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Thursday, August 13, 2020

Are You Ready For US Rooftop Geocoding?

 Well, the good news is that it's coming soon. The bad news is it's been around for a few years but the public seems to be demanding it so much currently, that Texas A&M has a full program nicknamed geocoding 101. 

It's going to be great for the new age of grocery delivery and restaurant food delivery as well as making anyone who needs directions to you will like it. Currently, it is reported to cost up to $25,000 annually. 

The hazard risk is being reported as that of, insurance companies will be better at determine if you live close to a chemical plant or a refinery and most likely, if you do, you see an increase in your rates. One of the three major risk factors is human error.The second major risk factor is that "you don't know what you don't know."

The company says in one of their ads to,"give us the geocodes, we'll give you the corresponding, valid addresses.Super fast,Crazy accurate."

Businesses that use the airport, like taxi services,
will also benefit as package delivery services that service cargo depots at the airport.

This company will benefit from the rooftop geocoding of addresses, zipcodes for more accurate delivery.

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

An Angle Abides

"Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by doing so some people have entertained angels without knowing it."  ~  Hebrews  13:2

Thomas Carlyle wrote that,"Music is well said to be the speech of angles. 

Long have I known the verse from the Christian bible. It has in some way always stuck with me and a deeper understanding has grown over the years. Since I have let loose of my car, I really do not have trouble filling my day. I cook more, I read more, I listen to WRR's classical programing as I edit pictures and most of all, I set aside a bit of time--not long periods-- but little breaks throughout my workday in which to think.

When I was driving, just prior to the Corona Virus meltdown, on one leg of my Shoot Wheel, as  I parked my car, a man waved at me. I did not know him. Unpacking my camera, I started shooting some wild flowers that the city of Richardson had planted. They were in full bloom. As I walked about the flower bed shooting, the  man  came over to me and was asking about photography. In talking to him. He was most interested in music. I said to the man that," music and photography go together like peanut butter and bread. It sticks with you forever. Or, it can stand alone nicely, as well"  He laughed and said that he was just out taking a stroll. I continued shooting some flowers along an alley fence and as I came out from the alley to go to my car, giving the little park a glance to wave at him upon leaving, he was no where to be seen. Making a mental note of how strange it felt for some reason, I got into my car to continue my shoot route. 

This past week I remembered that scripture verse and pulled down my Arthur Gordon from the shelf. As good as his book is, there wasn't anything about angels there. Then, I turned to my little library and came across my old copy of the Chicken Soup series. There popped out a brief story on angles. I reread the story again submitted by Rosemary Goodwin. There it was in a category named, Angles Among Us. The story was very much like I had experienced with the man that ask about photography.

 That got me to thinking even more and I can recall at least two other experiences like that over the years. It was like the person appeared out of no where and then was gone with no trace of them again after a short  period of time. It was not a fluke. It had a veil of mystery about it that stuck with me over time. 

When the summer's heat breaks and I am able to get out and walk for periods of time, I will be more entertaining than I have been in the past.There was just something that felt different-- not in a threatening way of sorts but just some kind of void that allowed me to respond to his question about photography and not really entertain him with a lot of questions.  

Since I was a kid,  I have believed in Angles. I have shot statues of them in cemeteries to museums. They have their own mystery about their beings While I have lots of unanswered questions about the mysteries of faith, doubting any of it is just not going to happen. There are to many other things where I have resolved questions about life that were answered in my thoughts some years later. 

Friday, August 7, 2020

Curia Ailments Steven Hawkins and Albert Einstein

Curia, from old Latin:  Coviria, meaning "a gathering of men" (co-, "together" =vir, "man") Any assembly, public or private, could be called a curia. Having explained the context of the first word of the title moving forward comes the word ailments. Now, the meat of the word means pain and suffering. (Coming back to this in a bit.)

Dr. Steven Hawkins, said: "Remember to look up at the stars and not down at your feet."

"Try to make sense of what you see and about what makes the universe exist. Be curious. And however difficult life may seem, there is always something you can do, and succed at. It matters that you don't just give up."

