Well…

So,

Let’s say that last week I was living in an apartment and wondering if we’d ever get to leave.  You know how these things work out, you move somewhere with high hopes and then life happens and 10 years later you think to yourself, I was only supposed to live here for six months.  Well, that is how I was feeling last week.

This week has a little bit of a different feel for me.  I feel like I am about to move…oh…let’s say in…well…less than 30 days.  Yes that’s right, the Yamada’s are buying a house.  It’s not as grand as the one we wanted when we first moved here, but it’s nice.  A little back yard but behind the back yard is one of the housing community’s parks and, ya you guessed it, one of the pools.  It’s like having a pool in my back yard but I don’t have to worry about upkeep on the thing.  (Sounds good, right Scott?)  Small patch of grass in the front, which means I’m really going to have to figure out how to convince Jo to let me get that riding lawn mower.

Could use some paint on the inside and I’ll have to get a washer and dryer and of course the refrigerator.  I’m getting one with an ice maker and I’m throwing my stupid ice trays out.  MAN I hate those things.

I’m pretty excited about it, I haven’t gotten any pictures yet, when we went to look at houses I went from work and I didn’t have my camera with me.  Hopefully I’ll be able to get some good snaps tomorrow, Jo wants to look at it again.

Anyway, that’s what I’ve got for now, I’ll show you what I did in my latest class in a bit.

Advertisements

So….

So….

Here I am, it’s the middle of the night and I’m here in Chandler, AZ.  I’ve been neglecting this blog for so long it’s almost as if it doesn’t exist anymore.  I know I’ve said before that I’d try to do better and post more stuff and then I suppose life happened and I didn’t make it back on here until now.

Just a quick update, I got kicked out of the Navy.  Ok, not kicked out, let’s say I ended up getting involuntarily separated due to force manning restrictions.  Well basically, I got fired, laid off, or downsized however you want to slice it I don’t work for the Navy anymore.  It has affected my life so much, I still get up in the morning to go to work and as soon as I step out the front door remember that I am missing my hat/cover.

Anyway…short version, I got  a job in Chandler Arizona at the Intel manufacturing plant.  We are living here now, we’ve moved into a furnished apartment and our stuff is still in storage in San Diego.  I like it…ok, ya it is a serious pay cut but I get to be home EVERY night with my family and I NEVER have to leave them for time that is counted in months.  Pretty sweet.

Couple of things I’ve been thinking about, I’m still/back in school and I’d like to share with family and friends how I am doing and show off some of my work and I am going to do that here.  I was also going to try and add some ERB(that’s me getting fired) stuff here as it comes up, 14½ years is a long time and I still get emotional about it.  My walk with God has also taken some GIGANTIC steps…toward Him and I’d like to share that journey here with you as well.  That should give me plenty of stuff to write about.

Also, please, if you have any questions or comments, you want to get in touch with me or you just have an idea about photography, being laid off, life or God e-mail me or leave me a comment.

Hopefully I’ll be able to bring some really great pictures here and some “art” projects I’ve had to work on from school.  In parting let me leave you with this….

Camping in AZ with the Fritzs(?)

 

Love ya,

Brent

Date With Jake

So,

Just like Quinn kept asking me out on a date, Jake, the quiet one, didn’t.  He is a bit more shy than Quinn and sometimes it takes a bit more to get him to say something or tell me something that he wants to do.  Anyway, since I went out with Quinn for lunch I needed to take Jake out as well.  Now Jake has been riding, like actually riding, bikes for a bit longer than Quinn.  He is quite good at it, before I get into that however, let me tell you from the beginning.

Jake and I have been on vacation for  a while now.  Jake’s is his school’s Christmas break, and mine is Christmas stand down, both breaks were needed and will be a bummer when they end.  Anyway, when he went on his break I decided to take him out to lunch, lunch for us was at Burger King, which is an old favorite from Okinawa.  I’d take the boys in the stroller and Skuut and we’d walk down to Burger King and have some lunch.  Ahhhhhhh, good times.

So lunch.  Well when I went on the date with Quinn I told Jake to think of something for us to do.  I went bike riding with Quinn and because they are brothers and not to be out done, well and it’s just good fun, Jake and I went to ride bikes as well.  Now understand my bike, a Kona Stinky-Dee, hasn’t been worked on or ridden in several years and I don’t ride it because it needs some lovin’.  Anyway, when I say we went bike riding, it really isn’t me riding at all, it’s one or both of the boys riding and me either walking along with, or taking pictures or both.  This one was a picture taking trip. and since Jake has been riding for so much longer than Quinn it wasn’t quite as fun or exciting and he just really did well.

