history

Climbing Mountains is Exhausting!

Bear Peak, Boulder Colorado.

Summit of Bear Peak , located on the Flat Irons near Boulder Colorado.

Huffing and puffing up 8,000 ft peaks is tough work, however the reward is super sweet! This was my first Mount Summit, and it was a blast. I’m too tired to write a in-depth article (plus edit over 100 photos). So enjoy this stellar pano I took this morning upon reaching the summit!

 

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fruit pie, and meringue cookies on mothers day.

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God bless our Mothers! They show us love in thousands (more so infinite ) of ways. From birth they carry us for the next 2o some years of our lives. Teaching us, encouraging us, and comforting us, without mothers the world would be a much mor dark and dreary place.

meringue cookies

Lovely meringue cookies, made with love and a heavenly touch! So light and airy, eating only one would not suffice. My mom carefully created these beauties for such a spectacular day. She finds joy in creating wonderful treats for her family.

Mother and Son, on a beautiful Mother's Day.

Mother and Son, on a beautiful Mother’s Day.

Mothers are the core to the family, they help teach us the most important things in life, how to be loving and caring people. How to forgive and forget, and most importantly build us into mature men and women.

Thanks Moms!!!!!

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Konica Autoreflex TC Review

Time travel is possible these days, however it does take some special tools in order to voyage into the past. One must acquire a Analog SLR and a few quality rolls of film.

The Power Horse

I recently acquired this beauty from a college of mine at a wonderful price. For a total of seventy U.S. dollars I received a classic Konica Autoreflex TC SLR, as well as four lenses and two zoom converters. It was the deal of the century, seeing as many modern DSLR bodies can use old lenses with a simple attachment ring.

The four lenses that came with the camera include; 50mm, 135mm, 80~200m, 35~105mm. Having so many different lenses allows me to experiment with different focal planes. Which gives me more tools to help improve my technique. More importantly, film forces one to set up the shot before the image is captured. The way I take photos has changed dramatically, It has helped me strengthen my photographic eye.

This purchase also came with a classic strobe for taking flash photography, which has opened up a whole new world for me.

Taken photos is so much more work, but so much more rewarding when the perfect shot is taken.

New setup

World Famous Red Rocks Amphitheatre

B&W rocks

Red Rocks Amphitheatre is where world class musicians come to make history. Bands such as the Beatles, CSN, and Eric Clapton have left their mark on this special place. I decided that I would try to make a recording of my own, and spin my own view of this wonderful place.

Cold

Bone chilling temperatures and a peaceful calm surrounded the landscape. I could hear the crunch of gravel underfoot as I traipsed the grounds. As I began setting up some shots more people began showing up for some freezing morning exercises, some ran the stairs while others practiced yoga poses.

Colorado Sunrise

Darkside of the Moon

Mountain man

Pathlite

Rainbow tree

It turned out to be well worth losing sleep and a warm breakfast. The thing is about photography, that many don’t understand is the work that photog’s put into each shot. There are a lot of cold mornings, lack of sleep, and meticulous post-production. However, nothing compares to getting the perfect shot, where both mental vision meets physical success.

Estes Park: An Highly Expected Journey

Buck

The warmth of the morning light was welcoming, since the cabin was frigid all night. As I woke, I was greeted by a friendly face peeking through the front window. A tremendous buck was happily gulping down seeds from several bird feeders, and didn’t mind my presence. I sneaked outside to snap a few photos and take in the fresh mountain air.

Treking

After sharing a pleasant breakfast with our new friend, we hopped in the car and met up with our hiking guide. Amazed by Coyote’s(our tour guide) knowledge of the park and trails we were going on, we began our journey. From time to time we were taken to hidden trails and secret passages through the mountain side. I began to feel as I was in one of Peter Jackson’s Lord of The Rings movies. At times the trek was arduous and treacherous, slipping on sheets of ice and falling in tree wells. Each challenging pass brought landscapes of great wonder.

Blue Steel

Epic(

Waves

Our hike brought us to many frozen lakes, solid enough to drive large commercial vehicles on. It was majestic and inspiring, seeing the amazing forces the weather impacted the land with.

After our hike concluded, we headed back into civilization. It was sad to leave such a beautiful place, but the memories will always remain with me. Along the way back home we stopped in Lyons,Colorado to grab some grub and drooled over some amazing vintage motors.

Caged Beast

Brit Bloke

Stingray

Lyons Soda

Lyon’s Cocoa is an old time Soda Shop, that serves classic malts, sodas, and fried food. Their chocolate malts and milkshakes were to die for, and the ‘dogs weren’t bad either. Classic Coca-Cola signs and vintage memorabilia made you feel as you stepped into a time-machine. It was the perfect way to end our Estes Park adventure.

12 flavors of fun

Brain Freeze

-Thank you all for following me while I explore the beautiful state Colorado. More adventures are sure to come, so hang around to see many more tales of the great sunshine state!

