New York NYC Journal

Austin,

I’m not certain a “kill-switch” is enough. That hardware provides a lot of technological insights.

Did you know that it takes many years to build a plant and install the equipment?

I have studied the latest extreme UV lithography process, and pretty much one key element is chip design which the U.S. still dominates. Then there are the U.S. quality control machines that correct and inspect wafers for defects.

The light source is from a Japanese company. Masks from Applied Materials…

I guess my point is the technology required is in layers, and why supply any layer as a head start?

From a military standpoint I can’t see dead hardware surviving intact. Pretty much irreversible damage has to happen, but there goes the Taiwan economy and the rest of the world’s economy.

Pretty much the end of the world as we know it, and without nuclear war. Things like the War in the Ukraine of course is being watched closely by the Chinese…

Cal
 
Austin,

I’m not certain a “kill-switch” is enough. That hardware provides a lot of technological insights.

Did you know that it takes many years to build a plant and install the equipment?

I have studied the latest extreme UV lithography process, and pretty much one key element is chip design which the U.S. still dominates. Then there are the U.S. quality control machines that correct and inspect wafers for defects.

The light source is from a Japanese company. Masks from Applied Materials…

I guess my point is the technology required is in layers, and why supply any layer as a head start?

From a military standpoint I can’t see dead hardware surviving intact. Pretty much irreversible damage has to happen, but there goes the Taiwan economy and the rest of the world’s economy.

Pretty much the end of the world as we know it, and without nuclear war. Things like the War in the Ukraine of course is being watched closely by the Chinese…

Cal

Cal, it's good to keep in mind that we are now into the pre-apocalypse era. Long may it last (the pre- part anyway) but we must prepare. As you seem to be doing.
 
DU,

I’m usually a very positive thinking person, and I am generally not so pessimistic.

It does seem like the world is getting crazier. Basically I do what I can to make the world safer and a better place. This thread I kinda do as a public service. The world does need hope if it is going to survive.

BTW thanks for being my friend and questioning my actions. I had to destroy the Voles, but not the chipmunks. Basically the chipmunks and I can co-exist.

My peas and string beans germinated and are surprisingly growing fast. I see flowers on my tomato and pepper plants. In fact I already have a Roma tomato growing on one plant the size of a marble.

I learned that if I plant the root of a scallion I get a free plant. Been recycling the roots to advance my scallion yield.

At least I can somewhat control my food supply.

When I heard Tommy Emanual play a George Harrison medley, somehow I heard a pivot chord that could of led to a modulation, a change of keys. If I remember correctly part of the medley was “Here Comes The Sun,” but one passing chord could of provided a “pivot” chord that drew me to jump to “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” in my mind.

Anyways Tommy Emanual did not play those two songs, the jump was in my head and triggered just by one chord. Hmmm…

That would be an interesting and prophetic blending to weave between such a hopeful song and the sad darkness of the other. Pretty much that realistically describes the world we live in today.

I imagine one day being able to do a slow rendition that is both jazzy chord melody and bluesy with my Tom Petty like voice. Not trying to be a song writer, but the goal to strive is to basically steal a song.

Kinda like how I was told by my friend Timmy that Bob Dylan at a performance introduced “All Along The Watchtower” as a Jimi Hendrix song at one of his concerts. Basically Bob Dylan wrote the song, but pretty much Jimi owned it.

I don’t know if this story is true, but it kinda makes sense. It is also kinda funny.

Another example is the song “When I die” written by Laura Nero, but the best known rendition is by Blood, Sweat and Tears.

I would argue that “God Bless The Child” written by Billie Holiday is kinda tied in my mind with the Blood, Sweat and Tears version.

BTW I can do a pretty good rendition/imitation of Tomas Clayton Powell one of the singers from Blood, Sweat and Tears.

I can also imitate Greg Lake’s voice. Think “Lucky Man” or “Se La Vie.”

I can really belt it out no need for any mike or amplifier. My dream is to be able to just use one of my Santa Cruz guitars with no amp or mike to fill a room. To project volume though it requires heavy strings and some loss of speed.

The Santa Cruz guitars articulate, have mucho volume and clarity, and really fill a room. The key trick is a thick heavy pick.

Cal
 
Last edited:
AJ had the fat pins I needed to replace the somewhat stripped pair I had on the Unicycle. I learned the unicycle has a twisted spindle. Oh-well only cost me $20.00. At least I can use it to learn to “rock,” which is pretty much staying in place on the pedals. Pretty much a basic skill.

