Even a drifter like me needs a place to hang my hat, kick back and put my feet up every once in a while and in the process of looking for something else, I found paradise... or at least my version of it. It may not look like much to most people, just under nineteen acres of dusty rolling hillsides way outside of town. As a matter of fact I'm so far out of town that the road ends at the gate where my driveway begins. The house, situated at the top of the hill, is nothing to brag about and that is being polite. Formerly occupied by "crack-heads", the structure was in horrible shape and needed quite a bit of work just to make it livable. So for the last couple of years I have been working to put things in order so I can have a home and a base to operate from. I'm no where near done with this project and as usual, I have big plans... but good enough for now.
One of the things that makes this property so incredible is that its quiet, sometimes unbelievably so. My nearest neighbor is probably about three-hundred yards away and when you live at the end of the road there isn't much traffic to speak of, so for the most part it's pretty peaceful around here. There have been times when I have been outside and it is so quiet that I literally have to strain my ear to hear anything at all. But the thing that I love the most about this place is the view. I am blessed with with an amazing unobstructed southern view that is to die for, pastoral rolling hills spotted with oak trees and vineyards as far as the eye can see. The nearest structures are miles away and look tiny in the distance. This is a place where someone can truly relax, unwind and really clear ones head. It may get hot as hell in the summer and bitter cold in the winter, at least by California standards, but it's heaven to me.
Luckily, being the animal lover that I am, the house came pre-equipt with pets. The former occupants left two beautiful little kitties behind when they moved out. The cats quickly joined me and my existing little black kitty CJ and I suddenly had a family of four, me and three cats. Patience, an older little calico was in bad shape when I took her in, but after a trip or two to the vets she cleaned up quite nicely and quickly became queen of the house. She earned her name by patiently following me around everywhere I went until I finally fed her and took her in. Originally I thought she belonged to one of the neighbors, but I later found out that she didn't. Thumper got his name because one very cold winter night he somehow managed to climb about four and a half feet up the side of the house, hang on the window ledge with one front paw while banging on my bedroom window with the other until he got my attention and I let him in. This younger grey fluffy guy is an absolute character and my constant companion when I am at home. Unfortunately, kitties don't last forever and I had to put Patience down about a month ago. Old age and a host of health issues finally got her, but she had a great two years with me and finished well. And a little while back CJ, whom I had inherited from my mom when she passed away, went out one morning and never came back... one of the hazards of living in the country, there are plenty of predators around. So for now it is just Thumper and me, but I have a feeling that there may be an addition or two to the pet side of the family in the not too distant future.
Now that I have things pretty much under control up here, I can afford to turn some of my attention back to my favorite project, Girls of Pacific Coast Highway. So for those of you that enjoy my work, there is good news! The Girls of Pacific Coast Highway website will be launching soon. My expectation is that we will be up and operational in the next few weeks. I have literally spent the last several months sorting, cropping and editing images in preparation for the launch. I have seven “Girls” with thirty-five individual sets containing over thirty-two-hundred images ready to go for the launch. I also have several more sets that I still have to finish editing that I will be releasing for updates down the road. I expect that I will be ready to launch sometime mid to late January 2016.
So for me this is really “the moment of truth”... A culmination of a million and one little actions over decades of time that have lead me to this specific place at this specific time, right here, right now... Very soon I will find out if my adolescent dream of being a “Playboy photographer” is going to become a reality or is it just the crazy fantasy of a wild-eyed young man... Truth is, it's just an expensive hobby if the pictures don't sell... But to be honest, I feel pretty good about things. I have received lots of positive feedback from the Deviant Art community about the images that I have posted here and that has really meant a lot. The favorites and downloads are great compliments, but the comments that people make are most valuable to me... and I truly do appreciate each one. Also early reviews from a few close friends who have seen the entire portfolio of images are overwhelmingly positive. So I have my fingers crossed and I expect great success... Just like every other entrepreneur out there that has ever jumped off the edge of a cliff without being able to see the bottom of the ravine. Wish me luck.
That's all for now, check back for updates about the website... and of course more pet chat.
From the top of the hill at the end of the road I wish you peace and a prosperous new year.
The website has been delayed due to technical issues. I expect to have everything resolved in the next couple of weeks.