Saturday, September 30, 2006

The Weekly Photo: At Least

Other than family and special friends, my two great passions are cycling and photography, where I haven't spent enough time learning, developing (no that's NOT a pun) skills, and just working at it.

What happens is I get discouraged with my "eye" and technical ability to capture what I see in my mind's eye but that doesn't get caught in the image. So I procrastinate and put it off and put it off and put it off beating myself up with "I'm not worthy!!! I'm not worthy!!"

So to steal that ad slogan: "Just Do It."

To that end, I'm setting a goal for my self of one or two very good photographs each week. There will be a link to Weekly Photos where I'll post 'em.

Focus: The categories:

Faces Of Man (Yes, I know there's a coffeetable photo book by that name ) The charcter of and character in faces has always attracted and fascinated me. Having now traveled to so many different countries (Sri Lanka, India, Egypt, Malaysia, Thailand, England, Turkey, and China) my basic belief is that we really are all the same, has been solidified in the same emotion that a face radiates: Joy, Sadness, Pain, Delight, Sorrow, Elation, Smugness, Stoicism...and so many more. No matter the nationality, the "LOOK" is the same.

Scenery: Can't get any more wide open than that!! Landscapes, Mama Nature, Abstracts or Patterns, and more.

Sports: One of my passions and it's fun trying to capture a "sports" moment, so I'll attend the Shanghai American School sporting events.

Cycling: Enough said. Just doing an essay on the various types of bicycles in China could take up all my spare time.

Images Within: Sometimes the larger image is the smaller part of something.

Spent the last day of September, Saturday the 30th, as the "Okay Just Do It" day. It didn't help that it was raining. Yes I know there can be wonderful rain images, but I'm now down to one camera and I'm going to be overly careful with it.

I'll update this with the "one or two" images for the last week in September.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

A Ride Around Zhudi Town

I'm finding that there are only so many roads to cycle around here that aren't busier than the proverbial one armed paper hanger. There are some short side streets that are absolutely deserted. Go figure.

Ah but at least I can cycle and explore. However, I don't think there are going to be "Oh My Gosh" landscape shots, so I'll have to look for the pearl images amongst the oysters.

One of the photos below gives a whole new definition to "TV Guy". Note the rice paddy with a development behind it. About eight years ago this whole area was nothing but farms and rice paddies. Now I'll cycle past a warehouse or factory, make a turn, and there is a small rice paddy or patch of land being worked for what it's worth. And I'm sure that's a lot for these folks.


Monday, September 18, 2006

Would You Like To Be My Neighbor ??

Even Mr. Rogers would have a tough time making neighbors here: The Chinese appear to be very stoic, reserved, and emotion checked.

I ride a very unusual bike called a folding recumbent and I've dubbed it "...the smile and make you wave bike..". It seems to have that effect wherever I ride it. Well now it's almost wherever. Doesn't happen that much here in the outskirts of Shanghai in Zhudi Town, where the Shanghai Racquet Club is located. Wait..that's also my home for the most of the next two years.

I'm thinking because there are soooooooo many types of bikes here, that mine is just another bike. That would be the case if they didn't know that I can see them stop, turn around, sometimes point, smile, giggle in my rear view mirror. As I pass often there is no sign of recognition, until I'm by them. Then the looking glass reveals all.

At least I got to ride around the neighborhood today. Right now I'm a bit hesitant to take pics of people in their environment until I learn how to ask permission in Mandarin. After eight lessons I've learned: "Wah tshong hua ediar toom shee pea jo", which translates to something like "I would like to drink some beer."

SOME PICS (To view large image, double left click on image. Then use back button on browser to return to COGITATION)

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Good Morrrrrrrrrrrnnning Shanghai

Long story short: I'm in Shanghai because Sue, the better half, is a high school counselor for the Shanghai American School in Zhudi Town, an outer suburb of Shanghai. I'm what's called "..a trailing spouse.." meaning I'm not a teaching spouse, but here on her sponsorship. In other words, she can kick me out of the country.

The view to the left is the view from our balcony at Shanghai Racquet Club, which has all the amenities associated with "Racquet Club". It's definitely the Ying or the Yang, but the opposite of where most "Shanghainese" live, which will be shown later after one of the Friday after school bike trips to places unknown. Unknown because I did one this past Friday, led by Lou, the Middle School PE Instructor. Lou has been here for eight years and probably now knows every backroad, including open sewage pits, to out of the way villages.

What's going to be difficult about this BLOG is to keep the posts about Shanghai life short because there is soooooooooo much to see here. In one short week, I've seen the best and worst of living conditions. A pic as they say is worth a 1,000 words, so this BLOG will have more than its share of links to photo albums.

Thursday, September 14, 2006


Welcome to me blog.

You'll find postings about travels, cycling, photography and musings, that is if I ever find the right muse. Or maybe I have.

Feel free to leave a comment or two.