Another view or the electric meters.

I think that I’ve circled around. I made another version of this picture on a different day. The last time I did this I turned the meters into junk via heavy post production. This time I used a template that I used for something more natural like a flower. I was surprised at how well it worked on something industrially manufactured.

We’ve been talking about the bleak state of the world driven by what appears to be a mad man  who seems bent on destroying all that is good. I need a short break from all of that. This is no sprint. This is a marathon. If you run full-out, you’ll burn out.

So, I’ll leave you with this bit of federal stupidity. Toddlers are being forced to stand in the court box by themselves.  If you’ve ever known a toddler, when is he or she going to understand it, let alone comply? So, for the first day, a toddler let himself out of the box and climbed on a table. Go, baby boy. You show ’em how things are done. Your way.

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Into the storm go the happy passengers.

Into the sky we go. On a jet. On an airplane. Going somewhere. On business. For pleasure. Maybe going home. Some of us white knuckling the take off. Some of us not caring. Some of us drunk enough to board the plane.

I posted a very heavily reworked picture of another plane taking off a few days ago. Some people saw it for what it was. Foreboding.

I decided to tune this one back a bit. This may be about hope. The plane is flying out of the darkness into the light. It’s flying out of the clouds into clear skies.

We found a little hope a few days ago. In New York. In Queens. And, the Bronx. With a young woman. A woman from the Bronx. Alexandria Ocasio – Cortez. She surprised everybody. She went from tending bar to defeating incumbent Joseph Crowley. He was the heir apparent to Nancy Pelosi. She’s 28 years old. Her’s is a Democratic district, so it’s very likely she’ll be the youngest person in the House and in Congress. She is a Democratic Socialist. That might not mean what you think. Read what she has to say on her website at http://ocasio2018.com  

As a way of contributing, we bought a lot of her t-shirts. For sure, this is a political contribution. In order to fulfill Federal legal statutes be prepared to reveal a few things about yourself. Your occupation and your company. No big deal. The Feds already know. Yeah. I know we live a thousand miles away. In my mind, her campaign is a national one.

Let’s face it. We spoke about change in 2016. We got Clinton v Trump. How exactly was she changing anything? Trump? You know the rest. Current Democratic presidential hopefuls are Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden. How old are they? How is electing either of them change? I like Biden. I have mixed feelings about Sanders. They have both served the country for a long time. Time to step aside.

Meanwhile on the Republican side of things, Mitt Romney has resurfaced. He’s 71. He’s moderated himself from “Anyone But Trump,” to a Trump supporter. Oh yeah, Trump is 72.

In theory, I’m one of them. An old white guy. But, I see the future very differently. I don’t want to preserve the country’s whiteness. After all, we haven’t done such a good job. I see the country as being white-black-brown-yellow-red. Mixed up. Blended and apart. I support Ms. Ocasio-Cortez because I think she is exactly what we need. Now and in the future.

Oh. I know. I haven’t mentioned communities like LGBT. I’ll get to them all soon. For now, just know that I support them. And, that I support every legal protection for their rights. Even the other day when I had the baker discussion. I don’t believe their rights should be hurt. Nor, do I believe the baker’s beliefs should be hurt. It’s very confusing. I know. Most of the important stuff usually is.

Peace, Y’all.


Happy days.

Two approaches.

One before. One after.

The news these days hasn’t been so good. In fact, yesterday’s news was downright bleak. Like anyone who is loosely called an artist, that affects me. As it does, us all. After yesterday’s picture, I thought I would publish something lighter. Something brighter. Something happy.

The top picture is of a magnolia. A southern thing.

Yeah. Right.

Yesterday’s news turned worse and worse and worse.

So.

I made another version of the top picture. In addition to cropping it, I made it very dark by stacking images. The bottom picture is the result. I like it less than the bright magnolia, but it represents how I’m feeling these days.

One friend, from Albuquerque, saw yesterday’s picture of the jet as what it is. Foreboding. Another friend, from Dallas said, after seeing all the news yesterday, that “this too shall pass.” Normally, I’d agree. But, appointing a supreme court justice is a generational thing. It will pass in about 40 years. Assuming I’m even alive, I will be around 105 years old. Likely, “I too will pass first.”

I’m starting to think the saying, “keep a full tank of gas and live close to the border,” is becoming real. What country wants American refugees?

Darker. Like life these days.


Into the mystic.

I’m taking a step forward. Or, back.

It all depends on how you look at it.

I haven’t been playing enough. I haven’t been experimenting enough. I haven’t been having enough fun.

