While reading reviews of the cameras I was considering buying, a few things occurred to me. It is just too easy to be critical. Some sites do reviews as link baits. Some experts don’t know what they’re talking about. Digital cameras take three steps forward and one step back every time they make a move. Features that you grow accustomed to disappear. I like looking through a view finder. It blocks out the rest of the world for a bit while you frame the shot. Its hard to find a camera with one anymore. My little Sony had a histogram in the preview window when you were manual mode. With the Nikon you have to take a shot and then preview it before you can see the histogram. Who engineered that? And you have to take the battery out of the camera and put it into a charger to recharge it whereas the Sony and my old Kodak allowed you to recharge it in the camera. But I won’t focus entirely on the bad. I have more than twice the megapixels and I can shoot without the Flash in low light.
Now back to the bad. Why can’t I download the photos from the camera without using some clunky Nikon software? I took a my first batch of photos and plugged the USB cable into the camera and nothing showed up on the desktop. So I installed the Nikon software from the cd (notice I have not read the directions yet) and plugged the camera back in. The “Nikon Transfer” software launches and crashes and at the same time a window pops up to tell me a new version of the software is available. I go to Nikon’s site to download the update the software and it says I am not registered so I can’t download it.
So I went out to Target and bought a card reader, shoved the SD card in it and it mounted fine. Why couldn’t Nikon let you get at the files directly from the camera? I have ten days to decide whether I’m going to keep this thing. I’ll try some shots tomorrow. I may even read the manual.
I bought my fourth digital camera today. The photo above was taken with my first camera. Peggi was under the bridge on Culver in 1998 while I documented the underside. 4D designed the t-shirt she has on for Writers & Books.
My first two cameras were Kodaks, a one megapixel and a three. My father worked for Kodak and they came out of the employee store there. Both were refurbished and sold for about half price. My friend, Duane, worked for Warner Brothers Records and Sony bought them so he bought my third camera from the Sony employee store. That was a Cybershot DSC V1 and I loved it. It was five megapixel with a 4X optical zoom. The firmware is shot and it destroys memory cards so I gave up on it. I looked around and was ready to make a move on a Canon PowerShot SX100 IS until I held it in my hands. I felt light and cheap. The salesman at Rowe showed me a Nikon P5100 and I loved the way it felt. It has 12 megapixels and 3 1/2 X optical zoom. I’m charging the battery now.
My sister-in-law from LA just pulled in the driveway with my mother-in-law. They are here for dinner. We plan to have salmon (the wild stuff not the farm raised) and a salad. I have have to get out there and make that. I ‘m letting the girls get caught up.
Here’s one of the protesters in San Francisco as the Olympic torch passed through town. No, wait. That’s me protesting the Viet Nam war in Assembly Hall on the IU campus. No one would look that dorky today. I think Kim Torgerson took this shot.
We watched a very cool movie last night about letting go. Eva Mozes Kor, one of the Mengele twins who were experimented on at Auschwitz, stars in this documentary about her decision to forgive the Nazis for killing her family. She gets a lot of flack from people who can’t go that far but she holds up well. Margaret Explosion played at the Little last night and I was sort of expecting to fall asleep during this one but “Forgiving Dr. Mengele” was really well done and completely engaging.
I couldn’t help but think about another Jew’s plea as hung on the cross and of course that whole “turn the other cheek” thing. I looked up “forgive” this morning to see if it really is that simple. It is. Forgive “Stop feeling angry or resentful toward someone for an offense, flaw or mistake.”
There was a note from Janet Williams in my in box today and she attached a photo of the sensational painting that I referred to in yesterday’s post. I hope you like it as much as I do. She currently has three paintings in a show at the Oxford Gallery.
A few months back I took the tunnel between the new downtown library and the old library building by the river. There is usually some art on the walls there and this time it was Rochester Public Library employees. I scanned the walls as I walked but came to a screeching halt when I spotted this lusciously painted typewriter. It was the paint itself that stopped me. I realized it was a typewriter after a minute or so. And that is not because it was abstract. It was alive with painterly expression and raw beauty. The painting was by Janet Williams and I knew that she worked here but I had forgotten. I didn’t have my camera with me or I would have grabbed a shot. It doesn’t seem fair to inadequately describe something that I was knocked out by with showing it to you. Maybe Janet will send one along.
We were extremely busy with 4D Advertising work last year and we are extremely slow now so I thought I would update the woefully neglected Refrigerator. There is such a backlog of items to post that I have been researching content management systems to help me out. I found a few paintings by Janet from last year in the “Items To Post” folder. Here is a beautiful one called, “Lamp Left On All Night”.
