I was just upstairs a few minutes ago having washed my hands from putting out the possum and raccoon food for the day when I noticed Finn sleeping on the air hockey table.

I stopped in my tracks, not just because I love the little guy but because he reminds me of how lucky I am to have such wonderful little babies that care for me.

It is easy to focus on all the negativity that has been in my life this past year but important to recognize that simultaneously I have been experiencing the love (and devilment) of an amazing collection of little guys that have more than compensated for any such negativity.

Finn is the most recent adoptee that is now a permanent resident upstairs. He arrived on the property very badly mutilated having lost half of his tail to an attacker.

For over a month (maybe even two) I would feed him outside, hoping desperately that the end would heal itself but it never did. So, finally when I had his confidence in doing so, I picked him up and brought him in and scheduled an amputation surgery for a few days later.

There were initially some miserable complications but finally after about six weeks of nursing him carefully in the bathroom, he was healed and so we integrated him with the other upstairs guys.

Since then he has put on weight, sleeps on my bed with me most nights and torments the hell out of Marty, Marcy, and Rocky. But deep down, I think they love him anyway.

Morgan and I have often looked at him these past months and seen him at a kitchen or bathroom window looking out on the hostile world he came from and we smile to ourselves at how much his life has changed in his time with us.

His feelings of comfort and personal safety have evolved to where he worries for nothing other than occasionally how he can get Marcy out from under the sofa.

Seeing him here today and thinking about how his life has changed is very much a victory in my life as well as his. I revel at the thought of the difference made in the life of a little guy that might not have survived at all if left to the world from which he came.

It serves to remind me that in the middle of all my failures, occasionally I find a success.

Finn is a major one.

… just a thought.


When I opened the front door a little after four this morning, there were some packages from Amazon left overnight. One was the new lens I had been waiting on yesterday, so I decided to take it down to the lake and see how it performed.

I was quite prepared to reject it as it was a lens manufacturer that I had no experience with and if the image quality isn’t good from it, then happy to send it back.

Once all the babies had been fed and taken care of, I took the camera and headed down by the pier. I know that I shoot a lot there, but it is a good spot with a lot of water round it but more importantly, it is very dark. No street lights and so if I want to shoot low-light, this is my best place to go.

I got down there just after they opened the place up and so for the first twenty minutes or so, it was just me, the pier, and occasional sounds from waking birds.

There is a genuinely magical aspect to experiencing a beautiful twilight in such a way. It is almost unlike any other experience and particularly when you are alone with your thoughts and distraction-free.

It was a clear-sky twilight so there were no mad clouds to set the skies on fire. But there was the most wonderful glow on the horizon that morphed from pastel hues to vibrant heat over a ten or fifteen minute period. And I was enthralled.

The new lens, by the way, performed just fine and it won’t be sent back to Amazon. I have attached some images at the end of the blog with what it manages to capture in low-light conditions. It is a keeper.

As I drove out of the parking lot to head home, I thought about the whole aspect of rejection and what it means.

Rejecting a bad product is something I am sure we all have experienced and it has little if any effect on us.

But in recent times, I have traveled a road that directed some serious rejection my way and this has had a profound effect on my sense of happiness.

Whether it was just a really bad year, or the fact that I am now old, the amount of rejection this past year seems to have exceeded all prior experiences and has come close to dragging me under a few times.

When we feel rejection as a younger person, it can be life-forming. If we are brimming with over-confidence, then we take the rejection as a learning experience or perhaps even just refuse it outright.

If we are young and vulnerable, it can push us further into our shell, damage our self-confidence, and have a pronounced effect on our goals in life.

By the time we hit old age, most people don’t experience a lot of rejection because old folk are notorious for sticking with routine and rarely challenging themselves. They tend to interact with the same people, try things they have already experienced and work within pre-defined limits that don’t really challenge them.

In fact, by not stretching themselves people (old or not) shield themselves from possible rejection to where they live muted lives.

Muted lives allow people to stabilize themselves into a slow moving pattern that guides them gently until they die. There is very little pain involved in such a life.

But I would argue that such a life is not a life at all. It is merely existing.

Regardless of our age, it is important to enrich our experience with new things, new people, new places. Yes, it may occasionally explode in our faces but it won’t kill us.

