So Apparently There Was This Guy Named Edison

So, lighting actually is a solid concept when trying to take pictures:



I tried to get a good shot of the pantaloons, but as you can see from this attempt, his paws are black up until “knee” level, and then the floof begins. It really looks like he has pantaloons tucked into black leather boots.

He’s also so funny in that he has to play all the time, and if I won’t entertain him, that’s ok. He’ll pick up a bal with his mouth, throw it in the air, bat it with his mitts, and then chase it. Rinse and repeat. For hours.

I really love this cat. I wonder what he and Tunch would have been like together.

99 replies
  1. 1
    khead says:

    Almost there. Drag a lamp over next time.

    Still love the pics though. Steve is a handsome kitteh.

  2. 2
    Rosalita says:

    Puss in boots! I’m glad you have another fur baby to love John. Big hearts can handle lots of paw prints.

  3. 3
    trollhattan says:


    Yup, sometimes light is a good thing. Like when picture-makin. You’re getting there, young padawan.

  4. 4
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    My parents had that flooring in their kitchen in the 80s. Very stylish it was then.

  5. 5
    Steeplejack says:

    Let there be light!

    Good work, Cole.

  6. 6
    jl says:

    Thanks for the pet pix.
    And I am glad Cole is learning up about this ‘light’ business. It comes in handy for all sorts of things.

    Not sure why Cole’s wondering about how the TunchForce and Steve would get along. I think they would run into a dog named Rosie, and then… poor Cole, I won’t even think about it… he’d have no chance against that team.

  7. 7
    mai naem says:

    I don’t think Tunchmeister and Stevie Wonder would have gotten along. Both Type A Boss with a capital B cats.

  8. 8
    trollhattan says:

    Hoo boy, am I glad they found this stuff.

    A missing shipment of radioactive cobalt-60 was found Wednesday near where the stolen truck transporting the material was abandoned in central Mexico, the country’s nuclear safety director said.

    The highly radioactive material had been removed from its container, officials said, and one predicted that anyone involved in opening the box could be in grave danger of dying within days.

    The cobalt-60 was left in a rural area about a kilometer (a half a mile) from Hueypoxtla, an agricultural town of about 4,000 people, but it posed no threat or a need for an evacuation, said Juan Eibenschutz, director general of the National Commission of Nuclear Safety and Safeguards.

    “Fortunately there are no people where the source of radioactivity is,” Eibenschutz said.

  9. 9
    dhunt says:

    I wonder what he and Tunch would have been like together.

    Rough guess is that Tunch would have great fun watching Steve run around chasing things.

  10. 10
    kc says:

    Steve is sex-ay!

  11. 11
    khead says:

    Uh, I just realized we had that flooring in our house at one point too. Must be a WV thing. Or maybe a Sears thing.

    And, yes, it was the 80’s.

  12. 12
    jl says:

    I saw a headline on internet that NSA has prepared ‘Holiday talking points’. I left the page due to fat finger misclicking and now I can’t find it.

    What would NSA ‘Holiday talking points’ be?
    Something like ‘Santa doesn’t know whether you’ve been naughty or nice, but WE do!” Then a little ‘NSA is coming to town’ cover?

  13. 13
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @khead: My parents had it in WI. It was in the house when they bought it in ’78; they later replaced it with tile.

  14. 14
    Violet says:

    He’s such a gorgeous kitty. Those eyes are amazing.

  15. 15
    Poopyman says:

    I wonder what he and Tunch would have been like together.

    Odds are they would have mostly ignored each other. My Maine Coon was pretty aloof, although “laid back to near-catatonia” might be a better description. And Tunch, well, was Tunch.

  16. 16
    jl says:


    ” Tunch would have great fun watching Steve run around chasing things. ”

    Now that I think about it, surely would be a pic of the Saturnine and phlegmatic befuddlement on Tunch’s face when Steve climbed on the cat tower. That would have been a nice pic. If you could get, would probably have lasted about five seconds before Tunch lost interest.

  17. 17
    NotMax says:


    If you haven’t cleaned it out, the page will be listed in your browser’s history file, ready to be opened from there.

