Category Archives: People

A Day in the Life Of Fakename

This day would be Friday, April 25th, 2014. Nothing special about this day, other than I happened to inhabit it.
First, I made my first ever trip to Whole Foods, because 1) it was the only grocery store between the hair salon where I got my hair cut and my workplace, and 2) I was having a food emergency, namely, I was starving. Had I not been in such a rush, I could do a whole Grocery Voyeurism post on the customers of this establishment, and I may have to go back, just in order to do a more detailed job of reporting. At a glance, I can say that the customers were of the Birkenstock-wearing, cloth bag-carrying variety. It isn’t nice to make fun of people, but some people just lend themselves too well to stereotyping, so I can’t help myself.
I also made a flying trip to the library on this day, since besides having a food emergency, I had a book emergency (didn’t have one). When I arrived, there was a guy standing at the ground level elevator. This elevator only goes up one level, and is there mostly to accommodate the handicapped. Because our library has delusions of grandeur and thinks it’s the U.S. Supreme Court. There are a gazillion steps leading to the entrance, which I think are supposed to remind you of the power and majesty within. So I take the elevator too.
About the time I arrived at the elevator, the guy standing there started to walk away. I said, “Isn’t it working?” And he replied, “I don’t know, I don’t know how to operate it”. This was like an immediate stab to the heart for me. I said, “Here, you only have to push this button”. Inside the elevator, he told me I’d come along at just the right time, and didn’t it look like it was going to rain? And lest you think badly of this guy, I realized later this was not one simple push button. It was an entire panel with another button to call for assistance, and another area for firefighter operation which you usually only see inside an elevator. And the button to actually call the elevator was not labeled.
I seem to have some sort of karma involving the library elevators. Once I was there and a woman got trapped and was screaming hysterically. Once she was freed, my flying trip was delayed by about 20 minutes while I sat at a table with her and pretty much cooed and talked nonsense, and said things like “You’re going to be okay”. I knew she was okay when she pulled out her cell phone and asked someone to come and get her. Good idea. No way was she driving.
At the end of my day, I had a truck towed from a parking space, because it was blocking the car next to it. In case you too ever manage parking, when you have a vehicle towed, the customer does not call you up and say, “Thank you so much for towing my vehicle. I now see that I behaved badly and I’ve learned my lesson.” Especially not at 4:00 P.M. on a Friday afternoon.
After making a couple of other feeble excuses, the guy finally said that he was there first. This made it a physics problem. I asked if he could explain to me how the customer he blocked managed to wedge herself in beside him so as to block herself?
Then I came home, read my book at the picnic table, drank some wine, played with the dog and the kitten, and watched the birds. The End.

Another Visit With Yard Guy

To refresh my readers, and introduce him to my new readers, Yard Guy (aka Tom) is a recurring character in my world, and is the subject of my post “Redneck Environmentalism”.

Tom works for a body shop, but has a lawn mowing business on the side.  His mother lives around the corner from me, and here is how we first became acquainted:  On several visits to his mother to mow her lawn, he noticed I had a Camaro sitting in my driveway for about two months.  And he wanted it.  So over the fence in the back yard one day, his mother asked me what what I was asking for it.  I told her the engine was dead, and he really might want to rethink the whole idea.

At that point I would have been happy to have someone pay to tow it out of my driveway.  Well, not happy, exactly.  I loved that car.  Hard to explain how you can have such an attachment to a mechanical object.  Especially a dead one.  But the fact was that coming home every day to see it dead in the driveway was prolonging the misery.  Still, I was very honest with my neighbor.  And other than the engine, ha ha, there was nothing else wrong with it other than that it was 14 years old.  It had a new clutch, a new windshield, a new radiator, and relatively new tires.  It had a few cosmetic issues–like the edge of the driver’s side seat was frayed, the passenger side visor had snapped off, the cigarette lighter didn’t work, and the backup lights didn’t work.  All things you could live with–there was just that one small annoying problem with the engine.

But Tom came to see me anyway, and made me an offer I couldn’t refuse.  He said he would take care of my lawn for the entire summer season (March through October), if I would give him the car.  That’s about an $800 value, which is the pretty much the maximum I could have gotten for the car IF it was running.  No brainer–I was definitely coming out on top in that deal.  Since that time, which began in March 2009, I’ve gotten to know Tom fairly well.  And Tom leads and has led an interesting life.  And because he has a quirky family, he somehow always ends up in the middle of some drama not of his own making.

