Sunday, September 26, 2010

Hey Buddy! Can You Spare Some Change?

See, I'm saving up for this thing I saw for sale, and it's only $375,000...

You may or may not have heard the name, Mel Fisher, the treasure hunter, but they have a museum about a twenty minute drive from our home, dedicated to him and all the sunken treasure he helped find and bring up.

The main Mel Fisher Treasure Museum is in Key West, Florida, but there's also one on the central east coast of Florida in a town called Sebastian.

Before Mel Fisher became world famous for finding the old Spanish galleon, the Atocha near the Florida keys, he worked for years salvaging the numerous treasure-laden ships of the "Plate Fleet" that went down in a hurricane in a spread from central Florida down to around Palm Beach in 1715.

In fact, from where we live and southward, is called "The Treasure Coast" because of this.

If you want to know a little more about the Plate Fleet and the wrecks in this part of Florida, I wrote about it on my other blog a couple of years ago.)

We took my sister and nephew to the Sebastian Mel Fisher museum this past June, and I took these two photos.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Orlando - In The Evening

The second building from the left, with the domed roof, is Orlando's City Hall.

In the evening, between the second opening act and when Tears For Fears came on stage, this was the view right behind us.

It was a really, really hot afternoon, but when the sun went behind the buildings, it was such a relief that the still-hot day felt much cooler. Just by virtue of the sun no longer beating on us.

This mixture of man-made buildings and their lighting, as well as God's handiwork, made this time at this location quite beautiful to me.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Tears For Fears #3

Roland Orzabal in the spotlight with the candy apple red Gibson ES-137 Custom guitar, and Curt Smith to the right in red lighting with his awesome Hofner Club 500/2 Bass. I didn't get the drummer's name when they introduced everyone.

Free concert in Orlando's City Hall Plaza Park on Saturday August 28, 2010

Monday, September 20, 2010

Tears For Fears - Curt Smith

The whole is greater than the sum of it's parts.

Curt Smith is essentially the other "half" of the group Tears For Fears. Roland Orzabal, yesterday's photo subject is one half as well.

Each of these men have produced great music on their own, and indeed, still do, but together as Tears For Fears, their music seems to me to rise way above normal songs and becomes the music that forms the backdrop for much of my life.

On TFF's first album/CD, 1983's "The Hurting" they had a song called "Mad World." Though I love the original, it is definitely an 80s song, full of synthesizers and such.

Several years ago, another singer, Gary Jules, did a cover of the song Mad World in a very moody, orchestral production.

The Tears concert we went to in Orlando, when the lights went down and the band was about to come on, they started playing an orchestral version of Mad World and Curt Smith came on and began to sing the song he had written, but like the Gary Jules version instead of the original synthesizer version.

As he sang Mad World in a spotlight, the rest of the group came on stage and took their instruments and joined in.

This photo is of Curt Smith singing Mad World to open the concert.

Still no digital noise in the dark sections of the photo despite being shot at ISO 3200!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Tears For Fears - Roland Orzabal

I seriously do very little in the way of getting out and doing anything fun because of my back.

A few weeks ago, one of my two all-time favorite musical groups, Tears For Fears, performed at a free concert in downtown Orlando, Florida. My two daughters and I went to see the concert.

You just have NO IDEA how much their music has meant to me over the years (since 1983!).

I took my D90 with the 18-200mm lens and set the camera to ISO 3200 when the sun went down, Shutter priority, and 1/200sec to stop most of their movements while performing.

So this shot or Roland Orzabal was taken at ISO3200! Do you see any distracting digital noise from using such a high ISO setting? No. You do not.

I paid a heavy price in back pain over the next couple of days for simply going and sitting at this concert, but the awesome performance of Tears For Fears and my knowing that I'd never forgive myself for bypassing such a perfect opportunity to see them live, got me there and I'm SO glad we went.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Why I Haven't Posted Much Lately...(Update May 2012)

I am alive, but still dealing with my lower back and left leg pain issues from an injury in 2003.

The lumbar fusion I had in my lower back in Oct, 2004 has given my back good stability; my back no longer feels as if it's precariously balanced on worn ball bearings.

That's a good thing, and made my two surgeries of 2004 worthwhile, but I have had chronic pain in an increasingly intense way in my lumbar back and left leg that has gotten almost unbearable since late 2009. This has basically put an end to my hobbies of bicycle riding and going for long walks with my camera. I quite literally have only a finite number of steps I can take in any given day before I MUST stop. So hardly any walks and no bike riding in a long time now.

My life, for the most part, consists of getting up way before I have to be at work, just to be able to get ready and get there. There is much pain involved and it takes me a long time. Then I work, and where I work has about 100 buildings, about the size of a small college, and I end up walking a lot and that uses up the aforementioned finite number of steps in any given day.

All of that is to say this, I give my all to simply making it through a work day and trying to make a living for me and Lovely Wife. My photography habit/walks are very few and very far between. Haven't ridden my bike in a couple of years now.

But I really want to keep my blogs going, so I'm going to add photos here as I can, and hope you'll be patient with me and check in from time to time to see if I have something new.

Thanks, John M. (Saturday, September 18, 2010)

Update, May 2012

In 2011 I ended up having another surgery, this time to implant an intrathecal pain pump.

I have a little electronic gizmo, a little bigger than a hockey puck, in my side, with a catheter running around my side and inserted into the intrathecal space of my spine with my spinal cord.

This device slowly adds pain medicine directly to my spinal fluid.

It works pretty good for me, I take MUCH less pain medication now, but it hasn't been the knock-out punch that some seem to get with the pain pump.

I still have troubling chronic back pain, but it's under better control, plus my liver and kidneys aren't getting pounded with lots of medicine any more.

So, still trying to make a new life for myself with the constant pain.  And it is a new life.  The old days of shaking off occasional body aches and going to Disney, or on long photo excursion are over.  I must plan all activities, and they are limited in length and amount of exertion.  Even sitting at a computer to blog or work in Photoshop Elements has a serious time limit because my back starts roaring.

As a person who once thought that any level of pain could be mentally ignored or shrugged off to get on with the job at hand or to just go and do as I please, I can tell you that there are levels of pain that can totally shut down your body.  Absolutely make it refuse any mental commands to get up and go and do what you want.

This is my daily life.

Not trying to be a Debbie Downer here, but to let you guys inside a little bit.

John Masters (May 21, 2012)