It is interesting that both these great minds were both European. 

The LIGO, or Large Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory discovered (captured) the signal on September 14,2015 that confirmed Einstein's prediction of gravity waves in the fabric of space and time. 

 What is interesting in that is that Steven Hawkins never received a Nobel Prize for Science because no one has ever proven his ideals. The thing about that is that Albert Einstein's proof and validation came as resent as 2015. Hawkins, like Einstein, most likely will have many more years, like Einstein, to be elevated in having the world know that he was right about so many things. 

Coming back to the opening paragraph about the meaning of Curia, It is well noted that the largest Curia today is in fact, the Catholic Church at Vatican City. 

After his installation as Pope, Pope Francis, in an interview with the Argentine newspaper LA NACION,  (12/07/2014) said," Together with all Christians, theologians must open their eyes and ears to the signs of the times."

At the International Theological Commission, Pope Francis had also stated, "that they ( all Christians and theologians) must "humbly listen " to what God tells the church by understanding Scripture but also by taking into account how ordinary Catholics live out their faith."

Bringing the two,  'gathering of men'-'man' together, with the universe of theology you begin to see more of what Dr. Hawkins ( who said he didn't believe in God) was implying  that as a scientist he could not prove that their was a God, so he declined to say that there was a God personally. But in doing so, he set the tone that if he wasn't a scientist, which works with only scientific proof, that he would believe in God when he said not to look at your feet but to look at the stars.

"And however difficult life may seem, there is always something you can do, and succed at. It matters that you don't just give up." Hawkins said. Steven, because he was a scientist was so many light years ahead that he spent his entire life trying to prove in a scientific way, rather than a personal way, that the answer was in the stars and the wonderment of what God had created. That, as a scientist, he must prove rather than state what he knew to be true. It would have been counter to his professional life as a scientist.

That was the ailments of the curia. Theology and Nobel awards.

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

A Little About Our New Banner for August

This month's banner features a Bard Owl. The tree is the typical type tree that Bards like. Lots of big branches and in the mix a few smaller ones where they can hide and sleep during the day.

If you got this far and you didn't notice the Bard Owl sitting in the tree looking down at the photographers that were all around the tree, then go back to the banner page with our name and mission statement. Then, page down slowly, but not to much. You'll see the owl. It's gonna be here all month and into the first couple of days into September.

So, enjoy the image of the owl in his native habitat and tell your friends if they are animal lovers to check it out.


Monday, August 3, 2020

There Are Things That Exist Because They Do

While it is pretty much know that I post images on my blog that are a bit less in quality than those that I submit to my editors there is a reason for it. Unfortunately, there are those that will copy an image without getting a proper license to use a first quality images. It is just one of those things about human nature.

Occasionally, I run across things that just exist because they do. There isn't any clear reason for them. Yet, there they are! Some are even comically. I have just such an image and the quality is less than perfect, but it does convey the point outstandingly.

                                                                                                                                                                             Alright! Who gets their mail delivered on Interstate I-35E?

Click anywhere in the image to enlarge.

Sunday, August 2, 2020

I'm Not Sure I Know Where This Balloon Lands

There are so many things up in the air right now. School Openings, Corona Virus, Economy, Health Care, and Government Handouts that found the lawmakers leaving Washington with plenty on the table while they take their August leave. I made a T-shirt that reads: My hobby is watching Congress. There are  little eyes in some letters. It really does seem that congress does take advantage of the American people by not really doing their job.

Doing as much research as I can while the summer heat and no car has me pretty much landlocked in the house while the Corona has its way with the world. There is some good to that.  I have discovered why my Walgreens runs out of meds more often and seems to have some problems with certain merchandise that never was a problem before.

When I started ordering on line it was between me and my retail store. When I switched to  online ordering with free shipping, I found out that I was talking to Boots Alliance. Boots Alliance is the Holding Company. Now, by reason of common sense, it must be another pharmacy in the picture some where. Well, as it would end up, yes, there is one.

