Monthly Archives: August 2012

Tuesday Tunes: Ramble On and Awards Galore!

Fall in Colorado
Copyright JC Politi Photography

This week’s Tunes Tuesday pick is Ramble On by Led Zeppelin, who may just be my favorite band of all time. I chose this song this week because I am heading out of town for a 40th birthday and five year anniversary celebration vacation to Europe!

I will be gone for the next two weeks, so this post is meant to keep you occupied while I’m out. I will honestly miss all of you when I am gone and I may even peek in from time to time to see what is happening in your worlds. But for the most part, I will be eating chocolate croissants and tapas and drinking sangria and champagne…and taking pictures!!

What do you think? Do you have any suggestions for must-do unique activities in Barcelona, Paris, Amsterdam or Berlin? Have you taken any special trips to celebrate a milestone? What is your favorite memory from that trip?

I will include the Tunes Tuesday lyrics below, but I first wanted to acknowledge some awards I have received over the past month. My hope is that while I am gone, readers will take time to visit the great blogs who have honored me with awards and to visit the blogs I am passing awards on to. I promise, you will not regret taking the time to do this!

I have been honored to receive awards from some inspirational and educational bloggers:

Beautiful Blogger Award

Hugh Curtler

Narcissista.me

Sticky Notes and Quotes

Canadian Travel Bugs

Super Sweet Award

Grandmother Musings

Super Sweet questions:

1. Cookies or Cake? Molasses cookies or Snickerdoodles

2. Chocolate or Vanilla? Strawberry

3. What is your favorite sweet treat?Vacarro Cannoli!

4. When do you crave sweet things the most? 2 PM on a weekday.

5. If you had a sweet nickname, what would it be? Sugar 😉

One Lovely Blog

Le Blog de Marie

Sisterhood of the World Blogger

Magnolia Beginnings

Very Inspiring Blogger

Real Woman’s Health

Waiting for the Karma Truck

Most of the awards require that I tell things about myself that people don’t know. So, here goes:

1.)    I just cut my hair pixie-short. I do this about every 10 years.

2.)    I never took a math class in college.

3.)    I love cookbooks, but I really don’t cook at all.

4.)    I have lived in 5 states and the District of Columbia.

5.)     Moves have been easier for me when I moved for a life-priority and not for a job.

6.)    I love Fall and everything associated with it, as you can see from the photos here.

7.)    I have always wanted to be a Peace Corps volunteer and still think I may when I am older.

8.)    I have a photography exhibit at a local Boulder restaurant in October!!

9.)    I love mashed potatoes – have I mentioned this before? It’s pretty important for anyone who knows me to understand this fully.

10.) Age 40 has been a surprise, but a great one so far!

A group of us have developed an amazing community and I encourage you to visit their blogs, including Waiting for the Karma Truck, Musings of an Old Fart, Hugh Curtler, Carr Party of Five, Magnolia Beginnings, Real Woman’s Health, Talk to Diana, The Curtain Raiser, Healthy Warrior, Jensinewall, Serenity in the City, Where’s My Backpack and Life with the Top Down.

I really encourage folks to visit these exceptional blogs. I am inspired and informed every day by each of these blogs and if any of these blogs do not have any of the awards listed above, please consider yourselves nominated! I really love and appreciate all of you!!

A few blogs I have recently come across that I have really enjoyed and would like to pass along each of these awards to:

Dr. Bill Wooten

Lead.Learn.Live

Gen Y Girl

Paperkeeper

The Jotter’s Joint

Third Eye Mom

Polka Dot Palace

Zeebra Designs and Destinations

Rendevous with Renee

And last but not least, I bring you Led Zeppelin for this Tunes Tuesday

Fall in Colorado
Copyright JC Politi Photography

Ramble On
Led Zeppelin

Leaves are falling all around, It’s time I was on my way.
Thanks to you, I’m much obliged for such a pleasant stay.
But now it’s time for me to go. The autumn moon lights my way.
For now I smell the rain, and with it pain, and it’s headed my way.
Sometimes I grow so tired, but I know I’ve got one thing I got to do…

Chorus: Ramble On, And now’s the time, the time is now, to sing my song.
I’m goin’ ’round the world, I got to find my girl, on my way.
I’ve been this way ten years to the day, Ramble On,
Gotta find the queen of all my dreams.

