Friday, October 31, 2008

For the last time, I am not wearing...a costume!

The date that may live in infamy here is November 1, 1986. Like this year, Halloween was on a Friday, but holiday parties were held on both nights. We were invited to a dress-up party, and this one was a role playing party of a Prohibition Era yacht wreck. We weren't given roles per se, but were invited to take pictures and imbibe. Which we did. The costuming was great, the captain had a ship's officer uniform, one of the protagonists was wearing a flapper dress, and so on. For us, we wanted to wear clothing apropos to the period. I had the argyle vest, socks and hat. So, I went to a pro shop and acquired a pair of knickers...a gatsbyesque look I'd say! And Patti's mom helped her with the skirt and millinery (aka 'hat'. I decided to use a term of that era. I am older than I look...). The results are all the more excellent as I went for a sepia tone and an aging print to scan. It was quite an event, and if I am game someday, I'd scan all the pictures pictures and post same.

We just turned out the outside light, after receiving over 90 princesses, goblins, skeletons, firemen, and assorted costumed urchins. None scary, but all cute!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Creative Photography #14 Week 4

For this installment of Roger's wonderful Creative Photo, I looked around for a shot that captures something unique, an odd perspective on something prosaic. I like this one as it offers a different in a few areas. It is, of course, an icicle that has formed in a drain bereft of the downspout as the temperature fell quickly. Expand, and I see a hand with a thumb and an index finger. As if the water is commanding the flow to follow the law of gravity. That's my perspective, anyway. But the very blue winter sky and southern winter exposure tells us that this is a cold, but beautiful day.

When the colors are inverted, I don't know what to say. It's as if there was an oil spill on the roof. And the inverted sky looks like a Halloween harvest orange, sort of. An oddly eerie view...and still pointing! Check out all the photo art at this great site!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Ruby Tuesday - Angel with a red dress on

If I seem to be a bit nostalgic - it may be because I am...a bit. For this week's Ruby Tuesday I am using the occasion of Allegra's first birthday in 1989, dressed splendidly in that 'classic' rocking horse dress. She looks a bit pensive here, being only age one, she doesn't know the fun she will have at parties when she is older. Pin the tail and musical chairs will be lots more fun later. It's like she fully understands that this party is nothing more than lots of adults cooing over the birthday girl, and being prepared to squash that piece of cake in your hands on cue for the many picture takers. Or the most fun is just ripping the wrapping paper off of gifts...Red is the operative at Mary's excellent Ruby Tuesday!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Ralph is as Ralph Does

I have been living in the past - again. Nothing new for regular readers, but I have been looking at old B&W prints of the three Ralves (plural of Ralph?) and decided to scan same. I can only guess as to the approximate dates on Ralph I and II, but am more certain about me. Not that I remember...

<------- RVI - approx 1919-20, either in...I don't know where - Manitou Springs is in Colorado, not West Virginia or Ohio (he lived in California from 1919-1921). A stop off the train??

With a new TV in about 1952,
undoubtedly a Motorola, his brand (see here) ------->

<----- My father, RVII. He was born in October 1927, so I am placing this in 1928, so he was able to sit up. This scan was tough, as the print has a bronze color and with a texture that seems to throw the light around. I'll try different settings in the next scan;
I'll guess that this color (yes, color) shot at age 26 (1952-3) at the New Philadelphia (Ohio) Times. He always pre
ferred a manual typewriter

More revealing of myself. In 1955. What has not changed over the years is how fast babies grow and start um...filling out their clothes rather quickly. I noticed with ours how they outgrew onesies, sleepers, etc, requiring the child to be stuffed like a sausage in its casing...

Michele and
me dressed appropriately to our sleepwear. I'm sure the conversation between Mom, Michele and myself was on the order of; "After you get dressed, you can see Grandpa". A subtle psychology only moms can use to persuade tired little ones to conform to your wishes...

And in 1964 at a real dive (although I was only nine, I wouldn't use that term to describe what I'd call it today, quaint). But Grandpa took pictures of all six grandkids each in front of the landlocked boat. No doubt, the glitzy casinos in Atlantic City today means that this place is long gone. Of all of these, I do sort of remember the boat/bar.
I will continue to scan these as fast as I can...

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Creative Photo #14 - Week 3

For this week's Creative Photo I am looking to my film archives. This was taken on that one occasion that I actually was able to take a trip to Florida during December 1980. It was cool to the natives, but this snowbird thinks that any day you can wear a cotton sweater around Christmas, it is a perfect day (it was -14F in Hartford that day). Armed with a simple Canon 50mm rangefinder, this shot was taken along the west side of the Intercoastal Waterway in Jensen Beach (Martin County). I remember this photo, and it jumped at me when I was looking through the book tonight.

