Friday, August 18, 2017


791...  That's the driving distance from our current home (near St. Louis) to our previous home (near  Washington DC).  And, that's the distance I've walked in 2017 (as of 8/17/17, according to the step counter on my phone).

Not too bad for an old, lazy, worn out desk jockey.  But far from "ideal".    And I know y'all don't care, but tracking these kinds of things does help one stick to it.  And it gives me an excuse to do fun spreadsheets, with various graphs and trends and such!  Yee Ha!

I feel like I've kept the pace up reasonably well in the hottest part of the year, hopefully can start rocking when fall rolls in.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

And everything under the sun is in tune, but the sun is eclipsed buy the moon...

So....  in case you didn't hear, there's going to be a big solar eclipse next Monday (08/17/2017).  And it's going to pastt pretty much right over us.  The forecast is for 99.85% magnitude at my office, and 99.59% at my home.  With the peak being just a bit after 1pm.

The schools will be closed, and quite a some people are taking vacation.  Unless I change my mind at the last minute, I'll be at work.  But there is lunch-time!

I was pondering it all the other day, during a lunch time walk, and decided to see if my iPhone could handle a quick snap of the sun (pre-eclipse).  It seems to have survived. Although all the sources say we should NOT try to directly photograph the sun during the eclipse.

- - -
the post title, of course, is from Pink Floyd's song "Eclipse" from the Dark Side Of The Moon album.

Wednesday, August 09, 2017

Wind Blown

These black-eyed susans seem a bit weary from the breezes...
Taken almost a month ago, at Watershed Nature Center

Saturday, August 05, 2017

Spam Spam Spam Spam

I hate spam.  Spam phone calls especially, because... ...  well, I hate phones in general.  And everybody hates spam.

And it seems that spam calls are dramatically increasing.  Especially on my (work) cell phone.  In the past, I don't remember hardly any.  Now, it is a couple a week.  Despite the fact it is my work phone, I simply don't answer calls from unidentified numbers.  Leave a message, I'll call back immediately.

The newest trick seems to be calls that come from my area code, and my exchange..  But a different last-4.  Over the past 8 weeks, I've received 1/week.That's not counting the ones I've blocked.  They have never left a message.  Clearly not valid calls.

I mean, it must work with some people.  At least enough to justify the fact that it continues (and increases).  But GRRRRRRRRRR  it makes me mad.

Friday, August 04, 2017

Summer Day

 Yellow wildflowers, with significant tweakage.  Lunch time at St. Ellen Mine Park, not far from my work.  Straighten, crop, levels...  they typical stuff.  The key tweak is using Topaz Impression plug-in, which is a rather cool toy.  I don't remember which specific preset I used, though.

Here's the SOOC (straight out of camera) version, for comparison:

I really like the iPhone for these sort of low perspective images.  It has good depth of field and pretty wide angle (28mm effective).

Thursday, August 03, 2017


Just a little detail I saw while wandering the pier at Charleston Naval Yard (Boston).  Looking at a map I found online, this is Carpenter Shop 24....

Wednesday, August 02, 2017

Fine Used records

I was going to start this post by referencing our recent "East Cost" trip.  But suddenly, that was last month....  Anyway: 

One of the high points (for me at least) of our trip was an excursion to Jerry's Records in Pittsburgh.  An amazing place, bin after bin after bin of records, along with stacks and stacks of records and all surrounded with shelves and shelves of records.  And pretty much everything priced at $5. 

So: What did we get (between my son and I):

  • Triumvirat - Illusions On A Double Dimple.  The 1974 album from the German "Prog" band, ranks #45 on Rolling Stone's list of 50 Greatest Prog Rock Albums of All Time.  I figured this would be pretty obscure, but Jerry's had 8 copies!  Really diggin' this.
  • Alan Parson Project - Turn Of A Friendly Card  The 1980 release from the man involved in the production of Abby Road and Dark Side Of The moon.  We haven't played it yet, but only been home a week.
  • Kansas - Point Of Know Return.  Pretty well known album, we have it on digital.  But my son wanted it to frame / hang the album cover
  • Frank Sinatra - Songs For Swingin' Lovers
  • Frank Sinatra - Swing Easy (sealed, 1961 12-song release)  - My collection has been notably deficient in Sinatra.  Fixed.

