Single cable suspension bridges – they are the style. Someday they will be dated. Meanwhile they look like the latest greatest. We come. We go. I try to get a pic as we cross. Sometimes the lighting is sweet. Yes, don’t try this one. I’m shooting through the window as I drive along. I was trying to think of what category to list these pics. I guess it would be ‘ultimate street photography.’
Spring. The flowers come. This spring was late. We were in Washington DC on the Cherry Blossom festival weekend. There were no blossoms of note. Nothing had bloomed yet. Too bad. The show has been on my list of must things to do. Ah well, there’s always something else that turns up. Life is kind of neat that way. I always could make lemonade if they gave me lemons.
What can I say? People who don’t like animals could care less. People who are allergic…or are dog people…. Me? I got the addiction a while ago. Mine? My cats? Our cats? Her cats?
Well, let’s just say we talk of our cats in lieu of kids around and about. Each cat has a personality. They lie about. Each has a spot. They jockey for positions. Each gives way if another comes along. They are curious. They hide. They have eating habits like my kids. Some eat at the table; others eat on the counter. They like different food. We have at least four varieties of dry food. No, they are not fussy. We just indulge them. I’d spoil my kids but that was done long ago. And they are far away now.
We have two sets of twins. So look as much as you like. They are pretty identical. I have a hard time distinguishing them. The cats get a lot of attention. We’re proud. Happily, we have held the line at five. But… I still look when we go to the pet store for food.
Another rainy day. I admit it was windy. Bad luck. Someone was into and across the ditch. There was a lot of equipment out. I guess they don’t get a lot of calls. Good. And bad.
Biggs Museum. It’s the best little museum ever! Free food! Ha! It was a concert event for the artist. She painted with pieces of music in mind. Musicians came to perform pieces with her art in mind. It was a grand event. We were fortunate to attend.
I can read music! I followed the pianist as she played and read her score. I followed the measures. She had to play many redundant same notes following the measures as she read. I wonder? How does she keep track as she plays the same note over and over. I’m sure I’d lose track and miss a note here and there. Besides, if she did, would anyone know? Hey! I don’t read music that well. My only regret is that I never paid enough attention while my kids were in the same music theory class as Alicia Keyes. Nor did I bother to record her early piano concerts when my kids played too. But, I suppose something rubbed off.
Considering the state of our government it’s better if we don’t see all. You can walk around the building but there is only one view that allows a relatively unobstructed view from afar. Everywhere else you get a partial view. The fake president was off to Florida to play golf while the nation marched for gun control. He didn’t have the balls to stay in DC and face the crowd. It was his prerogative to ignore a million or so people who gathered within hailing distance of the White House. Secret Service police were assigned mandatory overtime to protect the building. The one officer I spoke with had been on duty 17 straight hours and would stand post till the event was finished – about a 24 hour shift. I’m disconcerted to see the security guards on the roof. I learned this from one of the recent White House movies.
Meanwhile our fearless leader kept quiet and didn’t tweet about the “March for Our Lives” at all. The NRA had him in their pocket I guess. His kid has Secret Service protection in school. Maybe ours deserve as much too?
We had a birthday party? Well, I actually think that Lila held a party. I think she invited us. I think I paid. Of course, I always sit at the head and the bill arrives on my plate. Anyway, we were in a restaurant and I uploaded pictures to Shutterfly to share. And naturally they forwarded the images again seven years later. I’m impressed. They have some big assed servers holding onto my data. Thanks. Meanwhile my data is on redundant isolated hard drives. Is yours? I wish I could say that I’m organized. But to the extent that I am, I am more organized than most folks. I also hoard. Laughingly, I can hoard on a portable hard drive. That has at least helped the clutter in my house.
I once belonged to Kodak’s photo site where I could store and share pictures. Remember the big yellow box? They were film. Film! They (pictures) were bought up by Shutterfly. And Shutterfly knows where I live (at least my email address). They (Shutterfly) sent me an email with these photos that I had uploaded six years ago. Nice try. Nice ploy. I don’t upload anything unless I already have a backup. Right. But it was an interesting email. Wow. I applied for car insurance and they knew all my violations going back to 1999. Well, they listed a ticket as 9999 but I get it. In some way, you get the idea that you will be online somewhere on the internet forever. No one really cares. They care. Can you believe what someone has on a server somewhere out there?
