My Diary
My Diary

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May 1, 2001     (Tuesday)

Another interesting day. Mining diamonds is hard work.

This is supposed to be a very crucial time in my life. I'm supposed to make choices and/or decisions that will directly affect my fortunes, and the results of these choices will come to fruition later in the month. All I see around me now is chaos. Any ideas I might have are nebulous at best. I'm stressing out! That's what astrology does for me!

It's May Day, the day that the seventeen remaining Communists outside of China demonstrate and get clubbed by police. Four more days until Cinco de Mayo.

Sustaining revolutions is hard work.

As I looked down I could see the water below me, dark and foreboding, yet beckoning me to walk down the cold, broken steps to the river's edge, to let myself be swallowed up and covered over by the cool, filthy water, to be quelled, to be annihilated. . .
"Another Destination"

May 2, 2001     (Wednesday)

A long day, but not interesting. Wrestling alligators is hard work. Swamp? Drain? Oh, that's right. . .

I started to write a tirade against people breaking the law without a second thought and about people being so self-absorbed that they don't even consider others in the course of their daily activities. Then I thought better of it. Why bother. The people, who seem to be a large majority, don't care what I think. They'll do what they will, and most likely get away with whatever and if I go too fast or miss seeing a stop sign, I'll get another ticket, so I go about my life being a good little boy, being taken advantage of, cheated, inconvenienced, and irritated on a daily basis by assholes who don't care what's right, only what they can get away with. I'm starting to understand the mental processes of Ted Kazinsky and the kids who shoot up schools. It's not that they're anti-social. It's that they're fed up with bullies and jerks getting away with the things they've been taught are wrong all their lives. Something needs to be done in this society to get people back on the track of caring for each other, and not just the almighty dollar. Gee, I guess the tirade just changed clothes. . .

To anyone who's tried to send me e-mail over the past few days: I probably didn't get it. There is some sort of problem with my mail server. I'll be switched over to a different, newer, faster one within a couple of days, but my mail will be unreliable until then.

This is a strange little purple iris I found planted along a sidewalk off Kanawha Boulevard
"Singled Out For Attention"

May 3, 2001     (Thursday)

This evening I attended the reception/silent auction that opened up the West Virginia International Film Festival. The speaker at the reception was Soupy Sales! I used to love his show when I was a kid. I got to see a lot of people I haven't seen in quite some time. I met the new prosecuting attorney. It was a pretty good time.

I've been too busy this week to take too many pictures. I did manage to get a couple of nice shots of some of the downtown buildings from different vantage points, however.

I like taking things through iterations, permutations, various manipulations. I recently painted an acrylic piece on canvas. I then took a photograph of it, using the shadows from a tree to add further interest to it.

Hey babe, take a walk on the wild side.
"Random Walk"

I scanned the photograph in and manipulated the resultant image in one of my paint/photo-editing programs. Here are two of the results.

Hey now, hey how!If it keeps on rainin' levy's gonna break. . .

May 4, 2001     (Friday)

A long walk by the river.  Seems so long ago. . .

Cinco de Mayo, 2001     (Saturday)

My mind has been a swirling mass of concerns and ideas. It becomes deliterious to my daily activities at times. I ran three red lights in one day simply because I was thinking too far ahead and trying to keep too many threads of thought going at the same time. I've made a concerted effort to quit that, as you might imagine.

A lot of yard work today. I also took out the back gate and section of fence between the gate and the trees so I could pull the car onto the paved patio instead of parking it on the street. That's both a good and a bad idea. It assures me of a place to park, but it also gives a little clearer indication as to when there's no one at home here to the scum that floats by on the streets here every day. Another thing, too is that the opening isn't quite large enough to simply swing the car into the lot. I need to take out another five or six feet of fence and that's going to involve digging a post hole, sawing the pipe into and excavating and resetting the end post. I'll also have to pave about 12-15 square feet at the edge of the existing pavement. I'm already committed though. Not much I can do to avoid it now. . .

Another in my series of license plates-bumperstickers-etc.

I wanna see THIS farm!

