South of Eleven by Hoof Hearted Brewing

Hoof Hearted Brewing, South of Eleven DIPA - © Michael Warth

Hoof Hearted Brewing, South of Eleven DIPA – © Michael Warth

Blame it on Peter Cetera and his tune, Glory of Love, but damn I had a lot of fun at Hoof Hearted Brewing‘s tap room in Marengo, Ohio! The last minute decision to travel to the Hoof Hearted taproom resulted in being there with about 150 – 200 good people for the canning of South of Eleven; a 10.1% ABV, 98.5 IBU Imperial IPA pint of evil goodness.

Like many of my beer-centric adventures, I traveled light with my camera and planned to make notes with my iPhone. I relied on a car charger in the Jeep to keep the iPhone charged while jamming to Slayer in homage to the South of Eleven name during the 90 minute drive to the tap room. Unknown to me, the charger was bad, and I lived off of 20% battery while there! No worries, I have a brain like an elephant and with all the talk of Group Saxx, not wearing pants, and a mutual love for David Lee Roth…I pretty much needed my notes (fail on my part).

Stainless Steel Porn, and Group Saxx, a Gose style ale by Hoof Hearted - © Michael Warth

Stainless Steel Porn, and Group Saxx, a Gose style ale by Hoof Hearted – © Michael Warth

Now, if you’ve never heard of Hoof Hearted, that’s OK. But there are no more excuses for you since you are reading this post. The brand is expanding and you can see (using their beer finder) there are a lot of places to get your fix of Hoof Hearted ales.

SLAYER! I was starting to really feel at home when I broke the seal. © Michael Warth

SLAYER! I was starting to really feel at home when I broke the seal. © Michael Warth

I spent a great deal of my time at the tap room just meeting new people and talking about beer in Ohio. It was a real casual kind of day with excellent weather. The out of the way location made for a “Field of Dreams” experience for me. I mean, brew it and they will come! There were people from all over Ohio loading case after case after case of the freshly canned, South of Eleven into their cars and trucks. Yes, trucks…I witnessed more than one guy packing the bed of his truck with the ale.

I could have stayed a lot longer than I did but I didn’t want to overstay my welcome. After all, these people have beer to make, and lives to live, you know? Who wants a blogger with a photography problem just hanging around? Before leaving, I managed to get a photo with co-founders, Trevor Williams, Ryan Bichon and Jarred Bichon. Truly a humble, great bunch of entrepreneurs making many of us here in Ohio happy with their beers.

Trevor Williams, Ryan Bichon & Jarred Bichon

Trevor Williams, Ryan Bichon & Jarred Bichon – © Michael Warth

Seek ’em out, find their beer, share it with your friends! Hoof Hearted might be a secret to some, but I have a feeling it won’t be for very long. I hope to share a lot more about this brewery and their beers with you here on the ‘muse.

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Life is Short – Be A Rare Breed

Wild Turkey Rare Breed Bourbon pictured with my old camera bag, one of my old cameras and my dad's zippo. © Michael Warth

Wild Turkey Rare Breed Bourbon pictured with my old camera bag, one of my old cameras and my dad’s zippo. © Michael Warth

Life has a way of kicking us in the balls when we least expect it. Like many of you, I find myself frustrated with time or more specifically, the lack of time. In my case it is partly a time-management issue and the fact that my guardian angel is an ass and clearly doesn’t pay any attention to what I am doing or maybe they think it’s funny to watch me struggle. I also wonder if karma thinks I am someone else.

I have so much on my mind right now, and about three blog posts running through my head all at the same time. Despite the fact that I have managed to knock out some great photos over the past few weeks, I feel as though I am still spinning my wheels.

The cool air and low sun have created the perfect ambiance on my patio this evening. Just having played with my Great Dane, Thor, I am relaxing with my last can of Musk of the Minotaur. Musk, made by Hoof Hearted Brewing, is a tasty IPA clocking in at 7.2% ABV and packaged neatly into the perfect size can (1 pint). Thor is having fits I won’t share a sip or two with him (he will get some soon). UPDATE, he had a few sips and he is content now.

