Category Archives: Dogs

Riddle of the Week! (Weekly Photo Challenge: Treat)

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Good Evening:

Riddle: In the pictures below, do the humans receive the treats, or do their benevolent canine overlords?

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Answer: Yes.

Welcome to Duboce Park, where the local businesses acknowledge the importance of dogs to the economy:

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This fellow in black has quite a sense of humor. His pet human with the pink hat has just used that blue thing to throw the ball (small white dot in the distance). The dog ignored the ball. And ignored it. And ignored it. Finally, the woman went to fetch it, at which point her benevolent canine overlord with the impish sense of human promptly sprinted to the ball and snatched it away, forcing her to chase him.

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A dog with a sense of humor. More anecdotal evidence that domestic canines have minds.

Did you know that dogs like apple cider?

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Neither did I.

We grumble and groan. They have fun. So who’s really the intelligent creature?

Vonn Scott Bair

Recipe: Feta with Honey-Apricot-Mustard-Thyme Glaze.

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Good Evening:

The original inspiration came from the New York Times, but no one in my family can resist experimenting with recipes. For us, cookbooks are less textbooks and more like collections of timidly proffered suggestions to ignore at our pleasure. The original recipe called for honey only as a glaze, but that didn’t seem quite flavorful to me.

Feta with Honey-Apricot-Mustard-Thyme Glaze.

Feta with Honey-Apricot-Mustard-Thyme Glaze.

Feta with Honey-Apricot-Mustard-Thyme Glaze

Ingredients

  • 1 8 oz. slab of feta cheese, patted as dry as possible with paper towels
  • 1 Tablespoon honey
  • 1 Tablespoon apricot preserves
  • 1 Teaspoon mustard
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh thyme leaves

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Line a small oven-safe baking dish with aluminum foil, place the feta on the foil, and bake for 8-10 minutes until the cheese turns springy. Remove from oven.
  3. Preheat the broiler.
  4. Stir the honey, apricot preservers, mustard and thyme together in a microwave-safe dish and microwave it on high for 45 seconds.
  5. Gently spread the mixture on top of the cheese until you have an even layer.
  6. Stick the baking dish with the coated feta under the broiler for one minute, then remove and inspect.
  7. If the glaze has not started to bubble, stick the cheese back under the broiler for one more minute ONLY. That should suffice.
  8. Remove from broiler, let cool for a few minutes, and carefully use a spatula to transfer the cheese to a serving dish. Everything is hot, so watch your fingers!
  9. Serve the cheese with crostini and watch your friends annihilate the appetizer.

You may use a small wheel of Brie as a substitute, however!, you must use a whole wheel, not a cut wedge. The Brie must be covered entirely in that famous white rind or it will melt into nothingness.

Enjoy!

Vonn Scott Bair

The Fine Art of the Front Stoop on a Friday Afternoon at 5:30 p.m.

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Good Evening:

Or the front porch. Or the lawn chair on the front lawn. I write of one of the under-appreciated almost-neccesities of life.

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San Francisco, California, Friday afternoon, 5:30 p.m., 10 April 2015. Just the right amount of breeze, just the right amount of cool. Dogs and their obedient humans enjoy their daily joyful reunions, followed by the daily stroll to the park.

Watching the world walk by on a Friday afternoon at 5:30 p.m. with a freshly-arrived magazine to read and an iPhone at one side playing vintage Dave Matthews Band and on the other side a rather decent dirt-cheap red in a clean wine glass.

And the world strolls by.

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The occasional nod to someone walking home who looks at your clean wine glass of dirt-cheap red and seems to think, “That looks like a good idea.” Sometimes even a mutual hello with someone you do not know.

And that makes the front stoop, or the front porch, or the lawn chair on the front lawn, one of life’s almost-necessities.

It restores sanity.

Vonn Scott Bair

Answer: A Slice of Heaven. (Weekly Photo Challenge: Thirds.)

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Good Evening:

Question: What do you get when you combine the world’s finest creatures, their obedient human servants, perfect Saturday morning weather, and San Francisco’s Park Presidio?

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Turns out one finds a lot of ways to use Thirds in your photo composition. If you mentally divide your pictures into imaginary 9 rectangle (3×3) grids as I do, you can put your subject in a variety of spaces. In the above portrait shot, the dog stands in the middle of the imaginary lower horizontal line, and the armrests and human head all point to the pup. The next shot shows the same treatment in a landscape orientation.

