This is another rare two post day. We had an excellently splendid day yesterday. And the bonus is that extra day – leap year brings. No doubt it’s special. I never paid it much attention in the past. Ha ha, it falls on the presidential election year. There are not many days like today. And, I suppose I’m being sentimental in realizing that there aren’t too many to come. Cheers! Yes! It was a special day for us.
It’s leap year! Leap day!
How do you get out of a rut? Huh? I’ve been in the camera doldrums. Eh? I’ve been just doing the same old… We’re planning to travel again. Ah! Photo ops! But… Shake things up. I’m fortunate to be able to shop cameras. Anything new? Any new ideas? Ah! Well, I’m looking to lighten the load I carry. The big old DSLR is weighty – mighty! I’m ditching my big 80-400mm zoom on the next trip. …too much weight. Mirrorless – ILC (interchangeable lens camera) – lose weight. I’m not yet ready to give up a camera for the ubiquitous iPhone shot. That tiny iPhone lens can’t compete with a dedicated lens/real glass. So, I got one. It was $$ but not $$$ or $$$$.
And, I got a series of shots I would not have bothered to shoot a few days earlier. Yeah, fun again. It’s good to have fun.
I read (still). Ha! Photography! Still. And sometimes you learn something. After all these years… Simple. Pose. Those selfies….? Nah! Try turning your heads together. Wow! What rock have I been under? Yeah, yeah, someone needs a haircut.
Just for fun. It was a rare time when Colleen was driving. I was sleepy. That darned vintage car followed us right to our destination! … and parked in the driveway two houses down. It followed us home!
…Anniversary. We don’t do (attend) too many weddings. Too old or too young… it would be grandchildren next. Friends?… done. Kids of friends? … ditto. My cousin Amy got a late start and we found ourselves at her excellent wedding. Little did I know, I’d be doing it (marrying) again. Happy? Yes! …as in, ever after! It’s not often life comes around with a second chance. Impolitic? Yes, one can see the pros and cons by looking from different directions. Me? I got one direction. Grab on for the ride of my life. It’s been “no contest” this past year. Sorry, if anyone feels otherwise. I’m not having regrets.
It was lady’s night. The respective husbands were otherwise unable to attend (the restaurant). Chicken parm comes on a plate – a large plate. Did I say, “Large plate?!” The pounded cutlet fills the plate to the point where the spaghetti on the side was served up on a second plate. The portion was large enough to take home and serve up to the absent husbands. Me? I was at the head of the table. That means I picked up the check. I feel like I got caught in the headlights. Next time….
Gluten free muffins require a muffin pan. No, there are no gluten free pans. Ha ha. Did ya think? Meanwhile the shelf collapsed. (heavy muffin?) The shelf pins were cheap plastic. Oh well, clean the cabinet and rearrange it all. Except… my cats weren’t having any of it. They sat and waited me out. I waited. They sat. Standoff. The muffins? Oh! They were good! … especially with butter. And later, I got to go get real shelf pins. It’s never easy. They were 5mm pins as opposed to the usual ¼ inch size. It meant a trip to the big box store to get parts.
We have been battling dim lights. Ha ha. It’s not age so much as improvement in LED lighting technology (and cost). I’ve had a whole new education in light bulbs. Watts is the old standard. But, now it matters about lumens. And all lumens are not the same. Really!? The light bulb companies state what they have and you discover that all lumens are not equally bright. (Duh?!) For the first time I am seeing 3000K and 5000K (on the box) and the talk about yellow, blue, and white light. The color of light? It’s photography 101. And there are bulbs you can get that will light a stadium. And the watts are low, so, you can install one in your house and not blow a fuse or raise the electric bill. TMI. I got a fixture sitting 18 ft up in the ceiling. I got an 8 foot ladder. Oh my!! (Shit!) The overexposure in the image is intentional. That’s a bright light!
It’ a game. If I can’t see you… can you see me? This time it was Ray (above) and Elle (below). They chase, run, and hide. It’s a moment of pause. Everyone is resetting. Ready? Set? ….
