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I only know this is the 5,050th post because the wordpress dashboard aka diagnostics shows me statistics.

Over 10 years ago, I posted for the 1000th time here. It astonished me then that I had made time for posting one thousand times, and you the audience made time to read/see photos for a thousand times as well.   Then together we passed other milestones like 1280.  On the 10-year mark, I announced I’d posted 3287 times here.  The most recent post marking a milestone was the big 4000 here.

The 5000th post passed unremarked upon back in September, but here we are, eight days from the 15th anniversary of post 0001,  with a big 5050, a number of posts that defies my ability to process. 

Could I compress the content of 5,050 posts over a 15-year period of time into –say–a half dozen photos to represent this period of time?  Or could you chose one photo of the +41,000 photos I’ve posted since November 2006 to be a emblematic of this blog?  I can’t imagine how I’d choose, although maybe some of you might.  More on compression later.

In my 4000th post I said, “the number doesn’t matter, because the story never ends anyhow.  …  there’s no one story; not even one person has just one story or even one fixed understanding of a single story, since we –like water– are protean, ever shifting.  No matter . . .   we pursue nonetheless.” 

It’s time to revise that because numbers DO matter;  my life, our lives . . .  are made up of a finite number of days, a limited number of hours to be productive and alive in.

The past year has been tough, with minor but bedeviling challenges, yet I am blessed with continued health and time.  Thanks for reading the blog, showing your ongoing interest in one view of many of New York harbor enterprise and activity involving both regular traffic and transient. Some of you even comment, and your constructive comments add detail and insights germane to New York working harbor, the stuff of this blog.   You make this a virtual community.  It’s especially satisfying when you send in photos.  If I don’t use what you send immediately or at all, it’s because I haven’t figured out when or where to post them.

Finally, thanks to my dear friend bowsprite for creating the 5050 graphic, as she did previous ones.  Check out her Etsy site here and order stuff so that she keeps busy with her variegated and quirky compositions that never cease to charm me. 

Let me follow up on that compression idea from the first paragraph.  I love the 5050 image above because, besides marking this waypoint, it compresses her perception into its chosen rendition:  rivets, hull color, draft markings, stains, dings, and all.  I say chosen renditions because, face it, the machines and people from the floating world of this blog are made up of countless features and details.  There are too many of them to all be rendered.  So illustration, photography, fiction or nonfiction prose, even music or any art requires choosing.   Bowsprite selects what’s in and what’s out and puts them back together– the regular or the haphazard way– guided by the whims of a free moment.  That’s compression aka creativity.

Seriously, bowsprite, I can’t thank you enough.

Related:  If you look at the top of the page, you’ll see a new heading, Publications.  There you’ll find a representative sampling of my publications in the past decade.  Enjoy.  I’m traveling again, so I might or might not post tomorrow.

Entirely unrelated:  If you’re looking to fill a long half hour watching an Australian kayaking to work rather than driving as a means to better understand land forms, human activity, and water flow, click here for Four-Day Commute to Work by Beau Miles.  I hope you enjoy it.  For all of his documentaries, click here.

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