A kind of blue

I

t began today. Cool air. Not exactly cool but very dry. And, the temperature struggled to reach 75 degrees.

For us, after our usual very hot summer that included a hurricane and a half this is the start of something very good.

Fall.

Thankfully.


Lots of tubas.

It started during the pandemic and was enhanced by Delta-x and Hurricane Ida.

Memories. They’ve been floating around for days. It was bad enough when time was flexible. Now? Whew.

And. Then.

The anniversary of Warren Zevon’s passing arrived. You know. The guy who sang “Werewolves of London.”

He was so much more than that.

But, for me, his very last song is THE song. It’s called, “Think of me for a little while.”

The song without the video is hard enough to listen to without balling. With the video? There wasn’t a dry eye in this broken down house.

And, speaking of broken down, I am grateful for what little damage this house had. When I think of the upriver communities of Houma and Laplace who were destroyed beyond recognition, I am humbled by our luck.

We are on our way out of here, either for a few months or forever. I’ve been though two 100 storms in 16 years. That’s enough.

Where? A couple of places. I’ll let you know. Until then, enjoy every sandwich.

I thought that as I moved on that I would show you some of the images that approximate my memories.

Unfortunately, pictures can’t come close to what’s in my head. I think that’s the way it alway is. That’s as it should be.

In case you are wondering, I made these pictures all over the place. It’s all part of my life.

I have no idea what’s next and that feels freeing.


Turn and frayed.

T

he original image is ancient. I was playing around during a snowstorm in New Mexico. It was one of my picture a day images.

It’s shredded newspaper.

Everything came together at once. I need to make a picture and I had a new shredder that I wanted to test.

So, I shredded up a lot of newspaper and made a few pictures.

This was the result. Something huge for your wall. Maybe even wallpaper. Of course, your house would have to be able to pull it off. I’m not sure what kind of house that might be.

I’m thinking something very modern, all in white except for one wall. This wall. The one with shredded newspaper as wallpaper.

I make no claims about being an interior designer. My idea of covering walls is to fill them with framed art until there isn’t any more room and then rotate pictures in and out. The goal is to keep much of my work off the walls as possible.

After all, I know what my work looks like. I want to know what your work looks like.

I used to do some trading here. I thought we were doing a simple transaction. Mine for yours. Yours for mine. I didn’t work out that way. I’d send mine. I never received yours.

So, I stopped dong that. The experiment failed as most do here. I’m not sure why that happens. I have my theories, but I’ll leave that alone unless you really want to know and ask.

A

s I look at this picture a lot of memories come flooding back.

I’m one of those unfortunates who remembers everything.

Sometimes those ghosts are friendly. Often they are not.

Today is one of those days when they aren’t friendly. The biggest memory is why I moved to New Mexico in the first place.

We are a little over a month from the 16th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina changing life as we knew it in New Orleans.

I’d wanted to retire in New Mexico. That would have been a good thing. It wasn’t good because of the way I went there.

I wasn’t done with New Orleans. I missed everything about it.

I remember my first Mardi Gras there. A parade was held in Old Town at the plaza. I got all excited.

What a come down it was. There was one cart that was supposed to be a float and a few people walking with it.

Luckily, it was held on the Saturday before Mardi Gras Day. I hopped on an airplane and got back to New Orleans in time for Mardi Gras Day.

It was glorious. Most of us hadn’t returned to the city yet. The city was in shambles. The parades were small. The Zulus had been scattered to the four corners of the country. Somebody paid for The Shaka Zulus to come from South Africa to replace them.

But, man did we celebrate. We were alive. As Mardi Gras Indians say, “Won’t bow down. Don’t know how.”

That’s what’s in my head today. I don’t know why. I suppose that it’s a kind of PTSD that comes and goes whenever it feels like it.

It’s one of those things that inspires me to say, “Control is overrated.”

It is.

You must be wondering about technique by now. There really isn’t any. Shred all the newspapers you have in the house and take picture of the remains.

That’s it.

A perfect picture of the newspaper industry as it stands today.


In the morning when we rise.

Sometimes it’s all light and color with just a hint of subject matter. Sometimes it’s more. This picture straddles both, leaning to the previous. It’s sort of musical.

That’s just as well. It’s been a musical sort of day. The musicians in my life have been playing sort of tag with me and I with them. We’ve been liking each others’ work on the socials.

We are supposed to be secret keepers. That’s a title of a song, but it isn’t quite so positive. Google it, listen to it and maybe you’ll figure to out.

See what I mean? We are all playing with fire.

