Friday, September 30, 2005

On the Levels

Leo, this is a very fine image. To have captured the moon in such a position over such a contour of earth is extraordinary.

I submit a technical critique: When using Photoshop's Levels, if you remove the unused data from your shadows range (see Fig. 1), then your shadows become the truest shadows (see Fig. 2). The same effect can be achieved with highlights, but you had no unused data in that range in this image. Credit the unadulterated light of the moon.

Carry on.

One Time, One Night in America

Photo by Leo

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Dilemmas of Existence

Photo by Leo
I don't know. Should I have the corn dog or the barbecue sandwich? Maybe the fry bread? Kettle corn and a large Smoothie? Why does life have to be so complicated?

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Wall Street (1987)

Best line in the film:

“Man looks in the abyss, there’s nothing staring back at him. At that moment, man finds his character. And that is what keeps him out of the abyss.” — Hal Holbrook, Wall Street


Almost time for another trip, Boys.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

G'Lawd A'Mighty! Talk to me now...

Photo by Leo
Got them hesitation stockin's, got them hesitation shoes
Oh, dear Lord, I got them hesitation blues.
Tell me, how long must I have to wait?
Can I get you now, or must I hesitate?

Monday, September 26, 2005

Our Blog


• Waffle Houses
• Taco Shops
• Jerry Garcia
• Mountain Sunrises
• Rolling Stones
• 400-year-old Hickory Trees
• Mexican Barber Shops
• Boy Scouts
• Enhancement of Garden Soil
• Steve McQueen
• Fast Mustangs


Sunday, September 25, 2005

Photo by Leo

Waffle House 6am

Photos by Leo

Saturday, September 24, 2005

The Taco Shop That Stays With You


Friday, September 23, 2005

... Just this once?

Photo by Leo
"Every public action which is not customary, either is wrong, or, if it is right, is a dangerous precedent. It follows that nothing should ever be done for the first time."

Microcosmographia Academica, F. M. Cornford

Thursday, September 22, 2005


It seems whenever I think I've got it all figured out, something happens to hose it all up. Not always something eventful, but some thing, none the less, intrudes on my fragile sense of peace.

When life seems its' tamest, subjective reality takes over. Today's a good example. Am I happy or content? No, but what else is new? Anyways, it was quiet and there were no serious waves.

This is where I work and spend most of my waking hours. I eat 2 of 3 daily meals here. I've lived in the office and slept in the nurse's office. I guess I find it humorous that, from a satellite, it looks like a digestive system.

The biggest concern on my mind of late is whether the next hurricane (Rita?) is gonna hit Galveston. I don't live for apocalyptic disaster, but with their frequency of late, they seem like the events to worry over. Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown died in New Orleans just a few days after being fetched from the flooding stench.

The bible exhorts us not to fret and also to keep our tongues from evil. Psalm 92 says not to... "be afraid of terrors by night or the arrows that fly by day..."This is Beverly Hills from 3800 ft. Nitsa lives around here somewhere. From 3800 ft. (and from knowledge) all I can tell is that the sun shines there a lot. Whether it's a happy place or not is a mystery to me.

I don't know exactly what I'm getting at, but something's trying to chew off what little bit of butt I've got left. I feel lost in a world that thrives on certainty and all I feel certain of is how lost I feel.

In the past, the lost feeling would make me depressed, but now it's my best friend. Go figure.

Get your duckies in a row and just keep plodding along. It's comfortable because it's what I know, but it doesn't make it any better. It just makes it familiar. Quiet desperation is that way I guess. Once you get past the anxiety, it's tolerably easier.

This is near where Chester lives. It's cloudy right now. I know. I lived near there for years. The clouds are what makes for an extremely gloomy image, even from space (approximately 4700 ft.).

Witty comments and sarcastic banter don't always cut it. I've learned of late how to shut up and listen. It's a stretch, but I think I'm getting better at it. It's always easier to snap and rant and rave. But when your raving goes nowhere, it's just a lot of wasted air.

"God night, sweet prince, and flights of angels send thee to thy rest."

