Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Early Morning Blues and Greens

Just looking out my back door yesterday morning, enjoying the greens and blues….…. . .

Lost In The Supermarket

I went with the whole family to see the movie “Over The Hedge” yesterday. We’re pretty sure this is the first time (ever) to get the whole family (all 5 of us) together in a movie theater. The movie was well received by all, even the teenage girls. I won’t expect it to be in the Oscar hunt, but is was a great way to spend a hot holiday afternoon with the family. Musically, the movie featured several songs by Ben Folds (minus the “Five”), which were pretty good. The end theme was a BF remake of the old Clash song “Lost In The Supermarket”. To me, not a great version, but it did get me thinking about The Clash….

SO… last night, I was digging through the vinyl, and dusting off the turntable, and turning up the Clash. Leading off with “London Calling”, of course, but also the first US release, simply “The Clash”. Great stuff.

working for the clampdown

Now, in the interest of full disclosure, I’m not really a huge fan of the Clash. In fact, I only have the album “London Calling” because I got it for free. Back in college, when I was shooting photos for the Duke newspaper, they would get records for review. When “London Calling” showed up, nobody wanted it, so I was happy to take it off their hands! Now hailed as one of the greatest records of all time, it made little splash among the elitists at the Duke Chronicle!

Anyway, as I said, I wasn’t a huge fan. I think primarily because, while I think they’re good, I don’t think they’re as incredibly outstandingly awesome as so many other people think (or thought)….. Something about bands that are deified just bugs me. Whether it was Bruce Springsteen, or U2 or The Clash..…. When a band becomes that “important”, I lose interest. But time heals all wounds, or at least most. (and, of course, time loves a hero….)

Back to the Clash, they do have lots of great stuff. But some of it is just OK. London calling, for instance, could have easily been condensed to 1 awesome disc, rather than 2 really good ones. And “The Clash” is about ½ great… Bottom line, while both are good, I’ve managed to NOT listen to either in a rather long time. And neither has (for me) made the transition to digital. Yet. I did put London Calling into my Amazon cart, they have it for just $7.97, way cheaper than iTunes, even (who only have the partial album or the expanded legacy edition for $19.98).

Friday, May 26, 2006

MBG, one lasttime...

I think I’m about done with shots from Missouri Botanical Garden in St. Louis. Time for another visit?. Here's one in color, and one in black & white.....

Soundproof Terminus!!

It seems that junk mail is getting more and more "out there". One would think that they'd try and come up with titles that could actually entice somebody to open them. But "soundproof terminus"?? Here's three others, all from my "spam bin":
laborious seminal - - - protector sprinkle - - - garne 7486

Meanwhile my email at work seems to specialize in 1-word titles, w/ attached files. Here's 3:
tribute - - - despair - - - sharply

Somebody must actually open these things, or they'd be doing something else....

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Kind Of Blue....

Happy birthday to Jazz trumpeter Miles Davis, born today (5/25) in 1926. Davis was born in nearby (to me) Alton, Ill. He started his career with Billy Eckstine's orchestra in a lineup that included Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Parker. He went on to record more than two dozen albums and is considered the originator of more jazz styles than any other artist. He died in 1991...

By the Numbers

A leftover from a while back, variation on a theme. Sorry for the drop off in posts lately, I need to get myself in gear!!

Monday, May 22, 2006

The Photographer, or The Camera??

OK, this is an oldie, from January 2003. I’ve been looking through my archive disks, trying to rework some of the past productions. And it’s made me rethink an axiom. Is it the photographer, or the camera?? I’ve long held that a good photographer can excel with a bad camera, while the best camera in the world won’t salvage the vision of a bad photographer. But in reviewing these old shots, I’m not so sure (at least about the 1st part). After being back in the “real” camera world for 1.5 years (with my Nikon D-70), I’m shocked at how bad these old shots are. Crappy sharpness, digital noise, poor dynamic range... the whole thing. I had to do a TON of post processing on this one to even get it up to mediocre. And several shots that I posted to contests 3 years ago are downright unsalvageable. Maybe a really good photographer could excel with that old Kodak LS443, but I was churning out crap!!.

Saturday, May 20, 2006


OK, I was finally able to get a decent shot of this little hummingbird… I belive it’s a female Ruby Throated Hummingbird. Next task is to shoot the male! . .

Friday, May 19, 2006


Strange quote found at Thinkexist.com, from Billy Corgan:

“Say you write a song about a chandelier, and the chandelier gives off light. And the light is the color red and red reminds you of the color your not supposed to wear around a bull. So you name the song Cow."

Works for me!

Same As It Ever Was...

