Tuesday, December 31, 2013

As Sun Sets On 2013, 2014 Begins To Appear - IMRAN™ -- Happy New Year To All!

In every life there are bright mornings and dark nights, ups and downs, and everything in between.

Some will be celebrating the best year(s) of their lives going by as the sun sets on 2013, while others will think it could not end soon enough.

But, to all, each and everyone of you, my family, friends, fans, loves and loved ones, as well as all decent people of this beautiful planet…..

A Happy New Year, and all the best in 2014.

The base SOOC image is Straight Out Of Camera with my 6 years old Nikon D300!! NO editing, tweaking, of ANY kind. Only added my greeting and name in Photoshop..

© 2013-2014 Imran Anwar

Monday, December 30, 2013

Stunning Colors Of Nature - IMRAN™

SOOC Image Straight Out Of Camera!! NO editing, tweaking, or color processing of ANY kind. Only added my name in Photoshop..

These stunning colors are presented as the Nikon D300 captured them in my flower beds at home, with not a bit of editing done to the image.


Sunday, December 29, 2013

Every NoteBook Has An Ending. Make Yours Special. - IMRAN™

I am a very adventurous modern-day old fashioned romantic, in case some of my 50 shades of color writings don’t tell you that already.

But, maybe it was watching all those Pakistan romance movie my parents loved going to see, or just being a sappy fool at heart, despite being Happily Single™ (yes, I even sold T-shirts online with that logo) I also believe in sail-mates and soul-mates, and in living happily ever after.

My parents only got 32 years together before my Mom died at 50. Dad outlived her by nearly 17 years but never remarried.

So, even as guy who loves action flicks, I shed a few tears when I watched The Notebook. If you thought The Notebook was a great movie, then you have to read this true story:

Married 62 years, Charlie & Helen Bridges died 3 days apart this month

What do you think of true love, of devotion, of mad dedication, and, of a The End to the movie of our life, like this one?


Saturday, December 28, 2013

Sailing Off Into The Sunset - IMRAN™

As I stood at my dock, waiting to see what new magical colors the sky would display at sunset, I noticed a cruise ship heading out of Tampa Bay, towards the Gulf of Mexico.

As the sun set on a lovely, but not overly spectacular sunset sky, I knew the ship would not make it there in time to give me a great silhouette shot.

But, just at the moment the direct sight of the sun took its last gasp and slid under the horizon, the ship was in the frame just enough to make for a lovely effect nonetheless. I clicked Bon Voyage to the ship, as it’s passengers enjoyed Sailing Off Into The Sunset, literally.

(Straight Out Of Camera image, with no color editing, but cropped lower 500 pixel rows of water to give a widescreen view).

© 2013 IMRAN

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Stunning Scene At Harbour Island, Eleuthera, Bahamas - IMRAN™

I have been blessed to see many beautiful places on this wonderful planet. And the stunning views and colors of the Bahamas and the Caribbean remain among my favorites.

The colors of the sky and water constantly change depending on how bright it is, where the sun is shining and what kind of clouds are painting patterns on the water surface.

Coral Sands is a beautiful hotel to stay at, and the sand under my feet was literally talcum powder soft and sweet pink in color.

I hope I am blessed to return to this place again. I hope this photo takes you there for a few moments in time.

This photo was taken with a pocket Nikon S6 in 2007. I would love to take pictures with a higher quality Nikon next time I visit.

© 2007-2013

Friday, December 20, 2013

Backyard Paradise - IMRAN™

The brilliant blue sky, green foliage and glowing sands at low tide bring out the best views of the flats at Tampa Bay, Florida.

What a blessing to be able to witness this scene, a blessed backyard of paradise point in this mortal life and morsel of universal dust we call Earth.

© 2013 IMRAN

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Another Gorgeous Tampa Bay Dusk - IMRAN™

I was blessed to see this stunning sunset and dusk on Tampa Bay, when the winter sky was filled with hues of gold and fiery orange, and the water shimmered in shades of blue, pink, and purple depending on the direction and the clouds above.

My now nearly 6 years old Nikon D300 still takes great sunset photos. I took 36 or so photos in 3 rows of 12, just spanning about 120 degrees of view.

These handheld camera photos were imported from the camera, automatically stitched by Microsoft’s ICE, imported into iPhoto, cropped and cleaned up to share here. Please enjoy.

Click to view the actual sky detail of this magical moment.

© 2013 IMRAN

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Soft Pink Sensual Lips Unfurl - IMRAN™

This is just one of the many unedited (image Straight Out Of Camera, name added in Photoshop), stunning images of nature’s soft pink sensual unfurling lips that I captured with a macro lens on a 2 year old iPhone 4S. It is from one of the flowers I grew inside my home in NY and then dried.

© 2011-2013 IMRAN

Friday, December 13, 2013

Sun (Good Night) Bird (Good Flight) - IMRAN™

Tonight’s sunset over Tampa Bay, Florida, seemed to be one of the “usually unusual” beautiful experiences of nature. Something to be savored in the moment, and then forgotten, when the next beautiful night takes its place in the eye and the mind’s eye.

But, as this unedited photo (taken with a handheld nearly six years old Nikon D300 and with NO color processing or tweaking) shows, the stunning natural subtle layers of clouds, in an otherwise clear evening, made crisper by a cold front coming through, just made for a magical incredible sight.

The majestic bird taking off into the night sky, silhouetted against the darkening red sky and black horizon, made my spirit soar. I hope you enjoy it and share your thoughts, as the Sun says Good Night and the Bird takes Good Flight.

© 2013 IMRAN

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Panorama View Inside Keukenhof Netherlands - IMRAN™

I was running out of time in my trip to Holland (Netherlands) during my visit to Europe.

As I left Amsterdam, I had a choice of sleeping in a bit at the hotel and heading to the airport earlier than the flight time, or taking a train and bus ride to Keukenhof, the world famous place where tulips and bulbs of all kinds cover the landscape as far as the eye can see.

This area inside the park has a beautiful tranquility to it, with a lake, fountains, wandering geese, and meandering paths, wondering eyes and summer breeze sighs, combining to make it an afternoon to remember.

This was taken with my 2 year old cell phone to snap a handheld panorama, doing my best to avoid people walking by me, and not losing the perspective the panorama app needed. It came out pretty good, I have to say.

I did make it back to the airport in time, for my return to the United States and am glad I made the time to visit this beautiful place.


