Friday, July 21, 2017

“Houston, Tranquility Base here. The Eagle has landed.”

(That head is a link, dudes.)
It’s July 20th, 1969. 48 years ago.
My wife and I are returning from a family reunion in northwestern PA.
We married about one year and six months earlier.
Her father was driving, and her parents were in the front seats. We were in their humble white 1963 Plymouth Valiant; “the refrigerator.”
We were driving winding two-lanes in Potter County, so-called “God’s Country.”
Her father had the car-radio on, AM.
Mission commander Neil Armstrong and pilot Buzz Aldrin were in the descending Lunar Module.
I was riveted.
“Contact light!” “Shutdown.” “Okay, engine stop. ACA – out of detent.” “Out of detent. Auto.” Aldrin continued “Mode control – both auto. Descent engine command override off. Engine arm – off. 413 is in.”
“We copy you down, Eagle.” said Charles Duke, CAPCOM in Houston.
“Houston, Tranquility Base here. The Eagle has landed.”
“Roger, Tranquility, we copy you on the ground. You got a bunch of guys about to turn blue. We're breathing again. Thanks a lot.”
I tear up every time I read this: “Houston, Tranquility Base here. The Eagle has landed.”
Here we were in the utter desolation of rural northwestern PA, returning from a family reunion that got rained inside, where the road ended at my wife’s great-aunt’s house (never seen that before), and WE DID IT!
And with less computing power than is in my iPhone.
Armstrong also overrode the computer; it had them landing on rocky ground. Armstrong took over and landed that module himself.
Incredible moxie and daring; needed to bring about President John Kennedy’s desire to land a man on the Moon during the following decade.
“Houston, Tranquility Base here. The Eagle has landed.” WE DID IT!
(Goin’ to my grave, dudes. Right up there with Don “Big Daddy” Garlits.)

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Monthly Train-Calendar Report for August 2017

Solid crude-oil moves toward the PBF refinery in Delaware City, DE. (Photo by Jack Hughes.)

—My brother Jack hung around a few hours at Allegheny Crossing before driving home to near Boston, a nine-hour trip for him.
I already left; five hours for me.
It was a beautiful morning, and 64R was headed east toward the PBF refinery in Delaware City.
The August 2017 entry in my own calendar is Norfolk Southern train 64R heading toward Lower Riggles Gap road overpass north (railroad east) of Altoona.
64R is solid crude-oil, all loaded tankcars, except for idlers at each end. The idlers supposedly supposedly protect the crew in a pile-up. Those tankcars have incredible momentum.
I avoid Lower Riggles Gap road overpass, because the railroad is long tangents on each side. I like curvature.
The railroad runs northeast to southwest from Tyrone (“tie-RONE;” as in “own”) along Allegheny front to Altoona, about 14 miles. In Altoona it turns west to cross Allegheny Mountain.
If the sun is out, it’s perfect light in the morning at the east end of the overpass.
That’s what makes this picture work — despite the long straight.
64R is loaded, so it’s heavy. It needed help over the mountain; loaded crude always get help over the mountain.
65R with only unit, #1111, the so-called “Barcode unit.” (Same overpass looking railroad-east.) (Photo by Jack Hughes.)

64R will go down the Susquehanna River to Perryville on Chesapeake Bay. Then it will go up the Northeast Corridor toward Wilmington, DE.
Before Wilmington it will branch off toward the PBF refinery to unload. Then empty it returns as 65R for another load.
The oil fields are not Norfolk Southern. 64R began near Chicago, handed over from Burlington-Northern Santa Fe or Canadian Pacific.
Westbound may even use Norfolk Southern’s locomotives, although unloaded might have been only one.

A local! (Photo by Greg Ropp.)

