Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Subtle Changes in the Rock Garden

Animated GIF of a rock garden and gardening trowel

An Untrained Eye Might Not Notice

The shadows and light (outdoors) are always changing and, things in the garden, may move.

Today, I took a wide angle lens and tripod along with the camera, out behind my office.

The little woman of my house, made me promise, not to go on a long walk in the hot sun.

Lately, it's been brutally hot in Okinawa, shortly after the sun rises.

Most of my winter hide, has peeled of the skeleton and, the summer skin is itching to go.

 I swore I wouldn't go on any long hikes with the cameras and, hangout in the AC at the office.

Maybe, I'd make a run to buy lunch and hit the ATM machine, for money.

"Money" she says.  "That's a good idea, I always need money."  "Yeah, I know. Bye."

The Garden Trowel

It would be a distraction if, you were looking closely, to see the changes in the rock garden.

With the camera, locked down steady on the tripod, I played with camera settings.

Changing aperture, shutter speeds and focus points, several images were created.

Someone trying to find an ant or, blade of grass, moving in the scene, might be distracted.

But, I figured there are other folks, who need the garden tool, to keep their interest.

That trowel, I've had for a few years now and, it only cost about a buck.

Cheap and the blade gets bent sometimes. A hammer fixes it, every time.

Bugs hop around, leaves and blades of grass, move throughout the image and, it's quiet.

The rock garden can be relaxing and, it's great therapy for the eyes after using a computer.

Even if, that red tool keeps popping in and out of view, you can relax, watching this animation.

Oops, I must have dozed off. Just now, I realized, I forgot to go to the ATM at the post office.

They closed about 2 hours ago and, I forgot to get the money !

As Kris Kristofferson would say, "Blame It on the Stones."

Monday, July 24, 2017

Life Doesn't Have to Be a Beach

Beach scene on a remote island

An Image to Chase Monday Morning Blues

This photo was taken while riding the ferry between Aka and Zamami Islands.

It was kind of surprising to see people out on this remote beach, far from any civilization.

There are no convenience stores, soda machines, ice cream stands or, power lines.

It's highly unlikely, they walked there. Probably, they were transported by boat.

As long as, they have made arrangements to return to a larger island, they should be fine.

A tent for shade, coolers with ice for food and drinks and, some beachwear is, all you need.

No wi-fi, electrical gadgets or, loud city noises, to disturb the sun seekers. Wow.

Got sunscreen, check. Salsa and chips, check. Beer and wine, check.

Honey, where's the toilet paper ?  Oh, crap, I thought you were supposed to pack that stuff !

Can ya put it on hold 'til 6PM ?

Friday, July 21, 2017

Natural Sunburn Treatment Using Aloe Plant

Aloe,plant, outdoors,natural, medicine,Okinawa

Best Things in Life Are Free

The sunburn and skin medicines I use, grow outside my house and office. Aloe.

It's great for cuts, scratches, rashes, sunburn and, other uses, I haven't tried, yet.

After a few days, under the hot Okinawa sun, I returned home as red as a tomato.

Most folks use lotions on their skin, to prevent ultra violet rays from burning them.

I don't want to get all slippery and, drop a few thousand dollars worth of camera and lens.

So, I get in the shade, whenever I can and, fry in the sunshine, otherwise.

Slicing spikes off aloe with a steak knife

Back in civilization some stalks of aloe get sliced-up with a steak knife.

The barbs, poking out of the plant's sides, need to be trimmed off, unless you want more pain.

Trim barbs from both sides of stalk

These photos were taken with the iPhone. The aloe was refrigerated overnight.

Scientists and purists, might say the cold aloe, won't heal the skin as quickly.

Well, I ain't  a science dude and, quit being pure, many moons ago.

Ice cold aloe, slices easier and, feels great on sunburn !

Chunks of aloe being sliced down the middle

Once all the spikes are removed, slice the chunks right down the middle.

Then, you have one to hold in each hand. Smear that cold cream all over the sunburn.

Aloe ready to rub over sunburned knee

Here's an image of the cool medicine, ready to be rubbed on sunburn.

My back, shoulders, face and arms would all get the same treatment.

GIF of aloe being rubbed on sunburned knee

Before long, the sunburn quits hurting and, my newly tanned hide appears.

If all goes as planned, my skin will just keep getting darker and, no more sunburn will occur this year !

