Day 24

Morning through the bedroom window.

Yes, I was laying in bed when I took this photo. I used the cell phone camera because my Nikon kept using a flash that put a flare on the window. I really must dig out the owner’s manual and become reaquainted with the camera for indoor use.

I finished doing our taxes this morning. I always feel uneasy when it appears we are getting a refund from the State because for so many years we had to pay. I feel even more uneasy this year because the refund is larger than I can recall ever getting from the State. What did I do wrong? How is this possible? I should probably just accept it with gratitude…but it feels wrong. Oh well, it will help pay for our vacation later this year, if we can hold on to it long enough.

I just checked Twitter to see if anything posted would give me inspiration for the rest of today’s blog. There was very little posted that wouldn’t get me started on another rant, and I don’t feel up to that today. There was a post by Tom Crean about tonight’s basketball game, but I know nothing about the team IU is playing, so I cannot comment intelligently.

The Big Ten tournament is less than two weeks away. Basketball season is going by much too quickly. I will be feeling let down when it ends. Maybe I should start watching baseball again. I haven’t paid attention to MLB for at least a decade. I doubt if I could name more than half a dozen active players. I know I couldn’t name a Dodger, the team I grew up rooting for, since Manny Ramirez left the team. I hear he’s been signed to a Triple A contract. How fall the mighty. 

Okay, I’ve run out of things to write about today. Maybe there will be more inspiration tomorrow.

Day 23

Chamberlin Ice Cream Building

Whatever happened to the Chamberlin Ice Cream Company? A quick Google brings up very little information. If anyone knows about the company, please enlighten me. 

 To the person who made a left turn into traffic, causing me to slam on my breaks this morning: I know you have an “In God We Trust” license plate, but you also have to take responsibility for your driving. OK, I feel another rant or two coming on.
Carrying on with a religious connected theme, what is with (William) Franklin Graham (III)? I have never been a follower of his father Billy, but at least he morphed into a serious religious leader. His son appears to be cut more from the Pat Robertson cloth, with barely concealed intolerance for people of other faiths, or political persuasion. This morning on Morning Joe he was asked if he thought President Obama was a christian. His response was that it was a question better suited to asking the President himself, that he (Graham) could know for sure. When asked the same question about Rick Santorum, his response was an immediate yes, not that they should ask Mr. Santorum. He went on to say that despite his past lifestyle and conversion to Catholicism, Newt Gingrich was also a christian. Reverend Graham did not see, or perhaps refused to acknowledge, the double standard he espoused.
 Next on my list of things to get off my chest is a pet peeve that shows just how old-fashioned I am. I grit my teeth and stay silent when I observe men wearing a hat, or more likely a baseball cap, indoors. I will admit that I leave my cap on when I’m in a retail store, but due to the way I was raised, I remove it when entering a home, a restaurant, the library, a funeral home, and a church. Yes, I’ve seen men wear their ball cap in church. If I were Jewish I would wear head covering in synagogue, but I’m not Jewish. I understand that my actions go against the tide, especially in Indiana, but doesn’t it seem respectful to remove your head covering in someone’s home?
Well, that’s out of my system for a while.

Day 22

The sign reminds me of a woman I used to date.

I took this at the end of a dead-end road on the south side of town…seems appropriate. Maybe someday I’ll write about the woman in question.

It wasn’t a good night. I woke up around 2 a.m. after a few hours sleep, but then I was wide awake. This is the second time I’ve had this problem in the past week. I don’t have a clue as to why it is happening. I hope it doesn’t happen again anytime soon because it throws me off for the rest of the day.

While driving around, looking for something to take a picture of, I listened to a home made cd. It helped brighten my mood afer the nearly sleepless night. The first song on the cd was The Boys Are Back In Town by The BusBoys. It was in the soundtrack of the movie 48 Hours and then again over the closing credits of Another 48 Hours. Another of the songs on the cd was Same Old Weakness by Delbert McClinton. They are two different styles of song, but both are great. When I listen to Delbert McClinton I get in the mood to listen to both Bonnie Raitt and David Bromberg. I started listening to both Bonnie and David in the ’70s.