  18. 18
    raven says:

    @Violet: Somebody was looking for you downstream.

  19. 19
    Violet says:

    @raven: Really? Do you know which thread?

    Edit: Nevermind. Found it. Thanks.

  20. 20
    Keith G says:

    Great pictures.

    as far as…

    I tried to get a good shot of the pantaloons….

    …a “good shot” will most likely entail getting the camera closer to the floor instead of standing over said kitteh.

  21. 21
    TaMara (BHF) says:

    Impressed you got a hind quarters shot without him dashing out of the room. Great pix.

  22. 22
    mai naem says:

    I used to work in a flooring store. That flooring is actually a higher end sheet vinyl product.It’s inlaid where the pattern goes all the way through instead of just the top layer. I believe it was made by Congoleum. It lasts forever. We had customers who had the same quality stuff that we were ripping up from the 50s, still in decent shapet – just out of style.

  23. 23
    raven says:

    @Keith G: And this new technology called “flash”.

  24. 24
    jl says:

    @NotMax: No, it was an item in the Yahoo headline news section, I was too clumsy to open the damn thing but closed the browser instead (how I did that I have no idea), and when I went back to Yahoo, I couldn’t find it.

    Damn ‘puters!

    Anyone see any humorous, or cozy NSA Holiday themed messages, let me know.

  25. 25
    Keith G says:


    What would NSA ‘Holiday talking points’ be?

    A possible example:
    For us, every Monday is Cyber Monday.

  26. 26
    Lyrebird says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Oh yeah, I grew up with similar but not identical tile, & I’m v close to John’s age. (Thus before 1978…)

    Gorgeous gaze shot.

    Ditto on the advice re: pantaloons, gotta get horizontal.

  27. 27
  28. 28
    RareSanity says:

    Your shots are definitely getting better John!

    The next step is for you to to get closer to your subject instead of the “eye in the sky” perspective. Get down on the floor with ole Steverino…I promise you will really like the difference in the shots.

  29. 29
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @RareSanity: I am not sure Cole is bendy enough to do that.

  30. 30
    Amir Khalid says:

    I used to take terrible pictures too, until I learned to turn off the Outofocus feature on my camera …

    Sometimes where there’s supposed to be an ad on the BJ page, I get a message instead:
    Not Found
    The requested URL was not found on this server.

    This has only started happening recently. Is something wrong? I would not want to be the cause of John Cole missing out on any ad income.

  31. 31
    raven says:

    @RareSanity: How’s it goin?

  32. 32
  33. 33
  34. 34
    RareSanity says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    My knees are as creaky as anyone’s…I just take my time and use anything in arms reach for support. :-)


    Hanging in there Big Dawg, how’s about you?

    We finished putting up the Christmas tree this weekend, took this shot of my favorite ornament…

    Whaddya think?

  35. 35
    jl says:

    @Keith G: I like that one.

    @NotMax: Thanks the Guardian link is better. The story on Yahoo just popped up again, or I missed it when I went back and looked first time.

    NSA helpfully declassified holiday ‘talking points’ for staff

  36. 36
    NotMax says:

    For all you cat people, a vintage Fat Freddy strip.

  37. 37
    khead says:

    @mai naem:

    Congoleum FTW. Thank you.

  38. 38
    sacrablue says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: My parents had kitchen flooring exactly like that in the house that they had built in 1964.

  39. 39
    RareSanity says:


    Love that first shot!

    Do I detect a bit of emulated film grain? What plugin did you use?

  40. 40
    raven says:

    @RareSanity: Nice shot! Mixed here, the Illini got robbed at the Thriller Dome last night but that’s life on the road! I’m probably going to go to Phillips Sunday for the Auburn-Illini game.

  41. 41
    raven says:

    @RareSanity: One of the pre-sets in Lightroom. I looked at the program you mentioned but spent the money on a fishing trip last week!

    sleepy time

  42. 42
    RareSanity says:


    At least your priorities are in order…there will never be a shortage of photography gear to spend money on. :-)

    Fishing trip sounds infinitely more rewarding.