Like many people, in this age of nastiness, meanness and cruelty. I’ve been taking things far too seriously.

So.

While the dogarito was sitting in the shade and enjoying a bit of a breeze, I started listening for passing jets. My timing is still pretty good, so I was able to put the planes where I wanted them in the sky. Then I thought, “Where’s the fun in that?”

When I got back into the studio, I started messing around. I kept messing around. I added layers. I added filters. I made this and a couple of other aeronautical pictures into something that I liked. Sort of. I kept going. And, going. And, going.

This is the result. I’m still not entirely sure about it. It sort of has an evil foreboding that you don’t really want in airplane pictures. At least that’s what they taught us in picture school.

And…

It appears that one of the comments that I suggested you read, still hadn’t appeared. However it was written it turned on my spam filter. Even by moving it from spam, it still didn’t appear because now it was placed in a moderation file that I didn’t know existed. It appears today. You should read it if you’ve been following along.

That said, I’ve mostly just sat back and watched. It is a good discussion.

I do have a thought.

There is the mistaken idea that if you open a business, you “have” to welcome everybody.

Uh huh.

I own a business. The reason I deal with the extra work of ownership — quarterly taxes, licenses, paperwork, incorporation fees and so on and so on — is because I want to choose my workflow and my client list.

At this point in my career, I turn down as many clients as I keep.

One of the biggest clients that I turned down in the last month was Air BnB. They wanted me to photograph people enjoying one of their properties in New Orleans. They wanted to show the “New Orleans Experience.” Besides the ton of pre-shoot work they wanted, they wanted me to indemnify them against property claims. I can do that because I have very high E&O insurance. You know. Another one of the necessities of owning a business.

The money was good. The job could have been good. But, I have a huge philosophical issue with them. What started out as a good thing — people renting unused space for a little extra cash — has turned very corporate with commercial owners buying huge swaths of property and essentially become hotel owners without dealing with the legal issues that entails. This is destroying communities.

That’s why I turned them down. I didn’t say that. I just said I was already booked for their time frame. No harm. No foul.

The baker could have said something like that. The gay couple could have Yelped him to death. And, took their money elsewhere. And, spread the news on what Jimmy Buffett once called the “Coconut Telegraph.” That would have probably killed his business, which I suspect was really the end game.

Instead, the went to court. And, more court. All the way up to the Supremes, where they lost. The only people who won — as usual — where the lawyers.

Yes. Rights. Both sides have rights. Is it discrimination to restrict a class of people? Absolutely. Does forcing someone to work for someone who they see as violating their religious beliefs violate his rights. Certainly.

There are two sides to every coin. One doesn’t outrank the other.

Use your head.


Oh, look what I found.

A mushroom. In nature.

Not to be picked or eaten. The dogarito won’t even smell them. She knows earthy poison when she sees it.

I didn’t do much to the picture. I mostly just made it look earthy. Just like I saw it.

So.

Yesterday. My thanks to Gregory and Sharon for showing us what a debate could and should look like. I doubt that they’ll ever agree on the topic, but they each made their points respectfully. Instead of 2018, their discussion felt like pre-2000. If you haven’t read their thread, you should. It’s well worth your time.

At one point, Sharon was concerned that I didn’t approve her comment. I never do that. Once you are approved, you are approved. It turned out her comment was in the spam folder. I have no idea why, but once I found it I reinstated it. The only posts I don’t approve and turn into spam are from trolls who show up just to fight. You know the ones.

On the kids in cages front. It appears our big, huge country is out of resources, so INS has gone back to “catch and release.” For now. The nasty boys in D.C. are still claiming zero tolerance.


Gooey Blue.

Blue.

I made this picture that last time that we had rain. Seems like about ten days ago. According to the weather folks, we won’t see rain until sometime next week. That would be good except the temperature is still in the upper 90s and the humidity is in the 80% range. That means there is no time in 24 hours when it isn’t 80 degrees.

Sheesh.

The hothouse just got that much closer to the hell house.

After reading a couple of replies here and on other social media, I want to make it clear that while the issues are important, screaming at each other online in the form of social media isn’t helping. It is especially bad when it comes from our so-called leaders. Trump v Warren was the height of stupidity. I don’t listen to the opinionated screams on cable news, nor do I read them in print. Why would I read flailing tweets? It’s like watching two toddlers in a sand box. At least the toddlers are having fun.

For me, it’s all just noise. The signal has been drowned out.

As an old friend of mine used to say, forget the drama. Get back to the process.

