Word and Image

Family

Places

I got images in three catalogs, at least. Computers invite you to be sloppy as much as they allow redundancy. It is appealing to have an external memory bank of things I might have otherwise forgotten. Then again, maybe they are not fond memories either? There has been divorce and … old memories, old girfriends… 

How’s this for horrible? I went to Europe (current girlfriend) and just before we boarded the jet, her grandfather died. We went, anyway. And, then in Spain, I lost my wallet, and, had to call (old girlfriend) to get my credit cards canceled. Amex does not have an office in every city and I had to wait till Rome to get a new card. We traveled with traveler’s checks and eeeked and stretched dollars till Rome!

Meanwhile, it was eye opening to see the (poor) level of skill I had as a photographer back so many decades ago. I know it’s Europe from the pictures. I can see iconic parts of buildings in Barcelona and Florence. I was a younger man. We had stopped by the roadside to sample some of the grapes. The chain on my neck – from the first girlfriend – classless, me (clueless). Oh boy, cringeworthy! Maybe old memories are best left to gather dust… Colleen keeps asking me if i have been … (where?). I should stop talking and stop admitting…. NO! No pics of old girlfriends.


Spartan

I first used AirBnb when Colleen and I first traveled to Maine together. Since then we have used it going ‘cross country. It has been a mixed bag of delight and puzzlement. The pictures are true. I simply refuse to believe my eyes. So, we end up in interesting places. Some of them spook Colleen. Ha ha! Others turn out to be too brief interludes of fun. Kansas City – Missouri or Kansas side? First of all, in the middle of nowhere on a dark and deserted street… a jazz bar – with real music. Unique, one of a kind, sparsely attended, we found it and sat in. Then, onward to our accommodation. Oddly decorated for an apartment building, it was spartan digs with odd flourishes such as an unfinished stone shower. Serviceable, not inviting. Charm is in the eye of the beholder. Colleen was not bowled over. We stayed but a night. I remember the bar/lounge. The music? No. And the room? Nope, not even the odd uninviting shower. Kansas City – it’s in the USA?


Pick one

Too numerous to count… I have so many pictures that have and hold significance to me. Some, held very pleasant surprises for me when I finally developed the slide. I tended to shoot the roll of film and store it in the freezer accumulating about 64 rolls to develop in a gallon kit of developer. Since I shot about a hundred rolls a year, this meant a massive developing session about once a year. Yes, there was no instant review of your work; duplicates occurred infrequently as well. And with that preamble, I did indeed get the occasional “keeper!” Que? Well, you know it when you see it. Each picture a story, I apologize for leaving you hanging. I strive for succinct posts… not enough time. By contrast, one hundred rolls of slides (before 2004) is about 3600 slides/year, and digital images last year exceeded 100,000 using at least four different cameras.


1, 10, 100…

I use a photo catalog. Don’t you? It numbered 413k+ images at the time I composed this post. I don’t ask. It is a very large catalog. The catalog title/contents indicate the images are 2016 and onward. So, early slides from the seventies and digital images from 2004 onward are in different catalogs? Hey! I was always moving images around… but since 2016, there are roughly 413k images collected and (loosely) curated.

Are there redundancies? What constitutes first? What’s last? Here are the numbers: 1, 10, 100, 1000…  100k, 200k, 300k, 400k …on up to the last (see captions) Ok, the key: Me; lighthouse in Maine: Jules whitewater rafting in Maine; Jules shooting basketball in Saudi Arabia; Lulu my cat in Jeddah; Colleen and I vacation in Rockport, ME; Colleen in a restaurant in Scotland; cardinal on my deck; Dover, DE, autumn fair; kitchen renovation in progress.

So? I merely followed a line of curiosity. Random choice for pics to post. It is an interesting series of selections for me. Number one was digital. Number ten was a slide. Hey! It’s how it was in the catalog. The others are, indeed, digital. What to say? I have had an eventful decade as this collection spans images/pics 2007 (not strictly 2016) to present. There are no particular surprises in this potpourri. It reinforces the notion that I am more photojournalist than fine art photographer. Exactly. I picked the right name for my blog! Pictures/stories! Yup!


Curious

You just don’t stop suddenly. Suddenly, I stopped – taking slides, pictures with film. I transitioned over a period of about a year after receiving a Canon G3 digital camera from Lisa. The DSLR digital cameras were thousands of $, upwards of $5 to $10K! Too expensive! I was wealthy enough, sure. But….

And then, the Nikon D70 arrived just about, right about this time of day/month/year in 2004. It came as David’s graduation commenced. And, I never shot another slide afterwards, just like that! …I eventually threw away a lot of slide film from my freezer.

These were some of the last shots from my film camera. We lived in a nice house, apartment, in Manhattan. I was with Jules at one of her last track meets; she want over to rugby soon after. I was still documenting. I was curious as to the last shots I took with slide film.

I still have my film cameras. My lenses, too, are still functionally fit for my digital cameras. Nikon finally changed the F mount to the Z, but there is an adapter. While the rest of the world shoots iPhone, I happily shoot digital (camera). The cost of a digital image pro-rated over the cost of a 256gb memory card makes digital nearly free when compared to the cost and development of film! That works just fine for me.


Retro

Photography? No, I think I was more photojournalist. I documented events – birthdays, holidays, food, family. Photography came later. I was parsimonious – cheap! So, I shot more than most people and way less than I do since digital is “free.” Boy, oh boy, was I bad (photographer) way back then. Hey, I knew how to focus and take a picture. Fine art, it wasn’t! Food photography? I shot dishes we prepared for big family dinners. The turkey was not styled for a good photo. It tasted far better? (It looks overdone.) And the holidays were a documentation of the litany of presents bought, given, and received. Funny, I still do that. I did it this past Xmas. It’s a record. Someone might find it nostalgic in a few decades from now. But photography? I do both. Now. History or art? I don’t try to overthink it. I am happy to say there are plenty of pictures. I do not look back too often. Like time, I am always in forward mode. (Shhh… Lisa took the pics of me.)


News of the day

My urban landscape now is traffic lights. I never realized that they can be confusing – especially when the lights outnumber the cars. My drive by? I drive by forsythia. I can even stop – on the road – to shoot them. it is sharp contrast to NYC where you are never alone. And, Ukraine remains on everyone’s mind. We were in the newspaper – local. There goes my WPP status. Yes, I’m a spin doctor now. BTW – the news journalist took our pic with my real camera. So, I posted a real shot back on April 10.


Slow down

Though she tries, Colleen has been unable to filter me. Hey! Who doesn’t like the holidays? We like them though they are stressful and lots of work. Really? Ummm… well… we have lots to do. I am, sometimes, beside myself. Slow down! Let things unfold slowly and naturally. And, yet, we have a good time, too. That, there picture would be Charles Dickens great grandson performing a one man show of Christmas Carol. For real! Yes!

Strange things happen during the holidays. Masks were still in – style. And, the non sequiturs? Don’t ask, I take odd and strange photos, too. The pink juicer has been our unicorn for years. Buy it?!

It was the year of the gnome. What do our cats know from Xmas? Our youngest. It used to be, that you dressed up all formal for Xmas. No more. PJ’s are just fine! Cuteness is independent of fashion. Have I worn a tie since I retired?


Think… cheer

If you take enough pictures, a few will be good. It follows: Even a blind squirrel gets a nut sometimes. Selfies? The easy way or hard way? It’s probably not good to say I go both ways. Beer? I don’t drink beer! Heresy! As you can see, we do have some good times together.

Socks? Everyone needs socks. These days, I’m retired. My socks retired too. I wear ‘em about three cold days a year now. Colleen? – adores socks. And, she adores the Pemaquid lighthouse!

Sheeps? Why is it sheep? I did not go to Maine for the art. Did I? Spinning wheel? Colleen arranged to pick up a signature spinning wheel that I found online. She brought $$. And, now, I use this wheel. Was it a plot? Planned? I love this wheel – to use; it’s sweet! I love my wife … more!


I’ve changed

Hey! I did not take these pics. Well, I did do the selfie in Maine. We put on suits to take a picture?! Scrubs! It was the chief reason I veered into neurosurgery. (You get to wear PJ’s all day.) There was/were many a Christmas we got each other the same Xmas gifts. Trench coats!!! Cherry blossoms, Julia and I had a one-time walk together in Central Park. As part of my training, a prominent neurosurgeon taught me to hang spoon. If the best comes last, then I am content; Colleen finally emailed again. I am found!


Blackwater falls

Oh! I had just returned from Saudi – working. I had the worst cold of my life. Coughing! Oh boy! Here we were – Blackwater falls. I am vaguely disappointed. I have yet to get that “quintessential” photo. I’m still trying. It’s like chasing the perfect barbecue…. People come from far and wide across the USA to be here. By comparison, this is a tiny falls. And, it took until my adulthood to see it. I knew of it and while I lived in WV, I had never been. My first visit, was, memorably with Colleen. It is one more fond memory we have in common. Ah! The longer hair, it hearkens back to my comments about hair the other day in my post. The waterfall? It will still be here; I shall do better another day. Sometimes imagination and creativity need more inspiration.


Reads plaques

Knowledge and information feeds curiosity. Colleen is full of it. She tries to read each and every plaque. She is always learning something new. She and I are complementary. I am “photo op.” I get the pic and she remembers the facts of the place. California coast, I like the concept that a picture can be a thousand words. We’re a team, seeing, and, always learning. It takes time to read plaques; I get more time to get my photos.


Doo

Neverending: short or long? Color? I persuaded Colleen that she is too young looking to go grey. But length? Short is so much easier to wash and dry. Her hairdresser does not mind change or experimentation. I get photo ops. I try to shoot every day. Cats only get you so far ….


How’s the weather?

Moonset, sunrise, sunset, clouds, jet trails, water – I get all kinds of weather into my memory card. The colors standout. It’s not every day I get a shot at spectacular weather. But, everyone talks about the weather. I shoot it.

I have lots of cats – ha, ha – and lots of cat pictures. But the number of yawn pics is small indeed. And, I have a smaller number of pics with Colleen in a hat. She doesn’t wear hats. She looks good in a hat. She’s a good sport. I was told to stick with weather….


How high?

After what I said about my cat, Feather, yesterday… I’d best follow up with Colleen, today. Or, else!

She gets tickled over the silliest things. Cuteness! It makes me giggle. Note: I do not giggle. Ever!

Yup, she makes me laugh! Snow! It’s a burden. I used to have to drive thru it to get to work – any time, any place, anywhere. Now, I’m retired. So, I just had to giggle. She was so “over the top!” Snow balls! I grant you we got a big (dump) lot of snow! And, she made a snowball and was in heaven. Can you have more joy and fun than that?


The boy

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.


windows

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.

Apropos:

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.


Crunchy

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.


Restless

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.


i…

iPhone.

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!!)


Click…

… 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.


Indeed

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.”


Creme brulee

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!


Draw

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.