Whale Tale

I would have thought in a million years that I would be able to do this, but this year for my Birthday I went swimming with whales.

I had seen images from a surf photographer that I follow swimming with Humpback Whales in Tonga. I remember thinking to myself “one of these days I would like to do that”.

Well in September I had the once in a lifetime opportunity to swim with the whales. What a life changing experience it was. You have no idea the emotions that rush through you body when you are less then ten feet away from a 40 ton mama Humpback Whale, and her calf.

I was in Vava’u, Tonga for ten days and on the water for nine of those days. During those nine days I did my best to capture some images of Humpback Whales.

Veterans Day


The history and meaning of Veterans Day

By Christian P. Milord | OCRegister.com

At the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, the Armistice – truce – was signed by the Allies and Germany, thus halting the carnage of World War I. The official end of the war was declared by the Treaty of Versailles in June 1919. World War I pulverized parts of Europe and left nearly 30 million soldiers wounded or dead. Some predicted it would be the war to end all wars.

While lingering grievances from this conflict would partially trigger a more devastating Second World War, peace for a time was at hand. Participating nations began to pick up the pieces and honor those who had fought.

In November 1919, President Woodrow Wilson noted in a proclamation, “To us in America, the reflection of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nation.”

Armistice Day (Remembrance Day for some U.S. allies) became an official holiday in 1938. Following WWII and the Korean War, many veterans pushed to expand the significance of Armistice Day to include all those who served their country.

President Dwight Eisenhower and Congress authorized changing Armistice Day to Veterans Day in 1954, honoring veterans of all conflicts America has entered. Consequently, Veterans Day is more encompassing than Memorial Day, which primarily honors our fallen warriors.

During the Revolutionary War against England, principled Colonists signed on to the noble mission of independence and their God-given right to human freedom. Moreover, many soldiers fought bravely in an epic Civil War, and a Union victory ended slavery and began the restoration of a fractured nation.

Countless soldiers fought under brutal conditions in WWI and lost their lives in the trenches of Flanders Field. In WWII, millions of Allied troops engaged the enemy across North Africa, Europe and the Pacific in order to prevail against the atrocities of the Axis powers. During the “forgotten war” in Korea, Allied forces battled the communists in the bitter cold at historic landmarks such as Chosin Reservoir and Heartbreak Ridge.

Regardless of our convictions regarding the Vietnam War, our troops struggled to keep South Vietnam free from totalitarian rule. Moreover, we ought to honor the valor of Bud Day, Sen. John McCain, Admiral James Stockdale and many others who endured years of torture in the hellish Hoa Lo prison – the “Hanoi Hilton” – yet returned with their honor intact.

Today, Veterans Day is designated to commemorate all living and deceased veterans who heeded the call of duty. That would include those missing in action, our wounded warriors, former prisoners of war and millions of veterans who have served both in war and peace.

When recruits enter the Armed Forces, they are aware that they could be thrust into harm’s way. Who are these men and women? They are ordinary individuals who sometimes make great sacrifices and endure extraordinary challenges. What higher commitment is there than to place one’s life on the line for humanity?

Our veterans are stationed around the globe, providing disaster relief, defending democratic institutions, fighting ISIS and enhancing security in Afghanistan. On this day, and every day, let us be thankful for their service and pray for their safety and eventual return home.

Our veterans know that natural freedom is an ideal worth defending because there will always be terrorists and tyrants who hope to undermine liberty, progress and security. By honoring our veterans, we show gratitude for their devotion to human dignity and freedom. Through their selfless service, we might better understand responsible liberty and be inspired to lead better lives.

Christian P. Milord of Fullerton is an educator and veteran.

Big Surprise

Mostly I shoot for myself and sometimes on special occasions for friends and family. As my wife calls me “The Pixel Hoarder” hence the handle @thepixelhoarder, with the same name. I tend to hold on to every pixel I create, and never delete anything.

I usually don’t show my photography work, except some stuff on-line. I am very critical of my own work. I never think it’s good enough to show. I am getting better, but I don’t like to do post processing. Post is where I go through the good, the bad and the ugly, and that is where most of the junk images get purged.

So, with all that being said, if you would like to view a piece of my work, it can be seen @humphryssc Humphry’s Sandwich Shop in San Clemente. (as shown above) I have never been in Humphry’s until a few weeks ago, and I am glad my sister suggested Humphry’s for lunch. The food is great. I highly recommend going to Humphry’s Sandwich Shop, their sandwiches are delicious.

Needless to say, I was very surprised to see one of my images hanging on their wall. Especially since I never gave anyone permission to reproduce, copy or use my images. This is a blatant disregard of intellectual property, and copyright laws, and I don’t blame Humphry’s Sandwich Shop.

After a conversation with the owner of Humphry’s. It turns out the owners had hired an interior designer to work on the customer seating area. The sandwich shop owners told the designer they wanted local photos of San Clemente to hang on the walls. The designer then hired a photographer out of “Vegas” to take photographs of San Clemente icons, landmarks and events.

The best I can figure, is that the “Photographer” lifted (stole) my image from @flickr, because that is the only place that I have posted this image. Link: https://flic.kr/p/5Gsuxm and most likely came from the flicker group San Clemente – Around Town. Link: https://flic.kr/g/4crLT Unfortunately for Humphry’s Sandwich Shop, they paid for a lot of money for stolen images, which most likely came from other photographers that posted their images on flickr too.

Now here is the most damning evidence that whomever the photographer is lifted these images. If you look at the picture above. The small picture frame in the lower right is actually a photograph of me surfing at Linda Lane in San Clemente. The picture was taken in 2003 by my friend @apilliot75. No-one else has a copy of this image but me, and @flickr. Matter of fact, I put a digital signature on this photo, and it was cropped out by the “Las Vegas Photographer” Link: https://flic.kr/p/5JFTzU

I would like to get the name and phone number and address of the “photographer” that the designer used. I would be interested in getting paid for my work, since they got paid for my work.

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