The summer wind blew through the grasses of the season.

A

nother weird week. It seems like death is following us around no matter what we do.

I suppose that’s the way it is going to be until we manage the virus and people are able to think again.

I have no idea what killed Charlie Watts. But, it may illustrate something that I’ve long said. Touring is not good for man or animal.

I don’t care how you do it, your body pays for it. I don’t care whether you drive from show to show in a van and sleep on somebody’s couch or fly private and stay in a private home.

Funny, how a musician proceeds up the ladder. You start by sleeping on someone’s floor or couch. You proceed to cheap motels, eventually moving up to five star hotels and finally back into a house.

This time, it’s a 12 bedroom house in an exclusive neighborhood that a sponsor donated to you for a couple of nights.

Still, jumping through time zones, working an upside down day, eating food — good or bad — at the wrong times, coming down from the adrenalin rush and never knowing where you are, is not good for the body, mind and soul.

Did Charlie’s job play a part in his death? Or, was it simply a matter of aging? Or, was it a combination of both.

Does it matter? After all, dead is dead.

It matters to me. In 13 years I’ll be 80. That sounds like a long time, but where the hell did the last 67 years go?

It happened like a blink of the eye.

It always does.

T

his is my third time around on this post. Once again, the paragraphs locked and no edits or additions could be made.

I did learn something. Up at the top of the page there is a blue “Save Draft” line. Press it and it save the page exactly as it is minus the block edits.

No matter what WordPress claims, the block system is not flexible.

See that white space next to this column?

It came about because I wanted to make the picture larger. It’s a picture that I’d hang on my wall so I wanted you to see a larger version.

That went fine until I tried to build a block there. You can’t. You can’t add another column, or a calendar, or a list of previous posts.

All I know is that programmers are programmers. They have no sense of design or art. It’s all math to them.

That’s why there are so many freelance WordPress coders. The code is so complicated that it takes specialty programmers to create anything different.

Hire one of those folks and guess what? The block system is flexible.

Sheesh.


Dusk look.

Sunday.

I spent most of yesterday thinking it was Friday. It was not. Since I wrote the word, “Sunday ,” I’m hopeful that it will stick in my head.

Time is elastic.

For some reason I spent all of yesterday sleeping.

I managed to get Sophie Rose her meds, which was my crowning achievement. That is a big deal. She hates pills. She hates the pain med that she needs. At least the pain med is liquid. I pull down her lip and squirt a little bit along her gum. It works very quickly. In about ten minutes she is asleep. Makes sense because it is a kind of morphine.

We’ve got ten days of this. Wish me luck.

The other dogs are looking after her. There is always one somewhere near her. They seem to be taking shifts. I’d be amazed if I hadn’t spent some time observing them. They all have different personalities. They all like different treats. They like to eat at different times. Luckily, they all like the same food which we put down at the same time. And, they are sweet and agreeable.

For sure, they have disagreements but they are limited to growls and don’t last long. They don’t take them seriously. There’s a lesson in that.

Some news.

Actually, it’s really a thought and comment since I haven’t been awake long enough to read much news. That’s probably a good thing.

President tweety said that he would make this country great again. During his inauguration day speech, described “the carnage of America.”

He got one of those things right. Except he did it.

Since he dithered as the pandemic arrived to our shores, many more people died than need be. One way to control its growth was to close everything down except for essential businesses and those companies whose employees could work from home.

This, in turn, created problems for the locked down citizens. The work force is destroyed. Finances are in tatters. We are wearing masks and keeping our distance, excpt for those who don’t.

That would be 30%. The same percentage as tweety’s base.

His violent words created an environment in which Black people are dying at the hands of local police departments. Protests turned violent. Parts of cities are burning. The National Guard were called out in Minneapolis. They were overwhelmed.

So let’s recap. We are sick, many are dead. Most of us are out of work and broke, cities are burning and just about everybody is unhappy, angry or just sad.

Is this what you meant by MAGA, Mr. President?

Great for who?

It’s Sunday.

I should just be posting pretty pictures. I did sorta. I shared a nice cloud and tree picture. It was made at the right time of day. It shines, glimmers and gleems. Of course, I worked a little magic.

Stay safe. Enjoy every sandwich.


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.


Fall flowers.

They said the weather would turn cold. They said that we’d get fall colors. They said the humidity would drop

Hahahahahaha.

Yesterday, election day, the temperature dropped to a brisk 82 degrees. The humidity? Let’s just say that I changed clothes three times. Just like in the dog days of summer. Then, the rain fell.

Wet. Hot. Humid.

Great late fall weather. In November. Our Thanksgiving month. My birthday month. At this rate there will be spring flowers for my birthday and on the table along with a turkey. Sheesh.

The picture. A “what the dog saw”  picture. I think she was a little confused. Spring smells in the wrong season. Anyway, she found the flowers. I just pushed the button. Not just any button. This smartphone’s camera can be used in an old school way. I am able to set f stops and shutter speeds. I am able to adjust the lens. And, the megapixels? More than my first couple of dslr cameras. After testing, I realized that I can make a print larger than 20 x 24 inches. While that may not matter when it comes to my professional cameras, it spells the coming end of starter and bridge cameras. And, that is where the money is for camera manufacturers.

