Category Archives: Personal Training Courses

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Some recent personal training courses auctions on eBay:

1945 Red Cross Training Course Personal Memorabilia Test Receipt Key Envelope

End Date: Monday Apr-9-2018 12:37:10 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $10.00
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Kandee G Presents Personal Success - Motivational CD-ROM Training Course
End Date: Tuesday Apr-3-2018 18:12:26 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $18.71
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||Killers Lullaby||

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||Killers Lullaby||
personal training courses
Image by ðஜClix Renfew ஜð
Stylist, Graphics & Photography :::: Clix Credits

"I’m sittin’ at a coffee table, unable to see straight
Watchin’ parallel lines unwind and undulate
Behind the rain-streaked windowpane, the scene’s bleak
Another train leavin’ home,
conceding defeat with a low moan
Hangin’ in A sky, made of stone
Everybody’s leavin’ home, I called my man Jerome
To come meet me in the twilight zone
Leave your mobile phone at home and come alone
I bought him coffee and a snack,
settled back, started speakin’
He was tweakin’ with the peak of his cap
While I’m seekin’ to discover what it takes to stay sober
Not cover my mistakes,
try to maybe make sense of the evidence
It’s over, she’s gone for good
Why should I lie, singin’ a killer’s lullaby
Identified by the dying ring of her goodbye
The last thing you hear before your life disappear

Now it just gets worse, like my stomach ‘ll burst,
feel like I’ve been cursed.
With seven centuries of bitter memories
And inadequacies, previous he’s and she’s
I’m movin’ round this old house for the last time
Scene of my past crimes, been here for lifetimes
Hearin’ the chimes of the old clock that used to mock
You got eternity for takin’ stock,
this place is like a padlock
You look shocked.
Trust me, nothing ever moves but the dust,
There’s just us and I’m here to torment and tease
And that’s how it was for centuries
Me and my memories, till you brought the keys
Took the couple of Saturdays
I moved in runnin’ from tragedies and boozing
Seven hundred years since I came here
You appear, same hair, same quizzical stare
I couldn’t get near,
And the sheer frustration was more than I could bear
I was really cursed, thought I’d been through the worst part
That was just the first part, just the start
Every night I’d be sitting with dread, breaking my heart
In case the man she’d been chasin’ gets to first base
And I just can’t escape, I’m in bad shape
You making love to someone else is more than I can take
And so I make all the movement I can to no avail
Scream and yell, sinkin’ deeper into my personal hell

I’m getting heated, I’m sorry, have another coffee
I needed to release my sparrow chest from just a piece of this pressure
Unless an escape route is found,
I’m going down underground
Into lifetimes of pain, it’s absurd
The heaviest chain is contained is the sound of one word
So I’m referred back to hell, huh
Just as well, I hate needles an’ get twinges at the thought
of syringes

J (as in Jerome), I’m going insane with shame
I dream and watch her makin’ love over and over again
With what I call a farmer’s swain
Unintelligent, pea-brained retard who’s dick is always hard
Oh God, of course I’m jealous, fellows,
oversexed flexing his pec’s
Jesus, what’s he going make her do next?
I’m mad vex, the way she gently scratches his chest
You used to do that to me back in 1253
Pity me, while you lie with your lover
I stare and suffer in despair while you ruffle his hair
Unaware of who else is there
I move quick, I want to try my trick one last time
You know it’s possible to vaguely define my outline
When dust move in the sunshine
So I’m tryin’ to change, vibrate myself to near-human pitch
Which reminds me how I used to come unstitched
And switch ’round the house in a blind rage
It took years and an ocean of tears to find the key to this
And write another stage into a new age,
it’s difficult to gauge
But I know that I’ll see you again, on that you may depend
I just don’t know how or when
Sleep on, my lost love on gone

Jerome took me home under steel skies
Knowing I’m prone to dramatize but unknown for telling lies
And what I verbalize he can see behind my eyes
The why oh why’s that identify killer lullabies
And he surmised
No surprise couldn’t hear that
Closed my eyes as he steered that old black BM home again
Not knowing how and not knowing when.


||||Killers Lullaby ||

Bigger is MUCH Better

Luxury Blocks Near Campus
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Image by Wootang01
Gateway Camp Verse
(Pin1) Ging1 Mahn4
Isaiah 62:10

What Dale instructed about going out of our way to treat the Mainland Chinese well resonated within me. To be sure, just as the Koreans have gone out of their way to bless me so I must step out to bless and to love my Mainland brethren.

After the first meeting, Ed and I wandered off campus and found inside a shopping mall a cha chaan teng where we had a late-night snack. And hardly had we tucked into our meals when in walked several dozen volunteers, all locals, who were overcome, it seemed, by the same munchies that infected Ed and me. It’s surprising how such a primal urge, at such a time, drives everyone to no less than the same, impossibly far location.

I thus far have met so many people that, had I not brought along my iPod, I would have already lost track of the multitudinous names flying around like fireflies at night, sparkling luminously one moment and then disappearing the next. And this is only the beginning: more and more people will arrive both today and tomorrow so I had better stay awake, alert, and writing.

I am working with a partner who really challenges me, and indeed that is why I chose to work with him. From the first words that came streaming out of his mouth, I knew he would be a special one, and as if to conifrm my conjecture, indeed, the more he spoke, the more confused I became. The challenge, I have realized after much ruminating, isn’t so much the pace of his speech as his choice of words, which fall outside a normal lexical range; that is, at least with me, when he talks, he doesn’t use familiar collocations to communicate; besides, he has an uncanny Tin Shui Wai accent; those, along with his amazing resistance to Chinglish, which impresses me, by the way, have made our communication tedious, since I am bombarded by peculiar lexical constructions that I generally never encounter in Cantonese conversation and must therefore stop our flow to clarify his speech. It’s too bad that he doesn’t speak English as I would love to hear how he structures ideas in my native language to determine whether or not this strange lexis has spilled over into his other modes of communication.

Regardless, in being with him, I have learned to be patient, and if I am truly to walk away from resentment, I must continue rather to engage him than to keep him at arm’s length. It helps us, then, that he is a congenial fellow, prone more to expressing love, much in the same way that I do by warmly grabbing a forearm or a shoulder, than to venting his frustration, which with me could certainly be great. He is verily a good guy, and so long as the Lord keeps him — I am sure Daddy will — Tin Shui Wai, that small patch of concrete moon colony, is in capable, faithful human hands.

Sau2 muhn6 je2
Mihng6 dihng6
Kyuhn4 lihk6
Lihk6 leuhng6
Chong3 yi3 adjective
Chong3 jouh6 verb

Romans 5:3-5

Not only so, but we rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom He has given us.

