Saturday, December 31, 2011

Barbara Cook Honored: Best Ending to Begin 2012

Following a cocktail and supper, and as a small bottle of the bubbly chills, I tried (again!) to call the sister to wish her well in the new year.  Well, you could have knocked me over with a feather when she actually answered the phone. We had a nice chat and I learned that she's been inflicted with "shingles" for 3 weeks and in a lot of pain. I know that pain, having had shingles in my 30s long before there were any treatment options available.  From everything she told me it seems she's getting good care, so that's a relief.

The little bottle of the bubbly continues to chill, so I sat down to read a few fave bloggers and happened to come upon this wonderful gem. The finale of the Kennedy Center Honors, saluting my all-time fave lyric soprano, Barbara Cook.  Barbara, looking radiant, is seated in the guest of honor section flanked by the president and first lady, Yo-Yo Ma, Neil Diamond, Meryl Streep and more.

The talent on stage left me speechless.  Each time the camera locked on Barbara I couldn't help but wonder what was going through her mind as she listened to the songs she introduced in so many shows, and re-invented in concerts.

To my mind the show ends as it should - with the entire cast performing the finale from Candide. The look on Barbara's face says it all. I can think of no finer way to ring in the new year, than with this tribute.

But let me stop rambling and let you view what I think is the best video to end 2011.

Side note: the sound is out of sync on the final 1/3 of the video. Still worthwhile viewing.
The bubbly ought to be chilled enough by now.  See you next year.

And so it goes.
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2011 in 100 Seconds

From Talking Points Memo:
Worked late today and the restaurant is totally booked for the night - from 5 pm til? Served almost 300 diners at lunch (at one point we had a 40-minute wait for a table) and I am exhausted. Didn't stay for an AS cocktail, but walked home in the warm and quiet evening.

Wishing you all a safe and happy new year's eve and only good things for 2012.

Cheers!

New Year Resolution Caturday


I've been on one all week, or so it seems.

More later.
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Friday, December 30, 2011

Ella & Armstrong: This Evening's Treat

Finished day 5 of the 8-day work-a-thon and though everyone has been in great spirits, I was feeling the strain. The back, hands, shoulders all ache after the day's work.We served over 150 people at lunch today. Tonight I shared my AS cocktail with a co-worker (who was equally exhausted) who has to attend a dinner party this evening. I wished him well.

I came home, made another cocktail as I prepared the evening meal, and put Louis Armstrong & Ella Fitzgerald's recording of Porgy & Bess on the CD player. After supper I relaxed, closed my eyes and listened to it again, I feel better for the experience. This recording was made in the late 50s and one of the first to be recorded in 'stereo' - I had the original on vinyl (lost to my previous life) but was able to find a reissue of it on a CD a couple of years ago.

Give a listen and tell me how you feel afterwards.
Tomorrow is the BIG day.  Beaucoup reservations, even for lunch, and the evening is totally booked. I am grateful that I will not be working tomorrow night.

And so it goes.
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Woody Guthrie Gets Belated Honor in his Home State.

 I'd say this is a long overdue tribute. But that's just the progressive in me. BTW, the sticker on his guitar reads "This Machine KILLS Fascists" From the Gray Lady:
TULSA, Okla. — Oklahoma has always had a troubled relationship with her native son Woody Guthrie. The communist sympathies of America’s balladeer infuriated local detractors. In 1999 a wealthy donor’s objections forced the Cowboy Museum in Oklahoma City to cancel a planned exhibition on Guthrie organized by the Smithsonian Institution. It wasn’t until 2006, nearly four decades after his death, that the Oklahoma Hall of Fame got around to adding him to its ranks.
But as places from California to the New York island get ready to celebrate the centennial of Guthrie’s birth, in 2012, Oklahoma is finally ready to welcome him home. The George Kaiser Family Foundation in Tulsa plans to announce this week that it is buying the Guthrie archives from his children and building an exhibition and study center to honor his legacy.
“Oklahoma was like his mother,” said his daughter Nora Guthrie, throwing back her tangle of gray curls as she reached out in an embrace. “Now he’s back in his mother’s arms.”
The archive includes the astonishing creative output of Guthrie during his 55 years. There are scores of notebooks and diaries written in his precise handwriting and illustrated with cartoons, watercolors, stickers and clippings; hundreds of letters; 581 artworks; a half-dozen scrapbooks; unpublished short stories, novels and essays; as well as the lyrics to the 3,000 or more songs he scribbled on scraps of paper, gift wrap, napkins, paper bags and place mats. Much of the material has rarely or never been seen in public, including the lyrics to most of the songs. Guthrie could not write musical notation, so the melodies have been lost.
The foundation, which paid $3 million for the archives, is planning a kickoff celebration on March 10, with a conference in conjunction with the University of Tulsa and a concert sponsored by the Grammy Museum featuring his son Arlo Guthrie and other musicians. Although the collection won’t be transferred until 2013, preparations for its arrival are already in motion. Construction workers are clearing out piles of red brick and wire mesh from the loading dock in the northeast end of the old Tulsa Paper Company building, in the Brady District of the city, where the planned Guthrie Center is taking shape. The center is part of an ambitious plan to revitalize the downtown arts community.
Now that the back walls are punched out, workers trucking wheelbarrows of concrete can look across the tracks to the tower built by BOK Financial, which George Kaiser, whose foundation bears his name, presides over as chairman. Forbes magazine ranks Mr. Kaiser as the richest man in Oklahoma and No. 31 on its Forbes 400 list.
Ken Levit, the foundation’s executive director, said he thought of doing something for Guthrie after the Hall of Fame induction. Nowhere in Tulsa, he said, is there even a plaque paying homage to this folk legend, who composed “This Land Is Your Land”; performed with Pete Seeger and Lead Belly; wrote the fictionalized autobiography “Bound for Glory”; and sang at countless strikes and migrant labor protests in the 1930s and ’40s. Mr. Levit began a more than three-year campaign to win the consent of Ms. Guthrie, who had taken custody of the boxes that her mother, Marjorie Guthrie, had stowed away in the basement of her home in Howard Beach, Queens.
Ms. Guthrie, who as one of Guthrie’s youngest children, didn’t really know her father until Huntington’s disease began to rob him of his sanity, movement and speech many years before his death, in 1967, said she only rediscovered the kind of man he once was when she started to page through the boxes about 15 years ago.
“I fell in love through this material with my father,” Ms. Guthrie, 61, a former dancer, said from her office in Mount Kisco, N.Y. 
This is the guts of American History in the 20th Century that many don't want anyone to know about. Please read the entire piece HERE to understand.

