Friday, December 16, 2011

Illustration Friday - Sink

Back in days of pirate ships, a cannonball attack would seldom sink a ship, but damage it beyond repair, destroying their masts and rigging.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Illustration Friday - Vanity

Portrait of Fay Wray from a vanity shot in 1933, when she starred in 'King Kong'.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Illustration Friday - Stay

In 1611, explorer Henry Hudson tried to find the Northwest Passage above Canada aboard the Half Moon...he never found it. Somewhere in Hudson Bay, his crew mutinied and he and his teenage son, and a few others were cast adrift in lifeboats, and there they stayed.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Illustration Friday - Remedy

A sure remedy when you're feeling down is the smile on a dog, ready to play ball!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Illustration Friday - Midsummer Night

The moon rising over the Sierra Nevada on a midsummer night is a spectacular sight, as the snowcapped peaks seem to glow from the moonlight...

Friday, June 17, 2011

Illustration Friday - Launch

In his heyday, Mickey Mantle would launch tape measure home was almost hit out of Yankee Stadium, another went out of Griffith Park in DC into the neighborhood, probably over 600 feet.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Illustration Friday - Shadows

When the Apollo astronauts walked on the moon, they cast harsh shadows with the unfiltered was about 250 degrees cooler in the shade!

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

I'm Sorry Son, No One By That Name Lives Here.

Last night I had another one of those dreams that stay with you, long after you wake up. The kind where you get a glimpse of the things you try to suppress or ignore in waking life. I dreamed I was in my old neighborhood in Rohnert Park, but it must have been years later, because the trees were huge, and the street was shaded, like 'old' neighborhoods are. Then I saw a small white and gray cat, she looked was Simone! my old kitty who lived with me for 12 years...she ran up to me and I picked her up, so happy to see her as she was purring, I realized then it must be a 'visit' and therefore this must be a dream, but in any case, here she was, and I was glad.
As I walked while I was carrying her, we went by my old house. She struggled and then jumped down and ran up to the front door. It was ajar, so she went in! "Simone! Nooo that's not our house now!" So I went up to the door and knocked "Hello??" and peered in. No one seemed to be home. Simone was sitting on a large chair, looking around as if disoriented, because it was disorienting to see my old house with unfamiliar furniture, kids' toys on the floor, and different pictures on the wall. "Come on Simone, we have to leave." But she didn't want to leave, and she ran down the hall toward the bedrooms.
"Simone! No! this isn't our house anymore!" And as I said that, I was suddenly filled with tremendous sadness and loss. I went into the room that was my office with a built-in desk and shelves, Simone was sitting on the desk, staring at me and I could sense what she was saying, "We're home now!"
"No Simone, we're not home...this used to be home, but not now." Then I began to sob, extremely...The sense of loss, regret, sadness...I never did in waking life, because I was too busy dealing with the logistics, but now I was here in my old house, overflowing with grief and the neverending wonder of 'what might have been'...As I looked around, I could see that this was certainly my old room, but with other peoples' stuff in it, which was very incongruous, disorienting...then I began to notice particular objects, like my old tv, my old printer, old pictures, some of the stuff was mine!
Then I heard a car pull in to the driveway, "Oh nooo, they're home!" I tried to grab Simone but she jumped down and dashed into the bedroom, so I chased her in there. She ducked under the bed, so I went under there too, to hide...I could her two womens' voices as they entered through the front door. They went into the kitchen, and as I peered out from under the bed I noticed a door, a new door to the garage they must have put in. "that's our way out." ...I picked up Simone and quietly made for the door, as we went out, I saw that the garage had been converted into a playroom/den, with the washer and dryer, and extra fridge, etc...I also noticed my old clock radio, and my old record albums I hadn't seen in years. You know, these are mine, I'm gonna take them. So I let Simone out the side door and went back and grabbed the radio and a handful of albums...Outside, I saw that my old green Honda was parked on the street, so I put the stuff in the Honda and went back to get more of MY things. As I went back in, I picked up and old cd player that was I did, a woman of about 40 came into the room. "Who are you, what are you doing with my cd player??"
"Actually, I used to live here, and this is MY old cd player."
"No it's not, it's mine."
"No I can tell it's mine, it's got the same old scratch, I remember."
"It stopped being yours when you gave it away to Goodwill, and then I bought it, so that makes it mine now... just like this house stopped being yours when you sold it."
She was right of course..."Well, I have a radio and some records out in the car..."
"That's okay, that's our car too."
I was deflated, bewildered..."But it still feels like mine, what it represented..."
"It's what it represented for that time, but that time is a spirit that passes through many lives, many lives can pass through one spirit, in one lifetime...this house was one."
As I looked around, I realized that yes, the house was just a chunk of wood and masonry, but it represented a life back then...and, like Simone, still remains a part of my spirit.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Illustration Friday - Asleep

Picture 110 by danguerra444
Picture 110, a photo by danguerra444 on Flickr.

