Tuesday, November 30, 2010


It was time to stop feeling sorry for myself. It was only a broken arm. Millions of people deal with far worse permanently.

BAGMAN: "But you do self-pity so well!"

BUTLER: "Hush, Baggie. He's not in the mood. He swore at the dogs this morning. If he wants to pretend he's in a better mood, let him do it."

So since it was time, I say, glaring at Bagman and backing him off, to stop feeling sorry for myself, I decided to attempt a fairly normal morning after two and a half days of semi-vertical reclining in a lounge chair in a sling. Besides, having not changed my t-shirt for that time no-one would come near me any more -- a mixed blessing, that.

Karen had offered to help me change and shower that morning but I had probably snapped at her too. But I wanted to try it on my own so after she left, I went to the bathroom to begin a game of Bathroom Twister.

First, I took a deep breath and unvelcro'ed the front of the sling and let it drop, letting my arm hang straight down. Barclay a.k.a. Dr. Stewart, my hero and soon to take his medical boards at MUSC, had explained the humerus and how it heals and it was alright to have it un-set but I should not put stress on it. Okay...so I can do anything with the rest of my body as long as the left arm hangs limply down.

Dropping the pants was easy...well, at least after I figured out how to unfasten them with one hand. Note to self: may want to find easier pants to put on afterwards.

T-shirt was puzzling until I reached back with right hand (I'm left-handed by the way), pulled the collar over my head and hopped on one foot -- don't ask, I don't know why -- swore at myself for not removing my glasses first because the caught in the fabric, then jiggled my right hand until it came free and hung with my glasses somewhere in the fabric, attached to my limp left armpit -- probably by dried sweat. Yuck.

Assess for pain. So far so good. Into the shower. Ahhhh. Warm water. Heaven. And now for the soap, which my stupid non-dominant right hand promptly drops. But I'm on top of it. I've learned that in order to keep my right arm from swinging out, I can't lean over to pick up things and have already perfected the art of genuflecting in such vertical grace it would win approval from the Queen of England. Although it might not win her approval to see it done, naked, water pouring down, in a small, slippery shower stall.

Having retrieved the soap, I quick start using it before I drop it again. I keep the left arm fairly vertical while I attack the its pit with the first soap it has seen in days. All the uncleanliness flows down the drain: dna-laced detritus, fibers from the sling, morsels of food, a page from the Sunday comics...

I had worried about how I would wash my left arm, but the real problem turned out to be my right arm. Washing my right armpit with my right hand -- well, just imagine Chimpanzees.

No more challenges. Those parts I could not reach with a towel were delegated to evaporation.

Until time to shave. I wasn't worried about the razor in my right hand. A nick or two here and there...so what. But the problem was getting the lather out of the aerosol can. I usually just push the button on top and squirt some shaving cream onto my other hand and...

...other hand. Now there is the problem. If my left hand is hanging down...should it be the squirter or the squirtee? After a moment, I decided to simply eliminate the middle man and squirt the shaving cream directly on my face. Where is the camera when you really need it?

Having completed being the butt of my own fraternity prank and cleaned off an ocean of shaving cream, I tackled getting dressed again.

Pullover shirt, no problem -- I remembered to remove my glasses first. Pants...here's where the serious hopping around on one foot occurred. And the realization that I broke my humerus the day after Thanksgiving which meant my pants were too tight to begin with.

BUTLER: "Please tell me you aren't going to blame the tightness of your pants on Thanksgiving!"

Okay, okay...but my pants are all on the tight side these days...Okay!! Get off my case!!

BUTLER: "Ah, yes. You are in a much better mood, I can tell."

So jeans were soon eliminated simply because there was no way my right hand, by itself, could maneuver those little brass buttons through those little eyeholes under stress.

So I began trying on dress slacks because they have hooks instead of buttons and...well...blush...because many years ago I gave up style for the comfort of elastic waistbands.

