Godzilla on Lockdown

Godzilla is on lockdown like everyone else, though come to think of it , Godzilla has never been infected by any of the nasty things circulating in this world.  I mean he is a tough SOB so that fits.  Anyway he ventured out to our garden the other day - even met Duke which went well

Stirling Moss RIP

Sir Stirling Craufurd Moss, OBE (17 September 1929 – 12 April 2020) was a British Formula One racing driver. An inductee into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame, he won 212 of the 529 races he entered across several categories of competition and has been described as “the greatest driver never to win the World Championship”. In a seven-year span between 1955 and 1961 Moss finished as championship runner-up four times and in third place the other three times.

What Have I really Accomplished

What have I really accomplished during this time of COVID quarantine?  

- Finished ‘Collosus’ about the building of the Hover Dam.  A big book but well worth the read

- Reading ‘Rabid’ , a historical look at Rabies - cuz’ Rabies is far worse, scarier than COVID

- Will be reading ‘The Plague’ by Camus just because

- Learned that Pat Metheny, Joni Mitchell and Jaco Pastorius once played in concert together - I did not see that comming

- Learned that Levon Helm and Robbie Robertson hated each other because RR owed Helm lots of money for record and recording credits and apparently never paid him.  Not good Mr. R!

- Pat Metheny is only 9 days older than me! Both of us are Leo’s .  He has talent and I don’t.  I will always be appreciative that Al, my brother introduced me to PM.

- Have shot with some unusual film this quarantine - Astrum 100 from the Ukraine, Rollei InfraRed 400, Berger 400 film ( yet to be developed).

-Entered two photo contests

- Hiked with Vicki - some of the treks were pretty steep and then I reflect on where I was about a year ago after heart surgery and I’m blown away by were I am.  Like the old joke ’ My doctor told me to walk 5 miles and day….after two weeks I was 70 miles from home!!’

-Spent 3 days trying to get an obviously sick raccoon to leave our premises and learned that Wheat Ridge Animal Control are fuckin’ worthless

-Put together a playlist should I end up on a ventilator with COVID only to find out from my brother-in-law Gary that there is a song called Ventilator Blues

-Really geeky stuff like remotely controlling my small Raspberry Pi computer from the Mac.  This is for the eventual weather station for the backyard.

National Siblings Day

So I stumbled on two things today that relate to each other.  The first was I was cleaning out a photography bin when I ran across some old negatives from Dad - they were mostly pictures of us kids when we were little.  Then I was informed by the internets that today was National Siblings Day so I had to quickly scan and get these photos out to my siblings, my kids , etc

Rollei InfraRed 400

The trip we took yesterday included shooting 120 Rollei InfraRed 400.  I used to shoot Kodak High Speed IR in BW and even shot the Aerochrome version years ago.  Neither one of these products are available.  Reading the forums it appeared that only the Rollei version was what I’d be looking for.  A rangefinder is the only way to shoot this stuff because you need to use a virtually opaque R72 IR filter.  Can’t really do that with an SLR.  Fortunately I have the Bronica RF 645.  There were some exposing mishaps ( all my fault) but basically shot it using the sunny 16 rule with ISO of 12.  Which gave F/4 @ 1/250 second.  Developed in HC110B for 8.75 minutes.  There was a fair amount of fogging on the edges.  Will have to really load this almost in the dark.

Pawnee National Grasslands - well almost

Our goal was to drive up I-76 East and go to Pawnee National Grasslands and take pictures.  We took both Porsches to give them exercise which they need on a regular basis.  We got within 30 minutes of the place when we ran out of pavement - we don’t take the P cars on gravel roads.  Turn around we did but we did have a nice time driving.  Nothing in the COVID prohibitions mentions NOT driving and when you live in the west , your places of recreation require you to drive.  I brought my mask and alcohol wipes in case they were needed.  The shot of the gas station in Orchid, Colorado was from my Pixel 3 phone.  I was also shooting 645 Infrared.  Will post those photos if any come out.  We stopped at the big dairy farm in Roggen, Colorado for the Porsche picture.  This is the facility that Tim Baker runs.

