Monday, June 24, 2024

Freeman's Mill Park

Yesterday, in a move that had nothing to do with our anniversary, Anna and I, and also Gabriel, went to Freeman's Mill Park in Lawrenceville. Here are some of the pictures Gabriel took (and then teted to me) on our visit:

(All photos by Gabriel Burdett)

Sunday, June 23, 2024

Twenty-Three Years!

Today is our anniversary; Anna and I have been married for twenty-three years!

Saturday, June 8, 2024

McDaniel Farm Park

Today Gabriel and I went to McDonald's Farm Park to walk around and take pictures, and we saw, among other things, some deer (two adults, or at least older deer, and two babies, or at least much younger deer) out in the pasture. They looked like they were playing, but were probably just eating. (I took these pictures with a 250 mm lens; we kept a respectful distance away -- not that we had much choice, what with the fence between us and all.)

Wednesday, June 5, 2024

Bunny in the Backyard

I took this, through a living-room window, in late May when there was a bunny on the ground looking for something worth eating among what the birds had dropped from the hanging feeders. I haven't seen him (or her, or them -- I don't mean to impose gender roles or identity on the rabbit) since, so there must not have been enough on the ground to warrant a return trip.

Sunday, June 2, 2024


This afternoon as Gabriel and I were driving home from Kroger, we saw this rainbow in the sky over...well, probably Loganville, but we couldn't tell how far away it was:

Photo by Gabriel Burdett

Gabriel took this picture and texted it to me; I edited it a little and posted it here.

Sunday, May 26, 2024

Zoo Atlanta

Today we went to the zoo. I didn't take a lot of pictures, but here's one of me and Gabriel:

This picture might have been taken by Gabriel and texted to me; I'm not sure

Saturday, May 25, 2024

Braxton Antiques

A few days ago, Gabriel and I went on a Tame Adventure to Braxton Antiques in Loganville. These are some of the pictures I took there:

Somehow I didn't even notice that my face was in the mirror on the middle of this picture! Now I can't see anything else.

Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Antique Stores

Gabriel and I love going to antique stores to look around and take pictures. Here are a couple of pictures Gabriel took at a place in Tucker.

I look annoyed in this picture, but I'm not; I'm just looking at something beside or behind me.

Their AC was out that day; this is Gabriel leaning over one of the fans and taking a selfie.

Thursday, May 9, 2024

Nanny Risby's House

Here we see me and Jeff, probably about 1973, in the kind of matching outfits that Mom often put us in back then, standing in Nanny Risby's front yard:

Nanny Risby was what we called her. It never occurred to us then that that was particularly funny, although I see now that it is. "Nanny Risby" – what a peculiar thing to call someone! Well, she was my great-grandmother and her name was Risby Taylor. It's fairly common, or at least it was back then, for part of a person's first name to be incorporated in their Grandparent Title: Grandpa Jack, Grandma Sue, etc. I don't know why we called her Nanny; it was easier to pronounce than Granny, I guess, and apparently one generation removed. I'm not sure who the first person to call her Nanny Risby was; possibly my cousin Sharon. Being the oldest, she tended to name people. Or maybe "Nanny Risby" was what Nanny Risby wanted to be called.

She was always old, as far as I can tell. I often forget this, but she outlived my grandfather, her son-in-law, by a full year. He died of a heart attack in 1978, and she lived until sometime in 1979, maybe even 1980.

Her house was just up the street from my grandmother's. They didn't live very far apart, both in the same neighborhood, Winchester Heights, in Tucker. I go to Tucker every week these days when I take Gabriel to therapy, and sometimes I drive by that old neighborhood; that area has changed a lot over the years, but, regardless of what it looks like now, or who lives there, it has been an important part of my life for more than half a century now.

Sharon once told me that Nanny Risby was a "mean old lady," and maybe she was, but she liked me and was always nice to me. Most of the time that I knew her she had what today we would call Alzheimer's disease or dementia and what then we just called senility. Mostly I remember this as a strange idea she had about her TV not being able to pick up a certain channel (there were only a few back then) that it definitely could. I'm sure her condition manifested itself in other ways, but that's the one that has stuck with me.