Just existing, on the contrary, will.

… just a thought.

Taking Chances

Today has my replacement wide lens arriving, so I felt a little handicapped in planning a sunrise shoot. I dropped the other one and now it refuses to focus and though it costs about $600 to replace it, having it fixed would have been just over $400 and barely worth it.

So I bit the bullet and ordered another wide lens from a different manufacturer … will be interesting to see if it is any good.

In any event, heading down to the lake first thing after a poor night’s sleep seemed like a remedy I needed, so handicapped or not, the decision was made.

I was far too early to go anywhere near the pier so I went to a spot down on the south west corner of the lake and hung out there until the colors started to make themselves known.

There is a lot of lily pads and such that obscure the water close to the shore at that part of the lake and wanting more water in the shot than this position was giving, I wandered up the shoreline a little in search of something that would give me a better reflection.

I found an old concrete pier, which was gated at the near end and a “no trespassing” sign that was visible even in the darkness of the early hours.

For a few nanoseconds, I obeyed the rules, but knowing that the better shots awaited at the end of that pier, I maneuvered around the gate and wandered down in the darkness to where the pier ended and set up there.

The view was much better from there and although I didn’t get millions of brilliant shots, I have attached some at the end of the blog for you to check out.

(By the way, if you check out picture three, you can just about make out the end of the pier where I was standing. Lily pads all around me.)

As I stood there in the darkness, I looked down at my feet and I could just about make them out. The pier I was standing on was sturdy but at its end, it was only about two inches above the water level and I mused at how easy it would be for an alligator to get me now if he wanted.

Truth is, I didn’t care, and worse case scenario in my final act I end up someone’s breakfast. Sounds a good way to go and definitely add some purpose to my life.

Knowing that you don’t care provides a genuine sense of calm in a moment that others might regard as disconcerting and I really enjoyed it. I took out my phone and made a little video or two and recorded the only sounds that seemed evident around me.

There must have been hundreds of birds in chorus somewhere out there in the dark and their early morning sounds were simply amazing and humbling.

I quickly messaged out the video so that if I didn’t make it past sunrise, at least someone would know what happened to me and then I went back to what I was doing, watching the horizon pick up some beautiful ambers to confirm that a new day was on its way.

When it finally got bright enough to see a distance, I saw an alligator probably about ten feet away just lying perfectly still in the waters to the right of the pier. I spoke with him for a moment and then gathered up my shit and headed back to the safety of solid ground beyond the gate.

As I walked back to the car and began to think about whether I had gotten any decent images or not, I smiled at myself for disobeying the sign, ignoring the safety aspects, and making the vantage point my main decision factor.

Taking chances is something that may one day catch up with me but I don’t really care. I have found that my best successes often follow such decisions and when you recalibrate what is most important to you at a given moment in time, other concerns do indeed become secondary.

I don’t advocate recklessly putting yourself at risk for no good reason. Bungee jumping and sky diving are for idiots if you ask me. But when there is a legitimate reason to take a chance, then oftentimes, that is the right thing to do.

For example, if you watch Christian Pulisic’s goal for the US that took them out of the group stage at the world cup, you see that he could have done the safe thing and let the ball go by. But he didn’t. He put his body on the line and went for goal. Yes, he got seriously hurt but he also got the goal.

We oftentimes shy away from a goal because of the risks attached to it. They may indeed be physical or financial risks but they are very often simply the risk of failure.

We allow the possibility of failure to alter our willingness to try something. And that is an awful way to go through life.

Taking risks is very often a key characteristic of successful people (and quite possibly gator-food) and it is often the only difference between those that live a full life and those who shy away from it.

… just a thought.


Around 5 am this morning, I found myself pulling in to the side of the road that overlooked a little place called McKay Bay.

It is one of the smaller bays that ultimately forms part of the greater Tampa bay and I sought it out because I hadn’t been there before and I hoped it might be a good place to catch a sunrise.

At that time of the morning, the place was dark other than a few old street lights that cast their light as far as they could.

Being very close to the Port Tampa docklands, this is certainly not an upmarket area and the houses and general condition of things around me told me that perhaps I wasn’t in the safest of areas to do an early morning shoot.

