Saturday, January 31, 2009

More birds: white crowned sparrow and a bird with orange

Is the bird with orange a Baltimore Oriole? Saw it first at Jack's house yesterday and then up here at our place this morning. Usually the first orange of the new year belongs to the returning robins, doesn't it?

Update: Probably a Rufous-sided Towhee. The orioles don't have that snubbed beak.
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Friday, January 30, 2009

Contemporary Portraits: Dear Friends

The two of them were together down at St. Vincent's this morning and I just happened to have my camera with me. Ladies looking good.
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Missing photos

Eric and Jim alerted me to some missing photos on previous blogs - they were showing up on my computer. Don't know what happened but did repost the photos here (a couple of Birds capped) and here (More than a long time ago).

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Birds in our back yard

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More from a long ago time

Miki, our eldest, was celebrating her 8th birthday. Don't know why that #3 candle is sitting there unless one of the boys took a bite out of it. (: And I can't quite make out what the book is; not a picture book, I would guess.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

A couple of Birds uncapped

That would be Eric and me some thirty-six and a half years ago - summer of 1972 (I think). Any resemblence to the dudes with their caps here? (The link is the photo I posted yesterday of Eric and me in caps.) Long time ago. Lots of water under the bridge since then.
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More Winter Wonderland

Yesterday's episode of winter wonderland was plenty enough for me. Apparently there are others out there who want more. They got more and then some with a wintry mix coming down for several hours, giving everything exposed a coating of thick ice; and that all followed by another five or six inches of snow. Jeesh. The birds don't much care - they just get on with their foraging.
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Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Stoll's Lakeview Fountain: Three Views

Our near neighbor at the golf course is Stoll's Lakeview Restaurant where you can enjoy fine Amish cooking in very pleasant surroundings along with a view of Boggs Lake and across the way, some of Lakeview Golf Course. Just outside their south facing windows, a fountain is installed in the lake which gives off a spray which this winter season has found itself an oasis of water in a land of ice. For the Watery Wednesday meme, three views of that fountain, each with its own very different feeling. Of course, you can find more Watery Wednesday photos from around the world right here. Go take a gander (well, not a goosey gander but a visual gander).
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A couple of Birds capped

That would be Eric and me this morning. Each of us had been out and about in downtown Loogootee enjoying the new snow and winter wonderland. And doing other things as well: Eric visiting with Brent and seeing what course of action is needed to resurrect his investment portfolio; and I went to have some blood drawn so the good doctor (JP) and I can chat on the state of my physical well being.

Eric's Mother

Reminiscent of Whistler's Mother.
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Monday, January 26, 2009

Notes on a Monday Morning

-Science and the mass extinction theories: go here (Hell on Earth by DarkSyde) for a pretty dramatic demonstration of global warming and its causes. The writing is good; the vids are even better. Did you know that mass extinction events have happened six times on our planet?

-Spent some of yesterday's afternoon watching The Insider with Russell Crowe and Al Pacino. From Netflix:
One man told the truth. Another reported the story. Both paid the price. The Insider -- a true tale about a Big Tobacco scientist (Russell Crowe) who exposed industry secrets, and the newsman (Al Pacino) who fought corporate forces that would have squelched the story -- offers a glimpse into power, media and money in America. A thought-provoking and thrilling film.

It's a very powerful movie and one which depicts events that occurred a scant thirteen years ago - 1996. Of course, people have been claiming all sorts of dastardly things about tobacco usage for decades - if not centuries. But it was in that year that Big Tobacco was caught in its own lies and held liable for the health impact its products had on millions of people. Bless the day.

-60 Minutes, which played a major and disappointing part in The Insider movie (they bowed to corporate pressure and did not air its interview with Jeff Wigand), had an economic segment on last night that tells of the near despair of folks in Wilmington, Ohio. Its major employer, DHL, a goods delivery system, is closing down its operation which employed 8000 people. Wilmington is a town of 12000 so you can imagine the impact of that closing - would be like Crane and the gypsum plants closing in our neck of the woods. One point of the program: the billions of dollars that have been shelled out by Washington in bailout money is nowhere to be seen in the lives of these men and women on Main Street America. Are we hunkering down yet? Against the cold of the winter months and the dismal economic conditions that appear to be growing more dismal with every passing day?

