Amber jan --a photographer's delight
This is a young dance instructor named Amber Barnes. For the full story, click on the image and read the accompanying story on my Flickr page.
"A world of disorderly notions, picked out of his books, crowded into his imagination; and now his head was full of nothing but enchantments, quarrels, battles, challenges, wounds, complaints, amours, torments, and abundance of stuff and impossibilities." (Cervantes, Don Quixote)
I just learned a bit of information that is worth passing along, hopefully to the amusement and edification of one and all. About six hours ago, one of my Iranian friends heard a knock on his door. No, it wasn’t the morals police or other thugs out to do the ayatollahs’ bidding; rather, it was the mailman, there to hand my friend a package I had sent a couple of weeks before. He knew it was coming, as we had discussed it beforehand, and he told me this was something he would love to have. Apparently the Iranian postal officials examine the contents of any package sent from abroad -- especially, I would assume, if its point of origin is somewhere within the dominions of the Great Satan; but the packages usually pass muster and finish their journey, unless they contain pornographic material and such. So apparently my package was examined closely as well, and obviously it went through without problems.
For the first time since 1960, a major presidential candidate's religious affiliation is a subject of serious public debate; and this time around, the debate is of special interest to me, partly because I am a good deal older than I was in 1960, but mainly because the religion in question is one I wholeheartedly share with the candidate. The candidate, of course, is Mitt Romney, who like myself is an active, practicing Mormon. (Apart from our political views, which are very compatible, that might be the only thing I have in common with Mr. Romney, as I am utterly unqualified to be President of the United States. I might add parenthetically that the fact that I will never be President is a great blessing for our country, although I am seriously concerned that the country at large might not appreciate this particular blessing nearly as much as it should. But I digress.)
I have been losing weight, which is a good thing after I ballooned to 205 pounds early in March -- the heaviest I have ever been. I don't know how much I weigh at the moment, because our cats recently knocked our bathroom scale to the pavement, and it doesn't work anymore; but my wife says my paunch has diminished appreciably, while I have noticed that my clothes fit more loosely than before. Some of my friends and co-workers have also told me I look a bit more slender, so it apparently is pretty obvious. I think I weigh around 193 now, and I am trying to drop to 175, which might take me awhile. (The last time I weighed 175 pounds was shortly after I was married, which was 20 years ago.)
A picture I took several months ago has been published in the online edition of New York Magazine. One of the mag's editors contacted me the other day to request permission to use a landscape image from my Flickr photostream in connection with a travel article about Scottsdale, Arizona. I told him to go ahead, adding that if imitation was the sincerest form of flattery, a request such as this one would be a close second. I only asked that he give me proper credit for the photo, and later I had to correct him on the spelling of my name (just as I have to do for nearly everyone else). The picture may be seen here.