Category Archives: Personal Photos

Memory’s vault

Me at four days old (fourdaysold)

Nature Woman challenged her readers to post some photographs from their childhood.  At first, I scoffed at the idea.  Could anyone be interested in seeing me at four days old?  Surely not.  Don’t all babies look the same, aside from skin, eye, and hair color I mean?  They’re all babies, right?  That means they’re all little people drawn by children with big crayons who give them big features and pudgy cheeks and wide eyes trying to take in the wonders of the post-womb world.  Who wants to see that?  It sounds terribly boring, does it not?  One picture of a baby is pretty much like every other picture.  Or so I think.

Me at one year old dressed as a sailor (sailor)

Besides, who would want to see me dressed in a sailor outfit at only one year old?  Ha!  No one, I bet.  The very idea is embarrassing and totally uninteresting.  After all, at one year old with a droopy diaper and a lollypop in my hand, not to mention a sailor’s hat on my head, I must have looked silly… totally silly.  So what would be the point?

But the more I thought about her challenge, the more I wondered about the interesting, shameful, cute, and otherwise long forgotten memories I might find by looking through pictures from so many years ago.  It could be fascinating, you know?  I mean, who doesn’t enjoy some level of fondness digging blindly in memory’s vault, coming up with images and visions lurking in years past, and placing them with whatever disjointed remembrances that can still be recovered?

Me at one year old carrying a red ball in my mouth (fetch)

For example, imagine this: You’re a one-year-old child and you’ve discovered the dog’s ball.  It’s red, fascinating, bounces, and the dogs chase it with abandon and glee never before experienced in your life.  So what do you do?  You join in and start fetching the ball just as the dogs do.  Why would anyone want to share that kind of story?  More importantly, would anyone want to share a photo of the experience on the intertubes where everyone in the world can find it, and subsequently point and laugh at the baby playing canine?  I think not.

Despite my reluctance to participate in such an ill-conceived idea, I found myself taking increasing trips through photos from long ago.  Each one told a story.  They conveyed a history shared with others, an existence from so long ago as to seem detached from reality.  And it was intriguing and fun, an exploratory walk right into the mental and visual crypt holding all manner of recollections and feelings.

One of the things I encountered on this hike was a reintroduction to my childhood security blanket.  It was a stuffed parrot.  At one time, its size undoubtedly equaled my own.  But I grew and it didn’t, yet we didn’t grow apart.  I even remember one of the dogs chewing it to shreds such that we discovered it literally all over the house one day.  The experience shattered me.  How could I possibly survive without that parrot?  It seemed impossible.

Thankfully, Mom had major skillz with sewing and quickly restored to life that stitched and seamed bird.  When she returned it to me full of stuffing and looking none the worse for its horrific experience, I nearly melted.

And I took it everywhere with me.  That often meant it suffered from a dirt problem which Mom always had to tend to lest I live my life in constant suffering from parrot-induced impetigo.  In fact, I remember once being around three years old and sitting in the back of one of the family cars with my siblings, and I held that damned parrot so tightly it undoubtedly neared implosion.  But that was my friend, my security blanket, and I would never be caught without it.  At least until I grew older.

My siblings and I sitting in the back of a station wagon (siblings)

[l to r: brother Fred, me with parrot, brother Wade, and sister Roni]

Honestly, are these the kinds of things I’d want to share with the world?  Hardly.

So instead of posting any photos from my childhood that might come back to haunt me later, I decided I’d post something from when I was four years old, sitting at the dinner table, and wearing my cowboy disguise.  I figure it’s best to post something where I can never be recognized than it would be to post something that might somehow be linked to the current me.

So here you go:

Me at four years old sitting at the dining table wearing a fake mustache and a cowboy hat (cowboy)

Now that I feel like I’ve met the challenge, I think it’s time to find some dinner.  Now where’s that clip-on mustache and cowboy hat…

[Update] See Mom’s comment for a clarification on the sailor photo and her disclaimer on the dog’s ball.

Of dogs and death

Mom informed me today that another of the family pets has died, and this after I was terribly remiss by not speaking up last June when yet another left us.  To remedy that, please accept this photo post showing both dogs in whatever glory has been captured in these pictures.  Here are introductory photos to get you started and to identify both of the now absent friends; the rest are below the fold.

First, here’s Booger who left the world only yesterday…

Booger lying on the floor peeking up at me (140_4067)

And here’s Cody whose absence has been felt since last summer…

Cody sitting on the floor next to the dining table (140_4073)

And both of them in the last photo I took of the two canines…

Booger and Cody sitting in the dining room (140_4072)

This is Cody with Sam, one of my mother’s cats who left us quite some time ago.

Sam rubbing against Cody (01 Cody and Sam 4)

This is Booger standing at my feet hoping I’ll throw the piece of hose again.  Oh, how she loved to play fetch, even to the point of exhaustion.