Jake Ridin'

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In fact he was doing so well he thought he’d catch a quick look at me to make sure I was taking pictures of him.

Jake posing

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I wanted to get some pictures of Jake posing with his bike but he wasn’t as natural with doing the posing and there ended up being a lot of cheese.

Jake still posing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And the sun was out and it was quite bright.  Both my boys, and I have this crazy squinty eye thing in bright sun, or even in not quite as bright sun…and it’s not because we’re Asian either.hehe

Look at that, and don't let it fool you, those little bikes are heavy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

He did want to show me how strong he was by picking up his bike and carrying it to the back of the car.  And it’s not a very well advertised fact but those little bikes, the frames are made out of lead and so they are quite heavy.  I think they do that so the kids can build up the strength in their legs to pedal the bigger bikes.

Anyway, he got tired of riding and the posing wasn’t working out so I decided to change tactics and get him into a situation where he could more easily be himself.

So this is Jake not posing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So we were in the parking lot next to the YMCA, which also had a ball field and we put the bike up and went inside the fence.  After I gave him the ring pop…ya, right, I totally remember those also…he totally loosened up and the cheese in his face was gone and we got to some real smiles and his personality came out.

Delicious ring pop.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And he got to do some goofy stuff.

I can't decide if this one is my favorite?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Or if it's this one?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Those last two pictures, I can’t decide which one is my favorite, they are both a little silly, they both have pretty good smiles and they both are showing off the ring pop…I know, that’s what I said….

Well, we had a good time, and I’m really glad I was able to get him out of his posing for pictures mode and into a more fun and real mode so we could get some better pictures.

Date With Quinn

So,

Over the last month or so my son, Quinn, has kept coming up to me and saying…”Dad, remember when we went on a date?”, “Yes, son I remember.”  “Let’s go on another date.”  After that my heart fills with pride and joy that he would want to hang out with me.  Now I am not expecting this to continue but I am hoping that it will for both of them.

Today though he picked for us to go out to McDonalds, he called it the one with the arches.  We went, we ate, we talked, and he told stories.  I ended up dropping my phone in catsup, but luckily it missed going in all the important holes.  We had fries and McNuggets, I had a Big Mac, Quinn had Strawberry Fanta.  It was delicious…strangely enough I actually don’t mind McDonalds, but I did offer up Wendy’s but he didn’t choose that one.

I told him we could go ride his bike, or actually he could, it’s not big enough for the two of us, and then we could go eat lunch.  Of course that isn’t what he had in mind he wanted to eat then ride and since it was his date I conceded and let him have it his way, which is actually  Burger King and where we normally go.  After we ate we drove to the Y by our house and in the back there is a big parking lot which today was completely empty and so made for some nice space to ride around without having to worry about getting hit by a car or running into people or other bikers or anything really, except the curb, which he did once or twice.  Good thing it wasn’t a street full of cars, parked or moving.

As a side note, I might have mentioned that I got a new camera.  I’ve been saving my bones up and through a couple of early Christmas presents I saved up enough to get it in time for opening presents.  Oh, and I spent a couple of days on my homework, got it done and turned in and viola…camera.  Thanks wife.  She finally put me over the edge.  Anyway, all that to say I took my new camera out to take some pictures of Quinn riding his bike around the parking lot.

Quinn is riding his bike, actually with the pedals

He learned a new trick, which isn’t so much of a trick as just a skill that I’ve found actually needs to be learned.  Both Jake and Quinn learned to ride a bike, the balance part, on a Skuut, The problem they both had was that they needed to “learn” how to actually make the pedals to ’round and ’round.

Just being cool

And then he just suddenly struck a pose, I guess since I had my camera out he felt compelled to strike a mighty pose.

So, of course he is Joelle’s son which means he really likes to talk and tell stories.  In this case, you will notice on the above picture there is a hand brake.  Now this hand brake goes to the front wheel, but it doesn’t work worth a darn, but anyway, he wanted to show me how it worked.  He just started riding a bike and so that would be to much, back to his feet….

So you're going along...

and movin'...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And then you get ready...