As I pulled up to a spot that I felt would give me the vantage point that I wanted, my lights hit a car parked in front of me by ten or fifteen feet and I realized there was someone sleeping in there.

I felt bad for the sudden intrusion on their rest and I also realized there was an old camper parked about fifty feet beyond him that obviously housed some other soul (or two).

There was a little pier right beside where I parked with all sorts of signs on it telling people not to trespass or fish. And when my eyes got used to the darkness, I could see why. It was decrepit to the point of being unstable and the signs were obviously meant to warn people of its condition rather than just establishing a boundary marker.

I stayed there until the sun rose and managed to get some decent shots. I have put them on the end of this blog and I hope you enjoy.

While there I said hi to those that were in cars or trucks and that noticed this old guy with a camera wandering around. Everyone was pleasant and I didn’t feel endangered in any way.

When I was done, I got back in the car and driving away began to muse over how these folk live what most of us would consider a homeless or destitute life. The city clearly doesn’t care about the presence of an old camper nor does it seem to worry about the old pier (beyond putting some signs on it.)

Makes me wonder how such a situation would be handled near Bayshore or New Tampa, where the “nice” people live. I strongly suspect the pier would have been dismantled long ago and maybe even rebuilt.

It was therefore the overall inequity of lives that formed the thought for my blog today.

I drove away thinking about people like Elon Musk and the super-wealth that such parasites are allowed to accrue, while around them others are obliged to live in their car.

Some of the super-wealthy like Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos use their wealth for the greater good and I truly applaud them. These people understand that humanity should operate on a common ground of sustenance and opportunity. But shouldn’t everyone understand this?

How can we watch while the Musks of this world buy huge social media platforms only to turn it into their own megaphone, and lay off thousands of workers just weeks before Christmas?

What part of that is right, in anyone’s book?

And the suggestion of his wealth being self-made is disingenuous considering his origins from the apartheid world of Africa where his father’s wealth came from exploitation and abuse of untold numbers of black workers in their diamond mines.

But he is just one example (extreme though he may be) of a greater culture that thinks it is OK for the richest 1% in America to own almost one third of the nations entire wealth, while the bottom 90% own less than a third?

And in case you have been living under a rock and aren’t aware of how these parasites exploit situations to the detriment of the rest, do you know that their wealth during the pandemic INCREASED by 6.5 Trillion dollars?

They call it capitalism but it is not capitalism that enslaves the masses so that the few can live an egregious lifestyle. It is simply exploitation.

The French Revolution is a historical example that such exploitation repeatedly happened throughout history. But the days of the victims of exploitation being able to rebel and reclaim the imbalance are long gone.

These super-wealthy control governments and armies, often with their own private armies to keep the rabble from their doors.

“Let them eat cake” is the famous line attributed to Josephine when told that the poor of France had no bread to eat. But today’s answer would be silence, as these people don’t give a shit.

I have encountered homeless people living on the streets in Tampa curled up on a concrete bench on Kennedy. Met people living in their cars like today and previously that poor guy with his cat down at Ballast Point.

I have seen them lined up outside soup kitchens in the side streets of downtown Tampa and been there to catch the flow of homeless as they pick up their bags and converge on some shelter, much like a flow of zombies from some idiotic futuristic movie.

And all the while, the contrast to the wealth that sits in investment accounts, jewelry safes, and car collections, is all around them.

I struggle to imagine how this is OK with anyone.

I am far from a communist but there is a real difference between capitalism and exploitation. Those who bundle them into one way of life are the very same people that Madame Guillotine greeted in Paris in 1789.

Where is she now when we need her?

… just a thought.


Yesterday morning wasn’t the best I’ve ever had and when life dealt me a pretty cruel twist before daylight had even arrived, I sat shell-shocked at my PC feeling sorry for myself.

But after licking my wounds for a few, I decided that I needed to reclaim the momentum of the day and try to turn it around before it got the better of me.

So, I grabbed the camera (how many of my blogs begin with that phrase?) and headed off to the trails at Circle B. It was a gorgeous Florida day; one that should never be wasted in front of a PC. But particularly on a day like today when an emotional lift was needed.

