Thursday, December 30, 2010

Wordless Wednesday a day late

Believe it or not, I took these pictures yesterday (wednesday) morning from my balcony.  I may have had a minute or two between shots.  Had I had time yesterday I would have posted them,
They were taken with my Polaroid Digital Camera., and no special affects or filters were used.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Wednesday, December 8, 2010


Not sure if I or the wife took this, it was either taken in 2008 at the Immaculate Conception church here in Denver, or 2009 at the church in Saint Louis, where my mothe in law is an ordained Catholic Priest.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010


Every year, I do something to remind others that on this day, nearly 70 years ago, this nation was taken by surprise and plunged into a war we had done everything to avoid for two years.

The music, is very upbeat and symbolic of the attitude of this nation.  Due to the time delay, four hours earlier in Hawaii, to mountain states, three on the west coast, five in central and six east coast most of the nation was unaware until late in the day.

This is my tribute this year.

Let us never forget the men who died at Pearl Harbour, and especially the valiant crew of the U.S.S. Arizona, still entombed in the ship.

Friday, December 3, 2010


Balcony photo taken with in the last two years, using either my wifes Coolpics camera, or my Kodak camera.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

The Hotel De Marceas

No one really knew how old the Hotel De Marceau was, all people knew was that here about forty miles on the outskirts of Paris, was a hotel that was not a flee bag, nor was it overly priced either.  The De Marceau was described as an affordable place to stay, with good rooms, great food and convenience to Paris.

For me, it was a chance to see France and learn about some of the places my father had told me about.  My father had been in the Army during World War Two, and had landed at Normandy in 1944.  He didn't talk much about the war, but he told me about places and the people.  He had met mom in France and if he had his way, he would have stayed.

So here I was, twenty-three years old, taking a year off from college to try and find myself, and find out about the world.  I had just started to unpack my bags, as I heard a repeated knocking on my door.  I walked over, and as I was about to open the door, it swung open.  A tall gentleman, in a gray tweed suit with neatly trimmed silver hair flung open the door.

"Pardon moi monsieur, there has been a terrible mistake, you were given the wrong room, this room is reserved for a monsieur Diamond...." 

As politely as I could be I interrupted this man, whom only moments before had given me this room.

"I am Monsieur Diamond, Michael Diamond, you personally gave me the keys to this room, only ten minutes ago."

The man stood silent, his face contorted and he slapped his forehead as if he had been hit by the local train.

"Monsieur Diamond, I am sorry.  I was under the impression... I had thought that Monsieur Antoine Diamond was coming to stay, he has visited us many times since the war."

"You mean my father Anthony Michael Diamond, who was part  of the fifth army during World War Two?"

The gentleman, looked hard at me, his face lightened and he smiled warmly.

"You, do look a great deal like Antoine.  I ... the mistake was mine, Monsieur.  I will let the staff know, so no other mistakes take place.  Welcome to the De Marceau, and may you have a present stay"

The next day I began to explore, being an American, I struggled trying to figure out how to get from where  I was staying in Rouen's, to get to Paris.  I soon discovered that any of the staff here, would provide me with tips to avoid going the wrong direction, and not getting caught up with the scoundrels of the area.

After a long day in Paris, I came back to the De Marceau, and found not just a wonderful meal, but people who were perhaps some of the greatest story tellers.  

I had finished my wine, and was about to have an evening coffee in the living room, as grandma entered.  No one knew grandma's name, she was just grandma, and she looked the part.  Silver gray hair in a bun, half moon glasses, and piercing green eyes, she had wrinkles that looked like lakes cut into a marsh land.  Her English was broken, but she could speak well enough that you could understand her.

"Your father, 'e was a brave man, very brave.  And what a lover too. "

"You knew my father?"

"Many 'ere did.  He helped liberate this city from the Bosch, the Germans."  

Grandma, spat as she had said the word Germans, her eyes filled with a hate that seemed to run deep.

"No German is allowed to stay here, why I have lived here since I was a child, this... this. this 'otel goes back to Napoleon, and my family was here then too.  The little Corporal, there was nothing little about him.  Why the stories, my mother would tell.  But, you, monsieur Michael, how are you doing? "

"So far, it has been an interesting stay.  Is it true that during the war, that the German, S.S. used this hotel as a headquarters?"

