Tuesday, January 31, 2006

The Good, the Bad and The Ugly??

Happy Birthday today to :
John Lydon, aka Johnny Rotton (of the Sex Pistols), born 1/30/56
Harold Wayne Casey (of KC and the Sunshine Band), born 1/30/52
Justin Timberlake (of NSYNC and solo), born 1/31/81

..... You decide; which one is GOOD,
which one is BAD,
and which one is UGLY.

Reflections on the Water

Just some more digital dark-rooming, I seem to be in "that" kind of a mood lately . The original of this is pretty abstract, too, but I was trying get a more “painted” look…. . .

Monday, January 30, 2006

Call Me Lightnin'

On this day (1/30) back in 1982, blues legend Lightnin' Hopkins died at the age of '69. I have several L.H. albums, and managed to see him live back in 1980 or so. In the basement of a chuch in downtown Durham, NC. This was when I was in college, and a group of us made the excursion into the "real world". There couldn't have been 150-200 people. Very cool. Lightnin Hopkins made #71 on Rolling Stone's list of 500 best guitarists of all time....

I hope we passed the audition...

Courtesy of the History Channel:
"Perhaps the most influential musical group of all time, the Beatles make their last public performance on this day (1/30) in 1969, giving an impromptu concert on the roof of their London recording studio. Neighbors complained about noise, and police broke up the concert. John Lennon closed the performance announcing, "I'd like to say thank you very much on behalf of the group and myself and I hope we passed the audition." In April 1970, Paul McCartney formally announced the group's breakup." Read more here....

House, Plant

OK, today was theme day at my Yahoo photography group, and the theme is "house plants". Well.... I don't exactly have a green thumb, and there's no living plants in our house (except a couple of Poinsettias, but I've satisfied my urge to photograph them!). So I decided to think outside the box, as in outside the house. Here's a plant that's growing by the house....

Sunday, January 29, 2006

They'll Play For You...

From the Today in Rock section over at the RRHOF web site, on this day (1/29) in 1968, "The Champs (including members Seals and Croft) release the single 'Tequila.' " Wow. I never jnew until now that Seals & Crofts were members of The Champs....


Transitioning: from day to night, from work to home, from blue to orance, from clouds to clear….blah, blah, blah, huh? . .

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Sunset Abstraction

Sometimes you just have to play around…. Driving home last night, I thought the setting sun was pretty cool. So I snapped this picture out the side window of the car, traveling 75-ish. I did have the camera on auto-everything, so I could pay a little attention to the road. Then I went wild with photoshop this morning, trying to create a result that matched my mood. . . .

Friday, January 27, 2006

Criss Cross

Early in the morning, as the rising sun highlights the contrails high in the sky, before reaching the trees at ground level... The lines of nature contrast lines made by man.... . .

Rock Me, Amadeus!!

Today (1/27) marks the 250th birthday for Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, "perhaps the most popular classical composer of all time". I'm more of a JS Bach fan, myself, but I do have a good selection of Mozart, too. I'll have to spin some Piano Concertos this evening in honor of the anniversary!

Thursday, January 26, 2006

RRHOF Class of 2006, Part 4

We’re not too far from on the 2006 induction Ceremony for the Rock N Roll Hall Of Fame. The ceremony will be 3/13/06, held in NYC (rather than Cleveland, where the Hall resides). The class of 2006 will be includes Black Sabbath, Blondie, Miles Davis, Sex Pistols, Lynyrd Skynyrd, and Herb Alpert/Jerry Moss. I have an old, beat up record guide from Rolling Stone, circa 1979, and thought it would be interesting to review what these premier rock critics thought of these eventual hall-of-famers back then.

Lynyrd Skynyrd: Skynyrd had released all of their pre-crash records when the guide was released. Reviewer John Milward was surprisingly positive about Skynyrd: "Plugging in hard-rock influences, where most other Southern place country roots, a mix of British rock sensibilities and hard-drinking Southern boogie established Lynyrd Skynyrd as top contenders for the mid-Seventies Southern Rock throne". They then go on to comment on each album, a courtesy that fellow inductees Black Sabbath and Blondie didn't merit.