Though initially battered and bruised, by the time I took the first few steps on the trail, my spirits had already lifted and within a few minutes I was meandering along as though I didn’t have a care in the world.

A couple of hours later, as I returned to the car, I was positively happy. The trails had worked their magic and my step had a distinct bounce in it.

I have attached a number of images at the end of the blog and, whether it was just the day that was in it or the fact that I was there an hour later than I normally am, the shoot turned out to be Osprey-rich.

I love Osprey and always enjoy shooting them. What can’t be captured in photographs though is that they have the sweetest song of almost any bird I know. You can hear them for quite a distance as they call out and for a while, I just stood there taking no pictures and listening. Wondering what they were saying.

Anyway, do be warned that pictures 26 and 27 are quite graphic and shouldn’t be clicked on to enlarge while you are eating lunch. Unless of course, you are eating sushi.

I took a lot of pictures that I didn’t include because of how graphic they were but I left these two in because I wanted the pictures to be able to relate to the subject of my blog today.

Anyway, hope you enjoy!

It was as I was walking back to the car that the subject of the blog formed in my head. I encountered a few people just arriving and they asked if I had managed to see anything worthwhile today so I offered my answer along the lines of how Osprey-rich the trails were this morning. I warned them against the rather brutal aspect of what was happening and the word “cruel” arose in the discussion when I said that Osprey always eat their prey head first.

I pointed out that while indeed it was brutal, it certainly wasn’t cruel because it meant that the fish died quite quickly.

And that was the point that I started to separate the words brutal and cruel in my head.

I often had them grouped together and possibly even occasionally have interchanged them in sentences.

You see, life feels both brutal and cruel at times and we often encounter a barrage of both that leaves us on our knees.

But though brutal is often times the things that beats us up badly, it can in many ways become the pivotal point in our growing experience. When we have been brutalized, it often strengthens us, deepens our resolve, and even educates us on how to cope better next time.

So, brutality because part of our character make-up.

Cruelty rarely has any such benefit and generally just affects our emotional state, leaving us desolate in our moment. When life is cruel to us, we are typically already on our knees and so there is very little to be learned from its barrage or onset.

For a while in my thought process, I began to attribute cruelty as an unlucky or accidental type of damage. And from life, it generally is. Regardless of how we feel at a given moment in time, life isn’t out to get us.

You can become paranoid when it appears to be but frankly that line of thought is stupid. Life isn’t an animate object and even if it was, would it know we even exist? Likely not.

So, is life cruel? Perhaps. But accidentally so.

Then I searched my brain to find out if anything is ever deliberately cruel. I discarded the thought immediately that predators like Osprey are and I even applaud that nature evolved to where their brutality has a distinctly beneficial role on its prey.

Even cats (who I love dearly) may look to be cruel when they play with their prey before killing them. I mean, that looks kind of cruel doesn’t it? But the reality is that their purpose in so doing is to confuse and tire out their prey so that they become easier to kill and eat.

Humans on the other hand have the ability to be cruel without purpose.

Being brutal or damaging to another person or creature is distinctly cruel if we don’t have a specific purpose attached to our actions.

For example, seal culls are extremely brutal and I think they should absolutely be outlawed. But battering these poor creatures to death with baseball bats is done for a purpose and we need to understand that this invalidates the suggestion that it is cruel.

But brutality or abuse without purpose or benefit is something that we are beginning to see more of within our race. Psychologists quickly identify people who engage in such practice as sociopaths and psychopaths and rightly so.

The numbers of these people are growing and their actions becoming more and more evident.

Look at the increase in revenge porn for example. As spurned lovers look to destroy the people they used to be intimate with. There is no benefit to them to do so, only a psychopathic joy in causing another human being pain.

Similarly, as part of your invasion of Ukraine, you have occupied Kherson and proclaimed it a liberated city of valued Russian residents. Then when you lose it, you bomb the shit out of it and destroy the infrastructure that these same people need to stay warm or sustain life. Again on the first view it appears brutal but is in reality cruel.

Human cruelty is an amazing character flaw that is evident on both a local and global level and the growth of such a flaw is synonymous with our devolution into isolated and alienated individuals.