"Baaa, the Germans!  I spit on all Germans, the evil they did.  It was men like your fa-ther whom we respect."

I realized that Grandma would not be of help.  As I had toured today, I realized how history was everywhere.  I wanted to know so much about what had happened when my father had been here, yet it seemed the more that I tried to find answers, the more resistance I came across.

"Grandma, be polite, this young man simply has an interest in the history that his father faced."

A young man had entered the room, he was maybe a foot taller than I, and had soft orange hair, he was trim and athletic and seemed full of joy.

"He can learn about the Bosch at libraries.  Besides, he is young, he should be out with Rose, or Marie, or Nancy, but he is a hermit, wanting to learn about the past."

"Whom, are Rose, Marie, and Nancy?"

The young man smiled, he walked over to where I was standing, near the fire place.

"They are my sisters, grandma, is always trying to set them up with an eligible bachelor."  

"And I am also trying to find you, and your three brothers matches,so grandpa and I can finally have some time to ourselves."

"Some things are the same no matter where one goes.  My mother keeps trying to set me up.  If you will excuse me, I think I will make it an early evening.

End of Part One.

An adventure in Colorado

Earlier this year, my wife and I visited the Garden of the Gods, near Manitou Springs, Colorado.

I have posted photos before, but here are photos, put together as a movie presentation.  I hope you enjoy.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Sometimes you just feel Helpless.

There are times in our lives, when we feel completely helpless, as if we are suffocating because a huge weight has descended upon us.

As of yesterday, November 22nd 2010, my wife and I got hit by a huge weight.  My father-in-law Bob, was in the hospital, he had been having severe breathing problems and was taken to one of the better hospitals in Missouri.

I found out about this, at 2:P.M. yesterday, and was immediately overwhelmed; here I was at work and I could do nothing, where I work I have no emergency time off, and pay is bare bones.  So all I could do was try and do the best I could, until I could get home that evening.

I did the best I could, and worked hard to get through the rest of the day.  My wife, who is a student, came home early and immediately began to call her family in Missouri, to find out as much as she could.

She found out that her dad, had liver and lung cancer and possible phenomena on top of this, although he had a phenomena shot two years before.  For her, all she could do, was wait until I could call again, and eventually get home.

When I got home, at 9:15 that evening, my wife had found out that her dad had colon cancer on top of everything else.  We spent a lot of time talking, and she also talked with her daughter, who gave her the latest news.

We will be going to Missouri in December, but we can do nothing until then, neither of us have finances enough to leave early and get to Missouri, and I don't have the time off to go, if I had the funds available.  So now, it is just a process of waiting and praying, and hoping.

Any and all prayers would greatly be appreciated. 

Thursday, November 18, 2010

On getting over a cold.

Sometimes the worst part of getting over a cold, is after the fever has broken and you are starting the process of getting back to normal.

For me, I did the normal things, slept a lot, drank lots of liquids, and watched TV (Hawaii Five O ) any one?

So after a day of mainly resting and watching TV, and the movie  Christmas Vacation, , I was laying in bed relaxing and talking to our stuffed dog Perry, the Patriotic Pup.  Perry is one of those pillow pets. I was sitting here under the covers, just shooting the breeze with him.

Nothing unusual, talking about how my wife thinks I am a bit odd, because I was talking to Perry, and telling Perry that I think my wife is awesome, but silly at times.

So my wife takes Perry from me, and what does she do?  She uses him as a desk to put her computer on.  Now, I mean here he was happy and content, doing his Perry dance and what does my wife do?  Use him as a desk.  

Am I being silly, well yes, yes I am, but this is what happens when you sleep more than you are used to, watch Hawaii Five O in the middle of the week and then top off the evening with Chevy Chase in Christmas Vacation.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

What I am thankful for, Day 9

The beauty and majesty of The Cliff Dwellings in Manitou Springs, Colorado. A place once of mystery, still a place of beauty.

