Sunrises are Overrated

Sunset looking west from Staples plaza 07-20-2016I’ve seen two sunrises this week. I pulled two all-nighters editing pictures and sending them off to be printed. The sunrises were spectacularly reddish, or, that might have just been what they looked like through my bloodshot eyes.

What brought about this horrible flashback to my high school and college days? The Cape County History Center in Jackson is going to exhibit pictures from my coming of age years. I underestimated how long it was going to take to get the pictures done because they had already been scanned.

What I had forgotten

What I had forgotten was that I really didn’t know what I was doing when I first started digitizing the film. After doing the digital darkroom work and getting rid of all the flaws, I should have saved them as a Photoshop file. Instead, I output them for the web. That’s great if you are only going to look at it on a computer screen, but the image falls apart if you want to enlarge it.

That meant that I had to go back to the original scan and touch up 100 to 1000 scratches, dust spots and flaws per picture. Doing that once is a pain. Doing it a second time is agonizingly, boringly frustrating.

Anyway, Carla Jordan and I are going to be hanging the show Friday afternoon and night. With any kind of luck, it’ll be ready for folks to see Saturday afternoon. More info to come.

That’s not a sunrise

This isn’t a sunrise, by the way. I had to go to Staples to pick up some ink for my printer Wednesday evening. When I walked out of the store, I was blown away by the way Man and Mother Nature were having a color competition.

Is It True?

Jackson sunset-moon rise 07-30-2015Wife Lila and I were over in Jackson to see Carla Jordan at the new Cape Girardeau County History Center on Thursday. All the parking was taken up, so we circled the block hoping a spot would open up. Just as I turned west, she let out a shriek, “Stop the car!!!”

I thought I might have run over an armadillo or something, so I locked down the brakes. It turned out that she had seen the almost full moon and wanted to get out to take a photo of it.

I shot an obligatory photo of the orb, but that wasn’t what got ME excited.

A great nerve

Jackson sunset-moon rise 07-30-2015In the early ’90s, I attended a conference on telephone technology where the cover of one of the handouts featured the 1851 Nathaniel Hawthorne quote below. That’s about the only thing I remember from the conference, truth be told.

Is it a fact—or have I dreamt it—that by means of electricity, the world of matter has become a great nerve, vibrating thousands of miles in a breathless point of time? Rather, the round globe is a vast head, a brain, instinct with intelligence: or shall we say it is itself a thought, nothing but thought, and no longer the substance which we dreamed it.

As soon as I saw the sunlight glinting off the utility lines, I thought of those lines. (You can click on the photos to make them larger.)

We’re already obsolete

Jackson sunset-moon rise 07-30-2015I just remembered one other thing about that conference. Another speaker broke the news that the new ACD (Automatic Call Distribution) telephone switch we had just spent close to half a million bucks on was already Old Technology. To prove it, he brandished a USA Today newspaper he had picked up in the lobby.

“Leaf through the ads in this paper,” he challenged. “See how many of them have a telephone number in them and then count how many contain a web address.”

I didn’t rush back to tell that to management.

 

Cape to Athens

Storm clouds 08-19-2014I was supposed to head out for Athens, Ohio, on the afternoon of August 19 and make a leisurely two-day drive out of it, with some sightseeing along the way.

Right before I started breaking down the computer equipment for loading, the weather alert radio went off with a severe thunderstorm warning with reports of baseball-sized hail west of us. I didn’t want to take a chance on getting holes punched in my windows before heading off cross-country, so I holed up under the overhang at the nearby funeral home. I was joined by two other cars shortly after.

We got some gusty winds, heavy rain and about five minutes of pea and marble-sized hail, but it blew through quickly. A few limbs snapped off a walnut tree on the side of the house, but that was about it. Based on scanner traffic, Jackson must have gotten more of the storm than we did.

Saying goodbye

2014-08-21 Mary steinhoff _9883Mother and I usually take a group selfie when I head out, but since I’m going back to Cape in about a week, we decided to go with a wave.

I think she’s been watching too much TV news out of St. Louis. That looks less like a wave than a “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” pose.

Traffic was OK

2014-08-21 Truck_9896With only a couple of exceptions, traffic was light and moving smoothly. Some clouds popped up a few times, but I had more bug splatters than rain splatters on the windshield.

Worked in a few naps

2014-08-21 Sunset_9928Listening to a good audio book about World War II kept me awake, but I did stop at some rest areas for seven and nine-minute naps. This is what I saw when I woke up from one of them.

I was in good company: there were six or eight 18-wheelers in the parking lot with their diesel engines grumbling away. It was either that or their pilots were really snoring.

Rolled into Athens with 532 miles under my belt at about 1:18 a.m. (I lost an hour due to the time zone change.) Wife Lila complained that 1:18 isn’t an “about” time.

I tried to explain that the exact time would be 1:18:42. I just rounded it to 1:18.

I don’t think it’s going to be safe for me to go home.

Contrail Brings Challenger Chills

Rocket launch 05-16-2014The Road Warriorettes and I had a great day touring Florida. I’ll be sharing some of those stories and some neat things we discovered in Georgia in the future. Getting along toward sunset, I said we should take a look for gators at Nubbins Slough on the northeast corner of Lake Okeechobee.

When we got to the top of the dike, we met a pickup truck parked looking east, but didn’t think anything of it. Curator Jessica got out to shoot the clouds turning orange on the north side of the lake. When I went to swing the van around to get it out of the road, I froze.

Flashback to January 28, 1986

lake Okeechobee sunset 05-16-2014In the rearview mirror, I saw a contrail that brought back that cold morning on January 28, 1986, when I climbed on the roof at The Palm Beach Post to see the corkscrewing smoke left over from the Challenger explosion.

I called Wife Lila in West Palm Beach to ask if she knew if there had been a rocket launch at The Cape. She said one was supposed to have gone off at 8:03, but she didn’t know if it had any problems.

My photo was taken at 8:07, assuming the time programmed into my camera was correct.

It wasn’t until I got home that I read that a United Launch Alliance Delta 4 rocket carrying a $245 million Global Positioning System satellite was launched into space Friday after a 24-hour weather delay.

Shortly after I turned my attention away from the rocket trail, the sky came alive.

Warriorettes are leaving me

Anne Rodgers - Jessica Cyders at Nubbins Slough 05-16-2014Anne Rodgers, Texan, former newspaper colleague and bike riding partner, is moving back home to Texas early in June. Curator Jessica Cyders, from the Athens Historical Society and Museum, will be heading back to Athens, Ohio, next week to her husband and cat. She hopes that neither has starved to death in her absence.

I hope the pictures they shot at Nubbins Slough this afternoon will bring back fond memories of our meandering.

Y0u can click on the photos to make them larger.