A CAPITAL B-
Thursday, July 31, 2008
A CAPITAL B-
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
One real challenge when living alone is installing eye drops.
My eyes are very sensitive and looking at the looming application end of an eye drop appliance is about like staring at the hostile bore of a large caliber pistol.
I discussed this perplexing issue at Hursh’s pharmacy the other day, and, as is usually the case with these extraordinarily helpful small-town businesses, the pretty, young lass in the prescription department came to my rescue.
She said, “Try this. Lie on your back, close the eye in question, touch the end of the eye dropper gently in the corner of your eye near the nose, and, squeeze out a small puddle of liquid. Then, while still lying down, remove the applicator and open your eye. The fluid will apply itself.”
I did, and it did; just as she said it would.
It never ceases to amaze me how simple the solutions can be to some of life’s pesky challenges.
Thanks Hursh’s for the competitive prices on your products and this priceless free advice.
Saturday, July 26, 2008
My neighbor Monte Young threw his bride of 20+ years, Connie, a birthday party recently. And, he did it in world-class style --in their backyard --all 60 acres of it --complete with its own 1820’s era party barn, itself perched high on a forested hill.
On a recent Saturday night Connie (left) clicked past the number five-0 anniversary of her birth, dancing to the smooth tunes of the Jimi Vincent Band while the flames of a roaring fire painted their ambiance on the celebratory crowd of well-wishers.
I didn’t see any of the neighborhood deer but you can bet they were nestled in the towering pines and watching the festivities with their aloof curiosity while the Great Blue Heron slid silently overhead only mildly distressed by the human presence at his fishing pond below the barn.
The Young’s became sole owners of the property in 2002, were closed all of 2003 for major repairs to the barn, and have been the preeminent party-scene in Southern Richland County ever since.
They are open from mid-May through October. “In November we rest,” Monte enthused, “and take care of winterizing chores.” Both he and his bride also have full times jobs in Mansfield. Mercy!
For $1,400 you have the barn for four hours Friday evening and from 10 a.m., to 10 p.m. on Saturday. That sounded a tad pricey to me until I learned you can pay a comparable amount just to rent the local church’s facilities.
The barn is even more of a bargain because you can make your own food and refreshment arrangements and not be held hostage to the prices of your venue’s owner.
Connie’s party drifted well into that Saturday night while celebrants continued dancing under the stars.
Fittingly, the grand finale was that indeed—a fireworks display; a visual punctuation to a birthday party taken straight from the magic of story books.
Thursday, July 24, 2008
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
That's him in the above left photo taken in May.
I don't know what happened to him but the lower picture shows the new dog I brought home.
In fact, this pooch is so handsome several lady dogs followed us down the driveway when we got back.
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
The Third Coast by Ted McClelland
This piece of US geography naturally is the Great Lakes where four of those five bodies of water are bisected by an international boundary joining us and our northern neighbor Canada. McClelland’s book is a good read. I enjoyed riding along and vicariously sampling his penetrating look at life on the perimeter of those massive bodies of fresh water. I particularly got a good hoot out of his thumping Cleveland for landing the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame only because it stuffed the ballot box in the USA Today survey that landed it there.
The Man Who Loved China by Simon Winchester
A great story of an eccentric but highly regarded scientist who seeks to prove China was an incredibly advanced civilization—far beyond history’s revelations. He found an ingenious, drainage area-sized, irrigation system that was constructed during Biblical times—and is still functioning. He proves the Chinese had printed books about 600 years before Gutenberg was credited with inventing the process in the free world. He was a socialist and a nudist and he also proves China had acupuncture, fermented alcohol, ball bearings, decimal place math, topo maps, hygrometers, ecology and a thyroid treatment, for examples, before the birth of Christ. Great book!
Cop in the Hood by Peter Moskos
Moskos is a Harvard trained sociologist who earns certification as a uniformed police officer then spends more than a year patrolling one of Baltimore, MDs roughest neighborhoods. While the book largely trundles along in textbook fashion, it does provide an informative peek at a policeman’s life on the streets with a strong dose of this author’s view that the war on drugs is a colossal failure.
Sacred Sea by Peter Thompson
The author and his brother do a vagabond style journey around the world with the intent of examining serious environmental issues facing Lake Baikal, the world’s largest freshwater lake in Siberia. (It could easily hold the combined volume of our Great Lakes.) The threats to Baikal are real and post-communist Russia remains a tourist destination fit only for the highly adventurous. Another good read.
