Thursday, May 31, 2012

The End Of The Road

The image of the road conjures up a vast variety of thoughts and emotions.  The Bible uses the road as both metaphor and setting for some key lessons.  There's the road to Jericho where the parable of the Good Samaritan takes place.  Saul of Tarsus met Jesus on the road to Damascus and had both his name and life changed.  Cleopas and another anonymous disciple of Jesus were on the road to Emmaus when they were joined by a stranger shortly after the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus.  The stranger was later revealed to be Jesus himself.

There's often a sense of excitement when we set off on the road.  Even when we're sure of where we're headed there can be some uncertainty about what might happen along the way.  There could be disaster and redemption, such as was the case of the traveler set upon by bandits and rescued by the Good Samaritan.  Or like Saul/Paul an unexpected encounter could lead us to take an entirely different path.  And there are those trips who's true significance is realized only once the journey is over, like that walk Cleopas and his friend took to Emmaus.

Sometimes the road itself proves as much fun as the destination.  Ask anyone who rides a motorcycle.

And when the road ends we we're faced with a choice.  Turn around or blaze our own trail.  How you handle that one depends on who's map you're following.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Sometimes It Seems Like It Never Ends

My wife Teri and I spent a good deal of the Memorial Day weekend doing yard work.  My son Caleb helped me get a few trees out of the yard.  They'd fallen over the course of the past few weeks.  Then Teri and I cleaned up some of the smaller branches, cut the grass, blew off the driveway.  Teri even found time to plant some flowers. Coming home from work yesterday I was able to smile at how nice the yard was finally looking.

Then just after 3 o'clock this morning I heard that ominous "fooommp" from somewhere outside.  Almost instantaneously the power went out.  I grabbed a flashlight and walked the yard.  A large Georgia Pine had fallen across the street, knocking out the power to the entire neighborhood.  The power company was there within the hour, and nearly six hours later they'd restored the power.  And now I have at least another weekend's worth of work waiting for me in the front yard.

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Blue Light Special

No, this is not about your run-of-the-mill cut-rate department store five cents off a pack of 24 white tube socks blue light special.  This is about the magic elixir that is less than 60 seconds away when the blue light on the Keurig coffee maker is lit.  Now that IS something special.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Monster Beetle

I've been in Georgia for nearly 14 years now. The size of the insects here still amazes me, as does their boldness. This beetle sat perfectly sill as I moved closer and closer to get this photo.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Impatients At Night

The long, dry, hot Memorial Day weekend provided a wonderful opportunity for a little yard work. We took the chainsaw to a few trees that had fallen in the yard. Cut the grass, trimmed some bushes. My wife Teri planted impatients, bringing a little added color to the yard.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Mobile Nest

My youngest grandson, TJ, has a birthday coming up next week. He's asked for a new scooter. When his dad reminded him that he already has a scooter, TJ replied, "But a bird made a best in the basket and there are eggs in it."
"As soon as the birds hatch and learn to fly then you can ride it again," his dad told him.
So now the waiting and the watching begin.

Friday, May 25, 2012

One More Reason

Getting ready for the long Memorial Day Weekend and the unofficial start of summer.  Many of us will be on the road this weekend, despite the cost of gasoline.  One of the many reasons I enjoy riding a motorcycle is the gas mileage my bike gets.  I filled up this morning on my in to The JOY FM.  Today's National Photography Month photo is of the final read out of the pump.  Yes, only 3.622 gallons to fill up (my tank holds 4.1 gallons).  On that 3.622 gallons I managed to travel 200.2 miles.  That works out to 55.27 miles per gallon!  That 's actually the best gas mileage I've managed in awhile, normally I come in between 52 and 53 mpg.

There is one other calculation I've done, and it's slightly more sobering.  It's the miles per dollar (or mp$) number.  This one will vary much more than mpg, since gas prices fluctuate so much.  My 200.2 miles on 3.622 gallons at $3.479 per gallon works out to 15.888 miles per dollar.  Of course if you did these calculations on your car's mileage numbers they'd be even smaller.  Let's say your auto gets a respectable 30 mpg.  That same 200.2 miles would have used up 6.673 gallons of gas in your car.  At a cost of $3.479 per gallon you would paid $23.22 for that stop at the pump.  You would be getting 8.62 mp$ (miles per dollar).  Kind of makes you want to look into getting a motorcycle, doesn't it?

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Pig Mania

My dad found this game around 30 years ago. It's so goofy that it's a blast. We've never played a game without going into hysterics.

The original Pig Mania, comes with a complete "history" of pig tossing.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Old Friends

I was looking through old photographs last night, searching for a couple of specific shots.  I didn't find either one, but I did come across quite a few that made me smile.  The one I've posted here (for today's National Photography Month entry) was taken somewhere between 1989 and 1994.  That was back before digital photography, so there's no metadata, no file on a hard drive to help me narrow the date range.  Metadata back then was added AFTER you got your pictures back from the lab and wrote on the back of the photo.  I was not very good at remembering to add metadata.

