Saturday, October 31, 2009

My Dad, My Hero

I have posted this before but for those of you that had not seen this image of my dad, here it is, this is the picture that Tara used to paint my dad's portrait.


Wednesday, October 28, 2009

A Best Friend Indeed

I was checking my Face Book wall to see what was new and to post some comments. I started scrolling down and commented on a couple of the comments from family and friends, I continued scrolling down and found a post by my friend Tara. It was a portrait and I simply commented "I want one".

Her reply came back almost immediately "Really? Who did you have in mind for me to paint Jose?"

"Wow, you are giving me a choice, I was just shooting for a Tara original." I replied.

Then she said, "You's funny you should mention this because I was thinking of a picture to do for you recently. Let me see what I can do Jose and I will get back to you :)"

Not even in my wildest dreams did I imagine that the very next day I would get a Tag from Tara on my face book page, and when I clicked on the link I swear my heart almost popped out of my chest when I saw what she painted for me.

This is a portrait of my dad taken from a picture from Christmas Eve 2003.

I met Tara about three years ago through Blog Explosion and we have been good friends ever since. In real life I have very few friends, you can count them with one hand however some of my best friends I know only through this virtual world provided by the Internet. To quote another friend, "Just because we use machines to communicate it doesn't make us less human".

Tara is one of those best friends and I am proud to be counted among her friends.

Tara is the author of "Soul Weep" and
"Too Many Tracks for the Train to Follow"

To read more of her writings visit her blog Soul Blessings at


Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The Petersen House Museum

The Niels Petersen House
Historic Site
1414 W. Southern
Tempe, Arizona

The other day I had to go to a WalMart so I went to a new one in Tempe. While looking for it as I cruised down Southern roughly about 10 minutes away from my work I noticed The Niels Petersen House, a historic site in Tempe, Arizona.

I bowed to come one day during my lunch to see the house. So, today I decided to get lunch around that area so I could stop to photograph this landmark. The house a Queen Anne Victorian/Bungalow was designed by architect James Creighton and built on the homestead back in 1892.

Different scenes and views of the house.

Unfortunately I did not see anyone to let me in, the house was supposed to be open and probably was, I wonder if the caretakers were inside having lunch, after all I did go during my lunch time. This only means I have to go back again to see the interior, luckily for me and as I said before it's only about 10 minutes away from where work.

I read somewhere that the two story interior is comprised of thirteen rooms. Lots of stained glass and brass hardware on the doors, windows, and moldings. I will definitely make the trip back again but next time I will call ahead of time to make sure someone is there to give me the guided tour.

I am hoping that like The Homestead Museum in City of Industry, California here too they will allow for indoor photography. I am sure that the house interior is pretty breathtaking and a cool blast from the past.

The bungalow style porch was added in 1930.

The tin shed in the rear part of the house had plenty of character.

Plenty of green stuff around the house, including the awesome and well groomed grass.

Until I go back to visit the inside, I hope you enjoyed the tour of the outside of this historic site.

For additional information on this


Sunday, October 25, 2009

Happy Ninth Tallynna.

She is nine and she is the eldest of my grand kids, she is very lovable and very smart and a joy to be around her. Although her birthday was two weeks ago, her party was today.

Yes we have too many parties but that is because we have a huge family that sticks together and in my book there's nothing better than that. It's hard for all of us to attend all the different functions we have but for the most part we all attend the majority of these events.

I leave you with a few images of today's party. Happy birthday Tallynna.

I say that's a full smile.

What a cool present, I hope it came with lessons.

Another gorgeous and tasty cake by grandma Linda.



I'm sailing in the vast emptiness of an ocean, the sea breeze, the seagulls, the odor of salt in the water, and the occasional dolphins, occasionally stopping to pet the whales and take a dive in the near freezing ocean water. Above me only the sun, a cloudless sky and... OK, OK, you know and I know that I am lying through my typing fingers, I'm actually dreaming of doing what I just described, but here in the middle of the dessert that would be a little hard to do.

Was it the trees in the background that gave it away that I was not sailing in the ocean? But I do look good in command of the helm don't I?

Instead I sail in my mind, in the middle of a very crowded shopping center mall. Some dizzy pigeons were flying, and the only breeze I felt was the one coming from the inside of a store as the doors opened, and the only dive I took was the one to go through a bunch of mad shoppers on a hot Phoenix day.

Perhaps I could use those $112,000 extra dollars burning a hole in my left pocket to buy this baby.

Yet, to dream does not cost a thing, dreams are just dreams and they are free of charge yet the imagination of actually being in an ocean, heck even in a local lake on a nice boat like this is definitely priceless. The last boat on our little tour actually had sleeping quarters and it had it's own little (literally) restroom.

