Word and Image

Archive for June, 2020

Town

Post office. We have two nearby. We chose the one less frequented. There was no one inside when we pulled up. Two other cars came while I waited in the car. Colleen got the local news – free. The beaches are officially closed. The police patrol to keep it that way. People walk and exercise. Blue sky on one side and storm clouds from the other. We got a drenching downpour complete with thunder and lightning about an hour later. It’s just another exciting day in lockdown.

The dichotomy of the view – you chose – Corona or death – hoax? or real? – Republican? or – One could speculate a storm is coming or, it has passed.

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…two months have passed since I scheduled this post. Corona came and never left. The beach opened. Corona is worse around us. Danger! There are folks everywhere. …follow the money.


Replacement

I had to scramble for a post. It looks like I have posted erroneously publishing the same pics twice. My current project is editing images after the departure of our little grandchild. Don’t ask. I shot a lot (thousands) of images in two days. So far, I’m about 1/8 through editing. Corona weighs upon us all. I’m inserting a snapshot of the day with the hope that all of the family remains well.

The little one is among a crowded space of spinning wheels. For the record, this is the second time during corona that the house has been clean. Company comes, and, we all get vacuumed and straightened…


The last time…oops

It looks like I have already published this post a few days ago. We’ve been kind of distracted. I didn’t notice my error till now. Oh well, stuff happens.

The last time… we ate out, we had dinner guests, our house was clean. Well, now might be the time to look back. Ha ha! I compose posts long before published. I am trying to stick to the one/day rule Jules imposed. This is/was being written in early May. Poignant! Literally the day/same evening we ate our last meal out as DE closed all restaurants.

We only clean up when we invite dinner guests. This was the last clean up before Jen and Mike came for St Pat’s corned beef. And the very next day… no toilet paper to be had. It’s been a while. No, no, no, there’s a new normal. Little did I know. Our house will not be tidy again, for a long long time. It’s a good thing. I do so love my life and my wife. Eh? What did I say? … I can’t remember when I last saw TP on the shelves! …  and I love my wife.


Action

Look. This is what you need to notice: The hand is (motion) blurred. The blocks are in motion falling down. The child has a wonderful expression – joy!

Can you guess where we’ve been recently? Yes! We cautiously made a field trip and did a visit in the midst of corona. Everyone’s been intelligently quarantined – for us, it’s been months. The auto everything camera of today has made me lazy. I press the shutter and magic occurs and a perfect image appears on my memory card. Not so fast, there’s a lot of factors in play – lighting, shutter speed, ISO, F-stop, zoom, composition, timing… Hey! That makes me scramble, I’m always seeking the perfect moment. I’m not sure you ever get there. But some moments are better than others. I am very thankful to have captured “moments” more than “almost.”


The last time

The last time… we ate out, we had dinner guests, our house was clean. Well, now might be the time to look back. Ha ha! I compose posts long before published. I am trying to stick to the one/day rule Jules imposed. This is/was being written in early May. Poignant! Literally the day/same evening we ate our last meal out as DE closed all restaurants.

We only clean up when we invite dinner guests. We have not seen uncluttered tables in quite some time. This was the last clean up before Jen and Mike came for St Pat’s corned beef.

And the very next day… no toilet paper to be had. It’s been a while. No, no, no, there’s a new normal. Little did I know. Our house will not be tidy again, for a long long time. It’s a good thing. I do so love my life and my wife. Eh? What did I say? … I can’t remember when I last saw TP on the shelves! …  and I love my wife.


Drying

We’ve had considerable rain this past spring. I almost missed this shot. I’m thankful that the Sony RX100 has electronic zoom capable of matching my Nikon 80-400 zoom. A vulture sat sunning and drying out. I’ve seen cormorants do this behavior. My good luck, I got the shot.


Canon G3

Canon G3

I have to credit Lisa with transitioning me to digital photography. She bought me this camera one birthday long ago. Until then I was an Ektachrome slide photographer. Nikon would not put out the digital D70 for a year or more. This (G3) was the camera recommended by the camera shop. I enjoyed the use of it though I never made it my “go to” camera. Nonetheless, I used the G3 to shoot some of Susan’s daughter’s wedding though I never did use it extensively. And then, the Nikon D70 came in 2004. I shot Dave’s high school graduation and never shot another frame of slide film after that. Just like that – analog slide to digital. Julia swore she could always tell my scanned slides from digital images, until she stopped complaining one day. Yup, I still have this camera. It’s unused. It occupies a treasured spot on the shelf, honorably retired. (My mistake. it’s gone missing. The G3. I have an extensive collection of unused gear. It’s there somewhere, just where, I’m not sure.)

