May 30, 2010

Bikes are back

I Love Strangers-An interesting blog

I keep my eyes open when I'm on the net just in case I run into something I think is unique and interesting. I think I found one this morning. It's called 'I love (with a red heart in place of the word love) strangers. The blogger talks to, and reports on one stranger a day. Co-incidentally and sadly I discovered the blog when he writes he is going to stop posting. But he has a year of strangers and that's good. Take a look.

May 27, 2010

Beware of Great Grandparents

I became a great grandfather this week. No, not an amazingly good grandfather, but an official 'great grandfather'. A designation reached when your grandchild becomes a parent. My grandchild and her child have such a long life ahead of them. I envy them. On this journey I wish them both well. On my life's journey it's another story.

I am reminded of the quote by Bette Davis who said old age is not for sissies. That is really true. It is indeed an adventure. Part of the adventure I believe is going on in my head. I digress, a little. I love the electronic gadgetry and have availed myself to many of the goodies. One of the gadgets is the digital camera. It seems in my case that I can't retain all the little instructions that I once knew fairly well. I haven't used my digital camera for a long time and in fact gave it to my wife because she loves snapping things in the garden to put on Facebook. One of her ways of staying in touch with our kids and their kids.

Well we dropped into the hospital to see our new great grandchild and grandma took her camera with her. It was not functioning the way it should so, (a mistake by grandma), she handed it to me to see what might be wrong.

I snapped off a couple shots and nothing much happened. Grandma suggests turning on the flash, I did. Nothing happened. Grandma and Grandpa are puzzled. We're exchanging looks of what the devil is wrong with this thing.

All of the sudden a lightbulb appears over her head. Grandma makes a discovery..the switch is set on record. It is making a little movie and we're recording videos of the floor, with very interesting dialog about what do we think the reasons are for not working properly.

Epilogue and what did we learn from this experience: Never rely on a great grandparent to be your official photographer for any event.

Watch the new great grandparents go through their ineptness and listen for the very kind chuckle from the new mother at the goings on.

By the way the baby is beautiful. Good job Alex.

video

May 22, 2010





Brassaï (Gyula Halász) 1899-1984, French


Brassai is regarded as the photographer whose pictures form the basis upon which many non-Parisians' ideas about Paris are formed.

This certainly applies to me. I have no desire to travel anymore, and I regret that Paris is the one city I would have liked to visit. Yes it has always been a mecca for painters and photographers, and it is that Paris, the postcard Paris, that I am familiar with.

Brassai's best known work consists of night scenes of "the City of Lights" in the 1930s, including photographs of the architecture; people in cafes and bars; workers who kept the city going after dark; clochoards who lived under the bridges; and performers, artists, and writers of the period.

Born Gyula Halász in the (now Rumanian) town of Brasso (whence his adopted name) at the turn of the century, Brassai's original ambition was to paint . He studied art in Hungary and Germany as a youth, finally coming to Paris in 1924 as a journalist. As a small child he had accompanied his father to that city and stayed for a year. The city left a lasting impression which became a powerful interest upon his return. Brassai became fascinated with the nightlife he saw around him, both on the streets and in public gathering places. He claimed that the images he saw haunted him; recording them became something of an obsession. Although he was a skilful painter, he found the medium too time consuming and lacking immediacy.

During this time he befriended a fellow expatriate, André Kertesz, who finally convinced Brassai to try his hand at photography. For the first six years of his life in Paris Brassai had avoided photography, considering the medium to be too mechanical and impersonal. His opinion changed quickly when he saw the results of his first efforts to record Paris after dark. He immersed himself in his new-found pastime and in 1933 produced a book of night pictures entitled Paris de Nuit, which met with critical acclaim.

Brassai's wanderings around the cafes and bars of Paris brought him into contact with many of the artists and writers living in the city during that period. He established lifelong ties with Picasso, Giacometti, Sartre, Henry Miller, and many others.

Many of Brassai's pictures of the city of Paris were used in magazines; others remained unseen and unpublished until later in his career. These pictures depict in a non-judgmental and keenly observed fashion the prostitutes, opium addicts, lovers (both homosexual and heterosexual), street hoodlums, performers, and night time revellers of pre-war Paris.

Brassai's reputation as a photographer had reached the United States by the mid-thirties, and some of his work was included in an exhibition entitled Photography: 1839-1937 at the Museum of Modern Art. Brassai continued to document Parisian life and make environmental portraits of his fellow artists until the outbreak of World War II. Unrestricted photography in occupied France being all but impossible, Brassai turned to his earlier discipline of drawing. At the end of the war a selection of these drawings was published. Brassai then returned to his camera and at the same time began work on a novel, Histoire de Marie, which was published with an introduction by Henry Miller in 1948. Three years later a collection of Brassai's photographs was published under the title Camera in Paris.
In the 1950s Brassai turned his camera on the graffiti he found in his wanderings through the city streets; he also travelled and photographed in various parts of France and Spain. He continued to work in other media, making drawings, paintings, and sculpture. His friendship with Picasso resulted in a highly acclaimed book on the artist and his contemporaries, Conversations avec Picasso, published in 1964.

