Friday, December 27, 2019

Foss State Park, Foss Lake, Oklahoma

*****
Foss State Park is located on Foss Lake in western Oklahoma near the town of Foss. 
Amenities: Abundant reservable campsites, 10 campsites have full-hookups, sites for the big rigs, many shaded sites, and over 100 tent sites are available. All sites have water services and 30 or 50 amp service. There is a fully furnished ADA compliant cabin and at least one other fully furnished cabin now available but on a reservation basis. A campsite for equestrian activities is now available with a multi-purpose trail for horseback riding. 
 *****

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Foss State Park has five palapas (thatched roof open-sided structure) at Sunset Beach. These facilities are air-conditioned enclosed shelter meeting space. Boat storage and rentals are available. More facilities, including a seasonal marina with lighted boat ramps, a swimming beach, restrooms and comfort stations, cooking grills, fire rings, and playgrounds can be found around the park. Picnic areas, group picnic shelters, grills, fire rings, comfort stations with showers, lighted boat ramps, boat storage, boat rentals, playgrounds, a swimming beach, and a seasonal marina is near the dam and easily accessible.
*****
*****

Sunday, December 1, 2019

Acacia Park and Demonstration Gardens, Henderson, NV.


Below you will find a screenshot of one of the local (Henderson, NV.) parks that I have photographed. I am now making screenshots of every gallery on my Better World Media website, and I plan to use them in my social media posts. I also think I may be able to use some of them in advertisements for my photography work. Another reason for taking these shots is simple to show me a record of work that I may need to do, like adding photos to some galleries. These shots are taken from my BWM on Adobe Stock site.
*****

Acacia Park and Demonstration Gardens, Henderson, NV.
50 Casa Del Fuego St.
Cross-streets:
Gibson Road & Las Palmas Entradas Avenue
Park hours: 6:00am to midnight


*****

16 acres; Lighted ball field; Barbecues; Lighted basketball courts; Covered picnic shelters; Dog park; Lighted multipurpose fields; Open grass area; Picnic tables; Playground; Restrooms; Splash pad; Walking course


Thursday, November 28, 2019

The Job of a Logo


What is a logo? Well, a logo is a well-designed graphic image or physical property that describes a business and tells potential customers what a business does. Is your business trustworthy? Are you a professional? What is the quality of the goods or services you provide?

My business, Better World Media, actually requires two logos, a personal logo, and a business logo. If my business is successful I will eventually hire one or more employees, and each employee will have their own personal logo. Hopefully, these employees will also be (but not necessarily be) family members. The primary service of BWM, at this time, is photography. BWM, however, is designed to eventually start adding compatible services that use the professional talents of each individual employee.


At this time my personal logo consists simply of a black background, and two graphics. One graphic is the shutter of a camera. This represents my work in photography. One graphic is the treble clef, a music symbol. The treble clef represents my work as a musician and songwriter. Future plans are to add identifying info for BWM to the logo, and a redesign of the text.


The Better World Media logo, once again, consists of a black background, a camera shutter, and the treble clef. It also consists of eight simple graphics that convey the kind of work that BWM is noted for. There are four graphics showing modes of travel because BWM will travel to do the work that is needed. The guitar symbolizes our work in music. The camera and video camera shows our work in image production. And, the typewriter shows our work in tieing everything together to produce the story our clients are trying to convey.

Building the business of Better World Media has taught me a lot about building a business. But, I believe, more importantly, I am learning things about the human body and taking care of myself that I never before considered. For instance, a person can only do so much before it is time to take a break and get some rest.




Tuesday, November 19, 2019

It's Diary Time


*****

Things change, don't blink your eyes. 'Cause if you do they'll pass you by.
About the time you think you've locked it in, things change, then change again.
That's just life. The way it's always been. That's the way it's always been 'cause that's the way it's always been.
*****

As an over-the-road trucker for 35-years I learned to count on one thing, and that is I cannot count on any plans that I make. I could never count on being home for Christmas, New Years, Thanksgiving, or special occasion days for family members. So it is with my plans for van life. Just about the time I was ready to buy the equipment I need things came up and I needed to use my money to help other people out. That put me in a very difficult position that lasted for a few months. Now, I am starting to get back on my feet both mentally and physically. And, my travel bug is starting to bite me again.

