Monday, August 30, 2010

Get Low

This past weekend, the Wife and I saw a quiet little movie that's passing under the radar for most folks. I don't think they are spending a dime on advertising. At least I haven't seen any ads for it, and don't ever recall seeing a trailer during the "Coming Attractions" before any other movie we've seen lately. If my Mrs. hadn't read a blurb about it in a magazine and looked up the trailer online, we wouldn't have even known it existed.

Its called "Get Low", and it stars Robert Duvall, Sissy Spacek, and Bill Murray, among others. The movie takes place in the 1930's and centers around Duvall's character - who is a grumpy hermit who has lived alone in a cabin in the woods for 40 years - his only companion being a mule. He is definitely not a beloved character in the community, and the story focuses on his mysterious past.

I'll not give any more of the movie elements away, but suffice to say there are no car chases, no gun battles, and no robots from outer space. That aside, its a wonderfully quiet sort of movie that sort of sucks you in. I really loved the cinematography, and the 1930's clothing and automobiles were great. I'm a big Robert Duvall fan, and almost as big a fan of Bill Murray - who is as equally good in this movie as Duvall. It's definitely worth your time.

Sunday, August 29, 2010


He was a conservative in the sense that he believed civilization to be something laboriously achieved which was only precariously defended. He wanted to see the defences fully manned and he hated the liberals because he thought them gullible and feeble, believing in the easy perfectibility of man and ready to abandon the work of centuries for sentimental qualms.

Evelyn Waugh (Describing Rudyard Kipling)

*Standard Disclaimer: Appreciation for a specific, singular concept or idea does not constitute an endorsement of an individual person's entire life work. IOW - Just because I like the quote does not necessarily mean that I like the author.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Style Saturday - 8/28/2010

Often a stylistic look from the past that I connect with didn't come about simply because the originators thought it looked good. Many times, the most appealing elements of fashion from days gone by were brought about by necessity.

matilde moisant

1912 army curtiss test pilot

Aviators from the early days of the 20th century had a definite, recognizable style. Its a dashing and substantial image that persists in our minds today. This wasn't so much derived from an aesthetic "want", as it was a need not to freeze to death in the open cockpit of an airplane :) The classic aviators cap, the large buckled boots, the double breasted leather coat - often with fur or fleece lined collar - these are all style elements that also served a very important utilitarian function.

rh fleet airmail pilot 1918

pittsburgh air mail

Most of these pictures are of either Army/Navy test pilots, or of the courageous and (sometimes) crazy pilots of the early days of Airmail Service. These guys often met their end in a firey crash in some remote area after a couple of years of service.

1917 airmail pilot

One such intrepid soul was William "Wild Bill" Hopson:

william wild bill hopson 1925

He flew airmail routes for 8 years, often earning the "Wild Bill" nickname. He was well known by most in airmail pilot circles, and by many outsiders as well. One of his better known escapades involved the need to get to a particular city for a date with a young lady. Unable to secure another means of getting there, Wild Bill clung to the outside of another pilot's airplane - laying on the wing and hanging on to the wing's guy wires for the duration of the two hour flight....

I think he more than earned the nickname, and looked damned good doing it. :)

Wild Bill died in 1928, when the Airmail Plane he was piloting exploded in mid air.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Girl Friday - 8/27/2010 - Joey Heatherton

The Girl Friday for this week is:

Joey Heatherton

joey heatherton

joey heatherton 2

Yep, this is another of the "I'm sorry I've been neglecting the 1960's thru 1980's" offerings :)

I grew up watching Joey Heatherton on TV. I can still remember the commercials where she would sing and dance around advertising Serta Mattresses :)

joey heatherton 3

joey heatherton 4

Joey Heatherton had a kind of a weird vibe going, though. There was a good bit of "Sexy Little Girl" imagery going on - and it was pretty heavy handed. Lots of teddy bears and baby doll nighties... kinda creepy when you back up and think about it, you know? I didn't take much notice of it at the time, but it seems really blatant to me now for some reason.

joey heatherton 5

Still, you can't argue that she wasn't a beautiful woman - in spite of my reservations over how she chose to portray herself. She did appear very often as a part of Bob Hope's frequent trips overseas to entertain the troups, and that's really cool. Here she is in 1965, in Vietnam.

joey heatherton 1966 bob hope christmas show

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Bringing the Community Together


If nothing else, the Texas heat combines with a shortage of shade to promote community togetherness. This was at a PeeWee football game this past weekend.