—What a joy to see a local in this calendar.
The August  2017 entry in my Norfolk Southern Employees’ Photography-Contest calendar is a local mixed freight in Norcross, GA.
Furthermore, 5080 is one of the old high-nose GP38-2s, probably built in 1973 for Southern Railway.
I wonder how old this picture is, since I don’t see 5080 in the active roster.
5080 doesn’t have the chopped nose that became popular back then. NS has since rebuilt many of its GP38-2s with chop-nose “Admiral” cabs.
Some railroads were chopping the noses of their GP-7s and GP-9s, which were well before the chop-nose phenomenon.
Yet Southern and Norfolk & Western continued ordering high-nose power.
It assumes an engineer and fireman, since the engineer can’t see left. Now that fireman may well be the train-conductor.
I think I see two locomotives, and it’s single track.
Most of Allegheny Crossing is two or three tracks. One section has five tracks = four running tracks, and one storage track.
The multiple track is across Allegheny Mountain. North (railroad-east) of Altoona, both eastbound and westbound are two running tracks, plus a third signal-controlled siding.
After Gray Interlocking, before Tyrone, it’s back to only two tracks.
Snagging a local is not that common. If I hear C42 on my railroad-radio scanner, I know that’s a local.
I think this is C42 at Gray. (Photo by BobbaLew.)
Locals run fairly often out of Altoona, but mostly I see long-distance freight pulled by road power.
It’s double-stack (intermodal), trailer-on-flatcar, or unit coal or crude-oil. Grain also runs as unit-trains, as do auto-racks.
Mixed-freights are fairly common, but mostly I see double-stacks. Yard-to-yard mixed freight isn’t that common any more.

Transfer to Enola curves off mighty Rockville. (Photo courtesy Bob’s Photo©.)

—When the Pennsylvania Railroad was proposed back in the 1840s, Harrisburg to Pittsburgh, there were two major natural barriers, Susquehanna River and Allegheny Mountain.
The August 2017 entry of my Audio-Visual Designs black-and-white All-Pennsy Calendar is a long transfer snaking off Rockville Bridge across the Susquehanna.
The Susquehanna wasn’t too difficult. Pictured is bridge number-three.
The first bridge was wood, and I think only one track.
The second was iron, and two tracks.
Still a bottleneck for what mighty Pennsy became.
Pictured is its replacement, four tracks wide, built entirely of stone, opened in 1902.
I used to say “it would take a direct hit from a thermonuclear warhead to take it out, but a washout occurred not long ago. Putting paid to the rumor the bridge had a concrete core. It was stone through-and-through.
Rockville is 3,820 feet long, forty-eight 70-foot arches, almost three-quarters of a mile. The Susquehanna isn’t deep; it can’t accommodate deep-draft shipping.
As such the footiings don’t go deep.
When Interstate-81 encountered the Susquehanna, building atop Rockville was considered. Thankfully it wasn’t done. I-81 crosses downriver on its own bridge.
Rockville is wide enough for four tracks, as originally used. But was cut back to two and three when Pennsy modernized its cross-state mainline.
More trackage was removed by Norfolk Southern after an intermodal container blew into the river. NS now owns Rockville; it purchased the old Pennsy main from Conrail in 1999.
Conrail succeeded Penn-Central after it went bankrupt. Conrail operated both the old Pennsy main, and also the old New York Central main across NY. (That line is now CSX.)
Rockville is no longer the linchpin it was.
Even Harrisburg became a bottleneck = no room to expand.
Enola yard (“aye-NOLE-uh;” as in “hay”) opened in 1905 on the west bank of the Susquehanna across from Harrisburg. Pennsy could thereby avoid Harrisburg.
Pennsy redirected its torrent of freight through Enola, then east on additional lines back to its main.
Enola was also where electrification began. Freight got switched to electric power for lines east of Enola.
Harrisburg still saw plenty of freight, and here we see a single Alco RS-11 transferring a long drag from Harrisburg to Enola.
The RS-11 was fairly successful, Alco built 425, 38 for Pennsy.
1,800 horsepower on two four-wheel trucks. I’m sure RS-11s were also used as road power. They were intended to counter EMD’s GP-9.
The RS-11 is not the so-called “alligator;” that’s the RSD-15. Railfans called ‘em alligators because of their long short-hood — which could be high or chopped.
The RSD-15 was on six-wheel trucks, 2,400 horsepower.
Both are the road-switcher format, initiated by Alco in 1941 with its RS-1.
Dieselization was by cab-units first, but road-switchers were easier to operate, especially backing.
Operation was easier still when the short hood started being chopped. It allowed a full cab-width windshield; the engineer could thereafter see left.

