Joel Sax Profile picture
Herder of cats, advocate 4 bipolar sufferers, progressive, retired peace activist, po8, Pomona College, photographer. Email since 1989. I block listers & haters
Aug 27, 2020 8 tweets 8 min read
Today, I went out to photograph some spots along a country road near our home. I have been making note of places where I want to pull over at various hours to photograph sunsets, landscapes, horses, etc. This desperation stems from... ...the dwindliing store of photos on my hard disk. Like The Lady of Shalott I am half sick of the shadows I create of my face. I took a diversion today by posting a picture of my foot wearing one of my art socks.
Aug 19, 2020 10 tweets 6 min read
One of the attractions of the San Joaquin Marsh is an island in the middle of one of the ponds that is covered with White Pelicans and Double Crested Cormorants. I have a confession about the cormorants: I have... ...never been close enough or had a powerful enough lens to see the tiny wisps of hair that constitute the "crests" on these birds. There are those who doubt that they exist. As far as I know there are only a handful of photos showing the crests...
Aug 18, 2020 7 tweets 5 min read
Here is the secret behind the existence of San Joaquin Marsh: it is a sewer. Here is the reasoning behind the construction of this artificial wetland. The water processing plant adjacent to the refuge cleanses runoff and sewage... ...of fertilizers and other urban nasties. You cannot pump clean water into the Upper Newport Bay and expect a healthy ecosystem. The water needs to carry nutrients that the ecological pyramid of the Bay depends on...
Aug 17, 2020 14 tweets 4 min read
Elements of my management of #bipolardisorder: a thread

1.) Medication. I couldn't work on many of these things until this laid down a foundation.

2.) Sleep. If I don't get enough of this, I will invite mania. But I've noticed something unusual lately... ...I am becoming manic even with enough sleep. I'm not sure of what is happening but it may be resolved with

3.) Stress control. Like everyone else, #QuarantineLife is taking its toll on me. I hardly see my friends except on Zoom. Socializing helps dispel the little blue devils.
Aug 16, 2020 9 tweets 2 min read
I worked hard to come back from the brink. I fight my illness nearly every day of my life. But I am not a hero for the abled to applaud. My life is my own to live, not as an example for those who have no clue of what I have experienced. #bipolardisorder It is dangerous for us to seek the fawning attention of the abled. It does not raise us in their eyes but lowers the body of all of us as human beings. While I will accept help from the abled if I need it, I am wary of it because of what may come attached.
Aug 15, 2020 11 tweets 7 min read
My hair's getting long, but not long enough to tie into a ponytail, which is my intention in this time when we avoid barbers. You can see how long my hair has become in the selfie I posted today. In it I sit at my desk... ...working on my laptop, my immense desk towering over me and clutter filling the space that is not filled by electronics. I chose black and white for this composition as I do for all my best selfies. It's unique because...
Aug 14, 2020 8 tweets 6 min read
Sometimes the goofiest pictures make for the best ones in my eyes.

I have this thing against making photos that seem to fit a template. Cat portraits and portraits in general often have this failing. I must confess... ...that maybe up to half the photos I take of my cats fit the standard portrait template for animals where the subject's complete face is looking straight at you from a very close distance. Some days in some cat groups...
Aug 10, 2020 8 tweets 6 min read
As promised, the cats arrived today along with a photo of me hiding my face. I have enough photos for maybe a week or two.

Sometimes I put up a blurry, out of focus photo because I like the composition. That is the case of one I took of Aphrodite. #photograph #photography #cat #Hemingwaycat #calicocat #OutOfFocus #cateyes #face
Joel Sax shared a photo with you from the Flickr app! Check it out:
Aug 9, 2020 11 tweets 6 min read
I'm about to put the pictures of the fire in the wetlands to bed (they were beginning to look alike). Starting tomorrow I am going to inflict cat photos on you. And some selfies.