I first heard Bonnie Raitt on a compilation double album titled Days of Wine & Vinyl. Warner Brothers used to put out albums that they called Loss Leaders, available only by sending them $2 per double album. The albums would have songs released on current albums or songs that were not released. On this particular album was the song Too Long At The Fair. I became a Bonnie Raitt fan for life after hearing that song. It was on her second album for Warner Brothers, and I soon owned all that she had released up until then, four at that time.

I don’t recall when I first heard David Bromberg, but I know I started buying his albums while living in Auburn. One time I drove to a Karma Record store in Ft. Wayne, about 20 miles from where I lived, and bought the Bromberg album Demon In Disguise. When I got home I immediately opened the album to play the record. Strangely, the label on the album said it was a Johnny Mathis album. I thought it was probably an error made at the factory, so I put it on to play. It was a Johnny Mathis album. I got back in my car, drove the 20 miles back to the store, and took in the album. I explained what the problem was to the clerk, and it caused him to laugh. Johnny Mathis is not a substitute for David Bromberg. They had no other Bromberg albums in stock, so they let me pick any album in the store to replace the mis-packaged one I had purchased. That day I took home my first Ry Cooder album,Paradise and Lunch and became an instant fan.

Day 21

Midwest morning.

It was another beautiful morning. I woke up early, and after drinking coffee and watching  a movie (more on that in a bit), I went out for the paper and also found this sight. When I was young I used to think that only tree covered hills and mountains or white water rivers or streams were scenic. But then when I was in my thirties, while living in Auburn, I was driving around one early spring afternoon and came across a freshly plowed field under a sky with orange and purple pre-sundown tints. At that point in my life I realized that there could also be beauty in the everyday things that we often overlook. I try to pay more attention now.

 Okay, back to the movie. Around 6 a.m. I popped in a DVD of Annie Get Your Gun. I’ve never been a Betty Hutton fan, but the music in that movie is so great I can overlook her…for the most part. Irving Berlin wrote wonderful songs for the play, and while I prefer the Broadway cast album of the music, the movie does a very good job as well. One of my favorite songs is I’ve Got The Sun In the Mornin’ in which you have this wonderful rhyme:
            Got no checkbooks, got no banks,
            Still, I’d like to express my thanks.
            I’ve got the sun in the mornin’
            And the moon at night.
Also among the songs are There’s No Business Like Show Business, Anything You Can Do, and the beautiful They Say It’s Wonderful. All in all it was a fine way to start the day.
When I came back with the paper I found Cindy awake so we watched CBS Sunday Morning together before she went to church. I enjoyed being able to do that.
Yesterday we went to see Safe House. It is a very violent film. I expected that, but Cindy thought it would be less so. My opinion is that most of the violence was played up for shock value, but then I’m pretty much a fuddy duddy when it comes to entertainment. Does anyone other than me still use that term. Mitt Romney probably still uses it.  

Day 20

In the shadow of Tate & Lyle.

I have to admit I was trying to get a morning shot of the Tate & Lyle South Plant. Getting the County Extension Office’s Master Garden plot in the foreground was a plus. I’m already planning on doing this shot again in the summer. Chances are good I’ll also be taking more pictures of Tate & Lyle from different angles. Oh, I realize this photo at this size looks a bit muddy. I hope you know that if you left click on the photo you can see a lrger, clearer version of it.

Due to the problems with AT&T, I missed two calls the other day, one each from my mother and sister. If you didn’t know, my mother lives with my sister. When I returned my mother’s call I tried to explain that we were having troubles with the telephone system, that work was being done on the towers. I should have known better. First, my mother doesn’t really understand or care about the concept of telephone towers, and second, even with hearing aids she only hears about a third of what you say on the telephone. Still, she ends most conversation points with, “I see.” She doesn’t see (or hear, actually).

Today I was sitting at the computer, cataloguing comic books in my collection, listening to Dave Mason, deciding on what to blog about, when my sister, Sharon, called. I was not in the same room as my phone and I missed the call.

Her voicemail said that mom hadn’t understood what I told her yesterday, and would I please call her. So I immediately called my mom’s number because Sharon usually has her telephone turned off. Mom answered and I said that Sharon had asked me to call. Mom said she knew, but rather than put my sister on the phone, she asked what I had said the other day. Like a fool, I tried explaining it again. Then, from out of nowhere, she said Ron (my brother-in-law) was throwing things because he didn’t want Sharon to try to help mom understand. What? Then she said, “Did the moles cause the problems with your bulbs?” What? I asked mom if I could please speak with Sharon. She said that Sharon had just gone to the basement to try to calm Ron down, but she would have her call me when she came back upstairs.

