Jackie Link's Blog

- A blog for no good reason

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Eating pumpkin pie - 3 meals a day

Sometime last year I bought a double can of Libby's pumpkin and two cans of evaporated milk on sale. They sat in the pantry, ignored, because I knew if I made pumpkin pies I would not be able to resist gobbling them down all by myself.

On Thursday, Thanksgiving, Jane was coming here after her shift serving at Martin de Porres soup kitchen, and so I had an excuse to make pumpkin pies. I bought frozen pie shells (if you only bake every few years, you have to buy all new ingredients), mixed up the pumpkin and milk (already two days past the Best-by date), fresh eggs, spices, but only cooked one pie.

And it was very good.

But Jane only ate one piece, and what's a poor girl to do but finish the rest?

Yesterday I made the second pie, plus four custard cups of left over pumpkin filling. I ate all four cups last night (they're small), plus a piece of pie for a bedtime snack.

This morning I had pie for breakfast.

And there's still most of the pie to go.

Me bad.

But it's chia turtle time again!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Slow days

Self Portrait with Bird

Sibyl has her beak tucked under her wing, with one eye open just in case I do something; she keeps an eye on me all day while I work. After her semi-nap she'll get restless, I'll take her down off the shelf, she'll have a snack and a drink from the dripping faucet, and then she'll want back on her shelf to play fetch with her toys (she throws, I fetch). It's nice to have her quiet presence nearby.

Geraniums in Bellinzona, Switzerland

I'm going back over old photos, reprocessing to commercial standards and placing them on-line for sale. Adding key words is the most time consuming part, but thanks to the Web, I don't have to own a zillion guide books. (Key words are how buyers find what they need. Never mind that the market is zip and there are millions of photographers out there, I'm doing it anyway.) Last night I uploaded the first four for quality control. DB says I'll have no trouble.

Street Light & Roman Arena in Verona, Italy.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

A very good ride

I slept a bit late so I didn't leave on my ride until 10:00, but I went straight around the waterfront and over the bridge to the Marin Headlands, barely stopping the entire 30-mile door-to-door round trip. I came back over the hill from the back side, not through the tunnel, and I took a different route around the Presidio and Pacific Heights back home. Lots of slow climbing, wee, wee, wee, all the way home.

Everyone shot past me on the hills, both up and down. I liked just poking along, looking at everything I passed. At one point a hawk and I were eye to eye; it's that time of year, I guess, when they migrate over Hawk Hill.

Again, I lugged along the camera and long lens, not sure why. The people looking at the view are more interesting than the view, at least for photographs. But you never know.

I was putting my camera away when a tourist offered to take my picture in front of the bridge, assuming I too was a tourist. I said I lived here and we both laughed. He said, I guess you can climb this hill any time you want. I said, Yes, any time I still can.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Obsessive, or just working?

I excuse my obsessive processing of already processed photographs (I'm back in 2007 today) by saying, well, I've learned a lot since I first worked that file - and that's painfully all too true - but, actually, I think I get lost in pushing pixels around in much the same way I can get lost polishing silver, or sweeping a floor. They're all things I can do without much thought.

It's that time of year when I want to stay away from the world for the most part and I don't make many plans, anticipating a nice long time to work at home. Read books. I just started a huge biography on Darwin. Catch up on things.

I'm really stiff when I finally get out of this chair, and a bit stir-crazy. I think I'd better make a plan to get up early tomorrow morning and get on a bicycle and pedal, pedal, pedal. Hmmm. That sounds equally obsessive. Yeah. That's what I'll do.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

A cold day, at last

It's been uncomfortably warm most of this November, oddly, strangely, what's going on here? warm. I spent a lot of time riding my different bikes around, sometimes just on errands, sometimes on long sustained rides down the peninsula. I usually drag my camera along and hardly ever use it. That's O.K.; I have plenty of pixels from old trips that need reworking, this time with a properly calibrated system (I hope).

And I spent way too much time getting this old poppy image into printable form. But that's a whole other color profile, so who knows what will show up here on the Web.

Back to work.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Balmy Saturday

I've really liked this week. Yeah, balmy 80 degree days, no wind, clear air, lots of new adventures, plenty of bike riding, and even a ferry ride back from Tiburon yesterday, followed by Beethoven at the symphony last night.

Sibyl kept me company, quietly, all day. She's in between breeding/egg-laying cycles and is the perfect companion while it lasts.

