Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Man Buys His Own Stolen Camera on Ebay


I will admit to having had that fantasy in the last week.

Man buys his own stolen camera on eBay.
submitted by ThisGeek 152 days ago (via http://today.reuters.co.uk/new...)

A German businessman whose camera was stolen was relieved to find the same model for sale on eBay. When it arrived after he bought it however, he discovered it was his OWN, stolen camera!

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Camera flips

Camera flips
Originally uploaded by katzeye.
Tonight we looked at the promotional DVD that we got from the hot air balloon people. It pretty much showed the usual aspects of the usual ride. In some ways it was good to see it, and in some ways, it was really sad, because I saw the things that I photographed, and how I photographed them.

There are many people in the world who have had their cameras stolen, and along with them, their photos, their precious memories, their ways of seeing life, an experience, an event, the world, etc.

Perhaps there is a special torture place for those who steal people's film and memory cards.

Going without my SLR this long is way harder than I thought it would be.

Keeping on keeping on....

Thursday, May 25, 2006



Ants have invaded my office. It all began with one or two ant spottings, one crossing behind the keyboard, and then one on the light. (Yes, the light, go figure). Today, as I was typing, they were congregating behind my back. I turned around and, (insert PSYCHO muisc here), there they were, a big black stream across the window sill, down the wall, and all over the chair. The Horror!

I've been battling them all day, their bodies are strewn over the window sill, and yet, they keep coming to the battlefield.

I want to know why. But even more so, I want to know why, if ants are so smart, and if they communicate with each other so well, why do they not communicate that the window sill and wall of my office is a death trap, strewn with their comrades that came before them? Why do they not retreat in terror? Why do they still keep coming, to their fateful demise? Why?

Just wondering...


Why is lemon juice made with artificial flavor, and dishwashing liquid made with real lemons?

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Seeing Without a Camera

Dancing Brake LIghts
Originally uploaded by katzeye.
I got this in an email this morning:

"This is a tragedy, it may take awhile but I'm sure we can all pull together to help you. In the meantime use your 'eye' to analyze subjects, see deeper. Often when I'm on trips and can't play music I listen with a composers ear to know the parts, to find the hidden harmonies and rhythms.You will photograph soon, but you didn't lose the joy of seeing the beauty."

Thank you for that. As I was listing the "Silver Lining" aspects (see below), I was kind of trying to say this. I think that the musical metaphor helps, not only to explain it to others, but to myself as well.

We do, sometimes, have to stop creating, and we need to be quietly observing. Our eyes, our ears are more sensitive when we are quiet and paying attention. The muse sometimes needs to regroup.

Thanks for putting it so well.

Cell Phone Wars

Early this morning, Mark and I were sitting in a doctor's office. Mark HAS to work, pretty much all of the time, except for Sundays, and I was grateful to have him be there, since I was a little nervous (lifelong, fair, blue-eyed, former surfer, California Girl finally goes in for her first skin cancer screening, EVer while experiencing a turn in luck!). He was on his cell conducting his work. He wasn't being super loud or annoying or anything, but an older couple, across the room was. Mark was concentrating on his work, so he didn't notice them, but the rest of us did. The couple was complaining loudly and vocally, rudely, and with great disdain. They said things like: "Some people just can't set their personal lives aside for a few moments!" "He just wants everyone to think he's really important." "He is just such a bigshot that he has to be chatting on his phone right now." etc. And they were glaring at us.

Ordinarily, I might have passed Mark a note to take it out to the hallway, because he was disturbing other people. And if they had asked me nicely for him to do that, I would have but:

a-I was so grateful to have him be there, as my support, that I didn't want him to leave, and I knew that he would have to be working at the same time. and...

b-they were being so rude about it that I didn't feel like doing the polite thing. I didn't want to be intimidated by their loud, rude remarks.

(And besides, I just had $2500. of camera equipment that took decades to acquire stolen. Don't mess with me!)

So, I just watched them having their loud and nasty hissy fits. It seemed like they were enjoying themselves as they tried to outdo each other in rudeness.

Then Mark finished his call. Put away his phone, picked up PEOPLE magazine, and I heard a phone ring.

Then I saw Rude Dude, fumble around in his pockets and pull out his phone. He then had a loud, and very personal conversation that went on until we got called by the nurse.

I did manage to catch his eye just before that happened, and I gave him a friendly little glare.

Oh, and I was declared skin cancer free. YAY!!!

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Letting Go

Emerson's Eyelashes
Originally uploaded by katzeye.
It can't be ALL ABOUT ME much longer. I promise, I am getting out of the pitty pot, and soon, this blog will be turned back over to you. I am already considering the next controversial or strange topic.

