Friday, July 31, 2009

Short Pump & Richmond, Virginia

Short Pump
Daily Grind

Kristen Joseph stands before some of her paintings. The James Madison University junior already demonstrates significant talent with much promise for the future. A show of her work is at the Daily Grind and will remain at least a week. She will be at the coffee shop tomorrow from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. to meet those interested in meeting her and viewing her work.

West End Richmond

Left to right: Ferris, Jenine and Shawn have their first experience with the Krispi Kreme bakery. Shawn attempts to take a bite out of the big, red sign. Whenever it is lit, donuts are being produced and hot ones are available.

Alison helps her son, Ferris, adjust his baker's hat, a souvenir of the visit.

Left to right: Ferris, Jenine, Alison and Sam learn there is nothing like a Krispy Kreme donut fresh off the production line. They are good later, but never as good as when they are first hot.
Photographs taken with a Leica M8

Short Pump, Virginia

Cash for Clunkers

I wasn't going to post either of these photos. But with the possible suspension of the Cash for Clunkers program today, I thought it appropriate to run them. Because at ...

... $4,500 dollars each, it only takes a little over 200 vehicles to burn through $1 million. At that rate it's no surprise the $1 billion to help Americans buy more fuel efficient cars was gone in less than a week. As I post this, television ads for Dodge, Chrysler, Toyota and Ford telling people to take advantage of the program are running.
Photographs taken with a Leica M8

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Short Pump, Virginia

Rain creates patterns in the lights of a car dealership on West Broad Street Road.
Photograph taken with a Leica M8

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Short Pump, Virginia

I've lost the little scrap of paper I scribbled everyone's name on. However spurious or misspelled your name may be, please forgive me. I've done the best I can. It is said memory is the second thing to go. I can't remember what is first. Please let me know and I'll correct them.

There are 21 people at the Daily Grind this evening for an hour of coffee and conversation. It's the largest gathering we've had in the few weeks Sam and Alison have been holding the Wednesday evening event. Leann, center, holds Mizzel while her husband Jacob looks on. The couple is from Louisiana and new to the area. This is the second time they have participated in the group.

Ellen, right, met Mizzel at a church work camp this past week and brought the toddler home with her for a visit.

Shannon, left, fresh off a trip from Florida for a visit to Disney World is tired. She is also intent, determined not to smile no matter how much her mother Stephanie, right, encourages her ...

... Shannon is challenged and struggles to keep control, but it appears that a smile may bust out any moment ....

... ah, it does! Just one, tired or not. For obvious reasons, Shannon is one of my favorite people to photograph.
All photographs takes with a Leica M8

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Short Pump, Virginia

Copperas Branch

Home again with our ever vigilant watchdogs Sadie, left, and Toby, right. Nothing penetrates the confines of their portion of the community without their commenting upon it. I recently learned that the official name of the little stream that flows through our community is Copperas Branch.
Photo taken with a Leica M8

Monday, July 27, 2009

Chicago, Illinois & Richmond, Virginia


In Chicago to help plan a professional conference. When planning a professional conference one needs to do research. Right? Part of planning is to make decisions so that participants aren't disappointed. I think we've got Deep Dish Chicago Pizza down. Other elements of the event are still a little shaky.

Jennifer, our leader, who lacks neither enthusiasm nor expression ...

... Margaret, champion of the deep dish ...

... Cam, chief tester ... sated and satisfied ...

... and Julie ... Julie and I have history. We are known for getting in trouble ... not bad trouble ... just trouble ....

One of those inexplicable signs: Will people really pay $8.00 for rocks? Well, maybe after they've had enough of the other stuff.

Kaitlin — Julie's daughter — with the new stuffed animal she discovered while knocking around Chicago with her dad. She told me what it is. For the life of me I can't remember, or figure it out by looking at it.

Chicago is home to some incredible architecture. Just west of the city is Oak Grove, the largest concentration of Frank Lloyd Wright structures. Downtown are beautiful examples like this detail from the former Jewish Synagogue that now houses Bloomingdales ...

... and churches various European emigrants raised to remind themselves of home.

Somewhere over the Midwest

Sunset reflects off the wing of the plane as it heads east to Richmond.

A happy fellow traveler arrives in Richmond.
All photos taken with a Leica M8

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Short Pump, Virginia & Chicago, Illinois

Short Pump

Harriet, foreground, and Eugene, at the piano, collaborate on a musical presentation at Cambridge church. The church is fortunate to have two such fine musicians who have the ability to bring depth and emotion to their work.*

Chad with his daughter Aubrey during lunch at the Daily Grind. She is exceeding curious, staring intently at everyone in the cafe. "She's just nosey," says her father. "I thought nosey was a rural Alabama trait, but now I find it's genetic."*


Stewie deplanes at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport. The stuffed rendition of the cartoon character is on his way to a new home after being won at a Virginia amusement park.**

A jet slips beneath clouds on approach to O'Hare field at sunset.*

I was first exposed to and learned to love the paintings of the French Impressionists more than 40 years ago at the Art Institute of Chicago. I have since gone out of my way to view originals in several countries. This is a small tribute to them — the skyline of Chicago at dusk.*

Michigan Avenue from my room at the Downtown Marriott Magnificent Mile hotel.*
*Photo taken with a Leica M8
** Photo taken with an iPhone camera

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Short Pump, Virginia

Alfredo Neuman is one of our local beekeepers. He was born in Colombia and is full of facts about bees. For example: bees can fly up to 15 miles per hour; a single bee will visit 50 to 100 flowers during a foraging trip for nectar; and it takes visiting 2 million flowers for bees to produce a pound of honey. His bees forage on a 700-acre organic farm in Manokin-Sabot, Virginia, and their honey is free of insecticides and pesticides. He can be found at his stall most Saturdays at the West End Farmer's Market on Gayton Road at Ridgefield Parkway.

Dianne tests a melon for ripeness at the West End Farmer's Market.
Photographs taken with a Leica M8

Friday, July 24, 2009

Short Pump, Virginia

Matthew, left, and Connor, right, talk of snakes and skates and travel and tales. The brothers are visiting their grandparents, Daily Grind regulars Miriam and Carn. They are a couple of great kids who enjoy talking with adults.

Paul, left, shows Matthew the workings of his digital camera ...

... while Paul's wife Joyce looks on.
Photographed with a Leica M8

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Richmond, Virginia

Beth and I have lunch conversation over plates of Mediterranean food. We have known each other longer than either of us will admit, though it's not often we get together. I once greeted a woman in an old New Mexico mining town that I thought was Beth — she looked just like Beth — but she wasn't Beth. Even though I quickly apologized and walked away, the woman was rattled — I think she thought I was hitting on her. It wasn't that big a town and we kept coming across each other as we wandered about. Every time we did she would eye me suspiciously and cross the street. Twenty years later Beth and I still talk about her, and ask if either of us has seen Beth's evil twin.
Photographed with a Leica M8

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Short Pump, Virginia

Craig Mattice is one of my heroes. A few years ago he was training for Hawaii's Ironman Triathlon when he noticed a numbness in his legs. He was diagnosed with a debilitating condition that weakened him, makes it difficult to regulate his body temperature and caused a brainstem stroke. Craig lives his life to the fullest. He is an indomitable spirit, a delight to be around, an instant friend to strangers, a magnet of encouragement.
Photographed with a Leica M8

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Short Pump, Virginia

it's great to be home. I could wish everyone was half as glad to see me as these two.

Toby and ...

... Sadie spend most of their time wondering what Dianne and I are going to do next and how they can get in on it.
Photos taken with a Leica M8

Monday, July 20, 2009

Spring, Texas & Travel to Richmond


Doug Morgan, at counter, just opened a new Dunn Bros Coffee Shop a few weeks ago. This is the third he has opened in the Houston area. Dunn Bros is a franchise out of Minneapolis-St. Paul known for roasting fresh beans in their stores. Doug is preparing to begin the day's roast. He will spend four hours on it today.

Bags of raw beans from different countries ready for roasting line the wall.

Doug stirs beans as they spill from the roaster. This batch is an espresso blend. He roasts every day and will begin selling the beans he roasts today three days from now. The beans degas from the roasting process over a period of three weeks. He won't sell any beans before they are ready or over nine days old. After that time all the gas from inside the beans has escaped and oxygen is replacing it and beginning to degrade them.

Travel to Richmond

Storm clouds over the Gulf Coast. We are passing over the salt marshes around the Mississippi River Delta. It is a disappearing landscape. Erosion of this wetland treasure is happening at an astonishing rate.

It is faint, but the Mississippi River can be seen through the clouds and haze.

Sunset on final approach over Atlanta.
Photos taken with a Leica M8

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Houston, Texas

This morning we are at a Deaf church with Miss Lillian, center. She is surrounded by friends greeting her. Many are leaders she nurtured and mentored. See yesterday's post for context.*

Three members just returned from Ukraine where they worked with Deaf children in camps and churches. One excitedly tells about their experiences. While different countries have different signs for objects, there is a commonality of basic expression. A Deaf person from one country can immediately understand one from another country and build on that base for more complex conversations. Sign is their heart language and they form a people group of different races and nationalities across the globe that share a common culture.**

Vesta spoke during the service, telling about the status of Deaf work across the world and the need for more volunteers from the Deaf community to become involved.**

One member of the congregation is both deaf and blind. Church members take turns interpreting for her. She sees the signs by holding their hands as they move through the motions of the language.*

The church greets a new member at the end of the morning worship service.*

One final frame of Vesta, left, and Lillian, right.*

* Photos taken with a Canon 5D Mark II
** Photos taken with a Leica M8