madshutterbug: (c)2009 by Myself (Houdini & I)
Coffee is good. Or at least just enough is good, too much bad. How true that is of most everything, eh?

Warmer this morning. Yes.

Freeze damage here at teh Ranch included the inlet valve on the old washing machine. Not being terribly inclined to spend a lot of time learning how, and looking at the accumulated dirty laundry we called in our usual repair person. In about 35 minutes, inlet valve replaced, washer re-connected and functional. Cost? Approximately $700 US less than a brand new one. Even including the labour expense. Clean socks. Yes.

Progress in bringing new PC up to snuff, good. Second external USB HD and the one I felt most concerned about is good to go, no errors in file structure, scanned & de-wormed. This one holds the data backups which are within 24 hours of Laptop Deathcrash. So, yes, this is most excellent. Software still to install, eight apps and/or suites. With rain in the forecast for the weekend, likely to be accomplished soon. Oh... there are incidentals not included in that estimate. Still, no more than 10 total to be back to normal operations.

A couple of anniversaries of sorts today. First, it is [ profile] carlyinrome Day! Hippie Birdbaths! Probably I'll even post a separate Hippie Birdbaths note.

Today in History is also the anniversary of two significant aviation landmarks. On this day in 1903, a freezing, mildly blustery day over some dunes near Kitty Hawk, North Carolina the Wright Brothers made their first powered flights in a biplane they constructed. Their success at this grew from a foundation of several years making glider flights at the same location, first making an airframe which could sustain flight with a human pilot. Their bicycle shop mechanic, Charlie Taylor made the engine they used after they determined no existing gasoline engine met their needs. Among other innovative things, the engine block was made of cast aluminum, quite unusual for the time.

Thirty-two years later on the same date, Arthur Raymond first flew the Douglas Commercial (design) 3, the DC-3, one of the most significant and produced aircraft designs that made commercial passenger aviation an affordable possibility. Other designs came later, larger, faster, stronger... not all of them however remain in service. And there are still, various places around the globe, at least 400 of these venerable aircraft still flying.

I've ridden in a Goony Bird (nickname from WW-2 for the ungainly appearance on the ground yet excellent flying characteristics); one of the highlights of my life. The design did show drawbacks. Many pilots who fly, still, bring along a poncho rain cover, because the cockpit windows leak like sieves.

Now, off to feed teh Ranch.
madshutterbug: (C) 2005 S Grossman (Stalking_Elusive_Photograph)
From a Quieter Time )

Castlewood is the name of the house, built early in the 20th century in Dunedin, New Zealand. The original owner was a lawyer; after his death the home went through several incarnations including a home for troubled youth. When we visited there, Peter and Donna ran the place as a Bed & Breakfast. Marvelous place, wonderful visit, excellent people. They've since retired from the B&B business.

The filename on the scan is 20010910_120_2-05: Date, Type Film, Roll# & Frame. So 10 Sept, 120 film, 2nd roll, 5th frame. I'd kept a notebook during the trip listing notes about exposure and actual date/time for each frame. That notebook is hiding somewhere around here. I remember clearly that the date is for when I loaded the roll into the camera; often rolls were finished the day after. This is the case with this photograph, made on the morning of 11 September, '01.

Keep in mind the International Date Line; over in New York City the date when this photo was made was still 10 September. So everything I photographed on 9/11, for us, is a day before the 'Day the Earth Stood Still'. (The quotes reference a 'Writer's Block' prompt over on LJ.)

Peter, our host, also a painter walked up the stairs while I made a series of photographs of the landing window. He recognised the twin-lens format camera for what it is and we started talking art and media and techniques. He invited me into one of their private rooms to photograph another stained-glass window, and later during our stay I photographed another one, downstairs in the Butler's Pantry and the Study (also used as the Breakfast Room during the B&B incarnation of the house). Then Herself and I set out to explore Dunedin, and take a scenic train ride up the Taieri Gorge.

