Thursday, February 27, 2014


I posted an image Tuesday taken in a drainage area at a local park.  I was there again today, and decided to provide some context...  some wider views.  Another nice day today, colder, a bit windy, but bright blue sky...

The cluster of trees above is the location of the branch / "stream"...  In the closer image below, the branch across the stream in the background is the one detailed Tuesday (from a different angle).  Approximate location is here.

And I didn't even get mud on my shoes today, thanks to the colder weather over the past 2 days.

All in all, I'm about ready for things to start turning green again.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

It's worth it.

Just a little something from a lunchtime walk at O'Fallon Family Sports Park.  I ventured off the nice, paved trail, and explored one of the drainage areas...  Or should I say ditches?  An interesting diversion, but I did end up tracking a it of mud back to my office.  That stuff packs in the tread of my shoes, until I dig it out w/ my pin-knife.

It's worth it.

I Hate Meeses To Pieces (Update)

I posted a few days ago about our house-mouse purge.  So how's it going??  Current score:

Homeowner (us) - 5
Intruders (mice) - 2

We've eliminated 5 of the vermin.  They've successfully stolen the bait twice.  But they won the last round, so I know the game's not over.  We will prevail.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

This Post Has No Title

A sibling image to yesterday's, of sorts.  Same spot, same traffic, but looking out the other car window.

The post title is a lame reference to the song from Elton John's Goodbye Yellow Brick Road...  Which is NOT the first song on the album, nor is it his first album.  Completely unlike yesterday's post.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Good Times, Bad Times

I pass this brick wall on my daily commute....  It's one of those things that has always struck me, for some reason...   Any, heavy traffic today, as they're ramping up construction on 159.  And it took 2 cycles of the stop light to make it past this spot.  And since I (almost) always have a camera with me, I had a chance to sneak an image....

And the post title?  No relevance at all.  Just listening to Led Zeppelin's first album as I post.  Good Times Bad Times has to be one of the best 1st songs from their 1st albums of any band.

I Hate Meeces To Pieces! (Revisited)

Yep, we've been hearing the tell-tale skritch-skritch-skritch in our walls for a bit, and figured we had some uninvited guests.  We've had them once before (7+ years ago).  But where last time they were in the kitchen (where there's food) this time they're in the walls.  With no evidence other than the noise.  Well, I opened an acess panel to one of our bathrooms, and found droppings.  Off to Lowes for traps!!

Last time we used reusable "humane" traps, which allowed me to take them to the park and put them back in the food chain.  But years later, I can't find them.  And the store only had kill traps and poison this time, so kill traps it is!.

Couple of days later, and we've  caught 2.  Time to buy more traps!

Sorry, no pictures...

Thursday, February 20, 2014

But What Does It MEAN?

So, I was looking at the "Stats" section of Blogger, and they have a listing of "Pageviews By Countries"...  So where do my readers come from?  Well, apparently the vast majority come from the United States.  Which isn't too surprising, since I've lived my whole life in the USA.  But it is interesting to see some of the other countries with notable (or at least noticable) traffic.  Russia?  Italy?? Netherlands???  Wild.

If I switch to "Last Month", the results don't chage significantly, with 76.8% of traffic from USA, and 8.1% from "other".  But Canada, Brazil, Italy and Australia drop out of the top 10, replaced with Ukraine, Sweden, Mexico and Poland.

Of course, I can't come up with any "so what?", or any action I might want to take based on this information.  Should I be educating myself about Ukranian issues?  Shop at Ikea?? 


Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Slice Of Life #41689

Taken on my drive home today, sitting in stopped traffic....   The days are getting longer!

Happenstance We Fell Into....

Happenstance Photography is my "other" blog...  It has had several personalities, but over the past 18 months or so, it's been devoted to my black and white images.  No posts about music, no back-stories or descriptions.  Just larger images, with details (camera, settings, location)...  My thought was to be simple, and focus on the images.  Predictably, it gets a lot less posts, and even fewer views (but none of those pesky vampirestat views).