More later.
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Thursday, December 29, 2011

Katrina Victims Fight FEMA Demands for Repayment

They must be kidding, right? 

Um, no. 

Six years after the man-made disaster FEMA is claiming they made mistakes and want their money back.  You can't make this stuff up.  From NOLA.com:
When the Federal Emergency Management Agency mailed out 83,000 debt notices this year to victims of Hurricane Katrina and other 2005 storms, one of the letters showed up in David Bellinger's mailbox. Bellinger, who is blind, needed a friend to read it and break the news that FEMA wants him to pay back more than $3,200 in federal aid he received after Katrina.
Racusen said the agency has implemented "strong protections" to avoid making improper payments, reducing its error rate from about 14 percent after Katrina to less than 1 percent for more recent disasters.
"We have also worked to significantly improve the recoupment process so that it is more understandable and provides due process for both disaster survivors and taxpayers," she said in a statement.
FEMA's collection efforts aren't limited to the 2005 storms. The agency has mailed out more than 6,000 debt letters to survivors of other recent disasters, including floods.
Approximately 2,500 recipients, including 930 victims of the 2005 hurricanes, have appealed their debt notices. FEMA says about 30 percent of those appeals successfully erased at least some of the debt. Recipients also can ask for a waiver due to economic hardship.
"It is important for any individual who has received a recoupment notice to know that these letters are the start of a conversation with FEMA, not the end," Racusen said.
"A conversation with FEMA" the agency that allowed New Orleans to drown and didn't send aid for 5 to 7 days, thanks to "heck of a job, Brownie"?  Right!

Read the rest HERE.  Take a blood pressure med first, though.

More later.
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Tuesday, December 27, 2011

An 8-Day Work Marathon

I won't have a day off until January 3, 2012. Everything is going well and I don't mind really.  I can use the extra hours and my daytime staff is a fine-tuned machine by now. Thankfully, we've been busy serving about 120 guests at lunch and 300 for dinner.  It's a good thing all round: restaurant makes money, servers make money, customers get to relax and enjoy good food, drink, and company.

This was the second day of my 8-day work marathon.  Historically, the week between Christmas and the New Year has been a big family week at the restaurant; the kids are out of school and the parents want to relax and enjoy the rest of the season. 

As my shift ended we were hit with a torrential rainstorm, I stayed for my AS cocktail anyway, but getting home was no picnic. Arrived to find a soaking wet package (much like myself) on the porch and prayed that the items inside were properly wrapped. Removed the wet work drag at the door, dumping it into a box nearby, and hurriedly threw on some sweats and dry socks before opening the package.  Items inside were wrapped well and dry though the outer box fell apart as I lifted it to the counter, catching the items before they tumbled to the floor.

The most important item is a new shower-head for the bath. The present one would probably be considered an antique today, and is about to give up the ghost.  The new one came with no instructions, but I hope to figure it out and install it before work tomorrow.

The rain continues as the winds have increased, so I think it's going to be a bumpy night.  Just hope I don't lose electric power. I will prepare supper quickly, just in case. Microwaving left-overs is fast, after all.

New Year's Eve has never been a fave holiday so I am happy that I work the day shift and have no dealings with the drunks later that night. By the time 2012 rolls in I will have been asleep for about 2.5 hours, and that's the way it should be.

And so it goes.
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Cold War Secret Revealed: Making Spy Satellites

A chilling revelation:

DANBURY, Conn. (AP) — For more than a decade they toiled in the strange, boxy-looking building on the hill above the municipal airport, the building with no windows (except in the cafeteria), the building filled with secrets.
They wore protective white jumpsuits, and had to walk through air-shower chambers before entering the sanitized "cleanroom" where the equipment was stored.
They spoke in code.
Few knew the true identity of "the customer" they met in a smoke-filled, wood-paneled conference room where the phone lines were scrambled. When they traveled, they sometimes used false names.
At one point in the 1970s there were more than 1,000 people in the Danbury area working on The Secret. And though they worked long hours under intense deadlines, sometimes missing family holidays and anniversaries, they could tell no one — not even their wives and children — what they did.
They were engineers, scientists, draftsmen and inventors — "real cloak-and-dagger guys," says Fred Marra, 78, with a hearty laugh.
He is sitting in the food court at the Danbury Fair mall, where a group of retired co-workers from the former Perkin-Elmer Corp. gather for a weekly coffee. Gray-haired now and hard of hearing, they have been meeting here for 18 years. They while away a few hours nattering about golf and politics, ailments and grandchildren. But until recently, they were forbidden to speak about the greatest achievement of their professional lives.
"Ah, Hexagon," Ed Newton says, gleefully exhaling the word that stills feels almost treasonous to utter in public.
It was dubbed "Big Bird" and it was considered the most successful space spy satellite program of the Cold War era. From 1971 to 1986 a total of 20 satellites were launched, each containing 60 miles of film and sophisticated cameras that orbited the earth snapping vast, panoramic photographs of the Soviet Union, China and other potential foes. The film was shot back through the earth's atmosphere in buckets that parachuted over the Pacific Ocean, where C-130 Air Force planes snagged them with grappling hooks.
The scale, ambition and sheer ingenuity of Hexagon KH-9 was breathtaking. The fact that 19 out of 20 launches were successful (the final mission blew up because the booster rockets failed) is astonishing.
So too is the human tale of the 45-year-old secret that many took to their graves.
This story makes me wonder even more about the spying capabilities of today; what we're not being told, and what propaganda may be forthcoming just before we launch a war on Iran.

Read the rest here.

And so it goes.
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Monday, December 26, 2011

Boxing Day: Kitteh Style



Now, when was the last time (if ever) you read or heard the phrase "the bees knees", hmmm?

I couldn't resist.

And so it goes.
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It's Not There Anymore: Old Man in the Mountain

I believe it was a ski weekend with friends in New Hampshire and the weather was not cooperative.  So we packed up their van and headed to Mount Washington and  Franconia in the White Mountains.

The "Old Man in the Mountain" was a natural rock formation carved by glaciers and was a huge draw for tourists from all over the world. It no longer exists. This shot is from 1984, (click to embiggen) when it still did.

Here's the story of the Old Man in the Mountain.

Ah the memories of things no longer in existence. Just another one of those "in my lifetime" things to save, remember, and be grateful for their being documented.

And so it goes.
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Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas Present

 And I don't mean a Gift.
It's Christmas morning. Overnight the temperature dropped like a rock to 28' F. Everything is quiet and peaceful. And I cannot get into the spirit.  I have lost my HO-HOs this year. 