A quick note regarding Thor – his litter-mate, has been gone for three days. He lost his best friend, his buddy, his sister, Freyja. I plan to dedicate a post to her soon, but for now, just know that she passed last Thursday of a heart attack at just ten months old. Thor and I are grieving together and trying to make sense of the whole thing.

Freyja and Thor at 7 weeks old and crashing after a big dinner. © Michael Warth

Freyja and Thor at 7 weeks old and crashing after a big dinner. © Michael Warth

However, I wrote this post for you. Not because I wanted to share the loss of my loving furry family member, or to whine about not having enough time to follow my dreams. I know that if I am feeling crapped on, and that life is passing me by faster than I have time to react, then I know you probably are as well.

If I were to give you some mystical plan for finding time or for keeping life from kicking you when you are down then I would simply be lying to you. Nobody can give you that. What I can tell you is that there is much to learn from the Bhutanese way of life. Or should I say about thinking of death several times a day to find happiness. Yep, you read that right. Look it up for yourself if you don’t believe me, but in Bhutan, people are very happy. They think about death about five times per day. Now, I know that’s not the only reason, but I think it has a psychological effect on them.

What I get out of it is this, by thinking about your own mortality, you can have a clearer understanding of the beauty that is your life. You are only here for a short time and all of us need to live every day like there is no tomorrow. People are counting on us to be our best. When we forget that life is short, we stop looking for happiness and for things that fill our spirit. We stop fulfilling our needs and desires, we stop living!

Be a fine wine and age well, but make sure you are not just sitting around waiting to be enjoyed. I like to think of myself as a rare breed. Like the whiskey, I have aged and now I am ready to be enjoyed by the right people. I may be bitter or too strong for some; but I am not like all the others. I’ve waited to be released, I won’t be around forever, and like a bottle of great bourbon, I hope people will miss me when I am gone. At Wild Turkey they have a saying about flipping the bird…I say flip the world the bird. It’s your life, go live it!

I enjoyed Saturday evening with my wife and neighbors around a warm fire with a few brews on their patio. I knew I had things to do, but at that moment, my muse was laughing and having a good time. My guardian angel didn’t have anything to do, and karma clearly didn’t recognize me. Life didn’t kick me while I was down because I was living in the moment and time didn’t matter. Yes, there are countless things I want to finish before I die. There are things I hope to accomplish before I am too old to pull it off. And yes, I wish I was younger. But the fact of the matter is, any one of us could die tomorrow.

If you are wanting to follow your dream, then do it. If you need to play with the dog because his world is fucked up right now, then don’t be selfish; play with your dog. Let him sip that beer…he loves to be with you.

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Remembering Cliff

Maker's 46 and my Voigtländer Compur folding camera - © Michael Warth

Maker’s 46 and my Voigtländer Compur folding camera – © Michael Warth

Bourbon Heritage month is coming to a close. Yes, I don’t always drink beer my friends, but when I don’t I still drink well (the most interesting man in the world is a douche, just for the record). I chose a bottle of Maker’s 46 for the final days of September and I’m glad I did. Maker’s 46 is a slightly different taste for Maker’s Mark. I like Maker’s Mark, but this one has a great more character in my opinion.

The whisky is bitter sweet, and kind of fitting for the day. Most of my fellow metal heads know that on this day in 1986, the great Cliff Burton (Bass Guitarist, Metallica) was killed in a tragic bus accident in Sweden. In fact, in his honor, I am writing this post while enjoying what many of us Metallica fans of old consider the best metal album of the 1980’s – Master of Puppets.

Writing away whilst listing to the greatest Metallica album ever; I raise a glass to Cliff - © Michael Warth

Writing away whilst listing to the greatest Metallica album ever; I raise a glass to Cliff – © Michael Warth

Moved by the music, and absolutely entertained by Orion (the song playing right now), I am reminded that practice makes perfect. It is said that Cliff took up playing the bass after his brother passed away and he vowed to be the best. He continued to practice 6 hours a day, even when playing with Metallica. I look at my old camera, and wonder how many hours were spent practicing the craft. I pulled out my Ihagee Exakta 35 mm camera (I learned more about photography with that hunk of steel than anything else), and wondered how many frames it fired, and how many of us learned how to make pictures with it.

