Photography And Half-Thoughts By Mitchell Hegman

...because some of it is pretty and some of it is not.

Monday, September 30, 2013

On Another Level

A few cleverly placed mirrors, a camera and a bit of cleavage may not always qualify as art, but there is likely some money to be made with the end product.
--Mitchell Hegman

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Your First Answer

While visiting with a young electrician friend about taking the Montana state journeyman’s licensing exam, he mentioned that he had completed the exam in about half of the allotted time.  “I actually had enough time to read back through and double-check all of my answers,” the young man added.
“You didn’t change any answers, did you?” I asked.  I was especially curious because I know that he scored 100% on the exam.
“No,” I left them all the same.”
“See, that’s good,” I said.  “They say your first answer is usually correct…unless you are answering something for your wife, in which case there may not be a correct answer.”
--Mitchell Hegman

Saturday, September 28, 2013

My Favorite Fence

I have a favorite for just about everything.  My favorite color: blue.  My favorite cup: the green one with “Montana” stamped on it.  My favorite author: John Steinbeck.  My favorite new rock band: Silversun Pickups 
I even have a favorite fence.
That’s correct…a fence.
Weird over-thinking, I suppose.
Interestingly, my friend Chris McGowan took a photo of my fence the other day and posted it on his photography website.  His photos are much better than mine, but I still love to take photographs.   Today, I am posting a photograph that I shot of my favorite fence yesterday afternoon.
Not my favorite photograph.

--Mitchell Hegman
To See Chris McGowan’s Work:

Friday, September 27, 2013


I had intentions of posting a blog that I wrote last night, but as I wandered around my house early this morning making my coffee, feeding my cats, and preparing for the day, I realized that I needed to talk about my sweatpants.  They are, as my friend likes to say, ungood.   As I walk around my house, the ill-fitting sweatpants continually try to drop down to my knees. 
With every couple of steps that I take, I am forced reach down and pull them up before they plummet down to lower elevations.
I have other pairs of sweatpants that fit me perfectly.  Moreover, this is my second day of wearing the sweats, but I have decided to continue wearing them. 
This is about commitment.  I put them on and intend to wear them.  Dammit, I might add.
I will spare everyone and not post a photograph today.
--Mitchell Hegman

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Don’t Press the Button

The other night, Jon Stewart interviewed Richard Dawkins on the Daily Show.  Dawkins is famous for being an unapologetic evolutionist and believer in science.   Richard Dawkins often pushes back against religious dogma and teachings that clash with scientific views.  At one point the conversation turned to the possibility that, one way or another, man is capable of self-annihilation.  Jon Stewart asked Dawkins which he believed might be more likely to bring forth the end of civilization: advancements in our science or advancements in religious strife.
Dawkins suggested that the bad fruits of scientific advance are clearly a danger as are religious radicals who are willing to sacrifice all as martyrs on their way to paradise beyond.  “The answer,” he finally said, “is probably both.”  Dawkins went on to say that there is an increasing possibility that a religious radical will end up with some form of new destructive device and ultimately use it thinking that is what God desires.
This kind of thinking is pessimistic and disturbing all at once, but such discussions always trigger my own cascade of related thinking.  Sometimes I start my thinking at the events of nine-eleven and drop from that point.
What if this? 
What if that?
On the scientific side, I often think about some of the researchers working on the early atomic bomb tests during the 1940s.  A few of the scientists were concerned that the first test might set fire to the atmosphere surrounding the earth and bring an end to all life as we know it.
Funny thing…they pressed the button anyway.   
--Mitchell Hegman

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Reflections on a Bad Day

Some days—as yesterday—there is only cold, stinging afternoon rains and the certain assurance that the day will soon end.
--Mitchell Hegman

