Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Ulysses the yard dog

A few weeks back while I was working and my wife was off studying my parents took Mquest Jr. (Ulysses) to a open house at the county maintenance yard They were able to get him on all the big equipment. My Mom and Dad took some great shots of Mquest Jr, playing in and on all the equipment. They even took pictures of him in the inmate transportation van.

Seeing and playing with all the big work trucks was a highlight of his young life.

Here are a few photos from his big adventure. The rest can be found here at Flickr.

Pure Power

Pure Power
Originally uploaded by mquest foto.

Ready for work

Ready for work
Originally uploaded by mquest foto.

Grandpa, what does this switch do?

Inmate transportation work van

Inmate transportation work van

Sunday, May 29, 2005

I fought the lawn and the lawn won:

Originally uploaded by mquest foto.
We have a back yard birthday party coming up in the near future. Number of times the lawnmower has broken in the last two weeks? Two. Number of times we fixed it? One. I am fast losing hope for having a nice yard for the party.

My dad came over yesterday and we fixed it. It was a rather simple process involving a screwdriver as a crowbar and a wrench. One of the drive chains had slipped off and jammed in the gears. Today something new and exciting happened to Mr Lawnmower it involves a flywheel that spins while not turning the engine and a puddle of motor oil.

Mr. Lawnmower and I have never really gotten along all that well. It is one of those lawnmowers that is built to last forever and with any knowledge of small engines anyone can work on it. Unfortunately I have no knowledge of small engines.

We first met somewhere in November of 1974 when I was too small to pull the cord and start the engine. We have had some epic battles over the years. I would go inside and tell my dad it wouldn't start and he would go out and start it on the first pull.

Well I inherited the lawnmower and its age is starting to show.

UPDATE: It is dead. Most likely a cracked engine. We played Taps and stood around a said a quick eulogy. Tomorrow I will borrow my dads lawnmower.


Originally uploaded by mquest foto.
I stuffed them with cream cheese and baked them at 450 for about 12 minutes. Only making four was a slight waste of time but, it was worth it.

Playing the slots-

Playing the slots-
Originally uploaded by mquest foto.

On the left is a Anaheim Pepper my harvest has been heavy and that is one of the smaller Anaheim Peppers! On the right is a Bell Pepper. It is the second Bell Pepper of the year. I have never had all that much luck with the Bells. They are always on the small side and start to rot before they turn color. The year is still young and I have hope that this is the year I get the Bell Peppers that I dream of.

The Ghost Runner

The Ghost Runner
Originally uploaded by mquest foto.
Another attempt at catching action with a slower shutter speed.

The Doors of Perception

The Doors of Perception
Originally uploaded by mquest foto.

The Reach

The Reach
Originally uploaded by mquest foto.
Reach for your dreams


Originally uploaded by mquest foto.
With the warm weather the Star Jasmines came out early this year. Mine has been in full bloom for months. Such a great smell for the lazy days of summ


Originally uploaded by mquest foto.
If I was smart I would get a second crop in the ground. I have some growing from seed but I have yet to find the time to get them in the ground. I will not have to wait that much longer for tomatoes from the garden.

Tomato the Wait

Tomato the Wait
Originally uploaded by mquest foto.

Saturday, May 28, 2005

Slower Shutter = Blurred = Action (or out of frame action)

Nam LaMore asked/suggested/requested that I slow down my shutter speed and get some blurred action shots. I went through my album and picked out some of the best movement pictures that I have on file. Most if not all of the pictures are happy accidents where I did not have my flash on in dusk or low light conditions. I put these pictures in a folder at Flickr. The folder can be found here: Last night I upgraded my Flickr account and will be adding new folders for flowers, garden and other subjects as time permits.


Originally uploaded by mquest foto.
I rotated the camera while taking the picture.

Two faces

Originally uploaded by mquest foto.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

1 pm

3 kids in a black convertible drive by. 2 of them are wearing empty 12 pack containers on their head. The beer logos flash in the sun.

I wonder if the cops will pull them over.

Bad Dream

I had a dream the other night where my son was in a small boat floating on a lake. The boat flipped over and he was stuck underneath it.

The scene changed and the boat and I were in the middle of my house. The house was flooded and the water was rushing down drains that were in the center of each room. I ran to the boat and flipped it over. My son washed toward a drain. I kept my eye on the drain that I thought he go down as I run towards it. I realized that he went a different direction
I run from room to room looking for him.
I Panic.

I awoke filled with panic and fear.
Sleep did not return to me.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

how I spent my night

My wife came down with some type of throw-up flu. (Or food Poising) Tonight she had a final exam and was not feeling all that well for the exam. I had to drive her to school and hang out and wait for her to get out of class. It was strange revisiting the university after several years of being away from it.

That is how I spent my night. hopefully she will feel better tomorrow and I will be able to spend some time replying to the comments that were left today and surfing everyones Blogs.

Have you looked in my photo area over at Flickr?

Oh well- I will see you all soon.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Mquest Wisdom #76864764:

A Happy child with a balloon will soon be in tears.

Overheard Cell Phone Conversation

Yelled loudly into cell phone:
“When your teacher asked what my name is, Why did you say I call her Mom?”

