Saturday, February 26, 2011
8:00PM update: My celebrity brother & I removed the toilet & bathtub, and tore up the old flooring from the apartment I have been working on. It is long overdue for such maintenance.
Friday, February 25, 2011
Wednesday, February 23, 2011
I would love to have written more about my outrage against the Somalia pirates and the Mexican drug lords because I have not expressed myself adequately. But I truly do not have the energy.
Let me talk about the photo uploaded yesterday, the shadow on the wall.
Once again it was just a scene I came upon. IT was closing in on Sunset and I was driving by a Syracuse high school and simply saw the shadows of houses and trees cast upon the brick wall. It was like a mural. I just stopped and took the picture. It was that simple. IT was an observance of my surroundings.
Oh, get this: the above idea was a sudden bit of inspiration. Simply writing this blog entry evolved into this sentence "Hmm... maybe there's a book or exhibition idea forming here: Photos From The Drivers Seat. I certainly have taken quite a few from that perspective."
It's quite a good idea. It was inspired by my act of writing. It goes with what the great, legendary Spanish artist Pablo Picasso said, "Inspiration exists, but it must find you working." For it is always within the act of doing one thing that our minds reveal other options. Like pathways. We are enroute to a destination and the road forks, or intersects and another direction is presented to us with the promise of a different opportunity. Had we never embarked on the journey ( or set out on a specific creative goal), the new opportunity or INSPIRATION would not have popped into our psyche.
Tuesday, February 22, 2011
I was most distressed to learn that pirates off the cost of Somalia killed four Americans after hi-jacking their yacht. This is a breaking story. Evidently US forces stormed the yacht after they heard gunshots as the pirates were killing their victims. At least two pirates are dead and and a dozen taken captive.
A short while back there were two American teens killed in Mexico. Then a week or so ago US agents were gunned down in Mexico, one was killed, the other wounded. This country should retailiate against the Mexican drug lords and the Somalia pirates without mercy, and without regard to the mexican government.
Friday, February 18, 2011
Wednesday, February 16, 2011
Thursday, February 10, 2011
|Sunrise view from my kitchen window in Chaumont, NY. 4 below zero. And the day is down hill from here.|
For one thing I am sick of the Winter. I no longer give a damn how it can be pretty. (Well, I'm still thankful for the photo ops, but where is the money?) Shovelling snow on top of snow. None of it melts before the next layer arrives. The frigging plow fills in the end of the driveway. I go out to the wood pile and encounter some kind of animal shit in the pathway. I think it's from the neighbors cat. A few days before I encountered a large pile of dog shit in the pathway. There's no mistaking a dog pile. It's bad enogh shovelling snow. I do not own a cat, I do not own a dog, so why the Hell do I haver to shovell up shit from these animals. Why don't they shit in their own yard? What ever happened to the litter box? The lazzy ass owners probably do not clean it out so the cat is digusted and takes it out on me. I am sick of this shit (pun intended).This morning, for the third time in the past ten days or so, the rear wheel on my 2005 Dodge Caravan was frozen solid & would not turn. So I drag my floor jack out to it, jack it up, remove the wheel and heat it up with my Bernz-o-matic torch. It happens to be below zero while this is happening.
I have an empty apartment I am trying to get cleaned up. The previous teneant lefyt a couple truck loads of worn out furniture and other odds & ends that I have to haul to the dump. I must get that done befor 3:00. That's when the dump closes. Oh, pardon me for not being politically correct, it's not the dump, it's the Transfer Station. Another government run entity that opertates on banking hours. Well, actually the banks now have longer hours than the dump.
I also have to teach guitar today, starting at 3:00pm and into the evening. So, I have a full and varied day today and I am sure gonna want a beer or a bottle of wine when it's over.
So, I have typed up my rant for the second time today. At least this time I managed to save it.
Tuesday, February 8, 2011
Monday, February 7, 2011
As I said, I like vanilla. So I got home and brewed a couple of cups. One for me, one for the BH. She didn't like it. Point blank, it simply didn't taste good to her. I, on the other hand, thought it was OK, but very weak. The flavor was too subdued, too mild. I'm the type of guy that likes black coffee, unsweetened ice tea, grapefruit juice, beer, dry red wines. Get what I am saying?