Turkeys are almost too big to fly and even though they have wings it seems they would rather walk. Occasionally we come up on a group of them and they will all take off but that is only if we have really taken them by surprise. Otherwise they just walk a little faster to get away form us.
Alice asked to see my recent paintings last night and I expressed or tried to articulate a problem that I thought I was having with a few of them. I feel like I am ill equipped to fine tune some them that started off full of energy but are now bogged down. Bogged down because I’m trying to attend to poorly executed details. As I fumble my way through addressing these problems I feel like I’m over polishing and loosing the original energy.
Alice pointed out that speed isn’t everything and if the problem was really severe I could paint it out and start over. She made me realize that the choice is entirely mine as to whether I like the painting or not. And if I do, it is worth whatever it takes to finish it. The time frame is dictated by the situation and is really irrelevant to the finished piece.
I made a fire this morning even though it was near sixty and sunny. I was crumpling up yesterday’s paper and Peggi was reading Frank Rich’s op ed piece aloud from today’s paper.
“. . . a mini-Tet that belied the “success” of the surge. Even fewer noticed that the presumptive Republican nominee seemed at least as oblivious to what was going down as President Bush, no tiny feat.”
“Can you read that last sentence again”, I asked. She did and I looked down at my feet. “I don’t get the tiny feet part” I said. She read the line again and I finally got it. Do other languages share the same pronunciation of differently spelled words? I’ll ask Julio, a native of Spain, when I see him later for dinner.
Last night was the annual “Jazz Night” at Mountain Rise United Church of Christ in Pittsford, NY. Peggi’s mom belongs to this church and she invited us out. This is the same UCC organization that Obama belongs to. I wanted to tell the minister at this church that I pretty much agreed with the Reverend Wright but I resisted.
Parishioner and piano player Rob Blumenau put a great band together. He said their average age was 43. The bass player was an Eastman student, the guitar player was still in high school and the other two weren’t giving their age up. But Rob did say the the drummer, Brad Paxton, brought the average up more than he did. And the drummer was a wild man! He has played with a long list of famous performers. He and Rob were having a great time. We did too.
Last night’s opening of “Electric Florets” was really well attended. Geri’s son Paul worked the bar while simultaneously hanging out with his friends. The big wall with a grid of sixteen oil pastel mandalas was most impressive. Geri’s painting teacher, Fred Lipp, was there engaged in deep conversation with Alice. Another fellow classmate, Lorraine, slipped in and out while we provided a sonic background to the din in the room.
During our break Katherine Denison told me the band sounded “really tight”. I told her that “tight” was a word I would never apply to Margaret Explosion. And she said, “I know. I’ve been at the Little when it’s been real loosey goosey”. That’s more like it.
Pineapples went up a dollar at Wegmans. They were $3.99 each all winter and are now $4.99. They are one of the only produce items left with a flat cost attached to them instead of a per pound cost. With most produce I enter the 4 or 5 digit code and the scale computes the cost based on the weight. But with pineapples I put the fruit on the store scales just to see which one is the heaviest and then buy that one. I can usually find one that is over six pounds. I think limes are sold this way too.
It is a beautiful day here, sunny and headed toward sixty, a perfect day for painting in the basement.
OK. So it’s raining. No excuse for not taking a walk. If you don’t get out there you won’t see the robins gorging themselves on worms or the one legged turkey doing the turkey hop. And you won’t find any golf balls along the golf course and you’re never gonna find any empty 24 ounce Bud cans along the road. I picked up two today and had them in my hand when I waved to a neighbor who drove by. She’s probably thinking, “So that’s the guy that’s been dumping all those cans down here.”
Geri McCormick asked Margaret Explosion to play at her opening tonight of “Electric Florets” at the Genesee Center for the Arts.
Andrea’s Burma Shave bit seems to be having an effect. We only found one 24 ounce can of Budweiser today.
I spent most of the day yesterday doing php and MySQL experiments with Bill Jones. And then at our Margo gig last night Bob told me I should checking out the open source content management system called Joomla. I’m ready to try some dynamic pages. We had friends over for dinner and we got a really late start for the Margo gig. I loaded the car while Peggi made some soup. We were almost there and Peggi asked me if I put her sax in the car. Whoops.
I found these pop bottles in the woods near our house. I’m guessing some neighborhood kids left them down there a long time ago. I bought a bottle washer at Home Depot and scrubbed them clean with Mr. Clean before taking this photo. Now all I have to do is get that “Mr. Clean” jingle out of my head.
