APRIL 08, 2014


The day began with a fire at an apartment construction site. A big one (both the fire and the complex). Granted, by the time I got there to cover it, the firemen were in the mop-up phase. Although fires are immensely interesting to shoot, I can’t call this my 100 Happy Days picture because there’s nothing happy about a property loss in the millions.

Just for humor sake, check out what happened to my 2002 Olympic souvenir boots after I got stuck in the mud covering the fire. Ha! The perils of the news biz: had to wear flip-flops the rest of the day.

 

Definitely one of the happiest moments of the day came after watching a story I shot last week about a guy teaching At Risk Youth how to compost. Usually, we edit our own work, but due to logistics and time, I had to ship my video in for someone else to edit–which didn’t thrill me. But I got lucky. Our chief photographer Sean Browning cut the story and did a phenomenal job. Many thanks to Sean for his editing, Tena for her writing, Keith for setting it up, and Conan for giving the story a voice.

But the 100 Happy Days picture has to be Ryan’s art.

 

A watercolor painting done by my truck loving Utah pal, Ryan Hadding. I first saw it on Instragram this morning and fell in love. Throughout the day, I kept going back to look at, and every time I did it made me smile. Now if I can convince him to paint the cover for one of my novels! I’m keeping my finger’s crossed.

Until tomorrow’s happy moment…

Later gators!



APRIL 7, 2014


Unlike other days, I didn’t have a million options for my 100 Happy Days picture. I spent the morning in a Santa Ana courtroom shooting the opening statements on a very odd case about a man who hit his wit’s end with a bank after five years of trying to get answers to what happened to the contents of his safe deposit box. In frustration, the man in his fifties walked into the bank with a sawed off shotgun and pipe bombs, took the bank manager hostage, and demanded for her to call the bank’s VP so he could at last get answers, after which, he said he would kill himself. According to his defense attorney, he had no intention of hurting anyone other than himself. He just wanted answers. Not a lot of “happy” opportunities there, and even if there were, we’re not allowed to use camera phones in court.

From there, I dashed to another courtroom, this time in Westminster for an arraignment on a guy accused of evading police, crashing into a van and killing a passenger, a twelve year old girl, then fleeing the scene. Ew. There is NOTHING happy about that.

Days like this are exactly why I decided to take on the 100 Happy Days challenge, to remind myself how even when I’m bombarded with yuck, there is still an opportunity to find happiness.

Like this afternoon when I looked in the mirror and remembered what shirt I had put on: my Bentley Rules shirt. Yes, I fell for one of those Facebook mass ads to everyone named Bentley, and actually bought one. I wore this shirt for you today, Daddy, and thoughts of you always make me happy, as does being a proud BENTLEY.

Until tomorrow’s happy moment…

Later gators!



APRIL 6, 2014


Okay. So I didn’t have a whole lot of interesting stuff happen today for my 100 Happy Days. Doing laundry is more of a necessity than something that makes me happy. Lounging in bed longer than I should have was nice, but it didn’t feel like an appropriate picture to post. The moment that really gave me the most happiness, was a pretty small one, but I’ve always been a believer in the little things.

After my shower, I sat out on the patio to let my hair dry in the sun. Yep. That’s it. Told you it was small, but dang, did it feel awesome.

So here it is. My Day Five Happy Picture.

Until tomorrow…

Later gators!



APRIL 5, 2014


I had a nice plan for my Saturday 100 Happy Days picture. I was going to see some of my oldest (and best) friends at a bat mitzvah, something that made me super happy, but no. My stinking immune system of late failed, and I got sick AGAIN. Third time this year. Instead of going to the party and having fun, I had to stay home. On top of that, since feller now had a free day, he hopped on a Harley-Davidson Slim he’s been trying out and took off for a super fun motorcycle adventure, ditching my sick ass at home. Boo!

But wait. This blog is supposed to be about happy, so let’s just ignore all of that stuff I just wrote. I did in fact, find my happy. Instead of wallowing in sadness, I took the free, uninterrupted time, made a nice pot of that home-roasted coffee I love, and set up in our breakfast nook overlooking the kitchen patio to work on the Motor Dolls sequel. I wrote nearly all day and got tons accomplished, making me feel, not only happy, but mighty productive–even if I did have way too much gunk coming out of my head.

Happy4

Writing Time: Canon 7D, 70-200 lens.

Plus, those two mugs on the table, the skull and the cow–both gifts from my pal Jenny–really make me smile.

Until tomorrow…

Later gators!



