September 19, 2010

Time to revive the blog!

Yes, I have intentionally left my blog here in cold storage for nearly 2 years. Well, there were good reasons to do so, but now there are good reasons to start it back. More about those new reasons in later posts, perhaps. Note that I would not expect anyone to "tune in" to my channel here ever. But, through other forms of communication I may make reference to my blog where I can feel free to expand and create a bit more.

At the moment I am making some choices for myself that involve the ever present past and how to get loose of it when it just isn't good any more. Good people make good connections with the past, certainly. Without those few good souls in the world we wouldn't have a fertile ground for the present and future. Sadly, some people are not so good and leave the rest of us with barren land and a persistent question of "why"?

December 26, 2008

Christmas at the Skinner Compound

It is a great feeling to know you can make friends, and that they actually think enough of you to invite you over for Christmas dinner. I was honored that Frank and Lynn invited me to share both their dinner and their time with me. They are good folk - and quite fun to hang with, too.

I got to refresh my memory on computer support and help Frank get Lynn’s new mini laptop working with the wireless router. He finally found the perfect toy for her apparently! Of course I now know all their secret passwords and will be draining their bank accounts soon, but that is what good friends are for. And of course we ate - turkey(Lynn’s first), mashed taters, yams, stuffin’, black olives, cranberry whatch-a-macallit, etc. The old bird was cooked to perfection, not dry at all.

Later, we had to go out and visit the ponies in the garage. Frank has practically finished his latest S2 and it is a beaut. We fired it up and also warmed up the XB. Here are a couple of pics of the S2:

December 21, 2008


Solstice...'O Glorious Solstice!

Today is the shortest day of the year, with the least sunlight of the year. It also marks the beginning of winter. So why be excited? Because the days only get longer for the next six months so each day is just a little brighter, filled with just a little more joy.

Let Mr. Wikipedia explain it: link

For my location the following:
21 December 2008 Mountain Standard Time

Begin civil twilight 6:45 a.m.
Sunrise 7:15 a.m.
Sun transit 11:59 a.m.
Sunset 4:44 p.m.
End civil twilight 5:14 p.m.

Moonset 12:17 p.m. on preceding day
Moonrise 1:59 a.m.
Moon transit 7:25 a.m.
Moonset 12:43 p.m.
Moonrise 3:01 a.m. on following day

I shall light a candle after the sun sets and keep it burning all through the night. A touch of spruce oil vapor will fill the air. There is much to let go of and much to welcome in the coming year.

December 12, 2008

In Memory of Bettie Page

Did you know Bettie Page was from Nashville, Tennessee? I didn't, but she sure seemed familiar to me. I wonder how many girls I've met who are related to her? Hmmm, in a practical way most girls today have a lot of Bettie in them. She gave form, literally, to the feminine culture of the American girl we know and love today, for better or worse.

I got to hand it to this gal, even if some of you may find it offensive. Really, her recorded material here seems very tame. Kudo's to the person who compiled this video footage with this song, too. Remember, don't look if you may be squeemish.

Naughty Bettie

December 8, 2008

Return, return

I just got back from a six day visit in Knoxville, TN where my parents and some siblings live. This was the first trip back there from my new home in Colorado. Of course I enjoyed the time I had with my parents and additional family members, but it was also a bit gloomy there, thanks mostly to the weather. I took my camera but did not take any pictures because I felt so little inspiration to do so. I suppose the most exciting part of the trip was my dinner invitation from an old friend from high school. Kim Trail-Hughes invited me over to meet her hubby Bob and to also visit with her sister Karen who was a few years younger than us. It was great to hang out with them in their kitchen and talk about other friends, old times, new times, and in between times. Bob cooks a mean steak and chicken so I hope I behaved well enough to get invited back!

As far as my feelings about the trip I can only say I feel a bit mixed and sad. I'm not sure why, but I am glad to be back in my Colorado home. For now I will chalk it up to the stereotypical dreary weather of East Tennessee in the winter.

November 18, 2008

Hog Back Heaven

Last week I had a warm window of opportunity to get out and hike up to the hogback adjacent to the “Ecology Park” here in Canon City. The wind was blowing pretty strong, especially at the top of the hogback, which made it quite cold compared to the parking area where I started from, but it was worth it. First, a little history about the hogback and my interest in it.

There are rare places on land where one gets to see the physical evidence of colossal collisions of time and space. Here in Canon City we sit on the edge of an ancient sea dating back some 65 million years ago(MYA). But older still are the mountains that cradle us. Along the northern, and especially western edge of town a prominent hill circles around us and marks the dividing line between sea and mountains, and between the Precambrian and Cenozoic eras. The difference is about a half a billion years, if you can really imagine a time such as that. Even though the sea dried up many millions of years ago, its beginning and end were only a yesterday compared to the distant past when the rocks that make up the mountains were formed. The hill that surrounds the city here is known as the “Hogback” and is made up of rocks of the Dakota Sandstone formation. Skyline Drive, along the cities western edge, traces along this hogback. The portion that I climbed lies just to the south of Skyline Drive across Highway 50 and the Arkansas River.

Older still, by about 500 MYA, are the granite, and metamorphic rocks that surround the Royal Gorge. The Arkansas River cut down to and exposed the precambrian granites, mostly of the Pikes Peak granitic pluton, but just above them are the metamorphic and sedimentary rocks of the Ordovician Period. Laced throughout these rock layers are magmatic intrusions and pegmatites. Many different kinds of crystals can be found in these pegmatites and the interfaces between them and the surrounding rocks. The granites at the bottom are actually older still at about 1,700 MYA and are considered to be remnants of the ancestral Rockies. Because of the heat and pressure presented by the uplifting of these older rocks next to the more recent sea rock(the Dakota Sandstones of the Hogback) many minerals and crystals can be found in this area. For me, the most curious deposits are the gemstones and our friend Uranium!

I climbed up the “top” and geologically newest side of the Hogback to look across Grape Creek over the mountains that surround the Royal Gorge. the first half consists of mostly loose gravel and debris that slid down and accumulated along the bottom. A farmer over a century ago created a little road that climbed along the lower half of the hogback. I followed this as far as I could and then headed straight up the solid rock face on this eastern side. Some of the pictures I took show the ripples of an ancient beach frozen in rock and time. Once I reached the ridge line near a little notch I could look over to see the much older mountain side. From this notch I could look down on the western edge of the hogback and see the remains of an old mine, the creek, and further still the pink granite at the base of the mountains. I was at this point sitting on the edge of time and space quite literally.

View more pictures of my hike here.

November 14, 2008

The Royal Gorge Railroad

Railroads! That is a favorite topic of little boys, like Hayden, all over the world. What excitement! Just in my back yard I walked out to find the "Royal Gorge Railroad" busy connecting passenger cars for a trip through the deep canyon just east of town. This is a famous railroad built back in the days of cowboys and Indians. The railroad follows the Arkansas River west to the great Continental Divide. When it was first being built two different railroad companies fought for the right to put their line through first. This was known as the great railroad war. The Royal Gorge is a very steep and deep canyon that the train must pass through as it leaves the town of Canon City, Colorado. The river through here is a torrent of white water and is very dangerous. When the railroad was first built it carried stone, coal, timber, gold, and silver. Today it just carries passengers who want to tour this beautiful route through the mountains.

There are dinner cars that serve big fancy meals to the tourists. There is an observation deck car that has no roof! People like to come out on this car to look up at the steep canyon walls. The train is pulled by a big orange colored diesel engine today. Wow, what fun. I want to ride on this train some day.

Visit my Picasa album on the Royal Gorge Railroad.