Thursday, December 31, 2009

Cheese in front of the soul

In a photo shop in the city of Cracow, Poland.
On the wall images the photographer made.
As samples of his skills.
Demonstrating how he can photograph weddings.

One particular image attracts the attention.
A young couple.
She with red hair and he having a beard and mustache.
Obviously outside, because the light is natural and we see green foliage in the background.

What is so remarkable of this image is that although it is a couple getting married, they look rather sad.
Especially the girl has a look on her face of suffering.
Of having strong emotional pains.

Maybe in the moment of reflection when posing for the photographer her mind was imagining how her future life was going to be.
And did she see things that did not make her smile.

Is she sad for leaving her family and starting a new life?
Or is she deep in her heart not completely convinced he is the man for her?

Photography can reveal a lot.
When people are photographed they often show unknown sides of themselves.
Reveal what otherwise cannot be noticed.
And the person who is able to see deep in a picture, can know a lot about the models.
So, in case you want to avoid the world to see your soul, when photographed, brightly say "cheese".


Wednesday, December 30, 2009

To have us home

The river Wisla, also known as the Vistula, streams through the beautiful city of Cracow where once Kings had their home.

It is a gentle river although it has its history.
For centuries it was a barrier for armies fighting towards the east and fighting towards the west.
But these days it is a peaceful mass of water fluently harmonizing with the stunning architecture of the old town of Cracow.

It is a river when it passes Cracow that inspires poets to write sweet words about existence as a most beautiful bargain.
The water passing gently and curvy curbing city walls once for defense, now for the admiring tourists.

A walk along this river Wisla today when the sun, that hardly had been up in the sky this European winter this far north, was going to rest behind the western horizon.
Together with people with warm fur hats and heavy coats wanting to stroll along the Vistula to enjoy the warmth inside the layers of clothes in the outside cold touching the face and the interior of the lungs.

Life can be gentle walking along a river suggesting to be a metaphoric mirror.

If this was not enough, there are swans swimming in the Vistula river.
Probably one of the most elegant animals populating this planet.
Amazing creatures because every movement they make is with grace.
With dignity and like in slow motion.

Watching them and identifying with their bliss elates the observer.
The gentle and fluent movements of the swans.
Corresponding with the winding river.

Is that moment life not embalming us?
Having us home?



Tuesday, December 29, 2009

To not have

In a typical Polish coffee shop in Cracow.
Serving excellent coffee and most delicious chocolate cake.

Cold and rain outside.
After a long walk a good moment to relax and chat.

The conversation turned to an experience of a couple of years ago.
About two hours by boat from the city of Iquito in Peru, in the Amazon jungle, lived a family occupied with producing charcoal.
This family survived in most simple circumstances.
They didn't even have a house.
They lived on a large platform on poles with a palm leaves roof.

For three weeks life was shared with this family.
Sleeping and eating with them on the platform.
Bathing with them in the river.
Documenting how they made the charcoal.

They were impressive concerning their hospitality.
It was no problem for them to have a guest sharing their lives, food and privacy for three weeks.

When the charcoal was ready and put into bags, this was loaded into a small boat and the journey to the market of Iquito was made.
There, with the head of the family, a shop was visited selling all the equipment one may need when working and surviving in the Amazon jungle.
The man was informed that because he and his family had been so warm and hospitable to the photographer and had him allowed to do his work, the good man could choose anything he liked from the shop.
He could choose axes, shovels, rope, nets, chainsaws, rubber boots.
Anything and as much as he liked.

The man looked around and then at the photographer.
He was confused and didn't know what to do.
After long moments of reflection he took a small axe and informed that the thing would do.
As compensation for three weeks of warm hospitality and great collaboration.

This was astounding.
The man could have grabbed the opportunity to collect a couple of axes, several shovels, many lengths of rope, lots of nets to fish in the river, a strong chain saw and rubber boots for the whole community.
But he preferred just to have a simple, small axe.

Years after this happened the story was told in a coffee shop in Cracow, Poland.
The man from Peru did something that travels time and distance.
For us to be impressed and inspired.


Monday, December 28, 2009

to change today

In the bus traveling from the small town of Nowy Sacz to the big city of Krakow in Poland, the conversation turned to health.
More particularly, the influence of the state of mental health on the state of physical health.

The theory is that the state of the mental health can highly influence the state of the physical health.
In more simple terms, someone who is not very happy, may develop an illness.

However, slogans such as 'mind over matter' or 'mind over body' are misleading.
Our mind and body interact: there is a continuous flow of information between them with the result that they are continually affecting and influencing one-another.

So, it is not only that the mental state affects the physical state.
It also works the other way around.

Every thought we entertain affects our body and our emotions.
For example, thinking about our favourite food, especially if we feel hungry, will cause our mouth to water.
That's the mind affecting the body.

On the other side, every physical action affects our mood and our thinking.
If we walk around, very slowly so that we are almost dragging our feet, with our spine slumped forwards and with our head hanging down, we can notice how this affects our mood.
It's pretty likely that it will drag us down emotionally.
We recognize that when we feel physically tired or less-than-well, that this affects our mood.
It's very difficult, for example, to be cheerful and humorous when we're exhausted.
Similarly our thinking affects our physical state.
If we spend a while going around silently telling ourselves that we can't cope or that we're a failure or that 'it's all too much' then this will undoubtedly cause us to feel tense, demoralised, and physically tired.

Hence, it is essential to be physically in good shape.
And at the same time, to work hard to be happy.

As of today?


Saturday, December 26, 2009

A ship without a captain

Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes.
Don't resist them-that only creates sorrow.
Let reality be reality.
Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.

A quote by the Chinese philosopher Lao-tse.
A simple observation but how hard it can be in life to accept what life has to offer.
How strong is not the tendency to stay where one is: on grounds known to be able to carry the weight.
While the surface in the front could be a swamp.
Or solid ground.

These days life is like a bamboo tree.
Enjoying to be alive and to be upright.
But having to bend when strong winds blow.

Changes come and they are of major impact.
The bamboo is tested to its limits.
The tendency to want to avoid the storms is strong.
But reality is allowed to be reality.
To let it be without connecting too much to it.

It is unknown where this river wants to flow to.
Through what landscapes it will travel.
And if there will be strong waterfalls.

But for the moment the way of thinking of Lao-tse is followed.
A ship without a captain.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas without Jesus

Life is now with many people.
Quite to the contrary compared with last Summer when in retreat at the deserted Pacific coast in Mexico.
Surrounded by seven persons Christmas is spend in the house of cousin Jerzek in Nowy Sacz in Poland.
And this is a happy event.
Everybody is experienced to be together and share life.
Some things are communal, like breakfast and dinner.
Besides those gatherings, it goes as it likes to go.
Sometimes two persons are watching a film of Ingmar Bergman on their computer.
Sometimes two persons go for a walk in the rain being close together under an umbrella.
Sometimes someone disappears to have a nap.