Because I rarely took the time to document those old photographs, sometimes I have trouble remembering who all the people in the picture are.  That is the case in this photo.  I have no idea of the name of the guy on the far left.  Working left to right, the next person is me.  Then guitarist extraordinaire Phil Keaggy.  And finally, Dave Cruse, currently of The Morning Cruise on The JOY FM.

Back when that photo was taken Dave was, I believe, still at a station in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.  I was working at a station on Long Island, New York.  We were in my hotel room in Nashville, TN, during Gospel Music Association (GMA) Week.  Back then I'd do my morning show from the room, featuring artist interviews all week.  So that means that the un-named individual was probably someone who worked for Phil's record company.  Dave was there because somewhere along the line of seeing each other year after year at these GMA events we'd become friends.  Dave wasn't doing his show from Nashville that year, so he came and hung out with me.  We've both, Dave and I, changed some during those intervening years, especially our hairlines.  But we've remained friends and we're finally getting a chance to work together, though it's long distance, at The JOY FM.

Left to right: Can't remember his name, me, Phil Keaggy, Dave Cruse

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Emergency Cache

I have never really known want.  Sure, there have been times that have been more prosperous than others.  And I have occasionally had to go without certain near essentials.  But I've never actually worried about where my next meal was coming from.  So my habit of stashing away foodstuffs is somewhat of a mystery to me.  Maybe it's something that rubbed off on me from having both of my parents being raised during the Great Depression.  Or perhaps the story of Joseph and his famine fighting grain storage plan had a bigger impact on me than I realize.

No matter the origin, there have been times when I've stockpiled various snack foods.  Today's photo was inspired by that habit and by a photo Matt Fields, The Morning Cruise producer, posted of one of his desk drawers.  Here's my photo for the day.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Ready For The Rain

Since I started riding a motorcycle five years ago I've become much more aware of the weather.  And I've learned that you can't always trust those "chance of rain" percentages.  I've ridden when there was a 20% chance of rain and gotten soaked and taken the car when the forecast called for a 90% chance of rain and not seen a drop all day.

So most days, unless it's actually raining or below freezing when it's time to leave the house, I'll ride the motorcycle.  But I am always prepared for any change in the weather.  Take today.  Got up this morning, checked the forecast.  Around a 30% chance of rain.  Then just after 3 PM thunder and lightning rolled in.  Then the showers.  I was ready for them.  There's always a rain cover for the bike and rain gear (pants, jacket and boot covers) for me in the saddlebags.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Sweet Summer Slumber

I know, summer doesn't officially begin for another month. But with the weather already warm I'm looking forward to some lazy afternoons in the hammock.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Work In Progress

My garage has become a motorcycle shop. My son Caleb is tweaking his bike. He's already painted it. Now he's adding a sound system and modifying the seat.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Just Up The Street

Back in 1844 a local resident bought a plot of land, Lot #16 in Fayette County, Georgia.  The next year he buried his infant daughter there.  Through the years the family laid the remains of loved ones in this little family cemetery.  It still stands, 168 years later.  The area around it has changed during that time.  A residential sub-division, offices, restaurants, a theater and the JOY FM studios now surround this lonely patch of ground.  Its markers and benches tucked into the shade provide an opportunity to pause and reflect on what once was.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Lookin' Up

Every once in awhile I feel the need to take an aimless stroll.  Just to clear some of the cranial cobwebs.  On today's walk about I was once again amazed at the simple beauty of the sky.  Light blue with mountains of white fluffy clouds.  It provided a nice change of pace from the photos of the last two days.  Hope you enjoy the view as much as I did.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Time Is Relative

Remember when we were kids and the summers seemed to last forever?  Seems the older we get the faster time flies by.  Maybe it something to do with what Peter talks about in 2 Peter 3:8; "With the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like one day."  Maybe our perception of eternity has something to do with it.  Of course, none of that really addresses the issue of time in the Prevenings studio.  Within 60 seconds I took photos of five of the clocks we have in there, no two displaying the same time.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Social Media Overload

Here's the thing.  I'm not much of a "joiner".  But when I do get into something new, I tend to go all in.  So when I got my first Android powered smart phone last fall I really got into downloading apps.  Particularly social media apps.  So now I'm on social networks that no one else I know has even heard of yet, like Diaspora and Path.  Think I'm going to have to scale it back a bit.  It's gotten so bad that I had to download a new app just to be able to squeeze in a shot of most (not even all!) of my social networks on my TWO monitors!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Snowballs In May

It had been a wet weekend.  Too much rain to do much outdoors for Mothers Day.  But as I walked to my car this morning I got a glimpse of some of the fruit of all that rain.  Our "snowball" bush has a number of large flowers.  Makes the dampness a little easier to deal with.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Rain, Rain...

