The Restaurant, the Romance & the Speakeasy Cover Art

The Restaurant, the Romance & the Speakeasy Cover Art

The Restaurant, the Romance & the SpeakeasyPart 2 of The Ruby Chronicles© 2016 Les Becker

The Restaurant, the Romance & the Speakeasy
Part 2 of The Ruby Chronicles
© 2016 Les Becker

Not sure if this will be the final cover or not, but I like it. It “feels” the same as the cover for The Waitress. It fits.

Random Song-for-the-Day: “Stressed Out” – twenty one pilots

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"The Waitress, the Whiskey & the Handcuffs" is for sale in digital and paper formats at
The Les Becker Bookshop.
A Fascination with Fakery

A Fascination with Fakery

"Applefield Sky"PhotoShopped on October 20, 2007

“Applefield Sky”
PhotoShopped on October 20, 2007

Portal2theUniverse (AKA “Gateway to the Multiverse”) called me a Prestidigitator a couple of weeks ago. At first I wondered if I should be offended, but his actual opinion of Where the Walls are Soft seems to be somewhat admiring, so I ended up feeling fairly complimented – sort of like when somebody calls me “weird”. If I’m going to cultivate the persona, I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised when others jump to the conclusion that I really must be so, even when somebody sees through the smokescreen and outs me to the Internet at large.

Prestidigitation (what a groovy-cool word) aside, when I’m taking pictures, I really want the perfect shot from the get-go, and generally only want to open Photoshop to resize the images for my blogs. Sometimes, though, Hilary Federwhore insists on taking the shot exactly as she sees it in her viewfinder, completely ignoring the vision in my mind.

At other times, she will just play the bitch and focus on something behind the very obvious, perfectly-centered object that is my intended focal point, prompting me to swear like the sailor me ol’ Da’ used to be. The apple didn’t fall far from the tree.

“…and speaking of ‘apples’…” (Har Har), I saw this HUGE field of them on my Walk-About yesterday, and got some really nice shots. The “field” was the four-foot width of grass, a median of sorts, running the length of Wellington St., and those apples are really tiny, little crab apples that can be encircled with the thumb and forefinger, so the vision in my head was probably a little over-the-top to begin with.

Hil cooperates beautifully when I break all the “how-NOT-to-treat-your-electronics” rules, in that she has survived being dropped into puddles (accidentally), being set down in wet bathtubs (several times now, but still, accidentally), getting caught in recent, sudden torrential rainstorms, and being splashed by passing cars. She refuses to die. Granted, I haven’t drowned her in coffee yet, but that’ll no doubt happen at some point. I’ll let you know how that goes.

Yesterday, to get the POV you see in “Applefield Sky”, I set her down in wet grass. On purpose. Even with her ass wet and freezing, Hil is a trooper, and gamely took the shot, but she was pissed off enough to leave the traffic and buildings in it, and this was the raw result:

"Applefield Sky Original 'Apples'"Taken October 20, 2007 with Canon PowerShot A550

“Applefield Sky Original ‘Apples'”
Taken October 20, 2007 with Canon PowerShot A550

Not the vision in my head.

The day before, I had snapped a “Skyscape” picture, as I had told David McMahon I was going to break the flower addiction with a new subject.

"Applefield Sky Original 'Sky'"Taken October 19, 2007 with Canon PowerShot A550

“Applefield Sky Original ‘Sky'”
Taken October 19, 2007 with Canon PowerShot A550

Crap photo if ever I saw one.

So I spent waaaay too much time last night in Photoshop, removing the traffic and buildings from the “apple” shot and superimposing the result over the “skyline” shot, when I was supposed to be doing homework. And waaaay too much time today, writing this post, when I’m supposed to be doing homework and clogging up the vacuum with several sweaters’ worth of cat hair.

But, hey – I am a Prestidigitator. That’s what I do.

Random Song for the Day: “U-Fig” – System of a Down

This Post Brought to You by Remote Control

This Post Brought to You by Remote Control

"Caught by Surprise"Taken October 2, 2006 with Sony DSC-S40

“Caught by Surprise”
Taken October 2, 2006 with Sony DSC-S40

This photo was taken last fall, and it took me forever to find the original. I have too many computers and too many disks and I finally found it in my now defunct Zooomr account. Since it was snapped during a free-for-all with an unfamiliar camera, I’m not taking any blame for less-than-perfect clarity. I was able to remove the two strangers milling around in the shot. The result is hardly more than crude, but gone they are, so I still feel proud enough to post the photo.

And I’m not really here, either. I wrote this yesterday and set the post on auto-pilot, just to say Happy Holidays to the blogosphere. It’s Canuckian Thanksgiving Monday. As you read this, I am on a farm somewhere, killing livestock, drinking too much beer, and setting fire to a barn full of goats and llamas. Family traditions, yada yada…

This year, I’m thankful for Photoshop. And beer. Still. 😀

This poor guy, on the other hand…

Not So Thankful...Taken September 20, 2007 with Canon PowerShot A550

Not So Thankful…
Taken September 20, 2007 with Canon PowerShot A550

Random Song for the Day: “Canadian Idiot” – ‘Weird Al’ Yankovic
(Honest – this is what came up on the playlist…)

Meet the REAL King of Terabithia

Meet the REAL King of Terabithia

His name is Mike Valley. His favourite song is a toss-up between “Beth” by Kiss, and “My Ding-a-Ling”, by Chuck Berry. “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” runs a close second. He sang Karaoke before it was invented. He owns a rock polisher and eats Caramel Spread® sandwiches, and he’s the best sword-fighter in the world.

Les & Mike - 1973
34 years later, I have the exact same haircut…

About 10 minutes after this picture was taken, Mike swallowed the quarter hidden in his piece of cake, and spent the rest of the day pissed off about it. I had to Photoshop me over from the other side of the table (along with the window – you know, for the view), and poor Girl with the Plaid Pants got “smeared” out because I just didn’t want to share the limelight. Happy Almost Birthday to me.

I wish he was here – I’d give him his quarter with interest…

This post is for you, Mushy. Something to laugh about while you recuperate… did your mom put money in your birthday cakes? I wanna know…!

Not-So-Random Song for the Day: “My Ding-a-Ling” – Chuck Berry

Marketing My Kid – Hey! Everybody Helps Out Around Here…

Marketing My Kid – Hey! Everybody Helps Out Around Here…

Kyla2onBlack-2004-07-02

Kyla3onblack2004-07-02

KylaJuly2004onblack4-2004-07-02

KylaonBlack1-2004-07-02

More “People” buttons in the making! Yes, that’s right, folks – I have hired my own child for unpaid slave labour to help market this sitcom production. One of the above photos will be come Kyla’s HPB “People” button at the Flash site – the rest will be used on her brand new blog, which she has diced to call The Blog of Turkey.

Seriously, she chose this herself. The Turkey.

Check it out!

Random Song-for-the-Day: “Lets Get It Started” – The Black-Eyed Peas

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"The Waitress, the Whiskey & the Handcuffs" is for sale in digital and paper formats at
The Les Becker Bookshop.