Got no time to for spreadin’ roots, The time has come to be gone.
[Chorus]

Mine’s a tale that can’t be told, my freedom I hold dear.
How years ago in days of old, when magic filled the air.
T’was in the darkest depths of Mordor, I met a girl so fair.
But Gollum, and the evil one crept up and slipped away with her, her, her….yeah.
[Chorus]

Gonna ramble on, sing my song. Gotta keep-a-searchin’ for my baby…
Gonna work my way, round the world. I can’t stop this feelin’ in my heart
Gotta keep searchin’ for my baby. I can’t find my bluebird!

I would love to hear your thoughts! Thank you so much for reading!

95 Comments

Filed under Awards, Blogging, Colorado, International, Music, Photography, Photos, travel

Photos Galore! Travel Photo of the Year Contest, Travel Theme – Silhouette, Weekly Photo Challenge – Urban

I love the juxtaposition of the photo challenges this week, at least in my photos.

Where’s My Backpack’s Travel Theme this week is Silhouette. You should really go check out her spectacular photos. She has definitely inspired me to take more photos of silhouettes. My silhouette photos are mostly found in nature, but after looking at Ailsa’s photos, I may need to change that.

Here are some of my favorite silhouette photos:

Patagonia, Argentina
Copyright JC Politi Photography

Patagonia, Argentina
Copyright JC Politi Photography

The WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge this week is Urban. Most of my photos are of nature, but I was able to unearth a few urban ones, a few of which which I am sharing here:

Buenos Aires, Argentina
Copyright JC Politi Phototgraphy

Buenos Aires, Argentina
Copyright JC Politi Photography

Baltimore, MD
Copyright JC Politi Photography

Baltimore, MD
Copyright JC Politi Photography

Please don’t forget to vote in the Bucket List Publications Travel Photo of the Year Contest! There are 18 finalists and I have some stiff competition. I would love your help!

Perito Moreno Glacier – Patagonia, Argentina
Copyright JC Politi Photography

You can vote every day for the next few days. All you have to do is go to see all the finalists and click on this picture and click “like” or share to mark it as your favorite! You can send it to friends and family to encourage them to vote though Facebook, Twitter, e-mail and lots of other ways. It would mean a lot to get your vote!

I would love to hear your thoughts. Thank you for reading!

Other Interpretations of the Theme Silhouette:

Travel Theme: Silhouette | Wind Against Current

Travel Theme: Silhouette | Lucid Gypsy

Travel Theme; Silhouette « So where’s the snow?

Travel Theme: Silhouette « East of Málaga

Travel Theme: Silhouette | rfljenksy – Practicing Simplicity

Travel Theme: Silhouette | Autumn in Bruges

Ailsa’s Travel Theme: Silhouette | Stephen Kelly Creative

Travel theme: Silhouette | tahira’s

Travel Theme: Silhouettes | Spiritual World Traveler

Travel Theme: Silhouette | mothergrogan

Travel theme: Silhouette | thirdeyemom

travel theme: silhouette | catbird in america

Waiting « primo piano

Travel challenge: Silhouette – dawn in the mist | Have you ever…

Travel theme: Silhouette « Healthcare Updates

Travel Theme: Silhouette | The Retiring Sort

Silhouette in Piazza San Marco | Beyond the Brush

Travel theme ‘Silhouette’ | Campanulla Della Anna

Travel Theme: Silhouette « A year in the Life

Travel Theme: Silhouette « Hunters Holidaying

Urban Silhouettes « Ink.

 

Other Interpretations of the Urban Theme:

 

54 Comments

Filed under International, Photography, Photos, travel

Travel Photo of the Year Contest and the Booker Award

Heather over at Bitsnbooks has presented me with the Booker Award, which is a little different from the other awards floating around. I love any award and am so grateful and humbled to be recognized by my talented peers. I hope you will take a moment to check out Heather’s blog.

This particular award is fun to accept for a geeky gal like me. The rules for accepting this award are to:

1. Nominate other blogs, as many as you want but 5-10 is always a good suggestion. Don’t forget to let your recipients know.

2. Post the Booker Award picture.

3. Share your top 5 books of all time

First, I will post my five favorite books of all times. This is a tough list to come up with, as I have loved many books over the years, but there are a few that have really stuck with me:

1.)    The Alchemist (Paulo Coelho)  – I have shared some quotes from this book in past blog posts. This book may have just come into my life at the right time, but I don’t think there is ever really a wrong time to reflect on what is important to you. The messages in this simple story are potent and powerful at any time of life.