One reason all this goes so harmoniously is the fact that it is a family together.
There is an acceptance of each other without being judgmental.
Each person can be what that person is.
It doesn't matter what is the profession or the income, the political or religious preferences, the feeling of togetherness and closeness overrules everything.

Christmas is triggering this harmonious social event.
While this religious celebration is almost completely ignored.
Surely there is a Christmas tree in the house.
And Christmas decoration.
But not one of the family goes to church for Christmas Mass.
No prayers at the Christmas dinner table.
In fact, it is totally disconnected from the original meaning of Christmas.
The celebration of the birth of Jesus by Christian people.
That reason is lost or ignored.
Christmas has become something else.
And it is.


A special Christmas

In the family is a long tradition of being involved with photography.

From mother's side, grandfather was an ardent amateur photographer with his own darkroom.
And this before the Second World War in the Netherlands.

From father's side, this grandfather was also most interested in photography having his own glass plate camera and a darkroom before the Second World War in Poland.

During childhood, photography was around a lot therefore.
Also because the father of the permanent pilgrim was very fascinated by photography taking pictures a lot and also having a darkroom in the house of birth.

The father gave a camera to his son when the little boy was very young and supplied him with films and had them developed and printed.

Next, many years followed of making pictures with this family background of three generations being fascinated and linked to photography.

Last night was a Christmas dinner in Poland.
After the food the moment had come to offer the Christmas gifts.
One of the persons present was cousin Anja who lives in Paris, France.
She had a large present for the pioneering photographer.
Unwrapping, inside was an old leather case.

In which was a very old camera.

And a small notebook.

In which someone had made lists of data from pictures that were made with the camera in 1929 and 1930.

Cousin Anja said:
"This camera belonged to your father.
He used it in the 20's and 30's before the Second Wold War.
Later, he gave it to me because I am his godchild.
And now I give this camera to you."

It was a very emotional moment.
To have a camera in the hands that once was used by the father.
To see the notes about the pictures that had been taken by him.

But it also gave a feeling of elation.
A sensation of harmony and that fundamentally things are in the right place.
That all the years of making images almost fanatically and as an absolute necessity has a history.
A link spanning generations.
That it is coming from somewhere.
Realizing it is not an individual one day butterfly activity but that it is being together with others as a century old seaturtle.


Tuesday, December 22, 2009

one day travel

car in Cadaques, Spain from home of friends to bus station.....bus from Cadaques to the town of Figueras....train from Figueras to Barcelona train station....special train to airport...airplane to Katowice in Poland...on foot to airport hotel.

The perfect society

One day Gumaro on his rancho in Mexico called and asked to have a look at one of his cows.
It had five legs.
One was dangling from the side as a useless extra.

A well known TV personality in the Netherlands has a hand with only four fingers.
When she does an interview sometimes this phenomenon can be seen: her hand looks like the one of an alien.

There are many more examples of physical imperfection with life on earth.
There may even be some fervent and loyal blog readers who may have three breasts or a foot missing.

But that doesn't matter at all.
It is only the body.
The cow with five legs can give milk anyway and one can eat french fries with four fingers no problem.
There are even people with no legs and no arms who manage to have a decent living.

Obviously, this posting needs now a twist.
A surprising new direction.
So that the above makes sense.

For example, a proposition to fix all incomplete forms of life by having them merge with another incomplete form of life.
The cows fifth leg removed and put to a cow with only three legs.
A finger coming from an unfortunate carpenter added to the incomplete hand.

Or how about going into the direction of saying that physical imperfection is nothing compared to mental instability?
That it is more or less easy to deal with physical challenges and most complicated with matters of the mind?

If that is so, why don't we just eliminate the part of the mind where emotions live?
We cut our nails too, isn't it?
To create a society where emotions simply don't exist.
So we have no pity for a cow with five legs and a TV personality with a hand with only four fingers.
They are just there and it doesn't matter.
And we can't love them and we can't hate them.
The perfect society.


Sunday, December 20, 2009

Drowning and surviving

More than ever it is uncertain in what direction the river of life will flow.
It could be straight ahead.
It could be east or west.
But never where it came from.

Of course there are preferences and hopes about the future.
Who is not thinking sometimes about continuation of happiness, good health and prosperity?
But there is the knowledge, in case one is not a fool, that everything that is up now, can be down next.
Everything that is down now, can be up the next moment.

There is only one way to escape from this insecurity.
And that is to be totally in the moment.
Excluding the past and the future.
To be filled up completely and absorbed by what is going this very instant.

This is a theory that is convincing.
But not so easy to practice.
How to eliminate to worry?
To block the vistas of the future appearing in the mind's eye?
To stop the fantasies and the scenarios imagined to possibly happen?

One possible way is to simplify life.
To take away all irrelevant potential sources of worry.
This is why we have monks and nuns who lock themselves up not only in a building but who also isolate themselves from social contacts.
To simplify life for having no obstacles to reach God.

To be totally with God is to be beyond life as we live it.
A far away situation.
Because right now, life is like being in a wild sea struggling desperately to avoid drowning.


Friday, December 18, 2009

A mouse and a bird.

The wind from the mountain.

The orgasms in the morning.

The warm winter sun.

The coffees and the friends.

The kisses often.

Green eyes soften.

Boats on the beach.

A tree shaped by the wind.

A forever smile.

The quiet sea in the bay.

The loving heads on Dali's house.

Where is the mouse ?

Thursday, December 17, 2009

A road for flowers

Life is a car.
It can look fancy.
It can look efficient.
It may have a nice design.
Or a fast engine.
It could have many buttons and switches.
And a tail pipe too.
But every car rides most of the time in the forward direction.

It goes where the driver sees the road stretching in front.
At a slow speed or at a high speed.
On a highway or a dirt road.
Through curves and dips.

A car and a driver may hit a tree.
Or a wall.
And that is the end of the car and the driver.
No more roads to travel.

The car can also be for transportation to a beautiful place.
Where wonderful experiences are offered.

The wall can be avoided by a last swing at the steering wheel to see suddenly and by surprise that the new direction is on a road for flowers.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Its own trip

A most peculiar trip from the Netherlands to Spain.

A taxi was supposed to bring the two travelers from the house to the long distance bus station.
The taxi didn't come so that the fear was born the bus would be missed and consequently the airplane.
The taxi company was called to ask what the hell was going on but the only thing they had to say was that the taxi was coming any moment.