Thursday, December 05, 2013

Black Clouds Smoke From Red Hot Burning Sky - IMRAN™ (SOOC)

This is another stunning silhouette of a breathtaking red sky over St. Petersberg, Florida. This too was taken across miles of wide open Tampa Bay, with a Nikon D300.

The red hot sky was on fire seeming to release layers of dark smoky clouds over a city filled with people oblivious to the majesty of nature swirling overhead.

SOOC Image Straight Out Of Camera!! NO editing, tweaking, of ANY kind. Only added my name in Photoshop..


Friday, November 29, 2013

Atlantic Waves Wave Cold Farewell To Winter's Day - IMRAN™

There is nothing quite like the majestic serenity of a winter’s day at a secluded spot on the ocean, with not a soul in sight for miles.

The sounds of a silent soul soaking in the scene, felt, though not heard, louder than the crashing of the waves giving up the fight against gravity and the combined strength of otherwise insignificant grains of sand making their stand.

The cold onslaught of the mighty ocean merely hoping to erase recent footsteps of a man’s walk on the beach.

The surf, rolling, thundering in, and then haplessly collapsing foaming, seething, bubbling, hissing before receding, to gather strength for its next return, knowing it has no choice, but to dance this eternal dance, until the end of time.

The Atlantic Ocean’s wave’s wave a cold farewell to a New York winter’s day and ominous clouds, with the promise that they will tango again.

© 2013 IMRAN

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Fifty Thousand Shades Of Grey - IMRAN™

Life is not black and white. It is full of a million shades of grey.


It has its ups and downs. We probably have between 50,000 and 70,000 hours available in life.

If Black is down and White is the up part of our lives, it is in the grey zone that we will live most of our days and hours.So mope not if you happen to hit a down period in your life. And gloat not if you happen to hit a high. 

Give thanks, instead, for having the 50,000 hours of grey. Be thankful that they are not black and dark. Be grateful they are in your power to make lighter, brighter, whiter, happier, more blessed.

Be proactive, make a choice, and do all you can that God empowered you with, to make them more delightful, more love filled, more full of smiles, more brimming with love. And yes, don’t take for granted the basics. 

Say a prayer of gratitude for being alive, healthy, loved, able to read with your own eyes, able to write or speak your thoughts, having the resources and ability to go online.

Bow your head to count the blessings, of having a bed to sleep in and food to eat, and being able to do many of things a billion or more on this earth cannot do.

Happy Thanksgiving, in every shade of grey. 

- Imran Anwar
Long Island, NY, November 2013

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Fall Full Moon Falls As Sun Rises To Keep It At Bay At Tampa Bay - IMRAN™

I had happened to pull an all-nighter in Florida to finish work on a project before catching an early flight to NY.

But just as the sun was rising behind me, I saw a beautiful fall full moon still clearly shining in the sky falling to the West over Tampa Bay.

This photo was taken with a 41MP Windows Phone Nokia Lumia 1020 cell phone. It is a great camera but one thing it does is try to lighten dark photos. That is great for indoor dark scenes but in this case it tried to “help” by making the scene lighter, easier to see, but taking away the rich tones I was seeing.

I enhanced the photo by darkening it back in Photoshop to bring it closer to what I saw that day…. “Fall Full Moon Falls As Sun Rises To Keep It At Bay At Tampa Bay”.

© 2013 IMRAN


Sunday, November 24, 2013

Stunning November Afternoon Glows With Orlando Magic - IMRAN™

Even though Orlando is far from my favorite bodies of water, like Tampa Bay and the Atlantic Ocean, the landscaping in most resorts makes up for that with ample water surrounding everything.

This particular November afternoon on a Hilton Grand Vacations resort was a splendid display of the power of nature’s colors in Florida, with a touch of Orlando Magic.

This photo was taken with my WindowsPhone Lumia1020, imported into iPhoto, enhacned in Photoshop, with copyright insertion, and reimported into iPhoto to post on Flickr.

© IMRAN WP1020_20131108_15_41_22_Pro__highres

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Smith Point Beach Fire Island Dance Party

During one of my drives to Smith Point Beach on Fire Island I saw this fun group of people enjoying  summer dancing with live music at the Beach Hut. Except for a few songs, I am not a big fan of country music, but this tune obviously had people enjoying the day like a weekend, even though it was a Monday.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Pollen, Petals, And Cell(ular Phone Camera) Biology - IMRAN™

This is a handheld photo taken at maximum zoom of the Nokia, WindowsPhone, Lumia 1020 at my home on Long Island New York this summer.

It is amazing to see the detail of pollen on the petals that a 41MP cell phone camera’s zoom (crop to merely 1.5MB) picture can show.

I Imported into iPhoto, enhanced with copyright insertion in Photoshop, and shared with you all.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Air, Land & Sky That Even Poseidon Would Love - IMRAN™

1989 was my first full year of living in the United States (after first coming in 1987). And at the end of that year, during a visit to Miami, Florida, where I made many wonderful friends, it was Susane Ronai, a dear friend until years afterwards, who took me to Disney in Orlando for New Year’s.

Even though I came to Orlando many times in subsequent years, for meetings, to speak at conferences like HIMMS, and more, I never made it back to a Florida theme park. I did go to Universal Studios in Los Angeles, and to Six Flags in New Jersey, both in 1991.

This year, I finally made it back to a theme partk after nearly 22 years, with my beautiful girlfriend Kat. It ended up being Universal Studios’ Islands of Adventure, in Orlando, that we spent November 10, 2013, at.

The more than 10 miles of walking we got in was quite a lot, especially wearing new shoes without socks. LOL. But the Hulk roller coaster (that I took twice), and the tower where you are shot up at the same acceleration as a fighter jet being catapulted off an aircraft carrier, were definitely worth experiencing (again).

I had to miss the Poseidon experience because it was a stunning day and I wanted to capture a panorama (actually an auto stitch with the Microsoft Photosynth app in my Lumia 1020 41MP phone). Not using a tripod means less than perfect alignment, but in this case Photosynth did a decent job. I cropped the full 360x360 degree spherical view into a rectangular photo for you to enjoy.

Feel free to post the link on your FaceBook or Twitter feeds if you have been to this place, and share your stories here.

Thursday, November 07, 2013

My Blessed Heavenly Home By The Sea - IMRAN™

This is a panorama photo of my blessed home in Florida, the white home to the right. You have to click to soak in the scene larger size on a monitor. It was taken while standing in the water of Tampa Bay at my beach as the tide was receding.

