Something like art.

This little cloud drifted by. It was front lit by the sun. No matter what I did, I couldn’t quite help the image to be what I saw, so I did what you are seeing.

I tried a lot of attempts. Nothing looked right. I’ll, show you a couple in a few more lines. Sometimes, photograph goes this way. Sometimes, it’s even worse.

Anyway.

So, what did I do to these pictures? In a word, everything.

I tried all the tricks in my bag. Nothing looked very good to me.

Then, I tried pulling everything back.

See what I mean? The middle top picture of this group is about how the cloud and sky looked to my eye when I saw it. It felt weak to me.

Try as I might without going into a lot of layering, I could not bring out the colors in any way that I really liked.

So I just made it different.

To tell you the truth, the picture I like best is the really dark one on top. The big picture. It is so different that it became its own form of art.

I’m also interested inn the bottom left image. It almost looks 3-D.

What do you all think?

I made the very dark picture and thought that it had nothing to do with reality but it did look like a nice piece of art. So, I stopped before I turned the orange dark and the image would have been just a dark blob.

As I’ve written in the past sometimes I just go back and forth with certain sliders until I’ve gotten to the picture.

Obviously, I did that six times. More than six times, but these are the images that I’m showing.

Stay safe. Stay strong. Stay mighty. Wear your mask. Wash your hands. Keep your distance. Get your jabs. Don’t be stupid. Be patient. Look after each other. Look at all the clouds in the sky.


Sometimes just the sky.

It’s a great day for experiments. Rainy. Kind of cold. We’ve had a lot of rain since yesterday. Supposedly, there are three or four more inches on the way.

So, I used a new app. I’ve used it once in the past. I’ll get into the technical aspects of that on the right hand column.

With all the rain, I needed something to counteract that on Storyteller. This picture just about does that. It’s bright. It’s gauzy. And, there’s a lot of yellow. The photograph, if that’s what this is, moves from darkness to light, at least for peoples who read from left to right.

Even thought there’s been a lot of stupidity as the pandemic seems to be getting managed, that’s what this picture might mean. We are headed into the light.

Or, if you are if you are cynical like me, moving into the light could mean the end. You know what people say when they have died and came back because it wasn’t their time yet.

I think I’ll choose the first option, mostly because I’m not ready to go just yet. There’s a lot of work to be done. And, I want to help.

I know that you want to help too.

Amiright?

So. The app. It turns the image into all sorts of colors. The original photograph was monochromatic, even with the golden arches in the background.

If that wasn’t enough, I added a setting from OnOne that made those globes, which are supposed to be bokeh.

It’s really not bokeh. Bokeh, an often misused Japanese word that Japanese people don’t use, refers to the quality of the out of focus parts of an image.

Usually, that’s found in the background. You want something that’s soft and creamy with some shape.

Once I completed that, added a border. I had something mid-way between a photograph and something else.


One winter afternoon.

One day in winter when the sun was starting to lower, I saw the it explode behind a tree. Light and color went flying everywhere. I left without my hat.

After seeing the image on the monitor I started thinking random thoughts.

Again.

I have a friend who lives in Vermont. The state has done an amazing job of controlling CoVid-19. It wasn’t until last week that there were enough infections to rise to the next level of sickness.

It comes as no surprise that he doesn’t get it. He was wondering when things would return to normal. You know what I think about normal.

He was really concerned about masking and social distancing. Sorry my friend, since the scientists are saying even with the vaccine you should still wear your mask, I think that’s going to be around for a long time. Maybe a decade. Maybe forever.

And, social distancing. As long as I can hug the people I love and care for I don’t give a hoot about relaxing it. Besides, after my family and friends, there might be six people in the real world that need a hug from me.

He wasn’t even thinking about changes that will last forever. We can do business without being a road warrior. We can learn from anywhere, even though it’s a documented fact that children learn better in school. We can even play full blown concerts without have to be on location. That, unfortunately, is not is much fun without a live audience.

There are downsides that are beginning to evolve. Crossing international borders will get harder. You may have to provide your passport, your vaccination certificate, and your recent negative CoVid-19 document.

That will feel like the very old days.

“Papers please.”

Sun explosions. They don’t really happen. It just looks like they do. Besides, if the sun really exploded, goodbye earth. Goodnight moon.

I saw the scene. I pointed the lens right into the sun. Everything kind of blew up, sending light and shadow everywhere.

You need light and shadow to enter through your cracks. A friend says that’s how you know you are alright.

Anyway.

I knew what I had. I developed it and worked in post production on Snapseed. Then, I ran it through OnOne where I added some exploding bokeh.

I finished it and here it is. I’m late today because I had to buy dog food fixins’.

Stay safe. Stay strong. Stay mighty. Wear your mask. Wash your hands. Keep your distance. Look after each other. Watch all the beautiful light.


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.


Into the sky.

Nothing but problems.

