Friday, September 30, 2016

Flashback Friday

The problem, and maybe blessing, with looking back is you have all the cards of the deck in front of you, face up.  That kid above, well, he's hampered, and maybe blessed, by an unknown and unknowable future.  Our problems, and blessings, are in direct proportion with the size of our personal universe.  At this moment my personal universe consisted of what wheels I'd have for the weekend, who was pitching that day for the Mets and, apparently, a Prom dance.  But I know now what this kid doesn't, "the die is  cast...all of yesterday's what ifs, deeds and thoughts, it is all history."

His universe would expand through the decades and he would look back and think how lucky he was.  Lucky to have brothers to lean on, lucky to have parents who would sacrifice for his education.  Lucky to have friends who undoubtedly saw the flaws but extended their hands regardless.  Lucky to have a career that was in the helping profession.  

Whatever cockiness is in the stance and eyes of this kid didn't last.  Of all the adjectives that would be the least one used.  The die has been cast, even at this age.  Shy, quiet, reserved, studious, a listener and audience to my funnier brothers.  I might tell this kid to be more ambitious, make more money.  Take more chances and get more involved.  But they would be wasted words - the die was cast.  Life doesn't always give us what we want, but very often what we need.

Found this poem in some of my hidden papers.  Sounds every bit by any 17 year old kid's anthem.  Have a nice weekend.  

All these words curled up behind my lips.
I have had moments like this.

All these emotions hidden behind my eyes,
Knots in my stomach as i tried.

Waiting to burst out and tell you i care

but wordless jokes are all what i share.

Don't read me from my stance,

or the smile i forgot to pass.

Hand tied so i can’t wave

I hope you hear all that i want to say.


Thursday, September 29, 2016

4th Party on the 2nd in BFE - Part 3

This is the third in the series of pictures I took at the Fourth of July celebration on July 2nd at North Henderson.  Neighbor Tim's was an invite I especially wanted to make as I have usually been in Floriduh during this annual party.  Once again, Tim and Carrie do an outstanding job for their family and friends.   

Thanks for looking at these, it was a great display.   Hope to make it again next year.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Barge In

This is actually the first part of the Barge In series.  Part 2 was last week.  Oh well, things have been jumbled and are slowly sorting themselves out.  

These were taken in Keithsburg when I was up in June and July.  There were no barges running this last time because of the level of the river.  

That will be all the barge action for awhile I suppose, unless they start running on Rosery Road here in Largo.  I am making plans for my return trip in a few weeks, so perhaps I can continue this strange fascination with the silent river workhorses.  The perfect night shot with these boats still eludes me so off I go.   Then again, maybe that shot with the lightening bolt is my Holy Grail.  Hmm.  No, there must be yet one more left in me.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Tuesday Tidbits

These two desperately lousy iPhone pictures were taken on my last day in Northlandia this trip.  The top is at the bridge just past McCaws heading to Fisher's corner.  (Growing up and driving I never learned road numbers - just local landmarks.)  Strange picture of treeline.  It was actually much lighter since there was a new Harvest Moon that night.  

The bottom picture is me heading toward Seaton with a bit of low-lying fog and a car approaching.  I really thought it could have been a good picture, but alas, not with a little cell phone camera.  I  had my good camera but to get it set up and on a tripod would have been a waste of time.  

Just another example of the varying ability of a small sensored camera.  Go out and get a nice camera and take it wherever you go.


Reader, college classmate and old friend Russ "Rascal"  Foust sent me this picture of some place in Nebraska.  "Thought you might enjoy the photo.  Difficult to comment without being cruel - the paradox."


Did You Know?

A few presidents have been rumored to have tattoos but the only confirmed Presidential ink is Teddy Roosevelt who had his family crest tattooed on his chest.  The more I learn about Teddy, the more I like him. 


Thanks to Les Brown and AAA Pest Control for getting a handle on my house guests.


Did You Know?

Dr. Phlegm and Dr. Jaquish

This is a commercial for Smart Swab that you will see fairly often on antenna-free TV and maybe even regular cable and DISH, I'm not sure.  The doctor giving the testimonial, Dr. Shelley Jaquish, is the partner of my ear Doc, Dr. Phlegm, here in St. Petersburg. Huh?  Who knew?  I did.


It's just the last week of September but the local Wal-Mart has their Christmas stuff out a full three months early.  Nothing like getting your Yuletime supplies a quarter of the year in advance.  Wal-Mart, you whore, you are amazing.


Spied upon leabing the St. Pete Home Deport.  Not sure of the year but 70's or 80's and still running for its lucky owner.  Nice looking bike.  I've thought often of finding an old Kawasaki 90, my first bike before I was legally able to drive, and restoring it.  


I was over at Kenzie and Drew's this weekend and saw this gecko lizard capture a big spider and eat it.  It was kind of funny in a grotesque nature kind of way because everytime that lizard munched down the spiders legs would flex.  Okay, okay, gross and disgusting.  I hate spiders so one less in the world won't tip any scale one way or the other.  


The Oak View Country Club in Emerald City had a tournament two weeks ago.  Foursomes were formed with three guys and an auctioned female.  The name was 'Three Sacks and a Rack'.


The Met's, bless their little New York hearts are still hanging in the playoff picture.  Two years in a row for post-season play is unbelievable.   Just one more week, guys.  You can do it.


