Come Down In Time


Then, they floated away.

Come down in time. That’s what Elton John sang back in 1971, when my life began. Or, something like that.

There are moments that truly amaze me. I had one of those today. I received a letter that said my checks could no longer be sent to me because they didn’t have my address. Okay. But, at the top of the letter there was an address. Mine.

Before you ask.

Yes. It came from the federal government. I tried to call them. They are closed. I forgot.

It’s Veterans Day. Before I forgot to do this, for all of you who served, thank you for your service. For all those who served in Vietnam, welcome home.

We watched a movie last night called “Outpost.” It was about a distant firebase in Afghanistan. It was an army compound. Whenever something fubar happened, one soldier would say snarkily to another, “And, thank you for your service.”

They know, as I do, “Thank you for your service,” has become very empty. Most people say it without thinking. It means something. Or, it should.

And, that’s the story for today.

Stay safe. Stay mighty. Wear your gloves.

What the hell is that thing? I know that’s what you are thinking.

It’s a couple of flower blooms. You know the drill. I tinker with this stuff until something emerges.

Not this time.

A few weeks ago I published a picture of a truck that was all mist rolling down the highway.

A friend of mine really liked it. He said that I should stop talking about paintings and the like.

He added that no matter how we try, digital is digital. It is its own art form. Stop apologizing.

I took that to heart.

I made a picture of some tiny pink flowers that seem to bloom whenever they feel like it.

It was slightly soft, so I thought why not this one? I did my usual tinkering. I sent it to him.

He replied that it might need some color in those white “blobs.” He meant flowers.

I did that. And, that’s what you are looking at.

Spooky


Ghostly .

The time of year. Spooky. Ghostly. A good time of year when things aren’t what they seem.

This is another short post. We have power, but no internet. Our gear is new and works fine. It turns out that our internet provider took some heavy hits. They are working to repair the damage but who knows when.

Stay safe. Stay mighty. Wear your mask. Keep your distance. Wash your hands. Two days… vote.

Blue Hunter Moon


Twice in October.

I’m still posting from my phone because there is no power yet. Bigger streets have power, but not us. Not yet. So this will be short.

I’m sitting in one of the cars down by the river, charging multiple phones. The picture you are looking at is straight ahead.

The Blue Harvest Moon.

Two full moons in one month. Something to see. See it if you can. It’ll be a long time until we see another.

It’s special. I’m hanging Tuesday on it. Which brings me to this. VOTE.

Stay safe. Stay mighty. Wear your mask. Keep your distance. Wash your hands. And, VOTE.

After The Storm


Which witch?

The storm ended and I remembered that it is still Halloween, not that we have the electric power to do much about it.

The storm was no big deal, lasting about only two hours. But, with 100 mile per hour wind, plenty of trees and power lines were destroyed. We are not sure when we will have power but the power company says by the end of the weekend by the latest.

I’m writing this on my phone. Every few hours I get in a car and charge it. Generator or not, there are only so many appliances you can attach to it.

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

You Never Know


Seasons come and they go.

It’s a funny thing. A couple people told me to stay safe during Hurricane Delta even though I said it was nowhere near us. I suppose most people don’t really understand Louisiana’s geography. New Orleans is about 300 miles east of Lake Charles, where a hurricane will hit for the third time in about two months.

People there are digging in. They aren’t evacuating this time. They say that they are tired of running.

I understand.

During the summer of Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans was hit by three hurricanes. The first one, called Cindy, was first thought to be a tropical storm. She was later upgraded to a hurricane. Katrina, you know about. Along came Rita which more-or-less just raked the coast.

By the time Rita arrived, I wasn’t scared. I was angry. I was so tired of packing essentials and driving to somewhere, destination unknown.

Another funny thing happened this morning. The New York Times published a little quiz. They gave you 20 words to pronounce in certain ways. From that they would predict where you were from. I’m such a mutt that I talk about different things in different ways.

Sometimes, I call a four line highway with very few exits an interstate. Sometimes, my Southern Californian kicks in and I call it a freeway. And sometimes, I call it a highway.

It’s the same with a lot of other words. In New Orleans, the strip of grass between the sidewalk and the street is called a banquette. I just call it, that strip of grass between the sidewalk and the street.

So.

After twenty questions, The New York Times determined I was from one of three places. Winston-Salem, Richmond or Mobile.

Mobile? I’ve passed through there probably about ten times on my way to someplace else. I’ve never even stopped there for gas.

Winston-Salem and Richmond sort of make sense. I worked in both cities for about an hour or so. Kidding, about a year in each place.

