My Time Machine – #SoCS

It’s time to visit the bar and try to incorporate my and my buddy’s conversation with Linda G. Hill’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt. This week, Linda says:

“Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is ‘instructions.’ Write instructions for anything you know how to do. As detailed or as rambling as you’d like. Enjoy!”

Rambling? It’s like she knows me.

If were having a beer, you would be wondering about something.

“Your buddy’s not here, yet Dan. Do you want to start without him?”

“I do, Cheryl. Corona – lime – and open a tab under ‘David’ if you please.”

“Hee hee, no problem.”

“Don’t say that around David.”

“Look, I know he hates the phrase ‘no problem,’ because of Brad, but sometimes things really are no problem and he has to deal with it.”

“Sorry I’m late. Did I hear my name? What is it I have to deal with?”

“David, you’re late. You have to deal with two things: One, you’re paying today, and two, Cheryl used the phrase ‘no problem’ and…”

“…and it’s going to be NO PROBLEM, if you catch my drift.”

“Cheryl, I read you loud and clear.”

“Good. Do you want something to drink?”

“As long as I’m paying. I’ll have a splash of John Howell’s Bourbon and the usual setup.”

“I’ll be right back.”

“So, David, why are you late?”

“I was reading Teagan’s story.”

“Only now? It’s been out there since midnight.”

“I’m not usually up at midnight.”

“The way you pound down these bourbons, I’m surprised you don’t fall asleep in your pizza.”

“Easy, Cheryl. Dan told me I’m paying.”

“No offense, David. Here’s your bourbon, your ice and your seltzer.”

“Thanks Cheryl. I’m just kidding.”

“Don’t say it Cheryl”

“I won’t, Dan. Thank you David.”

“So, Dan. Now that Teagan’s story is done, I have a question for you.”

“And that would be?”

“How did you get pictures from the late fifties and early sixties? Do you have a time machine?”

“I do.”


“Yes. In fact, I have several.”


“Uh huh, I have several antique stores I like to visit, and I have PhotoShop.”

“Huh? I get the antique stores, and I knew you could use PhotoShop to make people look better, but how do you go back in time?”

Remember, I explained how I had to remove modern artifacts from the picture Teagan used for Birdie’s house in the third chapter?”

“I do remember, but I was just nodding along, pretending to understand. I mean, how do you remove a recycle bin from a picture without leaving a recycle-bin-sized-hole in the image?”

“PhotoShop has a Magic Wand tool, that lets you select objects by sensing where the boundaries are. You can tweak the selection to include every last bit of the bin. Then, you can delete the selection and PhotoShop will fill in the ‘hole’ with an extrapolation from the surrounding parts of the image.”

“That’s amazing.”

“It is. It doesn’t always work well, but there are other tricks.”

“Like what?”

“Cropping, like with the fan Teagan used for her Jazz Age Wednesday post. That fan was in the middle of several other items.”

“D’oh. That makes sense. What else?”

“Selective copy and pasting. I had an image that I don’t think Teagan was able to use, of a firehouse that was Engine Company Nine.”

“Nine did seem like a recurring thing in that story.”

“It was, and I was trying to stay ahead of Teagan. So, I took the picture, but I had to remove some air conditioners and two handicapped parking signs.”

“That’s right, they didn’t start using those until the late sixties.”

“You boys want another round?”

“Well, I want another beer.”

“Can you just top this off, Cheryl, I’m sipping slow today.”

“Nnnnnn, um, sure, David.”

“So, to remove those things, you used that edit feature?”

“It worked for the signs, since they were on a brick wall, but the air conditioners were in windows. I removed them, and then copied and pasted bits of the upper sash into the area where the lower sash would be.”

“That sounds hard. Was that the hardest thing you did?”

“No, that was the school bus.”

“The one with the guy wiping his face with the dirty rag?”

“Yes, in Chapter eight.”

“I thought you were just really lucky to get that.”

“No, that school bus was on the road in front of me in Hartford.”

“Who’s the guy?”

“That’s me.”

“What? Did you get out and take a selfie?”

“Not exactly.”

“Here’s your Corona, Dan, and here, David, I’ll top that off on the house.”

“Thanks Cheryl, that’s nice.”

“Well, makes up for that earlier bit.”

