Since Ben got here on Thursday, we’ve been doing a lot of camera reviewing. We use the same cameras mostly … with a few exceptions. He has more of the upscale professional Olympus lenses, though we have the same cameras. He also has Pentax Q-7, which I gave him.

I swapped the Olympus PL-6 for an Olympus 14-45 mm telephoto. It needs an adapter for Micro 4/3. He bought my least-used (okay, never  used ) 06 longer telephoto lens for the Pentax Q system — and took the broken Panasonic FZ-200 which he hopes he can fix. I hope so too. That was a wonderful camera and although I’ve replaced it, I’ve never enjoyed a camera more.

I don’t merely use cameras. I love them. I love the way they feel. Holding it in my hands. I even enjoy adjusting settings. I know that’s twisted, but I cannot help myself. To hang out with another lover of cameras is the total talking of tech. I hardly ever get to do that anymore. I used to get that itch scratched at work where tech was the business, but Garry isn’t techie and isn’t interested in conversation beyond “Your pictures came out really well!”

So here’s to the makers of lenses and cameras and adapters. Who have taken us to new heights in graphic exploration. Who have made taking pictures free from sending out film to labs and eliminated all those toxic chemicals.

Here’s to digital software, electronic auto-focus cameras and everything that comes with them.

Cameras. They matter.


“Dignity. Always dignity,” said Don Lockwood (Gene Kelly) in “Singin’ In The Rain.”

A perfect description of our lives. Yep. Dignity and nothing but. Dignity as the dogs attack our toes, leap gates, and laugh at our attempts at discipline.

“NO!” you say in your firmest voice.

“Bark, yap, chortle,” says Duke.

“Urk,” says Bonnie.

“Grumble,” comments The Duke.

We do not dignify, nor do we knight or enthrone in this household. But I did take a few pictures. Actually, there’s a story about the pictures.

I was looking through my cameras because I’ve got cameras hanging around which I haven’t used for years. A few are broken, but others were just unfortunate choices, discarded in favor of cameras take better photographs. This was one of those. An old Canon A something, I forget which.

That was long after they stopped making the good Canon A-series. That group ended in the 500s. My last good one was an A-530 (I think). After they started their “new batch,” the lens quality went way down. Everything went downhill.

So now, here I am holding a long unused Canon A. It needed four AA batteries. I put in the batteries. Stuck a chip in the holder. Took some pictures.

A camera that really works — very well indeed!

The pictures are good, but the camera was crap. The results were so grainy they looked as if they were taken through an old window screen. I realized that was why I gave up on that camera series. I saved the pictures, though — and dumped the camera. No one would want it and I doubt it would make it to a museum.



Technically, these aren’t really collages. Each is a solarization of a room in the house – living room, dining room, and kitchen. Wide angle, from various vantage points.

Although these aren’t “pasted together,” they give a similar sense resulting from the visual confusion of images, the alteration of colors, the distortion of items.

These juxtapositions of “special effects” are built into my camera. I used to be able to create similar effects using paper in the dark room by opening the door and allowing a few seconds of light into the room.

Of course, back then I couldn’t predict the result — but I still can’t predict the results anyway, so this is close enough.

I participate in WordPress’ Weekly Photo Challenge 2017



Photographs by Garry Armstrong

Photo: Garry Armstrong

Garry and I used to ride. Horseback. We rode horses. I started riding pretty young and before I got good at it, got pretty broken trying to find my way. I dragged Garry to take riding lessons with me when we were both in our fifties and it was great. He took to it like a duck to water. After watching westerns his whole life, he could now ride the high country with the best of them.

Photo: Garry Armstrong

At some point in the mid 1990s, I had one nasty accident that completely unglued my spine. Riding, I was told, was out. Not just sort of out. Really, truly completely absolutely O-U-T. I’d heard this before, but I’d cheated because I really love horses. But this doctor was serious. He said one little fall and that would be “it” for walking.

That hurt. I have always loved horses. The smell of barns, the feel of a horse under me, the way they gather their muscles to make the next move. How you can feel their intentions in your feet and legs. I love the velvet of their noses and how they take food off your palm with those big soft lips.

