Dave's Journal Sep2015
Dave's Day / Deb's Day
We went off in separate directions today. Deb went to Foxwood Casino (Connecticut) with her mom and friends. I went to Ogunquit, Maine with my camera.
The "Marginal Way" in Ogunquit is a wonderful short (one mile?) walk along a rocky edge to the ocean. On one side is the ocean, on the other are these extra lovely extra expensive homes.
Very nicely maintained by whoever maintains it. We go there 2 or 3 times a year, but I never get a chance to linger and think about the little scenes along the way, because the people with me are walking too fast (fast must be better than slow, right ?). Anyway, today, I got to do it my way.
Here is the cellphone picture I sent Deb. That's my official National Geo photographers hat.
Here is the cellphone picture she sent me.
You can tell that our minds were in two different places.
Anyway ..... I was testing a lens and a color scheme today, trying to "capture" Ogunquit with a little more grit than the typical sweet, soft and punchy color schemes I usually do of the shore. For whatever they are worth, here are the results.
Actually, I'm not too wild about the way I treated the colors here. Gotta think more about this. Very good I shot all of these in RAW format . . . making big changes is very easy. Just can't decide where I'm going here.
Mike and Iuri's Mountain Trek
Mike and his buddy Iuri took a mountain trek last weekend. They did (arguably) four 4000' mountains in one shot. Slept in hammocks strung between trees.
The full story is here: Mountains.
Get's cold sleeping in a hammock on the top of a mountain, heh!
Here's How Those James Bond Driving Scenes Looks so Cool
Where am I going?
A seriously freaky thing happened to me today.
For all my life, I'd walk into a room and stop and say "What did I come in here for?". It's always been bad, so I can't say that it's getting any worse than it ever was.
But . . . today, I pulled out of the driveway and started down the street and totally, 100%, completely forgot where I was going. Not that I didn't know where I was; I just forgot what store I was going to. I refused to go back and start over and after about 1/4 mile, I remembered. But that was freaky.
Happily, I have never been disoriented ("Where am I?"). I can imagine that is extremely scary. But the episode today was really weird.
I think after you retire (and of course, get older), your brain kind of relaxes. Mine fell asleep !!
Hearing aids make you more deaf
I am, of course, legally deaf. It's not the baddest disability, but it does really suck in it's own special ways. One special way is that the common fix for this problem (one or two hearing aids) make you even more deaf. This is not a joke.
I have a captioned phone (thank you, Medicare), that includes a headset with adjustable volume. I also have headphones and computer software so I can groove to Youtube videos (stop giggling). When I turn the volume up on these to the point that I can basically hear something, they flash red and say "Caution. Listening at this level will produce permanent hearing damage".
Think about that.
If I can hear a sound, it's damaging my hearing even beyond how bad it already is !
This is scarry stuff, I'll tell you.
That cochlear implant I've been talking about is (at least, theoretically) a true fix. It attacks the real physical problem . . . my ears !
I'm not saying that it's the perfect solution, but I do believe it attacks the real problem. Amplifying sounds (hearing aids) actually make the problem worse.
The Jowett Jupiter
The Palos Verdes Classic Car Show (watched it on TV) showed this funky car - The Jowett Jupiter. It is wicked pretty, so I looked it up, and here's what WikiPedia has to say about it.
A car tested by the British magazine The Motor in 1950 had a top speed of 86.1 mph (138.6 km/h) and could accelerate from 0-60 mph (97 km/h) in 18.0 seconds. A fuel consumption of 25.1 miles per imperial gallon (11.3 L/100 km; 20.9 mpg-US) was recorded. The test car cost £1086 including taxes. At this time a Jaguar XK120 cost £1263 including taxes when tested by the same magazine.
That's not what you'd call sreaming wild performance, but I think that you'd just want to be seen around townand grab all the smiles and "thumbs-up" as you drive by.
One of my very favorite people (you know who you are) innocently pushed a button on the back of my head this morning, about politics. Having just finished 2 cups of Summatran Reserve dark roast coffee, I got pretty lectoral and wrote this (with a smile on my face) ....