I cried this morning when I read these words, because they are true, and comfort my soul as water to a dry, parched land. However many times I’ve lamented this place and its people, I am still inextricably tied to this rock, per God’s will for my life; and God really is faithful in providing a way out not from this place but from these spiritual hindrances. These past few days, what with communication failures and fatigue setting in, I could have more easily give into my rationality, in defense of my weaknesses, than resisted this bait of satan. Thank God, hence, for the words which are like fuel for the refiner’s fire that burns up all my expectations, my pride and my flesh. I can survive, nay, rejoice, indeed, because of God, who, in me, day by day teaches me to suffer long with a smile.

This is what the gateway is all about, I believe: jumping head-first out of my comfort zone to confront the nations, for my brothers and sisters and I must face each other if we are to raise the banners together. Battling through enemy strongholds of mistrust ad resentment, we demolish carnal thoughts and dig deep in the Spirit for the unity that shall overcome as much language as culture; God, after all, is bigger, even, than the battlefield. In these ways can my brethren and I love each other as ourselves, as we shall be one in the Father, with audacious power and boldness laying hands on His kingdom which advances, in this kairos moment, over all of China, including, no doubt, Hong Kong. No longer will there be curses thrown upon the nations; but rather the river of life will flow through the city, and the leaves of the tree on each side of the river will be for the healing of the nations.

1) Welcoming the Father
2) Unifying the body
3) Partnering with the Chinese
4) Serving the city
5) Supporting the Chinese

Isaac and I have worked quite hard this morning, putting up signs all over campus, and as if to reward me for my assiduity, he offered to buy me a drink, an offer which I took up. Indeed, this man’s care and concern for others, genuine, doubtlessly, fills me with joy, for, to be sure, the joy of the lord is his strength. My friend is indefatigable, always encouraging and never slighting, no matter the circumstances, rain (that has happened a lot today) or shine. Praise God!

Much like my relationship with Isaac, my relationships with my other team members have improved considerably since, even, this morning’s briefing during which, the code-switching, happening too fast and too furiously for my comfort, vexed me so terribly that if Isaac had not put a generous arm around my shoulder immediately afterwards, I surely would have blown my top in frustration at the perplexing language option. Thankfully, my team and I settled our language arrangements: Isaac, Dorcas and I will intractably speak Cantonese to each other whereas my other group mates and I will use English with as little code-switching as possible; and I, along with Ed, no doubt, am satisfied. It’s best to avoid misunderstandings.

Lihng4 Mahn4 (soul)
Sihng4 jeung2
Muhng6 Seung2 (dreams)

The Lord’s mercies are new everyday. Just now, during the morning rally, by His Spirit, hundreds of brothers and sisters received a new anointing, to be spiritual mothers and fathers of a new generation so as to minister to the next. This outpouring of the Spirit was sudden, and so captivated me that when the call came to reap, I rushed to the front to ask my father for this anointing, and naturally, my life was transformed. In the same way, the pastor called up a new generation of spiritual children to receive the love, care and support of these new parents; and likewise, so many young men and women heeded this call that verily, the pit in front of the stage was soon awash in hugs and tears between generations that, once lost, were now found. Indeed, no sooner did these people embrace their father than Dad immediately swept them up in his strong arms and showered them with audacious encouragement and support. Praise God!

An Outburst

I was angry this morning during our team time. I temporarily lost my ability to be merciful and to live in God’s grace. When my team leader began to address me in English, yet again, I couldn’t help but berate him for doing so when Cantonese, I argued, would be a more economical medium of delivery. And then I compounded this already incendiary situation by ranting about the hypocrisy of Hong Kong being a gateway to China but not a gateway into its own neighborhoods teeming with Chinese people, 97% of whom, according to one of the pastors at this camp, do not know the Lord Jesus. Cantonese will matter, I posit, if anyone dares to take on the onerous mission in this vexing place.

To be sure, even my brother announced that language was a prohibitive barrier to closer relationships with these local people, and therefore, since he neither speaks Cantonese nor is going to give learning the language a go, he is relegated to the outer walls of the gates into Hong Kong.

In hindsight, I thought I cared enough about God’s purposes for me in Hong Kong, but I realize now that I still care a lot about myself, and resentment. Though I have prayed and declared boldly that God is bigger than language and culture, I know I don’t believe it; and that’s upsetting. For the time being, I don’t verily believe in my heart that I can have deeper, closer relationships with Chinese people without the benefit of language and culture, patterns of action.

OK. This is actually an opportune start for my spiritual parentship, for now I have an opportunity to put aside my very compelling arguments for the necessity of language and culture in deep and close relationships, these conclusions born out of my reason, and to step out in faith, to trust in the Lord who, I pray, will show me deep and close relationships sans language and culture, and with whom my deep and close relationship shall obviously be the key to this victory.

I’m thinking about events at this camp that heretofore demonstrated loving relationships without language and culture, and I recalled two acts: the first happened yesterday when I spontaneously joined a line of ushers to high-five and to cheer the audience as they flooded out of the auditorium, the morning rally having scarcely finished; and the second, this was my meeting Yao, a man from the Ivory Coast, whom I befriended in those first, fleeting, if not frantic moments before the opening rally on Friday evening. That encounter was immediate and sudden, neither words nor habits needed; Yao and I simply high-fived, hugged and sat beside each other; and wow, that was terrific companionship — praise God!

Finally, however hard my diatribe may have struck my team members’ hearts, my merciful group mates still forgave me, not only on an personal level, but also, as I had sought forgiveness on behalf of all foreigners who have ever cursed locals or stood passively outside the gateway, on a corporate level, thereby releasing countless non-Chinese people into the freedom of these Hong Kong people’s forgiveness; just as brothers and sisters had so recently been reconciled to each other in my church, so local and non-local people have received the others’ freedom of forgiveness; more than a homecoming, that, indeed, is a breakthrough.

In listening to this morning’s sermon, I hear such verses as I know God is speaking to me through His word. 2Corinthians 4:16-18, this scripture in particular carries a buoyant, hopeful currency in my heart. My spirit soaks in this divine revelation as a sponge soaks in water and thus becomes malleable, able to be formed and shaped according to its holder’s will: Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.


I don’t know why my brother and I undermine each others’ comments; why we no more know consensus than the deaf music. Our interactions have been especially abrasive recently since we have spent so much time together without the benefit of our other brother to act as a natural, vociferous buffer; and as a result we argue like pieces of sand paper being rubbed against flesh, which inevitably leads to significant soreness. I feel sore now.

I think back to my outburst this morning and can appreciate my role in this evening’s embarrassing outcome; I am certainly not without fault, for I choose these days not only to venture my opinions but to do so passionately, if not emotionally. People consequently who otherwise are phlegmatic at best are put in a discomfiting position by my impassioned pleas. Besides, I recall Interrupting my brother prolifically, which understandably would not make him a happy camper; just as a hyperactive child doesn’t know when to stop pestering his sibling, so I don’t know nowadays when to hold my tongue. Indeed, I would rather not respond at all to my brother, even after he has fired off his rejoinder, than to strike him down in mid-speech.