Meanwhile, with the rock establishment's anti-Southern Rock Bias, Skynyrd only put 1 album in the all time top 500, with “Pronounced” ranking #401. Pathetic. They did manage 2 entries into the top 500 songs, with Free Bird (#191) and Sweet Home Alabama (#398). Worse, they were been shot down in the Hall Of Fame (HOF) voting 6 times, before finally making it in this time. I don’t think it’s coincidental that the HOF announcement lists only the pre-Crash band members, and I think the post-crash band’s use of the Skynyrd moniker has hurt. I think the current lineup is solid, but frankly not HOF material. Guess that means Johnny Van Zant, Rickey Medlocke and whoever’s been playing bass and drums aren’t welcome at the ceremony!! I wish Skynyrd could’ve gotten this recognition when Leon Wilkerson was still alive, and I hope Gary Rossington’s heart is well enough to actually play.…

Trying to imagine the HOF Jam session with Billy Powell, Gary Rossington, Johnny Rotten and Ozzy Osbourne…. Think they’ll play Free Bird in a heavy-metal style?? Or Sweet Home Alabama as a Punk anthem??

Full disclosure: I’m kind of a Skynyrd fan. They were my favorite band in high school (and beyond). I saw them twice in the 70’s, including my first rock concert. I have just about everything they’ve released (except the Christmas album), and wore out a complete set of vinyl of the first 6 records. All replaced w/ new vinyl, and, of course, its all on CD, now. I think I still know every note of every guitar solo by heart, from the pre-crash lineup. “What song is it you wanna hear?”


Fire escaps at my daughter’s dorm. Drake University, Des Moines, IA. . .

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

RRHOF Class of 2006, Part 3

We’re not too far from on the 2006 induction Ceremony for the Rock N Roll Hall Of Fame. The ceremony will be 3/13/06, held in NYC (rather than Cleveland, where the Hall resides). The class of 2006 will be includes Black Sabbath, Blondie, Miles Davis, Sex Pistols, Lynyrd Skynyrd, and Herb Alpert/Jerry Moss. I have an old, beat up record guide from Rolling Stone, circa 1979, and thought it would be interesting to review what these premier rock critics thought of these eventual hall-of-famers back then.

Sex Pistols: Their one “real” album made the Top 50 on Rolling Stones’ Top 500, at #41.

As reviewed by Dave Marsh: “The Sex Pistols were unquestionably the most radical new rock band of the Seventies. Their initial single “Anarchy in the UK” was widely banned in England, got them thrown off their first record label (EMI) and still made the Top Ten. The group’s nihilistic politics, coupled with their basic punk-rock musical approach, was startling, the best example of deliberate vulgarity rock has ever produced. Stretched over an album, the relentless power of Johnny Rotten’s scabrous vocals can become a bit wearing, but the best tracks, including “Anarchy”, “God Save The Queen” and “Pretty Vacant” are as challenging as anything recorded since the advent of Elvis Presley himself. Not for the faint of heart…”

Well, I gotta agree with old DM on this one. But nobody should be allowed to use words like “scabrous” and “nihilistic” when discussing the Sex Pistols. Even if they’re accurate descriptions, I suspect Sid Vicious would’ve bashed Mr. Marsh with his bass for talking so high-and-mighty. I’m pretty sure Johhny Rotten would’ve at least spit.

Full disclosure: I have The Sex Pistol’s only original album on vinyl, but nothing on CD/digital. Great stuff to put on when getting ready to head out on a Saturday night (back when I was young, single and stupid). They belong in the RRHOF both for their handful of hits, and for their attitude, and for changing rock. As Neil Young said “It’s better to burn out than to fade away”.

the "art of instantaneous selection"....

OK, today’s shot is deep and meaningful… 10 Bonus points to anyone who can correctly interpret the story here. Either that, or it’s a simple light fixture that just caught my eye.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Blowing My own Horn.....

The December winners were announced today over at BetterPhoto, and I managed a 2nd Place win with "French Horn"!! This is a reworked photo from Spring 2005, of my daughter's horn. Pretty cool to get a winner at BP with this one!

