Wednesday, August 7, 2019

An Upgrade, and Lee Krasner

A couple of weeks ago we got a flyer in the mail from our internet provider, offering us a deal to speed up our service. Woo hoo! Our internet was really slow, and we had to run a long cable from the front of the house -- where the phone jack is located -- to the living room to keep the router close at hand. It wasn't the best situation. So we jumped at the chance to upgrade.

We got a new "hub" in the mail to replace our old routers, which I shipped back for recycling. And yes! It works so well we could remove the cable running through the house. No more trip hazard!

The downside, though, is that our "Olga cams" -- the household cameras we installed to keep an eye on the dog during the day -- no longer work. I have tried and tried to connect them to the new router without success. Yesterday I even erased the app from my phone, reset the cameras, reinstalled the app, re-added the cameras and nada.

Looking online, I see that others have had this problem, but fixing it has involved some combination of playing with the advanced router settings and an alphabet soup of technical terms and abbreviations, which I don't understand and don't want to wade into. So for now, no Olga cam.

I decided to spend my time gardening instead, and yesterday did some weeding and pruning. I cleaned up the pots at the corner of the house where the passionflower vine lives -- they were full of weeds and spent annuals, and I pulled all that out (leaving the vine, obviously) and added some fresh soil and topped it off with a layer of pebbles to hopefully prevent the weeds returning.

Then, in the afternoon, I went to the Barbican to see the Lee Krasner exhibit. (Every few days it's good to have a reason to get out of the house -- to change clothes and shave!) Krasner was a New York artist who for years was best known as the wife of Jackson Pollock. In the last few decades her art seems to have attracted more attention in its own right, and with good reason. She was an energetic, creative painter of lively, colorful canvases.

I went to see a retrospective of her work at the Brooklyn Museum in January 2001, and I wrote in my journal at the time that my favorite painting was one called "Milkweed."

And at the Barbican yesterday, there it was -- "Milkweed." Funny to think I've seen this painting twice, on both sides of the Atlantic and 18 years apart! When I last saw it, 9/11 hadn't even happened yet. It was another world.

By the way, that painting is easily as tall as I am (six feet). Probably taller, actually.

Last night, inspired by the show, I watched the 2002 movie "Pollock," with Ed Harris and Marcia Gay Harding, which tells Pollock's and Krasner's story. I saw it in the theater when it came out, and it was well worth a second viewing. It's enough to make a person want to stop drinking.

(Top photo: Artsy crosswalks near the Barbican tube station.)


  1. Interesting crossing...making people stop and think? Even striped ones should be across the road,so with pedestrian flow!
    I've had the new router..much improved speed,not that I download much,but iplayer plays smoothly. any problem is with my ancient computer!

    Pebbles keep moisture in, which is good..but can cook the roots of shallow rooted plants.

    Good to get out! Also to see artwork in its real size..images can be deceiving.

  2. I heard that you were five feet eleven and three quarters and not six feet tall but that could be an admin error I suppose.

  3. I love that crossing!
    It is odd to think that now you've seen the same painting twice in such different times and places.
    Do you suppose Olga is glad of her new privacy? She'll be throwing parties and ordering pizza, drinking all of your gin and watching Dogs Gone Wild while you're at work.

  4. love the crosswalks in your photo! good you have faster internet service. our wifi barely makes it to the back bedroom. I have to turn off my cellular data when I'm back there otherwise I can't tell when the wifi has dropped me. I used up all our data one month before I figured it out. I'm trying to do some yard clean up and maintenance but it is so hot out there, half an hour at a time is about all I can stand even in the shade.

  5. Hey, I don't know if I'd step on that crossing. It looks too nice!

  6. That is a very cool crosswalk. Now I think they should all be so creative. Hope you figure out what's up with the Olga cam.

  7. I had to Google Lee Krasner to remind myself of her work. I like it and I especially like your favorite. I remember seeing that movie at the theatre too. I should see if I can find it to watch again. I love that artistic crosswalk too. Your story about the Olga-cam made me think of my own technical failures. I started having trouble with my Apple TV box a while ago. It plays Netflix okay but it keeps dropping shows on Amazon Prime. So, I bought a new Apple TV box, plugged it in and could not get it to work. I've watched instruction videos and talked to the so called "geniuses" at the Apple store but, no luck. So I plugged the old one in and the new one sits in it's box on a shelf. I need to call someone to hook it up but, I just keep putting it off.

  8. I'm happy to know more about Lee Krasner. I like that painting a lot and I'm glad she's getting some attention.

  9. Just catching up here. I love all the photos, especially all those gorgeous petunias. They really are beautiful. Your Olga looks so comfy in that photo. You have a wonderful day, hugs, Edna B.

  10. Brother Steve, Another Informative Episode. Dig It. Would Have Enjoyed Watching The Boy Dog All Day While I Was Working.


  11. A shirt for you!

  12. I remember seeing Pollack when it came out, too! I loved it then, but the details are fuzzy now. Perhaps I should watch again. And isn't it a happy problem to have to devise reasons to get dressed and get out the house. Now that I am in the lull between proposal and book, I find myself doing the same thing. Quel luxury. An art exhibit sounds perfect, thanks for the inspiration.

  13. GZ: I added a layer of soil on top of the existing roots, and then the pebbles -- so hopefully they won't add much heat.

    YP: I'm 6'2, actually!

    Ms Moon: That's what Dave and I said! She'll be hosting illicit dog parties!

    Ellen: Yeah, it's nice to have dependable WiFi throughout the house, now.

    Red: It does, doesn't it?!

    Robin: I know! Why don't they make them all like that?

    Sharon: As is often said, technology is great -- when it works!

    Colette: She's an interesting painter, for sure. This is apparently her first European show in decades.

    Edna: Olga loves the bed!

    Padre: A dog cam is a useful (and fun) thing!

    Susan: Actually, my co-worker needs that shirt. She really IS a book wizard. She knows far more about books than I do!

    37P: Yeah, it's pretty great to be able to decide when and why to leave home! Enjoy your in-between time!

  14. I follow MGH on Instagram - she's a very interesting lady in her own right!