Hi I'm Alex - these are some old comments I made years ago and I'm preserving them for posterity.

These are very old updates from a different time, when I was in a very different place in life and I was a different person inside and out.

The single biggest lesson I've learned my entire life is: Most people are not who they claim to be, and usually worse than you credit them for.

2010-10-12 "Took a good hard look at [my] motherfucking boat."
Scarab 377

The promise of a summer unlike any before it ...

2010-11-19 Released to grow once again: New directions & new hope. Return to aerobic and cardio workouts temporarily, cleaning receptors, giving muscles a break to heal and grow, working to lose that stubborn belly fat once and for all. Frustrating to be stronger than ever but not have the "skinny guy" muscle definition to show for all the work and results. I have renewed enthusiasm! There has also been a hint at more, but it's time will come.

2010-12-13 The heart rarely follows the mind; never more true than when dealing with Love. It can lift you higher and sink you lower than anything else. Why are some people always attracted to what others clearly see (and predict) as destined to failure?

2011-01-01 It worked in 2009 so I'm doing it again this year. I've gone back to a <20g Carb, <1000 cal diet. 2 x 30 min cardio (mostly, my favorite, treadmill) workouts, every other day some weight training at home. I know I'll lose some muscle in the process (though I'm keeping protein intake as high as I can manage), I know I can put it back on after I scrub the last of the fat from this ol'body.

2011-01-18 Feeling strong and confident. Struggling with the prospect of starting over in many ways (physical, material, emotional) but these are all good things. No Fear. It's not just a bumper sticker to me. I learned a while back my life was becoming controlled and harmed by fear. I lost so much due to fear. No longer. I will take reasonable risks for greater gain. Mostly, I will not hold back my feelings or thoughts because of fear. Better to be heard and understood, risking something - than not having the chance to reap the benefits that understanding could bring.

2011-02-16 Finally conquered the pull-up. LOL! Unless you've been like me (i.e., fat & grossly out of shape) you have no idea what a milestone this is. I'm still over 200lbs so pulling that up there is a feat and I'm proud of it (and, no, I'm not saying how many but it IS plural!). I started my day with unexpected energy and hope for the future, channeled it into the workout - it paid off! Looking forward to more ...

2011-03-01 Return to photography, started mid-summer last year, is being taken to a new level now. Recent invites from Playboy for their new Energy Drink campaign have renewed my interest and, obviously, the potential for income. Workouts have slowed and more focus on a new career.

2011-04-03 A little heartbroken and depressed. My "diet" continues to strip me of the muscle I built and I'm down to 225 lbs. Someone I cared for has disappointed me and is gone for what appears to be the last time. I gave my love and attention (and resources) to her and she repaid me with lies (of every kind and magnitude; some caused the loss of friendships and many sleepless nights/days). I cannot help my nature but to worry for someone who I gave so much to; knowledge of where she has gone now gives me no peace. I can forgive but I cannot forget. As I wrote in my 2010-12-13 update, I cannot understand why some are attracted to what is clearly destined to fail? I can only hope for the best for her baby and her, but I fear for the worst.

2011-05-01 Officially restarted the photography business. While I never actually closed, I wasn't open for general business. I'm doing event photography now which is quite the step away from what I used to do. The money is not very good at all but I'm having fun and it's quite easy. Decided to buy into Nikon for a change and I'm happy with the new gear. I have left the Canon gear in the studio. Encounters with new people, new friendships, relationships (and unloading recent baggage from my life) and with the support of solid investments, the resource$ are there and the time is now. Two new domains and directions. I'm very excited and optimistic. I lost something, but I also found something I had lost and renewed it.

2011-06-01 In just one month several new business relationships have developed which have made leaving IT a relatively painless experience. There is no doubt in my mind I will return to IT work as it has always been something I've enjoyed - but it's such a pleasure to again follow my creative side and a long time passion of photography. Working clubs/events is just a way to get my name back out there; working with people makes me happy. I love my newest job, it's more fun than work. Looking forward to time on the water this summer, too.

2011-06-20 My father, Thomas, passed away early this morning. My mother and him had returned from Macedonia after celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary. We enjoyed a perfect fathers day with our entire family at their home just the day before with him in excellent health and spirits. He passed quickly and without any apparent suffering. He was put to rest per his wishes. My mother is a very strong woman who is always there for my sister and I and is the rock to which we cling when we need stability. I loved him and miss him very much. I love my mother dearly and hope she'll remain with for a very long time to come. So many people responded to the news with sympathy I consider myself a very fortunate person.

2011-07-01 What an amazing new life I'm living. After years in the IT field, I returned to my original passion of photography. Doing small clubs and events around Detroit and discovering that being in a city with relatively few people and dollars to divide up and with everyone and his brother being partners in clubs and/or promoters that it's a very cutthroat business but with few penalties for screwing over your neighbor. The lies are just silly and transparent. But, trying to rapidly establish myself in this business has turned out to be simple. Work harder, faster and take better shots than anyone else and do it for a fair price. Mostly, get the attention of the people and make them happy to see you and assure them that you aren't "creepy" and that you'll not publish unflattering photos. I never "recruit" from these events, never drink or party with the patrons, don't hit on girls, just do my job and go home.

2011-07-31 On my birthday I looked back and, despite rocky roads and torturous times, I've mostly enjoyed a very good life. Today I find myself very lonely and yet surrounded by many happy and beautiful people. I do not have Love in my life but I love life. I have stopped looking, as the saying goes, and hope cupids arrow will get an upgraded tracking system and finally strike me true.

