Ramble On

Leaves are falling all around…it’s time I was on my way…

It’s feeling like fall finally and that’s guitar weather for me.

Going to write something today. Wish me luck!

The Serenity Now

Pelican Bay, Jackson Lake, Grand Tetons, Wyoming…

Going through some more photographs of our recent trip I came across this one.

My wife walked up to the pizza place we couldn’t find all week. Seems we drove past the sign numerous times and each time missed, and suddenly there is was, here at Pelican Bay on Jackson Lake.

And as she walked over to pick up our order, I walked down to the waters edge. Honestly I could have stayed here for a long time.

‘Serenity Now’ I kept thinking in my head, the Season 9, episode 3 show from Seinfeld where Georges dad keeps saying ‘serenity now, serenity now…’ is hilarious.

But this scene…I felt like I was staring at a painting.

It’s moments like this I talk about often on the podcast, being mindful of the moment, taking time to live in the present and appreciate the little things…like this serene scene…

Yesterday I took a walk into the woods along a trail I sometimes go to. It was quiet, nothing but insects chirping, birds tweeting, the sound of water trickling off in the distance, leaves falling…it was a great disconnect.

Yesterday’s walk in the state of Delaware, USA

And suddenly a thought came upon me as I stood there for a moment, a memory of a podcast some months back, ‘Is God Real’ and then the follow up episode ‘God Is Real’ and how I stated that in everything I see around me, God is present…and how with so much going on in the world it is incredibly hard to even think of God being present in such turmoil, such negativity surrounding us all.

Wyoming and Montana are beautiful places as is Idaho. I remember a few instances of taking early morning walks with my camera as my wife slept, heading into the woods and thinking about the large omnivores that live there; Grizzly bears, Black bears…and yet I still walked…and I reminded myself I had no bear spray and what I was doing could be considered reckless, and simultaneously I felt very alive, in the moment, mindful of the situation.

Early morning walk, Yellowstone, Wyoming

Disconnececting to connect is something I used to do often, and sort of got away from it with the advent of Covid and everything crazy that accompanied that, this time, people stressed.

These situations are not over. Not certain if they ever will be. But I think now more than ever it’s important we have some private time to ourselves just to recharge, be it on a park bench, practicing photography, exercising, walking in the woods as I am currently now doing, or just sitting on the banks of a lake and staring at serenity before us, as I did in the photograph above.

Serenity now…Serenity now…

Have a great day!

Episode 132 is now available. You can listen on this website or wherever you listen to podcasts.

Thank you for being here, and have a great day!


Finding Subjects Podcast

The Moment

My family often suggests to me that it’s ok NOT to photograph everything. That sometimes just being in the moment is more important than capturing an image of a moment you may have missed. That is hard for me to do.

I’m working on being in the moment, appreciating the moment, being in the ‘now’ instead of always capturing the best shot in order to share that with others.

This particular image was one of the moments I was very aware of what my family often says to me. I captured the shot and put my camera away…and just stared at the beauty before me.

I thought about how lucky I was to be there, staring at the Grand Tetons, breathing the fresh air, being there with my wife, thinking about my kids and how grateful I am for everything in my life, and suddenly I realized I was doing it again, not being in that exact moment, when I’m not thinking about anything but what is in front of me, and I laughed at how hard that is for me to do, being completely in the moment of something, giving it my all, concentrating on the intricacies of what is before me.

The field before me, the dark green conifers pointing skyward, and suddenly the sharp rising rocks rising up to fill the horizon with nothing but jagged peaks. The snow captured within those rocks at elevation and the blue sky serving as a backdrop.

That is what they mean, my family, what they want me to see, even though I do see it often, through the lens, they expressed the importance of being completely in the moment, aware, appreciative, utilizing all of the senses to fully experience that particular moment.

I did all of that here. Set my camera down and stood there, staring, breathing deeply the clean mountain air, listening to the silence, excited to be there, taking it all in, and again…feeling grateful and blessed for that particular moment, the mindfulness, all of it…

I’m sorry I’ve been away from this page for so long. Covid caught up to me and after a month it still lingers. I thought I’d be better by now. I’m one of those breakthrough cases you hear about, someone who has been vaccinated and still gets Covid, and then the symptoms linger a long time…

I am thankful I got the vaccine. Can’t imagine how it would have affected me if I hadn’t. After this long it gets old, I get frustrated I have a burst of energy and then I’m sacked for the rest of the day. And simultaneously I am very grateful to be here.