2.)    The Grapes of Wrath (John Steinbeck) – This book knocked me over. Again, a story with a very deep message. This book delivers a strong social justice message and you end up feeling like you know and love this family by the end. I have only cried in a very few books, but the last paragraph of this one will live with me always.

3.)    Roots (Alex Haley) – This book made me cry from the start. It is an important portrayal of one of the largest scars on the American history – the fact that slavery was accepted and justified by our government. It puts a human face on something that most people would rather not examine closely. A very moving read.

4.)    Love in the Time of Cholera (Gabriel Garcia Marquez) – There is something about this book for me. The writing is so lyrical and beautiful, my blood pressure goes down with the first sentence.

5.)    The Elements of Style (Strunk and White) – Someday I will know whether a period goes inside or outside of quotes, but until then, this book will be on my desk.

I would like to present this award to the following bloggers:

Hugh Curtler

Musings of an Old Fart

Waiting for the Karma Truck

Carr Party of Five

Magnolia Beginnings

Analyfe

Life with the Top Down

Real Woman’s Health

Writing Your Destiny

The Healthy Warrior

The Jotters Joint

The Curtain Raiser

Talk to Diana

Third Eye Mom

The Bookshelf of Emily J

What do you think? What is the one book that has really impacted you? What is the one book you have read more than once and why?

Please don’t forget to vote in the Bucket List Publications Travel Photo of the Year Contest! There are 18 finalists and I have some stiff competition. I would love your help!

Perito Moreno Glacier, Patagonia, Argentina
Copyright JC Politi Photography

You can vote every day for the next few days. All you have to do is go to see all the finalists and click on this picture and click “like” or share to mark it as your favorite! You can send it to friends and family to encourage them to vote though Facebook, Twitter, e-mail and lots of other ways. It would mean a lot to get your vote!

I would love to hear your thoughts. Thank you so much for reading!

57 Comments

Filed under Awards, Blogging, Books, Culture, Education, History, International, Love, Photography, Photos, travel

Tunes Tuesday: The Beautiful South and Travel Photo of the Year Contest

Musician outside Fie in Northern Italy
Copyright JC Politi Photography

It’s time for another Tunes Tuesday. Tunes Tuesday is a weekly series where we highlight at song lyrics that tell a story in a unique way. Lyrical lyrics!

The Beautiful South is a fun British band with quite a few quirky songs. Most of their songs will make you smile or laugh or cry – sometimes all three at once!

Tunes Tuesday will probably give me away as the romantic sap that I am, but you will find that most of the romantic songs I choose have an edge or something that makes them unique. With that in mind, I give you this week’s Tunes Tuesday pick:

The Prettiest Eyes
The Beautiful South

Line One is the time
That you, you first stayed over at mine
And we drank our first bottle of wine
And we cried

Line Two we’re away
And we both, we both had nowhere to stay
Well the bus-shelter’s always OK
When you’re young

Now you’re older and I look at your face
Every wrinkle is so easy to place
And I only write them down just in case
That you die

Let’s take a look at these crows feet, just look
Sitting on the prettiest eyes
Sixty 25th of Decembers
Fifty-nine 4th of Julys
Not through the age or the failure, children
Not through the hate or despise
Take a good look at these crows feet
Sitting on the prettiest eyes

Line Three I forget
But I think, I think it was our first ever bet
And the horse we backed was short of a leg
Never mind

Line Four in a park
And the things, the things that people do in the dark
I could hear the faintest beat of your heart
Then we did

Now you’re older and I look at your face
Every wrinkle is so easy to place
And I only write them down just in case
You should die

Lets take a look at these crows feet, just look
Sitting on the prettiest eyes
Sixty 25th of Decembers
Fifty-nine 4th of Julys
You can’t have too many good times, children
You can’t have too many lines
Take a good look at these crows feet
Sitting on the prettiest eyes

Well my eyes look like a map of the town
And my teeth are either yellow or they’re brown
But you’ll never hear the crack of a frown
When you are here
You’ll never hear the crack
Of a frown

What do you think? Who is your favorite quirky band? What do you like about their songs?

I would love to hear your thoughts.

Travel Photo of the Year Contest – I’m a Finalist!

Speaking of the Beautiful South…what is more beautiful in the South than the Perito Moreno Glacier in Argentina? Have you voted in the adventure travel contest at Bucket List Publications?

