Monday, July 30, 2012

Desert Wildflowers

Petrified Forest National Park.  At the Puerco Pueblo area, near the petroglyphs.  I was struck by this circle of flowers, sort of like a little oasis in the expanse of rock.,

approximate location  34° 58.474'N 109° 47.615'W.  Just a few yards from here.
Anybody know their wildflowers? I have not idea what these are called.....  Maybe Brittlebush?

Sunday, July 29, 2012

What kind of faith is it that believes only what can be seen with the eyes ...

I'm re-reading the Stephen Lawhead novel "Taliesin", Book one of the Pendragon Cycle.  I came across this quote that struck me:

"Belief is not always born of sight...  We believe by faith, and by faith we are saved from sin and death.  What kind of faith is it that believes only what can be seen with the eyes or touched with the hands?"

Stephen Lawhead writes historical fiction, frequently with a Christian angle.  Pendragon Cycle is a telling of the Authurian legend, spanning 5 books.  I've read most of his books, and most are outstanding.  I like to think we must be related, but it would have to be distantly.

The photo is essentially random, taken 8-10 years ago in Spokane Washington.  I was visiting the park along the Spokane River after a day at a conference, and as dusk was falling, I heard geese.  I barely had time to get my camera out and powered up (early vintage digicam) when they flew by.  I managed just the one photo.  It was a kinda cool moment.

Petrified Forest National Park - Rock Formation

If there's anything I like to photograph as much as dead-buildings, it would have to be cool rock formations...
This one is someplace in the Petrified Forest National Park. 
I don't know exactly where this was, but pretty sure it's along the Blue Mesa loop.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Brand New Cadillac

One of ther sites I was interested in seeing on our cross country drive was the Cadillac Ranch.  As noted at  "An aristocracy of roadside attractions has been raised over the years: glorified in photo essays, calendars, blogs, and Tweets; spotlighted in video and film; instantly recognizable as icons. These Great Monuments, we are told, represent America's hopes and dreams, art and commerce, materialism and spiritualism, folly and fame.   Cadillac Ranch is one of them..."
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Well, when we drove past it, I figured it must be something else.  My daughter did a quick "google" and confirmed that we had indeed just passed it.  So we looped back and checked it out.  As noted in the link above, you can smell the spray paint from the road, ~225 yards away. 

These cars have been painted over and over and over (etc)...  Note (above, right side) the young girl spraying more.  It was quite windy when we were there, seems like a poor day to spray paint.  But what do I know?
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A couple more shots of the girl paining....  I think i like the first one more.

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Below is a close up of one of the few Cady's that still has fins:
I found an image on Google that shows this one before "art".
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And (of course) the undersides of the cars are not exempt:

Specific location, and one more photo here.

Slice Of Life #4717 Alburquerque

During our St.Louis to Flagstaff drive, we stayed each night at Holiday Inn Express hotels.  Somewhat surprisingly, the hotel in Alburquerque was actually what I'd call a motel.  Meaning that it had outside doors, no interior corridors, no elevators, etc.  An older building, and in an older part of town.  Not quite what I expected from a HI Express, and not quite what I expected for the cost..  But it was certainly sufficient, and walking distance from a great little restaurant.

Aside:  Looking at the history feature in Google Earth, this hotel was built between 1991 and 1996.  I would've guessed it to be much older than amout 20 years....

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Rock Formation, Petrified Forest National Park

We came across this formation on the Blue Mesa Scenic Road, in the Petrified Forest National ParkLarger version, and location here.  This was a very cool place to visit, I hope to get back someday.

Tower, St. Phillips Church, Charleston, S.C. (revisited)

Another from the serires of photos found when cleaning out my parents' stuff. After several years, I finally got around to scaning/posting them last summer. Reposted, with updates.

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Continuing the series of  Vintage Photos, taken by my father, 60+ years ago.  The church is still there.  Not too surprising since it was far from neew when my Father took the picture.  Reportedly, The current St. Philip's was constructed from 1835 to 1838 by architect Joseph Hyde, while the steeple, designed by E.B. White, was added a decade later.

"Tower, St. Phillips Church, Charleston, S.C."

It doesn't show up on Streetview, but here's the Google Maps location.  And a recent photo from Panoramio. In the French Quarter of South Carolina.


Monday, July 23, 2012

Church, Cienega de Flores, Mexico (Revisited)

In my occasional series of reposting prior images, here's one from last year.  Regualr readers know that I don't post every day.  In fact, on 7/23, I did not post in 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 or 2010.  What could it mean??  (nothing). 