But elastic is elastic and whether I used by broken arm to hold one side or push the other side, I could feel twinges. Plus, they have hooks but they also have buttons too...didn't the tailors have confidence in their ability to keep pants on? Why do the waistbands have one button inside, then a hook, then another button outside? I had already given up on the buttons and was just straining to get one hook hooked. I had even pried it out so it would catch better. At least once, I decided in desperation that I would never be able to dress myself again.

But finally, sucking, squeezing, puffing, grunting, clawing, hopping, swearing, pulling while ALWAYS KEEPING MY LEFT ARM LIMP AND VERTICAL...I completed it. A pair of slip on Crocs, reattachment of the sling, and I was ready for the world, despite the fact that my pants totally clashed with my shirt.

No matter. I was exhausted anyhow. I went back to the livingroom, lay back on the lounge chair, and went to sleep.

Sunday, November 28, 2010


Every Christmas it's my job to prove Joyce Kilmer wrong and "make a tree." I make it in the livingroom after clearing a space by moving the antique white couch which is a old family heirloom although I no longer remember whose family and am too embarrassed to ask Karen who already thinks I don't care about important things. And maybe it isn't an heirloom at all.

After moving the "Couch which might be an heirloom", I straighten wire branches from the tree box and attach them to the "trunk." The topmost branches need a stepladder so I'm up on it when suddenly the phone rings...

But that's not why I fell.

It's Karen's phone and from her end of the conversation I can tell that the time frame for the kids and grandkids moving in with us has suddenly been moved up to tomorrow (which is now today, or maybe yesterday since typing with one hand is very very slow). Everything must be moved. My office is relocating to the smaller guest room. I hate moving and will do almost anything to avoid it.

BUTLER: "You did this on purpose???!!!!!"

No, but I was a little distracted. Climbing down the stepladder, I stepped off the last step only to discover .007 seconds later that it was really the next to last step!

.008 seconds later, the adrenalin kicked in. Adrenalin is the emotional airbag of immanent disaster. It slows time and provides opportunity for the mind and body to discuss things:

BODY TO MIND: "This is wide-body 64. We have an unexpected gravity problem and request emergency landing clearance."

MIND TO BODY: "Wide-body 64, you are cleared to fall. Implement risk mitigation checklist immediately."

BODY: "Roger. (1) Relax and don't fight it. (2) Do not extend arms and risk breaking wrists. (3) Tuck head to keep neck flexible. (4) Roll if possible. (5) Try to spread impact over as much of body as possible."

MIND: "Excellent. You must have learned this when you practiced Judo."

BODY: "I fall down very well. It's a real skill."

BUTLER: "But not one to put on your resume."

MIND TO BODY: "Please clear channels of idle chatter, you now have less than .15 seconds to impact."

BODY TO INTERCOM: "We have been cleared to crash. Please turn off all electronic equipment and store your tray tables in their full and upright positions. And don’t worry, we’re very good at falling on flat surfaces.”

MIND TO BODY: “Good luck with impact. And don’t forget about the new location of the “Couch that might be an heirloom.”

ALL: “Couch that might be…Oh no! AAAAAAAAAAaaaaa!



At this point in the ultra-slow motion fall, I have bounced off the couch and am beginning a .10 second 1 foot final plunge to the actual floor. I have already identified the thwock sound as the sound of something breaking. I was terrified because I assumed that I had broken the arm or one of the legs on the couch which might be an heirloom. I’d hate to think I broke an irreplaceable heirloom!

Then I finally rolled onto the floor and my nervous system began to send reports to my brain. The extreme relief I felt to know I had not broken the couch was only matched by the explosion of pain from my left shoulder.

And by the arrival of Karen standing over my writhing form holding the baby.

KAREN: “Mark!!!!!”

MARK: “I’m okay! I’m okay!”

KAREN: “Mark!!!!!!”

MARK: “I’m okay! I’m okay!”

This repetitive dialogue continues for ten minutes or so with Noah starting to add his cries. And occasionally I vary my lines by saying, “I’m okay! AAAAAaaaa! I’m okay!” which does not help my credibility.

Another time, rolling in clockwise spasms, I exclaimed, “I’m okey! The couch is okay! I’m okay!” which only made Karen wonder if I had hit my head.

