Getting The Shot

lb photoshop

My brief outside time, Saturday, was spent at the beach with Peter and Nancy. I shot surfers and flowers–all shots taken before.

I like this coastline image, also taken before. It’s looking north toward Twin Points (h/t Google for knowing everything) from Thalia Street.

I used Photoshop to bring out more detail than today’s haze allowed. Cheating? You make the call.

There’s a technique I’ve recently started using. It uses layer masks which allows me to paint in detail or contrast or nearly any mathematically quantifiable parameter.

There’s a tiny contrast lift everywhere, but a larger boost to the headlands. There I did some sharpening and level adjustment.

I could have enhanced the waves crashing against the rocks, but even I draw the line!

No Santa Catalina today. The perfect day at the shore doesn’t come often enough. There’s always haze or some obstruction to visibility.

For the true nerds, it’s F/8.0 1/2500 ISO500 using a 300mm lens.

lb1

lb2

The Relapse

thalia-street-looking-north

A few days ago I posted how my ill health had abated and how surprised I was at that.

Surprise.

It had only gone underground temporarily. My blogging radio silence is testament to its tenacity.

Please don’t misunderstand–I’ve been sicker. But this was the total package. How can every bone, joint and muscle in your body ache all at once? How can you weaken so much in just a day or two?

This came at a terrible time. My friend Peter and his girlfriend Nancy were visiting. I saw them yesterday and today, but for a limited period of time.

We went to Thalia Street Beach in Laguna this afternoon. I walked the stairs up and down to the beach and was done! We said goodbye. I went back to bed.

This early evening I’m feeling better. Hopefully it lasts into tomorrow when a few friends come by.

I think curing the common cold would make for a great Kickstarter project. I’d pledge to make it happen.

Taxes

orange_county_sealWe got a piece of real first class mail from the bank that holds our mortgage a few days ago. They wanted us to know we were a few grand past due on our real estate taxes.

Say what?

Yesterday they followed up with a phone call. You know they were serious, the CSR was here in the states.

It’s all true. The Foxes who’ve never once had a credit ding of any type (because I am not allowed to handle money) were 90+ days behind on our property taxes.

You’ve got to follow this closely, because it makes no sense. The tax collector doesn’t change the address for tax bills at the time a property is sold. It happens all at once, once every year.

I called the tax collector’s office in Santa Ana to straighten things out.

“Parcel number, please?”

The woman on the other end of the phone couldn’t use my address to find it. I was instructed to call the tax assessor’s office.

Back to the tax collector, now with the parcel number. Everything was explained. We’re good now.

I’m looking at the original pages that came in the mail. They’re marked up with names, numbers and notes. The arrows I’ve drawn since high school, maybe earlier, are scattered on the page. This could pass for 1968 Geoff down to the doodles.

The check, including the next property tax installment, is in the mail. It was suggested, if I requested the county would offer clemency on any penalties or interest. This must happen a lot.

Dust In The Wind(ows)

IMAG0891-w1400-h1400If you want to see how the East Coast and West Coast differ, just look down. In Connecticut the ground was covered in green. Here in the OC it’s mostly brown.

Little grows without irrigation. Sprinkler heads outnumber people.

Every construction site has large, state mandated signs about dust abatement. It’s a big problem. Precautions are taken, but they’re only partially effective.

Ten months after moving in our windows are dirty. Our screens are worse.  I don’t want to think about what my lungs are filtering.

With out-of-town guests this weekend it seemed like the right time to get the windows cleaned.

As I discovered today we have 27 windows. That’s a lot for a 1,900 square foot home, but it makes the place light and airy.  They’re all double glazed, energy efficient.

A crew of three with ladders and squeegees went to work around noon. They’re gone now. What a difference.

There’s still construction in the area. More dust to come. For now we’re spotless.

My Achy Breaky Everything

image

It’s 8:39 and I’m in bed.  Bad sign.  My throat has that “here comes a cold” feeling.  I’m achy.   I’ve got a headache. I’m weak.

Every cold is different,  but this one is arriving with both barrels blazing.

We have friends arriving from the east,  Friday.  I need my strength in a hurry.

How is it possible the common cold has not been cured?  I know so little I forget whether it’s a cold or fever you starve!

Dinner With Jessie’s Family

How did this happen? My mother and father come from New York City. My sister and brother-in-law come from New York City. Not any more. Milwaukee! Helaine, Stef and I flew in for Melissa’s shower and also to spend time with the family. These are my niece Jessie and her husband Evan’s kids, Judah and […]

-read more-

Melissa’s Baby Shower

I like photography. My niece, Melissa, asked me to photograph her baby shower. I was thrilled. It’s no small honor. I’m not a lighting guy. I own very little lighting gear. All I brought was a strobe. On top was a piece of Ikea plastic shelf liner. It scatters light everywhere and removes shadows. Cheap […]

-read more-

Bad Weather In The East

Bad weather in the east is often felt nationwide when you’re flying.  We’re at Sky Harbor Airport in Phoenix.  The monitors are showing lots of delays.  Stef’s flight to LAX and ours to SNA are included. John Wayne Airport is a special case.  At 11:00 PM the runway turns into a pumpkin (10:00 PM for […]

-read more-

The Long Trip Home

I just checked the GPS in my tablet.  Our 737 is climbing through 23,000 feet at 430 mph ground speed.  We’ve just poked through the clouds into the late afternoon sky.  Our heading is 273 degrees.  That won’t last long.  We’re headed to Phoenix. It was a late departure.  We left the gate, pulled a […]

-read more-

Waiting At MKE

Helaine and I flew to Milwaukee this morning.  We’re still at the airport waiting for Stef.  Too much time.   My mind wanders. It’s a cheese based economy!  That’s the takeaway from the newsstands.  You can buy ornamental faux cheese!  They’ve got footballs,  ties and even a top hat. They also sell a lot of Aaron […]

-read more-