Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Pictures of the Month

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Well I take whatever I want....

On this date (8/31) in 1974, Bad Company's first hit single made it's Top 40 debut. "Can't Get Enough" would be their best charting single (of the 70's, at least), peaking at #9.

One Big Elk....

When I think about Elk, Pennsylvania is not the first place that comes to mind.…. So I was a bit surprised to receive this photo from a blogging friend the other day. Taken in Benezette Pa, a speck on the map, a bit north of Clearfield, PA (which is where my grandfather, great grandfather, great-great grandfather and great-great-great grandfather were from).... Turns out this area is home of "Northwest Pennsylvania's Great Outdoors Majestic Elk Herd". Go figure! thanks to John S. (aka Foghorn) for the shot!!

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

She was born with it in her soul...

On this date (8/30) in 1975, the Doobie Brothers brushed the Top 40 with "Sweet Maxine", form the album Stampede. Peaking at the bottom (#40), this was the last single for the Doobies before the Michael McDonald era. I originally had this album on 8 Track! Eventually I upgraded it to Vinyl, then to CD!!

Bell Air

I came across this 1957 Chevy in a parking lot. Convertible, no less!….

Monday, August 29, 2005

When I squeeze you, you make noise!

On this date (8/29) back in 1970, that one hit wonder, "Ernie" crashed onto the Top 40 with the bathtime fun-song "Rubber Duckie". Officially classified as a novelty song, this one made it up to #16. I was going to put this in the "Just Shoot Me" list, but I decided to give it a pass, since it was all in fun.

Wedding Decorations...

I shot over 500 pictures this weekend; A friends' wedding, and 2 events at our church (a bicentennial celebration and a “fun day family carnival”)…. Now I just have to wade through them all and “buff and polish”. This is shot #1, from the wedding….

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Friday, August 26, 2005

The Ink Is Black, The Page Is White, Together We Learn, To Read And Write

On this date (8/26) back in 1972, Three Dog Night’s “Black and White” made it’s chart debut. This song touting racial equality ended up atop the charts. A kind of “Why Can’t We All Just Get Along” song, the lighthearted touch certainly garnered major league exposure. According to Song-Facts, this was written by American Folk singer Earl Robinson in 1954 with lyricist David Arkin. The song was inspired by the US Supreme Court barring segregation in public schools. I had this 45rpm as a 12 year old, I think it was the cowbells that hooked me.

Michael, Illinois

This one’s from a few years back, early 1996, to be exact. Three years after the Midwest’s “Great Flood” of 1993, there were still many, many, signs of the damage. Michael is just a couple miles north of Hardin, IL, where the Illinois River reached 42.36 feet, over 17 feet above flood stage, and more than 4 feet above the previous record...

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Pop, Pop, Pop Muzik!

Making it's Top 40 debut today (8/25) back in 1979, "Pop Muzik" by "M". This one went all the way to #1, and even graced my 45 collection. "M" was the pseudonym of British pop musician Robin Scott. I love his description of the song: "...I really wanted to make a simple, bland statement..."


A child’s handprint, in a small concrete area along a walkway at my son’s old pre-school. He started kindergarden this week!

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Big wheels keep on turning, carry me home to see my kin...

Lynyrd Skynyrd had their biggest hit in 1975, with Sweet Home Alabama. This song of the south peaked at #8, and made it's Top 40 debut on this date (8/24/1975). Doesn't seem like 30 years ago.... Skynyrd wasn't much of a Top 40 band, but this song reigned in the honky-tonk bar-band rowdyness just enough to wrap it around a first class pop "hook".... This was actually my introduction to Skynyrd, but it wasn't too long after this that I discovered the first album (Pronounced leh-nerd skin-nerd) and was completely hooked. The 5 studio albums released before the plane crash are all classics, definitive mid-70's Southern Rock. They remain a personal favorite, even through the various post-crash incarnations.

Fishing In The Abstract

My “other” finalist from the July, 2005 contest at This one’s actually been a finalist twice, it’s a repost from last August (2004). And a shot from a while before that. This was taken while headed to the Jacksonville, FL airport, on the way home from a business trip. We saw a sign that said “Jax Beaches”, and stopped for 5 minutes or so…. .

