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Mirror mirror

We were out perusing the goods. A floor length mirror was too good to pass by. I just wanted the photo-op. We did not need the mirror. We looked about; no one was near; click!


10%er

Patch loved to sit on the table and mooch. He wouldn’t eat. He loved to lick potato chips, for the salt? And, he liked smoked turkey. He had been taught not to eat table food. So, it was with a mixture of rebellion and obedience that he – ha! – mooched. He did not bother me, just Colleen. This was just before he became mortally ill. I smile because I just downloaded a happy memory of Patch in better times. 10%? It refers to the fact that all my pets going back to Nellie, my dog, all had a right to a 10% share of anything I ate. They held me to it. I was/am helpless to deny them their right. Yeah, yeah, Patch liked to lick bread too.


Once upon a time

You can find all sorts of shit in antique stores. I came across mags of unknown age from an age before this. They were every bit as heinous as today. Playboy had nothing on them. They were misogynous, sexist, and demeaning to women. And, they sold! I wouldn’t know. I never saw them till now. But it would appear that white supremacy and male dominance is not nothing new. It’s pretty shameful to find it among us now and back then. It seems we doomed ourselves to repeat history. Just when you think we are enlightened you find out we are/were not. I’m sad. People actually bought and read this shit.


I love my wife

One month later – anniversary (second was) 2/28 – “I love my wife”, was sung by Frank Sinatra. I love my present wife…. to pieces. I think I must have been a frog…. Yes, I’ve been transformed. Content, for sure. I came across the art sculpture in an antique store for $$$$. I only needed a picture. Keepsake? I’ll keep my wife for as long as she will keep me. I’m a handful! Ask her? So far so good…

I have to say it’s pretty neat to spin the photo catalog and find lots to illustrate the story of the day.


Hug your wife

It’s figurative. Not applicable to everyone. Not everyone has a cat either. And. Don’t we all complain how we look in pictures? That said, it’s nice to hug your wife. it’s nice to love her as much as I do mine. It’s nice to be truthful and honest about it all. I’m writing this post on a bright sunny day. When you read this I hope your day is as sunny as the smile in mine.


Laying pipe

We went down to the beach to find the federal replenishment program in full swing. How to they do this? They pump sand onto the shore, pristine sand, from about a mile offshore using pipe to carry the sand to the beach. They lay all this enormous length of pipe. Bulldozers spread the sand pile, and, instant beach! I have mixed feelings about the process of messing with Mother Nature. But without the Feds, I would otherwise be on beachfront property about a mile from the current beach.  Erosion can be impressive. The last replenishment saw the beach raised about ten feet higher. Shhh… this enormous project is akin to shoveling … against the tide. I’m still a mile from the ocean front. Does iPhone face recognition work with masks? …’cause we’re headed to the bank next.


Hanging out

Why? The red bellied woodpecker hangs from the feeder. To have a faster getaway? ??? Dunno. He’s a rare sight worth a photo. And the cardinal and blue jay are not common either. They are skittish. We only seem them infrequently and for a few seconds. It’s their version of bird fast food. Eat and go. Another conundrum: the red bellied woodpecker has a grey belly and a red head. There is a red headed woodpecker that is different from this one.


Happiness

Happiness is a warm spot. Elle loves to be by the portable radiator, and, in front of the window is a plus. Nutley does guard duty warding off the squirrel. He is always on alert and at the ready. Right?! Willow has found a soft warm spot in our comforter. Our cats are “indoor” cats. It means no outdoor excursions without supervision. I have escape artists. Ray’s winter outdoor privileges are rescinded.


Paper or box?

Story or illustration? The bottom two pics are to melt your heart – if you are a cat lover (or not). The rest illustrate the story. One good image would do. But I’m lazy and didn’t try to narrow it down. A new box is always certain “cat” entertainment. Everyone (cat) has a go. Climb in and claim your spot. There is no pecking order. First in…. Ok there is an occasional territorial dispute. In a pinch, a bag will do as a cat container. And the wrapping tissue, this was a whole new experience. The paper was a hit. They tossed it around all day … till it was shredded. Yes, a box, send more boxes!


Was it the pavement or the push?

This image is well known. It depicts two Buffalo police officers shoving a protester to the ground. It was taken from video of the incident in question.

When I was called to the Grand Jury on a case my older partner laughed. It was a case of a club bouncer hitting a man knocking him to the ground. The man sustained a subdural hematoma on the brain and subsequently died. My partner said, “They will ask you if it was the push or the pavement curb that caused the subdural?” Huh?! Of course, the brain hemorrhage was the result of the shove! The bouncer was not indicted. The jury took the side that the pavement was the cause.

And so, too, is justice served once again. president trump did not incite a violent mob to invade the Capitol on January 6. He merely spoke at a rally. The crowd then freely stormed the building without any orders. Maybe it’s just me. I don’t agree in either case. Let’s see to the video. Do you believe these excuses and explanations?


Family grouping

We didn’t change much. Colleen and I are identical triplets and everyone came in for dinner at the holidays. We were a family gathering of less than 10. You know how it goes, triplets tend to dress alike. We couldn’t resist. All safety measures were taken and testing was all negative. Christmas lacked the big roast – the Beef Wellington was in the oven. And, oops, there were four of me at Thanksgiving.


Assembly required

Food photography is not my forte. Far from it, I have read about food stylists who add shine and steam. Often lard will stand in for… not all is real in food imaging. Alas – it’s my new favorite word – some things need help… Leftover turkey makes great pot pie. Where’s the pot? Ha ha? I have to admit we adpated our own container. Pot pie for two, it’s not an easy to task to find the right vessel. We tried to be simple, not overboard, This is comfort food. I browned the mushrooms. Yeah, yeah, it’s not a component. Well, it is, in mine. Sauce – cheating? – yes we used – cream of chicken, no, cream of mushroom. In the end it’s about what you like; there’s nothing set. And the grocery store frozen brand stuff has nothing on us. This was piping hot and as good to eat as it looked. Sorry, no steam effect.


It ain’t easy

Ho hum. We see a photo and it’s just commonplace. We hardly pause to consider the technical skill needed to get the shot. Sometimes it’s just luck and happy circumstance. Trust me. It ain’t easy to photograph a spider web. Sure, you’ve seen a million of ‘em. I will readily tell you that the web is so fine, your spiffy camera does not want to focus. It will focus anywhere but upon that fine thread. We had a couple of big ugly spiders slumming on our deck this past summer. I don’t like bugs to begin with. But I got shots. Fighting backlighting is another challenge in getting the “shot.” Spiders eat bugs too. Ain’t that grand? My point? Getting an image of a web is hard to do!

Apropos to the day: “Oh, what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive!” (Sir Walter Scott, 1808)

And in case you don’t get it: “Oh what a tangled web we weave/When first we practice to deceive’ means that when you lie or act dishonestly you are initiating problems and a domino structure of complications which eventually run out of control.”


Bugs

I have two spiders who made webs and a home outside my windows. You would almost miss them. How? They are large! And, I was able to photograph their webs. The webs are nearly invisible. And they are large (too)! There’s not much cute about them. Somehow predators are not very warm and fuzzy. The details are what I could get. Not too good, not too bad. I was pleased to get as much detail in the web as I did. And, if you look closely you can see the thread of web spinning from the spider’s rear.


Bewildered

“Denmark’s mink industry is gone, a victim of the coronavirus. The nation killed all its 17 million mink because of fears of a mutation in the virus that had spread from mink to people.”

2020 will be remember for trump and Covid 19. Herd immunity? In the animal world, mink got it and we slaughtered 17 million. We would have killed them for their pelts without much fanfare or notice for the rich and wealthy to wear. How nuts is all of that? The number is stunning (to me). Danish farmers protested in a tractor demonstration in Copenhagen. Not many protests occur when the fur industry puts 17 million to death for coats. Was this article about money or animal life?

Mink farmers drove their tractors into Copenhagen to demonstrate against the Danish government as coronavirus infections raged through mink herds.  

Could we get rid of Covid by killing off millions of the world citizens? Did it work for mink? Imagine if trump were king instead of a deposed wannabe. Herd immunity was a good idea no worse than killing 17 million mink out of hand? It’s an amazing world out there. Sometimes you gotta wonder if Mother Earth would be better off without a few billion humans. Reset. Climate change….. Herd immunity has its supporters among whom are white supremacists, Fox news, Newsmax…. Hey! It’s a viewpoint. 17 million minks for coats is ok?! They pay for a lot of tractors, which…..


Monarch butterfly… & bee

A monarch landed on the deck among the mint blossoms. It stayed for 780 images. Yup!! Most times they have defects in their wings – damage from flying about. So? Which images were worthy? To be sure I have monarch butterfly pictures. (And, I have a whole lot more now.) These two made the cut. One – I never get a curled proboscis. Two – my goal has been to get a bee in flight – one next to a monarch butterfly – priceless!! To be honest, the bee simply flew into my picture. It was the one and only image.


Point that finger

By the time this post is published it will be nearly four months gone by. Darn! They just get cuter. We live so far apart I will hardly get to see Noa. Someone (Colleen)  was right – she’s always right. And, ever dutiful, I acknowledge that she is (definitely) the better half.

“She will get cuter. And, you will miss her more!”


A little bit different

We were having a solitary Thanksgiving. No travel, no family, no friends. I broke the rule and invited my brother. Then, with the dismal news, and the heightened risks, we felt compelled to follow good practice and refrain. So, no one will join our dinner but our seven cats. I wish a peaceful healthy Thanksgiving to all. On a lighter note, it appears that Jules once weighed less than our celebration turkey. Go figure! That is at least worth a smile.


Cat count

We call it “cat count.” Seven cats, sometimes I’m not entirely sure they are all safe. So, we do a visual roll call – “cat count.” I’ve been trying to get a sequence of seven shots. Eh? Seven cats? (see yesterday’s post) They were all primed and ready, just sitting around the living room. I got ‘em! It’s not portraiture but more like inventory – three sets of twins and then Elle. Ordinarily, the cats are quite independent and never in the same room together.


First outing

The last place we dined was the first place we dined again. Thai. Bubble tea. Funny. Colleen got coffee flavor. So? coffee flavored bubble tea?! It’s got giant black balls of tapioca. Our first one (bubble tea) in this restaurant. Good! We were at one table. The only other occupants were at a table up front. We were distanced by about 100 feet. Not bad. We felt safe enough. Symmetry. I like symmetry and we just happened to eat last and first. – Last time March and now first outing again July. Nice!


Shame, shaming, shamed…

“Joe Biden is right — does Donald Trump really want denying the election results to be his legacy? Because I’d like to remember him as the president who kidnapped kids and helped kill 240,000 Americans, not for this.” — TREVOR NOAH

“Oh, yeah, it’d be a shame to tarnish that. What was it going to be — ‘the man who finally stood up to the sun?’” — SETH MEYERS

“Pretty soon we’re going to need Vladimir Putin to stage an intervention.” — JIMMY FALLON

“He is like a toddler too hopped up on sugar to go to bed. There’s no reasoning with him at this point. You just have to let him tire himself out, wait until he falls asleep on the kitchen floor, and hope he hasn’t conspired with the dog to stage a coup.” — STEPHEN COLBERT

Alternative facts just keep coming. The election didn’t happen. How about a do-over? The electoral college is not remotely close. You lost the popular vote by 5 MILLION votes! Crowds stand cheering (your loss) in front of the White House.


Party ready

All dressed up with nowhere to go. Ha ha. We are taking a calculated risk during corona. We are safe. And our kids are safe. We have all been isolated safely for quite some time. So! The house is all neat and ready for company. This is a first in months (too many to mention) when we have actually seen the floor and table tops. Since the tables have been otherwise covered, Colleen hasn’t had an opportunity to play games. She loves to beat me. (I always let her win. NOT.) In the midst of everything our 1860’s spinning wheel found a place as treasured photo prop. Don’t laugh. It’s only clean this brief moment until everyone leaves. After – we believe a house is not a home, unless it’s lived in.


Cook

We made a no bake cheesecake from a box. Don’t! Ever!! It was artificial and light as whipped cream. The chemicals were good if you like fake stuff. I looked up a New York cheesecake recipe. I used an almond crust. The recipe used cream cheese – a ton! That darned cake weighed 10 pounds. A water bath??? It keeps the cake from cracking. I guess that’s an issue for purists. The second recipe came from “The Best Thing I Ever Ate” on the food channel. It’s no mystery and it’s well documented on the internet. Darn! (I’d use a stronger expletive!) The result was good. It made me giggle. Not laugh, giggle! Deep fried black eyed peas. It calls for chopped onion to be cooked with the beans before frying. Keep the onion. They crisp up and are delicious in their own right. It’s bad for you. The rule: anything that tastes that good is – bad for you!!


Counting

I have made 30 Nantucket baskets and counting. They are not yet entirely complete but are done enough to appreciate. Defects? Plenty! I’m not striving for perfection. I just want to gain efficiency and make as many msikates in order to learn the limits. It’s been interesting. Now, they are like my children. Can I gift them away? Certainly, there is plenty of potential. They really do look great! Who’s your favorite child? 30 favorite children??