May 6, 2001     (Sunday)

I drove up to my mom's house today. It's about 75 miles north of here and about 700 feet higher in elevation. Things have changed. The hills and mountains don't seem as steep as they used to. The town has gotten more run down. The bigger stores outside the town limits have sucked away all the business (what there was of it) from the local proprietors. It's the Wal-martization of America. I used to be very angry at it, but the inevitability of it now just makes me sad.

I keep thinking back to a cartoon I saw in Playboy years ago. . .

Was there a person in the original?  I don't remember.

May 7, 2001     (Monday)

I've had less and less time to put up much here lately. When I'm not off traipsing around the town and countryside with my director, someone else needs the computer for "urgent" tasks, most of which are urgent because they were put off until the last minute. I suppose I did the same thing when I was in school, too.

I got a roll of film processed today. Some nice pictures. I'll try to scan those the next time the computer is free when I'm here.

May 8, 2001     (Tuesday)

No Entry Today

May 9, 2001     (Wednesday)

A note to my dear readers: If you make a comment about a specific entry, please mention the day as the comments are dated when you make them, not the date of the entry where you clicked on the button. It makes me scratch my head sometimes to try to figure out what the hell someone is talking about. Some I never do. . .

Yesterday was an interesting day. By the time I got home my son needed to use the computer to work on an English project so I never got around to making an entry. I'll just combine two days worth of pictures and comments into this one.

This is the latest picture of me. My son Sean took this one in retaliation for taking prom pictures of him and his girlfriend. As soon as she signs the release, I'll put at least one prom picture up here. I usually don't wear a white shirt when taking photographs, but I thought this time it might work to reflect a little light, since the photos were going to be backlit. It worked, but you'll have to wait to see.

Portrait of the Photographer as an old fart.

Last Sunday, I went to my mom's house. I also went driving around the country, over one lane and dirt roads. I drove back to my childhood, to my Uncle Dick's and Aunt Maxine's old house way out in the country.

Country estate. . .

To get to this house, you have to go through this tunnel and down a dirt road for a couple of miles, crossing the creek by driving through it. It's not off a freeway exit.

Double barrel. . .

May 10, 2001     (Thursday)

My Pittsburgh Penguins are going to the Eastern Conference finals in the Stanley Cup playoffs. They beat The Buffalo Sabres tonight 3-2 in Overtime.

Go Pens!

Go Pens ! ! !

If you want to have a look at the Film Company I'm currently working for/with, it's Delaware Pictures. The director's name is Clyde Ware. He's done a lot of television work, plus movies and other projects.

I'm learning a lot about the movie business, and it's pretty much like anything else. It's who you know and watch your ass! I keep running into the Kanawha County Sheriff. Fortunately, we're on good terms! Today, my boss was on TV, my house was on TV, and I got my picture taken for some charitable cause during lunch. I guess it's been a media kind of day.

Aqualung, my friend, don't you start away uneasy.  You poor old sod, you see it's only me. . .
"Sitting on a park bench"

The person hiding behind the pile of shopping bags on the supermarket cart is Bill Dunn, a local 'character' that most people refer to as Aqualung because of his resemblance to the character on the cover of the Jethro Tull Album of the same name. He saw me pointing the camera his direction and ducked behind the debris. This is the person Nick Nolte studied for his role in Down and Out in Beverly Hills.

May 11, 2001     (Friday)

For a couple of years I pretty much boarded myself in my house and the only contact I had with people most of the time was via the computer or telephone. I'd occasionally have a visitor or make a trip to the "outside." I had just become so disappointed, bitter and angry with the world at large that I really didn't want to have anything to do with the people I was forced to encounter every day. I was so sick of the arrogance, ignorance, self-absorption, haste, gluttony, greed, avarice, and rudeness I encountered at a far higher rate than the virtues of kindness, consideration, magnanimity, and thoughtfulness.

I'm starting to feel that way again about the population in general, but now I realize that you can't run and you can't hide. The evil of the world will hunt you down no matter where you go, no matter what rock you crawl under. All any of us can do is try to deal with it in our own inimitable way. We have to chip away at the rock until it is sand, drag the silk handkerchief across the peak of the highest mountain until it is abraded into oblivion. It looks pretty hopeless at the outset, but if we think beyond our own lives and lifetimes it is conceivable and I think it can be done. We have to do what we can, all of us.

