Friday, January 31, 2014

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Indiana Blue Bird Winter 2014

We see these birds "off and on" again during the winter. They just showed up a few days ago. My wife watches the birds. She has her bird book and binoculars in by the window. She doesn't miss much.

One day she is cooking something on the stove. It looked strange and she was in a hurry. The ingredients were chopped peanuts and raisins, Crisco, lard (yuck), corn meal and other things I can't remember. She was in a hurry because she had just seen the blue birds and was making a special treat to put into the feeder for them.

My wife is "for the birds".

Photography Prints

The Progressive School of Cursing

We need your help. There are many foreigners entering our country and although some of them have attempted to learn the language they face the social stigma and embarrassment from not knowing how to curse properly. The need is great and the resources are few. Literally no one is helping these few who need so much. 

A few dollars - really any amount - might mean the difference for some poor graduate student who may unknowingly call another student “an opening in one’s posterior regions”. This faux pas would result in this person being an outcast simply because they do not know how to curse properly. 

Help us stop this needless suffering. Let some poor foreigner know you care. We are opening “The Progressive School of Cursing”.

Our goal is to alleviate the embarrassment felt by many people attempting to fit into American Culture. 

Many people who move to this country are taught English, but the English attribute of cursing has been left for them to learn “willie nillie”, perhaps just catching bits and pieces of cursing on the streets. How is that way to learn? 

We provide a safe, comfortable alternative to picking up this needed information to the back streets and alleys these foreigners may otherwise need to turn to. 

In a real world example that might have actually happened, a highly trained Pakistanis Engineer who may have been (or was) surrounded by a group of managers and/or other engineers watch an automated production line fall apart and burst into a verbal rant, “May a Deity condemn you to an unpleasant afterlife”. 

I may have observed this actual event when we were in a production facility. 

We (“we” meaning me) were forced to take this engineer aside. I asked him, “What was that?” 

“Oh, I am so very sorry. I should not say such stringent things, but when the production line went out of control I could not help myself”. 

“I understand”, I said, “but the term is NOT, ‘May a deity condemn you to an unpleasant afterlife’. Where did you hear that?” 

“Why, sir, I heard it from you. In fact you say this all of the time when you are upset.” 

“No I say a lot of things but that is not one of them,” I said. I may have then been forced to give a cursing lesson on the spot. 

And while the cursing idiom, “May the fleas of a thousand camels inhabit your nose”, may sound very unpleasant it is better left in the land where it was conceived. No one here will respect you if they hear you say something like this. You will however earn a great deal of respect, self-confidence, fit into the social structure and become upwardly mobile if you can curse correctly. 

 Please send us your contributions. We are not yet a tax exempt organization but that is virtually guaranteed because we intend to put “Progressive” in the name. Maybe even “Communist”, which will assure us tax exempt status. 

If you choose not to help us then you are a son of a female mongrel who has no father! May a squirrel make a nest in the hair of your nether regions!


This is a re-do of an older picture. It was taken at the zoo in Ft Wayne. Isn't it amazing what is on this planet. We don't have to go to the movies to see something that looks like it is an "alien"!

Monday, January 27, 2014


I purchased tea for my wife for Christmas. It was not her entire Christmas, just a part of it (see notes below). She loves tea. She is a tea expert. When she makes tea it is with filtered water, at the correct temperature. When we go out to eat, she lets me order the tea, and then if it is okay she will order some also.

So tea for Christmas seemed to be a great gift.

When the tea came it was in three cases. The cases said “tea”. So there was no surprise about this one present.

Here’s “the rub”. One of the unwritten social conventions upon which the foundations of modern society rests was violated by the person (who is otherwise almost perfect) accepting this gift. She may have unwittingly unwound the spring that drives the clock of all mankind forward. Gift giving may never be the same.

One of the REAL reasons for giving someone a gift that is consumable (don’t deny this, you know it is true) is the anticipation of helping the person who received the gift consume said gift. For example, if you give your wife one of those hearts that is full of chocolates for Valentine’s Day you expect and you look forward to getting a piece of chocolate from that assortment? Often the person receiving this gift will offer you a chocolate upon opening the package. This is normal. This is how it is done.

That example is how it works. That is how it has always worked. And thus, and therefore, gift giving is alive and well.


After Christmas I was looking for the tea. I could not find it.

“Where is the tea” I asked her.

“I hid it”, she said.

“Hid it? Why?”

“Because I know you would drink it.”

If this were court then the lawyer would turn to the judge and say “prima facie” which means… SEEEE!!! And the judge would bang down his gavel and say the legal words meaning, “Holy Cow, Yeah I see!”