Practice makes perfect. The master distiller at Maker’s Mark tried many times to make Maker’s 46 before choosing the flavor we all love. Cliff practiced for hours to be the best bass guitarist, and I’m sure you have spent countless hours honing whatever craft you do. Keep practicing, there is always room for improvement. If I got anything out of writing this, I got this; never stop learning your craft, never stop trying to improve. If it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing better.

Cheers to you all, grab a bourbon before the end of the month, crank up Master of Puppets, and by all means, live that life you’ve been given. Cliff was only 24 when he passed, yet he lived a life we still talk about today.


February 10, 1962 – September 27, 1986

RIP, Cliff Burton

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Who Me? Who is the real me?

"Hop Crisis?" Photo Composite - © Michael Warth

“Hop Crisis?” Photo Composite – © Michael Warth

Alright, so what’s the big idea? And yes, “big” idea is exactly what I am trying to say here. I’m going to start this post with an apology. I’m in a creative slump this summer and I’m having a hell of a time getting out of it. Personal issues, family emergencies, you name it. So, I’m pulling the cover of “being careful” and “playing it safe” off of me and I’m simply going to make the art I wish to make. Keep reading, it gets deep.

Chris Bishop (Crobot Band), enjoying a quick drink of Jack Daniels on stage - © Michael Warth

Chris Bishop (Crobot Band), enjoying a quick drink of Jack Daniels on stage – © Michael Warth

It’s not always unicorns and rainbows here in the romantic life of a photographer/painter. My drunken muse passed out or something. Luckily, I have people who actually give a shit and they call me out on it (thanks, David). I was reminded about a week ago that I have this cool photo thing going on, but a lot of my booze pictures are boring compared to the music photography. And I totally agree, there is an artist inside of me dying to get out and though the technicality of those pictures make us thirsty and may inspire, they lack the most important aspect – me, and my artistic vision. Maybe my muse is a drunk because I won’t listen? Hmmm, that’s a thought. But, my fine art also has a bit of a safe side to it. It too, doesn’t reflect my personality.

I plan to delete a lot of posts here on the blog. For whatever reason, they may be off the mark, I may have spoke out of turn, or maybe I just feel like it doesn’t represent who I am. If you are here, there is something that draws you to my writing, pictures, or just for the plain entertainment of seeing me flounder with the english language while I try to share my thoughts and express my artistic whims.

I’m not going to kid any of you. At times, I’m like Bob Ross painting happy little trees. Other moments of my life put me into extreme chaos. I love the beauty of a dark concert hall with the smell of beer, weed, and sweat while I hear the rattle and hum of drums and amps blaring the heaviest melodies and darkest vocals you’ve ever heard. Yeah, it’s my creative yen & yang, if you will. I mean, can you see Bob Ross dropped into a raging crowd about to face the brutality of the wall of death at a Lamb of God concert? I have a hilarious vision of a peaceful man with an afro running for his life with a bottle of Jägermeister under one arm and a canvas in the other. ‘Effing cool, yeah!?

A studio shot I did a few months back for a post here on the blog. © Michael Warth

A studio shot I did a few months back for a post here on the blog. © Michael Warth

As I sit here drinking a Double IPA from the gnarly guys at River Rat Brewery, eating a taco sub from the local pizza place [Christy’s], jamming to the sounds of Mastodon (Once More ‘Round the Sun album) while pounding my fat greasy fingers into the keys of my Mac, I am reminded that all I really want to do, is be me. The normal looking guy who makes art, and loves hard rock and metal music.

Therefore, I will cut to the chase and just say this. I am portfolio building, I am making mistakes, I’m doing things right & wrong. I’m expressing myself, looking for the art that lies within. I’m allowing myself to make what I like to look at – what I like to create. I’m revisiting those things I’ve always wanted to do as an artist but too afraid to lose customers over. I already know I have the chops to get the job done. Technically, I’m good enough. But emotionally, I have more to say, and more to make. I am at the edge of my artistic career looking forward and ready to make a leap.

