Cincinnati is big. There must be a dim sum restaurant? The internet gave me the “10 best.” The web page showed me “3.” Ha ha! But we found one. It serves from the menu during the week and from rolling push carts (traditional) on the weekend. You need a certain volume of customers to do the carts. Familiar with the style? It consists of small plates that are shared and eaten. You choose the plates from the passing carts and eat contentedly of your choices. At the end of the meal you pay a set price per plate. Easy. Fun. And there are a lot of options to try!
Mexican? Lots of options. Hot pepper! Otherwise I do not find much subtlety in the flavors. Try as I might, the cuisine is not for me. Sorry.
Yeah, yeah, I was born Chinese. Soy sauce must be in my veins.
It’s a hobby fer cris sakes! It’s pretty simple. I shoot what is around me. Family, birds, flowers, cats…. Easy. Edit. Choose. Blog and then post. You have no doubt guessed that I have/had a lot of cameras. I do not much collect old ones. I have lost cameras in various ways. I managed to “fry” on underwater even. Note: salt water is bad for camera electronics. There are even some times when Colleen uses my camera.
Subject? The only caveat to note is that I have cameras in multiple rooms and drive with one in the pocket or on the dashboard. And, still we miss opportunities now and again.
2019. Three years. It ain’t over. There are still statistics for deaths and hospitalizations. We are largely unmasked. Some places persist. Our vet. Our doctor. Halcyon Yarn store, Maine. Olsen House, Farnsworth Museum. Not much else. We are fortunate not to have had Covid though many family and friends have not been so lucky.
Over? Not so quick. Shots?! They worked for us so far. Colleen and I had the worst colds in years after our recent trip to ME and CA. Related? We cannot be sure. It took a long time to eat out again but we are not worried to much at the moment.
Quick? It took a few moments to find mask pictures in my catalog. Gee! I take a lot of pictures… most without masks.
The streets are not exactly teeming with folks. But there are subjects in view and fair game for my camera. People? Animal? Life, activity, bustle and hustle? Ummm, well, maybe a bit laid back and less hustle, but colorful and interesting, nonetheless. It is a glimpse into daily life. Mundane it ain’t.
Find a picture when you need it. I have nearly 500k images in my current catalog. It is akin to a needle in a haystack. I have never tried that either.
I hit a random shot of dinner with Jane. Cheers! We do not have a large family. And we do. There are a lot of moving parts. I do manage to get groupings. And there is always someone missing. Meanwhile, it was an interesting past year wherein people got together in unexpected groupings. I am happy to say it was a good year.
We worked hard for this one. We could not get here until near the end of our recent travels. Colleen casually mentioned Cullen skink. It is a Scottish dish from smoked haddock. I found a place! It was not to far out of the way of our travels in Maine. Dover, NH. A soccer/football fan had a Scottish pub that served the specialty – cup or bowl! And mushy peas! Ahem, I am no fan of either offering but I made do with other things that are bad for you…. So, a good time was had by all. Once again I was able to bring joy and tranquility to our happy marriage.
This is a mix of shots Colleen made as we drove up to Maine. Yes!? She shot through the windshield rather than have me do so while driving. Ok! Not bad! In fact she got some first class shots! Really! I mixed in a couple of my own. Who could resist? But, Colleen did a great job. She complained or lamented that she missed shots. So? We all do. I do! Nice work. She’s becoming a photographer and doesn’t suspect that the lessons are taking hold….yet. Lee… no peas were harmed in the making of her dinner.
Our boat tour of three Scottish islands was canceled for wind and inclement weather. The tour took off from Oban which as you can see was bright sunny and without much wind to see. Lemons? Make lemonade.
Oban is a lovely town to walk and explore and eat a meal. Cullen skink. Don’t ask. We found it in the guidebook and Edinburgh and then we chased it all over Scotland. I just photograph it. We did have an excellent time on a very pleasant sunny afternoon.
The tower is “McCaig’s Tower, also known as McCaig’s Folly, is a prominent tower on Battery Hill overlooking the town of Oban in Argyll,” And yes, we walked to it.
Tip Top coffee house, Thomas, West Virginia. Colleen adores it. It is a place like so many others and unique unto itself. There’s nothing particularly notable – location, friendliness, quality, … etc. But Colleen adores it nonetheless. We have changed our route in order to stop.
Me? Sit? Still? Never.
I pulled my camera for photo ops. …dog in a doorway. Reflection in the door. We sat. I remained busy experimenting with reflections in the glass. Relax? Yes. This was relaxing to just let everything go, to forget about world events and politics, to enjoy the sun, and the company. I paused in my photo catalog this morning reflecting on how this moment of serenity makes me smile in the innocent memory of our interlude.
Not! Life is never the same. We finished a kitchen renovation. What happens if you don’t like the color? Now, for the backsplash – I was gonna tackle that job. Experience? None! Ha ha. Confidence or stupidity? Easy! Except if, the tiles are not fitting the wall height or width, and, there are outlets to cut around. Oh boy! The weather! It’s always fun. Clouds, color, the moon all provide ample opportunity to capture a good image. Why are there always telephone poles in my images? Flowers?! Too numerous to count. While renovating we had to eat out. Eh? You know who likes to eat out!
… new dress? Huh? Well, we found a new dress. I help. Colleen lets me suggest and she decides. It has nothing to do with the classic enquiry, “Do I look fat in this dress?” (enquire simply meant “ask,” while inquire was used for formal investigations)
Dinner out. Alas, this restaurant, this one is closing permanently in a few days. Oh boy! We almost didn’t come here. Lucky! Too many insurance claims for the owner. We had dinner: appetizer, main, and dessert. Maybe not (usually not) dessert, but it was the last supper…. I guess dessert was the better title. Peanut butter pie. Mmmmm.
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….
The family has been gathering for a very long time in this place at this time. Call it reunion. It happens annually. There are fulltime residents/relatives close-by in disparate branches of the family to make massive gatherings of 40 or more. Is it hello? Or good-bye? The picture could go either way. Too soon! Younger. Older. The groups change. It’s all bittersweet. Hugs and kisses. Wave!
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….
Today: a series of non sequiturs. Colleen gets me to do things I would never and have never done before. Defrost a freezer? That is one Hell of a large ice cube! Jen looks so young (forget the focus). How do you image cataracts? What do you do while you await the bulk trash pick up for your discarded toilet? Bad pizza? We went with the granddaughters. It was in vivid retrospect how awful this chain pizza was made and tasted! Jump? Oh yeah! I discovered this loosened people up when you took a group photo. It worked! Hilarious! Lemonade stand? Not a single glass was sold to a passerby. With all the family hoovering about, would you? A ventriloquist and her dummy: he has a cellphone. That’s news! No one in the family has ever called him. No one can have his number. The ventriloquist says he’s in Witness Protection, preempting any objection. We were speechless. Of course! (I’m coarse!) He doesn’t speak. She speaks for him when they are on the phone (hers). There are multiple witnesses who attest… I did eventually defrost that freezer. (I did it again, recently.) This series of non sequiturs represents a rare family summer reunion in which most of the extended family attended. Indeed, it has been and was a rare gathering. Special?! One of a kind, probably never to be repeated. I’m not sentimental, nope, not me. But I wish it could be/were repeated. Precious pics! Which, by the way, she says she cannot see shared pics on her phone (memory full); oh, I guess witness protection went to her head. Or, did I get in her head?! (Ha ha, it’s a bad joke. …. Colleen’s gonna kill me.)
We all have relatives. Interesting ones – I will leave out any disparaging adjectives – dingy, etc. Jane loves to eat out. She is on a tight budget so any opportunity to eat out… And she loves dessert. She doesn’t eat the main meal. She simply boxes it and eats it for days at home. But there’s always room for dessert. She orders and then offers it around. I have shamed her into finishing her dessert because she cannot take it home. (Shhhh, she has a small appetite.) Meanwhile, she is predictable. I have never seen her finish a meal in a restaurant. One day we ate out three times – three meals – she never finished what she started. …loves to eat out.
I made a new best friend. Wrong. I became a new best friend. The last time I saw Rory she was not quite aware of me. She could not remember me before our recent visit. Now, I am her best friend. Nice. I am touched and flattered. Because of covid we have not traveled much. It was sure nice to see the kids and get to know them, again.
We always seem to find things in little side trips – rolling pin, cheap gas, hungry relatives… There are always animals to be see and be seen with. I think we agreed it was a successful trip. We saw the relatives, the sights, antique shops, and photo ops.
…before! Déjà vu all over again, as Yogi said. I hate it when my wife is right. She’s always right. Damn! I pride myself on a photographic memory. Ha ha! I guess taking a lot of photos does not count.
As we entered the Airbnb, Colleen exclaimed, “We’ve stayed here before. All they did was move the bed! The layout is the same! They just moved the bed around.”
I was stunned and disagreed. I was wrong. It was the same funky bathroom shower that leaked all over the floor. Sure enough, November 2017, same place, same building. Actually, it was the same building, different apartment. And they added a fence to the front. I believe now that we were in an apartment on a higher floor. … same damn leaky shower. Dammit, I got the pictures that prove it!! Ha ha, different camera.
Driving across the US is an experience. It eventually hit 108 degrees on this day, and 1000 cattle died of exposure and thirst. People out there got different ideas… if you can understand the meaning. The beer is essentially the same, but different. It got better with time.
We crossed the country. We will do it again. There are kids in states across the US – NY, WV, CO, CA, and one NKA.
Casablanca – “Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world, she walks into mine” – Humphrey Bogart.
… she was right again. !!!
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!
Saudi is a beautiful country? Hot desert sand, no rain, every day over 100 degrees, strict religious rules… yes, uniquely totalitarian. Good?! Hmmm… let’s say I am happy to be home again. Did I mention everything stops for “prayer time” five times a day?
Dave learned to dive in Saudi. His sister joined us and we adventured together. They did their first night dive together with me. Scared of the dark? Nah, they were just holding hands because…. Yes, Jules had to wear an abaya! It’s a man’s world in Saudi.
No matter what, my kids can say they visited Saudi and experienced the culture for a brief time. I feel fortunate to have given them this opportunity. What memories!
Abruptly, it ended – my adventure in Saudi. Colleen was relieved. Very! We reconnected while I was still there. She never got to visit. Saudi law/rules prohibit casual visitors. My daughter was family – ok! Can you say culture shock!? I was lucky. Photo ops! Did I say Colleen was relieved? Can you imagine being trapped there for a couple years during Covid? Colleen worries. She has a vivid imagination! Relief!
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.
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.
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.”