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.


‘I’m Having a Heart Attack!’

American Ice Cream 04-07-2015_6138 I’m pretty sure the American Ice Cream Drive-In on the left as you come into Jackson was once a Dairy Queen. It wasn’t one of my haunts. (I was more a Wib’s guy.)

You know how certain family stories grow up to be family legends over the years. I wasn’t along the night that Dad and the rest of the family stopped in for what must have been a new product. I don’t know the official name of the frozen beverage they were served. Today it would be known at 7-11 as a Slurpee and other places as a Slushee.

Much like people didn’t really know how to eat pizza at first and ended up with burned mouths, Dad apparently didn’t know how to drink his frozen concoction. It was so cooling, so refreshing, so good-tasting, that he must have sucked it down in big gulps.

Sphenopalatine ganglioneuralgia strikes

American Ice Cream 04-07-2015_6142When the resulting brain freeze hit him, he told the family that he thought  was having a heart attack. Fortunately, the condition didn’t last long and all he suffered was embarrassment.

Sphenopalatine ganglioneuralgia, by the way, is the scientific name for “ice cream headache,” a term that has been in use since at least January 31, 1937. Much to my surprise, the first published reference to “brain freeze” was on May 27, 1991. I could have sworn I heard the phrase used long before that.


Brookside War Memorial

Brookside War Memorial 10-11-2014On one of my trips to Wib’s BBQ, I finally stopped to visit the Brookside Park Memorial to Veterans of All Wars, sponsored by the Jackson Memorial Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 10495 and the American Legion and their auxiliaries.

If I had been thinking, I’d have queued this up to run on December 7 to remember Pearl Harbor.

In a way, though, it is fitting that it didn’t run on that date. Since we have men and women in harms way all over the world every day, it’s appropriate not to pick a “special” day to recognize them and their families. We should remember them EVERY day.

I’ll break the photos into galleries by conflict. Click on the photos to make them larger, then use your arrow keys to move through the images.

I have to admit I’m a little confused at how the names were selected. I tried to cross reference some with The Missourian’s book, Heartland Heroes – A Tribute to Korean and Vietnam Veterans, and found names on the memorial wall that weren’t in the book and vice versa.

Approach to memorial

Revolutionary through Civil War

World War I

Brookside War Memorial 10-11-2014

World War II

Korean War

Vietnam War

Desert Storm

Brookside War Memorial 10-11-2014

Active Service

 Panorama of Memorial Wall

Brookside War Memorial 10-11-2014This is a panorama created from six individual frames merged into one image by Photoshop. A couple of frames didn’t match up exactly, but it will give you a feeling for the overall scope of the memorial.

Let’s hope it doesn’t need to be expanded any time soon.

Associated Sheet Metal Eagle

Metal sculpture on biz behind Kasten Brick 08-09-2014I drove down Lee Avenue in Jackson hoping to find some interesting pictures of Kasten Masonry Sales. On the way down to where the road deadends, I spotted this eagle catching a fish sculpture.

At first glance, it looked too back-lit to be good, so I made a mental note to come back on a day when the light was better. When I looked at it tonight, I decided it wasn’t that bad.

The only problem was that I didn’t know the name of the company.

Google was my friend

Google, as usual, was my friend. I used Google Maps to find the street, then switched to Google Earth.

Not only could I see the company’s buildings, but I saw a shadow of the sculpture on the ground. I switched to Streetview and “drove” along Lee Ave. until I spotted the eagle, and lucked out that a sign reading Associated Sheet Metal Company was attached to it.

So, that’s how you can find out stuff.