Pasco will open tomorrow night.
Another grand opening for Maverik. And another Grand build from R&O and Mr. Hall. Man this guy is good. Sets the bar real high. Thanks Mr. Hall!!!!!!
Opening a new store in Pasco tomorrow.
I am in Cheney, Washington. Have I mentioned I love it here. Miles of rolling agriculture. A national wildlife refuge. Lenny’s…. the best Italian ever! And a new Holiday Inn Express where I am treated like a king. Drove from Pasco to Mead then here to Cheney. Looking at new sites that we are to build on this year. Late today I drove for 18 or so miles with endless rolling hills of agriculture….
I saw many very old abandoned farm houses. I mean really old.
I found this old home set back against a hillside in pine trees. Gorgeous. I wondered why someone would give this site up? I could live here…..
Want to see an incredible website. A huge project from an fellow photographer. You will like this.
Train horns are load!!!!
Right behind the hotel and just under my 9th floor window is a train track. 4:16 this morning load and obnoxious. No crossings. I pictured the engineer laughing louder than the huge diesel engine he was sitting behind. Not funny to me. Then I had the last laugh. He was stuck in the engine. No steering wheel. Can only go forward and back. Sure he has some speed variables. Only as instructed. Most every minute of every day I have freedom to make my own decisions. To be brutally honest I find a new way to work and home everyday (maybe part of mental illness). I decide when to go and when to go back. Or just stay there and look for something to photograph. Something I do a lot!
I have been in and around construction my whole life.
At 15 years old my Dad put me on a cat dozer and said “go to work”. He spent about 20 minutes with me showing me how to start the D8 Caterpillar dozer and showing me how to raise the blade and turn. Dreamed of that day since I was 3 or 4. Fun but very stressful. Dad expected a lot from me. I was his blood and had to be better than guys even twice my age. It was a cable dozer. No hydraulics. Required a lot of muscle power and forethought. I was immersed in the excitement of being on and operating this huge piece of yellow iron. I was in control. Stressed to the max.
I have aged some 42 years. Not driving the equipment anymore.
Dad has been gone for several years. I have been directing construction departments for owners and developers for some time now. Miss my Dad. Miss the stress of ownership. This week has truly been the most stressful of my life. An amazing amount of lost commitments from vendors to contractors. Bad communications. Huge cracks in the construction process. Missed my first deadline for an opening. Been close before. Moved dates before. But never had the media, our executive team, community and excess staff standing by at the last minute for a big open house. It was a closed house. Can’t open a store without the store front glass. V.P.’s calling every hour. Lost truck with a palette of XIR laminated glass on it. In addition another project in Washington was falling apart a week before opening. Another closed house? Stress to the MAX!!!!!
Feel like I have been in a week long battle.
How to relax? How to pull it all back together?
Operate a large piece of equipment. Tomorrow I am moving a large amount of dirt placed on a property blocking the best view of our brand new store. No stress tomorrow. Got the operating down. Just spreading some dirt. Time to unwind. Time to clean up and pull it back together.
Tonight my whole focus and energy shifted.
At exit 19 in Reno was a couple. A young man and a young women. He was holding cardboard sign that said..”only need gas for car”. She was sitting indian style on the concrete island. Her back to the traffic. As I stopped her tears caught my attention. Real tears. Not a beggars tears.
After filling up their car with gas and giving them a couple of bucks for dinner, I realized how blessed I am. Never had to ask for money on a corner. I have been blessed my whole life. Dad taught me how to be debt free. Always told me “either you have it or the bank has it”. My mother taught me to give before taking. It will always come back in bonuses. Dad taught me that there is always time to find value in something or someone. My first impression of the couple changed to respect and admiration when I looked closer and saw their true colors. That which must be seen up close and personal…
The couple committed to me they would pay it forward within 3 days. Either in service, a smile to a stranger or to each other. Someway.
It brought me back to reality. My stress’s really are minimal. I have it pretty darn good. Enough of the worrying. Just get done what I can. Can’t do more than that.
Looking forward to a time on the loader tomorrow. Thinking about how lucky and blessed I am………………
Mornings and nights at the nest.
The Avocets have gotten familiar with me and my camera. For 24 days my mornings and nights (when in town) have been at this Avocet nest……
Tonight I rushed to the Avocet nest minutes before the DWS closed the gates to the Refuge. Still nesting and no sign of chicks. Several times a day the mated pair would trade nesting responsibilities. Almost to army exactness a ritual would ensue as the trade off took place. The eggs would not be exposed for more than a few seconds. Good parents I would say. As the replacement parent would approach the nest they would shake their skinny blue legs to shake of any unwanted items. In addition they would preen extensively before entering the nest. Everytime. I waited patiently watching the clock knowing that in a few minutes the DWS staff would kick me out. Lock the gate and go home. I wanted to stay and watch this new family in their home. My first Avocet birth…..
I waited then out from behind Mom popped the new chick. Less than one day old. Teeny Weeny ball of fur with a beak……..
Stumbling, barley alive this cute little chick is not more than a couple of inches tall…maybe.
Mom and dad are VERY protective of these kids. Two born, one to egg left. What a night. One of those firsts for me. One moment I soon won’t forget!
Still no Avocet Chicks……..
I did however run into this beautiful pheasant. Yikes. The light was perfect. While I was at the property boundary at a farm in Farmington getting shots of this beauty, I was approached by the landowner. She asked if I was from Animal Control. It seemed weird for her to ask such a question. Photographing a pheasant? I sure wasn’t trying to look conspicuous. To her I probably looked somewhat covert….Like I intended. I did not notice in the large field a 27 year old horse (not typically at full stop to photograph horses standing in their field). She said that she has almost weekly complaints about how she is not caring for the horse. It has a slight limp. Arthritis she told me. Looked like a really old horse to me (still not worthy of the pixels). She was pleased that I was not in fact from animal control. And I was sure glad that the light was perfect and the bird was there for me. Because as soon as she stopped and walked up to me the pheasant departed…….
The Common Tern
Not so common a bird. Black and White. Short beak. Pretty small at about 7 oz’s with a 23″ wing span. Flies above water always looking down. Food is down. When the turn spots a snack it will stop and hover then dive into the water. Or just turn quickly and dive in. Often it will fly low. Close to the water. Then quickly drop their head so only their beak touches the water snatching up the morsel. A blast to watch. A monster to try and get in the camera. Especially flying directly at the camera! Tonight I really lucked out. The little bugger flew right at me and scooped a dinner snack. (by the way the Avocet chicks still have not hatched). At 9-11 frames a second it was still pretty much luck that I got the shot.
Couldn’t help myself. Just thought the Black and White beauty would look best on Black and White…….
(click on the photo to enlarge on your screen)