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Pirate Fest 2018

Jun 26, 2018

With Opera House Talk Update and Recent Reads. This year’s Pirate Fest, a kid-friendly fund raiser for the local Lock House (the beginning of the old canal from Havre de Grace upriver), was a couple of steps up from the past couple of years. It even sported a "captive” mermaid – posing in what looked like a large aquarium. I took a few shots of one of the pirates firing the small canon array – some pretty loud booms. This one I gave a little bit of an old film look – with the exception that it really comes to life printed large. The use of a fog filter )erased over everything but the background) along with burning in the corners and adding some medium level grain, finished it off nicely.

We have a nephew and niece who were planning to come, but the event was postopned a day – good thing because Saturday really sucked. But the family had to be somewhere else Sunday and they missed it – I’ll print up a small one of these for them – they’re used to me just doing B&W – it should make them double anxious to go next year. There were pirates walking around all day to pose for pictures with the kids, a blacksmith, display of pirate artifacts, pirates sitting around a table gambling and planning, swordfight instructions and even realistic looking rubber-band pistols the kids could duel with. Of course entertainment was around back, where there was also a costume contest – and food could be purchased. We shared a big bowl of some sort of carribian jerk chicken concoction that was both desicious and so hot it had my ears itching for an hour afterwards – yes, I will get that again.

Above is a typical pirates-posing-with-kids that I took from off to the side. Finally below, this young lady was playing the fiddle for a singer - Holy moley could she play. I was shooting at 1/680 of a second and you can still see some movement, she was really gettin-down. See the hair – there was no wind on that porch at all. I assumed, wrongfully, that I would be able to get the name of the duo on line. I’ll have to add that in here, and a link to their site or Facebook page if and when I can find the information.


My upcoming Easter Island Project Program at the Opera HouseNew Stuff

     The one major frustration that is emerging is the question of posting new images here on the Blog. I asked Nan, hoping she might think I was all wet being reticent, but she said "What the heck's the matter with you – if it comes out of prep for the presentation, it has to be held back at least until then"……… along with some more questioning of my sanity. That's OK, but certainly not fun right now.

     So obviously, I'm coming up with some new gleanings from my over 30K exposures on the Island. In my determination  to make this more interesting than most of this kind of thing, I'm concentrating on having fun with some images, along with including amore that say something about the Rapanui as a people – hoping that the enjoyment is contagious. Sorry though, not much in the way of previews.

Recent Reads

I post these not as book reviews or reports, those can be found anywhere and everywhere. They are simply lists of books I found worth reading and possibly why.

The World As It Is, A Memoir of the Obama White House by Ben Rhodes

     By far the best, most enlightening of the many books that have come out from inside the Obama administration. Appropriately titled, and written. Oddly I haven't been able to find a review of this book that gives any indication that it was actually read beforehand – much more a confirmation rather than an endictment of the content. I've read, I believe, all of these that have come out so far, and this is, as the title states, a straight-forward, must-read description of the "world as it is". I have SO many people I would like to somehow force into reading this. 

The Cookoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith (aka J. K. Rawling)

     Picked this up out of curiosity, not expecting to even be tempted to finish it – especially since we have the TV "Strike" series version of these books. But just as in the Harry Potter series, the writing is kind of addictive. I can't think of an author since Dickens who can create so many memorable characters, bringing them to life and actually making them part of our world and culture. The Strike series , though, is more in the tradition of great British murder mystery writers like Agatha Christie – with the addition of Rawlings very visual writing style. And again, it brings Dickens to mind. I have the next two (digital) to go, and the fourth comes out later this year. I don't get to (or want to) read all that much fiction compared to non-fiction – I wind up putting most of it down and never going back. I hate wasting my time.

A Higher Loyalty, Truth Lies and Leadership by James Comey

     Not completely sure why I finished this, maybe I wanted to make sure I gave the guy a chance to finish his say. While I don.t believe Comey was straying from the truth as far as what actually happened, at least as he sees it, he pretty much convinced me that what he did with his releases about Hillary's emails was, in assuming that nothing could prevent her from winning the election, doing his damnedest to position himself in the best possible light after the election. It was, and is, all about him. Do I recommend it? Not really, The book is only important in addressing any feelings that he is either conspiratorily evil or somehow a victim. No, he's just someone who actually thinks of himself as a good person who at the same time sees the world as revolving around him – hampering any ability to determine the right course of action under oh so many circumstances. 

The Secret History of the Mongol Queens by Jack Weatherford

     A tad on the dry side, but good histories often are. At the same time, there is a lot here. I learned a lot about Mongol culture, and finally came to understand how these plains tribesmen managed to conquer so much of the world. Bring out the long suppressed history of the Mongol queens does strike a cord today in that it proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that the women were just as capable as the men – but it also establishes that they, ultimately, were no better or worse, benevolent or evil. Very detailed and enlightening read, drawing on centuries of family records. Well worth the effort.

Sex at Dawn – How We Mate, Why We Stray and What it Means for Modern Relationships  by Christopher Ryan and Cacilda Jetha

     Something of a disappointment. About a third of the way through, I began skimming (I'm pretty good at that) to see if the tone changed any – not. That's not to say that there isna't any good information in there, or useful observations, or even help handling some of the situations some of us get ourselves into. My issue is is with their, ok almost universally held, ideas about what they see as inevitable changes within marriage and long relationships. I assume that if one has experienced the shifts that they talk about, it can be a reassurance that it is normal and maybe can even help to find a solution. But I couldn't find myself in there at all. We've been married over fifty years, raised three kids, been through whatever the world threw at us and, in spite of growing in our roles, have never quite lost that sense of boyfriend and girlfriend / you and me against the world / grateful and excited to be living together. While I've seldom been accused of being normal, I can't be that far off course. It was a pretty thorough skim through the final two thirds, but couldn't bring myself to do any more. And by the way, what the hell is a "modern" relationship – wouldn't that only be relavant when a couple lets outside influences have something to say about how they see and interact with one another? From my own pretty extensive reading of history, there have always been couples who, in their relationship, pretty much ignored whatever the heck the social pressures, judgements, taboos, allowances, etc. were rife at the time. I'll shut up now, except for one more note: the older one gets the more of a challenge "sex at dawn" becomes to finish – gotta give the body time to wake up.

Waiting for me: Barracoon, The Scourge of the Swastika, Are We Smart Enough to Know How Smart Animals Are? and Silkworm (second Galbraith book)…… And I’m checking through the PBS 100 novels reading list to see if I missed anything worth the effort.