voodooDr Receives The “Versatile Blogger” Award And Passes It On To Some Great Sites

Wow.  Imagine my surprise.  I had a new linkback and comment notice this morning.  Went to look at it, half expecting something that has nothing to really do with my blog or someone trying to link to me and sell something or some porn site.  Get way too many of those.

But this was different.

My blog had received an award!  Really, I said?  Still half disbelieving….kind of my normal first response I must admit.

So I almost just deleted the comment but instead clicked on the guys link.  And lo & behold it is a real award thingie called the Versatile Blogger Award.  As I read thru Seans post I began to realize this was a real award that he was offering to me.  Seans blog is called Censorship in America and I have enjoyed reading his posts as he promotes intellectual freedom.  Such an important issue especially with growing threats to the internet and freedom of speech in public.

All I have to do is comply with 7 simple rules and then post the award opn my site.  OK, I think I can manage to do this.

The rules

1.  Thank the person who shared the award with you by linking back to them in your post. (see above)

2.  Pass this award to 15 recently discovered blogs and let them know that you included them in your blog post.

3.  List 7 things about yourself. (end of post.)

I have an older post about blogs that I read but I have to admit I have not updated it and it is always good to take time to publicly recognize and honor those folks that we value, so here are blogs/websites that I enjoy and read as often as possible:

Photography sites:  the web provides such a perfect platform for photographers that you may never otherwise hear from to allow you to share in their art.  Some sites I enjoy include:

  • Wild*Lives Trish Carney Photoworks:  Wow….such beautiful nature photographs, primarily from one of the greatest parks in the USA, Yellowstone.  Her latest post “Trading stares with bear, pleasures of place” takes you straight into the lives of these giant grizzlies and black bears.
  • John Wall’s Natural California:  I was born and raised in California and sometimes become jaded thinking I have seen it all.  But California is so diverse and John shares so much of it in his photographs of landscapes, flora and his fur & feathers.  You start looking at one picture and by the time you know it you have missed dinner and spent hours looking in awe.
  • Native Images PhotoGraphics:  My native blood craves opportunities to share the past and the future with others.  This blog satisfies that craving and stays true to the dreams of our ancestors.  Photography and words of wisdom primarily from Native Americans of California.
  • Emad Islam’s Photography Blog:  Emad is a young guy who sometimes just astonishes me with both his art and his wise words.  His latest post, I Wish I Was The Moon, includes a breattaking shot and a bit of poetry.  Perfect.
  • Bird Light Wind:  I stumbled into this blog accidentally and fell for his post on a family of Owls living in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco.  If you have not been to San Francisco, Golden Gate Park is stunning for it’s natural and cultural diversity.  It is a huge park on the order of NYC’s Central Park.  The photographs of the owls and the story that Walter told had me jumping at the chance to subscribe.  he also turned me on to some of the other sites that I still visit today.
  • Stories From Home, Photography, family and friends:  What more could we want than out passions, family & friends?  The latest post is about fall foliage in Acadia.  It’s still sprintime in my part of California so it always surprises me when other folks are already into the real season.

Cultural blogs:  My interests vary and so do the blogs that I enjoy.

  • Newspaper Rock, Where Native America Meets Pop Culture:  This could be a car crash with multiple injuries, but instead it is a true pleasure.  The latest post is on a Diane Sawyer report “A Hidden America: Children of the Plains”  can make your heart weep for the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.  If you missed the piece on October 14th I’m sure ABC will show it again and you can search Youtube or the ABC website for the video online.  Rob educates us with his blog and he provides us with a great “Decolonize Oakland” poster.
  • Project 2,996:  This project was started a decade ago with the goal of having one writer each write a piece about individual souls that were lost in the September 11, 2001 attach on the New York City World Trade Centers.  Over time some of the posts were lost/forgotten, links became disabled and now there are 900 stories.  We seek writers to complete the project.  Please join.

Blogging:  I know I still need help with blogging, the technical as well as the writing.