A lake next to my son-in-law's parents house in Evans, WV
"Reflections of the Way Things Used To Be"

May 12, 2001     (Saturday)


May 13, 2001     (Sunday)

To whom it may apply: Happy Mother's Day!

So many thoughts running through my head today, and I never got any of them down on paper, on the computer or on tape. Since I started keeping a microcassette in the car, I've recorded one thought: On seeing the carrion birds cleaning the highway of roadkill -- "It's a nasty job, but some birdy's got to do it."

All the daffodils are gone, except these few twelve-foot tall ones at the West end of the Lee Street Bridge.

Don't the trumpets look too small for the rest of the flowers?

A local sculptor named Jeff Fetty does these giant flowers.

May 14, 2001     (Monday)

Today I had lunch with someone I hadn't seen since 1964. The lady who rented us the office for the film company graduated from the same high school a year before I did. I had French class with her ex-husband. It's a small world.

I've picked out my next camera -- the Canon EOS Elan 7 or 7E. I looked at the EOS A2 and A2E as well, but I think I like the Elan better. I'd like to have an EOS 3 or an EOS 1, but I'm not sure I like the way they work. They're definitely fine cameras, though, and their prices reflect that fact. The Elan and A2 are right around $500, so I think that's ambitious enough for me right now, particularly since the lenses I want are $1600 and $1827 in addition to the camera body. Damn! If I get to the point where I can spend over $1000 for a camera body, I think I might look at Nikkon or Leica instead of the EOS 1 or 3.

"Legalized Prostitution?"

May 15, 2001     (Tuesday)

My recent experiences are solidifying certain attitudes I've acquired over the years. It seems very much to me that the more some people have the more they expect other people to do things for them for nothing. They seem to think that whatever status they have or think they have entitles them to take advantage of the circumstances and good nature of other people. One good example of this that I've previously encountered is the people who work as "guides" and "hosts" for AOL. They get free AOL access for their duties (a $21.95 a month value) but they're required to put in a minimum of eight hours a week of duty. Over a month, that's about 34-1/2 hours. Divide 34.5 by 21.95 and you get approximately $1.57 an hour. And what of the minimum wage law? The rich and privledged want to keep the rest of us under their thumbs, AND they want us to look up to them and they want us to feel honored to be taken advantage of by them. No thank you.

May 16, 2001     (Wednesday)

Another exhasperating day. I'm thinking seriously about getting out of the movie business. The only thing that keeps me in it is the fact that I need the money. Surely there's another way! I've got about one-third of what I need to get a new camera body. Probably less than one-fifth of what I need to get the camera, a flash and a better lens. And that's the semi-pro level camera. By the time this gig is over, I might have enough to get the camera, that is if nothing else comes up for me to have to use that money for. I guess I'd better play the lottery if I ever want anything beyond mediocre.

Yes, people live here now.
"Gettin' Ready to Meet the Saints"

May 17, 2001     (Thursday)

No Entry Today

May 18, 2001     (Friday)

No Entry Today

May 19, 2001     (Saturday)

I have a brand-new granddaughter, Hannah Jean Frontz. Right now she's in NICU (Neo-natal Intensive Care Unit). She had some difficulty being born and experienced upper respiratory distress. They say she's okay and that she's in the ICU as a precaution. I hope they're telling us the truth and not trying to cover their asses for some ommission or commission on their part.

The attending doctors are from the same group I left last year because I didn't think they knew what they were doing. I advised my daughter against picking them for her care, but she was familiar with them and liked the Gynecologist doing her residency there. I like her on a personal basis, too. I'm just not sure about the quality of the education she's had or the quality of the supervision she's having with this medical group.

This medical group started out with several good doctors on staff, and drew their residents from the West Virginia University College of Medicine. Now it seems that most of their residents come from the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine -- Osteopaths instead of MDs. You'll pardon my prejudice, but this seems to me like a lowering of standards. I wonder if the Osteopathic students are all they can attract because of the poor management or the group's growing bad reputation among the medical community.

