Thursday, January 29, 2009

Billy Powell on the piano....

Billy Powell, keyboard player for Lynyrd Skynyrd, passed away today. He was 56. I've been a fan of Skynyrd since I was 14 or so, and saw them twice back in the 70's.

The list of Skynyrd members who are Resting-In-Peace gets longer and longer. I imagine (and hope) that BP's departure will mark the end of Lynyrd Skynyrd. 5 of the 7 members in the above photo (from '76-'78 time frame) have moved on....

I know who will be on the iPod later today.....

Saturday, January 24, 2009


This is one from last January, when I was sojourning in Southeastern Washington State. This is the "hill" overlooking Lewiston / Clarkston, at the confluence of the Snake and Clearwater rivers. Of course, you can't see that here, as I'm alimed along the fencline, looking to the southeast.... I've been looking over some of my images from last year, since I only had a laptop to process them last year....

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

A Walk Across America

I just finished reading "A Walk Across America", which was a Christmas gift this year. I remember being struck by a National Geographic article exerpt many (many) years ago, but had never gotten around to reading the whole book. Despite being a 30 year old story, I really enjoyed it. But I've always been a sucker for these "discovering America" stories, from "Blue Highways" to "The Cannibal Queen"...... and even "Into The Wild".

What can it mean?

Monday, January 19, 2009

Pittsburgh's Going to the Super Bowl! (again)

I've been a Steeler fan since the early 70's. Of course, I grew up in Pittsburgh, so it just makes sense. But through sojourns in North Carolina, Washington DC area, and St. Louis area, I remain (and will remain) a Steeler fan. Now, my own son is learning the joys of fandom, and watching the games with his dear-old-dad. And Pittsburgh's going to the Super Bowl!

It doesn't get much better than that!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Pinewood Derby 2009 - Go Steelers!

Yesterday was the PAck 34 Pinewood Derby. My son's a "Bear Cub", and here's his car:

This year's car carries a Steelers theme! We're hoping the football team does as well today as the race car did!!

- - -
At the start: I added the "Go!!" to make it clear the fellow wasn't yawning!

Most of the races were quite close.... But the Steeler car won almost every race it was in.... It finished 2nd twice, and 1st all the rest of the time.

a "photo" finish?

- - -

After a victory lap, it's time to face the press!!

OK, not really on the "face the press" part... But it is ojn to the next level. The top 3 cars from each Pack go on to regionals. So we have to keep the car in one piece for a while...

Friday, January 16, 2009

Kinsella Family Homestead

According to the plaque by the door: circa 1860, renovated 1976.
This is a pretty cool old log log home, almost 150 years old. It is in a quiet little park near where I work, Pleasant Ridge Park.

This was taken yesterday at lunch, when it was about 10 degrees. Converted to B&W, with a slight sepia tone. Then added a touch of the "Orten" effect...


For whatever reason, “Your Cash Ain’t Nothin But Trash” by Steve Miller Band, was hanging around in my head this morning. Nothing to do but dial it up on the iPod for my morning commute. As one thing leads to another, here's a procession of “your” songs. I do love my iPod! There’s enough here for the commute home, and then some!

· Your Auntie Grizelda – The Monkees
· Your Cheatin’ Heart – Hank Williams
· Your Generation – Generation X
· Your Letter’s Overdue – Delia Bell and Bill Grant
· Your Love Is Lifiting Me Higher – Rita Coolidge
· Your Mama Don’t Dance – Loggins & Messina
· Your Mother Should Know – The Beatles
· Your Sister Can’t Dance But She Can Rock N Roll – Elton John
· Your Song – Elton John
· Your Time Is Gonna Come – Led Zeppelin
· Your Wildest Dreams – Moody Blues

Thursday, January 15, 2009


Not the Monkees song, the temperature. It was zero degrees (Fahrenheit) this morning, the coldest it has been in the St. Louis area in about a decade. But at least it is bright and sunny, no snow on the ground, and the wind isn't too bad. It's a lot colder other places. Coldest I've ever been?? A business trip to Edmonton, Canada, -28C (or about -18F), with a stiff wind...