When you're on top of the food chain, you can fall asleep anywhere you like...

Friday, May 20, 2011

Illustration Friday - Soaked

0ships by danguerra444
0ships, a photo by danguerra444 on Flickr.

This was in my 'alternate history' series, "We Told You So"

Friday, April 15, 2011

Illustration Friday - Journey

goldenhinde by danguerra444
goldenhinde, a photo by danguerra444 on Flickr.

In his journey around the world aboard the Golden Hinde, Francis Drake and his crew stopped off the coast of California in 1579, in what is now Point Reyes in Marin County.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Illustration Friday - Bottled

21club by danguerra444
21club, a photo by danguerra444 on Flickr.

The end of Prohibition must have been a holiday in itself, when bottled booze had labels again, at least domestically...

Friday, April 1, 2011

Illustration Friday - Duet

dannyspics 116 by danguerra444
dannyspics 116, a photo by danguerra444 on Flickr.

Torvill and Dean were a magnificent duet on the ice.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Illustration Friday - Cultivate

Dry Creek Vinyard by danguerra444
Dry Creek Vinyard a photo by danguerra444 on Flickr.

Grapes are cultivated in the Sonoma and Napa Valleys, one of my favorite places on Earth.

Friday, March 4, 2011

How ya Doing Dean?

I've been volunteering at the library for over 6 months now and I'm pleased to say I still enjoy it. Maybe it's the atmosphere of being among all those books. Just walking up and down the aisles with all those volumes just aching to be read...and I do, I pluck one off the shelf and try not to get lost in it...
And the people there are very nice. The senior librarians are mostly older ladies who would pretty much fit the description of 'librarian' with the cashmere sweater draped over their shoulders and the horn-rimmed glasses they peer over. One of them is a dead-ringer for Miss Hathaway of 'Beverly Hillbillies' fame, right down to the voice and mannerisms.
And they give me a warm hello when I come in. Though for some reason, one of them calls me 'Dean'...which is no big deal, but after six months it's become a comical dilemma. I'm dreading the day when she learns she's been calling me by the wrong name all this time...and it doesn't help that I answer to Dean.
"How ya doin' Dean! stayin' outta trouble?"
"Oh hi Joan! yeah I'm always outta trouble."
So it's probably too late to say, "Oh by the way, it's Dan, not Dean." I should have said that way back when. And it's odd that others call me Dan within earshot of Joan, but I guess her attention is focused elsewhere. I worry that she'll be utterly embarrassed and maybe even mad when she finds out I'm Dan, that I didn't correct her sooner. But there came a point of no return after I just started answering to 'Dean'...
Actually, I'm prepared for the eventuality...I'll just shrug and say something like, "Oh it's close enough, it's just an extra E." And that will be that, I hope...because after six months it may be hard to start calling someone by a different name, and answering to it for that matter. But until that day comes, 'Dean' it is...

Illustration Friday - Warning

0robot by danguerra444
0robot a photo by danguerra444 on Flickr.
"Warning! Warning! You are already 97 astro-degrees off course Dr. Smith!"
"Silence! you cackling cacophony..."

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Illustration Friday - Swarm

Picture 077
Originally uploaded by danguerra444
I had a dream once of a swarm of ants being manufactured in a kind of bug was sorta creepy.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The Ghost of Worlds Past