I got squirrels. Look on YouTube. There are hilarious videos of ways to combat squirrels at the feeder. The poor birds? Hey! Squirrels gotta eat too! …unless your wife thinks squirrels are furry rats. You can see two feeders. The first was like a buffet. The squirrels were putting on weight! The second, a cheap plastic, device was so flimsy it was destroyed in a day. The squirrels destroyed it in a day! Destroyed! In a day! So, I broke down. …. Birds gotta eat. The new feeder has stopped the squirrels. So, there’s no pic. Ha ha. No squirrels. There’s/that’s not a pic.
Things stop working. But in five years? I replaced the sink and faucet less than five years ago. Bastards! Planned obsolescence. But… damn. The water pressure was a trickle. I checked everything including the metal filter. No dice. Take a chance? Maybe it wasn’t the faucet’s fault? I hated to get a new faucet. Damn, again. Meanwhile you can’t get the damn faucet out without taking the sink out. Yeah. No big deal. Wrong! It was a freakin’ nightmare. But, we got it done. Caulked. No leak. Tidy. And… the water runs just fine. I hate it when things break early and for no reason. I wonder what a plumber would have charged? Hey! They gotta feed their kids too!
The flowers are out early. Not. I was in the home store and they were selling artificial flower arrangements for $40. Really?! I looked closer and suddenly it dawned on me. Ha ha. I’ve been under a rock. The old fake plastic stuff has grown up. Though fake, the flowers definitely look real, on first glance, a whole lot more deceiving. So, I tried some. They are not cheap! But, then I’m not buying any more and the color will last for as long as I can stand it till the dust settles. I like learning new tricks.
So, you wanna walk? … all in good time. Patience! Would that be mom, dad, or baby – patience? I have a photo of Lisa holding one of the kids in the same pose. They were on the green reclining outdoor chair. I can’t find that photo at the moment. I am not that good?! But this one evoked the deep emotion of that previous moment in time. Yes, full circle.
Support. It’s out there. Support your despot. Clemency… convicted of trying to selloff a US Senate seat! There are those among you who don’t care. Why? As Mel Brooks said, “It’s good to be king.” Sorry, it doesn’t sit right by me. What have I missed? Congress and the American people are ok with this? And you? We? Anybody home? I sit and watch the emperor with no clothes and wonder how it is no one is paying attention? …anyone but trump.
Yes, it’s yogurt (thick)! Who invented the spoon and why? How about chopsticks? How about them?! It (fingers) looks like fun. But, I’m a neat eater. I don’t like sauce or mess… or yogurt on my fingers. I guess it’s taught – using utensils. I can pick up a single grain of rice with chopsticks. Neat? Fun? We learn to use flush toilets too. Okay! But, isn’t it hard to look at this kid and not want to wipe her fingers and mouth?
It’s all in the aim, ain’t it? Small implement, small target, messy result.
Here’s a technical tip. Move the camera in front of the eyes and it will look as though your granddaughter is looking directly into your eyes/lens. Cheating? Nope. It’s just good sense. Note: she’s in a waterproof jacket. It cuts down on laundry and makes clean up a bit easier. She still slings food. And, fingers are optional and definitely flavorful.
Maybe you wonder how I choose/edit my photos. At this point it’s a gestalt. You see it. It triggers an emotional response. Done. I’ve done plenty of bird feeder shots and not so many birds in the trees. Once again, I might add that despite the bright red color, cardinals are not that easy to spot when they are sitting among the branches. Honest. You have to zoom in and isolate your subject or the viewer might miss him. Him, yes, the bright red ones are the males. It was a slow day to find subjects to shoot.
Hiawatha has been there for a long time. We’ve never been inside. The store is going out of business. Nice sign. It might be a nice time to remind you that I shoot Singers.
I get the machine and the serial number. The serial numbers identify where and when the machine was manufactured. Nice again – but generally useless information.
