Thursday, June 30, 2011

The Okinawan Sky

One thing about Okinawa that keeps coming back to me is the clouds. Being on Okinawa is like being in the middle of the ocean. I may be wrong but Okinawa has to be too small to really effect the clouds so what I saw was like floating in the middle of the ocean. It mesmerized me. Essentially, all day, almost every day, low cumulus would pass over and pile up over the island. I've never seen anything like it anywhere else. Well, you know, it's not like I am a globetrotter or anything but I know what I like. Here's a few recent shots from around Okinawa showcasing the clouds.

Crazy clouds after the typhoon [Explore]

This one is my favorite


This guy Le Monde Bleu has a bunch of nice photos.
Furuzamami beach

Okinawa, Japon

A sunset by Ralph Doria. Okinawan sunsets were out of this world.
A little too warm a little too cold.

This is me enjoying a sunset around 1988 in Okinawa.
Sunset Ed

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Mackinac and the Father Marquette Statue

I recently purchased a set of Michigan vacation slides from 1966. I came across a nice shot of Fort Mackinac and the Father Marquette statue. I went of Flickr to see if I could find a recent shot from a similar angle. I couldn't find an exact match but I came close.

Fort Mackinac & Father Marquette Statue 1966

Wide Angle of Fort Mackinac

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Getting Old in Sports

I've been thinking a lot about this New York Times article about Derek Jeter and the aging athlete. I was especially struck about a comment he made about Willie Mays. Mays' late care is often seen through the, as the writer put it, his "sad last years with (the New York) Mets." Mays really did have an pretty effective post 30 career. For players 30 and over he is sixth all time in total home runs (third if you don't count steroid ridden monsters). But if you look at achievements you really can see that once even baseball players hit 30 their truly great years are mostly behind them and at 35 you are over the hill unless, of course, you are a steroid ridden monster.

Ty Cobb won the American League batting title eleven times. His last was in 1919 when he was 32. In 1922 he did bat .401 and came second to the 29 year old George Sisler who batted .420. Yeah, Ty Cobb hit .401 the year he turned 35. That's just ridiculous.

Cobb never stole more than 50 bases the year after he stole 55 in 1917, the year he turned 30.

Reggie Jackson was really durable. I had no idea he played 132 games in 1986, the year he turned 40. He was strickly a DH and had the best year of his career for percentage of atbats that produced walks, 17.8%. This was his fifth and final year with the California Angels and he he also had his lowest strikeout percentage at 22.2% since he left the Yankees in 1981.

Detroit Tigers shortstop Alan Trammell had his caereer year at 29 in 1987 when he had 207 hits and batted .343 After the age of 35 he never played more than 76 games in his final three years.

Hall of Famer Ernie Banks, who hit 512 homeruns, didn't lead his league in any offensive category after he entered his 30s.

After the age of 32 the only offensive category Willie McCovey led the National League in was intentional walks when he was 35 in 1973.

Jim Thome is playing right now at the age of 40. The last year he hit more than 40 homeruns and had more than 100 RBIs was in 2006 when he was 35.

The last year Craig Biggio led the National League in doubles was in 1999 when he was 33 years old.

Brooks Robinson had 100 RBIs twice in his career. Both of those seasons were when he was in his 20s.

With all these numbers out there I'm surprised the Yankees didn't bargain harder with Derek Jeter. He's 37, he's never going to his .300 again and he'll never have another season where he'll score 100 runs. That he hit .334 and had 212 hits in 2006 at the age of 35 is pretty impressive but from now on he'll be average at best.

Friday, June 24, 2011

S.S. Vacationland

I finished up the first batch of slides I purchased off eBay last year. A nice surprise was one of the first I scanned in today. It's a picture of several beautiful old cars lined up to catch a ferry across the straits of Mackinac in northern Michigan in 1952. The Mackinac Bridge didn't open until 1957 so in 1952 if you wanted to get from Michigan's lower peninsula to the upper peninsula you had to drive your car onto a big boat. It also looks like you had to wait in line for a while. The Ferry is the S.S. Vacationland.
093 S.S. Vacationland

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Fancy a Bit of Rock and Roll?

