Tamping Down Optimism on a Friday Afternoon

Why am I feeling so optimistic?  It’s hard to say.  Dementia Joe is still in charge of the US military.  The southern border is still admitting millions of illegal aliens a year.  The Democrats are writing laws to remove the rest of our freedoms.  The cities are now awash with gangsters and sociopaths that rob, assault and kill people at will.  What the hell is there to be optimistic about?

I don’t know.  But I am.  Maybe it’s Ron DeSantis actually taking steps to resist the criminal actions of the Biden administration.  His resistance to the tyrannical COVID mandates and his efforts to prevent the dumping of illegal aliens in Florida are definitely enheartening.  Maybe it’s the acknowledgement by the Left that America is unhappy with the results of the Biden administration; the Afghan debacle, the border mess, the COVID nightmare and the stagflation that it has sparked.  Maybe it’s that Joe Biden is perceived by honest observers as at best, a man in the middle stages of dementia and very likely a puppet for others who are pulling the strings.  Maybe because the world looks beautiful to me today and I am surrounded by people I love and they are all well and relatively happy.  Maybe it’s just my natural ebullience.  But I am.  I’m optimistic.  So, what’s a professional gloom and doomer to do?

I guess I could just fake it and talk about the 2020 election catastrophe and how all hope is lost and “1984” and “A Brave New World” are already here and we should all jump off a cliff and blah, blah, blah.  But that bores me.  I think I am optimistic because our enemies have shown themselves to be vulnerable and despite their structural advantages in almost every institution, they are not convincing the bulk of the non-stupid that they know what they are doing.  And this seems to be giving me hope that if a stout resistance is raised against them actual results, winning results are entirely possible.  And since I see some signs of resistance this has fanned my hope into actual enthusiasm about the future.  I’m anxious to see if we can build on their losses and panic them into something really stupid.  Look at what’s going on in New York City.  The BLM psychos are fighting the COVID nazis over forcing people to have vaccine passports in order to go in restaurants.  So, if black patrons don’t have to show their papers how soon before white people start claiming they are black?  What are the waitresses going to do, demand birth certificates with race listed?  And how about school teachers balking at being vaccinated?  What happens if this triggers equal treatment under the law demonstrations by nurses and bus drivers and well, everybody else?  Just think of the wonderful consequences of the Democrat coalition at each other’s throats.  And how about the fact that illegal aliens are being allowed in with COVID.  Isn’t that a direct violation of the HHS guidelines?  There’s no quarantine, there’s no testing, just people with new variants being unleashed on the unsuspecting public.  Very important information for the public to consider.

So, yeah, disappointing to say, I’m feeling kind of upbeat.  But I promise to do my best to get depressed.  I’ll look at the headlines and realize how screwed up the world is and maybe watch a video with Chuck Todd or Rachel Maddow telling me that I’m on losing side of history.  Maybe I’ll contemplate how degraded my actual constitutional rights currently are.  But for now, life’s good and the Left appears to be back on their heels.  So, bring it!

28SEP2021 – OCF Update

Well, the visit was a wonderful time and the guest is winging his way back west.  Pardon my lack of output for the last week.  Family comes first.  That’s the law.

But now I’ll start doing my work again.  I intend to do a reasonable job looking at the former Eastern bloc countries for signs of a reasonable fall back if the Right fails us altogether here in America.  It seems insane to even think of that former prison camp as a haven of freedom but there are some indications that it’s true.  Here’s another interview Tucker Carlson did with Poland’s president.  Eastern Europe apparently hasn’t been overwhelmed by woke idiots yet.  Gives me hope.

It’s nice to see that the media is admitting that Biden’s job approval rating is tanking.  Confidentially I’m shocked they allowed the truth to peak through even a little.  But the thing I’m waiting for is when Sinema and Manchin see the light and discover that the shenanigans in the Reconciliation Bill, the illegal alien amnesty and the other atrocities, are just good old American horse sense after all.  And after that I expect to see Demntia Joe’s job approval numbers to sky rocket like a winter COVID spike.

And speaking of COVID it looks like Florida’s Delta spike has returned to baseline.  Congratulations to Gov. DeSantis for hanging tough while the press and the Biden administration slandered him.  Hopefully it will be an example for the rest of the red state governors going forward.

One thing I realized this week is that just because we live in a tyranny doesn’t mean we should just stop enjoying life.  At the very least we need to be coming up with work arounds to enjoy our lives despite the road blocks the Left throws at us.

 

photog’s Technophobia

So, as I’ve alluded to recently, I’ve been playing host to one of my descendants recently and whenever he visits, he’s always shocked by how little progress I’ve made technologically since his last visit and in a spirit of charity he tries to modernize my approach to various everyday life circumstances.

For instance, he reminded me pointedly that my camera, the Sony A7 III, still had the original firmware version.  But there were currently versions above revision 4.  And he stressed the fact that one of those revisions included a major upgrade to eye autofocus and tracking autofocus capability.  And since he is painfully aware of my legendary laziness, he begged me to actually perform the upgrade while he was watching, which I did.

Later when he attempted to run a YouTube video on the tv through a DVD player that had wi-fi, he was dismayed at the terrible bandwidth and asked if I had any other alternative devices.  I explained that a year ago I bought a Roku device but it seemed as if I would need to pay for a monthly subscription so in my annoyance at being sucked in, I threw it into my tech scrap heap and forgot all about it.  He assured me that the credit card registration was a harmless feint and I would not be charged for free applications like YouTube and other movie channels that had free services.  He then dug it out, installed it and suddenly my wide screen tv became a new world of high-definition nature shows that he favors.

And the other day he asked me about my photo workflow.  I use Capture One software to post-process my files and I had mentioned that the loading and backup time was becoming unmanageably long.  So, we went through the system and identified that one of my settings had been accidentally changed and I was loading all my files to one folder that was now horrifyingly large.

I attempted to remedy the situation.  I did successfully change the setting and now am no longer making the problem worse.  Score one for me!  But I then attempted to break the catalog into smaller pieces to speed up the processing time.  That didn’t work out so well.  Capture One has several categories of files.  There are catalogs and sessions and folders and even other things that I’m not really sure I understand at all.  I spent several hours chopping up the giant folder into my existing file system.  Then I tried to point the thumbnail renderings to the new file system and that was a total failure.  It wouldn’t locate the files for the thumbnails to work as needed, a crushing blow.  An alternative would be to manually point the thumbnails to the individual files one by one.  But since there are tens of thousands of files, I might not live long enough to accomplish this.  Plan B is to spend several hours combining all the files back into one folder the way they were before I started changing it and then move the thumbnails and files together into separate folders.  It’s sad to know just how inept I am with the software tools I work with.  But an honest man must swallow the hard truth and try to do better.  I have vowed, with Peter Thiel as my witness, that I will get my tech house in order.  I will give a DAM (that’s digital image management) and get my millions of photo files under control.  I will learn how to make my own plug-ins for my website.  And I will spend the time to find the appropriate (and cheap) software I need to optimize my other digital occupations like fiction writing.

Of course, I won’t start today.  We’re having a big get together and I have to help Camera Girl with the set-up and general chores.  But soon!  And from now on!  The world will see a new photog!

Did that sound convincing?

Autumnal Mood

Sony A7 III, Sony 35mm F\1.4

The first day of fall in 2021 is on Wednesday, September 22 at 3.21pm EDT.  Fall is the dying season.  You see it in the leaves changing color and falling to the ground.  You hear it in the desperate chirping of the crickets as they cling to warmth under stones and leaf mold.  You can smell it in the air as the dying leaves begin to decay.  And you can feel it in your head as the air begins to cool and dry out.  And for the old folks you can feel it in your old bones as cold begins to tighten your muscles and tendons.

There will be many beautiful days in September, October and November.  But summer is over and it will impact the way I feel and what I do.  Many people love fall best.  I can understand that.  Many detest the heat of summer.  Especially those living in the deep south.  For them the end of summer is a release from brutal heat and humidity.  But even in southern New England fall is just a prelude from the equally brutal reality of snow and cold.

But the good thing about Autumn is the longer nights.  For someone who spends a lot of time writing, the darkness is the right time to write.  The quiet and darkness of night isn’t interrupted by distracting sights and sounds.  In summer I am often tempted to drop what I’m working on and go out into the world and luxuriate in the heat and light and color and smell of the flowers.  So that’s the bad thing about Autumn.  For a photographer there is the fall foliage and that’s about it.  The butterflies and the dragonflies and the hummingbirds are gone.  In fact, most of the birds disappear.  Hopefully I might see some turkeys but mostly all I’ll hear is the wind and the water.

To compensate we get together with friends and family to celebrate another year and compare notes on children, grandchildren and milestones.  Hopefully we are mostly over the lockdown nonsense.  I would hate to think we have to spend another holiday season in isolation.  That would be a crime.

So, the change of season finds me subdued but not depressed.  There are some hopeful signs out in the political world.  Even the fake news admits that Biden’s job approval rating is underwater and bound to go lower.  A few men have shown some backbone, DeSantis and Abbott.  The mood on the real Right is quietly defiant.  We know we’re in a bad place but at least we aren’t being led by traitors and idiots.  We see what is going on around us with dismay but we are waiting to see if anyone will step forward and do something meaningful.  I’d say we’re being realistic.

