Monday, March 31, 2014

Slice Of Life #41392

I was pulling some images off my memory card this evening, and found some images from April 2013 that had never been processed.  Taken during a Boy Scout event at Lincoln's Tomb in Springfield, IL.  Actually, this was taken between where we parked and the tomb (about here, iirc).

I suspect it didn't get processed previously because, well, it didn't exactly meet my expectations.  But a year later, I don't dislike it quite as much...  I doubt it'll my by "best of the year" list, but it's not terrible...  Or is it?

What do y'all think?

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Quiet Moment

Another from last weekend's visit to Boy Scout Camp Vandeventer, near Waterloo, IL.  I've previously posted both here and at Happenstance.  And, yes, there will be more.  In fact. there's another view of this same spot posted at Happenstance today...  Which do you prefer?

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Reflections On Fountain Creek

Another image from last weekend's excursion to Camp Vandeventer, in Waterloo, IL.  While there was a lot of time to interact with the scouts, there was also plenty of time to wander off and explore.  Expect several more photos to dribble out.  Here and at Happenstance.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Still Waters

I spent the day yesterday with my son and his Scout Troop at Camp Vandeventer outside Waterloo, IL.  We had a lot of fun, did a LOT of walking.  And I took quite a few photos! (fair warning)...

This panorama is stitched together from 5 individual shots.  Larger version at Panoramio, click on it there for a really large version.

Friday, March 21, 2014

March Madness!

Or not...

For the first time in many, many years, I didn't fill out any brackets for the NCAA Basketball Tourny.  I even thought about it a couple times over the past few days, but just couldn't muster the energy.

Just as well, as Duke lost their 1st round game.  As a Duke grad, I always pick them to go deep into the later rounds.

Oh well, huh?

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Old Bricks...

I was out for a lunchtime walk yesterday, and came across this old building.  Not sure what it was, but it was pretty cool.  I'm going to have to explore another day, maybe with better light...  Located a bit off the main road, but right along a converted rail line (now walking / bike path).

I also took a nice image of one of the windows on the left, worked up in black and white.  Will post at TWIBAW and/or Happenstance later...  Look for it!

Hats Off To Larry

Would you beleive that there's only been 1 song with "Larry: in the title to make it to the Hot 100 music charts??  I know, who've figured.  It's Hats Off To Larry, which Del Shannon took to #5 in the spring of 1961.  It was Del's biggest hit after Runaway...

Go figure.

Monday, March 17, 2014

New Year's Resolution - Update #2

Ready For Spring, I am......

Meanwhile, we've made it 20% of the way through 2014! As with the 10% milestone, it's 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 #2:  I was quitre active with new images on the blogs, with 20 images here, 6 others at Happenstance and  The World In Black And White.  That's 73% more than the same period last year,.  And 20% over the first 20% of 2013.  Haven't done much outside the blogging world though.  But I'm taking more photos, which is a good thing.  I’ll grade myself a B.

2) More Walking!  UPDATE #2:  During the 2nd 10% of the year, I walked 15% more than the same span in 2013.  And significantly up from the first tenth of 2014.  Still below the average miles/day to reach the full year +25% goal.  But between weather, sick, and some business travel, I'm pretty satisfied.  I'll call it a B+.  The next 3-4 months are when I need to start making headway, though.

3) Weight.  UPDATE #2: I dropped 2.2% during the second tenth of the year.  Not as good as the 1st tenth of the year, and not as good as my goal.  But 6.0% down for the year.  Current pace is to hit my "maintain" target by 5/4/14, which would be 6 days behind original goal.  Slow and steady wins the race, right?  Call it a B.

Look for next update, on or around 4/21 (30% of year).

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

I'm not particularly Irish, but some of my distant roots are at least nearby... 