To me, especially on the near shore, the shot looks as it might be an Impressionist's work - just as if the artist was just dabbing colors on canvas. It seems that way. I see the artist's detail in the clouds on the far side - the sort of sky you see over the ocean, just filtering over the beach. I like looking at this, a nice view of a perfect trip!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Ruby Tuesday - Red is as red does...

I offer this week's Ruby Tuesday post as a part of the Parent's Weekend we enjoyed at the U of Hartford. As Mary requested, a foliage shot from the campus on Hawk Drive, the quite red tree on the left. The leaves were shedding on Saturday due to a cold breeze that enveloped us on that fine fall day.

In the minimalist view, there is some red here.
One of Allegra's favorite activities she has is STN2, the campus TV station where amongst her duties is editing packages for the weekly news show. She is at an edit suite, and the red is subtle: the guy on the screen to the left in a red shirt and the red LED numbers on the console. And one more red: the red highlights in her hair in certain lighting. Yes, it is slight...and when she was born, her hair was red.

Check out all the red varietals at the site of The Teach

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Parent's Day

Patti and I had the opportunity to visit our kids, Allegra and Cameron, at parents weekend at the U of Hartford on Saturday. it has been seven weeks since they've last been home. Of course, we miss them but they are looking great! And having a great time they are, with myriad activities, in no particular order for A: Pep band, Assistant Yearbook Editor, campus TV station photographer and video editor. For C: Job on research project, job working with Computer Science on their servers, many tasks with TV station, Pep Band. They are so poised and having a blast. So we are happy as parents!

And we are quite impressed with Rob, A's boyfriend and all-around great guy, taking a massive 21 credit hours this semester. Excellent day, cool (about 54 deg F), windy but a glorious day with lots of sunshine at the cookout. For the end of the perfect day, the kids went to the Australian Pink Floyd concert in Hartford after we left.

Yes we miss them, but see their growth and are very happy!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The front has passed

I love the visuals you get after the storm front has passed. The sequence of events go something like this: The sun hides behind the rapidly darkening clouds, the far away thunder gets closer and closer, the lightning is vivid, and it rains a lot. We all know this, but the aftermath to a front arriving in the late afternoon, is what I like. A rainbow is nice, but is delicate and fleeting, if you see one at all...

However, I like the way I saw it in in late April 2005, where the visual changes are abrupt and spectacular. What you see is the dark clouds in the upper left, moving aver our abode from the Northwest to the Southeast, the light gray is trying with little success to turn blue. But along our horizons sprinkle with limbs is the payoff: blazing pastels of yellow and orange that show the delightful atmospheric changes which will make tomorrow's climate more agreeable, a bit cooler and far less humidity. The old sailor's adage about red skies at night...are totally believable!

Thanks to Roger and judges for another Creative Photo invite! Check all the entrants out!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Voting Choices (reprise)

To all, I am happy that the previous post has created a thread has brought a reasoned discussion about the upcoming election. From both sides.

The crazy commenters are all over the place such as at As a whole, the writers in thoee comments section are terrible, throwing incendiary verbal missiles with no particular aim but to incite the other side. I lamented the lack of civility...but too many do not care, and on all sides.

I had noted that I was interested in hearing many viewpoints, so I got my wish! The election may or may not go the way I might like. If not...I will respect the voters choice, and get over it if my choice doesn't. It is nice to live in a free USA where all can opine as they will. I did work with someone who was able to leave the USSR who told me that the Soviet police forced people to the polls, with only one choice. Having choices is always the best way.

Thanks go to the Teach, with the great Ruby Tuesday (and my Queens heritage), Jersey girl Dianne (I have some NJ in my past also :>), Sarge and Bee (And I promise to visit you more in Podunk and WPB). Not to forget Duchess Linda of Norwich, Leora in Highland Park, and Tired Mama Lynn. Along with Jim, Gattina from Belgique, Mountaineer Carletta (funny, I have W.Va. heritage in my past, too!) and Raven. And any other commenters . I am truly appreciative!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Voting Choices