    Catch ya ’round town!

  43. 43
    Gravenstone says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    until I learned to turn off the Outofocus feature on my camera …

    Typoglycemia, or cunning pun? You decide.

  44. 44
    Gravenstone says:

    And, cue the FYWP block quote meltdown.

  45. 45
    Comrade Mary says:

    Don’t make me change my desktop again, John Cole. That first pic with that sweetsweetsweet face is awfully tempting. And yes, your pictures are getting better and better. I see Steve’s pantaloons in our near future …

    @RareSanity: I think that’s genuine archival grain / noise from a weird ISO setting.

    John, what phone/camera do you have? Is there an obvious ISO setting? Is it at a really high value? Or are you using Auto Mode? If your place is still relatively dark for the sensitivity of your camera, Auto Mode can slip in some really high ISO values in an attempt to grab MOAR LIGHT.

    This is a pretty useful tutorial on digital photography.

  46. 46
    jibeaux says:

    Picked up a new foster puppy today to try to teach him a few things and fatten him up, then in January he’ll get neutered and be available for adoption. He is the cutest, sweetest, little guy ever. He looks like an Australian shepherd but 1/3 the size. From an animal hoarder who I want to stab in the neck.

  47. 47
    Schlemizel says:

    Our oldest had a huge Maine Coon, he weighed 32 pounds and there was no fat on him. He got that same fur deal in the winter. Being that he was a tawny gold color he looked like a miniature lion. Like Steveo there he was the most loving cuddly little guy who just loved to play. He had some health issues though & left the party too soon. Like you they immediately got a new one, she is not as much of a love bug but still a great cat.

    You’re a lucky guy Cole!

  48. 48
    John Cole says:

    @mai naem: I actually love it, and since I have the original cabinets from a ranch house built in the 60’s, it fits. One day it will be remodeled, but I actually really like it, and it is durable as hell and super easy to clean. It was here when I was a kid in the late 70’s when my grandmother lived here, and it looks the same.

  49. 49
    WereBear says:

    I really love this cat.

    Maine Coon cats. They are an irresistible force!

    Reverend Jim, who we love madly

    Never ceases to make us laugh.

  50. 50
    RareSanity says:

    @Comrade Mary:

    I think that’s genuine archival grain / noise from a weird ISO setting.

    He said it was a Lightroom preset, it’s definitely grain not noise.

    I can’t think of any kind of ISO setting that would yield a result like that…maybe one of those “wacky” filters kids are using today on teh instagram, but high ISO would just give noise.

  51. 51
    MomSense says:


    Interceptin’ your clicks, checking them twice

    You’ll never know if we know if you’re naughty or nice.

  52. 52
    Yatsuno says:

    Leave. Paperwork. Sucks. Got told the four page form isn’t sufficient but the one page form is. Someone shoot me please.

  53. 53
    maya says:

    @sacrablue: @Omnes Omnibus: Uh, my parents had that same linoleum in the kitchen in 1954. Newly installed it was with Kichen Aid appliances everywhere and a copper hood over the stove. No cat though. Black Cocker did not like them and Duchess ruled,

  54. 54
    WereBear says:

    @Poopyman: Odds are they would have mostly ignored each other. My Maine Coon was pretty aloof, although “laid back to near-catatonia” might be a better description.

    Our Maine Coon is intensely social, and generally enjoys his Little Buddy.

  55. 55
    Poopyman says:

    @WereBear: Only one way for Cole to find out how Steve would interact with another cat in the house.

  56. 56
    Belafon says:

    Tunch would have glared at Steve for working too hard. “What kind of fucking cat are you?”

  57. 57
    Elizabelle says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Oh Gawd. Come to think of it, so did my parents. Good eye on the flooring.

    How soon we forget.

  58. 58
    Mary G says:

    @Amir Khalid: Might be an ad for some of that “restricted” software we are advised not to take out of the USA, which you can buy on any street corner in China, Tiajuana, or any number of places in the world.

  59. 59
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Elizabelle: Apparently everyone’s parents had it at some point. Mine didn’t choose it; it was just there when they bought the house.