I also can likely find another flea market unicycle…

AJ offered to order a replacement at his costs. Hmmm. I might take him up on this for a more serious unicycle for riding around town.

I remember the unicyclist I met that rode a perhaps 60 inch wheel. Pretty much he could “honk” in traffic with a 60 inch gear.

Perhaps a 42 or 48 inch wheel for me…

A little bit crazy, but crazy is good. I joked is all I want to be is left alone, and if you are crazy perhaps people will stay away and leave me alone. AJ laughed and thought my idea was funny.

AJ gifted me a set/pair of Wolber Profil 18 700 rims that are black hard anodized. Thing is they are only 28 spoke, but since I’m a skinny bitch this works for me. These rims are brand new and still wrapped in the factory plastic.

It seems like AJ is working on some art, and is keen on having a bike show, but the timing would be next year. I offered to introduce AJ to Mike, the owner of the exhibition space, to move things along.

I went for 2 visits, and on the second I rode the steel IBIS down 9A to Croton to show off the steel IBIS as a full rigid with the fattest tires I could mount. AJ agrees a very balanced and smooth ride. Riding home I wore the gifted pair of rims around my neck supported by my forearms.

I love the high rise stem and the more upright seating position. Seems to move the CG of the bike rearward for best handling and balance. It also supports a muy retro look.

Feels great to get on a bike. Luckily the expected rain held off for me to enjoy the day. I think I will change the chainring on the steel IBIS to a 32T and the rear cassette to an 11-40T for taller gearing. The steel IBIS turned out to be a really great bike built out as a full rigid.

I will drive a pole into one of my rear lawns to be my support to practice “rocking” on the unicycle. Pretty much if I crash it will be onto grass. I could use the unicycle, but the pedals are not set 180 degrees apart because of the twisted spindle.

I think I got my $20.00 worth with just the seat, which is really nice, the brand new tire, and the tube.

Cal
 
Photoville is this weekend in Brooklyn Bridge Park. This weekend also is Peekskill’s Open Studios, and the weather so far is no rain. I’ll be performing my own “Open-Open” studio in the public space that is a closed small street by Peekskill Coffee.

The set/pair of rims AJ gifted me are 80’s vintage rims and somehow are the same rims used to build my racing wheels. Very cool that these rims are period correct. Also seems they are held in esteem by weight weenies and today are sought out.

Thinking of getting some 28 hole hubs and having AJ build me a set of single speed wheels for my Ti Basso road bike. I would expect perhaps a 15 pound bike. Could be a really great bike for training.

Anyways seems like a gift from heaven.

I received a request to photograph our city clerk for the 10-question series. Anyways I’m meeting a lot of people with this small gig. I have to meet with the clerk anyways because the steel of a parking sign rotted out and I found the pole laying on my side yard. It now resides in my driveway.

I went off on the deep end and looked into a high end unicycle. I’m impressed with the ones that are made by Kris Holm. Mucho insane. These unicycles with bigger wheels have disc brakes to control speed and can optionally have a geared drivetrain. The 36 inch wheel is attractive.

Anyways how performative to ride a unicycle. Mucho cool especially when an old man. Let’s see how far this goes.

Today is “Maggie’s” last day of physical therapy. This frees up the summer. I have to order a nice spinning reel to have a surf rig for a Jersey shore weekend.

Cal
 
Cal, a while back I was perusing ebay looking at Middleburn cranks, and came across a set of cranks that did not have the spider attachment, both cranks were smooth with the inside faces tapered, so nothing could be drilled or attached. They were listed as trials cranks but I asked for clarification from the seller and he said he was stumped. Then it turns out they were unicycle compatible cranks, not for trials at all. I'll have to see if they are still in my search history on my computer. For Middleburn they were super cheap.
Cool score on those rims. I want a set in 32 hole for one of two road racing/training bikes I'm banning on building. It's my new goal to compete and finish at least one road race before age 50. I have two years and three months.

Phil
 
DU,

I’m usually a very positive thinking person, and I am generally not so pessimistic.

It does seem like the world is getting crazier. Basically I do what I can to make the world safer and a better place. This thread I kinda do as a public service. The world does need hope if it is going to survive.

BTW thanks for being my friend and questioning my actions. I had to destroy the Voles, but not the chipmunks. Basically the chipmunks and I can co-exist.

My peas and string beans germinated and are surprisingly growing fast. I see flowers on my tomato and pepper plants. In fact I already have a Roma tomato growing on one plant the size of a marble.