Anyway, here's a blatant attempt to drive some traffic:  the image above was posted at Happenstance last night.  Click through to see a larger version.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Hint Of Spring?

No, Spring has NOT Sprung.  But it was decidedly springlike today, with lunchtime temperatures in the high 50's, and a stiff breeze from the south.  Quite a nice change from recent.  Despite the areas of slush on the trail, it was wonderful to get out at lunch today and walk someplace other than the shopping mall

But I'm not fooling myself, we're nowhere near done with winter.  We had snow in late March 2013...  And in late March 2011.  But hopefully we're done with the REALLY cold temperatures for a while.

Regular readers can probably guess, this is St. Ellen Mine Park, not far from my work.  A regular spot for me...

Sunday, February 16, 2014

A Walk In The Woods

I just finished this book today.  It was loaned to me by a friend at work.  I loaned him Colin Fletcher's "The Man Who Walked Through Time", and he loaned me Bill Bryson's "A Walk In the Woods".    Win-Win, if you ask me!  I hope he feels the same...

I'm not so good with reviews, but there're good ones here and here.  I did quite enjoy A Walk In The Woods, Bryson's style is like sitting with an old friend as he recounts a grand adventer. 

Next up (fresh from the local library):  Tesla!

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Pop Music - February 1974

(photo not mine, credit here)

Looking at American Top 40 charts for February, 1974...  40 years ago this month: What songs made there Top 40 debut?  What was new and trending?  There were 18 songs entering the Top 40, here they are, ranked by eventual peak:
  • Seasons In The Sun - Terry Jacks (#1, 21 wks on charts)
  • Sunshine On My Shoulders - John Denver (#1, 18 wks on charts)
  • Dark Lady  - Cher (#1, 16 wks on charts)
  • Come And Get Your Love - Redbone (#5, 23 wks)
  • Mockingbird  - Carly Simon, w/ James Taylor (#5, 16 wks)
  • Jet  - Paul McCartney (#7, 14 wks)
  • Eres Tu (Touch The Wind)  - Mocedades (#9, 17 wks)
  • Trying To Hold On To My Woman  - Lamont Dozier (#15, 18 wks)
  • Doo Doo Doo Doo Doo (Heartbreaker)  - Rolling Stones (#15, 11 wks)
  • My Sweet Lady - Cliff DeYoung (#17, 15 wks)
  • Sexy Mama - Moments (#17, 13 wks)
  • There Won't Be Anymore  - Charlie Rich (#18, 15 wks)
  • Mighty Love - Spinners (#20, 15 wks)
  • I Like To Live The Love - B.B. King (#28, 16 wks)
  • Can This Be Real  - Natural Four (#31, 10 wks)
  • Energy Crisis '74  - Dickie Goodman (#33, 8 wks)
  • Last Kiss  - Wednesday (#34, 18 wks)
  • I Shall Sing  - Art Garfunkel (#38, 9 wks)
I was actually able to find 16 of these 18 songs on Spotify.  I've made a playlist, which I hope to update month by month through the year.  Right now it includes 31 of the 35 songs which entered the Top 40 in January or February.  

Check it out:

Friday, February 14, 2014

Sunset and Snow

Just a little something taken earlier this week...  Taken w/ my iPhone.

Thursday, February 13, 2014


So, one of my on-line haunts is a forum for bass players.  I figure I qualify; while not exactly a rocker (anymore), I actually do play in front of people just about every week.  Anyway....  There was a thread there recently about "Bands that need to retire… " and the The Who came up several times.  After pondering, I can see the point, sort of...    Call them the Daltry/Townshend band, or something, but maybe not The Who...  Or maybe it's not that big a deal...

Meanwhile, Almost 32 years ago I saw The Who, and my main recollection was thinking that they were good, but would've been awesome 9-10 years earlier.  And their 2010 Super Bowl appearanceWell...