Perito Moreno Glacier – Calafate, Argentina (Patagonia)
Copyright JC Politi Photography

You can vote every day this week if you share it on social media or leave a comment. All you have to do to voe is go see all the finalists and click on this picture and click “like” (with the yellow star under the picture) or share or comment to mark it as your favorite! You can send it to friends and family to encourage them to vote though Facebook, Twitter, e-mail and lots of other ways. It would mean a lot to get your vote!

I hope you will take a moment to vote! Thank you for reading. Thanks so much for all your support!

25 Comments

Filed under Awards, International, Music, Photography, Photos, travel

Travel Photo of the Year Contest and Weekly Photo Challenge – Merge

Perito Moreno Glacier Calafate Argentina (Patagonia)
Copyright JC Politi Photography

Travel Photo of the Year Contest:

Bucket List Publications has chosen this photo as a finalist for their Travel Photo of the Year Contest! There are 18 finalists and I have some stiff competition. I would love your help!

You can vote every day for the next week. All you do is go see all  the finalists and click on this picture and click “like” (with the yellow star under the picture) or share to mark it as your favorite! You can send it to friends and family to encourage them to vote though Facebook, Twitter, e-mail and lots of other ways. It would mean a lot to get your vote!

WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge: Merge

This week’s weekly photo challenge is a complex one. The topic this week is “merge.” The idea is to show items that don’t quite fit together. Here is my best attempt at this theme:

Deer in Boulder, Colorado
Copyright JC Politi Photography

Copyright JC Politi Photography

Baileys on a glacier in Patagonia
Copyright JC Politi Photography

Other interpretations on the theme:

 

 

 

 

 

27 Comments

Filed under Awards, Colorado, Photography, Photos, travel, Travel Challenge, Weekly Photo Challenge

Travel Photo of the Year Contest and Travel Theme: Sunset

Perito Moreno Glacier, Calafate, Argentina (Patagonia)

Travel Photo of the Year Contest:

Bucket List Publications has chosen this photo as a finalist for their Travel Photo of the Year Contest! There are 18 finalists and I have some stiff competition. I would love your help!

You can vote every day for the next week. All you do is go see all  the finalists and click on this picture and click “like” or share to mark it as your favorite! You can send it to friends and family to encourage them to vote though Facebook, Twitter, e-mail and lots of other ways. It would mean a lot to get your vote!

Ailsa at Where’s My Backpack has issued a fun travel theme this week. The theme is Sunset. Here are a few of my favorite sunset photos and my favorite sunset song from Fiddler on the Roof. I danced with my Dad at my wedding to this song, so it is very special to me.

Ocean City, Maryland
Copyright JC Politi Photography

Grenada, Nicaragua
Copyright JC Politi Photography

Aspen, Colorado
Copyright JC Politi Photography

Sunrise, Sunset
Fiddler on the Roof

Is this the little girl I carried,
Is this the little boy at play?
I don’t remember growing older,
When did they?

When did she get to be a beauty,
When did he grow to be so tall?
Wasn’t it yesterday when they were small?

Sunrise, sunset .
Swiftly flow the days.

Seedlings turn overnight to sunflowers,
Blossoming even as we gaze.

Sunrise, sunset,
Swiftly fly the years,
One season following another,
Laiden with happiness and tears.

What words of wisdom can I give them,
How can I help to ease their way?
Now they must learn from one another,
Day by day.

They look so natural together.
Just like two newlyweds should be.
Is there a canopy in store for me?

Sunrise, sunset,
Swiftly fly the years,
One season following another,
Laiden with happiness,
And tears

What do you think? Where was your favorite sunset? What does sunset mean to you?

I hope you will share your thoughts…and your VOTE! Thank you so much for reading!

Some of the other entries in the Sunset Travel Challenge:

Travel Theme: Sunset | a hectic life
Travel Theme: Sunset « Hunters Holidaying
SUNSET ANYONE? « Zeebra Designs & Destinations
Travel theme; Sunset « So where’s the snow?
Sunset | Canoe Communications
Travel theme: Sunset | One step at a time
Travel theme: Sunset | tahira’s
I can see Africa from my terrace! « East of Málaga
Travel Theme: Sunset « weird & cool stuff seen while out & about
travel theme: sunset | catbird in america
Travel Theme: Sunset | StandingStill
Travel theme: Sunset « Healthcare Updates
Travel theme: Sunset at Mopane | Have you ever…
Travel theme: SUNSET « scrapydo
Travel Theme: Sunset « A year in the Life
Travel Theme: Sunsets | rfljenksy – Practicing Simplicity
Travel theme: Sunset | Even A Girl Like Me
Travel Theme: Sunset | Eluding Ennui

 

 

 

 

43 Comments

Filed under Awards, Colorado, International, Love, Music, Parenting, Photography, Photos, Relationships, Travel Challenge, Weekly Photo Challenge

Travel Photo of the Year Contest: I’m a Finalist and Need Your Vote!

