Subtlety. Hmmmm… not me. I like things larger than life. Since covid we have been watching the background on TV behind the guests. Some guests have gone as far as placing books and such products to promote their own works. My background? It got busy, not so much by design but because I was more too lazy to bother to stage things more thoroughly. I surmise last year’s picture was taken in the summer. The crowded background makes things more cozy? Some folks prefer minimalist. I am helpless. We live with things and our lives are full. And, I must admit, it’s a nice life.
It’s the annual Christmas picture. And I am even posting at an apropos time. Colleen casually drops – “Do you know what? …. We should do….” And then it’s about …. hours, days of work for me. Yeah, I try to ignore her. Dammit! I get sucked in. The cats suffer. We all have to sacrifice…. First I round them up (each cat). They pose only very reluctantly. Seven cats!! Sure, I could just pose one twin twice three times …. no cheating! And then we have to take a shower – hair’s gotta be right! Note: no pants were worn for this photoshoot – by animal or human. (Ha ha) And then it’s hours in photoshop. Yup, it takes time. I’m ok, not great. But the effect…. Hey! Add some text, like merry and happy. Never ever listen – “Do you know what?” …
YES!!! They all just jumped up at once and let me take their picture…. really!! Honest! Truth!
NY Post editorial as follows: “Give it up, Mr. President — for your sake and the nation’s.”
In a blunt editorial, Rupert Murdoch’s New York Post, a tabloid that promoted Donald J. Trump long before he went into politics, told the president to end his attempts to overturn the result of the 2020 presidential election.
The Monday front page showed a downcast president and the all-caps headline “Stop the Insanity.” The publication’s website also featured the editorial, written by The Post’s editorial board, at the top of the home page.
“Mr. President, it’s time to end this dark charade,” began the editorial.
It blasted Mr. Trump’s suggestion that the House and Senate try to disrupt the tallying of Electoral College votes on Jan. 6. It also ridiculed Sidney Powell, a former lawyer for the Trump campaign who pushed conspiracy theories about a Venezuelan plot to rig voting machines in the United States. And it said a suggestion by Michael T. Flynn, the former lieutenant general who served as Mr. Trump’s first national security adviser, to impose martial law was “tantamount to treason.”
“You have tweeted that, as long as Republicans have ‘courage,’ they can overturn the results and give you four more years in office,” the Post editorial said.
“In other words,” it continued, “you’re cheering for an undemocratic coup.”
DUDE! You been … #$%$^ dissed!! Let me summarize this exercise in logic: Murdoch owns Fox New. Murdoch owns The NY Post. Therefore, Fox News is no longer your (trump’s) friend either. I would say that is worth a headline. When all your (enablers) friends leave you, what do you do? It must be pretty bad to be a fading fat former president (say that tongue twister 3 times fast) about to be fitted for an orange jumpsuit all your own. “Lock him up” is closer than ever. Do you prefer upper or lower (bunk)?
I have two spiders who made webs and a home outside my windows. You would almost miss them. How? They are large! And, I was able to photograph their webs. The webs are nearly invisible. And they are large (too)! There’s not much cute about them. Somehow predators are not very warm and fuzzy. The details are what I could get. Not too good, not too bad. I was pleased to get as much detail in the web as I did. And, if you look closely you can see the thread of web spinning from the spider’s rear.
The saying goes: black cat in a room at midnight. Shooting (photographically) a black dog is near impossible – for me. Reggie defied many attempts to get a proper picture over the many years he lived. He was a sweet dog. And, I miss him. And, I don’t (miss him) because he was impossible to photograph. He would often appear as a black shapeless blob in my photos. And then once in a while – well, he was a sweet dog. Nuts! He loved to chase 18 wheel tractor trailer trucks. But sweet! Have I said that? Yeah, I loved that dog. A lot. Really!
All your empty suits: new clothes are coming
“After bringing some 60 lawsuits, and even offering financial incentive for information about fraud, Mr. Trump and his allies have failed to prove definitively any case of illegal voting on behalf of their opponent in court — not a single case of an undocumented immigrant casting a ballot, a citizen double voting, nor any credible evidence that legions of the voting dead gave Mr. Biden a victory that wasn’t his.”
I just keep thinking the emperor has no (clothes) suits. And, if it fits, wear it. But go, please go. New clothes: orange jumpsuit and your own number. You earned it. It awaits you.
It’s still art
You go to the museum during the pandemic. There are new rules. You may not (ever) touch the art! We need an appointment. Wear a mask. How do they really know it’s us? Ah, well, we are still having fun. It’s “still” art. Colleen’s a good sport. My sense of humor is unabated.
“Denmark’s mink industry is gone, a victim of the coronavirus. The nation killed all its 17 million mink because of fears of a mutation in the virus that had spread from mink to people.”
2020 will be remember for trump and Covid 19. Herd immunity? In the animal world, mink got it and we slaughtered 17 million. We would have killed them for their pelts without much fanfare or notice for the rich and wealthy to wear. How nuts is all of that? The number is stunning (to me). Danish farmers protested in a tractor demonstration in Copenhagen. Not many protests occur when the fur industry puts 17 million to death for coats. Was this article about money or animal life?
