Friday, June 30, 2017

Flashback Friday

Well look what we have here.  Prom time at the Blythe residence.  Our fireplace was a nice place for casual to semi formal photos.  Pictured here, of course is a somewhat shy writer of your blog and his effervescent daughter.  Proms have always been a bit of a gateway to adulthood.  As for me, I have designated my time on this planet B.K. (Before Kenzie) and A.K.  She may have been her Mother's daughter but there was always enough sunshine from that personality to keep me pretty warm as well.

On the wall in the upper right is a photo I took of Kenzie in Uncle Ed's lap back across the street on Grove.  Ed was the M & M man to our kids.  he seemed to always have a bag when he stopped over.  Just over my shoulder is a picture of Marj and Herb at their wedding.  And over the mantle is the painting of our house.  

I didn't realize then as I was standing dutifully, and proudly, as some strange teenage boy whisked my daughter off out into the night, but this was the first scenario into "letting go".  Her smile has with it all the excitement and yearning of youth on the precipice of adulthood.  My constrained look has within it all the fear for her and maybe the knowledge that I was on somewhat of a precipice myself. 

Nope, didn't see it then.  But from my perch today I see all the cycles.  Perhaps if we did see back then we'd take a stand and put a stop to life itself in some frantic, manic attempt to preserve the moment and end the cyclical nature of things.  But instead, we do the next best thing - we take pictures.  Small seconds in time that are preserved.  Life continues, but in each snapshot it stays frozen.   

Little by little life exerts itself into our daily routines, and then, before you know it, the orderly world that we have constructed changes for good, and we begin the process again.  Always readjusting to a new reality.  Like a house of cards that keeps falling down from a light window breeze, not hard enough to cause anguish but strong enough to create change.  Life seems to be a continuous adjustment that we have to become familiar, and maybe, friends with.  I was really friends with the time that was when this picture was taken.    

Thursday, June 29, 2017

The Moon and Saturn

Up early in Emerald City.  I had read somewhere that the Moon and Saturn were dancing this morning so I went and took some pictures.  These were take at the UFO landing site over by the Grind and then going back into town looking west.     

The lens flare in the third shot is included simply because it looks otherworldly as does the 4th shot.  It was getting late and the sun was coming up which always means the end to the stars.  It doesn't mean the end to picture taking, however, as many photographers will take advantage of the two golden hours we have per day:  that time in the morning and evening when the sun puts a gold tint on things.  

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Alpha Car Show -Part 3

I'm sorry to all of you who just simply don't care about old cars.  Today's post may further enhance your angst, but then maybe it will be something you like.  We return to Alpha's 10th Annual Show that was held on May 6th.  

The cars featured to day were not made in an assembly line by a major manufacturer.  Oh, bits and pieces of them were, but the package you see today are put together like a jigsaw puzzle.   

An inestimably accurate name for this mish-mash of borrowed steel.  I suppose there is a niche of car lovers who may be moderately interested in this monstrosity, but not me.  I think it would serve a better purpose as a door knob.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Tuesday Tidbits

The Cabin in the Woods is in a hiatus state at the moment.  I have contacted Allegiant Air and they will be happy to bring me back in about 30 days, more or less, for the second half of the 2017 Summer Tour.  Gas up the Jeep, Wombie,  I've got a ticket to ride!    


I include this short video on how to build an igloo.  It may be a bit short on details but is long on cold.   (Looks like the saw is used to cut cantilevered so blocks are placed against each other with gravity.)  Brrr.  Six months from today all the Christmas hoopla will be over.


Something happened when last we met.  It officially became Summer.