Friday, November 12, 2010

What I am thankful for Day 8

History and being able to recreate it.

We live in a country where we can learn history honestly, and then recreate events, by reenacting it, seeing displays, or as I do building historic models.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

What I am thanful for Day 5

Manitou Springs, Colorado

There is a small mountain community, right at the base of Pikes Peak, called Manitou Springs.

Manitou, was found to have healing waters, and many went to this small community for healing.  When-ever my wife and I get exhausted and have the funds available, we go up to Manitou for a weekend.

Here is a movie of some of the more spiritual and interesting aspects in Manitou.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Something Special

This past summer, my wife and I attended the Colorado Ren Fest, this is a yearly event.

However for me, it had almost been ten years, since I last attended, and this was my wifes first attendence here in Colorado.

Enjoy the movie.

What I am thankful for Day 4

My families.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

What I am thankful for. Day 2

It may sound trite, but I am thankful for LOVE.

Love can be one of the most rewarding and confusing of all emotions and experiences that one can ever face,  It builds us up, and it can utterly destroy us.

Yet it is an experience that forever transforms us, and gives us hope and the ability to see beyond our limitations, because we open ourselves to another and expand our view of ourselves and our world.

This goes out to my step daughter Natasha, who is another year older and back together with her boyfriend James.  Keep moving forward,

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Things I am thankful for .... Day 1

One of the things I am very thankful for, is the diverse types of music that I enjoy.  My father was an instrumental music teacher, so I would hear a variety of music from Beethoven to Swing, my mother played the piano, so I would hear her playing ballads, and show tunes, and my brother was in a Rock band.

As I got older I discovered Country and Western music, new age, and folk.

I can listen to Pink Floyd's Shine on you crazy Diamond, then listen to Seal's  Crazy, or Beethoven's Pastoral Symphony to Richard Rogers, Some enchanted evening.

I love my music diversity, here is a flavor of some of the music I love.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Day 31 What costume would I have if I could have any?

That would be hard for me, I kind of play it by ear and decide as Halloween gets closer.

Knowing me it would have to be heroic, maybe a soldier, or pilot, or maybe a warlock like Harry Potter.  

I really have no idea.  I had said to my wife that I would probably do a mix, which is still possible.

The cloak of Robin Hood, the Gold Tunic of Captain Kirk, The cowl of Batman, the wand of Merlin, the pants of a world war two pilot. 

How about you?

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Day 30 A Motto or Philosophy

I have several, all from movies.  The first is from Galaxy Quest, and is said by Tim Allen. The second is from Buzz Lightyear of Star Command.


For me, my philosophy of life has always been symbolized by media references; whether it be Galaxy Quest or Knight Rider, I have allowed others to symbolically speak for me.

Each of these video's do represent an aspect of my full philosophy of life. 

With both Galaxy Quest and Toy Story, it is about endurance, overcoming the odds or limitations, whether they be ones you had put on you by teachers, parents or employers you must always strive to overcome.  "Never give up, never surrender." and the entire Toy story sequence coming from "To infinity, and beyond" are reminders to me, not to ever allow apathy or to push beyond what has been safe for me.

"Out there. that a-way" is another variation of this, except here it is about the endless exploration of life, of seeing what is beyond the next mountain or veil. 

"One man can make a difference",each of us, whether male or female, has a purpose, a reason for being.  Each of us can change the world, if we again trust in ourselves and find the place we are meant to be.

I have said many times before, each of us has the ultimate potential to achieve remarkable things, we just need to find the door way and if one isn't there, create one.  Nothing is impossible, unless we allow it to be.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Day 29 Hopes Dreams and Plans for the next year

How appropriate.

Get a new job

Visit my aunt and uncle in Hawaii

Visit the Arizona Memorial

See the U.S.S. New Jersey

Get my drivers license

Move to Missouri

Pay off all debts

Visit my brother and sister in law, in California.

See Alcatraz

Walk the Golden Gate bridge.

Run in the Pikes Peak marathon.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Day 28 A Scar I Have....

Several years ago I was attacked while I was walking home, an individual came up to me demanding I give them any money I had.  I refused, this person hit me with brass knuckles and my chin was torn open, and I bled.

