Saturday, May 09, 2015


We went to a wedding last weekend in Cypress Falls, near Wimberley TX. 
During the reception the sun was almost down so I went to our motel room for the camera/tripod. 
Down by the river there wasn't enough artificial light spillage to get anything worth using, but while there I was approached by a man in the dark. 

He told me I was lucky that he'd spotted me, otherwise I could have gotten "blowed up". 
Hmmm...a gay come-on done badly? 

No, it was just that I had walked right into the middle of a fireworks launch zone. 
He was nice enough to let me stay and shoot pics from closer than I've ever been before. and it was pretty intense. Every launch felt like a punch to the gut, and they were bursting right overhead. I had a lot of debris on me afterwards. 

He gave me his business card so I could send him my results, but it wasn't from his fireworks business (don't need an architect right now) and there was no website or email address. Googling and checking Facebook for the name he told me turned up nothing, either. 
When I have the time I'll track him down.

Happy Day, Mothers.

Monday, March 16, 2015

121 Months Of Views

That's right, I've been blogging right here at the same URL for over ten years!! 

Crazy, right?
Boy, the internet was a very different place back then, as was digital photography.
"Photobloggers" like me are a dying breed.
Now it's all about news, shopping, gossip, and connecting via Facebook, etc.
And pr0n.

One thing that hasn't changed is that Blogger's (my hosting site) spellcheck still flags words like internet, blogging, and spellcheck. Funny but true.

Anyway, February was a weird month for me, so I forgot all about posting on the actual anniversary and decided to do it today.

Since this post is about me, here are some selfies I took today. (Spellcheck didn't like selfies, of course).

In the backyard with my 8-string bass, using my Samsung Galaxy S3.
We're getting the S5 in 2 months, and I can't wait.
This phone has a great camera, but the newer model is much better.
This is one of the only pictures of me that shows some wrinkles on my face, so it intrigues me. People always assume I'm around forty, rather than my true age of 52. It's cool, and I'm lucky and grateful. As a joke I always say "Beer and weed keep me young" but of course none of that is true. Gets a good laugh every time, though.

At the biggest jewelry store in town. Sylvia just got a raise and wanted to celebrate with her 1st diamond earrings. It's a very impressive building and operation. If you live here, you've fallen asleep during their informative half-hour infomercial.

Over the years I've blogged less and less for many reasons, and what I miss just as much as making (NOT just taking) pictures is the writing.
Just like tonight, I pop open a beer or three and start typing. When I was in school, essays were fun and an easy A grade, but I was never much for verse so writing lyrics for my music never amounted to anything. Very frustrating!
So blogging reawakened the dormant author in me and I always enjoyed it for it's own sake. Never mattered if anyone liked it or commented on it, I just did it because it made me feel good.

Recently, my blogging led to a chance to write something that'll get seen a LOT more than anything I post here.
A young singer that I ran sound for in 2012 needed a new biography for her website, and she remembered the blog I had done during my tenure in the band: A Beautiful Mess Featuring Natalie Rose
The writing was decent, and I liked the photos. Her father was very impressed when he found it and Views of TX, and wouldn't shut up about what a great writer I was.
So over the last two weeks I spent about 7 hours working on her bio whenever some spark of inspiration (or guilt about taking too long) might strike.
It's a different breed of writing, being a weird combo of reporting and selling. Walking a fine line between truth and promotion.
I've done it in the past, usually for myself and my illiterate bandmates, but this was a far more high-pressure affair because she's definitely going to be a big star someday so good work could lead to something. Which is weird, because I could go back to doing her sound and lights anytime I wanted to. Just burned-out on traveling and running sound after being in this business since high school. I've been offered the bass job a few times, too, but don't do country music and I just want to play bass and write heavy music with Televators.
Anyway, here's her website: Natalie Rose.
Click on the "ABOUT" tab.
I emailed it to her yesterday morning and it was on the site within an hour, and she says she loves it.
All in all a good day, this special 121 month anniversary. 

Speaking of my band Televators, we're playing next Sunday March 22nd.
Some tattoo convention thing--should be a ton of metal fans in the crowd.
We play for maybe an hour, starting at 3pm.

In conclusion, thank you for visiting Views Of Texas.
It's nice to know that people spent time looking at my photos and/or reading my words.
I appreciate you.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

A Pound Of Reese's Cups

I first spotted this while Christmas shopping in late 2013 and apparently wouldn't shut up about it. Last month Sylvia put it under our tree for me, and tonight I finally got up the nerve to open it. 

The text on the side is the important part--2 HALF POUND CUPS! 
I love Reese's, but this is crazy.

 I'm glad they put them in plastic cups. Still in surprisingly good shape.

 An 8 oz monster dwarfs the standard size.

The chocolate/peanut butter ratio seems about right. Freaking delicious!
You just have to stop after a small fraction.
Half of the wedge I cut out is tomorrow's ration.
And careful study has shown that the choco/PB ratio is measurably different depending on the size of the cup. Rob Cockerham over at Cockeyed conducted this test a few years ago. Looks like it needs an update.

These monsters are available year 'round at Rocket Fizz stores, but their $24 price is a joke.
(They also stock the giant Snickers, York's Peppermint Patty, etc.)

Sear and Target sell it for $10 during the holiday shopping season, which represents a few $$$ saved over a comparable weight of the smaller sizes at non-sale prices.
Mainly it's about the novelty.
I'm thinking of bringing one to a SuperBowl party this weekend.

Saturday, January 03, 2015

Li-Ion Vape

My Friends Mike & Amie Just opened a Vape store here in San Antonio. I'm working here on the late shift.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Christmas Card Photo 2014

This was our card:
The new Blanco County Courthouse, in Johnson City Texas.

I say new because this is the old one, in Blanco Texas:
At some point in the distant past, the county seat was moved to the larger city, and the larger courthouse was built.

Looks are deceiving, because we went with a side-view.
Here's a 3/4:

And the long side:

I've been trying to schedule a shot like these for many years, and it finally came together a few weeks ago.
Managed to confuse some people into thinking it's our house, but they really should know better.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to my remaining 3 readers.
Much love.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Night Critter Macros

Back when the Sony F717 still worked, my favorite and most unique photos came when I would shoot bugs and toads almost touching the lens with an automatic Sony flash unit handheld a couple inches above them. With a few square inches of light that close it was similar to the look of a huge softbox or umbrella on a person = flattering and smooth light.  
It was a very "hands-on" system requiring double manual dexterity and I wouldn't recommend it to most people, but oh man the pictures were good!  


My current version of this setup is a Samsung Galaxy S3 phone with an LED penlight in my left hand. Sometimes I add the phone's own light next to the lens. 
Not nearly as "softbox" in size, but new products in this area are hot right now and I'm even more likely to re-purpose and modify something currently available for cheap $$. 

Bottom line is that shots like this are what I call fun, and I missed shooting them for a few years. 
Can't wait for the Galaxy S5 next May when our cell plan is due. It's got a seriously better camera both for stills and 4K video.