My birthday is a mere 2 months away, and I hope to have enough money saved to buy that equipment that I almost bought back in May of this year. But, even living in Vegas I do not plan to start a full-time van life in the dead of winter. But, I do plan to make a few test-runs before Sping to places in southern Nevada and Arizona.

Thursday, October 24, 2019

We All Need a Vacation Now and Then

Well OK, enough of this vacation mode. I guess it is time to get busy again, and maybe even a little more serious. A few weeks back I finished organizing one of my major products that had become completely incohesive after 2+ years of extremely busy work on it. It was time for a break, and I took it. However, lately, I have become less stressed-out in many ways, and I think it is time for me to get to work again, slowly.😎

For the past few weeks, I have done less computer and photography work. And, I have started playing a little more music. And, while I plan to keep playing my music and writing songs for a few hours each day I plan to balance my day by starting back to doing computer and photography work. I am also developing a health program to help me keep my stress level down while maintaining a healthy lifestyle.🎵📷🏃


*****
I'm not rich, but I have nothing in my life to complain about today. Do you?

Monday, October 14, 2019

Better World Media - Travel, Event and Stock Photography

Well, I have been on a hiatus of sorts. I have a tendency to overdo it when I get involved with my projects, and it has been a hard 2.5+ years. Anyway, my Better World Media (https://www.bwmedia702.com/) is now pretty much up-to-date, but it is now too large. I am now trying to figure out how to design the site into two sections. That is, one section will be for newer photo projects/galleries, while a second section will be for "dated" projects/galleries. And, I will now take the time to try to work on making this a better blog through better writing and more article writing. Also, I have another blog that I hope to improve on. This second blog is rather new. It will deal with my travels and van life while doing my work in photography and music.

Enough for now. More to come.


Better World Media - Travel, Event and Stock Photography: Event, travel, and stock photography.
*****

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Find Work as a Freelancer

Do you work as a freelancer? Are you looking for help finding clients and work? Do a computer search on these sites:

Upwork - https://www.upwork.com/

Guru - https://www.guru.com/
Hubstaff Talent - https://blog.hubstaff.com/
Outsourcely - https://www.outsourcely.com/
Freelancer- https://www.freelancer.com/
Textbroker - https://www.textbroker.com/
Fiverr - https://www.fiverr.com/
FreeeUP - https://freeeup.com/
PeoplePerHour - https://www.peopleperhour.com/
Workhoppers - https://www.workhoppers.com


*****


*****

Monday, June 10, 2019

OKCNMM and Myriad Botanical Gardens

OKCNMM
*****
When the sun came up this morning I was at the East Wall of the Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum. I have been to this memorial a few times, but the photos files from those trips were lost 5 years ago to a computer glitch. This morning I was disappointed that the West Wall did not turn to a golden color when the sun was first hitting it. My previous trips were all late afternoon or early evening and the East Wall had a golden glow that helped to set a reflective mood. As of now, I plan to return to the memorial in a couple of hours to see if I can recapture those colors.

I also photographed in the Myriad Gardens this morning. My previous files of this park were also lost five years ago. The Myriad Gardens has been completely revamped since I was there, and they were working on even more features while I was there.

Myriad Botanical Gardens
*****

Saturday, June 8, 2019

Update

All I am doing these days is planning, packing, testing, and researching. Basically, other than a power source I am ready to start my new life of living in a van.

I can say this with certainty: If I am enjoying this adventure I will try to upgrade to a small RV. If I do not like full-time van-life I will either do it part-time or not at all. At this moment I am very hopeful and anxious to get started. 

It is my plan to spend the next 2 years living in my van and doing my bucket list. There are 3 items that are a priority on this list, the Hornet, the Midway, and the WDC memorials. After that, I will visit and photograph every national and state park, preserve, trail, memorial, and museum I can along the way. There will be a page on this blog that will include my itinerary. 

