My Diary

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June 1, 2001     (Friday)

I keep forgetting to take my latest exposed roll of film to the processor. I think the constant rain may have something to do with it. I don't like having to try to find a place to park downtown, then shlepp all over the place on foot when it's raining. Nor do I care to pay a buck fifty at the mall parking garage just to run in and drop off a roll of film, then do it again later to pick it up.

There was a big article in this morning's paper about the church next door's plans to build a new sanctuary on the lot right across the alley from us. Three of the houses back behind us on the alley are slated for demolition sometime soon. I don't know about the turquoise colored house directly behind the church's lot. Rev. Hill wanted to buy it to tear it down and build a parking lot. All of this means dust, noise and stress all summer long, no doubt. I think it's time to move.

Quote of the Day: "Happiness is as a butterfly which, when pursued, is always beyond our grasp, but which if you will sit down quietly, may alight upon you. " -- Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804-1864)

Baby pictures anyone?

Hannah JeanHannah Jean
Hannah Jean

June 2, 2001     (Saturday)

Quote of the Day: "The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds the most discoveries, is not 'Eureka!' (I found it!), but 'That's funny...' " -- Issac Assimov

I was going to put some of the new roll of photos up here starting yesterday, but baby pictures trump all others!

Don't ya just love dramatic lighting?
"Spring Rain"

June 3, 2001     (Sunday)

Quote of the Day: "For men become civilized, not in proportion to their willingness to believe, but in proportion to their readiness to doubt" -- H. L. Menken

I had a job today taking photographs of the groundbreaking for the new sanctuary of the church across the alley. The actual ceremony was preceeded by a two hour service in the church. I don't know how many of you have ever been to southern black gospel church, but I guarantee that whatever your religious inclinations, you'd enjoy the experience. The choir of this church is awesome. The guest choir from another Missionary Baptist Church was equally good.

Outside seating at the Rally's Hamburger place on Patrick Street, Charleston, WV.

June 4, 2001     (Monday)

I had the roll of Fuji KPH film I shot processed today. I really like this film. It's only something like twice the price of what I've been using. Remember I mentioned shamrocks back on May 31? Well, here they are:

At the weather corner of my house.  The shamrocks are taking over.  When we first moved here they were in the back yard.  now they're even trying to crowd the ivy out.
"Luck in Bloom"

Quote of the Day: "The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes." -- Marcel Proust

I've got so many nice photographs scanned in now and the prospect of many more to come that I can't just let it go at one a day. I'm planning a trip to Northern Indiana and Chicago at the beginning of the month. I'm sure I'll consume film almost like a Panavision movie camera!

In a back yard in the city, off an alley I walk through quite often.  In a bad part of town, but still offering to sit for me and let me capture its beauty in my lens and on my emulsion.
"Taking Center Stage"

This photograph is quickly becoming one of my favorites. I don't know what it is that I like so much about it, but it started out being appealing to me and has increased its appeal with every fresh viewing. I only wish that digitized photographs on web pages could begin to convey the clarity and detail of this and other photographs I've been taking lately.

June 5, 2001     (Tuesday)

Is it really the fifth of June already? It hardly seems possible. I went to my favorite coffee bar this morning. I ran into an old friend, my son's godfather. We had a long chat, caught up on each other's lives. It turns out he lives right across the street from there and he frequents the same coffee bar. I'm surprised I haven't run into him before.

Quote of the Day: "Obstacles cannot crush me; every obstacle yields to stern resolve. " -- Leonardo da Vinci

Remember the movie where the PR people ran the war?
"Wag the Dog"

It rained hard a while ago. Now we have Amazonian humidity. It's only 70 degrees but it feels like 90. I'm so sick of rain and pain, humidity and damp clothing. I long for the desert. I ache for reasonable climatic conditions. Actually, I just ache.

June 6, 2001     (Wednesday)

I've been thinking a bit about yesterday's quote. It seems like old Leo, in addition to being the consumate Renaissance man, was also the first advocate of "positive thinking." Now positive thinking is okay, but it really can't overcome all obstacles. A stern resolve is of little use in the face of incurable disease, intractable bureaucracy,or the egos of Hollywood directors. In many cases a stern resolve only prevents all interested parties from acheiving a desirable outcome.