There is no there, there, if you get my drift. As I read a few blogs this morning I found that I am not alone.  Many are struggling just to get through the weekend in one piece. Most want it all to go away.  I consider myself in this last group.

There are many circumstances involved: job instability, broken relationships, high debt, poor health, work-related drama, and low energy for dealing with it all. The real kicker is that there is no immediate resolution to these issues, waiting it out, wading through it, while the only option available, isn't a joyful experience.

Last week I was sort-of invited to someone's house for dinner today and they promised to call with the time to arrive. No call has come.  This has happened before. People get caught up in the festivities and forget to call.  I hear this is common when one is single. So, there it is.

No matter.  I'd prefer to be on my own today and just do something fun for myself, maybe take a walk around town before preparing my own supper this evening.

Still, I have a roof over my head, food to eat, a job I love and even if I'm not in great health, I am grateful for what I have.  I believe that counts as something.

Whatever you're doing this day, I wish you whatever you wish for yourself.

And so it goes.
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Saturday, December 24, 2011

A Loco Christmas Eve Day

Well, the experiment wasn't a dismal failure, but the locosguys won't be opening next Christmas eve - even for lunch. As you can see Darryl (right) and I (left) were elves of the day - he ran the bar and I took care of the dining room. And that's Joe in the middle (a rose between 2 thorns, he said) with the big red bow.  (Click the image to embiggen, if you wish.)  Although the diehard customers brought good cheer to the day, it wasn't what one would call a success.  A lot of work, kitchen staff, front end staff and bar.

God knows we worked hard enough to make it happen.  I posted ads every day on various networks. Newspaper sites were included and received phone calls about the day's specials.  Didn't seem to be enough.

Still, I was pleasantly surprised by Joe's mom who decided to make perogies for those of us who love them and can't get them here.  She loves to make them and does so 2 or 3 times a year.  It's a lot of time consuming hard work, but she says that she enjoys the process, when the urge strikes her.  I hope it strikes again around Easter next year.

It's past my bedtime, so I'll wish you all a Happy Christmas and shutdown this monster.

And so it goes.
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Scrooge-Like Caturday


Happy Christmas, anyway.

And so it goes.
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Friday, December 23, 2011

Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas: music video

No, it's not that I am a big Kenny G. fan.  This video was obviously directed by a film buff. It features scenes from classic Christmas movies from Hollywood's Golden Age. With the big surprise being the projectionist played by none other than the wonderful Burgess Meredith.  This appears to be one of his last film appearances and he is a joy to watch. Enjoy.
Next up, a little bourbon-spiked eggnog and a good night's sleep.

And so it goes.
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Holdman Christmas Lights 2010

Having followed this guy's lighting designs for years, I believe he has outdone himself with this one from 2010. He's synchronized the sounds to the lights perfectly.  This is his longest video yet.  And he has a special offer, too: The complete Holdman Christmas Light Display for 2010 after a fresh snow storm. By request I am now offering this on DVD when you make a $10 donation to Make-a-Wish. Go to http://www.holdman.com/christmas/dvd
I can only imagine what his 2011 display/show will be like.

And so it goes.
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Thursday, December 22, 2011

Straight No Chaser: Christmas Can-Can.

Another video from those talented guys, Straight No Chaser.  They manage to incorporate the 2 other major seasonal holidays, Hanukkah & Kwanzaa, in the piece, as well.  That should fuel the fires at FOX news and their imaginary "War on Christmas" bloviating. Great fun. Enjoy.

There are two large Christmas parties at the restaurant at lunch tomorrow, so I will probably view this again before I leave for work, if only to get more into the mood.

And so it goes.
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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Preserving the Past & Lothlórien

It's been a month since I began scanning thousands of 35mm slides and saving many of them in JPG format.  It was an addictive process and just identifying any given situation was an interesting challenge. Well, that's over.  Some situations I cannot recall from memory, but a few images were worth saving, and so they were.

Slide scanning is finished. Now the real work begins; clean up, restoration, colour correction; all lies ahead. This one I call "Lothlórien" is a place I visited many times over the years and it always reminded me of that magical forest in LOTR. It was a place of peace; the only sounds were of the birds, rushing water in the nearby stream, and not-yet fallen leaves rustling in the wind.  Magical.
I won't say where it is/was because it may not be there anymore. Sort of like the original.

The work will not get underway soon.  I will not have a day off until January 3, 2012, so that puts a damper on any of these activities.  Still, the images are scanned and saved and there is the rest of the winter months to work on them. It's all good.

And so it goes.
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Tuesday, December 20, 2011

GRN to BP: We'll show you ours if you show us yours:

I suppose flinging huge amounts of money into false advertising has helped BP wash some of the oil stains from their reputation, but only for the easily duped and willful rubes.  There's this:
Restoration Project Priorities for NRDA and the Gulf's Future
A year and a half into the BP disaster, restoration comes too slow.  The Coast Guard has declared the Coast "clean," Congress has not yet directed BP's fines to the Gulf, and we rely on the laws written for Alaskans against Exxon to restore the Gulf of Mexico.  Because of the lack of action, the only new initiative is the $1 billion early restoration settlement that BP has agreed to, in order to lessen its future fines under the Natural Resources Damage Assessment, or NRDA. 
Just as trustees must massage an out-of-date law to bring BP to the table, many states are working with existing projects and programs.  But are these projects being prioritized so that the appropriate solutions to BP’s oil are picked?   This agreement allows BP a lot of power over NRDA dollars—how do we know the Gulf will not be shorted?
Following the Gulf Future Action Plan, a working group of activists and community leaders from each of the five states has evaluated hundreds of NRDA projects according to the Gulf Future goals:  ensuring Public Health, rebuilding the Environment, developing a sustainable Economy, Monitoring the damage, and Participation in the restoration process.
In the last weeks, this working group has released "Sunshine on the Gulf," a report on what projects are slated for early NRDA monies and why.  The report uses prioritization criteria that make our needs as a Gulf community transparent, for the sake of project managers and trustees alike. 
 One purpose of the report is to show how easy it is to be transparent.  Second is to show that coastal communities are not just a check box, to hold meetings at, to be spoken down to by public relations staff.  We demand conversations, not just interactive web sites. Coastal communities demand input into the process—the only way to ensure the process works for us.  We would be fools to trust the institutions that led us into the Deepwater Horizon Disaster.
This may be getting old to some of you, but a healthy Gulf of Mexico with its diverse population of sea life, is important to this nation and the world.

And so it goes.
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40,000 Visitors in 4 Years.

Who'da Thunk it?  Not me.  Not in my wildest dreams.

