Thursday, December 29, 2011

Paristmas! Paris Christmas & Happy New Year! - IMRAN™

Paris is one of my favorite places to visit. And, like my other favorite city, Manhattan, New York, which is amazing to visit at Christmas, France's capital city is a spectacular experience at holiday season time.

My first visit to the United States, New York, was in 1987 around Christmas time, the same year I had spent my birthday Summer 1987 in Paris, among other cities of Europe.

So, it was great to return there, nearly 20 years later, but merge my NY Christmas and Paris Summer experiences with a magnificent, MY PARISTMAS… MerrY Paris Christmas.

This photo, taken at the world famous Galeries Lafayette in Paris, is one of the most unusual I have taken.

I almost lay down at the base of the Christmas tree, to capture the full height of the massive tree, and the stunning ceiling of the building. The golden decorations, balls and balloons created a unique view.

I had to do that with my pocket Nikon S6, while trying not to be accidentally thought of as a foreign born Muslim troublemaker trying to topple the tree! :-) I look forward to returning to Paris in the near future, God Willing.

As Christmas season draws to a close, and as 2011 nears its inexorable end, I leave you with this wish and prayer….

No matter how down things look right now, never stop looking up, at the bright skies and gifts of God's blessings just waiting to be placed at your feet.

Remember me in your prayers too, my dear friends. Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year to you, your families and loved ones.

© 2006-2012 IMRAN

Monday, December 19, 2011

Ashes To Flashes, Dusk To Decks - IMRAN™

This SOOC {Straight Out Of Camera) photo was posted on TwitPic and already got 300 views there. To post if for your pleasure I did straighten it out 0.8 degrees and framed it in Photoshop as is my style here.

I had been waiting for this sunset. The weather was just the right amount of layered cloudy, which, as I had hoped, kept its promise of offering magical layers of colors that are unique and magical once in eternity visuals to savor.

As this stunning sunset unfolded outside my home, I put my longest Nikon D300 zoom lens (450mm eq) to use and was able to capture sky colors as if painted onto a soft canvas. by God himself, with the stillest portions of water off my beach acting like a mirror reflecting the sky colors to the lower left of the image.

The plentiful flashes of light from the tower and lighthouse 20 miles away had not yet started up, nor could my camera flash have fought off the ashes of darkness that had descended on the landscape beneath me.

Day turned into night, as the golden Phragmites (reeds) turned black and the sky turned golden in preparation of itself turning black. I was reminded of the eternal circle of life, and light, and death, and dearth of light, as the delapidated deck, its dead wood decaying becoming its own coffin, dissolving slowly into the icy waters and ravages of years under the dusk…. The words of a burial phrase came to my mind, which seemed here to say….

Flashes To Ashes, Dusk To Decks….

May we be blessed to live our lives to the fullest, happiest, blessed maximum, before, like the dusk signaling the end of day, our end of days comes. And may the canvas of our lives leave a portrait of great deeds painted on a landscape of blessings God opened before us… a painting of our lives for others to see, and, if we are worthy, savor our memories as we do this dusk.

© 2011 IMRAN

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Fiery Red Blue Sky Turns Blue Water Liquid Gold - IMRAN™

Nothing like #flying over yachting havens in blue skies excep... on Twitpic

There's nothing that makes my spirits soar than flying over ocean beaches and yachting havens, in, under and through blue skies… except yachting and sailing in New York even in mid-December, under fiery red skies turning the cold calm Great South Bay waters beneath me bubbling hot liquid Gold. Unedited iPhone 4S photo taken across from my blessed home at sunset, as the only other mariner out there also heads home.

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Monday, December 12, 2011

The Cold Man & The Sea - IMRAN™

In keeping with the series of photos you have loved, The Old Men And The Sea, The Odd Man And The Sea, The Young Woman And The Sea, and The Young Boy And The Sea, I am happy to share this photo for which I braved the frigid weather on the Fire Island, Long Island, NY, beach last evening…

The Cold Man And The Sea is the perfect title. It is reflective of the hands in the pockets, as well as the fact that one of the waves rolling on to the shore soaked my dress shoes & socks, drenched my feet, and chilled my bones until I got the car heater warm enough on the drive back home to start to thaw me out!

Absolutely no color editing, changes or color processing done to this photo from the Nikon D300 working optimally again.

I hope you will enjoy this cold and coldly beautiful moment with warm feelings (and in your warm homes or offices).

© 2011 IMRAN

Friday, December 09, 2011

The Young Boy And The Sea - IMRAN™

A starkly different scene, and set of colors, from two of my favorite photos previously posted… The ODD Man & The Sea (Nikon D300), and The Young Woman & The Sea (iPhone 4S), this photo was taken with my pocket Nikon Coolpix S6 during a wonderful trip to one of the most beautiful places I have been, The Baths at Virgin Gorda, in the British Virgin Islands.

I was trying to take some good shots before we had to leave to catch the ship, and I wanted to do so before the small boat with several men on it would pop into the middle of the frame.

But, this young boy, oblivious to the travails of travel schedules and science of scene setting was just running around.

I decided to capture the shot, and succeeded in catching him in mid-stride, confidently taking on the wild blue sea yonder but under his feet as the sands of time of the future awaited him.

And I wondered, if, by some weird chance of verbal fate, the little boy near the big rocks could possibly from some place called Little Rock.

I hope you will relive the first time you met the ocean when you enjoy this photo. What were your first memories of the sea?

© 2008-2011 IMRAN

Monday, December 05, 2011

The Young Woman And The Sea - IMRAN™

The Young Woman And The Sea - IMRAN™ by ImranAnwar
You Belong To The City by Glenn Frey is not just an inspired, amazing, timeless, poetic and rocking work of musical art, it is a song that, at one time or another, resonates with all of us as we pass through the stages in the play we call life. The song is even more special to me. It is one of the select songs I consider the soundtrack of my life.