Having slept at 4AM or so, I was woken by my girlfriend who had gone for a walk on the beach and realized the stunning Florida sky colors, sand flats color and the water shades would be worth waking me up for.

Normally waking me up from deep sleep is a serious offense (LOL), but in this case I just jumped out of bed and walked on to the sands with her.

I took 22 handheld Nikon D300 images facing the morning sun. It was a breathtaking moment as the sun behind the home gave it a heavenly aura.

Later back inside on my brand new MacBook Pro Adobe Photoshop and other apps could not handle stitching them straight but in a wave shape, but they were stitched by Microsoft’s ICE program on Windows 8, running in Parallels. But even that skipped 2 shots, as it seems beach/water/horizon/sky are the weakest parts of panorama software and those happen to be my favorite subjects. Oh well, this will do for now.

I opened that stitched image in Photoshop CC/CS to fill out the jagged edges (Fill/Content Aware), improved shadow detail, but did not reduce sun glare which would make the sky color seem fake, so I just added my name, exported as JPG and imported into iPhoto to post on Flickr.

I hope you enjoy this moment as much I did and do. Your prayers to bless my family, me and my homes are always requested.

© 2013 IMRAN

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

St. Petersberg Stunning Sunset Silhouette - IMRAN™

This stunning silhouette of a breathtaking red sky over St. Petersberg, Florida, was taken across miles of wide open Tampa Bay, with my mostly trusty 5+ years old Nikon D300, in mid-September.

ISO200, 450mm handheld zoom, f/13 at 1/640 second 0EV.

SOOC Image Straight Out Of Camera!! NO editing, tweaking, of ANY kind. Only added my name in Photoshop..


Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Fire Island Glows Across From Long Island's Fire Filled Sky Sunset - IMRAN™

I got into making panoramas a long time before most people. I still miss my QTVR Authoring Studio software that Apple did not support well. I miss my precision engineered 0-360 degree OneShot lens (accidentally broken along with a Nikon camera at Christmas 2008).

Yet over time the ability of cell phone cameras and software to enable me (and millions of others) to take panoramas made up for that. I really appreciate the camera and photography capabilities of my WindowsPhone Lumia 1020, but alas it's panorama stitching capabilities do not handle handheld photography (standing in one spot turning taking dozens of photos while trying to keep the camera location fixed) well at all.

This becomes sadly apparent in beach/horizon photos, among my favorite subjects. Often the horizon will appear as a square waveform if even one picture is processed by the software a few pixels above where it should be.

I do appreciate my iPhone 4S camera app for its ability to fairly seamlessly stitch together a panorama, but it is not a full 360 degrees. Some other apps do offer good options though.

So, in this particular case, the stunning colors of the sky on Fire above the beach at my home on Long Island (left of the photo) and the glowing red horizon showing Fire Island (and a near full moon on the right of the picture) were due to the awesome camera on the WindowsPhone Lumia. But, I did have to manually cut/move/paste some of the horizon parts to make them straight, in Photoshop.

It took effort to make the horizon (almost) straight since I am not a Photoshop guru. Nor do I have the time to compensate for the fact that these were all taken standing on sloping sand turning around in a full circle. Making the horizon a perfect straight line on both sides to align on the left and right is something I would love to do (and process this photo into a pixel accurately aligned real Quicktime virtual reality immersive experience) but alas, lack of time means I can only share the magic of this moment in a straight flat but, you will agree, stunning image.

Here's to software getting better faster than any hopes of my photography skills!


Sunday, October 20, 2013

Look Up, Fall (Coming) Down! - IMRAN™ - (SOOC)

SOOC Image Straight Out Of Camera!! NO photo editing, tweaking, or processing of ANY kind on this 41MP Nokia Cellphone photo. Only added my name in Photoshop & saved image as JPG.

As I was driving home from lunch recently during my 3 weeks stay at my home in Long Island, New York, I did a quick (but safe) U-turn on South Country Road to catch this photo from one of the few trees like this that still had leaves on them.

This year it seemed like the season changed rather quickly. With all of God's blessings, even as I Look Up, Fall (Coming) Down all around is what I see.

Nokia WindowsPhone Lumia1020 Cell Phone Camera

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Falling For Fall As Sun Falls Below NY Horizon - IMRAN™

As the cold air starts to creep in from the North, the sun starts to slide to set more over the water than land on the South Shore of Long Island, New York. The moisture squeezed out of the air also makes for crisper cooler air to breathe in but also for sharper photographs. Dusk scene at my blessed home beach in NY, taken with my new WindowsPhone Lumia 1020.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Easy To Work In Microsoft Office With These Microsoft Windows & Windows Phone, Literally! - IMRAN™

Now that is what I call Microsoft Office AND Microsoft Windows. It is a good thing I do not have to visit the Microsoft office in Southwest Florida regularly. With windows offering a 270 degrees waterview like this -- combining my loves for boating/waterfront living and flying {as jets come in to land right across the bay) -- I'd get nothing done! Two handheld photos I took with my WindowsPhone Lumia 1020, merged in Microsoft ICE and titled in Photoshop.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Keep A Finger On The Pulse Of Fingerprint Readers In Gadgets

By now everyone has probably seen the news about Apple's recently launched iPhone 5S. Even as an old time iPhone fan, I had stopped buying new ones since the iPhone 4S. The iPhone 5 had not given me any compelling reason to buy one either. Ironically, in that period of time, even as an old time Mac user and past critic of old versions of Windows, I joined Microsoft

I did not immediately get a Windows Phone (even though I was losing out an employee discount) and waited until the phone I really wanted came out….. The Nokia Lumia 1020 WindowsPhone 8, with its 41MP mind-blowing smartphone camera, which I bought without a discount or employee rebate. I still kept and use my iPhone 4S, because of the many apps I had bought over the years, and music that is tied to iTunes/Apple at present.

I was very hopeful for a truly innovative iPhone 5S, because, even though Apple's phone is now a direct competitor to my employer's recently acquired smartphone business, I believe innovation at one leading competitor benefits us all, as others have to work hard, invest in innovation and build great devices and services around them.

But, try as I might, despite being eligible for the new iPhone 5 upgrade from AT&T, I did not see any compelling reason to buy this one, at least yet, while my 4S is working fine. The only thing that I found of some interest was the fingerprint reader Apple built in, based on a company it had bought not too long ago.