It’s affected the podcast, this site, my Instagram page, all of it…and with that it is discouraging trying to so hard and being forced to backslide…

Being down for the count also gives one a ton of time to think, to consider the journey we are on in life and what we should be doing or could be doing.

I awoke today and was inspired that no matter what I would get on FindingSubjects.com and write something. I like writing. I could always write something and then read it on the podcast, yes? Like these words? Maybe that’s something I will do in the future?

That’s the origins of all of this anyways…to take a photograph…and talk about it…and find the subjects within each photograph no matter how deep it may be…

For me, there is always a story behind each photo I take. Maybe I need to fully get behind that mindset and stick with it. Maybe people will like that and get behind it?

I’m running out of energy once again…I hate when this happens…but I have hope it will slowly dissipate and I’ll be back to myself in due time…but until then…I will focus on the moments…continuing to be very appreciative of what was, what will be, and most importantly, what currently is, the moment right in front of me now.

Have a great day, all. Thanks for being here. Thank you for reading.


Finding Subjects

Exploring Iceland

There’s previous podcast episodes on this very trip and we recorded from this very scene (note Zoom H-6 Recorder in hands), beautiful heading out on the Zodiac to explore icebergs and glaciers.

Check out these Iceland episodes on our previous posted shows!

Have a great day!


Girl On The Train

The Tubes, London, England

Going through the shots at the end of the day I came across this one and wondered…who is she…this woman to the right…looking out of the window of the train she sits within that sped past me…

I could swear our eyes met for an instant and in that same instant…she was gone.

We encounter people like this all of the time and typically I wouldn’t give it a second thought until that precise moment showed up in an image I happen to have taken, this image.

Early-to-mid twenties I’d guess? A grad student heading to university? Working towards a Doctorate? Is she happy? Sad? Married? Single? Kind? Nasty?

It’s all part of a game I play sometimes trying to figure people out, even if I only catch a glimpse of them on a speeding train. I can’t help but wonder who they are, these strangers who pass us by each day…

Recording the next episode currently…hopefully released by Thursday or Friday. Was planning on Monday but life happens. But looking forward to the new system, more organized, more of a road map for me instead of just four wheeling the show and knowing where I have to end up and taking any road I want to get there.

Ok, it’s a beautiful day, I have to get going. Have a great day yourself. Talk to you soon! Tony

Eating London

I’m sitting on my balcony right now watching the landscaping crew put mulch down. It’s a beautiful day out, actually a little cold, but I am typically out here on this balcony with the camera and a pad and pen or in this case today, the laptop.

Going through some recent photos of a trip to the UK with my daughter, I came upon this picture of a food truck along the Thames.

I remember being there and thinking ‘I want one of everything they sell here.’

I was starving, and couldn’t figure out if it was going to be the hotdog deal, or the hot waffles, or a donut or five, and some ice cream.

As I was trying to decide I heard my daughter call me, she was at a food cart behind me ordering food, she ordered for me, fish and chips. I laughed and walked towards her.

London was like that for me. All types of food that I’d like to try, some I did and wished I hadn’t and other meals, they were very similar to anything I could get back home.

Take for instance Chicken Tikka Masala…In three weeks time I’ll be you we had that more than half the time. I don’t know why. It was good, quick, filling, it just worked. My daughter isn’t a foodie. I’m not certain if I am. She’s more of a ‘food is for sustenance’ person and not a social eater. Me, food is always a party.

I turned around and snapped this photo before I walked away. I figured I could always return here whenever I want with the pic.

Fish and Chips and Chicken Tikka Masala…I’m pretty certain that covered it for me in the UK, and of course tea and biscuits or some sort. We had tea everyday, which was pretty cool to take time out and relax, and drink tea.

We were drinking the tea one day and suddenly a fist fight broke out in front of the store. Yeah, two well dressed men starting throwing hands at each other.

“You think it was the tea?” I asked my daughter.

“I think it’s possibly what they may have put in the tea, Dad,” she said.

Down on the ground they went.

“That big guy is slow with the fists,” I said.

