Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Look what I found!

In Search of... A Snack!

This little tidbit will likely resonate more with the guys than the girls, but I'll tell it anyway...

You ever had the munchies? You know, when you're not looking for a meal, just a nosh. Just a little snack to settle those taste bud crazies.

You walk over to the fridge, poke your head in, look around, can't find what you want, then close the door. Ten minutes later, you do it again. Ten minutes after that, you do it again. You never see what you're looking for. Hell, you don't even know what you're looking for. You just know you're hungry and that if you keep looking, you'll find something to snack on.

You keep poking your head in the fridge expecting that something will just jump out at you. But it never does.

Well, last night it did. I went into that fridge three times looking for something to take care of that craving. Each time I came up short. But, for some unknown reason, I went in a fourth time. And, as I was closing the door, something caught my eye. I opened the crisper drawer, and lo and behold! there it was. What I'd been looking for all my life. The snack that has eluded me since I was a teenager. After years of searching the refrigerator, poking my head in time after time, my efforts finally paid off. I was rewarded for my persistence. And DAMN! it felt great.

What did I find? To be honest, it really doesn't matter what I had found. What matters is that I found it. Have you ever found what you were looking for?

The world is full of small wonders like these. And, it's these little darlings that make life so special.

What? You really want to know what I found?

Oh, okay. It was a protein bar. Happy?

Earth Day

Happy Earth Day!

In honor of the 38th Anniversary of Earth Day, I'm offering up a new Green Tip of the Day...

Plastic! What would we do without that wonderful material? It can be formed into any shape and color we desire. It can be as supple as a raincoat or as solid as a railroad tie. And, it's recyclable (for the most part). Such a great invention.

But... (you knew this was coming, didn't you?)... Most consumer plastics don't get recycled, and many that do, get "recycled" in third world countries.

I was running stairs at my old high school stadium (Go Milton!) and counted 27 used plastic water/juice bottles scattered all over the bleachers. On a recent walk around town, I counted 4 plastic grocery bags, 10 plastic bottles, 3 CD cases and 3 plastic "blister" packs (you know, those damn hard-to-open packages everything seems to come in now).

In fact, the U.S. only recycles about 34% of its plastic bottles. Guess where the rest of those bottles wind up? Take a look around you.

And, it's not just the lack of recycling of these products that is the problem. According to National Geographic, in the U.S. we buy 29 million plastic bottles of water or soft drinks every year. 29 MILLION! And, it takes 17 million barrels of crude oil (yes, oil!) to make those bottles. That's one hell of a lot of energy!

Now, I'm not ALL gripe and groan... many companies are coming up with some very creative uses for the recycled plastic bottle, including fibers for jackets, new fabrics for upholstery, and new building materials. But, it's still not enough.

So, what's the answer? Do we stop drinking bottled water? Of course not. But, we don't need to run around all day with a new bottle of water in hand (unless you're refilling it each time you run out.) We're not as dehydrated a society as Madison Avenue would like us to believe. But, if you have to have your agua, use your own bottle. And, there are plenty of bottles available that won't impart that weird plastic taste to your beverage of choice.

I use my plastic bicycle bottles when I need to carry fluids with me on short jaunts. Of course, I occasionally buy a bottle at the store, but I take that bottle home and reuse it. And, when it wears out, I recycle it.

I also buy powdered drink mixes in paper pouches or cardboard canisters. I could easily go through about 20 2 litre bottles of juice or mixer in a year, but I don't (did I say mixer?). First of all, I simply don't have the room on BABS for even 3 or 4 bottles. Second, if I don't buy those 20 bottles, that's 20 fewer bottles coming from the manufacturer and 20 fewer bottles potentially finding their way into landfills or recycle centers.

I guess it comes down to consumption. Consumption, not of the beverage, but of the package. Anywhere you can reuse a package, or bring your own package, you're saving a little bit of energy. And, at 29 million bottles a year, we could use a little of that savings, don't you think?

Monday, April 21, 2008

Photo Talk Radio

Photo Talk Radio!

Last week I did an internet radio interview with the famous Howard Lipin and Michael Garcia from Photo Talk Radio. We had a great conversation. You can hear it at: http://www.phototalkradio.com/ptr080412.html

Vanishing America in San Diego Magazine

San Diego Magazine's May issue is out! The writeup about Vanishing America is in their Front Pages section. It's short, but sweet.

Here's the link: http://www.sandiegomagazine.com/media/San-Diego-Magazine/May-2008/Front-Pages/

If you live in San Diego, save me a hard copy.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Alive After Five

Remember, you can click on any image to view it full size!

Spring is here, and ART is in the air...

This past Thursday was the first Roswell Alive After Five street event for 2008.

It's a small street festival in the historic district that the City of Roswell puts on every third Thursday during the Spring/Summer. Live bands, booths, face painting for the kids, and the galleries and businesses are open late. It's kind of like San Diego's Ray at Night.