Quote of the Day: ". . . I'm not one of those who think Bill Gates is the devil. I simply suspect that if Microsoft ever met up with the devil, it wouldn't need an interpreter." -- Nick Petreley

I still haven't gotten the check for the photographs I took for two clients last week. I haven't gotten the money for five prints that people have said they want. I haven't gotten any money for the paintings people said they wanted to buy. Why is it so hard for money to come to me, yet so simple for it to take its leave? Is there a switch I can throw that will reverse this flow?

Last week, I was walking down the street I live on, coming from an outing, taking pictures with my new camera and the roll of professional film I got at the Pro Shop. A young lady on the stoop of an apartment building two corners up the street saw my camera and said, "Take My Picture." As I took the lens cap off, she said, "No!" and threw her arms up over her head. I think it made for a delicious shot.

On the corner of Ruffner Avenue and Lewis Street.
"Take My Picture"

June 7, 2001     (Thursday)

A frustrating day altogether. Yesterday or the day before, I was supposed to get a check for some work I did. I still don't have it. I have a lunch meeting tomorrow, and now I have no money to pay for it. I've already borrowed $25 against the check as it is. Still more in the continuing saga of "Let's not let Michael have any money."

Quote of the Day: "The opposite of a correct statement is a false statement. But the opposite of a profound truth may well be another profound truth." -- Niels Bohr

Second star to the right and. . .
"Straight On Till Morning"

June 8, 2001     (Friday)

I got my other camera back out of the shop today. It seems to work okay. I ran a 12-exposure roll of Kodak MAX 800 through it to see if it worked okay. It apparently does, even though they didn't repair the ripped foam gasket around the front body opening. Out of the twelve photos I thought 10 were good enough to scan. There were some problems with a few of them, but nothing that digital magic couldn't fix. One, however, I had to strip down to black and white to get it to look right.

I had the roll processed at a drug store, so the quality is probably lacking in part due to that. The film is so fast that it's a little grainy even blown up to full screen size on the computer. I hit the Rite Aid parking lot with one unexposed frame on the roll. I accosted one of the employees outside having a cigarette. She was reluctant, but flattered and very photogenic. I may ask her to do some more for me. What do you think?

"Don't Take My Picture"

Quote of the Day: "There is no choice before us. Either we must succeed in providing the rational coordination of impulses and guts, or for centuries civilization will sink into a mere welter of minor excitements. We must provide a Great Age or see the collapse of the upward striving of the human race." -- Alfred North Whitehead

After I shot the 12-exposure roll in my old camera, I loaded it with a roll of Kodak TMX 400 ISO Black and White film. I've shot about half that roll already too. I bought another roll of the Fuji NPH professional film, too, and a roll of CVS brand (probably the regular grade Fuji since they seem to provide branded film for just about everyone). I want to try the AGFA film, too. So many films, so little time.

June 9, 2001     (Saturday)

The Rite Aid employee in yesterday's photograph is named Misty. I talked to her today about some more photographs. She's lovely. I think the camera likes her, too.

I got another roll of film processed today. If I had the money, I'd probably do three or four rolls a day. Maybe I should become a postcard impresario. . .

Elk River near Elkview, WV

What do you think? I wonder where I could get postcards and posters printed? I wonder how I could market such things? I wonder if people would buy them?

Quote of the Day: "It has yet to be proven that intelligence has any survival value. " -- Arthur C. Clarke (Clarke's Law)

I finally got one check I was expecting. Of course by the time I got it, it was already spent.

The above "postcard" is a photograph of the river I grew up on. It goes from Webster County, through Braxton County, where I was raised, through Clay County and empties into the Kanawha River here at Charleston. This photo was taken up around Elkview from a closed off boat ramp that is now designated for "Fishing Only." I guess I was technically violating the intent of the place by not dropping a line in the water.

June 10, 2001     (Sunday)

Quote of the Day: "It's a good thing that I was born a woman, or I'd have been a drag queen." -- Dolly Parton

Growing up through a hedge at the parking lot planter of the West Virginia Public Service Commission.

June 11, 2001     (Monday)

There are so many things to write about some days, and other are completely empty (or at least my head is). Today is one of the former.

