ABOVE US, THE HOWLING WIND AND SWAYING OAKS

The weather guys promised us a major storm. We’ve got one.

It probably isn’t as dangerous here as it will be along the coast, where massive erosion and possible earth slides are anticipate (three consecutive astronomic high tides and the storm together), but it’s pouring rain. Our big oak trees are swaying like saplings in the wind.

You have no idea how nervous I get when 150 foot tall oaks move like that. I try not to think about what happens if they just happen to snap and fall. On us.

Meanwhile, though, the lights are on, the house is warm, the rain is merely outside and the dogs are asleep. While above us, the giant trees sway, inside, all is — so far — well. This is a very big storm and it might yet snow, though I hope not.

The pictures — taken from inside the house — I’m just not crazy enough to go out there — do not show the wind. But it’s there. You can hear it. Odd the way the wind is up there, high in the trees, while there is very little wind down along the ground.

FUN WITH FAKE NEWS! THE RERUN – BY TOM CURLEY

Tom must have a hint of prescience because since the day this posted, the staff at the White House has been disappearing at a prodigious rate. Given that, I figured this needed an immediate rerun!

Just for fun, see: More White House staffers reportedly want to jump ship but are struggling to find new employment


This story just in from AP, UPI, Reuters, CBS, NBC, ABC, the Onion and other major news outlets.


Mass Resignations at White House.

2/23/2018

In a stunning development today, the entire White House staff has resigned including all senior and junior aides, as well as the entire domestic and administrative staff. A letter was sent to the President and released to the press stating, “We the undersigned employees, aides and staff of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue hereby resign, effective immediately. Our reasons, which are diverse, basically come down to, we just can’t take it anymore.”

Reporters immediately got statements from many staff members, who, in breaking from normal procedure, did not ask to be quoted anonymously. According to one staffer, “Who the hell cares? It’s not as if any of us work there anymore.”

The White House Switchboard is closed. Reporters trying to call it received the following message. “You’ve reached the White House. Don’t bother to leave a message. We’re all out and we ain’t coming back.”

The resignations include most of the President’s cabinet. EPA Secretary Scott Pruit was quoted as saying, “If I can’t fly first class, I quit.”

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told reporters, “I actually stopped doing anything a few months ago. I spend most of the day watching Judge Judy and reruns of Madame Secretary.”

Attorney General Jeff Sessions was unable to be reached for comment. According to his spokesperson, “He’s gone back to his tree to make cookies”.

Secretary of Energy Rick Perry and Secretary of Housing Ben Carson could also not be reached for comment. Mr. Perry still can’t remember which department he works for or where it is. Mr. Carson was asleep.

The Secretary of Defense is staying on the job, mostly to, quote: “Keep that fucking moron away from the nuclear codes.”

The White House counsel Don McGahn was heard to say, “Hell, Perry Mason couldn’t keep this clown out of jail. I’m out.”

The staff is reported to have done several things before they departed. According to one source, “We took the labels off all the light switches. And the guy who handles the nuclear football replaced it with a suitcase containing a Remco Radar Rocket Cannon. He’ll never know the difference.”

The housekeeping staff is reported to have short-sheeted Trump’s bed, put shaving cream on the earpiece of the phone in the Oval Office, and nailed all the furniture in the Lincoln bedroom to the ceiling.

The head White House Chef was quoted as saying, “I’ve had it. I give up. I mean, I’m a 4 Star Michelin chef for Christ’s sake! And all I do is pour ketchup over burnt steaks! I once served him a gourmet hamburger that won a James Beard award. And do you know what he did? He threw it away and asked me to send out for McDonalds! McDONALDS! Are you kidding me?? Fuck him! I’m out.”

Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump could not be reached for comment. They’re skiing in Colorado. Neither Donald Jr. or Eric Trump were asked for comments. None of the press outlets were interested in anything they had to say.

The formal resignation letter was delivered to the President’s desk at 9 AM. By noon, all the West Wing offices were vacant. The only remaining personnel are Steve Miller, Sarah Huckabee Sanders and Hope Hicks. According to Hicks, “somebody has to steam the President’s pants.”  An hour later, she was reported to have said “Screw it. Let him steam is own God Damn pants.” And she also quit. Miller was reportedly seen behind the White House pulling the wings off of small helpless insects. At 2 pm Sanders gave a press briefing to an empty White House press room.

According to a senior White House Correspondent, “Quite frankly, everything that comes out of her mouth is bullshit. So why bother? We just don’t care anymore.”

It has not been confirmed whether or not the President has seen the actual letter yet. It was reported on Fox News during one of the President’s “Executive Time-outs.” So far the President has only released one tweet: “Failing fake news says my whole staff quit! FAKE NEWS! SAD! All Hillary’s fault. Lock her up! NO COLLUSION!”

Special Counsel Robert Mueller is, however, still on the job

This is an ongoing story. Updates to follow.

-0-


Hey, it could happen.

Feel free to pass this along on all social media outlets.

Fake news. It’s not just for Russians anymore!

An due to wide demand. Again, Two Dogs Playing I Got Your Nose.

