Wednesday, July 26, 2017

And The Road Goes On Forever...

Just back from a 2 week road trip, sorry for the lack of posting.  But I have lots of images to plow through. 

So, 2 weeks.  2,600+ miles across 9 states (plus miles at the various stops).  Something like this:

We visited 6 different universities, and Cape Cod.  Family and friends, and a quick stop in the town where my family lived 100+ years ago.  A good week.  A busy a week.  But a tiring week.

To start the images, here's a shot of the beach in Chatham, Mass, on Cape Cod.  A humble panorama from my iPhone:

 I rather like this, although there's a funny spot where the panning struggled with the wave action.  I probably shouldn't have pointed that out, huh?

And for giggles, a version tweaked using "Brushstroke" on my iPad:

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

On The Road Again...

"The ant is knowing and wise, but he doesn't know enough to take a vacation."

- Clarence Day

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Monday, July 10, 2017

Sunset - Watershed Nature Center

Despite the 99 degree heat index, I decided to wander by Watershed Nature Center this evening...  It was worth it!

Sunday, July 09, 2017


I just posted a "Throwback" yesterday, but I'm doing it again.  Because I want to.

The backstory:  This morning, I was trying to pick a good throwback image for my 365project site.  Well, my wife and son just recently passed through WV,  which has had me in a bit of a mountain mood. So I dug back and found this one from late June 2006:

Which fits my mood quite nicely.  And meshes well with the Johnny Staats music that's playing as I type this.

All of which leads to my next delimma...  I don't rememeber exactly where this image was taken.  We had visited Milligan College earlier in the day (which my younger daughter was considering).  That's outside Johnson City TN.  We ended the day in Asheville, NC.  Google maps says it's just over an hour drive on the interstate.  But we didn't take the interstate...  or at least not the whole way. Looking at photo time tags, this spot was 2 hours later than the last photo at Milligan.

BUt, with a little digging, and the wonders of the internet, I was able to figure it out.  The key was this photo, taken just 1/2 hour earlier:

google image search identifies that as Flat Top Manor,  along the Blue Ridge Parkway (Near Blowing Rock, NC). And about 40 minutes after the mountain photo, there's some images from Linville Falls area:

Now, google tells me that the drive from Flat Top Manor (Moses Cone Memorial Park) to Linville Falls is 39 minutes.  So that all fits.  Last bit:  The key photo was take 12 minutes before an image of Grandfather Mountain, presumably taken from the Grandfather Mountain Overlook...

SO:  I'm satisfied that the mountains photo is taken from the Green Mountain Overlook.  Or very close to it.

NOW, you make think all of that digging was silly.  And pointless.  But it makes me happy to know.  Now I should add a tag to the photo, so that I don't have to do the same process in another 10 years!

Saturday, July 08, 2017

Near Hardin, IL

I've been doing a "throwback" project over at 365project.  Sometimes with backstory, sometimes not,  but today's post has a story, and one I figured to share here:

Today's throwback comes with a bit of a story, Hope you don't mind. But this humble image is a "moment" in my photographic journey.

I took up photography in early high school, back in the mid 1970's. And over the next 15 years or so, I was pretty active, mostly black and white, and mostly developed / printed myself. But as life evolved ("real" job, wife, house, kid#1, kid#2), I started slipping toward "snaphot" photography. And when we moved to the midwest in 1989, my darkroom never came out of the box. Fast forward to a cold January Saturday in 1996, and we decided to go eagle watching ip the Mississippi River. Since we only had 1 set of binoculars, I dug up my SLR and zoom lens. Not even thinking photos, just another way to eagle watch. But I did drop a roll of film in.

And during the course of our explorations (and we did see lots of bald eagles), we passed this old barn. And something clicked. I pulled to the side of teh road, left my wife and kids in the car, and hurried back to take a couple of pictures. And that broke the dam, and started the renewal of my passion.

So this one is special to me. I looked at Google-Earth and Google maps, and was able to find the spot. And the barn is still there. The raod in the background is Degerlia Hollow Road, so I summpose this is Degerlia Hollow...

This was taken with my (long since retired) Nikon FM2, and scanned from a 4x6 print. 
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Ypu can check out the whole Throwback album here:

Wednesday, June 21, 2017


According to Google, it is 592 miles to drive from my home in the St. Louis suburbs (east side, Illinois) to my brother's home in the Pittsburgh suburbs (north of town)...

As of today, I have walked over 592 miles in 2017. 

I know, "big whoop", "so what?", and all that.  But I still think it is kind of cool.  I'm averaging just under 3.3 miles per day, on pace for over 1250 miles for the year.

And in the overall scheme of things, that's far from impressive.  But as an older guy, working a desk job?  Well, it's way better than the past few years.

 And, a walking photo, just because:

Friday, June 16, 2017


In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks.

John Muir

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Friday, June 02, 2017


"Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects."