I learned that if I plant the root of a scallion I get a free plant. Been recycling the roots to advance my scallion yield.

At least I can somewhat control my food supply.

When I heard Tommy Emanual play a George Harrison medley, somehow I heard a pivot chord that could of led to a modulation, a change of keys. If I remember correctly part of the medley was “Here Comes The Sun,” but one passing chord could of provided a “pivot” chord that drew me to jump to “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” in my mind.

Anyways Tommy Emanual did not play those two songs, the jump was in my head and triggered just by one chord. Hmmm…

That would be an interesting and prophetic blending to weave between such a hopeful song and the sad darkness of the other. Pretty much that realistically describes the world we live in today.

I imagine one day being able to do a slow rendition that is both jazzy chord melody and bluesy with my Tom Petty like voice. Not trying to be a song writer, but the goal to strive is to basically steal a song.

Kinda like how I was told by my friend Timmy that Bob Dylan at a performance introduced “All Along The Watchtower” as a Jimi Hendrix song at one of his concerts. Basically Bob Dylan wrote the song, but pretty much Jimi owned it.

I don’t know if this story is true, but it kinda makes sense. It is also kinda funny.

Another example is the song “When I die” written by Laura Nero, but the best known rendition is by Blood, Sweat and Tears.

I would argue that “God Bless The Child” written by Billie Holiday is kinda tied in my mind with the Blood, Sweat and Tears version.

BTW I can do a pretty good rendition/imitation of Tomas Clayton Powell one of the singers from Blood, Sweat and Tears.

I can also imitate Greg Lake’s voice. Think “Lucky Man” or “Se La Vie.”

I can really belt it out no need for any mike or amplifier. My dream is to be able to just use one of my Santa Cruz guitars with no amp or mike to fill a room. To project volume though it requires heavy strings and some loss of speed.

The Santa Cruz guitars articulate, have mucho volume and clarity, and really fill a room. The key trick is a thick heavy pick.

Cal

It can be difficult to be "positive" when we see almost everything we cherish in our planet going down the gurgler.

Here in Australia (where I live), our glorious leaders find enormous amounts of tax money to throw to buy secondhand US submarines, give tax cuts to the rich, help investor landlords acquire yet more property to rent at ridiculous amounts, and even donate billions to Rolls-Royce for no apparent intelligent reason. Money we badly need to keep at home to shore up our declining services - aged care, unemployment, health, education. Then those so-called Canberra cockroaches tell us they don't have enough cash to help the jobless or the homeless.

This will all end badly. As it has in the past. History repeating itself.
 
Last edited:
Phil,

It seems those 80’es rims are both strong and light. My racing wheels are 32 hole, and the rear wheel is wired. I never did 28 spoke.

AJ is becoming a great friend. He has a used Brigstone that has some mighty cool retro mustache bars on them. In conversation AJ mentioned to a customer that he could change them out for drop bars, and I let AJ know that the the mustache bars become available I want them.

AJ’s shop is like a bike museum. He built me a retro disc wheel with an old retro Hope hub that was brand new. Funny thing is that he still has a spare.

It seems ISIS splined cranks are still used on unicycles for their strength. The Middleburn cranks did pass my mind, but the crank lengths for unicycles seem to be in the 117-150 mm range.

Kris Holm makes two hole cranks that offer two crank lengths where you can change the crank length by relocating the pedals.

It seems today that the trick setup is to have a 36 inch wheel and have a Schlumpf 1.5 multiplying capability. A 36 inch gear becomes a 54 gear inch for honking. You use your ankle to depress a button on the crank to upshift or downshift. The 36 inches is for primarily road.

24, 27.5, and 29’er are for off road. The 24 has a 3 inch wide tire, but the 27.5 and 29’er are 3.25. A 36 uses a 2.25.

Bigger wheeled bikes have hydraulic disc brakes and big rotors. About $1K for a KH-36 without the Schumpf. Kinda crazy, but you know, “Crazy is good.”

Kinda insane, but pretty much 2 blocks away is a closed circuit paved course in Blue Mountain that is hilly, and also I have the Empire State Trailway. I forgot that I also have the riverfront promenade.

Cal
 
Last edited:
DU,

“Maggie” and I are fortunate. We have a pretty secure retirement, enjoy some luxury, but still live well below our means.

For me retirement and my real fixed income does not happen until I’m 70. I figure I’m kinda in a pre retirement stage of living on savings and only one pension. I have yet to collect any Social Security or my second pension. Pretty easy to be positive when happy.