Nationalism and the polarization it causes is one reason. Racism and religious bigotry is yet another. Both allow us to justify actions based on hate rather than benefit and this has been flourishing all over the world in recent decades, after decades more of being dormant.

Hate is a vile tool that is distinctly human and until we begin to tackle it in earnest, we will continually see cruelty to others and to creatures flourishing unrestrained.

It’s a cruel life. It’s a cruel world. These are consolations we often express to brutal moments. But cruelty is neither a part of life nor the world we life in until we introduce it ourselves.

… just a thought!


The morning was always destined to have heavy cloud across the central Florida skies but that wasn’t going to deter me.

I had slept miserably and after a couple of hours tossing and turning, eventually got out of it a little after three.

There are some mornings where you give it your all; try every trick in the book to regain any semblance of sleep. But when it isn’t working, it isn’t working. And a grown man has to recognize that it’s time to pull on his big-girl panties and call it a night. Why a grown man might have big-girl panties is beyond me but suffice to say that mine felt extra large at that time of the morning.

The cats unanimously gave me a set of what-the-fuck looks as I gave them an early breakfast. I could see them checking their little wrist-watches when the door to the office opened and they were all still caught in a half-sleep state.

By the time I arrived at Ballast Pointe it was still pitch dark and other than a few people who were sleeping in their cars, there was no one else around.

In the distance I spotted a cruise ship returning to port and other than the eventual reddening of the distant clouds, that was the extent of the excitement for the day.

I added a selection at the end of the blog that shows the gradual transition from night to twilight and I hope you enjoy.

At the end of it all I sat back in the car and started the drive home and I began searching my mind for the relevance of anything I might have shot into the surviving thought for a blog.

But honestly, there was nothing.

Typically there is some aspect of the shoot that gives me the enduring thought for the words that follow but this time, none of the images or the situation that I found myself in seemed to matter enough to generate a thought.

And then it hit me. Searching for relevance IS the blog thought!

You see, we go through so much of our life in efforts that make us relevant. Relevant to the people around us, to our family that depends on us, to the world at large even.

The more relevant we feel, the better we feel about ourselves and the impact that our being alive has created.

Famous and infamous people go to extreme lengths to write their relevance such that it leaves a legacy behind them.

But most of us don’t fall into that category and seek relevance within the circle that we move in.

Our feeling of relevance can be deed-driven, or emotionally-driven, and different people find different ways to set their own relevance.

Those that don’t find relevance generally live a worthless life and they become vulnerable to depression and even suicide.

I have lived through periods where I found relevance and then watched it evaporate before my eyes. Because sometimes circumstance can rob us of our relevance and make us feel so small and unimportant. For example when a loved one dies or someone breaks your heart. These can be hugely important events for which we have no say and there is little to comfort us or make us feel relevant when they happen.

I am in a bit of downturn at the moment and it would be easy to feel sorry for myself and moan about how irrelevant I have become. But the truth is, my relevance can be found in the same cats that check their wrist watches when woken early, or the possums and raccoons that nightly find fresh food waiting for them when they are in their nocturnal survival mode.

Our sense of relevance doesn’t have to be written in the pages of history. And in tough times, it doesn’t even have to be anything larger than the smallest creature that we are of assistance to.

It doesn’t matter how small as long as it is external to us. Because even for just that tiniest of creatures, the world is a better place for having us in it.

I guess what I am trying to say is that seeking relevance is an important part of our lives but sometimes, we need to take it where we can find it.

… just a thought.


Although blue skies were guaranteed for later in the day, yesterday began with thick fog that hampered any plans for an early morning shoot.

That being said, I decided to visited the trails at Circle B which had reopened finally after the damage caused by the hurricane six weeks ago.

The main trail that I often take that swings down by Lake Hancock was closed with some of the trail apparently still under water but I had already decided that I wanted to take the one that ran down by the marsh and wetlands and thankfully that one was open.

I got there just at sunrise but there was no sunrise to see as the thick swathes of fog drowned out anything more than one or two hundred feet away.

Initially I focused a lot on the dew-covered webs that seemed to line much of the trail I was on, occasionally stopping to take some scenic shots that illustrated how the fog was consuming all else.