Rare birds. (Photo by Jim Buckley.)

—The August 2017 entry in my All-Pennsy color calendar is a Pennsy freight toward Enola pulled by two Westinghouse E-3b locomotives. 4996 and 4995 were the only two locomotives in the class, purchased in 1951. Westinghouse built four experimental locomotives, promoted by the desire of electrified railroading to use direct-current (DC) traction-motors, as in diesel-electric locomotives.
The overhead wire on Pennsy was alternating-current (AC). GG-1s were AC, as were most Pennsy electric locomotives. Only the third-rail DD-1s were direct-current.
Alternating-current didn’t degrade over distance as much as direct-current.
Yet the traction-motors in diesel-electrics were direct-current. In order to use overhead wire current with DC traction-motors, it had to be rectified from AC to DC.
Westinghouse’s experimentals used on-board ignitron rectification.
It wasn’t until much later, the ‘60s, that railroading began to use dependable rectification, silicon rectifiers in the E-44.
E-44s. (Photo by Dave Sweetland.)
The E-44 was ignitron rectification at first, but switched to silicon rectification.
“44” stood for 4,400 horsepower, but some E-44s were uprated to 5,000 horsepower.
Pennsy also wanted to replace its aging P-5 freighter fleet. The P-5s were originally passenger engines, but the GG-1s were so successful Pennsy regeared the P-5s  for freight service.
Westinghouse’s experimentals were an effort to replace the P-5, as well as use direct-current traction motors.
The experimentals didn’t work very well. Pennsy put up with ‘em, but they were scrapped in 1964.
An E-2b in Wilmington Shops. (Long-ago photo by BobbaLew.)
Other experimentals were the E-2bs, but they were alternating-current. Only six were built. General Electric built ‘em in 1952, and they were also scrapped in 1964.
There were both box-cab and steeple-cab versions of the P-5. The steeple-cab resulted from a grade-crossing accident that killed the crew in a box-cab. GG-1s are steeple-cab too = not Raymond Loewy (“LOW-eee”); all he did was restyle ‘em.
Both the DD-2 and an E-3c are visible. (Long-ago photo by BobbaLew.)
I’ll never forget the first time I saw the experimentals at PRR’s Wilmington Shops.
I was completely clueless.
It wasn’t until my “Pennsy Power” book by Al Staufer that I knew what I saw. I also saw the one-and-only DD-2.
I still have my “Pennsy Power” books, both I and II — there was a third, but I don’t have it.
Those books are as long as I live, and go to my railfan nephew when I’m gone. —Now even mighty Pennsy is gone.
—The Staufer books identify 4996 and 4995 as E-3bs; the calendar misidentifies ‘em as E-3c; the E-3cs are two six-axle trucks. (The E-3bs have the three four-axle trucks pictured.)
The calendar also misidentifies the actual E-3cs as E-2bs.
I trust Staufer; that calendar has mucked up before.
Also, the calendar says the train is eastbound — the light tells me it’s westbound. (Although I may have Enola’s track layout wrong. As I recall, electrification is into the east side of the yard — like the train is approaching Enola from the east.)