________, I have really given up on the political/media/electoral setup that we have going now in the US. It is every bit as bad as every other country I can think of. Only the stupidest, loudmouth, media darlings make it onto the final list of presidential/congressional choices. The public mindset on who should run this country is offensive to the great people who designed our government 200 years ago.
(Sorry for the rant/lecture, but I think that T. Jefferson, etc etc are spinning in their graves.)
(The names have been deleted to protect the innocent.
Footnote: To be clear. The political problem in the US today is the public, the voters. We are a fragmented, argumentative, confrontational, special-interest, "never make deals" population. This is why our politicians are who they are. That's how you go up the political ladder - you develop a campaign rhetoric, some small pieces of which appeal to enough of these fragmented voter segments and you get yourself elected. Then 4 years later (the public never actually figuring out why Washington is *still* a disaster) we hear it all over again, on and on and on. Never admitting that "We, the People" are actually "We, the Problem" - we are collectively too stupid to elect qualfied people to run this country. I think that democracy only works if the population is smart enough to do their job right and elect the right governors. Obviously, we have proven time and again that we just ain't that smart.
2nd Footnote: I liked my rant so much that I sent it to the Worcester Telegram as a "letter to the editor", but they have not printed it. Probably it's too caustic for their readers, with me telling everyone how stupid we voters are.
It's been years since I had one of my nightime anxiety events, but I came close to one last night. There is never a real reason for these; it may be a bad dream that I can't recall but woke me up with anxiety molecules starting through my system?
This was a very minor event, and I know how to deal with them, but I did lie there and make a complete list of every problem that could ever possibly come up throughout the entire rest of my lifetime. Then I start sketching out the solutions I will need to put in place to deal with them.
In the past, this has gotten me out of bed and going downstairs to regroup my emotions.
Last night I just gave up and said "Che sera sera" and rolled over (BTW ... thank you, God for supporting me at that moment).
I have become a "foodie"
Was a time when a bologna sandwich (with mustard and tomatoes on Italian bread) would do me for lunch. Today it was my "quicky bruschetta"" - white sandwich bread (toasted), brushed on herb soaked olive oil, chopped tomato, parmesian cheese.
Better yet *may be* to use other cheeses and toast it in the oven. Must experiment (it's a hot and sunny 93F outside - I'm not going anywhere).
Junior Engineers Club: Jake and Ryan Join the Club !
I personally would add more duct tape to those chairs, but hey they got their ways of doing things down in Texas, and who am I to comment, right :)
Hey .... this is America. Any moron can grow up to be the President. (And the record shows, this happens quite often! )
The New Yorker cover this week, of course, is a play off the famous Truman-Dewey headline snafu, way back when.
Would you send $$$$ to some guy in the Ukraine?
I did. I sent the guy $36+shipping (via Paypal) for this 1962 Russian lens (a "Jupiter-8") that he claims he expertly cleaned, lubricated and adjusted (CLA'd).
Examples on the internet show that the pictures out of the lens are gentle, soft, have a smooth glow to them. This is radically different than today's craze for wicked sharp, clinical lenses.
Lots of photographers are playing around with this kind of lens. Time will tell how much I like it, but for $36, I couldn't stop myself.
PS: I was 17 when this lens was made !
Coming off 3 days of hot hot 95F weather, then 2 days of rain, it went all nice this afternoon to a cloudy pleasant 75F, and I bugged out to make more pictures in
The Woodlands at Wachusett Meadow.
Dave's "Favorites" from the 500px Website
Let's try some social network "sharing", okay? I recently re-discovered the 500px website. It's pretty good, similar to FineArtAmerica and Deviant_art. I have been clicking through the posted pictures and (forgive me) "liking" and "favorite-ing" pictures. Well, I'm thinking, "what should I do with my favorites list? Okay, I'll share them..... Dave's Favorites from 500px.
Well, The Worcester Telegram Published My Letter in the Sunday Edition !
Voting vs Not-Voting
There are currently 240million eligible voters in the US. As you can see in the graph, it is typical that about 55% of these people (132million) actually vote in presidential elections. Typically, the winner gets 51%-55% (let's call it 72.6million) of these votes.