2011-09-01 My return to photography has met with great success. I feel revitalized by the challenges and energized by the successes of my venture. Event photography remains the public's view of my work, with my private studio work taking a backstage (but paying the bills, of course). New opportunities present themselves regularly and I'm excited by some of these prospects more than I've been about many things in recent months. I miss the IT field but after doing it for my entire adult life, going back to my original passion is quite refreshing. I feel young again - and at 48 this is something to cherish. I miss my father every day. I miss the loves in my life who've left me. I look forward to what the next half of my life will bring.

2011-10-01 One sign that you are becoming successful and doing well in an industry is when your competitors attack you. I didn't expect that attack to be physical though. This Saturday I was attacked by another local photographer named Matt "B"lumke. He lunged at me out of the crowd at a local venue, stole my camera from my hands, broke the flash unit off then threw it to the ground. Fortunately he was grabbed by bouncers before he could physically assault me and thrown out. This GWC then went next door and proudly boasted to others of what he did. By doing so he made this already public affair one that I can freely write about. The camera does not function and I had to buy a new camera body in order to continue working. I've filed charges with the Detroit PD and have filed in small claims court. A close friend of his notified me that he is utterly unrepentant, insists that he will never pay me and, in fact, feels the solution is that I leave the photography business! He's attacked me personally claiming that I'm stealing his business from him. Nothing could be further from the truth! It's called competition, and, it would seem, I'm winning. I charge the same or more than any other photog in the city and am hired directly by the owners or promoters without my soliciting the work. In fact, I don't believe I've ever actually taken any of this losers work. Of course I have no intention of either quitting or taking the low road. I have no ill will toward the people he works with, I don't even hate this guy because he's clueless. I don't know him, he never bothered to even try to acknowledge or get to know me. Instead he just attacked me and has his friends attacking me via messages and posts. I fear for my physical well being and I'm guessing his attacks will move to the Internet realm so expecting to see even more personal attacks (friends have told me of his constant trashing talking about me). I'm proud of what I've done in a short time with my modest skills for a fair price.  I'm not the greatest but I try. Above all, professionalism and respect.

2011-11-01 It has not ceased to amaze me that some so-called professionals simply cannot handle competition. Instead of trying to do a better job, instead of trying to work harder or maybe for less, to be more personable and friendly (and non-creepy), they would rather attempt to harm their competition (real or perceived) by telling lies and spreading rumors. Not only is it nearly effortless to see thru these silly attempts but it reflects even more poorly back onto the person who needs to do better to get out of the hole they dug themselves info. Another month and my business grows rapidly. Event photography I continue to do, tho less of it, as the other side has taken more time to attend to it properly. A few gigs around town to continue to meet interesting people, keep my name visible and strengthen some bonds and friendships I've built. Advertising work, as expected, pays far (FAR!) better and consumes my day times with trips around the country to shoot in various studios and with a variety of professional models. I've resisted opening a local studio because I fear I'd spend way too much time in it and cut even deeper into my already nearly non-existent personal time. I don't do senior pictures or, especially weddings. To me, no disrespect to others, weddings are a deviation I do not care for. They'll say the money is good - well, only if you can't make it doing what I do! IT work has been scarce and I do miss it - I'm sure I'll return to it one day; but for now it sure feels good to pursue one my of passions with open sights on what the future holds.

2011-11-24 Thanksgiving Day - The first I've spent in my life without my Father. My mother, sister and brother-law and I spent it together and we enjoyed the bounty and the company and we all very much missed my father. I give deep thanks that I had such a great father as mine with me for 47 years and now I'm so happy and feel lucky to still have my dearest mother with me for many more years to come. I'm thankful that my sister has found such happiness with her husband and their life together is filled with joy in each other. I am thankful that I have my health and, while I've backslid slightly, I feel thankful that my weight loss and workout regime has paid off so well - I am resuming my old low-carb diet and treadmill/cardio routines to trim off the almost 20 lbs I managed to throw on in the past 6 months. I am so very thankful for the opportunities that opened themselves up to me in the last half year.  I reopened my old photo business and went from almost 0 to full capacity in no time. It was nearly effortless to capture a top spot in the area by simply being professional and personable, being non-creepy (such a huge issue in this town for some reason lol) and always being honest and true. I can hold my head up proudly and say I've always done a great job and never in any way screwed a client. I say what I mean and mean what I say. I've withstood a few attacks of sorts and risen far above them. Won my small claims court case against the delusional loser who broke my camera (effortlessly, I might add. Not only did I have a witness, but he concocted a lie so incredibly unbelievable (the judge asking, "Do you expect me to believe that?") and I turned a profit on the judgment. With MI law, if he doesn't pay in 21 days, first we drain any bank accounts, and if those are empty, there is now a law that lets me pick property of his that the court will take and sell to pay me. I hope he doesn't pay, I figure he's broke, love to see the court sell his camera to pay for mine. But I am not angry, I am, again thankful. Being honest pays off. Staying professional pays off. I am thankful to have so many friends, even if they are mostly acquaintances. It's my true friends that I am mostly thankful for. Without my family and friends I'd be nothing, myself. All I need now is the woman to share all the love I've saved up with. I hope this time next year I'll be thankful for finding her :)

2011-12-01 Really excited that I scored another advertising campaign. Making more money in this single deal that I could make in 10 years of local photography work. The Detroit photography industry is saturated with hobbyists (GWCs) and amateurs. Professionals find it hard to charge what the work is worth. I had to go out of state to get the job, which means even more travel to my main studio and, not as frequently, the client's headquarters on the coast. All expenses are paid so, other than the time and hassle, it's totally worth it. Completing this will basically cover my expenses for all of 2012 - anything I make outside this is play money. I have managed to keep my business side isolated from the local FB world where I do local events and small gigs to keep me occupied as I look after my family here in MI. Meanwhile, life just get's better all the time.  I drive a brand new $45k SUV, while one wannabe GWC drives a '98 import with a vanity plate that reads "F0T0PR0" LOL how gay!