Regardless, I'm happy enough to wear green today.  And listen to Irish music...  Or at least Irish-ish music.  Some of what I've been listening to today:

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Rest Stop

On the drive from Chicago-land to St. Louis Metro, there's a rest stop where I (almost) always take a break.  Just south of Pontiac, IL, it is.  Besides being well located for both north and south bound, it's rather scenic...  at least as far as rest stops go.  And I've taken lots of photos here through the years.

Expect a few more, I have several more on my hard drive from yesterday!

You can see a larger version of this at Panoranio.  Click on the image there for a full screen version.

Pop Music - March 1974

Yep, the 1974 Pinto was the best-selling American car in 1974

Looking at American Top 40 charts for March, 1974...  40 years ago this month: What songs made their Top 40 debut?  What was new and trending?  Well, there were 24 songs entering the Top 40 during March (5 weeks).  Here they are, ranked by eventual peak:
  • The Loco-Motion - Grand Funk Railroad  (#1, 20 wks in the Hot 100)
  • TSOP (The Sound Of Philadelphia) – MFSB  (#1, 18 wks)
  • Bennie And The Jets - Elton John  (#1, 18 wks)
  • Hooked On A Feeling - Blue Swede  (#1, 17 wks)
  • Dancing Machine - Jackson 5  (#2, 22 wks)
  • Best Thing That Ever Happened To Me - Gladys Knight & The Pips  (#3, 17 wks)
  • The Lord's Prayer - Sister Janet Mead  (#4, 13 wks)
  • Oh My My - Ringo Starr (#5, 14 wks)
  • Tubular Bells - Mike Oldfield  (#7, 16 wks)
  • I'll Have To Say I Love You In A Song - Jim Croce  (#9, 14 wks)
  • Just Don't Want To Be Lonely - Main Ingredient  (#10, 20 wks)
  • Lookin' For A Love - Bobby Womack  (#10, 17 wks)
  • A Very Special Love Song - Charlie Rich  (#11, 14 wks)
  • Keep On Singing - Helen Reddy  (#15, 13wks)
  • My Mistake (Was To Love You) - Diana Ross  (#19, 16 wks)
  • Tell Me A Lie - Sami Jo  (#21, 14 wks)
  • Let It Ride - Bachman-Turner Overdrive  (#23, 15 wks)
  • Rock And Roll, Hoochie Koo - Rick Derringer  (#23, 14 wks)
  • Touch A Hand, Make A Friend - Staple Singers  (#23, 13 wks)
  • Star - Stealers Wheel  (#29, 14 wks)
  • We're Getting Careless With Our Love - Johnnie Taylor  (#34, 10 wks)
  • WOLD - Harry Chapin  (#36, 13 wks)
  • I'll Be The Other Woman - Soul Children  (#36, 9 wks)
  • I've Got A Thing About You Baby - Elvis Presley  (#39, 12 wks)
I was actually able to find 20 of these 24 songs on Spotify.  I've made a playlist, which I hope to update month by month through the year.  Right now it includes through June 1974, and 106 of the 115 songs which entered the Top 40 in the 1st half on 1974.   I'm pretty impressed that they have over 92% of these songs...

Check it out:

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Winter Relapse (Happenstance / The World In Black And White)

After our wonderful weather earlier in the week, it turned colder, and and there was notable snow not too far north of us.  I had the opportunity to capture a couple of images yesterday near Potiac, IL, about 2/3 of the way from St.L to Chicago.  One from my other site, Happenstance:

And one from a site to which I occasioanlly contribute, The World In Black And White:

These were taken at the same spot.  In fact, the same little tree is in the back left of each photo.  I rather like these, but I'm also more than ready for warmer weather.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Leave My Blues At Home

Another view from the O'Fallon Family Sports Park walking path.  For some reason this old homestead captures my imagination.  Complete with a cornfield in the front yard.  A lot of this area is converting over to sterotypical suburbia.  I hope this place hords out for a long time.