  60. 60
    ET says:

    My Siamese plays like that. Exhausting but hugely entertaining.

  61. 61
    Yatsuno says:

    Pretteh kitteh iz pretteh. Where is Cat of Schrödinger?

  62. 62
    MomSense says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    When I bought an old farmhouse, that was the flooring in the kitchen/keeping room. It was a huge room that was the back half of the house. I pulled (scraped!) that flooring up on my hands and knees for what seemed like a year in order to reveal the wide plank pine underneath.

    I can vouch for the durability of that stuff.

  63. 63
    GHayduke (formerly lojasmo) says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    He could trip and fall.

  64. 64
    Yatsuno says:

    @GHayduke (formerly lojasmo): That’s one way of getting on the floor at least. Getting back up would be another matter…

  65. 65
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @GHayduke (formerly lojasmo): I think it would startle the cat.

  66. 66

    I am trying to convince my widowed mother to come out here to California for Christmas, but she’s stubbornly refusing. Argh. I know she’s pissed off at my brother, but do the rest of us have to be collateral damage, FFS?!

  67. 67
    Yatsuno says:

    @Mnemosyne (iPhone): Oh Jeebus. Just invite her out and tell her you’re not going there. If she wants family around her she’ll just have to get over shit, and stuff.

    BTW: Edison did not invent the lightbulb. He just marketed it well.

  68. 68
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    John, ever thing of adjusting the white balance? You might be able to get rid of the yellow/orange.

    ETA: Trying to figure out all the settings on my new phone. Damn it’s fast. :)

  69. 69
    YellowJournalism says:

    Tunch and Steve? I’m thinking a very Abbott and Costello relationship.

  70. 70
  71. 71
    Yatsuno says:

    @YellowJournalism: Well Papa Stevedore Hemingway is a polydactyl. That’s almost as good as having opposable thumbs. Imagine what would happen if he ever figured that out. The comedic possibilities are endless.

  72. 72
  73. 73
    different-church-lady says:

    Lighting schmighting… look up “figure-ground relationship” and get back to us.

  74. 74
    Yatsuno says:

    @TaMara (BHF): I noticed. :) We might want to put that up on Friday’s food thread as it kinda got lost amongst the snarking jackals.

    I typed snarking instead of snarling, but I like mine better. :P

  75. 75
    Tokyokie says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Heck, that’s the same linoleum pattern that we had in the family room of the house we built in 1959. And it was ugly 54 years ago, too.

  76. 76
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Tokyokie: Like I said, my parents replaced it.

  77. 77
    phoebes-in-santa fe says:

    Beautiful pictures, Cole. But I echo the suggestion that you get a bit closer to Steve…like right next to him. Til next time.

  78. 78
    Ash Can says:

    I wonder what he and Tunch would have been like together.

    By Day 3 they would have figured out how to open the refrigerator and lock you out of the house.

  79. 79
    Comrade Mary says:

    John, have you checked those pantaloons for a bottle of mustard?

  80. 80
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Comrade Mary: I believe it was a jar.

  81. 81
    Comrade Mary says:

    Have you seen the size of those pantaloons? Good God, Jimmy Hoffa could be in there.

  82. 82
    opiejeanne says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: we had it in 1957 and the pattern had been around for about ten years by then.

  83. 83
    opiejeanne says:

    @: Dad built an addition he called a “den” in 1957, and this was the flooring. In 1992 we bought a house with a kitchen remodeled at the height of the harvest gold craze, late 70s? and this was the flooring, but in shades of gold.

  84. 84
    opiejeanne says:

    @mai naem: Armstrong.

  85. 85
    Sir Laffs-a-lot says:

    What a great cat. Have had maine Coons they are wonderful. That carpet!!!!…..OMG……Dude Cole invite some gay friends over for interior design tips then have them take you shopping!!!!

  86. 86
    sm*t cl*de says:

    He’ll pick up a bal with his mouth, throw it in the air, bat it with his mitts, and then chase it. Rinse and repeat. For hours.

    So basically he’s rendered your commentariat redundant.

