Long, long, long.

“S

o keep the faith and bang the drum on the longest night of the year.”


Colorful tree and other stuff.

D

id I tell you that I hate WordPress? I hate it more everyday. They keep trying to dig money out of my wallet for services I don’t want.

But, what I really want to talk about is The New York Times.

They seem intent on prosecuting former wars with information everybody knew about except for them.

I once worked for a newspaper whose newsroom joke was, “If it’s news, it’s news to us..”

That seems to fit the Times to a T right now. First, I know what they are trying to do. They want to win as Pulitzer Prize for investigative reporting so they are doing an extremely long take out on drone warfare, bad intel, collateral damage and not being transparent with the American people.

Oh really?

All of this has been covered again and again in movies, books and long form television. Sure, some of it is fiction. But, fiction is based on the truth.

And, since when is the military supposed to be transparent about combat moves?

I even have a problem with the so-called phrase collateral damage. A war is a war. Trust me, those of us who have actually been in a war want nothing to do with one.

But, consider this. The United States hasn’t won a war since World War II. Fighting a war means total war, not picking and choosing.

I don’t want war, but as long as you are going to use drones and other methods of intelligence gathering you are going to have twenty year long wars when nothing but death is achieved.

The New York Times should know better. But, young editors needs stripes so they can move up the editing chain. Hopefully, they will learn as they go.

I fear not.

I

made this picture out of a couple of others. I don’t care and neither you should you.

It’s just more crap on a soon to be defunct WordPress page.

You know one of my reasons for leaving. I think that I laid it out pretty clearly next door.

There is one more reason. The best one. I haven’t taken a good picture in months. And, months.

And, I don’t think that I can. My day is done.

That’s too bad.


All a dream.

E

ven though I did a lot to this picture in post production, I’m staying with only one column. I decided to do a lot of work to this picture because I wanted to experiment in a couple of ways.

Before we get into that, my doctor’s office’s ears must have been burning. They called me. They wanted to reschedule my appointment. I came close to hanging up. I thought better of that, and rescheduled my appointment for after Christmas. But, I also told them that they could expect a note from my attorney. That caught the bookers attention. She asked if I wanted to talk to my doctor. I called her bluff and said yes, knowing that he wasn’t in the office on Monday. I haven’t heard from him yet.

It’s Tuesday.

Do no harm. Indeed.

The picture is really a bunch of baby experiments rolled into one. I realized that I’ve made this picture in the past. And, the past before that, and that, and that. So I tinkered with it until it looks like nothing you’ve seen. Or, that I’ve seen. Ever.

It’s amazing what desperation can do. I’m desperate a lot.

Sometimes, with desperation comes messiness. This picture is really a mess.


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.


Like fire.

I

t seems I went backwards today. My last two posts were artistic in nature. They were pictures that helped you to feel. I hope.

This picture is more traditional in the sense that it helps you to see the end of a day as I documented it. It may also help you to feel. But, everybody’s life experiences are different.

As many of you know, I’m not big on basic sunset images. It has to be wonderful to move me. It’s not that I don’t like sunsets. I do. It’s just that there are so many that are kind of meh. Enjoy the light. And, just look at them.

I also think that you need something in the sunset to give it some kind of context. That’s why there are silhouettes at the base.

I believe that you should turn around and see what that amazing like is illuminating. On this day the light was reflecting off and through the light cloud cover. It was too broad to light anything dramatically.

So, that’s what I think about sunsets.

And, you?


In another land.

E

very time. Every. Damn. Time. Whenever the boneheads at WordPress think that they are helping, they don’t. Yesterday’s post didn’t trigger untilI saw that it didn’t. Today.

It took and act of God to upload the correct picture today. And, those drop caps? They are hidden behind a pulldown for typography. If that’s not enough, there is a little dance you have to do between the letter you want to enlarge, and the drop cap button.

It was so elegant less than a week ago.

Now? More to learn. For no good reason.

After yesterday’s post of too many pictures, I thought I would take a little break and go minimalistic. Literally and figuratively.

The picture reminds me of something Japanese. It’s gentle and a little magical. It’s wispy without too much fragility. It’s hard to believe that I made it, with my heavy hands and all.

That’s all I was really gonna say.


A little color never hurts.

I

t seems that this is one of those days. Mondays are like that. I start on the solvable issues and move to the fun stuff like writing this blog.

I keep reading to, and talking to some bloggers who just have a terrible time doing this. Off the top of my head I’d say they are thinking too much. Maybe they are writers who think ever phrase has to be perfect.

Perfect for who?

If you believe my comments about 70% of the readers make their own meaning of our various arts than perfection truly is only for angels. Besides, always trying to be perfect usually means that nothing is ever achieved.

Today’s Storyteller is a fine example of that. For some reason WordPress wouldn’t let me download from my desktop, so I download what amounts to an unfinished image from Google Pictures. You can tell because it doesn’t have a credit line.

I learned something.

For this particular picture the lack of processing is better than I could do when I lay my grubby hands on it.

I’ll test this later in the week. But, I have something special planned for tomorrow.

Stay tuned.


Upside down.

W

ell, I thought yesterday’s post would draw some kind of reaction. And yet, crickets.

It tells me something.

Languishing for the better of two years, I’m not sure there is much motivation to do anything. For everyone.

I’ve been productive in my “other” career mostly because there are deadlines. I am deadline oriented. 50 years of doing something will beat that into a person. I don’t think that’s a bad thing. It’s just another tool for me.

It may be enough that we care for each other, even if it’s just listening.

We have another CoVid-19 variation coming. In many states it’s already here. It has been identified in New Orleans. Just in time for Christmas.

Merry Christmas.

And, don’t come near me.

All of our leaders say, “Don’t worry. We got this.” Right. Nature is nature. She does what she wants. I think she is angry with us.

After all, there was a big climate conference in Europe. Big leaders attended. They talked. They pontificated. They blathered.

And, nothing meaningful was done.

So, Ma Nature says, “You think the first two variations were something?” Watch this. And, by the way, hold my beer.

We need to do something even if it’s tiny.
For us, it’s buy locally and carry our purchases in reusable and recycled paper bags.

That’s just a start.

I’d like to swear off plastic, but modern manufacturing has made that impossible. We bought new kitchen scissors. Ours gave up the ghost as twenty or so years so we bought one at the grocery store.

There are two parts to the new scissors. The scissors itself and a sheath that has a blade sharpener that works every time you store the scissors.

That sounds great except that those two components are contained in one of those plastic bubbles that everyone likes, said no one ever.

Ah Ha! I managed to open the damn thing.

And, then WTF? Those two components were each protected by their own plastic bubbles..

Why, oh why?

W

e were

running in and out of time. That’s a chorus to the ever controversial Eric Clapton. His new album isn’t controversial. It’s slow acoustic blues, which you might hear in the Mississippi delta.

I think of it as being a good career ender. Who said that?

I’m supposed to discuss technique in the left hand column.

There really was no special technique used on the pictures that I’ve made in the last month or so.

So, I left this column out.

But, this picture. Oh, this picture. There is so much going on in it that I’d better tell you about it.

Here goes.

The image is layered. There are three pictures lurking in there, somewhere. That gave the image depth.

They were added as needed, pretty much organically.

I sucked most of the color out of what was a very bright and colorful picture.

I added some weird colors which are all the rage in the fine art world.

I say that they are everywhere at this point, meaning that it’s not very cutting edge. It may have been for the first person who did it, but not so much today.

I framed the picture with a filter that approximates an old Polaroid picture. The picture just needed it. So, I did it.

That’s it. You get to see it. That’s better than winning any juried contest.


Tough stuff.
.

T

his is a bit of an email I wrote to a friend of mine; I’m not sure why, but I needed to tell these stories. I’ll tell them to you.

We are in Cobble Hill. Brooklyn. The home of my home. I took both of my traveling partners to my old neighborhood. I showed them the schoolyard where I used to play stickball. I told them about my world’s greatest hit. The schoolyard where we played was below the normal height of the surrounding buildings. So if you were on the playground you could barely see the street.

Home plate was at about 14th Street. The school building was sort of the left field wall. If you hit the ball over the school’s roof you were out. A lot of people did that. There was an outfielder who played beyond the far schoolyard fence on 15th street. Just because you hit the ball over the fence didn’t mean you were safe

My at bat.

I could hit pretty far so the defense backed up. I got a hold of a good pitch and hammered it. I watched everybody’s eyes looking up as I started to run. The ball kept rising and rising and rising. It came down in the middle of 12th street near 5th avenue. It crossed a corner of the school’s roof. I hit a long out.

Then, I took them to 16th street. My street. The beginning of my beginning. The upper part of the street is gentrified, the lower part not so much. I’m from the lower part.

Our favorite bodega is now a cafe. My stoop was across the street. We used to shoot paper clips into the store and bounce them off of a fruit scale. Yeah, I was that kid. So were my friends. Once, there were about six of us hanging out on the stoop. We aimed and fired. It sounded like a machine gun as those paper clips hit the scale.

We got yelled at in Spanish.

Then we walked to 3rd street. That street used to be dangerous. All the hitters went to the bar on the corner. A hitter is a guy that could win any fistfight. No guns back then, and only a few knives, On the other hand, they always had the backs of everyone from our street.

I showed my companions the interstate that passed by the very tip of 16th street. I told them about the great lobster incident. We used to drop cobblestones down onto the interstate. We never hit anything. We didn’t try.

I was home when it happened. Luckily.

One of another group tossed a cobblestone onto the road. It hit a truck in the windshield, which shattered. The driver lost control of the truck, which turned over. Lobsters everywhere. The whole neighborhood ran down to get free lobsters. Before the NYPD could arrive, the lobsters were gone, the driver was patched up and he left the truck where it lay. He left too.

And, nobody saw nuthin’.

These stories are starting to seep out of me. If you want more please let me know in the comments. It would help if you told me the year as a prompt for me to take a trip inside my mind.