… not really. I’m not professional, strictly amateur, as far as photography is concerned. I have sold an image or two. It was a mix of surprise and curiosity that I was contacted via my blog for use of an image. The request came via an unused link from an unused blog I had many years ago. I was suspicious of a scam. But, it turned out to be a legitimate request. The image in question was cropped from the original and used strictly in an internal memo. So, what the hell, they got it for free. Dumb, maybe. I got a credit for the use. Consider it a charitable donation. The image? It was the NYC Marathon Sunday crossing the Verrazano Bridge.
Hunter Mountain. It’s in upstate NY. We skied there the last time I skied with my kids. As in, it was the last time we skied together. Period. It’s a sad happy memory forwarded to my email courtesy of Shutterfly. K27. It’s the name of an infamous trail on the mountain for experts only. Skiing in upstate NY has challenges. It’s eastern skiing, therefore be prepared for ice. The moguls were the size of Volkswagen beetles. I am older and wiser which is to say I wanted to live to ski another run. Eric and Dave went first and fell. Eric exploded. Jules was more cautious and picked her way around the moguls to ski out the bottom. Good for her! As I say this memory was bittersweet. Who knew what the future would bring and how our lives all changed so.
(Shhhhh….don’t tell mom) I let Lisa do most of the child raising. Mostly because she was way more OCD about it. And partly because I was not home as much as I’d like to have thought. One thing I did do with the kids was ski. Lisa was afraid to fall so she never got good. I learned just a little bit ahead of my kids. I got good fast. They got good and never knew it. They skied black diamond trails before they could read. You know you’re nuts when other people would take pictures of your kids on the slopes because they were so little and skiing on steep blue trails out west. When Julia could finally read she queried me, “But Dad, that’s a black diamond trail.” as we skied past the sign. I told her, “Shut up. Just ski.” And they did. This would be a happy ending. Then, one day they got better than me. I suppose it’s the goal of every parent to see their kids better than them. I’m proud. Mom can’t ski (well), so what happens on the trail, stays on the ski trail.
Choosing a bike seat is like choosing a pillow. You may wax poetic. Or not. I don’t much mind. I did have some worry about a narrow unpadded seat. But I got used to it. Really! Someone else I know has a great deal of problems choosing – seats and pillows. The closet overflows with failed experiments in foam pillows. Tender, firm, hard, or soft, no matter. We constantly switch back and forth, in and out. It’s dizzying. Seat? Bicycle seat? Princess and the Pea? We go through seats every time we see a new model. Wide enough? Or not? It doesn’t matter. It’s a quest! The holy (grail) seat! Ah! This time I found one. No complaints for at least 8 rides. I got my fingers crossed…. toes too! Yes! We have settled upon a pillow too. Oh happy day!!! We have closets overflowing with pillows and by my last count there are at least five spare seats. Oh!… I exaggerate! Not!
Dave started on a bike with training wheels out on Long Island. If I would list the places since that he has ridden – Taiwan, Canada, Mexico, Germany and so on, you might be impressed. He rode cross country – yep – more than 3000 miles – Delaware to LA. It all started here. He first rode with his (training) wheels here. To say that I am proud would be an understatement. Who knew what he would accomplish. I rode as a mean of getting around when I was a kid. I was a reluctant participant in riding as an adult. Then I rode for fitness. I should do so again. I get a good workout without too much wear and tear on the joints. I enjoy knowing that my son has surpassed me. The most I ever made in a day was 96 miles. I just couldn’t find the energy to make it to the “Century.” And yes, that’s Scales and Tails there in the background. Don’t you love the symmetry?
You might laugh? Maybe not. My cats live in fear. Spice does somersaults. Well, I make her do them. Actually, I toss her. She’s not a fan. I go way back. I had two brothers. We were pretty typical. We were rough and tumble. Maybe this is why Jules was so good in sports and stuff. I started her tumbling about at an early age. But, she did have a lot of motion sickness, especially in the car. Who knows? What I can say is that if I don’t sit still and neither did/does she.
It must have been a warm day. I have no hat. We’d ski and try to do some death defying jumps. Actually, they were just bumps. That would be me. Don’t laugh. The last time I remember skiing was with Julia in Sunday River. Or, maybe it was Hunter with the kids and uncle Eric. Either way, it’s been a few years. I guess, like tennis, and golf, my best days are behind me. I can still do it. There’s not too much incentive. And, it’s flat!!…here in Delaware.
I have lots of thoughts. I post once per day. Jules long ago complained TMI when I posted too frequently. Right. She was right. My kids advise me wisely – often. So, you will never see hundreds of thousands of images. Good! Good? Lately, I have so many, too numerous to count. But…my thought?
Well, I started in film. I have faded pictures of which I posted recently. My paranoia? Lost slides – by way of really lost, fading, mold, damage, fire, dust… Storage? Not much choice, they have to be physically stored. Environment – temp, humidity, dust, mold? It plays on your mind. I had friends in college who were totally obsessed with dust on their film and their lenses. Peter Hong comes to mind. Imagine that? Poor Peter? Well, I think his name was Peter? We had a freshman Quantitative Chem class. You weighed things out to the 4th decimal. You know? – .0001 gm – that would be very light weight. And, any error – just dust – could throw off your result. We were obsessive about washing the lab glassware! Madness. That lesson has not stuck – not one bit. I have spots and stuff on my lenses. Mostly, I refrain from using my shirttail to wipe the glass. Thank God!
The post today is more than 20 maybe, closer to 30 years old. It has stood the test of time stored relatively well and kept in the dark. No loss of color. I know. I know. This is all disjointed. But when I recently scanned this slide it jumped out for some reason. That crisp winter day is still like it was when we were there. The colors did not fade. The scanner technology got rid of most of the dust without me doing a thing. Shooting through a fence with auto focus is hard. Somehow the camera behaved perfectly. All sort of memories blend seeing my kids playing platform tennis. They probably never played again. That’s bittersweet too.
I missed the jumping. We wandered into a college competition late. It’s a sport with which I’m unfamiliar. Seriously, there are folks who dress the part and then participate. I’m afraid I’m not sympathetic. Certainly the competitors are serious. I’m struggling to make sense of it myself. Sorry, I suppose there is beauty in training a horse to perform on command. It’s called training and art for the sake of mastery. Oh boy. I’m just poking fun at their expense. Not fair. I was an intruder in a foreign culture. There are purists and elitists out there who will defend the sport. I’m not one. One more pound and you don’t button that last one. Watch out!
Yup. That’s me with Mike. Who? Mike Singletary of the Chicago Bears, Super Bowl Champs of 1985. Yeah, it’s like when were there four Beatles? Who? Who were the Beatles? Old. Me. Yup. The Bears won that year with a marvelous defense. The Giants – my beloved NY team won the following year. The Bears wupped their butts (Giants) on the way to their championship. Too much history? Mike came to speak at our national meeting. Last year it was Peyton Manning. Is there a theme? At least it wasn’t Ben Carson again. Get it? I’m a neurosurgeon and he came out during our last meeting. Not Mike, Ben. Too confusing?
Well, the American Association of Neurological Surgeons meets once a year. And there are invited speakers. We are a very conservative lot. Not me. Them. Maybe there are a few progressives and even some Democrats among us. I, for one, don’t care to have my politics mixed with business. And, no, I don’t wear striped underwear or boxers. Bet you wanted to know that too.
We had Bush – you know – GW – give the Cushing oration. Cushing, he was the modern godfather of neurosurgery. In fact, Cushing trained Davidoff; Davidoff trained Ransahoff; and Ransahoff tranined me. So I am pedigreed. I digress. Mike was invited to speak and the NFL came. Everyone did a little PC dance and no one said, “Don’t do it!” And we heard a discussion about chronic traumatic encephalopathy CTE. Mama, don’t let your kids grow up to be Cowboys (Dallas) and don’t let them play football. Mike claims he only had a concussion twice. Lucky! He’s still sharp. Once was William “Refrigerator” Perry. I bet that was a boatload of fun. Meanwhile I got a picture at our opening reception. He’s a sports hero of sorts. I have many. But boy was it fun! Yes! Mike and me.
Oh! Bush? The security was so tight that they did not announce he was coming until the meeting started. There was no obvious secret service presence. However, bags were checked and it was strictly no photographs. Some secretly used their cellphones. I’m way too cool for that! W actually spoke coherently. To listen to him one could understand that his TV demeanor was hardly like his real life thinking. Nice guy?! Hey, don’t tell. I voted for him once.
The second election was scheduled just after our fall meeting. Gorbachev was the speaker. Remember him? The room was packed. A member of our national leadership rose and spoke – I thought to introduce Gorbachev. Nope. He said, “Bush will sign medical malpractice reform if it passes congress. Kerry and Edwards will not.” He sat. The room was silent. And the implication was clear. Though I knew there was not a snowball’s chance in hell medmal reform would pass I voted special interest. It was the one and only time I have ever voted for a presidential winner. Yeah, twice I voted for anarchy and Ross Perot. Don’t shoot me, ma? Please.