Long Branch by Wild Turkey

After the day I’ve had - I decided to open up the Long Branch Bourbon.  Produced by Wild Turkey in consultation with Matthew Macconaghey.  Done with Mesquite wood - Has a different than ‘normal’ bourbon taste and at 86 proof it’s not hard to drink ( not gulp please)

Ventilator Playlist

I know this is morbid but with COVID controlling our lives it felt appropriate to put together a playlist.  Not just any playlist but one that would surely rouse me out of my coma if I were to be on a ventilator.  I will send this to my sister who is a former ICU nurse - she will surely get it.  No her name is not Shirley!

#1 with a Bullet. September by Earth Wind and Fire - two versions take your pick

#2 Cantaloop - a Jazz standard done by many.  This version is a hip-hop version.  The video really makes this song sweet!

#3 - Good Vibrations - Beach Boy Classic but done by others - this version selected because of the audio

#4 When the Levee Breaks - Led Zeppelin.  Remember the saying ” If you don’t have Zeppelin on your playlist - you don’t have a Playlist!!”

#5 This Girl by the KUNGS - the high energy will needed to get me out of the coma I’m in

#6 Hotline Bling by The Hamiltones - these guys ooze soul - this was shot in their dressing rooms for God’s sake

#7 Ghost Chickens in the Sky - a parody of Ghost Riders in the Sky - absolutely hilarious

#8 This Thing Called Love by Dwight Yoakim - originally written by Freddie Mercury as a tribute to Elvis - I think both would be ecstatic about this version

#9 Prodigal Son - just cuz it’s Ry Cooder

#10 and if I don’t make it……… I Shall Be Released - Bob Dylan and The Band

Oh yeah if I never end up on a ventilator just consider this my top 10 Videos !    - The Management

Astrum 100

I somehow found this Ukrainian film to buy and wanted to share my initial response.  I was expecting it to suck actually.  When I first poured out the developer ( HC110B for 9.5 min.) the water was orange!  I’m thinking this was gonna be a cluster!  Boy was I wrong.  The negatives are easy to scan and the results are quite good.  Might be even as good as the recently re-released Acros II for a lot less money ($11.99 vs. $4.99 a roll).  Take a look:

Toshio Shibata - Photographer

Since my trip to Japan I’ve become interested in all things Japanese.  I recently bought a book by Toshio Shibata called Gas Stations 1983 & 1986. It’s a limited edition (500) of some very nice photos of gas stations at nite.  

I love this book because it’s small and so the photographer/editor/publisher have to make their statement with less ‘real estate’.  When I’m traveling and shopping for photo books it’s a real help if I can find something enticing in a small package - this certainly fills the bill.

Here’s what the publisher had to say

In the early 1980s, returning to Japan from a few years of traveling and living in Europe, Toshio Shibata began photographing night scenes of roadside Japan. Shibata has said of the experience of the road at night: “While driving on a highway at night in Europe I often experienced an imperceptible momentary sensation of transcending place, yet not knowing where I was. It seemed as if I could have been in Japan, or even in the United States. I felt that the scene was non-specific, but rather a kind of generic or archetypal common scene, universal image and part of a global world-view.”

Gas stations – especially in the dead of night – look more or less the same everywhere they are to be found. Yet their generic look can also provoke feelings of melancholy, even romance. 

Well known for his large-scale photographs of large-scale civil engineering in rural places, both in Japan and in the West, Toshio Shibata here presents the view with a book of seven jewel-like images of Japanese gas stations at night, beautifully reproduced and accompanied by a silver gelatin photograph, hand printed by the artist himself. 

“Toshio Shibata occupies a distinct place in landscape photography: His pictures don’t idealize pristine wilderness nor do they moralize about the damaging imprint humans leave upon the natural world. Shibata studies places of contact — where we have altered the earth — and finds reflection, wonder, awe.

Beauty, in his work, is inclusive, and purity is a matter of compositional elegance rather than rarefied subject matter.” — Leah Ollman, Los Angeles Times

Gas Stations: 1982 & 1986 is limited to 500 numbered copies, each including a 5x7 inch original print that has been signed by the artist.

Photographing Gas Stations is not new. 

