Archive for the ‘What Googlebot Sees’ Category

Douglas Anthony Bridge

Tuesday, November 7th, 2017

Leo Dodd "Douglas Anthony Bridge" watercolor on display at Rochester Contemporary as part of "Witness" exhibition 2017

We lay pretty low, I think, but the last five days were a whirlwind. It started last Wednesday when Pete and Shelley came into town. Pete joined us on piano at the Little Café and of course we carried on into the night after the performance. There is so much to talk about when you come out of the woods with a bottle of homemade dandelion wine. My brother and his wife came up the day Pete and Shelley left. They operate in their own time zone so even though we gained an hour we still managed to see 3AM two nights in a row. They left Sunday afternoon and we met Alice and Julio, who were visiting from Maine, an hour later.

We visited “Witness” with all three guests. The exhibition is up for another week and my brother became an integral part of the show once we connected the dots. I met Alice when I first started taking Fred Lipp’s class at the Creative Workshop. At that time she was painting luscious abstract constructions but she has moved closer to landscapes. She is one of my favorite painters and I was so pleased to learn that she was knocked out by the new charcoal drawings in the show. Her comments carry more weight than anyone else I know.

I was lucky to be at RoCo when Howard Ressel, the chief design architect of the Douglas Anthony, was there. He was drawn to the show by the postcard image, my father’s painting of the bridge. He told me he remembered someone sketching the construction and told us how the initial design was modified to include the bigger central arch, the one that shared weight from both directions of the eight lane highway. Formerly known as the Troup–Howell Bridge the triple steel arch bridge carries Interstate 490 over the Genesee River and Exchange Boulevard and is a major commuter route connecting eastern and western suburbs to downtown Rochester.

The official name of the bridge is The Frederick Douglass – Susan B. Anthony Memorial Bridge, a mouthful. And it is commonly referred to as the Freddy-Sue Bridge but Howard Reseal refers to it as the “Douglas Anthony Bridge.” I like that. The other was irreverent to such important figures. I told Howard the “Death to the Inner Loop” chant was a lonely cry twenty years ago and today the eastern half is filled in. So I will from hereafter refer to the bridge as the Douglas Anthony Bridge. Pleas pass this along.

New Pencil

Monday, November 16th, 2015

New docks in Port of Rochester

We ordered a few coloring books for my mom, one on birds and one on butterflies, and we rode our bikes over there today to drop them off. I also had a computer problem to address on my dad’s machine. He watches Charlie Rose most night and he sketches the quests on his iPad with a program called SketchBook Pro and lately he has been unable to save his drawings. His iPad is out of disc space and there are maybe a hundred drawings on it that I can’t transfer to his computer because the application wigged out when it ran out of room. I kept getting a message that says I cannot sync because there is not enough free space even after I took a bunch of apps off the iPad. The Apple forums suggested I “reset” the iPad and that helped. At least the error messages now made sense. But I still couldn’t transfer or even email the drawings to my father’s computer without getting messages that the files were corrupt. It is the first generation iPad and the times come. I’m thinking of heading out to the Apple Store with him and picking up the iPad Pro and Pencil combination. It will make it a lot easier on his tech support.

We crossed Portland Avenue at an intersection, on a crosswalk and with the light but a woman turned right into us. Came right at the side of us on our bikes with her car and we swerved. No acknowledgement whatsoever. I know “close” only counts in horseshoes but I was struck by how indifferent someone can be to snuffing out another life. Don’t know if she was on a phone, texting, spaced out or what but I’m quite sure if she had taken one of us out she would have kept going as if nothing happened.


Sunday, September 27th, 2015

Louise Wareham Leonard at Visual Studies Workshop Pub Fair in Rochester, New York

I was on the roof, making a racket with our leaf blower. We don’t really have any leaves up there yet but plenty of sticks, acorns and moss to dislodge. I had my Home Depot earmuffs on, in my own world, trying to remember to be careful when I got near the edge when I spotted the green Google Earth car coming down our street. I was out playing horseshoes the last time a Google car visited. In fact I can be seen taking a photo of the car in the Google shots of our house. I’m hoping they got me up there in my element.

