Sunday, October 31, 2010
Here we have a factor of everyday life. Simply put, seconds turn into minutes, minutes to hours, hours, to days, days to weeks, weeks to months and months to years. A never ending cycle to say the least.
Me personally, I just turned 49. NFL legendary quarterback, George Blanda, who departed this life recently, played football until he was 49. That was an unbelievable achievement for his timeframe, or even the timeframe of today for that matter.
The idea is clear, for such an achievement one must take care of themselves in more ways than most of us are even capable of naming. Good diet and excersise, which I live by myself, are only a small part of the equation.
When I think of George Blanda, I often wonder what he could have done with himself if he had, during his on playing days, the medicine, therapy, and technology that we have on the market today. Playing well into his fifties? Who knows.
As I start my own countdown to my milestone, the coveted half-century mark, I can only wait, do what I know I must do to keep my own well being in order, then leave it in the hands of God. Perhaps the best is yet to come.
Monday, September 20, 2010
OK, let's add to my list of interesting stories about out national pastime. The 2010 season is winding down, so many interesting things about this season are still going on, to include tight races for the division titles and wild card spots in the AL East, NL East, and especially the NL West.
There are a lot of possible achievements on the side of the best players, especially the hitters, that go on the line as well, most of which are watched carefully in order to determine the winners of the league MVP awards in both leagues, like the batting titles and leading the league in other major offensive categories.
So, on that note, let's refer to the possibility of a "Triple Crown" winner, this one on the side of the hitters, who could potentially lead their leagues in all three of the major offensive categories, they being batting average, home runs and RBI's respectively.
Triple Crown winners in baseball's modern time have been very few and far between. The last one was Boston Red Sox hall of famer Carl Yazstremski in 1967. You'd have to go back to the late thirties to find another one.
The 2010 season has a showcase of possible triple crown winners in both leagues. The most likely one in the National League would have to be Colorado Rockies outfielder Carlos Gonzalez, who is likely to take the batting title and is in the top five in home runs and RBI's.
St. Loius Cardinal first baseman Albert Pujols, a likely hall of famer, is leading the NL in home runs and RBI's at the time of this post and also stands in the top ten in batting average. Pujols already has a batting title to his credit and has lead the league in home runs before but as odd as it may be, no RBI title to his credit. Cincinnati Red first baseman Joey Votto is a close third in all three of the offensive catagories.
Over in the American League Texas Ranger leftfielder Josh Hamilton is, like Carlos Gonzalez, literally running away with the batting title. Hamilton is in the top five in home runs and the top ten in RBI's. Then there's Detroit Tiger's first baseman Miguel Cabrera, who's pretty much in the same position in the American League as Joey Votto is in the National League.
To see a triple crown winner in baseball would be quite interesting, but by today's standards just isn't as possible as some people think it is. There's always those big sluggers, like Pujols, for the category of home runs and RBI's in bunches, some of whom are likely to strike out quite often, keeping their batting averages down, then there's those players, like Ichiro Suzuki, who are "hitting machines,' literally running away with the batting title.
The game of baseball has a lot of achievements that seem out of reach by today's standards, one of which, we all know, is Joe Dimaggio's 56 game hitting streak. The game has changed in many ways during the course of the last 60 years, and no, I don't mean just player salaries. Who knows, maybe something interesting, even spectacular is in store for us fans in the course of our lifetimes. There may be a triple crown winner, a hitting streak of more than 56 games, perhaps even the Chicago Cubs will win a World Series, their first since 1908. We'll just have to do the right thing, that's wait and see.
Thursday, September 2, 2010
Oh well, ho hum, another story about another phenomenal young professional baseball player. Is that as good as it gets? Yes, no, maybe so? Hey, who knows, only time will really tell.
So, Aroldis Chapman, the Cincinnati Reds left handed fireballer, a Cuban defector all set to go the route of one Fernando Valenzuela before him. Ah yes, "Fernandomania," what a time that was for the Los Angeles Dodgers and their fans,(yours truly included), what a time for the game of baseball in the City of Angels and the huge Mexican community it possesed then and now.
That was also a great time for me, having taken my first lesson in the Spanish language, enjoying the opportunity to test personal skills on the interpereted interviews of the (then) non english speaking young pitcher. As for Fernando, maybe not the hall of fame career that most were expecting, but a nice one indeed. He's back with the Dodger organization as a Spanish language broadcaster.
As is the case with most of the up and coming young ballplayers, I got to photograph Chapman in action, starting back in the 2008 Arizona Fall League, continuing through the 2010 Spring Training campaign. Chapman's ride through the minor leagues was a smooth and quick one. No surprise for a pitcher who was clocked on the radar gun with pitches in excess of 100 miles an hour, both in Triple-A (Louisville) as well as in his Major League start debut recently.
Young pitchers of the highly touted category are great to watch, but always in question in more ways than anyone inside or outside the game can even name. Stephen Strasburg, who got off to a great start at the Major League level, recently tore a ligament in his pitching elbow, will have to undergo Tommy John surgery and may be out of action up to 18 months.
Tommy John, the sensational pitcher for whom that surgery was named, I remember as an integral part of the Los Angeles Dodger pitching staff of the mid to late 1970's timeframe. When he tore his elbow ligament during the 1974 season, it was thought that his career may be over, but team physician, Doctor Frank Jobe, performed the first of what would be many successful Ulnar Collateral Ligament reconstruction procedures. With a 10-10 comeback in 1976 and a 20 game win season the next year John would go on to pitch twelve more seasons. Not a hall of fame caliber career but a superb one all the same.
Well, the rookie class in Major League Baseball in the 2010 season has been an impressive one. It will be a tight race for the National League Rookie of the Year award but Jayson Heyward and Ike Davis remain the top candidates, followed closely by Buster Posey. Again, the best is yet to come.
Tuesday, August 31, 2010
The Palisades High Class of 1980, my class, my great friends whom I love like family, got together on September 15, 1990, August 26, 2000, and once again on July 10, 2010 to spend a nice evening reflecting on so many fond memories.
This years event was held at the Sheraton Delfina in Santa Monica California. A lot more laid back and with a lower attendance than the ten and 20 year reunions did not damper anything this time. It's always good to see everyon up close and in person, which hopefully will happen more often in the future. I keep thinking and often saying out loud that we're certainly not getting any younger.
It's so great to have social media sites within the world of todays technology. Places like Facebook seem to give us the feeling of being reunited every day. Many blessings to my fellow classmates, not only to the ones from Palisades High but all my other schools as well, especially to those who are no longer with us, including my good friend Jimmy (The Weatherman) Alexander. My hope is now for all of us to stay well and look forward to getting together more often in the future.
Friday, July 23, 2010
There's a lot that can be said about women's sports, especially at the professional level, where leagues, teams, etc. have been rather few and far between in recent times, most of which have featured leagues that only lasted a few years on average, some of which, like the Women's Pro Soccer League, have vanished and resurfaced later.
The WNBA has been one of the most interesting concepts of women's pro sports I've ever seen. Since its inception, in the summer of 1997, the league has been able to prove itself in more than one way. I'm quite impressed with the fact that the WNBA has pretty much beaten the odds. With the ceasing of operations of the Sacramento Monarchs at the end of last year, it marked, if I'm counting correctly, the ninth time in league history that a franchise has either relocated or folded.
One of the origional teams, the Houston Comets, looking like they were on their way to some kind of WNBA dynasty, winning the first four WNBA championships,(1997-2000) is one of, I think six teams that no longer exists. I always thought that teams like the Comets, who had an NBA team in their city, would have the best chance to get by on the business end of things, but no, that hasn't been the case. Most of the teams that have ceased operation along with Houston, in places like Portland, Cleveland, and Orlando just to name a few, have been the ones that have lasted the least amount of time.
Here in Phoenix, we have the Phoenix Mercury, who, like most teams, have had up and down seasons, but are one of the origional franchises that have been able to stay in the same city throughout their existance. The Mercury have a great player in Diana Taurasi and have had others, like Cappie Pondexter, to help them win the 2007 and 2009 WNBA championships and all the player/fan enthusiasm that came with them.
I've had a great opportunity to photograph the Mercury this season, but with the departure of Cappie Pondexter and the addition of Candice Dupree, it's quite obvious that the team is going through a new chemistry that it was not as easy to adjust to as some might've thought. At the time of this post, the Mercury are holding a 9 win and 12 loss reccord for 2010, but still holding onto second place in the WNBA Western Conference that the Seattle Storm is being the dominant team in. Except of first place Seattle, who is running away, with 19 wins and 2 losses, the rest of the conference has teams with fairly evenly matched records. There's no telling what the playoff picture will look like.
The Mercury remained a fairly young team going into the 2010 season. No player on the roster, with the exception of Tangela Smith, is more than 30 years old. There's still plenty of time to turn things around, push up and over the .500 mark, and make way to the playoffs. With the Mercury's recent aquisition of forward/center Kara Braxton from the Tulsa (formerly Detroit) Shock, in a trade for forward Nicole Ohlde, It might make a difference as the 2010 season begins to wind down. Best of luck to head coach Corey Gaines and the Phoenix Mercury team for 2010 and beyond.
Wednesday, June 9, 2010
So, what have we here? I guess most of you would say I'm beating the "Ho Hum Drum" by writing yet another story about yet another up and coming professional baseball player.
Gerald Demp ("Buster") Posey, drafted fifth overall by the San Fransisco Giants in the 2008 Amatuer Draft is certainly another one of the up and coming young pro ballplayers that's worth writing about.
I missed the opportunity to photograph the catcher/first baseman in the 2009 Arizona Fall League, where he played after his stellar college baseball career at Florida State University, which included the Johnny Bench Award and lead to a good year in the Giants minor league system, leading to a brief call up to the big club at the end of the 2009 regular season.
My opportunity to photograph Buster during the 2010 Cactus League Spring Training games was as enjoyable as any other. That shot I took for this article, with him colliding with one of the Giant's infielders (I'm not sure who)while chasing a pop fly was one of my best and it came with good results as the out was recorded.
Beginning the 2010 season at Triple-A Fresno, Buster would soon receive another call to the big leagues on May 29, 2010. Playing first base and getting a hit in nine out of his first ten at bats is just one of the ways he proves that his career is definitly going in the right direction.
Well, a lot has changed recently for our national pastime. Ken Griffey Jr. has called it a career, Jason Heyward is still the top rookie position player, followed closely by Starlin Castro. Mike Leake continues to show dominance on the mound and at bat. Steven Strasburg made a spectacular Major League debut while his Washington Nationals, who once again had the top draft pick, took top prospect Bryce Harper, an up and coming young catcher. I've said it before and I'll say it again: "The best is yet to come."
Thursday, May 20, 2010
I once said "I like Ike," so I can also find an appropriate reason to say "I like Mike." That's Mike Leake, a former baseball standout at Arizona State University, in the role of a righthanded pitcher, as well as an infielder/outfielder who is also on the list of the great up and coming ballplayers that I recorded images of with my own cameras over the course of the last few years.
For Mike Leake, being selected by the Cincinnati Reds in the first round of the 2009 amatuer player draft as a pitcher, then going to the 2009 Arizona Fall League and working out with the Reds during 2010 Cactus League Spring Training as a non-roster invitee worked out much better than most had anticipated.
It would earn him a spot on the Reds 25 man roster as the fifth starting pitcher for the Reds, beating out Travis Wood and another highly regarded pitching prospect in Aroldis Chapman, as well as becoming another of many players to make the big league roster without having to play a day in the minor leagues.