Wonder if anyone changed their mind last night.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Head Out On The Highway, Looking For Adventure

Head Out On the Highway, Looking For Adventure

Cozy Inn outside G-Burg a few miles was a landmark bar and grill for many years.  Heading up 150 at that junction if you turn right you'll end up in Henderson.  Turn left and you will find wonderful country  roads, surprisingly rolling.  With Mr. and Mrs. Wombie we notice an out-of-place fenced enclosure way too close to the road.      



Within the wrought iron enclosure is a single grave.  The marker tells us that this is the final resting place of Phillip Nance.  His death in 1829 was 187 years ago,  a long while around these parts.  

So who was Phillip Nance?  Naturally, since the social media of the day was virtually non-existent not much is known of the 17 year old buried in a lone plot 6 miles north of Galesburg.  What is known is that in 1828  a guy named Daniel Robertson travelled from the east coast and settled in what is now Henderson, Illinois.  By building a home shelter he became the official first white man to settle  in what would eventually become Knox County.  Other settlers would come from the Carolinas, Kentucky and Virginia.  They would form a small village.  The first preacher was a guy named Jacob Gunn, the first baby was born to Mrs. Zephaniah Gum, and the first death was Phillip.  Why was the lone burial in this place?   It seems rather lonely.  Where are his folks?  Where are the other villagers? 

And perhaps even more puzzling is the mail box on the gate surrounding Phillip's final resting place.  The home that is nearby has its own mailbox so this one seems incongruous, indeed,  considering the circumstances.   

As always, all you need is a little gas, wheels and the time to go exploring in your own backyard.  Of course, a lime green Jeep is a pretty cool way to travel, but anything will do.  Your assignment - go unearth the treasures that are all about you.  Well, in Phillip's case, perhaps "unearth" is the wrong adjective.  You know what I mean.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Flashback Friday

Shoeless Joe had nothing on Sockless Mike.  Well, except talent, athleticism and legend.  Here is your blogger having a seat on the living room couch.  The Mona Lisa-esque smile isn't hiding much except maybe a hangover.  Keeping vigil is Magic, boxer #2.  Most likely college years.

Marj and her buddies redecorated periodically when they weren't feeding the family, shopping or on the phone discussing the happenings around town.  

The above picture reflects the Oriental period of her decor at this time.  All three items shown (table, couch and wall picture) have a decidedly Chinese look to them.   Since this is an old Polaroid some degradation is to be expected, but the carpet was certainly not brick brown, but a light tan.  

This could easily have been Christmas break but it still reminds me of a story I'm sure I have shared before.  But minds being what they are, it bears repeating.  One of the standard procedures of Spring was to lug all of one's belongings home from school.  Mark and I would bring the boxes and grocery bags of paper, books and belongings and put them in the living room then chat with Marj about school, summer and stuff.  One year, which escapes me, we had done the lugging and were sitting talking when Magic went over to one of the boxes and grabbed a sandwich bag which contained an ample amount of weed.  She then went over to the middle of the room and began smelling and gnawing it.   Mark and I glance at each other while a cold sweat begins to spread.  Not wanting to overreact and raise suspicion, I get up to retrieve the errant baggie when Marj asks what Magic has found.  One of us replied it was a science project, the baggie grabbed and re-hidden and summer vacation commenced.  Magic was mellow the rest of the day.

I would graduate and go on to another school but eventually find myself at someone's employ.  The sockless days would end, but not without a struggle.  Marj would redecorate in a few years with the most fashionable style possible, and she and her friends would keep the connections they had established for years.  Magic would continue to provide laughter and companionship for her and for us boys when we showed up on weekends or summer vacations.  And  our house would provide a home for us all until we began to make our own.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Head Out On the Highway, Looking For Adventure - Part 6

Head Out On the Highway, Looking For Adventure

Turn on the Big Island road just out of Milan, Illinois and you'll travel an almost deserted two-laner that takes you to where the Hennepin Canal flows into the Mississippi.  Look far northward and you'll see the Centennial Bridge.  

Remnant of one of the locks of the canal system.  Finished in 1907 it was 155 miles long and saved nearly 500 miles of travel.  Built much like the present day lock and dam system, much of it remains, much of it doesn't.  

This section, at the mouth of the river, still has water-level numbers etched into the deteriorating cement walls.   On up a bit, and unfortunately I didn't take a picture of it, was the remqins of the locking gate area which would ahve been closed with a boat in it and rising much like the river dam system.

This is a Google earth picture of the area Mr. and Mrs. Wombie and myself were on this particular day.  Big Island apaprently is a place one woudln't want to be around in the evening hours.  There was a body found recently who met its demise by nefarious individuals, and the place is also home to deals, drug and otherwise.  But during the day it is home to fishermen and besides, we had, Mrs. Wombie with us to protect us.   

We had a nice chat with this guy who was waterboarding worms on this fine afternoon.  A friendly fellow he was just happy to be here with a couple lines nearby and a cold one in his hands.  Who wouldn't?

On the way home I glanced over to the right while going through Viola.  I yelled to the Wombie to turn around after I spied an old car in a structure.  Even with out reflection you can see a hidden beauty in there.  Is that a '57 Cadillac?   Could be.  It will definitely warrant further investigation in a future adventure.  

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Black & White at Night

Last month we talked about black and white photography.  Neighbor Tim went out and did a little with his iPhone and came up with these small masterpieces.  

There are grain bins behind his place in BFE and the light show provided quite a backdrop. 

Thanks for the submission, Tim and keep your camera handy.