The taxi came eventually and a race through town followed.
Held up by slow public transportation and traffic jams it all seemed hopeless.
But miraculously the taxi reached the long distance bus station in time.

Where it turned out the bus was late.

But it eventually came and drove without problems to the international airport of Eindhoven in the Netherlands.
To catch a flight by Ryanair to Reus near Barcelona in Spain.

But the plane was delayed.
Some problem with a passenger that had fallen sick on the plane.
More than one hour had to be spend at the airport before the plane took off.

Arrived in Reus it took over one hour before the luggage was out of the plane and available for the passengers.

Next, it turned out that the bus to take the passengers to Barcelona was gone.
No connection and a long time to wait to take another bus to the train station of Reus.
Of course the restaurant at Reus airport had no food: not even sandwiches.

The train from Reus to Barcelona was delayed but by then the pattern had been recognized.
This was a trip where everything was going in its own way.

But that didn't matter.
The two travelers easily kept the best of spirits.
And reached the friends in Barcelona anyway.


Monday, December 14, 2009

Off to on

Today Ryanair will fly the Queen of Dreams and the permanent pilgrim to Barcelona in Spain.
A journey that has many layers.
Of which the spiritual is the most important.
A joined process of growing by locating in unfamiliar contexts.
To be expressed in photography.
And now off to the airport.

Yes, we go


Sunday, December 13, 2009

The subconscious changed its mind !

Living as a permanent pilgrim has fantastic advantages.
Life becomes kaleidoscopic.
All the time new places are reached where new things happen.
This challenges the own capacities and talents.
And enriches and enlarges the volume of experiences.
It makes the permanent pilgrim grow into becoming a more complete person.

It is a fascinating and happy life.
To be a no nonsense nomad feeling at home everywhere the campfire burns.

But most part of the life has not been lived as a permanent pilgrim.
Most years were lived in a house in a town in a country on a continent.
And this condition has entered very deep in the depths of the being.
With as a result disturbing dreams.
The subconscious announcing its opinion about living without a home and moving to new destinations constantly.
By usually offering dreams telling that no place to stay can be found .
Moving around in a country or a town looking for shelter that is not available.
Most strong of these dreams is the feeling of being lost.
Of desiring strongly a place to stay and learning it simply is not there.

Always, when realizing these dreams the next morning, there is surprise.
There is in reality no issue of not being able to find a place to stay.
In every circumstance that has been experienced, always a place to stay was found.
Hence, it is a baseless fear but the subconscious keeps on feeding the dreams with the subject.
Dreams that are most unpleasant.

However, for the last couple of months, these disturbing dreams have vanished.
And last night, the most pleasant dream ever occurred.
It was a dream about traveling and wherever destiny was, many beds were available to sleep.
It was totally amazing.
Reaching somewhere, voila, several beds were waiting to sleep in.

What is so incredible is that the new dream is completely the reverse of the older dreams.
Instead of being unable to find a place to stay, suddenly life is surrounded with many places to stay.
The subconscious has made a 180 degree turn.

Therefore, this morning waking up and realizing the new fantastic dream, a tremendous joy and bliss was felt.
A gigantic happiness.
And thankfulness and gratitude.
Finally the subconscious likes to travel too.


Saturday, December 12, 2009

Demonstration of true love

When two people meet something beautiful can happen.
There is a possibility they fall in love.
The option is there they will start loving each other.

This is an incredible aspect of human beings.
A magical masterpiece of natural improvisation.
An all out attitude of being beyond control.

However, depending on experiences in childhood, it is not always a visit to paradise when two people love each other.
Because the feelings of love are sometimes surrounded by feelings of fear.
Imaginary feelings projecting worse case scenarios on the future.

Therefore, when a person begins to love and it is pure and strong, a lot of BS comes free at the same time.
And gets in the way.
Where it disturbs, sabotages and destroys.

Hence, it is not only a matter of enjoying deeply to give and receive love.
As important is to face the BS that is released simultaneously and to monitor it closely.
Not the BS of the other, because that is easy to notice and to criticize.
But the own BS.
To be very aware of it and to try to neutralize it.
By analyzing it.
Trying to figure out where it comes from.
What passed experiences are responsible.
To learn step by step not to be controlled and dominated by the BS.

This is a difficult process and requires a lot of understanding, tolerance and flexibility of the partner in love.
To give the other space and room to dissolve the BS.
What is a demonstration of true love.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Drama in return

These days persons all around the Netherlands are visited that have been photographed 22 years ago.
At the time, photo projects were performed where each time two people were compared with each other.
For example, a 21 year old girl that believed she was beautiful and a 21 year old girl that thought she was not beautiful.
Both were followed during days with a camera and documented how they lived.
The results were published in one picture story in a magazine.
Another example were two guys: one focused to make a successful career in his life and the other guy satisfied to be without a job and enjoying a life free of work.

About six months ago the idea was born to try to find these four persons to learn what happened in their lives and how they are living now.

It was not an easy job to find them, but the Queen of Dreams managed miraculously to track the four people down.

Until now three people have been visited and long conversations have been taking place with them.
It is very hard to explain why in each life of those three dramatic things have been happening.
Not one of them has had a normal life.
Each has experienced a shocking, mind blowing and incredible event.

Of course, this had not been the intention or the plan when at the time they were selected and asked to participate in the photo project.
22 years ago they were chosen and they decided to participate because it harmonized with the idea of the photo project.

There is speculation now why it is that each life is so spectacular of those three.
Has it been karma?
Or is it that the photographer has a special radar to spot extraordinary people?
Or is it just simple coincidence?

In any case, these questions are irrelevant because here are those three people that have been documented 22 years ago and who have now behind them an extraordinary life.
Opening up the possibility to do a new story.
Telling how they were, what happened and how they are now.
A story with not too many pictures but with a lot of text explaining where they came from, the turbulence they have experienced and how they landed.

Hence, voila, a new project.
More work to do.


Wednesday, December 9, 2009

John Wood believes

John Wood is an American award-winning poet, art critic and photographic historian.

He had a few words to say about the new photo book "Sequences: the ultimate selection":

Thank you so very, very much for your astounding and beautiful Sequences.
What an amazing production in absolutely every way!
Every aspect of the design and layout is wonderful.
Of course!
I am beginning to understand that the word "Voetnoot", the name of the publisher, means "amazingly beautiful books"!
I did not know Michel Szulc Krzyzanowski's work but am excited to learn about it.
He has a deeply poetic eye.
The last one I find particularly moving.
It reminds me of something in Jain art but in reverse.
Instead of the empty silhouette of the liberated Tirthankara, it is as if the figure has returned to the body and the sensual world.
A wonderful book in every way, and I appreciate it so very much.


Look in her eyes in love

Each day in Europe now it is going somewhere doing something.
And each activity is interesting and enriching.
It is a fabulous time therefore these days.
Every hour filled.
Always challenged.

This is life at high speed.
Intense and fulfilling.

With little time to write postings.
Although a million subjects happen that scream to be shared.

We all must have patience.
It will come.

Extraordinary and exceptional for this period in life is that a particular person is loved.
Someone has moved into a special place in the heart and this is unusual.
It has been empty there for many years.
But this long term vacancy hasn't made the place dusty.
To the contrary, the person that moved in found a spick and span place like a palace.
With a throne and servants and anything majesty desires.

Drastically life has changed now as it is closely connected to the one that lives in the palace.
Most activities are in synch and even planning happens with the other person in mind.

Remarkable is also that many hours are spend talking.
And when a session of talking taking hours has ended and each goes to personal engagements, soon the phone rings to talk more for at least another hour.

But most remarkable is the looking in the eyes.
During a day long minutes of looking in the eyes happen as if a fascinating film is playing there.
They are just eyes but in this case looking in the eyes is like visiting paradise.
Like whirling westwards to the sun for warmth and intensity.
The Queen of Dreams has greenish eyes and they happen to change from being green meadows in the Swiss Alps dotted with Edelweiss flowers to a Hungarian puszta where wild horses run.
Singer Anne Lennox of the Eurythmics sang: let me drown in the blue of your eyes.
That though is considered rather exaggerated: why not live a little more to look in her eyes in love ?

Monday, December 7, 2009

Five letters is all

Have a walk on the beautiful side

After the rain there is the sunshine

Pride comes from a wonderful life

Please the other and you will be pleased

Yonder is even more

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Amsterdam taxis are the worst in the world

A few years ago the business of taxis in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, has been liberalized.
Before, there were only a few companies that were licensed to operate taxis.
And each taxi driver had to pass strict examinations before to be employed in this profession.
But after the liberalization anybody could pretend to have a taxi and offer services.
It was just a matter of putting a sign on the roof of a car and a taximeter inside.

This resulted in an explosion of taxis in Amsterdam.
The drivers are people from Turkey, Afghanistan, Kosovo and Iraq who have fled their countries to find refuge in the Netherlands.
Often without proper documents.
Often unable to speak the language of the Netherlands or even English.
Most of the time having no knowledge whatsoever where streets in Amsterdam are.

In a short time the taxis of Amsterdam became known as the worst in the world.
A major reason was the aggression.
Physical and verbal aggression.
Among the taxi drivers competing for the customers.
And between the taxi drivers and the customers who are constantly overcharged, cheated and harassed in other ways.
Especially single female customers.

The climax was some months ago when an unsatisfied and complaining customer was beaten to death by his Amsterdam taxi driver.
Not the first victim suffering of injuries by the taxi boys.

It was around 2 am.
In front of Central Station in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
A taxi was needed to go to the hotel.

A lot of taxis were available.
It was a hectic, strange and scaring situation.
Without asking, men approached inquiring what was the desired destination.
Not that these men were of any assistance.
They only tried to find out if the customers represented a profitable ride.
If it was to be close to the railway station, it was not interesting.
And no taxi would offer services although by law that is obliged.

Hearing where the passengers needed to go, they were send away.
But because a taxi was needed, the first in line was approached.
A man helped the passengers into the taxi that was a small van.
The driver was a man probably from Kosovo or Afghanistan and was unable to speak much Dutch.
The street of destination was "de Koninginneweg".
And although the name of this street was repeatedly very clearly pronounced, the taxi driver was unable to understand.
He would repeat the name, but it was far from correct and therefore not making sense.
Therefore, the two passengers were in a situation of being in a taxi in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, together able to speak five different languages, but the bloody taxi driver could not understand where to go.
It took a long time before it seemed he got it but it was still unclear he really understood.
He did have a Tom-Tom but didn't use it: for him it would have been probably too complicated to put in the name of the street with the correct spelling.
He started driving and immediately it was noticed no taximeter could be seen.
Knowing the reputation of the Amsterdam taxis, it was rather essential to have a taxi meter in the car.
Otherwise at the destination a very bad financial surprise would be presented by the driver.
It was found that the taxi meter was hidden behind some other objects: obviously done on purpose so that the passengers had no clue how much was charged.
Looking carefully by raising the body and moving the head forwards, it could be seen that although the journey had not been more than less than half a mile, the meter was already at the amount of € 12,70 ($19).
Obviously something was very wrong.
A case of cheating going on.

Therefore it was decided to leave the taxi right away.
More trouble was to be expected and overcharging for sure.
The driver was informed, the door opened while the taxi driver started screaming and yelling.
The male passenger could leave the taxi without problem but the woman was grabbed by her clothes by the taxi driver and made to stay inside the car.
He demanded that first money had to be paid before she could regain her freedom.
A dramatic situation.
That easily could escalate.

The taxi driver holding the woman radioed his friends informing he had a conflict.
They told him to return to the taxi stand where they could assist him.
This is what he did.
The male passenger outside on the pavement, the sliding door open, the woman passenger grabbed by her clothes unable to move, he drove away.
Back to where he started.

Walking to the taxi stand the woman was found standing there.
She had paid the taxi driver to be able to get out.

This story happened two nights ago to the pioneering photographer and one of his female friends.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Bigger opening pictures

© Jan Schiphorst

Everything they say we are we are

We can be together
Ah you and me
We should be together

In order to survive we steal cheat lie forge hide and deal
We are obscene lawless hideous dangerous dirty violent and young
But we should be together

Our life's too fine to let it die and
We can be together
All your private property is
Target for your enemy
And your enemy is

We are forces of chaos and anarchy
Everything they say we are we are
And we are very
Proud of ourselves
Up against the wall

Tear down the walls
Tear down the walls
Come on now together
Get it on together

We can be together
We will be
We must begin here and now
A new continent of earth and fire
Come on now gettin higher and higher
Tear down the walls
Tear down the walls
Tear down the walls
Won't you try ....

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Stupid President

Isn't it a paradox to see a man that was awarded the Nobel Price for Peace sending 30.000 more soldiers to a war that cannot be won in a military way ?

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

The Queen of Dreams

OK, fervent and loyal blog readers.
Your humble servant is happy.
Even very happy.

Actually, thinking about this statement, it is not exactly true.
Very happy is not correct.
It is more than that.

The one responsible for this blog is extremely happy.
Happy to the extreme therefore.

OK, extremely happy: but is that what it really is?
Definitely not.
Extremely happy still doesn't cover what is the matter.
It is still undervaluing the state of being.

