Wednesday, March 31, 2010
Yesterday on Facebook the One Big Loud Guy told me he found a photograph I took of R.L. Burnside in 1998 on someone's blog. It's one of my favorites of the pictures I have taken and I think the blogger found the picture on the Wikipedia entry about R.L. I realized that I hadn't ever scanned the negative of this photograph, only the print. Last night I scanned the negative and it do look better.
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
Monday, March 29, 2010
We've seen it a hundred times but it never gets not funny.
Yesterday some big thunderstorms blew through the area and we had a rare tornado watch. Most of the severe action was north of us. We had some heavy rain and some nice thunder but no heavy winds. The video below was posted on the website of our local newspaper. It was shot about fifty miles northeast of Charlotte.
Sunday, March 28, 2010
There was a Teabagger event this weekend. One of the signs is below. Until this crap stops I will not listen to a thing these whack jobs say. Portraying the president of your country as some kind of cross between the Joker and Hitler? You want to be taken seriously? George W. Bush had to start a war and be personally responsible for thousands of deaths before the most extreme of the left made Hitler comparisons. What does Obama do? Attempt to fix a broken health care system and now he's Hitler? It's insane.
Only in Southpark will you see a group of middle aged men gathered around a new Chevrolet supercharged muscle car owned by Rick Flair. Melanie and I rode our bikes to the Harris Teeter today to get some bacon and after we locked our bikes up on a light post (still no bike rack at the Morrocroft Harris Teeter) we saw a beautiful Chevrolet supercharged Camaro being shown off to a group of guys by some guy in his late fifties or early sixties. He turned it over and it made that awesome "woom" noise only an American muscle car makes when it fires up. As it idled that car was humming beautifully and he popped open the hood. We walked over and ooo'ed and ah'ed with the rest of them and he smiled like he was showing off his new baby. I heard a passerby shout out "Nice car, Rick" and I realized this was Rick Flair. Kinda cool, I thought. He closed the hood and shut the car off and Melanie and I walked inside the store and he went to get some coffee at Starbucks. We caught him driving off after we got our bacon. I then remembered I had my camera in my backpack and popped off a few shots of this beautiful car. I'll have to ask Glenn the Car Guy to tell me for sure whether that car is a Camaro. It has to be, I can't think of what else it would be. He'll know. He'll probably poop himself when he sees the pictures.
Saturday, March 27, 2010
A ship heading into Suttons Bay
We don't go to races just for wrecks but that doesn't mean we don't enjoy them (some people set their Flckr accounts up so that they block embedding. I don't know why. Don't they post to Flickr in order share their photographs with the world?)
Another ancient place I had never heard of until recently, the Castle of Belogradchik.
Taken, I think at Sherman Park in Sault Ste. Marie, MI.
Managers Miller Huggins, St. Louis NL, and John McGraw, New York NL, with umpire William T. "Bill" Brennan, 1913
The world famous Cedar Tavern in Cedar, MI.
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
Yesterday I went out to the Charlotte Motor Speedway to watch NASCAR test the new spoiler. I was unaware of the test until all the people in my Twitter NASCAR list started talking about it. I got out to the track around three and stayed for an hour.
There was a small crowd so I was able to park in the lot right in front of the track's main entrance. One of my favorite sounds is what you hear when you are outside the Charlotte Motor Speedway and you can hear individual cars going around the track. You can hear the engines rev up and slow down as they leave and enter the corners and there is a reverb to sound unlike any other. It's impossible to not start walking faster as you get closer to the track entrance.
As far as removing that wing and putting the spoiler back on: hooray! The cars look like race cars again, not something a teenager would drive to impress girls. I never did cotton to the wing because of how it looked and because it made the cars more susceptible to going airborne during a spin. So good riddance. Even the drivers prefer the spoiler over the wing.
They will be testing today from 10-3 and the grandstands are open to the public and it's free to get in. No charge to watch cars go 190 mph. You can't beat that.
I took a few pictures while I was there.
Here is why we were all there. A spoiler on the back of a stock car, just as God intended.
Juan Pablo Montoya
Mark Martin. I'm really happy with this picture. It's hard to pan and capture an image this tight when your subject is going 180 mph.
Jeff Gordon. I like the black car.
I'm not sure who this is going into turn 1 but I like it.
I tried this shot about ten times and three were not of an empty track.
Kyle Busch approaching the start/finish line on the front stretch.
Friday, March 19, 2010
Monday, March 15, 2010
I remember thinking while watching Band of Brothers in 2001 with Wendell how wonderful it would be if the same group of people did a miniseries about the Pacific Theater of World War II. Sunday night HBO aired part one of the miniseries I was waiting for. Overall, like Band of Brothers, it looked great, had a strong script, amazing costuming, raw battles scenes and actors that were cast perfectly. The only thing I didn't like was that during climatic battle at Alligator Creek on Guadalcanal I wasn't given a good sense of where the action was taking place and why. Why were the Marines at Alligator Creek and why did the Japanese attack the way they did? All of those questions can be answered here but a little more context in the episode would have helped. That was the strength of Saving Private Ryan and Band of Brothers, they both laid out nicely what exactly was being fought over and why. A fine example of that is the Brecourt Manor Assault in episode two of Band of Brothers. They even went so far as to draw you a map of their objective. When the fight started you knew what was going on. It was still chaotic but it was more than just a shaky camera and machine gun fire. Melanie thinks that in the first episode of Pacific they were showing us how confusing Guadalcanal was to the average Marine. That may be so. I'm just curious as to how the portray the Battle of Edson's Ridge.