I like to imagine that the Dude out front was banished from the colony due to a flatulence faux-pas.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Hey Grandpa... What's for Supper?

Food related memories tend to be pretty strong for most people. I'm no different. When I was a boy I used to spend a week or two every summer with my Grandparents on their farm in Louisiana. My parents and I would take a week long camping vacation later in the summer together, but the week I spent with my Grandpa and Grandma gave them a chance to spend a week on their own without me.

grandma grandpa 500 b

It also gave me a chance to spend time with the two most wonderful people to ever walk the earth. Fishing the Bayou with my Grandpa.... sitting beneath the big trees in the front yard snapping beans and waving at neighbors who passed by on the little road in front of the farmhouse... gathering eggs each morning... cleaning catfish with Grandpa down by the barn, and the curiosity I felt when Grandpa let me cut open the stomach to see what else the Catfish had been eating before we caught him. I ate all that up.

grandma grandpa 500

Know what else I ate up?

Grandma's Chocolate Pie.

She made it each and every time I came to visit. Its one of the many dishes that I associate with my memories of her. Grandma never measured ANYTHING. She never wrote a recipe down. It was all by-eye and from memory. It took me a while later in life to fine tune some recipes that duplicated my favorite dishes. I've been able to get pretty close with a couple. One is the "Cowboy Biscuits" that I posted in the past. Another is Grandma's Chocolate Pie. You can do stuff the "hard way" - like whisk the egg whites entirely by hand and use a double boiler instead of the microwave to cook the custard - and I have done it that way in the past just for practice. The method I outline below, though is easier and just as tasty.

Chocolate Meringue Pie

Refrigerated Pie Crust (Or scratch made crust if you can pull it off!)

1 1/2 c sugar
3 tbls cocoa
4 tbls flour
4 eggs separated
2 1/4 c milk
4 tbls butter - cubed
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

4 egg whites - chilled
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
6 tbls sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

In a large microwaveable bowl, combine sugar, cocoa, and flour. In another bowl, beat egg yolks with milk and then add to sugar mixture, mixing well. Place the bowl in the microwave and cook on high for 15 minutes. You'll want to remove the bowl after every 3 minutes and stir the mixture well before continuing. As the mixture cooks it will look clumpy and gross before you stir it each time. Don't worry, just stir it well and it will become smooth.

After 15 minutes of cooking, remove from the microwave and add the butter and vanilla - stirring until the butter is all melted and incorporated. Allow mixture to cool, and pour into a prebaked pie shell.

Place chilled egg whites into a bowl that you've left in the fridge to cool down. Beat with an electric hand mixer until foamy. Add cream of tartar and beat well. Begin adding sugar by thirds, beating the whites on high. Continue to beat the egg whites until soft peak stage and then finish with a hand whisk to stiff peak stage. Use a spatula to spread the meringue on the pie, making sure to there is a good seal all the way around. Tap the top of the meringue with the spatula randomly to produce the little peaks all over.

Bake @ 400 degrees for 8 minutes, or until the peaks are lightly browned.

chocolate pie

We had this for desert last Thursday night, and I swear we were tempted to eat the whole thing all at once. If we hadn't filled up already on "Leftover Flautas", I think we would have. Leftover Flautas is a quick way to deal with leftovers, if you need to try something new.

This had leftover diced chicken, sauteed onions, a bit of grated cheese, and a slice of bacon - all wrapped in a flour tortilla and browned in a little oil in a skillet. The tortilla is secured with a toothpick/skewer and the flautas are turned with tongs to brown on all sides.

leftover flautas

Monday, August 23, 2010

Road Trip - Lafayette's Seafood

Regardless of the heat, we ventured out on a mini-road trip this Saturday. Nothing major, just a trip to Lafayette's Seafood Restaurant - between Greenville and Caddo Mills, Texas. Greenville, Texas used to have a sign hanging over main street in the 50's that said "Greenville, Texas. Blackest Soil and Whitest People".

Yeah... not too racially welcoming. As ridiculous as that was, at least it wasn't as bad as the sign that used to stand outside Vidor, Texas. Vidor was a "Sunset Town" that didn't allow black people to spend the night. The sign stated, in no uncertain terms, that Black People were not to let the sun go down on them in Vidor.