And, even though my first Vanishing America exhibit is two months away, we put a few of my images up in the Ann Jackson Gallery for the Alive After Five event, and parked BABS nearby to get a little exposure. The response was fantastic. Historic Roswell's art scene is primarily painting, and people were glad to see some artistic photography on display. We got a lot of interest in the wild horse images... especially this one.

It was very encouraging for both me and the gallery that so many people showed so much enthusiasm for this body of work. June promises to be a great month!

This weekend, I'm parked at Alpharetta's Art Street Fest. I'm not participating, just getting some visibility. The weather has been perfect, and it even rained a little Friday night to help wash away some of the pollen that's been wreaking havoc on people's allergies.

And, speaking of allergies...
I was out shooting with the historians from the City of Alpharetta last week. And, if you know me at all, I like to wander around and explore, even if it means getting dirty. Well, I didn't get dirty. I got poison ivy. I'd rather have gotten dirty. If you've ever had poison ivy, poison oak, or poison sumac, you know how frustrating it can be. Almost a year ago, in Southern California, I got poison oak while shooting out at a Wagon Wheel Park. You'd think I'd have learned my lesson and covered up a little better. No, not me. The thought never crossed my mind. I grew up playing in the woods, and as a kid, could have rolled around in poison ivy and never have any kind of reaction. But, I guess, as we get older, our bodies change, and now that wicked weed and I simply don't get along.

Stay tuned for more updates about Vanishing America's First Exhibit, coming this June!

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Spring Fever and Pink Bandanas

Dateline: Chattanooga, Tennessee
Sunday, April 4, 2008

I drove the Defender up to Tennessee this weekend to visit my friend Marc Cromie, his wife, Nancy, and their kids Hayden, Kali, and Wil.

Marc is a pediatric allergist who runs three Chattanooga Allergy Clinics throughout the Chattanooga area. Since Spring hit, and pollen season is in full force, Marc has been all over the local news providing advice for families on how to treat allergies in children.

Nancy is co-chair of the
Pink Bandana Ball, raising money for the fight against Neuroblastoma. Last year, I donated one of my Salton Sea images to their auction, which, combined with sponsorships, other donations, and ticket sales helped raise over $100,000 for the cause.

This year's Pink Bandana Ball is May 3rd.

The event is in honor of Emily Ransom who was diagnosed with Stage IV Neuroblastoma in October 2005. This beautiful, strong-willed little girl known as the Pink Power Ranger Princess fought with everything she had for four months to beat her cancer. On February 20, 2006 while undergoing surgery to remove her tumor, Emily won her battle and went to dance in heaven.

Her family wishes to continue her fight and find a cure for this disease. Emily’s Power for a Cure is her fight against cancer carrying on! While the goal of the foundation is to raise awareness and funds to find a cure for Neuroblastoma, there are more immediate needs for families and children fighting this disease. The foundation, Emily's namesake, was founded in 2006 by Emily's parents Jonathon and Wendy Ransom.

Anyone can Pink it Forward simply by doing a random act of kindness for someone and telling them about Emily and asking them to Pink it Forward. You can also visit the websites of children who are still fighting this terrible disease. The websites for children in the Chattanooga area are listed in the Pink it Forward section of the Emily's Power for a Cure website. Make a difference
in someone's life, just as Emily made a difference in ours. Don't forget to share your stories with us.

Pink it Forward!!!

If you're in the Chattanooga area, and can attend, visit their website for ticket information. If you are unable to attend, you can...
  • Purchase Princess Emily magnets ($5)
  • Purchase pink crystal Emily earrings ($20)
  • Purchase Power for A Cure necklaces ($15)
  • Sponsor one of the foundation's special events
  • Participate (and solicit donations) to walk or run in the Country Music Half or Full Marathon in April 2008 in Nashville, TN.
  • Participate (and solicit donations) for Cartwheels for A Cure, which will be held in June 2008
  • Purchase a ticket, sponsor, or donate an auction item to the Pink Bandana Ball
  • Donate blood in Emily's honor ($10 from every donation goes to Power For A Cure)
  • Gifts of cash or stocks can be sent to the following:

(Please make checks payable to Community Foundation of Greater Chattanooga and add Emily's Power for a Cure in the memo line).

Emily’s Power for a Cure
C/o Community Foundation of Greater Chattanooga
1270 Market Street
Chattanooga, TN 37402

Holt's Green Tip of the Day!

If at all possible, buy produce from local farmers. Local produce at stores and Farmers' Markets are not only a great way to get top quality produce and support the local community, but they're a great way to help the environment.

When you buy local, you are actually helping save energy and conserve fuel. The simple act of shipping fruits and vegetables across the United States, and from other countries, requires numerous trucks, planes and ships, each one requiring a significant amount of fuel to get from the farm to the store. If you buy local, you help reduce the need for all these vehicles, saving fuel and reducing carbon emissions.

So, if you can, support your local farmer. There is a great search engine put together by the USDA that can help you find a farmer's market in your area (click here). If you can't find locally grown produce in your area, try to make sure that the produce you buy comes from as close to home as possible.