Estes Park: Ghostly Encounters

The Stanley

All work and no play makes me a very dull boy.

The infamous Stanley hotel, as made infamous by the classic horror movie “The Shinning”. Still to this day I get the hebbie-jebbies watching that movie, and rightfully so. I won’t lie I did feel a little uneasy going into the Stanley at night, however I could not pass on such a great opportunity. As we approached the grounds there was an eerie vibe about this place. The buildings that still stand today have seen many people pass onto the afterlife, some more peacefully than others.

The Shinning

Spooky Stairway

Upon entering the building we were greeted by the welcoming sounds of glasses clinking and faces smiling . Each room was ornately decorated and softly lit. While one room was only illuminated by a small dying fire. This lonely dark room seemed to be calling out to me, to enter in and capture its story. As I was snapping the following image a loud thud came from above. Half startled, and heart racing, we left immediately.

Ominous

Enough of ghost chasing and looking for old horror tales, we needed something to calm the nerves and enjoy this Spirit filled place.

Scotchy scotch

So the evening was not a total bust, we finally found some real spirits lurking around the corner. And the bartender wasn’t half bad either.

The Stanley Bar Whiskey

Both the overwhelming selection of Whiskeys and Gins (local and imported) we mind boggling. The bartender went into great detail explaining the history of each liquor and their unique flavours.

Best Gin Ever

However, not being a whiskey drinker myself (and the gentleman that I am), preferred to have a exquisite G&T. This particular Gin by Spirit Hound (locally made in Lyons, Colorado) was unique by its light, smooth, and vibrant taste. Instead of being harsh, the juniper in this gin was clean and perfectly fused with such a strong grain alcohol.

Though the chilling horror stories that seem to float around The Stanley Hotel, it was a rather pleasant place to visit. I now leave the spirits behind for them to claim their next victim.

-Next

Estes Park: An Highly Expected Journey

Shrimp Canapes

“Never close the door to learning”, my Nonna kept repeating while we were preparing the ingredients in the kitchen. We continue to work as we reminisce about the past.

Being first generation American, and youngest of six siblings, Anne Mondeau grew up in a nation where hard work was second nature. Born in 1928, Anne grew up at the tail end of the Great Depression and lived through the Second World War. Being raised in an large Italian family meant family came first and that every penny earned went towards helping the family. Many of her brothers would hustle newspapers in downtown Boston to make ends meet. However Teresa, Anne’s strict Italian mother, promoted the furthering of her children’s education. Many of her brothers and sister went on to be successful media public relation representatives, and some even served in the armed forces. Even though the economy was rough, Anne’s family found time to enjoy each other as well as good food. Today we will be partaking one of those delectable treats as we learn to cook Shrimp Canapes.

Shrimp Canapes

Recipe Instructions

What you will need:

  • 1 small onion finely chopped, finely chopped ½ of a green or red pepper, teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce, 1 to 2 drops of Tabasco, 2 teaspoons of garlic powder
  • Utensils that you may need are; chefs and paring knives, measuring spoons, mixing bowls, wooden mixing spoon, pasta pot, cutting board, and a food chopper (optional but recommended)

Rinsing Shrimp Peppers

Ingredient Preparation:

  • Before we can enjoy a tasty treat we must prepare all of our ingredients. First wash and de-shell the shrimp, and toss them into boiling water for three minutes (remember that about 36 shrimp makes 24 shells)
  • After the shrimp have become a nice bright pink, remove and strain. Now it is time to chop all the ingredients very finely

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Cooking Ingredients:

  • While the ingredients are being prepped, bring a pasta pot of water to a boil. Once the water has reached boiling point, toss a 1/8th    of a teaspoon of salt in the water immediately followed by 24-28 Conchiglioni Rigati shells. Cook for 13-15 minutes.
  •  After the shells have finished cooking (Al dente or firm not hard) strain and let shells cool till they are safe to handle.

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Mixing:

  • While the shells are cooling return to main ingredients (Tabasco, Worcestershire, mayonnaise, shrimp, onion, pepper, and garlic powder) mix all together in a separate bowl. Add mayonnaise to liking (one to two tablespoons for a dryer stuffing, or three to four for a creamier stuffing).

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Finalizing:

  • When the shells are cool enough to handle, begin stuffing shells with mixture. Do not be afraid to fill each shell to the brim. The more the better. Once all the shells are filled, chill for 15-20 minutes and serve!

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When my Nonna had told me about this recipe, she laughed and explained to me its origin. Once a year on Christmas eve, her family would have a feast. This feast was called the Feast of the Seven Fishes, La Vigilia (or Black Fast as my Nonna called it) is a traditional Italian Catholic practice. One particular Christmas Eve, my Nonna’s sister-in-law Helen Longo introduced this dish to the family. It became an instant classic and has been served every year since its introduction. Now you can partake in a little secret family recipe, and remember to never close the door to learning.