2011-12-09 It's been 21 days since my small claims judgement so time to collect. Filed with court for property seizure, takes a week or so to get service tho <yawn>. I'm so glad that the scum-bag didn't pay up in time (not that I expected him to, he appears broke and his business is pathetic & purely amateur), this is so much more fun this way. And the best is still yet to be served, think I'll save it for a holiday surprise gift.

2011-12-17 As I wrote before, haters are just jealous cowards. Had all four tires on my SUV slashed by a bald headed GWC, captured on video. Pathetic. Of course, not being a broke-ass bum I got free roadside assistance from Ford to get me home and then Allstate waived the deductable so I got four new tires right in time for winter. I could even almost say thanks - but scumbags don't deserve anything but what they have coming to them. Lumping charges together for delivery at once - Happy Holidays ahead.

2012-01-01 Spent NYE working then partying at The Met hotel with great friends, old and new. Beautiful assistant at my side and a healthy reward for a job well done. It's nice to work with people who recognize your value and pay accordingly. More than anything else, it's nice to be recognize for not only what you do but for being unlike too many other event photographers who seem to use their camera as an excuse to get in free and attention while plying free drinks and grabbing asses. To me it's work first, and I'm always professional. Sure, I've made friends and even fans (hell, even a groupie or two) - and I do sincerely treat them as friends - but this is a sideline for me. I continue to work in magazine/print work as well as advertising. It's becoming harder to conceal my trips and outside work, fortunately everything goes under the dba and not my Inc or my personal name so the haterz can't track my real contributions and potentially affect it with truly childish and (again) jealous posts to gossip sites or FB. I leave 2011 with few regrets, many happy moments, but still alone. For this I am sad. I miss my father daily. I visit or call my mom more regularly as her loneliness is her only illness.

2012-02-01 PBA continues to grow and it's success is my only satisfaction these days. And that is fine. I've long know to only count on myself for my own happiness. For if you can't make yourself happy, you can't really hope to make anyone else happy. Diet and Cardo continues to work and I'm back on track with my intended weight loss. New work continues on the professional side which pays all the bills so I can do what I enjoy as my sideline. Planning for a return SCUBA trip to Roatan has me excited. Looking forward to 2013 when I'll be in Yap and Palau. Meanwhile, little pings from the Ex's but I don't let it distract me. While I can't say I predicted how things would go - I can't be unhappy with how things are turning out all the better all the time.

2012-02-14 Happy Valentine's Day - Officially "Single" in status but enjoying the love of many friends and good family. Yet another surprise contract which involves some additional travel but pays well enough to be worth the effort. Keeping this portion of business concealed from MI will grow harder as the publicity of this last campaign might be hard to contain. Feeling better and healthier all the time; new haircut even ;)

2012-03-01 March in Michigan has felt like summer come early. Warm and outdoors a lot. Visiting with friends I haven't hung out with in a long time. Some new business opportunities in the old field. Photography continue to grow by leaps and bounds. Published several more times now and engaging with bigger connections and more powerful/influential clients. I've relocated fully back into my old home, move plans are off -- but this is all for the better. Work has been steady and even quite profitable. Still no boat in the water but that's coming soon enough. SCUBA trip to Roatan Honduras was an amazing adventure. Old and new friends, old and new sites and sights. Couldn't have gone better, sure felt good to fly First Class again. So much coming up this summer, can't wait!

2012-04-01 My family is doing well. Miss my father daily, but I know he watches over me in spirit (so to speak). Nothing but work, photography work every day. Even on days I'm not shooting I'm editing. This doesn't bother me. It keeps me going strong and it pleases me when I get so much positive feedback from friends on Facebook. And the best reward is just being recognized, and welcomed as a friend, by so many when I'm out and about (with or without camera - that never ceases to amaze me). Ran into someone I didn't expect to, and in a way I certainly didn't expect to. An old wound reopened but with far less pain than expected but it's been hard to let it go again. Strange feelings - unexpected feelings - but wounds must heal or they'll kill you. Throwing myself back into my work 101%

2012-05-01 SCUBA classes, heading out on a boat to the Moot, sunshine and lots of profitable work. Everything is going well with the family and despite not having a "regular" job - I'm in love with what I do. Interviewed on TV twice and enjoying some fame and celeb-hood. LOL Amusing. When I put myself into something I go all out, it's how I've always been. Spotting little pings from old people who won't give up but just ignoring the past and only looking at things that will move me forward and, more importantly, upward! I won't go backwards and will not let myself slide down. Up and at'em! Another FX camera body, some new lens and lights for the mini-studio, sold all my non-local assets. Memorial weekend at The Moot was the most fun! Summer is officially ON and it's exciting from day one!

2012-06-01 More SCUBA classes, returning to The Jewel, reminds me of something I live for: giving back. I teach for free to, mostly, high school students. I love seeing them learn and take on a life skill and hobby that will reward them their entire lives. I wish I had learned decades ago! Been at the Moot several more times, photographing sometimes - but just enjoying time in the sun and on the water surrounded by people just having a blast. I plan to spend more time outdoors this summer, more than last. Exercise routine is getting old and dry but I'm keeping it up trying to keep the weight down. Work is sure and steady but not where I want to end up. Private portfolio and advertising work is enough to keep me afloat but I need to return to the 6 figure corporate work, with 401(k) and full benefits if I'm going to retire at 60. I think I'll just cruise through summer as is - then get serious again for different work come fall. Interesting voices from the past, plus a few inspirational works from those around me in unexpected ways. All in all, quite an interesting time since my last point. Life changes and even manages to grow a little for me, again.

2012-06-20 1 year anniversary of my father's passing. With my mom and it was a good day for us. I love you dad, miss you every day! I'm taking care of mom (as she continues to take care of sis and me). You will never be forgotten!