Visual Studies Workshop had their annual Pub Fair on Saturday. The auditorium was filled with book artists and self publishers. It was tempting to buy something from every table but we held off until reaching Marc Pietrzykowski’s table. Peggi bought his novel about a murder in an old age home and I sprung for a three volume set of his poetry. We ran into Anne Havens and made plans to get together and play music before she heads back to Florida. Visual Studies has such a great art book collection in their library it is upsetting to see them sell parts of it off each year but we always manage to scoop up a few things. Peggi found a book of Flannery O’Conner photos and I came home with “Ninety-Nine Drawings by Marsden Hartley.”

The writers’ readings, which should have been on the main stage, all took place upstairs. Rob Tyler read eight vignettes, each wry and crisp. They walked a funny fine line between mundane and absurd. Louise Wareham Leonard didn’t so much read as perform her Rumpus piece, “How To Date A Writer.” Her performance was hilarious and especially searing in the room full of writers. Reading entries from her new book, “52 Men,” she brought new life to the pieces and made you want to read the book all over again.


Saturday, May 9th, 2015

Flickr and Tumblr dropped a vowel and their name got so much cooler. I’ve dropped two in PopWars for this post. I back up all my photos to Flickr. They give you a terabyte of space for free and I’ve been using their slideshow embed code on my home page for years but it never worked on the phone or tablet. You’d think they would be hip to all that stuff. I found this little “Flickrit” java script page that lets you link to a Flckr set and create slideshows at fixed or responsive sizes and I stuck iframe in up above. It stops at 100 photos but it even works on my first generation Touch.

Google’s new policy of ignoring sites that aren’t mobile friendly has tearing apart all sorts of stuff. I hardly get anything done anymore. I feel like I’m going backwards. If don’t have anything better to do for a few days drop a url in here and see what I’m talking about. Even my Tumblr signs page flunked. “Text too small to read.” “Links too close together.” “Mobile viewport not set.” Anything Else?

My Google custom search at the top of the site is not even mobile friendly. Everything needs reworking. I have all these web pages open now and will probably not come up for air for awhile.

Mobile Friendly Test
Google Webmaster Tools
Custom Search
Learn About Sitemaps
Responsive Typography With REMs
Responsive Web Design Fundamentals
Understand key points in going mobile

Bleak But Beautiful

Wednesday, April 8th, 2015

Staub's Cleaners on East Main Street in Rochester NY 1994

Batch processing a folder of photos and throwing them into Apple’s Keynote and then exporting the whole thing to html is so much easier than creating individual web pages. But of course there are all sorts of drawbacks. Like how do you link to a particular page or photo and how do you write tags for the pages so a search engine could find them?

These photos were taken in 1994 with a film camera when I was just beginning to develop an idea for a contemporary setting of the Stations of the Cross (the Passion Play or Way of the Cross; in Latin, Via Crucis), an idea that is still in the developmental stage twenty years down the road. We lived across from East High at the time and we’d head downtown on this route most days. While I was taking the photo of East High a security guard came out and told me “You can’t photograph the school.” East High became a perfect location for Jesus to get sentenced and I pictured him crucified at the Liberty Pole. The route looks rather bleak but it is quite beautiful. The photos were really just location shots for possible staging of a particular station but I found them interesting to look back on especially because so many of these places are gone.

