Saturday, December 30, 2006

In the stillness of winter

Down at Miner Park, where I’ve been releasing our captured mice. This is looking up the stream. Very similar to an old favorite of mine, taken in 2/2004, below: The same.... but different....

If Two Is One I Might As Well Be Three...

Yep, we snagged us another mouse last night, raising the total to 3. Guess we'll keep a trap out until we're sure they're all gone.

Bonus question: Name the song who's lyrics make the title to this post....

Friday, December 29, 2006

Mousey Music

In honor of my recently dispatched furry friends, a few topical songs. Anybody know any others??

Mighty Mouse - Tesla
Rats - The Kinks
Rat Salad - Black Sabbath
Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin) - Sly & The Family Stone.

OK, that last one was a stretch....

I Hate Meeses to Pieces!

A week or so ago, we began to notice signs of unwanted house guests. First some indistinct rustling sounds from the kitchen late at night. Then the tell tale droppings, and finally a glimpse of scurrying fur across the kitchen floor. Well, this can’t be tolerated, they won’t go away on their own! So a trip to Wal*Mart for some good-old-fashioned crush-the-bugger mouse traps. But they also had the “humane” traps, and we figured to go that route. So, after a couple of fruitless nights, we awoke this morning to not one, but 2 fuzzy fiends. My son, of course, thought they were cute, and wanted to keep them. But some gentle discussions convinced him that mice belong outdoors, and not with people. So we took them to the local park for some “catch & release”. I took the chance to discuss the whole circle-of-life gig with the boy, and how mice tend towards the bottom of the food chain. I figure the odds of them surviving 24 hours are slim, but perhaps they’ll end up as food for some other animal, better than dead in the trash.

One of the fuzzballs made a quick dash for freedom, and quickly disappeared into the underbrush.

The other didn’t even want to leave the trap, I had to shake him (her, it?) out. It headed for the underbrush, but then stopped, perhaps to think about the situation.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Discover more music that you'll like?

My brother turned me on to Pandora recently. A really fun site, part of the “Music Genome Project”. You create an online radio station, seed it with some song you like, and it plays songs that are stylistically similar. Pretty cool, really. I have 5 stations set up, from Jazz to hard rock. Give it a try! and "Thanks Hank"!


My daughters, Christmas eve.

Monday, December 25, 2006

We Three Kings Of Orient Are....

Detail of a Nativity set. A gift to us from a good friend, 20+ years ago. And a part of our Christmas tradition ever since.

Of course, the bible doesn't say they were kings, but Magi. And it doesn't say how many there were. And though they came from "the east", most evidence would suggest Persia (modern day Iran) rather than the orient... Whatever, "We 3 Kings" remains one of my favorite Christmas carols...

Hope you all had a great Christmas!!

James Brown, R.I.P.

We've lost another legend. James Brown, the "Godfather of Soul" passed away today, Christmas day, 2006. Sad news about the hardest working man in show business, who was planning to perform New Years' Eve in Times Square. Brown had more than 119 charting singles and recorded over 50 albums, was inducted into the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame and received a Grammys lifetime achievement award in 1992. James Brown was 73.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Christmas Star

Merry Christmas to everyone out in blog-land!! Or Happy Hanukkah, or whatever you celebrate. I hope you enjoy the season, and have a Happy New Year!!

This photo is of one of the Moravian Star ornaments my Mother used to make. Pretty amazing works of art, entirely hand made, starting with card-stock and an Xacto knife. This little one is only 3” in diameter, and has hung on our Christmas trees for as long as I can remember, certainly over 20 years. It always reminds me of my Mom…

Friday, December 22, 2006

Another Look

Just an example of visioning. This photo is paired with the previous one, taken at the same time from the same spot, at the same angle (but a different crop). It shows a another perspective of the same scene. This one is focused on the rain streaked window, while the other is focused through the window, on the trees. Which do YOU like more??

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Hazy Shade Of Winter

Yesterday was a “theme day” in my Yahoo photography group. I’ve missed the past couple, haven’t been doing too much fresh shooting lately. I really wanted to participate this time, the theme was “songs from the 60’s”. I settled on Simon & Garfunkel’s Hazy Shade Of Winter”.

