If won then when, knot ten

One of the things you might be concerned about if you live in a colder  climate than you would if you lived in a warmer climate is when you take the piece of bread out of the toaster  you want to time the butter so that it melts before the toast gets too cold, and as  butter is so fattening  you do not want too much on the toast especially if you are like me and your obsession not to waste any butter is stronger than  your will to scrape off the excess butter.


Japanese have a love of things growing, Tokyo residents like to have a garden . . .


no matter where or how they live.


There are some of these small Tokyo homes, many are three stor ywith a business run out of the ground floor. These old small Tokyo houses are often in need of repair and one day they will  all disappear.


Red chairs waiting for someone in a Shibuya station corner/


Standing in the Rain, sometimes its too easy to be fooled by someone else’s voice . . .or how they stand in the rain/


or  what seems like locals traveling on the Sakura Line. Tokyo Metro and train lines  transport about 12-14 million passengers a day, always clean and safe.


In Tokyo there is ongoing construction  everywhere, all the time. with construction delivery trucks  waiting, waiting, and waiting.


A Tokyo Tower at night experience.


Bea, Les, and Seymour


I have been in Tokyo this week,  staying inTaito City  in the area around Kaminanon Gate at Senso-ji—”ji” means temple, so when you see Senso-ji translated as Senso-ji temple the word ”temple’ is redundant. 

asakusa6050Det26%ppi100E800.jpgThere are visitors  from all over the world and almost every one has a camera phone, with many not just satisfied with making a record of a moment but are trying to creatively  expresses something beyond just being a memory, they have vision beyond just the  vacation snapshot.


And in large part, there are perhaps a billion, or even more, people on Earth  who owe this to Steve Jobs, whose vision  of a hand held  mobile telephone which was also a computer and a camera which would make digital images of a professional quality. Jobs did not only enable people to to this by creating  quality products and with his insistence on  design excellent of products,  graphic design of packaging, corporate identity and advertising, all which  motivated people to attempt something beyond their own capabilities.


Few people in history  have moved so many to achieve beyond their own expectations in self expression as did Steve Jobs. Whether they all achieve some level of greatness or not, they will raise  the standard for those more capable and make the world a better place.


After hours gestures


A group of elder people (my age)  having a group photograph at Yasukune Jinja getting some last memories of past  greatness of Japan


Pilgrims at Sensoji in the early morning.


Found in transmisalation

Walking back from Kappabashi Street to Asakusa  I met this wall and then two young photographers wandered in . . . Does this image tell you about them, about me or about how you see?

Any years ago I watched a short documentary film of A.Wyeth in which he discussed  his painting of the Kuerners, the one where he is holding the rifle, and they are standing in front of the white wall.  Wyeth discusses  his concern with the white wall and how  he redid it multiple times until was right.


Light is what a photograph is, but so is Lens.

Lens is how about your personal feelings with the content of the image.

I am an adjustable kind of person so I have a zoom lens. Actually I am old, its easier to carry around one lens than multiple cameras.

I do not know anything about these two people, just two photographers on a street in Tokyo between Asakusa and Kappabashi Street.  I was admiring the reflections on the wall and they were admiring other things,


For me, the highest Art level of photography is photojournalism. For people photographs aways are about reality, no matter how abstract is a photograph people unconsciously   ask “ But what is it?” They need to have that answered before they can visually experience line, texture, shape, color, etc. My sister and I on our way to learn our  mother  had a stroke, lost her memory  and was never to know who we were again.


Second is the is snapshot, people love to take photographs  and snapshots are about the experience of taking the photograph or being photographed,  and not the photograph itself.


There is always the “realisim” of a photograph—is it evidence incur or insurance claims, proof of infidelity or a family history of a great grand parent.


Photograph is using light to Mae an image, The visual experience  is in the interaction between  the light and the eye , but the human experience is between the eye and the  human mental process,  and these are different.


The eye is happy with line, shape, color,texture but the human mental process  is not satisfied  with  those things,  it wants words, categories  to classifiy the experience and that is what “understanding“ means a photograph means to people.

But it was not always this  way,  this is what McCluhan is writing about how print so radically changed  the meaning being human.


Japan is both so modern and yet so many of the modern  inventions do not quite fit into the Japanese world bandits fine that they stay outside, its alright to keep the invaders out.