"I have a very good brain and I have said a lot of things.  My primary consultant is myself and I have, you know,  I have a good instinct for this stuff."  March 16, 2016

"My uncle was a great professor and scientist and engineer, Dr. John Trump MIT, good genes, very good genes, okay, very smart, Wharton School of Finance, very good, very smart -- you know, if your a conservative Republican, if I were a liberal, if, like, okay, if I ran as a liberal Democrat, they would say I'm one of the smartest people anywhere in the world - it's true!"  July 21, 2016

"Is Donald Trump an intellectual?  Trust me, I'm like, a smart person."  January 27, 2017 

"I understand things.  I comprehend very well, okay, better than I think almost anybody."  February 8, 2017


Adventures In Babysitting

I packed up my two clients for a walk to Burger King.  I do feel I need the occasional field trip to broaden their horizons and to get away from the cartoons.  The nearby pool is always a crowd-pleaser, but today, a Friday, called for a special ice cream treat.  What you can't see from this bucolic picture is the mess that was created by an overfilled strawberry shake for Norah and the mess in Alfred's lap by tipping her cup over.

Norah decided she was too tired to walk anymore so she climbed in the lower portion of the stroller.  Sometimes it makes one wonder if maybe cartoons aren't the better part of valor - and trouble. 


Things I worry about when I'm not worrying about something:

---What happens if circumstances dictate that I need to make a call to someone and I don't have my own phone?  I don't know anyone's number!  I haven't had to memorize a number in decades.

---There's something kind of creepy about "for-profit prisons".

---When I have a car following me for a long time I kind of feel sadly rejected when they peal off.

---Will I be anywhere near a great spot during the Eclipse USA solar eclipse on August 21st?

---Wonder how many times the letter "I" was accidentally used instead of "u" when typing the word puzzle.  They are right next together on the keyboard.  Just a simple mistake can turn a fun puzzle into an animal penis, pizzle.  (Note: tomorrow's post has word puzzle in it and made that mistake.)

---I'd like to have a pair of Velcro shoes, but don't want to be seen as an old fogie.  I'd also like a pair of those shoes the kids wear that light-up and blink around when you walk.  And yes, they make them for adults.  


Note to loyal readers:  In the next few weeks I will be posting single pictures taken while back in Northlandia periodically.  There will be no information, no prologue.  No ""thanks for joining me".  They were all taken around Emerald City - at the lagoon, or at the Grind UFO landing cul-de-sac, or near the fairgrounds.  They are night shots of the Milky Way or just cool nighttime photos.  Some are going to be in the Mercer County Fair because I am just vain enough to want to exhibit them.  


If I have to think of Kellyanne Conway, I think of her like this...


I saw Hidden Figures last week and it was OK.  It is the story of the women behind the mathematical challenge of putting men in space during the early days of the space race.  As entertainment it was a fine time to spend a couple hours with three savvy ladies who. according to this story, were single-handedly responsible for our successes.  It is better as entertainment than history, but then aren't most of these types of films?  My problems were the obvious writing behind the words - it was obvious there was a team of writers who had to create situations to punch up the story.  Too obvious.  In one stereotypical confrontation with a white NASA supervisor, and after the super says she isn't racist, one of the black characters says "I know you believe you're not."  Pretty much doubt the character would have said that in this time, and in this confrontation.  Such a twisted response would have put her job in jeopardy. Another incident has one of the black ladies so intent on attending an engineering class at the local school that she even went to court to facilitate that dream.  But her first day in class she opens the door to a room of white students and the teacher in full professorial oration.  She would never have been late to her classes.  One other writing reveal was one of the characters mouthing, "Her work is spot-on."  "Spot-on" has been around for a while (1936), but was used in the UK and wasn't in the common vernacular in the early 60's.  The confrontation with the stereotypical redneck cop was a little derivative as well.

But if you can handle these problems the film is kind of fun and interesting.  It is based on a true story and one wishes they done that movie instead of the TV-ish one we actually get here.  Kevin Costner is his usual great self and nice to see him slipping into decent character roles in his later career.  Should you see it?  Yes, thankfully the good parts overwhelm the bad.


This past week I discovered a seafood shop not far from Waterboard.  Neat place with all kinds of different things.  I picked up some blackened salmon  (And paid for it, too).

