Word and Image

Family

Thanksgiving Party

IMG_7443It’s a holiday party. They named it thanksgiving as a matter of thanks. Not Christmas, it would have been religious and not PC. And it was masked – Mardi Gras? Not Halloween. Actually Filipinos do celebrate Thanksgiving. It was all confusing and misleading. There was another great cultural mystery to ponder. George and I were the mainstays of the surgeons who attended last year and this. Another one or two came. The remainder of the staff is mainly Filipino and they like to party. I guess I do too. My OR nurses Jen and C2 (sorry I can’t spell her name) are pictured. The rabbit ears, hmmm, maybe a little Easter? Yes, my day job includes brain surgery…

IMG_7519A final group shot – everyone had a splendid time. Prizes and games and food and drink and dessert – and this year I kept my pants. No new year’s party was officially planned.


Xmas Shopping

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What do you get for someone who has everything? And I do have everything I can think that I need. Don’t try to think of anything. I have left many a person in despair. But this is about my recent Xmas excursion. The past few years I have been an Amazon shopper. Delivery and done. No lines, no stores, no pondering, no waiting for a great gift idea to fall upon you as you wearily trudge into another store for inspiration.

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This year, along the way, I managed to Christmas shop in an actual store. I modeled. It’s not for me. The coat went to my brother Eric. The hat was for Dave. Where I am, the last thing I need is warm clothes. But the boys work and live in cold weather. So the warm gear will be welcome. What you don’t see and will not get to see, is the long underwear. Everyone got a pair. When Jules marries in March, it will be an outdoor wedding. No coat, suit and tie, in cool California weather, psst, a hint to the wise, dress warm. The party’s outdoors too. So long underwear will be our little secret. No one should be cold if forewarned.


Second Thanksgiving

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Amy is taking an iPhone shot of my next bird. It’s a bit more browned. Better oven and more experience. Hey, you get better with practice. My soup sure did get better. (see previous post) And we made another breast (wings included) because there were 23 people scheduled to show. Note: about a pound a person – we did not need the extra breast. Other note: when all is said and done, it is the trimmings that make the meal.

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So the dishes that surrounded the meal and that were contributed by the guests really made it all great. I learned a new tradition – sauerkraut over mashed potatoes. (Hint: I could have done without ever knowing that.) I did stuffing on the outside – too heavy to transport a stuffed bird to a second location. It worked. I’m a crockpot (stuffing) fan now – not a crackpot. More family showed up and a good time was had by all. Dinner was scheduled for 6PM. We arrived at 6:08 and were the last ones in the joint. Do you think everyone was hungry? More family, more friends, more stuffing, success again!


The Boys

Dad_Album_03_055_aImages are little memories. The graphic is like Le Petite Madeleine, Proust. Memories. A time past and but forgotten except for the image to call forth a memory forgotten till that moment you see the image again. Photographic memory? By my age I have so many images collected that they all seem new again. But…this image was taken in the 60’s at 15 Southgate Road. It was a brick house my mom had built. Three little pigs – remember? Not us silly….brick is stronger and lasts. The house is still there. Only two owners have lived there since mom built it. So it did last and has been cherished. The neighborhood is way different. It’s still suburban middle class. But it looks so tiny and small now. Well, the three boys grew up. I’m the oldest. John has the other bowtie. And Eric is the infant who nowadays has a ponytail. Happy birthday John. I don’t know. There are very few pictures from this time. I actually got this copy from my cousin. On the other hand I have thousands of images of my kids. They are archived and passed along to them. Better?


Compliments to the Photographer

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So a night later Laura came to visit and we did the sunset again. She’s Julia’s best friend.

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And Laura was introduced to the reflection sunset in the glass to which she commented, “That’s a Victor picture.” Her family pays enough attention to acknowledge my cunning use of photographic technique to get different rather than mundane. I didn’t know they noticed. And since Laura’s dad is pretty good with a camera, that is high praise.

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There were four of us to watch the sunset, so the mystery fifth is a bonus. Perhaps it was the good fairy of sunset photography going by with a smile.

 


Icebreaker

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Your kid gets married. You don’t choose the in laws. They are forced upon you. You can only hope your kid has some taste. I met the new in law – father of the groom. How’s this?

“I’ve been given a list of forbidden subjects during our first meeting. How about Trump?”

Needless to say we had an extraordinary breakfast. Oh? Yeah, nice guy. His wife is a Fox news believer. This is gonna be a problem for the mother in laws. I think it would be entertaining to watch. Glad I won’t have a dog in that fight.


An Old Dog Learns

IMG_0154Sunset Pacific Ocean – due west.

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Here’s a new variation on an old subject. Jules and I walked the beach and the sun sets due west. I was watching the afterglow and noticed the window reflection. Voila! A new perspective and it was an unexpectedly extraordinary find. It’s neat to find something you have never seen before in a scene you have shot so many times. Yup, an old dog learns.


Building the Family Portrait

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I’m better. Jules is better. Or maybe she’s just used to my constantly photographing. I shoot everything. I carry an iPhone now. And I usually have a point and shoot Canon S100 in my pocket. Then there is the big one, my Nikon D610. Ready. You can’t get an image if you are not ready in the moment. So it was near sunset with evening light. And the shoot just happened spontaneously.

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Jeff then Molly and soon it was a family portrait. Sweet. But you need to have a camera close at hand. I did.

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Modified Selfies Are Still Selfies

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I don’t do selfies well. So instead it’s pretty simple to Photoshop. Take two pictures in the same spot with the same settings and lighting. It’s not perfect. And you don’t send it into the internet instantly. I have the patience to wait. It beats a remote control and tripod.

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The second is from inside a redwood tree. You know you are on to something when the very next couple is along to imitate your technique.

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And then at Morro Bay this was obviously easy to do. Except that we did not notice the pirate patch was crucial to the shot. Oh well, I did not say we were perfect. Yes, Photoshop could have been modified more. But it was the fun of the day not the accuracy of the image that counted.


Jump – Dog

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Timing. It’s crucial for action shots. You cannot depress the shutter and the motor drive will just get you an actual perfect shot. Nope. It’s done by old fashioned work. Oh, luck too. Ha! Yes, luck too. But mostly it is anticipating the action and then firing the shutter at the precise moment. It’s helps if you visualize and then plan your shot. Or, you just press the shutter and let fly. Didn’t I just tell you that doesn’t work?

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I did it. Sure. I’m good. But Jules did too. Ah! She’s as good.

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Mine’s better.


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