Booger standing at my feet with a piece of hose she hopes I'll throw so she can fetch it (03 Jason Booger)

And here’s Cody after intercepting that piece of hose, although, unlike Booger, he didn’t return it.  Instead, he wanted you to chase him for it.  We never could get that dog to fetch properly—or at all.

Cody standing with a piece of hose in his mouth waiting for someone to chase him (03 Cody)

This is Booger sitting on Dawg’s head.  Dawg was another pit bull who preceded Cody and died some years ago.  He too was a wonderful, warm, and —as you can see—gentle soul.

Booger sitting on Dawg's head (97 Dawg & Booger)

Here’s Booger wondering when all the picture taking will stop and all the petting and playing will begin.

Booger lying on the floor waiting for some affection or play (140_4069)

Here’s Cody playing with my brother Fred.  Even a flashlight can be a wonderful thing in a dog’s eyes…

Cody playing with Fred (Fred Cody Adam Becky)

This is Booger playing tug of war with my nephew Joe.

Booger playing tug of war with Joe (booger_and_joe)

So, death comes and goes, as do dogs, and the emptiness both leave in their wake is an echo of life, a chorus heard only after the singer is gone.  To Booger and Cody, and to all those who have come and gone, good journey, dear friends…  Good journey indeed.


Nuisance was Mom’s cat, so named for vexing her other cat, Sam, before anyone knew that the problem was another feline.  Sadly, like both Sam and Zach before her, Nuisance appears to have fallen prey to some unknown force that is helping cats disappear.  It could be a pack of dogs, a coyote, a bobcat, people, or a host of other things.  Considering the family farm is on a hill that marks the middle of Absolutely Nowhere, East Texas, it is difficult to comprehend how many threats exist in the area.  She disappeared once and was gone for eight days before returning.  We’d hoped the second disappearance would be the same: brought to an end with a happy return home for the cat.  Sadly, it has not, and you can imagine the loss of three cats in less than a year has been devastating.

Because of this, I went through my photos and dug up what I could find of Nuisance.  For Mom…

Nuisance doing a u-turn (140_4008)

Doing a u-turn.

Nuisance on a mission (140_4014)

On a mission.

Nuisance not caring to join us as we check on the cows (140_4021)

Not caring to join us as we check on the cows.

Nuisance hanging out with Mom while she snaps photos (140_4010)

Hanging out with Mom while she snaps photos.

Nuisance lounging in the shade (140_4022)

Lounging in the shade.

Nuisance walking down the steps (140_4007)

Walking down the steps.

Check out my ride, dude

The opportunity finally presented itself for me to get some pictures of my car posted.  There's a new gallery called Lexus IS 300 that has some exterior and interior shots of my awesome ride.

When Lexus announced in the late nineties that they would be releasing the IS 300 in America, I was thrilled.  I had followed the car through its various releases in Europe and Japan with delight as it was the first sport sedan Lexus designed to compete with the BMW 3 Series and the Audi A4.  Since Lexus (and Toyota) had been making the best cars for several years and my dissatisfaction with American cars had grown to a deafening roar, the IS 300 was right down my alley.

In late 1999, Lexus announced the IS 300 would be released in America in early 2000 (the 2001 year model).  I immediately ran down to my nearest Lexus dealership, Park Place Lexus, and ordered one.

The IS 300 didn't have many options because it was already a fully loaded car.  The few things I added were the limited slip differential, the heated seats, tinted windows, and a spoiler.  The base model (at the time) already came with the sport seating (perforated leather), full-function moonroof, 17″ alloy wheels with low-profile tires, power front seats, and a whole list of other goodies.

I was disheartened when Lexus delayed the release — several times, I might add — until early in August when I got a call from my salesman at Park Place telling me my car was on the boat.

I was so excited!  I had been looking forward to having one of the first IS 300s in the country since the initial announcement of their pending release here.

On September 7 of 2000, I drove it off the lot and have been thrilled with it since then.  No problems, no road noise, no wind noise, a perfect ride, plenty of power, and service that is second to none has made me a Lexus fan for life.

Of course, now that it's nearly four years old, I'm looking forward to the future release of the new IS models.  Although nothing is definite at this time, take a peak at what AutoWeek had to say about the upcoming models.  My current plan is to wait until I can order a new one, then I'll trade in my current car.  Luckily they retain good value (again thanks to the quality).

But all of that is in the future.  Besides, enough talk, more pictures.

Here are some highlights from the new gallery.

Here's a shot of the dashboard to give you a feel for the interior of the car.  You'll also notice the perforated leather at the bottom of the picture — this covers all of the seating surfaces (provides better grip than anything else I've seen).

My car (137_3798)

If, like me, the driver instrument console caught your attention, here's a better shot of it (with the chronometer-style instrumentation).  I've always thought of it as nice, clean, functional and very cool.


Here are a few exterior shots of the car.


You can see a few more shots (interior and exterior) in the Lexus IS 300 gallery.