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People and Skyscrapers

July 27th, 2021

People and Skyscrapers

- People and Skyscrapers -

This photograph - People and Skyscrapers - makes me think how in life, like skyscrapers, we are created, serve our purpose, then move out of the way for the next era.

Because we are humans, though, we have the benefit of absorbing the beauty of the buildings we create.

Some buildings last longer than we do.

Though, if we play our cards right, the impact we make while we are alive can last for generations .... longer than buildings.

Life is God's gift to us, what we do with our lives is our gift to God.




Enjoy your day, you won't get it back,

Frank


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Frank J Casella's Email address is writeme [ at ] frankjcasella.com. To find out more about Frank J Casella visit his online profile at frankjcasella.crevado.com

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Diversity of View

July 20th, 2021

Diversity of View

Diversity of View

There is much talk in our culture today about diversity. However, I would like to take a look at this word from the viewpoint called diversity of view. This in my opinion is when two or more people in a relationship consider each others viewpoints when communicating.

Understanding the viewpoints and expectations of others is the gateway to a thriving friendship, work environment, and most importantly a marriage or family life. One of the best friends I ever had often reminded me how every person has a right to their own opinion, but not their own facts.

This photograph - Magnificent Mile Chicago - made me think about this because of all the activity going on in this scene, and all the diverse subjects like the buildings and the vehicles, that banner, and look at all those people!

Come to think of it, one of the community aspects of Fine Art America is the Contests. There are not only a diverse number of subjects for the Contests, but the artwork submitted goes in very diverse directions. This is a great example of the diversity of view that I am talking about here, not to mention the diverse interpretations each viewer sees from each work of art.

Similar to the Artist Groups, there are approximately 50 active Contests on the Fine Art America website on any given day joining hundreds of thousands of artists, photographers, and graphic designers from all over the world who compete in the daily art competitions.

You can find here the contests that I am hosting or participating in (when you login), and you can find here all the contests on the website. Likewise, when you visit any Artist Group there is a Contest tab on the homepage.






Enjoy your day, you won't get it back,

Frank


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Frank J Casella's Email address is writeme@frankjcasella.com. To find out more about Frank J Casella visit his online profile at frankjcasella.crevado.com

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Why Walking Is Best For A Long Life

July 13th, 2021

Why Walking Is Best For A Long Life

Walking

Why walking is the best form of health activity for a long life.


This photograph, Autumn Trees Blue Sky, reminds me of when I was out with our late dog, Buddy, for a walk, a neighbor asked how he is doing. I said " Buddy is very old, but he is still alive because we walk him everyday '. As I left to continue the walk I occurred to me what I just said ... to be true.

Walking is good for our heath, and many of us have issues with our body because we are not as active as people were years ago. For example, after I lived through several car accidents, I eventually ended up with a spine doctor (known as a NUCCA Practitioner) who educated me that - how - we sit at our desks all day and not walk to and from work, because of modern transportation, we have back issues.

In the same way that when I read scripture from the Bible about people traveling, how much of the time they were walking, and I often wonder how much more healthy they might have been.

Which brings to mind, a good cure for this sit at the desk all day thing, how I live about two blocks from a major railroad training center, and like clock work each day people in small groups start walking up and down the sidewalk between 11am and 3pm. One day I asked one of them what this is all about, and they informed me they have what is known as 'street meetings', where they use the sidewalk instead of the conference room.

About five years ago I lost around 40 lbs. in a few short months. I did it with a program known as Light Weigh, where the emphasis is not on calories or carbs, but rather control of portions, and lots of walking. So I could eat whatever I wanted, just in the right portions, and just keep walking ... and this continues to work for me (as long as I stay on the program).

So, whenever I see people talking about doing all the other things to lose weight, I tell myself the most basic thing they can start with is a good walking habit. I also find that walking helps me to listen to my own thoughts, and to notice the world (or neighborhood) around me .. it is also the source of many of my pictures.

This is why I believe that walking is the best form of health activity for a long life.





Enjoy your day, you won't get it back,

Frank


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Frank J Casella's Email address is questions@frankjcasella.com. To find out more about Frank J Casella visit his online profile at frankjcasella.crevado.com

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Dog Walking City of Chicago

July 7th, 2021

Dog Walking City of Chicago

As I was walking to morning Mass recently thinking about how to talk about the topic for this post, I saw a dog who was being walked pee on a hydrant, and right behind it another dog came to pee on that same hydrant.


