Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Lost And Found

Looking at Blogger today, and I found this draft post, from earlier this year.  I figured I'd go ahead and post it, sneak it in as my last post of 2013.
 

I beleive this was taken at Pleasant Ridge Park in Fairview Heights, IL...  But not positive.  It might be St. Ellen Mine Park in O'Fallon. 

Friday, December 27, 2013

Rocksmith!!


 So, my son got me an Xbox game for Christmas:  Rocksmith!

Billed as "The Fastest way to learn guitar", it's also like a "real" version of Rockband...  We've all been having loads of fun.  Who knows, maybe I'll get closer to decent (on bass)...  and perhaps guitar!  At least I'll enjoy trying.  (to be precise:  photo is my younger daughter, not me)

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Closing In on 2014..

And closing out 2013.  It's been a quiet month, at least from the blogging / photography perspective.  I apologize for the lack of posting.

So, as the sun sets on 2013, here's a sunset photo...  Taken last week (12/18), at the I-44 rest stop near Conway. Missouri.  On the drive back from a quick trip to Tulsa.

 

Friday, December 06, 2013

40 Years...


It was the first week of December, 1973.  It was a few months after our first gas crisis, and a few weeks after Nixon declared "I am not a crook". 
But more importantly, Paul McCartney and Wings released the album “Band On The Run”!  BOTR ranks #418 in Rolling Stones’ list of the top 500 albums of all time.  It spawned 2 top 10 singles, the title track (#1) and Jet (#7) and several other songs well known to listeners of AOR radio.  True confession:  I never owned BOTR on vinyl, and still only have 8 of its 9 tracks on my iPod.  Anyway, it's good stuff.
 

Also released in the 1st week of December, 1973:  Black Sabbath’s “Sabbath Bloody Sabbath” and Jim Croce’s “I Got A Name”.

 
I have both of these albums on vinyl (and digital), and really like them both.  Call it a testament to my broad tastes in music, I suppose... even as a 13 year old kid.  Although Sabbath Bloody Sabbath didn't spawn any "hits" I rememebr hearing the title track on the radio way back then.  And 40 years later, it remains my favorite Sabbath record.  On the other end of the Pop-Rock spectrum is Jim Croce's "I Got A Name".  Released just 2.5 months after his death, had three hits:  "I'll Have To Say I Love You" (#9), "I Got A Name" (#10) and "Workin' At The Car Wash Blues" (#32).   But it is solid all around.
 
 

Saturday, November 30, 2013

The Ole House


Just an old house in Sprimgfiled, IL (location:  39.763408,-89.668398).  Makes me think of the old Rosemary Clooney song, #1 on the billboard charts in 1954.  I bit before my time, but I remember this one from my parents' old 78 rpm records.

This ole house once knew his children
This ole house once knew his wife
This ole house was home and comfort
As they fought the storms of life
This old house once rang with laughter
This old house heard many shouts
Now he trembles in the darkness
When the lightnin' walks about

Friday, November 29, 2013

In A Blur


A rainy, cold day, last week.  Bare trees photographed through a car windshield, w/ wipers off.... 

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Birch

 
 
Just a little something that I snappedon a walk the other day...  Taken with my i{hone, tweaked with snapseed...


Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Happy Birthday Neil Young!

Neil Young turned 68 today (11/12)...  I figured "Old Man" would be a good tribute:

 
One of my favorite Neil Young songs.  Meanwhile, I recently finished Jimmy McDonough's biography ofNeil Young, Shakey.  Coutesy of the local library system.  Pretty interesting reading...
 


Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Every Sunset is a Gift

And I never get tired of them...

Heading home from workyesterday, this is just outside our paring lot...

Monday, November 04, 2013

The art of living lies in a fine mingling of letting go and holding on...

Quote by Heavelock Ellis.  This is from my "Wisdom Of Nature" wall calendar, with November's photo.  Seems like a appropriate quote for this time of year, as we edge out of Autumn towards Winter.Leaves leavings, and all that...

Anyway, it made me think of this picture, from a few years back
:

Nothing you'll ever see this one on a calendar, but I like it...

