What we don’t know might not always hurt us but it could definitely harm someone else.
Pardon me while I cough. A lot. Well, not that much, but if I’m indoors, it’s been a problem this week. Of course, my immediate concern was that I’d caught that dreaded virus and was going to die. More likely scenario: spring allergies, especially after Kat spent portions of the week cleaning, which means kicking up dust. Still, it’s been enough of a problem that I’ve taken to walking around the neighborhood for somewhat fresher air. When I’m outside, I don’t cough. Interesting, don’t you think? By the way, I’ve no other symptoms of anything so no, I’m not likely to die. Yet.
Given the need to spend all this time outdoors, and since the kids spent yet another week on my computers (resulting in a stubborn ‘m’ on my laptop), I thought it might be fun to see if I could construct this week’s post entirely from my phone. Jump to the end: Can I? Yes. Is it a good idea? Probably not. While it would work in a pinch, trying to do everything from my phone creates some unique challenges that I don’t have when working from the desktop or even the laptop (although, the laptop brings challenges of its own in terms of accessing images).
Perhaps the biggest challenge is one I should have seen coming. Those 108-megapixel images? Yeah, those create some significantly-sized images, even after cropping. In theory, I’m supposed to be able to upload images as large as 64 MB. The reality, however, is that neither my WiFi nor data stream wants to cooperate with that file size. Crashes every time. So, that means creating a small-sized file, an extra step that was less than intuitive. On the plus side, I’ve learned a lot of new things about using Lightroom on my phone this week.
Second, eye strain. Sure, I can do a lot on my phone, but the more detailed the work is, and this week’s images required some careful up-close attention, the more pressure it puts on one’s eyes. About 30 minutes of that at a time is all I can tolerate without risking a severe headache. Mind you, this is even with the larger screen of the Samsung S20 Ultra 5G. The size and resolution are great, but the long-term effect remains the same.
Third, writing copy just isn’t as efficient on the phone. I’ve had the phone three weeks now and it’s still learning my swiping patterns. I’m constantly having to go back and fix errors that I didn’t notice when I first posted something on social media, and, of course, there’s no “fixing” Twitter. I’m much more efficient at writing on a regular keyboard (when the m is working). 90-something words per minute efficient. I can almost type as fast as my brain can make mistakes. The final compromise was taking, editing, and uploading the images from my phone, but then assembling everything from my laptop while sipping on freshly ground coffee early in the morning before everyone else is awake. It works and I don’t have to turn on lights in the living room. Now, let’s look at this week’s menagerie of images.
No, they’re not green beans, though it amazes me how similar they look in the detailed photos. Those are wild onions that Tipper plucked from our yard this week. She “harvested” them thinking I could used them in seasoning a meal. In theory, I could. In reality, she probably wouldn’t eat the food if I did.
So there I am, walking through the neighborhood on one of the warmer afternoons, and I pass the creek that runs along the northern border. Since it was warm, I decided to see if the local ducks had returned yet (they have but they’re not feeling photogenic). I couldn’t help laughing a bit when I saw that a stop sign had somehow managed to make its way into the creek. If one stops at the sign, they’re going to have a problem! While taking the picture was easy enough, the editing challenge was to create a strong enough contrast to make it clear that the sign was under the water and not floating on top of it. I love how much fun this image is and it’s for sale if you have some discretionary funds to share.
Playing with double exposure is always fun but this isn’t a true double exposure. Rather, it’s the reflection caught in the glass as I’m taking a picture of the cat through the window. The feline in question is Gypsy the Wandering Vagrant, aka. Fat Guy. He was our first stray, having jumped into the floorboard of Kat’s car one evening to announce that we needed to feed and care for him now. He’s adapted to being an indoor cat, but he still looks out the window, longingly remembering the days when he could roam free.