You may see more composite photos like the one at the beginning of this post. You may see more of an editorial approach to my booze pictures. You’ll definitely see some of my fine art (oil paintings & drawings) move into a different category. Hopefully you will see a transformation in my work. I want you here, I love your input (even when all I see are emails — you can comment ya’ know?). You will see the lines of my photography blur and become more cohesive. You will find my art move into a new direction and what I want to share.

Peace, love, and metal my friends…we have a short time on earth, let’s make the best of it!

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Vacation Was Perfect

Miss me? I hope you did, but as many of you know I was still on social media (I should have taken a break from that too) sharing the great drinks I’m into. I took July off to think, pontificate, if you will. I had some deep thoughts, as usual, and I even worked on what I plan to do as an artist. I drank some beer, I photographed some beer, and I got into some shenanigans I’d rather not discuss publicly.

Yards Beer for the 4th of July - © Michael Warth

Yards Beer for the 4th of July – © Michael Warth

What I learned in my month-long-break from blogging is that I need to share my thoughts with others. I desire to help others. I posted a lot on my personal Facebook page that would have been great for posts on the ‘Muse. I’m back to photographing concerts as a freelance photojournalist but I still can pick and choose who I want to photograph, when I have the time, and all of that jazz. I am feeling creative again as a painter. Some of you are artists, some of you simply come for the bar banter, maybe even some inspiration from the photos. My ‘muse is a noisy one, she likes to make me crazy with ideas I can’t possibly finish in a lifetime. Which has put me back in the studio drawing and painting…well, at least I’m actually working on new painting ideas…nothing in the works per se, yet.

What this all means is that I want to do more here on the blog for those of you who have a quiet muse. Maybe you could use a little inspiration. Maybe you used to draw in high school but your career has taken over and you’ve not picked up a pencil to draw in years. Maybe you are like me and you enjoy a drink but also like talking about art. That’s all good…The ‘Muse is going through some growing pains and I am certain those of you reading this will continue to come by for inspiration. After all, it’s really about life. Yep, you may not have noticed, but this alcohol themed blog has a lot of philosophy and life lessons thrown into the mix. Now, let’s get those creative juices going! Let’s start talking great booze and how we still like to make art. Whether you write, paint, draw, photograph, dance, or are a lover of the arts, I want you to be here. I want to entertain, and be that online drinking buddy, while inspiring you to drink better and maybe, I can be a little help to the artists here as well.

I am an artist first. The camera was always a way to illustrate my stories with a picture. My paintings and drawings have always been a method of getting the artistic muse in me to make something I hope to leave this world with…my vision. My writing is a way for me to share my thoughts with you. My goal in life is to live forever through my work.

Think of me as that good booze drinking creative buddy with a lot of deep thoughts about life. The things I have planned for this blog are big and bold. I’ll probably lose a few readers over it – I hope I don’t. The point I am trying to make is this; The ‘Muse is about living the good life, doing whatever you want, creating art, and having a good drink. The core of why I started this blog has not changed, and things will largely remain the same. But if you are someone who loves art, things are about to get a lot more fun!

With that, I’m going back to sitting on my patio with a cool brew from 21st Amendment, working on some live concert photos from a recent assignment, and listening to Ronnie James Dio on iTunes. Hopefully my neighbors don’t care I’m out after 1 AM enjoying the night air.



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WTF is Wrong With Some of You People

Founder's Brewing, Dirty Bastard - © Michael Warth

Founder’s Brewing, Dirty Bastard – © Michael Warth

People are like craft beer. You have the good and you have the bad, you have the one everyone loves and you have some that make us wonder WTF. Today, I write this post for those of us who get the job done, we keep on moving when the rest of the world has lost their minds, we work when others lay down, we pick ourselves up when others give up, we continue to do our best when the “haves” talk badly about the “have-nots”.

