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.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Christmas Ale From Great Lakes Brewing Co.

Today is Thanksgiving Day. We started things out with a special Christmas Ale brewed by the Great Lakes Brewing Co. in Cleveland, Ohio. It's a complex beer with a bitter, spicy edge and 7.5 percent alcohol. The photo is of my celebrity brother who joined the Better Half and I, along with some of her family, for a traditional turkey dinner. A good time was had by all. They have all departed and tonight I'll watch The Office on TV. One of my all time favorite TV shows.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Muskie Fishing, Greg Lago, Winged Bull Studio, Woody Allen

What do muskie Fishing, Greg Lago, Winged Bull Studio, and Woody Allen have in common? They were all a part of my day today.
I got up this morning at 6:00AM. It was 20 degrees F outside. A heavy frost on the ground. At 7:45 I was in Clayton NY to photograph a muskie fishing guide trolling for that species of fish on the St. Lawrence River. By 10:00AM I was back on shore in that same riverside village which is home to the Winged Bull Studio. The owner & proprietor is the legendary artist & wood engraver Greg Lago. The photos displayed here were all taken there this morning. I simply cannot visit Greg in his studio without making some snaps. The establishment is a visual feast to my ever hungry eyes. SNAP! SNAP! SNAP! I cannot control myself.

From there I made my way to my apartment house on Franklin Street in Watertown, NY. There I joined my brothers R & Celebrity A where we have been replacing the roof. It has been a fairly big job. We should be done in a few more days. I worked there from 1:00 until 5:00. I was back home in Chaumont bt 6:00. Then it was a quick bite to eat and the Better Half & I settled in to watch the second half of a Woody Allen documentary that aired on PBS last night (Monday). We taped it so as to view it this evening. The W.A. documentary was most excellent, especially since I am a W.A. fan. It was also accompanied with some nice Cabernet Sauvigon and guacamloe & chips. Over all, a terrific day.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Snow Today

Here are a couple of snaps I made while driving South on Interstate Route 81 near Mexico, NY. The first snow I have driven in this season.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Guitar Last Night

Last night I played at the Ives Hill Retirement Community's monthly birthday & anniversary dinner. It took me a little while to settle into the scene and gain my confidence because I have not played anywhere for anyone since Teaism closed this past August. I have been too busy with other matters to set any other gigs up. So this opportunity came up and I jumped at it. I noticed on man there paying particularly close attention to my playing. A little later I over heard him sya to the woman that hired me, "This guy's the most professional musician we've ever had."
Later in the evening I introduced myself and learned that he was a piano p-layer, and also sang with a barber shop quartet for many years. So his compliment is more meaningful because he is a musician.
I also got nice comments from numerous others, including the kitchen staff that heard me play while they were serving dinner.

My assessment was that I did OK. I started out a bit shaky so I played several short pieces by Francisco Tarrega, repeating certain passages to both fill up some time and get myself warmed up.
Other pieces I played: Lara's Theme from Dr. Zchivago (Somewhere My Love). I did OK with this until I hit a certain 3 chord progression which I fumbled up. There is no reason for this other than I need to practice the chords. This one short part has given me trouble forever ONLY because I have been to lazy to take the time to polish it.
Larry Beekman's arrangement of Your Song by Elton John was pretty good but I became exasperated when I had a mental block and fumbled in a spot that I had never fumbled before. I'm not real confident with that piece anyway because I have played it very few times for people.

Bach's Prelude N. One from the Well Tempered Clavier I played extremely well. Probably the best I've ever done. This is a transcription by Christopher Parkening and is truly a virtuoso piece. The chord shapes are physically demanding, requiring considerable strength and dexterity to execute. It is also a most beautiful composition, music from Heaven.

The Beatles tunes that I normally play each suffered from their respective spots that I have gotten rusty with. Normally if I have not played these pieces in a while I would revue/rehearse them the afternoon before the performance, going over those spots that tend to fade quickly from my memory. THis usually results in a satisfactory performance. Then, if I do not play them again for 2 or 3 months, I simply must revue them again. But on the afternoon before this performance I did not do that. You see, I have an apartment house that I am putting a new roof on and it has taken up my time. I spent the morning taking my Mother to the hospital for cataract surgery and the afternoon on the roof job. I permitted myself no rehearsal time.

I also played Bach's Prelude from the First Cello Suite as transcribed by Julian Bream very well. This came off very well because for once I took pains not to start the piece out at too fast a tempo. I slowed it down a little and the result was excellent. I wish I had a recording of this evening's playing, but, I don't. I was more pleased with myself than normal.

The people in attendance at the dinner are retirees. They live in an upscale community, some have assisted living, some their own apartments. With this demographic in mind I found it interesting that Estudio Inconcluso by Augustin Barrios Mangore went over very well. It really seemed to grab the attention of quite a number of folks. For me it is a fun little piece to play and one I find I can be rather expressive with.