Then, the triage discussion shifted as I began rolling in counter-clockwise spasms.

KAREN: “You are NOT okay!!! You are NOT okay!!

MARK: “Karen!!!!”

KAREN: “You are NOT okay!!! You are NOT okay!!”

MARK: “Karen!!!!”

And finally, due to our mutually sophisticated conflict resolution skill, we came to agreement.

KAREN: “You are not okay and we are going to the emergency room.”

MARK: “Ooooooo uuugh Ouch. Aaaaauuuh &%#$@!”

The rest of the story is not so interesting. X-rays. Gratitude for pain meds. Broken humorus near the shoulder. But a “clean break in place” which is doctor talk for “no surgery.”

And now I’m tired of typing with one hand.

But I’m okay.

Saturday, November 27, 2010



Friday, November 26, 2010


Subtitle: Why I hate sales.

Sub-subtitle:  The Christmas Spirit American Style

I have never liked shopping very much.  The worst day, of course -- or what many people consider the best -- is the day after Thanksgiving.  "Black Friday" it is called.  Retailers fight each other to start their biggest financial quarter of the year with big Sales.  They open their doors at 4 a.m. or earlier.  Some have midnight sales.  The first 200 or 100 people in the doors can get incredible bargains.  

Two years ago a sales clerk in New York City was trampled to death by bargain hunters. 

My wife and have almost always gone to some of these.   One year we almost had a good time.  I usually go to make sure that Karen isn't injured -- or maybe to make sure someone in front of her isn't injured.  Every year, I swear that I will never go to another Black Friday sale.

So what was I doing at 2:00 a.m. crawling out by myselfIt's a long story that started out with me volunteering because she had to travel to see her brother (I'm such a nice guy) and ended up with her not traveling, but having Noah here so Brian and Melody could go and the choice between changing diapers and going to Black Friday, well... (maybe I'm not such a nice guy).

I'm suppose to get a (OOPS!  Can't say it in case the kids read this.  Although I never got the "Thing" anyway...(Whether I'm a nice guy or not, I'm not violent enough).  But I'm suppose to get this thing.  How bad could it be.   But to make sure, I get to the store by 2:10 a.m. and the doors don't open until 4:00! 

Pulling into the parking lot, I realize that Karen, once again, has read all the sales papers and chosen the absolutely best deal on the planet.  Because everyone on the planet is already there.

So here is my one and only photo for this week's shoot.  There are already over 150 people there!  I realize that despite being almost two hours early, I'm probably late!   I shoot one shot from the window of the car and jump out to join the line, hoping that most of these people want to buy one of the other items on special sale. 

People have been camping out.  They have little tables and are working on laptops.  They have food.  I want to bring the coffee I brought but do the math -- two cups of coffee, zero Porta-Pottys -- and leave the coffee.

The line continues to grow.  Around me I hear people talking about the great sale on the...uh..."Thing".
My heart begins to sink.   But I make friends with people around me.  I hear way too much information about the marriage of a loud-talking woman several groups behind me.

Time drags in the middle of the night, sitting on a cement sidewalk.

Then the doors finally open.  

If you watch this stampede, near the end, you will hear a female sales clerk calling out, "Can we get somebody down here!!"   This was because a fist fight was breaking out over one of the last "Things" available.  

They are all welcome to them.  I turned around at the end of the video and left the store.  I was also suppose to get a wool hat for Karen at a savings of $5.00.   I'll pay full price somewhere else. 

I'm never doing this again.