Last night at the Visulite (one of my favorite venues) I went and saw Dave Alvin and his band The Guilty Ones. It was Dave playing the rock and roll show so, naturally, it was totally awesome. He's become one of my favorite artists over the years. His output since his 1994 album King of California has been at the varsity level. He played four songs off his new album and they were all well received. I'm pretty sure I wasn't the only one there last night that had listened to the streaming version of it online.

Two of the songs from the new album were about two of his recently departed friends/collaborators. Black Rose of Texas which he wrote about Amy Farris was slow and sweet and Run Conejo Run about his best friend, Chris Gaffney was furious. The slide guitar by Chris Miller on Black Rose of Texas was amazing. I'm not sure what he did but, I swear, I thought I heard voices.

The biggest surprise of the evening was the drummer, Lisa Pankratz, who is a total bad ass. Incredible drummer. Dave even called her his favorite drummer to play with. I would love to see her play again.

I took a few pictures. I was more into watching the show that popping off a few hundred pictures. It's harder for me to photograph live shows now because EVERYBODY is now photographing shows. The only negative last night was the two loudmouths standing to the left of the stage who talked loudly almost the whole evening. Even during Black Rose of Texas. I remember thinking at the end of the song, "Why are you applauding? You didn't hear the song."

Dave in his classic bent knee pose
Dave Alvin in Charlotte, NC

Dave telling a joke
Dave Alvin

Chris Miller
Chris Miller

The Bad Ass Lisa Pankratz
Lisa Pankratz

Saturday, June 11, 2011


I sent Michael a chat message telling him to view my Call of Duty: Black Ops blind grenade double kill, which you can view below. He replied, "See your double and raise you a triple" and he linked to the second video below. Bastard.

My video

Bastard Michael's video

Friday, June 10, 2011

The Book Sale

One of the little perks of working at the library is book donations. People will donate just about any book to their local library. Most donations are your standard popular fiction. Those types of donations we stick immediately on our book sale shelves. Another large section of donations is old books covered in mold which we immediately put in our recycling dumpster. It's still shocking after all these years at the library to see some of the absolute garbage people think we could use. A PC user manual from the early 90s? No thanks! A box of moldy fiction that was popular in 1973? No, thank you! Part of it, I think is that people cannot admit their book collection is worthless. You know, sometimes it is. I'm sure when I die and my large collection of Robert Heinlein paperbacks shows up at some library a worker there will look at that box and say, "WTF?"

Sometimes you come across a nice little find though. The other day I noticed a book printed in 1944 called "Battle Report: Pearl Harbor to Coral Sea." Its pages have browned over the years and it's falling apart but, as I was flipping through it, I saw a note accompanied by a drawing on the front page. It's a message from someone named Walter to Charlie and Margaret Tompkins. Walter is thanking Charlie for being instrumental in getting him into the navy. Upon closer reading I noticed that writer of the note is Walter Karig, one of the authors of the book. So, I took it home and scanned it. It's one of those slices of Americana that I love.


Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Fun with the Photobooth

At Robin and Walker's wedding reception there was a phone booth. It was pretty popular with the guests. Each group that went in would pose for four pictures. After a short wait the four pictures would print. From what I understand, the happy couple will get to see the photos also. Cool idea. Melanie and I hard a lot of fun posing. Sunday I scanned in our small copies of the photos. I think I look a little too much like John Goodman in The Big Lebowski.





Sunday, June 05, 2011

The Georgia Peach

While watching the sitcom Mike & Molly a few weeks ago something caught my eye. Mike and his partner were sitting in that restaurant that gives them free food when to the right of Mike's head I saw a photograph of Ty Cobb. It has to be this photo which is a shot of a very young Ty Cobb. Possibly taken during his first season in 1905. Funny how something like that will jump out at you.