APRIL 4, 2014


I’m sure having more than one happy picture to post is bound to happen more than once during the 100 Happy Days challenge. I posted the first during my initial assignment of the day. When you work in news, you cover a whole bunch of icky stuff, but every now and again, we get to cover a feel-good story. Those are my favorites, so of course, I felt exceptionally happy to begin my Friday covering a story with a happy ending.

A couple of weeks ago, two-year-old Emma choked on a hot dog while at daycare (no, that isn’t the feel-good part). The daycare providers called 911 and immediately started CPR, but they had no luck reviving her. When the paramedics arrived, she was unresponsive and not breathing. Fortunately, they were able to dislodge the hotdog and save her before it was too late. This morning, the parents and Emma thanked the firefighters for saving her life. She gave them lots of hugs; they in turn gave her stuffed bunnies. And oh yeah… her life. Nice, right?

After finishing the story, I grabbed a quick sandwich from Haute Cakes in Newport Beach and took it to go, planning to eat it at my next stop, yet another feel-good story, this time involving a dispatcher who helped a nine-year-old girl stay calm during a fire, but as I was driving along the Newport back bay, I saw a big dirt parking lot over looking the water; the perfect place to have my lunch. I still had time before the next assignment, so pulled off and parked, and no sooner had I taken a bite from my half tuna on whole grain, than this little squirrel showed up. Knowing he would enjoy a chunk of bread, I grabbed my Canon 7D with my 70-200 lens from the back, and tossed him a piece. This was the result:

Check out his adorable pink tongue!! So not only did watching this little guy make me happy, the whole environment of where I chose to lunch made for a lovely slice of happy in the midst of my work day. That’s why, I had to make Day 3 a two-fer.

Until tomorrow…

Later gator!

 



APRIL 3, 2014


Day Two of my 100 Happy Days brings coffee, but not just any coffee, coffee made from home roasted beans. Is there a difference, you ask? Hell yes there is!! Is it hard to do? Beats the heck out of me. I haven’t tried yet. That’s the feller’s job. From watching, though, I’d say it’s pretty simple and takes only about fifteen minutes.

I bought feller the home roaster for his birthday this year because he likes to do anything and everything he can from scratch, taking it down to the basics, controlling every step. My pal Bobby (a news photographer for the competition) has been home roasting for years, so guided me to the right machine. We’ve had it for a couple of weeks now, and man! I hope we never get tired of this hobby. Talk about fresh and wonderful coffee!!! The perfect way to start the day.

Did it make me happy? Oh yeah.

It was a good work day too, shooting a story for our LIFE CONNECTED series on NBC, an inspirational segment about a man teaching kids in some of the roughest Santa Ana neighborhoods how to make compost and grow organic foods–exactly the kind of stories I like to shoot.

Until tomorrow…

Later gators



APRIL 2, 2014


Yep. I’m taking part in the 100 Happy Days Project.

Nope, this concept wasn’t my brilliant creation. It’s been floating around the web for for a bit. You can click the picture below to read about it for yourself, but essentially, you register and then post a picture every day for 100 days, tagging it #100happydays. Why? To remind ourselves that happiness is a controllable state of mind, something I strongly believe in.

Here’s how I found out about it:

In case you haven’t figured it out, I wrote a novel. I wrote a few actually, but the novel I’m referring to here is my first published novel, MOTOR DOLLS. Shortly after I started promoting it around the web, I got an email from an Australian blogger, SHERI BOMB, who wanted to review the novel, which she did. In fact, she wrote a fantastic review you can read by clicking this link. She recently wrote a post on her blog about this 100 Happy Days project, and it really intrigued me. I’ve always been a big proponent of the theory that you create your own happiness. I hadn’t planned on OFFICIALLY doing it until my pal Jenny said, “I signed up! Let’s do it!”

So here we are.

About thirteen seconds after Jenny convinced me to do this for real, I looked up and saw my happy moment.

There are so many things that make me happy in this picture, first and foremost, my feller Brian. In his hand, he holds a book. What can be better than the man you love reading a book? That makes me happy because, well, I really, really love books. And what about our Eames chair? Totally a happy sight. I love the light, and the lighting on the right side of his face. Love seeing one of my grandmother’s early paintings, done in 1954. And the Bultaco motorcycle up above. And the bongos. The sock monkey. I mean really. There’s a whole lot of happy in one shot.

No brainer, man.

Will I make it all 100 Days? I reckon that remains to be seen. 71% have failed, and I really don’t like failing.

So here we go. 100 Days of Happy Pictures coming your way, sometimes with the iPhone, sometimes with my Canon 7D. Hopefully they make you smile too.

Yee haw!

Later Gators…

Lori

 

 

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