Could we get rid of Covid by killing off millions of the world citizens? Did it work for mink? Imagine if trump were king instead of a deposed wannabe. Herd immunity was a good idea no worse than killing 17 million mink out of hand? It’s an amazing world out there. Sometimes you gotta wonder if Mother Earth would be better off without a few billion humans. Reset. Climate change….. Herd immunity has its supporters among whom are white supremacists, Fox news, Newsmax…. Hey! It’s a viewpoint. 17 million minks for coats is ok?! They pay for a lot of tractors, which…..
We debated whether to get an artificial tree. One-time cost, done. And each year we get a tree from… We have been away the past few Christmases so it is not always necessary to decide since we have spent the holiday in front of someone else’s decorations. Seniority has its privilege. Ha ha. Colleen saw an ad for a tree farm and was fixated on a white pine. Fresh cut! Fraser fir was my most recent go to tree. It is very amenable to decorating. But, one follows the whims of the beloved wife (in order to keep peace, and to stay alive). First tree she saw, of course, and it was a tall one. As you can see it is way tall above her head! I was not sticker shocked. ??? dunno, it wasn’t worse than the big box stores price. That sucker was so tall I needed a small child to get the angel to the top. Ha ha, we didn’t have one and I couldn’t borrow one so it went up crooked.
In the short years/seasons we have shared – about 5 – we have accumulated an eclectic mix of things. Colleen has collected Santas. They drape the mantle and otherwise are dispersed throughout the house. We had fun with a glue gun and made our own weaving themed wreath – courtesy of a library program. And, furthermore, i used the glue gun inspiration to decorate a mini tree from the craft store. Whatever! In a few short years we have made and feel at home. That would be about as good as it can get. Happy!
Ok! This post is running long on words and pictures – one last thought. Who gets the Xmas ornaments when you split? My ex-wife, by default, has hung on to all of the ornaments I had. She’s slowly giving up a few to my daughter. Colleen brought her ornaments – those the kids did not destroy or run away with. And! We collected a few. Ha ha. It’s more like we cleaned out the antique store collection – of Santas. It took a few trips. She – my dear wife – was feeling guilty – about the expense? or indulging her wish? I won’t deny that I enjoyed letting her run wild and we are the happier for it all.
A picture …
…says it all. Peace on earth, good will toward men. All the best from us to you and yours.
Ooops. I’m late. Merry Christmas! I did not notice I lacked a post until now. Have I told you this is the tallest tree we ever got? Well, at least it is for me. Colleen has had tall one and the muddy pants to prove it…. My mantle, her collection of Santas is a story for another day. Suffice to say she/we collected them together. She has an eye! Ray the cat – see him below the tree – loves the tree – to eat the lights. Ppzzzzzt, as in electrocuted cat, so I/she chases him from beneath. This year we did instant Xmas. We got the tree and decorated everywhere. It turns out we were not alone. Everyone got a tree early. We are home alone but have spread cheer with family and friends. I have posted a picture a day of our decoration efforts to them. Today will be the mantle panorama. Cheer! All the best to you and yours!
Polaroid slide film
It’s the emulsion stupid. Polaroid made instant slide film for a short while. Thank goodness I only used it a few times. Scanning it on a film scanner is hell. The developer/author of Vuescan told me it was grain and “user error.” Nice. Indeed, no one seemed to remember the film nor how to scan it. ICE – it’s software to remove dust magically during the scan process. It uses an infrared scan simultaneously to “map” dust and mark it for removal. Aha! Turn off ICE. You can do it. And the result is remarkable. Second, reduce grain. Problem improved. It ain’t great. The Polaroid film itself was not a good film. Thankfully, I only shot a few rolls. Probably, it’s why the film never took hold. I solved the problem by letting the solution percolate slowly in the background of my mind as I did other tasks. Ha ha! Brilliant! I’ve solved other problems that way. It’s remarkable what the background processor in my head will come up with. The great and wonderful internet did not have an answer for my problem. So, as a public service to you few who care, here’s the solution. Ha! An original answer.
ICE – it was software developed by Nikon to get rid of dust on your slides. Magic! The dust just was removed. Gone! Amazing?! You bet! Do you care? No! You don’t use slide film and you aren’t scanning and dust is dust, but what do you care? I would have to blow away (dust) and clean each slide before scanning. I don’t understand how it works and the dust disappears. But, I can sure appreciate that a daunting task was made easier by software written to make magic happen. And, yes, this was a terribly overexposed image used for illustrative purposes. I don’t understand how it works. I consider myself an end user. It works. Thank you very much.
Have you ever known me to be at a loss for words? Ha ha. I had no post scheduled for today. Lucky. I just noticed in time yesterday. Ummm, the last sentence would be frowned upon disapprovingly by Miss Digman my seventh grade grammar/sentence diagramming teacher. Her best trick was that she could/did rest her hands atop her bosom as she taught. (Hey! I was impressionable in seventh grade!) Everything I know about grammar…. Meanwhile, we made a Christmas raid on the antique shop – their advertisement in the local paper beckoned. Santas abound at this time of the year. Tryouts! Some few did come home with us. Not all. Ha ha. And, there are nativity scenes. I want to steal little baby Jesus from each, but Colleen stopped me. Darn! (No baby Jesus was harmed in the making of this post.) We’re doing what we can to keep spirits bright right about now. Carol commented it was a Zoom Santa conference. From a certain point of view….