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Just Shoot Me #930

Making its Top 40 debut today (8/30) in 1975: Morris Albert with "Feelings"... This one made it all the way to #6, but mercifully, was Albert's only visit to the Top 40.

Feeeeelings, Whoa, Whoa, Whoa, Feeelings.......

At The Ready

One of my finalists from’s July contest… I had 2 finalists, but stalled (as usual) there. This was a repost in the contest, originally entered in 2/2005. Lots of GREAT winners, though, check them out here!

Monday, August 22, 2005


Just saw that Robert A. Moog, the engineer who invented the synthesizers died yesterday (8/21/05). Read more here. Guess I'll have to play "Switched On Bach" tonight to commemorate his passing.

Spread your tiny wings and fly away

"And take the snow back with you"
On this day (8/22) back in 1970, Anne Murray's first Top 40 hit of the 70's made it's debut. "Snowbird" seems a bit out of season for August, when a cold snap might actually be welcome. Regardless, this one made it to #8...

Forget about your cares, it is time to relax, at the junction...

We took the “back way” to Des Moines IA last week, across the north edge of St. Louis then up Rt-61 through Missouri. Much less boring than the Interstate through Springfield, IL and Peoria. We stopped for gas in tiny Wayland MO, just shy of the MO/IA line,. This place was next to the gas station…

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Hands Across The Water, Hands Across The Sky...

Paul McCartney's chart topper "Uncle Albert / Admiral Halsey" made its Top 40 debut today (8/21) in back in 1971. I never understood the lyrics on this one...

Almost Grown...

I snapped this adolescent Cardinal out the back window a few weeks ago. Kinda disheveled looking fellow.....

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Slim Pickin's

Unless I screwed up my spreadsheet, only 2 songs made their Top 40 debut today (8/20) during the 70's. We've got "That's Rock And Roll" by Shaun Cassidy, and "Hard Rock Cafe" by Carole King. Both released in 1977, and neither leaving any impression in my mind. They reached #3 and #30, respectively.

Dorm Life

Carpenter Dormitory at Drake University, Des Moines, IA. This is my oldest daughter’s new residence. The propped open emergency exits are just for move in day. I love those trees!

Friday, August 19, 2005

Google Earth

I’ve discovered a fun new toy, Google Earth. This is a cool program that allows you to see satellite images of anyplace in the world. They seem to be of varying quality, and varying age, but it’s still pretty cool. This is the scene of today’s blog-shot, near Coralville, IA. My photo is looking south from about 2/3 of the way through the rest stop…….


No, not "Mother Popcorn" or "Let A Man Come In And Do The Popcorn" by James Brown, but the instrumental hit by Hot Butter. Popcorn made its chart debut today (8/19) back in 1972, and peaked at #9. I remember first hearing this standing in line for the Haunted Museum at Disney World. I was 12, so I thought it was REALLY cool, and ended up buying the 45rpm single...

Rest Stop

Looking south across Iowa from the rest stop on eastbound I-80, at Coralville. Just outside Iowa City. Highway rest stops don’t generally have much interesting to look at, especially in the already dull upper Midwest. This was no exception, but I kind of liked the “receding layers” looking across the fields. The was a fascinating monument at this rest stop discussing the “Mormon Handcart Expedition”, which I had never heard of.. ….

Thursday, August 18, 2005

New Beginnings

Sorry for the scarcity of posts recently, I think this is my longest down time yet. Just back from a road trip to Des Moines, IA, dropping my oldest at College for the first time!! This is the view from her dorm room at Drake University, where she’s settling in. They have this cool little park-like area, with a bridge from the main campus area over to the building. Nice view!

Monday, August 15, 2005

"I'll Be What I Am....."

Neil Diamond's "Solitary Man" made it's Top 40 debut today (8/15) in 1970. This one made it to #21, sort of a warm-up for the next single, #1 bound Cracklin' Rosie. Solitary Man is one of my personal faves of Neil Diamond, gotta love the Thompson Brothers Band live version...

