Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Waiting in an Airport

This last week's been a little hectic.

Last Tuesday my Grandfather passed away, so Wednesday I flew to McAllen, Texas, to meet my parents and prepare for the funeral. I flew Delta, and the experience was not particularly outstanding. The crew, although professional, was about average for any airline I've flown, and the seats felt just as cramped and tight. The only flight to McAllen (rhymes with MFE) flew in from Memphis (MEM), so I had to leave Phoenix (PHX) pretty early to make that connection. Memphis is for the most part a little bit above average, the concourses are clean, shiny and bright, and there was a good BBQ restaurant that was serving most of the airport customers.

Friday was when we had the funeral. My grandfather requested a simple graveside service, so we didn't have a viewing or a large church service. The weather was as perfect as it could be, so I guess we can say that he had a good sense of timing.

My parents and I drove back to Albuquerque on Saturday and Sunday, so I spent yesterday with a few friends. Events are in motion for summer ideas, pending on employment and such. 

Right now I'm in a comfortable seat, enjoying the use of free wifi, courtesy of the Sunport (ABQ). Both of these things are very rare in my experience of airports, which ranges from Peking to Prague. My flight doesn't push back for another hour, so I have plenty of time left in this seat. I like the Albuquerque airport because it has style, which many airports lack, and it has substance, free wifi, comfy seats and a lot of light. 

This is the fourth airport I've been through in six days, but I don't see too many more in the immediate future. 

Sunday, March 28, 2010

For Grandpa Byrnes

For Grandpa Byrnes, originally uploaded by Gerald5970.
The red, white and blue found in these flowers remind me of the service of my grandfather, Robert Byrnes, who passed away this week. He served in WWII. The weather right now in south Texas is incredible, and recent rains have triggered an explosion of wildflowers.

Paintbrush and Bluebonnet, originally uploaded by Gerald5970.
I wanted to make these stand out a bit, so I used a high pass filter and soft light. Next time I'll keep it more subtle, but that's another story.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Light and Coffee

Light and Coffee, originally uploaded by Gerald5970.

Just something to gaze at and contemplate upon.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Hey Cox, you really need to fix things. Seriously.

Yeah, my neighbor wanted me to see what's going on with his internet. He is paying for a "up to 15 megabits per second connection, but he's not getting anything close to it. In reality, he's geting about 0.2 Mbps. We check with three different speed checking services, all with local servers in Phoenix, and we got times from 0.06 Mbps, to 0.45 Mbps. He's paying about $60 for a connection that's slower than my phone. Dude, stop ripping him off.

So much happening

It seems that the highs must be balanced by the lows

I've been experiencing an exceptionally good run in my life lately,with the ups triumphing over the downs. I got my ham radio license, and I even was able to push myself into the second highest class of license with some extra studying. I've made new friends and acquaintances, and my photography is being noticed by local businesses who want to pay for it. I'm moving forward with my wolf ideas, and I've applied for jobs with local companies and the National Park Service. 

Of course, as you may know by now, or have guessed if you don't, life is a whole mixed bag. At a quarter to three this morning I got a call from my dad. I know that it's not too unusual for my folks to call late in the day (rhymes with early in the morning), but I could tell right away that this was a serious call. Grandpa Byrnes died, and I was being given notice to get ready to head out for the funeral. I just spent some time doing some packing, and I'm going to be getting my stuff ready.

One of the things I remember the best is the way he would always have ice cream sandwiches in the freezer when we'd visit. It was always great to just sit and watch football together and munch on the ice cream bars. Thanksgiving has long been my favorite time of year because it's when our family would gather down in the valley. There would be the usual thanksgiving dinner, but we also had fresh fruit, oranges, grapefruit, lemons, and fresh eggs for breakfast. We kids would run around until the sun had long gone down, while the grown-ups ate more food and watched the cowboys game.

I'll probably be in McAllen tomorrow, and I have no idea about what internet access I'll have, so I'll try to get what I need to get done before I go.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Check it out

I just logged onto the FCC's license search website, and I found my information in the database. Now I am an amateur radio operator. It's all fine and dandy, except I don't own any equipment. Meh. Anyway, I am KF7IPM out of Tempe, Arizona.

Thursday, March 18, 2010


Saturday, originally uploaded by Gerald5970.

A teaser…

More Photos, More Coffee, More Sailing

To sum up this past week would sum up a good number of my interests: last Thursday was full of shooting coffee at Cartel; Saturday, Sunday and Tuesday had sailing (sometimes rhymes with drifting down the lake); today I have coffee while sorting sailing photos.


Saturday was a light air day and I wound up coaching and shooting from the motorboat. Meh. Sunday was breezy enough for the races, but things died by the end of the day. However, we did come close a few times to capsizing. No shooting. Tuesday, I picked up a gate key for the storage, and I went down to test it. The AZYC was just getting ready for their class, so I stayed to help with that. Almost no wind came, so it was miserable trying to fight the uncharacteristic current at Tempe Town Lake.


Since I shot both coffee roasting and sailing, I managed to keep the cameras busy. I've uploaded a few Cartel photos, but I still need to get the sailing shots up.


Between brewing coffee at home and tanking up elsewhere, my days have been caffeinated. I've been learning the aspects to good coffee and desirable practices in the buzz biz.

In the miscellaneous category, I took the amateur radio license exams to become a ham radio operator. I passed both the technician and general class exams, so I will be a legal operator as soon as the license data show up in the FCC database. The main reason I did this is that amateur radio is just about the only means of communication in remote areas away from civilization. Of course, it's one thing to be licensed, and another to actually operate. The bigest thing is that I need a transceiver in order to get on the air.

There's my update for now, this ought to be good until I get fresh photos online.

Friday, March 12, 2010

What I find when I wander

I was looking at the blog Strobist, which talks about off camera flash, when this post caught my attention. Next time I'm shooting I need to remember this and have a music playing device ready and charged.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Thank you, Grandma

Yes, I got the Rwandan coffee, and I've enjoyed several cups of it. Thank you for the gifts, and please let them keep coming! When the mixer gets here I can reciprocate with cookies.

Pouring out the love

I said I'd put up a few Cartel shots, so here they are. Enjoy them wisely, and go forth to support your local independent coffee roaster. The quality is carefully controlled, consistency is a given and the regulars are great company. Try it out!

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Oh my goodness, originally uploaded by Gerald5970.

Pouring out, originally uploaded by Gerald5970.

Inspection, originally uploaded by Gerald5970.

More cool beans, originally uploaded by Gerald5970.
Lit with the SB-900

Black Market Espresso, originally uploaded by Gerald5970.

Self portrait

Self portrait, originally uploaded by Gerald5970.

I've been doing some shooting at Cartel today, more to come later, but just for you're interest (rhymes with keeping lots of pictures here), here's a self portrait from the last time I did a Self Portrait Sunday (rhymes with Tuesday).