Back to happier subjects. Little Hannah is a beautiful girl. She has long fingers (we're starting piano lessons as soon as she can sit up by herself) and toes. She arrived in this hostile environment at 10:13 AM EDT, Friday, May 18, 2001 (Hence the ommission of entries for the past two days), after nearly 14 hours of labor. We were up for over 32 hours straight. I haven't had a shower yet. Better keep your distance!

I might write more here later, but I'll probably go back to the hospital for a while then come home and crash again. . . after the hockey game that is.

May 20, 2001     (Sunday)

There are so many things to write about, so many things to get involved in. I wish there was more time, more energy, more than one of me! I suppose I could form an organization of people of like minds to watch for injustices and outrages and inform the public and take action to head off those sorts of things, but that would take lots of money and would have no revenue streams. Ironically enough, the things against which we'd be fighting are the sources of money we'd need to carry on the fight. In this day and age of forensic science, surveillance, and investigative techniques, Robin Hood would last about three days. So what do we do? Give in to the reactionary forces who want to take advantage of the vast majority of us to shift more and more wealth to the greedy? We dare not. But what then, of us who see the coming era of enslavement of mankind? What do we do to stave it off? Sometimes I feel so lost.

A couple weeks ago, while walking on the riverbank, I spotted these two birds sitting on some dead plants with the water in the background.

A couple engaged in those domestic things that all couples do, be they bird, feline, ursine or human.
"I'll Talke Out the Trash When I Finish My Bath, Dear"

Does anyone recogize the species? Here's a closer look of just the birds.

I feel like a peeping Tom.

I'm saving my money to buy a new camera. I think I've settled on the Canon EOS Elan 7 or 7e. I also seriously looked at the EOS A2 and A2e. They seem to be comparable on several levels, but for me the Elan seems to have a slight edge in that the remote switch is compatible with the camera I already have, so the accessory expenses would be less than with the A2. I'd also like to have an EOS Rebel 2000 instead of the Rebel X I already have. The Rebel X does something different than all the other EOS cameras. It winds the film forward to the last frame as soon as you insert a new roll of film, so the first frame you shoot is the last frame on the roll. I rather like this way of doing things, but since the other EOS cameras don't do that, it would tend to get a little confusing in a flurry of picture taking, switching cameras back and forth, trying to keep track of where you were on all rolls of film.

I have about 40% of the money I need for the new Elan 7. I'm down in my funds about $300 (or more) from not being paid back money I loaned out and from promised purchases and donations to support my web site. Actually, it's more like $700 if I take ALL promised purchases into consideration. That would be more than enough to get both cameras.

As you can probably tell, I'm really getting into this photography thing. I'd dearly love to take some classes, particularly in the care and feeding of cameras and the best use of the new electronic features of the modern 35mm cameras. I'd also like to learn some more about the marketing of my efforts. I'm sure there's a market out there for what I do. I just don't know how to tap into it.

I'd like to have the funds to get a real photographer's vest, too. Right now I'm using a fishing vest. It's light weight and cool and has plenty of pockets, but the velco-close pockets don't have any sides to the flap, and things can fall out far too easily.

The sun's out. Time for me to shower, shave, get dressed and head out to see what passes before my lenses. Ciao!

My grandgirl, Hannah, is out of the NICU. I got to hold her yesterday evening. Her mom gets to come home today. She has to stay in the hospital a while longer. She's on antibiotics and they have to finish those before letting her go. I can't get over how pink she is! I'll put pictures up here as soon as I get them.

May 21, 2001     (Monday)

Baby Hannah Jean went home today. I had the distinct privledge of providing her with her first car ride. I'm not used to this grandpappy stuff yet.

Another roll of film, another week of material for my diary pages.