I also had 2 other Finalists, that's my best showing at BP, to date:

- Poinsettia In BW (Finalist) -


Leaf #25 (Finalist)

Check out all the winning photos at BetterPhoto.com!

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Double Yuck...

Happy Birthday (1/22) to Steve Perry (of Journey) and Marvin Lee Aday. Marv would go on to become Meatloaf, who peaked with his role as Eddie in Rocky Horror Picture Show, went downhill after that. Both Journey and Meatloaf were really popular when I was in college... But mainly with girls who were trying to prove their Rock n Roll bona-fides. I never had muct use for either. And I still think Steve Perry is actually Barry Manilow's little brother.

Goin' 'Round...

An experimental shot…. Lights reflected in glass, at night. . . . These are the same lights as "Comin' 'Round", from a few days ago. A completely differnt presentation. This was ubderexposed by 4-5 steps, then LOTS of digital darkroom to get what I wanted.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

RRHOF Class of 2006, Part 2

We’re not too far from on the 2006 induction Ceremony for the Rock N Roll Hall Of Fame. The ceremony will be 3/13/06, held in NYC (rather than Cleveland, where the Hall resides). The class of 2006 will be includes Black Sabbath, Blondie, Miles Davis, Sex Pistols, Lynyrd Skynyrd, and Herb Alpert/Jerry Moss. I have an old, beat up record guide from Rolling Stone, circa 1979, and thought it would be interesting to review what these premier rock critics thought of these eventual hall-of-famers back then.

Today's spotlight is Blondie: Debbie Harry and the band ended up with 1 album on Rolling Stone’s Top 500, but that one (Parallel Lines) was released after the Guide was published. All three of the discs reviewed for the guide were given 3 stars (out of 5) by critic (and editor of the guide) David Marsh. His view back then: “Punk rock’s answer to Linda Ronstadt? Blondie’s Deborah Harry does for Patti Smith what Alice Cooper did for Iggy Pop: swipes a minor good idea and beats it to death. But the band can play, in a sort of revivified British Invasion style”.

Yep, 3 whole sentences, one might say dismissive. Dave Marsh, of course, is one of the most famous rock critics out there, started Cream magazine, and was editor of Rolling Stone magazine throughout the mid 70’s.

Full disclosure: I own 3 Blondie records, including the first 2. I saw them in concert at the Stanley Theater in Pittsburgh in ’79 or so, and was pretty disappointed. I think they went downhill around the time they got really popular. I don’t have any of their stuff in digital format.

Stuck Up

Taking my daughter back to school last weekend, we parked behind this minivan in front of her dorm. Our poor little car looked naked next to this one!! In case they don’t show up on blog-size, here’s a run-down:
.....John Kerry for President
.....Apple Computers
.....Speechwriters LLC for US Senate
.....Iowa TIP (Turn In Poachers)
.....I Give Evolution 2 Opposable Thumbs Up
.....Meat Makes Me Sick
.....Mean People Suck
.....The Beatings Will Continue Until Morale Improves
.....The Relief Project
.....Climb It (???)
.....VHS Parking (2 years, Valley High School?)
.....Have You Dug Wall Drug

Friday, January 20, 2006

Think You Better Slow Your Mustang Down

Wilson Pickett passed away yesterday, from a heart attack at age 64. Pickett was one of the greats of soul music, bringing us hits like “Mustang Sally”, “In The Midnight Hour” and “Land of 1000 Dances”. I’d put “Mustang Sally” towards the top of my list of greatest songs ever, he deserved to be in the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame for that song alone!! (He was inducted in 1991).

Thank You For the Music

Music theme day today, over at the Yahoo photo group. Meaning my BetterPhoto post is based on a song title from the 70’s supergroup ABBA. I had a bit of a struggle, haven’t been shooting much lately, but I did come up with this… I actually like ABBA, in small doses. They have several great songs, from S.O.S. to Waterloo, to Name of the Game, to Take A Chance On Me….. .


I want one....

