Tag Archives: Photography

Holly and Amy’s Big Adventure

I got to do one of my favorite things on Friday:  talk about the ADA to a bunch of disability rights advocates.  Even better:  the advocates were with the Southwest Center for Independence, and were in Durango, Colorado.  I had the choice of six* hours of driving (each way) through the amazing Colorado countryside, or an hour (each way) bouncing over the mountains in a regional jet.  I chose the drive without a second thought.

Denver to Durango

So Friday morning early, I lit out for Durango and because Holly still isn’t fully house-trained, and thus can’t stay alone with Tim, I brought her along for the ride.

 

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It’s almost as if I bought the CRV with the dogs in mind!  Oh, right.  Turns out it has an added feature I hadn’t even known about.  For those awkward moments when she poops in the middle of a scenic overlook that lacks a trashcan:

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Always pack out your trash!

Anyway, I chose the southeastern route in the map above — down I25 and across Route 160 — because I’m not a big fan of pass driving.  Google Maps helpfully sets out various routes, and then lets you choose your mode of transportation:  car; bus; on foot.  To accurately calculate our time, however, they need another option:  traveling with puppy.

 

Google maps composite

We stopped every hour and a half to two hours to find Holly a grassy spot.  Besides that slight inconvenience, though, she was the perfect traveling companion.

Driving in Colorado:  breathtakingly beautiful.

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Breathtakingly scary:

 

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Breathtakingly . . . obvious?

 

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Got to Durango without a minute to spare before the talk.  That is, though I didn’t have any minutes to spare, I spared a couple, and ended up about 5 minutes late.   It was my favorite kind of talk:  with interested advocates who had great ideas and great questions.

After the talk, Holly and I set out to explore Durango a bit, and found a path by the river that was perfect for a post-driving-trip stroll.

 

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Obligatory “Holly Posing Because She Knows Just How Cute She Is” photo:

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Dinner was yak stew — a first for me! — and lamb dumplings at The Himalayan Kitchen, then back to the hotel, where Holly checked out the accommodations.

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For the drive back to Denver, I chose the more direct route — in blue in the map above — that took me on Route 160 as far as Del Norte, and then Route 285 northeast through the mountains.  There were a couple more passes, but either they were relatively easy passes or I’m finally getting use to pass driving.  Or possibly exchanging the 1988 Accord for a 2013 CRV just makes the whole thing feel safer.  But I also took the time to stop for photos.  These first four were processed in HDR:

 

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Wildlife!

 

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Colorado life!

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Uh oh!   Better behave myself!***

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I arrived home, tired and happy, yesterday afternoon, very grateful to live in a state of overwhelming natural beauty and kick-ass disability advocates.

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* Actually, I have to confess, when I first learned I would be going to Durango, I thought, “it’s in the same state; how far can that be?”  Having grown up out east**, I assumed that anywhere you had to go within a single state couldn’t be more than a couple of hours’ drive.  Soooooo it turns out they make states bigger out here.  So the six-hour drive was a bit of a surprise, but ultimately a pleasant one.

** I’ve been overthinking the phrases “back east” and “out west” recently.  I use the phrases mostly because they reflect my path.  I started life on the east coast, and I’ve migrated out west.  But it occurs to me that these common phrases are not only sort of east-coast-centric, but also reflect a European-American-centric path (my peeps mostly entered the U.S. from the east coast and headed west) as opposed to an Asian-American path, as many Asians entered the U.S. from the west coast.  So I thought I’d try “out east” for a while and see how it sounded.

*** Tim’s uncle Pete Palmer is sheriff!

Random Vegas Observations

There is an amazing variety of people in Las Vegas:  young; old; fat; thin; rich; poor; barely-clad; wildly overdressed; fancy; schleppy; drunk; sober.

Middle-aged ladies in Bryn Walker linen and Børn* sandals are, as a general matter, not one of those categories.  At my age, I would  fit in better in either (1) dyed-brown  helmet-hair and Talbots; or (2) a dyed-blonde bouffant and stretch capris.

Corollary:  I can’t go shopping in Vegas because casino shops generally don’t have Bryn Walker,  Børn, Lands End, LL Bean, or Best Buy.

New business plan:  The Introvert Hotel and Spa.  Next door to — but separated by weapons-grade soundproofing from — an ordinary casino, the IHS will feature quiet, sunny, reading areas with quiet waitstaff quietly bringing you umbrella drinks and quiet spa facilities where quiet massage therapists deliver relaxing, yet quiet, massages.  Projected client base:  nerdy introverted spouses of nerdy introverted poker players.

Related observation:  MGM moved its poker room from the former, centrally-located, area next to what I think was a strip bar with a limited playlist of brain-liquifying techno music, to a side area that was quieter than the entire rest of the casino.  Perhaps the MGM has realized that poker players are different from the rest of their slot-playing, beer-bong-toting, bachelor-party-reveling patrons.

Unrelated observation:  Who on God’s green earth brings their infants and toddlers to Vegas? It can’t possibly be fun for either the kids or the parents.

Lobster corn dogs: just the wrong amount of wrong.

