Saturday, June 30, 2012

Cache, Cache...

My son is doing a geocaching merit badge at Boy Scout camp.  For "homework" we had to find a local cache.  So we did a little research last night, and headed out this morning before it got TOO hot.  We didn't find the first one, we did find the second.  Not bad for a first try, and we had fun.

Where the road ends, the search begins!
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The cache was actually quite easy to find...
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treasure found!
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Reading the log book.  We took a treasure, left a treasure.
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Friday, June 29, 2012

Arizona, have another look at the world, my, my

So, my younger daughter is getting ready to head to Northern Arizona University for grad school (go Lumberjacks!).  Pretty cool, huh?  This photo is from Phoenix Mountains Preserve, taken during a business trip way back in January 2003.  This in and around Piestewa Peak, which was called Squaw Peak back then.  But I've never been to Flagstaff, which is 150 miles north of Phoenix...  and about 5,000 feet highr elevation.

The title, of course, is from the Mark Lindsay song "Arizona", which peaked at #10 in 1970.  How many of you knew that Mark Lindsay was also lead singer for Paul Revere and the Raiders?

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Feel The Heat

5 pm and it is 108 degrees in St. Louis.  Ouch.  Much cooler in the suburbs, only 106 where I work.  Guess we can test out the old adage, "It's Not The Heat, It's The Humidity"

I don't want to think about how hot it will be inside my (Dark Grey with black interior) car.....  But I just need to buck up and do it.

The photo is actually Antietam battlefield, Antietam, MD.  Taken probably 12 years ago.
The title is from the Henry Paul Band song, title track to the album Feel The Heat.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Deep Forbidden Lake

This is the wallpaper image on my work computer these days.  The photo was taken in June 2008, during our trip to extreme northern Idaho.  I'm 99.99% sure this is Robinson Lake, in the Kaniksu National Forest.  But it was 4 years ago, so I might be muddled.  About 2 miles south of the Canadian border.  Specific location here.

When I took this photo, I was thinking about calendar shots, or maybe puzzles....  

The post title references the Neil Young Song.  Although I think this not a forbidding lake.  Certainly not a foreboding lake.....  In fact, the ripples are from a dog that was jumping off the dock, chasing a tennis ball.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

In The Loop (revisited)

Blog post from this date (6/26) in 2005:
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Playing in Photoshop Elements.....

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Again, I displayed a startling brevity back in 2005.  No maximum-verbosity for me back then!  And not a single link, much less an obscure musical reference.  Regardless, this was an attempt at abstraction, trying to "create a composition which may exist with a degree of independence from visual references in the world".  It is a close up of a piece of playground equipment at Glen Carbon's Miner Park.  (not to be confused with Minor Park, although this part of the playground is only for kids under 12).

Not really my normal style, but I actually don't hate this image....

Monday, June 25, 2012

Shadows running around...

Another Ray Bradbury quote, as I'm re-reading Dandelion Wine...

"There are five billion trees in the world.  I looked it up.  Under every tree is a shadow, right?  So, then, what makes night?  I'll tell you:  Shadows running around in the air, muddying the waters you might say.  If only we could figure a way to keep those darn five billion shadows under those trees, we could stay up half the night, Doug, because there'd be no night!

The photo is a real oldie, summer of 2004.  Taken in Silver Lake Park, Highland, IL.  With some rather dramatic post processing effects....  Probably excessive, but IIRC, I was going for a surrealistic feel.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

the mystery of man seizing from the land and the land seizing back, year after year...

"The ravine was indeed a place where you came to look at the two things of life, the ways of man and the ways of the natural world. The town was, after all, only a large ship filled with constantly moving survivors, bailing out the grass, chipping away the rust. Now and again a lifeboat, a shanty, kin to the mother ship, lost out to the quiet storm of seasons, sank down in silent waves of termite and ant into swallowing ravine to feel the flicker of grasshoppers rattling like dry paper in hot weeds, become soundproofed with spider dust and finally, in avalanche of shingle and tar, collapse like kindling shrines into a bonfire, which thunderstorms ignited with blue lightning, while flash-photographing the triumph of the wilderness.