“More than enough. Thanks. So, Dan, exactly what did you do to get near that bus?”

“I took a selfie of me, wiping my face with a red bandana.”


“I added some smudges to look like oil.”

“Yeah, yeah, how did you get next to a bus in Hartford?”

“I selected me…”

“With that magic wand thing?”

“Yes, and then I adjusted the size, relative to the bus, and pasted me in next to the door.”

“That sounds like a lot of work.”

“It was fun; I had a blast. I use these tools at work but I never get to anything fun.”

“So, you enjoyed this project?”

“Almost as much as the pizza you’re about to order for us.”

There are some other examples in the gallery, along with a few of the usual suspects. The final episode of Brother Love is live on Teagan’s site. If you would like to see a beautiful bit of valuable advice, I would encourage you to take a few minutes to look at Cheryl’s post from yesterday.


  1. I would love to have PhotoShop, but it’s a little pricey for me to use once in a while. You did great erasing things like the ac units. One more IT skill in the bag. :-) It was too hot to sit out here some days this week, and we had a gully washer yesterday. I won’t be watering anything for several days. Happy Saturday, Dan, and I hope the weather allows Maddie to get a walk or a sit in this weekend. :-)

    Liked by 1 person

    • I have the simplest plan available. PhotoShop and Lightroom. I’ve used open source alternatives of PS, and I still use one for Illustrator, but I haven’t found anything good to replace Lightroom.

      Maddie and I are sitting now. We’ve been out since 6:30 to beat the heat.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Fun instructional post Dan.I’m with Judy regarding the monthly price of Photoshop and Lightroom. I purchased PhotoShop Elements for a one time fee of $99 and added NIC for free. Between the two programs, I have everything I want or need to adjust my photos. Mostly, I use it to convert RAW to Jpeg, lighten shadows, brighten colors and remove nasty little things that escaped my eye when I took the picture. Elements is a good place to start for anyone who simply wants to make a few easy tweaks to their pictures.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Coolest instructional post ever Dan. I enjoy taking pictures and keep saying I want to learn how to do more. Guess I need a magic wand.

    The no problem thing makes me laugh. All the kids say no problem!! Not sure why David doesn’t care for the expression. Someone told me a while back that saying no problem insinuates a problem where there is none. I have trained myself to respond a thanks with “any time” for that very reason. No problems here :)

    Happy Saturday! I’m off to the crossroads.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. While I routinely correct shading, contrast, etc in my photos, I don’t try any of these large scale adjustments. I simply don’t have the patience. Well done, Dan. The fire station would have been WELL beyond my skill level.

    The photo of MiMi cracks me up. How cats can twist themselves up like that fascinates me!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I am glad you enjoyed your photoshop adventure. For historically accurate fiction it is a wonderful tool. Used in the garden it becomes a source of controversy. Fortunately that is another story. So lets just have another beer first before we even think about it.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I’d recognize that head anywhere! 😉 Great photoshopping, Dan. I love playing with my photo editing tools though don’t often remember all the things I can do. The altering and removing unwanted images is great when I am at a public venue and there is always someone in the way of a perfect shot. When I saw the prompt my mind could just see you, up all night, trying to decide what to choose. Most of your posts give instructions at some point, so this must have been an easy peasy one. So glad you are enjoying your collaboration with Teagan. Have a great weekend.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Cool! I didn’t know you helped writers with visualization. that is vital, especially when we have to describe something. I use the same technique in my classes for my students. I also dropped by Teagan’s site to check on her story, so thanks for introducing another author.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I think it’s great to teach in ways that reach people. Sometimes, I could not relate in school.

      I hope you enjoy the story (you can binge read if you like it).


  7. Well done! I have never used Photo Shop but years ago I used another program to removed cigarettes from photos, an occasional personnel removal and a few animal/human face swaps. It was fun!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Like Judy, I’d love to have PhotoShop, but I can’t spare the change for it. I have to settle for the more simple photo editor on the computer.

    Awesome instructions, Dan. It was cool to hear about how you edited the photos for Teagan’s stories. I also wondered how you had so many photos that appeared to be from the 50’s. Sneaky!

    Stay cool this weekend and have another beer!

    Liked by 1 person

    • You can download Gnu/Gimp. It’s a different interface but it can do almost everything PhotoShop can. I used it for a long time, but when I had to use Adobe at work, it got too confusing.

      I have three photographer package with Adobe. Basically $10 a month. It’s way more than it should be, but you get PS and Lightroom, and I love Lightroom.

      My brother took me to a huge antique store in Iowa. I collected tons of photos. I loved those stores, so that was fun too.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Since I can barely take a picture, your explanation of how you “fixed” your photos to be accurate to the time of the story is fascinating to me!! I really loved seeing the “before and after” photos. Boy! Who was the idiot who said that pictures never lie? 😳

    I would give anything to achieve the positions MiMi does! Looks like today and Sunday, perhaps even Monday, sweet Maddie will be able to enjoy walks and deck sitting for longer than a few minutes. Yaayyyyy!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Maddie sat from 6:30 to almost 8:00 this morning.

      Photos lie. I think they always have.

      MiMi must be made of rubber. She bends into what seems like should be most uncomfortable positions.


  10. Well, that was rude!! I was happily typing along when my comments just disappeared and then reappeared as “anonymous”!! 😂😂

    Hope you have a terrific weekend Dan. Heading over to Teagan’s now!
    🐾Ginger 🐾

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Now I know why I can’t get rid of things in my photos: I don’t have Photoshop or Lightroom. Good set of instructions, though. Good luck with the heat this weekend. Still no date for getting a new air conditioning unit at our house, so we’re going to be HOT over the next days.


    Liked by 1 person

  12. I love Photoshop, but I cannot afford the ongoing CC rates. I had Creative Suite 7 on my old Mac but I fear the laptop is going belly up . It crawls now because I could not upgrade and still use CS.

    Great use of the prompt.

    I am way behind on Teagan’s story so tomorrow, I plan to read it beginning to end. I am so anxious to catch up on the crossroads.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Excellent post, Dan. I think some have changed from “no problem,” to “no worries.” It is generally said when there are plenty of worries. Loved the photoshop examples. I don’t have it and am green with envy. A bit pricy for as many times as I would use it. Nice to see the usual suspects too, and thanks for the mention.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I’ve never tried Photoshop but clearly you can accomplish a lot with it. Cool editing tool. I have my ways of making images for my blog, but they’re freebies. Still, Photoshop has an appeal…

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Dan — well done. I really wish I had gotten to use the firehouse in the story. Then again, it’s so wonderful, I think it deserves its own story. Any chance of seeing the inside? (Said half-joking with bobbing eyebrows, but secretly hopeful.) I don’t feel like I’ve finished using the number nine! LOL.
    I’d like to link to this as part of my Wednesday post to promote the “bookized” serial.
    many thanks for all the links to and mentions of Brother Love. Hugs on magpie wings!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve asked to step inside fire department buildings in the past. Sometimes they let you. Sometimes “no” and often, no pictures 🙁

      I took that as a “just in case Teagan needs ‘nine’ things” but, as I mentioned, it was fun. I’m always up for a photo-hunt.

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Fascinating secrets! Making pictures of old stuff using new technology feels like a time machine story. My imagination is much better than my tech skills. But I do like to play with cropping and effects my computer came with.


  17. I use Apple’s Graphic which is a bit like Photoshop only not as complicated. Sadly I know just enough about editing photographs to get myself into trouble.


  18. I don’t have Photoshop or Lightroom so I was fascinated at how you altered the photos–pretty darn amazing to me! MiMi…..I had to laugh at the wake up call caption. Get it right, Dan!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Lois. MiMi is a character, that’s for sure. PhotoShop makes some of this easy. It takes me longer than someone who knows what they’re doing but I enjoy doing it.


    • Thanks Peter. Teagan used that, and a console model I found at an antique store in Iowa. I love finding the old console TVs and phonographs. The furniture was so well crafted.


  19. I can only marvel, as I have never even played with Photoshop! I do learn a lot by trial and error, so I really would like to try it sometime.
    I took Moo to DD Saturday and she got iced coffee, too. I had a sip, it was good. The last iced coffee I had from DD was NOT good, about 15 years ago, so I’ve stuck with my Starbucks for cold coffee ever since. However, on a hot day, I would now order Moo’s drink :)

    Liked by 1 person

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