Anyway.

All music, all day.

We started with something on the quiet side. A morning mix made by a friend of mine. It only got louder and more energetic from there. Remember Cream’s live version of “Crossroads?” Like that.

I don’t know what we were thinking. The neighbors wondered if we were thinking.

I don’t believe we were. After so many months in lockdown, it was time to feel, not think.

That was Sunday. Today is Monday. Either we get back to thinking or just keep going. I vote for the latter.

You?

Bokeh. The Japanese word that means the quality of the background in a photograph. Somebody started using the word and it became a thing. It’s not really a thing. Japanese people don’t even use it.

The bokeh in this picture is fake. It was created by software on OnOne. Real bokeh is creamy and is created by the quality of the lens used to make the picture.

I used it to hide a billion imperfections, which is just about the only time that I use it.

The rest of the photograph is real. So there.

Stay safe. Stay mighty. Wear your mask. Keep your distance. Look after each other.


In the morning, when you rise.

Early in the morning, when the sun comes up.

Yes. 7:04 am. That’s when the all seeing dog just had to go for a walk. I think she knew something that I didn’t. She used her ESP to know that the sky with this wonderfully backlighted cloud would be one of the first things that we would see.

In the “industry,” this cloud would almost be called a “god ray.” But, not quite. A true god ray would have streaks of light reaching to the heavens.

It’s nature in all her glowing wonder.

Speaking of nature.

She’s on her 2020 roll.

We have not one, but two, major storms heading towards us. If the predictions are correct, they will make landfall as Category 1 hurricanes. At this point, NOAA predicts that one will graze Florida and make landfall in Alabama. The second will head for Texas and eventually hit Houston.

It’s early.

Both storms could change course. They could head for us. They could roll around each other and become one big storm. Or, they could change direction entirely.

The mayor says that if we are given an evacuation order we have to go. Go to where? CoVide19 has already got us pinned down. I say, screw that, and we are staying. We are prepared. We have generators, a BBQ for cooking, bottled water, storm lights and storm shutters.

Or, we might just get outer band winds and some rain.

Or, nothing.

I probably shouldn’t get political but I will. No matter who gets hit this will just be another thing that the soon-to-be ousted president will fail at fixing. There. I said it.

The Picture

You know how I made this picture. I got up at a little before 7am. What? There’s a seven in the morning now? When did they start that?

Sophie got me out early this morning too. There was another cloud drifting by. It was almost like this one, but not as powerful. The light was sparkly and pretty. It’s also fairly cool for August. I suppose that I should go to bed earlier, or just stay up, and get outside before 6am. The light is wonderful.

All I need is a double shot of caffeine, a camera and a dog.

Stay safe. Stay mighty. Look after each other. Enjoy every dressed roast beef po’boy.


Dusk look.

Sunday.

I spent most of yesterday thinking it was Friday. It was not. Since I wrote the word, “Sunday ,” I’m hopeful that it will stick in my head.

Time is elastic.

For some reason I spent all of yesterday sleeping.

I managed to get Sophie Rose her meds, which was my crowning achievement. That is a big deal. She hates pills. She hates the pain med that she needs. At least the pain med is liquid. I pull down her lip and squirt a little bit along her gum. It works very quickly. In about ten minutes she is asleep. Makes sense because it is a kind of morphine.

We’ve got ten days of this. Wish me luck.

The other dogs are looking after her. There is always one somewhere near her. They seem to be taking shifts. I’d be amazed if I hadn’t spent some time observing them. They all have different personalities. They all like different treats. They like to eat at different times. Luckily, they all like the same food which we put down at the same time. And, they are sweet and agreeable.

For sure, they have disagreements but they are limited to growls and don’t last long. They don’t take them seriously. There’s a lesson in that.

Some news.

Actually, it’s really a thought and comment since I haven’t been awake long enough to read much news. That’s probably a good thing.

President tweety said that he would make this country great again. During his inauguration day speech, described “the carnage of America.”

He got one of those things right. Except he did it.

Since he dithered as the pandemic arrived to our shores, many more people died than need be. One way to control its growth was to close everything down except for essential businesses and those companies whose employees could work from home.

This, in turn, created problems for the locked down citizens. The work force is destroyed. Finances are in tatters. We are wearing masks and keeping our distance, excpt for those who don’t.

That would be 30%. The same percentage as tweety’s base.

His violent words created an environment in which Black people are dying at the hands of local police departments. Protests turned violent. Parts of cities are burning. The National Guard were called out in Minneapolis. They were overwhelmed.