When Sharon called it was obvious that she understood what our telephone problems were, but she wanted to be sure before trying to explain it to mom. She also reassured me that Ron had not thrown anything, he had merely dropped a jar he was taking from the refrigerator and that mom had jumped to conclusions. Lastly she said that she was glad moles weren’t eating our bulbs. I knew that nothing I had said to mom remotely sounded like moles, but I let that go. Families are special.

Day 19

Tracks to where?

You probably think that I’ve been listening to hobo songs this morning, but I haven’t. Actually, I was listening to Stephen Stills’ Illegal Stills. It is my favorite album he recorded outside of the Crosby, Stills & Nash albums. But you didn’t come here to read my musings on music…or maybe you did.

I finished reading a book on my Kindle a few days ago. It is titled Plague of Coins (The Judas Chronicles, Book 1)written by Alden James. Let me advise you to not bother with this book. When I read the blurb for it I thought it sounded like an interesting concept. In the proposed series of books the protagonist is Judas Iscariot, living under an assumed name, and he is immortal until he can recover the original thirty pieces of silver he was paid for betraying Jesus. Those facts are stated in the book, but the author never went on to explain why Judas had to find them, how they were lost, why he is being given this opportunity, and many other things that might occur to you and me. Also, the author has thrown in things like Judas works part-time for the CIA, he has a wife with Alzheimer’s, he has a son who is a college professor and who passes as Judas’ father. This first book has Judas and his son travelling to the mideast in search of a coin, meanwhile taking on a mission for the CIA, locating the Garden of Eden, interacting with the three wise men and an angel, and fighting villains that James Bond would find familiar. It was a waste of time.

Yesterday evening I went to one of my bookcases and pulled out the dictionary I used in college. It is the college edition of Webster’s New World Dictionary of the American Language, published in 1962. I love keeping it around both for the memories and because it contains words that have been dropped from more recent dictionaries. It probably speaks to my pack rattiness that I don’t want to lose words any more than I want to lose treasured, or not-so-treasured possessions. It’s hard to let go.

Speaking of which, every day when I take a photo, or set of photos, for this blog, I bring the camera to the PC and download the images, leaving the originals on the camera. Then I upload my selection to this blog and sometimes others to Facebook and/or Flickr. So most of the images are stored in at least two places. Why, then, do I have a hard time deleting the images from my camera’s storage card? I should trust that I won’t be losing the images completely, but taking that final step to delete is difficult for me. But today, I shall format the storage card in the camera and remove the images completely…or maybe I’ll do it tomorrow.


Day 18

I love graveyards.

I prefer the term graveyard over cemetery. I think it is more descriptive. The gravestone is a historical link, no matter what lies below it.

Over the years I’ve taken many photos of graveyards, most in Indiana but some from other states. I have also taken a number of photos of wooden barns. Many are in disrepair or falling down, but some are kept up and are still being used. I think I’ll start scanning old photos in and posting them in Facebook and/or Flickr. Any new photos will also go there.

I’ve ben having problems with my smart phone for the past two days, mainly in the evening and at night. I am unable to text, send email, get updates in Twitter and Facebook, look up things on Google, or make telephone calls. In addition, I’ll get an audible notice of an incoming email, but there is nothing there when I check. Today I went to the AT&T store where we bought the smart phone and asked if they were having problems with the network, and I explained the problems I was having. The fellow I spoke with said that there were no problems with the network, but that they were performing maintenance and upgrading towers to handle 4G. He said they were trying to schedule the work during non-peak hours (really!), but in the next breath he told me businesses were complaining about dropped calls and such.  He told me that the company wanted him to tell people who the work should be done by the end of the year, but off the record it should be done by the end of summer , and he really thought it would be done by the end of spring. So he went from 10 1/2 months to 4 months in the space of two sentences. maybe I’m being unreasonable, but I think 4 months is way too long to wait for relief from bad service, and that was his best estimate. 

On the bright side, it feels like spring is in the air. Maybe it is.