Friday, July 31, 2009

Living pictures

This is very cool. These photos were taken shortly after the end of WWII.

Englishman Arthur S Mole and his American colleague John D Thomas took these incredible pictures of thousands of soldiers forming icons of American history. Arthur's great nephew Joseph Mole, 70, says: "In the picture of the Statue of Liberty there are 18,000 men: 12,000 of them in the torch alone, but just 17 at the base. The men at the top of the picture are actually half a mile away from the men at the bottom"

You can see this one and several more in a larger format if you click here for the gallery.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Sweet Jesus

You know you're living in the Bible Belt, when you see this in the store...

Found this in the local Christian supply establishment. I have to say it was a disappointment. I'm actually fond of religious stores and rarely miss an opportunity to shop at a Catholic church store. I collect religous icons and they always have a great collection of cheap statuary and prayer cards and whatnot.

This store was rather dull. Lots of boring books and very little interesting merchandise. A few tshirts and magnets and some uninspired "inspirational" greeting cards. But oddly they also sold a wide variety of vitamins and herbs, which is where I found the Bible Bar. And no, at $1.79 I didn't buy one. Had a feeling they were likely to be stale.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

The Hawk

So I was sitting on the back porch and the birds starting making a ruckus. A couple of mockingbirds were all divebombing what I thought at first was one of those fake owls on a post in the neighbor's garden. Judging from the clamor, every bird in the neighborhood apparently settled into the trees to cheer them on.

I thought it odd since in my experience those fake owls are a dismal failure at scaring anything. Then it moved and I realized it was a huge, real bird. It just sat nearly immobile, ignoring the little guys attacking it. Moved its head a couple of times.

It was one of those times I wished I had a better camera so I could zoom in from a distance. I got these two crummy shots from as close as it would let me get. And they're blurry. I used the no flash feature for the first time, so I wouldn't scare him and didn't realize I had to hold the camera still. But here they are anyway. Definitely click to embiggen them to get a slightly better look.

There's no way the photos come even close to conveying his size. This guy was so big I was almost afraid to get close enough to take his picture. If he wanted to, I have a feeling he could have really hurt me. I'm pretty sure it was a hawk but I didn't get nearly close enough to make a good ID.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

A wedding in the park

Clearing out my pix from last Sunday, on my tour of the park, I ran into a wedding. I had no idea they made Hummer limos. I found it vaguely disturbing.

As always, the kids were so cute. The flower girl's mom was totally irritating though. She kept coaching her right up to the very last second, when the kid was standing at the top of the stairs and the bride was waiting behind her. I expect it ruined the pictures for the people who wanted to get a shot of the ceremony.

Couldn't get a closer shot of the wedding itself without being really rude, but this gives you a sense of what it looked like. I don't think I would have picked this place myself. It was hot and buggy. And those stairs down to the "altar" were daunting. But it was very cool that they used non-traditional music. Didn't recognize the tune.

I didn't stay for the vows but it was short. By the time I walked around the loop to the top, it was over.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Eep. Opp. Orp. Ah Ah

They don't make cartoons like this anymore.

Friday, July 24, 2009

I had a dream

I had the oddest dream the other night. I dreamt I was having a nightmare and it was really hard to wake up. But I did, for a while, and then went back to sleep and had the exact same nightmare again.

I can't remember what the nightmare was about but the second one was just as hard to wake up from. It didn't want to let me go. I mean it was physical struggle to break back into consciousness.

When I woke up the second time, I realized that I had only dreamt I had woken the first time. In other words, I was dreaming about dreaming. That's never happened to me before that I can recall.



This is too cool. 9,000 birds in one day!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Bunny Hop

A terrible photo but the little guy won't let me get closer yet. And he always shows up at almost dark. But if you click to embiggen you can sort of see my bunny there at the bottom of the shot.

Bought some carrots. Going to try to bribe him into trusting me.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Sunday at the Park

For such a small city, we have an abundance of parks. Checked out this one on Sunday afternoon. The lake is more of a small pond but the fountain is a nice touch.

I didn't go out on the gazebo but my Dad tells me you can see turtles if you look over the side. I'll go back for that and to check out the walking trails in the woods. I hiked in a little ways while I was there. The trails are paved but a bit overgrown and not well traveled. It was pretty late in the day and I didn't have my cell with me so I didn't want to go too far in alone. I did stop on the way out to check out the horseshoe pits though.

Obviously at one time, this was a major feature of the park. Looks like the sport is dying out a bit. Those four looked a little forlorn out there. Didn't feel like talking to the guys keeping score but I watched for a while. They were good. Lots of ringers.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Weird nature

The side street I take to stroll to the convenience store has mostly tidy, well landscaped homes with a wide range of interesting flora. This pine tree captured my interest. I've never seen pine cones like this.

A close up. If you click to embiggen the shot, you can see they sort of look like some kind of weird pineapple. Wondering if they'll ever sprout little wings like regular cones do.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

The old magnolia tree

Awk!! I was sure I posted this yesterday but realized this morning, that I had uploaded the photos and didn't write the post. A couple of more shots of the cemetary from my very sweaty Sunday walk last week. This is my favorite tree, at least so far. I don't normally love these magnolias. Or rather I do love them but wouldn't want to own one. They're messy trees when the leaves and pods drop. But in any event, I've never seen one as old or as gnarled as this. This is the ultimate kid's climbing tree.

Hard to get a good shot to render the sheer size of it with my cheezy camera but this will give you a sense of it. I've never seen another that spreads so wide.

