Monday, May 31, 2021

Another Visit to Zoo Atlanta

Since it was Memorial Day today and Anna didn't have to go to work, we went to Zoo Atlanta. It was only our second outing as a family since the Coronavirus pandemic began a little over a year ago, and also the first time Anna's been to the zoo in a couple of years. (I've been twice in the last eighteen months--once with Jessica and Elyse shortly before the pandemic was declared, and once with Elyse during the pandemic--we both wore our masks then, of course.)

Since Anna and I are both fully vaccinated and most of the zoo is outdoors, we didn't wear our masks except when we went to one of the indoor exhibits, like the amphibian/reptile house. (The zoo's rules call for all visitors to wear masks in all of the indoor exhibits, even those visitors who are fully vaccinated. That's probably a good idea, since it may be the only way to convince certain people who aren't fully vaccinated to wear masks when they ought to be.)

Here are some of the pictures I took today--starting with the walk from the car; we had to park quite a ways away--of the animals and the people we saw:

Anna and Elyse walking towards Grant Park

This was in a yard near where we parked



I'm not sure what they were looking at, but it wasn't the lion below, even though the proximity of the photographs kind of implies that


I'm not sure what they were looking at, but it wasn't the ostrich below, even though...oh, you know what I mean



Wasn't this guy in The NeverEnding Story?





I don't have a picture of myself to include here, but this is a pretty good approximation



I hope Jessica doesn't mind my posting this picture


Thursday, May 27, 2021

Throwback Thursday: Jeff and Me in Our House in 1976 (blog post 750)


Jeff and me, back around 1976, in the house where we grew up in Lilburn, GA. I'm not sure why we were dressed up (and this is what counted as "dressed up" for us back then, by the way; not tuxedos, obviously, or even ties, but pants that weren't jeans and shoes that weren't sneakers). It might have been around Easter, but our Easter outfits tended to be brighter and more pastel-ish.

Whatever the occasion for the outfits and the picture, I love seeing this little slice of our house from way back then--the wall without the chair rail and paneling that my mom added years later, and which I tend to think of as having always been part of the house; that brown carpet that was there when we moved in, but which Mom replaced (in the living room, at least) with multi-colored, elaborately patterned carpeting that hid spilled chocolate milk and muddy footprints; that hanging candle sconce-like thingy on the wall behind us; the corner of the living room, just on the right side of the frame, which didn't yet have a desk in it.

It was my home for another fifteen years after this picture was taken and it changed quite a bit in that decade-and-a-half; this is not how I see the house in my mind when I think back on it (which I do often). But I'm happy to have these reminders that things weren't always as I remember them.

(For whatever it's worth, the Blogger control panel tells me that this is the 750th post I've created on this blog.)

Tuesday, May 25, 2021

Elyse is Moving On Up

 Today was the "Moving Up" ceremony for the fifth graders at Elyse's school. It's a sort of graduation to recognize that they are moving up from elementary school to middle school.

Here's Elyse receiving her...actually, I don't know what is in that red folder, but whatever it is, this is Elyse receiving it from her teacher:


Congratulations, Elyse!


The Story Shop IV
Monroe, GA
March 23, 2019

"Read instead" the blank TV says, which is a sentiment I can get behind, but I also have to admit that I watch a lot of television.

Saturday, May 22, 2021

Oakland Cemetery with Jessica

 Today Jessica and I went to the historic Oakland Cemetery to take some pictures. Here are some of the ones I made:










Friday, May 21, 2021

Lawrenceville, GA


Lawrenceville, GA
September 27, 2002

I used to live in Lawrenceville, and I spent a lot of time making photographs in the downtown area in the early 2000's. It was, and still is, a great place to wander around with a camera.

I really wish I still had the original color versions of these, but at the time I was really committed to black and white, and hard drive/external drive storage was nowhere near as readily available and inexpensive as it is today, so I used to delete the originals once I was happy with my edits.

