Monthly Archives: March 2006

Approach to LAX

Approach to LAXFlying east to west across Los Angeles, California and about to land at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). I’m pretty sure this is Interstate 5 running north-south crossing one of the many other smaller freeways in Los Angeles.

Erin’s new sweater

Erin's new seaterAnne just finished attaching these great sea shell buttons and she’s attaching the patch pockets to Erin’s new sweater.

Erin's new sweaterAnother view of the sweater Anne is knitting for our granddaughter Erin.

Knitting, behind the scenesOn a sweater as complex as this one there are many calculations. Anne keeps track of most of this stuff in her head but also uses a notebook for sketches and counts on various parts.

The Blossom Shooters

The Blossom Shooters

markal has posted one of the more interesting images I’ve seen on flickr recently. There is so much about this image to like: the blossoms being a magnet for photographers in Japan, the guy in the wheelchair with the tripod on his lap, the blur/shadow of the ground under the photographers, the tilt of the camera on the tripod, and more. Just a great shot. Oh, and it’s a rite of spring which is wonderfully uplifting.

We’re a bit behind Japan over here in Connecticut but spring is coming, slowly but surely.

The Kitty is 16 today

The Kitty is 16 today

Anne’s younger daughter Bonnie was given this cat for her 15th birthday by her then boyfriend. The cat was one of a large litter and the owner was unsure about giving a kitten to a couple of kids. She called Anne who okayed it.

That was in May and by June I’d met Anne. That summer (the summer of love…) I found out that if Anne and I were going to get together there would be some things I’d have to allow into my life, including this cat. I was allergic to cats and had never had one so this was a big deal for me. Also, the whole “cat people” thing made me want to puke. However, Anne was worth figuring this stuff out for.

The cat used to climb up my bare legs trying to get close to my beard. Shredded legs and watery eyes do not make a great introduction but somehow I became attached to the cat. Animals that show affection, even as they make you sneeze, can grow on you.

That fall we got a house together and Bonnie went off to high school, Anne went off to teach in a high school, and when I wasn’t traveling (technology consulting) I was home. The cat, originally named “Sybil” by Bonnie, became my cat and Anne and I, not liking Sybil called her The Kitty (Anne tells me that most of her cats have been called “kitty”).

In time my allergic reaction to this cat has gone away. The cat has slept near my head every night she’s been inside for most of her life. I am at least a one cat person (ugh!).

The Kitty has had a fantastic life as a “professional” cat as we’ve lived either near or in deep woods for her entire life. She has had more “adventures” than you ever want to know about. She’s lived through all of it and remained a loyal friend. Now she’s arthritic and has a hard time moving around but she has her moments with toys and just today she went outside for a while to roll around in the spring smell.

I plan to give her a can of tuna tonight instead of her regular cat food. In typical fashion she’ll undoubtedly flip her tail, walk away, and not eat it.

Happy birthday Kitty.

757 wing, clouds, desert, my orange shirt

757 wing, clouds, desert, my orange shirtI took numerous pictures on my way back from California. None turned out (including this one). Why? I’m not completely sure but the sun was a problem.

Flying from NY to LA one essentially goes diagonally across the country, northeast to southwest. Seasonal considerations aside (sun path changes summer to winter) sitting on the side of the plane away from the sun might produce less risk of sun glare on the window.

On the other hand, depending on approach routes sitting on the left side of the plane on both trips (NY to LA, LA to NY) would give one the best possibility of photographing Manhattan.

I do choose where I sit on planes to enable better photography but besides the wing and engine exhaust (and sitting next to a window, duh) there’s also time of day and which side of the plane you’re on.

Oh, this window was also quite filthy on the outside. My sensor is a mess but that’s not what you’re seeing here.

First St. Los Angeles

First St. Los Angeles

My mother and I are both huge fans of the late Japanese American artist Isamu Noguchi. The Japanese American National Museum has a small show up of his design work: sculpture, paper (akari) lamps and a great video of a set he designed for the Martha Graham Dance Company.

What we did not know was that today was a planned demonstration on the controversial immigration reform bill before congress and the president. Most of downtown LA was blocked off so that 300,000 people could march and demonstrate. Driving in downtown LA isn’t easy for this Connecticut yankee but with this many demonstrators around it was, well, nerve wracking. My 90 year old mother loved the excitement and wanted me to drive around downtown so she could watch the action. I was glad to find my way out of there.

Oh, at the top of the hill you can see the LA Music Center and right next to it is the Gehry-designed Disney Concert Hall which so many flickrites have photographed so beautifully.

Palm behind bars

Palm behind bars

My mother has an awning that pulls out on a steel pipe suspension system off the side of her house. She pulls it back in winter to let more light in. Just playing around with this wonderful 300mm f/4 and I’m liking the results.

Queens, Manhattan and beyond

Queens, Manhattan and beyondFlying west over Long Island Sound, Queens on the left, Brooklyn beyond, Verrazano Narrows Bridge Connecting Brooklyn to Staten Island and Manhattan’s on the right with the Hudson river running down its west side. The other side of the river is New Jersey.

The bridge at the bottom of the image is the Whitestone Bridge connecting the Bronx with Queens on Long Island. I crossed that bridge a few hours earlier on my way from Connecticut to JFK Airport.

ManhattanLooking down the length of Manhattan Island, East River on the left with Queens and Brooklyn on the other side, Hudson river on the right with New Jersey on the other side. George Washington Bridge crosses the Hudson.

Rockaway Beach, New York

Rockaway Beach, New York

Just took off from JFK (runway heading south) and we were banking east over Far Rockaway and Rockaway beach. Jamaica Bay on the left, the Atlantic Ocean on the right. We continued south over the Atlantic and then turned west where I had a nice view down the length of Manhattan. I took so many shots it will take me a bit to find the best one.

Lazy Sunday

Lazy SundayAnne’s knitting, the Kitty is laying by the woodstove and I’m seeing if I can get back into the swing of taking pictures. Holding this 85mm f/1.2 lens is wearing me out. I think the Kitty’s got the right idea, time for a nap by the stove.

New toyThe Kitty loved her mouse enough I thought I’d get her a similar toy. She chewed on its antennae for a minute and walked away. Sigh…

Introducing a Resolution to Censure President George W. Bush

Introducing a Resolution to Censure President George W. Bush

This is Russ Feingold’s Congressional Resolution to censure President Bush for breaking the law (domestic spying on Americans) and lying about it.

I just finished reading Jane Mayer’s New Yorker article “The Memo” (in the Feb 27 issue) about how the Bush administration has rationalized breaking international law and using torture on detainees at Guantanamo and in other US military prisons outside of the United States. This was one of the scariest pieces of journalism I’ve read in years. Mayer is an excellent writer and this article tells the tale of Alberto Mora, a military lawyer who, while a loyal Republican foot soldier came to the realization that the administration was using torture and lying about it. Over the course of three years he tried to present a legal and moral argument to administration lawyers and their bosses (Rumsfeld and Cheney) but he was routinely ignored, then lied to. He eventually quit the government in disgust.

Bush: “We do not torture.”

Yes Bush deserves to be censured but it would seem to me that he and much of his administration, including the various lawyers (Alberto Gonzalez included) who wrote the memos and legal briefs rationalizing breaking with international law and allowing torture should be tried as war criminals.