I waited quite a while for a chance to watch Leake in action during the regular season and finally got the chance on May 20, 2010, when his Cincinnati Reds were broadcast on Major League Baseball Network for the "Thursday Matinee" game, when the Reds took on the Atlanta Braves at Turner Field in Atlanta that afternoon.
Mike and his team broke out with an 8-0 lead over the Braves by the 2nd inning and he would even help himself out going 2 for 3 at the plate, though not driving in any runs. On the mound, Mike would pitch 6 innings, allowing 5 hits, 1 base on balls and striking out 6 batters.
Despite Mike's good performance, he and the Reds were not able to hold onto their big lead and would lose to the Braves in dramatic fashion in the bottom of the ninth inning. Reds leftfielder Laynce Nix, who had hit a home run to pad his teams lead in the top of the fifth inning, had a high fly ball hit by Brave's pinch-hitter Brooks Conrad bounce off his glove to clear the fence for the game winning grand slam home run. Oddly enough, Reds first baseman Joey Votto also hit a grand slam home run, in the top of the second inning. You don't see two in one game very often these days.
Mike Leake, despite the disappointing loss for his team, was able to show playing prowess in many areas that day, to include at bat and in the field, often looking a lot like the good infielder he was when I saw him during his playing days at Arizona State University. For the Reds he wears jersey number 44, a number more common in baseball with big hitters, Hank Aaron and Reggie (Mr. October) Jackson just to name a few.
With Stephen Strasburg continuing to do well in Triple-A ball in the Washington Nationals organization, as well as Mike's former ASU teammate Ike Davis with the New York Mets, Jason Heyward with the Atlanta Braves, and recently Starlin Castro with the Chicago Cubs, I meant what I said when I mentioned the fact that the race for the NL Rookie of the Year award will be a tight one this season, just like what's expected of the races for playoff spots and division tiles can be.
My hat's off to all the up and coming young players who are on the verge of making good names for themselves and our national pastime. It's going to be an interesting 2010 season in that regard and hopefully, many others. It's still early in the 2010 Major League Baseball season. The best is yet to come.
Saturday, May 15, 2010
Here we have again,this time for the Chicago Cubs, another young pro baseball player who's rapidly making his way up the ranks of the ladder of our national pastime, whom I also enjoyed the opportunity to photograph in action during both the 2009 Arizona Fall League and the 2010 Cactus League Spring Training games.
Starlin Castro, like many pro ballplayers of the past, present, and future, (I'm sure) is from the Dominican Republic, born in Monte Christi on March 24, 1990, the same day I was blessed with the daughter (Trenise) that I'd always wanted and now love very much, just as I love the game of baseball.
Starlin performed very well in both the Fall League and Cactus League for the Cubs, earning a spot on the roster of the Tennesee Smokies, the Double-A level minor league team for his parent club.
Starlin's call to his big league club, on May 7, 2010, gave him the distinction of being the first major leaguer born in the 1990's. He would celebrate that occassion with a three-run home run in his debut at-bat, followed later in the game with a three run triple. His 6 RBI's in that game are now a record for a major league debut.
Baseball America is calling Starlin the Chicago Cubs best prospect for 2010 and his fielding capabilities, with the possibility of a gold glove in the future, would be the eventual icing on the cake of his playing career.
The competition for the 2010 National League Rookie of the Year award may be a little stiffer than some of us first thought.Starlin, along with Jason Heyward, Ike Davis, and maybe even Stephen Strasburg, may take the race for that distinction right down to the wire, just like some races for playoff spots, division titles, etc. often go.
As for the Chicago Cubs, the addition of Starlin Castro may send them on the right path to break that World Series curse, maybe not anytime soon, but hopefully sometime in my lifetime.
Tuesday, May 11, 2010
Stesphen Strasburg is another strong up and coming professional baseball player who's well on his way to the big show.