The wound healed, but there is still a scar from this. 

In all photos I have, you can not see the scar.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Day 27 A Physical Feature I Like

For me, the physical feature that I love, is the smile.  I am not just talking about the lips, but a full face smile including the eyes.  When someone is sincerely happy they show it in their smile.

Here's a collage I did at Picnik, that shows what I mean, along with two songs.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Day 26 A Childhood Memory

When I was about five years old, the original "BATMAN" TV series, with Adam West and Burt Ward, was on television during the summer; I was a huge fan.

I always thought it was so cool, how they would slide down the Bat Poles and appear magically in their costumes in Bat Cave below.

Well my father was an instrumental music teacher and he had to take some instruments back to school after a performance, I went with him, and we took this old cargo elevator to the second floor of the school.  For some reason I stayed behind and stayed with the elevator, as my father took the instruments back to his classroom.

As I said this was an old cargo elevator, so there was no back, it was wide open, you could see the cables behind the elevator; well being a curious kid, and one who thought TV at times was reality, I didn't see the cables, I saw two Bat Poles.

I jumped into thin air and suddenly found myself falling like a brick.  The next thing I remember is that I had stopped falling and was on my back.  I was crying out to my father.

I was told, that they had to remove the doors in the basement of the school and that I was rushed to Children's Hospital.  I was in the emergency room for a few days, then moved to a regular room, where I got orange sherbet and my parents visited me.  According to my mom, my face looked like the rear end of a hyena for several days.

The accident, caused me to be a little slower in learning things and may have short wired me with my temperament at times.  However it didn't stop me from moving forward.

This lead to me being in special education classes from the time I was five until I was in my last two years of Junior High School, my father and mother had home schooled me in part, and my father knew I had the smarts to be in regular classes.

He worked to have me test out of the special education classes.  I was able to graduate in the top fifteen of my class in 1980.

So these are my memories.  This goes out to you dad, and mom.  Thanks.

Post Script.

In 1966, I joined the "BATMAN" Junior Crime Fighter club, and Adam West, in full costume, came to my classroom and in front of everyone, swore me in as a junior crime fighter.  It was one of the coolest moments of my life, and to this day, I am still a huge "BATMAN" fan, I have seen every movie and collected episodes of the animated series.  So my liking of this hero did not diminish, I just learned that such things aren't real. 

Monday, October 25, 2010

Day 25 A Recipe Bobby Flay's Sweet Potato Soup.

Wish I could take credit for this recipe, but this one belongs to Bobby Flay.  I was watching his cooking show, Boy Meets Grill, and I saw him make this recipe.  I had to go to the library and buy his cookbook, so I could make this. 

Hope you enjoy this unique soup, as much as I do.


Mashed sweet potatoes:

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 cup whole milk

1/2 cup heavy cream

1 tablespoon chipotle chile puree

5 large sweet potatoes boiled until just cooked through and peeled

2 tablespoons pure maple syrup

2 tablespoons honey

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Salt and freshly ground black pepper


Combine the butter, milk, cream and chipotle puree in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer.

While the potatoes are hot, run them though a ricer into a large bowl. Add the warm milk mixture, syrup, honey, cinnamon and salt and pepper and mix until combined.

Sweet Potato Soup:

3 cups leftover mashed sweet potatoes

1 1/2 to 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon allspice

1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

1/2 cup creme fraiche

2 teaspoons chipotle in adobo puree

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Fresh cilantro leaves, for garnish

Blue Corn tortilla chips, coarsely crushed, for garnish

Whisk together the mashed potatoes, 1 1/2 cups of the broth, ginger, allspice, and nutmeg in a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer over high heat. Reduce the heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes. Whisk in the 1/4 cup creme fraiche and more broth, if needed, and cook for 5 minutes.

Whisk together the remaining 1/4 cup of creme fraiche and chipotle puree in a small bowl, and season with salt and pepper. Ladle the soup into bowls and top with a dollop of the creme fraiche, some cilantro leaves and some of the tortilla chips.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Day 24 A Movie no one would expect me to love

Stripes, Caddyshack, and Spies like Us are three, and on a serious note A Beautiful Mind.

