—  Ken and Vesta  —

Wedding and Portrait Photography

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Actual Sapiens in Reno

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Throughout the last dozen years or so, Vesta and I have wandered around Reno with our cameras, randomly photographing people. Not street photography, not that, that’s not what we do. As a general rule, we don’t photograph people without them knowing it. We usually straight up ask them if we can take their picture.

Sometimes those photos wind up on one of our Facebook pages, but more often than not, they just sit on our hard drives, never to be seen again.

However, some of them are going to wind up on this page now, because we’ve been going through them and we’re finding that it’s kind’ve sad that we took ‘em, then forgot ‘em. Photos want to be seen.

Reno Girls

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It was a hot night, three days before the middle of May in 2012, when Vesta and I came across these girls in the middle of the street Downtown. We were crossing Virginia and they were taking selfies in front of the Reno Sign.

“Can you take our picture?” The girl in the middle had seen my camera, so I thought she wanted me to use it. So I started to bring it up to my eye.

“With this.” She was holding out an iPhone.

“I’ll do it.” Vesta took her phone, then took their picture.

“Now you can use your camera, but you have to give us the photos,” the middle girl said.

So I took a few photos, because that’s why were out and about on that hot night. Not to make their photographs, but to photograph the evening, because going out with our cameras on a hot night, is way better than staying home and watching TV.

Well, we couldn’t’ve watched TV if we’d stayed home anyway, cuz we don’t have one, which is one reason why we get out more than most. And it’s probably why we read more than most too, cuz books become a pretty attractive escape from reality option when you don’t have a television.

And we talk to each other a lot, because when we’re home, we’re all we have for company, each other, cuz, you know, we don’t have a TV.

But as it turns out there’s another really good reason not to have a television in your house, because, according to the FBI, a lot of these new TVs are watching you while you’re watching them.

Who knew?

Apparently, they’re really easy to hack. Well not for normal people, but for hackers. It turns out that these new smart TVs don’t have the security built into their software that computers have. So hackers and crafty people, who’d just like to see you naked in your home, can get into your TV and watch you.

And that’s not all they can do. Once your TV let’s ‘em into your home, they can use that to get into your computer through your router and then from your computer, the craftier hackers can get into your bank account, if you have your passwords stored in your browser.

But even if they can’t steal your money, cuz your computers are really, really secure, they can still watch you naked. And who wants that? Not me.

The FBI says you should find that little camera looking at your from your TV and cover it with a piece of black electrician’s tape, because these TVs aren’t as smart as they’re cracked up to be. Yes, you can talk to them and tell ‘em what you wanna watch and they’ll do that for you, but heck do you really need that?

But getting one of those 4K, UHD smart TVs is really tempting. You should see how cheap they are at Costco. Amazon’s got a fifty-five inch Samsung wiz bang everything one for Five hundred bucks. No need to ever go to the movies again if you have on of them in your house.

Just don’t do anything you don’t want the whole world to know about when you’re in front of it. And don’t say anything you wouldn’t want on the front page of the New Your Times when you’re in the same room with it.

Still, we were at Costco the day before yesterday and I really wanted one and if Vesta wouldn’t have been with me, I’d’a bought one.

“What about that article you read me the other day?” she said, “The one about how the FBI said those TVs are watching and listening to you.”

“But we always have our clothes on when we watch TV. And we could just never talk when we’re in the room with it,”



“Wouldn’t you rather go downtown and look for pretty girls to photograph? You know, like those girls we met awhile back in front of the Reno Sign.”



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Here is Zamboo with a girl whose name I don’t remember.

Zamboo’s name is pronounced Zambō. You would think the “boo” part of his name would be pronounced like the “boo” in “boohoo,” but it’s not, it’s pronounced like “Bo” as in Bo Derek, the star of that wonderful movie “10.”

Okay, maybe the movie wasn’t so wonderful. I’ve seen it a couple times, but I watched it with the sound off, back when we lived in California and had a record store which rented videos, cuz we had a television back then and Bo was just so gosh darned beautiful.

Anyway, back to Zamboo. I took this photograph at Boomtown, a casino ten or eleven miles west of Reno, near the California border. Vesta and I were there to see Shake, Rattle and Roll, a band we like, or rather liked, cuz they’re not a band anymore.

And this guy Zamboo was there with this girl. He presents horror movies on local TV, sorta like, I suppose, Elvira does, or did in Los Angeles. I didn’t know that at the time, cuz Vesta and I had taken television out of our lives a decade before the end of the last century.

He was there watching the band and he was certainly a character and since one of us always has a camera, we asked if could we photograph them. They said yes and we did.

And then, after the band finished “Mercury Blues,” a song I really like, Zamboo took the stage and sang a couple songs. I don’t remember what the songs were, cuz this was back in August. Not the August that happened four months ago, but the one that happened back in 2010.

But I do remember that he had a booming singing voice. Way more booming than his talking voice. He sounded a lot like Johnny Cash.

I should mention that I googled Zamboo, just before I started writing this and he’s still on TV, still going strong. I watched a couple youtube clips. He looks like a fun guy. If we had a TV, we would certainly watch his show.
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