Monday, July 21, 2008
Two Luna Moths were loitering near my front door Sunday morning. These marvelous critters made their first appearance on the blog June 8, 2007. Take a peek there for the story of their very, very brief life and a link you can click for more information.
Today’s very close picture was done with my Canon digital SLR camera and the Canon 100 mm f 2.8 macro lens, all operated in the manual mode. Exposure was 1/50th second, f 2.8 at ISO 400.
The early morning shade was not desirable lighting so I lit the picture with a hand-held, double A battery powered, LED Mini Maglight held high and to the left of the moth. That gave us the bright and cheery feel and amplified the marvelous visual texture in the critter’s wing fur.
I was leaning against the house to steady the flashlight (and myself) with my left hand and with the camera lens pre-focused at about a foot simply moved the camera back and forth slowly until I achieved a sharp image in the viewfinder.
By the way, here’s a quick way to navigate the blog archives. In the upper left corner you will note a search box. Type Luna Moth in that box and click search. In just a few seconds you will be taken to the old story.
Saturday, July 19, 2008
The American Legion funeral squad buried another local veteran recently.
Up on the side of a hill in the Bellville Cemetery, WW II veteran Daurl Shaffer, 85, now lays at rest.
Sixteen of his fellow veterans were there that day to honor Shaffer and all that his service to his country stands for.
The color guard and the rifle squad came to attention as Shaffer’s hearse brought his remains to his resting place and their sharp presentation of the colors and of arms not only honored this man but his family as well.
All mourned his death, but celebrated all that his service to his country and his community meant during his life.
Earlier at the funeral service, family and friends silently shared their intense feelings as Bellville Post 535’s ceremonial squad posted an honor guard at the casket and the entire squad passed by in solemn procession, one-by-one, pausing briefly at the bier to render a personal salute to their fellow serviceman.
Post commander and honor squad leader Paul Brown, was quick to acknowledge the honored passing of countless veterans in the almost 60 years of burial squad history covered by his memory.
“We do nearly 20 burials annually, a number that seems to grow with the aging of our veteran’s population,” he noted.
As Shaffer’s religious ceremony of the burial concluded, three volleys by the six member rifle squad roared their final salute in the tradition of military history. Then, the stirring sound of Taps sparkled through the air as if originating from the cloudless blue sky.
The flag that draped the casket was sharply folded and presented to the family by a kneeling Brown in farewell to this relative and friend and cherished veteran.
In the top photo Howard Kocheiser and John Dodds are the honor guard as Jerry Dillon is one of 16 veterans giving his final salute to fellow veteran Daurl Shaffer. Next lower; Ron Bell and fellow color guard members salute the cortege’s arrival at the cemetery while, below that, Kocheiser and Doyal Jordan stand in solemn reflection.
The Day’s Honor Squad:
Paul Frontz, Jerry Dillon, Dick Kuhn, Taps, Ron Bell, Dick Stone, Paul Brown, Keith Layfield, Bob Piper, Doyal Jordan, Homer Walker, Dave Heichel, Lou Maxwell, John Dodds, Howard Kocheiser, Bob Schrader and Jim Huey.
Other squad members:
Thursday, July 17, 2008
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
A Japanese Beetle soaks up some early morning sunshine while the rays sparkle across its dew-covered wings and thorax. These colorful and plentiful beetles are regarded as a pest by most gardeners. They are native to Japan and were first discovered in the US in a New Jersey nursery in 1916.
It is not very destructive in Japan where it is controlled by natural enemies. Control here is difficult however. Traps for these critters are readily available; but, a study done at the University of Kentucky suggests these traps usually attract more beetles to your property than they remove.
The critter in the picture is enjoying its morning sunbathing on the bloom of a Queen Anne’s Lace plant, also known as a wild carrot. It is a very common weed here and member of the Parsley Family.
For you photo enthusiasts this picture was done with a macro lens; 1/800th sec., at f 5.6 and ISO 400. At these extremely close distances, camera shake is a critical problem and depth of field is extremely narrow. The settings were chosen to help minimize those issues in this hand-held shot.