I posted recently about some of my views in this election season. I had lamented the seeming hatred of all things Republican and Palin. As one registered as such, I am sure that I’m not Persona Non Grata in the ‘sphere…I hope, that is. I’ll state a couple of personal facts here, with my point to be made after these:
1) Patti and I are close to broke. We are both working part-time jobs, and not by choice. That’s the way things go, and I assess no blame.
2) I am disabled, with MD, and use a power wheelchair for ambulation. Again, this is the way things are. So no complaints (well….not most of the time!).
I state these facts not for sympathy or empathy, but to make an observation: If I hadn’t noted how I’m voting for President, would I be considered a very likely voter for the Democratic candidate? Among many disabled voters (and social services people ) I know, I would be considered to be enigmatic by not doing so.
And of course, race is not the reason. Like most other disabled persons, discrimination exists, especially in the areas of employment and insurance availability. I feel that society tends to devalue / marginalize certain groups. I do not know racial discrimination, yet I do feel discrimination... My reasons for my vote are mostly economic. Of course, classical economics is the study of behavior, and I have fears of complete control of the Democratic party (and I’m assuming the loss of a GOP filibuster in the senate here). I’ll give three reasons here:
- With a serious recession, raising taxes will be a problem as this additional money will be taken from the economy as a whole, which will magnify the contraction in the economy. Remember, it was not the stock crash in 1929 that created the Great Depression, in part it was Hoover’s massive tax increases in 1932 and the Smoot-Hawley tariffs in 1930 that turned the recession into a depression.
- If the ‘card-check’ for union representation is made law (remember, no Senate filibuster here) new jobs will never be created in great numbers! This will be so as unionized labor costs will rise so much that employers will not hire absolutely more workers than needed. An example is in countries like Germany and France. The costs of hiring is so great (6 weeks vacation, unemployment benefits of 75% of pay for 2 years, etc), they don’t hire extra workers. Their structural unemployment is around 10%. I’d hate to see that rate in the US.
- I hate the argument for “fairness”, as If all his hopes for spending is realized here, it is perfectly clear that the middle class will have higher taxes in the end, as there is not enough revenue available by ‘the rich’ to pay for it all.
I want a great economic future for our kids, but I believe that opportunities for them may be diminished by what I have noted. I’d like to engage in more discussion with any thoughtful blogger. Should I reconsider voting differently? And if so, why? I like people to have a passion for their own points of view. And I certainly don’t mind if someone disagrees with me. I think the democrats will win this year, although I’d rather be proven wrong...

Ruby Tuesday - A minimalist view

I continue to look for a minimal amount of RED for Mary's weekly Ruby Tuesday post.

This was a marinade for pork tenderloin to be charcoal grilled outside. The limes are green and the peppercorns black, so either of these wont work. Perhaps the pork itself could qualify for ruby...perhaps not, as it might be more mauve than red. The only item that is really red in this dish is all over the place. Can you spot it?

In many places I used a lot of crushed RED pepper to add an additional kick to the sweet yet tart limes and juice. So that's the red here. You should check out the other contributions to see the world of red here.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Creative Photo Contest, Vol. 14, Issue 1

Kudos to Idaho's favorite photographer, the artistic Roger. I am pleased to be an entrant in his ongoing contest Creative Photo, for Contest 14 (Week 1). It gives me a chance to capture that perfect moment, subject and/or memory.

Last week we attended
Ansonia's Harvest Festival, a street fair with Main Street closed off and vendors galore. And there were old cars, being proudly shown by their fanatical loving owners. My fave was a stunning maroon 1955 Ford Fairlane Victoria. This was a great restoration with a 351W engine, polished S/S wheels, and the shiniest chrome I have ever seen. Yes, the bumpers were reflective like a mirror (no shine like this when the factory built these tanks, for sure).

Although I can be a bit reserved at times, I had to take the shot of me shooting the finest looking bumpers made in
Detroit. Front or rear, on the nicest blue sky you'll see in Connecticut in October. Once I saw the bumpers on the Ford I knew I would be participating. Thanks Roger and judges!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Ruby Tuesday - spot the red yet?

For this week's Ruby Tuesday I decided to continue in the less red tradition, I offer this Hitchcock style view. What?? You do remember the cameo appearances in his films by the famed director? Why not this photo taken in the 'Director's' chair. A truly reflective view! As subtle as I can muster, there are two minor rubies to spot on this flawlessly restored 1964 Chevrolet:

  • The brief red under the famous Chevy bow-tie emblem
  • A piece of the taillight

The shot was taken at the Harvest Festival on Saturday. This is an annual street fest in our town (pop. 19,000), and there was a car show, fried dough, sausage and pepper stands and various other vendors. On a glorious sunny early autumn 60° day. Check The Teach for other submittals, with little or lots of red and artistry galore.

PS: My favorite cameo of the rotund Brit director is the one in North By Northwest...

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Creative Photo - Awardee

Thanks are in order for the award to me for the Week 13 Creative Photo Award. This is from judge Creative Photo Judge Ms. Chica, who offers a thoughtful assessment of my submissions:

"My pick has definably got to be Airhead 55, I bookmarked him three time under my favs, so he got the most likes from me this time around".

Wow, says I! It is not my profession, yet I have this need of chronicling an event to keep the memories going. Be it an SLR or the point-and-shoot digital Canon Patti and I share. This award ensures that I will continue to capture the shot...whenever and wherever it is. I will proudly display his in my sidebar.

I missed a couple of weeks, but just today I have my first entry set for Creative Photo No. 14. I can't tell you now, so it remains mysterious...until Wednesday at the latest!

Thanks especially to Roger, Chica and all the judges who work hard for all contestants.