…as the lovely saying goes.  Happy adages aside, today just  happens to be World Smile Day www.worldsmileday.com.  And it’s a Friday…even more reason to smile.

So like the Chuang Yen Monastery Buddha pictured here, at least for today, laugh, be happy, and keep a smile on your face!

Smiling creates good karma!

Smiling creates good karma!

Image available for editorial stock photo purchase at www.kaphotollc.com

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I recently spent several days in and around Tucson, Arizona.  The weather every day was a hot, sunny, and dry +/- 105 degrees F.  When I got back to New York and deplaned at JFK, it felt like a boxing glove punched me in the face when I felt the 80 degree F with 86% humidity air.  It felt A LOT hotter!  I love the warm, even hot, weather.  But high humidity…not so much!  Give me that dry heat any day.

Saguaro Cactus as seen along the road in Tucson, Arizona

Saguaro Cactus as seen along the road in Tucson, Arizona

The above photo is available for stock photo licensing at http://www.kaphotollc.com

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Clouds usually make for more interesting and beautiful sunrises and sunsets. The American Southwest is not typically a cloudy place, though. So when clouds are around during very dry spells, those clouds are usually not the moisture-bearing kind.  Instead, they can be the very damaging and life-threatening smoke clouds caused by a raging fire.

The clouds in this June 18, 2013, Sedona, Arizona, sunset photo were caused by the Doce Fire which started two days earlier on June 16 in Prescott, Arizona. Later in the month, the more well-known and devastating Yarnell Hill Fire, also in Prescott, went on to kill 19 elite firefighters.

Prescott fire clouds seen at sunset over Sedona, Arizona, June 18, 2013

Prescott fire clouds seen at sunset over Sedona, Arizona, June 18, 2013

Above photo is available for stock photo purchase at http://www.kaphotollc.com
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She was one of the most famous and influential psychologists of our time who, in her own words “invented media psychology.”  Dr. Brothers began dispensing advice on WNBC in 1958 and continued doing so via TV, radio, and in numerous magazine and newspaper articles throughout the rest of her career.  Joyce Brothers passed away two days ago on May 13, 2013.  I had the great good fortune to meet and photograph her on assignment for Hudson Valley Magazine in early 1993.

I was a bit startled when shortly after ringing the doorbell of her sprawling hi-rise apartment in Fort Lee, New Jersey, a woman in a bathrobe and slippers with curlers in her hair and not a stitch of make-up answered the door.  For sure I thought I was at the wrong apartment.  But, indeed, it was Dr. Brothers herself, totally unembellished.

Noticing my confused look, she explained that she waited for me to arrive before getting ready knowing full well that it would take me some time to choose locations and set-up lights.  Of course, she was a real pro, and had been to many more photos shoots than even I had up until that time.  It took me about an hour to prepare during which time she did the same, and a very successful and fun photo shoot followed.  She was a very lovely person and a joy to work with.

RIP Dr. Brothers.  Thanks for a wonderful photo shoot, and for your contribution to the world of psychology.

My photo of Dr. Joyce Brothers on the cover of the March 1993 issue of Hudson Valley Magazine

My photo of Dr. Joyce Brothers on the cover of the March 1993 issue of Hudson Valley Magazine

Hudson Valley Magazine inside text re Dr. Joyce Brothers

Hudson Valley Magazine inside text re Dr. Joyce Brothers

Dr. Joyce Brothers in her living room in Fort Lee, New Jersey Inside photo for March 1993 issue of Hudson Valley Magazine

Dr. Joyce Brothers in her living room in Fort Lee, New Jersey
Inside photo for March 1993 issue of Hudson Valley Magazine

 

Proving once again that it’s wise to keep a camera close at hand, this lovely dragonfly appeared next to me as I was enjoying an outdoor lunch. Serendipity for sure. I learned later that this beautiful creature also has so much symbolism attached to it. I suppose that comes with the territory of being so visually striking. This link has some interesting information about the  meaning and symbolism of the dragonfly http://www.dragonfly-site.com/meaning-symbolize.html

A compelling sight.  A dragonfly seen in Sedona, AZ, its colors matching the beautiful red rock of the area.