2012-07-01 Scored photo contract that will keep me going through til Fall moneywise, woo hoo! This is what happens when you are a real photographer and not creepy. On two TV shows and in four magazines in the last 45 days alone, things are picking up. Lots of time on the water. Sold the SCARAB and now heading out on bigger boats with friends for a great summer. Fascinated by the huge range in types of people I'm meeting. From the young and often immature to the "aged" and experienced. Love'em each for their own reasons. Doing some traveling soon, planning a trip outta the humidity (but never outta the heat) then it's deeeeeeeep south (hello/goodbye equator) for a trip of a lifetime (yea, again) so things are getting exciting again. And, yet, I'd trade all this temporary fun for a steady partner. Someone who'll respect me as I'd respect them.

2012-08-01 Had an amazing birthday, 5 days long - now that's what it's like to be in the scene! I don't feel older, really. I believe in the saying that "You are only as old as you feel" and I feel good! Took a trip south-west and was pleasantly surprised by the results. Looking forward to reaping the benefits of what I sow this fall. It's been a very busy summer but the payoffs are beginning to offset all the long, tiring days. Interesting new work prospect back in the IT field from out of nowhere, but that's how that's always gone for me. Was published again, that made me feel really proud.  August should bring some very interesting new adventures, especially towards the end of the month. An opportunity to travel again, I hope. Raft Off was an amazing success, sponsors were very pleased because we were all worried about the weather but that turned out to be a non-issue. Now part of a book-to-movie deal that I really hope leads to further entertainment industry contacts, leads and developments. I miss my dad; my sisters b-day is in August so will have a nice family day then, like we had for my b-day (Bonus: I won at the Casino).

2012-09-01 Celebrated my sisters birthday and it was a lot of fun. Good to see my family, just four of us left now. Miss my father every single day - taking care of my mother is not a chore or even a duty, it's become my pleasure. You never really knew some how much you needed someone until they need you, in the family way. It feels good to be a kind of a family man again. I sometimes miss my step-children from my second marriage, it's sad that it was impossible to maintain those relationships. The month came and went very quickly. My new contract has kept me even busier than my nightly event work does - and that's quite busy indeed! A new weekend venture has turned out to be incredibly profitable, both in income and networking. The Photography Business is a crowded one but it's become easy for me to grow it by simply being a "good guy" and not a creeper. Had two of my SCUBA photos published nationally and one won a small prize, I'm quite proud. Funny, but they were taken with the absolute cheapest gear I own! As I've always aid, it's rarely the equipment and as often not even the photographer but pure luck: location, timing, location and luck!

2012-10-01 People sometimes suddenly appear in your life and can blow in that breath of fresh air - which can also quickly grow stale. Being as old as I am (OMG!) I've truly begun to appreciate the phrase "Been there/Done that!" It's fun to live the life of a person half my age. I have absolutely no apologies to make for how I live or whom I share my time with. The occasional grief I get from "being with" people half my age I simple ignore. I'm alive and often feeling more alive than I've felt in decades. The sad part is that none of my older friends (i.e., my age) are able to join me. My new friends often marvel that I'm able to keep up, to which I reply, "Keep up? I'm passing you by!"  Meanwhile, some people are destined to repeat their mistakes of the past, even when I've changed and tried to offer an alternative and a lift up and out. I think some people secretly enjoy being miserable; not for me. I love being loved and loving in return. Those with me know what I mean and they only need to respect me to continue to enjoy it. The largest Halloween party in the Midwest has me as the official event photographer followed by an entire hotel floor for the after party for the 27th. On the 31st itself, I'm official at the hottest Halloween party  in the city with local and national celebs in attendance; already got the call from TMZ LOL Loving my life ...

2012-11-01 Had the most amazing Halloween - not just at The largest Halloween Extravaganza in the Midwest, Haunted Kingdom, but at two after parties where we went straight until noon the next day. Then shot at Elektricity for another epic affair. Basically, event photography as brought me back to life again. Some income but mostly growth personally and with new friends and new adventures. Gone places I couldn't have gone before and with the elite people in the scene. I don't think I have to deal with anyone my age - and that's a good thing. It sucks having such a young soul trapped in an old man's body. I have returned to working out and dieting in an effort to regain some of that youthful exterior but the year march on and it's harder and harder all the time. I don't let much bother me, though. More than anything, the only thing worse than simple haters are the liars and this world is full of them. I hate liars more than anyone else, but a very close second are those that insist on thinking you are lying when you are not but they can't face their own inadequacies or inability to just, plain, keep up! It's laughable! Another massive party for Pre-Thanksgiving in the works as official photog for the biggest bar night of the year. Only indecision is; which incredible NYE party to photograph?

2012-12-01 Thanksgiving Day was wonderful, spent with my sister, brother-in-law and my mother. Having a functional family unit my entire life is something I attribute a great deal of my success and personality to. I have so many things to be grateful for, but mostly for having had a great dad and still having the most loving and caring mother one could hope for. I get along well with my sister and BIL but it's my mom who remains the safe port in any storm. I feared she wouldn't survive after my father passed away, having lived together so closely for 50 years but she has survived and remained strong. I believe part of the reason is because wants to be there for her children. She's always been there for my sister and me. My sister is now happily married, so I think my mother is hanging in there for me, waiting for me to become happy again. Despite two marriages which failed because of women who didn't know how to work with family and friends and interact with society in a normal fashion. I have no regrets however, especially with my second wife who I gave not one but two chances to try again. Yet I still yearn to remarry because I know that there is someone right out there for me. Meanwhile, the photography business has taken another large surge forward. Event photography remains a way to network and meet people who propel me in the private work I do. An awesome Thanksgiving week. And now I'm scheduled to shoot at the most exclusive NYE extravaganza the city has known. Two large agency leads and three of my girls being published in national magazines, one with a photo set I did myself at the Chicago studio. My public successes allow me to say, without undo ego, that I know what I'm doing; I know what works and what doesn't work. I look at some failed models who I've known and think at the advice I gave them. If they had listened to me, taken my direction, how far they could have gone! It's with excitement that I look forward to Christmas and NYE. I'm even more excited for what 2013 will bring. I continue to get in shape and lose some extra lb's I put on a few months ago, not as fast as I'd like but it's coming along. I'm happy and just looking to fill that last remaining gap in my plan for the future...

