Thursday, May 31, 2007

Take Me Out To The Ballgame

O.K. up 'til now we've covered most of my picture collection subjects, Colorado, Chincoteague, the fire department, flowers, bridges and barns, but alas man can't live by picture taking alone, he needs to hear the crack of the bat, the taste of the hot dogs, the roar of the crowd, the peanuts, the Cracker Jacks and root-root-rooting for the home team, you know what I mean, BASEBALL. Ah, it's one of the few things that make summers bearable. Major Leagues, Triple A, Double A, Single A, Short Season, heck, even the Independent Leagues, baseball is baseball. We try to go as often as possible and may take in 8 to 10 games a year. The kids like to study when the good promotional giveaways are and plan the summer around them. Our team? The O's. Their home? The Yard, Oriole Park at Camden Yards. That's right, Baltimore, Charm City, you know you're got something special when all the new ballparks in the Major Leagues are compared to Camden Yards. With the B+O Warehouse, the Bromoseltzer Tower and Boog's Bar-B-Q out on Eutaw Street, this is baseball the way it should be. To date we've been to 10 MLB parks, 3 AA, 3 A and 1 Indy field. This year is a slow start, just one AA game (pink hats on Mother's Day) and two Fan-Fests in the past off-season. Gee, I wonder what's going on tomorrow night? Maybe....

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Boyd's Bear Country (Painted Gentleman VII)

OK, so this isn't an old dilapidated barn, it has never seen a farm animal and it's not even near a road. This is Boyd's Bear Country store in Gettysburg, PA and it is a 3 story steel frame giant, created by the Head Bean himself, Gary Lowenthal. If you have kids and visit Gettysburg or it's suburbs, you will be lucky if you avoid this, unless 6 million stuffed bears in one place is your thing. But if you DO have kids and you ARE in Gettysburg I'm will bet that the wife already has this on the itinerary. And for a small fee the kids can stuff their own Boyd's Bear. And for another small fee they can dress them in Boyd's Bear clothes, And for another..... good luck guys.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Home Sweet Homestead

I found this Fixer-Upper just east of Meeker, Colorado, while hunting in October 2002. Easy access to public roads (they're dirt, but they are public). Well ventilated to catch those cool evening breezes. Wildlife just outside your door. In need of some TLC and just waiting for the right do-it-yourselfer. Detached garage. Front lawn has potential and awaits the perfect landscaping ideas. Call anytime for a private showing. Priced to move, don't miss out on this one.
My wife already told me no. We took the second picture in June 2003 while on vacation. She didn't seem to think I was serious. After 20 years together, I thought she really knew me.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Sunrise over Tom's Cove

This is from last July and is taken along the beach road across Asseteague Island, Virginia. It's just a beautiful sunrise over Tom's Cove with the egrets feeding. It was taken on the way back to the cottage after searching for seashells with my daughter. Most mornings at the beach we get up between 5 and 5:30 and hit the beach in the predawn light before the suns comes up. We normally hike out close to 2 miles. After doing this for so long we know where the "beds" are. We normally don't find alot but if we find a good conch or bigger scallop, that's anything but black/gray, we've had a good morning. We have found a piece of star corral, a couple sand dollars (maybe $1.75 worth) and egg casings from welk and skates, we've also found dead rays and jellyfish and once some wood framing that had to be from a old shipwreck. You never know what you might find and that's what gets you out of bed before sunrise when you're on vacation.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Memorial Day Weekend 2007

These pictures were taken in July 1985 at the American Cemetery in Hamm, Luxembourg. This is where many of the fallen from the Battle of the Bulge are interred and is the final resting place of General George S. Patton, Jr. An inscription on a walkway near the memorial reads:

As a veteran, Memorial Day does mean a little more to me than just the latest sale down at the Mega-Mart. And, although my service was during the Cold War, I still feel a kinship with the men and woman serving now.

