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April 30, 2011

At The Speed of Finite

One of the blessings of dying is knowing that lots of family will get together and talk about you. They'll laugh, cry, share and after it's all over, they'll eat a lot of great food and say their loving goodbyes before heading back home.

It was a good day for Mom's second memorial service. The weather was perfect, with blue skies and a lukewarm breeze. The kids played outside and the curmudgeons who hadn't seen each other for years felt the reminder of every wrinkle and color-starved hair. Time is flying as we speed down the tracks.

It will soon be our turn to arrive at our final destination.

Memorial/Reunion pictures

April 19, 2011

History Lesson

The older the building, the more intriguing the story, especially when it's full of ancient machinery, tools and oddities that beg the question: "Man! What is that?"

A recent invitation to enter the bowels of a forgotten world was quickly accepted. Luke gave me the grand tour of the turn-of-the-twentieth-century shipbuilding factory, now turned into a metal fabrication business. The poor lighting was helped with all the holes in the metal roof, walls, and doors. Dusty windows, skylights, redwood framing and a smell akin to my grandfather's garage and shop in San Luis Obispo heightened my sense of deja vu.

Who knows how many people have worked here on the Deep Water Channel at the Port of Stockton. Years of lunchboxing it to Harrison Street either to draw plans, supervise, get your finger cut off or smashed while operating a machine, or wrenching your back when lifting parts for assembly --- it had to be a dirty job.

My dad owned a radiator repair business in Los Banos in the late 50's. Hands and fingernails always dirty, burn marks on his arms from soldering and welding, the look of a real man's man. These workers in Stockton were most likely as manly. There is an honorable side of grease and grime. God made us to work. Some of us like to get dirty in the process. We don't look down on those who don't. We just feel a bit sorry for them.

You can see the whole series of shots here: Dave Skinner Photography

April 4, 2011

Shooting Stars and Monkeyflowers

Okay, all you flower lovers out there: Now is the time to head to the hinterlands and scope out God's handiwork while the grass is green and the flowers are wild. My favorite specimen is the Shooting Star for its striking shape and color. There are a number of species here in the Sierra. Can you believe there are 30 species of Monkeyflower in Yosemite alone! What a wonderful world we live in thanks to a wonderful God who coded flowers with the ability to vary within their genus.

We joined a ranger-led hike at New Melones Lake this Saturday and look forward to heading back to the area to hike at our own pace (a photographer can't have a good time if he's trying to keep up with the crowd). Maybe I'll see you out there, too.