It would be quite dangerous for me if this place was nearby, instead of 600 miles...

Tuesday, August 01, 2017

Derelict Dinghy

From our recent visit to Cape Cod.  I saw this sad dinghy just a few dozen yards from the cheerful one in the Boats Afloat post.  There's another take on this scene posted over at Happenstance.

In the spirit of "The best camera is the one you have with you", this was shot with my iPhone.  Because that was all I had with me at the moment.  Which was poor planning on my part.  Fortunately, the iPhone 7 has a rather good camera, so I was able to manage.

I posted both images to a critique thread over at 365project, link here if you want to read the discussion.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Boats Afloat

A gaggle of boats in Chatham Harbor, on Cape Cod. Or would it be a flock of boats? A fleet? I don't like "fleet" here, it implies a sense of organization that is not evident.

Regardless, they seem to wait patiently for their opportunities to be useful.

Friday, July 28, 2017

South Vienna, OH

Yep, I do like old buildings!  Driving acroos Ohio, I stopped for gas, and instead of jumping right back on the highway, I headed south.  And found this within a couple of blocks.

Makes me happy.  I took a quick photo with my iPhone for the geotag.  Makes it so much easier to remember where I was.

Thursday, July 27, 2017


A shot of randomness, taken while driving in Pittsburgh recently.  Actually, I was riding, my brother was driving.  And that's his Tiki person.  On the dash of his car.  Of course.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

And The Road Goes On Forever...

Just back from a 2 week road trip, sorry for the lack of posting.  But I have lots of images to plow through. 

So, 2 weeks.  2,600+ miles across 9 states (plus miles at the various stops).  Something like this:

We visited 6 different universities, and Cape Cod.  Family and friends, and a quick stop in the town where my family lived 100+ years ago.  A good week.  A busy a week.  But a tiring week.

To start the images, here's a shot of the beach in Chatham, Mass, on Cape Cod.  A humble panorama from my iPhone:

 I rather like this, although there's a funny spot where the panning struggled with the wave action.  I probably shouldn't have pointed that out, huh?

And for giggles, a version tweaked using "Brushstroke" on my iPad:

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

On The Road Again...

"The ant is knowing and wise, but he doesn't know enough to take a vacation."

- Clarence Day

- - - 

Monday, July 10, 2017

Sunset - Watershed Nature Center

Despite the 99 degree heat index, I decided to wander by Watershed Nature Center this evening...  It was worth it!

Sunday, July 09, 2017


I just posted a "Throwback" yesterday, but I'm doing it again.  Because I want to.

The backstory:  This morning, I was trying to pick a good throwback image for my 365project site.  Well, my wife and son just recently passed through WV,  which has had me in a bit of a mountain mood. So I dug back and found this one from late June 2006:

Which fits my mood quite nicely.  And meshes well with the Johnny Staats music that's playing as I type this.

All of which leads to my next delimma...  I don't rememeber exactly where this image was taken.  We had visited Milligan College earlier in the day (which my younger daughter was considering).  That's outside Johnson City TN.  We ended the day in Asheville, NC.  Google maps says it's just over an hour drive on the interstate.  But we didn't take the interstate...  or at least not the whole way. Looking at photo time tags, this spot was 2 hours later than the last photo at Milligan.

BUt, with a little digging, and the wonders of the internet, I was able to figure it out.  The key was this photo, taken just 1/2 hour earlier:

google image search identifies that as Flat Top Manor,  along the Blue Ridge Parkway (Near Blowing Rock, NC). And about 40 minutes after the mountain photo, there's some images from Linville Falls area:

Now, google tells me that the drive from Flat Top Manor (Moses Cone Memorial Park) to Linville Falls is 39 minutes.  So that all fits.  Last bit:  The key photo was take 12 minutes before an image of Grandfather Mountain, presumably taken from the Grandfather Mountain Overlook...

SO:  I'm satisfied that the mountains photo is taken from the Green Mountain Overlook.  Or very close to it.

NOW, you make think all of that digging was silly.  And pointless.  But it makes me happy to know.  Now I should add a tag to the photo, so that I don't have to do the same process in another 10 years!