Above Ground Sounds

Above Ground Sounds was taken on January 7, 2016, and processed in my digital darkroom December 22nd, 2020 at 4 AM when I couldn’t sleep.

Above Ground Sounds

Click here to embiggen. You probably should.

Approaching Northwestern University campus from the south, in Evanston one sunny winter day, I liked how the over-turned dumpster echoes the buildings in the background. Everything1 is technically wrong with this photo, but I like it nonetheless. The cropping is weird, the angle is a little off, who cares. I think it would make a great album cover – there is even some empty space for lettering.

Footnotes:
  1. well, many things at least []

WordPress and the Block Editor

Still A Virgin?

WordPress is really pressing their new-style editor, called the Block Editor. I can’t say I’m very enamored with it, at least in its current iteration. I find the Block Editor gets in my way more often than it is actually useful in creating a post.

Maybe I’m just used to using a 3rd party blogging software (namely, MarsEdit)? Maybe I need to use Block Editor more?

We’ll see.

He had discovered a great law of human action, without knowing it — namely, that in order to make a man or a boy covet a thing, it is only necessary to make the thing difficult to obtain.

— Mark Twain

Malware Strikes Again

He had discovered a great law of human action, without knowing it — namely, that in order to make a man or a boy covet a thing, it is only necessary to make the thing difficult to obtain.

— Mark Twain
Your Ballroom Days Are Over

My websites were flagged by my webhost as containing malware yesterday. After a little back and forth with them, I decided that I would fix the problem myself to save on the hard costs of hiring an expert. The sites in question1 had been hacked sometime in July, but the hacker’s payload was simply a proof of concept – the hacker created a file called lol.txt on each folder on the root level of my server.

Since I’ve been a customer of this particular webhost for nearly 15 years, there was a lot of extra folders left over from various projects that I didn’t need anyway. I took the time to back every single thing to my local hard drive, and then deleted thousands of files.

The malware was installed as a .php file in the directory /wp-includes in two different websites with a WordPress installation. I could have simply nuked all the WordPress files with the exception of files found in /wp-content but I was curious if I could find more traces of malware. I didn’t have anything else more pressing to accomplish today.

Eventually, I cleaned up all the miscellaneous debris left over from Blogger days, lo so many moons ago, and even delved into my Moveable Type installation from the Golden Era of Blogging. All clear, if clunky.

If you have a moment, take a gander at urbanseens.com or my photo blog to see if they are ok. My webhost gave me the all clear, and restored my sites to the internet.

Being told you have malware is like someone accusing you of having lice or a STD or something”

my brother quipped back:

what’s worse malware or herpes?”

Tell Me What You Want
Footnotes:
  1. not this one, but others []

Barbershop, Tuscany

Barbershop, Tuscany

Barbershop, Tuscany, originally uploaded by swanksalot.

Your humble photographer, prior to having my locks shorn on a hillside farm in Tuscany (Castiglion Fiorentino a small town near Arezzo). Circa 1993. Scan of a really poor 35mm print. Where are my negatives!

www.abctuscany.com/arezzo/castiglion-fiorentino/index.cfm

Via my dad:

The story that your mom tells is this: She met an Italian man at a party. He was an older gentleman, a professor at UT. She told him about your return to Austin shaved, shorn and well dressed. He told her “My dear, Italy has been the finishing school for young men for centuries”
I glad you have documentation of this transformation.

(click to embiggen)

Worship at An Altar of a Stagnant Pool

Wolf Point, Chicago River

I “borrowed” this title from a Bob Dylan song (License to Kill), mostly because the phrase confused me. I still am not exactly sure what it means, and that’s ok. Ambiguity is a gift in this modern world of ours.

(click to embiggen)

Laying Bricks

Laying Bricks

Laying Bricks, originally uploaded by swanksalot.

Shoring up the basement (put a piece of metal against the basement wall first, then these bricks).

I helped shovel sand and also put down a few bricks, but had to document the work first…

If you look at the colors carefully, you can tell I altered the balance towards the brick spectrum using a faux Technicolor technique in Photoshop; Enhanced the bricks at the expense of the green moss and bits of leaves.

I quite like how this turned out.

(click to embiggen)

Walk Over

Walk Over

Walk Over, originally uploaded by swanksalot.

Vintage sign from Toronto’s garment industry. Based on the clothing of the gentleman, how old would you guess it is? I’m guessing 1890s-1910, but I don’t know that much about men’s fashion history.

Walk-Over Shoes has been around a long, long time (though I don’t know how long in Toronto)
www.walkover.com/OurHistory.aspx

This plaster sign was in what used to be my bedroom in Frostpocket, and I dragged the (plaster?) sign out into the sun to get a good photo of it.

(click to embiggen)