It may not seem like a lot to some, but to me and this humble little piece of my heart, it means so much.

And the people I've come to know and love... who could have imagined that? You are all a great treasure. Your wit, humor, support, suggestions, and caring are a combined force that sustains me to this very day.

I hope to get to meet at least some of you in person. This new life of mine is far better because of your being a part of it. I mean that with all my heart. Many thanks.

More later.
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Monday, December 19, 2011

Holiday People-Watching

The host station is at the very front of the restaurant and with the huge ceiling-to-floor doors that slide open in summer, there is a great view of the main drag (Rehoboth Avenue) as well as the post office across the street.

I love to people-watch anytime, but this season is especially fun.  As people walk by the front doors bundled up, carrying gifts to shops and restaurants, or packages for mailing at the post office there is a candid view for me to marvel at (good and bad - positive and sad) every minute of the day.

Watching the reaction of some people to those struggling with their bundles is very enlightening and offers a look into the mindset of the individuals involved.

An agile young person may leap-frog past an elderly lady trudging up the PO steps with a large box and not even hold the door for her. The next person may hold the door for someone who can barely see over the stack of packages they are about to send through the mail.

A woman walking past the restaurant with a stack of wrapped gifts is suddenly hit by a gust of wind scattering her lovely gifts all over the walkway and street and 3 other people walking by scramble to salvage her gifts before they fly away or get run over by a passing automobile.

I've watched this tableau for days and after my experience (and long wait) at the post office today, I paid even closer attention.  Being told that for the holidays the windows opened at 8:30 am, and since I was to be at work at 9, figured it was a good idea to beat the crowds of last minute mailings; arrived at 8:15 to discover the windows opened at regular time - 9 am.  Oh well, I decided to hang out and read the newspaper - took off coat and hat, and enjoyed the warmth of the building. Two others arrived a few minutes later and had totally opposite reactions to the situation.  One pitched a hissy fit and screamed a bit before leaving the building.  The other, thinking as I had, set down her boxes behind me and worked at a crossword puzzle.

Variations of this scenario played out for the 45 minutes as the line grew longer, fewer people pitched fits and simply left annoyed.  The rest of us started conversations and some recognized me from the restaurant.  One woman asked me to watch her purse and 3 boxes so she could retrieve another one that a friend had just brought to curb-side.  Now, how many people would trust a total stranger with such a task?  Only in Rehoboth!

By 9:05 am, my business was concluded and I was at the restaurant, but being fascinated by the morning's events, watched the PO comings & goings; the courtesy and arrogance; the happy faces and the grim ones all day.   Yes, it was a rather slow lunch day.

 Happy to report the courtesy and happy face crowd won the day - hands down.  And that is as it should be.

And so it goes.
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Salsoul Christmas Jollies: "Merry Christmas All"

Yes, today this is beyond CAMP, but what a wonderful dance-fest this was in the 70s.  If you don't know the Salsoul Orchestra, well, shame on you. Please return your GAY card immediately. This should get you started. SALSOUL Orchestra. Enjoy:
There's more where this came from.

An so it goes.
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Saturday, December 17, 2011

Christmas Jazz from the Best

"Christmastime in New Orleans" by Louis Armstrong.
This recording is addictive.  Yes, it's pretty corny and dated (there ain't been Jazz on Basin Street in a very long time), but I Love Pops. He's just the best.

And so it goes.
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Post-Holiday Party Caturday


Haven't we all been there, at least once?

More later.
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Thursday, December 15, 2011

Holiday Breads, December 2000

I miss baking bread most of all but there is no space here to do so.  There is nothing like warm fresh bread dripping with butter and jam to jump-start your morning. But, maybe that's just me. Of course, I could use the bread-maker, but it's not the same as a good old Kitchen Aid mixer..  Still and all, this is a nice memory.


More later.
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Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The Staff Holiday Party

I didn't look forward to going out at 6 pm last evening, or thrilled to attend the staff party at work. I worked around the apartment all day, doing chores, laundry and general cleaning.  That kept my mind off the inevitable until it got dark at around 4:30 and I knew I had to make a decision.

I did.

And no, it was not to have a cocktail!  So, there.

Put on a holiday music CD, dragged my tired self into the shower, then found myself singing or humming the songs playing in the other room. Shaved and found something appropriate, "donned my gay apparel" consisting of wheat jeans, mock turtleneck, vest sweater accesorized with a small pin...A little teddy bear in a red stocking.

As I set out into the dark night the old anxiety returned and I almost turned back.  Just kept putting one foot in front of the other and arrived holding my breath dreading what was to come.

I haven't been in large social groups since the breakup 6 years ago.  I haven't been invited to any, to tell the truth, and I've lost confidence when in a large group. Used to be at ease in most any situation, not anymore.  I know, I know, these are people I work with and for, so it wasn't like a bunch of strangers were lying in wait. Only co-workers and a few I'd like to call friends.

There was music being played by a DJ; lovely full orchestra arrangements of holiday classics and I began to relax and enjoy the sounds as my mood began to change. Walked into the bar to find Darryl (one of the LocoGuys) behind it who smiled, wished me Merry Christmas and set a golden margarita in front of me.  I was a bit surprised.

When I found Joe (the other DLGuy) everything fell into place.  They didn't hire caterers for the event.  They did EVERYTHING themselves. Joe did the prepping, cooking, and baking while Darryl stocked the wine bar, filled coolers with favourite beers, and held court at the bar all evening. Everyone was shocked by this at first, but it actually worked out very well.  They had as much fun as we did and since it was staff and spouses only, they knew everyone and what they liked to eat and drink.

GM Linda (the wee Irish Lass) arrived, sidled up to me with a devilish grin and a twinkle in her eyes, to say that she'd be making a special Irish treat (read that as drink) after the dinner.

The dinner:  A lavish setup in the back, private dining room consisted of Chicken cordon bleu, homemade spinach/cheese ravioli, pineapple baked ham, 3 different salads, shrimp pate, puffed chicken wings (don't ask!), rolls, and so many different desserts that the dentists in these parts will be kept busy for years to come. Honestly, I took a tiny bit of each dish and it was all so rich I could hardly finish what I had taken.  Needless to say, I had no dessert.  But then again, I seldom do, anyway.

Fortunately, plastic dinnerware and flatware was chosen for the evening, so we cleaned our dinner places, dumped the garbage, (hey!  we're restaurant people!) and resumed the festivities.

