Saturday, January 25, 2014

My pride and joy. 1959 Ford Fairlane 500/Galaxie/Skyliner. Retractable Hardtop.

Thursday, November 21, 2013


On October 27th, 2013, my dear mother, Katherine KarDova Shimmin, passed away after a long illness. She was in such pain that at least I know that she is no longer suffering. I keep expecting her to call me and ask how I am doing...but I know that will never happen again. It is a devastating blow to lose a parent...and now I am an orphan...or so it seems. My father died in 1996, so now I am parentless, and feel so alone. No longer can I talk to her to help me cheer up when things are looking down. No longer can I rely on her sound advice and encouragement. No longer can I tell her that I love her, or that she can tell me the same. I was fortunate enough to be able to travel to Idaho about 3 weeks before she passed away and spend a few days with her. She seemed alert and in full control of her faculties...even though her body was ravaged by Lupus and a very rare blood disease. Just 3 weeks later I get a call on Sunday morning from my sister telling me of her passing. Life just doesn't feel the same anymore. I feel more alone now...since I have no close family here in Los Angeles.

It feels nearly the same as when I lost Alma over 21 years ago due to my own stupidity. The 2 most important women in my gone. I can only pray that she is at the side of God in Heaven and she is looking down to watch over me. Thank you mom for being such a wonderful friend, advisor, counselor, provider, caretaker and loving soul!

Saturday, June 09, 2012


I have been silent on this website for over 4 years now.  I never knew that some people could harbor so much hate and distrust, but I was proven wrong. I only make this post to commemorate that 20 years ago to the date my life was changed forever. What has happened in the past I can not change, nor can I repeal decisions I made. It is, what it is...but for people to condemn someone for being human and making mistakes for decades without having the heart, or compassion, to understand what torture that entails...that is beyond my comprehension. I have been stepped on, ridiculed, stolen from, assaulted, denegrated, shamed, exiled and hurt by many people over the course of my life...and there is not one of them that I could not forgive. We all have our trials in life...and I cannot condemn those whose struggles I do not know, nor understand. I am not a judge of people, for that is the domain of God alone. For those people whom I have crossed paths with in the past and feel that I have done them wrong...I am truly sorry that  there is nothing I could do to repent of my transgression against you to the point you could offer me forgiveness. I have never threatened anyone with violence, or retribution. I am not a vengeful soul. I admit that I am a mere human and a child of God. I am prone to mistakes and I have made my share. I have hurt people just as I have been hurt and for that, I am sorry. I offer my forgiveness to the pain I have caused to those that will accept it. For those whose hatred runs too deep, I offer a prayer that God may soften your heart and allow you to see and feel the pain of others. Forgiveness is one of the most difficult things humans can do, yet it is one of the cornerstones of Christianity. The best I can do is soften my heart and offer my sincere apologies to any who would have them...and thus remain in the realm of the unforgiven.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

A ghost from the past...

Continuing on with my trip back east...a "real" ghost did appear. Well...real in the sense it was a real person and that I had not seen that person for about 16 years. For anyone who has read my writings of the may be aware of an old flame I had and the trouble which came my way. I still carry quite a torch for this flame...and for 16 years it has burned bright. But this is not the center of which this story is her friend which seemingly, and quite coincidentally, did I see. I sure looked like her...even after 16 years. Upon setting my eyes upon this person did the floodgates of surpressed memories breach. Was it the friend of my long lost flame? I can't say for sure it was...but if not, the look was uncanny. Her stature, eyes, hair and complexion all seemed to say it was. Perhaps my mind was tricking me...but the resemblance was enough to shock my senses into full retrograde.

All those things which happened, almost 16 years to the date, were as real as they could have been just yesterday. Every minute detail sprang forth like a leopard in the grass. It was like no time had really passed at all. I felt the same inner feelings of dread, sorrow, pain and betrayal.
At the same time however; I was filled with curiosity, excitement and renewed love. I had not felt this invigorated in 16 years. As my mind heart raced and my palms dripped sweat. I could hear the palpatations cursing through my veins. Foremost in my thoughts...what has she been doing these last 16 years? Was she still friends with the one who has my heart?

Questions...unfortunately...that went unanswered. I saw this "friend" only a few fleeting times
while I was there; usually during mealtimes at the dining hall. The few times that we looked at each other...she seemed to have a look of acknowledgement. Only once did I speak to the conclusion of my breakfast. In response to my inquiry...she stated that she looked like a lot of people. I guess that it will remain a to the identity of this "ghost" from the past.
Regardless of the true identity...the long term effects it had on me will last for years. Ironically, my current training assignment was at the same organization as I had been at 16 years past. In addition, the current class president carried the same first name as did the class president 16 years earlier. A few other odds and ends seemed to fit in as well...which made the experience even more surrealistic.

