Sunday, November 14, 2010

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

It's a big world out there.

This is all about as real as Disneyworld. I find that kind of depressing, really.I've still only seen a small part of it...

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Still a bit lost...

Look up, bunky
...but not ready to return just yet.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Not with a whimper, but a click.

Actually, no it's not. But it's a good story, eh?
Acclaimed nature photographer Michio Hoshino who specialized in Alaskan wildlife images, was killed by a brown bear in Russia on assignment in 1996.
This was his last photo.

I'm going to be signing off for a little while. There shall be more later, maybe.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

On travel...

I've been making copious use of Google maps lately. Some of that has been for its "intended" use, namely getting directions from once place to another, but I've also been using the street view to look at houses for rent, and inspect neighborhoods, and even to virtually revisit scenes from my past.

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Maybe it's because I'm pulling up roots yet again, but every one of those views pulls up a very specific time in my mind. Coincdentally, they all involve water, and bridges or causeways.

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There's something about the conversion of crossing water that appeals to me. While some borders are nebulous things, crossing a river or creek marks a real boundary. This side and that side. That was there, and this is here.

And so. I head off to a new town, new bridges and new water. Here. And there. Then. And now.

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Wednesday, June 2, 2010

On the wind.

I often wonder what it's like to really smell the wind...

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

It is over yet?

This year, is it done? Can I go now?

Monday, April 19, 2010

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

The daze of summer.

Here in the south, we love our sports, and it would take a natural disaster to keep us away from them, or maybe something extra...

The following story was published in the Chicago Herald after the 1886 Charleston earthquake (pictured above).

    "I was down in South Carolina during all of the earthquake troubles," said a commercial traveler, "and I never again want to be a witness of such scenes as I saw there. I'll not attempt to describe the incidents to you—they have already been sufficiently touched upon in the daily papers. But there is one little phase of the thing which the newspapers have not even mentioned. You know business was suspended in Charleston. All of the stores excepting grocery and provision stores were closed. The banks were not open. The theaters closed their doors. Even the newspapers suspended publication for an issue or two. But the day after the first terrible quake I happened out by the baseball grounds, and I'll be durned if there wasn't two clubs in there a playing, and quite a crowd sitting on the benches cheering the players. I looked through a crack in the fence , and just then another earthquake shock came. The umpire motioned to the players to go right along, but the pitcher, who was then in the box, asked to have the game called for a few minutes because the home plate was wobbling so he couldn't put the ball in straight. The umpire acceded to this reasonable request, and after a delay of ten minutes I heard the umpire call out, 'play ball—batter up.' Then I left, satisfied that baseball is the one American institution which even an earthquake can't knock out."

Small bonus:
The same view today:

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Photo from: U.S. Geological Survey Photographic Library
Newspaper column via: Baseball Researcher

Monday, March 15, 2010

Friday, March 12, 2010

The things that carry us.

The old girl in her native habitat.

Reading this article reminded me of one of the eccentricities of automotive loving folks: we tend to name our vehicles. In a mildly sexist way, most vehicles seem to end up being women. Coaxed to start by gently cooing, "Come on, baby" on cold mornings and cheered onto the freeway with an "Atta girl!" it's not a demeaning reflection on womankind in general, but more of the male realization that some things in life require more attention and care than others.

The first run of cars I had were all given gender-neutral names. the '81 Honda known universally as the Aluminum Mallard after a favorite video game, the '88 Toyota that was the Fiberglass Falcon to keep the joke going and the '89 Honda that was the nail in the coffin for the running gag was known as the Bronze Buzzard. My motorcycle (of which I have written about previously with much longing and heartbreak) picked up the name Karen, a corruption of the Japanese word Kirin, and has treated me like an on-again, off-again lover for the duration of our three year relationship.

The Volvo I rescued out of a field in Geer, SC (literally), is both the biggest car and first "adult" car I've ever owned. Buying a station wagon, at the time, seemed like giving up on the run-around, lightweight flickability of the Japanese imports of my youth. And while the old girl doesn't bust out the moves like the little chicks of my past, she'll crunch though places the others would fear to tread, and do it with a surprising amount of grace. During the snowfall pictured in the photo above, we went out and cut a series of long looping donuts in a local parking lot. She may not breakdance, but she'll twirl around in lines that would put a ballroom dance to shame.

So she's been nicknamed the Volvinator for a very impressive performance in getting my sorry tail home on a night when the heavens opened up and the streets were flooded past where mortals would dare to tread, but on those times when I discover a wonderful bit of grace engineered into the stout tractor heart of her red-block engine, she'll always be Freja. A stately, yet quirky gal, who'll haul it all a long distance, but always get me back home safely.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Random thoughts, scribbles and other nonsense.

The above image has been my desktop for the past week.

My apologies to Mr. Watterson, but it was the only thing I could look at that made me feel better.

When I had a few free moments in the bum's rush of insanity that was this past weekend, I slowly and carefully re-read my old Calvin & Hobbes books. They made me laugh.

If there's a higher complement than that, I can't think of it.

I'm still numb.

I'm still sad.


I'm still here.

Monday, March 1, 2010


"You only get so many chances to screw up your life, you'd better make 'em all count." - Toby Morriss. 1973-2010

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Snow Daze.

Slightly confused.

Well insulated.


Fool's cap.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

In light of recent events...

...and in memory of the fallen trees in my front yard from this weekend's storm, I present to you the best love song ever about a natural disaster:

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Lost images

A photograph found while cleaning behind the refrigerator.

Thursday, January 14, 2010


It's been cold here in the Southeast. Quite cold. Not Minnesota negative umpty-million cold, but temps in the teens are plenty frickin' cold in a state where buying anti-freeze is something most people will do maybe once in their lives. Water lines have broken in Jackson, MS. Miami got a killing frost. My ponds have been frozen for two weeks.

As a result, the uninsulated, dilapidated hulk I live in has been a cold prison for the last couple of weeks. I've been pouring wood into my heater like it was gasoline into a Hummer, in a futile attempt to keep the atmosphere in my living room above freezing. I've given up on warm. 47°F seems to be the best one can hope for, but you can't see your breath at that temperature, so it at least makes it seem more pleasant.

As such, I've spent a lot of time wearing a coat and sitting on my couch wishing the mercury in the thermometer to rise. Which, no offense to the Tibetan monks who supposedly can do this at will, it hasn't.

So being dark and cold and slightly poor (the state has a weird payment system and I don't get paid between Dec 22 and Jan 15) isn't the sort of thing that leads a person to be cheery. I suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder on occasion, and I have a handwritten note on my calendar for the month of February saying "It's okay, you'll be fine in March, calm down." But the combination of the weather and the poverty and the worn-out frozen feeling that my heart and bones had been replaced with those of an ice giant, have left me feeling that same old familiar wrung-out depression.

Fortunately, us music addicts have an easy route to self-medication. Mine has been the album "Weathervanes" from the Freelance Whales. A slightly dark, surreal, bouncy plate of "Hey-it's-not-so-bad-Bucko!" has kept me chugging along through the cold, dark nights. And hey, here's the band performing in a cold dark place, and they're smiling, so yeah. It works.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

I've been busy.

Things have been... odd. I'll have more to say later.

Happy new year and all that.