Category Archives: ahphoto

The Walk, Revisited

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Today was yet another day when the forecast called for light snow. They were correct. Then they said it would be tapering by noon. On that they were wrong. It really was a light snow but through its persistence it did accomplish raising the ground level another couple inches. I had almost convinced myself to just do the day’s cardio on the elliptical when sanity finally struck and I went for a walk around the yard.

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Now, I don’t know why I don’t do this walk whenever I have the chance. It really was perfect walking weather with the temperatures in the low 20s and no wind. And unlike the last time I took this walk (well, with photos) I had assistants for the first section.

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We did a loop around the far field and down into the woods. About half-way down it became apparent that Walt was going to have to have a shorter walk than I had planned. The snow was up over his belly and as his rear legs aren’t really liftable, each step became a leap. That get’s a bit tiring and so we made a bunch of stops on our way back up to the house.

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Part 1
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Part 2, thirty seconds later

The pups, of course, were everywhere at once. Having dogs that are mobile is a new experience. Walt and Jasper both had pretty bad hip and knee problems keeping their frantic motion to a minimum. This is not our experience with these new two. They don’t stop moving.

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I took the pups back up and had to circle back to the beginning to get their leashes that are necessary to get them to cross the invisible fence. I was just going to go get them and head back inside but I did really want to look at the creek.

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Standing on the beginning of the East Branch of the Chagrin River

The past couple weeks have been routinely cold making the ice pretty thick and solid. I was able to cross over and back a number of times with nary a crack or death. One of the neatest parts of this time is that the water is using the ice as a sort of speaker cone, amplifying it’s running noise throughout the valley. The rushing sound is quite loud and a bit more urgent than one normally hears.

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Part of the deer superhighway

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Detroit Auto Show 2014

detroit-20140122-1420The woman and I braved the much-complained of temperatures and drove to Detroit to see the North American International Auto Show at Cobo Hall. We hadn’t been up there in many years and as I am going to be looking for a new car this year, it was time.

What did surprise me was how much smaller the show seemed. The main space was full and, if anything, more opulent than I recall. It was just that there were fewer displays. I guess this is to be expected in the days of consolidation but it does diminish the show. It is always interesting to see the little, odd marques interspersed with the gargantuan. Now it is battle of the titans all throughout.

Downstairs was always a great place because that is where you saw the odd ideas. Two man shops would have a booth to show off their weird conveyances. This year there were only two manufacturers and one of them, Lingenfelter, did not appear to have anyone around.

Anyway, here is some of what I saw.

I am a sucker for little, little cars. Now the whole leaning thing is a bit worrisome but I could go for it.

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Mini had a very neat finish that I really wish more cars had:

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I will never get used to a Mercedes with a wing like this. A bit boy racer.

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BMW, now with colors for the whole Easter season:
detroit-20140122-1313 The new 911 Targa finally made the water-cooled 911 not look like Jabba.
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And do note the 917 in the background…detroit-20140122-1332 The Lincoln booth. I guess this is the sort of design that you pick when the average age of your clientele means they voted for Ike. (That said, I like it. I tolerate Ike.)detroit-20140122-1350

And Ford trotted out the Mustang I prototype… because.detroit-20140122-1403

And you have to love the look of the aged rubber.detroit-20140122-1402 Kia actually had a very interesting vehicle, probably the most interesting one of the show cars.
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The Walk

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This weekend I took some time to walk along the creek. With the weather we have been having recently there have been some interesting signs of movement down there. For example a great deal of the grassy areas were run over with flooding that, after the snow, made for some interesting lines.

Here you can see how it all starts out along the banks.

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And when you look more closely you can see the grass bent and swirled with the water flow.

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We had a few days of cold temperatures, some a fair amount below zero. This built up a pretty good layer of ice. These cold temps were, as the world is wont to do, followed by a few days of temperatures in the forties. This gave rise to a goodly amount of water flow which threw these newly minted ice sheets all over the place.

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And now we are heading back into a week of single-digit temperatures so the ice is growing yet again. Right now it isn’t strong enough to support my tubby weight but there are spots that work pretty well. (Don’t worry about me falling to my death. At best the water is about a foot deep in most spots.)

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But until the creek is iced over, the local animals have made their own paths around the water, leaving their tracks about.

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But even better is this one which, in a terrible picture, is one fallen tree that runs into another fallen tree on the other side of the creek.

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And while there are always tons of trees falling, there are tons more still standing.

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But some times they don’t make it.

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And in the rough weather you must keep the wildlife in mind. But not too much in mind.

