Friday, March 27, 2009

Pickles Pub Open

Pickles PubGotta love that Pickles Pub Green!

I walk by here every day on my way to work from the Light Rail. On clear monings, the sun lights up this paint job as if it were neon - it has no trouble competing with the "open" sign.

On those days, if I'm not awake by the time I get to Pickles Pub, the neon green does the trick.

Thursday, March 26, 2009


CatkinWho knew?

Our neighbors have a tree adjoining our property that I always though of as a pussy willow. By early March, often earlier, we see little furry, gray cyclinders emerging from the buds. A very nice herald of Spring.

On my way to my car the other day, for the first time, I noticed that the furriness had evolved into something else, and as I had my Canon SD400 in my pants pocket, I decided to take some photos.

Setting the camera in Macro mode and closing in on one of the once-fuzzy tubule, I half-pressed the shutter button. What came into focus on the LCD was unexpectedly beautiful.

So since I decided to post this image, I had to find out what to call it. Turns out the correct term is catkin.

So now I know, and you do too, and we can impress our friends and relatives with this new knowledge. Be sure to find some way to work catkin into the conversation this weekend.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Piper at the Pump

Piper at the PumpOn Sunday evening, I was fortunate enough to be gassing up at the same time as this gentleman, dressed for an evening playing bagpipes at a St. Patrick's Day gathering downtown.

I greeted him with, "It takes a real man to wear a bonnie kilt!" in my best fake Scots brogue. He smiled and said, "Irish, actually," and explained about the bagpipes. Afterwards, I realized that the kilt was not a tartan, and my friend Tim pointed out that with the orange kilt, he was dressed as an Ulsterman, an Irish Protestant.

In any event, I thought he looked great, and he kindly agreed to pose for a few photos. I rather liked this "Piper at the Pump" shot.

... and a happy St. Patrick's Day to all, green or orange!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Vintage Camera Day - With a Gift From Warren!

Shutterbug Excursionaires - Vintage Camera Day, Baltimore
Ansco Titan 20 Folder
Lightship Abstract
Devon & Ann-MarieLeroy with Foldex 20Here are some photos I took using my friend Warren's generous gift to me of a Nikon FM. It's the first time I've shot film since August 2003!

I took my "new" Nikon to today's Vintage Camera Day outing of my photo group, Shutterbug Excursions.

The Nikon handled beautifully, and as you can see, the results are quite sharp. We all took our film to a Ritz 1-Hour photo place a block away from the Inner Harbor, and they did a decent enough job on 4x6 prints. I also had them scan the negatives onto a CD for an additional $4.00 per roll. Unfortunately, the scans were dissappointing - an average of only 1MB per photo. There's no reason they shouldn't be at least 3000 x 2000 pixels using modern minilabs, so I won't use Ritz any more.

But overall, my first film experience in almost 6 years worked out well. And best of all, our gang had a really good time.

Thanks again to Warren for the great camera!

Friday, March 13, 2009

La Cirque et Moi

La Cirque et MoiLa Cirque est arriveé!

I didn't know Cirque du Soleil was coming to town, but as I was leaving Baltimore today, I saw the striped, conical tents and detoured to see what was going on.

Now I myself would never attend a performance of Cirque; the snippets I've seen on TV scare the crap out of me. It all looks very postmodern and Frenchified to me.

Kind of like Cats on steroids.

Non, merci.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Snowy 'Z'

Snowy 'Z' - WWII Memorial Annapolis, MDThis is part of the Maryland WWII Memorial, covered in freshly fallen snow. The memorial, dedicated in 1990, sits just below an older overlook on a hill looking down over the Severn River, US Naval Academy, and the rest of Annapolis.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Liberty For Sale

Liberty for SaleIn most ways, it's a typical Times-Square area New York gift shop, full of I Love NYC ball caps, eight sizes of Empire State Building souvenir ornaments, and racks of Obama-Yes We Can! t-shirts.

But what distinguished this little shop was the just-about-person-sized replica of the Statue of Liberty, made from oak with a realistic copper patina and gold-leaf torch flame.

For sale!

At an appropriately recession-worthy price, too - I mean, wouldn't you like to have a Statue of Liberty in your home for only $1500?

By way of explanation, I took this photo yesterday on 8th Avenue near 45th Street waiting for our son Ben to join us for lunch. We were all going to see the matineé of the musical Avenue Q.

Camera-wise, I used a disappear-in-your-pocket Canon SD400 that I inherited from daughter Leah - she just replaced it with a spiffy Canon SD880IS.