So this morning, he arrived early to mow his mother’s lawn, while it was still cool and hadn’t started raining yet.  No sooner does he unload the mower than his mother says, I need you to take a ride with me across town to pick up “Mary” (his sister’s son’s wife).  “She’s having a panic attack in the parking lot of Target and her two kids are with her”.  Tom is just rolling his eyes, but he goes.

I learned that since the last time I saw him, his little dog Patches died.  I kind of guessed that, because the last time he was here, although we didn’t talk, I saw that Patches wasn’t with him, and had she been able, she would have been.  Patches was a white Chihuahua with apricot patches.  She was 19, and mostly blind and mostly deaf.  He would try to leave her in the truck, but that didn’t ever work.  She would become hysterical.

Tom had to be within Patches’ sight or hearing at all times.  So he would let her out of the truck and she would follow him around.  She was always smart enough to stay out of the way of the mower.  But as her sight and hearing worsened (and probably her cognitive abilites), she would wander off and get lost.  So it has always been a neighborhood effort to keep track of Patches when Tom is around.  No more.

Finally, I caught Tom this morning while he was still in my front yard to say that if he was going to do the back yard too (sometimes he has to split it up), to be careful, because there was a turtle out there.  I happened to look out my kitchen window this morning to see it creeping along on its mysterious mission.  Tom said, “Don’t worry.  It will be fine until I run over it with the mower”.  We both laughed heartily at that.  (Remember Redneck Environmentalism.)  Tom would never hurt a turtle on purpose–which is why I wanted him to know it was out there.

I suggested that when he left he could put it in his truck and take it to the lake nearby.  Oh no, he said.  I think we should leave it where it lives, and let it find its own way in life.  See why I like Tom?

I Wonder Whatever Happened to Whatshisname?

There is apparently a very tiny storage area in my brain dedicated to remembering people I’ve lost touch with for years or even decades.  Normally it’s dormant, but once in a while a neuron fires or something and I suddenly recall one or more of those people.  And don’t try to kid me–you know you have the same tiny storage area. 

So today it was Don and Pat .  They were my next-door neighbors in Norfolk, where I only lived for a year.  The morning after our first night at the house, I let the dog out, and next thing I knew, there was a terrible braying racket from next door.  What the hell? I thought.  Do the neighbors have a donkey? 

It turned out to be a Basset Hound named Droopy.  Don and Pat were kind of apologetic about that, saying their grandchildren named him.  I thought it was perfect.  The long ears, the long drooly dewlaps. 

Droopy had only one major problem, which is that he weighed 90 pounds.  Now, Bassetts are pretty hefty dogs, but…still.  Pat told me that all three of them were on a diet, but they were having a lot of trouble with it.  When they were having snacks, Droopy wanted whatever they were having (of course), and they could not deny him.  He looked so sad if they tried to keep from it.  (A specialty of Bassett Hounds–looking sad.)  So they were feeding him peanut butter and chocolate. 

Diplomatically I said, “Chocolate?  Shit, Pat, you are killing your dog!”  And she said, “I know.  I just can’t help it.”  Damn.  After that, there is nothing left to say. 

My dog at the time, Troy Russell, was ever so glad to have a dog playmate.  He and Droopy would run the fence between our two yards and pose in mock-fighting stances and yak it up.  The only thing that could stop them was if one of the people came out.  It would be hard to overemphasize how fearful TR was of people. 

But Don, bless his heart, made it his mission to get TR to allow him to touch him.  Every day, Don would stand patiently by the fence.  That would scare TR away.  But he was torn between his desire to play with Droopy, and his fear of Don.  I am so lucky.  I was there the first time TR allowed Don to touch him.  I swear, it was a magical moment.  I don’t know how to describe it.  It was like the first video of men walking on the moon. 

After that, Don kept being there every day.  He would scratch TR behind the ears and say, “How you doin’, buddy?”.  It was an absolute turning point for TR.  He never got to the point where he was totally comfortable with strangers, but he stopped being sure that everyone was out to kill him.  He was willing to give strangers a chance. 

So then I moved away.  It was 1999.  After that, there were a couple of letters back and forth and a Christmas card or two (that’s before I had email) and then, it drifted off.  As things tend to do when you don’t have email or Facebook. 