  • Life & Bits, Easy to follow blogging tips:  Reynaldo says his blog provides tips and help for “beginners” on “wordpress.com”.  I am not a beginner but I am always learning, and I do use wordpress.com but most of the help on lifenbits can assist folks on any platform self-hosted or not.  I ran into the blog when I wanted to learn about site counters and Reynaldo’s straight forward writing style helped me gain a fast understanding of a complicated subject.  I later wrote a post about counters trying to provide some measure of help to others and credied lifenbits with the little bit that I do know.
  • TheBloggoSchloggo:  I’m calling this one “blogging”.  It has it’s own little niche though.  Cultural, political but not “slanty”, funny, interesting.  Definitely check it out.  I had to add it to my list and issue another award in November (which I will do when I find a good blog).  He was nice enough to mention one of my posts which is how I found the Bloggo.

Techi:  ok, I am about 50% nerd way back to my time building clone PCs for myself and family & friends.  But as with most subject, I learn something new almost every day,

  • Adam Savage From Mythbusters:  Not a blog, but a nice site from an interesting guy.  Even if you don’t care about the show you can appreciate his site and even more you can appreciate his Tweets.  I don’t know how he finds all of the curious videos, photos and posts that he shares with folks on Twitter, but I say “Thank you Mr Savage”!
  • Dan’s Wild Wild Science Journal:  I bumped into this blog and found “Scientific Facts That Are Not True”.  Excellent explanation of a tough subject about things we believe are true but it turns out that they are flase.  Science is cool!!  Dan is a Chief Meteorologist in Alabama, and thank you Dan for sharing your knowledge.

Motorcycles and Hot Rods:  I am a nut for hot rods and badass bikes.  Always have been since I was a kid and we would sit on the steps, watch cars go by and have to name them.   I wanted a ’44 Ford pickup and a ’56 Buick Roadmaster SOOOOO bad!!  In fact, I still do.

  • Deus Bali, The 2 Wheeled Bicycle:  I enjoy getting notifications about new posts on this blog and checking in to see whats up.  Not only do they write a great blog about one of my favorite subjects, they make some really nice stripped down motorcycles and have great pictures.  And now I really want one of their motorized bicycles.  They look like old 1915-ish motorcycles.  The real deal.
  • Between 2 Wheels:  Just a lot of stuff about the 2 wheeled life.  Pictures and good posts about a lot of different bikes and links to other good sites.  I like the fact that they understand and share the importance of history.  They say “Explore, experience and evolve”.  That is a bit of motorcycle zen right there.
  • Classic Velocity: a good traveler has no fixed plans and is not intent on arriving.  That’s the way brother.  This blog is primarily about vintage vehicles.  Classics.  My favorites, most definitely.  He has some mother blogs in his “Garage” mostly about his cars, some of which he still owns.  And a store with a coffee mug and a baseball cup.  I love coffee!
  • ……..THE 6.9%er…….. :  Steve says “This Blog is about my interests, my friends, my
    bikes…..nothin’ more..nothin’ less… & nothin’ to prove”.  Nice and simple.  I like that.  Great pictures and nice stories.  Plus links to other great chopper and hot rod sites.
  • Eat The Rich, UK:  It almost looks like a 1940s motorcycle site.

Travel blogs:  I love to travel.  Who doesn’t?  But I hate to fly.  It used to be so much fun.  Comfortable, lots of space (I am 6’6″ and space on a plane is a requirement), nice employees who treated you well.  Now?  It’s just a damn bus and too many rude employees, restricted space and airlines that just don’t care about their customers.  Enough of that.

  • Flights of fancy…travel  :  Actually a travel and photography blog.  2 of my favorite things.  And Mary is a good writer too which helps tell the story of her travels and make her photos come alive.  I always look forward to her new posts and the latest, about the Taos Pueblo was a thrilling read with stunning photographs.
  • Backroad Journal:  Karen and her husband moved to a small town in New Hampshire after 30 urban years in Florida.  They live in a 1730s home with a small apple orchard and I am so jealous!!  Karen shares their local and long distance travels with humor and some really good photographs.  I wish they would adopt me and take me on their treks!!

Politics and stuff:  I was always involved in politics and even in my retirement I make my voice heard.

  • The Upside of Inertia,  when life gives you alligators you make gatorade:  Mostly the liberal sidee of things because the right is wrong.  I don’t Facebook so I like it when he says “Don’t look for me on facebook, twitter or anywhere else.”  Cool.