The number one overall pick of the 2009 Major League Baseball amatuer draft this right-handed pitcher had a memorable collegiate career at San Diego State University, under head coach and former major leaguer, now hall of famer Tony Gwynn.
His strong showing came in his sophomore and junior seasons with ERA's of less than 2.00 along with more than 100 strikeouts in less than 100 innings pitched. Stephen seemed unhittable at times with a fastball in the vicinity of 100 miles per hour and a curveball in the 80 mile an hour range on the mound for the Aztecs.
After being drafted number one by the Washington Nationals Stephen pitched a one-hitter vs. the Netherelands at the 2008 Olympic games in Bejhing for team USA and would soon make his pro baseball debut for the Phoenix Desert Dogs of the Arizona Fall League.
I had a nice time photographing Stephen in action during the Fall League season and was glad to hear that he would be assigned to the Double-A level Harrisburg Senators to begin his minor league stint in the Washington Nationals organization.
On May 4, 2010 Stephen was promoted to the Triple-A level Syracuse Chiefs, pitching six innings in his first start, striking out six, allowing only one hit and one base on balls.
Most people in the game predict his major league debut sometime this Summer, perhaps as early as June. Wether that happens or not, I see a great career ahead for the prospect named #1 by Baseball America for 2010.
Friday, May 7, 2010
It's been a great opportunity I've had for the last two years, photographing the up and coming young atheletes at Peoria High School, but there weren't too many that were better than the 2009 season and senior wide receiver Keith (K.J.) Bowen Jr.
Week after week, K.J. was one of the players that I found being the subject of a lot of the good photo galleries featuring himself and his team during his final season of playing football for his Peoria High School Panthers. His style of play, both pass receiving as well as ball carrying gave me the feeling he had a chance to go a long way in this game.
A good player and a well mannered young man as I remember the game at Saguaro High School in Scottsdale on September 17, 2009. Sometime during that game, in the first half if I remember correctly, K.J. hurtled out of bounds, narrowly mising me, but knocking over a female photographer on the sideline, even delaying the game just out of personal concern for her. As I remember, she was slightly bruised, but OK.
K.J. would continue his superb performance during the course of the next month, giving me the chance to record some of the best images of a young athelete that I've ever gotten to this day. These images I have in my PC files and hope to preserve for a lifetime.
On April 19, 2010 K.J. was thrown another superb pass, this one not from his own team quarterback in Caleb Gillespie, but from our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. K.J. caught that pass and took a long and final run to the goal line of the heavenly body. Our Heavenly Father stood up and raised both arms to signal the touchdown.
My heart will always be heavy for this young man and my thoughts and prayer will always be with his family and friends. Like everyone else, I can only wonder what could've been. His eye from above will always be on all of us just as my eye and camera will alway be on the talented young athletes like the one he was. K.J., thank you so much for the great opportunity. You will be missed.
Friday, April 23, 2010
That may sound like a campaign slogan for President Eisenhower from a few generations ago, but it's for another up and coming Major League Baseball player that I've been watching for the last few years, even before he turned pro.
My first sighting of Ike Davis came while he was playing college baseball at Arizona State University a few years ago, playing not only his most familiar first base, but pitching and outfield as well.
As a first baseman, where I saw Ike most often, as well as where he's playing at the start of his pro career, he looked a lot like a Mark Grace prototype in the making, with a slick glove and other superb defensive skills on the field. Ike is also a pure hitter, who looks like he could hit for good power and average combined. Ike was drafted by the New York Mets in 2008 after his junior year at Arizona State.
Ike is also a second generation player as his father, Ron Davis, was a relif pitcher, playing most of his career with the New York Yankees and Minnesota Twins, with stops in Los Angeles and San Francisco toward the end of his career.
Ike played in the 2009 Arizona Fall League, where I continued to follow him with my cameras and like Jason Heyward, whom I also photographed in the Fall League, he moved rather quickly through the New York Mets minor league system.
