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Showing posts from January, 2016

Flashback Friday

It is mid winter up North as I write this.  15th of January is the halfway point almost everywhere.  This is the week, historically, that is the coldest for Florida, too.  Overall its been a good one so far, and since I am paying a heating bill up North, it is no longer a giggling, "Ha, ha, your freezing your ass off and I'm down here in warm Florida" thing.  I now have a dog in the hunt.
So, to give us all some hope for an early Spring and a cessation of cold (and heating bills), I present past moments in time when Springtime began.   
Our old fraternity house had flat roof which allowed us to head out after morning classes to soak up some early springtime sun.  

Here I am back in the day standing on the roof, casting my shadow onto the lawn, where I am being saluted by my frat brothers.  Yes, I was loved.  They seem to have a single finger jutting out from their otherwise closed fists which, I presume, means they are saying I am "Number 1!". 

While up there I too…

Northlandia Leftovers - Part 5

Here I offer a glimpse of Holly Days, a pre-Christmas parade and fun shopping in Emerald City.  I had planned to stay in the Cabin in the Woods but the Wombie and Holly (no relation to Holly Days, or maybe there is!)  twisted my arm to join them in a cocktail at Beer Bellies then watch the parade.  And so I did.  

I have to confess a cardinal error in these camera shots above and below.  Confirming my willingness to confess to stupid photographer mistakes, I thus explain why these are not properly focused.  The last shots I had taken were down at the Bay taking barge shots.  I was in Manual mode.  In these pictures I failed to put it on Auto, which I usually do for these types of pictures.  Because of my ignorance, these are blurry.  No excuse.  And yes, I did have a couple beers before I went to the parade.

Outside Emerald City about 10 miles or so near Joy is a large ranch home, pasture and Butler building, everything looks new, that is home to these draft horses.  It is called Willow…

Largo Christmas Lights

Longtime readers might recall a trip to the Largo Botanical Gardens a couple years ago.  They light their place for Christmas that creates an other-worldliness that is irresistible.  We made it again, this year, with my favorite Princess, Norah.  It is tough to get into the whole Christmas thing down here, but this place helps.

I've got a few more pics of our trip and I'll post them soon.  

Tuesday Tidbits

So that's where it is.


This is my day job till I return to Northlandia.  When I get up there, after this, I'm gonna need some cold beer, good manly conversations, long bike rides and maybe a little monkey butt to feel like a guy again.   


Overheard at Target last weekend: a fellow telling a couple of other people with him that he downloads movies on his phone and then watches movies as he is driving by placing the phone up by the speedometer.  Yikes!

Funny how this last weekend's snowfall was "epic".  Much like last winter's three "epic" blizzards.


Went to the beach last weekend.  It was a raw day, windy and the surf was perky.  You can see the water was frothy as the churned foam was pretty heavy. Still, any time is a good time for a beach walk.

The Martian was fun.  I read the book a couple years ago and enjoyed it but thought the film better.  How often d…

What Happens When You Don't Pay Your Water Bill

My ride-alongs with the Wombie over to Seaton on a daily basis to do the readings was fairly benign stuff.  Jot down the numbers, look at the meters, drop some water softener into the vat and generally make sure all was well isn't the kind of stuff  that makes your heart race.  
Along with taking care of the water the AquaMaster must also stop the spigot for those who do not pay their bills.  It is safe to assume that Seaton's water-stoppage policy is far more liberal than, say, Galesburg, who I suspect do not get the time to pay the bills that Seaton allows.  
But on this day, Mark must turn the water off at two homes.  It is also safe to assume that turning water off a family's home has changed from the Rockwellian days of our childhood to shoot first and answer questions after of today's world.  
So it was with more than just a little apprehension that we set out to do exactly that.    

This is the process of ruining a family's day.  Turning off water is a BIG deal …

Flashback Friday

The long buildup comes to fruition on Christmas morning.  Those who have theirs on Christmas Eve are either from Lapland or vampires.  Never did get that.  But anyway, the paper has been bagged, the boxes moved to the corners, the batteries inserted and the plugs plugged in.  Now its time to investigate the haul, the boundless booty, as it were.   In short - playtime.
Today we turn our sights back to sometime in the late 70's. or early 80's.  The place, Blythe homestead in Seaton, the time, early evening after Christmas day.  The screwdriver is next to the old Pepsi can having served its purpose.  The ribbons saved for next year.   