I have always been a fan of natural interfaces or input devices. 

Ironically, my first fingerprint reader was actually a Microsoft branded one I bought for one of my PCs in the days I was a big time Mac fan.

A few years ago I discovered Authentec's USB readers and bought several, especially as they could work on my Macs and my PCs.

Some time later their prices dropped drastically and I found Apple had bought the company. So, predicting that the next generation iPhone would have fingerprint capability was not a leap of genius. 

However, I have to say my experience with the Authentec USB pluggable fob readers was frustrating, to the extent I do not use them anymore. Sometimes it would take half a dozen attempts of aligning the finger, the reader and Jupiter with Saturn before it would accept the print. I found simply typing in my complex password took less time and frustration.

Ironically, now that my current position is with Microsoft, I am happy that the technology is becoming more mainstream even if launched by a competitor. Such wide distribution of technology features leads to a greater pressure on everyone to improve the technology. (Remember how frustrating BlueTooth was early on?).

I have a fingerprint reader built into the new Lenovo Windows 8 (now. 8.1 :-) ) laptop I got earlier this year, and it works smoothly, quickly and without trouble (so far!).

So, I am hoping to see more of that technology in other laptops and smartphones. Let the new game begin…. Touch And Go (Innovate!).



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Sunday, September 08, 2013

Floral Explosion - IMRAN™

SOOC Image Straight Out Of WindowsPhone Lumia 1020 Smartphone Camera!! NO editing, tweaking, or color processing of ANY kind. Only added © IMRAN in top right corner..

It is hard to imagine that this is a smartphone camera photo taken at night in a dimly lit restaurant with the cell phone's built in flash. I took it at the Texas de Brazil restaurant's salad bar in Tampa, Florida.

I am glad I waited for the Nokia Lumia 1020 before buying my WindowsPhone.

© 2013 IMRAN

Monday, September 02, 2013

Why I Would Never Recommend A Lenovo Thinkpad Laptop To Anyone

Even as a then Mac bigot the Lenovo (then IBM) ThinkPad with a writing pad and touchscreen was one of the few times I had bought a Windows laptop.

Fast forward to 2013 and I was given a brand new Lenovo W530 for work and hate it (though much less than the lousy new HP Ultrabook).

In 2013 a no touchscreen Microsoft Windows 8 laptop is funny enough, but it is designed by a team of truck designers or drivers. They put a 15 inch non-touch screen in a body bigger than most 17" laptops. And about as elegant.

WARNING: You need to buy a matching Samsonite luggage set for this, not to protect the laptop but to protect other people's luggage from it.

Get a set of two, one for the boulder-weight laptop and the other for the power adaptor just slightly lighter than a concrete block.

It has the weakest speakers on any laptop I have ever owned, and the world's most atrocious sandpaper textured trackpad that often requires multiple attempts to register movement.

And what can I say about the Lenovo web site designed by those who were rejected for mail room janitor jobs….

The site asks you for a 4-25 character ID, which it later rejects because you used non-AlphaNumeric characters, like a period in the name. They of course do not state it before you have clicked submit.

You write a short review and THEN the site does not accept it because it has "too much text"… but it does not tell you what the text limit it. This is the last time I will go to their web site….

Though Windows 8 has been rock solid on this and I have not had any crashes at all since I got it, the hardware is the worst ever from a company division that used to be IBM.

I cannot recommend this to anyone.... well, except my worst enemies. :-)


UPDATE 09/09/2013

As if things could not get worse, or as if to prove some latent tendency to feel pain and anger, I went to the Lenovo web site to look for some updated firmware and drivers. The made-by-Martians-for-Saturnites-living-on-Neptune interface would be funny if it did not make you cry for how you have to (or I had to) click on about a dozen or more links to display the drivers under various areas, and then to click on each of THOSE to see what the issue date was. If the date was later than the purchase date I downloaded it. (I did not download all because some were not relevant to me). When all was said and done, I dutifully and painfully installed each one by one… Until…

One of the update installers completed its work, asked for a reboot, which I allowed and then…

The Lenovo W530 stopped booting. It just stopped going past the Boot Menu, but instead of showing the various USB stick, external disk or even WIndows2Go on USB OS plus the internal drive, it simply showed ZERO boot devices available. In the meantime, the utilities area allowed me to run disk tests on the internal drive and memory etc. All came back 100% but the machine remained unbeatable. So, after spending one day trying to resolve that, I had to go in for a technician to try everything he could, and he had no luck either. FInally, the only way the machine was booted was with LAN startup and formatting and reinstalling the OS. That used up most of today. And now I have to dig for installers of all the files, not to mention the work in progress from the last few days that had not been backed up (since I am not at home in NY).

Word to the wise, Friends Don't Let Friends Buy Lenovo.


[I also posted this product review on Amazon]

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Thursday, August 29, 2013

Sun(Set)Bird(Sit) - IMRAN™

I invite you my friends here to connect with me on FaceBook at facebook.com/IMRAN.TV .

Sun(Set)Bird(Sit). Stunning colors on Tampa Bay sunsets this whole week that the heron takes in at dusk. NO color processing. Original Nikon D300 image simply cropped to square size and added title.

© 2013 IMRAN

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Stunning Day, Tampa Bay - IMRAN™

Please enjoy: Spectacular Mid-August Tampa Bay Florida Afternoon, Unedited Windows Phone Nokia Lumia 1020 Video Clip. Video & Music © IMRAN.

Friday, August 09, 2013

Eid Mubarak and Greetings - IMRAN

Eid Mubarak and Greetings, Love and Best Wishes to All, Imran

Unedited Nikon D300 image. Text layer added in Photoshop.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

From The Earth To The Moon. Honoring Moon Landing July 20, 1969 - IMRAN™

From The Earth To The Moon. It was today's date, but July 20th, 1969. I was a 7-year old kid who had left home to live with my grandmother in Karachi, Pakistan, because there were no decent schools in the remote part of the country my late beloved father was posted to, in the Irrigation Department in Punjab.

It was a Telefunken Black and White TV that we were watching in the early hours of the morning, way past bed time for most adults, much less kids. But, I recall watching, and hearing, every wonderful minute of that historic event.

Decades later, I was walking on the Smith Point Beach on Fire Island, off of Long Island, New York, when this stunning (super) moon was appearing on the horizon of a magical dusk.

