Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Zeus' thunderbolts

The Greek god Zeus is considered the king of all the gods. Zeus rules Mount Olympus and bears the thunderbolt as but one symbol of his power and glory.

When Mother Nature looses her thunderbolts on us I am always reminded of Zeus and the ancient Greek gods.

The pic above is from The Big Picture, a 'photo blog' found at, the website presence of The Boston Globe newspaper. Once again they excel at collecting and presenting a number of photographs capturing a single subject or topic.

This time they turn their attention to the force of nature we know as lightning. The results are stunning. You really need to take a look if you appreciate the beauty of nature, particularly as expressed by the beauty, power, and portent of terror found in lightning.


Sunday, July 26, 2009

Cash for Clunkers aka CARS

OK, let me get this straight.

Because my wife and I made an intelligent car-buying decision a decade ago, because we chose a vehicle with a higher EPA MPG rating, because we made a smart purchasing decision . . .

Because of that, we are now penalized by this latest (or surely not, by now) government give-away of our children's future productivity and tax payments.

Ya know, I am not just whining because I do not get to dip my snout in the public trough (OK, maybe just a little bit I am) but this is once again another example of rewarding poor decisions and bad behavior.

What a joke.

Our clunker: a 1997 Chevy Venture van that hauled three kids around to soccer, Scouts, softball tournaments, church, family vacations and on and on...

Image source:

Of course, ours has 150k-plus miles and is a lot more road-weary and road-worn than this pristine file photo image.

Would be nice to get a little free sugar money to trade it in for something with better mileage. But no, the MPG is ONE MPG above the limit.

OK, now I am done whining...


Sunday, July 19, 2009

OMG ... I have...

Oh my gawd..!!

Three straight 'picture posts'..!!


I have turned into a . . .gasp ...'photoblog'..!!

For someone who likes to think he can turn a phrase (even if laboured to do so) or recognize a good phrase elsewhere . . .this is almost embarrassing to me.

. . . ...sigh...

' and no..!! No dang photos this post..!!'

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Nine on the ninth__July


All right..!! All caught up, if still late by a few days, with this post..!!

Earlier this month my wife and younger daughter visited Reiman Gardens at Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa.

Iowa State has had a horticultural garden since the early 1900s to support its educational goals. The current Reiman Gardens is the third 'edition' of this garden. The current location was chosen to provide "a larger, more visible location to beautify the entrance to the city of Ames and Iowa State University." While it still seems a bit hidden to the average city and ISU visitor they certainly got the 'beautify' part right.

Lets take a look.

A large stone slab marks the Visitor's entrance to the Gardens.

As you first enter the Visitors Center you find a large 2500-square-foot butterfly wing. There are double door entrances and exits with vestibule areas where visitors are told the simple rules of the short walk through the wing. One thing they warn you about is:

"Check for hitchhikers before you exit. Butterflies can land on you and catch a ride as you leave." evidenced by this butterfly that seemed to like my daughter's t-shirt.

Believe me, the sweet older ladies (volunteers I assume) that run the entrance and exit stations and the butterfly wing itself take their responsibilities very seriously and also make the experience a fun time for the visitors. Young kids seem to love the beauty of the butterflies.

But let's not forget the Gardens is also about . . .plants and flowers..! Here are just a few of my favorite photo-memories of the day.

An outdoor horticultural garden is also about walks, and arbors, and water structures, and shady paths, all the things that help foster the sense of peace and wonder found in the beauty of God's natural world. The Reiman Gardens certainly excels here as well...

But wait..!! I did not even get to the pics of the dinosaurs found this summer at Reiman Gardens. Dang, will have to save those for another post..!!


Sunday, July 5, 2009

Nine on the ninth__June

OK, OK. I am trying to catch up. I may even get July's nine on the ninth done in the correct month. But first, to make short order of June's late entry...

Once again, in the tradition that is 'nine on the ninth' ...lets 'git 'r done'.

Prepping our son's old bedroom walls before repainting. We painted over old paneling years ago. Yeah, we hand-painted those stripes, the grooves in the paneling that was in place ...on two walls. Luckily the closet and built-in dresser (shown here) and the doorway took up much of the walls. I just remember it being a pain in the arse ...what were we thinking..?!?

A summer meal for friends and family: grilled bacon-wrapped steaks and stuffed jalapeno peppers, fruit salad, vegetable salad, pasta salad ...and, of course, a nice bottle of red wine. Yummy I remember anyway. (And I forget what was for dessert ...if anything.)

An interesting pattern of lines, curves, light and dark on a curtain strongly lit from behind by the setting sun. The color is slightly off ...but still interesting to me.

What is up with these larger 'puffy Cheetos' that are out there now..?? Why are the bags not marked to indicate they hold the larger size..??

By the way, the Cheetos dot com site is real slow loading for my DSL connection ...I finally gave up. Might be a good test of your connection speed.

Chopped onions and knife.

Interesting parallel lines in the center frame of a sliding glass window.

Two photos of 'stuff on the kitchen floor'. Hmmm, given the usual 'state' of our kitchen maybe I should make that a formal tag.

Top is a bag of spilled 'waffle pretzels'. What you get when you pull the bag out of the cupboard upside down ... with no clip in place. Yeah, my bad.

The other is a single frozen pea that fell on the floor. Once again, the patterns and colors caught my attention.

So there we have it, yet again. About a month late, but hey, it is about 'git 'r done', even if much later than planned.