So for this post, I am going to talk about walking dogs and how that relates to E-mail.


It also made me think about the picture Dog Walking City of Chicago. The back story is my youngest son, back when he was in junior high, asked me to show him around the City of Chicago. While there, he asked to see Buckingham Fountain. I told him it is too early in the season to see the water. He said to me, " lets go anyways, there might be something else to see ". He was right!


Some of you know how serious I am about owning a dog, and that I am just as serious about e-mail. In fact, all of my dogs have been rescues, because when you lead them in love they know the difference. And, E-mail is the best communications tool, especially for busy people, when you keep it simple.


If you have been reading my articles for some time, you know I believe that training a dog is not so much about dog obedience, but more about who is leading at the end of the leash. That when you take your dog for walks everyday, and maintain eye contact with them, it establishes how the dog behaves at home without the leash ... really.


For example, when you send your dog messages that you are the first to go through the door, to walk across the street, and reward him with affirmation, he will respond positively that you have his lead, or you are his Alpha. Likewise, dogs do the same thing with each other, they send messages to each other which I have come to know as ' P-mail '.


If you do an internet search for ' dogs pmail ' you will find a number of articles. A dogs pee can tell another dog how they feel, if they are male or female, looking for love / in heat, how old they are, and if they are dominant temperament, passive, or the Alpha dog, to name a few. The thing I find interesting is that all (dogs) are welcome, they all find the trees, or other surfaces, that interests them most.


Likewise, with e-mail lists I am a firm believer in having one subscriber list, as I have shared with you before, and then you just read from what interests you the most from those mails. Also, just as dogs are open to each other, E-mail lists, unlike social media, is open to everyone and it does not matter what platform or E-mail service you use. You choose what newsletters you wish to follow and plug in your E-mail address and they all show up in your E-mail box.


There are more and more organizations who are going back to sending several subjects or topics to one list, the 'old' way, instead of having a separate list for each topic or group. What happens when I subscribe is that I treat this like a dog, when I get mails in my inbox and find in it a topic of interest I read it, and if it is of no interest I just walk on by. All that is important is that the messages get delivered to my inbox, and then I decide what to read or not. Often times I will read a topic that I normally would not have subscribed to.


By the way, there is a saying that you should treat life like a dog: eat it, hump it, or pea on it and walk away ... I digress ...


I think the reasons for pointing out the single list movement, is there is too much automation in the present email service providers, and it is getting very confusing and expensive because of it. I would prefer they concentrate more on getting the messages delivered to the subscribers inbox, instead of going to the junk folder or promotions tab - an ongoing challenge with all the constant improvements in E-mail marketing and coding. Very few I find do this right.


So the idea for this post is, the next time you take your dog for a walk to let them take their time sniffing and peeing, because now you know they are reading the buffet of messages and then messaging each other. And the next time you subscribe to a newsletter, try to subscribe to the basic list concept or don't join the list ... otherwise your inbox will clog up ... because now you know the basic usually works like a social media feed with all the segments that you click to follow - you're not missing out, really.


Not a highly important topic today in the big-picture of things, but important to know about if you are a busy person who using E-mail a lot ... or own a dog.




Enjoy your day, you won't get it back,

Frank


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Frank J Casella's Email address is questions@frankjcasella.com. To find out more about Frank J Casella visit his online profile at frankjcasella.crevado.com

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Rain

June 29th, 2021

Rain

When I meet with people, I often ask them to tell me about a person in their life who brought them the most hope. More often than not they share with me about the person in their life who suffered the most. This goes to say, the light shines brightest in the darkness of the night.

Free Bird And Sunset Clouds - That is what I thought of when I caught this bird in flight, darting through the rainy storm clouds at sunset.

Rainy days tend to be gloomy. And you can’t appreciate the beauty of a sunny day without experiencing those rainy days. Especially on those days the sun rays burst through the clouds and illuminate.

This always reminds me that when we have the rainy and gloomy days, to (try to) be intentional about making it sunny with my personality and smile with those I meet ... and to have hope.

Likewise, in life we have many struggles, shortcomings, and allow too many distractions. How we respond to each of these makes all the difference in the world. As the saying goes " when you are sick there is only one thing important."