See. The social bond that binds us all together has been broken. It is one of those unwritten rules that society has governed itself by for generations and it is all in danger of coming apart at the proverbial seams.

“Will I get to drink some? Ever?”

“Yes, but it is special so I’m saving it.” It was not a strong “yes”. It was a “yes” that had that bit of hesitation, that hint of a question to it, which interpreted from “wife speak” means, maybe. And I don’t mean the normal “maybe”, but the kind of maybe where the head turns away and the pitch of the word goes up toward the end. So in the present case “yes” really means “no”.

So I will report back to you when and if I ever get to drink any of that tea.

P.S. I wrote the tea maker and complained that their tea was too good and they needed to make a “B Grade” version so we slumps could have some. (I don’t know if slump is a word or what it really means, but I like it so I’m leaving it.) They responded, but not in the manner that would suggest a new “B Grade” tea is forthcoming.

Notes: She also got that machine that scrapes (micro abrades) the callous off your feet. She will have to get some callous first, so maybe I will use it until she grows some? And she got a set or wrenches and a red vacuum sweeper. RED, is of course decedent.

for more information about what she got for christmas...

©David L Arment

Giraffe's Eye

Sunday, January 26, 2014

My Funeral

Today I came to the horrible realization that no one is going to come to my funeral. Of course I am going to have to die first. Then after that, (the death thing) no one is going to come. If I were not me I would certainly not go to my funeral. Since I am me, I am probably stuck with HAVING to go, otherwise I would skip it.

This all got started when some of us were in a car and we passed a cemetery. There were lots of colorful flowers in the cemetery. This is not easy as there is still snow on the ground here. (Please get with Al Gore and hurry that global warming thing along if you could.) So we put tow and tow together which is better than putting two and two together and came to the conclusion that the flowers were plastic.

I asked those in the car to be sure when I die that I have fresh plastic flowers on my grave. I am sure that after a few months they get bleached out from the sun and so I want to be sure they are always fresh. There was complete silence in the car. It was clear no one was going to go out every few months and put fresh plastic flowers on my grave. I would do it myself, but with the being dead thing it will be a problem.

We then drove by a place where they sell grave stones. I am just guessing that having this business near the cemetery was not an accident. Inside you could see they were selling plastic flowers. I am sure they were lovely and fresh. Maybe they even smelled of new plastic.

I love that smell. 

I am going to write to the association of cemetery head markers and suggest that they provide a service where they go out every few months and put fresh, plastic flowers on your grave. It would be like a contracted, pre-payer plan. 

I also want that someone, while they are there with the new plastic flowers, to say a prayer and cry a little. This could be a new profession - professional griever. When the professional griever comes to my grave to cry, it needs to be a heartfelt cry. I would pay more for “heartfelt”. This would be very nice especially if there were people nearby who could look over and see someone crying by my grave. I would pay more for “heartfelt” and if people were looking on. I am not sure how to work that into the "Contact for Services" in the pre-payer plan. There are good lawyers who could figure that out. 

Or maybe I could just have someone come into the cemetery and take flowers off of other people’s graves and put them on mine. Who is going to know? And dead people don’t usually complain. This would likely get me a discount from the professional griever / plastic flower person.

For the funeral itself, I will likely have to pay a lot for a whole host (host is a good word in reference to death and dying), of professional grievers. 

No one is going to come except Keith who I told could play the clip of the monkeys telling the penguin joke at my funeral. Keith and the professional grievers - that will be it. You won't know cause you won't be there. 

©David L Arment, All rights reserved.

Amish Buggies July 2011

Photography Prints

Friday, January 24, 2014

The Gun

The last couple of days there is a gun on the floor in the living room. Don’t get excited it is not going to do lethal damage. It is my wife’s gun and it is there to shoot squirrels. Even though the temperature is less than zero degrees, she opens the window and sticks her gun out to shoot the squirrels off the bird feeder, as cold air is blasting its way into the house.

My wife is a good shot. This is a real compliment because the pellet gun pellets go from left to right as they leave the barrel of the gun. She has made the needed adjustments and compensations. She gets some help from the fact that the bird feeder / squirrel feeder is only 16 or so feet from the window.

The gun is ancient. It was maybe the first pellet gun ever made. It apparently was very powerful once as one of the boys remembered it would break the skin of an animal. Now my wife shoots the squirrels and they look up at her with an attitude. They are annoyed. After a couple of shots they decide to go find a nut or something buried instead of withstand the indignity of being pelted with small metallic objects.

I know instinctually not to disturb her gun. I don’t know why it is right where you would walk if it were not for the fact a gun was there. I don’t know why it has been in the middle of the floor for two days. It doesn’t matter to me, I just walk around it. I suppose she has her reasons for not leaning it into a corner. I expect she needs a “fast draw” to get those wily squirrels.