Gotta stop - this is all black news - extinction events, tobacco lies and corporate malfeasance, economic firestorms. Would be a good time to go play golf if the temperature outside was about thirty degrees warmer. Alas, it's not. Maybe some stretching and some weights and situps and a walk around the neighborhood? The goldfinch and the chickadees and the cardinals are at the feeders - they don't seem to be too concerned about anything but maybe getting a sunflower seed or two.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Monochrome Maniacs: Heron looking for fresh fish

This blue heron was more interested in finding fresh fish than he was in my wandering about up on the dam. Photos were taken a few days ago when the rise in temperature allowed for a little thawing and also some golf (!). Since then, another cold blast has dropped down on us from the north. Other Monochrome Maniacs can be found here - go and enjoy their artistry and their skill.
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Saturday, January 24, 2009

Two movies and a book

Notes on a lazy Saturday afternoon:

Saw two war movies this week, both excellent:
-The Crossing - Jeff Daniels plays George Washington in this depiction of the critical battle of Trenton during the early part of the Revolutionary War - Christmas night, 1776. Historical and very entertaining.
-Tae Guk Gi: The Brotherhood of War - A Korean movie about a couple of brothers during the early part of the Korean War. Violent, brutal, bloody, devastating; and riveting and excellent.

Just thought of a third movie worth mentioning - saw it exactly one week ago today: Hannibal Rising. That would be Hannibal Lecter and if you're a fan of that series of gory, cannibalastic suspense thrillers, you'll like this one as well. Both Diane and I enjoyed it.

And the finished book: Cormac McCarthy's The Orchard Keeper. His first book and one that is full of Cormac's descriptive passages - it's obvious that he loves words. But the book is short on story line and tension/suspense. From a reviewer, Robert Mathes, at

It is a story about the land and people that personify independance. It is about an age of rural Southern life that no longer exists. It is not supposed to tie it's points up in ribbons and to keep you passionately turning pages unless your there for the art of it (of which there is a considerable amount).

I agree - good depiction of life in the hills of Tennesee back in the '30's. But not much of a story.

Contemporary Portrait: Good Neighbor Jack

Head on and eyes looking right at the camera, Good Neighbor Jack was both ready and willing to have his portrait taken after a spell on the golf course. Photo submitted as part of Contemporary Portrait meme. Come on over, take a peek, and even think about posting one of your own portraits.
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Friday, January 23, 2009

White dog

On the way home from the restaurant the other night, we passed a white dog waiting 'faithfully' and patiently for its master. Miki and Kevin live just several blocks from the Bloomington Square so walking is both easy and delightful. Wonder if I could convince our little town of Loogootee to move about two and a half miles north on US 231.
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Thursday, January 22, 2009

Street Photographer

Part of the Bloomington scene last night.
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Motion 4: Bloomington Streetwalkers

Question: Why is that stop sign facing this way? Shouldn't it be facing the other way?
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Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Wednesday night in Bloomington

Miki at home prior to going out for dinner...

Doris, Miki and Kevin in the booth at The Farm in downtown Bloomington...

Henry being attentive...

Miki, Kevin, Diane and Henry (Doris is behind Diane) on a street corner after dinner.
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Loogootee and Indianapolis sunrise

Sunrise today in Indiana. Marty sent the iPhone photo - the one with McDonald's in it - from Indy which he was taking about the same time Diane and I were noticing the sunrise here in Loogootee - the top two photos. It is rather special and a change from the fare of the past several days (weeks?).
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Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Great Day in America...

...and the world. Hope you're enjoying the festivities. Hope you are somehow participating in the joy and hope of the moment. I like this post from daily kos; maybe we can make it last more than one day:

Cheers and Jeers: Inauguration Day

Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 05:03:32 AM PST


For One Day

No cynicism
No anger
No rage
No rants
No fuming
No fighting
No teeth-grinding
No axe-grinding
No finger-pointing
No tut-tutting
No bitterness
No bloviating
No bickering
No bitching
No frustration
No pettiness
No worries
No quibbles
No quarrels
No squabbles
No seething
No snipping
No sniping
No whining
No wankery
No regrets
No fear
No hate
No agenda

Just celebration...

And jubilation...

And pride...

And hope...

And history so thick you can cut it with a knife...

And one word---originally spoken and repeated by John Adams to George Washington---that skips like a stone across 220 years of American history to echo on the steps of the Capitol at noon today with new significance:

"Finally! Finally!!"

For at least one day...

This one glorious day...

It's all good.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Two girls

Posted as part of Contemporary Portrait, a meme that is just starting up with the start of 2009. I think it's a good idea - hope it takes off though to date it's going pretty slow - go here to see the others and maybe add one of your own. The above photo: young girls out at the golf course with their granddad this past summer. I expect Gramps was having as much fun as they were.
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Sunday, January 18, 2009

Monochrome Maniacs: Winter Panes

We've had a little cold here in the Midwest these last several days. Boggs Lake froze over and bucked and heaved along the shoreline. Photo - click to enlarge - is for Monochrome Monday and more of the Maniac offerings for this week can be found here.
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Motion 3: Birds and snow

Cardinal and goldfinch meeting at the feeder. Snow day.
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