All posts by dcreed

Staging Redux

Getting sick of the signs or stencils with “It all started with a kiss.”  See them a lot.  Too much.

So, some ideas for the less sophisticated..

“It all started with getting felt up in his truck for a dollar.”

“It all started with an STD.”

“It all started with him putting $5 in my g-string.”

“It all started when she gave me a large fries when I ordered a small.”

“It all started with too many drinks.”


Attack Cat

I should’ve gotten a picture.

The agent gave me a contractor box code and told me there was a dog (“She’ll bark a lot but she’s friendly”) and a cat (“Very friendly.”)

I first rang the door bell.  No answer.  Use the key and went in, yelling out, “Hello?”  (Yeah, I’ve been burned by having keys before.)  Nothing.  But immediately from the other side of the family room I hear a hiss and see the cat, back arched.  As I enter the room the cat jumps to the back of the couch, batting a paw in my direction, still hissing and spitting.

I start turning on lights and the cat runs up and bats at my leg — I’m guessing it’s been declawed and that’s why I’m not bleeding — and runs away.  As I’m going down the hall I get to one bedroom and, turning on the light, the cat jumps up the wall to the light switch and I swear tried to bite me.  I grabbed the door and shut it, locking the cat in the room.

Shot the whole house in peace, hearing the cat howling in that bedroom.  Wrapped up, took my gear out to the porch.  Went back in, banged on the bedroom door, unlatched it and pushed it open, and ran.  As I was closing the front door I could hear the little monster headed down the hall for me.

I decided to not test the dog’s disposition.


The terminology is different, but some thing go with the property and some don’t.  Some are obviously included (water heater), some aren’t so clear (range, refrigerator), so they have to be spelled out in the contract so that potential buyers know what’s included or excluded.

Awhile back I photographed a house and could hear the agent and seller writing up a detailed statement about the toilet in the downstairs full-bath not being included.  The seller had painted the tank and its lid as well as the seat lid and wanted to keep those.  I went and looked again.

Vines and leaves with nymphs.

Wish I’d taken a picture of it.

A Bit Of History

A bit long, so I’ll apologize now.  But fun stuff….

Awhile back I shot a house in Cameron Park.  Nice enough place, right on the golf course.  A bit dated.  The owner had died there and his kids were now selling it.

I opened a door to see what it was and found a closet filled with photo equipment.  Tripods, a projector, lots of boxes of slides and prints, and one camera.  It was an old Ansco dual-reflex camera.  I’d seen them before but never used one.  Heavy sucker.

An Ansco dual-reflex camera, probably made around 1948.

Anyway, I told the agents that they may want to get that stuff out of there or lock the closet door, and they did the latter.  Didn’t think anything about any of it as I shot the rest of the house, processed the pictures, and went on.  House went on the market and sold quickly — location, location, location, ya know — and that was that.

Then the agent contacted me telling me that the family, the sellers, wanted to know if I wanted to buy the camera.  I have a collection of cameras, but this was obviously a cherished item of their father’s as I saw no SLR or any other cameras around.  I’d asked around and seen online auctions wanting anywhere from $20 to $200.  But it was well preserved, he’d had his name embossed in the leather case — they should keep it.  And that was that.

A couple of days ago I get contacted by the daughter of the homeowner — they want to know if I want to buy the camera.  I’d forgotten all about it but, again, said they should keep it as a memento as he obviously cared for it.  She said she’d ask around the family.

So today she calls me and says, nope, no one wants it.  There were plenty of mementos they all got and they want me to have the camera for free for all I did to help sell the house, and they know I’ll take care of it.

I go up to her place and get the camera and talk with her for awhile about her dad.

He was an Air Force pilot, joined up in 1940 or so and stayed in for 34 years.  Here’s his obituary.  Got shot down in France at one point but wasn’t captured and made it back to fly more missions.  Flew mainly bombers and other heavy aircraft including cargo planes and tankers.  Was a B26 Marauder pilot in World War II and one of the B26s he flew is in the Smithsonian.

Colonel Fitch in the Cockpit
Colonel Edward B. Fitch, USAF

I took some of the pictures to scan for her since she was having computer issues.  One of them I scanned and printed out for me, and I’m going to frame it and hang it next to the camera when I find a suitable place to put it.

It’s a picture of the Major or Colonel Fitch, probably in Europe or Korea she figured, and if you look you’ll see that in his hand is…the camera.

Colonel (or Major) Fitch in either Europe or Korea, holding his Ansco camera.
Colonel (or Major) Fitch in either Europe or Korea, holding his Ansco camera.

Added item: When I was at her house I removed the case from the camera and popped open the back.  There was a roll of film in there, exposed and sealed and ready to be processed.  I sent it off today to The Darkroom.  We’ll have to see if there’s anything worth retrieving.


Okay, I’ve been doing this awhile now.  And quite often run into the situation below: Kitchen sink with a light over it and two switches next to the sink.

Kitchen Switches
Kitchen Switches

One switch operates the light, the other operates the garbage disposal.  I’ve had builders and electricians alike both tell me that the switch closest to the sink operates the disposal.

No.  Not even close.  I don’t think my score is even close to 50/50 because I always try the switch farthest away but am usually startled by the garbage disposal going.

On the days I get it right I buy a lottery ticket.

So, if you’re an electrician and install this so that A is the light and B is the disposal, thank you.

If you do it the other way around, you’re an asshole.