pWdumaNjA-6CEEBhRoD5euxNETs When All This Actual Life Played Out: June 2010

30 June 2010


Phoenix Sky Harbor Airpot
28 June 2010

When I got to John Wayne, they told me my flight was delayed, but that I'd have plenty of time to catch my connecting flight in Phoenix. Boy, did I ever. The flight out of Phoenix was delayed about 2 hours. So, after getting to SNA at 4 pm, I finally arrived in Albuquerque at midnight.

So it goes.

Tech stuff: Taken with my Nikon D40.

26 June 2010

Moon in June

Full moon
26 June 2010

I'd hoped to get photos of the lunar eclipse, but we were completely fogged in this morning. (Yes, I'm silly enough to get up at 4 am to take photos). Still, it was fun to be able to capture the full moon. It's so bright tonight that I had a bit of trouble with the exposure, but I like that this looks like it's been shot in black and white.

Tech stuff: Taken with my Nikon D40 and telephoto lens.

25 June 2010

The fickle nature of history

Moscow, USSR (now Russian Federation)
March 1984

I worked my way through college in part by working in the college's library. One of my many tasks involved erasing old subject headings on catalog cards and replacing them with the new and improved subject headings devised by the Library of Congress (yes, after erasing them, I typed the new ones on a typewriter). Most of the time, these changes were geographic in nature as countries and borders changed and moved.

The USSR was undergoing plenty of upheaval at the time this photo was taken as the leadership aged and died. Yuri Andropov died suddenly just a month before we embarked on this trip; his successor, Konstantin Chernenko, survived only a year. Still, I don't think that any of us had an inkling that Communism as it existed at this time would barely survive the decade.

The constant, of course, was Lenin. Lenin was everywhere. His likeness was found on the currency, lapel pins, statues, and the sides of buildings. He slept, glowing gently, in his tomb. He was, to me--a student of Russian language, literature and food, as well as Soviet politics--iconic, mythic and a cipher.

Tech stuff: Taken with the successor to my Kodak Instamatic X-15, but I can't remember the model. It was one of the later Kodak point and shoots that took 110 cartridges. I'm too tired to try to figure it out now.

24 June 2010

Territorial imperative

24 June 2010

This is actually a pretty common sight at the fountain, though it's not strictly unusual for one of the hummingbirds (usually the rufous male, who was there earlier in the morning) to be attacking, oh, the Cooper's hawk. Really. The rufous has no idea that the hawk could swallow it whole without a moment's thought.

Tech stuff: Taken with my Nikon D40 and a Nikkor 70-300mm lens. Boo for June gloom, which has since burned off this morning.

22 June 2010

White cliffs

17 July 2008

I took the kids to lunch today, and not one but two World Cup games were on, so we watched and laughed while we ate. I don't care much for soccer, but there was an air of camaraderie in the restaurant as everyone seemed to randomly cheer whatever goal was scored.

Sitting there, I flashed on a memory of lunch in a similar place in London with my family and in-laws, soccer games on in the background, and having cheerful conversation with our Polish waitress. I've found myself very nostalgic for that trip, and anxious to return.

So what does that have to do with Dover? Nothing and everything, and it illustrates how perilously close I came last night to pushing the buttons that would send me back.

Tech stuff: Taken with Nikon D40.

18 June 2010


Staples Center
17 June 2010

Three months ago, I bought tickets for a concert at Nokia. This was to fulfill a promise to my son, who's wanted to see this particular act for several years. Of course, at that point, no one knew that the Lakers and Celtics would be playing Game 7 of the NBA Finals the same night, across the street.

Fortunately, the basketball game let out two hours before our show did, and most of the rioting was done by the time we were back out on the street (NO! I am not kidding about rioting. This is Los Angeles...). The LAPD had a tremendous presence in the area before and after the game. Every single one of those cars is a police car and 3 or 4 officers are standing behind each car. And as I stepped back, trying to frame this on my cell phone, I nearly walked right into a 7 ft. tall officer in riot gear. He was so enormous that I didn't even make it up to his shoulder, and I'm almost 6 ft. tall. At that point, we decided to make a hasty retreat. We were relieved that we missed the part where idiots fans idiots were running around on the freeway.

Tech stuff: Taken with the horrible camera on my Nokia 6215i cell phone.

16 June 2010

Practice, practice, practice

Unidentified hummingbird
16 June 2010

No, I don't like my new lens at all.

And as for the bird, I've got it narrowed to Anna's, Costa's and Calliope. Any takers? It didn't help that a) it landed in the shade, and b) it was wet!

Tech stuff: Taken with my Nikon D40 and a Nikkor 70-300mm lens.

15 June 2010

Majesty of the moon

15 June 2010

I have to admit that I squee'd when I saw this photo. Bet you couldn't guess that my lens arrived today. No, I haven't even looked at the manual yet.

Tech stuff: Taken with my Nikon D40 and a Nikkor 70-300mm lens.

14 June 2010


14 June 2010

Earthshine wasn't actually visible to the naked eye at that point, but I fiddled with the settings a bit. While I was taking photos on different settings, a jet flew by. The result is far too amusing.

Tech stuff: Taken with my Nikon D40, manual 1.6 f5.6. Can't wait for that telephoto to get here...

12 June 2010

Don't do it, lady

12 February 2010

This was the first time the cat decided to curl up in the son's lap while he was playing on the Xbox. We, of course, thought, "awww, how sweet!"