Troy Russell was about six years old when we moved there.  Still young and full of life despite his fears.  He was a red Chow mix, fluffy all over with a great flag of a tail.  He lived to be 13, which shocked everyone who knew him (especially me).

Troy Russell resides in a different compartment from the “Whatever Happened…” one.  That one I really can’t access unless that random neuron fires.  TR is in the “I could remember this if I wanted to, I just don’t want to” compartment.

Facebook Follies

It seems to me that Facebook is kind of a guilty pleasure; something you enjoy but aren’t supposed to admit to, like sneaking to the refrigerator at 3:00 A.M. to eat the last of the chocolate ice cream.  But I can’t help myself.  I love Facebook. 

Slowly but surely, though, I’ve begun to understand why some people may find it weird.  For instance:  recently my cousin Drew sent me a message on Facebook saying, “Do you know Bill F?”  This is after Bill F. told me that it was Drew who invited Bill F. to be his “friend” in the first place.  So my answer was:

No, I don’t know Bill F. “in person” but he’s a friend of a friend.  In fact, he’s the friend of a friend of a friend of a friend.  Took me a while to track that back.  And he’s a good guy (I’ve taken him for a test run, so to speak.)  I think you have a lot in common, I said to Cousin Drew.  I believe you will like him.  It’s the Facebook version of being asked for a reference. 

Just yesterday, I was invited to be the friend of the sister of a friend of a friend.  (Try to unravel that.)  And it turned out to be fun, although I was a little leery to see that she has 1,004 “friends”.  At least as of yesterday.  There is a certain acquisitiveness and competition that occurs on Facebook in terms of the number of “friends” you have , but I’m not afflicted with that problem. 

One of the interesting things about Facebook to me is that I’ve had to revisit my opinion of myself.  I am so often in the public eye that when I get home I want to be a hermit, because I hate that public-eye stuff.  Except, I’ve learned, really I don’t hate it.  I love that interaction with complete strangers, and I would wither without it.  Meeting new people is energizing.  Sure…sometimes that makes you wish you had an AK47, but mostly not. 

I need that alone time, that rejuvenating silence, or that time to listen to an owl hoot, or listen to Tchaikovksy’s violin concerto all by myself in the driveway on the way home from work. I need to be able to read, uninterrupted, for at least two hours a day.  At the picnic table in my back yard, where I can listen to the hawks on the hunt. 

But after that…I need the cry of the madding crowd.  Work and Facebook both do that for me.  What can I say?  I love the variety and the craziness and the interesting lives of the people who are Not Me.

Republicans Say the Darndest Things!

I’m going to take a break now from being sad and talk about Republicans in Florida.  They seem to have lost their minds all over the country, but I’m most familiar with our homegrown examples. 

Let’s review:  Our (formerly) Republican governor, Charlie Crist, is running for the U.S. Senate to replace Republican Senator Mel Martinez, who resigned prior to the end of his term.  Crist’s former chief of staff is currently serving as a placeholder, and to begin with, it was assumed that Governor Charlie would be a slam dunk for the post.  Enter Marco Rubio, former Speaker of the state House of Representatives.  As the cliche goes, Rubio is a “darling” of the Tea Party.  To get further to the right of Rubio, you would have to pick the second star to the right and fly straight on ’til morning. 

The Republicans were (and still are) confused.  They were already a little suspicious of Crist, who was too popular and populist for their tastes.  Also they saw a need to align themselves with the Tea Party people (how quickly are they now trying to backpedal?) and they began to swing support toward Rubio.  Now they are between the proverbial rock and hard place. 

As the filing date approached, one Republican “leader” (sic) said that Crist should just take his lumps and wait his turn.  Hello?  Who did you think you were dealing with here?  Just days before the filing date, Crist quit the Republican Party and filed as an independent.  It would be a severe understatement to say that the Party was pissed. 

The first thing they did was remove his portrait from Republican Party headquarters.  Then, they sold it on Ebay.  You think I’m kidding.  I wish I were.  I’d like to think that even Republicans have progressed beyond third-grade playground.  So as if that wasn’t enough of a laugh…

Last week, Governor Charlie called a special session of the Legislature.  He has the power both to do that, and to set the agenda.  He said:  one item only.  A constitutional amendment to ban oil drilling in near-shore Florida waters.  The Legislative “leadership” (sic, again) said they would be more receptive to it  if they could talk about other things.  Governor Charlie said no.  They said a constitutional amendment wasn’t necessary–it’s already against the law.  Governor Charlie pointed out that for the last two years, the selfsame “leadership” has been trying to overturn that law.  They said it was political grandstanding.  He said…”Whatever”.  They warned him they would not take action if he called the special session.  He did it anyway. 