Wednesday, July 19, 2017



Years ago when I worked at the Mighty Mezz, there was a girl there I nicknamed “man-hating string-bean.”
I never called her that to her face. We got along pretty well, but it seemed she hated men.
Every day her mother called, and they badmouthed men. This despite a picture of her husband in her cubicle. She was in her 30s and extremely thin.
She was a “Postie,” from Post Newspapers, which the Messenger purchased shortly before their CEO-founder died.
Posties could be elitists compared to we down-to-earth Messenger mockers. My guess is that was Post management style. Build up the employees so they could be paid peanuts.
“Man-hating string-bean” and I worked in adjacent cubicle rows. She was maybe 15-20 feet away across an aisle.
One day my friend Marcy, who worked in the cubicle next to mine, sneezed.
It was the exact moment I fired up a picture of a hotrod Model T Ford in my iMac, so I shouted “T-Bone.”
“T-Bone” is old hotrod lingo. Model T Fords were “T-Bones;” Model-A Fords were “A-Bones.”
Marcy was flummoxed. Why had I shouted “T-Bone” instead of “gesundheit?”
From then on any time anyone sneezed at the Mighty Mezz, someone uttered “T-Bone.”
One time man-hating string-bean sneezed, so I called her up from my cubicle 15-20 feet away.
“T-Bone,” I said quietly.
She laughed.
No fair! I made her laugh, and men were disgusting scoundrels.

• The “Mighty Mezz” is the Canandaigua Daily-Messenger newspaper, from where I retired over 11 years ago. Best job I ever had — I worked there almost 10 years (over 11 if you count my time as a post-stroke unpaid intern [I had a stroke October 26th, 1993, from which I recovered fairly well]).
• “Marcy” is my number-one Ne’er-do-Well — she was the first I was e-mailing stuff to. Marcy and I worked in adjacent cubicles at the Canandaigua Daily-Messenger newspaper. A picture of her is in this blog at Conclave of Ne’er-do-Wells. She has since married.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

51 long years ago.....