Below is the pond / fountain outside my office. It is still spraying, despite the cold. SOme of the mist seems to be turning into ice pellets.....

What's it like where you are?

Friday, January 09, 2009

Misfeasance, Malfeasance and Nonfeasance (oh my!)

I ususally avoid politics, but couldn't pass on this: Yep, my state's governor, Rod Blogojevich was impeached today, by the Illinois House of Representatives. The final vote was 114-1, as only 1 Chicago area lawmaker (Milton Patterson) had the audacity to stand firm with Blogo. I simply couldn't pass up the phrasing from the House Special Investigating Committee, which was created "to investigate allegations of misfeasance, malfeasance, nonfeasance, and other misconduct" . That a lot of feasances....

Blogojevich's activities far transcend the clumsy attempts to sell Barak Obama's US Senate seat, although that is what has gotten the most national press. If you want to read about the joys of Illinois politics, here's the report.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Along The Stream

Check out a larger version at BetterPhoto...


This huge tree had fallen across the creek, in Eastern TN... I had fun poking around the base, scrambling and ducking through the branches. I had crossed to the far side of the stram, and this tree was pretty much blocking the way....

Another view of the same tree:

Monday, January 05, 2009

Details, details

There's not a lot of sweeping vistas hiking around the woods of eastern Tennessee... But there's certainly a lot of interesting stuff to look at, when you pay attention to details:

This pine cone was one of 3 on a bare twig, all were missing significant chunks. Were they eaten by birds, now scattering the seeds?? Or were they shed? I don't know, I'm no botinist.....

I'm always struck by the mottled designs on tree branches and trunks, but seldom seem to capture thme to suit my vision. This comes close... A couple of parallel trunks of small trees, each with its own character.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

The Phelps' homestead, in Tennessee:

We call it a farm, though they don't grow any crops that I've ever seen... They do have a couple of oxen, but I don't think thye've been yoked in years.... They had some chickes foe a while, but that was a while ago... None of which matters, it is still a wonderful place to visit.

There's quite a few trails on the property, and in the area, I'm often unsure if I'm still on their land or not. I was really struck by the little area shown above. The trail is a bit above the stream, and there was a wide flat area between the stream and the hillside. I imagine it floods with some regularity.

We ain’t got no diamond studded Cadillacs
We ain’t got no furry minks across our backs
We don’t worry ‘bout the things that we can’t see
We got all we need, we got Tennessee

Saturday, January 03, 2009

We Got Tennessee....

We spent New Year's with my wife's family, at her sister's place outside Maryville Tennessee. It was good to see all the "kin", and good to spend some time in the mountains. This is the view down their driveway, towards the barn.

I was able to spend a bit of time wandering in the woods, I'll plan to post more photos as they get processed. The title, btw, is a reference to an old CDB song...

2009 (and echos of 1979)

HAPPY NEW YEAR!! Hope everyone has a great 2009, and that you are successful in all your resolutions. We spent New Year's in the mountains of Eastern Tennessee, visiting my wife's family. Hopefully photos will follow...

In honor of the new year's "9", we listened to Top 40 hits from 1979 while driving home yesterday. Certainly not the greatest year in Rock History, or even in the 70's. My playlist only has 57 songs, not even 4 hrs. But there's a few gems in there.

Some worth remembering:
Sultans Of Swing - Dire Straits / Roxanne - The Police / Heart Of Glass - Blondie / I Want You To Want Me - Cheap Trick / My Sharona - The Knack

And some worth forgetting:
Goodnight Tonight - Paul McCartney / Babe - Styx / Love You Inside Out - Bee Gees / Escape (The Pina Colada Song) -Rupert Holmes