In view of this latest incident, I have resolved to take the former course of action. To be sure, I simply stopped our petty dispute about a stupid basketball game by, awkward as it was, taking out my book and perusing it as fixedly as my tattered mind would allow. I will try my best to stay away from my brother for a spell, to create physical and spiritual space between us, so hopefully, in this way at least one of us will be able to come to his senses about this matter; better yet, now would be an opportune time for our father in his mercy to reveal to us the fault lines in our flesh so that we could surrender these tremulous spots in our soul, crucifying them to the father for our healing and the redemption of our relationship. I will pray about this.

…Praise God. If I had not separated myself from my brother’s presence, I wouldn’t have been sitting at that bench at the exact moment when Isaac came over to me in a plaintive mood. Obviously upset, he had been so recently wronged, he lamented on the verge of tears. And at that, mercy swept over my countenance, for my brother felt as aggrieved as I did earlier; and this appointment, per God’s unfailing, obstinate love, had at last come for me, convicting me to be very, very agreeable, sympathetic and kind to my fellow long-suffering brother. In this instance, thank God, language did not matter so much as empathy, carrying each others’ burdens and thus fulfilling the rule of Christ. We prayed and blessed each other in Jesus’ name, and then boldly went forward into the rally.

I suspect the enemy has infiltrated our team what with my outbursts and Isaac’s failing out as evidence. My group mates and I must be more vigilant in prayer and in digging deep into the Father’s word if we are to overcome the spies in our camp that have planted incendiary devices in our mouths and in our hearts. We certainly need such encouragement as the Lord provides for the edification and encouragement of each other, even more so, in fact, in the face of adversity, despite our fatigue and other physical ills that befall us like a hail of arrows. In faith, I’m sure, faith will see us through; and per what the pastors exhorted at the rally, we will become as if the smooth stone in David’s sling, ready to fly into the air to crush the Goliath in this world.

Sihng4 jauh6 achievement
Ngwuih misunderstanding
Nggaai2 to misunderstand
Yuhn4 leuhng6 forgive
Gaan2syun2 chosen

The Security Guard

At the morning rally, a security guard left an indelible impression on my heart what with her showing of unconditional support and her proffering of words of encouragement, which like a waterfall fell in force and power over my friends and me. To my amazement, I first saw her out of the corner of my eye stepping out of her role as a security guard to pray as a spiritual parent to two spiritual children during the morning rally’s prayer time; there she was, clad in her blue uniform, laying hands on those weeping kids; finally, I had witnessed someone courageous enough to step out of that rule of law, her boundary in Hong Kong, to be bound to that which is ethereal, the rule of Christ to carry each others’ burdens. Later, as the audience passed through the exit, I had time to confirm her love for the Lord and at that, we broke into a torrent of encouragement and followed this with a flurry of picture-taking. Indeed, never have I stumbled upon such good will from a dragon security guard in HK so I am hopeful, therefore, that this is but the the start of a greater movement within that particular demon-worshipping core, that at this time, God is opening up the heavenly armory and placing his prayer warriors inside that particular stronghold in Hong Kong to demolish every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God and placing in its stead a profusion of love, gentleness and kindness. I look forward to the day when wisdom, and not languid stares, shall emanate from all the people who man the facilities in these universities.


This is special. No sooner had Isaac and I stepped into the auditorium than we heard the plaintive cry of the mainland Chinese on the stage forgiving the Hong Kong people for their trespasses against their brethren from the north. A flurry of hugs, replete with a few tears, ensued. That was, as Dale announced from the stage, a delicious moment. Jesus must have been breaking out the good champagne in heaven for a rousing celebration in view of this victory.

Sex Talk – Part One

The kids finally received the sex talk this morning; a fiery pastor delivered the message which was as much shocking as informative; and gasps and wincing abounded in the audience.

While I have recently heard the sex talk at the men’s retreat, and have furthermore by God’s grace been inoculated against this particular area of struggle, it was nonetheless refreshing to hear the news, as shocking and as sensational as it was. I am willing, in addition, to believe that some of the atrocious acts that the pastor referenced, such as gruesome abortions and bizarre sexual acts, are more prevalent than my reason will believe, because my scope is limited by experience, but as the Father witnesses everything, if the Spirit has convicted this man and has told him that the world is heading closer and closer into the mouth of Jezebel in this way, I accept this. In fact, believing this is important if I am to be a good spiritual parent who will not only protect but educate the new generation from the prowling enemy that lurks these days, even, in our computers.


The Holy Spirit fell over me this morning during my group’s team time. He convicted me to pray in Cantonese for the first time, and so I did without fear, those Chinese words pouring out of me as if perfume from an alabaster jar. Praise God: he is good; and this was the moment I have been waiting for.

I think about what happened, and am amazed at the Father’s favor; despite my critiques against this culture, and in spite of my recent lamentations, the Lord, ever faithfully, provided a way out under which I could stand and by which I could be protected from the bait of Satan. Little did I know that the escape route would, in fact, ironically, direct me to the very thing that heretofore has stood as an obstruction, a spiritual roadblock, in my mind.

A missionary on the stage just spoke into my life when she said about her experience learning Putonghua in China: the difficult part was not learning the language but learning to love those people as Jesus loves them. This will always be my mission, no matter where I am.

Keuhng4 jong3
Lai1 hei2 (pull up)

In the afternoon, my team had a reconciliation meeting during which, in small groups, each team member at last was given an opportunity to share alternately their joys and struggles. At that time, though having staved off an open rebuke for several days, I could no longer hold back this challenge to my small group: to step out in faith to be a gateway to the nations; and second, per the morning’s message, to on their guard against the sexually explicit, insidious media. I laid out my argument with much cogency, and such a response as I saw fit knocked my group mates into a stupor, because they certainly didn’t have much to say afterwards.

Oscillate between…and…

Sex Talk – Part Two

1) Jesus came to show us the Father; John1:18
2) Grace First, Truth Second; John 1:24:25; 16-18

Pahn4 mohng6 (hope)

Do you believe that Jesus can heal you? Then lay hands.

Dale and I are men who have shared similar struggles. His testimony is riveting.

Suddenly, I realized that this rally is, in fact, a continuation of yesterday morning’s sex talk, because we ended the previous rally praying more against the shame of abortion than against personal sexual immorality. Notionally, what is being discussed will enable people to really experience the love of the Father such that to change permanently our behavior. So when we are tempted:

1) Call for help; Romans 10:13
2) Escape Plan; 1Corinthians 10:13

Remember not to stand and rebuke the enemy with your own strength; move physically from the situation.

