Police State

My first couple of websites, extremely basic affairs which I wrote back in about 1996 or ’97, using SimpleText or PageSpinner had the moniker of PhotoTerrorism.
This was, of course, before 9/11 and the threat of real terrorism in this country and at the time was just a kind of tongue-in-cheek identity that I thought described a small part of what was my photography ‘style.
There was nothing I liked better than to, with a reporter, go knocking on the door of some politico being charged with corruption or solicitation and banging off a few frames of the palms of their hands as they slammed the door in our faces or to push a wide angle lens up in the face of the handcuffed perp as he/she was led from the police car to the courthouse.
I kept the name PhotoTerrorism for a long time until I decided to register the domain. Much to my dismay, somebody had beaten me to it and worse, there was nothing of any real value there.
Disappointed, I just abandoned the whole idea of associating myself with that name and by then, I was out of the photo stalker business anyway.
But just last night, I temporarily but gently revisited the style and I probably don’t even know how close I came to being arrested for it. Continue reading

The Pilgramage

We like to take road trips. We haven’t done it for a while but I think we’re getting to a point where we need to.
Whenever we take one of these trips we take a gazillion pictures and we give the whole odyssey a name like Tom and Linda’s Excellent Adventure, Magical Mystery Tour, Serenity Now and Serenity Not.
We also like to get off the Interstate and go the long way, take the back roads. I know this is not an original idea but it’s what we do.
The above photo was made somewhere between Santa Cruz and Saratoga, CA along Highway 9 on a trip to San Francisco that we called “The Pilgramage.”

Fly slaughter

DISCLAIMER: The following is not for the faint of heart. If you are at all squeamish, you should stop now and go here.
I’ve been swatting flies in my house like there is no tomorrow.
And of course for the flies, there is no tomorrow.
For some reason, in the Autumn they come. I don’t know if it’s the first rain or cooler temperatures or if they like football but for three years now we have about a 3-4 day period of entomological cleansing. We’re talking Amityville Horror here.
We have these beautiful, oak, french doors in the family room. We call it a music room because our family consists of three cats, a piano and three guitars and they all live in that room. Of course the cats live wherever they damn well please but they include that room as suitable for kitty habitation.
I think at least one fly couple, coupled around that door somewhere because that is where the congregate.
When we got home from Los effing Angeles Tuesday night there were a fair amount of flies buzzing around. We kind of looked at each other and said, “Here we go again.”
I looked around the house for a suitable swatter and the best thing I could come up with was a two-year-old Bonny Doon vineyard catalog. So I slaughtered a dozen or so of their nasty asses.
Then came Wednesday. We walked in the door and Linda informs me that I need to wait until the kitties are done with their dinner before I start swatting because as she said, “There’s gonna be some swatting to do.”
No big. I can kill flies with the best of them but honestly, I don’t think I was prepared.
The French doors were nearly covered near the bottom and like graduated up to the top in little black specs. Because they’re just little flies. I think they’re baby flies. And they’re slow and sluggish, fortunately. This makes them much easier to slaughter.
It takes about an hour and a half of jogging back and forth from the kitchen to the music room slinging my Bonny Doon catalog left, right, up, down, to kill of every last one of them. And this creates a bit or a mess as you might imagine. I then have to go around with super hot water and sponge cleaning up fly insides from counters, stovetop and dishwasher. I also have to sweep up their little fly carcasses into a dustpan.
For some sick reason, I like to wait until I’ve killed them all (OK, some do escape) before disposing of them. I just want to see them all in one big pile in my dustpan. Maybe it’s a sense of accomplishment, I don’t know but in the end, there are so many of them that they actually make a sound when I empty the pan in the dumpster outside, almost like I had swept up a pile of thumbtacks.
And my Bonny Doon catalog is looking pretty nasty.
So driving home tonight I got two brilliant ideas. Sadly, I already knew that another battalion would be waiting for me when I got here because the proliferation had already begun in the morning. My two brilliant ideas were 1) First I’ll just open up the doors and sort of shoo them out as best I can. Since they all tend to congregate on the doors this should be fairly effective. Unfortunately, the doors open inward. If they opened outward, surely the bulk of them could be coaxed outside thus sparing all of us the unpleasantness that would follow. 2) I’ll buy a flyswatter!
Standing in line at the Albertson’s with a flyswatter in hand I realized, I’ve never purchased a flyswatter before. My first flyswatter!
I think I’ll be buying another new flyswatter tomorrow because after the slaughter was over tonight I was sweeping up scores of flies and lots of little pieces of blue plastic. I basically shredded the swatter.
Sometimes swatting didn’t seem like the best method like when I was washing dishes and my hands were wet and the swatter way lying on the floor. In these times I used whatever method seemed most convenient.
I stomped on, with just my socks on, at least a few, a dozen or so were drowned in the sink and washed down the drain. When a couple of particularly stubborn flies landed on the stove under the grate I simple lit the burner. I even killed one with my bare hand.
I want to say here that I did open the doors and I did shoo a large population of flies out before the killing began. And throughout the bloodletting I kept the kitchen window wide open so as to give any semi-cerebral flies an opportunity to flee. Not many did.
Trust me I didn’t enjoy a nanosecond of this and I am trying to be somewhat humane about this —even if it doesn’t seem like it — but how do you deal whit hundreds of houseflies buzzing around your kitchen?
What would you do.