Apparently, that huge internet outage affected WordPress since I can’t seem to organize anything this morning after not be able to even logon to the site.

So.

I’m late. Late to posting. Late to the party. Late for the sky.

Anyway.

I was going to say that there will be some changes made. That’s song lyrics, but for the life of me I can’t remember which one.

Timing is everything. A website in a box company sent me an email yesterday. They’ve imrpoved everything. Even their best plan is half of what WordPress charges me. If I wave one of my degrees around I can get a 50% discount off of that.

Since I’m semi-business driven this all sounds good. Still one problem remains. I cannot take all of you with me simply by transferring my reader list. The only way to do it is to transfer you by hand. I think we’ve discussed this in the past.

The good news is that even though I have a large group of followers, the real readers list is about three percent of that. I can hand entire that by email.

It’s a lot of work but I was just reading a nice article about making passive income. Once you get the basic work done you might earn some money. But, the basic work is really work and time consuming. You just have to decide if it’s worth it.

It’s worth it.

The picture. It’s just another of those that I made when I could start seeing again. Not much to it, just a lot of detail. Enjoy.


Love, Love, Love…

The picture. Some of our neighbors hire professional gardeners to look after their yards. It’s about this time of year that people start clearing out undergrowth and dead bits from vegetable gardens and so on. We do this because we have two growing seasons. We plant in October for spring crops. We do that because of temperate winter climates. If winter turns cold it lasts for two days.

So.

The all seeing dog and I were out on a walk. I’ve never noticed the sign in the past. Apparently, the gardeners cut just enough brush to reveal it.

I thought, now that might make a picture especially in these days of hate and rage. We could use a little love just about now.

I didn’t do very much to it in post production. But, I did make it happy and glowing.

Stay safe. Stay mighty. Wear your mask. Enjoy every taco.

A long time gone. It must be at least four years since i saw a love sign. At one point they were all over the city, especially in Central City.

Nobody knew who was putting them up. Whoever was doing it either had mad climbing skills or a ladder. The signs were at least 10 feet above the ground, nailed to a power or telephone poles.

The city was going through a very violent period, sort of like we are going through right now.

The streets were getting out of control. Things came to a head when a little girl who was celebrating her third birthday was killed during a drive by shooting.

The NOPD started cracking down because they feared the revenge killings would really spiral out of control.

All of a sudden, LOVE signs started popping up everywhere. I’d like to say that they helped, but things started calming down.


Life on the surface.

May.

Bill Gates and the surgeon general agree. We will finally see a turning of the tide in mid to late May. But, but, but… only if everybody in the entire country does the right thing and self isolates.

After seeing pictures from around the country, I don’t believe that will happen unless the president declares marshall law. Many people are just plain stupid. That sounds harsh. Don’t endanger my life and I won’t call you stupid.

I think the newness of staying at home is wearing off. If we have to stay home until sometime in May, we will probably look like people coming out of a bunker during WWI or WWII.

This is a marathon, not a sprint.

In New Orleans businesses are hunkering down. Grocery stores are taping off six foot areas at checkout counters. They are building plexiglass wall between the checkout clerk and the shopper. Many businesses will not take paper money. Many business will not survive.

Me?

If I am going to the store, buying gas, or going to the pharmacy I wear rubber gloves. I don’t know who or what touched the very thing I want. I certainly don’t know who touched the keypad or nozzle at a gas station.

A photographer colleague did a video about despair. It’s very good. If you aren’t there yet, you will be. It more or less describes a hopeless future. The only way through is something that I’ve written (I knew I understood something, so there.). One day at a time. Or, as we say in the rooms of AA, if need be, one hour at a time. Or, one minute at a time. And, stay focused on whatever it is you do.

Because my mind was scrambling some things, I followed the advice of another blogger. Create a schedule similar to the one you used in early times. You know. Three weeks ago. Follow it. You’ll do what needs to be done and maybe a little more. You won’t be lying on the couch watching cartoons all day.

One more thing. Get dressed. You’ll feel a little more real even if time has no meaning. I liked wearing my pjs the first week. Later, I realized that I spent way too much time sleeping or watching television about nothing.

The picture. I put the smartphone down on the ground. I moved it around while looking at the LCD and made a few variations on a theme.

Stay safe. Care for others. Enjoy every sandwich.

One more thing.

Say a little prayer for a friend of mine’s father. He is a little older than me. (The father, not the son.) He is a Vietnam Veteran. He’s one of those guys who never really came home. That’s sad enough. He has CoVid19. He’s on a ventilator. About 12 hours ago he had less than a few hours to live. I have no idea if he made it through the night.

My friend lives in Bloomington, Indiana. His dad lives in Fresno, California. Even if he could get there, he wouldn’t be allowed to see his dad. He will never get the chance to say goodbye.

That’s just horrible.


Into the woods.

“We are stardust, we are golden

We are billion year old carbon

And we got to get ourselves back to the garden”

My muse lead me back to the garden. I actually had time for a little walk where I stumbled upon this scene.

Not exactly.

This was the scene in my mind.

From the minute I walked into this little place, the words in those first three sentences came into my head. They are the bridge to an old song called. Woodstock. Joni Mitchell wrote it. And played it. Crosby, Still, Nash and — sometimes — Young brought it global fame.