DOUBLE LETTERED BLACK & WHITE

Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge: Words with double letters


Tepee
Scottish Terrier
Propeller
Doorknob
Hallway in an old mill

 

 

ALFRED EISENSTAEDT IN MARTHA’S VINEYARD

The first time I went to the Vineyard, it was my honeymoon — to my first husband and the year was 1965. I didn’t know anything about the Vineyard. I hadn’t even known it was there, but we were looking for somewhere interesting to go that we could afford. It’s funny to realize that in 1965, Martha’s Vineyard was a relatively inexpensive place to vacation. Now, it will cost you your first-born child and all your gold.

Menemsha Harbor

Jeff and I stayed at the Menemsha Inn, which is on the west side of the island. It turned out that this was also the place where Alfred Eisenstaedt spent his summer vacations. He had his own cabin and his books of photography were everywhere. I had just started to take pictures. I had my first camera loaded with black and white film. No electronic meter. No electronic anything. Manually loaded film and a hand-held light meter.

I was using my first camera, a Praktica with a brilliant Zeiss 50mm lens. It was a terrific lens. Otherwise, the camera was basic. No electronics or automatic anything. A hand-cranked film advance on a completely bare-bones camera. I had brought half a dozen rolls of black and white film with me. I used them all.

Photo: Dnalor 01

Eisenstadt was not at the Inn while we were there, but his books became my guide to photography. I went every place on the island where he had taken pictures and I copied each. Literally, I figured out exactly where he had stood — or crouched — to get each shot. To say it was illuminating doesn’t cover it. By the time I was through with that week’s vacation, I could take pictures.

The moral of the story? If you are going to copy, copy from the best.


In the summer of 1991, channel 7 let Garry do a feature about Alfred Eisenstaedt — world-famous photographer — and Lois Maillou Jones, world-famous painter.  Both of them lived on Martha’s Vineyard. Both had recently received Presidential Medals of Honor from President Bush (the first).

When the shoot was over, we got to be friends with both artists. Eisenstaedt was 93. Lois Maillou Jones was 86. It was an incredible honor for us. For me, getting to really know a man I’d been admiring for decades was beyond thrilling.

We own a signed print of this portrait of Robert Frost. It hangs downstairs in the den.
We own a signed print of this portrait of Robert Frost. It hangs downstairs in the den.

I had been an admirer of Eisenstaedt’s work as long since before I began taking pictures.

me martha's vineyard stairs

It was ideal for a beginner. I had to take a light reading with a handheld meter. I had to focus the lens, set the shutter speed and f-stop. Choose the film speed — though you only had to set film speed once when you loaded the camera.

There weren’t a lot of settings to learn, but they were and remain the essentials of photography. My 50 mm lens was a prime. No zoom. It was a good piece of glass and moderately fast at f2.8.

Young Alfred Eisenstaedt

If I wanted a close up, I could move in. Wide shot? Run the other way. I learned photography in a way that those who’ve only used digital cameras with zoom lenses can’t imagine. Most of today’s photographers have never so much as held a camera that doesn’t include auto-focus, much less taken a manual light reading. And if you forgot your meter, you could use the suggested setting on the little paper enclosure that came with Kodak film. After a while, you could set your camera pretty much by eyeballing the light and you’d get it right 90% of the time. We don’t actually need all the gadgets we use.

Maybe it doesn’t matter. Maybe it does.

The camera was a gift from a friend who had bought a new camera. Armed with the camera and determination, I followed Eisenstaedt’s path. I discovered where he’d taken each picture, figured out how he’d gotten the perspective. I duplicated his shots down to the clump of grass behind which he’d crouched to create a foreground.

Photo by Alfred Eisenstadt

My first roll of film was brilliant — except the photographs were copies of Alfred Eisenstaedt’s. He taught me photography by giving me foot prints to follow. By the time I was done with those first rolls of film, I had learned the fundamentals. I’m still learning the rest and I’ll probably never be finished.

When I actually met Alfred Eisenstaedt, it was the most exciting moment of my life.

As we got to know Eisie better, I asked him to autograph his books for me. He didn’t merely autograph them. He went through each book, picture by picture.

He was in his nineties and had forgotten many things, but remembered every picture he’d taken, including the film, camera, lens, F-stop, and most important, what he was thinking as he shot. He could remember exactly what it was about the image that grabbed his attention.

Garry was there to cover this event — which was where the relationship began.

For example, the picture of the sailor kissing the nurse in Times Square on VJ Day, he said he was walking around Times Square with his Nikon. When he spotted the dark of the sailor’s uniform against the white of the nurse’s dress, he knew it was what he wanted and shot. Light, contrast, composition.

We spent time with him each summer until he passed in 1995. We were honored to be among those invited to the funeral. Although we were sad Eisie was gone, we found things to laugh about. Knowing him was special and some memories are worth a chuckle.

I don’t think Eisie would have minded.

SQUARED TUNNEL IN GETTYSBURG

SQUARES IN GETTYSBURG

Squared off tunnel in Gettysburg

Squaring the Circle with Squared Squares

HAPPY FACES

A Photo a Week Challenge: Raw Emotion


I don’t know how “raw” these are, but they are joyful. Laughing. Which is about as “raw” as my work ever gets. Grief is a bit too personal for me to feel comfortable shooting it.

Happy birthday at 15!
Another birthday!
Photo: Bette Stevens