Still, I have a Brooklyn accent that sounds like a New Orleans 7th Ward accent. I have that because of a quirk in shipping history. The two biggest pre-Civil War shipping ports were Brooklyn and New Orleans. Sailors passed through both cities.

Since a good portion of my professional life was lived somewhere in the South, my phrasing has softened some. For instance, I say y’all instead of youse guys. Actually, I don’t think I ever said youse guys. I said you guys.

What about you guys? What are some of your regional tells?

One more thing.

This damn block system is going to kill me yet. Try copy editing. Pick something to rework. A pink box pops up. Hit any word, anywhere in the box and all your work disappears. Poof. Gone.

If any of you bastards at WordPress read Storyteller, stop screwing around with all of us. I can’t think of one person in my community who likes the black system. If I find another place to go, community or not, I’m gone.

Having said that, after a few minutes of panic I realized that I could go to all posts in the far left column, click on draft and a version of the story would be there.

Of course, WordPress pop ups tell me not to do that or I would lose everything. Oh gee. The stuff that I already lost.

And, once you do it, they want you to go back to the version that you just lost. One more thing, you have to reschedule the post and reset tags.

The picture. Before I get to that, here’s one more complaint for the drones at WordPress. Why, when you insert a drop cap does the first letter of the word go to the end of the sentence? Leave it alone.

That wasn’t about the picture.

This is.

I saw it, I photographed it. There is very little post production beyond basic development needed in this picture.

See how easy that was?

The content is sort of right because the leaves are in transition. In a week there will be more orange than green. Then there will be holes where the orange leaves have died and stopped off.

A cycle of life.

Stay safe. Stay mighty. Look after each other. Don’t believe the propaganda on Facebook. Wear your mask.

It Ain’t Over


Deep, dark and rich.

Pictures. You know that I’ve been working in my archives looking for pictures for a project. I’ve found some, but not all. I did find this picture. A photograph.

It is so appropriate because. I have been thinking lately about my past. You know, getting deep inside. I won’t write much about the picture on this side of the page except to say that the beads are old and faded. Like me. Or, not.

Going inside to look around at what you did wrong and what or right isn’t easy. I wonder, even though there can be no regrets or late happiness.

“Years will pass before we turn to face the place where we come from, years will pass before we learn what time denies to everyone. ” — MCC

Finding her, finding her music seems to have come a perfect time. Or, maybe not.

I guess that I’ll see soon enough.

I left out a line. At first it was intentional. Now, I think it matters.

“If we are lucky ghosts and prayers are company, not enemies.”

This line gives me hope. When I see the ghosts in my dreams, I am happy to see them. I want to know what happened to them between then and now.

Maybe you do too.

Old pictures. Are the just souvenirs? Or, are they something more? You know that I’ve been digging around in my archives. Sometimes I find what I am seeking. Sometimes, I find the unexpected, like this picture.

I’m not sure how i lost this picture. It’s a gem.

The beads are a little faded from our extreme weather. They are slightly overgrown. The fence looks a little worse for wear.

I made this photograph with some kind of longer lens because everything is compressed. It makes the picture a little more powerful.

This is a portfolio picture that fits into a group of images about Mardi Gras and what it means to the city, especially now that we are considering not have carnival in 2021.

Stay safe. Stay mighty. Wear your mask.

Goin’ Back


Indian.

The stuidity must go on.

Who in their right mind designed these grids? You cannot even do the simplest of designs with the block(head) system. Where I come from pictures don’t float around on white space for no reason. Pictures stay about a pica apart. I know. What’s a pica? It’s a small measuring unit. It comes from when you actually had to print ink on a page.

I’m pretty sure that from now on you’ll see one picture from me a day. It’s not that some subjects don’t need more images. It’s that I’ll be damned if I’m going to throw away everything I learned in school and in the real world to accommodate some new kind of nothing.

At the end of the day, if WordPress can’t give me some relief, this will be the issue that drives me away.

I have a comment from one of you to which I haven’t yet replied. Essentially, he said that the page looks terrible in Reader which may or may not be the way most of you see Storyteller. I rarely use Reader, but I’m an old guy. That said, it comes down to whaddya want from me? I didn’t design this stupidity.

Pictures

Before I discuss them, why oh why does the first letter of a word move to the back of the word when you use a drop cap. Leave the damn thing where it supposed to be. In the front. Pictures is spelled p-i-c-t-u-r-e-s, not i-c-t-u-r-e-s-p.

Whew.

Once again this is a test. It shouldn’t be a test of the design, but rather the pictures. These older pictures have a new life, except that I’m really not sure how the color palette looks on humans.