-Bill Speare. Last line of Hamlet

Of Course Jerry Played the Guitar.

Here's a shot that shows the missing digit more clearly. This was a poster from the Lunt-Fontaine theater when Jerry played Broadway many years ago.
This is a shot from the last time I saw the Dead at Alpine Valley in 1986.

Camp Hickory

Although you cannot see the telltale trunk in this silhouette, this is a shagbark hickory tree. Carya ovata

I estimate 400 years old, because these are very slow-growing trees.

This hickory tree is so big around, my buddy and I could not touch hands if we tried to reach our arms around the circumference of the trunk. My friend slept in a hammock lashed between the tree and a nearby fencepost. I slept on the blue tarp in the foreground. This photo was taken at dawn.

Hickory wood at my exclusive campground was abundant, thanks to the tree. However, on one occasion, I had to tie a bowline ("the king of knots"), passed the loop beneath my armpits, then threw the other end of the rope over a low-hanging limb, then had a friend hoist me up to the crotch of this giant tree. From there I was able to liberate a few dead branches using a saw. Hickory wood fires burn extremely hot with very little fuel. Steaks are usually cooked (literally seared) within 4 minutes, using a sharp stick (also obtained from the natural surroundings) to hold the meat very close to the white-hot embers. The meat is cooked and all the juices stay inside.

Candle light is sufficient for a quiet evening of reading and reflection. Also it is sufficient available light for a photograph. This is a self-portrait taken inside a homemade lean-to shelter on a particular night when I camped alone at this fabulous site.

Soil Replacement Therapy

IN THE TOP PHOTO, you can see my Geo Metro contains three buckets of clay soil that I dug out of my garden back in Ohio. I would transport it to a field beyond city limits and dump it.

Then, I would take the empty buckets to a friend's farm (see photo below). My friend had cattle, and I would refill those buckets with cow crap.

Then I would transport it back to my garden, and "inject" it below the surface of the soil simply by working my spade. Good exercise. Long-range soil enrichment benefits.

My 1.0-liter-engine Geo Metro could haul three 5-gallon buckets at a time. You don't always need a pickup truck to get things done.

Fifteen gallons of soil replacement therapy per trip. It was a project with no time limit.

My friend's farm -- a 180-acre wonderland of mostly ancient hardwood forest -- had this really cool 400-year-old hickory tree at the corner of a soft pasture, where I would occasionally build a campfire and sleep beneath the stars. Naturally, I used dead, dry, well-seasoned hickory limbs that abounded on that enormous tree to make my campfire, which was most excellent for searing delicious steaks.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Be Prepared

That's me, wearing a Venturing uniform. Venturing is a relatively new branch of Boy Scouts of America. It is open for boys and girls, ages 14-20. A Venturing Scout who achieves the difficult Ranger Award has achieved the rough equivalent of the rank of Eagle Scout, although nothing can compare to an honestly earned Eagle.

There are young women who earn the Ranger Award who are capable of long treks into the wilderness, capable of surviving extreme challenges, and capable of kicking most men's asses.

In addition to the Venturing uniform, I also briefly wore the Boy Scout uniform while serving as Scoutmaster of a revived unit in a small village, and I simultaneously served on a four-county District Committee in Ohio as the Popcorn Sales Chairman (thus, this photo) and Public Relations Chairman.

This photo contains two key elements inspired from photographic lessons taught by the famous Larry Widen (just Google his name and you'll see what I mean) while we studied at Ohio University:

-- sunglasses
-- American flag

One more thing: People wanna bash the Scouts over gay issues. Why do some people want to force gay issues into Scouting?

Isn't it enough to let children have an innocent childhood, and teach them a few valuable outdoors skills?

Why do we need to discuss sexuality with children other than to prepare them with general tactics in order to fend off predators' attacks?

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Jerry's Right Hand

I dunno. The guy's been dead for 10 years and I can still get a laugh out of him. Today was a lousy day in the desert, for me anyways. I guess I needed a little laugh to make things right with the world. I found this and I found it funny.

