subota, 05.11.2011.


Google Photo Manager : Digital Photo Magazine Review : Top Photo Printers 2011.

Google Photo Manager

google photo manager

    google photo
  • Picasa is an image organizer and image viewer for organizing and editing digital photos, plus an integrated photo-sharing website, originally created by Idealab and owned by Google since 2004.

  • A person who controls the activities, business dealings, and other aspects of the career of an entertainer, athlete, group of musicians, etc

  • coach: (sports) someone in charge of training an athlete or a team

  • A person in charge of the activities, tactics, and training of a sports team

  • A person responsible for controlling or administering all or part of a company or similar organization

  • director: someone who controls resources and expenditures

  • (managership) the position of manager

Manager Lau

Manager Lau

This one is for my Chinese friends. Here is a member of the Chinese diaspora in Russia. It's one of two shots of Chinese people in all of the 2,000 photos that SPG shot, or rather, those are the only two that survive. Taken between 1905 and 1915, according to LOC, but my guess is around 1912.

The LOC title is – "Tea factory in Chakva. Chinese foreman Lau-Dzhen-Dzhau."

What SPG identifies as Chavka, says is now called Chavki, and you can find it on Google Earth in the Republic of Georgia. Close by, that is slightly north and west of this location, are hills apparently still covered with tea plantings. I suspect that Chavka was originally just the name of the mansion and the estate, and that over the course of the twentieth century, a small town grew up around the tea plantations. But this is all guesswork. Another picture taken by SPG – and I have placed a copy next after this shot – is titled, "Lau-Dzhen-Dzhau's house," and it is a mansion, viewed through an arcade of trees, and overlooking the sea.

According to Wikipedia (citing the Great Russian Encyclopedia – which is online, but not, alas, in English), industrial tea production began in 1885, so it's quite possible that, a mere 30 or so years later, production was still expanding, new plantations still being established. Then as now, Russians drink lots of tea, so we can assume an expanding market, so long as the home-grown product can compete with imports in point of price. In the same SPG album are pictures of various phases of tea production, including some shots of the (mostly female) pickers, and cases of packed tea, and what looks like a tea-mixing and tasting station inside the factory.

So here is Lau Dzhen-Dzhau, a middle-aged guy, an expert tea plantation manager, imported from China to assist in getting the factory at Chavka up and running. He looks to be closing in on forty, so perhaps born around 1872-75, and now firmly settled in mid-career. He wears what I at first thought was one of the ubiquitous service medals handed out by the Tsarist government, but after poking around on the internet, it's clear that this is no ordinary award. For one thing, it's not a medal at all, but a cross, and an internet search shows that what it most closely resembles is the Order of St Stanislaus (second class). These were generally given out to civil servants. It's a red-ish-purple-ish cross, with gold infilling between the arms, and a circular tablet (alas, unreadable) at the centre. Both St Staislaus and St Anna had four classes of award, as well as both military and civilian versions; the military versions were distinguished by diagonally crossed swords, which Lau's award lacks, meaning it is a civilian award. The point is, that this is a prestigious thing, leading me to think that Lau is perhaps a fairly highly placed – or at the very least, highly thought of – addition to the Imperial Civil Service. Which in turn might mean that government money was part of the funding for the Chavka plantation, encouraging industry, Russian economic autarky, that sort of thing. Would that be a Stolypin kind of thing to do? Perhaps.

Note that Lau's clothes are probably not the ones he wears to do his daily work. Both pants and jacket have clear fold lines in them, that is, they have been stashed in a drawer somewhere for a considerable time, and only brought out to have his picture taken. The pants appear quite rough, probably duck cotton, and the jacket looks like a "chinese" one, quilted, perhaps, and with a high collar that seems to be somewhat of an uncomfortable fit for Lau around his neck, so once again, this is SPG making sure his subjects express their "proper" ethnicity. The boots however, their shine testifying perhaps to the excellence of Lau's servants, look pure Russian to me, so I would think that Lau would look quite different should you pass him on the seafront at Batumi, taking the evening air, watching the sun go down.

And of course, like most of SPG's subjects, we know nothing of his past or his future. Did he manage to get out of Batumi before the revolution, only to end up in China just as it too, began to disintegrate? Maybe, before the war, before the Revolution, Russia looked more stable than China, which had been in turmoil since at least the mid-1890s; a nice place to raise your kids, perhaps.

The plants around him are a combination of young bushes newly planted and bushes that might soon be ready to harvest, though I can't say for sure, since I have no idea how bushy a tea bush must be to be pickable.

Ralph Thrall III

Ralph Thrall III

This is Ralph Thrall III, General Manager of the McIntyre Ranch that we visited on 26th May. He arrived at the Ranch to talk to us about the history and running of the Ranch before we hiked the grasslands. The following information is from the McIntyre Ranch website:

"Born (1964) and raised in Lethbridge, Ralph considers the following to be some of the highlights of his life (aside from his involvement at the McIntyre Ranch). He attended high school at a co-ed private school on Vancouver Island, B.C. (Brentwood College) where he was able to participate on two rugby tours (one to France and Spain and the other to Fiji, New Zealand and Australia). Ralph continued his education at a College in California and is proud of his accomplishment of becoming captain of the golf team during his second year there. Returning home, he appreciated the valuable lessons he learned while working as a labourer, caretaker and waiter. Following this, Ralph pursued his interest in golf by playing on the National Golf Association tour in Arizona in 1985 and on the Canadian Golf tour in 1986. Ralph began working at the Ranch in the fall of 1986 after dropping out of University in Lethbridge. He married Rae Ann Ingarfield in 1987 and they both moved to the Ranch that summer. Their daughter Amara was born in 1994 and their son Ralph IV was born in 1996.

Ralph's position as General Manager led to his goal of making the Ranch the best it could be. He is proud of his accomplishments of overseeing the many improvements to infrastructure at the Ranch and his involvement in improving the quality of the cow herd and the condition of the grassland. Ralph credits his wife Rae Ann, his parents Catherine and Ralph Jr., Mac MacLean and his closest working associate Duane Spitzer for assisting him to reach his goals over the years. Other primary interests include travelling, skiing, fishing, spending more time with his own family and friends as well as with his sister Erin and brothers Eric and Chris (and their families). Ralph continues to hold on to his dream of again playing professional golf."

Added on 30th October 2011, from the Lethbridge Herald Newspaper. I noticed that quite a number of people were looking at my photo via Google yesterday and today. I was greatly saddened when I read the reason.

"MR. RALPH AMBROSE THRALL JR. of Lethbridge, beloved husband of Mrs. Catherine C. Thrall, passed away in Calgary on Friday, October 28, 2011 at the age of 78 years."

I send my condolences to the family and friends of Ralph Thrall Jr.. A friend and I met this gentleman just the one time, at an exhibition at the Alberta College of Art, about the McIntyre Ranch, but a group of us was privileged to spend a wonderful day on the Ranch back on 26th May 2007. I know that there will be a great number of people offering support to the family at this very difficult time and keeping them in their thoughts and prayers.

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