Christmas balls reflecting in the low dusk light.

W

e’ve been very busy. So, I keep forgetting. With two days, there is no more forgetting. There is only Christmas. So, I’ll start with an elderly picture that I made on the avenue. I’ll build from there.

There is good news.

Music is magic. The short people are here on their way to Disney Park with everyone else. We work. Sorta. On Christmas day and then we play. Mostly.

How magical is music? We subscribed to the Disney Channel via Hulu mostly to see The Beatles “Get Back.” The short ones are excited because they can see all sorts of stuff.

But.

They are watching The Beatles with mama and papa. They are singing note for note with The Beatles to songs that they’ve never heard.

Magic.


After the storm.

H

urricanes and water. That’s what we are looking at. We are also looking at a full frame picture, not something made on a phone.

It is a reason to leave Louisiana. Two 100 year storms in 16 years. First came Katrina. Then, came Ida.

That’s enough right there.

It’s enough not to have power for weeks. It’s enough not to have it during the hottest season of the year. Months later and I still have car problems because I killed my battery trying to keep phones charged.

Months later and many, many buildings have not yet been repaired. I made this picture at my former apartment complex. I went there because at least they had a swimming pool.

They have that, but so many apartments are empty and are yet to be repaired.

Besides, now our pool is repaired. It’s wet. Anyway.

But, that’s why we are moving to a farm. Well, one reason.


Clear and clean.

T

his has been a nightmare to post. For some reason the computer crashed. I had to go into recovery mode which dropped all of my passwords. Of course, everything that I needed to load took forever.

WordPress, which is always a problem, got worse. Spell check stopped functioning and try as I might I can not load the proper version of this picture. I put a border around the picture because it was blending into the page. Do you see a border? I can see the picture with a border on my desktop, but WordPress can’t see it.

I’m planning that during the first week or two of 2022 to make a lot of changes here. My numbers have dropped through the basement floor. They are as low as the first day that I started. Obviously, I’ve either reached my threshold or my work just plain sucks.

I’m pretty sure that I’ll pick one of the three options, I’ll post every other day, twice a week or not at all. I don’t need the grief of fighting with technology that I never wanted to learn in the first place. I don’t need to watch most of my friends make good process while I spin my wheels.

I thought that I made and produced a nice picture. I don’t think that right this minute.


All the warm colors.

H

ere’s the deal.

When I sit down to write this stuff I am at peace. A few minutes later I am as agitated as I can be. WordPress makes this so. I’ve pretty much had enough. I’m going to try an end around.

That’s different from a work around.

I don’t want to do any more work arounds. They are really a waste of time. Instead, I’m going to take up WordPress on their offer to use one of about ten different website templating companies. Some are free. Some are a hybrid. And, some are expensive.

Basically.

Very basically, you overlay their template on the WordPress blocks and work there in any way that you’d like depending on which software you choose. I can actually make this blog look like a website. That’s always been the goal. I cannot achieve it using the current blockhead system.

Working this way you don’t have to be a coder as you do working directly with WordPress if you want to do something creative. You just drag and drop as you do with some of the website in a box companies.

Stay tuned.

Watch me melt. Or, not.


Green to orange.

L

earning. Always learning. Practicing. Always practicing. Mostly trying to have fun with the pictures I make. It wasn’t always that way. Pictures were how I made my living. I don’t do that so much now. For sure, I still accept assignment but I don’t go courting them.

That is too much work.

As you know, I’m lazy. Maybe not so much, but if you are busy chasing assignments and all of the rest of the stuff that goes with it, you spend 80% of your time working on business and 20% of your time making photographs.

How much fun is that?

These days, if there is something I really want to photograph for someone, I’ll build a campaign which could take months to come to fruition. That’s really old school, but I’m not looking to be discovered on Instagram. A lot of picture buyers and assignment makers used to troll there. I’m not sure how many of them continue to do that.

A lot of younger photographers still think that they do. At least that’s based on their tags. They won’t tell you a thing about the picture. Instead their tags are directed to various publications. That may be the big difference. Publications still pay pretty much what they did when I was getting started.

Who wants to work for that?

Meanwhile corporate clients, the kind that I want, understand that assignment fees rise just like everything else in a normal economy. They aren’t on IG looking for the next great photographer.

That’s a good thing.

You should earn your way to that level. Photographers shouldn’t be famous because of the number of followers they have or the number of likes and shares they generate. Photographers should be famous for the work they generate over a long period of time.

At least, that’s what I think.


Time fades away.

W

hat remains.