East High School, Carroll’s Bar and McDonalds are all there. Mooneys (formerly Effingers) and Fams Party House are still standing but the businesses have left. El Palladium and Jimmy’s Short Orders have both been knocked down for a monstrous new Regional Transit Bus Terminal. Volunteers of America, Fatboys, Chase Bank, Tucker Printers, the Adult Book Store and Otis Lumber are still there but have changed hands. The Armory Building has actually come back to life as a venue. Corpus Christi Church, Staub’s Cleaners, the Penguin Restaurant and Hedges Funeral Home are still there but are empty or repurposed. WDKX is not going anywhere. Kentucky Fried Chicken is an Asian place. Richmond’s and the Chinese place are still there with new owners. Cathay Pagoda and the Tea House Art Gallery, Snuffy’s Birdland and McCurdys are gone. The Liberty Pole is still standing.

And the Inner Loop is being filled in. Chuck Cuminale, who would lead the Colorblind James crowd in “Death To The Inner Loop chants, would be elated.

Spacing Out

Sunday, October 19th, 2014

View from car on the road to Maine

“Do you have any idea why I pulled you over,” he asked as I rolled the window down. I went with, “I have no idea why you pulled me over.” He said I clocked you at forty-seven in a 30 MPH zone. The speed limit was 55 last I looked and I apparently missed the sign that dropped it to 30. It was a speed trap and he had me.

Thing is I wasn’t driving fast to get somewhere in a hurry or anything. I just spaced out. No excuse, I know. So when are these Google cars going to hit the market. I would be perfectly content to leave the driving to the robot.

U2 Removal Tool

Thursday, September 18th, 2014

Wind surfers on Lake Ontario near Rochester, New York

We tuned in for part of Apple’s recent keynote, the part with the Chinese translator competing with CEO Tm Cook’s delivery of the goods. We’ve been early adapters for the desktops and the iPod and we stood in line for the iPad on it’s launch day. I’m updating to OS8 on our mini as I write this but we still don’t have a phone.

As much of a fan as I am. I’m a little worried about the behemouth. Does Apple really want to stick their brand neck out there with Apple Pay? Couldn’t they give it another name, something that doesn’t stake the company’s reputation on on such a tempting target? And how did they let iTunes grow from a juke box to a such the monster we use to keep our apps up to date and our devices synced? And why don’t the icons for the apps we use on both a desktop and IOS device look the same? Blue “Message” icon on desktop and green on the iPad and the same goes for the whole suite of Apple apps. Is this the same design company that brought us the watch that requires a phone to do more that tell time? Will I be able to take a shower with that watch? And can’t Apple align themselves with a hipper band than U2?

Nobody wants to hear this primitive tech talk. It’s perfect weather for windsurfing or watching the women’s National soccer team play Mexico in downtown Rochester tonight.

Off Grid

Wednesday, September 17th, 2014

Bing car on East Main Street in Rochester, New York

I had almost forgotten about Microsoft’s search engine until i spotted a Bing car with Colorado plates on east Main Street yesterday. The little periscope was twirling around up top so I assume it was collecting data, mapping our corner of the world.

I must say it was a lot less exiting than when the Google car came our street a few years ago. The Google car was all decked out in the corporate colors and the driver waved and smiled while I took a photo of the car. The Bing car was as low profile as you can get with all that apparatus strapped to your hood. I’m thinking these collectors have met some resistance now that the novelty has worn off and surveillance has gone too far.

I had a dream last night that there were two Bing cars and they were mapping a section of the city that overlapped somehow. They were trying to sort out the confusing data they had collected in a city they knew nothing about.

Margaret Explosion plays the Little Theater Cafe tonight. 7:30-9:30

Bloggers Law

Wednesday, May 7th, 2014

Quonset hut house on Titus Avenue in Rochester, New York

I thought I would read a bit more about Putin’s new “Blogger’s Law” before I risked speaking my mind but as I typed “Putin” in Google I was prompted to check out “Putin’s girlfriend” and I never got to the law so here goes.

When I was building homes as a “rougher” we built three types of homes, split levels, ranches and center entrance Colonials. Oh and there was this thing called a “raised ranch.” These “Domas Homes” were in a new development off Lyell Road. They were cheap and probably didn’t age well. In case you don’t know what a rougher is, some people call them framers, they build the basic wood structure and get out before the “finished” carpenters move in. When I first started as a rougher I hollered out a measurement to my boss, Salvatore Caramana, something like “62 and an eighth.” And he hollered back, “An eighth? I can’t see a fucking eighth.”