As I was walking this morning, I stopped by a stump at the end of the street I live on. I'd taken photographs of the stump before. It's bleached gray and eroded surfaces in the sun made for great contrast. I thought I'd put a photograph of it in these pages somewhere, but after an extensive search, I can't find it anywhere, so I'll do that now:

Whether it died 'in situ' or was placed there, the stump marks the end of the street.
"Turning Point"

I took my Canon EOS Rebel-X with me today, loaded with Kodak TMY black and white film. I thought the contrast of the morning light casting shadows in the eroded recesses of the stump would make a visually interesting piece. Instead, I came away with a more poignant photograph, or at least the though was poignant. In a hollowed out niche in this stump, where the wood had disintegrated and the dust from the air had settled, apparently a squirrel had secreted an acorn at some point, because there was a pin oak seedling growing out of the remains of that old stump.

It first brought to my mind thoughts of the cycle of birth and death (the Buddhist Pratitya Samutpada), new life being born out of the decay of previous life. Then it occurred to me that there was a theme of false hope and tragedy as well. The tiny oak tree was growing out of a cleft about two feet above the earth. Even if the old stump still had dead roots in the earth, there would be very little possibility that the oak tree could grow to any substantial maturity without either dying for lack of nutrients that the stump alone could not provide or falling over under its own weight once sufficient size had been attained. It was a photograph of hope intertwined with futility.

Life is rich, filled with hope and despair, joy and grief, potential and stumbling blocks. It's like the photograph above -- the contrast between light and dark that creates the tapestry that makes life on this planet, in this universe, so interesting.

Quote of the Day: "Cosmic upheaval is not so moving as a little child pondering the death of a sparrow in the corner of a barn." -- Anouk Aimee, French Actor

I spent most of yesterday at a PRIDE parade and festival in Davis Park here in the city. The PRIDE organization is a gay-bisexual-transgender group that promotes diversity, awareness, and acceptance among the community at large. I shot nearly two whole rolls of film. There were so many visually striking images. I probably could have shot several more rolls had I the money to process them all. As it is, the two I took will probably have to wait a few days to meet with their chemical baths.

Wal-Mart in West Virginia has declined to accept the Health & Human Services Clothing vouchers for school children on welfare or from working poor families. They say they don't have enough employees to process the vouchers. This is unconscionable. The now largest employer in the state is refusing to live up to their social responsibility. They come in from Arkansas, kill off other local retail businesses, then they refuse to honor the community commitments that these businesses had long honored. I think everyone who is able should stop shopping at Wal-Mart. We should make them go under. They deserve a slow and painful death.

June 12, 2001     (Tuesday)

I spent the day helping my friend who's been in Israel for the past seven months catalog and scan photographs she took there. She plans on putting at least some of them up on a web site. I'll be sure to put a link here when she does. There are some wonderful photographs -- 17 rolls of film worth!

Yehudit brought me some nice little gifts from Israel, including this chamsa:

A charm, since it's in blue, for luck.

Quote of the Day: "The most merciful thing in the world ... is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents." -- H. P. Lovecraft

It went from wet and cool here to hot and hazy, almost over night. At least I got a couple days of nice light to take photographs before the haze obscured the distance.

The Kanawha Valley/One Valley/BB&T Bank Building, excerpted.
"Glass Accordian"

June 13, 2001     (Wednesday)

I just got back from a long walk along the river. I think I got some nice shots of the sun on the water (among other things). I now have four rolls of exposed film in the fridge that I can't afford to have processed. Fortunately, one of the Deacons of the church next door wants prints of a couple fo the photographs I took of the groundbreaking ceremony. It won't be much, but it'll pay for a roll or two. The only thing I don't know about is the time frame. I need to get these rolls processed soon!

Quote of the Day: "It's always somethin'." -- Gilda Ratner (as Roseanne Roseannadanna)

I've reached a point in my photography where I want to take more photographs of people. Particularly, I want to do some nude photography. Specifically, I'd like to juxtapose the nude figure with unexpected scenes, locations, and objects. I'd also love to do the shibari variations exhibit and book. I don't know how to come up with the funding, the place to do such a show, or how to recruit models. How does one find willing models in a small city such as this? An ad in the personals?