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
This headline appeared recently in an online news story from the London Daily Mail:
“Muslims Outraged at Police Advert(isement) Featuring Cute Puppy Sitting in Policeman’s Hat”
Here is the illustration that sent this crowd of fanatics into their current outrage:
The story said: “A postcard featuring a cute puppy sitting in a policeman’s hat advertising a Scottish police force’s new telephone number has sparked outrage from Muslims....”
The story continued, “...The advert has upset Muslims because dogs are considered ritually unclean....”
Remember, folks, it was tens of thousands of this same clan that rioted in the streets around the world a year or so ago when a Danish newspaper published a cartoon—a cartoon for goodness sake.
Remember also, it is this same crowd which continuously threatens us “infidels” with the wonderful word “jihad” which means, “A holy war undertaken as a sacred duty by Muslims.”
* * * * * * * * *
Then, a few days later this from Atlanta area news: Police Say Georgia Man Killed Own Daughter to Protect Family Honor.
Chaudhry Rashid, 54, of Pakistani descent, has been arraigned in Clayton County, GA on a charge of murder. He reportedly confessed to police.
The daughter had been wed in an arranged marriage in Pakistan and was reportedly planning to divorce her husband whom she had not seen in months, an event that enraged her father.
While the father’s religious affiliation was not revealed in the news coverage, whose doctrinal tunes do you suppose this guy dances to?
Saturday, July 12, 2008
Take Me Out to the Ballgame...
MAJOR LEAGUE ALL THE WAY--
Major league baseball, Cleveland Indians style, is a sport built around numbers. The Indians, who trace their history to 1901, opened their newest playing venue—then affectionately known as The “Jake”--in April 1994.
One of the American League’s eight charter franchises, the club actually began playing in 1900 when the AL was considered a minor league. They had played in the now-demolished Municipal Stadium since 1946.
This new stadium cost $175 million to build and seats 43,345 fans.
A recent game there was my first major league outing since childhood and I went via a package deal for $63 which included a bus ride, a picnic-style feed and seats in the center field bleachers.
Naming rights to this gem of a ballpark were peddled to a Cleveland based insurance outfit recently in a 16 year deal worth approximately 3.6 million bucks per year.
The top 21 players on their roster consume a whopping $78,970,000 in annual payroll which tallies to a yearly average for those folks of 3.8 million bucks. That list is topped by C. C. Sabathia (just recently traded) who banks $11 million smackers each year.
Of course, as the reigning Cy Young award winner in baseball last year, and a recent game’s MVP, this 6’ 7” hulk of a man at 270# showed why he earned those laurels with a recent 8 inning, 6-0 win which included tying his season high 11 strikeouts against the lackluster Cincinnati Reds.
The evening’s most electrifying defensive play came against the second Red’s batter who towered a shot against the wall in deep center field where Grady Sizemore seemed to run 10 feet up the wall to snare the blast.
Sizemore returned to mega-stardom for the evening when he rifled his own blast deep into the right field seats in the fifth inning for what turned out to be all the Tribe needed for their win.
He continued his batting practice against the Reds with a two run double in the sixth inning to put the game out of reach; thrilling the Tribe-supporting share of the evening’s 34,844 fans.
With the Sabathia-Sizemore show that evening and my first-ever chance to explore this dazzling ballpark, I began to consider my 63 bucks a bargain—especially when a major-league fireworks show capped the evening and our bleacher seats turned out to be the best in the park for that spectacular finale.
On the other hand, with concessionaires charging the felonious price of $6.75 for a draft beer it likely will be quite some time before I bother to go back.
This is the view from the nosebleed elevation down the right field foul line in Cleveland’s stadium as fans begin to arrive for a recent evening game. Binoculars are very handy for serious viewing of the game’s action from the outfield bleachers (middle) and, a big-league fireworks display dazzled the fans after a recent victory over the Cincinnati Reds.
Thursday, July 10, 2008
Tuesday, July 8, 2008
Fogeyisms offers a Tip of the hat for another delightful, annual Balloon Fest in that neighboring community. Even as organizers scrambled to work around soggy grounds, multiple thousands of folks turned out for the popular finale of the carnival-like, weekend event Saturday—the balloon glow.
Nine balloons lined up in this hugely popular encore and delighted the crowd with their visual antics of temporarily firing their gas heaters and lighting the crafts’ colorful envelopes; looking like a small squadron of twinkling, Technicolor fireflies.