What do you think?

Stay safe. Stay mighty. Keep your distance (Think motorcycle rally at Sturgis, which has given the U.S. 250,000 new cases of the virus). Enjoy every waffle.

Above Ground


Every green.

Starting the month with something a little peaceful.

I have a suspicion that things are going to get much worse before they get better. So, we start with a peaceful picture.

Things are going to get worse at every level.

Locally, many of the schools opened today. They are woefully unprepared. There is a very good possibility that the virus is going to explode in the next couple of weeks.

This will happen across the nation as schools begin to reopen.

There was a story on NPR about a school district in Georgia whose school board told the teachers to limit classroom size to 25% of normal. Then, they said not to do that while the principal was talking to the teachers about the new limitation. Their final statement was that as many teachers who wanted to, could teach remotely, from home. So many teachers chose that option that there were only enough in classroom teachers to teach 10% of the students.

Do you ever get the idea that the leaders are just flat out terrible? I get it. This is new to everybody. The administrators had since March to work on this. They had the time to formulate plan a, b, c, and d. They had the time to acquire new equipment. They had he time to test it, teach, and refine.

In Louisiana, we also have Hurricane Laura evacuees. Some will stay in crowded shelters with almost no way to protect themselves from the virus. Some came here to stay in hotels that have no business because of the pandemic. I predict those hotels will have their own mini-pandemic.

That’s not all.

The country seems to be at war with itself. You know the details. The moron in The White House is egging it on. He’s so desperate to win in November that his only option appears to cast himself as a law and order president. The would be great if…

He wasn’t egging on violence.

And,

If pretty much the entire administration had not broken as many laws as they could get away with.

This is only going to get worse as we get closer to election day.

Did I mention that the United States Post Office problems were further exacerbated by this administration? Talk about voter suppression.

This country need an entire house cleaning. You know, like the one you do in spring when you throw out boxes of stuff you no longer use so you stored them?

That’s my take from my basement room.

Wait? What?

There are no basements in New Orleans.

The picture

I made another picture of a group of ferns. It was backlighted slightly to create a nice highlight in the middle. I decided to add something to it. I found that bare tree image that I’ve posted in the past. I layered them. I blended them. I enhanced the color and contrast.

That’s what I did.

Stay safe. Stay mighty. Enjoy every sandwich.

One more thing.

The new and improved Block system was at its worst today. At first, it wouldn’t properly open the page after I added a new block. It created black spaces where type, the picture and the sidebar information should be. Sometimes, they were squares. Sometime, angles. Once I managed to get it working it gave me problems editing text. I wanted to edit a word, it put a box around the paragraph contain the word and wanted to delete the whole thing.

Aaaaaarrrrrggggghhhhh.

Where Time Stands Still


Endings.

There is no reasoning with a hurricane season.

Most of the lower half of the state is getting prepared. Officials say that if we aren’t done by noon we’ll likely be working in the rain.

Hurricane Marco will make landfall sometime later today. As it stands, it is barely a Category One hurricane. But, the longer he lingers over the gulf he will pick up the hot water there, gaining energy and windspeed.

Hurricane Laura is somewhere over Cuba as I write. She should make landfall over Louisiana on Wednesday. The time is not yet certain. Laura is a tropical storm now. She’ll pick up energy and water as she crosses the gulf. She’ll become another hurricane.

Depending on which spaghetti model you use, New Orleans could be hit twice, not at all, or to the east and west of us.

No matter what happens, we’ll get wet. We may lose power.That is not even a prediction. We always do. I’ll try to keep my phone charged, but if I disappear for a while, no worries. Two storms in a week will keep the power company busy. According to the mutual aid plan there are power companies from all over the southeast already here to support Entergy.

The Picture

It’s the headline that matters. “Where Time Stands Still.” I borrowed that from a Mary Chapin Carpenter song because that’s what it feels like around here while we are waiting for the other shoe to drop.

This being 2020 I have terrible expectations.

I made this picture because I thought of it as a symbol for the end of summer. In some places in the North that’s already happening. The weather is cooling off. But, not down here. The temperature will continue to hover around 90 degrees into almost October. If we are lucky.

Even though the heat lingers, the plants and flowers know their place. This little Camellia is saying goodbye. Even the trees which seem to glow a few weeks ago are showing the seasonal shift. The greens have become muddy. Leaves are already falling.

Yes.

Yesterday’s fern was bright and glowing, but they grow all year. The only time they wither and die is durning our few days of extreme cold.

Stay safe. Stay mighty. Look after each other. Stay dry. Enjoy every pancake.