June 14, 2001     (Thursday)

The past two Thursdays I've noticed a familiar name in the newspaper, under the club listing in the entertainment section. It's someone I used to know years ago. We played a little music together at one time in my living room. He was going through a punk rock stage at the time if I remember correctly. Now he's playing a two-day-a-week gig in a town in the next county. Some people do an 'art thing' or a 'music thing' in their teens and twenties, then give it up and go on to become accountants or lawyers or writers of best-selling horror novels or newspaper columnists or actors or whatever. Other people keep plugging away at it, whether full-time or only as a sideline, simply because they can do nothing else. It's much like the quote from van Gogh I put in these pages months ago, or today's quote from one of the giants of modern psychology.

Quote of the Day: "A musician must make music, an artist must paint, a poet must write, if he is to be ultimately at peace with himself." -- Abraham Maslow

I can't take full credit for finding this quote, although I have seen it several times before. Doug Imbrogno, Entertainment Editor of the Charleston Gazette, put it in the paper this morning, too.

Also in the paper this morning was a story about Wal-Mart capitulating and taking the clothing vouchers after all. They said the original story that they wouldn't take them was just a 'misunderstanding.' Yeah, right.

Saturday night there was a fire across the parking lot on the other side of our street. A tire place had a trailer full of old tires ready to be shipped out sitting there. I'm not sure how it happened but the trailer caught fire and burned pretty good. I got some shots of the fire, I think, but we'll have to wait until I get the film processed to see if they turn out right. At any rate the following are some of the tires that no longer exist thanks to the flames. I took this shot last Thursday, I think. I liked the pattern.

The ashes formerly known as tires
"Rubber Weave"

This must be my day for items from the newspaper. Another story informed us readers that the new Disney film, "Atlantis" will not be shown at the theater downtown. The reason for this is a Disney policy against screening any of their film before 7:00 pm. What??? This is unmitigated greed at its very worst. The prices for movie tickets have gotten too high, and now Disney wants to prevent people from seeing their films at discounted matinee prices. How arrogant! A lot of parents don't want to take younger children to evening shows either. This leaves them out in the cold. Disney had better watch this kind of attitude. It will turn around and bite them, and bite hard!

June 15, 2001     (Friday)

Quote of the Day: "In the province of the mind, what one believes to be true either is true or becomes true." -- John Lilly

Is the fence holding up the bush or is the bush holding up the fence. . . or is it either?
"Warp and Woof"

Hopefully tomorrow I'll be able to process at least some of the exposed rolls of film currently living in my fridge. Money, money, money. It's always money. . . or a lack thereof.

June 16, 2001     (Saturday)

Quote of the Day: "Years may wrinkle the skin, but to give up enthusiasm wrinkles the soul." -- Samuel Ullman

That stupid Kodak Gold 800 speed film.
"Cheshire Boulevard"

A dear old friend stopped by today. He's been in Virginia for the past couple of years. We used to play music together sometimes, but now I play for my own amusement and he has given his guitar away. Things change. Hopefully, they heal. I think many things that were wounded for each of us have healed. Our time together today was somewhat a celebration of that.

June 17, 2001     (Sunday)

It's Fathers Day. Happy day to all you dads out there. My dear son rolled in this morning sometime between five and eight a.m. A music addiction is a terrible thing.

I saw a news item on television yesterday where the Japanese have devised square (actually rectangular solid) watermelons. They take up less space, pack easier, don't roll around and there's less loss to breakage and bruising. Undoubtedly, assuming they accomplished this fanciful fruit through genetic manipulation, they've also introduced genes to retard spoilage, thereby extending the shelf life of the product. Ah, the marvels of modern bioscience!

Something I wonder about, however, is the effect these genetically altered products will have on the rest of the world. I started thinking about this, as I do many things of a profound nature, as I sat on the throne this morning. I looked over and the shower curtain was gone. My wife had tossed it in the washing machine (it was getting a bit grungy). I started thinking about genetically altering silkworms to produce silk that was impervious to mildew so that shower curtains could be made that rarely needed to be washed. Then I started thinking of the consequences of such a thing. Remember the "Butterfly Syndrome?" You know, the axiom that states that the flapping of a butterfly's wings in Singapore can alter the formation of a violent storm in Kansas and be responsible for loss of life and severe property damage. Could our changing the course of nature to maximize profit and convenience be setting in motion some unforeseen consequences somewhere down the road that will make us rue the day when the Japanese thought of "square watermelons.?"