It was great to hear the news that Ike's contract was purchased by the NY Mets from his Triple-A Buffalo Bisons on April 19, 2010 and that he was able to arrive at Citi Field in Flushing, NY in time for that evenings game.
Ike got a two base hits in his Major League debut, the second of which resulted in his first Major League RBI and he put some good fielding in at first base to top it all off. That ball and broken bat that were part of his first Major League hit, in his first major League at bat, will look good in his trophy case.
The icing on Ike's cake came on April 23, 2010, vs. the Atlanta Braves at Citi Field when he hit his first Major League home run, a 450 foot shot over the head of the Braves rightfielder and fellow rookie sensation Jason Heyward, adding some slick fielding with his glove as well. Is there a Gold Glove in his future, a la Mark Grace? It was great that the ball Ike hit for his first home run was retrieved for his trophy case as well.
That was an unusual game in many ways, to include two young rookie sensations going up against one another. I'm glad I've gotten to watch both Ike and Jason and record digital images of these sensational young ballplayers. Maybe the two of them will put up a race for the National League Rookie-of-the-year award that is just as interesting as some division title races have been.
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Since making the move to Los Angeles in the summer of 1969, there was nothing I liked better than Los Angeles Dodger's baseball, and yes, there was no better place to watch baseball than Dodger Stadium.
During all those great years of watching our national pastime at Chavez Ravine, there couldn't have been a better Major League manager than Tommy Lasorda. Since taking the reins from Walter Alston in 1976, there was no statement that Tommy could've made better than: "I bleed Dodger Blue!"
The "Ambassador of Baseball" guided his "Blue Crew" to eight division tiles, four National League pennants and two World Series titles during his hall of fame managerial tenure and holds the distinction of one of, if not the longest tenure as a manager of one major league team, leading him to a much deserved spot in the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown.
With all that enthusiazim and excitement that Lasorda brought to the Dodger team and organization as a whole, I know for a fact that he will go down in the history books as one of the best in his postion. He treated his players--well, let's say he loved them like his own sons. The whole Dodger organization has been his second family for more than 60 years.
It was so pleasing for me to see Mr. Lasorda, as I often feel I should call him, up close again at the Dodgers Spring Training facility, Camelback Ranch Stadium, in Glendale Arizona this year. He looks as good as ever, even in his advancing age.
That was a repeat in history of sorts as the Dodger's current manager, Joe Torre, was the manager of the Atlanta Braves back in the 1980's timeframe, when I was living and working in that city, which at the time the Braves were geographically nonsensably one of the Dodgers division rivals in the NL West. Did I hear someone say that Joe Torre is also an actor and comedian in Los Angeles? No, that's Joe "Torry," notice the difference in the spelling of the last name.
It's been quite a while since I last saw the whole Dodger team up close and in person. I don't know what it is about those home white uniforms, but they've always looked whiter than most whites. Snow white, bleached white, whatever you want to call the "Dodger Home Whites," they're like no other and some players have a way of looking so distinctive while wearing them.
Some of Tommy Lasorda's former players have gone on to big league managerial careers themselves. Two of them, in the names of Dusty Baker and Mike Sciocia even went head to head with each other in the 2002 World Series, with Sciocia's Angels winning over Dusty and the Giant's.
Now that the Dodgers an Angels both represent "Los Angeles" and wear the rival colors (red and blue) it's time to start thinking of the possibility of a "Freeway" World Series. As is the case with the Chicago Cubs winning the Fall Classic, I hope the Freeway Series will take place sometime in my lifetime, and Tommy Lasordas too.
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
This is the 20-year-old Atlanta Braves rookie phenom outfeilder Jason Heyward. I first saw him while photographing the 2009 Arizona Fall League baseball games and was not familiar with him at the time.
It turned out that Jason, who grew up in nearby McDonough, Georgia, was only a few short years into his pro baseball career but had moved quickly through the Braves minor league system, even moving up three levels, from Single-A ball to Triple-A ball during the 2009 baseball season.