Merry Christmas.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Friday Hometown Shootout -- Favorite Shop

Okay -- It's terrible form to post a Friday Photo Shootout with no photos.  But I have good reasons:

  1. I really dislike shopping. 
  2. We had the grandchildren and today was Thanksgiving.
  3. I have to go to bed because Karen has planned out a strategic attack on Black Friday -- the United States' Day After Thanksgiving Super Sales Early Bird Capitalist Spendfest when stores open at 3:00 a.m. and have incredible deals for the first so many customers so you have to line up at the doors at 2:00 a.m. and in the dark feeling like an idiot.  And we are planning to fight the crowds at Target for a high def flat screen television to buy the kids for Christmas.  We will save lots of money but I'd rather pay to sleep.  And the crowds are really mobs, hoards of huns invading.  Two Thanksgivings ago in some Walmart, thankfully far from here, someone was actually trambled to death!  But I may at least spend the hour between 2 and 3 am shooting some underexposed blurry shots which I can post on Saturday, after I wake up.
  4. So this is not really my Friday Shootout -- it may (or may not) appear tomorrow.  But it probably won't be much because...
  5. Did I mention that I really dislike shopping?
But I do forgive Nan for coming up with such a difficult topic for me.  I realize I am in the minority.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Boggers Found Alive in Facebook

CYBERSPACE -- An eruption of cheers greeted rescuers last night when they returned from Facebook with three bloggers who had been lost under an avalanche of Friend Requests for over 48 hours. 

Mark Cowell, Bagman, and Butler were carried out looking haggard and weak but waving and giving "thumbs up" signs to the crowds of reporters that had converged on the scene. 

Asked by reporters about his harrowing ordeal, Cowell reported that it had been a close call.

"It's been over two years since I had a Facebook account,"  said Cowell, "and I was no longer prepared to have so many friends.  I only went in because I wanted a better way of communicating with a couple of family members and suddenly friends that I could hardly remember were dropping on us until we couldn't see two feet ahead of us."

"It was great!  It was awesome!! I want to do it again," said Bagman, who had to be restrained from running back into the danger zone.

Butler, the third companion on the ill-fated exploration, seemed unphased, although his bow tie was slightly askew.  He noted that biggest problem was they had had to answer all the requests and write polite notes even if they didn't know everyone.   "It is poor etiquette not to reply to everyone."

Cowell thanked rescuers for pulling them out and confirmed that he had learned his lesson although he planned to leave his Facebook account in place. 

The three bloggers were then taken to an undisclosed site where the humanitarian group, Save Our Faces, planned to spend a week deprogramming them.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Blogger Feared Buried Under Friends

CYBERSPACE -- First responders on the scene reported they were hopeful that a trio of extreme bloggers would be found alive after being buried by an avalanche of Facebook Friends over the weekend.  Mark Cowell and two companions known only as Bagman and Butler apparently ventured into Facebook and were trapped by the Friend Requests that are common in this part of the world.

People who knew Cowell said that they were surprised that he and his companions were caught off guard so easily.   "These weren't amateurs," said a reliable source close to Cowell who chose to remain anonymous.  "They were experienced bloggers and had even explored Facebook in the past.  They should have been prepared for this." 

Facebook, a popular social networking site, is well known for uncontolled, over-friendliness conditions. 

Norton Spamalotti, head of  "Save Our Faces," an international volunteer group dedicated to helping de-program Facebook Addicts, said that people are often buried by Friend Requests because they no longer remember most of the people requesting friendship but confirm them anyway because they feel guilty about denying someone they assume they should remember. 

"We think that's what happened here," reported Spamalotti.  "The last people who talked with Cowell and his companions before their disappearance said that Cowell had primarily decided to set up another Facebook account to keep in touch with his children since younger people sometimes have no other way of communicating."

"He forgot that there is a huge, unstable crust of baby boomers that often collapse in friendliness.  These Friend Request Avalanches also build quickly because Facebook automatically suggests new friends."

Facebook was unavailable for comment.

Latest reports from rescuers noted that Cowell's Facebook page was very sparse and that he had not filled in all the personal information fields.  "This is a good sign that we may still find him and his companions intact.  Odds of recovering people drop dramatically once their page becomes really active."

The primary task will be to find and extract the victims, returning them to Blogspot before any permanent damage has been done.  Stay tuned for further developments.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Dang - continued

Not only did I miss posting the Friday shootout but I only got to see a couple of other people's shots before real life continued getting in the way.  Good stuff...but I do miss blogging.

But to keep my hand in, here are a couple of shots I took on vacation although one of them I could have taken anywhere. 

