Picture Day!

Probably could have called this one “Dog Catcher.” As there are a lot of sun dogs I have caught recently. Well three of recent, but several pics because I caught the 22 degree halo and an upper tangent arc in two of the sun dog events.

It has been a fairly mild winter to this point, though we are having a bit of a cold snap at the moment, but we barely dodged a disaster with an icing issue we had recently. Back in 1993 we had a huge ice storm here, power was out for 2 weeks because power lines were down everywhere, it was frigid cold, and the lansdcape looked like a nuclear bomb had gone off because of the many trees felled, or just stripped of branches and what was left of just broken in two trees left standing. It was pretty crazy. These first two pics show the kind of icing that caused the mayhem of ’93. It wasn’t much more ice than this that did the damage. We were lucky this time.



Being a bit of a cloud fanatic I had to get this shot.


Another installment of “Tennessee Customs.” The stop sign seems appropriate somehow.


The first of the sun dog pics. I caught this one on the way home from dropping the wife off at work. I stayed at this location taking several pics as it progressed. Note the slight flare at the 12 o-clock position, above the sun, nearly the top of the photo. This is the beginning of the faint but detectable upper tangent arc. The 22 degree halo is also starting to show. Interesting side note, I did not notice these at all when I was taking the pics, I noticed them later while browsing the pictures πŸ™‚


You might notice a picture perspective change from here on out. As I was capturing this sun dog, I must have accidentally swiped over to the square picture icon instead of the photo one on my phone. I only caught that little detail this morning. My dumb ass might be slow, but it catches up to me…

Notice the halo is brightening. The upper tangent arc is almost out of the shot. (Remember I didn’t know it was there when taking the pics)


The halo is getting washed out now, but the upper tangent arc is still trying to hang in there. These phenomena are ever evolving apparitions and when you get a chance to take pics, take several over several minutes. Several minutes is all you will get πŸ™‚


At this point the spectacle began to dissipate. I decided to head on home. By the time I got home, five minutes later maybe, I took another look, and damn if the sun dog hadn’t rebrightened. The halo and upper tangent arc are gone, but here is the same sun dog event from just down the road a bit from my place.


How about a Tennessee sunrise to break up the sun dog monotony?


Woof! Another sun dog event. Again on the way home from dropping off the wife, and I caught it from the same exact spot as before.


Quite often when you catch one sun dog, one is all you will get. Sometimes though, you will catch the opposing dog on the other side of the sun. I always look, but seldom get both. This is the left side, a sun dog is barely trying to be perceptible. Follow the tree line from the left, to where it takes a sharp dip down toward the field, then the next rise, a small point in that tree line, look just above it. Hardly worth mentioning it is so faint, but it is there.


Ok, let’s take a sun dog break for a minute. I know the holiday season is past us, but when you are shopping for that special someone come next December, you know this will be on their wish list πŸ˜‰ Wait $40?!! Nevermind…


Church signs, always one of my favorites, We don’t travel as widely as we used to, so I’m not catching as many. This one, maybe it’s just me? But this message seems to clash a bit with the name of the church. Ray of Despair seems more appropriate.


We had a good dusting of snow a couple of weeks ago, nothing serious, but it is interesting you can sure tell which way the wind was blowing. I’m weird like that…


Woof! Another sun dog, this one was a lefty. Was on my way to town and lo and behold. I stopped in the middle of the road, turned on the emergency flashers like any good motorist (no one was coming), and got the pic. This one, the 22 degree halo is pretty obvious when you look at it for a minute. This was the pic that got me looking at the sun dog pictures a little more closely.


I will leave you with another sunrise. May we all get plenty more of these.


Hope you enjoyed the trip.

Oh, wiki has a good write up on sun dogs and other phenomena. What would we do without Wikipedia?












Religion Is A Special Kind Of Poison

I’m pretty sure most of my followers and friends aren’t MMA fans. That’s ok, I still loveΒ  you guys! Thing is, I was just perusing a website devoted to MMA and read a story, and I felt like it might interest you. Put aside your possible disinterest in the sport, and read the story for what it tells us. I had never heard of this particular fellow, but after reading his story it shocked me a bit, it is the last thing I expected really, but once I understood the why, it is something we all are aware of in religion.