Info Brassai (Gyula-Halász) 1899-1984 Start technique heliogravure

Ode to Joy, a touch of class?

May 21, 2010

Monet vs. Manet

I wanted to thank the source of this piece. But I think they went out of business, but their piece lingers on. I enjoyed reading it and must cast my vote for Manet's work. Why do I like him better? Who knows.

Claude Monet and Edourad Manet (pronounced like Edward without the “d” at the end) were French impressionist painters in the 19th century. Monet painted a ton of landscapes and scenes while Manet did a lot of work with people as the main subjects. The whole French Impressionist movement is named after a painting by Monet called “Impression, Sunrise.” Most of the paintings in the movement have lots of brush strokes, gobs of paint, and not much worrying about lines in favor of utilizing lots of light and color.

Monet didn’t rip off other artists as many of his contemporaries did, preferring to paint what he saw with his own two eyes. He spent a couple years in Algeria fighting as part of the Calvary before his aunt sprung him from service. Upon returning home, Monet painted his future-wife along with outdoor scenes and started garnering some acclaim. Problem is, acclaim and 50 cents will get you a cup of coffee on the corner, so Monet jumped in to the Seine river in 1868 to try and kill himself because he was broke and couldn’t support his girlfriend and their new baby. Eventually, he swam to shore, toweled off, and got back to painting. He traveled to England and Amsterdam a bit, got married, had another kid, and settled in Giverny. After a few years, Monet was banking enough cash to buy his own house and some land. He married again after his first wife died and traveled some more around Europe. Monet lived a long happy life painting landscapes and water lilies on a farm surrounded by his loving family and big potato sacks full of cash* before dying of lung cancer at age 86. In 2004, one of his painting sold for 20 million smackers.

*(He probably didn’t have big sacks of cash, but he did have some money finally and didn’t die a pauper like lots of artists.)

On the other hand, Manet used a lot more lines in his paintings then other Impressionist painters and preferred painting in a studio to being outdoors. He was born in to money and used it to set up his own exhibits when more traditional studios and exhibitors rejected his works. At the same time, he worked to get his paintings in to the Paris Salon, which was kind of a big deal. His painting “Olympia” got everyone all up in a tizzy because the main subject is presumably a courtesan, which is a fancy way of saying “high class hooker”. She’s laying on a bed nude with lots of “come hither” accents (orchid in the hair, bouquet of flowers, black cat on the bed). I was under the impression that Paris in 1863 was probably a pretty sexually liberated place, but whatever. Manet also painted war scenes which made the government angry. In fact, he has a slew of paintings that he was not permitted to display because they didn’t paint the French military and government in a great light. Manet married a piano teacher, which is rather uninteresting until you consider she was also sleeping with his Dad. They didn’t get married til Manet’s Dad passed away and their 11 year old son could have easily been either Manet or his Dad’s child. That said, it probably doesn’t matter in hindsight because the kid’s surname was going to be “Manet” either way. Manet had a much more colorful demise than Monet as he suffered through syphilis, rheumatism, and ganggrene before passing away at the age of 51. One of his paintings also fetched 20 million dollars in 2000, which no doubt pleased his great-grandchildren.

So…

Monet: outdoor scenes, tried to kill himself, married twice, two kids from the first woman, retired to Giverny and finally made some loot in his later days.

Manet: indoor scenes and people, war scenes, shared a girlfriend with his dad, died of some nasty stuff at a relatively early age.

The Difference Between Monet and Manet
By Colin Dowling

This topic was suggested by Kevin Leneway when he came with the idea for a site like BitLesson, so I thought it only fair to start with it. Let’s get going…

____________________

Monet vs. Manet

Claude Monet and Edourad Manet (pronounced like Edward without the “d” at the end) were French impressionist painters in the 19th century. Monet painted a ton of landscapes and scenes while Manet did a lot of work with people as the main subjects. The whole French Impressionist movement is named after a painting by Monet called “Impression, Sunrise.” Most of the paintings in the movement have lots of brush strokes, gobs of paint, and not much worrying about lines in favor of utilizing lots of light and color.

