Flowers #1233C, 1234B, 1236C, 1238B, 1237B, 1233D & 1231B

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March 29, 2014

Lilies, whose scientific name is Lilium, has more than one hundred gorgeous species in its family. There are many plants that have lily in their common name; however, not all are true Lilies. Two examples of this misnomer are Day Lilies and Peace Lilies. True Lilies are mostly native throughout the temperate climate regions of the northern hemisphere of planet Earth, although their range can extend into the northern subtropics as well. This range extends across much of Europe, Asia, Japan and the Philippines and across southern Canada and throughout most of the United States.

Lilies are very easy to grow. They are not especially particular about soil neither type nor pH level. Their only requirement is well-drained soil. Lilies grow best in full sun; however, they may thrive in partial sun as well. An interesting fact about this plant is that most Lily bulbs have very thick roots that have the ability to pull the bulb down into the soil at a depth that is most optimum for their continued survival.

If I am fortunate to have you view my photographs and you find the color saturation too much or the color schemes of the mats do not match either themselves or the photograph, please let me know via a comment. Being color-blind, what might look great to me might look like sh*t to everyone else!

Steven H. Spring

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Flowers #3428B, 3418C, 3420B, 3425B, 3427B, 3419B & 3434C

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March 22, 2014

Lilies, whose scientific name is Lilium, has more than one hundred gorgeous species in its family.  There are many plants that have lily in their common name; however, not all are true Lilies.  Two examples of this misnomer are Day Lilies and Peace Lilies.  True Lilies are mostly native throughout the temperate climate regions of the northern hemisphere of planet Earth, although their range can extend into the northern subtropics as well.  This range extends across much of Europe, Asia, Japan and the Philippines and across southern Canada and throughout most of the United States.

Lilies are very easy to grow.  They are not especially particular about soil neither type nor pH level.  Their only requirement is well-drained soil.  Lilies grow best in full sun; however, they may thrive in partial sun as well.  An interesting fact about this plant is that most Lily bulbs have very thick roots that have the ability to pull the bulb down into the soil at a depth that is most optimum for their continued survival.

If I am fortunate to have you view my photographs and you find the color saturation too much or the color schemes of the mats do not match either themselves or the photograph, please let me know via a comment.  Being color-blind, what might look great to me might look like sh*t to everyone else!

Steven H. Spring

Sunset Over Plattsburg Road #64D, 65C, 66D, 64B & 66B

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March 15, 2014

These photographs were shot about fifteen years ago, at my old farmhouse.  This was the view looking out the kitchen window.  Although there was not a stunning sunset every single night, however, on many nights there was a glorious view as I did the nightly dishes.  I sure do miss living down on the farm.  Growing up in Columbus, Ohio, the old farm sure was a long way from home, not only in actual distance, but life in the fast lane as well.

One thing I loved about living so far out was that I never had to worry about neighbors complaining about playing the stereo too loud, although I did have a sheriff’s deputy come out on two separate occasions.  They could not believe they were reporting a noise complaint.  I did have two speakers, each with a fifteen-inch woofer, on the back porch, sitting up against the windows, facing out, as to be able to rock while gardening.  After my divorce, I bought my first Fender Stratocaster on my fortieth birthday, in pursuit of a life-long dream of one day learning to play the guitar.  Every other Saturday, two brothers (ok, one was technically an ex-brother-in-law, both were divorced, thus the every other Saturday) would come out for the day to pick a little, cook a big meal and partake in some of mother nature’s finer spirits.  We used to rock the old farmhouse.  It is my love of music, and playing the guitar that gives me the will to live to this day.  Oh yeah, I also get much pleasure in dabbling a little in photography as well.

Taken that long ago, needless to say, these photos were shot on film, and the 4×6 prints were scanned onto my computer, where they were tweaked just a little, adjusting both the color and brightness/darkness levels, before matting and framing them.  As such, looking at these photos online does not do justice to the original 4×6 photographs, as some of the sharpness was lost.

