Wednesday, April 29, 2015

The Zeal for Good Living

                                                                                                      Attribution: Cat
Image: Jumping for Joy (here)

Z  -  the Zeal for Good Living

The 3WW words:
bitter glorious stumble

Pristine in glory
Glorious and brazen
Great feeling surely
Made it to the end

Bitter on occasions
Felt like a kick to the butt
Did not comment in time
Stumbled progress somewhat

Would make amends
In the coming days ahead
Would retrace missed comments
Apologies for being late

The A to Z April Challenge
An episode for good living
Been a great experience
Fun company in blogging

For the A to Z Challenge - Z
Thomg's 3WW week 425

Youthful vigor

                                                          Attribution: Jorge Royan (CC-BY-SA 3.0)
Image: Young Couple Relaxing (here)

Y for Youthful vigor

The given words:
Latin opening clothes element simple 
store bell level honey tear tire

Youthful vigor and the Latin lover
Opening lines often heard before
Fine clothes stood as an attraction
In keeping with polished elements

Not likely typical in the recent past
Putting false front did not seem to last
Simple store attire seemed now the vogue
More of the person would likely to provoke

It rang a bell of current trend behavior
Ruggedly handsome the current lure
Fast and Furious brought a new level
One who stood his grounds so very able

Purring of 'honey' a tear or two with relish
Typical female weapons still just as effective
Big Boss man tireless in his manly pursuits
With a s.w.t. both cordially padding the fruits

For Blogging A to Z April Challenge - Y and
MMT's hosting at Sunday Whirligig #5

Monday, April 27, 2015

A Xylophone of a Gamelan Ensemble

                                       Attribution: Fir0002/Flagstaffotos (CC-BY-NC)
Image1: A Xylophone-like gambang part of a Gamelan Ensemble (here)

                                                                                      Attribution: Jocelyn Gonzales
Image2 : An American Lady knocking at the gambang. This is the Son of Lion, an
American gamelan in Manhattan, New York (here)

Note: Gamelan is traditional ensemble music of Java and Bali in Indonesia, made up predominantly of percussive instruments. The most common instruments are metallophones played by mallets as well as a set of hand played drums called gendang which register the beat. Other instruments include xylophones, bamboo flutes, bowed instrument called rebab and gongs - Wiki

X is for Xylophone

A Tanka

Slow rendition that
floats with monotonous beats
supported by gongs
xylophones rebabs and flutes
mesmerizing to dreamers

For A  to Z April Challenge  - X and
Marian's hosting at Real Toad's Tuesday Platform

Sunday, April 26, 2015

W for Lots of Wise Words! (YH#11)

This is the Modern Day Explorer #11
The Modern Day Explorer #10 (here)

W for Lots of Wise Words

The human side of photography is a very personal thing. One just snaps without really thinking. But it is more than that. Let's get some inputs from Yusuf especially when out in the 'field'

Yusuf Hashim says:
One aspect of street photography I dislike and would discourage is the tendency for newbies to zero in on beggars, the destitute and unfortunate people in the street, and call it street photography. Street photography is about life in the streets. Along with the beggars and the destitute and unfortunate homeless people on the street, there is happiness, emotions, surprises and unique photo-opportunities that we can shoot. IMHO, the essential difference between artists and photographers is this
An artist starts with a blank canvas. With his training in frame dynamics and colour theory from art school, he then proceeds to populate his blank canvas with his visual story. His subject placements is near perfect. And his knowledge of the power of light, shades, shadows and colour results in a beautiful painting (if he is good). An artist therefore ADDS elements into his blank canvas to make a picture.
                                                                                              Attribution: Yusuf Hashim
Image1: Yusuf Hashim says
I was having char or tea at a pavement tea stall in Kathmandu when this thirsty boy 
came up and asked the chai seller for some water. The Chai seller told him to open 
his mouth ....and simply poured water down his throat 

Photographers have a different challenge. As a photographer in the streets, we are surrounded by zillions of dynamic events going on around us all the time. We only need to train ourselves to see, to identify and to isolate a single event, choose a particular perspective that is uniquely ours, and press the shutter to freeze that unrepeatable single moment for eternity. We have to MYA (Move Your Ass) to try and EXCLUDE elements that we don't want in our frame. 

