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May 21, 2015 / Gregory Williams

How Nice It Is

It seems I’ve worked the last eight evenings. Tonight that effort was finished and tomorrow I get to see how well I did.

At the end of it all I walked downstairs, noticed the house smells like summer, the girls are asleep in their beds, even the teenager, probably. Outside there were frogs and other things chirping and moving about under clear skies in a not too cool night. I had a smoke and an IPA and thought about how nice it is to be happy.

It’s not the work–I did that because it is it’s work I’m responsible for, not because I’m passionate about it. Though I suppose I’m passionate about my responsibilities.

Any road, there was a time when I wasn’t happy. Horrible times really, so it’s a good thing to notice the difference and be thankful for it.

Washington Tulips

These tulips were photographed with a Canon AE-1 with a 28mm FD lens on Lomography 800 color film and processed by the The Darkroom.

May 20, 2015 / Gregory Williams

First Photos: Kodak Box Camera

This camera sat on the shelf for over two years before I loaded it up and tried it out. I was worried the exposure window on the back wouldn’t line up with modern 120 film. I was wrong. These were taken sometime in the early spring or late winter of this year in Snoqualmie and North Bend, Washington.

Mt. Si, Snoqualmie, WA

Mt. Si, Northbend, WA

Mt. Si, Northbend, WA

Mt. Si, Northbend, WA

May 7, 2015 / Gregory Williams

Opinion: Stands on the Flag

People are always outraged when some American citizens do something to the American Flag in protest of the United States Government.

The Flag is the most powerful symbol of our nation. In fact, it is a symbol of our history and our present. It is a symbol of everything we have achieved, and everything we have ever done.

When our war dead come home they are honored with the Flag. When our domestic heroes give their lives they are honored with the Flag. When we collectively mourn, the Flag is flown at half mast to honor the sacrifices of those lost.

It has been carried and fought under in the quest for freedom at home and abroad and it has been carried by men and women at home who strived for more than the system allowed but the constitution promised.

But it also flew over Wounded Knee, and the concentration camps that housed American citizens during World War Two. It flew over the Tulsa Massacre, and it flew over the state houses that proclaimed “separate but equal”, and it flies today over a government that incarcerates more of its own people than Communist China.

It is a symbol of everything we have done as a nation, all things, just and unjust. And it is a symbol of what we do now.

The Flag is also a symbol of our future, and our dreams, but it is just a symbol.

The Constitution is the foundation of our country, and it is to uphold the Constitution that oaths are made for public office, public service, and military service. And in that document, it says in Amendment I, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

The sentiment of rhetoric I have seen in response to those who have recently stood on the Flag in protest is simple, “If you’re going to stand on the flag, get out of my country,” “If I see you standing on the flag I’ll physically assault you,” and “The flag is a symbol of freedom, so shut your commie mouth before I shut it for you.”

I hold those sentiments to oppose the very freedom the Flag is espoused to represent and the document the men and women beneath its colors uphold. If the Flag is truly a symbol of freedom, then its use by American citizens in the exercise of their Constitutional rights stands as proof that that freedom is true. Threats of violence and demands for expatriation by those who disagree on the other hand, merely reinforce how tenuous American freedom really is.

More information…

Constitution of the United States

Bill of Rights

Tulsa Race Riot, Tulsa Historical Society, Tulsa Riot, PBS

Wounded Knee, Wounded Knee Museum

Japanese-American Internment

Oaths of Enlistment

Oath of Enlistment US Army

April 24, 2015 / Gregory Williams

Trains!

“Trains”, I said! locomotive

Dad had just stated with no uncertainty that if me and my brothers were going to get him anything for his birthday it should be HO scale model trains and accessories.

Fair enough. Dad’s retired now, and I remember as kid he was always keen to build a model rail road. Working as much as he did it’s no wonder it was never built, but we did have a few boxes of trains and track and accessories that had been around since my brothers were little, and even though it was a pain to keep the track together on shag carpet, I ran a good many model rail roads as a kid.

I mean, trains. Where I grew up there were trains everywhere, and rail road crossings. For freight trains everyone would just calmly put their cars in park, roll down the windows, and start smoking. Usually the line of cars would pass after twenty minutes or so. Sometimes it would just stop, and then start to run in reverse. It was times like these that things often got tense. Angry men would get into fist fights before the gates just to blow off steam.

Passenger trains were much faster, but Amtrak’s were the longest. The South Shore was more frequent but shorter, and Metra and the L you only got to see or ride, in Illinois.

So we got Dad enough gear to get his rail road up and running, and he’s called a few times to talk trains. Since it was also such a lovely day this past Sunday, where we live, we took the toddler back to the Northwest Railway Museum, except this time it was open and we caught the 3:15 “out to the falls and back”, the last ride of the day, just a small portion of the ride described here.

locomotive steam engine

March 9, 2015 / Gregory Williams

Ambulance Kitchen Car

US Army Medical Service Ambulance Kitchen Car at NW Railway Museum 800

A vintage rail car on display at the Northwest Railway Museum.

March 1, 2015 / Gregory Williams

Snapshots from “Pompeii: The Exhibition”

A few weeks back we hit Pacific Science Center in Seattle for not only their standing exhibits but to catch Pompeii: The Exhibition. The last time I had visited was for King Tut, and I suppose I was not that surprised to find that Pompeii followed the same format, in the same space, with the same inherent limitations. It was too crowded, and catered for the lowest common denominator of museum goer.

On the upside I was able to grab some snapshots of the artifacts on display. I had less luck catching the placards that described each piece.

These were shot on a Nikon V1 set to Program, and thanks for visiting.

February 23, 2015 / Gregory Williams

Tropical Butterfly House

Snapshots fromĀ  the Tropical Butterfly House at Pacific Science Center, Seattle, WA.

Tropical Butterfly House at Pacific Science Center

Tropical Butterfly House at Pacific Science Center

Tropical Butterfly House at Pacific Science Center

Tropical Butterfly House at Pacific Science Center

Tropical Butterfly House at Pacific Science Center

Images were shot on this Nikon 1 set to Program.

 

 

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