“He’s leaving his left open, oh, there is was, that had to hurt,” I continued.

“You wanna play you’re gonna pay,” I said ‘Look at that tear on his knee. Ouch,’ I grinned. ‘Do we have to pay extra for this?’ I said. My daughter shaking her head at me.

In no time they were on their feet, hugging each other, sloppy drunk I guessed, they’d pay for it the next morning with the pains they’d both feel, I was certain.

The mulching is finished. Ten guys tossing mulch and that will happen quickly. You can smell it all the way up here on the seventh floor. The trees are beginning to bud. They say this is the year of the cicada’s hatching after seventeen years?

I could swear they said this a few years ago. Maybe they hatch in waves, or divisions, like the NFC and the AFC, and they alternate years or something, needless to say, I personally can’t wait for them to hatch. I really enjoy the noise they make, like flying miniature rattlesnakes, they are, except for the poison bite or any bite for that matter, just the rattling noise.

Can you imagine that, if rattle snakes flew? That would not be a good thing. Yes, just rambling on today. The rest of the household recieved the Covid vaccine yesterday and they aren’t feeling well today, so I’m out here, just thinking, and suddenly two more trucks show up with even more mulchers.

They have their own mulching army right now, it’s impressive. I’m thinking our mulching army could beat up the mulchers I passed down the street earlier in the day. I wonder if they play each other in football or soccer? Landscaping wars, kind of. They should if they don’t now.

Wait a minute…they are all sitting down…this is an organized sit down…oh…wait a minute…they are now eating. It’s their lunch time, they are just lunching.

Hang on a minute. The Citizen App is texting me. It’s the final day for walk-up vaccines in Philly. It goes by zip code, you live in a certain zip code you can go, but it still goes by phases, so just because you live in that code you still need the phase or you aren’t getting the shot, you get that? Code, then phase, condition, then shot, no cheating.

Ever miss someone? I’m missing someone right now. Haven’t seen them in a very long time. Life just happens like that sometimes. We go off certain ways. One minute we are hanging out, then suddenly it’s decades later and you’re sitting on your balcony wondering what the hell happened?

Things change. People change. Sometimes we make decisions and those choices cause change. Basically everything in life changes, nothing stays the same.

I’ve been missing a few people lately, my parents, a few friends that have passed away, and I’m thinking how crazy this ride has been, life, thirty-four years old and diagnosed with the heart problem, basically becoming so absorbed with that in my life, worrying about my wife and children, would I be here for them in the future, how would they get to college, how would we afford it, how will I keep my home, what would we do…

I remember so many sleepless nights laying in bed staring at the ceiling through the darkness, as the rest of the world slept as I wondered how things happen, and why, praying for time, just more time…and nothing more…

Years passed and suddenly I was forty, and honestly, I don’t remember much about years thirty-four to forty, it’s like I was somewhere else and I felt so cheated and hoped I hadn’t cheated the others in my life I care about by being that constant reminder that things aren’t going well for us.

We think that way sometimes, like we are burdens…

And in all that worry, all of those years…my oldest graduated college three years ago and my youngest daughter graduates college in a few months.

People say to me ‘You did and excellent job in raising your girls.’

I reply…I didn’t do anything but support them in anything they wanted to do.

Somehow in all of that adversity, things just worked themselves out…or…that was the plan all along, I just didn’t know anything about it? The one thing I did do was trusted the process, you know, the one where you have faith in your higher power that things will work out for the best? That one?

Sometimes we have to sacrifice who we are, for what we are called to be. That’s the way I look at it. I know I am being vague here, but honestly, that’s the best way to describe it for me. I prayed about things. I mean, I prayed my ass off…for my kids to be healthy and not have what I have, for them to not be affected by the adjustments we had to make in our lives, for them to be strong independent women not afraid to go forward in life and go after what they want…

You know, that ice cream in that food truck looked really good the more I think about it. I’d have ordered a vanilla and chocolate twirl on a cone. I can never make up my mind when it comes to desserts, yeah, vanilla and chocolate would have been the call.

Hey, where the heck did the mulchers go? Their trucks are all still here…I guess they are over in the visitors parking lot. They really do a great job here.

