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.

Saturday, December 31, 2011

The Last Day Of The Year

It is 9:40am here in Chaumont, NY on the last day of 2011. I got out of bed at 6:45. Guitar practice from 7:00 TO 9:00. Just made some breakfast: Scrambled eggs with fried peppers, onions & hot Italian sausage. I'm eating that while I type this blog entry.

This past Wednesday I awoke to a flat tire on the Better Half's van. There was a screw stuck in the tread. I took the tire off, went to Russel's Garage in Watertown and had the tire repaired for $10.00. On Friday I had to drop my van off at All Good Auto in Brownville to have a front wheel bearing replaced. So I used the Better Half's van for my jobs. I was driving to Baldwinsville to photograph some teen age movie makers when a tire blew out. I was on Interstate Rt 81 just at the Mattydale exit when the tire blew. I get out to investigate it and discover it was the tire I just had repaired. The side wall of it split, or tore, vertically. I have no idea what could have happened. I don't think it's possible it could be related to the screw and the repair from a couple days before. Anyhow, the photo above I snapped of the flat tire while waiting for AAA to arrive and tow me to a tire store.

I may add more to this blog today, but if not, I want to wish you all a Happy New year.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Frost On The Windows

It was a mere 3 degrees this morning here in Chaumont, NY. That was at 6:00AM. It is now 12:30 and 17 degrees. The Sun is out and that makes the snow sparkle. It is this cold weather that creates frost formations on the windows. The photo here is a sample. It would be more interesting to have a macro lens to get some close ups. But that will have to be for another day.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Outrage At The Border Patrol

The above photo caught my eye as I was driving around in the city of Syracuse.

A week ago I had to drive up to the prison in Dannemora, NY. It is a maximum security facility located in the Adirondack Mountains, built in 1835. I was there to photograph and video an interview with one Floyd VanHooser. He is the fourth person to come out of the woodwork and accuse former Syracuse University assistant basketball coach Bernie Fine of molesting him as a child. It is a most interesting, ongoing story.

Anyhow, the three and a half hour drive home took me along the St. Lawrence River and through the village of Waddington. Traffic was backed up a bit as I approached the village. Then I see that the Border Patrol has four cars parked on the road shoulders and numerous agents stopping cars. We are supposed to travel freely about in this country, not be stopped for unwarranted reasons. My hackles were raised and I did not wish to be cooperative. However, If I were not, I'm sure I would have been detained for a longer period than I could afford. I was on the job after all. On my own time I would have given them some static.
Anyway, a young looking female agent motioned me to stop. I did so & sat until I was told to lower my window. "Where are you coming from", she asked. Inside I was outraged. It is none of her or their business where I've been. I looked at her with a stone cold face and said, "Massena." "Where are you going?" "Home," I said. She began to look nervous. "Where is home at?", she asked. I wanted to tell her it was none of her f***ing business. Instead I replied, very slowly, accenting each syllable, "Chau-mont, New-York." By now there was such iciness in my tone it's a wonder my words didn't freeze and shatter in the air. Then she mis-pronounced the name Chaumont, in a quizzical fashion. "Where is that?" Again I answered with thick, slow, heavy, ice laden syllables: "In Jeff-er-son Coun-ty." By now she got the message loud & clear that I did not like being stopped and questioned. She finished with a sort of apologetic tone "Well, I've never heard of that place befor." Then she said "OK". I didn't acknowledge her any further, I simply drove off. I would say she was no older than 25-27. I like being old enough to be her father, with grey tinged hair, and giving her the treatment. She was clearly uncomfortable after quizzing me.

Who the Hell do those people think they are? This is BS (Bull Shit).

In other matters, my transmission has been repaired to the tune of $2095.00.

Christmas was nice. The Better Half & I made the rounds to various households in our families, bearing gifts and good cheer. At 8:00AM we were at her daughter's home in Burrville. From there we went to her daughter's home in Brownville. Then we went to my Daughter's home in Calcium. From there to my mother's home, also in Calcium. Then we went to my son's home in Watertown. From there we stopped in at my brother T's home in Dexter. From there we went home, arriving about 5:00PM. It was a most pleasant, but tiring Christmas.

The following photo is another one that cught my eye in recent weeks. It is a sidewalk in the city of Syracuse, NY.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Silent Night Guitar Solo

This is me playing Franz Gruber's Silent Night. I have played only one verse so as to keep it brief and not bore anyone. I made the video with a Nikon D7000 camera The setting is my home in Chaumont, NY.

