Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Dumpster Diving, Again

Bank of America Building

Readers outside the US and Canada may not be familiar with the term dumpster diving. Dumpsters are large trash receptacles found in alleys in urban areas or behind almost any commercial establishment. To go dumpster diving means to rummage through these bins for decent quality items that have been thrown away and can be reused or sold. Sadly, it can also mean looking for glass or aluminum to sell at recycling centers or simply to find food.

For CDP members, the metaphor is for looking through your old files, trying to find images you once passed over that might still be suitable for the blog. Lots of us do it when we don't have any new material. So, voila, a photo of a modern downtown office building reflecting another one, with a little of this and a little of that mixed in with Photoshop. Hope you like it.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Back Home

Moon and Cardinal

Points in space: yesterday we drove 400 miles / 644 km from Marysville, Kansas back home, dropping U "R" Us at the Kansas City airport en route for his flight to Chicago. Click his link for some very good Kansas pictures. No new St. Louis material so it's into the archives. A cornice of the baseball stadium, a half moon, the low sun behind me. Little lessons in non-Euclidean geometry.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

STL DPB In Marysville, Kansas

Vacant House

Marysville, Kansas, is a town of about 3,300 people. Not so big, but it has the only WalMart for many miles around. My wife went to high school here. It is about 14 miles / 23 km from the farm where she grew up and 16 miles / 26 km to Hanover, where her mother lives today. Marysville has the closest motels so we always stay here.

I had a bit of free time late yesterday so I went out shooting in the hour before sunset in the town center. These are some examples. There is a growing set of pictures from this trip to Kansas on Flickr here.

Marysville Water Tank

Feldkamp's Furniture

Dollar General

Saturday, November 27, 2010

STL DPB In Kansas: The Hunt

Ryan 1

It's a family tradition: the day after Thanksgiving my brothers-in-law, nephews and assorted hangers-on go out into the farm fields, trying to shoot small, defenseless birds that are theoretically edible. And the old, old joke is that they have shotguns but I have the edge in firepower - I have a Canon.

Above and below: nephew Ryan strides through the hay stubble with alert eyes. He is clay pigeon target shooting in the second picture - notice the shell cartridge ejecting from the shotgun. Farther down, nephew Josh pushes through the brush with a determined look; nephew Tom looks like his dog just died, someone stole his last six pack and his four-wheeler has a flat; and nephew-in-law Steve scans the horizon. And after all this effort, of course, the apres-hunt party.

Ryan 2

Josh 1

Tom 1

Steve 1

After The Hunt

Friday, November 26, 2010

STL DPB Across The Kansas Prairie

Kansas Landscape 1

Nice dinner of Kansas City barbecue with some of the in-laws Wednesday night, then out across the rolling prairie yesterday to the town of Hanover, Kansas, population 653, where my wife's mother lives. She's 91, still lives at home, and we get out here when we can. We had a small, warm Thanksgiving dinner together.

I like driving across this part of the state. The terrain is varied and the farm fields are full of color in every season. The top picture was shot out the car window at about 70 mph / 112 kph while my son drove. No idea what the plant in the background is - power station, maybe. Below, two views of Hanover in the silence of a national holiday.

Empty Church Hanover BW

Hanover Kansas Thanksgiving Day

Saturday, November 20, 2010


This is something I need to spend more time on for a bit, at work, at home, and maybe on myself. STL DPB should be back late next week from the farm out in Kansas. Hope I get some nice light like this.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Pay Here

Pay Here

This parking lot machine looks like a snippet from the work of one of my favorite contemporary artists, Jenny Holzer. (Like this, for example. We have a long row of these Truisms on posters along a wall in my office. I don't know if anybody gets it.)

Well, it's finally happened. I have so much at work and at home that needs my attention that I need to take a blog break. I've got something in the hole to post for tomorrow but comments will be on hold. If the force is with me, I'll pick up again late next week from out in the prairies of Kansas, when we go to see my wife's family for America's Thanksgiving holiday. Friday, November 26, is the annual Kruse boys' unsuccessful quail hunt, when my brothers-in-law and nephews go out with shotguns and I follow them with a Canon. What a photo op. Here's an example.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Thursday Arch Series

Arch 2010-10-16 1

Well, this is fly-over country, as they say. And there I am, down by the Mississippi, pointing my lens to the sky.

A little background story: I went to high school in The Bronx. There was a folk music magazine in the library I read called Sing Out (which still exists!). In the spring of 1967, when I knew I would be going to college at St. Louis University, I read a column in it by a famous blues harmonica player, talking about the ten best things to do when you have the blues. His ultimate suggestion? Piss in the Mississippi - it will give you a feeling of immortality. And so, 43 years ago, when I first saw the Arch from the riverside...