 Ed Ruscha had his Twenty Six Gas Stations which was not a success when it first came out.  It is now almost impossible to obtain a copy

Twentysix Gasoline Stations is the first artist’s book by the American pop artist Ed Ruscha. Published in April 1963 on his own imprint National Excelsior Press, it is often considered to be the first modern artist’s book, and has become famous as a precursor and a major influence on the emerging artist’s book culture, especially in America. The book delivers exactly what its title promises, reproducing 26 photographs of gasoline stations next to captions indicating their brand and location. From the first service station, ‘Bob’s Service’ in Los Angeles where Ruscha lived, the book follows a journey back to Oklahoma City where he had grown up and where his mother still lived. The last image is of a Fina gasoline station in Groom, Texas, which Ruscha has suggested should be seen as the beginning of the return journey, ‘like a coda’. Originally printed in a numbered edition of 400, a second edition of 500 was published in 1967 and a third of 3000 in 1969. Neither of these later editions was numbered. It has been suggested that these reprints were a deliberate attempt to flood the market in order to maintain the book’s status as a cheap, mass-produced commodity. The book originally sold for $3.50.

LomoChrome Metropolis and Rollei Cross Bird

For this last camping trip for awhile I shot with different film - color print, color slide, BW.  One of the rolls was LomoChrome’s new Metropolis film.  It’s look changes depending on whether it’s shot at ISO 100 to 400.  Can be done mid roll.  I just got the results and they are interesting.  Here they are without any manipulation .

I’m not sure what I think about this new film.  Certainly gives a new look without any post processing.  The next film is Rollei CrossBird which is E6 slide film cross processed in C41 chemistry.  I don’t really like the look all that much but you wouldn’t know this until you tried it right?

First Try @ IR

Purchased an IR corrected point and shoot and am trying to figure out my workflow.  Needless to say my pics look nothing like what is advertised by the company.  I gladly accept that this is due to operator error ….

Raccoons Rip my Flesh

This morning started with both dogs barking furiously at something.  Vicki went out and spotted a racoon up one of our trees.  It spent several hours n the tree.  We went for a walk with the dogs and when we returned it was smack dab in the middle of our yard!  That’s when we called animal control.  He didn’t think it was rabid and snared it but didn’t actually take it out of our yard- I guess they have rules preventing them from catching them .  I would have preferred him to be taken out of our neighborhood and released into a park somewhere.  All this while staying 6 feet from the Animal Control Officer!

Living on Straight Street

Straight Street

Ry Cooder

Well I used to live on Broadway 

Right next to the liar’s house

My number was self-righteousness 

And a very little guide of mouth

So I moved, I moved 

And I’m living on straight street now

I moved, I had moved

I’m living on straight street now

Before I moved over

Let me tell you how it was with me

Old Satan had me bound in chains 

And I had no liberty

One day my heart got troubled 

All about my dwelling place

I heard the Lord when He spoke to me 

And he told me to leave that place

So I moved, I moved 

And I’m living on straight street now

Yes, I moved, I moved

Well, I’m living on straight street now

Since I moved, I’m really living

I’ve got peace within

I thank the Lord for everything

So glad I found new friends

Since I moved, I moved 

And I’m living on straight…

Hunkering @ Home

In the age of COVID19 we are all having to find ways to stay busy without leaving our abodes.  As an introvert this is a little easier for me compared to my mate who loves to leave the house for hours at a time to shop.  She’ll go grocery shopping at three different stores.  If I were to do the shopping it would one place only.  But I digress…. so far I’ve taken to:

1] clean out my inbox on three email accounts

2] bug the hell out of my two dogs, taking pictures of them

3]Scanned about 5 rolls of film with 5 more coming in the mail

4]gotten back into yoga and some exercise 

5] limited my meals to 2 in order to loose weight - down 2.5 lbs!

6] Try to avoid buying more cameras on the internets - so far successful

Last Trip before Quarantine

Little did we know or expect that this would be our last trip for awhile because of COVID19 Hunkering at Home.  We took the Airstream out for a trip to Lake Havasu.  This was to join the Arizona Unit and many others for Bluegrass on the Beach festival.  From there we went to Boulder City, Nevada for a mini-Rally with some other Airstreamers.

While not a big Bluegrass aficionado I found myself really liking the music.  Favorite phrase during the concerts was “Standing in the need of Prayer”

Can’t have Lake Havasu without a little boat action.  We rented a 20 foot boat and had Gene Blanchard pilot it as I know next to nothing about running a boat.

Next we headed up to Boulder City which is a cute historical town - was the base of operations for the construction of the Hoover Dam. Here we met out friends, Tom and Natalie Balchak and we brought Gene and Kathy Blanchard with.  This was our mini-rally

Lucky Dragon 5

A little article on the NHK - Japanese TV feed come on while I was working out and it’s work a mention.