(Post script: Garcia lost the top part of his middle finger at the age of 5. His brother accidentally axed it off while the boys were cutting firewood on a camping trip. Later, Jerry's dad was killed, swept away by the undercurrent, while fishing in the Columbia river.)

Nothing left to do but smile, smile, smile...

Monday, September 19, 2005

Bullitt (1968)

Lt. Frank Bullitt (Steve McQueen) is driving a 1968 Mustang GT.

He gets into a little road rage incident with some shotgun-wielding bad guys in a Dodge Charger. The bad guys are incinerated.

They don't make chase scenes like this anymore. Too many safety regulations. Computer animation does all the heavy lifting now.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Walkin' a thin line

Photo by Leo

Friday, September 16, 2005

Valley of the Shadow...

Photo by Leo
Another shot off the roll that got lost in the car and cooked in the August heat.

Right Before Leo Belches

Obviously this was taken right after we departed from the Mexican fast-food restaurant.

Leo has some funny tics.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

All New Minglewood Blues

I was born in a desert, raised in a lion's den
I was born in a desert, raised in a lion's den
And my number one occupation is stealing women from their men

Well I'm a wanted man in Texas, busted jail and I'm gone for good
Well I'm a wanted man in Texas, busted jail and I'm gone for good
Well the sheriff couldn't catch me
But his little girl sure wished she would

Yes and the doctor call me crazy, some says I am some says I ain't
Yes and the doctor call me crazy, some says I am some says I ain't
The preacher man call me a sinner, but his little girl call me a saint

Well a couple of shots of whiskey, women round here start lookin' good
Well a couple of shots of whiskey, women round here start lookin' good
Couple more shots of whiskey, I'm goin' back to Minglewood

It's T for Texas, yes and it's T for Timbuctoo
It's T for Texas, yes and it's T for Timbuctoo
Yes and it's capital T for Tombstone
Where the little girls know what to do

-Noah Lewis 1928

The Real Leo

Here he is.

Spends hours every morning at McDonald's with a bunch of geezers, sipping coffee, bitching about nothing in general.

Shuffles through Wal-Mart .

Scratches his crotch and butt frequently.

Watches re-runs of "Hee Haw."

Smokes the foulest-smelling cigars imaginable.

Drives a 1972 Chevy, which only has 30,000 miles on it.

Presidential Grave Dancing

The Harding Memorial in Marion, Ohio, is the final resting place of the 29th president of the United States, Warren Gamaliel Harding (1921-23), and his wife, Florence Kling Harding.

The memorial was built entirely from funds donated by the public.

Every year, the local Boy Scouts hold what they call their Harding Pilgrimage. They march through the city and stop at the memorial for a ceremony.

Then the crypt is opened. It's a cool-looking inner courtyard that is kept locked all the rest of the year.

Notice the kids playing atop the tombs? Should have heard the cranky old bastard yellin' at them kids to get off of dem graves! I wanted to tell the sourpuss: LIGHTEN UP.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005


Image by Leo

Hard Head

The girls are long gone. Chester is irregular. Mike's too green. Leo's not producing. Somebody's gotta keep this blog going.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Photo by Leo
"Mama move your false teeth,
papa wanna scratch your gums"
Champion Jack Dupree

Keyboard action

Sunday, September 11, 2005


Photos by Leo

This house is really not too different from this rendition.

Photo by Leo

Saturday, September 10, 2005

September 11

Here. This will show you I'm not totally naive and idealistic.

"Missing" (1982), starring Jack Lemmon and Sissy Spacek, is one of my favorite movies.


Sept. 11 a Dark Day in Chile, Too

By EDUARDO GALLARDO, Associated Press Writer Sat Sep 10, 8:10 AM ET

SANTIAGO, Chile - Sept. 11 is dark day in Chile too: the anniversary of Gen. Augusto Pinochet's bloody military coup. And as in the past, it finds Chileans not just sad, but angry.

Violent protests have broken out in several cities, leaving four people injured and at least 20 detained. The government warned of "zero tolerance" for anyone who tries to incite unrest Sunday.