We have been seeking a pencil pine for Xmas. Artificial please, and please make it a low $$. Instead we found an alternative when and where we were not looking. White pine, done well, and a brother. We couldn’t resist. I guess you had to be there to appreciate that a long (very) search had come to a (sort of) end.
We were stopped in a coffee shop Colleen adores. Turmeric latte. What can I say? It’s good for you/her. I deferred. I sat and took in the ambiance. We were also here for the ambiance. A graphic image caught my attention. Drat! I almost had a great shot. It’s okay but it could have used a bit better focus.
Meanwhile, I noticed a family moving about, ordering, and eating. It took me a while longer to realize that there was a sleeping child on the table. I mistook the shoes for mittens and hats. There were two kids not one. Consider it an optical delusion.
They make fun of me. I take pictures, randomly, of everything. There’s no rhyme nor reason. Is it just to take something, anything? Why!?? Film cost $$. A memory card costs $$. But the bang for your buck… is incomparable. So, I shoot, whatever. Lately – for a while – I shoot old typewriters. Now, I shoot in three views – face on, top down, and the keys. Three pictures explain better than my description herein. I have seen many many typewriters. I have the view of them. Why? Dunno, but I do.
Sometimes it’s not about the picture. I grew up in Elkins, a small town. This was before fast food, before McD. There was Dairy Queen and Tastee Freez. The later is down to 25 stores. DQ has 6400 in 25 countries. McD is between 14k and 16k. The DQ burger of my (memory) youth was akin to the White Castle “grey” disc. Nothing special, they were a treat whenever mom was feeling like a night off from feeding us real food. So, for the first time since childhood… yes, the first time in many decades, we were persuaded to stop in one while traveling through WV. It was an eyeopener. The burger was huge and greasy. It was as good as any diner burger I have had recently. And the chocolate shake was thick, like a soft serve ice cream. Good!? It was as good (burger) as I could get without making it myself. That good? Maybe I was hungry? Would I return? Maybe it won’t be decades.
Mike rebuked me. I take pictures of everything. “Useless!” he intoned sarcastically. I take pictures of plates of food. Ha! I guess we don’t see eye to eye. (I don’t think – never have seen – he owns a camera. He doesn’t run a blog and he doesn’t care to. Though we’re friends, one might question the commonality of our ways. Since, we’ve (Colleen and I) been here I have passed this joint many a time. I picture it as a fast food type place. No interest. But, finally, on a cold winter night, we looked up the menu and decided to give it a try. Boredom? Not Mike, you know who? and me. We parked and walked to the door. Locked! Lights on! Blazing in the night. Closed! Private party. Ha ha. We won’t be coming back. Sorry. Bad timing?! I was saved! And for Mike, there will be no food picture this time.
Dogs have owners, cats have staff. It’s news to me. But, true. I do whatever they say in order to please them. Colleen told me this news not long ago. News? Not really, I’ve been trying to please women all my life. Yes, dear. Do what she wants, go where she says. You live a lot longer, happier.
I think of history as old and ancient – time. Colleen and I have been together a few short years. Yet…. all the ornaments I had went with Lisa. Colleen brought some and we acquired a few (lot), just like we acquired a few (four) more cats. As you see, we get a lot of help. That would be Nutley (aptly named).
Santa? A friend collected them. I never paid much attention. Colleen got an interest. And off we went. When we visited Winterthur, it seems that Mr. Dupont collected Santas too. How’d we compare? Not too bad. My hat’s off to Colleen’s sharp eye. I may find them but she’s the one with final approval. Honestly, I am impressed with how quickly our collection has accumulated in such a short span. Call it, making up for lost time. Mr. Dupont’s Santas are to the left.
I was playing with Willow. I stuck the sticky ribbon to his fur. Not good, my bad. He scurried into the bedroom where he was seen by Spice who did a cat doubletake. Colleen was tickled to see the confusion and reaction. I escaped a scolding.