Thomas Wolfe- Hooking Up

A book where Thomas Wolfe in a series of essays tries to prove that he is better than everyone else. I would review this book but I do not wish to waste any more time on this book then the time I wasted reading it. Mr. Wolfe what happened to you?

It was not even worth the dollar I spent on it.

Monday, May 23, 2005

The Large Rock

As I put on my shoes in the morning and get ready for work I realize that Sisyphus and I have a lot in common.

She is chained to her lifestyle:

I guess she is about 25. Her skin has lost all of the elastic that once made her look alive. Even though her skin hangs on her body all her bones are clearly visible. She is a skeleton with discolored skin. The dime store dick was glad to see her enter the high end department store. A good meal while in the county jail may keep her alive for a few more days. Her soul forgot to tell her it was leaving. She probably did not feel the snap as it fled her body.
Soon her body will figure it out and be a Jane Doe until someone claims her body.
Stupid speed freaks.

Dog Pot?

Originally uploaded by mquest foto.
Dog Pot? Do I really want to know what my dog is smoking?


Originally uploaded by mquest foto.
I spent a lot of time walking around this thing trying to get a good shot. I needed to get his face shaded and use the shadows to my advantage. Playground equipment is always bright and fun to use in pictures.

Found Sign-

Originally uploaded by mquest foto.

I found this sign laying on the grass. I think It means walk on grass here.

Day Lily Hemorocallis

Originally uploaded by mquest foto.
Day Lily Hemorocallis
I think I prefer the standard yellow.


Originally uploaded by mquest foto.
These things grow all over Southern California. They seem to bloom like this all year long. Many people put these near pools. However, they are a messy plant and it is not a good idea to put one near a pool.

Secret hideout

Originally uploaded by mquest foto.

Zen of watering

Originally uploaded by mquest foto.

Mix and pour

Originally uploaded by mquest foto.
The alchemist in his work station.


Originally uploaded by mquest foto.
After sitting under a tree Buddha finds enlightenment and shares it with his father.

Mexican Evening Primrose-Oenothera

Jacaranda tree

Originally uploaded by mquest foto.

Beautiful trees. They will stain everything under them. If you ever get a chance to look at these from above it is well worth it.

Bicycle Tire

Originally uploaded by mquest foto.
Tires growing out of a palm tree.

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Blog Outage

Not sure what happened. My Blog went dark for the last 8 hours.

Afghan president 'shocked' by U.S. abuse report

According to the report, Dilawar was chained by his wrists to the top of his cell for several days before he died and his legs had been pummeled by guards.
"The file depicts young, poorly trained soldiers in repeated incidents of abuse. The harsh treatment, which has resulted in criminal charges against seven soldiers, went well beyond the two deaths," The New York Times said.
In sworn statements to Army investigators, soldiers described mistreatment ranging from a female interrogator stepping on a detainee's neck and kicking another in the genitals to a shackled prisoner being made to kiss the boots of interrogators, according to the newspaper.
In its Sunday edition, The Times said confidential military documents from the investigation into the Bagram deaths show Army officials initially opposed bringing criminal charges, even though autopsies found the deaths were homicides and soldiers testified the prisoners were struck by guards.

What happens when you piss off you puppet? Only time will tell.

Drug Dogs Trained to Find Talcum Powder

When police sniffer dogs couldn't trace drugs, the Australian state police force soon discovered the reason: the cocaine sample used to train them was talcum powder. Seven dogs that had worked on drug searches over the past three months will need to be retrained, Victoria Police Assistant Commissioner Paul Evans said Friday.

Now that is pure comedy.

Storm in a D-cup as computer heroine Lara Croft loses infamous features

According to Saturday's edition of The Times newspaper, British computer game firm Eidos, which created Croft, has changed her physique to one less likely to put off female players.
In the soon-to-be-released "Tomb Raider: Legend," the eighth title to feature Croft, her DD-size bust has been reduced to a more modest C-cup and some of her more revealing outfits have been ditched, the report said.

I think part of me just died. Is nothing sacred?

Lake disappears, baffling villagers

"I am thinking, well, America has finally got to us," said one old woman, as she sat on the ground outside her house.

When America gets blamed for strange quirks of nature it is time to examine our behavior around the world. (Or at least examine their educational system and make sure ours is not as crappy as the one that made this women think the United States goes around draining lakes overnight.)

"Rent-a-crowd" company launched in southern India to cheer politicians

A former politician in southern India has reportedly launched a "rent-a-crowd" company to recruit people to cheer at party rallies and said he has been deluged by would-be recruits.

It almost sounds silly until you think about the fact that we hand pick and screen crowds for our political speeches. Smoke and mirrors.

US 'ignored Iraq oil smuggling'

The US turned a blind eye to the former Iraq regime's $8bn trade in smuggled oil, a new US Senate report says. The report says the US was well aware of both the smuggling and the kickbacks Iraq solicited from players in the UN's oil-for-food programme.

We knew this all along. It was in the papers at the time.

Lawless Iraq is 'key drug route'

Drug smugglers exploiting internal chaos in Iraq have turned the country into a transit route for Afghan heroin, an influential drug agency says.