Boots is the largest pharmacy in Great Britian. To make a long story shorter, The leverage buyout private equity firm known as KKR or Kohlberg Kravis and Roberts, love to acquire businesses and toss the enormous debt onto one of the companies. In this case, it was Boots. Such is the case with Boots when KKR structured the deal between Boots and Walgreens with Rite Aid in the mix. Rite Aid bought out all the Lane Drugs in the Great Lakes.  I don't even want to know any more about how Rite Aid got there but it was through a buyout somewhere else. Not to mention the Eckerds (a subsidiary of J.C. Penny's ) buy out of their 1269 stores in Florida, Louisiana and Texas by CVS. Eckerds was the 4th largest pharmacy in the US at the time of the deal which also included Eckerds 1.3 Billion mail order business. The original company was worth $4.3Billion.

Yes, Rite Aid worked out a deal with Walgreens as a alternative to a merger by allowing Walgreens to purchase their 1900 stores except 8 states for a cool $4.4 billion that included 3 distribution centers.
Now, enter Amazon and Albertsons. Because of a government break up, Amazon bought on-line Pill Pak giving Rite Aid to grow its left over pickings it still owns. Albertsons is working with in the deal, it seems. This is, of course, old new...very old news, like two years ago.

What is even more surprising is that Blackstone and Carlyle and Bain Capital and Silver Lake Partners are all like KKR now. I can remember when KKR took Owens-Illinois, the glass maker, private and wrecked the company that was Headquartered in Toledo, Ohio. A lot of the employees have less to live on today as a result. But, as they say in mid-town New York, "You'll have that from time-to-time".  Yes, you will, I guess. Yes, you will.

Some still call this American capitalization. I call it pure greed and greed never wins in the end.

Where Its Gonna Land Is Still Up In The Air!!!

Friday, July 31, 2020

♫♫ There Is A Song In My Head ♫♫

♪♥Charlie Puth♥♪ might be a Jersey boy, but I like his music. If I could download this song I have in my head, I'd give his record company the first chance to produce it for the ever hot music industry. My music interest goes from classical to Jazz to R&B to Hip Hop to Operatic to Classical and Classical pipe organ, of note, Widor's Tocatta, from the 5th Symphony, to English Choral. I will listen to all forms of music, period. I even like some Country!!

One of the most interesting that I cherish to this day is when Paul Winters of the Paul Winters' Consort took a trip to the Grand Canyon and boated down the Colorado River creating one of the most interesting recordings that I have ever heard. They used natural sound echo's of the canyon, bird's

An A-typical photographer
with nice cameras,though.

chirps, as Paul Winters' saxophone comes in with his typical, but not all typical, sounds with mixed sounds added on another track. There is an African drum in one piece that the beat still echos in my head some 25 years later. There is a solo with a native American as he sings in his native language and finally, a song mix in improvisational form with the great organ in St. John the Divine in New York City. It is truly, an amazing accomplishment and I can only hope that ♪♥Charlie Puth♥♪ will produce something like these two examples in his lifetime. It must be that my brain is writing a symphony is the only reason I can think of why I can't download that song at this point.

To this day, I still not only think Out of Africa was a great movie, but the song and the photographic scenes of a bi-plane flying over the terrain made my top-of-the list. The fact that music and photography work together or apart in my world is just something I like to say, I have two pocket on these pants!

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

My New Normal Contains More of the Old Than Expected.

My daily life is pretty much all electronically and has been that way for more than a decade. Yet, there were a few things that lingered. Those things that did were pretty much because I was a bit ahead of those in services that I used, and they did not, and had not, updated to the electronic age.

At 14, I had my first checking account. It was because I had a rather large paper route that covered a full city of 1500. My thinking was that if you were going to get a part-time job, you might as well go for the one that paid the most money. Never thinking that it would follow me into adulthood and into the age of "golden years" as some would still think of "old" people not being active. It came to mind this week as I watched the funeral coach carrying the remains to the late Congressman, John Lewis travel through the streets of Washington from the Joint Base Andrews. I watched the tour make several key stops, like the Supreme Court, Martin Luther King's monument, The Black Lives Matter memorial and finally to the East side of the U.S. Capital.

