We passed him going up the road. I thought he was an eagle and turned around to try for a shot. I always have a camera somewhere close. Meanwhile Colleen did not estimate the spot well. She thought he’d flown. But no! I came upon him in the same tree. He was eating a meal. (Don’t ask what the dead thing is.) I got a mug shot – right, left, and frontal. Nice detail. It was kind of like a school photo. Action or some unique behavior would have been appreciated. I was happy to catch a good shot. I thought he was an eagle. But an osprey is good too. They don’t exactly sit by the road and pose. At least I did not get funny expressions as he chewed.
I can Photoshop. Of course, I can. We stuck our heads in the holes and I melded them later. Colleen’s pose looks the same but I assure you we took multiple shots. It just goes to show you how steady a force she has been in my life. She’s a constant. … constantly reminding me of the speed limit, of the weather, that the door is unlocked… well to know what it’s like…to know her is to love her…a lot!
Yup, seven. The odds of getting them in one photo is near infinitesimal. They disrupt all order so that there are always things out of place. And catproof is akin to childproof. Anything and everything gets knocked out of place. Some rugs have not been straight in our house in forever. Every once in a while, I try to get all seven within a moment of one another. They like to get out on the deck and sun and eat grass. It’s my opportunity. Of course, Ray always daydreams of being elsewhere. The rest are content to stare at me. By now they are used to the presence of a camera in front of my face. I suppose it’s nuts to have seven cats. They are content and we would never part with a single character.
Birthday! To say that we are happy… well, yeah! Can you tell? The past years have been pretty special. I hope your birthday is as happy as I can make it. Who could have guessed that from when we met in the third grade, you would so profoundly affect my life. May all the wishes on your birthday cake candles come true.
I am very pleased at how the spring planting turned out. And with my good images piling up, you would have a good flower photo every day for a good long time. Instead, I summarize. I may sneak some more shots but… In the front the wisteria is coming along nicely. They are beginning to grow across and obscure the balcony rail. Roses, the bane of my garden, occasionally reward me with some color. I have mostly sickly looking roses. Nope, I am not a rose person. Otherwise the back deck is predicated on summer long color. It has no organization. There is a mix of perennial and annual flowers. Sometimes the perennials show up again and sometimes not. Herbs grow. And for the first time I am cooking with fresh herbs. The cats eat fresh catnip. But mostly, they enjoy grass. Imagine? My cats eat grass like cows.
Into the wide world, Ray and Nutley have both attempted to go explore. Ray has jumped the gate with ease and run off leading me on a merry chase. I would miss him or his brother if they went missing. Colleen would never forgive me. I tried a harness and a break away collar. No luck, both cats broke free in seconds. Darn! So, a real collar and a tether. It worked except the twins would get entangled and run out of rope. No one was hung. I did not give them that much rope. So, aside from moving the rope anchor around, it’s a system that has assured that the twins will remain on the reservation. My sanity has been restored and is intact for now.
This would be our 4th try at basket making. I would say it was impressive work. Colleen had doubt we could do this when she signed us up. Guess which basket I made? It’s called a feather basket for the decorative embellishment. It was dead simple to do. And the result is very striking. A group of women showed up – and me. Why am I the only guy? Though I was close, I was not able to finish in a day’s work. Our cousins have had great sport making fun of us. But the result speaks for itself. The only thing left is the staining to make the baskets look more aged. Given the expense, it’s less costly to get old baskets in the antique stores we frequent. However, there is a great deal of satisfaction in completing a project and the social gathering is priceless. Yup, everyone guess correctly about the one I made.
No one wants bad news. Positive good news is best. Doctors want to cure. Patients should not leave in despair. Any drug treatment as long as it doesn’t hurt is acceptable. I preached back in 2008 that Pfizer made ~$5 billion a year on a drug to treat fibromyalgia. The diagnosis was a made up medical diagnosis. There is no test that supports the diagnosis. But no one believed it. At least the primary care MD’s at my talk objected. It worked in their patients. Once again there is a voice in the crowd that objects. And if you follow the money, that voice will be stilled. After all Pfizer has millions to spend to protect billions in sales. No doubt there are many among you who can swear it works. Have you considered modern day Snake Oil?