Religious cults are a special kind of evil. It’s a faily long writeup, I’ll leave it to you to see what you think. It’s a damn shame, a sad story on the effect of the uber religiosity that dwells among us…

The Scars His Fighters Couldn't See


So… Where Is Heaven?

The notion crossed my mind recently and being the curious sort I Googled it. I found many claims of heaven being for sure real. Claims of it being some ethereal place somewhere. Claims of it existing on an astral plane. Bible verses as proof it is there, but the where is never mentioned. Bible claims that it is among the atmosphere of earth (I pity the fools that would be there, right now. Also I do wonder if jets fly through frequently? Boy that would mess up a hair day.)Β  Claims that Jesus is there as I speak, building mansions for all the good x-ians. Damn good thing he was a carpenter! Put those skills to use Jesus!

All of my life I have heard of heaven. People tend to look up when they mention it. I have looked up too. Didn’t see it there, anywhere. I have a multitude of telescopes that I have looked up with as well. I have seen galaxies thousands of light years away, nebulas in their grand splendor, star clusters of the open and globular varieties, comets, planets, double stars, triple stars, quadruple stars, planetary nebula, and multitudes of stars along one of the spiral arms of our Milky Way. I didn’t see heaven in any of those places. Did I perhaps miss it? The Hubble telescope has been taking pictures out there for a LONG time now, I haven’t seen any pics of heaven yet. I’m sure it’s on the list of things to do… right?

The thing is, if you are going to base an entire freaking religion on the premise that all the good people will go to this heaven when they die, why in the hell can’t you at least point in the general direction that this supposed place exists? Claims of its existence are bountiful, everybody seems to just know it exists, but not a one of them can show me where. I’ve yet to see any gods yet either as a matter of fact. Odd.

Heaven. That paradise we are all told of. That place where all of lifes miseries and aggravations no longer exist. A place where we are simply content to be because we are with our gods. That place where grandma and grandpa are waiting for us, still very much alive and happy to be. The place where Fido and Guppy went when they died. The place where margaritas, good bourbon, and medical quality weed flow like water along the Danube (hey you pick your heaven, I’ll pick mine.)

A place no one apparently really knows where in the hell it actually is… πŸ™‚Β  Which makes me think someone is full of shit. Every religion across the globe has a heaven to promise its adherents. They line the pews every Wednesday and twice on Sunday, dropping their afterlife insurance payment in the collection plate, but none of them have a clue where the fuck this final payoff, heaven, is. Pardon me while I… Lol!

The moral of the story folks, is do not just be content with what the preachers tell you, or what the people you may know heard from their preacher, and are now convinced it is factual. Do a little research of your own, ask questions until you are satisfied with the answer.

There are those in religion who would lie to you, and gladly take your money. You know why? Because they never have to actually deliver on their con, and they are pretty damn sure you aren’t going to ask for your money back once you are dead! Next time someone tells you heaven is real, ask them where the heck it is! For me, okay? πŸ˜‰

FWIW, heaven or hell is IMO what we tend to make for ourselves in this life. Here is hoping you all have a slice of whatever you perceive as heaven. I couldn’t imagine life without a smile, a laugh, and good time with friends/family. At least every once in a while.

The Power Of Shungite

So I’m channel surfing and see The Power of Shungite as a title of something, I wondered if it was perhaps some sort of fantasy sci-fi thing at first, and I hit the remote button to see what it was. I was sure surprised when two air headed women popped up on my TV, hawking some cheap jewelry with very uninspiring stones, set in some questionable looking silver, and they were spouting out more idiotic claims in one minute than an army of debunkers could shred in 3 days. “It’s like having an invisible electro magnetic radiation shield.” “When you wear it you can feel its energy.” “Healers use it.” “It slows the effects of AIDS.” and on and on and on…

My skeptical brain quickly went into self destruct mode, I had to get away from the TV, so I retreated to the safety of the computer. And I Googled Shungite, boy one bad idea after another!

I will leave you with a couple of links to peruse, please wear your tinfoil hats on this escapade, and don’t take any wooden nickels while you are out there πŸ˜‰



P.S. Someone please let me know when the hard scientific data shows up so I can then reconsider my position. “The Power of Shungite” indeed. I’m much more inclined to believe in the “Power of Bullshit!”


