Saturday, February 28, 2009

Ash Wednesday - Winter 2009

It has been a cold winter here in the Ohio Valley. More odd storms than I recall since I was younger. These things seem to go in cycles. Ash Wednesday was this week which is always a good sign spring can not be to far away. The days are cold and damp but not as bad as three and four weeks ago. I am tired of winter.

I am feeling old with my damn back hurting and can hardly do anything. If I move what even seem like light stuff I end up feeling sore. It is the kind of pain that is just there, can not really make it go away. Accidents and age do not mix well.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Senior Portrait

This is one of several I took this evening in my make shift studio. It is basically a wall and I arrange different lights. Nothing fancy, track lights and can ceiling lights on a dimmer. Ty kind of waited a while till he wanted to have his pictured taken, it all worked out in the end. Sharon is going to add some final touches and off to the year book it will go. This is not the one he likes, but I do. So at least it goes in my blog. His Mother also sent in a couple of pictures I took, one as a 1-2 year old, one age 18 playing in the band.

Time goes so quick, it seems like yesterday he was just a baby and enjoying trips to the Nature Center and not even in school yet. This fall he is off to OU and a whole new life. For everyone, me included. I got a little teary after the shoot and edit work. I told him how much I was going to miss him while giving him a big hug once he has gone away to college. The house will not seem the same. Max is three years away, time goes to quickly.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Heading Down River

Dave Swanson got me started on this and the more I read and the more I know about what our congress and Obama has passed as a stimulus bill has turned out to be one huge pork bill with a side order of relief to make it palatable for some people. My parents always taught me to save and not over spend, keep money for a rainy day and live within your means. Seems that is not what we should have done. We should have spent like fools, live in a huge house, rack up the credit card bills and wait for someone to bail us out, the rich. People who make for than $250,000.00 a year are now rich, and we will tax them to make up for the people who did not save, spent ever dime they had and now can no longer afford to live with tight money issues in our most current times. I will end up paying more for my kids college and taxes on our house and living so others who did not save can enjoy being stimulated.

All the spending seems to be going to people who do not pay taxes live off the tit of the government and now will enjoy welfare all over again. I thought we had learned that did not work? People are humans and if they can get something for nothing, many will, or try too. They voted in November and now they cash in, we will pay their house payments, give them tax refunds on money they never paid and make sure they are well fed and have a nice house over their heads. I think the story or saying Robbing Peter to Pay Paul will always get the support of Paul. Ie Obama voters. Maybe people will wake up and throw the ass holes out of congress in a couple of years and if we are lucky get people in there that will change this mess before the ball rolls dow the hill to fast. It happened in 1994, it can happen 2010.

I just can not believe 3 Republican Senators voted for this pile of crap. They did not even read it. One thing Ma & Pa always told me, never sign something you have not read. Well 60 did, and enough in the house to put the thing into law. Dave said it best we are *ucked

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Memory of Matt Maulpin

Matt came home last year after being missing in action for over three years. He was captured early in the war and was the longest MIA of the Iraq war. He grew up not far from where we live, we often travel past his old home. All while Matt was missing yellow ribbons were around everything. Phone pole, signs, you name it, some are still there. He did not come home the way we all had hoped, but at least he is home.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

22 years - Happy Valentines

Over 22 years ago Min and I got married. We have been together since 1984, but tied the knot for a washer and dryer on Valentine's day 1987. Bliss ever since ... * I know she reads this blog.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Deja Vu All Over Again

Well we had high winds and rain last night and just like in September when Ike hit the area we lost power around 8:30PM. Now the road is closed since a huge tree in the Cincinnati Nature Center fell across Tealtown road closing it last night and most of today. It is laying over the power lines and the pole needs to be replaced. We hope they are able to get power back on faster than last time. We will have to stay some where if it is not one tonight, just to cold to sleep in the house. Was wonderful taking a luke warm shower and did not shave today since I really do not care what I look like at work. This comes after a day of talking to my Lawyer about the law suit. Seems all the ducks are in a row, we just need to tie up a few details before he files the paper work.

Min was not happy this morning and none of use are looking forward to coming home if they do not restore power by then. Last night I did not get much sleep with the howling winds and trucks looking over the damage. Lots of flashing lights make for little sleep. I think we are going to look into a generator for the house. Either a small one for lights or what some neighbors have that power up when power goes off. Pricey but worth the money in the long run, perhaps. At least we lost no trees and from what I saw the roof is intact as well as the gutters. We are thankful for some of our blessings.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

We Pray

We pray people come to their senses before they pass this pork bloated horrid spending bill. Government spending helps little, private sector spending brings good jobs and employment. This bill will not bring us jobs or the desired effect to improve jobs or liquidity. Elections have consequential outcomes.

It is a bad bill and it needs to start over, but that will not happen. Nancy and Harry will not let their egos allow that. This will lay on the backs of our children if we do not do something. Steve Forbes keeps pointing out, change the market to market guidelines. That will quickly open up cash flow. Pass a bill full of direct tax relief to people and small businesses. They will spend it, at some point people need new cars and new appliances. Jobs will follow.

The money flow issue was not addressed today with enough detail. Lets face it they really do not know what to do. They need to look at history, JFK, 1960 big problems in the economy. Huge tax relief, things got much better. RR, early 80s after Jimmy Carter the worse president we have ever had left us with high 10%+ unemployment, double digit interest rates and a economy as bad if not worse that what we now face. Solution tax cuts.

Roosevelt tried government spending, WPA, etc. They did little to bring the economy out of the depression. WWII did that will all the jobs and allied counties coming together in a time of war. Japan spent 10 years in the 90s trying the same. Did not work, till it let the markets open. I pray we do not fall victum to history.

Monday, February 9, 2009

UK New Rules

Clock ticking on copyright

The government's call for views on the future of copyright has been given a cautious welcome. But, Olivier Laurent reports, it's imperative you have your say

UK photographers could see the first major revamp of copyright law since 1988 after the Intellectual Property Office launched a consultation on the future shape of copyright late last month, including new focus on orphan works.

On 16 December 2008, the IPO, under the remit of David Lammy, minister for higher education and intellectual property, released an 'Issues Paper' to help kick-start the debate about what needs to be done to ensure that 'the country's copyright system properly supports creativity, promotes investment and jobs, while inspiring the confidence of businesses and of users'.

While the consultation encompasses all sectors of the creative industry - with a particular emphasis on the music business - photographers have been urged by representing associations to make their voices heard in a bid to shape any changes that could come as a result of the consultation period.

Already, the Association of Photographers, the British Association of Picture Libraries and Agencies and the National Union of Journalists have announced that they will participate in the consultation.

Gwen Thomas, AOP's company secretary, says: 'We're looking at what difference it is going to make, but it's nice to see that the minister of higher education is interested in the issue.'

'The existing copyright legislation is based on an act that is 20 years old,' says Paul Broan, chairman of BAPLA. 'New methods for delivering stills to the public and for commercial use have developed so fast that legislation has simply not been able to keep up. It is encouraging to see a pro-active response to early European discussions, so that the UK can lead this initiative and shape European policy in a way that is relevant to UK rights-holders.'

The NUJ is also discussing its response, with a sub-committee of photographers meeting this week to discuss the issue.

The consultation period runs until February, after which the IPO will release a discussion paper - or Green Paper - that will become the basis of an official government consultation period. 'Based on that second phase of consultation, we will publish our recommendation in late spring,' an IPO spokesman tells BJP. 'This piece of work looks to ascertain where the UK is and where we should be in terms of copyright internationally,' he adds.

The IPO has asked a series of questions to the creative industry regarding the state of copyright in a digitalised world, with an emphasis on orphan works.

Freelance photographer Pete Jenkins, who will help formulate the NUJ's response, says that one problem is that 'members of the public, as well as organisations, are downloading images and publishing them without compensation through ignorance of the law.

