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!


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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

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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…




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