Jack Christmas Eve 2012

Jack 12-24-12I spent this Christmas Eve with Warren, Jack the Cat & a kitty in a window. Jack was looking particularly handsome this holiday season. He spent all afternoon on my lap. The kitty in the window was a next door neighbor, watching me walk to Jack’s home. It was a relaxing, fun day. I’m looking forward to returning tomorrow with Warren’s parents present as well.

Kitty In The Window


You & Me Is Friends

You & Me Is FriendsI need to apologize for being in such a holiday funk. I tend to get depressed each year about this time. I suppose it’s just a reminder of how very alone I am, or feel during the holidays. Christmas is not for people that have those emotions. I was looking through my photo collection an hour ago and came across this oldest of them that I used to make into business cards and carry with me everywhere. Each time I saw a person having a hard time I would pull one out and hand it to them whether I new them or not. I decided to design a more up to date version, using Photoshop to enhance the original graphics. The words are the same.

Is There Anyone Out There?

eyeball holeOnce in a while we feel like we’re the only ones out there that can see what’s going on in our world. The changes in society happen slowly so we lose sight of what’s really important. The American family took the bigest hit. Rosie the Riveter was the first sign of things to come. WWII forced American women to lay down their aprons and get a job to support of men at war. I heap praise on their contributions to our country. The problems started when the boys came home. Suddenly some of the women stayed at their paying jobs to “get ahead of the Jones’ “. Who are taking care of our kids? At first mom did it all until dad came back from the war.

Mom, deservedly, wanted more time off from family raising chores that now included a second worker in the home. Can’t fault mom there. So the solution of day care centers, baby sitters & nannies arose. This prompted the first “Latch Key Kids”. Who was then raising our children? Not the parents.

Slowly but surely the American family became more & more dysfunctional. The kids were beginning to get out of hand. A new moral phrase was born, “Let boys be boys”. Now parents were turning a blind eye to discipline issues with their unruly children. The pregnancy rates soared. Divorce was on the rise. The family unit began crumbling.

Enter the age of electronic entertainment. Computers became the rage in 1980 and thus began the race to see who could get one first. The entertainment industry saw a new market, Latch Key Kids who had lots of money and time. The video gaming industry was born. Now our young generation became shut-ins, preferring to self-entertain with mindless violent first-shooter video games. Out went their days of sports, stick ball and kicking the can down the street with their friends. No more riding their bicycles  outfitted with a clothespin and a baseball card in the spokes.

Kids stopped talking to kids as well as their parents. They became engrossed with a fantasy world that was violent beyond social norms. There were few alternatives available, everything in the video game industry became violent. If it wasn’t violent it didn’t sell. The video industry declared, “We can’t have that”, so they brought along better, more realistic graphics for their more powerful personal computers and gaming machine. The kids were hooked.

Fast forward to today. Kids don’t talk to anyone unless it’s texted. Shoot, we laugh at video clips showing multiple teens and now tweens sitting together, each texting someone out there. Not one word is spoken between them. I see a future where wedding ceremonies are interrupted by constant twitter alerts.

This photo represents a cry for sanity. We have eyes but we can’t see the changes destroying our families, our society. We’re deaf to the cries of our children who find themselves in a world filled with violent bullies at school, on the bus and on the streets. Mom & dad don’t involve themselves in their children’s lives as they did 20 years ago. They’re disconnected from the reality of this world. God help us all! Wake up people! Is anyone out there? 😦

Is There Anyone Out There?

Congress: We’re Watching You

Let this just be a reminder that our illustrious political parties are already home enjoying the kind of family gathering wealthy people enjoy. Never mind unfinished business that affects every single American in the coming year. The top 2% of those wealthy can raise a glass to celebrate their victory over raised taxes. The Republicans have stonewalled the wishes of the American public by refusing, at any cost, to raise the tax rates on the wealthiest of Americans. They’d rather keep their constituents happy & stay in office, burdening the poor & middle class with more taxation. Nice going rich people! You’ve spent your money well, buying votes. Don’t forget we’re watching you though. Sooner or later you will fall from your high horse and pay the piper.

Christmas Wrap 2

A Letter To My Senator

I am one Republican that wants my representatives to know I am not happy
with my party's decision to stonewall efforts to avoid the fiscal cliff.
As a senior living solely on Social Security checks, I feel the rich
must pay more to help our nation. Don't even try to tell me they would
be hurting paying more taxes. My yearly income, including Social
Security checks, is under $20,000. I qualify for food stamps, HUD
supplemental housing and food banks.  My only medical coverage is
Veteran's Medical benefits. I'm tired of carrying the burden for this
country while the rich get richer. If you don't support an increase in
taxes on the top 2% of earners in this country you can forget my vote
for any political office, even dog catcher. Enough is enough! Get off
your ass and learn to compromise. - Robert W. Mielke

Reminders of Spring

Flower 36I don’t think it’s too early to start dreaming of Spring. Around here it has been raining so much we must take vitamin D supplements to augment our loss of the natural kind, the sun. I’ve already been looking at flower pots at Ikea and seed packages at gardening shops. Since I believe in starting from seed for my yearly balcony garden, choices must involve research. With a shade tree a mere 6 feet from my balcony railing, the flowers I choose must do well in shade. Past poor decisions are always a disappointment. Begonias do well and the super tough petunias always work. I had a bit of success with African Daisies but they don’t bloom as well as a sunlit location. Still, I can dream of the 3 months of sunlight we experience in Portland, OR each year.

African Daisies

New Postings on 500px

I’ve signed up for a new free account on 500px to build a portfolio of my best photographs. I’ve posted all these here on Northwest Photographer but if you’d like to see my growing collection all at one place check out: http://500px.com/bobmielke.  Thanks

Former Marine Stands Guard

eyeball holeI was proud of this retired Marine for taking action and guarding his daughter’s school. He received flack from the Marine Corp for wearing his uniform in this civilian action. The Marine offered his honorable discharge in response.

There’s too much talk & not enough action in the United States. This man acted! Good for him!. The school gave its permission for him do guard the school.