Here are some clips.

Day 23 How Do I want to be remembered

How do I want to be remembered?

As a loving husband.

As a caring Step Father.

As someone who succeeded in creating something of value.

As someone who changed the world in a positive way.

And as a successful writer.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Day 22 A Website

For me, I have several websites that I enjoy.  The first is not a conventional website, it is Facebook.  Yes I have a facebook page, and have a ton of friends from family members, to NCIS and a page dedicated to both Manitou Springs, and the Hawker Hurricane.

What I love about Facebook, it is a chance to chat with and get to know people all around the world.

One website that I use quite a bit here, is Youtube.  Love being able to find videos, clips from movies and TV series, reminds me of how the world once was.

Hulu is another website I love.  Here I can go and watch old classic like "Barney Miller" to new shows like Hawaii Five O. 

So there you have it.  My websites.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Day 21 Somethng I do differently than other people,

I build models differently.  Or I think I do.

Instead of just painting the parts I need for an assembly, like the flight deck of an aircraft, I will research the aircraft, ship, spacecraft, whatever and first find a unique paint scheme, then I will prepaint the whole model, while all the parts are on the tree.

This is easier and you avoid getting paint on clear parts this way.  I also use acrylic paints, so I have better control and clean up.

Here are some examples of me working a few of my models, and showing the process.

P.S.  One thing I also do, is look for out of the ordinary kits, the above is an example of this, this is a model of the SM-79 bomber, used by Italy in World War 2  The plane is not one of the better known types, like the P-47 or Me-109, and the paint scheme I found at a facebook page that does profiles of WW 2 aircraft and armor, and this paint scheme was shown at the page.

Look for something out of the ordinary, it makes model building, that much more fun.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Day 20 A Hobby I have

See yesterday's bl, or go to these pages, they are dedicated to two of my hobbies

My page dedicated to photography

My page dedicated to my model building.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Day 18 A Time you Felt Passionate and Alive Day 19 A Talent of Mine

Right now, is a time when I feel passionate and alive. For right now, I am living my life fully again.  Since 2008, I have taken risks and moved forward in ways I never considered. 

I fell in love, only for the second time in my life, and I married the woman after knowing her only a few months.  That woman is Naila Moon, of the Gray Wolf.  She has helped me find the passion that I had lost, nearly 8 years before.

I am writing again, rediscovering my model building, and photography, and I am moving forward with taking risks in fining a better job, after keeping my current job for over two years, and we are looking at moving to Missouri in the next year.

I am learning to drive, and get a license and I am not allowing fear to cloud my mind.  I am alive and passionate about life again.

Grand daughter Izabella

I am an Grand Dad too, with a  Grand Daughter, and I am looking forward to spoiling her rotten.

Day 19 A Talent I have

I am talented as both a writer of fiction and poetry, as a photographer and as a scale model builder.

I discovered my ability as  poet only with-in the past 17 years, I had never written poetry until 1993, when I met a young woman, who brougt out the poet in me.  I have written romantic poetry, political poetry, and poetry that is about my life since 1993.

Sunrise In Sherwood

Silence as the cool water goes its’ way,

The first chirps of birds,

the hoof beat of deer at the break of day
The dark night makes a last attempt to remain

But the Orange, gold and yellow of the sun sings a new refrain

In the silence there is a stirring, as little john and Friar Tuck awaken

Yet they move about quietly as if not to disturb she who rests in

Such wonder and beauty.

I stand and watch you from a distance, and yet it is as if I still hold you near.

The sun begins to warm the land and a cold winter mist

Rises from the cool forest, yet it as if m’ lady is being kissed.

For the mist rises from your lips in soft cushions of air

Yet like an unskilled lad all I do is stand and stare.

Finally you rise and I see the gentle love in your eyes.

I wonder if you knew that I stood and watched you

Sleep like a child?

Touched by the air ever mild

But it is just another sunrise here in Sherwood Forest for all to see.

Yet I dream of a day when you Lady Marian and I Robin of Loxleigh

Will be free to love each other openly and honestly.

