The interview for Melissa has been up on Univers d’Artistes for a few days now. This girl has been working constantly, but I am sure you can still get on her calendar if you contact her. You should go over to check it out. (Speaking of calendar, you can get her’s here.) I think it went well. In fact, let me ask you to take a second to help her become the face of E.L.F. Cosmetics by voting for her on this link right here. You can vote every day in fact, so bookmark it and comeback as often as you can to give her your vote. I did it just now and it took me 4 seconds, so help out a model, why don’t cha!
What you see here are the images we used for that post taken recently in the Vegas deserts. I’ve been out to that location twice since we shot looking for a specific geographic feature and have come up nil on both occasions. There is supposed to be a body of water out there up in the mountains and I see now way how one can reach it in 30 minutes from the location Melissa and I did our shot. I spent hours scrambling up rocks on the first attempt in one direction and got not even half way. Oddly enough I decided to come back down for two reasons. One it was getting dark, and two I had began to feel light-headed. I had forgotten to eat pretty much that whole day. I had forgotten to wear a hat as I usually do and I even forgot my watch. Things started getting black like tunnel vision so I sat down for a while, but as I got up, I was still dizzy. So I just passed out on a big flat rock for a spell and woke up to the sun almost down over the mountain. I guess losing a job can have that sudden effect of temporary stupidness.
The second trip, I took a different route. No trail this time. I just went straight up a canyon valley, scrambling over rocks. This time I think I was half way up before I decided to come back down. I tell you the distance is much farther than you think when you are looking up at it from below. The scrambling this time was a little tougher and once again, its about 5pm and it dawns on me that I hadn’t eaten a thing all day. Fortunately, I never felt faint on this hike, even though it was more strenuous. I think I’d like to do it again if for no other reason then just the exhilaration of the climb, only without my backpack. Twice I lost footing because it threw me off balance and there were several spots where there were just inches of foot space along a ledge with a sheer drop-off. Going up was much easier than coming down, although coming down was faster. I was high enough to switch my phone over from 3G to the Edge network to still get a signal out. So I called Felix to let him know a reasonable proximity of where I was and that if he didn’t hear back from me in 3 hours or so, to send somebody looking for me. I figured it might be wise to do so, since I was alone in a remote place. Sometimes, my knee can just give out without warning (from an accident while in the military).
I seldom discuss politics or religeon on this blog. However speaking of the military, I was reminded of an article I read today that just burns me on both ends. I recall seeing in the news a while back about an organization that stood outside the funerals of fallen soldiers and protested while the grieving parents and family tried to say good-bye to their son and pay their last respects.
“NASHVILLE, April 11, 2006 — As dozens of mourners streamed solemnly into church to bury Cpl. David A. Bass, a fresh-faced 20-year-old marine who was killed in Iraq on April 2, a small clutch of protesters stood across the street on Tuesday, celebrating his violent death.

“Thank God for Dead Soldiers,” read one of their placards. “Thank God for I.E.D.’s,” read another, a reference to the bombs used to kill service members in the war. [One even read, “God hates your tears”.] To drive home their point — that God is killing soldiers to punish America for condoning homosexuality — members of the Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kan., a tiny fundamentalist splinter group, kicked around an American flag and shouted, if someone approached, that the dead soldiers were rotting in hell.” – New York Times

As a veteran myself, you have to understand, this pissed me off to no end. I am still amazed at the depravity of humanity. Just as it seems I can’t be surprised anymore of how low mankind can get, another invention of hatred and evil is released upon society; and in the name of God, no less. I felt fairly confident that this was such a clear-cut case that it would not only be stopped but that the perpetrators would be penalized and the victims redeemed. Well, I was wrong:

Court Says GI Funeral Protests Legal, September 25, 2009, Baltimore Sun
“RICHMOND, Va. — A federal appeals court ruled Thursday that a fundamentalist Kansas church’s protest outside the funeral of a Westminster Marine killed in Iraq is protected speech and did not violate the privacy of the service member’s family, reversing a lower court’s $5 million award.”

I don’t always agree with the some of the reasons why we go to battle. As a soldier, I pledged to follow orders and defend this country and its interests and allies against enemies both foreign and domestic. We are a military with a civilian politician as Commander-in-Chief. It is not always a cut and dry decision when we deploy and the public may not always agree. I can understand that. Iraq is not popular. I can understand that. Soldiers on foreign ground done always solve a problem. I understand that. But to disgrace and disrespect the men and women, and their families, who are the ultimate servants of our country, who volunteer their lives to provide the freedoms all of you enjoy… I just don’t understand why everyone in America is not coming to the defense of our fallen. Too many cases. Too many situations arise where our fallen are disrespected in order to get a story, express a radical opinion, or otherwise get attention and not enough is being done about it.

Damn. That went on more than I wanted. I’m done ranting.