On October 13, 1996 Earl and I climbed to the top of Rocky Mountain Point in the beautiful Adirondacks. It was a cool, crisp, yet gorgeous day and though the climb was slow, the view at the top was stunning. It was that day, on that mountain, that I got down on my knee and proposed to my then boyfriend.

“Don’t ask it unless you mean it”, was his first response. The second part is history.

On December 26, 1996, overlooking the Delaware River at Penn’s Landing in Philadelphia, I placed a gold wedding band on Earl’s finger and he reciprocated by doing the same for me. The ceremony was of our own design and with little fanfare. We said the things we wanted to say to symbolize the permanent union that began with that moment.

Since 1996, our relationship has grown exponentially and in ways I never thought possible. We survived owning a business together, purchasing two houses, six cars, countless electronics and doodads and like most couples we have had many, many “ups”. We have laughed, we’ve celebrated, we’ve rejoiced and yes, we’ve had our squabbles and our tears. I can be an ass, he can be a jerk, but more importantly we are each other’s counterpart in our relationship. The one percent of “bad” (for lack of a better word) is nothing compared to the 99 percent of good.

There is one thing that remains constant in our ever-changing life, and that is love. I have gotten in the habit of saying to him in the morning, “it happened again.” He says, “What?” and then I say, “I fell in love with you again this morning.” And then we smile and embrace.

Our love for one another is fueled by never-ending trust. I trust Earl more than any other human being on the planet and this will never change. I am always honest with him and he is always honest with me. There’s no compromise in the wording of that preceding statement; it’s just a fact. Without trust in the foundation of a relationship, the rest of it is going to wobble. No trust, no dice.

It occasionally gives people pause when I mention that I am going away for a weekend without Earl or vice-versa. I might go off for a multi-day road trip where quite frankly, he would be bored to tears as I drove mile after mile of interstate and rural highway exploring towns that are really no different than any other town or looking at construction projects or even hanging out with friends by swinging from the chandeliers in another state. On the other hand, he might go to a bear run or to Vegas or to any other place with my consent where I have little interest in going. Some think this may be a sign of a change in our relationship. It’s not. It’s a symbol. It’s a symbol of the trust we have in one another.

No two relationships are alike. My city grandparents certainly had a different marriage than my country grandparents and my parents certainly didn’t emulate either of those relationships. Earl and I have our relationship. And it is glorious and magnificent and more importantly, unique to us. What we have is what we want, with no secrets or deception but with lots of trust and undying love.

And I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

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I would like to take a few moments and review some very basic principles on how to conduct yourself at a local restaurant during the busy lunch hour. The restaurant in question is my beloved Subway in Johnstown, New York, which is owned by Chris and Jami. This Subway is nothing short of outstanding and should be treated with the respect and courtesy deserving of what is probably one of the finest Subway restaurants in the chain.

Let’s start at the very beginning, since it’s a very good place to start.

First of all, this fine city in the foothills of the Adirondacks is on the way to one of the more popular tourist destinations in the northeast. Therefore, many choose to stop at one of the fine restaurants as they make their way up to vacation time. My first tip: a Ford F350 that is towing a 30-foot Prowler camper, which is towing a speed boat, which in turn is towing a VW Rabbit from some bygone era (we won’t mention the handicapped plates on the Rabbit) is not going fit into the reserved parking spot near the front door for the not mentioned handicapped consumer. You’re going to have to find a different parking spot; may I suggest somewhere in New Jersey, as I hear the Jersey Shore has a lot of ocean to enjoy, unless you go to the Jersey Shore in Pennsylvania by mistake.

Once in line to order your food, please stow your cell phone. No one wants to hear your conversation as everyone has a cell phone now and unless you’re doing a reenactment of Zach’s role on “Saved By The Bell”, you’re not special for having a phone. In fact, talking on the phone whilst in line is quite rude. Might I suggest that you shove the device squarely up your ass and let the caller listen to your bad gas since you chose to share with the rest of the line whilst you were on the phone.

