Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Lightning Scares Locals

Yesterday I caught lightning with a camera for the third time. It's not spectacular but there it is. Maybe someday I'll photograph a tornado. Or a ghost. Or a ghost tornado piloted by Elvis.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Valle Crucis Dandelions

Back in May e were in the mountains for a graduation. We stopped by Valley Crucis Communty Park on the day we left. It was a beautiful day in one of the most beautiful spots in the world. There were dandelions.

A field of dandelions









Tuesday, July 08, 2014

Best Joke about Germany's Blowout of Brazil

The secret to a good Nazi joke is not to say the word "Nazi."



Ricky Gervais sent out this one. Nice.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Flying Motorcycles

Another sight I saw at Darlington during race weekend was dirt bikes jumping high in the air. The Monster Energy drink company had a truck set up with a ramp at each end. Daredevils on motorcycles were jumping the bikes up and over the truck. they must have been getting a good thirty feet in the air. As they soared over the truck they did tricks. The usual tricks you see during X-Games types of competition. What impressed me was how casually these riders were going about their business. There were probably about five of them and each rider would rev his cycle up, pop up the steep ramp, do a quick trick and land smoothly on the opposite ramp. Over and over for about 20 minutes. No one wiped out, not even close. They made something amazing look ordinary and easy. It was initially thrilling and then ordinary and then even more thrilling when you thought about it.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Warrior Cops

I saw this monstrosity on display while at the Southern 500 at Darlington in April. The militarization of our police is getting out of hand.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Mountain Panorama

Coming back from celebrating a graduation with Melanie's family we got stuck in a construction delay for a few minutes. It gave me time to take this panorama. This is just at the beginning of the down slope outside of Blowing Rock, NC. There is some serious widening going on here. It needs it. This spot can be tricky with the old two lane road. This is a continuation of major work done on 321 over the last several years.

Saturday, May 03, 2014

A Panorama of Freedom Park

I went for a bike ride on the greenway Thursday. The ride took me through Freedom Park and I took this panorama from my favorite spot.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Park Road Park

Right down the street from us is the oddly named Park Road Park. Mainly because the road was called Park Road before the park was put in. The Department of Redundancy Department put as little effort as possible into coming up with a name for the park. Still, it's a nice park. It has a pond with turtles, as you may have seen in an earlier post. Below is a picture I took today while we were turtle stalking.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Race and Cliven Bundy

Most likely you are familiar with Cliven Bundy and his views on race. Just is case you're not here are his comments on "the negro" from the New York Times article.

"I want to tell you one more thing I know about the Negro,” he said. Mr. Bundy recalled driving past a public-housing project in North Las Vegas, “and in front of that government house the door was usually open and the older people and the kids — and there is always at least a half a dozen people sitting on the porch — they didn’t have nothing to do.

I want to tell you one more thing I know about the Negro,” he said. Mr. Bundy recalled driving past a public-housing project in North Las Vegas, “and in front of that government house the door was usually open and the older people and the kids — and there is always at least a half a dozen people sitting on the porch — they didn’t have nothing to do. They didn’t have nothing for their kids to do. They didn’t have nothing for their young girls to do.

“And because they were basically on government subsidy, so now what do they do?” he asked. “They abort their young children, they put their young men in jail, because they never learned how to pick cotton. And I’ve often wondered, are they better off as slaves, picking cotton and having a family life and doing things, or are they better off under government subsidy? They didn’t get no more freedom. They got less freedom.”


Yeah, ill informed and just plain wrong. Racist, if you will.

But today Talking Points Memo has a story about comments he made about Mexicans and the comments are surprisingly sympathetic. He said,

"I understand that they come over here against our Constitution and cross our borders," he says. "But they're here and they're people. I worked side-by-side a lot of them. Don't tell me they don't work, and don't tell me they don't pay taxes. And don't tell me they don't have better family structures than most of us white people.

When you see those Mexican families, they're together. They picnic together. They're spending their time together," he said. "I'll tell you, in my way of thinking, they're awful nice people. We need to have those people join us and be with us.
"

You really couldn't ask for a better example of how prejudice works when you look at these two statements. His take on African Americans is solely based on driving through a neighborhood in North Las Vegas. He witnesses life in a lower income area in the city. He sees people loitering, which you often do in a depressed neighborhood. He makes incorrect assumptions because he has no real knowledge of what life is like for the people in this neighborhood he is hurrying through. To him they aren't people, to him they are a problem that needs a solution and his solution comes from ignorance.

His take on Mexican immigrants is a complete 180. He sees them as human and sympathizes with their situation. Why? Because he works, eats and lives with them. They become more than a problem created by the 24 hour news cycle.

It's such a simple lesson here, so obvious. What is unfortunate is that these disconnects like he displays with his backwards ideas about African Americans are probably getting worse overall in our country. Our cities are more divided between the haves and have nots than they have been in a long time. There is a push to re-segregate schools and a move away from affirmative action. As we get further apart attitudes like Clive Bundy's will only become more common.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Turtles and Great Blue Heron at the Park

In the last couple of weeks we have noticed that the pond at Park Road Park is chock full of turtles. I think they are painted turtles. The other day we saw about thirty, honest. Thirty turtles. How about a few pictures?







There is also a beautiful blue heron that hangs out at the pond sometimes. Its wingspan was a good five to six feet.