Venice, May 2014 – 173


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Venice, May 2014 – 173
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Image by Ed Yourdon
(more details later, as time permits)


I’ve been to Venice once or twice for brief business trips during my life, which had the same characteristics as the business trips I described in a separate Flickr album about Paris — i.e., they basically involve flying into a busy airport at night, taking a taxi to a generic business-traveler’s hotel (a Hilton in Venice looks just like a Hilton in Cairo,except perhaps for the canal outside the main entrance), and then spending several days working in the hotel (if the purpose of the trip was a seminar or computer conference), or at a client’s office (also “generic” in most cases — you can’t even tell what floor you’re on when you get off the elevator, because every floor of “open office” layouts is the same). The trip usually ends in the late afternoon or evening of the final day, with a mad dash back to the airport to catch the last plane home to NYC. Thus, a business trip to Venice is almost indistinguishable from a business trip to Omaha. Or Albany. Or Tokyo.

But Venice is different from almost any other place in the world, and I’ve had a couple of vacation trips to experience that side of the city. But it’s been a long, long time: the first such visit was back in 1976 (which you can see here on Flickr), and the second visit was in 1983 (pictures of which do exist on Flickr, but have been restricted to family-only access, since they consist mostly of boring pictures of drooling babies and kids sticking their collective tongues out at me).

Thirty years is a long time between visits … but for a city like Venice, I doubt that very much has changed. Well, perhaps there wasn’t a McDonald’s outlet in Venice when I first came here (and I did photograph one such outlet on this current visit, which you’ll find in this album), and you can certainly guarantee that people weren’t walking around with cellphones and smartphones the way they are today. And while the tourists typically did have cameras back in the good-old-days, they were typically modest little “Instamatic” film-based gadgets, rather than the big, garish, DSLR cameras that everyone now seems to carry around with them, complete with advertising logos all over the camera-straps and bodies to remind you that they, too, can afford to buy an expensive Canon or Nikon gadget that they really don’t know how to use properly. (Sorry, I got carried away there …)

But the buildings, and the people, and the canals, and the gondolas … all of that is the same. And that’s what I’ve tried to capture in this set of photos. The tourist crowds are now so thick (even in May!) that I didn’t even bother going to the square at San Marco, and I didn’t bother taking any photos from the Rialto bridge over the Grand Canal; but you will see some photos of tourists in this album, along with photos of the local people who are still here …

I don’t expect to come back to Venice again in the next year or two … but if it turns out to be 20 or 30 years before my next return, I suspect it will all look pretty much exactly the same as it did on this trip, and in 1983, and when I first saw it in 1976.

In My Element… (I’ve Been Tagged)
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Image by cobalt123
Yes, I had a glorious time again at the Tucson Rock and Gem Show. As I was taking photos in the display for Crystal Springs (at Inn Suites), I suddenly noticed myself in the mirror, so what the heck, I shot myself. Since I came home late Saturday night, I found a flickr mail from a friend, Nos da Montanha who has tagged me for a "16 Things" game, so I may as well use this image for it. Since it is now nearly 1 am, I am not really ready to come up with the 16 things I am supposed to write about myself and something really lame would come about. So this image will not be added to groups and spread about. If my friend is wondering, come back to this photo later Sunday and there may be some description added to qualify for the game.

OK, here are the 16 Things:

I’ve been tagged for the flickr game running around now where one posts "16 Things", so here, a bit delayed are 16:

1. I believe that one gets the best photos from subjects well-loved and known. A children’s literature professor of mine from years ago said that writers should write what they know. As an art, a photographer does well to follow this same advice.

2. I believe everyone has an innate capacity to create and to create art. Sometimes one may have to learn to see and to think about what they see in order to have that artistic seed that grows. It can be learned, and once learned, it is a part of your life.

3. My historian father made a deal with my mother when I was born, the first of 4 children. Thus, my name includes one of his favorite presidents and I have Jefferson. My siblings have Lincoln, Wilson, and Quincy Adams. Oh, we all have very ordinary first names, popular at that time.

4. I answered the phone at my home once when I was young, and it was Senator Everett Dirksen, calling for my father.

5. Whenever I lived somewhere I could not get a teaching job, I often was in sales. I learned to sell air. I could sell you pieces of air. Whatever you want, 400 pieces of air, each 30 seconds long, or maybe 30 pieces each 60 seconds long. Radio advertising sales, in the heyday, when there were few women in this type of sales.

6. Since I had a minor in art, I had taken a drafting course and thus was able to get a job designing business forms. Later, since I was "trainable", I learned to draft in 3 dimensions and became a packaging designer in paperboard making boxes.

7. I’ve loved, studied, and collected rocks since I was 8 years old.

8. One of the best days of my life I spent about 20 hours prospecting with a miner, near Wickenburg. We collected at 4 mines and the last we collected fluorescent rocks using a short wave UV lamp help upside down as we walked in the dark in the desert.

9. My favorite books are science fiction, from the earliest novels starting from Wells and short stories of Guy de Maupassant and Saki. My favorites are anything written by Frank Herbert, especially those that are NOT in the Dune series. Big kudos to Larry Niven and the cyperpunk/historical fiction of Neal Stephenson.

10. I collect many things, notably rocks, books, art supplies, cobalt glass and every variety of "stuff". My family considers this an eccentricity inherited from my Grandma Clark and a big negative thing due to the sprawl and breadth of clutter I try to manage and organize, only somewhat successfully.

11. I collect people the way I collect the things I listed above, every variety and type of person who I treasure is a vast collection of complement and contrast to my own self. Lots of time they end up meeting each other and develop small groups of very different folks with only a few things in common when we get together. Kind of like my dear flickr friends who have meetups and photo strolls.

12. Three sons have I, great treasures and blessings in my life.

13. Right now I have 3 grand-daughters and this summer they will have a little brother. It doesn’t get better than this for Grandma Cobalt.

14. I continually learn and appreciate great lessons in simple things as I work with people who have disabilities and am a trainer for assistive technology and present about disability awareness.

15. I have significant ADD, getting worse as I age. This is good and bad, but the best results in my huge photography collection of many subjects. I can’t NOT notice detail.

16. I struggle with depression every day of my life. Doing art, reading, finding joy and fun, and the people in my life keep me going.

Ball’n Biscuit Catering
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Image by Landre Photography
And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Crumbs pop-up catering event: The Supper Club Experience. February 13th, 2013