Costa Rican Thick Hide Caiman


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During our Panama Canal cruise, one of the ports on our itinerary was Limon, Costa Rica. We saw this caiman on our river boat excursion cruise.

Its scales make their skins stiffer and are less valuable compared to the alligators and crocodiles.  Caimans are small sized crocodilians with an average maximum weight between 13 to 88 lbs. Their average length is between 6.6 to 8.2 ft. long.

Link to Wikipedia where we found this Cayman info

Caimans are nocturnal creatures.  They typically spend their days hanging out in the sunshine, just as we encountered this one.

It is interesting the caiman’s scales and outer hide are stiffer than that of an alligator’s. There is also a distinctive pattern in the caiman’s hide.  The caiman’s outer scales have calcium rivets in the center of each scale.   Scales in general protect the creatures as they move over the ground. It also helps to the creature to retain moisture in the hot humid weather.

Caiman leather products are cheaper since the leather is stiffer than alligator or crocodile products.

The caiman needs the thicker “skin” to protect itself from the elements of its environment.

We should try to learn a lesson about developing a thicker skin to protect ourselves too. Do we get upset and angry over things to the extent it is also upsetting our ability to function?

Here’s an example where a thicker hide would have helped avoid expressing anger and disappointment by punching out a door.  See the link below for the story about SF Giants pitcher, Hunter Strickland, who was so upset he injured himself.

Can we find a way to develop a thicker skin to preserve and protect ourselves from ourselves? Can we try to be like the cool caiman basking in the sunlight in the water even with our failures, disappointments and difficulties?

Bleacher Report – Hunter Strickland’s Surgery for his Hand Injury after punching a door


Have You Seen a Sloth in the Costa Rican Jungle?


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We enjoyed viewing this Sloth in the jungle on a river boat ride near Limon, Costa Rica.  We took this excursion while on a Panama Cruise.  It was enjoyable to search for the wildlife as we sailed in the boat.

This sloth looks like it is smiling at us and was perfectly posed.

What can we learn from this sloth?

  • Sit back and relax – we don’t need to be constantly on the go
  • Smile no matter what are circumstances are. Worrying is not going to solve our problems
  • Take time to enjoy our surroundings
  • Be happy and content

Hope this will encourage you to take photographs to be reminders of valuable lessons.



Caribbean Princess going through the Panama Canal












We had a wonderful time going on the Caribbean Princess ship to the Panama Canal.  We went in the beginning of April for a 10 day vacation.  We booked in February and got a better deal booking closer to the departure date.  My wife invited a few of our friends to come.  After my mugging at Candlestick Park, she felt there is security being with our friends.

This cruise goes into the Panama Canal and turns around to go back out.  It does not go from the east to west as some other cruises do.  One of our friends opted to not go on a tour off the ship when we arrived at the canal.  Instead, she got up early at 6 am to watch as the ship entered into the canal.  She watched for a few hours as the ship moved thru the canal.

The rest of our group took a tour of the old and new Panama Canal.  Passengers can only get off the ship if a tour is purchased.  This photograph was taken at a look out point to see the workings of the canal.  It was fun to watch our ship being towed by a small tug boat.  It is a reminder how the small things in life support the big things.

Taking pictures during a tour on a vacation can be a challenge to compete for a spot with other tourists and time constraints.  Fortunately, we did not have any time constraints at this lookout point.  We could not return to the ship until it was docked as it slowly traveled thru the canal to exit.  So there was a lot of time to enjoy the ship traveling thru the canal.

It was a challenge to get a good position to take the ship and to push my way thru the other tourists.  Position is everything for getting a good photograph.  There were lots of excited visitors at this lookout point watching this cruise ship makes its way thru the canal.

How can you get a good position?  Look at the different spots and use your camera to view the prospects of the picture.  Realize there is more than one ideal spot.  Be flexible and creative.  Then move quickly or wait around for the people to move to get your spot.  Patience and fast maneuvering is the key.  Don’t get upset as I did when I lost a spot. Good photography is being flexible and shooting fast from various spots.

I’ll be sharing more tips to get good photos that you do not need to “touch up”.  Also I will be sharing lessons learned from our vacation.