I captured this moment, of two unknown humans, on a beach on earth, with their backpacks emulating personal space ready jetpacks of the not too distant future, seemingly ready to step on to the dusty, sandy, rock strewn but dry surface of the heavenly body forever enslaved to our planet.

From The Earth To The Moon, "One Small Step For A Man, One Giant Step For Mankind…".

Farewell and RIP Neil Armstrong and other heroes of the race to the moon. Hello, Moon… Until we meet again…..

© 2013 IMRAN™

Thursday, July 11, 2013

No Man's An Island, Grand Cayman Is. - IMRAN™

No Man's An Island, Grand Cayman Is. So this was the wonderful spot we enjoyed savoring on the 4th of July in the Caribbean at Grand Cayman island's famous Seven Mile Beach. The tranquil scene was celebration of a different kind of independence, freedom from emails, phone calls, and To Do lists at least for a few days, with plenty of hours left in the day, evening and night to make lots of fireworks. :-)

© 2013 IMRAN

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

DazzLILYing! Dazzling Lily - IMRAN™

DazzLILYing! Dazzling Lily - IMRAN™ by ImranAnwar
DazzLILYing! Dazzling Lily - IMRAN™, a photo by ImranAnwar on Flickr
Even as cold winter tightens its grip, freezing the ground, and chilling the bone, this unedited summer photo I took outside my home says: The coldest frigid nights will pass, as swollen bulbs with silent moans of hope and promise fill up with lust for life, lovingly grab roots, and holding on, tight, deeply clenching what they contain, until, surrounded by just the right warm tender moist mounds of fertile earth, they will release in explosive energy, luscious life, gushing bursts of climactic color... one day, one night, soon, again. And again....
SOOC Image Straight Out Of Camera!! NO editing, tweaking, of ANY kind. I did not even remove the tiny speck that was on my camera sensor until I had it cleaned by Nikon. Only framed in Photoshop.
Even though I am partial to Stargazer Lilies, especially when I plant them at my home in NY, my next door neighbor often picks out spectacular colored varities to plant.
This Lily's spectacular colors, best seen as a Wallpaper on a 27" screen, had breathtaking colors of nature, that just took my breath away. The depth and richness of tones, the shine, the texture, made this a Dazzling Lily just Dazzlilying to photograph. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.
© 2011 IMRAN

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Getting Started In Kayaking And A Buying Guide Opinion

I am full of contradictions even to myself. I love to stay indoors in the air-conditioned comfort of my home but then will go out riding my motorcycle, wearing leathers, even in summer heat, or cruising on the waters of NY or FL when I have the opportunity to go boating. I also love to fly, and one of my favorite places to fly over is a beach, and the majestic ocean waves rolling on to shore. 

Even though swimming was required for me at Aitchison College, Lahore, as a boarding school student, I somehow managed to not properly learn how to swim. So, one of the sad facts of my five decades alive is that my boating and flying over water come with an inherent risk of drowning. Mind you, I am not a total non-swimmer. I can swim but never learned proper breathing. So, I can go one deep breath's worth of distance. But, this year, God Willing, I am planning to fix that shortcoming in my personal life skills.

One of the activities that has long been on my list, despite my proclivity and preference for things with keys, engines and fuel doing all the work -- which would explain my sailboat sitting unused in storage for 10 years -- I do want to go kayaking, both on the Great South Bay in New York, and Tampa Bay in Florida. As I embarked on my greater effort to finally learn swimming, I also was intrigued by the many choices available in buying a kayak.

I consider myself a well-informed consumer, and started doing research. But, then, I decided to reach out to a dear old friend from Long Island who has now moved to the South, Jeff Sievers, formerly of Long Island Advance (where he was when we first met in 1995) and Brookhaven Memorial Hospital (on the board of which he recommend my being on and I am still there 10+ years later). Jeff has been into boating, riding, playing guitar, and now more so, kayaking. 

He sent me some very good advice in several emails, and I had an idea. Generally this blog is about my personal opinions, but, the great advice Jeff shared was worth putting into a blog post. So, without further ado, here are his thoughts….


Getting Started In Kayaking And A Buying Guide Opinion - by Jeff Sievers

Several friends who are contemplating the purchase of a kayak for fitness and to enjoy local waterways have asked me for some advice.

First of all beginners should understand the basic types of kayak. Traditionally these are referred to as: Recreational, White Water and Sea Kayaks. Recreational refers to kayaks intended for casual users on lakes or calm flat rivers. White Water refers to kayaks used on swift flowing rivers with rapids and rocks. Sea kayaks are long and narrow and used for long distance trips on open water.

Recently kayaks have been divided more often into a different type of grouping: either “sit in” or “sit on top.” A new entry, the Stand Up Board is also becoming popular with both beginners and long time users.

None of these should be confused with canoes, which while always popular, have some strong negatives. They are usually long and heavy, hard to steer and are easily moved by wind and currents. More about canoes later.

Sit in kayaks are common, and widely available, especially those sold at a discount by big box retailers. However, unless you are already an expert or especially interested in navigating small creeks and white water rivers, I strongly recommend getting a Sit on Top. These kayaks can be used for recreational use, are fine for use in the ocean and on flat water and can be used in less challenging white water conditions. Sit on Tops have built in floatation and scupper holes to allow water to flow right through.

I really like the Deuce Coup by Liquid Logic. It perfectly suits the needs of most beginners and intermediate kayakers. It converts from a tandem to a single easily, has a built in deployable skeg and is perfect for both surf and calm water. It's a great recreational boat. Very safe, lots of fun for one or two. It  is rare to find a tandem that can double as a single. That is the only good one that I know of.

A good skeg or rudder is worth the price, comes standard with many models and can be added as an accessory on others.

Most Liquid Logic kayaks are designed for high end white water use, shooting rocky rapids and that sort of thing, that's how the company got started so the hulls, including the hull on their  recreational boats like this one, are built for extreme use. They will take a beating.There are some great You Tube videos on this boat on the site and on the You Tube channel. They also make a similar coupe as a single seater. Native Watercraft is a sister brand and their hulls are just as well made.  Don't buy one of the cheap ones like a Pelican from the big box stores, you will regret it.

Remember, buy a sit-on-top not a sit inside.  Much better for your use. Also its like having a big life preserver with you all of the time.