This is one of our storm ravaged trees. Branches are broken, but new leaves are sprouting up like today was spring and not fall.

I’m not sure in what form the recovery will take, but at least nature is doing her work. All nature really wants is stasis. One way or another, this tree will be dealt with.

Okay. Enough of that.

Let’s talk about technological dependence. Let’s talk about Monday. Let’s talk about Facebook and all it’s secondary companies. They crashed. There was a DNS problem.

We think.

Facebook executives lie about everything. Here’s one now. They claimed service was down for five hours. Oh really?

I was looking for a post so I went directly to Facebook at 7:30am. It was down, at least for any new posting. You could still read whatever was posted before the system came down. You couldn’t reply.

I didn’t have service until around 5pm. I don’t know about you, but I think that’s 9 1/2 hours. Of course, that’s in New Orleans where time moves at a different pace. They say that we are 50 years behind. So, there’s that.

Anyway.

The New York Times published a story about what this really means. Facebook claims a membership of 2.6 billion users. Most just use it like many of us do. Mostly we talk amongst ourselves.

However, about half of that total use it to conduct business, to communicate within companies, to sell stuff, to publish newspapers and — in some countries — it is the prime method of communication.

That’s all great. But, in another story, the Times says that Facebook is weaker than we think and that it is already showing cracks.

There are those who talk about regulatory measures. That’s good. It’s a good idea. Let’s take it a few steps further.

What if Facebook is turned into a utility like electric companies and phone companies? What if the entire internet is declared a utility?

I know, I know. That could take the freedom of the internet away.

That’s been done about a decade ago.

There are only three — or four — big players; Amazon, Facebook, Google and some people say Apple.

There’s no privacy. I could post something on Instagram and see ads for something related on Google. That implies there is no freedom.

It seems simple enough to me. It could be done. It won’t be.

T

his picture needed something a little different. At least, I think it did.

I made it monochrome. It seemed a little bleaker that way.

It still wasn’t done. I tinkered. I added extra bokeh using OnOne.

I messed around with the basic color because I thought I made it too bleak.

So, this is the finished picture.

Let’s jump back to the other side for a minute. I realized I wasn’t done with it yet.

I concluded that any kind of regulation or reclassification of the internet and its most dominant sites wouldn’t happen.

It’s not because of a lack of political will. There may be. Or, not. I don’t know.

The real issue is that the people conducting hearings — mostly the Senate — have no clue what to ask or how to follow up because they don’t understand the digital world at all.

You’d think that after the last two decades of digital growth they’d take some time to get familiar with these things.

But, noooo.

They are busy doing something else; obstructing everything, trying to tear down the good things about government and taking money from certain rich players. You know, bribes. There I said it.

The very least they could do is ask their younger staffers to explain the questions they are about to ask on the floor or in committee so they wouldn’t look like idiots.

But — once again — noooo.


Not spring.

Y

ou would think that this picture was made in spring, but it’s not. It was made a couple of days ago. This is a weird year and we normally have two growing seasons. We’ve just entered the second one.

Things are starting to bloom again.

Trees aren’t blooming except for the ones that Hurricane Ida shook. They are exhibiting spring-like growth.

I suspect that we’ll be hearing a lot about Pandora, an investigation that tries to understand where big money goes and who is doing all of this corporate scheming, er, scamming.

I read that in The Guardian, a London based newspaper, not because it’s better than U.S. newspapers, but because I wanted their perspective.

I had to laugh. They named locations like Ukraine, Belarus, England and… South Dakota.

Huh?

Apparently, the state has been stashing money offshore for years.

I don’t think that anybody is clean when it comes to money these days. Most folks are out for themselves which explains the fight to get people vaccinated when the very act is a no brainer.

What can I say? What can you say?

I

give up. WordPress is as fucked up as it’s ever been. This damn block system dropped two paragraphs on the other side. If you try to put the coursor in the middle of a paragraph it immediately defaults to the first line.

Until, I backed out of everything, wasting money and time, I couldn’t even type here.

And, they have the stones to tell me that I’m going to be billed at the end of the month. Good luck with that.


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.


M

ore water. More reflections. Even as we dry out, some things don’t change. I think most people have power. Not everyone has internet, which doesn’t seem important but in the modern world it is.

We use Cox. They don’t know what they are doing. They sent us a long email apologizing for the lack of service and yada, yada, yada,

That’s great, but our service returned about an hour after our power was restored.

I guess we are lucky.

The house suffered some damage but it is in the process of being repaired. Compared to our neighbors we did pretty well.

Now it’s time to help where we can.