"This is not the Chile we want to build," said President Ricardo Lagos, urging his South American nation to remain calm this weekend.

Pinochet seized power Sept. 11, 1973, toppling democratically elected Marxist President Salvador Allende, who committed suicide during the military bombardment of the government palace.

The general went on to govern Chile for 17 years. During that time, 3,197 people were killed for political reasons, according to an official report prepared by the civilian government that succeeded Pinochet in 1990. More than 1,000 others — the "disappeared" — remain unaccounted for and were presumably murdered after being picked up by Pinochet's security forces.

But while hundreds of former military officers are being tried on human rights charges, only a few have been convicted, including four generals. Pinochet himself has been indicted twice and still faces hundreds of lawsuits, but has been spared trial because of his poor health.

A group of right-wing legislators this week introduced a bill that would pardon any convicted military men who have completed 10 years in prison.

The government suggested it may accept the bill as a step toward reconciliation.

"It's important to see how we can advance in healing wounds," said Lagos, but some of his own supporters angrily rejected the legislative proposal.

Today the 89-year-old former ruler has virtually disappeared from public view, even as he battles lawsuits stemming from the abuses of his era. He also faces tax evasion charges related to what prosecutors say are multimillion dollar secret bank accounts he owns overseas.

Pinochet appears isolated even from some of his staunchest supporters who steadfastly backed him in the face of human rights abuse accusations, but have not defended him in his money troubles.

Last month, Lagos pardoned retired army Sgt. Manuel Contreras, who was midway through a 10-year prison term for the 1982 killing of a prominent union leader opposed to Pinochet. The president said his decision was intended "to send a strong signal" of reconciliation but, instead, it caused an uproar.

Even Lagos' supporters protested the pardon, another sign that reconciliation remains elusive.

"One works hard to get a human rights violator indicted and then he is pardoned," complained Lorena Pizarro, who heads a group of relatives of dissidents who disappeared at the hands of Pinochet's security forces.

"Those who are guilty must be punished," she told The Associated Press. "We will continue to fight to gain even more convictions."

Pizarro's group has filled lawsuits against several suspected rights violators who took orders from Pinochet.

On the other side, Gen. Juan Guillermo Toro, who heads a group of retired military officers, complains they have suffered discrimination.

Toro said the Contreras pardon was a rare exception and that scores of former leftist guerrillas who killed soldiers and others while waging armed struggle against Pinochet's regime — or even after civilian rule was restored _also have been pardoned.

"Justice must be the same for everybody. That's all we ask for," he declared.

Beetle Bug

Photo by Leo
Just something purty to brighten up a hum-drum day.

Beer for my horses

Photo by Joshua
Well a man come on
Six o'clock news
Somebody been shot
Somebody's been abused
Somebody blew up a building
Somebody stole their car
Somebody got away
Somebody didn't get too far, yeah
They didn't get too far
Grandpappy told my pappy
Back in my day, son
A man had to answer
For the wicked thing he done
Take all the rope in Texas
Find a tall oak tree
Round up all of them bad boys
And hang 'em high in the street
For all the people to see
And justice is the one thing
You should always find
You gotta saddle up your boys
You gotta draw a hard line
When the gun smoke settles
We'll sing a victory tune
And we'll all meet back
At the local saloon
We'll raises up our glasses
Against evil forces
Singing, "Whiskey for my men, beer for my horses!"
We got too many gangsters
Doing dirty deeds
Too much corruption
And crime in the streets
It's time the long arm of the law
Put a few more in the ground
Send them all to their Maker
And he'll set them on down
You can bet, He'll set 'em down
Cause justice is the one thing
You should always find
You gotta saddle up your boys
You gotta draw a hard line
When the gunsmoke settles
We'll sing a victory tune
And we'll all meet back
At the local saloon
And we'll raise up our glasses
Against evil forces
Singing, "Whiskey for my men, beer for my horses!"

Friday, September 09, 2005

Is We Burnin'?