Gatorade looks awesome in a wine glass:

{Image:  Bright blue liquid in a wine glass against a neutral background.}

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* Yes, I enjoyed finding the “ø” in WordPress, but then you knew that.

PhotoAbility.Net!

There is finally a stock photography site full of real, active, did I mention real? people with disabilitiesPhotoAbility.net has apparently been up and running for a couple of years; I just discovered it because its founder, Deborah Davis, was featured as New Mobility’s Person of the Year.

We first used stock photography in a monumentally misguided* attempt to settle a case by presenting the defendant with examples of how people with disabilities could be part of its advertising and outreach.  Seeking stock photographs, we ran searches like “wheelchair,” “disabled” and of course “handicapped” in the various mainstream stock photography sites.  What we found were (1) hospital and medical images; and (2) essentially fake images in which obviously non-disabled people had seated themselves in crappy gray-vinyl hospital wheelchairs to undertake random daily tasks.

When we finally found a couple of images that seemed genuine, we bought them, and then discovered such images were so rare, we saw the same folks all over the damn place.  I’m guessing, for example, if you read any sort of disability-oriented publication, you’ve encountered these photogenic folks:

{Image: Photo of boy and man. Both are African-American. The man is on the right, sitting in a manual wheelchair, spinning a basketball on his finger. The boy stands to his side, watching the basketball and holding up one finger as if to imitate the man.}

{Image: a woman and girl, both white, both blond. The girl is in a manual wheelchair. The woman hugs her from behind.}

We had such little luck finding real images that we solicited some from photogenic friends doing photogenic things with photogenic kids, and then took one or two ourselves.  This, for example, is our friend Julie, her two older daughters, and our dog in our backyard.  Think PhotoAbility would be interested?

{Image:  A blond woman (sitting in a manual wheelchair) and two blond girls playing with a golden retriever dog under a tree in a fenced yard.  One girl, perhaps two years old, sits in her mother's lap.  The other girl, perhaps 6 years old, holds a toy out to the dog.}

We continue to use stock images on our website and in educational materials, so I’m very excited to learn about stock photography with gen-u-ine pwds doing genuinely cool stuff.  Also that PhotoAbility is part of a network of great sites at PushLiving.com about inclusive travel, lifestyle, design, etc.  Check them out!

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* Part of a hilariously grandiose settlement attempt suggested by new and (as it turned out) temporary co-counsel.  We appeared at a meeting with the defendant’s general counsel and her posse with a bunch of spiral-bound glossy brochures featuring our purchased and home-made stock images and a bunch of powerpoint verbiage about how wonderful and inclusive access was and how it would enhance their image, etc. etc., and of course they could not possibly have cared less.  They wanted to know what it would cost, thanks for making the trip, goodbye.  Luckily, since it was early in our practice, our dear, wonderful copy people “forgot” to charge us for the glossy brochures and spiral binding.  The case finally settled — three general counsels and two outside counsels later.  So it goes.

New year random photo dump

My 2014 New Year’s resolution is to blog more.  I was inspired by my cousin’s resolution to cancel her gym membership and my brother’s resolution to drink more.  Why should resolutions be designed to bum you out?  Start the year right with a resolution that will make you happy!  So I’m resolving to blog more, play with the dog(s)* more, and eat more pasta.  That first one may increase the down-scrolling and notification-deleting burden on you, my five loyal readers, but just think of it as additional exercise for your typing fingers!

In a move that is essentially burning through a month’s worth of good resolution-keeping material on the first day of 2014, herewith a photo dump from the back half of 2013, that is, random cellphone photos that entertain me without actually being worthy of an entire blog post.

From our favorite Denver deli, The Bagel Deli:  cheesy jalapeño knishes.  Just another reason I love the west!

{Image:  photo of handwritten sign advertising "Knishes!!! Cheesy Jalapeno."}

More Denver/Jewish humor:

{Image:  lighted sign on the side of a bar reading "Drink Gin & Tonikah/Happy Hanukkah."  Above that sign is a vertical sign showing that the bar is The Hornet.}

Behind the bar at Cholon which, besides having scary creatures in wine bottles, has amazing small plates like duck spring rolls.

{Image:  a wine bottle with yellow-colored roots and a snake inside.}

Green tea chai latte fail:

{Image:  overhead view of cup filled with slightly foamy green liquid.}

Saguaro explaining that it’s time to stop vegging in front of the computer and start throwing the tennis ball.

{Image:  photo of laptop keyboard.   In the upper right hand corner is a tennis ball and just to the right of that, a dog's nose.}

A little light reading on my way to my cousin’s bridal shower in Portland, Maine.

{Image:  photo of newspaper headline, "Shark off Boothbay likely a great white, B1."}

When shopping for yard clean-up, I had to admire the attention to detail in the browser tab icon for Pet Scoop:

{Image: long horizontal clip from the tabs that appear at the top of an internet browser indicating the open tabs. On the left, the tab contains the Google logo of a bright red M, and reads "Inbox - amyfrobertson." On the right, the tab contains an icon resembling a document and reads "Untitled document." In the middle, the tab reads, "Denver Pooper Scoop" and includes a logo resembling a pile of dog poop.}

I know on some level I should be offended by this, but I found myself more amused, and admiring the entrepreneurial spirit.