Even if the Japanese accomplished their new shaped fruit through selective breeding, and not through micro-genetic means, I still think we're not necessarily in the clear. It could still have far-ranging effects. Look what else the Orient has given us: The Empress Tree, a fast growing pest in some area that chokes out more sturdy oaks and maples, th Japanese beetle, and, lest we forget, kudzu. Imagine the adaptations that mildew might make to the challenge of genetically-engineered fibers. It's possible that the little ubiquitous fungus might evolve and become so virulent in milieu outside the altered silk environs that it would require heroic efforts to control. I think, once more, "we know not what we do."

Quote of the Day: "I like long walks, especially when they are taken by people who annoy me." -- Fred Allen

WIth my new camera, the possibilities seem so much greater. I've begun experimenting, trying to capture the essence of movement, using longer exposures with movement and multiple exposures. This is the semi-accidental photograph that started it all:

In between an accident and an experiment.
"Aisle 6"

June 18, 2001     (Monday)

Over the weekend, I've realized a few things about myself and about people and life in general. Somehow I feel lighter for it, more energized and ready to do what I need to do from this point in my life onward. There's that word, "onward." My correspondence art pal from Columbus, John M. Bennett, closes all his notes with that word.

Just a little note from two years ago.  I am SO remiss in my correspondence. . .

A week ago, I mentioned the PRIDE parade and festival. I finally got the photographs processed. They're nothing if not colorful.

One of the holders of the giant rainbow flag.

This was part of the parade. This individual was one of about a dozen carrying the rainbow flag. It's huge!

Wish I'd got some of the red in this shot. . .

Quote of the Day: "There can be no happiness if the things we believe in are different from the things we do." -- Freya Stark

The past two or three days, I've made this entry in my online Diary (which I really should call a journal) early in the day. It's barely ten o'clock now. I've also been filling quite a lot of space. I wonder why? Maybe it's my upcoming trip. I'm trying to fill space in an effort to offset the lack of entries while I'm out of town. I've thought about working out a method to continue to post entries while I'm gone, but I'm not sure how to go about it without imposing on someone, or without it being difficult on me, actually. I'm sure I'll decide on something before the twenty-ninth.

June 19, 2001     (Tuesday)

The past week or so, I've been getting 'empty' phone calls. The caller ID box says 'unavailable' and when I answer, there's no one there. Finally this morning one of these calls connected. It was someone wanting to foist a "NEW" kind of bank card on me. When the live operator answered, it was with the words "VISA processing center." Excuse me, but I thought VISA was a well-established bank card? Well, anyway. The next words out of her mouth were "May I have your first and last names for verification, please." When I replied with "No, you may not," she hung up. No excuse me, thank you, kiss my ass or nothin'. This is inexcusable. This is rude, disrespectful and unacceptably aggressive.

I'd already gotten one call where the machine didn't connect (I forgot to mention that when I first answered the call a recording instructed me to 'Press 1' to hold for an operator) prior to the one where I got the rude treatment. I got another one shortly thereafter. I expect I'll keep on getting them until I either give them my name 'for validation' or until I call the phone company and Attorney General's office to have the sonsofbitches prosecuted for harassment. I want these people hung out to dry. They're predators, no scavengers, feeding on the unsuspecting. They shouldn't be allowed to conduct business like this.

Quote of the Day: "God is a comedian playing to an audience too afraid to laugh." -- Voltaire

It's a light.  It's at the end, but this ain't no tunnel.
"Out of Darkness"

June 20, 2001     (Wednesday)

Today is the 138th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln's signing of the proclaimation that created the state of West Virginia. Tomorrow is the 19th anniversary of my son's birth. It's also Prince William of England's 19th birthday. He and my son were born the same exact minute. It's also the beginning of summer.

With thanks to the Liberty Missionary Baptist Church for providing a handicap ramp that allowed me to get a vantage above the utility lines that usually mar such views in the city.
"Death Warmed Over"

Quote of the Day: "I think computer viruses should count as life. I think it says something about human nature that the only form of life we have created so far is purely destructive. We've created life in our own image." -- Stephen Hawking

Here's another in my ongoing series of vanity license plates. I spotted this one in the supermarket parking lot.

What now?

June 21, 2001     (Thursday)

I was wondering what to do about diary entries here while I'm on vacation. I think my air conditioner just made the decision for me. It's on its last leg, I fear, and we won't have enough money to buy a new one until the end of July. Imagine that! The last few days of June and the whole month of July with no A/C. I'm soooo looking forward to that. At any rate, I won't be able to run the computer in this heat for very long at a time, and mostly in the later evening, so I think I'll just put this project on another hiatus until I get back, and parcel out short entries until then.

