Thursday, December 31, 2009

Friday Hometown Shootout -- Construction

In the words of Obama, let me be perfectly (pause) clear.  I am a dunce at construction.  In fact, if Karen were doing this post, she would put in a picture of me because I am her best construction project.  In 1988, when we were first married, she began talking about buying a house. I was negative about it, having rented all of my life. I argued the advantage of renting was that if anything went wrong you called the landlord to fix it.  But I agreed that we could buy a house as long as she never expected me to be anything resembling a "handyman."


This is me a year later.  I was about to start painting and had just finished spackling the walls to prepare them.  Two hours before this picture was taken, I had never heard of "spackle."  I am looking at the paint brush and thinking, "What the heck have I got myself into."

Two decades later, I have -- with great reluctance and heel dragging -- installed ceiling fans, dishwashers, disposal units, gutters, electric wiring, plumbing, and insulation.  I have dug trenches and installed irrigation systems.  I am still muttering, "What the heck have I got myself into."   Yes, I have been Karen's best construction project.

Although I didn't do too well with building treehouses.

Come to think of it, I didn't do too well with the disposal unit either.

But moving along...when I first thought about this post and the theme of "construction," I didn't think I would have much.  I was thinking typical hard-hat construction stuff.




But there is also construction on a smaller scale:

I'll never forget this amazing Zapotek Indian woman I met when I was fortunate enought to be part of a government exhange program in Oaxaca, Mexico.


Or the sand sculptors below at the Isle of Palms summer sand sculpture competition.

And that, for the moment, is that...I've got to go now and replace a tire on the lawn mower.   Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Cleaning house

The Christmas tree came down on Monday.

I used to think that having an artificial tree was my lazy solution to avoiding pine sap on the hands and needles on the rug, even though real trees do smell better. But the “Coming down of the Christmas tree” ritual makes me doubt that logic.

Because the tree – not to mention five big plastic crates of decorations, ribbons, lights, wrapping paper, bows, stuffed Santas, etc. – is stored in the shed attached to the house. And mostly because, before putting them all back, we always decide that this is the ideal time to clean out the shed.

“We,” of course, does not include “me” although I never argue much about it.

So Monday, I took everything out of the shed and piled it in the backyard and then attacked the large empty space with broom, blower, and vacuum cleaner.

The final step is to throw away everything that we don’t want, need, or use and place whatever remains in a nice orderly display.

Recently, one of the bloggers I follow -- Kathy at Four Dog Day -- caught a nugget of truth, writing about how hard it was to throw away a pair of old slippers.  Her blog was followed by a bevy of comments about holding on to old shoes, dresses, hats, etc.  Now I don't want to sound like I'm stereotyping -- but most of these comments were written by women.   I don't have a problem chucking out clothes. 

BAGMAN: “I’ll even throw away the ones I’m wearing!!!”

BUTLER: “You would, you compulsive exhibitionist!”

But the point is that there is a male version of this.  Being a guy, I can throw away clothes but I have a hard time throwing away tools and "stuff."    I start sorting through the pile in the backyard and come upon a broken rake handle. This should be a no-brainer. But I look at the trash bin and something comes over me.  I think that I might have a need to attach something to this handle someday or use it to poke something out of a tree.

A broken and torn window screen. Ah, but who knows? Someday I might need to build a small box with ventilation holes and a piece of the screen might be useful. Why would I build a small box?  I don’t know.  But maybe.

Scraps of wood and siding. Well, duh! I’m sure I’ll be looking for a piece of wood sometime in the future.

So, after throwing away nothing except a couple of bent nails, I put everything back including my two large tool boxes. And why, you might be asking, do I need TWO tool boxes?

BAGMAN: “I wouldn’t be asking that.”

BUTLER: “Neither would I.”

I’ll answer it anyway. I have one tool box for my tools. The other tool box is stuffed with accumulated small pieces of metal – parts of curtain hanging assemblies, angle irons, hooks and fasteners, etc. There are unidentifiable things that were inexplicably left over after assembling grills, mowers, cabinets, and ceiling fans – parts that probably should be somewhere in those appliances but I never figured out where to put them.

And you never know when you might need the knob from an old record player.

So, once I was sure that Karen wasn’t watching, I put absolutely everything back in the shed. Then I went back in the house, walked straight to my closet and threw away two pairs of shoes and a shirt, just to prove I could.

Monday, December 28, 2009


Just a couple of Christmas shots. 

