FOTOFRIDAY

FOTOFRIDAY: Slab City, Near Palm Springs

Posted on: Friday, December 6th, 2019
Posted in: Travelog, FOTOFRIDAY | Leave a comment
Kirk Horsted

Alternative living community—busy in winter. “Slab” used to be a navy base; now it’s a seasonal “home” for a counter-culture tribe of nomads and artists. Artful, edgy, fun to photograph. Recommended for intrepid travelers only.

Like my camera-carrying daughter!

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FOTOFRIDAY: Ahh, Italia…

Posted on: Friday, November 22nd, 2019
Posted in: Sabbatical Shuffle, Travelog, FOTOFRIDAY | Leave a comment
Kirk Horsted

Breakaway has already reported on the growing trend of offering sabbaticals as a marketing ploy. But have did you know that 280,000 people applied for airbnb’s sabbatical in Italy? Their mission for the free adventure? “Breathe new life” into the fading hilltown of Grottole—home to 300 residents. AND 600 empty homes!

It’s funny: Pastoral life in ailing Italy sounds like paradise to frazzled people everywhere. Yet in Italy, they seem to be abandoning the old ways and places to race into modernity. Such are the ways of…progress.

I’ve not visited Grottole, but I do love Barga, the Tuscan valley town that’s today’s FOTOFRIDAY pic. Barga is thriving, actually. But it’s surrounded by no less than 9 hilltowns in varying stages of abandonment and decay. Still, like 280,000 kindred spirits, I’d gladly BreakAway to volunteer for three months to help keep old Italy from dying.

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FOTOFRIDAY: Sunrise, Sunset

Posted on: Friday, November 15th, 2019
Posted in: SoulTrain, FOTOFRIDAY | Leave a comment

Which is it? One rarely knows at first glimpse (of a photo). And frankly, most of us can tire of looking at other people’s sunrise/set pics, right? So you need not look—or read—for long. It’s just that this is what I saw when I reluctantly got out of bed and faced the first snow on the water today. Winter’s battle of restful versus dreadful has begun.

The ice and lake water will also battle like this for, oh, weeks, maybe a month, maybe more. The beauty can almost—almost!—compete with a lush summer day. That opposing season’s warmth and light will return, or so we’re told.

Meanwhile, we’re now officially on thin ice. So be careful. And try to enjoy.

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FOTOFRIDAY: Dark & Stormy Daze

Posted on: Friday, November 8th, 2019
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Kirk Horsted
Kirk Horsted

This Friday’s photo comes from a lovely tiny hill town an hour from the Rome airport, making the village the ideal stopover before getting up early and driving to catch a plane. (Remember to return your rental car.) This fall evening was the last night in Italy as part of a four-month RTW trip in 2000/2001.

That fall, Europe was getting POUNDED with terrible weather. The day of this pic, I had driven several hours from Tuscany—hydroplaning and dodging trucks the whole way. So even though I got drenched to capture this picture, I was giddy just to arrive alive.

Here and now, we’ve had record-breaking precip in MN this year. And I’ve sat through many a rain-soaked soccer game to cheer my daughter on—making this 19-year-old image oddly familiar again. Daylight Saving Time has come and gone. And we’ve entered The Dark Daze. But back to our pic: Yes, these guys are warming up to play a soccer game. And yes, they played. The show—the game—must go on!

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FOTOFRIDAY: Stay Bullish

Posted on: Friday, November 1st, 2019
Posted in: Spendology, FOTOFRIDAY, Wily Mktg | Leave a comment
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FOTOFRIDAY: La Dolce Far Nikon

Posted on: Friday, October 25th, 2019
Posted in: Unplugging, FOTOFRIDAY | Leave a comment

This shot just popped up on my desktop. That’s me, in a reflective mood, absorbed by the familiar Italian phrase that means (approximately) the sweetness of doing nothing. What’s more interesting: I don’t recall where I was. Which brings up the topic of photography, as nowadays most everyone is a photographer, yet hardly anyone uses a camera.

Instead, they use phones which, of course, can do anything—including take pictures. The benefits are obvious, from convenience to concealment to insta-SM-ing if you wish. Phone photos also tell you when and where you took the image, if not what you had for lunch.

This shot came from a real, hefty, cumbersome Nikon. Hence, the incomplete info. My SLR camera tells the DATE, but not the PLACE, which now strikes me as strange. Which can only mean one thing: I need to take more real pictures. Drag my Nikon around more often. The quality is decidedly superior, even if the metadata is, shall we say, unplugged.

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FOTOFRIDAY: Fall Break!

Posted on: Friday, October 18th, 2019
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The summer daze disappears fast when school starts. Then fall hits hard with its books, sports, and chilly breezes. Good news: Most schools meet (at most) only about 180 days a year. And the first big break happens right about now.

In Minnesota, we call it MEA weekend, which really stretches to nearly 5 days for students, and 4 for teachers. Oh yes, people get away. The airport gets slammed. Families seek one last road trip, cabin closure, or—in the case of this picture—campus visits to potential places of future higher education.

That’s where I’ll be. Touring grand old schools with my daughter, while spending rare time with my son who just last spring graduated from a fine university and now makes his home in Chicago working for Bears. Like family, travel and education go hand in hand.

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FOTOFRIDAY: Amazon Brings IT!!!

Posted on: Friday, October 11th, 2019
Posted in: Rants & Roadkill, FOTOFRIDAY, Wily Mktg | Leave a comment

This perfectly mediocre picture may elicit mixed reactions. For me, another Amazon package arriving might make me excited about my new thing…angry about their wasteful deliveries and packaging…sad about all the local, face-to-face businesses that have died…and worried about materialism, neighborhoods, and their underpaid employees.

Travel can take you away from these worries. And my next major-league BreakAway should be Amazon-free—where no giant PRIME trucks block quiet streets. Where children don’t consume on their phones as a routine pastime. And where chirpy shopkeepers take pride in running a family business, and somehow make a living doing so.

I’ve been to these places—and hope you have too. The villages of Italy. The ports of the Caribbean. Small towns in the Midwest. And independent countries all over the planet that think outside the envelope. Meantime: I’m guilty as charged. When you need a THING, it’ll magically appear on your door the next day. May you shop in interesting times.

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FOTOFRIDAY: Only in California?

Posted on: Friday, October 4th, 2019
Posted in: Travelog, FOTOFRIDAY | Leave a comment

Why do you travel? One reason many would mention is to see new things. Indeed, your sense of observation gets more keen when in a new place. You just plain pay more attention.

That’s not to say that a rainbow poodle would go unnoticed on the streets where you live. I’m guessing that’s the point of painting your poodle: To draw attention. This particular critter crossed my path in Carmel, California, and seemed almost as interested in me as I was in him.

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FOTOFRIDAY: GBA, GBPR!

Posted on: Friday, September 27th, 2019
Posted in: Travelog, FOTOFRIDAY | Leave a comment
Kirk Horsted

God Bless America gets plenty of play. Heck, they still sing the song during the 7th-inning stretch at every Sunday MLB baseball game.

God Bless Puerto Rico? Not so much. Talk about being thrown curveballs, spitballs, and beanballs! In recent years, this unlucky territory of the USA has suffered catastrophic weather, skimpy support (not to mention abuse) from Mother Country USA, and a rapidly declining population as people flee their beloved but beleaguered homeland.

This week, Puerto Rico got pounded again by nasty weather. Sad. These are real people—real Americans. I’ve spent some time there, and aim to again. So today I salute Puerto Rico and wish them continued toughness and tenacity as they brave all these rough seas.

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