Saturday, November 02, 2013

Rainy Day, Dream Away (revised)

So, I posted this just 2 days ago...  But started second guessing before I even posted.  I opted for a square crop at the the time, but still wasn't thrilled with the distracing spaces (especially the top left).  But I decided it was "good enough".
 


Then I posted a link to the blog on Facebook,and it looked like this:
And that looks a LOT better (IMHO).  So, after pondering for a bit, I decided to recrop it today. 
Here's the new version:
 

What Do Ya Think???
 

Corn Tassel


Taken a few days ago ago, same time as this one (posted to Happenstance, my B andW photo site) ...   Corn tassels in fading light...

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Rainy Day, Dream Away

Just a little slice of life, on a rainy Halloween eve.. 

Thatks to Jimi Hendrix for the post title

Rainy day, rain all day
Ain't no use in gettin' uptight
Just let it groove it's own way
Let it drain your worries away yeah
Lay back and groove on a rainy day hey

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Happy Birthday, Timothy B.!

Timothy B. Schmidt turns 66 today! 

Best known as bass player for the Eagle, although he didn't join the band until after they did Hotel California.  And while his most popular song was as an Eagle (I Can't Tell You Why), my favorites are fron the 11 albums he did with Poco between 1970 and 1977...

My Top 3 favorite Timothy B.Schmidt authored song:
I (of course) have a playlist of T.B. Schmidt authored (or co-authored) songs.  Guess what I've been listening to?

Monday, October 28, 2013

On The Run

Taken several years ago, during a trip to Disney World...

Last night my younger daughter posted the following to Facebook:
 
I have to change my profile to a giraffe. I tried to answer a riddle and got it wrong . Try the great giraffe challenge! The deal is I give you a riddle. You get it right you get to keep your profile pic. You get it wrong and you change your profile pic to a Giraffe for the next 3 days. MESSAGE ME ONLY SO YOU DONT GIVE OUT THE ANSWER.Here is the riddle: 3:00 am, the doorbell rings and you wake up. Unexpected visitors, It's your parents and they are there for breakfast. You have strawberry jam, honey, wine, bread and cheese. What is the first thing you open?Remember... message me only. If you get it right I'll post your name here. If you get it wrong change your profile picture....

Well, I'll contend I provided the optimum answer, but I'll concede the argument (a little).  Or maybe not, as this article agrees with me...  No profile picture, but a blog post (which will be posted to my timeline).

Sorry kiddo, that'll have to do!

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Autumn Leaves


Finally getting some fall colors.  This is one of the maple trees in my front yard.  Taken from underneath the canopy, with the sun back-lighting...

Another image from the same session, a little less zoomed-in.  Notice there's still a lot of green...

Thursday, October 24, 2013

All That Jazz

I've been listening to (mostly) Jazz the past couple of days.  iPod on random, everything from Marcus Miller to Thelonious Monk.  From Mose Allison to Dave Brubeck to John Coltrane...  Old, new and in between.

All good stuff.

Meanwhile, the wallpaper on my work computer is based on the image below.  Which seemed somewhat "Jazzy" to me.  What ever that means...



This was taken a couple of years ago, during late autumn. Playing with intentional camera movement..

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

10 Years Ago Today (almost)...


This was taken 10/19/2003.  10 years (and 3 days) ago.  McAdams Peak, above Pere Marquette Lodge in Grafton.IL.  That's the Illinois River in the distance.  Maybe 5 miles above the confluence with the Mississippi River...  Ecaxt location and larger (and un-effected) version HERE.

I know this one has been posted several times in several places.  Call it a classic??

Monday, October 21, 2013

I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest.


It's harvest time around here.  I passed this scen on my drive home.  (Relax, this was taken at a red light).  Not far from my office.

Title is from John 4:35 (NIV)

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Amazing Grace....

We had our granddaughter visiting for a couple of days, and I tried to take a coupleof photos.  It's never easy, as she's a very active 2.5 y/o kid, and I'm not all that comfortable with people pictures.  Lots of blurry images later, he's a couple taht aren't TOO bad.  Except for the sloppy nose...
 


 
Playing around with her Uncle's football, at Miner Park in Glen Carbon....

Friday, October 18, 2013

Still Waiting On Fall Colors

Not a lot of Autumn happing in the midwest....  yet.  This is from Thursday's lunch time, at Pleasant Ridge Park.  I noticed this lonely leaf hestled in the wedge of of tree branch....  You know, like an upside down armpit???? 

