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  Saturday   June 10   2006

give us this day our daily photograph

Freeland apartment

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 12:18 AM - link



  Friday   June 9   2006

iran

US caught in Iran policy squeeze


An extensive interview given by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov to the Russian media, the full transcript of which has been seen by Asia Times Online, throws much light on the state of play in the Iran nuclear issue.

His remarks illuminate the paucity of options that the United States has left itself in dealing with the issue. Washington's May 31 offer to engage in direct talks with Tehran is in fact its only real option - in Lavrov's words, "a victory of common sense".

At the same time, Lavrov exposes as grandstanding many of the statements emanating from the administration of US President George W Bush about the talks offer. Moscow, it emerges, was not consulted on the matter, and is not party to any tacit agreement on imposing sanctions on Iran, despite Washington's spin to this effect. In other words, an increasingly isolated United States finds itself with very little room left to maneuver, let alone impose its will on an increasingly multipolar world.

[more]

 11:57 PM - link



Arnold Newman, R.I.P.

Arnold Newman, Portrait Photographer Who Captured the Essence of His Subjects, Dies at 88


Arnold Newman, the portrait photographer whose pictures of some of the world's most eminent people set a standard for artistic interpretation and stylistic integrity in the postwar age of picture magazines, died yesterday in Manhattan. He was 88 and lived on the Upper West Side.

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Legends Online: Arnold Newman


Igor Stravinsky, Composer, Conductor, New York, 1946

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 11:54 PM - link



the oil war

Cheney Starts New Cold War Over Oil
Cheney's brazen oil grab strategy in Central Asia has launched a new Cold War with Russia -- and this time we're losing.


One of the oddest reactions to Vice President Cheney's now-infamous speech in Lithuania, the one which many Russians believe officially heralded the start of a new Cold War, came from the mainstream American media. What was so strange? They actually did their job.

Instead of simply parroting the Administration's latest pieties, they actually allowed themselves to smell a rat. And what a putrid, bloated, rotting-in-a-flooded-Manila-gutter rat odor it was! You'd have to have been literally brain dead not to have smelled it.

The rat of course was the insane hypocrisy of a foaming fascist like Dick Cheney suddenly getting all Amnesty International righteous over a bad regime that does bad things. The fact that Cheney flew straight to Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan right after squirting over Russia's human rights problems turned the rank hypocrisy into a bad black comedy routine, barely fit for even a Tom Green. Kazakhstan is a country where opposition politicians and media aren't merely jailed, exiled or cowed as they are in Russia, but are shot and dumped in forests, Miller's Crossing-style, on behalf of a despot whose family runs the country like its own fiefdom.

[more]

 11:43 PM - link



photography

Wayne Levin


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  thanks to wood s lot

 11:40 PM - link



new urbanism

What We Choose
by Jim Kunstler


The New Urbanists met for their annual confab in Providence over the weekend and I was there among them, as I have been for thirteen years, because there is no other organization in America that is doing more to remediate the fiasco of suburbia -- or, as I call it, the greatest misallocation of resources in the history of the world. I have been telling college lecture audiences for a while now that pretty soon the only urbanism will be the New Urbanism. I am not being facetious.

This movement has been broadly misunderstood over the past decade, especially by some of the major morons in the mainstream media, such as David Brooks and John Tierney of The New York Times, who repeatedly make the fatuous argument that suburbia must be okay because Americans overwhelmingly choose to live in it. Well, that's nice. The trouble, though David and John, is that suburbia is coming off the menu. In a world of $70 oil and upward, suburbia is a dish that can no longer be served up in America's economic kitchen. Someone should inform the waiters.

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Congress for the New Urbanism

 11:36 PM - link



book art

Vintage Octopus Pulp Covers!


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 11:30 PM - link



egypt

Billmon usually has excellent commentary on world events. He recently attended a conference in Egypt and took some time off for a train trip down the Nile to Luxor. Good travel writing illuminates other cultures. This is beyond good. He has his first two sections up. I will link to the others when he writes them.

All's Well That Ends Well


Every since I was a small boy, and used to spend hours pouring over maps of faraway places and dreaming about the treasures hidden there, one of my dreams has been to take a train down the Nile, into the heart of Africa. Riding first-class to Luxor on the Egyptian national railway isnít quite the same thing, but itís close enough, and thatís what I was set to do after I left Sharm el-Sheikh and the World Economic Forum behind. Last Tuesday, however, my dream was almost shattered, probably beyond repair, because of a large red spot on the corner of a $10 bill.

It would have been entirely my fault. For once in my life, I forgot the travelerís golden rule: cash is king. And because I forgot, I arrived at the Cairo train station Tuesday morning with only twenty Egyptian pounds (or about $3) in my pocket Ė 47 pounds less than the price of a first-class ticket to Luxor. And that almost kept me from going to Luxor at all.

I know what youíre thinking: What about that $10 bill with the red spot on the corner. What the hell does that have to do with rail travel in Egypt? Iíll get to that, but first let explain why I ended up in a strange city in the Middle East with virtually no ready cash.

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The Gift of the Nile


In Edwin Abbott's story Flatland, he describes an imaginary two-dimensional world in which the inhabitants can only perceive each other as points and lines on a horizontal plane, either growing or dwindling depending on their shape and motion. Itís a strange tale, but in creating Egypt God did Abbott one better, for in Egypt only one dimension truly matters, and it runs the length of the Nile: up river and down.