I ain't lion. . .
"King of the Concrete Jungle"

May 22, 2001     (Tuesday)

Looks like they escaped. . .
"Exit Wound"

Quote du jour: "Women might be able to fake orgasms. But men can fake whole relationships." -- Jimmy Shubert

May 23, 2001     (Wednesday)

Went to scout locations today. We paid a visit to Campbell's Creek #5 Mine. I took a couple pictures. I'll try to put those up here soon. It was an interesting trip, if somewhat messy. The mines up there are vast. The planned extent of the mine is three miles into the hillside. There's another mine over this one. They have to coordinate their operations, down to the inch. Fascinating!

Quote of the day: "Your profession is not what brings home your paycheck. Your profession is what you were put on earth to do. With such passion and such intensity that it becomes spiritual in calling." -- Vincent van Gogh

May 24, 2001     (Thursday)

Today's Quote: "By doing just a little every day, I can gradually let the task completely overwhelm me." -- Ashleigh Brilliant

I have placed a new bit of my writing on the '23' page. It's accessible through the main page. Click on the big red 23 on the main page and go down the page until you find the link "Signs, Signs, Everywhere Signs" or click here. You'll have to click on the 'click me' link to return to the main page then the 'My Diary' link to get back here.

This is a bit of  abstraction, done by taking a photograph of the mud splashed on the quarter panel of a Cadillac and manipulating it with Corel Photopaint.
"Arc of the Driver"

May 25, 2001     (Friday)

I'm getting real tired of rain. Last spring it hardly rained at all, killing crops and grass, making forest fires a lot easier to start and a lot more difficult to quell. This year, the skies seem intent on making up for lost opportunity. It's rained every single day in May, and the forcast I got in my e-mail this morning indicates no change in store for the remainder of the month. While it's true that we need the rain, it's also true that we don't need it all at once. The flooding increases with each new inch of precipitation. The rivers are high. The lower walk along the Boulevard is undoubtedly covered with brown, hot-chocolate colored water. At least I'm working! and don't have to lament the loss of one of my favorite places to be quite as much as I would ordinarily.

If you've been paying attention, you'll have noticed I'm including a quote of the day in my diary entries. This was suggested by Diane McCoy, a regular reader. Thanks, Diane. It was an excellent idea.

Quote of the day: "In every country and every age, the priest has been hostile to Liberty." -- Thomas Jefferson

If anyone would like to send me quotes to be considered for use here, please feel free to do so. There are links to send me e-mail scattered about this web site, most notably wherever my name appears in larger than body text sized letters (the main page is a good place to look). Please don't send them as comments by clicking the button following every diary entry. That just causes me more work and won't make me happy. Don't annoy the crazy person.

Well, my movie career was short-lived. It cost me more than it made me and I've got a finer appreciation of the selfishness of a lot of the people involved in the business. Unfortunately, I didn't last long enough to make the money to buy my new camera body, so I'll probably have to wait another six months to a year. I'll try to pick up the balls I dropped in the interim so I don't lose any more money or clients. Damn!

The saga continues. . . My camera is now dead. I almost dropped it when I was changing film. I caught it, but in the process my finger went through the shutter, bending it. It's gone. Amost a hundred bucks to have it repaired and I can't take it to the shop until Tuesday and it'll take who knows how long to have it fixed. Double damn!

May 26, 2001     (Saturday)

I've revised my price schedule for photographic prints. I've never posted one here before, but the prices have changed. I was selling things too cheaply and I was barely making expenses on most of the prints. I've compared my prices to those of other photographers locally and on the web, and my prices are still below the average. If you'd like to order something send me an e-mail at

Photographic Print Price Schedule

All prints have borders unless otherwise specified. 
Price includes shipping. Mats are not provided.  
Prints shipped rolled in tubes,insured.

Size (maximum)                   Price
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~                  ~~~~~~~
 4 X  6........................ $  25.00
 6 X  8 ( 6 X  9).............. $  45.00
 8 X 10 ( 8 X 12).............. $  65.00
 9 X 12 ( 9 X 13-1/2).......... $  80.00
10 x 14 (10 X 15).............. $  90.00
11 X 14 (11 X 17).............. $ 100.00
12 X 16 (12 X 18).............. $ 120.00
14 X 20 (14 X 21).............. $ 155.00
15 X 18 (15 X 22-1/2).......... $ 175.00
18 X 24........................ $ 250.00
20 X 30........................ $ 300.00
30 X 40 (30 X 45).............. $ 375.00
32 X 40 (32 X 48).............. $ 450.00
36 X 48 (36 X 54).............. $ 550.00

All prints will be made from 35mm negatives and printed on archival paper. Prints will have a white border so that the prints may be matted (highly recommended). If you want me to choose the mat and have the print mounted, additional charges will apply. I can do standard sized mats or I can have the mats cut to fit standard frames, although I recommend custom framing. You get a much better looking presentation.