{Image:  signage from front of the Denver strip club called "Shotgun Willie's."  The sign reads, "Topless Gift Wrapping Thurs & Fri."  The Shotgun Willie's logo above the sign is an oversized shotgun, arcing downward.}

We were very sad to say goodbye to our favorite tapas joint, Ondo’s, where we had a typically amazing meal last night, its last night before closing.  Really hoping the owners will find a good space and reopen elsewhere.

{Image:  painted mural with a waiter carrying a tray with a bottle, viewed from the back, and a store front with the logo "Ondo's"}

Then we closed out the year in typical party-animal fashion:

{Image:  a few of a sofa, dog and television from the perspective of the person stretched out in the sofa.  So along the left side, legs in sweatpants ending in feet in striped socks.  Next to the legs a golden retriever; in the background, a tv showing a hockey game.}

Happy New Year to all and onward to 2014!

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*New puppy coming later this month!  Will make the “more blogging” resolution really easy!

I love the West

I flew to Albuquerque this afternoon.  Now hanging at the airport to meet my stepfather and drive up to Santa Fe for my stepbro’s 50th birthday.   Quick flight, but I chose a window seat on the right side of the plane so I could play with the camera.  The views reminded me why I’m such a happy immigrant to the Mountain Time Zone.

This accidental shot that turned out to be a good bookend for the start of the trip.

{Image: photo of the photgrapher's feet taken looking straight down.  Feet are in hiking shoes; jeans and the end of a scarf are also visible, as are two pieces of luggage.}

Fly Frontier! Until They Go Bankrupt!

{Image: photo taken from the window of a plane. In the right foreground is the engine with the legend "FlyFrontier.com."  In the background, snow covered foothills.}

Couple of photos from the plane:

{Image:  photo taken from a plane of a river with snow-covered banks.}

{Image:  Photo of mesas taken from plane.}

{Image:  photo of mesas taken from plane.}

Little bit of a bumpy landing:

{Image: photograph of clouds taken from airplane.}

The Albuquerque airport.  The light and coloring in the west are so amazing, even the airport is beautiful.

{Image:  photo of airport taken from the runway.  The building is a light pink adobe and the jetways are all turquoise.  To the right of the jetways, the building contains large mirrored windows in the shape of New Mexico's  state symbol.}

Now ensconced in the Sunport’s faux western workspace, pretending to edit a brief (hi, co-counsel!) while in fact playing with photos and receiving regular Bronco updates from Tim.

More from the photo archive

This time, from my Dad’s experiences at the Sebago School and Camp Ironwood, run by Matt and Margaret Werner in St. Louis (school) and Harrison, ME (Ironwood).

From the camp — I just loved these first two:

{Image: black and white photo of a person diving off of a dock into a lake.  The diver's image is reflected in the lake.}

{Image: black and white photo of a person diving into the water, but all we see is the person's legs, perfectly straight, angled from their toes at the center of the photo to the bottom right where their torso disappears off the edge of the photo. To the left are several canoes, and in the background, a boat.}

{Image:  black and white photo, taken from above looking straight down on two people sitting by the side of a stone building.  The person on the right is wearing saddle shoes and has their feet extended in front of them, with a plate of food on their lap.  The person on the left is wearing a sleeveless undershirt and holding a drink  (coffee?) in his left hand.  The photographer's feet on the edge of the building above are visible in the foreground.}

The next few are from a driving trip the school/camp took through the western United States:

{Image:  1940s wood-paneled station wagon parked at the side of the road.  Five teen agers lean against it, one of whom is looking through a lens of some sort; the others facing the camera.}

{Image:  black & white photo of Garden of the Gods, which is a series of rock formations in a high-desert landscape.  A man is in the foreground looking at the scenery.}

{Image: black & white photo of a narrow alley with brick buildings on either side and passageways overhead.}

{Image:  Black & white photo of a small log church with a cross on top.}

{Image:  black and white photo of a rectangular window with a cross silhouetted against the middle.}

{Image: black & white photo of a large bear crossing a road.}

{Image: black & white photo of a large bear resting by the side of a wooded road.}

Photos from LA

I’m in LA for the Disability Rights Legal Center’s Disability Rights Summit.  Great event. Saw lots of old friends and put lots of faces to internet names.  Presented on fair housing with Fernando Gaytan, a wonderful attorney from the Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles.

Couple of photos:

Photo of buildings. Most are beige. One low building in the center is bright red and yellow.

 

Photo of the side of a building with brick shaped windows, some of which are open and jutting out.

 

Photo of construction crane and building framework at dusk.

 

Had dinner at Hama Sushi, where they really really really only serve sushi.

Photo of hand-lettered sign that reads "please read. only sushi, sashimi. no tempura. no teriyaki. no noodles. no rice alone. minimum charge $12 per sperson without beverage."

And it was magnificent!!!