Tuesday, July 31, 2007

When in Doubt, Flowers.

Some more flower pictures to fill the space until I get back from vacation. These were on County Road 8, east of Meeker Colorado in the summer of 2003. A large version of this hangs in my living room.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Flower, Flowers, Flowers

A peony in my backyard, a rose at Dad's and a lily out front.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Cal Ripken, Jr. Hall-of-Famer

I am not here right now. Right now I am with an estimated 50,000 people in Cooperstown, NY for the Hall-of-Fame induction of Cal Ripken, Jr. and Tony Gwynn of the San Diego Padres. I'm sure right now I'm hot and sweaty in the sun or maybe cold and wet in the rain. I could be right up front or I could be binocular distance away. I may be hungry, I may be thirsty, I may have a headache from being around too many people. But one thing for sure is I'm in Cooperstown, with my son, for Cal's induction. Something I will talk about forever and my son can forever say "I was there." This picture was taken at the first game he and I ever saw and of course Eddie Murray was inducted back in 2003.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Elk Camp, November 2000

This is our cook tent, the sleeping tent was back behind this. Both are nestled in the pines at about 10,000 feet above sea level in the White River National Forest in Colorado. We hunt from what is called a drop camp, this is where an outfitter packs us and our stuff (food, clothing and bedding) from his pack station to his camp. The tents, cooking tools and beds are all his. Then he leaves with the horses and all his helpers and lets us on our own. We cut our own wood, scout, cook and prep our game by ourselves he then comes back up and packs all of our stuff and game out. It is a wonderful experience to be out there alone with your friends (normally there are 6 to 8 of us at this camp, all family and longtime friends) There's the snow and the cold (two hours after I took this picture it hit 0 degrees, then around 10 to 15 below by morning) and the wildlife. You'll hear coyotes running through the woods and elk bugling. Water comes from a small spring and you should boil it to be safe. Once down to civilization again and the game is taken care of you can take a shower for the first time in a week and then we do some sightseeing before heading home. Soon I can take my kids to do this and they can see what I've been talking about for all these years.

Friday, July 27, 2007

More Fire Department 'toons

Here are three more cartoon characters found recently on fire engines. The two Taz fireman are actually the same departments trucks, they merged a couple years ago, which explains the different colors. Another trend you will find in a lot of Taz characters and ,of course, bulldogs. The bulldog is the symbol of Mack Trucks and some people seem to think that a Mack Truck fire truck is the ultimate fire truck . My department never had a Mack we were, for years, a Seagrave department. And we've never had a cartoon on our engines either. To each his own.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

The Fair: Coming and Going

Just some more pictures of the fair. These are from the hill on our way in and on our way out. I spent entirely to much time in there this evening. It threatened rain the whole time, but never got more than a few sprinkles. The TV News guys from Harrisburg were there reporting live tonight. I talked with the weatherman, he joked about being the opening act for the band but they turned him down. Also talked to some friends and some family. But one thing for sure is by the looks of some of the people walking around I've come to two conclusions, number 1 is that some people obviously don't own a mirror and number 2 is someone left the door open to the mountain 'cause some of those people probably haven't been to town since last fair.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

2 for 1, Bedford County (PG XVI)

Painted Gentlemen 16A and 16B. Imagine two mail pouch signs in the place at the same time. Well, that place is Route 220 midway between Bedford, PA and the Maryland state line. I was on a road trip this week for work and came home with 8 new Gentleman (that doesn't sound good, I know). I also took some updated pictures of PG 8 and 9. More on this later. You know, it felt weird stopping along the road, taking pictures, hopping back into the car and leaving, like you're stealing something. Two of the barns I took pictures of had pull-offs nearby, as if someone or lots of someones had been there before me. It feels weird but I'm getting used to it.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Fair Time 2007

I know, I know, I know, more blurry fair pictures. Yeah, but ain't they cool? Taken this evening at the 50th annual Shippensburg Fair. The Zipper and even the mild mannered carousel look menacing when you take a picture like this. It's been a normal fair week, it rained. I did however indulge in a Big Boy Hoagie (that's a cheeseburger sub to most normal folks) and some birch beer. Now, I've been there, done that and checked it off my list, I don't need to go back for another year.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Yankee Signs

Just two baseball signs from King George's Evil Empire, the first is like a bumper sticker they have on all the field level seats, your typical "Look Out" warning. The second is outside the stadium near the ticket windows if I remember right. They must have posted this one after Boomer Wells pitched his no hitter.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Partly Cloudy