This year, I made a real effort to just enjoy Christmas morning without putting a lens between myself and the festivities.  In past years I have obsessively videoed or photographed the unwrapping ritual and have missed the entire thing and ended up with a ton of boring shots of people tearing paper.  So I left the camera on the shelf for the day and enjoyed it more.  Although there was one moment that I wished I had caught.  But a small sacrifice for just being part of everything instead of acting like an uninvolved photojournalist. 

But I did take out the camera at the request of the group for a group shot.

Thank goodness for Photoshop.   I took five or six versions and this was the only one that had everyone's eyes open.  Except the original had one small flaw. 

But I was able to find another one in which Thomas was behaving himself and, because I had used a tripod, was able fairly easily to replace him for the photo at the top. 

Then I took the camera out one other time.  It was also Conner's first birthday -- well, a couple of days off but close enough.  We had the bright idea to give him a cake just for his own fun and exploration.  He was happy but a tad confused at having a huge sweet thing in front of him with nobody feeding him.  Just let him do what he wants!


"But how do I get it in my mouth?"

"Nana to the rescue."

"Maybe I'll stick to the painting part.  Not sure about the taste."

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Help. I'm being held hostage by a Droid

I am addicted to, besides everything else, technology.  But I usually keep it in check and don't chase every new gadget.  Spacing new technology over time keeps me from spending every waking second in the learning curve.

But shortly before Christmas, my job upgraded my cellphone.  It had to be done since I was incapable of checking my calendar or email when I was out of the office...which I thought was actually a good thing.  And, therefore, last week, a new Motorola Droid appeared on my desk. 

A cute little thing with pretty colors on icons I didn't understand.  I figured out how to make a phone call and answer a phone call -- instead of flipping it open or pushing a button, you have to swipe your finger across the screen. 

But it also beeped everytime someone sent me an email.  Finally I learned to turn off the email notification sounds!  

Then I pushed a button that said "Maps."   Well I didn't actually push a real button. It is all touch screen stuff so I put my finger on something that resembled a button.  And a map of South Carolina appeared.  Pretty cool. 

There was a blue dot on the screen and I zoomed in on it...closer and closer...and the map got bigger and focused on Charleston...then on downtown...then on the street where I work...then on my building!  And the blue dot was in the Northwest corner of the building where my office was!  The blue dot was me!  How does this Droid know?!!  I was afraid to zoom in closer for fear I'd be looking at the bald spot on top of my head.

BAGMAN:  "Yeah, right!  Baldspot, my ass.  Your baldness hasn't been a 'spot' for years."

Okay, I got it.  GPS.   Every phone needs GPS.   Now I can check whenever I am in doubt to make sure I am actually where I think I am.

But last week, returning from Christmas shopping at the mall, I decided to risk trying the the navigation function.  Now I still remember how to drive home from the mall -- maybe the Droid will be more helpful when I get Alzheimers -- but I spoke to it.  Yes, in today's world, you can speak to your technology.  "Navigate to 1224 Wynnwood Court, Mount Pleasants, South Carolina!"  I said. 

And the phone spoke back...with a kind of whiny female voice..."Turn left onto Rivers Avenue."   So I did.  We got to the expressway and it told me to turn left onto the Interstate.  I was confused because I know that I usually turn right. 

Did the Droid know a shortcut?   Had I forgotten how to drive home?  

But I ignored it and turned right.  "Take the next exit at Remount Road," said the Droid.  It wasn't giving up. 

Althought the purpose of voice navigation is so you don't have to keep looking at your cellphone while driving -- a dangerous practice -- I glanced at it anyhow.  It was telling me that the estimated time to my destination was 3 hours and 20 minutes.   Some shortcut!!!  The way I go usually takes 27 minutes.  I drove by the exit and said "Stupid Droid!" 

"Take the next exit at Aviation Road," said the Droid unperturbed at my irritation.

"Like hell I will,"  I snapped at it.  As I drove past the Aviation Exit, I picked up the Droid, pushed the talk button and said, "Cancel Navigation."

The whiney voice responded, "Take the next exit at Montague Avenue."  

My God, I'm being kidnapped.  It's trying to take me the wrong way.  By now I'm swerving all over the road, braking to avoid hitting drivers who are swearing at me and giving me the finger, and trying to turn off the damn thing!  But even after hitting the off button, the voice lived on!  Finally after forcing two other cars onto the shoulder, I saw the Droid's destination for me:  "Mount Pleasant Church, Charlotte, North Carolina!"   At least it got the Mount Pleasant part right.   So much for voice activation!

