Friday, September 28, 2007

Lake Shelbyville, IL

Lake Shelbyville is a couple hours east of St. Louis, a bit north of Effingham. I had never been there until this week, when I passed by while driving home from Rantoul. It was a beautiful day, I'd've rather been on the lake than driving... And yes, the surrounding area is as flat as it looks....

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Did she get tired or did she just get lazy?

On the blog 2 years ago today, 2005:
On this date (9/27) back in 1975, the Eagles broke the Top 40 with "Lyin' Eyes", the not-exactly-cheerful little ditty about a cheating wife. This one must have been a disapointment to the band, as it stalled at #2. One more notch and it would've been their 3rd straight #1.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007


I received a "care package" from Tuscon today... The latest and greatest from Brain Damage Records. After 23 years, the band USA has released another record!! USA is one of the brainchilds of my former roomate, F. Scott. In fact, if you check out the USA website, you'll notice that the bass player for the 1983 incarnation of USA is credited as L^2 ... as in LSquared. And yes, I'm in that 1983 picture... And while I have even less to do with the 2007 recording, it is still worth checking out. It's not boring!!


I don’t know what possessed me to take this picture. Except I looked up, and I liked the lines and angles….

Monday, September 24, 2007


Yestrday's post was from one of the backroads across Illinois, taken on a return from NW Indiana. Today is from a different backroad, from the northbound leg of the same trip. Blue Mound, IL, along Rt 48, a bit SW of Decatur...

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Late in the day, late Summer.....

I was driving home from NW Indiana the other day, and decided to deviate from my “normal” route of I-55 from Chicago to St. Louis. I cut down I-57 past Kankakee, then across a little 2-lane (Rt 54) to Springfield. Doing the “Blue Highways” thing. It was a nice road, made pretty good time… And, about halfway across the route, I came across this barn along the road…. IIRC, this was a little town called Bellflower... give or take 20 miles.....

Friday, September 21, 2007


Sorry for the light posting, folks. It's been one of those weeks... I spent part of the week in the Gary IN area (Yee Ha!), here's some photos.

And the back-story:
I was on a business trip this week, staying at a hotel in Portage IN (outside Gary). About a block from my hotel, right by the interstate, there was a big old, derelict Holiday Inn. Every day, coming or going, I'd look at that hulk of a Hotel, and think I should stop and take some shots... SOOOOOO, the last morning, I figured to go for it. Of course, I wasn't exactly running early, but figured I could spare a minute or two for a quick shot or two. I didn't see any "No Tresspassing" signs or anything, so I drove in and around, getting out of the car a couple times (3 actually) to take photos. All the while, feeling like a criminal, since I wasn't on public property...

After perhaps 3-4 minutes, it was time to head off to my morning committments, now running a little late. As I headed to the exit of the parking lot, here comes a police car around the building!! No lights, no rush, but obviously coming to check me out. Yikes!! I have visions of missing my morning meetings, calling my business associates to bail me out, the whole scenario playing out in my mind in those few seconds....

But I decided to just go about my business, act calm and cool and "not-guilty-of anything", and be on my way. I headed for the exit, he followed me out onto the main road, but did NOT pull me over. I dove onto the interstate and headed to work. PHEW!!!! Good thing I'm such a clean-cut, non-threatening kinda guy...

Monday, September 17, 2007

Broken Headstock

Regular readers may remember a couple of posts back in October 2006, about my Guild Jetstar bass, and it's broken headstock... Well, Pittsburgh Guitars (where I bought the bass, back in 1979), is looking for stories about broken headstocks. I don't even know how/when mine got broken, but I thought the story might be interesting, since I bought it from Pittsburgh Guitars 28 years ago, when Pittsburgh Guitars was brand new.

So here's the scoop:
Back in the summer of 1979, I spent some time hanging out at the brand new Pittsburgh Guitars store in Bloomfield, with my brother, and the rest of “The Reallys”.

Sometime during that summer of '79, Carl G. sold me a real rarity: a late 60’s Guild Jetstar bass (as played by Peter Tork of the Monkees).

The bass is Serial number 339… if I read their website correctly, this is among the last of only 243 made (starting with sn-101)! Sadly, it had been incompletely refinished when I bought it, and has never been properly finished since. But I do love it. The guitar has been used pretty sparingly over the past 28 years, as “real life” intruded. But it has been with me from Pittsburgh to North Carolina to Washington DC, to St. Louis area… Last October, however, I noticed a crack in the headstock!! No idea when it occurred, or how. I’ve been afraid to use it since, but haven’t gotten it looked at, either… Attached is a photo of the damage. Note the replacement tuning pegs (I do still have the originals)…

How’s that for a history, if not a story??

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Go Racers!

We decided to take a quick jaunt down to Murray State yesterday (Saturday) to see my younger daughter, and her first performance as part of the Murray Band. She’s on the color guard, as a freshman. So we piled into the car after my son’s morning soccer game, and headed to Kentucky. A lot of driving (about 7 hours round trip), but worth it. We only stayed through the show at ½ time, and made it home at 2 minutes before midnight!.... A couple of snapshots from the evening:

The band is bigger than Edwardsville High School’s! My daughter is the one in the back, at the 45 yard line!