As a Black Man, I can testify that things are much nicer in the area now. I felt very comfortable the whole time I was there :)


This place may not look like much, but man they know how to cook fish. We've been there a couple of times, and its always been great. This time around my Wife got the Fried Catfish basket and I went for the Frog Leg Basket - and then we shared with each other.

lafayettes catfish

lafayettes frog legs

If you've never eaten frog legs, you really should try it. Lots of places over cook the damned things because they are small and delicate. When they are prepared right, like Lafayette's does, they are really a treat. They remind me of chicken drumettes, only richer tasting.

On the way back home we stopped off in Caddo Mills at a couple of antique stores that we've never visited. Not too much to choose from, but we did pick up a couple of small things. We bought a little aluminum egg poacher that Bailey will have fun playing with, and I dropped a couple of dollars on a old metal movie film canister. This one is about 6 inches across and has a well fitted, tight lid. I love these old reel film cans. You can use them to store/pack all sorts of stuff in - plus they just plain look cool.

Also stopped and took pictures of an old farmhouse that is steadily deteriorating more and more every time I see it.

better days crop

Not a very ambitious trip... but any outing is welcome as we (im)patiently await the cooler, more roadtrip friendly, days of autumn.

Sunday, August 22, 2010


Civilized men are more discourteous than savages because they know they can be impolite without having their skulls split, as a general thing.

- Robert E. Howard

*Standard Disclaimer: Appreciation for a specific, singular concept or idea does not constitute an endorsement of an individual person's entire life work. IOW - Just because I like the quote does not necessarily mean that I like the author.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Style Saturday 8/21/2010

1890 bicycle

Bicycles were cooler when they had more style... and if you chose a Tandem Bike, you could take your Sweetheart on a spin to boot.

1886 bicycle washington dc




Of course, the problem with Tandem Bicycles, or a "Bicycle built for two", is the potential for wrecking the romantic mood when one person starts yelling at the other person for slacking off and not peddling their fair share :)

I think maybe I'd prefer to add a little motor and have the best of both worlds...


Friday, August 20, 2010

Girl Friday 8/20/2010 - Alessandra Torresani

This week's Girl Friday is one of the stars of a SyFy channel series that I've enjoyed so far, Caprica.

Alessandra Torresani

alessandra torresani 5

alessandra torresani 3

Caprica is the prequel to the Battlestar Galactica series. I wasn't a big fan of the re-visited version of BSG, but found myself enjoying Caprica more.

alessandra torresani 4

Alessandra Torresani plays Zoe Graystone in Caprica, and her character is actually killed off pretty quickly in the beginning of the series. However, a virtual copy of herself survives in an alternate virtual world. It is this virtual copy of Zoe - complete with feelings, emotions, and memories - that becomes implanted in the very first incarnation of the machines known as Cylons.

The show itself is interesting enough, but I really like the look of it. The world they've created for the show is a mixture of futuristic and vintage. People often dress in styles from the 40's and 50's. They have space travel, but many drive cars that reflect late 1950 styling. Its a pretty interesting mix, visually.

alessandra torresani 2

Season 2 is scheduled to start in January, so there's still time to search out season 1 online so you can get caught up before the new season kicks off. All in all its worth watching, and hopefully season two will concentrate more on moving the story line forward.


Ms. Torresani has very good posture :)

Thursday, August 19, 2010

They all dreamed about you...

I browse an eclectic mix of sites and blogs as I wander about the web each week. Usually I find plenty to interest me. Once in while, though, I read something that I feel in my chest.

Think about it. You are standing on the shoulders of thousands. Immense have been the preparations for you. Faithful and friendly the arms that have help'd you. An immigrant bricklayer. A homesteading widow. A long line of hard-working farmers. Schoolteachers. Shopkeepers. Fearful refugees. Persecuted Huguenots. Soldiers who survived wars and soldiers who did not. A devout carpenter. A thrifty newsboy. An auto-body man. Hordes of Vikings. A famous inventor. A murdered Sheriff. Adoptive uncles. An engineer. A golfing postman. A cinnamon merchant. Bakers. Fishermen. Daughters of the American Revolution. Revolutionaries. Highlanders. Low country peasants. Irish Catholics. Prussian seamstresses. Pennsylvanians. Metalworkers. Midshipmen. Deer hunters. Berry gatherers. Drovers. Ancient chieftains. Common slaves. And yes: at least two lawyers. They all dreamed about you.

All of them survivors. All of them surviving, to this day, in you.

You are the direct result of many millions of tiny miracles, an endless stream of fortune good enough to bring you out into the sun. What incredible people you are, already.

