Pogo Stick

Thursday, July 13th, 2023


Pogo Stick




My mom’s had it in her garage since we were little.




Before that, it was in someone else’s garage.




It goesβ€”











Akiva wants me to let you know that his record number of hops is 84 in a row.






said Ma, as she pointed to the sky!




Then the kids ran




mad circles in the grass,




mirroring the superhero’s gyre




as he flew above the yard.




When at last the man of steel




tumbled from the skyβ€”




the world as we imagined it was over.

Wall Window

Tuesday, July 11th, 2023

Recumbent Bike, Triangle, NY, USA

Sunday, July 9th, 2023

Dad’s recumbent bike is for sale.

I take photos for sales purposes.

This is where I learned to ride my bike!


























More wheels

Saturday, March 5th, 2022




Gramps (a.k.a. Dad) & Akiva unpack a box full of boxes of World War II tanks.




Not knowing that it is an unusual thing to ask my father, Akiva insists that he play.




My father does his best.

After much deliberation, Akiva picks out two tanks to take home with us.







Akiva takes out Dad’s old skateboard.





They go up the hill.




Everyone with wheels comes down more quickly than everyone without wheels.


There are so many. There is so little.

Wednesday, March 2nd, 2022

Mom took eleven boxes of toy vehicles out of the attic.




She brought one box down to the living room.




The glue on the box has deteriorated over several decades. Mom repairs it with glue, tape, and metal rivets.




But I don’t know if we will ever open this box again.




There are so many boxes. There is so little time.




Later, Mom takes a sewing machine from the basement.




She and Iris work on it together, fixing it up.




There are so many sewing machines. There is so little time.




Dad reads a history book to Akiva, one superhero at a time.




Akiva is fascinated by superheroes.

Later, he will want me to make up superhero stories for him like I used to make up monster stories.

But superheroes are complex.

It is the end of monster stories, but I never do make up too many superhero stories.




While I document the action, Dan makes pizza.

They cut the slices real big at the house in Syracuse, but my hands were too full of pizza to document that part.



Saturday, February 26th, 2022

Mom picked up a Sears Kenmore 148.15600 (Model 1560) sewing machine.

It was built in Japan by Soryu between 1976-1978. She fixed it up just fine.




Later, in Dan’s room, Iris works on a book with her uncle.




They discuss the storyline. Iris writes and illustrates.




They may not finish it.




Meanwhile, in the same room, Akiva works on a book with his uncle.




They share the work of drawing the pictures. Dan draws the robot, the monster, and some of the foregrounds.




Akiva draws the dragon and parts of the backgrounds. He also inks the drawings.




The book might not have an end.







Things That Come in Boxes (Visit to Syracuse)

Friday, February 25th, 2022

After a three and a half decades of waiting, it takes five boxes of tracks and one box full of slot cars to make a small loop with two working cars. Zoom! Zoom! Zoom! Zoom! Zoom! Akiva watches as they circumscribe the oval again and again. Dan has great patience.






Downstairs, Iris watches Gramma open boxes of jewels. Jewels and jewel boxes; precious stones and silver and gold; red coral and ivory. The excitement of exploring each box holds greater value than any of the contents.



Oakwood Cemetery, Syracuse NY, Evening Light

Tuesday, July 28th, 2020

(Parenthetical preface & continuing software/hardware rant: About 10 months after the horrific camera destroying incident, I finally have a new camera, a new computer, and a new photo processing program. Now out a good deal of time and money and eight months behind on my photoblog, I begin again. Enraptured by the evening light and my first foray out of the house with my new camera, I took over 500 photographs. Processing and culling them was agonizing, as is the continuing march through months and months of photos. Today is March 6, 2021.)



I. Grafitti Tomb

The setting sun shone through the western window of the mausoleum,

illuminating brilliant blocks of color sprayed on the interior.












II. The Pyramid

Beset with easy toe, finger and root holds,

this tomb is a favorite of local collegiate rock climbers and adventitious plants.












III. Spotlight

A break somewhere in the canopy of a nearby tree sends a spot of light shining on a stone.





Akiva is sad that Iris gets so much photographic attention.

I take many pictures of him, but no matter how hard he tries to look like a professional model,

he still looks like a cute little five-year-old-boy who is out past his bed time.






IV. Pedestal

I used over two rolls of film capturing the subtle dynamics between siblings sitting on this stone.

