Jan 20

Happy New Year

Here’s the first sunrise of 2020.

The blog is going to take a few weeks off. We’ll reconvene a bit later in January and get everyone caught back up. Until then, may all your resolutions by new and may all your newness be resolute.

Nov 19

Taking the easy way out

I added two new banners to the top of the page today. They look like this:

There are now 102 banners across the top and 101 across the bottom of each page of the blog. Since they are presented using a random script, you’ll have to come back — or reload the page a lot — to see them all.

This was a good hashtag.

That’s enough for now. Hey, it’s Friday.

More on Twitter, and check me out on Instagram as well.

Aug 19

Perfect timing

Last night I was sent on a mission to dig up two photographs from 19 years ago. I found one of them. But I also found others, from 18 years ago. One of them is now here, because two weeks ago, I spun together a tale of a book I’m reading and my great-grandmother. It’s a pretty fantastic post, and I think you should read it. Anyway, this is that great-grandmother, Flavil:

While searching an old hard drive for other old pictures, I re-re-re-discovered this rich vein of photos I took just before moving out of the state for work in 2001. I’d taken the time to go see all of the family and visit and laugh and eat and take pictures, and such.

A few weeks later I was in Little Rock for a new reporting job. I’d been there about three days on September 11th. No one in the newsroom knew me or trusted me yet (Indeed, the news director at that station had a stunned look on his face a few days prior when I filed my first report. Maybe I was wrong, but I interpreted it as “He’s literate?”) and I saw the first cut-ins and had to tell the morning anchors.

The lead story that day had previously been the local zoo re-gaining its accreditation, and one of the anchors had spent part of the morning making animal noises on air. (My literacy was not the problem in that shop.) I imagine my great-grandmother probably watched her local stations go to the network feed right there in that chair, but all of that was still almost a month later.

It was gray the day we took that picture, you can see it in that south-facing window in the background, and I remember the rain was coming in later in the evening. When it gets gray there, the ceiling moves in for sure, but it never seems too low, and the sky always seems full of … possibility, I suppose. This storm could be a gentle shower, a toad strangler, a gully washer, the wind could really blow, lighting could strike. It could move on without an explanation. It probably wouldn’t get very bad, not in August, not like the spring and late-autumn storms I spent several years covering, but every cloud looks familiar if you’ve been through some of the bad storms. There’s a sense of energy there in watching a storm roll in, and I don’t just mean the perceptible feeling of the barometric shift. Plenty of places have that sort of experience, but not every place, and somehow even under perfect cloud cover the sky can still seem somehow bright.

Usually there would be a small group of us going to visit her. We’d sit in her tidy little house and exchange pleasantries and speak up, and ask and answer a few questions. It might have just been me that day. I always enjoyed visiting with her, she had candy after all, and I know she appreciated when her family came over, but, in retrospect, I was usually young and loud and in a hurry. By then I was smart enough to finally slow down a bit and listen a little. I was somehow brighter for it, too.

The young person’s lament: I wish I’d caught on to that earlier.

Do you know what I just caught on to, just now? Look at the date stamp on that photo.

Aug 19

There’s math below; assume I got the (n) and (r) correct

Another evening ride with my bride was the highlight of my day. We were out just long enough to get the heart rate up and the perspiration perspiring. No motorists were foolish, the sun was out, my legs were sluggish, some of the other cyclists actually waved back for a change. It was easily the highlight of the day.

On the way back to the house, two neighborhoods before ours, I tried an attack off the left side of the road. You can see just before it started here:

Farther away, maybe she won’t hear me or see me until it is too late. I think she heard my derailleur click, took two hard downstrokes on her right pedal and that was the end of my attack.

The other highlight of my day was giving a tour for someone. So, yes, let us talk more about the bike ride, shall we!?

Living near a creek bed, as we do, you’re always starting your ride going uphill. You must pedal up and out of the intersection. And then, depending where you are going, some actual hills may come into play. These aren’t mountains, by any means, but they may as well be to me. The one “big” hill we climbed today I had to spin up through my small crank today. Some days I go up that same hill in my smallest gear and continue accelerating over the top. Not today. But still, an average ride is better than no ride at all. And a poor ride, well, that might be the best of all, because maybe you stunk it up and really suffered out there, but you still got it in.

Do you know how many times I’ve told myself that, huffing and puffing over the headset of my bicycle. I’ve gotten that whole speech down to one sentence this year.

But, still, a nice ride.

Elsewhere, today, let’s see. I did some behind-the-scenes organizing of things on the website. You won’t care about any of those, but there were some pages section needed cleaning up. It was a today and tomorrow project.

Also today, I added seven new banners to the top and bottom of the blog. You see different ones each time you visit, or every time you refresh, of course. But I keep adding to them. Today there are 100 banners for the top of the page and 101 for the bottom. So with two randomized images per page and 201 possible choices, you have something like 20,301 different combinations of the different photographs you can see surrounding all of this brilliant text. I probably did that wrong. Later tonight someone will come along and point out the error which left an order of magnitude off base.

Anyway, to keep it neat, while adding seven new ones today I also removed seven other banners which were less relevant or otherwise irksome. That simple right-click-delete-I’m-sure-yes-I’m-sure-no-really-quite-postive-indeed-I-promise-is-me-not-you-just-delete-them-already action reduced the combinations by about 1,400 choices or so. You’re welcome, Citizen of the ‘Net.

There are a lot of things to clean up on the site, but they won’t all be done today. There are at least always about a half dozen things to do around here. And they’ll all keep so long as the weather does. I wouldn’t ordinarily bore you with the details – most of them for archival purposes anyway – but it just didn’t feel right having a stat like 20,301 and not sharing it.

Anyway, here’s one of the new header banners you will occasionally run across:

Even upon reflection that remains one of my favorite photos of our summer vacation.

Tomorrow, another bike ride! And the Adventure of the Five Shirts! (If, in fact, that is an adventure. It is tomorrow and hasn’t happened yet, so it is difficult to say.)

Jul 19

More underwater stuff on the site

Have you seen the home page of my site today? I updated it. Just go to W-W-W dot KennySmith dot Org to see some pretty new imagery on the front page. And then come back here, of course. We’ll wait.

(This’ll take about 30 seconds, but go at your own pace. I’m good.)


Welcome back, then. And since you’re already here, you’ve likely already seen the good stuff from our dive trip, and if not, kindly click on that “Roatan” link above the post’s title. In addition to all of that wonderment, I had a lot of fun making these little social media promotional bits from the extra dive footage we shot.

This little number comes from an ill-timed photo burst. Sometimes it is challenging to figure out what the GoPro is doing underwater. We plugged the card into a computer later and saw a huge sequence of photographs of nothing in particular and this little thing was born:

When I say footage we shot it, I mean what my lovely wife shot. She was happy snapping away with the camera, and I was happy inhaling a tank of air much too quickly while watching the world go by. Probably 97 percent of the photos and videos we brought back are things she shot. Oh, I’d point out things not in her line of sight from time to time, and I edited all the things you’ve seen go on my site the last few weeks, but she captured almost all of it. She’s excellent at being talented.

Of course I had to get a few of her here and there. And I can’t take just one photograph. While she’s mugging for the camera, I’m firing off multiples, and that led to this fun little gif:

At least 20 people clicked through from those tweets, so it was worth it.

Also, my Photoshop and video editing software are presently loaded up with other spare and recycled clips that I’ll use for … something or another.