Anything goes

Wildcat Creek...I think
Wildcat Creek…I think

I took this picture a few weeks ago. I got around to looking at it today, and with some careful cropping, decided to use it. It isn’t anything special, but I like it.


In olden days a glimpse of stocking
Was looked on as something shocking,
But now, God knows,
Anything Goes.

Good authors too who once knew better words,
Now only use four letter words
Writing prose, Anything Goes.

The world has gone mad today
And good’s bad today,
And black’s white today,
And day’s night today,
When most guys today
That women prize today
Are just silly gigolos
And though I’m not a great romancer
I know that I’m bound to answer
When you propose,
Anything goes

Cole Porter

I was listening to a CD of Rosemary Clooney singing this the other day. It occurred to me, old fogey that I am, that Mr. Porter was making the same points about change in 1934 that I might make today, Of course, I’m not sure if all of the above words are original to the song. A quick search of the Internet garners a variety of lyrics. But these words match my feelings, so I’m using them.

I could probably do a whole diatribe about the way the country is going to the dogs. But if I look at the this song that has been around for decades, the dogs have been gnawing on this bone for a long time. It isn’t likely that I would find any new meat on it. Why bother.

Cheap Watch


I took this picture of the watch in attempt to approximate the look of a monochrome photo without manipulating the color.  I’m not sure it qualifies as monochrome, but it is better than the picture I almost sent to Leanne Cole for her Monochrome Madness challenge. It is funny because this is the first I took. I had thought to send my seventh shot, but thought about it for three days before deciding. I never showed this picture to Cindy. She liked the other one.


The true feeling of helplessness occurs when you have to sneeze and cough at the same time.


 Here is another sign of my aging. I get no real satisfaction binge watching  a TV series. I can seldom watch more than two or three episodes at a sitting. Cindy can watch all day. In fact, I’ve tried to rein her in each time we bought a new season of Dexter. If I get a D VD set for a series that I know Cindy would have no interest in, such as Battlestar Gallactica, I watch one episode per week (like it was being broadcast) and I’m perfectly satisfied. I guess I’m just a media stick-in-the-mud.


I don’t have anything else to say today. Sorry for the shortness of the post.

Classical Gasbag – The Lost Posts 2

Silo and Barn
Silo and Barn

In case you’re wondering about those two things that seem to be poking out of the roof of the barn, they are not lightning rods. They are two of the blades from a wind farm’s windmill that is in a cornfield well behind the barn. The color version of this picture also turned out quite nicely.


It is time to clear out more partial posts from my draft files. It is possible that some of them could have been melded into one larger post, but I didn’t want to take the time. (I can hear you thinking, “Isn’t that what you’re doing now?” Yep, but I don’t have to worry about sweet transitions from one topic to the next.) 

First, there is the minimal irritant I often feel when watching TV with Cindy. We watch a lot of prime time soap operas dramas that have continuing story lines. Often the show will begin with a series of short clips from previous shows while one of the cast intones, “Previously on…” At that point Cindy will often look up from her iPad, see the clips, and say, “I’ve seen that, is this a rerun?” No, dear. It isn’t.

Another Cindy/TV/movies topic is the facility with which Cindy suspends her disbelief. She becomes so enraptured with the story’s plot, that she starts believing that they are real people performing real actions. She may actually believe that she is in the room with them, because she often talks to them. She has been known to shout when something unexpected happens, such as a car crash. She also does that in the movie theater, and that can cause embarrassment to those who attend with her. When watching a comedy she will say to me, “He/she’s funny isn’t he/she?” I respond, “The writer was good.”

And yet, I love her.

Finally, let me throw out some post titles that I never got around to using. Feel free to use any of them, as long as you tell me that you have.

What doesn’t make us laugh kills us.

Here in the hinterlands.

The good old days aren’t coming back.

And finally: Nothing goes unchanged 

Rolling Prairie again – this time via music

Maxine and Molly
Maxine and Molly

I promise that is my last post about my recent trip to Rolling Prairie (RP). Today I want to take you on that trip through the music I listened to on the way there, and part of the way home to Lafayette.

