All a glow.

A

Sunday photograph. Something bright and colorful for those of you who are still digging out of the wintery white stuff, which is a large part of the country. It’s already been some winter. And, there is a polar vortex coming.

It’ll probably start raining fish like it did in Texas a week or two ago. Everything happens in Texas. Cold snaps without fuel. Hurricanes. Ted Cruz.

After that?

I probably don’t want to know because so far 2022 hasn’t been a whole lot better than the last two years. If anything, it’s been weirder. And, the latest variant of Covid is surging beyond all surges.

Some say this version is milder. Some say it isn’t.

All I know is hospital staffs are fighting with their very tired backs against the wall. Up in Montana nurses are coming from all over the world, but mostly from Southeast Asia.

Imagine coming from a country like Thailand where it’s always hot and humid and green. Now you are in Montana. In the winter. It’s freezing cold. It’s snowing. You have no idea where you are.

Sounds fun.

Would you do it? In reverse.

That’s mostly how bad it is out there. And yet, I look at pictures from the first parade of Carnival season and maybe 25% of the people there were wearing masks. If you’ve never been to any parade in New Orleans let’s just say it’s fun but it’s chaos. People are in your face, pressed against you, breathing on you and — after a couple of drinks — spitting in your face.

None of this is malicious. In fact, it’s all friendly. But, these days friendly can be fatal.

And, that’s why I’m on the shelf for Mardi Gras.


Look up.

S

heesh. I started this post and forgot about it. Until now.

I try to post at noon my time. Obviously, I’m late. Very late. Sorry about that.

Let’s talk about stupidity and failure.

There is a guy who posts as NOLAphotoguild on Instagram. Today he wrote an eight page screed about freedom. I bet you know where this is going. He is calling for an end to all protections, all testing, all vaccinations for all things Covid. He wants FREEEEDUM.

A little research, starting on Facebook, revealed that he has started a number of photo-oriented ventures. Everyone of them failed. He started what amounts to a collective on Instagram. It earns no money but it has a lot of followers. He finally has one thing. A platform.

He’s bitter. He has a platform. His bitterness is going to kill someone like me.

What next?


Happiness on the rock.

I

reckon we could all use a bit of color. It’s Friday. We sort of made it to someplace else. The weekend. I’m not excited about that. Working from home sort of tones that down. But, this is the start of Carnival and that means something even though I can’t photograph it.

But, during parade time I can wander down the street and stand at the far edge of the crowd and see some floats, maybe catch a bead or two. I’ll be targeted because…

I haven’t cut my hair in a long time. My former stylist shop’s employees refuse to wear masks. Do you honestly think that I’m going to sit in a chair with someone breathing down my neck? For that matter, I haven’t brushed or combed it away from warm lights which made it look brownish-blonde. I finally looked at it in daylight. Oh my. It’s very silver. I look my age.

So, I’ll be targeted for beads tossed to me gently because I’m such a broken down old senior. Little do they know. I’m a wolf in sheep’s clothing. If I weren’t afraid of getting sick and dying I’d be in the front of the crowd making pictures.

The president said, among other things like condemning the former president, that we were going to have to get used to living with CoVid-19. Or, is that a warm up for a speech in Atlanta? I forget.

I ought to be a government adviser. I knew that almost from day one. Read about pandemics for five minutes and you knew where this was headed. The Spanish Flu is still around after 100 years. The strain of yearly flu that comes along right about now is a descendant of that.

I was ready until I wasn’t.

Who knew that other factors would come into play?


Symbolic of changing.

T

oday is a big day.

In New Orleans, January 6th marks the start of Carnival with a parade through The French Quarter and a streetcar ride. It only grows from here until the season ends on Mardi Gras Tuesday.

More importantly, today marks the one year anniversary of the insurrection, storming and temporary take over of the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C.

One event marks a season of joy, the other, a country filled with hate. I could recap what happened but it is enough to say that a former president would do anything to hold onto power. He was not used to being told no. Many of his followers believed him. Most of them still do. The attacked our government. They attacked my belief system and my country.

They say the presidential election was stolen. After audit upon audit there is no evidence of that, so I reply to the so-called stop the steal group, “Prove it.” Don’t tell me you know. Tell me what and how you know.

You can’t.

This picture is more spring-like than wintery. It is about rebirth. The nation is tottering right now. Between extreme polarization, a weakened economy and Covid-19 to name a few issues, don’t you think it’s time for a little rebirth?

I do.


Shades of gold and brown.

W

hat a weird, but peaceful day. We did a lot of cold weather cooking. But, mostly I slept. And slept. Here’s how it went in the afternoon. I thought I would rest my computer eyes and read something on real paper at around 4pm. I awoke at 8:45pm. By the time my head cleared it was around 10pm.

Sheesh.

