Saturday, December 29, 2012

Whirlwind - why I'll never catch up

A wonderful whirlwind with
sugar and toy-jazzed grandkids
wrapping paper and toys everywhere
trampled chocolate and gum in the carpets

To do list growing to two pages
single spaced
10 point charactors
Enough to fill 2013
which isn't even here yet.
Only 361 days until next Christmas

Just remembered
Exchange Karen's sweater for smaller size
Repair engine on Conner's train set
Repair net on the basketball goal
To do list growing to three pages
or just reduce the type
to 9 points

If I make the typesize small enough
I won't be able to read it and maybe
it will go away.

Missed the Friday Shootout
and I had a good blog planned too...
Pictures still in camera.
Maybe I'll do a belated blog.
Add it to the To Do list.


BUTLER:  "You know, if you stopped wasting time making a To Do list and just did each task as it came along instead of adding it to a list..."

BAGMAN:  "Forget the tasks.  Just look at the faces on Conner, Noah, and Kay..."


Karen's car pulls into the driveway
I can see it from my window.
Door slams downstairs
Feet running down the hall and up the stairs
"Diggy!  Diggy!  Diggy!  Diggy!"

No time to edit, just
push the publish key,
turn off the computer and lock it
(some things need protection)
from the whirlwind,
Jimi Hendrix song in my mind:
"The wind cries Diggy."

Beat the footsteps to the second floor hallway,
drop to my knees, open my arms
and let the whirlwind
blow me, smiling, up.

Friday, December 21, 2012

FMHTSO - Rainy stuff

Having just dropped the kids off after several uninterrupted days of rolling around on the floor, getting jumped on, hugging, building with legos and spending zero time on the computer, I dash into the B&B Studio for the Friday Shootout Blog.  And Friday is already half over.

"So what have you guys come up with?" I ask Butler and Bagman who are lounging around looking fairly bored.

BAGMAN: "Diddly Squat."
BUTLER: "He means that we don't really have anything."

"I know what 'diddly squat' means," I reply.  "But surely out of thousands of photographs, we must have a couple of rainy pictures."

BAGMAN: "OK, Almost diddly squat."

BUTLER:  "In Mark's defense, he is appropriately careful not to get his camera wet."

BAGMAN (rolling his eyes): "Or let sand or dirt get in it, or let it get too hot or too cold.  He treats it like a baby!"

"Except I put the baby in the bathtub regularly and she loves getting wet," I protest.  "And we did find this one..."

BAGMAN: "Our hero!  Fearless photographer.  Shooting from inside a car."
"The camera is a delicate thing!"  I argue. 
BAGMAN:  "Barclay took his Nikon all over Africa in all kinds of weather and mud and hippo filled rivers and..."
"And it came back filled with sand and mud and dents and scratches," I protest.
BUTLER:  "And he got some incredible pictures while you were mostly shooting pieces of furniture and shadows on the livingroom wall..."
BAGMAN:  "Maybe you should just frame the camera itself and hang it on the wall."
I decide that maybe the boys have a point and maybe I need to get out more.  But first I try to squeeze in one more picture.

BUTLER: "Not too bad, but you realize that lightening is not actually rain."
BAGMAN:  "Besides you took it from safely inside your back porch."
"But I had the door open," I whine.
BAGMAN: "National Geographic would be proud."

Thursday, December 13, 2012

FMTSO - How I Celebrate the Holidays

I was going to avoid this topic because...

BAGMAN (Rudely interrupting me): "Because you're a weenie and you always..."

BUTLER (Politely interrupting Bagman): "Let him finish his first sentence, at least.  He is probably going to make his usual holiday disclaimer about being a grinch.  I know he says it every year but it makes him feel good so give him a break."

Now that my partners have stolen my thunder, I don't know where to start.

BAGMAN (whispering in Butler's ear): "Thunder?"

Anyhow, I was going to avoid it because I couldn't really identify what special ways I celebrate the holidays.  It varies from year to year. 

