Friday, August 15, 2014

WallPress is stealing my work!!!!

Some ass holes at WallPress and some other pirate vampire sites are stealing my photos and putting them up on their sites to be downloaded for their own gain (for wallpaper???@#%$#!!! of all things).  Too bad the web is full of dishonest parasites like that with no moral compass to help them to distinguish between right and wrong, or probably they really just don't care.  Hope they haven't stole it all yet.  Who knows, so I pulled it all down for the time being.  Its a jungle out there.  Makes life on the road seem like a picnic, which it is most of the time, since you know who you are dealing with.

Be back soon.  Have been looking into some imprinting apps that will mark the photos, not that it is so important in the grand scheme of things, but its just the point of it.  But to hold you over, here's one I just took in Oregon for my Canadian friends and family if you are still looking in, including the band over at "the Hobo Travelogue".



September 14, 2014:
Dateline Halifax, Nove Scotia

As you can see in the above photo, I have solved the piracy problem, or so I like to think, by figuring out how to put that copyrite thing in the lower left corner.  I know they can outsmart me, but I am willing to accept the certain degree of false confidence this security measure provides.  Do I have delusions of grander that the stuff is worth stealing, maybe, but as I said, it is just the point of it.

Was in the Old Burial Grounds of Halifax today at a ceremony commemorating the War of 1812 and particularly General Ross who was responsible for the sacking of Washington D.C. and the burning of the White House.  They are thankful to General Ross and his armies for all they did to prevent Canada from being captured by the U.S. and becoming the 51st state.  The way things are going in the U.S. of A, perhaps they did dodge a bullet back then.   Poor General Ross was killed a few weeks later.  His body was stored in a barrel of rum and transported back to Halifax.  I'm sure he would have preferred that rum in a coke or maybe a mojito, but ces't la guerre.  Took this photo in the Old Burial Grounds this morning,, right before the ceremony.

It is a sarcophagus quite similar to the one General Ross is interred in.  That is not a painting on the side, but mold and decay.  Nature's paintbrush as they say.



Thursday, August 14, 2014

The last days of Hoffman's Playland's in Albany...

Closer to home the news is sad.  An anachronistic little amusement park that has changed little, and done nothing but bring joy and amuse people since the 1950's is being torn down.  Apparently it has become an irritant to those who look at it and can only see the money  being wasted on what turns out to be on an increasingly valuable piece of real estate that has relegated Hoffman's Amusement Park into becoming a public nuisance, an impediment to progress,  and a speed bump on our community's head long lunge into a dubious future.  Therefore Hoffman's must be destroyed in the name of all that is progressive and profitable, and destroyed it will be on September 9, 2014, having outlived its usefulness as the one and only amusement park in Albany.

Why people are afraid of clowns!!!

It is small, lo tech and does not rely on mammoth gut wrenching artiface to get your attention.   And soon it will have outlived its usefulness.  Too bad.


Addendum June 2015:

My cynicism was for naught.  A large local discount store at the edge of town stepped in, bought the park lock stock and barrel as they say, and are moving all the rides to the empty lot next to their store and will have it up and running by the beginning of the summer.  Disaster averted!!! 


Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Shamrock Texas, Highway 83

Covered most of Highway 83 in Texas this time around, with a few Route 66 side trips along the way, but had trouble knowing where to start reporting on this leg of the journey.  So after months of indecision, here I am, at the nexis/cosmic convergence/belly button of the American Highway system, where those two mythical roads, the Highway 83/road to nowhere and the Route 66/mother road meet, in Shamrock, Texas which was the focal point of our trip after all.  This is a factoid that would be of interest to only a select few for whom this intersection would be of interest, but if you are one of those people, here we are.  I have dreamed of this moment for years, staring at maps, planning, scheming, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before (with apologies to E.A.P).  Letting my mind run wild with speculation.  Would 2 days in Shamrock even be enough?  Jackie said it would be more than enough, and as always, she was right.

Its always good to have a marker of where you are, and the folks in Shamrock obliged, well aware of their significance.

The next group of postings, starting in Shamrock will cover the trip, but in no particular spacial or chronological order.  Tried that before and it was stifling so will just follow my nose.  Like all historical towns we have visited, Shamrock is a shadow of what it was both functionally and as a practical entity. At one time, anyone heading west on 66 passed through Shamrock, ate, slept, bought gas and provision and communed with fellow sojourners for a precious few hours.  Now interstate 40 has rendered Shamrock invisible and irrelevant to all but the true believers.  Now its all Taco Bell, McDonald's, Holiday Inn/Hampton Inn/Motel 6 et al, at the outskirts of an eviscerated downtown pocked by empty store after empty store, clustered around a Dollar General, which is nothing more than a downsized Walmart.  

That's Highway 83 running through the middle of town...

The ubiquitous Dollar General, at the center of all small towns, providing minimum wage to the thankful otherwise unemployed who they put out on the streets when they sucked the life out of local small merchants and then held themselves up as saviors providing shit jobs selling cheap chinese shit at cheap prices.  Pay them low wages, sell them the cheap shit they can afford, and everyone is happy?

The Conoco station.  Now a visitor's information center and the reason most people stop here.

And finally, this fantastic grain elevator.  I was not disappointed with Shamrock as you might imagine reading this.  It was just as one might expect in this day and age, and I have now seen it after all these years.


Thursday, August 7, 2014

Boot Girl, Bourbon Girl and the Sleepy Cowboy...

Boots, bourbon, sleeping cowboys, there's got to be something here connecting the dots.   It must be that there is something very American about America, and I have been in search of America after all.  At 2 in the morning I am almost too bleary eyed even care, but being an insomniac, even at the best of times, I do admire this tired cowpoke who seemed to be fast asleep when I walked by and took this compromising shoot.  More interesting was the fact that he just took his pretty decent boots off and just left them on the sidewalk where anyone could have taken them, but obviously didn't.  I'm sure that this is not the first time he did this with full confidence that his boots would be there upon waking.  In Texas, boot stealing must be akin to cattle rustling.  Something which is just not done.  Actually, much to my surprise there are many things about Texas that I admire.


Saturday, August 2, 2014

Chalet Suzanne...

There is this magical, ideocyncratic, hodge podge tangle of buildings that has evolved over the past 80 years or so  into a whimsical Hansel and Gretel faux Bavarian village hidden away in the middle of 100 acres of orange groves that Jackie and I have had the pleasure of staying at whenever we are in the Lake Wales, Florida area called the Chalet Suzanne.  The rooms are a soft, warm, clutter of familiar old furnishings, kind of like staying over in the guest bedroom of your grandmother's old summer house.

This anomalous relic of old Florida dates from a time when there were no Ramada/Comfort/Holiday Inns.  It has, until now anyway, remained under the ownership of one family, and has managed to avoid the wrecking ball of progress.  Well, we just received an e-mail the other day from the Hinshaw family, that after 80+ years in the business, they are closing forever on August 4, 2014, this Sunday.  No real explanation of why, but that's that.  Being a mile from the highway, those 100 acres look like  prime real estate for a Walmart Distribution Center or some other equally odious monstrosity.  Hope not!!!  We in America have little respect for our cultural/architectural heritage, especially when it impedes progress, so I shouldn't get too judgmental quite yet, maybe someone will save the Hinshaws from themselves, although their 100 acres has to be worth a small fortune that can't continue to be wasted on something as whimsical as the Chalet Suzanne.  There doesn't seem to be much room for whimsey around here anymore. 

Just a few more pictures I took last time we stayed a while.  If I had only known that the end was near,  I would have done more, maybe.  Took all the pictures I needed at the time as best I could.  If I had only known there wouldn't be a next time...   As I often say, it is hard to get the big picture of some places, but at least you get the idea.

Last time we were there, we stayed in the last room on the blue side, under the peaked roof.   Guess that's it.  Thanks for everything Hinshaw Family, thanks for the warmth, the magic, the delicious breakfasts, the little flask of sherry you left for us when we checked in, and most of all, for the memories.  There will never be another Chalet Suzanne!!!