I will say, though, that today I was feeling a bit discouraged. I really think it is just that reality is sinking in and I am facing the facts that my beloved camera equipment is gone. I will admit, though, that I did look under the bed once more this morning, just for good measure, even though I KNOW, that it isn't there (from looking four times already), and I KNOW that the last place the bag was seen was in Phoenix, AZ.

(Oh, no, am I becoming obssessive-compulsive?)

I wonder if I will ever again be able to eat a veggie sandwich from Subway.

So, I am facing reality. BLEH.

BUT, there is a silver lining to every cloud.

I see that I have been self-absorbed and obsessed with this for four days, and that is enough. I'd turn on the radio and realize I was not even listening to it, so I'd turn it off, and so forth. OBSESSED. DEMENTED.

Okay, the silver linings:

First and foremost, the kindness, empathy, sympathy of family, friends, strangers. How utterly amazing.

How humbling and overwhelming. I am so grateful.

Secondly, this has given me pause to consider what is truly valuable to me and what is not.

Thirdly, not taking so many pix, gives me a chance to review what I have taken thus far.

And, this has given me a chance to evaluate what my talents, gifts and interests are and to fortify that this IS my passion.

My son says that by next week, thanks to so many of you, we will be able to replace the camera body and one of the lenses, at least. That makes me happy.

If you helped me in this, and would like more than just a spammish thank you, let me know, and I will make you a print of your favorite photo from my flickr photostream, and send it to you, or take your portrait, or a portrait of one of your loved ones, if you are nearby. Do let me know, I want to express my thanks through actions whenever I can.

thank you so much!

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Today's Update on the Stolen Camera

The canopy overhead
Originally uploaded by katzeye.
Today Mark managed to find the number for the owner of the particular Subway franchise that has my camera (or employs the thief). Again, he calls, and gets no response. He will allow the owner a bit more time to respond and then we go to the police. We no longer have hope to recover my camera equipment or the memory card. But, we are not going to just let it go. Even if nothing can be done, and even if the thief has already pawned it, sold it on ebay, whatever, we plan to make a certain amount of stink about it.

Think about it. You own the Subway franchise at 610 Baseline Rd E
Ste C2
Phoenix AZ 85040-6536

A customer accidentally leaves a camera case under the table there, and when she calls to report that she left it there, it has already been hidden away, and people lie about it. Would you want to know that you have dishonest employees? Are you okay with them operating your cash registers?

Up until now, I have felt sad and helpless about it all. Now I am starting to feel angry.

But, I have had many other thoughts and feelings, too. It has been difficult for me to not have my camera because I am always seeing pictures, and can't take them the way I want to without my camera, so I have been telling myself to stop seeing pictures, but when I try to do that, I feel like I am shutting down a major part of my soul.

Anyway, as some have said, what goes around comes around. I have even thought that maybe the person who has/had my camera and lenses was a person struggling to feed little children and now she has a couple of month's worth of rent paid up so she can buy more food. Honestly, I have thought that, and tried to send her vibes to at least turn in the memory card so we could have our pictures!

But then, I think that a crackhead probably already pawned it, so I go from my generous involuntary contribution helping a poor mother, to my involuntary contribution aiding a crackhead's habit.

Mark said, when we first realized the loss, that "there are still more honest people in the world than dishonest." And I totally thought that it would be a simple thing: we would call the Subway, and they would say, "Oh, yeah, the camera case is right here, you can come and get it." I totally thought that.

We have found some of the dishonest ones, but the care, support, kindness of so many others is making me think that Mark is right, there are still more kind, generous, compassionate, and honest people in the world than mean, greedy, unfeeling, and dishonest types.

Thank you to everyone who has shown me compassion. It has been amazingly helpful!

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Lost My Camera (and today is my birthday)

Originally uploaded by katzeye.
How ironic that this would be the next post after posting about my PASSION.

The camera is almost a year old. It has been my "baby" for 11 months. I got it with tax refund money, which I set aside as I eagerly anticipated the camera coming onto the market. Once it was in my hands, I was in love. It became an extension of my eye, my hands, my heart, my soul.

I took it everywhere and kept it safe, and on me, always.

Here is what happened: Mark had business in Phoenix last Monday and yesterday. He decided that we would celebrate my birthday in AZ. So, he worked there Monday, and then we went to Sedona for three days of hiking, exploring, culminating in a hot air balloon ride. I was so excited that I had trouble falling asleep, and our wake-up call was for 3:30 AM. I saved most of my card for that experience and took about a hundred photos then.