The cat thought otherwise.

Well, it makes a good story.

Tech stuff: Taken with my Nikon D40. Milton really objects to having his photo taken and when he sees the sensor flash, usually looks away with utter feline contempt.

11 June 2010

Peanuts and cracker jack

Angels v. Dodgers
23 May 2009

I'm not for one second going to pretend this is a good photo. Not that I ever do, though I'm sometimes more pleased with the result than others. At any rate, my birthday present last year (according to the spouse) was tickets to see the Angels play the Dodgers at Chavez Ravine. We took the kids and my father-in-law. As you can see, bad photo notwithstanding (hey! cell phone!), we had pretty excellent seats.

I think that night the Angels lost. Tonight, however, they spanked the Dodgers, 10-1.


Tech stuff: Taken with the horrible camera on my Nokia 6215i cell phone. I don't usually take photos at events. But I remembered these tonight when D. and I were talking baseball.

10 June 2010

Thus quoth the raven

Tower of London
16 July 2008

Because my mother was a fan of English historical novels, I read more about the Tower of London, the War of the Roses, Henry the VIII (and the IV and the V), Elizabeth I, and Mary, Queen of Scots than I did about anyone in the United States. So it was natural that on my brief jaunt to London before I set out for frozen parts unknown that I should visit the Tower of London.

The ravens were out. According to legend, if the Tower ravens leave, down goes the monarchy (and the Tower). So it was fun to catch a glimpse of them, even if they weren't keen on posing for photos.

Yes, bird week continues.

Tech stuff: Taken with my Nikon D40.

09 June 2010

A bird in a tree...

Red-shouldered hawk
13 April 2008

Yes, it's bird week here at the blog. Not to worry. It's just a bit of a reminder as to why I bought the telephoto lens...

Tech stuff: Taken with my Nikon D40. And a non-telephoto lens. Obviously.

08 June 2010

At the fountain

At the fountain
8 June 2010

This should probably be more correctly titled "Why I Just (Finally) Ordered a Telephoto Lens."

Still, he's a beauty.

(Click to enlarge)

Tech stuff: Taken with my Nikon D40. And a non-telephoto lens. Obviously.

07 June 2010

She had to leave

9 December 2009

I looked at the calendar today, and realized...three weeks.

Tech stuff: Taken with my Nikon D40.

06 June 2010


Outside of Taos, New Mexico
13 July 2007

Illustrates the current state of affairs just perfectly.

Tech stuff: Taken with a Canon PowerShot S110.

05 June 2010

Diamonds in the web

4 November 2009

Fog + spider web = perfection.

Tech stuff: Taken with my Nikon D40.

04 June 2010

Love, true love

Mitzi and Milton
31 July 2005

When I adopted Milton, the fosters said that he was ok with other cats but he really liked dogs. They seemed very surprised by this. Mitzi was raised from puppyhood with my elderly cat Doodle, so she was pretty ok with cats. Her greatest joy with Milton was trapping him under one paw, and then as he squirmed, she would look at me with an expression that said, "Look at what I caught!"

Then they would chase each other all over the house.

Milton still looks for her where her bed used to be.

Tech stuff: Taken with a Canon PowerShot S110.

03 June 2010

The conversation

Somewhere in middle America
ca. 1962

For a time, my father worked for a cultural program in which foreign journalists--many of whom were from Communist countries--were invited to look at the workings of the United States. They visited farms and factories, probably other things, too. I don't know if this was an actual government program or something done through private industry. What I do know is that some long-time friendships were developed, and later on, when I arrived on the scene, I received small, kind gifts from these people: a child's sari from what was then Burma, a little embroidered dress from Mexico, a carved and painted wooden spoon from the Soviet Union.

I also don't know how it came about that my father ended up with some photographs from one of these jaunts, although my guess would be that they were PR-ish things that he took for the journalists to take back with them.

Of the few photos that survive, this has always been my favorite. If I recall correctly, the gentleman pictured was someone my father got to know fairly well over time. But what amuses me no end is that these two seem to be in deep conversation, human and bovine, sharing a communion that transcends the daily manure of politics and ideology.

02 June 2010

I am Superman

Washington, D.C.

The daughter, waving around a very old black and white photo: "Who's this?"

Me: "Your great-grandmother."

The daughter: "Oh. Grandma M.'s mom?"

Me: "Yup. She would have been about 11 in that photo. Meaning the photo is close to 100 years old."

The daughter, with new respect: "Really? Oh! She looks like you."

She picked up a snapshot of an old woman with a whimsical look on her face. "Who's this?"

Me: "Your great-grandmother."

The daughter: "The same one?!"

Me, laughing: "Yeah, 75 years later."

The daughter, thinking about this: "Ohhhhhh."

Me: "Now we know what I'll look like when I'm an old lady."

The daughter, horrified: "Mommy!"

Me: "Without the bouffant, of course."

01 June 2010

A bee's life

Spanish lavender with bee
3 March 2008

Nothing says late spring like bees in the drowsy warmth of fragrant flowers. I particularly love lavender and grow multiple types because I wanted to have a beautiful garden when I grew up. The bees are fond of it, too.

(Click to enlarge)

Tech stuff: Taken with a Nikon D40. At times like this, I wish I had a macro lens.