Here We Go

A few days after my last post, "Life Is But A Journey" I left Oklahoma to return to Las Vegas. Tomorrow morning I will leave Las Vegas to return to Oklahoma. Once there I plan to put my belongings in storage and move into my van.

The adventure/disaster has begun. You can follow my journey via my Better World Media Facebook page, my Better World Media blog and judge for yourself which one it is. Don’t forget to check for new galleries periodically on my BWM photography studio website. I specialize in travel and event photography.

Although I will be speaking with the manager of an apartment complex where I plan to someday live in Oklahoma I do not think I will be getting one at this time.

Homeless? Not really. I am planning to put 99% of my belongings into storage and live on the road in my van while working with my photography and (maybe) doing a little busking. This should be quiet an experience since my van is not yet equipped to live in. But, there will be a bed for sleeping. I will have some clothes with me. I will have my camera gear with me. I will have my computer equipment with me. And, I will have Jessie (my guitar) with me. And, I will stay close to my storage unit for at least a few days so that I can go back and get what I need to keep with me to stay alive.


And, guess what. Although I do have some long-term goals I have made very few short-term plans beyond visiting friends and family. Other than that, I have a bucket list and plans to visit places that I drove past as an over-the-road trucker for 35 years. So, this should be interesting.
*****

Saturday, May 25, 2019

Live Is But A Journey


*****
As it turns out I may not be doing much van-building for a while. The more I look at what will need to be done in the immediate future is simply not much. Eventually, I will want to make changes. But for now, all I really need to do is make a small storage box to place at the back end of my bed. I will place a piece of foam on that end to make that bed long enough for me to be comfortable. But, even that may not happen for until colder weather.


My first purchases will be a cot and a sleeping bag, a generator and a rack to carry it on, a microwave to cook on, and a dorm refrigerator. That will do for weekend warrior boon-docking.

I have to admit I feel like a horse. I am chomping at my bit with anticipation wanting to just take off for parts unknown. But, I am trying to convince myself to stay here to help my sister get some things sold and make a move if she needs to do that. But, my day is coming, finally.

Life Is But A Journey


Life is but a journey that we all must take.
The path we choose to take is but the life we lead.
There's nothing but your mind to keep you in the dark.
But, all it ever takes is just a little spark. - A Busker's Song by Keith Birmingham

When I moved to Las Vegas just over two years ago I had plans of finding employment as an event photographer and/or working freelance as an event, travel, and stock photography. As it turns out my projects as a freelance has kept me more than busy. Of course, the money is not rolling in as I hoped it would, but I am doing what I love.

I began coming to Las Vegas back in 1974 as an over-the-road trucker. And, I have lived in Las Vegas off and on over the last several years in retirement. What I have learned about Las Vegas (at least in my case) is that it is a great city to get exposure in many fields of the arts, but it simply doesn't pay much due to the competition. But, two years ago I came to this city with no money in the bank, and only a dream I planned to try. I have not struck it rich, but I have not been disappointed. There is a learning curve to every new enterprise.

Saturday, April 20, 2019

Time to Go Shopping



*****

Two weeks ago today I purchased this 2002 Ford E-150 Regency van in Oklahoma. Today, I am back home in Las Vegas, Nevada, and anxious to start a van life. But, it might be a while. However, today I will start preparing my van to be my (gypsy castle) "Castillo Gitano". Although I may not actually buy anything I will be shopping for the following: generator, refrigerator, fan, a/c, heater, sleeping bag.

Full-time or part-time, I still do not know. I have been on a waiting list for 2 years for an apartment in Boulder City, Nevada. This will be a great spot for the headquarters of "Better World Media". BWM is the parental name of three companies that I am working to build, Better World Photography, Better World Travel, and Better World Music. And, there are possibilities for more companies to come. The true purpose of BWM is not to benefit me, but to give my descendants something to work with once I am gone from this life.