Joe and Darryl had one more surprise.  Gifts!  Everyone received a large red shopping bag stuffed with green tissue paper.  (See the image above.) Each bag contained a soft fleece pullover hoodie, blue with gold accents***, in our exact size, thank you very much.  I have learned that there is little about their staff that they do not know.  At least the important things like clothing sizes and fave foods, kids needs, stuff like that. They thanked us for our work and made us (at least myself) feel very appreciated.

Talked with and got to know more of the various wives, husbands, partners, etc.  Finally Linda, (the dear) cornered me at the end of the bar where she had arranged about 8 of those large red Solo plastic cups - that hold about 20 oz. - and with that devilish grin of hers, thrust one cup into my hands. The liquid was dark, the aroma heavenly.  She passed the others to those selected (or dared) to participate, raised her cup and said, "Merry Christmas and Thank You All!"  There were straws in each cup so we took a tiny, hesitant sip only to have our eyes pop open thanks to the pleasant sensation the unknown concoction left on our tastebuds. (I hope to find out the exact ingredients, if she's willing to share.)

Linda giggled, took another sip from her cup and warned, "only have one of these, since this is your first experience."  Well, I already had that golden margarita followed by 2 glasses of wine with dinner, so I was feeling no pain by that time.  We stood there sipping, talking, oooohing and aaaaahing over the drink, as it did its thing and I realized it was time to walk home while I still could.  Linda offered a ride, but I needed the fresh air and rather enjoyed the quiet of the night.

The sky was clear and the stars bright as I made my way back to the apartment. As I brushed my teeth I thought of how wonderful the night had been.  How comfortable everyone was - I was - so happy that I didn't turn back for home a few hours earlier.

More like this in the new year, please!

***A picture of the hoodie will be posted as soon as I finish scanning the slides and have a chance to get a good shot of it.

And so it goes.
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HMS Ocean Crew: "All I Want for Christmas"

This is just so awesome.  All these beautiful British navy guys and gals put this together as they steamed home for the holidays. There's even a wink & nod to gays in the royal navy at one point, see if you catch it.
From the YouTube stats:
After lots of time away last year (214 days) -- planned for 7 week deployment exercise with other nations
Diverted to Libya and further operations
Back 9 Dec after 7½ months away - 225 days with 176 at sea
400 people onboard (at peak during the amphibious exercises just under 900 onboard but approx 650 during Op Ellamy)
Steamed just over 40,000 miles
Burned approx 6,000 tonnes of fuel
Operated 16 different type of aircraft off the deck

Realities of deploying:
15 babies born while the ship has been away (fathers did get home to see mum and baby)
5 people were sent home so they didn't miss their own weddings.
1 sailor whose son's third birthday is on homecoming. Family meeting ship

Ships company have missed:
Summer holidays.
Children's exam results
Children finishing school and starting university
The Padre missed his daughter's graduation.
 Wishing them all a happy and peace-filled holiday with family and friends.

And so it goes.
*

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Ann Druyan Talks About Her Husband, Carl Sagan

I just came across this on the Intertubes today and it touched my heart.  Yes, I was/am a Sagan fan; "COSMOS" remains one of my favourite series of all time. Don't know when Druyan wrote this, but the date stamp on the webpage read 09/2010.

“When my husband died, because he was so famous & known for not being a believer, many people would come up to me — it still sometimes happens — & ask me if Carl changed at the end & converted to a belief in an afterlife. They also frequently ask me if I think I will see him again. Carl faced his death with unflagging courage & never sought refuge in illusions. The tragedy was that we knew we would never see each other again. I don’t ever expect to be reunited with Carl. But, the great thing is that when we were together, for nearly twenty years, we lived with a vivid appreciation of how brief & precious life is. We never trivialized the meaning of death by pretending it was anything other than a final parting. Every single moment that we were alive & we were together was miraculous — not miraculous in the sense of inexplicable or supernatural. We knew we were beneficiaries of chance… That pure chance could be so generous & so kind… That we could find each other, as Carl wrote so beautifully in Cosmos, you know, in the vastness of space & the immensity of time… That we could be together for twenty years. That is something which sustains me & it’s much more meaningful…
The way he treated me & the way I treated him, the way we took care of each other & our family, while he lived. That is so much more important than the idea I will see him someday. I don’t think I’ll ever see Carl again. But I saw him. We saw each other. We found each other in the cosmos, and that was wonderful.“

Ann Druyan, talking about her husband, Carl Sagan

She's quite a woman.

And so it goes.
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Sunday, December 11, 2011

Me and My Tarot...

Reunited after all these years. What a great holiday gift.

There are still large Rubbermaid Tubs containing various items of seasonal clothing stacked in the walk-in closet and as I rummaged through one this evening I found my 2 fave Tarot Decks.  In my previous life they were to be destroyed, so I suppose that is why they were hidden all these years.  During those blurry, whirlwind years, I had forgotten about them entirely - Cortisone can do that to one - and now I am so pleasantly surprised I can't stand it.

The breakup happened 6 years ago and I had not used them for years before that, so there is a lot to catch up on.  It's a long sordid story that I would rather not remember or relate.  Leave it.

This is the Thoth Deck designed by Aleister Crowley. He initially designed them as illustrations for "The Book of Thoth" here are more samples of their beauty, though even a high quality scan doesn't do them justice.

The Devil.

Six of Cups.
 
The Fool.

The Hanged Man

The Priestess.
 I have much to re-learn during these cold winter months. Words cannot describe how I am feeling right now.

And so it goes.
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Saturday, December 10, 2011

Holiday Music, Marathons & Determination

I was positively clairvoyant about the holiday music.  Yes, it came out of the speakers all day today.  There was a new one in the silly mix, too.  "I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas" - I don't know where it came from and I do not want to know.  OK?

Thanks to the Marathon (runners and volunteers) we enjoyed a busy and satisfying lunch business.  Since the Marathon stepped off at 7 am and ended shortly after 2 pm, we enjoyed the company of many runners, and their families and supporters.  My, they are a cheerful bunch.  They loved the town and the food (some from as far away as Maine & Wisconsin) and were happily surprised by the service and friendly atmosphere of the restaurant.

Speaking of the Marathon I want to share a story of the last person to finish today. She, family, and supporters were most jubilant when they entered the restaurant.  The runner was greeted with applause and cheers as she entered and I soon found out why. She was the last entrant to cross the finish line, as I said, but this was also a goal she set for herself only 2 years ago.  She was 56 years old, had been declared morbidly obese, on the edge of becoming a diabetic (no one in her family had diabetes) and she found it hard to breathe.  She began an exercise routine, mostly walking, and a year ago entered a 5K race for a charity. Because friends and family believed in her, she raised quite a respectable sum and finished that race.  Quitting was not an option.

