iPhone 12. It’s not an advertisement. Jeff took this of Jules and Noa. Perfect. Pretty perfect. That darn iPhone took a great one. Would my camera do as well? That’s the great debate. If it would, (not), then why don’t professionals shoot with iPhone 12? Ha! There are pros (pun) and cons to the argument. But professionals use cameras because…. Maybe someday my spiffy camera will make phone calls.
What’s good? Photoshop enhanced? Is it good straight out of the camera? Do you allow major or minor manipulation? When is does it cross the line into being art instead of photography? Purist? The algorithm in the camera already dictates so much. Shoot raw? The manipulation you do, is it to recreate the image you saw. Or are you creating the image you imagined? What’s good? I’m glad I don’t have to care about all that. I have never competed in a photo contest. Well, once, and, I lost. Sour grapes? Nope. It was expected on my part. I’m good. But I am not in the same league with award winning photographers. I’m not dedicated to perfection. I could do a good job given the responsibility. Sure, but it was never my day job. So, I am content. I have a catalog with hundreds of thousands of images. Some good. On the whole there are too many good images to possibly ever post. That’s good.
Once upon a time
You can find all sorts of shit in antique stores. I came across mags of unknown age from an age before this. They were every bit as heinous as today. Playboy had nothing on them. They were misogynous, sexist, and demeaning to women. And, they sold! I wouldn’t know. I never saw them till now. But it would appear that white supremacy and male dominance is not nothing new. It’s pretty shameful to find it among us now and back then. It seems we doomed ourselves to repeat history. Just when you think we are enlightened you find out we are/were not. I’m sad. People actually bought and read this shit.
I love my wife
One month later – anniversary (second was) 2/28 – “I love my wife”, was sung by Frank Sinatra. I love my present wife…. to pieces. I think I must have been a frog…. Yes, I’ve been transformed. Content, for sure. I came across the art sculpture in an antique store for $$$$. I only needed a picture. Keepsake? I’ll keep my wife for as long as she will keep me. I’m a handful! Ask her? So far so good…
I have to say it’s pretty neat to spin the photo catalog and find lots to illustrate the story of the day.
How many outstanding pictures do I have? How many stories are there? At one picture a day…. one story at a time? I’ve been at it for nearly 10 years. It must be quite a collection spanning a decade of change. People come and go. Changes large and small occur. Relationships change. 2011, I was in NY working in NJ. I had rediscovered a long lost cousin, Amy. John had fallen ill. I had been in touch with Colleen to lose her again until 2014. I had never traveled to the Middle East. Scuba diving was on my bucket list. One great shot – there are so many, or, so few – or would it be an essay story of illustrations? Hey! I never work with a plan. I’m just trying to get from here to there. Where? Dunno!? I’m more of, make lemonade if you get lemons, kind of guy. Story or the image. Image or the story. It’s all good right now, in this place.
Not my cat
Heresy! I have been back to this image three times. I got a good one of Harry. Jen agrees nice picture, it’s her cat. My own cats don’t know enough to be jealous. Harriet was a girl till the vet told Jen the truth about Harry. Meanwhile, the stars aligned and I got a good shot of Harry. At first, I didn’t want to post it. But then, I got brave, when I realized my cats don’t read. (Being a pet photographer is easy… til you gotta do it for money.) Ha ha, did you think I got another cat?
As they said in the movie “Jaws,” We’re gonna need a bigger (boat) table.” Ha ha. After Patch passed away in February, it just wasn’t quite as chaotic as we are used to at feeding time. We held tryouts. It wasn’t that hard. Cat’s just gotta snuggle in your arms and dig her claws in – she’s going home with you! Tillie (black cat) is on double secret probation – ala “Animal House.” She snarled and growled at me. Me? Have you ever played, ‘spin the cat?’ Ha ha. I think Tillie has an opinion. Meanwhile, Dave said, “No more cats!” What can I say? Tillie and Peas are sisters – from different mothers? And, the pet store ladies laugh when they see me come in. They even asked if I wanted another, “Please?” when we came in today for more food. Colleen does higher math: that would be 3 1/2 sets of twins and a single (Elle).
One day later…. I mean, the very next day… I went back to the pet store to return the carrier we took Tillie home in. The very nice ladies came from behind the counter and exclaimed, “We did not realize that the cat in the crate above is Tillie’s sister. They (the sisters) came in and Tillie was gone with you before we could put the sisters together.” Right, I see a “con” job coming from a mile off. Get out of town! Colleen swooned, “We can’t separate sisters. That would be so mean!” We returned the next day and Peas was sitting there all perky and cute. She had on her best “take me home” look. And, it was instant. Colleen was not putting her down. And, I got another cat in the bargain. “Peas?” It is – may I have another please? – from “Oliver” or “Animal House.” Either way, Peas it is.