'The absolute right to be recognised as the creator of a published work and the easy and affordable enforcement of that right will start to stop such practices and begin to ensure that creators are always paid for uses of published works,' he adds. 'There does need to be an easy to use and to enforce way for lone traders to obtain not only the payment of licenses fees but also an element of payment of damages to make unlawful use less attractive to would-be pirates.'

Legal enforcement of copyright infringement has proven to be a huge issue, especially for freelance photographers and small businesses. 'Even when piracy is traced and a conviction in the civil courts obtained, there is little chance of any recompense for the misuse, and indeed it is often difficult to obtain even the appropriate fee that could have been negotiated legally,' says Jenkins.

The numbers of copyright infringements cases could increase exponentially in the years to come if the US passes an orphan works bill that would make it easier for publishers to use works of art for which the author or copyright owner cannot easily be traced.

Photographers also fear that the IPO's consultation could form the basis of a European-wide orphan work bill that would threaten their rights. Already, the UK Gowers Review, unveiled in 2007, recommenced adopting a similar policy to the US, namely that works can be used if the copyright owner cannot be found after a 'reasonable search'.

BJP will continue to monitor the situation, publishing its own answer to the paper before the end of February. For more details, visit

In essence

The Intellectual Property Office's Issues Paper calls on the creative industry to debate four areas:

1. Access to work. Is the current system too complex, in particular in relation to the licensing of rights, rights clearance and copyright exceptions?

2. Incentivising investment and creativity. Does the current copyright system provide the right incentives to sustain investment and support creativity?

3. Recognising creative input. Does the current system provide the right balance between commercial certainty and the rights of creators?

4. Authenticating work. What action, if any, is needed to address issues related to authentication?

The Issues Paper is available on Intellectual Property Office's website at

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Tealtown - Winter 2009

Well this morning I was getting my son up so he could go to practice at school. He looked out the window and asked me how he was going to get out of the drive way. Puzzled I looked out the window to see my car that was parked in the drive way had slide down about 50' nearly into the road. The ice and frozen over night and early morning thaw made is slippery enough for the car to start down the slope on it's own. I guess salting the end of the driveway was a good idea or the car would have ended up in the road. This week end is going to be warm and by end most of the snow and ice will have melted. Now we will be dealing with mud for a few days as the ground will be soft and wet and a total mess. Oh the joys of winter in the Ohio Valley.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Games - Winter 2009

In the basement with Ty and Max on a winter's evening. The game was over and Mother had left, I think she won. The past couple weeks have been brutal weather, -6F this morning when I left for work. The boys had a 2 hour delay for school, I was jealous.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Winter of 2009 - Vote Denied

Well the weather liars got the forecast wrong and instead of a dusting to a inch of snow, we got 8" all during the rush hour. It took me over 2+ hours to get home last night in white out conditions. I was wanting to get home to vote on a local bond issue and did not think I would make it, but I got in the door before 7:30. I was told I was to late. The law is you have to be there in the door before 7:30 but the poll workers wanted to get home and started to close up the polling places before 7:30. I told them I wanted to vote, I was told they were closed. I should have called the board of elections right then, but I was so tired and frustrated I just went home. I called Judy at the board and lodged a complaint but by then my only option was to drive to Batavia and vote. Not something I wanted to do in bumper to bumper traffic. She said they should have called her and asked and it was not right what happened, she was nice as could be, and will tell the poll workers how they had failed to perform their duties that snowy day. I know working the voting poll locations is a thankless job, my Mother did it for well over 30 years. I guess we chalk it up to "White Death Syndrome" ... so it goes.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Perintown Ohio - U.S. 50

Back in 1880 or so the town was one of the biggest cities in the area with a large population and busy industry. It was a major producer of yeast, flower, lumber and spirits. The town had it's own rail station and was a stop for many people heading east from Cincinnati on stage coaches before the trains. This is one of the last old house left from that era in the town and I fear it will soon be torn down. So I ventured out one morning and captured a few pictures of it in the morning fog.