I’m kind of glad I don’t have to do that any longer, and the lawn, and the leaves, all of it. Age in place, that’s why I am here, in a condo, eighty feet in the sky above the tree tops overlooking the Delaware Valley in Pennsylvania in my little piece of heaven…the creek, sun is glistening off of the surface as it ripples over the rocks…

Yup…if you’d of asked me when I was thirty-four where I’d be in my late fifties, I am afraid I would have said St. Peter and Paul Cemetery with the rest of my family.

Then again, I never thought I’d get to London, or any of the places I’ve been to.

I’m thinking when God has a plan for us, there isn’t anything or anyone that can stop it’s progress, and when we are uncertain about our direction, maybe we just pray about it?

A chocolate and vanilla twist and a donut. That’s my final order, that’s what I’d of gotten for sure…

Northern Cardinal

As many times as I’ve seen a Northern Cardinal in my life I still always stop to observe them when given the chance. Just beautiful creatures as far as I am concerned and their call and song remind me of my childhood for some reason.

Not certain which day I’ll be able to record the next episode of Finding Subjects Podcast this week, but I’ll get into the bunker as soon as I can and begin on it.

Today is the first day of the rest of our lives. We have heard that before, but I just can’t get that saying out of my head the past few days. So I think it’s time to crack down on a few things, tasks, if you will, that I have set before myself and have halfheartedly accomplished.

It’s time to focus…sharpen the determination…and get it done.

Got anything you are dragging your feet on?

Anything you may want to do but are actually, subliminally, kind of afraid to undertake for fear of completing that task?

Why would someone be fearful of completing a task they want to achieve in the first place?

Well…that would equate to change…and sometimes we are not very good as welcoming change…

Take me for instance…I like when things stay as they are, however to progress in life in certain areas, change is necessary, and so possibly within we all self sabotage just to keep in the flow of the status quo…I don’t know…

So the one foot is not only stepping forward but coming down with a thunderous boom, followed closely by the next foot. Yes I am being vague but this is where you insert your own mission, your own task you need to fine tune and achieve.

You ready for this? Some things, a lot of things, take time and patients, as will my tasks, however in the end, they will have significant positive impacts on my life and help me achieve a few dreams in that now half-full bucket of lists I carry around.

Lets get it done. Focus. You got this!

Nothing worthwhile is ever easy, if it were, everyone would be the best at what they do…

Have a fantastic day, good luck, and for those scary things we have little or no control over, I will keep us all in the prayers as I hope you will to me in our daily trek through life.

Be cool to others, and yes I will say it, ‘Go forth and love your peoples!’

Talk to you soon!


The Fisherman

A warm summer day and this guy was bundled up from head to toe to protect himself from the sun. Smart guy. I grew up fishing in this same area, but typically with a long stick, some fishing line or whatever string we could find, a hook, and a worm that we dug for on the end. Great memories.

Met A Friend…

Ran into this little one in the woods and had a very cool moment of ‘checking each other out’ interaction. I often dream of owning thousands of acres and making it off limits to humans.

Sorry, but I have a soft spot for wildlife, and that slides into a conversation about hunting, and not the act of basic hunting itself with just a rifle or bow and the deer, but all the chemicals utilized to move the level in the hunters direction for a kill. Scent sprays, baits, hit-tech optics…seriously? How about going out and hunting like we did back in the day, with the very basics?

You arrive predawn, and you hunt, you search for trails, prints, you find a spot and maybe you wait there, then you move on, and nine times out of ten you get nothing, and yet it was a good day.

That was a long time ago and personally I am glad to say I never got a deer, in fact, I never got anything, small game etc…and for me that works, and I changed all of my hunting to being armed with a Nikon.

Not a anti-hunter or anti-firearm post, just a different perspective on the subject and how it worked out for me, and what I think a level playing field would be, in fact I would take away the gun and say, use of a homemade bow and arrow or spear…now that would be more like sport to me…but I’d still choose the Nikon.

Delaware River Tug

Made my way down to the Delaware River the other day.

Saw this tugboat heading north from the Delaware Memorial Bridge towards me.

Something about being near the water I’ve always enjoyed, always have, back from the days of my youth with my father bringing me to work on the ships he worked on, and even now just to see them on the water.

This tug was about one mile south. To the north is the Commodore Barry Bridge.

Nikon D5300, Sigma 150-500mm, overcast day.

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