Analyze the Data not the Drivel

Recent Images

  • We are living in the "Take Nothing for Granted Age." It's now necessary to post signs like this because without them we are lost. Should I only drive cautiously when autistic children are present? Am I free to act like a total jackass when ordinary free-range nonautistic urchins are about? Exactly how should I modify my behavior to satisfy this sign?

  • My last ACS school trip took us to Istanbul in the spring of 1969. I was carrying my Instamatic 126 camera but I didn't take a lot of pictures. In the predigital era, you worried about things like film cost. My images from that trip are ad hoc Kodacolor slides like this poorly framed shot of a mosque. I cannot remember what mosque this is. We visited a number including Hagia Sophia. Istanbul's weather was mostly overcast during this visit and every morning cars and windows around our very cheap hotel were covered with coal dust.

  • Water curtain. This is not a digital manipulation; it's fountain water flowing smoothly.

  • After tormenting others with unflattering makeshift light it was only fair to endure the same trial. Professional photographers spend thousands on studio lights because when the light isn't right the image is always off. In my case illumination is irrelevant. I am always off.

  • Me standing in front of the townhome we bought in Orleans Ottawa. We made a hefty down purchase when the structure was a hole in the ground and waited for many months before anything resembling a townhome was assembled. We lived in the townhome for a few years and then sold it without using realtors. If you can take your time selling a property try private sales or low-cost web advertising first. Slaughter the middle man whenever possible.

  • Wide-angle lenses seduce buildings.

  • Looking east over downtown Coeur d'Alene from our hotel balcony. I couldn't resist flashing a "V" shadow. If you are wondering my "V" does not stand for victory.

  • Where the Snake turns west in Lewiston Idaho.

  • Priest Lake State Park pier.

  • Mali picking huckleberries. After a few hours of back bending picking, she understood why these delicious little purple pills fetch top dollar.

  • Boat docks and piers near Hill's Resort on Priest Lake.

  • Browsing with a tablet under a blue patio umbrella.

  • Mali in a Banff gondola pod. The Banff gondola had very small pods. You could easily shake them by shifting your weight. Of course, I shook the pod and Mali told me to stop. She's nervous about heights. After our gondola ride, we returned to our rented car in the gondola parking lot. There were only two cars in a large parking lot. I opened the driver side door and walked behind the car; then I heard a big crunch. The other car in the parking hit our driver side door. The woman that hit us had the entire parking lot to maneuver in but like a guided missile she scored a direct hit. It was Ok. I had full insurance on the rental. When we returned the rental the lady checking us in acted like wreaked returns were perfectly normal.

  • Gathering dusk on Cascade Mountain above Banff. In December of 1974, I snowshoed up the Cascade Trail near Banff Alberta with my good friend Richard Moore. It was quite cold-below -25C. We both used two cheap sleeping bags to camp in a deep snowdrift. Snow camping is actually quite comfortable. You can pack the snow to suit your body; it's an excellent natural mattress. This hike was among the last things I did with Richard. In six months I was in Ghana and a few months later Richard committed suicide. He fired a shotgun into his head.

  • Lean broken symmetry.

  • Jacob in our Orleans basement in 2006.

  • Whether by accident or design some double exposures make you look twice.

  • During our stay, I repeatedly shot the view from our hotel balcony. Mali chided me for wasting time. "How many pictures do you need?" As many as it takes is always the correct answer. The light is ever-changing. Sometimes it reveals what was previously hidden. Sometimes it changes your feelings. If you were forced to look at the same scene forever you would beg the indifferent or nonexistent gods for ever-changing light.

  • Mali at City Beach Park Sandpoint.

  • Boys on a moose sculpture in McEuen Park.

  • Fernan Lake water lily.

  • The late afternoon view from the Coeur d'Alene Resort boat bridge.

  • A bear carving on the grounds of Hill's Resort beside Priest Lake. Northern Idaho has a dodgy reputation. It's known for skinheads, opioid addicts, white supremacy and racist LBGTQ hating Trump voters. This is all a front to keep the tourist hordes at bay. The lake district of Northern Idaho is as nice as more famous sites and here's the good bit the naked ape density is much lower! Still, just to be safe you should stay far far away.

  • Who said roadside attractions are dead? On the way back from Coeur d'Alene we spotted this large hokey wooden dog bark park structure near the Cottonwood Idaho turnoff. I stopped in and chatted with the owner of the dog park about how the construction of Interstate Highways inadvertently decimated quirky American roadside attractions.

  • My Pythonesque portrait theory which is mine, which was formulated by me, goes like this: headshot, half body, and full body are correct everything else is wrong! I remember nagging Mali to frame the full body when she snapped this shot of me standing in Arches National Park. Incidentally, this little park packs more beauty per square kilometer than most parks worldwide.

