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Author Topic: It may be 45 degrees but this is definitely the Winter Flickr!  (Read 4130 times)

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Offline Betty

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Re: It may be 45 degrees but this is definitely the Winter Flickr!
« Reply #10 on: January 07, 2017, 04:28:18 AM »
Laptops dirt cheap.

Curl up with a movie or e-book in bed or on the go. Once again, I focused on the ones that had better than average graphics chips, that were reliable, durable, & fast -- the most value for the money. Also the ones easy to find parts for cheap, for upgrades or an easy fix.

Being used, the hards drives may be worn in some of these, but should be good enough to last a while. If they start making lots of loud clicking noises though, it's time to get a new hard drive. Back up your files or copy the entire drive onto an external USB drive with free Clonezilla. Put in the new drive, & copy the system back to it. Easy Peasy as long as you can read the instructions. If you get confused, just google about it first, or ask me. I bought my newest laptop for only $79 used at But my $79 pair of HP DC7900 desktops I got used from Walmart. So you have to watch for the sales.

Hp 64 bit, Dual 2.53ghz, 4gb RAM, Windows 7 $130
Scratch & dent

Hp 64 bit, Dual 2.53ghz, 4gb RAM, Windows 7 $140
I just had one of these in for repairs last year. It was force-upgraded to windows 10 by updates, & when he tried to turn it back to W7, the thing crashed & died. It was a W10 problem, not the machine's fault. Lightweight, good battery life, solid, fast, good performance. It's well built. Played all HD video smooth, even when plugged into the TV.

A similar model just as good.

Honorable mention:

When one thinks about latops or tablets one doesn't think of RCA. Their electronics is weak, or below average. But that all just changed with 3 of the hottest budget tablets with removable keyboards that double as almost laptops. One drawback is, you can't plug it into the TV. But you can enjoy your video & reading right in your lap or curl in bed with it. Did you know an 11" screen 2 feet from your face looks just as big as a 32" TV does 7 feet away?

These things are getting rave reviews as the best budget tablet/laptops around this year. Quality & performace is amazing for this price range.

RCA 11.5" screen, 1gb RAM, 32gb memory, 1.3ghz quad core, detachable keyboard, & the newest Android 6.0. Up to 6 hours battery life.  $80

Their 10" model cost a little more but some say it's better. I can't understand the reason, they have the same specs & chips in them. $98

Then there's their fantastic 7" little sister at an amazing price, & also has a detachable keyboard. This is the same size as my Digiland android I got for $36 (also sells under the Azpen name for $29-$49). It fits in most back pockets (if you don't mind the top sticking out) & coat pockets. I use my 7" for reading or watching video in bed, in the kitchen catching some video or news, or even propped up on the closed toilet seat playing a movie while soaking in a warm tub. But mine has no keyboard. Battery life is better than my laptop & is a lot lighter to carry around. A good Android touch screen is pretty easy to use as long as you don't try to write an essay on it. Andriod touch screen & apps are easier, & friendlier than Windows 10 ones. So if you kids like windows 10, get a nice android, that's what windows 10 is trying to imitate anyway. $58

And finally, Here's my tablet. I only paid $36 to have mine delivered right to my door, & mine is white & green. Amazingly, they still make it. Surfs the internet & plays all video well. It'll play movies brightly for almost 4.5 hours before the battery dies. I've made google voice phone calls & text with it via wifi. Rear & front cameras (for selfies). 8gb of memory. Has an SD card slot for up to 32gb. 1.3ghz quad core. But on my tight budget, I put an old cheap 8gb SD card in there.

Thanks to compression, 8gb is enough for about 130 hours of VHS quality video or about 65 hours of HD video. But you only need 360p video for it to look like HD on a 7" screen. The buttons feel too delicate & cheap on mine. It's a bit flimsy & the screen glass is thin, so don't drop it. I'm sure it's not water resistant so don't play with it in storm or humid bathroom after showering. Probably too fragile for kids. But for mature adults who take it easy with their stuff, it will probably last.

I bought mine for my brother to have to pass the time when he was in the hospital (loaded with new movies & music). After he passed away, they gave it back to me. I love this thing. Saves a lot on electric bills when I don't really need to turn on a big TV, computer, or laptop to casual surf, read an e-book, or watch regular plain ordinary video & TV. The speaker in this very thin tablet is about what you'd expect. It's usable, but not good. I use headphones or an external mini speaker plugged into it for music. $40.

Better mini laptop & speakers:

Need better speakers for that, or a laptop? Here's my laptop & tablet speakers. I chose this model because it can be powered by 4, AAA batteries (I use rechargeable), or from a USB port with its included cord, or from any standard USB AC adapter (not included), like the one that comes with the tablet. That way, it will work for mp3 players on batteries, or powered/charged plug it into a computer or AC adapter. On my tight budget my stuff must be versitile, multifunctional/multipurpose, & cheap.

It'll run on batteries playing softly for 15-17 hours, moderately for 12-14 hours, loud for about 7-8 hours, & maxed out for about 4.5 hours. This is intended to be right near you, & has very weak bass. But you can easily hear it across the room without maxing out the volume. It sounds surprisingly well for it's very tiny size. 10 times better sound than any laptop & even better than many modern thin TVs. It draws only 0.24 watts when the volume is at the max so won't wear down your laptop battery much.

The drawback is the audio cord is only 7" long, but they make extension cords for the regular standard 1/8" audio jack if you need it. I found by opening it up & running the wire through the top, I gained about 3 more inches on the cord. Too cheap to buy an extension, I eventually soldered in a longer old cord I had laying around. The ugly front tray to hold an mp3 player is removable. I slid it out, & slid it back into the back. It's a foldable speaker that way. I got the version at Walmart. There may be slight differences in the other versions of the model/ $8
wider player tray version

TVs & monitors

Most modern TVs have all the connections for a computer monitor, & better sound than a monitor. Many monitors have no speaker so require a separate speaker. As bad as the sound is on most modern TVs, monitors with speakers are even worse. We're talking the sound quality of a 120 year-old wind-up Victrola record player. Also TV's offer more control over the images, have extra features, & pick up regular TV when the computer is off. There was a time when monitors were cheaper than TVs of the same size, but once you move to mid-size or larger ones, the TV is cheaper per size because they produce so much more of them.