In August of 1966, yr fthfl srvnt was granted a Bachelor of Arts degree at nearby Houghton College (“HO-tin;” as in “hoe,” not “how” or “who”) — despite his inability to master French.
Houghton is about 80 miles south of Rochester.
I was first in my family to do so, although I’m sure my father coulda done it, but he was Depression, when the imperative was to Get a job.
I also owed them 400 smackaroos, which I quickly paid after graduation.
I did well in other courses, so they graduated me anyway.
Houghton was founded in 1883, but not as a college. It’s evangelical, affiliated with the Wesleyan-Methodist Connection. It was a reaction by Willard Houghton, a Wesleyan-Methodist minister, to what the town that later became Houghton was, a den of iniquity.
The town was originally named “Jockey Street,” and was along the Genesee Valley Canal (“jen-uh-SEE”), from Rochester south to Olean in vast Genesee valley.
The canal shipped grain (mainly wheat) north to Rochester, where it might get shipped east on the Erie Canal. Rochester also had mills powered by the Genesee river.
Genesee valley was this nation’s first bread-basket.
Jockey Street was rife with bawdiness, taverns and prostitution to serve the “canalers” (“kin-ALL-ers”).
The town was so-named because people raced their horses over the town’s long main street.
So Willard arrived and decided to clean up the town. He established a seminary (a high-school), a “little island of decency.”
In 1899 a few college classes were offered; the college department’s first diploma was awarded in 1901. Houghton College received its provisional charter from New York State in 1923, and awarded its first 19 baccalaureate degrees two years later. A permanent charter was granted in 1927, and accreditation by the Middle States Association of Schools and Colleges came in 1935.
Houghton acquired its first academically-trained president, James S. Luckey, who served until his death in 1937. He was succeeded by Stephen W. Paine, who served until 1972.
Under Paine’s leadership the college expanded from about 300 students to 1,200, necessitating new buildings. The percentage of faculty with earned doctorates tripled.
Under Paine Houghton became the second-best evangelical college behind Wheaton College near Chicago.
I’m sure for Paine it was a constant wrastling-match = his evangelical desire to make Houghton serious, versus the protective Wesleyan-Methodist zealots.
Paine got a compromise that allowed the National Defense Student-Loan program by no longer requiring chapel-attendance.
No doubt the zealots wrung their hands = “weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth.”
“Hell in a handbasket,” I tell ya!
If not for the National Defense Student-Loan program (NDSL) I woulda never attended college = dead, a ‘Nam-victim.
“Chapel-checkers” recorded attendance, and if you failed to show you got fined. But you weren’t required to attend — at least I don’t think you were; I always attended.
NY state seems to have nurtured who-knows-how-many fervent religious institutions. Nearby in the Town of Lima (“LYE-muh;” not “LEE-muh”) is Elim Bible Institute. It’s not a four-year college — all it offers are two-year associate degrees.
Yet what buildings it has remind me of Houghton’s old buildings. Like Elim crashed whereas Houghton didn’t. No Steve Paine.
My going to Houghton resulted from a great compromise with my hyper-religious father, who wanted me to attend Moody Bible Institute like he did in the late ‘30s.
Trouble at that time, about 1960, was Moody wasn’t a college. All it could render was a two-year Associate Degree. I wanted a four-year college degree. (I think by now Moody is a four-year college.)
In summer of 1960 my family took a vacation including through Chicago to visit Moody, and also Wheaton.
We stayed overnight in a Moody dorm, and I was nervous. Moody was urban, and I’m from the suburbs. —My father was from the city.
So Moody was comfortable for him, but not for me.
Moody was also hot to convert students into brow-beating street evangelists = rendering judgment on anyone other than themselves.
Not this kid! No way was I gonna scream at some vagrant = hellfire and damnation.
In the summer of ’61 I worked at a Christian Boys Camp that had Houghton students on staff.
Houghton sounded interesting, so we visited, probably early in ’62.
Thus ensued “the Great Compromise” (my terminology) = Houghton or Wheaton instead of Moody — since both were evangelical colleges.
I applied to both, but Wheaton turned me down. Houghton would admit me if I proved I could do college-level study = six weeks of Houghton Summer-School.
My course would be Bible Introduction; somehow I managed a “B.” Pass-or-fail; and “‘Nam for you baby” if you fail!
“So what did you get outta Houghton?” friends ask.
“A wife, “ I always say.
“And a really good one,” I add. “Also an unbeliever like me;” totally unexpected at Houghton.
My father was angry; Houghton had not “straightened me out.”
Instead of beating me to a pulp, adult authority figures valued and solicited my opinions.
This was revelatory compared to the way I was brought up. Always declared stupid and rebellious, even by my parents.
I’ve never regretted Houghton. My younger sister (deceased), who also attended Houghton, but only two years — she didn’t graduate — said I “flowered” there. Discussion replaced intimidation.
I majored in history — two good professors instead of only one — and minored in secondary education. I set about to teach high-school history, and even did a short stint of student-teaching.
But high-school teaching seemed loaded with politics, or so seemed my mentor teacher. So I didn’t complete my student-teaching.
Houghton had other presidents since I graduated, mainly Daniel Chamberlain from 1976 to 2006.
I’m probably misreading him, but I always felt he was a clown; that he was cashing in on the extraordinary legacy Steve Paine left.
Faire Shirley.
The current prez is Shirley Mullen, who graduated Houghton in 1976.
I’m told a college president’s ability to generate funding is all-important, and apparently Shirley is good at it.
I felt she was a shill at first, but now I’m impressed. She’s a good discussion; my wife was like that. Also a cousin I knew long ago. That cousin was such an excellent discussion I wanted to marry a girl like her. And I did.
Houghton e-mails a monthly newsletter, and Shirley leads. Although Shirley and I are far apart, I always read her.
I attended my 50-year class reunion last year. Quite a few were pleased to see me, although there were the usual judgmental nay-sayers.
I never really fit at Houghton, almost canned on an attitude rap.
Others in my class are far more religious than me.
I graduated unprepared for the work-a-day world, but I’m glad I attended. It set my values; mainly because adults cared about me, which made me a bleeding-heart Liberal (gasp!) like them.
I graduated with the makings of a self I could accept. I was able to walk away from parental badmouthing.
My “self” has been tenuous ever since. Houghton was the start.
I was finally able to shut down my father.