God Bless America.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Nothing But Flowers

I got nothing. I'm tired, it's late, this is it.
Here's some flower pictures from last year.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Fireman's Monument, Harrisburg, PA

Another picture from last Sunday in Harrisburg, PA. This one is a fireman's memorial, located on Front Street along the Susquehanna River, to those who served and lost their lives in World War 1. You may not see it but he holds a doughboy helmet in his right hand. The plaque reads:
Erected by the
Volunteer Fire Department
of the
City of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
in honor of the valiant
services rendered by it's members during
the World War 1917-1919
Dedicated 1924
These gave their lives
Benjamin H. Boggs
Herbert D. Harry
Clarence L. Hinkle
Louis E. Houseal
John C. Peiffer, Jr.
Charles W. Revie
Edward L. Selway
Frank Ziegler
Other plaques list the names of those who served. A newer plaque on the front tells you that this monument was restored in 2002 and rededicated on September 11, 2002, by Mayor Stephen Reed. Task Force 1 of Harrisburg was the first dispatched to respond to the site of the World Trade Centers. The plaque read in part "in salute to the Heroism and Professionalism of the Task Force and all in the fire service of America and this City, this Monument is further dedicated."

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Elk County, Pennsylvania

While we're on the subject of Elk County, PA, here are a few older pictures from past camping trips. The first was from the fall of 1999, again with the old point and shoot film camera. I could see this bull well enough, he was only 15 to 20 yards off the road, but the automatic light meter in the camera read the sky behind him. Nothing like screwing up and getting a cool picture like this. The second is from 2000, this time with a 110 mm on my SLR. This big boy was crossing the field looking to cross the road down from where I stood. I didn't make it up at all last year, just passed through a couple times. I hope to get up this year, if nothing else, get up in the fall to hear the bugling, oh, I love to hear them bugle.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Photographic Memory (Painted Gentleman VI)

This is possibly my first Painted Gentleman picture. It was taken in 1996 along Route 255 south of St. Mary's, PA. I had driven past it for a few years before I stopped and snapped this picture with my old point and shoot film camera (those were the old days). I still go camping up in Elk County but a year or so ago when I drove up to St. Mary's this barn was gone. It makes me think everytime I see a painted barn that I need to get back there with my camera, I mean, they're not making any more.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

I'll be your Huckleberry

Off of Bennett Avenue, near 12th Street, in Glenwood Springs, Colorado is the Pioneer Cemetery (aka Linwood Cemetery). If you walk the 1/2 mile trail up to the cemetery you will discover just how difficult pioneer life was. Read the stones, walk around, this is truly a slice of the old west. If you cut across the cemetery back towards town (or just follow the obvious signs) you will find the grave site of John 'Doc' Holliday. Well at least you will find a memorial to him, you see, they didn't mark his grave when he was buried there so that no one would rob it. Now, I guess, nobody knows exactly where it is. Be forewarned though, the walk up the hill is a doozy if you're from back east and if it's warm take some water. I got my wife up there by telling her it was just around the next corner. She got there and wasn't impressed. I swear, I just don't understand woman.
The first pictures were from November 2006 as was the second, the third pictures show the old tombstone from June 2003, apparently there was some misinformation on it.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Cool CATs

Just another picture I took this past weekend while on a short bike ride. Every day I drive by these lifts at the local trucking company, where they are parked awaiting shipment, some days the sun reflects off of them and it looks really cool. Saturday was mostly cloudy and this is the best I could come up with. Maybe I'll try it again some other day.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Department Pride

The Fire Department, especially the volunteer departments, are held together by one main thing. Pride. Along with pride is loyalty. Someone who doesn't think they are a part of the best organization is weeded out, pushed to the side or at the very least pushed to prove their meddle. Someone not loyal, who gets going when the going gets tough, are seen through and labeled as such. True professionals do their job because it's who they are, it's the right thing to do and because someone else is counting on them. It could be a fellow firefighter, it could be you. The volunteers as well as the paid guys show this pride with the one thing everybody sees, their apparatus. Sometimes there is a seriousness to it sometimes a whimsical side. Today I attended the Fireman's Expo in Harrisburg, PA. This is an annual event that brings firefighters from all around (I Saw PA, MD, VA, WV, NY, & NJ) some 7000 each day to wander around like kids in a candy store to see all the new apparatus, gear and t-shirts. And to see old friends, new friends and that guy with his safety vest, 3 monitors and 2 cell phones on. The guy who, you know, has five antennas and a light bar on his car that's worth more than his car. Yea, there's one in every crowd, us firefighters got'em too.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