A TV instead of a monitor gives you the ability to tune in cable or regular TV with an antenna to catch local news & programming too when the computer is off. Once you start using a computer to watch TV a while, you'll eventually cancel your cable TV services when you discover lots of better, free, or very cheap alternatives can be had. Your investment in a computer based entertainment system will have paid for itself in a couple months, without that big cable bill.

In the USA, almost every local channel in or near your area broadcasts sub-channels over the air, piggy-backed on their regular channel's HD signal. So if you can pick up a local channel with an ordinary TV antenna (ordinary rabbit ears work best for an indoor antenna), you can also pick up their 2-8 sub channels embedded in the same signal. A sub channel may be only DVD quality or as bad as VHS quality though. In my area on a good day I can pick up 45 channels, on a bad one only about 35. Most day's here in Buffalo, I even pick up at least 2 channels all the way from Toronto on my TV. After I block out the church, infomercial, & crap channels, I get 27-28 channels from the antenna even on a bad day. Setting the antenna near a window in a sweet spot, once adjusted to get the most channels or all the local ones, I never have to adjust it again. Lots of oldies & old movie channels on those sub-channels! When I had cable I discovered I only ever watched 18 out of all the channels I got. Now I use all 27-28 of them & they're free.

This is one area where I don't recommend buying an odd-brand used or refurb. The capacitors in many odd brand TVs, & quite a few popular brands are only designed to last a couple years. So used or refurb, unless they specifically said that they replaced the capacitors with better ones, may only last until the warranty runs out. You can replace the capacitors yourself for about $17 in parts. But it's a long tedious process of desoldering & soldering tiny parts very carefully. Depending on the model & your experience it may take half a day or a couple days. You can replace the whole power supply board or main board with the bad capacitors for about $40-$60, which is pretty easy. It's just a bunch of screws to turn, & they just plug in. No soldering.

Some TVs & monitors don't come with computer VGA jacks anymore to plug in a computer. Odd, because TVs still all have jacks in the back to plug in obsolete VCRs & old Atari video games. Newer computers made for the USA & UK markets use HDMI connectors to plug into a TV or monitor. But older computers, computers made in or for other markets, some other devices, games, video boxes, & unique gadget still use VGA.

If in the future, if you don't like Windows so you switch to Linux or some other OS, it may not support your graphics through HDMI, so only a VGA connector will work. If a company will no longer support drivers for your devices graphics, your VGA output may still work if HDMI fails. Some content providers with restricted or copyright materal can make your HDMI display only a low or poor resolution version of the content, or stop the content from displaying at all. VGA cannot be controlled by external forces, content providers, or hackers.

So you want to try to find a TV or monitor that has a VGA connector too, not just HDMI. But some computers have just HDMI & not VGA. So get a TV that has both. Get them soon. Monitors & TVs with VGA will become rarer as corporations & content provers decide what's more profitable for them than what may be better or more practical for you.

Here's my TV. I got it for almost nothing broken, because it was improperly in a closed in very hot space, & dirt (also lint & hair) clogged the vent holes to cool it. You want to keep your electronics as cool as possible if you want it to last long. It took me almost $60 in parts to fix it. 2 1/2 years later, it still runs & looks great. Weighs only 12 pounds. Draws about 36 watts when set at full brightness, 28 watts normal, & 18 watts at a lower brightness for most living rooms in the evening.

It seems everybody is putting those cheap Chinese capacitors with a 2-4 year lifespan in their TVs these days. So it's potluck if any brand of any new TV will last longer than a couple years. Nobody will fix that problem because it's right inline with what most tech companies want. They want to you to replace all your devices every 2 years. Phuck them! Fix it yourself or find somebody who can cheap. With good capacitors in these, they can last a decade or more.

However, if you only paid a little over $100 for a 32" TV that lasts 2 1/2 years, when you could have bought on the same size & picture quality for $500 or more that MIGHT last 5-8 years, it's actually cheaper to just buy another TV for a little over $100 every 2 1/2 years. It's just simple math. I would avoid ones with lots of reviews saying they only lasted a few months & most refurbished TVs unless you can replace the capacitors or boards inside yourself or have a friend to do it cheap.

Here's some other low priced TVs with VGA & HDMI so they can be used with any device.

This one is almost identical inside & out to my Ocosmo TV & made by the same company. Not a brand-x TV but not top of the line either. An amazing picture. Sound isn't great but better than average modern TVs. It has a sound equalizer settings that helps the sound a lot. It may last a couple years or it may last 10. Who knows? Mine is still working 2 1/2 years later. Avoid the refurbs of this though. They make a 40" version too. Watch for sales of it for $179 soon.

Go big

Go bigger

Go huge

The home theater monster

Online andyg0404

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Re: It may be 45 degrees but this is definitely the Winter Flickr!
« Reply #11 on: January 07, 2017, 02:05:24 PM »
Hello everybody and welcome back to My Weekly Flickr.

Very nasty day, it was snowing and 23 degrees when I went out earlier. It's still snowing in NJ and it hasn't warmed up much.

This is the end of my first week of idleness and it’s been somewhat like being on vacation.  Although it’s clearly different as I haven’t made a point of going out every day and trying to visit an exhibition. I’ve changed my sleeping routine so that now I’m staying up until around 11PM and staying in bed until around 7AM. My sleep itself hasn’t changed though, still wake up usually 1.5 to 2.5 hours after I lay down but for the most part I fall back asleep. I am a morning person and will remain so, I enjoy the morning hours and it’s nice to be able to take my walks in the daylight now. Sunday was a good example of my new routine. Previously I would read the newspapers first thing in the morning then move on to other things but this past Sunday I didn’t get to them until late afternoon, early evening. I spent some time trying to make copies of oversize crossword puzzles to send my friend in Arizona. When I was working I would have been annoyed at wasting so much time with this but now it’s no longer an issue.

