Tuesday, November 30, 2010

How was your Thanksgiving?

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We had a lovely evening with a few friends and family. Not much fuss, just comfort. After dinner we chatted and watched Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire in honor of our plan to see the latest Harry Potter movie the next day (which we did). We all "grew up" on Harry Potter, the adults as parents reading aloud to our kids, and the kids by listening, then reading themselves. All of us except my sadly ignorant brother-in-law who can't figure out what the fuss is about. I guess he has no "inner child".
I haven't been here much of late. I'm in rehearsals for my yearly Nutcracker performance which is in two weeks. We are also doing some back income taxes--this is an ordeal when you own your own business, and applying for high school for my younger son. I feel buried in paper!
Last month we survived my younger son's Bar Mitzvah which was wonderful but again left me feeling tapped out. I'm hoping things will quiet down by winter break. Then again--do they ever?
Hope you holiday was wonderful (if you celebrate) and your winter holidays are better still.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Passage of time

The Weapon of Love


Southside mural 4

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Autumn over Lake Michigan

Autumnal Lake Michigan

Feeling nostalgia for summer....

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Fishy, or Enjoy Dessert


This post is inspired by a fellow Chicago blogger who has issued a mail art call for cards related to fish. This will be my second submission. The last one was in 2007. I'm impressed that her blog, A Fishy Requisite, is still up and running. Then again, I'm impressed that my blog is still up and running. Unfortunately the image is very low resolution. It is a collage based on part of a fish wrapper and an fortune that reads: "You deserve special treatment this month. Enjoy dessert." Thanks, I will.

I've added a few fishy photos of my own to follow the theme.

My best fish shot

I've heard of tree hugging, but fish hugging?

I'm home alone with my younger son who has been down with a mean version of the flu since Tuesday. I'm thinking/hoping he is beginning to improve but he still spiked a nasty fever last night. Since I'm not getting out much I'm overdosing in electronics. Too much computer and TV can't be that good for me but I've read all I can handle too. Whine, whine.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

A Chicago River Tour or Fun with Copyright Law

NBC Tower

Like many people local to an area, I have neglected to do some of the must see activities a tourist would experience. However, a few weeks ago I had family visiting from out of town and we all took a Chicago River Tour. I had heard it is a great way to view Chicago architecture and it most definitely is.
Obviously I snapped any number of photos but I had to resort to the internet to look up the names of some of the buildings.

Not the Sears Tower

One such pair of buildings is the Marina City Towers. These interesting condo buildings have appeared in a number of films and television programs including the Bob Newhart Show, Dark Knight and the Blues Brothers. When first I saw these buildings they seemed outlandish to me but they have since grown on me. I am always amused by the lower level parking garages. Where else can you park and get million dollar river views? I think I'd be obsessing over whether I set the parking brake adequately.

Two Ears of Corn

Careful what you do with your photos of this building, however. It is under copyright. In theory if, say, I wanted to turn my photo into a postcard to send to my friends, I might need to apply to the condo board for permission. Now, I am no expert on copyright but I have read just enough to be wary of violating these copyright laws. I have received a few requests for copies of my pictures from commercial interests and have always refused for fear of getting into vicarious trouble. Now, if the subject of the photo were a tree, there would be no problem unless the tree's owner got back to me. But since I take lots of architecture and city pictures and since all those buildings are owned by someone, I just have to say no.
A few years ago I took a picture of a totem pole in Seattle, Washington and some homeless people started to object to being in the shot. My thought about them is about the same as how I feel about the architecture question. Don't put yourself or your building in a highly touristy, scenic or public location if you don't want pictures taken of it or if you want to absolutely control the use of said pictures. Hypothetically speaking, if I plant my body in front of the Louvre for a month, do I control rights to all photos taken with me in it? In the article I read, sometimes film makers have to edit out certain buildings from skyline shots due to copyright issues. Imagine altering a film of Seattle with the Space Needle omitted or New York City sans the Empire State Building? It just wouldn't be the same.
Read here for more about the Marina City debate.
All right back to the photos.

Wrigley Reflected