August 24, 2015

Sometimes I Need to Get Away

Yesterday I took a trip to St. Petersburg to explore, eat, drink local coffee, and visit Haslam's Book Store Inc. It's one of my top favorite bookshops in the Tampa Bay Area. I ate at Pom Pom's Teahouse & Sandwicheria. Funny story: I used the restroom there and upon entering I realized that the guests are encouraged to write on the chalkboard walls with the provided chalks. I was greeted with "Bernie Sanders 2016" behind the door, but don't worry I fixed it. I erased it and wrote "Rand Paul 2016". in its place. Other then what I mentioned, I simply roamed the Grand Central District and visited a few of its shops.

I am still learning how to use my new camera, the Panasonic LX100. My cat is great model and he has been helpful. I've also been practicing my bokeh technique during the night traffic whenever I'm seated in the passenger seat. I will master it eventually. What I really need to do is sit down in front of the computer to read and/or watch tutorials on how to use my camera.

The one thing I am looking forward to at the moment is autumn and I am ready for everything the season brings.










CHARLENE ZALE

July 24, 2015

Mandatory GMO Labeling is Anti-Liberty and Here is Why


Recently the U.S. House passed an act that would ban state laws that force food companies to label their products that contain genetically modified organisms. I can't be the only who is baffled by the many small government advocates who are in support of mandatory GMO labeling in food products. So now we're suddenly in favor of government force? Here's the deal, while I personally believe that it would be wise for companies to provide such labels, especially since an increasing number of consumers demand it, I do not believe they should be forced into it by government.

We do have choices and we do have the right to not buy certain foods with our hard earned money if we feel they do not meet our health standards. It should be noted that there are websites dedicated to providing non-GMO brands to the public, such as livingnongmo.org which lists 30,000+ GMO free products. Supply and demand, folks. I say we let the free markets take care of it. Yes, people are demanding for their food products to have labels. There voices are being heard. Why not just let companies decide on their own term if or when to provide such labels? Companies generally do what is best, not only for themselves, but also for the consumers if they wish to stay in business.

Perhaps many companies will be chased out of the market if they don't provide labeling via boycotts led by the health conscious. Then again, many may stay in business to supply the consumers who aren't worried about genetically modified foods. This is the beauty of the free market. Thousands of brands have already taken the liberty of labeling their products without government intervention and force. We really should stop transferring our power over to the government. Don't they have enough power already?

CHARLENE ZALE

sources: one | two

July 2, 2015

John Adams' Vision of Independence Day

Did you know that John Adams believed Americans would celebrate Independence Day on July 2nd? This is because the Declaration of Independence was finally approved by the Second Continental Congress on July 2nd, 1776. It was ratified two days later, which is why we celebrate the Fourth of July today instead.

Below is a portion of a letter John Adams wrote to his wife, Abigail Adams, on July 3rd 1776:

"The second day of July, 1776, will be the most memorable epocha in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated, as the day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward, forevermore.

You will think me transported with enthusiasm, but I am not. I am well aware of the toil, and blood, and treasure, that it will cost us to maintain this declaration, and support and defend these States. Yet, through all the gloom, I can see the rays of ravishing light and glory. I can see that the end is more than worth all the means, and that posterity will triumph in that day's transaction, even although we should rue it, which I trust in God we shall not."


CHARLENE ZALE

June 2, 2015

The Panasonic LX100

I recently purchased a new camera. This one has been on my wish list since last year. I've been in need of a handy little camera that I can fit inside my crossbody bag so I can carry it with me at all times, one that has a great lens. This one fits that description. I am still learning how to use this camera. Here are a few photographs that I have taken with it so far.













CHARLENE ZALE

June 1, 2015

Simple Joys


I have challenged myself to sit down and write a list of things that fill my heart with joy and gratitude.

The aroma and atmosphere inside coffee shops and bookstores · coffee dates · kept promises · forehead kisses · witty comebacks · instant friendships · exploring new places · reading a novel in a dark room · mastering a song on the piano · a baby's laughter · the kindness of strangers · seeing old couples · places, songs, and scents that trigger sweet memories · capturing new moments with my camera · looking at old photographs · night walks · breakfast in bed · falling asleep to the sound of rain or the forest · sunblock scent · salty beach air · calm boat rides · seaside walks · inside jokes · autumn air · sweater weather · the warmth of a coffee filled mug · painting while listening to instrumental music · aimless driving · handwritten letters · reminiscing · road trips · trying new recipes · new music discoveries · getting lost in the world of a good book · watching history documentaries · visiting old historic sights · reading poetry.

CHARLENE ZALE