Jason was named the 2009 Minor League Player of the Year by both Baseball America and USA Today,topping that off with a good showing during 2010 Spring Training. Jason put the icing on that cake by hitting a 476 foot home run on Opening Day, in his first Major League at bat, which came in front of the home crowd at Turner Field in Atlanta on April 5, 2010.
He launched that ball, pitched to him by Carlos Zambrano of the visiting Chicago Cubs, into the Braves bullpen in right centerfield. The good thing about that is that his teammates got the ball for him to put in his trophy case, instead of him having to try to bribe a fan out of giving him the ball for--well, who knows what.
Jason is now carrying the heavy weight of the pressure of expectation on his back, but he's a big, strong guy, who can handle it well. Perhaps he has what it takes to be a great player and community role model for the Atlanta Braves, just like Dale Murphy was many years before him.
As a former resident of the Atlanta metro area, back in the days when the Atlanta Braves were not quite the team they were in more recent time, my hat is off to Jason Heyward with hopes he has a long and accomplished Major League career. Perhap I'll see him enshrined in the Hall of Fame someday as well.
Monday, April 12, 2010
I had plenty of great experiences photographing Major League Baseball's Cactus League Spring Training season, but there was nothing better than the opportunity to watch and photograph Seattle Mariner DH and future hall of famer Ken Griffey Jr.
"Junior," at 40, appears to be on the home strech of his playing career, and he is going to complete it in the same city he started it in, my birth city, Seattle Washington. I was also pleased to have had the opportunity to watch his father, Ken Sr. play while I was growing up, but the younger Griffey has been a player like no other. With the exception of Reggie (Mr. October) Jackson, I've never seen such a smooth left-handed swing in the game from a player in my lifetime.
On March 27, 2010 at the Peoria Sports Complex I watched in amazement through the lens of my camera as Junior launched a grand slam home run in an exhibition game against his and his fathers former team, the Cincinnati Reds, to win the game for his Seattle Mariners.
That may have been the last time I see him up close in person during his playing career, but I look forward to see him eventually being inducted into the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, perhaps as a member of the Class of 2016, which will be his first year of eligibility if he hangs it up after this season. Preferably wearing a Seattle Mariners cap.
Monday, April 5, 2010
I had an interesting time on a short trip to my hometown of Los Angeles last month, as it included a stop at Palisades High School, where I graduated from in 1980. Wow! That was 30 years ago.
The purpose of going there was to pay a visit to my photography teacher and school yearbook advisor, Mr. Robert Doucette.
Rob is now the only remaining faculty member at Palisades High that I had as a teacher who is still working there.
I was totally awestruck when I saw the big differences in his classroom as it is now loaded with today's high tech image producing devices, to include I-Mac (Apple) computers for the production of the school yearbook.
Film production is still part of the cirriculum of the photo students but, well, who knows how much longer. I did not even ask Rob about that as I'm sure he does not have the answer either.
Rob is going to retire after this school year, but he will stay onboard as a part time teacher and advisor to the new photography intructor, Mr. Richard Stiel, whom I had the pleasure of meeting that day as well.
I recall the yearbook production in 1980 as an interesting but very difficult task and it taught me a lot as far as things like meeting deadlines are concerned in the aspect of publication production. Unbelivable as well that Mr. Steve Eddy and the Taylor Publishing Company are still working with my old school.
The thing I do most often is continue to ponder my thoughts on the "now vs. then" aspect of putting together that yearbook. I think the "Surf" production staff, now all female, is working on the 2010 (and beyond) yearbooks with the tech tools that I, like most of us, just couldn't see coming back when I was doing their job. My hat will always be off to Rob and his student yearbook production crew.
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
"Mr. October 27." Why that name you ask? October 27th is an importand day for me, yes, my birthday, almost a half-century ago to be exact.