But these are not what is making me unpopular tonight... ...I spoke up about people making an addict a hero. Look, I said, I resisted the peer pressure, the desire to alleviate boredom, self medication, etc. and I did not become an addict. Well they said "your high self confidence..."
Aug 8, 2020 11 tweets 7 min read
Fire is a given part of living in Southern California. If you live around the fringes of the metropolis, you've had one threaten or burn down your home at one time or another. In 2007, we had one come within three blocks of ours... ...stopped by the OCFD about ten feet from the houses. You could see the blackened patch of sage scrub for over a year, until a plentiful rain incited the wildflowers and grass to cover the spot. Our fire department...
Aug 6, 2020 17 tweets 7 min read
My recent outdoor photos have been vibrant -- I've been finding unlikely greens despite this summer drought -- but the canvas of my soul has been drab and disorganized. The undulations of a #depression... ...have evaded the consciousness of people exposed to me, but they do comment on my scatter-brainedness as if that is some kind of character flaw rather than a symptom of an illness. The people who probably need to see this don't follow me...
Aug 5, 2020 10 tweets 6 min read
I slept for fourteen or fifteen hours today after sleeping six the night before. Sleep is one of the most important things when you live with #bipolardisorder -- too much and you sink into a depression. Too little and... are the obnoxious life of the party. So my body fought off the mania by blasting me with an excessive night stupor. It made it hard to engage for very long with people on my online bipolar support group. Perhaps it was for the best given that I was such dismal company.
Aug 3, 2020 17 tweets 8 min read
Led a hike in the San Joaquin Marsh this afternoon. Brought my usual number of cameras but took fewer pictures than I had last week at Bolsa Chica. The weather was hot. Cool breezes blew across the ponds. I drank... ...all of my ice water. There were plenty of birds. The green around the ponds was surprisingly vibrant making it easy to see birds such as egrets and an Ibis. My group noted that there were far too few benches...
Aug 2, 2020 10 tweets 7 min read
Lately I have been struggling to get useful photos through a combination of multiple images plus cropping. I had an instructor who believed that you should always strive to get the shot right inside the frame that you have and never crop... ...but as I entered the real world of photography, I learned that many professional photographers left plenty of space between the subject and the margins. They then cropped to the image that they had always wanted. Today's picture of Aphrodite...
Aug 1, 2020 11 tweets 7 min read
A #Flickr friend of mine heard my cries of frustration and put me onto a means of "training" my followers by eliminating those who weren't commenting and rewarding those who did. My firewall... ...balked at installing the program that I needed to review my 1400 followers behavior, but I managed to find a way to install it nonetheless. When I am done, I will have less than 75 contacts which is a manageable level. If I...
Jul 31, 2020 13 tweets 7 min read
I must say that the reason why I like cats is that they don't blame every quarrel in our relationship on my #mentalillness or at least I don't spend time worrying that they do. When I deal with people -- especially those who know -- this fear... ...dominates my thoughts. I know many people think I am not very smart. My wife debates the truth of this, but I feel better if I assume that other people are smarter even if the evidence is that they are not. The cats don't care of rather I can't...
Jul 30, 2020 9 tweets 7 min read
Two subjects tend to occupy my photo life lately: #selfies and #cats. The reason for this is simple: the models are readily available and I am not shy about approaching them. The cats have a deep seated fear of the camera because of the flash... I have to be clever about capturing them. One of my cameras has a flash free night setting. The cats can't tell the difference, so my best schemes are to take multiple shots or use a timer. There is no flash when I use the timer so they don't cringe.
Jul 29, 2020 16 tweets 8 min read
I had long suspected that there were ways to game the system at #Flickr. In the back of my head, I questioned the huge number of likes some photographers got. Today I ran into a guy with an account whose photos were so bad...

1/ would have been surprising if he had one or two faves. Think washed out, bad composition, etc. He averaged more than a hundred likes per photo. This threw me for a loop and for awhile I felt like Job with all the people giving me advice...
Jul 28, 2020 10 tweets 7 min read
Reading Mary L. Trump's biography of the Pretender in Washington has nothing to do with the photos I am presenting today, but it is striking a chord in my life, causing me to wonder what made me turn out to be the man that I am. I see my therapist in the mid-afternoon. We will likely discuss how my brother made it his duty to break my self esteem and, with my mother and father, possibly push me to the brink of psychosis. Some say that I shouldn't accept so much responsibility...
Jul 27, 2020 7 tweets 7 min read
I took many pictures at Bolsa Chica this afternoon including many of terns diving for food and a fire that erupted a few minutes after our group left the environs of a WWII gunnery emplacement. Until I get to that part of the queue, you are stuck with various experiments. I am very fond of #DoctorWho, so I have a small selection of action figures and a TARDIS. Attempts to photograph my tiny collection haven't given me results that I like until I use one of the #sfx filters installed in my Nikon Coolpix W150.
Jul 27, 2020 4 tweets 2 min read
I am very tired after the hike this afternoon. We ventured into Huntington Beach, the #antimask capital of the world expecting to be attacked. About eighty percent of those we saw wore masks, so we felt safe. The ones who didn't wear masks were mostly either teenagers walking in gangs or old beach bums ensconced in the large houses on the mesa. Most of these practiced social distancing.