And the post title??  Thats The Allman Brothers, from Idelwilde South.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Patiently (Happenstance)

I posted this one over at Happenstance today, but wanted to add some details / discussion here.  See, I made a decision a while ago to keep that blog as "clean" as possible...  white backgrounds, just the facts:  Camera, settings, location.  But larger versions of photos.  And (for now at least) all in Black and White...

On to todays image:  Beautiful weather the past 2 days, a real harbinger of the impending Spring,  I've taken the opportuntiy for some nice lunchtime walks.  This set of grain bins are across the street from O'Fallon Family Sports Park, which is a great walking spot, not too far from my office.  I snapped this with my smart phone yesterday.  I took it with the intention of playing in snapseed, a fun little App.  It's actually a pretty powerful tool for the platform (I have it on iPhone and iPad), and I've done several images I rather like (here, here, here, here).  Obviously, one needs to be careful, it is easy to get overly enamored with effects.  But....

Saturday, March 08, 2014

Not Quite Yet....

We had a couple of nice days this week, but it won't actually be Spring for another week and a half...
I'm about ready, though.

Thursday, March 06, 2014

Music Humor?

I think I was in college when I first heard this one:

Q:  What did the Grateful Dead fan say when the drugs wore off??
A:  Wow, this music SUCKS!

To start:  If you're a "deadhead",  please don't take offense, it's just a joke.  I know some very nice folk who are fans of the Dead.  And that Dead fans are among the most passionate around.   And they are/were great muscians.   BUT, it is also true that I don't really "get" the Dead.  I do have half a dozen of their well known songs on my iPod, and they're fine songs. But that's enough for me. 

Meanwhile, I've been trying, giving them a shot, as it were.

Recently I noticed "The Grateful Dead Movie" on one of our cable stations, so I DVR-ed it.  I made it almost 1/2 way through before I gave up.  Not horrible, not offensive...  just...  well... boring.  Way too much random noodling...

And I listened to "American Beauty" on Spotify today.  It features several songs I know...  And it is.... well...  ok... I guess.  But a "Masterpiece"?  One of the top Albums of all time??  I can't see it.  But, frankly that's OK.  I'll probably try out Workingman's Dead, too.

March 1974

March 1974...  40 years ago...  Like last month, I was edging towards 14 years old, in 8th grade and living in Pittsburgh. Watergate was coming to a head, as a grand jury indicted 7 presidential aides, and declared Nixon was involved in a cover-up.  On a lighter note, The Great Gatsby opened in theaters (The Robert Redford version).  And the Partridge Family ended it's 3.5 year run on ABC TV.

What was happening in music?

Albums released in March 1974 include:
  • Steely Dan - Pretzel Logic:  Steely Dan's 3 album, with their biggest hit "Rikki Don't Lose That Number...
  • Eagles - On The Border:  The third album from the Eagles, featuring "Already Gone" and "James Dean"...
  • Frank Zappa - Apostrophe:  No, not his 3rd album, but his most successful. Though I didn't own the album until later, this was my introduction to Zappa, with "Don't Eat The Yellow Snow" and "Cosmic Desbris", among others.


Only 3 songs made #1 on the Top 40 during the 5 weeks of 3/1974:
  • Seasons In The Sun - Terry Jacks (3/2/74, 3/9/74 and 3/16/74)
  • Dark Lady - Cher (3/23/74)
  • Sunshine On My Shoulders - John Denver (3/30/74)
But there were some great songs on the charts.  A sampling of songs that made their Top-40 debut in March 1974 (with the month's peak position for the month in parenthesis):
  • Bennie And The Jets - Elton John (#4)
  • I'll Have To Say I Love You In A Song - Jim Croce (#22)
  • Rock And Roll Hoochie Koo - Rick Derringer (#23)
  • Let It Ride - Bachman Turner Overdrive (#32)

Wednesday, March 05, 2014

Randomness.... aka Slice Of Life #41693

Abstraction galore? 

This one was taken w/ my iPhone about 10 days ago, then promptly forgotten.  I stumbled across it (figuratively) and decided to share.  After a littl etweaking.  This is simply a glass of water at a local restaurant, with a crop and some effects added in snapseed.