And I don't have any really good photographs.  I'm expected to take a lot of pictures and every year I file away tons of pictures of people of all ages tearing paper off of boxes.  And holding up the present and smiling appropriately no matter what it was.  It seems fun at the time but with few exceptions... the year Brian got Sally...
...the other 56,748 snapshots have no use except as a cure for insomnia.
And, Butler is right, I was also going to avoid the post because the false impression that I like to give that I'm a grinch.   But the Universe (or as I like to call it, 'God's sense of humor) seems to have turned the tables on me and given me an annual tradition.  And not one that I'm happy about.
In 2011, I was suddenly attacked by some kind of incredible rash that covered my hands and feet with hundreds of agonizingly itchy welts. 
I figured it was just coincidence.  But this year, I was home alone, performing the annual Christmas ritual of hiding presents from curious grandchildren.  In our new house there is a locked entrance to the attic crawl space.  Behind the door is a space that is clear of blown insulation where I've been storing Christmas stuff as well as everything else that I don't have a place for and don't know what to do with but can't throw away.  
Note how neatly I store things
Also note baseball glove
Two gloves actually, smaller one for Noah tucked behind larger one for Conner.  I point this out because as I put these down, one of the baseballs slipped out and fell off to the right.  So I reached down to get it, stepping to my left so I could reach it and...
Concealed beneath the blown insulation was the edge of the supportive walk area
Note there is now a hole there just under the yellow thing
which I think is a sleeping bag that somehow got flung into the insulation
by my flailing arms as my foot went through the floor.
LESSON #1:  2 inch plasterboard will not hold 245 pounds of clumsy male flesh.
LESSON #2A:  If you are going to fall through a floor/ceiling, it is preferable to land on top of high cabinets rather than going all the way to the floor even if it is where we desplay Karen's collection of old bottles.
LESSON #2B:  If you are going to land on Karen's bottle collection, it is preferable to be wearing shoes (which, thankfully, I was).   
Note that this is not my real leg
LESSON #3  Even with ceilings, the exit wound is larger than the entrance wound. 
My first thought, of course, was that Karen was going to kill me!  That ceiling is less than three months old!  I'm in so much hot water!!
Then, with a rush of gratitude, I noticed the soft, warm feeling of blood dribbling down my arm.  Since it was my leg that went through, I couldn't understand what my arm had been doing but there were several superficial scratches on the arm and one really good gash in my left hand.  With a sign of relief, I immediately knew the gash would need stitches.  
I was relieved because Karen loves my hand more than she loves the ceiling and the hot water I would be considerably cooler. 
So I got to take my third annual Holiday outing to the Emergency Room.  It wasn't that bad and I was able to use a towel to keep from bleeding on the new floors or in my car.  I drove with my right hand while holding the towel-wrapped left one up to reduce the bleeding.  With my hand raised near the window, people I passed all thought I was waving to them.  They smiled and waved. 
Only 9 stitches and I'm as good as new.  A contractor friend has repaired the ceiling and we're back to normal.
But I can't wait to see what happens next year.


Friday, December 7, 2012

Friday Shootout - Best Friend

I was planning to skip this one. 

BUTLER:  "How is that different from two months of not posting at all."

"During the last two months, I just blew off everything.  This week I actually considered it and then planned to skip it."

BAGMAN: "You're crazier than I am, dude."

BUTLER: "May I ask why you planned to skip this one?"

After considering for a moment, I respond, "I came to the conclusion that I don't have any best friends."

BAGMAN (mocking loudly): "Aw Boo Hoo!  Poor you!"

BUTLER (with subdued anger): "You are hitting a new low in making up justifications for self-pity."

Now it is my turn to be angry.  "No, dammit!  I knew I shouldn't try and explain this.  I don't feel the least bit unhappy about it.  I've always had all the friends I ever wanted but I'm an introvert and I am confortable with that aspect of myself.  I have friends all over the place because of blogging but if I had close friends in real life, I'd have to go and have lunch or coffee with them and, to be honest, that stuff doesn't excite me anymore.  I'd rather read a book or go walking in the woods."

