You may have already heard about Max from my previous writing. Max is going to be ten months young on April 28th. In case you don’t know whom I’m writing about, Max is our Labradoodle puppy, who became our best friend on September 4th. On that date, three hours before we picked up Max from his breeder in Monterey, I started writing “42 Encounters with Dog Lovers”. It took me six months to describe 42 days of Max’s life as a new member of our family. Max is our fourth dog, but the first one where we consciously learned how to help our new four-legged companion to thrive in his new life in the strange world, away from his mom and siblings. During the first forty-two days with Max, we not only had to adjust our lives to accommodate our new “baby”, but to also quickly learn how to help him. In the book, I not only describe our daily experiences together, but I also include passages from different “How to Books” with recommendations for dogs, for each new circumstances we encountered in Max’s behavior. In addition, there are also images of people with dogs that I photographed over the last eleven years, in the different parts of the world. If you’ve seen my first book, “42 Encounters in San Francisco”, you would be familiar with my whimsical way of capturing interesting people. To photograph people with their dogs was more challenging, but I think I succeeded. The result is a great photo-story book which I hope you will not only enjoy very much, but will also buy many copies as gifts for your friends, and will encourage them to do the same. (I think social media was created just to help you in this endeavor.)
Now you might ask yourself, why should you bother and part with your hard earned $24.00 plus $3.95 for shipping and handling? There might be a number of reasons. The first one — the joy you will experience with this book, as well as a few ideas you will acquire to to help yourself and your dog. The other one is that you will help to raise money towards non-profit organizations like SPCA for educational programs to teach dog lovers how to become their dog’s best friend. To start this process I had to invest thousands of dollars of my own money to get the book into your hands. There is no profit in selling books, since there are a lot of different costs and expenses to get it to the consumers. Unless of course, I will manage to lower the cost by selling many books, let’s say one million (1,000,000) of them. I came up with a seemingly large number after finding out that there are about 83 million millennials in the United States alone. Thirty-five percent of them already own dogs, another twenty percent want to have one. In addition, there are about 75 million baby boomers. Plus about 65 million Gen X (those who were born between 1965 and 1984). And this is not counting those who live outside of the United States. In general people love dogs, even if they do not own them. And now you are wondering why I am aiming so low? Time will tell. Meanwhile, I need your help. To entice you, I am offering a special deal to the first one thousand purchases – a Money Back Guarantee. If after you receive the book you will not like it, feel free to let me know. I will reimburse you the cost of the book, while you can keep it or give as a gift to your dog-loving friend. The book just went into printing, and you (and I) will be able to receive it in the middle of May. Please pre-order and place your order now on Encounterspublishing.com, or respond to this email with the number books you would like to pre-order.
If your order is among the first 1000 pre-orders, I will inscribe the book for you and will waive the sales tax. Just click on pre-order and be one of the first among other millions of dog lovers to get the book.
I decided to write this story after noticing a headline in the Insight section of the San Francisco Chronicle on Sunday, January 7, 2018 – “Historic Tenderloin is at Crossroads. New developments will challenge neighborhood to retain community and services.”
Before arriving in San Francisco on August 5th, 1980, we needed to find an inexpensive hotel, so we called my wife’s friend, who had only recently moved to San Francisco, herself. So she did. Our first stop in San Francisco was a hotel located on Leavenworth and Ellis Street. At night my wife, as a result of jet lag, could not sleep and would look out the window at the lightly clad women accompanied by men, who walked in and out of our hotel. On the corner, stood a man who seemed to control the traffic (later on I learned about the job description of a pimp). The next morning, holding our daughters’ hands tightly, we ventured outside. Walking towards Market Street, we saw a lot of strange looking men and women in dirty clothes. This was our introduction to our beloved city. It did not take us long to discover that there are other people living in this beautiful city as well. And gradually we blended in with them. Through the years, I did not have many reasons to go back to the area, which I found out is called the Tenderloin. But on a few occasions, when I went to see a show at the Golden Gate Theater, which is located on the corner of Taylor and Market Street, we parked our car in the area, and it was like going back to almost forty years ago. The same looking people filled the sidewalk, either drunk or on another substance. Actually, it seems that the conditions on the 31 city blocks have not changed for over one hundred years. Online I found the reason why this neighborhood is named after the most tender cut of beef. There are a number of stories. One story is, it is named after a neighborhood in New York City where Captain Alexander S. Williams, after working in the area since 1876, acknowledged the bribes he would get from crooks, and ignored their crimes,he would say, “I’ve had nothing but chuck steak for a long time, and now I’m going to get a little of the tenderloin.”
