Breaking the rules

Not that anyone is paying close enough attention to notice but, I'm way behind on posting a picture a day, I'm cheating by posting pictures I took in one day a couple of weeks ago, and I've given up on posting strictly photos taken with my (very unsatisfactory) phone camera.

I'll still post from my phone now and then but it's not a rule any more.

In truth, this Picture A Day project is an exercise meant to (slowly, over time) train me to blog on a regular basis. The treatment isn't quite taking effect yet but I'm sure it will, eventually.

Compelling Sculpture - A Picture A Day # 14

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A rather interesting sculpture

Inside the main entrance of the Cleveland Clinic sits this sculpture, this man of letters, this Letterman. I photographed the placard describing this work but I doubt it will be legible here... Enjoy.

Hospital - A Picture A Day # 13

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An architectural model of the Cleveland Clinic campus.

When I was a kid I remember wanting to be an astronaut. I also remember wanting to be an architect.

What does a little kid know about being an architect? I knew they helped make houses, I had a neighbor who was an architect and designed his own house in a sort of modernistic style (for the day), but what's the appeal of that to a little kid? Well, in junior high I learned I was a terrible draftsman and that I couldn't build a useful bike rack out of pine. Both were valuable but discouraging enough to turn me away from pursuing an architectural career. Even so, I still have a very strong appreciation for design that I explore through photography. Confession: My favorite part of "The Sims" is building houses. I've been trying to replicate the places I've lived in "The Sims" and with Google SketchUp, the latter actually having purpose... I'd like to SketchUp my former residences and import them to Google Earth. So terribly exciting.


RidingPretty-Bicycle Chic California: DIY Vintage Bicycle Care and Repair...Guest Blogger: Old Bike Blog

I've got an old Schwinn Twin that I've wanted to fix up for years. Perhaps I've finally found a source of inspiration. Once Old Man Winter's frosty ass gets outta town I'll crack the seal on the storage bin and post a few pics of my Ol' Blue Built-for-Two.

RidingPretty-Bicycle Chic California: DIY Vintage Bicycle Care and Repair...Guest Blogger: Old Bike Blog


Sculpture - A Picture A Day # 12

I didn't get the name or any other information on this piece, but WHERE it is played a big part in urging me to photograph it. This is one of many shots I took while visiting the Cleveland Clinic. This sculpture is in the clinic near a bank of elevators servicing the food court.

Hospital, health, nutrition, food court...
The shape and colors of this work, in this setting, simultaneously reminded me of a human heart and healthy fruits and vegetables. The green stem emerging in aortic fashion from the strawberry atrial chambers which, in turn, rest upon the blueberry ventricles. The red squiggles reminded me of muscle tissues which, along with the general shape of the piece, helped me form the "heart" idea.

Anyway, I liked it, brightly lit, colorful, meaningful (to me, particularly then and there). So here's A Picture A Day 012.


The End of LaserDisc - A Picture A Day # 11

A Picture A Day 011 - Pioneer combo LaserDisc/5-disc CD changer.

I didn't know it, but Pioneer has still been making these things. They've announced that they will discontinue production very soon. I adopted this one from my dad.

Dad has always been a hi-fi kinda guy. He's had dozens of tuners, record changers, turntables, equalizers, and all sorts of other moderately high-end equipment over the years, much of it still around. He introduced my brother and I to the idea of home theater long before there was any such thing as multi-channel surround sound. I currently also use a pair of his very nice old Acoustic Research speakers (AR's) as the front right and left channels in my 5.1 system.

Once again, Dad is primarily responsible for my passion for home entertainment. It began with a Show-N-Tell, led to a nice portable stereo record changer with attached (removable) speakers, then to a marvelous tuner/amp with a flywheel tuner. I loved using that thing.

I'd spend hours and hours, all hours of the day, carefully trying to find and log every signal it could pick up, no matter how faint. I'd listen to each station at least long enough to get the call letters. This helped me build an appreciation for a very wide range of music and broadcast styles. There's no satisfaction to be found trying to do what I did using todays digital tuners. You can't find those faint distant signals hiding between frequencies. And all this auto-seek push-button nonsense... there's just no fun in it.