Photography is changing. Yet again.

Happy Wednesday.

 


Silhouetted trees in the dreary sky.

Remember how happy we were when 2017 came to an end. 2018 was going to be great. It was going to be grand. Wonderful. We were all starting over.

Well.

Has it been?

I’m not going to run through the litany of bad things that has happened so far. You know how this week went. Geeze. Seventeen people killed for no reason. Most of them were children. In New Orleans, we couldn’t get through Carnival without eight people getting shot, and three of those dying. On Mardi Gras Day.

So. I saw this weird scene as I was walking. I photographed it. Then, I made it weirder in post production. While I was working on it, it came to me that today is Chinese New Year. A whole new lunar year. Starting today.

So.

I lived in Asia long enough to celebrate the lunar new year. I was in Hong Kong for many celebrations. So I reset my calendar. Today is the start of my new year. All that came in the first six months of 2018 are last year’s news. I’m starting over.  You can too. You probably should.

Oh yeah. This is the Year of the Dog.

The dogs are excited.


Mossy growth.

Yes. Very. Green.

On the first day of winter.

I keep saying that our winters aren’t like the winters people experience in the north. The weather is different for y’all. Even when you cross the Causeway to the Northshore the weather cools down and acts a little — well, wintry.

After a couple of days of warmth, coolness, fog, rain, humidity and general wetness — all in one day — no, make that in an hour — we have finally have blue skies. That should keep the humidity down and with that, the fog and wetness should drop as well.

That’s the weather news from the swamp.

But.

It did leave as with post hot-house conditions. The moss and ferns were brown and almost dead-looking a couple of days ago. Now, they are green and glowing. I didn’t help them. I made a little vignette to frame the picture, but I didn’t add color. I didn’t have to.

That’s the picture. And, the weather from swampville. Stay in touch.


Mid winter blooms.
 

Yesterday.

I made a change. No news. No social media. And, I stayed away from the local protests.

I wanted a little peace. The dogs and I walked about four miles. I took a few pictures. Of the things that I saw. That the dogs saw. I didn’t photograph the street.

I will in a few hours. The women’s parade. The local version of the global one. We have friends walking everywhere. In Washington. In New York. In London. 

Something good will come of this. Maybe not today. Or, tomorrow. But, I feel it. Inside.

The picture. iPhone. Snapseed in post production. After all, I spent a lot of time walking. And, dogs don’t walk in a straight line. Neither do I. 


From behind.
From behind.

A little more winter. Bare trees. Foggy days. Warm air.

Yes.

Warm air. We’ve gone from very cold days — for us — to spring-like weather with temperatures just under 80 degrees. So, I thought I’d show you a few more pictures from around the house. And, once I get processing again, I’ll show you a butterfly. Not just any butterfly, but the most amazing butterfly ever. It’s lavender and purple and magenta. It’s about the size of my fist and it is growing on a bush that has those color flowers.

The streets?

Oh, more pictures are coming. I’ve just had a month’s worth the technological problems in three days. I haven’t been able to process or edit very many pictures. As usual, various companies’ software doesn’t play well with one another after various upgrades. In this case PhaseOne, my basic editing software does not like the new Mac operating system. It shows its dislike by grabbing onto all apps and even my internet browser and not letting go even when I force it to quit. This stuff happens around the change of the year when everybody releases new upgrades.

For the record, Apple and Adobe (Photoshop) never, since the beginning of digital time, have ever played well together upon new releases.

So. Yes. These pictures came from my iPhone and were processed in Snapseed. I finished them in On1, which has its on set of issues.

No matter. I am never denied.

That’s your lesson for the day. Don’t be denied. Now, let’s just see if I can get Alexa working again. She gave up yesterday because of my other digital issues. I need her to do stuff for me. Like play music, alarm the house, wake up various people, set the thermostat, buy stuff from Amazon. Yes, especially that. Buy stuff.

Winter softness.
Winter softness.


Glowing dusk.
Glowing dusk.

Winter light.

Lovely, isn’t it? Too bad it doesn’t feel like winter. These 80 degree days are a little weird for this time of year. I can hardly wait for summer. More 114 degree days. Apparently, the folks in Michigan — according to what I read — are complaining because they have 60 degree days and no snow.  I’d be happy with 60 degree days. Sheesh. I’d be happy with snow. I suppose I shouldn’t complain.

But…

There are two things we really like to do during the Christmas Season. We like to go to Caroling at Jackson Square and we like to go upriver and look at the bonfires along the river that are lighted to guide Papa Noel to New Orleans. Unfortunately, it just doesn’t seem right to attend either event in shorts and a t-shirt. I know, I know. I should be grateful. Should is one of those words, you know?

The picture. There’s a lesson in this one. Carry a camera with you at all times. Not a smart phone. A real camera. I was finishing up one of those long days when we were preparing my show. The show is hung in a place with no windows. I had no idea what the light looked like outside. I left the building to go home. Finally. I  made it outside and wow! What a sky! What light! I knew that I only had a few minutes. I did what I could.

Oh yeah. See that church steeple? It’s not a church. It’s a restaurant.