Oh wait. I forget that the process is broken. Broken by the very people who are suppose to protect and us it.

Sheesh. That’s one more thing on my to do list.

Mondays are never easy.

 

 

 

 

 

 


In an eerie light.

A semi-tropical place.

Yep. That’s us. We look that way. The heat feels that way. The humidity feels that way. Essentially, we live in an outdoor hothouse. Even when the cooler air and lower sun of winter rolls around, we are still a hothouse. We just don’t feel it.

I was out wandering around with dogarito. Don’t ask. The name just came to me. I saw this little stand of leaves. They were nicely backlighted. I took my time photographing them. When I looked at them on a big monitor I was happily surprised. I worked on a bunch of them. How many pictures are in a bunch? Oh. I don’t know. It’s sort of like the weather guy on television the other night. Instead of saying something like 97 degrees, he just said it was going to be “dang hot.” Do you have any idea how much I appreciated that?

I did not appreciate that “dang hot” really meant 96 or 97 degrees with a “feels like” temperature of around 114 degrees.  Yep. That’s summer in the swamp. It’s “dang hot.”

Keep scrolling.

Hidden in the shadows.

You didn’t think that I’d leave out a little news commentary, did you?

This is not about the state of caged kids. Although that situation is still precarious.

This is about national discourse.

Of course the “Tweasel in Chief” is the prime driver of the rudeness and nastiness in public discourse today. I need not run down the list of his accomplishments, but it’s starting to affect everybody else.

Elizabeth Warren and the Tweasel got into an eight-hour Twitter fight yesterday. Eight hours? Really? Don’t either of them have something better to do with their time?

Then, his press secretary was asked to leave a restaurant because she works for the Tweasel.  She said it was more about the restaurant owner than her, forgetting that the newly appointed members of the Supreme Court made that behavior okay when they agreed that a baker could deny service to a gay couple.

Then the press secretary’s father got involved by tweeting a picture of tattooed Hispanics who might possibly look like gang members, comparing Nancy Pelosi’s campaign staff to MI-13 gang members. He’s a Southern Baptist minister. Praise God.

This list goes on and on and on.

Get a grip. Everybody.

Just because Tweasel is nuts, mean and stupid, doesn’t mean that we have to be.

Keep scrolling.

A still life.

The name Tweasel was created by a toddler after she heard me call the orange haired dufus in the White House a weasel and after she heard somebody else say that he is treasonous. She looked at me, smiled and said, “Oh, a Tweasel.”

Out of the mouth of babes.


Glowing delight.

Flower Fantasy.

I have to look in the shady parts of the dogs’ walks. That’s where I find this stuff. That’s also where I decide that I can’t make a more “normal” picture. That I have to make some a little different so that I can eventually play with it in post production. In this case, I stuck the phone into the heart of the flowers and just pushed the button. I let it do whatever it was going to do. Then I brought it into the studio and worked on it. I wanted to make the original image sort of dream to counter act the week’s always terrible news.

Speaking of the week’s news. Here are some numbers for you. 1,400. 2,021. 20,000.

According to what I’ve read, in most cases an immigrant will wait 1,400 days to have his or her case tried. The judicial dockets for trying such cases are booked until 2,201. The military has been asked to plan for 20,000 beds on certain southern bases. The powers in Washington want to keep these people concentrated in a few places while they are awaiting trial.

We might as well call these places exactly what they are.

Concentration camps.

There are those who say this is how it started in Nazi Germany. Try again. We are almost half way there. We did it to ourselves. Some of us — not me and mine — voted for the monster at the top.


Looks like dancing flowers.

Dancing flowers and a dog walk.

I was a little late to this place. Still there was a little spring color left to catch my eye. It took some work, in the field and in post production, because this group was a little out of reach for my smart phone. If I actually got serious about iPhoneography I’d probably buy some little bitty lenses. I’m not really interested in doing that for two reasons. I still see my iPhone as a sketch pad. And, with every upgrade of a phone comes the needed upgrade for everything else.

Anyway.

Back to the news of the day.

The man who would be king sort of fell apart. Between having being forced to back track with his almost meaningless agreement to stop separating young immigrant children from their parents and having to deal with his own political party who can’t agree on anything, he sort of slipped into a stream of consciousness set of comments that started with his usual nasty tweets and stopped with a speech. Apparently, it’s all the Democrats faults. This, despite having no control of either house of congress. He is angry because he can’t bully a few Democrats into voting his way on anything.

Well, bully for them, I say.

There is a big difference between anger and madness. He’s mad. And, all that it implies.