Thursday, May 20, 2021

Throwback Thursday: Christmas 1971

You know how sometimes kids have more fun playing with the box than with whatever came in the box? Santa too knows this, and for Christmas in 1971, the box WAS the present. And what a great present it was! Looking back at it now, I see it as a fort, and a castle, and a spaceship, and a haunted house, and whatever else a four-year-old-boy wanted it to be. I remember it with great fondness—though to be honest, I’m not sure I did much spaceshipping or haunted-housing in it; I remember crawling around it and through it a lot, though. Most of the other presents I got as a child I remember largely because I've seen them in pictures, but this cardboard playhouse (or whatever exactly it should be called) I remembered well before I happened upon this picture. I don't think I've ever received a better present. (A few equally good, perhaps, such as my first electric guitar a decade later, but none truly better.) I don't know what became of it, though; I have no idea whether that elaborate and wonderful cardboard structure held up for a week or a year. It was probably gone, or at least all played out, by the Christmas of 1972.

Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Washington, GA


Washington, GA
March 31, 2003

* * * * *

I don't get to do this as often as I would like anymore, but years ago I would grab my camera, hop in the car, and go for meandering drives down the back roads of Georgia, stopping often to take pictures of whatever interested me along the way.

For as long as my archive of pictures and my interest and motivation hold out, a couple of times each week I'll be posting some of my favorites of the images I made back then.

Tuesday, May 18, 2021

 

Horticulture and Gardening Books in the Gift Shop
State Botanical Garden of Georgia
Athens, GA
April 6, 2021

Friday, May 14, 2021

Two Views of U.S. 23 through Jackson


Two Views of U.S. 23 through Jackson
Jackson, GA
March 12, 2003

* * * * *

I don't get to do this as often as I would like anymore, but years ago I would grab my camera, hop in the car, and go for meandering drives down the back roads of Georgia, stopping often to take pictures of whatever interested me along the way.

For as long as my archive of pictures and my interest and motivation hold out, a couple of times each week I'll be posting some of my favorites of the images I made back then.

Thursday, May 13, 2021

Throwback Thursday: Scott and Me, 1982


This picture of my cousin Scott and me was taken in the den of my grandmother's house in Tucker in 1981 or 1982. Scott and I both went to Berkmar High School by then; I'm pretty sure this was taken when I was in ninth grade and he was in eleventh. We were still close at that point: I saw Scott every day at school, and we got together most weekends either at my house to play Wizardry on our Apple II or his house to "jam" (he played drums and I played guitar; I was na├»ve enough back then to think of what we did with our instruments in his garage as "jamming," but "making an unholy noise" is probably more accurate). This was some months, maybe even a whole year, before we formed our short-lived high school band, Voyager, with Roy Smith, whom we met in Coach Wilson's World History class. Roy played drums, I played guitar, and Scott played bass and keyboards and sang (but, because we didn't have a P.A. system, you couldn't actually hear him singing). Every song we played (except the few that we wrote) Scott or my guitar teacher Desi showed me how to play. I didn't realize this at the time, but I had—have—terrible ears and very little musical ability. If somebody showed me where to put my fingers I did okay, but my ability never really rose above that basic level of knowing where my fingers go. It still hasn't, and though I still noodle around on guitar every once in a while, I still can't really play anything that Scott or Desi didn't teach me.

Scott's shirt says "I Love Real People." He got it (if I remember correctly) at a taping of the TV show "Real People" when his family made an epic drive across the whole country, from Georgia to California, a few months earlier. My shirt says "Junkyard Dog" and features a drawing of a bulldog. I didn't get it at a taping of anything; it probably came from Treasure Island. Or maybe Richway. In any case, whether this shirt really had anything to do with the University of Georgia—a possible connection about which I was completely clueless at the time—I don't know, but people seeing me wearing it often assumed it did. They also incorrectly assumed I knew more (which is to say, anything) and cared more (which is to say, at all) about UGA and college football than I actually did.

Behind us on the wall of Granny's den were the family pictures that I think of as having always been there. The topmost picture on the left is my brother Jeff and me. That picture was taken just after my mother had to get my hair trimmed down to a crew cut after my cousin Catherine tried to give me a haircut in 1971, an incident I heard about all the time when I was growing up. As you can see, my hair eventually grew out.

Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Blue Door and Green Door



Blue Door and Green Door
Lexington, GA
March 7, 2003

* * * * *

I don't get to do this as often as I would like anymore, but years ago I would grab my camera, hop in the car, and go for meandering drives down the back roads of Georgia, stopping often to take pictures of whatever interested me along the way.

For as long as my archive of pictures and my interest and motivation hold out, a couple of times each week I'll be posting some of my favorites of the images I made back then.

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Books at Betty's Country Store

Books at Betty's Country Store
Helen, GA
June 28, 2017

Unlike my pictures from the past few Tuesdays, this one is not actually a bookstore. Many small stores and gift shops have book sections, and I love looking through them and seeing the regional and local-interest books, and the self-published books of various quality from folks in the area. I also have a weak spot for any place that justifiably calls itself a "country store," and this one in Helen, GA, is a pretty darn good one. (They had both Brach's chocolate stars and Blenheim ginger ale, and that's enough to prompt me to call a place "pretty darn good.")

Saturday, May 8, 2021

Our cats, intrigued by stuff outside



Our cats, intrigued by stuff outside (probably birds and squirrels, but Hale-Bopp said she's pretty sure she saw a hippopotamusauras.)

Friday, May 7, 2021

Lexington, GA


NuGrape Soda and Green Door
Lexington, GA
March 7, 2003

* * * * *

I don't get to do this as often as I would like anymore, but years ago I would grab my camera, hop in the car, and go for meandering drives down the back roads of Georgia, stopping often to take pictures of whatever interested me along the way.

For as long as my archive of pictures and my interest and motivation hold out, a couple of times each week I'll be posting some of my favorites of the images I made back then.

Thursday, May 6, 2021

Audio Books: Another Book Post

There are some books I claim to have read—several by Bill Bryson; pretty much everything I say I've read by David Sedaris; Daniel Pinkwater's brilliant The Snarkout Boys and the Avocado of Death—but really haven't, at least not strictly speaking. Because I listened to them as audio books.

Chances are I've listened to them several times, in fact. I'm sure I've heard Bryson's A Walk in the Woods and Sedaris's Me Talk Pretty One Day five or six times each. Charles Kuralt's Charles Kuralt's America is one of my favorite books; I've listened to it several times, and I've also actually read the printed book—the audio version is abridged, and I wanted to see what I was missing—but I prefer the audio version. It's not that I'm too lazy to read and would rather have Kuralt read his own book to me, it's just that he does it so well.

Many years ago, when I had a regular corporate job and a daily commute, I listened to a lot more audio books than I do these days. There were a lot of really good productions of middle-reader and young adult novels of the kind I then aspired to write, some of which I still have. Because they are mostly on cassettes, it's a lot harder to listen to them now, but someday when I have more time and more energy, I'm going to digitize them to make it easy to hear them whenever I want.

(Why the four books in the picture, you may be wondering, when I didn't name any of them specifically in this post? Well, for one thing they are all books I remember enjoying very much. The Madeleine L'Engle book, A Wind In The Door, which came second in the sequence that began with A Wrinkle in Time, is perhaps my favorite of her books (though I would actually rather read it than listen to it; I think I only listened to this audio book once). The Neil Shusterman book, The Dark Side of Nowhere, is one of the things Anna and I listened to on the drive home from our honeymoon, so I have very fond memories of it. But most importantly, they were in a cabinet in my office and were easily accessible; I didn't have to root around in the garage or that funky storage space under the stairs to find them.)

Wednesday, May 5, 2021

St. James A.M.E. Church



St. James A.M.E. Church
Arnoldsville, GA
March 7, 2003

* * * * *

I don't get to do this as often as I would like anymore, but years ago I would grab my camera, hop in the car, and go for meandering drives down the back roads of Georgia, stopping often to take pictures of whatever interested me along the way.

For as long as my archive of pictures and my interest and motivation hold out, a couple of times each week I'll be posting some of my favorites of the images I made back then.

Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Two-Story Barnes & Noble

Two-Story Barnes & Noble
Buford, GA
October 20, 2020

I love a bookstore with an escalator! (Or stairs...the second floor is really the important thing.