  • The glacial fines suspended in Jasper lakes imparts a lovely greenish sheen.

  • Becky Ings and Lawrence Nazar Lansdowne Edmonton 1971. I have not taken a lot of friend pictures; this is the only shot I have of Lawrence Nazar. I met Lawrence in a high school Chemistry class in Edmonton in the fall of 1969. Lawrence, like most of my friends, was a weird kid; the red socks are not an accident. We only hung out for a few years but Lawrence marked me. I credit him for reactivating my dormant interest in photography. Lawrence had a Konica 35mm camera and was an Ektachrome boy. I was more of Kodachrome guy but we put our emulsion differences aside to mock the microcephalic nitwits that surrounded us in high school. Lawrence's life diverged from mine. He dropped out of high school, moved to British Columbia, took up martial arts, spent some time in Japan and returned with a Japanese girlfriend that used him to emigrate to Canada. She later left him with a daughter. Lawrence worked in the trades in BC. I later heard that he developed cancer and died in his early sixties. I outlive another early friend.

  • Jacob petulantly posing by ephemeral Ottawa River rock sculptures. The Ottawa River rock sculptures are not meant to last. River ice, floods and vandalism constantly overturn the stones leaving the artist with a Sisyphean restacking task; it's Buddha's everything changes manifested in obdurate stone.

  • I'm happier with some panoramas than others. I find this one particularly pleasing. One of the things I most enjoyed about Edmonton's cold winters was walking around at night when it was -30C or colder. The cold drove most people indoors leaving the streets deserted and silent. I probably shot the two Ektachrome slides that went into this panorama on such a night. The original slides had tilted horizons, I almost certainly braced the camera on something to make the long exposures, and there was very little overlap. My first attempt to stitch the images in Affinity Photo failed. The program told me "No panorama found." I resized and sharpened the images to give the control point location software a better chance at finding matches. It worked like a charm and this shot of downtown Edmonton on a cold winter night of 1971 popped out.

  • Floating down the Boise River is one of the more relaxing things you can do here during the summer. Today we floated from Barber Park to Ann Morison Park. It takes less than two hours. This was the first time since last August that I tried using my little not entirely waterproof camera. I damaged it in the high surf in Hawaii and thought it was kaput. After a few months of drying in silica gel I could turn it on but it will not focus, zoom or log GPS positions. Despite its handicaps, I can still get some useful shots out of it.

  • The floating Coeur d'Alene boardwalk is basically boats for pedestrians. I walked around it a few times snapping pictures. Note the woman on the right giving me the stink eye. These days it's perfectly okay to walk around like a self-absorbed imbecile talking to your phone but it's still considered weird to stand on benches and take pictures.

  • Mali on the Coeur d'Alene floating boardwalk.

  • The Coeur d'Alene Resort marina boat bridge. A nice floating wooden boardwalk surrounds the marina in front of the Coeur d'Alene Resort. I walked the planks several times pausing to snap pictures and enjoy the lakeside sights.

  • Me kneeling on a small beach at the northern end of Priest Lake.

  • This forest monster is wanted for huckleberry homicide. Note the incriminating purple huckleberry stains on the beast's lips. There's no telling how many innocent berries have fallen to his rapacious appetite.

  • In an inspired bit of municipal self-promotion, Wallace Idaho has declared a city intersection "The Center of the Universe" and they dare you to prove it's not! This is perfect on so many levels. First, modern cosmology affords no privileged status to any point in the universe, so yeah, this is the center of the universe. Wallace is not claiming it's the only center just a center. Second, if the gods are anything like the pricks in mythology, it wouldn't surprise me that they would make a humdrum intersection in a bump in the road deplorable infested town the center of the universe. Third, without the center, there aren't very many good reasons to visit Wallace which is, of course, the whole point of this point.

  • Peacock tail Saint Louis Zoo.

  • Ice fishing on the Ottawa River. Ice fishing is the most perfect form of fishing and those that partake are the most devout of fisherman. Some years ago a strong wind came upon a large Canadian lake causing a large crack in the ice. Open water separated the ice fisherman from shore. The Canadian forces lept into action and evacuated the ice fisherman. As I watched the drama on TV I said, "The second they get to shore they will turn around and head back onto the ice." Of course, this is exactly what happened; being cut off, even if your safety is compromised, is a major plus in the ice fishing mind. Girly persons will never understand.

  • Me contemplating a little furry thing. When I started shooting 35mm slides in high school my desk served as an impromptu studio. When I look over these old slides I feel a mixture of delight and disgust. I'm delighted that some of my very first photographs are as good as many I shot decades later and, simultaneously, I'm disgusted that I haven't improved much. I know I should get out and work on expanding my shooting and post-processing techniques but as a comedian once opined about exercise, "It's hard to work out when you don't want to!"