I had one of those epic dreams last night...the kind that resonate and stay with you, because it was so visual and full of meaning, and it told a story. It was the kind that seemed so real and logical in a metaphysical way that it makes you wonder where it came from, or who sent it!
I dreamed I was walking along a beach, it must have been a tropical beach, the water was warm and crystal blue, and I could see rocks below the surface, lined up as if they formed a road.
"Do you know what that is?" A voice came from behind me. I turned and saw a smallish man in a white suit, kind of like the actor Joel Grey. "That's the Bimini Road. They say it's part of Atlantis." (I knew about the Bimini Road, I've Googled it.)
"Huh? but I thought Atlantis was just a legend."
"Oh it is now, but it's based on a real place...and it wasn't called Atlantis, it was called Thule. And it wasn't just here, it was all over the world...a long long time ago, even before the pyramids were built. Would you like to see it? Come on, walk with me..."
So I followed him along the beach, and then he walked right into the water, already waist deep he kept going in, "C'mon! Don't worry, you can breathe!" So we went into the water, underneath, and I COULD breathe!
"Look at that." He pointed to a large open space made of stone tiles, with big columns along the sides, it looked like a Roman forum. Then with a wave of his hand, the scene changed to lush green lawns, and the columns were sparkling white. "This is how it was, before the flood."
"What flood?"
"You've heard of Noah's Flood? Well some say it only occurred in the Black Sea, when floodwaters engulfed a large lake, but the sea was rising after the ice age, all over the world."
"So there WAS an Atlantis!"
"Oh there was much more...the Mu Empire in the Pacific, there's a massive city off the coast of Japan, you know. There was an entire civilization that existed before, but now it's all gone. Some survived though, they went on to build Stonehenge in England, the Great Pyramids, Macchu Piccu...All those simple tribesmen suddenly built all these great monuments, overnight! They must have had help. Did you know Puma Puncu in South America is over 12,000 years old? Think of how long ago the pyramids were built, that how long it was before THEN."
"How do you know all this? Who are you anyway?"
"Oh, I'm what you'd call a see, time is like a big tapestry, made up of millions of threads, each thread affecting other threads, some only slightly, but others in a grand way. Think of yourself as a single thread, as you weave your own way through time."
Soon we were walking along a neighborhood street. We passed by a house with lots of ivy, it looked familiar. "Do you recognize this house?"
"Yes, I think I's the house we almost moved in to when I was six!"
"But you didn't though...the owners of this house had second thoughts, the husband had just gotten a new job, and was going to be transferred, but the transfer didn't happen because they found out the wife was pregnant, so they decided not to sell. That unborn child, that small thread, affected your life."
"Affected MY life?"
"Yes...had he never been born, you and your parents would have moved into this house, and your life would have taken a whole other path, with different schools, different friends, and different circumstances...Look! It's your wedding day!"
Astonished, I found myself in a church reception hall, wearing a tux, with people scurrying about. I saw my parents outside, beaming, giving small party gifts to everyone. I was nervous as hell, like I probably would have been on a wedding day.
"B-b-but I can't get married! I don't even know the girl!"
"Oh but you would have...had your life gone in this other direction."
"Hmm...for some reason I'm not sure if I would have stayed married."
"Well, you'll never know, because it never happened. And a million other things never happened, but a million things DID happen, all because that child was born. And that's just one thread, among countless others that occur every day, that affect us without us ever knowing."
"Well, I'm glad he was born then...otherwise I would never have known my friends."
"True, but threads have a way of crossing paths...fate perhaps...maybe you would have met them anyway, or seen each other on a train, even for a moment."
"Do you know what will happen in the future?"
"No...not completely. That depends on many threads, and what each one does. But I do know this world will go the way of Thule, and a newer world will rise after."
"You mean...this world will end? like in 2012?"
"Oh no, not like that...the Mayans were partially right when they said the world has ended four times. The world doesn't end, but civilizations do...they rise and fall like empires, go in and out like tides, but some always survive and start new ones. Come, I'll show you."
We walked out onto a desert landscape, it was around dusk and the sun was low, casting long shadows. The air itself had a yellow-orange haze, like it was dusty. In the distance I could see tall monoliths, like skyscrapers but deserted and decayed, half buried in the sand. The howling wind made the whole scene desolate. "That was Las Vegas once. But everyone moved on. Now it's as deserted as the fact, these are the new pyramids."
"What happened to everyone? Another flood?"
"Not this was solar flares. The Mayans were right...but not scholars who predicted the date of 2012, no this was around 2061...Look up there!" He pointed to a shimmering silver disk in the distance, floating in midair. "You see? new threads."

I just stood and looked out into the desert...then I woke up, astonished.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Illustration Friday - Layer

Originally uploaded by danguerra444
Layer upon layer of grass, leaves, and plants cover the earth...and then they dry up and form layers of sediment, until a new layer grows in their place.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Illustration Friday - Surrender

Picture 053
Originally uploaded by danguerra444
During WWII, German U-Boats were the scourge of the Atlantic, sinking tons of shipping, but the Allies didn't surrender to them.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Illustration Friday - Dusty

Originally uploaded by danguerra444
During the Dust Bowl of the 1930's, thousands of families were displaced. This is from the famous photo of Florence Thompson taken at a migrant camp in 1936.