I wish the reflection in this photo was more elegant, or perhaps nature driven. Solaris was sitting in the kitchen window, though, which overlooks the driveway. Thus, the reflection shows Kat’s car and the trash can. Solaris is another cat that enjoys watching out the window, but he’s never been outside. He’s not so much interested in nature as he was curious about what I was doing on the other side of the glass. Obviously, I was not entertaining enough as he watched for a while before eliciting a massive yawn that could have been a ground-shaking roar if only he were a couple-hundred pounds bigger.
Not all my time was spent outdoors. The first part of the week was a bit on the cool side, so I stayed inside. Coughing. I suppose coughing could be entertaining if it weren’t for the paranoia it induces. So, out of boredom, I took picture of a couple of bowls sitting in the sunlight on the counter. One is whole, the other has had its handle broken.
What’s worth noting, from a philosophical perspective, is that both bowls still hold the exact same amount of food. Being broken does not keep the second bowl from being useful. If anything, one might make the argument that the second bowl has more character, holds greater interest because of its unfortunate anomaly.
Yes, it’s a somewhat gratuitous platitude that I’m offering, but I’m sheltering at home with children. You’ll excuse me.
Anyone who watches those cooking shows scattered across cable and streaming media knows that when one chops vegetables they’re supposed to be relatively uniform in size/shape. Ask me if I care. Go ahead. This photo is proof that I don’t. When I’m cutting vegetables I have only one goal in mind: making them small enough for the children to consume without complaining. The children don’t care about aesthetic value. Neither do they notice the more delicate tones of flavor. It’s yellow. That’s all they notice. I may not win any culinary awards but at least they’re eating. You can click here to buy this print.
I never thought I would live in a time where having healthy food to eat would be as challenging as it has become. Yes, that is a massive point of privilege and I am well aware that millions of people, thousands right here in my own city, don’t have easy access to fresh fruits and vegetables. Now, more than ever, though, I am thankful that we can have the makings of this salad delivered weekly without having to go to the store. Warning: non-compensated plug coming up. Imperfect Foods has been our source for things like fruit, vegetables, meat substitutes, and occasionally some pantry items. They work with produce that doesn’t meet the aesthetic requirement for grocery shelves as well as overstock for dairy and other items. Their prices are not always cheap and the selection changes from week to week, but Tipper loves the small-sized apples and when food is chopped up before being used who cares what it looked like before? Plus, we save food from being tossed into some incinerator or garbage can somewhere. This is one habit we’re likely to continue once this stay-home order is lifted. You can click here to purchase a copy of this print.
Metaphor time. We give lemons a lot of grief, what with their being sour and all, and the standard trope is that we are to make something sweet and pleasurable of those sour moments in our lives. Yeah, good luck with that. Most of us will be at home, with children, until May at the very soonest. For kids here in Indiana, they’re home until school starts back in the fall (no idea how that’s going to look yet, either). While I’m sure there are some who love their little darlings so much that they’re thrilled to have them home, most of us are not in that boat. Our current situation is throwing a lot of unexpected and unanticipated challenges at us. Moreover, we’ll likely be dealing with various challenges off and on through the middle of 2021. So, my word to you is this: Life gives you lemons. Get used to it. The universe has cultivated a whole orchard. Click here to purchase a copy of this print.
The last image for this week as I wearily look across my laptop and wonder how there are crumbs on the keyboard when I haven’t eaten anything. Oh yeah, children. Don’t tell Tipper that she’s getting her own for her birthday. We gotta do something to ease up the pressure on electronics. It would help if Internet providers would open bandwidth a lot more so that we wouldn’t lose service quite as often, but since no one is likely going to pay their service provider this month I’m not expecting much change. Still, we’re privileged. We have service. We have devices. We have pets with whom we can carry on endless conversations. This situation we’re currently in could be a lot worse than it is. I mean, what if this cough isn’t allergies (it is)?
There will be another post this week because I am very much aware of how vulnerable artists are and I feel a need to more fully address that situation. Look for that one in the next day or two.
Until then, stay safe. Buy art.