For example if you see that proverbial lamp post behind your subject, you have to MYA either to the left or to the right to prevent creating a photo which shows the lamp post growing out of your subject's head..
                                                                                             Attribution: Yusuf Hashim
Image2: Yusuf Hashim says:
One fine morning in Thamel, Kathmandu. It was early morning. Mother and daughters were brushing their teeth on the pavement, on a low wall, just outside their house. Behind them is a communal well, in a large square pit, with steps going down at least 30 meters. Many other women and children were washing clothes or washing themselves down in the pit. 

Early morning is a beautiful time for shooting photos. The almost horizontal light creates beautiful shadows and light, bringing out textures, shapes and patterns. I cannot believe that many so called photographers choose to sleep during this golden hour.

A Haiku
Always be ready
That special moment comes by
in just split seconds

For Blogging A to Z April Challenge - W

Saturday, April 25, 2015

V for Vacation of a Lifetime (YH#10)

                                                                                                    Attribution: LZ6387
Image1: The Ingeborg Schooner (here)
(Hank says - This is not the schooner but similar perhaps)

This is the Modern Day Explorer #10
The Modern Day Explorer #9 (here)

A Poem (a haiku) to accompany OP Yusuf's narration
(A Haiku is a non-rhyming form of a 5-7-5 syllable count)

Off to Greenland get
to know Eskimos perhaps
stay in an igloo

Experience sailing
in a schooner which is not
easy to come by

Yusuf throws in a
few days in Iceland a two
in one experience!

There you have it! Not just a vacation not any ordinary
vacation but a vacation of a lifetime!

Yes! STOP PRESS Release!

Yusuf Hashim explorer extraordinaire extended his invitation to
bloggers through his comment (here). The extract is given in full below:

Yusuf Hashim  April 24, 2015 at 1:33 AM
I'm returning to Iceland from 1-8 September 2015, en route 
to a sailing Expedition in Greenland. Wanna come ? All are 
invited, but places are limited. The schooner can only take 
10 people including me ....

There you are! Hank will contact Yusuf to let us know how best for
bloggers to go about to get their interests registered. It has to be
direct to Yusuf certainly.

Extract of latest info from Yusuf Hashim's Facebook posting

Yusuf Hashim added 11 new photos.
April 24 at 7:33pm · Edited ·

The Early Bird Applications for my Greenland Expedition from 9-17 September 2015 is OPEN. Only 10 places are available.

As an appetizer, and because we have to fly to Greenland from Iceland, I am also doing a short repeat PhotoSafari to Iceland from 1-8 September 2015. Also limited places to this amazing Island of Fire and Ice.

If you are an Early Bird, you could get discounts of upto US$1500 (terms and conditions apply) . Message me your email address and I will give you a link to download the Information Pack and the Early Bird Application Forms. The info pack should be ready and available by tomorrow morning. Still need to cross the Ts and dot the i. Miss Aurora awaits you in Iceland and Greenland.

Photos attached were all shot in Greenland from on board a schooner by my buddy Iurie Belegurschi, who will co-lead these two photosafaris with me. Iurie is a Nat Geo class photographer who was coaching us how to shoot the Aurora during our recent two photosafaris to Iceland. I've already booked the 65 tons Schooner that we will use as our private floating hotel, as we explore Greenland's massive fjords where the waters are so calm that they are almost glassy smooth. If we are lucky, we can expect whales to breech along side our schooner, polar bears on Ice Floes, sea lions, Arctic Birds and of course simply magical icescapes. Miss Aurora could also surprise us at night. Our meals will be taken on board, prepared by our schooner's chef. Only 10 berths available and applications accompanied by deposits will be given priority.

Promo from Yusuf Hashim

Yusuf Hashim says - We'll use smaller Zodiac boats to go on land and visit some 
of the most remote hunting communities in Greenland. Accessible only in Summer

Yusuf Hashim says -Dusk in Greenland ... a photo that can only be shot by those adventurous enough to join my EXPEDITION to Greenland from 8-17 Sep 2015

Yusuf Hashim says - Mr Polar Bear on an Ice Floe in Greenland. Shot from our Floating Hotel

Yusuf Hashim says - A magical sunset shot from our schooner in Greenland

For A to Z April Challenge - V
and Mary's hosting at PU's Poetry Pantry #249

Thursday, April 23, 2015

The U-word!