It was thus ironic how quickly it came to mind when I met an old young beautiful intimate beloved friend, from recent years past, for an unexpected dinner and evening together. I had been planning to go to Smith Point beach to catch what was sure to be a beautiful sunset and dusk, when we connected on the phone after a very long time. So, we ended up going there together, a place we had last been several years ago, together, and with another love past and gone.

She, always patient, loving and caring, waited while I captured photos of the setting sun with my new Apple iPhone 4S. Not knowing I was watching her, she stood atop the forlorn log that had made the sands of Long Island its temporary home. And, I saw a moment that was as magical as it was timeless.

The Young Woman And The Sea, I said to myself as I clicked.

The wide angle view from an external lens I was testing on my new iPhone, the moment, the lighting, the log, the way the sun reflected on her golden tresses from the right, and the incredible way the tide had made the sand flow in the shape of angel wings around the log she stood on, I saw a timeless and absolutely unique moment in time…. a surreal almost masterpiece-like painting of life, accidentally brought to life, etched into memory, and now captured for the ages, by a mere cell phone camera.

I quickly snapped this photo and, later, at home, as I imported it into iPhoto, something struck a powerful chord....

We had been going through amazingly tumultuous and yet interesting and wonderful times in our respective lives when we last met and shared many wonderful experiences. And, as time, life, circumstances, people, events and fate dealt their hands, their blows, their stabs, it meant we continued our separate, still event-filled, surreal, sometimes happy, sometimes sad, journeys through life, until we got together again tonight. As these thoughts passed through my mind, in my ears Glenn's voice rang out truly, how "So much has happened, but nothing has changed".

As I pasted the lyrics to that wonderful song below for your pleasure, I could not resist but tweak some of the words (I hope the Text shows how I replaced some of the words {strike-through font} with ones even more suited to this moment {shown in bold}).

As you, gentle readers, dear friends, lovers old, new and future, read these words, just know, your most difficult, arduous, lonely journey is shared with me. It is shared by those you love, loved and will love. We may not be on the same part of the road, or hitting the same bumps at the same exact time, but, sooner or later, our paths will cross. I will take your hand, and be there for you. I promise.

One day, you will look back on the cold stormy nights and know that you did make it... because….

You Belong To The City
The sun goes down
The night rolls in
You can feel it starting all over again
The moon comes up
And the music ocean calls
You're getting tired of staring at the same four walls
You're out of your room
And down on the street beach
Moving through the crowds sand through the midnight heat winter freeze
The traffic ocean roars
And the sirens seagulls scream
You look at the faces waves, its just like a dream

Nobody know where you're going
Nobody cares where you've been

'Cause you belong to the city
You belong to the night
Living in a river of darkness, beneath the neon moon light
You were borne in on the city sea-tree
Concrete Sand under your feet
It's in your blood, its in your moves
You're a woman of the street beach

When you said goodbye
You were on the run
Tryin' to get away from the things you'd done
Now you're back again
And you're feeling strange
So much has happened, but nothing has changed

You still don't know where you're going
You're still just a face in the crowd

'Cause you belong to the city

You can feel it
You can taste it
You can see it
You can face it
You can hear it
You're getting near it
You want to make it
'Cause you can take it.

You belong to the city
You were borne in on the city sea-tree!

Original lyrics © Glenn Frey
Photo, prose, and this work © 2011 IMRAN

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Sun Way Sunday - IMRAN™

Sun Way Sunday - IMRAN™ by ImranAnwar
Sun Way Sunday - IMRAN™, a photo by ImranAnwar on Flickr.

Fall in New York is a time of contrasts, and surreal colors.

Because of some currently unresolved issue in my camera, it is not recognizing lenses, defaulting to the slowest speeds. Trying to get it to behave I randomly changed many settings back and forth, and kept shooting. Consider this random surrealism.

The clouds were dark initially but brightened and filled with color as the sun slid down. You can make out the steamy fog starting to form on the Atlantic Ocean in the left of the photo, making the terrain in the distance on that side hazier than straight ahead.

This accidental almost vintage toned shot just heightens the contrasts -- between the pinkish yellow sky from a sun bursting forth under clouds and the pale yellow green of reeds, drying grass and evergreens -- providing an interesting backdrop for the almost bleached looking boardwalk, like a path, a walkway to the Sun.

Sun Way, Sunday.

Have a great week and rest of the year, my friends, as the nights get colder, and longer, and, as the clouds get darker, and lower, remember, the bright new sunshines, the brave new springs, like hope eternal, will spring forth around the calendar's corner.

Hold my hand, and come with me...

© 2011 IMRAN

Friday, November 11, 2011

The Hands Of Time On The Sands Of Time: Eid Mubarak - IMRAN™

Different worlds, different nations, different holidays… one planet, one day in time…

Eid Mubarak, Veteran's Day, 11/11/11….

All events, some twice a year, some annual, and some once a millenium, all reminders of the inexorable march of time, the hands of time, the ebb and flow, of life, of history, the world at our feet, across the sands of time.

Unedited/unprocessed iPhone 4 photo framed in Photoshop in about 5 minutes of work. Ironically, I had no time to work on the photo about time.... I had to do other work. Name text not perfectly centered, etc. but it's the thought that counts.

© 2011 IMRAN

Monday, October 31, 2011

Imran Anwar on Imran Khan: Why The Future Of Awakened Pakistan Is Not In One Man's Hands

The news media are buzzing about a rather large political protest gathering that took place in Pakistan. People seem galvanized and gravitating more to a national hero Cricket player, turned populist politician. Much that I am happy to see the silent majority Pakistani public starting to rise, I do not have much hope for the person they are following, even though I like and respect him. Here's why.

Imran Khan was about a decade ahead of me at Aitchison College, Lahore, Pakistan, and about 100 years ahead of me in popularity (and dashing good looks :-) ). He will always have my respect for sacrificing his popularity not for wealth but for a Cancer Hospital (in the memory of his late mother). With that one mission in life, he has done more good than Zardari, Benazir Bhutto, Nawaz Sharif and Pervez Musharaff combined could do - even if they had tried.

However, there were two reasons Imran Khan struggled in his quest for national power.