What did blow me away was the opening credits. The sketches coming to life took me completely by surprise. Another nice subtle touch is the crumbling point of the pencil is the same color as the sands of Iwo Jima.
Sunday, March 14, 2010
One of my coworkers, Alex Clark, is an amazing artist and he now has a blog on Tumblr where he will post his sketches and final art. You can view it here.
Last night Mel and I went to Snug Harbor to see a friend's band. As usual we missed his band. We seem to miss his performances a lot. We either get there to late or he ends up playing late. Last night his band was going on last and we left during the second band's set. We did get to see Human Pippi Armstrong though. He was great. A big weird guy with a bunch of electronics and whacked out songs. How could you go wrong?
Saturday, March 13, 2010
I've always loved posters, in particular posters of my favorite rock stars. Like every high school kid I had posters in my room. I wish I still had this wicked Jimi Hendrix poster I had back then. Back at the old apartment that I shared at different times with Chris and Wendell I covered my bedroom wall with rock and roll posters. My favorite poster was a promotional poster for the Butthole Surfers. It had a three-eyed puppy on it. By the way, the favorite rock t-shirt I ever owned was a Butthole Surfers t-shirt. It had a cartoon airplane with a smiley face dropping bombs on people. I loved it. I wore it to the dune climb back in 1999 and received a nice compliment on the shirt.
One thing that has always irked me about rock and roll posters is that almost every poster has the name of the band on the poster in large lettering. The poster I linked to just came in the mail today and I tacked it to the wall in my office a few minutes ago. I understand small lettering in the corner that informs you that a picture of a particular artist is copyrighted and yada yada yada. I can deal with that because it doesn't interfere with the picture. But really, if I go to the trouble of buying a poster don't they think I know who the hell it is in the picture? Is this poster going to be delivered to my front stoop three days after I order it and I'm going to forget what the Beatles look like? At least the lettering isn't like this poster. A minor quibble, sure, I may not know much about art but I know what I like.
That is why I snatched this Jimi Hendrix poster up right away when I first saw it at the website All Posters (a great website). Does anyone in the world not know who is the guitar player in this photograph? Do we need a subtitles? Hell no, it's Jimi and we know it. We need more rock posters like that one.
There is one exception to this, the promotional poster. This poster was produced to promote Neil Young's 1991 album, Weld. Naturally it will have the artist's name and the album's title on the poster. That's pretty cool because it has the same design as the album artwork. It's a complimentary piece. I guess whenever I commission a poster for myself I'll have to put my name on it because no one knows who in the hell I am. I already have have a design courtesy of this sumbitch so now all I need is an album and a tour.
Friday, March 12, 2010
I'm not surprised by the hoopla over the sexual exploits of Tiger Woods. This is the United States, after all, and we love us a pointless sex scandal. Each time it happens I just try to ignore it. Unless, of course, the story is about a male Republican politician caught in a gay sex scandal. That's different, that's hilarious. Chris, John and I discussed the other night whether or not Tiger Woods would be back this season. We all agreed that there was no way Tiger would miss the Masters. Looks like we were right. That's not really that hard of a call. The only goal Tiger Woods has left in golf is beating Jack Nicklaus' record for wins at Majors. Tiger just turned 34 and he knows he's only got so many shots at wins at majors since there's only four of those events each year.
I'm surprised that he appears to be making his comeback at Augusta. If that is going to be his first competitive golf of the year there is no way he'll compete for the win. He'll probably struggle to merely play on the weekend. John thought he would play at the Arnold Palmer Invitational since it's two weeks before the Masters and held near where Tiger lives. Not coming back before the Masters will be a mistake. I can only think he wants to return at the Masters because those that run that tournament don't allow the media to take the place over. The tournament comes first and then we'll see about accommodating the media.
I'll be glad when his return finally happens so the rest of the world can get beyond his personal life and we can concentrate on what's important, his decades long competition to unseat Jack Nicklaus as the greatest golfer ever. Because if he doesn't break Nicklaus' record he will never be number one and that's all Tiger wants.
Randy: "There’s too much money in the sport today, no one’s hungry. When I was coming up, we needed every dollar we could get. If you were running sixth, and thought you could move up to fifth, you’d go for it because you needed the money. If you had to move someone, that’s what you did. Now all the drivers are too good a friends. They all live together on Lake Norman. They park together in the Motor Home Lot every week. No one wants’ to make waves, or make anyone mad."