                                                                        Attribution: Adrian Michael
Image: A U-Shaped Valley in Switzerland (here)

U for the U-Word

The given 3WW words:
hush desperate beautiful

Hush! not to be alarmed
It has a strange fascination
It can start most innocently
Nothing to indicate its versatility
Just pick a word, any word
Precede it with a U and hey presto!
It creates a new meaning and
becomes an entirely new word

It'll turn the opposite very conveniently like
Unaffected Unassuming Unceremonious
Undeterred Unequaled Unfaltering
and lots more

Or it can be a stand alone to start with
Ubiquitous and seen everywhere
having its own strength like
Ultimate Umbrage Umpire Umpteen
By itself with its own meaning

Or perhaps indicating concern absent
before putting the U for instance
Uphill Uprising Uproar Upsurge
Uptight Unsightly Unrest

It's unbearable, uncanny
not being desperate
But it is still beautiful!

For Blogging A to Z April Challenge - U and
Grace's hosting at deVerse OpenLink Night #147 and
Thomg's 3WW week #424

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

A shade above all others

                                             Attribution: Anthony Stanley
Image: A Contemplative Chimp (here)

T for Thinking Aloud

The given words:
weather mottled clip shade stain lace purse ink
iridescent (of lustrous colors like those of the rainbow)
diaphanous (delicately hazy almost completely transparent)
dissonant (disagreeing or out of harmony)

Not under the weather nor mottled
in his thinking
But somehow clipped
in his desire to do good

Iridescent in his make-up
A shade above all others
Why should his demeanor
be stained now

He laced his thoughts well
though diaphanous a little but
none as dissonant as to raise objections

He pursed his lips
He knew he was an honest person
He had to make a decision

He thought he could decide easy and fast
not even allowing the ink to dry
He thought hard!

No, he would not make a good politician!

For MMT's hosting at Sunday's Whirligig #4 and
Blogging A to Z April Challenge - T

The S-Word

                                                                                        Attribution: Gareth Williams
Image:  A Loving Couple
A beautiful young woman and her wheelchair
bound partner inspecting some wild flowers.

A perfect love poem according to Kenia's explanation
at Real Toads is found to conform to the formula:
x (p + b + c + o) which represents
mystery (pattern (rhyming) + brevity + comparison + obstacles)

Substantive in love's courage
Surreptitiously given to loving
Sought now for a marriage
Seemingly not really wanting

Such is love in a sanctuary
Straddled by conservative parents
Set in contrast to modern society
Streaks where freedom is very apparent

So objections bandied about
Salient to accede to the parents
Scandalous to think to elope
Sobering that love will be earned

Note: Hank tries to follow the formula keeping
it rhyming throughout in all its brevity.

For Kenia's hosting at Real Toads  - perfect love poem
and Blogging from A to Z April Challenge  -S

Monday, April 20, 2015

Reflections in Innocence

Image: Courtesy of Tess' Mag #266

R for Reflections in Innocence

The given words:
never mind gorgeous emit smother pelvis bounce incessant pillow intern heroine
sublimation  (the diversion of the energy of a sexual or other biological impulse from its immediate goal to one of a more acceptable nature or use.)
syzygy (any two related things, either alike or opposite)

Never mind if you think I'm gorgeous
I am not emitting any kind of sexual power
to smother your innocence though
my pelvis keeps bouncing incessantly

I don't even have a pillow
to provide the warmth

I am an intern wanting to be a
heroine that is sublimation 
at its most enduring

Can we get a syzygy syzygy
kind of compromise?

For MLMM's hosting at Wordle # 57
Tess' hosting at Mag Tales #266
Kerry's at Tuesday's Platform at Real Toads
Blogging A to Z April Challeng

Quest for the Outdoors (YH#9)

                                                                               Attribution: Yusuf Hashim
Images: All images courtesy of Yusuf Hashim

This is the Modern Day Explorer #9
The Modern Day Explorer #8 (here)

Q for Quest for the Outdoors

Been there, done it! That is the usual confirmation one hears. But for Yusuf Hashim it is 'Been there, done it, Twice over!' That seems to be the underlying battle cry in the recent past. What prompts Yusuf to do a re-visit on those places around the globe. Perhaps he wants to share the experiences and the wonders of Mother Earth with as many as possible. In his own words,

Yusuf Hashim says:
Since 2008, I have done more than 50 photo safaris and workshops for groups of photographers from around the world. I've taken photographers to Bhutan, Kashmir, the Old Silk Road in Xinjiang Uyghur, Bangladesh, the Taklimakan Desert, Cuba, Tibet, Nepal, the Himalayas, Philippines, Vietnam, Cambodia, China, Korea, India, Ethiopia,  Africa, Kashmir, etc.