Betty, I never expected my innocuous comment to elicit such a long response. I appreciate all of your suggestions and will look back to them down the road. But for now I’ll stick with the VCR as, first of all I am a true creature of habit and second of all it works for me and it’s easy. And I have about 75 tapes of things I’ve never seen. But thanks for the all the time you spent and the input you gave me.

That being said, I had to reacquaint myself with my VCR, something that amuses my friends no end. Betty too I guess. Like Betty, they have all moved on to newer technology but I don’t really see the need to do it now. The VCR does exactly what I want it to do. I hadn’t used it in some time and the first thing I had to do was set the time, something I know how to do. Except I couldn’t get the command to come on the screen and the manual wasn’t any help. Finally the penny dropped and I realized I had to change a setting on the television itself which then allowed me access. I remember the comedian Billy Connolly in one of his HBO specials many years ago talking about what a great invention the VCR was, letting him tape anything, and how he had taped all of these wonderful movies BUT IT WOULDN’T LET HIM WATCH THEM! Happily I haven’t run into that problem. I taped and watched Cast Away with Tom Hanks and The Martian with Matt Damon. Most enjoyable. And I watched The Band Wagon with Fred Astaire on Youtube which was wonderful. I really have a lot of catching up to do. I was pleased to discover that Youtube has a large trove of the Burns and Allen television programs and I watched the pilot episode. I also came across this Buddy Hackett joke that he told on an old Johnny Carson show. Carson roared and so did I. Hackett’s Las Vegas act was supposed to be very “dirty”, that is, he talked about sex at a time that standards weren’t like they are today. So when he appeared on the talk shows he would tell the same jokes but they would be filled with euphemisms, innuendo and double entendres. And screamingly funny.

As for art, I went back to the Met twice this week, both times to visit shows I had previously seen and discussed. On Friday I saw the Fragonard drawings and today I visited the Valentin de Boulogne. Both shows are closing in the next week so this was basically my last chance. I misremembered the Valentin being on the first floor where the Beckmann is. I don't know what made me say this but I stopped a guard and asked where the Bouguereau was. Amazingly she said, Valentin?, and sent me to the second floor. Both shows were just as good the second time if not better. For Valentin the gallery was empty for more than half of my visit leaving me alone to enjoy the paintings. More people arrived but it wasn't crowded when I left. I'm glad I was able to go back for both of the shows, exactly what I envisioned being retired would be like. There was a review of an American Art during WW1 exhibit at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in yesterday's Times which looks very nice.  As I was contemplating a visit I was very pleased to see that it would travel to the NY Historical Society in May. I’ve put it on my calendar.

I think that’s it for this week so let’s walk down the hall to the Flickrs and see what’s new.

Andy G.

Snow White 16

I was a cowboy!

Super skirt


wow is it 2016



Okay this is becoming an obsession...

Back to life - back to sissiness

Candy 2016 October


Offline Betty

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Re: It may be 45 degrees but this is definitely the Winter Flickr!
« Reply #12 on: January 07, 2017, 06:18:14 PM »
Betty, I never expected my innocuous comment to elicit such a long response.

Because so many here know I'm a tech, I'm frequently getting a lot messages on our messaging system here or in my mail from our users with tech problems & questions. Indeed, I get more posts from Betty's users in my mail & our messaging service here in a week than we get posting at stories & here.

Sometimes I wonder if a lot of the traffic we get here is just to message me for tech help.

Your mention of a VCR, is common of the people from here who regularly contact me with their tech problems. Your solution that it still works for you is only very temporary. Putting old stock, or worn used tapes in a very old VCR will work & wear it harder. Even at your age, you will outlive that machine once you start using it much with old tapes.

I agree that one must not have to immediately move onto the next newest thing. But when your 4-5 stages/layers behind the tech, or 20 years behind the newest thing, it's time to look at something new, even if it means just moving up to 1999-2007. Indeed, the stuff I recommended is not the newest thing. You have to buy it soon before it's phased out by the next newest things. The next newest things are on the high wave of profitable data mining spyware, & restrictions. They're also designed to last only a couple years so you have to constantly buy new stuff. Damn, if some of these corporations had their way, they'd charge for or restrict the air we breathe, & put a camera in every room to sell your habits & data to the highest bidder.

You can't even buy a new Windows computer without it having keyloggers installed in it that send everything you type to Microsoft, it's partners, some governments, & anybody else willing to pay MS for the info. They can also turn on any microphone, or camera in it or on your network. And contrary to what the windows 10 fans/promotors say, you can't shut it off. You can set a button that says it's off, but it's not really. All that does it hide & slow down the spying a little so you don't know about it. It doesn't matter what you set anything for anyway. W10 will set it back their way with the next update which can happen secretly with no warning anytime.

Don't tell me different, W10 fans. I had W10, & had many W10 machines in here to fix. I thoroughly checked & tested them. I just put the newest W10 on a test machine last month. Damn, it's even worse that it was last summer. Nasty shyt!

You don't actually believe you need a quad core 32-64gb RAM machine just to surf the net, watch youtube or netflix do you? You need it to deal with all the crap they secretly put in it, & they constantly try to dump more crap into it all the time. Everybody wants their hands in your machines & data.

So my reply wasn't actually specifally addressed to just you, but to all the people from here who regularly contact me about their tech stuff. The long posts are actually a copy & paste of many of my private replies to many of our users in the past couple months. I just sort of edited it all together into a general info post for all the countless people here regularly contacting me about the same issues... including a couple with VCR (LOL) problems.

The point I'm trying to push is to get the good tech now, while it's still easily available cheap. The newest wave of tech is more like big brother watching you, with the corporations & governments actually hacking you, your data, & your home, flooding you with advertisements on every device they can get into. Can you trust everyone who works for the corporations & governments with your personal, private, & financial information? And what if their database on you was hacked by the Russians or anybody with a bag of tricks?

There is a certain amount of info necessary to interact with anything, but they don't need to get every little detail about us every minute of the day, every day. They're collecting & storing it on their machines, without our knowledge or permission. It's overloading our internet, & phone connections, & slowing down our computer so much that we need to buy a bigger computer to handle all their meddling in the background.