Never mind.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Mountains Speak And Wise Men Listen


"Society speaks and all men listen; Mountains speak and wise men listen" - John Muir

An oldie, from back in the '70's.  Scanned from a slide, from a backpacking trip during my High School days.  I know I've posted it a few times over the years, but I do like it.   Not the best photo technically, but it catches a nice moment in time.  And hey, I was just a teenager!  Sure whish I could step around that pine branch, though....

This is North Fook Mountain, overlooking Seneca Rocks in W.Va.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame 2014 Nominees

Nominees for the 2014 class have been announced. Here they are, with my thoughts, with the nominees ranked based on representation in my music collection
  • Linda Ronstadt (89 songs). I’ve seen in concert twice. “one of the most popular interpretive singers of the '70s, earning a string of platinum-selling albums and Top 40 singles… followed by a lengthy career bridging styles from country to soul to standards.”
  • Yes (53 songs). I’ve seen in concert twice. “The definitive English progressive rock band, purveyors of virtuoso playing and vast musical tapestries topped off with gorgeous melodies.”
  •  
  • Deep Purple (31 songs). (repeat nominee). “Progressive rock giants who made hard rock a fine art, and unleashed some of the greatest guitar riffs known to the world”
  • Peter Gabriel (30 songs). “Theatrical leader of '70s-era Genesis and a bona fide pop star by the '80s despite his experimental, often exotic, material”
  • Hall And Oates (22 songs). “Duo whose smooth, catchy take on Philly soul brought them enormous commercial success …. yet little critical success.”
  • Nirvana (12 songs). “After the band's second album, 1991's Nevermind, nothing was ever quite the same”
  • Cat Stevens (12 songs). (repeat nominee) “Acoustic-based hitmaker who became one of the most popular singer/songwriters of the '70s thanks to his invariably catchy material.”
  • Kiss (6 songs). (repeat nominee) “Garish glam rockers with anthems galore, who became rock legends with a reputation for incredible live shows… Most kids were infatuated with the look of Kiss, not their music.”
  • · The Zombies (3) “Aside from the Beatles and perhaps the Beach Boys, no mid-'60s rock group wrote melodies as gorgeous as those of the Zombies… To this day, they're known primarily for their three big hit singles.”
  • Chic (2) (repeat nominee) “There can be little argument that Chic was disco's greatest band”
  • Link Wray (1) “Link Wray may never get into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, but his contribution to the language of rockin' guitar would still be a major one”
  • Paul Butterfield Blues Band (1) (repeat nominee) “Iconoclastic Chicago harmonica player whose storming blues band produced seminal work that drew on rock, psychedelia, jazz, and Indian classical.”
  • The Replacements (0) “Willfully messy and driven toward self-sabotage, they became one of the best and most influential rock & roll bands of the '80s.”
  • LL Cool J (0) (repeat nominee) “Queens rapper who fused beatbox minimalism with defiant lyrics, pushing the music into new terrain and becoming a superstar in the process.”
  • N.W.A. (0) (repeat nominee) “Incendiary Compton rappers who introduced the world to gangsta rap”
  • The Meters (0) (repeat nominee) “The Meters defined New Orleans funk, not only on their own recordings, but also as the backing band for numerous artists”
 IMHO, Nirvana is a slam dunk, no brainer, certain choice. I’d like to see Yes and Linda Ronstadt, but doubt either will have the support of the . Peter Gabriel has a good shot, unless he’s held back because of Genesis’s induction (2010). I’m not a big Kiss fan, but they probably belong. Remember the criteria is (theoretically): “the influence and significance of the artists’contributions to the development and perpetuation of rock and roll.”…  Once again, there’s a fan vote, let your voice be heard!  But, the key is the opinion of “an international voting body of more than 600 artists, historians and members of the music industry”.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Yes, We Have Control Switches!


Here's a real rarity, a photo of me! I promise not todoit again soon.  Taken during last week's business trip to Washington State for my company's annual sales meeting.  During one of the sessions, I received an email from one of my coworkers back here in the mid-west asking if we now had control switches.  Rather than responding with words, I sent a camera phone picture of me holding one of the new test switches.... 