Hope it cooler tomorrow so I can explore some of the sections on this side of the cemetary. I figure there has to be really old headstones somewhere in this place. Haven't found them yet.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Sweaty Sunday

In retrospect, it probably wasn't the best idea to go for recreational walk in 91 degree weather. It didn't seem that hot and it was cloudy when I started out. Of course the sun broke through just when I made the commitment to take the big loop through the cemetary.

It's a very strange place. This is the older section. They don't seem to decorate on this side much. But if you embiggen the photo, you can see the Confederate flag in the lower right hand corner. The cemetary is the only place I've really seen that flag around here. There was about a dozen or so on the loop I took.

The newer sections are more crowded together, and much more colorful. I believe the flowers are all fake. This was near the end of the walk. At this point I was wondering if I was going to pass out from heat stroke.

I was tempted to sit on that bench and rest for a while, but I'm not sure of the etiquette since it's apparently also a gravestone. Would have been embarrassing if the family showed up to find me sitting on their loved one's grave.

Monday, July 13, 2009

View from my window

This is across the street.

The myrtle trees are especially impressive in this town. Wish I had a better camera that could really convey how gorgeous it is.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Boutique Sally

I'm looking for cheap furniture so I went to the local Salvation Army store. Not a very big store but it has some nice pieces. Better than the junk you usually find there and not overpriced. Plus they discount by ten bucks every week it's there. Cheapest Sally I've ever been in.

Wasn't planning to buy any clothes but they were having a sale. Everything was 15 cents. Down from 25 cents yesterday. Left with two dresses, two pairs of pants, a nice pair of linen shorts -- all designer labels -- and three silly salt shakers. Total bill $1.44 with tax. Was only sorry to learn I missed the July 4th sale when all furniture was 76 cents.

Not going there

I have a basement.

I'm afraid to go down there. Bet there are monsters. I know there are spiders.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

A breakthrough

I was down for three days with some weird stomach bug, but I finally felt better this afternoon and ran out and caught on some errands. Found the laundramat downtown. It's a great one. Big. Clean. Brand new stainless steet front load washers and dryers. An attendant. Lots of sitting area. With nice chairs. And magazines. AND... that pinball machine. The Funhouse.

It's in pretty bad shape. No bounce on the bumpers or the flippers. But it works well enough to be fun. I'm embarassed to say I didn't even come close to rolling it over but I did impress the kids who were hanging on the machine watching, with my multiball concentration.

But that wasn't the breakthrough. I think I finally cracked the dog. I was going out to the porch and he was standing there right at the stairs. We surprised each other but he didn't growl and I sat down right away. I talked sweet to him and he came over, sat down next to me and asked to be scritched. I think we're cool now.


Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Suds 'n Duds

The one thing this new place doesn't have is a convenient laundry. As you may recall, I was excited to find out there was just down the road. It's tucked off into the corner of the plaza and from the parking lot it looks abandoned. But I noticed from the road, there was a big sign on the roof saying it was open every day at 6:30am and the side door was open. From the outside it didn't look that promising. The sign has the requisite missing letter.

But I figured what the hey, I'd give it a try. Besides, when I went there it was pretty late in the day and I really needed clean clothes. Didn't have time to search for another place. Walking into the door didn't do much for my confidence in the place.

The washers looked okay but the dryers were decidedly unappealing.

Turned out the washers weren't that great either. I ended up sticking around for the whole cycle instead of shopping, which I never do. The rinse cycle was about 30 seconds long. Normally you can count on 25 minutes for a wash. This one cycled through in about fifteen. And to say the place was filthy would be an understatement.

I don't think that mop has been used in many months. Needless to say, this is not going to be my regular stop. The good news is, some other guy came in just as I was finishing up and clued me in on the other places in town. Apparently there's a much nicer one just up the street, with an attendant. Next time I'm trying that one. Hard to imagine anything could be worse than this.

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Yankee Doodle Dandy

For my Dad, and others who love classic movies.

About that ugly header

I don't know if I'm the only one that sees that ugly code right under the header, but I've determined it has something to do with the halocan java script. Can't figure out how to get rid of it. This template is so old, I'm afraid if I delete it, I'll lose the comments.

Happy Independence Day

Hope everyone is having a great holiday. I bagged out on going to my sister's place for fireworks so I'm home alone, still unpacking. Determined to finish up this weekend so I can start enjoying the town, so I skipped the festivities. To my surprise, we had fireworks down the street last night. I was delighted to discover that I could see them from my sidewalk and didn't have to go all to the mall.

It was a good show. They take their fireworks seriously here in the south. Although the finale was a bit anti-climatic. Very short compared to others I've been to, but then again, they did a lot of multiple rockets during the rest of the show, so it balanced.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

My Two Apparitions

This is the weirdest thing. The other day I saw two very old people appear out of nowhere. I saw them from the window and it was like they came out from behind the trunk of the beech tree and walked a few feet across the yard. Well shambled really. And they disappeared into the brush at the edge. I mean there's this ivy like ground cover and scrubby trees where they walked in and it's like they disappeared off the face of the earth. No sign of where they walked. Not so much as a bent leaf. And no reason for them to walk through the scrub. There's a driveway four feet away from where they were walking.

Then the other day I was driving home from the shopping center and I saw the mysterious old couple again. They were on the sidewalk of the bridge over the highway. Just as the last time, they were walking painfully slowly, with apparent difficulty. She follows him at about five paces behind. I thought, ah, well they're just an elderly couple from the neighborhood after all. But here's the weird thing. As soon as I passed them, I looked for them in the rear and side view mirrors. In the two seconds it took to drive by, they had disappeared again. Very strange.