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


Dizzy Dean, Shadow

Downtown black and white continues with more from around the baseball stadium. There are smaller statues, less than half life-size, a short distance from the giant figure of Stan Musial we saw yesterday. This is the shadow of the statue of Dizzy Dean, the last pitcher in the history of the Major Leagues to win 30 games in a season. That was in 1934. This statistic is meaningless to those who don't know baseball, of course.

I thought this was an interesting image. He could just as well have been bowling.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The Man

Stan's Statue 2

More downtown B&W. This is the statue of Stan Musial or Stan The Man, regarded by many as the greatest player in the history of the St. Louis Cardinals baseball team. They have been around since 1892 so that's saying something. However, Musial may in time be surpassed by Albert Pujols, who has just completed 10 years with the team. In that period he has been selected as an All Star nine times. He won the league's Most Valuable Player award three times and may well win it again for this year's season. After the 2011 season he becomes a free agent - the question is whether the Cardinals can afford to keep him. Maybe some day there will be a pair of statues on 8th Street. There would be symmetry since Musial was a left handed hitter and Pujols bats right.

Stan's Statue 1

Stan's Statue 2 detail

Monday, November 15, 2010

The Geometry Of Parking


I've been taking shots around downtown this weekend with the intention of converting them to B&W. This is just out the back door of my office building looking east. There is a light rail station just behind where I was standing but in St. Louis, like most of America, the car is king.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Last Colors

Citygarden Autumn Foliage

It's the middle of November and the city is settling into dull browns and grays. It's not all gone, though. The plantings in Citygarden were arranged to take advantage of the seasons. They burst out yesterday, even though the sky was cloudy.

Citygarden Autumn Foliage 2

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Order 190

Order 190

To go where? I found this lying in the dirt and dead leaves of Kiener Plaza. There are several restaurants across the street, including a local Italian eatery, a T.G.I. Friday's, a Hardee's (home of the Cardiac Combo) and (the horror!) a Hooter's (whose motto is, or used to be, "delightfully tacky." Really. Except only the second word is true). Maybe this is a subtle form of street art, suggesting we grow our own food.

Friday, November 12, 2010

STL DPB In Dallas: Hotel ZaZa

Sit On Me
Back last night from a meeting of lawyers in my specialty in Dallas. I've changed planes there lots of times but I don't know the city. I spent about 30 hours in the Hotel ZaZa in Uptown (wherever that is) without going outdoors. And no camera.

These are iPhone pictures. The hotel makes a point of being edgy, and generally succeeds. The photos here are the side chair in my room and two large photographs down the hall. Some of the art approaches being too risque for an ordinary public space, but not quite. Good job. I'd stay there again.

Hotel Zaza Photo 1

Hotel Zaza Photo 2

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Patriotic Corvettes

Yellow Patriotic Corvettes

Another shot from the Veterans Day parade. I just like the color and the horsepower. Every American male must have had fantasies of owning a Corvette at some time or other but it would be madness. My first car was a Triumph TR 4. That was somewhere between madness and utter folly.

In Dallas, Texas, on business today. Maybe I'll get me some barbeque and Lone Star beer tonight.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Cops In The Lou

SLPD On Wheels

He looks serious and powerful. Hope he's not after me. Black fiberglass, stainless steel, black leather - the quintessential Harley look.

I will be away on business until Friday. And this is real business: no fooling around, no photography, unless you have some special interest in the Dallas-Ft. Worth airport taken with a point and shoot. With luck I'll be posted ahead but there will be limited ability to visit my friends' blogs. Apologies in advance.

Monday, November 8, 2010

The Old Vet

The Old Vet

A bit more from the Veterans Day parade. He looks hard and determined, doesn't he? I think that's a first lieutenant's insignia on his hat. He was not a senior officer but he takes his and others' service seriously. He would have to be well into his 80s to have been in World War II. It's possible. He has survived a lot.

Below, Marines never surrender.

Leather Marine Jacket

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Fit And Disciplined


Veterans Day in the U.S. is this Thursday, November 11. St. Louis had its parade yesterday. A group of Marines walked through, dropped to the street and started doing push-ups in unison. I didn't count how many they did but it seemed like a lot. I could no sooner do this than leap over the Arch.

Having gotten rid of some excess energy, they marched ahead in tight formation. Sergeant Peck (look closely at the bottom picture if it's clear enough) led the way. No question who was in charge.

Marines On The March

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Two Big Rivers

Millies Fountain 2010-10-30 3

Another view of The Meeting Of The Waters fountain and statues. The male figure in the center that we saw yesterday represents the Mississippi. The female on the right is the Missouri. I've never thought about the two rivers having gender. The Mississippi is the bigger of the two at the confluence so you can read whatever you want into this.