BAGMAN:  "You're definitely crazier than I am, dude.  We need to party more!"

BUTLER: "Actually, Baggie, I can kind of understand him."

BAGMAN:  "So what are you going to post for the shoot out, Loner-Man."

"A couple of people that I considered to be "best friends" back when I was more extroverted."

BAGMAN:  "Yea!  Booze and pot sure did extrovert you!"

So anyway, this is Ley Armen.   We hung out together a lot in college and for a few years afterward.  We followed the folk music scene in Boston -- got stoned and drunk alot -- saw Bob Dylan when people still thought he was a kind of weird because his lyrics were hard to understand.  Lee and I had a pact whereby if either of us ever got stuck anywhere, we could call each other anytime and the other person would drop what they were doing and come get us unstuck.  

This was Ley during a partial eclipse of the sun in Provincetown.  We had a million great times together although I can't remember half of them and probably shouldn't document the other half.  But Ley was also an amazing soul.  He served two years as a hospital aide in lieu of service as a consciencious objector during Viet Nam.  Unlike most hippies who just dodged the draft, he went straight to the recruiters and met the requirements.  During spare time at the hospital overnight, he developed an amazing plan in a huge notebook -- to move into the wilderness, buy a spread of land with a steam he could use for a power source, and build a self-sufficient farm.   And lo and behold, he then married one of the most beautiful women I knew, moved to Maine near the Canadian border and did it.  Raised sheep, goats, chickens,and three - I think - boys.  Fought bears and blizzards.   We communicated for a while but drifted apart.   A few years ago, I learned that he had passed away from stomach cancer. 
BAGMAN: "Yeah.  Ley was my kind of guy!"
Then there was
Eddie John
Eddie was the exact opposite during the same approximate time -- college and somewhat beyond.  Eddie was assigned to the same dorm room in my Freshman year.  During the next six or seven years, we were roommates in more apartments than I can count.  I lived with Eddie in more places than any other person.  Eddie was a straight-arrow, tea-totaller.   He might have a beer once in a while but never tried pot.  But he was also the most non-judgemental person I ever knew and never once complained or questioned my actions or behavior.  Sometimes, he rolled his eyes.  
BUTLER:  "Yes, sir.  Eddie was really my kind of guy."
Heart disease ran in his family and he died of sudden cardiac arrest before he reached 30.  I spoke at his funeral. 
BAGMAN:  "So this is your post about best friends?!   Two guys from the distant past?  Both dead?  And you are trying to tell us that you're not pitiful?!"
I don't bat an eye.  "Yep.  I'm glad they were in my life.  I loved them.  I miss them.  But I'm perfectly happy to hang out at home either with my family or by myself."
BUTLER: "How do you bat an eye, anyway?  I might have to do some research on that.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Friday Hometown Shootout - Faces

Things that look like faces...

I couldn't resist this theme.

Head Cold
 Sky nap
 Eat my dust
 Dancing Treeman
I have to confess that there was a little Photoshop manipulation with this one..
Tree Glutton
Be afraid.  Be very afraid. 


BUTLER: "Nice shot, Baggie."
BAGMAN:  "I didn't post this.  I thought you did."
BUTLER: "Mark?"
BAGMAN (Starting to do his happy dance, then pausing):  "Nah.  We couldn't be that lucky."
BUTLER:  "Maybe we're getting through to him."

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Take it down!!

I got an email the other day about my "new blog header" and my first reaction was to utter obscenities.  Unfortunately, I've been doing that more in recent months although I am pretty successful at not doing it in the vicinity of grandchildren.  Or other adults for that matter.  

I went down to the B&B Studio and found Butler and Bagman smiling broadly with their idea for a new blog about "Days With Diggy." 

"Who authorized this?" I demanded.  "Take it down!"

BAGMAN (Whining):  "Aw, Boss! We hoped you'd like it."