Monday, September 23, 2013

1 Woman and 100,000 Men

While reading the “weird news” on the internet, I bumped into a story about a 21-year-old-girl from Poland named Ania Lisewska.  She is interesting.
Ania is interesting mainly because she has set a goal to sleep with 100,000 men.  This really is a very ambitious goal—and I am a person who appreciates goals.  This is the sort of goal that will likely take many years to achieve.  The Huffington Post suggested this would take 3.8 solid years of time—without so much as time for stopping to sneeze—if each encounter required 20 minutes.
I am assuming Ania will want to stop for at least one dinner at some point.  She may want to comb her hair.  Some of the more persnickety men may want her to comb her hair.
I additionally ran across another bit of information about a woman named Lisa Sparks (Sparxxx).  She is an American adult film star.  In 2004 she had intercourse with 919 men in a single day.  I am unsure about the details.  I suspect we either must alter the definition of “day” or, more likely, alter the definition of “intercourse.”
As I stated earlier, I think setting goals is a pretty good thing.  My goal for the rest of the week is to avoid weird news on the internet.    
--Mitchell Hegman

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Peeling Paint above a Rusting Hinge

I photograph I captured yesterday at the door of Kevin’s garage.
--Mitchell Hegman

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Reality Check

Yesterday, after about two weeks of solid work and about six months of on and off again activity, I completed work on a Power Point presentation, and all manner of associated instructional materials for training those installing solar photovoltaic (solar PV) systems.  I don’t know how many hours I have put into what is intended as a 8-hour training course. I am going to guess I have about 250 hours invested in total.
Upon finishing the material, I saved my completed work on a remote hard drive as a precaution against a computer crash.  That took about ten seconds—including my dragging and dropping.
Ten seconds…that’s all.
I wonder how long my life would take to load onto a new computer?
I have posted a slide from the Power Point I saved.
--Mitchell Hegman

Friday, September 20, 2013


Yesterday, I went to see my fiend Dundee for a haircut.  As she snipped and buzzed some sense into my thinning mop, we talked about the various goings-on in our lives.  When she asked me what sort of projects I have been doing for my work, I explained to her that for the last few weeks I have been working pretty hard to launch some online continuing education training for electricians. I went on to explain how I would love to have a great deal of my business online.  “Everything seems headed in that direction,” I said.
Dundee stopped cutting for a moment.  “That’s a great idea,” she said.  “I should start cutting everyone’s hair online, too.”
That is a good idea!” I enthused.
I would love to be able to go online for a haircut.  I hope she can figure that one out soon.
--Mitchell Hegman

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Needle in the Hay

Though rather simplistic in composition, I like the obvious emotion in this song.

Click on the link if the song does not play here.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Uncommon Courtesy

Yesterday, we established that I am courteous to flies.  I take time to free them from my mailbox and do not squash them simply because they are flies.
I am also relatively nice to business cards.
Again, explanation is likely required.
The day before yesterday, I went to the dentist for my scheduled six-month grill cleaning.  My grill isn’t all that pretty, actually, but mechanically-speaking my teeth are healthy.  I would have forgotten about the dentist appointment had not the office manager called to remind me last Friday.
Following the cleaning I stopped by the front office to see about the next appointment in six months.  The office manager selected the 17th of March, wrote the date on a card and then handed the card over to me.  I took the card.  “You know,” I told her, “I am going just take this card home and lose it within a couple of weeks.”
“That’s why we call a few days ahead of your appointment,” she said.
“Yep.  Good thing you called me this time.”
“At least you will take the card home,” she added.  “I find lots of them out in the parking lot.”
I smiled with super-clean teeth.  “I will at least give you the courtesy of taking the card home to lose it.”
As a final note, I should mention that the card is sitting on the sofa beside me as I write.   The card has been torn into two pieces.  I have written a phone number on the back of one part.  A while ago, without really thinking about it, I picked up the other half and used the corner to clean something from between my teeth.
I think we all know where this is headed.
--Mitchell Hegman

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Flies in my Mailbox

Among all of my other weird habits is the one where I regularly release the flies from my mailbox.
Probably, I need to explain that.
As the summer draws to an end and the nights rapidly cool in these parts, all creatures seek warm places to overnight.  The hornets and box elder bugs swarm my home.  Mice start poking at corners and windows.  For some reason flies—sometimes by the dozen—find their way inside my mailbox down the road.  They never quite figure out how to escape again.  Either that or they are patiently waiting for my next Playboy magazine—not realizing that I cancelled my subscription long ago.  
Having learned that the flies overnight in my mailbox, I have developed the habit of stopping by my mailbox anytime I pass by, even when I know I do not have mail, just to open the door and release the trapped flies.
And off they go in a zizzing swirl.
Common courtesy, that.
--Mitchell Hegman