R.I.P. Patrick McGoohan - A Picture A Day # 10 (with bonus picture)

My brother and I were introduced to "The Prisoner" by our father during one of it's runs on PBS back in the late `70's or early `80's. "The Prisoner" is one of the most enigmatic things he ever presented to us and we've been fans of it ever since. These images are of items in my personal libraries.

When we were young, Dad was our cultural conduit and trail guide through the visual arts, particularly where acting was involved. Before we were born, Dad aspired to acting professionally. He also participated in local theater from time to time over many years, appearing in many of Shakespeare's plays and in plays based on Agatha Christie mysteries. We would be tasked with helping him learn his lines from time to time. The last role I remember him in was starring as Sir Thomas More in the Dayton Playhouse presentation of "A Man for All Seasons". Coincidentally, the 1966 film of "A Man for All Seasons" co-starred Leo McKern, who would become, perhaps, the most memorable #2 to appear on "The Prisoner".

Frankenpoodle by Olivia - A Picture A Day # 9

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This blurry excerpt from the October 2008 issue of Playboy is a phone photo I sent to my son, teasing him that he should get a tattoo of this Frankenpoodle.

Statler Arms (LG VX 8300) - A Picture A Day # 8

A view of the Statler Arms hotel from a 9th floor room at the Wyndham on Playhouse Square in Cleveland, Ohio.

Cleveland Healthline Bus - A Picture A Day # 7


A Picture A Day 6 (APAD -20 and counting)

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Cityscape @ 510 Gallery

A colorful cartoonish skyline. This is just one of the items by an artist whose name I can't recall at the moment. Argh. I really like a lot of this guy's work... Zachary something?

It doesn't pay to blog at this time of day.

OK, the artist is Zachary Armstrong (I had to look it up). This cityscape is made up of two pieces and is atypical of the rest of Zachary's work on display at 510. If you're in or near the Oregon District or downtown Dayton, Ohio, you should stop in and take a look for yourself. I feel certain that you'll like his work as much as I did. He shows a bit of humor in some of his pieces, but I'm not posting any spoilers here. I'll just say that browsing this compelling display left a smile on my face. Again, see for yourself!

Perhaps I'll follow this up later with some better teaser images but, I'll have to make sure it's OK with all involved before doing so.

510 Gallery - 510 E 5th St, Dayton, OH (in the Oregon District)
blog - Loretta Puncer Fine Art


Room with a View... of a roof - A Picture A Day 5

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What a difference a few hours makes. First, I tell you APAD is on hold, then it's back in the same day! I'm still behind on posts, but the pictures have already been taken.

Cleveland with snowfall. This is what it looked like from my 9th floor room at the Wyndham. I was napping (only about 5 hours sleep between the last two nights combined) and had just been awakened by a phone call. The snow wasn't there when I laid down for the nap. The call was good news. Right after taking this shot of the weather I had to venture out into it. It's not too cold out. Just cold enough to snow and only a little windy.

The thing that brings me to Cleveland isn't a good reason to have to go anywhere, but I do enjoy seeing new places.

More pictures soon. I'm very uncomfortable using unfamiliar computers.

Picture A Day on Hold

I'm away from home at the moment and the situation isn't exactly ideal for a picture a day. I will catch up, I just can't be exactly sure if it will be tomorrow or the next day or the day after that. Heck, it's less than a week in any case. Ciao 4 now!


Dramatic Shadows - A Picture A Day #4

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Dramatic Shadows

Walking the dog before sunset. Baby Girl had caught the scent of one of the neighborhood stray cats and I had a tough time getting her to sit still. Then she kept looking around, so it took a while before I got a good shot showing her head in profile.

My own personal LOLCat - A Picture A Day #3

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Mister Junior Cat watching TV

I came out of the shower to find this scene. I knew I had my third photo for this series.
I'm a big fan of LOL Cats but I'm not very good at the captions. If anyone steals this for ICanHasCheezBurger at least send me a link to it. 'k thx bai.