Okay, enough gloom and doom.  On the bright side Camera Girl will be cooking and baking splendiferous foods.  Cakes and pies, soups and stews, roasts and sausages.  Everything that makes eating fun.  And of course, classic horror movies to celebrate Halloween.  So, bring it on, bring it on, bring it on.  Autumn here we come.

What’s a Twentieth Century American to Do? – Part 1

A few days ago, I was having a political discussion with someone on our side of the cultural divide.  I said something like, “If none of the red state leaders does anything to resist the unconstitutional changes being made then we might as well leave and go somewhere else.”  His answer was that maybe we might leave out of protest or anger but we wouldn’t be going someplace where we would have more freedom than we have, even in this diminished America.  And that got me thinking, “Is that true?”

Our complaint with what is going on is that we are being cheated out of the freedoms that were the defining qualities of this country.  If we cannot have those freedoms here, where can we have them?  If the answer is nowhere else then leaving would just be a matter of protest.  So, this needs to be determined in order to know what is the reasonable course of action.

Knowing the fellow that I was talking to; I think he was specifically talking about the 2nd amendment.  But I thought about all the things that are considered freedom in America.  And that is a complicated calculation because some of the most cherished freedoms, freedom of religion, freedom of speech, the right to bear arms; are exactly the things that are under assault by the Left.  But there are other advantages in this country that we might want to consider freedom.  I remember during the Second World War the US government sponsored Norman Rockwell to produce public service ads that highlighted some of the American virtues that we all benefitted from, such as, the freedom from want, and the freedom from fear.  As diminished as some of those things have become it is definitely important to look at what trade offs would exist if an American were thinking of leaving here.  After all, as unequal as some of the enforcement of laws has been in the last few years it bears remembering just how non-existent justice tends to be in most of the world outside of the first world.  Imagine demanding your rights from the police in Mexico or the Philippines.

So that is the first part of what this post, or these posts are about.  But contingent on the answer to whether there is a freer place to go, there is a second question.  If there is no better place to go then the next important topic is how can we maximize our freedom while living in this post-freedom America.  And surely, I’ve talked about this a million times already but I want to look at it from a different perspective.  It’s a new idea I’ve had.  I have started calling it the “American Archipelago.”  The concept is that we can look at all of our separate lives spread across the length and breadth of this continent as islands of freedom in a sea of darkness that is Woke America.  We can walk in freedom on our own tiny preserve and we can visit each other in real life or in digital space and step from island to island and travel over this sea of darkness without being drowned in it.  All we have to do is perfect our seamanship to avoid being drowned.  I like the metaphor and plan to use it in a story I’m thinking about.

But for now, I’ll think a little bit about the answer to the question.  Is post-freedom America still the freest place on Earth?

18SEP2021 – OCF Update

Yesterday’s visit has thrown me completely off schedule.  I just finished off a week’s worth of quotes and photos but I haven’t put together a single post in over a day.  Well, a happy get together of friends is always a positive so I’ll have to do my best to catch up as best I can.

I heard some reports on just how awful parts of New York City had become.  One particularly disturbing aspect is the prevalence of mentally disturbed homeless men.  This has made certain areas of Manhattan no-go zones for women and the infirm.  Another report that was interesting is a trend by gang members to perform daytime reconnaissance of likely robbery targets and then perform a coordinated attack at night on several locations simultaneously thus overloading an already degraded police response.  In one of these attacks a victim refused to hand over his expensive watch and was shot for his trouble.  The police have stopped reporting a lot of the robbery.  It’s too prevalent to note.  They’re concentrating on the assaults and killings.

There was a spirited discussion about the outcome of the anti-police campaign going on in the cities.  Someone noted that even though the cities have changed course and are attempting to fill the vacancies in their police departments, candidates are not forthcoming.  Apparently it’s just not worth the risk of being prosecuted by an ungrateful city government for doing their jobs.

I said that regardless of any individual failings of police officers the attacks on law and order were an existential threat to our society.  I stated my opinion that the police should walk away from these places all together.  I said that complete lawlessness should be fostered in these places for as long as it takes for the people who voted for all this to get all the anarchy they could possibly want and then some.  I finished by saying I fervently hope that my home town burns more or less to the ground.  That will be the only thing that teaches these people what their philosophy truly stands for.

