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Friday, 22 July 2016


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No post mentioning what "trump" means would be complete without acknowledging that in the north of England it's synonymous with "fart". Make of that what you will...

I won't miss the politics. I will say that last night I went out to dinner with friends and they showed me a photographic technology that's in common use that I'd never heard of or seen before, and it astonished me.

I guess its's been a shi#y week all around, or statistically we're all due for some bad luck. Besides the train wreck that is Trump my wife was rear ended driving home from work. Stopped at a light the driver behind her watched the wrong light change and accelerated without looking*. Luckily her insurance is picking up the $6000 in damage to the Mini. Even luckier for me is my wife refuses to drive the Miata to work for fear it will get scratched up in the parking lot. And even luckier than that is she came away from the accident with just a bit of muscle stiffness.

The next day we had the gas company check for leaks (as required by law). The stove is leaking (hopefully repairable), and the pipe to it is leaking. All told that will eat up a nice lens.

I'm still waiting for the third disaster to fall, but maybe Trump is filling that spot.

At least we've got our health, family, friends, dogs and cameras that are still more than adequate. So maybe it's not such a bad week after all.

* I don't know how you do this. The body shop owner blames it on screens, both cell phone and built in. He said summer used to the slow time of year, but now the fender benders never stop. He claims it's tracked right along with the rise of screens in cars and pockets. Makes me think twice about walking or photographing near roads. Might be safer on the train tracks :)

The Kristof article is definitely worth saving. Congrats on your comment and your choice of father. Judging from the response, quite a few people on both ends of the political spectrum agree with him. The real GOP has gone MIA, and now David Duke is going to run for the Senate as a Republican. Ugh...

This has been a week of thin skins and bruised egos everywhere. I never could get past the "one name" thing anyway. Condolences on your A/C, and here's hoping we all have a better week next week.

Neither Trump nor Clinton should be allowed within 5 miles of the White House. The damage either of them will do do the U.S., although different in nature, may not be recoverable. Yet there isn't a viable alternative. With every election there are people who talk about emigrating due to the results, but this time I think some may really do it. Unfortunately, I'm too old to start over.

Thank you so much for that, Mike. Sometimes, sitting here in England -- which itself has lost the plot -- I imagine that the entire population of the US is somehow mesmerized by D Trump, who gets free publicity by capering randomly in public. What is most loathsome, though, is the orchestrated hate coming out of the Cleveland convention (can't find it in my heart to give them the name of an American political party). My grandad, like your dad, was a lifelong conservative through and through, an Army officer, a West Point graduate. He is long dead, but the only actual political remarks that I heard from him were when some politician said something particularly nasty, muckraking, about another politician. For him there were standards of behavior, in public life as in private, and he would just suggest that it would be better to keep your mouth shut than to say such things.

I was there for the first session and it had moments that were quite out of the norm as far as my experience of these sorts of things.

The highlight? NPS loaned me a 24-70 2.8 when I realized I wanted image stabilization. Thank you Nikon, I was planning on using my Sony a7(with a Nikon lens) but....

The floor fight over the rules change was quite a show. Memorable and very out of the ordinary AFAIK. And I take it the craziness just ramped up later, glad I was in....

Spending the next day at the Chautauqua Institution was exactly what I needed, what a great place!

I've had a photo featured in The Guardian, but I think I've been more excited those couple of times I've had a featured commend on TOP.

It's complicated…

Whew! For a while I wondered, why would anyone put Texas in D76? The result would be way too grainy.

Mike, you shouldn't hold back, we want to know how you really feel about DJT :)

Perhaps it is also time to reflect on and give thanks for the wisdom of the "assembly of demigods" that drafted the US constitution - especially the bit they included about "Separation of powers". Kinda see why they put that in there now can't you.


I can't find the D Hufford shot you liked - any chance for a link?

Mike, I've been wondering... do you have the capacity to schedule posts? Could make the weekends less long...

Anyway, too much politics makes me ill. Especially today's politics, with all the frenetic reporting. I'll gladly vote for the candidate who promises to limit presidential campaigns to two months, tops. I'd prefer to hear nothing from anyone about it before labor day... But alas, there are clicks to be had, eyeballs to win, electrons (and raised funds) to be spent...

old southern joke: "UCLA" stands for 'Undeveloped Counties of Lower Alabama'.

I would propose that the people who support Trump are just as much Republicans as the "tea party" people are! In factI'm not sure there are really any real Republicans left-- or Democrats either.

Thanks for speaking up, Mike, and it's entirely appropriate. The Trump supporters I know are very vocal. Those I know who are against him--the overwhelming majority--are completely silent. This is a time to speak up!

Yesterday, in a London cafe, I heard someone say...

"Back in a tick, need to take a Donald."

Apparently, Donald Trump has now supplanted Forrest Gump as Cockney rhyming slang for a 'dump'.

Yeah, it's been a crap week. I have two X-T1's because, as everyone knows, when you're really serious (ha ha) you buy two of the same: when one of them goes down you can keep working.

I'm traveling. The other night I go out to shoot something important . . . and both bodies are on the fritz. On one body, the rear LCD won't come on, and the other body won't record an image at all. It's completely unheard of for two bodies to malfunction at the same time, isn't it? I mean, what are the odds? My first thought was tin whiskers, but I think the cameras are too new for that. Anyway, they'll eventually go off for repair, but for now I have to lug around dead weight.

My ace in the whole - the trump card, if you will - is the Ricoh GR, a true champ of a camera, and still working like one.

So things could be worse - and may yet turn out to be. You just never know. Speaking of Trump, I mean.

Unfortunately, we have a choice between a confirmed liar and a "bull in a china shop".

A peaceful undertaking such as photography settles my mind. Keeping the tv off also helps!

Did I just say "ace in the whole"? Given the week it's been, I'm quite sure that should have been "hole" - which, along with dry socks, and in keeping with the advice of my father, I'm trying to keep with me at all times.

I have relatives whose ancestors that helped found the Republican Party, and all you have to say is "party of Lincoln" or "party of Teddy Roosevelt" or even party of Eisenhower or Rockefeller and boy do you get a look!

Look up trump or trumpery in the dictionary. It's uncanny.

Remember the old saying about things you can and can't control? Your opportunity to influence the selection of a presidential candidate this year expired a decade or two ago.

Participate in local politics; become active regionally; become active at the state level; go national. Each move up the ladder raises your personal political influence.

Short of making multi-million dollar donations, owning a newspaper, radio/TV station or popular on-line property, that is the only way to raise your influence beyond one vote among a hundred million or so.

When I was a young kid the national conventions were exciting -- especially the part where all the balloons fell from the ceiling and people marched in the aisles. Now I read a book (or TOP) or watch a movie.

"or at least squirrels and turkey vultures (I still don't know what they were)"

Since you saw the unknowns in the sky, you can be fairly sure they weren't squirrels.

Mike, I feel your pain. My last lens purchase magically morphed into a new washing machine. I must admit it's a much more sensible purchase and one we use every few days with wonderful results. Maybe the lens will go on sale again in the future when I have saved up some more money.

Hats off to you, Mike. I trust Americans to make the right choice.

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