What Lies Just Around The Corner

I sat on the couch in my livingroom, wishing for dry and warm sunsets so that I can really test the limits of my new camera, and this  is the view across the room.  It's the entrance to my dining room, which I now use as a home office.  The light is beguiling.  What lies around the corner is mysterious.  So, I crank up the camera on monochrome, and snap one off of this rather uninteresting view.  Sunsets are not far off.


Urban Grille, Geneva, IL

Earlier this month, I enjoyed lunch at Urban Grille on State Street in Geneva, IL. Upscale urban decor, dim but not dark, serving wood grilled pizza an a fine side salad. Less expensive than Cali Pizza Kitchen at Geneva Commons, the food is impeccable. It's the only place I've found in Geneva, IL that serves brick oven pizza. Fantastic!


Penn and Teller: The Best Show That We Saw in Las Vegas

Interview Reveals Stars of Video and Family Are Devoid Of Personality

Light In My Bedroom As Viewed From Master Bathroom

Photographers have a term called "tack sharp". It's the holy Grail of pictures. No shake. No noise. No motion blur. Usually a result of good equipment, lens, tripod, wireless shutter release, stop mirror motion, proper ISO, etc. All that did not go into this picture today. But, it's close to tack sharp. If you scroll and look at my posts, this one stands out. Click and enlarge it. That chandelier is vivid. Almost jumps off the page. Looking through the page.

I'm nit so skilled. It's just that this one photo "pops". By luck and good equipment. I could never take this picture with my point and shoot.



Fine Line Arts, St. Charles, Illinois

Looking back on three weeks ago when we hit Fine Line in Saint Charles, IL with friends Jay, Alexia and Dave for the arboretum show. The powerful designs were on display for everyone, and the turnout was strong. As Cathy is a budding watercolor painter, it's nice to see examples from masters of the art. Jay, too, is taking classes--now advanced.

One envisions watercolors as translucent, pastel colored and fairly
"blah". In reality, they are anything but. Vivid, bold, authentic and fine. The pumpkin on stalk and the poinsettia speak to the strength of the medium. I'm a convert, and waiting for more from my wife. A fine day, with sharp friends, at Fine Line in early March.


It Was On The Cart Path, Shankapotamus

A few of you have gotten these emails from me. Here's the link, Lancelot.


Happy Springtime From The Go Players Assoc Of America

A placid moment: Go-playing debutantes sharing milk between heated matches at our spring 2010 "Go Challenge" cotillion, held this year at the VFW in Farmer City, Illinois.


Chicks N Salsa

A recent sunny day at Glen Ellyn's Chicks N Salsa was full of light, warmth, and that ooooh so succulant chicken burrito. I even had a fish taco chaser! Fish, cucumber, light chipotle sauce on a heated corn torilla...this is heaven on earth. Thanks for the great meals to Cindy, the owner. The care that is put into Chicks N Salsa--from the clean tables to the self serve salsa and cilantro bar--is noticable the moment one walks through the front door. Glass on two sides, it really has a Baja/SoCal feel, right there next to Dominick's on Roosevelt Rd in Glen Ellyn. Yum!


President Obama Is Honest And Keeps His Word

Let The Great World Spin-- Colum McCann

I'm reading this superbly written 2009 book right now, and it's set in NYC at the time of Phillipe Petit's 110 story tightrope walk between the twin towers in 1974. It looks at the lives of those way down below, staring up at the tightrope walker, and is intertwined stories from the city. I am about 100 pages in, and reading about Corrie, the rogue alcoholic preacher who left his native U.K. to live a very miserly life in the underbelly of NYC, where his brother searches for him. His brother eventually finds him.

"It was the earliest suggestion of what my brother would become, and what I'd later see among the cast-offs of New York--the whores, the hustlers, and the hopeless--all of those who were hanging onto him like he was some bright hallelijah in the shitbox of what the world really was."

Sometimes Lady Luck Smiles Down On You


A Holy Roller

A Gift From My Wife

The Writer Must Write What He Has To Say, Not Speak It -- E. Hemingway.
A Valentine's gift from my loving wife.  And a unique pencil box, too.


The Kindle For IPhone / IPod Touch

Okay, I've read on many "readers", including the Kindle, the netbook (which I still adore with the wireless mouse and small dongle), and the iPod Touch. Well, I have come full circle, and have now read all three of Scott Kelby's photography books and two books on the craft of writing, and now The Kite Runner, all on the tiny Kindle for IPhone (with books purchased from The size of this reader is small, but the portability is unsurpassed. It is truly easy to zip into my fleece overcoat and take it out at a moments notice--no wi-fi is needed once I have the books downloaded onto it--and just read to my hearts content. I know a couple of you (including a couple of friends of my son) are avid readers. I struggled with reading on my iPod initially, but now I do well and enjoy it greatly.
I recommend Kindle for iPhone for a backlighted, color easy to read text that fits directly into the pocket or backpack. I personally like reading with black background and white text; very easy on the eyes. Amazon also has free e-reader software for Macs, PCs, and Blackberry!  Enjoy!


