September 30, 2006


Help a sister out

My beloved postal worker friend Tammy is facing the Christmas blahs

If you can, go find a way to brighten up her day. We all want to see more of her, or given the success of her weight loss (is it the USPSOT diet, Tam?) I should rather say we want to see her more.

Chin up, Tams!

September 28, 2006


Fifty words so PJ's house won't fall down

"Are you crazy?" Dee screamed as her sister pulled her bloody fist from the drywall.

"No, the bastards deserve this!" she replied with a force that threatened her clenched teeth.

Please stop, please stop, please stop. The thought kept ringing through Dee's brain.

“Bastards!” said sis, “This is my struggle!”

September 26, 2006


Common Censorship

I am reminded via Beelers that this is the American Library Association's Banned Books Week (and how apropos the update of his blog's banner), a nationwide initiative to help people learn about and explore banned and challenged books. Google Book Search offers up this list of 42 classics recognized by the Radcliffe Publishing Course as "The best novels of the 20th century" - all of which have been challenged or banned IN AMERICA.

I best get crackin' - I haven't even read half of these! Here is a list of reasons why these books were banned or challenged if you're interested (and why wouldn't you be?).

Challenged this year:

To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee
Lolita – Vladmir Nabakov

Challenged throughout the years:

The Great Gatsby - F. Scott Fitzgerald
1984 - George Orwell
Catcher in the Rye - J.D. Salinger
The Lord of the Flies - William Golding
The Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
Beloved - Toni Morrison
The Color Purple - Alice Walker
Ulysses - James Joyce
Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck
Catch-22 - Joseph Heller
Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
The Sun Also Rises - Ernest Hemingway
As I Lay Dying - William Faulkner
Song of Solomon - Toni Morrison
Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
Their Eyes Were Watching God - Zora Neale Hurston
A Clockwork Orange - Anthony Burgess
A Farewell to Arms - Ernest Hemingway
Gone with the Wind - Margaret Mitchell
Go Tell it on the Mountain - James Baldwin
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest - Ken Kesey
Slaughterhouse Five - Kurt Vonnegut
For Whom the Bell Tolls - Ernest Hemingway
The Call of the Wild - Jack London
All the King's Men - Robert Penn Warren
The Jungle - Upton Sinclair
Lady Chatterley's Lover – D.H. Lawrence
Invisible Man - Ralph Ellison
In Cold Blood - Truman Capote
The Satanic Verses - Salman Rushdie
Sons and Lovers – D.H. Lawrence
Naked Lunch - William S. Burroughs
A Separate Peace - John Knowles
Cat's Cradle - Kurt Vonnegut
Women in Love – D.H. Lawrence
The Naked and the Dead - Norman Mailer
An American Tragedy - Theodore Dreiser
Rabbit, Run - John Updike
Tropic of Cancer - Henry Miller
Native Son - Richard Wright

2006 BBW; Read Banned Books: They're Your Ticket to Freedom
Read Banned Books:
They're Your Ticket to Freedom

Dort, wo man Bücher verbrennt, verbrennt man am Ende auch Menschen. (Where they have burned books, they will end in burning human beings.)

— Heinrich Heine, Almansor (1821)

September 24, 2006


Ansel Adams wannabe

I've had the B & W film I shot on my trip processed, and the results were, well, a bit diminished from what I had hoped. Strangely, these images transferred to CD fairly well - they came out looking much closer to the originals than what I usually get from color prints transferred to CD. Jeff Kos inquired about where I get my film processed, and in my reply I spoke too soon in saying that I just use the digital transfers and get them printed on a good laser printer. I won't be doing that for film-to-digital prints anymore because no matter the quality of the printer the quality of the transfers sucks. Anyway, I tweaked some of these B & Ws on Photo Shop. I'm not thrilled with the low contrast nature of this C-41 process film (If I could shoot them again I would use Tri-X 400 and a No. 3 or 4 polarizing filter).

What do YOU think? For best view click on the image and open your browser window to maximum:

Upper Rio Grande Gorge near Taos

Upper Rio Grande Gorge

Down in the gorge near Embudo

Courtyard at night - Sagebrush Hotel in Taos

La pluma de Padre Antonio Martinez - Taos Square

Storm approaching Taos from the northeast

Northward view near Taos

September 19, 2006


Whilst I was away

The drive from Georgia to the Rockies was a long-ass 1,400 miles, made especially long when you drive alone. Many thanks to Beelers for the loan of the audio version of Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas, which reduced the tedium of the mind-numbing miles by keeping them rolling by in thought-provoking hilarity. Alas, mine would be a journey rather aimlessly pointed toward the heart of the American Dream and considerably less drug-fueled. And fortunately for me, no bats (One toke over the line? You poor fool!).

I spent a good bit of my time in New Mexico with my blog pal (and almost everybody’s favorite troll) Rio Grande Joe. He was kind enough to to put me up for several days as well as take time off work to show me the sights of Albuquerque. I reciprocated by bringing camping gear for two and plucking him from the cement (or in Burque’s case adobe) existence of the city for a few days respite in the wilds of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains (meaning blood of Christ – how charming. What next – the Eucharist Valley?). There was much rejoicing and jocularity on our sojourn to the wooded highlands. More insight to our adventure can perhaps be gleaned from this post of Joe’s at Under The Bridge.

My alone time consisted primarily of more sightseeing, mountain biking and photography. It’s pretty hard to take a bad photo in the Rockies, and this memorable trip is archived with the 344 digital photos and 166 film shots I took. I also brought my digital audio recorder for random musings and assorted foolishness among the desert trolls.

All in all it was a very rewarding trip for which I had a bad jones going for a couple of years. I love the Appalachians, but the “bush” gets boring at times, especially when you are regaled with tales and photos from friends and acquaintances about the majesty of the west. There’s still much more to see just in our good old U.S.A., not mention all the places I’d like to visit on other continents, but this trip hit the spot, at least for now…

I dropped off the emulsified images for processing today ('ceptin the B&Ws which take more than the Wolf Camera touch - I hope they come out Ansel Adams-like). Anyway, here’s a sampling from the digies:

Hybrid bayou/desert architecture in Old Town Burque

Church of San Felipe de Neri – Old Town

The Troll surveys a battle of the skies from the Sandia Crest




I reckon I can’t say as I’d mind livin’ here, ma’am.

Upper Rio Grande Gorge

Antique cars near the Santa Fe Plaza.

The South Boundary Trail near Angel Fire

Part of the Dale Ball trails near Santa Fe

Mother of Mercy! Is this the end of O’ Tim?

P.S. – I sure did miss my loverly pregnant wife and my pups!

September 01, 2006


Go west, old fart

Well kids, I’m outta here for a coupla weeks on what is undoubtedly the last big road trip of my pre-daddy existence. I’m blowing the whole wad of my remaining vacation time to jaunt about the great wild west of my America beautiful. It’s been too long since I’ve set foot on those Rockies (seen ‘em from 30k several times en route à la côte occidentale). My jones is set to be quenched by hiking, biking, photographic ecstasy, lonesome cowboy pickin' and grinnin', low humidity and a tour of the bridges of Bernalillo County.

Jen’s bumming cuz she’ll be pregnant and without any human companionship whatsoever (hint to area friends) for 15 days. I salt her wounds by heading to a conference when I get back (just overnight, babe). Alas, I was promised my choice of extended respite in exchange for her GOING TO EUROPE this summer. And while finances may be a point of argument on that, I am doing this sojourn on the relative cheap (goddam gas prices – good thing we started that... ofergitit).

Anyway, I’ve no inclination to laptop it, though I may check in via library a time or two. Y’all be sweet.

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