40 Amazing Uses for Aloe

Previous Post: Aloe Plant Could Be Good for Your Health

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Hold Your Horses But Don't Drink Their Pee

Equol pills by Soy Power fro women over 40

Where Did That Idea Come From ?

Using a bit of imagination, I'm guessing it had to be a menopausal woman, under a tree.

A horse decided to take a leak and, she was having some of those spells.

Maybe, she lapped up some out of the puddle and said, "I feel wonderful, now."

The next thing you know, women of a certain age, start demanding horse piss pills.

It Was on Japanese TV

Not a big fan of watching the boob tube, I saw this when the wife had the kitchen TV on.

They were showing black and white films of folks collecting horse pee.

Then, doctors started showing it being made into drugs for women.

A little research led me to the conclusion: Women Will Try Anything They See on TV.

Just bottle the stuff and tell them, "It's just what you need."  They'll buy the stuff.

What Doctors Say

Women need something called estrogen, after a certain age, to produce hormones.

Not all gals, only 50% of Japanese and 70% of American/Europeans, need help.

They either get hormone replacement drugs or, take something to help them, make their own.

Along came someone, who discovered good old horse urine and, that's how we got here.

The jar, pictured above, is a replacement for the horsy stuff, made in Japan.

It seems like PETA and people who disfavored horse pee, demanded some changes.

Premarin, was the name of the drug in the USA. 

The name came from PREgnant Mare's urINE because, that's what they used.

Folks got riled about the horses being cooped up so, piss could be collected.

And, the baby horses, weren't really needed so, they got sold for meat, to people and dogs.

Let's give them some credit for being nice towards animals. Yay PETA.

Only, those folks, don't know much about eating horses because, they are vegetarians.

Then, PETA People -  Can you tell me, Soybeans Lives Don't Matter to You ?

A non scientific observation: Wonder if more people around the world should eat horses ?

Footnote: Please, don't tell my wife about the photo.  She might rip my head off !

Monday, July 17, 2017

In the Shower - Pentax K1 After 3 Days at Sea

Pentax and lens on a tripod in the shower

Not an Everyday Event

This is the camera, I used last weekend for shooting the annual sailing sabani races.

We were out at sea on doing island things Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Plenty of sea, sand and salt spray, were experienced along the way.

Once in awhile, salty spray from the ocean waves, would hit my lens and, I had to think quickly.

Rain water, wouldn't be much of a problem because, this camera is weatherproof.

A lens tissue, could wipe fresh rain water off the lens and, I could keep on shooting.

A tropical storm had formed and, our sabani team took a bit longer than, expected to hit Naha.

What normally, would be a 4-6 sea voyage, lasted about 10 hours, for me, aboard a fishing boat.

Whenever the lens got splashed with seawater, I had to rinse it off somehow.

The team, paddling in rough seas, needed water, more than my camera for survival.

So, I reached in my back pocket and pulled out a bottle of ocha, I kept for drinking.

Splash a few swigs of that on the lens and, I'd let it run off then, use a lens tissue.

Once, we safely arrived at a Capsule Hotel in Naha, the camera and I got quick showers.

It would be Monday before, I got back to the office and unpacked my bags.

Then, I placed the Pentax on a tripod and, gave it a good 15 minute hosing.

The photo was taken with my iPhone. You weren't expecting to see me in it, I hope !

NOTE: Don't Attempt This With Any Camera Except Pentax

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Ocean Image: A Sailing Sabani

A sabani boat sailing and being paddled to Okinawa island

Tomorrow Is Ocean Day in Japan

Last weekend, I was out in the Kerama Islands with this sabani team.

This is one of my favorite, out of the thousand or so, photos taken along the way.

Ocean Day (海の日) Umi no Hi is a national holiday and many families will go to the beach.

Hopefully, the weather will cooperate, everyone will have fun and return from the sea safely.

Camera:  Pentax K1

Lens:  Pentax 18-250 at 60 MM

Exposure:  f/6.7   1/5000   ISO 800

Location:  Kerama Islands Okinawa Japan

Date and Time:  JUL 2 2017  9:48 AM

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Ferris Wheel in American Village Mihama Chatan Okinawa

The only ferris wheel on the island

One of a Kind

Over the years, I may have taken half a dozen photos of this tourist attraction.

It sort of stands out because, it's the only one on the island.

But, as many times as, I've driven or rode by it, I've never thought of hopping aboard it.

