In the mid seventies I worked for the Rochester Police Department in the plain clothes division. I’ve talked about before here so there will probably be some repetition. I was hired as a graphic artist and I had access to the mugshot files. In fact part of my job entailed making fliers of suspects and in some cases I was given these goofy composites. A detective met with someone who was a victim or witness and they put together this image that was made up of clear sheets with features printed on them. So the composite was a pile of plastic sheets paper clipped together.
I loved this job but they didn’t give me enough work. I brought the New Yorker to work. I was bored out of my mind. My doctor prescribed Valiums so I could relax but I didn’t really care for them. I skipped out to visit Brad Fox who worked as a guard in the county office building on Main Street. That’s the way it often is in the not for profit world.
I developed a fondness for mugshots and paint them in my spare time. I’m looking for better resources than the Crimestoppers page in the morning paper. Maybe I can get a part time job with Police Department.
We watched “Guerrilla: The Taking of Patty Hearst” last night and I remembered that I kept this page from People magazine from that time period. The movie was pretty lame considering the sensational story and dramatic characters. It would make a great opera.
Patty’s narcotic like voice in the audio tapes that she sent home and to the country were like beautiful art pieces. I remember how exciting it was each time a new one was released. There was a lot of speculation that she was drugged but Patty’s voice sounded the same in her press conference when she was released.
Patty’s transformation from Kidnap victim in a closet to the Bonnie and Clyde style bank robber, Tania, was as riveting as watching OJ Smpson get away with murder. “Death to the fascist insect that preys upon the life of the people”, the Symbionese Liberation Army and their seven headed serpent logo, the whole thing was like performance art. Patty gets her father to empty his bank account and feed the poor. Governor Ronald Reagan predicts no one will accept the food and then riots break out in the mad rush to grab the goods.
And back to the opera. Steven Weed, Patty’s boyfriend who was with her when she was kidnapped, pines for Patty and then gets dumped on the national stage as Patty took up with the revolutionaries. Which one of them was she sleeping with?
This is the way the caption of the People magazine article read. “These pictures show a few of the ways that Patty Hearst might try to avoid recognition. The face directly below, prepared with Identi-Kit composites used in police work by an Identi-Kit expert, is structurally similar to Patty’s own smiling face in the above photograph. Though the basic facial features remain the same, a different hair style (even a man’s), wigs, glasses or a paste-on mustache or Van Dyke beard could radically change Patty’s appearance. What she cannot easily disguise, however, are her height (5’3″), her weight (110 lbs.), or, as all the pictures illustrate, the small mole near her chin.”
I picked some near perfect tomatoes from the garden along with a handful of jalapeño peppers and made salsa to bring to the family gathering at my brother’s house. My sister-in-law told me it was ‘the best batch yet” and that got me singing that Captain Beefheart song. “We don’t have to suffer. We’re the best batch yet.”
There are five ingredients in my salsa – tomatoes, onion, jalapeños, fresh cilantro and lime juice. Each has a very important role and when the tomatoes are local, it really sings. I studied the salsa they served in the Yukatan to discern the proportions. It takes more cilantro than you would imagine.
It seems like half my family was born in August (my parents used the rythym method) so we celebrate all the August birthdays at once. Our niece’s boyfriend, Eric Ryan, brought the crossword puzzle from Newsday and it took the whole family to lick it. My youngest sister knew that Marie Osmond had a hit with “Paper Roses” and my father knew that “Sandy’s owner” was Little Orphan Annie. We could have used Peggi’s mom’s help as she is somewhat of a crossword puzzle ace but she wasn’t feeling well enough to come.
After the picnic, my other sister, her daughter and her boyfriend, and Peggi and I all stopped in to see Peggi’s mom. Peggi’s mom had her pink, “Cocktail Hour” pjs on. We took a short walk around the halls. My niece had broken her leg while walking her dog so she was on crutches and Peggi’s mom uses a walker. Our pace was so slow that Eric Ryan could read aloud from his magazine.
Peggi sprung her mom from Highland Hospital yesterday afternoon and drove her to the Living Center next store to her apartment. She has to spend two weeks there for rehab in order to get strong enough to return to home.
Margaret Explosion had a gig at the Village Gate Courtyard and it was a beautiful night for it. Bernie Heveron played bass with us so it was Personal Effects again for the night so we did instrumental versions of “Big Man”, “Don’t Wake Me” and Bring Out The Jazz”. It was very casual gig. I got up to take this shot in the middle of a song. Rick Simpson and his buddies juggled fire during our break. Gary Trainer from the Atomic Swindlers was there and Scott from Watkins and the Rapiers. John Gilmore picked up a pizza from Nino’s and brought it back to the house. Bob Mahoney, Bill and Geri and Jeff and Mary Kaye all stopped by. We watched Peggi’s movies from the tractor pull in Pike.