I know, I know.  But I thought it was amusing at the moment...

Monday, October 14, 2013

Clouds At Sunset, Moscow,ID

 
I try to notice sunsets as often as possible.  And regular readers will know that I try and capture them more frequently than I should.  This isn't a sunset per se, but clouds illuminated by the setting sun.  Looking south from the parking lot of the Moscow Idaho LaQuinta hotel, last week's home away from home.
 
 

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Above The Clouds


Somewhere around 40,000 ft, between Pullman Washington and Belleville, Illinois.  It's always nicer on the flight home.  And having the (rare) opportunity to ride the corporate jet makes it even more so.  No fuss, no lines, no TSA....  and door to door in well under 1/2 the time!  Gotta love it!

I just looked upthe GPS coordinates, this is somewhere over NE Wyoming

Friday, October 11, 2013

Grey Day On The Palouse

I'm just home from a week in Southeast Washington State.  This photo is from the window of a rental car, about .5 mile west of the Washington/Idaho border.  And about 0.5 miles east of one of my favorite Palouse photos...

Obviously a lot of post processing, I was trying for a vintage look.

Sunday, October 06, 2013

Waiting For Some Colors...

Early October, and still waiting on some fall colrors.  But I looked back at last year's images, and it's pretty much the same:
This one was taken just over a year ago, 10/2/2012.  But wasn't posted previously.  Here's one from the same session, which I du\id post (but over a week after it was shot).  Looking back, I like this one more...

This was St. Ellen Mine Park, during a lunch time excursion.

Saturday, October 05, 2013

It's not so long until the harvest comes... (Pt. 2)

 
Another photo from a recent lunch time.  These grain bins are about 1/2 mile from my office, not nearly as close as the recent corn photo....  It was a rather grey day, this would be SOOO much better with blue skies and a few puffy clouds.  But sometimes you have to take what you can get.  Maybe next time.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

It's not so long until the harvest comes...




iPhone photo, tweaked in Snapseed.

From a lunch time walk yesterday, enjoying the cooler weather.   There's a corn field jusst 1/4 mile or so from the office, pretty typical for are area.  About 10-12 acres sandwiched between office buildings and neighborhoods.  That's one of the things that really struck me when we moved out her (so many years ago!), pretty typical to have fields nestled around suburbia.  Of course, each year there's a bit more suburbuia, and a bit less crops, but I guess that's just the nature of things.

Anyway, this corn is close to ready to harvest.  I'm I'm pretty sure it is feed corn, so it'll need to dry a bit longer...

Post title is from the Pure Prairie League song Harvest.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Winter On The Way


It's only September, but cold weather will be here before we know it...  This one is last December, taken at Watershed Nature Center.

Monday, September 02, 2013

... At The Old Ball Game!


Backstory: 
I grew up in Pittsburgh,as a die-hard Pirates fan.  back in the 70's, when they were good.  In fact, I was fortunate enough to go to a game in the 1971 World Series.  Sadly, the Pirates have been pretty bad for decades...  two of them in fact.   And I haven't been to a Pirates game since well before they moved into thier "new" park.

Meanwhile, I've lived in the St. Louis area for longer than the Pireats have been losing.  And I've become a bit of a Cardinals fan.  And they've done rather well...  But I have reatined a soft spot for the Bucs.

ANYWAY:
The Pirates are on the verge of breaking their 20 year losing streak, and are challenging the Cards for 1st place in the division.  And the Cards were in Pittsburgh for the holiday weekend...  so....  ROAD TRIP!  My wife and son and I ran over to the steel city, and tookk in Sunday's game, along with my brother and (mst of) his family.  Lots of highway, burt lots of fun!  Cards won this game, but Bucs took the series.  And as of last night, the teams were tied with 4 weeks left in the season!

Big version of the  photo HERE.





Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Album Review: Jason Collett - Motor Motel Love Songs



I recently acquired Jason Collett's album, Motor Motel Love Songs.  I wasn't familiar with Collett, but I rather like this album.  It has a good "sound", and a solid selection of songs.  On the other hand, nothing that really stands out (high or low).  Not exactly remarkable, or gripping...  Overall, it kind of reminds me of Tom Petty's album Echo.  Maybe mashed up with a little bit of Uncle Tupelo's Anodyne...  But not quite as good as either.