So last Tuesday, they met for exactly 2 hours and 18 minutes, and adjourned.  They say they are going to call their own special session in September, to talk about “real solutions”.  They may even have some good points, but here is the problem:  71% of the public was on Charlie’s side.  By engaging in their playground snit, they simultaneously managed to make themselves look uncaring and make Charlie look good.  What would it have cost them to go ahead and pass the ban, and then go with their own additional solutions in September?  Nothing…except they couldn’t get as much imagined revenge that way.  Tone-deaf is too good for these guys.  You would think they would have a strategist smart enough to say, if you balk here, you will hand the election to Governor Charlie. 

I think you can just start calling him Senator Charlie.  It was a masterful move. 

Governor Charlie--possibly a politician

Travel the World with Fakename..In One Block

Fakename loves her city and her neighborhood.  Let’s consider the following: 

Now being ever on the hunt for cigarettes she can tolerate…oh please, just read my blog regarding the return of Prohibition to America so I don’t have to say it all again.  But I will add this, regardless of the fact that the Cambridge Filter Method is flawed, it’s still true that some cigarettes have less tar and nicotine than others.  I’ve now temporarily switched to Virginia Slims, whose package asks me to please not litter.  In the big scheme of life, is this really the message you want to send? 

In any case, I visited the convenience store/gas station in my neighborhood, a block and a half away.  The owner (operator?) is from the Central African Republic, which causes me to hope that he’s a refugee as opposed to a machete-wielding escapee from justice.  Granted, the CAR does not hold a candle to Rwanda and Burundi, but it’s in a bad place, landlocked as it is between Chad, Sudan, the two Congos, and Cameroon. 

I’d kind of like to ask if he’s a refugee or an escapee, but that seems to be a bit rude, even for Fakename, who is not above jumping into conversations which are none of her business.  Though, thankfully for society, I don’t do it often.  So the most I can say for sure is that he and his employees are very customer-service oriented, and have lovely lilting accents.  On top of which, their radio is tuned to NPR, and no one who listens to NPR can be all bad.

Famous People In History: Ivan Pavlov

There’s a certain logic to why I’ve chosen this particular person to highlight, but I would not recommend you try to follow that logic since it exposes you to the danger of thinking like Fakename does.

However, it started with my thinking about eating dogs, which I posted about yesterday, and progressed to thinking about dog behavior, particularly my own, whom I will never eat.  Well, unless I find myself in some post-apocalyptic situation, then all bets are off.  I was thinking about the concept of what I call “accidental learning”, where dogs learn stuff you wish they hadn’t. 

In my case, the dogs have learned to associate my shutting down the computer with food.  First, the computer makes that Windows sound…”Dah dah dah…dah dah” (fade….).  This means that I will likely be standing up, and if I’m standing up, there is a greater chance that I will be somewhere near the food container, and that some of that food will end up in their bowls.  Thus, when they hear the Windows sound, they start dancing.  Very, very annoying. 

This led me to think about Pavlov and his bell.  See?  I warned you not to try to follow this. 

I admit that the only thing I could remember about Pavlov had to do with bells and dogs, but there is so much more to him, as I learned from the Wikipedia entry about Pavlov’s life.

First, it seems there was some controversy about whether or not he actually ever used a bell.  (And you thought Fakename spends too much time contemplating subjects from the Who Cares? category.) 

So the judgement of history is this:  Yes, he did use a bell, but he also used a variety of stimuli including “electric shocks, whistles, metronomes, tuning forks, and a variety of visual stimuli”.  If only Pavlov had had Windows.  It would have saved him a lot of time. 

Pavlov won the Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine in 1904 for his work on how the digestive system functions.  This came from his observation that dogs begin to salivate before they actually have access to food.  This “reflexive” response led him to further experiments, such as an investigation into the response to stress and pain.  I guess I don’t have to tell you how you study that.  The answer is, you have to induce it. 

