18 agosto 2007

From 0.0

Disorganization. Focus.

(Entropy? Order?)

Hiding behind 'anonymous'
let's add a bit to the
'why' column at right.
No blogs, please, but
here we are.

We explored a bit of the
Alps' beginnings from Turin,
by bicycle, during the August
holidays. Up the Ala di Stura.

There we saw a strange thing
that wanted photographing.

Day up, again by bicycle,
dragging 8x10 view camera
in the 'B.O.B.' trailer.
Up and up.
Sprawling the bike, trailer,
shopping bags of film holders,
camera, and stuff, quick to
get to making the photograph.

What's the difference between
making a photograph
and a train wreck?

Quick-witted answer:

'In the one, more people get off track.'

Let us off track get.

Starting from oh-ZERO.
Zero. Point. Zero.


Invitation to Post

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If you are reading this and would care to become an invited poster, please write to me at this email to request an invitation: lkrndu 'at' tiscali 'dot' it (or, in Italian, lkrndu 'chiocciola' tiscali 'punto' it).

Please understand that this blog is un-monitored, that posts and comments go straight onto the blog. The usual note requesting dignity and civility applies (no restrictions on passion). The blog's creator reserves (and hardly relishes) the burden of 'editing' if need be and hopes this word to the wise will be sufficient.

— BT (Look Around You)


Professional Curtsies

Look. I'm trying to get a discount (that's slang in Italian, you figure it out) on a road sign. A red circle enclosing icons for a bicycle, a handcart, and a horsecart. As in you 19th-century guys stay out of this street. In 2007. But this is tricky. You can't just walk up at four-thirty p.m., pull out your wrench, and go to work. So I'd spotted a couple of candidates nearby, low enough on their poles and so on. It's midnight now, I've just come in from an hour and a half hoofing it to check things out.

First candidate, nice access but a busy street, lots of apartments looming on every side, bad visibility. Even though it is Saturday night, the amount of traffic action seems pretty absurd.

Next, about the same. Giving up I trudged along Corso Regina Margherita, a main boulevard with two double-lane high-speed roadways, then medians with trees and a frontage lane on each side. It comes to a huge intersection with an equally expansive street. There's a school on one side and an electricity substation on the other. Lots more big trees. The far side of the intersection might as well be on Mars, it's so far away. On the third corner, an endless gravel lot, on the far side of which carnivals and the circus set up shop. The fourth, who cares.

Still, though, there was quite a steady flow of cars and the position is right where eastbound drivers pretty well have to look at this particular sign. Aside from that, even though it was nearly midnight there were a remarkable number of pedestrians hanging around. Mostly professional women. On the north side, a leggy blonde. A nice Muslim from ex-Yugoslavia, or Ukrainian Orthodox, maybe. On the south corner where the street lights were out, the Senegal-Tunisia-Libya Animist fringe were hanging out. Salespersons, by their getups. Friendly, outgoing, good communications skills, willing to take the initiative in any encounter. And of quite apparently robust, flexible physical health.

Decided I'd need to recalculate the best time of day for this. Maybe late on a Sunday morning while everybody is in church, except for the sales staff who are probably sleeping off a hard day's night? Or-- four a.m. on a Monday, drowned out by advancing squads of garbage collectors? I turned for home, only to discover that different corners support specialty markets. Well, what's new. At the next corner I passed a 40-ish woman at the curb hassling a kid who looked all of 17, slouching astride his scooter. In a snatch of their exchange I caught the figure 'fifteen' followed by 'not enough' -- 'non basta'. Just opposite strutted a bevy (the proper herd-word?) of teenybopper gum popper ho's. Real cuties, Imus(t) say. One might have been 16, the rest, well, one averts one's eyes.

Aside to pc. Honey, times is we calls a spade a spade. This writer invokes Imus-isms as code for the destruction of women in this manner, in a social callousness we all indulge.

Fifteen minutes later and back at my door it occurred to me that the best time for a good discount was probably right then. Everybody's out there, the competition and distraction levels are fierce. There's lots of coming and going. Or going and coming. What with sins of emission (if not commission) on every font (sic-- front?) --who the hell would care about one more sin of omission? Of a little street sign.

To be continued...


Continued: Professional Curtsies

So what about that street sign and the notion of its acquisition at a (five-finger) discount? I confess. I did set my alarm for 3:15 a.m. the next night, dutifully awoke, went outside, remarked the beautiful night of stars and gone-away thunderclouds. And sat down to write something.

Sometimes things are like that. I can't explain it. 'Something' — did not stop me exactly, but did retard forward motion. Late that following afternoon, an afternoon filled with bright light and passing clouds, I overcame my inertia and dragged myself and the thirty or so pounds of camera stuff downstairs, loaded the bicycle and pedaled over to the sign. My mission would be to make one straight-ahead 'record' of the sign. It should be a good candidate, the reflective surface enamel richly crazed from years exposed to the western sun. So I did that, but examining the ground glass image noted a strange reticular form off to one side. It was a recent office block, striking in both its architectural emptiness and for its geometry in contrast to that of the sign. Not trusting logical thoughts arriving during moments of photo-embrace, so to speak, I noted my impression and set about packing up to go.

In the few moments required to put away film holders, focus cloth, and camera I glanced up at the pedestrian signal on the opposite corner, an icon of a human figure illuminated green, amber, or red as need be. Beyond that there was an electrical substation, a jerky mess of projecting towers, glittery insulators, and connecting cables arching from one to another. In the corner of my eye I caught part of the sign, the icon of man-with-handcart. Trying not to think, but to focus energy on the physical difficulty at hand, I slid the tripod over a bit and remounted the heavy camera. Some wiggling this way and that, backing up a little too close for comfort to the passing traffic. The man-cart icon hunched itself in one corner of the ground glass, the pedestrian signal figure in the other. Electrical symbolism, or whatever it might become in the photograph, rose up in between.

Now this really is thinking about it too much, and after the fact at that. At the time these were not clear thoughts at all. More like vague hunches. Or grudges, but happy ones. Such as are to be acted upon, photographically, in true religious observance.

Good thing nobody stole that sign.


We Do Mind Candy

News item: Wikipedia entries have been edited from computers inside corporate networks to more favorably portray said corporations.

Suggestion: those who make such edits, believing they do so in service of a more benign, positive corporate image, are not clear on the concept. Better to let sleeping dogs lie, for the social encyclopediae (Wikipedia), the networking sites (Facebook), and the alternate-realities (Second Life) altogether, in truth the web experience in toto, make ancient Rome's bread and circuses look like the truest no-fat, lo-salt diet of all.

Club drug aside: if religion was the opium of the people, the internet is become its ecstasy.

Observation: neither the elimination of detrimental elements — excessive fat or too much salt — nor their indulgence (the slang 'eye candy' is an invention of the internet epoch) promote health.

Moral: both the individual and society thrive on actual nourishment.