Business Cards Ordered

It’s official.  I am now a “professional” photojournalist!  This does not mean I’m giving up any of my other professional titles, just that I’m adding yet another to the vast array of skill-sets developed over a lifetime of experience, education, trial, and error!  It’s been a long time in the making! I’ve been an amateur photojournalist since before the word “Blogger” was coined and based on my success in that forum, I’ve decided to go ‘all in’ on making a success of myself in this career field.  Much more after the jump.

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Last Words to a Lost Love

To My Wife

When you passed, I not only lost the best cuddle buddy this side of Bandit, but also my biggest fan and patron. Now that you are gone, I will do my best to try and make a living off my blogging as you always told me I could.  Up until now, I’ve always considered myself the Mr. Tanner of blogging.  I do not know how well I write, it just makes me “whole”.

The me without you misses you but it’s gonna be ok because there’s still ‘me’. The two people who knew me best and I loved the most were you and my mom. Both of you were exceptionally intelligent women and the only women who held me close to their bosoms while whispering to me how special I am.  I believed you both.

You did your best. I tried my hardest.  You were always right!  Your mother will always be the Devil.  She did call the cops on me as you feared predicted, but you did have me properly ‘papered” against the local police. Same goes for the immigration office.  Just as you warned me, your ruthless, soul-sucking mother tried hard to abuse me!  I can never thank you enough for making sure my scrawny ass was well protected.  I attended to MOST of your unfinished business before bouncing out of Germany and will tend to the rest as time and situation dictate. You would be proud of how well our son is handling the situation in your absence.

Rita’s First and Last Husbands

Me and Rudolf

Your first husband Rudolf and I had a touching non-verbal conversation at the “coffee and sandwich” get-together after your funeral. I’m glad you got to spend some time alone with him in your last months reminiscing and comforting each other.  I know he’s as hurt by all this as I am, even with the passage of time, and realize from your conversations about him, as well as the shared intimacy and caring glances I saw you exchange, how much you meant to each other.  I was never jealous or threatened by your fond residual feelings for any of your previous loves, lovers, husbands or the ongoing stream of men who hit on you.  They were been bound to fail, but they did show good taste, even as you skillfully swatted them away.  I wonder how many other couples have memories of sitting around on multiple occasions comparing notes on which of their friends, acquaintances, etc. had tried to hit on them at any given time?

I held with you to the end babe and you to me. On your last day it’s as if you waited for me to whisper a final goodbye in your ear before slipping quietly away.  I never sought an avenue of escape from Germany when you offered though you lovingly suggested it would be easier on ME.   Bandit and I have now cast ourselves back off into the world, far away from the toxic miasma of the Devil.  We are now back into the great swirling seas of American opportunity, far outside the confines of our shared German Utopia.

Rita Tends to Vince After Open Heart Surgery

And Vinny?  He honors us both. I recognized his love for you as being as strong as mine for my mom.  It has had a profound effect on my attitude towards him. He is a positive influence on the world reflecting your gentle manner and delicate sensibilities. We did something seriously right with Vinny. I mostly ‘blame’ you for that. That’s boy’s seriously not, not right. Polished. Savvy.  I see your heart in his eyes.

Lizzy Love

Lizzy will be tended to by Vince. I wish she was young enough to travel with me and Bandit. I think of you when I see her.  Vince needs a dog too after all!  I will miss her and Vince as I depart the continent, but will do my best to save our one remaining beloved family dog ManMan in the US.

Here's our little Man-Man

I can recreate the loving environment we hand-raised him in. Imagine Bandit and him getting reacquainted!  I understand he’s still a nervous little nelly belly.  We both know where that comes from.  I have your recorded wishes on ManMan’s disposition. I have your favorite picture of ManMan from your bedside to remind me, but I wouldn’t forget anyway.

People still take so much for granted. All is well. And thank you. Thank you for everything. I shall remain in awe of your brilliance and your faithfulness forever. I shall continue to sing the graces of our shared humanity and your special place in the hearts of so many. I will represent your wishes through eternity. I will not burden future relationships by impossible comparisons to you.

I promise to try and find the good Dutch woman you suggested would be ideal for me as a best fit companion, if and when I ever desire to remarry.  I’ll give it a go, somehow. I will vigorously defend those who misrepresent your memory with the actual documentation of your life from any distortion no matter the threat. The book of your love is written on the nooks and crannies of my heart and I shall sing it’s harmonies in prose and speech til my own throat goes stiff and lifeless and my fingers limp.

“You were you, I was me, and we were happy” Our happiness befuddled many who didn’t know our special bond. Still does. You are proof there IS some actual humanity in humans. I hate that your mom misused you so horribly. I understand your addictions. You were mine.

I will always love you.  We’ll talk about a lot of stuff later. Or not. Heaven for me will always be the time we already spent together in Eden.

If Hell shortly awaits, you’ve left me toned and properly rested. I think there are papers to prove that too!  Count on me to remain good without God. I have plenty of experience battling Devils, so don’t worry about me.  Now off to find your loving daddy Joe.  You and him have a celestrial coffee and cigarette break.  You can use the regular sugar now instead of those hideous low-calorie substitutes.  After all, it won’t kill you!  Order one of the most expensive of the ethereal blends.  Try out the special “Stardust Mix” for me and drop a Yelp review into one of my dreams.