All of which prompted me to look up that show from way back in 1982.  With the glory of the internet, I was able to find the exact date, and even the set list.  Almost.  Turns out they played 2 shows in September 1982 in Landover, Maryland.  September 22 and September 23.  I'm pretty sure I saw them on the first night (which was Wednesday).  But it's hard to remember.  Other than one switch in order, the only difference between the shows was the encore.

Here's the set-list.  Not quite "Live At Leeds", but it was certainly worth seeing.

  • Substitute
  • I Can't Explain
  • Dangerous
  • Sister Disco
  • The Quiet One
  • It's Hard
  • Eminence Front
  • Behind Blue Eyes
  • Baba O'Riley
  • I'm One
  • The Punk And The Godfather
  • Drowned
  • A Man Is A Man
  • Cry If You Want
  • Who Are You
  • Pinball Wizard
  • See Me Feel Me
  • 5.15
  • Love Reign O'er Me
  • Long Live Rock
  • Won't Get Fooled Again
  • Magic Bus (encore)
  • Twist And Shout (encore)
Hmmm, think I'll make an iPod play-list of that....

Wednesday, February 12, 2014


Long story short:  At work, we've been trying to resolve an issue with a customer.  But we've been struggling.  Between the holidays, vacations and bad weather, we just could get the loop closed.  And then the guy quit responding to our queries.  Very frustrating.  We're trying to resolve HIS problem, and he can't be bothered to even talk to us?  How RUDE!!!

So this morning, following up yet another query, I received an email from one of our sales folk:  "Well, I just found out why I haven't been able to get ahold of [the customer]. Unfortunately, [he] was killed in an auto accident. "


Now I feel bad for previously feeling indignant.  A lesson in perspective.

And to close, a graveyard image, taken today:

Tuesday, February 11, 2014


So, I've been trying to do more walking this year.  Which is tough when the temperature is single digits, the sidewalks are snow covered and I've been sick.  So I'm way behind.  There's not a lot of options, but lunchtime strolls at the nearby shopping mall is one of them.  Yep, Mall-Walking...  Makes me feel old...

Anyway, it is seldom crowded.  And there's no goose-poop..

Monday, February 10, 2014

After The Beatles

Following all of the (deserved) hoopla over the 50th Anniversary of Beatlemania,  I've been listening to music from John, Paul, George and Ringo.  From AFTER the Beatles' breakup.  And although Paul has had the most success, all 4 of the group made a pretty big mark.

I put together a playlist, 6 hits from each ex-Beatle, just looking at the 6 years between 1970 and 1975 (to keep it manageable):

  • My Love - Paul.  4 wks at #1 in 1973, 18 wks on the charts.
  • Band On The Run  - Paul. 1 wk at #1 in 1974, 18 wks on the charts.
  • Photograph - Ringo. 1 wk at #1 in 1973, 16 wks on the charts.
  • My Sweet Lord - George. 4 wks at #1 in 1971, 15 wks on the charts.
  • You're Sixteen - Ringo. 1 wk at #1 in 1974, 15 wks on the charts.
  • Whatever Gets You Thru The Night - John.  1 wk at #1 in 1974, 15 wks on the charts.
  • Give Me Love (Give Me Peace On Earth) - George. 1 wk at #1 in 1973, 14 wks on the charts.
  • Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey - Paul. 1 wk at #1 in September 1971, 13 wks on the charts.
  • Live And Let Die - Paul.  #2 in 1973, 14 wks on the charts.
  • No No Song - Ringo.  #3 in 1975, 14 wks on the charts.
  • Instant Karma (We All Shine On) - John.  #3 in 1970, 13 wks on the charts.
  • Imagine - John.  #3 in 1971, 9 wks on the charts.
  • It Don't Come Easy - Ringo.  #4 in 1971, 12 wks on the charts.
  • Oh My My - Ringo.  #5 in 1974, 14 wks on the charts.
  • Another Day - Paul.   #5 in 1971, 12 wks on the charts.
  • #9 Dream - John.  #9 in 1975, 12 wks on the charts.
  • Back Off Boogaloo - Ringo.  #9 in 1972, 10 wks on the charts.
  • Helen Wheels - Paul.  #10 in 1974, 13 wks on the charts.
  • What Is Life - George.  #10 in 1971, 9 wks on the charts.
  • Power To The People - John.  #11 in 1971, 9 wks on the charts.
  • Dark Horse - George.  #15 in 1975, 10 weeks on the charts.
  • Mind Games - John.  #18 in 1973, 13 wks on the charts.
  • You - George. #20 in 1975, 10 wks on the charts.
  • Bangla-Desh  - George.  #23 in 1971, 7 wks on the charts.
That's a pretty strong slate of songs, in a pretty short period of time.  8 Chart toppers, and 19 Top Tens in 6 years?  I doubt any group (or ex-group) can come close to matching that.  And they didn't stop in 1975, either.