On this date (5/19) back in 1960, Disc jockey and TV personality Alan Freed, who coined the term "rock 'n' roll," is arrested along with seven other people on suspicion of commercial bribery. In January, the National Association of Broadcasters had decreed that disc jockeys accepting payment from record labels for broadcasting particular songs would be charged a $500 fine and spend a year in prison. The practice, called payola, had provoked an extensive investigation by the NAB. (courtesy of History.com). Not surprisingly, Payola is alive and well, 66 years later. As noted last just summer: "Sony BMG Music Entertainment admitted that its employees lavished cash, trips and other bribes on radio stations and their employees to get its music on the air in a settlement that is part of a wider investigation by New York Attorney General Eliot L. Spitzer into payola in the music industry.". And more here....

Thursday, May 18, 2006

As Sure As Eggs Is Eggs (Aching Men's Feet)

On this date (5/18) in 1975, Peter Gabriel left Genesis to pursue a solo career. Drummer Phil Collins replaces Gabriel as lead singer for the group. Although both Gabriel and Genesis ended up more successful, it was mourned by many fans, like me.

And it's hey babe, with your guardian eyes so blue,
Hey my baby, don't you know our love is true,
I've been so far from here, Far from your loving arms,
Now I'm back again, and babe it's gonna work out fine...
Can't you feel our souls ignite
Shedding ever changing colours, in the darkness of the fadingnight,
Like the river joins the ocean, as the germ in a seed grows
We have finally been freed to get back home.

A Long Day's Night

Thanks to the joys of Netflix, I've recently seen the Blue Oyster Cult DVD "A Long Day's Night". Filmed at Chicago's Navy Pier in 2002, this video was quite good, much better than I expected. Donald "Buck Dharma" Roesier was actually quite awesome, that guy can still play a mean guitar. the Bouchard Brother are long gone (Bass & Drums), and Eric Bloom looked his age, but these guys were still rocking. And did I mention that Buck Dharma was outstanding?? Short, but outstanding. I've been a big BOC fan since high school, and saw them twice in the late 70's, the fisrt show (at the Stanley Theater) remains among my "Best Shows" list...


Yet another shot from Missouri Botanical Garden in St. Louis. After posting it at BetterPhoto, the title reminded me of the old TV show “Duet”, which was one of the early series when Fox created their "4th" network. Featuring Mary Page Keller and Matthew Laurance, it ran from 1987-1989. . .

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Must Manage More Moog....

On this date (5/16) in 1965, Moog introduces the first analog synthesizer. Next stop: Switched on Bach!! I remember hearing S.O.B. back in 5th grade music class, and getting my Dad to buy the record. And, yes, I do have it on CD now (the vinyl is lost, though I still have the album cover). Meanwhile, The Monkees are generally credited as having the first use of a moog synthsizer in a "rock" song, with "Daily, Nightly" from 1967's "Pisces Aquarious Capricorn & Jones, Ltd". And, yes (again), I have this album on both the original vinyl, and modern CD....

Ford 5000

I saw this old tractor the other day, thought it was very cool, and very blue…..

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Hummingbird Don't Fly Away Fly Away

I've been sitting here in my "family room", watching hummingbirds eat at the feeder, a mere 4 feet or so away. But, now it's after 8pm, it's deep dusk, and no chance of a photo. Pretty cool, though, I just put up the hummingbird feeder Sunday. We've had a several of them flitting about all evening. I'm definitely going to have to set up a photo-blind in front of the window. Some weekend when the wife is away, though!! Here's a crappy shot, all I could manage before it got too dark... I should clean the window, too.

Bricks & Arches

Yesterday was theme day at my Yahoo group, “Architecture”. In a flashback to my High-School days, I simply didn’t get the project done by the due date. Sigh. Better late than never (I hope), I took this photo on the way to work today, and went on and posted it. Too late for voting, but at least I participated. Anyway, here’s a couple of other “Architecture” shots, from the archives.

POTD @ Photoshowdown, Finalist @ BetterPhoto
- - - - - - - - - -

POTD @ Photoshowdown
- - - - - - - - - -

Monday, May 15, 2006

Ride, Ride, Ride.... Hitchin' A Ride

One shot wonder Vanity Fare had their moment of fame starting today (5/16) back in 1970, with "Hitchin' A Ride". This song made it all the way to #5. I had this on a K-Tel hits package, way back in 1970, when I lived in WVa. I also have it on an old scratchy 45, bought at a Goodwill in Durham, NC in the early 80's. Meanwhile, these guys actually have a website, which declares them to be "A highly professional band with an impressive history and enduring appeal". See what happens when you write your own press?

Redbud Blooms

Taen a few weeks ago, one of my Redbud trees in bloom. Seems more like a pink-bud, no??? My older daughter said nice things about this one, so I figured I’d post it!.