Today at 58, she has lost weight, toned her large frame and finished a 26+ mile Marathon.  I know this sounds like something you'd see on Oprah, but you had to see the faces in the room.  I bought her table a pitcher of margaritas and she gave me a big hug. I think I began to feel the spirit of Christmas in my heart through that hug.

Speaking of Christmas spirit, the staff Christmas party is coming up this Tuesday evening. The restaurant is closed to the public and staff and spouses from both eateries are welcome to attend. I've been vacillating (not feeling the cheer of the season) but I may choose to attend, after all.  Not sure, yet.

And in all, a wonderful day filled with good people, good food, competition, friendship, challenge, support, and a spirit of community. 

And so it goes.
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A Fosse Caturday



Good Bob Fosse moves, no?

More later.
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Friday, December 9, 2011

Bah, Hum-Fuck!

That was the text inside a greeting card way back in the 1970s and I have always loved it. There was another one with a smirking elf sitting under a tree on the cover, with the text inside reading, "meet me under the Christmas tree and I'll kiss you beneath the balls."

Anyway...

I can't seem to get into the holiday spirit this year. It all seems so shallow, forced, desperate, and contrived.   Now more than ever.

The other day as I ran errands I noticed that the parking lots of shopping centers were empty, as were those of the super markets, and (of all places) Walmart.  Every stop was like a ghost town with only 1 or 2 checkout stations open and not a person in line. 

Of course, it made my work a breeze and with the various bored sales staff vying for my attention at every stop, I was finished and back home in time for lunch.  I will not complain.  I dread running any errands involving retail during the season, but this was something completely different.  Eerie and a bit unsettling.

For the moment, at least, there is no holiday music at the restaurant, so I am spared multiple listenings to dogs barking "Jingle Bells", or that country fave "Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer", the 60 year-old  Chipmunks, that most annoying "Dominic The Donkey",  and all the other kitschy cute tunes of the season.  I fear that will all end tomorrow; there will be a marathon in town and we have reservations for huge groups celebrating their holiday get togethers with us.

I purchased a bottle of the best eggnog around these parts, a small bottle of bourbon, and will mix the two - for medicinal purposes, of course - to jump start my ho-ho-ho attitude, if necessary.

BTW, thanks for the comments and private emails regarding the back pain (from yesterday's post) and suggestions to help alleviate some of the pain.  I appreciate your input and caring.

And so it goes.
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Thursday, December 8, 2011

How I Feel Tonight


The back pain is horrible and trying to get into a comfortable position - standing or sitting - seems to be impossible.  Time for a heat pad, a few aspirin, and bed.
And so it goes.
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Diverse, Interesting Quotes Reverberate Today

Found these images while scanning and thought they were important to reconsider in today's political climate.

Foucault's Names Project Quilt Panel says it well.
Part of Washington's Farewell Address.  Should be required reading of every police officer in this country.
As always, click the images to embiggen.

And so it goes.
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Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Hollywood: The Silent Era

It's back and available on YouTube for anyone curious about the reality of the silent screen years, its directors, stars, and politics.  Fascinating series. This is episode 1 of the 13 part series and it's a good intro into that long lost world.  Enjoy.
I have the entire series on VHS (aging badly, I might add) and happy that someone was able to post these almost lost gems of early silent cinema.
H/T Adrastos @ First Draft.
And so it goes.
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Commie Muppets Theme with OK Go!

Let's see, Fozzie Bear as Boris and Miss Piggy as Natasha?  Nah.

A funny bit of nostalgia as Fox Noise commits another suicide.  Right?  I mean, you have to laugh after a while or the brain will become pea soup.  So, with that in mind, enjoy.
And so it goes.
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Tuesday, December 6, 2011

The Battle I Face


If you click the image to embiggen you will see that the film has aged badly, has reticulated (quite visible in the sky behind me) and colours have gone muddy. Ektachrome film. I like the picture and I guess I saved it in the nick of time, as we say. (Yes, it's Paris.)


The image above was shot a decade earlier yet shows none of the damage of the top shot.  Again, Ektachrome film. Yes, you may click to embiggen. (Lambertville, New Jersey shot across the Delaware River from New Hope, Pennsylvania.)

I'm making progress - slowly - and every day I have new images to see that trigger memories of happy times in years gone by.  However, some are leaving me befuddled as I cannot remember the exact location of the shot; the only references are the date stamps on all Kodak processed film.  Bless them for that.  All in all, the film processed in Kodak labs has held up far better than those done by local or department store labs.

Back to the battle, 'er fun.  It IS fun, too.

And so it goes.
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Monday, December 5, 2011

New Trevor Project Video

To prevent teen suicide and shown at the Trevor Project's gala honoring Lady Gaga.
h/t JMG

And so it goes.
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5 on the Fifth - Finale.

Stephen Chapman over at “The State Of The Nation UK”, has had a monthly feature called “Five on the Fifth” in which bloggers would participate by posting five photos on their blog and exchanging links with his. The five pictures, taken in the days leading up to the fifth of the month, could be random or follow his suggested theme, which this final time happens to be Winter Weekend.

Since it has been anything but 'wintery' here (day time temperatures in the 60s F, and overnight lows in the 40s) I've chosen to stay with the theme, but insert images from years ago. I have been scanning my old slide collection to digital format and some of these happen to fit the theme quite well. 

So, here goes.
Ice storm aftermath.

Icy Berries.  The wildlife was not pleased.

Ice Boating on the Lake

One very cold Ice Boat Competition Judge.

Delaware Water Gap between New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
While this is the last 5 on the 5th challenge, I hope to participate in whatever Stephen has in mind for us next month. Let us make it a happy and creative new year. Thanks Stephen.

Now go on over to his place and see what others have created for this event. HERE.

And so it goes,
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Saturday, December 3, 2011

Caturday at the Movies


Of course, in real life kittehs can't open their legs that way.  But hey, it's duh movies!!!
More later.
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Friday, December 2, 2011

Thought for the Day.


Much more difficult to forgive.  And I see too much hate lately.

Just my two-cents.

More later.
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Thursday, December 1, 2011

Our Own Geno - a Rehoboth Beach Icon?

 Yep, it's true.