Pop bottles looked like this when I was a kid so they must all be fifties vintage. The empty Qualtop bottle is really heavy and it holds only 6 and 1/2 ounces of liquid. The Miller’s bottle with the slogan, “Short and Good”, holds 6 ounces and the 7-Up bottle with the “You Like It. It Likes You.” slogan holds 7. These are all a long ways from today’s “Big Gulp”.
All three bottles have “Rochester, N.Y.” printed on them. The Miller’s bottle has “Rochester Soda Water Co. Inc.” on the back and that brings up this whole “pop” verses “soda” thing. We call it “pop” in Rochester but in New York City they call it “soda”. In Detroit, where the accent is nearly indistinguishable from the Rochester accent, they call it “pop”. And it was “soda” when we lived in Indiana. I like “pop” better.
That’s the head of the snowman from yesterday’s entry on the left.
Apple was up six today. Somebody sees some light at the end of this tunnel but we’re still worried. We’re considering making extra house payments with the cash on hand instead of playing the horses. That way “if the market does go to heck in a hand basket”, as our ML guy likes to say, we’ll be protected from the rain.
I’ve been experimenting with hummus recipes that I’ve found online. I thought it was spelled “humas” at first and apparently a few other people did too. I made a batch of “humas” with jalapeños that was quite good. I’ve made four different kinds in last few weeks. I had a hummus, onion and spinach sandwich for dinner. I don’t like it when the first hit tastes like tahini. Three of these recipes have called for too much tahini vs. the chick peas. And the garlic gets overpowering fast. I like lime juice in there. Today I made the mistake of dumping all the gooey ingredients into the food processor without first putting the blade in there first so I had scoop it all back out. I’ll have my own recipe tweaked with a few more trials.
Note to the dude that drives down the dead end, Hoffman Road, and throws his 20 ounce Budweiser cans out the window: We have your number. Most of the snow disappeared today in the near 70 degree temperature and we found ten tall Bud cans along the side of the road. We are talking of making Burma Shave-like signs and sticking them in the ground down there. First one would read, “Mr. Budweiser”. Second one would probably get us arrested if we said what we thought.
My sister stopped by today and we were talking. Actually she does most of the talking so that sort of makes it easy. One of her daughters goes to a conservative church and she told us that our other sister is concerned about that. The sister who stopped by says, “What does it matter. My daughter is all grown up and she’s happy”.
I was thinking of this Frederick Douglas (a Rochesterian) quote that I read last night. This was in connection to something much more serious (the relationship of slave to master) but it kind of explains how the world keeps from getting lopsided.
“What he most dreaded, that I most desired. What he most loved, that I most hated. That which to him was a great evil, to be carefully shunned, was to me a great good, to be diligently sought.”
We walked through the woods today and came across four different parties of deer. The skies were pure blue and the snow was disappearing under our feet. When we got to the park we decided to walk up Log Cabin Road to the Wisner. We were asking for trouble here because dog people drive to this intersection and then let their dogs run free (i.e. take a dump on the road).
As we walked we watched an oversize woman bend over and call her dog from her over sized husband in a US Army sweatshirt. He had just let the big black dog off its leash. The dog came right at us and the women chided the dog with, “Well I guess you would rather go home with them than us.” A little further up the the road we ran into Whimsey, a Golden Retriever, who walked in circles around us while sniffing our bodies. With raising her voice or applying an inflection, the woman said, “You’re a bad dog Whimsy. You’re a bad dog Whimsy.”
About ten years ago I made the mistake of putting the back of my hand out for a stray dog to sniff. It grabbed my hand and and mangled it. I spent the afternoon in Emergency getting injections of Human Globulin directly into the wounds and then stitches. And there was a month of rabies shots at regular intervals. I couldn’t play drums for weeks. Dogs aren’t all that cute any more. Except for little white, wiry things and Dachshunds and Basset Hounds and our neighbor’s dogs. And that one that bit me.
We picked up some Chinese at Golden Dynasty to take out to Peggi’s mom’s place. I ordered Jalapeño Tofu which I love because it tastes like the pepper and onion mixture that street vendors dump on an Italian sausage. My fortune was was stellar. “Ideas you may believe as absurb ultimately lead to success!”
Back at home we watched “We Jam Econo”, the Minutemen documentary. Main Minuteman D. Boon, in the center, was a lovable teddy bear who advised moms and dads to teach their children about art so they could teach their children about art. I tracked down their double album, “Double Nickles On The Dime” in the basement this morning and plan on taking it for a spin tonight.
It snowed yesterday, a wet snow, and during the night clumps of snow fell off the pine tree that hangs over our bedroom. It sounded like squirrels jumping from the limbs to our roof and it sounded like they were digging into something. I figured they had found a way into our attic which is about a foot and a half tall at the peak. I imagined they were tearing up the place. I got the ladder out in the morning and went up on the roof. There were no footprints.