In addition to Liquid Logic, I have a Manta Ray 12 from Native Watercraft. it's a great all around single person boat. You might prefer their Versa Board for your individual use  I'm thinking of getting one. My wife is is partial to their Mariner model and is thinking of getting one of those. If I were buying the Manta Ray now after learning a bit more I would go for the Manta Ray 14 for about $60 more.

Some companies sell sectional kayaks which come apart into two or three pieces for storage, these are expensive and more importantly unsafe.

Your main concern regardless of price is stability. Any sit on top from Native Water Craft or Liquid Logic will be about as stable a boat as you can get and will last a lifetime and will offer great bang for the buck.

Don't buy any single user boat that is less than 11 feet long. A longer boat is much easer to steer and surprisingly easier to handle both on and out of the water so long as it is not too heavy. Cheaper boats tend to be heavy, even if they are cheaply made.

Don't buy a canoe, even if what you see is cheaper and heavily promoted.

One more thing… The scupper holes built into good sit-on-tops like those from Native Watercraft add lots of strength and stability despite what uninformed kid salespeople say.

If  you want a single person fishing (and all purpose) kayak, seriously look at the Manta Ray 14, (a really good length). The professional fishing guides around here in Alabama swear by them. They come with or without fishing packages. For a single, 14 foot is a good length. I think it's actually 14' 7" .

Because it has a deep keel, I didn't get the rudder, and find it very stable but I am on a lake. The rudder is really helpful in windy conditions on big water. Search the You Tube videos. Or check on their website. Native Watercraft specializes in kayak fishing. Check out their Slayer model, it's built more for casting, but I can stand in mine, that's about as stable as you need.

If you want a double, for fun with your girlfriend(s) :-) the Deuce Coup can't be beat. Because of the drop down skeg it's both very stable, and tracks well and with the skeg up, turns on a pivot.

Also check out those videos… I can send you some links or check out the Native Watercraft forums hosted by Go With The Flow and linked from their home page. 

I have experience with Hobie and Ocean as well as several small custom brands that sell for 2 and 3X the cost of my Manta Ray and if I were heading out on the ocean or bay or swift river, I would choose the Manta Ray  hands down for safety and comfort, even over the Slayer or Mariner.

Fishing kayak seats are intended for all day comfort for big guys and the ones on my Manta Ray can't be beat, I wish I had them in my house.

Another thought, some sales people might direct you to a hybrid kayak called the Ultimate. It's a great boat but not well suited to Long Island waters. Same for brands like Black Water, Black Foot and the NuCanoe.

Some dealers might push the Wilderness Systems brand. They are about the same price as a similar Native Watercraft but don't have the same "build", attention to detail or features, in my view. I was out in one last week with a friend and while he likes it,  I could clearly see where they cut corners.

Jackson is another good brand but more expensive. The brand Malibu is similar and gets a lot of good comments in sport forums but I have no experience with them.

Remember canoes, hybrids and sit in kayaks have little or no built in floatation. No good in rough water.

Get a good PFD and there's no need to spend too much on a paddle, a good one should run between $50 and 100 more than that and you are paying big bucks to shave off an oz or 2 of weight. It's not worth it.

OK seats can be an add-on on many brands. That's true for the very expensive brands and the cheap no-name brands. But in the range you want to be in, (I paid $979 for my Manta Ray and $929 for the Deuce Coup) seats, rigging and watertight hatches should be factory installed. Mine were. You want that stuff factory installed if at all possible because you don't want to be drilling holes in your new boat for the hardware. And you certainly don't want some kid that was working at the mall food court last week doing it.

That's also another reason why I wouldn't buy from a big box store like Dick's Sporting Goods, or Sports Authority.

Quality hatches are quite watertight. Aftermarket cut outs and installation of covers and rigging hardware are not worth it.

My Native Watercraft has rod storage built in under the seating position with access through the main hatch. I keep an emergency paddle in there.

Fishing packages usually have factory cut holes with rod holders. You can also add clamp-on accessories such as rod holders and motor mount. A small 1 lb. anchor is worth it. You don't need anything bigger than 1-2 lbs. no matter what the sales guys say and why carry the weight?  I use a 8oz fishing sinker.

A wide brimmed hat makes more sense than a sun shade or umbrella.

Small battery operated motors such as trolling motors are available. But I don't think the trade off in weight and bulk is worth it.

I have a small round roll up sail that works great, takes up no space and can take you far and fast in just a whisper of wind. it feels really fast since you are so close to the water. (Wind Paddle sails on Amazon.com or at the wind paddle website). It's also useful to wave if you need to signal another boat for help.

Here are a couple of bits of advice. Always wear a PDF. Get one in a bright color.

Keep hydrated. Wear a hat and sunglasses. Wear short fingered gloves until your hands toughen up.

Tie everything down, including water bottles and sunglasses. Get a paddle leash and use it.

Practice getting back on the boat in shallow water. The trick is to hold on, let your legs float to the surface and then pull yourself up and across the boat. If your legs are under you, it's much tougher to climb back in.

Practice using the paddle held horizontally like a tight rope walker to add stability when getting in and out or when hit by a wave.

Use the taco shell type paddle holders that come with better boats, to rest.

Carry a whistle. Get a waterproof bag or case for your phone.

Carry about 15 feet of nylon cord with you for emergency tie ups and towing.

A 6- foot thin pole can be used to hold you in place in shallow water by poking it through a scupper hole into the sand or mud, you can put a small brightly colored pennant on the top of the pole to add visibility. You can store it in the rod storage area.

Buy a high visibility colored boat, you want to be seen. My boats are mango and lime green.

I like the built in stern wheel on my boats for moving it/them to and from the launch point. Few boats have that feature and for those a small dolly is a good idea.


There you have them, Jeff's opinions. Clearly, the above words are Jeff's opinions, and are shared by him with me, and by me with you, in the interest of opinion sharing. These are not to be construed as formal advise or recommendations for anyone. Use your own discretion. Do your own deeper research. Make your own decisions. Alternate thoughts, opinions and good advice from other knowledgable kayakers are most welcome. Above all, have fun, but be SAFE!

See you out there on the water.