Like most Subway restaurants, Chris and Jami have a beautiful menu with appetizing pictures of their selections as well as a complete list of everything they offer. Nowhere, and believe me, I had time to look while you were making up your mind, is there even a suggestion that “french fries” are available to order.

Since the primary reason Subway exists is to sell sandwiches, chances are there is going to be some bread involved. A look of bewilderment should not be your answer to “what kind of bread would you like?” Now I know that Subway offers more choices for bread than the number of choices on your average American ballot for President, but try. And again, there’s pictures AND words right smack in front of you. Point if you have to.

I’m not going to dwell on the fact that yes, a toasted sub is hot.

Even though Chris and Jami have chosen to display their vegetables in a very eye pleasing manner, they’re still vegetables. They won’t dance. They won’t sing. They taste the same as the frozen veggies that you may thaw someday or god forbid, something you grew in your garden. Lettuce is lettuce.

When you get to the register, you will be asked if you have a Subway card. This gives you the opportunity for ‘frequent flyer miles’ to accompany your Subway purchase. The question posed to you has two answers: yes or no. If the first thought that comes to your mind is, “What is it?”, then the answer is “no”. Again, the simple creed of being aware of your surroundings would answer any other question as there is a rack in front of you with hundreds of cards to choose from. If you don’t have a card, grab it and have the cashier swipe it. See there? You can make your answer a simple “yes” with a little forethought.

Now, I know this last part is a little tricky, but try to stay focused. If you purchase a meal, you will be handed a cup. From there, proceed to the drink station, where you have a wide selection of soda pop or iced teas. There is plenty of ice, covers for your cup and an assortment of straws covered for sanitary purposes. Every pop dispenser says “push”. Waving the cup under the spigot is going to accomplish nothing. I will push the button for you for no more than one second before giving you a deadly glare and simply stating one word, “Really?”

Heed my advice and you’ll be a smart Subway consumer in no time. Ignore my advice and consider yourself warned.


A dance track for your Tuesday enjoyment. Here is Agnes with “Release Me”.



I never had the chance to meet Sam Storicks in person. We had chatted through Facebook and Twitter on numerous occasions, usually one liners here and there; I also followed his DJ gigs at various bear events all over the western part of the country. I kept tabs on his music selection and the specific remixes he chose for his performance sets. His commentary on the human experience often made me laugh out loud. He said things I wish I had the balls to say.

Sam’s partner found him unconscious on the 18th and he passed away Friday night. He would have been 31 in September.

I had always wanted to meet him for several reasons; even though he was 10 years my junior he was a better DJ than me and he had a great ear for music. He spun at gigs that I only dreamed of spinning at. And from what I have read from the hundreds of comments and memories and the like on Twitter and Facebook, he had one of those unique personalities that shined brightly wherever he was. And he had one of the better bear411 profiles out there – it was genuine, just as I pictured him to be.

Rest in peace, fellow DJ and internet friend. I’m certain you’re leading the party on the other side.


Velocity., originally uploaded by iMachias.

Tom has his ears in streamline position, the tail up provides balance and measures wind velocity. I think he’s pretty impressive for clocking in at 15 years old these days.


I’m sitting in the car during my lunch hour. Usually I’d have the windows down but right now we have a torrential rainstorm in progress, so instead I listen to the pitter pat of the drops hitting the car.

I find the sound to be quite relaxing. I’m looking forward to a low-key, relaxing weekend. This is a good way to start.



I have a lot of questions floating around in my head lately. I think I’m going to share some of them here on this blog and see if anyone has any explanation or answers to these questions.

In the early 1960s, President John F. Kennedy declared that we would have a man on the moon by the end of the decade. We did, and around this time in 1969 man was setting foot on the moon and putting up an American flag. Everyone was glued to their television. My father has saved the Syracuse Herald-Journal from that monumental night. I would look at that paper as a kid and marvel that I was born before there was a man on the moon.