It was this then, the mystery of man seizing from the land and the land seizing back, year after year, that drew Douglas, knowing the towns never really won, they merely existed in calm peril, fully accoutered with lawn mower, bug spray and hedge shears, swimming steadily as long as civilization said to swin, but each house ready to sink in green tides, buried forever, when the last man ceased and his trowels and mowers shattered to cereal flaks of rust."

I had noted recently that Dandelion Wine was one of my favorite books as a youth. After Ray Bradbury's passing, I requested it from the local library, and have been reading it.  The passage above really struck me.  I think this "mystery of man seizing from the land and the land seizing back" is something that emerges often in my photography.  Especially the latter part.  As I read the passage, I thought of the photo above.  Thi swas taken in 1996, on a bicycle outing in southern Illinois.

In Bloom (slice of life #4592)

One of the key elements of photography is "seeing".  Noticing the world around you, thinking about in terms of images.  I think of one of my favorite Ansel Adams quotes:  "Sometimes I do get to places just when God's ready to have somebody click the shutter."  As well as another favorite saying, "the best camera is the one you have with you"...

Anyway, this photo was taken last week in the drive-through line at the Culvers in Fairview Heights, while I was waiting to pay for my lunch.  Taken from the car window with my humble point-n-shoot (which is held together with scottch tape):

Granted, it's not going to make anybody foreget about Ansel Adams (or any other "real" photographer).  But it pleased me to find a litle bit of "pretty" in such a mundane moment.  And to be able to record (and share) it.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Life Is Sad, Life Is A Bust, All You Can Do Is Do What You Must....

Speaking of classic albums…  How about Bob Dylan’s 1975 release “Blood On The Tracks”?  Ranked #16 on Rolling Stone's list of the Top 500 albums of all time.  BOTT reached #1 on the US charts, and reached 2x Platinum in sales (over 2,000,000 units),  It is generally regarded as one of Dylan's best albums.

Interestingly, the album only spawned one hit, "Tangled Up In Blue", which only made it to #33 on the charts.  On the other hand, Dylan only had a dozen Top 40 hits overall (and only 5 in the 70's). 
This is one of the albums for which I wrote an Amazon review, even though it never got much notice.  One comment in 8 years....  jeeze. 
The title is from the song Buckets Of Rain.  We used to repeat those lines in High School, along with the subsequent "....You Do What You Must Do, And You Do It Well". 

The photo is from my archives, a rather old shot, taken behind Watershed Nature Center in Edwardsville.  Believe it was mid 2005.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Just Shoot Me #552 (revisited)

One of my posts from 6/21/2005, during the first year of this blog (started September 2004):

On this date (6/21) back in 1975, Olivia Newton John debutted on the charts with yet another Top 5 hit. "Please Mr Please" peaked at #3, one of 8 Top 5's for ONJ in the 70's (out of 16 Top 40 hits). Sing along now:

Please, Mister, please, don't play B-17, It was our song, it was his song, but it's over....
Please, Mister, please, if you know what I mean, I don't ever wanna hear that song again

Not sure what the original link was in 2007, but it's dead now.  I replaced it with a youtube link.  Just in case you want to rememeber that not all music the 70's was awesome.  But Newton-John was a powerhouse in the 70's, with nine (9) Top 10 songs in five (5) years.  She had seventeen (17) Top 40 hits in the decade, including three #1s.   In fact, I suppose Please Mr. Please was a disappointment, as it followed two consecutive #1 songs, "I Honestly Love You" and "Have You Never Been Mellow". 

Meanwhile, none of those songs are in my collection. No ONJ at all.  Not exactly the music I was digging when I was 14/15 years old.....

