Wednesday, August 31, 2011

butterflies, flutterbyes, gutterflies,

Last image from Manday's walk at St. Ellen Park....    Title courtesy of Genesis's Supper's Ready:

If you go down to Willow Farm,
To look for butterflies, flutterbyes, gutterflies,
Open your eyes, it's full of surprise, everyone lies,
Like the fox on the rocks,
And the musical box.
Oh, there's Mum & Dad, and good and bad,
And everyone's happy to be here.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Afternoon Delight

No, not the Starland Vocal Band's cheesy hit.  But it was a delightful day yesterday, for a walk at lunch time.  Another photo from St. Ellen Park.

Monday, August 29, 2011

I struck that picture ninety times

I took a walk at St. Ellen Park during luchtime today, and came across this pair of swans ambling around the lake.  I enjoyed watching them for a couple of minutes.  Unlike Longacre, which is overrun with geese and ducks, you don't see a lot of water fowl at St. Ellen. 

The title is from an R.E.M. song....

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Festival Of The Little Hills

We took a trrek to St. Charles, MO yesterday to visit the Festival Of The Hills.  Mostly just wandering and looking at the "stuff", though we did make 1 purchase.  It was good, even with darkening skies and threats of rain.  We haven't been to St. Charles in probably 20 years.  Probably 20 years ago.  It's a pretty cool area.  A couple of images:

 We used to go to lots of these events when we lived in D.C., and used to joke that our house was decorated in "Contemporary American Craft-Show".  But somewhere through the years we've gotten away from it. 

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Most Viewed On Panoramio

I've been playing around with Panoramio for a few weeks now, and it seems to be an interesting site.  One of the things I like is the ability to map photos, which then can show up on Google Maps and Google Earth (depending on the type of image). 

So what's my most viewed image?

At 92 views (in 12 days) this shot leads the pack.  The vast majority of views are from Google Earth, fwiw.
Ans it's an oldie.  One of the really early inages feom my DSLR, has to be 5+ years old.

Worst "Live" Album Title Ever?

I'll nominate "Wipe The Windows, Check The Oil, Dollar Gas" - The Allman Brothers Band

OK, maybe WORST EVER is harsh.  But it's got to be up there.  It's not offensive, but it has no real redeeming value, either.  It's long without being memorable.  It's not particularly clever, nor does it evoke any imagry that immediately relates to the Allman Brothers.  It has no overt (or subtle) reference to the live-ness of the recordings.  Pretty much useless.

The album's genesis is hardly encouraging:  The Allman Brothers had disbanded following the release of 1975’s Win, Lose Or Draw. The band's label, Capricorn, was experiencing financial problems. Capricorn also had a number of live recordings in the vault. The inevitable result of this situation was Capricorn issuing a live album to cash in on the band’s popularity

You can see why wikipedia's article notes:  "the packaging was substandard"...  I'll include the naming of the album.  I bought this album sometime around '78-'80, and it was already in cut-out bins.  It's far from bad music, but the title still stinks.  And I just dubbed it from vinyl to mp3 last night.

Any other nominees?

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Old Window, Weed

Taken at my oldest daughter's house, a couple of months ago.  I like how this turned out.

Sign Sign Everywhere A Sign

Sign, sign, everywhere a sign, Blocking out the scenery, Breaking my mind
Do this, don't do that, Can't you read the sign

Everett Moody Park at Longacre....

Bucs vs Cards

It's been a couple of weeks since I've updated this race within a race... The comparison between the St.Louis Cardinals and the Pittsburgh Pirates.  Sadly, both teams have been struggling a bit lately, and the Pirates have pretty much collapsed.

So, here's the standings, as of this morning:

STL   64 - 55    -
PIT    56 - 62  7.5 games back

Ugh.  C'mon Bucs, make it interesting!

Too Close For Comfort

Every once in a while I try a close-up, macro photo.  And almost always, I find the results disappointing.  Here's yet another example.  Taken last week at Pleasant Ridge Park, during lunch time.  I ten to struggle with the vision, and the results seem (to me) to be forced.

Guess I'll keep trying....

Saturday, August 13, 2011

August 13th: Born on this day

Danny Bonaduce is 62!

Cliff Fish, bass, Paper Lace - 1949
Dan Fogelberg, singer songwriter - 1951 (died Dec. 2007)
Michael Bradley, bass, The Undertones - 1959
Danny Bonaduce, "bass", The Partridge Family - 1959

Friday, August 12, 2011

Music Birtdays, August 12

August 12th: Born on this day

Buck Owens - 1929 - Singer and guitar (died March 25th 2006)

Mark Knopfler guitar, vocals, Dire Straits -1949

Politically Correct?

I was reading some reports on the London Rioting and came across an interesting phrase:  "Hoyle had never been in trouble before and is on Jobseekers’ Allowance, the court heard."

Jobseeker's Allowance?  A quick Google tells me that it is essentially what we call "unenmployment benefits".  Our friends across the pond came up with this friendly title in 1996. 