This is from a serires of photos found when cleaning out my parents' stuff.  After several years, I finally got around to scaning/posting them last summer.  I really need to put them all in some on-line gallery.
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Continuing the series of  Vintage Photos, taken by my father, 60+ years ago.

"Church, Cienwga de Flores, Mexico"

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Cienega de Flores is a small town on the outskits of Monterry, MX. About 300 miles south of San Antonio. Based on "street View" in Google Maps, This church is still there:

I found a source that has it labeled as "Parroquia de San Eloy en CiĆ©nega de Flores,N.L.", whicg Google Translate says is Parish of St. Eloy in Cienega de Flores, N.L.


Sunday, July 22, 2012

Petrified Forest National Park Panorama

 A panorama stitched together from 7 individual photos.  Larger size, and geographic details here.

Alligator Lizards In The Air, In The Air.......

OK, I don't actually know if this is an Alligator Lizard.  But it looks like one, or at least enough for the musical reference.  Anyway, we saw this one at one of the overlooks in Arizona's Petrified Forest National Park.  This was on the north-of-I-40 side.

The title is from America's song, Ventura Highway.  (Which features Joe Osborn on bass).  This was one of seven Top 10 songs for America, reaching #8 in late 1972.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Painted Desert Overlook

I have no idea who this mother-daughter are.  But I noticed them during one of our stops touring the Petrified Forest / Painted Desert.  Specific locations here.  Certainly worth the stop if your ever driving across Arizona.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Why Don't They Dump Them, People, To The Bottom Of The Sea (revisited)

Originally posted 7/19/2005, updated:

Lynyrd Skynyrd's gun control song "Saturday Night Special" made it's Top 40 debut today (7/19), back in 1975. This peaked at #27, not bad for the bad-boys of Southern Rock. I was (and am) a huge Skynyrd fan, but this is not one of my favorite songs of theirs....
Trivial asides:  Skynyrd only had four Top 40 songs, and Saturday Night Special peaked lowest.  Their biggest hit was Sweet Home Alabama at #8, followed by"What's Your Name" which was released post-crash, and made it to (unlucky?) #13.

People Watching

Still lots of photos to plow through from my recent trip Flagstaff Arizona.  I expect this will go on for a while.  I Hope You Don't Mind.

This photo is from Flagstaff, AZ.  My daughter and I took some time on my last night there to wander around Art-Walk.  It was pretty cool, even thought we didn't really have any idea what we were doing.  Lot and lots of folks, plenty of opportunities to "people watch".    We stopped for a quick dinner at a pita-pocket-place, and while eating, I noticed this guy sitting in a 2nd story window, also people-watching. 

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Ain't that what you said? (Revisited)

Another from the deep archives, 7/17/2005:  And, continuing my recent trend to update when reposting. A couple of tweaks, added some links, and (of course) a photo:

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Three Dog Night's song "Liar" made it's Top 40 debut on this day (7/17) back in 1971. Three Dog Night dominated the early 70's, with 17 Top 40 hits between 3/1970 and 8/1975. Add 4 Hits in 1969 and you get 21 Top 40 hits in under 6.5 years.  And every single they released made the Top 40.  That's pretty impressive.

"Liar" peaked at #7, one of 8 Top 10's.....  It was written by Russ Ballard of Argent, best known for their hit "Hold Your Head Up".  Ballard also wrote "Since You've Been Gone" which was a hit for Rainbow.   And "Winning" which scored for Santana.  And  "I Know There's Something Going On" which was a post-ABBA hit for Anni-Frid Lyngstad.  Hmmmm......  I didn't most of that until I started this post revision....

But this was supposed to be about Three Dog Night.
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Big Sky Reflections

The side view mirror of our humble Subaru, reflecting New Mexico's morning sky.  On I40, not quite 2 hours west of Alburquerque.  Proof that I did let my daughter drive (some)!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Travelling Through Tucumcari

So.....  I'm driving 1/2 way across the USA, from St.Louis area to Flagstaff, AZ.  Lots of miles, but lots of cool things to see.  So what do I take pictures of??  Old buildings.  (along with some of the cool things).

Shouldn't really surprise anybody who knows me.

A couple images from a short expore in Tucumcari, NM.  I must say I was a little unimpressed....

This sad little house was just 1 block north of old Rt. 66.
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Looking at historical photos on Google Earth, this building burned sumetime before 8/2009 (but after 9/2006).That's a rather long time to fester....