Too many people who sometimes disappear from here for months or more, had their only computer fail, or when it crashed they lost all their passwords to get in anywhere. With most communicating digitally these days, computer & digital contact is more important than a phone. I only get 1 or 2 phone calls a month, but get dozens of personal messages, texts, & emails every day.

Those cheap alternatives I mentioned offer a cheap way to get online on a second spare machine, that can double as replacing your VCR, DVR, DVD, cable TV, & home theater. So it pays for itself in just a couple months. You can copy & save your browser profile so you never loose your links & passwords again. You can transfer that profile with the links & passwords to a new browser or another computer. Or just make a cloned copy of everything on the computer to an external disk or to another computer. No matter what goes wrong, you can just put the cloned copy back into the computer.

2 machines are better than one. In case one has a problem, you got another. The spare one can be your entertainment center & home theater as well.

You're retired now. Shouldn't you try to enjoy more & better quality entertainment now, while you are still able to, can afford it, & have the time? Why would anyone turn down a crystal clear image or movie for a dull blurry one?

As we get older, eventually we move slower or it becomes harder to get around. When you become home-bound more with age (it will happen to all of us some day), how often will you be able to watch those same tapes over & over, because you can't get more, or until they break? Meanwhile as we get older, meds, & medical treatments increase. Your insurance won't pay all of it or fails someday. They change you pension or social security payments, or it's not enough just to survive the basics anymore. You have to shut off your cable, & go to a lower tier internet connection.

Now the VCR died. Your only computer in the house died. Suddenly with more limited entertainment, it feels like you're in prison in your own home. You've been reduced to eating rice & ramen every day as the bills pile up. You may have became disabled enough where there's very little you can do to change anything. Upgrade at least to 1999 while you have a chance, have the ability to do so, & there still some good affordable tech out there left. That cheap second machine will be good as a backup, & easily can be a nice home theater system. You won't like some newest tech available after the good stuff is gone, & it will probably be too expensive anyway.


Update: Another robust refurbished commercial-grade office machine just went on sale. This model is almost like mine... actually a little better. Great performer for at home. Will play any videos or intense overloaded sites you can throw at it. Probably won't play the most intense 3-d graphic, most modern hard-core action video game smoothly, but they do make "small form factor" graphics cards for these if you must play the most resource hungry games on the planet (for under $100). 64 bit, 3ghz dual core, free shipping. Easily put a bigger drive in these. There's 2 full sized drive bays inside if you want a 2 drive system. Comes with W7, supported until at least 2020. Keep your antivirus, firewall, & browsers updated, & you can run W7 safely/smoothly until 2024 or longer. But it will run any windows or Linux made. The 7900s & 8000s are some of the best performing, longest lasting desktops they ever made.

These things are designed to work, run a long time into the future, & take a lot of abuse. Fully easily upgradable, but unless you want a newer & bigger drive, they're fine just as is. These are used though, with used hard drives, so they should be bought with the consideration that you should buy a new drive for it someday. For most people, you'd use much less than half the 4gb of RAM in these most of the time. You don't need more for these to run everything smooth.

Bigger numbers don't always translate into the best performance. A good, robust, & efficient design will do much better than bigger numbers. These & the software in them are well designed for heavy duty, fast, commercial use. They exceed expectations for home or theater use. With the fast efficient design, circuits, drivers, & 7200rpm drive, you'll swear it's running an SSD inside. Just plug it in to any TV with a standard VGA or a display port, or get an HDMI adapter. $89 -WOW!

Online andyg0404

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Re: It may be 45 degrees but this is definitely the Winter Flickr!
« Reply #13 on: January 14, 2017, 04:18:43 PM »
Hello everybody and welcome back to My Weekly Flickr.

The weather continues to be very variable here from day to day. Yesterday was rather mild with a breeze but today it’s cold with a chance for a dusting of snow. I am cheered to read about Pitchers and Catchers in five weeks as anything that has the word Spring in it makes me feel a little warmer.

I continue my new found hobby of movie watching, at least one movie every day. Last night I watched Sisters with Tina Fey and Amy Poehler. I had never seen either of them before although I know who they are.  I confess I didn’t much care for it. They are two very talented ladies but the whole movie seemed to consist of them trading clever lines back and forth and neither of them played particularly sympathetic characters. And a long time ago I stopped watching movies that entail mindless destruction of the sort that takes place in this one as part of the plot. The only time I laughed was as the credits were rolling and they ran the outtakes. This morning I watched the Alfred Hitchcock film Stage Fright with Jane Wyman and Marlene Dietrich. I had confused it with Witness for the Prosecution, another Marlene Dietrich picture which I plan to watch the next time it runs. I taped it from TCM the other night; it has a surprise ending. Imagine my surprise when the tape stopped before the movie did. As you may guess I was not pleased. I have a movie encyclopedia so I know how it turned out but I wanted to see it. So I went to TCM online to find out when it would run again. And I was very pleasantly surprised to discover TCM on demand, something I was totally unaware of. Because I get TCM through Verizon I can watch any movie on the schedule, on the Internet, for one week after it airs on television. So I found Stage Fright and got to watch the last ten minutes on my computer. It was a very enjoyable film. The best recent movie I’ve seen is Brooklyn which was really very good, an intelligent plot, well written and well-acted and deeply moving. I regret that I never got around to reading the novel it was based on.

Early in the week I took a walk up to the Guggenheim Museum to see the Agnes Martin exhibit.  I’ve written many times about the fact that I just don’t understand abstract art and decided to see this exhibit to find out if I could draw something from it that has been lacking in all my other viewings. It was this review in the NY Times that made me decide to go as the opening paragraph speaks about the problems many people like me have with abstract art.   All of her work is very abstract and the star of this show was a series of 12 paintings referred to as The Islands. There are many illustrations in the article and one of them shows several paintings from the Islands series.