Saturday, May 13, 2006


Happy birthday to "Little" Stevie Wonder (Steveland Morris), born on this day (5/13) in 1950. Stevie Wonder was blind at birth, but went on to become one of the most successful recording artists in history.

Backyard Birding Yet Again

Yeah I know, more of the same…. But I likes the birdies...


Wednesday, May 10, 2006


It’s theme day in my Yahoo Photography group, and today’s assignment is “Rule Of Thirds”. RO3 is a compositional technique where the image is divided into 9 equal regions. Placing your subject at the intersection of the dividing lines can give more impact. But it’s explained a lot more clearly HERE. Below is a version with the 1/3 lines superimposed, to show what I mean:

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Pickin' Up The Pieces

Happy birthday to Richie Furay of Buffalo Springfield and Poco. Richie was born on this date (5/9) in 1944 in Yellow Springs, Ohio. I had to look up Yellow Springs, it's east of Dayton, and south of Springfield...


Former train crossing, now a bike trail.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Happy Birthday to the Blues....

Blues legen Robert Johnson was born on this day (5/8), way back in 1911. Check out the bio, over at the RnRHOF.

Sunset #4261

Ah, just another generic sunset picture. It’s hard to make a sunset picture stand out from the crowd, and there’s certainly a crowd of them. Regradless, I like ‘em, and I like this one. Even if it isn’t much different from this one, or this one, or this one…. at least this one is a bit different.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Saturday, May 06, 2006


Trying to come up with another setlist, with the subject of "truth"... But I'm stuck on 2. Any suggestions for a 3rd??

Tell The Truth - Derek & The Dominos
Truth Hits Everybody - The Police

Backyard Bird #485

Just another backyard bird, a male cardinal at the feeder. . .

Friday, May 05, 2006

Thrills become as cheap as gas, and gas as cheap as thrills.....

OK, I spent today driving from Atlanta to the St. Louis area. Just me and a rented Ford Tarus (blech). Anyway, I'd rather drive than fly, and a nice drive it was. As I crossed into Illinois, though, I was playing with the onboard computer, and came across the MPG calculator. I was able to determine that I was getting about 26.5 MPG at the 80+mph I was cruising (shhhhhh, don't tell). With the current high gas prices, I wondered just how wasteful I waqs being. When I got onto Rt4, I had an opportunity for a ~20mile run at 60 mph. That 25% decrease in speed jumped the milage up to 30.2 MPG (yes, I reset the meter!). OK, a 25% reduction in speed leads to a 14% increase in gas milage. Sounds pretty good. But what would that mean, in real dollars, over the course of my day?? The trip was right at 600 miles, if I drove the whole thing at 80, that would be 22.6 gallons. At 60mph, it would only take 19.9 gallons. SO, a reduction in speed would've saved 2.8 gallons. At $2.80/gallon, thats a savings of $7.77.

On the other hand, at 80mph, the trip would take 7.5 hours, versus 10 hrs at 60mph.

In summary.... For 2.5 hours of my time, I could've saved less than $8.00 of gas. Ummm, not gonna happen.


Finally back to where I can post pictures, here’s a few from the “pending” bin, try and make up for the lull… These are all from last month’s trip to Missouri Botanical Garden

Monday, May 01, 2006

I wanna be haunted by the ghost, of your precious love....

Gotta love these lyrics:
First time I saw you, standin' in the street
You were so cool, You could've put out Vietnam
All the girls say "Whats he like?", I said "He's kind of shy
But that's the kind of girl I am, He's my kind of guy"

Shane MacGowan & the Popes - Haunted (with Sinead O'Conner).

No photos tonight...

I'm having some stupid problems with my FTP site tonight, so I can't post a picture. If I don't get it straight tomorrow, I may break down and use blogspots, hosting, though I prefer to keep control of the files, so I can delete 'em if I want....

Alright Now.....

Another song set, as I've got the iTunes running tonight.....

Everything Is Kinda Alright - Charlie Danials Band
Everything Will Be Alright - J.J. Cale
It's Alright For You - The Police
Feeling Alright - Joe Cocker

not to mention the "title track", by Free.


You may have heard of the midwest mumps "epidemic", and it's origins in Iowa. That's Iowa, as in: "Where my oldest daughter is a freshman in college". Well, guess what?? She now has mumps, despite all the proper childhood immunizations. So she has to vacate campus and isolate herself. Which wouldn't be too mucjh of a problem if she had someplace local to go, but she doesn't. So my dear wife is trekking across Illinois/Iowa as I type, off to bring her home. Oh, yeah, its a week before her final exams.

Life is seldom boring.