The second article in the same newspaper, “Tenderloin’s strides, struggles”, points out that the area in the past was full of life with theaters and restaurants. However, because of the city and its’ policies, the area was deliberately kept open for drug dealing and drug use on Tenderloin’s sidewalks, to keep those activities away from the other areas of the city.
But things are about to change thanks to a number of new development projects, which will make the area less affordable for its current occupants. You can find more about the history of San Francisco at the Tenderloin Museum located at 398 Eddy Street.
P.S. Recently when I was driving from a meeting downtown, I decided to stop in the Tenderloin to take some photos for this story. But it was impossible to find a parking space. As a result, I am sharing four images I took in other parts of our city, where I saw a similar picture of the street people occupying sidewalks.
Do Not Keep Me As A Secret!
Smile And Please SHARE It With A Friend!
I recently attended a four-day workshop organized by the Leica Academy, titled “Mystery”. The instructor was Maggie Steber, a well-known photographer who photographed for many years for the National Geographic and other major publications. Her images are very humanistic. The book “Dancing On Fire From Haiti”, where she worked for thirty years, touched my heart. Her images are very poetic and contain a lot of mystery. I strongly encourage you to visit the Leica Store, located at 463 Bush Street, San Francisco to see her work, which is on display until April 7th.
Many great legendary photographers have photographed using a Leica camera, and every time I have an opportunity to use one for my photography, I tell myself that one day I might buy one. They have diverse cameras, including one, which only takes images in black and white. But what make Leica cameras especially unique are the lenses. They are probably the sharpest in the industry and can be quite costly. To give you an idea, the new Monochrome Camera (the one I’m licking my lips about) is priced at $7,550, plus another $7,795 for lenses. While I’m still dreaming about the Rolls Royce of cameras, I continue to take photos with my pocket Canon, for which I paid about $550. Of course, I also work with more expensive cameras and good lenses, like my Canon 5D Mark III and Fujifilm X-T2, which is much lighter. One needs to be really knowledgeable to distinguish the difference of the quality of an image, which very much depends on the size of the prints. Regardless the camera, or smart phone one is using to photograph, a little bit of knowledge might go a long way. This is why I constantly take classes and participate in workshops, learning from great photographers and other participants. This time, our group consisted of 16 men and a woman, from all over the world. One young woman flew from Holland for the workshop. There was a man who has been following Ms. Steber’s workshops for a number of years, flying to different locations (I think this was his 5th one).
During the workshop, we had to photograph images with a “Mystery” theme in mind. Each day of the workshop, there was a review and critique of our work. At the end we put together about sixteen images. I chose as a theme, “Night and Day”, focusing on the mystery surrounding the darkness of the night and the transformation into the early morning. During the workshop, Tom Smith, who organizes Leica Academy workshops, assisted Maggie. Tom used my images and added music and voilà. You can see the result here.
P.S. On the first day we had to photograph (or solve) the mystery of the crime (the victim was Maggie Steber). You can see my take on mystery in four graphic images.
Enjoy and Share.
P.P.S. Friday, March 30th is the first night of the celebration of the Jewish Holiday – Passover, during which the story of the Exodus of the Israeli slaves from Egypt of about 3500 years ago is shared around the table. You can find a lot of history and suspense in this story.
Do Not Keep Me As A Secret!
Smile And Please SHARE It With A Friend!