After a litte research, I see that Jason Collett is Canadian, from Ontario.  And the Motor Motel is a 2003 compilation of songs from his prior 2 albums, reflecting  13 of those first 24 songs.

Jason's web site says of Motor Motel Love Songs says:
Toronto man about town Jason Collett unfolds his sleeve to reveal a happily bleeding heart on this collection of material from past releases. Collett’s voice is brimming with warmth, and he has a cigar box full of stylistic implements with which to accompany it. Together with a gaggle of talented pals, he sells his material at a reasonable and honest price — it’s like a set of pleasantly this-or-that rockers on a late-night left-of-dial radio station.

The review at allmusic summarizes thusly:
In the end, Motor Motel Love Songs is as graceful as the fading light of day, and as comfortable as the predictable old creaks of a trusted pickup truck.

Amazon's customer's ratings give it 3.6/5 stars.

Pleasant....  comfortable...  Yeah, I'll agree with that. 



Monday, August 19, 2013

Affected Sunset, Table Rock Lake

 
So....  I found a image manipulation app for my iPhone today, Snapseed.  Just playing around with it a bit, and I'm rather pleased.   Above is another sunset photo from last week's trip to Branson / Table Rock Lake.  I mean, it's obviously manipulated, but sometimes that's ok, too. Right? 
Same session as this one
 
Below is the "straight from phone" version...

 
Large version of the tweaked one HERE.
 

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Time Between The Times

Another from last week's trip to Branson.

This view of Table Rock Lake was taken after sunset, but before it was fully dark.  Certainly not daytime, but not yet night-time...

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Table Rock Dam

Here's a very "postcard" image of Table Rock Dam, from last week's trip to Branson.  Or maybe "snapshot" would be more appropriate?  Regardless, they don't all have to be "Fine Art".



Table Rock Dam.  Designed and constructed 1954-1958, and operated by the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers, Table Rock Dam was created to provide flood control for the White and lower Mississippi Rivers and to generate hydro-electric power. And Table Rock Lake, of course.  The building on the far side of the dam,past the spillways, is the power house. Housing 4x hydroelectric generators, providing 200 MW of electricity.  It would take 100x wind turbines to provide as much power (and a steady wind!). Lareger version of this image is HERE.

The dam was just about a mile from the conference hotel, you can see it on the far right hilltop.

Friday, August 16, 2013

2013 Chevy Malibou


I was on a business trip last week, spent a few days at The Chateau Branson, MO.  I made the tripacross Missouri in a rented Chevy Malibou.  And decided to take a "glamour shot" of it. Taken about 8:30pm, nearly dark... 

Overall, I'd say the Malibou did great, but it didn't really win me over.  I considered the Malibou the last time I was buying a car (2008),but the styling has changed quite a bit since then.  Just not my idea of ideal.   But it drove fine, I really can't complain.

I rented (as usual) from the local Enterprise place.  They do a good job overall.  Good price (no airport surcharges), the folk are usually really nice.  Never had any real problems.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Sunset, Table Rock Lake

 

I'm just home from a business trip to Table Rock Lake, near Branson, MO.  I managed to get away for a little bit one evening toenjoy a bit iof the surroundings.  Including this rather nice sunset over the lake.  One of several images taken with my iPhone camera.  I posted one direct to facebook yesterday...

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Tell Me Why?

 
Taken on the wooded walk through the grounds at Fallingwater,Frank Lloyd Wright's Western Pennsylvania masterpiece.  Taken somewhere near the Bird's Eye View.  It was late afternoon (~4pm) on a very sunny day, very contrasty.  But I liked the views of the deep green leaves against the dark trunks. 
 
Here's another attempt, but I don't like this one as much:
 
 

Monday, August 12, 2013

Sweet Moses!


One of the fun stops in our July visit to Cleveland was Sweet Moses.   Just over a mile from Sharon & Rick's place, but we drove down, as it was shortly before closing when the mood struck.  Just before 11pm on a Sunday niight and the place was PACKED!!

But worth it!

This image is handheld, braced against a lightpole or something....  Pretty crisp,huh?