2013-01-01 Christmas and NYE were great successes! NYE went off particularly well. The parties were large, well run and produced the results we all hoped for. I got a very pleasant surprise near the end of the year. Someone I had know for about a year suddenly "turned up the heat" and has entered my life in an unexpected but most welcome manner. Someone who is comfortable with my friends, with my work, with where I go; when I do what I do who and how I do it. Extra bonus points, smart and beautiful in exactly the ways that appeal to me most. I decided to divest myself of the final connection with my Chicago studio, just utilizing the space to shoot on a rental basis. This extra money will give me the resources to start 2013 with a huge sigh of relief. I was unjustly hit with a huge legal fee a few years back; this serves to erase that setback and finally get me back on track. I'd held back for a long time because I didn't want to sever that part of my private life but it was time to let it go, and the travels to and from Chicago weekly were a massive strain on me in many ways, including being unable to actually pursue that which has now found me. The future looks so bright, I look forward to the next month's post in hopes that this ember grows into a fire as we fan the flames!

2013-02-01 The new year has only just begun and it's already looking to be one of the best I've had in a long time. I am happy and in love. The ember flamed into a fire and we warm ourselves daily.

2013-03-15 Very successful month just past, in business and in my personal life. Someone has reminded me what it means to be happy, to love and be loved. Very sad news about someone I cared about in my past; I wish him the best but worry for his future. Upgrading equipment in my work and working very hard (yup, very seriously back to the treadmill and diet) on my body again. Summer is coming and now I've got even more reason to look good in a bathing suit, can't look soft next to a hard body like hers! Had the most incredible trip to Palau & Yap, which is why this post is late. Gone for two weeks in paradise aboard a yacht in the South Pacific 8000 miles from home. Coming home to someone who could barely wait was icing on the cake.

2013-04-01 | 2013-05-01 | 2013-06-01 It's hard when you want to share but you really can't. It's difficult to be less than you are capable of, to satisfy a "not-normal" person. Frustrated almost beyond belief! However, I'm not willing to give up frivolously. Work has been awesome, though I voluntarily backed way off on scheduling. Fortunately I've established myself well enough that I can now cherry pick the best assignments for better than average pay and that keeps me afloat. Working a bit in the PC world again has refilled the coffers somewhat. Had a job op to return to IT, but it wasn't what I wanted to finish out my career and retire on, so staying with my "play" job. The summer, for me, officially begins with Jobbie Nooner - I know it'll be cold and likely rainy but it'll be nice to see some old faces and make new friends among the boating community. I wish I had someone join me for this.

2013-07-01 Very frustrating time. Just 8 months ago I was so happy with a new girlfriend who I thought could be the one. But, she wasn't normal (even her own, proud admission). Emotionless and capable of being quite uncaring. I need warmth and that secure feeling of attachment. I was chastised for being too warm and fuzzy; something so foreign a concept that I still can't believe I tolerated it. "Taking a break" now (her idea, of course, because to me, the word "break" in there is just a precursor to "break up") to reevaluate. I suspect this will be the end of it. She wanted me to change, but not in identifiably better ways and with no compromise or, indeed consideration of any kind, in return. There couldn't even be a "do this for me and I'll be there for you" - as in her consumption of everything else I could offer, it was one-way. But, so very desperate for company and physical contact with another being I tolerated. The sad story is therein. Just want to be touched, held. Told that just being near made them feel better. I want to love someone so bad I am willing to tolerate so much. In the end this will no doubt hurt me far more than anyone else. Not an uncommon story for me. I am genuinely frustrated by the concept that people just don't care, though. People are only interested in not being bummed out or having their own good times diluted by having to care for a friend in need. It is times like these when I need a friend to counsel and console that I find those I hang out with so lacking.

2013-08-01 I am so alone. I grow ever increasingly dismayed by just how callous people are. They lie so effortlessly and they don't care about the penalty of their deception being uncovered. Apparently others are so used to being lied to and so used to hearing lies that they simply do not care. Don't care to whom, or what is said or who is hurt by it. Many people lack real feelings. Single moms sometimes manage to generate feelings exclusively for their children - this isn't that good, people! Children learn by example; teaching children it's OK to be disconnected from the world and effortlessly throw away relationships will only ruin their chances of being normal in their future. I think children need to see a two parent family unit. Children need to see how love works; to see how two adults can stick together and work things out. How compromise and loyalty should be desired and rewarded. Above all else, people need to learn that lying is the root of all evil and everything wrong in this world begins with lies. If we cannot stop people from lying, then we should at least call them out and penalize their behavior. Ignoring lies and tolerating people who do is almost as bad as endorsing it! I am frustrated and angry by so-called friends who do not support those they call friends. Take a stand! Stand by your friend's side and support them. Show that you actually mean what you say. Saying something you don't/won't support is awfully close to a lie! Stop the lies and the world will become a better place.

2013-09-01 I work, pay bills, save as much as I can, take care of my family and try to find happiness.