She had me locate the feeder in such a way that squirrels could not get onto it. This is one of those theory and reality things. In theory the squirrels cannot get to the bird feeder. In reality they can. In addition to a good location, she purchased many squirrel related deterrents. They are metal triangle shaped things that don’t allow the squirrels to come up the feeder, and big umbrella things that keep them from (theoretically) jumping down from above. Alas, the squirrels have adapted and now know how to jump from a tree, far, far away and onto the feeder… and thus the need for more violent means of deterrent.

So if you come to our small little house unannounced that is why there is a gun on the floor in the living room and fat and happy squirrels everywhere.

©David L Arment

Licorice Plant

Monday, January 20, 2014

Down the Middle

Amish Buggy picture taken January 18, 2014 near Shipshewana, Indiana. It was not snowing too much at this time (earlier today), but it has picked up since.

You will note the driver is going straight down the middle of the road. He apparently doesn't expect to encounter any other vehicles. You will also note that the buggy is pretty level which means that those inside all weight about the same or that there is one driver who is a pretty light person. Sometimes you see the buggies tilted way over to one side or the other and you know someone tips the scales pretty well.

There is a color version of this picture, but I like this version better.

Sell Art Online

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Yellow Finch in Winter

My lovely and talented wife feeds the birds. She also has a heated bird bath so our birds are clean as well as well fed. They love her. I take the birds pictures.

This one has his head turned almost all the way around. He is a Yellow Finch, but because it is not winter he is not yellow... but he sure is pretty just as he is.

Sell Art Online

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Peacock in Summer

This is multiple images. The peacock is from South Carolina and the old house is from the nature park in Michigan called Fernwood. There are multiple textures including some handwriting.

Sell Art Online

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Swingers Paradise Lost

Pam and I went to a La Grange County park to take a walk yesterday in hopes of bird pictures, maybe a deer, a rabbit or something. We got zilch, nothing, nada, zero. But out of the window of the truck we got a buggy picture, a horse picture and this tree picture.

... but we got our exercise walking in the snow.

I love this picture, the snow on the tire and on the tree limbs and how it blends in with the sky and the ground. And I like the log cut off to the right.

This has a "vignette" added. You usually see these as dark but this one is light. I tried to make it hardly noticeable. And since the day and the subjects were largely "black and white" I made it official with the application of the correct software filters.

I hope you like the image.

Photography Prints

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Shipshewana Buggy for Sale

Buggy in a snow storm in Shipshewana Indiana on New Year's Day. The sign in the window says the buggy is for sale for $550. I think you have to have your own horse.

Note he livestock holding area on the back. This is not usual.

Please let me know if you buy this buggy as a result of this post... I'll go ask for a commission.

Sell Art Online

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

John 3:16

This is maybe the most well known verse in the Bible... what do you think?

The word "whoever" always sticks in my mind... The old hymn which used the King James Version of the Bible I guess said "Whosoever will meanth me". Whosoever will.

The watermark from the web site that I post these two interferes a bit with the verse.

This is a photo of a "thingy" that Pam has hanging on the mantel. (We have a mantel on a tiny fireplace. The fireplace does not work.) This looks to be a handmade thing that you put Christmas Cards into.

My wife is very patient with me as I go about the house taking pictures of whatever is there.

This picture obviously has had lots of texture work done to it.

Photography Prints

Monday, January 6, 2014

Shipshe Buggy

I walked to town the other day, it takes about 30 minutes if you don't loiter and take pictures and there is not snow on the Pumpkinvine. There was snow on the Pumkinvine. I had on boots. I loitered. I took pictures. It was not 30 minutes.

Somehow I beat the mad rush and Subway for lunch despite my slow time.

This buggy was on the road and I obviously took the picture. I always like the corn stubble in the snow. And I like the way he has is leg bent.

I used a texture to hid some chain link fence in the background. Since the shot was back lit some adjustments were made in the software for lighting. And now I can't do anything without messing with the clarity. Its an obsession. There is one think I might have done differently... any guesses?

Sell Art Online

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Silver Threads Among the Gold

This is two pictures combine to make one. The first picture was taken some time ago with my D300 in the little studio we had set up at home. The light was GREAT on the South side of the house for hours. But we "downsized" and there are no windows and there is no light.

The second image (the flowers) was taken today (December 28th) with color balanced lights in a softbox. The camera was the D800.

There are obvious issues with putting a picture of flowers like this in front of a backgound. I is hard to get all the spaces between the stems "knocked out" and I'm not terribly happy with the results, but you can't work on something forever.

The shadows at the base of the jar are painted in.

The jar is a Ball / Mason jar and it is an interesting object.

 Photography Prints