I've been a Camaro fan since the late 60's, especially the '67-'69 models. I told my wife a while back that if Chevy came out with a retro-Camaro, I'd have to buy one. Looks like it's time to start saving! Meanwhile, the new Challenger is also Hot, Hot, Hot!!

Thursday, January 19, 2006

RRHOF Class of 2006, Part 1

We’re not too far from on the 2006 induction Ceremony for the Rock N Roll Hall Of Fame. The ceremony will be 3/13/06, held in NYC (rather than Cleveland, where the Hall resides). The class of 2006 includes Black Sabbath, Blondie, Miles Davis, Sex Pistols, Lynyrd Skynyrd, and Herb Alpert/Jerry Moss. I have an old, beat up record guide from Rolling Stone, circa 1979, and thought it would be interesting to review what the premier rock critics thought of these eventual hall-of-famers back then.

Today’s inductee: Black Sabbath: At the time the guide was published, Ozzie and the boys had released 9 albums, including 3 which ended up on the recent Rolling Stone list of 500 best albums of all time. But, back then, only the ultra-classic “Paranoid” got more than 1 star (out of 5) and it only managed 2. Here’s what rock critic Ken Tucker had to say:
“These would-be English Kings of Heavy Metal are eternally foiled by their stupidity and intractability. In the early seventies their murky drone was all the more appealing for its cynicism – the philosophy that everything is shit, and a flirtation with pre-Exorcist demonic possession. Time has passed them by; their recent stuff is a quaint bore. Their high point was Paranoid, a better example of their goofy malevolence than the We Sold Our Souls anthology, and cheaper."

A quick google says Ken’s still around, currently a TV critic for Entertainment Weekly…..

Full disclosure: I'm a Black Sabbath fan, even had a poster of them on my wall as a youth. I have I have 1/2 dozen of their records on vinyl, but only 2 on CD.

Stay tuned for reviews of the other inductees!

Comin' 'Round

My younger daughter performed at the "Bi-State" band competition last week. A collection of the high school band kids from the St. Louis metro area (Missouri and Illinois), were nominated and then auditioned to be part of the performance. Very cool, the kids played great. This is outside the auditorium, at Dunhill Hall, Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville (SIUE)...

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

The South Will Rise Again??

On this date (1/18) back in 1980, Capricorn Records files for bankruptcy. Capricorn was the home of many of the Southern Rock stable, including Allman Brothers Band, Charlie Daniels Band, Marshall Tucker Band, Wet Willie & Elvin Bishop. IIRC, Lynyrd Skynyrd passed on an opportunity to sign with Capricorn, fearing they would be inthe shadows of the Allmans.... Meanwhile, the reconstitiuted Skynyrd's 1994 "unplugged" album Engandered Species would be released on a reconstituted version of Capricorn. That's a really good album, by the way. Check out my review on the Amazon listing......

Glass owl Details

A macro showing some details of the Blenko Owl posted Sunday… .

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Here we come, walking down the street......

On this date in 1966, NBC-TV buys "The Monkees" series, placing it in its 1966 fall schedule. Eventually Mickey, Davey, Mike and Peter would be cast, and a pop sensation would be born.

Leaf #31

Leaf in frozen puddle. . . . Not be confused with the recent post of a leaf frozen in a puddle. That one, titled Leaf #28, really should've been Leaf #31, making this one Leaf #32..... Also not to be confused with the recent post of a leaf frozen in a small creek, Leaf #27, which was a repost, but un-numbered originally. .... got it?? 'Cause I'm not changing the numbering now.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Big Eyes...

My shot for the Knickknack theme at the Yahoo-Group. This is an old glass piece from Blenko Glass, Milton WV. We used to go to Blenko semi-regularly in my youth, and several pieces have since been passed down to me. We used this glass owl as a doorstop throughout my youth. It now sits on my bookshelf, keeping watch.. .

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Thursday Squirrel Blogging!

A repost from last summer, since Frothy declared "Thursday Squirrel Blogging" over at his site....

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 around. 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 lot, and 15 years later, we have squirrels. Squirrels that eat the food I put out for the birds. GRRRRRRR….

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

By The Hand-Hand, Take My By The Hand Pretty Mama.....

