I taught Jules to ride a bike on Long Island. The trick is to use the advantage of a spinning wheel (gyroscope) that tends to stay upright when spinning fast. I just pushed from behind, gave her the notion I was holding on, and then let her go off on her own. It wasn’t hard. She got the hang of it right away. I learned from my mistake with brother John. I tried to get him riding on our lawn in Elkins. He couldn’t peddle well enough in grass to stay upright. Hey! You learn. David was younger but quickly followed his sister’s example.
4th of July – we had a BBQ one year and this was the cake we made and served. Someone brought their own Tonic Water. She left it behind in the fridge. Days later I came home late, ate dinner, pour myself a drink. I like to mix juice and fizz so I added a good measure of tonic. A few minutes later my face flushed. I asked the family if it was warm in the house. Not warm – drunk. I am intolerant of ETOH. I flush, get a headache, then fall asleep.
I have had this aversion since my first vodka screwdriver when I was a high school senior. We ate a greasy hamburger and went riding on the No. 7 train to Times Sq. As is our want we rode the last car and when the train jerked to its stop at the last station I promptly threw up and it floated under the engineer’s door. I am ashamed to say we ran.
Back to my story. Yup! That tonic was laced with gin. Our guest had mixed her own and brought it. No need to inform me. And of course, I found out. Luckily it was night and I slept off the effect before heading back to the OR the next morning. I shall ever suspect unaccounted food in my fridge.
This is so innocent. It was a moment out of context. One might be shocked. However, it was just a moment that passed and it left me laughing when I saw it developed. No, Jules was not actually doing David in. She was hugging her brother. Really! No foul! David is fine. Honest! What with the post yesterday and the car wash – is it all ok? Therapists might have a word of disagreement.
It’s ain’t me. It’s about nine year since I took the first picture you see. It’s on my blog and on my “About” (this blog) page. The image was shot on a back road of Maine. The image has a white primitive rail fence along the roadside and the fall colors are just peaking. I was shocked to see the same fence recently. I had seen it in good repair in 2014. We speculate that the owner died or became disabled and no one keeps up with the maintenance any longer. I have no way to know. The farm is still functional. There is a farmhouse in good repair. I’m saddened that something so picturesque has deteriorated so badly. I am glad to say that it’s not me who suffered a similar fate. I hope I’ll still be kicking around for a long time to come.
The population of Bethany Beach is listed at under 2000 closer to 1000 than nearer. Do you think about everyone in town was in this 4th of July parade? I was told that this massive crowd was marching in support of the republican US senate candidate. I don’t believe it. But I could be wrong. I’ve been wrong. I just don’t choose to believe my eyes that I had just photographed a group of republicans. I’m amazed my camera didn’t break. Ha! Not everyone is a republican in these pics.
Lying sac of sh*t
… our fearless leader. As soon as the bombs were intercepted, there was but a moment’s pause when our fearless leader floated the idea that democrats were behind the plot in order to throw the upcoming election their way. Thanks to the efforts of the the “terrible” FBI and others (“equally incompetent”), a suspect with ties to the right wing and ties to the biggest liar of them all – do you need to be called out by your name trump? He got a pic with you. Yes, a pic with trump not with a democrat. Oh, that’s rich too. You can say he set that up as well. There’s only so many incredulous lies you can tell. Is there anything you won’t turn around and just simply lie about? I hope regular folk are listening. As to those of you who embrace the lies, I am bewildered and saddened.
Read: The vest says FBI. The suspect has posted a pic of himself at a trump rally.
These are faces of hardcore republicans. They were about to march against the democratic candidate in the 4th of July parade. I’d have loved to have a conversation and try to understand what’s in their head. I think it’s probably better I just kept going once I ascertained their political bent. No one was gonna change their mind on this day or any other. The lies and propaganda continue to assault me as the fearless leader spouts tripe. GIGO (Garbage in, garbage out). In fairness, I think I recognized some of their husbands who demonstrated just before the fateful presidential election. I hurled my desire to grab their… They remain unbowed. Sadly.
I have since talked with one (Republican). She’s says the economy is doing fine. The unemployment is rate is low and more African Americans are working than ever before. The is no solution to gun control. And we must build a “wall.” She watches Fox news. Sadly, it’s all true. It just doesn’t happen to be the way she says. Fake news and truth is not truth… Sigh…..
Hey! Look at this! It wasn’t easy to do this. Well, it was. I got it without too much trouble. Really? The technical challenge was getting the camera to focus. The dragonfly flitted and finally landed. It stayed in place long enough for me to get my camera. Then it was hard to focus. The camera looks for sharp contrast and focuses upon the whole scene. It wanted to focus on the leaves in the background way more. The dragonfly was a thin sliver. I had to fool the camera into focusing upon the leaf and then moving the camera to shoot my dragonfly. It’s good that digital allows me multiple tries. I got a good one. I feel good that things came together for me to get this shot. Another day another dragon fly.