We did some 4D business this morning and then headed out to the backyard to continue preparing the house for its new coat of paint. That meant scraping and sanding the trim around the windows in our living room so I spent most the afternoon up on the ladder. We had the windows open and iTunes cranking so time flew. We took a brake to swim down the street and then got back to work. We thawed some homemade spaghetti sauce from last year for dinner and headed out to visit Peggi’s mom in her new room. She was out walking the halls when we got there. I was happy to find a healthy wifi signal and posted this from there.
Labor Day weekend always signals a sense of panic for me. We were going to take a sail on the big catamaran that’s docked down by the river. I think it’s called “Wild Hearts”. We were going to paint our house this summer and it’s only half done. We talked of taking a vacation but that didn’t really materialize. I was going to rework the Refrigerator so at least I can find stuff. I was reminded of that item last night when someone sent this.
Subject: whoever does this site…
You’re a f**king GENIUS man!!!! I absolutely LOVE the refrigerator.
I used to live in Rochester and after 16 politically correct, yuppy, whitebread years living in Seattle – I’m still homesick. Great stuff. Thanks!
And we definitely didn’t spend enough time down at the pool. So where did the summer go? I know you are supposed to take time off from labor this weekend but I feel like I have to work to get caught up.
They really knew how to torture you in high school. Sitting in a room after school with nothing to do was about as bad as it got. Looks like I tried skipping detention and got another slip for cutting detention. I found a few of the pink slips in my old yearbook along with this entry from Melinda Lasher.
“Paul, Next year you’ll probably major in Math right? Or maybe English. (I must have been in those two classes with her) Course it wasn’t too bad for you ’cause you never even came. I never saw someone get away with skipping as much as you.”
Peggi and I were having a nice dinner, an exact repeat of the night before, when I realized that I had to be at a high school reunion meeting in two minutes. I grabbed the badges that I had been working on and drove fast over the Bay Bridge and down to the lake to the classmate’s house. This was supposed to be the last meeting but nobody showed up except me and another woman with a Lilydale (New York State Spiritualist community) t-shirt on. The three of us didn’t exactly finish our business.
We had nominated the three guys that weren’t at our last meeting to be the MCs but then they didn’t show up at this meeting either so they won’t even know that they are the MCs until they show up at the reunion. And of course there won’t be any sort of program to officiate and there probably won’t even be a PA unless the VFW has one lying around. It will all be fine though as as long as the DJ that we hired isn’t too loud or some sort of creep. Bob Brenna and I were the MCs of our high school talent show and I ad libbed most of that. I just recommended Bob’s lawyering services to my sister who was unfairly fired from her job. Bob recommended another lawyer. I had the lead in a high school play too and I fumbled some lines so badly that I shot us all into the next act. We had too do some serious ad lib backpedaling to get straightened out. Laurice Densmore was the female lead and she will be at the reunion. I’m looking forward to seeing her.
Even though I was running late for the meeting I stopped at my brother’s house. I couldn’t just drive by. He was in the middle of dinner, two burnt hot dogs and a bag of potato chips that he was dipping in applesauce. Sounds like something I would like. He pointed to the ashtray on the table and said he had started smoking again because his ex-wife was squeezing him for more money. I told him that wasn’t a good enough reason. When I got to the meeting the host’s husband was working out in the garage with the radio on. He looked really happy. After the meeting he showed me his human skull. He works at Ward’s Scientific. I told him I would like to have one of those.
When I got back home Peggi was on the phone with her mom who had fallen and hit her head. Peggi was preparing to head out to her mom’s apartment and she’ll probably spend the night there. When she got there she reminded her mom of the question the emergency doctor asked her the last time she fell. “Remember mom, the doctor said, ‘What’s your name? And you said?” Peggi’s mom didn’t remember at first but then said, “Puddin’ Tane. Puddin’ Tane. Ask me again and I’ll tell you the same”. She’s gonna be all right.
People who don’t host their own blogs have it easy. Blogger or Blogspot or WordPress or whoever it is that hosts the sites take care of keeping the thing up to date. I have to do it myself and I always worry that I’m going to lose the whole site during an upgrade.