Friday, after work in the morning, we met up with my son, who is living in Phoenix, and did a few errands with him. Each time we got out of the car, I took out a small messenger bag, and put that on, and then added my camera bag, because the temps were in the triple digits and I didn't want to fry my camera by leaving it the car.

I think I made two mistakes: 1-I put the camera and the lenses in the camera case. I usually only do that when traveling a long distance in the car. When not doing that, the camera is usually in my backpack or a messenger bag that goes with me. That is what I am used to. Because we made a few stops, I was taking TWO bags with me, instead of the usual ONE (not taking the time to remove the camera and put it in the one bag-not wanting to slow down the process). 2-When we went in to get a sandwich, I had the small messenger on my person, and set the camera bag at my feet. That was a mistake, but not a biggie, because I am also in the habit of looking around me as I get up to leave a place, lest I Ieave something behind. This time, for some reason, I was distracted from doing that. I recall there were several distractions.

Nevertheless-I am beside myself with grief and suffering at my loss. I am kicking myself all over, bursting into tears at odd moments, and generally feeling like my best friend died and I had a limb amputated. I literally feel physically ill.

Having packed the camera for the trip home, it contained not only the camera body, but my most beloved macro lens, a zoom 80-200 telephoto, my lensbaby, a spare battery, and a card containing thousands of photos of hikes and the much-anticipated balloon ride (which was on my list of 43 things to do).

My husband has contacted the manager of the Subway in Phoenix where we ate, and no one has told her of a left-behind camera bag. She is in the process of contacting two more employees, but our guess is that someone was thrilled at the find and not likely to turn it in.

My loss pains me immensely, and this is the most depressing birthday EVER, as a result. It's not like we can just go and replace the equipment that took decades to accumulate. And, of course, we cannot EVER replace the hundreds of photos that were on the memory card.

I think of my much-loved camera in the hands of a stranger who would only care for its monetary value. I think of the dishonest stranger looking at photos of my husband and myself, our balloon ride, and erasing the card without a second thought. I think of the loss of the one material possession that meant the most to me in this world, and I am depressed beyond belief or relief.

I am in mourning. Happy birthday to me.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

What Is Your Passion?

Originally uploaded by katzeye.
I'm talking about the passion that you probably discovered while very young.

Mine was photography. I always had funky little cameras, like a Brownie, or an Instamatic. I took lots and lots of B&W photos.

Even as a little kid, I remember watching adults line us up in rows, against a wall or whatever, our faces squinting in the bright sun, in order to shoot us firing squad style-and I remember thinking, "Is this the only way that it can be done?"

I recall trying, often with great frustration, to record things differently, because, I guess, I saw things differently. I would get down on the grass and shoot up, or climb up into a tree and shoot down. I would get up close to an anthill or my brothers' ears or the stitching on my beloved jeans (called dungarees by most in the 50s but I called them blue jeans even then and they were my favorite thing to wear).

I tried to photograph the lemon I had just picked from the tree and cut in half because I thought it was beautiful.

The equipment was limited, but it did not deter me. In college, I majored in fine arts and psychology, and spent five years there completing the requirements for a double major. THEN, when I had my first baby, put away the oil paints (all those dangerous oils and things sitting around). My husband got me my first 35 mm SLR, and I am forever grateful! It was completely manual, and I read the little instruction book from cover to cover one afternoon in the bathtub (not sure how I found the time, since I had a hungry newborn).

My first shoot was walking around the Rose Parade grounds the day before the parade. I was feeling a little clueless, not sure if I was getting all of my aperture and shutter speed settings right, but I pressed forward with courage.

The first photo I ever sold to a magazine came from that first roll of film. The next three or four money-making shots came from the roll after that. I am certain it was my five years learning to draw and paint that assisted in my eye, but it was also, for sure, my PASSION.

I worked in photography from then on: child portraiture, weddings, magazines and newspapers, and documented my kids as they grew.

In the 90s and early 00s I let it take a back seat a bit. It was largely due to the high costs of film and processing. I did not quit entirely, and always had two cameras loaded and ready to go at all times, and processed a roll or two about once every two months (eesh, at about the same rate that I give in and get a hair cut---see hair cut entry below, if you are so inclined). BUT, it became more of a hobby or avocation, on the side, after work, etc.

Now that my kids are grown, the stirrings have been coming back. Not the hobby-ish stirrings, but the passion stirrings.