It seems to me that WordPress does not like Safari. It would rather play with Chrome, except that using a Mac causes issues with Chrome. Why can’t they all play nice? It took a good 20 minutes just to get to this page. I still don’t know how to reduce the size of this WordPress page so I can listen to streaming music via Spotify.

I like doing that. It sets the mood. Now, I’m in a terrible mood.

I don’t feel like writing. I’m tired of taking these BS pictures.

I’m tired of feeling trapped at home. I really don’t understand how so many folks can travel to Florida, to Montana, to Colorado, to the North to further west. And, we sit here.

Worse. I’m tired of messing with technology when I really have no interest in it.

I think it’s time to call it quits. These posts are meaningless. If somebody actually learned something from them it might make a difference. If somebody bought or licensed a piece of art from here, posting might be worthwhile.

No.

If somebody is looking for a picture they go directly to Google. They either look for a picture by genre and category or by my name.

The people who study such things say that during times like these, when expediency is worth more than marketing, most of us cut to what is necessary rather than all the window dressing. That’s where my thinking is headed.

Then, there is the silliness called the block system. Before you tell me that I can use “classic,” don’t. It’s an ancient format that still must be accessed through the block system a section at a time. WordPress tries to say that the block(head) system increase design flexibility. It doesn’t. It gives you clusters of pre-formatted page segments.

Flexibility would be a designer’s grid outlined on a page which would allow you to add elements of text, type, art and so on to the page in whatever design you wanted to use. I still can’t kern type in a logical manner and I certainly can’t fatten a drop cap.

There is so much that I’d like to do that can’t be done using this so-called block system.

On the other hand, I could sell you premium content, book you a reservation at a cafe or even embed a podcast player. All things that aren’t useful to me.

I give up.

Stay safe.


Golden light and bokeh.

Only a fool would say that.

I thought that it would be bad, but I didn’t think it would be this bad, Covid-19 still growing in some places and calming down in others. Cities burning because of racial strife. Hurricane season starting today for those of us who live in hurricane country. Murder hornets. And, a leaderless country.

Are you tired of winning yet?

When the president was first elected, I had a dream about burning buildings, people hiding and fighting in the streets. It was a nightmare. I woke up. Aside from wondering how the hell he was elected, all was fine. Then it started. Slowly at first. Three-and-a-half years later and my nightmare became reality.

Usually, I have some positive thoughts. This time, nothing. I have no idea what to do. Yeah. I know. Vote. I’m not sure we can hold on that long. Besides even if he is voted out of office, will he go? Will he go quietly? Will he incite his base into fighting? I can see it now. A bunch of wannabe soldier good old boys fighting still very angry Black people.

My money is on the angry African Americans. Urban gangs are organized and have no problem pulling the trigger. Add to that, O.G.s (Original Gangsters) strategizing and the fight gets nasty and ends quickly. Remember, those O.G.s learned their trade in the jungles of Vietnam. They may be old, but they can think.

Meanwhile, the chief instigator will be cowering in some bunker somewhere. He’ll be tweeting up a storm but he’ll have no real punch. That’s the thing about him. Like all bullies, he screams and hollers. When it comes to the fight, he runs away.

Do I want my prediction to come to true?

Oh God, no.

I’m a peaceful guy. I want the burning to stop. It serves nobody unless you are a looter. I want unity, not just in the streets but in the research labs who scientists are racing against time. I want real discussion and social change.

I want to improve well beyond what we called normal in February. At a minimum, I want streets that don’t break my car’s suspension when I swerve to hit a pothole and hit another much worse one. I want my city not to flood during a storm and being told that’s the way it is, live with it.

I want people to be fully engaged, purposeful and happy.

So.

How are you this first day of June?

What do you want? What will you do to achieve it? Can you stay focused long enough to even come close? How will you stay organized?

The picture.

I’d better discuss that, even a little bit, yes? I was struggling to find a picture. I found some already dead flowers. It was better than nothing so, click, click, click. It wasn’t much so I mistreated it. Oops. I meant treated it with a lot of post production tricks until I made something marginally worthy of showing you.

Stay safe. Stay focused. Enjoy every sandwich.


Along came the clouds.

Driving.

Out on Highway 61. That’s where Abraham and God a conversation. That’s what Bob Dylan said. Apparently, God wasn’t messing around. So Abraham did what he was told. Sometimes there are little miracles when you least expect them.

On Saturday, Sophie Rose wasn’t doing so good. I was afraid I might lose her. It was later than the vet’s office was open so I considered taking her to an emergency vet.

Before I did, I had a word with God. I don’t really pray. I just talk. I said that I didn’t matter. I said that Sophie is a sweet, gentle loving dog. She didn’t deserve to cross the rainbow bridge just yet. She fell into a deep sleep. When she woke up on Sunday, she wanted to go for a walk. I thought she just need to go out for a minute. Oh no, we went for a very good longish walk. She came in and drank a lot of water.