My plan for this van is very simple. All I need to begin with are the items I mentioned above. The van is otherwise ready for the adventures that I plan to embark on. For now, there will be no van-build. There are room and access under the bench-turned-bed for storage, and I do not plan to change that. Later, I may remove the two seats that are in front of my bed. This will give me room to place storage cabinets and a (probably an open-air) closet. I am still trying to decide whether to place a wall or curtain at the head of the bed or a wall or curtain behind the driver's seat. I may do both. This wall should help cool the vehicle for extended travel.

Basically, that is probably the extent of my preparation for a nomadic life in this van. I want to keep it simple. If required for comfort I can trade up to an RV or travel trailer.

So, let's do this! 

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

And So It Begins


And, so it begins. I bought this one today. It is an oldie but seems to be a goodie. Four buckets and one bench that folds out into a bed. Will furnish apartment with 2 buckets and maybe the bench. No down. Has all I need for starting out as a weekend warrior.

It will probably take me some time to get organized and buy the things that I need. However, I will be starting out with the bare minimum. I just want to make sure I am legal for insurance and tax purposes. And, I will do some repair work on some little things that I have and will find. 

Later today I will do a clean-up and take her to a local park for a quick photo shoot.

I smell solitude. Ain't it wonderful.

Anticipation Can Kill Ya



*****
As it turns out I may not be doing much van-building for a while. The more I look at what will need to be done in the immediate future is simply not much. Eventually, I will want to make changes. But for now, all I really need to do is make a small storage box to place at the back end of my bed. I will place a piece of foam on that end to make that bed long enough for me to be comfortable. But, even that may not happen for until colder weather.

My first purchases will be a cot and a sleeping bag, a generator and a rack to carry it on, a microwave to cook on, and a dorm refrigerator. That will do for weekend warrior boon-docking.

I have to admit I feel like a horse. I am chomping at my bit with anticipation wanting to just take off for parts unknown. But, I am trying to convince myself to stay here to help my sister get some things sold and make a move if she needs to do that. But, my day is coming, finally.

Saturday, April 6, 2019

And, So It Begins




And, so it begins. I bought this one today. It is an oldie but seems to be a goodie. Four buckets and one bench that folds out into a bed. Will furnish apartment with 2 buckets and maybe the bench. No down. Has all I need for starting out as a weekend warrior.


It will probably take me some time to get organized and buy the things that I need. However, I will be starting out with the bare minimum. I just want to make sure I am legal for insurance and tax purposes. And, I will do some repair work on some little things that I have and will find. 

Later today I will do a clean-up and take her to a local park for a quick photo shoot.

I smell solitude. Ain't it wonderful.

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Correcting My Failures


*****

The process will be a long and tedious one, but I believe my online studio, Better World Media will now slowly begin to look like a professional studio site. The fact is that I have been extremely busy producing material to be put on the site, but I have not taken the time to do the job right. I will now try to correct that mistake.

I believe in my work, and I will not give it up. And, I will not stop producing material for my site. But, I will learn to do the job right.

What was wrong? Simple stuff. For example, I was posting the material but not titling my work, nor was I captioning my work. Why? Because I was concentrating on one thing, producing material. In other words, I was playing at the game of professionalism. So now, the real work begins. It will be simple and easy work, but tedious and time-consuming. Wish me luck.

Last night I worked on at least one gallery. However, I will consider my Allegro Park gallery the actual beginning of this process. This is where I started working this morning. Please click the link and visit the gallery. I hope you enjoy it.

*****

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

This Is My Diary

For now, this is my diary. I have never really kept a real diary, only notes through rough periods of my life.

I want to start this diary now because I want to start my mind in the direction of writing things that may help others who may go through similar emotions and events that I have had or am having.

For now, my post will be of random thoughts that I seem to live with daily. I am experiencing memories that have been buried deep in my past for years. Only a few of them are good memories. Most of them are from the mistakes I have made in my life. Most of them are minuscule events, but they are driving me nuts. It seems like my life has been full of unfinished bad jokes.

I recently posted the following thought on my Facebook site. This is what I want to deal with on a personal level. "I sometimes wonder how many people in my hometown know what kind of a terrible person I was as a youth. God knows I have tried to be a far better adult."