How then to describe the emotion so dominating life these days?
Probably the correct spelling is ultimate happiness.
Or: total happiness.
Maybe: complete happiness.
How about: heavenly happiness?

In any case, the semantic is arbitrary but not the reasons.

A beautiful, beautiful book has been published.
A wonderful, wonderful opening of an exhibition has been taking place attended by almost 100 people.
A memorable book presentation took place instantly followed by heavy purchasing.
After the opening of the exhibition and the book presentation a dinner in an excellent restaurant was attended by about sixty friends and fans overpowering every birthday party.

This sounds like a dream every artist has.

In this case, a dream that came true.

However, above this dream come true life decided to overwhelm the innocent photographer with something that for every person, and that includes every fervent and loyal bog reader present, with something that is the most essential that can happen in life.

Which is that a person in our lives grows to be present in a way that you can look in her eyes and we feel love.
A person that you can open your heart to without fear for massacre.
Someone you can totally trust without being thrusted.
More precisely, to come home.
Home, sweet, sweet, sweet Queen of Dreams' home.


Monday, November 30, 2009

In the train from Brussels to Antwerp




Sunday, November 29, 2009

Somewhere in heaven

In all artist's careers an opening of an exhibition of the own work is a big event.
Usually an exhibition is a milestone: a marker with a public inventory of what has been produced.
Besides, it is an excellent opportunity to present work to a larger audience and get exposure.
And of course it is a chance to meet friends and share some wonderful moments.

All this is currently a relevance because this afternoon is the opening of the exhibition of sequences and the presentation of the new book "Sequences: the ultimate selection".
Many people are expected and it will be a magical event.

But it is not the first time a book is published and an exhibition of the work is presented.
Therefore, a deja vu feeling exists besides the excitement and the happiness.
It is walking, although with great pleasure, on the same avenue once more.

Also the exhibition, the opening and the book presentation are standing in the shadow of a much bigger event happening simultaneously.
And this much bigger event is something without any deja vu.

Most if not all fervent and loyal blog readers know the expression: to feel in heaven.
Maybe even some of the fervent and loyal blog readers have been in heaven like the pioneering photographer has.
But these days it is discovered that in this heaven different spaces can be found.
It is not true that heaven is just one space or area.
It has different sections and this is decided by quality, uniqueness and intensity.
These days life has moved into an area of heaven that has never been visited before.
It hasn't been found by accident or after a private safari.
Access has been achieved thanks to the Queen of Dreams who knows the way very well.

This particular part of heaven was unknown and is therefore pretty amazing to be in.
Scaring though at the same time because it is an unfamiliar place that challenges to open parts of the emotional repertoire never performed before.

This unique and exquisite experience has pushed the events of the opening and the book publication into the background.
Where they shine and glory nevertheless.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Sorry, sorry, sorry

These days are hectic, amazing, surprising, exciting, fabulous, fantastic and wonderful.
It is everything now and here while no clue exists about even the near future.
As each hour of the day is filled to the brim, how can a daily posting be written?
When tomorrow the exhibition is to open and the photo book "Sequences: the ultimate selection" is published?
When the Queen of Dreams is at the side day and night?
Therefore consideration is requested.

Monday, November 23, 2009

What about?

La Quinta Inns and Suites on West Century Boulevard in Los Angeles, California, USA.
Room 808.

What is this posting today going to be about?
A funny story about staying in a hotel?
Or a critical report how the hotel is?

Or maybe how it is to sleep in a bed in a room in a building and having a bathroom with plenty of warm water and a bath; things that were not in the existence for the last five months living in an expedition vehicle?

Or going up and down in an elevator sleeping on the eighth floor far above the ground?

Or maybe seeing from the window airplanes silently land while the heating in the room powered by a fan blows with lots of noise warm air into the room?

Or what about the toilet in the beautiful bathroom that has a broken flush so that the water keeps on running and running?

Or else the posting might be about those hairs that were found in the bathtub left behind by the former guest and not cleaned away by the room maid?

Or for sure it could be about the large king size bed in which one does not exactly feel like a king but as a long distance traveller to family, friends, the Queen of Dreams and to many engagements in Europe?

Or, staying with this bed, about the six large pillows that the hotel management decided to put on it while in fact they are only in the way?

Or maybe about the window that cannot be opened while there is a desperate urge to be able to breath and fill the lungs with clean and pure air.

Hence, what should this posting today be about?
Does anyone have a suggestion?


Sunday, November 22, 2009

War in shop

One of the favourite American shops is called "Trader Joe".
It is basically a supermarket for food.
However, many products they sell are organic.
And the interior is cozy and attractive.
Hence, it is a pleasure to purchase in "Trader Joe" what one needs to feed the body.

What is also different in "Trader Joe" compared to regular supermarkets is the cashier.
It is made to look like a casual coincidence where the purchased items are transferred
in a most friendly way from the basket into paper bags.

Conclusion: shopping at "Trader Joe" is a great experience.

But then...

Then what?

On the wall behind the check-out counters is an exhibition of pictures.
Portraits only.
In the centre of these images is a sign saying: "Our local grown heroes".
And all of the pictures show faces of men and women in military uniform.
With each a small label revealing the name, the rank and the time in Iraq or Afghanistan.

This wall with its images reminds the happy shopper at "Trader Joe" of rather unhappy events elsewhere.
Two wars raging with people killed daily.
Going on for so long now that hardly any shopper stands still in front of the wall to reflect on the awful situation.
Americans shopping happily while compatriots are fighting on the other side of the world.

War has become a part of the American reality hardly anybody still gets excited about.
Pictures of soldiers who kill and are killed for reasons few still understand are put on the wall in a supermarket and life goes on as if nothing is the matter.
The war is far away from the doorstep.

Part of the slipping away of the awareness and the following denial is the classification of the American soldiers fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan.
"Our local grown heroes".
But are these men and women actually heroes?
Or are they called like that just to soften and smooth the thinking?
To stop reflecting on what really is happening and for what reasons.

Wars that go on for too long lose the connection with the original intentions for starting them.
A war becomes something of itself.
It started somehow, it is going on and nobody knows how to stop it.
From something big it becomes a little nothing.
To see portraits of soldiers, death or still alive, on the wall in a supermarket and nobody pays them any attention anymore.

Meanwhile, every day, innocent civilians in Iraq, Afghanistan and now that the war has spread, also in Pakistan, die.
Meanwhile, every day the family members of the American soldiers live in fear.
Meanwhile, every day coffins with dead bodies return from the wars.
Meanwhile, every day soldiers return from the war who are physically and psychologically damaged for the rest of their lives.

While the collective forgets.
And the individual cries.