Memories of the date now known as 9/11 are, for me, always a bit... blurred, not confused, firm, and still blurred by that whole thing involving the International Date Line. Our room in Castlewood faced east, overlooking Otago Bay. I woke before the alarm went off the next morning (yes, even on our holiday we set the alarm... things to do, places to see! Set for a reasonable hour, though, not before the crack of dawn), and picked up the camera to photograph the sunrise over the bay and city. We learned about what happened when the radio alarm came on - and most of what happened did occur after midnight, our local time, so on 12 September for us. Blurred into two days by an international convention for when does the date change, anyway?

It's a jumble, then, my memories of where I was, what I did. Which day is the day? Which memories? The day we woke up gradually, enjoyed breakfast, then photographed a few interior features of a Tudor-style/Craftsman-style house before walking about and seeing some interesting scenery? The evening of the most excellent meal in an outstanding restaurant named A Cow Called Berta? The morning after that day and evening, also waking gradually and enjoying a sunrise? Later that same morning, watching the events on the telly which Peter brought down to the Breakfast room? Because in all the public rooms of the house (including the guest rooms) there were no televisions, only their own personal one in their private rooms. Their philosophy as hosts at a B&B stated that while on holiday, their guests should be able to avoid any of the distractions of the work-a-day world.

Except, this one. This one hammered and echoed and rebounded around and around and around the world, no matter ones viewpoint, that it was about time, that it was the most horrible thing ever. So this date is blurred and coloured by the light streaming in through stained glass windows made around 1912, windows which tinted the view of history through two World Wars and a dozen other wars between and about, windows which now are a part of my life.
madshutterbug: (c)2009 by Myself (Attitude)
While I'm quite appreciative of the 'shopping list' or 'wish list' features found on several commercial web sites, including Amazon and B&H Photo, I've not used them personally. I suppose I should start, after all it is a good means to an end of communicating what would be both useful and appreciated by someone. What makes this post unusual isn't that I don't use the wish lists, it's ... well, I'm going to create a single item one here.

One of my nieces contacted me today regarding this watch:

She'd been contacted through a bit of a round-about manner by the person sourcing that auction for additional information regarding the individual cited as the recipient of the presentation. The auctioneer is correct about the patent mentioned, and about the race. As well there is at least one other important automotive innovation which he built the very first prototype, and that would be the windshield defroster/heater system we all use these days.

Not so much about the number of living relatives, however, nor in how many generations removed. There's at least a dozen in the second generation (grandchildren) and I've not heard that the last surviving child passed away yet.

I know this because the fellow was my grandfather.

Yes, there is a slight difference in the spelling of family names. That would be due to a fellow who set that spelling down when Gramps went to work for Mr. Olds (prior to his going to work for Mr. Hudson). Gramps never changed it because that spelling also went along to the IRS for income tax purposes. My dad changed the spelling along the same lines, first employment records. Neither one of them nor myself spell the name the same way Great-Grandfather did.

At any rate. Yes, if anyone reading this can spare the change and wants to bid on that watch, I'll provide a shipping address if you win the auction and feel inclined to let me know. Meanwhile, I'll be pretty happy with the assorted hand tools I own which I know came from Gramps tool chest or shop.
madshutterbug: (c)2009 by Myself (Ka-BOOM)
Remember, remember the Fifth of November
The Gunpowder Treason and Plot.
I can think of no reason the Gunpowder Treason
Should ever be forgot.

New Work

18 Sep. 22nd, 2009 07:20 am
madshutterbug: (c)2009 by Myself (Moll)
( You're about to view content that the journal owner has marked as possibly inappropriate for anyone under the age of 18. )
madshutterbug: (c)2001 by Myself: Photographed in the Miyazu Gardens, Nelson, New Zealand (Meditation)
It is now June 7. Yesterday, a goodly number of people from many different places, including some who were actively involved in the incident, commemorated the 65th anniversary of one of those events which is known, going into it, will be remembered in History regardless of the outcome.