Anyway, we didn’t build any Quonset huts. They look like something they might have in Russia.

Here is a song from last week’s gig.

Margaret Explosion - Contemplation
Margaret Explosion – Contemplation

Margaret Explosion – “Contemplation”

Mental Floss

Thursday, December 19th, 2013

Wegmans news stand in Rochester. New York

Magazines and the whole print world have clearly taken a hit but somehow the magazine rack at Wegmans hasn’t gotten any smaller. I picked up a few this morning and would have bought something if I could have found anything interesting. It seems instead of just going out of business they have filled their pages with more ads and shorter articles. Rolling Stone was hard to even flip though. It was stuffed with blown-in subscription cards and heavy stock, multipage ad supplements. An article entitled “The Year Pop’s Future Arrived” had a picture of Paul McCartney in it. Maybe that was the point. No future.

A casual glance reveals there are more Mac oriented mags than PC ones and for a system that is so intuitive and easy to use there is the niche journal, “iPad For Seniors.” I was afraid to open “The Saturday Evening Post. Did it come back from the dead? “If “Fast Company” really knows “The Secrets Of The Most Productive People” they certainly aren’t secrets. And I was too skeptical to look at the “Skeptical Inquirer’s” article on “Islamic Creationism.”

Do Not Call

Friday, July 5th, 2013

Concrete block wall with block windows in downtown Rochester, New York

I still don’t have a cell phone and I realize some day I will wish I did. For now a phone call is the last thing I want when I leave the house. But I’m beginning to think a cell phone might be easier to ignore than the land line I sit next to. I started to yell at “Pamela from the Notification Center” but quickly realized it was a recorded voice telling me I had won some damn thing and I had to call back to claim my prize. A lot of good the “Do Not Call” registry does. Last week I got a call from someone at the National Riffle Association. They must really be desperate.

I had the choice to “Approve, Trash or Spam” this comment to my blog. I spammed it but I’m posting it as well. The guy writes better than I do.

“I intended to compose you that bit of observation in order to say thank you again on your pretty opinions you’ve contributed on this page. It’s quite wonderfully open-handed of people like you to allow freely what exactly many individuals could have supplied as an e-book in order to make some money on their own, particularly considering that you could have tried it in the event you wanted. Those solutions likewise served as the great way to comprehend most people have similar zeal just like my very own to understand a good deal more on the topic of this problem. I am sure there are lots of more enjoyable occasions up front for those who look over your website.”

Disco Devil

Wednesday, February 6th, 2013

We stepped out for a walk at the exact same time as our neighbor so we walked together down the road in to the park and back through the woods. We ordered new Merrill hiking boots when got back. Been meaning to do that since we’ve both worn through the bottoms with all or construction work. We called MedVed but they were out of both of our sixes so we shopped online.

We listened to a lot of music while we worked on our project and I got a little tired of all the big musical notes that my iTunes library shows when it can’t find the cover graphic for a song so I’ve started what could be an even bigger project – tracking down graphics through Google image search. Found a good one for Lee Perry “Disco Devil.”

Ethnic Heritage Ensemble plays out at the Lovin’ Cup tonight with the great Corey Wilkes on trumpet. How great is he? He filled the trumpet slot for the Art Ensemble when Lester Bowie passed away. I took this movie of Kahil El’Zabar’s drum solo last time they played the Village Gate.

World Go ‘Round

Thursday, January 31st, 2013

Paul, Larry, Kenny, Steve, Bill, Dave Bloomington 1969

My father is planning an open house for the Super Bowl. I don’t even know who’s playing and by that I mean the half time show. I could give a hoot about the game. Last great halftime show for us was Prince’s amazing performance in the Florida rain. Prince is always making a comeback and I love his new song with the double bass drums.