Initially it was the typical curse of Third World countries like Pakistan... the same "awam" (عوام - public/populace) that curses crooked politicians is also the one that votes them in to power. Why? Because the crooks are the ones who will help peddle influence illegally, to get things done when voters ask for favors. Someone supposedly aboveboard will not. So, he, like Imran Khan, will stay on the fringe and not get real power. This one sad realization was one major reason I said good bye to my political aspirations in Pakistan when I left 20 years ago. (I do salute Imran Khan for staying and putting up a good fight, even at great personal risk).

Now that the Arab Spring in the Middle East, the Occupy Wall Street in the United States, and far more importantly, the middle class uprising in India against corruption has vested interests and tyrants (political and economic) running for cover, Imran Khan may have a real chance.

But, that brings us to the second serious problem. He is still hampered by lack of any clear (articulated) PLAN that he would execute on, if he was in power. Even his speech in his largest rally (which is being reported on by media including the New York Times, etc.) was another "letdown".

Richard Nixon meeting with President Bhutto of...Image via Wikipedia
The only Pakistani leader who could get away with rambling speeches, and still have a million people or more listening and jumping into action, was the late, once-great, later-tyrannical, deposed and hanged Prime Minister, Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto. Imran Khan is nowhere near that man's stature, statesmanlike quality, popularity, or even vision. In the end, even with his charisma (that Bill Clinton would want to learn from), speaking ability (that Barack Obama would dream of achieving without a teleprompter), it was Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto's hubris, putting the interests of his crooked henchmen ahead of the nation's, and having no more vision and plan beyond getting re-elected, that got him hanged by General Zia-ul-Haq and the military.
Picture of imran khan infront of the flag of P...Image via Wikipedia
Imran Khan needs to do more than gather 100,000 people (and make a meaningless speech).

Even I can make a speech about what the problems in Pakistan are, name who the crooks are, and why we need to solve the problems....

But, without saying HOW I would solve the problems, WHO I would have as my trusted and nationally trusted lieutenants to execute the plan, I too would be as useless in power as Imran Khan will be - if he does by some twist of fate find himself in government.

Unfortunately, even 15 years in politics getting to this point, Imran Khan, whom I would love to see in power compared to the current crop of so-called leaders, has neither stated his vision, nor articulated his strategy, and neither has he shared a roadmap and execution plan. That is what makes Pakistan's leadership void doubly sad.

Even worse, regardless of his Western education and former lifestyle, Khan's current wave of popularity is driven by a populist state-the-obvious (politicians are crooks and have done nothing for Pakistan), blame-USA fervor (while sometimes sounding like a Taliban apologist).

Yes, the current leaders and even the opposition are crooks. News Flash: So are the ones in the USA and other countries. (Italy's Premier could give Pakistan's Asif Ali Zardari a run for the money and the scandalous behavior).  Yes, the USA has a shameful record in Pakistan. Yes, Pakistan's spineless sellout leaders have allowed even more exploitation for their own power. But, Pakistan had economic problems since independence. It has had ethnic near-civil war in different regions for decades before 9/11 or America's arrival in Afghanistan.

Without addressing specific problems that Pakistanis themselves tolerate -- and allow their leaders to create -- neither the cronyism-loving leaders, populist personalities, nor well-intentioned analysts, or worse, power-hungry dictatorial generals, can change the country's future.

As I have said in my own public speaking and on radio & television.... "National destinies are created by people, not by leaders, dictators, pedagogues, or sycophants. Pakistan needs to be saved not from America, but from (illiterate, violent, extremist, close-minded, crooked, corrupt) Pakistanis, by Pakistanis (who still believe in the great future that the nation is capable of achieving)."

What do you think?

© 2011 Imran Anwar

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Saturday, October 29, 2011

Let's Talk TV: How The Post-PC Era Enables Mac/PC To Dominate The Post-TV Era

I read an article in InfoWorld about the evolutionary paths of Apple's iOS and OS X operating systems. The more I thought about it, the more I became convinced that the next evolution of these operating systems is also an incredible opportunity for a parallel paradigm shift -- from a newly emerging Post-PC to a Post-TV era. Here's why.

In my opinion, there are many different options open to Apple, in what strategy to follow. That also means several options for the technology industry in general to contemplate, rather than wait for Apple's moves and then trying to play catch up.

It would make perfect sense to see these "two" Apple operating systems (both with similar underpinnings) follow the typical development path -- of launching bare essential features, adding features, improving usability, improving performance, and then bringing in new features to start the cycle over again.

In this next decade, all this will be happening in an area not just of convergence in the technology arena (from cloud computing for consumers and converged infrastructure data centers for corporations), but also the form and factor areas of consumer & technology products; the convergence of entertainment & communications; and melding of the time we spend living, working & playing.

Steve Jobs while presenting the iPad in San Fr...Image via Wikipedia
We had laptops/desktops, and we had smartphones/iPhones. Then came the late Steve Jobs' iPad. Even as a Mac and Apple fan from it's launch as a company, a platform, and a way of life, I was not certain how big a market iPad would find. It went on to create a whole new market category.

More people increasingly expect to be able to do everything they can do on a laptop now on their iPad and even iPhone in many cases. And the reverse of that is an increasing expectation too. People want user interface, display quality, and app features from the mobile platform to be fit where appropriate on the desktop/laptop, the PC that is.

We can easily imagine retina quality laptop displays (requiring higher resolution handing in the computer OS), touch interfaces, etc. making their way into laptops and desktops.

By the very nature of us living in an increasingly mobile world, the lower price point for cell phones versus laptops, the greater convenience of tablets than carrying laptops, etc. we can obviously continue the market share of handheld mobile devices to grow over even increasingly 'mobile' wireless connected laptops.

But, much that I agree with Steve Jobs' contention that we live in a Post-PC age, it does not, at least in my opinion, mean the end of the PC. Instead, it is my contention that there is a huge opportunity for laptop (and desktop) makers to avoid becoming the platform that dies out and instead to make it the coming second age of the PC.