Peggi installed the Akismet spam filter plugin on the Scorgies site it really works so this morning before coffee she decided to install it on Popwars. At the same time she did the WordPress Automatic Upgrade to 2.6.1. Went pretty smoothly until I tried to login to my own blog. I applied for a new password and that didn’t work. I could comment on my posts but I could not login. I pictured myself forever commenting on my Rolling Stones post. Peggi did battle and determined that the wp-login.php file apparently got corrupted.
Sometimes, when I want to get to my blog, I type PopWars in Google and then click on the link it finds. There is a skate board company out there with the name but I got there first. Today I noticed a “Britpop” tag next to the return on the Google page. I think it has something to do with the StumbleUpon add on I use in Firefox. There is another Paul Dodd too. He’s England’s number one soccer hooligan. Not sure how I got labeled Britpop but I thought I would go with it.
“All sold out. Well I felt so free. It was just like that. I was put down flat.” I think the Stones may have reached their zenith with “Between The Buttons”. This album still sounds wildy adventurous to me and I am old enough to remember the Stones doing a song off this lp with cleaned up lyrics on the Ed Sullivan show. I love the cover photo and Charlie’s drawings on the sleeve. It’s more pop than blues and I think Brian Jones had a lot to do with it. And I love Charlie’s drawings on the sleeve.
Ruby Tuesday was ok but All Sold Out, My Obsession and She Smiled Sweetly should have all been hits. Can we go back and do it again?
We hadn’t quite finished the paper this morning when the gears switched and we got into home repair mode. Could there a more boring topic for a blog entry? I had built this temporary form for the bowed concrete block sill under the windows in our kitchen and today I planned on applying concrete patch to try and restore the crisp corners that had worn away over the years. The two by fours propped up on the bottom of the ledge will serve as support for the wet concrete. This sill actually continues all the way around our concrete block house as a decorative accent. We have over hangs that are four feet wide and they shelter most of the house from the elments but this one section where the window is bumped out gets a lot of weather.
I needed more of the patch product so that meant another trip to our second home, Home Depot, and once I finish this concrete repair we will start painting. So that meant a stop at Mayer’s Hardware for Benjamin Moore paint. I tried to check their Sunday hours online but I got a Google warning, the first time I seen one of these.
“Warning – visiting this web site may harm your computer! Of the 3 pages we tested on the site over the past 90 days, 3 page(s) resulted in malicious software being downloaded and installed without user consent. The last time Google visited this site was on 08/19/2008, and the last time suspicious content was found on this site was on 08/19/2008.”
When we got to the store we asked,”What’s going on with your website?”. The girl behind the counter shrugged and and asked the other two workers, “Do you guys know know anything about the website?”. One of the other workers said, “I’ve never been there” They were nonplussed to say the least. But they had the New York Times at the counter so we continued where we left off while they filled our order.
We rode our bikes down to Durand Eastman beach this afternoon to catch Joe Tunis as Joe+N at his fifth of six stops on his ninth annual day tour. He is seen here performing with his band Tumul. Cameron (on the left with the Miami Vice t-shirt) has real hair. Joe does too but his is short. The wig came out about a third of the way through their set. That’s Chris Reeg from the Blood and Bone Orchestra on the ground with the camera. The two bikes in this shot are ours. Cameron said he likes hiding behind stuff. The amps are battery operated. Joe from Nod was there. He told us he’s eating at Pasta Villa tonight. Bathers were just behind the bushes and there was a kid yelling for ice cream. His pleas were picked up on and sampled and looped.
A lot of the companies that we do website work for would die for the kind of traffic Julia Nunes gets. We have been trying to keep up with her by joining her YouTube channel so we get notified when she posts a new video. And then we get the embed source and put it on the front page of her website. But by the time we get to YouTube she has already had 20,000 views. Some of her videos have over a million plays.
Today she asked us to put a jpeg of her new cd on the site with a “Pre-order now and get an autographed copy” head. We did that and some work for another client and and then went down to the pool for a half hour or so. We came back to frantic emails and calls on both lines. We assumed the cd was ten dollars like her previous one but this one is more and they were getting swapped with orders already. How do you get swamped in a half hour?
I just spent most of this evening digging up Paper Faces memories to do an entry on the Scorgies site. I was signed in as Peggi, the administrator, so looks it like she wrote it. She is proofing it now on another machine.
I grew up here but went to Indiana for a few years to go to school and then hang out. When I moved back with Peggi I was pretty surprised to find this place on Monroe Avenue. It was in the block where the Bug Jar is today. We ate here once and it was pretty good. We just didn’t eat out much in those days. I think Susan Plunkett from Jazzberrys had something to do with this place but I’m not sure.