Election Fraud

The news is in North Carolina, I’m sure we have all heard about it by now. Where the R candidate managed to steal an election by hiring contractors, who hired a felon, to hire individuals, to bang on doors, and convince residents they were there to help them cast their votes early. Only to then take those ballots and dispose of them, or change them to suit their purposes, which was to see to it that the R got elected.

Now wasn’t it the R’s of late using election fraud as an excuse to enact their voter suppression tactics? The true irony here isn’t that the R’s got caught cheating, the irony is that they seem to think it’s only a bad thing when theyΒ think, or accuseΒ D’s of doing it… As the R political spectrum is oddly quiet about the situation.

You can bet your last nickel that if the D’s had got caught up in a huge election fraud fiasco, the R’s would be screaming bloody murder right about now. I’ve yet to hear a peep, wonder why that is?

In another vein of thought here, it is my opinion that every election is fradulent on the basis of all of the R gerrymandering across the country. There are elections where the vast majority of votes were cast for D’s, and the R’s hardly noticed any loss of seats, and they still hold the majority. If the election districting was fair, and it is not, the D’s would have taken the majority in several states. Why in the hell isn’t their an enormous outcry here? Oh..that’s right, the fucking R’s still hold the majority in these states! Even if there was an outcry it wouldn’t matter, because they have stolen control by being low down dirty, cheating, conscience deficient dogs.

What we the people need to do, and get it done A.S.A.P. is challenge every gerrymandered district and get this in the courts. You would think state legislatures could handle this on their own, but since the playing field has been significantly slanted in favor of the R’s, there is little hope a very strong turnout by D’s could gain enough seats for a majority, where that legislature could, on its own, change things to a proper and fair districting process.

Somehow, some way, we need this fixed.

Oh, and the states attempting to undermine new D’s coming into office by re-legislating the power of office, because they cannot abide the D’s having the same sort of power they had… Every R in those legislatures participating in this theft of power, needs to be dragged away in handcuffs. Let them stand in line at the prison lunch counter with tRump and co.

I swear the more I know the madder I get.

Picture Day!

It’s about time…right? This first one I swear it took me an hour to get it blown up, and saved where I could upload it. Editors are not my strong point πŸ™‚ You never know what you will see in traffic:


This next one deserves some sort of title. I’m going with “Hulk said NO TICKETS!” (It is actually an old retired police car, and the local Rescue Squad used it as a demo for their extraction tools/techniques)


This next one also deserving of a title. How about “Tennessee Customs?”



Next few are a result of one of our river excursions, we like to go for boat rides and island walks. Note this is one of the boats I had mentioned restoring at some point in the past. The pic here I didn’t even know I took, the wife is on the left, we were trying to sneak up on some pelicans, but they refused to cooperate.


Oh hey, let’s play with the water moccasin, or cottonmouth, depending on your preference πŸ™‚


A tree of noteworthy character.


Another tree of noteworthy character. This one is full of pareidolias. I see a lost dog, a lost hog, a crow/raven, and a big cat with a fish in its mouth. I quit looking at that point it was freaking me out a little. πŸ˜‰


This one, one of the boys came in the house proclaiming “hey dad look what I found in the pond!” I was like… “get that out of the house! Oh wait let me get a pic first.” Doesn’t look like tadpoles, so Im guessing some sort of fish spawn.


These are tadpoles. Caught them on one of my many creek walking adventures.


More shots from the creek, umm don’t step on that rock!


Creeks inevitably have bridges, the swallows like to make thier homes here. There are a few in the pic along with their nests. They weren’t real happy about me being there. I did not disturb them any longer than it took to get the shot.


Oh wait, I did stick around and got some more pics when I noticed the stalactite formations under the bridge, you can see some of it in the swallow shot. Here is a better view, they were all over the underside of this bridge. I am often fascinated by things most people fail to notice.


One of the places my wife works at is a farm, the owner has a real job too, so things get a bit cluttered up. They have horses, cows, and goats, I was leaving one day and saw this. Note, that vehicle is the one that the 16 year old girl I posted on died in. They had put a new hood on it before she started driving it. Not that it matters.


I started to ask that stupid goat what it thought it was doing up there, then I saw the goat mafia staring me down. I left quietly.