“Lots and lots of Santa’s. Your photo is very apropos for 2020. looks like zoom Santa conference
This was the occasion of Lisa’s 30th birthday. Yesterday was John’s birthday. Each year I cast about for a picture of John appropriate for the day’s post. Decades have passed. I should be thankful I’m still here to remember so many who are not. It’s another bittersweet birthday to remember you. Poor John, it always seemed that Xmas and your birthday fell so close together that there was nothing else to look forward for the rest of the year.
I am organized and I am not. If you would ask, it’s in my head. I have a photo catalog and I have a database. It’s all useless when you look for a single slide that you have pictured in your mind. Don’t ask. It was the last picture I found. Of course, the search is done then. Meanwhile there were a few along the way…. This is remembrance once more. Happy Birthday. We miss you. Genuine, some things are obvious. This is the genuine smile of a proud dad.
I’ve done it before in older Macbook laptops. Then, they (engineers) changed things! The battery was a simple in/out affair sort of like changing a flashlight battery but with a few screws involved. Nope, not any more. When I took the time to read the instructions, it was 90+ steps and required removing the guts of the computer in addition to disconnecting some very fine connectors. It was heart surgery tough. Fortunately, I was a brain surgeon (in a previous career). Skill!! And nerve! Ego! There is a disclaimer that comes with the battery. Let a professional do it! That’s little solace when you already have the battery in hand. However, this is not for the faint hearted! You can see the old battery. It’s old cells are completely bloated. I came by this realization when I was scanning old slides and noticed the bottom of the laptop computer was rocking. Ninety steps later the computer turned back on. Ninety ++ steps!! The keyboard did not work. Keys? Nope! I missed re-connecting the cable. Disassembly, voila! It works! Then, I discovered the keyboard backlight cable had been missed as well. The instructions are explicit. Don’t forget the cables! But, the cables are tiny. I missed them. Finally, it works. It was challenging. Don’t try this at home. I might not the next time out.
Fettuccine Alfredo. Maybe you’ve had it, maybe not. There are two restaurants in Rome that claim to be the original. At least that was the case many decades ago. We tried both restaurants on that trip long ago. This is the restaurant where they put on a show as they served. It’s the original! The showmanship makes me smile even now. That’s Alfredo in the picture, Of course!
Tower of London
Imprisoned at the whim or will of the monarch, beheaded without trial, this fortress has a long sordid history. Sixty days to the election, I wonder how this post will look post election in December? Did we win or did the dark force prevail? I do hope our dear leader gets an orange jumpsuit. Maybe it’s time to bring back beheading?
“This must be what it felt like watching the moon landing. It was a historic scientific achievement that you just know a bunch of idiot jabronis are going to say was faked.” — SETH MEYERS
“You know that 2020 has been weird because I’m looking at a person in a face mask getting injected and I’m thinking, ‘I cannot wait for that to be me.’” — JAMES CORDEN
“This is a relief. I would hate to start another week of shows without talking about the same election results we’ve all known for the last month and a half.” — JAMES CORDEN
“At this point, Joe Biden has won the election so many times, he’s our 46th through 51st president.” — STEPHEN COLBERT
“This is also big news because this means after six agonizing weeks, the election is finally over. Stick a fork in the president; he’s done. Also, keep that fork handy because poking him in the butt might be the only way to get him out of the White House.” — STEPHEN COLBERT
SantaCon. I was there once. Look it up. It’s an enormous bar crawl. It sure is colorful. Halloween style costuming in December. It’s a guerilla event, a pop-up. Everyone knows but no one does. It’s quite the thing. I went once. Yeah, yeah, I (famously) don’t/can’t drink. I went for the pictures.
The cats like to be cozy. They climb into baskets and shipping boxes all the time. I was amazed that Willow squeezed himself into a basket the size of a bread box. No problem. Amusing? You bet. He didn’t stay long. I got my pictures. He left.
It didn’t have to be this hard
It was never in doubt. trump and his cronies just made it harder at the end. They still might try to pull some dirty deal. Barr got fired. He wouldn’t go along with all the treasons, only some. I must say I am relieved that democracy worked. we fired his ass emphatically this time. It has been an unbelievable four years filled with one stupidity after another. Scars will remain for a long time to come. It’s our country once more and our White House soon. May the indictments follow many and soon. Lock him up!
I’m scanning old slides. Mostly it’s sentimental – family shots. An aside – I thought I was a pretty good photographer. Boy! What experience teaches you about life!. My scanner does its job according to calculated algorithms. Sometimes good, sometimes not. I glanced at the preview just as it made an adjustment leaving the image washed out. I quickly processed the image rescuing my imagination. Under any other circumstance the potential of this slide would have been lost in a mass edit. Gee, I was not so bad as I feared.