I have to confess it still eludes me. I stood in front of them and walked back and forth between the twelve canvases of Islands and I did see slight variations in the color and noted the differences in the panels but it didn’t say anything to me. I don’t have any sense of what the artist was trying to display. I don’t have any concept of what the artist wants me to feel when I stand in front of them. I was going to say they just exist but all art just exists. I can’t see the beauty within them. I am not an unimaginative person and I can appreciate Mondrian’s geometric patterns but perhaps that’s because they have color while many of Martin’s canvases are monochromatic. Part of it may be my vision, lacking depth perception I had to close one eye so as not to see double. But I believe great art should move me in some way and these canvases just don’t move me.

When I emailed my brother, who is a fan, with my thoughts this was his reply:

Well the Islands paintings are certainly the most resistant.  I decided to skip them when I went through and I found that as I walked up the ramp, the paintings, particularly after the 4th ring, became steadily more interesting and beautiful.  The last ring or two were the most rewarding.  But I agree, she’s a difficult sell.  In some ways seeing a lot of her work together is better than seeing any individual piece.

So I replied:

What do you see in these paintings, the ones on the upper levels that you find interesting and beautiful. Can you put it in words?

And this was his response.

No, it’s a Zen experience.  The paintings are immense and calm, they envelope you, and then you become aware of the subtle differences and of the immense control that went into making them by hand.  You need to give them time but it’s like having an out-of-body experience.  Or not, as the case may be.  Crowds do not help.  And the Island sequence is, frankly, not the best way to experience her work.  From what I can tell, the show has been a big success, on  free evenings the lines wrapped around the building.

As I’ve aged my tastes in art have changed and I find myself enjoying things now that previously didn’t move me but I just don’t see that happening with art of this nature. While I was there I enjoyed revisiting the Impressionists in the Thannhauser gallery, it’s been a long time since I visited the museum, a search of my emails shows it was back in October 2012 for Picasso Black and White. There is a very large Camille Pissarro painting on display, The Hermitage at Pontoise, which is truly a brilliant painting. I stood admiring it for some time and went back for a second look before I left. There were lots of other wonderful paintings by Gaugin, Cezanne, Manet, Monet and Picasso among others. You can see a selection at the Guggenheim site here

While I was visiting, there was a troop of small schoolchildren in the museum and I thought it was a very odd show to bring an 8 year old to but perhaps they got something out of it that I didn’t.

Well, let’s move on now from the abstract image to our Flickr images.

Andy G.



Wedding Dress Fun

Jen & Rachel


Chloe in leopard print

Posing for Miss Lisa

how to curtsy...

1977 Miss Travestí

I am such a shopaholic! But is the top nice btw? 😜

Online andyg0404

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Re: It may be 45 degrees but this is definitely the Winter Flickr!
« Reply #14 on: January 21, 2017, 05:11:14 PM »
Hello everybody and welcome back to My Weekly Flickr.

When I was thinking of things I would do when I retired one of the first things I thought I would do was clean my kitchen as it really needed it. Two weeks in and I hadn’t found time in the day and I confess I really wasn’t motivated to do it. I finally decided enough procrastinating and cleaned everything including the microwave and stove. Turns out they’re white!  I’ll try to be more attentive to them going forward.

I continue to watch movies every day, all of the ones this week were from TCM and I’ll mention two.  An American in Paris with Gene Kelly, Leslie Caron and Oscar Levant which was absolutely sensational. The dancing by each of the leads singularly and together was really special. Just a great, old fashioned musical.  And Stormy Weather with Lena Horne and Bill “Bojangles” Robinson, along with Fats Waller, Cab Calloway and the Nicholas Brothers, among others. This was also filled with singing and dancing, many iconic tunes like the title song and Ain’t Misbehavin. This was rollicking good fun. The film ends with Cab Calloway doing his act in a nightclub and the last part features the Nicholas brothers, tap dancers extraordinaire. Here are two four minute clips of the brothers dancing. And these guys can really dance.

Cab Calloway & Nicholas Brothers Fayard Nicholas Harold Nicholas On Stormy Weather

Nicholas Brothers - Down Argentine Way (1940)

Early in the week I went to MOMA to see the Francis Picabia exhibit. I really didn’t know much about him at all.  It was an enormous installation and it was really like seeing six different artists as he changed genres a number of times, starting out as an Impressionist, then moving back and forth between abstract and figurative art, and going through phases of Cubism, Dada and soft core pornographic works. I found it a fascinating show and there were a number of things in it I really liked. I wish MOMA posted all the objects on the website like the Met does. I found it interesting that he not only signed his paintings in large letters but inscribed the title as well in many of them.  Afterwards I wandered through the permanent collection and saw my old favorites, Van Gogh, Matisse, Monet and the wall in the corridor with Wyeth, Sheeler and Hopper. I was disappointed that Hopper’s Esso station wasn’t on view, it wasn’t on view the last time I was there either and I’m surprised as it’s such an iconic picture. Perhaps it’s still out on loan somewhere. The museum wasn’t mobbed but there were certainly a lot of people visiting. I’m really not fond of MOMA, I went the week before last and after paying I had to ask for my money back when they told me I wouldn’t be able to see the Picabia show for another hour and a half. But I went back as my brother, who is a member, sent me a guest pass. I just don’t find it a particularly inviting venue, give me the Met any day.

Here’s the NY Times review of the exhibit, like the Agnes Martin review I mentioned last week, this review made me want to see the Picabia exhibit and I’m glad it did.

This is a link to the museum website description of the show. There are several videos available and I recommend watching the second one, How to See Francis Picabia with a MOMA curator. It’s a five minute guided tour of the installation.

And this is MOMA’s Twitter feed with lots of illustrations from the show.

On Friday I took the long walk up to 72nd Street and York Avenue for Sotheby’s Old Masters preview. No blockbuster paintings in this collection but, as always, there were many beautiful things to look at. There were lots of attributed to, follower of and school of, as well as paintings that were identified as being the work of the famous artist and his school. A number of rather beautiful Botticelli’s with this designation.  Below are some of the items I was particularly taken with.

