Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Harvest Supermoon

The Harvest Moon is the cool one we remember in the Fall.  Sometimes it looked so huge and with Halloween around the corner it was maybe a little eerie, too.  Usually we saw it peeking over the treetops with a yellowish or gold tinge.  The Harvest Moon was also a Supermoon.  This year, I didn't see much color and it lacked the eeriness of a cool crisp evening in Northlandia.  Down here, in the mecca of meh, many things are underwhelming.  







Even so it presented a pretty good photo opportunity.  The problem with a post featuring the Moon, where else do you go?  You take one picture of it, then what?  Why post four pics?  Well, then you do a little cropping and zooming, and, voila, a salvaged post barely able to wobble on four legs. 

With the October Blood Moon coming up soon and another meteor shower after that, it's time to grab my lawn chair and do some more night shooting, even in this citified sky.  The blog is always hungry.   

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Tuesday Tidbits



St. Pete Egg Platter patron and Red Skelton look-alike here has unique facial hair.  I've never seen anything like it, and when you do off-kilter stuff like this, you get pictures taken of yourself and pasted on the world wide web.  Looking a lot like a patch of yard that doesn't get mowed, this guy has decided this is a cool look.  I'm not sure it will take off, buddy, er Red.


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 This is amazingly good Bloody Mary mix that I had at Tim's Neighborly Bar and Sometimes Grill.  I thought Whiskey Willy's was the best, but it has now been toppled from the top spot by Jimmy Luv's.  Perfect blend of tasty spices that includes 2 important ingredients:  horseradish and anchovies.  An added bonus is it has a watery consistency unlike others where a fork and knife is sometimes necessary.   

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Now that the long tendrils of Fall are upon us and beckon us toward another Winter, let me recommend a couple of movies for your consideration. 



Still Mine is a Canadian flick that stars James Cromwell and Genevieve Bujold.  Cromwell is known as Farmer Hoggitt in Babe, the Warden in The Green Mile, the Nazi doctor in American Horror Story and many other roles.  You may not know his name but he is easily recognizable.  Bujold, well, I don't recall many films of hers, but  do remember that I thought she was cute when I was a wee lad. 

No cars careening, no explosions, no thumping music designed to heighten suspense, Still Mine may be the best movie you see this year.  This is a movie about people and about aging.  I don't want to say more about it, just see it.  Rent this DVD and if you don't like it, let me know and I'll send you the DVD or pay your On-Demand fee.  Promise. 



It's not often you get a chance to see truly great storytelling, great direction, inspired writing, stunning acting and production values all rolled into one project.  True Detective is one such series.  Apparently this is going to be an anthology but if they can top their first endeavor then we really are going to be in for an annual treat.  This whodunit is secondary to the character development between McConaughey and Harrelson as they track a serial killer in Louisiana.  One of the best ever.  Smart, adult, clever, philosophical, metaphysical with unbelievable location shots

My last recommendation is The Normal Heart about the early fight for AIDS recognition and treatment.  

  



Initially people in the trenches had to fight public perception, governmental and political disinterest and each other.  Today AIDS seems to have been swept under the rug but 6,000 people get infected every day.  Ebola is a piker in comparison.  

The acting is superb (watch for the bearded guy's rant/speech toward the end of the movie), the story riveting and heartfelt.  So cuddle in under a blanket one of these cold nights and watch excellent drama.  We still have plenty of exploding cars and action superheroes to turn to when there is nothing better to watch.  

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Tried to take some pictures of the Orionids meteor shower today at 2:00 AM at Vinoy but the cloud cover was too great.  Today is when they peak.  So, back to bed.  While not as numerous or bright as the Perseids, they would have been worth taking while coming in over the Bay.  I'll try again tomorrow morning, weather permitting.        



Monday, October 20, 2014

Largo Public Park

It was one of those spontaneous stops with which you have low expectations.  Driving back from the beach a sign "Largo Public Park" beckoned at the 4-way stop.  A smattering of cars on this Sunday morning was a good sign…for me.  Crowds and all that pit wetness inducing thing that vexes me.   So far, so good. 



This is a baby owl.  How studly at this age.  How regal and cool.  They had a person on the walkway holding this guy and another one.  They keep wounded birds they find on their grounds and these birds were either healing from wounds or will never be able to survive in the wild.  Of all the parks and nature preserves I have visited this is the first place that had their birds outside for easy viewing during open hours instead of in their cages.  



This gives you a little perspective on Little Guy's size.  


I finally go this guy head-on.  He didn't want to face me and his trainer/keeper kept trying to get him to look over.  Finally he did and you can tell he's a bit pissed.  Not sure why I wasn't worthy of his glare, but something about me tick whim off.  




