September 5th, 2016 by grant

Just as we were getting our backyard landscaped, Jon & Kathy announced they were taking Labor Day, Doh! This year the food theme was German.


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August 27th, 2016 by grant

The sloping backyard has always been a problem with regard to mowing the grass and as I get older its more of a concern. Since the drought we have let the lawn die and it’s been looking pretty bad. Sandy had the great idea of extending the lower wall, leveling it off and planting sod. It looks great but I’m not looking forward to the water bill as we have to keep it wet til the roots grab hold.


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August 16th, 2016 by grant

Our neighbors Paul & Brenda were nice enough to invite us up to their cabin in June Lake again. This year they took us to Bodie State Historical Park.

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We also got to see Devil’s Postpile and short hike on over to Minaret Falls.

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One of my favorite spots Mono Lake.

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You could see the stars at night.


We did have some down time so we were taught the finer points of a game called howzit hanging.

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July 17th, 2016 by grant

I haven’t shot a portrait in awhile and I’ve been wanting to shoot Sylvia for some time now. We scouted a location right across Pier 29, that way we can eat breakfast right after the shoot. It also gave me a chance to test my Westcott XL 36″ Rapidbox & Flashpoint Streaklight 360. I ended up wasting about half an hour fumbling with my exposure, when I hit my frustration threshold I decided to ditch it and go back to my tried and true Canon 600EX-RT. That’s when I discovered I forgot to remove the metal bulb protector (Doh). In the process I forgot to reinstall the outside diffusion panel on the softbox that gave me a band of hot light on the bottom of every frame which I didn’t notice til I got home. So most of the 1st location shots got thrown out.


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July 10th, 2016 by grant

We haven’t been to the SJ Obon in quite awhile so this year we checked it out. Nico Bleeko was hamming it up for the camera so of course I forgot about everyone else.

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July 9th, 2016 by grant

Saw a Bacon & Asparagus Dutch Baby recipe on youtube. So I had to try it.


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July 9th, 2016 by grant

Had to go up the coast to Gualala for work and as usual had to take some photos.

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July 4th, 2016 by grant

I’ve heard that the Alameda 4th of July parade is the longest in the country. We haven’t been to the parade in years but when we heard Noah’s school was having a float we had to go. We only stayed an hour, there was plenty of interesting people to shoot but the hot weather was a deterrent.

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June 7th, 2016 by grant

Day 6: Crans Montana, Switzerland.  We took the subway to the train station to pick up our rental vans. Once again the bait and switch. Instead of three full-size vans, Hertz gave us 3 mini vans. It wasn’t possible to fit everyone and their luggage in these small vehicles. Luckily, Joan was able to pull some strings and we got another small van (free) but that meant Aunty Irma had to drive. The 6-hour drive to the chalet was taxing, not to mention navigating some of the narrowest roads I’ve seen! But we made it and the dinner at Burger Lounge was a welcome treat. Before arriving at La Grande Baronne though, we had to brave a single lane uphill suicide road in the dark.

The 1st morning we spotted a spiral horn antelope, Sandy named her Annie. I think she was looking for her Father who was mounted on our wall above the stairs.

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We also celebrated Uncle Peyton’s Birthday.

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Day 7: Free day. I was always one of the 1st to awake every morning. After I made myself a cup of coffee, I would enter the living room to take in this spectacular view of the Swiss Alps.


Then I’d look to the left to view Jon & Kathy’s room with the growing collection of Gavin’s crap bags. Next time I’ll book a Motel 6.

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We ate lot at the chalet and like so many other times I forgot to photograph it.

Day 8: Lunch and a tour at La Maison De Gruyeres factory.

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What to do after eating cheese? Tour the Maison Cailler Chocolate Factory!

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Day 9: After breakfast we took a train ride to the town of Zermatt which is set below Das Matterhorn. Lunch was at Hornli Beck, the salmon crepes were excellent.

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Day 10: My turn to make breakfast or so I thought. Just minutes after consuming a croissant, smoked salmon & scrambled egg, I got a nasty bout of food poisoning. I spent the next 3o minutes barfing while Sandy stood outside the bathroom googling food poisoning.

Day 11: We drove to Montreaux to check out Lake Geneva. Who knew this city was home to Freddie Mercury?

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We took the 2-hour boat cruise around the lake, which was very relaxing.

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Day 12: With a free morning we made a last minute decision to jump into the jacuzzi. It was well worth it as my back was killing me.


A group celebration lunch was scheduled at Le Petit Paradis. We decided to walk as the restaurant was 500 meters from the house and the weather was pleasant. Whoops almost stepped on a snake.

