Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The Newport Aquarium In a Leap Second

You got extra time tonight. They are going to reset the Atomic Clocks around the world! They will be adding a leap second to all the time in the world. The Isotopes that run the clocks have all agreed to stop their decay for one second between 12:00 midnight 2008 and 12:00 morning 2009. There will be a one second stutter. Time enough to savor this posting about the stuff I liked and photographed at the Newport, Oregon aquarium.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Flying Along In An Old Frazer with Steppenwolf Singing In My Head

Flying Along In An Old Frazer with Steppenwolf Singing In My Head.
The Frazer automobiles in the late 1940's, had sort of a deep shelf behind the back seat. As a six year old, I fit neatly in that space, stretch out and looking out the back window as we traveled, and up at the stars when it was dark. I think about that magic place sometimes as I drive long distances. It was a magic carpet.

When I travel, the travel is the point. The going and doing is the thing. The destinations are just interruptions.
"Well you don't know what we can find..."

"I like to dream yes,
yes, right between my sound machine
On a cloud of sound I drift in the night
Any place it goes is right
Goes far,
flies near,
to the stars away from here"
Even the four lane concrete of the Ike Interstate System holds magic.

The real pleasures often come on the two lane blacktop, far and away from the peoples.
"Well, you don't know what we can find
Why don't you come with me little girl
On a magic carpet ride
You don't know what we can see
Why don't you tell your dreams to me
Fantasy will set you free
Close your eyes girl
Look inside girl
Let the sound take you away"

Drive the speed limit and God and his dog will pass you.
But watch out for the small towns.

"Well, you don't know what we can find
Why don't you come with me little girl
On a magic carpet ride"
"Well, you don't know what we can see
Why don't you tell your dreams to me..."
Once men sat here and fished this lake, ate well, loved well, and lived well.
They left 6,000 years of their history here.
"Fantasy will set you free"

The Frazer is long gone just like that six year old boy. Sometimes I summon the little boy back to his magic carpet ride. These days he flies along in a 2007 Merc with CD sound singing.
The little girl that flies along with him is North of 60, and mostly sleeps through the trips.
"Close your eyes girl
Look inside girl
Let the sound take you away"
"Goes far,
flies near,
to the stars away from here..."
"Let the sound take you away."

Steppenwolf Magic Carpet Ride Lyrics Songwriters: Kay, John; Moreve, Rushton John

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Tales of the Drive About:Seven : EAGLES and HAWKS

The highway between Klamath, Oregon and Bend, Oregon is in most places a tunnel of trees. Trees in the bazillion numb my senses, so that I was alert enough to see the bird off to the side of the road sitting on a spire of a tree, was a miracle. We are used to seeing red-tailed hawks on telephone poles and fence posts along the roads of Oklahoma. This bird was some what larger than that.

Yep it was an eagle. Sitting there, ignoring the traffic, was an eagle. So I turned around and drove back to take pictures. Second miracle, the bird was still there.

Car's honked as I diligently tried to get close enough. The Eagle stayed put.

Thirty some shots latter, I decided to let him be. So I left him on the spire beside the road and went on my way.

A week or so later I was driving down a highway in Eastern Nevada. The land was covered with 8 to 10 foot scrub. The 15 feet tall abandoned telegraph poles were the highest perch anywhere in the vast flat expanse we were traveling though. Sure enough there were eagles perched on the poles. So I tried to get several pictures. Some photos came out.

A few hundred miles further on we entered Utah and some farms lands.

Down the road in front of a farmers house I notice two large birds in the cottonwood trees in his front yard. One was a Bald Eagle.

The other was a very large hawk, I think.

He (she?) was antsy, and left soon after I started taking pictures.

The hawk left. But the eagle stayed.

And the Eagle stayed, and stayed and stayed.

So finally I left. Imagine, having a Bald Eagle just hanging around in your front yard.

So I need the help of those who know. I recognize the mature Bald Eagle of course, but are the other two eagles show immature Bald Eagles or Golden Eagles or what? Also, that's an awfully big hawk. What kind is it? It is in the SW corner of Utah.
Thanks for the help.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Drive About Stories: Six : Six Words

By Carol Memmott, USA TODAY
Could you sum up your life in six words?
Writers took the pithy challenge in Not Quite What I Was Planning: Six-Word Memoirs by Writers Famous and Obscure from Smith Magazine, edited by Rachel Fershleiser and Larry Smith (Harper Perennial, $12, paperback original).

This online publication's request for quick memoirs ( garnered 15,000 submissions; 800 made the book.

Here's what some of the more famous contributors wrote:

"Well, I thought it was funny." Stephen Colbert

"Me see world! Me write stories!" Elizabeth Gilbert

"Secret of life: Marry an Italian." Nora Ephron

"Fearlessness is the mother of reinvention." Arianna Huffington
"Relatively famous parents, very low self-esteem." Molly Jong-Fast

"Revenge is living well without you." Joyce Carol Oates

"Born bald. Grew hair. Bald again." A.J. Jacobs

"Fifteen years since last professional haircut." Dave Eggers

"Mushrooms. Clowns. Wands. Five. Wig. Thatched." Amy Sedaris

And now for my own:

"I lived well, I lived unseen."

Those who know me well will recognize those six words as a form of my life's philosophy.

So my fellow readers and bloggers what are your six words of a life summation?

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Tales of the "Drive About" FIVE Being Thankful

On this day of giving thanks across my county, let me add my meager gratitude's as well.
I am thankful for my wife of 41 years and her great tolerance of our difference in temperaments.
...for my children which have added so much to my life

...for my country and my freedoms there in to say and do and travel and be dang near anything I want
...for the land I live in from, sea to shining sea and for all the people in between who voted for and seized the future rather than the past

...for all the beauties of life and God's grace that give eyes and soul to see them

...and for the insight that this is not all there is.
For these I give Thanks.
I also give thanks to spellcheck which makes my writting look not too ignorant.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Tales of the "Drive About" FOUR : Name That

Name this Star Wars character.
How about Admiral Ackbar?

Monday, November 17, 2008

Tales of the "Drive About" THREE....Blow

Oklahoma Windmills

Are these machines made in America?
Do we export "wind dollars" to pay for them?

Old Style California Windmills

How long must a windmill generator function before its utility erases the invested carbon cost to make it, transport it, and set it up?

Palm Springs Wind Field

Dead birds, dead bats, all a feast for the ground scavengers who then become more locally prolific. Pollution Free?

Lots of smaller ones? A few large ones?
What's the life span of a windmill?
Why are oil men so interested in wind power?
Show me the money trail!

New Mexico Twirlers

My brother, the Oklahoma rural electric company CEO, notes that when he needs electricity the most, under a very hot August high pressure dome, the wind does not blow. Making it is one thing. Transporting it is another. Saving it for a windless day?