Word and Image

Travel

Jumbled

I’m spinning the photo catalog today. Originally, I had intended to publish one picture a day of “ooh and ah!” quality along with a story. Lately, it’s been about the stories triggered by the images. Technically, it still fits the title of the blog, but we are a long way off. I’ve been on a lot of planes. The middle top pic is instantly recognizable. Colleen hates to fly. She goes because she does not trust me alone? ?? Dunno? Ha! The first thing we did upon arrival was seek a vegetarian restaurant. It’s very appetizing – if you’re a rabbit. And she got a bottle of organic beer. Isn’t all that beer vegetarian and organic to begin with? I think maybe I would have rather been in the pakora place next door. But, it is now revealed Colleen doesn’t care for Indian. Damn, so far and yet so close. Figuratively, literally, you do the math and take your pick of the choices here in my words. The truth: We have fun. Anywhere is good as long as I’m with Colleen. Happiness is…


Photographic memory

The inbox is full. I anchor memories to pictures. Or, is the converse positive? I spin the photo catalog and randomly land upon an image. What? Huh? A couple shots to the right or to the left….aha! Now I remember! It’s funny that way. Colleen has much more difficulty. We were… somewhere, and then I show her the picture and it becomes fact. It’s not a clear memory. But for me, much of what I remember is from images. Or, is it the converse? The trigger? It was the Christmas tree advent calendar in the middle top. I remember Colleen admired it. We even went and bought felt to make one ourselves… we still have pieces of felt around the house.


Nuts

I Photoshop… because, I can. Don’t you wish you could too? We have fun. It’s always about fun. And we have plenty. This the part of the collection from our Maine trip. It’s not our first time. Humor? Irreverence? Who knows? We laugh a lot. Colleen thinks I’m nuts. She’s not alone. But, she is tolerant. And, so, we laugh some more.


100, 200, 300 K

I have about 305k images in this catalog. So. I picked #’s 100k 200k and 300k. Here’s what was there. 300: Christmas 2020: it was just this past Xmas; lockdown, us and the cats. 200: Scotland 2019: it was the trip Colleen dreamed of for many years come true. 100: Maine 2018: We returned. Our first trip to Maine was 2014. It was another “wished for” destination for Colleen. Who knew? I did not know what to expect from random numbers. This catalog has pics from 2016 onward. It’s been a nice bunch of years. Nothing bad, 300k images and counting. How’s that for random? I shoot more pictures than an average person. But, there are professionals with millions of images in their catalog. Ha ha!


Postcards

Happy birthday Dave. You have had some grand adventures. I have to admit he has gotten his money’s worth with that iPhone. If you travel with a backpack, there is not much room to spare. I am happy to say his photography puts mine to shame. Keep finding new adventures. I’m proud of you.


Wondering?

From sea to shining sea, the United States people are as different as the topography of the country. There are delicate balances among ideas that clash. Among the profound beauty there are great divides in ideologies that define our beliefs. I remain hopeful and optimistic. Balanced rock, Arches National Park, will still be here long after I am gone. Someday it will fall. There is a cycle and inevitability to things. I hope we will solve climate change. I will never know. There are those who deny climate change and evolution and this never ceases to bewilder me. I have been blessed to witness much beauty in my lifetime. Would you disagree with that too?


Someone’s watchin’

I lifted this layout right off Shutterfly. Who’s got rights? I have been told nothing disappears from the internet. But, how’d it get there? Shutterfly, it took over after Kodak folded. They send emails to me of “memories” from time past. I mostly don’t pay attention. I did, once upon a time, upload a lot of images to Kodak in order to share pictures. But, hey! Where did these come from? They are long after I uploaded anything to Kodak and definitely not on Shutterfly. I don’t use the service. It’s not transparent. I can easily see who owns Shutterfly. For sure, they did not ever receive or have permission to snag these digital images. By, the way, their periodic reminders of memories from the past are (mostly) unhappy remembrances at this point. They wouldn’t know – a smiling face is a smiling face. I’m just wondering. However. So far it’s so. What’s on the ‘net lingers forever. In this particular instance I do hope the (these) memories last forever. This one was an “extended” first date, the best I ever had.


Alfredo

Fettuccine Alfredo. Maybe you’ve had it, maybe not. There are two restaurants in Rome that claim to be the original. At least that was the case many decades ago. We tried both restaurants on that trip long ago. This is the restaurant where they put on a show as they served. It’s the original! The showmanship makes me smile even now. That’s Alfredo in the picture, Of course!


Tower of London

Imprisoned at the whim or will of the monarch, beheaded without trial, this fortress has a long sordid history. Sixty days to the election, I wonder how this post will look post election in December? Did we win or did the dark force prevail? I do hope our dear leader gets an orange jumpsuit. Maybe it’s time to bring back beheading?


Search for beauty

In these trying times, desperate times… I/we try to look for beauty.  No easy task, I took the opportunity to just spin through my image catalog. I let the cursor land on some random shots over the past four years: Arches National Park at sunset; Some random brick wall and a selfie. Past, present, and future mingle in this post. The photos from long (past) posted now (present), while published in the future (about three month) during which time the world will have changed radically once more.

May you live in interesting times” is an English expression which purports to be a translation of a traditional Chinese curse. … Despite being so common in English as to be known as the “Chinese curse”, the saying is apocryphal, and no actual Chinese source has ever been produced. – Wikipedia


Afterthought

Nineteen years. Time fades memory. I nearly forgot. I didn’t. But the raw sense of profound loss has been tempered. Last year we were in Scotland to fulfill a long dream of Colleen’s. We passed this cow on the road looking over the hedge at us. I stopped. Cute! Not a Heilan coo. Maybe? He needed bangs. So, a cow, a cute one at that, and he let me take his picture while he curiously gazed. Yes, nineteen years, a couple generations have passed. Has memory faded so much? I remember. I was there. I know someone who was lost. For many it’s not so personal. Not me.


Pastel

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Puerto Rico, San Juan. Sunday? I was barely talking with Lisa. We’d been in a fight for quite a long time. We somehow were in San Juan to start the one and only cruise I have ever been on. Walking randomly in the streets, I glanced down the next. Perfect. A moment. The light! Someone walking. Color! Does it get better than when you know you shot something special the moment you pressed the shutter?


Haystack before the storm…

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The best picture I ever took that I wish I had a do over: Random! Totally! This was on a road trip in Europe. Does it matter where? When? … a very long time ago. We had stopped (the car) many many times. The patience of my passenger/wife? was at an end. No stopping. I had a point and shoot (film!) camera in my lap. Auto anything? I just lifted the camera to the driver side window and fired one shot. One! Single! Shot! That’s it. The moment was gone, never to be seen (ever!) again. Am I clear? I missed out on a real moment. I couldn’t stop. Who knew? Well, I got something to show you all. Regrets? I have a few. But then life did turn out with a happy ending somewhere along the line. And I hope to be on the road again. And my beloved spouse will (though not intentionally) pressure me to keep on the move. Next…


Remember when…

…we could travel freely? Right about now we are more than half through our second trip to Scotland. Not! Bad timing! Ode to corona: who thought a trip to our mailbox would be a threat to our health. Confused? No. Alas, we are not in Scotland. We were told the sheep were dipped – yellow – for purposes of health. We never saw another flock like it. Reasons on the ‘net include: ID, ownership, ewes, theft discouragement and who knows? We frequently staged some gag photos for the kids. Yeah, shameless Photoshop. Why not? Poor Colleen. Why hug a post box? Hey! You would have to look in my brain. Me? Some days I’m locked out. Thistle: the national flower of Scotland. And right now I wish we were posting: “Wish you were here.”


The big ?

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Today’s Dave’s birthday. Happy Birthday! (I’ll remind his sister so she’ll look good. Hey! People remind me of dates all the time.) I write my posts in advance. So, the big question is whether we are on the plane today to Scotland or not. We were/are scheduled. …cancelled/postponed due to pandemic. Who knew? River Tweed panorama anyone? No, the sheep are not sick with yellow fever. And we/us? As long as we are safe and with/among loved ones, it’s okay by me. Colleen would like to be with the “sheepies” too.


Travel Day

It was just above freezing. The droplets of water were not ice? Colleen and I disagreed but no one got out of the car to prove the point. Elsewhere someone was having a very bad day in the fog on the mountain. The traffic on the other side was completely blocked. You just can’t drive that fast in the fog.


Close

Pronunciation is “close” as in “close to you” not “close the door.” It’s uniquely British/Scottish. We encountered one in Edinburgh that led to a charming little courtyard. And in Stirling it was a garbage filled back alley that led to the next street. You pick. The USA equivalent is a back alley. In Britain it is named (on a map) and designates a narrow alley/walk between two buildings to cross over or enter another space. In our first example it led to a courtyard of buildings. Charming. In the second it led to the adjacent street where we sought Nicky Tam pub – famous Cullen skink. No! It was a dive! We felt unsafe and unclean and quickly exited safe with our lives and our money. We lit upon Brea a few doors down where we slipped in just before dinner rush. They gave Colleen a lovely ½ order of Cullen skink and of risotto, two birds with one stone! And, now for the kicker, I dreamt this post up. Literally, I was sleeping and dreaming of two alternatives to pronouncing the word “close.” So, here we are.


Stirling Castle

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More fog. The effect can be ethereal. Once upon a time I could not conceive that a photo in fog could be good. How do you focus in the mist? You don’t. And, the effect though unpredictable can be quite unexpected and surprising. It works for me.


Gargoyle

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They work! Ornamental, yes! But, they were actually functional – gargoyles. Yes, I photographed in the rain and I was wet and my camera was wet. We both dried to go on to another day.


Tourist

It’s hard to make a highland cow photogenic in the rain and mud. Some places arrange to have cows available for a photo-op. It’s a sure way to get tourists to stop. Then again, the photo-op is about what you expect. And the cows are not particularly cute in the mud. I guess it was enough to have a pic. If this was all, I would be disappointed. Under the circumstances none of these images were worthy. It’s all good. I had many others and got images elsewhere.


Uphill

We use a fitness device to track steps and levels climbed. I’m not naming names. The pictures do not begin to give you the feeling of climbing lots of stairs. There were at least 500 to the top. And, there was no way but to walk. It was a lot of steps. Are you with me? Dumbarton Castle, who knew? I also found out that you can game the fitness device so I consistently did more levels and steps than Colleen. It drove her crazy when we essentially climbed the same levels day after day and my device recorded I had more levels than she.


Perefect?

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Hardly. It’s not easy in the rain. Most enthusiasts leave their camera in their case in the rain. Water and electronics do not mix. There is unmistakable joy in feeding the pigeons. The idea and concepts translate though the focus and blur are present. We were wet. We were happy. I wish our timing had been better to catch a concert.


Without a plan

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You plan, you plot, you schedule. We did. We arrived in time to take the advertised tour of Glasgow Cathedral. We discovered they had stopped the schedule a while back. They were doing tours by request as people arrived. We got a private tour guide for a couple hours. I arrived without any expectation. I never worked with a plan, just a vague vision. Upon arrival the guard admonished the girls to use the exit side of the entrance; they had to circle back and around. We found out why the stained glass was modernized and replaced by donors and groups. I discovered you have to be on site in order to really know how things work. It all fit. We had a great day!


Too numerous

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I limit myself to a post a day. Jules, long ago admonished me. Too many posts were too many and too confusing. So, I cheat. She never complained about more than one pic per post. Still… I pick by browsing Lightroom. And an image strikes me. Sometimes they are not perfect – most times. But there is this” je ne sais quois” look. Done. This one made me smile. You’re just going along minding your own business and then you are “struck.” It wasn’t even an image I flagged in my first pass. But, in retrospect, it’s different, out of my norm. … too many images, too little time… I know I have not gone deep into my library. It’s a regret, no time to dwell.