“It’s a miracle, Bobby!”

(Sorry dudes; the back of the coupon is bleeding through, and ain’t worth fixin’.)

That’s what my mother said about anything lacking easy explanation. It had religious import.
I get a packet of advertising every month in my mail. I shred most, but one flyer stood out.
It’s above.
Filter-screens atop your gutters — to keep leaves from piling up.
I looked at the flyer, “before” and “after.”
“After” is clean enough to eat off. The gutters are spotless, as is the roof.
“Before” is grungy. Leaves clutter everything. Some are rotting.
Install these leaf-filters, and leaves no longer fall off trees. If they do, “they in deep trouble.”
Leaf-filter or not, I bet leaves still pile up.
Whatever; I don’t have that problem.
My roof is spotless, as are my gutters.
No trees are near my house.
Why is it some contractor has to make a killing fleecing dreamers?
Worse yet, why does anyone believe this stuff?
A buffet meal at a nearby gambling casino costs 26 buckaroos.
Whadda they servin’? Beluga caviar?
My niece, my only local relative, suggests for that $26 I also get a ticket to the gambling floor. “If you used that ticket instead of being so pinch-penny, yer meal might cost less.”
“It also might cost more,” I say. “If it weren’t for bad luck, I’d have no luck at all!” TWANG!
No leaf-filters fer this kid!
If I plant trees next to my house, I’m gonna get leaves.  —Unless them leaf-filters magically stop the growing season.

• “Bobby” is me, Bob Hughes, BobbaLew.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

“It’s workin’ ain’t it!”

Yrs Trly is fiddling photographs for yesterday’s blog.
My pictures are at PhotoBucket®, accessed to BlogSpot via HTML tag.
I go to upload a picture to PhotoBucket, and can’t.
“PhotoBucket bombs yet again: ‘your browser can’t access the address.’”
I quickly discerned none of my browser tabs worked.
To do so I hafta “refresh” each tab, since unrefreshed tabs still display.
I been dreading this. Lost Internet with my new briefcase modem, the way Spectrum® upgraded me from 20 megabytes-per-second to 60.
I set about doing what I used to do with my old modem. Cut power (pull plug), wait 20 seconds, then reinsert power plug. This would force a modem reboot — or so I hoped.
Still no Internet. I’m hard-wired, so go wireless. I also can do wireless.
Still no Internet. “Now what?”
“Call Spectrum,” I instruct Siri on my iPhone.
“I found all these ‘Spectrums.’ Tap the one you want.”
I tap the one on Mt. Hope Ave. in Rochester, my cable Spectrum.
“Welcome to Spectrum. This call will be monitored,” yada-yada.
So began their machines. “No Internet. Right?”
At which point I’m tempted to say “Oh ease up, fer cryin’ out loud.”
The machine would say “I don’t understand.”
I can’t imagine my 73 year old friend dickerin’ this; he’d walk away. (I’m 73 myself.)
My navigation was fairly successful, except one tumble into confused lock-up.
Finally, after maybe 10 minutes, a real person.
“Lemme access your modem,” she said. I guess she disconnected me and then reconnected.
Still no Internet; except wi-fi reappeared (perhaps). But no hard-wired.
Madness, as usual. Maybe wi-fi was back, but I’m not sure.
“Happened before,” I said. “I suspect the plug.” The little plastic thingy that keeps the plug tight had broken off. The plug can go adrift.
Jiggle-jiggle-jiggle. But I have wi-fi Internet, where I didn’t previously — or so I thought.
Suddenly my hard-wire is working.
Just the same I’m inclined to get a new wire.
“So am I gonna hafta call you guys every time this happens? Seems I had no wi-fi until you reconnected me.
Talking to the moon, of course. The techie, a youngster, was convinced my hard-wire connection was suspect.
Whatever! Back in business for the time being = until it tanks again.
If there’s anything I’ve learned drivin’ this ‘pyooter, it’s understanding doesn’t matter.
All that matters are RESULTS; “‘Pyooter-Guru” at the Mighty Mezz would concur.
“It’s workin’ ain’t it!”

