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I'm finding out that the class I have this term is really kind of easy. That statement may come back to bite me too. I've had that happen before. We shall see. I'll have to let you know.

So how about we get things started? Are you ready for some blog hopping fun? I know I am. My co-conductor, The Survival Mama, and I are ready to get the train rolling down the rails. All aboard!

If you are in for a little more hopping fun, you should join me and my buddy, Dazee Dreamer, on the I Spy hop on Thursday. We love to share photos with each other and thought we would share with all of you. The rules are actually few. There is always one category we choose and one that is yours. You can take photos with your phone, pull them from your archives, or alter them in any way.

Just grab the button and have some fun. This week's categories are "Date(s)" and "Your Choice." The link goes live at 8pm Central time each Wednesday and runs through at least Monday. Come on! What do you see through your lens?

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Sunday, January 22, 2012

Children on the Playground

I haven’t been writing much lately. I’m not sure why but I’m hoping to change that soon. Anyway, I found a couple of things to say about the political crap that I’m really tired of.

Let’s start with the Republican primaries going on. The bashing of the President needs to stop. Why you ask? Because those in Washington who seem to have a short and convenient memory think they can fool all of us. You know what I’m talking about. It began with the Reagan administration.

You are probably aware of something called the FSLIC which later became the FDIC. You see it on the bank window every time you go through the drive through. It guarantees each depositor is covered up to $100,000. When was this passed and why? It passed in 1987 under Reagan and had strong bi-partisan support in order to protect us normal people who needed to use a bank.

Over the next several years, the laws were changed to allow interstate banking and allowing banks to make up to 25% of their revenue from investments. This led up to 2000 where the Commodity Futures Trading Commission was no longer allowed to regulate certain contracts which included credit default swaps. Again, this was with bi-partisan support under Clinton.

Now let’s get to the final blow to the regulatory systems. In 2004, there was a little thing passed that was called Voluntary Regulation. It allowed investment banks to hold less capital. In other words, they didn’t have to have collateral for the loans they were making. This was not passed with bi-partisan support. It was without. This was done during the second Bush’s presidency. Let’s also not forget that he put us into two separate wars with all the expense that incurs. Lost loved ones and wars have a high cost.

The you know what really hit the fan in 2007 and came to a head in 2008 when subprime loans in the secondary mortgage market were being defaulted on and there was no collateral for the banks to fall back on. Both parties are responsible for the progression of deregulation.

What am I getting at? I am saying that from Reagan, to Clinton, and to Bush II, there has been a steady deregulation of the rules. We all know that if a big business man can get by with something, you better believe it will be taken advantage of. Duh!!!

Now we get to listen to those who wish to be President, blame the current administration for the mess we are in. Are they serious? I believe that the crisis came to a head BEFORE HE WAS ELECTED!!!! He has had to figure out how to clean up the mess where the last straw allowing it to happen, happened under a Republican president. But because he’s a Democrat, he gets blamed. HE INHERITED IT!!!

Listening to these men and their vitriol reminds me of children on a playground. One of them wants to make the rules because he’s the one who owns the ball. Can’t you hear that child? “If you won’t play by my rules, no one plays. I’ll take my ball and go home!”

They all need to grow up and work together to get it fixed. This debt we have as a country would not be as high if not for previous Presidents. There would have been no need for a bail out. Period.

I am so proud to be an American, yet I cringe at the idea that our politicians are on television. The entire world gets to watch as they fight like children on the House and Senate floors and listen to the Republicans slam our President in public forums. What will it take to get them to shut up and listen to each other?

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Scavenger Hunt Sunday



Are you ready for some photo hopping fun? Of course you are! Link up with Ashley at Ramblings and Photos and start having that fun! We will see if I came anywhere close to what she was looking for.

Sunset

This is what sunset looks like in the Upper Midwest during a snowstorm. Okay it might have been closer to late afternoon when this was taken but trust me, it didn't change much.

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Black and White

I ran across this hollowed out stump in the park that had all these really cool ice formations in it. I'm not sure it exactly fits, but I love it. I may have to print this series.

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A Day in My Life

Since I am unemployed right now, the opportunity to take photos is much more than normal. So I take advantage of it and this is what I tend to shoot. Landscapes and anything else that catches my eye. The first one was because someone was feeding the ducks at the park. They were practically at me feet.

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Four

I really didn't know what to do for this prompt, so I chose to photograph the birdbath with snow from four different angles.

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Colorful

At this time of year we seem to get a lot of monochromatic scenes. It's mostly gray and white. Sometimes the sky is really, really blue, but everything else is gray. So I thought this ice fishing shack was a really cool and nice burst of color against the normally gray background. This would also qualify for SOOC. I haven't touched this one.

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And you can find next week's categories here...

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Brick and Mortar

Living in an old river town can be interesting if you're a photographer, or at least pretend to be one. This area is referred to as the Upper Mississippi River. There are several major dams in this area and there is also a huge wildlife sanctuary connected to the river. If you want to shoot water birds here, you are in the right place. There is another presence here that I overlook at times. That is the architecture.

This area is heavily saturated with descendants of Norwegian and German immigrants. Along with the people comes evidence of their architecture. We have a tremendous amount of brick buildings in the area. The first one is of quite simple design. But the rest of the photos show the strong influence of those Norwegians and Germans who settled this area after the French fur trappers left.

I hope you enjoy them!

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Wednesday, January 18, 2012

I Spy - Rusted

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Yes it's that time of the week for the famous, or not-so-famous, blog hop called I Spy. It is co-hosted by my fabulous conspirator, Dazee, of Crazy Daze and Night Dreams. Yeah! You should hop on over to her blog cause if you're not a fan you're missing real fun. So go!

Now are you ready for this week's photo sharing? I know I am. Here are my interpretations for the week. What do you have for us?

Rusted

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Your Choice

I debated on this one but decided to take advantage of someone feeding the ducks at the park. Yeah I'm on opportunist. So sue me! Wouldn't you have shot them?

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Next week's categories are "Date(s)" and "Your Choice"



Monday, January 16, 2012

Tuesday Train

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This week has been kind of slow so far. The class I'm currently in is not nearly as intensive as the one prior to Christmas break. It was crazy. This one is much slower and easier to deal with. I have enough things to worry about right now without being buried in school work. Many things are going on and I can't be concentrating only on one aspect of my life.

So how about we get things started? Are you ready for some blog hopping fun? I know I am. My co-conductor, The Survival Mama, and I are ready to get the train rolling down the rails. All aboard!

If you are in for a little more hopping fun, you should join me and my buddy, Dazee Dreamer, on the I Spy hop on Thursday. We love to share photos with each other and thought we would share with all of you. The rules are actually few. There is always one category we choose and one that is yours. You can take photos with your phone, pull them from your archives, or alter them in any way.

Just grab the button and have some fun. This week's categories are "Rusted" and "Your Choice." The link goes live at 8pm Central time each Wednesday and runs through at least Monday. Come on! What do you see through your lens?

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So link up and take the ride!