How did I get here?

Pop Top Tour


“And you may ask yourself
What is that beautiful house?
And you may ask yourself
Where does that highway go to?
And you may ask yourself
Am I right?…Am I wrong?
And you may say to yourself yourself
My God!…What have I done?!” -Talking Heads

When my family and I bit the bullet and decided that a life on the road was worth a try, we planned for what seemed like forever. We knew we would run into some hardship along the way, but we had a solid plan in place and we were motivated. When the lease was up on our humble two bedroom apartment in the Denver Tech Center, we didn’t renew it. We stayed in Denver, camping in our van until we hit the road. We spent more than thirty days “stealth camping” in the Denver metro area.

Rotating between Walmart parking lots, paid campsites, BLM land …

View original post 428 more words

Photography, USA

Don’t send you broken lenses to Precision Camera

j_nix_streetwork (1 of 1)-75

My favorite lens to shoot with, the Pentax 21mm prime, suddenly stopped working. The outer lens ring was completely knocked off the lens. I suppose I banged it into too many steering wheel and walls in its lifetime, and it just finally had enough. This lens is tough. It comes with a lens hood that is made of metal, and its profile on the camera is minimal. I like to shoot close, and this lens makes that possible. I’ve put it through its paces on the streets of Denver and in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado.

I’ve used it to capture tens of thousands of images and there isn’t any lens I like better. I found Precision Camera through Pentax. It seems that’s where Pentax sends their lenses off for repair, so I contacted them. I went through an online process with the company to start the repair order, and shipped the lens myself from UPS. The lens arrived in early May and I assumed work had begun. After several weeks of silence, I attempted to e-mail the company through their website. I received no response on three separate e-mails.

I then called their customer service department, and spoke with Charlene, who said that the problem was that I hadn’t authorized payment on the credit card for the $166.50 repair. I was under the impression that this was paid up front, when I entered my information online and received a confirmation. She was short, and I would bet she didn’t look at the order itself, just repeating the phrase “now that the payment is received you will get your lens in four to six business days.” Today the timeframe given was five to seven business days. I didn’t feel confident about the conversation or the information I was receiving, as the online order status had a big red stop sign on it and stated that they were waiting for backordered parts. I told the customer service representative and she stuck to her story about the payment problem and now everything is on schedule. I wasn’t surprised when I didn’t receive my lens within that time frame.

So I called again today, July 26, and spoke with Charlene again who says that the payment was approved, and the parts are on backorder until July 6th. After that date she says the lens will be returned as soon as possible. I asked her about the reason I was told on my last call that the lens would be delivered in four to six days, she said that was me that told you, and normally repairs take five to seven days barring any unforeseen circumstance. In this case I supposedly have parts on backorder that will arrive on July 6th. I asked how long ago the parts were ordered and she gave me two different dates in May, the eighth and then the 12th.

I will follow up on July 6, to determine if the part was received or not. My complaint about this experience is that the numbers keep changing, and I’ve been kept in the dark for long periods of time. I think your customer service department is suffering a deficiency in effective communication. The system you have in place isn’t working and the customers are receiving mixed information from your website and your live representatives. The information we do receive is often incorrect and is leaving your customers dissatisfied. We are vocal about this problem, and your company received poor reviews in many internet forums where fellow photographers warn against dealing with your company in any way.

I will join the ranks of your naysayers and advise any photographer I come across to steer clear of your company. The equipment we send you is expensive and waiting more than three months for a lens repair is just bad business. After being completely ignored on four separate occasions online, and getting mixed and inconsistent information on two phone calls, I am completely frustrated and unhappy with this experience.

Camera companies would do well to take their business elsewhere. I will contact Pentax about this experience, and while my one voice might not worry you, the voice of potentially tens of thousands of other photographers and customers of yours will eventually be heard and a good number of us are unhappy.


Pop Top Tour


Where is the sidewalk?

Pedestrians on roadways

everyday St. Joe

St. Joseph, Missouri is home for Mom. We’re in the place where she was raised. The place where the Pony Express began and the life of Jesse James ended. It isn’t uncommon to find a scene such as this, men, women, men with women, men with women with babies, kids, elderly people with dogs and all the other infinite combinations of human beings walking perilously close to a road with vehicles traveling 35-40 miles per hour whizzing by.

This is essentially the first stop on the pop top tour when you think about it. So while Penny heals, I’ll share some of the images I’ve been capturing around St. Joseph, Forest City, and Kansas City, Missouri.  We’ve been occupying this space for several weeks now. It’s hot, humid and and slightly buggy. nothing unbearable though. The cicadas are buzzing in…

View original post 107 more words


Everyday St. Joe

Color Street Photography

Always Remember

Street Portrait

the people you meet

never leave your camera

always remember

America, Black & White Street Photography, Everyday America, Photography

Marijuana Haiku


A sign of the times

demonized and criticized

illegal no more


I’m trying to keep up with life right now. Attending online classes, concentrating on healing my daughter, preparing my van and getting out on the road. Sporadic posts are to be expected but I’m still here. Stay tuned.

Pop Top Tour

Highway in Kansas.

Penny is occupied and happy.

She is reading. Playing with her sticker book.

We feel bad for her, because there is nothing for her to do in the one little spot left among all our belongings.

We talk about the harrowing experience of the first tank of gas. The road goes by.

We talk about how many miles we drove yesterday, and hope that today’s journey will be easier.

We talk about how many miles we might be able to put on our ride. We are desperately trying to get to Mound City.

We are happy. Laughing. Talking about friends.

We talk about careers. We are just shooting the shit really.

Mechanical claws. Oil Derricks.

Highway signs and billboards everywhere.

We pass fossil creek hotel and suites.

A lone tree on a hill with no leaves.

Death. Birds flying. Irrigation ditches. Eighteen Wheelers hauling tractors. A horse…

View original post 119 more words


Notes from a Kansas Highway


The Kansas City Blues

got the Kansas City blues

wishing it never happened

waiting for closure

Black & White Street Photography

Bang. Bang.


a violent prop

the simulated gunsmoke

bang! bang! you are dead.