Black cats are like black dogs – hard to photograph. Things have not changed since Reggie, the dog. Tillie passed “tryouts.” This time she latched on to Colleen; four feet and all claws extended; she refused to get down. She was going home with us. It was a cinch. So far…? The other cats have not welcomed her… yet. Curiosity! Sure! A black cat is hard to photograph. She’s a cutie. I like her. Let’s hope everyone falls in line. So far… so good.
Gotta have green beer. Don’t forget the beads. Why mess around with a perfectly good beer? It’s food coloring. It doesn’t change the taste. Ok?! Shamrock? Shamrock teapot? We did the usual: corned beef, cabbage, potatoes, carrots, soda bread, potato salad, and apple sauce. It got to be a little bigger than I intended. As you can see, we had a grand time. There was even enough for two more (guests). We are still being cautious. The pandemic is not quite over. We’re taking no chances, still.
On the ground
Practical reality. Schools opened for face to face teaching. What’s going on? School. Is there social distancing? Who’s it for? To protect the teacher, or student, or both? It turns out there is no social distance in school. The kids are all over each other and all over the teacher. Enforce it? Hardly? You’d spend the day just reminding them to be distant, Distance is just not how little kids roll. Jules has 5th graders. They are naturally social. It’s just not happening (distancing). Words? Action? Practical? The reality is that everyone is mashed together again. So far it is working. No disaster to report. Pfewff!! As a general, (principal) you may order your teachers to do anything. On the ground chaos reigns and choices are made. You are given lemons, you make lemonade.
Hug your wife
It’s figurative. Not applicable to everyone. Not everyone has a cat either. And. Don’t we all complain how we look in pictures? That said, it’s nice to hug your wife. it’s nice to love her as much as I do mine. It’s nice to be truthful and honest about it all. I’m writing this post on a bright sunny day. When you read this I hope your day is as sunny as the smile in mine.
Hug a cat
It’s Friday, two days after inauguration day (Wow, that was so long ago… who?), and the foul stench of trump is beginning to wear off. I’m reflecting. I’m melancholy. It’s so very nice to be able to reach out and hug a cat. No, it’s not as satisfying as hugging my wife. But…
Willow and I have a relationship wherein I don’t hug him and he won’t object. Yes, his paw shoots out into my face when I draw him close. Each cat behaves differently each according to their personalities. Someone is always at hand to hug. It’s a very good thing. Indeed!
I would never say, “We won. You lost!” (The trump presidency is still raw. We’re in DC together – a few years back.) Ginny never lets me forget her birthday. She always calls a few days ahead. Ha ha. So, Happy!! She’s one of my only remaining Republican friends. She knows that too. We speak infrequently of politics. This is not the closest Colleen has been to a Republican. Colleen lived in rural West Virginia. But since she no longer lives there, her encounters have been fewer. Colleen allows me to stay in touch. But, nowadays I wear a mask and sanitize after every encounter outside the family.
When you have lemons, you make…. Meyer lemon. Special. You bet. I’ve never distinguished. A lemon is a …. In this case, we got a scraggly tree a few years ago. Would it live? I coddled that thing. … mainly because it cost so much $$$. Nada! We had a few thimble sized lemons; they promptly fell off the tree. Now, finally, about three years later…. we got a lemon that grew. … and grew. It ripened on the tree. It was huge. It did not fall off. Colleen was concerned it was overripe or dried out. Nope! She finally cut into it. It was perfect; not dry; mildly sweet; not overripe. And! She made lemonade. Special? Of course, this was lemonade three years in the making. I think I won’t see another lemon for three more years. Darn! It was good!
The Amish are odd because of their habits – no buttons or zippers on their clothes. And they do not use electricity or machine power. The hay baler is not powered, I guess. We all live amonst one another in peace. No pictures please. You know me. There’s never been a rule I didn’t try to break. Sorry. The rule in “Street photography” is that in “public” you are fair game for photography. It doesn’t mean I will photograph if you are in an embarrassing position. But otherwise…. that weaving device was one of the few I did not buy. What is it? Dunno. It would’ve been a good conversation starter.
Some days I wander around camera in hand and shoot the cats. After breakfast they settle into familiar spots. The trick is to get them to look at you. The way to go (secret) is to point the camera lens into their eyes. Amazingly, they are looking at you. Voila! Easy! My problem is that the twins are look-alike. So, when I download the images, it’s a mean feat to distinguish which cat is which. ?? Well, I judge from where they are in the picture. Each cat has a favorite perch. Mostly. Otherwise, since I can’t tell, you don’t have a chance. So, I am showing two pair of twins. Care to dispute my claim?