“Small things done with great love can change the world” - Saint (Mother) Teresa



Enjoy your day, you won't get it back,

Frank


--

Frank J Casella's Email address is questions@frankjcasella.com. To find out more about Frank J Casella visit his online profile at frankjcasella.crevado.com

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For the Frank J Casella Digital Connection visit www.info.frankjcasella.com

The Spirit of Life - Art Print by Frank J Casella

June 22nd, 2021

The Spirit of Life - Art Print by Frank J Casella

Mentor

Have you found that we can't make it through life without a mentor, or several?

And, then, to be lucky enough to be given the privilege to mentor others.

Let's talk about it ...


The Spirit Of Life by Frank J Casella -

This picture is one from many mornings spent shooting Chicago sunrise with my photo mentor, John H. White, a Pulitzer Prize winning photojournalist.

His mantra is "Keep In Flight".

To spread your wings on your dreams and do it. ... to share the "Light"

Back in the day, when this picture was made, it was common for one to follow their passion. Now days, it is common to hear that skills trump passion in your quest for the work you love. To find what your true skills are, and become passionate about that.

Because that is what pays the bills, and many have found that following your passion did not pan out. That the best way to find your skills and develop them was to be mentored, otherwise you don't know if you're correctly following the right path, and then doing that path correctly.

Every time that I met with John H. White, he inspired me to write these thoughts in what he called my idea book (I still use one today). One of those thoughts was 'preparation is the key to opportunity'. This was another way to say find your skills and become passionate about that. John shared with me how many mentors he has had, and this inspired me to also find mentors in all that I do.

For example, when I became the executive director of my local Chamber of Commerce, I immediately found members to consult as mentors for my position. I learned from growing up in a family business that if you don't know how to do something, you find someone who does to mentor you, or hire them to do it.

This is the concept with the Catholic Men's Apostolate that I co-founded, and is also the direction I have taken with my art photography on Fine Art America with other photographers and artists. In both respects, I have learned much from them and, in turn, their feedback says they have learned much from me .. .

As Rabbi Daniel Lappin says: "Look for the widest impact; find how you can serve the most people in the most profound way, then learn to be passionate about that".


Enjoy your day, you won't get it back,

Frank


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Frank J Casella's Email address is questions@frankjcasella.com. To find out more about Frank J Casella visit his online profile at frankjcasella.crevado.com

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For the Frank J Casella Digital Connection visit www.info.frankjcasella.com


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The Storms of Life

June 11th, 2021

The Storms of Life

This photograph of a moment in time reminds me of how powerful a storm can be, and the weight from life on my shoulders.

But then, I remind myself that it is through the storms of life that makes me, and all of us, a stronger person.

Every successful person, whether a founder of a company, a Catholic Saint, a single parent, or the the person who's made the greatest impact on you even if you have not met them but would like to someday, have learned through their struggles.


If you learn from defeat,

you haven’t really lost.

~Zig Ziglar


When we go through storms, in life or with the weather, it's important for those of us who believe in God's love in the world to remember to not so much talk to God about our storms, but rather to talk to the storm about our God. I can tell you that, in His time, and in His will, you will see things shift before your eyes.

Just like the picture above, all the things going on at the surface will burn off and rise up into the heavens. .... God will take it from us ... and bring us through it ... but we have to give it to Him first.

Yes, easier said than done ... The good news is the more you let go, the easier it gets. ... then the more God asks of us. It's ongoing, and we get more strong through it.



Enjoy your day, you won't get it back,
Frank



Storm Cloud Beauty - Landscape Art Photograph Copyright 2020 Frank J Casella

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Frank J Casella's Email address is questions@frankjcasella.com. To find out more about Frank J Casella visit his online profile at frankjcasella.crevado.com

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What Goes Around Comes Around

June 11th, 2021

What Goes Around Comes Around

Like most others during this worldwide pandemic, I've spent much time in online video chats, especially with the Catholic Men's Apostolate that I co-founded. In fact, I'm finding with the guy's to have a more meaningful discussion with just an audio phone conference, without the added video.

Many of the men indicate - whether they are married or single - that after this pandemic is over the one thing they will keep doing is be less busy, and to make the time to reach out more and help others in need.

It's technically called "the law of the harvest," but we commonly say "what goes around comes around" to the law of reaping what we sow.


"Blessed the one concerned for the poor; on a day of misfortune, the LORD delivers him."