We were also lucky in securing the Baby-Victorian for little money and also with a mortgage rate well below 3%. Our house went unloved because it required updating, the last time it was updated was 1975 (toilet tank date and same Home Cheapo floor tiles in booth baths and the kitchen).

Pretty much it took some vision to see the potential, the value, and the beauty. Mucho possibilities…

What makes me sad though are the lives of other Americans because they are somewhat swept into a bit of a death/debt spiral. Families are exploiting credit to live, as are governments. When families are using credit cards to buy food, certainly this is bad.

Not too long ago dollar strength exported inflation because commodities are priced in dollars. Did you know that Arab Spring and the fall of governments was the result of hungry children?

Photoville is this weekend, but I remember one of the early Photovilles that exhibited climate change, civil wars, and the refugee crisis. Pretty much that Photoville connected the dots and indicated profoundly how drought led to civil wars and then displacement that created the refugee crisis about a decade ago.

My background and education in journalism makes it easy to connect the dots, and certainly a tragedy is underway. Debt and hunger awaits many people, then there is war, civil unrest, and finally oppression.

Cal
 
On a more positive note, “Maggie” and I worked on the back porch. Maggie scraped paint while I cut and made some moldings to restore a sill.

Had to go to Home Cheapo to buy some lumber, a can of “Great Stuff” (spray foam insulation), and some “Plastic Wood” to fill in some cracks and voids from rot.

Have you noticed the stores not being so crowded lately? I have. I kinda understand why: prices. Bought a can of charcoal fire starter. $10.00. The only place I notice the crowds is Trader Joe’s because of pricing and value. The other groceries all are not so crowded.

We made quite a mess, but the restoration of the back porch is coming along.

Maggie now has a real change in attitude, and now seems obsessed with the house. In fact she is getting a bit OCD about it. That is the thing with Maggie, I have her profiled as OCD.

I ordered a nice Daiwa BG-MQ 4000 spinning reel online. Already have a 300 yard spool of 15 pound test Power Pro in High-Vis Yellow. It was the last one at Dick’s Sporting Goods that also I saw as not being crowded. Expected delivery in 3-4 days, free delivery, and no tax.

This reel will go on a Tsunami 10 foot two-piece medium light spinning rod I bought last year at Stormville, the airport flea market, for $30.00 brand new. Should be a very lively rig, light action rod, and a not so big reel that has a muscular build.

I have a length of fence pipe that I will sledge hammer into one of my lawns in my back-backyard. Pretty much just a pole to be a support to use to steady myself to practice “Rocking” on the unicycle. Pretty much you move a half crank forward and then a half crank backwards not really going anywhere. The idea is to keep your balance and just stay on the pedals.

Next step is going forward…

Cal
 
We drove up to Kingston, the once Capitol of New York, to attend the highly curated F&S Maker’s Market. Going today early made it so we missed the mob scene and the expected crowds over the weekend.

The setting was an old brickyard right on the Hudson River. Later we headed into Kingston proper to have lunch, visit “Maggie’s” nephew, and to explore parts of midtown and uptown Kingston known as the stockade district.

The stockade district got its name because during colonial times the local Lenape Indians would loot and raid the colonisats, so a stockade was built to defend against the attacks. The Stockade District is where the professional community lives and the affluent.

Next time we visit will be to explore the downtown where the artists live.

Looks like favorable weather for Saturday and Sunday. I will mow the lawns and then head into the downtown to stake out my open-open studio in a public space for the “Open Studios” event going on all over Peekskill.

I’ll be bringing out my “workbook” which is a big and heavy book of real prints that requires a hand truck to move around. Right next to Ester Place, the closed street set up with tables and chairs is Peekskill Coffee, so I have a bathroom nearby and snacks and refreshments.

I’ll be missing out on my next door neighbor’s BBQ, but I’m cool with that. Should be good.

Cal
 
Kingston is the only city in Ulster County, and is the county seat. Population is close to Peekskill’s at 24K verses Peekskill’s 25K, but while Peekskill is only 4 square miles, Kingston is about 8 square miles.

A canal was dug that connected the Delaware River to the Hudson River. Pretty much this is how coal was transported to NYC.

Perhaps Monday my new spinning reel will be delivered. Technology has advanced: 7 bearings; light in weight; smaller; bigger gears; and a Monique designed frame for extra strength and rigidity.

The 15 pound braided line has the equivalent thickness of 4 pound test monofilament. This line does not stretch like mono.