Perito Moreno Glacier, Calafate, Patagonia, Argentina
Copyright JC Politi Photography

I am so excited! Bucket List Publications has chosen this photo as a finalist for their Travel Photo of the Year Contest! There are 18 finalists and I have some stiff competition. I would love your help!

You can vote every day until the contest ends. All you do is go see all  the finalists and click on this picture and click “like” or share to mark it as your favorite! You can send it to friends and family to encourage them to vote though Facebook, Twitter, e-mail and lots of other ways. It would mean a lot to get your vote!

As I have mentioned here many times, I have a lifelong dream of becoming a “real” photographer some day. This blog has inspired me to focus even more on this, through fun photo challenges like Ailsa’s Where’s Your Backpack and WordPress’ Weekly Photo Challenges.

I turned 40 earlier this year and am dedicating my 40’s to my more creative side. My intellectual self has been well exercised in the past 30 years and it is time to give more attention to creative pursuits. I have invested in a “real” camera and am taking every class I can find.

The Canon in the National Park Series helped me learn a few more technical skills and has taken my photography to another level. Really, the sky’s the limit and I am going to put on my wings and get there! I would love your help.

What do you think? What have you dreamed of doing for years? What is stopping you? What is the next step to reach that dream?

I would love you hear your thoughts….and get your vote! Thanks so much for reading.

If you liked this, you might also like:

Canon Photography in the Parks and You Are Invited to a Photo Blog Party! 

Tuesday Tunes and Canon in the National Parks: Kodachrome

Travel Theme: Flowers and Weekly Photo Challenge: Inside and Purple

84 Comments

Filed under Awards, Blogging, International, Love, Photography, Photos, travel

The Cost of Owning Too Much Stuff

 

Photo courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

There is a thought-provoking blog on the New York Times website that examines the price we pay when we own too much stuff. This article hits home for me as a pack-rat at heart.

In particular, this sentence really jumped out at me:

When we hold on to stuff we no longer want or use, it does indeed cost us something more, if only in the time spent organizing and contemplating them.

Almost everything I own has a twin. If I find a pretty pair of shoes, especially if those shoes happen to be on sale, I feel I must have them in brown and in black. If we are talking about handbags, which are a particular obsession of mine, the options are endless.

But why do I feel the need to own more than one of most things? I know I am not alone. For some people, their downfall is gadgets. For others, it may be tools. Some people can’t get enough clothes.

It is clear that this is about much more than fulfilling our basic needs. And I am the last person to look down upon an occasional impractical splurge, but I am left wondering if it would make more sense to focus on the quality of what we own rather than the quantity.

Photo Courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

While I realize this is a problem that can only come with having disposable income, I would be willing to bet that even families living paycheck to paycheck can relate to this on some level. I also think this is highly influenced by culture, and that the United States is a society of hyper-accumulators.

I am fascinated by this tendency which, on its face does not make any sense, but at a gut level is so natural.

What do you think? What is your favorite thing to collect? Are you more likely to splurge on one high-quality item or to buy a lot of smaller, lower-quality, but similar items? Why do you think we hold onto things that we don’t use? Do you have trouble giving things away or do you frequently purge?

I would love to hear your thoughts. Thank you for reading.

If you liked this, you might also like:

Times are Rough: I’ve Got Too Much Stuff! (newsofthetimes.org)

The Hazards of Mountain Living: Colorado Forest Fires (newsofthetimes.org)

Our Disposable Culture and the Gentle Giants of Music (newsofthetimes.org)

72 Comments

Filed under Culture, Home, Love, Parenting, Relationships, social pressures

Tunes Tuesday: Lucinda Williams – Side of the Road

Copyright JC Politi Photography

For this Tunes Tuesday, I am going to highlight a song that makes me think of summer and love. The song I chose this week is called Side of the Road by Lucinda Williams.

Lucinda Williams has so many great song lyrics to choose from, but this particular song has always resonated with me. The song describes a feeling that is hard to put into words, but like the brilliant singer-songwriter she is, she nails it.

