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      (SEP 18, 2019)  The Romalea microptera (lubber grasshopper) is a single species insect which is pretty much immune to most pesticides and predators. In large numbers - I have not seen that - they can be a problem in gardens. They are very slow moving and easy to catch, intern for some time, and release. 
      I have used grasshoppers as subjects (see 'Politician,' 1996 in the Photographs section) referencing a 'messenger of doom' connotation associated with locusts and the destruction they cause. In the case of politics, the candidate infestation happens every two years requiring voters to stamp it out in one November day until the next crop appears.
      Most of rural Florida is off the tourist trails because, well, we have bugs, bears, snakes, alligators and other things less friendly - not by much - than what can be experienced at Disney World. There is surely no single entertainment business which is a greater source of promoting ignorance and causing more harm to the environment than Disney. 
      To be clear, the biosphere and its science, ecology, are not - I repeat, are NOT - things which affect climate change as politicians educated in Disney science claim. Climate change cannot be 'fought.' Science has been aware of Milankovitch cycles (the 23,000 year or so variance in Earth's tilt on axis) for some time although media headlines reference 'new and recent research' show the cycle - combined with solar activity - is what causes ('influences,' using media speak) climate change. Milankovitch's theory, published in the mid 1930's, was verified by US scientists through deep ocean core samples in the early 1970's. This proved climate changes predated human existence and continue in a regular pattern.
      Preparing for climate change is, indeed, prudent. I bow to conspiracy theorists who claim this issue has been discussed at the various world summits (the 'G' series) for decades. At least, I hope world leaders are more on top of things than their rhetoric demonstrates. Apparently, applying the 'Disney ignorance' plan to keep the public believing climate change can be stopped by banning plastic straws and reducing fossil fuels is working, at least for a while.
      If nothing else, when crops start failing and global hunger threatens all humans, we'll have the cleanest climate change ever; nothing but lubber grasshoppers and Disney surviving.       

      (SEP 16, 2019) Since the aged and obsolete tend to find themselves as dance partners at the same affairs I should practice far more due diligence in looking over my shoulder to make sure I have become one but not both.
      My lapse in attention to changes in the film photography industry was due, in part, to working in other media and the everyday maintenance chores required to live in rural Florida.
      The news came to me this morning as I tried to re-stock my mainstay film developer - HC-110 - only to find it had been replaced by a 'new' version called "HC-110 2019." This change - a formula change - was apparently due to a German chemical firm going into receivership and its employees doing the best they can to keep the company afloat thus the change. That's one story I read. There are several others as well as analysis of the formula differences and so forth. 
      My cameras know little more than Kodak Tri-X film in all formats and HC-110 is the only developer I have used for some 40-years. Both film and developer have undergone small changes in that time but nothing like the HC-110 change today.
      I found a place in California selling large bottles of short-dated HC-110 and I bought their entire stock at a premium price but free shipping. Looking at the boxes of exposed film I have to process (I process film only twice a year), I may have to look for more old developer stock.
      It is time to adjust to the change and test the new formula against other developers which have been around for a while. There is a minor resurgence in film photography interest so I am confident film and chemistry will be in production for some time to come. It's just going to be costlier.
      'Costlier' comes to mind when thinking about the recent shootings in El Paso and Dayton.
      Politicians haven't the will, the courage, or even the authority to do what they promise to 'fight for' (but never accomplish) so a sane approach to gun control - within the 2nd Amendment guarantees - might be better addressed by the marketplace. Making the frequent mass shooter preferred ammunition - 5.56/.223, 7.62x39, and 7.62/.308 NATO -  extremely pricey and less available may be a way to make the military style assault weapons obsolete while preserving the rights to bear other arms. Politicians could then pile on a federal tax of, say, $100 a box of 20 rounds of those calibers.
      The rationale for this? Most people like dogs even if they don't own one. There are some breeds of dogs - the pit bull terrier being one - which some communities have chosen to ban due to the dog's inherent bad disposition outside of its training. That does not mean no other dog can bite or attack but reducing the odds of the danger is certainly consistent with 'promote the general welfare' found in the 'intention' preamble of the U.S. Constitution. The same can be said of a particular kind of firearm.
      American industry - capitalism - is experienced in pricing products according to supply and demand as well as making things obsolete; typewriters, 8-track tapes, leaded gasoline, church key can openers, etc. Industry is also experienced in responding to the threats positioned against consumers they profit from; DDT, Agent Orange, unsafe cars, and, now weapons designed, or designed from, weapons of war in the hands of the general public.   
      It is unrealistic to expect any politician to do anything but scream self-serving rhetoric while the assault weapon culture continues to exist in the the entertainment and firearms industries which donate huge sums of money to the political dog and pony shows following every mass shooting.
      But, every member of the U.S. Congress knows it is their governing body which created and passed the Protection of Lawful Commerce Act (2005)* which creates an immunity for all gun makers and sales venues from civil suit for criminal acts using firearms.
      Perhaps amending that law to exclude assault style weapons from that immunity would immediately reduce, if not eliminate, the manufacture and sale of the weapons while preserving 2nd Amendment rights.
      *It should be noted that in 2005 then Rep. Bernie Sanders voted FOR the act while candidate Hillary Clinton, in 2016, said she would repeal the act if elected.


