Monday Morning Wake-Up Call


Time Lapse Take 2. Twilight to Sunrise. 4:47 to 6:47 am in 30 seconds. 70° F. July 22, 2024. Cove Island Park, Stamford, CT. (Only one major incident at front end of shooting but recovered…)

More photos from this morning’s walk here: Moonlight and Daybreak.

Live & Learn

22 Jul 2024 at 13:37

You think you know, but you have no idea.


I’m trying to up my game. Expand the repertoire to include time lapse videos from still photos (like the shot of the cormorant up above from this morning).

Over the last few weeks, I’ve been watching Sawsan’s apprentice (aka Cara) set up the tripod, wrap its claws around the smartphone, level up the sight lines, take a deep breath… and hit the go button. And wait. And wait. And wait, somewhere between 2 to 2 1/2 hours until the sun is sufficiently up in the sky for the time lapse to catch the full end to end twilight to sunrise light show.

Cara can do it, repeatedly. Then any idiot can do this, right?

So I set off this morning. I’m solo, no production crew.

It’s 4:07 a.m., I repeat Cara’s time lapse set up sequence, take a take breath, and hit the GO button.

And I walk. And walk. And walk. I circle the park 3x taking photos, and keep a close eye on my camera gear so it doesn’t disappear.

Cloud cover is forecast to be heavy, and yet there is hope as the sky begins to clear in the line of my camera.

I walk back, pleased to see the camera video recording — all is as it is supposed to be.

It’s two hours in, and I’m practically giddy. This is going to work! And this being Sunday morning, the Big Guy upstairs starts clearing away the cloud cover — this time lapse will be NatGeo quality.

I pace. And pace. 2 1/2 bloody hours of waiting for a 17 sec time lapse video. Better be better than Good. The anticipation — Christmas Eve for a toddler.

Minutes away now.

Time’s up.

I reach for the camera, gently press stop, tuck away the tripod, and sit on the breakwall to watch. Why are your hands shaking?

I hit GO.

The video plays. Dark. Dark. Dark. Dark. Dark. Dark. Dark. Dark.

20 seconds pass and the video still shows frames from early morning. Giddiness turns to darkness.




I failed to hit the time lapse button — I failed to follow the entire Cara time lapse set up sequence — so instead of recording a 20 sec video, I recorded the entire 2 1/2 hour event.

There has to be an app to convert a 2 1/2 hr. video to 20 sec time lapse. Has to be. I google it — there’s a solution or two to fix this. I exhale and head home. A fix is on the way.

  • I try to upload the file from my smartphone to Google Photos. (The 48G file exceeds the 10G file limit. I learned this after 1 hour of waiting.)
  • I try to download the file from my smartphone to an external drive. This takes 30 minutes, only to find that the drive isn’t compatible with my PC.
  • I try to upload the file to Google Drive. File appears to be too large to upload. I learn this after 30 minutes.
  • I try to upload the file to Dropbox from my smartphone. It takes! But it takes over an hour.
  • Now with the file in Dropbox, I have to download the file to my PC (20 minutes) and then upload it to FinalCut Pro to speed up the 2.5 hour video. (This work takes over an hour, as I’m an apprentice on Final Cut Pro.)

So, that’s IT. Done. And Done.

It took over 8 HOURS to produce this 20 SECOND VIDEO.

Any idiot CAN do it!



  • Post title: You think you know, but you have no idea. — Diary (MTV, 2000-2014)
  • DK Photo of Cormorant @ 6:24 am this morning. July 21 2024.
  • More photos from this morning’s LONG walk here and moon shot here.
Live & Learn

21 Jul 2024 at 18:09

Sometimes you want something gentle. That’s when you want Bob Newhart.


His breakneck ascendancy in the 1960s violates every unwritten rule about fame, fortune and success. He didn’t test audience’s comfort levels or make bold political statements. He wasn’t loud or flashy or cruel or caustic or callous or cynical or angry or ruthless or power-hungry.

He stammered.

He wasn’t the everyman, despite what every obituary will claim, because no one is — and because most men are far less gentle. […]

Newhart’s stand-up — crisp, clean and observational, which put it at odds with the day’s popular acts like Lenny Bruce and Don Rickles — made him a buttoned-up star, playing college campuses across the country in a suit, as if he’d just strolled over from an accounting firm. […]

We don’t live in a world, or a country, that often rewards kindness and gentleness with fame and fortune. But those qualities led the tributes that poured onto social media after Newhart died Thursday at 94. […]

That gentleness, that generosity of sprit — that almost radical kindness — infused his work. […]

Television’s role in American life has changed over the years. Now, the landscape of streaming services are strewn with shows desperately reaching for that coveted descriptor: prestige. This usually means convoluted or disturbing plots, a dollop of shock factor, and exhausting runtimes.