It also makes me think of a quote that I have always loved by Khalil Gibran, which is often read at weddings:

Let there be spaces in your togetherness, And let the winds of the heavens dance between you. Love one another but make not a bond of love: Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls. Fill each other’s cup but drink not from one cup. Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf. Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone, Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music. Give your hearts, but not into each other’s keeping. For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts. And stand together, yet not too near together: For the pillars of the temple stand apart, And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other’s shadow.

This is the kind of romance that I want – the kind that respects the beauty of each individual and which becomes even more beautiful when the two are combined.

So, without further ado, I give you Lucinda Williams, Side of the Road.

Side of the Road
Lucinda Williams

You wait in the car on the side of the road
Lemme go and stand awhile, I wanna know you’re there but I wanna be alone
If only for a minute or two
I wanna see what it feels like to be without you
I wanna know the touch of my own skin
Against the sun, against the wind

I walked out in a field, the grass was high, it brushed against my legs
I just stood and looked out at the open space and a farmhouse out a ways
And I wondered about the people who lived in it
And I wondered if they were happy and content
Were there children and a man and a wife?
Did she love him and take her hair down at night?

If I stray away too far from you, don’t go and try to find me
It doesn’t mean I don’t love you, it doesn’t mean I won’t come back and
stay beside you
It only means I need a little time
To follow that unbroken line
To a place where the wild things grow
To a place where I used to always go

La la la, la la la, la la la, la la la
La la la la, la la la, la la la, la la la
If only for a minute or two
I wanna see what it feels like to be without you
I wanna know the touch of my own skin
Against the sun, against the wind

What do you think? What song tells your kind of love story?

I would love to hear your thoughts. Thank you for reading!

27 Comments

Filed under Love, Music, Photography

Olympics Closing Ceremony: Boom or Bust?

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons – David Holt

As a follow up to my post at the beginning of the Olypmics, I thought I would do a post to see what you all thought about the closing cermonies.

Whenever the Olympics end, I feel like a hole has been left and something is missing. I was thinking about what I will miss now that the Olympics are over.

A few things I will miss:

The inspiring stories of the athletes and how they got to the Olympics

The photos of the athletes when they were kids

The Visa commercials after a US athlete wins an award

The Moms and other family members

The antics of Usain Bolt

Seeing Kate Middleton cut loose

The Phelps – Lockte rivalry

The beautiful photos of the London Bridge with the Olympic rings

Watching runners who look like they are on a fast forward video

The celebrations of all things British

Ryan Seacrest…well, maybe not that last one

What do you think? What did you think of the closing ceremonies? What were your favorite moments in the Olympics? What will you miss? What won’t you miss?

I would love to hear your thoughts. Thank you for reading!

 

29 Comments

Filed under Culture, Love, Peace, Sports

Weekly Travel Photo Theme: Signs

Copyright JC Politi Photography
Remote border crossing between Argentina and Chile – Patagonia, Argentina

Signs, signs, everywhere a sign! I have to combine my weekly photo challenge with some Tunes Tuesday worthy lyrics this week. Ailsa at Where’s My Backpack has issued a weekly travel challenge about signs.

I love taking pictures of signs to capture where I have been, so it was hard to choose which photos to include, but here are some of my favorites, followed by the lyrics of a great oldie but goodie song.

Copyright JC Politi Photography
Chalten, Argentina – Trekking Capital of the World

Copyright JC Politi Photography
A famous road stop on the way to Chalten – Patagonia, Argentina

Copyright JC Politi Photography
Rockies Game – Denver, CO

Copyright JC Politi Photography
Pearl Street Mall – Boulder, CO

Copyright JC Politi Photography
Boulder, CO

Copyright JC Politi Photography
Small Village Outside Granada, Nicaragua

Copyright JC Politi Photography
Fells Point – Baltimore, MD

And now, for the Tunes Tuesday worthy lyrics:

Signs
Five Man Electical Band

And the sign said “Long-haired freaky people need not apply” So I tucked my hair up under my hat and I went in to ask him why He said “You look like a fine upstanding young man, I think you’ll do” So I took off my hat, I said “Imagine that. Huh! Me workin’ for you!” Whoa-oh-oh

Sign, sign, everywhere a sign Blockin’ out the scenery, breakin’ my mind Do this, don’t do that, can’t you read the sign?

And the sign said anybody caught trespassin’ would be shot on sight So I jumped on the fence and-a yelled at the house, “Hey! What gives you the right?” “To put up a fence to keep me out or to keep mother nature in” “If God was here he’d tell you to your face, Man, you’re some kinda sinner”

Sign, sign, everywhere a sign Blockin’ out the scenery, breakin’ my mind Do this, don’t do that, can’t you read the sign?