Saturday, November 21, 2009

To fit or not to fit

American Airlines fly from San Jose del Cabo, Los Cabos International Airport in Baja California, Mexico to different destinations in the USA.
One of them is Los Angeles.
In very old airplanes: the MD 80.

But they fly on time, serve drinks for free and the crew is very friendly.
For a low price so what the heck?

Sometimes a dream is to have a scene witnessed could be filmed.
Otherwise, who would believe it or could properly imagine it?
Like the next experience.
Once seated in the American Airlines MD80, a huge woman was the one going to be the neighbor.
Obviously a victim to obesity, she was carrying in her hands a large styrofoam box and a book.
She moved in and then wanted to lower down to sit in her chair.
Now, the distance between the armrests is about 1 meter, correct?
However, the behind of this lady was much more than that.
When she lowered it down, she got stuck with it between the armrests.
The one meter available was just not enough.
Therefore she had to push herself against the chair in front of her to force the mass of meat behind her to squeeze in between the arm rests.
It was an amazing spectacle.
Demonstrating how hard the life of an obese person is.
Simply sitting down in an airplane seat is a hard and difficult task.
But once seated, the lady was all right.
Her warm flesh could be felt touching the leg of her fellow passenger.

She put her book in the pocket of the chair in front of her and opened the large styrofoam box.
In there, like dead bodies after an earthquake, neatly arranged, were four hotdogs.
White, soaky bread with mayonnaise and mustard and a large Frankfurter sausage in between.
A dizzying smell came out of that box almost fainting the vegetarian neighbor.
With unwashed hands these hotdogs were eaten and for a drink there was a diet coke.
In fact, a conversation was imagined with this lady.
This strong urge coming up because it was so hard to understand that when somebody is that obese, does eat fat Frankfurter sausages on white bread with mayonnaise and mustard.
The lady must know that this is unhealthy food and enlarging her obesity.
It can't be that if her fellow passenger had told her that this was the wrong food she was to be surprised and say it was the first time in her life she ever heard that.
That can't be.
So, why would that lady chose to eat that food then?
Is it addiction?
Self destruction?
A good question to meditate on during the two hours flight because the lady was not disturbed with difficult questions so that she could enjoy her food peacefully.

A tea was consumed and as if the devil was playing on of his nasty games, an urge to ahve to go the bathroom developed.
But as the loyal and fervent blog readers so very well know, their faithful reporter was having on one side the window and on the other the obese woman.
And next to her the husband who was not exactly a skinny boy either.
The mind instructed the body to forget to go to the bathroom for the next hour.
And the concentration returned to "The three Musqueteers" by Alexandre Dumas.
But this nagging urge returned quickly and eventually it was realized a disaster would take place if not a visit was paid urgently to the bathroom.
It took a lot of courage, for sure.
A lot of balls.
The personality had to be put in the max mode.
All insecurity abandoned.
For only to say to the obese woman: "Excuse me but I need to go to the bathroom".
She turned more pale than she already was.
A deep sigh came out of her.
Radiating unhappiness and annoyance.
But what could she do?
Tell her fellow passenger to pee in the pants?
But she came up with a solution.
Getting out of her chair was namely not an option.
For she had to get back in as otherwise she would obstruct any traffic in the aisle.
To have to repeat the whole procedure when her friend returned from the bathroom.
Her solution was to make herself as small as possible, which was actually not that small, and have her fellow traveller climb over her.
If any of you have doubts about doing yoga, daily exercises and staying in shape, be convinced that in such a situation it really pays off.
Like an acrobat in Cirque du Soleil, in spite of the full bladder, elegantly and professionally the obese hurdle was conquered and almost all passengers behind applauded the amazing effort.
Of course, her husband was instructed to take the window seat.
To simplify the return.
And to be in a safer place.
No one wants to sit at the window and an obese lady on the other side when an emergency landing followed by an evacuation is performed.

Once in Los Angeles a car was rented from a company called Fox.
For $ 15 a day.
However, for that money the customer gets an old Chrysler FT Cruiser.

And there were many available as the economy is still not doing very well.
The pioneering photographer is not pretentious and willd rive any car that is rented.
But a Chrysler FT Cruiser is not exactly a favorite.
It has a retro-design and when this car was launched it was hip and sophisticated to drive.
But nowadays it is hopelessly old fashioned and sending out wrong signals.
Fortunately another car was spotted and selected.
A brand new Hyundai Elantra with only 8 miles on the clock.

It was the first time it was rented.
Still smelling like a brand new car.
Modern, economic and equipped with everything a driver can dream of.

The trip was to go from Los Angeles international airport to the town of Temecula in California.
Normally this takes two hours.
But it was a friday and late afternoon.
And before the Thanksgiving holidays.
Therefore the highways were overflowed with cars.
The Interstate 405, the 91 and the I-15, all their lanes full with cars wanting to go home.
Driving at speeds that would make a horse fly by.
It took five hours instead.
Most of the distance going at the speed of a pedestrian.

Sitting in the car, hungry and hollow, it was realized to have landed in uttermost madness.
The total and complete insanity humans are able to create.
And once in this mess, one can't go out.
Two meters more, stop.
One meter more, stop.
Three meters more, stop.
Can't go left.
Can't go right.
One meter more, stop.

How about getting out of the car and just leaving where it is?
To walk to a nearby hotel and go to sleep?
Who is crazy then?

Friday, November 20, 2009

Death dog becoming phantom

The good dog Torrit is dead.
Killed by the dogs of the guards.

Yesterday he was found in a dry river bed.
Not far from the road.
With blood at his throat.

Torrit was a good dog.
Never making trouble.
Patient and kind.

There is not only sadness these days.
But also the continuation of Torrit's presence but now as a phantom dog.
In many situations he is felt to be there while he is not.
For example, while running on the road, his footsteps are heard behind.
Turning the head to see him, the road is as empty as the moon.
Or waking up and coming out of the Fuso Szulc.
Torrit is felt to be waiting as usual but once outside he is not there.

Those are very painful moments.
Deepening the sadness.
While it was just a dog.
Who lived together for only four weeks.

Another layer of sadness added to Torrit's one is caused by the fact that today Punta Boca del Salado, the Gonzales family and the beautiful life next to the Sea of Cortez comes to an end.
The Fuso Szulc will go to San Jose del Cabo and will be put in storage.
The journey will continue by airplane to Los Angeles.
From there in a rental car to Temecula, California, USA.

This means that the daily publication of postings on this blog might get a hiccup.
Due to unavailability to access to the Internet.
That's good.
Gives time for the sadness to end.