Quote of the Day: "Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail." -- Ralph Waldo Emerson -- author, poet, philosopher (1803-1882)

And the colored girls go, doot duh doot duh doot duh doot duh doot.
"Hey Baby, Take a Walk on the Wild Side"

June 22, 2001     (Friday)

I got my first roll of black and white film processed, and got the photos back today. I'm pleased. This is the first roll of film that I've scanned every frame. Did I say I'm pleased?

It would have been better if they'd been holding hands, but who holds hands anymore?

Quote of the Day: "Don't walk in front of me, I may not follow. Don't walk behind me, I may not lead. Walk beside me and be my friend." -- Albert Camus

I also dropped off another roll of color film to be processed. I'll go pick that up in a little while. I'm getting excited about photography. Now if I could only find a way to make more money at it. . .

June 23, 2001     (Saturday)

A couple weeks ago, on June 11, I ran a picture called "Turning Point" and told a tale of hope and hopelessness. Here's the black and white photograph of that stump I took that day:

Hope springs eternal.
"False Promise"

Quote of the Day:
"Things fall apart; the center cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity."

-- From “The Second Coming.” William Butler Yeats, c 1920

Way out, off Washington Street toward Cross Lanes, behind the county human services office.
"Morning Wood"

June 24, 2001     (Sunday)

Sometimes I get so tired of things as they are, yet I don't know how to change them. The creative part of things I can handle. It's the selling I don't do well. Even the daily minutiae of business I can do. I'm usually good with people. It must just be that I don't like bargaining and haggling and all those marketplace skills that make for a successful career. Why does everything have to be so marketing-oriented? And you know it's going to get worse. Maybe I'll do like Kevin Spacey's character in "American Beauty" did -- apply for jobs with the least amount of responsibility possible.

Quote of the Day: "Each one of us, in his timidity, has a limit beyond which he is outraged. It is inevitable that he who by concentrated application has extended this limit for himself, should arouse the resentment of those who have accepted conventions which, since accepted by all, require no initiative of application. And this resentment generally takes the form of meaningless laughter or of criticism, if not persecution. But this apparent violation is preferable to the monstrous habits condoned by etiquette and estheticism" -- Man Ray, Paris 1934

Here is the master himself with his camera.  I love how he handles light and how he manipulates the development process.
"Man Ray (Self Portrait)"

Here's a pair of photographs, one taken in color on Fuji standard grade film, the other in black and white on Kodak T-Max Professional film. They were both taken from nearly the same vantage point with the same lens at 80mm. The color was taken with my Canon EOS Elan 7, the other with my Canon EOS Rebel X. It demonstrates that with color film the interest is in the color, whereas the interest lies with the juxtaposition of light and shadow and the contrast between light and dark.

A yellow house in shades of gray.
A yellow house in dying color.

I made some gamma adjustments and increased the contrast a bit on the black and white after I scanned it into the computer. I'm experimenting here, trying to establish what I consider a standard for my artistic photography.

I guess I'm living a slightly different dream. Why is it that society values art, but not the artist? Why do they exalt education, yet disrespect the teacher ("Those who can, do. Those who can't, teach)? I think it's a general fear of what people don't understand. If they respect teachers, they tacitly admit that there are people with more knowledge and/or wisdom. If they value artists, they have to accept that lifestyles and actions different from their own have some manner of validity. But all of it's okay if there is sufficient greed attached; take for example, the computer education seminars that float around the country, and the self-promoting, ego-ridden world of film.

June 25, 2001     (Monday)

This morning's edition of the Charleston Gazette had one of the best columns I've seen written about Tim McVeigh and the death penalty. Click here to read James Ralston's Column. [NOTE: The Gazette removes articles to their archives pretty quickly, so this is not available. They charge to retreive items older than six months (I think that's the time frame). What a rip!]

Quote of the Day: "If everything's under control, you're going too slow." -- Mario Andretti

Where's that damn moose?
"What Are You Lookin' At?"

June 26, 2001     (Tuesday)

My cable Internet provider has been down, on and mostly off all week. If no daily entry shows up here, they're to blame, not me. I have plenty to say and lots of photographs and other items to share with the world.