At the very least they can build in 3D, much more powerful iterations of Siri-like (voice recognition and context driven intelligent assistant) logic on board, rather than requiring an internet connection as the iPhone 4S version requires. These are just some of the features they can add, but they also have a huge opportunity to pull a side-slide instead of being left behind in a paradigm shift.

Everyone agrees that the TV industry is ripe for massive change - one that even Apple and Steve Jobs failed to truly deliver on with AppleTV.

Image representing Apple TV as depicted in Cru...Image via CrunchBaseWith the visionary, one-man-industryial-revoltion-creator, Steve Jobs, gone, Apple has a chance to deliver on this vision. At the same time, competitors, from Sony to Samsung, Mitsubishi to Microsoft, Goldstar to Google, all have an opportunity to remake an industry and remake themselves. As a bonus, they could prove Steve Jobs wrong on his Post-PC contention.

Let mobile devices with cloud connectivity increasingly make Personal Computers less important for "Computing". Instead, make PCs drive the TV experience that industry and society are ready for, even though they don't know it.

Here is just one small bit of how I see this near-term future... [Long 'Vision' Sentence Alert].

The ability to have the same device intelligently streaming exactly the programs we want to see on our big screen, the ads we are less likely to scream at, an ability to click a micropayment to skip a commercial at a particular cliffhanger moment, an ability to click our Likes or + on shows, specific scenes, even product placements, or characters, all while working on a video our 1080p iPhone or smartphone recorded that day, being edited in iMovie, automatically shared in the cloud, and onto new services that enable friends and fans to show appreciation (or make micro-payments) for our masterpieces, with built-in mechanisms for leading channels to track popularity of our creations on the fly in dynamic new content marketplaces, and bidding on them in real time, so they get added to their programming catalogs and we get paid... all while watching House on any TV in the house.

Welcome to the Post-TV PC/Mac. It is time for your company and you to think of Mobile representing the Post-PC world -- with a parallel universe emerging, where the [PC/Mac/Your Product] is the hub of the Post-TV era.

Tech, television and electronics company leaders... Do touch that dial. Let's change the channel(s).

What do you think? Have your people call my people. Let's Talk TV.

© 2011 Imran Anwar

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Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The Ultimate Defeat In The Race Of Life - IMRAN™

The thrill of victory, the agony of defeat. That is what living life to the fullest, on the edge, is all about.

With every mountain climbed, there are many spills, falls and crashes we must endure.

The Agony. The Ecstasy. Rinse, and repeat.

But, some of the things that define us, our passions, can also be dangerous, or fatal, like flying, or motorcycle racing.

One moment you are leading and on top of the world, the next, in a micro-instant, it's not just the end of the race, it's the ultimate defeat. The end of life.

Marco Simoncelli Dies Motorcycle Racing. RIP. Click For Video.

Savor your passions and every moment alive.

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Monday, October 24, 2011

Neighs Ease Nigh High Seas - IMRAN™

neigh/nā/ Noun: A characteristic high-pitched sound uttered by a horse.

nigh/nī/ Adverb: Near

Harbour Island, Eleuthera, Bahamas, is one of the most beautiful places I have visited.

The luxury resort (Coral Sands) my then companion and I stayed at was expensive, but right on the beach, and absolutely worth the experience.

Relaxing on the talcum powder soft pink natural sand, as the day was ending, I witnessed this pair of horses, making soft neigh sounds, feeling ease as they headed home, nigh the high seas, with a cruise ship passing by in the distance of the shining Caribbean waters.

© 2007-2011 IMRAN
DSCN 1862

Monday, October 17, 2011

Empire Of The Sun - IMRAN™

Empire Of The Sun is a 1987 movie, directed by Steven Spielberg, which came out during the years of my first arriving in the USA, and settling into New York City. Then, more than 2 decades flew by. As a result, it is still on my list of movies to see.

But, that title has always remained with me. Even as I captured this breathtaking, SOOC (Straight Out Of Camera {except framing and titling} unedited, unprocessed), photograph.

It was taken from my yacht, in Biscayne Bay, returning from the Atlantic Ocean, on what had initially appeared to be a gray afternoon.

My then companion and I almost decided not to go out, but, a day of boating, on the ocean, beats a day driving around town. So, off we went.

As we headed back towards home port, in Coral Gables, Florida, timing the crossing of the channel to coincide with the sunset hour, I planned to capture the abandoned homes of Stiltsville silhouetted against the sun.

The sun was getting more rich, the haze more like natural camera filters. The clouds were really layered like thin muslin sheets across different distances and altitudes, creating a once in a million year combination of patterns, colors, hues and shades.

I had no idea, that without any skill on my part :-) , the Nikon D300, and the f/14 1/800 second ISO200 0eV exposures would lead to possibly the most stunning series of photos I had ever captured in my life.

Some will need to be straightened because I was slowly letting the Sea Ray Sundancer drift, its twin 8.1 liter Mercruiser engines idling, as I both maneuvered the boat with one hand to position the boat, and clicked the camera with the other hand, to capture the sun from different angles, and from between and behind different structures. The water was choppy.

As I stood in the cockpit, with no vessel or persons around me for miles, the vast openness of the darkening Atlantic Ocean to my left, other homes of Stiltsville behind me, choppy waters of Biscayne Bay and the Miami skyline to my right, with no other souls in sight…

I gazed at the sight that lay ahead…

And, it made me gasp out to the Creator, "Oh, My God!"

I felt what I was, and remain.... a humble, insignificant, man, in front of nature, and God.

But, also, in that same moment of clarity I knew...

I am the master of my fate, the captain of my soul, the architect of my destiny. And, some of the brightest visions lie behind the darkest clouds, saddest scenes, and foreboding skies.

At that spot, in that moment in time, I realized…

I am the ruler.... of my own Empire Of The Sun.

© 2008-2011 IMRAN



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Monday, October 10, 2011

The Morons Behind America's Next War... With Pakistan!