I have mentioned many times that I often have a variety of music types on many of the CDs that I burn, and now I also fill flash drives with a variety of music. When I play the flash drives, I put the player on random shuffle. That’s what I did on my trip north.

I was going to fib and say that this was the first song that started playing as I backed out of the garage. It wasn’t. I was the second song, and I don’t remember what the first song was. This song was so appropriate for the day that I consider it the song that should have started the trip.

The highway north from Brookston to Monon runs parallel to the railroad tracks. I was happy to be on the road, and it seemed just right that this song came up on the shuffle about the time that I got to Chalmers. It would have seemed more appropriate if it had been dark when I heard it, but, alas, there was early morning sunshine going on.

From Monon to LaPorte there was a good mix of Diana Krall, Rare Earth, Dave Brubeck, The Byrds, Chicago and many others. I was even tempted to sing along with some of the vocals because I was in such a good mood. When I got to LaPorte I was less than ten miles from RP, and this Karla Bonoff song came on.

Now a short break from the music: The picture at the top is of Maxine and her dog.I had called Maxine to get directions to her home and the ferns that were waiting there. Remember the ferns? I put the address into my phone’s GPS and stared following directions. It was  the first time I had seen Maxine since my dad’s funeral, and I was very happy to see her.

At one point, when I was loading the ferns into the car, I glanced over and saw her staring at me. I must have had a quizzical look on my face because she said, “Normie, you look just like your dad.” OK, yes she still calls me Normie even though I’m in my mid-sixties…it’s endearing. It is also the nicest thing she could have said to me. I knew there was a reason that I liked her.

From her home in the country, I drove into RP proper, visited the graveyard, and drove around town and some of the surrounding countryside. I took some pictures and headed home.

Back to the music. I was about five miles south of LaPorte when this next song came on. I glanced at the gas gauge but saw that I had plenty of fuel to get home. I did seem to be approaching the empty mark emotionally, though, so the song matched my mood.

Post Script: There were enough phone calls received after this trip to fill a Ferns – Part 3 post, but I just want to put that in the past. There is still plenty of other drama going around. Perhaps I’ll post about that sometime in the future.

The other reason

The other reason
The other reason

Ferns (remember the ferns?) were not the only reason I went to Rolling Prairie. There was another reason that I chose to make the trip. No, it wasn’t to make a pilgrimage to Oprah Winfrey’s former house. It was a more personal reason. At the risk of being labeled maudlin, it has been too long since I last visited my dad’s grave site. He has been gone now for a little over eleven years. Those of us who are still alive, still miss him.

I often wonder if he would be happy if he were still alive. My answer is a resounding, “I don’t know.” My first instinct is to say that he would love to be alive. Mom is still with us, and he loved her dearly. My sister, and her family, are still here, and he loved them as well. Of course he loved Cindy and me. There was love enough for all.

He would like to spend time with his neighbor Bonnie who drove him everywhere after we told him he couldn’t drive anymore. He and Mom were like surrogate parents to her when she moved to Indiana. And she was like a surrogate daughter to them because my sister and I were never around enough. I know he thought of her as a daughter because he disapproved of every man she dated after her divorce. He would want to spend time with Bonnie’s sons, whom he helped raise…even though they only come back to Rolling Prairie to visit.

He would want to spend time with his other friends, but most of them are dead now. Most of them are in the same graveyard as he. If you believe in an afterlife, you can imagine them lined up at the heavenly VFW bar, trading stories and laughing at lame jokes.

On the other hand, something vital seemed to go out of his life when he could no longer drive himself wherever and whenever he wanted. That loss of independence was terrible. And yet, leaving him behind a wheel would have been dangerous not only for him, but for others as well. It was an obvious, but heartbreaking decision that we made for him. I wish that children didn’t have to make decisions for their parents, it robs them both.

He and Mom would not be able to live on their own if he was alive. As it was, I don’t know how much longer they could have cared for themselves. Cindy and I once talked to them about moving closer to us so that we could spend more time with them and look out for them. They seemed to go along with that idea. Then, one day, Mom called and told us that Dad had told her he never wanted to move from Rolling Prairie. I can understand that. He lived most of his life in or around that town. He built the house in which I grew up, and where he eventually died. He would have hated to leave there. Mom hated to leave there when she moved in with my sister and her family. They take care of her better than she ever would for herself.