Note:  The Upside of Inertia is moving to a new address HERE

  • Davey D’s Hip Hop Corner  I am sticking this one under politics, but it coulda gone under music or culture or just general good stuff!  Bumped into by accident on his post about the Oakland General Strike.  Well thought out crap I tell ya.  Check this blog out if you are like me and appreciate politics, hip hop and urban culture.  That’s the way to roll Davey D!

Poker:  It’s not just a game.

  • Dr Check Raise:  OK, it’s not a blog it’s a forum.  With some bloggy aspects.  And you have to register to see anything, but the Dr doesn’t give out your name to anyone and doesn’t bug you with a ton of useless emails.   Just an opportunity to check in and learn about the world of poker.  I bumped into the Dr when I played at an online club.  Not a regular gaming site but a place where you paid a monthly fee and played all the poker you wanted for free or small money to medium money pots.  I followed him because we were both Dr’s.  I don’t play much anymore but I check in to see what the Dr is up to.

About me:

I never enjoy this.  Will I get a date with a hot chick out of this??

  1. I was born & raised in California and still live here in the Capitol, Sacramento.  It’s a good city and I can’t imagine living anywhere but California.  Except maybe in Italy.  Or Spain.
  2. My family was in California just before the gold rush and then steady on both sides of my mother’s family since 1850.  Always in or around Sacramento.  We have deep roots and a sense of history and our place in it, things that are  important to me.
  3. O worked nearly 30 years in local government.  Almost always a boss, retired as Deputy Director of a county department.
  4. Retired to take a job as the Director of a small non-profit.  I loved it and learned a lot about running a small business.
  5. After being diagnosed diabetic I took a prescribed medication that pushed me into heart failure and eventually retired from the non-profit.
  6. I developed more (!!) health problems (like dialysis 3 days a week) and am now in a wheelchair but am working hard to get out of it.  Many docs don’t believe it but I promise you I will walk again.
  7. So that I can travel and visit friends and get involved in local politics again and play poker and drive my Cadillac…..
  8. So now I bore peeps with my blog and crap.  That’s the way it is.

So now I can accept my award as The Versatile Blogger!!  Yay!!  thank you, thank you.  Speech speech….uh, no I don’t think so.

A Book Review: Street Sleepers, The Art of The Deceptively Fast Car

This is a review of a book I read recently titled Street Sleepers; The Art of The Deceptively Fast Car.

The author is Tommy Lee Byrd.

I haven’t written a book review since like 8th grade.  I wish I had been able to write a report on this book way back then.  I would have enjoyed Jr High School.  Maybe.

I met up with Byrd when I bumped into his website/blog titled Byrd PhotographyClick the title to read the blog.  I recommend it highly.

Byrd’s blog is (as titled) a photography blog, but it is about another one of my passions:  hot rods, drag rods and other fast cars.  Most of the photography is focused on cars and the storytelling, the writing to go with the photos, is excellent.  I enjoy reading his posts almost as much as I like looking at the great pictures.

Same thing with the book.  The pictures of the hot rods, street rods and drag racers are always good and sometimes amazing.  And the writing is easy to follow (even the more technical stuff) and really supports the story that the photographs are telling.

I am not associated in any way with Byrd, his book, the company that printed the book, Amazon (where  I bought the book) or anyone else.  I’m just a hot rod nut that enjoys the website and bought the book.

If you like cars you will enjoy the book.  It’s a coffee table book in size & shap, printed on 8.5 x 11 stock and the quality paper helps the photographs really pop.

As I said, I purchased the book at Amazon.  You can check it out there.  You can check other dealers too.  Not sure about Kindle, I should take a look.  It is only $16.47, so it shouldn’t break your bank.

Or you could check your local library and if they don’t have the book yet, tell them to pick it up.  or you could be nice.  Buy a copy & donate it to your favorite library.

You can read every word cover to cover or read the sections that most interest you and skim over others.  The photographs you will enjoy, and if you are like me you will come back to some of them again and again.

If youy have a car you are modding,  or that you want to mod, this book can help you keep the assets hidden.

If you just like looking at cars or have a big interest in race cars, this is a perfect book and I promise you will enjoy it no matter what kind of car nut, or even car pro, you might be.

I don’t think Byrd is on Twitter, but he does have a MySpace page and a few other social networks.  You can check em out.