Quote of the Day:
"Only in quiet waters do things mirror themselves undistorted.
Only in a quiet mind is adequate perception of the world." -- Hans Margolius

I think I've figured out how to keep my daily entries going here while I'm on vacation. I'll use my guest book. I'll put a big link to my guest book, and make whatever commentary I care to make there. Once I'm back I'll transfer the entries to the usual diary page(s) and remove the guestbook entries. How's that for a quick and dirty hack?

This is a digitally altered photograph.  I only changed things like color saturation, intensity and contrast.
"The Sky"

June 27, 2001     (Wednesday)

I just realized I'm into my third year of doing this. It's a good thing it's not a serious business enterprise, because so far I've realized far less from it than it costs to continue it. Sometime in the next year I will need to increase the size of the space I have to do this project, if I continue in the same way I've been doing it. I'll have to do some serious reevaluation when that time arrives. . . or before.

I've resisted banners and ads and all the other so-called revenue generating devices the Internet-hucksters have come up with. I wanted to maintain a certain "purity" and only place links to those things I consider important or deserving or useful. Actually, I'll shut the site down before I become just another flashy annoyance.

Quote of the Day: "There is no sound so ominous, so disturbing, as that of a mind slamming shut." -- J. Michael Mollohan

The far end of Hansford Street, near the stadium, when the incongruous lives.

June 28, 2001     (Thursday)

Tomorrow's the day. I start my trip. I'll try to figure out the viability of doing entries here from remote locations (It'd be simple if I had a laptop!). What I might do is extend the page for June to include the first three or four days of July and adjust it when I get back. It depends on whether I can manage to access my FTP from elsewhere. One way or the other,even if it's just Guestbook entries, I'll beep you posted.

Quote of the Day: "The definition of insanity is doing the same things and expecting a different outcome." -- Albert Einstein (obviously old Albert had never used Windows. . .)

I love the way the light shines through the holes in the hat and spots his face.
"There's Nothing Like a Good Hat"

Late at night, getting ready to go on my trip to Chicagoland and points between. Yesterday I was in Ohio for a couple of brief moments. I took some nice photographs of the 31st Street Bridge between Huntington, WV and Proctorville, OH. Nice bridge. I shot nearly a whole roll of film while I was in the Huntington area. I caught the sunset on the Ohio River, too, I think.

My wife and I had taken my son and two of his friends to Huntington to a Pantera concert. Instead of driving the 60 miles back to Charleston, then having to do it again in a few hours, we hung around Huntington and I took pictures.

On the way back, we took Sean's friends home. The second one lives in one of the more affluent sections of town. I'm (naturally) not very familiar with South Hills. I missed the turn to go to his house, so I stopped, shifted into reverse to back up, as I'd only missed the turn by a couple of car-lengths. I saw headlights behind me, so I decided to continue on until I could find a place to turn around. Next thing I notice is flashing blue lights in my rear view mirror. I was being pulled over! The policeman was interested in why I stopped and shifted into reverse, or so he said. What I think it was is he saw me do that, ran my tags, saw what part of town I lived in and decided to hassle the riff raff who don't belong in that neighborhood. I was so pissed off I was concerned he would make me do a field sobriety test, as I was stammering and shaking. I've been profiled!

June 29, 2001     (Friday)

On Vacation

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Quote of the Day: "The most difficult thing in the world is to know how to do a thing and to watch someone else doing it wrong without comment" -- Theodore H. White

See you real soon. Anyone want to make any donations toward film processing? It's about $12.00 to $15.00 per roll for quality processing and I figure I'll have at least 10 rolls by the time I get back, probably more like fifteen. For every $20 donation, I'll send a 6 X 8 enlargement of the photograph of your choice. How's that for a deal?

I guess this is the more affluent version of having a rusted out piece of junk sitting in your front yard up on blocks.

Comments from the road: I'm in Indiana, south of South Bend, out in "the sticks" as my friend calls it. We drove about 13 hours to get here. I'm a tired puppy! The brakes on the car started acting flaky just this side of Toledo. Just what I needed, a couple hundred miles on US 20 not knowing if the brakes would work! Sheesh! More tomorrow.

June 30, 2001     (Friday)

No Entry Today

Web site down. No remote entry made. Had a nice visit in Indiana with our new friends.

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