Just some pictures I took this afternoon of the cool cumulus clouds that have been floating by the past few days. First picture is out behind my house, the other is from my brother's field, it's up on top of a hill with no houses or overhead wire around. The second one is really cool 'cause you can see the cloud shadows on the mountain. You didn't notice that until I pointed it out did you.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Sunrise, Sunset

"Sunrise, sunset. Sunrise, sunset. Swiftly fly the years. One season following another, Laden with happiness and tears" These pictures are from Chincoteague Island, Va. The first is sunrise over the Atlantic Ocean and the second is sunset over Chincoteague Bay, looking back at Wallops Island. The sunset picture is one of my favorites, it is my wallpaper at work. No beach this summer for me, I'll be going north into New York state at the end of July, beginning of August. Maybe I'll get back down to the island for Christmas again. I will soon have to clean out my "pictures to be posted on the Outskirts" file, it's getting hard to figure out which I've posted and which I haven't. Sometimes I need to go back and look at the blog and see what I've used already.

Friday, July 20, 2007

9-11 at The National Fallen Firefighters Memorial

As promised this edition of Fire Friday or Fireday is the September 11th plaque at the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial in Emmitsburg, Md. This plaque sets between the plaque of the other fallen heroes from 2001 and 2002. Like I said in the post about the FDNY Memorial plaque at the Ten House, you just can't imagine the number 343 until you see 343 names in one place. That's 343 sons, fathers and loved ones gone. I know I keep repeating that number, 343, but don't think that I don't also think of the number 23, that's the number of NYPD officers who gave their lives to help the thousands and thousands get to safety. Or the number 37, that's the number of Port Authority Police Officers lost that day along with 43 other PAPD employees. Or the number 2,749, that's the number of civilians who had just gone to work that day and never went home. Or the unimaginable number of loved ones left behind. Or the number of servicemen and women who have fought and who have died to try and make this country a better place and to let the world know that the USA will not sit around on our thumbs while you do this. (I can image a flag waving behind me and the band playing God Bless America as I type this.) If you check out he NFFM website you will see they are working on a memorial for 9-11 to be placed on the grounds of the National Fire Academy. Called "To Lift A Nation" it shows the three firefighters rising the flag at Ground Zero. At 3 times life size you can bet you'll see it here once it is in place.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Reading Railroad Bridge, Harrisburg

These pictures are of the old Philadelphia and Reading Rail Road Bridge crossing the Susquehanna River in Harrisburg. I took these pictures last weekend while I was at the Pump Primers muster. The Philadelphia and Reading Rail Road ran from 1833 until 1896 when it became the Philadelphia and Reading Railways. In 1924 it became the Reading Company and became part of Conrail in 1976 which became part of Norfolk Southern Railway in 2000. This bridge was opened in 1924 and contains 51 concrete arches. If you look at the numbers on the pier on the right of the picture and see a "33", the line above it was from Hurricane Agnes in June 1972. If you think you've heard of The Reading Railroad before you more than likely have, it is the first Railroad you come to after you pass GO and collect your $200 dollars in Monopoly.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Totem Pole Playhouse AND Mail Pouch (PG XV)

Painted Gentleman 15. WOW! What I gem, all these years I had forgotten about this place. It sits on top of the mountain along Route 30 between Chambersburg and Gettysburg. I should have photo-shopped the eternal yard sale out from in front of it but, oh well. The Totem Pole Playhouse is a local theatre near Caledonia State Park that, for 30 years, was owned by William Putch and his wife, Jean Stapleton, you may remember her as Edith Bunker on All In The Family. Or the other angel, Patsy Millband, in Michael with John Travolta. Not too often will you find a barn with 2 sides painted, what a treat.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

More Scenes from Pump Primers '07

A couple more pictures from Pump Primers along the river in Harrisburg. Enjoy.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Got Weed?

Who says you gotta have big fancy flowers to take pictures of? Here's some weeds. Forgive me if I don't give you the scientific names for these. The first is a Thistle, the second looks like maybe a daisy of some sort and the third is Queen Anne's Lace. I never realized how hard it was to take a good picture of Queen Anne's Lace, getting a point and shoot digital camera to focus on the flower was bad enough but the dang thing is, like, transparent and all I would get is color from around it. My pictures made it look green every time. And taking pictures of the Thistle with the wind blowing, f'gettaboutit.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Pennsylvania Pump Primers 2007