Self-Portrait Through The Bathroom Looking Glass

Now here's a photo that I find unique.  I have a split medicine cabinet in the bathroom (two doors), and I managed to keep one door open, and the other mirrored door closed to show my reflection.  The key with all photos is sharpness of image (roll finger over shutter release rather than punch it, hold breathe, that sort of thing). Also important here is depth of field. While the image seems to show a deep field, it really is only as deep as the glass mirro and the items in the cabinet--thus, they are all in focus. The depth of field compensation here is not really as "deep" as it would appear.


A Study In Depth Of Field

I forget the details now, but a couple weeks ago I had the Canon on a tripod and snapped two identical, unedited photos of the reflection in the kitchen window above the sink.  One was f/2.8 and one was F/11 (as I recall).  One shows the reflection and counterto items in good and clean definition, and the other has a more shallow depth of field and a more blurry reflection and items.  Click to enlarge and see. With the camera automatically making all other adjustments (this is Av or aperture priorty mode, where I select only the aperture), the two photos seem otherwise identical,---that is, no major changes in light quality or shadows.


Youtube Rarity: Tight Editing (Sometimes Loses The Backstory)

Master Bathroom Tile

We hired a professional tiler,
to redo our master bathroom floor.
He asked what pattern we desired,
and we said "do it just like your foyer."


Cellphone Env2 Images at 2.0 Megapixels In The Light

Too blown out. Poor depth of field. But all in all, not terrible for a teensy weensy camera on the tip of my cell phone.


Google Chrome For Windows

Been enjoying Google Chrome instead of internet explorer on my nettbook now for about two weeks. Faster (slightly) and has some controls that are easier to use than IE8. With patience, I have learned about it and find it--like most things Google--exceptional. I'll now download and try it on my main PC.


Lake Vermilion, Danville, IL Paddling With Trailmom and LittleRed

These two cellphone shots are from the access atop the hill at Lake Vermilion, Danville, IL, when Trailmom and LittleRed and I paddled up the feeder river until it petered out under a rocky shoal where we took a break.  We met in C-U, and threw the yaks on my late,great trailer--now sold in 2009 on eBay to a fellow from Wisconsin.  You see, the trailer is sublime--but storing it in a neighborhood with covenants against leaving things outside the garage is not so sublime.  I have fond memories of our paddle that day, the three of us had a fine, sunny day.


Cognac On The Rocks

I've read all three of Scott Kelby's digital photograph books (excellent!) on my Ipod Touch (with Kindle app), and now enjoying a glass of Hennessy while I read The Kite Runner.
Life is good. Reading is more on my mind now than ever--television has lost it's luster except as an activity with my wife. I guess if I simply take up drinking and reading, I may die before I have to do any writing.


The Riverboat in Elgin, IL

Today in Elgin, IL, drove my red truck, and walked across the park to the Fox River to photograph the casino and seek a kayalk launch spot. The casino boat is impressive--frankly, the only impressive thing in a downtown that has fallen on blight, vacancy and homelessness. Yet, as in the photo, a couple of huge new condo complexes have risen from the ashes. They came up just prior to the real estate nosedive, and many units recently sold at foreclosure auction. Anyone wanting a deal on a posh condo in a 1/2 filled building located across from the neon lights of the casino, which attracts gambling addicts and whores like a yellow light beckoning summer moths, consider Elgin, IL.

Megadeth From Stage Left, Front Row

This is the Suicide Silence, Machinehead and Megadeth concert that mancub and I attended in autumn 2009.  It was a thrilling show, and all three bands were brooo-tal! Dave Mustaine and Megadeth are seen in this cellphone camera shot from that night. We were in the front row, stage left.


The Kite Runner

I know, I'm late to the party. But after hearing raves about debut novel The Kite Runner, by K. Hosseini, I am into it now about 100 pages. I wanted to read it before the hype of the movie. So far, so good... Johnny Come Lately, better late than watching the movie. So far? Simple writing style, very good story.


A Little Picasa Editing Bleaches On Blog

Interestingly, I get the hues all tuned ideally on Photoshop Elements 8, and it looks brighter--over-exposed, frankly--when I put in a blog.  Go figure.  One tip from my Scott Kelby reading says that its better to have it a tad darker when you take the original image, as it's easier to add highlight (i.e. lighten the image) during photo editing, than it is to take away light.  Seems like sound advice.


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