#yourbiggestfan #tangledsouls #myprincess

Enjoy.

Spring Housecleaning

Dead of Winter

Since my often wonky Internet connection seems to be momentarily solid, having no doubt worn itself ragged from jumping up and down like a midget on a Dutch hooker the duration of this morning, I shall attempt a quick but meaty post on current affairs.  I know the title seems a bit inappropriate for this time of year, but with the winter two thirds over and STILL not a speck of snow (or a good hard freeze) here in my German neighborhood, it seems like spring is ready to break out any day now.  I’ve been a bit less active on my blog lately, owing to the distractions and perturbations of life, but still post willy-nilly across many social platforms and websites, even if I don’t post full-on blog entries with as much regularity as I would otherwise be compelled.  Figured I’d hit my main talking points in one fell swoop here.   First the big three.

Sex

I am still for it, even though my pom-poms are dangling a bit lower than your average hip-hopper’s pants. My wife is also struggling with health issues that make my rooting for sex a more prominent feature of the day than actually having any, but going out to dinner and talking dirty to each other before coming home and passing out in bed was already a prominent feature in our post-50 bag of sex tricks, so it’s not as huge an issue as if we were in our more succulent youth.

That said, I don’t think women need help from Republicans in figuring out their end of the deal, so why the hell won’t these rightwing politicos keep their hands off women’s vaginas?  I like handling a vagina as much as the next guy, but I know I’m only renting it and am not allowed to go nailing pictures all over the walls and trying to install new plumbing fixtures, let alone make up new rules on the maintenance thereof.   Ferchrissakes.

Politics

Politics.  Pardon Snowden and build a statue of him next to the Washington Monument.  Put some bankers in jail from the space being freed by not arresting pot smokers.  Quit arresting pot smokers.  Quit pretending that legalized pot is the end of the world as we know it, particularly you highly paid TV perps with all the false pearl clutching (you know who they are). Put some of those torturers from the past Bush administration in jail before you go all half-cocked about other countries and their “international” obligations to law and justice.  Give us all a fucking break.

Religion

A wish fulfillment fantasy for nervous mortals.  Still as useless as tits on a pumpkin.  In dwindling demand, but still a huge threat to national and international stability due to their reckless reliance on poppycock in their search for deeper meanings in shallow water.

Life

Having a few teeth pulled this week is nothing compared to what Rita is dealing with. My wife is hanging onto life tenaciously, even as she struggles to deal with her terminal cancer.  It’s  already been a bit over a year since she abandoned her unsuccessful treatment regime at a renowned German lung clinic, walking away from an opportunity to turn herself into a long-term medical experiment for a bunch of curious doctors.  Her local doctors are now pushing us to make accommodations at a full blown palliative care facility.  That is an unlikely event in any case, since my wife would sooner do herself in at one fell swoop, than linger in such a pitiful state for weeks/months.  She is still not ambulatory.  She still manages to teach English classes and keep our business running, but her pain is becoming increasingly difficult to manage and the prescriptive solutions more debilitating.  It’s a heartbreaking and worrisome thing to have to witness.  Right now we’re hoping she’ll be physically able to make our 25th wedding anniversary at the end of the month.  Dinner in Paris.

Living

We’re still getting along as near “normal” as we can under the circumstances.  My wife continues to worry more about my future success without her, than she does with the fact that she has bigger issues of her own right now.  I don’t want her to worry about me.  Providence has seen fit to bless me in ways that most men only dream about.  I have no idea why the dice of the universe haven’t crapped me out already, but I’m optimistic on my future even as I attempt to squelch the tears from considering the present situation with my wife.

Blogging

I’ll continue to blog, tweet, post pix, just as I always have.  The subjects will continue to be as diverse as my interests.  I’m still in love with Spotify and thankful to be able to reach out and access so much music.  My wife and I both engage in a fair amount of musical therapy made more pleasant by their vast catalog of music and our deep (read: old people) memories of songs from out past.  I pop in-check in on Yelp every now and then.  I’ll occasional throw a comment on my GetGlue TV social app when viewing a show I like, but never in real-time, since my TV and time is shifted by half a globe from the US.  I’ve been tossing up a few odd AudioBoos lately.  Also trying to spread my photos across several apps.  My main pro Flickr account, Instagram and Facebook get the biggest share of my pics.  Look forward to more photo blogging fun since I acquired my Sony DSC-QX10 for Xmas.  I’ll be trying to organize and post a lot of pics locked on my computer at present and adding new stuff along the way as well.  A fairly comprehensive map to my social media is on my Social page here at this blog for those who are interested.

Enjoy.

