Another birthday. Dave visited earlier this year. He comes and goes. I am not at liberty to say how and where. We were glad to have him. And, then he was gone once more. We are in touch. The internet allows everyone to be in touch no matter where we may be. Dave is just fine. Mysterious? Ha ha. He left; we went to the museum. We will miss him. He is a very good house guest. I hope he comes again soon.
We’re trying not to dwell… it’s hard not. Colleen has noted that Nutley, Ray’s brother, is grieving. I do believe she’s right. A cat? Yup. I apologize. I’m working out stuff myself. Ray was a cat. In perspective, the lives lost and property destroyed by Russia in Ukraine pales.
The Windows of the World – Dionne Warwick, Burt Bacharach
… The windows of the world are covered with rain
There must be something we can do
Everybody knows whenever rain appears
It’s really angel tears
How long must they cry?
Let the sun shine through
Keep busy: eat out, laugh with friends, do stuff. We will never forget. Each day I am working toward coping. This one time it has hit harder than ever before. I do not know why. Colleen comforts me as I do her. Photography has been a comfort. No, you cannot tell that it is Nutley; they were twins.
The last time? 2018 – crunchy granola set. I say it in the most wistful way, for Colleen adores the Common Ground fair. It was our second visit. And, then, the Covid pandemic hit; its canceled ever since. Produce, sheep, bourbon barrel maple syrup … and a spinning demonstration, it was full of photo ops. I now know, much more about spinning wheels. For instance, I can spot a Schact ladybug wheel. Ha ha. They are all castle wheels? I can say my eye is more practiced in spinning, and, you don’t care. Alas, a sheep is still a sheep. I can only tell you that this batch is not ready for shearing. Maybe the fair is on again this year? Maybe.
I swear coffee doesn’t keep me up at night. I’m sitting here composing this post at 3AM because… and humming tunes from West Side Story. Oh boy! I have no deep thoughtful insight. Even my most faithful cats are passed out asleep near me. The more you worry, the less sleepy you feel. But, it’s all good. I am retired. A nap is no big deal. Just a few more random pictures … time for bed.
It is not my primary camera. The current photo catalog (incomplete) has 400k images. There are about 3k iPhone shots – less than 1%. Dave uses it as his primary camera. I shot a few pics for rapid (instant) upload to family. I get an occasional selfie. Some pics are taken of me… occasionally. I put pictures on my phone to share. My point?! My last iPhone upgrade was the iPhone 7. We are up to the iPhone 13. I got the new SE to take advantage of the 5G network. The new SE looks exactly the same as the (good old/ancient) 7; the protective cases are exactly interchangeable. (The new box is smaller – ha ha.) Change comes slowly. If you want a better camera, get a better camera. My phone is not a camera. Oh! The cats (pics) are from my camera.
Ha ha! I am a confirmed “hoarder.” !!! Nuthin’ gets thrown away. ?? Will I ever need the box again? The last one (iPhone box) came out the closet from six years ago…. Nut! And, I shoot redundantly – to be sure I have at least one serviceable shot. Digital is free?! I’m tossin’ the boxes. (Cringe!!)
… lock flooring. I’ve been itching to try it. How hard can it be? Oh boy! Was I sore! Then I kinda sorta got the hang of it. Perfect? Far from it! Do I care? Colleen does! Hey! It beats the rug that was there. I have replaced three of four areas. I learned a lot along the way. I broke lotsa rules! Such as… take all the furniture out of the rooms. Or, how about running a chop saw in the bathroom? … and a table saw in the very room you are flooring? It’s chaos! Absolutely! Colleen is a good sport. We got a lot of stuff that’s gotta get tossed. A single shot? We’re gonna need a wider angle lens!
Ha ha! And you thought it was click, as in photography. Why! Why, why? Shhh… my cats have been peeing the carpet in the hall. Ewww! Then… I discovered it was not limited to the hall and included the rug in each and every room. Why!! … dunno. Sometimes life ain’t all fine photography.