Thursday, November 19, 2009

Blonde jokes

There is this very good friend in the life who is highly educated, very intelligent, bright and having a wonderful personality.
And she is blonde and beautiful.

Recently she was sending an e-mail and let us share here her words:

Two blondes living in Oklahoma were sitting on a bench talking, and
one blonde says to the other, "Which do you think is farther away....
Florida or the moon?"
The other blonde turns and says: "Helloooooooooo, can you see Florida

A police officer stops a blonde for speeding and asks her very nicely
if he could see her licence.
She replied in a huff: "I wish you guys would get your act together.
Just yesterday you take away my licence and then today you expect me
to show it to you!"

There's this blonde out for a walk.
She comes to a river and sees another blonde on the opposite bank.
"Yoo-hoo!" she shouts, "How can I get to the other side?"
The second blonde looks up the river then down the river and shouts
back: "You ARE on the other side."

A gorgeous young redhead goes into the doctor's office and said that
her body hurt wherever she touched it.
"Impossible!" says the doctor. "Show me."
The redhead took her finger, pushed on her left shoulder and screamed,
then she pushed her elbow and screamed even more.
She pushed her knee and screamed; likewise she pushed her ankle and screamed.
Everywhere she touched made her scream.
The doctor said, "You're not really a redhead, are you?
"Well, no" she said, "I'm actually a blonde."
"I thought so," the doctor said. "Your finger is broken."

A highway patrolman pulled alongside a speeding car on the freeway.
Glancing at the car, he was astounded to see that the blonde behind the
wheel was knitting!
Realizing that she was oblivious to his flashing lights and siren, the
trooper cranked down his window, turned on his bullhorn and yelled,
"NO!" the blonde yelled back, "IT'S A SCARF!"

A Russian, an American, and a Blonde were talking one day.
The Russian said: "We were the first in space!"
The American said: "We were the first on the moon!"
The Blonde said: "So what? We're going to be the first on the sun!"
The Russian and the American looked at each other and shook their
"You can't land on the sun, you idiot! You'll burn up!" said the Russian.

To which the Blonde replied: "We're not stupid, you know. We're going
at night!"

A blonde was playing Trivial Pursuit one night.
It was her turn.
She rolled the dice and she landed on Science & Nature.
Her question was: "If you are in a vacuum and someone calls your name, can you hear
She thought for a time and then asked, "Is it on or off?"

A girl was visiting her blonde friend, who had acquired two new dogs,
and asked her what their names were.
The blonde responded by saying that one was named Rolex and one was named Timex.
Her friend said: "Whoever heard of someone naming dogs like that?"
"HELLLOOOOOOO......," answered the blond... "They're watch dogs!"

Jokes that are about blondes presume that a woman who has that color of hair is dumb and stupid.
There are the same jokes about the Polish and the Irish presuming they have hardly any functioning of the brains.
These jokes are an excellent demonstration of generalizing.
To presume in jokes that all blondes are stupid is only a demonstration of stupidness of the comedian.
Although there are some blondes who are stupid.
Same for some photographers, some Americans, some Italians and many dogs.
But there are also very intelligent blondes, very intelligent photographers, very intelligent Americans, very intelligent Italians and smart dogs.

Therefore we should avoid telling jokes based on generalizations.
No more jokes, please, about blondes.
Because besides exceptions, they are not dumb at all.

But there is an exception to this new law that forbids to tell jokes about blondes.
The exception is that it is allowed in case you are a blonde yourself.
Then you have the freedom and credit to crack a joke on blondes.

This was explained by this very good friend in the life who is highly educated, very intelligent, bright, having a wonderful personality and blonde and beautiful.
She said:
"I am a blond (to some people anyway).
If we cannot laugh at ourselves then we take ourselves far too seriously.
I see these jokes as perfectly harmless and quite funny in fact.
Laughter is the best medicine".

Therefore, we will tell no more jokes about Jews, blacks, Polish and Irish people, women in general, photographers, rednecks and country and western music lovers.
Unless you are one yourself.


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Good dog Torrit

The good dog Torrit is missing.
As of yesterday and he hasn't showed up yet.
Now he is in the mind constantly wondering what happened to him and where he is.

From the beginning of this period at the rancho of the Gonzales family at Punta Boca del Salado, Mexico the good dog Torrit decided that he wanted to live in the immediate vicinity of the Fuso Szulc.
This because he had quickly figured out it was a peaceful place with no competition of other rancho dogs.
With a friendly person around patting him on the head and even sometimes talking to him.
And the best part was always fresh water and three times a day dog food.

Soon the good dog Torrit decided to come along for the morning swim, the afternoon walk and the evening run.
Not liking very much seeing the supplier of food going into the sea making the good dog Torrit bark and cry like it was a goodbye forever.
Enjoying much more the walks and specially the running.
Far away into the hills where many interesting smells could be discovered.

This happy situation has been in existence for 29 days.
Until yesterday.

As usual, at about 4.30 PM, the good dog Torrit and his human companion took off for the daily run.
After about 20 minutes running the abandoned rancho of Raul was passed.
Now two security guards are living there.
Good dog Torrit had lagged behind and was slowed by a big truck for which he got off the road to wait in the bushes for it to pass by.

When the distance between the runner and the good dog Torrit was quite substantial, barking was heard.
Not of one dog.
Of several.
And not very friendly barking.
Aggressive and violent.
Quickly it was realized that the two dogs belonging to the security guards had attacked the good dog Torrit.

It was too late to turn around and run all the way back to the location of the fight.
Therefore, the whistle was made, good dog Torrit knew so well, to suggest him to break off the fight and run to the security of his food supplier.

But somehow he didn't do this.
Maybe unable.
Maybe wounded.
Maybe deciding to run in the other direction: back to the Fuso Szulc.
Or maybe deciding to run off the road into the mountains.

After 35 minutes the runner had reached the halfway point and turned around to run back.
Near the abandoned rancho of Raul no dogs were to be seen.
But in the sand of the road the traces of the wrestling could be noticed.
Fortunately no blood.

Along the way of return, no good dog Torrit.
Not even at the rancho.
Not even next to the Fuso Szulc.
He had not come back from this dramatic outing.

Now it is the next morning.
And still no good dog Torrit.

He was not wounded laying on the road.
He was not dead next to the location of fighting.
He got away, it seems, but why is he not returning?

The Gonzales tell that when dogs get very scared like good dog Torrit must have gotten, they run into the mountains.
Out of their minds, totally upset and crazed and blinded by fear.
Next, when they eventually calm down, they have to find their way back home.
Maybe he will.
Maybe not.


Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Hughes Indians

The problem is simple.
Getting on the Internet with the Hughes Satellite System is hardly possible between 2 and 9 pm.
E-mail won't work.
Many websites can't be visited.
No files can be uploaded or downloaded.