In the future, I will write mostly about what may seem petty to others but to me they are things that should never have happened or should never have been said.

Friday, February 15, 2019

Simple Update

Getting and staying organized has, by far, been the hardest part of my journey. But, while it is not 100% perfect, my photo catalog is finally manageable. I am now filing my photos into these 9 categories: commercial and industrial, event, family, nature, other, people, places, and pptmm. The category "other" is simply for test shots that I make. The pptmm is short for parks, preserves, trails, memorials, and museums. Each is then broken down into a state or country where the photo was taken. From there it is broken down into subject photographed. And, I do not look to add another category.

This reorganization has been a major undertaking for me, but I believe it will also be a major time saver for me in future projects. The only improvement I see that I may have to make as my catalog grows is to break down each catalog in 2 stages. By that, I mean that I will take each of the 9 categories and break them down into 9 more categories with the same names.

And, that is about all I have been concentrating on for the past couple of months. It is not the best way to spend a winter, but I believe my catalog will, in the future, be much easier to work with.


*****

Saturday, February 2, 2019

Senior Van Man Business Plan

This is an incomplete blog that is meant to be a test for the first posting of a new blog called Senior Van Man. This new blog will remain inactive until I know for sure that I will be able to purchase a van and hit the road.
*****



*****

BW VAN LIFE BUSINESS PLAN
or
Senior Van Man Business Plan

BW Van Life Mission: To inform, educate, and entertain readers in the following subjects.
1.) Parks, preserves, trails, museums,
memorial, and historical sites.
2.) Busking and songwriting.
3.) Immigration Reform.
4.) Homeless in America.
5.) Natural Disasters.


Primary travel lanes/areas:
1.) I-10 and south from the east coast to the west coast.
2.) All states west of I-25, border to border.
3.) Where clients need a story told.

Time Period:
3 months on the road.
2 months off the road for Rest, Relaxation and Repairs.

CDB - Cost of Doing Business:
1.) Cost of travel
2.) Van payment
3.) Van Insurance payment
4.) Auto maintenance
5.) Food
6.) Laundry
7.) Phone
8.) Internet
9.) Hosting
10.)


Monday, January 7, 2019

Your Comments Are Welcome

Dear Readers,

Your comments regarding this blog are very welcome and will be published without editing. However, I have just deleted (if I clicked the right buttons) all comments that were on my blogs. I do this periodically because it helps me to stay focused. I do not have time to read all of your comments but, good or bad, I do appreciate them. I hope you will continue with your comments. I did just spend the past hour reading comments on my post. I must say I enjoyed the praise.

Thanks much.

Keith

*****

Saturday, January 5, 2019

Stress and the Word "NO"

The following is an update of some of the things I have dealt with while trying to build a new life in my new profession.



*****

Stress and the Word "NO"
By Keith Birmingham - 2010

My dictionary defines stress as strain felt by somebody. It can be emotional or physical stress and can be caused by anxiety or overwork. Emotional stress can be caused by any number of details that occur in our lives. And, something that causes stress in one person’s life may not even phase another person. But stress may cause raised blood pressure and/or depression. And, stress can be a killer. It tried to kill me.

This month I will turn 70. In the past year I have looked back at how my life has gone, the things I’ve done, the things I’ve seen, and the things that have happened to me. And, I have concluded that all of these things together have made me the person that I am today.

I could sit here and type out a book about all the things stress has done to my life from age 10 to age the age I am today. Instead, I would just like to list some symptoms of stress that will help people to realize that they themselves have lived through some of the same situations in their lives that I have lived through in my life. I’m not a shrink so I cannot counsel anyone. And, I do not know you. So, I cannot console you. All I can do is get you to consider how you have handled the stress points in your life and think about how you may have handled them better.
For example, no two people handle the stresses put on them in the same way. Some people, in fact, seem to be able to just shrug off events. Highway traffic is a symptom of stress that is more prevalent in our society every day. After 35 years of driving a truck for a living, I can safely say that my job was a lot easier to do when I started in 1974 than it was when I retired in 2009. I would think that elderly people, such as myself, probably feel this stress far more than people in their thirties, or younger. I know that I show a lot more frustration trying to drive through the city than my 36-year-old son does. He shrugs it off while I swear and yell.