Spring. I don’t have to get photos of flowers from my garden. I can do it at Winterthur. We are members. Someone else does the hard work and gardening. I just take the pics. How sweet! We are so lucky to be able to wander and enjoy. Of course, dinner out is a great way to finish. We skipped dessert. And, in the car, I dipped randomly into my M&M stash to pull the Ukraine colors. Nuts! Staging a selfie without a tripod takes a bit of skill. It recalls the cover for some indy rock band, in this case, absent a title. Eh? “Mom and Dad rock – on.”
Today, it’s story more than pictures. What to do for your “anniversary?” Eat out! Of course! We had a splendid meal. There was a talking parrot. Colleen smiled from start to finish. The food was excellent. And, crème brulee for dessert! That is Colleen’s favorite. Yup, still married. Happily married! It’s no oxymoron. Nope, indeed!
Spinning, you draw out the wool and then the wheel twists it into yarn. Magical! It’s a skill. It’s not hard to master. It can be hard to do. Few, fewer people do it. There is a Zen to spinning. Meditation. Peace. Tranquility. Elle, our solitary cat, likes to sit behind Colleen. She will bide, until, she wants attention. It’s all part of the Zen process. Everyone should have a “weaver” kitty.
Bad data follows bad money… or is it the other way ’round? Oh! Oh boy! Bad science is always a bad thing. Cheating on taxpayers money… priceless! Maybe we won’t remember? Oh! Ha ha! The joke’s on us? By the time you finish reading this, you won’t remember. You’ll forget where your $$ went. Right??? It ain’t experimental no mo’; the treatment is beaucoup $$$$!
Focus would be helpful. I learn from imperfection. The background is often ignored in favor of the subject. Distracting elements will sink you every time. The last thing I check before pressing the shutter is my background. Simply moving a few degrees will change the mood. And, it would help if the camera focused on my main subject. Autofocus is too easy. And, I remain ever hopeful it will compensate for my laziness. Eh?! Otherwise it wouldn’t be lessons to learn.
That’s desantis in the pic. his name has letters in common with insanity. 666
Renovation is hell! Why? Why are we doing it? It was due. To whit – the oven died. It just up and stopped working. It was old; it came original with the “born on” date of the house. Sale!! Half off (for the new oven)! How good is that!! So, the counters are clear; the measure lady was coming. You won’t see it like this again. Note: new garbage disposal under the counter; the installers will not put the old on back in – go figure. The oven dies and you do a whole kitchen makeover? Yeah, change is good.
New floor. ?? Nuts! I tackled this job. I’m cheap. I’m dumb. And, there are online instructions. You learn the mistakes as you go. So far there are two rooms done, two down, two to go. Nuts! And yes, I broke a rule somewhere. I did not, could not, move all the furniture out of the room. I worked around it. Did I say “nuts!!!” Flowers and gate? Yes, the cats are separated; and in the last iteration I did up things with fake flowers – lots of flowers!
Feather would “eat” Peas, if only I would let them. So, they remain safely separated, in different rooms now. And, they play footsie beneath the door. It would be nice if they all got along. Yes, it would. Nope! No peas for dinner, please.
Right Now!! I got bright blue sky. Cloudless. It’s snowing nearby. How near? Reality. I am looking at blue sky. Really! FREAKIN” BLUE SKY! No snow!!
See trump. He’s down in the middle of the pic, sort of sinking, SINKING!! still tryin’. still trying to win the election?! LOSER! Reality says it is not trump; he’s yesterday’s news. And, MTG, more reality show stuff. She’s running for her life. You don’t get to do insurrection and be a part of legitimate government.
Meanwhile, my sky is still bright blue and sunny today. Just look out your window. Bye, don.
… doing the same thing over and over … hoping for a different result. We got another fleece to wash … spin. Yes, nuts! It’s spring, time to plant. Eating out is good. Colleen took flight on St Pat’s day. We had a reservation. 30 minutes later we were seated. It was a local place, definitely not worth the effort. Dinner with the cousins, priceless. And, the cats keep getting images into my camera.
