Pittsburgh Wedding Photography

Peak Conditioning Project - week 5

Starting Weight 171 lbs.
Current Weight 165 lbs.
Height 5’9

Day 37 of my 90 days of peak conditioning project. This is what I learned.

Egg white, tomato and fresh basil sandwich for breakfast this morning. A blend of protein, carbs and vegetables, filling, tasty and satisfying this sandwich is a must try. I had an organic pale ale beer last night, little bitter but enjoyable. I slept well.

The strong focus that I am placing on whole foods are yielding less cravings for...well, anything. Conscious food preparations, correct portions and mindful eating are becoming a passion. Don’t get me wrong, while typing this I just had a fantasy about my favorite pizza. This weekend my wife will throw a family picnic. Mindfully I will do my best to enjoy the day.

Last week I wrote about my new workout that I titled “just-a-little-over-effort” workout. After two weeks of this new routine I have to say that an infomercial may be in my future. Combining strength training (resistant bands) with subtle whole body exercise (yoga) works. The first indication of lean sculpted muscle is starting to appear on my arms, shoulders and chest. Stomach still has no hint of ever becoming cut, washboard, six-pack or other dream like phrases that people call their core. Nonetheless my soft problem area is getting smaller.

For more on:Peak Condition Project (be sure to check out the side bar links)


Poem (of sorts)

Life and culture needs more Africa
Life and culture needs more Bach

Tribal grooves, living within the hands of nature
Icing of harmony that swings on top of the beats
Economy and the environment knock us off our feet, we deserve it
Our ethics looked right then left then crossed the street.
Focus, foundation, foothold; that is our future.
Individuals, creative, innovators can re-seed our Garden of Eden

We need more Africa
We need more Bach

Today we became France, let us drink the wine and eat the cheese
We’re a nationalized nation, let us cheer
An empire has fallen and a republic stands
Gossip is philosophy – FOX news has become the pulpit on which America rests
May our consciousness forgive our behavior
We refused to acknowledge it, in spite of the evidence

Anything that can evolve will, and it will be beautiful

Look to Africa
Look to Bach



Check out the podcast over at POLYSEMY

Dan Allison and Matthew Dallman discuss how “God” relates to making works of art.

Here is my perspective:
That is easy to answer. It gave me a place to steal a whole bunch of ideas from, plus no copyright infringements to worry about. The only quandary I had was in breaking commandment number eight; thou shalt not steal, but is pilfering ideas from sacred text really stealing?

The book of Genesis and the book of Revelations from the King James Bible are single handily the two most influential works I have ever read, re-read, and contemplated some more. The importance of their teachings and morals were lost on me for the most part in my youth. These two books were akin to Star Wars and the Beatles for inspiration. I recognized how current cultures (movies, TV, music) were right out of these books. These books are the pillars of western composition.

The study of God is the study of the ancient and the future at the same time. The artist in me needs these works for purpose in what I am doing.

Some New(er) Photos That I like


Coffee to Insourcing

Coffee, I love coffee, I love coffee shops and I love the cultures of the coffee shop. Coffee shops represent the art of learning how to slow down while waiting for the caffeine to kick in. Life happens when coffee percolates and permeates into the clientele, in coffee shops the patrons are lovingly referred to as the “regulars”. Coffee shops are conscious of the importance of their ambiance. Wall color, lighting scheme, music, furniture all encompasses the flow and function of how the customer’s time in the coffee shop will be spent. Oh the smell, the aroma of aesthetics that coffee symbolizes.

My personal favorite coffee shop has a minimalist feel to it which is set in a large retail space. Coffee shops are typically smaller establishments, giving the patron the feel of comfort. This coffee shop places chalkboards on the walls so the customers, the “regulars”, can have impromptu meetings. The coffee shop owner has probably just come up with some marketing genius move of in-sourcing your in-crowd.


Photo of the Week

Camera: Nikon D70
Exposure: 30 sec (30)
Aperture: f/22
Focal Length: 22 mm
ISO Speed: 200
Exposure Bias: 0 EV


Germ to Germ

Nine o’clock am downtown Pittsburgh smells of diesel fuel, coffee and stale air. I sit outside a skyscraper waiting to attend an appointment. Grande coffee sits to the right of me, journal in hand, seated on a cold cement bench, I wait. Surrounded by a flower garden with no fragrance and trees that are growing out of concert sidewalks, this has to be proof of purgatory or reincarnation. Plants need light and air to be in this world. Could you imagine the hell it must be to be foliage in the city. No direct sunlight, living in a world diffused by buildings while breathing polluted air filled with car fumes and sewer gases.

