Monday, December 31, 2012

DJ Foster.

The 2012 NCAA Pac-12 football season gave me a nice opportunity to photograph Arizona State University and another player who is making a good name for himself as he moves up the playing ranks.

ASU's freshman running back DJ Foster is a local product by way of Saguaro High School in Scottsdale and I had no idea that on September 17, 2009, while following Peoria High School on a road game that I had even recorded images of such a player.

That was the high school footbal game that I remember all too well because it was the same evening when Peoria's KJ Bowen (God bless his soul) hurtled out of bounds, made a quick move to his left to avoid colliding with me, only to collide with a female photographer on the sideline behind me. I'm still thankful she did not get hurt too badly. I don't even know who she is and often think it would have been better for me to take that hit instead.

DJ played quite well in the two games I was able to photograph him this season and he will do just as well, if not better, I know, during the three seasons he has left to play for ASU and I hope beyond as well. Thanks DJ, good luck to you and your team as well for 2013 and beyond. I think the best is yet to come.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Desert Storm Norm

If there's one thing I've always taken plenty of pride in life about, it's my own military service. Mine started much later in life than most but I consider it the best thing I've ever done. It was an honor to my father. I'm proud to say that I'm the only on of my parent's four offspring to have served in the United States Armed Forces despite albiet part time as a member of the Army National Guard in both California and Arizona.

With that in mind, there's nothing in the military service that I can say that I've admired more than the others who have chosen to raise their own hand and take the oath of allegiance to serve our country the way they have. Many have been honored in ways that most of us can only hope for and dream about just as much as there were many others who gave their lives for a good cause.

General Schwartskopf is no exception. I first saw him make a good name for himself in his "Stormin Norman" personality that he brought to his position as commander of coalition forces in 1991 during Operation Desert Storm. Frowed on by many for that fiery attitude but praised by many others who knew that he was just doing what a four star general in any branch had to do.

It's not easy being a career military man in any branch, or at any level for that matter. General Schwartskopf did that as well as anyone could have ever asked for and did so in a career spanning back to the Vietnam era that began shortly after his commission into the Army as a Second Lieutenant after graduation from West Pointand serving his fisrt assignment as a platoon leader at the 187th Airborn Infantry Regiment in Fort Campell, Kentucky.

After many rescue missions in Vietnam and moving on to his personal prestiege in Operation Desert Storm General Schwartskopf would retire and go on to public speaking as an alternative to the post military political career that many predicted for him. General Schwartskopf would make his final march to eternal life on December 27, 2012. With that sharp salute that would be rendered by any member of any branch of the service, for the service of General Norman Schwartskopf I say "Thank you Sir for your service and may you continue to watch over all who continue to serve from the body of stars, just like the four you wore on your uniform."

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Different Strokes.

Well, here you have me, back again, after another lengthy layoff from behind the blog spot, the place I live for the writings of the thoughts I have on so many topics of interest that are always on my mind as I keep up with the ongoings of everyday life. It's been quite a year. I personally have officially entered that so prestigious CLUB FAB 50 but not without the bumps and bruises that tend so come for one and all as the years continue to march along and we face the given reality of the fact that we're not getting any younger.

Wow, another health scare. All these years of good health that I gave myself with all the fitness that derived from its importance as a member of the military service did not give me the idea that I was invincible but I know for a sure fact that it most likely kept a health issue from being a lot worse than it could have been. A stroke is nothing nice. The stresses of everyday life and what it brings most of us can catch up with anybody at anytime and it can do that in many different ways. What I thought was a vision problem in one eye and the numbness on the left side that followed could have spelled disater but I pulled through it and I can now speak and have my motor skills to use just as well as I once did, though still shaky at times. Diet and fitness are now first priority as I continue the work and education that mean the most to me and are sure to help me move straight forward from here on out.

The personal life is now back in the saddle after a stint of time on the wrong page of what seemed to be the same storybook. There's a soon to be partner in life in another trace of the roots that made me what I am with the sure third marriage that I look forward to calling "the charm" with so much that its had to offer and so much more to come. All in good time is this "JOURNEY" as the tie to the good song by the group that says "Don't stop believing" and that I won't.

So much continues to happen in the news but there was nothing better than the 2012 Presidential Election as President Barack Obama won a second term over the worst possible replacement in an opponnent in Mitt Romney. My heartiest congratulations to our Commander-In-Chief who will always be thought highly of for being himself and giving me an opportunity to have this country in the hands of the leadership that I didn't think I'd live to see. President Obama is a member of my own generation and a member of a minority ethnic background. A member of the opposite gender is next on the list of whom I'd like to see as the leader of our nation.

The news as I watch in so many different areas will always have the best and worst sides of things. In sports, it finally happened in baseball as Miguel Cabrera of the Detroit Tigers became the first Triple Crown winner since 1967. Sometimes it makes you wonder if it's possible to lead the league in three major offensive categories when so often one player only specializes in one category (usually batting average) and takes the possibility away with him. The odds were challenged and beaten which looked good for the game and its fans.

On the sad side, there's always one thing too many, especially in the way of lives that leave us far too soon. The main one, Whitney Houston, the words of the beautiful voice I can only say myself and only wish that she could hear them. Whitney, it won't be the same, but as is the case with many of us, I too, "will always love you." Too many lives senslessly taken at a moments notice as well, many young and innocent with their whole lives ahead of them. More must be done to protect them all and I know it will all in good time but not soon enough.

I'm back now, yes, I am. As my eyes stare into the screen of my PC monitor, I see many better things ahead. I've made a better name for myself in social media and will continue to improve in many areas as I keep up with personal improvements and reaching more of my personal endeavors. More to come.