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


I was standing next to the bed. Blinking. Rapidly. Garry looked at me. I must have appeared to be in pain or something because he said: “Are you okay?”


“Yes,” I said, blinking and frowning. “I was putting the gunk on my rash? So after that, I washed my hands. I must not have washed them enough, because I think I touched my eyes and now my eyes are burning. I suppose I got some of the gunk in my eyes.”

By then, I was trying to rub my eyes with the back of my wrists since apparently my fingers were not nearly clean enough.

Garry started to laugh. Then I started to laugh. We both kept laughing.

“One thing always leads to another,” I cackled.

He went back to watching the movie. I found the eye drops. Everything is hilarious. Of course, I suppose it could all be tragic and dramatic.

It’s a matter of perspective.


Last night, watching Star Trek: Next Generation, Geordi La Forge (Levar Burton) disobeyed a direct order given by Captain Stewart, er, I mean, Jean-Luc Picard. Although he survived his misadventure — barely, I might add — Picard told Geordi that regretfully, he was going to have to “put this incident on your permanent record!”

Oh my god! His permanent record. Even in Star Fleet, you cannot escape your permanent record. It’s four hundred years in the future and they still have that record.

Back in our golden olden days, the thing that was held over our heads — the Sword of Damocles — was that our bad behavior would go on our permanent record. From elementary school through our working years, we were warned our permanent record would follow us. Marks against us might even (gasp!) prevent us from getting into college  in which case we knew we might as well die on the spot. If you didn’t go to college, you would never have a decent job or a life worth living. I knew it in the marrow of my bones. Didn’t you?


The Permanent Record is (was) (will be) like a rock. Unchanging. No matter what we do with our lives, everyone can find out about our misdeeds, even those from Kindergarten. Kind of like Wikileaks for every living human being. What an appalling thought!

All anyone anywhere needs to do is check the record. They’ll know I sassed my eleventh grade social studies teacher (he deserved worse) in May 1962. That Garry ran over his allotted time while reporting a news event in Boston and was not even repentant when confronted with his foul deed! Every evil we have done through our life will be revealed.

So, here’s the deal.

Now and forever, every one of us has a permanent record in which all our misbehavior is cataloged. I know because I’ve been told. I’m not sure who has custody of these records, however. As far as I can tell, everyone on the planet has one, so there must be a gigantic storage unit somewhere, where everything is filed. That’s hundreds of million of records to keep on file for eternity. Maybe trillions, zillions or gazillions.


I expect when we die, if there actually are Pearly Gates and an immortal gatekeeper who decides if we may or may not enter, he or she will be clutching a copy of our permanent record in one angelic hand.

That’s right. You talked back to your teacher in fifth grade, cut biology class in high school. Told a professor the dog ate your final paper in college. Now, you won’t go to Heaven.

Sorry pal. Your permanent record finally caught up with you.



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.


The Changing Seasons: October 2016

Hosted by Cardinal Guzman, this is a monthly challenge which shows the places we live and to which we travel — throughout the year and through all seasons. Locally, October is the unchallenged best photographic month. If you live in New England and you own a camera, October is when you feel you should be out there shooting, no matter what else is on your schedule. And basically, that’s what we have done. More than 2,000 pictures. Obviously, many (most?) remain to be processed … but these are some of the best.


Garry and I take more pictures in October than we do in any other six month period. Those of us who live in New England feel a compulsion to shoot as much as we can while Autumn is in town. The foliage doesn’t last long.

The pictures in this gallery were all taken on either 4 October or 7 October 2016.

This year, autumn has raced by. The first color appeared in the trees during the first week of October and peaked this week. Now, in many areas, the leaves are falling. Trees will soon be bare.

This bunch of pictures were all taken two days ago, 18 October 2016 at River Bend Farm, part of the Blackstone Valley Historic Corridor park system.

We’ve been out shooting every other day since the first week of the month and we were out today. I think by next week, we will be past the peak of the foliage and heading for the bronze and bare trees of November and the winter that follows.

This final group, taken today 20 October 2016 by the Blackstone River and Canal. You can see the difference of color from just a couple of days ago.

With Garry and I shooting together and so many pictures, I hope you’ll forgive the “mix and match” of our photographs. I’ve indicated who took which shots in the caption.

What’s this «Changing Seasons» blogging challenge?

«The Changing Seasons 2016» is a blogging challenge with two versions: the original (V1) which is purely photographic and the new version (V2) where you can allow yourself to be more artistic and post a painting, a recipe, a digital manipulation, or simply just one photo that you think represents the month. Anyone with a blog can join this challenge and it’ll run throughout 2017.
It doesn’t matter if you couldn’t join the first month(s), late-comers are welcomed.
These are the rules, but they’re not written in stone – you can always improvise, mix & match to suit your own liking:

These are the rules for Version 1 (The Changing Seasons V1):

  • Tag your posts with #MonthlyPhotoChallenge and #TheChangingSeasons
  • Each month, post 5-20 photos in a gallery.
  • Don’t use photos from your archive. Only new shots.

These are the rules for Version 2 (The Changing Seasons V2):

  • Tag your posts with #MonthlyPhotoChallenge and #TheChangingSeasons
  • Each month, post one photo (recipe, painting, drawing, whatever) that represents your interpretation of the month.
  • Don’t use archive stuff. Only new material!



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


There’s a story here. Maybe more than one, but it’s  yours to tell. Consider the possibilities.


A football, simply lying on the grass. No one nearby, no one claiming it.


And … who is this woman? Is she connected to that ball? Or a casual passerby?



Perhaps it was simply a beautiful autumn day in the park. Coincidence? Or something else?