Now, hey you, mister, can’t you read? You’ve got to have a shirt and tie to get a seat You can’t even watch, no you can’t eat You ain’t supposed to be here The sign said you got to have a membership card to get inside Ugh!

And the sign said, “Everybody welcome. Come in, kneel down and pray” But when they passed around the plate at the end of it all, I didn’t have a penny to pay So I got me a pen and a paper and I made up my own little sign I said, “Thank you, Lord, for thinkin’ ’bout me. I’m alive and doin’ fine.” Wooo!

Sign, sign, everywhere a sign Blockin’ out the scenery, breakin’ my mind Do this, don’t do that, can’t you read the sign?

Sign, sign, everywhere a sign Sign Sign, sign

What do you think? Do you have any funny travel stories about signs? Have you ever been grateful to see a sign?

I hope you will share your thoughts! Thank you for reading!

38 Comments

Filed under International, Music, Photography, Photos, Travel Challenge

What is the Price of an Educated Child?

Photo courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

What are we willing to pay for? That is the question that comes to mind for me when I read Thomas Friedman’s opinion piece in the New York Times called “Average is Over: Part II.”

The article discusses the disconnect between what politicians espouse about keeping jobs in the United States and the current realities facing CEOs whereby, through necessity, work is becoming more globalized every day.

Friedman argues that parents in the United States believe that their child is simply competing with her neighbor or with other kids in the United States, but that that is simply not the case today.

He argues that in a globalized society, kids compete against their peers all over the world. He goes on to say that this insular view of the United States education system is one reason that investment in K-12 education has suffered, because parents are content with the quality of education in their child’s school as compared to the school down the street.

He points out that soon there will be a way for parents to easily compare their child’s school with schools around the world, which he says will enable parents to advocate for better schools with policy-makers.

Photo Courtesy of Freedigitalphotos.net

Friedman has a point, but he is missing a significant contributing factor in this discussion – namely, our unwillingness to raise our taxes to invest in our infrastructure. Once we are able to compare our schools with schools around the world, we must also find a way to compare the tax rates between countries.

It is a commonly held belief by many in the United States that our taxes are too high. A blogger friend has written extensively on this subject and you should check out his thoughts when you have a moment. I have also written about this previously.

The fact is, you get what you pay for. Educating our children comes at a cost. Taxes are the price we pay to educate our children, protect our streets from crime and pave our roads, among many other things.

And,really, what price can you place on our children’s future?

What do you think? Why do you think people are so vehemently opposed to higher taxes for better schools? Have you seen your schools suffer as a result of this lack of investment? Do you think that there is a better way in which our tax dollars could be invested?

I would love to hear your thoughts. Thank you for reading.

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Filed under Business, Campaign Finance, Education, International, Policy, Politcs, Role of Government

Tunes Tuesday and Canon in the National Parks: Kodachrome

A fellow student
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I wrote a few weeks ago about the Canon in the National Parks free classes. I went to one of the classes yesterday and am still glowing from the experience. I learned enough to take my camera off the automatic mode and that is saying a lot!

I learned how to focus on an object and blur the background and how to capture things in motion or to show the motion and how to adjust the exposure of a picture.

Background not blurred
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Background blurred – you have no idea how exciting this is for a newby photographer!
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I should mention that I invested in a new camera, which I could not be more excited about. It is a new technology called mirrorless SLR and it has all the functionality of a digital SLR, but for a fraction of the weight. I got a Sony nex7, but most of the major camera manufacturers make these cameras now. I understand Canon is coming out with one in the Fall.

This new type of camera has gotten some great write-ups in photography magazines and blogs and it is really worth checking out if you are in the market for a new camera.

But back to the class. We met at the visitor’s center outside Rocky Mountain National Park so we didn’t even have to pay an entry fee to the park. People borrowed Canon equipment, although I was too excited about my new camera to use their equipment. They divided us into beginners and intermediate/advanced.

I took the beginner class, but think I will try to get back next weekend for the intermediate course.

What a wonderful opportunity for people just getting into photography or even for those who have a better grasp of the technological aspects of the art.

I really encourage anyone who can make it to one of these sessions, to do so. It is a priceless two hours and is absolutely free.

This leads me to a Tunes Tuesday pick that always has me singing along. Today’s Tunes Tuesday pick is Kodachrome by Paul Simon.