Yeah.... like that.

Secrets of Moron Detection

Yesterday, I brought you up to speed on the painstaking method I use to ferret out lies told to me in the course of my daily grind. I've come to realize upon crafting this blog entry, however, that its probably not possible for me to quantify and pass on this skill that I have acquired. It's such a matter of personal perspective, after all.

This truly is tricky, because I don't class every single person that I deal with as mentally deficient. I try to be sensitive to differing backgrounds and levels of life experience. I've come to embrace the fact that some people truly believe that the squirrel looking into their window is plotting a way to "get them".... and I try not to pass judgement.

At least not in front of them.

However, there are people for whom there is little hope. People who just don't get it, and probably never will. Here's an example from the past week.


That's the back porch of a house that I was called to recently. I was responding to a report of a big mean Pit Bull that was roaming the neighborhood and scaring people. The back yard has no fence on three sides. The dog was laying on the back porch taking a nap when I walked around the house. He charged a couple of times, before bailing and running off through the neighborhood. Unable to locate him, I took a closer look around the "back yard".


That's a shed in the back yard, right next to the porch. You'll notice the cage to the left of the shed.


Here's a closer look at the cage. There's empty bowls out front and a chain staked to the ground from which the dog had escaped earlier. No water, no dog house, nuthin'. Now I'm not one of those people who believe that all animals have to be kept inside the house, fed people food, and dressed up in the latest fashions. However, there is an acceptable level of care that should be provided. That level of care is backed up by both our City Ordinance and the State Laws where I live and work.

I left a notice on the front door of the house that said this:

Your dog was at large and running loose today. Your dog has no water or food. It also has no doghouse. There were no rabies vaccination tags displayed on the animal's collar. These are all violations of the City's Animal Ordinance. In addition, it is a violation of State Law to chain a dog outside overnight, or when a severe weather advisory is in effect - either due to extreme heat or extreme cold. Please correct the above violations immediately, or citations may be issued. I will reinspect the property to verify compliance.

Seems pretty clear... Yes?

I left this notice at the end of my work week. That gave the owner a couple of days to rectify the situation. Now you would imagine that a normally intelligent person would decide to keep the animal inside the actual house until a permanent solution was reached (find the dog a new home, fence the yard and get a doghouse, etc.), and you would be correct in assuming that.

However, we aren't dealing with a person of normal intelligence.

doghouse for dumbasses

I stopped by the house when I returned to work this week and this is what I found. The dog looks dead in this picture, but its not. It's sleeping (great watchdog, huh?). There's a dab of food, but no water. The dog isn't chained, but its closed up in the tiny cage with a board on top for "shelter". Apparently, the owner believed that this was a good way to keep a dog all day - every day.

We have been on an 18 day streak of temperatures over 100 degrees. I carry water on my truck, so I was able to fill its bowl. The owner wasn't home, and I came extremely close to taking the dog right then. The courts were I work get antsy about that sort of thing, though, unless the animal will die immediately if not taken right then on the spot.

When I was able to make contact with the owner later that day, her response was: Well, I'm a single mother.

I was able to penetrate several layers of stupid and finally get my point across. The dog is now living at another location where it will hopefully continue to receive at least the minimum acceptable amount of care.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Human Lie Detector

In my job I get lied to. A lot. One of the most common lies is some variation of : "It's not my dog you saw running loose - it belongs to some other person that lives here but isn't here now." Of course, this is an attempt to keep from getting a citation.

As a result, I've developed the specific talent for determining when someone is lying to me when I'm on the job. Normally I keep this stuff super-secret, because it took me a long time to develop the skill and it was very difficult to master. You and I are friends, though... so if you promise to keep it just between you and me, and not abuse the power, I'll fill you in.

Basically, it goes like this: If they are talking to me - they are lying to me. If they are making some kind of odd noises that don't appear to make sense, then that means they are lying to me in a foreign language. Further, if they aren't talking or making any sounds at all, that means that they haven't lied to me yet - but are probably forming the lie in their mind.

Here's an example:

Yesterday morning, my partner and I were involved in a long, annoying series of stray dog calls in the "bad neighborhood" of the town where I work. As soon as we would clear one location, another problem would spring forth. Almost none of the actual people involved spoke English. Lots of dogs that either wanted to attack us outright - or run away. The ones that run away are actually more annoying than the ones that want to stand and fight - but I digress.