Then we stopped for a very satisfying meal of spaghetti puttanesca and assorted cold sandwiches.  After that we discussed the relative merits of various Humphrey Bogart movies.  Yesterday I was partial to, “To Have and Have Not.”  Others disagreed and sided with “The Big Sleep” or “The Maltese Falcon.”  So we put on the “Big Sleep” and  marveled at just how many pretty girls Bogey had throwing themselves at him.  Carmen, Mrs. Rutledge, the librarian, the bookstore girl, the cabbie, the hat check girls.  Looking at Bogey it seemed incomprehensible.  But life is not always sensible.  For instance, how could I explain how I managed to rope Camera Girl in?  Sometimes fact is stranger than fiction.

And before the visit broke up we planned some kind of gathering between Thanksgiving and Christmas.  After all, family commitments made those occasions just too hard to work around.  Whereas between them was a few weeks when everyone else would be reeling from Thanksgiving dinner and unlikely to compete for time.

So, it’s no excuse for my tardiness writing here but at least it’s put me in a good mood for tackling my various on-line and real world chores.  Now to dissect Dementia Joe’s latest debacle.

Why Write This Stuff?

As D3F1ANT commented yesterday “But saying this, again, is ALSO akin to standing on deck with water at your neck. We’ve known this for as long as we’ve known the ship is sinking.”

He’s right.  There’s nothing more to say.  We already know what must be done.  But is there anyone willing to do it?  Maybe a DeSantis or an Abbott is willing to take on Washington.  I don’t know.  I’m watching and hoping but I’m not sure.

So why do I post this stuff?  I’m looking for other people who think like me.  I want to be a part of anything that could help.  And if it turns out that nothing will happen then I’m looking for a place to go.  I’m looking for a corner of the world where I can go to live with people that are like me.  It’s pretty awful in the blue states.  You feel like a zoo animal and you get tired of being an outsider.  One of these days I’ll convince Camera Girl that the grandkids can come visit us for a change.

So I talk to folks in other parts of the country where things aren’t as bad and I think about how I might fit in somewhere else.  Florida, Texas, Utah, Idaho, Oklahoma, Arkansas.  I think about lots of places where I could settle in and have neighbors and live in a town where my beliefs wouldn’t make me a pariah.

I write the political posts about what the latest outrage is from Dementia Joe or I talk about some positive result by a guy like DeSantis to keep my own spirits up.  And I put up my entertainment posts on books and movies and anything I find interesting like photography.  I try to do my part to provide something on-line that isn’t the garbage that the Left mandates.  Sometimes it’s discouraging because there’s just bad news as far as the eye can see.  But I think of what kind of odds there were against guys like Solzhenitsyn and Havel back in Russia and Czechoslovakia and I think things are nowhere near as bad here.  And I feel it’s worthwhile to keep writing and holding out for some kind of breakthrough.  Maybe somewhere someone will take a stand and give us all something to rally around.  I think that someone will say no and then make it stick.  And once it happens people will light a million fires and it will be too big for Washington to stamp them all out.

That’s what I hope will happen.

13SEP2021 – OCF Update – This”N”That

I read some of Bush II’s 9/11 speech.  Boy, he’s really either an idiot or a liar.  Or maybe both.  That man was given all the support any president ever had and he abused it in a way that was criminal.  I gave him every benefit of the doubt and he failed us every single way he could.  He should just shut up and disappear.  With Biden, Obama, W and the Clintons all at one place at the same time it’s a shame that the Earth didn’t split open and swallow them all up once and for all.  What a better world it would be.

Another beautiful early September day.  The dragonflies are in a frenzy eating all the mosquitoes and gnats that fill the air and at night the bats take over, flitting around in the air like dive bombers.

 

Camera Girl’s gardens are essentially done.  Too much rain this year stunted the plants and curtailed the amount of produce she got.  A very strange year in terms of weather.  We closed up the pool last week and now I have to concentrate on repairing all the myriad things that break around here.  I’ve got wood damage on the garage wall, the lower balcony railing and the outside stair railing.  The pool fence needs shoring up and the poison ivy has to be beaten back in a number of places.  Ah the joy of country living.

Wednesday is the Republican Party monthly meeting in my area.  I’m not sure whether I should just go there to listen or leap up on a table and start into a Henry V speech.

“We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother; be he ne’er so vile,
This day shall gentle his condition:
And gentlemen in England now a-bed
Shall think themselves accursed they were not here,
And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
That fought with us upon Saint Crispin’s day.”

Or maybe I’ll just listen to what they actually do there.

Some family visits coming up and a big party at the beginning of October so good stuff to keep me occupied.  There are kids’ birthdays and some photography outings planned and lots of other diversions so maybe I can forget for a part of the time that I live in Dementia Joe’s America.  Is this still the “Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave?  It doesn’t appear so.  Maybe we’ll have to change the name.

Well let’s hope tomorrow has happier news to consider.