First time for me… We were in Liberty St Park attending a wedding. The venue was chosen for its view of lower Manhattan. There! The World Trade Center – aka – Freedom Tower. Funny, it never dawned on me till Ginny lamented the loss of the original twin towers in the picture, there’s no emotion in this image for me. It’s not the perspective I had when the towers fell on that fateful autumn day. Not the same. This view did not evoke an emotional response in me. I suppose over time the emotional impact of 9/11 will diminish. No, it was just a different point of view on this evening.
I’ve been accused of a dry sense of humor. Dry? I attended a black tie optional wedding and wore a black tie – it was dotted with brains embroidered upon it. No one noticed. No one looks at the man as long as he seems to blend in. The wedding couple were both surgeons still in residency. We gave them a cutting board. Careful, the knife’s sharp! I wonder if they will get it? And in keeping with the season…a headless doll seen at the antique store…. afterall I’m a brain surgeon. Last? This basket was displayed too high to read the price. Snap a picture, read the price. It might do to catch my head after this post.
I was struck by the salacious headlines. I wonder how they got this information? And, who got it, and who leaked it? Detail? Huh!? So! I can tell you from all my years of carving a Thanksgiving turkey…. I can’t do this in seven minutes. Couldn’t! … not even with 14 assistants. I’ve been told that the first historical limb amputation was performed in 40 seconds by a French surgeon. The assistant lost several fingers. Geez! I think that if these facts can be proven, Guinness should issue a new record. Hey! I’m a surgeon. I should be able to take this heinous act in context from a certain technical point of view. Lies! Who’s Pinocchio today?
Revenge of the …
Did you ever want to get even? I laugh now as I came across this in my edit. Washing the car in late spring is still fraught with cool temperature and cold water. Gotcha! I daresay Dave was none too pleased. His sister soaked him. Premeditated? Was there a chapter 2 in which Jules gets/got soaked? Who knows? All I can see is a poor defenseless brother “getting it” from big sister. Hey! I took the picture. I wasn’t getting in the middle. My camera would get wet. If you are not smiling by now, I don’t know what can tickle you.
I have no recollection of my grandparents. I never met them. Unfortunate for me. My kids were in pictures with their great grandmas and do remember their grandmother. My mom had passed away before my kids were born. It’s all complicated with/about who knew who or who met who. Meanwhile, this picture is three generational of women. Well it would have been four generations with one more (Lila, grandma to Jules). But you can see from this side of the family that there were no boys. David was called/referred to as “the boy” whenever anyone on that side asked. It was otherwise all girls. On my side it was all boys so David was right at home there. This photo from way back had the great grandmas of the family at that time. It has considerable nostalgic meaning now.
This guy decided to rest upon the empty screw that awaited a wind spinner. He didn’t move. I got a bunch of shots. I’d like to shoot one flying. It’s technically too difficult for me at this point. I suppose I could do it. But that would be work. I’m retired. Sit! Stay!
Gone too soon
Chinese trumpet lily – perennial, I got some last year. They bloom in early June. They last about three weeks. Then they are gone. Spectacular but short lived, they don’t look like much after the bloom. I like color all summer. Rabbits like to eat them (lilies). I have mixed feelings about having/keeping them. But during the time they are in bloom it’s worth it.
We got a $29,000 Steinway baby grand when the kids took lessons. We later sold it? It left the house and never returned. Where what its fate was? I never (afraid) to ask. I can tell you that the Happy Farmer sounded better on it. Nuts! Absolutely nuts. But we were never extravagant spenders. Huh? At least I never went out and got a Porsche. Maybe I should have. Bottom line: both kids quit. I might still have that Porsche. Well, I never did and I don’t have one now. I have better pictures of the piano. Why? It’s better I don’t see it to remember that we got it and it played piano lessons for a time.
Oh! High end? Nope. There are $300k++ pianos selling out there in the world. I’m glad my kids were not better piano players.
In the days before digital it was darned hard to do night shots as an amateur. Flash won’t light the Eiffel Tower. You used the film that was in the camera. Lights are bright but will not be sufficient to light up everything in your picture. Digital makes hash of all of that worry. The mini computer can compensate on the fly. ISO adjusts automatically as the light changes. The processor will adapt to artificial light.
Then – You accept noise in your image. Basically, you are thankful for a shot. Now – The shots are so exceptionally better that you don’t realize how easy it all is today. I’m amazed. I take it in stride and even shot the stars (recently) in the night sky without a tripod. I’m not bragging. I can only say that you can push the envelope and it often will give you something better than expected.
Portrait of the artist
I don’t consider myself an artist. I make images now. But it is more of a technical exercise with problems to solve. You solve the problem. You have the answer. The right answer gives you a 100 on the test. You get an A. Not so fast. There’s more than just pressing the shutter button. Lots of mundane ordinary photos are taken. Famous painters – Rembrandt, Da Vinci – painted themselves in self-portraits. We presume Da Vinci was left handed among other reasons because he did a painting showing his right hand. Clever! I’m a left hander in a right-hand world. I learned to operate right-handed and then adapted. I cut with scissors from the right and from the left. It’s no big deal. But if you are right handed I deem it a lot more difficult for you than me. Ha ha. I go both ways. I have talent, but I’m still not an artist.