In trying to keep this post simple and direct, I won’t go into the details of what has been going on in my life (those of you who know me well already know). Nonetheless, outside of the kind of week I’ve had, I have watched people hate one another and condemn them for their decisions. I get it, some people take their religion very seriously – that’s not what this post is about. At the core of the issue, and at the risk of causing a riot on this site, for those of you that feel your religion dictates that you condemn another; why not just pray for those you are hating? It is a simple as that, in relation to your belief (and not my own), “stop throwing stones at them, because you all have your own sins to deal with.”

I’m sure you have seen the news regarding the confederate flag, the supreme court ruling on gay marriage, and the spin everyone from the left and the right can throw on the mob. I’ve got nothing in the fight right now but from my view, you all better learn to deal with change. Learn to love one another, be compassionate to others, understand that not everyone on the planet has the same political, religious, or sexual orientation views. When a white kid rushes into a church and kills because he hates black people, it’s not about a confederate flag…it’s about hate. When someone publicly rants about how God is going to bring his wrath on the world because the supreme court ruled in favor of gay marriage, it’s not about your religion…it’s an opinion.

The social media sites are in a frenzy right now. All I can see in my feed is a division among people who have no business being concerned about the issues. From my perspective you have lost your minds! I get it, your religious texts tell you that you must be a certain way and think a certain way because God commanded it. But there are billions of people who do not believe the text in that book or that it is the word of God, and in some cases, there are people who simply don’t believe in God.

Personally, I don’t care what you believe, but I also don’t think it is your right to condemn others because they don’t believe what you believe. In fact, in the U.S., it is your right to practice your religion. But never think for a moment, or confuse the fact, that this particular freedom, gives you the right to condemn or act out your hate for others. Again, if you must do something productive, then I would suggest you pray to your God and stop hating others for their beliefs and actions.

Religion and politics are two of the most heated topics in this world. And the simple reason for that is that none of us can agree what is right and what is wrong. Like craft beer, there are some that are good and some that are bad, but it is a matter of opinion. After all, we all know the guy who likes to call Blue Moon craft beer, and loves to drink his Bud Lite by the fire — he’s just weird, and there is no hope for him, you can’t win with these people, so let us move on.

To the hate-mongers and extreme believers, you kill all that is beautiful in the world for the sake of your opinions and the rest of us are starting to see you as small-minded people who only care about yourself. Just move along and learn to comprehend what your books are telling you. I may not think the ark ever existed or that Moses parted the Red Sea, but I do think the teachings of Jesus Christ are lessons we can all learn from. Loving our fellow man, and having compassion is something we can all try to do better than we already are doing. If you are a Christian, try living like the examples of Christ written in the New Testament and stop trying to dictate laws expressed in the Old Testament. Because I know, you will fail trying to follow the old testament laws no matter how devout to your religion you are.

Photo: Beer from my beer run to Weiland's Market / © Michael Warth

Photo: Beer from my beer run to Weiland’s Market / © Michael Warth

Be humble, mind your manners, be kind, and stop looking down your nose at those who choose to think different and be different. Your money (or lack of), religion, political views, and social standings are worthless when you die. I hope your God has enough compassion and love to look past your faults because some of us feel like you have no chance to have peace in your hearts.



If you feel the need to quote scripture, tell me I’m going to hell, or bash me publicly, understand this. I don’t care what your God thinks, I don’t care what you believe. Just be prepared to have a normal, clear-minded human being who is proud of his Scandinavian and northern European ancestry come at you like a viking raiding your precious monastery. I don’t care who I offend, and I believe in living in the now and not hoping for a mansion in heaven, serving a God who teaches hate the way you have interpreted it.

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Aged Gracefully

16 Year Lagavulin Single Malt Scotch. - © Michael Warth

16 Year Lagavulin Single Malt Scotch. – © Michael Warth

As I grow older, I find myself caring less and less about what others think of me and my actions. Often, I think of the things that I want to do before I die, and even the things I wish I had done different. It’s not regret, or dreaming, it’s about living in the here and now. Since my last post (April – sorry folks), I can say that life is like a single malt Scotch whisky. The older it gets, the more character it has, the whisky is more refined, smoother in most cases.