On the Expressway, by now my driving while wrestling with Droid was scaring even me, so I put Droid on the passenger seat and covered him with Christmas presents.  But underneath I head the muffled whine everytime I passed an exit.  "Take the next exit at..."   In fact, once it even told me to "Make a U-turn."  

"On the Expressway at 70 miles per hour?!!!"  I yelled back at it.  "You're trying to get me killed!"

"Make a U-turn," it dictated again. 

But when I finally got off at the right least the one I thought was the right exit...I stopped at a convenience store and spent 20 minutes trying to type in the correct address on a virtual keyboard designed for mice, if mice had fingers and were able to type. 

We became friends again.  It told me what to do and I did it.  But then it got scary because as we neared my subdivision, instead of little maps on the screen it started showing photographs of the intersections.  How does Google do this?!!  

Once again I turn into a road menace as I drive through my subdivision holding the Droid up and watching as the screen shows me photos of what I am seeing in front of me.  It seems unbelieveable but if any of you have seen Google Maps in action -- it is true.  Some poor blokes have been paid to drive everywhere and take pictures of everything. 

Until finally, Droid says, "You have reached your destination."

I look at the screen and there is actually a picture of my house there.  The garage door is open and suddenly I am in the Twilight Zone.  Because on Droid's screen, my car is already in the garage! 

Terrified of breaking some time/space or virtual world/actual world continuum, I take a long dispairing sigh, make a U-turn and start heading back toward the Mount Pleasant Church, which is now 3 hours and 40 minutes away. 

I thought of calling for help but couldn't remember if this new upgraded phone really made phone calls or not. 

Friday, December 25, 2009

Friday Hometown Shootout -- Angels

Merry Christmas, everyone.

Once again, I thought that I would miss this shootout...but at the last minute found a wrinkle in time to squeeze it in.  I did not have time to touch up some old scanned shots to remove scratches and hairs and stuff...but I'm going with them anyway.

BUTLER:  "I wish you would think twice, Mark, before being so lazy." 

But it will be weird, I'm afraid.  No new shots -- had to dig hard in the archives to find angels and most were a bit unconventional.

BAGMAN: "Duh.  What else is new."

The tour begins with this scratchy shot from 1988.  And while Karen is, indeed, the angel of my life, I also wanted to show the Angel Moroni at the top of the Morman Temple in Salt Lake City...home of the Latter Day Saints  I did have a telephoto shot somewhere but must not have scanned it... but it is the tiny figure at the top of the middle spire.

If I remember the history correctly, the Angel Moroni appeared to Joseph Smith, founder of the LDS Church.  In Missouri, I think.  Smith was just a country boy until the angel showed up and revealed the golden plates to him.  I think he also dictated the Book of Morman to Smith as well, through a process where Smith took special stones, put them in his hat, put his face in his hat and was inspired to dicate the book. 

I don't mean to sound disrespectful.  Putting your face in a hat full of stones sounds like a bizarre way to create a religion but sending some sheep herders to a barnyard stall to see the baby of a homeless couple is kind of bizarre too when you think of it. 

But the Lord works in mysterious ways.  I spent a lot of time in Salt Lake Cithy when the company I worked for was building a treatment center there.  It was an odd place to put an alcoholism hospital since Salt Lake is mostly Morman and Morman's don't drink.  But over the years we changed the treatment regimen because there was a huge prescription drug problem for women in Salt Lake.  Again, I'm not trying to put down the LDS church because living two weeks out of every month there for two years, I made many wonderful morman friends and admired the way the church cared for people.  But it was a very paternal church and women were suppose to have lots of kids and stay at home...that was changing some in 1988 but still there were alot of depressed women.  And also a lot of morman doctors who treated depression as a Valium Deficiency. 

But I digress...

Butler: "As usual!  Get back to the blog!"

My grandfather sketched angels...

And made a Christmas card from an etching he made in a metal plate.

This was an angel Karen and I bought somewhere and I don't know where it is now. 

And the only other angel shots I could find came from our trip a few years ago to Italy. 

The one above seems pretty typical, but in the Vatican...

...this one seems scarier than my idea of an angel...

And this one, a bit more warlike. 
But maybe I'm wrong.  Maybe these aren't angels.  If all that glitters is not gold, then maybe everyone with wings are not angels. 

