Monday, November 26, 2012

Ruby Tuesday 2 - Tally Ho, ruby wool

Ruby Tuesday 2 is back for te week - and as I am in the mode of scanning old prints lately, I am ready with a bold ruby. It is from August 1984 at an equestrian showjumping event at te Los Angels Olympics. I love the splendor of the beautiful horses, some with braided manes. And the olde world ruby wool uniforms are probably uncomfortable to wear at the very hot Santa Anita Park. However, what price/style is matters not here...

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Whimsical Windows - One if by land in Boston

A sultry warm June night at the Quincy Marketplace, Boston. Photo by Patti
Toby hosts the fun architectural meme Whimsical Windows/Delirious Doors - with digital photo devices nearby, we are ready for unique sights. This is a favorite view of mine and was taken by the always lovely Patti on a June night, as we return to our hotel after a fun day in the Hub. The old buildings have their classic shapes, the brick walkway is in fine shape, the tourists are dressed for the warmth and the small lights are a nice accent to the scene. Travels out of town are fun and always picturesque...

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Shadow Shot Sunday - Lush Lakeside

The land of sky blue water

Shadow Shot Sunday 2 is here as I go back a few decades. I have been scanning many old prints again from years ago - and return to a favorite vacation from 1983, the land of 10,000 lakes, Minnesota and Big Stony Lake, 200 miles (322 km) from the Twin Cities, 90 miles (144 km) from Fargo,North Dakota. Relatives have this for a summer retreat, and if I recall, these pictures were taken early, maybe 6:00-7:00 AM on an August morn with the sun just rising above the boat and over the dock. This is a place of solitude - ditch the electronic devices, bring a book and mosquito repellant to this place of quiet and watery shadows...

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thanksgiving every day

The family together, Ansonia Uplands, first day of school, 1996

Thanksgiving is here - we all are thankful for our blessing that we have - but often do not see in real time. 

For me, thankfulness is for my wonderful family, the loves of my life and source of strength.

Yes, the world can be fraught with danger and despair - we rely on our bonds of care and kindness to carry on - thanks must be given...not just today but every day.

Happy Thanksgiving Day to everyone everywhere!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Tina's Pic Story - Snuggly

Sir Humphrey of Upland, 2003
Tina hosts the fun meme Pic Story - she advises the theme and we supply the pictures. The theme today is Snuggly, and what van be more snuggly and relaxing than a cat at rest. Our late cat Sir Humphrey is sprawled out on the bed - the soft blanket and his even softer fur allow him to slumber contentedly... Do not disturb!

Ruby Tuesday - Party dress

A cousin's birthday party guests Julie, Christina and Amy, 1983
Ruby Tuesday 2 returns this week as do I. Plenty of old prints have been found and scanned, and over the decades there have been plenty of reds from decades past. This is from 1983 and are birthday partiers ready for cake and fun. With one dress and a few balloons to meet the ruby requirement (the Smurf birthday hats explain the era). Too cute, kids then some with kids now - where did the time go?

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Whimsical Windows - Lakeside view

Toby graciously hosts the fun architectural meme Whimsical Windows/Delirious Doors. Windows allow us to look out hopefully at scenery of note. I unearthed these views taken in August 1983 and a vacation to a relative’s lakefront home in Minnesota. Big Stony Lake one of actually 11,842 (not 10,000) lakes in this beautiful state and four hours northwest of the Minneapolis/St Paul airport - close to the headwaters of the mighty Mississippi River. We are looking outside the living room window toward the boat on the lake 

The bottom view is looking up from the dock - nondescript in style, yet functional for a lakefront home. Inland is where we reside now, but summer in The land of sky blue waters is great for a respite, although the mosquitoes up there are the size of birds :)

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Shadow Shot Sunday - Shadowy Collapse

Examining the collapsed Hartford Civic Center roof February 1978. © 2012 Alcam Writing & Admin LLC 

Shadow Shot Sunday is back as I go back in time to February 1978. The place is the 24th floor of the Gold Building in downtown Hartford. The persons are my father (who worked for UTC and had access) and Grandmother examining the collapsed roof of the Hartford Civic Center. 

This is a print that I have seen but found last week - the color had faded so I edited it in B&W and sharpened it as best possible. So the eerie view through the reflections is maintained...I found two cool things that explain it better - this Hartford Courant slideshow (great newspaper photography in its heyday) and a video below from the History Channel that I've seen before. The fallibility of humans is quite apparent in this mishap...

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Whimsical Windows - Dwarfed

A favorite meme of mine, Whimsical Windows/Delirious Doors, is back for the week. Our intrepid host Toby allows us the freedom to find interesting architectural items to post, and windows, doors and perspectives. A fun pursuit as we all run into such, and hope to have photographic devices with some charge remaining.

Of course, pictures were once taken without digital modernity, such as this one taken by a relative with my manual Pentax K1000 in 1982, an SLR with nothing automatic, and heavy with its steel body and K-mount lenses. It would be a challenge to use for me these days...