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Our final dinner was at Cafe Restaurant Le Rothorn. I was so hungry I could eat a horse. So I did and it was really good.

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Last opportunity to take a group shot.

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Day 13: Travel back home or so we thought. We got delayed in Zurich and missed our connection in Frankfurt, so we had to spend the night. We never ventured out of the Inter City Hotel. The bathrooms were ultra modern but the toilet seat was too high. I couldn’t live there.

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After a very long flight with some inconsiderate passengers, we made it back to SFO. The Super Shuttle ride back to Alameda was the most hair raising experience, but we were glad to be home.

Thanks to Sandy for contributing photos for this posting.

I used a Sony RX100IV & Canon EOS-M3 this trip, oh and Sandy’s iPhone.


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June 5th, 2016 by grant

This year we went on another “big” vacation setup by Jon & Joan. They arranged for us to go to Germany & Switzerland with the family. The departure day arrived all too soon and I went through my usual dilemma, my luggage packed full of camera gear and no clothes. I slowly started the inevitable task of swapping clothes for tripods & strobes. My bag topped off at 49.3 lbs.

Monday 5/16 our Super Shuttle driver is early. This created the 1st of many stressers.

The 11-hour Lufthansa flight out of SFO to MUN was as one would expect long & boring. There were a total of three babies on board: one had a melt down, the second screamed in chorus & Gavin hardly made a sound. This would be the norm for the entire vacation. Upon arrival in Munich we discovered a switch in transportation to the hotel. Instead of a large bus it was 2 small vans. This transportation bait and switch would be a regular occurring event.

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Every morning I awoke to this light fixture on our ceiling. This explains why the entire time in Germany I craved a bundt cake.

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The Blauer Bock hotel was in a great location in Munich, it was walking distance to so many sights.

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Dinner on our 1st night was at Wirtshaus zum Straubinger. The crispy pork knuckle was excellent and the dark beer & soft pretzels quickly became my favorite.

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Day 2: Munich. Our days always began with a wonderful breakfast buffet at the hotel. The layout was quite impressive, though I forgot to photograph most of it.

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Next it was on to the famous Viktualienmarkt, which is a very large open market with a huge beer garden in the center. The produce there was incredible.

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at the Viktualienmarket

What’s up with the green cheese & red eggs?

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It was asparagus season and we saw it everywhere including the menus. They love their white asparagus.

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A short walk brought us to Marienplatz which is the heart of the city. We went up the New Town Hall for some spectacular views of the city and then descended to watch the Rathaus Glockenspiel.

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I can’t go too long without eating. Thankfully, lunch was arranged for us at the Ratskeller. I had pork cheeks with white asparagus. This would be a good time to mention the obsession Europeans had with Gavin. Everyone wanted to hold him.

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After a quick nap at the hotel it was on to dinner time at Der Pschorr. The venison was so good, I’d say it was one of my favorite meals.

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Day 3: Salzburg. A subway, train & bus ride brought us to Austria. This was our only bad weather day although that meant flat photos. Of special interest was Mozart’s Museum. Unfortunately, no photos were allowed.


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Day 4: Munich. We had a free morning. Some including Sandy, went shopping. I went with the group that had lunch at the famous Munich Hofbrauhaus. After lunch, we hopped on the subway to the BMW factory tour (no photos allowed). The robotic assembly line was quite impressive.

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After what seemed like a 10-mile walk (half of us went the wrong way) we arrived at our dinner spot Zum Ferdinand. Joan was reunited with her “German daughter”, Anja. She was responsible for making a lot of the reservations for us in Germany. Danke schön, Anja. Sandy loved the bacon salad.

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Day 5: Munich. A 2-hour train ride and a big hike brought us to the magnificent Neuschwanstein Castle.

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We had free night & decided to go off on our own for dinner. We ended up in Andechser am Dom. The place was filled with locals and as it is customary, we did the community seating thing. Duck & dark beer was in order for me. Later, our table mates warmed up to us and even helped Sandy with her meal (which mustard goes better with the sausage and sausage must be enjoyed with bread). We bought them a beer as we left.

Thanks to Sandy & Uncle Peyton for the photos.

Next stop Switzerland…

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May 10th, 2016 by grant

Had the day off and found some bugs laying around.


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April 17th, 2016 by grant

I photographed Noah playing Tee Ball today.

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April 16th, 2016 by grant

Caught a moth last night so I had to photograph em.


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April 16th, 2016 by grant

Last night we went to San Francisco City Hall to photograph the bunny exhibit.

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April 5th, 2016 by grant

This burd will not give up. Every morning it tries to break into our house via the window. I’ve also become obsessed with photographing it.


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Actually I think it’s just a youngster and it enjoys playing at the window every morning.

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