On the far left is Baby Octopus Salad and if you look real close, that's what they are, too.  On the far right is Seasoned Squid.  I don't think I'm that curious to try.  Wish they had some pea salad that you can't find in this whore of a state. 


At a stop light while coming home from the beach one dusky night this baby pulled up beside me.  I got an instant erection.  We looked at each other for what seemed minutes.  I admired her lines, her curves, her sexy fender skirts.  When the light turned green I turned left - she turned right.  And I'll think of her every day for the rest of my life.


Till week after next.  Because of the 4th of July holiday there won't be a Tuesday Tidbits next week.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Scenes Of Northlandia

Northlandia in Black and White, And Some Color

This may be my favorite.  This is a small hillside cemetery just east of New Windsor and west of Alpha.   An old wrought iron gate opening is all that is left of what must have been like iron all around this acreage.  The symbolism and irony is striking.  

This is Emerald City's library, in day and nighttime.  (Thirst for knowledge nevers sleeps.)  It was built in 1915 by a Carnegie grant. The Andrew Carnegie Foundation built 1,628 free public libraries in the U.S.  Grant monies were usually around $10,000 to cities and villages across the country.  Towns had to prove they wanted one, and had to provide the land for the structure.   A surprising number still exist - many have been remodeled but many have not.  Having been inside this one, my guess is this is the original layout.  Aledo is lucky to have it.  

This is the old Northside school.  They bussed us Seaton kids over to this Junior High when I was a kid.  Now it is empty.  I recall getting my first "D" from Mr. Stroud.  I was devastated.  Mr. Lotz was a cool teacher during my junior high days.  He remains in my head because he once said that in war you should not follow any rules.  In war survival is paramount.  Last time I saw him I was driving out of Geneseo after a car show.  A car came up next to me in the left turn lane.  He honked his horn.  He was wearing a jaunty beret and saluted.   

In my Emerald City early morning walks I came across something you see in movies but never see in real life.  A tire hanging from a tree limb.  This iPhone picture looks like a painting.

I accompany the Wombie on his early morning water jobs to Seaton and Joy.  The above two pics are from Joy.  Main Street America has been decimated.

The above three pics are from New Windsor.  I was driving through one time heading to either BFE or G-Burg and saw these worthy subjects.

This final pic is an old barn with a nice cupola I spotted near G-Burg.   I'm liking black and white more often.

That's it for today.  More coming soon.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Flashback Friday

Its funny.  My parents, Marj and Herb, have been gone 22 and 19 years, respectively.  And yet I see them often.  In my dreams.  I can't say that I have vivid ones, nor do I remember them every morning.  But every so often it would seem I awake with dreams so real that it takes a few seconds to shake the memory away and bring me to my senses.  Just the other day I awoke to having done something admirable, downright sacrificial for a guy I despised at the Mary where I used to work.  Its nice to know I can be a nice guy -- in another dimension.

Today's Flashback is a photo of my folks.  Herb has his suit jacket and tie in his hands with the car keys.  Must have been to some formal function, but I can't imagine where.   In looking at the picture I don't even know where they are.  At first I thought it was the front yard of the Seaton homestead, but we didn't have a little tree there and looks like there are sidewalks, and we didn't have those either.  Mysteries.  Maybe some help from the bros.

Marj was a classy dresser when she went out.  She was classy casually when home, too.  Mad Men classy.  Everything was coordinated and matched, or accented each other.  She had bad hips.  Before I got married I'd go home on one of my days off and she sent me into stores to get her stuff.   At times I'd go into Catherine's to take something back or pick up she'd ordered out of the catalog.  There was a fabric store in G-Burg she'd send me in to get skeins of yarn.  It wasn't one of my more pleasant jobs.  She'd say, for example, go in and bring out various gray colored yarn so she could see for herself which one she needed for her knitting projects.  I'd go in and ask if I could slip outside to show her what I had.  They always let me.  There could often be several trips in and out to complete the deal. She also took advantage of me by sending me into grocery stores with her lists.  My compensation was the ability to pick something up for myself.  Not always fun stuff but looking back, I'd love to be her runner one more time.   