There's a so-called writer Steve Clemons at The Atlantic, who is probably on the CIA payroll, and writes articles to generate hate or negative opinion about whoever his puppet masters want to target for attack next. You can almost see the tails wag these dogs almost in unison in typical neo-con publications. His latest "article" is about "America's New War with Pakistan"...

You can almost imagine the conversation... "OK, what do you want me to write against them... OK.. Yes, please. The usual payment to the usual account. Thank you. Consider the article done and posted."

No surprise my comment below was deleted though it is neither offensive nor abusive.

I wonder what this writer's position was when now-terrorist former-hero Haqqani was a state guest in the White House with none other than US President Ronald Reagan... You know, that time not too long ago in a galaxy quite nearby, when US tax dollars were being spent to teach DDD (dead dog dictator) Zia how to crush democracy, create the ISI, fund black ops, and how to shove zealotry into a moderate Muslim Pakistan (and basket case Afghanistan) to make people consider the war against the Soviet occupiers an Islamic Jihad.

Ah, the irony, the irony. Good old fashioned conservative Christians in power funding with American tax payer money the creation of madrassahs and indoctrination programs, to teach young boys and men to kill or die fighting non-Muslim occupying armies....

Oooops, fast forward 30 years and that is our American soldiers now paying the price for that policy...

Once again, Pakistan was befriended when USA needed it, then used, abused, dumped it like a used Kleenex and now now, suddenly, puppet writers in many publications are writing op-eds about Pakistan as the new enemy.
So, so, predictable.

Imran Anwar
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Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Solar Fire, Solo Flier - IMRAN™

Steve Jobs, visionary, genius. Thank you for everything. RIP.

Hat Trick +2 ! My 5th flickr Explore in a row.

My 45th Photo to make it in Flickr Explore on October 5, 2011!

Smith Point County Park Bridge is a place which has many special meanings to me.

It is a place I visited with my beloved Father when he was in the USA in 1996, at a time of great difficulties for me.

Over the 15 years since, it is a place I visit by road like others do. It is a site I have boated, sailed and yachted by, on both the bay and the ocean sides. It is a sight I have flown over, spreading my wings over its beaches and near-by islets, to practice flight manuevers. Its parking lot offers a level of comfort -- as an potential emergency landing spot (assuming it is not crowded), especially during fall and winter flying on the ocean.

Walking on it, I have felt its sand in my toes, and I've marched across the asphalt to walk up to the bridge to capture some of my most spectacular sunset photographs.

This was not a particular clear or bright, day, much like the murky uncertainty that surrounds us as individuals and even as nations and a human race. It was not even an interestingly cloudy day, when the infinite variations of cloud shapes always ensure differing shades of red.

But, as the golden sun set, as it set the sky alight with a solar fire, I got what I was waiting for.

An image, a moment in time, a symbolic alignment of man, machine, planet, and the universe with the stages in life I have faced in the last 3 years….

A solo flier appeared when all other birds had given up and gone home. A natural aviator, silently, hopefully, bound for its destination unknown, knowing somewhere along the way it would find its mate, and its dreams would come true…. even as a seemingly endless night appeared before it.

And, even as I was posting this picture, little did I know that someone of far greater significance would be flying away, forever, within hours of my posting this photo. Steve Jobs, RIP.

A Solo Flier Against A Solar Fire.

May we all soar above our troubles and find all the joy, love, and happiness we seek, deserve and desire.

© 2011 IMRAN

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Friday, September 30, 2011

I Eye Parade Of Blues, Blue (Parad)Eyes - IMRAN™

These are heavenly shades, here on our beautiful planet, Earth. They are real colors captured by my 6 year old Nikon S6 pocket camera, not Photoshop creations.

The blue sky merging into the blue sea water in the distance and the turquoise heavenly bay in the foreground are a vision of heaven on earth. If you see the original size image you can see people on the float in the water and frolicking on the beach.

These are the colors you see in the Caribbean. Thanks to my friend Rona for locating the name of the place, Caneel Bay, St. John's, that I was trying to remember.

The lush green trees and foliage, the private beach just epitomize my view of living in paradise. Don't miss this amazing place, called Trunk Bay, St. John's, US Virgin Islands, where we had spent the day before I took this photo returning to the ship.

© 2008-2011 IMRAN

loc: 18.342240 , −64.786674

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Sailing Stunset - IMRAN™

Sailing Stunset - IMRAN™ by ImranAnwar
Sailing Stunset - IMRAN™, a photo by ImranAnwar on Flickr.

I only had my iPhone 4 and 6 years old pocket Nikon S6 in my pockets as I went sailing/racing with my friend Peter Ehatt and his wife Jean.

The bay, between Smith Point beach and the landmass of Long Island, became our playground, as we first met the challenge of almost no wind, followed by a rapidly chaning wind that, at one point during an aggressive maneuver, almost had us capsize in a comedy of errors. Note to self, learn to swim properly.

But, it was all worth the zigzag rushing to get in place at just the right time to take this stunning, pastel, orange, pink, red, gold explosion of natural colors captured by the Nikon S6. The trees and the bridge in silhouette completed the mood.

The image does not have the fine resolution of my Nikon D300 12MP shots, but the colors were still magical.

The unreal reflection on the water made it almost appear like a bowl of a golden liquid with a fire dancing atop it.

To top off the evening, as we headed home, the same spot the sun had set lit up with mid-summer fireworks. But, the memory of the day was definitely this, Sailing Stunset!

© 2011 IMRAN

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Monday, September 19, 2011

Stunning Final Weekend, Farewell Summer Of 2011 - IMRAN™

The final weekend of Summer 2011 came to a stunning end, and shades of blue filled the water and the sky. Shades one was more used to seeing in Florida and Colorado. As the Summer of 2011 passed into the pages and cells of memory.... the chilly winds of Fall started blowing kisses, arriving on my shore, before the selfish lover of Winter starts demanding long dark nights.... while dreams of new Spring Loves, and the passionate embraces of Summer of '12, filled my heart, mind, body and soul.

The View (aka The RiverView), in Oakdale, at the the Great South Bay, Long Island, NY, is one of my favorite Sunday brunch places, to come via boat, car or motorcycle.