As I mentioned earlier, most of Dad’s friends are dead, and most of them had preceded him in death. Dad was 92 when he died. He would have celebrated his one hundred and fourth birthday today. He would have loved that.

Three songs worth remembering

One lane bridge
One lane bridge

Why would anyone choose an Interstate Highway when a road like this is available? I can say that because I’m seldom on such a tight schedule that I need high speeds. I’ll be on Interstates again, probably sooner than I would wish. Until then, these are the roads that I choose.


I know that I’ve mentioned in at least one previous post that there are some songs that demand your attention. By demand, I mean just that; you have no option but to stop and listen. You may even feel compelled to sing along if there are lyrics. We each have our own internal list of these songs. My list is very long because I’ve been around for a long time, and I like many types of music. I’ve just added a couple of songs to my list in the past few days, but I’ll not be writing about them today. Today is for songs that still make me think.

The Times They Are A Changin’

I could fill two or three posts like this one just with Bob Dylan songs. This song isn’t significantly better than any of the others, but I think that it somehow captures the political spirit that I was feeling around me, in the 1960’s, more than his other songs. The song speaks to youth, and these days when I listen to it, I have to remind myself that I am no longer in my teens or early twenties. In my mind, though, I hear it and again I don’t have to get out, I can lend a hand. In reality, however, if someone sang the song today, they would be singing to me. We get older, we get complacent.

Give A Damn

I was surprised when I first heard Spanky and Our Gang sing this song. I always thought of them as a group that sang pleasant pop love songs. I enjoyed their highly produced, top forty hits. This was different. They used their studio artistry to put out  a song that said as much about civil rights, and complacency, as anything else that I heard. I remember this song more than any of the others. I also play it often.


I said that these songs make me think. After listening to Stoney you may be asking yourself, “Just what is he thinking?” Well, it is a more lighthearted song than the other two. That doesn’t mean that I can’t think about the nature of friendship and shared experiences. I can think about mentors and other people who teach us life lessons. I can think about those who are a presence in our life even when absent physically. And I can think about a pillowcase filled with books by Durrell.

This isn’t my favorite version of Stoney, my favorite version is on a VHS tape buried either in a large plastic tote, or in a shoe box in the basement. I taped it from Austin City Limits many years ago. I wish they would release that particular show on DVD, I would snatch it up. Saying that, this YouTube video has a good version.

These are songs that I can’t just listen to playing in the background. I have to give them my attention.

Today it’s the picture


Dystopian Blues
Dystopian Blues

This may be the first time that I’ve made the photo the central theme of a post. I usually have another topic or three that I write about, and then the photo is either just an afterthought, or it has something to do with the words.

When I started blogging, the photo each day was often an afterthought, because the words were more important to me. When I go back and look at some of my posts, it is often, “Nice picture, blah, blah blah.” Of course there are also those posts that are, “Ugly picture, nice words.”

You may recognize this photo; I used it last October, but without the blue colorization. I used a black and white version back then. This time I decided to add color and give it a cutesy name. Why? Read on.

I know that I’ve mentioned in a past post that I follow the blogs of a few photographers. I do that because a) I admire the pictures that they post, and b) they write more about the places they photograph than the techniques that they use. I appreciate that because most technical jargon goes over my head and is lost in the stratosphere. One of the photographers I follow is LeAnne Cole, a photographer in Australia. You can see her work at  I made the changes because I plan to send the picture to LeAnne in hopes that she will add it to the gallery called Monochrome Madness that she posts every Wednesday. I’m not holding my breath, but today I’m willing to take a chance.

The other reason I colorized the photo is because I think it shows off the contrasts better. The cutesy name is to show that words are still important to me. I want to make the statement that the pictures I take of abandoned structures and of rubble are my record of lost beauty and utility. My. Isn’t that grand? Really, I hope you like the picture.