We lose people throughout our lives.  You lose something more when you lose a parent.  Beside a loved one, you also lose a kind of anchor to your world.  As a kid with parents, there is always that layer of safety and security.  A kind of back-up if and when things go wrong.  When you lose them you are on your own.   That void is never filled.  Can't be.  

Its been long enough the sting of their absence is gone but every so often my mind wanders and teases me with the prospect of calling home to suddenly realize its no longer possible.  But the longing remains.  309-586-5251.  I suspect if I live another 20 years the same thoughts will bubble up from who knows where.  And I reckon in those dreams I'll see them again and we'll talk of things that need mending or to tell a joke.  To visit again and swap stories.  Maybe to get some yarn or groceries.  Such are the dreams of orphans.  

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Alpha Car Show - Part 2

Readers who don't give two hoots (or even one) for old cars will be disappointed that, once again, we are featuring a post from the Alpha Car show on May 6th.  

Between talking with Ed and walking with Neighbor Tim, I took some pics of things that caught my eye.  The real hit was my t-shirt, however.  Santa brought me one that has "Just One More Car.  I Promise." on the front with two crossed fingers on the back.  I got no fewer that 5 comments on my apparel and 2 on my car.   

I'm not all that big on pre '50's cars but I liked this layout on the front of this old Plymouth.  I have no idea if this is original but having two large chrome horns taking up space on the front seems excessive but aggressive, too.  See that amber light on the lower right?  That certainly is a newer add-on,  so the originality of this car is really in question.

Hood ornaments used to mean something symbolically for the auto.  They began as very fancy items that meant to display grace, speed or artistry.  Today they don't even exist, but once, they were works of art.  Check some out on Ebay today and you'll have to pay up to a thousand or more for the fancier ones.  For a short while, Pontiac even had one that lit up when you turned the headlights on.  

Stylized Plymouth grill insignia.

American Motors grill insignia.

Classic triangular Chevy truck speedometer and dash. 

This old 40's Ford wanted to tell all your neighbors that you had a V-8 engine under the hood.   

One of the old car show circuit regulars Chuck Anderson and his rumble seated Ford.   It's about the only one around anymore.  The car is beginning to need some maintenance but I think Chuck is just going to ride it out.   See the rear window rolls down?  When asked what it was like to ride in a rumbler. he stated, "Windy."

A nice old original 56 Chevy truck but I don't remember any of them having wide whites.

My passion remains with 60s cars.  You could tell what they were from a mile away.  In fact, the Wombie and I as kids would turn backwards in the rear seat and guess what style the car was behind us.  We were usually right.  Nothing else on the road looked like a Buick, or Studebaker, or Pontiac.

A nice original.  If you don't believe it just read the windshield.

Another once of those farm workhorse pick-ups with wide whitewall tires.  Of course, the Fleetside was a classier looking truck, so I suppose it is possible.

I had a long chat with the owner of this 1951 Mercury.  He went to extraordinary lengths to keep his car original and it was a very, very nice car.  I liked this one a lot.  

Our final car of the day is this 1974 American Motors Javelin SST, perhaps the best looking AMC vehicle ever designed by them.  Those fender bulges, the sleek front reminiscent of the early Camaros.  This is likely as close to classic muscle poor AMC ever got - even when they were still alive we all knew their stuff was junk.  Yeah, I had a Pacer, but it was  junk, too.  It was so junky it was destroyed by a cow.  But that's a story for another day.  

There would be another car show in a couple weeks and you'll be lucky enough to learn all about that day, too, but only if you come back to this site.  

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Pictures I Wish I Had Taken

Another series of photos I have found on the internet that I wish I had taken.  They have been ripped off shamelessly and my staff legal team wants me to tell you that I did not take these and that credit should be given to those who did, whoever they are.


Some of these have been pumped up with Photoshop, but they are still quite nice and often step over into the field of art rather than photos.  Always, always have your camera or cellphone with you.