Today I sailed, and in my mind I did feel the fresh ocean breeze, I did see the seagulls perform many flyovers, the dolphins and the whales did come to visit, and the ocean water was perfect to dive into and take a dip, and the beauty of it all is that after my imaginary voyage, when I crossed the huge paring lot packed with cars, and joined the many shoppers at the store, nothing seemed to bug me.

So, if there's a moral to this story, I think it's obvious to assume that the moral would be DARE TO DREAM!


Friday, October 23, 2009

Michelle's Birthday

Yesterday was Michelle's birthday, it's hard to believe but she turned 25 years old. Not too long ago it seems she was the little girl that would have to go out with daddy everywhere he went. Actually if it was up to her I think she would still be tagging along.

So as she put it, she is now a quarter of a century old and to celebrate we will have a small family gathering tomorrow but last night the kids and I decided to try our luck at baking a cake for her so we could sing the happy birthday song.

I had tried baking before and didn't do too bad so I read the instructions, had the kids do the hard labor and of course the finger tasting (you know they loved that) and before we knew the whole house smelled like cake, in this particular case chocolate cake.

I am proud to say that it did not go flat, actually it fluffed pretty rather nicely. I decided against frosting, we definitely did not need the sugar rush at 9:00 p.m. The cake not only looked good but it actually tasted pretty good too. Of course to wash it down a cup of fresh coffee did the trick for me, for the kids milk.

We had a nice family moment and now we wait for tomorrow as mi chica will be cooking pozole as per Michelle's request.


Monday, October 19, 2009

Westgate Outing

Diego, chapalita, "La Princesa", y mi chica.

Westegate really is a nice place to walk around and have a good time. It's also a nice place to take the grand kids and get them tired while doing something that they enjoy. I've been there many times and the photo ops never end.


Sunday, October 18, 2009

Out With The Grandkids

Spending my Saturday with the grand kids was actually pretty good. Friday we went to karaoke at Manny's and my daughter and husband joined us there. Before the night was over I had been recruited as "Ducky's" official babysitter.

Saturday I had to go pick up some equipment my brother in law bought so I took Diego and "Ducky" with me, we had to go to the other side of town so I knew it was a nice drive. On the way back the freeway entrance was closed due to some construction so I decided to take Roosevelt Ave. The nice thing about unexpected detours is finding new things and places to photograph.

There are a lot of old houses down on Roosevelt and then before you know it you are in the heart of Phoenix Historical District. So the kids found it exciting that I was stopping the van every five minutes or so just to take a photo or capture and image.

I wish I knew more about the history of this great city but the truth is that I don't really know much. But if some of these old building could talk I can just imagine the stories they would tell.

Then that same night mi chica and I got recruited to baby sit the big D and the double AAs. We decided that dinner at Wendy's would be good and affordable, it was. Chicken nuggets, and fries with ketchup for the kids and for us Wendy's really, really good Chili.

After dinner we headed for Westgate, boy they say the economy is bad but by the looks of this place you couldn't tell. It was packed with people, to find a parking spot took a little driving up an ddown the aisles. Finally we got the van parked, then took the stroller out the van, strapped the "Chapalita" in it and started walking.

Of course the kids liked everything they saw so since I was not about to buy them everything they wanted so in order for them to remember their night I decided to take a picture of them with everything they liked. Besides they were still sipping their frostys from Wendy's.

Look grandpa, I am the next at bat. Something tells me I'll hit this one out of the park.

I swear they told me who that guy in the back was but I just can't keep up with the names.

Now that I'm learning how to skateboard I wish they would take me to a skateboard store.

Surfing pair.


Wanda's Art

Three beautiful greeting cards designed by my dear friend Wanda.

Back in November of 2007 my dear friend Wanda sent me five greeting cards displaying her paintings. She she was supposed to send me only one of the Old Truck as a "Thank You" for featuring her photos on my photo blog for a week. So when I received the envelope and found out it had five cards I was pretty happy.

I put them away in a safe place and didn't think of them much until last September when for my birthday Wanda sent me an 8 X 10 print of the "Old Truck". Since I had that print framed I thought it was time to take the small greeting cards and do the same to them.

Again I went to Hobby Lobby my framing place of choice and between their talented framers and I came out with the proper frames for these type of cards. The single flower deserved its own frame, while the wolf and the lion are sharing the other frame. The other two I will keep as cards and will display them as such but these two frames will soon be displayed in one of my walls.

And while this blog is displays all of the melo-duckworth originalz photographic captures, I am proud to share it with some of Wanda's original water paint artwork.

Thank you Wanda.


Thursday, October 15, 2009

I Was Just Thinking

I can't believe that this year is almost gone, only two and a half months more and we'll be in 2010. Now close your eyes and tell me that it doesn't feel as if it was yesterday people were worried about Y2K and the end of the world, people stocking their pantries with food and buying lots of gallons of water because the computers were going to crash and create havoc. Well, we all know how that went, hard to believe that was 10 years ago already. How time flies.