I suppose you had to be alive in 1969 to understand the song. We were at the edge. Pretty much like we are now. In August, there was a music festival in Upstate New York. It’s historical. Today, it is simply just called Woodstock. Three days of music. And, rain, And mud. It was a paid festival. Eventually so many people came that the promoters made it free. It was the symbol of the era.

Did I go? Oh no. I’m not one of the 589,897,654,000 people who have claimed to be there over the years. I was riding on an eastbound train with my family going from Long Beach to Brooklyn. But, the radio was on in the lounge. We could hear bits and pieces of it. I knew right then…

So.

That’s what going for a walk can do. I saw this little place. All of the memories came back at just about the time I clicked the shutter button. That’s how you clear your head of the cobwebs that interfere with your art. That clears the so-called emotional flatness. That cures writer’s block. In my case, I’m not suffering from any of that. But, my walk sure opened me up.

Oh. The version of Woodstock that’s in my head? A later version that came as Joni was transitioning for folk to jazz. She played with a band called LA Express. They released a live album called Miles of Aisles. Spotify tells me it was released in 1974.

Like my pictures, the song took some time to teach her how to play it. To marinate.


A little water.
A little water.

The rain came. A little late. It’s falling as I write. It’s nowhere near the massive and violent storm that the weather guys would have you believe was coming. It’s very gentle. But, it did cool things down a bit. Well, a lot.

Thankfully.

Yes. I know that a good part of the country is suffering from a very heavy heat wave. 120 degrees in places like Phoenix, Arizona. Or, Las Vegas. Nearly the same in Los Angeles. I think that we’ll probably be seeing more and more of these extreme temperature conditions in the future. You know why. And, that’s too bad.

Anyway.

I saw the bloom from my studio window. I did not see the water drops until I got closer. Talk about a very narrow range of focus. And, all that bokeh. Heh!

 


Magical window.
Magical window.

See? I kept my promise. The end of the blue hour.

For now.

I was going to make this picture part of a little collection. But, I looked at it closely — you should too — and I was pretty amazed by all that stuff going on outside the window in sort of the background. And, the way it is sort of blurry and maybe a little magical. Like sort of a hidden garden. In a book.

I probably shouldn’t say this. It might hurt the mood of what you see. The blurry, and sort of foggy feeling is caused by really old window glass. Old glass is wavy, imperfect and looks a little hand-made. Even older glass becomes milky over the years. That always inspires a debate when you are restoring an old house. Keep it because it’s cool, but a little dark. Or, make the room brighter with more modern glass.

After looking at the picture and the rest of the take, I should go back and just photograph the window. I think that I could pretty much make the greenery look like a painting without doing very much post production.

To me, it’s odd that I didn’t take more time. Usually I work on a subject until it’s done. Or, as done as it could be. It could take ten minutes of a couple of hours. The time never matters unless I really have to be somewhere. Something must have felt “off” to me, so I worked too fast. I didn’t see enough. Or, look around enough.

I’ll go back.

 


Summertime light and leaves.
Summertime light and leaves.

Yes. Let’s face it. Let’s talk turkey. Tell the truth.

I’m pretty lazy.

So, even though we in the middle of a cool front and the temperature is down to 94 degrees, I just can’t be motivated to chase around making pictures. It’s too hot. Too humid. And, the drivers are terrible.

Let me rant about that last sentence for just a minute. I saw a woman — I’m not taking sides here, it’s just who I saw — make a u-turn from her far right lane across six lanes of traffic while she was talking on her cellphone. No. The other drivers weren’t stopped for a light or anything. But, they stopped. They stopped out of pure self-defense. I was one of them. Make that, “We stopped.”

Okay. Back to your summertime entertainment. It’s too hot. I’m too lazy. And, I’m not going out looking for pictures. These pictures were made from our garden or lawn. I didn’t even have to put shoes on to take them.

That’s it. End of story.

Summertime light and leaves.


Garden of Eden
The Garden

At one time, the place where I happened upon this Blessed Virgin statue, must have been something to see. To the left of this scene are big sweeping stairs that I imagine lead to a big impressive front door of whatever house was there at one time. Today… “ain’t der no mo'” I have no idea what was there. Or, what happened to it.  But this place was so strikingly pretty that I had to make a few pictures. The interesting thing about this place is that it is located directly behind the building where I made the Edward Hopper-like picture. In fact, if you count the two abandoned pictures that I posted yesterday, I made four pictures in walking distance of each other. That’s a lot. For me or anybody. It usually doesn’t happen that way. But, now I’m running out of fresh work. That cold that I wrote about last week never really went away. In fact, it’s come back with a vengeance. Like it or not, I’m going to have to make some new pictures tomorrow, or, I’m going to have to root around in my files. You know how colorful that can be.


NOLA 8 May-8
Magic HouseNOLA 8 May-9

This is one of my favorite houses in the entire city of New Orleans. It’s not very big. It was flooded once. I have no idea what it looks like on the inside. It is colorful. It does have a great garden. But, what it really has is an amazing lawn and view. You see, this it is the last house on a street which borders the levee in Holy Cross. The view is captured in the second picture. All you have to do is walk about 50 feet up a gently sloping piece of the levee and this is what you see. The skyline is New Orleans. The bridge is the Crescent City Connection which connects the Eastbank to the Westbank of the Mississippi River at Algiers. I managed to make these pictures on one of the few days that rain didn’t fall during the week. We lucked out. We had a very pretty dusk with a nice river breeze so there wasn’t much humidity. You can see what the light looked like.