The place is the famous Cologne (Köln) cathedral - I found this original print another original and scanned it this afternoon. The sense of proportion is what I see - for instance, the twin spires are 157M (515 ft) tall and I, even in my walking days, am dwarfed by comparison. A landmark that could not be constructed these days due to cost, so it remains an original!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Shadow Shot Sunday - Sightseeing luck

Battersea Power Station, London, April 2005. Photo by Allegra
Album cover
Shadow Shot Sunday 2 is back, and we look for shadowy poses, sometimes in many different and perhaps odd places. This picture was taken by daughter Allegra in London on an 11th grade school trip to London in 2005. It is the Battersea Power Station made famous in the 1977 album by Pink Floyd, Animals. This might not mean much to many, but way back then she loved the Pink Floyd so much that her e-mail address was lessthanfloyd@...

With her okay, the shadowy power station is my submittal to SSS2. The picture was taken through the window on a bus on the way to Heathrow on the last day as Patti wrote. How could our daughter know that later on this would be a great shadowy post?

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Election 2012 - Not my choice...

Count me as one who really wanted Obama to lose and Romney to win despite the appearances of a physically disabled person voting for the Republican candidate – and I have dealings with may a disabled person who voted (and feel) far differently. Some background to explain:
  • I have Muscular Dystrophy and use a power wheelchair to get around due to progressing physical issues
  • I receive Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). I've been hesitant to disclose this as it seems counterintuitive for someone with my condition to ‘vote against my own self-interest’ as many a liberal blog commenter may suggest
  • Obviously, Medicare is my only medical insurance
  •  I want desperately to make enough income to ditch the SSDI and the part-time income of $1000/mo I am allowed before I am 62 (57 now) to avoid being moved to the minimal and lower SSA retirement benefits
  • I do not like relying on the SSDI as it goes against my grain of preferring to earn my income…not accept benefits
It appears a contradiction to want to ditch the SSDI and with our new attempt to grow from our new and small Alcam Writing LLC business. So why the republican candidate then? It has to do with unintended consequences of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), aka Obamacare, in this one of several areas...

As a disabled consumer utilizing Medicare, I am concerned is the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB).  PL 111–148, P.189:

“This advisory board under this paragraph shall consist of 15 members appointed by the Comptroller General of the United States…”, a political appointee and in the not elected, so there can be no minimal recourse available to a vote against.

Further, how will this group of 15 choose what medical procedures will this board allow or deny in my case…will so-called quality of life issues (such as my MD) be an important parameter? What about political affiliation? Can questions like this along with the probable exploding PPACA costs start to become items that may minimize or deny me care?  

(there are more reasons for not chosing to vote for the president...will post later)

Monday, November 5, 2012

Tina's Pic Story - 'K' is for kids

Tina nicely hosts the fun foto meme, Pic Story where we add pictures to match the weekly theme she kindly provides. This week is the letter 'K', and for me the obvious selection is for kids. Hard to believe, but I was the second of seven children of our family in East Hartford Connecticut - here in 1968 with all in school dress, some in uniforms (like me in the maroon blazer). Plenty of kids here (clockwise from left, me. Michele, Claudia, Sharon, Chris, Vicki, Sue)

Our brood these days is smaller though, with son Cameron and daughter Allegra - here on the first day of school about 28 August 1996. He was in first grade, she in third grade. Time fies as she graduated college in 2010, and he next month - but like my family growing up then ours still grow now...

Ruby Tuesday - Embers

For Ruby Tuesday 2, my rubies are simple - showing the embers in one of the fireplaces at the historic David Humphreys House in Ansonia CT, built in 1698. Of course, today we are spoiled by having triple-paned windows, fiberglass insulation real central heating systems - here, the entire heat on cold winter days was provided by the three central fireplaces, with uneven heat to say the least.

The Derby Historical Society opens the home in November for a thanksgiving meal, the docents and junior docents dress up in period to cook and serve the fare. In these pictures, the pumpkins are hollowed out and vegetables are cooked inside them...below the gourds in the cast iron pot sits a butternut squash pie baked inside...and the silver device is a replica of a manual turkey rotisserie. 

Food is cooked around and near the ruby embers, and so on Saturday, I am bringing my appetite - and another layer for warmth...

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Whimsical Windows - Long ago and far away

Toby hosts the fun meme Whimsical Windows/Delirious Doors. Our task is to find interesting architectural gems. As many know, I have posted this before and still like the old scanned pics from distant eras.

The time is 1956,  the place is the New Jersey shore, the pre-superstorm Sandy and pre-casino Atlantic City. The hotels built long ago have an architectural charm, such as opening windows and no air-conditioning in the rooms no longer seen. And the names, such as Brighton and Traymore seem a throwback to a simpler time, and both long gone. The gentleman is my grandfather who trekked often from Ohio for a family visit to the briny paradise. Casinos seem more a draw than the wavy Atlantic...

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Shadow Shot Sunday - Pre Sandy Shoreline

Shadow Shot Sunday is back after the super storm Sandy wreaked its way onto the northeast earlier this week. 

As we live about 8 miles inland (13 km) from Long island Sound, we never lost electricity and damage in this area was minimal, although New Jersey, Long Island, New York City and much of the Connecticut shore are devastated - the thing about water is its beauty when calm yet ugly in its fury during a storm...

I chose early autumn pictures of the water in West Haven CT on a beautiful day - as a contrast to this week's destruction. The day was beautiful, the water calm and sky blue.

The first video shows erosion of the beach but not as much as other parts of the shore and at about 2:57 (at the 12:00 position), the gazebo may still be there as it sits above a sea wall. We cannot understate the force of this massive tidal surge - but can marvel at it on a nice day..