I've been trying to think of some other band that had notable (much less comparable) success after a breakup, but I'm struggling.  Closest I can come up with is Buffalo Springfield, and that's not all that close.

Sunday, February 09, 2014


A slate grey finish to a slate grey day...  Even though the days are inching longer, the light was fading quickly at 5:30 this evening.

Friday, February 07, 2014

New Year's Resolution - Update #1

Tired of the snow, I am......

Meanwhile, we've made it 10% of the way through 2014! Seems like a good time to check back on my New Years Resolutions. Trying to keep those goals S.M.A.R.T.  And in the spirit of accountability, I’ll publish my progress…  SO, what did I resolve?

1) More Photography!  UPDATE:  I’ve increased activity at some existing sites that were dormant (Fine Art America, Microstock).  That's something, but there's a reason they were dormant...   I’ve been looking into local camera clubs, but have not yet acted.  That's promising, but "incomplete".   As for the blog, I posted 16 new images in the first 10% of 2014, compared to 19 over the same span in 2013.  But I'm above the average new images per day rate of all 2013.  I’ll grade myself a C+.

2) More Walking!  UPDATE:  I more than doubled the distance logged over the first 10% of 2013.  That's still below the average miles/day to reach the +25% goal, but given the weather, and a recent illness, I'm happy.  I'll call it a solid B.

3) Weight.  UPDATE: I dropped 3.6% from my 1/1/14 weight over the first tenth of the year.  Not bad, but not as quite good as I’d hoped.  Call it a B+.

Look for next update, on or around 3/16 (20% of year).

Monday, February 03, 2014

February 1974

February 1974...  40 years ago...  I was 13.5 years old, in 8th grade and living in Pittsburgh.  Patty Hearst was kidnapped by the Symbionese Liberation Army...  Blazing Saddles opened in theaters...  And the TV show "Good Times" (spinoff from "Maude") premiered on CBS TV.

What was happening in music?

Albums released in 1974 include:

Only 2 songs made #1 on the Top 40 during 2/1974:
  • The Way We Were - Barbara Streisand (2/2/74, 2/16/74 and 2/23/74)
  • Love's Theme - Love Unlimited Orchestra (2/9/74)
But there were some great songs on the charts.  A sampling of what was in the Top-40 (with the month's peak position for the month in parenthesis):
  • Rock On - David Essex (#8)
  • Doo Doo Doo Doo Doo (Heartbreaker) - Rolling Stones (#15)
  • Midnight Rider - Gregg Allman (#19)
  • Mockingbird - Carly Simon (#21)
  • Jet - Paul McCartney (#27)

Sunday, February 02, 2014

Self Portrait, Of Sorts

Would this qualify as a "selfie"??  Taken at Praise Band practice last week. That's the heart of my TBC-JT400-JJ...

Saturday, February 01, 2014

Hello February

Well, January is gone, and good riddance.  On the other hand, its not like February promised a whole lot better.  But the days are getting longer, the cold spells shouldn't be quite as cold, and we're inching closer to spring.

Image is from today's walking the dags.  34 degrees and light rain.  Not exactly a perfect day, but we still had a good walk.  This is on the east side of our neighborhood, where some folk still have corn fields in their back yard...