As it translates to life, we grow older and our character builds, our bitterness of youth starts to mellow and we may even have found peace with who we have become – smoother if you will. We may not be easy to drink (for those who don’t know the punch of a good Scotch) but to those who care about us, we are like a worn leather glove.

Growing old is not a curse, it’s a fact of life. It’s a gift many never get to experience. Grow old with peace in your heart, live the life you want, and never let the people who don’t understand you define you.

16 Year Lagavulin Single Malt Scotch. - © Michael Warth

16 Year Lagavulin Single Malt Scotch. – © Michael Warth

Cheers, my fellow thirsty friends!


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In Spite of Terrible Days

Drinking a Jackie O's brew at the bar - © Michael Warth

Drinking a Jackie O’s brew at the bar – © Michael Warth

Ever have one of those days? Everyone is on your case, and you can’t seem to do anything right. You go for that special end-of-day-beer you’ve been saving in the refrigerator just to find out your 18-year-old son decided to help himself to one he thinks you won’t miss? Yeah, it was my Bell’s Hopslam which is partly a gift to a friend (yes, Joe, I still have enough to send) and a future photoshoot for me! I wasn’t happy to see that after such a shitty day. April 1st is upon us, and quite frankly, the whole April fool’s day is lost on me, so this is NOT a “fool’s day” post.

In spite of yesterday’s cosmic tilt, I hope to have a better day. There are no good days or bad days in my world. I simply have preferable days and days not so preferable. Long story, and it has more to do with the words good and bad in general…it’s a Stoicism thing. I try hard not to let things out of my control have any control over my life. I let anger consume me yesterday and it started to take control. Why did I do it? The short answer is that I am human and not a perfect Stoic. Though being angry was not the problem, in fact, I think it’s perfectly fine to be angry, letting that anger manifest itself into stupid actions or uncontrolled emotion(s) is.

I chose the photo in this post because it has that heavenly shaft of light leading to a great glass of beer. At the risk of sounding like a raging alcoholic, a good drink at the bar is in many cases, a very peaceful “happy place” for me. The Jackie O’s Brewery ale pictured, represents my favorite style and therefore looks like a gift from Valhalla.

My ‘Muse escapes me when I am angry. She runs away and I have to find her. So what did my anger cost me yesterday? It cost me a day of lost creativity and drive to follow my dream. A day I will not get back. And over what? A bad day? I failed myself, that is what my anger cost me. I let the actions of others control my happiness and then I let it build into anger, which eventually consumed me to the point of being unproductive.

My message today is simple. Don’t let the fools of the day control you – 80% of them want to see you fail and 20% don’t care you exist. Be in control of your emotions even if others think you are an ass, or a prick, or whatever else they might call you to your face or even to your back.

Have a great day, be in control, enjoy that well made drink, and don’t chase your muse away by letting negative emotions consume you.

This post is for you all, but most importantly, thank-you to my Scandinavian friend who got me out of my funk. You know who you are – Skål

Posted in Basic Bar Banter, For the creative mind, Philosophy, Tips | Tagged , | 2 Comments

Is it Just Me

Founder's Brewing, Dirty Bastard - © Michael Warth

Founder’s Brewing, Dirty Bastard – © Michael Warth

There are times when social media is like a swift kick in the ‘nads. Granted, I can be a grump all on my own, and I can interpret what I read online wrong, but seriously, why do so many of the social media sites make us grumpy?

My MacBook Pro keyboard - © Michael Warth

My MacBook Pro keyboard – © Michael Warth

To be honest, I woke up early, didn’t get any sleep, hadn’t had my coffee, dropped my dogs off at the vet for surgery (worried as hell – but they both did well), hungry, and I was a dirty bastard who hadn’t shaved or showered before popping onto the usual social media sites I look at daily. Therefore, I was already short-tempered and willing to snap at the first ignorant political judgement call or person without online etiquette skills. And did you know the universe is off today? I mean there was a solar eclipse on the vernal equinox of all days! That should mean something, right?!

