January, 2012

31 Jan

Where are you, Winter?

By Silver Blue | 1 comment


You used to come and visit. Take 1973, in Charleston, SC:

Dad, The snowman, “Tiny”, our chihuahua, and me.

Then, in March 1980, also in Charleston:

From the left, my friend Karan Steinmeyer, me (yes, my foot is on my skateboard — don’t ask, I don’t know why!), and friend Patty Scofield.

1984, in Virginia:

Not much snow, but enough to make a snowman. (Oh, and Polaroid film!)

Jump forward to 2010:

Snow and ice. Brr!

We had our share of snow… a good 6-8 inches (which, for Virginia, is a good snowfall). But even that amount of snow could not…

…disturb Buddha from his contemplations. (This photo was when Buddha was at his original home in Norfolk, before he came to stay with me for a while — he’s currently on my hearth.)

Silver Blue, who is cursing this 60 and 70 degree weather at the end of January. I want my cold weather, I want my snow… to kill the bugs, and to make me appreciate the spring and summer more!!!

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30 Jan

I miss this lady!

By Silver Blue

In 2007, my Grandma introduced me to the wonders of the Wii.

Grandma was a very good bowler back in the day, with an average in the mid-200s.

That year, she encouraged me to play… and play… and play…just one more game, John. It would be 2 in the morning, and we’re still at it.

Of course, after all that “throwing the ball” my arm (and shoulder) felt like it was falling off. Still, it’s due to her that I own a Wii, and in fact, I have her “Mii” on my station.

“I am with you, because you remember me.”

Yes, Grandma, you most certainly are.

Grandma and Miette (Mom’s teacup chihuahua). A little over a year later, Grandma would have moved on in the multiverse. I miss you, and love you.

Silver Blue, who believes I’ve got angels watching over me.


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29 Jan

Photos of Roxette Bunny

By Silver Blue

Yes, I have a blue bunny that has been part of my life for YEARS. She hopped in a decade ago, and has been part of my life ever since.

Roxette has a magic sleigh, and a variety of wardrobes to choose from — (sometimes she’s (gasp) adorned only in her blue fur, but… She’s always modest. 🙂 ) She used to have her own vehicle (first with RX BUNNY plates, then with the above plates).

Around Halloween she hangs out with a friend, “Pun No Kin”:

Roxette has, as a bunny, an affinity for carrots. Of course, she sometimes gets confused and thinks “CARATS”.

In fact, here, she’s surrounded by over 14 CARATS. 🙂

She has a large blue gem that she can use to look in on those she cares about:

She used to blog…and in fact, was interviewed! http://jenlars.mu.nu/archives/010548.html

Here is her adoptive family. From left: Rabbi T, Roxette, and Prob Lee Bunny.

Finally, the two shots that were taken of us, Christmas 2011:



Silver Blue, who may be the only person who has a bunny whose name is the same as the band that gave me my nickname!


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28 Jan

I’ve got an angel… in my pocket…

By Silver Blue

Or, at least… in the garden across the street.

Processed through the watercolour filter, I think she’s quite exquisite.

I ordered a new camera lens tonight. 18-200mm, which will give me the wide angle I need, along with a decent mid-range zoom lens. A one-stop walk around. As much as one lens can be. It better be good, though. It cost as much as the bloody camera did. The difference between the men and the boys is the price of their toys, right? Well… Uh… I guess so. 🙂


Silver Blue, who believes in Guardian Angels, just not the way that you might think they watch over us.

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27 Jan

In Another Place and Time…

By Silver Blue

Years ago, back when my Grandma (on Mom’s side) was still in this part of the multiverse, I would go back every summer for a visit. For the first 8 or 9 years of my life, the month-long visit was divided between both sets of grandparents (2 weeks with one, 2 weeks with the other). Then, it became visiting one side, and spending most of my time with Grandma.

Grandma lived across the street from two sets of railroad tracks. So, from a very young age, I developed a love of trains. My favourite boxcar was the “Illinois Central Gulf”, which was bright orange, marked with a white “i” in a black circle. (see an example at http://www.flickr.com/photos/prairiestar/2787689454/ )

There was a mainline, and one that crossed the river via a trestle, and which, I believe, made a stop at the local lumber yard.  It was creepy (to me) to walk across the trestle, as it was a long way down if you fell off, and I have a VERY active imagination. Did I mention it was a long way to the bottom (or into the river, depending on where you’d land)?

Sometime in the late 80s, I think, they took the trestle (and rail line it carried) out; however, they left the support stanchions.

Here, you can see how the plants have overtaken what used to be the trestle.

Another stanchion:

I guess it was just easier to remove the railroad ties and rails than it was to attempt to demolish the concrete:

Here, you can still see the spikes from the old ties driven into the concrete.

I’d often wondered how old the trestle really was. Getting around for a few more shots gave me a glimpse of something:

There appeared to be… dates embossed in the stanchion!