Monday, September 16, 2013

Our Church

My friend, Bill, likes to tell the story of his mother driving past a particular Lutheran Church in our little town.  If he or any of his siblings were riding in the car with her and they happened onto the church, she would point at the church and say, “There is our church.”
This activity started when Bill and his siblings were young children and went on for many years, mind you.  Not until Bill was adult and riding with his mother near the church one day (quite recently) did it occur to him that they had never actually attended a service at the church.  As before, his mother dutifully pointed to the church: “There is our church she said.”
Bill glanced at the church and then turned to at his mother, “But, Mom,” he said, “we have never even been inside that church!”
“But we are Lutherans,” she responded.
He scratched at his head.  “Driving by a Lutheran church and pointing at it does not make us Lutheran.”
“You were raised Lutheran,” she said firmly.
They drove on past their church.
--Mitchell Hegman

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Flies at the Window

Yesterday, I drove up to my cabin and constructed the last of the railing along the edge of the loft.  I cranked-up the boombox and rather danced between the air-nailer and miter-saw as I fitted together the various balusters, rails and trim boards.  After about five hours of work, I finished the last remaining section of open deck.
I said #$$@&## only once and #*#% twice.
Not bad—especially when you consider that I like to say #$$@## just for fun when I am all alone.  Sometimes, I whisper it seductively.   At other times, I make it sound like it is riding on a rollercoaster.  On those occasions when I cut the wrong end of a board or drop my pencil while atop my ladder, I sigh loudly and blurt-out the word with great earnest.
Well, I suppose #$$@&## is technically a phrase and not merely a word. 
Just as I started to clean-up my mess for the day, the CD in the player fell silent, having reached the end of the current CD.  I clomped down the stairs, thinking that I might change to a new CD, but somehow flopped into one of my willow rocking chairs instead, listening to the silence.
I should say, mostly silence—except for the flies.  A lot of flies were ticking against the uppermost windows at the end of the loft walkway in a frenzied attempt to escape.  I don’t speak fly, but I am pretty sure they were all screaming #$$@&## repeatedly.
For some reason, I have become quite averse to killing anything.  Just last Saturday I captured two black widows in my garage and trotted them outside so I could live release them on the sage and grass flat.
I decided that I would save the flies by sucking them into the shop-vacuum I was using to draw-up sawdust.  I climbed back to the loft, dragged the vacuum over to the windows, fired up the motor and began sucking the ping-ponging horde of flies down the hose.  Some of the flies resisted mightily, clinging to the glass or the wood casing—their wings drawn-away like a cape in the wind, but the suction of the machine overpowered all of them. 
As soon as I had sucked in the last fly, I shut down the machine and dragged it outside to set the insects free.  I had in my mind a picture of a happy swarm zizzzing up and away as opened the machine to dump the collection.
When I unlatched the top and dumped the contents, a waterfall of sawdust whooshed out and fell into an immobile pile in the grass and wild strawberries.  I watched the pile, waiting for legs and wings to stretch free.  I waited for whole black flies to emerge from the honey-colored sawdust, shake themselves off and launch themselves away into the forest light.
I tentatively stirred the pile with a stick I found nearby.  I waited.
Still Nothing.
Like so many other good intentions…the end result was a pile of dust.
--Mitchell Hegman

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Something New

Those still espousing that there is nothing new under the sun have apparently not noticed the zillions of new grey hairs that are corkscrewing out of my exposed body parts of late.
--Mitchell Hegman

