Month: November 2006

Speaking of musicians…..

Sorted - 250Prior to my retirement and after being discharged from the Air Force in late 1968 after serving almost eight years, I primarily worked in the electronic or electrical field after becoming a civilian again. The main part of my working career was spent working in nuclear power plant construction as an Electrical Field Engineer working primarily for two companies. The first was Bechtel Corporation and the second was Fluor Daniel. In fact, I may have worked at a power plant somewhere near you.

Arkansas Nuclear One – Russellville, AR (1970 – 1976)

Callaway Nuclear Power Plant – Fulton, MO (1976 – 1982)

Vogtle Nuclear Power Plant – Augusta, GA (1984 – 1987)

Comanche Peak Nuclear Power Plant – Granbury, TX (1988)

But aside from that work, I had a couple of other “part-time” careers that were more hobbies than careers perhaps, but I did get paid a couple of dollars here and there. One of those was as a musician of sorts.

On the right-hand side of my blog you may note the first section titled “Chapters of My Life” of which one of the items listed is “My Life as a Musician”. I have completed updating that particular chapter so if you care to browse through it you are welcome to do so at your own risk. This brief “bio” was originally available on my old website, “The Electric Key Orchestra”, but I have now incorporated it on my blog since my old website is in the process of being closed.

Although I haven’t had time of late, I do still doodle in this hobby from time to time and will continue to also, from time to time, post some of the tunes I have arranged, played and in some cases written, under my “Musical Doodles” section. These are mp3 files that can be downloaded. Since doodling with music is what I do now, it was only appropriate to categorize them as ‘doodles’.

Some of you take photos, some garden, some knit, some paint, some write, some travel, some bird watch. Me? I doodle thank you!

Happy Thanksgiving…. and don’t forget that flu shot!

Thanksgiving - 007

First and foremost, let me wish everyone a very safe and Happy Thanksgiving. I usually go over to my sister’s for the occasion. I have two sisters by the way. One lives about a mile from me here in North Little Rock while the other lives in Cabot, a town some twenty miles or so from me. The sister in Cabot is usually the one that hosts the Thanksgiving get together.

The above animation reminded me of the fact that the needle always looks BIGGER when it’s coming toward you. Finally got my flu shot this past Thursday. Every year lately getting flu shots have become more and more of a challenge to get. This year every time I would call my doctor’s office, they would be out of vaccine and waiting for more. Last year the only place I could find one was at the local healthSorted - 417 department. That is where I went again this year. While I was doing my grocery shopping at Kroger’s, only moments after getting my flu shot at the health department, I walk buy the pharmacy pushing my cart and I find out they have been giving shots since around the first of October and still have vaccine and are still giving shots. Hmmmm….the grocery store can maintain a supply of vaccine but my doctor’s office can’t get the flu vaccine….yep, sounds about right!

And getting back to Thanksgiving…..Betty from over at “Old Dog New Trick” was wondering if I still played with “Mr. Potato Head” after seeing the photo of him which I posted here a couple of weeks ago. I have always been a huge fan of Woody and a few years back some friends gave me dear old Woody as a gift. Below is a picture of Woody and the gang who hang out at my place which I took just a few day ago, unbeknownst to them at the time.

Woody and the Gang(click on image to enlarge)

This photo captures a particularly serious moment as Woody was having one of his more serious meetings, warning Mr. Turkey that he should probably stay indoors this month since it was a month where humans ran around the country side killing and maiming turkeys – then eating them. I also heard Woody telling Mr. Turkey that he had heard rumors that in Cincinnati they threw turkeys out of a helicopter where the turkeys would free-fall, eventually crashing into a shopping center parking lot!

Happy Thanksgiving folks from me, Woody and the rest of the gang!

The Blogging Phenomenon Continues….

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Colleen over at “Loose Leaf Notes” today posted a link to an audio essay on blogging she wrote that was very interesting and entertaining. It got me motivated to visit my computer keyboard since I have myself, had a few things rattling around with regard to the subject of blogging and listening to her essay got the brain adrenalin pumping a bit.

I have noticed over the past year that there are some folks who have several blogs. This has always intrigued me to some degree. I suppose it has a lot to do with the “multi-tasking” capabilities of an individual. Of course, I guess some folks may just have more to say than other folks. Sometimes they may have one blog for this subject and another blog for that subject. But most blogging software allows you options for categorizing your posts so I assumed that was what that was for – so why have different blogs? I have my photographic category, my music category, my bowfishing category, etc. and when I started blogging that was one reason I closed down my music website. Poor multi-tasking skills I guess. Nevertheless, it does strike my curiosity. Well….more power to those “power bloggers” which is what I think I will refer to them as from now on. It does seem to kinda roll off the tongue. So it is with the blogging phenomena.

