Wizard Chemtrails

Another week, although abnormally cold here.

Down to -3°F (-19°C) earlier this week, with 8″ (20cm) of snow on the ground.  The cold air was trapped down here in the valley while the upper elevations warmed up.  It was a juxtaposition of reality, with the mountains surrounding us turning brown as the snow melted, we down here in the valley stuck in our houses due to the ice and snow.

It took six days for the schools to open.  It’s been five years since the valley saw snowfall greater than 1″, so the collective memory has forgotten.

Mid-week, we had friends in town.  A quick visit, never long enough.  Goddess and I discussed ways to keep them here, including letting the air out of their tires or padlocking the door to their room.

But during their last couple of years here in the Pacific Northwest, they had not visited Crater Lake.  I declared it would be a shame for them to leave the area without seeing the view.

They agreed.

So after a couple of hours of slip-sliding on the roads to get there, they got to see.  And they understand.

For Goddess and I, it was amazing to see the snow depth difference between today and Black Friday, less than two weeks ago.

Wizard Chemtrails

About the name of the photo – it’s a dig.  Although I’ve been aware of the chemtrail folks, I’ve recently viewed a lot more traffic on their viewpoints lately.

I’m a skeptical guy.  But their viewpoints?

I find amusing.

How I Learned to Stop Worrying…

I typed lots of words over the past hour or so, but have deleted them.

Instead, do some reading, if you wish.

There have been some legal shenanigans in the UK that may impact you, no matter what country you call home.

Because the shenanigans have global implications.

UK. Gov passes Instagram Act: All your pics belong to everyone now (Everyone = Silicon Valley ad platforms tech companies)

The UK’s copyright landgrab: The FAQ

And the government has a chance to explain themselves, as in “these are not the droids you are looking for“.

So after many years of purposefully no including watermarks because I find them ugly and distracting, I’m going to have to placing them on my pictures again.  This is many years after I quit worrying about somebody heisting a picture of mine and claiming it as theirs.

Grumble, grumble.

Of course, watermarks won’t keep someone from stealing.  But it may keep the honest people honest.  And the thieves will continue to steal.

Here’s a before and after:

BTS - Shorebreak

BTS - Shorebreak Wassermark

If you are new here, that’s a behind the scenes shot of one of my images.

And if it steers a bit more traffic my way, that’s a good thing.

I’ve got some beer, a new script and some time to edit/upload.  But I will not make a dent in what’s out there.  So I won’t worry.

I Love Bomb.

Crater Lake Pano

Here is one style that I typically don’t post – a stitched image.

But sometimes that is the way the image needs to be done.

Even if it means letting the magic smoke out of the computer.  Luckily that did not happen, although for a few moments it seemed like the smoke may just be let out.

Crater Lake National Park, Oregon, USA.

If your monitor is wider that 1024 pixels, I suggest clicking on the image (which will open it in a new window/tab), then clicking on the image again.  It will fit to the width of your monitor on a black background, which is the best way to view it.  And unless you have a monitor wider than 3903 pixels, you still won’t see it full size.

Anyway, more tech geek stuff in a minute.

Goddess and I spent a fair bit of time at this rocky outcropping, thankful to have a large tree behind us blocking the gusty winds.  You can see the gust rings in the water below as the gusts coming over the summit would slowly mix their way down to the water, some 1,000′ below us.

The view was perfect for reflection.

Earlier that morning, we received some news that we had been anticipating.  We did not know what the news would be, but knew that it would be news.  Which is what we needed.  Once we got that news and watched a door close, we stepped through the opening door and this is what we saw.

Needless to say, it was not bad news.

Although some may think so.

For another few moments, we paused to remember.

And give thanks.

At that same moment, a good friend was on the other side of the country, at Arlington National Cemetery, interring a dear uncle who had served his nation more than honorably.  We paused to take in the view, say a few words, perhaps a prayer or two, dropped some beverage on the dirt for those who could not share, then drank in their honor.

The location seemed very appropriate.

And the antifreeze was very much appreciated.


Technical geekery: This is an image stitched from 7 RAW images.  Before editing, those 7 layers make an image some 1.54GB in size.  After a few local edits (mainly contrast since the colors were already amazing), trying to save the resulting .psd led me to find that the limit for .psd’s is 2GB.  I had never run across that before.

So I did some research and decided to save as a .tif.  Those, too, have a file size limit of 4GB.  I wasn’t worried about that, so I saved.  That’s when the computer went wonky (and it’s not a computer wanting for capability).  After about 20 minutes of hard drive thrashing and multiple interesting but completely useless screen displays, I decided a hard reboot was in order.  Luckily, during that time, the .tif was completed and saved.  At a paltry 3.4GB, its mere existence in my Prints folder has consistently brought my computer to its knees.  I had to create a separate folder for just this image just so the computer wouldn’t try to render a preview every time I opened my Print folder.

Matter of fact, it took no less than five hard reboots and a few file moves in safe mode in order to be able to finish this post.


But if I were to print right off the bat, it would be 11×54″.


HD Colors

Autumn has been here for a while.  Which makes me giddy, waiting for those few short days when the colors just sing.

We have had pockets here and pockets there, but none of the widespread goodness that for me is better than Christmas morning for a kid.

It’s very frustrating.

Over a full month into the season, we still have entirely too much green in the scenes.  Green trees right next to bare trees.