And most Saturdays recently, I've been not getting on-line. Might be deliberate, might not; haven't thought about that much. Still, no post from me yesterday about the date. And then, this morning while enjoying our oh so fabulous (NOT) old, rural North Central Baja Jorja telephone system dial-up connection, I see that a ton of friends posted a lot of photos yesterday, one means, manner, or other.

Damn, I love dial-up.

I also ran across one post where someone enjoyed the rising of the full moon. On several levels this really appealed to me. One of those levels is I enjoyed the same thing, immensely.

Herself and I went over to HorseRena to help a friend celebrate the graduation from High School of her son. Bit party, everyone had a great time. Barbecue meats for those that ingest such, potato salad, macaroni salad, excellent cole slaw, fresh fruits, cheeses, and Graduation Cake. Oh, and the Chocolate Fountain. ::nods::

Volleyball setups, and Slip'n'Slide which some of those folk take very, very seriously. One of the Graduates (two celebrations in one, they are or were classmates and friends and both familys are active in Herself's SCA group there) is touted as the Champion of this event, fairly commonly getting 23 metre/75 foot slides. So they made a 30 metre/100 foot slide...

And as it got dark, set up one of these new marketed free-standing 'firepits', where one builds the fire in a bronze or copper basin on a stand...

And I sat and watched the moon rise. Didn't bring a tripod, did bring the Point & Shoot camera, and made some photographs of the moon behind clouds. So did a young lady there, and she's been very politely asking me lots of questions about photography to learn more. She's some education in art overall, drawing and painting, now stretching into photography. Quite good, too. She was smart enough to bring a tripod for her Point & Shoot, eh?

Here's the thing, and why it's related to the Day. That big event, 65 years ago? One of the primary conditions the planners thereof, and the same considerations those who planned to defend against the previous planners thereof took into account, is the Full Moon. Dwight Eisenhower and the Allied command staff wanted and needed a night of low tide and full moon for the Invasion of Europe. The Germans figured the Allies would go for a night of full moon, but high tide. And so coupled with other things which the Allies did to help discombobulate the Germans, the confusion worked and the Germans experienced much surprise both about the when and where of D-Day.

I know someone, personally, who lived through being present there on Omaha Beach, on D-Day. Don't know how much longer he's got on this mortal coil. I do know him, and I know how events on that day and shortly after shaped his future life and professional career.

And I thought about him, watching that moon rise. And about the 10,000 plus others who went ashore or parachuted or glided into battle that day who did not live through the experience. And I thought about the numbers who waited for those people to come, and resisted them, and did not live through the experience. Who found the end of their days on this mortal coil there, then, in Normandy, France.

On the morning of Wednesday, June 7 with a beachhead established the outcome, while much less in doubt, remained undetermined and fiercely contested. Today we know the outcome. Today, there in Normandy, people who did live through the experience and from both sides stand on that hallowed ground to remember, and to heal old wounds.

To Absent Friends.
madshutterbug: (c)2009 by Myself (HippieBirdbaths)
.... .. .--. .--. .. . / -... .. .-. -.. -... .- - .... ...
... .- -- ..- .- .-.. / -- --- .-. ... .
madshutterbug: (c)2009 by Myself (Rembrance Day)
Might not seem strange to hear I watched a commercial on the Tube yesterday; might not seem so even if I mention we've been watching things a lot more recorded, recently. So zip and zoom through the commercials when they come up, maybe only stopping if one particularly catches our attention.

Isn't the case, this time.

Couldn't even tell you what we were watching now; something to occupy some time, really, winding down after working on the Ranch most of the day. Getting a bit red on the arms and neck, catching up but never surpassing all the things which need doing when one owns their own home, their own ranch. Winding it down. Thinking about something in particular, not even related to all that work.

The commercial was for Outback Restaurants. And I just stopped my mental processing at that, thinking how very, very Yank a perception of Australia is that particular restaurant franchise. How... stereotypical.

You see... or maybe you don't. The Aussies & Kiwis who wander through here, y'all will see. Not so sure about the Yanks, though maybe. Probably the Canucks will. Beyond that... I'm not so sure.