And oh yes….there are probably hundreds of other blogs out there that each of us would find extremely interesting and palatable to our taste buds but after you begin fraternizing with a certain number of blogs you just don’t have time to search out even more it would seem. And then I am sure some bloggers fear that if they don’t respond on the blogs in a timely manner from whence their circle of visitors comes from, then they will loose those visitors. So here we have the infamous “catch 22” I suppose. Damned if you do….damned if you don’t! I am sure in some cases many bloggers are engaged in some kind of popularity contest. That’s okay for them but sometimes it is so damn obvious it sort of turns me off. For most of us, our blogs are more or less extensions of ourselves to some degree or another so it boils down to “we are who we are” and we will either be accepted for who we are….or not. We are social animals and the blogging phenomenon seems to feed that human trait.

And then there is this. Just the other day I had some 300 visitors in one day and only “one” comment. That is a bit interesting until you get to looking into the situation. I could assume that I am one hellava blogging attraction or…..I can get terribly honest not be totally oblivious to what is going on. Most get to my site via “Google” while searching for certain type graphic images. So they come to my site….steal a few images (mostly animations)…..and they are off into the night. Sometimes they even add my blog to their “Favorites” on their computer. Why? Because I have the world’s greatest blog? No! It’s so they can come back in a week or two and see if there are any new images worth stealing. As of this morning – since the first of this month I have had 135 visitors add my blog to their “Favorites”. My blog is so popular, interesting and captivating that over a hundred folks visit me regularly – opting not to comment? I don’t think so! Just more of the blogging phenomena.

Another interesting thing I have noted is that a normal, personal blog tends to become a gathering place for a “circle” of more or less the same folks on a daily basis. Each individual blog seems to have its own unique circle of visitors. Comments are often brief and on the nature of a “Good morning and have a nice day” type. I am a person of habit so I pretty much visit my little circle of bloggers every day. Usually I don’t really have anything of any importance to add to their post and just move on to the next blog in my circle. Other times someone’s post really hits on an issue or interest and I submit my brief or extended editorial as the subject dictates, always trying to cover my tracks with some measure of humor.

But one of the more interesting things with regard to the blogging phenomena is the fact that on many of the blogs that we visit on a daily basis, we keep seeing the same names day in and day out. You get to the blog and you immediately notice that Tom, Jane, Sam, and Julie have already been here. Next day, maybe you get there first or second but nevertheless, on and on that little scenario plays out day after day. But for the most part, only about half the folks or less ever relate to the other half on their personal blogs. So there we are, sitting right next to each other and don’t even speak. Tom gives his two-cents worth and you give yours. You look at Tom’s post….or maybe not and maybe he looks at yours….maybe not. And so it goes day in and day out…..day out and day in. I am not sure what the solution to that is but it bothers me a little. I give it some measure of thought and think, “Well, I just don’t have the time to go visit and comment on every blog.” But they may be sitting right next to me thinking the same thing. Or…perhaps they think I’m an idiot and wouldn’t come visit my blog under any condition. But after a while seeing these names day in and day out and never speaking….well it just seems a bit right down unfriendly at times.

Sometimes when I run across someone whose comment strikes a chord I will click on their “name link” and go check out their blog. Sometimes I find their blog to my taste, sometimes not. And in some cases I will just jump right in there and introduce myself when my interest in their blog or comments is over whelming.

Anyway….so goes the blogging phenomena I suppose. These are just some of the things that tickle my curiosity from time to time. I am sure some of you have had your own thoughts about this strange phenomena we call ‘blogging’.

Down my the old mill stream….

Old Mill - 01

Well, I decided to go down this morning and try my hand at a few scenic shots with the new camera at one of our very popular local scenic locations appropriately titled “The Old Mill”. Fifty years ago it use to be out in the boon-docks. Now it is flat-dab in the middle of a residential section. In fact, I only live some ten blocks or so from it. My mother once told me that back in the forties it was quite the place to come ’spooning’.

Old Mill - 02

It is quite the tourist attraction here locally as I previously mentioned and is probably one of the most photographed locations in Arkansas. The location is starting to show a few of its autumn colors. In the spring it is lit up with various colors supplied by the numerous Dogwoods.

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The last photo is a foot bridge just a few yards down stream of the mill itself. I should mention that this location is very popular with photographers when it comes to taking wedding photos.

************SPECIAL NOTE************

I would like to thank Annie of “Little Rock Daily Photo” for bringing it to my attention that I failed to mention a very interesting and important fact about this location and that being that the mill is featured in the opening scenes of the classic movie “Gone With The Wind”. You may also read a bit about the history of this popular location by clicking “here”.

Thanks Annie…..

Color me pleased….

The last couple of days been trying to get my little brain around this new photo equipment and have had reasonable success with various subjects in my quest of “table-top” photography. Everything from antiques to Mr. Potato Head. Nothing in the house was safe. Even threw in a photo of my sports car. But of course….it is my “MODEL” sports car.

Anyway…so here are a few in our “show and tell” agreement. Oh….and if Judy (kenju) happens to drop by….well I even threw in Mr. Froggie! Be sure and click on the images if you care to see them in their larger view….

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This photo stuff can be fun sometimes….other times it can be frustrating and a great big pain in the ass. You know what I mean Vern….? 🙂