Post-It with a Twist

The assignment was “Post It Notes”. A tough task for a literalist like me. I did a cubical shot, not too bad, and was ready to call it a night, then decided to run it through the Polar-Rectangular filter I discovered last week. I think this is more dynamic.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

And she's always gone too long, anytime she goes away....

Bill Wither's sone "Ain't No Sunshine" made it's Top 40 debut on this day (8/14), back in 1971. This one only made it to #3, which is a bit surprising, this is a fine, fine song!! Withers had an awesome trio of hits between 8/71 and 9/72, with Ain't No Sunshine, Lean On Me, and Use Me. All great soulful songs, Topping out at numbers 3,1 &2, respectively.

Vroom, vroom!!

Sometimes the Happy Meals come with kinda cool toys. Recently it's been real, honest-to-goodness, Hot Wheels. Better yet, there have switched internal lights. Nat a bad "gimmie" to go with the kids' meals. My son gave me this one, since the paint got chipped durin g some rough driving. But he asked for it back a few days later, which is fine, too!

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Falling Down Slow

A repost from the early days of the blog (8/30/04), in honor of my upcoming 1 year anniversary (blogiversary?). This is along the Blue Ridge Parkway, not far north of Ashville, NC. Taken on a drizzly day in September 1996, before I went digital. The title is from a Nitty Gritty Dirt Band song, by the way...

Friday, August 12, 2005

What they do!

"They smile in your face, All the time they want to take your place...."
The OJays super hit "Backstabbers" made it's Top 40 debut today (8/12) back in 1972. Backstabbers made it all the way to #3, one of the great songs of the early 70's!

House Finch

Another "backyard bird" shot. We get quite few Goldfinches and House Finches at the tube feeder. This guy seems to have been visiting frequently. Taken early in the morning, around 7:15 am.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Well, they're packed pretty tight in here tonight....

Elton John's most rocking hit "Saturday Night's Alright For Fighting" made it's chart debut today (8/11) back in 1973. A bit of a dud for EJ, this one only made it to #12, in the middle of a dozen Top 10's (including ten top 5's and five #1's!). From the classic "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road" album, which (IMHO) was crative Elton's peak, if not his commercial peak. Elton had a whopping 24 top 40 hits in the 70's, but most of what came after 1974 doesn't thrill me.

Go Cards!

I’m no ornithologist, but I do like birds… This is from our backyard. I think this is an immature male cardinal, rather than a female. It's a bit smaller than outr usual Cardinals, and seems to be in the process of changing colors. But I'm just guessing. This was taken at the back window, when I was supposed to be getting ready for work.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Aqualung my Friend........

Ian Anderson, lead singer of Jethro Tull, is born on this day (8/10) in 1947, in Edinburgh, Scotland. The group has two No. 1 pop albums: "Thick as a Brick" in 1972 and "A Passion Play" in 1973. The group's first 10 albums are certified gold for selling at least 500,000 copies. The 10th is also certified platinum for selling at least 1 million copies (it is released in 1976, the first year albums are able to earn the platinum designation). I was just listening to "Aqualung" last night!

He Gonna Rate Your Record High.......

The Guess Who, clearly in their waning years (and post Randy Bachman), hit the charts on this day (8/10) in 1974 with "Clap For The Wolfman". This one made it to #6, the last Top 10 for the Guess Who. Most notable for the vocal rap by DJ "Wolfman Jack", which includes the phrase "pompitous of love", better known from Steve Miller's "The Joker...

Thieving Rodent!

A sneaky squirrel, taking the roundabout route to the bird feeder. When we moved to Illinois (at the end of the 80’s), it amazed me that there were virtually no squirrels. At least compared to Pittsburgh or Washington, DC. Rabbits out the ears, but not many squirrels. Well, I planted as many trees as I could fit on our 0.30 acre, and 15 years later, we have squirrels. Squirrels that eat the food I put out for the birds. GRRRRRRR….

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

More Warped (Warped More?)

Some more playing with the Polar Co-ordinates filter in Photoshop Elements….If you’re interested, here’s the original.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

The Long and the Short of It.

