Sunday, May 26, 2013


WhereIsThatClamp by Benjamin Jr
WhereIsThatClamp, a photo by Benjamin Jr on Flickr.

Think I'm going to start combining my two faves, Motorcycles & Photography

Thursday, December 6, 2012

The Story Of Henry

To tell this story we need to go back 21 yrs. 
Henry came to me literally left on my doorstep by a then employee who said he was moving and could not care for the bird.

Henry was totally featherless, except for his head which his beak could not reach. Quite funny actually. He paced and screamed almost constantly. He would lunge at anyone who dare approach his cage. He would not allow any contact at all, and it soon became apparent that perhaps I had bit off more then I could chew and Henry was ready to bite into me and chew on the remains!!

This began an odyssey of sort for me and I guess Henry as well. I began by trying to learn about parrots in general and Henry in particular. Henry began practicing his art of lunging, biting, blood letting, repeat. Every morning I tried in vain to come to some agreement with him and just change his food and water! And so this continued for at least 4 yrs. Some days seemed better, but mostly just status quo. Henry sharpening his beak and me doing my Bruce Lee impersonation (you know be quick) and being mainly unsuccessful.

What I learned about Henry was that he never was a pet. He was a wild caught male “Sulfur Crested Cockatoo” breeder, who lost his mate which brought on a complete mental breakdown. You see when you add this info to what I found out about parrots, it all started to jive. Parrots are very intelligent (about equivalent to 4 or 5 yr child) with this comes the down side, “Psychosis.” Being that his sole purpose up until that point was to breed, and then to loose his mate (being monogamous even in the wild). it seemed clear this then was his main problem. Oh and I learned that Cockatoos have a particular beak that can deliver one of the nastier bites of the parrot species, now this was something I knew 1st hand!!

One day oh maybe now about 15yrs ago I was in a bike shop. I noticed the owner in the back playing with a most beautiful Cockatoo, feeding him by mouth, petting etc. My mind would not allow my mouth to stay shut and I began lamenting about the sad state of affairs between Henry and I. He looked up and said, “ever give him a bath”. No, I said can’t get him to come out of his cage. He said, “it’s going to be almost 100 tomorrow take his cage outside with him in it and try”. OK, I said I’ll try. Didn’t have much hope but I’ll try.

Well I never waited for the next day. I went straight home and dragged Henry, cage and all into the backyard, all the while Henry lunging and biting at me and my wife. I turned on the hose slowly, Henry went ballistic. I thought of quitting but persisted. Henry seemed to calm some, well at least he stopped screaming and lunging. I really don’t know what came over me but I started getting myself and my wife wet. We just started playing like kids in the water coming from that hose, I’d wet Henry then Laura then Me, then repeat. Well I got everything so wet that I slipped on the grass and fell flat on my butt, and then the most amazing thing, HENRY LAUGHED!! Yes Laughed I will swear to it!!

The next morning found me preparing for the usual blood letting. I opened Henry’s cage inserted my arm toward his food bowl,Henry didn’t move, what’s up here I thought, a new kill tactic!! I let my arm linger in his cage; he approached quite calmly for him. He walk over stepped up on my arm, and ever so gently began preening the tiny hairs there. I began screaming, “Laura, hurry you gotta see this!” Laura thinking the worst came in with Band-Aids can in hand, only to see me proudly standing with my Cockatoo sitting there on my arm, making little Cooo, Cooo sounds and preening my hair. I think the word I was looking for at the time was, Epiphany!!

Our final bonding came about a week later. Henrys new found attitude had gained him a place in the front room on an open perch, watching T.V. with Laura and I. One night we fell asleep in front of the boob tube (wonder why). I woke to find Henry sleeping on my chest with his head nestled between my neck and shoulder breathing in rhythm with the movment of my chest. What more can I say!

Henry remains a feather picker and I think always will. He is no longer violent to anyone and dances, sings, laughs, in general in good spirits most times. I consider this a win for me and him.

Some people might argue that I failed at curing his ills, but I would quickly point out that he is a happy well adjusted feather picker!

Well That’s our story and were stickin to it.

A typical Henry Lunge

A More Serene Henry with more Feathers too!

As this was written some 20+ years ago, an update seems in order. Don't worry it will be short.

