It’s Sunday And The Dog Is In A Bag


We had an “Open House” today. Our real estate agent came by with additional signs and balloons so anyone driving down our quiet cul-de-sac would know. Home shoppers were encouraged to just drop in.

The last thing a home buyers wants to see is the home owner! We get it.

The “Open House” was 1-3 PM. We needed to evacuate. First we needed to clean.

Helaine and I are grown-ups. The place doesn’t get that dirty. Still, there’s a different standard for potential buyers. We want to show the house in its best possible light. Buyers expect no less.

Where to go? We needed to kill at least two hours with Doppler in tow. And the weather sucked!

“Moderate drizzle,” I said to Helaine as we pulled into the lot at Ikea on Long Wharf.

Drizzle has to do with drop size, not intensity. The automated observer at Tweed/New Haven reported it as Light Rain/Fog/Mist.

Doppler is quite an amazing dog. She rode on Helaine’s lap in the car, then transitioned into her stylish camo bag. She was not thrilled putting all four paws in, but she didn’t fight it. She was a quiet and passive observer as we walked through the store.

In situations like this, Doppler makes herself as close to invisible as a white dog in an over-the-shoulder camo bag can be. Most people walk by without knowing she’s there. Really.

Our trip today is another part of the moving process. We get a chance to redecorate. At the moment we’re just looking–trying to define our combined taste. No buying yet.

It’s easy to kill a few hours at Ikea. We waited for the all clear before returning home.

We’ve lived 23 years in this house. If we could only bring it with us. That would make things so much easier. We’re going to miss this house.

Scenes From The Child’s Day

Part of Stef’s day was spent driving to Ikea in Burbank to pick up some set pieces. On her way she drove by Hollywood and Highland, site of this weekend’s Oscar telecast

The child is working in West Hollywood today. She is a production assistant on a pilot for a new cable reality show. It’s a few days work–a very good start.

Helaine and I are proud. She’s undoubtedly exhausted! Her call was 7:30 am. The talent’s call was 3:00 pm.

Production assistant means you’re a jack-of-all-trades. It’s what you do to see what you want to do next.

Part of Stef’s day was spent driving to Ikea in Burbank to pick up some set pieces. On her way she drove by Hollywood and Highland, site of this weekend’s Oscar telecast.

You just don’t get these photo ops in Hamden!

The Case Of The Ill Sized Mattes

This is some cruel Swedish trick, right Ikea?

With our freshly refurbed kitchen Helaine decided to get rid of some veggie art we’d had hanging for years. This was my opening. I had the four shots from this earlier blog entry blown up to 8×10″. Now all I need is a frame.

Tonight, with gorgeous weather, I took off after the 6:00 PM news and headed to Ikea. They have frames like it’s going out-of-style (Of course their fervent desire is it doesn’t go out-of-style, but that’s another story for another day).

In much the same way Dennys forces you to call thing by their strange names (“Moons Over My Hammy”), Ikea’s products are named in Swedish (I think).

The frames I like, with mattes, are called “Ribba.” The mattes are 8.25×10.75″. What kind of size is that? This is some cruel Swedish trick, right Ikea?

A matte that’s larger than the photo is worthless! I will go elsewhere. I have to go elsewhere. It’s a necessity thing, not anger–though I am perplexed.

Here’s my question. Why?

8×10″ is a standard size for photos. 8.5×11″ is a standard size for looseleaf notebook paper. Is there that large a market in framing midterm essays?

Again, my question. Why? Or, in the original Swedish–Varför?

Everyone’s At Ikea

“What do you do with your photos,” I’ve been asked? Considering I’ve taken around 25,000 shots with my Canon, it’s a reasonable question.

For a while, I did nothing. Then, this fall and again a few weeks ago, I had picture books made. I’ve also had some shots printed. I was well over 10,000 shots taken before that began.

I started with 5x7s and 8x10s. They seemed reasonably large. After all, a ‘regular’ photo print is 4×6 and 8×10 is four times larger than that!

Then I visited my friend Peter in Ventnor City, NJ.

Peter has a few immense prints on his wall and they look great. Some he took at the Jersey Shore. Other shots came from Hawaii.

I stood and stared and, quite honestly, was envious. They really did look great.

Today, I drove to Ikea in New Haven to find some frames, so I could hang my soon-to-arrive larger sized prints.

Ikea is a chain of large warehouse-like home furnishings stores. The home office is in Sweden, the stores are found worldwide and most of the merchandise is made in China.

The secret to Ikea’s success is very clean, simply styled, inexpensive stuff for your home or apartment. It’s mostly unassembled, so you can carry it home in your car. With Ikea, there’s no longer a need to have that brick and board bookshelf!

Though the store is a warehouse, it’s very inviting. Picture frames are hung. Fixtures are lit. Furniture is displayed in partitioned off home and apartment sized rooms.

I got off I-95, turned into the parking lot and gasped. It was Sunday afternoon at 4:00 PM and Ikea’s lot looked like the mall on the last shopping day before Christmas!

I may be a guy, but I do ask directions. I might still be wandering around if I hadn’t.

I was disappointed they didn’t have everything I wanted. All my frames are simple and black. I wanted more of the same.

I bought a few 16x20s and a 5-photo frame which displays 5x7s. I wanted some 12x16s and more 8×10 frames, but there were none to be found in black. I can go back or try them online.

On my way back I stopped at Michael’s to get a matte cut. One photo from my last batch was oddly sized.

I uploaded and ordered more prints tonight. I’m now ready to attack the two walls set aside as my gallery. It’s pretty exciting and a lot of fun.

And, on top of that, I hit Ikea and Michael’s in one afternoon! How many guys will admit to that?