Watching the photographers running to get that perfect shot; stand on a ladder leaning against a building so wires did not get into the shot. And also give a better angle for the image. It's only been two years since I stopped doing Live News Feeds. Doing those feeds had nothing to do with my health, rather they just became something that took up more time out of the day. Editor's photo calls had you basically stop doing what you were doing and go get that shot at the House of Blues Bartender's Competition or such things. In short, my first awareness of AP or UPI news hounds first hand, came my freshman year in college when the oldest university west of the Appalachian Mountains was the party school that made all the Look Magazines, and others of the time, cover pages regularly. My one room mate's father was the publisher of a towns newspaper.There was a sit-in at the town's square at college and all those M2 flashbulbs going off shook my roommate to the core. He just knew that when those photos hit the wire, his father would see him in the middle of the sit-in. He was right. His father was rather angry with him.

Years later, I sat in his father's office as I passed through the town and talked to his dad for a while. I ask him if he remembered that picture and his quick answer was," you bet I do." Later, I meet several other AP reporters and photographers that remained dear to me until they passed. The other ones, which taught me so much, was one of the several writers of the Nancy Drew Mysteries. Milly and I talked almost daily for a number of years. She was the city desk editor of a major newspaper in the Great Lakes area. There were a lot of staff reporters and those with specialty columns as their by-lines. They have all since retired and I only see one in the headlines from time- to- time. The point is, I do miss the Live News Feeds that were shot over the years, but I don't miss that deadline stuff.

Today I ended writing checks. The first time in 60 years. Each month writing one check and then paying all my other bills electronically, did kind of irk me. But, it did bring a part of my old normal into play and how it had been over those years. It made me think of 'ole Dodrill, the AP reporter and photographer friend. Not, having to re-order checks again is an old normal routine that is gone. Even my prescriptions come by DHL now, rather than me going over to Walgreen's to pick them up. My groceries now come to my door. The old normal is still a part of my new normal, just in a different way. Now, when I think of, or see photographers chasing political, Hollywood, sports figures, I will think, "I did that once."
Even this shot is a thing of the past. It was traveling to Houston where the hashtag has
a place on a downtown building on the Gulf. It was pure luck to have been at the same place the driver stopped to eat lunch. That's why I wanted the Maggie 1 in the shot. That's proof it was in Dallas.

I've always embraced change, never being afraid of it. Change makes progress overall and that's my way of thinking on being progressive. I'd rather be here than to fear change.

Change does seem to come more frequently today. It also seems that there isn't the attention paid to detail today than in the old normal. Which, in this case, beings itself into my new normal. Tell me it isn't so!

Saturday, July 25, 2020

Stock Photography Is Me Happy

A long time ago I learned that the first rule of photography is: shoot what you like! It is the key to everything. So when I decided that urban photography was what made me happiest, that first rule came to mind every time I went out (which lately isn't that much). Never-the-less, it still applies to the few times that I have been able to get out.

Before my hospital stays took me into downtime, there really wasn't enough time in a day to go out and shoot, then edit, then submit to agencies. Now, being home bound for the last month, I have been going through my archives of images that I just never got around to submitting. Having said that, my total on line images has begun to show up in my workday.

The old adage that one should take time to stop and smell the roses, became for me, take time to see what you have been shooting. The stock business money isn't even a factor. I do log every sale to see the images that are making their way out into the business world, homes, offices, and board rooms. The places were I have seen my images is amazing to me. Having a picture sell is what brings me joy--not the money that it generates. It's a numbers game, for sure, but you can't focus on that. Your focus has to be on the image that your eye caught or something so unusual that it makes you gasp. That's why I relied on my shoot wheel so much over the years. If you don't plan to follow up on project, you miss the next one entirely. Things change!

Having said that, I still shoot a lot of images that give me direction for things in the future. Those images are not worth deleting because they become to you much like the greens book do for the pro golfers that they keep in their hind pocket. Notice that they look at it before ever hole. It's a guide for them as those shots that will never get published are for a photographer. Sure, it takes up space but it's like a travel journal or notes that you keep about customer likes etc.,etc. It becomes your journal of what makes a good shot in almost every situation.