The old shows its age and new just walks by . . .


Japanese may not care about the meaning, the color, the experience of the the shape, the color, the line is enough. Who nos where the shadow goes?


Sometimes you do not need to speak the language ,just drinking sake and eating edamame with people you meet passing through  Ueno is enough.







The artless misdodger

Art* for knowone

Professionally I had a  graphic design business when, “pre computer”, the term “art” refered to everything & anything that would be exposed to the film which would be used to expose the printing plate. 

Computers have changed many technical elements of printing,  I retired 2016, and in my 25 years of experience since I got my first Mac II  even  later  when there was no film or printing plate, still “in the trade, ”  “art” referred to the materials used to composite the final visual for a specific printing job.

*Definition for this post: Art or art is specifically referring to a two dimensional visual experience. 


Often  in an inter-personal experience of viewing someone’s “snapshots” I will use the term “art”  as I would in the printing trade and their reaction may express that “These are their personal images, not to be seen as at the level of Art” suggesting that not all photographs are “Art.”

When I was young sometimes there would be discussions or essays about whether  photography was an Art or whether specific photographs were Art.

Mal Sharpe on the trombone.malSharpe2552_72ppi800px.jpg

“Art“ usually refers  to a combination of a level of technical expertise in the process, a level of artistic quality in the expression and a standard of subject matter.

One person may photograph a chair for an insurance record which may not meet this definition while another photographs  the afternoon light coming in through the window reflecting the curves of the chair expressing a human feeling.

San Franciscosf5845Det33%100C800.jpg

I saw in the news  last week, or perhaps the week before, that this Burger King was (finally, thank you ) shut down due to the unsanitary conditions. Its at the corners where you get off  BART  at Civic Center.  On the first floor looking out the window  in the hotel across  the street on the left is a Starbucks, often in the early morning  you can different languages of visitors from all over the world.

Is a photograph of a homeless person  “Art,”  is  being homeless in San Francisco or Los Angeles is a lot easier than being homeless in New York City, Boston or Cleveland, if only because of the weather or maybe its the food, or maybe its the bus ticket and a little cash from the   town fathers of a some  town in the midwest.

Where does a homeless person?


A photograph of an old house, maybe Art? who noes? Is it a visual record like a savings account of the experiences of those whoever lived in it, or a visual record of the how  of the outside world has altered its appearance? What is the Artist? who is the Art


San Jose Tofu

I lived on 11th Street, the first block just north of E. Santa Clara  in the two story white  apartment building, second floor right side, about 1982,  and would buy tofu at San Jose Tofu.  Even when we lived in Fremont,  I would drive down for the tofu and almost anytime I was in the area I would stop and buy. No one in the family took it over, they had to hire outside-the-family help and later close down.


Photo courtesy of—or maybe no courtesy of, I did not ask— Google.

Alameda Creek runs right bye my baby’s door,
Ain’ going down Highway 61 know more.


’cause  when you get to the stretch where the fence ends, the road begins . . .


Or you are politely requested not to enter and you see it as a choice.


Can I ask a photograph to show me who I am , or even who I was some moment in the past? Can you see the things I wish I had done in my life that I did not do,? the things that did in my life  I wish I had not done, ?  The things in my life of which I am proud of doing?

Green and red are complimentary colors and I use them to feel  complete,


To see my self, does a photograph have to more than line, color, texture, some feeling not\ matter how undefined, or does it need to be something  which we all commonly experience the same meaning?

If someone saw this image two hundred years from now and saw a photograph of the the Sales Force building  two hundred yours form now would they experience both images the same way,  perhaps as some visual record of the past?


Maybe they got home alright, or maybe they had a better offer, not bad lettering . . .


Dancing with the stars

I know its also the title of a TV program like I no Kardashians are people, I remember once I was with a woman who was ashamed of being scene with me because I was not a good dancer, then again, I never asked someone to think I was a good dancer but that is not true, in the 7th grade I was in Mrs Ship’s ballroom dancing class at the country club, but later it was never that important to me.

Dancing is encouraged  in Asakusa on a Sunday afternoon. A record of a moment  past or  a  predictonof the future.