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And sometimes a picture “thirds” itself–here it’s sky, headlands, bay and beach.

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The above shot also shows a comparatively rare phenomenon–the shadow of the Golden Gate Bridge on the Marin Headlands. Most of the time, the morning fog won’t lift until the sun is well up into the sky.

The next show proved tricky to edit, especially when it came to arranging the composition in the 3×3 grid pattern.

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It’s a little subtle. The taller woman’s head rests at the intersection of the upper horizontal line and the left vertical line. Meanwhile, the darker dog rests at the intersection of the lower horizontal line and the right vertical line. So you have that nice 45 degree diagonal directing your eye to the happy canines.

Of course, the dogs care nothing of any of this. It’s Saturday, their humans treat them as they deserve, and they get to hang out with their fellow furry superior critters. Just one heck of a good day for a dog.

Vonn Scott Bair

Street People in San Francisco, Saturday, 13 September 2014. (Weekly Photo Challenge: Humanity)

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Good Morning:

Saturday morning had me up and running early, performing chores. For starters, I bought breakfast for the actors, directors and playwrights participating in a 24-hour theater festival (where you write, rehearse and perform a set of short plays in 24 hours, and yes it can be done). No matter where I went up and down Market Street, I saw something like this:

Market Street Near 7th, 13 September 2014

Market Street Near 7th, 13 September 2014

At 7:00 a.m. on a weekend morning, San Francisco’s homeless are still asleep on Market Street. Something so obvious to me now to which I had been so oblivious before: old age. Our homeless population has aged before our eyes and now they have to cope with advancing years.

Powell & Ellis, San Francisco, 13 September 2014

Powell & Ellis, San Francisco, 13 September 2014

And with age comes increasing physical disabilities. Oblivious me, I had never noticed the canes and wheelchairs before.

Powell Street Cable Car Turnaround, San Francisco, 13 September 2014

Powell Street Cable Car Turnaround, San Francisco, 13 September 2014

Sutter & Powell Streets, San Francisco, 13 September 2014

Sutter & Powell Streets, San Francisco, 13 September 2014

Market Street, near Stockton and 4th Streets, San Francisco, 13 September 2014

Market Street, near Stockton and 4th Streets, San Francisco, 13 September 2014

Yerba Buena Center, San Francisco, 13 September 2014

Yerba Buena Center, San Francisco, 13 September 2014

Polk Street Near Fulton, San Francisco, 12 September 2014

Polk Street Near Fulton, San Francisco, 12 September 2014

San Francisco has one of the largest gaps between the richest and poorest in America, and that gap becomes most obvious early on Saturday morning.

All photos taken Saturday, 13 September 2014 (except for the last, 8:00 a.m., 12 September 2014) with my point-and-shoot, cropped, edited and converted to B&W using iPhoto.

Vonn Scott Bair

San Francisco Candids, 6 September 2014.

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Good Morning:

Recent miscellaneous candid shots of San Franciscans living their lives. All photos taken with my point-and-shoot, some of which required heavy editing.

Buskers, Haight near Ashbury, 30 August 2014

Buskers, Haight near Ashbury, 30 August 2014

Relaxation, Yerba Buena Civic Center

Relaxation, Yerba Buena Civic Center

Orange.

Orange.

Heavy Metal, Market @ Stockton Street

Heavy Metal, Market @ Stockton Street

Chocolatiers with Samples, Market Street near Grant, 31 August 2014

Chocolatiers with Samples, Market Street near Grant, 31 August 2014

Sidewalk Vendor Next to Burger King, 8th & Market, San Francisco, California

Sidewalk Vendor Next to Burger King, 8th & Market, San Francisco, California

Skateboarders in Front of City Hall, San Francisco, California, 5 September 2014

Skateboarders in Front of City Hall, San Francisco, California, 5 September 2014

Chuck E. Cheese

Chuck E. Cheese

Woman & Dog, San Francisco Civic Center, 5 September 2014

Woman & Dog, San Francisco Civic Center, 5 September 2014

A Bit of a Tangle in Duboce Park

A Bit of a Tangle in Duboce Park

Have fun this weekend.

Vonn Scott Bair