I found this note from that time period. It’s an unemployment claim that Peggi made while she was looking for work. When we left Bloomington she was working as a dental assistant. The first thing this dentist did was gas the kids to keep them quiet. Peggi and her coworkers hung around the office after it closed and sampled the gas themselves. The note says “Claimant quit to move to New York State with to seek work as teacher and grocery cashier. The employer says that she went to New York with her boyfriend. There is evidence that claimant worked for 10 weeks at $36 or more per week. I think she was rejected.
Pete and Shelley kept us up til two last night or maybe we kept them up. I don’t remember. They left Rochester this morning with their new laptop and my old Kodak digital camera. They should be able to generate enough solar power up there to keep these two electronic devices going in the woods.
Peggi and I met the other members of Margaret Explosion at the Little Theater at noon. We were asked to be a prop for a photo in the cafe that will be used in an upcoming brochure. Were played a few improvisations while they set up the shot and then started talking about the upcoming Scorgies Reunion. We tried acoustic versions of Personal Effects songs, “Zeke’s Baby Girl”, “I Had Everything”, “Baby, Baby”, “Bring Out The Jazz” and one where Bob was playing “Porch” and Peggi was playing “Fascinating Game”. Ken didn’t really know the songs but he sounded great. It was the first time we had done these songs in twenty years or so.
Pete and Shelley asked us to keep a look out for a used Apple laptop because their old laptop, a Powerbook 190 running System 7.5.2, was acting up. It could not hold a charge anymore and the floppy drive stopped working. We watched Craigs List for a few weeks and found a nice 1.5 GHz PowerBook at a good price. We connected the old laptop to a LaCie 1 gig SCSI drive that we borrowed from Walter Ketcham. We dragged years worth of documents (letters written in SimpleText and short books written in Quark 3.0 for a total of 29.3 meg) from the laptop to the SCSI drive.
You can’t see our PowerMacintosh G3 (we use it as a stand for our HP laser prnter) but that is where the magic happened. Luckily we had saved our old CRT monitor and a ADB mouse and keyboard so I dug them out of the basement. We hooked the SCSI drive up to the G3 and dragged the Pete and Shelley files to an external firewire drive. We had put a $10 firewire card in that machine years ago. It was kind of fun booting in System 9 and watching the SCSI drive mount and I happy we hung on to our old equipment. In fact we are still using the blue/grey 350 MHz PowerMac G4 in the upper left hand corner of this picture to collect our email. Matt from theiLife.com helped us get Leopard on it by booting it in Target mode and installing from his laptop.
The last step was a breeze. We just plugged the firewire drive into Pete and Shelley’s new used laptop and slid their files on to the new Powerbook, a major upgrade for them and a seamless transition for us. They can sit in the woods and continue and carry on their digital lifestyle until their battery runs down. And then they will have to depend on solar power to recharge it.
We had dinner with Alice and Julio on and learned that Alice was geared up to paint but was having too much fun in the garden to get to it yet. Dinner conversation led to a topic that required the assistance of our laptop. And of course that led to other online topics. Julio had me type in their address on Google maps and we looked at a street view of their house. Alice led me down their street with the little arrows and we turned the corner to find two people walking on the sidewalk in front of a neighbor’s house. It was Alice and Julio out for a walk last summer.
Saturday morning we were reading on our deck, eating cherries and delaying the day’s planned activity, power washing the house. I came in to check email and there was one from Jeff Munson telling us that he had just talked Mary Kaye into driving down to Pike at the bottom of the state for the last day of the Wyoming County Fair. He asked if we wanted to ride along with them. I emailed back that we were on.
We had hoped to see the prize winning animals, our favorite part, but they were mostly all headed home after spending the week at the fairgrounds. We did see some goats, pigs and cows. This is the heart of New York farm country and there were a lot of vendors selling wood stoves, cow milking machines, four wheel drive vehicles, dirt bikes, big farm equipment,huge tractors and “The World’s Fastest Lawnmower”.
We saw women in period dress weaving on old looms and baking in brick ovens. We walked around the midway and rode on the Ferris wheel. A lot of people were wearing t-shirts that made statements like, “I Won’t Lower My Standards To Raise Yours”. And one guy had a red t-shirt on that asked a question that puzzled me at first? “Does This Match My Neck?” Peggi explained it.
We felt like we had done it all and were set to leave when tractor pull satrted. It was ten bucks to get in and we didn’t even know what it was but we went for it. That’s another story. I grabbed a few photos and will sort them out.
On Sunday we borrowed our neighbor’s power washer and hooked the gasoline fired machine up to our garden hose to blast our house clean. It’s now ready to paint. Rick and Monica were doing yard work as well and they invited us over for dinner. We ate on their back porch and then watched Hellboy from Netflix. I fell asleep.