Here are some other common stress factors:
1.) You know what your career choice is, but you do not know how you are going to finance the needed education. Learning to say “no” to others is a very good way to help yourself.
2.) Your spouse/lover is not as trustworthy as you thought.
Do it once - shame on them. Do it twice - shame on you. I should have said “no more”.
3.) Your job is not as secure as you had hoped it would be. It doesn’t give them the right to treat you like dirt. I have left more than one job for that reason. I did not say “no” enough, or soon enough. The two most powerful words in any language have to be “yes” and “no”.
4.) Appointments, meetings, and work leave no time for the family at home.
The laws and regulations are written to let shippers, receivers and employers hold the driver responsible for late appointments. They do not protect the safety of the driver or the public. If the driver argues this point it could mean his job. I am just thankful that I never killed
anyone in a traffic accident because I didn’t say “no”. Get proper rest.
5.) Your salary doesn’t cover the expenses it once did. This was bad judgment on my part. On average I drove 3,000 to 4,500 miles every week. I deserved better. It won’t happen again. “No” job is worth it. If I do not profit from my work my employer does not deserve to profit from my work.
6.) Your children have issues that you do not understand, or you cannot cope with them. I won’t discuss the moral side of this. In the end, both parents play a part in that side of it. But, the children, regardless of the background cannot use the lack of proper parenting to continue destroying the lives of those around them. Sometimes the word “no” brings about unwanted results, but in the end, they are necessary. If the truth is ever known maybe all my children will see where I am right.
7.) You find yourself alone just when you need to know someone is there. Yes, everyone deserves a chance for a social and professional life. But you cannot let the stress of “yes” work against you. Learn to say “no.”
Here is how I handled the situations:
1.) Unable to pay for my education I landed in a career I had never considered until the day I was hired for my first job. Seemingly, I was blessed to stumble into my 35-year career. In truth, my personality led me to find employment where I had only myself to rely on to get the job done.
2.) It was not just my spouses that betrayed me. In the process, I lost everything that even resembled a social life. The answer here is that I needed to push myself back out in public and into social life. Truthfully, I did not do this.
3.) I have been planning to start my own business involving the education I should have been seeking so long ago. I had never really planned to retire from a 35-year career, but I was forced into retirement by a lead foot and bad health in November of 2009. And, that is why I have time to write this article.
4.) Unless you’ve been there you cannot imagine how it is to be constantly on the move for a solid 35 years. Most of my dispatches were scheduled for 100 miles per hour speed limits. My truck ran 75 miles per hour. Sleep apnea is a common ailment in the trucking industry. Sleep deprivation, I believe, is what led to my sleep apnea. Proper rest, exercise and diet is the only real way to stay healthy.
5.) My salary for the last 5 years was, at most, 2/3’s of what it should have been. I talked myself into believing that this was ok, mainly because my company did not force me to go where I did not like to go. And, I liked the freight I hauled. However, I should have either demanded better pay or found a better paying job.
6.) My children and grandchildren are the most important parts of my life. However, I am exiled from most of them because of issues that failed marriages were a major cause of. Also, I did not agree with their past lifestyles. Today, I can only hope and pray that God will take good care of them.
7.) I have become accustomed to living alone. You have to learn to be alone and work alone to survive in the trucking industry. But that doesn’t mean that I like it, even though I am sometimes thankful for it. Now that I am retired from trucking I hope to have a social life.
**********
My name is Keith Birmingham. I am an Oklahoma/Nevada based photographer, writer, and webmaster with a growing catalog of industrial, lifestyle and nature photography. HKB Photo is the online portfolio he uses to attract professional photo buyers. HKB Photo Studio is my online "event photography" studio. If you use articles written by Keith Birmingham for any kind of publication you must include this resource box with the article. For details please contact Keith Birmingham. See my websites for a snail-mail address or phone number.