Pretty much I updated and created a very fun 10 foot long two-piece surf rig optimized to throw/cast 3/4 to 2 ounce jigs. Every year is a weekend on the Jersey Shore. Light in weight and kinda sporty. Generally people fish with 20 pound mono back in the day, but now it’s 25-30 pound braid because its thinner and casts further.

Been researching a lot looking into Kris Holm unicycles. Looks like a 24 inch version would be best for me, and if things go crazy than a second 36 inch version with a two-speed geared hub for cruising on the Empire State Trailway. Pretty much one unicycle is not enough and two would be needed and used as skill developes. The 36 inch uni is basically specialized for long road rides and for speed and comfort.

Think sports car and limo, but in terms of unicycles.

Cal
 
Pretty much I’m going “rouge” tomorrow with my “Open-Open Studio” in a public space. I certainly will draw out attention, and perhaps annoy some people in the Peekskill Arts Alliance. Ester Place is a closed street and a highly visible area with lots of foot traffic.

I just paid $25.00 to be a basic member, so Ha-Ha. I’m kinda underground, so this is a kinda Batman move coming out from the shadows. The prints and the book speak for themselves.

Pretty much this organization has been around for 25 years, but there is a friction where younger artists feel excluded and not taken seriously but these older more entrenched artists.

Recently there has been a recent meet-up and 48 of these younger artists showed up at Gleason’s, a bar/restaurant. The PAA is about 100 artists, perhaps now 101 since I joined.

But here is the thing. “Maggie” and I are good friends with these younger artists and don’t have the arrogance and bad behavior that is exclusive. In other words Maggie and I have a bridge.

There is a tent area for some artists that don’t have studio space, but. Pretty much I’m doing my own thing by myself. All I’m trying to do is put my work out there in public view.

Cal
 
I was mowing my lawn today, minding my own business when a minivan pulled up and beeped its horn.

It was Andrew, my friend from Reynold’s Hills. Evidently he had called me, left a message, and had inquired if I wanted to go fishing around Memorial Day weekend.

I never got any message…

Anyways the best way to go fishing in a boat is to have a friend who owns one. Boats are money pits.

Andrew is an interesting guy because he built from scratch a 52 foot sail boat. When I say this I mean from scratch. He also is the kinda guy who lived on a boat year round. His background is that he was a boat mechanic and worked in a Marina. Now Andrew is retired.

BTW Andrew is not really a fisherman. Let’s see if I get him hooked.

My “workbook” seems smaller than I remembered it. It was a big deal finding and retrieving it today. I still have the hand truck that collapses and folds, yet is heavy duty. For nostalgia I pulled out my Louie Vutton book bag and my old Leica Monochrom to celebrate my Open-Open Studio.

Looks like the weather will be also nice tomorrow. I’ll be wearing my red life guard muscle shirt to work on my tan. Peekskill Open Studios is both Saturday and Sunday.

Cal
 
Oops...

I wrote something maybe interpretable as "politics". Never an easy subject, and nowadays even a potentially dangerous one.

About the ex-POTUS and his recent legal outcome.

Probably best avoided. So I deleted it. Now I have this open thread to fill in.

Spending a quiet Sunday morning at home reading thru some of your earlier posts. Always interesting. And I'm surprised at how many of your casual predictions are now happening.

Good one. Keep up the posts, please.
 
Last edited:
Today I saw Gina from the Bronx Council on the Arts after about 6 years.

It was interesting seeing my work after being buried in my basement for about 4 years. The gig with the Bronx Council on the Arts was about 6 years ago. The work is now dated and is a record of a NYC that was. Most striking is that my life is so different now.

Gina talked of the lockdown and the pandemic. Some interesting stories where new work developed.

I’m wondering if photography was or is just a phase and part of a larger spiritual journey for me. Same with my writing. Seems like my biggest interest is moving forward with guitar to be in the moment. They say, “Jazz is the moment,” and I really want to live life that free.

This man William cam by. I know him from the Woodstock Literary Festival, but he is also the paid commissioner for business development in Peekskill. I ran into him at Peekskill City Hall covering an event for the Peekskill Herald.

Anyways William and others are responsible for a ten million dollar infrastructure grant from New York State. This is a really great development for my community that pretty much serves everyone.

Pretty much I hung out by myself in peace reading a book having a pleasant time in the sun. Got a call just before 4:00 PM from “Maggie” that the grandkids will be coming over, so I broke off to see them.

I’ll take a break and just tour the open studios tomorrow to make the rounds.