If I am fortunate to have you view my photographs and you find the color saturation too much or the color schemes of the mats do not match either themselves or the photograph, please let me know via a comment.  Being color-blind, what might look great to me might look like sh*t to everyone else!

Steven H. Spring

Todd Rundgren #19C, 71F, 35D, 111C, 1B, 44D, 71D, 28B & 103B

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March 8, 2014

Todd Rundgren is a sixty-five year old, multi-instrumentalist, singer, songwriter, engineer and producer originally from Upper Darby, Pennsylvania.  His first band was Woody’s Truck Stop, a Philadelphia based blues band.  Rundgren and bassist Carson Van Osten left the group during 1967 to form Nazz, a psychedelic/garage rock band along with Robert Antoni on keyboards and vocals and Thom Moody on drums.  In 1968, Nazz recorded Hello, It’s Me, which, when re-recorded several years later while a solo artist, would go on to become Rundgren’s biggest career hit.

Nazz released three albums: Nazz (1968), Nazz Nazz (1969) and Nazz III (1971).  The songs on Nazz III were recorded during the sessions for Nazz Nazz, which was intended to be released as a double album entitled Fungo Bat.  The record label instead released half the tracks as Nazz Nazz, and then released the others as Nazz III a year or so after the band had split up, in order to capitalize on the rapidly increasing popularity of Rundgren as a solo artist.

After Nazz disbanded, Rundgren moved to New York City to work as a music producer.  During his career as a producer, he produced albums such as Straight Up by Badfinger; Stage Freight by The Band; We’re An American Band by Grand Funk Railroad; Bat Out Of Hell by Meat Loaf and the New York Dolls self-titled debut.  In 1970, Rundgren formed Runt along with Tony Sales on bass and Hunt Sales on drums.  The Sales brothers are sons of famed, pie-in-the-face comedian Soupy Sales.  Runt released two albums: Runt in 1970 and Runt: The Ballad Of Todd Rundgren in 1971.  Although Runt was officially a band, the albums were essentially Rundgren solo projects as his face only is shown on both album covers.  CD releases of the first Runt album are titled Todd Rundgren Runt.

After moving to Los Angeles in 1970, Rundgren released his first “official” solo album, Something/Anything? during 1972, in which he wrote, played, engineered and produced every track on the first three sides of the double album.  After an earthquake struck southern California, Rundgren went back east, to the Record Plant in New York City to record with session musicians the seven songs that appear on side four.  Hello, It’s Me, re-recorded more up-tempo, was edited down into a single and was released in 1973, becoming Rundgren’s only major pop hit.  Something/Anything? is Rundgren’s biggest selling album and most likely his best.

In 1973, Rundgren released A Wizard, A True Star.  Another double album, Todd, was released in 1974.  It is these three albums that probably saw Rundgren at his peak creative ability, while reaching his highest levels in both popularity and album sales.  By 1974, Rundgren was revolving back into a band format, this time as Utopia, which featured Kasm Sulton on bass and vocals, Willie Wilcox on drums and Roger Powell on keyboards and vocals.  It was as Utopia that these photographs were taken.  Utopia disbanded during the mid 1980s.  Todd Rundgren continues releasing albums as a solo artist to this day.

These photos were taken at Veteran’s Memorial Auditorium, in Columbus, Ohio, USA on December 28, 1980.  Needless to say, they were shot on film, and the 4×6 prints were scanned onto my computer, where they were tweaked just a little, adjusting both the color and darkness levels.  As such, looking at these photos on WordPress.com does not do justice to the 4×6 photographs.  A great deal of sharpness was lost in the process, especially during the scanning of the print.  One day, I need to break down and buy a film negative scanner.  However, I have my eye on a baby blue Fender Stratocaster with Texas Special pickups and a guitar will most likely be my next major purchase.  I love my photography, but priorities are priorities.  What I really need to do is win one of my state’s two lottery games as I have way too many things I need, or maybe its things I want, but so little cash in which to buy these things.