Photo: Garry Armstrong

Last night, more or less out of the blue, the granddaughter emailed me to say they were having an event at The Barn and would we like to come. Barn? What barn?

It turns out she is volunteering at a horse barn down the road, just over the Rhode Island line. “She’s learning to ride,” I told Garry. “It’s genetic. My mother rode. I rode. She can’t help herself. She needs a horse.”

He looked a little puzzled. “You show me a young woman volunteering at a barn and I will show you a young woman trying to work off riding lessons.” It’s a thing, young women and horses.

Photo: Garry Armstrong – Lad with local “unicorn”

It also turned out she also needs a portrait lens for her camera. I can’t give her one because I don’t own a camera that size or style. In fact, the camera she has was my last full-size camera. I did tell her there’s a lot of Canon camera and lenses on sale these days — new and used — since so many people are changing to smaller cameras.I thought we might just be able to snag a lens for her. If she has time to drop by.

Garry took pictures. I took a few too. I got a delicious scent of horse barn while Garry’s thinking taking riding lessons again. He deserves it. Go Garry! It was a better than usual Saturday out here in the country.

I participate in WordPress’ Weekly Photo Challenge 2017


I am delighted to report that nothing is going on. Soon we’ll have flowers and shortly thereafter, trees. Then, caterpillars. Maybe they won’t be as bad this time, but it’s hard to know. We will put in the air conditioners shortly. It’s getting warm. This is the least eventful period I can remember in a long time. I love it!

Share Your World – April 17, 2017

When writing by hand do you prefer to use a pencil or pen?

I do everything on the keyboard. I have pens because sometimes, I have to sign something. Probably there’s a pencil somewhere in the house, but I have no idea where that might be. But we have almost everything here, so I’m sure we have one of them, too.

Honestly, I don’t remember the last time I wrote out more words than I needed for grocery list or birthday card. But I do sign things. There’s always something that needs a signature.

Would you rather be an amazing dancer or an amazing singer?

Amazing indeed if, at my age, I were suddenly to become a great dancer or singer. The amazing would be that it happened. At all.

I used to have a pleasant voice, but damaged my vocal chords many years ago. I wouldn’t  mind being able to sing a little, but amazing? I don’t think so. And, to be fair, that was never on one of my “lists” of things I wanted to do or be. I did want to be a great pianist and I tried. Didn’t quite make it, but I tried hard.

Not since my post-toddler days have I yearned to be a dancer. That dream ended before it got started. Too much like work!

If you were on a debate team, what subject would you relish debating?

Once upon a time, I could have written a list of thing I would like to debate. Once upon a time, long, long ago. Because I think I have completed all the arguments about anything that mattered. I’ve battled for health care, women’s rights, equality, tolerance … and against war. During the 1960s, we all got together and tried to change the world. I’m pretty sure that what we really accomplished was making blue denim jeans and sport shoes really hot clothing. Otherwise, the world is as appallingly terrible as ever, except worse.

So I’m not debating with anyone about anything. I’ll sign petitions, call my congressperson, and post articles that I think will help those who have a mind for facts. Otherwise? If you are happy about the state of the world? Go away. Do not annoy me with your stupidity.

What are you a “natural” at doing?

Writing about things that happen and are true, but little or no aptitude for fiction. And certain kinds of photography.

I could always write. I don’t remember a time in this life when I couldn’t say it better on paper–  or these days, a monitor.

As for photography, I have a good eye for landscapes and casual portraits. Other things, not so much … but I keep trying and I am getting better at some of them. I don’t work terribly hard at photography. These days, I don’t work terribly hard. On anything.



Sam "The Man" Adams ... in bronze, life-size

Sam “The Man” Adams … in bronze, life-size. He commanded the crazy Massachusetts regiment in America’s Revolutionary War

Coarse rocks on the edge of Phoenix mountains

Coarse rocks on the edge of Phoenix mountains

Perfectly gibbous moon

Perfectly gibbous moon

New leaves

Incrementally new leaves

On Beacon Hill, old, indelible stone buildings

On Beacon Hill, old, indelible stone buildings. Photo: Garry Armstrong

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