Matt suggested in comments that the road painting I posted last night might have monsters lurking just around the bend. Actually, I’d seen that road as leading someplace cheery (with the sunrise and all). But Matt gave me an idea that my next attempt at art should be something very non-cheery.
I thought about old tombstones with long morning or evening shadows. This morning the sun wasn’t cooperating, but I got these photos. No shadows, just fog.
Not great photography, I know. But sufficient gloom to work with.
And this final photo is the one I think I’ll try to work with. No idea how to capture that mist with colored pencil or pastel. But I’ll see what I can do.
This cemetery is a place where the dogs and I frequently walk. In that final shot are two of the saddest tombstones I’ve ever seen (from a few weeks in 1902 and ’03). Definitely a haunted place, but that’s a tale for another time.
A simple explanation of what Swiss bankers just did. And a slightly more complicated one. I’m sure some of our resident money gurus will have views of their own. If you haven’t been watching, Switzerland threw the entire world into a financial tizzy yesterday. (Though IMHO, their real screwup was when they pegged their franc to the euro, not when they suddenly pulled the peg.)
“That Tree.” To help himself recover after an injury and to meet a friend’s challenge, professional photographer Mark Hirsh found 365 different ways to shoot photos of a single tree — with an iPhone — over the course of a year.
Local cranberry growers who lost their contract with Ocean Spray landed 20 pounds of their harvest on furrydoc the other day. What do you do with 20 pounds of cranberries? Furrydoc shared the bounty and instructions for drying.
I took a couple of pounds and they’re in the drier now, some unsweetened and some drizzled with honey.
I’m not so big on cranberries, but I do like the dried ones in salads and trail mixes. Good to have a few locally grown superfoods among the preps, too.
Knitting today. Not only for the soul but this time, the body, too. Ready to start cabling.
Just as soon as I find those wandering third needles.
I was surprised and gratified the other day to realize quite a few guys hereabouts had knitted or crocheted. I am at this moment wearing fingerless gloves (aka arm warmers or better yet gauntlets) I made with wool gifted to me by one of those knitting guys.
(Pattern for that particular glove here. Many others here.)
Finally, some things not so mundane
Saturday, December 13. Washington gun owners rally: We Will Not Comply with I-594. Over 6,000 already signed up.
Don’t be put off by the word “knitting.” Even if you’re not crafty (and I’m not!), even if you’re a guy who’d rather build a brick wall or try for a perfect grouping with your best rifle than (heaven forbid) knit. This is about that process common to so many things.
You know how you sometimes open a book at random looking for guidance? For some it’s the bible. For somebody else, one of those Chicken Soup things. Could be Ayn Rand or Herman Hesse. But you hope if you just open and read there’ll be a message there, just waiting for you?
I have to laugh. I just picked up Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, not because I had real interest but because it’s one of those must-read books and this is a good time. I opened near the end to a chapter about self care and the art of just being still and listening.
Then I took my old copy of Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience off the shelf and arbitrarily opened to a page that heralded the value of 16-hour workdays, but with the work so integrated with free time that you can barely distinguish one from the other.
Yup. And of the contradictory two, I must admit the latter appeals to me more than the former. Not, mind you, because I’m some virtuous workaholic. Far from it. I favor the latter because the former is harder.
The clouds drifted in and out for hours. Would we see it here or — as usual — would we not? See it? Not? Every minute brought different prospects.
Finally when it became clear that … well, that it was going to become clear for quite a while, I did something I haven’t done since I was a little kid bitten by an astronomy bug. I drifted a piece of glass over a candle flame until I had a two-inch blackened square and had a look.*
The moon slid in at the 2:00 o’clock position, then gradually eased across the top of the sun.
I tried to take some pictures.
They were all bad, but some were interestingly bad:
Some got more interestingly bad after a few minutes with the GIMP:
By the time the moon had moved into the 12:00 position and was heading for its exit at 10:00 o’clock, a great mass of cloud consumed the whole display.
It was all over and I never did get a good photo that captured the distinct “slice” the moon took out of the sun. (Or capture the crescent sun, to put it another way.)
But just having done something cool that I haven’t done since I was, oh, 10 or thereabouts felt great.
So how ’bout you? Did you see it? Did you get some better images than I did? Did you ignore the whole business? Did you get any fond reminders of eclipses past?