Along with Darryl, one of the locoguys, Geno is our regular evening barman and one of the best out there, if I may say so. This appeared in our local weekly newspaper:

It’s the eternal question that has plagued mankind for centuries: Where can you go in Rehoboth to talk Phillies baseball, Eagles football, Flyers hockey, college athletics from Villanova and St. Joseph’s, local gossip, current weather - and pretty much anything having to do with the Kentucky Derby? Oh, and don’t forget to include a frosty margarita (salt, please) and a mountain of nachos.
If you answered “Dos Locos,” you’d be partially right. If you said, “Dos Locos with Gene 'Geno' Harris behind the bar,” then (insert cool buzzer sound here) you hit the jackpot.
Geno’s been a sports nut for as long as he can remember. His parents and grandparents owned The Short Stop, a sports-themed eatery in Stone Harbor, N.J., and a favorite hangout for baseball fans and players alike. Geno grew up there, sweeping floors and hobnobbing with vacationing Philadelphia sports glitterati. His father coached high school athletics and now works for the Phillies in their front office.
Not to be outdone, mom not only taught school, but coached girls' baseball and field hockey. In fact, don’t even try to outdo her: She was crowned Miss Atlantic City, Miss New Jersey and was first runner-up in the Miss America Pageant!
Though Geno loved sports, he dreamed of a career in retail. The clothing store he managed in Baltimore opened two places here in the early ‘80s (Saeno and Passport). He managed both until he moved to Ft. Lauderdale to open his own stores. His Rehoboth branch, Effxx, specialized in trendy sportswear and was located in the long-gone cut-through where Browseabout Books is now. He marketed himself by supplying fashionable logo shirts to high-profile bartenders and sports celebrities.
As is often the case with resort retail, things eventually came to an end. That ordeal coincided with the termination of a long-time relationship, so he returned to Philadelphia to rethink and regroup. Nothing if not resilient, Geno returned to Rehoboth in the early ‘90s to take a job at Mano’s restaurant on Wilmington Avenue. After the unfortunate fire (from which Mano’s never really recovered), he ended up as bar manager at Cloud 9, learning the trade from then bar manager Chad Awkland. They became great friends: “Chad taught me the art of mixing drinks - especially how to make a really good martini.”
As fate would have it, Geno returned to the former Mano’s location - now occupied by Darryl Ciarlante and Joe Zuber’s Dos Locos, fresh from the tiny storefront on First Street (where Lily Thai is now). As Geno honed his mixology skills behind the bar with Darryl, he silently chafed at the all-day all-night Lifetime Channel on the bar TVs. He had had his fill of Dorothy and the gang’s "Golden Girls" reruns, and switched over to sports every time Darryl looked the other way. He got caught: “What are you trying to do, turn this into a Mexican sports bar?”
Fast-forward to the present: The multiple HD screens at Dos Locos’ current location on Rehoboth Avenue are never without baseball, football, basketball, soccer, hockey and horse racing. (Before he moved to Rehoboth, Geno was a cashier at Laurel Park and Pimlico racetracks.) Customers make a point of quizzing him on the latest odds, scores, winners and losers. “I like to think of myself as the ambassador for this town,” he says proudly. “I know what the sports lovers want to know when they’re at the beach. I even stay up on the weather - and I make a phenomenal margarita.”
Dos Locos plays host to a wide variety of guests, from vacationing families with kids to singles, couples and local barflies alike. Geno’s legendary Martini List has morphed into a rogues' gallery of favorites, including his exclusive chocolate espresso martini. Geno tells me that everybody who is anybody in his and his partner’s families lives and works nearby. “Family has anchored us here,” he beams. “I can’t imagine living anywhere else.”
Those of us who love to slip into Dos Locos for a spicy burrito, a frosty beverage and the latest Phillies stats couldn’t agree more.
Cape Gazette.

And so it goes.
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World AIDS Day 2011

Comes with a slick, new message.  Let's hope people are listening and are willing to work to make this slogan a reality.
If you are in RB this evening, the gathering and candlelight walk begins at 6 pm at the bandstand. All Saints Episcopal Church will host a service of remembrance and reading of the names submitted by those who have lost loved ones to AIDS over the years.

More later.
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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Local Broadcast News is Making Us Stupid

 Great column by Tina Dupuy.  This is what passes for 'news' in many local markets these days. Tina really nails it and please click the link below to read the entire piece.    It may make you angry, or put you to sleep until the next Lohan or Bieber spectacle hits the airwaves, your choice.
 “The media,” as it’s referred to, is not a monolith. We don’t just have one channel, one paper or one site with one nefarious dude pulling levers. “The media” consists of books, newspapers, magazines, television, billboards, radio, blogs, vlogs, ebooks, webcasts, podcasts and movies etc. The media is a vast and (kind of) diverse way of communicating information.
Let’s talk news. And where the majority of Americans – as in over 50 percent (by most estimates) – still get their news – from their local nightly news show. Any discussion about how unaware Americans are when it comes to news needs to have its finger pointed at the proper culprit: Your local broadcast.
Yes, everyone hates Congress but loves their Congressman. Everyone thinks “the media” is biased, wrong and awful – but tunes in to their local anchor with admiration and trust. A pox on them all, except our guy…
Last week a PublicMind FDU poll went viral with the line, “Fox News [viewers] are five-points more likely than those who watch no news at all, to incorrectly say it’s the U.S. that is bailing out European countries.” The under-reported story (buried lede as we call it in “the media”) was of those polled 67 percent said they watched their local news. And that could explain why 36 percent said they didn’t know who was bailing out Europe and only 30 percent gave the correct answer (Germany).
Did you know that Iceland is having a revolution as a direct result of the economic meltdown centered in the U.S. housing market? How about Syria being sanctioned by the Arab League? Vladamir Putin has gotten himself back on the ballot in Russia?
And it’s not just the “reading off BBC headlines” news the local news misses – it’s the actual local news: Investigative news in the public interest. News about the economy, politics and local issues.
Your local news opts to put a camera in the face of a crime victim and be a staple of “fear porn” rather than ever tackle difficult segments holding the school board/city council/mayor/state legislature/governor accountable for anything.
Why can I assume without sitting down and watching a week of your local newscast that they’re more than likely gleefully doing a recap of what happened on Dancing With the Stars/American Idol/Survivor tonight? Because your local broadcast news is more than likely ratings driven. And because of the last couple of decades of ratings driven local news our Edward R. Murrows have all become Harvey Levins.
And I thought it was just my take on the lousy news coverage.

The rest is at Tina's site, HERE.

And so it goes.
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A Break & Roasted Brisket

View from forest floor at picnic grounds near New Hope, PA - 1979. Kodachrome original.
 Tuesday was a productive day, even with the rain and wind. Or, maybe because of it. Had to go out briefly to pick up a few things at the supermarket and got a good soaking in the process.  There was a sale on fresh brisket, so I picked up one and decided it's roasting would give the apartment a cheery flavor on an otherwise miserable day.