3) Run Away; 2Timothy 2:22
4) Into the Father’s Arms; Hebrews 4:14

I like this talk. This might be the first time that these young people get straight sex talk from their leaders; and there is no better time than now for these young people to break through in this particular area of struggle, just as the young men of SP broke through these obstinate barriers during our men’s retreat.

5) Confess and be Healed; James 5:16

I hope these young people find faithful accountability brothers and sisters in this service.

6) Walk in Transparent Accountable Relationships; 1John 1:7
7) Resist the Enemy; James 4:7

Cool Personal Training Courses images

Some cool personal training courses images:

What’s in my bag January 1, 2013 no Timbuk2 🙁
personal training courses
Image by Do8y
As much as it pains me, I had to replace my favourite Timbuk2 messenger bags. I have mentioned previously ( that I had an elbow injury which had me get rid of the Laptop. At this time I was using the messenger bag because none of the below had happened yet:
– I noticed that the messenger bag was hard to put on without exerting strain on the not yet completely healed elbow (taking it off was no problem at all)
– some tasks/functions I took on at work required me to use some Mac OS X grade software and as much as I like my iPad, it simply did not have those (some of them requiring advanced file management and file encryption)

So I had to switch to a backpack – I found out that putting it on and off is much less of a strain on my elbow as I previously thought. Naturally, I bought a Timbuk2 backpack – a custom Swig Backpack. I had several major issues with it. Those are things that might not affect everyone who will use this backpack, but for me, they make the Swig unusable:
– the Swig is one size and fits a 15 inch MacBook Pro such as the one above, but getting it out trough the swig side opening is almost impossible – it is a real fight to do that and this is not the aim of this bag
– this backpack has VERY FEW organisation possibilities, the result being that all the things (and I really haven’t got that much anymore) are ending in a big bulk at the bottom of the bag making weight distribution impossible and creating a bulging lump on your back.

Looking at further backpack possibilities from Timbuk2 was not an option for me (delivery time of a couple of days was too long to wait as I had to lug the laptop already), although I found later that they do have something that would be better for my needs – Showdown Laptop Backpack. By then I have already given out quite a few bucks for Timbuk2 bags and did not want to risk it.

Then I went on a hunt for a good backpack – nothing in Zurich, Switzerland could answer any of my very specific needs. There were some really good bags and some interesting backpacks, but nothing as good in matter of organisation pockets as the backpack by Thule I found in the Apple online and then retail store. The product name is Crossover 25L MacBook Backpack – Black (…) – do not trust the picture – it looks much more bloated in this picture than it is in real life as the producer was trying to show the total volume of, rather than to stress the really low profile this backpack has when on your back.

It has a vertical front pocket for my Kindle, sometimes my Moleskine is there for quick access to jot down notes while on my commute. Side pockets could hold a water bottle (half a litre bottles and even half a litre cans fit fine, although even my smallest SIGG bottle doesn’t, which is why I don’t carry any water currently), but I carry there keys, hand sanitizer and lip balm – the things I need immediate access to when out and about.

The front compartment has a mesh pocket for my wallet interdental brush and medicine tin. There is a very good plastic reinforced mesh pocket for my cables and SD cards.

The main compartment has got a good volume, but a narrow base so that it doesn’t sag when all the contents fall to the bottom. To allow you to distribute the weight vertically, without it all amassing at the bottom you have the side straps to compress the volume of the main compartment.

At the bottom of the laptop holder you have a very good padding so that you can put your backpack down without worrying what you’re doing to you laptop by doing so.

The shoulder straps are not padded and basically were the only thing that made me a bit hesitant when buying the bag, but they turned out to be very comfortable. There are a two carrying handles – one at the bottom and of course one at the top, in case you have the bag lying in some overhead compartment and you have to pull it out – you can do so no matter the position it is in.

NOW, we come to my favourite feature in this bag (after the reinforced mesh pocket and the vertical front pocket) – I call it the safe storage compartment, THULE calls it "Heat-molded, crush proof SafeZone™ compartment protects your sunglasses, iPhone, portable electronics and other fragile gear". It is really great for keeping this small piece of equipment that you do not want to be crushed or scratched by the rest of the things you cary. In my case what I put there are the Canon PowerShot SX260 HS camera and my brand new portable HDD LaCie Porsche design P9223 Slim 500GB.

So there, I hope all the above could be useful for someone who like me has a the need to transport a laptop everyday and has to ensure that putting this on and off one’s back is exerting as little strain as possible on both arms and back.

Barrie Antiques Centre, Barrie, Ontario, Canada
personal training courses
Image by antefixus21
A short excerpt from an article entitled ‘Royal Pains – What’s in a Dame?’ in the Nov. 2015 Town and Country magazine. Pages 210-211.

Britain’s honors system, founded on more rugged battlefields, has been around since the a Middle Ages. Norman Kings bestowed knighthoods, orders of chivalry, and heraldry titles as part of England’s feudal government, replacing the Anglo Saxon tradition of rewarding faithful service and gallantry in battle with grants of land, money, or weapons. Until the early 19th. century British chivalric orders were dispensed only to members of the aristocracy (heraldry dukes, earls, Marquise’s, and barons) and distinguished military figures.
These days Britain’s system consists of six main orders of chivalry, each with its own ranks (as many as seven) and two orders of merit. They all have the statutes that dictate the size and colors of the corresponding insignia (badges, stars, ribbons, and sashes) ; how, when, and where they are worn; and post-nominal abbreviations. One of the cardinal rules of the current system is that British titles cannot be bought. Titles were blatantly sold by William the Conquerer during the 11th. century, and again in 1917, when the going rate for a knighthood was 10,000 pounds and a hereditary baronetcy could be purchased for a whopping 40,000 pounds.
Today, in order of seniority and prestige, the chivalric orders are: the Most Noble Order of the Garter (relating to England and Wales); the Most Ancient and Most Noble Order of the Thistle (for Scotland); the Most Honourable Order of the Bath (for Senior Civil Servants and military officers); the Most Distinguished Order of Saint Michael and Saint George (diplomats and colonial servants); the Royal Victorian Order (for services to the crown); the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (for miscellaneous military and civil services). Foe snob value no honor outranks the Most Noble of the Garter, Britain’s oldest order of chivalry. Founder in 1344, it is awarded at the sovereign’s pleasure, as a personal gift, and is limited to the monarch, the Prince of Wales, and 24 members, known as Knights Companions or Ladies Companions.
To some ears "Garter" is a comical name for such a coveted prize. According to the legend it was begun after "a trivial mishap" at a court ball when King Edward III was dancing with his alleged mistress Joan, Countess of Salisbury. When her garter slithered to her ankle, nearby courtiers sniggered at her humiliation. The king, in an act of chivalry, stooped to pick up the garter and affix it to his own knee, declaring in French, "Honi soit qui mal y pense. Tel qui s’en rit aujourd’hui, s’honorerea de la porter," or "Shame on him who thinks evil of it. Those who laugh at it today will be proud to wear it in the future."
The Garter has for centuries been awarded to distinguished statesmen and military figures like the dashing Earl of Moubtbatten, who was appointed to the order in 1946. By the mid-1950’s, however, some knights complained that standards were slipping. "The trouble with the Order of the Garter these days," the 7th. Duke of Wellington remarked, "is that it is full of field marshals and people who do their own washing-up." To me, it was an excellent article. Unfortunately I could not locate the author’s name.