The Walnut Street Bridge, Harrisburg, PA

I continue going through my files and when I find a picture I like I put in in a folder to someday be used here. Certain themes keep showing up and you've seen most of them, firehouse, flowers, barns, Colorado, etc. But one theme you've only gotten a peek at was bridges, even I didn't know I had so many. I've already posted the Brooklyn Bridge, but there is George Washington Bridge in NYC, The East Brady Bridge (soon to be demo'ed), the Chesapeake Bay Bridge, the Chincoteague Drawbridge, railroad bridges, covered bridges, mountain stream bridges and on and on and on. I don't know what it is but I may have a problem. It might be the lines, the angles, the masonry or the reflection on the water, I don't know.

This is the Walnut Street Bridge in Harrisburg, PA. It spans from the city to City Island and from City Island to the West Shore, well at least it used to. A winter storm in 1996 brought the ice up, it lifted two spans and deposited them into the Market Street bridge downstream. This span has been closed to traffic for years, even before the ice incident. My kids get the creeps walking over this bridge, because with the open grate you can see the Susquehanna River flowing below. I think it's cool.

Pictures are late winter 2004, summer 2005 and last weekend.

Friday, May 18, 2007

IAFF Memorial, Colorado Springs

Maybe it's because I am my fire company's historian or maybe it's my reflections as one of the Old Guys that am able to look back objectively at some of the things I've done in the fire service and walked away from relatively unscathed. But as I roam around my picture files I seem to have a bunch of pictures of Firefighter Memorials. Some represent a Company or an organization, some represent a specific day, a certain incident, all are sobering realities you just don't see as a young man running into places that everyone else is running out of.
This one is in Colorado Springs and is for the International Association of Firefighters. The IAFF is the union that represents the paid firefighters throughout the country. On the walls around the statues and flowers are the names of the career firefighters who have lost their lives doing their job. These men and women are truly American Heroes.
The bottom picture is the section of the wall dated September 11, 2001. This brings to light the fact that 343 is more than just a number.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Clouds are Cool

These cloud picture sorta look the same. The first was taken in the South Mountains of south central PA along the Appalachian Trail. The second was taken in Redstone, Colorado. When I took this picture in Redstone the temperature was around 100, shortly after this cloud and many others kicked things up a bit with a good storm, which dropped the temp into the mid 70's. After the storm, though, it got back into the 90's with some killer humidity. Don't like the weather? Just wait, it'll change.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Assateague Light (Painted Gentleman V)

This gentleman could use a little paint. I was shocked this summer when I saw the lighthouse on Assateague Island, I realize it has been a couple of years since I had walked back to it, but this looks bad. I guess with most ships equipped with GPS, and the recent ownership change to the Fish and Wildlife Service, a hundred and forty year old relic from the past probably gets pushed to the bottom of their to do list. I can remember the first time I braved the possibility of actually being carried off by mosquitoes and took my family back the trail, to see it and take a few pictures, how awesome it looked. The red and white candy cane stripes always made it standout, if you saw a lighthouse calender you KNEW which one came from the land of the ponys and saltwater cowboys. I hope that the right people get together and bring it back to the splendor it deserves.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Garden of the Gods

If you are ever in Colorado Springs, remember, Garden of the Gods is not a place to spend a little time, it is a place to spend a lot of time. Please learn from my mistakes. On our last vacation to Colorado I allowed only about 2 and a half days in Colorado Springs and we were almost half way into this time when we did a quick drive through the Garden (kinda like the Griswald's at the Grand Canyon) but once inside I found more and more places to explore. I wish I could have spent a couple days walking the paths, finding the all formations, watching the sun rise in the morning and set again in the evening. So take it from me try to plan a little visit to Colorado Springs on your next Garden of the Gods vacation.
Top picture is the entrance, of course, the second is the Siamese Twins with Pikes Peak in the background (I took the kids' Christmas picture here) and the last picture is the Kissing Camels.