A few weeks ago I shared about celebrating my seventy-first birthday, while vacationing in The Sea Ranch. I wanted to keep writing about the joy that I experienced while there, and photographing nature. As I mentioned before, I am currently writing a book titled, “Retirement Solutions for Smart People. 5 Easy Ways to Enjoy Your Life”. According to the Merriam Webster dictionary, the definition of joy is “The emotion evoked by well-being, success, or good fortune, or by prospect of possessing what one desires, a state of happiness or felicity”. Since I was not familiar with it, I looked up the word “felicity”, and learned that it is “something that causes happiness”. The word “happiness” is defined as “good fortune-prosperity or a state of well-being and contentment, i.e. joy”. For me, all of those words are just words. What it really means will change from one person to another. For some, being seventy-one is the beginning of the end, for me it is just another day to experience joy without caring what it really means.
When our daughters were growing up I would tell them, “Regardless what you do – enjoy it”. At the end of this story, like in all before, you will read “Enjoy and Share with a Friend”. The feeling of joy comes from sharing whatever you feel or experience with others; otherwise it is short lived. If you want to experience joy, just ask yourself what is it that another human being or an animal, or nature would enjoy and share this experience together. Having our labradoodle puppy Max in our lives gives me and my wife Elfa and our daughter Alona great joy and a lot of laughter. For Max it is easy, since the purpose of his life is to express joy by licking our faces and being a good and obedient boy (which he is learning). If you’re lacking joy in your life, you could adopt a dog (or get a puppy if you have a lot of patience). Regardless what you do – enjoy it.
P.S. Every time I pressed the shutter button of my camera, I thought about the joy you are going to have seeing the final images. If you enjoy seeing my photography, visit our office, where I’ve covered the walls with a variety of my photographs. Meanwhile, these four images of the sunsets from The Sea Ranch are for your enjoyment.
Recently there were two articles about the water (or lack of it) that caught my attention. The first one appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle on Wednesday, February 21, 2018 titled “California plans ban on waste of water”, written by Kurtis Alexander. It starts: “Sprinklers that splash more water onto the sidewalk than the lawn, which have increasingly drawn scornful looks in drought-distressed California, are about to be banned forever. Same goes for hosing down a driveway or patio, or washing a car with a garden-variety hose.” If the regulation by the State Water Resources Control Board will pass wasting water could trigger a $500.00 fine. This can be a good idea to help all of us to save more water and keep the cost down. We can blame the rainless winter or Global Warming, or the President of the United States, or God, this will not change anything – our conservation will. For instance, taking shorter showers or turning off the water while applying shampoo and conditioner, can help with water conservation.
One of the major consumers of water is the agricultural industry. And in this area, California with the thirsty population close to 40 million is cooperating with Israel, a small country with the population of about 8 million. Online I found out that “Israel plans to recycle 95% of its waste water for irrigation purposes by the end of 2025.” One of the examples of the cooperation between California and Israel is the 1 billion water desalination plant Israel’s IDE Technologies is building to provide 50 million gallons of water daily in San Diego area. This bring us to the next article which appeared the following day, Thursday, February 22, 2018 in The Wall Street Journal written by Seth M. Siegel titled “Cape Town May Dry Up Because of an Aversion to Israel”. Turns out that “Cape Town, South Africa, has designated July 9 ‘Day Zero’. That’s when water taps throughout the city are expected to go dry, marking the culmination of a three-year drought. South African officials aren’t responsible for the lack of rain, but inept management and a devotion to anti-Israel ideology needlessly made the situation worse.”
The article continues, “Israeli Foreign Ministry recognized the problem and alerted national, provincial and local governments in South Africa. Israel has trained water technicians in more than 100 countries, and it offered to bring in desalination experts to help South Africa.” Instead, because “The leadership of South Africa’s dominant political party, the African National Congress, aligns itself with the Palestinian cause.” South Africans turned to Iran for help. “Unlike Israel, Iran is not known for its water-management expertise. Anger over water shortages was a feature of the recent Iranian protests. Even before the South African visit, a former Iranian agriculture minister predicted that as many as 50 million Iranians – around two-thirds of the population – would need to be uprooted because of growing water scarcity.”
In life we all make choices. When it comes to water, be wise – save.
P.S. Since we see water everywhere, often we do not notice it. Therefore I am sharing with you four images of water which might surprise and delight you.
Share It With A Friend.
Do Not Keep Me As A Secret!
Smile And Please SHARE It With A Friend!