They have been working everyday round the clock to complete the beach replenishment. Let us hope a big storm will not come for a while. Inevitably the beach will erode again at some point. One big storm, wind in the wrong direction, and the tide going the wrong way – gone, our beach will be washed away again. Meanwhile, they built it up and high and dry. We’re thrilled. Rain, rain go away. Come again another day….
Something you do not need
Fuzzy lampshades. We bought a Hoosier cabinet from a couple – the guy looks like “Bernie.” It was eerie. We had so much in common. The husband and I came from NYC and swam on the high school team – different teams but NYC! Colleen and the wife were from DE with common experiences up and down the state. Hoosier cabinet – 2 million were made in the day – in Indiana, of course! They are valued by collectors. I did not know we were collecting… at least I did not end up with fuzzy lampshades. The Hoosier was something I did not think we needed. Wrong! What do I know?
I recall the box cover of the Little Mermaid movie depicted a phallic symbol in one of the castle towers. I didn’t pay it much mind. Neither did my kids catch on. We got a beer/brewery puzzle and assembled it. Halfway thru Colleen exclaimed there was an X rated figure. Nah! Can’t be! Oh…. my! Ha ha. I sent the picture to the kids. No one got it. I used the magnifier. They still did not. …. not up to this day. One scene showed creative use of hot dogs….
There is dynamic interaction between my cats, the birds, and a family of squirrels. I feed the birds. Hey! Squirrels gotta eat too! So they do – the squirrels are all over the bird feeders. Everyone eats. I favor the birds. The cats enjoy the show. They are participating too. Nutley will go out on command and vainly chase after the squirrels. He returns when I call him back. Me? I photograph. I have to say that the darn Sony RR100 VI has a lens that is as good a telephoto as I would want in such a compact camera. Voila! Instant story!
Ok, I have never officially made lemon curd. I make a lemon tart but it’s not quite the same? Really?! Eggs, butter, lemons, no one really tells you much more than “large” lemons or “large” eggs. I had what I had. I zested and I juiced the lemons, and was prepared to add bottled lemon juice as needed. Nope! That was not a problem. The problem lay in knowing what it looks like when it thickens. I was uncertain my mixture had reached the correct doneness. Would it be runny and fail to hold between layers of puff pastry later on? It was hell. I cooked and stirred way beyond what was recommended in the recipe. Imagine all those eggs and lemons and time gone to waste. Ha! As you saw in yesterday’s post, it was a spectacular success. If not, I wouldn’t be posting and there would be no pictures.
We giggled the whole time we ate these. Actually, Colleen could only be heard to say, “Mmmmmmmmm…..” She hummed as she ate never saying a word unless a single sound qualifies as coherent conversation. I have never worked with puff pastry. It got away from me and really “puffed!” It started with two bags of lemons. I mistakenly bought two bags of lemons. In December one makes lemon curd not lemonade. That’s what the internet says. And marscapone cream – I found it in the grocery. I’ve never worked with that either. Anything looks better with powdered sugar. Wow! I think I outdid myself. Picturesque?! You bet. But the “Mmmmm” that Colleen hummed has me smiling as I recall the moment we cheated and ate one before taking it out for dinner. Who’s counting? Yes, this is essentially a repeat post. But! It was so freakin’ good! It’s not the first Napoleon ever made. But this/these were mine/ours. You gotta smile even if you can’t eat one. That is Colleen’s “mmmmmm” and I’m stickin’ with it!
The ship out there, offshore, is pumping sand thru pipes onto the beach. it’s simple. Take it from there and put it there. If I thought about it for a while it wouldn’t make any sense to me either.
Sisyphus (or Sisyphos) is a figure from Greek mythology who, as king of Corinth, became infamous for his general trickery and twice cheating death. He ultimately got his comeuppance when Zeus dealt him the eternal punishment of forever rolling a boulder up a hill in the depths of Hades.
Every few years or thereabouts the Federal government comes and replenishes our beach. Last time around the beach had eroded more than 10 feet and the engineers just built it right back up. This time was no different. They added enough height that I could not see the waves breaking. The beach was widened considerably. This past summer there was barely room to put your chair down before your feet were in water breaking over your toes. I could joke that I will soon have beachfront property where I live about a mile from this beach. But they came and built it up again. Thanks. I’m obviously torn. Beach? Mess with mother nature.? Shove shit against the tide? I’m glad it’s not my call.