Cal
 
DU,

I have a Masters in TV Broadcast Journalism. Pretty much I have the training to connect the dots.

The FED is in a tight spot. What is needed to stop inflation is a rather deep recession to clamp the economy.

Our FED does not have the balls to really stall the economy where unemployment goes up and debt becomes a serious problem. The way I see it the credit binging and living beyond our means is still happening.

The Stock Markets are defying gravity. I wonder how inflation and inflated prices are responsible for rather silly valuations.

There is also a price or penalty for the costs of war, and of course war is inflationary.

Be aware that we could have persistent inflation that could endure for 15-20 years. I believe in regression to the mean. We had a long period of disinflation, a term Alan Greenspan coined, that was due to cheap imported goods from developing countries increased purchasing power for the masses while wages remained stagnant for decades.

At some point interest on debt will be a problem for governments and households. It is already a problem for commercial real estate. Pretty much a series of debt crisis’s lay a head. Sadly mostly self inflicted wounds.

I say the housing shortage will persist a minimum of 15 years just to make up for all the underbuilding that occurred after 2007-2008. This gets compounded by increased costs of materials and a persistent labor shortage that I too don’t think will go away anytime soon.

Don’t discount the exaggeration of the housing shortage due to the vast percentages of mortgages that are either at record low rates, or were refi’ed into record low rates that limit turnover of existing housing inventory.

Anyways my long-term predictions all kinda speak of sticky inflation, a persistent housing shortage, and a series of debt crisis’s.

The future is a bit of a death spiral, unless you have very limited debt.

Food and water scarcity will evolve into bigger problems as time goes on. Of course this will promote wars, genocide, and refugee crisis’s. This pattern already exists, but I’m saying it will worsen as time goes on. Global warming ensures food scarcity.

This too is also an obvious long-term pattern that already has been around that will only worsen.

I can see an interdependence between Russia and China, more so than energy and oil, but with food. Russian exports of wheat and corn, and the Chinese being dependent on Russia for food security. My logic is why sell a scarce commodity to an enemy when it can buy good will and positive influence elsewhere. Basically food is weaponized.

With Chinese urbanization the agrarian part of their economy suffered, and China now can no longer feed itself. Basically it is forced to now import food. Another bad policy (urbanization) that opened up a great vulnerability. Another problem in China is the environmental destruction.

China has a doomed future. A really big collapse will happen in a decade to 15 years as it’s population implodes.

Pretty obvious to me that the future is very fraught, and the conditions we are experiencing now will not be going away anytime soon. A lot of debt has to be unwound and that takes time. The housing shortage with take at least 15 years if not 2 decades. Global warming and severe weather will worsen conditions of food scarcity that inevitably leads to war and genocide.

No easy fix and a reversal at this point I can’t see.

Cal
 
“Maggie’s” book was listed in “Chronogram” as “Five Books To Read This Summer.” The churn continues…

I guess I won’t be really retired or settled into retirement until I’m 70. That’s when my income not only becomes fixed, but also will jump. This also depends on if Social Security stays untouched. Of course this gets political fast…

Anyways, I figure because of the times it pays to be ready. I might have to change my plans and take benefits early. Pretty much a game changer and a haircut in benefits, but the possibility is I might have to lock in my entitlement to grandfather myself in.

I would expect the unintended consequences to be a mass sudden retirement wave that would worsen the labor shortage, and a dare say would hurt the economy by a big drop off in productivity. This mass exodus also inadvertently would cause a new strain on the Social Security system and I believe would spill over into healthcare. Pretty much total chaos.

There are many areas where a series of debt crisis’s could erupt at any time. There is somewhat of an interest rate ceiling imposed at this time. If the FED increases rates further a slowdown would trigger a recession, and compounded by large debt loads it would be a surprise event where a debt crisis and a recession combined happens.

An example is commercial real estate being the debt crisis along with a recession. Anyways this seems to be where we are.

Know that also the FED can’t really lower rates to stimulate the economy without reigniting inflation. I figure as usual the debt load will yet again be “socialized” and be paid by everyone via a period of prolonged moderate inflation that in fact is being “Engineered” by our FED.

Know that one way of reducing debt is inflation. That’s why real estate and hard assets like gold, silver, art, collectables are used as a store of value. Pretty much as time goes on paper assets become worth less.

Pretty much the thinking is worth less becomes worthless over time. As I say, “The money has to come from somewhere.”