And I know that there is a difference between Saints and Angels and St. Paul doesn't have wings but he has a halo...but he looked a little Christmasy.  And I know I posted this before.  But I'm running out of time.  I need to wrap presents.  And pre-post this for Christmas morning.

I wish angels for all of you...

Love, Mark

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Solution to the screw in the paint can

So I’m sitting halfway up the extension ladder pondering life with the blade of a ceiling fan hanging precariously over my head like the Sword of Damocles. From a downstairs bedroom rise the cries of a baby and within my head the lyrics from an old Talking Heads song keep recycling: “How did I get here? And, my God, what have I done?”

The questions fly around my head like escapees from Pandora’s Box:

A. How did I get the extension ladder through the house and into the upstairs guest room without knocking over the Christmas tree and can I repeat it in reverse or would it be better to open the window and just slide it out to crash on the driveway below?

B. Which will come first – (a) Christmas, (b) Melody getting released from the hospital, or (c) Conner settling down for a nap?

C. How long can I sit on a rung of an extension ladder before my butt falls asleep?

D. How much should we pay Brian for painting the upstairs when I’m the one on the ladder?

E. And most importantly, how do I find and rescue a screw from the bottom of a full can of white ceiling paint?

I have lots of time to ponder. One of the secrets of the bizarre “World of Men” is that people usually leave you alone when you are on an extension ladder even if it is oddly indoors instead of its usual place on the outside wall of a house. So I take on Pandora’s questions one by one. Being an intellectual kind of guy, I soon come up with answers:

A. Very carefully. And since I’ve been to Lowes twice a day for three days buying more paint, it will be easy to paint over the ten or eleven gouges I’ve already put in various walls by banging the ladder into them coming up the stairs with it.

B. I can’t predict this one. Melody’s blood sugar has been bouncing around since morning sickness became 24-hour sickness. But I have faith in doctors. And Conner will fall asleep soon. Ah! But there is a related question – Annabelle! Annabelle is Brian and Melody’s new puppy. A combination of a German Schnauzer and a Slinky. Long body, tiny legs and she is staying with us too while Brian stays with Melody at the hospital. I’m not really sure if Annabelle was the pick of the litter or the entire litter since she seems to be more than one dog…she is everywhere, all the time.

Believe me, there is nothing that will get your heart beating faster than stepping on a puppy while you are carrying an extension ladder up a flight of stairs.

C: Three and a half minutes. My butt has now been asleep for half an hour, even after shifting from right to left buttock an back again a few times.

D: $499.50. When Brian was laid off for the month of December from his painting job at the shipyard, we offered him $500.00 to paint the upstairs. This was wonderful because I hate to paint and this would save me the agony and help the kids out at the same time. I did offer to help him move some of the furniture and told him I’d be his subcontractor for 50 cents. Thankfully he had done everything except the guest room when Melody got sick. I didn’t expect to put two full days into this. But a deal is a deal. I’m going to frame the 50 cents and hang it on my wall!

E: Now this one is the real challenge! Being so damn smart, I figured it would be easier to roll ceiling paint on the ceiling if I took the blades of the ceiling fan, even thought I’ve installed enough ceiling fans to hate them with a passion. It’s just enough of a vaulted ceiling so the stepladder didn’t reach – hence the gouges in the walls coming up the stairs.

The amazing thing is that when the first of the two screws holding the last fan blade came loose and I dropped it and it bounced off a ladder rung, arched into the air and – what are the odds? – landed with a perfect little “kerplunk” right in the middle of the one, newly opened gallon of flat ceiling white latex.

Heck. I have a toolbox full of assorted wood screws but this is one of ten perfectly fitted metal screws to fit a fan blade. I look down at the white paint in the can and consider going to Lowes, buying a duplicate ceiling fan, taking out one screw and throwing the rest of the fan away.

I consider pouring the entire gallon of white paint over Annabelle until I find the screw.

Getting a little more serious, I think about the fact that Latex paint is pretty washable so maybe I should roll up my sleeve and just slide my hand completely into the paint can and find the screw that way. That seems a little yucky, however.

I could buy a magnet and tie it to a string?