Got out of the wet clothes, into some warm sweats, put Louis Armstrong on the player, and set about the business of slide scanning the rest of the morning.  Five trays down and I blazed through everything up to, and including, 1979. 

Took a lunch break and prepared the brisket for the oven.  Brisket requires a long cooking time, so it was timed to coincide with dinner hour. Rubbed it all over with olive oil, salt, black & white peppers, and sweet paprika.  Topped it was diced onion, celery and tomatoes, then the secret ingredient. Put it in the oven and set the timer for 3.5 hours and returned to the scanner.

It was during that time I discovered that the printer toner was low and needed to be replaced ASAP. I took it out and rocked it left & right hopefully getting a few extra pages out of it, and ordered a new one which should arrive in a week, or so.

December is a rough month financially.  Automobile Insurance payment adds to the already squeezed wallet, but toner is a necessity I am not prepared to do without.  So I bit the bullet on that one.

When dinner was ready I turned off the scanner, put on some music, poured a glass of wine and did serious damage to that brisket.  Which was really good, BTW.

Today promises to be better, weather-wise, albeit a bit colder than lately. The city Christmas Tree is up and maybe I'll take a walk over after sunset and steal a few night shots.

As for now, the decade of the 80s is waiting to reveal its surprises so I am off to slave my tits over a hot scanner!!! Don't feel too sorry for me, really, it's an emotional roller coaster and I'm enjoying the journey for the most part.  Pleasure and pain.  It's very confusing at times, but what a ride.

More later.
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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Stonehenge Discovery Suggests Site Was Sacred Earlier Than Previously Thought

This is fascinating news.  Though for some, not really new at all.  This is one of my favorite places in the world.  Image is from a recently scanned Kodachrome slide. The photo is, in fact, one of my own from my last visit to the site.

Newly discovered evidence of two large pits on the east and west sides of Stonehenge suggest that the area may have been recognized as a sacred site at a much earlier date than previously thought.
Archaeologists with the University of Birmingham believe the holes could have held stones, wooden posts or fires to mark the sunrise and sunset for a "processional route" used to celebrate the summer solstice before the well-known larger stones were erected.
The pits were found along the Cursus pathway, "two parallel linear ditches with banks either side closed off at the end," according to the BBC. Researchers also found a gap in the middle of the northern side of the Cursus, indicating a possible entry point for processions.
The Independent explains how researchers arrived at the new procession theory:
 ..The 'eureka moment' came when the computer calculations revealed that the midway point (the noon point) on the route aligned directly with the [center] of Stonehenge, which was precisely due south...
..The 'due south' noon alignment of the 'procession' route's mid-point could not occur if the Cursus itself had different dimensions, the design of that monument has to have been conceived specifically to attain that mid-point alignment with the [center] of Stonehenge.
The pits were discovered using non-invasive mapping techniques during a 2010 survey conducted by researchers from the University of Birmingham and the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Archaeological Prospection and Virtual Archaeology in Vienna.
The survey, known as the Stonehenge Hidden Landscape Project, strives to "visually recreate the extraordinary prehistoric landscape surrounding Stonehenge," according to the news release. 
 More later.
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Monday, November 28, 2011

Camera Drowns but Images Live

 Great story.  I guess digital has advantages over film after all.

Camera Lost at Sea Returned with the Help of Social Networking

Just how tough is your average DSLR memory card? Apparently tough enough to survive a year at the bottom of the ocean. Naturalist and aspiring photographer Markus Thompson was scuba diving in Deep Bay near Vancouver, British Columbia, when he found a Canon EOS 1000D. Curious, he brought it to the surface and took ut the SD card, and was actually able to recover about 50 photos.
With a bounty of pictures and a desire to find the camera's owner, Thompson took to social networking for help. He posted his find to Google+, including pictures of the camera itself as well as the photos he was able to recover from the SD card. "Approximately 50 pictures on the card from a family vacation. If you know a fire fighter from British Columbia whose team won the Pacific Regional Firefit competition, has a lovely wife and (now) 2 year old daughter - let me know. I would love to get them their vacation photos," he posted.
The social network's hive mind then went to work. Details on just who the camera belonged to were slim at first, but after social network sleuths began scouring the photos, more information began to surface. The camera contained images that were shot at a region firefighting competition, and appeared to suggest that the camera's owner was on the winning team. After comparing faces to those on various websites that covered the event, the possibilities were narrowed down. 
Read the rest HERE.  It's a fun story.
And so it goes.
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Restoration or Fade-to-Black?

Some of you may recognize the painting, but not the person.  The year is 1977. (You may click the image to embiggen.) 142 West 4th Street, NYC. A very happy time.

Although this historical excavation could have gone back another 10 years, in retrospect, I am grateful the available slides begin in 1976.  Some are beginning to fade-to-black badly.  Since they were not stored under climate-controlled conditions, many are losing their colour.

The scanner can handle 4 frames at a time; previewing and correction takes time.  Granted there are plenty from the previous life that will not be saved making the progress a bit faster, but the time spent tweaking is substantial and I can imagine this project lasting far into the winter, and that's OK.

I am viewing and reliving some long forgotten trips, outings, street fairs, holiday celebrations and just days of shooting for fun, mostly around NYC. I am grateful for having what I do and will save and re-sample as many as I can salvage; tossing away the rest.  What I can't see is already lost, anyway.

It is also a learning experience to find that all the film developed in Kodak Labs has faired much better than those processed by other, cheaper labs.  Glad I shot mostly Kodachrome for the important stuff.

The scanner wasn't a planned purchase, but I'm glad I went for it; I am thrilled by what I am seeing 35 years later.

And so it goes.
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Saturday, November 26, 2011

Let the Purge & Save Begin

The new (for me) photo/film scanner was waiting for me as I came home from work. I was thrilled. After settling in, the box was opened to find exactly the same packaging care was given to a refurbished unit as to a new one. After removing all contents and following instructions for installation, I was amazed to find the unit was cosmetically flawless, so the initial failure would likely have been an internal, technical glitch which would be repaired by replacing some electronic bit.

It took little time to unpack the unit, install the software, and connect to the computer.  Once Windows 7 recognized the software and the unit everything went smoothly. Followed the "quick start" instructions and am now ready to begin scanning slides and transferring them to digital format.  Camel hair brush and canned air are at the ready.

The template is in place and I am ready to go.  Of course, since I have to be at work early in the morning I will not be scanning more than a few slides, just to get my feet wet and an idea of how the scanner software works; what shortcuts need to be learned.  Etc.

I am so excited!  Wish me luck.
And so it goes.
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