Friday, October 31, 2008

My Mind Is In The Gutter

I'm not even sure when I took this image, but it was autumn. Waiting for a parade through downtown Edwardsville, IL. Possibly Halloween 2006.... Naturally, while everyone else is chatting, or people watching, or whatever, I'm staring at the dead leaves in the gutter....

Anyway, I really like this image, always have. Tonights the 2008 Halloween parade in Edwardsville, and we'll be walking with my son, who will either be with his Tae-Kwon-Do class, or our Church float (or maybe both)....

Thursday, October 30, 2008


Close up of the Ford logo on an old tractor. This beast has been a fixture at our Church way longer than we have (which is getting close to 20 years)…. I’m pretty sure it still runs, dragging around the lawn cutting attachment. Then again, I haven’t actually SEEN it running in a while. Below is another close up…

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Branches, Water

Here's a couple of oldies. Similar, but different... B&W or color... still or windy... flat light, or bright... I like them both.

Both of these were taken at Silver Lake Park, Highland, IL. Not too far from where I used to work (till 2006). I don't miss the job, but I do miss the park.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Goose Poop

There’s a nice, open, field next to where I work. Nice now, but soon to be another office building. And a fountain. I noticed the other day, that with the nearing of cold weather, quite a few geese are hanging out here. No problem, happy waterfowl, I love the environment, all that warm fuzzy stuff. Until today, when I went out for lunch and found a massive splat of dried gloop on my windshield. Had to be goose poop. Grrrr. Reminding me once again why there’s a big market for goose abatement products

But, on reflection, it’s hard to blame a goose for being a goose. And they are cool when they fly overhead in formation, honking away. Just as long as they’re not dropping bombs, I suppose.

Monday, October 20, 2008


I spent the last 6 days in SW Washington state. My first trip back there since spening most of last Winter and Spring there....
I didn't even have a camera with me, but here's a few oldies from the Washington State:

Monday, October 13, 2008

and people down in Florida can’t be still when ol’ Lynyrd Skynyrd’s pickin’ down in Jacksonville

Well, the train to Grinder's Switch is runnin' right on time, And the Tucker Boys are cookin' down in Caroline, and people down in Florida can’t be still when ol’ Lynyrd Skynyrd’s pickin’ down in Jacksonville.
Continuing the “South’s Gonna Do It” theme, today’s band is Lynyrd Skynyrd. Out of Jacksonville Florida, Skynyrd was probably the biggest of the Southern Rock bands, at least through the mid ‘70s. Like MTB, there is no person Lynyrd Skynyrd, but the band is named after a real person, Leonard Skinner, who was a teacher in the school that several of the guys attended. No brothers in Skynyrd, but lead singer Ronnie Van Zant’s 2 brothers also were/would be/are in Southern Rock bands. With the wonderfully “southern” names of Ronnie, Donnie and Johnny Van Zant… The band did have a sibling connection, though, with guitarist Steve Gaines brought into the band by and backup singer and sister Cassie Gaines. Skynyrd had several of the most iconic songs of the southern rock era, including “Free Bird” and “Sweet Home Alabama”. They hit the Top 40 five times, which may be tops in the genre. They were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2006.

Skynyrd was my favorite band as a teenager. I wore out copies of each of their first 5 albums by the end of college. Each was replaced on vinyl, and subsequently on CD… I was fortunate enough to see them twice in 1976, shortly before, and not long after Steve Gaines joined. I could probably write a small book with observations and experiences related to Lynyrd Skynyrd, but this is a blog, not a book….

Useless trivia 1: Original guitarist Ed King was formerly a member of the 60’s psychedelic band Strawberry Alarm Clock, famous for Incense and Peppermints.
Useless Trivia 2: Skynyrd is referenced in 2 songs I can think of, Kid Rock’s “All Summer Long” and Warren Zevon’s “Play It All Night Long”. There's probably more….

And my biggest pet-peeve: it’s not Skynard, folks. It’s Skynyrd.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

And the Tucker Boys are cookin' down in Caroline

The South’s Gonna Do It, by Charlie Daniels Band:
Well, the train to Grinderswitch is runnin' right on time, And the Tucker Boys are cookin' down in Caroline

Following yesterday’s post on Grinderswitch, the second band mentioned in the song is Marshall Tucker Band (MTB). One of the more popular bands from the southern rock movement, with several radio hits in the 70’s, including Top 40 entries “Heard It In A Love Song” and “Fire on the Mountain" and the classic-rock classic "Can’t You See”. Typically, their best stuff isn't necessarily the hits... MTB is notable for not having anyone named Marshall Tucker in the Band. But that wasn’t too strange for a southern rock band, every Allman Brothers was offset by a Lynyrd Skynyrd, it seems. Anyway, MTB did feature another common southern rock thread, in brothers Toy and Tommy Caldwell. As far as Southern Rock credentials, they had the southern part down, coming from Spartanburg South Carolina...

Interesting note: Charlie Daniel’s album “Fire On The Mountain” (which includes "The South's Gonna Do It") was released in 1975… Marshal Tucker’s song “Fire On The Mountain” was released in 1975… coinincidence??? Regardless, the photo below was also taken in 1975, near Beckley, WV. That's Ned Rugeley, who, IIRC, pointed out that little bit of trivia to me around the time that photo was taken...

Unlike Grinderswitch, MTB is well represented in my music collection. And I saw them in concert several times, too. Most interesting was when they came to Duke during my college years. I worked Event Security and was lucky enough to be on the backstage crew. I’d like to tell you I got to meet the band and become best pals with them, but that would be a rather huge stretch. But hanging out backstage is always cool.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

The train to Grinderswitch is running right on time….

As a kid, I was a huge “Southern Rock” fan. All the biggies, and some of the lesser known ones. And the definitive song about southern rock (though not the definitive southern rock song) was Charlie Daniels Band’s “The South’s Gonna Do It”. In deference to the song, and the sound, I plan to be listening to the bands mentioned in the song over the next couple of days. First up is probably the most obscure, Grinderswitch, from a bit south of Macon, GA. I expect their inclusion in the song is largely because they were part of the Capricorn Records stable, as was Charlie Daniels Band. I actually didn’t have a Grinderswitch album back in the late 70’s, and only knew them from their appearance on one of the Volunteer Jam albums. But through the joys of iTunes, I now have their album “Redwing”, which includes the only song of theirs I knew back then: “You And Me”. Not a bad group, but certainly second tier…
According to Wikipedia, Grinder's Switch is a real location just outside of Centerville, Tennessee, which consists of little more than the eponymous railroad switch. It was also the fictional hometown of Minnie Pearl. I don't know if there is a connection, but it seems like a heck of a coincidence.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

What A Long Strange Trip It's Been

Q: What did the deadhead say when the drugs wore off? A: Wow this music sucks!!

OK, I’m not much of a Grateful Dead fan, but I do have 5 of their songs on my iPod, and it struck me as a good selection for a cold rainy Tuesday morning. And it seemed to fit the moment reasonably well.

Aside: Many years ago, my brother was did some DJ work at his college radio station. He was into puk, new wave and all that great stuff, and I’m sure his radio show reflected that. I remember him telling me about people calling and requesting Grateful Dead songs, and him refusing to play them. A couple of years later, during my college days, I did DJ duties at a couple of my dorm’s parties. I had the same issue, with folks coming up and requesting me to play some Grateful Dead and such (Dixie Dregs, for instance), even offering to bring me their records. I figured that would’ve cleared the dance floor quicker than the B side of “They’re coming to Take Me Away, Ha Haaa”…. So, gently but firmly I learned to say no….