It seems wise to spend in a “One and Done” manner and perhaps hoarding or stockpiling durable goods because on the path we are on future prices are expected. Pretty much this consumption is happening right now with all the home remodeling and purchases of durable goods. To an extent it might be “now or never” to avoid getting priced out.

Recently this happened with buying my custom Santa Cruz Model “F.” Within one year the price of the very same guitar I custom ordered increase by a few thousand dollars.

Today we will visit the open studios and make the rounds. Seems like the ETA for my new spinning reel will be June 6th. I went with the cheapo free delivery.

There are rumors starting that the empty house might go on the market. Seems like any progress has ceased. Trees were removed, a new roof on the house, and a new stoop. The house has been gutted so not mortgageable, and a cash deal. I would speculate the new owner either lost interest or ran out of money.

The project now seems abandoned and I suspect loses to get locked in. Not sure any money for improvements would get fully recovered. Meanwhile the lawn and weeds show an abandoned house. My neighbors are furious.

I know two of my neighbors would be interested in the house…

Cal
 
Last edited:
I have my M-Monochrom and three batteries kitted out in my Louis Vuitton book bag. What a nice kit. Mostly used lens is a 28 Cron version one.

The body I have rigged with a MD grip, and I added a thread-sert to mount a two finger grip that was designed for the CL and Leica Q.

On the 28 Cron I utilize a vented hood that also fits a 35 Lux ASPH that now sells for crazy money around $1K or even more now. The original rectangular hoods that came with the 35 ASPH Lux and the 28 Cron are huge and block the VF’er. This vented hood sold for crazy money new like $359.00, and I bought one. Now it is rare and highly sought after.

The buffer in this camera is small, and shooting in continuous mode often leads to locking up the camera. The CCD sensor also has a unique rendering IMHO. To me a better midrange than a CMOS sensor. In a word the way to describe the MM is: Primitive.

The real charm of this camera is it’s crude and simple nature that out of all digital cameras makes it most like a film camera. No frills… I would also argue that it also is the most unforgiving and difficult digital camera to use. The CMOS sensor has more dynamic range and is more forgiving.

Understand that a color sensor can also allow a certain amount of recovery of blown highlights. With a Monochrom sensor blown highlights are forever gone and not recoverable. The message here is to exploit a Monochrom’s higher or doubled resolution a certain level of skill and consistency is required.

The lack of a Bayer Filter Array makes this 18 MP camera have effectively about a 36 MP resolution, but the price that is paid means that there is no opportunity or envelope for error. Perfect exposure is well rewarded, but any error gets fugly mighty fast.

To me I believe the MM will become a cult camera, mainly because for me and others it is so basic that it most closely resembles a film camera. Not for everyone, but a great-great camera for some.

When I compare the files from my SL2 using Leica L-glass, it takes 48 MP, ISIS, and some really expensive Leica glass to get a higher resolution file to print really-really big, and when I say really-really big I mean greater than 20x30 print size. Particularly my APO 35 Cron is a crazy lens, but it has a 67 mm filter size and is a monster as far as size.

My 50 Lux-L is even bigger and heavier.

The thing with the Leica-L glass is that it strongly promotes shooting wide open because not only is there a blistering sharpness that is mucho German, but the OOF and the transition to softness is so smooth and beautiful. No reason to stop down ever unless you want massive DOF.

I can’t see needing a SL-3 ever, but if Leica gave me one I would surely love it. Hint-hint. I know delusion crazy thinking, but then again lots of crazy surprise things happen to me.

So here I am appreciating what I have/own. Now the Monochrom is kinda a vintage camera. I was an early adopter, and for me today it is a treasured camera that is very valuable to me. I got the free sensor replacement and overhaul. My turnaround time was not so bad because I used a waiting list.

Sadly the leatherette got replaced with the overhaul. My original leatherette was worn smooth and was polished where my fingertips were placed around the grip. There is also some silvering where I wore through the anodize. No dents or dings.

So I realize I could still shoot and easily do what I do, which is basically annoy people. I can shoot again with a total disregard to printing or sharing images. The last time I did this was with film, and it annoyed people greatly. Many thought I was insane shooting so much film, one year 150 rolls of 135 and 120 a month sustained, without any printing or scanning.

Ha-ha… film was $2.89 a roll for rebranded Tri-X, and I loaded up the truck with rebranded Acros for $1.89 a roll.

This is what led me to my “Slacker’s Brew” meaning Diafine.

Anyways I will post my secret again. Don’t tell anyone. On digital cameras use Heliopan filter marked “Digital” because they have additional UV and IR filters that mask off non visual sources of light and clean up the histograms as well as minimize or even eliminate clipping.