Saturday also found me in Harrisburg, PA, in River Park, along the Susquehanna River. Yesterday was the 38th annual Antique Fire Apparatus Show and Muster. This event starts with a parade, all antique, and different from most parades, it is lights and sirens, bells and whistle all the way. Once at the Park some of the engines will park down along the river and flow water, proving that they may be old but they can still do what they were intended to do. There is also a flea market of fire related toys, signs, pictures, shirts and fire truck parts. We talked to some guys from Harlem Truck 26 selling t-shirts. The pictures include a shot from down along the river edge, an old Ahrens-Fox pumping and one looking out across the nozzle of a master stream device. Stay tuned, I'm sure I'll post more picture from Pump Primers soon.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Hagerstown Suns, Fan Friendly Since 1981

Just got back from a ballgame in Hagerstown, MD. Saw the Hagerstown Suns (Washington Nationals) lose to the Lake County Captains (Cleveland Indians), 4 to 2. The Suns play in the South Atlantic League which is a Low A affiliate of MLB. Good game, just a lot of missed opportunities, the game ended with bases loaded. The Suns play in Municipal Stadium, the third oldest in baseball, built in just 6 weeks it opened in time for the 1931 season. Hagerstown's Major League affiliations came and went over the years and at times there were none. And in 1981, after 26 years without baseball, the Baltimore Orioles moved in. And since 1981 the O's, the Jays, the Giants, the Mets and now the Nats have farmed their young talent here and have seen some success winning it all in 1981 and more recently won the Northern Division Title in 2005. Municipal Stadium has it's small franchise charms, wooden bleachers (the seats are fiberglass) a manually operated score board (Someone sits out there flipping light switches for balls, strikes and outs, and changes the runs, hits and errors signs by hand) this year it is operated by a cowboy (last year it was a genie with a turban and poofy pants) and Saturday night fireworks. For being as close to a neighborhood as they are they keep the fireworks low and at times they shoot'em rapid fire. One of Minor League Baseballs strangest giveaways came out of Hagerstown when they had a season long promotion that gave away a funeral, you had to write in an describe your dream funeral. I told you it was strange. On the more normal promotion side last night was also loaf-of-bread giveaway night. And that is just what it sounds like.

Friday, July 13, 2007

National Fallen Firefighters Memorial

"Dedicated to the thousands of Firefighters who have lost their lives in the very act of saving others" Ronald Reagan, President, United States of America, October 4, 1981.
Emmittsburg, Maryland is the home of the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial, located on the grounds of the National Fire Academy. The Academy is operated by Homeland Security so when you get there you must sign in with security, this is no big deal, the officers were very friendly and helpful to me last Sunday. I visited it in the morning and the sun was behind the main memorial, I guess I'll have to visit again in the afternoon next time. Surrounding this stone pillar are plaques for each year since the memorial was dedicated in 1981. Listed are the fallen firefighters by state. There is also a plaque with those missed from 1981-2004 and a separate plaque for September 11, 2001 (I'll cover that next week). Surrounding the plaques is a stone wall, they have started to place yearly plaques on this wall. There is an eternal flame here, but on this day it was more of an open flame and you couldn't really see the flame, just feel the heat. Leading up to the memorial are brick walks, these walks have names and messages and other personal memorials on them. Some departments such as St. Louis sponsored bricks for all of their fallen in their history. Others did the same. There are personal messages from parents, fellow firefighters and other loved ones. There are graduating class markers and department bricks. This walkway can eat up your time, I walked around and never realized I had spent nearly two hours here. As I looked around I saw bricks from people I knew and people I have heard of, two from Dennis Smith (Author of Report from Engine Co. 82 and editor of Firehouse Magazine). I saw names on the plagues of men I knew, of brothers and sisters I have spoken of here before, the Storm King 14 among them. Every year in October they dedicate a new plaque to the past year's heroes, I have never attended this but I am told it is a wonderful experience. Surprisingly, by the time I left, there were others (maybe 6-8) there to visit, there to pay respects or there to be with loved ones lost.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Somewhere Out There

This picture is from last fall and is in the mountains of Colorado. Just a good place to stop and catch your breath after a steep climb. It is also a place that some guys will tie off their horses and hunt on foot from. For me it is a 20 minute walk down from our tent and another hour back up.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Bowes Seal Fast (PG XIV)

Painted Gentleman 14. Who said "It is better to have loved and lost than to never have loved at all"? or "Better late than never"? Well, I don't know where I'm going with this but here is a barn, south of Carlisle, PA on Route 11. When I passed it last summer I turned around, came back and took a couple pictures. A few days later, though, they had finished putting up new siding and this piece of barn art has returned to the unseen. Thanks to GOOGLE I found out that Bowes Seal Fast is still around and have their own website. Apparently they started manufacturing tire repair patches and equipment, in 1919, and have since expanded their line of goods. You CAN learn just by reading the writing on the wall.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Here's Your Sign

I was out running around Sunday morning and took a bunch of new pictures, unfortunately the two things I wanted were facing west. So I'll have to go again in the afternoon and take picture of the fronts. For now I'm just posting two signs, the top one was from Pottsville, PA and reads "The Alleluia Christian Chinese Restaurant". (Add your own punchline here___________) The second was in Harrisburg, PA just off Front Street. The only words read "Linden Terrace Apartments" with a crossed out dog. Let me translate it for you, I think it says "We are OK with driving screws into our trees just don't let your dog crap here". That's just a loose translation, I could be wrong.

