Monthly Archives: February 2013

Florida Paddling

By Vladimir Brezina

Look what’s floating by in the turquoise-green water!

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I collect them all

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to take them home.

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But, sadly, the brilliant colors are evanescent…


By Vladimir Brezina

This synchronized team puts in a pretty impressive performance—

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— and they leave the stage triumphantly!

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Others are pretty good too…

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but their synchronized diving still needs some work.

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From a recent visit to St. Pete Beach, Florida.

Travel Theme: Bridges

By Vladimir Brezina

Ailsa’s travel-themed photo challenge this week is Bridges.

Ailsa asks, “Are you ready to cross the bridge when you come to it?” But we follow quite another set of routes through the city, which were there before the first bridge was ever built over them…

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Forward

By Vladimir Brezina

This week’s Photo Challenge is Forward.

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A Word A Week Challenge: Industrial

By Vladimir Brezina

Over on A Word In Your Ear, Sue’s A Word A Week Challenge this week is Industrial.

Gowanus Canal

Paddling through New York Harbor, the ecosystem that we observe is not Nature, but Industry. Where elsewhere we might hope for close-up sightings of animals coming down to the water’s edge, in the harbor we observe the raw workings of industry. Industrial enterprises line the  banks and occupy the scraps of waste land in the corners of the harbor. They present their best faces to the land, but as we paddle past, through, and sometimes even under them, we peer into their back yards…

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Travel Theme: Mountains

By Vladimir Brezina

Ailsa’s travel-themed photo challenge this week is Mountains.

Hmmm… The water that we kayak on is usually horizontal and the waves are usually not mountainous. So I don’t have many photos of mountains.

I have visited the Alps and the Rockies. But I’ve found that I like best the smaller mountain ranges that, with perhaps no more than a thousand feet of elevation, still look and feel like real mountains. You can climb them in the morning and still be back below for supper. Yet up there, you still have those sharp peaks, precipitous slopes, and—especially when the mist rolls in—that exposed, lonely thrill. And when the mist clears, there are sunlit views far into the lowlands, even as far as the sea.

DCP_0331 croppedAs, for example, in the Cordillera Central of Puerto Rico—


Weekly Photo Challenge: KISS

By Johna Till Johnson

471627_10150716407605951_747648912_oThis week’s Photo Challenge is Kiss.

What with Couples, and Love, and Valentine’s Day, we’ve had entirely too much romantic stuff lately. So, for something completely different—


A few months back, a friend and client invited me to a corporate event.

Not your typical corporate event: It was a “Battle of the Bands”, in which employee-musicians competed in front of a crowd of  hundreds of other employees and business partners.

Knowing my friend is a huge fan of the rock group KISS, I volunteered to come dressed in full KISS attire.

Okay, actually I didn’t volunteer. My business partner volunteered me, as in, “I’m sure Johna would love to dress up!”

Hmm… I’d love to, but… As the president and CEO of an up-and-coming technology research firm, did I really want to show up in front of clients and other professionals dressed like a rock star? Isn’t there something about, you know, having an image to uphold?

Upon further consideration, it took me about a nanosecond to agree with the idea. (After all, if I were diehard about maintaining a professional image, I wouldn’t be sporting a Billy Idol ‘do.)

Much longer, though, were the preparations.

First: Which member should I emulate? I was only dimly aware of the individual band members. My friend the KISS connoisseur advised that although Gene Simmons is better known, Ace Frehley’ Paul Stanley’s makeup is easier to do. (Note: As alert readers have noted, it was actually Paul Stanley’s makeup we emulated. I was confused by listening to “New York Groove” while writing this….)

Paul it was!

Then there were the logistics. Prior to the Battle of the Bands, there was an actual formal(ish) event during which we technology folks were to get briefed on the company’s products and services. The CEO would be attending. Did I want to show up at this event in KISS makeup?

In the end, I decided against that plan of action. Instead, after the event, my friend and I swiftly changed into KISS gear and did our makeup, rocking out to the sound of  “New York Groove”.

The results? I think we were a rocking pair of Pauls! And my friend accessorized with a blow-up guitar…


By sheer coincidence, some time before Vlad had taken a photo of a Gene Simmons lookalike at the Hallowe’en festivities on the Upper East Side.  He didn’t recognize the costume, though: I had to provide some additional context.

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After all, by then I was an expert in KISS!


Great minds think alike!: To Mother Earth, with Love

Happy Valentine’s Day!

By Vladimir Brezina

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Home, Take Two

By Vladimir Brezina

This week’s Photo Challenge is Home. We’ve already posted one response, but here’s another.

Our home away from home—

IMGP2138 cropped small—on a beach at Lloyds Neck, Long Island, NY

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—on the banks of the Hudson River at Stockport Middle Ground


IMGP0645 cropped small—on Magdalen Island, near Saugerties, NY

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IMGP2543 cropped small—on the Hudson River at Denning Point, Beacon, NY

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—in Nickerson State Park, Cape Cod, MA

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IMGP4656 cropped small—at Jones Inlet, South Shore of Long Island, NY

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—on Fire Island, NY

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IMGP5854 cropped small—at Montauk Point, NY

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IMGP6691 cropped small—in Sunken Meadow State Park, on the North Shore of Long Island, NY

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And now, our home away from home awaits in its bag, ready for this year’s adventures!

Playing in the Snow

By Vladimir Brezina

DSC_0795 cropped smallWhat a difference a day makes!

The morning after the snowstorm, we came out into Central Park to find thousands of people playing in the snow and sunshine.





And I took a thousand photos. I am still sorting them out, but here are a few good ones—

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