Basically less post processing needed, cleaner files, and less digital artifacts.

BTW on my Monochrom I use a 2X yellow filter, marked “Digital,” to enhance the contrast at the time of image capture. This translates into less digital manipulation in LR5, and for cleaner files allowing and promoting printing big. Don’t tell anyone my secret. Pretty much the idea here is to shoot like a large format photographer and maximize everything at time of image capture.

This is the best kept secret that I learned in art school and that is if you want consistent perfect exposure use a grey card. Pretty much as a person of color I use the back of my hand as a grey card. EZ-PZ to nail exposure and have and maintain consistency.

I’m not so clever, but really I’m just a lazy-slacker who tends to annoy people and draw out the crazies. As far as drawing out the crazies, “It takes one to know one,” I say.

It is kinda cool knowing I can flip the switch and go crazy on demand. My friends say, I’m worse than a woman when I go crazy. LOL.

As usual I don’t know where all this is going, but pretty much I have the need to do something crazy. I feel that there is too much mediocrity in the world today, and pretty much I don’t want to be “extra-medium” as my friend Eddie-Jeff would say.

“Crazy is good,” I say. Expect some new crazy in the future…

Cal
 
Last edited:
A kinda divine intervention happened between yesterday and today.

Yesterday I had a long-long talk with Gina Fuentes who is a photographer and someone who is familiar with my work through the Bronx Council On The Arts.

I think it was around 2018 that I received a $1.5K grant to help me create and print what became my “Monster-Book” that is supersized and now I call my “workbook.”

Yesterday I presented myself to Gina as a lost artist who seems a bit aimless with my most favored pursuit being Jazz guitar. My work as a photographer seemed not only dormant, but also dated in a way that to me seemed irrelevant, meaning lacking significance or any enduring meaning.

From an inside and outside perspective I felt uninspired. I proved the point that I could do crazy things, and established that I am in fact a really good fine art printer at least in B&W, but who cares?

Not that I was suffering artistic despare, more that I was feeling stale and had lost all my inspiration.

Then this morning after reflecting on my digital gear I thought of shooting again in an insane manner just people I meet. Pretty much all I need is my 28 Cron and my Leica Monochrom. Then I thought about using my 58/1.2 Noct-Nikkor and 50 Lux-R version 2 “E60” for my normal on my SL2.

The Leica-L glass is just too big, bulky and heavy to be an every-day-carry. This guy Brian taught me something about using manual focus lenses and nailing focus. Pretty much he uses continuous mode, racks the focus, and edits to the sharpest image. Hmmm.

I think I might use my old 50 Rigid on the Monochrom though if I need a normal, The SL2 is just too big and is too heavy to be an every-day-carry.

Kinda funny is how I have been a portrait shooter for my gig at the Peekskill Herald…

But here’s what happened today. I got to know further this woman filmmaker named Carol who is a bit historian, archivist, and identifies mostly as an Editor who pretty much does the Ken Burns style of zooming and panning still photographs to tell a story. She uses Adobe Premier and told me that all the camera movement like the slow zoom and the panning is performed in the computer using Premier.

Pretty much a game changer for me that would allow me to explain my sense of home that I tried to capture in my photography, that then connects to and leads to my past experience in Foster Care explained in my writing where pretty much you get moved around like an object and grow up with a sense of displacement and homelessness.

Today I realized the connection for my exploration for “a sense of home,” my wanderings, and my searching. Some of my writing really fits into all of this, but of course it is a complicated story. I think the real story or thyme is using photography to establish a form or some sense of permanence that I needed that was triggered by the housing crisis.

There is also a sense on not fitting in and being an outsider when you are the gentrifier in neighborhoods where you don’t really belong, or even are not welcomed.

So now this would be a cool kinda crazy project, merging parts of my writing (memior) with my photography. BTW this likely would be a B&W film. Part visual poem, part narrative/personal essay, and a merging of parts of two different mediums into something new.

I guess a point I’m trying to make is a sense of home is very different when one experiences Foster Care.

Somehow all this has been building up, and it all seems too coincidental to be random, luck, or just chance. Bim-bam-boom. As if being drummed into me. Seems like divine intervention where my past suddenly moves into my present in a profound way. Too many things and people involved.

Yesterday I mentioned to Gina how my creative journey is really a spiritual journey. Today it really resonates and has a deeper meaning. Seems like a destiny to me today. Beyond chance or coincidence.

Cal
 
Last edited:
Back
Top