One of the last remaining fisherman from the Lucky Dragon 5 died at age 87:

A former crew member of a Japanese fishing boat exposed to the nuclear fallout from a 1954 US nuclear test in the Pacific has died.

Masaho Ikeda died of stomach cancer in a hospital in Fujieda City in Shizuoka Prefecture on Thursday. He was 87 years old. His relatives say he had also suffered esophagus and liver cancer.

Ikeda was an engine driver of the tuna fishing boat Daigo Fukuryu Maru, meaning “Number 5 Lucky Dragon.” The boat carrying a 23-member crew was operating when the US carried out the hydrogen bomb test at Bikini Atoll in the Marshall Islands on March 1, 1954.

Ikeda kept silent about his experience initially, but nearly 60 years later, he began sharing his story with younger generations.

He and other former crew members gave accounts of their experiences in a documentary by a US film director released last year.

Last February, Ikeda attended a funeral of another former crew member, Susumu Misaki, who died at the age of 92. Ikeda had said Misaki was like a brother to him.

More from Wikipedia:

The Daigo Fukuryū Maru ( translated is Lucky Dragon 5 ) encountered the fallout from the U.S. Castle Bravo nuclear test at Bikini

Atoll, near the Marshall Islands, on March 1, 1954.   (This was a 15 Megaton bomb) When the test was held, the Daigo Fukuryū Maru was catching fish outside the danger zone that the U.S. government had declared in advance.

However, the test was more than twice as powerful as predicted, and changes in weather patterns

blew nuclear fallout, in the form of a fine ash, outside the danger zone. On that day, the sky in

the west lit up like a sunset. Seven minutes later, the sound of the explosion arrived, with fallout

reaching the ship two hours later. The fishermen attempted to escape from the area, but they

took time to retrieve fishing gear from the sea, exposing themselves to radioactive fallout for several hours.

The fallout – fine white flaky dust of calcinated Bikini Island coral, which absorbed highly radioactive fission products and

neutron activated isotopes – fell on the ship for three hours. The fishermen scooped the highly radioactive dust into bags

with their bare hands. One fisherman, Matashichi Oishi, reported that he “took a lick” of the dust that fell on his ship,

describing it as gritty but with no taste.[10] The dust stuck to surfaces, bodies and hair; after the radiation sickness

symptoms appeared, the fishermen called it shi no hai ( 死の灰, death ash).

This true story was the basis of the kaiju story Godzilla otherwise known as Gojia that was released November 1954

It’s been said that the US government did little to help the Japanese authorities figure out how to treat these victims.  Another black mark on the US!

From This Place

Pat Metheny’s new album is more like his old stuff I would opine.  Maybe this is good it’s just different.  Comes on the heels of the sad news of Lyle Mays death.  Keyboardist and major inspiration for the Pat Metheny Group in it’s founding days.  I think Lyle would have approved of this album I’m sure

Fatal case of G.A.S.

G.A.S. is Gear Acquisition Syndrome - for many like me it ain’t a syndrome but a dang disease!  I made the acquaintance of someone on Instagram who goes by the name “girlwithtoomanycameras” with 40.  I happened to do camera inventory yesterday because it was cold and snowy out.  To my surprise I had 31 last nite but then found two more.  So I am now I am “guywithtoomanycamerasbutnotasmanyasdanielle”

Prairie Madness is Published

Prairie Madness is now out for publication by Lulu.com

Without trying, I have slowly been doing a project about prairie photography.  I am generally not a ‘project’ photographer being distracted all the time.  But if you take enough subject based photos you end up with a project.  I have been taking prairie photographs for awhile and it went into high gear when my job took me to Western Kansas.  I would typically drive and weather permitting would take the back roads into Kansas.  I loved being able to pull to the side of the road and snap photos.  I had some wild adventures such as driving 106 mph to avoid a hail storm in my new car!

My goal for this new book is to get more people to look and buy it.  In it’s current form its a bit on the expensive side but this is the nature of self-publishing in one and two quantities.  I decided that I would in the very near future reach out to several prairie preservation organizations to see if they can ‘boost my signal’ as it were for promise of monetary support coming from the sale of the book.  Here are a few more pictures from the book

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