Yusuf is just back from Iceland. For ordinary folks one would be happy and satisfied with just an annual vacation. But not Yusuf. He has already cut out a program for the rest of the year. His plate is full!

Yusuf Hashim says:
When I come back I'll have time for a short rest, and then it's off to Morocco in mid May followed by North Korea end May to early June. In August we'll go to the Masai Mara in Kenya to shoot the wildebeest migration, with an optional side trip to Zanzibar..

In September I've already hired a 33m long and 65 tons schooner to sail into Scoresby Sound of Greenland to shoot Polar Bears, Breeching whales, sea lions, musk oxen, seals, Penguins, Orcas, etc.

As its a giant fjord, the waters will be as calm as glass....We'll sleep on board the schooner and during daylight we'll use fast Zodiac boats to go ashore and visit isolated settlements which cannot be reached by land. A highlight will be for you to earn bragging rights by swimming in the Artic Sea at 71°N where the temperatures can be as surprising as 13°C in summer. In the evening we will have dinner on board and then perhaps a cosy bonfire on the beach with story telling or singing.

And since you have to go to Iceland to reach Greenland, I'll also offer a short 7 days appetizer in Iceland from 1-7 Sep before the Greenland Expedition from 9-16 Sept.

And when we return from Greenland, the plan is to go to Patagonia before the year ends, with possibly a drive from Katmandu over the Himalaya to Lhasa to visit EBC on the North Face of Everest. We also want to do Bhutan, but we'll see how it goes.
(more of Yusuf Hashim here)

Hank just wonders where from the energy to take on the onslaught. As mentioned Yusuf is at the ripe young age of 70. Has Yusuf found the elixir of youth from his travels?

The Haiku
Quest for the outdoors
Roughing it out with nature
And all done in style

For Blogging from A to Z April Challenge - Q

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Photography with Yusuf Hashim (YH#8)

After having gone through Yusuf's photos all these while Hank can only wonder at the artistic nature of all of them. Composition, perspective and lights are basic which are often ignored as a consequence the opportunity of a great shot is lost. But Yusuf Hashim works with them and on them and astounds us.

Interestingly photography may not be just snapping away at them by accident. One must anticipate to take advantage of a signature scene.Grab the opportunity, anticipate and wait....then snap!. This can be better explained by Yusuf's ingenuity in image #1 below.

Image 1:
Yusuf Hashim says:
I saw this shaft of light, breaking through the trees, lighting this particular spot on the pathway. All that remained was to wait for a suitable subject to walk into it. He came along soon enough, and I simply released the shutter.....

This is the Modern Day Explorer #8
The Modern Day Explorer #7 (here)

P for Photography with Yusuf Hashim
(All photos are sourced from Yusuf Hashim 
and used with permission)

Image 2
Yusuf Hashim says:
The super-jeep we used to explore central Iceland

Hank takes pleasure in appending herewith some of these signature snapshots which ordinarily appear ordinary. These are done with great measure of composition and thoughts besides the technicalities which Yusuf already thought of. Looking at images #1 #2 and #3 one would imagine these are b/whites. Yusuf could have evaluated the terrain (in image#2) and snapped a colored photo but brought out a b/white effect. An ordinary super jeep but it came out brilliantly! The same can be said of the beautiful Swazi lass below! Perfect composition and lighting effects!

Image 3 :
Yusuf Hashim says:
Here's a tastefully artistic picture of a young lady from Swaziland....a very interesting country to visit, especially during the birthday celebrations of King Mswati III of Swaziland, when thousands of young women and girls – all of them virgins – dance topless for their king. The Umhlanga Reed Dance is an annual rite that sees girls as young as five dance, chant and lay reeds at the feet of Mswati and the Queen Mother, hoping that the king will pick them to add to his presently, 14 wives.....King Mswati is the last remaining absolute monarch in Africa, and he's probably having a great time...