As far as music, I don't think of "It's A Long Way To Tucumcari" but rather "Willin'"

Monday, July 16, 2012

Slice Of Life #7055

Another image from my recent travel from Flagstaff to St. Louis.   I flew from Flagstaff to Phoenix, Phoenix to Denver, Denver to St. Louis.  Turned a 1,400 mile drive into a 1,500 mile flight.  But in 1/3 the time (one day vs three).

Meanwhile, this is one more example of how un-pleasant air travel has become....  More regional jets on longer legs.  2 of the 3 legs this trip.  And a new twist.  On both Regional Jet legs, we were forced to stay on the plane until the ground crew had transferred ALL of the gate checcked bagged to be picked up.  Now this is excruciating for those of us without gate checked bags (I expect the vast majority), especially if they have with connections.  Somebody's grand idea to avoid having 8-10 people standing at the end of the jetway, I presume...  So much better to have everybody wait.

At least I'm not bitter.

RIP Jon Lord

Just saw that Jon Lord, keyboard player for Deep Purple, died today (7/16/2012).  I was 13 when "Smoke On The Water" was a hit, and I soon had the Machine Head album (on 8-track!). Lord's organ work was a defining aspect of Deep Purple......

So guess what I'm listening to?

Here Today, Gone Tomorrow

Actually, here last month, gone today...

Regular readers know that St. Ellen Park is one of my favorite lunchtime destinations.  It has the 1.25 mile flat loop and the 1 mile climb up the mound.  And it is seldom crowded.  Regular readers also know that I did some geocaching with my son not too longa ago.

So.....  I decided today to see if there were any easy geochaces at St. Ellen, for my lunchtime enjoyment.  And I found a listing for one at the viewing platform on the top of the hill.  BUT....  When I made the hike (on a hot and humid day!) I found that the platform is gone, with no sign of a geocache.  Bummer.  It's only been a couple of weeks since I was up there, I just walked the flat-loop last week.

Here's what it looks like today (pardon the cell-phone pictures):

Turns out that I don't have any pictures showing the platform (here's what I have), but a screenshot from Google Earth shows it:

Sunday, July 15, 2012

It's Kind Of Yellow.....

Look out your window, the grass ain't green
It's kinda yellow, see what I mean?
Look up your chimney, the sky ain't blue
It's kinda yellow, you know it's true.

Yep, it is mid-July in St. Louis area.  That means Hazy Hot and Humid.  And DRY.  Things are looking rather brown, or at least yellow.

The image is an abandoned farmouse near Odell, IL.  The photo was taken around 1996, back in the pre-digital days.  The farmhouse is long gone.  The barn is still there.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

The best camera is the one you have with you. - Part 2

Regular readers may remember a post from A week ago, "The best camera is the one you have with you." .  The image was taken on an after-dinner walk at a spot we disciovered in Flagstaff, AZ.  I only had my blackberry camera, and only had Microsoft Office Picture Manager.

Well, a week later, and I took some time to rework the image in Photoshop Elements.  And while I cant do anything about the raw image, I do think this final result is better.

What do you think??

Aside:  A larger version is at Panoramio, along with approximate location.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Get Outta Denver Baby....

The center section of Denver Airport's B-Councourse.  I spent several hours there last Saturday afternoon, in transit from Flagstaff, Arizona to St. Louis.  Denver's not a bad airport to spend a few hours, at least by comparison.  But door-to-door, the trip was a bit over 12 hours.  Still a big time savings over the drive out (1,400 miles).

The post title is from the Bob Seeger song, though I prefer the version by Eddie and The Hot Rods.  And yes, I did play that song on my iPod during the layover.  As well as John Denver's Greatest HitsSo there.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Just Shoot Me #136 (revisited)

Another from the archives, from this date in 2005.
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Janis Ian’s weepy, whiney, one Top 40 hit made it’s debut today (7/12) back in 1975, as we were subjected to her song “At Seventeen”. Somehow this song made it all the way up to #3 despite being one of the most DEPRESSING songs to ever hit the pop charts. Come to think of it, isn’t there something ironic about a hugely popular song about being unpopular?

“To those of us who know the pain, Of valentines that never came, And those whose names were never called, When choosing sides for basketball… And dreams were all they gave for free, To ugly duckling girls like me”
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Theses days, I'd certainly include a photo, probably a monochrome image of Janis Ian.  Like this:

Either that, or I'd post one of my own photos with some sort of tenuous connection...

(I was 17 when this photo was taken, during my senior year of high school.  How's that for a tenuous connection!)

And I'd probably include a youtube link to the actual song.  Like this.  And a lot more links in general.