Garter Day:…

Honi Soit Qui Mal Y Pense – Empire. "Shame on him who thinks ill of it".…

A possible seal for sealing envelopes with sealing wax. I didn’t look at it closely. Who knows, it may be a broken spoon fixed to a base. I’ll have to return. I returned and it looks like a sealing stamp.

K.G. – The Most Noble Order of the Garter –

The Most Noble Order of the Garter is an English order of chivalry with a history stretching back to medieval times; today it is the world’s oldest national order of knighthood in continuous existence and the pinnacle of the British honours system. Its membership is extremely limited, consisting of the Sovereign and not more than twenty-five full members, or Companions. Male members are known as Knights Companions, whilst female members are known as Ladies Companions (not Dames, as in most other British chivalric orders). The Order can also include certain extra members (members of the British Royal Family and foreign monarchs), known as "Supernumerary" Knights and Ladies. The Sovereign alone grants membership of the Order; the Prime Minister does not tender binding advice as to appointments, as he or she does for most other orders.

As the name suggests, the Order’s primary emblem is a garter bearing the motto "Honi soit qui mal y pense" (which means "Shame on him who thinks ill of it") in gold letters. The Garter is an actual accessory worn by the members of the Order during ceremonial occasions; it is also depicted on several insignia.

Most British orders of chivalry cover the entire kingdom, but the three most exalted ones each pertain to one constituent nation only. The Order of the Garter, which pertains to England, is most senior in both age and precedence; its equivalent in Scotland is The Most Ancient and Most Noble Order of the Thistle. Whilst the Order of the Thistle was certainly in existence by the sixteenth century and possibly has medieval origins (or even, according to more fanciful legends, dates to the eighth century), the foundation of the institution in its modern form dates only to 1687. In 1783 an Irish equivalent, The Most Illustrious Order of St Patrick, was founded, but since the independence of the greater part of Ireland the Order has fallen dormant (its last surviving knight died in 1974).


The Order was founded circa 1348 by Edward III as "a society, fellowship and college of knights." Various more precise dates ranging from 1344 to 1351 have been proposed; the wardrobe account of Edward III first shows Garter habits issued in the autumn of 1348. At any rate, the Order was most probably not constituted before 1346; the original statutes required that each member admitted to the Order already be a knight (what would today be called a knight bachelor), and several initial members of the Order were first knighted in that year.

Various legends have been set forth to explain the origin of the Order. The most popular one involves the "Countess of Salisbury" (it may refer to Joan of Kent, the King’s future daughter-in-law, or to her then mother-in-law, whom Edward is known to have admired). Whilst she was dancing with the King at Eltham Palace, her garter is said to have slipped from her leg to the floor. When the surrounding courtiers sniggered, the King picked it up and tied it to his own leg, exclaiming "Honi soit qui mal y pense." (The French may be loosely translated as "Shame on him who thinks ill of it"; it has become the motto of the Order.) According to another myth, Richard I, whilst fighting in the Crusades, was inspired by St George to tie garters around the legs of his knights; Edward III supposedly recalled the event, which led to victory, when he founded the Order.


Sovereign and Knights

Since its foundation, the Order of the Garter has included the Sovereign and Knights Companions. The Sovereign of the United Kingdom serves as Sovereign of the Order.

Queen Elizabeth II in Garter Robes
The Prince of Wales is explicitly mentioned in the Order’s statutes and is by convention created a Knight Companion; aside from him, there may be up to twenty-four other Knights Companions. In the early days of the Order, women (who could not be knighted), were sometimes associated with the Order under the name "Ladies of the Garter," but they were not full companions. Henry VII, however, ended the practice, creating no more Ladies of the Garter after his mother Margaret Beaufort, Countess of Derby (appointed in 1488).

Thereafter, the Order was exclusively male (except, of course, for the occasional female Sovereign) until 1901, when Edward VII created Queen Alexandra (his wife) a Lady of the Garter. Throughout the 20th century women continued to be admitted to the Order, but, except for foreign female monarchs, they were not full members of the Order until 1987, when it became possible, under a statute of Elizabeth II, to appoint "Ladies Companions."

In addition to the regular Knights and Ladies Companions, the Sovereign can also appoint "Supernumerary Knights". This concept was introduced in 1786 by George III so that his many sons would not count towards the limit of twenty-five companions set by the statutes; in 1805, he extended the category so that any descendant of George II could be created a Supernumerary Knight. Since 1831, the exception applies to all descendents of George I. Such companions, when appointed, are sometimes known as "Royal Knights."

From time to time, foreign monarchs have also been admitted to the Order; and for two centuries they also have not counted against the limit of twenty-five companions, being (like the Royal Knights aforementioned), supernumerary. Formerly, each such extra creation required the enactment of a special statute; this was first done in 1813, when Alexander I, Emperor of Russia was admitted to the Order. Many European monarchs are in fact descended from George I and can be appointed supernumerarily as such, but a statute of 1954 authorizes the regular admission of foreign Knights and Ladies without further special statutes irrespective of descent. The appellation "Stranger Knights," which dates to the middle ages, is sometimes applied to foreign monarchs in the Order of the Garter.

Generally, only foreign monarchs are made Stranger Knights or Ladies; when The Rt Hon. Sir Ninian Stephen (an Australian citizen) and Sir Edmund Hillary (from New Zealand) joined the Order, they did so as Knights Companions in the normal fashion. The British Sovereign is the head of state of both these countries, which were formerly British colonies.

Formerly, whenever vacancies arose, the Knights would conduct an "election," wherein each Knight voted for nine candidates (of which three had to be of the rank of Earl or above, three of the rank of Baron or above, and three of the rank of Knight or above). The Sovereign would then choose as many individuals as were necessary to fill the vacancies; he or she was not bound to choose the receivers of the greatest number of votes. Victoria dispensed with the procedure in 1862; thereafter, all appointments were made solely by the Sovereign. From the eighteenth century onwards, the Sovereign made his or her choices upon the advice of the Government. George VI felt that the Orders of the Garter and the Thistle had become too linked with political patronage; in 1946, with the agreement of the Prime Minister (Clement Attlee) and the Leader of the Opposition (Winston Churchill), he returned these two orders to the personal gift of the Sovereign.