That was preceded by a dazzling fireworks show Friday evening. Crowds are difficult to estimate because balloon flights and the pyrotechnics were visible from most of the town’s residential neighborhoods where countless folks watched from the comfort of lawn chairs.
Lady friend Jenny Lezak and I had the pleasure of sharing both Friday and Saturday evening’s shows with her dear, Ashland friends and my new acquaintances, Jeff and Pat Swisher and mutual friends Mike and Peg Fisher—whose company, I hope, becomes a common event!
Saturday, July 5, 2008
The modern, Bellville version
It was easy for me to sit on the bank of the river that afternoon and imagine the California gold rush of 1849 where the precious metal was discovered at Sutter’s Mill a year earlier and some 300,000 folks swarmed there seeking their fortunes.
In the process they enriched the westward growth of our young country and helped usher the California area into US statehood two years later.
Yup, yet today that ageless dream of finding gold is alive and well in the form of members of the Gold Prospectors Association of America.
About 125 “miners” romped in and about the Clear Fork Branch of the Mohican River just below the Gatton Rocks swimming hole recently for the 2nd annual Fossick (that’s Aussie for prospecting) at the GPPA’s Swank Claim.
That claim covers about a mile of the river on the late Freeman Swank farm downstream from the Cutnaw Road bridge. The second half of that claim covers another mile downstream from the bicycle trail’s bridge over the river.
Some of today’s miners pan for gold just like their historical counterparts, swishing river water over aggregate from the stream’s bottom and slowly emptying their pan to reveal (sometimes) specks of the precious metal that is 19 times heavier than water and rests in the bottom of the pan.
Other Fossick participants clustered around a Long Tom sluice where aggregate by the bucket full was dumped in its upper end and water was pumped from the stream, washing the raw material down the sluice where tiny gold grains would actually appear as they were trapped in the mechanism while lighter material washed away.
The really serious miners ran dredges. These are engine powered rigs floating on small pontoons. They are anchored in the stream and a powerful suction hose would suck the aggregate from the stream bottom and feed it across the dredge’s internal sluice.
Pat O’Masters from Columbus and the group’s very friendly vice president explained, “Gold nuggets have been found in Ohio but most gold found now is only a few grains in size and most can hardly be seen with the naked eye.” Ohio’s gold came with glaciation during ice ages of geologic time.
The weekend’s event produced an estimated 1/8 teaspoon of the cherished mineral which now sells for about $900 an ounce; roughly the equivalent of a level teaspoon.
The Fossick event, also known as a common dig, has participants all splashing in the stream and working the pans, the sluices, the dredges and other mechanical devices like a “Hi Banker”; all providing the common labor and all sharing in the day’s bounty.
Pat grinned in his form of reverse larceny, “We’ll likely give more gold away as prizes than the miner’s find today.”
Somehow, that nicely compliments this enjoyable salute by these modern prospectors to a significant period in our country’s history.
Friday, July 4, 2008
Thursday, July 3, 2008
About 125 members of the Gold Prospector’s Association of America pounced on the Swank Claim in the Clear Fork Branch of the Mohican River recently, in their version of the 19th Century Klondike event. And, yes, gold was found—hardly enough to pay expenses, but sufficient to keep the ageless dream alive. Please stop by Saturday as Fogeyisms romps in the river with these modern day prospectors.
Tuesday, July 1, 2008
Obey the laws of physics...
...one of which says, “Light diminishes inversely with the square of the distance over which it travels.” In non-scientific jargon that means light gets dimmer the farther it travels from its source.
That phenomenon is clearly evident in the above photo which was done as a demonstration at the local library. You also see this in your car headlights at night. Absent some reflecting surface your headlights quickly fade to darkness in the distance ahead.
Naturally, this applies to that tiny flash built into your camera.
It is only effective from approximately 5 feet to 10 feet from your camera. If you shoot closer than 5 feet your subject likely will be much too bright. If you are shooting a subject more than 10 feet from the camera with the flash your subject will be too dark.
Very bright existing light or back-lit subjects cause different things to happen. And, a very sophisticated camera may adjust the flash output automatically to cover a wide range of subject distances.
But, under normal, fairly dark conditions with a typical film or digital camera keep your subjects between that 5 and 10 foot range and you will have nicely exposed, flash-lit photos.