So those are the high lights. It was a most enjoyable evening for me and I was home in time to watch Survivor on CBS.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Self Portrait In Sunglasses

I was getting into my Dodge Caravan when I spotted my reflection in my sunglasses. Actually, they are safety glasses that also happen to be sunglasses. I purchased them to use as safety glasses for all of those do it yourself projects that I am always involved with. The smaller photo was cropped out of the full photo below.

Otherwise, how are things going? Well, I was pretty miserable this evening photographing Lights On The Lake at Onondaga Lake Park in Liverpool NY. It was raining cats and dogs. My feet got soaked. I hate wet feet. My waterproof boot were at home. I could go on and on, but I just want to get the evening wrapped up and be done with it. I do hope all is well in your world.

A crown is merely a hat that lets the rain in.
Frederick The Great

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Stop Nixon

Today's photo is one that I snapped in Washington DC during President Richard Nixon's inauguration, must be January of 1973. I was 18 or 19 years old.

I'm not sure where my original scan from this slide is, so, it's a fairly small image here on the blog.

I came across it and thought I'd post it here quickly.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Roofing, Glen Campbell

Here is waht's going on lately. I am a land lord. The tenant in my upper apartment on Franklin St., Watertown recently moved out. I noticed that the closet in the bedroom showed evidence of a leaky roof. I inspect the roof outside and see that it is in terrible shape. Evidently it has been leaking for quite some time and the tenant did not let me know. Anyhow, my celebrity brother and my brother Rocket R. and I have begun stripping off the old roof and are in the process of nailing down a new one. Asphalt shingles. This follows on the heels of me just replacing the garage roof at the same place.
Two nights ago I had to photograph a Section III Class AA boys soccer game final in Liverpool, NY. It went into two overtimes, ended in a shoot out. I got home at 12:30 in the evening. In bed at 1:00AM. Up Tuesday at 7:00AM. It was election day. So I met brother Rocket at the Franklin St house at 9:00am. I worked there until 3:00 in the afternoon. Hard work. Slipped on the roof and twisted my shoulder. Slipped on a ladder & skinned both shins. At 3:00 I drove to Fulton for election day coverage. From there I went to Oswego to cover the mayors race. I got home from ther at 11:30. Had a glass of wine & was in bed by 1:00am. Got up this morning made coffee, had SHORT guitar practice (bummer!) met my brothers at Franklin st roof job at 9:30. Worked non stop until 5:30 at which time it was dark. We picked up tools and I went home. Watched Survivor on Tv. Then, I caught a part of the Country Music Awards. I posted the following on facebook after watching the Glen Campbell tribute: "I usually don't watch the Country Music Awards, BUT.. happened to catch the tribute to Glen Campbell. As a musician I just became SUPER CHARGED as I watched the great song writer Jimmy Webb embrace the equally great Glen Campbell at the end!. Two spirits whose paths crossed and the result was magic. I truly believe that music, beyond all other arts, proves the existence of God."

What a wonderful day I have had. Thank you Lord.

"I would have been content to just do studio work, making it on my own never really entered my mind."
Glen Campbell

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Garage Roof Repair

The last few days have been really nice here in the North Country, not far from the Canadian border. The garage at my house on Franklin St in Watertown is in rough shape. It was so when I bought the place a few years ago. Badly in need of a new roof I finally went at it this week. I am simply applying a tin roof directly over the old shingle roof. One spot in the roof was so bad that I fell through it with one leg. For whatever reason, it was the only spot that was that bad. I was able to walk safely over the rest of surface. The rotten spot was six inches by 24 inches. In other words, one of the roofing boards had rotted out between the rafters.

I used a metal cutting blade on a Makita skill saw to cut the tin. Cutting the tin is potentially dangerous and is NOISY! So I use ear plugs and safety glasses. The safety glasses also double as sun glasses. $14.00 at Ace Hardware store. A photographer MUST protect his eyes.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Another Day

Yesterday: I worked on the garage roof at my apartment house on Franklin St. I am putting a new tin roof on it. At 5:00 I went to Syracuse and photographed a job for the Post-Standard. Got home at midnight. Went staright to bed.

Today: Woke at 7:30. Made coffee. Started fire in wood stove. Took out the trash. Edited pix for a freelance job I shot a few days ago. Packaged them up and made out the invoice. 11:30 at post office & mailed it. Went to my Franklin St apartment house. Went to my mother's house for an hour. Back to the apartment house. Working on garage roof until 6:00. Stop at Michael's Crafts looking for a picture frame. No luck. Home at 7:00. Drank 2 beers, ate some food. Watched The Middle and Survivor. Time for bed.
Good night.