BUTLER (Lecturing):  "You really need to stop fighting everything and get out more."

"Maybe," I admit.  "I know that I've been a little grumpy lately..."

BAGMAN: "Grumpy?  Grumpy?!?  You're the poster child for Prozac!  Everybody's scared of you!"

"Not the kids," I protest.

BUTLER: "You are correct there.  You still have the ability to adjust your attitude and although you are grumpy around everyone else, when the kids show up, it is amazing how fast you turn into the Diggy that they know and love."

BAGMAN:  "Yeah!  Like yesterday when you were angry and frustrated because you thought you were going to have a free day and Noah got sick and then you had to watch both him and Kay and when they showed up you suddenly turned into Diggy again and took every pillow in the house and piled them on Noah's sick bed and turned it into a pillow house."

I take a deep breath.   Actually it is more like a sigh.   Maybe more like a resigned gutteral whiny exhalation of breath.  "Yeah, well.  They do smash easily through the walls of my frustration. But I'm still not ready for an entire 'Days with Diggy' blog." 

BAGMAN:  "Before this, you weren't blogging at all!"

"I'm just tired most of the time.  And there's hardly an hour or two free.  If I start something, I can't finish it."

BUTLER: "Excuse me for trying to pry you off your pity pot but you have all day today.  The whole day!  Nobody in the house except for you..."

I glance down at my ToDo list and reply, "...and the cat which needs to be fed and litter changed, and the dog who needs to be walked.  Then I need to go to the bank, the library, the grocery store, and the mall for Christmas presents.  And the bills that need to be paid.  The broken bureau that needs sto be fixed."

BAGMAN: "Blah blah blah!  You're no fun to have around anymore,"

BUTLER:  "You have to admit, Mark, that your attitude, to quote Bagman, sucks."

"Which is exactly why I don't blog alot and why you need to take down that ridiculous header."  I look at the crestfallen faces of Bagman and Butler and soften a bit.  "Okay, maybe I'll try to blog occasionly if I get in a better mood.  But erase it for now, okay?"

I leave the B&B studio to take care of the animals and hear Butler erasing the header.  Butler, of course, just runs his fingernails down the blackboard to get back at me.  

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Days with Diggy

BUTLER (stepping up to the podium which has been rented for the occasion and temporarily placed in the Butler and Bagman Studio):  "It gives me great pleasure today to announce that...OW!!  Ouch!! What did you do that for?!!"

BAGMAN: "Liar!  Liar!  Pants on fire!  There's no pleasure in this!"

BUTLER:  "Of course there is!  We should have been doing this all along!  We spend so much time with the grandkids, we should be focusing the post on them instead of trying to be so clever and macho all the time."

BAGMAN:  "You bleeping wimp!  Can't you see what Mark is doing?!  This is his first step to sending us to the nursing home!   Everytime we start to write a great novel or post a world-class photograph, the door opens and the grandchildren show up and we spend the day watching Barney and E.T.   We haven't even posted a single blog since October!   Our brain is turning to mush and this is your idea of survival?!"

BUTLER:  "As the Bishop of Geneva, Saint Francis de Sales (1567-1622) once said, 'Bloom where you are planted'."

BAGMAN:  "You made that up!"

BUTLER: "And Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young - 'If you can't be with the one you love, love the one you're with...'."

BAGMAN:  "Ah, yes.  I remember the Newport Folk Festival, 1970.  They were singing that and I looked over at this cute chick sitting next to me and smiled."

BUTLER: "And she moved to another seat.   Just roll with it."

BAGMAN: "I still think this is a mistake.  You are still going to be too busy changing diapers to have any time to blog and it will be another two months before you have time to write some cutsy story about the grandkids."

BUTLER: "Well if you ever bothered to help out changing diapers..."

BAGMAN:  "I've got better things to do.   And nobody wants to hear cutsy stories about grandchildren anyhow."

BUTLER: "Well Mark wants to try it anyhow."

BAGMAN: "Then where the hell is he anyhow?!"