  • Champlain Lookout in Gatineau Park. This is one of my favorite spots in Gatineau Park. You look west over the Ottawa River valley. A plaque at the lookout calmly relays the simple fact that a mere 20,000 years ago on this very spot the ice was well over a kilometer thick. Canadian shield granite, seen in the foreground here, was largely exposed over a wide region by a combination of continental ice sheet erosion and uplift. Global warming: it's not all bad.

  • The dark abides.

  • River float season is in full swing. Today I rafted down the Boise River with Mali and two ladies from her hiking group. The summer weather was perfect and the river water was clear and cold. The only thing missing was cold beer.

  • Boats parked in the Coeur d'Alene boardwalk marina.

  • Looking south from the Coeur d'Alene Resort marina boat bridge.

  • We stopped for breakfast on the way to Coeur d'Alene at the Shore Lodge in McCall. The food was good and the weather was perfect.

  • A perfect summer day on Priest Lake.

  • I see beach people! Our hotel balcony provided a nice nook for shooting telephoto shots of people on Coeur d'Alene City Beach.

  • Here are your huckleberries. Mali with her huckleberry haul. Mali spent a few hours picking huckleberries in the forest near Fernan Lake. I picked berries as well but like most forest creatures I ate them on the spot.

  • Me taking aim. I rather doubt Robin Hood had a pot gut.

  • A collection of Idaho Botanical garden shots: it's not the best time of year for the gardens but it's always interesting. In recent months Mali has started cultivating what I call her "indoor forest" and thought the botanical gardens might have interesting plants in their gift shop. They did not.

  • I wasn't satisfied with my crippled water-resistant (not proof) camera so I bought a cheap device: a Lumix Panasonic TS30 to use when getting soaked is unavoidable or expected. The TS30 is almost $250 cheaper than the Olympus so I wasn't expecting an optical gem or bells and whistles like built-in GPS. As you can see from these test shots The TS30 is not as sharp as the Olympus or my iPhone but considering it's way cheaper than both I will live with its limitations. One pleasant surprise: the TS30 menu control software is well thought out and easier to use than the Olympus and much easier than my Nikons; hey Nikon your DSLR menus still suck like an industrial vacuum cleaner.

  • Painted Ottawa River rocks.

  • Me in the chemistry lab at Harry Ainlay High School in 1970. You know you're getting old when you have fifty-year-old shots of yourself. Fortunately, like a finely aged wine, I am even more attractive now and well on my way to depositing a beautiful corpse.

  • Hotel lobby aquarium fish were a big hit. Every other person snapped phone pictures of them. They looked jaded even for fish.

  • Walking the Coeur d'Alene floating boardwalk.

  • The correct way to beach.

  • When the idiot media started calling prostitutes “sex workers” I thought it was another tiresome politically correct euphemism. Rebranding is a favorite rhetorical gimmick of political whores so applying it to actual whores is oddly appropriate. However, in this case, the term "sex worker" is accurate. The Oasis Bordello shows what a late 1970s early 1980s small Idaho town whorehouse was like. A coffee mug in the gift shop listed prices for typical services. A standard 15-minute no-frills boink was 15 bucks. If you were in the market for “69” the price jumped to 30 bucks. More demanding services were even more. The average client went for the no-frills and was all done in about five minutes. The bordello operated like an assembly line. Clients were queued in waiting rooms. When a girl became available she met with the client and negotiated a service contract. Then she collected the money upfront, deposited it into her safety box, set an egg timer, and then rendered the service. Girls served up to 40 clients over a 16-hour workday. They were hard-working sex workers! Prostitutes could clear 100,000 dollars a year and that was good money in the early 1980s. I wonder how many wisely invested their earnings.

  • Sandpoint City Beach Park. I amuse myself by looking over real estate listings so I wasn't surprised by Sandpoint. There are a large number of pricey homes in and around Sandpoint and when you look around Lake Pend Oreille it's easy to see why.

  • The weather was simply perfect during our recent northern Idaho visit so people were out zealously pursuing summer activities. The most zealous took to the air. All-day long you could spot people parasailing on Lake Coeur d'Alene. The parasailers were too far offshore for decent shots. This is the best of my 300mm shots.

  • Late afternoon City Park swimmers in Lake Coeur d'Alene. The Coeur d'Alene resort and floating boardwalk are in the background. We were pleasantly surprised by Coeur d'Alene and the lake. It's more "boutiquey" than Tahoe and just as beautiful. Not social justice warrior approved!





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