Not exactly USC and LSU, but Murray vs Lambuth was still entertaining… Next time maybe I’ll have to get a better zoom!

Friday, September 14, 2007

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Digging Deep In The Archives...

From way back in 2003, from a late October visit to McAdams Peak, in Pere Marquette State Park. At 372 ft above the Illinois River, it seems a rather modest hill, but "Peak" it is.... That's the Illinois River in the background, just a bit north of the confluence with the Mississippi..

A pumpkin farm, not far from Pere Marquette, also from 2003:

This one is much more recent, from October 2004. Along the Spokane River, not far outside Spokane, WA.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Forever Autumn

In honor of the nearing autumn, and in response to JohnR’s nice comments on yesterday’s image, here’s a frew more leaf shots, from the arvhives:

One of the older ones, back from the film days, scanned. Mid 90’s
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More recent, digital stuff:

Available on Mirostock - Buy Me!!
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Available on Mirostock - Buy Me!!
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Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Leaf #24

I got an email today, with the rather vague message: “What is the price for this photograph? We need to know ASAP. Thanks.” Understandably, all of my scam alarms went off. But I decided to find out more… Turns out the image in question is on old 2nd-place winner at Better Photo, from way back in November 2005. But more alarms, they’re “on a deadline” and need to move quickly. Next thing, they’ll want to pay with a Nigerian Cashier’s Check for $3M, and get $2,999,000 in change! We’ll see….. Anyway, I like the image, and thought I'd repost it here.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Walking in the Water...

Another image from our Labor Day trip to Rend Lake. I really like this one…

Happenstance We Fell Into...

The Happenstance Photography blog is back. I doubt anyone remembers, but HP was a blog I set up last year to spotlight B&W images. It petered out at the end of 2006, after about 3 months. I decided to resurect it, as a forum to spotlight my experiences in microstock photography. Give it a peek!


Halloween is coming, the local Wal*Mart has been selling candy for a couple of weeks now. Here’s a photo of the Jack-O-Lantern carved by my son in 2005, to start getting y'all in the mood. I know I'm ready for fall...

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Saturday Microstock Post

One of my shots, available through microstock. Click on the link for more info! I'm still enjoying the microstock world, and earning a little bit of cash. All you photographers out there should give it a try!

A picture taken early last spring, Charleston Falls Recreation Area, near Dayton, OH

Friday, September 07, 2007

Doctor, Doctor, Gimme The News....

Songs about Doctors:

Bad Case Of Loving You (Doctor, Doctor) - Robert Palmer
Call The Doctor - J.J. Cale
Calling Doctor Love - Kiss
The Doctor - Doobie Brothers
Doctor Jimmy - The Who
Doctor Music - Blue Oyster Cult
Doctor My Eyes - Jackson Browne
Doctor Robert - The Beatles
Doctor Told Me - J.J. Cale
Doctor Jive - J.J. Cale
Just What The Doctor Ordered - Ted Nugent
Rock and Roll Doctor - Black Sabbath
Rock and Roll Doctor - Little Feat
The System of Doctor Tarr and Professor Fether - Alan parson's Project
Witch Doctor - David Seville

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Took a quick trip to Rend Lake on Labor Day, and had a little fun on the water with some friends…. Here we’re hauling the kids behind their boat…. A good time was had by all!

Tuesday, September 04, 2007


Gateway International Raceway sites just a few miles from downtown St. Louis, in Madison, IL. There's a pretty cool view of the skyline from atop the stands (above). Of course, that's looking back over your shoulders. The stands face east, away from downtown. Probably good from the late afternoon sun standpoint, but decidely less scenic. Looking across the track, we have a big old truck stop, and then a massive landfill. To make matter worse, during the latter stages of Saturday's race, they started a controlled burn over there, giving us a wonderful plume of smoke to accentuate the mound. Naturally, the wind was west--->east, right towards us. Pretty classy.

Sunday, September 02, 2007


Yesterday was the "Missouri-Illinois Dodge Dealers Ram Tough 200" race at Gateway International Raceway. That's the NASCAR Craftsman Truck series, of course. I went with my wife and our 7 y/o son. This was my first NASCAR race, my son's first race, and the first time I've been to any race in a decade. A good time was had by all, and we saw a good race on a beautiful day. I think we'll have to do this again next year, maybe try the Busch race....

On the pace lap, getting ready to go green. The white truck, Number 59, is Terry Cook, who my son was rooting for. He qualified 3rd, ran in the top 5 for the first 1/3 of the race. But then he blew an engine, and was done for the day.

Above is a late race pass, Johnny Benson working around David Green, for third, with Ron Hornaday Jr. in the lead. Benson ended up winning, working back from an bad pit stop early in race that dropped him from the front to 21st. Very cool watching him work his way back up through the pack. Below, he's getting ready to do his victory burnout....

Saturday, September 01, 2007


An oldie, from pre-digital days. From the CART race at GIR, 1997 or ’98. We’re off to the track today, to see the NASCAR Truck race. My first NASCAR race, my 7 y/o son's first race ever. He's decided he’s a Terry Cook fan, so we’ll be rooting for him!