Tarmac ribbons criss-crossing the landscape, dusty back roads twisting between the cool shadows of ancient pines, and less traveled pathways connecting present to past, all I wander, seeking, seeing, with my keyboard and camera capturing scenes and stories to share with you.

Now in its fifth year, this venue has become an important part of my life, a place where I can express my thoughts and feelings about the things I see and do, hoping the process brings me a bit closer to friends and family who enjoy sharing my sometimes chaotic and often nonlinear observations and ideas. A journal, I suppose, but one with which I find pleasure in thinking others are alongside me on my journey.

August 19, 2017

OF PLANES, SUNFLOWERS, AND COLUMBUS V.A. EMERGENCY ROOM

... yea, i was thinking that last one'd get your attention ... i'll get to it, but first, as dear paul h. loved to say, "the rest of the news" ...

... we took a little wanderabout over to the u.s.a.f. museum in dayton ... jon's friend, matt, joined us for the outing ... he, too, is going down to watch and photograph the eclipse, so we had some really nice "camera conversation" ...

... i've always enjoyed the museum, but, in these times, this visit brought me to a realization that for the most part these fascinating mechanisms on display within the facility were designed to do one thing:  kill and destroy ... it matters not the "ideology" or rationale behind their construction, despite their seductive grace and beauty they are, in the most simple of terms, death machines ...

... my favorite airplane, the p-47 "thunderbolt" (or, as nicknamed, the "juggernaut") ... at almost twice the weight of a spitfire, when the british pilots first saw it they commented, "all else fails, when being shot at the pilot can dodge around inside the d** thing" ... when i was a young teenager i sat for hours in the offutt air force base ops building, intensely fixated upon every word of francis gabriski's narrative as he talked of flying these planes in world war 2 ... i've always admired the form of the p-47, but, on this day, i took a picture to show the two reasons it was built—as a platform for eight browning .50 machine guns and to carry really nasty exploding things to drop on the enemy ...

... the chin turret of a b-17g ... the nose art is beautiful, but after a combat mission she would've been wearing a soot veil left by the .50 machine guns, or, if things didn't go so well, she'd be be ventilated with holes made by the enemy's bullets ...

... "fat man" ... you can forget the debate of "how" people are killed, the fact is that these are among the first weapons in history designed from scratch to completely disregard the distinction between "innocent or guilty," "soldier or civilian" ... don't be fooled, no atomic or thermonuclear weapon is any different ... they can't be, it's physics ... all the talk this past week, i don't care about the "us vs. them," nor, as it is, the purposely induced hysteria and fear that serves the single purpose of allowing decisions to be made, and approved, in the primeval recesses of the brain ... if one of these (much, much smaller nowadays, by the way) is dropped on north korea, the dead'll think nothing, those who survive, for the most part, will think, "why—why did you do this to us" ... of these things, i know ...

... jon and matt, boarding harry truman's "still not air force one" vc118 (variant of the dc-6) ... and, yes, this plan was designed just to move things around ...

... when i got back to jon's i played in the yard ...

... "focus stacking" ... these photographs are 10-14 image "blends," done so for the purpose of increasing the depth of focus in the final picture ...

... an interesting technique, one that i'm just beginning to understand ...

... jon's good bud, mikka, tolerated my inattentiveness ...

... we hiked the "democracy steps" down to cedar falls in the hocking hills state park ...

"akio hizume, artist, architect and mathematician ... designed a staircase descending gently down the hillside ... to create a serpentine walkway that feels as graceful as it looks ... his goal was to make the act of ascending or descending the nearly 100 steps pleasant and relaxing; not [a] tiresome chore ... the lengths of individual steps are varied, so that walkers alternate the leading foot, establishing a comfortable pace and rhythm ... reflect[ing] mathematical principles of the Fibonacci sequence and the one-dimensional Penrose lattice."
HOCKINGHILLS.COM


... me, still recovering, i thanked him ...

... thousands of years ago, on hot summer days little children giggled as they played in the cool water of the softly shaded pool ... i know, i could hear them ...

... were you waiting for this ... ??? ... starting two days ago i had a pain in my lower back ... last night, in conjunction with a rather nasty migraine headache, the pain got pretty bad ... i soaked in a tub of hot water, took some pills, and, by the time i went to bed the pain was mostly gone ... woke up this morning, no pain ... showered, shaved, and, with jon out for the day, started to plan my activities ... then, out of nowhere, pain ... bad, bad, bad pain (oh, sh*t, i'm almost starting to sound like a certain chief executive) ... i suffered, soaked, took pills, again the pain diminished ...

... (okay, this is the part where you can offer up your diagnosis, coffee/tea and donut if you're correct) ...

... i decided that since i was feeling okay i'd drive over to the veterans administration "chalmers p. wylie ambulatory care center" on the other side of columbus ... my thought was, "well, if the pain comes back i'll be in the right spot, and, if not then i'll at least be out and about" ...

... no pain when i got there, but, heeding my daughters' psychic demands, i went inside ... after that was—well, it was an experience ...

... first time in my life i've ever all by myself voluntarily walked into a hospital with something specific in mind ...

... absolutely wonderful treatment ... everyone, from the receptionists and secretaries to the three different doctors, two nurses, and handful of orderlies and whatevers who treated me ... absolutely wonderful ...

... and, yes, the humongous donut magnet x-ray thing that spun around me like a giant cotton candy machine found—i'm so wondering who'll get this right (i'm betting roger, for sure)—i've a stone ...

... which, of course, i just don't understand ... i mean, last time i ate from the dirt was, oh, maybe when i was three or four ... ma had a strict rule about that ...

... the nice doctor said, "my, most people wouldn't have made it this far ... that thing's already three quarters of the way out of you" ...

... what can i say, i'm tough (or, perhaps, stupid) ...

... "my bet is that you're through the worst of it" ...

... yea, right ... sure, i believe her—as well as that guy in africa found all the money i lost ...

... but she gave me some pills, "take them as you need them" ...

... "when do i start" ...

... i don't think doctors're allowed to giggle, but she came freakin' close, "oh,why—well, don't worry, you'll know when to start" ...

... nevertheless, seems what they promised me is what i'm getting, and, as i see it, i'll most gratefully accept it as a rather huge "thank you for your service" ...

... drove back to jon's, put the pills right next to my bed, and then went outside with his new fuji x-t2 (be still my heart, major camera envy here) with the 10-24mm fuji wide-angle zoom attached ... played with the next door neighbor's sunflowers ...

... eclipse tomorrow, cross fingers traffic and clouds'll be where we aren't ...

... today ... well, today is a most beautiful day ...