BAGMAN:  "Does this mean I won't be able to talk about temptations?"

Yep.  Too late now.

BUTLER:  "And a good thing too!"

Thursday, November 18, 2010


I'm going to miss the Friday Shootout. 

BAGMAN:  "And it was my favorite theme too!!!!!"

But real life is calling.  Do you want me to list my excuses.

BUTLER:  "Why bother.  You usually whine about your excuses even when you go ahead and post anyhow.  If you have time to list your excuses, you could post."

Butler's right.  I don't really have time to list my excuses.

BAGMAN: "And temptation is my favorite thing!!!!!"

Monday, November 15, 2010

Yana Mama's Yummy Yummy

We now take a moment from our usual Bagman and Butler antics for a blatantly commercial pitch.

BAGMAN and BUTLER:  "No!  You can't shut us up that easily!"

Sorry, guys. Thirty second commercial break for Yana's!  Karen and I stopped by there by accident on our way home from vacation.  I didn't get a picture of her but you can recognize Yana Mama (as she calls herself) as soon as you walk in.  She is the fabulous, multi-blinged, (never trust a skinny cook) bleach blond that is moving from table to table and directing the meyhem in the small, packed eatery. 

For the rest of this blog, I'll write in my deep, clear, fast-talking announcer's voice:

Are you hungry for the best peach fritters, made with real peaches covered with pure grease and shovel-loads of  powdered sugar.  Or banana fritters?  Are you within 1000 miles of Swansboro, South Carolina.  Then just pop on over to Yana Mama's restaurant.  Serving the best unhealthy and unfranchised food for over 30 years!

If you are tired of being lean and athletic and neglecting your taste buds, you too can look like this gentleman who was cholesterol free and 25 years old before he discovered the joys of shrimp burgers and strawberry fritters.

Watch as the friendly staff at Yana Mama's flip hamburgers without losing any of the five essential greases.  If you experience nausea for more than 6 hours contact your doctor immediately. 

Did I mention the apple fritters?

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Friday Shootout - looking up

I've been on vacation this week on the Outer Banks of NC.  Looking up has been nothing but blue sky.  Although I did shoot one fake waterfall in the Aquarium.

At least it was looking up. 

And the moon is up

And I did not have my archive with me but
this was on a save disk...overexposed. 

So that's it for today.   But if you've got a moment and haven't already read about my wild safari hunting wild horses, you might read the post under this. 

I'll be driving back on Friday and will check everyone elses Friday shots over the weekend.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Stalking the wild horses of Shackleford Banks

I’m out of luck for the Friday Shootout theme of “looking up.” I’m on Shakleford Banks, southernmost island of the Outer Banks, with no trees and a perfectly cloudless day. 65 degrees, clear sky, tide going out leaving millions of shells on the beach if the theme were “looking down”. Nice 45 degree angle sunlight on the dunes to our left. And I’m moseying along, thinking to myself:


BUTLER: “It’s not like you have a 1000 mm. lens or something! You should be able to handhold at 200 mm.”

BAGMAN: “Just enjoy the day with Karen!”

And we are. Just the two of us. Alone on 9 square miles of coastal wilderness. To be honest, from checking the ferry logs, there are two women and another man and wife somewhere on Shakleford but we don’t expect to see them. We are expecting…hoping…in addition to shells to find Wild Horses!!

Small horses that survived Spanish shipwrecks in the 1700’s.

BAGMAN: “They must be very old horses!”

BUTLER: “He means the descendents of the horses. But they have been living wild here all that time.”

We’ve been instructed not to try and get too close to them because, while they are gentle, they are wild and will attack if provoked. To see them, we are supposed to walk along the beach and periodically climb up the higher sand dunes to see if we can see them.

After an hour, nothing. We are disappointed. But I remind myself that I’m trying to shoot wild animals…wild wild wild, why do I keep saying that? Because I begin to feel I’m on a true hunt.

Then we see a small moving brown dot far off in the gorse.

BAGMAN: “Gorse?”