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Summer's Day

June 20, the first (official) day of summer.  The Summer Solstice.  The longest day of the year.  Guess that means it is all downhill from here.  So I created a playlist, spent the day listening to great tunes like "Summer In The City", "Summer Breeze", "Summertime Dream", "Summertime Blues" and (as referenced in the post title) "Summer's Day".

Above is a photo from summer 2007, a day trip to Rend Lake.  We had been out on a friend's boat, tubing the kids (ours and theirs), and were taking a break on the shore.  I noticed the kids walking in the water, and couldn't resisit.  They were both 7 at the time, seems like yesterday.

Monday, June 18, 2012

The Tucker Boys Are Cookin’ Down in Caroline…

I was listening to The Marshall Tucker Band today, and it got me thinking. MTB was one of the “original” southern rock bands, their first album was released in 1973. They were part of the Capricorn Records stable, along with other southern rock staples The Allman Brothers Band, Wet Willie, Elvin Bishop, and Grinderswitch, Dixie Dregs…. Aside:  5 of the 9 bands mentioned in Charlie Daniles Band's "The South's Gonna Do It" were on Capricorn Records...  but not CDB.

Factoid: There was no person named Marshall Tucker in the Marshall Tucker Band. According to the band’s web site the got the name from a key-tag for the place they were rehearsing. Marshall Tucker was the previous renter of the space, and his name was still on the tag.

Remarkably, MTB had no personnel changes over their first 7 years (and 9 albums).   Most of the southern rock bands couldn't claim any sort of stability, much less 9 albums' worth.  Sadly, the streak was broken when bassist Tommy Caldwell died in a Jeep Crash in 1980.  The band released 4 records after Tommy's death, then broke up.  They reformed in 1988, without Toy, which just doesn't seem right.  And which wasn't particularly succssful.

Factoid:  MTB featured 2 brothers, Toy and Tommy Caldwell.  Not unheard of, but not all that common.  In the southern rock world, there was the Allman Brothers (Gregg and Duane Allman) and Wet Willie (Jimmie and Jack Hall).  Toy was the key member of the band, writing 100% of the band's first 2 albums, and almost 75% of the first 9.  Adding brother Tommy's contributions, and 82.5% of MTB's songs were written by a Caldwell.

The photo is Cades Cove, TN, in honor of the MTB song "Blue Ridge Mountain Sky".

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Made In The Shade....

Geese gathered in the grass.  Hanging out in the shade of one of the little trees outside my office.  It would eb cuter if they didn't spend the bulk of the day pooping.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Glenfest! Or is it Glen Carbon Homecoming?

It used to be called GlenFest....  But they did change it to Glen Carbon Homecoming a while back.  Regardless, it is happening this weekend.  So we went down this evening and hung out for a while.....

I managed to snap a couple images of the rides at dusk:

The Sincerest Form of Flattery?? (revisited)

A reprost from 6/15/2007....... 

One of those funny little things: “I Won’t Tell You No Lies” by Roy Buchanan has the same distinctive melodic “hook” as Atlanta Rhythm Section’s mega hit “So Into You”. RB’s song is from his second album, released in 1973, 4 years ahead of ARS’s A Rock And Roll Alternative.... Now, I don't think it's a big deal, no great crime or anything. But I can't hear either song without thinking of the other....

Rock Your Baby Boat..... (revisited)

Deep dusty from the archives.  This was originally posted 6/15/2005

OK, 2 songs released today (6/15), back in 1974. Both went to #1. Which one is worse?
Rock The Boat by Hughes Corporation
Rock Your Baby by George MacRae

Once again, a rather terse post.    More data, including the geeky graph, and a semi-related photo....:

Rocks along the Clearwater River, near Lewiston, Idaho

Rock The Boat peaked on 7/6/74, was #1 for only 1 week, and was in the Top 40 for 9 weeks.  It is consdiered by some to be the 1st Disco song to hit #1.