2013-10-01 I work, pay bills, save as much as I can, take care of my family and try to find happiness. I am surprised that I'm still surprised by the things people do to those they call their friends. When someone is my friend, I mean it and I treat them with the extra respect and responsibility that I think goes with that title. Whenever I can, I give freely. I try not to expect anything in return. It's just frustrating to have so many others notice how one-side it often is so much so that they will actually comment on it, on my behalf. I'm often told "Don't be so nice!" but I know what's meant (how can you ever be too nice?) is "Don't let yourself be taken advantage of" and I truly appreciate the sentiment and care it shows. Sadly, the times I'm most often taken advantage of are when I give my heart to someone. For me, that opens myself up to abuse and sadly I am often so blinded by my own happiness to have found myself in what I think is a loving relationship that I'm slow to react to what's really going on. And, often, I so terribly want things to get better that I'll stick around far longer and tolerate far more abuse than, in the end, it was ever worth. But I AM happy. I'm happy I have my health and that my sister and mom are still around for us to share in good times.

2013-11-01 I work, pay bills, save as much as I can, take care of my family and try to find happiness. Been selling off some old stuff in the basement, good to grab some cash for taking care of things like health care and med bills, etc. Feels good to offload this crap. Entire server plus network in one, that was a nice chunk! I've been doing more and more computer side work, it feels good to revisit my life's career. I love photography but, quite frankly, apart from the corporate or larger business gigs, the event/club side of things doesn't pay squat. Frankly, those nights I'm almost certainly the lowest paid person in the place. When you factor in the hidden extra 4 hours (approx) of selection, editing and uploading/tagging/posting of the photos, it's often well below minimum wage. I do truly enjoy the company of some of my regular spots, though. MJL, for example, treats me like I'm part of a family. Treasured.  :)

2013-12-01 I work, pay bills, save as much as I can, take care of my family and try to find happiness. I have tried working less so that I can spend more time on personal things. Keeping to myself, except for when I take photos of people, which seems to make a lot of people happy. My mom has been a great source of support, my father put something away for us and it has supported us when things were tough and comes in handy in small doses every so often. My mom surprised me with a gift to help me through lean times and it has taken some pressure off briefly. I continue to work on computers for side income as well as search for regular IT work. I'm effectively retired and just taking it easy. I am lonely, though.

2014-01-01 Thanksgiving & Christmas holidays are fine but never have as much impact as a good New Years celebration. Thanksgiving was at my moms, Christmas at my sisters and this year I returned to join friends at the Marriott and had a great time.  Felt good to see so many familiar faces and enjoy some kudos for "job well done" that I felt like covered me for the past year! It certainly does feel good to enjoy some recognition for hard work I've put into what was going to be a very temporary "fill in the time til the next computer job" fun gig. Requests for my work are steady, more than I can personally service. I may have to actually hire this year to keep up. Unfortunately, photography in Detroit pays so very poorly and with unavoidable and looming health insurance costs, and, hey, I'm officially an old dude now, it may be time to finally, seriously get looking to return to a "real job." I think this will make everyone (including my bank account) happier -- but I wonder how it'll affect me. I look at returning to a full time job as beneficial as much for the return to fiscal responsibility as I do in the going out daily, hopefully meeting new and interesting people to interact with. I have struggled with a failed relationship and some attempts at rekindling it, but when you are dealing with an unemotional, dispassionate narcissist, it seems crazy to even talk about it any more. I'm trying to just get over it - but when you don't have anyone else, sometimes that "old familiar" (even if it's far from what you really need) can be worth grabbing at. I need to start paying attention to and acting on motivational poster type quotes - and not just posting them lol Missing my father terribly, and feeling guilty that I haven't spent as much time with my mother as she deserves. Pledging to rectify this quickly. Returning to some diet changes as well as regular exercise in a renewed attempt at getting in better shape. Excited about how this could improve things all around. One great highlight was visiting my dear friends in Ludington for a WELL needed break from everything for a week. Felt like a totally recharged my batteries.

2014-02-01 Extreme cold weather here in MI continues and even though I'm not one to do a lot outdoors, especially in winter, this year I spent even less time going out other than for photo and computer work. I'm so thankful that I've picked up so many small private jobs in the past few months. I've continued to sell of all of my remaining computer and SCUBA gear, surprised me that I had literally thousand$ left - nice bonus after recent expenses. Taking care of my mother and myself health wise has been expensive. Looked into healthcare.gov, but, like many others, experienced too many issues with it to be able to complete sign up. And can not seem to confirm with any doctors the acceptance of any plan lol I'll wait a while before trying again. Annoyed the hear some ridiculous rumors "about" me - they are so preposterous that anyone that really knows even casually will realize they are just impossible; I guess if you have any connection to the party scene it'll always be assumed to be in the worse capacity by those "haters" out there. I don't let it affect me much but it did concern me because false accusations can sometimes get out of hand and cause real problems. I don't spend a lot of time on my personal affairs lately, too focused on work and taking care of family and only have time to visit with friends late, after work (so my schedule is such that I'm not hang out during the "normal" hours of other people). Basically, things have been frustrating, punctuated by happy bits of financial reward from work and inventory clearing (when that's gone it'll be gone and I may have to resume more programming work).

2014-03-01 Continued extreme cold and it's affect on the moods of everyone seems to just add to my own less than satisfied feeling with things in general. Just returned from SCUBA trip to Belize, though and that did WONDERS to lift my sprits and recharge those old batteries. Seeing old friends, making a  few new ones and some excellent dive sites were really refreshing and stimulating. I think I'd really like to make two trips a year, the amount of relief and recharge it gives my system is perhaps even more powerful than medicine. Had some potentially interesting people in my life but just unfulfilling in the end. Some too superficial and others just too insistent on being different with strong dislikes for almost everything, perhaps I'm growing up (finally?) enough to realize that I can't fix or change anyone in almost any way so if I can see even a small issue up front, there is no thinking, "Oh I can deal with that" can make it alright later. I'm just too tired of being hurt to make an investment in anything less than someone that appears to have no immediately detectable issues. Not searching for perfect or someone that is expected to remain fault free, that's impossible but I'm just not going to go ahead and ignore anything anymore. If there is an issue before it's even started, it's not gonna get a start, in my book. Not anymore. I think that's why I was so disappointed not along ago, except now the disappointment is turned inwards. I could see that she was flawed in so many ways, but choose to ignore it for a not half bad bit of ass and the promise of a female version of a male intellect. Turns out both were impenetrable. Work continues to go well. Got a few programming gigs that I didn't expect with nice pay offs coming at the end of the month. Unexpected work - seems to have always been my luck in life. Oh well, at least I was finally able to sign up with what appears to be awesome insurance and a shocking low price. Looking forward to Tigers Opening day at the end of the month and a nice pay off from ticket sales. Photography has been picking up again, haven't been excited by it in a while so ... let's see where I can take it.