So I learned something today.  Wonder if we in the colonies withh follow suit?

Monday, August 08, 2011

This Is Perfect Water....

Another photo from yesterday's visit to Watershed Nature Center.  Click on photo for larger version.  Or check it out at Panaramio.

Sunday, August 07, 2011

Lazy Days Of Summer

It wasn't quite as hot and steamy today, my son and I went for a walk at the nature center late this afternoon.  He's looking to identify birds, for a Boy Scout merit badge.  We saw lots of birds (and a deer), but only a few well enough to identify.  We really wandered, took it slow, watched and listened.....  Nice "dad" time.  The photo above is at the entry end of the Watershed.  The water here was coated with duckweed, and the scene was overwhemingly GREEN.  So I created a b&w layer, brought in some of the original colr, and shifed the hue to ward brown.  I put a version on Panaramio that is just partially desaturated.

I liked this enough to post the full size version here, if you click on it you should be able to see the bigger version.

Saturday, August 06, 2011

NFO - And Then You Plant Your Fields Again...........

This barn sits right along the interstate, just a couple of miles from home.  This photo  is actually 5 years old, but I recently posted it to Panaramio, so I thought I'd repost it here.

The title is from New Grass Revival's song Plant Your Fields

Super Freak

8/6/2004: Rick James was found dead at his Los Angeles home. Known as 'The King of Punk-Funk' James scored the 1981 US No.3 album ‘Street Songs’ and 1981 US No.16 single ‘Super Freak part 1’. In the late 60's James worked as a songwriter and producer for Motown, working with Smokey Robinson and The Miracles. Addicted to cocaine, he once admitted to spending $7,000 a week on drugs for five years.

Friday, August 05, 2011

I See You Give More Than I Can Take, But I Only Harvest Some....

This one is a few years old, but I've always liked it.  I recently posted it to Panaramio, check it out here.  Yep, it is a shameless plug for clickthroughs......
Hat-tip to Neil Young for the title, from his song "Harvest"

Thursday, August 04, 2011

Sunset On The Water

One of my favorites, taken a couple of years ago at Watershed Nature Center.  I recently posted to Panaramio, which ies photos to locations...  kind of cool.

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

St. Ellen Park, O’Fallon, IL

I'm always looking for places to decompress during lunch.  Long time readers may remeber Silver Lake Park, which is one of the few things I miss from my days working in Highland, IL.  For the past 3 years, I've been working in Fairview Heights, IL, which is a bit of a concrete jungle.  But I have found a few interesting spots for my mid-day excursions.  I thought I'd take the opportunity to expound a little.  First off, St. Ellen Park, O'Fallon, IL

This park is located about 2.5 mile drive from our office, quite reasonable. It is 85 Acres, the site of the former St. Ellen Coal Mine, which operated between 1904 and 1960. The mine was owned by Perry Coal Company for most of that time, and by Peabody Coal Company during its final years.  The prominent feature of this park is a large mound, maybe 50 ft high. Presumably it is built on leftover material from the mining operations. Looking at Google Earth’s historical photos, it appears the site was derelict until at least 1988, but was restored by 1998. The Park amenities (walking paths, pavilions etc) have been there since at least 2003.

Walking Trails:
There are 2 distinct trails at St. Ellen Park: A trail which leads up the mound, with a small loop (I’ll call it the Center trail), and a trail which goes around the mound. (I’ll call it the Loop Trail) See photo:.

The paths are paved, wide and smooth. I have never been in the park when it was remotely crowded. In fact, it is rare to see another person on the paths. On the other hand, it can feel rather isolated, especially along the back of the loop trail. And there is NO SHADE.

Total trail length is just a hint over 1 mile (based on path feature in Google maps). It starts with a climb up the mound. This is about 0.40 miles up, with several switchbacks. Once you’ve reached the top, there is a loop, which is about 0.25 miles around. You return via the same path as climbing. This trail has the best elevation change of any trails I’ve found near the office. Not exactly a mountain, but still a nice change of pace, and decent views from the top. However, there is NO SHADE.

Loop Trail:
Total Trail length is 1.22 miles. This trail is basically a big square, circumnavigating the site. It is about 0.3 mile per side. Pretty much flat except for a slight rise and fall along the East side. There’s several distinct “zones” on the loop.  The west side runs between a lake and several small ponds.  The south side features rather dense foliage, the east and north sides are pretty open, with the mound rising from the edge of the trail. As with the Center Trail, there is no shade to speak of.

For more images from the park:

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Vintage Photo: La Cathedral, Monterry, Mexico

Continuing the series of  Vintage Photos, taken by my father, 60+ years ago.

"La Cathedral, Monterry, Mexico"

Monday, August 01, 2011

Vintage Photo: Modernistic Church, Monterrey, Mexico

Continuing the series of  Vintage Photos, taken by my father, 60+ years ago.

"Modernistic Church, Monterrey, Mexico"