She also annoyed the other dogs, she kept me from working. She acted like her normal self. When it was dinner time she ate three cups of food. That’s all of the dogs limits. Usually, they are happy with 2 1/2 cups. For the past week or two she was barely eating about a half a cup. She lost a lot of weight. My goal is to add weight to her.

I’m not very religious. I have a spiritual side to me. My prayers are discussions. I have no idea if God, or whoever your higher power is, even works this way. But, something happened.

For sure, she still has a dental appointment. I’m fairly confident that I managed to kill the gum infection. I’m pretty sure her bladder stone has fallen apart.

For now, that’s enough.

That’s Highway 61 that you are looking at. We live pretty much at the southern terminus. When you get to the Crossroads up in Mississippi, that’s where Robert Johnson supposedly made his deal with the devil. We also live fairly near to the cemetery where Gram Parsons, founder of THe Flying Burrito Brothers and who also brought country rock to Los Angeles, is laid to rest. We live in a weird place. All sorts of pirates and assorted characters roamed these parts.

Some still do. They just don’t have the class of their forefathers.

Stay safe. Enjoy every sandwich.


Magnolia in space.

” Sugar Magnolia, blossoms blooming

Heads all empty and I don’t care

Saw my baby down by the riverside

Knew she’s have to come up soon for air

We can have high times if you’ll abide

We can discover the wonders of nature

Rolling in the rushes down by the riverside

She’s got everything delightful

She’s got everything I need

Takes the wheel when I’m seeing double

Pays my ticket when I speed

She comes skimming through rays of violet

She can wade in a drop of dew

She don’t come and I don’t follow

Waits backstage while I sing to you

She can dance a Cajun rhythm

Jump like a Willys in four wheel drive

She’s a summer love in the spring, fall and winter

She can make happy any man alive

Sugar Magnolia

Ringing that bluebell

Caught up in sunlight

Come on out singing and I’ll walk you in the sunshine

Come on honey, come along with me

She’s got everything delight

She’s got everything I need

A breeze in the pines and the sun and bright moonlight

Lazing in the sunlight, yes indeed

Sometimes when the cuckoo’s crying

When the moon is half way down

Sometimes when the night is dying

I take me out and I wander around

I wander round” — Lyrics & Melody by Robert Hunter & Bob Weir / The Grateful Dead

No. I didn’t write this song, but it felt appropriate for the picture. It is, in fact, a magnolia blossom that I worked on very heavily. I used my normal post production tools, plus some new apps that do stuff. One adds strange old school colors to the picture. The other adds what the makers call bokeh.

It’s not true bokeh, which is used to describe the background sharpness of a photograph. Instead, it’s just stuff. Nice shapes that you can brighten and lower in intensity. In short, another filter. A fun filter.

That’s it. No Cvid update. Just Fun Friday.

Stay Safe. Enjoy every sandwich.


In the New Orleans Sky.

I know one thing as we head into a very different time and space.

Enjoy every sandwich.

The late Warren Zevon said that on the old version of David Letterman’s show. He said that knowing he had less than six months to live. He was dying from lung cancer. When Letterman asked him what he learned from this,  Zevon responded with, “Enjoy every sandwich.”

He played a couple of songs in what turned out to be his very last live performance. And, he left us with his best album. He didn’t live to find out that his album won a Grammy for best album of the year.

I’ve been thinking about that as I watched everything around me be cancelled or postponed because of the escalating numbers of CoVid-19. Most musical tours are postponed or cancelled. Every major sport, the same. Even local events like the Mardi Gras Indians Super Sunday.

I watched a video clip of the New York Yankees (I was born and raised to be a fan) and last year’s World Series champs, the Washington Nationals play a spring training baseball game. They are practice games. They really don’t count. The help to get the players in “baseball” shape.

The Yankees bat boy came out of the dugout and handed the home plate umpire a note. The umpire read it, called the two team managers out, who waved all of the players off the field. The game ended in the middle of the fourth inning.

Major League Baseball cancelled the rest of spring training and postponed the start of the season by at least two weeks, effectively making the start of the season an unknown. That same umpire who called the game said to the reporters as he walked out of the clubhouse, “Guys, I’ll see you in June.”

This is how it’s been going everywhere with almost every kind of non-essential event. Even Broadway went dark, prompting the late night shows to work without an audience.

But, the worst information of all came locally. Yes, our confirmed patients are growing exponentially. Yesterday there were 17 known cases of the virus. Today there are 31.

That’s still not the worst news.

Four people went home after visiting my swampy, potholed city. They are now ill with the virus. They caught it during Mardi Gras. Apparently, it’s been floating around New Orleans since at least early February.

Remember when I was in too much pain to work for the last couple of days of Mardi Gras, including Mardi Gras Days? I was miserable from both the physical and emotional sides of me.

Say what you will. Talk about it being a God deal. Call it divine intervention. Call it anything. But, without my pain, I could be sick right now because I work in the heart of the crowds. Isn’t that something? I’m humbled and filled with gratitude.

Anyway. We are just about that point when our lives will change forever.

Enjoy every sandwich.