So let’s recap. We are sick, many are dead. Most of us are out of work and broke, cities are burning and just about everybody is unhappy, angry or just sad.

Is this what you meant by MAGA, Mr. President?

Great for who?

It’s Sunday.

I should just be posting pretty pictures. I did sorta. I shared a nice cloud and tree picture. It was made at the right time of day. It shines, glimmers and gleems. Of course, I worked a little magic.

Stay safe. Enjoy every sandwich.


That flower again.

I’ve heard that everybody hits a wall.

The wall comes after too much isolation. After too much inside. After not being able to visit friends without a handshake or hug. I thought that I was fine. That we were fine. We have our own little circle.

But, that’s not enough.

I awoke yesterday feeling tired. I had enough sleep. I felt lethargic. I felt sad. It couldn’t figure it out.

It was grocery making time. I went, not caring if I went. Shopping started out slowly. We got to the meat case. Not big red meat eaters, I didn’t think think much of it. Then I saw it. A sale on steaks. For once, that sounded great. I arrived at the cold case about the same time another man did. A Black man. Bare with me because normally color of skin is irrelevant.

We both started to reach for the steaks. I backed off saying “you first.” He made a motion that since I knew exactly what I wanted that I should go first. We were both wearing masks so all we could see was our eyes. Both of us had smiling eyes.

After I made my selection, I made some funny comment. He raised his elbow and we did an elbow touch. That was the first time I’d touched a stranger in eight weeks. That felt so good. I was walking on air.

That’s all it took. Another human being, not in my circle.

There’s a lesson in that. The obvious is what we all already know. The other lesson takes a minute.

So many people are already breaking social distancing rules. Others aren’t wearing masks. Groups of more than 50 people are congregating together. None of that is any good. We may create a surge within a flattening curve. It shows one thing. We need each other. Strangers included.

Because we need each other we don’t want to kill each other. Stay the course. Eventually, there will be time to be together.

The picture. I finally was able to make what amounts to an almost macro picture. I still have no idea what the flower is called. I’ve looked and looked. Some people around these parts just call it a swamp flower. Yes, it is. But what kind of swamp flower?

Stay safe. Enjoy every sandwich.


Child 1
A child’s view.

Sometimes a walk is just the thing that you need.

Children need more than that. They need to be outdoors. They need fresh air. They need to play. They need to learn.

We are locked down. Most people thought they would live, work and play in the digital world. Sure, that’s occured. The use of Zoom shows us that potential. But, people have returned to old school pleasures. People are playing board games. They are actually talking to each other rather than looking at an itty bitty screen.

And, Children. When they are outside and keeping their distance, they are playing games with which I grew up. A big one is hopscotch. I’ve seen pictures of this around my social media feeds. I hadn’t come across one in real life. Until I did.

If this is part of the future — the better future — I’m good with it. No. Make that, I’m very happy with it.

The picture. See it. Photograph it. Develop it. Share it. The blue color comes from the deep shade in which I walked through. It looks blue on film or with a digital capture. Some hate it and do everything they can to make a “clean” image. I figure why fight it and do what I can to enhance it.

Stay safe. Care for others. Care for yourself. Keep your distance. Wear your mask. Wash your hands. Play, play, play. Enjoy every bit of Chinese food.

Child 2
I’ll paint rainbows all over your blues.


art-1
Dinosaurs.

This may be it. For a while.

I begged them not to do it. But, just like every other tech company today, they think they know better than their clients. Their customers. They deleted the backdoor to Storyteller. I have no idea what I’m doing with this so-called new, improved, and fucked up method of posting. They started this last year. A lot of us complained about it. They left the backdoor alone. They said they might eliminate it. New Year. Nothing better to do. So their engineers removed what was a very elegant way to add “content.”

I have no idea what MY page looks like. Before I post it. And, I have to add all the metadata by hand. Yeah. This is better. Not. And, what’s with the “beep-bop-beep?” What am I? 12 years old?

These pictures. Hmmm. The dinosaur. That’s black and white Tri-x film that I scanned and started adding stuff. You’d be surprised how unclean black and white film looks after it’s scanned. There is all sort of latent color even when you turn all color sources off. I played to it.

Chicken Mart. A landmark. In Central City. There’s another out in the Ninth Ward, I think.

Ladders and chairs was made on Magazine Street in The Lower Garden District. On a break from Mardi Gras festivities.

Oh yeah. Sorry for the so-called “f-bomb.” I have no time to mince words anymore. It is what it is.

art-2
Chicken Mart.

art-3
Up and down.