I also took some bird and alligator shots in the knowledge that the fog would likely kill the clarity of the shots, but such is life some times. Not all good photographs are going to be crystal clear.

When I reached the far end of the trail (and before turning back for the return journey) the mosquitoes found me as I was changing lenses and made life miserable for a few minutes.

The misery caused me to drop my lens cover into the water but I decided not to reach into the water for it as my hand might have presented too tempting a lure for the nearby alligators and gar that were rife in these waters. The cover is easier to replace than my fingers, so I moved on.

It was on the homeward section of the trail that I found myself in an interesting confrontation with a large alligator.

She was a rather grumpy twelve footer and standing about six feet from her and getting shots of her as she lay in the water apparently was a source of irritation for her.

First she started blowing bubbles (I hadn’t seen that behavior before) and then she move closer directly to me and came out of the water and walked to where I was standing. I began back peddling and trying to take shots as I did so.

I probably should have given her more space than I was and when she got to where I had been standing on the trail, she just looked at me with a clear air of annoyance.

Then after a minute or so, she went back into the water and I decided I needed to give her space and walked away. I suspect she was guarding a nest of eggs in the muddy embankment.

You’ll see the pics of her along with the others at the end of the blog. And here is where I put the 45 second video of her getting back into the water. It gives you a good feel for her size/weight.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy!

It was on the drive home as I was thinking of the lack of clarity that was undoubtedly common throughout the days pics, that I began to muse over the whole concept of clarity and how important it is in our lives.

I’ve been feeling a little sorry for myself for a while now as I am stuck at one of life’s crossroads unable to move forward. I am waiting some clarity on what my options ahead are and the lack of it has really hampered my ability to make any forward-looking decisions.

But sometimes, while we wait for the fog in our lives to clear, it is important to recognize that the real clarity that we need comes from within.

Yes, it is good when outside forces clear away the fog and let us determine what our options are. When that happens, our view ahead is clear and we are then positioned with whatever we need to look ahead and determine our best course.

But what about when outside sources don’t introduce such clarity or when that clarity takes too long to materialize?

Well, staying at life’s crossroads forever is one option but is hardly a good one. The best answer is to seek what clarity we can find within ourselves and establish a cut-off moment for outside influences.

If you are a procrastinator, then you are very unlikely to comfortable with cut-off deadlines. But in order to regain control (somewhat) over your own destiny, we oftentimes have to forego a feeling of comfort and just reach inside and ask ourselves what is it that we really want and how best can we attain it.

That level of clarity is a good source for critical input to any decision process we find ourselves in. It is important that any life decisions that we make are made on a solid basis otherwise we risk an abnormal level of failure and unhappiness.

So, while I find myself at this crossroads, I have given myself just a short period to continue with and will then decide how best to move forward. I know where my line is.

This is something we should each practice when we find ourselves at any of life’s crossroads.

Ask yourself if the decision process is clearly identifiable and where is that clarity coming from.

That is the knowledge that establishes whether we are actually making the decision ourselves of hoping that someone else will make them for us.

… just a thought.

One Hour

It was an extremely early start to the day, given the clock change overnight.

I had originally thought of sitting all the kitties down and explaining that breakfast would be an hour later today. But I couldn’t quite translate the whole concept of daylight savings time to Meow-speak.

In any event, I had slept like shit so there was no real inducement to staying in bed.

Besides which the thought that ran through my head was along the lines of a death-bed conversation with the devil.

“Neville, my boy, you’ve been a good servant over the years and steered a lot of impressionable young souls in my direction. So, tell you what; have an extra hour of life for your troubles”

Then the question I asked myself was what would I do with such an hour, if I had one. I certainly would sleep it out nor park myself at the PC. So, the clear choice became let’s take that extra time and shoot somewhere you haven’t before.

I drove down the St Pete side of the bay and just outside of Fort De Soto, found a bridge that gave me a view over Tampa Bay. My intent was to find something that included the Skyway Bridge and sure enough, there it was in all its glory, lit up in darkness in the distance.

I had to deal with an unusual complication on the bridge that cost me many blurry images; the wind was so strong that it kept shaking the camera on the tripod. But knowing that, I just kept shooting anyway, hopeful that some would come out.