A compelling sight. A dragonfly seen in Sedona, AZ, its colors matching the beautiful red rock of the area.

Image is available for stock photo licensing at http://www.kaphotollc.com
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When Katharine Andriotis is not enjoying an alfresco lunch next to a dragonfly, she’s busy photographing for companies on-site for use in corporate communications and public relations.

Happy Birthday 1040!

April 15, 2013

Has it only been 100 years since Americans have been filing the 1040 federal tax form?  Seems a lot longer!  When the 1040 form was “born” in 1913, it was only one page and only a mere 3% of the population was required to pay federal taxes.  Today, the 1040 form is a bit more elaborate, and 54% of us have to add to the coffers of the United States Treasury.

Although such percentages as well as tax rates have varied over the years, as the adage goes, two things in life are certain.  And you already know what those two things are!

"You have to pay your partner!" as an accountant of mine used to always say

“You have to pay your partner!”
as an accountant of mine used to always say

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By land…

In the middle of nowhere - dry. The road to nowhere has been found, as pictured here in a scene from somewhere in the American Southwest.

In the middle of nowhere – dry.
The road to nowhere has been found, as pictured here in a scene from somewhere in the American Southwest.

And by sea…

In the middle of nowhere - wet. Sun setting behind dark clouds somewhere over the Atlantic ocean.

In the middle of nowhere – wet.
Sun setting behind dark clouds somewhere over the Atlantic ocean.

Images are available for stock photo licensing at http://www.kaphotollc.com

Click on Search tab, enter Keywords:  middle of nowhere

Today the United States Supreme Court heard arguments on California’s Prop 8 (or, as some refer to it, Prop Hate), which bans marriage equality for same-sex couples in the state.  To true advocates of human and civil rights, marriage is a fundamental right that ALL consenting adults must have.  Recognizing that basic human right are eleven countries (Argentina, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Iceland, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, South Africa, and Sweden), several sub-national jurisdictions in Brazil and Mexico, and nine states in the USA (Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, New Hampshire, New York, Vermont, and Washington), plus the District of Columbia, plus three tribal jurisdictions (Coquille Tribe/Oregon, Suquamish Tribe/Washington, and Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians/Michigan).  Same-sex marriage laws are proposed and pending in many countries and jurisdictions throughout the world.

In June 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court is expected to announce their decision from today’s arguments.  May they decide on the right side of history, and all adult citizens of the United States will finally enjoy the freedom to marry.  And the marriage of the women pictured below (who were together for 32 years when they legally married in New York in 2011) will be recognized throughout the entire United States.

The first same-sex couple to be married in Westchester County, New York, on July 24, 2011, the day New York State's Marriage Equality Law went into effect.

The first same-sex couple to be married in Westchester County, New York, on July 24, 2011, the day New York State’s Marriage Equality Law went into effect.

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Art Extraordinaire!

March 20, 2013

Snow and cold temperatures may still linger, and the rains are yet to come.  But spring has arrived in the northern hemisphere, and soon all its glorious colors will begin to emerge.  Let the photos below (from spring 2012) remind you of the visual feast about to arrive!

Wildflowers and Lily Pads at Monet's Gardens in Giverny, France

Wildflowers and Lily Pads at Monet’s Gardens in Giverny, France

Kensington Palace Gardens at Springtime

Kensington Palace Gardens at Springtime

Images available for editorial stock photo licensing at www.kaphotollc.com
Click on Search tab, type Keywords: giverny (for top photo), kensington (for bottom photo)

The Rule of Three

March 12, 2013

The Three Stooges, Three Little Pigs, Goldilocks and the Three Bears. There’s a principle in writing known as the rule of three, whereby things which come in threes are more effective, more satisfying, and funnier. Below, a graphic example of the principle at work!

Three Traveling Women getting advice at the Information Booth in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Three Traveling Women getting advice at the Information Booth in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Photo available for stock editorial licensing at http://www.kaphotollc.com
Click on Search tab, enter Keywords: rule of three

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