Besides the vehicles you would expect to see in a book about sleepers:  Camaros, Vettes, Chevettes & Chevelles, older Fords such as Fairlanes, some trucks and Pontiacs, I really enjoyed the cars that I did not expect to find.

Like what you say??  Like some old 60s & 70s station wagons, some 4×4 trucks, some 4 door sedans, an Eagle Talon, a Maverick and a ’77 Buick LeSabre among others.  These cars would shake me on the street or at the track when they break their tires loose and jam.

But it all comes back to the photographs.  Byrd is definitely a photography pro, an artist with the camera.

Street Sleepers: Upcoming Hot Rod Book by blogger & photographer

Available for pre-order.  I ordered mine because I love Byrd’s photography & blog.

Check his blog, Byrd Photography right here.

The blog has great car photos and the stories are just as good as the photos.  I love cars and I love photography.  These photos are art.

Here is the info on the book, you can pre-order from Amazon.  Looks like a good one Byrd!!

Street Sleepers: The Art of the Deceptively Fast Car

Since 2007, I’ve photographed and written about hundreds of cars for several different magazines. I definitely stay busy with this type of work, and I really enjoy it, so getting acclimated in this business created a great career for me. Even with a full time job, I am heavily involved in freelance work, and my most recent landmark is the completion of my first book, Street Sleepers: The Art of the Deceptively Fast Car, published by CarTech Books. It was a huge undertaking, and it certainly took every second of my spare time during the nine month time allowance, but seeing the finished product made it worth the effort.

I received my advance copy of the book Friday, July 29th and I thoroughly enjoyed flipping through the book in its entirety. At this point, all I had seen were black and white single page proofs, which didn’t provide much excitement. Today, August 15th, 2011, the book is officially released and should be on the shelves sometime VERY soon! Check it out!

Byrd Photo
“My new book! Available in book stores and online book outlets across the United States!”
Upate September 12th:  I receive my copy Of Street Sleepers today.  It looks like it will be a good read.  I will let you peeps know what I think when I finish it, but I’m really looking forward to reading this.

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John Wall’s Natural California, photography & blog

In a past post about a Native American blog site I shared that I do not read many blogs anymore.  However, I love nature photography and landscape & wildlive photography.

Thanks to Walter Kitundu’s Bird Light Wind, I have added John Wall’s Natural California.  There are many photographers who are actually artists with a camera and Mr Walls certainly qualifies.

Check out his blog site and many photographs.  Sweet!!

Blogs that I read

not too many anymore, but we will start with a Native American blog with photos and graphics covering the California Native scene.  Thanks @CaliNDN for the blog and your tweets

Why do I like it?

  • kept up to date
  • pow wow and bird singing info
  • educational postings
  • great photos & videos
  • preserving the culture

Great story on the new gathering hall in Banning.

Check the site out here

Great photography blogs

Artists whose paint brushes are cameras.  Each site here also has an author with very good writing skills, so you get beautiful pictures and insightful words.  What more could you want?

  • Emad’s Photo Blog.  Young man with a ton of skill with his camera.  Twitter @Emad_14
  • Bird Light Wind.  I got hooked after stumbling into his photo series of a family of owls living in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park.  Fantastic nature photos with lots of beautiful birds.
  • Byrd Photography.  Hot rods, hot rods, more hot rods.  Could look at these hot rod photos all day.  Excellent.  He’s a car guy and has a new book coming out called Street Sleepers, The Art of the Deceptively Fast Car.  Check it out on Amazon.
  • Wild Lives:  Trish Carney-Photoworks.  She hooked me hard with her beautiful photos of grizzlies in Yellowstone National Park.  Beautiful photos of an area I have not yet seen in person.  Love it.
  • Where Was I?  Nice photography and travel blog, two of my favorite things!  A good artist’s eye and storytelling skills result in a blog I enjoy a lot.

Sites that help me blog

  • lifenbits lots of helpful information on how to start and improve your blogging experience.  Clear and concise writing style puts this site at the top of the heap.  Easy choice.  Highly recommended.  Some great photography here as well.

I wish I could use a camera with the skill all of these folks have.

I look at a lot of sites but subscribe to just a few.  I’ll update this post as I add new sites.  There are great, undiscovered sites out there.

Know some blogs I should see?  Leave me a comment or Twitterize me @zenDR