I was gonna upload these nine photographs in the order in which they were shot, because, during the first half of the show, Rundgren and his band wore dark clothing, then switched to all white outfits after an intermission.  However, I decided to sequence them based on overall quality.

If I am fortunate to have you view my photographs and you find the color saturation too much or the color schemes of the mats do not match either themselves or the photograph, please let me know via a comment.  Being color-blind, what might look great to me might look like sh*t to everyone else!

Steven H. Spring

Why Is President Obama To Blame For Russia’s Invasion Of Crimea?

March 6, 2014

With Russia having invaded and now occupying the very small nation of Crimea, a nation most Americans have never heard of, in response to the successful revolution in neighboring Ukraine, U.S. war hawks are crying out for immediate action by President Obama.  It is these very same war hawks that rushed this nation into two unnecessary and unfunded wars with Iraq and Afghanistan, both the two longest conflicts in our history, in response to the horrific attack of September 11th by Osama bin Laden while acting on behalf of nether nation.  The really ironic thing is that those crying out the loudest are those that never fought in battle.  Never known the true horrors of war.  Most likely, very few of their children or grandchildren, if any serve proudly in uniform as well.

Republican Senator John McCain of Arizona, who definitely knows the horrors of war, has been very outspoken about the lack of an immediate response by this nation, calling the Obama administration foreign policy “feckless” (yeah, I had to look it up too) and stating that no one respects America’s military power any longer.  If I understand one of the most senior members of the Republican Party right, it is President Obama to blame for Russia’s invasion of Crimea.  I guess ending the two longest wars in our history shows too much weakness.

Missing eligibility for the Vietnam draft by only a year or two (I did enlist in the Navy six months after the war “officially” ended), I grew up watching Walter Cronkite report on both the war and the anti-war protests.  When you throw in the Civil Rights and women’s liberation movements, the ‘60s were America’s second revolution.  After Vietnam, I never imagined this country ever going to war again.  However, all those peace-loving hippies turned out to be just as sadistic as their parents were.  With marijuana becoming more and more legal throughout the land, maybe these old stoners getting stoned once again, these old hippies will give war a much more serious thought.

During the past thirty years, America has been involved in some sort of military encounter in twenty-three of them.  This is astonishing.  The Iraq War, when it “officially” ended for America was this nation’s longest, has turned in a catastrophe for the Iraqi people.  Every day, it seems there is another car bombing or three resulting in the deaths of several dozen innocent people.  The Afghan War, now the nation’s longest, is to end for America at the end of this year, although it was recently announced that this nation will have troops stationed in that war-torn nation for another decade.  And, does anyone seriously believe that nation will not erupt into total chaos such as that in neighboring Iraq once the majority of American troops leave?

Since September 11, 2001, our government has built up such a top-secret network of intelligence agencies that no one knows how much it cost, how many it employs or how many agencies it runs.  It has been reported that the Defense Department has built the equivalency of three new Pentagons throughout the Washington, D.C. area over the past decade.  The defense budget itself has nearly doubled since 2000, yet where has all this spending gotten us?  As a nation, we live in fear of another September 11th attack; all the while our country is falling apart at the seams, be it our aging and rapidly decaying infrastructure system, crumbling inner cities that have become battlegrounds, failing public school system and insolvent Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid programs among other concerns.

With an annual defense budget of nearly $900 billion, we spend nearly as much on our military as the rest of the world combined.  When combined with our intelligence agencies, we spend nearly $1.5 trillion on defense and intelligence related expenditures every year.  Moreover, this does not include America’s newly created ultra secret intelligence budget.  America is bankrupting itself and it is not from our spending on Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.  It is from our imperialistic attitude and our attempt to dominate the world we call planet Earth.  We still have 40,000 troops stationed along the 38th parallel separating North and South Korea, sixty years after the Korean War ended.  We have numerous military bases located throughout Europe and around the world, seventy years after World War II end.  Why?