During one of the calls, we chased a pitbull back to its home where an older Hispanic Woman came out and got the dog back inside the house. She chased it all over the yard before she got it, and then took it inside and closed the door on us as we walked up. The Police were there with us (on an unrelated matter). When we went to the door and knocked, a younger hispanic woman answered. Here's how the first part of the conversation went:

COP: Is that your dog that was running loose?

Girl: No, its my Mom's.

COP: Is your Mom here?

Girl: Yes, but she is in bed asleep.

COP: Is she the lady that was out here just a minute ago chasing the dog around?

Girl: Yes.

At this point you might notice that many of the people, while eager and willing to lie to our faces, aren't necessarily any good at it. This young woman was so astonishingly bad at lying, that actually I laughed out loud. The Cop, who normally doesn't break his poker face started laughing because I did.

The Girl just stood there looking confused.

Come back tomorrow, and I'll explain my secret method for determining when someone I'm dealing with is a moron. There will be visual aids :).

Monday, August 16, 2010

And the workshop queue continues to grow...

Summer continues to pummel us here in Texas, with my Workshop projects suffering accordingly. Even at night, we aren't getting out of the 80's, so the stored heat in the workshop never gets released. The mornings start out too hot to comfortably work, and its just down hill from there. We started our current streak of 100+ degree days back on July 31 (officially) and it looks to maybe break this week- with a little luck,.... maybe.

Still... realistically the workshop will continue to be a no-fly zone for another month or two.

My list of potential projects waiting for the workshop to cool off to survivable levels continues to grow unabated.

The current list of things to do (both workshop related and not) once the temps ease off, in no particular order:

1. A fabulous Steampunk inspired electric table lamp, in which I'm hoping to incorporate (among other items) the brass fueltank/burner from a parlor stove, an old swing arm lamp part, the flea market found mechanic's light from last spring, a pierced copper lamp shade, and a reproduction carbon filament Edison bulb. I've been compiling my parts list over the summer so it's ready to go as soon as the shop ceases to mimic the surface of the Sun.

2. The indoor playset for Bailey's bedroom - two levels with a slide - with a Christmas deadline.

3. Repaint our house, and my Wife's stained glass shop.

4. Replace the final side run of wooden fencing in the backyard.

5. A new wooden Victorian inspired child's swing for the back porch - by next spring.

6. Restoration of an antique brass sconced, wall mounted kerosene lamp.

7. Build a decent hat rack, that will accommodate hats other than the ballcap/patrol caps that have been my usual headwear up to this point. As well as a suspender rack for the closet to hold my growing "collection" of suspenders that I wear most of the time when not at work. Leather tabbed button end, of course - not clip ons (egad!)

8. Several carved cane/walking stick projects, for which I am also awaiting replacement of my rotary carver handpiece that I burned the bearings out of last winter. (argh!) I have several designs in mind including a really cool concept for an elk antler pierced carving for the handle on one.

I may just have to retire from my day job, so that I have adequate time to work on the list once it cools off -

Don't I wish :)

Sunday, August 15, 2010


1. Do not give opinions or advice unless you are asked.

2. Do not tell your troubles to others unless you are sure they want to hear them.

3. When in another’s lair, show him respect or else do not go there.

4. If a guest in your lair annoys you, treat him cruelly and without mercy.

5. Do not make sexual advances unless you are given the mating signal. (Lol!)

8. Do not complain about anything to which you need not subject yourself.

9. Do not harm little children.

10. Do not kill non-human animals unless you are attacked or for your food.

11. When walking in open territory, bother no one. If someone bothers you, ask him to stop. If he does not stop, destroy him.

Excerpts from the Rules of Satanism - Anton Szandor LaVey, 1967

*Standard Disclaimer: Appreciation for a specific, singular concept or idea does not constitute an endorsement of an individual person's entire life work. IOW - Just because I find the quote interesting does not necessarily mean that I like the author.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Style Saturday 8/14/2010

I'm bringing back the Fedora...

Public Enemies

Ok. Maybe I'm not bringing it back so much as I am just buying one for myself this fall.

Minor quibble.