Me and Larry Flynt

porno

Welcome to the 21st Century on Facebook, where images that weren’t even considered pornographic in the Cold War Era are now being effectively suppressed by the American Taliban.  I’m opening this up for public discussion as I ponder, at the bare minimum, the degree of incompetence of a company that has such a complete track record of nearly every aspect of my life, and yet could so easily be misled into taking what I believe many of you will agree with is a customer service social faux paux of the highest possible order.  They didn’t just ban the picture, they banned me from any posting on Facebook over an illusory violation of a breach in their “terms of service”!

For fuck’s sake they’ve never so much as lobbed a first warning at me in response to any of the umm…more colorful language I use on Facebook with enthusiastic reckless abandon.  I’d at least have a bit more sympathy for Facebook, but no more respect, if that was the issue under consideration.

Keep in mind I ignored their first warning to remove the photo after reading that if I didn’t remove it immediately it would be put under a higher level of scrutiny, which I naturally assumed would involve some actual person at Facebook Central Command laughing his ass off while deleting the “complaint” that spawned the banning.  A complaint lodged by what I suspect was some militantly pissed off rightwing goober offended by my liberal politics or lack of proper respect to the memories of their imaginary Jeebus.  

Before you take the trouble of wasting your time trying to explain to me how it’s all automated, I’m going to respond that it hardly matters to me from my perspective.  If they are willing to pass off this decision to artificial logic, they need to do a much better job of programming, and I’m willing to make an example out of myself in the greater interest of maintaining free speech on the internet.  

Facebook may well be a private company, but they are operating in the public space on infrastructure built and maintained at great taxpayer expense and have a certain responsibility in regard to that position which is totally independent from their ham-handed customer service policies.  And let’s be clear, that’s what is ultimately at stake here unless we’re willing to push back against the religious trolls intent on defining pornography down to a level where a picture of a naked Barbie doll gets you banned from all social media for life.  Slippery slope and all.Disgracebook

In any event, I think it’s highly ironic that at a time where tech, mainstream and financial news headlines are filled with stories of youth fleeing Facebook in droves, they are willing to risk offending someone of my advanced age (and online spending habits) by willy nilly banning me over the aforementioned “pornography”.

What rights of mine have been violated, if any?  Have I not been recklessly slandered by someone that Facebook could easily identify to me (under court order e.g.) so that I may seek compensation for damages in a court of law against this defamation (I’ve essentially been accused of being a public pornographer).  If there’s an eager young lawyer out there looking for a pro bono case to make a name for himself (win, lose or draw), I’m easy to get ahold of.

It’s “only” a 24 hour ban right now, and a minor perturbation in terms of access to Facebook, but  in the overall picture of which social media service I intend to give the bulk of my data (and hence their income stream), you can bet that unless I get some type of feedback from Facebook in the form of an apology (at a minimum), I’m going to be moving off their service (like so many others have lately) and will share my marketing information with a data management service that has the competency to judge my character more judicially based on the weight of a hundred thousand web postings I’ve already shared with them against the baseless complaint of one lunatic pearl-clutching prude intent upon helping them ruin their market share.  In the meantime I encourage those of you who support or sympathize with me on this issue to help spread this blogpost as far and wide as possible.  All it takes for evil to take over is the lack of action by a few good men.

Enjoy.

WebTech Fab Five Friday

Figured I would take a minute or two to do a rundown on some of my favorite internet technology and iOS apps.  Click on picture icons to launch websites in new window.

The Latest from IFTTT

If This Then That logo

If This Then That  iOS app is now available. Set up  autoposts from one social media application to another.  For example you can have your Instagram pictures autopost to your Twitter account or Facebook feed.  The list of supported websites is fairly exhaustive, as are the different actions that can be called up by the various triggers.  Best of all, it’s free.

PicFair

PicFair

Pickfair is a new service that lets you upload your personal photos and sell them on the open market. You set the licensing fee yourself.  Picfair takes a small commission if somebody decides to use your photos.  I just uploaded three rather obscure photos of Dutch coffee shop menus.  I’ll be adding a bunch more photos over time.  Will update as to my success/failure in this endeavor.

Pixlr

pixlr

If you’ve got a decent internet connection you can do great photo editing online.  There’s enough options provided in the advanced menu to cover the photo editing needs of most of us mere mortals (and Bloggers).  There’s also an iOS app for Pixlr, but is is limited in functionality compared to the online version.  Set a bookmark.  You won’t be sorry.

iOS Photo Transfer App

iOS Photo Transfer App

This is a not a free iOS app, but the three dollars it costs to download it is well worth the time and trouble it saves in eliminating the constant emailing of photos back and forth between my MacMini and my iOS devices.. Photo transfer functions through your existing wifi network.  You’ll need to download and install the free desktop app to transfer to and from your desktop.  App works for transferring photos and videos from device to device or desktop to device.  Mac and Apple desktops supported.

Shazam

Shazaam

Shazam has been around for awhile now.  I am still totally gobsmacked at the technology that supports it, but having an app that can listen and identify songs for you in real time is another great reason to be alive these days.  I sent a tweet to Shazaam requesting Spotify links be added to the tagged songs.  They sent me a response notifying me that the upgraded version supports Spotify links and is ad free.  I paid the highway robbers a one time upgrade fee of five or six bucks because to me, it’s Spotify or die.

Enjoy.