Our Elders & Medical Cannabis

Medical edible marijuana image test-shoot for Stock Pot Images.

Medical edible marijuana image test-shoot for Stock Pot Images.

I got a weed-card for my elderly mother who is suffering a marked loss of appetite because of her heart and lung problems. The depths and length of her pain overcame her deep resistance to marijuana—my now-deceased younger brother had his own deep problems with weed, but had sobered up and been clean for 30+ years before his sudden death.

Earlier this summer we’d joined thousands of other Californians in the Kabuki shadow-puppet approval process. We got the weed-cards, and went to the dispensary. After a friendly consultation, we came home with edibles, sub-lingual drops, and paper slips. Smoking was out of the question, because her lungs are shot from when she smoked as a girl of 12 through her early forties.

The first forays were darkly comical. She’d noshed 20g of a 70g bar, thinking the dispensary dude was exaggerating about its effects. After I sternly warned her that even though the dispensary walls had murals of tigers, Buddha, and were purple, that this was Serious Meds, like the kind she gets from Rite Aid. OK then.

She was wobbly on her pins, but mentioned that the Two-Buck Chuck tasted sweet. This was news, as her taste-buds are blown out.

All this came up in an unrelated conversation with Ophelia Chong of Stock Pot Images; whom I’d worked with at the Workbook from 2004-2005. We were comparing notes on elder parents, and she suggested taking some photos next time I visited.

I did after bringing it up to my mom. She was amenable. I set up the shoot in her dining room, talking her through it. I kept photo gear to a minimum, focused on her hands, as she has a visceral reaction to cameras. Like blinking, moving, and so on. Made the shots, and sent them to Ophelia for approval.

To my delight, my images met Ophelia’s approval. I made an additional portrait of my mom, and kept the elapsed time very brief. She has little strength to sit up because it hurts. She was very patient with her son, and we made it happen.

She’s featured in Stock Pot Image’s online gallery “Our Elders”:

Medical edible marijuana image test-shoot for Stock Pot Images.

Setting up the story: test-shoot for Stock Pot Images.

Pop-Rivet Problem-Solving

Early 20th c. cordless drill with pop-rivet gun.

Early 20th c. cordless drill with pop-rivet gun.

A problem had me vexed. It looked like a glass wall, and I wasn’t having any fun with it.

Another problem needed my attention—a section of corrugated on my storage unit had lost its original self-tapping metal screw, and was flapping. I corralled my pop-rivet gun, hand drill, and went over to look at.

The first drill-bit snapped on the first hole. I replaced, and paid better attention to the problem. Better luck—made the next two holes through two sheets of corrugated metal siding. Yes, its a funky setup, but the price is right.

Setting the pop-rivet was delayed while I steamed in circles switching out the heads. I was chewing it up with pliers, until I saw the hex-wrench tucked into the handle of the gun. That alone would’ve saved 15 minutes, but I haven’t worked with this tool in several years. Forgetting is like that.

In the process I became reacquainted with some facts.

  1. I had more tools to solve the problem than I originally thought
  2. Bring all your tools to the worksite
  3. Older tools can work as well as newer ones in certain situations
  4. Problem-solving is a live-skill that gets better with practice.

The antique hand-drill. Originally made by Miller’s Falls in western Massachusetts, probably dates from the 1920s or earlier. Nickel-steel works, tropical hardwood handle with a screw-cap that you can store drill bits in. A true cordless. Picked it up at the Long Beach swap-meet back in the early 1990s, when all the ex-McDonnell-Douglas machinists were selling out their garage tools.

The pop-rivet gun was from 2009. Bought the high-dollar gun with the flexible head, and a bucket of various sizes and gauges. Of course I used the biggest, scarcest ones in stock.

Back to work.

I Save Memories

WhiteGlove Logo

WhiteGlove Logo


Film dyes can shift over time. The left was the original scan, the right is corrected. Because only Smurfs are naturally blue.

WhiteGlove Film Scanning came out of my search to economically scan my own 35 years of 35mm film archives. Five hundred rolls later, I launched the service. I bulk-scanned PhotoBiz Coach Beate Chelette’s 35mm family archives—over 220 rolls of 35mm; black and white to color—dating from early 60s through the early 2000s. Her family hadn’t seen these images in years, are now on DVDs to her sister and brother, in time for her mother’s birthday later this month.

As a lifelong photography professional I cherish my photographic memories and there are lots of them. After my father’s passing I took on the families archive consisting out of over 200 rolls of negatives. Some in great shape, some with heavy discoloration, and some fading away. For the longest time I eyeballed digitization services but the though of letting my images go to India, or even just shipping inside the US was very uncomfortable to me. When I found Larry Gassan and his white glove service everything changed. Larry took care of my concerns, my families precious 100 years of memories, and delivered everything sorted, tagged, and digitized. My family in Europe and I are now enjoying revisiting our childhood and family heirlooms. If you have memories to protect, contact him, best decision you will ever make. Beate Chelette

I save memories. 150202_Insta_r1

Taking That Second Look

llustration: Four Maos describing the Four Principles Of Color Printing, original photo taken at an antique store on Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA. May 2006.

llustration: Four Maos describing the Four Principles Of Color Printing, original photo taken at an antique store on Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA. May 2006.

I’ve been going back through archival images. There’s things I’ve learned that I didn’t know earlier. Like better techniques for rendering concepts through better use of color, advanced scanning of original film files, and so on.

In the “Four Maos” image, the emotional connection is that the colors pop. The boring tech description is setting the three colors on soft light, and the black on overlay, gives the color a luminance that a simple multiply won’t.

First things first.


141007_0815: “Frankenpack”. 1992 UD Trekker, outside pocket patched in stages.


Abandoned signage, July 1992. Steve’s Cafe, Highway 99, Tulare CA.


140916_1715: Prezzies. Swedish single-bit axe, and genuine Squirrel Coffee Cup. My day is made!


140914_1645: corroded bike, Ashland OR. #ashland #bike #sidewalk #twilight


140914_1230: Koto player, OSF, Ashland OR. After playing Japanese works, she retuned the koto and played Pachelbel’s “Canon in D” as her closing number. #koto #osf #ashland #solo


140913_1730: Ashland Springs Hotel from courtyard. Ashland, OR. #ashland #hotel #sunset #lights #golden