I guess I must have needed it, but I’m working at 11pm. I wonder if I’m going to sleep at anywhere near a more normal time.

Maybe what I did read caused me to pass out, not sleep.

T

his latest surge is averaging around one million people a day being diagnosed with CoVid-19. For now. There are all kinds of predictions about when it will peak. It’ll peak when people stop insisting on being stupid.

Although I wasn’t out in it, Christmas and New Year packed the French Quarter. I didn’t see a mask in any picture. Even my friends who mostly listened to music were hugging and kissing with no masks. They’d just better hope that some experts are wrong and that being vaccinated does protect them from this latest variant. I wish them nothing but the best, but come on y’all.

Of course, there is the coming Mardi Gras. A lot of people are whining that the city will close down the parades again as if that was the most important thing in the world. The city has modified parade routes because of a lack of staffing among NOPD, NOFD and EMT… due to CoVid issues.

Unless the spread is terrible the city isn’t shutting down the celebrations. We need the money.

We all need the money.


Into the green, out of the black.

C

onversation.

It took me a while, but I finally figured something out. I say that photography and music are very similar in approach. And, they are.

But.

There is one huge difference. One that matters most.

Conversation.

When a musician plays with another musician they create a musical conversation. They talk to each other through their instruments. Think about the famous guitar duels between, well, any couple of guitar players and you’ll understand.

Stephen Stills (his birthday yesterday) and Neil Young come to mind. Their duels are stuff of legend.

But, they are not duels. They are a musical conversation that has lasted almost 60 years. It’s probably one reason that they remain friends despite all the ups and downs of their various bands. Today, even though neither of them play live much, they seem very happy to see each other when they share a stage.

That, and age.

The things that seemed so very important in their youth don’t seem to matter much now.

Funny how that happens.

Conversation is important. That’s a large part of what fulfills you. Visual artists of any genre don’t have this. We mostly work in solitude. Sometimes with assistants, but mostly alone. Our fulfillment comes from the inside.

Doing that is hard.


Into the weirds.

T

here was a time when I thought that I could actually build something here at WordPress. I asked for help transferring Laskowitzpictures.com. They said they couldn’t do it, at least not the way they did in the past.

What they could do, however, sell me another website with laskowitzpictures.com included. For thirteen dollars.

So, now I have two websites.

This might be a good thing. You know. A new year. A new start. Storyteller has been sort of a catchall. If I move in one direction maybe people would find it while they were looking for something else.

On the other hand, if I can’t bring all of you with me then what’s the point? The idea behind most of these blogs is to build a community. I have one. I don’t intend to start again.

So, there you have it.

For now.


Into the fog.

F

inally. It took a few days to find my footing but I knew that it would eventually come. So, as far as I’m concerned this is my first picture of the new year. It’s headed a little more in the direction that I’d like Storyteller to go, for as long as Storyteller exists.

I figured out what bothers me so much about This WordPress – GoDaddy thing. Steve Jobs once since said that computers and computing should be tools. They do the work while we create.

I’ve been messing with changing one simple thing for at least ten days.

What a waste of time.

Apparently, things have changed. There is a governing body call ICANN that controls who can actually touch a website or its code. This is an attempt to control hacking, to control illegal use, and theft.

Let’s face it. That horse has left the barn long ago. Most privacy is a lost cause. So, all they’ve done is made it harder for the rest of us.

WordPress is laughable.

They say in big advertising balloons. Create a business. Earn Money. Change your life. All the while tying our hands. Want to change your extension? Good luck. Want to design a page that suits you? Good luck while we change the block system every chance we get. Want to talk to a human being? There are no human beings.

Sunday thoughts.


What we see at night.

I

had a lot to talk about. Apparently, it wasn’t that important because I can’t think of any of it.

Sleep on it, they say.

Seems to have worked.

At any rate, I’m back. But, I’m not sure for how long. I tried to switch my extension to the one I’ve had for 30 years. You know, .com. WordPress says GoDaddy has to do it. GoDaddy says WordPress has to do it. I say that I will not renew anything here until I get some help. Some real help. Not some kid who speaks in a language that is very foreign to me.

Failing that, I’m just going to walk away from WordPress. I made a promise to myself with the turning of the year. I’m not doing anything that doesn’t make me smile. Also, my year long koan is “Keep it simple.”

This is a powerful koan. Two of us selected it independently of each other.

Oh. Somethings around here.

I have a new doctor. My last doctor quit. I think. We made peace. I asked him where he was going. He said that he didn’t know. He didn’t have a contract for anywhere. Seems odd.

My new doctor. A funny thing happened on the way to the pharmacy. If you recall, I mentioned that I bombed myself. A couple of you reached out and told me to be careful.

Good advice.

My new doctor doubled the amount of narcotic I self prescribed.

Shows you what I know.

That’s the story on January 1 2020 too.