Friday, June 07, 2013

Fat Chance Of Not Taking It On My Double Chin For Calling Obesity & Political Correctness What They Are

Around April 2011, during a flight on a Southwest Airlines plane, I took a tongue in cheek photo of a, shall we say, "heavy" passenger barely fitting in the space between their seat and the one ahead of them. That had been around the time when another Southwest Airlines Boeing jet had developed cracks in the ceiling! So, I quipped:

Travel Light? Surprised A SouthWest Boeing's Ceiling Cracked Before The Seat & Floor Of This Flight I Was On  http://twitpic.com/4h9dst

Having almost always been an, ahemmm, cuddly (read chubby) fellow all my life, and not desiring to hurt someone's feelings, I snapped the picture in flight with the sunlight making the person unidentifiable. The photo also showed up on FaceBook in my mobile album. 

Somehow, two years later, this week, that old post got activity based on a Like or comment. Then suddenly it got some very interesting comments. Some thought the picture was funny, several took me to task for making fun of a "victim" and being mean. (Note, I did not make fun of anyone, but of the ironic situation related to a news event I mention above). 

Instead of a long essay, I wrote my initial set of top 10 points in response. I would love to have your thoughts on these….

1. How funny to be criticized for what people see me as making fun of a fat person, when in fact almost every 5th comment I post about myself makes fun of my own belly and double/multiple chins. 

2. What an era of political correctness.  If someone did want to make fun of fat people (or skinny people), the PC crowd comes out sanctimoniously passing judgement on those they accuse of… drum roll… passing judgement! Even if I had made fun of someone, what has happened to us? We are now overdosing on confusing nutrition information, nanny state little dictator mayors telling us what size soda we can buy, and general political correctness!

3. I did not make fun of this lady, but, even if I or someone did, most of humor in the world can be taken as being mean to someone or hurtful to some group. Do people post complains about meanness when they read a lawyer joke? I figured I would check. And, not to my surprise, almost each of my critics I looked at, those complaining about my post being mean, actually have jokes posted on their walls about homosexuals, Quakers, Jehovah's Witnesses, liberals, conservatives, rednecks, and others! Isn't that mean also? At the very least it is ironic and hypocritical!

4. I am fat, or at least significantly heavier than I want to be, because I drink 1-2L Pepsi daily and eat a ton of ice-cream a month (figuratively speaking, so as not to offend those who prefer accuracy in reporting amounts and numbers!). Thanks, but no, thanks, if you try to "protect" me if someone calls me fat. I am not a victim. I (sadly LOL) choose to be irresponsible with the usual, I will start exercise and healthy eating tomorrow but am too busy today excuse. I know that if I do not stop I will end up like the person in that photo --  and the millions of obese fellow Americans.

5. Steaks and ice-cream jars do not attack me or force themselves down my throat onto my waist,   or of that person! We choose to consume calories, and then get to the stage where good-hearted people like my FaceBook friends get all judgmental and attack someone who states a simple truth.

6. My late Mom and I loved to eat and had/have a tendency to put on weight. So she worked out DAILY. Her peers almost all grew to the size of this lady. One of them (a very dear family friend) actually sat on a solid wood dining chair in my parents house and snapped it it in two. These were not victims. They, like me, were choosing to get fat while my Mom, RIP, worked out every day.

7. I HAVE seen a fat person break the back of an airline seat. I have sat next to a really fat guy on a recent flight who basically squished me into the wall. They are welcome to buy two seats instead of penalizing the rest of us who still (barely) fit in an airline seat.

8. I agree with my friend Nancee Lee, most people find it easier to sit back and label people as victims rather than either keep them from getting unhealthy or helping them get healthy again.

9. A former friend of mine TCB in Miami was like a size 2 when I first met her as friends in end 1989. We did not meet a few years and she turned into a size 16. She had been unhappy and eating unhealthy, and other "laid" excuses we all make. When we met again around 2005-2008, she was down to size 8 even as she was turning 40 soon thereafter (a time I am told it gets even harder to lose and keep off weight). We are not in contact now but I want to mention her for her discipline I saw back then. I saw how she made the effort, portion control, calorie control, light exercise even though she was partly asthmatic or something, and so on. So, when people care enough to care about themselves, they choose do something about it.

And, lastly, comment number ten….

10. I grew up away from home, with my grandmother, who, showing love for a little kid away from his parents, let me eat all I wanted… ice-cream, chocolate cake, etc. Within 2-3 years in Karachi, Pakistan I was the fattest kid in class if not all of St. Paul's English High School. I was constantly made fun of. Fatty Bumbola Drink Coca Cola they called me! And the best I could come back with would be, "You are 7-Up". Maybe that is why I prefer Pepsi? LOL. (Actually I believe that may be because reportedly Pepsi has more sugar in it!). Anyway, I have been fat, been less fat, been more fat, and up and down, and am still FAT!

I hold the key to my present and future health in my own choices.

Someone calling me Fat doesn't bother me.  But someone thinking I am a victim is truly a bigger insult.

What do you think? 


Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Cloud/Cover(s) St. Petersberg On Tampa Bay - IMRAN™

I almost missed posting a single photo in all of April, 2013. I cannot believe how quickly time, years and lives fly by, until I see how quickly the days go by.

I am delighted at the many interesting, always unique, and often magical light effects the clouds create at sunset and dusk over Tampa Bay, looking West from the Apollo Beach and Ruskin sides of the bay.

© 2013 IMRAN

Thursday, April 18, 2013

From "Apple Forever" To "Apple? Whatever…"

A contact of mine commented on my light-hearted FaceBook post about it being time to stop using Apple products like iPhone etc. 

She wrote, "Apple til I die".

That made me think how in 1996Apple was written off for dead, and my web post (before it was called blogging) Imran Anwar's Opinion on The Future of Apple Computers told Apple users not to give up hope as Apple would survive. Yet now I have no love for Apple now, which acts far more monopolistic than Microsoft was accused of with its Internet Explorer domination back then. 

Today, Apple is steadily losing people like me. I've been a Mac user since Apple created them, and have been a loyal user ever since. There was also a certain exclusivity to Apple products, the same market share as Mercedes Benz and BMW was not a bad thing to have with a company that was still profitable and made really cool stuff. But, even before I joined Microsoft, I had been getting fed up with Apple.

In the interest of full disclosure, since last year I have been working with Microsoft, on a strategy consulting project at the Department of Defense. But, my frustration with Apple, which began a few years ago, and has reached total disgust levels, is easily seen from my posts (many even deleted by the criticism-rejecting-content-Nazis at Apple's discussion boards) on the Apple customer fora. 