There's been a resurgence of a certain style of fedora among young people over the last couple of years, but its been the "Stingy Brim" variety. I don't dig the stingy brim. On someone built like me (ie. a tank) they look like a Fez. Or maybe like a cork on the top of a dumpy bottle... I don't know which. At any rate, I like the wider brimmed fedoras like these:


During the 30's, 40's, and well into the 1950's you seldom saw a man outside without some sort of hat on. More often than not that hat was a Fedora.

cary grant notorious ingrid bergman

I've got my eye on a couple, and I'm planning to pick one up when the weather cools off a bit. Felt hats in Texas Summers can be rough. Not only are they less than ideal from a comfort perspective, but you'll sweat through them pretty quickly. A sweat stained fedora moves you from stylish to hobo-ish pretty quickly.

humphrey bogart edward g robinson

Friday, August 13, 2010

Suck it, PETA :)

Dodge recently came under fire from PETA after the very brief appearance of a chimp at the end of one of its commercials. PETA demanded that Dodge remove the commercial from the air. Dodge responded instead by making a minor alteration to the original commercial.

The original commercial made me smile. The new version made me laugh :) View both below and you decide:


PETA Compliant

My Subconscious can be an Odd Place

What do the following things have in common:

1. The Country Music Group Montgomery Gentry.
2. A friendly, but stray, dog running loose.
3. David Lee Roth - former front man for Van Halen.
4. Indonesia
5. A mostly empty rodeo arena.

Give up?...

They were all elements jumbled together into a single, very odd, dream that I had last night. Normally I don't remember details from my dreams, but this one was weird enough to actually stick with me when I woke up.

My Wife and I are going to the Indian Casino in Oklahoma tonight to see Montgomery Gentry in concert - so I kinda get where that element came from. But as for the rest.... you got me.

Girl Friday - 8/13/2010 - Lynne Frederick

You may have noticed that the women appearing in Girl Friday each week tend to fall into two main categories.

About half of the ladies of Girl Friday were in their hey-day in the 1950's or earlier, while the other half are modern day beauties. This tends to reflect my own personal tastes and bias. The 1960's, 70's, and 80's were the years of my youth, you see. I don't tend to romanticize those years like I do the earlier eras that I didn't experience first hand. As well, I think that as an old fart I'm attracted to the youth and vitality of modern women, at least as much as I'm drawn to their beauty.

Besides.... so much of the 60's thru 70's was just so damned weird...

wtf sixties

I mean, come on! What the hell is that all about?

However, I do realize the disservice that I'm doing by ignoring several decades of potential Girl Fridays. Therefore, to make up for my oversight this week's Girl Friday comes to us from the 1970s:

Lynne Frederick

Lynne Frederick 12

Lynne Frederick

You may not know Lynne Frederick, but she garnered her share of fame back in the 70's. She appeared in movies during the 1970s, but may be best known as the Wife of Peter Sellers (The Pink Panther, et al.). The marriage was rocky, however, and a couple of years into the union the two began divorce proceedings. Before the divorce was finalized Sellers died, leaving Frederick as the main heir to Seller's 4.5 million pound estate. His kids from previous marriages were virtually shut out.

Lynne Frederick 13

Lynne Frederick 11

Lynne Frederick 10

Lynne married twice more during her life. She was plagued by depression and attempted suicide on more than one occasion. Abuse of drugs and alcohol followed, and most likely contributed to her death at the age of 39.

Lynne Frederick 9

Lynne Frederick color

I see this face...

Lynne Frederick 2

and I am reminded that money can't buy happiness. That being beautiful and rich and "famous" are not the keys to success and joy.

Sunday, August 8, 2010


If an injury has to be done to a man it should be so severe that his vengeance need not be feared. - Niccolo Machiavelli

*Standard Disclaimer: Appreciation for a specific, singular concept or idea does not constitute an endorsement of an individual person's entire life work. IOW - Just because I like the quote does not necessarily mean that I like the author.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Style Saturday - 8/07/2010

When you look at photographs from the past, its easy to think of the subjects exactly as they are portrayed in the pictures. Like this, for example:

1909 paris couple

That's an unknown Parisian couple, circa 1909. Both smartly dressed, to be sure. Kinda drab, though, you know? Of course, I know in my head that they weren't actually in black and white. However, knowing that doesn't stop me from being momentarily startled when visually reminded of the fact by the medium that preceded the advent of film photography - Painting.

j tissot young lady in a boat

The clothing and environment of the "Past" truly come alive at the hands of a master painter like James Tissot. He captured the style, elegance, and even color, of life in the upper middle classes at that time. Business owners, Elegant Ladies, Ship Captains - these were the people that Tissot Painted. Looking at his work is a great opportunity to see beyond the black and white images that photography provides us of these times.


j tissot young women looking at japanese articles

j tissot autumn on the thames

j tissot the fireplace