Young businessmen in classy suits with expensive hair products placed in their short, quaffed cuts walk by. Pudgy women wrapped in tight black sweaters with large shoulder bags and even larger sunglasses perched upon their faces walk by in a cluster.

Here I sit. Staring at the masses “germ to germ”, I think to myself. What must nature think of us?


10 Million Tears, Remembering 9/11

Peak Conditioning Project – week 4

Starting Weight 171 lbs.
Current Weight 167 lbs.
Height 5’9

Day 25 of my 90 days of peak conditioning project. This is what I learned.

Energy is back, imagination is back, attitude towards all life is positive. Creating a new workout for myself; jumping rope was not working out for me. Now I mix yoga within resistance band training to get my heart pumping while doing deep stretches. There won’t be an infomercial in my future for this “just-a-little-over-effort” workout that I have coined, but it’ll do for me.

Four pounds off the body, feel good about that. The weight is dropping slowly I feel that it will be a permanent loss. Goodbye soft belly, hello, well…still soft belly but smaller.

Appetite hasn’t been much of an issue, surprised about that. Saturdays seem to be the hungriest day for me, but it is also the day I expel the most amount of energy. Saturdays I eat. For dinner this past week I have been having a protein shake: 3 hard boiled egg whites, 1 apple, 1 banana and 5 oz of soy milk. This concoction is fulfilling.

For more on:Peak Condition Project (be sure to check out the side bar links)



Current Reading: Hocus Pocus by Kurt Vonnegut
Current Music: Bach: The 6 Unaccompanied Cello Suites
Mood: Happy
Smells: Coffee & Clementine’s
Sounds: Strange hum????
Temperature: 63 degrees and rain
Thoughts: "Disco and lemon-aide" (this could become my new catch phrase for all things silly)


Photo of the Week

Camera: Nikon D70
Exposure: 0.033 sec (1/30)
Aperture: f/25
Focal Length: 34 mm
ISO Speed: 200
Exposure Bias: 0 EV


The Maverick (Guest Posting from My Wife)

So my husband has asked me to “guest write” a blog entry today regarding my views on Sarah Palin. Where to begin…where to begin. There is so much to say I fear we could be hear all day, dear readers. Therefore, I will keep my lengthy list of issues regarding her life and views to just three for your benefit. However, I will include a small list of things I would love for you to keep in mind if you’re still on the fence about her.

(1) She has very little experience. I won’t say much here as every writer on the globe has said it so much better than me and has said it so many times, really…need I say more? But I will say this: THE FRIGGIN’ PTA DOES NOT COUNT AS EXECUTIVE EXPERIENCE WHEN RUNNING FOR THE VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITIED STATES. If I have to hear this one more time from some white-haired, suited up, old man with a red tie on I’m going to scream.

(2) Right from my feminist mouth: Palin needs to be home tending to her children. Yep, I said it. Now let me explain. Man or woman, mom or dad, the title makes no difference. As a PARENT it is very disappointing to me that it is more obvious to me that her family needs her right now more than it is obvious to her. She has a 17-year old pregnant daughter with photos strewn all over the internet posing with various forms of alcoholic beverages with captions like, “not only is she a whore, but an alkie too!” That’s enough right there, wouldn’t you agree? Her daughter is going thru a pretty rough time right now. She’s dealing with pregnancy, an impending marriage, and dropping out of high school. Any one of those things is enough to send me screaming for my mommy and she has to deal with them all at once AND in the media spotlight. While her daughter will be learning how to be a teen mom for the first, and hopefully the last, time her own mother could possibly be practically a nation away from her. But, you know, what the heck…she’s a “feminist” you know. She’s “furthering women-kind”. She’s “making history”. All I have to say is, you have just witnessed a feminist doing one of the most anti-feminist acts: walking away from her own child during a time of need. How sad.

(3) How am I supposed to believe that Palin is smart enough to help run this country but not smart enough to know that she was throwing her daughter to the wolves by accepting this nomination? This kid has been called every name in the book on every gossip site imaginable. Yep, that’s exactly who I want helping to run this country: a woman who sold out her pregnant daughter. We live in a country that does not value motherhood and most decisions on what to do about an unplanned pregnancy are based on fear (just take a look at those abortion statistics—do you really think they’re so high because young women just couldn’t be bothered??). So not only does her daughter have to deal with the “shame” of her situation, but she gets to do it in front of the whole world.

Now, in light of the fact that my rant against Sarah Palin has little to do with actual politics, I have included a short list of facts below that highlight her current and past involvements and decisions.