There was also a magical moment that got away from me because I wasn’t ready. Out of nowhere, a gorgeous Osprey floated little more than five feet above my head. Unfortunately my camera was in manual mode and on a ten second timer, so I knew I had no shot.

I just looked up at him and he down at me and for a moment, our eyes locked in mutual acknowledgement.

Such is life, sometimes.

Anyway, I have attached a number of shots at the end of the blog that more or less show the progression through the growing twilight. I hope you enjoy.

The thought for this blog emanated from the whole extra hour gift of earlier and it extended into the whole idea of how we use our time on our life-journey.

Some folks imagine that they will live eternally in the clouds after this life is over, others imagine they will come back for another round reincarnated as something more intelligent, no doubt.

I, on the other hand, look at this life as our one shot. I have voiced before how I believe our journey should be devoted to improving the lot of those we love, those around us, and the world we live in. So I won’t repeat all that stuff again.

But now I want to point out the value of the time itself and how we use it.

TV used to be the huge distraction from life turning so many into couch-potatoes. Now it is the internet and the phone that manufactures vegetables on an even larger level.

The future, if you consider the direction of artificial intelligence, virtual reality and ventures like the whole Metaverse folly, is being shaped to take even more of us away from life’s reality and consume our time in endless escapes.

Their argument is that feeding the brain with different experiences is a good (and profitable) venture. Gamers and surfers flock by their millions to experience this altered reality oblivious to the sheer waste of their real-world time.

Getting out and breathing the air, watching the colors of a sunrise or sunset, walking a trail and experiencing nature on a personal level … these are the real pastimes that enrich our life experience.

Of course, if humans become distracted away from the real world, then they also become oblivious to its demise. Which feeds the coffers of major corporations and their evil henchmen in government.

Government voices on the left are rarely heard when they try to point out damage to the environment; not listened to by the greedy bastards that put profit ahead of planet and unheard by those idiots who walk through life with their headphones in.

This is why the real change of approach must occur at a grass-roots level where people look only at their own life journey and ask themselves how many hours do they want to live versus how many do they want to escape from life.

If your focus is on escape rather than life, then let’s hope you do come back next time as a something slightly more intelligent. A worm, perhaps.

… just a thought.


It was one of those mornings where you have time between what you have done and what you next need to do and you ask yourself how best to fill it.

All the babies had been fed and released and I was still a couple of hours before I was meeting Cassandra for breakfast.

The weather app (not even sure why I still check it any more) said fog so believing this to be the theme to run with, I decided that I would head towards downtown Tampa with my camera. Scenic shoots on lakes or bays would be rendered impossible so any shoot worth taking would need to use the fog as a feature rather than an obstacle to a good shot.

Of course it was pitch dark outside so I was initially none the wiser on the app accuracy until I got a little bit down the road.

I was passing by the ball fields on Walker Road when the thickness of fog was clarified and sure enough, downtown buildings were the only real option.

So I spent the best part of an hour wandering around different parts of the downtown area, looking for shots that would use the fog and tell the real story of this particular morning.

It was really great fun and I felt accomplished by the time I headed off to meet my breakfast date and begin the day in earnest.

I have attached a few at the end of this blog and I hope you enjoy!

The idea for the blog came from a moment as I was leaving the ball field area. The stop sign suddenly appeared closer than I had thought it was so, I ended up breaking hard.

Everything slid off the back seat behind me and I cursed my slow reaction.

That’s when the notion hit me of how fog changes our perspective on the road and things around us.

The reality is that I have been in that spot many times before and have never been suddenly surprised by the stop sign. So my perception of what was around me had nothing to do with the newness of where I was.

There are many things in life that affect our perception of the journey we are on.

We might have a bias, or an expectation, or might be in a particular mood (good or bad) and each of these will affect how we see something unfold in front of us.

This is one of the reasons why many people can witness the exact same event play out and come out with entirely different explanations on what they just saw.

Or we slip and fall somewhere and get up cursing one moment but have an identical slip and fall and get up laughing, another.

Our own ability to alter our perceptions is therefore a major factor in whether our experiences are generally good or generally bad. If you always see the glass half-empty then most of life will be a disappointment and frustration.

Those with a happy and half-full disposition will find life much more rewarding and enjoyable.