I don’t know but the word came to me, so we leave the beach and head into the tangled brush in the middle of the island. “We’ll cut through the gorse and come up on them from downwind,” I whisper loudly, pretending I know what I’m doing.

We find horse tracks. We find telltale hints of manure…actually lots and lots of manure.

Suddenly movement behind us. I spin and shoot. But the horse is gone in a blur.

I freeze, listening for a sound, smelling the air. The hunter! My intensity is broken by Karen who gaily shouts out, “There are a couple of them over behind that dune,”

I hold up two fingers, wave them in a circle, and duck down, make another hand signal that either indicates I’m going to circle the dune or that I have lost my mind entirely. Karen accurately assumes the second and sits down on a dune to watch the horses while I play out my fantasy.

In awhile I’m crawling up a dune, moving over the top. I shoot but the grass is in the way. I crouch and shoot. The horse is busy eating. I stand up and it keeps eating. I guess that there isn’t much to eat on this island so the horses don’t care. I want it to lift its head. I walk closer. Finally a yell, “Hey, pose!” I make neighing sounds. It ignores me. No longer the stealthy hunter, I walk up to about 25 feet from it and shoot a picture.  It feels like a petting zoo except I'm not about to pet it. 

I even notice that there are some plastic bottles and other trash around.  Some wilderness!

We go back to looking for shells.

A mile further, I climb the dunes and 200 feet away behind another dune is another one. I walk down and up the tall dune next to the horse. It is also eating. I’m beginning to wonder if any of these horses have heads or if they are simply necks that are connected to the ground.

But at the top of the dune, I slip. I fall backwards, my glasses falling off, protecting my camera from sand, my legs flying in the air. As I turn and look, the horse is straight, tall, staring at me with extended neck and nostrils flared. I shoot from the hip, but in that second, his head is already lowering to eat.

I make neighing sounds. Nothing. So, being the ultimate photographer, I take a deep breath and fall down backwards, throwing my legs in the air, but keeping my camera at my eye. He looks up. I shoot.

But he’s not really all that interested in slapstick anymore. And later, I realize he has the most distracting color on his nose that I’ve ever seen.

So, knowing we have to catch the last ferry back, Karen and I turn and walk back, collecting a few more shells. As we reach the place where the ferry is due, there are two more horses waiting for us. It is hard to call them “wild” anymore. I decided to rename them the “hungry, bored, and passive-aggressive horses of Shackleford Banks.

It was a very good day.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Brief Blog from Vacationland

So, we arrived Saturday at "A Place at the Beach" at the Outer Banks.   The Outer Banks has a romantic sound to it -- wild and oceanic -- but Atlantic Beach is the southernmost part of the Outer Banks, named the Crystal Banks because it is more built up and touristy. 

At least during the summertime.  This time of year, things are kind of slow here.

A Place at the Beach

Mostly I shoot in RAW which I can't work with until I get back to the Butler and Bagman Studio where my Adobe is located.  But I shot this in JPEG to  illustrate where we are.  Instead of A Place at the Beach, they should have named it Metropolis at the Beach.   This is only one of four tiers of condos that radiate out in 45 degree angles.  Walking inside is like a maze of wooden beams -- sort of like a a huge cedar prison or the inside of an anthill. 

There must be well over a thousand small condos.  And if you check out the number of cars in the parking lot, you can tell that we almost have it to ourselves.  Although we did run into one elderly couple the other day.  They were trying to find their roon and had been lost for weeks.  We gave them some of our water and a couple of candy bars and told them we would send back help if we got out ourselves.

However, joking aside, we are having a good time.  The hot tub and indoor pool are operational and the restaurants that aren't closed for the season are the restaurants that the locals frequent -- which means better food at cheaper prices. 

This afternoon we are taking a ferry over to Shackleford Banks which is uninhabited except for wild horses.  It is one of three islands where ferral Spanish horses run wild.  So perhaps I might get a shot or two to publish later. 

Unless, of course, the horses have also closed their attraction because it is off season. 

The afternoons are in the high sixties which makes bicycle riding enjoyable. 