Rock Your Baby peaked on 7/13/74, displacing Rock The Boat as #1.  It was #1 for 2 weeks, and in the Top 40

I do have Rock The Boat in my collection.  But not Rock Your Baby.  So I guess that answers my question from 7 years ago (at least in my mind)

It is interesting that the 2 songs moved in lockstep up and down the charts:

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Do Ya Know What I Mean??.... (revisited)

One of my posts from 6/13/2005, back in the early days of the blog:
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On this day (6/13), way back in 1970, the band Mountain made their Top 40 debut with "Mississippi Queen". One of the classics of classic rock, this song only made it to #21 on the pop charts.
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Pretty spares post, huh?  If I were doing it today, I'd almost certainly link to a Youtube.  I'd probably have noted that "Mississippi Queen" was Mountain's only Top 40 hit.  With some sort of link to a bio of the band....

Oh, and an image of some sort.  Maybe one of my images of a mountain, or something mountainous, like this image taken in extreme Northern Idaho:

And perhaps some trivial bit like the fact that Mississippi is one of only 6 states I've never visited.  (And I'll be checking Oklahoma off that list before long).

Probably wouldn't (or won't) get any more traffic, though.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

 Chart Topping, this week through the years....
  Looking back, every 5 years

Hmmm..  More cringe inducing songs than iconic statements....I'll admit to knowing 6 of those 10, but I only own 3 of them.

Branching Out

We had some tree work done over the past week.  A couple of trees removed, and a bunch cut back. During the process, the back yard was more or less filled with tree branches.  It confused our dogs terribly (not that its much of a challenge).  This is a snapshot from Sunday, as Chuckie tried to get as close as possible to his normal "lie-in-the-sun" spot, despite the clutter.  Silly dog.

But it's all done now, and the yard is not nearly so overgrown.

Saturday, June 09, 2012

Try, Try, Try, To Let It Ride....

Our church had a group bike outing today.  Followed by a Potluck in Miner Park.   It was a lot of fun, and had a great turnout.  I took a few photos:

Most of the "short ride" group, headed out Heritage Trail.  Somewhere about here
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Some of the bikes "parked" at the Park, during lunch...
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The cooks were, well, cookin'!
We had at least 16 riders, with a "long ride" and a "short ride".  And prabably another dozen or so non-riders at the potluck. 
Mauyybe we can make this a regular event...
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The title (of course) is from the Bachman Turner Overdrive song, which happened to come on the radio while we were dricvivng to the Park....

Friday, June 08, 2012

Hit Me With Your Best Shot?

I’ve got a lot of music in my collect. A LOT. But none of it by Pat Benatar.  At least until this week.

Now, I’ve not had anything against Pat Benatar. I've just never been driven to own any of it. Maybe it was that video for “Love Is A Battlefield”.  More likely it’s just that by the 80’s I wasn’t all that interested in “popular” music... or poular culture.

Anyway, through the wonders of DVR, I was recently watched a “Behind The Music Remastered” episode on Pat Benatar, and remembered her several solid songs. In today’s day of $0.99 per song downloads, there were a couple worthy of the Wish List.

Fast forward a few weeks. Thanks to the purchase of a reference book for work, I got an email from Amazon with a $2 credit for mp3 downloads. SCORE! Click on the link in the email, and first thing I see is Pop Classics”, albums for only $2.99. And there I found Pat Benatar’s Greatest Hits.  Including all 15 of her Top 40 hits.

Take off the credit, and we’re down to $0.99 for a 20 song album, including at least 5 songs I was considering anyway. SOLD!

Thursday, June 07, 2012


One of those (nearly) perfect days today.  Mid 70's, blue skies and fluffy clouds.  It's probably not as rare for our area as I think it is.  But I sure savored it.

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

You see, it's all clear, You were meant to be here...

