Category Archives Fun

Above: My co-instructor, Mimo Meidany, and me standing during a scouting trip before the workshop, standing out in the Tuscan dirt. There’s worse dirt to stand in. 

Greetings from the Atlanta airport (a delayed flight had me missing my connection back home last night from Boston, so I chose to come halfway home – my flight’s boarding in 20 minutes), but I’m back from my travel photography workshop in the gorgeous Tuscany region of Italy. Gorgeous doesn’t begin to describe it.

I don’t have images to share yet (beyond that shot from Jason above) because we had one heck of a busy week, but man was it a fantastic one! Great weather the entire time; had an absolutely wonderful group of people with me, took tons of images, had tons of laughs, had some amazing food, and from beginning to end, it was a pretty amazing experience all the way around. And Mimo: Mimo is the greatest. The. Greatest.

Lots more to share, but we’re getting ready to board. Just wanted to let you know I’m back in the saddle, and I’ll be doing an Adobe Spark page on the trip very soon, and I’ll be sure to share it here.

Looking forward to being home, seeing my wonderful family, the doggos, sleeping in my own bed, and seeing my friends and co-workers on The Grid this week. :)

Have a kick-butt Monday!



Above: that’s me Saturday night singing (I sing lead on a few songs and backup on the rest). Dig my Royal British Airforce insignia t-shirt. I had a cool jacket I was going to wear, but it was out in my car, and it started raining, and old guys don’t do well running in the rain, so…

When I was just 16, I played in my first rock band. The band was named “Phoenix,” and I was the drummer. The singer (James Aparo) and I were the two young guys in the band (we were just high school juniors, while Tim the bass player, Tayloe the keyboard player, and Tony the Lead Guitar player were all Seniors). They were also very accomplished musicians for their age, which meant James and I received a constant flow of disdain commensurate with the fact they had to put up with us two uncool lowly juniors in the band, which I have to imagine was unbearable for them (LOL!). 

Above: that’s Joe (our singer, and really cool guy), me (looking rather serious), Tony our lead guitar player, and Tim the bass player on the far right. Photo by the wonderful (and super gracious for coming out and taking photos), Larry Becker.

Anyway, every five years, we all reunite to play our high school reunion, minus our singer James for the past few – he’s a star in his own right, still playing concerts, and he wrote Faith Hill’s Grammy-winning mega hit “Cry” – his stage name is Angie Aparo. Still, back in school, he was just “James” to us or “hey kid” to the seniors). Well, this Saturday night was our 45th reunion, and we got to play again for the big Saturday night party (it was a huge Senior class from a vast high school).

From L to R: Tayloe Harding on keyboards, “Big Dog,” on percussion, Joe Mathien on vocals, Me, Tony McMahon on lead guitar, Tim Colton on bass, and Dean Erskine on Rhythm guitar and banjo.
Above: I look like I’m angry at my mic, but in reality, I just want those damn kids off my lawn!

It’s “Not My Reunion”

When I tell my wife it’s time again to play this gig; she quickly reminds me that it’s actually NOT my reunion – it’s really the other guys in the band’s reunion. I graduated the following year (remember, I was just a junior), so my wife refers to it, lovingly, mind you, as the “Not My Reunion” gig. However, at this past Saturday night’s reunion, I realized that I am now officially old (that’s me below, on Saturday night between sets, not looking quite as old as I’m about to realize that I am).

Above: The calm before the storm. Taken right after our first set. Hardly sweating at all, because I was mostly napping.

We rehearsed on Friday over at the local college’s music building and then set up for our sound check and the gig on Saturday. It was so great to see these guys again, catch up, and a real treat to play with them (plus, they don’t treat me like a high school junior anymore, which is a big plus). We’re mainly playing the same songs we did back in the day (Doobie Brothers, Bad Company, Chicago, Lynyrd Skynrd, The Eagles, Steely Dan, Santana, ZZ Top, Grand Funk, and even a KISS song). We have a lot of laughs along the way, but we take the gig pretty seriously, and the crowd at the reunion is really great to play for. They dance, they cheer and applaud a bunch, it’s really a fun night (and yes, someone always, always yells from the crowd, “Freebird!”, and yes, we ended the night with it).

Above: Here’s a view of my drum kit before the gig (well, actually it’s my son’s kit – he let me borrow it for the gig). The rug is there in case I need a nap.

It was at this moment when it hit me…

Most of the folks attending this event are around 63 years old (so much older than me. Stop smirking), anyway, between sets, the reunion’s official MC is on the mic making various announcements and giving away some prizes, and then in a moment I’ll never forget, the MC asks the crowd (and I am not making this up):

“If you’ve had hip replacement surgery or any joints surgically replaced, come on up to the stage to be recognized.”

That. Right. There. If I ever needed proof that I am officially old, I am now playing gigs where the MC asks if you’ve had a hip or joint replacement to come up and be recognized, and it’s not even my reunion. Mine is next year. What has happened to me? It all went so fast. Anyway, sure enough, around 30 or 40 people came up to the stage, and he asked that we give them all a big round of applause. Maybe we were applauding that they could make it to the stage. I don’t know, it was all a blur at that point, and all I could think of was this was probably as solid of a sign as I’m going to get that it’s time for me to just be done with it and finally join AARP.

OK, it’s time for a five-year flash back

OK, this is me, same hall, same gig, but five years ago, and look at the massive kit I’m playing – double bass drums, loads of cymbals, two-floor toms, etc. Now look back at the photo from this year: one bass drum, one-floor tom, and a sensible amount of cymbals. Holy crap, I am getting old. Next time, I’ll probably be down to one tom, maybe a snare and a small cymbal. Or just a washboard.

Let’s go back even further

Yup – that’s me with the gloves and the bolo neck tie with strings, back in the late 80s. My wife Kalebra is in the center (we’re married 33 years this year). That Tony Llanes (from my current band on the far left – I still play with this Tony after all these years – if you’ve heard my band at Photoshop World parties, you’ve seen Tony play. On the far right, that’s Scotty, my drummer, and you probably saw him play at Photoshop World, too. Both are super talented musicians, and both are like brothers to me. Finally, that’s Jackie Green in the white jacket. One heck of a bass player and singer.

What the heck – let’s go back even further

That’s the band “Strut” from 1980 (slogan: “Shake your butt to Strut!”). Hey, five points to the photographer back then for using a fog machine. Anyway, we were pretty much a disco/funk band, and that’s me in the red shirt with the white “I’m the keyboard player” tie. Yup, that’s Tony Llanes again on the far left, who hired me to play keyboards in Strut when I was just 20 years old. Behind him (and me) is Dennis Mones (absolutely incredible drummer); to my right, that’s percussionist Nicky Noyes, vocalist Betts Johnston, and bassist Ray Villadonga. Of course, all of them were way better than me, but I learned so much from being in that band – about music, business, and life. Clearly, I learned nothing about how to dress. 

Anyway, thanks for coming on this journey of discovery that I am, now, officially old as a dinosaur. If you’re thinking of posting a comment along the lines of “You’re only as old as you feel,” just know, at that moment, I was feeling pretty darn old (but I still rocked it!). LOL!!! 

Here’s wishing you a “throw down your walker and dance” kinda Monday! :)

Certified Old Guy/Aging Rocker

OK, guys – first up: today, Cyber Monday, is your last chance to get our absolute best price of the year on KelbyOne Pro annual membership, and this coming year is going to be our best yet!