And then you Squeeze...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And squeeze!!!

How great is that.  Now you all know how to use the hand brake on your bikes.  He really did a great job getting out there and pedaling and just plain ol’ not crashing into to much stuff.  He’s my boy and I’m proud of him.

On the other hand, the camera was wonderful.  I had it on CL which for Nikon is Continuous Low speed, and I didn’t feel like I was struggling to get the next shot off before the bike went by.  I used my 35mm prime lens the whole time which was really cool, and also meant that I wasn’t worried about him getting to far away and not being able to crop way in, the new camera adds 10MP to the old one.

it’s got a lot of buttons and dials and switches that I am still figuring out but I’ll get there…eventually.

And on that note I leave you to it.  Have a great day.

It Brought a Tear to My Eye

So,

I don’t think I’ve actually mentioned in such a public forum that my wife and I have decided to buy a house.  Now this is a really big decision, especially since the housing industry hasn’t been doing very good for a little while now.  We were, of course, going to move to WA and try for a posting at Whidbey Island.  However, since then Jake has started school and we really like the school he is in.  He will be fluent in Mandrin and have a good grasp on Spanish and of course be fluent in English as well.  The teachers seem nice, and Jake likes the school.  Anyway, the point is we are staying in SD.

So the one thing I think that is cool about moving is you get to get rid of a bunch of stuff that you don’t need.  Well, we’ve just moved but we have also had to bring together two different shipments from two different places.  When we left England to go to Okinawa we were only allowed to take ¼ of our belongings.  This ended up being nice for us since we had to get some new stuff for our house and it really helped us to not have all the clutter around.  The bummer thing is when we moved back to the states we had to combine all the stuff we acquired in Okinawa with all the stuff we left behind in England.

Well, we just finally went through the garage to find some stuff for a yard sale we think we might have this upcoming weekend…MAN, this is turning out to be a long back story….  Anyway, we need to eat dinner right.  A couple of weeks ago my Mom and Dad came down for a visit and my Dad, who is the proud owner of a Traegar.  This is a pellet smoker/grill type of thing that is really neat…anyway!!!!!!!!  He made some tri-tip and brought it down, smoked it for 5 hours.  Ya, that’s right, SMOKED…TRI-TIP…5…FIVE…hours.  Anyway, I just got one of those out last night.

On the grill to heat up and finish cooking

That is it…a huge piece of meat on the grill, sorry it’s such a bad picture, I did it on a whim and with my iPhone, I put it on there so it could get that crust and warm up as well as finish cooking.  And….

The finished product

And this is what I ended up with.  Would you please note the pink around the edge…Ya, you got it, that’s the smoke ring or flavorfulness.  It was so good, it brought a tear to my eye.  Now I love food and the food they serve on the ship…well not to talk bad about the cooks on the ship but it isn’t the best.  A good steak on the ship…well, let’s say it doesn’t exist.  Now enter this smokey wonder…the last time a meal made me tear up was when Jo and I went to Ruth’s Chris Steak House.  I remember I had the Fillet, it was so good I cried, this was so good….

Anyway, just wanted to share how good my dinner was last night and say a super big “THANKS” to my Dad for the wonderful smokey experience.  How does it do on Turkey?  Thanks-giving is right ’round the corner.  Oh and Chirstmas, mmmmmmmmmmmmmm.

So, I Realize….

So,

I’m back right.  And since I’ve gotten back from deployment I realized that I have not written very much of anything since I left Okinawa.  I know earlier I said I was going to and then I didn’t and now what, I’m going to say I’m going to and I might not again but the bottom line is that I am back.  Back in the states from both Okinawa and from a short deployment to the…well…let’s just call it a Western Pacific Deployment.

Ok so here is what I think I am going to do with the ol’ blog here.  I am really going to make an effort to keep up with it and post some pictures just to share some of the stories that go with the pictures while I was gone.  Nothing really interesting happened but I did get a chance to dive in Bali, and visit Da Nang, Vietnam, I got to go out in town in Singapore this time and finally made it to Hong Kong.  I never once stepped foot in Bahrain this time ’round, but I did get to go to Djibouti, Africa.  I now know what they mean by African Heat, I flew over Ethopia and got to drink some apple beer in Germany.