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And so we walk home…

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Keneally/Musallam at the Beachland

 

Mike Keneally is simply my favorite musician. To try to put his career in context is a bit difficult. He is a musician’s musician. He was Frank Zappa’s last “stunt guitarist”. He is the guy that both Steve Vai and Joe Satriani call when they need someone to play keyboard and an occasional impossible guitar part. So he has his chops down. Add to that he can write incredible straight pop songs, and has just put out a whole album of them written with XTC guy Andy Partridge. He can swing with the avant-jazz set*. He writes for orchestras, as well as spontaneously composing with them. He also plays with the largest death metal band in the universe, Dethklok. There are other things I am forgetting… OH Screamin Jay Hawkins, as well. So he covers a lot of ground.

Reinforcing this, I have a story. A bunch of years ago Mike put out a live album. It came to the house just before the wife and I had to drive someplace so out to the car we went and into the player it went. The music was not what I was expecting. It sounded really old and the song writing matched. Odd.

It turned out that the pressing plant had mistakenly pressed an Ink Spots CD into Mike’s release. The point is that I could listen to a disc of the Ink Spots thinking that they were somehow put together by Mike Keneally and find it all plausible. His next album could be of Gregorian chant and I would completely buy it.

These photos were taken at the Beachland Tavern in Cleveland. Mike and his long-time guitarist Rick Musallam put together a tour where they have broken down Mike’s often complicated arrangements to things that two guys can pull off. It was wonderful as always.

Alright, I’ll stop with the fanboy schtick.

* I was actually at this show. Fooled the wife into thinking that I a vacation in San Francisco was just a great idea from out of the blue. And then… Keneally show! I mean, Keneally, Manring, Kaiser and Cutler on stage together? Passing that up? No. I didn’t realize this was on the youtube.

Of Ice and Sand

Wednesday I had some time and so I walked around Headlands Beach in Mentor, Ohio. Normally when I am there I head off into the dunes but today I wanted to see what I could find just lying about the sand. All manner of oddity can be found washed up on the shore, the waves working with the sand to work new shapes out of old scrap. As it was, and had been for a while, a bit below freezing, ice was coating everything. It is interesting how unfamiliar objects are when coated in a shiny coat of frozen water. Sticks become bridge parts and logs become a washed up whale… in the Great Lakes. Confusing, it is.

 

The Flats

 

Just like last year at this time, I took part of a day to walk around Cleveland. This time I took just a short walk around the area called the Flats. This area is situated right along the Cuyahoga river, adjacent to downtown. Historically this was an area of heavy industry. Steel mills, foundries, fabricators, machine shops, all could be found right here. If anything needed building it could be made in the Flats. (The magnificent web site Shorpy has a number of incredible photos from the Flat’s golden age. There is no more consistently awe-inspiring web site than Shorpy.)

Today this place is deserted. The hulks of the previously productive buildings stand empty and decaying. Many have been torn down leaving just unused lots mere hundreds of feet from the center of town. It is one of the most incredibly sad things.

But our society’s loss is my gain! At least for something to photograph, that is.

Recently, randomly, disparate

I’ve been fighting a bit of the respiratory ailment so I haven’t been able to do the whole photography thing in earnest.  (Why can’t we bring back the French Grippe? You know, other than the whole death thing. Just has so much gravitas. Adventure! Bronchitis? Pneumonia?Blah boring.) But I still take pictures, they just don’t hang together thematically (as if any of my other sets do… well, let’s move on, shall we?).

The above is a photo that I’ve been trying to take for a while. There is a photography whose style I love named Michael Kenna. His photos are so moody and moving while showing such care for composition and technical beauty. As I flop around trying on different styles, his is one I keep coming back to and failing. This is the first one that I really think has some of the feel. Still nowhere in the same league has his work but a fair attempt.

I am working on a series of lost commuter train stations. This was taken walking around one in Madison, Ohio. One day I will be able to collect these photos along with the stupid number of old newspaper articles and put something more concrete together. Until then I just will put up some snaps from these really cool but forgotten places.

Here is a picture of Jasper. The top picture in this post is of Walter. These two could not be more different when it comes to photography. When I break out the camera Jasper either hides from view, goes to his room or, if we are outside, goes to slam on the door to be let in. Walt, on the other hand, oscillates between not caring less and active interest. The latter normally results in me getting hit with a stick that he’s trying to give me or slobbered on by one of his sopping wet toys. The top picture is Walt waiting for the woman to come home from the store. When she left he went straight to the window and watched and waited until she came back. No matter how much she may resist it, to Walter she is his person.

Here is everything in conveinent slideshow form: