Sunday, October 26, 2008

I have some words for you, Alabama

I'm sure the people of Alabama are nice and kindly and just all around swell, but this?

orange hater

That's not the way to make friends, 'Bama. You don't see us making comments like that. I mean, sure, we did vandalize our own stop signs:

stop bama

But we didn't bring hate into it.

'Bama's probably just cranky because their team name sounds like a bad joke about feminine trouble. I mean, really? The Crimson Tide? Really? What is that, a biblical plague? A poisonous algae bloom? You might hate orange, 'Bama, but at least our name makes sense.

You just think about that while you savor your victory.

Saturday, October 25, 2008


The other day, as I was coming, I noticed a stinkbug climbing my porch railing. It contrasted against the railing really well, and I was in no hurry, so I decided to play with the zoom lens a little and see what happened:

stinkbug (1)

stinkbug (2)


bug and bug

I learned two things:

1) It's hard to shoot a moving target with the macro zoom lens. That things was crawling pretty fast, and a number of the pictures came out really blurry just because he was moving and I was moving trying to keep up with him.

2) That's a stinkbug. I sent my field guide for North American insects to the used bookstore a while ago, so I had to put "Tennessee brown beetle" into Google on an image search and page through until I saw something that looked like mine.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

random photos

I carry my camera everywhere, but I don't always download the photos right away, so sometimes I end up with a bunch of pictures of things that caught my eye but really have little to do with each other.

Case in point:

vol convertible

autumn window

pumpkin patch

smaller pumpkins

bottle rainbow

I could claim I was going for a whole "Autumn in Tennessee" theme, but the bottles of Vitamin Water don't really go with that, and the orange car is kind of pushing it. I think they're all sort of interesting, but like I said they don't really go together.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

a couple streets over

This morning I woke up and decided to go for a little walk down one of the streets nearby, just to look around and see if it was as interesting as it seemed from the car.

I see this deli off to the side on my way to and from work, and the sign catches my eye:

colonel's deli

It's definitely not fancy, but something about the starkness of the letters gets my attention. Up close they're peeling, but that just seems to give them character.


I also ran across some vintage playground equipment, and had to kneel in really wet dewy grass to get on the right level:



duck head

I don't think they make stuff like that anymore, since it's solid metal and probably dangerous. I remember as a kid that when you got off they kept moving, depending on how loose the spring was, and sometimes they would hit you in the back if you were slow to walk away or a mean-spirited sibling launched one at you. Parents today would probably freak out if you tried to install this on a playground, as they seem vaguely unsafe.

Some of that feeling might be due to the smug look on that duck's face, though.

I crossed four lanes of traffic when I saw these rusty trucks:

rusty trucks

Fortunately I was up early enough that there was no traffic.

When I got close enough to peer through the fence, I discovered that there was a family of cats (I'm assuming feral) under the truck in front.

feral kitten


The little gray one ignored me after about ten seconds, playing in the grass and chasing bugs or something, but the black and white one watched me the entire time. I'm willing to bet that if those cats were on a dangerously unsafe vintage playground, the little gray one would be busy launching a smug duck at the black and white one's back.

Friday, October 10, 2008

last weekend's artistic events

Just in time for this weekend, I have a late update from last weekend.

On Friday night Jeannie, her family, and I decided to go to the 2008 PoMoNoBo Halloween and Day of the Dead Arts and Crafts Show. I've been taking pictures of several of the artists' street art since I moved here, so it was fun to see it in a real setting:

art show

Unfortunately the baby and the husband were both fussy and crabby, so we had to leave fairly quickly. I did buy a cute little embroidered note card, though.

On our way home we stopped by Market Square, because they were having a First Friday music and movie event. The stuff on the square always looks kind of the same, no matter what's going on, so I peeked around the corner of Wall Street, where I found another art show:

art sale

I was intrigued by the Wonder Woman in the middle, but couldn't figure out which of the several artists there had painted it or how much it should cost. One of the artists, noticing that I appeared interested, started explaining that her pictures were portraits of John Wayne Gacy, Charles Manson, and Ted Bundy, and I figured I should go. I might be too old, or I might be a square, or I might be just vaguely disgusted by someone trying so hard to be edgy, but I'm not hanging a picure of Ted Bundy in my apartment. I'd question the sanity and sincerety of anyone who does. I'm not saying the Wonder Woman picture was great art, or that I have this really educated and discerning taste, but really, Charles Manson? Do you think great scholars will look back in hundreds of years and discuss Janet's Serial Killer Period? I think there are twenty or so kids in art school right now working with the same allegedly shocking imagery so that they can prove how rebellious they are, too.

Be sure to get the t-shirt that says so at Hot Topic before your next art sale, ok?

Not content with just painting or sculpture (there was some sculpture at the PoMoNoBo show), I also attended an impromptu dance recital in front of Smoothie King on my way to the football game on Saturday:

dance team

Go Vols.