(Wait, who’s shooting film?)

Wordlessly, they held long conversations with their faces.

Choosing individual shots was as simple as choosing one’s favorite wild flower from a blooming meadow.














V. Two Portraits







VI. Cars on Graves

Iris is perfectly happy to pose here or there and look this way or that. She says it is easy: all she has to do is stay still.

Akiva simply cannot pose for me. He says it is too hard to stay still. I need to try harder to photograph him.






VII. The Painters

Dan was going painting at Oakwood with his friend Martha. He invited us to come along.












VIII. Circle Skirt

















IX. In the Stars







X. European Beech

Fagus sylvatica






XI. Circle Skirt Reprise















XII. Leaving

It was long past bed time.





(Parenthetical postscript: Holy Toledo, Lone Ranger! I’ve never posted so many photos at once! It’s sure expecting a lot of someone, thinking they might actually take the time to look at them all. But wasn’t the light just divine that evening? Wasn’t the light just divine?)



Visit to Syracuse (the camera saga)

Monday, July 27th, 2020



Today is not July 27th, 2020. Today is December 25th, 2020. It’s the tail end of Christmas day. The truth is, I rarely post my blogs on the day they are dated. The date you see is the day that the photos are taken, not the day that I write the post. I go through my photos, reconstruct a story from memory, back-date the blog post, then upload. So why am I telling you this, now? Why, after so many years?




Last spring, the children and I walked down to someplace on a close by river with Claudia’s family. I brought my camera and some water kefir. Unfortunately, the water kefirβ€” an acidic, sticky liquidβ€” exploded in the backpack & drenched my wonderful delightful beloved perfect awesome superb magnificent & all those other superlatives camera. Oh, crap. My $1,400 USD camera.




The camera worked intermittently for a while. First, the battery died quickly. Then the optical viewfinder was stuck on half-way useless. It worked long enough to me to order another camera, to be picked up at the end of summer in Syracuse. I bought the same camera. The software and some other aspects of it had been improved, which was nice. The price had also improved up to nearly $2000 USD, which I was not so terribly happy about, but the camera would make me happy, so I didn’t bother thinking about it. I’ve wasted as much money on foolish mistakes before. This would not be a foolish mistake.




I loved Lightroom. Did I tell you I loved Lightroom? I like to shoot RAW file format (unprocessed data) & do all the processing myself. It’s like being in the darkroom, only one is highly unlikely to receive chemical burns unless the computer explodes. So I bought the new camera. Unfortunately, I could not import the files into Lightroom. The old version of Lightroom that I own did not support the new camera. I would have to get the new version. The new version is the typical Adobe pay-per-month program. Even if I wanted to get the new version of Lightroom, I couldn’t get it unless I installed the newest browser on my Mac. However, both of my computers are from 2012 & are not compatible with the newest OSX browser. So in order to use my camera with Lightroom, I would have to buy a new computer. But my computers work just fine!




After bringing the camera home, I spent about a month trying to determine which development program would be best for my needs. I settled on ON1 Camera RAW, tho I can’t say I like it nearly as much as Lightroom. Nonetheless, I didn’t have to buy a new computer. However, I did have to clean up my old catalogue, organize a few thousand old photos and figure out a new way to catalogue and organize my new photos. To make a long story short, ON1 is really quite different than Lightroom.




After all that, I found that the program worked incredibly slowly on my computer. So I bought a speed-em-up, clean-em-out program to streamline all the garbage on my computer. Still slow. Finally, months later, I decided to use my relatively fast laptop for photography and my relatively slow desktop for everything else. I have yet to solve the problem of my need for another external monitor and a larger desk. I hardly know how to use the new program, which I find excessively large, disorganized, and slow. But, look! Almost exactly 5 months after taking the first photographs on my new camera, I have learned how to process & export them to post on my website for your viewing pleasure. I almost hate the program. I can’t even get a good consistent watermark across photos. I have to put a different watermark on each photo, depending on its orientation and output size. I haven’t got that square yet so you’re going to have to suffer with lousy watermarks this post. I’ve already spent two days trying to get me a good watermark. It’s just so non-intuitive. It’s un-intelligent. It almost makes me want to pay a couple hundred bucks per year for Lightroom and a few more thousand for a new computer. Which I would do, for certain, if I had nothing else I needed to do with money.