BUTLER:  "Sleeping, of course.  Noah had a fever last night and he was up most of the night."

BAGMAN:  "So Noah had a fever.  Well that's real cute story.  A real bundle of laughs.  You got a picture to go with it?"

BUTLER: "You're just a terminal cynic.  How about yesterday was Conner was trying to teach Noah to ride a bike and...what was that?"

BAGMAN:  "Kay is waking up and crying.  Probably needs a diaper change.  See.  This new blog idea is never going anywhere.   Just because you're going to try and bloom with the one you're with doesn't mean you're going to have any more free time."

Grumbling, Butler leaves the B&B Studio, and stumbles down the hallway to Kay's room.   Bagman kicks the podium, his uncut toenails leaving a large scratch.  The podium rental company will probably keep the deposit, Bagman thinks.  He listens to Mark's loud snoring from downstairs then turns out the light.   "I'll bet we don't post for another two months," he says to himself.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

And out of long silence -- suddenly a poem

Second Childhood

I never expected at my age
 to be rolling  around on the floor like this
without the need to call EMS

(If the people who once called me boss
could see only see me now.)

Squeals that out-wail sirens,
small bodies that fly at me
with pillows from the couch
(where I'd prefer to be)
their ecstasy in their favorite toy
so animated, large,
so soft and bald

I remind myself from earlier days in another ring
to protect myself at all times.
I  wonder why I am now the one
in fetal position,

and when they'll start to enjoy, instead, my mind,
assuming it ever will function again.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Walking the twisty woods

Sadly, I haven't been going into the B&B studio much these days, but this morning I thought I'd peek in and see how bad the cobwebs are getting.   I'm almost blown away by the noise!

"Come on baby let's do the twist
Come on baby let's do the twist
Take me by my little hand and go like this
Ee-oh twist baby baby twist
Oooh-yeah just like this
Come on little miss and do the twist"
 For a moment, before he notices me, I watch Bagman and Butler dancing.  Bagman is flailing his arms, alternating between shaking his booty and doing some weird humping motion that would have made Chubby Checker blush.  Butler's twist is a repetative series of small, perfectly timed movements that are a combination of the twist and the robot.

But the moment they see me, they snap off the music and stand still, arms at their sides, heads down in guilt like schoolboys who have been caught doing the nasty. 

"It's okay," I say, "You guys are entitled to have fun even if I haven't been myself lately."

BAGMAN: "We were just getting ready to do a blog to cheer you up.  We know how much you like walking Daisy on the trail."

BUTLER: "Would you like to help us with the blog, sir?"

BAGMAN: "When you never even showed up for the Friday shoot, we thought you had gone forever!"

Things must have gotten really bad if Butler is calling me "sir."  So I decide to give it a shot.  "All right," I agree.  "As long as I don't have to dance."

Bagman frowns but Butler is already booting up the computer. 

The Twisty Woods
Although I still miss our old house with the pond and don't yet feel at home in the smell of new paint, I do like the fact that there is a walking trail just beyond our backyard and I have cut a path through the pricker bushes to reach it more easily.
The trail is wide and easy to walk and meanders for a little over two miles through woods and along a quiet river lined with reeds.
While I have become acquainted with my neighbors, I have become closer friends with the trees and discovered that they have created a fascinating development cooperating with the vines.  Of course they had no choice but they seem to have adapted well to their twisty neighbors who have woven their way into their lives.
BAGMAN: "You've forgotten how to write, haven't you, Mark."
BUTLER: "It does seem a little stilted for you, sir."
'Sir' again.  Dang.  These guys must think I've really lost it.
BUTLER (softly): "Perhaps a picture might help?"
They are almost all like this
The trees enjoy the walks that Daisy and I take as least twice a day (to keep the new carpets free from poop).  The trees don't even mind when Daisy lifts her leg on them which she does often even thought she is not a male dog.  
I've gotten to know some of these trees pretty well. 
The Sentinel Siblings -- An old pair, slowly dying, they still stand watch at the bend in the river and let all the others know when people are coming down the river or the path.  Since I now know the password, we just salute each other as Daisy and I pass. 

