Bridges or Walls

•April 20, 2014 • Leave a Comment

Silence becomes darkness.
Darkness releases demons.
Demons are our fears.

Communicate to light a candle against the darkness.

Why the title of the post? Every time we communicate, our message is a brick. This brick can either build a bridge to understanding, or a wall of indifference.

Use your bricks carefully.

The April AAA & the WD08 Project

•April 18, 2014 • Leave a Comment

I’m not normally a frequent flyer.


But I take off this evening for the second trip this month. Between Friday evening and Sunday afternoon; I will have flown into Atlanta (an occasional) destination; driven to Alabama; and returned. Earlier this month, we dashed to & fro to Arizona. T’would appear that warmer climes are beckoning away from this extended winter.

The reason for this abrupt trip is to buyer acceptance inspect the 2008 Winnebago Destination Class A RV that we bought over eBay. See the previous THIS IS IT post here on the Maine Forest Cafe.

It remains a busy week of learning. Loan approval in two days implies does not include loan processed and loan paid. This inserts friction, drag and necessary delays. There will be lessons learned posting to folllow.

Affirmative communications between the buyer and seller, between the money and the asset, has been useful to offset this friction. The communications has been pleasant and useful to bridge the gap in between the process and the purchase. A dark wall of silence builds walls.

The sun is rising. Will watch it set this evening at altitude.

Stay Tuned. The journey is still beginning.

This Is IT!

•April 13, 2014 • Leave a Comment


IT is a 2008 Winnebago Destination Class A RV. After several months of talking, thinking and looking, this RV is the one for us. With just a wee bit of trepidation (okay-one large dose), we put in an eBay bid and won.

The good news about eBay is that it casts a wide net. The bad news is that sometimes that wide net that is a several days drive way. This RV is 1500 miles away. As such, the acceptance inspection and checkout will reveal the final buy or walkaway decision. Lets hope it works out well for both parties.

The seller was contacted one evening for a conversation as to the conditions of the sale. The next morning, several hours before the auction closed, the seller contacted us to ascertain our final intentions. We were going to let it ride until the final moments of the auction. This is when the any bid-up action occurs. Several moments after this conversation, the seller closed the auction and we were the declared winners.

Now the next stage is in progress. Steps in this stage include paying the deposit, financing, insurance quoting and provisional travel arrangements. Tough stuff to do on a Sunday afternoon. The loan app is in. Several provisional insurance quotes will be reviewed tomorrow.

Then there is the time away from work to go, get & return.

This journey is just beginning. This will be our fourth (and final?) RV purchase over the past dozen years. A dozen years ago, we upgraded our first popup tent trailer for one with a ‘stylin’ dining bump-out. No more going outside to change our minds. That second popup yielded to first travel trailer, complete with heavy duty load distribution & anti-sway bars. We learned that we could handle the drive down the road with longer travel units. After two years, the travel trailer was traded in and we upgraded to a 32RLT fifth wheel. That has been a sweet time. But, the limited size of the truck’s gas tank was a constraint.

The question had become, replace the truck or complete the final upgrade. So here we are now, looking at the future with a Class A RV.

Stay Tuned, we’ve only just begun again.

All glory comes from daring to begin.
Eugene F. Ware

Arizona Sunset

•April 7, 2014 • Leave a Comment



Too often, what is over the horizon and beyond our sight impacts our vision. What is over the hill or around the corner. Perhaps we can see the pending impact through a shadow or a sound. Or we may not & never sense or see it coming.

Sunset/rise photography is like that. For this picture, the setting was key. The intent was an uncluttered foreground in a near urban environment. By uncluttered, that includes the visual intrusions of power lines, street lights, dwellings, roads and vehicles. All the cluttered distractions of man’s intrusive existence. Its not always easy to find that purity in a near urban environment. The view point of this picture was a roadside compromise with man’s presence excluded through composition and lens focal length.

There was a promise of pending spectacular. A roof of clouds layover the landscape. IF the unseen horizon remained clear, the sky overhead would brighten & light up with hues of nature’s brilliance. Those hues would include the subtle pinks, oranges and reds blending together to blanket the end of day with the warming essence of last light painted onto the sky overhead.

Alas, it didn’t happen. Most lileky, there was a cloud bank either below the horizon or beyond the near distance mountain that prevented the spectacular last light f the day. It happens. Not everyday begins or ends in the style of natural and native beauty. Some days just sink with the seldom observed sun. The sun silently comes, rises, peaks, ebbs & sets until tomorrow. Usually without mindful notice.

This sunset passed to briefly from potential through transitory beauty before descending into dusk. What clouds lie on your horizon, hidden from view, that may be masking your full potential?