The Egypt we see on the map Ė the irregular rectangle with the Sinai hanging off one corner, like a stumpy tail Ė is a fraud, existing only in some colonial boundary commissionís imagination. The real Egypt is shaped like a sinuous snake, with its fangs clamped firmly into the bottom of the Mediterranean. (Indeed, one of the ancient symbols for upper Egypt, above the delta, was the cobra.)

To the west, a string of oases Ė the snakeís ba, or soul shadow -- follow the parallel line of another ancient valley, which once marked the riverís course to the sea. Beyond that, only sand and wind and the faint sound of scorpions, scuttling across the dunes.

Egypt, in other words, is the Nile, and the Nile is Egypt Ė a 500-mile miracle that exists only because the highland forests of central Africa happen to drain north, through the Sahara, instead of west, into the Congo basin, or east, into the Indian Ocean. Itís hard to imagine a country more completely defined by an accidental quirk of geography Ė or, as the high priests at Karnak probably would have argued, that represents such a unique gift from the Gods.

There is, in short, no place like it on earth.

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 11:26 PM - link



photography

Denis Dailleux "Egypt, Oum ed donia"


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  thanks to 1mag3

Incredible photographs and they're all square!

 10:44 PM - link



rent

Misconception: Renting is for Suckers


Youíve heard all the reasons that people want to stop renting. ďI donít want to waste my money.Ē Heck, you may have even said them yourself. Many of my friends are reaching that point in their lives where theyíre considering buying a home. However itís unfortunate that so many choose to buy over rent, especially in this expensive market, because many well-intentioned people are buying homes that are actually damaging their finances.

Despite the fact that many people disagree with me that the real estate market is going to deflate, there is a rule of thumb that I use that should give you an idea about how much you should spend on a home even if the market is in a slump.

For every $100 you spend in rent a month, youíd be better off buying up to $12,500 in property instead.

For example, I live in Northern New Jersey, and currently pay $1,000/mn for my 1 bedroom apartment. I would be better of financially if I were to buy a condo that cost up to $125,000. The only problem is that where I live, thereís nothing habitable that I can buy for under $125,000, and if I spend much more than that, itíll actually cost me more money to buy than rent!!! Unfortunately this is a problem shared by my friends in major cities around the country.

Okay, youíre skeptical. I know it and I donít blame you. So Iím going to prove to you right now, why my rule of thumb works.

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  thanks to J-Walk Blog

 10:36 PM - link



the hurrieder i go the behinder i get

As I mentioned before, we have been having problems with Gerry's meds. She has been very afraid and depressed. We're not sure whether that is because her Alzheimer's has gone to a new stage or that she hasn't been taking her meds. The nurses at where she has been staying had lost control and she is in a hospital ward now getting her meds stabilized. It's been pretty traumatic. She should be leaving the hospital next week.

I'm still catching up. In addition to finishing off a new website, I've been trying to get up a new strap for twin lens reflexes.

I've got most of the pictures taken and then I need to update gordy's camera straps. This has taken me to another level of leather working since I needed to thin the leather for the connector piece between the strap and camera. I ordered a real life leather splitter for the job.

It came with a nice leather stripper. The little hand tool I've been using to cut up the hides doesn't work all the time. This should be an improvement. They should be here Tuesday. Then I will need to build a work bench. At least I have a space cleared in the basement for it.

Lot's of other stuff going on. Not the least of which an old friend, Derek Parrott, is moving to Hawaii and is having a community going away party tomorrow night at the American Legion. I will be shooting the Ricoh Diacord with some Kodak Portra 160NC and using my Vivitar 283 flash. And maybe some black and white Ilford Delta 3200 in the Salut-S. And a Leica IIIc (35mm J12) and a Zorki 3M (50mm J8) with Fuji Superia Xtra 400. And maybe the Pentaxes with a 28mm and the 90mm from the Salut-S, both loaded with the Superia.

 10:25 PM - link



give us this day our daily photograph

Rhodys

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Links tomorrow.

 02:25 AM - link



  Thursday   June 8   2006

give us this day our daily photograph

Measure Freeboard Here

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Where are the links you ask. All you get is another crummy ferry picture. Well, things have been complicated with Gerry (Zoe's mom who has Alzheimer's). She has been moved to United General Hospital in Sedro Woolley to stabilize her medication. Zoe talks about it a little. It's taken time and energy. I'm catching up with work and will catch up with links. But I do have more pictures to put up.

 12:07 AM - link



  Wednesday   June 7   2006

give us this day our daily photograph

Napping on the ferry

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Napping on the ferry, when traveling by yourself, requires the ability to wake up before the ferry unloads. Otherwise people behind you get upset and you suffer the humiliation of a ferry working knocking on your car door to wake you up. Actually, it can be dangerous. There was the case some years ago, on the Bremerton run, of a man at the head of the line who fell asleep while waiting for the ferry to arrive. The ferry worker woke him up and he thought the ferry had arrived. He drove on to the ferry and off the other end of the ferry which, unfortunately, didn't have a dock attached to it. He drowned when the car sank.

 12:05 AM - link



  Tuesday   June 6   2006

give us this day our daily photograph

Jeep

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gordy's image archive index

Another ferry picture. The is the first roll through the Ricoh Diacord. It appears to be plenty sharp. It's also part of the first job I sent off to Praus Photo Lab in Rochester, NY. I sent it out Tuesday, it was shipped back on Friday, and I received it on Monday. As fast or faster then sending it to Seattle. I will send some more. I will need to expose the film first.

 01:42 AM - link