Movie Night & My Weekend Movies

I'm going to begin posting about the films I'm watching. This has been a good week, the holidays giving me plenty of time to take in some extra entertainment. A lot of what I watch comes to me via Turner Classic Movies (TCM), or on DVD. I have a very hard time appreciating movies filled with commercial breaks, but will occasionally watch American Movie Classics (AMC), or other commercially cancered channels (TBS, USA, etc.) if it's something I really like, really want to see, or (as in most cases) my wife has started watching something there. By the way, some of these pieces may seem vague, but I'm not a 'spoiler' kind of guy. Anyone who wants to know more about the movies can Google, IMDb, and Wiki to your heart's content. I'm just putting my $0.02 in and trying to help match viewers to films they might enjoy.

My Weekend Movies
Friday Night - Movie Night

"Teacher's Pet" (1958) - Clark Gable, Doris Day, Gig Young, Mamie Van Doren - I dig Doris Day. I've seen her many times, but only actually watched two of her movies. She was a pleasant surprise on both occasions. Clark Gable was great but seemed a bit too harsh for just a moment in two scenes, but one of those scenes involved drinking, so, perhaps he was playing drunk at that point. Gig Young... I don't know where I've seen him before but he's fun to watch as well. He played this role perfectly and I thoroughly enjoyed his hangover. Mamie Van Doren was virtually a cameo as a lounge singer dating Clark Gable. However, if it wasn't for the number she performed at the club there wouldn't have been any foundation for that pleasant surprise I mentioned from Doris Day that appears just a bit later in the film. I didn't waste a second of my time watching this.

"Sonny Boy" - Answers the question - What if you crossed Raising Arizona with Deliverance then took Rocky from the Horror Picture Show and dropped him into the middle of it? If you see this, you will recognize a lot of people in it and be able to name only David Carradine off the top of your head, and you'll wish you couldn't. He's good at what he's doing, but you'll wonder why he's doing it. There's something to this film that kept drawing me in, even when it got so bad I considered giving up on it. If you have NOTHING better to do and this movie is on, it's worth watching for the experience, but I can neither confirm or deny that I sincerely recommend this movie. I have to admit that I never bothered to pause this when I had to leave the room a few times. I'm certain it made no difference. Seemed like a very long hour-and-a-half.

"Spider Baby" - Lon Chaney, Jr., Sid Haig - A creepy and slightly disturbing tale. The opening titles of this film had me thinking it would be a comedy, but imagine if The Addams Family wasn't meant to be humorous. That's what we've got here. Lon Chaney, Jr. wasn't really top-notch, but his performance is key to setting the tone. His dialog with other characters, while not a narration, describes the strange tale for the audience. The least believable characters in this flick are the ones meant to represent we normals of the viewing audience. While not overburdened with gore, this film remains troubling. By the end of the movie you may realize that much of what you've just seen could happen in that creepy old house at the edge of your town. Enjoy!

Sunday Afternoon

"Two-Minute Warning" (1976) - Charlton Heston, Beau Bridges, David Janssen, Jack Klugman, and many more. Movies in the mid-70s were chock full of Plymouth Furys. Every cop car is a Fury, many other cars are too. My brother had one for a few years so it's become something of a cliche game for us. Aside from the cars, this movie has little to offer modern audiences other than a little slice-of-life from the days before wireless phones, internet, and Homeland Security. It uses the standard disaster movie formula. There's a threat, a cast of stars are living out their characters life-dramas knowing little or nothing of the danger right under their noses, then there's the hero who knows what's going on but has to keep the situation under control despite the bumbling of other officials and the stumbling of the innocent bystanders. Most modern crime TV shows today are better than this movie in almost all respects, but I always take an interest in seeing how things have changed from one era to the next. As a placeholder in the history of cinema I'll have to say it's worth a viewing.

Movie Snippet

I also caught a few minutes of "Road House", where Swayze clues the bouncers in on the new way of doing things and their first night under his watch. I almost watched the rest of it but I had to go grocery shopping. Why do I want to watch it? I don't know. I'll have to give it a look some day to try and figure out what makes people like this flick. BTW, I grew up watching Kevin Tighe on 'Adam 12' re-runs. I hate when he plays bad guys, but he's done it so well that I may never be able to accept him in a role as a decent man ever again.