We occupy both Afghanistan and Iraq and the drugs continue to flow freely? Uncle Sam must be trying to raise money for one of his pet projects or one of his Washington friends.

US company builds seven-foot wide coffin

The seven-foot (2.1 meter) casket was built for a 900-pound (64 stone) man who died in Alaska.
Most people who weigh that much can squeeze into Goliath's 52-inch coffin, which is about as big as a double bed.
But this man's legs would not close. . . .(SNIP) . . . One woman ended up face down in her casket after the body lift broke. Another funeral home could not get the casket through the door. Then there was the casket that creaked and buckled during the service as it teetered on a small stand.
And there was the casket that did not close which ended up on the evening news. That family called Goliath in tears.

7 Feet wide?

Friday, May 20, 2005

Mqust Jr to Ulysses?

It all started innocently on a post about coffee over at Nina Turns 40. Her post was about a coffee house named Espresso Ulysses. Not long after that Nam Lamore over at Laugh Loud and Often listed Ulysses as a possible name for a child.

Ulysses was a name that I tossed out when trying to name my son. Of course I was shot down and laughed at.

For the purposes of Blogging should I change his name from Mquest Jr to Ulysses?

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Minds eye candy

They say visualization is one of the most powerful things one can do. I keep visualizing a free laptop but, I have yet to get one.

They call them the Pop-Ups

Originally uploaded by mquest foto.
They call them the Pop-Ups.
(I am sure at some point our city will sell the naming rights to the fine people at Viagra) The Pop-Ups are a great place to take a child on a hot day. Mquest Jr. enjoyed the water and had fun running and playing with the few other children that were there. I wish they had places like this when I was a child.


Originally uploaded by mquest foto.


Originally uploaded by mquest foto.


Originally uploaded by mquest foto.


Originally uploaded by mquest foto.


Originally uploaded by mquest foto.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Tricks of the Trade:

With his skinny body and spiked hair he skates aimlessly around the parking lot. A cute girl pulls up and calls to him. He skates up to her car and attempts to do a neat little trick to stop his skateboard. He misjudges his trick and rams his board into the side of her car.

I have laughed so hard my side hurts.

And the lord of the ducks tossed sand on the water:

Originally uploaded by mquest foto.

Every time a group of ducks swam by they would get excited thinking someone was tossing bread to them. When they discovered it was only sand they would swim off and a new group would race over. It was a vicious cycle.

Meditation on the waters:

Originally uploaded by mquest foto.

Clear your mind and think of where the rocks go.


Originally uploaded by mquest foto.

Dropping rocks into the water. It is so much fun to watch children play with rocks and water. It is hard to catch the fall of rocks with a camera. It has nothing to do with timing- it is all based on luck


Originally uploaded by mquest foto.

onward ducks-

Originally uploaded by mquest foto.
I am your ruler and demand you swim that way and attack your enemy.


Originally uploaded by mquest foto.

When do we stop with all the signs?

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

The price of democracy:

I wanted to write a letter to my congressman but, I could not scrape together the 2000 dollars for the readers fee.

As I look at the women standing in front of me at the coffee shop:

Your Genes determine your destiny is not the same concept as your Jeans determine your destiny.

Monday, May 16, 2005

Fall Water

Originally uploaded by mquest foto.

A series of pictures where my son falls into a lake. No one was hurt and there are no emotional scars.
He loves looking at these pictures while chanting "€œFall water."€ Do we know how to have fun or what?

Originally uploaded by mquest foto.

Originally uploaded by mquest foto.

Originally uploaded by mquest foto.

For the record:

I made it to the end of Phil Lesh's book Searching for the Sound my life with the Grateful Dead. It was a good read. It was nice to see his perspective on the band.

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Things that keep me up at night:

Has anyone ever made a serious attempt to add lyrics to the song “Classical Gas?”


With a child one gets to see the world through a new set of eyes. All this double vision is giving me a headache.

Shitty Bank part II

Shitty bank (Citibank).
They say you should look at your credit report once a year. So one day I sat down with a nice cup of green tea and looked at my credit report.

I have a hand full of credit cards. Most of my accounts are closed or inactive. Nothing looked bad or strange until I got to shitty bank and found that they check my credit every month.


Thursday, May 12, 2005

Society Garlic- (Tulbaghia Violacea)

Originally uploaded by mquest foto.

Ok, it is not really part of the garlic family.-- This plant smells so wonderful when one breaks its leaves open. Right after I took this picture we went out and got some spaghetti.

Society Garlic-

Originally uploaded by mquest foto.

Head, Bird and Water

Originally uploaded by mquest foto.

Not a great picture. I only saved it because it looks like the bird is coming out of his head.

Head shot-

Originally uploaded by mquest foto.

Good photo. I wish it told a story about the time and pace it was taken in. We went to the park to see ducks. This was taken on a bridge. One would never know that by looking at this picture.


Originally uploaded by mquest foto.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005


Originally uploaded by mquest foto.
Mquest Jr. has taken up the fine art of using sticks to locate hidden water.

Last week we went up to the local mountains. What follows is a short photo log.