Monday, July 09, 2007

It Could Go All The Way!

Just got done watching the Home run Derby, nice job Vlad. Vlad, you know, spent some of his minor leagues on City Island with the Senators. Unfortunately I never had the opportunity to see him play there. I did, however, remember a Senators game a few years back and thinking "Why is that first baseman playing in AA?" The team; the Reading Phillies, the player; Ryan Howard. At that time he had 28 homers already and I think he got the call in September. Ryan won it all last year. My son's current favorite, Albert Pujols, missed the finals by "that much". This picture is from 2000 or 2001 and is the Ironman, Cal Ripken Jr. Cal won the Home run Derby back in 1991 and another Orioles shortstop took it when Miggi Tejada won in 2004.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Here We Go Senators, Here We Go

It's the Harrisburg Senators, again. These are the pictures I took at the Mother's day game. Notice they are wearing pink jerseys. This ended up being a doubleheader, they lost both. As I've explained before the Senators are the AA affiliate of the Washington Nationals (once Montreal Expos) and since ownership of the Major League team by MLB for years depleted the farm system of any talent, Harrisburg is still paying the price. I'm not saying there is no talent, just an overall watering down of the talent they get. They play at Commerce Bank Park, once called Riverside Stadium, on City Island. City Island sits in the middle of the Susquehanna River in Harrisburg, the state capital. Sitting in the middle on a body of water leads to some interesting quirks. The clubhouse is under the stands, next to the restrooms (one words guys "trough", nuff said) in case of inclimate weather, very inclimate, they have sliding doors that seal in place to try and keep the river out. Two or three years ago this happened, it left the outfield 2 feet deep and forced some away "home" games. Another unique occurrence that happens when you are surrounded by a river is the hatching of the mayflies. Mayflies are white bugs, bigger than a mosquito, but they don't bite. They hover around the lights and die. An once dead they fall, so wear a hat or hope for rally towel night to cover your head, 'cause they're coming down. Last year the team put the mayfly on the batting practice hats. I guess someone has a sense of humor, someone obviously in the booth.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

West Harlem BBQ, Dinosaur Style

While in NYC last summer we ate at the Dinosaur BBQ in West Harlem, or Manhattanville, or 646 West 131st Street, or right under the Riverside Drive Bridge. The atmosphere was great the food was equally great, I had the ribs and wings and I didn't leave hungry. Dinosaur BBQ also has locations in Rochester and Syracuse, but eating genuine BBQ in Harlem, right around the corner from the infamous Cotton Club just made the experience all that much more unreal. This picture was taken while we were driving up the Henry Hudson Parkway, I think I took this picture 3 times until I got one just right.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Where Has Your George Been?

Tonight while working a fundraiser for my fire department, as usual, I was handling the money. And, as usual, when I'm handling the money I come across bills, ones, fives and tens, stamped or written with wheregeorge.com. And when I find these I buy them, take them home and register them on the website. It is interesting to see where they came from and how long it takes them to get here. Tonight was an exceptional night, I found 2 ones and a ten. This particular dollar bill started in Omaha, was spent in Windsor Connecticut and made it here in about 92 days. This averages out to 3.1 miles per day. My other $1 bill came from North Kingstown, RI at a blistering 7.7 miles per day. And the ten spot I have started at Merlin's Tavern in Hagerstown, Maryland as their 496th bill stamped but only managed to travel at less than 1 mile per day. Sign up, try it, it's kinda fun in a geeky way, unless, of course, you have a life.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Tattooed Gentleman (PG XIII)

PG XIII, Painted Gentleman 13 (not the other PG-13). This eyeful sits just east of Interstate 81 along Route 30 in Chambersburg, PA. The creation of a man named Eric Von Darr. Eric is a tattoo artist whose love of painting just couldn't be stopped. If you look out back the shed is even painted. Panthers, tigers, wolves and the eagle with the sword, the only thing missing from a tattoo shop would be some skulls.
p.s. I know it is not Wednesday but I do have priorities. Back on schedule next week.