This walkway out into the water is kind of nice.  Fairly long it's a nice place to just gaze at all the things around you.  Now I'll keep still awhile as you walk with me through the all the vegetation.












These turtles were basking in the dryness of the log.  Unfortunately we have spoiled these guys.  There is a place in the education center that will sell you some turtle food.  




When you stand on the deck you can see the water roiling.  That's the turtles coming over to get food, much like a dog begs for a treat.  Not having bought anything I therefore felt badly for making them go to all that effort for nothing.  Next time I'll get some food, darn it.    

Friday, October 17, 2014

Flashback Friday


Today's Flashback focuses on a couple characters we have met before on the blog.  The swarthy dark terrorist looking fellow below is the Wombie, aka Aquaman, who is providing a comfy pillow to family dog, Magic, who we met formally a few weeks ago on the August 29th post.  


At that time I showcased a painting I did over 30 years ago for Marj.  I thought you might like to see her in person, and the Wombie has provided a secondary reason since he is closing in on his retirement as Aquaman in Aledo.    



Written on the back of this picture is "Aug '76" so Mark would have been working in Orion at this time in the water department and I was enjoying a summer working for Uncle Ed before heading back to my second year of grad school in Denver.  Maybe we had finished playing a ballgame for the Seaton Church League team.  

The Wombie hasn't changed all that much - perhaps a bit more around the middle, less hair but still a beard, maybe a little older looking.  Meanwhile, I have appeared to defy the aging process whilst probably prettier than in my youth. I notice the finger splint, perhaps an industrial accident?   I'll have to ask next time I talk to him.  

Magic died sometime between this picture and the painting 6 years later.  She was a Hell of a good dog, we were lucky, we had two great ones growing up.  Archie before her, magic was a feisty pup who liked to scoot around with some encouragement and hand clapping.  She hated Bill Greer down at his gas station when he would wash the windows when gassing up.  Never saw a dog so intent on getting that hand and towel.  She'd be all over the front then move to the back when Bill took care of that window, too.  I think maybe he egged her on a little, but still, it was just one of those quirks that all dogs have.   If "a faithful and loving companion" is the hallmark of a great pooch, then we had two.  Lucky, lucky boys.  

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Anatomy of a Catch

On a mission seeking that which is food, these gulls sweep the beach on a constant quest to live.  Spend any time here at all and you will see their never-ending surveillance of the sea and very often a perpendicular plunge downward.  













Scan, Swoop, Dive, Catch.  Evolved through millennia, hunter and hunted.  Life and death.  Can't beat fun at the beach.






Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Indian Rocks Beach

It had been awhile since I'd been to the beach.  On a pleasant Sunday morning it seemed to be the perfect time to return.  Besides, scouting areas away from the usual Sunset Beach close to Shawshank seemed appropriate since Bedlam was my new Institution of choice. 

I believe Indian Rocks Beach was the name of this place and seemed pleasant enough.  




First looking North...


…then looking behind me to the South.


This guy had found a shelled creature of some sort and was throwing it down in an attempt to loosen it up.



This guy was finding time to cuddle with his lady friend (where is that left hand?) and still hold on to his drink.




Pelicans remain one my favorite sights.  So prehistoric, so ugly, but majestic in the air.


A wave at the point just before crashing and making its froth.



A couple guys about to launch their boards.





Which one is the boss?





A beautiful yellow-footed egret.

With that, the mental batteries refreshed a bit; back to Bedlam.  Return tomorrow for a rather nice series of shots from the beach.  Need a teaser?   Life feeds on life.  How's that?

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Tuesday Tidbits - Video Edition





By the time you read this, this story will be dated.  Around the end of the regular season in one of the many minor leagues games a guy came up to bat and cracked a home run.  Rounding first base he twisted his knee some way and wanted his homer to count, so he, with magnificent determination, rounded the bases.  Speaking of dated...





I finished the PBS Ken Burns series on the Roosevelts and thought you guys may like to see Roosevelt at his funniest.  Note the impeccable timing and adroit writing regarding a mini-scandal regarding his beloved Terrier Fala.  He was a pretty charming fellow and is rightly regarded as one of our greatest Presidents.  But he was hated by many in the Republican party amongst them my grandfather and my father-in-law.  One thing Burns didn't address was why he was hated so.       




This is an exchange LBJ had with the Haggar clothes representative when he was in the White House.  It is somewhat shocking not only to hear LBJ's coarseness and unapologetic belching, but that there was such a need to record this.  Why, I don't know but I sure am glad they did.  Sometimes history is fun.