I was listening to the Kraftwerk’s “Autobahn” during Friday’s commute. It got me thinking about long songs… Long as in the length of an album side (20 minutes+). The longest song I could think of was Jethro Tull’s, Thick As A Brick, which was split over both sides of the album, part 1 and part 2, with a fadeout between. The album side length song wasn’t that uncommon back in the 70’s, though, and quite a few jump to mind. My adult-ADHD mind soon jumped to the converse, short songs… The immediate thought was The Ramones, who kept the tunes coming fast and furious. But what band mastered both types? It didn’t take long for me to settle on The Residents. I discovered this San Francisco based art-rock outfit with their opus “Third Reich & Roll”, the politically incorrect homage to the pop music of the 60’s. It features 2 songs (1 per album side). Sometime later, they made an album called “The Commercial Album”, which featured 40 songs, each of which was exactly 1 minute long. Now that’s art. And, of course, I have both albums.


I discovered a new (to me) filter yesterday: “Polar Coordinates”. No, it has nothing to do with the March of the Penguins. Nor is it related to math/engineering, and r+jx versus phasor representations….. Just a funky little filter under “Distort” that wrapps the edges of your photo around to the center. Or the converse. Run it 4-5 times in a row, and this is what it can do!

Friday, August 05, 2005

Just Shoot Me #793

On this day (8/5) in 1978, Nick Gilder's atrocious song "Hot Child In The City" made it's debut on the Top 40 charts. This smash hit went all the way to #1, and made me want to smash the radio whenever it came on. I actually had the privilege of seeing Nick Gilder in concert back then, as warm-up act for some southern rock outfit playing Pittsburgh (I think it was the Outlaws, but I went to a lot of southern rock shows back then)... Let's just say that it wasn't exactly the ideal audience for gelding Gilder, I remember a lot of stuff being thrown on stage, and his set cut short.

The Loner

I liked the way the one tree stands off from the others. The title is inspired by the Neil Young song of the same name... This is Sliver Lake Park, in Highland, IL. It's not far from my work, a great place to spend lunchtime.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005


From Billboard's "This Day In Music" site:
on this day in 1974, Guitarist Jeff Baxter quits Steely Dan and joins the Doobie Brothers. I always liked Skunk Baxter, even though he invited Michael McDonald to ruin the Doobies..... "For example, when I joined the Doobie Bros I brought Michael McDonald to the band, I think you would agree that there was a definite change. "

But I Did Not Shoot The Deputy.....

Eric Clapton's #1 version of the reggae standard "I Shot The Sheriff" made its Top 40 debut today (8/3), back in 1974. For some reason, this song really bugs my 18 year old daughter, she usually makes me turn it off. She says it's the repetitive-ness, but that seems unlikely, considering some of the other stuff which doesn't offend.......

Pine Cone Market

This is among the first photographs I took with my fist SLR, my Canon TX. If my moldy memory serves, this was during spring break, 1975. Near Winchester, VA, where Rt. 17 cut across from I-81 to I-95. This was our DC-bypass driving from Pittsburgh to points south, and a great drive back in the 2-lane days. This abandoned gas station was maybe a mile east of the I-81 interchange, I took this shot from the back seat of a moving car. I've always liked this picture, although it was taken before I really knew what I was doing. Even then I had a "thing" for old buildings....

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Fame, Fame, Fame, Fame.......

On this date (8/2) in 1975, David Bowies biggest hit of the 70's made its Top 40 debut. "Fame" would end up topping the pop charts, as owie's only #1 (of the 70's). I remember listening to this one while crusing around with my cousins in North Carolina in late summer of '75.... I'm not a very big fan of Bowie's later stuff (Let's Dance, China Girl, Blue Jean), but the 70's stuff is great. And, of course, Ziggy Stardust and The Spiders From Mars is classic.

More Sycamore.....

Another shot of my backyard sycamore tree. I remember looking up sycamore trees someplace, back when I was “foresting” our yard. Whatever source I was looking at declared them to be nuisance trees. Said that they shed their bark, and drop branches and have lots of huge leaves that fall off in autumn. All of which is true, but doesn’t bug me a bit! 15 years down the road, I wish I'd planted more of these, and less silver maples.