And some trivia, like the fact that "At Seventeen" spent 20 weeks in the Hot 100, 14 weeks in the Top 40, and 6 weeks in the Top 10.  And was Janis Ian's biggest hit, eclipsing her only other Top 40, "Society's Child".  And I might've mentioned other mopey songs, like Gilbert O'Sullivans "Alone Again (Naturally)" or the Bee Gees "I Started A Joke"....  Or other songs about 17, Like Stevie Nick's "Edge Of Seventeen" or the Sex Pistols' "Seventeen"....

Aside:  There's actually a couple of errors in the old post.  First off, "At Seventeen" was not Janis Ian's only Top 40.  As noted above, there's also "Society's Child", which made it to a very respectable #14 in 1967.  I also misspelled Whiny as Whiney.  And 7 years later, the link is dead.

I still agree though, there's something ironic about a hugely popular song about being unpopular.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Let It Roll, Down The Highway...

Just a random shot of I-44 working across Oklahoma, somewhere west of Oklahoma City and east of Weatherford, OK.  Another in the continuing series of images from my recent drive from Metro East, IL to Flagstaff, Arizona.  Unfrtunatley, I have an old-timey camera which does not have geotagging, and I'm not always able to define precise locations...

Meanwhile, the title is from the Bachman Turner Overdrive song, which peaked at #14 in the March of 1975.  The second hit single from the album "Not Fragile", which I have on vinyl (and have had since it was current).  I was 14 at the time, and this defined Rock'n'Roll to me...

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Walking Through The Grass-Lands

Taken at the Gray County Safety Rest Area, Texas along I-40.  Larger version here.

More Oklahoma....

More from our cross country drive....  Still in Oklahoma.  About 80 miles west of Yukon (where we spent the night) I noticed my daugher's bicycle wasn't quite as unmoving on the bike rack as preferred.  So we stopped at the next exit.  While she tightened the straps, I snapped a few shots.  The one above is my favorite.

Here's another:


Sunday, July 08, 2012

Any Way The Wind Blows....

Wind farm, just outside of Weatherford, OK.  The title is from JJ Cale's song, from the 1974 album Okie.

Take The Highway (Slice of Life #4629)

Another image from my recent cross country trip.  Taken from the rest area that spans I-44 near Vinita, OK.  Not your typical vacation photo, but one of those kinds of photos I take...

The tile is from the Marshall Tucker song.

Be thankful we're not getting all the government we're paying for.

Will Rogers statue, at the Vinita, OK, rest stop along I-44.  Yes, that's a McDonads in the background.  Apparently it used to be the world's largest McDonalds.

The title is a Will Rogers quote, of course.  And a larger version of this photo (with map) is at Panoramio.

If You're Ever In Oklahoma... (Slice Of Life #4624)

Just back from a "quick" trip.  Drove from St. Louis area to Flagstaff Arizona.  I'll be postinf images from the trip over the next few days, I'm sure.

Our excusrion took us daigonally across Oklahoma.  One of the few states that I hadn't previously been to (leaving ND, SD, NE, WY and MS).  Below is a random image out the car window, a slice of life.  Not sure exactly where this was, but (based on the file information) it was a couple of minutes before the rest stop in Vinita, Oklahoma.  Probably a little bit west of the Afton exit.

The post tile is in reference tio the JJ Cale song of the same name.

Friday, July 06, 2012

Continental Divide

Taken on our recent drive from St. Louis to Flagstaff. 

The best camera is the one you have with you.

On my cross country trip, I took my Nikon digicam rather than my DSLR.  Just a lot easier to deal with, given return trip by airplane (witrh 3 legs).  But, I left it in the hotel when we went to dinner in Flagstaff.  Consequently, I did not even have that camera when we discovered a very cool little nature area after dinner.  I snapped this with the camera on my blackberry.  And the laptop I'm using doesn't have a real photo-program, only Microsoft Office Picture Manager....  But this didn't turn out too band.  Maybe when I get a chance to tweak it in Photoshop Elements, I can improve it....

Thursday, July 05, 2012

Good Eats, Flagstaff, AZ

We were recommended a  BBQ place in Flagstaff, Satchmo's.    Somewhat unassuming from the outside, but really great experience.  Nice atmosphere, Louis Armstrong music and some wonderful food.  My daughter went with pulled-pork, I chose sliced beef brisket.  With a shared side of red beans and rice.  YUM.

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Slice Of Life #7043 - Owl Cafe

The Owl Cafe, in Alburquerque.  Or as they call it: Owlburquerque.  Really good food!

Happy Independence Day!

A few fireworks images, from the archives:

From 2010:

And from 2011:

Hope everybody has a great 4th!