• This is a “BlogSpot” blog.
• “HTML” is Hyper-Text Markup Language, a background instruction system made invisible in text by surrounding carets (“<” and “>”). I use it only to embolden, underline and italicize text, although it can do other things. My picture-inserts and links are also via HTML-tag.
• RE: “PhotoBucket bombs yet again.......” —PhotoBucket is somewhat unstable, and may tank once per week.
• The “Mighty Mezz” is the Canandaigua Daily-Messenger newspaper, from where I retired over 11 years ago. Best job I ever had — I worked there almost 10 years (over 11 if you count my time as a post-stroke unpaid intern). “‘Pyooter-Guru” was the Messenger’s technology (computer) manager.
• I had a stroke October 26th, 1993, from which I pretty much recovered. Just tiny detriments; I can pass for never having had a stroke. My biggest challenge is phonecalls.


Friday, July 14, 2017


“If **** is one of yer Facebook-friends, what ya do is go to his Facebook to see all the fabulous landscape photographs he posted.”
“Is that how it works?” I asked. “Seems not long ago I was getting Facebook notifications for every post a Facebook friend made. I never understand Facebook. Looks like they changed something.”
I was talking to *** *****, a lady I once worked with at the Canandaigua Daily-Messenger newspaper. We both are ex; me retired, and she laid off.
**** is also ex Messenger. He moved to Denver. Together we did the Messenger website.
****, like me, fell to the allure of photography. With me it’s trains (I’m a railfan), with him it’s landscape, especially if weather is dramatic.
Weather is more extreme out west than here in Western NY. And landscape more interesting.
Giant thunderheads tower over purple-mountain majesties, and amber waves of grain.
**** sees it and photographs.
Another friend and I are discussing whether photography is art.
He suggests it isn’t when it’s so easy to snag an excellent photograph.
*** and I discussed this. Ansel Adams, perhaps the most famous photographer of all, was in Yosemite Valley, and had only one chance to snag his famous “Half-Dome” photograph.

Moon over Half-Dome. (Photo by Ansel Adams.)

One of my best photographs is one of 12 I took in quick succession. (Multiple exposures = “motor-drive.”)
After that I could jazz up the photograph with my Photoshop-Elements®.

Last or second-to-last. (Photo by BobbaLew.)

There’s Adams in his darkroom, burning-and-dodging his 8-by-10 negative to get the print-results he wanted.
I do that too, but on this computer. No more darkroom for The Keed.
Composition also plays a part.
*** noted how she and her husband (deceased) would photograph the same topic. Yet his pictures looked better than hers. It was his eye for composition, versus her alleged lack thereof.
“There are things I’ve learned,” I said.
“—Every picture needs a foreground. I’m at the park with my dog, and a couple is photographing the pond with their hyper-expensive camera, usually with a gigantic telephoto lens.
‘I hate to butt in, but I suggest ya move back 30 feet.’
‘I do that, and that picnic table will obscure the pond.’
‘For viewers to get a handle on what they’re looking at, ya need that picnic-table. Tree-trunks too.’

”Step back 30 feet.” (Photo by BobbaLew.)

—Simple as possible:
‘Goodie-goodie. No sky to distract; just woods in the background.’

Goodie-goodie! (Photo by BobbaLew.)

—Frame if I can get it: “That overpass will frame the subject.” Various siblings objected, but with a frame viewers can more easily make sense of what they’re looking at.

The overpass is the frame. (Photo by BobbaLew.)

Ditto. (Photo by BobbaLew.)

Modeling if I can get it. That is, my subject partially in shadow.
Gotta be careful though. Shadows can ruin a picture. There are locations I can’t take because they’re too backlit if the sun is out.

Modeling exemplified. (Photo by BobbaLew.)

