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Saturday, 10 November 2007


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Beautiful MIke,

Maybe you could clone the one half of a truck out?


Ha -- you gotta love the detail in 4x5!


"...it truly lacks common sense..."

Are you entering some kind of contest concerning use of the most oxymoronic phrase in a blog entry?

Well, I'm too lazy to go out to the car and get my DeLorme Michigan book, and the atlas in the office doesn't have a Bliss listed, I'm at a loss. Probably named for some pioneer Bliss rather than the feeling one has living there, but...?

The truck photo is an anomaly in the photos I've seen so far. Bliss seems more to your "style".

That "luminist" planar viewpoint.

Ctein, I take it all back, but you don't do classical, nor C & W; what do you listen to?


Bron and Ctein,
Maybe it's just me, but I've always thought it's kind of strange for someone to say "I like" or "I don't like" classical music. I mean, what's classical music? I know that STRICTLY speaking it's formal European ensemble music from the mid-1700s to the early 1800s (Haydn and Mozart and like that), but nobody means the term that way any more--now the definition's been loosened to mean the whole genre of European art music and religious music from maybe 1450 to now, anything composed, or played by an ensemble using anything like the conventional cohort of traditional acoustic instruments. Medieval plainsong and Steve Reich both fall under its purview. Personally, I love Baroque music, especially non-religious Bach, tend to like keyboard music from any period, love Haydn string sonatas but don't much care for his symphonies, am not attracted to late Romantic-period bombast although I don't know it well, can't abide operatic voice, like many 20th-century symphonies, etc., etc.--I mean, I have preferences within, say, the Beethoven Piano concertos, and likes and dislikes within the works of Grieg and Dvorak and many others. For that matter, I adore Mozart's 40th Symphony but strongly dislike #41, with its annoying ditty of a theme.

I don't know how anyone says "I don't like classical music." WHICH classical music don't you like? Are you including everything you've never listened to? Are you saying, "I've never been moved to investigate classical music and I've really never heard any of it?" Or do you mean something more like, "I heard three symphonies when I was young and even though I have no idea who composed them I didn't like them at that time and so I've never bothered to listen to any others?" I just think "I don't like classical music" is an impossibly sweeping statement on its face that it can't really have any validity as a statement--it's too imprecise.

And how similar is that to what people mean when they talk about art? Barthes pointed out that when people say photographs this and photographs that, what they mean is the tiny subset of photographs that they've seen. These days in particular, it's possible for people to talk about a photographer without having ever seen a single photograph taken by that person--just reproductions in books (which can be anything from a near-precise analog to the crudest sort of approximation of the real thing) or little jpegs online. Yet, still, they think they know not only what THEIR OWN opinion of that photographer is, they also think they know everything that that photographer is all about.

Mike J.

Just to clarify,

I was mocking those who are constantly suggesting people clone elements that (they) find distracting from photographs.

My inner yahoo does not "get" that at all.

I think my yahoo is more of a yoo hoo.


I, myself was using the term in its broadest sense, as espoused by the record companies, and definately not looking for an argument on what is or is not "classical". I'm sure we could go far afield on that one. How we break it down is semantical in nature.

I listen to music, some Jazz, some Blues, early mostly, occassional Bluegrass/Folk/Gospel, but mostly the idiom of "classical". Symphonies, concertos; I do it in phases; latest is a Sibelius phase. Pavorotti singing arias, sometimes, but rarely a whole opera, and rarely, the rock/pop idiom. For me, that would be The Grateful Dead, Neil Young, Seger, Springsteen, some Clapton, and recently a journey back to The Marshall Tucker Band. Now, how would you classify them? Southern/country/jazz/blues/rock?

Meanwhile, where the hell is Bliss?

Romantic-period bombast?


And "common sense" governed public policy exactly when?

"And 'common sense' governed public policy exactly when?"

Good point. Probably the last time was in Philadelphia in 1787, during the Constitutional Convention. Even then it wasn't easy. And it's all been politics ever since.

Still and all, with what we know about water management in the West, for Las Vegas to be America's fastest-growing city is a peculiar form of insanity.

Mike J.

Mike, seeing your picture of Lake Huron brought back memories of my Naval days at Great Lakes. I remember Lake Michigan and the icy winds, subzero temperatures, and the biggest waves this side of Cape Cod; also, a very late spring, well into May.

The train rides into Chicago, Rush Street. . . .

Well, I've heard many people say 'I hate rap music'. So now I can ask them, 'which rap music do you not like?'
I think it's very comforting for some people to write off an entire category; it saves brainpower. BTW, Mike, which operatic voice can you not abide? Ever listened to operatic rap?

Oh, and forgetting for a second where Bliss may or may not be, hypothetically speaking, I have to say that 'Near Bliss' is a really fine title for that photo. Ok, second's up; it's South of Wilderness State park, near Mackinaw City.

Your last comment reminds me of a Sam Kennison skit (one of the few I ever saw - never a fan of foul-mouthed comedy) in which Sam describes his plan to end world hunger by gathering up everybody who lives in the desert and moving them to where the food is. One of the lines (looked it up) was "We have deserts in America. We don't live in them."

Still loving the Michigan series, Mike. Keep 'em coming.

Indeed, I was complaining about this to a coworker the other day: if you don't want to be pinched for water, don't go live in a desert!

A number of my fondest memories have taken place among the Great Lakes. Between the Midwestern states and the part of Canada bordering them, I don't think the desert settlers could drain our lakes without some kind of small war... a war I'd likely enlist myself in.

Thanks for pointing out the sign! At first glance I was wondering why you included the front end of the car, but the sign answered that question...

It was announced yesterday that the population of Clark County (Las Vegas) will reach 3.5 million by 2035. The water commission is all ready planning on draining ground water from northern Nevada as Lake Mead is a diminishing resource. The ranchers in northern Nevada are up in arms to say the least. And developers here just keep on building.
Lunacy at its worst.

Love the Michigan project photos, it's inspiring me to maybe think up my own Michigan project around Shiawassee County. Photos of ditches anyone?

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