Last year, Mark gave me a portion of the tax refund and told me to use it where I wanted. I set it aside to wait for a particular digital SLR that would come out in June. Happy was the day that I uploaded my first set of photos from that camera. I was back in the game. And, indeed, the very next month I was on assignment to cover a major event over the period of nearly three months. Photos from that will come out next month in a magazine.

All of the time I was not photographing as a passion, I was writing as a passion (and published several books, and presently work as a writer and editor for some publishing companies). I still like to write, and have story ideas all of the time. I guess for me the primary passion is to be able to observe life from different angles and to create what I see into a form wherein I can show others. I often have a big camera in my bag, and wish I had a keychain camera, a botton camera, a phone camera, a credit-card camera, a camera sugically placed in my eye, and If I should go blind, I will spend the remainder of my days as a teller of stories, and paint pictures with words. But I hope and pray to always have my eyes because my ultimate passion is with all things visual.

SOooooo...what is YOUR passion? Feel free to wax poetic! Ramble on to your heart's content! I can't wait to hear!

Who Said These Things?


Here are two quotes, the same person said both of them. Do you know who?

We should not say that one man's hour is worth another man's hour, but rather that one man during an hour is worth just as much as another man during an hour. Time is everything, man is nothing: he is at the most time's carcass.

The development of civilization and industry in general has always shown itself so active in the destruction of forests that everything that has been done for their conservation and production is completely insignificant in comparison.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Is Graffiti Vandalism or Art?

Ancient civilizations
Originally uploaded by katzeye.
Go for it! What do you think?

This is not stuff from MY bag, but what's in YOUR bag?

Originally uploaded by GarotaDeIpanema.
As a photographer, I am slightly addicted to bags of various sizes in order to schelp not only my normal stuff (lip balm, gum, hankie, contact lens case, book, pen, paper, ipod), but also my photog stuff, sometimes just an SLR with a lens attached, sometimes one or two other lenses, sometimes a flash, sometimes a lensbaby, battery, etc.

I am also slightly addicted to Flickr. (Mark will say I need intervention.) Flickr has a group titled, "What's in Your Bag?" where people not only discuss bags, and what's in them, but they also photograph the contents. It's kind of fun if you have a moment in between other stuff that you HAVE to do.

Go here to explore: http://www.flickr.com/groups/52241283780@N01/

This group has over two thousand members, so it must be interesting to others, too!

Britney Spears Is Pregnant Again?


I dunno, maybe it's me, but I'm concerned. The 8 month old baby she already has got a fractured skull from falling out of his highchair and she drives with him in her lap. I just wonder.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Should Exit Exams be Required for Graduating HS Seniors?

HS Soccer Game
Originally uploaded by Huh?Pix.
That is a major controversy in CA today.

Just What Is a Monkey Wrench, Anyway?

Grumpy Monkey
Originally uploaded by Huh?Pix.
If no one knows, I might just have to look into this!

Are Carbs Really the Problem?

Love bread
Originally uploaded by Huh?Pix.
I love carbs, I eat carbs all day long.


Originally uploaded by Huh?Pix.
Do you prefer dogs or cats? AND are you more like a dog or like a cat?

What IS it about High Heels?

Originally uploaded by Huh?Pix.
Yeah, yeah, I know, they make the legs look longer, and the wearer look cuter and sexier. BUT, when I am at one of those mega-walking places like Disneyland, or a mall the size of a major metropolitan city, and I see a woman mincing by in sky-high heels, I just want to know: "How much pain are you in, and is it worth it?"

Gloves or Mittens?

Drying in the Sun
Originally uploaded by Huh?Pix.
Most adults prefer gloves, but they say that mittens keep our fingers warmer. What do you say?

How Fast Does Your Hair Grow?

They say that hair grows about a half an inch per month, give or take. Does yours grow faster than that or slower?

Monday, May 08, 2006

Leftie or Rightie?

Let the Shower Begin
Originally uploaded by katzeye.
stick shift or automatic?
beach or mountains?
innie or outie?
soup or salad?
book or movie?
paper or plastic?
bus or train?
tall or short?
night owl or morning lark?
backpack or messenger bag?
shower or bath?
contacts or glasses?
dance or skate?
active or sedentary?
city or country?
carnivore or vegetarian?
plaid or stripes?
oxfords or sandals?
long hair or short hair?
b&w or color?
gourmet or fast food?
drive or ride?
fast or slow?
yoga or kick-boxing?
big or small?
TV or read?
brown rice or white?
in or out?
abstract or realistic?
natural or enhanced?
foreign or domestic?

Do You Believe in Extra-Terrestrials?

Why or why not?

If you could take a pill that would...

...make you ten years younger. Would you?