Thursday, December 17, 2015

The Finished Stained Glass Project

In an earlier post, I wrote about a stained glass project that I was working on. As I sat around in my hotel room this evening here in Bethlehem (this Bethelehem, not that Bethlehem), I realized that I never got around to posting a photo of the finished project.

Please allow me to correct that oversight...

I'm pleased with how it turned out. Working on this was both educational and fun. :-)

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Photos from India

Absent life’s daily interruptions, I would dedicate more time to one of my hobbies: photography.


Ironically I spend so much time travelling that I find it a challenge to find the time to organize and post my travel photos.

For instance, I have some photos that I took while in India last month. Here it is December, and it has taken till this week to post those them.

In my defense I could explain that since returning from India, I've been in Chandler Arizona, Hillsboro Oregon, St. Helena California, and Stafford Virginia. To round that out, I've been at home in Aptos for all of - maybe - a week or so. And later this week I'll be travelling to the east coast -- twice.

But what kind of defense is that, really? You show up for life, or you don't. You do what matters to you, or you don't. You make your dreams come true, or you don't. The choice is yours.

Yes, I'm busy. Yes, that poses a challenge. But there are people in this world facing challenges that expose my "but I don't have time" whining for the FWP that it is.

I'm grateful to have had the good fortune to spend my entire adulthood traipsing across this beautiful planet of ours. For me, the travels that I undertake and the photos that I bring home are my way of telling those with the ears to hear it that life wants us to live our dreams.

Okay, enough of the philosophizing. On to the photos of India.

I would like to begin with this photo...

One note about this photo... This never happened. Yes I took this photo of the iron pillar and the archway at the Qutub Complex in Delhi, but that blue sky with the fluffy clouds... That sky definitely didn't happen. I freely confess that I Photoshopped in the sky.

The whole two weeks in India were spent in a haze. No, I don't mean I was caught up in a whirlwind mixture of sights and sounds - one blurring into the other. Rather, I mean that each and every day and in every city, air pollution dominated the skies.

I've been subjected to this sort of relentless onslaught of air pollution many times before (I'm talking about you, Beijing), but I don't recall a time I've ever traveled throughout a country and encountered air pollution like this in city after city.

Mind you it's not my intention to look down on India and publicly shame them for their air quality issues. They have a challenge of balancing their desire to grow their economy against the need for natural resources such as breathable air. I endured the air pollution for two weeks. I don't envy the people trapped in it day after day, week after week, month after... You get the idea.

Call me an eternal optimist. There was at least one positive side-effect of the air pollution: Some of the sunrises and sunsets were beautiful. Consider, for instance, one of my favorite photos from the trip to India:

Whenever I think of the Taj Mahal, I think of the staggering amounts of white marble. But this sunrise photo presents the Taj Mahal in a very different light. Yes there is the white marble, but the color of the marble is muted by the haze. The Taj Mahal is framed by the mosque archway. The floor reflects the sunlight in the stone bordering what I assume to be stone prayer mats. The overall hue of the photo is brown. Brown, brown, brown, much like the skies of India.

BTW... Earlier when I wrote that part about how I was going to be travelling to the east coast twice this week... I was still in California at the time. Now I'm on the other side of these here United States where I'm pleased to report that the winter is thankfully mild.

I'd like to write more about each and every one of the photos, but I'm going to lame out for the time being and just provide links to the photos of Mumbai, Delhi, and Agra. For now, I've got to get some sleep.