- Will Rogers

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Thursday, June 01, 2017

Sunday, May 28, 2017

R.I.P. Gregg Allman

In case you missed it, new broke yesterday that Gregg Allman has passed away (at 69).  Sad news...

In his honor, I made a playlist.  Allman Brothers Band songs written buy Gregg Allman.  Gregg and Dickey Betts were the 2 main songwriters of the 70's vintage Allman Brothers, and they did a lot of blues covers.  So, here's the songs written by Gregg Allman over their first decade.  Listed alphabetically, just for fun.
  • Ain't Wastin' Time No More
  • Black Hearted Woman
  • Come And Go Blues
  • Don't Keep Me Wonderin'
  • Dreams
  • Every Hungry Woman
  • It's Not My Cross to Bear
  • Just Ain't Easy
  • Leave My Blues at Home
  • Melissa
  • Midnight Rider
  • Neverltheless
  • Please Call Home
  • Stand Back
  • Wasted Words
  • Whipping Post
  • Win Lose Or Draw
My actual playlist inclueds some stuff from the 80's, as well as a couple of his solo songs.

Here it is as a Spotify playlist

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

The Day The Music Died...

As Don McLean sang:

But February made me shiver
With every paper I'd deliver
Bad news on the doorstep
I couldn't take one more step
I can't remember if I cried
When I read about his widowed bride
Something touched me deep inside
The day the music died
This, of course refers to the plane crash on Feb. 3 1959, which killed Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and The Big Bopper
So, ever the wonderer, I've pondered the impact on the young rock and roll industry...  Did the music "die" that cold day?  Waiting to be resurrected by Beatlemania?  What empirical evidence could I find?  

Well, how about the Rolling Stone list of Top 500 Songs in Rock?  Granted, we can find lots of flaws with any list, but I'm running with it.

If I take that list, and sort by release date, what do I see?

 The dots represent how many songs (per year) were recognized among the Top 500 of all time.  The dashed line is a 4 year rolling average.  The red line is at the front end of 1959, represnting the plane crash.  the green line is 1963, when the Beatles first hit the US charts.

The numbers certainly seem to support the premise.  There is a clear and dramatic dip during the 4-5 year period between the deaths of Holly/Valens/Richardson and the appearance of the Beatles.

Aside:  The Beatles are used as the benchmark, but one should not overlook the impact of Motown in that 1963 through 1966 spike.  Or the whole British Invasion.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Springtime On Campus

Way behind on posting.  Life is being "like that"...

This is from last month, our visit to the campus of Vanderbilt University.  Obviously, there's a lot of OTSOOI (post processing) going on....  But I like how it turned out.


"The scientists of today think deeply instead of clearly. One must be sane to think clearly, but one can think deeply and be quite insane"

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Friday, May 12, 2017

Halls Of Learning

Hanging out on a Friday evening...  digging on some tunes (Little Feat via Amazon Music), sipping a beer (Boulevard Brewing's Spicy Rye Ale), and trying to process a photo or two.  It's been a dramatic dry spell on the photo front.not taking many, and not finishing those.  Been busy at work and home, had a few health "things"...blah blah blah.  Hopefully I can get rolling again.

So, heres a little something from last month's college visits w/ my son.  This is at Purdue.  Taken w/ my iPhone...  Not bad, at least IMHO.  

I suppose in B&W I should've posted at Happenstance....  but I chose here.

Thursday, May 04, 2017

The Best Years Of Rock

What was the best time for rock music?

Well, I’m sure that there’s a hundred (or more) answers, depending on how you define “best”.  I’d tend to say the span from the late 60’s through the early 70’s,..  But, speaking as an engineer, what’s a more “technical” answer?

Let’s look at the Rolling Stone list of 500 greatest albums.  The original, 2003, edition.  Now look at a sliding window of time, and count the number of recognized albums.....  I chose a 7 year window, because that gives a pretty clear answer:

The blue dots are the number of albums from each year.  The green line is the 7 year average, looking at the 7 years up to the noted year.

You can see a very dramatic peak in 1973.  In other words, the 7 year window from 1967 through 1973.  It's equally clear if you look at the individual years.  Each year from 1967 through 1973 is solidly above all of the other years:

 This time window provided 189 of the Top 500 albums, 37.8% of the list. I won't list all of them in this post (but look for a post per year over the next few weeks).  Meanwhile, here's the top ranked album for each of the years:

  • 1967  -  Beatles – Sargent Pepper’s …    - #1
  • 1968  -  Beatles – White Album     - #10
  • 1969  -  Beatles – Abbey Road    - - #14
  • 1970  -  John Lennon – Plastic Ono Band    -  # 23
  • 1971  -  Marvin Gaye – What’s Going On    - #6
  • 1972  -  Rolling Stones – Exile On Main Street    - #7
  • 1973  -  Stevie Wonder – Innervisions     - #24

 So, what do YOU say?  What time frame to you think was the best?  And what's your criteria?