The alkalinity was out of whack at our neighborhood pool so Peggi had to dump in five pounds of a baking soda like mix to get it under control. We brought our laptop down there and had our pick of three unprotected networks. We listened to songs on Kevin Patrick‘s blog and basked in the sun. “A Little Bit of Soap” by the Exciters sounded fantastic. We discovered there is a 1960’s era transistor radio built into our laptop.
I was looking for a poster from the Marianne Faithfull show at Scorgies to put on the Scorgies site and I started rummaging through some old scrapbooks. I came across this “stat” (photo from a line camera used in graphic arts in the old days). Mechanical artists were expected to know how to use a stat camera in those days and you were always running to the darkroom to shoot a logo or blow up some type or just hang around in the dark. The paper that we used could only show black or white, no gray tones, and you usually waxed the back of the photo paper and stuck down on on a mechanical board. This was called a “paste up”. These cameras could do a halftone but you had to put a screen on top of the paper before exposing it. It was usually 65 or 85 line. And your image was still black or white, you just had tiny little black dots to represent the gray tones.
Sometimes the camera was way out of focus or maybe you forgot to put the image you wanted to copy in and you would get some surprising results. I don’t remember how the image above came about. Maybe I just found it in the trash. It still looks pretty good.
Some bigger ad agencies had their their own camera guys. I worked at one place where the guy closed the dark room door, cranked Thin Lizzy and smoked pot all day. He asked that we just slide requests under the door. And the guy at Sibleys would take naps in the dark room. You had to wake him up to get a shot. Of course he was following the Greatful Dead all over the Northeast at night. He had a real darkroom setup in there and he made enlargements of Jerry that he sold at the shows.
After finishing work at 4D we drove to my parents house to help my father trim the shrubs in their backyard. They have grown to about ten feet high and I did the job with my father’s three legged wooden ladder. On the side of it it says, “This ladder is designed for use in orchards”. I worked my way around the row of bushes and was almost done when I cut into a wasp’s nest. I got stung on my head and on my wrist and almost cut the electric cord jumping off the ladder.
We left there and headed out to Peggi’s mom’s apartment where we had dinner in our favorite restaurant, Le Petite Bistro”. As we sat down to dinner an instrumental, easy listening rendition of “And then I go and spoil it all by saying something stupid like, I love you” was playing. But forget about making reservations here, it is open only to residents and their guests.
Peggi’s mom still gets the Wall Street Journal but barely reads it. I glance at the rabid right wing editorials and usually find a few interesting articles. Today there was one about the guy who invented the Captcha system (Completely Automated Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart). I am really glad to know there is such a test. I get them confused all the time. Clusters of letters are distorted and presented for you to tell the computer what you see in order to prove that you are a human. Sometimes it takes me three tries to get it right so I am contributing my share of the estimated 500,000 hours a day (I had no idea there were that many hours in a day) that people spend solving these inane security clearance issues.
This guy has developed a new version, called ReCaptcha, that puts those hours to good use. Most people have used OCR software. I use this package that came with the free Canon printer/scanner/fax I got with the last Mac we bought. Today I scanned an old article on Scorgies that Bob Martin’s father left behind when he passed away. Bob photographed the twenty five year old article and I OCRed it rather than typing it. There were many words that looked like cartoon swearing so I had to go back to the photo to make a human call on what the word was supposed to be.
Google and other companies have been scanning printed books from the pre-computer age and they plan to put them online someday but their OCR software has the same problem as mine especially with books that are over a century old. And paying humans to make all these judgement calls is very expensive. So ReCaptcha funnels scans of the words that the software is stumbling over to the online companies that need the captcha service and it has people like us make the human call on what the word is. Others have already guessed at the same word and if a certain number of people all agree what the word is, they settle the issue. The system doesn’t sound exactly foolproof to me but I love the concept. Our security hassles will be worthwhile for future generations.
My friend (and neighbor) Rick, is always ready to play. Horseshoes, pool, fishing, those sorts of things. Our 90 year old neighbor Leo, a workaholic, says, “He really knows how to live”. Rick teaches school so summer is party time. He caught some striped bass in Maine, brought them home frozen and invited us over for dinner. Rick is a great cook too except his gas grill ran out of gas before the fish was cooked. He didn’t miss a beat and moved the fish to the oven. It was delicious. Rick had a few glasses of wine at dinner so I challenged him to a game of pool thinking I could whip his ass for a change. We played three games of 8 Ball and Rick won all three.