This next one is a spring storm moving in, I was thinking wow, look at the way the sun behind me is illuminating the trees, with the storm as a backdrop. I had to get a pic. I’m weird like that. Yeah, Im the guy you want to meet on the highway, driving and taking pics through the windshield πŸ˜‰ Nobody was coming…


A Tennessee downpour. Almost a whiteout condition. Kind of unusual, I’ve seen a lot of grayout conditions, but the whiteout I haven’t seen very often. Well light gray perhaps. Wipers were on high.


Allergies anyone? This would make a tough 1000 piece puzzle…


Tennessee sunset.


And another one.


And another one.


My youngest son has a friend from school, this is the view from their yard. Also I got the previous sunset pic from the same location.


Guess what? Another sunset.


We get severe storms here from time to time. This is what can happen. Note the building is really messed up. They cleaned this all up quick, in just a couple of days it was an empty lot. They already had a large trackhoe onsite for demolition when I got the pic. You can make out part of it on the left.


Stupid deer. Well maybe not. Deer anyway. Low light conditions and my iphone do not get along.


Yeah…I’m starting to think it’s not going to happen.


Shelf mushrooms on a tree, I don’t recall seeing mushrooms growing on live trees before. Dead trees, often. Lousy focus.


Fairy circle! What is odd about this one is, maybe 3 feet back from the sidewalk, the landscape goes up a steep ass hill. You would have difficulty climbing this hill it is very vertical. Yet the fairy circle is still quite round.


This last batch is one my my favorite captures. I do love me some sundogs. We were driving down the highway, the wife and I, she said to me “isn’t that one of those things?” She does me like that all of the time, ummm what things, dear? I look where she is pointing and she had spotted the sundog! I’ll have her trained one of these days πŸ™‚ I caught it in several pics, zooming in, zooming out, and catching its transformation over several minutes. They only last around 5 minutes or so in my experience, so you have to be observant to catch them at all. I pulled off the main highway asap, and knowing they are short lived did not have time to find a good location, so there are electric wires in the shots, but it is what it is…






That does it for this version of Picture Day. I think I have enough pics around to do another. I’ll get it when I can. I hope you enjoyed the trip. πŸ™‚






















Sweet Sixteen and… Cancer Is A Bitch II

You may recall the tale of a little 4 year old girl who passed in a recent post. If only that were the end of it.

My wife had worked another case part time, which due to the recent death of her previous patient, she has been filling in there a bit more lately. She looks after another young girl there with enough medical issues requiring a nurse to work the case. This little girl has some older brothers and a sister. The older sister had recently turned 16, and had acquired her drivers license as most do at that age, and on her way to a Halloween event ran off the road, to unknown causes, rolled the vehicle she was driving, and she didn’t make it. She probably died instantly or soon thereafter having suffered significant head trauma. So damn if we weren’t visiting another wake, all too soon after the funeral we had recently attended. I knew this girl only briefly, but I knew her well enough to know she had a wonderful personality and a good head on her shoulders. I know because she was very interested in politics and was very much not a tRump fan. We can’t afford to lose good minds, especially when they had an entire lifetime before them. A damn shame.


Cancer Is A Bitch II

I posted a while back on my neighbor, he was diagnosed with stage 4 kidney cancer right at 3 years ago.* He put up a good fight, he went well beyond the 6 months the dr.’s gave him to live. After a long and valiant fight, my friend and neighbor passed away this morning. It was much like watching a train wreck in super slow motion. You know what is coming, but it happens at a slow enough pace it almost seems like just maybe the damn train won’t wreck after all. Then it does. And it leaves you in a state of mild shock and disbelief that it could have had happened at all. Unreasonable I know, but the feeling persists. It was honestly a little more than a week ago I helped him winterize his RV, and also helped him fix his tractor. He was frail, weak, had trouble walking, but his drive was persistent, his attitude positive, always speaking of the things he was going to do next year or the year after. I really didn’t think it was going to be this soon. It all went downhill quick.

I saw him yesterday, he was laid up, passed out from the morphine he was on. Hospice had been implemented, the cancer had spread throughout his body and moved into his spine. His pain was extraordinary, I know he is without pain and suffering now. Little it does to ease the hurt of losing a friend and neighbor. Yet I hold on to the knowledge that none of us should suffer so. He is gone. A damn shame.

It has been a rough ride of recent. May you and yours be well.

I promise to put up something a bit less depressing next time, I have a ton of photos to go through, maybe Ill get a Picture Day up next time around.Β  πŸ™‚


* See here: