Month: September 2017

Mattering


What matters. This forest matters. There was a political advertisement on television last night. I was watching the local news. That’s a whole other story. The guy running for state treasurer wants to cut taxes. Huh? That how we got into this mess. The state of Louisiana can’t afford anything. We can’t pay much for education, healthcare or even rebuilding our ravaged coastline.  Meanwhile, the fine Republicans in Washington D.C. also want to cut taxes. And, raise military spending. And, build a wall. And, maybe work on the country’s crumbling infrastructure. Where the hell do these people think this money is coming from? I’m no fan of high taxes. But, I know enough that I have to pay some kind of fair share. The Federal tax cuts won’t help me. The likely won’t help you. They’ll only help the very rich. The ones who don’t need a tax cut. The one’s who barely pay taxes already because they exploit loopholes and write things off that most people can’t. This tax cutting plan is just another …

The Alternative


An alternative reality. Yes. That’s what we are living in, and have been for a long time. Watching Ken Burns’ Vietnam series reminded me of that. There certainly was no transparency then. Apparently, every president including Kennedy knew the war was unwinnable. Yet we continued to pour troops and money into a corrupt country’s government. Now we have the current presidential administration saying that all is good news in Puerto Rico. We’ve finally made a move. Meanwhile the people on the ground are still begging for help. Splitting the difference are the people saying there are huge stores of goods on airfields and in ports waiting to be delivered because there are no drivers and trucks. Let’s accept the last comment. Shall we? It’s sort of believable enough. Isn’t that what the U.S. military and National Guard are good at doing? Moving troops and vehicles anywhere around the world? Clear out the airport and the U.S. is capable of flying planes large enough to deliver tanks if that’s what is needed. Now, a general is …

The Distractor in Chief


Distraction. With all the big issues going on in the world — the potential of nuclear war, raging forest fires in the west, three major hurricane hits to the country, failed legislation, broken campaign promises, the Russian investigations and seemingly being at war with everybody including his own party and Congress — the sitting president thought it was a good idea to attack the NFL and peacefully protesting professional athletes. There was no reason to do this. Except he that is the divider, not the uniter. And, he was speaking to his base in Alabama. Oh, there’s another reason. One that I’ve been hammering at this week. The color of a person’s skin. There might be another. As we all know, our very thin-skinned president cannot let even the slightest of slights pass without trying to punch back. The NFL owners never liked him. He was too sleazy for even them. He tried an end around and bought a team in the soon to fail USFL, hoping to bully his way into the NFL. No …

The Jones Act and a Pack of Lies


Lies, lies and more lies. Puerto Rico. Now the president says that he can’t wave The Jones Act because the port isn’t deep or big enough in San Juan for deep water freighters. Actually, the current director of Homeland Security can do it as well under the president’s direction. He won’t. He’s a political appointee. WTH, WTH, WTH… You know that military he is so fond of? You know big business of which he claims to be a member? They both know how to build temporary harbors. The military can do that very quickly. That’s what naval engineers are trained to do. They know how to move heavy supplies from port to inland. In hours. In days. Not weeks and months. Supplies brought in by air are fine and appreciated. But, that won’t help them rebuild any infrastructure or support hospitals. Luckily, Hillary Clinton badgered the president into sending a naval hospital ship. And, her husband, and former presidents Bush and Obama are building support to help in a big way. Oh, and because of …

Puerto Rico, Rocket Man and The Flag


I’ve long said that Storyteller isn’t a political place. Maybe I was wrong. And, that’s saying something because I haven’t been wrong since 1970. (Don’t take that seriously. It’s an old joke.) Like many of you I’ve had enough. Maybe the outside informs the inside. Maybe that’s how art is really made. We have parts of three U.S. states — one is an unincorporated U.S. territory — that have all but been destroyed by three hurricanes. Two of them, Texas and Florida, are getting Federal help. Puerto Rico is getting next to nothing while a U.S President tweets about their debt. They have no water. Little food. No electrical power. They can barely communicate with the outside. Not a few people. Or a hundred people. Or, a thousand. No, no, no… millions of people. While a U.S president calls Black athletes “sons of bitches.” And, tells team owners to fire any player who doesn’t stand for the National Anthem. He’s turned one man’s protest about police brutality into something it isn’t. While he has ignited what could …

Kind of Blue


I’ve been called an artist. It’s been suggested that I paint. Believe me, I’ve tried. There are plenty of paints, brushes, canvases and paper in the closet. I’ve taken classes, courses, workshops. Trust me. I don’t have the necessary skills. And, that’s too bad. There are images in my head that I can never begin to capture with mechanical tools. I guess they’ll just have to stay there. You see, I’m one of those who doesn’t believe that you can do anything. There are limits. There are talents. There is a special kind of drive that it takes to help talent grow. That’s how I became a photographer. However. I can tinker with different kinds of software and create a unique picture. One that’s mine and does come out of my head. I’ve had people ask to tell them the “exact” steps I took to make something that I’ve published here. I can’t do that. I don’t keep written copies of all the moves that I make. Because I jump from software to software there …

On Sunday


I had big plans today. Hahahahahaha! You know the old joke about that. I was going to photograph a second line. I haven’t done that in a while. But, my back and legs hurt a little too much for that. So I took some pain meds which didn’t really work. I thought that I post this a little early. My Apple computers decided that all sorts of things should go wrong including not being able to “see” my mouse or trackpad. Rebooting a Mac takes a lot of time. It also means that any of the apps with which I work also must reboot. Two hours passed by. Here I am. The cool thing about this picture is that I made it two and a half hours ago. You could have seen it 30 minutes after I made it. But, nooooo… Since I am somewhat disabled today, I guess I’ll go watch my local American football team, The New Orleans Saints, lose their third consecutive game as their die-hard fans scream about firing everybody. That …

The Flow


A weekend picture. Something quiet. Something natural. Something peaceful. You know how there is “Wordless Wednesday?” Or, “Throw Away Thursday?” Oops, I meant ‘Throwback Thursday.” Well, today is “Silent Saturday.” I think I just made that up. Or not. Probably not. The picture is something that I saw along the way. Something that speaks to the season. Of Autumn. Our Autumn. 90 degrees with 92% humidity. Bracing. Chilly. Sweater weather. I didn’t do very much to this picture in post production. Mostly, I darkened the highlights so that you could see what’s going on in them. Happy Saturday.

Who Knows Where The Time Goes


Today is the first day of Autumn. A change is in the air. Literally. But, not here. It’s a billion degrees again. With a million percent humidity. Oh well. We are used to it. It does get tiring about this time a year. Everybody would like a little cool air. The picture. This is what you get when I listen to the new Stephen Stills and Judy Collins album called “Everybody Knows.” Their tale is a long one, and better left to music histories. For now, it is enough to say that they have a 50-year-old friendship. It started with a romantic relationship that ended after about two years. The breakup drove Stephen Still to write a couple of classic songs, among them “Suite: Judy Blue Eyes,” and “Helpless Hoping.” Both of them have had long and fairly distinguished careers. Anyway. The picture was made on one of my famous dog walks. No, the cocker spaniel didn’t see this. She was busy elsewhere doing something else. You can figure that out for yourselves. I looked …

Exploding Sky


I knew this would happen. We had an afternoon storm that kept up until about 8pm. Unfortunately, I was spoken for so I could only go back to the scene of many crimes. This is what I saw. In my head. It’s what I felt. The original digital file is colorful, but fairly bland. It was what I saw with my eyes. My brain saw and felt something else. This picture. I have a buddy in New Orleans. A photographer. He said something like sunsets never get old. Yes they do. Unless… you follow my line of thinking and turn around. Check out what the sunset is lighting up. That’s what never gets old because it’s unpredictable. The sun hits some highlight and blammo you have some wonderful reflection. Or, specular highlights. That’s what excites me. There you have it. Enjoy your day. Or night.