A Haiku:

Talents not by chance
Skills honed through innate interest 
Disciplined brilliance 

For Blogging A to Z April Challenge - P and
Mary's hosting at PU's Poetry Pantry #248

Saturday, April 18, 2015

It took many by surprise!

                                                                                            Attribution: John Daniels
Image: First Flight of the Wright Brothers (here)

The machine traveled 120 ft (36.6 m) in 12 seconds at 10:35 a.m. at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. Orville Wright was at the controls of the machine, lying prone on the lower wing with his hips in the cradle which operated the wing-warping mechanism. Wilbur Wright ran alongside to balance the machine, and just released his hold on the forward upright of the right wing in the photo. The starting rail, the wing-rest, a coil box, and other items needed for flight preparation are visible behind the machine. This was considered "the first sustained and controlled heavier-than-air, powered flight" by the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (Wiki)

O for Orville and Wilbur Wright

Orville and Wilbur
You must have cringed at the drones'

For Blogging from A to Z April
Challenge - O

Friday, April 17, 2015

Not to be caged in, that's the spirit!

                                                                                                 Attribution: Azim Afif
Image: 1 UTM Everest 2014/2015 mission. Pro-Chancellor of UTM  OP Tan Sri Dr. Salleh Mohd Nor. together with the main climbers, Aidib Yusoff Jamhuri Jumari Azham Afzanizam Hamzah. 

                                                                             Attribution: Azim Afif
Image: 2 OP Tan Sri Dr Salleh Mohd Nor in crimson tops with Everest in the background

                                                                                        Attribution: Jayafuddin Jalil
Image 3 OP Tan Sri Dr. Salleh Mohd Nor at Everest Base Camp in a 
warm-up mission in 2012

N for Not to be Caged In

The given words:
cage crimson guesthouse flowers furry
moments nightmare pull unhappy steady 
askew (to one side; out of line; in a crooked position)
sanguinary (full of or characterized by bloodshed)

Not to be caged in
That's the spirit!
The same feelings
extended by OP Salleh
to his young wards
from the UTM
when he led them on their
Everest quest

Dressed in crimson tops
OP Salleh was ready for the kill
Not the sanguinary kind but
those engaged of the esprit de corps
rich in him, an Old Putra

First stop at the 'guesthouse'
The Everest Base Camp
To prepare and readying
themselves for the assault

No flowers for any grand send-off
Nor furry Abominable Snowman to
bid them safe journey
but there were moments of nightmare
that all climbers witnessed
but never talked about such as
the remains of previous climbers
lying askew strewn and not buried

They pulled through though
but quite unhappy seeing such
poignant scenes

The climbers were both physically
and emotionally provoked but steadfast
they steadily moved on!

Note: Old Putra is an alumni of
the Royal Military College

For Blogging A to Z April Challenge - N and
Sunday's Whirligig 3 hosted by MMT with
the given words

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

M - for The Man Himself (YH#7)

                                                         Attribution : Yusuf Hashim
 Image1 : Yusuf Hashim at one of his relaxed moments (April 2015)

                                                        Attribution: Yusuf Hashim
Image 2 Yusuf Hashim bubbling with enthusiasm (April 2015)
Yusuf Hashim says:
I believe I can fly! A 70 year old Gandalf with 15 Grandkids leaping 3 meters into the air. High on sulphur fumes from fumaroles in the Namafjall Hvrir volcanic region in North Iceland.

This is the Modern Day Explorer #7
The Modern Day Explorer #6 (here)

M for The Man Himself
Hank's buddy, Yusuf Hashim globe-trotter extraordinaire is just back from his most recent adventure in Iceland. His Photo-Safari outings with a dozen or so 'photo tourists' cover off-roads scenic locations. Hank earlier highlighted some of them (YH#1 YH#2 YH#3 YH#4 YH#5 YH#6)

Today it is the man himself with a sprinkling of earlier snapshots. Just a sampling of previous photos but more than enough to know how active and interesting a soul he is. One who is enjoying life to the fullest physically and able to withstand the vigor of a youngster at age 70!