The Doobie Brothers hit the charts 30 years ago today with “Black Water”. This song made it to the top, #1. A very cool song, but perhaps the most overplayed Doobies song of the Pre-Michael MacDonald era.

Blue Sky Branches

I’ve had “a thing” about bare tree branches for a long time. Just something about the interaction of the various branches and twigs, the semi random lines and whatever, blah, blah, blah. Especially when it is a bit breezy, and different branches move in different directions and rhythms, creating a dynamic visual (more blah, blah, blah). Anyway, I though the addition of a blue background made this one really “pop” . One of the maples I planted in the spring of 1990, with a Sycamore peeking in from the left. . .

Tuesday, January 10, 2006


Reposted from 1 year ago today...

Once upon a time, this was a service station in Glen Carbon..... but that was quite a while ago. Taken early on a grey day.

Stiff all in the collar, fluffy in the face?

35 years ago today (1/10/1970), Sly and the Family Stone entered the Top 40 with their song "Thank You Falletinme Be Mice Elf Agin". Mice Elf made it all the way to #1, proving you don't have to be a good speller to succeed!

Hunka, Hunka, Burning Love.... OW!

From Yahoo News & Reuters:
Woman all shook up over Elvis song
An Australian woman will face court, charged with repeatedly stabbing her partner because he played an Elvis Presley song over and over again, police said Tuesday. Police said the 30-year-old woman was charged with unlawful wounding after her 35-year-old partner was stabbed with a pair of scissors in the back, shoulder and thigh at Northam, about 62 miles east of Perth in Western Australia state on Monday. The man, whose injuries were described as "non-life threatening," had been repeatedly playing the song "Burning Love," a police spokesman said.
The 1972 song was the U.S. rock great's 40th and last top 10 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

Just how many times do you have to play "Burning Love" before it becomes justifiable homicide (attempt)?


For the Un-Edited Photo challenge at my Yahoo group. No crops, no adjustments, just resized. I did do a little re-sharpening before posting here at the blog, because of the dramatic resize (this version is 15% of the original height).

Monday, January 09, 2006

Happy Birthday Jimmy Page!!

Jimmy Page, one of the great rock guitarists, was born on this date (1/9) way back in 1944. Wow, that makes him, like 62... No matter how old you get, the Song Remains the Same.....


Sigh. This is one of those that is almost decent, but falls short. Not quite enough depth of field (DOF), the tip of the branch/stalk is out of focus. And the lighting is a bit harsh. I was trying to balance the lighting w/ a polarizing filter (like sunglasses for your camera), but that really “eats” the light. Since I needed as fast a shutter speed as possible (1/100th, due to hand-held and slight breeze), I was stuck with a small f-stop (f-4.5). And therefore not enough DOF…. Oh well, it’s Monday, “almost” will have to do! .

Sunday, January 08, 2006

The Wall Behind The Shadows....

In the wan light or winter, bare trees cast soft shadows on a cinderblock wall.....

Elvis the King?

On this day (1/8) in 1935, Elvis Presley is born in Tupelo Mississippi. Elivis, of course, would go on to be the King of rock 'n' roll. Elvis would be 71 if he hadn't died in 1977... Also on this day (1/8) in 1973, Elvis sues wife Pricella for divorce. Some birthday present, huh?? They were maried in 1967. And yet another: on this date in 1993, the US Post Office issued the Elvis commemorative stamp. At the then normal rate of $0.29, the stamp featured the "young", 50's era Elvis, rather than the later "jumpsuit" version...

The Ghosts Of Christmas Past

At the drop off point for Glan Carbon's Christmas Trees. Last season's holiday cheer transforms to next seasons landscaping mulch.

Friday, January 06, 2006

High Water

Reposted from last year, 1/6/05... St. Louis area had almost 6" of rain in the first 4 days of 2005.... everything is saturated. This is the boat launch at Silver Lake, yesterday (1/5/05). I don't think I've seen it this high since the great flood of '93.