Nanny Risby had a boarder named Blanche, also an old lady, whom I always thought was some distant relative of ours. However, Mom told me a couple of years ago when the subject came up that Blanche was just some lady who rented a room in Nanny Risby's house and not a relative at all.

This is Nanny Risby, also standing in her front yard, a little down from where Jeff and I are standing in the picture above, but you can probably tell it's the same house:

This picture may have been made the same day the picture of Jeff and me was made; you can't tell from the pictures, and I don't remember.

That house is still there, of course, though it looks very different now, and Nanny Risby hasn't been there – or been alive anywhere – for about 45 years. I would really love to go inside it and see what it's like today, but even more than that I'd like to be able to revisit the house it was in the 1970s.

Tuesday, May 7, 2024


Tonight was Elyse's last Middle-School Band Concert:

(She does plan to continue band in high school, next year at Archer)

Saturday, April 27, 2024

Yellow River Wildlife Sanctuary

Today Gabriel and I went to the Yellow River Wildlife Sanctuary to walk around and look at the animals. Here are some of the pictures I took while we were there:

(I didn't intend for any of these pictures to serve as a political commentary about animals in captivity, but I see now that they could be interpreted that way. That's purely accidental, however.)

Thursday, April 4, 2024

Pictures from Molly's Visit

 Molly visited for a few days this week. She stayed with my parents; one day, some of us went for a picnic at Vines Park; another day, she and Anna met their cousin, Katie, at Stone Mountain Park. Here are a few pictures she took while she was here:

Friday, March 29, 2024

Clifford D. Simak and Grandpa Jones and Their Dogs

I wrote a few months ago about how much I like listening to Grandpa Jones sing about dogs, though I don't actually like dogs that much, or want a dog as a pet. I've been listening to Grandpa Jones fairly regularly for several months now, and thinking about why I like him so much, and I realized that one of the many reasons I love Grandpa Jones is that listening to him makes me think of one of my favorite science fiction writers, Clifford D. Simak.

The connection between Simak and Grandpa Jones? Well, several things -- a love of the land and nature, simple country characters, bucolic beauty, backwoods simplicity.

But mostly it's the dogs.

Dogs are one of Simak's characteristic story elements, along with aliens, which every SF writer of his generation wrote a lot about. And ghosts, which most SF writers of Simak's generation did not write about. But there are ghosts in a lot of Simak's stories. And robots. Lots of robots.

One of my first experiences reading Simak's work was more than 40 years ago, when he was still alive and writing. (He died in 1988, but published a novel that same year.) I checked out his then-current novel Special Deliverance from the Lilburn public library, along with Piers Anthony's then-most-recent book (Juxtaposition, I think, or else the book that came before it, Blue Adept) and I've been a fan ever since. (Special Deliverance is considered one of his minor novels, but I love it, probably because it was the first thing I read by him. It's got a great cover – there's a robot on it. However, the book doesn't have any dogs in it.)

I recently re-read one of Simak's most famous stories, the 1958 novella "The Big Front Yard," and in that story the main character, Hiram Taine, has a dog named Towser. There's a Grandpa Jones song called "Old Towzer." Sure, Grandpa Jones (or whoever actually wrote the song; I'm not sure if it was him or not) spells it differently – and Simak always spells it the same; lots of his stories have a character kind of like Hiram Taine, and they always have a much-loved dog, who is, it seems, always name Towser – but Grandpa Jones and Clifford D. Simak show a similar affection for their old dogs. Even those that aren't named Towser.

If only Grandpa Jones had some songs about robots!

Thursday, March 28, 2024

Depot District

This afternoon I stopped at Lawrenceville's Depot District and took some pictures:

The side of that thing in in the third picture above, that Little Library-looking thing, which is more like a soup kitchen, says Give What You Can, Take What You Need. It's a great idea, but I suspect that in that location it doesn't really reach the people who need it the most.