Prints will be cropped to best effect. Negatives are 2:3 sized (i.e., 1 to 1-1/2 ratio). Most standard frames are roughly 4:5. If you want to put the prints in a standard frame and maintain proper proportions, the photo will have to be cropped. Maximum sizes listed in the above table are based on the 2:3 ratio.

I'm sorry I had to increase prices and though they may seem high, they're really not. I don't expect any orders anyway, so why am I writing this? (Is my pessimism showing?)

I almost forgot. . . Today's Quote: "No matter where you go, there you are." -- Wavy Gravy

May 27, 2001     (Sunday)

I've been invited to a poetry slam. There's this sweet young lady who works at Rite Aid who I talk to about photography and various things. When I stopped in there yesterday to get a roll of film to take pictures of my son's high school graduation (with a little point-and-shoot camera, since my good camera is in the camera hospital), she invited me to a slam at a local coffee bar that I frequent. I agreed to come, gave her my card and asked if she could call to remind me. Then she told me I'd be expected to participate. I might just do that. She'll probably beat me out, along with several other younger poet-types.

I feel ashamed that I don't remember her name (I've been terrible with names lately). She reminds me of a young Maya Angelou. She's very pretty, personable, and bright. She seems to like me, too. I'm glad. I like having friends like that. I'm just hoping that if I read in the slam, that she's not as good a poet as Angelou!

Quote of the day: "Snow and adolescence are the only problems that disappear if you ignore them long enough." -- Earl Wilson

As noted above, my son graduated from high school last night. He attended an all-night party for graduating seniors and guests at the YMCA. I picked him up before seven this morning, dropped off his girlfriend, Ashley, and their friend, Sarah, and came back home and went back to bed. Sean is still in bed! (12:30 PM) Tomorrow he leaves for a week at Myrtle Beach, SC. After that, it's find a summer job and try to save some money for the move to California in the fall. I hope he does well.

May 28, 2001     (Monday)

Today is Memorial Day. Memorial Day is a secular holiday to honor the dead. I don't really imagine that the dead care much whether we honor them or not. The day is for the living: for the negligent to assuage their guilt for not having honored the departed during their lifetimes, for the irreligious to attain the feeling of closure that faith provides for the believers, and for all of us to focus our attentions on those we loved and honored who have gone beyond this earthly plane.

Quote of the Day: "My religion consists of a humble admiration of the illimitable superior spirit who reveals himself in the slight details we are able to perceive with our frail and feeble mind." -- Albert Einstein

I've decided to keep the quote of the day pertinent to the subject of the daily entry whenever possible. That way it will serve double duty. One, simply as a quote, and two, as emphasis for whatever it is I'm saying.

I have a roll of film ready to go to the processor, but I don't know if I can afford it right now. I'll have to wait and see how much of the money I have out comes back before the end of the week. I suppose I can find something in the way of a photo or other picture to put up here in the meantime.

This plant will be destroyed along with the house it sits beside, unless I can transplant it to another location before the wrecking crew comes.

Of course, since my camera is in the shop and I won't have the cash to buy a new one until the end of the week, I see all kinds of photographic opportunities. The light, sky and clouds the past two days have been incredible. The building I posted photos of on April first and second has never looked so lush and rich from a variety of angles. I discovered a great place to get photographs of coal barges and riverboats. The green is in full verdant intensity, and doesn't yet have the dulling effect of extended sunlight. The river is up considerably from where it normally is, and it's muddy, but occasionally some odd things float by. It's kind of neat the way birds will land on floating debris to see if there's anything edible.

