So much to say
Today: a series of non sequiturs. Colleen gets me to do things I would never and have never done before. Defrost a freezer? That is one Hell of a large ice cube! Jen looks so young (forget the focus). How do you image cataracts? What do you do while you await the bulk trash pick up for your discarded toilet? Bad pizza? We went with the granddaughters. It was in vivid retrospect how awful this chain pizza was made and tasted! Jump? Oh yeah! I discovered this loosened people up when you took a group photo. It worked! Hilarious! Lemonade stand? Not a single glass was sold to a passerby. With all the family hoovering about, would you? A ventriloquist and her dummy: he has a cellphone. That’s news! No one in the family has ever called him. No one can have his number. The ventriloquist says he’s in Witness Protection, preempting any objection. We were speechless. Of course! (I’m coarse!) He doesn’t speak. She speaks for him when they are on the phone (hers). There are multiple witnesses who attest… I did eventually defrost that freezer. (I did it again, recently.) This series of non sequiturs represents a rare family summer reunion in which most of the extended family attended. Indeed, it has been and was a rare gathering. Special?! One of a kind, probably never to be repeated. I’m not sentimental, nope, not me. But I wish it could be/were repeated. Precious pics! Which, by the way, she says she cannot see shared pics on her phone (memory full); oh, I guess witness protection went to her head. Or, did I get in her head?! (Ha ha, it’s a bad joke. …. Colleen’s gonna kill me.)
We all have relatives. Interesting ones – I will leave out any disparaging adjectives – dingy, etc. Jane loves to eat out. She is on a tight budget so any opportunity to eat out… And she loves dessert. She doesn’t eat the main meal. She simply boxes it and eats it for days at home. But there’s always room for dessert. She orders and then offers it around. I have shamed her into finishing her dessert because she cannot take it home. (Shhhh, she has a small appetite.) Meanwhile, she is predictable. I have never seen her finish a meal in a restaurant. One day we ate out three times – three meals – she never finished what she started. …loves to eat out.
Road trip II
I made a new best friend. Wrong. I became a new best friend. The last time I saw Rory she was not quite aware of me. She could not remember me before our recent visit. Now, I am her best friend. Nice. I am touched and flattered. Because of covid we have not traveled much. It was sure nice to see the kids and get to know them, again.
We always seem to find things in little side trips – rolling pin, cheap gas, hungry relatives… There are always animals to be see and be seen with. I think we agreed it was a successful trip. We saw the relatives, the sights, antique shops, and photo ops.
Not just another day
Great sense of humor, laughs a lot, makes me smile, makes me laugh – I’m so lucky! Birthday wishes will come from many, far and wide, family and friends. I feel so fortunate to be able to hug you close and wish you one more happy day! … and, I try to be irreverent in each and every museum we visit. Need I remind you? We met and were even photographed in the third grade. Imagine that! They had photographs back then – black and white!
We been here…
…before! Déjà vu all over again, as Yogi said. I hate it when my wife is right. She’s always right. Damn! I pride myself on a photographic memory. Ha ha! I guess taking a lot of photos does not count.
As we entered the Airbnb, Colleen exclaimed, “We’ve stayed here before. All they did was move the bed! The layout is the same! They just moved the bed around.”
I was stunned and disagreed. I was wrong. It was the same funky bathroom shower that leaked all over the floor. Sure enough, November 2017, same place, same building. Actually, it was the same building, different apartment. And they added a fence to the front. I believe now that we were in an apartment on a higher floor. … same damn leaky shower. Dammit, I got the pictures that prove it!! Ha ha, different camera.
Driving across the US is an experience. It eventually hit 108 degrees on this day, and 1000 cattle died of exposure and thirst. People out there got different ideas… if you can understand the meaning. The beer is essentially the same, but different. It got better with time.
We crossed the country. We will do it again. There are kids in states across the US – NY, WV, CO, CA, and one NKA.
Casablanca – “Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world, she walks into mine” – Humphrey Bogart.
… she was right again. !!!
… home. Can you say wilted? My flower garden wilted in my absence. We have just returned. A cousin watered. The garden took a hit. You’d never know from these pics. A bee fly? Yup! Never seen one, it’s new to me. No longer. I got to leisurely shoot one out in Colorado. Deja vu all over again?? Meanwhile, a caterpillar walked into my picture. Really! And another bug, looks like a firefly, but it’s more ominous, I’m sure. The colors have changed. The flowers missed me. Return to normal? We’ll see. Meanwhile, Miracle Gro for all!
Ok! I’m sitting looking at a cut flower arrangement and the wildest looking bee ever flies up and lets me take its picture!! Over and over! Like, it flew away and came back and again and again. Get it? I was so privileged. Anyway, the internet says – bee fly. Wow! The details in flight were quite something. It all came together for a few magical moments. There was a ruby throated hummingbird flying around too. Nope! My luck did not go there.
Covid is still around us. Emma got it. Jason got it. Our trip was torn to sunder. We have a Plan B.
How do you watch the Jan 6 Hearings without an internet connection or TV? Unlimited ATT data stream. It did not work on my DirectTV connection, or, on the NYT site. We went to the NPR site for a while till the tech caught up. Riveting?!
Travel day is always traumatic. Nutley was pretty much clinging to Colleen’s leg. Don’t go! I will miss my (flowers) cats! Things change. Clouds! Colleen’s favorite coffee shop is moving! Did I mention, Jane loves to eat out. Travel days are always eventful. I changed light bulbs. The string on Jane’s weed eater takes .065 string. It says: right on the label! Calm down. Maintain humor.
Epilogue: ? This requires one? Walmart: .065 string, 1,2,3… It doesn’t fit. The fitting is all proprietary!!! The different companies all carry their own specific string container. Scott is a POS – piece of shit. They are not on the internet with any replacement string. I had to buy a whole new one (weed whacker!) from Amazon!! Yup, the great mega store in the sky!
Your memory is full. Colleen was informed her phone memory was full. No more pictures could be taken. And so… delete a few old photos… not so simple a task. Ha ha. She has old pics on her phone from 2013. Surely, they are not needed anymore?! Delete, throw them away? Valuable memories!? Never! Ok?! Well, try it? She deleted 2013 into 2014 pictures and they came right back. ?? right back? right back onto the phone?!! Yup! The Cloud! Everything is saved to the cloud and synced. Nothing disappears. Great?!
Iconic images. To me, they are. Stories abound. If I had the time… and we don’t delete the pics….
Eliminate old Apps you are not using. Ok! Some Apps are hundreds of megabytes in size! How about all those cute movies the relatives – her (Colleen’s) kids – have been sending of the grandkids? They add up – fast! 30 to 40mb a clip. Yes, movies take a lot of memory?! But, they are so cute!!? It’s madness. Without knowing it we have created a major dilemma by just keeping everything. Elimination? Yes, poor Colleen needs her phone to go on a diet. Her computer? Ditto! External hard drive? Yes, it’s a patch – solution, but, not for the iPhone. Good luck. No room at the inn…
Everyday there are choices to be made. Pick a picture(s). Cats? Flowers? Old photos?
Old photos? Colleen has a few photos in her archive. They are scattered, disorganized, and precious. Precious few, precious photos. Old black and whites depict images of family from long ago. The folks are known and remembered. Memory fades. I hope the legacy will endure.
Or, it would be – pick a flower. I got lots. It’s like diving. I do a photo survey about twice a day on two decks. I cull out the best in my editing. My digital archive is expansive. … so many pics, so many choices… Quintessential? I’m still looking…
Cats?! Ha ha. I got seven characters. Their numbers vary. Their behaviors are sometimes quite charming. Baskets, boxes, containers? All are fair game. They patiently wait and take their turns. Cuteness reigns. We (wistfully) remember the missing (cats). This would be Feather and Nutley. Ha ha, I can count too.
It’s summer flowers. Details. Close-ups. Color. I like water – shooting the droplets on the petals. You can do it after the rain, after watering, or just use the mist setting on the water nozzle. Parts: a detail of the flowers – stamens, etc., is always worth a moment’s effort. Same ole’? I try for something different. No matter. The color palette will always keep you interested. Alas, the days are getting shorter once again. My thoughts turn to fall.
It’s sort of like micro as in microscopic but it is more telephoto or close-up of near objects rather than birds in a tree. Got it? It is a 105mm lens. Portrait? Well, not really. I can focus down to within an inch of my subject… get close… closer.
