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November 27, 2007

Other People’s Photo News

Although I am working my way through a backlog of unprocessed film stretching back decades (probably got a good shot of Elvis in there somewhere), I have nothing to show yet, so I am taking this opportunity to deflect attention away from my lack of accomplishment and point out just some of the notable achievements of some more-or-less-local photographers.

First, belated congratulations to Kathleen Connally for winning a Photobloggie earlier this year, “Best American Photoblog.” It’s just another recognition for her paean to the haunting beauty of Durham Township, PA. She must be shopping for a bigger mantle.

Albert Yee has had a photoblog for years, but recently he quit his day job, won the Metro photo contest (among other honors), and built a killer portfolio site (thanks mainly to an abundance of killer photos). Call me crazy, but he could make a living at this stuff. Seems like a good plan.

The photographer behind Luminous Lens recently launched a lovely new photoblog.

This isn’t breaking news, but I finally got a copy of Kyle Cassidy’s Armed America: Portraits of Gun Owners in Their Homes. I was privileged to meet Kyle through our shared interest in Leica cameras. He would have a place in my personal pantheon if only for his wonderful cat pictures, but he does more challenging projects from time to time, you know, just to pay the bills so he can keep taking cat pictures. His portraits are both imaginative and sensitive, exhibiting wide-ranging creativity, but always in the service of portraying his subjects and their guns. He is working on a new book about veterans and their tattoos, called War Paint: Tattoo Culture & the Armed Forces.

Finally, huge news from Zoe Strauss, who won a United States Artists Fellowship, conferring a substantial grant worth (in the universal currency of photographers) well over ten thousand rolls of Tri-X. All I can say is, What took them so long?

For me, it’s back to developing. I processed five rolls yesterday (Elvis wasn’t on any of them). I’m changing my film processing procedure a bit, and I feel a post coming on about that, so I think I need to go lie down until it passes...


i expect to see that elvis shot sometime in the next 6 months. and it better be in color ;)

those cassidy links are great.

thanks for the nod!

Thanks, Tony! You're very kind.

Hope you're joining the PPBs on our December 8th outing! :)

Kathleen, Sorry I will have to miss out on the fun yet again—I usually have to work Saturdays. Looking forward to seeing the shots... it’s almost like being there. :-)

Thanks for the link publicity! I'm really excited to be photoblogging again.

As for your film processing project, it must be exciting to have all of these pictures that you're going to unveil.

Yes, I feel like Garry Winogrand (famous among other things for deferring processing for a year). Each roll is a revelation - "Hey, I remember that!"

Are you gonna go full Winogrand!? You're gonna have to get out shooting more often now - double time!

Yeah, really. I'm about thirty rolls behind and that's just for this week. He had artistic reasons for deferring processing; I'm just lazy.

who's saying his initial reasons weren't laziness which grew into "artistic" after a couple years passed?!

@albert Not me! ;-)

November 21, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving

Early dismissal today, and I’m home and heading downstairs to toast me some flour for to make some awesome gravy tomorrow. Thanks to Marisa for showing the way to make the Ultimate Gravy on Fork You! and her blog. I made this last year, and it was the best gravy I’ve ever had.

And if you’re looking for the perfect wine for Thanksgiving, check out PhilaFoodie’s take on Thanksgiving wine pairings. Now if you’ll excuse me, it’s toast time. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!


Happy Thanksgiving! Gravy....yeah, that's one of my faves.

funny web log :)

November 13, 2007

Autumn Light

Apparently something magical happened last Wednesday—something I completely missed, insensitive clod that I am. Fortunately the fleeting phenomenon was captured and transformed into something more permanent. A dreary day like today seems like the perfect time to recollect it.

That day, Anne was struck by the oblique sunlight that set everything it touched on fire. She showed me a beautiful series featuring glowing orchard grass and taxodiums. While the light seemed to symbolize the end of the green seasons, we are actually looking forward to the winter light, as that season’s sunlight is always more saturated.

Justrose of Anonymous Rowhouse shared a moment in her commute that also symbolized the pivotal moment in the transition between seasons. Her piece certainly evoked an ineffable feeling of wistfulness in me; maybe it will in you as well. I just feel lucky to have read it and seen the light, literally as it were.



I am contacting you because I am working with the authors of a book about blogs, and I'd like to request permission to use the photograph you have posted in this book. Please contact me at, and I'd be happy to give you more information about the project. Please paste a link to your blog in the subject field. Your assistance is greatly appreciated.



November 12, 2007

Rock-Bottom Remainders

I just found out about the Rock-Bottom Remainders yesterday (a band made up of such notable authors as Dave Barry, Stephen King, Matt Groening, Amy Tan, and more—an amazing list). I always thought it would be fun to play in a band just for fun with co-workers at an office party or colleagues at a conference, but this is a whole nuther level.

That would be a lot of fun. The only problem is that I am not a best-selling writer (plucky as it is, this little bloggy just isn’t in the same literary league). That may not be an issue, however. In an interview with Craig Ferguson, Dave Barry confirmed that most positions in the band are reserved for published authors, “except for the skill positions, the drummer and the sax player.” (Nice to hear the drums referred to as a “skill position.”)