The diagnosis is simple as well.
If too many people are using the satellite at the same time, the available data volume is divided up in too small parts.

The solution is simple too.
To have the customer, who pays about $ 80 a month, move to a section of the satellite where it is less crowded.
Or increase the capacity of the satellite.
To give the customer what is promised by Hughes in their publicity.

But simplicity is not in the dictionary of Hughes.

Of course a customer is not satisfied with a situation that the Internet cannot be used from 2 to 9 pm.
Therefore the Helpdesk of Hughes is called.
To ask to fix this problem.

The Helpdesk of Hughes is in India.
In New Delhi.
And after talking to the friendly people in India for over three hours yesterday, it is not sure they are really there to help.
Maybe to help Hughes, but definitely not the customer.

This surprising conclusion can be made because all of the collaborators that have been spoken to, refused to see what was the problem.
Hughes having too many customers on their satellite.
Every Helpdesk collaborator suggested strongly the problem was on the customer's side.
In the computer.
In the modem.
In the router.
In the software.
But never ever it was considered that maybe the problem was on the side of Hughes.
Pretty surprising because even a student of Primary School would understand that if a system works fine except from 2 to 9 pm it can't be the computer, the modem, the router or the software.
Therefore, willingly the collaborators of Hughes put the problem on the customer side and wash their hands.
With this strategy it is not their problem anymore.

For example, an e-mail was received of a Hughes customer with exactly the same problem.
No Internet from 2 to 9 pm.
He had been on the phone three times 45 minutes.
And the conclusion of the Hughes experts was that the problem was the web browser of the customer.
He had to install another version of his Internet Explorer and everything would be fine.
Any beginning expert knows that a web browser cannot have an internet connection work bad only from 2 to 9 pm.

We may wonder why willingly Hughes turns customers away with the specific problem of overpopulation on the satellite.
In their publicity on Internet, Hughes is now offering special deals.
For relatively little money one can have an Internet Hughes Satellite System.
Maybe this publicity campaign is successful but that the Hughes satellite has not enough capacity to handle the influx.

Weaponed with this knowledge, all the suggestions of the Indian Hughes people that the problem was not on their side were radically countered.
All their suggestions to do speed tests and other actions on the customer's side and come back another day were refused.

Until one collaborator was honest and came up with a surprising solution.
Yes, he said, the problem is that too many people make use of the satellite at the same time.
But only a few of them suffer of very low speeds during peak hours.
You are one of them, he said.
And you just have to live with this.

What a fabulous solution!

Hughes has a system that if a problem cannot be handled by the staff in New Delhi, India, they can transfer the customer to "Level 3".
These are experts based in the USA.

And they can switch a customer from a position on the satellite where it is too crowded to a more quiet spot.
To get the promised and paid for service.

Hence, the Hughes customer calling the Helpdesk must not try to find a solution to the problem: the customer must try to convince the Indian expert to be transfered to "Level 3".
And there the problem can be presented and possibly solved.

It took several hours but eventually "Level 3" was reached.
The problem was correctly diagnosed and a different frequency was assigned to the account.
Solving the problem.

However, after the requested waiting time, it turned out that the frequency change had no positive effect at all.
Therefore, the Helpdesk had to be called again and the whole procedure repeated.
Fighting the Indian expert not prepared to accept that it was a Hughes problem and not the computer, the router, the modem and the software.
Forcing him to transfer to "Level 3".
Where it was admitted that the transfer to the new frequency had not been performed correctly.

It took the whole day.
Hours and hours on the phone.
Sometimes with very friendly persons.
Sometimes with real assholes.
But now the Fuso Szulc is on a new frequency although victory is not written in the sky yet.
One must experience that from 2 to 9 pm it works well now.

And at this time, 7.45 am, after one hour trying, the Hughes Satellite System is unable to find the SatMex 5 where the new frequency is.

9.40 am: finally on line...

Monday, November 16, 2009

Hughes problems

Since the new HN7000S modem was installed a strange phenomenon occurs with the Hughes Satellite System.
Everything works fine.
E-mailing, SKYPING, chatting, web surfing, files uploading, files downloading.
Except from 01.00 to 09.00 pm.
During that time the transmission speeds go down so seriously that most is not working.

In several ways efforts have been made to solve this problem.
To no avail.
Continuing to be unable to operate normally during the most important hours of the day.

Today a new initiative to solve the problem.
About half an hour from the rancho of the Gonzales family, where the Fuso Szulc is temporarily parked, lives a dear friend.
She has a phone with which the USA can be called as a national call.
Including 800 numbers.

The Fuso Szulc will be made travel-ready this morning.
To drive to the house of the friend.
Once there, the Hughes Satellite System will be turned on and connection with the SatMex5 made.
Next, the Hughes help centre will be called.
An 800 number but in fact the customer is connected to a call centre somewhere in India.
While on the phone and at the same time connected to the SatMex5, they must be able to figure out what is wrong.
They can do tests and other research.

For now today's posting stops but in a few hours more information will appear right here with a report on the progress, if any.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Stumble and blunder

Many people may not know that professional photographers with a reputation also fail often to make good pictures.
This is such a well kept secret because these bastards never show to anybody how bad they sometimes are.
The picture out of focus.
Made on the wrong moment.
The light not good.
Even the champions of photography manage to make such failed pictures.

What these professional photoguys and imagegals do after a shooting is something they call "editing".
They say: "I have been editing my pictures".
Which in fact means that they have been throwing into the rubbish bin all those images even a bad amateur photographer would not likely make.
The very few excellent pictures that remain on the table after this "editing" are only exceptions out of the many that had to be made to get some good ones.
Meanwhile the audience believes that the photographer is a master of the trade.
But if the failed pictures were seen, the opinion would dramatically alter.

As loyal and fervent blog readers know, at this place surprising and provoking things can be seen and read.
What you are going to see today, probably you have never seen before.

It was Christina Gonzales who asked to come to the birthday party of her daughter.
Lucretia turned 3 years old.
"And can you make some pictures, Miguel?"
Of course: that is what friends are for, right?

Then, would it be interesting to publish on this blog the edited pictures of Lucretia's birthday party?
The best ones, keeping intact the reputation of this photographer?
On second thought it was realized that those pictures would not harm the reputation but would be very boring.
Without any excitement or specific interest.

Therefore the management has decided to publish not the successful pictures but the failed ones.
The ones a professional photographer would be ashamed of.
The ones that immediately would have been dumped into the garbage.
So we can get a rare look behind the scenes.
To demonstrate that even a photographer who has his work in the collections of the major museums around the world can stumble and blunder as well.