Here in Charleston, every Memorial Day weekend, we have a three-day festival on the grounds of the Capitol. It's called the Vandalia Gathering. Vandalia was one of the names considered for the state when we broke away from Virginia during the Civil War. The festival is about traditional Appalachian heritage: music, storytelling, dancing, food. It's fun, even if you don't care for old time music and the like. It's always colorful and presents many an opportunity to take photographs. This year, I didn't go.

May 29, 2001     (Tuesday)

Quote of the Day: "Never try to teach a pig to sing. It wastes your time and annoys the pig." -- Robert Heinlein

The social contract is in tatters. The interresponsibility of society and its components has fallen apart. Business has surplanted government and religion as the greater entity to which we contribute and from which we derive our identity and mores. Folkways have given way to corporate culture. Customs have fallen victim to downsizing and restructuring. The only god we recognize is 'the bottom line.'

I'm not sure there ever was a basic assumption of trust, but it seems to me that back in the days of my childhood, that was the case. You trusted someone until they proved unworthy of that trust. You automatically respected a person and his property until that respect was dishonored. We've gone from that to an automatic distrust until trust is 'earned,' from openness to paranoia. I'm sure the Cold War and the Tylenol murders had something to do with the incubation of this new paradigm, but I'm not sure what the exact etiology of it really is. Maybe the advent of television and instantaneous communication and the widspread use of illegal drugs contributed as well. This subject might make a good thesis or dissertation topic.

May 30, 2001     (Wednesday)

The forecast called for morning rain tody, followed by scattered thunderstorms the rest of the week. Almost as if to taunt me, the sun has been out all day! Things aren't looking good for my getting the new camera and getting my other one repaired. As usually happens, my money has dissipated and the expected income I was depending on has not materialized. Once check mailed to me for a print has not shown up. The person who sent it, stopped payment and sent me another by Express Mail yesterday. Express mail costs $12.50 and is supposed to be there the next day. Well, guess what folks? Nada. There's an additional $37.50 spent to no good purpose. The Post Office ain't what it used to be.

Quote of the Day: "Letting a hundred flowers blossom and a hundred schools of thought contend is the policy for promoting the progress of the arts and the sciences and a flourishing socialist culture in our land. Different forms and styles in art should develop freely and different schools in science should contend freely. We think that it is harmful to the growth of art and science if administrative measures are used to impose one particular style of art or school of thought and to ban another. Questions of right and wrong in the arts and sciences should be settled through free discussion in artistic and scientific circles and through practical work in these fields. They should not be settled in summary fashion. " -- Mao Tse Tung, On the Correct Handling of Contradictions Among the People (February 27, 1957), 1st pocket ed., pp. 49-50.

May 31, 2001     (Thursday)

I got my new camera today. It's the one I was looking at, the Canon EOS Elan 7. Nice box! It's got so many features and it's fast and quiet and just lovely. I'm going to love using this camera. I didn't get a new lens. The body alone was over $500 with tax. I like our local pro shop. The camera came with a nice strap, so that saved me the $15 or so I'd have had to have spent (Wow! Past Pluperfect tense!) on one. Additionally, they gave me batteries for the thing and a free roll of professional film to try out. That was devious, though, rather like giving someone their first hit of crack cocaine for nothing. I saved about $30 that way. There's a $20 rebate offer going on now, too. I'm pleased. I've already taken my first photograph with the new camera -- a closeup shot of my shamrocks in bloom, and I haven't even finished reading the manual yet!

Quote of the Day: "Science has proof without any certainty. Creationists have certainty without any proof." -- Ashley Montague

I've been depressed a bit since last Friday when I left the movie business rather abruptly. My days are not filled. I'd hoped getting a new camera would help lift my spirits, but it's been overcast, threatening rain since around the time I picked up the camera, so I've not had much of an opportunity to do anything with it. I do have a flash on the new camera, so I could take some shots indoors, but I don't really have much I want to shoot in here right now. I just need something to do, something low stress but somewhat rewarding. Any ideas?

Here are some more ducks. I should have new photographs to scan tomorrow.

Just a couple of Mallards floating around on the Kanawha River.
"Dos Ducks"

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