Poem from the unpublished book Legends written November 15 1993 rewritten September 19.1999.

I have been into photography since I was about eight years old, and have used everything from a 35mm camera to a 110, to my Kodak digital camera.


DS 9

M4 Sherman

SM 79 Bomber

Lunar Landing base

Lunar Lader

Me on my birthday 1973.

My dad

My father opened the door for me, as a scale mode builder.  On weekends, we would go to the local hobby shops, and get the latest MPC kit and build it.  After my dads death in 1974, I began to really expand in the area of my model building and started to do the detail work, of painting the pilots and guns and other parts.  I now take weeks, if not months in building a model, keeping this talent alive, and one I intend on sharing with my grand daughter when she is older.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Day 17 A Piece of Art

This is my take on a piece of art, it is not a painting, or a photograph, it is a movie I made, from photos taken this past year entering Manitou Springs, Colorado.  I added the music of John Denver, and used animation to convert the photos into a joyful video.


Saturday, October 16, 2010


This is my first movie, that I made, using Microsoft Movie Maker, I edited together movie segments and added  titles and credits.

Day 16, A song that makes you cry.

Lady Marion, by Clannad is a song that will bring me to tears at times.  The song was from the series, Robin of Sherwood, and Clannad did all the music for this series.

Why does this song make me cry?  When I watched this series, I was dating a young woman, whom was the first woman, I ever fell head over heals in love with.  She died several years later.  The song reminds me of her, because we had used the Robin Hood myth as a way to disguise our romance at work.

So two versions of Lady Marion, one Guitar, very haunting, and then the original.


Friday, October 15, 2010

Day 15. (A) Persons I admire

As always, I am one who can not give simply one person whom I admire.

So here are the people I admire and a little about them.  Some you already have seen, and a few may surprise you.

First up, President John F Kennedy.  I have always admired JFK, since I was a child.  I cut my teeth reading about his daring survival in the south pacific in World War Two, how he saved 11 out 13 members of his crew of the P.T. 109, and how he had back pain and an injury that would have crippled many others, but he did not allow that.

As an adult, I learned that John Kennedy, was a flawed man, he nearly flunked out of Harvard Law school, until he wrote one paper, that lead to a first book, and his life in politics eventually.  I came to know he was flawed in other areas too; however I still feel he was someone to be admired for his heroism and determination.

Next , Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.  Dr. King was right next to JFK, when I grew up.  I admired and admire Dr. King, because he was positively proactive, for no matter how hard things were, no matter how he was belittled or shunned he continued to press forward to bring civil rights to all people of this nation.

I have always admired him most, for the fact that no matter how hard things were, he remained calm and used intellect and his mind to achieve his goal.  He lived and died as a man of peace, in a world of anger, hatred and violence; which is amazing.

John Glenn is next, here was a man who defines his life by taking chances and going beyond limitations.  He was one of the first men in space, in Project Mercury back in 1962; he was the first American to orbit the earth.  His mission was one of high drama, because ice particles were coming off the back of his space craft, and the people at NASA felt that he could be losing his heat shield 

He successfully returned to earth and after his fifteen minutes of fame, left the space program and became a senator.  In 1997, Glenn returned to space, as one of the oldest Americans to do so. 

Time and again, this man has taken on challenges and has pushed past boundaries that others would have not.

Martha Stewart.  A woman who has not allowed anything, or anyone stand in her way.  She has explored areas as a stock broker, an interior designer, and of course has several cook books, home improvement books and both a magazine and tv series by the name Martha Stewart Living.

She triumphed when charged with insider trading, and came back with determination and self assurance to succeed an reinvent herself.  She has never allowed barriers to stop her from accomplishing a goal.

My wife is also here.  Naila Moon, she has two wonderful children, now young adults, a son Josh, who is a father of his own daughter.  And then there is Natasha, she is constantly moving in so many directions, you need a score card to keep up.  Naila herself, is in the process of getting a degree as a teacher.  My wife also is a fantastic cook, only slightly less perfect than I, in the kitchen.

So there you have it.  The people I admire.