Thursday, September 28, 2006

The Land of Butterscotch Sunlight

I've never known anyone yet who doesn't suffer a certain restlessness when autumn rolls around... We're all eight years old again and anything is possible. --Sue Grafton

I made a change to the masthead because it's autumn now. I love autumn. It is absolutely my favorite time of year. I know winter is next, but right now, every day seems like you would want to capture it, hold it, take it into yourself and become part of it.

The colors are more vibrant. It's not that the grass wasn't that green before. The angle of the light just wasn't right. But it is now.

If you would like to see the whole image used for the masthead and footer - taken last year at Big Walker Mountain in North Carolina - please click here

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

What WILL they think of next!?

Photobucket - Video and Image HostingI hear about this and I still - sadly - can believe DC will probably have them by Christmas. There was a story in the Wall Street Journal about Pacific Grove, California, where they have installed so-called "smart" parking meters.

These things sense when your car is there and when you move - even if there is a lot of time on the meter - they zero themselves out. That means the person who pulls in behind you will miss the thrill of getting something for nothing - time on your dime.

This particular beast pictured here takes a hi-res photo of your ride and sends it to the government if you run out of time. And you can tell it to call your cell phone if it is about to run out of time. Oh, and you can't feed these things - they can tell you haven't moved your car, and they will not take any more money until the space is empty!

Who gets it? The city! The godforsaken city government, where profit is everything!

DC will have to have these things soon, and they will send the taxpayers the bill. It's hard enough to park here in the city, but now they are going to ask more for it.

And of course the city officials are ALL for it. It would mean basically a free dollar or two for them. It already costs $.25 for 15 minutes in downtown DC, so why not gather up all those quarters people have in their cars anyway.

Get your bicycles ready, yo. The Chocolate City's coming to take another bite out of your wallet.

Maybe the American people should implement a system like that for the government. You know - charge the Congress for every time they write some usless bill or staple some amount of pork projects onto a vital piece of legislation.

Or maybe we could revoke a lawmaker's - or the president's - right to govern every time they did something stupid.

"Too much money wasted - oops sorry, you're no longer in Congress."

" No weapons of mass destruction - ching - you're no longer president."

" Too much influence from rich white men - ching - you're out of office."

You know, their reign is over; they're no longer king.

Oh, that's right we can do that! We can do it in November. We don't need guns or bombs, we have ballots. So let's make sure we exercise that privilege - be as automatic in the ballot box as this stupid parking meter is about your car. If you have overstayed you're welcome, the next guy doesn't get a free ride - he has to prove he belongs there, and it has to cost him something.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

In the footsteps of a giant ...

Ernest Hemmingway (c) I just got finished reading The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway.

I don't know why I got on that kick other than I had seen a PBS broadcast about Hemingway's coverage of the Spanish Civil War and his work during WWII as a war correspondent.

This was the first of three books by Papa Hemingway that I planned to read. The other two are A Farewell to Arms and For Whom the Bell Tolls . But in this work, Hemingway wrote like a lost soul.

It fit the subject matter - the Lost Generation after WWI, in Paris and especially in Pamplona, Spain. It was a quick read, primarily because it doesn't have too many run-on sentences. The writing is compact, declarative and to the point. The imagery paints definite pictures in your mind, and it does what my professor said once all good writing does - take you there.

But I must confess, my ignorance of history - particularly Europe in the 1920s - and Paris geography probably deprived me of some of the emotional impact of the work. But it was a joy to read Papa again.

Friday, September 08, 2006

B.S.U.R. . . U.C.I.M. Part Deux

I have updated my earlier post on Victor Wooten's clinic last month at Prince Frederick Library in Maryland.

I added some shots from the real clinic by a fellow student - and master luthier - Doug Pettway. Check them out and be sure to check out Doug's webpage top see some of his fine instruments.

Isn't it fantastic to see how varied and wonderful the creativity God grants us is?