  87. 87
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: In the 80s? I remember that linoleum (different colours but identical pattern) from my house growing up in the 50s.

    ETA: now have read a few other comments and see I’m far from the only one who knows that flooring design.

  88. 88
    bemused says:


    The lovely linoleum floors weren’t regional. I remember them well in Minnesota. In the 70’s and 80’s most American homes had almost the same exact decor. Who could forget shag carpet if you were around then. The colors for everything including kitchen appliances were harvest gold, muddy brown, blah green and if you really to stand out a bit from the crowd you went with poppy red. Can’t forget popcorn ceilings either. It was an incredibly boring and unimaginative home style era and looking back on it, hardly anyone seemed want to be different and find their own style, including me. I’ll say one thing positive about the shag carpet. Ours was a mixture of orange, gold, brown, green. It was almost indestructible and remarkably good camouflage for years of kid and pet vomit and dirt.

  89. 89
    khead says:

    We had the gold flooring too. And shag. Topped off by white furniture with floral patterns.


  90. 90
    techno says:

    C’mon Cole. It is almost impossible to take bad pictures anymore—cameras are SO clever and forgiving these days. But you got to do your part.

    1) Read the camera’s manual! Experiment your camera for a few weeks and then read it again. You would be surprised at how much useful information is in those things.

    2) Photography is about capturing light. Get to know how light works. Read some books on light. Take some walks. Spend some energy just being aware of the light in your surroundings. At least find out why photographers drool over “golden hour” light. If your subject is lit well, the rest is easy.

    3) Decide what you want to take your picture of. If you want to take a picture of your cat, fill the frame with the cat—we don’t need to see your ugly linoleum. The old saying about how “almost every bad picture would be better if the photographer had taken two steps forward” has been replaced with “zoom in on what you want to show.” Instead of linoleum with a blotch of cat near the center, show us his face or even just the eyes.

    Don’t panic. Cameras have never been easier to use and by using some simple rules, taking great pictures is almost automatic.

  91. 91
    Trinity says:

    Steve is the cutest!

  92. 92
    machine says:

    Light is definitely your friend. Not sure what you’re shooting but if you’re using a DSLR of any kind consider getting a fast lens for shooting indoors. A f/1.8 50mm prime can be had for about $110 or so. The lower the f-number the wider the aperture and the more light you’ll collect in the shot.

    Ditto what others have said about light quality, too; shoot with white balance on auto until you can get the critters outside at “magic hour”.

  93. 93
    jayboat says:

    It’s always been about the light. I have had some very satisfying results shooting high ISO. Agree wholeheartedly with the sentiments about new tech making things easier.

    Also, too- the whole ‘getting back up after you get down there’ thing is no small deal, especially if you need to do it a lot.
    I shoot a lot of boats and one technique I have found very useful is a monopod. In addition to birds eye views you can turn it upside down for low angle shots for short 4-leggers. I stick it down in engine compartments, off the side of a dock down to the waterline. Great for snails-eye view at car shows, too.



  94. 94
    Mandarama says:

    I picture Tunch considering Steve with the voice of Henri as he evaluates his colleagues:

  95. 95

    I wonder what he and Tunch would have been like together.

    I would imagine Tunch would be a rock, still and aloof, with Steve orbiting around him in frenzied play. They wouldn’t interact much but respect each other’s boundaries. Now if you add a female cat to the mix, she would have them her biotches. ;)

  96. 96
    seefleur says:

    Waaaay late in reading this, but had to say thankyouthankyouthankyou!!! for the Fat Freddy’s cat comix. I haven’t seen anything related to the Fabulous Furry Freak Bros. in ages. You brought a smile to my face and the realization that I am an olds. (My kids had never heard of the FFFB…)

  97. 97

    Okay, my comment sounds like I’ve been drinking. If only I was…..

  98. 98
    tinare says:

    Aaawwww, and here I thought that you actually lived in a cave. Steve’s a handsome cat.

  99. 99
    Paul in KY says:

    @YellowJournalism: I was thinking more Laurel & Hardy.

Comments are closed.