• YES, she did vote YES for the “bridge to nowhere”.
• The Right finds that Obama not wearing a flag pin is more of an issue than Palin’s association with the far right Alaskan Independence Party, which has been known to support succession from the US.
• Palin, like her running mate, does not support funding for teen pregnancy programs.
• She has vehemently refused to support sex education in schools, other than abstinence. Do I really need to discuss how ironic these last 2 statements are??
• Palin does not support pro-choice abortion rights. So, while applauding her daughter for CHOOSING (interesting selection for a word, don’t you think?) to have her baby, she has made it a point to try and take away choice from other women.
• She claims to want to put the smackdown on earmark spending, yet applied for over $200 million in earmark requests this year before being asked to accept the VP nomination. She also applied for and received thousands and millions in earmarks over the years during her stint as mayor of Wasilla. And a few of these earmarks were actually criticized at the time by McCain himself.
• She is in the middle of an investigation that is accusing her of abusing her powers surrounding the termination of her public safety commissioner. Apparently an attempt to get back at her ex-brother-in-law for violent (and unforgivable, if true) acts against her sister and her nephew, she pressured the public safety commissioner to fire her ex-brother-in-law. When he refused, she fired him.
• She tried to have books banned in the local library in Wasilla, Alaska during her time as mayor because “some voters thought they had inappropriate language in them”.
• She opposes same-sex marriage.
• She opposes embryonic stem-cell research.
• She opposes the decriminalization of marijuana for people with painful illnesses.

If this isn’t enough to make a firm decision on Sarah Palin, have no worries. She’ll sink herself soon enough. After all, she’s a “maverick” don’t cha know?? She needs no help from me.

Political Rant...(I just had to)

Fear or hope: a story of Obama living the American dream and a story of McCain living an American nightmare. This is where we are at as a country. We need to choose.

For the last two weeks at 10 pm EST I turn on the TV and watch. The Olympics of speechwriters, this is how I see the conventions. The artist in me gets pumped up for all the writers out there being inspired to spin a new phrase. Politicians, preachers, prophets, pundits, pirates all make their way to the podium to spew their rhetoric to the masses. I love it, the super bowl with spellchecker, grammar pro and limited commercials.

I have to vote democratic, it’s mandatory if I wish to keep my acoustics guitars. I do. It’s true when you purchase an acoustic guitar they actually make you sign a form stating you will be a life-long democrat and mock all republicans with songs entitled “three chords and the truth”. On the flip side I am told when you purchase a gun you have to also sign a life-long republican voter form stating you will oppose all big government interference as long as the big government still enforces pro-gun, anti-choice, and anti-global thinking.

The debates next month should be pay-per-view events: In this corner HOPE weighing in at 175 lbs with 10 knock-outs and two best sellers to his name. In the other corner FEAR weighing in at 155 lbs being knocked down 15 times but getting up from all of them with the patented thumbs up to the crowd.

Enjoy the show…


Peak Conditioning Project – week 3

Day 17 of my 90 days of peak conditioning project. This is what I learned.

Starting Weight 171 lbs.
Current Weight 169 lbs.

First, my ability to spell and write legibly is completely gone. The few pounds that I have lost must have been in the part of my brain that holds the key to penmanship and spelling. Second, I lost many, many, many waking hours of my life. I just can’t seem to get enough sleep. Third, creativity is gone. Other PCPs write about clarity, inspiration and vision. Not me. Focus is only happening in my life with the aide of auto-focus on the camera.

The good things that I have learned is that: yoga and resistance bands are a good combination-workout for me. I could be a vegetarian with no problem at all, as long as I don’t go to my parent’s home and pepperoni stays a mystery as to how it is made (at least to me). Finally, if there was more time in the day, or actually less stuff for me to do in a day, I could/would be at my peak condition for sitting on a sofa with a remote control in one hand and a slice of pepperoni pizza in the other hand.

(*Update on how I am doing*)
90 days of peak conditioning workout is:
Strength: Resistance bands, push-ups and jumping rope (cardio)

* Hate jumping rope, I am ok at it and it does get my heart rate up, quickly, nonetheless I am not a jumper. Resistance bands, push-ups are going well.*

Fitness: Hatha yoga * good*

Meditation: 20 minutes of zazen *good*

Diet: Correct portions, conscious preparation, eating quality whole foods and journaling what I eat and how I feel.

*fairly to very good – Monday through Friday I am doing excellent, weekends I am just doing ok. On weekends I eat whatever is put in front of me and only eat about half of my normal portions.*