Knights of the Garter could also be degraded by the Sovereign, who normally took such an action in response to serious crimes such as treason. The last degradation was that of James Butler, 2nd Duke of Ormonde, who had participated in the Jacobite Rebellion and had been convicted upon impeachment, in 1716. During the First World War, Knights who were monarchs of enemy nations were removed by the "annulment" of their creations; Knights Companions who fought against the United Kingdom were "struck off" the Rolls. All such annulments were made in 1915.

The Knights who were removed were:
Francis Joseph, Emperor of Austria
William II, Emperor of Germany
Ernst August, 3rd Duke of Cumberland
Prince Albert William Henry of Prussia
Ernest, Grand Duke of Hesse and the Rhine
William, Crown Prince of Germany
William II, King of Württemberg
The only Knight Companion to be struck off the Rolls was Prince Charles Edward, 2nd Duke of Albany.

Poor Knights

At the original establishment of the Order, twenty-six "Poor Knights" were appointed and attached to the Order and its chapel at St. George’s Chapel, Windsor. The number was not always maintained; by the seventeenth century, there were just thirteen Poor Knights. At his restoration, Charles II increased the number to eighteen. After they objected to being termed "poor", William IV renamed them the Military Knights of Windsor.

Poor Knights were originally impoverished military veterans. They were required to pray daily for the Sovereign and Knights Companions; in return, they received a salary, and were lodged in Windsor Castle. Today the Military Knights, who are no longer necessarily poor, but are still military pensioners, participate in the Order’s processions, escorting the Knights and Ladies of the Garter, and in the daily services in St George’s Chapel. They are not actually members of the Order itself, nor are they necessarily actual knights: indeed few if any have been knights.


The Order of the Garter has six officers:
the Prelate
the Chancellor
the Registrar
the King of Arms
the Usher
the Secretary
The offices of Prelate, Registrar and Usher were created upon the Order’s foundation; the offices of King of Arms and Chancellor were created during the fifteenth century, and that of Secretary during the twentieth.

The office of Prelate is held by the Bishop of Winchester, traditionally one of the senior bishops of the Church of England. The office of Chancellor was formerly held by the Bishop of the diocese within which Windsor fell— at one point, the Bishop of Salisbury, but after boundary changes the Bishop of Oxford. Later, the field was widened so that, for example, the Stuart courtier Sir James Palmer served as Chancellor from 1645 although he was neither a prelate nor even a companion (although he was a Knight Bachelor). Today, however, one of the companions serves as Chancellor. The Dean of Windsor is, ex officio, the Registrar.

Garter King of Arms is the head of the College of Arms (England’s heraldic authority) and thus the "principal" herald for all England (along with Wales and Northern Ireland). As his title suggests, he also has specific duties as the heraldic officer of the Order of the Garter, attending to the companions’ crests and coats of arms, which are exhibited in the Order’s chapel (see below). The modern (1904) office of Secretary has also been filled by a professional herald.

The Order’s Usher is the Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod. He is also the Serjeant-at-Arms of the House of Lords (although his functions there are more often performed by his deputy, the Yeoman Usher). The title of his office comes from his staff of office, the Black Rod.

Vestments and accoutrements

Sovereign and Knights

For the Order’s great occasions, such as its annual service each June in Windsor Castle, as well for coronations, the Companions wear an elaborate costume:

Today Knights of the Garter wear their distinctive habits over ordinary suits or military uniforms. For the coronation of George IV in 1821, this version of Jacobean dress was devised.
Most importantly (although hardly visible), the Garter is a buckled velvet strap worn around the left calf by men and on the left arm by women. Originally light blue, today the Garter is dark blue. Those presented to Stranger Knights were once set with several jewels. The Garter bears the Order’s motto in gold majuscules.
The mantle is a blue velvet robe. Knights and Ladies Companions have worn mantles, or coats, since the reign of Henry VII. Once made of wool, they had come to be made of velvet by the sixteenth century. The mantle was originally purple, but varied during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries between celestial blue, pale blue, royal blue, dark blue, violet and ultramarine. Today, mantles are dark blue in colour, and are lined with white taffeta. The mantles of the Sovereign and members of the Royal Family end in trains. Sewn onto the left shoulder of the mantle is a shield bearing St George’s cross, encircled by a Garter; the Sovereign’s mantle is slightly different, showing instead a representation of the star of the Order (see below). Attached to the mantle over the right shoulder are a crimson velvet
hood and surcoat, which have lost all function over time and appear to the modern observer simply as a splash of colour. Today the mantle, which includes two large gold tassels, is worn over a regular suit or military uniform.
The hat is of black velvet, and bears a plume of white ostrich and black heron feathers.
Like the mantle, the collar was introduced during Henry VII’s reign. Made of pure gold, it weighs 30 troy ounces (0.93 kilogram). The collar is composed of gold knots alternating with enamelled medallions showing a rose encircled by the blue garter. During Henry VII’s reign, each garter surrounded two roses—one red and one white—but he later changed the design, such that each garter now encircles just one red rose. The collar is worn around the neck, over the mantle.
The George, a three-dimensional figurine of St George on horseback slaying a dragon, colourfully enamelled, is worn suspended from the collar.

Queen Victoria wearing the Garter around her arm.
Aside from these special occasions, however, much simpler insignia are used whenever a member of the Order attends an event at which decorations are worn.
The star, introduced by Charles I, is an eight-pointed silver badge; in its centre is an enamel depiction of the cross of St George, surrounded by the Garter. (Each of the eight points is depicted as a cluster of rays, with the four points of the cardinal directions longer than the intermediate ones.) It is worn pinned to the left breast. Formerly, the stars given to foreign monarchs were often inlaid with jewels. (Since the Order of the Garter is the UK’s senior order, a member will wear its star above that of other orders to which he or she belongs; up to four orders’ stars may be worn.)
The broad riband, introduced by Charles II, is a four inch wide sash, worn from the left shoulder to the right hip. (Depending on the other clothing worn, it either passes over the left shoulder, or is pinned beneath it.) The riband’s colour has varied over the years; it was originally light blue, but was a dark shade under the Hanoverian monarchs. In 1950, the colour was fixed as "kingfisher blue". (Only one riband is worn at a time, even if a Knight or Lady belongs to several orders.)
The badge (sometimes known as the Lesser George) hangs from the riband at the right hip, suspended from a small

Insignia of the Order of the Garter
gold link (formerly, before Charles II introduced the broad riband, it was around the neck). Like the George, it shows St George slaying the dragon, but it is flatter and monochromatically gold. In the fifteenth century, the Lesser George was usually worn attached to a ribbon around the neck. As this was not convenient when riding a horse, the custom of wearing it under the right arm developed.
However, on certain "collar days" designated by the Sovereign, members attending formal events may wear the Order’s collar over their military uniform or eveningwear. The collar is fastened to the shoulders with silk ribbons. They will then substitute the broad riband of another order to which they belong (if any), since the Order of the Garter is represented by the collar.