What's a meal w/o a few "what are you doing" looks from the family?

Tuesday, March 04, 2014

Another One Bites The Dust?

Psoted this image over on Happenstance today, but wanted to add some discussion here...

This is (or was) Danny's Brushless, Soft Cloth car wash, in Collinsville, IL.  I drive by this place just about every work day, coming and going.  This business has been around since 1/1/1984.  A whopping 30 years, a veritable institution.  On the other hand, I've never used their service.

Meanwhile, I noticed the other day that the door is covered in signs saying "Location Closed"....  Now my first thought was what a shame to see a business gone after 30 years.  But I noticed that one of the signs refers customers to Danny's Express Car Wash.  Which is a relitively new car wash, about 3 miles away in the rather new Collinsville Crossing development.  Closer to Wal-Mart and Home Depot.  So it's not quite as sad as I originally thought.

I imagine that something new and shiny will rise at this location.  Given that there's a Walgreens across one street, a CVS Pharmacy across the intersection, and an Aldi's across the other street...  I don't see this site festering.  But who knows, in today's economic climate.

I Still Hate Meeces To Pieces. (another Update)

Well, I though we were finished.  After the 2/25 update, we switched to the convential "snap traps".  And promptly caught another 2 mice (total removed vermin = 7).  Then nothing for the next 3 days.

I was thinking we were done, but then we found a sprung and de-baited trap yeasterday.  So we're back in business.  Sadly.

The snap-traps seem to have a lower catch ratio, but they cost a fraction of the others.  So we'll keep working at it.

Darn it!

Monday, March 03, 2014

Red Shed, Cold March

I'm not sure this qualifies as a bran, a shed, a work-shop, or what.  But it's noy a farm, so I'll drop barn.  I'll go with shed, unless somebody complains.

Just a little something taken during my COLD walk yesterday...  Playing around with effects in Photoshop Elements.  Below is the cropped, but unfiltered version:

Casimir Pulaski Restored

Today (3/3/2014) is Casimir Pulaski Day.As wikipedia puts it:  a holiday reserved in Illinois on the first Monday of every March in memory of Casimir Pulaski ... a Revolutionary War cavalry officer born in Poland ...and known as "the father of the American cavalry".

A holiday NORMALLY reserved in Illinois, that is.  With all of the bad weather this year, the local school districts have exhausted their snow day reserves.  The grand idea was to cancel the Polaski holiday (as well as a Teacher's Institute Day) to make up some of the shortage.

A Grand Plan, except that it snowed over the weekend.  And 4 degrees this morning with wind chills in the minus-double digits.  So no school after all!

Sunday, March 02, 2014

In Like A Lion....

They say that March comes in like a lion, and goes out like a lamb.  Well, this year, I think they're at least 1/2 right...  We'll have to see about going out.

On the plus side, they were calling for significant freezing rain, followed by upwards of 6" of snow.  That hasn't (so far at least) materialized.  On the other hand, it's 12 degrees with 7 mph wind, and they're still saying it might snow more...  And the low tonight is expected to be 5 degrees, with wind chills nearing -20.

I'm officially tired of it, and ready for spring.  All in good time, I suppose.


What 'd'ya think?  BOOORING?   or Subtly sublime?

This small stand of trees is NOT in the deep woods, although that's kind of what I was hoping to imply.   There's an interstate about 0.1 mile deep into the photo, and a major thoroughfare about 0.1 mile to the right.  And suburbia all around.

Anyway, I've always liked this little burst of woods (which is not far from my home).  In fact, this image was taken when walking the dogs yesterday...

Saturday, March 01, 2014

Who's 70? Roger Daltry!

Roger, lead singer of The Who, is 70 today, 3/1/2014.

I'm a big fan of the Who, though I've only had the opportunity to see them once.

A sampling of great Who songs...