Here’s the link to save BIG! (Save $90)

Catch These Incredible “1-Hour Only Deals” From Our Partners

We go to our partners and ask them to give just a crazy low price on something, but only for 1-hour, and sometimes these deals are so incredible it crashes their servers, but today, starting at 10:00 am ET and running until 5:00 pm at the top of every hour we’re doing another LIVE screamin’ deal Webcast where you’ve got to watch to get the Discount code. They’re short, right at the top of the hour, we give you the deal, and the code, and the rest is up to you. :)

Here are the details:

Who: Join Larry Becker and Me LIVE from our studios
What: Unbelievable Cyber Monday deals that only last 1-hour TOTAL!
Where: Here’s the link
When: Today starting at 10:00 am and at the top of every hour until 5 pm ET.
Why: Cause we always do something cool on Cyber Monday!

Of course, our KelbyOne Pro Membership deal is running all day today, too, so for goodness sake don’t forget about that mega-deal!

OK, that’s the Cyber Monday scoop! The deals are all here, but only for today. Happy Shopping, everybody! :)


It’s a tradition of mine each year to list some of the things I’m thankful for during the year, and while I usually post this on Thanksgiving Day, I got a bit behind (with all the food and well…food), but I’m thankful that you’ll forgive me for being late.

I recently saw a thing online where you were supposed to describe yourself in three words, and when I thought about what my three words would be, the first word that came to mind was “grateful.” I know what a blessed and charmed life I’ve led, and I’m so aware of it and genuinely thankful every day (in case you were wondering, the other two words would have been “Cheese” and “Cheese.”). I’m also thankful I have this blog to put my feelings down on paper (well, in words anyway), and today I’m grateful I get to share another 100 things I’m thankful for with you.

I’m thankful….

  1. anytime the refs actually get the call right.

2. that the 2nd season of Ted Lasso was nearly as good as the first (and I’m thankful that there’s a Season 3 coming next year)

3. for the Arnold Bread Company’s line of KETO bread, hamburger and hot dog buns. They are so good and so low in carbs. Game changer taste-wise

4. for the bird-house looking device that stopped our dogs from barking at our neighbors, or a squirrel, or a leaf, or anything and everything.

5. for Saturday afternoons where we all gather around the TV to watch Alabama football (and I’m thankful that they’re in the hunt for the National Championship once again)

6. that we finally live in an area that gets Amazon same-day delivery

7. that our family has managed to stay healthy through this pandemic

8. for my wife’s mac and cheese recipe (and I know it flies in the face of my whole KETO thing, but sometimes you veer off just a bit, but then you get right back on track).

9. that a new Call of Duty War Zone map is just a couple of weeks away.

10. for this dance/music video, which I’ve watched dozens of times – it always brings tears of joy to my eyes when each of them hug at the end.

11. that not only would I never consider writing “100 things I’m angry about,” I could never complete it.

12. for my wife’s wonderful sense of humor. She makes me laugh every day.


We kick off every Photoshop World Conference with a movie that runs before the opening keynote, and it sets the tone for the rest of the conference. Creating these silly Photoshop-related mini movies is a tradition of ours, and with all the recent private space launches, we decided to go with a space launch theme (it didn’t hurt having Erik Kuna on the creative team). So without further ado, I present the Oscar-worthy acting, and James Cameron style production that is…the Photoshop World Opening Keynote Movie:

Hope that helped kick off your week right (or wrong?)



I did this interview a while back, but I had never actually seen it until I ran across it by accident earlier this past week, and the person interviewing me is Mubai-based Photoshop wizard (and super great guy all around) Unmesh Dinda.

He did such a great job in every aspect of this, from the production (just watch the first minute and you’ll see what I mean), to the questions he asked, to well…the whole thing. It was such a fun and different chat, and I give the credit to Unmesh – he is really, really good at this stuff and it was an honor to get the opportunity to chat with him.

If you get a sec, give it a listen (you can let it run in the background while you’re editing). :)

I’ve embedded the interview above, but I’m very grateful to Unmesh for his thoughtful questions, and for making the interview so much fun. He’s a very special guy, and we’ve been very fortunate to have him teach at the Photoshop World and to feature him in KelbyOne Online Courses.

Thanks for giving it a watch (or a listen in the background), and here’s wishing you a great weekend! :)