Here’s what I put with the post:

Time, time, time, see whats become of me
While I looked around, For my possibilities
I was so hard to please
But look around, leaves are brown
And the sky is a hazy shade of winter

Inspired by the 1968 song by Simon & Garfunkel. Shot through a rain streaked window, on a cold rainy day.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

It's Beginning To Sound A Lot Like Christmas

Well, the Christmas season has officially started for me. I was wrapping / packaging gifts for the relatives today, and I popped a Christmas CD in the stereo. This marks the first self-initiated Christmas music this year. So, now I have Christmas music on the iTunes, even as I type this. Here’s what I’m listening to:

Father Christmas – The Kinks
Silent Night, Holy Night – John Fahey
Do You Hear What I Hear – John Fahey & Terry Robb
Christmas Is Coming – Vince Guaraldi Tro
Little Drummer Boy – Jars Of Clay
Classical Christmas – Lynyrd Skynyrd
Jingle Bells – James Taylor
God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen – Barenaked Ladies (w/ Sarah McLaughlin)
I Am Santa Clause – Bob Rivers
Christmas – Gatemouth Brown
Mr. Grinch – Boris Karloff

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Pointsettia #1

A repost from last year…

A is for..... AC/DC!

Alright, I’m listening to AC/DC’s 1992 live album. A little “mellow” music for the holiday season. I consider AC/DC a guilty pleasure, they’re not exactly highbrow. But I suppose I shouldn’t, since they are members of the RockNRoll Hall of Fame.

Monday, December 18, 2006

F.M. Lawhead's Dryer Crew

I saw this 1916 postcard on eBay, and just couldn’t resist buying it. I love old photos, and this one really hooked me. I don't even know what a "Dryer Crew" is... Now if I can just get it framed instead of letting it end up in a stack of stuff…

My Achy Breaky Back

I've spent the better part of the last 2 days dragging tree branches to the front yard, cutting them down and stacking them by the roadside. And while it's always fun to play with the chainsaw, three gas tanks of cutting branches at ankle level has pretty well killed my back. I guess I'm not a kid anymore....

Thursday, December 14, 2006


2007 Dodge Charger, with a sunset quickly dropped into as background…. This is the company car that came with my new job, pretty slick. Much nicer than my previous company, where we drove our own cars and they reimbursed us at less than ¾ of the IRS rate. At least I’m not bitter

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Drunk on honey and mead, you stand up to walk away, and you are stung to death.

Wow, the spam emails are getting weirder and weirder. That's a real subject line in the title. Other recent spam (or apparently spam) titles:

"However, the projector screen will not be on the same wall as the TV, but on the... "
"It did make me wonder about the different experiences that folks had, with and w... "
"Sorry for the oversight yesterday, and thank you, Walter, for asking me"

While I'm still getting the 2-random-word posts (Fraud dancer, phonetically structure, demeanor marginal), these missives are almost interesting!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006


All along, I go back and look through my old “raw” files. Often I’ll find a shot that may have been overlooked, or inspires me to rework. This is one such image, rediscovered due to recent discussions on Hocking Hills State Park. For whatever reason (who remembers May 2005?) this one was overlooked. I’ve included the original (below) so you can see just how much work I did in this one. Starting with a pretty significant crop. This was a very low light shot, 1/10th second at f-4.5, without a tripod! My ability to compose the shot was very limited by the need to brace the camera against a rock or tree, to get a steady platform. I think it turned out ok, what does everyone else think??




Monday, December 11, 2006

More playing with powerpoint

This is an old one, from 1/1983, IIRC. Back before digital, by a lot!


Just playing around in powerpoint, with using photos as backgrounds.... The quote came up in a search at Taken at the Limestome rest area, along I-55, just south of Pontiac, IL.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Honorable Mention

My photo "Lighting Abstract" got an honorable mention over at PhotoShowdown for November. I'm psyched, I really like this one. This was shot with my humble Nikon Coolpix L2, bought for under $200 at Wal*Mart. Not bad for a point-n-shoot.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Sounds Like Roy

I remember a radio ad for Roy Buchanan, back in the mid 70’s, when he was coming to Pittsburgh. The announcer stated, “The only man who can make a guitar cry”, while something (probably “the Messiah will come again”) played in the background. This was before I was old enough to attend concerts, but I was still hooked. I mention it because I was listening to a 1974 concert on CD last night, driving through the darkness between Chicago and St. Louis. Which prompted me to search for RoyB On YouTube...

At Day's End

A few days ago, I was driving through Nashville, TN at sunset. From a photography standpoint, sunsets are generally a dime a dozen, but I really enjoyed this one, and had to snap a few shots. The nearby cluster of clouds was really interesting….. Anyway, it’s nicer to look at than the crushed tree shots that have been leading the blog for a few days. This was on the north side of town, along the I-24/I-65 stretch, where it passes the football stadium. ANd yes, I was driving while I took this...

Friday, December 01, 2006

Ice Storm

I planted this pine tree in 1989, when we moved to Illinois. It took quite a beating in last night's ice storm. This is the middle tree of a line of 5. I haven't mustered the energy to go out and check the others, it's just too depressing.

Weeping for the Willow

We had a pretty big ice storm last night, and it has taken a big toll on the trees around here. This is the tree featured Monday, in the 11/27 post “O Weeping Will” (scroll down). There’s not a lot left…