The one that broke the camel’s back for me today was Instagram (follow me at @TheThirstyMuse). It’s been a while, but I wanted to see who has unfollowed me lately. You know, I wanted to see who followed me, then decided to unfollow after I started following them back. (this is aimed at you liquor store marketing guys and number whores) That whole follow/unfollow routine is an ass-burner and really should not be done. I mean, if you follow someone because you like their stuff, and then they follow you, that’s an opportunity to develop an online friendship, right? Why would you unfollow that person who just followed you back?

My 2007 Jeep Wrangler on the trail last summer - © Michael Warth

My 2007 Jeep Wrangler on the trail last summer – © Michael Warth

To be clear, I don’t always follow back in the first place. It’s not personal, it’s just that I have a few things in mind before deciding to follow someone.  I also don’t expect anyone to follow me after I follow them. I mean, if I decide to follow the queen of England, I wouldn’t expect her royal majesty to follow me back. But if she did, I wouldn’t just unfollow her after the fact! That’s like washing the jeep before I go “wheeling” on the trails. Who does that?

Being the Dirty Bastard that I am, (still have not showered today) I am not for everyone. If I get unfollowed because I annoy you, I get it. If the subject matter is not something you are interested in, I get that too. But I am simply shooting from the hip and hoping the people who like me stick around to be friends. Is it just me? I would say I need a Snickers but I’ll go for the rest of those Founder’s Brewing, Dirty Bastard‘s I still have in the ‘fridge.

Happy Friday all, let’s have a great weekend and hope the online trolls get what they deserve. I’m off to finally get that shower and shave I need, then I’m cracking a beer.


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Swing and a Miss

1800 Silver, Tequila photographed in my studio in hopes to land an assignment.

1800 Silver, Tequila photographed in my studio in hopes to land an assignment. – © Michael Warth

If you have ever heard the phrase, “be the hammer not the nail” then you might get this. Like most youngsters, I played baseball in the local youth leagues. I often played in the dirt more than paying attention, but hey, I’m into creating things not winning. Nonetheless, I wanted to be good at baseball and as far as average kids go, I was good enough to be on the team and I had my place. I wasn’t a good hitter – in fact, I was terrible unless it was batting practice or for a special event like a 13 year old all-star team. I’ll admit, I was intimidated at 13 years old by a 17 year old pitcher who already had a beard…so hitting the ball from a pitcher my own age was a lot easier. And the curve! Wow, I had trouble with curve balls.

Instead of being the hammer or nail, I like to think of baseball. Be a hitter, but sometimes it is simply a swing and a miss. You win some and you lose some. I can say that baseball taught me more about life than it did about running the bags or spitting tobacco. In life we strike out, we lose, we win, and sometimes, we might even hit a home run.

As a photographer I find myself swinging and missing a lot more than I care to admit. The photo above was part of a submission to an ad agency. The agency needed quite a few images on a regular basis to support a client in the liquor store business. They said they wanted to see what I could come up with and I looked at some of their examples and made versions of what they had, just in my style. To be fair, their images in the mockups were simply snapshots with poor lighting and honestly they looked like bad Instagram photos of booze. At any rate, that’s why they were looking for a pro.

I swung hard on this opportunity, I was reaching for the fence as we would say in baseball. A swing and a miss resulted. We talked about price, and well, that was another miss. Finally, the logistics of me in Ohio and their client nearly 1,500 miles away, that was strike three. I really wanted this gig. I figured they would have loved the photos. I was wrong, I struck out and lost the gig.

Hanging my head, I walked back to the dugout and sulked a bit. “I suck”, I said to myself. But did I really? So I wasn’t the cheapest, maybe not the best, and let’s face it, they probably had a cheaper, great photographer in their neighborhood. So I struck out – who really cares? It’s not how you play the inning, it’s how you finish the game. Win or lose, if you did your best at the end of the game you will always have a swing and a miss, but I bet you had a few good moments too.

Enjoy the game, Thirsty Friends! I’ll take that swing and a miss, that home run, that win, that loss, and I’ll see you at the bar after to talk about the game. Because after it all, there is nothing like sharing a few stories with your friends over a good drink.

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