Everybody Here Is Out Of Sight, They Don't Bark, And They Don't Bite

King Harvest’s “Dancing In the Moonlight” made its Top 40 debut today (1/6) back in 1973. This little pop ditty was one of my favorite songs during the winter of my 12th year, and it made it all the way to #13. I’m still waiting for this one to show up on i-Tunes, so I can replace my beat up 7” 45rpm disc. I may have to break down and hit Amazon, they have the entire Album!

Do Not Use The Heat Gun As Hair Dryer

Courtesy of Yahoo-news: "A warning that consumers shouldn't use a heat gun that produces temperatures of 1,000 degrees as a hairdryer has won an anti-lawsuit group's award for the wackiest label of the year. The Wacky Warning Label Contest, in its ninth year, is conducted by Michigan Lawsuit Abuse Watch as part of an effort to show the effects of lawsuits on warning labels." This is great stuff, a perfect example of the silliness in our society. Check out thw Wacky Warning Labels web site for more... They also have a section called Loony Lawsuits.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Shameless Self Promotion #3,241

My recent photo “Bare Trees” is in the last few days of voting at PhotographyUnlimited. I’d sure appreciate if anybody would go vote; especially if you like it!!

Anarchy in the US?

On this date (1/5) in 1978, the Sex Pistols made their American debut in Atlanta, GA. They were supposed to open their US tour 12/28/77 in Pittsburgh (at the Leona Theater), and my older brother had tickets. But they were delayed by some visa issues, something to do with being evil, wicked, mean and nasty, so that show was cancelled.....

Leaf #27, Under Ice

This leaf was actually shot last January (2005), and posted to the blog 1/24/05. But I reworked it a bit, I like this implementation a touch better. .

Wednesday, January 04, 2006


On this date (1/4) in 2000, Carlos Santana's 1999 comeback album "Supernatural" is nominated for, including album of the year.' This album included a series of songs with “current” stars. Interestingly, Amazon.com reviewer Jerry McCulley commented that the collaborations with a “lineup of de rigueur alternative and hip-hop stars” “feel like an unnecessary stretch to reach out to a younger demographic that El Jefe has little trouble attracting on his own terms”. The album went on to win 9 Grammys, including several of the collaborative songs (most notably “Smooth”, w/ Rob Thomas).

Without a trace, of doubt in my mind

No. 1 Billboard Pop Hit on this date (1/4) in 1967 is The Monkees' "I'm A Believer". This Neil Diamond penned masterpiece holds on to the #1 spot for Seven weeks, becoming the longest-running No. 1 song since the Beatles' "I Want to Hold Your Hand."


I thought it was pretty interesting, how the brickwork is laid out on this corner. I believe that there will be a wall attached here when it’s all finished. See Mondays’ post for a overall view. .

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Happy Birthday Stephen Stills!!

Stephen Stills was born on this day (1/3) in 1945, in Dallas TX. Stills was a founding memeber of Buffalo Springfield and then teamsed up with David Crosby (Hollies) and Graham Nash (Byrds) to form Crosby, Stills & Nash. Neil Young later joins the trio. Stills also has had significant solo success, and is still recording . You can download a track from his new album HERE.

Bricked Up

A big ol’ stack of bricks, rendered in B&W…. .… .

Monday, January 02, 2006


The construction project at our church is moving forward pretty dramatically. The past week has seen new brick! There’s still a long way to go, though…. .… .

I Can't Drive 55

Courtesy of the History Channel: On this day (1/1) in 1974, President Richard M. Nixon signs the Emergency Highway Energy Conservation Act, setting a new national maximum speed limit. On a round trip from St. Louis area to Pittsburgh, I can save close to 3.5 hours of windshield time by driving 65 rather than 55.....

Sunday, January 01, 2006

New Kid In Town

1/1/1976, Joe Walsh replaces Bernie Leadon in the Eagles. It would be December before the first Eagles album featuring the ordinary average guy would be released. But Hotel California was worth the wait.... Anybody ever hear from Bernie Leadon again??

Since 1892...

Glen Carbon water tower, just up the road from home. The water tower (and the adjacent DQ) have been around since we arrived here in 1989, but most everything else in town is new. Taken from the Wal-Greens parking lot, home of the $0.19/print emailed photo printing! .… .