You see, yesterday was ANZAC Day. )


Just, no.

It isn't much. No music, no lone bugler playing 'Last Post'. Was just Houdini & I, starting our Saturday looking east over the pasture through morning mist. Because we Yanks are not the only people, we've never been the only people who've 'given that last full measure of devotion.'

Lest we forget.
madshutterbug: (c)2009 by Myself (Chanoyu)
Another group of folk living Down Under celebrate Waitangi Day. From the viewpoint of 'Not a Kiwi' the history behind this seems a bit more civilised, at least in more recent thought, than some of our own here.
madshutterbug: (c)2009 by Myself (Expostulation)
Today some folks Down Under celebrate Australia Day, so it is a holiday for maybe close to a half dozen of my FList. Now, there is (as there is also with several US Holidays) some controversy about this Down Under, and not all of Down Under is Oz, either. So, not everybody celebrates.


Happy Australia Day.

I suppose I could say I'm going to watch Mad Max. Not Mad Max 2, though.
madshutterbug: (c)2009 by Myself (Expostulation)
I am thinking, the first time I watched an Inauguration of a U.S. President live, on television, may have been John F. Kennedy's. Then again, I may only be remembering that from recordings. I am sure, because I experienced it, my father telling me to stay up late and watch Neil Armstrong walk on the moon, because that was history, because in his lifetime Mankind progressed from fabric covered biplanes to walking on another celestial body.

Today I watched the Inauguration live, via Internet feed, and in an association with a live interactive chat session. In my lifetime, then, Mankind progressed from only being able to participate live with those in one's immediate presence to include in that presence people from around the world.

I think about that and it helps put the rest of my thoughts into perspective.

I am not much of a conspiracy theorist. Occam's Razor is a powerful tool, and simplest is usually the most accurate. Still, there are enough issues with an election held eight and a bit years ago that I felt just possibly, conspiracy or not, the individual who took the Oath of Office had not actually been elected to that office. Again enough issues with an election held four and a bit years ago brought me to stop even thinking of the person who repeated that Oath of Office in conjunction with the title associated.

Some when in the year after that, I started referring to that person in a term pulled from the predecessor of 'spam mail', from Junk Mail sent by advertisers. Current Occupant.

No More. My President, the holder of an Office which at one point in my life literally held the power of life or death over my life as a member of the Armed Services, again has a name: Barack H. Obama is the 44th President.

As I said, I am not much of a conspiracy theorist. Still, deep inside me, in a place I really did not want to speak, in a paranoia birthed out of a time when there really were people trying to kill me, dwelt a fear. That fear I laid to rest when I heard President Obama take the Oath of Office.

[ profile] lolleeroberts said it best, over there in that live, interactive, Internet Happening: Whoever you voted for, this is impressive. Every four years for the last 212 years we do this. Peaceful transition of power for that many years is something.

And it happened again today.


Dec. 7th, 2008 07:23 am
madshutterbug: (c)2009 by Myself (Expostulation)
Watch out for low-flying aircraft today.

I say that with tongue in cheek. Actually, it is a rather somber, serious recollection for this morning.
madshutterbug: (c)2009 by Myself (Expostulation)
It is one of the reasons for wandering through the virtual halls of LJ, you know; things to read. Things to learn by reading.

I've heard or read a part of this quote, for example, one hell of a lot recently, let's say over the past eight years. Now, shame on me for not a) realising it to be a quote and b) not then researching it to learn that it is a longer quote than often seen. Oh, and I put it in my LJ Profile quite deliberately.

"My country, right or wrong; if right, to be kept right; and if wrong, to be set right."
Carl Schurz

I am particularly glad to learn that today. In part because I look to a lot of other commemorative dates as well, and for that reason another bit of a quote (and I will tell you now what I put in here is not the full quote. However, the ellipsis I'll tag on the end should let you know that, eh?) keeps running through my head. All day, it's been rambling about up there. Perhaps an easy thing to do these days, that rambling.