Which brings us at last to the larger philosophical question, which is, Is this something we really needed to know?  And was it worth causing suffering to helpless creatures to find it out?  Fakename says no, because we already knew it.  Even in Pavlov’s lifetime, anybody with a dog could have told you about that reflexive response thing, even without Windows.  But there was (and possibly still is) a mindset among certain scientists, who believe that a phenomenon isn’t “true” unless it’s described under “controlled conditions”.

There was a time when cosmetics were routinely tested on rabbits, followed by a time when cosmetic companies prominently noted that their products were never tested on animals.  Now you never see those disclaimers, because it’s understood that it doesn’t happen.  If there is a value to inducing pain and stress in other animals, what would that value be? 

Fakename thinks that Pavlov would be perfectly comfortable in today’s world, where we can have an apparently serious national debate about the effectivenes of waterboarding, without regard to its moral implications.

I Am Sad

Fakename has had a bad week, for many reasons, but it started Monday morning while driving to work.  The BP station I pass daily about halfway between my house and my office was empty and shuttered.  The sign which normally says something like “Mechanic On Duty” read “Closed”.  I had a bad feeling about this, because I was pretty sure that station was owned by the same people who own the BP station downtown where Jeff the Mechanic works.  Sure enough, my worst fears were confirmed. 

Plastic bags covered the hose nozzles.  No lights in the tiny “store”, and all the shelves were empty.  Doors into the repair bays closed and padlocked. 

I most recently mentioned Jeff the Mechanic in my post Worm Grunting Part 2, Dilbert, and PSI.  I took the Baby Toyota by to introduce him to it (and to get air in the tires).  This is the guy who kept my dying Camaro alive for at least a year past its expiration date.  Who said when pronouncing its death sentence…I could fix your latest problem, but I don’t want to.  It would be like stealing your money.  You need a new car. 

He’s the guy who oohed and aahed over the vvti (variable valve timing with intelligence ) engine technology in the Baby Toyota, and tried mightily to explain it to me.  It has something to do with cams.  He probably didn’t notice my eyes rolling back in my head.  As I finally understood it, vvti has something to do with the car’s ability to exert power when needed and to save power when it isn’t needed.  Ergo, the gas mileage thing.  At least he never treated me like an idiot. even though he should have.  He did yell at me a time or two, but we got past that. 

He was also a blue-collar philosopher.  He had an opinion about everything.  He, like me, was an Obama supporter before it was cool.  One day he said, “What this country needs is protectionism!”  I refer you to the State of the Union address, where now President Obama said, “We need to reward companies who keep jobs here, rather than giving tax breaks to companies which ship jobs overseas.”  I don’t claim to know if that would work or not.  It’s a complex issue.   What I’m lauding is the fact that Jeff the Mechanic gave it some thought.

I don’t really know Jeff the Mechanic personally.  The sum total of what I know about him personally is that he’s married and his wife drives a Volvo.  I think, but don’t know, that he was an independent contractor in his position as the mechanic for this BP station.  I believe that his future is safe, since in light of the economy, people are keeping their cars longer.  Perhaps the BP station will even reopen under new ownership and he will be back.  But I’m not counting on it. 

Operating a service station, at least in Florida, is one of the riskiest things you can do besides operating a restaurant. 

The important thing is, I was seriously pained by seeing that Jeff the Mechanic was gone.  Despite not knowing him personally, he was one of those people who brightened my workday world, just knowing he was out there.  I spent many hours in his company, back in the Camaro days.  He worked, and I sat in a greasy canvas chair in the repair bay reading a book.  Occasionally it would be over lunch, which would consist for me of peanut butter and cheese crackers and a Yoohoo from the store attached.  Now and then one of us would raise our heads and say, “Did you ever think about….?”

My suspicion is that I will never see him again.  It’s not like I’m living in a city teeming with millions of people, but the odds remain great.  Tallahassee has about 190,000 people in the city proper and 250,000 or so with the city and county population combined.  Plus, I don’t need to frequent mechanics anymore.  I won’t be dropping in to some other service station where I will accidentally run into him. 

My feelings about this are a serious window into my emotional life, and reveal a lot more about me than I usually care to share.  Connections, in my opinion, are both rare and fragile.  Once I make one, I can’t bear to give it up, as the people who know me best and for the longest time can attest. 

So, Jeff the Mechanic is a broken connection.  I’m highly unlikely to run into him again unless he shops at Publix.

