Dogs and bikes

Modified Perfect Standard Time proposal


“I’ve been having trouble getting up in the morning.” Well, who hasn’t since daylight savings time has returned? Is it time to rethink this bizarre annual resetting of the clocks designed to make waking up more difficult? Spring ahead, fall back, sure, but why do it twice a year…?

“But,” she said, “I like the extra hour of light in the evening. I want to keep that part.” And why couldn’t we? Here’s a win-win proposal that keeps that extra hour at night, but doesn’t suck the daylight from the early morning.

Start with Standard Time. Let’s keep that full time, but with a slight modification. 6:00 AM is always 6:00 AM. Then, each afternoon at 2:00, clocks leap forward to 3:00 PM. That gives us the daily extra hour of sunlight we so crave. And it eliminates what is a basic productivity black hole in the work day that we’d all rather do without. Imagine the improvements in worker morale!

But the real benefits kick in during the night, a time when studies show we don’t get enough sleep or sex or both. At 4:00 AM, the clocks will revert back to 3:00 AM, returning the hour lost in the afternoon and giving all the good people of the planet an extra hour of sleep. Imagine the boost in productivity and overall good feeling!

According to research conducted while writing this posting, my plan MoPeSTY (Modfied Perfect Standard Time Year-round), will result in happier, more fulfilled lives, will eliminate morning crankiness and increase productivity 94%.

Write your congress person now and enact Modified Perfect Standard Time Year-round now.


Dogs and bikes

The musher


The day after a storm dropped a few inches of snow, the thermometer breached 50 degrees in New York City and I brought my bicycle out from its dusty basement storage rack. I wiped off the grime with a damp cloth, cleaned the chain, and applied White Lightning, a clean wax lubricant. Slipping a camera around my neck I took my first ride since just after Sandy came through and rearranged the urban furniture.

Hey you ‘cyclers out there – take care of the chain and everything it touches will serve you for a long time. I’m talking about derailleurs and cranks mostly. If you ride a lot, spring for a new chain every thousand miles or so. And when you do change the chain, wax lubricants are nice – dry, resist grease and grit and much cleaner than oils or teflons in my opinion.

I am a resident tourist and love taking photos in the city. But what I really enjoy is shooting from the saddle and getting a good image while maneuvering park or street traffic. Or passing the image I’m going to shoot, speeding ahead and waiting for it/them to ride by.


I passed this fellow with his pit bull pulling him up a hill in Central Park. The man kicked the ground to help him up the hill, but his animal did most of the work and seemed quite happy in doing so, tongue flopping around, breathing hard, tail wagging. This was work and most dogs live for work, or some I’m told. I’m not a dog and I live more for days like yesterday and today with a good deal of leisure and a 32GB SD card at my disposal.


I saw a lot of dog people running with their dogs but none in a basket. It was a short ride as my conditioning is meager. Do you want to see those photos? I do this blog mostly to entertain my wife, family and a few select friends. However, the “like” button has had an influence. I feel unreasonably ecstatic when I get more than a few likes and am hurled into a somber self-critical mood when there are but one or two.

Well, Here’s one of a running dog.


Dogs and bikes

There is something wrong with this photo. Can you find it?


Critical Can Opener… and that’s all the help you’re getting. It’s not the doglessness, though on first glance it seems that way. In the uncropped original image, you would see the reflection of what is either a dog or a discarded stuffed animal. Behind the dad figure on the bike a woman passes in the opposite direction looking back over her shoulder. The light changes, an impatient horn honks, a girl now fully grown, remembers the events of the day years from now.

Dogs and bikes

The production process


“Which one do you like better?”

“It’s not going to work until you get rid of the glare. You can’t really see the dog’s head.”

“I don’t know how to do that.”

“Here, I’ll show you.”

“OK, but in the meantime, which one do you like better?”

“Until I get that stupid glare to go away neither of them work.”

She began cursing because she doesn’t like using a touchpad. She showed me which tool to use (it’s the burn tool which looks like a hand that’s ready to grasp something). I messed with it but it didn’t look right, so I went to clone. I don’t like doing clone or actually anything that takes more than a click, but I did it because she wasn’t going to cooperate otherwise and sometimes you just have to make concessions, you know, let it go.

So I cloned and then burned and then it looked OK, and then I did the part that I liked which I’d only recently learned for the post “His Master’s Voice.” This lets you make the photo black and white but highlight a color or two. Here are the directions because more than anything, this blog is about teaching. Yep, it’s all about sharing my vast slice of knowledge.

Here are the steps in case you’re interested, copied from an Adobe photoshop elements community:

1. Get out the Smart Brush, the one with the gears on it.

2. Choose a black and white conversion style from the options bar and turn on the Inverse checkbox.

3. Brush over the object you want to keep in color. The rest of your photo will turn black and white.

The tempest lifted and tt all worked out in the end. She picked the version you see above, I learned to use another accursed photoshop feature (which is rapidly slipping from memory), and something else because we must always list in threes.