"Remember, remember, the Fifth of November..."
madshutterbug: (c)2009 by Myself (Expostulation)
Yesterday was St. Crispin's Day. This means it is also the anniversary of the Battle of Agincourt. I often post something on this day, just because. However, yesterday I never came on line, what with different things happening about teh Ranch and needing done.

So, shortly after St. Crispin's Day, this was written... )

Do a search on Wikipedia using 'Agincourt' for references, if you're interested. You'll get a disambiguation page, as there's a lot of things referencing Agincourt, and this will be the third link.

I've finally gotten around to doing that taste in art quiz meme. Without posting much more, as in what art piece showed, here's the result:

Your result for What Your Taste in Art Says About You Test ...
Balanced, Secure, and Realistic.

25 Impressionist, 12 Islamic, 20 Ukiyo-e, -24 Cubist, -34 Abstract and 9 Renaissance!

And the Down & Dirty )

Right. Interesting. There are things in this I agree with, and things I don't. Sooner than half-way into it I knew it would list "Impressionistic" based on what they were offering for comparison and what I like. I'm not surprised that Ukiyo-e rated as high as it did, I'm a little surprised that Abstract rated as low as it did. This may be because I've got a different idea about what constitutes Abstract than the quiz maker does. Dunno. Cubist got a negative rating as well, which is interesting as there are some cubist-inspired ideas floating about in my head just now...

And Flickr Stats apparently take Sunday off. I went to check on those from curiosity, and while it shows the graph of yesterday's hits (Flickr Stats always show yesterday's activity), today's page also said there is no activity for October 26. Which is, of course, today (checks datestamp on this entry again... yup, October 26 it is). o_O?
madshutterbug: (c)2009 by Myself (Tsuji)
Outside of a small village in central Honshu, not terribly far from either Nagoya or Osaka (and in fact rather closer to Kyoto), Japan, on a wet, foggy morning in 1600 C.E., a very large group of people got together for a spirited discussion about which direction their country would take in the future. The outcome of the Battle of Sekigahara tilted subsequent events and power structures in the favour of Tokugawa Ieyasu, who later became the first of the Tokugawa Shoguns, and the start of the Tokugawa Shogunate which brought nearly 300 years of peace and prosperity (or at least relative peace) to Japan.

A couple hundred years later, in another part of the world, some other people got together in a couple different places for similar, spirited discussions. In 1861 there occured the Battle of Ball's Bluff, in Virginia, and the Battle of Camp Wildcat, in Kentucky, both in a discussion about subsequent events and power structures in the United States of America.


Sep. 11th, 2008 01:14 pm
madshutterbug: (c)2001 by Myself: Photographed in the Miyazu Gardens, Nelson, New Zealand (Meditation)
Somewhen right close to now on the clock, because where I was on this day, that year, I woke up nigh on to 05:30 and watched the sun rise over Otago Bay in the hills of Dunedin, and it's right on about quarter after five in the morning there now. Only, because I'm talking about Dunedin NZ not Dunedin, Scotland or Dunedin, Florida, the date was also September 12. A quiet morning, peaceful, with a beautiful sunrise.

I photographed that sunrise.

I've been moaning and groaning at myself that I need to post more of my work, that there's no time because other things come up and shove aside the time for art and photography.

In another place I commented that I remember certain names, the names of the five people who died in this town when another someone went on a bit of a spree. I refuse to state that name.

I don't know all their names, the people who I learned, on that peaceful sunny morning on September 12 in Dunedin, New Zealand when the alarm radio came on, had died halfway around the world in the city of New York, on the fields of Pennsylvania, and on the banks of a river in Virgina. There are many people who know some of the names because they are related to them, friends with them, worked with them. Probably there are even some who know all the thousands of names. Someone, somewhere, may even know the thousands on thousands of names of those who died in the seven years subsequent to that day... are still dying. Because of that act.

And right about now is when I learned about it.

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