Friday, September 13, 2013

Friday the 13th

According to, there is a name for people with a morbid fear of Friday the 13th.  The name is: paraskevidektriaphobics, a name for which I shall spend an eternity trying to locate a rhyming word so that I might write a poem.
Para-whutchacallit is also noteworthy in that the fear of Friday the 13th is thought to be the most widespread superstition in these United States.   Somewhere near eight percent of the population is believed to be gripped by this fear.  I am merely happy that the figure is not thirteen percent.  That would be far too freaky for me.  That said, there does exist a certain weird numbers thing occurring in 2013—seems that we have two Fridays that fall on the 13th this year: this one and one in December.  If you count the weeks, the two Fridays are thirteen weeks apart.
That is a lot of thirteens.
I know what you’re thinking…somewhere nearby a theatre is playing Friday the 13th.   Maybe admission for two (plus soft-drinks and popcorn) will be thirteen bucks.  Maybe the theater is on Thirteenth Street and the show will start at 7:12 because 7:13 would be far too unlucky.
Now…what if it took you thirteen seconds to read the preceding paragraph?
According to Wikipedia, the Greeks and many Spanish-speaking countries consider Tuesday the 13th unlucky.  Well, that is a little weird.  Tuesday is just another day of the week.
As a final note, I was born on Friday the 13th.
Best of luck today…
--Mitchell Hegman

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Subject X Revealed

Yesterday, I posted two photos of a very normal subject made abstract by the combination of unusual lighting and the tightness and point-of-view I chose in taking the photographs.  I am happy to note that my young friend, Randy, correctly identified the subject as droplets of dew on the cover for my hot tub.

I will give Randy a shot of The Balvenie (aged 12 years) single malt Scotch when next I see him for that!
My friend Clay agreed with Randy and Gayle was halfway there!
Posted today are two more photographs from the series.
--Mitchell Hegman

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Subject X

Yesterday morning, the quality of light and some very unusual environmental conditions allowed me to capture some very unusual photographs of a very ordinary subject.  I have not altered the images in any manner whatsoever.  Any thoughts on what this might be?
I will post an answer along with at least one more photograph tomorrow.
--Mitchell Hegman

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Well Worth Asking

If the answer is: “A Spanish-speaking, three-hundred pound, ten-year-old girl from Zimbabwe with only one eye who sells sinks and faucets,” I am of a mind that the question may be well worth asking.
--Mitchell Hegman

Monday, September 9, 2013

Sapphires, Part II

A Wikipedia search for “sapphires” will land you in my backyard: the Spokane Hills near Helena, Montana.  The Missouri River (now a chain of lakes created by hydroelectric dams) passes through the sapphire country.  The sapphires are found near the water in the diluvium that washed down from the surrounding mountains in the time of ancient floods.   Montana is one of the few places in North America where gem quality corundum crystals (sapphires) can be found.  Ruby is also a form of corundum.
Rubies have also been found in Montana.
Sapphires, depending upon the impurities within the corundum, may range in color from clear to green to blue to yellow to pink.  A handful of uncut sapphires might appear like a bouquet of mixed flowers.  While I appreciate the look of a cut sapphire, I am much more thrilled by the way the uncut sapphires play with light.
--Mitchell Hegman

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Sapphires, Part I

The hills surrounding my house are rich with gold and sapphires—especially sapphires.  During the construction of my house, while a contractor was pushing the stone-filled earth around with the blade of a crawler, I found a green sapphire about the size of a kernel of corn in the upturned earth.  In the knot of timbered gullies immediately north of my house is a place we call the Chinese Diggings.  The diggings are today rows and stacks of beautiful stone amongst the pines—painted sandstones, snow-white quartz, river-carved chunks of limestone, black stones, green stones, blue stones, and white-veined red stones.
Back in the late 1800s, the Chinese workers that toiled to construct the railroad lines through the Rocky Mountains also sought gold in these hills.  They made the lovely rows and stacks of stone while digging through the hills to find the loose gold in the mix of floodplain stone.  Rumors persist to this day that cursing Chinese miners dumped back into the stone piles whole buckets filled with the sapphires that kept clogged their sluice operation.
Not that implausible, really.  Back in the early 1990’s I worked briefly on the set-up of a gold and sapphire operation located on a grassy bench less than two miles from my house.  The operation churned through the bench (reclaiming the land as it advanced) and produced enough revenue from the sale of sapphires to pay for the fuel used by all the heavy equipment.  Several sapphire mines are still operating in the valley as I write this.
The photograph posted today is one I snapped of a few of the stones I have gathered in the hills around my home over the many years of my life.
--Mitchell Hegman  