Upon the death of a Knight or Lady, the insignia must be returned to the Central Chancery of the Orders of Knighthood. The badge and star are returned personally to the Sovereign by the nearest male relative of the deceased.

Poor Knights

Poor Knights originally wore red mantles, each of which bore the cross of St George, but did not depict the Garter. Elizabeth I replaced the mantles with blue and purple gowns, but Charles I returned to the old red mantles. When the Poor Knights were renamed Military Knights, the mantles were abandoned. Instead, the Military Knights of Windsor now wear the old military uniform of an "army officer on the unattached list": black trousers, a scarlet coat, a cocked hat with a plume, and a sword on a white sash.


The officers of the Order also have ceremonial vestments and other accoutrements that they wear and carry for the Order’s annual service. The Prelate’s and Chancellor’s mantles are blue, like that of the knights (but since the Chancellor is now a member of the Order, he simply wears a knight’s mantle), those of other officers crimson; all are embroidered with a shield bearing the Cross of St George. Garter King of Arms wears his tabard.

Assigned to each officer of the Order is a distinctive badge that he wears on a chain around his neck; each is surrounded by a representation of the garter. The Prelate’s badge depicts St George slaying a dragon; the Garter within which it is depicted is surmounted by a bishop’s mitre. The Chancellor’s badge is a rose encircled by the Garter. The badge of Garter Principal King of Arms depicts the royal arms impaled (side-by-side) with the cross of St George. The Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod’s badge depicts a knot within the Garter. The Registrar has a badge of a crown above two crossed quills, the Secretary two crossed quills in front of a rose.

The Chancellor of the Order bears a purse, embroidered with the royal arms, containing the Seal of the Order. The Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod carries his staff of office, the Black Rod. At the Order’s great occasions, Garter Principal King of Arms bears his baton of office as a king of arms; he does not usually wear his crown.


The Chapel of the Order is St. George’s Chapel, Windsor, located in the Lower Ward of Windsor Castle. It was founded for

At the order’s annual gathering and service, the sovereign and companions — such as George VI and Queen Elizabeth, shown here — process through Windsor Castle to St. George’s chapel.
the Order in 1475. The order once held frequent services at the Chapel, but they became rare in the eighteenth century. Discontinued after 1805, the ceremony was revived by George VI in 1948 and it has become an annual event. On a certain day each June, the members of the Order (wearing their ceremonial vestments and insignia) meet in the state apartments in the Upper Ward of Windsor Castle, then (preceded by the Military Knights) process on foot down through the castle to St George’s Chapel for the service. If there are any new knights, they are installed on this occasion. After the service, the members of the Order return to the Upper Ward by carriage.

Each member of the Order, including the Sovereign, is allotted a stall in the quire of the chapel, above which his or her heraldic devices are displayed. Perched on the pinnacle of a knight’s stall is his helm, decorated with a mantling and topped by his crest. Under English heraldic law, women other than monarchs do not bear helms or crests; instead, the coronet appropriate to the Lady’s rank is used (see coronet). The crests of the Sovereign and Stranger Knights who are monarchs sit atop their crowns, which are themselves perched on their helms. Below each helm, a sword is displayed.

Above the crest or coronet, the knight’s or lady’s heraldic banner is hung, emblazoned with his or her coat of arms. At a considerably smaller scale, to the back of the stall is affixed a piece of brass (a "stall plate") displaying its occupant’s name, arms and date of admission into the Order.

Upon the death of a Knight, the banner, helm, mantling, crest (or coronet or crown) and sword are taken down. No other newly admitted Knight may be assigned the stall until (after the funeral of the late Knight or Lady) a ceremony marking his or her death is observed at the chapel, during which Military Knights of Windsor carry the banner of the deceased Knight and offer it to the Dean of Windsor, who places it upon the altar. The stall plates, however, are not removed; rather, they remain permanently affixed somewhere about the stall, so the stalls of the chapel are festooned with a colourful record of the Order’s Knights (and now Ladies) throughout history.

Precedence and privileges

Knights and Ladies of the Garter are assigned positions in the order of precedence, coming before all others of knightly rank, and above baronets. (See order of precedence in England and Wales for the exact positions.) Wives, sons, daughters and

The arms of Knights and Ladies (as well as the Sovereign) may be encircled by the Garter.
daughters-in-law of Knights of the Garter also feature on the order of precedence; relatives of Ladies of the Garter, however, are not assigned any special precedence. (Generally, individuals can derive precedence from their fathers or husbands, but not from their mothers or wives.)

The Chancellor of the Order is also assigned precedence, but this is purely academic since today the Chancellor is always also a Knight Companion, with a higher position by that virtue.

(In fact, it is unclear whether the Chancellor’s tabled precedence has ever come into effect, since under the old system the office was filled by a diocesan bishop of the Church of England, who again had higher precedence by virtue of that office than any that the Chancellorship could bestow on him.)

Knights Companions prefix "Sir," and Ladies Companions prefix "Lady," to their forenames. Wives of Knights Companions may prefix "Lady" to their surnames, but no equivalent privilege exists for husbands of Ladies Companions. Such forms are not used by peers and princes, except when the names of the former are written out in their fullest forms.

Knights and Ladies use the post-nominal letters "KG" and "LG," respectively. When an individual is entitled to use multiple post-nominal letters, KG or LG appears before all others, except "Bt" (Baronet), "VC" (Victoria Cross) and "GC" (George Cross).

The Sovereign, Knights and Ladies Companions and Supernumerary Knights and Ladies may encircle their arms with a representation of the Garter; and since it is Britain’s highest order of knighthood, the Garter will tend to be displayed in preference to the insignia of any other order, unless there is special reason to highlight a junior one. (They may further encircle the Garter with a depiction of Order’s collar, but this very elaborate version is seldom seen.) Stranger Knights, of course, do not embellish the arms they use at home with foreign decorations such as the Garter; likewise, while the UK Royal Arms as used in England are encircled by the Garter, in Scotland they are surrounded by the circlet of the Order of the Thistle instead. (In Wales and Northern Ireland, the English pattern is followed.)

Knights and Ladies are also entitled to receive heraldic supporters. These are relatively rare among private individuals in the UK. While some families claim supporters by ancient use and others have been granted them as a special reward, only peers, Knights and Ladies of the Garter and Thistle, and Knights and Dames Grand Cross and Knights Grand Commanders of certain junior orders are entitled to claim an automatic grant of supporters (upon payment of the appropriate fees to the College of Arms).

Current members and officers
Sovereign: HM The Queen
Knights and Ladies Companions:
HRH The Prince of Wales KG KT GCB OM AK QSO PC ADC (1958)
His Grace The Duke of Grafton KG DL (1976)
The Rt Hon. The Lord Richardson of Duntisbourne KG MBE TD PC DL (1983)
The Rt Hon. The Lord Carrington KG GCMG CH MC PC JP DL (1985)
His Grace The Duke of Wellington KG LVO OBE MC DL (1990)
Field Marshal The Rt Hon. The Lord Bramall KG GCB OBE MC JP (1990)
The Rt Hon. The Viscount Ridley KG GCVO TD (1992)
The Rt Hon. The Lord Sainsbury of Preston Candover KG (1992)
The Rt Hon. The Lord Ashburton KG KCVO DL (1994)
The Rt Hon. The Lord Kingsdown KG PC (1994)
The Rt Hon. Sir Ninian Stephen KG AK GCMG GCVO KBE (1994)
The Rt Hon. The Baroness Thatcher LG OM PC FRS (1995)
Sir Edmund Hillary KG ONZ KBE (1995)
Sir Timothy Colman KG JP (1996)
His Grace The Duke of Abercorn Bt KG (1999)
Sir William Gladstone of Fasque and Balfour Bt KG DL (1999)
Field Marshal The Rt Hon. The Lord Inge KG GCB DL (2001)
Sir Antony Arthur Acland KG GCMG GCVO (2001)
His Grace The Duke of Westminster KG OBE TD DL (2003)
The Rt Hon. The Lord Butler of Brockwell KG GCB CVO PC (2003)
The Rt Hon. The Lord Morris of Aberavon KG PC QC (2003)
The Rt Hon. Sir John Major KG CH (2005)
The Rt Hon. The Lord Bingham of Cornhill KG PC (2005)
The Rt Hon. The Lady Soames LG DBE (2005)
(one vacancy following the death of The Rt Hon. Sir Edward Heath KG MBE)

Royal Knights and Ladies (supernumerary knights and ladies descended from George I):
HRH The Duke of Edinburgh KG KT OM GBE AC QSO PC (1947)
HRH The Duke of Kent KG GCMG GCVO (1985)
HRH The Princess Royal LG LT GCVO QSO (1994)
HRH The Duke of Gloucester KG GCVO (1997)
HRH Princess Alexandra, The Honourable Lady Ogilvy LG GCVO (2003)

Stranger Knights and Ladies:
HRH Grand Duke Jean sometime Grand Duke of Luxembourg (1972)
HM The Queen of Denmark (1979)
HM The King of Sweden (1983)
HM The King of Spain (1988)
HM The Queen of the Netherlands (1989)
HIM The Emperor of Japan (1998)
HM The King of Norway (2001)

Prelate: The Rt Revd Michael Scott-Joynt (Lord Bishop of Winchester)
Chancellor: The Rt Hon. The Lord Carrington KG GCMG CH MC PC DL
Registrar: The Rt Revd David Conner (Dean of St George’s Chapel, Windsor)
King of Arms: Peter Llewellyn Gwynn-Jones Esq. CVO (Garter Principal King of Arms)
Secretary: Patric Dickinson Esq. CVO (Richmond Herald)
Usher: Lt-Gen. Sir Michael Willcocks KCB (Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod).

Try this beam of Masonic light:

Vividly liquid and the golden Feel, Eastern Sierra Ca
personal training courses
Image by ™ Pacheco
I watched an old documentary on Ansel Adams recently…. for the first time.
I’ve never been the kind of person to get caught up in glorifying other peoples work…. or even getting obsessed with what they have accomplished, as wonderful as their work may be. I think we’re all that special. Having said that, I have great respect for art, hard work and the real people who have obviously perused that dream, in spite of all things and regardless of cost. Adams would undoubtedly fall into this category and I admire and appreciate his work with great awe. I have my heroes, some known and some unknown, some alive and some dead. Perhaps even YOU! Comparing my own work is natural I guess. We all were influenced by something or other. Our own personal course slightly steered this way or that way over time by some unseen force. "The dream is real!" Ultimately folks, we’re all headin down the same rabbit hole. I was captured by David Muench at a very young age… i came across a book of his and I drooled all over it. I still do actually. My eyes were glued to the pages…. The lines, the contrast, the colors. Page after page. Better than any photography course out there, IMO. And at a glimpse, I was hooked. That began my journey as a photographer, and it’s been quite the "twankly" journey so far…. hardly begun really…. one fraught with many twists and turns, ups and downs, highs and lows. Seems I also caught the music bug at a very young age… which ultimately sent me spinning thru the world of the music business, managers, lawyers and sharks… OH My. I took Opera lessons for years, obsessed with training my vocals cords in much the same way I’m sure Ansel trained his dodging and burning techniques. I signed a solo record deal with Virgin records in my late 20’s, a monumental feat for me, one that took the better part of a decade’s work, only to watch it vanish in the blink of an eye, I toured the world, I met my childhood hero’s, countless bands and projects came and went while crumbling music companies, the internet and "Free Music" seemed to unravel the very idea of everything i built, sleeping couch to couch and in rehearsal studios with pennies in my pocket was a way of life for me to a long time, hell, I was even a drum tech for Tommy Lee of Motley Crue for a while. I fought most of my life for a dream I was sold as a kid but somewhere along the way i think i lost the point…. or maybe I just became to bitter to remember it. Suffice it to say, somewhere in all that mess, I actually became a songwriter. Not book taught, but life taught. A task, I’m sure, anyone with the ability to reflect and learn from their own experiences is quite capable of achieving to some degree or other.

In some way shape or form, photography has always been there too. I mention this all to you today because it’s relevant to this photo and the strange coincidences i see in my life and with Ansels. From what i could gather on his thoughts regarding music and the business of music…. lets just say I can relate to the quietness and calm beauty he felt in the high country, the simple and effortless poetry of natural occurrences taking place between light and dark…. that feeling of truly living…. the magnetic lure of the Sierras….. as well as his own struggles and observations between the two mediums. Not to compare myself with him at all…. it’s just that it was nice to hear it from someone else for a change.

Lastly, I mention all this because the color performance of this image has always bothered me. It was always missing something….. it’s wasn’t until I made a black and white version that it hit me…. "the felling" so aptly put by Ansel in his documentary. I mean, I knew I liked the B&W version, but up until I watched the documentary, I didn’t really know WHY i liked it. The "FEELING" of this moment. It was late in the day and sharp angled sunlight was painting over this field… like sparkling ferry dust… so vividly liquid I swear I could drink it up at the moment. These ashy golden grasses swaying in the sierra breeze, sprawled out over acres of loose sandy earth…. twinkling. The wind was so deafeningly loud, yet I felt so small and overcome with quietness….. Just a part of it all now. What a feeling… i reached down and grabbed a handful of sand and admired it slipping thru my fingertips. I think this black and white image, void of any golden color, feels right to me. Yes, it just feels right and that’s good enough for me today.