All of this is figgerin’ into whatever I take, and I’m sure **** does it too.
So there’s **** bombing along in the Colorado outback: “Wow! Lookit that sky!” Unholster camera, engage artistic input, then click; or perhaps as in my case click-click-click-click-click!

• “****” in Denver is photographer at Rocky Lakes Photography.
• The “Canandaigua Daily-Messenger” is the newspaper from where I retired over 11 years ago. Best job I ever had — I worked there almost 10 years (over 11 if you count my time as a post-stroke unpaid intern [I had a stroke October 26th, 1993, from which I recovered fairly well]). (“Canandaigua” [“cannan-DAY-gwuh”] is a small city nearby where I live in Western NY. The city is also within a rural town called “Canandaigua.” The name is Indian, and means “Chosen Spot.” —It’s about 14 miles away.)
• “The Keed” is me, Bob Hughes, “BobbaLew.”


Monday, July 10, 2017


BlogSpot®, which this blog is, is a subsidiary of Google®.
Which wants to take over the the entire known universe.
I admit to using Google quite a bit.
It started as a search-engine, I think, and became the search-engine everyone uses. Others remain: Yahoo®, and “Jeeves” (“Ask Jeeves,” now just “ASK”), what I used first.
Google is now into everything. As far as I know, both YouTube® and BlogSpot are Google, along with 89 bazilyun other computer apps.
Apparently Google is working on a self-driving car.
I’m a retired bus-driver. I always allowed incredible following distance, perhaps five times what was suggested. I didn’t wanna slam on the brakes = toss passenger outta their seats.
I’d be bopping along, a huge gap in front of me, and some NASCAR wannabee charged into the gap.
“Did you see that?” my shotgun rider exclaimed.
“Which is why I’m way back here,” I said.
Google wants bumper-to-bumper 80 mph on Los Angeles’ 405.
I don’t think I could do it.
I need “slop;” which is what I called it.
I still do it, though no longer carrying passengers.
Used to be I got my ‘50s rock-n-roll from various sites: Little Richard, Jerry Lee Lewis, Danny and the Juniors.
Now I get them from YouTube, with video that may be little more than a spinning 45. (Anyone know what a “45” is?)
I’ve pictured BlogSpot’s thingy for manipulating blog posts. My blogs aren’t written into BlogSpot. I do ‘em on this computer in a word-processor, Apple’s “Pages.”
When finished I copy/paste to BlogSpot, then publish.
Quite often “editing” has to be done: cutting, fixing errors, etc.
I don’t edit BlogSpot. I edit my word-processor document, then copy/paste again.
That thingy is also telling me how many readers I had, plus if anyone commented.
I don’t know who they are, or if anyone out there in cyberspace is reading my blog.
I get 15-20 readers on average, and most of those, if not all, were from e-malled blog links.
A blog link goes to perhaps 30 or more. I have e-mail lists: “family,” “trains” (railfans like me), ex-Messenger (the newspaper where I once worked), and my vaunted “Ne’er-do-Well” list (people like me declared reprehensible and disgusting).
Once a blog is published I send out an e-mail of “Today’s blog-post.” It has my BlogSpot link, which their Internet browser fires up.
I’ve noticed I get one blog reader almost immediately. I don’t think people are waiting with baited breath to click my link.
My guess is someone programmed their e-mail to fire up links, or safer yet, my links alone.
Whatever, someone already fired up my blog as soon as I published it.
Or something fired up my link as soon as I published.

• I’m told my perception of Google is eclipsed. As I understood it, YouTube and BlogSpot were Google apps. Now that has been superseded by a holding-company named “Alphabet,” and Google is part of that. YouTube and BlogSpot may be standalone Alphabet subsidiaries. Whatever; they’re gonna have to pry my cold dead hands from the steering-wheel!
• “Little Richard,” “Jerry Lee Lewis,” and “Danny and the Juniors” are all YouTube links that play the song. Click away, dudes.