A TV commercial asks – sort of – What’s in your car? We rode in a car last evening and the backseat was empty. Amazing! We have, in the back of our car: snacks, drinks, umbrellas, rain jackets, hats, gloves, and scarves. You just never know where you might be. The stuff comes in handy. Right?! (Ha ha),
Arches National Park – iconic, picturesque, and cold. Cold was good. There were few people. It was fun to be in this landmark picturesque place. Photo-ops everywhere, we are glad we got to see it. Yes, it was cold! And, Mother Nature is awesome.
It was an interesting birthday on many levels. My side of the family is far and wide. Colleen’s family has taken me under their wing. Word got out and the list of folks coming to dinner grew and grew. I got cards, gifts, and a slice of cake too large for me to eat alone. And, family shot me from all directions. And the pics were sent to my phone before the cake was eaten! It’s a first for me. The world has changed. It’s good right? Shhhhh… they still believe me when I say I am fast enough to press the camera shutter, and, be in the picture too!
Dusk or dawn? We’re on the road again. Near or far? It’s America. It feels like dawn? How? Less traffic? Bridges? They are America. We go. The scenery slips by. I shoot out the windshield. Colleen shoots. We see America go past. I hope it’s gonna be a better day. Yes, hope!
Time is slipping by too fast. The decades go and I don’t have many to go. Maybe, none? No complaint. I’ve had a good ride, a charmed life. There were tragedies. Many. There has been great joy. Sometimes, the fries are great, others, not so much. Overall, I can only add, a happy ending is the preferred ending. Yes, it’s my post and today is my day. Happy. Happy? Happy! Yup, yep, yes!
Grand Canyon – grand: setting, view, restaurant, food, fun… Why not? The first time we tried; the kitchen was closed – broken. A year later we succeeded in having a fine meal. Grand, indeed. Colleen loves dessert – flan. And, she loves beer. No Bud, craft beer, and, let it be dark beer, more flavor. To me it is like bitter beer medicine. She laughs; such a sweet woman. You can sometimes order a sample of beers – it’s called a flight. Fun! I watch. I photograph. That way you don’t get to see my face scrunch when I taste the beer. No!
Iconic, shots of my life, random, culled from previous posts. Inspired? I was. I was not allowed to publish a shot we made in the museum. Copyright. Ok, I will respect it, though I have it already, too late. It was (not this one) an Andy Warhol classic too. I am inspired ala Rocky to hold up my bike on the closest I ever got to a “Century” on that day – 96 mile ride. Beloved Patch, a heilan coo, spring tulips, Whistler’s mother in Paris. I have lived a pretty nice life. It’s not how you start… yada yada. I do not deny that I have been very lucky, very fortunate… very, you name it. I have seen beauty. I have loved beauty. I have lost. I have loved. I love. If there is forever, I will love you Colleen.
When I was a younger neurosurgeon, a patient came to the ER with a hemorrhage in the head. He’d been struck by a bouncer outside a club and fell to the curb. The patient subsequently died from his bleed and the grand jury was convened to decide on murder charges for the bouncer. My senior partner at the time said to me that they would ask whether it was the curb or the push that caused the bleeding. Ummm, wasn’t it the push that resulted in the fall to the curb and that it was the bouncer who did the push. The curb? The curb did it?? The curb??? Yup, that is exactly what the grand jury determined. The bouncer was not charged! No harm? No foul? Nonsense! Justice! Oh well, it is sometimes bewildering. The good guys do not always prevail??
Pictures? I don’t try to overthink. Good pics seem to stand out. A story? Feather’s mouse. The cats all seem to have habits. Some of my cats have favorite toys. Other cats are oblivious. Feather has battered the stuffing out of her favorite mouse toy. She brings it to us as well. It’s all part of her game. There’s no telling what the cats are thinking. I hope they appreciate that we love and care for them. Feather and Spice are identical except for their paw markings. Behaviors and favorite spots can sometimes help distinguish one from the other. I have no complaint. I get hugs from both.
It’s not just me. Colleen shoots. She does not like to – shoot. But, I cannot shoot from the car, and, drive, sometimes. And on a rare occasion, I actually turn around and stop to shoot. I did this one time. Colleen’s shots are sprinkled in. I’m not asking for guesses. She is relieved my shooting thru a car window is – forward. I cherish the opportunity to appreciate the beauty and the serenity of nature.