                                                         Attribution: Yusuf Hashim
Image 3 Yusuf Hashim Crossing the Marker of the Tropic of Capricorn
at the Kalahari Desert' Namibia

                                                                                            Attribution: Yusuf Hashim
Image: 4 Rainbow over Route 40 in Western Argentina

Yusuf Hashim says:
The loneliest road in the world that I've  driven through is Route 40 in Western Argentina, which stretches 5000 kilometers from La Quiaca in Jujuy Province in the north, to Rio Gallegos in Santa Cruz Province in the South. Running parallel to the Andes Mountains, its height at Rio Gallegos in the south is at sea level. It passes through 20 national parks, 18 major rivers, 27 passes in the Andes, and it reaches a height of 5000 meters or 16,404 feet at Abra del Acay in Salta. Mount Acongcagua, the highest mountain in the Americas, can be clearly seen about 120 km from In a 500 kilometers stretch in the sparsely populated south, we saw only 4 other vehicles apart from our own. And one of them was a car that had broken down, which our team mechanic helped to repair so that it could safely continue its journey northwards. Like in the Makgadigadi Pan in Botswana, and the Salar de Uyuni in Bolivia, there is great beauty in emptiness. I shot this rainbow through the windscreen of my car on Route 40 south of Patagonia. 

(More of Yusuf Hashim) (here)

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

A Photographer's Gem

                                                                                          Attribution: Florian Fuchs
Image 1 Lake Agnes at Banff National Park, Canada
with Mount Whyte (here)

                                                                                          Attribution: Florian Fuch
Image 2 Kinney Lake with Mount Whitehorn (here)

L for Beautiful Lakes

Photographer's gem
Snug in the wilderness left
preserved undisturbed

The right angle chosen,well
taken with trained eyes

Nature's secret to
include mountain tops to blend
for perfect snapshot

For Blogging from A to ZApril Challenge - L and
Marian's hosting at Real Toad's Tuesday Platform

Monday, April 13, 2015

Does one really wonder!

                                                                            Attribution: Michael Pereckas
Image: K-9 Police Dog (here)

K for K-9

The given words:
seven dysphemism (the substitution of a harsh expression for a more neutral one)
emollient (power of softening or as a medicine,soothing, especially to the skin)
obstreperous (resisting control or restraint in a difficult manner,unruly,noisy,boisterous)
damp worm yellow crocus hello scene entwine 

Does one really wonder
That it can be called man's best friend?
It can yelp or holler
or stoop to whine

Reputedly domesticated from wolves
Features in about seven known functions
of assisting police, hunting, pulling loads
herding, aiding handicaps, as pets and protection

Answers to dysphemism in commands
Will then respond emollient in elements
But can turn obstreperous in other instances
all arising from the given treatment

Avoid damp bedding and constantly dewormed
To appear healthily to mirror a yellow crocus
Say hello to an adorable bitch and a resourceful K-9
Great scene entwined with all kindness

For Georgia;s hosting at MLMM's Wordle # 56 and
Blogging from A to Z April Challenge -  K

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Jointly wedded it was bliss!

                                                                                                 Attribution: Azhar Jaah
Image: 1 Third from left Yatt, Farhan,Faiz
and Shuhadah flanked by both brides' parents

                  Attribution: Azhar Jaah
Image: 2 Faiz and Charming Shuhadah

                                                                        Attribution: Azhar Jaah
Image 3 Farhan and Sweet Yatt

J for Jointly Wedded

They had been together
They grew up together
But last week-end topped it all
For they really had a ball

They decided to get hitched
Jointly wedded it was bliss
Faiz with his brother Farhan
with sweet brides led in hand

Double weddings not a rarity
But it did top as a novelty
There was a 'gamelan' group ensemble
Dance and 'silat' displays all traditional

Which pair would be first to present
Eagerly awaited by all the parents
To dote over a grandchild or two
As grandparents they expected to

Shuhadah and Yatt would have to think
Bundle of Joy certainly a beautiful thing
But forthwith it would finally sink in
Sleepless nights the same as child feeding

Note: Gamelan is a musical group with something
like a xylophone (but made up of gongs) as the lead
Silat is a form of self defence

For Mary's hosting at PU's Poetry Pantry #247
and Blogging A to Z  -  J