The year 2000 A.D. will be a crucial time in our modern world. As Pentecost divided the Post Diluvian Age from the Present Age of Grace, 2000 A.D. will divide the time when computers worked with relative ease to the time when their accuracy and reliability can not be guaranteed. Most of the first world, America, Japan, and Europe, has become totally dependent on computers to run our systems. After 2000 A.D., the mildest scenario may include random failures in all systems; the worst scenario may be a total collapse of computer systems throwing our economy back into the state of a third world.

We were so afraid about Y2K the time bomb that didn't happen. Fast forward ten years later and here we are, our economy is collapsing, people losing their jobs and subsequently their homes, long time corporations closing their doors, total kaos for those already deep into that situation and yet nobody warned us, nobody saw that coming, nobody knew until it was too late. Greed took the best of a bunch of money hungry executives in the real estate business and now millions are paying the price. It totally sucks, but that is the crude reality.

Don't think for one minute that I am not grateful to have a job. It is slow and nerve wrecking to constantly think that the economy will take a turn for the worst when we already are sailing through very slow times. No body's job is safe, nobody is safe, in times like this we are all open game and I know for a fact if that happens thousands of us are not prepared at all.

I was looking at the calendar and this all hit me so I thought I would put it in writing. From the signs of the time, this year's Thanksgiving Day will take on a whole new meaning for a lot of people. Moving forward I hope people stop complaining and fighting government and start standing behind our leaders and specially our president and do their part in making a change for the better. I know I am.

Perhaps in a not too distant future we can all enjoy a "Tea Party" together as brother and sisters.


Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Post Lost

Oh yeah, for the second day in a row I drove in to work with the top down, what a feeling! Today I caught a little more traffic than I did yesterday but overall it still was a pretty decent drive. I am trying to take in as much as I can of this wonderful weather because I know it won't last too long, after all this is Phoenix, Arizona.

(This was yesterday's post, after this opening sentence I had a lenghty post about and when I hit publish Blogger lost it)

I just don't feel like duplicating it because it won't come out the same so I'll leave you with this picture instead.


Sunday, October 11, 2009


Oh wow! What wonderful weather we are having these days, no doubt this I can live with year-round. The drive in to work today was awesome, I'm still wearing shorts, and I drove with the top down, how awesome is that? To that add the fact that due to the federal holiday there was not as much traffic which made me get to work almost half an hour early. I so wish it was like this daily.

I was a little reluctant on the way in as my car died on my last Friday as I was leaving work. I only got to the first stop when the car went dead. I had a line of cars behind me and I had to push the car by myself while steering it to put it against the curb. I didn't know how hard that steering wheel was to turn until my muscles started hurting from pulling so hard.

The car wouldn't start so I opened the hood and started it from the engine with a screw driver, then drove it home on the street. Twice it felt like it was going to give up on me but fortunately it got me all the way home. The next day my father in law went to check it but of course it started and drove as if nothing had happened. So, now it will either do it again or maybe it was just a one time mishap. I guess I'll soon find out.

This one really take me back to those cruising days in Cali.

As I was driving in today top down, not traffic, and pure enjoyment, I started reminiscing about my cruising days. I think I may have touched on the subject before but really I am sad that the new generation didn't get to experience the cruising scene. Most cities had a hot cruising spot or two but I happened to grow up in a state that had the best cruising spots in the country.

Van Nuys Boulevard, Hollywood Boulevard, Puente Hills Mall, Pacific Boulevard, and of course the grand daddy of all cruising spots Whittier Blvd. Nothing came close to cruising up and down Whittier Blvd. in my 1971 Chevy Impala, or in my 1980 Kawasaki KZ400 lowrider bike or later on my 1980 Chevy Luv which I turned into a convertible mini truck. Oh those were the days.

I really think that it would be awesome to cruise in my Mustang, although a Mustang is built more for speed that for cruising but still I am sure it would be loads of fun.

Funny how memories just come out when you least expect them. That's the beauty of memories if you put some regularly in your memory bank, they will be there just waiting for you to make a withdrawal and they will always be yours.

Let the music take your mind, ooh
Just release & you will find
You're gonna fly away
Glad you're goin' my way
I love it when we're cruisin' together
The music is played for love,
Cruisin' is made for love
I love it when we're cruisin' together


Friday, October 09, 2009

Going Green!

Everybody wants to be a Martian now. Seems to me everywhere I turn people claim to be going green. Ummm, makes me think if green is the new pink. Will "turning green with envy"
I was just wondering because I read that statement in about five different Internet pages today. People are using the terms "Going Green" and "Stimulus" like there's no tomorrow, I just wish they all meant it and not just use it as a hook.


And on to another topic, I did hang the frame of the "Old Truck" that Wanda sent to me and it looks great hanging from the wall. I just thought I show you how it looks.

What do you think?

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