~ Psalm 41:2

In this verse, though, the law of the harvest takes on a different twist. When we give to someone who is poor, that person can't pay us back, but blessings seem to come our way from out of the blue. It's God. He's the One who sees what we've done and takes care of us in return. Jesus said that it's no big deal to give to those who can give back to us (see Luke 14:12-14). The really big deal is to give to those who can't repay us.

It's true, when we're angry and snap at people, they often snap back at us. But when we help someone, the one we helped sometimes comes to our rescue when we are in need.


" God's boomerang of blessing occurs when we do something for someone else who can do absolutely nothing for us in return."

~ Ike Reighard



Enjoy your day, you won't get it back,
Frank



Tenderness Black and White Art Photograph Copyright 2014 Frank J Casella

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Frank J Casella's Email address is questions@frankjcasella.com. To find out more about Frank J Casella visit his online profile at frankjcasella.crevado.com

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Tolerance

June 9th, 2021

Tolerance

(Note: This is an update of a post from September 2018)

I've been thinking about this for almost a year, when the blogging site Tumblr did a house cleaning towards the end of 2018 of all the porn on their site. This was very surprising by many, because porn was mostly what it's reputation was known for, in addition to being the place for art and photography. However, I could clearly see how this porn content was keeping the site, like many others, from being profitable and from serving a wider audience.

It surprisingly has been almost twenty years since I started to share my photographs online, and in recent years it has become more difficult to find a platform that does not want to be all things to everyone. Instead, they use the word tolerance which they really don't mean at all. Let me briefly explain.

So the way they did it I think was right, they drew the hard line with these brilliant words: "As a global platform for creativity and self-expression, Tumblr is deeply committed to supporting and protecting freedom of speech. At the same time, we draw lines around a few narrowly defined but deeply important categories of content and behavior that jeopardize our users, threaten our infrastructure, and damage our community."

That last sentence is what these sites are all about: building community and keeping in touch with like minded people from around the globe. This is easier said than done, and Tumblr had been struggling for several years and through a few owners, the latest being Verizon. They (Verizon), short of the long, fell into some legal issues with regards to the porn and children, and thus was looking to sell the site, so I sensed they realized they had to do something to find a buyer - remove the porn.

As of next week the company who owns WordPress.com will be the new owner of Tumblr, and in my opinion I don't think this would happen with all the porn on the site. In fact, they even say that it's not coming back. If a site wants to host this kind of content, it is best that it do only that. More on this in a moment.

Now the reason I saw this coming, was because back a few years ago when I was the moderator for the artist groups on the worlds larges art site, the photographers who created what is known as erotic art would always push the boundaries ... the truth is that erotic, or what is sometimes called Boudoir photography, is really just porn. Some call it soft porn, but there is no soft about it. This constant pushback is one of the reasons I left my position as the groups moderator.

So there are very few sites, like Tumblr, who say there are plenty of other sites that host this content, go there. And they are right. If you do an internet search for erotic you will find pages of sites. The definition is: "Eroticism is a quality that causes sexual feelings, as well as a philosophical contemplation concerning the aesthetics of sexual desire, sensuality and romantic love. That quality may be found in any form of artwork, including painting, sculpture, photography, drama, film, music or literature. It may also be found in advertising. The term may also refer to a state of sexual arousal or anticipation of such – an insistent sexual impulse, desire, or pattern of thoughts. As French novelist Honoré de Balzac stated, eroticism is dependent not just upon an individual's sexual morality, but also the culture and time in which an individual resides.

So let me make this more digestible. I believe there is a place here for glamour photography, with their clothes on, as God made 'man' to appreciate the beauty of the human body. But here is the thing: most of the erotic photos are of women, with their clothes off or at least see through, and the photographers I have known who make these images view her as an object of perfection, and not as a person - they can't stop getting enough of it, and often fall into health issues. Plus, this causes an illness of epidemic proportions with the viewers of this content, mostly because of the suggestive poses and the subject matter.

So, I have been told that I am not 'normal' when I share on these sites that when I see a picture of a woman with this erotic art that comes through my feed, how I see her as another man's daughter. She is a person with value who deserves more dignity than the lies she is being subjected to. In a sentence, and to be more harsh, this causes everyone else in the community eye's to sin.

So, again, when I start to speak up about this, I'm asked to be more tolerant (or this is what they think they mean without saying the word). The definition of toleration is: "Toleration is the acceptance of an action, object, or person which one dislikes or disagrees with, where one is in a position to disallow it but chooses not to."