Thursday, March 11, 2010
I have been fascinated at how the vegetation on land my Dad owns in Antrim County, MI has grown since he and my Mom bought it back in the early 60s. I took this shot in February when I was up there visiting. It's a two-picture panorama of his back yard.
This is a view a bit more from the left but of most of the same land. This was taken around 1965.
This picture from 1968 of me in my stroller shows a very similar angle to the picture I took. The small tree in the foreground is about where the playhouse is now.
At some point I stopped writing long entries for the blog. I blame Facebook. Facebook is killing a lot of personal blogs. Not mine, says I! I am going to keep this baby running. I started this blog several years ago so I would get in the habit of writing on a regular basis. For several years it worked and then that damn Facebook with it's status updates set me back a bit.
That prom thing
I read the story about the prom cancellation in Mississippi. I'm most impressed by this young lady's willingness to be openly gay in rural Mississippi. I mean, look at where she lives! 40 years ago she would have either fled the area by now or been forced to marry the violent redneck next door. It is sad that her school district took the easy way out but it is also amazing they are having this discussion in rural Mississippi. A state R.L. Burnside like to joke that had "two eyes and can't see."
Jake Delhomme visiting Browns and the Saints
I see that Jake Delhomme is not thinking retirement. Good for him. I would love to Jake start in Cleveland and do well. In fact, I'd love to see him pull a miracle and take that team and turn it around. I've been begging for him to lose his starting job here for a couple of years now but that's because he was ineffective. No one would be happier than me if a change of team turned his career back around. A successful and confident Jake Delhomme at the helm of a winning football team would be a win/win for him, the league and the team.
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
Originally uploaded by zzazazz
I met these two yahoos out for a few beers last night. We met at Duckworth's a bar I hadn't been to before. It was nice, they had Highland Gaelic Ale on tap. Any bar that has Gaelic on tap will be given a second chance by me. Since Chris (yahoo on the right) smokes we had to hang outside. That was cool, it was nice out last night. It was also fortunate because the two yahoos had a shouting match over Jesus. All in good fun, they took a break from the shoutin' to pose for this. I've never heard so many F-bombs during a religious argument. Yahoo on the left is Christian and yahoo on the right is an atheist. Why even have that conversation? Each one is very firm in their philosophy. And drunk. Very, very drunk. They started in the afternoon while playing golf and were still going strong when I arrived at 2145. At one point a couple of guys came out to smoke and asked the yahoos if they were still talking about religion. This conversation must have been going on for hours before I got there. Yikes.
Tuesday, March 09, 2010
Monday, March 08, 2010
Initially after Carl Edwards wrecked Keselowski I was pissed off. That was a dangerous wreck. I still say you should save crap like that for the smaller arenas but this article changed my mind a bit. As this guy likes to point out racing is more fun when the drivers duke it out a little bit. It was high speed bumper cars and flying fists that first brought NASCAR national attention so why not let it be? If this keeps up you might not want to sit on the first ten rows at a NASCAR race because you might get a lug nut in your eye. Once they lose that wing cars should be less likely to go airborne and everyone will be a little safer when a car gets turned around.
Kyle Petty just tweeted about the situation. He says Carl should be sat down for a week.
Friday, March 05, 2010
by Elizabeth Bishop (I love this poem)
At low tide like this how sheer the water is.
White, crumbling ribs of marl protrude and glare
and the boats are dry, the pilings dry as matches.
Absorbing, rather than being absorbed,
the water in the bight doesn't wet anything,
the color of the gas flame turned as low as possible.
One can smell it turning to gas; if one were Baudelaire
one could probably hear it turning to marimba music.
The little ocher dredge at work off the end of the dock
already plays the dry perfectly off-beat claves.
The birds are outsize. Pelicans crash
into this peculiar gas unnecessarily hard,
it seems to me, like pickaxes,
rarely coming up with anything to show for it,
and going off with humorous elbowings.
Black-and-white man-of-war birds soar
on impalpable drafts
and open their tails like scissors on the curves
or tense them like wishbones, till they tremble.
The frowsy sponge boats keep coming in
with the obliging air of retrievers,
bristling with jackstraw gaffs and hooks
and decorated with bobbles of sponges.
There is a fence of chicken wire along the dock
where, glinting like little plowshares,
the blue-gray shark tails are hung up to dry
for the Chinese-restaurant trade.
Some of the little white boats are still piled up
against each other, or lie on their sides, stove in,
and not yet salvaged, if they ever will be, from the last bad storm,
like torn-open, unanswered letters.
The bight is littered with old correspondences.
Click. Click. Goes the dredge,
and brings up a dripping jawful of marl.
All the untidy activity continues,
awful but cheerful.
Wednesday, March 03, 2010
Tuesday, March 02, 2010
Monday, March 01, 2010
Check out this headline from Drudge. The obvious message is that the president drinks too much. Not only that he links to the a British tabloid for his story. I can only assume he did this because it was the most sensational story he could find. A good explanation of Drudge's tactics and the facts can be read here.