More to come...


My Mii Menagerie - A Picture A Day #2

A Picture A Day 002 - This is a catch up post since I started a day late.

My Mii menagerie

One of the best things about the Wii is that you can enjoy it without buying ANY games. A wireless broadband connection helps... but, the Mii Creator is a blast! Last holiday season (2007) my son managed to acquire a Wii and we made some quickie characters as a lark. Rondo Hatton, Clint Eastwood, Dr. Venture, The Monarch, and, naturally, we made ourselves. So, now that I've got a Wii also, he transferred those folks to my machine and I've put them in the Mii Parade. The picture above shows my collection of original Miis. From top left to bottom right they are as follows:

Ludwig van Beethoven*, Cicada, Mantis, wife, Spike Spiegel, son, Jet Black, step-daughter, myself, step-son, Faye Valentine, brother, The Perfect Grandpa (my own)*, Hattie the Witch*, Sir Isaac Newton*, Benjamin Franklin*, Bettie Page**, Goth Girl (Cassandra)*, Edgar Allen Poe*, and Edward Wong Hau Pepelu Tivrusky IV, with many more to come.

*Created in response to contest calls for the Check Mii Out channel.
**Some of the contest criteria are oblique, like, "Someone who looks like they know a lot about life." I was stumped by this one... did they want us to create hookers, the Dalai Lama, or what? Finally, it hit me... I would make Bettie Page! From Model to Missionary it can be said that Bettie knew a lot about life. No doubt about it. But, by the time I chose Bettie, the entry window for that contest had closed. Nonetheless, I've set her free into the Mii world. You can find her through the Check Mii Out channel by searching for Mii number 2372-3495-2354. Her initials are B.P. and she's filed under Acting.

2008 Obits - A Picture A Day #1

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I've decided, a day late, to post a phone picture every day in 2009. I'll probably include some background for the photo. Let's see if I can make it interesting.

I spent New Year's Day totally chillin'. We ate leftover party treats for lunch. For me it was a total Pajama Day! The wife went to bed after Penn State lost to USC, and I fired up the Wii, checked the Nintendo Channel and promptly fell asleep while viewing the Top 30 most watched Nintendo promos of 2008. [Why was I watching these things?] I woke up a couple of hours later with a warm cat in my lap and checked AP News feed (on the Wii), where I learned that Donald Westlake had passed away (One last big name for the series of tragedies that made up 2008).

A huge chunk of American culture died in '08. 2008 was especially bad if you were a 'geek' and/or fan of esoteric Americana or Exotica. Here's a partial list of those we lost. Feel free to add anyone I may have missed.

Donald E. Westlake, Bettie Page, Yma Sumac, Gary Gygax, Dave Stevens, Forrest J. Ackerman, Maila Nurmi (Vampira), Eartha Kitt, Isaac Hayes, Bernie Mac, George Carlin, Arthur C. Clarke, Bo Diddley, Paul Newman, Charlton Heston, Heath Ledger, Roy Scheider, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, and many more.

Everybody on this list has had a key role in our entertainment history. These people were not idols, they were icons. Every one of them changed the game, and I thank them for it.


Two-thousand Nein!

Happy New Year! It's 2009!

I've come up with a new idea, just a step beyond my usual alliterative New Year's blather (e.g., Have a Great 2008, Have a Fine 2009, etc.).

'Nein' is German for 'No'. In America, most people say 'nein' so that it rhymes with 'nine', which isn't quite right, but I'm going with it anyway.

So, I declare, "Yay! It's Two-thousand Nein!"
Say "nein" to everything keeping you from that which you need and want to be and do.

If anyone is reading this, feel free to comment about the things to which you will say "Nein" in 2009.

[I thought about making a list of "Nine Neins for 2009" then thought better of it. Creating a such a list would take more time than it's worth and 'wasting time' is Nein Ein on the non-existent list. Also, I'd feel bad about failing to meet my goals and 'creating negativity' would be the Nein Zwei if I were to compose the list.]