It moves so slowly, you can never be sure if, it's running or, locked in PARK.

Looking at reviews, from folks, who dared to go up there, was just accomplished.

It seems as if, it might be a great place, to take the camera, for views of the scenery below.

Once, I heard of an elderly couple, who got white-knuckled, over the thrilling ride.

Most families say, their small children, enjoyed it enough, to go back for seconds.

It would have to be a clear day, with nice sunny weather, to take photos from the contraption.

Some reviewers claimed, the thing was rusty and, didn't look well maintained.

But, most of them gave positive comments for the 500 Yen or, five bucks experience.

Arrangements will have to be made, for me to go check it out at night, when it's lit up.

It would probably, be best if, I spent the whole night down in that neighborhood.

Some of the younger crowd, reported the thing is romantic, at night.

So, I'll probably tell the wife, the camera and, I have to get out for some romance photography.

She understands and, will probably be surprised if, I can last through a 15 minute ride !


Tuesday, July 11, 2017

How Aloe Juice Led to the Edible Woman

Can of aloe juice in Japan resting on aloe plant

Not Making This Up

Since my body got roasted by the sun over the weekend, I've been using plenty of aloe.

It grows like wildfire, in this part of the world and, I've been hacking stems off the plants.

Stick them in the fridge for awhile, slice them open and, use them for treating skin problems.

The past few days, I look like a dog with the mange; skin peeling off my hide in chunks.

Walking the back streets, where I'm not so visible, I spotted this aloe drink.

Maybe, I need some aloe internally as well as, externally, was what I got thinking.

The machine was on a shady side of the street so, I bought one and, rested for awhile.

The mercury has been rising to the top of the thermometer before 9 AM, this week.

It feels more like August, than July so, I take it slow, heading to the office.

There was shade and a slight breeze at that location. A five minute rest, couldn't hurt.

Instead of drinking the juice, I used the can to massage my face and sunburned arms.

By the time I got to the office, the can was warm so, I placed it in the refrigerator.

A few hours later, it was ice cold again and, I figured it was time to experiment.

When I popped the top on the can, I did it with caution.

Drinks from a Japanese vending machine sometimes, are carbonated. This one wasn't.

It sort of surprised me, when I went to gulp the cold juice down.  Very little came out.

When I went to take another swig, I figured it out.  There's chunks of aloe in the drink.

It's pretty sweet and, I'm not crazy about sweets so, I won't do a Mad Mike's Review.

Research on Sangaria

Wikipedia gives some information and, links to the company's English/Japanese websites.

But, this particular drink, I couldn't locate, to give more details for those interested.

Using Google USA and Japan and Yahoo Japan Search, I discovered a few things.

Over at Rocket News they discuss, mixing sake with fruits for those into "fruity drinks."

After finding Edible Woman and, her Patio Drinks, I decided my homework was done !

Monday, July 10, 2017

Island Image: Start of the 2017 Sailing Sabani Race

Sailing Sabani Race start line at Zamami-jim

Furuzamami Beach

Last Sunday was my 5th time traveling to Zamami Island for these races, as a photographer.

It's sort of a working vacation, for me and I stay fairly busy but, always have fun.

The folks who paddle and sail these old wooden boats, are a great bunch of people.

Before any sailing event, they hold a beach cleanup. Everyone participates even, children.

They have great respect for nature and, the ocean. 

This race is one of the biggest affairs of the year. Look at the sea and skies. They were awesome.

For a minute, I thought this was going to be a fantastic day for sailing the 37km race to Naha.

Normally, sabani boats cross the finish line in about 4 hours. That's when the wind is right.

From what I heard at the finish this year, only 3 boats finished in the 6 hour time limit.

About 10 hours, I was bouncing around on an escort boat, taking photos.

A typhoon, headed towards the mainland, pulled some tricks on the sabani boats this year.

The wind and waves, were pushing the ocean from east to west.

Our objective was to race from west to east. So, it took a lot longer, to get there.

Everyone survived and, we made sure plenty of liquid refreshments were consumed.

No sense in getting all dehydrated, when they have huge quantities of beverages available.

Those of us, who didn't have to work Monday, just spent the night in Naha.

We kept nourishing our dry throats, until the wee hours of the morning.

It was Monday, at home when I first noticed, my body was as red as a lobster.

All of a sudden, today big chunks of my hide, flap in the breeze and, are falling of  me.

Nobody wants to see a picture of that. Do you ?