And one more thing...I ran across a person at this training who stated he knew of my old love interest...and that she was now working near Montreal, Canada...of all places. That must have been some shock from a little dusty Arizona border town.

Ghosts can be real or matters little to the depths of the human heart and mind.
Reality gets blurred in an instant...and emotions that seemed dead and buried...not unlike the Lazarus of old...are resurrected. What took me 16 years to bury deep in the depths of my soul...were unleashed in a matter of miliseconds by nothing more than a fleeting glance of a ghost from the past.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Espiritu in the Land of Dixie where was I? Oh yes...terra firma forever. Let me flash forward to the first weekend in the land of cotton. No...I saw no actual cotton plants; but I did want to relay the appearance of a "ghostly" experience. You may have read some of my other ghost this is just another addition to that string of events.

What happened...might you be wondering? It started that Friday night, just 3 weeks ago it was.
In Charleston, you may sign up to go on various "ghost" tours of the city. This night, about 10 of us decided to go to the "haunted jail". This was actually a jail and prison constructed around 1790. It was used continuously until 1936. That is a very long time indeed. The tour started at 10pm. Although the jail was very interesting and creepy...I saw nothing out of the ordinary for the duration of the tour. I took some photos...but spirits made their presence known. I heard several loud bumps...but that was not extraordinary. In fact...besides the obvious scare attempts by the guide...nothing happened at all.

Well, by 11pm...the tour was over. Other participants left by cars parked nearby...while the group I was in walked in the general location of the last known place we had parked our cars. About a block, or so, from the jail and about a half hour was decided that half the group would find the cars...while the others would stay. I stayed...and along with the other 4 persons...we chatted and waited for the return of our comrades. Adjacent to our location was a very old, but well kept, elongated least as old as the civil war years...if not older. It was blue and on the end facing us...were 4 white wooden shutters...all in row. As it so happened...I was relating one of my ghost stories to the group when one of the ladies commented suddenly...."look, there is a women in the window". Upon this, I looked up and lo and behold...there indeed stood a young woman at the window. Now mind was nearly 12pm now and the tour had been over for quite some time. The old house had no lights on, yet the figure stood out with amazing clarity. She was definately young...perhaps late teens, or early twenties. Her hair was long and flowing...past her shoulders. She was very beautiful indeed. A true southern belle. Had this been all...then a passing reference would be all I could say. But this was no ordinary woman. For you see...her hair, face and body were of one color...ghostly white with a washed out look. She appeared to be naked as textiles did I see adorning her. As we all stared up...not one word did she utter. Several attempts by us were made to communicate with this entity...if you will...but to no avail. She just stood and looked upon us...nary a spoken word, nor expressive one. At this time, she appeared to raise her left hand in a fist and made slow and deliberate circles with it. To what end...I do not know. At about this time...the cars for which we waited, had returned...and of which I exclaimed to her the event. As suddenly as she had appeared, so now was she gone and the shutter sealed once more.

And so it was that night...the bonus feature saw by 5 souls on a dark and lonely the city of the land of Dixie. Was this a ghost...I cannot answer that; but I can say for certain that 5 people all saw the same the same time...and in the same manner. digital camera stopped working just as we finished the old jail tour. But isn't that how these things always go? Proof is almost always lacking...but isn't that what makes the uncertainties in life more adventurous? How dull and mundane would life be if chance was eliminated from the game? For the small group that least for a moment in time...we experienced an adventure shared by few others. Real or will always be a link in our common lives...brief as it was. It will remain a part of us until the end of our days.

From the bottom of the Pit.

The first day of spring has come...and only now do I get around to my blog. It has been awhile...and I have been negligent on posting. I am surprised that they "blogger" will allow so much idle time to pass without activity. It's good that they I am sure many would be closed by now.

I think I about ready for another update in my biography if you will. The first 3 were written in 2005...and a few things have happened since then. I do remember updating from that little trip I took to Florence, Arizona last year. Well, as fate would have it...I just returned from a 3 week training course in Charleston, South Carolina. If you have never been to this should. It is a medium sized southern city...for which the Civil War never really ended. References to the old Confederacy abound and the numerous memorials are constant reminders that this region serves under the Stars and Stripes as a conquered nation. Recriminations aside; Charleston is full of history and tradition. I found the people to be freindly and charming. The city center was well kept and quite clean. By comparison, North Charleston was the antithesis to this. It seemed comparable to many of the run down burgs I see in Los Angeles on a daily basis.
Crime, graffiti and drugs seem to be the the order of the day. There seems to be a clear deliniation of class and race in the greater Charleston area. Mostly white and affluent in the city and souther suburbs...yet mostly poor and black in North Charleston. This class segregation is hard to miss. I guess some things just never change.

