My Feathered Friends

For this Artsy Saturday post, I want to show you a cherished picture of some of my feathered friends. Redheaded woodpeckers are certainly a colorful part of that family.  I wonder why nature gave them their colors.  It probably has something to do with attracting the opposite sex. Even human women seem to go for flashy guys.

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Car Guys Are Like Women…

I have been in the weeds so to speak with my posts here on RJsCorner so I thought I would put out a car post today.  I want to move from the weeds of politics to the green pastures of vintage cars.

I know this post title is going to get a lot of attention from my more macho car guy friends. I suspect that they are saying “yeah if I drove around in a pink Cadillac!!” But what I am really talking about is how many car guys fall for the latest trends even if they are totally impractical. They are like women who insist on plucking down the big bucks on a pair of seven inch high heels.  These women know that there is nothing healthy or practical about those shoes but since they are told that anyone who is attuned to fashion “must” wear them.  Yeah, car guys are like women in that regard.

2017-11-09_11-24-38.pngNow, let’s get down in the dirty on this post. The car guy who insists that they have to have a car “down in the weeds” is not my kind of car guy.  Down in the weeds means the car sits about an inch off the ground, has enormously large tires and absurdly monster engine.  None of these things makes a car more beautiful or practical.

2017-11-09_11-23-48.pngDoing this stuff is kind of like putting a 300 hp engine on a skateboard as far as I am concerned.  I am a car guy in that I do love the styling of many of the cars I grew up with in the 1960s.  When Lynn Eikenberry who I admired from afar in my college years came back to campus with a 1967 Chevy Chevelle I fell in love with both her and her car.  But of course, she never knew that. Yeah, I love the looks of some of the cars of my youth but I fully realize that compared to those today those cars were rolling deathtraps.  My idea of a perfect vintage car is one that has a body from the 1960s and a chassis from today.

If I had my choice I would put an electric engine in a 1957 Chevy pickup. I know that is the opposite of what goes on today but since my view of the world is often quite different than others, that fact doesn’t bother me at all 🙂 Paying thousands of bucks to put a car in the weeds just doesn’t make any sense to me at all.

Creativity In Tin.

The tinsmiths of our early years were certainly a creative bunch. They fabricated many of the utensils we needed to live everyday life. Here are some pictures of one such shop found in the Nauvoo Village in northern Illinois.

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Pets

For this “arsty” Saturday I thought I would put out some pictures of some of the pets that have been in my life.  My wife of 32 years is the epitome of a animal lover. She would rather run into a tree rather than run over a squirrel.

The kittens in the header were from our “Home for unwed cats”  On two separate occasions pregnant cats showed up at our back door looking pitiful and wanting food. Of course they were instantly adopted along with the kittens they later produced.  Those two unwed mothers are shown just below.

The third picture is of Abigail. She was one of the few pets we actually went to a store to adopt. This was one of her few formal haircuts. She seemed to realize that somehow she was extra special in that mode.

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Shenandoah Valley

The picture for this Saturday is one taken in 1988 in the Shenandoah Valley.  The eastern mountains are just as impressive as the western, just in a different way.

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Ode to The Hardware Store

I am old enough to remember hardware stores like the one below. They were a big part of my growing up as I found myself fascinated by all the things and wanted to know what they did.

This hardware store is still in service in a small town in Indiana.  There aren’t any Lowes or Home Depots near so maybe it will survive a few more years.

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Beauty In Nature..

I am a person of logic and order so I greatly appreciate finding crystals in nature.  No, I didn’t find the one on the picture below in nature but it is beautiful all the same.   It was in a large collection at the Carnegie Museum in Pittsburgh.

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Hinterland Beauty

ISOA Banner   For this artsy Saturday I wanted to give you a simple picture that I took about ten years ago while traveling through the middle of our country. I don’t really recall exactly where it was taken; it could be almost anywhere.  But I think it shows the beauty of the country. The general saying is that 50% of the people live within 50 miles of a coastline. While the oceans are beautiful, those folks are missing another type of beauty if they don’t visit the hinterland once in a while.

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Serene..

For this artsy Saturday I want to put up a picture from my many visits to northern Wisconsin.  I don’t really remember exactly where this one was taken as it was in 1998 and there was no GPS at that time. But to me it absolutely reeks of serenity.

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Playing With Light…

Light.jpgI just returned from a four-day road trip InSearchOfAmerica to the Chicago and Rockford IL area. It was quite a trip and made up for the very disappointing one that preceded it.  One site I just came upon ended up one of the most enjoyable.  It was at the Nicholas Conservatory & Gardens. The special exhibit on display was from the artist Bruce Munro.   From his book that I purchased it stated that he captures light based themes. I will be talking more about that in some coming posts but for now I wanted to give you an idea of what that description means.

I became very fascinated by the idea of using light as primary artistic medium and hopefully will be trying my hands at it in the coming months.

The one picture below is kind of my version of playing with light. The octagonal shapes and sparkles are from a Munro picture on the wall and all the other things in the picture are actually reflections off the picture glass of the other objects in the room.  Kind of neat, if you ask me..

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Shaker Symmetry

I have always been attuned to Shaker furniture and symmetry.  It is probably the most beautiful form to me.  This picture was taken during one of my many trips to Pleasant Hill Shaker Village near Lexington KY.

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A Bunch of Marbles & A Box of Eggs..

Sometimes beauty show up when we least expect it.  That is the case with the pictures below. Who would have thought that marbles and eggs are beautiful?  But, at least for me, these pictures prove that they can be.

I really don’t know how I came to associate these two pictures together. The marbles were taken at a prairie museum in a high plains State and the eggs were taken four years earlier at a Des Moines museum. Somehow they both crossed my mind simultaneously to make this post.

If we just stop and take the time we can find beauty in many unexpected places.

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Creative Beauty

To me certain things are necessary to call something beautiful. Most often they are form, symmetry, and color. Just the right combinations of these three almost always result in something being beautiful. To add the adjective “creative” to the beautiful tag means something that didn’t exist prior to the beautiful thing. Most often that is a man-made creation.

Being a car guy the picture below is one of those objects. I was not enthusiastic about the Avanti line when it was created in the 1950s by Studebaker or when it was resurrected by the Avanti Car Company in 1963. But I have come to appreciate the creative beauty of these cars since then, especially the orange one below found in the Auburn Museum in Ft. Wayne Indiana.

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A Story Behind Every Picture..

slice7.png  I have over 20,000 pictures in my current photo portfolio and there is a story behind every one of them.  Given that I am again reaching my breaking point concerning today’s politics I thought I would drop back into my cave and tell a few of those stories.  To that end I spent a couple of days this week going through my pictures of my life.

One of the criteria for this new category it that the pic needs to be “artsy” at least to a degree and the other is that I can describe a story behind the picture.  I don’t know how long it will take before I have the stomach to return to this maddening world but I won’t likely run out of picture stories for quite some time. So let’s get started. 🙂 

In The Beginning….

No I am not going to recite Bible verses here. That practice is way overused as far as I am concerned.  Instead I am talking about the beginning of my marriage. I know that since I didn’t get married until almost 40 that is not really the beginning but it did start a new and very different phase of my life. Anyway that is enough of the pre-story. Let’s look at a couple of pictures.

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I never dreamed I would ever get married let alone in the whirlwind pace that it happened.  My Aspie traits prevented me from having much luck with the dating scene. I just could not figure out what girls wanted. I had a few dates in high school and college but the relationships were all short-lived. After college I seriously tried to have a meaningful relationship for a while but again not much luck.

Then came that day in December 1985 when someone asked me  if I wanted to go with them to a company party. I reluctantly said yes. By that time I have  pretty much given up  the idea of a female relationship so I guess the stress was off. After the party we ended up talking until the wee hours of the morning. She didn’t seem to mind that I only occasionally had eye contact with her and that I was probably not asking the “right” questions.

After that night I just couldn’t get her out of my mind. I very often did not get to sleep until 3am or so.  We had quite a few dates in a short period of time and then things got serious. We were engaged three months after that first date and married about three months after the engagement!

We spent a surreal honeymoon in Hawaii. The pictures here are three of about 100 hundred that we took on the trip.  I’m pretty sure they were taken in Maui. The first two were off the lanai of our hotel room and the third was a volcano on top of a mountain.

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I can’t say that our relationship in the 31 years since then has all been smooth sailing. We, like most others have had our spats. Some more serious than others.  I still struggle with my Aspie traits but at least my wife seems to understand that I really do love her even if I don’t show it as much as most husbands…