The surgical gown in this picture dates back to the early 80’s. We stopped wearing cloth in favor of paper. (Cheaper than doing laundry.) Someone just went down for claiming the gowns would shield against Ebola virus. With all the lies in the world of late, this is just another sad admission.
Charlie Wilson got a high honor – obituary in the NY Times. He was a giant in neurosurgery. A hero – to many. He was a contemporary of my boss – a giant too – Joe Ransahoff. Well, not too contemporary, Charlie was more than a decade younger. He was the new brash West Coast guy that we at NYU competed with for a time. Like my boss he later remarried and had a fast car.
When I told my first wife that was my aspiration too, she replied, “But, I have all the money, honey.” Ransahoff’s first wife got ninety. “?” “Yup, 90%.” Connie told me when I asked his office manager about the divorce agreement. I’m doing better. But, no fast car.
Fame, fortune, success – what is it to be great? The man could operate. He had more/many high profile successes than I could ever claim. The rich and famous were happy to be operated upon by his residents as long as Charlie did the critical part. The operative failures are not mentioned. After all we are all human, not gods.
But there is a punchline to an old joke as you enter heaven and are surpassed by a man walking/jumping past you, “Oh him? That’s God. He just thinks he’s a neurosurgeon.” No matter. Charlie died in a skilled nursing facility. How sad? We all die. The legend lives.
Green glass of non-descript green color (of little interest) until a recent trip to Wilmington. It “glows!” under black light. It’s not radioactive. There was a time when they used real radium on watch dials to get them to glow in the dark. The numbers were painted with radium and the workers got tongue cancer and died.
From a net search: “Also known as uranium glass, Vaseline glass glows bright green under ultraviolet light, thanks to the uranium oxide added to the glass in its molten state. In natural or indoor light, Vaseline glass has a yellow or yellow-green tinge with an oily sheen, which is where its name comes from.”
Don’t have any. Don’t want any. But, I learned a new useless fact to clutter my mind.
Roy Rogers school lunch box – it was red as I recall. This isn’t mine. I ate cold lunch in the 8th grade. I missed the hot lunch application deadline. American cheese between two slices of white bread with Miracle Whip. Every day! My choice! Don’t ask. Later on when I was a grown up, I asked the kids in my medical office to go to the corner deli and bring me a sandwich. Eagerly they awaited my request: Ham and Swiss on bread – a slice of white, a slice of rye on top. Then, I’d always sadly shake my head and say they brought the sandwich upside down.
Three turtle wicker basket. I’ve never seen this. Old typewriter? The letters are mounted on wire loops. That’s old. For decoration. The tag says it doesn’t work. Ha! Who’s typing anyway?
We went to Milton. We went to Milford. They both start with “M” so it’s easy to confuse. Really!? Well, if you are map challenged, and your memory is sort of shot… Milton was a trip to the curmudgeony clock maker. Good, but gruff and no nonsense. He hates amateur clock fixers (like me). We got a watch battery. Great! Then on to Milton. No! Milford. We’ve been to Milford. Ha! Confused? Hey! You got no skin in the game. Anyway, we’ve been to Milford before…. Spring. Red bud. Picturely. Yeah, I know it’s not a word either. Fun?! That translates. We had a long sit in a coffee house (warming). It’s the longest I’ve sat in a month (in one place).
… and, don’t lick your fingers. Confused? Not yet. The cats have behaviors. Odd crazy things they do. It leaves us puzzled. It’s an olive wood cutting board (you don’t see the wood too much; that’s not the story). Today it was Feather and Patch fighting over the board. Each plopped on top of the board and proceeded to lick the board clean of “whatever?”
They awaited turns. Each “loved” that board, then wandered off ignoring it as a silent prop once again. Is it the wood? The olive? I rubbed more oil into the wood….
I’m told that cats have their “spots.” That would be a spot somewhere that they claim for their own and that they will fight off all “comers.” Patch was recently displaced from his beloved basket. He wanders like a “homeless” cat. He never complains. I sympathize. I’ve been a vagabond for the past decade. No more. It’s good to be “home.”