Gordo is Bagman's favorite.  You never see him move but he manages to place himself next to picnic tables in the picnic area and will steal the lunches of the unobservant. 
He sings baritone.
Albert is not as old as some of the other trees but he has the answers to any question you can think of.  Butler likes him alot.  If Albert doesn't know the answer to something, he will make it up.  I think Butler sometimes does the same thing.
BUTLER:  "I do not!"
"At least you've stopped calling me 'sir'," I reply.
It was Albert who confided in me that the Twisty Woods is a matriarchy and nothing of importance happens without the blessing of Mama Gooch (above).  I always bow my head when passing her and never let Daisy near her.  Bagman tried to flirt with her once and, believe me, he'll never try that again. 

BAGMAN (ignoring my comments): "I thought this was about the twist!"   He begins dancing again and trying to immitate Chubby Checker.

Yes, the vines. From the earliest time, Mama Gooch has ordained that trees not fight the vines but live with them in harmony.  I'm not sure the local arborists agree with me but I choose to listen to Albert and Mama Gooch.  

BUTLER: "Glad to see you using words like 'arborist' again.  Maybe there's hope for us yet. 

Many of the middle-aged trees wear their vines with pride and decorate themselves with honor. 

The partnership of vine and tree begins from earliest childhood.

Although some of the adolescent trees rebel, like teenagers always do, resulting a kind of bonsai-like struggle.  Mama Gooch will straighten these punks out very quickly.  Although, in tree terms, 'very quickly' can take years, according to Albert.

But it is time to end the walk -- next time I'll show some other landmarks and tourist attactions of the woods. 

BAGMAN: "Next time!!  Next time!!  You mean we haven't stopped blogging!!!"

"Just don't push me for a schedule, Baggie."  

Fortunately, returning from the Twisty Woods when I am sometimes lost in thought, not paying attention to where I am, I can count on another tree friend to keep me in line.

Officer Many Fingers, proud of his Native American name, stands beside the place where I cut a path through the prickers to my backyard.  He always reaches out and grabs me to keep me from wandering past the house.  He has also warned me that Mama Gooch was not pleased that I cut down the prickers and is still considering disciplinary action.

BAGMAN: "Oooh!!  Oooh!! Maybe she'll use a whip and wear leather.  I wanna watch!"

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Friday Shootout - Weather


"Whether" is more like it.    
Whether I'm going to post or not.   Since I missed Friday, whether to post on Saturday.   Whether to just post pictures with minimal banter.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Friday Shoot - Shallow Depth of Field

Entering the B&B studio, I ask, hopefully, "How did the stuff we shot yesterday turn out?"

BUTLER: "You don't remember how to use your camera, do you?"

"That bad, huh?" I answer, crestfallen but not surprised.  It takes awhile for the eyes to remember how to look and I was also shooting quickly so I wouldn't lose sight of Daisy who was running around the trail behind our house.  

In fact, I paid so little attention to the camera settings -- except to put it on aperature priority (thanks, Rebecca).  But I did not bother to notice that it was still set on bracketing from a month ago so that 1/3 of the shots were overexposed and 1/3 were underexposed. 

BAGMAN:  "I've got an old Kodak Instamatic you can use.  It's in a box somewhere."

I turn on the computer and look yesterday's attempts at shooting shallow depth of field and, after a moment of private greiving, delete them all.   Time to turn to the archive and pull out some stuff from the good old days when I had some idea of what I was doing.

And that's about it.
BAGMAN:  "What a wimpy blog, Dude!  You haven't even bothered to insult me one time!."
BUTLER:  "And you have not even taken the time to do something cute with your header picture."
"Give me a break, guys.  At least I showed up and I wanted to save some time to look at what my friends have done with their blogs."
BUTLER: "You are going to be envious."

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Where did I put that lampshade anyway?