Facebook is great but almost everything about it bothers me. Do I really want to reconnect with my old friends in this photo? Do I want to know their birthdays? I don’t participate much the FB scheme but I accept friends when I go there and I’m always suspicious about who FB puts in my stream. Why are they there and not others? FB keeps track of every click of course, mine and my so called friends, and they build my page around those stats. They’re dying to get more content on their pages so they can sell ads and it is only a matter of time before photo albums will be interlaced with ads. I’d rather not think about their business model all the time.

Duane Sherwood recently rescued some thirty year old footage and posted some clips on the barely maintained Personal Effects FB page. He not only designed the production, he ran the show and then edited the video footage. He’s preparing a proper YouTube release this weekend.

The Topic Of This Problem

Wednesday, December 19th, 2012

Paul Dodd Patio drawing, sketch for etching, 1975

One of the joys of keeping a blog is sorting through the spam folder, comments from anonymous senders who hope you will post links to their illicit site. They are pretty easy to spot and read like they were written in Russian and then translated to English through Google. Here’s one from Ethelene Pimentel.

“I intended to compose you that bit of observation in order to say thank you again on your pretty opinions you’ve contributed on this page. It’s quite wonderfully open-handed of people like you to allow freely what exactly many individuals could have supplied as an e-book in order to make some money on their own, particularly considering that you could have tried it in the event you wanted. Those solutions likewise served as the great way to comprehend most people have similar zeal just like my very own to understand a good deal more on the topic of this problem. I am sure there are lots of more enjoyable occasions up front for those who look over your website.”

Funky Signs

Monday, July 16th, 2012

Don't Even Think of Parking Here sign in Sea Breeze New York

I’ve been squirreling away sign photos, looking for the right format to post them with for quite some time. I had a batch on the Refrigerator and I put a batch into a php/mysql database on Popwars but I got bogged down with the mechanics and then I read the article on Tumblr in Sunday’s NYT Magazine. I like the guy’s philosophy for sharing content, so much cooler than the dreaded fb.

So I set up another blog. Just what I need. I picked the simplest theme (it’s called “Simplification”), one column, no geegaws. I wanted to get the endless scrolling feature going like my nephew has on his Twitter page but I don’t think it works with my theme. I’m just getting started but I found something to eat up my spare time. With 64,000,000 blogs, I was kinda surprised no one had taken “Funky Signs“.

Beast Dance

Thursday, June 21st, 2012

Occasionally I check the stats that come with my WordPress blog. I don’t care about the numbers but I find the “Search Engine Terms
(terms people used to find your blog)” very interesting. I assume these are people who are interested enough in a particular search term to drill down to the PopWars entry on that topic but I don’t really know.

Today these random visitors were looking for “Keith Richards 1973,” Marlene Dumas,” “Snake Sisters Cafe Rochester,” “buffalo ’66 christina ricci,'” “beast dance cd,” “free budweiser wednesday,” “freedom village use bankruptcy,” “Buddy Holly last photo,” “burdock vs rhubarb” and my favorite “bike in bushes.”

Google Thumbs Up

Thursday, May 17th, 2012

Google Street View car on our street, Rochester, New York

My neighbor, Rick, and I were out playing horseshoes when the Google car drove by this afternoon so I wound up with this “making of” shot. I’m thinking we’ll both be in the updated street view when it is released. I had thought Google tried to take these shots early in the day so as not to get so many people, cars and potential lawsuits in the “street view” but that was based on our friends, Alice and Julio, who found themselves in the current street view of their neighborhood. They were up early, walking, and didn’t even see the Google car drive by. Months later they spotted themselves on the sidewalk halfway around the block from their house.

Rick beat me two games to none today. He keeps track of these things on his calendar. I’m up for the year but it’s a long season.