The latest greatest? I just learned (realized) how much I have evolved. I did a photo shoot with a mirrorless camera. Advantages over my big Nikon DSLR: smaller, lighter weight!, LCD viewfinder. I shoot at different angles and compose differently. Embrace change? It’s a tool (camera). Know your camera and it’s capabilities. Use it. I love learning new things after all these years.

And, once more I apologize to my dear (present) wife. Colleen weaves. She reads (weaving), takes classes, and watches video at every opportunity. I have often wondered why? You know it, already? And then, I look at what I know and how it evolved. She’s always right. And, I can hear, “I told you so,” coming right around the corner at me!


Cat blog

I should be doing a cat blog. They are my/our kids now. So, they (the cats) get a lot of photo ops. They cooperate. There’s one good shot after another. How many good cat shots do you need? I can get a good portrait. I’m working on action. Don’t laugh. I have a camera everywhere I sit. Behavior happens in an instant. You gotta be ready. I try.


Lavender

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A lot of the pics I post are spontaneous. That is to say, they are just grab shots. Unplanned. Unstaged. I don’t do elaborate set up. I’m too lazy. What comes out of the camera… editing, I just let the image call out. Lavender, it’s in our garden. I just know certain framing is good. After that the picture is good or it’s not.


It Works!

Since I know Colleen we have been taking pictures of barn looms. I shoot to see the tie up and set up. Fascinating?! Well, we bought a real one a couple years back. It dates back to the revolutionary war period – old, real old. And then we won another one in a chance pick up from a man who got a pile of wood at a government auction and didn’t know what to do with it. (The name – they kept them in barns, or the construction of the loom was like constructing a barn.) No one knows. After a couple of years, it works. I built the harnesses. And we tied the heddles – hand tied – my surgical skill came in handy. It works! Did I say that? We actually… Colleen is actually weaving with it. Ain’t that grand?


sizzle….FIZZLE

all talk, NO SHOW. You are famous in your own mind. One million people applied for tickets. (one more lie you told) Less than 19 thousand showed up. One third of the venue was unfilled. The overflow venue was empty except for a few photographers. The fake media showed the empty blue colored seats. Blue!? Democrats silently mocking! Sinking ship? Time to jump? You rats? You can’t get elected when you are under water. Last one out, turn off the lights. … out with a whimper. …irrelevant.

I keep getting email from Susan Collins telling me she needs money for her desperate campaign to keep her seat. She’s pathetically begging. Perhaps you should follow her plea?


Rollergirl

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What can I say? Skate around the streets of Manhattan in practically no clothes. It might not stand out on the beach. But, really! Killer outfit!. I was stopped at the traffic light. My camera was on the seat. I lifted it and got off a single shot. Somehow, she sensed I was there. She rolled on past the van and took refuge in the doorway of the next apartment building. She looked warily at my car but my camera was already down on the seat once more. Spooky. Some weird guy shooting you while you exercise (in practically no clothes). How weird?


B ass ackwards

Cheaters never prosper. Now you guys look like real assholes. Stupid!! You fire a guy and announce it nationally. But!!! You didn’t tell the guy he was fired. So, Berman didn’t slink off to lick his wounds. He outright defied his firing and will continue merrily onward investigating the very thing you fired him for. Convoluted? Nah! Stupid! I’ve been wondering what happened to Rudi? I guess someone is hot on the trail. Only a few more months of madness… At the end of the day cheating has a way of coming back to bite you on the ass. There are (FEWER) faithful supporters. …be afraid.


Dawn

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I tried to shoot the puffins. … as in photograph them. I made three trips. The first two were duds. I never saw a puffin. The boat to the island could not land. I chummed both times. Up and down, up and down, went the boat. Up came whatever breakfast there was. On this particular trip I was tearing across Maine at around 3:30AM to get to the boat dock. Ok, maybe a bit later. Dawn! This turns out to be the picture of the day! No puffins! I told you, I chummed. Wanna see? No? Well, then this is the sum and substance of that trip. It might not look too swell, but the work I put in to get to this pic is what makes it even more special to me. It’s never so good as when you realize later that the best picture of the day was the first.


supreme being… NOT!

I keep looking. I can’t find details of the executive order! So far, Mythic not Epic. Everything Obama did, trump can’t erase! Watching media coverage of his faithful fanatics lining up for the upcoming trump rally in Oklahoma, I realize, even Hitler had supporters. You are not the supreme being! You never were. Your tantrums only highlight your inability to make a deal! … or to sign an effective executive order.

I am heartened that your time is ending in a whimper. I am happy that your insane (executive) orders go unheeded. Can you say: laughing stock? Never have so many, mocked you, DISRESPECT. … or worse: forgotten, irrelevant. With each tweet, you look less presidential!