Great cat photo! I was surprised. The macro lens did a better job than…? Hummingbird? I happened to have the macro lens mounted on the camera as the bird flew toward the feeder. Serendipitous! Ditto, the bee, it was in my picture from the corner of the lens/my eye as I pressed the shutter. Spontaneous capture, definitely, unplanned. No error! It was skill! Ha ha. Sometimes I just close my eyes and press the shutter. Yes!
More or less
I cannot seem to post a single picture any longer. It seems to be multiples. I should be more discerning about editing. There are so many pics and stories…. The pines suggested to me – saguaro cacti in the dessert. Orange flower on a stalk? Red hot poker? Names vary, color is great, and it is a beach perennial. Ok? Waves? I finally got the hang of catching one. Pan the camera. People watching? It never goes out of style. Clouds, I chase them. We do selfies. It’s legacy – for the kids. It adds up. We exercise – some. We hold hands – more or less all the time. I shoot, edit, and post.
I ordered 13 boxes of flooring – 20 sq ft x 13. One box was damaged and another delivered without a question. 14 boxes and I was short about six boards to finish the space completely. We bought another – whole box!! Ha ha. It comes in 2 ½ inch, 3 ½ inch, and 5 inch width. I had just installed 3 ½ inch. Our new box was 2 ½ inch. My bad! Oy!! I buried the narrow boards in the closet. No one will notice – maybe the new homeowners, eventually.
Can you see? The newest boards added are now narrower? The trim board at the bathroom floor transition is slightly narrower, (by an inch). Nope! Looks good! I’m sitckin’ with that! It was amazing that mostly the rows fit together like a puzzle with hardly (just a few) any cuts with the saw.
Flowers?! My reward for a day’s hard floor work, a photographic walk thru my garden. Yup, all planted for summer, good to go. In a weird way it is like diving in the Red Sea. Same flowers (same fish), they change every day. Flowers bloom, others fade, I am challenged to capture beauty and essence. Technique, focus, and composition are critical.
And so on and on… it makes Colleen smile … the floor or the flowers?
We deferred having our windows washed… (Yes, I do not do windows?!)… because it was gonna rain. And, it did… for two straight weeks! Good call!
How much rain? … enough to wash away our beach.
Mother Nature is a powerful force. I am happy we got blue skies back. The window washers are coming next week. Doesn’t it always work out, that, it rains right after you wash the car? I don’t wash mine; it rains anyway.
Does my living room look less worse? Cluttered? Ha ha. The floor us complete! Awesome! We did it! Colleen would defer. But, indeed, she helped! Assembly required, we had to return everything to its place. Note: a few (only a few) things did not return.
I had saws on both decks. Thank goodness. The sawdust! See the spider webs revealed by the stray dust?! (We got lots of spiders!) I cannot be certain, but, we passed, cat inspection. Mistakes? A few. How about waiting a day for a new floor nailer? 16 gauge nails do not fit when it calls for 18 gauge. Duh?! Yeah, guilty! Not too bright! In the end… great job, looks fantastic, I’m glad it’s done.
Lesson learned. It’s a roundabout story today. Years ago I was gifted an opportunity to shoot at the US Open by a Sports Illustrated photographer who took me along. I had full-fledged press credentials to wander and shoot all over the stadium. Imagine that!
Celebrities were in abundance as well as the tennis stars of the day. It’s not hard to see who won the men’s final by the look of triumph in his face. The key to shooting: get the ball coming into or off the racket in the same frame. Spectacular!
Lesson: This came a bit later. I was posting photos to a shared website. The site also let you rate other photographer’s photos with stars 1 to 5. I went thru and rated a bunch of photos. They were mostly 3’s – average. No big deal, not great, not poor. Afterward I was inundated with vituperative comments and 1 star ratings and comments on my own uploaded (tennis) photos. “How dare I rate their photos so poorly!!!”
It was a lesson well learned. To this day, I stay off the internet in any capacity that might make me a target again. There is so much said about social media and influencers now. There is good and bad. Most of the billions of people are unaffected and socialize in peace, while a few ….
And, on a similar note: Lopsided? Her left breast is clearly disproportionately larger relative to its mate in that dress. Huh? Nice trick. How’d that happen? Or why? Am I just being picky?