Seto-Guro guinomi

Seto  (and neighbor Mino)  is an long time pottery producing area in Aichi Prefecture. Sometimes pottery in general may be referred to as “Seto Yaki, ”  yaki being “fired thing.” Guro means black , guinomi means sake  cup, and a seto-guro guinomi is a black sake driving cup from Seto.

There is an old  story which involved Sen no-Rikyu,  Toyotomi Hideyoshi, an order of seppuku  and a black chawan—I have seen reference to it being seto-guro, and I have a seto-guro chawan—but for all I know it may have been raku which is more commonly, though not exclusively, associated with chadō.



Sic nessun! too death

RIP: On Friday Ed Grundy  passed away after a long life
shortly after a memorable Fall Cider Club event.

Alameda Creek, going east between Beard Staging and Isherwood is near my house;  going west you can go all the way to Coyote Hills and San Franciso Bay.


San Franciso  Bay Blues,  a song  written by Jessie “LoneCat”  Fuller, was one of “those” songs —Freight Train/ Elizabeth Cotten Cocaine Blues/Dave Von Ronk; Baby Let Me Follow You Down/ Bob Dylan; I Am A Rovin’ Gambler/Ramblin’ Jack Elliot; Spike Driver Blues & Stagolee/ John Hurt;   which most every picker in th 1960s tried to learn.

NOTE: Except for Freight Train which (I believe)  was written by Cotten the others were traditional songs but the guitar part was an envied creation by the performer.


I try to walk  four miles everyday —speed walk.  In Spring 2007 with my son in college I moved my office home and I started walking four miles daily— I cannot run as it bothers my knees, and I walk along on the dirt beside side the black top trail—then it  took 50 minutes. At 74 years it takes me a little over an hour, or more if I meet someone I know and have a conversation, or sometimes I meet someone I never met before and we have a conversation, either way its interesting.


Its a levee built up to prevent the annual over flow of the creek, the area used to be farm land, now its houses, town houses, condos and some apartments though not in my immediate neighborhood. The Union City BART station is about five- ten minutes from my house, and it takes about 50 minutes to downtown San Francisco. Ihave an elder ClipperCard so it costs me about $4.40  roundtrip with Saturdays, Sundays and holidays free parking  while  weekdays are $3.00 until 3:00PM when it becomes free parking until the next morning .

The levee along the creek is a couple of minutes walk from my house, maybe 8 houses away. Along   the creek there are always things to capture one’s interest . . . stories of natural excitement and tension . . .


and moments of simple textures and patterns.


And people that I meet,

And the folks I meet ain’t always kind
Some are bad and some are good
Some have done the best they could
Some have tried to ease my troubled mind

Can’t Help But Wonder Where I’m Bound, Tom Paxton

Actually most of the people I meet along the creek are, for the most part joined by a common purpose of getting some exercise along this beautiful creek, but then, the  song is more about life than it is walking or riding along Alameda Creek just to get some exercise.


Amherst, MA,  a 50’s Buick, a country porch and a bell.


Tobacco drying barns


and the promise of moving sky’s


Someone told me I was not aggressive enough, it could be that I wanted something pure & clean and at the same time wanted happiness. Another person said I was too easy on myself  . . . I don’t know whether that meant they wanted something else, or I had no ambition . . .


but being in the city? does it bring you back to life, or like  for Rousseau, the city is human corruption. Everywhere people are born free and spend their life seeking to live in chains.


What is that one thing about a photograph that makes a human connection, that  single thing which no other two-dimensional image can claim, perhaps it a taste of never perfect cosmic truth,  not like line, or color. But its really good to see boys, bikes & girls.


From my kneads and knews,  I too was constrained  to cry out for attention wherever I could get it from, there was no standard, no rules  a little here , a little there, sometimes it got me through the night, or a promise of another day.


Its knot when its easier, two young men in a photograph, I no knowthing about them,  how hard or easy their life is.  A small peace of my life, a small piece of  theirs, which  together for a shared moment . . . we forget our troubles, our happiness comes out, its  the taking of the photograph which is the drug itself.


I could ponder . . . or  I could make it simple, the zen of feeting or


or the feat of zenning  . . .


Its not as if we had a choice, or did not have a choice, but moving to the Bay Area I never had to dress like this or watch my breath condense in the air again.  Photo circa 1977, Central Square  between Western Ave and River Street on the river side, near the apex one or two blocks from Mass Ave.  pstr_10.24_800.jpg