This final stunning weekend of Summer 2011 was one for the ages. It was a bit windy, but the incredible blue sky colors were shining through even in this unedited Apple iPhone cell phone video clip.

Hope to see you as Summer 2012 arrives, one day, soon.

iPhone 4 Video: © 2011 Imran Anwar
Audio: "My Only Sky" © Storm Gordon

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Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Natural 3D - IMRAN™

SOOC Image Straight Out Of Camera!! NO editing, tweaking, of ANY kind. Only framed in Photoshop & saved image as 6MB JPG. Handheld, 450mm zoom ISO250 at f/5.6 1/60 seconds with flash.

Walking around my home after a morning of rain, I shot several photos of the wonderful flowers that were blooming in the beds.

I was amazed by the almost 3D effect this photo's bokeh background, the foreground flower and the sharply in-focus buds, created.

No editing on these natural colors, brought to life by firing off the flash - though it was morning and an outdoors scene.

© 2011 IMRAN

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Question The Tough Questions To Ask In Cloud Computing

I am on record as suggesting that tough questions need to be asked by everyone (including clients, media AND vendors) before jumping on the Cloud Computing bandwagon. (See which I recorded even before having a day job at the leading Cloud Computing Converged Infrastructure vendor.)

I read a recent article, Some tough questions you need to ask your cloud provider,  by Rutrell Yasin. It is in the respected GCN (Government Computer News), a publication I also recall being interviewed by in the past. That was during my days of being CEO, EverTrac, the pioneer in location-aware eBusiness solutions, including tracking people and assets, indoors and outdoors, in the late 1990s.

In it, the writer quotes Wolf Tombe, chief technology officer within the Customs and Border Protection’s Office of Information Technology. I am certain Mr. Tombe is far smarter, more experienced and clout-carrying in government, technology, and probably even Cloud Computing circles than I am.

But, I also respectfully disagree with his contention that some applications are "easy wins moving to the cloud, such as e-mail and collaboration tools".

If "easy" refers to how quickly and conveniently an app can be deployed onto a cloud or converged infrastructure, then I would say, most apps, whether email, or ISV created vertical solutions, can be migrated with reasonable convenience and the expected amount of work.

If the contention is that somehow email and collaboration are no brainers to put in the public cloud, I strongly disagree.

I think that is over simplistic and dangerous. What apps are no-brainers to move to the public cloud should depend on the mission-critical or sensitive nature of the data or functionality in the app, not what the app itself is.

For example, even the simple email and internal discussion files of a nuclear weapons design agency with just 100 people would be far more critical to protect than, say, all the accounting data of a widget making company with 5000 employees.

So, as I have said before, tough questions need to be asked... by clients, by media, and even by vendors. The stakes are too high, the opportunity for Cloud Computing to be a globally beneficial tool is too huge, and the threats too serious, for any of these elements to be glossed over.

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Monday, September 12, 2011

Have American Airlines Pilots Become Paranoid Bathroom Attendants?

Like everyone else, I was seriously concerned about the threat of new terror attacks on the 10th Anniversary of September 11. I was more worried about vehicle borne or even lone wolf suicide bombings than someone still managing to pull off a terror attack using jet airliners.

So, I read with interest the news reports of two separate planes that caused national security alerts, with fighter jets being scrambled, and passengers being questioned, after landing, for their… drum roll… extended use of the airliner toilets.

news item in particular was very strange… An American Airlines "pilot became nervous when he noticed that several passengers were making frequent trips to the bathroom."

I am all for safety and being alert, especially on the 10th anniversary of 9/11, but what kind of airliner pilot is more focused on how many people are going to the bathroom than flying the darn plane? Is he SuperPilot that he can see through the locked cockpit door? Or did some ditsy (male or female) flight attendant cause the scare? They should consider taking a job in a restaurant to keep track of bathroom visits by patrons.

Also, I am all for a couple deciding to make out on planes, trains and automobiles, but (if that is indeed what had happened on a Frontier Airlines flight) for a couple to try pulling that off (no pun intended) in an aircraft toilet on 9/11 suggests the Moron gene's presence.

Maybe airlines should not issue coupons (like drink coupons) on how many times and for how long passengers can go to the bathroom. eBay can set up a new marketplace to trade in toilet time futures.

A separate news report during the hunt for possible terror plotters mentioned how police were searching for stolen vans and similar vehicles.

That made me think… how dumb must be those retards who would steal any vehicle, much less a potential bomb-carrying-capable van on or around 9/11. I really wish they get caught, and even if they're simply Grand Theft Auto fans, I hope they are shipped to Guantanamo for the crime of being extra stupid, and for causing extra concern for the whole nation.

Finally, I am thankful that 9/11 2011 passed solemnly and uneventfully from a security perspective, but I remain concerned, and we must remain vigilant. We are not out of danger, and we are all in this together.

What were your thoughts on 9/11/2011 and how have your thinking and you changed since 9/11/2001 ?

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Friday, September 09, 2011

Is Pacific Ocean Big? Sur(e)! - IMRAN™

About 18 years ago, my friends based in California, and I, had taken a brief trip along the famed Pacific Coast Highway (Route 1), from San Francisco / San Jose to the towns of Carmel and Monterey.

It was a beautiful scenic drive, and a great time with friends, who, like passing time, can move into the memory drawers of life.

This year, after a hectic business trip to Santa Clara and San Jose, I changed my return flight, from San Francisco - Long Island, to a departure from Orange County, near Los Angeles.

My goal was to take a 2 day slow drive along Route 1, and get to visit a dear cousin, who had visited me with her then-brand new husband (LOL) about 12 years ago in NY, and whom I had long promised to visit.

My trip was delayed because unexpected meetings meant I could not depart from Santa Clara til about 3 PM.

That is when I actually started calling around for hotels to have another interesting twist. It was coming up on the last weekend for many families before schools started. So, there were no hotel rooms available anywhere, except for $500 or more per night.