That government is best which governs least.Henry David Thoreau

It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.Henry David Thoreau


Pastel

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Puerto Rico, San Juan. Sunday? I was barely talking with Lisa. We’d been in a fight for quite a long time. We somehow were in San Juan to start the one and only cruise I have ever been on. Walking randomly in the streets, I glanced down the next. Perfect. A moment. The light! Someone walking. Color! Does it get better than when you know you shot something special the moment you pressed the shutter?


Haystack before the storm…

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The best picture I ever took that I wish I had a do over: Random! Totally! This was on a road trip in Europe. Does it matter where? When? … a very long time ago. We had stopped (the car) many many times. The patience of my passenger/wife? was at an end. No stopping. I had a point and shoot (film!) camera in my lap. Auto anything? I just lifted the camera to the driver side window and fired one shot. One! Single! Shot! That’s it. The moment was gone, never to be seen (ever!) again. Am I clear? I missed out on a real moment. I couldn’t stop. Who knew? Well, I got something to show you all. Regrets? I have a few. But then life did turn out with a happy ending somewhere along the line. And I hope to be on the road again. And my beloved spouse will (though not intentionally) pressure me to keep on the move. Next…


Diary

Dearest. It’s a slow day on quarantine. Good? You bet. Boring is good. No disease. It’s abstract. I choose to believe so. The map is abstract. Unfortunately, no. But, we talked of reading fantasy. Everyone has gone back to comfort foods – junk, but childhood security. Campbell’s soup? It does feel like Alice n Wonderland. Cheshire anyone? Sleeping cats, ours have a routine oblivious to the chaotic world outside. Innocence! Social distance. But, of course! Beer and spirits? Yes, to that too. We finished off the last of our personally imported Scotch straight from the distillery in Scotland. How’s that for dropping names? The beer? From Belgium imported and plucked from the sale bin at the local liquor store. Good stuff! Yes, indeed! This recalls the only French drinking song I ever learned in class: Chevalier de la table ronde. Gouton voir si le vin est bon? And so it goes… Pretty amazing! Seventh grade French -Msr. Steindler.

Note: I originally composed this post nearly two months ago. Not too much changed. It’s still apropos. What’s worse, we are now embarking on the second wave. This post is as though two months passed like it was merely yesterday. Damn!


Yawn

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Spooky! I was just shootin’ around. I try to take pics every day. There was nothing good going on. The subject and background were a mess. And then Patch yawned. Done.


Green

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Eyes. I could do better. Cleaner. Don’t be picky. It’s a challenge to get the boys to sit and pose. So, I scramble. Hey! It ain’t easy. I don’t speak cat. But the soul is in the eyes. Ya gotta love him! Have a great one cat day!

Colleen pointed out, only 4% of cats are pure white. Patch and Willow, twins, are pure white. How lucky is that?! They are so alike, I am at Colleen’s mercy to know who is who. Really!


Mealtime

This is gonna skeeve out some folks. Ha! It’s an actual word. Skeevy. We are clean folk; brush teeth, bathe every day…. Mealtime, well, the cats consider us “staff.” They gather. It’s not as though I can chase them off. It depends (on what’s for eats). Don’t laugh. Colleen keeps projects going… and mail, magazines, newspapers…oh bother! Why clean? You simply clear a cat, sit, eat, and hope they don’t swipe more than 10%. Indulgent? I would say so. Me? I’m good. Somewhere it says that germs are good for you. And, cats take up the empty space allotted.


Cuteness

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It’s hard to get a good photo. All of them are – good. But then, there are the exceptional “good” ones. They are few and far between. Often in the eye of the beholder, photos I receive are largely “snapshot” cute but forgettable. Once in a while, I receive a shot that evokes memory and emotion. It’s personal. This is one such. It’s childhood. It’s innocence. It’s a painting, illustration worthy of a cherished childhood book. Well done! (Credit: Jeff/Jules)

 


No end

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Feather has allergies. What? (I/we) Don’t know the allergen. It was the pronouncement of the vet. You might never find out and she will have a rash forever. So far, he has been correct. We have eliminated whatever. No luck! Cortisone ointment? No luck there. Oral steroids? Works like a charm, it eases the rash tremendously. Her hair has not grown back. I wish. Maybe the hair would insulate Feather from the allergen? I have settled on bi-weekly treatment. Ha! I can get steroids. Human drugs work on cats too. There are long term side effects. But the rash, untreated, is pretty ugly. You are looking at a good day – no hair, hardly a rash. My cat does not willingly pose with her rash. Would you show your worst side?


Miskates

I think each and every basket has a mistake. It goes with the territory. After you are done, there’s no back, of course. On this occasion I actually backtracked to the beginning. It was successful. Sometimes you gotta know when to give it up. Starting over is tedious and akin to a defeat. I hate losing. But who’s the loser? So, it was much better to start than to see this through to an unhappy end.