No harm no foul? There are side effects. That’s why folks believe the drug is effective. You know you have taken it because it’s side effects are real. Physicians prescribe it because patients have said it works. It’s a self serving cycle. Call it psychological symbiosis. The only real beneficiary is Pfizer. Money talks. Every time I watch the TV commercial and the disclaimers I am saddened by the disinformation. Gaba, lyrica, horizant – all drugs masquerading as cures for diseases that aren’t.
Ida had foxes give birth in her barn. They would come out around 7PM. And we were fortunate enough to see them the night we visited. The light was poor. But I got foxes. Neat! There were a bunch of them. More than one mom? They were brave. One just stood his ground and let me get a closeup.
Nutley and Ray are restricted on the outdoor deck. They wear a collar on a tether in order to prevent them from going over the gate and into the wide world. I anchor the rope to the outdoor table and move the anchor as they tangle up going around the furniture. Got it? I looked down and noticed blood on the deck. It was funny looking thin almost like grape juice. Nope! Blood! Colleen and I checked. No mosquitoes. Neither of us was bleeding. It was Nutley. Big! All over. There was a trail of blood around the planter. Dunno? The cut was small – right on his ear. But it kept bleeding. Pressure did not work. We went through several paper towels. I’d get the bleeding to slow down and Nutley would shake his head vigorously and start the bleeding all over again. Normal bleeding time for humans is under 8 minutes. In cats? It just kept bleeding. …. til it stopped suddenly. It bled once more with another head shake. But after that it stopped. To be sure it was a traumatic experience for us both (human and cat). Nutley howled pitifully. But it all stopped. And Nutley lives!
It’s been a good spring. We caught another superbloom. This time it was a field of yellow. It was not advertised so the only one to be there with me was Colleen and the veterinary tech at the vet office. The twins were in for shots.
Ray has been shaking his head. “Can you check his ears?” The vet took a swab. No ear mites. But there is bacteria and yeast. Treatment? Ok. I don’t know what it cost – plausible deniability. I was a surgeon. We wore gloves for surgery. There is bacteria on your skin. That would be a fact. And mold forms on food left in the fridge too long. So let me ask. Do you think there might be bacteria and yeast in a cat’s ear? I feel like a pediatrician who appeases the parent by prescribing an antibiotic for a viral cold. Not me. It was Colleen who asked the question.
I’m working a container garden on a deck about 20 up. We have a planter with green onions/chives that bloom in the spring. How’d I get these bugs? They flew on up? Or crawled? It’s a long way. How’d they find them? It was about the last thing I expected when I edited the images. I was looking for stamens and other flower parts. Bugs! We got bugs.
…at least three.
It’s spring. I just completed the annual planting ritual. This year I avoided (mostly) Home Depot and Lowes. Their plants are less costly? But the quality is inferior. I got much nicer stuff and for comparable price at the local nurseries. Well, they were a bit of a hike. We traveled greater than 20 miles to get there. Different stores carry different things. I won’t belabor. I got carnations at Walmart. They were spectacular last year. As always, after planting, a series of flower shots follow. This year I report that the pics taken with the Sony RX100M6 are inferior to the Canon G7X. The Canon just has better close focus capability. I can get a good shot with the Sony but it is much harder to get close focus on the flower parts. Realizing this fact I utilized the strength of the Canon at close range. As a result my results were way better and much easier to achieve.
AZ. There are conservative republicans. The base. See: picture window. We stopped because the internet described a quaint diner that was gluten free and vegan friendly. Not! Who knows? Colleen saw the window and grimly declared we would not eat in the neighboring diner. Guilt by association was too much. Ever agreeable to my dear wife, we moved on. Is this what republican food looks like? They were too busy to even notice we left. Or would that be (alt) right?
Now for a technical tip or two. Colleen’s down jacket will squish into a tiny pouch. It’s ideal for travel. It packs light and small. And my big Domke camera bag – I’m carrying way too much equipment these days. The Sony RX100M6 is an excellent point and shoot. I should admit that it is as good as my Nikon D610. It turned out to be warmer in April at the Grand Canyon. Off came the coat and vest. And I downsized to a small backpack. When you are exerting yourself at altitude every pound less is appreciated.
