Battle Hill 1919


The highest spot in Brooklyn NY is the top of Battle Hill, within the boundaries of Green-Wood Cemetery, but in 1776 it was the site of the Battle of Brooklyn. A history buff may look at this from all sides… Continue reading

I found Aqualung in Reykjavik

At the Lucky Record Store, perusing their displays of pricey collector grade LPs, I saw three copies of Jethro Tull’s Aqualung (selling, left to right, for the equivalent of $100, $100, and $125). I snapped this photo to share with my Tull Skull pals.

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Never Too Soon for Trump Memorabilia

Driving from Seattle to the North Cascades last week, I saw few signs of the presidential elections, and most of them were in just one spot: a towering monument to Trumpism. There were a few other lone Trump and Hillary signs, and nearly as many Bernie signs still standing, but not as many as I expected for post-convention August.

On the return trip, while driving through rural Snohomish County, far ahead of me, I saw a beat-up grey Chevy pickup stop in the middle of my lane.

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Borgwards and VWs

April 25, after a family visit on the prairie, I left the Twin Cities behind with my AM dialed to Radio K. (These guys are like such hippies, digging Morly, the VU, James Brown, Jonathan Richman, and like much Prince enriching and delineating their lives man.)

I stopped at the west-bound I-94 Middle Spunk Rest Area, near the childhood home of Charles Lindberg. I noticed that the door to the janitor’s office was wide open, and inside was a gentleman relaxing on a chair. I took a walk down to the lake. As I returned to the parking area, I watched the gentleman (dressed more like a retired farmer than a janitor) inspecting the trash cans. Continue reading

The Art of Train Window Digital Photography

Trains go where they go for their own reasons. In the USA, these are usually economic reasons, and frequently those reasons may be historic and obsolete. The train does not care about your interest in taking photographs. If you want to take pictures of a particular landscape, doing it from a moving train verges on improbable. Yet, a train is a river that flows past vast landscapes and the extremes of all the measures by which we know beauty.

To get the most out of your train window photography, start by picking a good place to sit.  There are two strategies for selecting your seat.

  1. Sit on the starboard (or “passenger”) side of the train to minimize obstruction of views by passing trains.
  2. Taking account for the time of day and position of the sun, you may want to choose a seat on the side of the train that will minimize glare and maximize the direct lighting of your subjects. Avoid having direct sun on your train window. It will gleam and be prone to reflecting the glare of the windows on the other side of the car.

With luck, your seat will meet both criteria.  If not, plan to spend time in the lounge car.

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Hiking to Twin Falls

I convinced Jeff Acorn to get up early and drive us up into the Cascades based on a description of a trail that was promised to be open all year. Not this year! Snow on the road convinced us to turn back long before we reached the trail head. But I had a back-up plan, Twin Falls, part of Olallie State Park, a “popular family-friendly” hike that is at an elevation well-below the snow level even this year, and which neither of us had visited previously.

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