It was good packing. We rolled up a dirty snowman.
Work is so slow, I’ve been spending days organizing my digital life. I have all our mp3s on one drive and a backup of that folder on another drive. Each computer had its own folder of photos and random backups were scattered about. Never again. Our photos are all on one drive and we have a backup of that. Our primary computers are all running Time Machine. And there is a hard drive next to the stereo with the mp3 library on it. New cds get ripped when they walk in the door. I’m even letting iTunes manage the batch.
With all our mp3s in one place the Party Shuffle feature gets a good groove on. We just listened to a Coltrane tune from Impressions, Ain’t Nothin’ Goin’ On But The Rent, a 20 minute Mingus Medley, Respectable by the Stones (their last good album), Eric Dolphy Springtime, The ChiLites Oh Girl, Tommy James Cellophane Symphony, Bob Dylan I’m Not There, Maggot Brain, I Got It Bad by Peggy Lee and Marquee Moon.
Dwight sent us this shot of fours guys who went out to hear Margaret Explosion last night. The shot looks like it was caught caught on a surveillance camera. The Little closed the Cafe for a private party last night. Sorry about that. We’ll be back next week.
Peggi spent many hours preparing for today’s pre-hearing on our tax reassessment issue. As we headed into the library for encounter we noticed another couple coming out. The woman had a manila envelope and the man had his hands in his pockets. So I put my hand my packets. We signed in at a desk in the basement in front of three tables where people were making their cases. This was a carpeted rec room with colorful signs on the walls. One read, “How Many Ways Can You Tell A Story”. Others read, “Tell It With Stories”, “Have Fun With Words”, Some Words Rhyme” and “Tell It With Puppets”. We started laughing while picturing the idea of Peggi presenting our case with puppetry.
In the middle of fifth grade my parents moved from the city and I started school at Holy Trinity in Webster. There was immediate pressure to join the group that smoked in the woods on recess. I resisted but made friends with them. Some people teased me and made me the brunt of jokes that I didn’t understand. Mostly it seemed like there was this intense challenge coming from all parties to see where I was coming from and what I was made of. I must have bent over to pick up a penny in the hallway or something because I remember kids kids teasing me with, “Dodd goes down for browns”. I survived and had a good time there.
I told Peggi this story a long time ago and today we found a penny on the ground while we were walking and of course you can guess what Peggi said.
The deer just wander around through the hills where we live. But we don’t really live in hills even though everybody calls them that. The earth goes gradually downhill as you move north toward Lake Ontario and when you get near the lake the sandy soil just sort of falls away into fairly steep ravines. When you’re down in a ravine looking up, it looks like hills. So maybe they are hills. They wouldn’t be fake hills.
These deer spent the night in our backyard. They melt the snow while they sleep and leave little pods of bare ground behind in the morning. And the first thing they do when they get up is poop because there is always a little pile of the pellets near the pod.
This woman had herself crucified along with seventeen others even though the Archbishop of San Fernando in the Philippines urged devotees not to turn Holy Week into a circus. Philippine health officials warned people taking part in Easter crucifixions and self-flagellation rituals to get a tetanus shot first and sterilize the nails to avoid infections.
We traveled to Spain a few years back and spent Holy Week in Granada. Semana Santa is the biggest string of holy days/holidays of the year there. We watched processions wind through the streets with bands, women in black lace mantillas and teams of guys hidden beneath and supporting the weight of floats with the virgin in the lead and a depiction the suffering Christ in the rear. In Spain this is all a reverent but festive affair. The goose bump inducing highlight is always when the procession stops and the crowd grows silent while someone sings a saeta to the virgin.
We had dinner yesterday with Peggi’s mom and my brother, Fran. I was thinking about how we used to give up candy for Lent and then gorge ourselves on Easter and my parents asking us to remain silent between noon and 3PM on Good Friday (the hours Christ was hanging on the cross). I don’t think we were able to do this. My whole family left the Church while I was in high school and my parents are now more likely to celebrate Passover than Easter with their children and in-laws. But that Catholic stuff hangs around.
About fifteen years ago I revisited the Way of the Cross and began the process of recasting the Passion Play in present time. I collected source material with the intention of doing a series of paintings. I don’t believe anyone rose from the dead except maybe Shirley Maclaine so I was kind of bummed to see the last Pope amend the fourteen stations of the cross that I remember so vividly from my childhood. He gave the story an implausible, happy ending by adding the Resurrection as the fifteen station. When I do get around to these paintings I only plan to do fourteen of them.