Orazio Gentileschi HEAD OF A WOMAN – It doesn’t appear so on the website but when I was standing in front of this painting it appeared to be back lit and luminous. I saw a wonderful exhibit at the Met many years ago of paintings by the Gentileschi’s, father and daughter, Orazio and Artemisia. I don’t believe many come up in the auctions.

ROSA BONHEUR TWO RECUMBENT TIGERS – I haven’t seen many Bonheurs either and this is a lovely watercolor of two tigers at rest.

JEAN-AUGUSTE-DOMINIQUE INGRES PORTRAIT OF THE SCULPTOR CHARLES DUPATY – I was pleased to come across this pencil portrait by Ingres, one of my favorite artists. Again, something that he must have knocked off quickly but that fully caught the essence of the sitter.

Johannes Cornelisz. Verspronck  PORTRAIT OF MARGARETHA DICX (1634-1697) – The Dutch were well represented and this portrait of a well to do woman is simple, spare and beautiful. Her lush coat and understated jewelry and her contented posture and mien were well captured.

Jacob Isaacksz. van Ruisdael WOODED LANDSCAPE WITH FIGURES ON A ROAD – Another Dutch painting, showing a woods with a bright blue, though cloudy, sky.

Francis Cotes, R.A. PORTRAIT OF ALICE, COUNTESS OF SHIPBROOK – I had never heard of Cotes until I was in the Frick several years ago and they put his two full length portrait paintings up on view. Not the most attractive woman but a sympathetic portrait.

GEORGE ROMNEY PORTRAIT OF LADY GEORGIANA SMYTH    - Romney is in the Frick and this is very much like his other portraits, and with a boy in a dress.

FRANÇOIS BOUCHER VENUS AND ADONIS – And finally, two offerings from Boucher, another artist in the Frick. This mythological painting, according to the website, was painted when Boucher was about 17 years old and still a student. A very precocious one. His talent was evident at this early age.

FRANÇOIS BOUCHER  RURAL LANDSCAPE WITH A YOUNG GIRL LEANING ON A FOUNTAIN – This drawing is another example of art that I think to myself how pleased I would be to wake up every day and see it hanging on my wall. Serene and calm are the opening comments on the website describing the drawing.

These are links to the full lists of items offered for auction.

Master Paintings & Sculpture Evening Sale

Master Paintings & Sculpture Day Sale

Master Paintings & 19th Century European Art

Old Master Drawings

Well, that seems to be it for this week. I think the lights are beginning to Flickr now.

Andy G.

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Re: It may be 45 degrees but this is definitely the Winter Flickr!
« Reply #15 on: January 28, 2017, 03:47:31 PM »
Hello everybody and welcome back to My Weekly Flickr.

We’ve had a couple of mild days but as the weatherman said this morning, it feels like January today. Cold and windy, but at least it’s not raining. Which is especially pleasing to me as I am meeting my brother for dinner this evening. We didn’t plan it this way but it turns out it’s the Chinese New Year and we’re having Chinese food. I’m looking forward to it.

I continue watching two movies a day and this week among the movies I watched  was It’s Always Fair Weather with Gene Kelly, Dan Dailey, Cyd Charisse and Michael Kidd. It was very enjoyable. A real old style musical with wonderful songs and dance numbers.  Here are two scenes from it. The first has Gene Kelly dancing on Roller Skates. 

The second has Dolores Gray singing and dancing with an ensemble of male dancers doing acrobatic dance steps.

I’m always amazed when I see someone do a standing back flip which the dancers do in this sequence.

Last night I watched It’s A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad, World from 1963, a comedy with just about every popular comedian active back then, in addition to Spencer Tracy, the nominal star. It’s a film that I know I wanted to see as a kid but never did. It’s too bad as I’m sure I would have enjoyed it then. I really didn’t care for it at all now. It was too long, Ethel Merman screamed throughout the picture rather than sing, and it was filled with mindless destruction of the type that really turns me off. It had a load of comedians that I like but I didn’t find it funny in the least. It got a good review in the Times and was successful so I guess it’s me.

I mentioned last year that one of the things I looked forward to in retirement was that I wouldn’t have to choose which auction preview to attend when Christie’s and Sotheby’s had their competing auctions. And this is my first chance to put that into action. I wrote about the Sotheby’s auction preview last week and this week I can write about the Christie’s. Unfortunately Christie’s website isn’t as nice as Sotheby’s, the illustrations are smaller and don’t enlarge in a user friendly way.  I was going to link to a page where you can download the catalog but I just checked the site and they no longer offer the catalog now that the auction has taken place.  I’ve listed several things I liked below but I’m also including these  links to the two webpages with all of the items in the two auctions.

Old Master Prints

Old Master Drawings

It looks like this was the star of the auction, it went for more than three times the low estimate of $500,000. A very busy painting with a lot going on.
Peter Paul Rubens - Scipio Africanus welcomed outside the gates of Rome, after Giulio Romano

Bellotto was the nephew of Canaletto and both painted views of Venice which I very much enjoy, great details. This has been removed from the Christie's website but I found it at ArtNet
BERNARDO BELLOTTO  - Vuë de la Grande Place du Vieux Marché, du coté, Dresde

I mentioned seeing an edition of this drawing at the Met recently and here it is again, it tickles me.

Last week I mentioned Bonheur’s tigers at Sotheby’s and here’s another animal drawing of cattle, an independent work rather than a study for a larger painting according to the website. 
ROSA BONHEUR - Salers cattle in the Auvergne

There were multiple offerings for Goya, Tiepolo, Durer and Rembrandt. I’ve chosen one of each here although I confess it’s a fairly random selection as everything I saw I very much enjoyed.
FRANCISCO DE GOYA Y LUCIENTES  - El famoso Americano, Mariano Ceballos, from: The Bulls of Bordeaux

GIOVANNI DOMENICO TIEPOLO - Two plates from: The Flight into Egypt

ALBRECHT DÜRER - Saint Jerome in his Study


And now I think it’s time for the Flickrs.

Andy G.