Monet didn’t rip off other artists as many of his contemporaries did, preferring to paint what he saw with his own two eyes. He spent a couple years in Algeria fighting as part of the Calvary before his aunt sprung him from service. Upon returning home, Monet painted his future-wife along with outdoor scenes and started garnering some acclaim. Problem is, acclaim and 50 cents will get you a cup of coffee on the corner, so Monet jumped in to the Seine river in 1868 to try and kill himself because he was broke and couldn’t support his girlfriend and their new baby. Eventually, he swam to shore, toweled off, and got back to painting. He traveled to England and Amsterdam a bit, got married, had another kid, and settled in Giverny. After a few years, Monet was banking enough cash to buy his own house and some land. He married again after his first wife died and traveled some more around Europe. Monet lived a long happy life painting landscapes and water lilies on a farm surrounded by his loving family and big potato sacks full of cash* before dying of lung cancer at age 86. In 2004, one of his painting sold for 20 million smackers.

*(He probably didn’t have big sacks of cash, but he did have some money finally and didn’t die a pauper like lots of artists.)

On the other hand, Manet used a lot more lines in his paintings then other Impressionist painters and preferred painting in a studio to being outdoors. He was born in to money and used it to set up his own exhibits when more traditional studios and exhibitors rejected his works. At the same time, he worked to get his paintings in to the Paris Salon, which was kind of a big deal. His painting “Olympia” got everyone all up in a tizzy because the main subject is presumably a courtesan, which is a fancy way of saying “high class hooker”. She’s laying on a bed nude with lots of “come hither” accents (orchid in the hair, bouquet of flowers, black cat on the bed). I was under the impression that Paris in 1863 was probably a pretty sexually liberated place, but whatever. Manet also painted war scenes which made the government angry. In fact, he has a slew of paintings that he was not permitted to display because they didn’t paint the French military and government in a great light. Manet married a piano teacher, which is rather uninteresting until you consider she was also sleeping with his Dad. They didn’t get married til Manet’s Dad passed away and their 11 year old son could have easily been either Manet or his Dad’s child. That said, it probably doesn’t matter in hindsight because the kid’s surname was going to be “Manet” either way. Manet had a much more colorful demise than Monet as he suffered through syphilis, rheumatism, and ganggrene before passing away at the age of 51. One of his paintings also fetched 20 million dollars in 2000, which no doubt pleased his great-grandchildren.

So…

Monet: outdoor scenes, tried to kill himself, married twice, two kids from the first woman, retired to Giverny and finally made some loot in his later days.

Manet: indoor scenes and people, war scenes, shared a girlfriend with his dad, died of some nasty stuff at a relatively early age.

Monet’s “Impression, Sunrise”

Manet’s “Olympia”

Young Doodlers, Doodle away.

Vote for the best of the doodlers until May 25th on google's homepage. Lots of talent and deep thoughts for very young people. This was created by a nine year old. Enjoy the doodles.

May 18, 2010

A Couple from the New Yorker


Nursing Home Fears Updated

I posted this three years ago and it crossed my mind again. See this latest information I checked on today. We may of course depending on our health going south and the impossiblity of caring for ourselves end up there, but most of us won't.

I just wanted to post this one more time. Us older folks, just as younger people center our thoughts on issues which do or might happen to us. Well if you read what I am saying below, then carry it on to the next conclusion, it means that 94 percent of us will never set foot in a nursing home, rest home, whatever you want to call it, and I think that is the best way to think about it. Think about it, then forget it, you and I are probably part of the 94 percent.

**************************************************************************

As we age, you and I, one of the things uppermost on our minds is the likelihood that we will probably end our days in a nursing home. It’s one of those things we dread, but statistics tell us that only a small percentage of us will have to endure that fate. Here is what I have found out.

There are approximately 18,000 nursing homes in the United States, two-thirds of which are operated for profit, with 55% owned by large nursing home chains. There are about 1.7 million nursing home beds in the United States. This represents less than 6% of the total number of Americans over the age of 65. It suggests that the vast majority of elderly will most likely spend their final years in their community residence.

May 17, 2010



To see more of the photographers work go here.

May 15, 2010

Landing a Jet onto a pitching deck, Oh Lordy.

I'm watching a repeat of the series CARRIER, on HULU.

May 11, 2010

The Boys of Summer and WWII



Bob Feller is featured fairly predominately in this film. My son and I have 'met' him a couple times. He is, and always was a straight talking guy who is now in his nineties. I heard him talking to the Indians broadcasters just the other day and he seems as sharp as ever.

May 10, 2010

"Are you sure you mean me? My name is spelled K... I..."...



Now I am going to take five seconds of serious time to thank Ivan Shreve Jr, who is a very good blogger and does a good job everyday, and teaches the rest of us how it is done with his blog Thrilling Days Of Yesterday.

