During afternoon walkies a few days ago, the Girl and I heard a bit of buzzing. She was distracted looking for lizards but I saw the bees working the rabbitbrush. I made the capture with the Nikon D300 and the Nikkor 55-200 AFS VR. It’s not really a macro lens, but will focus to about 1 meter.

G&L Fullerton Signature Model

G&L Fullerton SignatureAbout ten years ago, I sold my G&L George Fullerton Signature Model guitar. Some folks call them an “S-Type” guitar. As far as I’m concerned, it’s a Strat-lovers Strat.

My instrument had this dark sunburst paint job, just like the one in the image. It had the three single-coil pickups. It had the G&L dual-fulcrum vibrato bridge. The only difference is that my guitar had a rosewood fretboard and not the maple. My Fullerton had the deep V-shaped neck as well. A lot of electric players don’t like that neck. I’m an acoustic player and it fits my hand very well. I loved the neck of the Fullerton.

I thought I needed a double-humbucker rig for the rock and roll band I was playing in. So, I sold my Fullerton and bought a PRS SE. I used the PRS for the band and my regular gig (worship team leader). When I quit the band and the church, I was left without a goal for my music. Therefore, my instruments languished and have been stored since then.

I sold my Marshal Acoustic Soloist amplifier (a great little solid state acoustic amplifier) but was unable to sell my Johnson JT-50 modeling amp. The JT-50 is in my garage under wraps.

When I traded Jimmy my car for some cash and photographic equipment, he brought along a Japanese Stratocaster. It’s a genuine Fender guitar. Handling that guitar reminded me how much I loved that Fullerton. There was something magical about it. The neck pickup had this great fat sound. The in-between settings produced a scooped sound that was great with a little chorus or phaser. The bridge pickup had punch.

Although a guitar is a material thing; it has no soul. But I grieved the Fullerton after selling it. It was a bad decision.

I’ve thought any number of times I’d like to have mine back. It was one of those times I wanted to go back and undo something. That doesn’t happen.

The image is of a guitar I found while searching for Fullerton model G&L guitars. I did some checking and the price was fair. It wasn’t a great buy, but it wasn’t an unfair price either. So, I bought it sight unseen. It was shipped to day and should be here Monday or Tuesday.

I’ll order a set of Thomastik-Infield strings. I prefer the Power Brights and use a 10-gage set. When the guitar gets here, I’ll set it up for the strings and play it.

For now, the JT-50 will do. However, I think I’m going to find a Fender Deluxe because I love the Fender sound and can do just about anything but heavy rock and roll with a Fender.

I’m not going to rebuild my effects board. I’ll probably buy a delay and an overdrive unit and call it good. If I want time-domain effects, I can probably pick up a used Intellifex pretty cheap. They were popular a decade ago and have probably been supplanted by newer technology by now. I like a little chorus, phaser, or flanger sometimes. I have no use for Wah and never was able to really use one.

Musically, I probably need a goal of some kind. I think for now, my goal will be to practice some, get my finger back into shape, and bring up some of my classical and acoustic repertoire as well as enjoy my electric guitars. Then we’ll see what might be next.

Photography and music were always my passions. I added writing to that about 12-years ago.



Saturday afternoon at Comma Coffee I spent some time capturing the clientele. I enjoy street photography and capturing informal portraits of people. This man captured my attention because of his focus on whatever it was he was doing.

Memorial Fund

Wife and Pier at Crissy FieldAfter Wife died in January, an old friend and former student set up a GoFundMe site as a memorial to her. He knew that winding things up was expensive and a practical way to help was to provide some money to help with the short term expenses associated with a person’s death.

Well, I am not good at taking money (or much else) from others. There’s something in my wiring that resists such things violently. It’s not that I don’t appreciate help; I just don’t accept it well. I do not understand that part of myself.

So, the money that was donated sat in that account until now. I wrestled with what to do with it for some time now. I come back to the problem now and again, then table it once more. In general, I’m not that indecisive. There are exceptions, apparently.

What I’m going to do is allow the site to run until the end of October. Then I’m going to take whatever funds are there and write a check to the Leukemia/Lymphoma Society. Check them out. It’s a legitimate organization.

When Wife was sick, the social worker at UCSF told us about LLS. They offer financial support for families dealing with the diseases. Although we were outside the income range for much support, they wrote us a check for $100 to help cover fuel costs. My expenses were crazy during her illness and even a hundred bucks helped. So, I was thankful for the fuel.

Now it’s my turn to pay that back. As I wrote, I’ll take whatever resources are there at the end of October and write a check to LLS for that amount in Wife’s name. Then the folks at the LLS can help others who are struggling with the disease.

The link to Wife’s memorial is

Edit: I forgot to mention that I’ve been writing a check to LLS every couple of months… just because it’s the right thing to do.


Jimmy and AlishaThis is one of my favorite images of one of my favorite people. Jimmy is my friend. He’s intelligent, kind, insightful, gregarious, honest, and has an encyclopedic knowledge of all things photographic.

His path through life is vastly different than mine. I chose the professional career path. He elected to take a less-constrained lifestyle. Like many artists I know, I respect that choice and often wonder what my life might have been had I elected to take a different road.

Jimmy’s a lot of fun to be around. Saturday afternoons we generally meet for coffee/tea either in Reno or in Carson City. During the summer months, there is a lot of activity in Reno along the Truckee River. There are many opportunities for street photography. I like working the crowd, finding interesting people to capture with the camera.

Comma Coffee in Carson City provides a different kind of interest. The wait staff there have a unique character that reflects the uniqueness of the venue. The patrons vary widely as well and often provide interesting character studies.

So, when I’m not solving the world’s problems with my friend Jimmy, I’m looking through the viewfinder for opportunities to make an interesting capture. As a photographer, I am an opportunist.

I always learn something when we talk. I often am forced to think and examine my thoughts and opinions. This is a good thing.

Just Working

Interested AlexisThe last few days have been interesting. I have a little work to do (good thing) and some attention from the lead technician. So I’m able to move my project forward. I did the cross section layout for a set of HEC-RAS models this morning and passed it on for processing. I should have my cross sections late today or first thing tomorrow and can get started building the models.

The models are complicated because there will be loss from the system through lateral structures. It’s critical to model the lateral structures properly to account for the flow loss so I can size the proposed structure and evaluate the potential impact on the floodplain.

In the midst of this I find myself deeply missing Wife. It’s been something like 35 weeks since she died. The deep pain of the first month or two is abated, but I want to have that time we shared over breakfast — talking about things and watching the birds outside or looking at the Carson Range. I miss the telephone calls at noon asking about lunch and the goofy voicemails she left.

I am reading through my journal from 2012 as the days pass, trying to recall how everything developed and processing my thoughts. Reviewing that time is important because there is insight there. I don’t know if it provides insight into my now, but I don’t want to lose that connection with my past.

Over the weekend I processed a couple more boxes. I found a box of Wife’s planners, most of them empty but some with her writing in them. The wallets went into the donate box and the papers went to the grinder. I processed another box of old records as well. I put another three or four bags of grindings into the dumpster.

There are still a few more boxes of fossils to process. Then I have another 11 book boxes to go through. The papers and reports I’ll scan. The books I’ll have to decide about. I feel another book purge coming on and will be doing that this fall.

Once I get through all that, I’ll feel free to pursue other things. Saturday afternoon I spent some time with Jimmy at Comma Coffee. There are often interesting people to photograph there. Alisha was particularly engaged when she was talking to Jimmy and provided a number of wonderful expressions. Jimmy said “Shakespeare in five expressions” and I think he’s right.

Edit: The frame was captured with the Chinon 135mm f2.8 wide open at ISO 3200. The high ISO explains the grainy texture of the image and the color balance was awful. This capture begged to be black and white anyway.

Equinox Day

HummingbirdThis evening at 2044 (local time) will be the fall equinox. The days will be shorter than the nights until spring.

The fall equinox marks entry to the cool part of the year. This morning is no exception. It’s cool here this morning, Mother Nature celebrating entry to fall with cooler weather for us. I’m ready.

A couple mornings ago, a hummingbird visited my house. The Rose of Sharon always attracts them and I expect the little birds are migrating to their winter grounds. Wife loved these little birds and always got excited when one (or sometimes two) would visit.

She put out the feeder several times. However, the only creatures that visited the feeders where the wasps. So, I won’t bother. I’ll allow my backyard shrubs to provide for the little birds and keep the bees busy as well.

When I noticed the bird working the bush, I put the Nikkor 300/4.5 on my D300 (new to me) and shot maybe 30 frames. Focusing the 300mm lens is a challenge with the D300 because the lens is not particularly fast and the viewfinder is not very bright (as a result). But, the manual focus lens is far less expensive than the autofocus versions and good optically. So, it makes sense for me.

Chinon 135/2.8 Test

Spiny Flower

My friend Jimmy loaned me this Chinon 135mm f2.8 lens in Konica AR mount. It’s a beautiful build with a really unique shape. It’s a little broad at the aperture ring and tapers a bit at both ends. It’s a beautiful lens and worth having just for those characteristics.

I’ve been carrying it on walkies the last couple of days. Yesterday morning the light was right on this small flower. The lens doesn’t focus particularly close (about five feet), but with a 200mm equivalent focal length it’s still close enough for a decent image. The bokeh of this lens is very smooth and it’s plenty sharp wide open.

I think it’s a keeper, even if I already have four or five (or more) 135mm lenses.