It Will be Nice when the Saint Francis of Assisi Statue Sees the Light of Day Again


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Back Lit Statue of Saint Francis of Assisi was photographed in front of Candlestick Park in the late 1980’s. The steel and concrete statue by Ruth Wakefield Cravath was  moved from the ballpark when it was torn down in 2015. It was put in storage in Oakland and will be refurbished. The new location for installing the statue is to be determined. The statue was installed at Candlestick Park in 1973 after the project to add seats and enclose the stadium for the 49ers.

Mass Transit to Candlestick Park Back in the Day


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This was the Double Decker Escalator which was going up to the main concourse area at Candlestick Park. I remember going to Candlestick Park a long time ago and marveling at the escalators there. They were extremely impressive in moving large amounts of people to and from the parking lot to the stadium concourse areas. They were very reliable as I don’t remember them being broken for any SF Giants or 49’er games I went to back then. They transported us quickly to the concourse levels so we could get our food before the games started. It is too bad all six of the escalators were torn down when Candlestick Park was flattened.

The image was photographed using color film with a 35mm Canon camera mounted on a tripod utilizing a slow shutter speed to get the blurred effect of the people moving.

Candlestick Park’s Eye Catching Red Exterior


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Candlestick Park had a very distinctive exterior look because of the support beams, light standards, and the red color. The support beams and light standards were painted dark green in the 1990’s. Candlestick Park was visible from US 101 for over a mile away before it was torn down. It was torn down in 2015 but it is still strange when driving down US 101 and seeing an empty space where it used to be.

I hope they will create a Candlestick Park museum on site when they build up the area in the future. There is so much history there and a lot of stories to tell.

The Back of the Bleachers at Candlestick Park in 1993


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Welcome to the backside of the bleacher section at Candlestick Park. This was the first year that they added these metal bleachers behind the left field fence. The photograph was taken on Opening Day at Candlestick Park with the SF Giants playing the Florida Marlins in 1993. I was standing in the old General Admission area which was no longer used for seating for the SF Giants from 1993 until the Giants moved out after the 1999 season. During the 1990’s, the stadium crew made improvements to Candlestick Park such as adding seats for the 49’ers and adding a better out of town scoreboard for the Giants.

Out with the Old, In with the New at Candlestick Park in 1993


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I was walking around Candlestick Park on Opening Day for the SF Giants on April 12, 1993. I was looking at the old General Admission area in front of the scoreboard next to the new General Admission bleacher seats on the right. The new bleacher seats got you closer to the field but there were less seats and there were no seat backs compared to the old general admission area that had the standard Red Chairs. The new metal bleacher benches also got pretty hot on warm days and cold during the cool night games.

Intense SF Giants vs LA Dodgers game in 1989


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I really enjoyed sitting in the Lower Box Seats behind Home Plate at Candlestick Park. This particular game was on Thursday night, September 21, 1989, when the SF Giants played the LA Dodgers. It was a close game as the Giants beat the Dodgers 4-3.

I was only able to sit there for a handful of games, but I brought my baseball glove just in case a foul ball flew over the screen. Unfortunately, I have never caught a foul ball or a home run ball at a game. I came close a few times.

I only caught a batting practice home run ball once at AT&T Park before a National League Division Series game between the SF Giants and NY Mets in 2000. The Mets were taking batting practice, and I was standing out in the bleacher section in left field and the ball came right at me. Fortunately I caught the ball as there were many people around me ready to pounce on the ball if I dropped it.  I placed the ball in a case, and show it off in my office.  Every sports fan needs to catch a ball at a regular season baseball game!


Giants vs Dodgers game during Memorable Year


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Welcome to Candlestick Park in San Francisco on Thursday, Septemeber 21, 1989. This is a view of the lower box seats behind home plate at a SF Giants vs LA Dodgers game.  The Giants won the game 4-3 with Kelly Downs getting the win and Ramon Martinez taking the loss.

See the banner on the upper right – “Giants Vision”.  I remember there was a “Giants Vision” cable channel broadcasting SF Giants games.

This was a memorable year as the SF Giants played the Oakland A’s in the World Series and Game 3 was interrupted at 5:04pm on October 17, 1989, because of the Loma Prieta 6.9 Magnitude Earthquake. That was a very scary and tragic afternoon as 63 people died because of the earthquake.