The Broken Little Car.

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Here is the good news, I bring you this image of the docks on the flathead lake. I had an amazing pancake breakfast, thought I’d have to drive here myself, potentially calling a tow truck which I cannot afford, but have have had my day turned into a fun road trip adventure. Its 4th of July eve! Neysa and I adventured through Taco Bell, a thrift store, and getting lost on the dirt roads. Someone has been shooting at the roadsigns again and we, with no cell signal, as always, missed quite a few turns.

As far as the car, I have the parts and jacks, but have run into a snag. The mounting hardware for the new shocks does not match that of the old shocks. I’m falling short on the funding for the alignment, having to instead purchase a few tools and plates for the upper bushings.
I am raising my funding goal, despite raising over the initial amount.
I am in need of a 15mm, 14mm, 13mm, deep sockets, as well as a 13mm articulated box wrench. Hopefully the local store will have these as well as a coating agent (not grease) for the hardware as well as a few nuts and bolts I can buy to piece together the upper assembly as the original and the new are different sizes. I was extremely lucky to bum a ride to Polson, MT today after discovering the parts could be sent to a shop there next day. Polson Auto Parts was nice enough to match the price I had found through the Monroe reseller. I should only be $50 off of my needed goal.

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I will be hoping for the best. oddly enough, my American made car parts are in repair on the 4th. If its not become apparent, this is not as much a blog about art or travel or photography. I don’t want to sugar coat how “#vanlife” works in the real world. I have been traveling, roaming, housesitting, and backpacking off and on for most of the last decade. I bring out these posts to provide insight to what it means to be a traveling, working freelancer, on a normal budget, with bills and setbacks. Everything from cutting mat board on a pick-nick table in a national forrest, to automotive repairs which hinder travel. there is a vast unseen element in solo travel. I love every minute of it. But, this lifestyle isn’t glamorous. It’s hardworking and stressful, but rewarding simultaneously.

It’s a New Beginning.

After quite a few years on the back burner and a few domain issues, I am back online. Up and running. I hope to dig in and let the creative juices flow back into the internet. And it sure is nice to be doing this from “home” again. And I bring you all another wonderful view of the Flathead Lake, here in western Montana. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Photography in 2013

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This is my photo submission for the new year. I hope 2013 is as wonderful to everyone else as it has been to me.
The photos above was a self commissioned Christmas present for a coworker, whose wife is an amazing found jeweler and fashion designer. I have had the wonderful opportunity to photograph many if her pieces this last month.
Below is an example of her work.

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More can be found at Marie Gagne.
Happy new year everyone.

Broncos and Beers on the Town

A new post from Denver.

I’ve been in camera mode since arriving. Took yesterday off from shooting on the streets and plopped into editing mode. There may have been a few drinks out on the Artwalk, downtown, last night. It was nice to see a few friends while in town. Denver is known for some of those delicious micro brews, as well. Today, I’m presenting a small pictorial tour of my last two nights.

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Toasters

Reaching the end of our first full day in florida. Weather here treats us weary northerners extremely well. We entered the state after a grueling nine hour drive; Atlanta to Tampa. Light to moderate showers bathed the little civic as I sped down I75 then onto 27 South as temperatures hit low 60’s. From peanut factories in southern Georgia and discovering the true meaning of strip malls in Ocala, what I envisioned as the beginnings of a thunderstorm turned into rampant sprinklers on the fritz. I lay my head dozing off onto the pillow in a suburb known as Palm Harbor.

The day swept by with whimsical photos of pelicans and teaching fourteen year olds how to properly maintain a bmx bike. Three years as a bike tech and eleven years spending thirty miles a day on a bicycle tend to not die when cries for help are heard from a nearby bike path. The boys were not only amazed by my knowledge and history of BMX, but also my skills with their bikes after eight years with out a bmx of my own. I found flattery in providing my drivers license as proof that I am indeed just recently thirty and not twenty-three. I must look damn good for my age and having missed a shower for the last two days.

First things we see in the morning haunt us the rest of the day. No batteries and the mug is still empty.

Today is bitter sweet at a glance and tragic and fun as my memory will provide in the days and weeks to come. Wandering the beach in Clearwater’s hotel island, cold and sand covered to the knees. It does get everywhere, indeed. I am as I might put it, stuck in 35mm hell for the coming week, or unless I can find a replacement for my now in operative Bronica, The Toaster. The first instance at the peanut factory, where the mirror mechanism initially bound, brought me to almost tears and screaming rage. After this morning, the shutter released and the last of the current roll finished out at the boat docks on the west side of town. The bmx-ers were dazzled with the age of my non video, film camera, in their words more or less. And tried to find solutions or ideas as I wrenched, greasily on a bound chain on one of the bikes. Three juvenile heads couldn’t unravel the mysterious broken innards of the chrome finished camera.

Eventually, the shutter unbound again. Off to the local camera shop, Lake Shore Camera Exchange, to pawn as much equipment as my bag would carry, including our house host’s dusty Nikon N75, donated to aid my cause, to attain a usable medium format camera. My film cost for the trip included a seventy-five percent ratio of 120 film. There is more money in medium format film than Nikon equipment in my collection of belongings. The attendant at the store, an older larger built, tall, gentleman, who claimed the bronica may have been one of the best optically constructed cameras showed me nothing aside from 35mm bodies priced at almost double to triple the tags seen daily at shops in New York or any larger midwest reseller. I longed for The Columbus Camera Groupback home. Sarah, Mike, our host, and I left slightly disconcerted with the high trade in prices offered for the cheap nikons and the refusal to buy a camera with such an outstanding reputation simply on the rational of Bronica’s retirement as a company a few years back.

A simple guide book provided by our hosts in Atlanta, to aid our navigation out of Georgia and allow us to stretch from time to time, taking a break from driving.The inside of the little Toaster on her last day in semi-working order. At the time of our visit to the camera shop in Florida, I was unaware she was actually broken.

I desperately searched the web for information, praying for any indication of the nature of the mechanical problem. The only real advice given in searches, “Buy a Hasssy”, one of those cameras of the same period as The Toaster, known for breaking under much less stress and costing a trans atlantic trip and half a grand to repair. A light found its lost way through the tunnel, KOH’s in upstate New York began popping up on Google. On Friday, I’ll attempt to pack the bronica to ship back to Dayton, OH, sitting with my one trunk in my parent’s attic, until I return and bite down on the $350 price tag and two month turn around on the repair bill.

Upon arrival at the local camera shop, I was still unaware that the malfunction was anything more than user error. This is an inside shot of what occurred later in the evening within the camera.
While at the local camera shop, I was still unaware that the malfunction was anything other than user error. This is what I latter discovered. The mirror is locked down due to an issue with the gearing in the winding/cocking mechanism.

As of this writing, I’ve posted my plea in my Facebook account, with the reposting aid of my friend Robin, I currently plea for assistance in finding an inexpensive alternative to use as our adventure passes into the western states. On the table for consideration is anything able to shoot 120 and 220 film at any price point. Please, if possible, email me with any input or feed back. I do apologize as more articles are to follow in the next week. Right now, I sleep, adding a few days to consider how to end what may become a temporary, mandatory break from producing new content here.