I'm going to get ready now for our wild horse expedition.   But I'll close with some good news.  I just saw a helicopter and a team of rescue personnel.   They were leaving with the elderly couple we had last seen on Sunday.   They were still walking under their own power.  But rumor has it that there is another family that is still lost in the catacomb hallways of  A Place at the Beach.  They have been lost for over two weeks although rescuers report finding a trail of breadcrumbs so are hopeful they will be successful in finding them. 

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Friday Shootout - The Letter "N"

I’m walking down the hall to the B&B studio thinking about photographing things that start with “N”.  Kind of like Sesame Street, brought to you today by the letter "N".   When suddenly my revery is nuked by Bagman leaping out and shouting.

BAGMAN: “Naked! Nude! Nipples!"

Crash!!   Bagman is tackled into the wall by Butler who is struggling to put duct tape on Bagman’s mouth.

BUTLER: “No! No! Nix on naming nasty nouns!”

Meanwhile, I'm changing the subject by posting whatever I can find.  Aha! 




Then without warning, Bagman breaks free of Butler and posts one of his own, shouting triumphantly!

BAGMAN:  "Neon's not a nasty noun!"

BUTLER:  "That's NOT Neon!"

BAGMAN (Getting so worked up he forgets to use "N" words) "It is too!  Those letters were neon!  Or a kind of neon!  You had to look really closely!"

BUTLER:  "I'll bet you did look really closely, you one-track minded...NINNY!"



"Hey!  No more nine more minutes!  I need you now!!"

I'm startled.  Who was that? 

BUTLER (Giving me that pitying look when I'm being so naive):  "That, Mark, is your lovely wife who wants you to stop playing around on the computer and help pack for your vacation trip.  You need to go back to the real world now."

BAGMAN:  "Don't tell me I'm not real!"

BUTLER: "Accept it, Baggie!  You are real only in a sense.  But Mark has to go use his actual hands to place actual underwear into actual suitcases."

So the rest of my "N" shots must wait for another time...

BAGMAN:  "You lie!!  Just admit that you don't have any more "N" shots!"

Getting defensive, I shout back, "I do too!"

BAGMAN:  "Do not!"

MARK: "Do too!"  


BAGMAN: "Yeah?  Well you had to go back to 1993 for that one!"

I start to argue and find another but the actual voice from the actual mouth of my actual wife calls up, "NOW!"

So I shut down this post for now, go downstairs and pack bags, tie bycicles on the back of the car, take my camera and laptop which doesn't have Photoshop, etc., etc.  Tomorrow we head out to the Outer Banks where there may or may not be time or ability to post.  (And in case some of you are going Nuts trying to see what I did to my header for N-week -- sorry, but I didn't have time.)

But I did have a little time at the end of the day for a


Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Friday was over days ago...

I need to get rid of my pin eyed spooky Friday shoot even if I don't have anything to blog.  Of course, that is silly because there is always something to blog. 

It is only that I seldom start to blog unless I have an idea of what I am going to write.  Thinking that you need to have an idea before you start writing is one of the leading causes of writer's block.   If I just start typing, something invariably comes.   Brains are very good at pumping away and finding connections in whatever is in front of them. 

By the way, Karen and I will be going on vacation next week to North Carolina's Outer Banks.  I haven't checked to see if there is wifi in the hotel  so I don't know whether I'll blog much or not.  Probably not much since I try, when I'm on vacation, to be actually on vacation and pay attention.   Also, since I usually shoot in RAW format and my laptop does not have Adobe, I can't process pictures until I get home.

Oh...I guess I will post two quick pictures this morning from Halloween -- group shots of Brian, Melody and the grandchildren in their costumes.  I was going to get creative and put little cartoon balloons about what I imagined the grandchildren to be saying but the clock is ticking toward time to go to work, so I will have to be satisfied with dialogue under the pictures instead.

NOAH: "Daddy's face feels like rubber."

CONNER: "Oh boy, Daddy's being weird again."

NOAH: "Hey, Conner, does Daddy do this often?"

CONNER: "Just look at the camera so we can be finished with this and go get candy."

MELODY: "Darn.  I think I just blinked."