The weekend held such promise.  Two days.  Two wheels.  Open roads.  Then the rain came.  And stayed.  All weekend.  The bike stayed parked in the shelter of the garage.  Maybe next weekend will be drier.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

A Bad Sign

Just as I'd passed the last gas station on my way home, the low fuel light popped on.  So much for saving time and mileage.  I'll have to allow a little extra time, and go a little out of my way on the next trip.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Saving Seats

Empty chairs.  They can imply a number of things.  Traditionally a chair and place setting are left empty at a Passover Seder for Elijah.  There's a certain amount of anticipation associated with an empty chair.  There's the expectation of a soon-to-arrive guest.  Hope can also be attached to a seat without a sitter, such as those chairs at a restaurant, set out in hopeful expectancy at the prospect of yet to be seen hungry patrons.

Sometimes that empty chair is a reminder of a loved one no longer present.  It's set out and left unoccupied to honor the time and memory of someone we hope to yet again see, if not in this life, then in the next.

An empty chair can also be an invitation to sit awhile, chat with friends, neighbors, loved ones.  Or simply take a load off and enjoy the view.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Class Clown For Life

You might think that the people who wind up on the radio were very extroverted as kids, that many of the class clowns from your school days are now doing yuck-yuck radio shows.  That is not the case.  Many (if not most) of us were not the extremely out going types or jokesters in school.  It takes someone who is pretty content on their own to spend four or more hours a day cooped up in a little room talking to people that they can't see. 

Radio does have its share of those class clown types of people, but they're normally not the type who end up on the air. Those folks end up in sales or underwriting or more behind the scenes areas of programming, like producers.

Two cases in point are pictured below in today's National Photography Month entry.  Ken, who's part of The JOY FM underwriting team, and Matt, who's the producer for the Morning Cruise.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

If Barnabas Collins Had A Smart Phone

I remember rushing home from school in the late 1960s to watch "Dark Shadows".  The Gothic soap opera surrounding the Collins clan and vampire Barnabas Collins.  The new movie based on the show opens this Friday with Johnny Depp in the role of Barnabas.

I was wondering what it would look like if Barnabas had a smart phone and took a picture of himself standing in front of a mirror.  Here's my impression of how such a photo would turn out.

Barnabas Collins self portrait.  (Vampires cast no image in a mirror.)

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

What Is That?

I went for a little stroll around the building at lunchtime today.  I saw a car pull over and a woman get out, holding what looked like a cell phone at arms length as she walked towards a stand of trees.  She'd glance from the phone into the trees as she walked.  She was soon joined by another woman, the driver of the car.  Both women ventured into the fringes of the trees, examining the ground, then the sky, then the ground again.  After about two minutes they walked back to the car and drove off.  I have no idea what they were looking at or for, but they provided me with an interesting distraction for a brief moment.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Mesmerizing March

Perspective can determine how you think or feel about things.  Take ants.  On a picnic they're nothing but pests.  But if you simply stop to watch them as they scurry, in a most orderly fashion, they can be down right mesmerizing.  I spotted these ants outside my office, marching along in near perfect formation.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

A Little Thunder

Thunder, lightening & rain tonight. This combination renders Casey, our big Lab-something mix, incapable of rational thought, as far as dogs are capable of rational thought. He parks himself directly in front of your feet or in the middle of a household high traffic area until the storm passes.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Can't See The (Super) Moon For The Trees

I've been waiting for the super moon all day.  Once it showed up it hid behind the trees in my back woods for hours.  Below is the best shot I was able to get of it (so far).
EDIT: I went back out and got a slightly clearer shot.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Poor House Bread

I know I may be treading on thin ice here, posting a picture of food on only the four day of National Photography Month, but I have (what I think is) a good reason.  I had lunch today at Maguire's Irish Pub in Senoia.  I've been in Senoia hundreds of times, but this was my first time at Maguire's.  Lunch was with Shannon Steele, Matt Fields and Jayar (all of the JOY FM).  I ordered the Boxty, something I've never had before.

Boxty, or Poor House Bread at Maguire's in Senoia
Boxty is a potato pancake wrapped around meat and cheese.  It was delicious.  And it seems simple enough that I think I may be adding it to my household menu repertoire.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Moving Towards Decay

There's a law or theorem in physics that states something to the effect of everything is moving towards decay.  Of course, that's my paraphrase.  That would explain why screws never work themselves tighter and why the Christmas tree lights always end up tangled, even though you know you put them away neatly last year.

This third photo of mine for National Photography Month is another example of that principle.

Rob Langer struggles against physics.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Morning Reflection

There's something special about the early morning.  Sitting on my back porch, I spend time with the Lord, praying about and reflecting on the day to come.  The only sounds the robins and redbirds.  The sun from the east warms the breeze that passes through the pines and pin oaks as I prepare for another day.

View from my back porch.  National Photography Month, Day 2.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

100th Episode + National Photog Month

May 1, 2012.  Today is the 100th episode of Prevenings with Jerry & Shannon on The JOY FM.  Hard to believe we've been at this since December 1, 2011.  Only five months.  Yet it feels both like forever ago and just yesterday that we began.

It's also the beginning of National Photography Month.  So Shannon and I have committed to (a)take and post a photograph every day and (b)blog more regularly.  It's been far too long since I've posted here.

The view from outside the Prevenings studios at The JOY FM ATL
So here's the first photo and blog post.  Hopefully I'll be able to maintain both more regularly from here out.