One of my most viewed posts dates all the way back to October 21, 2005.  It's in my Top 5 overall, but is also #5 in views this week.  I wonder why.  Regardless, revised and revisited:

Emerson Lake and Palmer had their first and only pop hit (of the 70's) on 10/21/1972, as "From The Beginning" cracked the Top 40 charts. I wouldn't have expected to see Karn Evil #9 or Tarkus, but it's kind of surprising that "Still You Turn Me On" and "Lucky Man" didn't make it to the Top 40 (Lucky Man peaked at #48).  And "From the Beginning" only made it to #39.  It was on the charts for 11 weeks, but only spent 2 in the Top 40.

Meanwhile, I never had a chance to see Emerson Lake And Palmer in concert.  So no concert story.  The first ELP album I owned was "Welcome Back My Friends To The Show That Never Ends", their 1974 three disc live album.  I picked this up while visiting family in North Carolina, probably 1974, maybe 1975.  I don't remember the price, but it was cheap.  Not too much later I picked up 1973's Brain Salad Surgery (on 8 Track!).  Interestingly, I never had "Trilogy", which includes "From The Beginning", and it's not included on "Welcome Back....".  So I didn't actually own this song until the digital age, when I acquired an ELP Hits album....

Something Wicked This Way Comes..... R.I.P. Ray Bradbury

Ray Bradbury passed away yesterday (6/5/2012).  I was a huge Bradbury fan as a kid, and read most everything he wrote.  From "R Is For Rocket" through "The Illustrated Man".  And of course, "Something Wicked This Way Comes"....  and don't forget "Fahrenheit 451"...  I read them all.

Dandilion Wine is a personal favorite.  As noted by an Amazon reviewer:  "Dandilion Wine is first and foremost the story of a 12 year old boy discovering that he is alive".  I was probably 11 or 12 when I first read it, and despite being set in 1928, it resonated with me in a powerful way.  I'll have to dig it out and re-read it. (re-re-re-read it?)

RIP Mr. Bradbury.  And thanks for prodding my imagination all those years ago.

Tuesday, June 05, 2012


In honor of the Queen's Jubilee, listening to songs about queens:

Dancing Queen - ABBA
Mississippi Queen - Mountain
Killer Queen - Queen
Scobo Queen - Protheroe, Brian
Little Queen - Heart
Teenage Queen - Derringer, Rick
Queen Jane Approximately - Dylan, Bob
Crystal Closet Queen - Leon Russell
God Save The Queen - Sex Pistols
Black Queen - Stills, Stephen
The Queen and the Soldier - Suzanne Vega
The Acid Queen - The Who
Roller Derby Queen - Croce, Jim
Queen Of The Roller Derby - Leon Russell
The Homecoming Queen's Got A Gun - Brown, Julie
Queen Of Hearts - Juice Newton
Queen Of Clubs - KC & The Sunshine Band
Queen of the Road - The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band
Witch Queen Of New Orleans - Redbone
Pearly Queen - Traffic
Gypsy Queen - Morrison, Van

Little Queen....

In case you didn't realize, this week is the celebration of the Queen of Engand's Diamond Jubilee.   Now, I've got notthing against the Brits, nor their Queen.  But I just can't get all excited about their party.  Yet it hasbeen dominating the broadcast news for several days.  This morning was pretty much saturation.  Ugh.  We split from them 236 years ago, remember??  Not only are we not their subjects, we're not a monarchy.  Sigh.  Whether it's this, Kate and William or even (gasp) Princess Di.  I just don't care.

Saturday, June 02, 2012


During luch the other day, at Pleasant Ridge Park.  I happened to see this young deer, with his early antlers.  Pretty cool!  he was maybe 40-50 years away, but far enough to push the limits of my digicam. 

Spitrit Of Summer

Just a little "slice-of-life", taken last week at Pleasant Ridge Park.  An ovecast day, transitioning from unseasonably hot to unseasonably cool.  Nothing too dramatic here, but I liked the lines, the layers.  Drama can be overrated.  Location here, larger version here.

The title is from Deodato's song, off the Prelude album...  That goes all the way back to my collection of vinyl...