Oh! Oops! Trick photography? Or stupid mistake? It is a fundamental lesson learned very early on. A wide angle lens distorts facial features. In this case … it was an unintentional error. Well, then, you simply delete the image from your memory card … instead of taking credit below the photo. Argh!!! Dumb!! Poor Jimmy!?
Like Pandora’s box, I fear the Internet is larger than any of us despite Elon Musk’s pending purchase of Twitter. Or, as singers and poets tell us – “you can’t go back.” Oh! Ooops! He’s backing out… does that make him the asshole he seems to be?
You can lead a horse…
… to water, but, you can’t make him drink. Dave regretted not having a camera the other day! He was on a tiger safari in India. And, Disney was there with photo video and mega large lenses to capture the tigers with real telephoto close-ups. Right tools for the right job, eh?! For the first time his trusy iPhone was not quite up to the task. I readily admit Dave has shot some fantastic photos with iPhone. He is constrained by weight and bulk in his travels.
Consider, his iPhone shots are better than many of my most great shots from my spiffy mirrorless camera with a mega telephoto lens. I sh*t you not! There is technique and there is art. Dave has that “je ne sais quoi.” I applaud him. It’ nice that his deft touch is so much better than me. Remember the movie “Amadeus” in which Salieri never quite got it?
Dave got a very nice tiger shot. But he knew he could have done more with a real camera. Hmmm… imagine what he could do with better equipment? I have seen lots of poor iPhone shots from other family and friends. A good/better piece of equipment does not a photographer make.
You got some?
Memories. We all have some. Some are more faulty than others. Some are more rosy as they fade. Jog?
At one point I carried a camera and a video to record events. I found that I never watched the videos. So, I returned to photographs pretty much exclusively. Even now, my spiffy mirrorless camera or iPhone makes video easy, I still prefer photos.
Wistfully, I recall. I see my kids and their antics, activities, accomplishments, and our times together. You can’t go back. I find these slides as little treasures. I am glad they are preserved. It is the legacy my kids will receive one day.
Last year I got pics of a flower with a tongue sticking out just like the Rolling Stones logo. I think I have the same flowers in different colors? But, I have missed the brilliant red tongue. I got yellow and purple…. There is a snap dragon with fangs. And, there is a black petunia. I am still working on technique, focus, and composition. I avoid working too hard. 🙂 Focus has been hard! The softest breeze wreaks havoc with macro focus. I rediscovered the AF-On button (as if you care). It’s all about color and detail. Easy! The flower pics look good, don’t they?
Ok! It’s a big freakin’ deal! I got 2/3 done. It is lookin’ rather spiffy. The furniture keeps moving around. Colleen has been good humored about it all. I think I have done an excellent job considering I am an amateur. I ordered, stained, and finished the floor vent. There are mistakes too minor to really mention. All it took was a few tools. I got about 25% to go. Consider, that I was nearly done in by a head injury a few mere weeks ago… Rain is in the forecast. I shall work (cut wood) on the deck, between the drops. Oh boy! What’s next?
Laying/installing floor is like a puzzle! The boards are of different length and color. You piece together a row at a time. No regrets permitted. You nail them in one row at a time forever! No gaps and no funny color patterns, it is both forgiving and precise! The cats inspect frequently. My wife – dearest understanding wife – sleeps next to a chop saw. Her underwear drawer is in our living room. As anyone knows, it takes time to put a puzzle together if one has never seen the original picture. Fun! To keep sawdust at bay I cut on the adjacent balcony deck. …except it was raining! Yes, we are sleeping in the bed while the work goes on. Did I mention, kids, don’t try this at home?
Installing 3/4 inch hardwood flooring? Simple… only a few tools required. Hey! It ain’t brain surgery! I do not know any carpenters who would work in a room full of furniture much less sleep in it while it was under construction. Ummm… you just push the furniture around as you go. I even got vent covers fit for ¾ inch wood. We are not inventing the wheel here. Someone already thought of everything. Stupid? Yes, there is a way to make stupid mistakes. I could not load the nail gun. Yes, yes , I finally figured it out. So far everything looks promising. The hardest part is cutting and installing around the door frames. The transition is critical. Mine is seamless. Easy? I have learned much about flooring. I consider it a satisfying accomplishment. If you are thinking of doing it? …don’t.