Thursday, August 31, 2017


So...  not quite two weeks ago, I posted that I had walked 791 miles in 2017, about equivalent to a drive from STL to Washington DC suburbs.  That's all fine and dandy, let's shift to the musical spirit that's more common here.

As of this week, I've walked the equivalent of travelling from my home to Allentown, PA.  That old steel-town that's a bit north of Philly, and only known to most people as the subject of the Billy Joel song.

Billy Joel's Allentown is from the 1982 album The Nylon Curtain.  Propelled by a music video, back when music videos were the "new thing", it reached #17 on the Billboad charts...  One of 23 Top 20 hits he released between 1977 and 1993...

 I think it has been more than 25 years since I've been to Allentown...  I've only been there on business, don't really have strong opinion one way or the other.....  But I was never a huge fan of the song.  I guess the comparatively upbeat music clashing with the quite depressing lyrics...  But I've warmed to it over the subsequent years.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017


a little something from a Saturday morning walk to the Greenspace North Park in Glen Carbon, IL.   These thistles were attracting lots of butterflies, but they wouldn't tolerate me getting anyplace close. So I took it a different direction.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

The Point

Just one of those little moments I tend to notice.  Walking back to our car from Soulard Farmer's Market, along the sidewalk by Soulard Park.... That's the spire for Trinity Lutheran Church. 

I liked the parallel of the steeple vs the fleur-de-lis patterns on the fence...  framed by the overhanging trees.   But I suppse it is like a joke, if you have to explain it, it didn't work.  Whatever, I rather like it.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Soulard Farmer's Market

So...  We moved to the St. Louis area in 1989.  We didn't really have any expectation that it would be "forever", but suddenly I've live in Southwestern Illinois for almost 1/2 my life.  I guess I should probably stop complaining about it, huh?

That said, there are still a quite a few local things that we've never done.  One of which used to be the Soulard Farmer's Market.  But as of last Saturday, we can check that one off.  Soulard Farmer's Market calls themselves a St. Louis tradition for over 200 years, Here's a few images:

We're not really foodies, so not as dramatic as it might be for others, but it was cool to walk around and see all the booths and people and such.

Friday, August 18, 2017


791...  That's the driving distance from our current home (near St. Louis) to our previous home (near  Washington DC).  And, that's the distance I've walked in 2017 (as of 8/17/17, according to the step counter on my phone).

Not too bad for an old, lazy, worn out desk jockey.  But far from "ideal".    And I know y'all don't care, but tracking these kinds of things does help one stick to it.  And it gives me an excuse to do fun spreadsheets, with various graphs and trends and such!  Yee Ha!

I feel like I've kept the pace up reasonably well in the hottest part of the year, hopefully can start rocking when fall rolls in.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

And everything under the sun is in tune, but the sun is eclipsed buy the moon...

So....  in case you didn't hear, there's going to be a big solar eclipse next Monday (08/17/2017).  And it's going to pastt pretty much right over us.  The forecast is for 99.85% magnitude at my office, and 99.59% at my home.  With the peak being just a bit after 1pm.

The schools will be closed, and quite a some people are taking vacation.  Unless I change my mind at the last minute, I'll be at work.  But there is lunch-time!

I was pondering it all the other day, during a lunch time walk, and decided to see if my iPhone could handle a quick snap of the sun (pre-eclipse).  It seems to have survived. Although all the sources say we should NOT try to directly photograph the sun during the eclipse.

- - -
the post title, of course, is from Pink Floyd's song "Eclipse" from the Dark Side Of The Moon album.

Wednesday, August 09, 2017

Wind Blown

These black-eyed susans seem a bit weary from the breezes...
Taken almost a month ago, at Watershed Nature Center

Saturday, August 05, 2017

Spam Spam Spam Spam

I hate spam.  Spam phone calls especially, because... ...  well, I hate phones in general.  And everybody hates spam.

And it seems that spam calls are dramatically increasing.  Especially on my (work) cell phone.  In the past, I don't remember hardly any.  Now, it is a couple a week.  Despite the fact it is my work phone, I simply don't answer calls from unidentified numbers.  Leave a message, I'll call back immediately.

The newest trick seems to be calls that come from my area code, and my exchange..  But a different last-4.  Over the past 8 weeks, I've received 1/week.That's not counting the ones I've blocked.  They have never left a message.  Clearly not valid calls.

I mean, it must work with some people.  At least enough to justify the fact that it continues (and increases).  But GRRRRRRRRRR  it makes me mad.

Friday, August 04, 2017

Summer Day

 Yellow wildflowers, with significant tweakage.  Lunch time at St. Ellen Mine Park, not far from my work.  Straighten, crop, levels...  they typical stuff.  The key tweak is using Topaz Impression plug-in, which is a rather cool toy.  I don't remember which specific preset I used, though.

Here's the SOOC (straight out of camera) version, for comparison:

I really like the iPhone for these sort of low perspective images.  It has good depth of field and pretty wide angle (28mm effective).

Thursday, August 03, 2017


Just a little detail I saw while wandering the pier at Charleston Naval Yard (Boston).  Looking at a map I found online, this is Carpenter Shop 24....

Wednesday, August 02, 2017

Fine Used records

I was going to start this post by referencing our recent "East Cost" trip.  But suddenly, that was last month....  Anyway: 

One of the high points (for me at least) of our trip was an excursion to Jerry's Records in Pittsburgh.  An amazing place, bin after bin after bin of records, along with stacks and stacks of records and all surrounded with shelves and shelves of records.  And pretty much everything priced at $5. 

So: What did we get (between my son and I):

  • Triumvirat - Illusions On A Double Dimple.  The 1974 album from the German "Prog" band, ranks #45 on Rolling Stone's list of 50 Greatest Prog Rock Albums of All Time.  I figured this would be pretty obscure, but Jerry's had 8 copies!  Really diggin' this.
  • Alan Parson Project - Turn Of A Friendly Card  The 1980 release from the man involved in the production of Abby Road and Dark Side Of The moon.  We haven't played it yet, but only been home a week.
  • Kansas - Point Of Know Return.  Pretty well known album, we have it on digital.  But my son wanted it to frame / hang the album cover
  • Frank Sinatra - Songs For Swingin' Lovers
  • Frank Sinatra - Swing Easy (sealed, 1961 12-song release)  - My collection has been notably deficient in Sinatra.  Fixed.

It would be quite dangerous for me if this place was nearby, instead of 600 miles...

Tuesday, August 01, 2017

Derelict Dinghy

From our recent visit to Cape Cod.  I saw this sad dinghy just a few dozen yards from the cheerful one in the Boats Afloat post.  There's another take on this scene posted over at Happenstance.

In the spirit of "The best camera is the one you have with you", this was shot with my iPhone.  Because that was all I had with me at the moment.  Which was poor planning on my part.  Fortunately, the iPhone 7 has a rather good camera, so I was able to manage.

I posted both images to a critique thread over at 365project, link here if you want to read the discussion.