Worm Grunting

Before we get into this topic, Fakename would like to announce that after her post about Afghanistan, she vowed to post nothing else of a controversial nature until after the holidays.  However, the U.S. Senate is making this very hard on her.  But a promise is a promise, even if it’s to yourself. 

It’s kind of like a self-imposed Lent.  My imperfect understanding is that during Lent, you must give up something, and it has to be something significant.  You can’t, for example, give up Brussel sprouts just because you hate them.  No, you have to give up something you like.  So it seems to me that during Lent, if you observe it, the only thing you’ll be able to think about is your next hit of Brussel sprouts. 

Moving along to the topic, the TV show Dirty Jobs (Discovery Channel) on Tuesday of this week did an episode on worm grunting.  I was alerted to it by an article in the Tallahassee newspaper that morning. 

The worm grunting capital of the world is in Sopchoppy, Florida.  As the video I’ll post at the end says, Sopchoppy is 35 miles and 100 years south of Tallahassee. 

The process of worm grunting involves driving a sharpened wooden stake into the ground, then grinding a large iron file rhythmically across the stake, which produces a sort of groaning (“grunting”) sound.  (Grunters call this a “roop”).  Earthworms then start pouring out to the surface.  Really.  It works.  You pick them up and sell them for bait.  Mr. Revell, who was the star of the Dirty Jobs episode and of the video I’m about to post, said he gets either 6 or 7 cents a worm.  The most worms he ever got in one day was 45,000.  Do the math.  And he does it every day, starting before dawn. 

I am totally fascinated by this whole thing for several reasons.  First, that it has its own language (“roop”).  Second, the scientific basis.  Grunters apparently place great faith in the nature of the sound you’re able to create (the “grunt”).  But in fact, earthworms can’t hear.  But aha…biologists have determined, or, I should say, theorized, that the vibrations of grunting cause the earthworms to flee to the surface to escape imagined underground predators, specifically, moles.  It would make sense that the “grunting” would have to closely approximate the vibrations caused by moles, therefore, you could get it wrong. 

The final thing I would say is:  never make fun of how people make a living, and these people, the Revells, are doing just that, making a living.  They work for themselves and answer to no one.  They get to “work” in the Appalachicola National Forest every day. 

Mike Rowe of Dirty Jobs has barely contained contempt for the people he’s visiting.  His whole attitude fairly screams, “I’m only doing this for the money.”  I have much more respect for Mrs. Revell, who said, I love being out here and hearing the birds in the morning.  Check out Worm Grunting in the Neighborhood.

A Visit to Blogworld

Some days (or hours, or weeks, or months, or years), you just can’t get it together.  Currently, I’m busy rocketing at warp speed from one personal or work crisis to another, and don’t have a bloggable thought in my head.  Well, I did think it might be nice to talk about the newly discovered frog from Asia with fangs, that eats birds.  Maybe later. 

So at times like these, I try to catch up on what other people on my blogroll are writing about.  There aren’t many of them, which is a good thing.  If I add one more, I will become paralyzed by inaction (a primary symptom of crisis-hopping).

So today I will do shameless plugs for other people.  Not that long ago I did a plug for Davis W who is the funniest person you never met.  This link will refer you to his website review of  This is a must-read for those of you who are rocketing from one crisis to the next.  In the small-world category, Davis used to live in Tallahassee, where I currently live, although I had no idea about that when I began reading his blog. 

Now I introduce you to masteroftheuniverse, aka, Jeff Watson.  Currently Jeff is in the middle of a sort of quest, which might be called spiritual in nature, although I hesitate to use that word because a) it may be presumptuous, and b) I don’t like to draw attention to myself in such matters, since I may be struck by lightning.  Jeff is probably the most interesting person you never met.  I can’t do justice to him by attempting to describe him…his own words are much better. 

I’m going to show you the photo that appears in the blog entry linked above.  I don’t feel TOO bad about this, he has after all put it out there on the Internet himself, but I think this is a photo he could sell.  It’s astonishing.  I know a smidgen about photography, and in large part it involves having a good camera and being there at the moment it happens, whatever “it” is.  (The so-called “F-8 and Be There” rule.)  But you can satisfy those requirements and still take a bad picture, because it takes an imagination.  First to see that the picture is possible, and second to snap it at the right moment, at the right angle.  You have to have an “eye”.  Happy viewing.