What I suspected back then has remained true. Some times Henry will let a goodly amount of Feathers grow but just as quick for no apparent reason he will pick them away. He never has wounded himself just gets ugly. 

He also has a deep respect for our little Flock and never questions my lead.

The Flock grew by one some 14 years ago when I raised Maggie, a Blue & Gold Macaw. She quickly blended in to our group and Henry & Maggie have been buds ever since.

As of This Morning

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Important Read For All Street Photographers!

The below occured on 3/14/2012. Originally I posted on Dgrin (wrong time, wrong place, Title)included here because I feel it's important to read and for me not to forget. It has deeply affected my photography pursuits but I'm working my way thru it.

As I have mentioned here before, in all my street pursuits I have rarely if ever been questioned.

Well Yesterday that all changed!

I usually leave for work 45min or so early to allow for some street work.
There is a Guitar Center Store @ Pico/Westwood corner with huge billboards of musicans.
For a few months now I thought this area would be good for street.
So on Wednesday I parked my bike @ about 1345 up the street from the Pan Rest. and started
walking to check it out.

Light was OK but not much action at the bus stop in front of billboards. I rounded the corner
walking north on Westwood when I saw some teens waiting, one sitting on a fire plug. I took a couple snaps, figuring if nothing else I would check my settings and then make another round around the block.

I continued back around but nothing seemed to move me so I headed back to my bike.
About that time I heard from close behind, "Excuse Me SIR", as I turned I was immediately
grabbed, handcuffed, frisked and taken over to the back of a parked Astro Van.
Badge was flashed in front of my eyes hanging from the neck of one Cop, while the other was aking,

Are you a registered Sex Offender!
Are you a Convicted Felon!
You have Gang Affiliation!
Have A Weapon!
Have drugs or on drugs!!!
Why are you taking pictures of KIDS!
There were more, but you get the picture.

My Answers:
Pocket knife
Taking pictures in public is not illegal is it ??
There response was that maybe it wasn't but they had to investigate.
I mean after all (and I quote) "A man of your age taking pictures of kids sure seems ODD!"

For more then 20min this went one. One Cop tried to glean information from me,
while the other made inquiries about Me on a Cell.
I did my best to keep my COOL and mostly silent.

After the truth was discovered at least for TODAY, one of the Cops said,
I was unhandcuffed and allowed to secure my camera and belongings.
One Cop inserted my pocket knife in my Jacket, and told me not to touch it till they were gone, he said, "We fear for our safety!".

They made a last attempt to explain how of course they were just doing there jobs!
I told them to stay safe, and arrived at work at 1445.

I post this incident in my life so I can vent and warn our members/viewers to be very careful out there.
I have always conducted myself and my endeavors as a free and good American on safe and solid footing, I no longer feel that way.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Wow V1 for $300

Just read on Steve Huff's site Steve Huff Photo the V1 going for $300 !!
I paid more (not much) 2 wks ago and I could not be happier with my choice.
Every time someone asks me about it, I feel like Al Pacino and say "Say Hello To My Little Friend".

Image wise I've not done much, seen a bunch of images fly by but not able to capture them.

Does that happen to you? Really kick myself in the rear and I'm sore! One of the things that's always hampered is the inability to just stop and get out or off my ride and start walking, always seem to be heading somewhere and I've always been weird about being late or if I don't get there I'll miss something!

Still really just working out where I should keep my settings for "Street" work. Thinking here since the camera is fast enough I may just go with "P" mode and see what happens.

Ramble over for now.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

November 29, 2012

So haven't done nothing here for a YEAR !!

Today on the way to pick up my check I made a view stops and captured these.
All captured with a Nikon V1. Camera works for me I think, it will require more trigger time but for now it's OK. Lots O nay sayers about this camera but for me it's fast has a viewfinder, and my workflow is easier and better(?) when I start with a NEF file.

Perhaps I'll do better then once a year this time. :)

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

November 29, 2011

I'm turning 62 in few days so figured along with my G+ and a new Flicker Acct. I'd start this blog as well.
I mainly shoot the streets in and around L.A. Below is a small sampling, My regular Galleries can be seen at:
Both of these were shot with a Canon Ql17, wish I could afford Film & Digital. :(