No, I am not advertising for Lay’s chips. At the Grand Canyon you are at 6800 feet. It’s high enough for the pressure inside the bag to exceed the outside atmospheric pressure. So my model was kind enough to show you two bloated bags. It happens in jetliners too. The cabin is pressurized to about 6000 – 8000 ft. I never noticed the pressure change on an airplane but walking about at >6000 ft will leave you short of breath. Maybe. I was. Colleen wasn’t. She’s a better (wo)man than me. … and always has been.
When I go to a tourist attraction I do my best to avoid the crowd. An oxymoron? Well, I do my best not to have people cluttering my picture. I can do this for the most part. But the time to be there is offseason. When? Not April. But December works. The only thing is that it is cold! Your choice. I was happier cropping out tourists in April.
Quintessential shot? It’s a big hole in the earth. You really can’t do it justice shooting from the rim. There are lots of photobooks in the bookshop. Sunrise/sunset shots are nice. I’m still searching for a better shot. Otherwise, pick one at random. They are all spectacular.
Jump? This is a trick my kids taught me. You look like you are jumping out over the Grand Canyon. Isn’t that grand? Bend your knees. You look higher. (They neglected to mention that part.) And you need a willing photographer. Colleen does not like heights. She objected (strenuously) all the while she was shooting. Hey! I was the test dummy.
I’m a photographer? The Kolb brothers were daredevils that filmed the Grand Canyon. Their feats were something to make the heart faint. Colleen is the reader. She read and told me about their exploits. The wood home/studio was perched precariously on the canyon rim.
The railroad and Harvey company tried to compete and put them out of business. They commissioned Mary Colter to design a stone building on the trail ahead of the Kolb house. Tourists would stop there first and miss the Kolb studio. And to make things worse the company put their mule waste station upwind from the Kolbs. Yup, a shitty situation. The Kolbs prevailed and the building stands. Who knew the histories and how they intertwined? I should read more.
“Oh, bury me not, on the lone prairie…” lyrics cowboy ballad. Tumbleweed. It’s a Russian thistle that is invasive across the western US. It’s a weed! $65 online. Yup, someone started to collect and sell them. Me? I did not and do not want one. Our grandkid wanted one for his dad. ??? yup, Xmas. Ok! I found one in CO. We were speeding down the road and I screeched to a stop, hopped out the car, and caught one against the fence. …saved myself $65. Yeah, we looked online. I thought I could do the deed without searching the prairie. We got that sucker home and promptly it was lost. They left it on top of the car as they loaded the luggage to go home. We rescued it again about a block away as it lodged against a fire hydrant. I’ve no clue as to its fate. All I know is that I caught a weed.
For some reason there were more people with odd costumes or hair at the sheep festival. Party! Party color! When did I become conservative? But, you dress like this and you beg me to look and notice you. Maybe I don’t get out enough these days.
This is our local US Senator Tom Carper. He arrived with his wife to garner votes for the 2018 election. Two hours! He spent 1 hour 45 minutes listening. We complained of – gun control, immigration, abortion, women’s rights… Masterfully done. In the final few minutes he said it was bad in America. It has been before. It would get better. Not a word of policy or opinion. Nothing controversial. We don’t know a thing about his stance on any policy issue. Yup. The job of politicians is to get re-elected. How odd? But if you have a job, don’t you want to keep it? The truth would get you tossed out. And, the New York Times editorial today is just now reporting this as news? You guys are late to the party. Most of us knew this long ago.
…as in “complaint.” I have nothing but sympathy for Colleen. There’s no wait in the men’s side of the restrooms. And the women’s line is out the door and up the block… Evidently someone thought of this. There was a bank of portapotties about 100 or so, down the road and out of sight of this place. Nice of you folks to inform people. Meanwhile, you would think the planners would have known to make the women’s side more capacious. But then again, the architect was a man?
Sheep and wool fairs always have a place where they sell fleece. It would be fleece that is sheared from the sheep and sold in large plastic bags at $/pound. It’s less expensive than yarn ready to weave. But there is a lot of processing. Are all fleeces equal. Hardly. Picking fleece is an art. I’m learning. I used to go by feel. That would be too simple. As we picked and chose, a volunteer came up and “squoze” my bag. Huh? She recognized her fleece and was checking. Yup, it was from her sheep. A mother always knows. Neat! If you wander into the fleece barn… you get fleece. I/we must be good pickers. A couple people admired our choices and told us they’d take the bag if we changed our mind.