2014-04-01 Tigers Opening day party was amazing but I surprised even myself with how many tickets I sold at the last minute. Whew, some income there was nice!! Photo jobs continue to come in and my programming for a new website went live halfway into March and I got my first pay off already. It was nice! Unfortunately most of the pay is coming in smaller increments over the next few months, the only good news is that it'll be cash! I love getting paid in cash but I have had to teach myself the discipline of saving up a bit over time and then throwing it into an ATM. Refinanced the house but chose to go to a 15 year instead of dropping the monthly as much and sticking with 30 year. I'm just worried about having a mortgage free place to live 10 years from now when I might not be able to pull off my current way of working photos + programming. Programming pays a hell of a lot more but it's slow going at times. Made some bigger changes in who I hang out with and how I hang with them - working to shed bad connections that drag me down by perception or association. Overall, feeling better. Very excited for how this month will go because tread milling and eating less has finally started to show some results. Slow but they are there. The first couple "Hey, are you losing some weight" comments were most rewarding!!

2014-05-01 Had a lot of fun last month. Been working out and doing my best to take care of my health. With full insurance back in effect did a physical and all things came back looking good except for, strangely, a crazy high homocysteine levels (normal is <10µmol/L, abnormally high is >15), I'm at over 100! That's Hyperhomocysteinemia at a level my docs have never seen. Whoa. Apparently my system is not absorbing essential B vitamins (B6, B12 and B9, folic acid) so they prescribed me Folbic in hopes it'll help. Other than that, everything in my extensive blood work is solid. Testosterone levels were solid, especially good news for a dude my age with 15 year younger GFs ;) I'm pretty happy about this, except the bizarre vitamin thing. With all the abuse and jobs that had me sitting in a chair for hours/days on end, I came out not too bad for it, so far. Been doing even more computer work and it's been hugely rewarding. A nice income stream to supplement the photo business which is taking off on the private (non-Facebook) side. Event photography continues to be enjoyable and provides me networking opportunities, but it doesn't pay shit. Detroit is so broke, and businesses hurting so much, they reward the wrong people and ignore the right ones. It's a dead-end argument to have; when some punk with a Canon Rebel can take pix for free or $35, it's a hard sell to the short sighted why to pay me so much more. Their loss. I cover the biggest and best events, and only do smaller ones as favors to friends anymore. I'm OK with that. I do so much other work I'm not missing going out 4-6 nights a week and editing non-stop. Actually had a weekend off recently - shocking! Felt great. I miss my ex-GF, but she doesn't miss me, apparently. Sad but, in this case, not unexpected. I refuse to act like a jerk to attract damaged personalities. It's the "rather be alone for the right reasons" thing -- but, does it ever suck when your FB newsfeed is filled with those happy shiny faces and you just want to join them (not just provide them the pictures). Family remains my most important life support. I've too many acquaintances and not enough real friends, going to try to reverse that this summer. I hope to ride the Harley much more this summer - it's brings me joy.

2014-06-01 Figured out the story on the vitamin B deficiency - no biggie, nothing a little L-Methionine couldn't fix. Combined with Folbic I should be back to normal fairly quickly. Work continues to keep me busy but I've backed off that full schedule of the past and enjoying a much more relaxed one. More time with family and non-scene friends has been rewarding. A summer outside including some "cruise nights" should bring some new faces and adventures. Really looking forward to summer and boating season.

2014-07-01 Summer & boating season in full swing and it's been great! Feeling excellent; endurance and health are strong.  Finished huge computer job with a nice payoff - booked a trip next year to the Cayman Islands with my dive buddies - really looking forward to that!  Didn't take an expected week long Harley trip due -- but made up for it with some personal trips with just a few friends, mostly in MI but the couple of overnight trips were really fun. Took a ton of personal photos and made a few new friends that I really am enjoying the company of. Been focusing more on private shoots, especially corporate events, rather than the poorly paying (but "fun") event scene. Cutting out almost all after-hours type activities has given me more time to stay caught up, feel more rested and pursue even more computer work. It keeps coming to me without even looking - Love it!

2014-08-01 Enjoyed my 51st birthday yesterday - received many nice birthday wishes, some birthday gifts and a little reward from karma. Bad things happen to bad people and good people shouldn't even feel bad about being OK with it. Mon Jin Lau continues feel more like enjoying an extended family than work, love it there! Enjoying a great summer of photo events, two new venues (for me) have showed unexpected promise and growth opportunities that I didn't initially expect but have become very welcome. Haven't ridden as much as I'd like but at least no more rubber soles melted on tail pipes (smart girls wear the right gear) and am enjoying the stares that having a beautiful woman on the back of a sweet ride brings.

2014-08-13 Someone hacked into my Comcast e-mail account, from there they went into my Amazon and Facebook accounts. So far I cannot tell what was taken but it does not appear anything malicious was done - that I can tell! The accounts were recovered (and passwords changed) at approx 8 pm the same day. If you received anything between Noon and 8 pm, it's possible it wasn't from me. A couple days ago someone used a hacked FB account to send me fake entrapment style messages and then send offensive ones. Also, a few days ago, someone created an account "Alex Bogre" that was setup to look exactly like mine. That was shut down quickly. Someone is trying very hard to mess with my identity online and in reality. I hope I find out who - I would like to return the "favor." Come out of the shadows, coward, face me with whatever you have to say.