But sometimes you just want to turn off your brain and chuckle. To hang out with your on-screen friends. To watch some clever antics while forgetting the stress of the day, of the world. Sometimes you don’t need Academy Award-winning acting on your small screen, or self-righteous subversion in your stand-up.

Sometimes you want something warm.

Sometimes you want something gentle.

Sometimes you want something comforting. Something that, say, feels like a dream.

That’s when you want Bob Newhart.

Travis M. Andrews, from “Bob Newhart was a gentle soul in a town that often crushes them. The comedian, who died Thursday at 94, was known in Hollywood for being as nice as he was funny.”(Washington Post, July 19 2024)

Don’t miss Bob Newhart: Off The Record (1992). Bob Newhart bio.

Live & Learn

20 Jul 2024 at 18:28

Walking. To Eternity.


3:15 am.
I flip through the morning papers. Jesus, why do I subject myself to this?
Politics (sigh), Middle East, Ukraine, Senator on the take, Earth camped out on a hot tin roof.
Alexandra Fuller in Fi: “How quickly we’ve messed this all up: everything melting, flooding, on fire.”

1536 consecutive (almost) days on this daybreak morning walk at Cove Island Park. Like in a row.
And what a day it is.
While everything burns, I walk, here, on Fantasy Island.

Stars, stars and more stars painted on a cloudless sky.
6 mph breeze from the north. Leaves rustle overhead. Birds beginning to wake.
65° F.
This is mid-July people.

And, setting aside the weight gain which I will NOT let throw shade on a beautiful morning, not a single body part hurts. Not one.

There’s no doubt, absolutely ZERO chance (mostly because of my diet and conditioning discipline) that I will not live forever.

Great Blue Herons have returned, this despite the destruction of their natural habitat at the top of Weed Avenue where they used to hang out. To make room for…? F-k knows.

Egrets, ever so graceful, are abundant this season. Juveniles, frisky, with their spiky Mohawks, prance in low tide spearing whitebait, the school in their frenzy rippling the calm surface of the pond.

And Black-Crowned Night herons, elusive, camouflaged, and frozen in spot and in time, are also plentiful at Cove Island.

So…all is not lost.

I round the corner of the Cove, on my way back to the car. I come across a cut log, cut flat on both sides, used for a chair (?) or small camping table (?). (See it in the photo up top.)

I give it a light kick, it’s waterlogged, no movement.

I keep walking.
I stop.
And walk back to the log.
I roll the log on its side.

If I can give this log a little nudge, and it rolls down all the way into the water, I will live forever.

I take a deep breath, pause, and then take another, and then lean in and push.

Please. Please. Please. Please.

Live & Learn

19 Jul 2024 at 16:54

Lightly Child, Lightly.


Anger is a cousin of intelligence. If you are not revolted by certain things, you have no boundaries. If you have no boundaries, you have no self-knowledge. If you have no self-knowledge, you have no taste, and if you have no taste, why are you here?

Sloane Crosley, Grief Is for People (MCD, February 27, 2024)


  1. Book Review: A Dazzling Humorist Returns With a Deep Dive Into Loss. NY Times, Feb 24, 2024.
  2. Post Title & Inspiration: Aldous Huxley: “It’s dark because you are trying too hard. Lightly child, lightly. Learn to do everything lightly. Yes, feel lightly even though you’re feeling deeply. Just lightly let things happen and lightly cope with them.
Live & Learn

19 Jul 2024 at 01:55

Watch it.


“It’s life in the dynamics, it’s the Fortissimo as well as the Pianissimo. And that’s what life is, it’s the loud and the soft and you can’t really appreciate the beauty without the difficulty, the grandeur without the adversity.”

— Trevis (Michigan, 5400 km from Dingle and now calls it home)

“The Dingle Peninsula; a rural area in County Kerry, situated on the edge of the harsh Atlantic Ocean, with a strong Irish language culture. An island within an island. Despite this, the town boasts a foreign population of nearly 30% – the locals refer to these individuals as ‘blow-ins’. What brought these people here? And what caused them to stay? With a wide variety of characters, we gain insight into the unique magic of the area and what it means to live there. We witness the highs and the lows of integrating with a rural Irish community, and ask the question of what it takes to truly be considered a ‘local’.—IcyPeaks Media

Live & Learn

18 Jul 2024 at 00:00

Life needs volunteers


This is all my fault for not moving homes or cities, for not taking certain jobs or marrying certain men, for looking backward all the time when I should be looking forward. I dwell too much. I hold on to things I shouldn’t, to people I shouldn’t. If you don’t change, change will find you in its most unruly form. It will press down on your vulnerabilities until they squish out the edges. Life needs volunteers or else it will start calling on people at random.

Sloane Crosley, Grief Is for People (MCD, February 27, 2024)

Book Review: A Dazzling Humorist Returns With a Deep Dive Into Loss. NY Times, Feb 24, 2024.

Live & Learn

16 Jul 2024 at 18:58

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