Not sure how I had the energy to pick up the camera.
Photoshop almost makes it look like fun.   Not.
Maybe I like this copping better?
Not sure yet.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Friday Shootout - Black and White

BAGMAN:  "It's about time you showed up!!!"

BUTLER (suggesting a G-rated word for Bagman): "Slackard?"

"Sorry, guys," I apologize without sincerity, combining it with a rationalization.  "First I had to get rid of the box that Bagman had been stored in before the odor permeates the new house.  Then I got lost trying to find the studio and kept walking into the laundry room instead. 

BUTLER: "What about the box where you kept me during the move?"

"You did a nice job while you were in storage," I admit.  "Karen decided to use it to replace the wardrobe that got broken in the move."

BAGMAN (Glaring at Butler): "Suck up!"

"Anyhow, guys, let's get started.  The topic for today is black and white photos of our town."

BAGMAN: "I'd rather be in a box."

Bagman leaves, Butler puts moisturizer cream on his hands and is, therefore, useless on the computer, so I continue without them.

My hometown.  Hmmph.  I guess my real new hometown is a place called Hanahan. 


I still think of myself as living in Charleston because it is easier to explain.  We actually moved from Mount Pleasant which is a more stuffy, fru-fru kind of suburb to Hanahan which is a more blue collar, down to earth kind of suburb. 

There are about 13,000 people in Hanahan and most of them are police officers.  If you mention Hanahan to anyone around here, the first thing they say is, "Be careful not to speed."   But I never know when I am driving in Hanahan anyway because county lines and town lines in this part of South Carolina intertwine like a bed of snakes.  People keep getting together and incorporating little towns to avoid paying County taxes and politicians keep drawing different county lines to make sure they contain people who will vote for them.  Average people like me never know where they are because every time I drive around a corner, I find a sign telling me I am in another town.


Revenue (probably more from traffic fines than taxes) has built a fairly nice municipal building which includes everything -- administrator, mayor, police, fire, court -- one stop shopping.  


The official town seal consists of a heron under a tree although, so far, I have seen no herons since I left Mount Pleasant.  I have seen some trees.  

The seal also says "Circa 1973" which means, I assume that the town incorporated sometime around 1973 -- don't they know the actual date? 


I try to think of something else to say but Butler pokes his head in the door.

BUTLER: "Bagman's gone into another box!"

"Damn!" I exclaim, realizing that I've been cursing more than usual, lately.  "Doesn't he know where the bathrooms are in the new house?!"  

We rush off to get him and as we run, I realize that I'm not sure where the bathrooms are either.








Wednesday, August 29, 2012

360 degree erection

At least I've figured out which of the 2,346 boxes Bagman got packed into.  When I wrote the title for this blog, I heard faint snickering from a box marked: "boots, underwear, misc. bedroom stuff."  I'm still looking for Butler but suspect he is in one of the kitchen boxes, probably polishing silverware while he waits to be unpacked.

But despite Bagman's snicker, the title will be disappointing to strangers browsing for suggestive blogs.  

What follows is an 8-month series of 360 degree panoramas shot from approximately the same place as we humans took over another parcel of space from nature.

Not 360
I wish I had thought about it on the first day we saw the parcel -- when nature still owned it -- but I didn't start my periodic exercises until the mercenaries contractors had already cleared the land.

Anyhow, it was kind of fun doing it even though for several months I really thought it would never become reality since our old house just sat on the market like roadkill.   And I think I entertained the guys who were actually building the house when I would show up, walk resolutely into the middle of the site and stand, rotating slowly, clicking 10 to 12 shots as I turned.  I'd always grin, wave, and yell, "How ya doing?"   They'd always grin back and call out something that sounded like, "Ay ay, el gringo loco!"

I was going to wait for the last shot until everything was neat and tidy and pictures were hung on the walls but I realized that "neat and tidy" was never going to happen anyway and there really wasn't that much wallspace.
For now, I'm spending my time standing in the middle of this area turning in circles.  Not taking pictures...just turning in circles.