Web Portraits

Monday, April 2nd, 2012

"Model from Crime Page" charcoal drawing by Paul Dodd 2012

I like to say “the only reason I have a blog is so I can understand the content management system well enough to do blogs or cms sites for other people.” When someone asks for a website I recommend WordPress which pretty much puts me out of business and that is use fine by me. Peggi just did a site for Heather and it’s been fun watching her populate it. Why shouldn’t everyone be able to put content on their own site through a simple browser interface. This is 2012 for cripes sake. I also like to say I have a blog to keep track of things. I’ve used to search box on this site many times in order to remember what I did when. And then there’s the ability to share things. It sure saves a lot of “what’s new” conversations.

I suppose FaceBook is enough for most people but I know a few people who’ve recently dumped their fb pages because the whole creepy over-sharingthing thing. My nephew dropped out of fb and has gone twitter crazy so I ca still keep tabs on him. He’s out in Hollywood now walking a fine line. Maybe some day I paint a portrait of him.

I Miss My Mouse

Monday, April 18th, 2011

Three stacks of crime faces from the local paper. Oil paintings by Paul Dodd

I found this photo in my photo library on our iPad. I’m at least three years behind in photographing my paintings. Our addresses, contacts, email and photos all sync effortlessly with our desktop machines and we use theiPad for just about everything. Everything but productivity that is. Unless you count reading, surfing, listening to music or streaming movies as a productive activity. I kind of like typing on the thing.

Who would have guessed that it would take an heroic effort to crop and scale a photo to a particular pixel dimension like 450 x200 for example? As an experiment I tried a few apps like “Crop For Free” and then bought “Photogene” for $2.99 but that didn’t let me crop and scale which is one activity in Photoshop. So I bought FilterStorm and that does the trick in two steps. I saved two versions (the cropped version you see above and the full shot but in a scaled down size for the blowup) of the original photo back to my photo library and inserted them here. When I say “here” I should say I am in the WordPress app because I can’t even reach my photo library from the WP admin panel at my site in Safari. Not sure why that is but it acts like a limited version of Safari.

So I managed to do a post from the iPad but I’m exhausted. I still haven’t plugged in the $29 Camera Connection Kit but that would allow me to reach photos on my camera from the iPad and post to this site through the WP app. I’s all pretty amazing really.

It’s Heavy

Monday, April 11th, 2011

Ken Frank, Paul Dodd and Peggi Fournier playing as a trio version of Margaret Explosion at High Falls in Rochester, New York

Ken, Peggi and I played as trio version of Margaret Explosion over the weekend and Brian Peterson took this photo. It was a 50 dollar a head auction/party for the The Genesee Center For The Arts. Rick from Watkins & The Rapiers sat in with on trombone in the second set and we tore it up while Ken’s wife yelled for Stones and Neil Young covers. They had nice spread of food but we had already eaten and the small cannolis on the dessert table looked inviting but I was already paring down my food intake for my Monday morning colonoscopy.

This was second one and because they found a polyp on the run so they wanted to do another in five years. I asked my mom how many she had had and she said she’s never had one and my dad said one of his doctors recommended one but the other said he was too old it. He didn’t really like hearing that. I was dreading this whole thing but as they say, “The prep is the hardest part. Last time I had to drink a gallon of Drano. This time it was one two quarts but that pretty much shoots the day.

The sedative never completely knocked me out but it did space me out for most of the day. I was able to read the paper as soon as they were done but I was little wobbly when I stood up. We went directly from the doctor’s to SEA Restaurant on Monroe for a big bowl of Vietnamese Pho and then to the used bookstore next door. Peggi picked up a few things from the horror section and I found a four dollar book on Picasso and Matisse written by Francoise Gilot, one of Picasso’s exs. It was such a nice day we pretty much blew off work and headed out to the Apple store. I wanted to buy a USB Camera Connection Kit for our iPad. I want to be able to backup photos on my iPad and also work with photos when I’m out of town. My laptop feels so big and clumsy these days and it’s heavy!