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.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Open Mic Night at Aubrey's, Cape Vincent NY

There was another open mic night tonightn at Aubrey's in Cape Vincent. Hosted by Phil Dumond. So I went down and played a few tunes. Basically I think I sucked. Well, not really, not in the big scheme of things,but I was not satisfied with my performance. I have been working up some new pieces and would have liked to tried them out, but my confidence failed me. Why? Well, once again I will balme it partly on my sound. We had a tough time getting the volume up where I would like it. There was a lot of room noise to play over. The place was full of people. Anyhow, I recently bought an LR Baggs pre-amp which I thought would solve the volume problem. And it did EXCEPT there was an annoying hum coming through the system. If  I held the pre amp in my hand it was OK. When I set it down the hum would manifest. After some screwing around I simply played with a less than ideal sound. It was annoying and distracting. Other performers this evening didn't seem to have this problem. I do not experience this trouble when I play through my Fishman SoloAmp 220.
Let's size things up. I can play the guitar. I have the technique. For the most part I know my songs.I think my biggest problem is concentration. Distraction. I distract myself with my goofy thoughts as much as getting distracted by equipment/sound problems.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

World's Largest Snowman

This giant snowman is possibly the largest one in the World. It is located at a farm on NYS Route 126 in Champion, between Watertown and Carthage NY.   

I snapped these photos earlier this Winter. We have since had a couple of thaws and I am not sure just what condition it is in today. Otherwise, it remains a somewhat typical February up here in the North Country. It has been clod and clear. My wood pile is on the wane and we have ordered more home heating oil for our apartment house on Clay St, Watertown.  Today's price is $3.89 a gallon. What an outrage. Gasoline has gone over $4 a gallon. It is $4.04 here in Chaumont. What can the increase be from? There has not been any oil related crisis' in the news lately. I suspect oil is rising because the dollar is weakening. The Fed has been printing money which would weaken the dollar which in turn raises the price of oil. Oil goes down when the dollar is strong.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Valentines Day Photo: Love Me

I snapped this photo on a city street in Syracuse, NY and saved it for Valentines Day. Hope you all have a nice one.
I snapped this image on a street in Syracuse. I don't know who the artist is, but similar Love Me pieces are pasted around the city.   Photo by Gary Walts

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Last Nights Gig Went Well

OK, so last night I played an event at the Jefferson County Historical Society and was pleased with how I did. I played just fine. No complaints. I will add that it was the first time I have used the LR Baggs GigPro pre-amp. What a terrific little piece of equipment. More on that at a later date. Am in a hurry at the moment.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Car on Snowy Highway

A car travels North on a snowy, icy  interstate Rt. 81 in Watertown, N.Y.   photo by Gary Walts

Yesterday began with a temperature of 4 below zero at my home in Chaumont, NY.  By mid day it was 22 above. I was one of 3 entertainers to play at a spaghetti dinner fund raising event at the Italian American Club in Watertown. I played for one hour, 12:00 to 1:00
How did I do? Well, sucky I thought. I did get very positive feed back from the people that were there, including my fellow musicians. What I do not understand is how I can play so well one night ( as I did a couple weeks ago at Cafe Mira)  and then so poorly (by comparison) another time. I suppose it all boils down to you have good days and you have bad days. 
Here is an example: At Cafe Mira I played an arrangement of the Beatles tune Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da by the Australian guitaris Joe Washington. It is a fun arrangement but difficult. In recent months I have been polishing it up and it is still not to the level I would trulky like it to be, but, It's pretty darn close. I am comfortable with it. I've played it out frequently in the last few months and it always goes over well. I played it GREAT at cafe Mira. But yesterday, I forgot a passage. I fumbled all over for a couple of moments wondering what in the Hell was I doing, where was I going? It is in comprehensible to me how such things occur. I also had big trouble with Elton John's Your Song as arranged by Larry Beekman. It started in the opening measure. I stuck with it though and after some confusion pulled it off. It is such things that drove me to abandon music some 25 or so years ago and just stick with photography.

Tomorrow, Valentines Day I am playing an event at the Jefferson County Historical Society, something with a chocolate and wine theme. We will see how that goes.
Good night all.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Winter Photo: Weeds in Snow

This Winter photo was snapped in Pulaski NY a couple of weeks ago. I parked my car in a bank parking lot  and spotted these weeds standing in the snow. The background is a cement wall of a building. The photo was made with a Nikon D7000 with a 70-200mm Nikon f2.8 lens. The lens creates a shallow depth of field that throws the background so far out of focus it is not recognizable.

These weeds caught my eye as I was parking my car in a bank parking lot. Snap snap... another Winter Photo.

So far February has been typical for northern New York.  It was 3 below zero here in Chaumont this morning. Today I had the pleasure of photographing Tom Dotterer at his liquor store on North Salina St in Syracuse. He is 77 years old and a well known baseball coach for many years at Christian Brothers Academy. About a week ago he was shot in the eye during a robbery of his store. The gun was a pellet gun of some sort so the wound was not life threatening. In fact, he was back to work at the store the next day. Sadly though, some days later his eye had to be surgically removed. The photos I made today will be published this Sunday. Tom Dotterer is a great man. He talked much about philosophy and his love of books and poetry. I was most impressed. I actually met him a couple of years ago when I photographed him for the sports section of the Post-Standard while he was coaching a baseball game.  There was no time to get to know him  then. It's funny how things work out. If I had not stayed on with the Post or had not been offered a position with our new company, Syracuse Media Group, I would not have had today's experience.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Snow Today on Super Bowl Sunday

Woke up on Super Bowl Sunday to a lot of snow here in Chaumont, NY. The photos are of my house on Washington St, and a view looking down Washington Street as seen from the end of my drive way.