But, I plugged away, sitting in the parking lot doing searches on my iPhone and calling around but in specific areas on the ocean route.

I was also sorely disappointed that the day of this trip was completely overcast weather in California.

I decided to head towards Irvine and Newport Beach (where my cousin and her husband and three daughters I had never met lived). My plan was to stay the night in a scenic place, which I ended up picking Cambria to be. (A lovely place, where I also got a reasonably priced, well under $200 or so compared to $500, for an only remaining room, on the ocean, with breakfast included, so it was quite a bargain at that time).

But, as I made my way down Route 1, I realized that my photography plans were pretty much foiled, both by the weather, the lateness of my departure, and a misbehaving camera.

One primary place to visit on my list had been the Big Sur area, and its rocky structures along the cliffs and hills along the Pacific Coast.

Interestingly, as I got to that area, the sun had started falling, but the clouds were lifting enough for the sun to cast a hot yellow red tinge on the rocks of Big Sur. At the same time, a contrasting fog was rolling in from the ocean just a mile or two further away.

The scene was surreal… the green trees and sandy, muddy, rocky mountainside was appearing saturated in yellow, the rocks jutting out from a darkening blue were almost overexposed looking white, while the hills just a few miles away merged into a hazy blue layer of hazier bluer mists, with the waves rolling onto the sliver of sandy beach were a beautiful combined shade of turquoise and teal.

All in all, it ended up being a unique, once in a lifetime, set of weather conditions, of a small slice of our planet worth seeing in many different lights.

Is the Pacific Ocean Big? Sure. But, at Big Sur it is just a tiny microcosm of what makes our beautiful blue planet the home not just of our living beings, but our souls that feed on the beauty of nature.

I hope you enjoyed this travel experience I am sharing. Thank you.

© 2011 IMRAN

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Thursday, September 08, 2011

Peek Beak Peak Color Curves - IMRAN™

SOOC Image Straight Out Of Camera!! NO editing, tweaking, of ANY kind. Only framed in Photoshop & saved as JPG.

As you know, I love wordplay, especially in the titles and descriptions of my photos.

But, despite being lucky with planting flowers around the house, I have little knowledge of the names of the vast majority of popular plants. Blame it on my hating Botany and Biology as subjects when I was growing up.

Also, flower closeups do not often have external elements to tie into a word-play story.

This picture was hard for me to title, except that I wanted to say something about the bird like beak on these plants in flowerbeds of Rockfeller Center, New York City, recently.

Then I realized the multiple puns possible. You can look at the sharp shape, and see the range of colors you would find in the iPhoto or Photoshop histograms of fall foliage photos if you wanted to improve the photo. (This photo has NO enhancements done to it).

Peek Beak Peak Color Curves.

Other ideas welcome. :-)

© 2011 IMRAN™

Thursday, September 01, 2011

End Of Summer, Beach, Fireworks, Bellport, NY - IMRAN™

Riding back from sunset photography at Smith Point Beach, Long Island, New York, I realized that End of Summer Fireworks were starting up at Bellport Dock, on the beach, near my home.

I barely had time to stop the motorcycle when the show started. I did not even have time to pull out my Nikon D300 from the carrying case for some high resolution shots. Instead, I simply grabbed the iPhone 4, and shot this clip still sitting on the R6, with my helmet and racing gloves still on!

Unedited iPhone 4 video exported to YouTube with iMovie on Mac OS Lion, September 1, 2011. I did not even know this song (Fireworks © Roxette and used with Thanks and full credit to them) existed in my own iTunes library. I only found it because I searched for Fireworks and found two.

The amazing wording (listen to the lyrics) about lovers, the beach and fireworks in the sky is perfectly suited, and the song is the right length too.

Please enjoy, and Like, and Share the link with your friends. Thank you. Have an awesome remaining summer and rest of the year.

Video: © 2011 IMRAN
"Fireworks" Song: © Roxette

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Serene Sunset Smith Point Beach NY - IMRAN™

As Hurricane Irene became a recent distant memory, and as the sun set on Ramadan, the month of fasting for Muslims, a sweet serene sunset spoke of peace, of man, nature and nation, at Smith Point Beach, Long Island, NY. It soon gave way to a stunning, moonless, starry night, with the Milky Way so clear it made you think it was a strand of light clouds. Happy Eid Mubarak to my fellow Muslims, and Peace to all.

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Saturday, August 20, 2011

Soar Winger - IMRAN™

It was Christmas Day, sunset. It was my late mother's birth anniversary, whom I lost 20 years ago, aged just about 51.

It was just a few days after the sudden passing away of my beloved Father, who lived 17 years after her, and never married again. He visited her grave to spread rose petals on it, to the end of his days, even when he had to be physically carried there after being paralyzed by a massive stroke.

I stood at the spot on Smith Point Bridge where he and I had gone, during his 1996 visit to me. I had been going through a difficult time in my life. And, he was there for me.

As I stand alone facing far greater challenges, deep crises and troubles, all coming together in my life at the same time, I look at this photograph and think of what my parents always taught me.

Always look up. Always look forward. Never be a sore loser, nor an ungracious winner. Fly as high as your dreams take you. Soar, Winger.

Your deepest prayers appreciated for the souls of my beloved parents, and for me to overcome the many crises I face all at the same time. Thank you.

© 2008-2011 IMRAN

Monday, August 15, 2011

Cats Align A(n) Island, Not Catalina Island - IMRAN™

My 38th Photo to make it in Flickr Explore on July 6, 2011!

Tahiti and many other places remain on my list of places to go with someone special in my life one day, but until now, The British Virgin Islands, especially the waters and beaches of Tortola and the Baths at Virgin Gorda remain the most amazing I have seen, savored and soaked into my soul.

These catamarans and sailboats are soaking in the sun and were aligned with each other and an island in the distance.

Though I have not been to Catalina Island, the word play was to oeasy to pass up...

Cats Align An Island, Not Catalina Island.

I am certain the tranquil scenery and stunning colors will tempt you to put these places I have been blessed to go also on your list of places to visit.

Travel Far, But Never Forget Home!