More and more often flakier and flakier services (including being ripped off by the class-action lawsuit worthy Music Match that never worked, and the promised refund that was never delivered), major bugs Apple idiotically tried to ignore (antenna gate, the known but never acknowledge static noise bug in iPhone 4S), stupid ugly apps (like GameCenterPassBook, etc. that you cannot delete and can't even push to end of apps lists off the phone screen, Apple deliberately shoves them to front screen on reboots), the Maps app that various police departments have called LIFE-THREATENING-TO-USE, Apple's total lack of variety in phone models, making iPhone 5 a bit longer and with no truly desirable new features, … the list goes on.. would be enough. But even the air of exclusivity is gone... on top of the actual ability to deliver major innovation.

I am not a fan of Android at all, but, I have to give credit to Samsung for really shaking things up in more and more categories, while Apple is playing defense even in segments it made commercially successful.

So, I am not dumping my dozen old Macs and MacBook Pros, iMacs and tens of thousands of dollars in Mac OS based software I bought. But even as an Apple tech (not company) fan, I did not buy the iPhone 5, I did not buy the iPad mini, I did not buy the MacBook Pro Retina, etc. {Though I apparently will need to spend money because the 2010 MacBook Pro I use is apparently one that has a known manufacturing defect. Apple will quietly replace the logic board on it -- if you can afford to part with your machine for nearly a week -- but I can't do that as I had since then upgraded to a larger hard drive and do not know where my original drive is). 

I am not the only one from the core Mac loving Apple customers who find the company is due to be kicked off its high horse, that has been limping even more noticeably since Steve Jobs' passing.

What are your thoughts? Do you think Apple will right itself, go back to innovation, and actually building quality products again?

PS Note, these are my personal opinions. I do not even work on any products or software for Microsoft but do strategy consulting for one of its clients.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Stunning Sunset, End of Day on Tampa Bay - IMRAN™ -- (SOOC)

SOOC Straight out of camera, stunning 1MB image from Fuji W3 3D camera. Simply framed in Photoshop with *NO* editing or processing of any kind. .

I have been away from posting for too many weeks because of a hectic (and blessed) wonderful time working and traveling. I also got a little lazy after hitting 1 Million Views. :-) But I hope to be more regular!

A stunning end of the day at Tampa Bay, taken from beautiful Apollo Beach, looking at St. Petersbeerg with the sun sitting cradles exactly between two buildings.

© 2013 IMRAN

Saturday, March 23, 2013

The One Thing Indians And Pakistanis Both Complain About But Equally Love And Live By, Corruption

The Wall Street Journal has a great article, One Cheer for Corruption in India by an Indian writer about how the rich and corrupt ruling classes got richer by hook or by crook, while blaming the lower class Hindus (sadly Hindus have classes of people considered from the highest to the lowest, "untouchables") and Muslims, who make up the poor.

That was something I had seen in my own visit to New Delhi, India many years ago. I commented on how Pakistan cannot just compete with India, but do even "better" in the unfortunate field of growing corruption.

"What an interesting and thought-provoking piece. I am an American, here for 25 years, but came from Pakistan, an almost completely Muslim country.

When Pakistanis have time to spare from making conspiracy theories, we have a holier than thou posture embedded into the national genome. A plunder today because tomorrow never comes mentality is in the blood of the rich elite -- and of bureaucrats in positions to take bribes to help those rich get richer. I can sadly confirm that Corruption is institutionalized in both India and Pakistan.

We can blame the way the British set up these societies to rot from the inside, by empowering government servants with authority but poor salaries and leaving wealth in the hands of a few who could only keep it or grow it by avoiding the regulations those bureaucrats had to be paid off to look the other way on. (Yes, I know, run on sentence, but that is the intricate long flow of the full circle of corruption in these countries).

But, blame as we may the British, after six decades of independence, the decision and structure to remain corrupt lies with the people of both these nations, and sadly the consensus remains to continue those practices,

Imran Anwar

Monday, January 28, 2013

The Light(House) At "The End" (Montauk) Of No Tunnel - IMRAN™

As 2012 was drawing to an end, and I was making fresh new starts in my life, I had the company of an absolutely gorgeous companion from Christmas Eve, into the New Year….. several of our many firsts together.

We drove to Montauk, which stands for "The End" in the native American language of the tribe that once ruled this part of the land, at the end of the Eastern-most point on Long Island and I believe New York state.

Even as the sun was setting behind us, the lighthouse in front of us, closed for seasonal repairs, but glowing even redder in the sunset's glow, was a reminder, it was The Light(house) At "The End" (of no tunnel but a long journey).

May God give us all the blessings to have fresh new starts, and bright days ahead.

© 2012-2013 IMRAN

Monday, January 21, 2013

New Year's / Ball(s) - IMRAN™

A Belated Happy New Year and Happy Holidays wish to you all, my friends and loved ones.

Enjoy this cell phone photo I took in the lobby of the Hilton BWI in mid-December.

© 2013 IMRAN

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

The End (Of Day At) The End (Of 2012 At Montauk) The End - IMRAN™

SOOC Image Straight Out Of Camera!! NO editing, tweaking, or color processing of ANY kind. Only framed & titled in Photoshop..

There were few who were not impacted by the (few) ups and (many) downs of the last few years.

As 2012 drew to a close, by the grace of God, it appeared that the number of ups was up, the number of downs counting down, like the hours, and minutes, to the end of the year.

Though the global economy, the nation, and my own personal challenges had not fully come back from the edge of the (fiscal) cliffs, there was a sense of optimism I felt like a soft but unsure sigh of relief the world wanted to let out.

Even though 2012 had proven to be a year of uncertainty initially, for the most part it seemed to be the year that also brought a turnaround, in the economy, in hope, in life, and in love. But, all in all, poor 2012 was lumped more with the terrible years of 2009-2011 that brought so much devastation and sorrow to so many.

It was then so poetically ironic to take this picture, with a very special someone coming into my life, as many new goals, destinations, and dreams also started coming back into view, as we stood, in the freezing cold wind at Montauk (meaning "The End" in native American languages, at the Eastern tip of Long Island and New York), as the cold day, and a warming but still cold year started to disappear from view….

It was the beginning (of beautiful new times) and the beginning of The End (Of Day At) The End (Of 2012 At Montauk) The End !

Happy New Year, my friends, and may 2013 bring good fortune, love, life, health, prosperity and peace to all. Amen.

© 2012-2013 IMRAN