Trees that changed and shed in just a few week’s time.

Too fast.

If you’ll recall last weekend’s snow-capped Odenwald overlooking downtown Heidelberg, this is the exact opposite view.

HD Colors

And if you’ll recall the image of the snow-capped Odenwald, you’ll recall the fiery red tree in the left third of the frame.

In this image, if you look at the Heiliggeistekirche (Church of the Holy Spirit), which is directly in the center of this frame, follow the line up the steeple of the church.  From the tip of the steeple, angle right.  But not very far; no further than the width of the steeple.  You’ll see just 3-4 pixels of fiery red.  That’s the tree.

Regardless of my frustration with the slow appearance of peak color, today was a great day to spend with friends, some of whom we have not seen in a few years, some of whom traveled halfway around the world and were game to meet for a few hours when I know they would rather be sleeping.

Plus, we live in a place that gives us these views for free.

And that makes it grand!

Mayan Mask

I may have needed a mask today.

Today was an interesting day of sinus pressure, unlike anything I’ve had in the last decade.  But very similar to prior to my having a sinus rebuild 10 years ago.

That put a damper on a day of what was some of the most gorgeous mid-day light we’ve had here in a long time.

It’s quite seasonal, actually.  So the last time we had light like this, it was a year ago.

It’s when the sun dips to the south and reaches only 25 degrees above the horizon at its zenith.

And that means we pretty much have the golden hour for the next 4-5 months.  Assuming we aren’t overcast.

I really wanted to get out and capture it, but as I was getting my gear ready, I was reduced to a heap on the floor.

So Goddess was smart and directed me to rest.  Which I did.

And it helped.

She’s smart like that.

So instead we’ll have to dig into the archives, although not too far back.

Mayan Mask

Fleeting Memories

One of my favorite spots in Munich is one that few notice.

But that’s true of many cities.  I do like the out of the way, the off the wall places.

But this one’s neither out of the way, nor is it off the wall.

But still, few notice.

It’s the Viscardigasse, otherwise known as “Shirker’s Alley”.  Or, back in the day, Drueckebergergasse, as a drueckeberger is a hedger or quitter.

There is a lot of history in this alley.

But before I get into the history, I will preface by saying that my focus on German history, as a student of history, has not been the Holocaust.  I do not think it should be, no matter how horrific those events were.  The story of Germany and the worldwide contributions of the Germans is epic.  But like any other society or nation, there are its low points.  The 1930’s and 1940’s were Germany’s.

Spacially, Viscardigasse is a small alley (hence the -gasse suffix) that connects two significant parallel roads, Residenzstrasse and Theatinerstrasse, both of which head northward from Marienplatz.  Viscardigasse stretches east to west, just south of Felderrnhalle, which faces the Odeonsplatz.

The importance of Viscardigasse reaches back to 9 November, 1923.  On that day, an illegal march led by Adolf Hitler, with a goal of revolution, was confronted by Bavarian National Police along Residenzstrasse, next to the Felderrnhalle.  The march became known as the Beer Hall Putsch.

During the confrontation, gunfire erupted, resulting in 16 marchers and 4 police killed.  Hitler was arrested and sentenced to a prison term.

Jump forward several years, after Hitler gained power.  He ordered a plaque to the 16 “martyr’s” be placed on the Feldernhalle.  After that, passers-by were required to render a sieg heil as they passed the plaque.  Compliance was monitored by Nazi supporters.

That’s where the story of Viscardigasse starts.

As Jews or anti-Nazi individuals would approach the Felderrnhalle, they would duck down Viscardigasse to avoid rendering the salute.  Soon the Nazi’s caught on and started stopping individuals walking down Viscardigasse, demanding their reasons for avoiding the Felderrnhalle.  Those that could not provide sufficient reason were often whisked away to camps.

Taking the Viscardigasse was a form of resistance.

And a way to become “disappeared”.

So when we are in Munich, I choose to stop and reflect between these walls, looking at the stones as a whole, but especially the bronzed stones forming a wavering, ever decreasing path, before disappearing midway down the alley.

While the reflection does include the events leading to the placement of the stone, reminiscent of stolperstein (example here), memorial in the alley, the reflection turns more introspective, wondering if that Viscardigasse would be the path that I would take in the face of such an oppressive regime.

Wondering if I could leave Goddess behind like that.

Wondering if Goddess would join me.

But I seriously doubt that I would go out so passively.

That is the result of reflection.

So why the title “Fleeting Memories”?

Because as we sit, observe and reflect, so many tourists pass by the alleyway, walking quickly down Residenzstrasse and Theatinerstrasse, enroute to either the Odeonsplatz or Marienplatz, oblivious to the significance of this small alley.

Or, as in the picture below, we see many tourists and locals walk right down the alley, hurrying to and fro.

And we wonder, how many are even aware of what they are walking over?

Fleeting Memories


It’s painful to watch the images pouring in from Japan.

A country that I’ve lived in a total of nine years so far.  Each in distinctly different phases of my life.

A country that continues to touch me in such a way that if an opportunity was presented that I could live the rest of my days there, I wouldn’t hesitate.

But really, I can’t describe the thoughts and feelings right now any better than our dear friend Beth Welliver.  Click on her name for pictures and words.

Her post inspired me to go back and look at some of the many thousands of images I have from Japan.

They all make me smile.

And this one encapsulates it all.

Help if you can.