But, finally, I climb down the ladder. Carefully, because by now my butt is asleep all the way to my feet. And I take two wooden paint stirring sticks and begin using them like the chopsticks of a blind man, moving them slowly across the bottom of the paint can, trying to find the screw by feel. In a gallon of thick paint, this is a very subtle game, to sense the tiny additional resistance when a wooded stick makes contact with a screw. After several minutes, stooped over a paint can, focused like a sonar operator in a submarine, I detect a miniscule ping. I freeze. I slide the other stick down slowly, bring them up slowly together and almost lose it with excitement when I see a little round white blob at the surface. I jam it against the side, let go of one stick, reach in with two fingers and come up with it in my dripping fingers. I stand up, turn to go and wash off the screw (and my hand) in the bathroom sink…

…and step, once again, on Annabelle.

Falling back against the wall, arms flailing, I let go of the screw which spirals up into the air again and down, down…toward the open paint can…down in slow motion...and…

Thank, God, misses the can!

But lands on the only section of carpet that has not be protected by plastic.

I re-adjust my glasses to see how bad the paint stain on the carpet is going to be and suddenly I can’t see out of my right eye which reminds me that my fingers were still covered with paint which is now smeared on my glasses.

Maybe I’ll charge Brian an extra quarter for hazardous duty pay.

Meantime, it has become quiet in the house. Conner is blissfully asleep. And I kind of think Melody will be home by Christmas. It will be a nice Christmas and if it does get too crazy, I can always go and sit on the ladder.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Friday Hometown Shootout - Christmas Decorations


I wasn't sure I'd make this week...but I'm driven.  This shootout has become important to me...seeing everyone else's work (even if I don't get to it until Monday!)...and putting in my two cents.  Anyhow, I didn't have time to go out and shoot lights downtown at night, or the creches at Mepkin Abbey...or the James Island Festival of Lights or...

So yesterday, I figured I'd just focus on the tree in our livingroom.  At first it was blurry but Bagman said, "what the heck!" and opened the shutter and swung the camera like a madman, singing "Deck the halls and I'll call Holly...Fa la la la..."

Then Butler, not even bothering to correct Bagman's lyrics, went and got the tripod. .

Then the three of us got to talking and decided to tell you about some of the ornaments that we always put on it.   Of course, we always have to hang the ones that Brian made when he was a little boy. 

With the help of teachers, of course.

And below is one of the seven or eight hand-crocheted ornaments that Karen's Grandmother made long ago.  Brian's great-grandmother.  Conner's great-great-grandmother.  Boggles the mind to think about it.  Laveda.  She made the best pound cake in the world.  If she knew I'd be coming, she always made two. 

They used to be white.  And we'll hang them until they are just dark brown strings.


The there is this more modern ornament.
Karen and Brian got me this the year I won my black belt in Tae Kwon Do
I tell people that I chop the tree down with my bare hands.
Actually it's an artificial tree.

The ornament above is one of two police officer decorations that were given to me by a wonderful man, the deputy in charge of the Pittsburgh Police Department EAP.  He was a recovering alcoholic motorcycle cop who used to refer cops to the treatment center I ran in Roanoke, VA.  Believe it or not, his name was Jack Daniels and in his wilder drinking days, he drove a police motorcycle, lights flashing and siren wailing off a bridge because he didn't remember that it was not finished.  But he survived.  We became good friends and he helped alot of alcoholic cops get sober.  He passed away several years ago, but I always honor his decorations -- I place one on each side of the tree, facing out, keeping guard.

Then there is the dove.  This was the first ornament Karen and I bought after we were married.  For several years it was actually our "tree topper" because we couldn't afford to buy an illuminated star.  We always put this on the tree together.  It's a nice tradition but a bit of a challenge too trying to attach its tiny wire legs with 16 fingers, four thumbs, and two brains working together.

Some years ago we got a small box of 6 year we hung two of them together on the same hook and we've turned that into an annual tradition as well.

This year, the most meaningful ornament was:

Well...there is no photo above because Brian and Melody took it for their tree and I didn't think to photograph it first.  But several years ago we found a little cocker spaniel figure that had the same color markings as Sally, our cocker who many of you have met in past posts.  Many of you also know that we had to say goodbye to Sally this year, almost 18 years old.  But when we took out the Sally ornament from the box, we were tearfully stunned.  None of us remembered -- but the little ceramic cocker spaniel had angel wings.  Needless to say it also now has some tear stains. 

I'll probably take a picture when we visit Brian and Melody and post it as a late addition to this shoot. 

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Confessions of a Pack Mule

So I’m walking up to the door of the office where I work and an attractive young woman stops and holds the door open for me.

