Rapt attention

Saturday, October 22, 2022

Onward and farther...

Ken and I decided to take the morning off and shoot some pictures yesterday. Well, I took the morning off anyway, he is retired. Morning light was so pretty, even with a cheap phone in a moving car.

We met in Temecula and then drove up to San Jacinto in his car.

When we got to our turnoff on Davis Rd. a rooster crossed our path, always a favorable sign of celestial providence.

At least for me, having been born in the year of the cock.

We are currently in the year of the tiger but are moving into the year of the rabbit, surely a portent of extreme fecundity.

Time to stock up on birth control pills.

Leslie and I were at a Chinese restaurant recently in Temecula and we are officially so old now that our birth years are no longer represented on the placemats.

Was bound to happen after so many years of careful living.

I call the new phase the wizened medicare years, the time in your life when you might be able to afford a doctor, at least if you live in a blue state anyway.

I got my medicare card recently and I am ready to roll, have seen a cardiologist, g.p. and dermatologist my next move. Wasn't sure I would get to this point, going to roll with it.

Little more water up there after the recent rains, we drove to the Walker Ponds. I didn't see a lot of birds, didn't shoot a lot but the weather was perfect and we did get a nice hike in.

Photography for me is pretty much a solitary affair. I didn't even bring my good lens with us. I have traveled many thousands of miles with Ken taking pictures and we do well shooting together but give each other a lot of space and it always seems to work out.

Still I do my best work on my own, in my own zone. Yesterday I was not really feeling it and did not have the right tools for a serious effort. But that didn't get in the way of having a good time. But I did have the thought, without considering the irony of the statement, that it is literally harder to focus when you have company around.

We soon saw this lovely red shouldered hawk, its plumage a gorgeous shade of auburn. I don't shoot a lot of red shouldered but it is not for lack of trying or any personal animosity on my part.

They are truly spectacular.

I tend to capture quite a more looks at its larger red tailed buteo cousins.

I did see a vermilion flycatcher on our walk but not at a distance where I could get a good shot. Might be having some equipment problems, over 67k shots with this lens, it may be at its day's end.

And a large belted kingfisher. Couldn't quite grab it.

Lots of egrets of all sizes, no herons.

Saw a group of long billed curlews too, not frequent visitors.

Not sure if these are robins bob bob bobbin' along or not but will find out pretty soon I think. [Beth says yes.]

Very hard to have a bad day out in nature, with a good friend.


I was in the hotel in Palm Springs the other day and the room had a landscape photo on the wall with a large lens flare. Lens flare and a lot of noise and chromatic aberration.

I don't know how people allow this kind of work to get disseminated to the public but you see it all the time.

Especially in doctor's offices and hospitals. My theory is that a lot of doctors fancy themselves as photographers but suck at the technical part. And the nurses aren't going to tell them their work is not up to par. As you know, many doctors think they can do everything better than everyone else. 

Next time I am at the doctor's office at Scripps in Hillcrest I am going to to take some shots of pictures wwith CA flare that are so awful, but magnified in these giant photos, ungodly so.

Of course, now with iPhones, the word is that everybody is a professional photographer. When everybody is, nobody is. And I think photography is in a dreadful spot right now. AI is a scourge, breeding pictures with perfect focus and exposure, utilizing precision eye detection algorithms that results in boring pictures that all tend to look the same and usually say nothing.

I am pretty tired. I picked up a wonderful estate in Mission Hills this week, great San Diego paintings and more, will pick up the balance this week. Has me tuckered out, need to photograph and catalogue so much stuff, not just this estate. So far behind. I do not have the energy I once had and have to wait for the right day to kick it into gear at this point in my life.

The cardiologist changed my blood pressure meds and I have no zip left in the afternoon. Might have to change back. Have taken the amlodipine at night, we are taking the new pill in the morning and it makes a difference that might not be optimal.

Leslie had to go somewhere and asked me to take some groceries home the other day and then thought better of it. "I will take them myself." I'm like,"Why honey, I can take them home, I'm not incompetent. Give me a break." She finally assented. Long story short last night she is looking for the lettuce. Oops, I left a bag of groceries to wilt in the truck for two days. My bad. Not sure how I spaced. She is not real happy with me right now.

I came home and noticed quite a few acorn woodpeckers in the river valley. I had six on my washingtonia palm the other day. I have never seen anything like it.

Drove by a tree with many multiple woodpeckers this morning but had no energy to stop. Too lazy.

Driving in this morning a commercial came on the radio for a new virtual secretary.

This ai based virtual robot assistant is the newest thing, so much better than the old human model. I cracked up at their motto, "At Ruby's we build relationships."

And I thought, isn't that so twentyfirst century meets Phil Dick, and isn't that the greatest way to build a human relationship? First take the humans out of the equation. What could be more perfect than that? 

And today we find out that Sacheen Littlefeather ain't an Apache after all but a Mexican chick from Oxnard? Who knew? She was probably in my graduating class. Her sisters waited for her to die before they spilled. That was nice of them. They call them Pretendians. I blame the movie Billy Jack. Everybody wanted to be an Indian back then.

I was thinking about tattoos today. If you aren't comfortable in your own skin, you might as well color up a new one.


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