Elle loves the heater. It’s winter. She loves to be warm. It almost looks like she’s warming her paws. Oh yeah! And, the olive board still attracts. You’d have to be their mother to realize it’s Patch first then Willow up on the board. Trust me, mom knows who’s who. I know ‘cause I just took the picture and still remember who was there first.
What’s the best time to photo food? During prep? Before baking? After? When you cover your food and all you see is melted cheese, I think it’s hard to understand how great the pizza looks, but rather, you know from shared experience the taste that lies beneath the cheese. Sure!
Stuffed peppers? Same. I’ve been cooking. I always cooked, but never so much as now. Retirement leaves me with lots of time. Oh boy – gaining weight fast too. Edible art. Fun. No leftovers. No worries. And then there are my “ten percenters.” When I was between jobs back in 2006, I gained 10 lbs because every time I ate Nellie (dog) got ten percent of the meal. She’d eat anything but broccoli. And, so I started cooking a little more. Now my cats congregate on the dining table. They like pizza too, except, they draw the line at gluten free crust. It’s still a work in progress, ‘cause I think gluten free crust is bad s’t too.(Shhh… the gluten free (crust) is off to the side.)
Lastly, banana bread. It’s an inside joke. We’ve been watching the Great British Baking Show. The loaf has a glorious crack on the top! Go, honey!
The first blossoms poked their way up pushing winter away. Painterly. I take/get a lot of flower photos. This pair were great. Who knows? They just jumped up and got into my camera. Actually, this is a “do over.” I took the initial shots and they were out of focus. I was able to backtrack and get it right. Lucky me. What struck me? In camera, I realized that the lighting and the focus were special. Even soft lighting of a cloudy day combined with the pastel of the petals. The pistil was contrasting orange and in relative focus. Ethereal. Instant post.
Serendipity. My life goes along without a plan. Lucky me? I’m spontaneously making changes. It’s ok to change directions in an instant. It can be disconcerting to my love. She’s pretty flexible though. Suddenly we’re off at 90 degrees. It works. I’m just glad I have my camera when we do. But! I’ve been out with a full memory card, or none at all: dead battery and – dead spare; and forgotten to bring a camera at all. The phone will certainly do in a pinch. It’s just that I like the extra customization (I like playing with the buttons) that a camera affords. Still, that damn iPhone focused on the face preferentially over the food at dinner last night. Smart phone, smart algorithm – one must please the mate not the food. There are special days. Today’s one. Let’s see what happens.
Cylinder phonographs – they are still around. I see the cylinders separately. Cool. I admire them. I’m not in the market. We’re full up. No room. Ha. Old typewriter? This one is about as old as I’ve come across. I don’t see many of these. Rare! We hang out in antique stores. The advantage over a museum is that you are allowed touch things. They usually admonish you not to sit in the chairs. Otherwise, I get to touch and feel lots of neat old stuff.
Change the lighting. High contrast. Focus. Whoa! It’s brilliant. What is the process of making an image? Lately, I have largely stopped doing much Photoshop. And, after much editing, I realize that “crop” is important. I do it in the camera before I get to Lightroom. I’m lazy. Sorry. A few tweaks. Not much more. Not bad. So many flowers, so little space to post. I hate to post more than one image. Sometimes, I just give up and post multiples.
No no, it’s not a bomb. I hesitate to post “bomb.” These days someone will be there breathing on the other end of my phone. Except… I don’t have a hard line any more. That’s another story… My saga continues. About a year ago I got a tall clock (grandfather) in a flea market. It was a real bargain – around $100. It had a German Kieininger movement. It actually worked until it didn’t. That’s another story posted elsewhere. In between I took it apart and rebuilt it. You know? … as in boing!! Yeah, it was in (complex little gears) pieces all over the dining table. Resurrected? I got a used Keininger movement on eBay. It didn’t work. Damn. I rebuilt the “boing” part. Really! And now? Well, the rebuilt clock doesn’t work. I puzzled it out. There was a broken part. I knew what I needed but did not know how to describe it or search for it on the ‘net. Okay! The clock sat as a very large paperweight until… Mike went to a clock repair shop. The clockmaker was so booked that his next appointment to repair his (Mike’s) clock is two years hence. Right! A hell of a profession. Not too many (clock guys) around? But! I described my problem using Mike’s clock as an example. Voila! He handed me a part and told me how to install it. It didn’t work! Yeah, yeah. But I pieced it together. I improvised. When in doubt, make it up. I did. It works! It ticks! I still don’t believe it. It chimes. It ticks. Damn! And my cats? As soon as the cabinet opened they climbed in and out.