But this is not what they mean, as there is a new meaning. The real goal here with the new meaning of tolerance is not acceptance but submission. It's not about having to "get along" or tolerate quietly. You must approve. It is known as The 'Gospel' of Tolerance.

I like how this article says it: "Well here's a radical piece of truth for you: tolerance is not a virtue. It's not a moral victory to acquiesce to evil. .....
"We need to remember that tolerance is not a Christian virtue. Charity, justice, mercy, prudence, honesty -- these are Christian virtues. And obviously, in a diverse community, tolerance is an important working principle. But it's never an end in itself. In fact, tolerating grave evil within a society is itself a form of serious evil."
- Archbishop Chaput
....It used to be that we could hate the sin and love the sinner, but the problem is now we're not allowed to hate the sin anymore! We have to love the sin, celebrate the sin, and above all, stop calling it sin!"

So now there are some photo sites who are saying "no pornography", but they are allowing nudes and erotic art, and they are filtering it away from the eyes of children. Yes, you read that right. In other words, as an adult a man should not see a woman without clothes on, unless it is his wife and in the marriage bed, and they excuse this truth by saying it is protecting children.

Likewise, the art site I worked with allows artistic nudes and works to remove the rest I just talked about, yet they still experience the load this subject puts on the entire community, as members come on the discussion forum to address it. This is why these photography sites need to follow the lead of sites like Tumblr and protect their own community.

And here is the interesting thing I have noticed, on Tumblr the blogs which had the porn either left or the women and men put their clothes back on. The site seems to be doing fine, and now is owned by the largest web tool development company that helps connect publishers to communities around the world.




Enjoy your day, you won't get it back,
Frank



Tolerance Square Color Photograph Copyright 2019 Frank J Casella

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Frank J Casella's Email address is questions@frankjcasella.com. To find out more about Frank J Casella visit his online profile at frankjcasella.crevado.com

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Smarts and Intelligence

June 2nd, 2021

Smarts and Intelligence

Some people seem to be smart, as in intelligent, bright, or knowledgeable, and others not. What makes, or causes, the difference?

Someone asked how I come up with my topic for each blog post. Well, basically, I wake up in the morning and spend much quiet time, not to allow outside influences, and discern what is the most pressing thought or issue on my mind from the past week.

Today that happened to be about smarts. That is, I have come to realize how often people tell me how smart or intelligent I am. Or I find out others have said this about me. This troubles me a great deal, because I don't believe anyone is really smart, it is just simply how we give to and treat others.

For example, in the business world I find many people make decisions based on how much providing their service or product costs them, or how much money they make from a business relationship.

The people who are smart understand by investing in these opportunities through what benefits others will always come back with more opportunity. Not always direct business, but sometimes referrals, or some other interaction.

It's the basic principles of following what the Bible says about money, and the Ten Commandments, with a sprinkling of experiences and practicing integrity. Sometimes I've had to make business decisions that looked as if it, or I, was failing. But the decision was based on what most benefits others in the matter.

Sometimes months or years later I learn how my decisions like this really benefited others, other times I have confirmed how my decisions didn't work at all, even though I had to struggle. And struggle is the key, because you don't get wisdom without struggling through learning from experience.

Same goes for the struggle to develop the habits of reading the Bible daily, or seeking from a mentor and then taking action. Jesus struggled so that we could have Salvation, being submissive to God.

Books don't make you smart, until it is how you give that knowledge to others that makes them see your wisdom. It's not smart to keep that wisdom to yourself.

There are certain areas in business that I am not very good, and I found this out by trial and mostly error. So I decided that I would only do the things that I am highly skilled at, and turn to others who are highly skilled in the things I am not. Other times this taught me how I can be very good at something I didn't think I was good at.

So when you do only the things that God has gifted you with, is the smart thing to do. It is learning through our mistakes that we're able to see the 'red flags' in situations, and respond to them more intelligently in this way.

So, again, this is the message for today: That to be considered to have smarts means, to me, that you give from your best self, skills, experiences, and following the Bible, in a way that makes a positive impact on others and in the world.


Enjoy your day, you won't get it back,
Frank



Complimentary Medicine Black and White Documentary Photograph Copyright 2014 Frank J Casella

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Frank J Casella's Email address is questions@frankjcasella.com. To find out more about Frank J Casella visit his online profile at frankjcasella.crevado.com

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