The confluences itself is in the northern part of the metro area but it's a bit hard to get to. The view can be pretty cool depending on the weather and water level. The park at the meeting point gets flooded every year. Maybe I should head back up there for a shoot.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Earth, Air, Water

Millies Fountain 2010-10-30 1

Sorry, though, no fire, unless you want to count the sunlight that made the rainbow. This is a detail from the fountain and cluster of sculptures known as The Meeting Of The Waters. It symbolizes the confluence of the Mississippi and Missouri rivers just north of the city. It is interesting that this was the core of a big urban renewal project in the 1920s. Of course, it scandalized the locals at the time, much like another famous STL statue, Naked Truth, had done a few years before.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Prank Call

Prank Call

The Thursday Arch Series is on break while I work on the hard drive problem on my laptop. Looks like I will be able to recover the great majority of the files but it's a slow process.

Sometimes photographers make lucky mistakes. This is another shot from our Halloween street party. There was way too little light at night on the street. Even at ISO 5000 with image stabilization it came out awfully soft. Still, I like it. This man is probably dressed at The Joker from Batman but he sure doesn't have Jack Nicholson's leer. His expression and the nature of the call are vague. Evil may not present itself plainly. Karl Rove smiles a lot, too.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The Morning After

Bass Champion

I usually write my posts in the evening. They are uploaded at 12:01 AM the following morning. So I can't be sure right now but this illustrates how I may feel Wednesday morning when I turn on National Public Radio news and open the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, for yesterday was election day in my country.

My wife and I sometimes joke that we could make a good living commuting to Las Vegas and betting against people we vote for, at least as long as we live in Missouri. (We could do even better if we moved to Texas, but perish the thought.) Knowing what all the polls predict, I feel angry and sad as I type this on Tuesday evening. Rather than draft another rant, I might refer you to this editorial in Tuesday's New York Times (Sure, liberal elite Northeast media. Got it.). It expresses my thoughts better than I could myself.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Texting Snow White

Texting Snow White

Is the whole world poisoned with our gadgets? Snow White doesn't need a poison apple. She's got an iPhone. This was taken Saturday night at the Halloween party in the Central West End.

This is election day in the U.S. If things turn out the way the pollsters predict, my iPhone won't be enough. I might need an official poison apple.

I GOT A PROBLEM: my laptop slid off a table at a hearing today and now I got hard drive problems. Early diagnostics suggest that the data is savable but it's not sure yet. I've got enough pix uploaded to Flickr for a few more days posts. This it will make it harder for me to leave comments - gotta use someone else's machine. (I know, excuses, excuses.)

Monday, November 1, 2010

We interrupt our Halloween coverage to ask Missouri to VOTE FOR ROBIN CARNAHAN FOR U.S. SENATE

Robin Carnahan For Senate

Tomorrow is election day in the U.S. Last night supporters of Robin Carnahan, the Democratic candidate for senator, held a rally in Forest Park. In attendance was our other senator, the brilliant Claire McCaskill; Sen. Dick Durbin from the neighboring state of Illinois; Rednecks For Robin (we are rumored to have a few); and Gov. Jay Nixon, with Robin and brother Russ, my congressman, in the background. At the bottom, Mrs. C. and Sen. McCaskill share a moment of party unity.

This blog tip toes into politics only occasionally but this is something I feel very strongly about. We do advertise the occasional rant. While every politician and political party has flaws, I proudly stand with the Democrats. The way I see it, our two main parties have distinct views about the roles of the individual and government in society. The Republicans promote individual liberty unfettered by government regulation. Unless, of course, they don't like your behavior. It's code for letting business have its way to screw individuals and foul our nest. Democrats like business (I own a business, after all) and want the country to be to be prosperous, but we ask for the balance of power to be more equal, evening the playing field between the small and the powerful.

Carnahan's opponent, Roy Blunt, a long-time congressman, is the consummate government corporate insider. He has received astounding amounts of contributions from corporations, their lobbyists and now, since the Supreme Court's decision in the Citizens United case, buckets of cash from anonymous sources. He has the hubris to refuse to answer questions about it. This is corruption, pure and simple.

So I'd like my fellow Missourians to think long and hard before you cast your ballot tomorrow. Maybe you disagree. That's healthy. Write something about what you think.

We're back to Halloween pictures tomorrow because Wednesday morning could present a scary landscape.

Senator Claire McCaskill

Senator Dick Durbin

Rednecks For Robin Carnahan

Governor Jay Nixon

Carolyn and Senator McCaskill