Zooming in a bit closer:

Indeed! It clearly shows 1928. The other side either said 1917 or 1947.  The tree covered it to the point that I could no longer read it. This photo was taken 2 years later, and shows how overgrown it has become:

I don’t know when, or even IF I’ll ever be able to get back to get any further photos before the stanchions are either destroyed by man, or by the ravages of time.

The other line? It’s still in use:

Of course, the “Illinois Central Gulf” boxcars are no more, but the memories I have live on… in that other place and time.


Silver Blue, who sometimes, when I hear that lonesome whistle blow, yearn for the past, when trains still had cabooses.

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26 Jan

Swimmin’ With The Fishes (and more)

By Silver Blue

It’s been forever since I’ve been in State College, Pennsylvania, but listening to the news about the scandal at PSU, the firing of JoePa, and his death sent me looking through the photos I’d taken when I used to go up there several times a year.

There was an awesome wall mural that the title of the post comes from. It was very aquatic, and in fact, very Atlantean.

Back in those days (1999), I was shooting with a Fuji DX-7, which… this (640×480 pixel) was the largest photo it would take!

I loved the detail in the shark and (I think) manta ray.

I wasn’t sure what to make of these figures, except to think perhaps their necks hurt. I was to see them again, however.

Swordfish. Steer clear.  (Angel fish in the background as well).

Oh, that figure I mentioned seeing again?

It’s replicated in the light fixtures in town!

Finally, a visit to State College is NOT complete without a visit to Ye Olde College Diner:

Home to the ORIGINAL grilled sticky bun. Melt butter on a flat top, and grill the sticky until warmed through. Serve with or without ice cream.

Silver Blue, who honestly thinks that my arteries would have completely closed had I kept going there and eating the way I used to…

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25 Jan

Things that catch my eye

By Silver Blue | 2 comments


Survived a very stressful event today at a local hotel. Probably the largest public relations for my College — the event of the year (and this is my 13th one — they don’t get any easier). Involved a morning session for 400 and lunch for 300+, and two lectures. So, in order to keep my wits, sanity, and sense of humour, I did what I do best.

I look… up.

The “X” doesn’t appear in the hotel’s name, so I don’t quite know why they’re on the light fixtures. Still, I liked it, so it made its way to the memory card.


Ahh. Curves. Curves are soothing. A break from the harshness of right angles and points. The other side of this shot would be…

Something that looked like this.  One thing I’ve learned, however, from my online photography classes. When set in automatic mode, your camera will meter for the available light, and attempt to give you a scene where the highlights are exposed correctly. Only one problem with that.

By doing so, you’ve lost all the details in the shadows. Fortunately, by using a fill flash, I was able to capture a greater range.

I wouldn’t have thought of using a flash in such a bright situation, normally. Of course, now I think differently.

Silver Blue, who attempts to find ways of flushing stress from himself that causes no harm to others, but also helps bring me back to centre.

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24 Jan

You can colour my world…

By Silver Blue

By removing most of the colour from photos, you can change the mood and effect.

The neighbours have the right idea. As long as it’s not red wines. They give me migraines.

A welcoming snowflake.  Nice and perriwinkle.

Then, there’s where a bell SHOULD have gone…

Finally… my fascination with the red berry bushes continues. Very exciting in colour extraction, I might add!

Something about isolating a colour or two makes far more of an impact with a photo, I think.


Silver Blue, who says today has been long enough, and I’m ready for some serious sleep.

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23 Jan

Would the last one to leave…

By Silver Blue

…please turn out the lights…in these kind of places, the last one to leave should turn out the light, leaving no traces — not a clue, not a sign, not a hint nor a line of a love once so true…disconnect everything, I’ll try to disconnect you… (“The Last One To Leave” – Elaine Paige)

Sometimes, I shoot photos, and a song comes to mind. This was the case when I came upon the remains of a street light.

Now, what exactly happened, I’m not too sure. It’s not every day that one comes upon a streetlight, deconstructed.

It’s as if, perhaps a bird flew into it — after all, it doesn’t appear to have been hit by a vehicle.

Though I’ll admit I’ve often wondered what went on inside the casings of these mercury vapor lights.

Look around… leaves are brown, there’s a broken shade on the ground…

It’s plastic. Very flimsy. I don’t know why I thought they’d be made of glass.

Less than 24 hours later, Dominion power had replaced not only the shade, but the entire fixture. I guess perhaps they were worried what the brackish water blowing in off the bay would have done to the components.


Silver Blue, who always tries to find a beacon of hope in even the darkest of situations.

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22 Jan

All my watercolours fade to black…

By Silver Blue

…I’m going nowhere and I’m 10 steps back…. all my dreams are falling flat…

Sometimes, the lyrics of a song can say just as much as a series of photographs.


Silver Blue, who reminds you that love don’t show up in the pavement cracks…

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Days of Silver Blue

January 2012