I’m of the old school and usually try to hold doors open for women instead of vice versa and my first thought is that I must look really old and decrepit. I try not to feel too badly about myself. As I squeeze by, however, I realize she has simply taken pity on me because I am so loaded down with stuff.

I am always loaded down with stuff. As a good little Boy Scout, I learned to always “Be Prepared.”

BUTLER: “Except you were never actually a Boy Scout.”

BAGMAN: “He was a Cub Scout…embarrassed me to no end with that silly little blue uniform!”

My primary load is a black back-pack where I keep my laptop. My job provided me with a more conservative looking briefcase to carry it in but the backpack has more room and is more comfortable although I never wear it correctly and sling it over my shoulder instead. For no other reason than my ego thinks it looks cooler that way. So I wear out one strap but not the other.

In addition to the laptop, I load it to bursting with work files that I can read at home and bills, letters, and junk from home that I can process during free time at work. With very few exceptions, I have never done work-work at home or home-work at work. But I carry this stuff back and forth every day.

In my right hand, I carry my camera bag. I carry my camera everywhere I go. Over the weekend, Karen and I were running off to buy some paint at Lowes and I stopped and ran back into the house to get my camera. Karen just rolls her eyes. She knows what I will say. “I never know when I might run across a great image to capture!” With very few exceptions, I never run into images unless I’m actually going off to shoot something.

In my left hand, I carry an outlandish orange insulated lunch box. I have a reputation for never going out for lunch. This is because (a) I use the time to write blogs and (b) because I’m too cheap to eat in restaurants. With slightly more exceptions than the previous paragraphs, I seldom actually eat my lunch. Usually I forget and waste countless quarters on the snack machines. Then I feel guilty and have to find some trash can on the way home to dump what I haven’t eaten so Karen won’t find out.

BUTLER: “What if she reads this blog!”

BAGMAN: “Then you stand up and take it like a man! I think you should announce it anyway! Say, ‘Honey. I’ve got a confession I need to make. I’m sorry you have to find out, but I’ve been doing something behind your back. I’ve been having an affair with the candy machine.’”

And under my arm I often carry frames of photographs. Whenever I frame something, I take it work and hang it in my office, replacing one that I then take home. It keeps my office changing and I sometimes get good feedback from some of my co-workers.

Someday I plan to become very daring and heroic. I will leave my laptop and work at work. Leave my camera and personal junk at home. Announce that I am planning to eat out. And see if I can go to work without carrying anything!

Nah. Way too scary.

BAGMAN: “But you could hold doors open for women!”

BUTLER: “Leave him alone. He is safer with the snack machine.”

Monday, December 14, 2009

Introducing Annabelle

It's been a busy and holidayish weekend. 

BUTLER: "'Holidayish' is not a word."

BAGMAN: "Here we go again with the anal retentive stuff..."

Anyway, Karen and I were invited to Brian and Melody's house for dinner.  Later, we all thought about it and it was the first time they had hosted...

BUTLER: "And hostessed..."

BAGMAN: "Aha!  Hostessed is not a word either...I think."

...dinner for us.  So it was special.  And wonderful.  And we also got a chance to meet their newest family member.  Annabelle.

And Conner posed for what could have been made into a nice Christmas card...

He even put down his pacifier for the occassion.

...which Annabelle promptly tried on for size...

On Sunday they all came over to visit our house where Daisy got to meet Annabelle and discover that, yes, there are dogs actually smaller than herself. 

Ignore the tongue.  Ignore the tongue.
Pretend this is just a bad dream.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Friday Hometown Shootout - Weather

"Well, the weather outside is frightful,
inside it's just delightful,
the rest of the words I don't know
so let it snow, let it snow, let it snow."

Oddly enough, in half a century of shooting pictures,
this is the only one I ever took of snow.

I did take one of ice once
I think I slipped and with my chin on the ground, noticed this.

When i lived in Massachusetts, I liked to take ice pictures
from inside, where it was warm.

I preferred sunny fall days back then.

with low slanting light.  (1978)

Here in Charleston, however,
it's almost always beach weather

But we do have lots of fog

From early morning before Bagman goes racing...

...until night when Butler looks out the window
 before going home from work.

Sometimes I photoshop it to death.

Bagman loves clouds because he sees himself in them...

...sometimes too much of himself.

This one, however, seems to capture the Christmas theme
as well as the clouds.