      (SEP 09, 2019) Across East 5th Street from Ned Pepper's in Dayton, Ohio are three witnesses to the shootings holding their static poses like politicians and visiting celebrities using their fame to solicit more fame.
      The Chicago Sun-Times headline on September 3, 2019 reads: "43 Shot - 8 Fatally - In Labor Day Weekend Shootings."
      The polticians and celebrities are nowhere to be seen nor a single word tweeted about 51 gunshot victimes in one city in one weekend.
      Cowardice and opportunists are killing what the gun violence doesn't in our nation's cities..  


      (AUG 10, 2019) This is 419 East 5th Street, Dayton, Ohio.
      There's no story here. There shouldn't be. This isn't storytime. This goes beyond any news value or political expediency.
      This is pain in bold face type on the pavement which won't give up the blood stains for some time. Eventually, they will.
      This is a time to have the courage to weep rather than exhibit the weakness which follows anger.

      This is a scene along North Dixie Drive in Dayton, Ohio. 
      On May 28, 2019 14 tornados ranging from F3-F4 strength ripped through Dayton and areas to its east and west.
      Property owners and renters are still relying on faith-based assistance while insurance companies drag out the claim process in the interest of cheap settlements. One aid distributor told me she was concerned about the homeless and those still in homes without utilities as fall and winter months approach.
      The destructive indifference of the tornados was imperfect; not one life was lost to the twisters in the immedite Dyton area. One death was reported caused by the same storm system about 60-miles northwesat of Dayton near Celina. 
      I wish the best for those recovering and affected by the tornados and shooting in the Oregon District. I can attest both events and results cannot be adequately conveyed in word or image. 

     (JUL 10, 2019) It was in the late George Martin's critically acclaimed 8-part documentary, "Soundbreaking: Stories From The Cutting Edge Of Recorded Music (2016)," Tom Petty proclaimed, "Old people always think their time - their music - was better. Mine actually was."
      I was the same age as Petty at the time of his death two years ago and I do share, in general, his appraisal of the rock music genre if a large chunk of overhyped, repiticious crap is ignored. We tend to think the best of our generation's tangible and ideological products. 
      'Better' is an open judgment, as used by Petty, with 'best' having more of a conclusive - closed for further consideration - determination. 
      Petty's success was based upon his resolve to be authentic to himself and his time. When he was a kid he met Elvis near Ocala, Florida during a movie being filmed there.. Petty was impressed but never attempted to 'be' another Elvis.
      Being suthentic to our time isn't as easy as it appears today. The temptation to go down the popular media's rabbit hole into centuries past and judge the past of others based upon what we know and accept today is contrary, and an avoidance, of our current times and authenticity.                 

      (JUN 02, 2019)(June 02, 2019)You probably weren't thinking about roast beef before seeing this image..
      Neither was I before I saw the sign along the road. The sign, the words, and the location had nothing at all to do with roast beef and, yet, there it was.                       

      (MAY 06, 2019) It is, at best, a 'guesstiment' that 1.5-trillion raindrops fall from the average thunderstorm in five minutes over a square mile of land. Variables include the geometry of each raindrop.
      That number doesn't come close to the estimated 100-billion stars in each of the estiamted 100-trillion galaxies.  
      Rainy day thoughts.   

      (APR 07, 2019) The guy at the bait shop was right.
      My grape plastic worms had 'expired' and were easy to rip off any rigging by the 2 or 3 pound largemouths. The first cast with a fresh platic resulted in the picture above.
      I listen to people who know things I don't. 

      (MAR 05, 2019) Art is a choice-driven process. Tyranny, rather than tolerance, is often the well-cloaked solution to unpopular free thought and expression.   
      Here, I made a choice on film; Flagging (2018).