I take a short hiatus from my hiatus to take Margie to the fair, where a gigantic duckling steals her corn
This will be a very short hiatus from my hiatus. As regular readers know, I have been doing this blog exclusively with my iPhone since I went into surgery June 29. Just before my surgery, I received a gift of a Ricoh GR Digital pocket camera from my friend, the very fine photographer Zun Lee, who I met at David Alan Harvey's Brooklyn loft almost a full year ago. Zun had recently upgraded his pocket camera to the latest Ricoh GR and he wanted me to have something better than my iPhone camera to document my surgical and recovery experience.
So Zun sent me the Ricoh - and I went to the hospital intending to use it. I took all kinds of things to the hospital with me... the Ricoh, my iPhone, my iPad, my laptop computer, a card reader... I went into surgery thinking that within hours of coming out I would be shooting photos on the Ricoh, downloading them into my laptop, processing them in Lightroom and Photoshop and then, using the laptop, uploading, resizing and thumbnailing them through my laptop into my blog.
But... after surgery, I found myself not nearly so lively as I had anticipated. I realized too that I could take a picture with my iPhone and then make my blog right from my iPhone - a much quicker and easier process, accomplished within maybe 10 - 20 percent of the time. So I did, thinking that in a few days, as my strength began to come back, I would start shooting with the Ricoh and then doing all the things described above.
But... it was so much easier to stick with the iPhone that I did. And then, as I progressed, went up and down, I realized that sooner or later, given the absolute absurdity of our national health care debate and the fact that our US health care ?system? is ruining the lives of so many people unnecessairly, sometime I might want to put together a story about my own experience and so I decided I should keep shooting on the iPhone so that all the photos would have the same basic technical look - or palette.
But when Margie and I headed to the fair, I decided it was time to give the Ricoh a try.
So here we are, preparing to park, me shooting with the Ricoh. The fee was $5.00, so we had change coming.
I don't know what it cost to get into the fair. Melanie gave us tickets, so it cost us nothing.
Right after we entered, I saw Smokey standing there, so I shot an image.
Just beyond Smokey, I saw this girl with "Fair Hair" descend this climbing pole by the quick method, so I shot again.
Just beyond the descending girl, I saw "The Guesser." You pay him a modest fee and then if he correctly guesses something like your weight, your age, the month you were born, he gets to keep your money and you get nothing, other than the satisfication of knowing you have contributed to the well-being of another human being.
If he gets it wrong, then you get a little prize, like the ones in the background. I was going to have him guess the month I was born, but I was pretty sure he would get it wrong and I would then have to carry a prize around for the rest of the fair. I decided to wait until we left and then have him guess so I could carry my prize directly to the car, but when we left, I forgot. I feel really bad about that.
After I shot The Guesser, it suddenly occured to me that we had been inside the fairgrounds for about five minutes, I had shot four scenes, we had advanced only a short distance beyond the gate I could see that Margie was hungry and if I kept doing this, we would move through the fair like two snails and would nearly starve.
Afterwards, I would have a whole bunch of images to edit and process. I did not want to have a whole bunch of images to edit and process. It would take too much time. I wanted to eat. But first, before we could eat anything, we had to walk the entire fairgrounds so that we would know what the offerings were... even though we already knew they would pretty much be the same as last year.
So I put the Ricoh in my pocket where I could not take pictures with it and we walked the fairgrounds.
Then we decided to begin our dinining experience with a cob of corn each.
This lady is handing our corn to Margie.
Before Margie could take even a single bite of her corn, this giant duckling dipped down its head and with one swipe, ripped out all the kernals along this streak and consumed them himself. We got out of there, fast.
We ate lots more, too... fritters, hot dogs, french fries, pretzels... good healthy stuff like that. Thank goodness I finally got a check the day before - big enough to cover all of August's unpaid normal bills (not counting medical - geez! Medical!) allow us to eat at the Fair and get a start on September.
Damn! This corn was good!
Here are people taking a ride, and walking about. I decided I should try to get Margie on a ride. I knew she would not go for this one and, given what I have been through and the fact that I still have some healing left to do, was not quite certain I should, either.
I suggested we ride the ferris wheel. "No," Margie said. She didn't want to.
I then decided I should go ahead and ride the ferris wheel anyway, by myself, if for no other reason than to rise above the crowd and get a picture from up there. There were two ferris wheels. I thought the other one might provide the better view, so I took it instead. Margie stayed on the ground.
These two didn't.
There were holes in the foot basin of the gondola and I noticed I could see other riders flash by on the other side. I decided to see if I could get a two-hole shot showing people in different gondolas through different holes.
It was a bit challenging and there was a bit of glare on the Ricoh LCD screen, so I could see no details of expression or movement of the people passing by on the other side of the holes. I wondered if they could see I was shooting through the holes? Sure enough, they could.
The scene from on high. It started to rain after I got back on the ground, but we took our time leaving. That was when we bought our pretzels, with hot, melted, cheese to dip them in. We always buy the pretzels last. Damn good - just damn good!
I hate to say it, but these pretzels are better than the pretzels one can by from the vendors on the streets of Manhattan. I hate so say it because Manhattan pretzels used to be the best pretzels in the world and then someone got the great idea to replace those wonderful, New York-exclusive pretzels with mass produced pretzels of the commercial "super pretzel" variety that one can buy in a supermarket.
Way to go, New York. You had something so wonderful and now it has been beat by the pretzels at the Alaska state fair! I should have photographed our pretzels, but I got more interested in eating mine.
By the time we got into the car, we were a bit chilled. The chill lasted all the way home, where Margie turned on the electric heaters. I made myself comfortable on the recliner that got me through this recent ordeal. I spread a small but cozy blanket across my legs and feet and another over my torso and shoulders.
Jim jumped up an settled down on my legs. Now I was nice and warm; comfy and cozy. I closed my eyes and dozed off.
It was wonderful.