Among the many unique things in reference to my date of birth, it came on the 300th day of the calender year, 103 years to the date of birth of U.S. President Teddy Roosevelt.
I was born in Seattle, a city that has about as many rainy days each year as I now have sunshine days here in the Phoenix area. What a change for the better as I spent a few years in Albuquerque, New Mexico and love the American Southwest.
I've also always loved the game of baseball and "Mr. October" was the nickname of one of my favorite major leaguers while I was growing up. That players name was Reggie Jackson and he earned his nickname in the game by having a reputation for peak performance in the late season and postseason.
My father's name was also "Reggie." Dad and I spent many good years sharing our love for our "national pastime" and even though he left this life before he had a chance to see his Boston Red Sox win the World Series I consider it a blessing that I got to see the Sox's triumphs in the Fall Classics on my 43rd birthday as well as the day after my 46th birthday.
Who knows, maybe Dad is up there, watching our game and our team from the best seat in the house. Perhaps there's a trend of three year intervals going and I'll get another Red Sox World Series title for my 49th birthday this coming October. It's all in the hands of God. I'll just wait and hope for the best.
Friday, February 19, 2010
It's that time in our lives, the 21st century, new technological advances taking place faster than anyone can take two breaths. Like most people, places, things, you name them, I'm caught right in the middle of it all.
Postal mail, "snail mail," whatever you want to call it, yes, it's still there, but I can't even remember how long it's been since I sat down on a typewriter, wrote a personal letter, placed it in an envelope and sent it. E-mail and text messaging on mobile devices have taken over and here to stay with me.
Names like Ben Franklin, Thomas Edison, Alexander Graham Bell to name a few, though their are many other names on the list of the great inventors in the history books that I often wonder what some of them would think if they were alive today to see the high tech devices we're living and working with now. For me personally the telephone has even taken a backseat to communicating over today's world wide web.
On the side of personal entertainment, today's high defenition TV is as awesome as those high quality and very lifelike images come across the screen. Yes, not every TV station is taking up HD TV but like all aspects of the high tech world, most are catching up slowly but surely. Video gamers can speak for themselves as I'm not one of them.
Anyone who knows me should also know that digital photography is the key to my personal revolution as I never thought I'd see the day when I did not have to eagerly wait for film to be developed, waste film on bad action shots, (sports, etc.), or worry about running out of film.
Yes, film is still available, it's still being used, and film cameras, though shrinking in number, are still available on the retail market. I always thought that film would be obsolete by now, I'll give it another 10 years and see what happens.
Loading memory cards with capacities of one thousand images as well as the opportunity to simply erase the images that don't come out well has been the key to my comeback in today's livelihood that I hoped I would have many years ago.
My fondest memory of my senior year in high school of being a student photographer and editor of the school yearbook is always in the backbone of my thoughts on the subject of film developing, image printing, designing layouts by hand and everything else that went with it is in the backbone of my thoughts when it comes to the "now vs. then'' theory.
I often ponder my thoughts on those days, the interesting opportunity along with the hardships that came with it and I often wonder what that job would've been like if--let's say I then had the "digital darkroom" that I have today.
Monday, February 15, 2010
With all the time I spend in cyberspace I don't feel like I need much in the way of an intro, but my game plan is to set myself apart from others who might carry the same name in life, especially under similar circumstances.
In case you want to know what brings that to mind, I have a namesake, if you want to call him that, in Barbados, the island country in the West Indies, where my paternal grandfather was born and raised, before he eventually migrated to the United States during his adolecence.
That "David Alleyne" is an artist, in the form of a picture painter, where as I am a picture taker, yes, a photographer. I find that a lot of people get me confused with him and often wonder what it would be like if I had a more common name (i.e. "Smith) and had to live and work under the same circumstances.
It's all good, because in Barbados my last name is probably as common as a name like--let's say "Johnson" is in the United States. It's as unique and different as I am and I will always be proud to have it.