Anyway...back to my story. First...the flight from LA to Houston was harrowing. Thunderstorms were active in Houston, so the airplane was held in a circular pattern for nearly an hour. It was at this time that a older man had suffered what appeared to be a heart attack. The flight attendants were running to an fro...attempting to help the victim. Several retired doctors on board were called upon to assist. The storm was pitching the plane about and passengers were getting edging...including myself. I guess the judgement was that the man may not make it if we delayed the landing further. So down we went into the abyss of wind, rain and thunder. The aircraft rocked and heaved against the violence of the storm. It took over an hour to finally touch down...and the solid terra firma never looked so good. It almost made me swear off flying for good. wasn't quite over yet. Unfortunately...since the flight was delayed...they gave away the nice big 757 to some other aircrew. We ended up with the replacement...and what a disappointment. Anytime you are asked to board your plane by walking out to the can't be a good thing.

So there it sat...a tiny little puddle 757 standards anyway!
At least it wasn't a prop drive death machine. I think it held about 15 people. I guess the captain decided he could make it out between 2 thunderstorms. He was wrong! We got caught in the second one on the all I could think of. As bad as the 757 was in landing...this little orphan maker was triple the white knuckle trip talking off. Never have I heard so much snapping, popping, groaning and creaking before. With every wild pitch, the poor little craft would seemingly cry with agony. We finally were able to outrun the storm...halfway to Charleston. Now I really wanted to swear off flying for good. I had the "good" fortune to see this same storm again...the very next day...with a tornado watch thrown in to boot.

Well...I still have some more to go on this tome...but I have to go for now. I hope to continue later this time permits.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Somewhere in the Sonoran Desert

Lucky me. It has been nearly 3 weeks since I was sent out on this detail to Florence, Arizona.
"Where is that?" might ask. It is a small town between Phoenix and Tucson...out in the middle of nowhere. What I am here for...well...I am helping send illegal aliens home. That's my job...helping send ILLEGAL immigrants back to their points of origin. A thankless job...but a very necessary job. I could be here till Christmas...but at least it is not summer...and 120 out.
About probably has the highest "cop" per capita rating I have ever seen. There are at least 5 jails and prisons here. Tons of deputies, city cops, state police, fed is truly amazing. They should just call it Prisonville.

Fortunately for me, I like small towns and the outdoors. I like nature and exploring. Until last week, I was in a hotel in Gold Canyon, AZ...a flyspeck of a place nestled against the Superstition Mountains. The same place where the lost dutchman mine resides. This is a legend in these parts. This was supposed to be a mine that has untold wealth associated with it. The Spanish used to use Indians to mine it back in conquistador days. Over the centuries, many people have tried to find it...some have died under mysterious circumstances. It carries a the story goes. I would sure love to find that mine! My working days would be OVER!

Hmmm...just what would I do with all that wealth? Several scenarios come to mind. What would you do with it? Well...I guess I will hit the sack and dream about all the riches hidden in those mountains. Maybe an old flame will grace me with her presence in dreamland tonight...and cap off my finding the motherload. Hey...they can't take away least not yet.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

A Desert Dweller

Check out this photo! I crawled to within 2 feet to get this shot. This southern pacific rattler was not about to back down. It actually stayed in this position until I left, but never once struck. This guy was found near Mojave, California.

Labels: long has it been?

Here it is, the first day of September....and I finally get back to putting something on here. Yes...I am still alive and kicking...though I have not an explaination as to why. I suppose I have been too busy....or maybe just didn't care. Maybe it was just writers block? Oh well....that is how it is at times.

I have had numerous photographic opportunities...and I will post some soon as I upload them. As for my art...well...true to the promise of which I made in 1992...I have never taken up that hobby again. The mortal wound of which I suffered in that time...has healed not...and I can not force my body to do that, which my heart refuses. It saddens me to think that I have been unable to to put pen, pencil, or paper and canvas. To me, nothing is more heartfelt and true, than emotion expressed through the media of art. A dark period...quickly approaching 20 years now.

And of the girl I lost...she still resides in my inner dreams....and heart. For nearly 2 decades have I withdrawn from the social scene...of dating...of
courtship...of companionship. It has been far to painful to revisit the trauma of the past.
A large peice of me died then...and I have been unsuccessful in my attempts to resurrect it.
This is what separates humanity from almost all other animals. It is our greatest attribute...and our greatest failure.

Until next time........