For now, I'll just give the photography specs used in this travel image.

Camera: Pentax K1

Lens: Pentax 15-30 at 15 MM

Exposure: f/11   1/1000   ISO 400

Location: Furuzamami Beach Zamami-jima Okinawa Japan

Date and Time:  JUL 2 2017  8:42 AM

Sunday, July 9, 2017

July 2017 Thunder Moon Images

July 2017 Full Moon over Okinawa

This photo was taken using the Pentax K1 and a Sigma 50-500 MM lens.

A 1.4 converter gave a focal length of 700 MM.

July 2017 Full Moon

The image above was taken with the same camera and a Pentax 300 MM.

With the 1.4 converter a focal length of 420 MM was gained.

According to Farmer's Almanac, July is the month of the Full Buck Moon.

At Space Dot Com, the moon is also called  the Thunder Moon.

Watch this video for more full moon information:

Saturday, July 8, 2017

3 Peeks at July 2017 Full Moon

astronomy, moon, Okinawa, Japan,July, 2017

Images Taken with a Pentax K1 at 700 MM Focal Distance

A Gitzo tripod and the camera timer were used to take these photos.

The moon is 99.6% full this evening so, I decided it would be best, to get it done, now.

full moon, Okinawa, Japan

The Lunar Calendar at Time and Date, says the moon will be full July 9th at 13:06.

Well, I don't think we'll be able to see the moon, at that time of day, on this island.

 Full Moon over Okinawa, Japan

With 700 MM of lens, the moon, doesn't appear this large, through the viewfinder.

During processing, I make different crops, which make the moon become larger.

In my Photo Tip #8 you can learn some basics about cropping images.

Now, I have to hurry downtown, to make sure no lunatics, got loose at the watering holes.

Friday, July 7, 2017

Animation: Zamami Island Hula Dancers

Hula dancing at Zamami Port Okinawa

Gals from 8-80 Do the Hula on Zamami Island

Not wanting to pick on the youngest, I photographed some middle age ones.

The very young girls were talented but, sort of shy, around and old bearded guy with a camera.

The elderly ones, I'd be shy around them. They could probably beat me at armwrestling.

When, one of these Hula ladies, smiled at me, I jumped up on a picnic table and began shooting.

Camera:  Pentax K1

Lens: Pentax 18-250 at 42 MM

Exposure:  f/5   1/1000   ISO 1600

Location:  Zamami Island Port Okinawa Japan

Date and Time:  JULY 1 2017  7:02 PM

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Statues of Two Famous Kerama Island Dogs

Statue of Shiro the dog on Aka-jima


The statue of Shiro may be seen on the island of Aka, just inside the ferry terminal.

 The dog named Shiro became a movie star, back in the mid-1980's.

The photo was taken from aboard the ferry to Zamami-jima, as the engines were idling.

Aka-jima is a stop, made enroute to Zamami but, I couldn't disembark.

So, the camera lens was zoomed to 220 MM and, a few shots were taken.

One of these days, I'll go back to that island and, spend a few days, doing photography.

Besides the dog statue, there are some deer on that island, I'm looking forward to meeting.

This dog statue is facing towards Zamami-jima, where the other dog lived.

Maririn the dog looking towards Aka-jima


Maririn (Marilyn in English) is, the other half of this movie star couple.

Shiro, used to live on the island of Zamami but, his owner moved to Aka-jima.

Three kilometers (about 2 miles) away from his lover, Shiro would return to visit her.

The couple became famous, when a movie was made of their escapades.

Maririn ni Aitai (マリリンに逢いたい) Marilyn I want to meet you, made the dogs very popular in Japan.

For those, who would rather read the story, links to references:

Flash Fiction and other cultural nuggets from Japan

Find a Grave Marilyn Dog

Monday, July 3, 2017

Travel Photo: 2017 Sailing Sabani Race

A Sailing Sabani racing towards Naha, Okinawa

Slightly Toasted

I just returned from, photographing the 2017 Zamami to Naha Sailing Sabani Race.

Over 1,500 images were downloaded from the camera, moments ago.

The body and spirit, got a little bit toasted so, this will be a quick post.

Camera: Pentax K1

Lens: Pentax 18-250 at 25 MM

Exposure:  f/7.1   1/6400   ISO 800

Location: Kerama Islands Okinawa Japan

Date and Time: JUL 2 2017 9:46 AM