Cee’s Odd Ball Photo Challenge: 2016 Week 42

We don’t use the room very often anymore. It’s just the two of us and sitting formally at the big table seems a bit of overkill for our dinners. It has become, by default, my museum. It has a lot of dolls. Art. Collectibles. The interesting odds and ends that I’ve bought, found, or been given through the years. These are a few. Please forgive the dust!


Tweedledum & Tweedledee … my favorite salt and pepper shakers. They make me laugh every time I look at them.


Rice and half an oven. We eat a lot of rice. A bit of ginger in the foreground. You’re right. This is the kitchen, but I liked the picture.

One old English china plate. Three very old Chinese porcelain astrological figures, and one old Chinese porcelain ginger jar.

One old English china plate. Three very old Chinese porcelain astrological figures, and one old Chinese porcelain ginger jar.

Tableau ... the top shelf in the small dining room armoire

Tableau … the top shelf in the small dining room armoire. I am nothing if not eclectic.



Black & White Sunday: Couple(s) – From Paula at LOST IN TRANSLATION


Humans are not the only creatures who hook up in couples. Many birds do it. I don’t know if bees do it. I think not. But wolves do … and apparently, so do cockroaches. Don’t complain to me. I’m not the one who did the research!




It’s configuration central here and has been for a couple of days, though I hope to actual finish today and be able to move on to those other things awaiting my attention. I can hear the little voices of my undone tasks yapping in my ear. It’s like the whine of mosquitoes. I slap at them, but they keep coming back.

It’s not only the computer that is sucking up my time. It’s this stupid, horrible election. So much of my attention has been taken away from the stuff I really should be doing, I’m not getting stuff done, not like I need to. I can’t WAIT for this election to be done and over. I want my brain back.


Meanwhile, I got my computer. I actually got it a week ago and it was not supposed to show up until the second week in November. Maybe they ought to have waited and sent everything at the same time, but as it is, it didn’t come with the software I ordered — or the peripherals I need. I ordered the computer and software from Dell. Yes, I know. The worst customer service on the planet … but some of the best computers. It’s like having your sister marry a man you really loathe, but they are a package deal.

One of the big changes in this new generation of computers is they mostly don’t come with DVD reader/writers, so you need an external if you are going to install software from physical media. I ordered the external DVD player/writer from Amazon. It’s the same one Dell sells, but $25 less with free shipping and 2-day turnaround. Also picked up a nice zippy 1 TB external drive and a cool mouse that scrolls side-to-side as well as up-and-down. Amazing how prices have dropped on some of this stuff.

Yesterday, the peripherals arrived, so today, I hunkered down and decided to make this computer function.

I installed Photoshop and Bridge. I finished moving files from backup hard drives to the new computer (which has two hard drives, a 1 TB 7200 rpm mechanical drive, plus a 256 GB solid state drive. Everything defaults to the C: drive — which is the 256 GB SSD — so I had to do some configuring. Not going to let that huge, D: drive sit idly by. I put all the photographs and documents there — and the Adobe stuff. I’ll leave the SSD for booting and other applications. Like OpenOffice and Audible Manager.


All things considered, this has gone well. Smoothly. Photoshop and Bridge installed without so much as a whimper of protest, as did all the Topaz and NIK filters. The DVD external worked fine. The back up drives passed the data to this computer without a problem as fast as their little virtual brains could do it.

Nonetheless, it took a long time and I’m not done yet.

It reminded me of watching (I think it was ) NCIS the other night. Some fiend was copying a gazillion terabytes of data to destroy American via the Internet. Not only was this evil genius able to hack the U.S. government’s most secret servers (which I don’t find hard to believe), but they could transfer this massive amount of data in a mere few minutes. Wow. That I can’t believe.

With my brand new 3.0 USB Western Digital external drive hooked up to my not-all-that slow older Alienware computer (it’s got a core Intel i7 board in it), I’ve been backing up the documents library. It contains 177 GB of data and about 55,000 files. The file count includes a lot of hidden, system files, illustrations inside books and so on. Many of them are tiny. Nonetheless, this transfer from a fast computer to the latest greatest external hard drive has already taken more than an hour and looks very likely to take one more.


How do they do it so FAST on television? They can transfer the contents of an entire super computer to a flash drive in less than a minute. And where did they get that flash drive? None of mine work that well. I’ve never seen one even close to that large or fast … and NEVER an error message. Nary a glitch. Amazing!

I’m SO envious! While I’m envying fictional TV crime series technology, can I (please, pretty please) have that battery that will run my laptop for a week without having to plug it in? Meanwhile, I’m still waiting for the backup on the other computer to finish. Maybe tomorrow?


It has been a glorious month of shining. Autumn in this part of North America, glows. Trees appear to be lit from within. Sometimes a simple ride down the road to pick something up from the grocery store makes your breath stop for a moment and your heart beat faster.


Heart-stopping, breathtaking beauty and we live right in the middle of it. It is a gift that keeps on giving.

I participate in WordPress' Weekly Photo Challenge 2016

I participate in WordPress’ Weekly Photo Challenge 2016


The following anecdote is not rigged by the crooked media — or the straight media.

I was exiting our local supermarket and noticed a young lad, maybe 10 or 11-years old staring at me. I know that look. Maybe you have to be a person of color to recognize that look.


72-garry-at-river-bend-ma-10172016_03To me, given my particular history, it means one of two things. Someone thinks they recognize me and they probably do, because I used to be someone. Or they are wondering what this dark-skinned guy is doing here.

In this case, I knew he couldn’t have seen me on TV because I retired before he was born. So, living as he does in our fair (and very white) town, probably he had never seen a real, live not white person.

Finally, I seized the awkward moment. I smiled, said: “Hi, How are you doing? Isn’t this a beautiful day?”

The lad beamed at me.

I am personally on the road to making America great again. Trust me.


Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge: It’s All About Nature

This challenge strikes at the heart of the kind of photography I most enjoy doing. Landscapes, and when I have the chance, any animals or birds that come within range of my camera. And for which I have the wit to actually press the shutter and not stand there boggling at whatever creature has come my way.

Dramatic clouds over the Blackstone Canal

Dramatic clouds over the Blackstone Canal

These pictures of the black-crowned night heron (who was kind enough to pose for me while we were in Connecticut) are not only the first pictures I’ve ever gotten of this bird, it’s the first time I’ve ever actually seen this particular bird. Kind of a double whammy for me.

And last — definitely not least — autumn woods. Not a picture I would usually try in black and white, but it was a challenge so I gave it my best shot. Had to increase structure, contrast … and more. I sort of like it. It’s hard to do autumn in monochrome when its primary feature is color.


Cee's Black & White Photo Challenge Badge