Seward’s Folly Reversal Resolves Crimea Crisis

•March 31, 2014 • 1 Comment


This is the $7.2M check that Russia cashed when America bought Alaska from Russia. 0bama and Putin announced today, the day after yesterday, yesterday being Seward’s Folly Day in Alaska, an agreement that resolves the CryMeA river crisis. Russia’s bargain basement diplomatic sale of Alaska to America is being reversed, albeit without the causal visitation of the Russian military mites.

The broad terms of the agreement include reverse posting the actual check with the value to be invested in BitCoins. Also, to the relief of 0bama, Sarah Paulin’s American passport was to be exchanged for a USSR passport.

At a joint news conference, 0bama stated, “this redresses a long standing folly imposed on the Russian people by a crazy czarists regime.” Putin responded by poking 0bama in the eye while gleefully proclaiming, “That’s how things work.”

In a surprise development, it was revealed the Paulin is Alaskan for Putin with Sarah actually being Putin’s sister. There are strong rumors that she would be running against her brother to compete for his fourth term in office.

When asked about PaulinNowPutin, SecState Jon Carry spasmed into a giggling fit.

In return for these concessions, Russian troops have removed their uniforms, abandoned their military gear and strolled in loose military formation out of CryMeA. Thus endeth their winter’s vacation.

Silent Rhythms

•March 30, 2014 • Leave a Comment

The earth spins, rotates in an orbit around the sun. The sun, one of countless other suns, spins & rotates around a center of a galaxy. Is there a black hole at the core of the galaxy?  The galaxy moves away from a Big Bang and towards final entropy. The knowledge of which is limited only by imagination and mathematical equations.

In silence, the sun & moon rise and set. Thus creating the tides that ebb & crest. All with and without being noticed, observed or celebrated. The equinoxes & solstices are better known, but are only astronomical events that are scarcely in tune with the seasons so represented.  The seasons lead and/or lag according to the weather, altitude and latitude. The higher, the longer the winter. The lower, the endless sameness of always summer.

Silent Rhythms, scarcely observed.

Primitive man lived an ignorant existence. In the absence of knowledge, the mind creates plausible explanations.  These plausible explanations created deities, shaman shysters preyed on the praying ignorant, temples were built, rituals practiced, and religions devolved. All in man’s quest for wisdom and authentic explanations for the working rhythms of the world.

Through man’s curiosity, science evolved.  Science was a fragile candle in the darkness that also challenged the shaman shyster’s authority that was based on keeping the masses ignorant. Scientist were scorned, humiliated & imprisoned.   Man’s curiosity persevered and won the intellectual battle without shaming, scorning or humiliating man’s spirituality. Coexistence is possible when diversity of thought is respected. Man, diety and earth are no longer at the physical center of the  known universe.

The Moon & Venus

The Moon & Venus

Today, we have near instantaneous access to time, sun, moon, weather & tide et al information. The natural silent rhythms of this world are at our finger tips while absent from our soul. Yet we struggle against the seasons, choosing shallow ignorance over celebrating the celestial with spiritual harmony.  The challenge is to regain serenity through deliberate synchronization.

Here are a few sites that you can use to align your cosmic harmony:

  1. This site provides Sun & Moon Rise/Set data, along with the current phase of the moon.  Stroll around for awhile and see all that it has to offer. Then return often. One of the first things to do is to Set Location.
  2. Maine Harbors:  This one is unique to New England. By clicking on the Maine link,  it gives the Tidal data from Kittery to Eastport.  IF you are not on the seacoast, then this site, while useful and interesting, may be less pertinent for you.  IF you are on a seacoast, there should be an equivalent service just a few keystrokes and clicks away.
  3. A gateway to the solar system.

It is to easy to get lost in these sites, at all of the interesting information provided in near real time.

From The House at the Edge of the Forest, stay tuned.

Maine Photo Cafe

•March 29, 2014 • 2 Comments

Effective this weekend, the website, hosted on is being shutdown. Why? Simply put, revenues never exceeded expenses. Truth be told, after a three year run, revenues remain nonexistent.

Truth be told, the marketing of photography is a distraction from the art of photography.

MPC will remain a presence on Facebook. MPC’s primary public presence will most likely be sustained on Flickr.

Another possible thought will be to rebrand my photography from MPC to a RMSmithJr, or some suitable named brand. Fine photography by Robert Smith.

At this juncture, the only thing that I may be sure of is that I am a Photographer.

Contact me directly if you wish to purchase from my body of work.



ALERT! will remain on line.  I downgraded the prescription level to a more affordable level for now.  Contact me directly for ordering information.


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