Well, I am going to drink the whole box eventually, but I decided i had to perk it up some. So, I poured some hone into a cup along with an 1/8th teaspoon of vanilla extract. Well, when I did that, what I saw in the bottom of the cup is what you see in today's photograph. It looked interesting to me. So I snapped it. There you have it. Photographing my food again.
Sunday, February 6, 2011
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Saturday, February 5, 2011
Friday, February 4, 2011
|Car on interstate Route 81, somewhere in Northyern New York. photo by Gary Walts 2011|
Thursday, February 3, 2011
Last night I went to bed at 1:00am. I awoke at 6:00am to 8 degrees below zero. Quite cold. Not enough sleep. Later in the morning I went out to the wood pile to bring some wood in for the stove. As is often the case in below zero weather here, the air was still and the Sun was bright and strong. I looked across the street at my neighbors house and WOW, what do I see? The Sun behind this frost covered Maple tree. I race into the house, grab a camera, get back outdoors and snap this photo. Such is the beauty and glory of Winter in Northern New York. It's a good thing that God made Winter so pretty or we would never put up with it.
A little while later I am reminded of the problems of living here in the Winter. Those problems can often be anticipated, but usually they show up unexpectedly as was the case this morning. The Better Half was running late for work. She went to back out of the driveway and got hung up on some ice. Her wheels were spinning. My neighbor who was outside shovelling off his porch roof came over and the two of us pushed her out of the driveway. She headed down the street. I look at where she was parked. There was an unusually large block of ice that had formed and kept the van from backing up properly. Well, that's not the real problem. A few minutes later she is pulling back into the driveway and telling me something in wrong with her van. It wouldn't drive properly. She had trouble explaining it. So I hop in and take it for a spin down the street. Yes indeed, something was wrong. It turned out that one of the rear wheels was frozen such that it would not turn. It was just being dragged down the street as if the rear brakes were locked up on that one wheel. Now everything begins to make sense. The wheel locked up made it difficult to back out of the driveway. So, I go to the garage, get my floor jack and wrench to remove the problematic wheel. After the lug nut were removed I had to take a sledge hammer to the wheel, give a number of "luv taps" to break the wheel rim off the hub. Then I got out the Bernz-O-Matic torch and began heating the wheel. A few minutes later it was free and spinning like new. Evidently water (melted snow) had gotten inside the hub and froze in such a way that the wheel seized up. I have never experienced this before today.
Wednesday, February 2, 2011
|Ice cicles hang from my garage in Chaumont, NY. photo by Gary Walts|
|View of my garage & snow drifs this morning.|
I'll be going outside after this to shovel the snow from the driveway. I will be comfortable because I will dress in two to four layers of clothing. The worst part will be the wind. So one of my layers will be regular Winter jacket that breaks the wind. Usually I wear sweaters and / or sweat shirts over a couple of shirts. Always I wear a knit hat.
To look skyward,
To gaze at you,
To be bold,
To be true,
To be honest,
In love with you.
copyright Gary Walts 2011
Tuesday, February 1, 2011
One of the old techniques for macro photography was the use of a reversing ring. This device is a lens mounting ring that is threaded on one side so you can screw it onto the front of the lens, the same way a lens filter is attached. This allows you to mount the lens backwards onto the camera. It becomes a macro lens. Todays digital cameras would lose much of their functionality with such a ring. Well, I don't have a reversing ring. What I do have is an old 28mm Minolta lens that I often look through backwards to view minute objects. I hold it up to my eye like a loupe. Anyhow, I just wondered if it would work by simply holding the front of that lens against the front of the lens on my Nikon D300. I did this simply out of curiosity, not as any serious endeavor. Trying to hold it with one hand and then move in & out to try & focus on a snow flake was just about impossible. So just for kicks I thought I could focus on some bubbles in an old pane of glass in the back shed of my home. Peering about I saw this tiny fly or mosquito (not sure what it is) stuck on the other side of the glass. I was in no mood, nor had the time to go to the trouble of maiking the camera stationary, or somehow fix the two lenses tiogether, so I simply hand held it, very sloppily and unsteadily, snapped a few frames. This one was the most reasonably sharp of them. I like the final result.
This photo came about like many of them do for me. I was doing one thing, the Sun and snow caught my eye and set me thinking. Then, just out of curiosity to see if it would work I tried to shoot snow flakes and ended up wit this insect pressed against the glass. The lesson here is to always experiment, try different things. One leads to another and who knows where you end up.