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Re: It may be 45 degrees but this is definitely the Winter Flickr!
« Reply #16 on: February 04, 2017, 05:46:50 PM »
Hello everybody and welcome back to My Weekly Flickr.

Chilly day today, 16 degrees on my thermometer this morning when I went out for my first walk. The sun was blinding but didn’t shed any warmth. But it was clear and it looks like it will warm up a little over the next few days.

I lost a battle with Verizon last month about keeping a promotional discount, the first time it’s happened. So I was leery when I spoke with them this morning about the second discount which expired on Feb 1st. But I was pleased that they agreed to reinstate this one and bring my bill back to its original bottom line, something I successfully negotiated last year. Of course with Verizon you always have to wait to actually see the bill to know if you’ve really won or not. I’ve had to go back after receiving a new bill and make them understand that they weren’t living up to what they had agreed to. With Verizon, never accept an increase, always call them up and try to negotiate a better deal. If you get someone who is inflexible just hang up and then try again with the next agent. I’ve done well over the years with this philosophy.

I watched a bunch of musicals this week, the best being what is considered the greatest musical of all time, Singin’ in the Rain which for me really lived up to its praise. I was surprised to discover I had never seen the entire film, just several famous scenes like Gene Kelly actually singing and dancing in the rain. Sick with a temperature of 103 degrees while doing so according to Wikipedia. If you remember the plot, the movie is about the changeover from Silent films to talkies and how the actors and actresses voices came to be important. Jean Hagen plays a popular star whose voice is close to unbearable. She and Gene Kelly make the film and it’s booed because of her voice. To save the film, unbeknownst to Hagen, Kelly, Donald O’Connor and the movie studio boss have Debbie Reynolds dub in her voice speaking the lines as well as doing the singing.  Interestingly it turns out that Jean Hagen had a wonderful singing voice and in one of the scenes you see Jean Hagen lip syncing, while Debbie Reynolds is supposedly singing, when actually it is Jean Hagen’s voice being dubbed in. At the opening of the redone film Jean Hagen makes a speech and the audience doesn’t understand why she doesn’t sound the way she did in the movie. When the audience clamors for her to sing she blackmails the studio owner into having Debbie Reynolds stand behind a curtain and dub her voice as she did in the film and stipulates that Reynolds will have to continue to do her dubbing for her five year contract which would effectively stall her career. Reynolds, after urging from Kelly, Donald O’Connor and the studio head, agrees to do it. While Hagen is "singing,"  they raise the curtain revealing Reynolds as the talent and then announce her as the real star of the film. Everyone in the film was brilliant. My brother thinks the real star of the film is O’Connor who does a tour de force job on the musical number Make Em Laugh. This is from the IMDB website speaking of the act:

For the "Make Em Laugh" number, Gene Kelly asked Donald O'Connor to revive a trick he had done as a young dancer, running up a wall and completing a somersault. The number was so physically taxing that O'Connor, who smoked four packs of cigarettes a day at the time, went to bed (or may have been hospitalized, depending on the source) for a week after its completion, suffering from exhaustion and painful carpet burns. Unfortunately, an accident ruined all of the initial footage, so after a brief rest, O'Connor--ever the professional--agreed to do the difficult number all over again.

And this is a link to a video of it.

As I’ve mentioned there hasn’t been much going on in the way of art but I’m pleased to say there are three new shows that I expect to be going to in the next month. This week I visited the Frick museum for a small show of objects, Pierre Gouthière: Virtuoso Gilder at the French Court. The exhibit is in the two rooms on the lower level of the museum and contains 23 items, incense burners, candelabras, firedogs, a desk, a clock, a doorknob and other things. They’re ornate and beautiful but for me not overly emotionally satisfying like a wall painting. This is a link to the Frick website description of the exhibit. Off to the left are many more tabs with details about the artist and his works. The Visual Index link illustrates all of the items in the exhibit. It’s hard to see the details on many of these items but they really are remarkable when you stand in front of them. This is a link to the New York Times review of the exhibit with illustrations that are blown up to show more of the detail. As I wandered through the rest of the museum saying hello to old friends I came across a small painting by Richard Parke Bonington that I don’t believe I’ve seen before. It’s a beach scene and you can see it here Be sure to enlarge it. The Oval room was closed for installation of a Turner exhibit which will open towards the end of the month, another one I’ve been waiting for and look forward to seeing.

And now I think it’s time we visited the Flickrs.

Andy G.


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Re: It may be 45 degrees but this is definitely the Winter Flickr!
« Reply #17 on: February 11, 2017, 04:38:42 PM »
Hello everybody and welcome back to My Weekly Flickr.

A veritable smorgasbord of weather this week. Wednesday it was around 60 degrees, Thursday we received about 10 inches of snow and Friday the temperature was in single digits when I awoke. Today it’s mild again.  I guess this makes sense in light of the fact that one groundhog said six more weeks of winter while the other groundhog disagreed. I just keep telling myself there’s lots of baseball in the newspapers which means Spring is coming. I’m definitely ready although I really shouldn’t complain, this was our first significant snow of the season. Hope we don’t have another one. Thursday was so miserable that for the first time since I retired I didn’t go for my walks. I heard the wind howling all day. After I did my exercises I looked out the window and the wind was blowing the snow sideways and I decided it just didn’t make sense to go out in. I took an extra 30 minutes on the bicycle to try and make up for it.  My foot has been bothering me and I think I’m going to continue the second bicycle ride and give up one of my walks in an attempt to let the foot calm down. With the snow and ice walking was fairly treacherous anyway. I was in the City early in the week and decided to stop by my office to say hello. When I walked in my co-worker looked at me and with a smile on his face said I looked different. I said, you mean I look happy, and we both laughed. I confess I am happy not to be working any more.