PS – this clock works with heavy weights not a key wind. The weights are a good 15 lbs each. After three hours of running peacefully, one of the weights crashed to the bottom of the cabinet. After disassembly, the darned runs like clockwork. And! It chimes! And it’s off by about 5 minutes/hour. Hey! I never expected it to be perfect. It ticks!
See through! Yeah! Try to spot this one. And they are small. And they are skittish. So, it’s very fortunate to see one. Now, try to get a picture. Damn! It seems that the flash does not trigger a retreat. Every once in a while, I get to see one. Focus! It’s the hardest thing to do. How do you focus on a transparent animal? Yeah, it was hard. I’d shoot and shoot and shoot. Some, a few (images) would turn out decent. Most were throw away images. Remember I’m shooting through water and moving in 3D – up, down, sideways – in the current. Yeah, it’s hard enough if I’m standing on dry land. Oh, remember to get all of your settings right. The flash had to be set manually – guessing at the right light settings. Oh yeah! Easy as pie?!!
They like to hide in coral holes. They are fearless. They think you can’t see them. Mostly no one does. Amr has eagle eyes. He sees them. After he moves away with his ($5000) big rig camera, I move in and get my shots. Rarely is it the case where I find a goby on my own. They simply hide/blend so well. This picture is mine. See the horn?! That’s detail. This is a good shot. I’m telling you so because it’s a hard shot to do well. Trust me?!
The last few months I dove in the Red Sea there was not a single (that I could find) hermit crab safe from me. Turn over the shell, wait, the legs and head would poke out to right the upside-down shell. They’d do it over and over. I just had to hang around long enough to wait to get the perfect shot. My dive buddies were swimming away. I would linger to the last second. The shot includes the eyes and the antennae in focus. You only get a moment. Once, I got a “mama” hermit crab with eggs. That was special. I think even my buddies were impressed. The crabs are only mere fractions of an inch big. Yes! Small! I’m used to shooting under (time) pressure. Traditionally, my companions are always moving on to something else as I linger behind. Yup, the Poky Little Puppy.
The holy grail of night diving around where we dove in the Red Sea? The Spanish dancer. You can see them. Lots of night divers have seen them. Right! But, it’s a rare sight. They look like the skirt of a Spanish dancer – duh! Beautiful! They are very large nudibranch. Not too sexy, huh? But the holy grail nonetheless. The feather star is also a coral that will shrink if the light hits it. You see them only on night dives. And you flash photo them. A flashlight will cause them to shrink. And the last animal with the tentacles was definitely a one-time shot for me. I was with Farid in the southern site we sometimes dove. Ugly and monstrous it spooked me and fascinated me at the same time. Whoa!
It’s interesting that looking at an image, I can recall the circumstances and location I took the shot. At other times I have completely forgotten the image until it showed up again in Lightroom. Memory is funny. It’s amazing what triggers memory recall. I especially like the images where, “I took that?” pops into my head.
Follow your buddy, shoot what they shoot. My friend Marie has the ability to find great “shit.” And she breathes slow! Way slow! She can get an hour and a half from a single tank. Newbies get about thirty minutes. I got an hour. After I learned to breathe more slowly and rhythmically from her (by watching her) I could get way more dive time. And more pictures! Meanwhile, she was taking pics of the male fish (see the teeth) with eggs in their mouth. And I did too! Yay! I once saw a fern in Jamaica whose leaves shrink when touched – sort of like scrunching up when a rain drop would hit. Coral does too – some types – as in you can write things in the coral. But once one coral shrinks the whole lot seems to follow. So, it’s a trick to write letters in the shrinking coral. Good luck.