As a photographer I am disappointed in the amount of pictures I ended up with but as a sailor who was in a lot of new ports I really did pretty good getting the pictures instead of just finding out what the inside of the various countries bars looked like.  Although I did do some of that, and I have to tell you, very much like every other bar I’ve ever been in.  I did discover that I think I am about ready for a camera upgrade but I am still trying to figure out how I am going to afford that.

Thanks for bearing with me and in the meantime let me leave you with this.

The Breakaways

The ship has a band…it’s the ship’s band and they call themselves…The Breakaways.  This is the…well, I guess he’s the lead guitarist, and he’s pretty darn good.  The Hard Rock café in Hong Kong.  It was a pretty good concert and they really did a good job for a bunch of guys that are stuck on a ship and have other things on their minds than practicing.

It’s About Time Yamada

So…

Here’s the thing.  I came back from Okinawa and had to drive on the right side of the road again.  As I type I realize the humor, right or wrong, left or right, oh man, that’s funny.  I’m really talking about the actual right side of the road.  We also had to adjust our speed, for the last 3 years we would go to Okuma (the military camp place near Nago) and would be flying, FLYING, past traffic at 55 mph.

After we got stateside and started driving our conversations in the car went a lot like this:

Jo:  Don’t forget to go to the far lane.

Brent:  Far lane, got it…wait…far lane here or far lane over there?

Jo:  Over there on the far side.

Brent:  Ok, far side, I got it this time.

(Light turns Green)

Brent:  (whispering to self)far side, far side, far side, far side, far side

Jo:  NO, NO, NO, STAY TO THE RIGHT OF THE DIVIDER!!!!!!!

or

Jo:  Honey, you know I love you and I think you’re a great, safe driver right?

Brent:  Why yes, yes I do…and thank you.

Jo:  You’re only going 50.

Anyway, lot and lots of conversations like that, and not to embarrass myself too bad but I still walk to the wrong side of the car both to drive and ride.  But all of this is to just simply say, I know I said in my last post that I’d try to keep up but to be honest that has proven more difficult than I had imagined it.  Studying for my Navy classes takes up a bit more time than anticipated, because I’m actually trying to learn the stuff before I get out to the ship.(sigh)  And for my actual school, school, I’ve been taking these retarded classes like Drawing…I think on my last post I put up some of my work.  I mean come on, I’m trying to be a photographer why not let me take some photography classes, my drawings ended up being not terrible, at least I think they didn’t.

Oh and Color Theory…color theory?  Really?  Color theory?  How’s this for color theory…my camera takes a color picture and I put it on my computer and change it to Black and White, or Sepia, or  some other thing.  I did end up actually learning quite a bit.  Like what colors might look good together and why, what is a hue, and saturation.  Tone, isn’t that the same thing as hue?  What’s a hue?  Ya, I can answer those questions now.

And this last class.  Survey of Contemporary and Modern Art, you might ask yourself, what’s that?  Those of you from PUC, I might liken it to History of Western Art.  Oh I’ve got this one in the bag, right?  Riiiiight.  No, there was an actual study of art.  Brushstrokes?  Are you kidding me?  P H O T O G R A P H Y ! ! ! ! ! !  Color palettes, you’re joking right?  P H O T O G R A P H Y ! ! ! ! ! !  7, yes you heard me, SEVEN pages of text later, with pictures so it ended up just about 8½ pages, I end up with not only an A for the paper but also 95% for the class and the instructors comments on the paper were all good. And I learned some valuable information on some very GREAT photographers, and photographs that changed the world.

Dorothea Lange’s Migrant Mother, 1936.  Which was taken during the Great Depression and helped feed migrant camps around the US.  This particular camp got a shipment of 20,000 pounds of food.

Nick Ut a photographer for the Associated Press out of Los Angeles captured a Napalm bombing on the Vietnamese village of Trảng Bàng and saved a 9 year old girls life.

Timothy O’Sullivan, Alexander Gardner, and Mathew B. Brady, photographed the civil war when photography was still in it’s infancy and exposures were still to long to catch the action.  Your camera HAD to have a tripod and you had to have a horse or two to get your equipment from place to place.

It’s been a frustrating journey so far and I know as an artist I am supposed to take these classes, AND, despite how ridiculous I think these classes are they actually are managing to open my eyes and broaden my outlook.  Maybe there’s hope for me to be a successful photographer yet…We will have to wait and see.

Next up, Introduction to Photojournalism, I wonder if I’ll have to write for that one or if I’ll actually get to snap some photos.