What does a VJ do when they don’t have a camera?

They resort to words – the written language. VJ Kathleen Newell has an eye for the awesome and dreams that she, as most of us have, has only thought about…

Until this week. I was surprised when I got an email from her explaining she was fulfilling one of her dreams – to see a night liftoff of a space shuttle.

She left on Friday and sat it out last night (this morning) in the Florida winter, waiting for the countdown. It didn’t happen…but her description of the night is better than her ability to capture with a camera…she has the knack of creating visuals with words as well as her lens.

Check out her posting on the thinknews site.


Geeks in the woods/part two…

A stiff wind is blasting off Caples Lake…I’m out in it, as close as I can get to Internet access. Our cabin, while perfect in every other way, is right on the border of access. Amanda Emily can get online fine…Newell and I, with our Macs, are SOL.

Seems like I was designated cook on this trip…must be cause I brought the food. Steaks, lamb chops, baked potatoes and salad last night. Fried potatoes and onions, scrambled eggs, pork sausage, and pancakes for breakfast. Newell’s doing our lunch for the hike in about an hour.

Above are some sunrise photos on the lake. Anticipating light was fun, if chilly. The first rays hit a passing jet far overhead. Next the mountain across the lake…then the high treeline…and finally a blink of light and BOOM! a very fast sunrise.

The lake went from nearly black to rich blue in a matter of ten or fifteen minutes.

Geeks in the woods…

Kathy Newell and I head to the woods to decompress whenever possible.

This weekend we have an added featured guest – geek queen and media history buff Amanda Emily is joining us – wow. I absolutely love her blog, her online mouth, and obvious deep love of true journalism…but she has the ability to understand HOW stuff works. Me, I just use it.

Newell picked up her at the airport last night and we’ll meet at the 8,000 foot level for the first time. Look for postings from all three of us over the next few days.

New header/again…and a bit about a friend…

The header above is from the mountain madness trip I just returned from. That blonde head and cocked ear belong to VJ Kathleen Newell. Her subject – John Voss, proprietor of the Caples Lake Resort. Kathy helps John with his blog, among others.

She’s a mountain girl and enthusiastic do-gooder and environmentalist. We are twinned opposites in many ways. I’m old, dumpy, married (very happily) and a teacher. She is younger, energetic and always looking for new mountains to climb – both literally and figuratively. We’re both survivors of 28 years each in the world of media madness. And neither of us knows how to live without a camera in hand and a laptop stashed nearby.

That trip we were on involved the “mom-mobile,” a 2003 dusty old Dodge Grand Caravan with all the rear seats taken out to hold more gear than we can to admit to. The personal bags were the least of it – I think we each took less than enough to fit into a grocery bag.

But the tech stuff – two three chip cameras (a Sony and a JVC GY-DV300), three (I think) low enders for grab shots, a Olympus Evolt 300 for stills. Two laptops, a million cables, four tripods, one monopod, reflectors…and more. And that’s traveling light. Didn’t bring the light kits or mikes (beyond a stick and her wireless). Oh – and one ice chest and enough food to last a few days. And fishing gear (hers). Camp chairs. One air mattress (I refuse to sleep on the ground any more) Sleeping bags.

Back to the van – common stuff in the back (camping stuff, bags, etc).
The van is nifty cause she could slide her passenger door open and have easy access to her goodies and I had my stuff on the driver’s side. Very fast and no confusion.

So we were organized and had fun. Part of this trip is an escape from the daily drudge. We both miss news and travel and meeting people. Me – I’m stuck in Lodi. Kathy – she is looking for new adventures, other roads to travel. But our roads occasionally diverge and we travel a short distance together. As all friends do…

High times in the high Sierra…

Cyndy at Carson Pass on Hiway 88 (courtesy Kathleen Newell)
Cyndy at Carson Pass on Hiway 88 (courtesy Kathleen Newell)
Kathy Newell at Carson Pass on Hiway 88
Kathy Newell at Carson Pass on Hiway 88
And this is what Newell was shooting when I shot her.
And this is what Newell was shooting when I shot her.

Buddy Kathy Newell and I just spend four hours wandering the woods and videotaping nature at its most pristine.

She took the high road and hiked up the Woods Lake Trail while I took and low road and hung out near the stream and lake.

Then we headed to Carson Pass and decided – what the heck – let’s get some serious shots of each other to post on our blogs and other sites. So we grabbed her Olympus Evolt 300 and started shooting away. Our favorite picks are above.

No one can shoot me quite like Newell. All the shots my family takes make me look old…but Newell does some magic and I look – more like I like to think I look. Thanks for the photos.

Tonight we act as cooks for the Caples Lake staff…owner John Voss and crew are heading our way around 8pm for grilled brats wrapped in bacon stuffed with cherries (courtesy Newell) and cole slaw and cheese pie (courtesy yours truly). Then stay up to watch the stars and moonrise with some favorite libations and then off to our cabin. As the shortie, I claimed the futon. With all the running around, sleep should come easy.

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