Scotland! I owe Colleen a return trip. Our flight was canceled at the onset of the Covid shutdown. It rains a lot in Scotland, hence the same rain jackets throughout. This time we will take more rain gear. The thistle is a Scottish national emblem. Cat? Shhh… not mine. We cannot pass a bookstore without stopping.
Ah! Revival? I have resurrected my old blog site Photocritical. In case you clicked on it in the past… I have recently begun to post there once again. Thank you all who have followed and visited this blog. Meanwhile, I am making a shameless plug for you to have the opportunity to see other photos.
By the time this post goes live it will either be a great success or…. (Keep your mouth shut, declare victory.) It was a long time coming. We updated the kitchen. We kept the cabinet boxes and just had the cabinet face done over. The appliances are all new, now. It took years. One appliance died followed by another and… The last to go was the oven/microwave. That was $$$. Combine two appliances and you pay $$$ for the pair.
The counters are clear!! That will never happen again! Ever! But we will try. Ever resolute we will try not to store back all the clutter we have not used since the stuff went into the cabinets. Sentimental!?!? For sure! After all it is hard to get rid of a yogurt-maker we haven’t used in eight years. We eat yogurt all the time.
I am putting in a glass tile backsplash. I can’t wait to cut tile around the outlets. So much fun!! And yes, there was time for games before the real work started.
Ha ha. I just broke my own resolve. One image. One story. I can do that?! Ok, I shall be less exuberant. Sort of? Confused? Well, the blog started as one picture a day. And with so much material…. Meanwhile, Spice looks stern enough to hold me accountable. Right!? Water and flowers? It’s a good picture. And it is different. I get thousands of pictures of the flowers in my garden at this time of year. So?! The same pictures? Boring! Well, not exactly. It’s like clouds, every one is different. Yeah, but! Go figure. Flowers and cats, my favorite subjects at this time of year are worthy images. It’s for fun after all. And I do it to showcase good images. Redundancy was never an issue before. Am I repeating myself? Was there a story here? We’ll see. Pun?
Some days it is about the story rather than the image. An antique is something older than 100 years. Short of that it is vintage. Ha ha. We are vintage. Less than 100 for sure! But what constitutes old in the eyes of the court? That would be older than 70. That is the age cut off for jury duty – older than 70. Hey hey! Finally! I can thumb my nose at the jury duty notice. Ahem? Too old? Demented? Feeble? Infirm? Dunno, just check the box and decline service. Done.
Meanwhile a variation on an old joke: What’s the worst thing about being a grandpa? Eating (sleeping) with a grandma. Chuckle laugh groan – nope, not this one. She loves to eat out. And, I love her! No more jury duty anxiety. We earned it! Cheers!
For illustrative purpose – that is Spice eating a butterfly. Eewww! And why is it that angels play harps? Just wondering? Moreover, when they picked me for jury duty, I gratefully declined. And, no, I did not say Colleen was old. Hardly! They did not call upon her….
It seems so long ago… but it was but a year ago. I was on a quest for a good pizza. It was not easy and did not come for a good long while. We discovered Milton. So? It’s been there for a long time already… Flowers on my deck, they are the same and they are different. The black-eyed Susan were abundant. Perennial plants, they did not come back robustly again this year. Peas was a brand new kitten that came home with us. Donna had a different wig. Mozzarella and tomatoes, a summer classic is usually served in one dish together. The lighting is stark. I guess that is why the image caught my eye. The selfie: I just got a throwback Canon G3, my first digital camera. The original went lost and missing. Not too bad, except I got old. It’s a year later and I am still seeking a good pizza.
…what I see. Ha ha. Christmas in July? August? Macro is a counter-intuitive term to me. It should be macro. So?! Whatever. I see detail. I cannot see it (fine detail) without that macro lens, and only after post-processing. Do you?
Here’s how it goes: The detail of the (hairy) pistil is only evident when you enlarge the image by about 10X. Oh! Ah! There’s a fine line between ooooh and ah!
Dammit! (an aside) All of this posting ain’t free. You run out of storage space and pay WordPress an annual fee. Damn! So, I’m outta space. Just now! Just this very post! And, I gotta pay – more! I almost stopped publishing. Oh, well, I guess the show will go on. Send money please….
At the end of the day, it’s all macro, through my macro lens. But, some things are enlarged further. I could do it all with normal lens – mostly, but not all. Technology?! Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. Colleen, the credit card bill went up again.
Pulling out of the garage, there was Willow on the balcony. Left there, he might be cooked/baked in the sun. That would be awkward. Do ya think? He’s a good cat. We love him. … inside.
A new restaurant. Italian, in a strip mall? Ok?! The waitress sings while you eat. Oops! Not a waitress, the owner!? Major oops! Jen made the reservation. It was her faux pas. Fun?! You bet. What to wear? Shorts? Do you remember eating formally with a tie and jacket?
Stop! We had to stop for a spectacular sunset on the way home. A couple would not clear my shot. Ok! No complaint except I wish it was someone photographing us. But, you get the idea. And, I love my wife… you see a sunset you hold her hand.
Protocol? It said in big bold letters: Absolutely no recording or photography. There was a metal detector and bag check as we entered. You cannot keep cellphones out of the venue. People either don’t read or don’t care – they took video throughout the performance. Me? Break the rule/law? … at the end. Colleen had been waiting to see this artist for a long time….
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!
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?
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.
While I dove in Saudi, the Sony RX100 was touted as the best point and shoot underwater camera ever! Ok, a bit of hyperbole, but, it was well regarded. I did not pull the trigger and get one. I was committed to my investment in the Canon G7. I succumbed to the hype in 2018. The first pictures: new car; selfie; construction in progress; flower; cat; food. It is a great camera. I wish I had been able to use it diving. It is certainly more versatile than my iPhone. Punchline? I’d do it again.
Nowadays. Life is still disorganized. Sure, why would it be different? Come as you are. Discover adventure as you go. We don’t work with a plan. I take pictures. Random discoveries, scenes, locations, cats, weaving, and selfies dot my work. You never know what reflection will present itself or what sunset will come next. Though life can be unpredictable, it has and is certainly a lot of fun.
2021. I read about the Canon G3 profiled as an early innovator in digital cameras. And, it was available used for not too many $. Ok! Why not? Nostalgia! My original camera was long lost – perhaps in some move over the years? My first images? ID – my driver’s license – in case someone found the lost camera and was good enough to return it. Lost cameras: I left a Canon G12 on the table in a mall in Saudi… or… I dropped a Canon S100 as I got into a car…. Selfie, cat, home, what else would you shoot out of the box with a new camera?
Digital has changed so much. I use a Nikon Z5 and there is such a world of difference between now and then. It’s simply amazing.
High school offered computer programming. It was novel at the time. I hate computers. I sit before one for hours on end. I am an avowed end-user. Computers do not think as fast as I do. They always screw up or make me wait. Wait, waiting, ahem, tap tap tap your knuckles on the desk…. You live with a smart phone and wish they were dumb. They take great pictures. Pick a necessary function: see or talk?! Digital photography is a pinnacle of computer tech. That (technology) much is seamless. Meanwhile, I gotta make a call… So many subjects (thoughts), too little time.
Poor Feather. I’m hugging her close. We are not diligent about getting the cats to the vet. Her first time out she had a nail bed fungus and required Epsom salt soaks. She has/had a rash on her belly that required oral steroids off and on for years. It’s just getting better…. the new vet cautioned chronic steroid use is bad. Ah! I know/knew that! But it works. And, only this has worked so far. Trust me, it’s a very bad (!!!) rash. Plus, she tore her “pinky” toenail off on the day of her visit to the vet. Lucky! So, she got the “collar of shame.” No more scratching/licking her belly. And, she got a big bandage on her paw. And, she got strong time release cat pain killer. That’s just ducky. Feather promptly shed her collar. And, by the next morning her dressing was removed – by her. Yeah, yeah. My job was to put her collar back in it and the dressing was applied once more. Sometimes, I really feel bad for my “favorite” cat! Feather? The time release drug is still working and she’s “loopy.” I’m hugging her close. It really breaks my heart when the cats are sick, especially, since they don’t understand a bit about what we are doing to help.
Did you ever have to do something and dreaded the project because it was too awful to think about? Have you ever been convoluted? My office was the last floor to install click lock floor. Daunting, there was so much stuff in the room with no where to go while I installed. I finally got the hang of it! It means that I should go back and re-do the other rooms. Ha ha! NO!! Meanwhile, the best (installed) is last, and, I will be able to use this floor for many years to come. And, my cats cannot make a mess that I cannot clean.
The hard part was dealing with a 45-degree cut. No problem on a chop saw. The Oscars – famous slap – occurred in the middle of the project. No problem. Just move the furniture around. Yeah?! Who doesn’t move all/everything out of the room before laying floor? … that would be this dummy.
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?
I have been afforded adventures one dreams about but never experience. Good? Bad? Leaving on a jet plane to Saudi from DC, you get the sunset over Long Island and sunrise over Egypt. The hot desert is a jarring sight.
Almost immediately I can dive beneath the Red Sea and its wonderous color and fish. Indeed, that was spectacular and special.
And, there were plenty of stray cats, largely ignored and mostly starving. The desert is cruel and harsh. A sandstorm? Several happened. I rushed out to see it. Disappointment. It was not the sweeping storm of Laurence of Arabia. Nope, it was more like dusky fog. From my vantage and perspective, it was curiosity and not too intimidating. My bad.
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….
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?
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.
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.
… 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.
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.
Iconic, shots of my life, random, culled from previous posts. Inspired? I was. I was not allowed to publish a shot we made in the museum. Copyright. Ok, I will respect it, though I have it already, too late. It was (not this one) an Andy Warhol classic too. I am inspired ala Rocky to hold up my bike on the closest I ever got to a “Century” on that day – 96 mile ride. Beloved Patch, a heilan coo, spring tulips, Whistler’s mother in Paris. I have lived a pretty nice life. It’s not how you start… yada yada. I do not deny that I have been very lucky, very fortunate… very, you name it. I have seen beauty. I have loved beauty. I have lost. I have loved. I love. If there is forever, I will love you Colleen.