Gotta make a livin’
Everyone’s gotta make a living. Some are creative. Others entertaining. I’ve seen variations with folks dressed like the Statue of Liberty in New York City. And then there is the renowned Naked Cowboy in Times Square. What do you call them? Mimes? This crew would fall into the category of stationary mimes. If you aren’t careful they can startle you as they suddenly move as you pass by. I have to admit that they are worth a look…perhaps a second glance… I was fortunate to have seen Marcel Marceau on a field trip in the 9th grade. He’s among the first artists listed in a google search today. Wow! I count myself indeed fortunate. Take a picture, pay a sou.
Break my heart
Falling down laughing. There’s another generation of young ones learning to spell creatively. Reading and writing is fascinating. I hated to read. My mother had tasked me with reading “The Poky Little Puppy” aloud, over and over. I suppose I should have memorized it. It would have gone faster. And I was good at memorizing things. Nonetheless, it seems to be history that repeats as kids try their hand at spelling in their early writing compositions. Jules was certainly that way. I took pictures of everything. Yet, this was one of the only samples I came across as I scanned. As I translated… it can break your heart. What can I say? Just read it and feel the innocence in her emotional plea. I presume it was directed at me? No matter. It’s a universal thought. I would hug you again if you were here now.
The most iconic painting that equates Le Louvre to art is the Mona Lisa. And did you know Whistler’s Mother is owned by France. Don’t bother to go see the Mona Lisa. Its mounted under glass and crowded with people. You are stuck with the glare of the glass that prevents any meaningful examination. I did not know “Mother” was owned by France and loaned out across the United States. We were lucky to see it in Paris. What do I know? What I can tell you is that iconic paintings tend to be in accessible or hard to find. (they’re traveling.)
I’ve been to a lot of museums in the past several years. Am I making up for lost time? Who knows? What I can say is that I now try for a gestalt overview and then a detail of the brush strokes. It helps to include the label so I can identify the darned painting later. No, even though digital makes this easy, I don’t do it. There are a few painters I recognize. Mostly, I admire the technical prowess. I cannot tell much difference. It’s me. I can’t tell the differences in wine taste either. I’m missing a gene. No matter. I have other talent and am content to continue to look and try to be appreciative. It’s a work in progress (me). Ain’t educashun gran?
We’re at the national meeting circa 1983– AANS. This is as conservative a group as you’d ever wanna not meet up with. Very! Trust me! They’d vote republican as long as the candidate has a heartbeat and then maybe without the “beat” if they could. We’re newly minted neurosurgeons just out of residency – Henry and I. Neurosurgeons and their spouses showed up in elaborate costumes such as full regale colonial wear. What to do? We hadn’t a clue. This was nearly our first rodeo. Ah! Brilliant! Henry and I went to the nearest men’s room in the lobby. Voila! Arthur Day a conservative from Florida tried to stop us at the entrance. We were streakers. It’s legal. And! We had a ticket. Damn, if he didn’t mutter while he let us in. I never did cotton up to the powers that be in our national leadership. There are some liberals too. We span the spectrum. However, there is definitely a hard core of conservatives who speak for our organization. Not me. They don’t speak for me and I don’t have my opinion counted among them. We’re all just fine that way.
Do you like it? Do you eat it? My mom made BLT’s for me during college on Sundays. It would be Sunday lunch with shoe string fries that she fried up in the bacon fat for an extra flavor taste. What did we know about unhealthy eating back then? I used to get a BLT in Morgantown WV when we traveled there for orthodontic appointments. They were memorably sublime. Kidding! I just remember that we’d stop in the same diner downtown and I’d always have a BLT. Some who know me also know I’m a creature of habit. I still like a BLT. …very occasionally, ‘cause they are not exactly healthy to eat. This package was unrefrigerated in the grocery aisle. I paused. Ha ha. This sh*t is worse than Spam. 70 calories 45 from fat! Well, Spam’s worse – 120 cal/slice 110 from fat. Either way, look at the price per unit – $31 /lb. Eat steak. Eat filet mignon. Eat as much as you want. Bacon is fat and it’s expensive fat. Where’s the bang for your buck? I? Me? I still like a BLT when I can persuade my personal cook to make one. Otherwise I don’t order one in a restaurant. So many choices so little time…
In the interest of fairness, I’m including the immediate family in 1975. My dad had died about a year earlier. Brothers John and Eric, and my Mom were in Disney World. Yes, me too. I don’t have any black and whites to follow. I started (photography) at the World’s Fair in 1966. Nope, none of those are around. Eric my have them in a drawer somewhere in Mom’s house. Perhaps that is why I so assiduously documented my kids’ childhood. At a certain point the task is too large to have photographed everything. And to store everything? It got way out of hand when the kids started taking their own pictures. For now, this trio is from the first roll of slides I kept, stored, and digitized.
“Preserve your memories” – Paul Simon, Simon & Garfunkel.
My only curiosity is – who will keep the numerous drawers with all those slides after me. The digital will be on multiple hard drives. Great! But I already have trouble keeping track of those.