My favorite photo of the day
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What do you think? Are there any things that you would like to take a class to learn? Do you know of any affordable options for people to expand their skills in a particular area? If you are a photographer, do you have an opinion on mirrorless cameras versus DSLRs? And do you have any other ideas for affordable ways to build photography skills?

Kodachrome    

When I think back
On all the crap I learned in high school
It’s a wonder
I can think at all
And though my lack of education
Hasn’t hurt me none
I can read the writing on the wall

Kodachrome
You give us those nice bright colors
You give us the greens of summers
Makes you think all the world’s a sunny day, oh yeah!
I got a Nikon camera
I love to take a photograph
So Mama, don’t take my Kodachrome away

If you took all the girls I knew
When I was single
And brought them all together for one night
I know they’d never match
My sweet imagination
And everything looks worse in black and white

Kodachrome
You give us those nice bright colors
You give us the greens of summers
Makes you think all the world’s a sunny day, oh yeah!
I got a Nikon camera
I love to take a photograph
So Mama, don’t take my Kodachrome away

Mama, don’t take my Kodachrome away
Mama, don’t take my Kodachrome away
Mama, don’t take my Kodachrome away
Mama, don’t take my Kodachrome
Mama, don’t take my Kodachrome
Mama, don’t take my Kodachrome (away)
Mama, don’t take my Kodachrome
Mama, don’t take my Kodachrome
Mama, don’t take my Kodachrome (away)
Mama, don’t take my Kodachrome
(Leave your boy so far from home)
Mama, don’t take my Kodachrome (away)

I would love to hear your thoughts. Thanks so much for reading!

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Filed under Education, Music, Photography, Photos, Uncategorized

Helicopter Parents and Tiger Moms: Turns Out Neither Knows Best

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There was an opinion piece in the New York Times this weekend called “Raising Successful Children” which generated quite a bit of discussion.

The article examines the latest parenting research which found that giving children autonomy and allowing them to make mistakes leads to the best long-term outcomes.

My parents did a great job with this. I was sent to a sleep-away summer camp for the most of the summer every year in my formative years. I feel like this helped shape who I am more than almost anything else.

I worked for a wonderful organization called Amigos de las Americas which provides opportunities for young people to live in remote villages Latin America, where their autonomy is simply not in question.

These types of experiences can really help young people develop confidence in their abilities. The Times article lays out research to prove this hypothesis.

But it seems that it has become harder for parents to give their children space to make mistakes and to develop their independence. The article points out that there has been much attention devoted to “helicopter parents” and “tiger mothers” in the news in recent years.

I am not a parent and I can imagine that it would be difficult to find the balance between protecting your children and letting your children forge their own path. But I am intrigued and curious about what makes it more difficult for parents to do this today than when I was younger.

Certainly, when I was younger, we had parents who lived vicariously through their children, but I don’t feel like there was quite as much of what I see as overprotecting children.

What do you think? Do you think that parents are more protective now of their children that when you were young? Do you think this has to do with the increased dangers in our society like gun violence and crime? Do you struggle with this as a parent? Have you found any tips or strategies you would like to share with others?

I would love to hear your thoughts. Thank you for reading.

If you liked this, you might also like:

The Ritalan Generation: Why do some children fall behind in school? (newsofthetimes)

The Power of Strengths and Weaknesses: Giving kids permission to just be (newsofthetimes)

A New Kind of Playground: What happens when young children are connected with technology? (newsofthetimes)

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Filed under Career Planning, Culture, Education, Love, Parenting, Relationships, social pressures, Technology, Youth Leadership

Weekly Photo Challenge: Growth

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The WordPress photo challenge theme this week is Growth. When I think of recent growth in our household, my teenage pup, Limay, comes to mind. As anyone who has every raised a puppy can attest, he is not the only one who has grown in the process.

In the past year and a half, Limay has grown to understand that:

– It is impossible to catch a butterfly when you already have a stick in your mouth – believe me, he tried!

– Strollers are not the darth vaders of the park

– Squirrels are fast, but he still thinks he will get one one of these days

– The way to the heart really is through the stomach

During the same time period, I have grown to understand:

– The treats had better be good if I want to lure him away from something dead and/or particularly smelly

– Morning is the best time for cuddles

– Everything is better with toys

– There is always time for fun

What do you think? Have you raised a puppy or kitten? What lessons did you learn? Do you have any tips for people just starting this journey?

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I would love to hear your thoughts! Thank you so much for reading!

 

 

 

 

 

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Filed under Photography, Photos, Weekly Photo Challenge