ODDBALLS, VERY

CEE’S ODD BALL PHOTO CHALLENGE: 2016 WEEK 20


It was late. I was tired. Too tired to do anything more than see what I could do with using my Kindle as a camera without getting out of bed. I’m pretty sure these are odd. I’m not sure about the balls.

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And a couple from Garry. Always trying to get pictures of our dogs and they never quite come out the way we hope. But … hey … at least they stayed in the picture!

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THE TROUBLE WITH FUCHSIAS

Every year, no matter how broke we are — and this year we are broker than usual — I find a way to buy a couple of pots of hanging fuchsias. I can no longer do the bending and digging required by a “real” garden, but a couple of hanging plants added to my indoor plants (one gigantic dracaena marginata, two Christmas cacti, and a very healthy aloe vera) is manageable.

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Fuchsias – from July 2015

Fuchsias make me happy. They are elegant, easy keepers. Give them the right light (bright shade and a bit of dappled sunlight) with plenty of water and they will bloom their hearts out from May through October. If you live on the west coast, they might bloom all year.

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Last year’s fuchsias were deep mauve and purple. Aside from being magnificent, they were easy to shoot with the macro lens. Those dark, rich colors provided edges which the auto-focus could find quickly.

This year, I chose a different color set. Pink and rose and white … and my macro lens is having the devil’s own time finding edges on which to focus. If you have never used a “real” macro lens, let me explain that it’s different. Not only does it shoot very close, but it also doubles as a portrait lens. On my Olympus, in macro mode it can shoot almost from inside the flower. But otherwise, it is a 60mm lens that in 35mm translates to 120mm, or the long end of portrait (or the short end of telephoto).

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This is useful a lot of the time. For a fixed focal length lens, it can go a lot of places and adapt (f2.8) to many varied lighting situations.

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But the lens and camera do not necessarily understand what you want to do. There’s isn’t a “switch” that tells it to shoot close, or far. It makes up its own mind about this stuff based on its sensors. To say that a macro lens can be a challenge to focus where you want it to focus is an understatement. It is less than happy with my fuchsias this year — and I’m feeling more like a camera wrangler and less like a photographer.

But I got pictures. For fuchsia fans, I think both of these pots are a mix of cultivars … between one and three “types” per pot. I’ll know more a little later in the season, but it’s sure to make the pictures more interesting.

Daily Prompt – Flourish

Flowers of the Day – Fuchsias

NO REALLY, I’M TOTALLY SORRY.

Most apologies aren’t.

“Well, I’m sorry,” is not an apology. Neither is ” Well sorry to bother you!”  On the domestic front, most mid-battle apologies aren’t worth the paper on which they are not printed. As in “Pardon me for living” and “Sorry, but you’re a fine one to talk!” These rank very low on the sincerity scale.

I have received very few heartfelt apologies in my lifetime and never from anyone who owed me one. Most of us would rather show we’re sorry than say it. Words are cheap. Changing your behavior is a lot harder. When all else fails, pretending nothing happened works.

Amnesia is the backbone of many relationships. When coupled with denial, it’s powerful stuff. Especially when whatever happened was stupid and no one can remember what it was about. Sometimes, right in the middle of battle, you can’t remember what it’s about, a sure sign that you should quickly and efficiently change the subject and watch something involving demons and secret agents.

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I’m trying to take this challenge seriously and failing. No one apologized for any of the awful things that were been done to me. I probably would have fainted with shock had they done so. The people who do awful things worthy of a full, groveling apology are people who never apologize. They are people who don’t see anything they do as wrong. Who feel that they have the right to do whatever they do because (a) “I have to do what’s right for me,” even if it’s wrong in every other possible way … or (b) I’m always right (and you’re not).

The rest of us? Depending on our ethnic and religious background we feel varying levels of guilt. However, in my experience, feeling guilty and being guilty are not the same thing. If you’re Jewish or Catholic, you have a high guilt level from birth. It’s part of the cultural package.

Most of us are sinners in a small “s” way. The great big “S” sinners — the really bad guys — won’t be doing any apologizing. Probably ever.

If you’re waiting for your evil former boss, scumbag ex, or abusive parent to — as seen on TV — come to tell you he or she has seen the light? That you are right and he was wrong and oh, he is so terribly sorry … can you ever forgive him …. ?

Don’t hold your breath.

Apologies may be transformative experiences. I wouldn’t know. Not an experience I’ve had.