The reason I was in New York was to visit the Morgan Library for their just opened exhibit, Treasures from the Nationalmuseum of Sweden: The Collections of Count Tessin. It was excellent. The Count was an 18th Century diplomat and art collector. He was friendly with many of the great artists of his day such as Boucher and Chardin and he commissioned their work. He also bought art and during his term as ambassador to France, in Paris, purchased an enormous collection of drawings and paintings at the 1741 auction of the Pierre Crozat former collection. Subsequently he returned to Stockholm and realized his collecting had left him in financial disarray. The Swedish Government stepped in and purchased a large amount of his collection which became the basis for the National Gallery of Sweden. There are 14 paintings and over 60 drawings in the exhibit, really fine things.  This is the Morgan Library press release for the exhibit. and this is an excellent recap of the show with many illustrations. I especially enjoyed the two Boucher paintings, The Triumph of Venus and The Milliner and Chardin’s Morning Toilette and Young Student drawing. Wonderful drawings by Rembrandt, Watteau and others and a really splendid chalk drawing with watercolor, a self-portrait of Hendrick Goltzius. I will definitely go back for another visit.

Afterwards I walked up to the main branch of the New York Public Library at 42nd Street to see an exhibit that’s been on my calendar for some time, A Curious Hand, the prints of Henri-Charles Guerard. Guerard was a 19th Century artist and print maker who worked with Manet among others. He created original and reproductive prints of artists like Rembrandt and Hokusai, the Japanese painter of those wood block prints I enjoy so much. One in particular in the show is The Assault of the Shoe which shows a troop of tiny Japanese men climbing over a western woman’s shoe. Another is Blind Men with an Elephant. There are images of his dog Azor, a still life showing a death’s head, a color etching of his son at age six and cartoon like images which he used to create calling cards for men. The exhibit closes in two weeks and if I hadn’t gone to the Morgan I probably would have missed it and I’m so pleased I didn’t as everything in it was beautiful and charming.  This is a PDF of the actual brochure that was handed out at the exhibit and there are illustrations of all the items I speak of.

I think it’s time now to check out the Flickrs.

Andy G.

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Re: It may be 45 degrees but this is definitely the Winter Flickr!
« Reply #18 on: February 18, 2017, 04:34:38 PM »
Hello everybody and welcome back to My Weekly Flickr.

It was a blustery week, cold and windy, but today it’s absolutely beautiful. I just got back from my final walk and all I wore was my flannel shirt as it was 63 degrees. Saying that reminds me of one of my favorite Soupy Sales jokes. He made an appointment to meet a friend and said, I’ll be there will bells on. And if it’s cold I’ll wear a hat! Ba dum bum.

Monday I went into the City for a gallery show at Richard L. Feigen & Co., THE HUMAN IMAGE: FROM VELAZQUEZ TO VIOLA. Walking up Fifth Avenue to the gallery the wind was so strong it kept pushing me back and made my eyes water. But it wasn’t raining or snowing so I guess I shouldn’t complain. The gallery is on 69th Street, off Madison Avenue, an area I’m quite familiar with as my father had a grocery store on Madison Avenue, just off 69th Street, some 50 years ago. As a kid I worked in it for a number of years. Directly above the store was the Stephen Radich Art Gallery. This was during the Vietnam war and Radich displayed anti-war art behind his big plate glass window which fronted Madison Avenue. One artwork attracted the attention of the New York police department which cited him for casting contempt on the American flag. It went to court as a case of artistic expression and after losing the case he brought it to the Supreme court which ruled in his favor. I remember my Father getting a call one night to come down to the store as someone had thrown something through Radich’s window and broken it. I remember Radich as being a nice guy.

There were some very nice things at the gallery, this is a link to the website with a discussion of the exhibit.

These are some of the items I enjoyed. I had to do some searching on the Internet to find the images as the gallery didn’t post illustrations.

Hendrick Goltzius – Vulcan – I mentioned a self-portrait of Goltzius in last week’s discussion of the Count Tessin collection. This Vulcan radiates power.

Portrait of a gentleman, attributed to Diego Velázquez – At the gallery it did not have the attributed note so it’s possible its provenance has been confirmed.

Mary Cassatt - The Banjo Lesson, 1894 – Very nice pastel counterproof.

Max Beckmann, Portrait of a Turk, 1926 – I also wrote about the Beckmann exhibit at the Met and this certainly could have been on display for that.

Self Portrait With Palette - Marc Chagall – I’ve seen many Chagall’s and he’s not one of my favorite artists but I thought this was quite splendid.

Egon Schiele - Portrait of Elisabeth Lederer – I’ve seen a lot of Schiele, mostly at the Neue Gallerie, but I think this is a particularly fine work.

Thomas Eakins - Major Manuel Waldteufel – Eakins is always wonderful.

Among the many movies I watched and enjoyed this week was Kiss Me Kate. Howard Keel and Kathryn Grayson play the leads with Ann Miller in a supporting role. Bob Fosse, Bobby Van and Tommy Rall play Ann Miller’s suitors in the play and the four of them, along with Carol Haney and another female dancer, dance like crazy in the song and dance routine, From This Moment On.  I had never heard of Rall who was a ballet dancer, who also appeared in films.  Keenan Wynn and James Whitmore play two comical gangsters who do a wonderful song and dance routine, Brush up on your Shakespeare. The trivia for the film has this to say about their performance:

Keenan Wynn and James Whitmore neglected to rehearse their "Brush Up Your Shakespeare" number more than once or twice because they thought it was silly. When it came time to shoot it they made numerous fumbles and mistakes which the director thought was on purpose. He later complemented them on making it look like something a couple of thugs would perform. They never told him the truth.

The movie was absolutely brilliant from start to finish. The score was by Cole Porter and was outstanding. Below is a link to the routine From this Moment On.  Off to the right are links for the other musical numbers in the play which are equally good, especially Ann Miller’s Too Darn Hot.

On to the Flickrs.

Andy G.


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Re: It may be 45 degrees but this is definitely the Winter Flickr!
« Reply #19 on: February 18, 2017, 11:48:44 PM »
Thanks again Andy for the art lesson and gallery tour. I always enjoy it as much as your picture finds that follow. I hope our warm spell is a sign of spring around the corner as we have been lucky here not to have had much snow. Our temps have been up and down so any snow we get is almost gone in a few days and then it gets cold for a few days then warms up again. Probably why so many are sick here, well that and you do not see many people wash their hands too often.


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