Saturday, September 7, 2013

I am not opposed to Kicking Some Human Ass over Here

A photo of my cat Splash while I was teasing him with a length of wheatgrass.
--Mitchell Hegman

Friday, September 6, 2013

Russian Sage

Pictured today are photos of the Russian Sage growing near my hot tub.  I love the scent—like basil on triple-steroids.  Every time I pass near the plant, I pluck a tip from one of the stems and roll it in my fingers, sniffing.
Powerful medicine!
As the name implies, Russian sage is an exotic from central Asia (Afghanistan, Iran, Pakistan, and Tibet).  The plant thrives in high dry climates as well as soils that verge on alkaline.   Russian sage makes for a tall and showy late summer feature in Xeriscaping.  From a distance the flowers sometimes appear like a deep blue mist floating just above the ground.   Unlike knapweed and Dalmatian toadflax, Russian sage is not invasive.      

--Mitchell Hegman

Thursday, September 5, 2013

As a Whole

Early this morning I stepped outside and stood amid a cricket symphony looking up at the stars.  I saw the stars a whole—suspended above me and weightless as memories.  I have been under them for fifty-seven years now and for the entire time they have remained quiet as countless clouds smudged through them.
As I stood under the stars with the crickets skritching in my ears, I thought about how the night before last my friend came home only to find his wife wrong-colored and dead in their bathtub.
The end.
I have never assigned a color to hurt…but if I had, the sky would have been the color of hurt this morning.  Standing at the center of my deck, I spun around twice while gazing up at the stars.
Today, the stars are a whole because I need them to be so.
--Mitchell Hegman

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Rules and Standards

Following are a few simple rules and standards I have adopted as guidelines for living my life:
SECTION I – General Policy
A.    Abide by all laws governing physics with the exception of gravity.
B.     The gradual adoption of my father’s weird conspiracy theories is acceptable, providing I begin with the one where the government is trying to control us by inducing signals in our microwave ovens as we cook.
C.     Avoid mushrooms that do not cause me to see cartoon characters dancing in the ice cubes at the bottom of my glass.
D.    Always be honest—even when the initial result is painful.
SECTION II – Treatment of Adults
A.    Most adults shall be approached with the caution reserved for someone about to give everyone in the vicinity an enema, repeatedly.
B.     Never listen to someone if they begin an explanation or proposition with any of the following opening statements:
a.       Not that it matters, but…”
b.      I am a banker by profession…”
c.       Maybe you have heard of me…
C.     Avoid those who think that only one thing in life is important.
D.    Avoid those who think that everything in life is important.
SECTION III – Treatment of Children
A.    Children must be treated with reverence.
B.     When seeking facts, consult children.
C.     Toys first, all else second.
D.    Teach every child at least one stupid-magic trick.
SECTION IV – Pretty Stuff
A.    Pay attention to pretty stuff.
SECTION V – Stuff that is not Pretty
A.    Do not pay attention to stuff that is not pretty.
SECTION VII – Personal Finance
A.    A little Scotch and dark red wine is an investment in wellbeing.
B.     Money is generally a bad investment.
SECTION VII – The Opposite Sex
A.    Pretty is fine, genuine it better.
B.     True love is never out of fashion.
C.     Salma Hayek.
--Mitchell Hegman

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Thoughts of Mother as a Disciplinarian

My mother was made mostly of cardboard and balsa wood.   She knitted angry clouds from the shadows at night and cooked baby birds for lunch.  Perhaps you recall her beating your dog when it crossed her.
--Mitchell Hegman

Sunday, September 1, 2013

We Are Men

We are men…and because we are men we work from the bottom up.  Well, unless breasts are involved, in which case we begin right there.
--Mitchell Hegman