In a rather sad, ironic twist, America is by far the world’s largest arms dealer, again selling nearly as many armaments as the rest of the world combined.  Thus, not only are we bankrupting ourselves with our military spending, but we are also heavily arming the rest of the world.  One must remember that America armed Saddam Hussein when he was at war with Iran in the 1980s and we armed bin Laden when he fought the Russians in Afghanistan, also during the ‘80s.  America also has a very long, extensive history of arming and supporting malevolence dictators and lunatics, in the name of what is best for this country, not necessarily what is best for the rest of the world.

During the past decade, I always like to quote former president and five-star general Dwight Eisenhower, who in his January 17, 1961 farewell address to the nation warned the country to beware of the mighty military-industrial complex.  President Eisenhower stated “…we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex.  The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.”  Coming from a five-star general, America should have listened.  War is big business and the only way the military-industrial complex stays in business and remains profitable is by this nation engaging in war.

Just last week, the Columbus (Ohio) Dispatch ran an editorial cartoon by Dana Summers that brought a smile to my face.  However, it was not because of the intended joke, but due to the perceived opinion by many highly educated political pundits regarding our nation’s military strength.  Summers’ cartoon showed a table of people discussing all the professed threats to this nation by third-rate military powers such as Iran and North Korea, ending with one man asking, “What should we do?”  Summers intended joke showed President Obama answering, “Shrink the military!”

President Obama recent announced that he wants to reduce only the number of troops, all the while our defense budget will increase over the next five years.  Having ended, or ending the two longest wars in our history, it is asinine to think we need to keep our military troop levels and defense spending at wartime levels.  The military rationale is this nation must be prepared to fight not one, but two concurrent wars at all times.  This is ludicrous.  America just might be the most warmongering nation in the history of planet Earth.

This madness must stop!

Steven H. Spring

Flowers #5302B, 5300B, 5299F, 5301C & 5299B

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March 1, 2014

A few weeks ago, while sorting through a couple of boxes of old 4×6 prints, looking for some spring flowers to post for a special friend’s request, I discovered these photographs.  However, they looked nothing like they do here.  The original prints had come back from the camera store underdeveloped, and thus were placed back into the store’s film packet along with other photos that did not make the initial cut to be kept with all my other favorite photos.  Thanks to modern digital technology, I scanned these photos onto my computer and with a little tweaking of both the color and brightness; these underdeveloped photos were turned into a work of art.

Columbines, whose scientific name is Aquilegia, which is derived from the Latin word aquila, which translates as eagle, is so named because the spurred shape of the plant’s sepals on many of the sixty to seventy species of the flower resemble an eagle’s talons.  This easy to grow, hardy perennial blooms from late spring through early summer.  Though not particularly a long-lived plant, most die off after only two or three years.  However, the plant does grow easily from seed, and if seed pods are allowed to develop annually will reseed themselves.  The long spurs of the flower produces a nectar that is a favored by hummingbirds, butterflies and bees.

Native to Asia, the plant is now found growing in the wild in meadows, woodlands and at higher altitudes throughout North America and Europe.  Columbines, which come in many colors ranging from red, pink and white to purple and blue, are propagated by seed, growing to a height of fifteen to twenty inches.  The plant will grow in full sun; however, it prefers partial shade and a moist, rich, well-drained soil.  Having a long taproot, which allows it to survive periods of drought, this same taproot does make transplanting the plant somewhat difficult.  Columbines, the state flower of Colorado (Rocky Mountain Columbine), were consumed in moderation by Native Americans as a condiment and are said to be very sweet.  However, the seeds and root of the plant are very poisonous and if consumed can be fatal.

If I am fortunate to have you view my photographs and you find the color saturation too much or the color schemes of the mats do not match either themselves or the photograph, please let me know via a comment.  Being color-blind, what might look great to me might look like sh*t to everyone else!

Steven H. Spring