The facts of what we experience won’t change because of how we perceive them but our own response to these facts will change.

Being aware of how we are predisposed is therefore an important part of understanding the life we are going through.

I gave up on trying to understand the biases and perspectives of others. Some people are the most stupid fucking idiots out there and yet they are convinced in their own righteousness.

As long as they are not harming others with their perceptions, then fuck ’em. I leave them to their own misery. Those people will never be happy.

So when it comes to understanding perspectives, I try to focus mine internally.

We need to understand our biases, our mood, our state of expectation and try to adjust them to give us a more positive view on the experiences we are about to encounter.

At the end of the day, our perception becomes our reality and if we allow ourselves to perceive things in a negative fashion, then we most definitely experience a negative reality.

… just a thought.


When you are done your early morning kitty chores and it is still two hours to sunrise, life gives you some options.

You can go back to bed for a snooze, start the work day a bit early and devote that time to the PC, or grab your coffee and head to the lake.

I checked the weather app because it was so dark I couldn’t tell what the skies were like and when it said “partly cloudy” I chose the third option and headed off to Lake Parker in expectation of something good.

It had rained unexpectedly last night and I thought that combined with a partly cloudy sky might give me a twilight to remember.

I was wrong. Well, actually the weather app was wrong. It forgot to mention low fog and a dominance of associated clouds.

So, when I got there and began to see what was happening on the far shore, it quickly became obvious that this was not going to be a photo shoot to remember.

At first I was a bit miffed but then I tried to get some shots anyway and have attached them at the end of the blog.

Nothing spectacular, I’m afraid but I hope you enjoy anyway.

By the time I got in my car and set off for home, I was over my annoyance and had accepted that sometimes we don’t get what we expect. The weather app isn’t always right and twilights aren’t always memorable.

And it made me think that the whole notion of “always” is something that we humans have created and is totally in conflict with reality.

“I will always love you.”

“I will always be there for you.”

“Always and forever.”

These are concepts that sound good but unfortunately that is the extent of it.

The person offered such promises has been groomed to expect them and anything less is often taken as a slight.

In the US alone, 50% of all marriages end in divorce or separation. So, half of those “I will always love you” promises are untrue.

100% of all parents and all friends and family die. So the “I will always be there for you” is unfortunately bullshit.

And as for the “always and forever” line, given that we are hell bent on destroying the one planet we live on and even if we don’t, it eventually falls into the sun, well I think it’s fair to say that might be a slight exaggeration.

So, why do we insist on saying such things and hearing such promises?

Words are merely expressions of an emotion that we are trying to convey and when it comes to love or care or commitment, we feel honor-bound to overstate our position.

So, in essence it is quite harmless.

However, the overall concept of always or forever is more misguided and dangerous and can lead to serious consequences for us and the world around us.

For example, look at the way expressions like the bible or the koran are adopted and enforced as if they were absolute instruments of how humans are supposed to coexist?

They were written in times far away from the world we live in yet extreme conservatives try to enforce each word within them as if an absolute and unquestionable truth.

But if you don’t really give a shit about those teachings, then consider something more recent.

Look at the american constitution and its subsequent amendments. Consider in particular, the second amendment which to its most ardent proponents reinforces our god-given right to weaponize ourselves.

Those who framed the constitution and this amendment did so at a time of muskets and swords and did so specifically in a world threatened by a foreign country. So their expression was that civilian militias were entitled to take up arms and defend their freedoms.

But now weapons far exceed what anyone then could have imagined and the country has a legitimate army and police force to protect it and us. So, it begs the question should such an expression last forever and always divine a civilian’s “right” to bear arms?

Personally I view anything other than a simple handgun as being the domain of our police and armed forces. But I am sure some of you think it is ok for us all to have assault rifles, machine guns, and anti-tank bazookas.

In my mind it is absurd yet the defense of such position heavily leans on a document that was written in 1787.

And therein lies my problem. Nothing that is written or said, is absolute. It is merely an expression of how people feel at a particular moment in time and not something that we have to hang our hat on for eternity.

Eternity is a misnomer in any event, so exclaiming a belief that lasts forever is flawed and ignores that everything in this world evolves.

As it should.

… just a thought.