2014-09-01 Reported continued hacking/identify theft attempts to police and was pleasantly surprised that they took it so seriously and have already made some progress. So many people (FB friends) are unaware that I have a thieving computer business that pays the bills - but that's OK. It proves what I always tell people who seem afraid to get on FB with some lame comment along the lines of "I don't want the world knowing what I'm doing!" & fears of privacy invasion. FB can only share what you tell it to ! I don't really see much security in sticking my money in a traditional checking/savings account when there is much less than 1% earned so I have been managing cash based business with great success. So many people want computers built and things repaired I can handle by a personal visit; I think it's the personal touch that really sells them and I can charge a higher (but still fair) price. Besides, I always get the job done and done RIGHT the first time.  Life is good!

2014-10-01 I recently reviewed some old "deleted" voicemails and there was this one that some hater sent that was basically a computer voice reading a paragraph from this page. I think their intention was to ridicule me or make me seem lonely or ... something. It had the opposite effect. I laughed and shared it with others who laughed. We all commented that I must be continuing to do something write to keep getting attention. My photo business is doing very well and I continue to keep the time I use to manage it at a lower level than when I started; rates are up while effort to produce has gone down - excellent! So many creepy people doing photos, the GWCs and those with multiple PPOs against them. It annoys me that people negatively affected by them don't "put them on blast" - it'd be worth it. Warning others away from potentially bad situations. A couple of these people have a proven record of being, well, "bad" and they should not be allowed to pray on unsuspecting potential victims; making other photographers look bad just because of guilt by association/industry. Taking a page from the event scene people, I've been keeping my mouth shut but it still disgusts me so much! Have made new inroads at a new venue and renewed and enlarged a friendship with an old friend and new business partner that are taking advantage of my media and computer savvy, not just with photos but with the Internet and getting people to pay attention to his products and services. #DetroitAgainstTheWorld

2014-11-01 Strange attempts to hack into my accounts continue; identify theft protection upgraded. Adding to that, two recent strange events at my house. I hesitate to say "attempted B&E" but that closely fits what I feel happened. Upgraded the home security and hopefully I'll either catch something/someone to explain it, or just put my concern to rest. Never been paranoid but it's never wrong to be cautious! Working on #DetroitAgainstTheWorld and other projects with my buddy has the potential to be rewarding. The first time in a long time I chose not to have established residencies for Fri/Sat night and while it was at first a little scary it's been rewarding. Two weekends in a row of "me time" were amazing. Computer work continues to supplement my income so that I don't feel the pinch from reduced event work. It never paid well anyway, I consider it a kind of loss leader; gaining attention to myself so that I can garner this computer work). Looking to get a drone to practice with during the Winter and roll out in the Spring to add to my photo capabilities.

2014-12-01 Added LifeLock and I think we stopped the hack attempts - whew! Decided to take a full break from event photography, except at "my home" base of MJL for Shanghai Wednesdays, I expect to start back at 3Fifty Terrace this summer too. I'll still do special events per request. I will, of course, fulfill my NYE obligation but then just take a break. Practicing with a drone has been fun but they are improving all the time while prices are coming down, it'll make sense to wait until just before summer to invest in one for myself. Until now, I'll continue to use my buddies. Working with my buddy at Coli, it hasn't done much yet but I hope some new opportunities will spring from that, people just seem to be more relaxed and willing to talk business in such a setting - so be it! I don't miss full time event photography as much as I thought I might. The pay is insultingly poor, especially when you know what other positions make, and the lack of respect from some is hard to deal with. Booked some extra SCUBA trips, in addition to going to Cayman Islands at the end of February, very excited about those!

Took a break updating from 2015-2017 and came back briefly:

01-31-2018 Facebook bans me for 30 days for a photo I don't consider a violation of their community standards. There is nothing I can do, no one and no way to appeal the ban. So, the month of February is lost to this ban.

02-01-2018 I awake to be able to post to FB again. A few statues and a couple photo albums then it's a busy evening and I retire early. Only to awake to find... another 30 day ban. This time it's for a year+ old photo taken at Jobbie. Again, sexy? Yes. Going too far? Hell no. It's an automated process that picks the photos - a human is only involved when the account actually gets deactivated and then you have a one time chance at an appeal. I have over 1000 albums and over 300,000 photos online - to lose them all (I have backups, but I'm talking about reuploading and the lost of like, comments, tags ... would be devastating). And, yet, I have nothing I can do about it. I AM careful what I upload. I AM conscious of all this and so examine every photo carefully. Yet if their system picks one that I didn't - I get fucked. This is the single biggest failure of Facebook - the inability to contact anyone and have any possible resolution of issue with them. Very Frustrated.

03-01-2018 my FB ban is over ... and two days later it's back on! Another 30 days for another photo that absolutely, positively does not contain any nudity. FB is messing with me, what else is there to conclude. I've created an alternate account to manage my business page and upload using that one.

04-01-2018 Taking a break from posting about myself - working on myself - improving my situation and myself. Nowhere to go but up!

11-01-2018 Gee, guess what, yup, another 30 day ban - this time for a political meme. Are you kidding me? Thankfully I'm pretty happy with using IG and Twitter while blocked from posting on FB. And I'm using my alternate account to keep the business going strong. Nothing can stop me, I'm all the way up! My situation has improved considerably from my last post, I'll update this page when I get some time.

12-31-2018 Another year over and another year begins. I get older and hopefully wiser. I've decided to stop updating this site for now. I may resume at any time, but for now I don't see the point any longer.

Me 2019-09-02

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