Fast forward to the 21st century. As Americans we can’t function without technology. Our toasters are electronic, our refrigerators can tie into e-mail, we have hundreds of useless television channels available to us via several different methods of getting this signal to us, our washer and dryer can synchronise their finishing time for our convenience and our car can tell us where to go. Why is it then that our current administration (and the one previous to it) has told us that it will take **twenty** years to put a man on the moon again. We have more technology in our telephone than we did in whole rooms back when we did this the first time around and we have shot people into orbit on a fairly regular basis since our first adventures into space so many years ago. Engineers used logarithms for their complex formulas back then, our home computers can now do all the computations for us.

Have we lost our pioneer spirit? Have we become so embroiled in political correctness and absolute safety that we can’t fathom the risks associated with space exploration anymore? Astronauts know that a ride on a rocket is not like taking a spin in an Oldsmobile; I’m certain that they know the danger associated with going to the moon and yet they sign up for their chance to reach the stars. Why do we hold them back? Have contractors and politicians and governmental organisations become so embroiled in red tape and corruption that it’s impossible to achieve anything outside of corporate greed these days?

I’ll say it again: we have become a nation built upon fear. We no longer have an adventurous or pioneer spirit. We are lazy, we are complacent and we are greedy.

I miss the days when we reached for the stars.

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Creative 003.365, originally uploaded by iMachias.

This hot and humid summer has brought us a relatively good-sized crop of thunderstorms lately. Now that I’m not on-call for work every three or four weeks, I can enjoy storms for what they are and not what they’ll do to my life. I am enjoying this change.

I snapped this photograph on my way home from work just as a storm was rolling in. When I got home I shot some video of the rapidly rolling clouds; they’ll be used as a B-roll in one of my upcoming movies.


Creative 002.365, originally uploaded by iMachias.

Tom is not happy unless he is able to get outside first thing in the morning after he has chewed six to eight pieces of kibble and spit one or two of them into his waterbowl. At nearly 15 years old, I suppose he’s allowed to do that sort of thing. He has a routine and he likes to stick to it. If his routine is broken, or it’s the weekend, he will yowl loudly at the top of the stairs as if to do a reenactment of a stabbing scene and he will awake all that choose to sleep beyond 5:30. He even compensates for Daylight Saving Time. He’s smart like that.

I guess Tom is like his Daddy in some ways, because I’m pretty rigid in my morning routine as well. Not being a morning person, the only way that I can guarantee that I will be dressed when arrive at work is if I follow my routine to the letter, which involves acknowledgement that I am actually wearing pants, a shirt and shoes. I figure the underwear and socks don’t show so while I remember to wear them 99% of the time, there is always the risk that I won’t because they don’t go under the acknowledgment check before leaving for the day.

Earl tiptoes around the house in the morning during his routine because he doesn’t know what my mood is going to be like so he opts for the “live grenade” approach. I don’t think that I’m that unreasonable in the morning as long as I’m on my routine. I will give him credit that like Tom, who is smart enough to figure out Daylight Saving Time, Earl is smart enough to figure out my sleep walking in my actual sleep versus my sleep walking through the day up until about 10:00 a.m. or so.

That last sentence makes you nervous about yesterday’s picture of me driving on Thruway on my way to work, doesn’t it.

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Creative Every Day.

My first photo taken during my endeavour to be creative in some way every day. This is a mundane shot, but it is what I see every morning. Part of my commute, this shot was taken just east of the Herkimer Interchange on Interstate 90 (New York State Thruway) eastbound.

In just a few miles from this location, I will pass a Suburu with an HRC bumper sticker and a bearded ginger cub in the driver’s seat. He nods at me, I nod at him. It’s what we do every morning. I haven’t figured out how to take his photo yet.

From Creative Every Day.