According to the rules, I am sworn to do the following:

* You must thank the person who has given you the award.
* Copy the award logo and place it on your blog.
* Link the person who has nominated you for the award.
* Name 7 things about yourself that people might find interesting.
* Nominate 7 other Kreativ Bloggers.
* Post links to the 7 blogs you nominate.
* Leave a comment on each of the blogs to let them know they have been nominated

Seven things that you people out there may find interesting about me? Well now me telling you a few things that were exciting to me won't make me any less sappy than I am but here goes:

First, I may be in the older league of bloggers (73 in July). Born in 1937, which makes me a member of the Pre-Boomers, the notoriously silent generation. Do you really want to get me started?

Second, While in the military and flying as a passenger from Japan to Taiwan over the China Sea, the two engine airplane became a one engine airplane and the aircrew made us ready to bailout. I knew if I didn't die from the crackup, I would drown trying to get into one of those little rubber rafts. Scared? I think I was too young to know the peril I was in. Being young had some value. Of course the airplane kept going on one engine.

3) Celebrities I spotted on the street in Washington and New York city were David Brinkley and James Mason, both taller than I thought. They politely smiled.

4) Remember Jimmy Piersall the baseball player who had a mental problem while he was still playing? I saw him play at the old Griffith park in Washington where you could sit in the front row any day because nobody every went to the ball games. We yelled a word or two of encouragement, and he told us to go F--- ourselves. Nice guy.

5) Saw John Kennedy at arms length.

6) I may be one of the last 50 fans of the Cleveland Indians remaining this season.

7) I'd better stop, I'm getting older and every second counts.

Nominate (7) seven other Kreativ Bloggers.

The Classic TV History Blog


The Comics Curmudgon








Self-Styled Siren

Scouting New York

Book Patrol

Slightly Exaggerated

Verse Daily

A Moveable Feast

"If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, then wherever you go for the rest of your life, it stays with you, for Paris is a moveable feast."

A.E. Hotchner, a friend of Ernest Hemingway made this remark to Hemingway during his first visit to Paris. It is also the name of the book published after Hemingway's death in 1960.

I believe everyone has a location that they believe is their own movable feast. A place where you experience sights and events that remain with you and are remembered as signposts throughout your life.

Mine was Washington D.C. where my wife and I started our married life together. It encompassed the camelot years of the Kennedys and ended a decade later when we left disheartened.


A birthday present idea

Got any kids on your birthday list that you want to buy a present for? Kid, heck sake, any age guy who likes baseball might like one of these. Boys just get bigger, but remain boys. These two items I found at the Smithsonian gift shop. Take a look.


May 9, 2010

A Glimpse of the Future?

Send them all home.


I saw in today's news where Senator Bennett of Utah was defeated in his states Republican primary, supposedly ramrodded by the Tea Party advocates. Wow, that is quite an achievement. I have thought for a time now that this would be a good time to re-activate the old Gray Panthers party. There are certainly enough gray heads registered to vote that might certainly be able to advocate for senior issues. A little pressure on sitting politicians can't hurt.

I have thought that the party system is not working well, an understatement. The two political parties seem to press for issues that are good for the party and not necessarily the country. The current U.S. senate is composed of only two independents, Lieberman of Conn. and Sanders of Vt. It doesn't take much of a long view to believe that electing a person who is not beholding to any political party, but only to what he believes is good for the country is the way to go.

Perhaps while we are restructuring the congress we might also think seriously of term limits. Now look at what one victory by the Tea Party has done, we're, or at least I, am thinking that the unthinkable might just be possible, representatives that we elected that are accountable to the people who elected them. Dream on.

May 1, 2010

I am so proud, I am a cruciverbalist

I am very proud. My wife and I just learned we were designated for membership in a very nonexclusive club that has members world-wide.

We are now cruciverbalists and have been for many many years without us knowing it. One of the rules of the club is you have to learn how to spell the word. But once you do, just think how proud you will be.

Oh did I mention what a cruciverbalist is? It is a person who designs or someone who participates in the working of crossword puzzles.

What that's you say, puzzles and their workers are common as grass and almost as plentiful? Rubbish I say, save your neigh saying for someone else.

God, how we sometimes speak

More than once I have opened my big trap and trotted out some criticism about conjugation of a word. The one that really gets me is this: I SEE YOU, I SAW YOU, I HAVE SEEN YOU.

I had not heard it in a while, and then while listening to a podcast with two men expounding on a subject for one complete hour, man A opens his mouth and out comes the sentence, I seen Joe..... My God that's like fingernails on a chalkboard to me.

Now today a week later, I ran across this from a blog of a year ago. Someone else must have a sensitive spot for the mangling of the language. No, please don't start about elitism or some such cop out. It just sounds terrible and makes the talker seem less educated than he/she is. Don't get defensive, just change.