About this blog title

I cannot tell you how many times I have shown up at events with a couple of cameras around my neck, a gadget bag full of odds & ends and a lighting kit and have been asked that question. If it happened once every few years, that would be one thing. But it happens a LOT. It's like getting pulled over by the police and he's standing there with uniform, gun, flashing lights and asking him "Are you a cop?" I would love to come back with a witty reply, such as "No, I am Jesus. Don't you recognize my beard?" However, I cannot be that rude.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Mom Has Cataract Surgery

I took my mother to the hospital today to have cataract surgery on her right eye. It went smoothly. We got to the hospital at 9:00AM and were back to her house at noon.

This photo is her and her great grand son JJ, this afternoon.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Christmas On Bear Mountain

I was a huge comic book fan when I was a kid. My older brother A & I had quite a collection. The DC heroes were among our favorites. That would be Batman, Superman, Hawkman, Aquaman, The Flash and more. I also liked the Disney comics, particularly Donald Duck and Mickey Mouse. I gave my comic book collection to my son to read when he was a teen. He liked them a lot. But I never saw them again. What became of them after him I have no idea. With one exception: A Donald Duck comic from 1947 with the story Christmas On Bear Mountain. I do not remember where I got my copy of it. It was published in 1947, a few years before I was born.

As comic books go it wasn't worth a lot because the cover was missing. It was also well worn from many readings over the years. However, it was my favorite. The story and art were done by Carl Barks. He created some of the greatest comic book stories of all time. So, when I passed my collection to my son I held on to that particular one. I kept it in a desk drawer.

When I bought my home in Chaumont, NY the desk and comic book came along with me. The house was in terrible condition and it took an entire year for me to get it into livable condition. All of that time my belongings were stored in the garage. That was twenty years ago and the desk never did find it's way into the house. So it and the comic book remain in the garage. Over the years I would regularly take the comic book out and look at it. Last Winter I pulled it out and gave it a read. Still like that story. I always meant to one day make a digital copy of the book just for a back up.

Then one day I opened the desk drawer and what do I find? Mice got in there and chewed it all to pieces. The photo is exactly how it appeared when I opened the drawer. What a bummer! However, the internet being what it is I can find a replacement. It has been reprinted more than once over the years. But mine, rough as it was, was a 1947 issue.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

I Find A Serpent

It has been rather lovely as far as the weather goes here in Chaumont, NY.

You never know when the next photo opportunity is going to present itself. The snake photos are a case in point.

Yesterday I loaded some firewood into my Dodge Caravan. It was from a dead Ash tree that I cut up at my brother T's place in Dexter. The wood has been sitting in a pile undisturbed for about six weeks. As I was handling the wood I disturbed various insects, worms and the like that had settled into the pile. The wood shifted a couple of times. I lift up one large piece of wood and find a small, dead snake. He had just gotten crushed by a piece of the tumbling wood. Anyhow, I load up and drive home. I didn't get to unloading it until this morning. When the last of the wood was all removed I spotted a small snake scurry under one of the seats. I captured him and took his photo.
I didn't have a macro lens so I cropped the lower photo to show off the detail in the upper photo.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Chaumont Sky At Sunset

The nights have been getting cooler here in Chaumont, NY. around 35 to 40 degrees for the past 4 nights. The temperature inside the house in the morning has been 61 to 63 degrees. So I have been starting fires in the wood stove. I stoke it up pretty good to get the house warmed and then let it burn out. It has been rather comfortable.

The photo I snapped very quickly two nights ago as I was pulling into the village.

Yesterday I did some painting under the eves of the house outside my bedroom. I went to m,y brother T's house in Dexter and loaded up some of the firewood I from a dead Ash tree that I cut down a couple of months ago. While tha was happening I also had a pork butt smoking in my charcoal grill / smoker, along with a couple of Acorn squashes. I also made a roast corn dip with fresh sweet corn that I purchased at a farm market in Pulaski. The dip is a recipe from Emeril Lagasse that he featured on his Food TV show.
Here is the link to the recipe:


It is one of my favorites and I make it frequently in the Summer & Fall. I also make it in the Winter and substitute frozen, un-roasted corn for the fresh. It's still good.

This morning I got up and did my usual two hours of guitar practice. Then I mowed the lawn, stacke some fire wood and at 1:00 headed out the door to go to the Post-Standard. This evening I photographed a field hockey game for them. I should get home tonight around 11:30 or midnight. A long and fruitful day.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Flying With The Red Baron

This is a photo I took of the Red Baron Pizza stunt planes flying over Lake Neatahwanta in Fulton. The pilots of these planes sit in the rear seat, behind the passenger. I was a passenger in the plane at left. The planes have open cockpits so we were exposed to strong wind and G forces. So to get this photo I had to hold the camera over my head, pointed behind me while exerting a lot of strength to fight those wind & G forces. Unable to look through the view finder I just pressed the shutter release and moved the camera around hoping for the best. The photo here was the best of the trip. We photographers call these "Hail Mary" shots because you just have to pray you get something usable. This was also in 1998 so it was shot on film. No way to preview the results like we do today with digital cameras.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

State Fair Video

The New York State Fair takes place in Syracuse, NY. The daily paper is the Post-Standard. I work for them as a photographer in a part time capacity. So every year I am at the fair photographing for them. This year I had a Nikon D7000 camera that can shoot HD video. Always intrigued by the masses of people that attend I decided to try the video out on the crowd. I hand held everything as I did not have a tripod with me. The resulting video clips were jerky. So I decided to slow them down with a video editing app. The result was sort of dreamy. In recent days I had been learning & playing a short prelude by the great Spanish composer / guitarist Francisco Tarrega. It's often referred to as Prelude in D or Prelude Number 11. Anyhow, with that piece of music in mind I added the video clips. Here is the result:

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Cleaning The Chimney

I live in the village of Chaumont, NY. IT is located ten miles from the Canadian border. So it is quite a northern community. As such, the temperatures have diminished the past few days of September, reminding us that the REAl COLD WEATHER OF wINTER ISN'T THAT FAR OFF. So... today I cleaned our wood stove chimney. This Winter will be the fourth one in which we have burned wood in a wood stove. So the sove & chimney are relatively new. The first two Winters I did a visual check of the chimney and dismanteled the stove pipe that leads into the chimney at least three times during the heating season. It was SO CLEAN and free of creasote that last Winter (3), I didn't take it apart for a cleaning. I did do several visual inspections of the chimney though.

Anyway, today I took a brush to the chimney and dry scrubbed it pretty thoroughly. I had a plastic bag attached to the base of it to collect all of the dislodged soot. What you see in this photo is the entire amount of what came out of the chimney. This is from an ENTIRE heating season in which we burned about 14 face cord of wood. The stove pipe inside the house was equally clean with littled build up of ash or soot. So we will continue this Winter as we did last year: Start each day with a HOT fire, feed it as needed through the day, ocassionaly letting it burn hot. About once a month do a visual check looking up into the chimney and leave it at that. So it is that we begin to prep for Winter here in the North Country.