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Have you ever seen a coconut crab? you go. This little guys live in various south pacific islands and eat...yes...coconuts. They are capable of husking and cracking open the largest coconuts. I had one as a pet in my barracks room in Guam back in the service. This specimen was a dead one mounted for display.  Posted by Picasa

Red sky at night...sailors' delight. Red sky at morning...sailor take warning. this case, it was the sailors' delight. If it were not for the wires...this would have been a fantastic shot.  Posted by Picasa

Requiem for a baby kingsnake. This poor little hatchling California Mountain Kingsnake was just hit by a speeding motorist in Azusa Canyon. I got there too late to save it. It really bums you out to see things like this happen. Posted by Picasa

Monday, September 11, 2006

My 9/11 Tribute

Here it is...5 years to the day of the attack that changed America...and the world. I reflect on this day what happened 5 years past. I remember distinctly...visiting my mother in Idaho...when my brother called her and asked her to turn on the TV. I watched in amazment as one of the towers spewed smoke and flame. Minutes later...the second plane hit. I knew this was no coincidence. The terrorists had made their move. It seemed that everyone was caught off guard. News trickled in from the media about purported planes crashing into the White House and Congress. Nether proved to be true...but it was a chaotic time. Although we now now that Flight 93 would have hit the White House had it not been crashed.

Like most Americans...I was filled with anger, vengence, sorrow and sadness. I still am. I wanted to do my part to help combat the scurge of radical Islam. Too old for the military...I joined TSA when it was formed. Though a back injury ended my TSA service...I am still proud to have been a part of the response to the attacks. In my opinion...the TSA patches we wore before DHS was created...were the best design of any honoring the Twin Towers. There were beauty incarnate...and I was one of the lucky few to have had the honor to have adorn them. Now obsolete and forgotten...replaced by the "rather ugly" DHS seal...I have a special place where I keep that old uniform shirt I have. Those 2 great TSA patches...the eagle flying out of the's wings reminiscent of the 2 towers. It was a design made specifically for the occasion. It carried with it the sense of pride and honor that made America what it is today.

May we never forget!

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Check out the remnants of this forest near Mt. Saint Helens vulcano. Mind you...this is 26 years after the eruption happened! Posted by Picasa

A great view of the center of Mt. Saint Helens. Back in 1980 this thing erupted and blew the whole center out. I have a jar of ash that came right off the mountain just days after it erupted...thanks to an uncle who lives near there.  Posted by Picasa

C'mon cute can it get. This is the same chipmunk I posted yesterday. I was only inches from its furry little face this time. This little critter was living at the base of Mt. Saint Helens.  Posted by Picasa

A rockslide at the foot of the vulcano caused by a small temblor. Posted by Picasa

I took this pic looking into the "bowl" of Mt. Saint Helens where it had erupted in 1980. If you look at the wisp of smoke in the upper right of the was spewing lava. At night...activity like this glows bright red. The dust on the left side on the rim is from a small earthquake. Posted by Picasa

This is one of three lakes formed after Mt. Saint Helens erupted. The encircle the base of the mountain now. Posted by Picasa

Here is a view of Mt. Saint Helens in Washington. You can clearly see where the eruption took place and blasted part of it away in 1980. Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

I took a pic of this chipmunk on Johnsons' Ridge, across from the Mt. Saint Helens crater. He just sat and ate while I inched within about 2 feet of him.  Posted by Picasa

Check out the color of this big rainbow can also see 2 sturgeon swimming in the background. Posted by Picasa

White sturgeon moving in for a closer look. Posted by Picasa

Here's a headshot of these very ancient fish...white sturgeon. Check out the nose and eyes...looks kind of like a dog...even has whiskers. Posted by Picasa

Looks like a shark...but is actually a white sturgeon. Posted by Picasa

This is one monster size rainbow trout. Hmm...sure looks tasty.  Posted by Picasa

Look at the size of these huge rainbow trout. Sure wish I could drop a lure in. Too bad they were at the fish hatchery.  Posted by Picasa

A nice big steelhead going up the fish ladder at Bonneville dam.  Posted by Picasa

Steelhead and one large salmon going through the viewing area. Posted by Picasa

Bonneville dam on the Columbia river. I was lucky to be there when so much water was being released over the spillway. Normally it is far less spectacular. Posted by Picasa

Can you guess what this is? is actually an old Union Pacific snow plow. No longer in makes for an interesting display. Posted by Picasa

Hard to belive that the US government would put out ridiculous cartoons to remind pilots to not run into power lines. Look at the sterotype of Hirohito. Of course...this was during WW2 so some slack is in order. Posted by Picasa

Get a load of this WW2 vintage war poster for US pilots. Notice the axis carictures of Hirohito...Mussolini...and Hitler. Amusing. Posted by Picasa