So.... the guy who becomes President of the USA gets the job with a whopping 30% of the possible 240million votes. He (the winner) goes into the job with 70% of the eligible voters having NOT voted for him.
Why do I bring this up? Because, in 2016, I am joining the majority of eligible voters who are NOT voting for whomever it is that becomes the next President. Today, there is no one who may possibly be elected that, in my opinion, deserves to be, or is qualified to be, our next President.
Let's call this my "send Washington a message" vote (actually, non-vote). By the way.... electing the wrong person to the office (let's say, the smartest of the lot of available clowns) sends Washington the message "Hello, I'm a moron. I swallowed the BS that you guys fed me over the media."
Finally, I have no delusions about this. Washington doesn't give a rat's butt for the "messages we send them". No one who gets voted into the Office will care one bit that 70% of the voters did NOT vote for him. He will tell the world "The American people have spoken".
Bullsh#t we have.
It's been days and days since I recorded something here, and then remembered a line from a movie (it was Finding Forester) .... "Don't think ..... type ..... thinking comes later".
Italy is 2 weeks away. I tried and tried to join the new generation that packs a whole vacation into one small carry-on backpack, but failed at that, and opted for the old "one checked bag and one carry-on".
I am ....(hard to put this into words) .... peacefully excited to get over there.
Well, my grandparents Fazio's home is up for sale again (seems like every 3 years, now). This time it's on the market for $7M. Just few years back, I think it was $4M.
Needless to say, it (and the neighborhood) has changed a lot since I was a kid (my mother was living here, and I was born here, while dad was in the army).
36 Strong Place is one of the most exceptional properties anywhere in Brownstone Brooklyn .... and is built on an almost unheard-of 3470 square foot (28.5' X 122') lot on arguably the most desirable block in Cobble Hill. ...... with a tremendous front yard and private driveway for up to three cars. It is set approximately 90' feet off the street allowing for an unsurpassed level of privacy and tranquility, and the feel of a quiet country home. Mature trees and a beautiful front garden largely obscure the street from the house. ...... There is literally nothing else like it in Cobble Hill. In 2013, this home underwent a gorgeous custom renovation designed by award-winning architect Ben Baxt creating a synergy of historic detail with modern conveniences.
(Thanks, Pete for this news.)
An Artful Network in the Boston Sky
Copley Square / Fiona Corinne
Last week, on a nice afternoon, I went to Copley Square just to get out of the neighborhood. There I met Fiona Corrine who (I talked to her !!!) is a wicked nice kid who is breaking into the music world, and does a lot of NewYorkState-NewEngland gigs. Anyway, below here is what the park looks like and what Fiona looks like. She has a (kind of crude) website and a Youtube channel if you want to hear her.
Let's call this . . . "Three Pencils"
Actually it's a flatbed scanner picture with aluminum foil behind the colored pencils. Modified later in The Gimp to enhance the shadows.
Kinda pretty for a "nothing" picture, I think.
Some Things Never Change
Chores & Troubles - Leave 'em Home
We leave for Italy in 4 days.
My current list of to-do's includes: getting the generator to run (it won't), fixing the garage door so it goes completely up and completely down (it doesn't), finish installing the basement window (sitting on my workbench), have the eight 50' tall hemlocks by the shed cut down before my neighbor puts his house up for sale (any minute now). Then there's the cat who has a bladder infection and needs antibiotics twice a day. Then the few medical issues lingering in the background.
(Deb has a similar list.)
On the one hand you think "How can you go on vacation with all this stuff hanging over you?" On the other hand you think "Let's get away from this stuff for a week and have some fun. Life is rarely perfect - and as you get older it gets less and less perfect. Get out of here for a while, when you can. (The day will come - maybe soon ? - when you cannot.)"
This ties back Deb's refrigerator magnet that reminds us to " dance in the rain", rather than wishing the storm will go away.
So ..... comes Monday, I'm going to put down this package of unfinished stuff, pick up my duffle bag and hop out of here for 9 days. With a big stupid carefree grin on my face.