A week ago I played some tunes at the Depauville Hotel in Depauville, NY. The occassion was a Christmas party for North Country musicians. Of course, everyone was welcome. We musicians just did a lot of playing. I had a really good response. people were cheeringt and yelling and afterwards told me how great I played. That was nice. How ever, the place was packed with people, the sound system was such that i couldn't really hear myself. It also got hotter than Hell i n there. Between the temperature and my nerves I began to sweat. Sweating so much that the water ran off my forehead and burned my eyes. I'm sure I lost some weight during that event. But I have to say that I enjoyed it. I have been having trouble understanding the huge, positive response to my playing. It was wonderful, but it confuses me. I simply cannot believe I played or sounded as well as the audience was implying by their response.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Syracuse NY At Dawn

Two nights ago I was at a Christmas party in Depauville. Got to bed at midnight. Left the house the next morning at 5:30AM. Made this picture in Syracuse.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Photographing Basketball With Nikon D7000

Last Friday I photographed high school basketball. Last night I photographed high school basketball. Tonight I am photographing high school basketball. It is probably the single most thing that I dislike to photograph. But what is one to do? One must pay the bills, so you photograph what The Man wants photographed and you takes your pay.
I've been using a Nikon D7000 camera for these ganes. I'm not so sure it's the best choice. I will use it again tonight to see how it goes.

Once again the Better Half and I are at odds with one another. 'Tis the season to be merry.

The transmission bit the dust on my 2002 Dodge Caravan. Repair bill will be around the $1,500.00 mark. That's a nice thing to buy myself for Christmas.

When will I ever get to buy a new guitar?

I do not have time to post a photograph at this moment in time.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas

These are a couple of snapshots of our home in Chaumont, NY, taken by the Better Half with a Sony DSC-W350 Cyber-shot camera. They were snapped tonight and shows how we are getting into the Christmas swing of things. Hope all is well in your World.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Another Multiple Exposure With Nikon D300

The upper photo is a multiple exposure, six in all, made with a Nikon D300. It is made from the scene in the lowere photo. The trees are reflected in glass at the Manley Field House in Syracuse, NY. I moved the camera a little bit between each exposure. My exploration of multiple exposures has been partly influenced by the work of Eugene Meatyard. He was one of my earliest influences in photography.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Tom and Jerrys at The Crystal Restaurant

Winter has set in here in Chaumont, NY. The mornings have been cool, just 21 degrees on this day. Today I taught guitar at Musicology in Watertown. I currently charge $15.00 for a half hour, $25.00 for an hour. Four students showed up today. Two canceled. Anyhow, I was done at 3:00 and my celebrity brother and I went to The Crystal Restaurant for Tom and Jerry drinks. It is an old time, classic holiday cocktail and there is no better place to enjoy them than The Crystal.

Making Tom and Jerrys at The Crystal Restaurant

Tom and Jerry

* 12 egg(s)
* 1 cup sugar
* 1 bottle brandy
* Pinch of ground allspice
* Pinch of ground cinnamon
* Pinch of ground cloves
* 1 bottle dark rum
* milk
* nutmeg

Glass Type: mug

Separate the eggs. Beat the whites until they form a stiff froth, and the yolks -- to which you have added the sugar -- "until they are as thin as water," as the professor advises, gradually adding 4 ounces brandy (spiceaholics will also add a pinch each of ground allspice, cinnamon, and cloves). Fold the whites into the yolks. When ready to serve, give it another stir and then put 1 tablespoon of this batter in a small mug or tumbler. Now add 1 ounce brandy (although some die-hard Dixiecrats prefer bourbon) and 1 ounce Jamaican rum, stirring constantly to avoid curdling. Fill to the top with hot milk and stir until you get foam. Sprinkle a little grated nutmeg on top. This one may require practice and a certain amount of fiddling, but it's well worth the effort. Note: Some people find the milk too rich and filling, so they use half hot milk, half boiling water.

Read more: http://www.esquire.com/drinks/tom-and-jerry-drink-recipe#ixzz1fW8qlTVl

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Multiple Exposure

It's December First, chilly and sunny here in Chaumont, NY (about 10 or 12 miles from the Canadian border) this morning. 20 degrees. The roofing job on my apartment house is about done. Now I am touching up the upper apartment which has become vacant. I hope to have it rented within a couple of weeks.

A few days ago I had some time on my hands so I took a walk and was inspired to experiment once again with some multiple exposures. This one is six exposures of a yellow line in a parking lot. The camera was a Nikon D300 which has a simple multiple exposure feature.