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Showing posts from September, 2014

Tuesday Tidbits

Friend Definition
1.  A person whom one knows, likes and trusts.
2.  A person whom one knows; an acquaintance.
3.  A person with whom one is allied in a struggle or cause; a comrade.

I have been blessed with a few great friends in my time.   I've talked of Ed, my Uncle by marriage but a friend by choice.  And Mike Johnson, who died over 20 years ago.  Sometimes they fade away and, sadly, sometimes they die. You don't rank friends, really.  I know who my "besties" are: the ones you call when you need help.  Yeah, you guys who read this daily are my besties.  You know who you are.  

Taken by Tim a couple days before the accident.
I almost lost one recently.  Remember the NOLA trip that was scheduled for this month?  I had to bail due to budgetary constraints.  Too many expenses on the house while I was up there in August.  Tim, Jeff and I were originally going to breeze into New Orleans but we couldn't get it put together.  

Tim already h…


Weather.  It's around us all the time.*  Usually you don't give a damn about it until it affects you personally.   It is the stuff of small-talk, patter between strangers.  We have smartphone apps that show us fronts rolling in, and, for some, the first thing to check in the morning, and the last at night.

Poets write sonnets about weather.  Writers use it to create moods.  My grandfather Dick Westlake said, 

"Cold winds may blow,  snow may fall,  how well we know,  God loves us all."   
But that's not all!  He also said often, "Cold today, hot tamale!"  Dick was the cool grandfather.  

I have received an inordinate amount of ridicule from some folks about my hatred for the endless blue skies of Florida.  I think it is boring down here, weather-wise.**  I'm a mid-westerner; we see bags forming in the West and wonder if we'll get enough to settle dust  or flood the basement. 

I like rainy days.  I like rainy days on weekends when you can stay inside and …

Flashback Friday

Kids just starting out.  We seldom think of our parents in that stage of their loves.  Too much memory buildup to objectively see them as somewhere between older kids and younger adults.  

Home from his stint in the Navy Herb returned to Seaton where his  parents lived.  His father, the irascible Vern, or V.G., owned the grain elevator in town.  It would be the place of Herb's employment in a shot while and, in a purchase in the 60's would be his business.  

But before that, he taught school for a year or two at the Seaton school.  By virtue of his graduation from college when he returned from service, his diploma granted him status as someone with enough smarts to teach, or at least teach kids from Seaton.   

I'm not sure what prompted the pictures of Marj and Herb posed in front of the elevator.  Was it when they arrived?  Was it when Herb began working there for his Dad?  Was it merely a visit when they were seeing each other in college?  As there are no dates attached to …

Moonshadow And the Perseids

AUGUST 12-13.  This was the night when Perseid's was at it's most active.  Camera - Check.  Tripod - Check.  Memory card - Check.  Full batteries - Check.  Nice black sky?  Well, it just so happened that on this night we also had a full moon.  This is a lot like being invited over to a pool party and discover there's no water in the pool.  The ability to photograph streaking meteors is determined by how dark your sky is, and luck, of course.  

Moon Light

The above raw picture was taken just below the moon on the evening of the highest Perseid's meteor shower.  You can see the moon beams from the upper right hand corner.    So much light from the moon obscured the sky for the meteor show that it was almost pointless to try to observe anything with the naked eye.   

With Moon Light
But that didn't mean there wasn't any activity for the eye of the camera. In this picture you can see, barely, a shooting star on the right side maybe 2/3's of the way down.  

Without M…

Bell's Palsy

Shortly after my arrival to Northlandia I began to feel a numbness around my mouth, much like the sensation of novacane after a dentist's visit.  It became apparent that something was wrong and I noticed I'd become paralyzed on the left side of my face.  I was staying with Mark and Holly and apparently I hid it well, because they never knew what had happened.  I wasn't real worried because I felt fine, but around the time I'd begun to feel the loss I'd also run around next door taking pictures, close pictures, of a plane crop dusting.  Had I been sprayed?  Was I going to become a mutant bug?  A half-man, half weevil?   The mind is a terrible thing to scare.

So far all the symptoms pointed to a stroke:  paralysis, droopy features, eyelids not blinking in sync, and the inability to drink out of a can of pop, without making modifications in the process.  It was also somewhat humorous.  In gargling my mouthwash before bed, my inability to control my left resulted someti…

Tuesday Tidbits

While back in Northlandia we received news of the passing of Wendell Dillavou.  Wendell was 94 years old and a resident of Aledo.  So why is old Wendell being featured on EIB today?  I have talked before about Uncle Ed, my time on his farm and his side jobs of baling hay and shelling corn for a few area farmers.  
Wendell was one of the farmers we worked with, along with Bub Greer and his sons Tobe, Jim and Butch, Jim Orth, and Howard Shike.  Wendell is the last of old guard.  Only ones left besides me are Bub's kids Tobe and Butch. Nice guy, I saw Wendell at Antique Days car show last year and again when I attended church with Mark and Holly this past year.   
Outside the funeral home for visitation and funeral was one of his antique John Deere tractors with an American flag flying proudly.   

This is a picture of the breakfast hour at Doug's Town & Country restaurant.  I suspect it is like many all across the country where farmers, businessmen and friends gather to discuss …

Pat's Hummingbird

Right outside her new sunroom, Pat has a hummingbird feeder.  I noticed this lady-bird spending a few seconds sipping then moving on.  I'm no ornithologist, but if I were I'd say she had a circuit that she plied.  Sure enough in about 15 minutes she returned, and repeated her activity. 
You may be asking how I know she is a female.  Easy enough, Pat told me she was.  Apparently the males are brighter and more colorful than the ladies.

It was really pretty easy to get this guy.  I just put the camera on the tripod, edged it close to the sliding glass door in Pat's sunroom and just waited for her to make her circuit back to the feeder. 

I take no particular credit for these shots.   A really good photographer would have lowered the exposure time to the point where you would not have noticed the blurred wings.  But I am not a really good photographer so you get what you can and hope for improvement down the road.

Hummingbirds are in that rare class of animal where everyone likes…

Flashback Friday

Today's post concerns a tombstone found at Bonaventure Cemetery in Savannah when we visited the Sutors last May.  This is posted on the same day Mr. Sutor has written about the same subject on his blog Bodine-DILLIGAF.  So, when done here wander over to his blog and read his.   Jeff is a far better writer than me, so I'm sure you will enjoy his entry immensely.  The link to his blog is listed on the right side of this page. 

Theodore Prendergast only lived seven years but he has made an impression on folks for generations.  Amongst the thousands (5,800 interments in the old section) of graves and stones at Bonaventure Cemeteryin Savannah, most with ornate Victorian imagery,  sits a heartbreaking angel holding and pointing to a written stone which reads, "Papa's Sweetheart".  Underneath sits a carved rolled paper which says "Our Darling Boy."  And underneath it all the usual birth and death dates: February 25, 1992 - May 9, 1909. 

Unlike some of the famou…

The Second Barge

Remember the post of September 3rd?  It was a barge coming up the river and ended up being a twofer.  Right behind it was another barge.  I stuck around and took some more pictures before heading back to Aledo and to bed.     

This is the Joseph Patrick Eckstein, a towboat in the Marquette Transportation Company based out of Paducah.  The JP Eckstein was built in 1978 and is 140 feet long.  

Peeking into the wheelhouse we see the Captain or pilot conversing with another crew member.  To the captain's/pilot's immediate left is a computer aiding with the mapping and navigation.  If I were a younger fellow, I'd apply and do the river thing which is working 28 days with 28 days off.