I'm working on color management and monitor calibration issues and it's making me a bit crazy. In between sessions I cleaned the turtles' filter and did minor bike maintenance, which I much prefer doing. Neither one of these of Sibyl on the fridge were good exposures and they're not good finished images either, but I want to see them transformed, once removed.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Turtles! on Nob Hill

I rode to the top of Nob Hill today to check out a restaurant for my friends who want to meet there before seeing Toni Morrison at the Masonic next Friday. That's a pretty high hill, so I came at it in a roundabout way.

I went all around the waterfront, turning up through the Marina to Cow Hollow, where I saw that the Octagon House on Gough was actually open. There was a man standing in the doorway, inviting me in. I said I didn't want to lock up my bike, and he said he would watch it. I made a quick in & out visit. Nice. Colonial and federalist interior, which fit right in with my recent art history class. I'll have to go back one day with a bike I don't mind locking up outside. (It occurred to me when I got inside that I had no idea who that man was, maybe he was a thief! Nah.)

From there I headed up to Nob Hill via Sacramento and then the steeper Jones. The sun was shining, everyone was sitting on benches soaking it up. I've always loved this fountain in Huntington Park. The turtles are so wonderful.

I took some pictures and then headed down, down, down to Union Square, a real test of brakes. I checked out the new ice skating rink and the crew putting up the giant evergreen tree before turning for home, a shower and lunch.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

at the de Young

Cigar Store Figure and colonial era portrait in the de Young Museum

I rode over to the de Young Museum this morning to meet my last class on Early American Art. Oddly, I've no memory of any other art history class, and after the 8th grade, not much early American history, either, so this lecture class was very timely.

You always hear about the "American experiment," but it sort of floats off without a second thought. Coming at it from how paintings were used put it all into something new and wonderful for me to think about.

I think I'll continue reading history. It's never too late to make up for an ill-spent youth.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Gonna be a techie yet

Oh boy. Now the fun begins, where I learn how to sell some more photos. Never mind that no one is buying photos anymore, I will join the digital marketplace, if for no other reason than to justify cranking out more pictures. I keep pushing to be better at it.

To do this I have to learn how to process digital files for commercial use and how to FTP, and all sorts of good stuff. None of this is difficult, just time consuming.

Hercules finally went underground for the winter, so the dark days will be upon us. After this week classes at USF Fromm are over until January so I'm glad to have this project. Heaven forbid I should do something domestically useful.

Right now I'm working up old images, like this one of SFMOMA, making them better. Not sure what needs model or property releases so I'll just say they're for editorial use.

Yeah, I can see these in some magazine or other, can't you?

Fat chance.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

By the bay today

A wolf on the dock at Mission Rock?

New Day

I'm going to go for a slow ride around the city today while the sun still shines and the air is clear, but I don't expect to take any interesting pictures. Everything I do lately has been repetitive or boring, but you never know what will pop up in this town.

Bet you thought I was going to talk about the election results - I won't add my 2 cents, there's plenty to be heard on that subject! But, yes, I'm very, very pleased and feel like a huge weight will soon be lifted, all over the world, and we can get back on track. Finally, someone smart and someone who listens. And someone who inspires all this good will and unyielding hope.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Puzzle Map

Maybe someone or something got in my way back when we learned our states, because no matter how many times I put this puzzle map together, I still wouldn't be able tell you where most of our states lie in relationship to one another. And I've been in a lot, if not all, of them.

Growing up we used to drive back to the midwest to visit relatives every other year - but my father drove from 04:00 until late every night, making the entire round trip in under two weeks, and I mostly hid out on the floor in back, using the hump in the middle for a pillow.

It's about 5:00 here in San Francisco. I'll finish putting this puzzle together and then as the states are called, Red or Blue (you know I'm praying for Blue), I will move that state's piece to the right or the left (oh, please go to the left!).

I had to tape all those tiny east coast states together and can't move them individually - in fact, they're so small they don't have a piece for each, anyway. I think I'll just put them left, to Blue.

Blue. Blue. Blue.

Monday, November 03, 2008

My only Parlor Trick

Lately, I've been reminded that I have just this one little odd thing I can do.

I can write with both hands at once in mirror image, with the left hand writing backwards.

I can write backwards with either hand.

I can write upside-down with either hand.

And I can draw with both hands on the same image at the same time.

But, if I do any of these things, especially the mirror-writing, for very long, I have felt a sudden split inside my head, a hollowness, a white space, a terrible, terrible fear that something very bad might happen.

And then I quit doing it.