Image by Leo
Sheesh. I left the camera in the car, in 100+ heat no less, and this is what happened to the film. This was a fire in the Santa Rita mountains a while back. The negatives are tweaked really bad and the emulsion is not long for this world. But, damn, it's a cool image.

Two beers, $12. Two concert shirts, $70. A chance to spend the evening with the greatest rock and roll band in the world... Priceless.
Photo by Chester Arthur Burnett

At 62 years of age, the boys show no signs of slowing down. Last night's show in Milwaukee was 2 hours of powerhouse rock and roll, plus a blues jam with the legendary Buddy Guy.
Photo by Chester Arthur Burnett

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Skating away...

Image by Lawrence
"So you ride yourself over the fields,
and you make all your animal deals,
and your wise men don't know how it feels
to be thick as a brick." -Ian Anderson

I don't know. Maybe it's me, but I think it's probably not.

Riddle me this. Why do we find ourselves in a conservative place economically and politically but, yet, we live with a huge defecit? How can we, conservatively, spend more than we take in?

I know, it's the entitlements. But, the thing is, we spend as much in entitlements in a year as we spend elsewhere in the world in a month (maybe less).

Am I mistaken, but didn't Liberal Clinton balance the budget for most of the years he was president? The picture isn't clear to me. It we have a war and it costs $$$ (mainly due to folks like Haliburton charging $25.00+/meal for freeze-dried lasagne...) ought we not raise the tax rate? Or, maybe change contractors?

In the last spate of contractor dealings with war related stuff, Haliburton got the contracts, with no bid (NO BID) necessary. Hell, where I live you have to be the sole provider to get that kinda deal. We know that's not the case though, don't we? There's plenty of providers. It's the free market, remember?

Conservatives bemoan the monies spent on "welfare" and entitlements to American citizens. There are plenty of good reasons to argue with those programs and expenses. Yet we spend deficit dollars to bankroll military contractors and such. It sounds like rich man welfare to me. Which is worse?

In the end, both are obviously bad. In the end, cut them all off and start from scratch, a scratch that's truly fair to the American people. Pay what it's worth, not what you can steal or cheat or bilk from the American teat. That goes for people in need as well as people in business.

In the end, it won't happen because those in power do what it takes to retain power. Some will say Freedom's not free. Others will say that freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose.

I tend to agree with the latter.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Ted and Britney's Love Child

Funny how they dwell on the obvious. Nose? No doubt.

Ted, Is there a stem on the apple?

The Zen Way

1. Do not walk behind me, for I may not lead. Do not walk ahead of me, for I may not follow. Do not walk beside me either. Just leave me the hell alone.

2. The journey of a thousand miles begins with a broken fan belt and a leaky tire.

3. It's always darkest before dawn. So if you're going to steal your neighbor's newspaper, that's the time to do it.

4. Sex is like air. It's not important unless you aren't getting any.

5. Don't be irreplaceable. If you can't be replaced, you can't be promoted.

6. No one is listening until you fart.

7. Always remember you're unique. Just like everyone else.

8. Never test the depth of the water with both feet.

9. If you think nobody cares if you're alive, try missing a couple of car payments.

10. Before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes. That way, when you criticize them, you're a mile away and you have their shoes.

11. If at first you don't succeed, skydiving is not for you.

12. Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach him how to fish, and he will sit in a boat and drink beer all day.

13. If you lend someone $20 and never see that person again, it was probably worth it.

14. If you tell the truth, you don't have to remember anything.

15. Some days you are the bug; some days you are the windshield.

16. Don't worry; it only seems kinky the first time.

17. Good judgment comes from bad experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgment.

18. The quickest way to double your money is to fold it in half and put it back in your pocket.

19. A closed mouth gathers no foot.

20. There are two theories to arguing with women. Neither one works.

21. Generally speaking, you aren't learning much when your lips are moving.

22. Experience is something you don't get until just after you need it.

23. Never miss a good chance to shut up.

24. We are born naked, wet, and hungry, and get slapped on our ass ... then things get worse .

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