Maybe there’s a chance, especially when they notice that hyphen in the compound modifier “rock-bottom,” not to mention the serial comma. Those kind of touches are, ahem, just like my playing—subtle and correct. I’m sure their people will be in touch. :-)

November 9, 2007

Binging on Links [nanoblog]

Started going through a list of “photography, art, multimedia and journalism” links I found on the Magnum Blog recently. Not that I have the time to plow through 83 links, but it’s a Friday night with no Big Plans, so now’s a good time to start. I already knew some of the photo links, so if the company they’re keeping is in the same class, I should find some treasures.


here's 87 more :)

November 8, 2007

Teresa’s Next Door

Teresa’s Next Door in Wayne opened in June, but I wasn’t able to visit for a meal there until last week and then ended up eating there twice. I’ve been working my way through the restaurants on North Wayne Avenue (not far from where I work) and have been to Christopher’s, The Freehouse, the Great American Pub, and now Teresa’s Next Door. I have been more than happy with every meal, but have to say that Teresa’s is my favorite. For many, the beer selection would be enough of a draw, and the hostess confirmed that the place attracts beer geeks from far and wide. There is an emphasis on Belgian beer (half of the 26 taps and 250 varieties in bottles are Belgian) of which I know little. I had a grilled chicken salad the first time I ate there and a sandwich called the Cuban (with Serrano ham on a brioche roll) the second. The sandwich especially was superb in every detail. We ordered fries to split and out came an enormous basket. I couldn’t imagine eating all of them, but they were so good, we had no problem. Our servers were both knowledgeable and friendly. Go for the beer; stay for the food.


I'm going to try that one out. It's close to home...and "Go for the beer; stay for the food" is a review I can endorse!

November 7, 2007

Newb Ego Blogger [nanoblog]

That’s what I yam, at least according to this insightful and funny flowchart, “How to Tell If a Web Page Sucks.” This site does have a “picture of a cat” (neither “dismembered” nor “otherwise humiliated”), and by that criterion, mere cat is a newb ego blog. Close enough to the truth, actually. While the cat pictures are a wink at the Internet cliché of personal sites cluttered with cat pictures, my pictures are otherwise completely non-ironic. I love cats and cat pictures! Non-ironically! (Via Andy Rutledge)


I have that "preview hover thing," qualifying my blog as Brain Rot.

November 6, 2007

Community Garden Season Ends

Sunday was such a beautiful day (unlike today), I actually enjoyed helping Anne clean up the community garden in preparation for winter.

View of the community garden

Thanks to the monopod, here’s an aerial view of one corner of the garden.

Removing woody debris

After the cleanup, the area is mowed and eventually tilled. Anything that might clog the mower was removed, including these sunflower stalks.

Leftover vegetables

There wasn’t much left to harvest, just a few abandoned vegetables.

Saving materials for next year

As many materials as possible (such as this fencing) were saved for reuse next year.

A load for the Dumpster

Not everything could be saved or composted, unfortunately...

November 5, 2007

Speaking of WHYY, one of their regular sponsors is, where you can get such paragons of modernity as the ergonomic and stylish Aeron chair, now available in “True Black” (I’m tellin’ ya, black is the new black). And you can get it, that’s right, for less! Not for cheap, mind you, just for less. Aerons and their ilk aren’t cheap. Fortunately, I am not in lust with the unaffordable Aeron, as my philosophy has changed somewhat over the years. I did own a less-worthy but still nice sculpted chair for years and was satisfied until I gradually realized that the secret of comfort was not being locked into one perfect posture, but rather having the freedom to change positions. One of the most comfortable office chairs I have ever used was a plain affair with a mostly flat seat and back. This design made it easy for me to sit on one leg (which I do until it falls asleep and I have to switch to the other leg).

We’ve been lucky to acquire a couple of nice, plain chairs recently, saved from the trash by friends who didn’t need them (hence

Rescued oak chairs

Neither of these chairs is “ergonomic” in the way the Aeron is, but both are surprisingly comfortable. Both feature solid oak construction, classic retro design, and authentic “distressed” patina. The one on the left is my current office chair. All I need now is a matching oak desk and a battered Underwood and I’ll be a real writer.


I know this is an old blog posting but, two things...
First... Scott (AKA Blankbaby) needs a chair to match an old desk he's using. I'll point him to your post so he sees these cheap chair sites.

Second... Wow, my eyes widened significantly when I saw the rug the two chairs are sitting on. My grandparents had the identical pattern in their 2nd floor office/den! I used to sleep in that room when we visited them, so I am well acquainted with the pattern. Always liked it.

Now, you're at least five decades younger than my grandparents would be, so I'm wondering how and when you got it. It was in my grandparents' house certainly before the '80s...

Wow. Blast from the past.

November 4, 2007

Fear of the Unknown

Thanks to the Do Not Call Registry, we get no telemarketing calls. Well, almost none; we were getting a few from number “Unknown.” They were easy to ignore, but really, who are these weasels who not only flout the Do Not Call list but also block their number? Anne finally answered one, and it turned out to be WHYY (the local NPR affiliate). That explains why they called us. Since we are already on the hook to them for $10 a month, they have a “previous business relationship" with us, which entitles them to harass us telephonically for even more money. Admittedly, I do listen to WHYY more than any other station...

Which reminds me. When I was a kid, I couldn’t imagine anyone preferring to listen to talk instead of music. Well, make way for blah, blah, blah; it has come to pass.


I hate getting those blocked calls. We re-registered for Do Not Call, but still seem to get a ton from the PA Law Enforcement somethingorother. Now I's because Sheryl gave them money in the past. Ugh. Go away, blocked phone numbers.

We used to get calls from the “Police Chiefs,” maybe the same outfit.