Mark on the left and Phil on the right settle into a game of air hockey.   like Phil on the right is doing a little trash talking. Is Phil really trash talking?  Look at that, he is!  I've seen this scene many times - he'd get lippy and end up with a couple feisty twins flailing away.  

Later, I'd give the game a try and, sadly, looks like…

River Shots November 25th

5:13 AM
First shot of the night.  Whoa?  What are those things?  Bugs?   Maybe that's what they mean to "get the bugs out" at the start of a project.  I have no idea what is going on, but this would be the only shot that had these streaks.  

5:39 AM
I overexposed this a bit to bring out some of the night sky.  You can also see the orange light pollution of cities in the lower center and clear over to the right.  

5:45 AM

5:50 AM

5:51 AM

5:54 AM

5:55 AM

5:59 AM
As barges go this was a little one.  Just a four unit jobbie, so this guy must have been moving some empties down river to a nearby port.  Because of his small size he was able to scoot along at a very fast clip.  
You know?  I'm not ready to leave.  So I hop in the warm truck and head to Keithsburg in the hopes of being able to see this guy again and continue my experimentation.  If I could grab another one down there coming from the south that would be a bonus.  Let's go.  As luck would have it, that's exactly w…

Northlandia Leftovers - Part 4

I have never yet been able to bypass showing you folks the best pizza in the world.  I finally made it over to Mt. P and jerry's and had my usual, and even ordered one, half-baked, to take home with me.  I'm gpoing to do my best and find Davis Bros in Peoria this summer so I can compare it with Jerry's again.  

While out with the Wombie on a roadtrip he showed me a small cemetery in the middle of nowhere that he saw while fall farming.  One of the still-legible stones had a death year of 1847 - an old plot around here.  Many of the stones were broken, mostly-buried or hard to read.  Souls, forgotten, for eternity.  I applaud the  farmers through the generations who could have easily claimed this land for crop production, but chose, instead to allow these people to lie undisturbed.   

I never missed a chance to accompany the Wombie to his job overseeing the water pump station in Seaton.  After a few days he even gave me an assignment to read one of the meters and to give him th…

Tuesday Tidbits

First off I need to tell you I did not take this picture.  Secondly, I didn't take any of the pictures in today's Tidbits.  Thirdly, if I did take the above picture I'm sure I would have wet my pants and any other number of human physiological things.  This is one of the reasons I take pictures at night.  To try to find neat stuff like this.  John Ashley took this picture near Columbia Falls, Montana and what this is are light pillars from an aurora near Glacier National Park.  Lordy, ain't that sweet?

These were taken by my favorite Tybee Island resident, Jeff, who while walking with Lily came across this guy washing his Model T.  He was going to trade this beauty the next day for a Corvette.  I don't know the year of the Vette but both offer a kind of Alpha and Omega of automobilia.  If I had this would I trade for a Vette?  I don't know, but looking at the Model T I'd do it with some reservation.  The early cars were basic transporta…

Shivering On The Dock Of The Bay

My strange obsession with nighttime river and barge pictures continued unabated on my most recent stay in Northlandia.  The reason for this is, most likely, my inability to get what I am looking for in a picture:  the freezing of a moving object in low light.  Not to get too technical, there is a sweet spot somewhere between ISO, aperture and shutter speed that will allow me to capture a barge at night.  Sounds simple, right? It's not.

Whip up the ISO to allow more light saturation and you end up with a grainy picture. 

Turn down the ISO and aperture in order to make the picture less grainy and you end up with too little light.  

In order to get enough light into the camera to illuminate your surroundings you have to have a timed exposure.  Okay, when you set it for a 1 second exposure, the lights of the barge will move within the frame for once second.  You haven't frozen the barge.  If you make it 1/100 second in order to freeze the barge, then you haven't allowed enough li…