© 2008-2011 IMRAN

Sunday, August 07, 2011

The Odd Man And The Sea - IMRAN™

My 37th Photo to make it in Flickr Explore on June 20, 2011!

No color editing or processing of any kind, no filters. Photo, taken from top deck of moving boat, had to be straightened in Photoshop. Click photo to see detail!

As the humming engines got me underway over the waters of the Long Island Sound, I saw a sole figure in the distance. The odd man out(doors). One man, an odd figure (i.e. not an even number :-) ).

A fisherman, who had braved the waters, slippery rocks, currents and tides for the perfect catch. As the accelerating boat, figure and sun came in line, I held on with one hand on the railing, and got my perfect catch... this photo (except having to straighten it :-( ), taken at a 450mm Zoom, handheld, with only one chance before the moment would be like "the one that got away" in fishermen's stories...

Exposure 0.001 sec (1/1250), Aperture f/18.0, Focal Length 300/450 mm, ISO Speed 320...

I See. Clicker, Tuna/er, Snapper... Caught! The Odd Man And The Sea!

Also view: The Old MEN And The Sea

© 2011 IMRAN™

Friday, August 05, 2011

I Drop To Focus On Drop Focus - IMRAN™

My 36th Photo to make it in Flickr Explore on June 14, 2011!

Walking around the house after a mid-May rain shower, I saw these flowers my neighbor planted.

I dropped to my knees, in the wet grass, and focused on getting the drop in focus and the rest out of focus. I did not want to drop my focus on a drop focus effect.

I got it even better than I could imagine. Stare at it, and that drop of water looks like 3D.

Photo is as taken by the Nikon D300, not softened in any computer program.

© 2011 IMRAN™

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Sky So Solar Red, Or Land O' Orlando - IMRAN™

SOOC Image Straight Out Of Camera!! NO editing, tweaking, of ANY kind. 1/320 seconds 450mm handheld photo at f/9 ISO200. Only framed in Photoshop.

A sky so solar blood red, with a melting gold sun melding with the hot earth, or land o' Orlando!

© 2011 IMRAN™

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Freeze Frame! Boys (of) Summer, Play Ball! - IMRAN™

My 35th Photo to make it in Flickr Explore on June 7, 2011!

Baseball. The All-American pastime. A moment frozen in time, as two bitter rivals, like Gangs of New York, vie for victory over each other. This handheld shot caught the ball literally in the air hurling from the pitcher's hand to the strike zone.

An old flame of the time, a big Mets fan, took me to my first baseball game on my birthday in 1993. We had apartments in the beautiful Monterey, and from our apartments we could see Yankee and Mets stadia. Later that year, my old Columbia Business School roommate, Jim Malley, who had moved into another luxury building across the street from mine, took me to a Yankees game.

Generally, I am not a big Baseball fan - still loving Cricket over it. But, I root for NY teams, whoever they play against. Between the Yankees and the Mets, my tendency is to cheer for the Yankees. (Sorry, Beth! LOL)

Then on my birthday in 2002 my THEN lovely girlfriend (and one of the nicest people and prettiest girls I ever met, Catherine) took me to the Mets game, again.

After that I did not go to any more games. Until 2009, that is. At that time, my lovely girlfriend (Kathryn) took me to another Mets game, at the New Mets Stadium. It was fun. (Note to self... what is it with beautiful blonde girlfriends always being Mets fans! LOL).

In May this year, in an unexpected last minute plan with my childhood friends (whom I have a reunion with every year) had us in Manhattan for the weekend of my birthday. Spur of the moment, we decided to go see a Baseball game and got two for the price of one... a Yankees-Mets game at the New Yankee Stadium.

It was a great game. It started at about 6:30PM, with the sky still pale blue. And it ended under the bright lights of the arena. The Yankees won 7-3.

Among several shots, this one was a good representative photograph... of the Boys (of) Summer, (as they) Play Ball...

Now I need to see an extra 2 Yankees games to bring the total number of games of each team I have watched back in balance. :-)

© 2011 IMRAN™

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Turn & Bank Over River Banks To Airport, Port & Beach Newport Beach To Port - IMRAN™

My 34th Photo to make it in Flickr Explore. Front Page on June 3, 2011!

I love flying. I love yachting & boating. I love the beach. I love travel. I love water. I love California. I love waterfront living. I love marine. I love marinas. I love wordplay. I love banks (along beautiful rivers, NOT financial institutions!).

This photo, taken through an aircraft window with a 5 years old pocket Nikon S6, has all of that - and more.

A banking turn in a plane is changing the direction of the aircraft while also turning by controlling how inclined it is to the horizon. I loved this steep banking turn to port (the left side of a plane or a yacht), as the aircraft banked over the banks of the beautiful riverlike body of water, over a sort of (boating) port and beach, near Balboa Island's Yacht Club and marinas, on the way to the airport at Newport Beach.

© 2010-2011 IMRAN™


Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Three ⚡ Lightning ⚡ Strikes And You're Out(side)! - IMRAN™

Being blessed to live on the water, away from city lights, the wide expanse of the Great South Bay beyond my home beach is always a source of visual treats.

From dark moonless nights with flying white foam covering roaring waves, to moonlit nights on a silky smooth mass. From No Visible Horizon nights when earth, wind, sky and water merge into one, to the most spectacular displays of lightning, seeming to set alight the aptly named Watch Hill on the also aptly named Fire Island... places I love being by boat, in all kinds of weather, in all seasons, in all stages of life and in all types of light.

But, as I clicked way on my Nikon D300 on this magnficent fireworks filled sky, with the smell of burning Ozone in the air, and the atmosphere rich in sensual moisture and dripping in an almost sexually charged energy. The mood, the scene, were, to say the least, Electric.

As massive thunderbolts and lightning struck across from my home, as I captured this photo, I was reminded of the risks....

Three (Lightning) Strikes And You're Out(side)!? :-)

© 2010-2011 IMRAN

Camera Nikon D300, Exposure 30, Aperture f/18.0, Focal Length 48 mm