Friday, August 26, 2005

In the name of progress...

...the whole entire block of Ashley Steet, between Liberty and Williams, is going to be demolished. The city already has done the preliminaries, marking up the sidewalk with blue and yellow spray painted lines. The businesses that are renting space are on "a moment's notice" - they will have to close their doors the instant that plans are approved. At least, that's how I hear it. Of course, I am concerned about this. My favorite hangout, The Fleetwood Diner, pictured here, will be demolished. The place looks empty in this picture but it was taken at the slowest point of the day, around 5:30, when just a few regulars stop by. Believe me, the place is usually jumping.
I like to go to the Fleetwood at any hour - that's part of the charm of this 24 hour diner - but especially love it in the "wee hours of the morning" - like 3:00 a.m. or so. The bar rush is in full swing and all the "freaks" are settling in on the deck for "Hippy Hash", eggs, or a basket of fries. Just the other night, it was too hot to sleep and I went downtown to escape. I found some relatively sane friends and had a wonderful conversation until it got cool enough to sleep. I've known the day cook since he arrived in the United States at 15 years old and not speaking any English whatsoever. I've seen the waitresses get married, finish school, and get their pilots license. I've watched the "Coffee Kids" draw cartoons and drink gallons of coffee while doing so.
They say there are plans to rebuild The Fleetwood once the demolision is over and construction begins again. I can't see it being the same, but who really knows what it will be like at this point. I'm sure it will be a continuing saga on this blog.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Light hearted fun...

...and easy days are what August should be all about! I was downtown today and popped into the Fleetwood for a burger and a coke. The deck was comfortable and I got as close to my favorite table (the four top in the northeast corner) as I could. I love the hippy chicks that the Fleetwood hires, always have too! Anyway, I finish up, pay, and decide to go for a walk downtown. My favorite bartender, Shelley, had the day off so instead of a beer, I decided to get coffee. On the corner of Main and Liberty there is a Starbucks and I headed off in that direction. The first thing I have to say is that I have never been into a Starbucks before. I've been to many coffeehouses - even worked in one for a while, but never a Starbucks. I got an iced mocha frappaccino and went outside. I walked around the corner, saw an empty table, and sat down. I stirred my drink and looked up to see a bald headed black guy with a suitcase staring at me. He growled something and quickly moved to a table further down. Right then, I should have gotten up and left but I'm sort of used to the psychotic people one meets on the street. Over the course of 10 years, I've never had a problem either, until today. When I finished my coffee, I got up, tossed the cup in the trash, and headed toward my truck. This black dude was following me! I ducked into the alley and into the parking lot, side stepping this guy so he'd be in front of me. He kept muttering and growling as I cut through cars letting him put distance between us. When I got to my truck, I could see him behind me in the window. I am not sure what set this psycho off since I never said a word to him but it was a startling experience. No more Starbucks EVER - next time I want a frappaccino, I go down a block to CAFE FELIX !
Light hearted and easy, my @ss!

Sunday, August 14, 2005

An "Ah Ha" Moment...

...occured just recently. The whole video post concept intriqued me but I was having difficulty creating a video containing audio and video components and was still uploadable (being less than 10MB). After some playing around for a bit with both camera and music, this clip came to be.

Friday, August 12, 2005

Sometimes, with a little bit of luck...

...a video story lands right in your lap. Such is the case with today's post. Three friends got together on a beautiful August afternoon to enjoy a well
deserved day off, get some exercise, and play outdoors. After working up a sweat on some hiking trails, a romp in the lake was necessary for cooling off. Refreshed, a little bit of soccer was next on the agenda.
The minute we got out of the truck, the soccer balls were being kicked and passed between us. The fervor to play was strong and, between friends, action was more important than style. The ball was rolling and took a bad bounce and ended up floating down the river. The first video clip shows the rescue.

In the park, a long stretch of open, well groomed field screamed out for a long distance kick. Edgar sent the white ball flying while Jesus watched and tried to duplicate the kick and either beat or match the distance. Edgar's kick is in the second clip.

Much to our surprise, the black ball sailed into a group of trees and didn't come down.
Edgar spotted it first and attempted to retrieve it, as shown in the third clip.
The chances of getting a soccer ball stuck in a tree must be enormous, but being able to record the entire event makes those odds even more astronomical. The fourth clip shows the second rescue of the day as the ball comes down...

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

There's a little lake...

...nearby that some "hippy chicks" took me to when I first moved here and I fell in love with the place. Over the years, the DNR and the state have made some changes to the park, some of them are good and some aren't. It's a small lake, spring fed, so the water is clean, cold, and fresh and no motor boats are allowed on it. There are white swans, bass, turtles, and even the occasional rattlesnake. The lake is surrrounded by heavy woods, as close to "virgin forest" as I will ever see and there are hiking/biking trails winding through those woods. On a hot summer afternoon, a quick dip in the lake is well worth the $6.00 daily permit fee or the $24.00 annual pass. Here is a quick view of the lake on a very warm August afternoon.

Time flies when...'re having fun! Beyond any shadow of doubt, this summer really is turning out to be great for me! It's been a few days since my last update but I can assure you that I've been out and about and my camera is always in my pocket. Here's another quick glimpse of what has been keeping me running.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

The second video post ... my dad saying hello to everyone. My dad is a great guy and at 84 years old, I feel very, very fortunate to have him around. Both he and my mom gave me a fantastic life and did so much for me. Check him out here!

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Here is the first video post ...

...on this site. I fed my Discus a very large portion of earthworms last Saturday and did a large waterchange on Sunday. On Monday night, I walked into the room and found the pair cleaning the site where they spawn. It wasn't long before they were busy laying and fertilizing the eggs. I grabbed the video camera and recorded one of the many passes the pair made and am presenting it here.