Even something as simple as a bike sale can lead to something else within the sale or the location.

Monday, July 20, 2020

The Art Linkletter House Party Is Etched in Memory

"Arthur Gordon really knows how to make his reader fall in love with life . . . without being preachy, pompous or pedantic. His word pictures are fresh and sparkling; his personalized stories are heart-touching; his sudden shafts or poignant observation are illuminating. I read it with such a sensation of relief and happiness that I cannot recall anything in recent days to make me feel so good all over."

This quote shocked me more than anything because it came from none other than the iconic author of "Kids Say The Darndest Things."  Mr. Art Linkletter wrote this in time before Fleming H. Revell Company published in 1974, Author Gordon's book, "A Touch of Wonder ".  The quote appears on the back cover.

I have always loved life. Gordon's book came to me from a dear friend years ago. Gordon said, " A Book to Help People Stay in Love with Life. " It's one of those books were you can read chapter 6 first if you choose and read the other chapters at your own choosing. Yet, the entire book has organization to it that fits like a  jigsaw puzzle. In the past.

I have a few post about this book. It never gets old and finding new though in its pages seem to always fit the time period that is current.

No refreshments being served at this counter this season!

Since 1991, this book has been at the ready at my desk. It has become tattered and some pages have dog ears. The margins are marked and the chapter headings have  notes to myself. It won't be the last time that I pull it down from it's handy spot. After all these years, finding Art Linkletter's quote on the back page was indeed a shocker for me. I just never imagined that  I would  discover that Art Linkletter and I have such like thoughts about life.

Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Now Officially A Walker, It's Time For Some Gum Shoe Research

When the tow company carried my car off to that place where 'total loss' cars go, I became an official walker---walking to the bus stop to get to the train station. Sometimes, I have to transfer to another bus if I am away from the core of the city.

If the truth be known, I have wanted to walk the downtown streets with my cameras for sometime. Once in a while I would find a parking spot for a quick shot here and there but to walk the triangle and get some of the choice relics, you have to be on foot. Having said that, with all the building and expansions down town, the changes have been enormous. Some things have changed so much that the difference between the old and the new is now "the norm" with no signs of the old.

A new five acre park in Deep Ellum, on the historic streets that are known by the railroad bridge they go under at downtown's Dealey Plaza. Going the other direction they spread out and become Commerce, Main and Elm, but on the east end of downtown that borders on Deep Ellum (TX) It has been given the go ahead green light for construction. Only yards from Uber's new digs where the vertiport plans are unfolding. For those that are not sure what a vertiport might be, it's a kind of airport but limited to only aircraft that takes off vertically, like a helicopter (car) maybe. The Kay Bailey Hutichson Convention has an amazing vertiport on its core roof top.

Deep Ellum has undergone a modernization. The music venue is now sporting more places to eat and drink in addition to more shops to browse and it's first high rise residents tower.  All these spots are easy to get to by train.with Deep Ellum's two train stations.

Nearly 20 years ago, I spent 6-months in Deep Ellum doing a project for a Fortune 500 company. On any given Monday morning I could tell you exactly where a broken beer bottle lay. Meeting the President of the Deep Ellum Association and later, the Board of the Deep Ellum Foundation, was an honor in such a rich history of music that made Deep Ellum what it was as a music venue. Blind Lemon; the former Coco-Cola Dallas Offices has historic markers that can be found in Deep Ellum. Rudolph's Meat Market has been on Elm since 1895 and has been selling true butcher shop quality for nearly 123 years.

So, there is plenty of room for more gum shoe research. Who knows what I will find this go around.

A mural painted in Deep Ellum. Paint has always been a thing in Deep Ellum as the old tunnels were painted every year by artist and then there was the old school bus.

In Deep Ellum, there is a sign that reminds visitors that Deep Ellum was an unincorporated city at one point on the east end of downtown Dallas.