Monday, May 14, 2007

The Walls Have Eyes...and Faces

In Carlisle, PA there is an old cemetery ringed by a stone wall. When you stop at the stop sign on Cemetery Avenue at East South Street you may get the feeling you are being watched. Well, you are. Some of these fellas are older then others but I couldn't tell you how old any of them are, I first noticed them almost 20 years ago.
As an interesting side note this is the cemetery that is the final resting place of Mary Ludwig Hays McCauly. You may know her as Molly Pitcher of Revolutionary War fame.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day to my Mom.
Happy Mother's Day to my Wife.
Happy Mother's Day to my Mother-in-Law.
Happy Mother's Day to all Mothers everywhere.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

I Heart Que

I love Bar-B-Que. I'm game to try it anytime I see a roadside stand. Although I don't live in Que Country, like the Carolina's, Texas, Memphis or KC, I still manage to sniff out a smoker when I need a fix. With my work I travel within a 2 to 3 hour radius of the office and at times make it a point to "swing by" any pit I know of or tryout a new one when I stumble on it. My kids have figured this out too and when I do go out of town they'll ask "Is that near...?"

This is Clem's BBQ, Clem is on old Route 220 north of Port Matilda, PA (State College Suburbs). When I first hit Clem's he had one hut set up and it was just Clem himself, his block pit, his pork ribs and his goggles, he has expanded and rearranged many times but locally he is still probably the best. He sears the ribs, lets them smoke for a little while then lets them steam until the meat is falling off the bone. His sauce is thin compared to store bought and has just the right kick.

Friday, May 11, 2007

In Squad We Trust - FDNY Squad 252

As I have said before I am a Firefighter. Yea, it's been years since I've donned a pack and dragged a hand line or faced the dragon fifteen minutes after being awakened by the bells, but the fire service is something that takes hold of you. You'll hear people say "It's in my blood", well that's me. On my last trip to the City, Squad 252's house, in Brooklyn, was on my list of things that I had to do. I'm glad I did. The men I spoke with reminded me of me and a lot of people I know. They were the most gracious hosts, showing us (complete strangers) their home and telling us what it is like to be one of FDNY's bravest. Thanks to Sean and Eric for showing us around. Sean told us he was with another company on 9-11 and Eric was in the first post 9-11 class out of the academy, God Bless you brothers. And hey, lets be careful out there.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Making My Children Proud

When my daughter saw me taking these pictures (and several others), she turned to her friend and said "My Dad is taking pictures of a tree." If that's the worst thing I do to embarrass her she should be thankful.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Fertility Mill (Painted Gentleman IV)

This beautiful building is an old mill in the village of Fertility in Lancaster County, PA. It was taken in the late fall of 2005 and shows some Christmas spirit.

The name "Painted Gentleman" came to me as I was writing my first entry in this catagory. From the expressions "Gentleman Farmer" and "Painted Ladies" (The houses on Steiner Street in San Fransisco) and it just seemed to fit. As I look at my files, and post one a week, I'm good to go for about two more months before I'll have to go find some more.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Independence in Bloom

Driving from Colorado Springs to Glenwood Springs along a windy State Highway 82, through the hairpin turns, past the steep drop offs and ignoring the wife's screams and attempts to brake from the back seat you will cross the Continental Divide at Independence Pass. At 12,095 feet above sea level the air is thin but you should still walk out to the overlook, the view alone would be worth the price of admission (there is no admission) and these flowers were just an added bonus.
This picture is from July 2005, the snow and cool temps were a welcomed relief from the 100+ degree days we had along the front range.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Looking for a Sign

Ever see a sign and wonder how often that happened before someone needed to put up a sign so that no one else would do it? Just another one of life's mysteries to keep me awake at night.
The top picture was seen in a laundromat in Meeker, Colorado, the bottom is at the Buford Store in Buford, Colorado (just east of Meeker on County Road 8). I can no longer remember this gentleman's name but his sign reads, "Keep Your Hands Off - Not Self Service". Both pictures were taken by my brother on our first hunting trip out west in 1989.